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Loghain Mac Tir - Detail from Dragon Age The Stolen Throne cover by Ramil Sunga

Loghain Mac Tir

(Part #1 - The Stolen Throne)


Context

First things first :

  1. If you have no familiarity with the world of Dragon Age, you’ll want to hit our primer to Thedas first.
  2. Reading the section about Ferelden in Alistair’s character profile will also provide you with useful context and a sense of place.
  3. This entry is meant to be read after Maric Theirin’s character profile, to avoid repeating information.

Second things next. Loghain primarily features in two of the prequel novels — The Stolen Throne and The Calling — and in DA:O. In certain scenarios, he also appears in DA:I.

This first profile only includes material from The Stolen Throne. It has S P O I L E R S for this novel.


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Background

  • Real Name: Loghain Mac Tir.
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Known Relatives: Ser Gareth Mac Tir (father, deceased), Anora Mac Tir (daughter), unnamed wife.
  • Group Affiliation: Associate to King Maric of Ferelden.
  • Base of Operations: Mobile, and eventually Gwaren.
  • Height: No data. Weight: No data.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black.

Surname

There’s a contradiction between a DA2 codex entry and the The Stolen Throne novel as to Loghain’s father’s last name. Here I’m going with the version in the novel, where Gareth is clearly called Gareth Mac Tir.

The other version is that Gareth’s family didn’t have a surname. Loghain became Loghain Mac Tir when knighted and granted holdings by King Maric.


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Powers & Abilities

Loghain is a superb fighter, and an unhesitating killer. He grew up in harsh circumstances and amidst constant danger. He’s always wary and scanning for trouble.

Loghain is handy with the sword, the bow, the knife and perhaps other weapons.

He’s also a competent hunter, pathfinder and outdoorsman. This is in no small part due to this wariness. He has great endurance, knows how to avoid or handle predators, how to make fire even in difficult conditions, how to suck the venom out of wounds and clean them, etc..

He’s also a fine rider, as his freehold bred horses.

As a brigand, Loghain’s kit was studded leather, a great bow, a broadsword and a knife. The quality was decent enough to make observant folks realise he was no common thug. As a rebel officer, he wore plate armour. But sometimes be returned to his leathers, for luck.

Ranged combat is often tactically smarter. So Loghain did a lot of his fighting as an archer.

Charisma

Loghain is a curious mix of commanding presence and lack of ambition, of intense charisma and poor people skills.

When he does take centre stage, it will usually be because he’s angry, making him speak with rare intensity.

And when trying to inspire others, he can draw from his and his father’s harsh experience to show them the way. Even though he feels awkward when dealing with emotions other than anger.

Later on, he can also draw inspiring spiels from Ferelden’s epic war of national liberation.

Deadliness

Though Loghain, Rowan and Maric are excellent fighters, Dragon Age has few cinematic  characters. So in the novels each can face two or three soldiers, but this will leave them exhausted and wounded. And they can do that in no small part because they have better body armour than their opponents.

In the case of our sample playthrough, that’s not much of a problem. The game is played on Nightmare or Hard, so the video game characters aren’t exactly wading through seas of opponents either. The power level of the novels can thus match that of the video game.


History

Loghain’s family used to own a freehold in rural Ferelden. A freehold is land — usually used for farming — owned by a commoner.

However, during the Orlesian occupation, a tax was levied on freeholds. Loghain’s father, Gareth, could pay on the first year, but not on the second. Orlesian soldiers came in force to confiscate the freehold.

Grief and brigandage

Gareth’s wife was raped and murdered, with Loghain and his dad forced to watch. Both men escaped, but neither ever recovered. Gareth tracked down the Orlesian commander who had done the deed, and killed him in his sleep. But it didn’t satisfy the Mac Tirs. This was sordid revenge, not justice.

Dragon Age - Ferelden landscape - Rain of course

Father and son fled to become brigands and poachers. As the years passed, they became a core around which criminals and fugitives aggregated. A defrocked cleric, Sister Ailis, even joined. She provided medical care, well-read wisdom and crafts expertise. Ailis essentially became Gareth’s co-leader.

The troops of most minor Fereldan lords made but token efforts in hunting them down. Gareth’s men tended to strike against those noted for their Orlesian sympathies, thus earning diffuse support from other Fereldans.

All this came to a brutal end when Loghain found Maric and brought him to the camp.

Hail to the King

During the resulting battle, Maric knighted Gareth Mac Tir for his heroism. As Gareth died, this meant that Loghain inherited this landless title. While Loghain cared little for this, he was no longer a commoner.

Though Loghain was set to let Maric die, the two fugitives slowly became friends. Once they reached Moira’s rebels, Loghain decided to stick by him. It also meant that he’d get to fight Orlesian troops and their allies.

Within minutes of joining, Loghain came up with a strategy that saved the soon-to-be-surrounded rebels. Disguised as Maric, he led elite knights in a diversion, provoking a large chunk of the enemy force into chasing them. He and his volunteers would then hold a natural reduit . Hopefully, the rebels would prevail against the rest of the enemy forces, then attack from the rear those besieging Loghain.

Loghain and his party would have been left to die by Rendorn Guerrin, the rebels’ commander. But his own daughter Rowan Guerrin didn’t see it this way. She led a cavalry charge against those besieging Mac Tir. Loghain and his six surviving knights –out of 30 — then hurriedly left this front with Rowan’s unit.

The tactician

At the end of the day, Mac Tir’s ruse de guerre  (and Rowan’s decisiveness) had worked as best as could be hoped. Still, the rebel troops were now too weak to achieve much. Furthermore, harassment by pro-Orlais forces was wearing them down.

Here again it was Loghain who relieved the pressure. He rounded up those few Elves with the rebels, and formed a team of archers hunting the usurper’s troops by night. With their superior night vision and stealth, Mac Tir’s “Night Elves” unit tore a large hole in the enemy dragnet.

This allowed the rebels to exfiltrate  to the Bannorn area of Ferelden. There they would once again receive support from the populace.

Three years later, Loghain led them in a spontaneous counter-attack. This derailed a massive ambush by Orlesians chevaliers. Loghain’s quick decision saved the rest of the rebels, but he was gored by a lance and half the Night Elves were killed.

In 8:99, in Gwaren, it was Loghain’s strategy to lay low and trick the enemy into relaxing that likely saved the day.

Holding Gwaren

Soon after the rebels took Gwaren, Loghain uncharacteristically talked with Rowan about his feelings for her. But his timing was horribly unlucky, and she rebuffed him.

Dragon Age - Ferelden landscape - Lake and light snow

Loghain decided to leave, and focus on helping any survivors of his father’s band. But Maric and Rowan narrowly persuaded him to stay. Loghain was then promoted from lieutenant to commander, as Maric and Arl Rendorn had been intending to do for some time.

Loghain was present when Prince Maric first held court to convince more Fereldan nobles to defect to the rebellion. Loghain’s steely, intense off-the-cuff speech greatly helped.

The incensed Loghain also ran through one Bann Donall for disrespecting the rightful ruler of Ferelden. This encouraged the others .

West Hill

At West Hill, Commander Mac Tir kept suspected a trap. This intuition allowed him to reach Maric in time for him and Rowan to save the Rebel Prince. His hunting skills were also critical in feeding the party as they fled into wilderness.

As they ran from the enemy, Loghain and Rowan got into a verbal fight with Maric over their decision to rescue him. The dejected Prince thought they should have let him die. Piqued by Maric’s unfair reproaches, Loghain swore that the next time he wouldn’t save him.

During their trek through the Deep Roads, Loghain Mac Tir ended up sleeping with Rowan Guerrin. Both were reluctant to do so, but Maric had badly hurt Rowan’s feelings and one thing led to another.

Katriel

After word of Maric’s seeming resurrection spread, the victory looked within reach. But Loghain became gravely concerned about Maric’s royal stature, and in particular his dalliance with Katriel. He knew that reuniting Maric and Rowan was a political necessity, to properly perpetuate the Theirin dynasty.

This was in part what led to shadowing Katriel, and becoming convinced that she was an Orlesian spy. Loghain set up the confrontation where Maric murdered Katriel. He omitted to mention some key facts, such as Severan having put a price on the Elf’s head.

This murder broke Maric’s trust. Loghain’s great skills and tireless devotion to Ferelden made him necessary, and he was a great hero of the national war of liberation. But he would never again be a friend.

Victorious

After the war, Maric elevated Loghain Mac Tir to nobility. He made him the Teyrn of Gwaren. Being remote, Gwaren had no noble ruler, which made it possible for Maric to award the land without conflict.

(A Teyrn is senior nobility, above an Arl. This rank is rare. Only two fiefs in Ferelden have Teyrns. It is the equivalent of a Marquess, I reckon.)

It also allowed for Loghain being shoved out of the way. Being in the presence of Maric and Rowan was too awkward, both because of the past fling with Rowan and of the Katriel murder. For years, Loghain — still presented as Maric’s best friend to the public — never came to Denerim.

In Gwaren, he married and had a daughter.

Loghain also went looking for any survivors of his father’s brigand gang. He did find Ailis in a small village North of the Wilds, working at an hospice. Ailis confirmed that Gareth Mac Tir had died in the battle to save Maric, and showed Loghain where she had spread Gareth’s ashes.

Ailis eventually reupped with the Chantry. It likely was Loghain who arranged for her to be assigned to the royal palace. Mother Ailis became the royal governess and helped raise Prince Cailan, particularly after Rowan’s death.


Description

Loghain quite resembles his father. He has intimidating icy blue eyes, and almost never smiles.


Personality

The stony-faced Loghain seldom speaks. Instead, he observes in silence, gathering information. His father also wasn’t one for talking, and had in intense and authoritative manner. But despite their minimal communication, the two respected each other and went along well.

Dragon Age - Ferelden landscape - Valley houses

Loghain always had an angry, wary, aggressive, uncompromising nature. He was raised on the run, among unreliable murderers and criminals. He also remained full of rage ever since her mother’s torture and death.

Loghain dislikes expressing other emotions. Even acknowledging his feelings, or having to talk about himself, embarrasses him.

He is a highly disciplined man, willing to endure vast amounts of discomfort and pain to accomplish his objectives. For instance, he will endure biting cold all night long rather than build a campfire that could betray his position to the enemy.

He’s not a fan of magic. But then few are.

Hail to the King, baby

Loghain had a hard time forgiving Maric for Gareth’s death. Howbeit, the extreme circumstances and Maric’s friendly nature eventually won him over. Had Maric been less likeable, it is likely Loghain would have left him to die in the Wilds in revenge.

For years, Loghain did not see Maric’s cause as his own. He wasn’t so much a patriot who would support the rightful King, as a man who hated the occupier. His true loyalty was toward his dead father.

Loghain and Rowan shared an immediate attraction, but neither acted on it for more than three years. When Loghain did breach the matter, the conflicted Rowan originally turned him down.

Though they had good chemistry, they both knew that it was a mere matter of circumstances, and of both needing solace. They both knew that sleeping together was a bad idea with no future.

Raison d’État, part 1

Ever since his mother’s murder, Loghain has been obsessed with justice. It specifically is about justice, rather than revenge. But this trauma — and his harsh youth where strength and violence were vital — left him unable to consider soft solutions.

Loghain thus became a rigid, hard man. He ruled out compromise and humane solutions as he saw the exercise of power as needing a constant show of force.

Rules — an early version of what we’d now call the rule of law  — must be imposed even at high cost. Because as Loghain knows, when there are no rules people get raped and killed in front of their husband and young son. Leaving no option for redress but slitting throats in the night then turning to brigandage to survive.

Loghain becomes a sort of Jack Bauer figure, though what he does isn’t glorified. It mostly works, and Loghain unquestionably saved the day many times. But not all of it seems necessary, and applying the rules of a cutthroat, murderous gang to everything isn’t the best approach.

Raison d’État, part 2

All the key characters in The Stolen Throne are crushed by their duty’s demands.

Dragon Age - Ferelden landscape - Mountain fortress and statue

But whereas the likes of Maric, Rowan or Katriel are turned into persons they never wanted to become, Loghain embraces the suck. He doubles down on the harsh decisions, raison d’État and bloodshed.

Ironically, the brigand Mac Tir is more devoted to the throne of Ferelden than King Maric is. He will see anything as justified as long as it restores proper order to have a functioning society.

However, it is important to note that part of this motivation is actually hatred toward Orlesians. Loghain Mac Tir will never, ever trust anything having to do with Orlais. They are the atavistic Enemy with a capital E, and he’s a fanatic.


Quotes

“Men don’t always get to do as they prefer.”

“The first one that comes at us, loses an arm. That, I guarantee.”

(Upon slaying Bann Donal, to the court in Gwaren) “You forget yourselves. This is not some beggar asking you for a handout, but your rightful King. We are at war with the Orlesians, the very ones who conquered our land and have been slowly taking it from you. You all can get busy trying to think of how many ways you can commit treason to kiss the usurper’s feet, or you can act like Fereldans and stop waiting for us to do all the work on our own. The choice is yours.”

“I am being realistic.”

“My father once led the outlaw camp too near a nest of blight wolves. He knew they were there, but took us anyway because the other direction led to the law. We lost 14 people this day, six of them children. My father was… upset. He wanted everyone to stop looking to him for guidance. Sister Ailis told him that she would rather have a leader who found it difficult to lead than one who found it easy.”
(It seems unlikely that these were actually blight wolves, centuries after a Blight. Perhaps these actually were demon-possessed ? – Ed.)



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Loghain Mac Tir (later years of the rebellion)

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Fanatic
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Insurgent leader
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Wealth: 004
Init: 016 HP: 035

Skills:
Accuracy (Sense personality): 04, Animal handling (Horses): 05, Charisma: 07, Martial artist*: 04, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Danger rec, Field command, Survival): 05, Weaponry (Melee, Missile): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Charisma is Minor Marginal.

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Southern Ferelden), Credentials (Fereldan rebellion), Expertise (Military strategy), Schtick (Lightning Release, Pain management (Low)).

Connections:
Fereldan Rebellion (High).

Drawbacks:
Public Identity, SID of Orlesians.

Equipment:

  • Good broadsword [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Slashing, piercing, bludgeoning].
  • Back-up dagger or hunting knife [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 01 (Cap is 06), Descriptor: Piercing, Slashing].
  • Longbow [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 03, Ammo: 01, Recommended STR: 03, R#02, Bow Advantage (effective EV is 04, effective Range is 06, Limitation: Low Penetration] with a quiver that presumably has 24-ish arrows.
  • STUDDED LEATHER ARMOUR w/HELM… [BODY 03, Conditional Soaking (Slashing), Blunting: 01, Damage capacity: 03, Enhance (Cold RV): 01 (cap is 04), Enhance (Slashing, Bludgeoning and Piercing RV): 01 (cap is 06), Enhance (RV against Critical, Devastation and doubles): 02 (cap is 06), Enhance (Unarmed RV): 02 (cap is 08), Bonuses & Limitations: Damage Capacity has the Instant Recovery Bonus, Partial Coverage (Long Coat).]
  • … or FIELD PLATE w/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, 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.]

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Dragon Age material.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 19th of July, 2018.

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