commission for sakuratsukikage - the warden’s giving zevran the dalish gloves. shinyyyyy…
One of the things I like to do in my exploration of fandom is take cliches and give them a different spin. Sometimes I can do it, sometimes I think I do it but I really fail spectacularly.
The idea of the medieval woman with long, flowing hair is common. And while long hair is nice and lovely and looks good and you can do stuff with it, it’s not always practical.
My Warden has long hair. She’s a Cousland. I like long hair. It looks good on her. It wasn’t that difficult a decision to portray her with long hair. But then I remember writing and drawing her in the early days and thinking…why does her hair look/sound so goddamn manageable? This is a dark fantasy setting, and she likes to stab things. Be realistic, Tanya. Well, as realistic as you can get in a fantasy setting where you get to kill dragons.
Eilin’s hair is long and it can look nice. But it’s also a ridiculous mop of red curls and frizz. It’s heavy and she has to keep it tied up in braids that whack her in the face when she runs around. It gets in her eyes and in her mouth, it takes her forever to brush, and there’s red strands all over her clothing. The pins she uses to hold it up hurt her head constantly. In my headcanon, Leliana tells her she could cut it, and Eilin reacts with the same amount of horror as if she’d asked her to murder a puppy.
If you feel like it, tell me about your character’s hair. Is their hair long? Short? Why is it that way? How do they feel about it? What problems do they have with it?
I have an original character with really, really long hair—it’s down to her knees, heavy, dark, straight, basically Asian hair (because she’s basically Asian). It takes her a lot of time and effort to keep it nice and to put it up and take care of it, but since she’s a professional musician and performer, it’s part of her lifestyle and image. She was also born to nobility, and her long hair is something fairly common amongst noblewomen where she comes from.
In terms of Dragon Age, Reda has short hair, down to her chin, with little braids in it. She doesn’t usually unbraid those braids because they take a lot of time to redo. Other than that, she has dark red-brown hair. It’s thick and kind of silky. Arelan also has red hair? I didn’t intend for this to happen, haha. But his is much brighter, very coppery-red. He keeps it fairly short, but it’s always mussed and tousled, because he doesn’t always keep it trimmed, and it’s very thick.
apeacebone asked: 1, 7, and 27 (I mean I know he doesn't have any, obviously :P but for the rest of it, I'm curious!) for Arelan.
1. What foods do they love, and what foods do they refuse to eat?
Arelan has a high metabolism, and so he eats a lot when he can, but Dalish socialization really took with him, and so he always eats his allotted portion and doesn’t complain about it. He’s always the first to ask his friends if they’re eating that, though. He discovered that this was something he had in common with Alistair fairly quickly, and together they ate everyone’s leftovers regardless of whether they were disgusting or not.
Arelan’s favorite foods are generally meat-related, because he associates eating meat with the completion of a successful hunt, and that ties in with a lot of celebration and personal satisfaction feelings that he’s associated with it over time. He also just likes the taste, though. He likes a wide variety of flavors, from sweet to sour to salty to spicy. Even though he didn’t like spicy food when Zevran first introduced him to it, his favorite food quickly became a sort of sweet, spicy fish dish from Antiva. His favorite food growing up was venison with some sort of fruit sauce. He also likes onions and other piquant, intense flavors that many people don’t prefer.
7. What clothing do they like to wear, and what do they wear most often?
Well, he pretty much ends up wearing armor most often. Usually leather armor if he doesn’t expect to be doing something where he’ll need a lot of protection, but usually something like chain in battle. He’s strong enough to wear heavy chain, but he prefers something lighter because it cuts down his movement a lot. Before leaving his clan, he wore a lot of leather to hunt in. That being said, he likes looser clothing, and just really prefers his clothing to be comfortable over anything else. He thinks the wool humans use for clothing is really unpleasantly scratchy and heavy, though.
27. Do they have children? Do they want children? What names would they choose?
He has a child with Morrigan, but a child he’s never seen, mind you. He does think about him/her sometimes, though, and … feels a little guilty, that he’ll never be a father to the kid, and even for not really thinking of himself as such. The idea of having responsibility for a child really scares him, to be honest, and he doesn’t feel ready for it, but if such a thing did happen, he’d end up stepping up and taking care of the kid without a second thought. But he wouldn’t actively pursue children. Before leaving his clan, he always assumed he’d have some eventually, but the thought filled him with a kind of sick dread. Since having left, he’s accepted it will never happen aside from what happened with Morrigan, and thus he can approach it with more equanimity. He’ll probably never lose the slight feeling of loss about never having met the kid and having relinquished all claim, in his mind, thought, because he was raised to think family was very important. He prays (and does rituals) for the child and for Morrigan, to Dirthamen, Mythal, and Falon’din, chiefly, but he’s never spoken of this to anyone, not even Zevran.
He’s never thought about names for children, actually. He’d probably name a girl some derivative of Lyna, and a boy some elvenized derivative of Alistair.
moodymarshmallow asked: Can I have all questions ending in 4 for your Mahariel whose name I am perpetually spelling incorrectly?
Heh, yes, you may!
4. Who did they look up to the most as a child? Who do they look up to as an adult?
Arelan looked up to Lyna most as a child, without a doubt (his older sister). Also, Hahren Paivel, a few of the other hunters, and Marethari, who always intimidated him a little. He was always trying to impress the people he looked up to most, in between being a bit of a reckless, mischievous rogue and getting into trouble. As an adult, he still really looks up to Lyna, but he admires most of the people he knows for some trait or another. He’s very good at seeing the good in people and often tries to emulate it if he can.
14. What are they like when they are drunk?
Loud. He’s loud, affectionate, over the top, enthusiastic, and eager. He’s excitable and has very poor impulse control and blurts all sorts of things out. At his first introduction to hard alcohol, he had an incredibly soft head for it and got drunk very fast, but he took to drinking it and developed a stronger tolerance over time.
24. How do they react to being physically injured or undergoing medical treatment?
Arelan hates being injured—he’s a very active person, and he doesn’t take well to helplessness or inactivity. He also always feels guilty for taking a rest or having to be looked after. So the answer is … badly. He tries to be stoic and he doesn’t complain, but he squirms and tries to get up and tells people loudly that he’s all right, and … that sort of thing.
wardenblues asked: How about your Mahariel for the writing meme?
Ahhh, BLESS YOU for asking this. <3<3<3
Okay, so, my Mahariel is Arelan Mahariel, my young, impulsive Dalish warden with a thing for Zevran.
1. The first thing I keep in mind when writing about Arelan is that he’s young, and his story is one of maturation, and really growing up in a way, and that he grows up a lot over the course of Dragon Age: Origins. It’s not just that he learns how to lead and how to delegate and all that stuff, but also that he grows into some of his abilities—a gift for diplomacy and politics, an ability to manipulate others, a somewhat ruthless streak—and learns how to use them, well, for good, I suppose you’d say, though it’s a bit grayer than that. He also learns what it is he wants out of life, and how to pursue it, which is ironic, considering the general path of Grey Warden-ness and all. He becomes more independent, more self-possessed, and a lot less eager and needing to prove himself. He’s still somewhat immature at the end of the game, though, and that can be a tricky thing to balance—he’s competitive, he’s still a little reckless, he can be sulky and contrary, difficult or a teasing little brat. But he really does grow up a lot.
2. He was never entirely happy with his clan. He felt like he should be, and he felt guilty over not feeling more at home there, but he was still insatiably curious about the outside world, restless. He didn’t necessarily want to feel that way, but he wasn’t precisely content. It’s not that he likes humans more than elves or anything, or that he necessarily loves being away from the clan, because he’s pretty horribly homesick in some ways, but it does give him a lot of opportunity to indulge his adventurous side and grow and change in some ways that were being stifled before, and probably would never have come to their full potential if he hadn’t left.
3. He’s something of a relativist when it comes to morality, and really the only thing that he holds as a kind of defining moral truth is his compassion for others. This might make him sound rather soft, and certainly he is in some ways, and more at the beginning of the game than at the end, but honestly it’s not that his compassion makes him unable to be ruthless. As he grows up—rather quickly, because of the circumstances he finds himself in—he comes to understand that no one is really inherently more valuable than others, and that means that sometimes you’ll have to make hard decisions that hurt people for no particularly good reason, and sometimes people do terrible things and that doesn’t necessarily mean they should be condemned. This leads him more into the grey areas of morality that he is willing to inhabit, but he never loses his inherent compassion for others and willingness to listen to and try to understand their side of whatever story is being told. He is not indecisive—honestly, he is still very impulsive and reckless—but he does understand that things are very rarely simple. One of my challenges in writing him is to show him growing into this as a strength, rather than making him seem too wishy-washy or uncertain.
4. He’s extremely competitive with others and especially at first has a tendency to define himself based on his outward abilities—this is one reason he’s such a good archer, because he’s pushed himself to develop this one skill, and at least partly defines himself by it. He can be proud and touchy, though he does have the ability to laugh at himself and can have a self-deprecating sense of humor if he realizes he’s making an ass out of himself. But being talked down to because he’s young is a sore spot for him, definitely. At the beginning of the game he’s something of … well, a bro, the Dalish hunter equivalent of a freshman jock in college, honestly. He has hidden depths, but there’s definitely a touch of that unthinking fecklessness to him at first. But he quickly realizes that if he doesn’t grow up and take control of himself things are going to go to the void in a handbasket.
5. He’s pretty hard on himself, too, and very insecure. Despite his mischievous trolling and bro tendencies with his clan, he also very much wanted to grow up to what they expected of him, and he feels expectations and responsibilities very keenly (one reason he goofed off so much when he was younger, honestly). He worries about things, plans for them in advance, and tries to make things turn out the way he thinks he should as much as possible.
(Not much to say about this one, except that Lyna and Arelan’s relationship is something I find really precious and really fun to work with, too. <3 This is set not long before the end of DAII.)
Day 3. Restless (446 words, G)
Dry red leaves hang still on their branches, tight and tense as if in eagerness for the release of winter. Lyna paces the battlements, shield on her back, sword at her hip, bow in hand; there is no cause for alarm, but nonetheless her blood is racing and her feet burn even on the cold stones. She has watched over Vigil’s Keep from these heights for years, now, through storms and sieges and long, aching nights so dark that even her eyes cannot see, but somehow none of it is as bad as this—nothing is as unbearable as these dry days when the sun itself seems frozen in the sky and the rhythms of the earth have all but halted.
Ahhh, I seriously love this, and what it shows about Lyna and Arelan’s relationship, too. You write him so perfectly here—and the feeling of restlessness is so vivid, visceral and real. I just love it—especially the end. Great job.
So, Whitethornwolf and I were talking last night about her awesome picture of Sakuratsukikage’s Arelan Mahariel. I told her that the lines were so clean that I wanted to break out my colored pencils and color it in.
She gave me the go-ahead, so I thought I’d upload it so people could see. I’m not really an artist, I just like mucking about with colored pencils—it’s good for my hands to work them out a bit, and I don’t very often, so I need to get back into the habit. I’m pretty pleased with this though. I used every single shade of brown I had, and I think it’s pretty. The skintone is lacking but, what can you do?
Sorry the printer cut off the top of his head :<
Edit: I DID color his toes, I guess the scanner washed him out a bit…
Ahhh, this is wonderful. I love the colors you chose! <3333 Eeeeeeee, thank youuu.
I’m still in France, but I wanted to post something for Mahariel week, because one of my main Wardens is a Mahariel, Arelan, and I love the guy. I wrote this a while ago, when I was trying to get a sense for each of the origins, but I polished it up to post it here. Just a short piece set toward the beginning of the game.Read more
Giveaway prize for sakuratsukikage, of her Warden, Arelan Mahariel.
Sakuratsukikage kindly let me play around with designs for her Warden’s armour, so I kind of went to town (hey, you know me)
Things to note:
- The breastplate, bracers, pauldrons, greaves and skirt are made out of leather.
- The leaves and vines pattern on the pauldrons were inspired by imagery from the Lord of the Rings.
- He’s wearing an ironbark hunting knife at his belt.
- His leggings are probably soft wool or perhaps very soft, supple leather.
- He has no shoes. Cause elf. :D
bb if you want a full copy without the watermark please PM me with your email address and I’ll send it over. I hope you like. :3
Ahhhhhh, this is so, so perfect, I can’t get over it! I LOVE IT. His expression, his face, his hands, the armor, all of it. Eeeee, thank you! <3333