|Birth Date||9:08 Dragon; 4 Kingsway|
|Gear||Inside the Circle: standard issue robes and staff. Outside the Circle: Finley has a bladed staff (more like an enchanted halberd) and set of heavily enchanted armoured robes.|
|Behind the Mask|
|Face Claim||James McAvoy|
Finley has fairly short, black wavy hair and emerald green eyes. He’s tall, around 6’0, his body lithe and wiry from his personal training (not to mention still relatively fit from his weeks on the road from Starkhaven). When inside the Circle, he wears standard Circle issue robes. Outside of the Circle when he's required to fight he has a leather chest guard and light mail shirt with enchanted cloth robes that he wears with leather breeches and boots. He has an enchanted halberd that acts as his staff, but again, inside the Circle he has standard Circle issue.
Finley is a bit of an enigma to those who don’t take the time to get to know him. He’s personally very disciplined and on the whole generally well-behaved, keeping up appearances when socialising within sight of the Templars (unlike his rather more chaotic sister, who likes to sass and wind up the “jealous bucket-heads”). He loves discussions and debates, with an infuriating habit of playing the devil’s advocate to encourage conversation.
He has a very dry sense of humour, often employing sarcasm (even against Templars in the event a Templar is being bullish or disrespectful: Finley is very much a believer of give and take, and will respect his guardians as long as he is respected in return), though he very rarely laughs openly. Those who get to know him realise that his eyes are key to reading him – they will sparkle with amusement or burn with rage while the rest of his face remains fairly still. He rarely smiles beyond a half smirk, rarely frowns beyond a twitch of his brow.
Behind closed doors, Finley tends to go from being disciplined and controlled to being quite open and affectionate. A secret romantic, Finley’s approach to relationships is a little different from the common perception of mage promiscuity – Finley will be utterly devoted to his lover at the time for as long as his lover will have him (usually without said lover’s knowledge, as he knows how most suffer from a fear-of-commitment, and he does not discourage them from seeking out other partners), a show of emotion which he can get away with due to his usual day-to-day professional demeanour.Finley loves the idea of helping people (closet romantic through and through) and it frustrates him that his healing skills are so basic. Ferelden is just as much an opportunity for him to share his skills as it is for him to (hopefully) fix his own to the ones he truly wants. Whether he's remotely successful in this endeavour remains to be seen.
Born to a minor noble family in Starkhaven, Finley was one of twins, his sister Cat being some twenty minutes younger than him. Their mother died when they were six, and their father lost heart in raising a family as a result, only really taking an interest when Fin or Cat did particularly well in their studies.
Finley’s magic manifested when he was ten, when he accidentally set fire to one of his textbooks. His father took him to the Circle and left him there and his sister, now un-marriageable, was sent to live with her uncle in the city while she started a different sort of training. Thanks to their uncle’s influence in Starkhaven, Catriona was granted visitation rights – a rare occurrence in the Circle’s history. But over the years Catriona became more reckless, often breaking in to the Circle to see him. The Knight-Commander and First Enchanter tolerated it to a point, only because they knew their uncle personally.
Finley enjoyed the Circle, or at least enjoyed the education. It chafed that he couldn’t experience the world as his sister was doing, but, when looking on the brightside, being a mage meant that he didn’t have to be a noble, and that he didn’t have to see his sister sold off into some politically beneficial marriage. He excelled in his lessons and passed his Harrowing shortly before his eighteenth birthday.
Since becoming a fully fledge mage, Finley has devoted his time training and honing his magic, hoping to at least become useful to his city in a similar fashion to his sister (he had wanted to learn how to heal, but Starkhaven hadn’t had a skilled Spirit Healer for some years).
[A note on battlemages: As a city near the Tevinter border, Starkhaven’s Circle developed a reputation for its battle magic during the Exalted Marches against the Imperial Chantry. Although it has been centuries since those wars, Starkhaven has maintained its battlemage tradition. The training is rigorous and the mana wells of battle mages are deep, but generally Templars are not concerned by the practice since the abilities of battlemages consume mana swiftly and in large quantities, making it relatively uncomplicated for Templars to overpower the mage once the mana is depleted.]
His skill was noticed, and Finley was soon called upon to accompany some Templar patrols in the mountains. (This may have been due to a number of external factors as well - possibly his uncle's influence, or even Catriona's. It may also be because, despite Catriona's antics with breaking into the Circle, the Knight-Commander is aware of Catriona's occupation (and her dangerous soirees into Tevinter) and knows that Finley's love for his sister and his allegiance to Starkhaven means he is less likely to turn to blood magic or attempt to escape.)
Eventually, this extended to regular excursions with the Templars and the City Guard: since slavers are apt to abuse magic and summon demons and undead, the Starkhaven authorities are not adverse to calling upon their own mages to defend the city. As a result, Finley has quite extensive battle experience for a mage of his age.
Things began going wrong when the old Knight-Commander retired and his replacement – a more militant, paranoid man – withdrew a number of the "perks" for Starkhaven mages - including stopping Finley's work with the Templars and Guard, and withdrawing Catriona’s visiting rights. Then, upon discovering that Finley’s assassin sister was apt to break in when denied access, the Knight-Commander threatened to have her arrested and executed for violating Chantry laws if she was even rumoured to have done it again.
Knowing that Catriona’s patrons could only protect her so much (and that Catriona would never take "no" for an answer), Finley applied for a transfer to anywhere. While he was not yet a full Enchanter, his expertise in battlemagic meant he could easily share the theories and concepts with others. When Ferelden requested a battlemage to expand their Circle’s knowledge, Finley agreed to go, leaving a letter for his sister and a note that she could write to him there. Not only would the move keep Catriona safe from the new Knight-Commander, but hopefully, with enough distance between them, the twins could start living the separate lives that fate demanded they have instead of both of them scrabbling for what closeness they could find.
Finley arrived at Kinloch Hold near the at the beginning of Solace, unfortunately a week or so after the main group of mages left for Ostagar. He was set to work teaching potential reinforcements and, when not teaching, began making use of the extensive Creation and Spirit Healing collection in the Circle library for his personal knowledge, knowing that his healing was poor in comparison to a lot of the Ferelden mages.
- Late Justinian: Pastures New
- NPC Catriona Argrave - twin sister