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Portrayed By Ben Barnes
Faction Rogue
Organization Coterie
Position Whore
Sex Male
Race Human
Age 24
Place of Birth Antiva City, Antiva
Date of Birth 2 Drakonis Dragon 9:7
Mother Maria Estella Flora Castellano Maringuez y Montez
Father Juan Avan Carlos Rivera de Santigo Rodriguez
Siblings Four younger sisters.
Marital Status Married, technically.
Children A son.
First Appearance
Last Appearance

Character History:

When looking back upon his life, Dante could not say that he had made two good decisions in a row at any time. Mind you, this by no means conveyed that he regretted any choice he had ever made, don't get ahead of things now. It was simply that he was perfectly capable of understanding and owning that he had been the orchestrater of his own downfall. Right from the beginning, he'd been trouble. See, if there were two things that Dante Alejandro Esteban Rivera de Santigo Castellano did well, they were making an entrance and never missing a party. If he had waited just a few more weeks, like his mother had intended, everything would have been fine. No, however, Dante would have none of it. So it was at his mother's own birthday party that she went into labor. But the wife of a on of Antiva's Merchant Princes did not simply walk out on her own birthday party. So she'd stayed, talked, danced, drank, for hours even as Dante insisted that now was the time for him to come into the world. If there was one thing Dante had never managed to do, however, it was to be more stubborn than his own mother. So while she did duck from the party a little early, and Dante arrived not but an hour after her doing so, she saw her party through, her son, and first child, be damned.

Which really explains the whole of Dante's childhood quite well. His parents were busy people, he was a right sight older than any of his siblings, and Dante was incorrigible. The maids tried to keep him in line, his tutors tried to hone his focus, his governess was… Well, the dear woman tried. Everyone tried so much for Dante. But he had better ideas, sneaking out to run in the family vineyards, disrupting work. Breaking into his mother's things, going through old letters because it amused him. Slipping his way to his parents' parties that he was too young for. (Really, Dante and parties, there was no talking him out of it.) And chide him though everyone did, because if Antiva's wine market relied on these little, wild shoulders, Maker save them, Dante never listened. As he got older, and his parents got more weary, he'd sneak further. Over the Estate walls three houses down, to flirt with the merchant's daughters that lived there. Serenades from atop the wall, flowers delivered after he climbed a trellis, little notes hidden around their garden for them to find. He'd gotten kisses from all three of the sisters by the time he was fourteen.

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No, the only person Dante ever listened to was his father's military commander, Marco. He was a terrifying man, but not built like one might expect a soldier to be. No, his art was in assassination. And any other allegiances the man may have had, Dante never, ever asked. He served his father dutifully, commanded troops with a tactician's brilliance, and made sure that those forces they faced had no one to lead them. It was a beautiful, painfully Antivan, method of doing his business. And in this time of Civil War in Antiva, it was the only way that Dante's family kept their holdings. And as Dante got older, and Marco noted the young man's penchant for scaling walls and sneaking out of the house, no matter how well locked down he was thought to be, he got the idea that perhaps the young man could be honed by a different sort of task. As is only appropriate to any noble (or as close to as was reasonable in Antiva) son, Dante had been taught the art of the blade, but Marco. Marco taught him to be an assassin, something that could only ever be lauded as it was in Antiva. He took to it like a fish to water, it gave him purpose, and it quieted much of his need to act out.

For awhile, his family praised the Maker that their son had been shown the light. Perhaps it was messier work than a future Merchant Prince might want to get involved in, but if it worked, they wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. Things really might have been looking up for Dante then. His mother, with him finally settled, even set to looking for appropriate marriage prospects for him. Which, mind, was of a good bit of importance. All of Dante's four younger siblings? All sisters, two of which had insisted on joining the Chantry when they were twelve. It was just… Dante needed to be the heir. There was not another good option, even if the eldest child had no want of such things.

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Besides, he had a reputation to maintain, right? Finally at the age of being a socialite, Dante partied wildly. He broke hearts across Antiva City. But it was this socialite nature of that had him meet Isadora. A common girl who looked anything but common. A curtain of hair like midnight, eyes like emerald, and though she was just a washer girl, Dante was smitten. And she was shrewd. She knew him from the moment that he walked over and said hello, and knew him for what he was too. She let him flirt, let him weave a rose into her hair, let him put an arm around her waist, but when he leaned to kiss her, she was gone in a twirl of skirt and all Dante was left with the sound of her laugh and the smell of her rose-touched soap. It was maddening. And she played this game of chase with him for months, little chance meetings that were not chance at all, accepting little gifts, leaving him with little tokens. Which is precisely when his mother found him a prospective wife. An alliance that would bind their house to one of the other side of the civil war, a little of corner of peace that could be forged if Dante would but agree. His mother had played a masterful game to even make it happen. And Dante spooked, said he would answer when he returned from the war. Said he was going off to be in the military, that he would marry when he got back, that it would break his heart to leave a widow when he was so young. And while his mother fumed, his father encouraged him. Martial discipline had been the only thing that had ever worked in taming his son. It would just have to do now. But when he returned to Isadora to tell her, she insisted that she would not lose him without being his wife. And damnit, Dante was good at bad decisions. So he married her, a small, secret ceremony in a country Chantry. And then he went off to fight.

Damnable idiot he was, he thought he would explain to his family when he came home. That they would be happy just to have him home alive. That, after knowing their son had been off to the war, what could come between them? Well, his time in the military was short lived. Only a few short months, when his commander received a letter. A letter that said it was from his prospective wife, the one his mother had found, stating that he needed to come home. That the timeline for the wedding needed to be moved up. That she was with child. But the code in the letter, stolen from passed notes over months of flirting, Dante knew it was from Isadora. Dante was sent home, and though he implored Isadora to let him go back, she would hear none of it.

What Isadora had not accounted for, however, was that the commander would send Dante's family a letter of congratulations on their next generation. And Dante's mother, knowing well that he had never even met his future bride, knew immediately that something was amiss. But this marriage opportunity could not be interfered with. Not after the political twisting his mother had to do to secure it. Not in this climate in Antiva. It was too much of a risk. But when pushed, Dante snapped that he could not marry, for he was wed already, and produced the Mother who had performed the ceremony as proof.

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It was then that Dante was given a choice. Tell his parents the identity of this girl he had foolishly married, this common girl, so they could make her little complication cease and he could be a sensible son who would marry the woman to which he was intended. Or he could leave. They would send him from Antiva. Spin some tale of his death, a loss to the war, an assassination. And he would never see his inheritance, never see Antiva again. Throw away his life or condemn his wife and child to death. And so he chose to leave, booked passage on a pirate vessel that would ask no questions. Which suited him just fine. Questions were just bitter. Anywhere he wanted, that was the passage his family would pay for. But Dante didn't care where they went, so when landfall was finally had in Kirkwall, it suited him just as well as anywhere. But Dante had never been destitute in all his life, and he did not know how to live like that.

What he did know how to do, though, was understand the value of a sovereign. And, well, he had never been the most dignified creature. So whoring was simple enough. The Blooming Rose was hiring, he was attractive enough, and his accent meant he could charge a fee for exocitism. Joy. He did well enough for himself, it let him eat, and he didn't hate the work. But a few weeks after he started work at the Rose, another skill of his came in handy. See, being taught the art of an assassin means you can spot them, too. So when one came for a client in the salon, and Dante pulled a dagger from his boot and stopped that before it got anywhere… Well, he thought he was going to get scolded for getting involved, but it turns out the meeting in the back that he was pulled to was one for the Coterie. Apparently said client had been some sort of big shot. Figured. They paid as well as whoring, and let him use skills that were turning rusty. So between the two, Dante's… Actually doing pretty well for himself.

Personality

Dante is a walking bad decision. It has been true since the moment he was born, and it is no less true now. Time, and loss, have given him a weariness that he did not have but two years ago, but yet still the man just doesn't seem to have his life together. Oh, sure, he's charming. Painfully, flirtatiously charming, the very epitome of what people think of when they think 'Antivan,' but it's all a show. The white leather, the fine fabrics, the heady oils, they're all props. And he plays the part well, with smiles and dance and Antivan grandeur that cannot be doubted, but it is all for the love of coin.

Under the cologne and the performance, there is a different man. A man well aware of every mistake he has ever made, and yet unable to cease making them. A man that misses his home, his wife, who regrets not knowing his son. In truth, that man, jaded by his own choices, is refined and well put together. The teachers of all his tutors did not fall on wholly deaf ears, and for those who know how to look for it, the noble upbringing he received can be perceived under the flamboyancy.

Timeline

  • Drakonis 2 9:7 Dragon Dante is born in Antiva City.
  • 9:21 Dragon Dante begins training as an Assassin under the tutelage of Marco, his father's military commander.
  • 9:23 Dragon Finally at the age of such things, Dante enters the social scene of Antiva City, and makes quite the wild reputation for himself.
  • Bloomingtide 9:30 Dragon Dante meets Isadora, and falls quickly and hopelessly in love.
  • Kingsway 9:30 Dragon Dante's mother presents him with a marriage proposal from a powerful family.
  • Harvestmere 9:30 Dragon Dante declines the proposal for a time, saying that he intends to join the fight in the Civil War occurring in Antiva.
  • Firstfall 9:30 Dragon Dante marries Isadora in secret, and then goes off to war.
  • Drakonis 9:31 Dragon Receiving a letter, Dante leaves the military, learning that Isadora is carrying his child.
  • Cloudreach 9:31 Dragon Dante is disowned, and sent from Antiva.
  • Justinian 9:31 Dragon Dante arrives in Kirkwall, and takes up working at the Rose.
  • August 10 9:31 Dragon Dante's son is born in Antiva, though he does not know this fact.
  • Solace 9:31 Dragon An encounter in the Rose leads to Dante working with the Coterie.

Other Information

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Camila is a green cheeked conure that Dante has had for a good many years. She's a mischievous little shit, but loves Dante dearly, and is generally very friendly to anyone who treats him nicely.

Memorable Quotes:

Trivia and Notes: