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“Maker, my enemies are abundant, but my faith sustains me. I shall not fear the legion.”

Context

Julien and Nicolas appear in the Dragon Age: The Calling novel.

It was written by David Gaider  – one of the main writers of the Dragon Age games. It takes place before Dragon Age: Origins (DA:O).

This character profile has S P O I L E R S aplenty about the novel.

This profile is best read after :

  1. Our primer to the Dragon Age setting.
  2. The character profile for Grey Commander Genevieve. Which is where the The Calling plot is explained.

Nicolas and Julien are the least detailed party members. So this is a short profile.


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Powers & Abilities

Both Julien and Nicolas are veteran Warden-Ensigns. They are thus markedly better fighters than most. And they have extensive experience with the low-tech equivalent of special ops.

They’re both heavy infantry, using aggressive tactics to smash into the enemy lines. They are clad in full plate armour. Julien wields a huge greatsword, and Nicolas a large shield plus a spiked mace.

As can be surmised they are both large, strong dudes with a high level of pain tolerance.

Chercher le choc

Nicolas and Julien have fought along with Grey Commander Genevieve and Warden-Ensign Utha for years. Much of their time on the battlefield was spent forming a specific three-person array with Genevieve.

In this array, Nicolas is on point. He’ll kill what’s in front of him, while focusing on protecting the triad with his shield. This is important to stop arrows, stones, spears, etc..

Right on his flanks are Julien and Genevieve. They both wield large greatswords, reaping everything on the sides and most of the front. One blow, one kill, keep moving.

All three coordinate efficiently and wordlessly. They move without pause to make the most out of their determination, heavy gear and physical endurance.


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History

Julien and Nicolas both are obviously Orlesian.

Nicolas mentioned that he was thrown out of his home while in his teens. He lied to the seneschal at Fortalan to enlist in the military. Presumably, he made himself pass for older than he was, thanks to his brawn.

(In an Orlesian context, a seneschal is presumably like a medieval French sénéchal. In this specific context it likely means a senior public administrator in charge of logistics.)

His first battle frightened Nicolas so much he pissed himself. But he soon became an elite soldier. From there, he joined the Grey Wardens.

Julien may be an aristocrat. He never talked about his past, or why he joined the Grey Wardens. He and Nicolas often served on the same details.

Sur la toile du sac, au fond du hamac

From one anecdote Nicolas tells, one gets the *impression* that Nicolas and the rest didn’t realise that the private, reserved Julien was gay.

They thus hired a female prostitute so that he would “know love” before a battle. It seems that the embarrassed Julien paid the lass to leave by the window, so he could pretend she had stolen his cash then fled.

This suggests a traumatic episode in Julien’s past. Since outside of Tevinter, few people in Thedas would mind whether he preferred men and/or women.

Nicolas and Julien eventually became a couple. In the field, they usually operated with Warden-Lieutenant Genevieve, the tough-as-nails sister of Grey Commander Bregan.

Comme un guerrier qui perd son bras, son œil au combat

Over time, the tough, regimented, brutal life as a Grey Warden got to them. But they continued to serve as stalwarts.

Wardens Julien and Nicolas -- Dragon Age: The Calling

Still, seeing older Wardens leave for the Calling suicide/last fight cruelly reminded them that they didn’t have that much time left.

Julien and Nicolas developed a fantasy. They would desert and settle deep in the Arbor Wilds . There they would build a hidden cabin to live together for some years before doing a joint Calling.

How serious this dream was is unclear.

The couple was part of Genevieve’s commando raid in the Deep Roads to find Bregan. They served admirably. However, Julien was slain while fighting a dragon, taking a blow that would otherwise have slain Duncan.

Nicolas was shattered by this.

Mais quand tu t’éveilles, que tu vois la bouteille

Later on, the party was trapped in Fade dreams by a desire demon. In this reverie, Nicolas lived with Julien in their projected Arbor Wilds cabin.

King Maric and the Wardens found him. But Nicolas decided to die in his dream of Julien rather than return to the real world.

Julien’s body was deposited in a strange underground lake. It was hoped that being underwater would hide it from the darkspawn. Nicolas was buried under a makeshift cairn , using nearby debris.

In both cases, King Maric could perform a brief religious ceremony, which was important for Julien.


Description

Both Julien and Nicolas sport burly, burly Orlesian moustaches.

Their plate armour is a bit lighter than Genevieve’s, but not by much.

Julien has closely-cropped dark brown hair, and a short beard underneath the burly, burly moustache. He has the strongest Orlesian accent among the team.

Nicolas has shoulder-length blond hair and a warm voice. He’s obviously the more lively and boisterous of the pair.

As with every Dragon Age: The Calling profile here, the portraits are original work using a character generator.


Personality

Julien is a reserved, taciturn man. When he does speak, it is usually to Nicolas.

He comes across as a thoughtful, elegant, pious feller. He’s the only team member who prayed, reciting the Chant Of Light.

Nicolas is much more outgoing. However, he also has a temper, and could become violent if sufficiently provoked. He seems to be a soldier by nature.

While in camp, Nicolas and Julien like playing a checkers-like or chess-like game against each other.


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Nicolas

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Duty
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 05 Occupation: Grey Warden
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Wealth: 003
Init: 013 HP: 035

Powers:
Awareness: 04, Life sense: 11, Systemic antidote: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers are Form Function.
  • Awareness is limited to sensing the Blight, and particularly the activities of the Archdemon commanding it.
  • Life sense is limited to the darkspawn.
  • Systemic antidote only to resist the Taint.

Skills:
Animal handling (Horses): 03, Evasion: 05, Medicine (First aid): 02, Weaponry (Mace): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Evasion requires wielding a medium or larger shield.

Advantages:
Credentials (Grey Wardens, Medium), Familiarity (Grey Wardens equipment and protocols), Language (Sign language), Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
Genevieve’s team (High).

Drawbacks:
Dependent (0 pts, Julien), Misc.: As a Grey Warden he needs about 50% more food, has about a 30-year life expectancy after the Joining, and experiences nightmares caused by darkspawn activity (particularly during a Blight).

Equipment:

  • Spiked mace [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 07), Descriptor: Bludgeon].
  • LARGE SHIELD [BODY (Hardened Defenses) 05, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 05), Recommended STR 02, Descriptor: Bludgeon, Note: OV/RV bonus when using the Block Manoeuvre is 3 APs, Note: the OV bonus for the Shield Cover Manoeuvre is 3 APs].
  • FULL PLATE W/HVY HELM [BODY 05, Conditional Soaking (Slashing damage), Blunting: 02, Damage capacity: 04, Enhance (Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing RV): 02 (cap is 09), Enhance (Laser, cold, heat/flame, Ballistic, Acid RV): 01 (cap is 08), Enhance (RV against Critical, Devastation and doubles): 04 (cap is 10), Enhance (Unarmed RV): 04 (cap is 11), Shade (Audial): 01, Stealth penalty 3/4, B&L&D :
    • Damage Capacity has the Instant Recovery Bonus.
    • Damage Capacity only for Slashing and Piercing damage.
    • Audial Perception rolls have +2CS to their OV/RV.
    • Visual Perception rolls have a +1CS to their OV/RV when the face protector is on.

Julien

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Duty
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 05 Occupation: Grey Warden
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Wealth: 003
Init: 013 HP: 035

Powers:
Awareness: 04, Life sense: 11, Systemic antidote: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers are Form Function.
  • Awareness is limited to sensing the Blight, and particularly the activities of the Archdemon commanding it.
  • Life sense is limited to the darkspawn.
  • Systemic antidote only to resist the Taint.

Skills:
Animal handling (Horses): 03, Medicine (First aid): 02, Weaponry (Greatsword): 06

Advantages:
Credentials (Grey Wardens, Medium), Familiarity (Grey Wardens equipment and protocols, Chant of Light), Language (Sign language), Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
Genevieve’s team (High).

Drawbacks:
Dependent (0pts, Nicolas), Misc.: As a Grey Warden he needs about 50% more food, has about a 30-year life expectancy after the Joining, and experiences nightmares caused by darkspawn activity (particularly during a Blight).

Equipment:

  • Greatsword [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 09), Descriptor: Slashing, Piercing, Recommended STR 03].
  • FULL PLATE W/HVY HELM [BODY 05, Conditional Soaking (Slashing damage), Blunting: 02, Damage capacity: 04, Enhance (Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing RV): 02 (cap is 09), Enhance (Laser, cold, heat/flame, Ballistic, Acid RV): 01 (cap is 08), Enhance (RV against Critical, Devastation and doubles): 04 (cap is 10), Enhance (Unarmed RV): 04 (cap is 11), Shade (Audial): 01, Stealth penalty 3/4, B&L&D :
    • Damage Capacity has the Instant Recovery Bonus.
    • Damage Capacity only for Slashing and Piercing damage.
    • Audial Perception rolls have +2CS to their OV/RV.
    • Visual Perception rolls have a +1CS to their OV/RV when the face protector is on.

Design notes

Julien, Genevieve and Nicolas normally manoeuvre closely enough that Nicolas’ Shield Cover Combat Manoeuvre covers them all.

Nicolas always receives the full OV, and the other two normally get two APs. If they have to move a bit away from the cover this lowers to 1 then 0 APs.

Julien likely had some additional gentlemanly knowledge. And Nicolas some additional military knowledge.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Dragon Age: The Calling novel.

Writeup completed on the 9th of February, 2020.

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