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Drystan Amell (born 9:11 Dragon) is the eldest son of Revka Amell, a member of the powerful Amell family, and her husband Ewan. He is the main protagonist of Dragon Age: Origins.

Although designated heir to the Amell family, Drystan was soon discovered at a young age to possess magic. He was subsequently taken to the Ferelden Circle of Magi, where he would spend most of his youth learning the ways of magic. However, Drystan's promising future as a mage was cut short when he was accused of abetting the blood mage Jowan. Drystan escaped punishment thanks to Warden-Commander Duncan's intervention, who conscripted Drystan into the Grey Wardens in order to combat the impending Fifth Blight.

After the disastrous battle at Ostagar, Drystan began gathering allies across Ferelden to fight the darkspawn, all the while avoiding multiple assassination attempts by Teryn Loghain. Drystan was ultimately instrumental in ending the Ferelden Civil War, resulting in the crowning of his Grey Warden comrade Alistair as the new King of Ferelden. With Ferelden united once more, the darkspawn were defeated at the Battle of Denerim, with Drystan personally slaying the Archdemon, a feat which earned him the moniker 'the Hero of Ferelden'.

As the only remaining Grey Warden that was still active in Ferelden, Drystan dedicated his efforts in rebuilding the Order's ranks in Amaranthine, becoming the new Warden-Commander. He would soon be put to the test when two factions of darkspawn began fighting amongst themselves due to ideological differences between their leaders, threatening to destroy a war-weary Ferelden in their wake. Drystan would gather a team to destroy one of the leaders, scattering the darkspawn forces and restoring peace to Ferelden once more. Besides serving his duties as Warden-Commander and Arl of Amaranthine, Drystan would serve as a loyal and dutiful member of the King's Privy Council.

In between the Fifth Blight and the Mage-Templar War and the subsequent campaign against Corypheus the Elder One, Drystan departed for lands unknown in order to find a cure to the Calling that afflicted all Grey Wardens.

Biography[]

Early Life[]

Born in 9:11 as the eldest son of Revka and Ewan Amell, Drystan lived a relatively sheltered childhood in the family estate in Kirkwall. As heir to the family, Drystan was to be tutored to be the eventual head of the family. Although the Amell family has enjoyed a period of prosperity , the family would be rocked by a series of scandals and tragedies. A year before Drystan was born, his grand-aunt Bethann died from a bout of cholera, with his grand-uncle Aristide succumbing to the disease the following year. At age six, Drystan was discovered to be a mage when a stream of electricity burst from his fingertips, setting fire to some curtains.

In spite of the efforts of Drystan's parents to keep their son's magical potential a secret, spies employed by envious nobles would oust the Amells' secret to the Templars. The Amells had no choice but to send their son to the Circle of Magi to learn to control his magic. However, to undermine the Amells even more, their rivals used their influence to send Drystan to the Ferelden Circle at Kinloch Hold as opposed to the Circle at Kirkwall. Drystan would never see his family again, for the once-powerful house would soon be plagued by more scandals. His uncle Damion was accused of smuggling, with his grandfather Fausten exhausting much of the family fortune in a futile attempt to exonerate Damion. The house of Amell soon fell into heavy debt, losing much of its wealth and influence. Following Fausten's death, Drystan's mother would go missing, while his father and his siblings left Kirkwall to escape the family's mounting problems.

Life in the Circle[]

Drystan spent much of his youth at the Circle as a studious and intelligent pupil, which earned him much praise from many of his mentors. But because of this, as well as Drystan's own introverted personality, he had very few friends in the Circle. The once exception was Jowan who, ironically enough, was ostracised for being rather inept as a mage. Unbeknownst to Drystan, his friend secretly resented him for his talents as well, which would have disastrous consequences for the two young mages in the years to come. Aside from Jowan, Drystan found company in the form of his mentors First Enchanter Irving and Senior Enchanter Wynne, both of whom he would see as the closest thing he had to parents since his departure from Kirkwall.

During his time as an apprentice, Drystan's academic achievements would earn him the attention of Senior Enchanter Uldred, an ambitious mage known within the Circle for his Libertarian views. One day, while studying in the Apprentice Quarters' Library, Drystan was approached by Uldred who proceeded to discuss with Drystan the current state of the Circle of Magi. During the discussion, Uldred encouraged Drystan to think more for himself while suggesting that the Circle of Magi should exist as an independent body rather than continue living under Chantry supervision. Before the conversation could go anywhere further, however, the two were interrupted by Irving, who then proceeded to get into a row with Uldred with the latter storming out of the library. Nevertheless, Uldred's words had an impact of Drystan's personality and he become a more outspoken apprentice as a result, though he still had few friends.

Last Days in the Circle[]

In 9:30, at 19 years old, Drystan was deemed ready to go through the Harrowing, the final test before he could become a fully-fledged member of the Circle of Magi. Under the supervision of Irving and Knight-Commander Greagoir, Drystan enters The Fade. He encounters Mouse, who claims to have been a previous apprentice who had failed his Harrowing, becoming trapped in The Fade in the process. With Mouse's help, Drystan successfully defeats the demon residing within the fade, but Drystan soon realises that something was amiss. It turns out Mouse is not another apprentice, but a masquerading pride demon and Drystan's final obstacle.

Mouse offers Drystan a proposition: help Mouse escape as gratitude for his help or refuse and die. Unwilling to let a demon loose into the world, regardless of the gratitude he had for his temporary ally, Drystan refuses. To his surprise, the demon lets Drystan leave The Fade without trouble, revealing it to be another part of the trial. Drystan arrives back into the physical plane, not as an apprentice, but a fully-realised mage at last.

Irving introduces Drystan to Duncan, Warden-Commander of the Ferelden Grey Wardens, who was in search of potential mages to join King Cailan's forces in fighting the impending Fifth Blight. Although intrigued by Duncan's offer, Drystan confesses that he prefers to continue his studies at the Circle in hopes of eventually becoming First Enchanter like Irving. Shortly after his meeting with Duncan, Drystan is approached by Jowan who is asking for his help. After introducing Drystan to Chantry initiate and his lover, Lily, Jowan reveals that the Circle might be planning to make him Tranquil on suspicions of being a blood mage. Jowan asks for Drystan's help in acquiring Jowan's phylactery and destroy it, preventing the Templars from tracking him down while he and Lily flee the Circle. Sceptical of the claims of Jowan being a blood mage himself, Drystan agrees to help his friend.

But knowing that Jowan would not survive life as an Apostate, Drystan approaches Irving in his office, hoping to appeal to his mentor to call off the Rite of Tranquility. To his shock, however, Irving reveals that he knew of Jowan's affair with Lily and confirms Drystan's worst fears: Jowan has indeed been dabbling in blood magic. He is even more shocked when Irving instructs Drystan to play along with Jowan's plan until they can catch him and Lily in the act, in order to prevent the Chantry from concealing its own members' culpability in Jowan's attempted escape. Though torn between his loyalty to his friend and to his mentor and the Circle, the sting of Jowan's deception causes Drystan to reluctantly comply with Irving's orders.

After Drystan successfully acquired the Rod of Fire needed to access the phylactery chamber, the three of them infiltrated the basement where the chamber lies. Bypassing the basement's defences, the three of them managed to acquire Jowan's phylactery and destroy it. As they left the basement, however, the three are cornered by Templars under Greagoir and Irving. As Greagoir prepares to arrest Jowan and Lily, Jowan unleashes his blood magic upon his would-be captors. Horrified by the revelation that Jowan was indeed a blood mage, Lily rejects Jowan's offer to escape, forcing him to flee the Circle alone.

Greagoir, furious at Jowan's escape, attempts to arrest Drystan for abetting a blood mage, despite Irving's defence that Drystan was only doing it on his orders. But before things could escalate, Duncan steps in to invoke the Right of Conscription, thereby recruiting Drystan into the Grey Wardens. Realising that joining the Grey Wardens was his only means of escaping Greagoir's retribution, Drystan accepts Duncan's offer.

Joining the Grey Wardens[]

Drystan and Duncan soon depart for Ostagar, where King Cailan's main force is currently encamped, even meeting the King himself at the gates of the encampment. At camp, Drystan meets two fellow Grey Warden recruits, Daveth and Ser Jory. The three of them are tasked to retrieve three vials of darkspawn blood which were required for their initiation, as well as a cache of ancient treaties. Accompanied by Grey Warden Alistair, the three recruits ventured into the Korcari Wilds, where they soon had their first bout with Darkspawn forces.

Upon successfully retrieving the vials of blood needed, the group headed for the ruins of a Grey Warden outpost where the ancient treaties were supposedly last seen. Although they found the cache, the treaties were missing. It was then the group encountered the apostate Morrigan, who proceeds to lead them to her mother Flemeth, who had the treaties in her possession. With the treaties back in their hands, the recruits headed back to camp and prepare for the Joining. While resting at camp, Drystan helped cure a mabari war hound that was sick with the Taint using ingredients retrieved from the Korcari Wilds. He also reunites with Wynne near the mages' quarters, and the two quickly took advantage of the respite to reminisce their time at the Circle.

When it was time to begin the Joining, Duncan reveals that the recruits had to drink the darkspawn blood they had acquired in order to complete the initiation ceremony. While Daveth dies to the taint, Jory attempts to flee only to be slain by the remorseful Duncan in order to preserve the Order's secrets. Faced with two difficult choice, Drystan drinks his vial of darkspawn blood. Although he passes out, Drystan survives the initiation ceremony and becomes an official Grey Warden.

The Battle of Ostagar began shortly after, where King Cailan's forces and Duncan sallied forth to engage the darkspawn forces on the battlefield. Drystan and Alistair, meanwhile, were entrusted with lighting the beacon atop the Tower of Ishal, which would signal for Loghain's forces to attack the darkspawn from the flank. The two wardens managed to fight their way to the Tower and, after defeating the ogre guarding the beacon, lights the signal. But to their shock and horror, Loghain's forces instead chose to depart the battlefield. Both Drystan and Alistair were soon overwhelmed by the darkspawn.

Starting from scratch[]

Regaining consciousness, Drystan found himself in Flemeth's hut where he was tended to by Morrigan. The Witch of the Wilds informed Drystan that Flemeth had rescued both him and Alistair from the tower. Drystan also discovered from Flemeth that without Loghain's reinforcements, King Cailan's forces were overwhelmed by the darkspawn hordes, with Duncan and the King himself among the many casualties of the disaster at Ostagar. Of all the Ferelden Grey Wardens, only Drystan and Alistair remained.

Alistair suggests that with the ancient treaties in their possession, both he and Drystan could rebuild a coalition to fight back against the Blight. As they set off in search of allies, they are accompanied by Morrigan, who reluctantly joined them at her mother's behest. Their first stop would be the nearby town of Lothering in order to gather both information on the state of Ferelden as well as supplies for the journey ahead. On the way there, the group encounter a mabari war hound that had escaped the slaughter at Ostagar - the same one that Drystan helped cure. After skirmish with a group of darkspawn, Drystan decided to recruit the hound into their group, renaming him "Iggy".

Lothering[]

Arriving at Lothering, the group soon discover that the town was in complete chaos, which was crowded with refugees who fled north to escape the Blight. To make matters worse, opportunistic bandits roamed the outskirts in order to take advantage of the large numbers of refugees fleeing into and out of Lothering, with Drystan and his group encountering one such gang that attempted to extort them in exchange for entry into the town.

While gathering supplies and information, the group stop by at the local inn, where they are soon accosted by Loghain's men, accusing the Grey Wardens of being responsible for King Cailan's death. Despite the intervention of a local Chantry sister named Leliana, the situation quickly escalated into violence. The group were quick to dispatch Loghain's men, with Drystan sparing their leader, telling him to inform his leader that the Wardens are alive and that they know what he did at Ostagar. Leliana offers to join Drystan and his group, claiming that she had a vision from the Maker that she would assist Drystan in ending the Blight. Despite the group's scepticism of her claims, Drystan, having seen Leliana's skills with a dagger while fighting Loghain's men, accepts her offer.

The group spent their remaining time in Lothering doing jobs for the local Templars and Chantry in assisting the townsfolk and refugees, partly out of goodwill and partly because they needed coin for the journey ahead. While in town, Drystan overheard rumors from some townsfolk that Eamon Guerrin, the Arl of Redcliffe, had been afflicted with a mysterious condition that not even magic could treat. Shortly before they leave town, they encounter a Qunari named Sten, who had been locked up in a cage by the local authorities for the murder of a family. Drystan successfully convinces the Revered Mother to release Sten into Drystan's custody, gathering a new party member in the process.

As they departed Lothering, Drystan's group save a dwarf father and son from darkspawn. Introducing themselves as Bodahn and Sandal Feddic, the merchants offered to accompany the group, albeit from a safe distance, providing them with supplies and weapons.

In Search of the Dalish[]

The group soon got word that the Dalish elves were last seen along the outskirts of the Brecilian Forest, which was not too far from Lothering. As the elves were a nomadic people, Drystan decided the Brecilian Forest be their first stop. Upon arrival, the group meet up with the clan's Keeper Zathrian, who explains that their clan were currently embroiled in a conflict with a pack of werewolves. To make matters worse for the Dalish, some of their own have been afflicted with lycanthropy, a condition which turns them into werewolves as well. Zathrian then proposed that should Drystan and his group acquire the heart of the source of the curse, Witherfang, the Dalish elves would join the young Warden's alliance.

However, things were not as clear-cut as they initially seemed. Drystan and his group eventually learn that the werewolves were humans afflicted with a curse casted by Zathrian himself, as retribution for losing his family in a conflict with humans centuries ago, and that the Witherfang that Zathrian asked Drystan to slay was actually the spirit of the forest itself, which gained a physical form when Zathrian casted his curse.

Seeing that Zathrian was the only one capable of undoing the curse, Drystan lured him into the Brecilian Ruins, forcing him to confront those he had cursed. But Zathrian, still blinded by grief and hatred, refused and tried to attack the Lady of the Forest, only to be subdued by Drystan and his allies. When Drystan points out that Zathrian's pursuit of revenge has done as much damage to his people as the humans who killed his family, the remorseful elf finally relents and removes the curse, sacrificing both his life and that of the Lady of the Forest whose existence owed to the curse.

With the curse removed and its victims back to normal, Zathrian's First Lanaya quickly takes leadership of the clan and forges an alliance with Drystan against the Blight.

While exploring the Brecilian Ruins, Drystan rediscovered an ancient phylactery from which he obtained knowledge of the arts of the Arcane Warriors.

The Defence of Redcliffe[]

At Alistair's behest, the group decided that their next stop would be Redcliffe, in hopes of allying with Arl Eamon, who had the power and influence necessary to contest the treacherous Loghain's own. En route to Redcliffe, however, Drystan's party was quickly beset by a gang of assassins led by the elven Antivan assassin Zevran Arainai. Despite being caught by surprise, Drystan's party successfully dispatch most of their attackers with the exception of their leader. Now at the mercy of his would-be victims, Zevran confessed that he was hired by Loghain and his right-hand man Arl Rendon Howe to assassinate Drystan and Alistair. In exchange for sparing his life, Zevran offers to join Drystan's party, to which the mage Warden reluctantly accepted.

As they arrived at the city, Alistair confessed to Drysten that he is the bastard son of King Maric, making him a potential candidate for the throne and hence why Eamon brought him up. But when they arrived, the group saw the town hunkering down for a siege. They learn from a local militiaman named Tomas that the town has been under attack by an endless army of undead, before taking them to see Eamon's brother, Bann Teagan Guerrin. Teagan confirms the rumors that the Arl has been afflicted with a mysterious malady, while the castle and its residents were cut off from the outside world thanks to the throngs of undead attacking the town.

The group decided to assist in the defence of Redcliffe. While at the local tavern, Drystan learns from the barmaid Bella that a mysterious elf by the name of Berwick has been been acting suspiciously, choosing to stay in the tavern rather than join the militia in the defence of the town. Leliana quickly exposes Berwick as a spy and upon further interrogation, the group learn that Berwick was he was sent to spy on the castle by Howe. However, he only managed to send word to his employers that Arl Eamon is sick, because afterwards the monsters came out of the castle and Berwick was stuck in the village. Drystan forces Berwick to join in the town's defence.

At nightfall, the undead proceeded to attack the town once more. While the defence started out well, the defenders were starting to get overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the undead. When it seems like all hope was lost, Drystan rallies the defenders into launching a counterattack and successfully repelled the invading forces, though Drystan himself was wounded and nearly killed by an undead soldier. Fortunately, the defenders held out long enough for dawn to arrive, scattering the invading forces once more.

Infiltrating Redcliffe Castle[]

With the number of undead thinned down from the ensuing battle, Drystan's group infiltrated Redcliffe Castle via an underground passage. Entering the castle dungeons, Drystan reunited his old friend Jowan, who was currently prisoner. Jowan confessed that he was captured by Loghain's men, who coerced him into infiltrating Eamon's estate as a tutor for Eamon's son Connor in secret so that Connor could learn to hide his magic abilities and thus avoid being disinherited and sent to the Circle of Magi. Jowan also revealed that he had poisoned Arl Eamon on Loghain's orders, and that Connor was possessed by a desire demon, thus causing all the chaos that had been plaguing the town as of late. Feeling responsible for the whole predicament by selling Jowan out to Irving, Drystan frees Jowan from the dungeons on the condition that he never return to Redcliffe again, knowing that he would be executed for his crimes.

Fighting their way through the undead guards, the group arrive in the throne room where they are confronted by a possessed Connor, his mother Isolde and a mind-controlled Teagan. Connor sics Teagan and several mind-controlled guards before fleeing to the safety of his chambers. After the group subdues Teagan and the guards, the Bann of Rainsfere breaks free of Connor's control. Assessing their options, Drystan suggests that they approach the Circle for help.

Broken Circle[]

As they arrived at the Circle Tower, however, Drystan and his party soon discover that the Tower was beset by a horde of demons and abominations. Greagoir, convinced that the Tower was beyond saving, was preparing to cordon off the area until reinforcements from Denerim arrive. Greagoir intended to purge any remaining mages within the Tower. Drystan, unwilling to sacrifice his fellow mages, convinces Greagoir to hold off his forces until Drystan and his party to find any surviving mages and put a stop to whoever was responsible.

Entering the Tower, Drystan reunited with Wynne, who had been protecting several apprentices and children from a Rage Demon. Wynne informs Drystan of what went down in the Tower. After the Battle of Ostagar, Uldred had attempted to persuade the Circle to ally with Loghain in exchange for a more independent Circle of Magi. But when Wynne revealed Loghain’s treachery at Ostagar to the rest of the Circle, Uldred and his supporters (many of whom were blood mages) then attempted a coup by summoning a demon, only for it to backfire when the demon ended up possessing him instead. The possessed Uldred proceeded to twist other Circle mages into abominations, unleashing the chaos that engulfed Kinloch Hold. Wynne then joined Drystan's party in order to stop Uldred, and the group continued to fight their way up the Tower, encountering demons, abominations and blood mages along the way. However, Drystan's party was attacked by a Sloth Demon who traps them in The Fade. While in The Fade, Drystan encountered the mage Niall who had fallen victim to the Sloth Demon as well. Niall helped Drystan locate his party members before defeating the Sloth Demon, thus releasing them from The Fade. Unfortunately, Niall had spent too much time in The Fade and could not return.

Now back in the material world, Drystan and his party continued fighting their way to the Harrowing Chamber where the possessed Uldred waited for them. Just outside the Chamber, Drystan encounters a delirious Cullen Rutherford, who urges Drystan to kill all the mages inside regardless of whether they were on Uldred's side or not. Drystan, however, refuses and confronts Uldred. The possessed Uldred attempted to sway Drystan to his side, but Drystan refuses and attacks. After a long and gruelling battle, the possessed Uldred and his supporters were defeated, saving Irving and the surviving mages. Grateful for restoring the Circle before Greagoir could invoke the Right of Annulment, the mages joined Drystan's forces to fight the Blight, with Irving agreeing to accompany the group to Redcliffe to save Connor.

With the Circle's help, Drystan enters The Fade once more, this time to confront the demon possessing Connor, successfully intimidating it into releasing its hold over the boy. Although peace has been restored in Redcliffe, Eamon remained in a coma with still no possibility that he would wake up. However, Isolde suggests that urn containing the sacred ashes of Andraste, which were said to cure any ailment, could be their best hope. She explained that Eamon had been funding a scholar living in Denerim named Brother Genitivi, who had been researching on the whereabouts of the Urn of Sacred Ashes.

It was en route to Denerim that Drystan would begin having a tryst with Morrigan, and the two became lovers.

In Search of Leads[]

With the death of King Cailan, Loghain ruled Ferelden as regent. As Denerim was his main seat of power, the city was on high alert, forcing Drystan and his group to enter the city incognito. After some investigating, the party managed to locate Genitivi's home in the Denerim Market District. They were greeted by his assistant Weylon, who informed them that Genitivi had gone missing. However, Zevran noticed that Weylon was acting evasive and began pointing out inconsistencies in the assistant's statements. Panicked, Weylon attempts to attack the group, revealing himself to be a mage.

Once the mage was quickly dispatched, the group began searching the residence in search of possible clues as to where Genitivi could be. After discovering the corpse of the real Weylon, they found Genitivi's journal containing his research, pointing them to the Village of Haven.

Soldier's Peak[]

While en route to Haven, the group encounter a merchant named Levi Dryden. Levi had previously approached Duncan prior to the Battle of Ostagar, requesting his help in uncovering the truth of his ancestor Sophia Dryden, a Warden-Commander who had launched a rebellion against the Crown during the Storm Age. Acting on behalf of the now-deceased Duncan, as well as the promise of potential secrets of the Grey Wardens that could be useful in combating the Blight, Drystan agrees to Levi's request and the group headed to Soldier's Peak, the ancient Grey Warden stronghold that Sophia Dryden had instigated her failed rebellion.

The group explore Soldier's Peak and found the abandoned fortress infested with undead Wardens, demons, and abominations. Fighting their way through the monsters, the group finally encounter Sophia Dryden herself, or rather, her corpse that was currently possessed by a demon. The demon promised to seal the rift that is causing the demons to enter the material world from The Fade and in exchange, Drystan must kill the Warden mage Avernus, who is currently residing in the top of the fortress's tower. Unwilling to trust a demon, Drystan kills the demon, freeing Sophia's corpse in the process.

The group continue their way up Avernus's tower to confront him, where they stumble upon the mage's research and an Alchemical Concoction. In his efforts to weaponise the taint and perhaps even prevent it from killing the Wardens afflicted with it, Avernus had conducted many experiments on his fellow Grey Wardens. Reading Avernus's notes, Drystan discovered that the concoction could unlock power inherent in the Grey Wardens' taint without relying on demons. Upon drinking it, Daylen felt his powers increase exponentially. At the top of the tower, the group confront Avernus, surprised to see the mage alive and well despite being centuries old. Avernus, who had prevented the demons from escaping Soldier's Peak, agrees to help Drystan repair the rift that the demons were entering through. Once the rift was sealed, Avernus reveals to Levi that it was he who called him to the fortress in the first place in hopes that he could bring reinforcements to help close the rift.

Avernus now had to stand trial for his experiments, but Drystan, seeing the fruits of Avernus's research, instead sentences him to be confined to his tower, where he will continue his research under the condition that he did not use human experimentation.

The Urn of Sacred Ashes[]

With Levi's request fulfilled, Drystan and his group resumed their journey to Haven. Despite an initially hostile welcome from the guard, Drystan and his group began exploring the village in search of clues. They soon learned that a Revered Father named Eirik runs the town like a cult, as well as discovering the body of one of Eamon's knights laid before a bloody altar. Fighting through the mob of hostile villagers and Eiririk himself, the group manage to rescue a captive Brother Genitivi, who tells them that the Urn of Sacred Ashes was hidden in the temple ruins beneath the mountain. Despite his injuries, an enthusiastic Genitivi accompanies the group to the ruins.

Exploring the ruins, the group face multiple obstacles, including dragonlings, more cultists and even a High Dragon that the aforementioned cultists had been worshipping as Andraste reincarnated. Eventually, they come face to face with the temple's Guardian, who tells them that in order to reach the Urn, they had to go through a trial called The Gauntlet. Managing to accomplish the trials, including a spirit that assumed the form of his former friend Jowan, Drystan and his group were ultimately successful in reaching the Urn. Drystan takes a small sample of the Ashes to cure Eamon while leaving the rest untouched.

Reuniting with Genitivi, the excited scholar voices plans of organising future expeditions to study the Temple's secrets before turning it into a site of pilgrimage. In spite of his reservations about publicising the discovery of the Ashes, Drystan wishes Genitivi the best of luck before heading back to Redcliffe.

With the sample of Ashes he collected, Drystan successfully cures Eamon from his illness. Learning of Loghain's treachery at Ostagar as well as the attempt on his life, Eamon pledges his support for the Warden. But rather than risk a potential civil war with the darkspawn at their doorstep, Eamon plans to organise a Landsmeet and gather Ferelden's nobles and lords to determine King Cailin's successor. Eamon's candidate would be King Maric's illegitimate son and Cailin's half-brother: Alistair. Meanwhile, Drystan and his friends head off to gather the last of their allies, the dwarves of Orzammar.

The Stone Prisoner[]

During his travels, Drystan purchased a control rod from a merchant named Felix de Grosbois, which supposedly had the power to control a stone golem. Unfortunately, the golem itself was in Honnleath, a village in the Arling of Redcliffe. As they arrive in Honnleath, however, the group soon found the village overrun with darkspawn, with no villager in sight. After defeating the Darkspawn, Drystan attempted to awaken the golem with the control rod and command phrase as per the instructions given to him by Felix, but the golem did not respond.

Drystan began searching the village to locate the previous owner in hopes of learning from them the real command phrase. He then found beneath one of the village houses a group of survivors encased within a barrier. The creator of the barrier, Matthias, revealed that his father was a mage and the previous owner of the golem. To protect his fellow villagers from the darkspawn, Matthias had activated his father's defence systems, but his daughter Amalia remained unaccounted for. In exchange for the command phrase, Drystan helped Matthias find his missing daughter, who turned out to have been under the control of a desire demon. Upon defeating the demon and saving Amalia, the grateful Matthias gives Drystan the actual command phrase.

Returning to the golem, Drystan managed to awaken it this time. The golem introduces itself as Shale, and expressing a desire to learn more about its origins, joined Drystan's party.

Politicking in Orzammar[]

The group made their way to Orzammar, the dwarven city beneath the Frostback Mountains. They were intercepted by bounty hunters hired by Loghain, but quickly made short work of their attackers.

Upon arriving in the dwarven city, Drystan found himself caught in the middle of a succession crisis. With the passing of the dwarven King Endrin Aeducan, the succession falls on two candidates, Endrin's son Bhelen and Lord Harrowmont. Both pro-Bhelen and pro-Harrowmont factions in the Assembly were currently in a deadlock. Unfortunately for Drystan, the dwarves would not join them against the Blight, having closed itself off from most of the outside world until the succession crisis is resolved.

With no other alternative, Drystan and his group would need to back one of the candidate, one they could trust in helping them against the Blight. Gathering information on both candidates, their personalities and agendas, Drystan learned that while more ambitious and radical than his older rival, the prince was also a progressive, being more willing to open Orzammar's doors to the outside world should he be elected. Harrowmont, in contrast, was weak-willed and relied on the support of the traditionalists within the Assembly, many of whom preferred to retain Orzammar's currently isolationist policies. Unwilling to hedge his bets on a king who might not be able to uphold his end of the bargain, Drystan ultimately chose to back Prince Bhelen. After doing several missions that could tip the scales in the prince's favour, Drystan was tasked to locate the Paragon Branka, who had disappeared while searching for the Anvil of the Void that was supposedly located in the lost city of Ortan Thaig. Branka's status as Paragon gave her significant clout amongst the dwarves, and her favour would be the final nail in the coffin and ensure Bhelen's ascension to the throne.

On the way to the Deep Roads, Drystan and his group bump into Oghren, a dwarven berserker and Branka's estranged husband. Oghren joins the party in hopes of locating his missing wife. While exploring they Deep Trenches, the group witness the Archdemon leading the darkspawn armies to the surface. They eventually manage to locate Branka, who quickly traps them with her by cutting their route off with debris. She demands them to assist her in locating the Anvil of the Void if they wanted her cooperation, to which Drystan reluctantly accepts.

Getting past various traps, the group finally find the Anvil, guarded by none other than the forge's creator Caridin. Caridin explains how the forge works: it converts dwarves into golems to serve in the dwarves' armies, with Shale being among those created by the forge. Although Caridin only used the forge on volunteers, the dwarven King Valtor ordered for the forge to be used on casteless and political opponents as well. When Caridin himself opposed the king's decision, he too was turned into a golem. To put a stop to Valtor, Caridin sealed away both the forge and himself from Orzammar, but as he was now a golem himself, he was unable to destroy it.

Realising that history could repeat itself should the aggressive Bhelen rediscover the Anvil, Drystan elects to destroy the Anvil but was opposed by Branka. Realising that Branka's obsession with finding the Anvil had driven her insane, Oghren sides against his estranged wife and kills her. Branka's death meant that the dwarves were left without a Paragon and in turn, Bhelen's trump card. But having been a Paragon himself, Caridin opts to use the Anvil a final time to forge a crown for whoever is destined for the throne. Once Drystan destroys the Anvil, Caridin commits suicide now that his purpose of staying alive has been fulfilled.

Drystan returns to Orzammar in time for the Assembly, where he personally crowns Bhelen as king in Caridin's name. Bhelen's first decree as king was the execution of Harrowmont and his supporters, to which Drystan could only watch as Harrowmont was arrested to await execution. Nevertheless, Bhelen upheld his end of the bargain and pledges support for the Grey Wardens in fighting the Blight.

Return to Ostagar[]

While travelling through Bann Loren's lands en route to Denerim, Drystan's group came across Elric Maraigne, a member of King Cailan's honour guard, being accosted by Bann Loren's men. Drystan and the others manage to dispatch the soldiers but were too late to save Elric, who lay dying from the injuries he sustained from the torture Bann Loren's men put him through. Before succumbing to his wounds, Elric informed them that King Cailan gave him a key which belonged to his royal arms chest and if anything were to happen to Cailan, then Elric was instructed to deliver the key to the Grey Wardens. He also implores that if they found the King's body, then to give it a proper funeral since Cailan was their king and that his body shouldn't be left to rot with the darkspawn.

The group made their way back to Ostagar and managed to recover Cailan's possessions, including his weapons and a secret correspondence between the king and Empress Celene of Orlais, where they discovered that both monarchs were discussing an alliance in order to defeat the darkspawn. Once they found Cailan's crucified body, Drystan and Alistair then laid Cailan's body to rest,

A Favour for Morrigan[]

Drystan would learn from Morrigan that her mother Flemeth extended her life by possessing the bodies of her daughters who she would groom to be suitable vessels. Believing that Flemeth intended to do the same to her, Morrigan requested Drystan to kill Flemeth, to which he agreed. Travelling back to the Korcari Wilds where Flemeth was waiting for him, Drystan manages to slay the powerful witch despite her transforming into a high dragon, acquiring her grimoire as proof of her death. Despite this victory, Drystan had the feeling that the witch was not truly dead, nor would this be the last time that they would see each other.

A Game of Thrones[]

Freeing the Queen[]

Having gathered the allies he needed, Drystan headed back to Denerim where the Landsmeet would be held. Taking residence in Eamon's estate, Drystan crossed paths with Loghain for the first time since Ostagar, as well as his lieutenants Howe and Ser Cauthrien. It was only thanks to Eamon's intervention that hostilities did not break out into violence.

In his quarters, Drystan was visited by the handmaiden of Queen Anora, Cailan's wife and Loghain's daughter. The handmaiden revealed that the queen was held prisoner by Howe in his estate allegedly planning to kill her to blame her death on Eamon and Drystan, and requested Drystan's assistance in freeing her. As Anora held significant influence in the court that could prove useful in the upcoming Landsmeet, Drystan agreed to the handmaiden's request. Infiltrating Howe's estate, the group discover that Howe was holding many of Loghain's political opponents in his dungeons, including the Orlesian Grey Warden Riordan. Drystan freed most of the prisoners before killing Howe himself when he tried to stop Drystan from escaping with Anora.

Before they could flee the estate, however, the group was intercepted by Cauthrien and her men. Not wanting to reveal Anora or risk any harm coming to her in the crossfire, Drystan willingly surrenders himself into Cauthrien's custody in exchange for letting his party and Anora leave unharmed. A woman of her word, Cauthrien acceded to Drystan's request and imprisoned him in Fort Drakon. Confronted by Loghain in prison, the Teryn revealed that he planned on charging Dystan (and Eamon by association) for Howe's murder and conspiring against his daughter. Fortunately, Drystan's time in the dungeons was short-lived. The ring Morrigan gave to him which allowed her to track down his location. Thanks to this information, Zevran and Oghren, infiltrated the fort under the guise as performers and freed Drystan. The three quickly slipped their way out of the fortress and returned to the safety of Eamon's estate.

An Uneasy Alliance[]

Now back safely, Drystan is visited by Anora who offers to work together with him against her father, in hopes that he would support her claim to the Ferelden throne instead of Alistair. As a token of good will, Anora suggests that Drystan investigate the unrest that was currently taking place in the Elven Alienage, as it was possible that her father might be involved. As per Anora's instructions, Drystan and his group went to the alienage to investigate, and soon discovered Loghain had been colluding with Tevinter mages in enslaving the elves. The slavers posed as a humanitarian group offering healing services when in reality, they abducted the unsuspecting elves before shipping them off to Tevinter. Drystan liberates the elves and kills the ringleader, discovering from his corpse documents bearing Loghain's seal, revealing his complicity in the elven slave trade.

With proof of Loghain's various illicit activities, Eamon was ready to call the Landsmeet. Just before it began, however, Drystan and Anora ultimately come to a settlement. Alistair would still ascend to the throne while Anora would still retain her position as Queen, with the two of them marrying in order to solidify their union. Drystan recognised that although Alistair has the morality needed to make a good ruler, his friend lacked the necessary experience when it comes to state affairs, something that Anora has when she was still married to Cailan.

The Landsmeet[]

When it was time for the Landsmeet at the Royal Palace, Drystan and Alistair were intercepted by Cauthrien but this time, Drystan managed to convince the knight that Loghain's actions would doom Ferelden rather than save it, causing her to stand down and let them pass. At the Landsmeet itself, Drystan reveals to the nobles of Loghain's crimes: his abandonment of Cailan at Ostagar, employing a blood mage to make an attempt on Eamon's life, Howe's atrocities and the enslavement of the elves. Against such irrefutable evidence, Loghain's crediblity was destroyed and the nobility's support for the Grey Wardens was near unanimous.

However, Loghain was not ready to go down without a fight, and challenged Drystan to a trial by combat which Drystan accepted. Although Loghain's superior strength and combat experience gave the general a clear edge, Drystan had by now mastered the arts of the Arcane Warriors, which helped him tip the scales back in his favour and he managed to defeat Loghain. Before he could execute the fallen general, however, Riordan intervened by suggesting that Loghain join the Grey Wardens. Although this was met with protests by both Drystan and Alistair, Drystan reached a compromise by pawning Loghain off to the Orlesian Grey Wardens. Should Loghain survive the Blight, he would spend the rest of his days in Orlais, the place that he so despised. Though still upset that the man responsible for the death of both his half-brother and Duncan still lived, Alistair conceded that it was still a fitting punishment. Furthermore, Loghain's exile could be used as leverage against Anora should she plan on turning against the Wardens.

The Battle of Denerim[]

Preparations[]

As Ferelden's nobility flocked to their new King's side, preparations were made for one final battle against the Blight, which was now making its way to Redcliffe. While the nobility raised their armies, they were soon joined by the Wardens' mage, elven and dwarven allies. This new army, replacing the one lost at Ostagar, made its way to Redcliffe and successfully repelled the darkspawn hordes before the village could be overrun. This victory, however, was only a temporary respite. The darkspawn horde they repelled was merely a diversionary force, with the main force, led by the Archdemon itself, on its way to Denerim.

As the army rested up for the night, Riordan revealed to both Drystan and Loghain in private that the Archdemon could never truly be killed, for its essence would survive the destruction of its body and possess the nearest darkspawn. To slay the Archdemon and end the Blight for good, the Grey Warden that slays it would absorb the Archdemon's essence which would kill them both in the process. Although Riordan reassured the two that he would bear this burden, they would have to do the deed should he fall in battle. As Drystan processed this revelation, he found Morrigan in his room, offering a way for Drystan to avoid such a sacrifice. She claimed that on the eve of the battle, a ritual must be performed in which a child will be conceived. The Archdemon's essence would possess the unborn child rather than the Warden who strikes the killing blow, saving them in the process. As for the child itself, Morrigan said that she would raise it as her own and away from the rest of society. Although dismayed that he would not see his lover nor his child once the battle was over, Drystan agreed to undergo the ritual and the two shared one last intimate night together.

To Slay and Archdemon[]

Under the command of Drystan, King Alistair and Eamon, the allied army quickly marched on to Denerim, where the city was about to be overwhelmed by the Archdemon's forces. The coalition clashed with the darkspawn hordes, resulting in brutal fighting that spread into Denerim's streets. Drystan placed half of his team under Sten's command to help with the defence of the city gates and prevent the darkspawn from reinforcing those already inside. Fighting their way through the city, Drystan's team saw Riordan sacrifice his life to cripple one of the Archdemon's wings, forcing it to land atop Fort Drakon.

After a long and gruelling battle, the Archdemon was finally defeated and Drystan himself delivered the killing blow. As Morrigan had predicted, Drystan survived the process, with the Archdemon's essence passing on to their unborn child.

Post-Blight[]

At Alistair's coronation, Drystan personally requested his friend to grant the Circle of Magi independence from the Chantry, a reward which Alistair granted as a reward for Drystan's role in ending the Blight. After parting ways with the comrades he made on his journey, Drystan and his mabari companion Iggy made their way to the Arling of Amaranthine, which had been granted to him by Alistair after Howe's death. There, Drystan began rebuilding the Ferelden Grey Wardens as its new Warden-Commander, with no shortage of recruits thanks to the newfound fame the Wardens had achieved after the Blight.

Alongside his duties as Warden-Commander, Drystan served as a member of King Alistair and Queen Anora's privy council, with most of their attention focused on Ferelden's reconstruction efforts. Although Drystan rarely spent much time in the Royal Court due to his other commitments, his status as "The Hero of Ferelden" gave him significant political clout.

Due to Drystan's relative inexperience, a detachment of Orlesian Wardens were sent to Vigil's Keep to advise him as well as to bolster the Order's presence in Ferelden, which still had yet to recover from Ostagar. However, the true motive behind their arrival was to learn how Drystan survived slaying the Archdemon. Despite repeated questioning, however, Drystan refused to divulge the circumstances that led to his survival and the Orlesian Wardens acquiesced.

At some point in time, Drystan crossed paths with Jowan once more, who had been defending some war refugees against some darkspawn remnants. Assisting his old friend in repelling the darkspawn, the two then reconciled their differences before parting ways.

The Darkspawn Civil War[]

Assault on Vigil's Keep[]

Drystan's Grey Wardens would soon be put to the test. With the Archdemon slain, most of its forces were scattered and reduced to disorganised mobs. However, the darkspawn suddenly began reorganising themselves under a new leader calling itself the Architect, a darkspawn that somehow managed to gain sentience, and they began terrorising settlements along the coast. While Drystan travelled to Denerim to discuss this new threat with the Royal Court, Seneschal Varel was placed in command of the garrison. But when Drystan returned from his diplomatic mission, he found the stronghold overrun by darkspawn and most of its defenders, including most of the Orlesian Wardens, massacred. Drystan nevertheless managed to rally the survivors and repelled the darkspawn.

Gathering New Allies[]

Shortly after the battle, Drystan was tasked once more to put an end to the darkspawn threat for good. Needing to rebuild the Order once again, he began gathering a small but specialised team consisting of his old friend Oghren, the apostate Anders, and Nathaniel Howe, the son of the deceased Rendon Howe.

Their first stop was at Wending Wood to investigate a recent conflict between the local Dalish elves led by the Dalish mage Velanna and humans, suspected to be the result of the Architect's machinations. Upon resolving the conflict and Velanna joining them, Drystan and his companions travelled to the nearby silverite mine suspected to be a darkspawn hideout. Drystan was ambushed and abducted by the Architect but was saved by Velanna's sister Seranni. Continuing his investigation, Drystan discovered that the Architect had been experimenting on the people it abducted, though the Architect managed to escape while Drystan and his team were busy dealing with its minions.

Having received intelligence reports from Vigil's Keep captain of the guard Garevel of darkspawn presence in the Deep Roads, Drystan's next stop was Kal'Hirol. There he encountered a female dwarf named Sigrun, a member of the dwarves' Legion of the Dead and the sole survivor of a scouting party massacred by the darkspawn. He also learned that the place was infested with broodmothers commanded by a sentient darkspawn called the Lost. To Drystan and everyone else's surprise, they found the Lost and its forces being besieged by the Architect's forces, and they soon realised that they stumbled upon a sort of darkspawn civil war. Although the Lost's forces managed to defeat the Architect's own, they were left weakened and ill-prepared for Drystan's arrival. The Lost and the broodmothers were then killed by Drystan and his team.

Drystan's next stop was the Blackmarsh to investigate the disappearance of the Orlesian Grey Warden Kristoff, only to stumble into a trap concocted by a darkspawn calling itself the First and its leader the Mother. However, the First was betrayed by the Mother and was caught in the trap as well. Both the Drystan's team and the First endup getting trapped in the Fade and both eventually became involved in a conflict between a spirit of Justice and the Baroness. After Aedan defeated the First, the Baroness used blood magic to sacrifice the First and used the power accumulated to return to Thedas., but she unwittingly allowed both Drystan's team and Justice to escape as well. Justice, possessing the corpse of Kristoff, allied with Drystan and together they defeated the Baroness as well as her army of demons.

The Mother soon launched a preemptive attack on the City of Amaranthine. Although Drystan was able to repel the initial assault, he soon received a message by the Architect that the Mother was besieging Vigil's Keep as well. Unwilling to sacrifice innocent civilians, Drystan stayed to manage the city's defence. Fortunately, Vigil's Keep was able to hold out against the darkspawn thanks to the new fortifications.

Battle at Drake's Fall[]

After the assault, Drystan managed to pinpoint the Mother's lair in Drake's Fall. There, Drystan and his team encounter the Architect who revealed his true intentions. A sentient darkspawn immune to the darkspawn hive-mind, the Architect expressed his hopes of bringing peace between the darkspawn and other races. However, the Mother, still under the sway of the Calling, rebelled against the Architect, resulting in the civil war that was currently threatening to ravage Ferelden once more. Although doubtful that the Architect could achieve such a lofty goal, Drystan recognised that the Architect was able to keep the darkspawn in line and thus prevent future Blights from happening. He spared the Architect's life and the two worked together in slaying the Mother.

With the defeat of the Mother and the Architect retreating underground with the remaining darkspawn, the threat of the darkspawn came to an end, at least for the time being. Drystan returned to Amaranthine to rebuild the city as well as Vigil's Keep, and was greeted with a hero's welcome for his valiant defence of the civilian population. He resumed his duties as Warden-Commander and as Arl of Amaranthine.

Reuniting with Morrigan[]

Although it had been a year since they parted ways at the Battle of Denerim, Drystan could never get rid of Morrigan from his thoughts. He eventually heard news that the Witch of the Wilds had returned to Ferelden, and had recently been sighted at the Korcari Wilds, the place the two lovers had first met. Leaving the running of Amaranthine to Nathaniel, Drystan departed for the Korcari Wilds with Iggy. Searching Flemeth's hut, Drystan met Ariane, a Dalish warrior who is trying to recover a book on the Eluvian that was stolen from her clan by Morrigan. She told Drystan that the book itself was originally stolen from the Circle of Magi by an apostate elf mage before ending up in the possession of her clan's Keeper, and Ariane believes that the Circle may have more books like it. As Drystan was welcome amongst the Circle, unlike the Dalish Elves, she asks him to take her there.

With help from Finn, an eager mage scholar of languages and Tevinter history, they learned that they can track down an Eluvian with broken Eluvian shards as well as the Lights of Arlathan, the first among them being located in the Elven Ruin while the lights were in Cadash Thaig. Upon retrieving both objects, the group tracked down the Eluvian in the Dragonbone Wastes, which was likely where Morrigan would be.

At the Dragonbone Wastes, Drystan managed to catch up with Morrigan before she could enter through the Eluvian. The witch revealed that she intended to hide both herself and their child from Flemeth, who Morrigan believed survived the attempt on her life. She also warned Drystan that the world was about to see great changes and that it was necessary for her and their child to prepare for them. But despite her warnings, she could not dissuade Drystan from following her and she ultimately relented. While Ariane and Finn leave with the book Morrigan had taken, the two lovers (and Iggy) entered through the Eluvian to see their son Kieran.

Drystan and his new family eventually returned to Vigil's Keep, where they lived happily together for a few years.

Searching for a Cure[]

However, such happiness was not meant to last. Just before the onset of the Mage-Templar War between 9:38–9:40 Dragon, Drystan began to feel the effects of the taint that would eventually kill him. Determined to save both himself and his fellow Grey Wardens, Drystan began researching for a possible cure with Avernus, for the latter had managed to prolong his life indefinitely through his experiments. Drystan also learned that the Grand Enchanter and former Grey Warden Fiona was able to remove the taint as well through means that not even she knew of. Thus, Drystan departed to lands unknown in search of leads that might allow him to cure the effects of the Calling.

After Wynne died sacrificing herself to revive the Templar Evangeline de Brassard, there were reports of a man resembling the Hero of Ferelden watching her funeral from a distance.

When Divine Justinia V made the decision to restore the Inquisition, Leliana and Cassandra Pentaghast searched for Drystan and name him the new Inquisitor, though by then they were too late. Leliana, however, doubted that Drystan would have joined the Inquisition even if they were able to contact him due to his resentment for the Templars. Nevertheless, when the Inquisition was formed under the leadership of Arno Trevalyan, they were eventually able to reach Drystan, though he was unable to provide much support in the campaign against Corypheus.

Appearance[]

Drystan is a young man of average height and a lean build, so much so that some have commented that he could easily pass off as an elf if not for his ears. He has a fair complexion, icy blue eyes, short and tousled dark hair swept to the right side of his face, and generally remained clean-shaven. His looks have caught the attention of various women and even some men.

During his time in the Circle of Magi, Drystan wore the traditional purple garments of apprentices. Once he completed his Harrowing and became a fully-fledged mage, he was given by Irving standard mage robes, which were black with a red interior. He continued to wear these robes when he first joined the Grey Wardens. Upon becoming an Arcane Warrior, however, Drystan began modifying his robes in order to complement his new fighting style. The lower section of his robes were shortened to allow more manoeuvrability for his legs, with the back being longer than the front. For extra protection, he also wore chainmail beneath his robes as well as leather gauntlets.

After the Blight, Drystan wore the Grey Warden's standard mage armour, which consisted of a high collared blue and white robe with dark blue trousers. Silverite scale mail covered the upper part of his gambeson, with a spaulder bearing the Grey Warden's griffon emblem protecting his right shoulder. He also wore leather boots and gloves, as well as a loose hanging belt of the same material.

Trivia[]

  • Drystan has been shown to have low alcohol tolerance, having rarely touched drink for much of his youth.
  • His favourite dish is the Dalish Deep Forest Comfort (with the larvae substituted for tomatoes). His least favourite is Alistair's Lamb and Pea Stew.
  • His hobbies include reading and fishing.
  • He considers Varric' Tethras' magnum opus Hard in Hightown "overrated", preferring his earlier works such as Darktown's Deal and The Viper's Nest.
  • He is acrophobic (fearful of heights).
  • His first ever tryst was with the barmaid at Redcliffe's local tavern, Bella, which occurred shortly after the Defence of Redcliffe. After the death of the owner Lloyd, Bella became the new owner and renamed the tavern "The Grey Wardens' Rest", in honour of Drystan.
  • Drystan is noted to be exceptionally skilled cook, having learned how to cook food so that Alistair would not have to do the cooking. Drystan himself compared the situation to "a child that never learnt how to swim being thrown into a river". Alistair was not amused by Drystan's comment.
  • Although raised as an Andrastian in his youth, he is non-practicing and even displays some agnostic beliefs.
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