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King Maric of Ferelden - Dragon Age The Calling and comics

King Maric of Ferelden


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

This profile is split into parts, which should be read in order :

  1. Our primer about the Dragon Age setting.
  2. Maric Theirin – part 1 – son of the Rebel Queen.
  3. .
  4. Maric Theirin – part 3 – King of Ferelden — this here profile.

This profile has S P O I L E R S for the Dragon Age: The Calling novel, plus two of David Gaider’s graphic novels (The Silent Grove and Until We Sleep).

It starts in 9:10 and ends in 9:38.


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Background

  • Real Name: Maric Theirin, King of Ferelden.
  • Other Aliases: King Maric The Savior.
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: King Brandel the Defeated (grandfather, deceased), Moira Theirin of Ferelden (mother, deceased), Rowan Theirin of Ferelden née Guerrin (wife, deceased), Cailan Theirin of Ferelden (son), Alistair (secret son). Various other Theirin ancestors, the most important one being King Calenhad The Great.
  • Group Affiliation: Ferelden, I guess.
  • Base of Operations: Mobile, and eventually the royal palace in Denerim, Ferelden.
  • Height: No data. Weight: No data.
  • Eyes: Grey Hair: Blond.


Powers & Abilities

Early on Maric, seems a bit out of his depth. He has been weakened by two years of depression, which presumably also prevented physical training.

But as he joins Grey Wardens in the field, he recovers the level of physical proficiency that was his during the war of independence. He even seems to then progress beyond that, particularly when it comes to endurance.

He still has his magical Dwarven sword. However, he was forced to abandon his suit of silverite plate armour in 9:10, to escape from the Deep Roads.

During said Deep Roads expedition, the Circle of Magi issued him with two weeks of magical potions protecting him against Taint.

Maric is unusually resilient to cold weather.


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Other assets

As he recovers his physicality, Maric also recovers his personal qualities. But with maturity, his charm and charisma become based less on wit and volubility. And more on being a good, ethical person with a rare sense of responsibility.

Said sense of responsibility gives him unusual willpower. In the Fade, King Maric could escape a Desire Demon since he’s so used to sacrifice what he wants for what has to be done.

After he drags himself from the worst of his depression, King Maric again demonstrates that he’s a superb leader.

He doesn’t wantonly take charge – far from it. But whenever necessary he can “overwrite” the dominant mood to make people feel valued, willing to fight and part of a good team. He can reach out and touch people with his humanity.

His famous luck also returns to be his co-pilot.

Dragon-blooded

As a direct descendant of King Calenhad, King Maric is dragon-blooded.

What this means is unclear. And there are no reliable accounts about what, exactly, Calenhad did in the first place.

What we can observe :

  1. Some dragons will recognise a dragon-blooded person. This might be the province of some older, more perceptive dragons. The one Maric encountered in the Deep Roads didn’t seem to notice anything. Or perhaps it did, but couldn’t interpret it.
  2. Such blood can be used in powerful spells capable of reviving a dragon plunged into deep hibernation. This might only work with dragons who can recognise the blood.
  3. It can be used to power certain powerful blood magic rituals having to do with the Fade. But this requires very specific knowledge and equipment.

We can also hypothesise that being dragon-blooded means enhanced luck and charisma.


Soundtrack

I’ve only used the DA:O musical theme once so far. So let’s have it again. Because I really like it.

It’s a very nice “epic fantasy, and thunderous stuff is about to happen” score. Vocals by Aubrey Ashburn .

Available for download on Amazon .


History

The years after retaking the throne were a flurry of constant work to reestablish Ferelden.

This pace made it easier to take harsh decisions to end decades of foreign occupation. However, their cost to Maric’s soul eventually caught up.

The frenzied activity also made it easier for Maric and Rowan to keep working with the invaluable Loghain.

Assassination attempts took place. These were likely contracted by Orlesians. Malcontent banns also plotted insurgency. These had to be taken down with enough brutality to set an example.

After Rowan’s passing, Maric sunk into depression for two years. He still ruled, but was disengaged and increasingly unkempt. He also failed to spend enough time with little Cailan.

Loghain’s importance grew, to complement Maric’s adequate but lackadaisical rulership.

Eleventh year of the Dragon Age

In 9:10, Warden-Commander Genevieve came to the royal palace. The Grey Wardens were on an urgent mission to recover one of their own, captured by the darkspawn and held in the Ortan thaig.

Genevieve was aware that only two persons knew the way to Ortan – King Maric, and Teyrn Loghain. But as she feared, Loghain refused outright to help them since they were from Orlais.

To his own surprise, Maric then volunteered. While everyone was aghast, Genevieve reluctantly accepted.

Move out

On the next morning, Maric went so far as to sneak out of the palace to guide the Grey Wardens all the way to the thaig. He didn’t want to have to deal with Loghain.

King Maric of Ferelden - Dragon Age The Calling and comics - With Alistair

An important part of Maric’s spontaneous decision was the Witch of the Wilds’ prophecies. One of her auguries had been that a Blight would take place in Ferelden in his lifetime. That granted great weight to the Grey Wardens’ request.

(There’s a slight discrepancy as to whether the Blight would occur during or after Maric’s life. Presumably Maric didn’t remember the precise wording, or missed the subtle difference between “your life” and “your reign”.)

Maric was also driven by a brief vision of Queen Rowan. He vividly daydreamed that he had been discussing with her about how to respond to the Wardens’ request.

Back into the Deep Roads

Maric thus joined the fast-moving, low-drag Grey Wardens commando. Though the raid was a long, hard, brutal military op it forced him to recover his physical, mental and behavioural acumen.

Eventually, he could pull his weight almost as well as a Warden. And he provided charismatic morale, religious and ethical support for the team. This compensated for Genevieve’s weak points.

(Here I’ll stick to the aspects most relevant to Maric. For more detail about the operation, see the character profile for Genevieve the Commander of the Grey).

Maric was surprised by how well he remembered the path among the Deep Roads. As the Warden-Commander had hoped, his guidance allowed the expedition to reach the thaig much faster.

Depths and consequences

During the harrowing conflicts in the Deep Roads and the thaig, King Maric :

  • Developed an understanding and appreciation for the Grey Wardens and their mission. Maric would soon decree that the Wardens could return to Ferelden, after centuries of ostracism.
  • Had a Fade vision of what seemed to be the ghost of Katriel.
  • Became a good friend of a young Warden named Duncan. Duncan would later become Warden-Commander for Ferelden.
  • Had a fling with Fiona, an Elven mage Warden. As it would turn out, this left Fiona pregnant.

The aftermath of the expedition also exposed an Orlesian conspiracy among the Fereldan Circle of Magi. First Enchanter Remille, Orlesian spies, and pro-Remille mages had just mutinied.

However, Loghain’s counter-intelligence staff had detected this. In good part due to Loghain’s mistrust of Orlesians.

Remille’s conspiracy was thus violently defeated by Maric and the surviving Wardens, plus Loghain and his soldiers. Remille was succeeded by First Enchanter Irving.

(One notes that three key moments of Dragon Age: The Calling involve vivid visions. Genevieve seeing her brother captured, Maric daydreaming of Rowan, Maric interacting with Katriel in the fade. This could be a coincidence, but I wouldn’t bet on that.)

Return of the King

Having recovered from Rowan’s death, King Maric reengaged with his royal duties – and with his son. He also pushed Loghain to spend more time in Gwaren, so as to have him out of his hair.

King Maric of Ferelden - Dragon Age The Calling and comics - Ominous portrait

Among his more daring decisions was a cautious re-establishment of diplomatic ties with Orlais.

(The epilogue in The Calling has a small continuity glitch. Célène Valmont actually becomes Empress of Orlais nine or eight years later).

Fiona and Duncan also briefly returned to Ferelden. King Maric thus learned that he had a son. But Fiona requested that their child never know of his royal heritage, or his Elven heritage. In this way, he’d be free of both.

Maric expertly arranged to obscure the parentage of the baby boy, named Alistair. However, Duncan would keep an eye on his friends’ child until his death.

Undocumented happenings ?

Maric may have had further adventures during the 9:10s and early 20s.

For instance, Duncan is known to have dual-wielded red steel axes for a while, named in honour of Fiona and Katriel respectively. The second axe’s name strongly implies that Maric was involved in their forging.

However, at least one of Flemeth’s prophecies remained unaddressed. Maric had promised that, once his children would be of age, he’d come alone to the Silent Grove.

The Silent Grove

In 9:25, Cailan was 20. Maric once again left the royal palace alone, to honour a promise made to Flemeth – the Witch of the Wilds.

However, his small boat was intercepted and he was captured.

Maric was held and interrogated for more than four years at Velabanchel. This horrible fortified prison was operated by the Crows of Antiva, an exceptionally powerful and connected assassins’ guild.

However, one the Witches of the Wild then came to the prison. She demanded that Maric be handed over to her, or else. Even the Crows were forced to comply.

(During the Dragon Age, there are but three known Witches of the Wilds. The original one, Flemeth (aka the Woman Of Many Years, aka the Mother Of Vengeance, etc.) and her daughters Morrigan and Yavana.)

Might and magic

In the Silent Grove, Yavana used Maric’s blood to resuscitate at least one hibernating dragon. The ancient temple she was operating from had been a refuge for hunted dragons, who had eventually gone to sleep.

King Maric of Ferelden - Dragon Age The Calling and comics - With adventuring party

We can *imagine* that Maric was willing to help. His presence there was part of his pact with Yavana’s mum, after all.

However, a renegade Tevinter Magister had a keen interest in the Silent Grove. This mage, one Aurelian Titus, may have been alerted by his allies among the senior ranks of the Crows.

In unrevealed circumstances, he abducted Maric from the Silent Grove.

Manavaris dracona

Aurelian Titus used an artefact called the Magrallen to perform a multi-years blood magic ritual. For eight years, King Maric was being bled by the Magrallen.

Magister Titus used this to rule part of the Fade. It became shaped after his dream world. In it, a version of the ancient Tevinter Empire had returned, with godlike dragons supporting its totalitarian rule.

(The Magrallen *might* be tied to the Tevinter ritual that reportedly led to the Maker’s departure from the world. Since this ritual was allegedly about physically entering the heart of the Fade.)

(Magister Titus apparently intended to use his dream of ancient Tevinter to overwrite or conquer reality, using Fade creations. Whether this would have worked is unclear. Magister Maevaris Tilani seemed unconvinced.)

Dreams

However, Magister Titus had gotten greedy. He attempted to reel in Maric’s surviving son – King Alistair of Ferelden.

(Alistair doesn’t become King in all DA:O playthroughs. But this is the case both in the Bioware canon, and in the “local” writeups.org Dragon Age canon.)

But Alistair was far more dangerous than Titus and his staff realised. Furthermore, he hired an acquaintance of his. Not only was the pirate queen Isabela one of the deadliest persons in the Eastern Seas, but she also suggested hiring her friend and fellow badass Varric Tethras.

By the time this party reached Maric, they had allied with the Qunari and with Mævaris Tilani, a political opponent of Aurelian Titus. Projected in the Fade, they allied with King Maric and cleared the way for him.

Maric was thus able to slay Aurelian Titus. Though Titus thought himself his Fade realm’s absolute ruler, ultimately it was Maric’s blood that was empowering it.

Until we sleep

By this point, Maric wished to remain in the Fade and pass on. Seeing Alistair had reassured him that Ferelden was in good hands, and he considered that his time had passed.

Alistair nevertheless convinced his father to leave the Fade and see whether he could survive.

But once back in the real world, it was obvious that Maric was essentially in a coma. He was only kept “alive” by the Magrallen, and in his body was in a near-undead state.

King Alistair then destroyed the Magrallen, so his father could die free.


Description

For *this* era, we have official illustrations !

They show Maric relatively late, after his disappearance. So by that point his hair and beard have gone white.


Personality

In 9:10, Maric is just extracting himself from two years of bad, grief-fuelled depression. Thus, at first he’s grim, somewhat passive and far less talkative than he used to be.

As he’s in the field with the Wardens, Maric gradually reawakens to himself as a caring, charismatic man. He starts propping up morale, such as trading war anecdotes over a skin of disgusting Dwarven liquor. He also resumes being a solid, dependable fighter.

But though the fog is lifting, Maric is still haunted by dark thoughts about how much he misses Rowan, how guilty he still feels over the murder of Katriel, how he should be more of a father for Cailan, how he should be doing more as a King, etc..

Depression also led him to the conclusion that it was Loghain whom Rowan truly loved. Which seems, *at best*, dubious.

And oh, how the wild winds drove her

Maric’s brief relationship with Fiona was more her story than his. He was hesitant to touch her given the immense status differential. This was compounded by low-key flashbacks to his feelings for, and guilt about, Katriel.

This subplot is also a good example of Dragon Age stories using modern, currently-seeping-into-the-mainstream ethics. Maric’s moral stance is about caring, responsibility, fully taking societal context into account, empathy, seeking the least amount of harm and injustice, having egalitarian views, etc..

When it comes to ethics, Maric also has a thing about always keeping his promises. Even when that means great risks for himself.

He also refuses to consider himself a good man. Part of it is depression, but mostly it’s because he considers that he always should be doing more good. Fiona was particularly endeared by this, being used to Human nobles who were entitled rage monsters.

Like a King, like a King, like a King

After returning to the palace, Maric was re-energised. He had shed the bulk of his depression and guilt, though these feelings remained a part of it.

Thus he was much more engaged with running the kingdom and making it a better place. Even when it came to unpopular, but forward-looking decisions such as establishing diplomatic ties with Orlais.

Even during his last hours in the Fade, King Maric was still about keeping his promises. For instance he artfully avoided referring to Fiona, only saying “your mother” so his son wouldn’t realise his maternal parentage. As per Fiona’s request.


Quotes

“Now, let’s dispense with this ‘King’ business, shall we ? I’m as tired of it as you are, believe me.”

“I used to be lucky that way. Magical swords laying around, people racing in to rescue me at the last moment, bumping into Dwarven legions in the middle of the Deep Roads, that sort of things.”

Aurlian Titus: “Tevinter will be as it was in legend. A dream made reality ! The Magrallen’s magic is our legacy…”
Maric: “But it’s empowered by *my* blood. You are *not* the dreamer here. I am.” (kills Titus).


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Maric (in 9:10)

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 04 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: King
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 04 Wealth: 009
Init: 014 HP: 040

Powers:
Cold Immunity: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:
Cold Immunity is Form Function.

Skills:
Animals Handling (Horses): 04, Martial Artist*: 05, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Field command): 05, Weaponry (Melee): 05

Advantages:
Credentials (Ferelden, High), Familiarity (General education, History of Ferelden, Politics), Gift of gab, Leadership, Luck, Rank (Colonel), Misc.: Dragon-blooded.

Connections:
Theirin loyalists (Low).

Drawbacks:
Public Identity.

Equipment:

  • Dragonbone broadsword [BODY 08, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Flash: 02, Mystic Blast: 06, Sharpness (EV): 02, Bonus: Mystic Blast is Combined with Enhance (EV), Limitation: Flash is Steady Illumination only, Mystic Blast has No Range, Mystic Blast only affects Tainted creatures (primarily darkspawn), Descriptor: Slashing, piercing].
    The sword can also be used for bludgeoning damage, but Sharpness cannot be used in such cases.
  • DWARVEN-MADE FIELD PLATE w/HELM [BODY 06, Conditional Soaking (Slashing damage), Blunting: 03, Damage capacity: 06, 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, Bonuses & Limitations & Drawbacks:
    • 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

The stats are for Maric once he regains his groove, during the Deep Roads expedition. He sheds his Guilt, distinctly demonstrates Leadership, etc..

Technically he has Authority Figure. But the entire story is based on him ignoring it.

Rank is lower than you might expect, since the DCH Ranks are based on WWII army sizes. Low-tech armies are much smaller. In most circumstances, Maric will in fact have forces closer to those of a Major.

Whether “Dragon-blooded” is an Advantage is debatable. It ended up being more of a Drawback. But since we know little about it…

I am *assuming* that the silverite plate in The Calling is the same armour as the Dwarven plate in The Stolen Throne. Maric states that he’s had it for a “long time”.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Dragon Age stuff.

Writeup completed on the 14th of February, 2020.

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