- See also: Mantle of the Champion (warrior), Mantle of the Champion (rogue), Mantle of the Champion (mage)
Champion: an honor unique to the Free Marches. Other terms of reverence suffer the stains of their holders, the lingering baggage of office and entitlement. But champion is not an appointment that can be sought. It cannot be owned or willed, and the process by which it is bestowed is not argued through policy or guile. It is earned with blood and sweat and leadership in times of great turmoil. Always worthy, as their deeds are of true importance, a champion is greeted not by debate, but by nods of reverence.
The title was most recently granted in Tantervale, 8:82 Blessed, on the resolution of the bloody expansion of Nevarra. Their king, emboldened by the taking of Perendale and the quick yielding of Hasmal, thought the remainder of the Free Marches as easy claim. He who became the Champion. Cade Arvale of Rivain, did what Orlais had not: He stopped a nation in its tracks. There was blood and barter, but Tantervale is still free against all odds.
There is the contradiction of the honor. Champion is not itself a sign of approval. He or she can be respected or feared, their coming dreaded as much as desired. All that is common is that they have an effect and lives are changed.
Kirkwall now adds to the history of the title, a first for the city, on this 9:34 Dragon. The Qunari are repelled by the means respected or reviled, and it remains to be seen what follows for this Hawke, the Champion of Kirkwall.
—From The Champion: History, Ancient and Current, excerpted by Philliam, a Bard!