- “So we should take everything the humans say at face value? We're all lazy, vulgar, thieves then? That's what they say, isn't it?”
Shianni was born in a freehold beyond the Elven Alienage in Denerim. When her mother died of a fever when the girl was six, Shianni's uncle Cyrion Tabris came to take her there to live. She mourned her mother and dreamed of her father returning for her, imagining him as a Dalish warrior who would take her away and teach her how to be a true elf.
In time she grew to love the Denerim alienage, however, and even Hahren Valendrian, who initially frightened her. To help with her adjustment and fears about moving to the city, Cyrion gave her a stuffed mabari toy belonging to the City elf Warden when he brought her to Denerim.
Shianni did not appear to desire marriage, and a suitable spouse was never found. She did, however, come to love the alienage and its people, who became her new family and friends. The injustice and squalor of the city elves' lives also fueled her passion to improve their lot as well as sparking her confidence, and she refused to let herself or her loved ones be taken advantage of by humans or even other elves. Personal tragedies served only to strengthen her resolve, and never broke her spirit.
In the City Elf Origin, Shianni is the elf who wakes up the City Elf at the beginning, reminding them that today is their wedding day. Shianni is later seen getting into trouble with the son of the Arl of Denerim, Vaughan, which escalates when she knocks out Vaughan with a wine bottle. When Vaughan and his friends later disrupt the City Elf's wedding and kidnap all the women present, Shianni is among the abducted. She is later found in a room with Vaughan and his friends. At this point, the City Elf may choose to make a deal with Vaughan in letting him go with Shianni and Soris' bride, or to kill him which could have cause trouble for the whole Alienage. Regardless of what the City Elf chooses, Shianni has been already raped.[note]
If the Warden is human, she will be particularly abrasive to them, though she will become somewhat friendlier if they freed Soris from the Arl of Denerim's Estate earlier on. She is one of the few people within the Alienage who believes foul play is involved with the so called "quarantine".
If the Warden is a city Elf, Shianni will mention the wedding, which will generate a comment of surprise if the love interest of the Warden is in the party at the same time. She will also gift the Dawn Ring as a thanks to the Warden if the Alienage is defended during The Final Battle.
- Shianni's rape is confirmed when King Cailan asks about the Denerim Alienage and the City Elf Warden can respond "I killed an arl's son for raping my friend".
- "Touch me and I'll gut you, you pig!"
- (to other elves during Unrest in the Alienage): "Didn't the wedding teach you people anything? Nobody is coming here to help us. We have to help ourselves."
- "Andraste's ass, you'd think I'd learn some social graces!"