Alistair is a young Grey Warden recruited by Duncan less than six months before the Blight began. Alistair's mother died long ago in childbirth, and after being raised in Redcliffe Castle he was turned over to the Chantry for religious instruction. He began the martial training necessary to become a Templar, the Chantry's military order that watches over the Circle of Magi and hunts down dangerous apostates.
He was found to be ill-suited to a life of religious devotion, however. Alistair is irreverent at the best of times, and his wry sense of humor often put him at odds with his more serious-minded teachers. When Duncan of the Grey Wardens found him, Alistair had not yet taken his vows and was desperately unhappy. Sensing that he had a good and loyal heart, Duncan used the Right of Conscription to force the Chantry to hand Alistair over to the Grey Wardens, and Alistair has never looked back since.
"One good thing about the blight is how it brings people together."
"Well! He's not half as dead as he looks, is he?"
"Here I thought we were getting along so well! I was going to name one of my kids after you - the grumpy one."
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