Desdemona could be considered beautiful by most, if a bit haunting. She’s taller than average and a bit thin, her limbs spindly. Her chestnut brown hair always appears to be windswept, despite her attempts to tame it, but the remainder of her appearance is quite well groomed. Her features are an interesting mix of deeply inquisitive brown eyes, darkened tresses, and pale-as-porcelain skin. It gives her a somewhat classical look with an alien twist, the result of her parents’ Rivaini and Orlesian origins.
Preferring to dress inconspicuously without sacrificing the benefits of useful enchantments, Desdemona forgoes the heavily embroidered floor-length robes traditionally worn by mages in exchange for the shorter, more casual Tevinter-style dressings. Her outfit is complemented by a matching pair of leather gloves and boots, both comfortable and subtly enchanted to enhance her magical abilities. She often smells of flowery oils, no doubt the product of her frequent dabblings in herbalism.
Desdemona is a pleasant girl, if a bit emotionally distant. She doesn’t share much and is rather secretive about her past. Her laugh is slightly hollow and her eyes often wander into a delicate melancholy afterwards. Nonetheless, she is kind and eager to aid those in need. She’s oblivious to sarcasm and difficult to anger or enrage, but harsh to those she views as being flippant.
Desdemona treats elves as her equals and tends to behave skittishly among the Qunari, the outcome of her upbringing in Rivain.
Desdemona was born in Llomerryn to a Rivaini mother and an Orlesian father, a coupling whose love was fated to end almost as quickly as it blossomed. Her father was a newly-pledged Brother within the Chantry, attempting to spread the gospel of the Maker to those who had not yet encountered his splendor, while her mother was a seer, well-respected in the village despite her young age for her ability to commune with the spirits of the Fade. Their affair was fast and tempestuous, but ripe with passion, however oddly-matched. Alas, the Chantry fellow began to grow resentful of his beautiful temptress, believing she had seduced him into abandoning his Chantry vows. He returned to his pious life in Orlais, leaving his past sins behind him shortly before Desdemona was born.
Living a fatherless existence wasn’t much of a hindrance in Desdemona’s life. Her village was highly matriarchal in structure and she was well loved by her mother who prepared her to be the village’s next up-and-coming seer the moment her magical ability revealed itself. However, the thought of allowing oneself to be possessed by a spirit in order to ascend and be considered a true seer proved daunting. Desdemona was taught to fortify her mental and emotional strength in order to resist being overtaken by demons, instilled with the knowledge that even the most talented mages could fall prey. Soon enough, she would have to truly learn that lesson first hand.
Desdemona’s mother, forcibly possessed by a powerful demon whilst she dreamt in the Fade, cut a bloody swath across the horrified village. The abomination killed many before finally being defeated and the blood on Desdemona’s frail and shivering body was still barely warm when she boarded the boat that would take her to Orlais. She had run away from her destined responsibilities and the mantle of seer-to-be, the fear of being violated by demonic spirits and subsequently murdered by her own village crushing her resolve. A month later, she arrived in Val Royeaux in search of her father, the only connection she felt she had left, however minute it was. He was easy enough to find, having climbed the hierarchical ranks of the Chantry to become a visible member of Andraste’s followers at the Grand Cathedral of Orlais’ capital city. However, the emergence of a daughter, let alone one who was also a mage, threatened his reputation in the Chantry and shamed him. Angrily, he sent her away to the Circle of Magi in Montsimmard by way of Templar escort. Desdemona was disheartened, depressed, and disappointed at her foolishness and the rejection at her father’s hand. She would, in some ways, never recover.
Life in the circle was a culture shock to be sure. Mages were feared and watched like uncaged beasts by the Templars, ready for an assault at any given moment. It was horrid and lonely, yet she flourished in her classes and was quickly deemed ready to take her Harrowing upon turning seventeen. Despite her natural talent, Desdemona was utterly terrified the night before her Harrowing was to take place. Having worked endlessly to try and fortify herself against the influence of demons, she was still unable to shake the fear that she would fail as her mother had. After only just falling asleep amidst an unbearable night of tumultuous tossing and turning, she encountered her would-be savior. A Spirit of Fortitude, impressed over the years by her constant vigilance, took pity upon her and offered her the gift of assuaging her fears. They bonded, becoming forever entwined, and Desdemona passed her Harrowing with little effort, her resolve strengthened by the benevolent spirit.
While she no longer had to fear the corrupting influence of demons, the circle still felt like an inescapable prison. She longed for freedom, never willing to grasp the realization of living a bound existence like that which her fellow apprentices had resigned themselves to. Salvation would soon come, however, in the form of the Mages’ Collective. A significantly more radical branch of the organization was putting together an attempt to free a number of mages from the bindings of their phylacteries. Desdemona joined the ragtag group in their efforts, helping to infiltrate the storage facility where the phylacteries were being kept. Although they were successful, the magical shackles of the blood-gorged vials shattered, the Templars were soon alerted and attempted to thwart the newly-freed apostates with deadly force. In their flight from the city, more than half of their group was captured or killed, hacked down by zealous Templar blades. She was one of only a handful that was able to scarcely escape.
Desdemona then travelled from Montsimmard to Ferelden’s capital city of Denerim, staying with the Mages’ Collective for a short time before news of King Cailan’s defeat at the battle of Ostagar and the impending Blight spread to Denerim. It wasn’t even a month before Lothering had also fallen prey to the Darkspawn horde and Desdemona fled for her life a third time. The journey was miserable, crammed within a rickety ship filled to the brim with fellow refugees. At times, the stench of sickness and the exhaustive hunger hit her like a wall, but she persevered. Upon finally reaching Kirkwall, the imposing ‘City of Chains’, Desdemona was able to use her connections within the Mages’ Collective to procure a job for a smuggler named Athenril, allowing her access to enter the city and a small level of protection from the prying eyes of the Templars. As of now, she resides in Lowtown working as a healer among the alienage’s elves, providing them with poultices and herbal remedies while performing the occasional odd job as repayment for her debt to Athenril. What destiny holds for Desdemona, none can say, but she’s had enough of running...
Song of Sylaise - This gnarled staff pulses with an aura of power, giving off a slight heat. It was a gift from Desdemona’s mother, who in turn received it many years before from a Dalish Keeper as thanks for an unknown favor.
Archon Robes - This enchanted robe is decorated in the Tevinter style, with elaborate gold trimming and embossed bronze embellishments.