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“For generations, your family, the Couslands, has stewarded the lands of Highever, earning the loyalty of your people with justice and temperance. When your country was occupied by the Orlesian Empire, your father and grandfather served the embattled kings of your land. Today, your elder brother takes up House Cousland’s banner in service to the Crown—not against the men of Orlais, but against the bestial darkspawn rising in the south.”

The Human Noble Origin is one of six origins available in Dragon Age: Origins. This character begins as the child of the Teyrn of Highever, one of the most powerful nobles in Ferelden. The default name is "Aedan Cousland" if male, "Elissa Cousland" if female. Rogue and Warrior humans start with this origin. For human mage characters, see Magi Origin.


“Some lands are ruled by men and women who believe that they have been elevated to their rank by the Maker Himself, but in Ferelden, rulers must earn their place. The nobility is not suffered gladly, as the Orlesian Empire discovered to its dismay when it attempted to occupy the land.

The Couslands have stewarded the lands of Highever for many generations, dating even to before Ferelden's first king was crowned. They have persevered so long because of their reputation for justice and temperance, as well as their willingness to lead men into battle. With the rise of the darkspawn horde in the south, it thus falls on the Teyrn of Highever to send out the call once again: duty demands that an army be sent to King Cailan's aid at once.

As the Couslands will quickly discover, however, the evil horde to the south is not the only darkness in Ferelden; treachery stalks the halls of Castle Cousland as well.

As a young scion of the Cousland family, the duty of carrying its banner will fall to you. Will you live up to your family's proud heritage? Or will you forge your own path, and damn the consequences?”[1]


Teyrn Bryce Cousland and his oldest son Fergus are preparing to heed King Cailan's call to battle darkspawn at Ostagar. Arl Rendon Howe of Amaranthine waits for his forces to join the teyrn's at Highever. The tardiness of Howe's men is being discussed in the main hall as Fergus' younger sibling (the PC) enters; they are greeted by Arl Howe and Teyrn Cousland, and introduced to Duncan, a senior Grey Warden. Duncan explains his mission and suggests that the PC would be a promising recruit—already knowing this idea will be dismissed by Teyrn Cousland. After being tasked with instructing Fergus to depart immediately with the bulk of the Cousland forces, the PC is intercepted by Ser Gilmore, a knight in Highever's service; Teyrna Eleanor Cousland, the PC's mother, wishes them to collect their dog from the kitchens. After finishing both tasks, the PC heads for bed.

In the night, Arl Howe's "late" men unexpectedly turn on the Couslands, and seize the castle. The PC wakes up, fights a way out of their bedroom, and finds Eleanor, who explains that the teyrn is missing. A quick search will reveal Fergus' son and wife murdered. Teyrna Eleanor, saddened and outraged, suggests retrieving a family heirloom or two. In the main hall, Ser Gilmore, directing the few remaining defenders, says Teyrn Bryce has headed for the kitchen.

In the pantry they find Bryce, gravely wounded and unable to move. Duncan fights his way in and asks to recruit the PC. Bryce relents, wanting his youngest child to tell Fergus what has happened. Duncan offers to save Eleanor too, but she refuses to leave her husband's side, and they are both killed as Duncan and the PC escape.


Father's Task Father's Task
Mischief in the Larder Mischief in the Larder
Howe Treachery Howe Treachery
The Cousland Treasury The Cousland Treasury
Sweet Iona / Sweet Dairren Sweet Iona / Sweet Dairren



Cg ico origin human noble.png

In addition to those selected by the player at character creation, a Human Noble Warden automatically begins with the following:

Initial skills[]

Combat Training Combat Training and either Improved Combat Training Improved Combat Training (Warrior) or Poison-Making Poison-Making (Rogue)

Initial talents[]

Warrior Shield Bash Shield Bash
Rogue Dirty Fighting Dirty Fighting

Initial equipment[]

Armor Leather armor set Leather armor set or Studded Leather armor set Studded Leather armor set

Unique items[]

Family Sword Family Sword
Shield of Highever Shield of Highever
Heavy Maul Heavy Maul or Executioner's Helm Executioner's Helm (randomly looted from a Howe Knight)


"Last of Your Line" achievement trophy

The PC travels with Duncan to Ostagar, where they are greeted by King Cailan. The king mentions that Fergus is in the Korcari Wilds on patrol, but there is no opportunity for the PC to seek him out. (The fate of Fergus is not revealed until the Epilogue.) When the PC first arrives at Ostagar the achievement Last of Your Line will be awarded.

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: Andraste: Bride of the Maker Codex entry: Andraste: Bride of the Maker
Codex entry: Arl Rendon Howe Codex entry: Arl Rendon Howe
Codex entry: Dog Codex entry: Dog
Codex entry: Dogs in Ferelden Codex entry: Dogs in Ferelden
Codex entry: Geography of Ferelden Codex entry: Geography of Ferelden
Codex entry: Highever Codex entry: Highever
Codex entry: History of Ferelden: Chapter 1 Codex entry: History of Ferelden: Chapter 1
Codex entry: Mabari War Hound Codex entry: Mabari War Hound
Codex entry: The Maker Codex entry: The Maker
Codex entry: The Noble Families of Ferelden Codex entry: The Noble Families of Ferelden
Codex entry: Politics of Ferelden Codex entry: Politics of Ferelden
Codex entry: Rat Codex entry: Rat


  • Teyrna Cousland recognises Howe's men by their shields, but very few of those encountered bear shields, let alone this one.
  • After killing the Giant Rats in the Pantry, Ser Gilmore mentions that it "sounds like the start to every bad adventure tale my grandfather used to tell me". This is a reference to "giant rats" being the first enemy fought in many fantasy RPGs.
  • The majority of the Human Noble Origin was written by BioWare lead writer David Gaider.[2]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

  • This origin is the only background which allows the player to marry Alistair or Anora.


  • During Mischief in the Larder, the pantry door leading to the kitchen area may not open or unlock after defeating the rats preventing the opportunity to name Dog. To avoid this, refrain from spamming the Escape key to skip ahead, and let Ser Gilmore initiate the next conversation instead of interacting with him.
  • The northern door of the main hall may become stuck and prevent you from completing the quest. To avoid this, save just after The Cousland Treasury is initiated; make opening that northern door your first priority (after surviving the fights along the way, and before retrieving gear from the treasury) and wait for Ser Gilmore to tell you about the teyrn (rather than attempting to initiate conversation yourself).

See Also[]