Ketojan is a Qunari mage from Dragon Age 2. He arrived in-game on 05/04/11 and currently lives in ???.
origins: Dragon Age 2, AU
app link: app
played by: Vic
contact: vicioushallway @ aim
The Dragon Age series is a medieval fantasy setting taking place on the fictional continent of Thedas. While other continents are alluded to, it’s only Thedas that really matters to the series as a whole at the moment. Magic is widespread, there are several races spread across the world, and there are strange and wonderful monsters that pop up from time to time like varterral and the occasional dragon. The current method of timekeeping has been kicked off by the establishment of the Chantry, with several ages marking the passage of time. An age is roughly a hundred or so years long, and named for some great event--the latest age is known as, ahah, the Dragon Age, and was named for the sighting of a high dragon.
As with many fantasy settings where you have more than one sentient race, racism is rampant in Thedas. Humans claim majority on the surface, with dwarves holding out below, and the elves are pretty much fucked from all angles and either live in small, nomadic group of Dalish (elves who still follow the ~old ways~ of the elves) or sequestered in alienages with large cities. There are other species running around Thedas, such as the kossith, but the three biggest players are the humans, the dwarves, and elves. Each race pretty much thinks it’s the shit, but on the surface, and in Kirkwall, the city Ketojan currently occupies, humans dominate.
But hey, they aren’t just going to discriminate against you if you’re the wrong species! Are you a wizard? Yes? Well, get ready to get shipped off into the nearest Circle for the rest of your days! Mages are widely feared for their destructive capabilities and the fact that demons can possess and use them with apparent ease. As a result, most mages are gathered up at a young age and shipped off to the nearest Circle. Circles are essentially Templar-run prisons for mages, keeping them separated from the general population and teaching them to use their abilities properly. If a mage cannot fall into line, it’s not uncommon for them to be made Tranquil--a process in which their connection to the Fade is severed. It’s pretty much a magical lobotomy that leaves them magicless and sporting a weirdass mark on their forehead. Oh, and they talk like robots. Awesome, huh? Predictably, there are mages who resist going to the Circle, known as aspostates, and there are those who are pants-on-head retarded and use blood magic, known as maleficarum. Blood magic is particularly bad since it relies on literal blood for power, and since it’s been more or less stamped out as best as possible in Thedas the most reliable source of learning it is from demons--who would absolutely love to take over the mages they’re ‘helping.’
The primary antagonists of the Dragon Age series are the archdemons--Old Gods found and tainted by the darkspawn and warped into monsters which lead their armies. Darkspawn themselves are twisted, humanoid creatures which were supposedly introduced to the world when the Imperium crossed the worlds between the moral realm and that of the Gods, allowing the darkpawn taint to escape. The greatest weapon Thedas has against the darkspawn and their archdemon generals are the Grey Wardens, men and women from all races who have survived ingesting some of the darkspawn taint and become immune to its corruption. Being a Grey Warden is something of a death sentence--if the joining doesn’t kill them, then they suffer from strange nightmares and can hear the whispers of archdemons. They also tend to die young due to the taint in their blood.
Dragon Age 2 takes place more or less at the same time as the events of the first game, but are centered in the Free Marches, and particularly in the city of Kirkwall. It is here that the story unfolds, following the protagonist, and where Ketojan is encountered. His people, along with their Arishok have been stranded in Kirkwall for some time, causing tensions to rise all across the board. Within the city the primary sources of GODDAMMIT is the presence of the Qunari (more on them below) and the constant butting of heads between the Circle and the Templars, represented respectively by First Enchanter Orsino and Knight-Commander Meredith. Protip: they don’t get along.
Ketojan is one of the Qunari--a group, rather than a race (the giants forming the backbone of the Qunari people are the kossith)--which follow the teaching of the Qun. The Qun teaches that each individual has a role to play as part of a larger entity, much like cells within a body, and that each individual chooses whether to follow the natural order and participate in their proper role or to rebel against it. In theory the Qunari are intent on spreading their philosophy across all the peoples of Thedas, but clashes with the Tevinter Imperium have kept them busy. Qunari are given their roles at a young age and raised into them--they are known by their role titles, rather than individual names. Ketojan was, among his people, simply known as ‘saarebas,’ literally a ‘dangerous thing,’ which is the title given to all Qunari mages.
The Qunari have little trust in magic, preferring instead to rely on technology. As a result they are one of, if not the, most technologically advanced races of Thedas, but their treatment of mages could be considered almost inhumane (even compared to the already shitty treatment of mages elsewhere in Thedas). Saarebas are bound in chains and high, heavy collars, their horns removed, heavy metal masks affixed to their face, and their lips sewn shut. Saarebas are equally respected and feared by their peers--they are seen as constantly struggling to resist the temptations of power and the influence of demons and remain in their role, and thus constantly reasserting their duty to the Qun, but the very fact that they are susceptible to the influences of outside forces such as demons makes them a constant threat as, should they ever waver, they would almost certainly be lost and become a threat to their brethren.
- This AU assumes that, rather than killing himself at the end of the quest Shepherding Wolves, Ketojan is convinced by Hawke to join him/her and his/her companions. This AU works with the assumption that Ketojan’s time away from his karataam (the group of Qunari mages and their handlers he was part of) raised doubts about the Qun and his role within it--given how big a deal the Qun is to the Qunari, he’s not the happiest of campers about this. He follows Hawke while he sorts out his thoughts and decides whether or not he really wants to off himself out of duty/honor/etc.
- Friendship points are scored with Ketojan by supporting the Circle/Templar/generally being a dick about mage rights, and rivalry points are scored by supporting mage freedom/blood magic. Expanding on this, he isn’t fond of the other mages traveling with Hawke, particularly Anders or Merrill, and gets along well with those that support the Templars/Circle and/or display a sense of rigid duty/honor. When he is not traveling with the Champion, Ketojan can be found in the cellar tunnels connecting Hawke’s estate to Darktown.
- Ketojan’s Hawke is a male apostate who more or less flirted with everyone in the group but romanced/slept with no one and went with 100% purple dialogue options. A mage-hating mage with a bad sense of humor, Hawke is essentially in the process of confusing Ketojan into becoming a more free-thinking entity. Currently, Ketojan views Hawke as his basvaarad--his current handler--despite the man’s status as aspostate/saarebas.
Ketojan was raised into the ways of the Qun, emphasizing a lack of individualism in favor of embracing the ideal that all are merely parts of a greater whole, and to be part of that whole one must properly fill one’s role in life. Qunari are generally quite fanatical in their belief in the Qun, having been thoroughly indoctrinated in its ways since birth—even Ketojan's 'proper' name, Saarabas, is nothing more than his title within the great machine that is the Qun. It has been shown in canon, however, that indoctrination into the Qun is not always complete and perfect, and even when it appears to be so it is not always permanent. Saarebas in particular have been slotted into an amazingly awful role, physically tormented and emotionally crushed.
While the Qun emphasizes that all have a role to play, saarebas are seen as imperfect, tainted by magic, and while they are still viewed as having duties to support the greater entity that is the Qunari, they're treated poorly. Ketojan has been raised to view mages, and himself, as dangerous individuals requiring the constant attention of outside forces less prone to demonic possession. He believes that the way Qunari treat their mages is right and proper, the civilized way, and that other races are clearly misguided in their attempts to treat mages as anything even remotely resembling fully functioning individuals. This view clashes sharply with what he has learned outside of his karataam; having witnessed mages functioning normally, particularly apostates such as Hawke, he is uncertain if his own treatment was necessary.
Having been treated like an animal for so long, it's little wonder he tends to act like one. While now able to speak, he still prefers to growl, rumble, or use body language to communicate--it is still beaten into him that mages must be silent, and that to speak is to be punished, have ones tongue cut out, or be killed, to prevent any potential demonic influence from spreading. He is most content to follow at his basvaarad’s heel like a mabari, standing silent and still until he is called on to act in some way.
Ketojan is unused to functioning as an individual. Raised and shaped to function as an unquestioning servant of the Qun, he has spent his life from the time he was labelled saarebas bound and gagged, serving the will of his arvaarad--his handler--who both literally and figuratively held his leash. He is accustomed to all facets of his life being dictated by an outside force--everything, from when he fought, to when he ate, to when he rested, were decided and controlled by outside forces. He is lost without some outside force guiding him, latching onto the first hint of potential authority that comes his way. Despite his questioning of the Qun, it's difficult to overcome the need to follow, to serve, to obey that was programmed into him from birth. Isolated from his fellow Qunari, and from a proper arvaarad, he will default to the most authoritative individual he encounters as his basvaarad. He will defend and serve this individual without question--or at least until someone with higher authority comes along.
He has distinct issues trying to act on his own wants and needs, even if it as something as simple as eating when he is hungry or resting when he is tired. These things were previously taken care of for him by his handlers, adding to the dependency of the saarebas on their masters. Without that care, he has begun the slow process of learning such basic things as how to wash, feed, and care for himself. At this point he can currently look after himself just well enough to keep himself functioning, but he still requires assistance with such simple things as locating food.
His questioning of the Qun is a source of constant unease for Ketojan. Having been raised to think that the Qun is perfect, any uncertainty toward it forces him to wonder if it is the Qun that is flawed, or him. If it is he who is flawed, than it is his own weakness which prevents him from simply killing himself and restoring order, like cutting out a cancerous growth on an otherwise healthy organism. Ketojan can not rightfully claim to be Qunari now, not after he has so clearly gone against the proper order, but he still respects the philosophy he has followed the majority of his life. He is neither Qunari nor Tal-Vashoth, he simply is.
Hawke is a source of confusion, comfort, and inspiration to Ketojan. While Ketojan feels lost and alone, unsure how to conduct himself without the rigid guidance of the Qun and his handlers, Hawke is living proof that saarebas can exist without such leashes—can even thrive. While Hawke's humor and flippancy often goes straight over Ketojan's head, and his choice of companions does not always sit right with him, Ketojan nonetheless looks up to Hawke as his basvaarad—strong and stable, able to speak with equal conviction and ease to all, he may not be Qunari, but he is clearly the most obvious choice to unofficially appoint as his stand-in arvaarad. Ketojan will accept blood mages and abominations in his karataam if it is Hawke's will, just as he would submit to anything asked by him of a true arvaarad.
Abilities & WeaknessesEdit
Ketojan is a mage, specializing in destructive elemental and electric spells. While these are potentially extremely dangerous, he he hampered by the fact that he has no ability with staffs to back it up. From a stats point of view, while he has a large mana reserve and can cast often, his spells are not particularly strong. Given that he’s a Qunari, he’s also huge, muscular, and strong.
- Magic; As he relies on spells soley, with no staffs to suppliment his attacks, he can frequently and repeatedly without tiring himself out. His magic is primarily fire/ice/lightening, with supplimentary Force talents.
- Strength; He's a brick shithouse. Ketojan is just as capable of snapping someones neck with his bare hands as he is setting them on fire.
As far as weaknesses go, Ketojan is basically a fleshy living being with poor leather fantasy realm armor--shoot him and he’s going to go down, cut him and he’ll bleed freely. He has no healing spells, and he is reluctant to use his abilities without the explicit instruction of a handler.
...Also he has next to no idea how to function on his own in the real world. Derp.
- Rinzler; Basvaarad--one worthy of following. Despite being in the process of learning to be more self-determining, Rinzler's timely appearance during a rather upsetting moment meant Ketojan instinctively latched on to Rinzler's show of authority. Until he straightens his head back out, he'll eagerly obey Rinzler without question.
- Qunari language cheat sheet
- leaderless ongoing ; Rinzler, Avery, Nepeta, Azula, Kanaya