“Well, actually…”– Valeth beginning another lecture…
A Shaky Start
Valeth was born to elven parents. Beyond that she knows nothing of her heritage. She could be Dalish, she could not be. All she grew up knowing was the inside of a Ferelden orphanage in Denerim. She sometimes wonders if her parents are dead, enslaved or if they just left her in the care of the orphanage, but most of the time she doesn’t have the time to give the matter any thought. No one really knows how old she is but it is assumed she was born in 9:15 or 9.16 Dragon.
In the orphanage Valeth felt like the odd one out most of the time. She had trouble connecting to other children. She was quiet and reflected for her age, preferring to be by herself, playing with “invisible friends”. She could often be found having entire conversations seemingly with no one but herself. For this reason, the other children avoided her if they could.
In 9:25 Dragon, at the age of 8 or 9 her powers began to manifest. One night she had a nightmare. She dreamt of fire and blood and woke up screaming, accidentally setting fire to her own bed. After this incident it was decided that she had to be sent off to the nearest circle, which happened to be Kinloch Hold by Lake Calenhad. After the accidental bed arson Valeth was thouroghly traumatized and decided not to touch fire magic again.
It was also at this point in time that her nose bleeds began to happen on a regular basis.
A Mage of the Circle
At Kinloch Hold Valeth felt at home. Everyone seemed to be a bit odd here, and no one seemed to mind. Surrounded by knowledge and magic on all sides she flourished. The young mage excelled in her classes which quickly gave her a boost to a so far lacking self-confidence. She was even able to make a few steadfast friends in Luna, a younger and half-starved looking red-haired girl and Mercutio, a delightfully snarky boy her own age. Her best friend however, was Desmund, the young Templar recruit.
The two of them only met by accident one day as she was hurrying to her room, her arms laden with books and scrolls from the library. They ran into each other in a staircase and papers went flying all over. Desmund graciously helped Valeth pick up her things and escorted her back to her room. From that day on they were fast friends.
During the year of 9:29 Dragon Valeth went through her Harrowing. She went through it way earlier than most young mages and it was a direct result of a magical birthday surprise gone wrong.
As a treat for Desmund’s birthday Valeth had purchased a small dragon figurine for him. She had also been researching what she thought was a simple animation spell she had discovered in an ancient elven tome. Somehow she had gotten the translation wrong though. As she sat down one night in secret to cast the spell and animate the little dragon she nearly got herself killed.
The spell had been designed to transfer the life force of one being into an inanimate object. Which meant that she had nearly trapped herself inside the tiny figurine, but because it was too small to hold her life force the spell fizzled out and Valeth summarily fainted from pure exhaustion.
She later woke up in the infirmary with a worried Des at her side, who seemed to not care about the Dragon figurine at all. He made her promise to be more careful in the future , the thought of loosing her was too much for the young Templar to bear.
During the Harrowing Valeth spent an unusual amount of time in the Fade. She happened upon a spirit of Knowledge name Estra whom she struck up an amiable tone with, and her time in the fade was actually quite pleasant.
She spent so much time in the Fade that she actually came close to being written off as an abomination and killed, but came to consciousness just as the attending Templar was about to plunge his sword into her chest.
Valeth didn’t remember much of the events from the Fade, but it was certainly not the last time she would cross paths with Estra.
After having passed the ritual of the Harrowing Valeth was moved to her own room and given a set of blue mage robes as a gift from Wynne. Des returned the Dragon figurine to her, not because he didn’t want it, but because he wanted her to have it. After Valeth got her own room she and Des began to share more and more “intimate” time together. It was a happy time for her.
The Right of Annulment
In the year of 9:30 Dragon Valeth’s life was turned upside down. It was the year of the annulment.
When the tower of Kinloch Hold became overrun by abominations as a result of Uldred’s betrayal she and her friends became trapped in a room of summoning and were assailed by Templars who had been given the order to kill any remaining mages and roaming abominations alike.
The rag tag group of friends fought desperately to save their own lives, and to this day there is still a lot of confusion surrounding what actually happened to them.
Valeth and her friends eventually managed to locate Wynne and find safety beyond her magical barriers that fateful day, but something had changed in her. She was not the same as she had once been. Everyone except her closest friends just assumed that it was a result of the trauma she had experienced on her way through the tower, but there was something more to it. The young mage remembered little to nothing about it though.
Lucky for Valeth and the other mages the hero of Ferelden showed up to save the day in the nick of time, and the Circle could slowly but surely return to normal again. But Valeth seemed to take longer than most to find her way back. She was different. She had developed a more condescending demeanor than usual and seemed to not care for her friends or teachers as she once used to. Her memory was foggy and her friends also seemed to have been left with waning affection towards her. So Valeth began to isolate herself again, and oddly enough found solace in escaping into the adventure novels of Varric Tethras.
Life Outside the Circle
When the Mage rebellion reached the Ferelden Circle – hostilities between the existing factions flared up again and the circle began to disintegrate. Before the end came about Valeth decided to leave. The Circle held nothing for her anymore, and she had developed a yearning to see the world. She snuck out of the tower one night and never looked back.
At first, she thought her new life would be a grand adventure, but she knew nothing of the outside world and was met with suspicion and hostility wherever she turned. Eventually she sought shelter in the Brecilian Forest, which did not go very well.
It was around this time that she swore an ever-living hatred towards nature.
Not accustomed to being outside, exposed to the elements she soon fell ill. Valeth had always been frail, and would have died had she not been found by agents of Divine Justinia who nursed her back to health. Seeing potential in her the agents later on introduced her to The Nightingale who paired her with Firil the Orlesian Spy, and Ness the escaped elven slave from Tevinter. The group that was later to be known as “The Kestrels” was officially born.
Firil is like a younger, slightly annoying sister, a sister with a disturbing aptitude for violence and throat slitting. They get along fine, but will often disagree on things such as whether or not ghosts exist. Ness is like a protective elder brother, sometimes his nihilistic ways makes her worry for his life, but she says little about it.
Later, upon being introduced to Ness’ son Amdulis, also known as Gach’far, but most commonly referred to as Gaffy she takes on the role of protector and teacher. She promised she would look after him, and she does not break promises.
The Mage and the Templar
One day, upon returning to Ostwick after a recent mission the Kestrels ran into a mourning Templar on the road. He was sitting by the road weeping next to a slain mage.
Despite the fact that Valeth at first was very keen on just passing by quietly, and Ness was ready to slay the Templar they ended up helping him instead.
Valeth, for reasons she could not really explain felt drawn to him, felt for him, felt like she needed to help him.
They buried Janiss, the fallen mage and somehow the experience forged a bond between the two. The Templar, named Keth, wore a silver medallion with the owl of Ostwick engraved on it around his neck. He gifted it to Valeth as a token of appreciation. She didn’t understand why he gave it to her, but she kept it. In the days that followed she could not help but think about the lone Templar now and then. Every time she thought of him she would touch the medallion gently.
Was it fate or coincidence that brought The Kestrels and Keth to happen upon each other on the trading lane to Ostwick, and then later on in Markham? No one knows, but it certainly seemed like more than just coincidence once it was discovered that Keth and Desmund were in fact brothers, and that Keth and Valeth’s lives had somehow been entangled for years without the two of them even realizing it.
After the death of Divine Justinia, the dramatic loss of their former headquarters and the meeting with The Red Woman (which nearly cost Valeth her life), The Kestrels were recruited into the ranks of the Inquisition by one agent Adaar. Their main mission; regain a new foothold in Ostwick for the Inquisition!
Later, when agent Adaar got called away on a mission, Valeth was given command of the spy cell and their headquarters “Equine House”. It is a task she does not believe she is deserving of, but that she takes very seriously.
Now, that they have gained a footing in Ostwick, and have saved the world at least one time, the group continues to work for the inquisition, but their agenda is more or less their own.
Valeth is a small slender female elf, who looks rather frail. She has slightly wavy dark auburn hair and blue eyes. Her skin is pale. A testament to all those years spent inside practicing magic and reading ancient tomes. Her skin bears no Vallaslin tattoos seeing as she was either born a city elf, or was too young to receive Vallaslin from her clan before she was orphaned.
She is very intelligent and is a rather encyclopaedic well of knowledge. Often when she knows something that others do not she will start a sentence with the condescending phrase “well, actually..” before launching into a lecture, in an attempt to educate those around her.
Valeth is a talker and will often try to persuade or intimidate enemies into laying down their arms if she thinks that there is a chance that they might listen. Despite her small stature she is quite often very successful at it.
Adversaries should not let themselves be fooled by her unassuming appearance though. She can be just as dangerous as her companions if pushed to violence, and her ice based magical talents often have devastating effects. She is also a fairly competent healer and has dabbled in spirit and entropy magic as well.
Valeth became the first Red Warden in the world as a result of having been poisoned by the Lyrium blade of the Red Woman during the night the Ostwick headquarters burned down. The Lyrium that got into her bloodstream nearly killed her, but she was successfully stabilized by the mysterious Apothecary and manifested some interesting new powers.
- Valeth’s personality was inspired by Hermione Granger from Harry Potter as well as Princess Leia from Star Wars, but she also displays a lot of her makers personality traits.
- The events of The Kestrels episode 16 – Kinloch Hold: A memory and The Kestrels episode 17 – Return to Kinloch Hold were inspired by a short background story that was written for the character, but in the end the GM took a lot of creative liberties that both shocked and delighted everybody, Valeth and her maker included.