• Vivienne: So, an apostate?
  • Solas: That is correct, Enchanter. I did not train in your Circle.
  • Vivienne: Well dear, I hope you can take care of yourself, should we encounter anything outside your experience.
  • Solas: I will try, in my own fumbling way, to learn from how you helped seal the rifts at Haven.
  • Solas: Ah, wait! My memory misleads me. You were not there.
7

Skintones for POC companions in Dragon Age

Whitewashing is a huge problem in every fandom, and DA is no exception. All of the characters above are whitewashed and have their skin lightened on a daily basis. 

There is no excuse when someone whitewashes a character. Take your appropriate swatches if you must, and make sure you are staying true to the characters actual skin tone. Use these colours if you’d like - they were more meant to prove a point. You are certainly welcome to use them as a base.

Stop whitewashing POC. Stop lightening skin, stop slimming down features, and stop blaming whitewashing on lighting. You know better than that. You can do better than that.

Do not take swatches from the lightest part of the face - all the light colours shown here are meant for highlighting purposes. They are the highlights of the face, to be used to display light bouncing off the surface of one’s skin.

Every image of the characters except Josephine was taken from the dragon age wiki site and was only altered to fit and blend with the pictures. All other graphics are mine. 

have some fun vivienne facts!

  • if the inquisitor romances dorian, vivienne receives a letter from an acquaintance in tevinter expressing shock at the “disturbing rumors” of their relationship, and vivienne responds by ripping the acquaintance a new one
  • repeatedly expresses sorrow at civilian deaths (”the defenseless are always the first casualties of war”)
  • cole said this about her harrowing “no, I will not fall, no one will control me ever again…shaking, hollow, harrowed but smiling at templars to show them i’m me, i am not like that”
  • despite her insistence that cole is a demon, she was worried for him
  • unlike solas, she is afraid of demons
  • finds it delightful that varric is writing a story with her as the villain
  • “my dear, if i didn’t want people to fear me I wouldn’t dress like this”
  • wants to send a sternly worded letter to varric’s tailor
  • was born in wycome 
  • has read hard in hightown
  • “i am the most dangerous thing in the room, darling”
  • treats bull like a favorite son and teaches him to dance
  • bull compares her to a qunari dreadnought, which she enjoys
  • greatly admired divine justinia
  • sees templars as a useful tool
  • “that which makes you different can be a burden or a source of strength”
  • was taken to the circle at such a young age that she doesn’t remember her parents
  • passes information on to sera and the friends of red jenny
  • worries for dorian’s safety in trying to reform the imperium, tells him to be careful
5

Another productive day for the inquisition. 

[Fullsize]

Ive had a very long two weeks but i’ve been slowly chipping away at this and im so happy i can finally say it’s finished :)

friendly hugs of the inquisition
  • Iron Bull hugs you like you’re one of the crew, squeezing you hard, smushing you into his body.  He greets you loudly, and you have to snatch a quick breath before your face is full of grey skin and hard muscle and an elbow behind your neck, precisely placed just in case.  Old spy habits, he says later.  Sorry.
  • Sera hugs awkwardly, all angles and space and light, hesitant pats on the back.  Hugging is a new experience for her and she needs time to adjust to the fact that someone wants to hug her just because.
  • Blackwall’s hug is a brief squeeze, a side hug almost.  At one point in his life he was warm and open and larger than life; at one point in his life he hugged that way, too.  But that was then.
  • Cassandra almost looks embarrassed when you hug her, which you do because the opportunity to make her blush is too tempting to pass up.  When she finally returns the gesture, it’s surprising in its fierceness.  You feel the muscles of her arms and shoulders bunch, and she always manages to pop something in your back.
  • Cole is new to hugs but he likes them, likes to slide his arms around you like you are a precious, breakable thing, likes to fold you into himself and breathe you in.  In truth the way he hugs is a mirror of you, so he hugs you and you hug him for as long as you both want, and it never grows uncomfortable.
  • Varric always laughs before he hugs, or chuckles, or says something.  “Hey,” he’ll grunt, or “c’mere.”  He hugs with one thickly corded arm; you’re glad he doesn’t hug you with two, because if he did you’d be face to face with that magnificent chest hair and you don’t think you’d be able to survive the meeting.  Varric is so considerate.
  • Dorian flings his arms open for you; you have an urge to run into them and be spun around, like in the romance novels Cassandra reads.  You never do, but return his enthusiasm gladly, clothes rustling as bodies meet, arms thumping around each other.  Before he releases you, he presses his cheek to you briefly, just a touch.  His mustache tickles.
  • Vivienne doesn’t hug, darling, but she will air kiss, first right, then left.  If you try to go left first it’s all over, and the privilege will not be given back for a week.
  • Solas hugs quick and sudden, pulling you so fast into him that you’re left breathless.  It’s over before you can react, the space between you recreated in half a second.  He fills it with a quietly spoken, “My friend.  It is good to see you.”
  • Leliana hugs slowly, her arms tightening around your ribs bit by bit.  Affection is rare for her now, and she will savor it whenever she finds it. When you part her scent lingers on your skin, and for minutes afterwards you keep catching whiffs of it, over and over.
  • Cullen hugs you properly, one arm around your shoulders, the other arm around your chest, hugs you for the perfect amount of time, hugs you with the perfect amount of tightness, the point of his chin pressing lightly into your shoulder.  He hugs deliberately, and doesn’t pull away fast.
  • Josephine hugs so innocently, both arms under yours, elbows bent and at waist height, forearms flush against your back.  Her eyes always sparkle, and sometimes she will even lift one foot up just slightly, and point her toes.

Apparently it’s Vivienne appreciation month. Also I just wanted to draw Vivienne in a pretty dress. I’m going to draw everyone in pretty dresses. Pretty dresses are fun.

EDIT: Thanks for all the love on this picture, now I’m planning on drawing people & naming it “Halamshiral AU” aka where everyone wears nice clothes instead of that Disney prince garb.
short info: Her outfit is based on her regular outfit, and French/English/Italian fashion during 1500-1600 (I know it’s a stretch but Thedas isn’t exactly historically accurate) I used desaturated colours because those work on her.

Halamshiral Series (WIP):

  • Blackwall
  • Cassandra
  • Cole
  • Cullen
  • Dorian
  • Iron Bull
  • Josephine
  • Leliana
  • Sera
  • Solas
  • Varric
  • Vivienne
love interests + saying i love you (da:i)

blackwall could say it a thousand times and still he wouldn’t think it enough. i love you, i love you, i love you, he says, the shadow of a man starved for his inquisitor, his words both an admission and a plea. one day he’ll be able to say the words plainly, not seeped with desperation, but for now that’s the only way he can say it, because his admissions of love are all he has to give the inquisitor – his love and his life, for whatever that’s worth. he comes close sometimes, late at night when his lover sleeps and he brushes his calloused fingers against the back of their neck, murmuring a soft “i love you” with only the moonlight as witness. true bravery is being able to repeat the words in that way when his inquisitor is awake – he is still a work in progress and he’s never been known for courageousness, but he is trying.

cassandra shows her affection with fierce declarations in heated moments. at least, that’s how it starts – from lioness roars her “i love yous” turn into stuttered responses, into handwritten poems left on desks (anonymously, or so she believes them to be, but the inquisitor always seems to have a knowing smile when they see them), and finally warm replies, quiet but no less amorous than her first confession. “i believe you,” she said once to her inquisitor after they expressed their love; now, with grand battles won and years passed, she finds that she can smile and answer: “i know. and i love you, too.”

cullen says it so earnestly, as often as he can. most times he says it as a reminder – he needs the inquisitor to know just how much they are wanted by him, just how much they mean to him, just how strongly he feels. cullen says it pointedly, with purpose, because he is a practiced man, but there are plenty of times when the words slip out quite unbidden. often they fall from his lips for the little things: when he sees the inquisitor get dressed, or when they smile at something he says, or when they laugh at their own, silly joke. once he says it at the war table and doesn’t even realize he’s let it slip until josephine giggles and leliana tries vainly to hide a smile; he’s mortified for only a moment until he sees his inquisitor, rosy and beaming. he may not yet know how to love himself, but oh, how he loves the inquisitor, and he hopes his words share as much.

dorian doesn’t know how to say it, not really. the words mean so much and yet, they are so empty - he can’t bring himself to use them in the presence of his inquisitor. not when the words are tied to all his lessons of loss, to a father who tried to change him, to a mother who turned a blind eye, to a homeland seeped in blood. sometimes he fears he’ll never say it but oh, he wants to - so he does his best to relearn the words, tie them to something different, to a relationship where he is wanted. and until he can earnestly speak the words, he pours his every emotion into corner kisses and tight embraces and breathed whispers of “amatus.”

iron bull says “i love you” as casually as he can. he means it every time, his eye glimmering with a warmth his easy tone tries to hide, but he means it even more when he hums “kadan” into his inquisitor’s bare shoulders. a plain “i love you” isn’t enough; no common tongue can quite capture the burn, the tightening, the placement of the inquisitor in his heart, the way that qunlat can. still, there is one human word that comes close; it’s telling, the way he says “boss” with a wicked smile, with a fond sigh, with a gut-wrenching roar on the battlefield, with rumbling laughter.

josephine is a silly contradiction when it comes to saying “i love you” – it makes her terribly embarrassed (but pleased, oh so very pleased) to hear the words said to her, but she herself says them almost easily. josie slips the words into light conversation with her darling inquisitor, writes them in love notes in between invitations and speech drafts, sends them through little gifts when she knows her beloved has had a long day. she tries a grand, romantic gesture once – candlelight and roses – but finds that she much rather prefers the bare words. “i love you very much,” she says now, a fond twinkle in her eye. she leaves the grand displays to her inquisitor.

sera announces it like it’s common knowledge, really, like it’s been written in stone for years and years and the inquisitor should just know it. she takes her time getting to this point, of course; the first time the words come out they’re a drunken slur, caught between a hiccup and a giggle. the second time she’s a little less intoxicated and by the third, when the inquisitor finally brings it up, she’s laughing at the hesitance. “i love you, yeah?” she says, and she will continue to say. (she’ll punctuate it with: “prob'ly a bit too much, but don’t let it get to your head” and a mischievous smile.)

solas forbids himself from uttering the words. he will tie his own tongue, guarantee his own heartbreak, dig his own grave – but he will not admit his love for fear that he will hurt the inquisitor any more than he already has, than he already will. still, while he cannot say it, he can think it, in the dead of night when he passes the door to their chambers, fleetingly when the wind carries echoes of their voice, when he sees them smile. the wolf inside him howls his heartsong, the god outside mutes the noise and gives nothing more than a tight-lipped smile, because that is all he can offer. the elf, the man wants to offer more, wants to give them the world and trace the words into their skin. (i love you, he thinks. “in another world,” he says, pleads, begging for their understanding. instead, it drives the knife in a little deeper.)

+bonus, platonic love

cole doesn’t feel the need to say it, so he doesn’t. for him it’s simple enough – he knows the way he feels and shows it through actions. that’s who he is: he acts rather than speaks and helps to fix any of their hurts, because any pain they feel, he feels, too. he’s learning from varric and dorian that there are other ways of showing love, like letting the inquisitor put their hand on his arm or sometimes his shoulder (he likes it when they hold him, but not for long), and letting them remember. he’s becoming quite fond of leaving the inquisitor flowers - cole doesn’t smile much, but he does when he feels the burst of warmth from the inquisitor when they discover the little tokens, or when they tuck them into their hair or tunic pockets. that’s another way of showing his love: smiling.

varric wishes he’d learn his damn lesson already, that holding any love for a hero is bound to end in tragedy, but he never does. it frightens him how fiercely he loves the inquisitor, because everyone he’s ever loved he’s also lost - but the inquisitor keeps coming back, the inquisitor slays demons and dragons and darkspawn and doesn’t even flinch at the pain. but when they stare at their bloody red hands with empty eyes and sinking hearts, varric has to admit to himself how much he cares; he covers their hands with his own, smiles, and pieces together their armor with witty words and wicked grace. and somewhere down the line, when ancient magisters are slain and darkspawn are crawling back into their holes, when skyhold is abuzz with celebration, he’ll watch the inquisitor mingle from afar and murmur, to no one in particular, “yeah, can’t help but love that one.”

vivienne has spent all her life building a reputation for being an iron lady, she wields words forged of steel and has a kingdom to match - she doesn’t love, she cannot love. (at least, so she says, but her heart aches even now when she thinks back on her beloved, taking his final breaths with her at his bedside.) still, vivienne feels a tenderness when she looks on the inquisitor; her casually flung endearments become softer, her smiles less sharp. to the untrained eye and ear nothing has changed, but most nobles know by now not to criticize the inquisitor in the presence of madame de fer, lest they want their secrets slipped and reputations sliced to ribbons. 

  • Vivienne: Tell me, Iron Bull, is there anything I can do to assist you more effectively in combat?
  • Iron Bull: Uh, no. No, I'm good.
  • Vivienne: You do so much fighting at the front. I would help however I may.
  • Vivienne: If my skills can weaken your opponents to make your fight easier, please let me know.
  • Iron Bull: Well, nobody fights well when their clothes are on fire...but honestly, I do really like the ice.
  • Iron Bull: Whatever works for you, though, ma'am.
  • Vivienne: I am always happy to help.