OUT OF CHARACTER:
Contact: Jemisard@plurk and Jemisard@AIM
Reference: Zig-zag and Dee
Character name: Cole
Character journal: killedwithlove
Series name: Dragon Age
Canon notes: From Dragon Age: Inquisition and Dragon Age: Asunder, post-Breach close at the end of Inquisition. Cole has no AU factors or CR.
Species: Spirit, but very like human. Cole doesn’t require sleep, food or drink, though he can do all these things if he chooses to. (He usually chooses not to, he doesn’t like to take from others and he has a bit of a fear of dreaming.) As a spirit, Cole can do an incredibly irritating thing where he can teleport short distances, including through obstructions. He is a spirit of Compassion, a manifestation of compassion, empathy, mercy and kindness. Mages could use him to help heal others, in theory. Presumably, he doesn’t really sweat or the like either.
History: Cole is a unique creature. He’s technically a spirit, Compassion, who was drawn into the real world by strength of will and the need to help a starving, suffering and dying young apostate called Cole. When Cole died, Compassion appears to have taken on his life and memories and forgotten what it was, believing itself to be the young man, with fractured memories and overwhelming, conflicting emotions.
Compassion, now calling itself Cole, had its nature warped by the despair and fear of the White Spire Circle. It became something closer to Despair and wandered, lost, in the Pit below the Spire for an unknown number of years. No one could see or hear the young man until a spirit medium named Rhys came into the Pit and found him.
Meeting Rhys, Cole slowly learned to become a person. His compassionate nature meant he attached very strongly to Rhys and developed a certain dependence on his presence and reassurance. When Rhys found out Cole was murdering newly arrived mages to spare them, they fought and Rhys left the Spire shortly after. Finding out that there were plans to kill Rhys, Cole set out after the party to warn them. He and Rhys made up to a degree, but it wasn’t until Cole was inadvertently dragged into the Fade with the group to fight a demon that some of the truths about what had shaped the young man came out and he reconciled with Rhys and came to know the other people in the group, including a Templar called Ser Evangeline. During their journey, it quickly became apparent that everyone but Rhys was forgetting Cole existed again.
Returning to the Spire, Cole was part of an action to try and save Rhys. He was confronted by Lord Seeker Lambert and his nature as a spirit was revealed to all, including him. He vanished, only to reappear some time later in Lambert’s personal quarters, to tell him the story of the real Cole before killing Lambert and leaving again.
Cole came to the Inquisition with news of the Templars being taken over by Corypheus. He comforted Chancellor Roderick during his death and was allowed to stay with the Inquisition, given the chance to help people on a broader scale.
After seeing what could be made of spirits and mortals in Adamant, Cole developed a paralysing fear of being made to hurt people, especially his friends. Chasing down a medallion to stop him being bound led to him confronting the Templar who had locked up the apostate Cole and forgot about him, leading to his painful and lingering death in the cells. Against Solas’ wishes, Cole was allowed to confront the Templar and accept that he was allowed to feel angry for his murder.
Now more human than he was, Cole is still a spirit. That is not under dispute. But he’s more mortal than any other spirit has ever been. He feels emotions of his own, not just compassion for suffering around him.
Personality: Cole is a unique creature. He has been shaped by the traumatic life and death of a young apostate mage called Cole, who witnessed the murder of his mother by his father, accidentally smothered his baby sister trying to stop their father finding them and eventually killed his father with a knife. He was found as a mage, taken to a tower and starved to death, which is how Compassion came to find him, to try and help.
Because of this, Cole is a very gentle and innocent young creature, often coming across as naive, but with a deep understanding of how awful the mortal condition can be. He has seen the worst of people and continues to understand them and try to help them when he can. Sometimes, all he can do is kill someone to stop them hurting others. Usually, he tries much more gentle methods of alleviating suffering.
Above all else, Cole wants to help people stop hurting. He’s very innocent about day to day life, but he understands a lot about death and suffering and that sometimes, a kind word or a reminder than you can’t save everyone at once is enough to ease the burden. He genuinely enjoys doing things with people which they enjoy doing. If they like playing Wicked Grace, he likes playing with them. If they enjoy hunting, he’ll enjoy tagging along. If they like hurting people, Cole will make them stop that, however.
He also loves animals. Animals quite like him. Especially nugs, rabbits and the like.
• Compassion: Cole is a creature of pure empathy. He can read minds and memories and feel people’s hurts and know what that hurt relates to. He can’t just read minds or thoughts, there needs to be emotions for him to connect to and trace back. He might feel a person in distress and mentally begging for help, but he wouldn’t know if someone were trying to shout mentally at him. He usually has an instinct for what he can do or say to make someone feel better, even if making that happen take a rather convoluted path.
Cole’s ability is completely receptive. He cannot project any emotions or thoughts any more than an average person.
Cole’s ability does include psychometry. Items with strong emotional resonance ‘speak’ to him. A letter written by an uncle to a dearly missed niece would be something he could read. A beloved stuffed toy would have the love and comfort imprinted in it.
• Forget: Cole can vanish in front of people. He can also make people not notice him, though it takes effort. He’s naturally very stealthy and somewhat difficult to notice, but he can push this to an extreme and just become flickering light and smoke. He has been known to hide other people with him, though this takes a terrible toll on him physically, including haemorrhaging of his eyes and nose. This tree was Cole’s primary skill set. As noted in his species, he can teleport short distances, through obstacles.
• Sleight of hand: Skilled at pick pocketing, lock picking and other associated legerdemain.
• Assassin/Twin knife fighting: Trained in the use of knives and daggers, Cole is a devastatingly efficient and swift assassin. He’s very good at slipping between armour, doing blind side attacks and working with others to flank opponents. He’s slippery in combat, but has to get up close and personal. He has significant training in many aspects of this.
• Uneducated: Cole is illiterate. I just felt this worth mentioning. He likes being read to and told stories.
Augment Skillset: Civilian: Personnel Support
Sample: In game thread with Krem Sample