General Appearance[edit | edit source]
Since becoming Magnus, he’s gone about covering his body with tattoos. The largest of these, aligning with his new namesake, is that of Tevinter’s entwined drake-and-snake heraldic arms which coils around his right arm from his wrist to his shoulder. He has a number of scars on his frame, as well. He stands at a broad-shouldered 6’3”, with an athletic build.
"Magnus" dons an undercut and a full beard, the latter furthering his efforts to disguise his true identity. His hair is light brown in colour. In his past life, however, he had shaggy hair and was clean-shaven. His eyes are pale green, expressive and rakish. They’re likely the only thing about him that suggests his prior identity of the would-be Warden conscript or Hanamene’s brother.
Impressively, despite his fighting career, he still has all of his teeth. His otherwise symmetrical nose, however, still shows some evidence of having been broken and reset at varying times in his life. His voice is deeper than most.
Usual Gear[edit | edit source]
Decidedly Tevene in flair and tailoring, Magnus usually wears medium leather armour: boots, trousers, and doublet. He also keeps two steel, Tevinter-styled daggers in plain view, sheathed at either hip. A utilitarian belt wraps around his waist as well, containing some of his meagre belongings like lock-picks and metal tokens, of no value, awarded to him after winning a bareknuckle match. He sometimes has a small kit on his person as well - containing needle, thread, small splint, and clean bandages - used for the express purpose of minor self-triage. Such served him well as a bareknuckle fighter in the past, when a brow was split here or a finger was broken there.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Caethan Thornecroft was born on the seventh day, of the seventh month, on the seventh year of the ninth age - thus, not for nothing, his lucky number is 7 and he's convinced himself that his best fighting happens in the seventh round. He grew up in his family’s cottage in the Hinterlands, close to Lake Calenhad and between Redcliffe and Lothering, and spent most of those days as a listless farmhand, an unwilling second apprentice to his builder grandfather, and an unsuitable trainee to his barely present templar father. Caethan’s relationship with his father was strained at best, and estranged at worst. Moreover, his elven mother left them at a young age. With their father being a templar, the siblings were all but left to be raised by their grandparents. Only on occasion did Ser Graeven return home and when he did, Caethan did not so enjoy the drill sergeant training exercises as much as his little sister had. While he got on well with his sister when they were younger, the more she became like their father, the less Caethan could relate to her. They drifted apart, especially later in life after arriving in Kirkwall to escape the Fifth Blight.
Their family name came from their home, Thornecroft Cottage, but Caethan is also related to a disgraced, late magister, by the name of Magnus Augur, who was assassinated many years before he was born. Magnus Soporati, Caethan's assumed name, loosely translates to mean the "Big Sleeper" and is seemingly in reference to his great-grandfather as well as the Soporati, or non-mage class of Tevinter despite his heritage having come from the Altus class. It also references his being considered a dark horse or "sleeper" of a fighter for gamblers to bet on and for his propensity at knocking out his opponents, tactically as opposed to using raw power, in the ring. His grandmother, Estella, was the original Magnus’ only daughter. Caethan and his sister, Hanamene, shared in the secret of their grandmother having been a mage, something that neither their grandfather nor father appeared to have known, or at least never acknowledged openly. Like his sister, Caethan did not inherit any magical talent. Politically, he is surprisingly liberal-minded regarding mages. Caethan was actually closer with his grandmother Estella, than his sister had been. Estella taught him the social graces of her people as well as how to dance quite gracefully, two such things Caeth had been more interested in than Hana. He was less receptive with her attempts to teach him histories of both Ferelden and Tevinter, though a kernel of some of this knowledge still exists in his mind. Through Estella, he developed an appreciation of music and poetry as well.
Caeth was a willful child, though. As a youth he often ran off from the lessons afforded to him by his well-educated elders, and fell in with the wrong sort of crowds. He was the black sheep of his family in not having any particular piety, though if pressed he might refer to himself as Andrastian-by-default, given his exposure to the Chantry early on, but such would be a loose association at best; a byproduct of the siblings having travelled throughout Ferelden in their youths, tagging alongside their pious grandfather as he went about his works - namely in building or renovating of Chantries. Though he absorbed some of the Chantry sermons, Caeth preferred to sneak off to explore whatever small town or village they found themselves in yet he often got into fights with the other children in these settlements, who seemed to regard him as either an outlier or bully. Admittedly, he wanted to become a guard when he was younger, but his templar father squashed this dream in telling him, repeatedly, that he’d make a poor soldier - though through Ser Graeven, Caeth did learn how to search and track as well as some basic survival skills like camping, hunting small game, or navigating by map or stars. Caeth’s grandfather favoured his sister as well, thus he never put any real effort into apprenticing for the Master Builder. He preferred hanging around and fighting with other local ne'er do wells, chasing after pretty young girls, or swimming to complex academia.
It was in Redcliffe that he was first exposed to competitive fighting and it was there that his initial pugilist moniker of "Hard-Cross" took root, moderately spreading throughout the Hinterlands for a time ere he brought it with him to Darktown in Kirkwall. He was not, nor ever developed, into a brute warrior like his father. His fighting style, then and now, relies on stamina, speed, and calculation. In his early days, that usually meant hitting his opponents with a flurry of punches in the hopes of one finally connecting precisely enough to take someone down. Later, after taking on a new identity and the assumed name of Magnus, his aforementioned great-grandfather's name, he switched to dark horse tactics: evading hits and dancing around larger opponents in an effort to tire them out, all the while calculating the best time and ideal places to strike in turn. When his own punches land they do not hit so much with brute force as they do with methodical precision, setting up for his eventual targeting of a vulnerable position. Even if he cannot manage to knock a hardier opponent out, the cunning with which he strikes is sometimes as cringe-inducing to experience as it is cringe-worthy to bear witness to.
In his early adolescence, Caethan found a mentor in an unsavoury man - a duelist, gambler, and disgraced nobleman - dwelling in the Redcliffe region, by the name of Oscar Redstone. Redstone sometimes bet on the local fights Caethan participated in and he spotted potential in Caethan’s footwork, and his natural ambidexterity, and consequently took the young man under his wing. Caethan was naive enough at the time to think that Redstone was his first real friend, but he soon learned that the gambler only had profit on his mind when it came to his investment in training Caethan as a duelist in turn. Learning from Redstone came easier to Caethan than did his templar father’s attempt at forcing a longsword and shield into his hands. Redstone had a tumultuous relationship with his own mentor in turn, an Antivan duelist by the name of Victor, and was resentful at never having been able to beat the aptly named man in non-lethal competitive combat. Moreover resentful at Victor’s eventual refusal to allow Redstone further attempts to even try to best him, Redstone got it in his mind that his pupil might be successful in his stead, or so he led Caethan and Victor to believe. Redstone seemingly went to great pains to advance Caethan’s abilities as an exceptional duelist in turn, pouring years into his training during which Caethan learned to be a much more tactical fighter, mastering his strikes instead of swinging or slashing chaotic ones. A match was set, around a year before the onset of the Fifth Blight. Caethan won albeit only because Redstone had resorted to the underhanded strategy of poisoning Caethan’s daggers without his knowledge. Victor did not survive Redstone’s deceit, and Caethan never forgave his mentor for it.
His family home destroyed in the Fifth Blight, during which his grandparents were both killed, Caethan and his sister fled Ferelden and were reunited with their absent father in Kirkwall. His sister called the reunion an act of providence - but Caeth did not agree. While they were able to avoid the sad fates of many Fereldan refugees disallowed entry into the city, Caethan had little to no appreciation when it came to their templar father initially putting he and Hana under the care of Kirkwall’s Chantry. Given that he was an unsuitable candidate for the Templar Order, Caethan quickly gathered the implication of low-level clerical service that was to be expected of him from that point on and he wanted no part in it. He packed up his things one evening, left a curt letter for his sister, and departed for Darktown where he resumed his career as pugilist. While in Darktown, he made a number of shady contacts including that of a bone-setter who taught Caethan some very basic first aid - namely in how to reset his own nose whenever it was broken in the ring.
Unfortunately, despite trying to maintain a low-profile, his successes in the underground tournaments of Kirkwall did not go unnoticed by everyone. In 9:31, in the Maker-forsaken bowels of the city, an experienced Grey Warden recruiter, and a capable fighter in his own right, from Weisshaupt found the eldest Thornecroft sibling and invoked the right of conscription. To say he was an unwilling conscript would have been putting it lightly. In a very literal sense, the warden-recruiter and his associates had attempted to take Caethan - who was outnumbered - kicking, punching, and Tevene-cursing all the way to the Anderfels. Caeth has zero interest in fighting what remained of the darkspawn after the events of the Fifth Blight were pretty much settled. They were, after all and in Caethan's words "fucking darkspawn". The recruiter didn’t manage to drag Caethan to the Anderfels in the end. When the warden attempted a rushed Joining ritual along the road, Caethan fled once more. This time he made for the Nevarran border. He was getting rather good at avoiding the paths others had attempted to set out for him.
Little did Caeth know at the time that there had been some odd, longstanding feud between his templar father and the warden who had attempted to recruit him and such was a grudge that had existed long before Ser Graeven Thornecroft's transfer to Kirkwall from the Hossberg Circle. It was after the failed conscription itself that Caethan took on his new pseudonym in and out of the fighting rings. He kept an even lower profile in Cumberland for the rest of 9:31 and eventually heard rumours of his own death in kind. While he still fought to eke out a living, Caethan altered his appearance in addition to taking up his great-grandfather's name. While the warden’s feud with his father concerned Caethan, he made a deliberate choice in not reaching out to his family again. Firstly, he’d felt estranged from them even before his life took such a sideways turn following the interference of the corrupt warden. Secondly, he hoped that the warden’s lie regarding his own untimely death might serve to satisfy them both: allowing the warden some satisfaction in sticking it to Caethan’s father, while allowing Caethan a chance to start a new life free from those painful ties; those old, deep-rooted feelings of rejection and loss. It was selfish, he knew. All the same, he wanted to leave Caethan’s bullshit behind, bury the farm-boy, and remake himself into his own man.
Since 9:32, Caethan has made a new life for himself as Magnus back home in Ferelden - inclusive of, on occasion, returning to some of his old haunts in an effort to test how well his new guise serves him. He’s yet to be discovered by any persons of note from his past - a testament to just how different he looks now. In addition to growing a beard, Caeth had intentionally thrown a number of his first fights as "Magnus the Vint" during his time in Cumberland, in the hopes of his opponents pulverizing his face enough that he would likely not be as easily recognized as Caethan Thornecroft in the future. Yet, having never been to Tevinter, and having been a poor student as a child, he occasionally flubs certain facts about the Imperium. As far as "Magnus" is concerned, however, he believes that Fereldans tend to be wary of people from Tevinter - something he leverages in avoiding conversations about his feigned homeland. The guise has served him well, thus far, at least.
Important Threads[edit | edit source]