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Aedan Cousland, known to some simply as The Warden, was recruited into the Grey Wardens by Duncan, following the fall of his family's teyrnir to Rendon Howe. For a year, he travelled the width and breadth of Ferelden, working to save the country from the ravages of the Blight.
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Aedan Cousland

After the Blight

Wandering

Following the defeat of the archdemon and the acceptance of Alistair Theirin as the new King of Ferelden, Aedan Cousland melted into the background. The quest to which he had devoted himself for the better part of a year was complete. Rendon Howe was dead at his hands, Loghain Mac Tir had paid for his crimes against the Wardens and Ferelden, and the darkspawn had been routed.

Despite his status as the Hero of Ferelden, the youngest Cousland brother felt like anything but.

He remained in Denerim for a time, helping to rebuild the city, but he worried that the presence of Ferelden's Hero undermined that of the new King's. After a few short weeks, he travelled to Lothering with Leliana in order to survey the damage and start the rebuilding process there, as well.

Aedan was restless, however. He felt adrift now that his goal had been completed. He also desperately wanted to track down Morrigan, but he had promised that he wouldn't, and he was still a man of his word despite everything he'd done since the fall of Highever. He and Leliana eventually parted ways and Aedan retreated to Highever to spend time with his brother.

Castle Cousland housed too many ghosts, though. Everywhere Aedan turned, he remembered his mother fighting at his side, soldiers falling to protect him, Ser Gilmore's gallant last stand, his father's dying words. His time in Highever also brought home to him how drastically he had changed. The closeness he'd shared with his brother was gone and he was at a loss as to how to recover it. He no longer knew who Aedan Cousland truly was.

Though he hated himself for doing it and felt like he was abandoning his brother, Aedan left Highever very early one morning, a note to Fergus in his quarters apologizing for his absence the only evidence he'd even been there.

He spent time with the Dalish elves, helping them with their move to their new lands in the south, and was honored by their offer to bestow upon him the vallaslin. Aedan accepted and underwent the ritual without complaint. The Dalish did not hold the answers he sought, however, and he continued his wandering, venturing into Orlais and beyond.

Amaranthine

After about six months spent away from Ferelden, Aedan was drawn back by rumors of ongoing darkspawn attacks. Although his wanderlust was sated for the time being, it still nibbled at him. He learned to ignore it, though, and returned to his home nation with the intention of formally taking up the command of the Grey Wardens in the Arling of Amaranthine.

Upon his arrival, he discovered that the Orlesian Wardens who had been posted to Vigil's Keep had been killed or were missing, and that talking darkspawn were responsible for the attack. Aedan was thrust simultaneously into the investigation of the events and the political upheaval of the Arling, and struggled to deal with both equanimously. Not only did he need to fill the role of Warden Commander, making decisions on how best to rout the new darkspawn threat and deal with the Architect, he also needed to employ all of the training he'd had as the son of a Teyrn in order to keep peace in the region.

Aedan always remembered that as the Arl of Amaranthine, it was his duty to protect those that could not protect themselves. He aided the Blight Orphans charity, even though he suspected—correctly, as it turned out—that the outfit was a sham. He sent soldiers to protect the farmlands, and tried to help the people by providing food when they threatened to start a riot. Smugglers in Amaranthine were dealt with swiftly and harshly. When he heard of a plot against him by the nobles still loyal to Rendon Howe, Aedan employed a mercenary to handle the situation efficiently.

But, beyond his duties to the Arling, he had his commitment to protect all of Ferelden from the new darkspawn threat. Aedan worked to recruit as many Wardens as he could. The team he compiled was just as skilled and diverse as his companions during the Blight, but he never achieved the same sense of closeness, no doubt due to his now-official status as Commander. He recruited his old friend Oghren; Anders, a mage desperate to escape the Circle; Justice, a benevolent spirit of the Fade trapped in a dead Grey Warden's body; Sigrun, a dwarf from the Legion of the Dead; and Velanna, an angry Dalish mage determined to get revenge on the darkspawn.

Perhaps his most unlikely recruit, however, was Nathaniel Howe. His childhood friend had snuck into Vigil's Keep with the original intention to murder Aedan in retaliation for the death of his father, but in the end, asked only to be allowed to take some of the Howes' treasured possessions. Aedan acquiesced, after trying to explain what Rendon Howe had done but realizing that Nathaniel was not ready to comprehend it. Nathaniel left, only to return a short time later with a request that stunned Aedan: his old friend wanted to be made a Grey Warden as a way to redeem the Howe name. Aedan hesitated, but knew he needed all the help he could get, and Nathaniel proved to be an invaluable part of the team as they fought against the new and strange darkspawn threat.

The Architect was a horrendous creature, a darkspawn capable of thought and planning, but it did seem to want to end the never-ending conflict between darkspawn and the world. Reluctantly, Aedan trusted the monster's word and worked with it to destroy the Mother. During the lead-up to the final battle, when bands of darkspawn descended on Vigil's Keep and Amaranthine, Aedan chose to send the majority of his forces to protect the city, trusting in the upgrades he'd made to the Vigil to protect it.

After the Mother was defeated, the Grey Wardens stood victorious. Vigil's Keep had fallen, and many lives were lost, but the outcome could have been so much worse. Aedan knew he had made the decisions that needed to be made, and he refused to second-guess them.

The Commander of the Grey remained at the Vigil for a few months, overseeing the reconstruction, before venturing to Denerim at Alistair's invitation to mark the year anniversary of the end of the Blight. Darkspawn still roam Ferelden, attacking randomly, which leads Aedan to believe that he had likely misplaced his trust in the Architect. Regardless, he is the Warden Commander, and he will ensure the safety of his country, by whatever means necessary.


Summary of Decisions

Redcliffe

  • Aedan chose to save Connor and Isolde Guerrin by venturing to the Circle Tower and enlisting the help of the mages.


Circle Tower

  • Party members: Alistair, Wynne, and Morrigan
  • He cleared out the abominations and saved the mages. The Tower was not purged.


The Urn of Sacred Ashes

  • Party members: Alistair, Wynne, and Leliana
  • Kolgrim and the High Dragon were killed, and the Ashes were not contaminated.


Soldier's Peak

  • Party members: Alistair, Morrigan, and Leliana
  • Aedan sided with Avernus against the demon inhabiting Sophia Dryden's body and allowed the ancient mage to continue his research to help the Wardens, with the stipulation that the methods used be ethical.
  • Aedan destroyed Avernus's potion.


Orzammar

  • Party members (Carta): Alistair, Leliana, Morrigan
  • Party members (Deep Roads): Alistair, Oghren, Morrigan
  • Aedan choose to support Bhelen due to his non-traditional views that would help bring Orzammar into the modern era.
  • Aedan sided with Caridin and killed Branka.


Brecilian Forest

  • Party members: Alistair, Wynne, Leliana
  • Aedan chose to convince Zathrian to remove the curse on the werewolves, returning them to a human state.


Rescue the Queen

  • Party members: Alistair, Morrigan, Zevran
  • Alistair and Aedan were captured while trying to rescue Queen Anora.


Fort Drakon

  • Aedan and Alistair were rescued from Fort Drakon by Zevran and Leliana.


The Alienage

  • Party Members: Alistair, Wynne, Zevran
  • Aedan killed Caladrius.


The Landsmeet

  • Party Members: Alistair, Wynne, Morrigan
  • Aedan chose to allow Alistair to duel Loghain, and Loghain was executed by the bastard prince.


Dark Ritual

  • Aedan chose to do Morrigan's dark ritual, ostensibly to ensure that Alistair would survive to be crowned after the final battle, but deep down he hoped that by giving Morrigan what she wanted, she would see how much she meant to him and stay.


The Siege of Denerim

  • Aedan took Alistair, Wynne and Leliana to the roof of Fort Drakon with him.
  • Oghren was left in charge of the forces at the gate.


Companions' Personal Quests

  • Alistair: Aedan ventured to Denerim with Alistair to meet Alistair's half-sister. Afterwards, Aedan told Alistair he needed to grow up and stop depending on others. Harsh words, but they helped to better prepare Alistair to assume the crown.
  • Morrigan: Aedan, Alistair, Leliana and Wynne killed Flemeth.
  • Leliana: Aedan helped Leliana confront and kill Marjolaine, and the bard was changed by the death of her former mentor.
  • Sten: Asala was found and returned to Sten.
  • Wynne: Wynne was reunited with Aneirin, but it was rather an accidental thing.
  • Oghren: Aedan helped Oghren meet and win back Felsi...for all the good it did.
  • Zevran: When confronted with Taliesin in Denerim, Zevran stayed and fought, helping to kill his former friend.
  • Shale: Shale's past was revealed by Caridin, but Aedan did not want further explore the Deep Roads once they had the crown crafted by the golem smith. Shale's personal quest to find out more about who she had once been remains incomplete.


Awakening-Era Decisions

Relationships

Family

Fergus Cousland

Throughout his travels during the Blight, Aedan believed his brother had died at Ostagar, and that he was the last surviving Cousland. When he discovered that Fergus had, in fact, survived, he was overjoyed. But the excitement of their reunion quickly soured as the guilt of what Aedan had done to end the Blight weighed heavily upon him, as did the ghosts that roamed the halls of Castle Cousland. Aedan stayed in Highever for only a short period before travelling abroad for a time, leaving his brother alone to deal with the rebuilding the teyrnir, and his own life, after the deaths of his wife and son. Fergus insisted he knew that Aedan had his own demons to slay, but resentment grew.

The brothers' relationship is strained, although Aedan has refocused his efforts to be there for Fergus in whatever form and fashion his brother needs. He supports his brother's choice of a partner, although he did not understand it at first. He has taken steps (unpopular steps, but steps) to show his brother that he should not be relying on alcohol as heavily as he has been.


Threads:


Correspondence:


Raelene Caoileann

Aedan first met Rae at the Masquerade Ball in Denerim, and although he was somewhat shocked that his brother had chosen to bring an elf to the Ball, he did not show any of that surprise outwardly. It was obviously from the beginning that Fergus was enraptured by the petite woman. It wasn't until Aedan escorted a drunken Fergus back to the Palace guest quarters a week or so later that Aedan saw the fire and spirit that had attracted his brother, when Rae had all but attacked him for abandoning his brother for the past year.

They've managed to come to somewhat of a middle road between them, though Rae harbors the resentment toward him that Fergus seems to wish he didn't. Aedan hopes that by being there for his brother, he can also win over the woman that is all but officially his sister-in-law.


Threads:
Correspondence:


Nobility

King Alistair Theirin

Content to come


Bann Teagan Guerrin

Content to come


Bann Malone Kincade

Content to come


Jenna Kincade

Edgewater, a bannorn loyal to the Teyrnir of HIghever, is home to the Kincade family. The Couslands and Kincades visited relatively often, and, as such, Aedan and Jenna somewhat grew up together. They weren't friends, exactly; whenever in Jenna's presence, Aedan lived up to his reputation as a prankster, getting into food fights, setting up situations to scare her, or simply trying to embarrass her as much as possible. What he never admitted to anyone, even his older brother, was that he secretly had a crush on Jenna, and finding out that she and Rory Gilmore were an item was a huge disappointment to him.

After the Blight, Malone Kincade, Bann of Edgewater and Jenna's older brother, decided that Jenna had worked for the bannorn enough. He was concerned that she was too willing to give up her chance at finding a place for herself in order to continue to support him when he needed to retake the responsibilities of running Edgewater entirely. To that end, he arranged for her to work with the Grey Wardens in Denerim for a year, knowing that was where Aedan Cousland was stationed (he had rather suspected that Aedan might have feelings for his sister) and also knowing that Jenna would not acquiesce to an outright arranged marriage. Aedan never received the missive, however, being called to HIghever after the attempted assassination of his brother. Instead, he met Jenna in Highever and sparks began to fly.

See the listing of Aedan/Jenna threads for their story.

Companions

Leliana

Content to come


Morrigan

Content to come


Shale

Content to come


Sten

Content to come


Wynne

Content to come


Zevran

Content to come


Grey Wardens

Anders

Content to come


Frewyn DeLelland

Content to come


Maya Turin

Content to come


Nathaniel Howe

Content to come


Oghren

Content to come


Sigrun

Content to come


Other Acquaintances

Aerion the Hunter

Content to come


Andrew Banvard

Content to come

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