Post by Cole on Jan 31, 2019 18:47:08 GMT -5
Art by Bioware.
Player's Handle: Aliana
Registered Username: cole
Display Name: Cole
Namesake: Technically, the real Cole.
Title(s): Veteran of the Inquisition.
Tethrasian Epithet: Kid.
Orientation: Straight; Romanceable.
Race: Human(-ish). Previously a Spirit of Compassion.
Date of Birth: Unknown.
Birthplace: Technically, the Fade. Or White Spire. Or somewhere else. It's... complicated. The real Cole was born in Ferelden.
Appearance: A little pale, a little cryptic, yet there's a strange sort of sweetness to Cole nonetheless. He stands at approximately 5'10" and, although he's broad-shouldered, is otherwise a bit lanky. Having a long reach benefits his use of twin daggers, however. His shaggy hair is a near-white platinum blond in colour and often partially covers a pair of wide, icy-blue eyes. While neither feature helps to warm his eerie complexion, he's at least not as ghastly as he was when he was less human either. Although the real Cole's age remains unknown, Cole the-former-spirit appears to be a young man in his earliest of twenties.
Signature Scent: Perhaps eerily, Cole has a complete and utter lack of scent.
Weapons: Two, identical masterwork assassin blades forged from fade-touched bloodstone—he acquired these during his time with the Inquisition.
Garments & Armor: Cole isn't particularly aware of fashion, and tends to wear garments and armor until they are threadbare or are no longer of use. As a Rogue and Assassin, he veers toward medium leather, prowler armors—that which provide moderate protection without restricting movement. He tends to wear blacks, browns, and grays though isn't aware that he gravitates towards these shades. He often dons a large, wide-brimmed helmet that may look a little too big for him given that it tends to tip forward so as to cover his expression. He likes hats, in general.
Inventory: Cole's belongings tend to veer towards odds and ends, odd being the operative word. He carries breadcrumbs in his pocket, for example, as he enjoys feeding birds. He's not exactly a thief's ideal mark, as it were.
Coin: None. Despite being slightly more human, Cole still doesn't actually eat. He tends not to have a use for such things as coin.
Double Daggers: Flank Attack, Twin Fangs, Dance of Death, Bloodied Prey, Sneak Attack, Unforgiving Chain, Spinning Blades, Neverending Spin, Deathblow, Surprise Attack (10)
Sabotage: Poisoned Weapons, Fighting Dirty (2)
Subterfuge: Stealth, Evasion, Easy to Miss, Evade, Ambush, Shadow Strike, Long Shadows (7)
Assassin: Hidden Blades, Overkill, Throatcutter, I Was Never Here, Knockout Bomb, Dream of Pain, Cloak of Shadows, Knife in the Shadows, Gaps in the Armor, Mark of Death, Mark of Doom (11)
Also viewable here: Rogue - Assassin
Cole has recently learned to read and write, but his penmanship is horrible.
Common Trade Tongue
Marital Status: Unmarried.
Faction(s): Former Member of the Inquisition.
Family Member(s): ...other Spirits of the Fade?
Known Associate(s): Inquisition Veterans inclusive but not limited to Maxwell Trevelyan, Cassandra Pentaghast, Varric Tethras, Leliana, Cullen Rutherford, Josephine Montilyet, Dorian Pavus, Vivienne, Sera, Iron Bull, Blackwall, and Solas.
Associated Plots: Haven Recovers
Personality: Cole's a little enigmatic, offbeat, and, some might claim, eerie. He's quite literally sensitive to the feelings of others, and as a former Spirit of Compassion he still wants to help make people feel better. Now that he's more human, however, he continues to go through a period of adjustment with his personal identity and finding his place in the world at large. Cole has retained his skills, for the most part, and can still feel people's pain—albeit less loudly and more easily drowned out by thoughts and feelings of his own—but he can now be seen and be remembered by people. Essentially, he is beginning to feel things he had never felt prior. He is also more aware, now, about the complexity of human nature and is able to remember things he's done in the past. By becoming more human, though, he has lost the ability to make people forget him—which he, ironically, sometimes forgets in turn.
Cole's very protective of his friends, and quick to action should anyone try to hurt them. He does approve of those who go out of their way to help the helpless or the hurt. However, in contrast, he also approves of killing or punishing those who do hurt people. He's still innately empathetic, and is capable of identifying the emotions of others—sometimes flashes of their thoughts, as well. This applies to all creatures and, in fact, Cole is particularly fond of nugs. Occasionally, this experience still applies to locations, rather past events that took place in them—prompting Cole to speak idly about the occurrence, without realizing how odd it might be that he does so. Since he's become more human, however, this telepathic attunement of Cole's has gotten quieter than it had been prior in his mind. His greatest fear is still despair.
Though Cole had observed quite a lot of, well, intimate rendezvous during his time at the Spire—he still doesn't quite know how to behave around women he fancies. Or what one does with women they fancy, when such women have occasion to fancy him back. Dorian Pavus, a Tevinter mage, had drawn him a diagram once but Cole still didn't quite understand the mechanics of it. It all seemed terribly complicated, and Dorian refused to explain it to him any further. The mercenary captain known as The Iron Bull had filled in some of the blanks for Cole, while Varric uncomfortably attempted to explain others.
Backstory: Cole is not Cole. At least, not truly. The original Cole was a Ferelden-born hedge mage, with a tragic past. This first Cole was brought up alongside a younger sister in household of terror and abuse, victimized by a belligerent father who saw Cole's magical ability as much more than a curse—something that had moreover warranted repeated punishment. Their father had killed their mother, a woman with abilities like Cole's. The Cole of those days would hide from his father, his little sister at his side more often than not. During one such instance... the last instance that they hid from him together, Cole had tried to muffle his sister's crying with his hand. He'd been so focused on trying to stay hidden, on trying desperately not to be found by their father, that he hadn't realized he'd silenced the girl so forcibly. She hadn't given him any indication that she could not breathe, perhaps her own terror had paralyzed her in turn. Perhaps she hadn't wanted to risk their being discovered either. She was but a small thing. Cole hadn't meant to kill her. When his father had discovered them, stowing away in a cupboard, and saw what Cole had done, it had given their abuser, a killer in his own right, all the more justification to thrash out at his son. Perhaps it was losing both his mother and his sister, even if the latter was by his own fault, that emboldened Cole enough to fight back—once and for all. How it came to be that a dagger once belonging to his mother found its way into his hands, he couldn't say. With no one left to protect, other than himself and himself be damned for what he had done to his little sister, Cole assailed upon his father with reckless abandoned—killing the man once and for all. After the crime had been committed, Cole fled the home he knew—never to return.
He wandered for a time thereafter, fleeing from Ferelden and crossing the border into Orlais. The hedge mage was untrained in, and unknowledgeable of, his abilities and it was not long before the templars found and captured him. The young man was taken to the White Spire, in Val Royeaux, thrown into a cell, and forgotten. So utterly forgotten by the templars, in fact, that the mage began to starve in his cell. Rats nipped greedily at his flesh as he began to die a most miserable of deaths, when the remarkable happened. A Spirit of Compassion heard the mage's cries and reached out from across the Fade. Compassion stayed with Cole, until the young man met his end—the spirit relieved the mage of his hurts as he lay dying, for which the young man thanked Compassion with his last breath. So moved by the injustice of what had happened to the mage, Compassion somehow willed itself into an entirely new form—Cole's form. Rather Cole, but different. Cole as he had wished he had been, not a mage but something else. The transformation itself, the new Cole entirely forgot for a time. He hadn't remembered his life as a spirit, but he knew he wasn't the same as the other people in the Spire. For a start, they couldn't see him. At least, most couldn't as Cole wandered the halls and entered different chambers. The few who could see him, just as quickly forgot he was there. It was the strangest thing. Cole began to question whether or not he was really real at all. It was a sinking, terrifyingly uncertain feeling. Yet he watched them, both mage and templar of the Spire, in the hopes of learning more. It wasn't long before rumors of there being a ghost in the Spire spread from within, those who had sworn they'd seen a young man with shaggy, blond hair though only for an instant. Cole began to wonder if that was the truth of it, if he was indeed a ghost after all.
Ghost or no, observing without being observed had its advantages. Cole learned a great many secrets during his time at the Spire. He also, unfortunately, learned of the abuses that took place therein—the cruelty inflicted upon many of the Circle Mages by the templars. Not all templars were cruel, he found, but he did take note that those who weren't usually did nothing to check their peers. They just... turned a blind eye. Cole began to grant apprentices and newly-arrived mages a swift end rather than the eventual prospect of Tranquility or execution. These so-called mercy killings initially came about because those who wished for death or were about to die were the few who could see and "remember" him. At least, until he met Rhys. Senior Enchanter Rhys had become Cole's friend over the course of a year. Rhys had not yet known that Cole was a murderer. At the beginning, the two simply spent time together and discussed all manner of topics save for those that were about Cole specifically. Whenever Rhys probed Cole for answers about, say, how Cole had come to be at the Spire, or why others couldn't see him, the young man would retreat and disappear into the shadows. Eventually, Rhys came to accept the knowledge of what, he had suspected, Cole truly was. By then, tensions between the mages and templars at the Spire had already been coming to a head—tensions that would inevitably lead to the Mage-Templar War later on.
Templars of the Spire, at the direction of Lord Seeker Lambert van Reeves, had tried to quash the rising state of rebellion within the tower, and imprisoned a number of mages—including Rhys. Cole, alongside Leliana of all people, stormed the cells and freed the prisoners. Though they attempted to escape the tower via the sewers, Lord Seeker Lambert found them using Rhys' phylactery. The Lord Seeker went on to use the Litany of Adralla in turn, disrupting Cole's invisibility just as the assassin had tried to kill Lambert. The Litany made Cole realize what he was, at last. Rather, what he might be, for either truth was possible—spirit or demon. The revelation was traumatizing in the moment, and Cole simply withdrew from sight altogether. He faded away, presumably returning to the Fade. Blessedly, and without his assistance, Cole's friends still managed to escape the Spire. For how long Cole remained in the Fade remains uncertain, likely not long however. For Lord Seeker Lambert eventually came to a mysterious end, assassinated in his own bed.
Later, trying to find his place in the world, Cole would go on to join the reformed Inquisition. He wanted to help people, after all. It took some time before he was truly accepted into their ranks, however. He became particularly good friends with both Varric Tethras and an elven apostate by the name of Solas, the latter gone missing since the Inquisition disbanded. Divine Victoria herself, known then as Cassandra Pentaghast, eventually warmed up to Cole as well. To his disappointment, not everyone had though. Their reluctance to do so, Cole has only recently begun to understand as, throughout the last few years, the spirit has become more real... more human. Real enough that others can see him all the time now, and people do not forget him anymore. Cole still maintains a thin connection to the Fade, however, but he is no longer capable of being bound by powerful mages seeking to use him for their own machinations. He neither eats nor dreams, at least not yet, but in the last few years has begun to develop a curiosity toward the fairer sex. A strange anomaly, that. Cole had willed himself into being, well, Cole; at least, another version of Cole. Perhaps it was the first Cole's preference? He's still not sure. His physical form had definitely gone through changes since becoming more human, with many remarking that he looks less strange now—whatever that means.
Since the Inquisition disbanded, Cole has struck out on his own though often reunites with his prior companions. Cole continues to help people, accepting that as his purpose in life even though he's not so much a Spirit of Compassion anymore. For him, it still feels important to help. Necessary, even. If he focuses hard enough, he can still feel the feelings of others. He still experiences flashes of things that have come and gone, for people as well as places. This insider's view of the, admittedly, still very confusing world helps Cole help others to heal from past hurts or, at the very least, helps him help others to confront their own truths. He has a habit of vanishing when his work is done, however. Another less human ability he's still retained. The only difference being that, this time, he knows that they will remember he was there.