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25 July 2015 @ 08:01 pm
Inquisition Character Arcs  
THIS POST HAS UNMARKED INQUISITION SPOILERS
I spoke about character concepts earlier, but I'd like to talk about character arcs. Static characters can be interesting, but I find it more interesting when a character develops and grows as events unfold around them. I touched very lightly upon it before but it's time to go into more detail.

Pay attention, there will be a test.

Rogue

Rogue started out not being very serious about the whole Inquisition thing. It was important sure, but he was mostly playing along because it was interesting, for a lark. Then while attempting to recruit the Mages and got sent to the Bad Future, the depth of what was really going on finally started to sink in. upon his return, tormented by fear and horror at what could happened he lashed out at the Mages, conscripting them into the Inquisition. When the time came to become the Inquisitor, he embraced the role of heroic saviour Inquisitor whole heartedly, and even began to entertain the possibility that he really was the Herald.

That only lasted until Adamant fortress and the trip to the fade. After the debacle with the Wardens and the shattering of his growing conviction that he was "special" or "chosen", he lashed out again, frustrated with their mistakes, irritated at having ever believed in Herald stories, and angry at the loss of Stroud. Disgusted and worried about the potential for further contamination from Cory, he exiled the Wardens from southern Thedas until the conflict was over. A decision he quickly began to regret as the potential problems of not having any Wardens around quickly made themselves apparent.

It was in the aftermath of that moment when Rogue had the biggest growth, the responsibility of his decisions began to weigh heavily on his shoulders. By the time of the Winter Palace ball, he wasn't just wearing the mantle of the Inquisitor, but actually was the Inquisitor down to his bones. Faced with the scheming from Briala, Gaspard and Celene he forced them to work together not just for their own good, but the good of everyone.

When it came time to pick a new Divine, Rogue kept out of the politicking. The person who started the game would have gleefully become involved with picking a side, and the pre-fade Inquisitor would have picked a successor convinced of his own righteous judgement. This was the biggest change of the character, viewing a hard limit on what should be his influence and the leadership of the Chantry as something outside of that.

When it came time to drink from the well, the decision was a simple one. They needed the knowledge contained within, and the geas placed on the waters promised that there would be a cost - one no one could predict. But he was the Inquisitor and that title didn't mean glory, it didn't mean power, it meant making the decisions that needed to be made, and paying the price that came with that.

Loner

Loner started out incredibly resentful for being dragged into the affairs of the burgeoning Inquisition and dealing with the Breach. Her life before had been - if not pleasant - comfortable and predictable. All of that had been taken away from her, and she was left with no choice but the stick around and go along with things for her own protection.

What she found was not as terrible as she had expected, the people around her were pleasant and likeable, plus they were united, filled with a purpose she had never realised she'd lacked in her life. Settling easily into her new role she got on with the job with a minimum of fuss, whether that be cutting down bandits, rescuing captured scouts, securing Templar allies or holding off an Archdemon to cover the escape of others.

Privately, Loner admitted that she didn't mind where she had ended up, and if it had been left to her own decision she might have joined anyway. So it was just as she was settling down that the decision to make her the Inquisitor was made, catching her extremely off guard. She accepted, but only with the most extreme reluctance and filled with doubts.

Convinced that the position was a temporary one, a mistake that would be corrected once it was clear she wasn't the Herald, Loner initially leaned heavily on her advisors and companions, acting more of a mediator for conflicting viewpoints than a true leader. Even the few independent decisions she did make on her own were heavily based on the Templar model.

It was only after the success of the Inquisition siege at Adamant, and when the revelation that the Mark was an accident failed to provoke calls for her to stand down, that Loner admitted that her promotion was not an error. Even without divine authority, the people - *her* people - trusted her to see them through to the end.

It was with a newfound confidence that she entered the Winter Palace. Where she would have once followed through the original plan to stop Celene's assassination, Loner made the shocking decision to allow the attack to go ahead, securing the throne for Gaspard whom she considered a stronger ally, and one who was less likely to play games or turn on them. She let her opinions be known on the next Divine. She shaped the Inquisition and world around her.

She wasn't without direction, or stuck guiding the plans of others to fruition. She could plot her own destiny, decide her own purpose.

Goth (this is a character I have yet to do, but I'm pretty sure how the arc will play out)

Goth had a clear understanding of the world, of what was important, of what was bad and what needed to happen. The mages needed to be free, the Templars needed to be stopped and the corrupt Chantry needed to be kept out of their lives. The breach, the mark on her hand didn't change that. The mages were still fighting to be free, the Templars still wanted to slay them all, and the Chantry to enslave them. Everything else was of lesser importance, minor distractions.

Goth was convinced of these facts, and nothing could shake that certitude. The mages were oppressed and needed to be free, so she set about using the opportunities of her new position to achieve those goals. The actions of the Mages at Redcliffe were troubling, but those worries were easily pushed aside, powerless against the strength of her conviction.

Then she met Cory. Ancient Tevinter Magister, originator of the blight, source of so much of conflict and pain in the world. And a Mage. In the face of that power, that arrogance, she at last saw outside her own narrow viewpoint, understood - if not agreed - why the Templars and Chantry believed what they did.

With the move to Skyhold and declaration of her as Inquisitor, there was always something to do, some urgent matter that required her attention or judgement, some matter to be addressed that couldn't wait, and as such little time to contemplate the new doubts made manifest in her mind.

It was with newly opened eyes that she went to the Winter Palace and watched in horror the chaos brought by those who couldn't see past their own short sighted desires. Pulling the best resolution from the mess she could, Goth retired back to Skyhold deeply troubled. How similar was she been to those people? Free the mages, but then what? Fight Cory, but then what? She had been so caught up in her immediate goals that she hadn't planned for long term consequences.

Heartened by her new resolve, she took the Inquisition in a new direction. Still focused on defeating Cory, but developing plans and carving a place in the world for them afterwards. Indeed she became so focused on long term planning, that the immediate problems were pushed back, and the Wardens continued to gather in the Western Approach.

Eventually it couldn't be put off any longer, and with reluctance she turned her attention to deal with the Wardens, and finally saw the other side of the coin. The Wardens were determined to deal with the future, that they lost sight of what was going on in the present, blind to the horror caused by their hands because their eyes were fixed on the horizon.

Again Goth realised her mistake, having a long term goal is important, but so it how you got there. The Inquisition was to have a place in the world, but if they sold their soul to get there, was it worth it? A balance was needed, to get involved with the immediate details of a problem without losing sight of the end objective.

And then something about turning her going back to chasing down Cory and drinking from the well, dealing with long and short term blah blah blah.