Ambassador of the Inquisition
Post DAI Timeline
Name: Josephine Cherette Montilyet
Date of Birth: 9:12 Dragon
Occupation: Merchant, Diplomat, Ambassador to the Inquisition
Though she stands at barely 5'6”, Josephine can often seem taller because of her unfailingly correct posture. Her hair, so deep brown as to be mistaken for black in low light, falls almost to her waist when it is loose, though few have seen it so. In public, she maintains it in elegant but simple styles, such as coiled braids or buns. Her skin has the warm caramel hue common in northern Antiva, her eyes are an ambiguous shade that can seem either grey or green depending on the light, and her full lips frequently seem on the verge of a smile.
In fitting with Antivan expectations of women, her clothing is modestly tailored, but always fashionable, and she delights in shimmering satins and silks, with ribbons and other adornments that earned her the sobriquet of 'Ruffles' from Varric.
Weapons & Armor: She believes firmly that the pen is mightier than the sword, where she is concerned, at least. She owns no armor, and though she possesses a few stilettos and daggers, she will seldom carry any of them.
Languages: Antivan (Spoken and Written, Native); Common (Spoken & Written, Fluent); Orlesian (Spoken and Written, Fluent); Nevarran (Spoken, Proficient); Tevene (Spoken, Novice), Anders (Spoken, Novice)
As a noble, a member of a merchant family and an ambassador, Josephine has extensive training in diplomacy and etiquette, and is acquainted with the customs, politics and economics of most of the southern nations, though she is most familiar with Antiva, Orlais and Ferelden. She is skilled at oration and written communication, with a talent for learning languages.
She knows how to play the Game, excelling in the subtler maneuverings while eschewing the use of assassins. She retains some of the knowledge that she gained as a fledgling bard, but has not put them to use in more than a decade
Josephine was trained from childhood to use a shortbow in competitions with other noblewomen, but has never wielded one in combat. In her very brief career as a bard, she learned the rudiments of fighting, both with daggers and unarmed, but has vowed to never again put them to use.
Josephine can be summed up in a single word: order. For the eldest child tasked with restoring the family fortunes, the diplomat in foreign lands, the ambassador to an organization turning Thedas upside-down, having everything in its place, every eventuality anticipated and prepared for, is a must.
Long accustomed to subsuming her own emotions and opinions to the requirements of duty, she has mastered the facade of diplomatic pleasantry (and as a side effect, has a damn good poker face). Leliana is one of the few people who can get her to drop her prim and proper demeanor to show her playful side, though as she has settled into her role in the Inquisition, more of her colleagues have caught glimpses of her with her hair down (figuratively speaking). She has a sly sense of humor, fueled by her keen intelligence, that only rarely wins out over her sense of propriety.
Despite the decidedly martial nature of the Inquisition, she believes fervently in the power of diplomacy and persuasion, and has a strong aversion to any kind of violence, though she accepts its necessity in the world after the Breach. She enjoys beauty and the arts, likes her creature comforts (such as hot baths, pretty clothes and featherbeds) and harbors a romantic streak that she keeps even more closely guarded than her sense of humor. She has half a dozen dolls from her childhood collection carefully hidden in her quarters and will take them out and fuss with their clothing when she is feeling particularly stressed – after being very sure that the door is locked.
Her devotion to her family is nearly absolute, and while she demands much of herself on their behalf, she considers it a point of pride that her younger siblings want for nothing, even as she frequently bemoans her sister, Yvette's flighty dilettante ways and her youngest brother, Roberto's womanizing and carousing. Her focus on her career and her family left little time for a personal life, and apart from a handful of youthful flings in her teen years, she has had no real romantic relationships.
Born in Antiva City, eldest child of Yves and Ottavia Montilyet, Josephine was cossetted and made much of, raised to be a lady and heir to the family business. Even as a child, she was neat and orderly; her favorite toys were her collection of dolls that she delighted in dressing in fancy clothes, pretending they were at court.
Her parents tried to provide Josephine and her four siblings with the best of everything, but by the time their eldest was ten, she had realized that the family fortunes were far from strong. Over a century after the exile of the Montilyets from Orlais, their once extensive trading empire had dwindled to a shadow of its former glory and was growing smaller by the year as rivals with vital Orlesian connections surpassed them.
Determined to fix things, Josephine threw herself into her studies, proving an apt pupil with a talent for languages. As she entered her teens, she joined with other noble-born offspring who played at being bards, delighting in the notion of romantic adventures carried out in the shadows with their faces hidden by masks in the style of Orlais. The harmless fun came to an end one night when she found herself facing off against a rival on a mission to steal some trivial documents. A brief scuffle ended with her opponent tumbling down a flight of stairs and lying motionless. When she removed the mask of the dead man with a trembling hand, Josephine was horrified to see the face of a youth that she had known from childhood. She fled, wracked with guilt, and abandoned all ideas of being a bard, swearing to never again use violence against another.
Instead, she devoted herself to diplomacy and seeking peaceful outcomes, and was successful enough that at the age of twenty-three, she was appointed as ambassador from Antiva to Orlais. It was here that she first made the acquaintance of Leliana, gaining the trust and friendship of the Left Hand of Divine Justinia. She hoped that the connections that she made would eventually aid her in restoring her family's status, but she also took a great deal of satisfaction in doing her job and doing it well, gaining a reputation as a skilled diplomat and negotiator.
As the conflict between mages and templars heated up across southern Thedas, Leliana approached Josephine with an offer: Justinia was prepared to declare the Inquisition of old reborn if the upcoming Conclave was unsuccessful and wanted Josephine to serve as its ambassador. It was a challenge that she could not refuse, but she could never have imagined the explosion, the Breach and the subsequent chaos that was unleashed upon Thedas. Instead of a repurposed Chantry led by a charismatic and canny Divine, she found herself the chief envoy for a renegade group condemned as heretics by the surviving Grand Clerics and led by one who made no claim to even believe in the Maker.
She was unsure what to make of Sati Adaar; Qunari of any type were simply not seen at court, and common wisdom held them all to be bloodthirsty savages. But the Herald of Andraste, as formidable a warrior as she was, was no brute. She could be ruthless against the worst of their foes, but she could be merciful, as well, to those simply fighting to survive, and kind to the countless refugees caught up in a war they had never wanted. Bit by bit, after more than a few missteps on both sides, she was won over and wholeheartedly supported declaring Sati the Inquisitor.
Even with the demands of the Inquisition, Josephine remained dedicated to improving her family's fortunes, but when her efforts drew the attention of assassins, she required the assistance of Leliana and Sati to set things right. After Corypheus was finally killed, Josephine continued to divide her energies between the Inquisition and her family, occasionally becoming frazzled but generally thriving on the challenges. Thoughts of returning to Antiva on a more permanent basis were curtailed by the attack of the Qunari and the the duplicity of Solas. The Inquisition, it seemed, still had work to do, and its Ambassador would remain at her post.
Timeline: DAI , possible DAO/2