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Rutherford, Cullen

Discussion in 'Citizens' started by Cullen Rutherford, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Cullen Rutherford

    Cullen Rutherford Dragon Age

    24 years old
    "Mages cannot be treated like people. They are not like you and me. They are weapons.
    They have the power to light a city on fire in a fit of pique."

    Played by Keira

    Fandom: Dragon Age
    Age: 24
    Species: Human
    Gender: Male
    Canon Point: During Dragon Age 2, while he's in Kirkwall


    Combat TrainingHaving been training in the Templar Order for several years, Cullen is formidable in combat. Templars are one of the highest regarded military organisations in Thedas with exemplary soldiers, and Cullen is no different. Being a former Templar, Cullen primarily uses a one-handed sword, usually with a shield, as Templar training focuses heavily on using shields to protect from magic; it is easy to spot a Templar from a normal soldier as Templars tend to angle their shields downwards to deflect fire and acid. Though Cullen uses a one-handed sword and shield as a preference, he is also proficient with two-handed weapons.

    Military StrategyAlthough Cullen is relatively new to being an officer in the Templar Order, he has already proven his skill with command. He's a born military leader with natural charisma despite his social anxiety and his many problems with his past, and it's clear that he has a bright future ahead of him as long as he can work past said issues.

    FocusOne of the skills taught most thoroughly by the Chantry is how to keep your focus during stress, and how to allow your own faith to supersede any emotional attachment. Cullen can keep his cool in dire situations and make judgement calls without being affected by his feelings. However, he's not exceptional with this currently by any stretch of the imagination and his ability to keep focus is entirely dependent on his mood.

    StrengthCullen is a rather tall man with a broad chest and shoulders even at his young age. His strength is above average after years of highly rigorous physical training, and he is capable of lifting his own body weight of 90kg/13.3st. Along with this strength comes a high amount of stamina.

    Special AbilitiesCullen is a Templar, which - under the use of lyrium (an ore known as the raw form of magic, that is ingested by templars) - grants him special abilities angled towards disrupting the magic of Thedosian mages by reinforcing the reality of the world and closing off the mage's access to the Fade, thus leaving them unable to cast a spell.

    However, since there is no lyrium in Pandora currently, he will begin to lose these abilities, and the loss will be rapid due to not having used lyrium for more than a few years. He can no longer close off a mage's access to their magic and is, for all intents and purposes, no longer a templar; however, this does not make him any less of a soldier. Even without the lyrium-dependent abilities of a Templar, Cullen is still a highly skilled soldier.

    If he were to find a source of lyrium in Pandora and resume taking it, his abilities to disrupt mages' magic would be restored, though due to lyrium's connection to the Fade, they would not work on any magic user who does not draw their power from it - essentially making them completely useless against any mage not from his own world.


    Though Cullen is a tall and strong man and skilled at defensive combat as well as offensive, he is still just a human, and anything that would kill another human would also kill him.

    In Pandora, he will suffer from lyrium withdrawal, which manifests in physical discomfort and pain (such as severe headaches, sweats and aches), emotional outbursts, trouble concentrating, and near-debilitating nightmares - these negative effects could prove a hindrance to his combat ability until he manages to overcome them.

    The lyrium withdrawal exacerbates already existing psychological problems such as anxiety and depression that Cullen has suffered since his trauma at the hands of blood mages four years ago. Being in Kirkwall was not a good environment for a young man suffering as much as he has been, so he hasn't managed to overcome his past. Although he can hide his problems, he has something of a minor drinking problem and can have trouble with his judgment.

    He is also at a disadvantage in Pandora, having come from a world with medieval level of technology, and has no experience with anything modern.


    Life has changed a lot in the past few years, and not for the better.

    You remember what it was like to be young, a shy little boy bubbling with quiet enthusiasm at the dream of one day becoming a Templar. You remember what it was like when you watched the Templars in Honnleath’s Chantry, their armour shining in the candlelight at the altars. They were everything you ever wanted to be. You couldn’t imagine growing up to be anything else.

    Your sister Mia would tease you about it, as would the two little ones. The Templars didn’t take you seriously at first, only indulging your pestering and letting you play at swords with them. But you loved swinging around the blunted practise blade they let you use, and you loved the idea of being a Templar, of being a defender. Doing something meaningful and helping people. That was really all you wanted. To help.

    Thinking back on it as you are now, you wonder what went so wrong.

    Your persistence at becoming a nuisance for the local Templars paid off. The lessons became more serious, the men and women teaching you realising that you had real enthusiasm, real desire to be what they were. Your older sister rallied the other two siblings, the three of them helping you train. You remember those days in the fresh air with the sun setting, the smell of farmlands on the air as you knocked Branson into the pile of cushions the four of you had set up in the yard behind the family cottage. He was only little, and you didn’t want to hurt him. You’d never wanted to be a Templar to hurt people.

    Thinking back on it as you are now, it’s hard not to remember all the hurt you suffered.

    You can recall the excitement when the visiting Knight-Captain went to your parents, asking for their permission to take you with him for formal training. You were thirteen, and you begged and begged and begged your mother and father to say yes, because this was all you'd ever wanted. You didn't want to be a farmer or a merchant, or a craftsman. You wanted to be a Templar. When they said you were allowed to go, it was the best day of your life. Your brother and sisters were sad to see you go, but they were so happy for you, too. Rosalie started crying, and you had to give her an extra hug before you left.

    When you were finally there with all the Templars, you were worried about how you'd manage. You were older than the others at your level. Most of the recruits had been there for years, promised to the Order since infancy. Yours wasn't a rare situation, but it was uncommon. You had to work harder to catch up, but you did everything required of you. Reciting the Chant by candlelight was boring, and you did struggle, but the rest of it? You devoured the rest of it. In no time at all, you had all but surpassed your peers. It was hard work and plenty of the other recruits were jealous of you for getting better than them so quickly. None of them could ever hate you though. You were too quiet for that. You just minded your own business.

    Six years ago, when you were eighteen, you were finally ready to become a Templar properly. You took the vows, and you took the first draught of lyrium. It burned. It wasn't pleasant, but you took it without the slightest bit of complaint because the lyrium made the Templars more than just soldiers. It was what they were, what gave them the abilities to resist magic, and to keep the mages of Thedas safe from themselves. You took the lyrium, and you became a Templar.

    And then, you were sent to the Circle Tower at Kinloch Hold. Your first placement. You were so excited, but you didn't show it. You'd never been the kind of person to show your emotions so openly. But inside, you couldn't wait to get there. And so began your life as a Templar.

    Back then, you couldn't imagine it could ever be anything less than everything you ever wanted from life.

    Although you were taught all about the ways of magic and the threat of being possessed that hung over the head of every mage in your charge, you weren't as distant as your superiors advised you be. It was hard for you to make friends, but you at least made sure to be friendly to the mages. You took an interest in what they did. You tried to remember all their names as best as you could. You kept an eye of them with more than the typical cold professionalism from the other Templars. You truly wanted to keep them safe. You met many nice mages in the Circle.

    It was there that you met her too. Solona was a young mage, only just due her Harrowing. You'd never really been able to talk to her much because she intimidated you. Not because she was scary but because she was so beautiful. Her intellect, her quick wit, the strength visible in every step she took... Those things more than her face were stunning to you, though her looks were certainly a factor. You were smitten with her, even before you ever managed to bumble your way through early conversations with her. And then you were told you would be standing guard over her for her Harrowing. Worry overtook you.

    The Harrowing pit young apprentices against demons in the Fade. If they beat the demons and resisted their temptations, the apprentice would become a full mage. If they emerged from the Fade with an extra passenger, they were put to death, without hesitation or mercy. If Solona failed her Harrowing, you would be the one expected to kill her.

    You were stoic as ever through the event, but you were so afraid for her. Deep down you were sure she would pass, but you couldn't help but be afraid that she wouldn't, and that you would have to kill her. When she emerged from the Fade unscathed and unpossessed, you were so relieved. You told her how pleased you were that she had passed, that she was now a full mage. You were trying to convince yourself to break with decorum and tell her how you felt. Relations with Templars and mages were discouraged but not forbidden, after all. But before you could, she said something with a little smirk and a glimmering in her eyes that made everything inside you tie into knots and all words instantly disappear from your mind. You blundered the entire thing, stammering and fleeing. You remember scolding yourself for an idiot as you ran away.

    You never saw her alive again after that, and you have not met a woman like her since.

    After that, the Fifth Blight began, and everything went wrong.

    Solona was removed from the Circle, recruited into the Grey Wardens. No one told you about it straight away. You only found out when you heard news of the battle against darkspawn at Ostagar, of the King's army being overrun, and the Wardens wiped out, Solona among them.

    You had no time to grieve, or to worry about the state of the world outside. Circumstances in the Tower deteriorated quickly, too quickly for any of the Templars to do anything to contain it. Blood magic erupted in the Circle, spreading like a disease through the mages as they welcomed demonic influence and became abominations. Led by Uldred, the blood mages coralled the Templars who could not escape to the ground level of the Tower fast enough. You were among them.

    At first, it was you and several others. But as time went on, Uldred took each of the others. You watched all of them being broken, mentally and physically, and brutally killed in front of you. With every death of your peers, you felt something inside you shrivel and die with them. The blood mages and the abominations, they all laughed at you. You felt anger and hate rising up inside you more and more the longer you were there, trapped with no way out. Magic had done this. Magic had taken away the men and women you had worked with, and it was magic that was being used to hurt you.

    Eventually, you were the last Templar in the Circle tower. They tried to break you, but you refused to let them. You still remember the pain, the complete and utter agony you went through day in and day out. They put you through so much, inflicted so much trauma and suffering on you. It got to the point where you no longer really knew what was real and what was a nightmare. Reality and nightmare had blended into one terrible mess of pain to you.

    It wasn't just physical trauma they dealt to you. They tormented you with horrifying visions. Solona often featured in their tortures. There were desire demons, who tried to twist you, tried to tempt you with visions of her. So beautiful and clever and strong. They tried to break you using her face. Sometimes in the visions, you killed her in her Harrowing. Not quickly and cleanly with your sword as the rules dictated, but with your hands wrapped around her throat, slowly crushing the life from her. Sometimes, it was her, the woman you had loved, who killed you.

    You remember what it was like, wishing that that vision had been real, and that she would kill you, just so you could be free.

    When the woman who'd become known as the Hero of Ferelden came to you in your magical prison, you refused to believe that you were saved. You had gone through so much pain, so much trauma, at the hands of these mages who had been too weak to resist the temptations of demons, and who had even willingly embraced them for power. You couldn't remember how long it had been. Weeks, maybe, but no sign of salvation coming. The sight of the group of people coming to rescue you was just another vision, designed to break you, so you thought.

    You finally realised it wasn't, that it was real. You were freed, and Uldred and the others killed. There were others mages though, mages who had never touched blood magic and had escaped the abominations. After everything you went though, the parts of you that hadn't been scoured away by the sight of so many of your peers dying, and the tortures you were put through, were taken over by a fury and a loathing that you had never felt before this. Once, you never would have thought you could feel such a thing. In your anger and hate, you tried to persuade your superior to invoke the Right of Annulment, to kill the remaining mages in the Tower.

    From a shy, quiet man who had never wanted to harm a soul, the blood mages had pulled forth a man who would consider genocide as an acceptable - the only - option.

    You were overruled, a decision that you now know was the best one. If the Right had been invoked by your suggestion, and all the surviving and uncorrupted mages had been killed, you know the decision would have haunted your every step even more than the horrors you endured.

    But your trust of mages was brutally shattered. Your view of them back then was full of nothing but a hot, caustic hate and you were overzealous in your determination to see mages restricted and controlled. You could not forgive magic and those who wielded it for the things that had been done to you.

    You were sent to Kirkwall, to the Circle Tower in the Gallows, to cool down. The opposite happened. Knight-Commander Meredith was as zealous and distrusting of mages as you, and she fanned the flames, encouraging every negative feeling you had. You were promoted not long after your arrival to her second in command, because she knew you could be depended on to make sure the mages of Kirkwall were strictly and harshly regulated. At first, you desired nothing but to make that plan a reality, your personal feelings on magic blinding you, causing you to see every single mage as a potential weapon. They were not people, you would tell yourself and others. They could not be treated as such. Any mage could become an abomination.

    You had no friends. You found it even harder to connect to people than you ever had, and you knew other Templars whispered behind your back about how fervent you were about mages being so strictly controlled, and how Meredith had favoured you.

    You were the perfect Templar when you wore the armour. When the armour was off, you were a different man entirely. You could hardly sleep. You still can't.

    Nightmares plague you, looming when you close your eyes. The only time you can sleep properly is when you drink. Alcohol is a way of becoming free from your shackles, becoming someone else just for an evening, someone who doesn't still bear the fresh wounds of torment and abuse that haven't gone away. When you drink, you can forget who you are and what you have become, and you can forget the anger that filled up a heart that used to be so light and loving. But you're still a Templar, and you can't make a habit of it. All it takes is the wrong person to report you.

    Over time, you have begun to realise that your hate is misplaced, that not all mages deserve your judgement. You realise that Meredith isn't right, that regulating a whole group of people so harshly based on what they might do is not the answer. You still mistrust magic, but slowly, you begin to worry about the lengths Meredith will go to to make sure that mages are controlled. The Rite of Tranquility being used so flippantly, to punish even the slightest transgression, concerns you, and you cannot agree with the idea of mages losing everything that makes them who they are just because they did some small thing wrong. Even you, with everything you went through, cannot agree with such lengths.

    Although four years have passed since you suffered in Kinloch Hold and arrived in Kirkwall, you still struggle to put your past behind you. Nightmares still await you every time you sleep. You manage to put on a front when you wear your Templar uniform, but sometimes it's difficult for you. You have a temper sometimes if you're having a bad day, but otherwise you're quiet, finding it difficult to talk to others unless Templar business is involved. You have no personal life beyond what lay at the bottom of a tankard of ale in the filthiest of Lowtown taverns. You try to put everything behind you and move on, but it's so hard when you remember every cut and every breaking bone and every terrible vision, every time you close your eyes. It's so hard not to blame every mage but you have been doing your best.

    Maybe one day, you can exorcise your own demons and stop worrying about the ones that mages might attract.

    #1 Cullen Rutherford, Dec 20, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
    Ivy, Noel, Piper and 1 other person like this.
  2. Cullen Rutherford

    Cullen Rutherford Dragon Age

    24 years old

    I am so sorry about the length. >_>
    #2 Cullen Rutherford, Dec 24, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  3. Nic

    Nic Coordinator
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    your application is

    Cullen is looking good, Keira! Glad to see him in Pandora again. :D have fun!