- “I will be ready. As the Vessel, and Tevinter's champion.”
There are no records of Calpernia before she was sold into slavery as a child. Calpernia was a name she chose for herself; it comes from the legend of the first Archon of the Tevinter Imperium, Darinius, as his mother was said to be named Calpernia. She was a slave in Minrathous, in service to Magister Erasthenes, a scholar of the Old Gods. Even before her magic manifested, Calpernia showed potential: she taught herself how to read from the books in Erasthenes' library, and learned about the Tevinter Imperium's history. When Calpernia showed signs of magical ability, he reluctantly set aside his studies to teach her to control her new-found powers, though he quickly went back to his tomes. Calpernia chafed under the lack of guidance. She was already passionate about the fate of her homeland, frustrated that the ruling nobility was letting it slowly decay. During her captivity, Calpernia becomes close with a fellow human slave by the name of Marius.One night, Erasthenes was approached by Corypheus, for his relics and writings, as presumed by the Magister. Instead of his knowledge, however, the Elder One was more interested in his slave, Calpernia, whom he took to his side, where she eventually rose to become the leader of the Venatori. She believed the Venatori were the key to saving Tevinter. Her dreams of revitalizing the Imperium included uplifting the enslaved as real citizens. She believed in the worth of people unseen by the powerful and well-remembered her own longing for dignity. Calpernia used her new position to free many slaves, thereby creating a network of spies loyal to her alone in the process.
If the inquisition recruits the Templars...
Calpernia is first encountered leading the Venatori attack on Haven beside her master, Corypheus.Later, Leliana decides to investigate Calpernia. The Inquisitor goes to Val Royeaux to investigate a Tevinter slaver named Vicinius, only to find Vicinius's Home torn apart. Finding three pieces of a memory crystal and reassembling them reveal that Calpernia killed Vicinius for abusing his slaves that she purchased from him. Dagna tinkers with the crystal back at Skyhold, causing it to project recorded images of Corypheus and Calpernia, discussing the latter preparing herself to become a "Vessel". The recording reveals that Calpernia does not entirely trust the Elder One.
With the Venatori scouting elven ruins, Inquisition agents plant half the crystal in Calpernia's camp to spy on her. The next recording details Calpernia request to train at the Shrine of Dumat but Corypheus refuses her, claiming that "only Dumat's faithful may enter". Calpernia then discovers the crystal and smashes it. Nonetheless, the Inquisitor investigates the Shrine to find out what Corypheus is keeping from Calpernia. In the heart of the shrine, the Inquisitor discovers Magister Erasthenes, Calpernia's former master. Erasthenes is bound in a unique binding spell that inflicts tremendous pain whenever he attempts to lie or fails to reveal the entire truth and that his binding is only practice for what Corypheus intends for Calpernia and that Corypheus secretly intends to imprison and bind Calpernia as soon as she became this Vessel, effectively re-enslaving her to his will.
Calpernia leads the bulk of Corypheus' forces in their assault on the Temple of Mythal in the Arbor Wilds. Calpernia confronts the Inquisitor face to face just outside the Temple entrance before entering the Temple with a cohort of Venatori. After fighting through the Elven guardians protecting the Temple, Calpernia is finally cornered by the Inquisitor and their companions who face off against Calpernia and several other Venatori.
The Inquisitor may reveal the Elder One's intent to betray and bind Calpernia as he did her previous owner, Erasthenes if the Shrine of Dumat was investigated. If so, Calpernia demands that the Inquisitor prove their claim, to which they show her a scroll containing the ritual used to bind her old master. After reading the contents of the scroll, a furious Calpernia burns the scroll in a rage before revealing the reasons why she joined the Elder One in the first place: that she desired to see a reborn Tevinter Imperium, free of its corruption. Afterward, Calpernia will leave the Inquisitor's party free access to the Well of Sorrows as she goes to confront her former master, promising to return to Tevinter if she survived.
If the option to battle is taken, Calpernia fights alongside several Venatori as well as demons she summons to her aid while she attacks the Inquisitor with fire-based spells.
Eventually, Calpernia flees to a nearby ledge, proclaiming that she will not fall to the Inquisitor, and flings herself into the abyss below, seemingly falling to her death.
If the inquisition recruits the Mages...
Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit
- "Tevinter was the cradle of civilization. Imagine what her future could be. A crafter of wonders, standing against the savage Qunari. A beacon for all."
Paying the Ferryman Edit
- "It doesn’t have to be this way! The empire used to be different. When a person’s life was spent, it meant something—it bought something. If slaves had a voice the Archon could hear…”
- According to Patrick Weekes, Calpernia quickly became a favorite of the writers due to her intriguing story and personality.
- According to Leliana, Calpernia is named after an ancient Tevinter legend. The Calpurnia of old was a priestess of Dumat and foster-mother to Darinius, the founder of the Imperium.
- According to Dagna, a War Table mission indicates that Calpernia's favorite flavor of tea is mint.
- Calpernia's age is somewhere between the mid to late twenties.
Codex entries EditCodex entry: Letter to a Slaver
- See also: Short Story: Paying the Ferryman