Elliana Cousland was a noblewoman who was one of the few people to survive Arl Rendon Howe’s attack on Castle Cousland in 9:30 Dragon. During the Landsmeet to settle the throne dispute in 9:31 Dragon, she rallied support behind Queen Anora against the late King Maric’s illegitimate son Alistair. After the defeat of the archdemon, Elliana married Anora and became Princess-Consort of Ferelden as well as Teryna of Gwaren.
20 Kingsway, 9:06 Dragon
cis woman (she/her)
Princess-Consort of Ferelden, Teryna of Gwaren
Anora Mac Tir (non-romantic)
Elliana Cousland was the second child and eldest daughter of Bryce and Eleanor Cousland of Highever. Born in 9:06 Dragon, only a few scant years after Orlais was driven out of Ferelden, she was taught how to fight from a young age. As the child of a noble family, Elliana spent much of her youth wanting for nothing. She spent most of her time training, reading, or out in the wilderness learning how to survive. With the Orlesian occupation so recent in memory, her parents wanted their children to be prepared, just in case.
Early on, Elliana gleaned that Orlesians were not to be trusted, and developed a heavy suspicion of them that continues to this day. The only thing of value she’ll admit Orlais has is its University, which she attended from the ages of seventeen to twenty, officially studying history, politics, and natural sciences. Unofficially, Elliana studied how Orlesian nobles interacted with foreigners as well as other nobles. While she despised the political maneuvering that they call “The Game”, Elliana believed that the best way to defend against an enemy was to understand how they worked. During her time in Orlais, Elliana also picked up some bard skills, though never underwent any serious training.
After returning to Ferelden, Elliana did everything she could, politely at least, to fend off marriage proposals. She had no problem with marrying for politics rather than romance; Elliana had no interest in romance at all. Rather she wanted a match that would lead her to a position of influence and power, as she wanted to leave her mark on the world. Unfortunately, between that and wanting a spouse that would respect and understand her, a satisfactory marriage proposal was nowhere to be seen.
In 9:30 Dragon, life took a drastic turn when a life-long friend of the family, Arl Rendon Howe, betrayed them, attacking Castle Cousland while their soldiers were away. Howe’s soldiers were sparing no one, not even children, and Elliana and her sister Estelle barely managed to escape with their lives. Out in the wilderness, the two sisters fought about where to go next. Estelle wished to go to Ostagar to find their brother Fergus, but Elliana thought the better option was to go to Denerim and seek out support. She was friends with Queen Anora and was sure she wouldn’t believe Howe’s lies.
Unable to come to an agreement, the sisters went their own separate ways. Elliana eventually managed to reach Denerim, but was intercepted by Loghain Mac Tir before she could reach Queen Anora. To her surprise, he believed Howe’s rumors that the Couslands had been conspiring with Orlais, and was handed over to Arl Howe to be imprisoned where Anora wouldn’t find out, in Howe’s Denerim estate. She was kept there for weeks, mostly forgotten except for the days where Howe decided to ‘question’ her, or rather taunt her about her family’s deaths. It was during one of these sessions that he told her his soldiers had found and killed her sister Estelle, and that her brother had perished in Ostagar, leaving Elliana as the last of her family.
Eventually, Elliana received a new visitor to her cell: the elven mage that would soon be called the Hero of Ferelden, Deirdra Surana, and her crew. They were there to rescue Queen Anora, but helped Elliana escape as well, and let her deliver the blowing kill to Rendon Howe. These acts earned them Elliana’s respect, and they would earn more in the days to come.
After being rescued from Howe’s estate, Elliana was brought to Arl Eamon’s estate and discovered that not only was her sister Estelle not dead, but that she had been traveling with the Wardens. The tear-filled reunion was unfortunately cut short as Elliana had to be caught up on what had happened since she had been captured. She was appalled by Eamon’s plan to put an unknown and untrained son of Maric on the throne, especially such a reluctant one, and eventually sat down with Anora to discuss a plan of support for the Landsmeet.
Eventually, the two of them came to an agreement: they would marry, making Elliana the Princess-Consort, in order to bring the full force of the Terynir of Highever and its friends to Anora’s side, and Estelle would be formally recognized as Teryna of Highever, reclaiming it for the Couslands in the wake of Howe’s accusations. Elliana also offered advice to Surana on handling the Landsmeet, as long as Surana swore to support Anora’s claim. The rest of the time leading up to the Landsmeet was spent with her sister, who caught her up on her own travels.
The Landsmeet itself was almost a disaster. Surana was able to persuade the nobles against Loghain, but when Loghain refused to stand down, Eamon’s choice for the throne, Alistair, ended up dueling and killing the man. And then without giving Anora any time to grieve, an argument broke out about who would take the throne, with Anora pushing her claim, Eamon pushing Alistair’s claim, and Estelle stunning everyone by declaring that she and Alistair should rule as Queen and King. Eventually, it was decided the matter should be settled by Surana, who thankfully kept her word and chose Anora.
After the matter of the throne was settled, Elliana stayed in Denerim to help prepare it for the coming battles. Despite her weakness from being trapped in a cell for weeks, during the Battle for Denerim, she helped guard the front gate while the Wardens went after the Archdemon.
After the defeat of the Archdemon, Elliana immediately threw herself into the rebuilding efforts in order to put off dealing with her grief. Only a couple weeks later though, Fergus turned up in Denerim, leading to another reunion of siblings as Elliana and Estelle were overjoyed to discover that their brother was in fact alive. He had been injured and bedridden for months, unable to reach out to his family.
With the return of Fergus, Estelle handed over the title of Teryn of Highever to him, as she wanted nothing to do with it. And with Loghain’s death at the Landsmeet, the Terynir of Gwaren had no leader, so Anora appointed Elliana as its Teryna, given that Anora herself was the Queen proper of Ferelden, while Elliana’s Princess-consort status didn’t give her nearly the same level of power. Given the Wardens’ actions in saving Ferelden, Elliana suggested they give them the Arling of Amaranthine, Rendon Howe’s domain, given both his traitorous actions and especially since his offspring were nowhere to be found.
Elliana spent the following years splitting her time between Denerim and Gwaren, with some occasional visits to Highever. She supported Deirdra Surana, now Arlessa of Amaranthine as well as a Warden-Commander, in the Landsmeet whenever possible, including establishing a Bann for Denerim’s Alienage. Elliana and Anora also discussed opening an institution of learning so that Fereldens would have more options than Orlais’s university, but these plans unfortunately took a back seat after the mage rebellion in the Free Marches, with the clear growing tensions between mages and templars. When the College of Enchanters was officially dissolved, Elliana suspected that the relative peace since the Fifth Blight was about to end.
Elliana tends to be rather headstrong. Once she’s decided something, it’s like pulling teeth to change her mind. Part of this is due to her pride; she hates admitting she was wrong. It’s even worse when the person trying to convince her is someone she does not trust, even if they are making good points. This has not improved with age, as she feels she has proven herself time and time again.
While Elliana comes across as very cold and reserved, she cares very strongly about her family and friends. Rather than express this with words though, she tends to display it through small acts of service, doing favors for them or helping with something they have been stressed about. People more familiar with her “Ice Queen” nickname than her tend to be surprised when her loved ones speak fondly of her.
Elliana takes her duties very seriously. As Princess-consort, she spends about half the year in Denerim, supporting Anora however she can. The other half of the year she spends in Gwaren as its Teryna. She spent quite a bit more time there in the years following the Fifth Blight in order to try and win the hearts of the people in her Terynir. Whatever her people need, she does her best to provide, whether it’s gathering food through hunting or arguing for support on their behalf in the capitol.