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The Orlesians have a saying: You must dance with the dowager if you want to play the Game. ―Lady Alcyone[1]

Dowager Lady Mantillon, or Lady Mantillon, is a deceased Orlesian noblewoman of renown. A master player and gatekeeper of the Grand Game, she had a reputation for manipulating others to suit her own goals, as well as rewarding those players who impressed her.

Background Edit

Lady Mantillon was mistress to Emperor Florian before turning to his niece, the future Empress Celene I, as successor. She became a mentor and powerful influence upon the girl during Celene's rise to power after her parents' deaths. Though not seemingly a ruler herself, Lady Mantillon moved behind the scenes of many political situations in Orlais during her life. She instructed many in the bardic arts; not only in terms of cunning and manipulation, but also in combat skills like archery and knifework.[3]

Involvement Edit

Dragon Age: The Masked Empire Edit

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Following the death of Celene's mother by Grand Duke Gaspard's wife and the death of her father, Prince Reynaud, by a poisoned dagger, Lady Mantillon sent her son as one of many suitors for the girl's hand. Though Celene ultimately rejected the offer of marriage, Lady Mantillon was impressed by her social finesse and ability to handle multiple offers of marriage without tipping her hand. She befriended the young heir and took her under her wing as a protégé.[4]

Both agreed privately that current Emperor Florian was weak and would drag Orlais into chaos. Celene suggested to Lady Mantillon that he needed to die quickly rather than live on to beleaguer the Empire. To hide the girl's part in Florian's murder, Lady Mantillon suggested to Celene that assassins remove anyone who might know of the plot and could be bribed, including her servants--and Briala's parents. This would conveniently win Celene sympathy and make her an unlikely suspect in the murder.[5] Celene agreed to this.

Lady Mantillon was later murdered by Briala in her coach, as revenge for her parents' deaths. Lady Mantillon made several covert attempts to kill Briala after being mortally wounded, then questioned Briala's motives for killing her and returning to Celene. After hearing that Briala wanted only to empower Celene's rule and ironically to prevent her--too late--from becoming like Lady Mantillon, the noblewoman died with a satisfied smile after confessing her regret over the deaths of Briala's mother and father. Though she intended to strike one last time at Briala she withheld the blow, knowing the elven woman must not realize the whole of the treachery being avenged, and that Briala would be the perfect tool to ensure Celene's success as Empress despite the unknown cost to her own family.[6]

As a master of the Game, Lady Mantillon also, through the years, gave gifts to those who impressed her. Celene was given a puzzle ring for her masterstroke in ordering Florian's death and securing Briala's support. Grand Duke Gaspard de Chalons was also given one for ordering a man's death as part of the Game and proving his worth to Lady Mantillon.[7]

Trivia Edit

References Edit

  1. Codex entry: Portrait of the Dowager
  2. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pg. 362.
  3. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, p. 185.
  4. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pg. 361.
  5. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pg. 362-363.
  6. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pg. 236-238.
  7. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pg. 337.

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