- “Our mistakes make us who we are.”
Isabela is the libidinous former captain of the pirate ship The Siren's Call. She can teach the Duelist specialization to the Warden in Dragon Age: Origins, and is a companion and romance option for either male or female Hawke in Dragon Age II.
Isabela's birth name is Naishe. She is originally from Rivain, but has traveled far and visited many places during her life. Her mother converted to the Qun during the Qunari occupation of Rivain and sold Isabela into marriage with an associate of the Antivan Crows, Luis when she refused to convert. Luis was a rich man, buying Isabela many fine things, and so she went along with the marriage. He never hit her, but the marriage was loveless and she was treated like a plaything as she claims. However, she had Luis assassinated by Zevran Arainai after he asked her to "entertain" his friends. She then stole Luis' ship, The Siren's Call, and took up the pirate's life. Isabela became extremely promiscuous, and soon became a feared raider.
Dragon Age: Origins
Isabela can be found at The Pearl. Her ship is staying in Denerim to let her men fill up on supplies and other "pleasures". Zevran knows her from before and—if brought along—will announce that she is the "Queen of the Eastern Seas and the sharpest blade in Llomerryn".
In order to convince Isabela to teach the Duelist specialization, there are two options: Beat her in a game of cards, or "get to know each other better" by following her to bed.
To beat Isabela in the card game, the Warden will have to be dexterous enough to catch her cheating or subtle enough to cheat. If Zevran or Leliana are in the party, they can also help the Warden to win, but will only offer assistance if their approval is high enough.
For Isabela to take the Warden up on his/her offer to get to know her better, the Warden will have to be persuasive (Coercion * 25 + Cunning bonus must be at least 75, so three points in coercion by itself will do the trick regardless of cunning). If the Warden is in a romance (love) with Morrigan, an unhardened Leliana or an unhardened Alistair, then the Warden's romance partner will publicly disapprove and Isabela will not go to bed with the Warden. However, if either Leliana or Alistair is not only in a love-relationship with the Warden but has also been "hardened" following their personal quests, then they will actually join in the fun for a threesome (or possibly a foursome) and their approval will increase. If Zevran is in the party, Isabela will invite him as well (regardless of his relationship status with the Warden). If the Warden accepts, Zevran's approval will increase. Nevertheless Zevran will decline the offer if Alistair is included. The following combinations are thus possible:
- Isabela-Warden-Alistair (female Warden only)
Reactions and Approval
- If Leliana has been flirted with but her personality has not been hardened by the time Isabela is spoken to, she will get jealous and ask, "What about us?", which will cause Isabela to take back her offer to sleep with the Warden.
- If the Warden is female but not in a relationship with Alistair, he will wonder if he's dreaming, and then say that he's going to jump in the ocean. This doesn't occur if Leliana or Zevran joins in.
- Morrigan is not nearly as open-minded about Isabela as the other romanceable companions. She will strongly disapprove if Isabela is bedded and tell the Warden to rinse off the stench after they are done "rolling around in the gutter". If the Warden is romantically involved with Morrigan a different dialogue occurs. Morrigan gets furious and states that she will not touch the Warden again if he goes through with it. The Warden will not be allowed to bed Isabela in this case. (The only way then is to make sure she is not in the party).
- (If the Warden is female and Oghren is in the party, he will faint if the Warden and Leliana go to bed with Isabela.
Inviting a companion to bed with Isabela nets the following approval changes:
- Alistair approves (+2)if he joins.
- Leliana approves (+4)if she joins and the Warden is female.
- Zevran approves (+7)if Isabela's invitation for him to join is accepted.
- Zevran disapproves (-3)if Isabela's invitation for him to join is denied
Dragon Age II
Isabela plays a major role in Dragon Age II as a companion.
"Isabela is the pirate scourge of two coastlines, four nations, and countless tavern floors. She's equally skilled with dagger and insult, and it's hard to know which cuts deeper. It's rare to see her in one place for long, but with her ship reduced to timbers, Isabela's had to content herself with whatever bounty Kirkwall has to offer. And that means no end of headaches for the rich and foolish, and no end of amusement for her. She's as desired as she is feared, which is to say, a lot and often. Fall on her blade, or at her feet—a win is a win, in her book. Shipwrecked, hounded, Isabela hasn't decided if she's cornered yet. She's having too much fun." Isabela is a Rogue class fighter, which means she's fast, agile, and prefers to strike quickly and get out.
In Dragon Age II Isabela is first encountered at an inn named "Hanged Man" where she engages in a brawl with a couple of bandits. She will only appear after recruiting Anders. It is also possible to never recruit or meet her as she does not directly impact the outcome of the game. However, she is involved in the arishok battle, and affects that mission heavily. Varric will mention her during party chatter even if Hawke has not met her.
Isabela is no longer a Captain, as her ship, along with its crew, were lost at the reefs near Kirkwall during a heavy storm. She worked as a smuggler, but had fallen out of favor with the crime leader Castillon. Castillon hired Isabela to supervise a shipment, but the suspicious Isabela soon discovered the "cargo" was in fact Blight refugees that Castillon had sold as slaves. She freed the slaves and, in punishment, Castillon ordered her to retrieve a valuable relic to make up for her disobedience. However, once she had the relic her ship was wrecked in a storm. She lost her ship, crew, and the relic. When Isabela is first encountered, she will reveal she has so far been unsuccessful in finding the relic again and one of Castillon's men is hounding her for it. Hawke and company can agree to help Isabela in her quest by escorting her to meet Hayder, the employee of Castillon. After a failed ambush attempt by Hayder's men, the group tracks Hayder to the Chantry and kills him. Isabela concludes that as long as she provides Castillon with the relic before he finds her, he will be satisfied.It's possible that Isabela will permanently leave the party at the end of the quest to retrieve the Qunari relic called the Tome of Koslun near the end of Act 2. It turns out that Isabela stole the tome from the Orlesians, who were giving it back to the Qunari. While fleeing a pursuing Qunari dreadnought, both it and Isabela's ship were caught in a storm and shipwrecked. If romanced, or having a high enough friendship or rivalry, she will return at the end of the same act to return the relic to the Qunari, saying that Hawke's influence was what made her come back. It is at this point that the opportunity presents itself to surrender her to the Qunari, or to duel the Arishok for her life. Defeating the Arishok will cause Isabela to rejoin the party with the option of continuing her romance.
Friendship and rivalry
- See the approval page for more information.
Isabela values fun, freedom and getting ahead; she responds well to sarcasm. Jokes, flirting and Hawkes who solve problems in particularly clever and devious ways will delight her. She also approves if Hawke is slightly selfish in dealing with other people, trying to squeeze a little extra money out of them.
Getting involved in other people's business tends to annoy Isabela, so helping a character just for the sake of helping and not asking for a reward will often earn her ire. She also generally disapproves of rules and authority and attempts by Hawke to enforce rules on other people (especially her).
Another thing to note is that in some cases, Isabela will also respond well to Hawke's decision to not get involved at all in matters of no immediate concern to Hawke or his companions. Butting in to personal discussions, disagreements, and the like will sometimes irk Isabela. This is especially true with people Hawke has never met before.
Isabela was the first romance option announced for both male and female Hawke.
It is possible to pursue a romance through proper dialogue in Act 2 and eventually solidify it in the final moments of Act 3. However, like Fenris, Isabela will not move into the Hawke Estate.
In Act 2, talk to her in the Hanged Man and choose all the possible flirt options for both quests. The quests will be available from the start of the Act, and afterwards she will approach Hawke in their estate. If Hawke chooses to engage in the romance scene, she will be reluctant to bring love into their relationship. Isabela will state that they were merely "rutting" and that her "curiosity is sated" and will ask if Hawke intended something more. Hawke then has two dialogue options: "Why not?" and "Of course not." The first opens up an option to continue the romance, and Isabela will then reveal the circumstances of her past: her mother sold her into marriage to her husband for a goat and some coins against her will. She was forced to remain with him until Zevran assassinated him, allowing her to take over the ship and become captain herself. Isabela will also reveal that she has only truly loved someone once, a man of unknown name, but it only broke his heart in the end. Though she will seem annoyed at Hawke for questioning her, she will walk away with +10 friendship if she is asked (or +10 rivalry, if the romance is based on rivalry).
Note: Isabela should be questioned about love ("Why not?") in order to get the Romantic achievement. In some circumstances, failing to do so by selecting "Of course not" locks Hawke and Isabela in a quasi-romance where other characters will remark on their relationship, but the achievement will not be gained and later romance scenes may not occur. It is also possible that Isabela may not show up to comfort Hawke after All That Remains. When romanced, it is possible that Isabela's outfit change will not occur. For a solution see the Bugs section.
If Isabela is romancing Hawke she will return at the end of Act 2 with the Tome of Koslun. If Hawke kills the Arishok rather than let him take her, she will argue with Hawke and leave Kirkwall, telling the Champion "I didn't do it for them. I did it for you. It was always about you." Isabela spends some time away from Kirkwall, returning just before the start of Act 3. She feels that returning the relic to the Qunari was a foolish decision and partially blames Hawke for getting her in more trouble with Castillon. After her quest is finished, she offers Hawke a position on her new ship, admitted if someone like Hawke was on board her old one, she would likely never have crashed. She then admits nervously she thinks she is falling for Hawke and asks if Hawke feels the same way, which the Champion can accept or deny.
If Hawke has engaged in a rivalry romance and told her to keep the ship, she will admit regretting to do so. If she was not allowed to have it, she'll say that she is happy that Castillon is gone, and that she feels good about avenging the people he wronged. She then will say she is willing to change "for you", if she is given some time. The rest of the dialogue is the same as the friendship romance.
At the end of the game, Varric says all the companions separated from Hawke, "except Isabela of course."
Also of note, If any other of the romance options move in with Hawke it will automatically end Isabela's romance. Meaning, it is possible to sleep with other characters as long as they don't move in with Hawke. Sometimes a bug occurs which causes Varric to state in the epilogue that Isabela remained with Hawke, even if another companion was romanced at the game's end.If neither Isabela nor Fenris are romanced, they will take up an off-screen physical relationship in Act 3, though there appear to be no emotions involved.
Like most of Hawke's companions, Isabela may either remain with Hawke for the whole game, or leave the party at an approval-related crisis point - though in Isabela's case, the question is not whether she will leave the party, as she always does, but rather whether she will return to it, and whether Hawke will take her back once she does. In order for her to return to the party at the climax of Act 2, she must have a Friendship or Rivalry score of fifty or greater, and her final Act 2 companion quest. If romanced, she will return even if Questioning Beliefs was not completed. On this path, Isabela will either stay permanently at a (successfully romanced) Hawke's side, or disperse to an unknown fate after the epilogue like Hawke's other companions.If Isabela leaves with the Tome, she makes it to Ostwick, and then continues her old life of piracy. If she is given to the Qunari, Varric will say that he heard she escaped the Qunari two days later with the book by jumping into the ocean, but he says he does not know if this is true or not.
Dragon Age: The Silent Grove
Isabela accompanies Varric and King Alistair to Antiva City, where they infiltrate the headquarters of the Antivan Crows. After meeting Prince Claudio Valisti - a former "business partner" of Isabela's late husband - Isabela warns Alistair to not trust a word Claudio says.
Isabela assists in infiltrating Velabanchel, and - along with Varric - holds off the Antivan Crows while Alistair goes after his target.
Isabela captains the ship she and her companions use to escape Velabanchel, later navigating through the Tellari swamps. She is the first to attempt to defend Alistair from attack from Yavana's high dragon.
While leaving the swamps following their meeting with Yavana in the Silent Grove, Isabela is pierced by an arrow. Claudio Valisti turns out to be the culprit, and kidnaps Alistair in exchange for Isabela and Varric's lives. Isabela swears to hunt Claudio down and kill him.After retreating to the Silent Grove, Isabela demands that Yavana save Alistair. The witch replies that it is not her concern, but Varric bargains with her. Yavana places a mysterious enchantment on the pair, healing Isabela's wound. The two then storm Claudio's camp. Isabela engages Claudio in a duel. Claudio insists that Isabela was not good enough for her late husband - Luis - and that she is trying to seduce Alistair to become queen of Ferelden. He also says that she was dragged out of the gutter because of her marriage, and that Luis lavished her with wine and silks, and after bedding him and whispering kind words in his ear for many nights she had him assassinated. Claudio bests Isabela, and is about to deliver the killing blow when she cuts of his hand, slits his throat and stabs him through the heart.
Dragon Age: Those Who Speak
While in Dragon Age: The Silent Grove all events were described by Alistair, in this comic series Isabela is the one who tells the story. She accompanies Alistair in his pursuit for Aurelian Titus as a hired hand and a confidante.
They travel to a Tevinter city and attend a ball, where she meets a person she appears to be familiar with - Lord Devon. She seems to have a long-lasting hatred for him. Devon in his turn is surprised that she is alive. In a conversation "eye-to-eye" he mentions that Isabela owes him and threatens to reveal to Alistair what happened at the Venefication Sea. She intimidates him into silence by drawing out her dagger. Finally, Aurelian Titus arrives. Alistair confronts him, but he flees, leaving his minions to fight for him. The last of them occasionally wounds Devon. Isabela knocks Devon's offender unconscious to the floor, but as he is muttering thanks she stabs Devon in his chest. She tells her companions that he was killed by Titus's man.
Varric tricks the location of Aurelian's home on Seheron from a captured cultist, and Isabela orders to sail to the island. She keeps the crew terrified by telling them scary stories about horn-headed fanatics. They spot two Qunari dreadnoughts on the horizon and prepare to fight.
The trio are captured by the Qunari and Isabela is kept in a cell separately from Varric and Alistair. She is interrogated by Rasaan, a tamassran who repeatedly demands that Isabela tell her her true name. Rasaan threatens Isabela with qamek (a substance used to turn prisoners into mindless slaves), but still Isabela refuses to reveal anything. After Rasaan tries to gently persuade Isabela that there is a place for her within the Qunari, Isabela begins to open up about her past.
She reveals that her mother was a Qunari convert who sold Isabela into marriage when Isabela refused to convert. Following her husband's death, Isabela joined a feared pirate armada, but began to have doubts when she discovered that the fleet transported slaves.
When the Orlesian navy one day cornered the ships, Isabela ordered the crew to drown the slaves in order to escape the Orlesians. The second time the armada transported slaves, Isabela freed them and took a job to steal the Tome of Koslun. Rasaan comforts Isabela though when she still refuses to reveal her name, Rasaan strikes her and forces her face into the qamek. This would in effect make her viddath-bas rather than viddathari, as conversion to the Qun would be involuntary for Isabela.In the third volume while fighting Rasaan Isabela reveals that her name was Naishe.
Isabela duels Rasaan after escaping her and her assistants, and claiming she would rather die than be like her, in a scene paralleling Alistair's simultaneous duel with Sten/the Arishok.
Act 1Fools Rush In Isabela's Contact
Act 2Isabela's Ongoing Search Questioning Beliefs Isabela's Apology A Ship for Isabela (gift) To Catch a Thief
Act 3Isabela's Regret No Rest for the Wicked Questioning Beliefs A Rivaini Talisman (gift)
Mark of the AssassinPirates and their Curses A Map of Sorts
- A model ship can be found in a chest during the quest Blackpowder Courtesy in Act 2 when traveling through the smuggler's caves (in a chest near some stairs).
- Rivaini Talisman can be found in Act 3 in the Disused Passage at the Docks.
- Main article: Companion armor
Upgrades to Threads of the Eastern Seas (Isabela's armor) can be found at the following locations:
- Act 2: Supportive Corselet, purchased at Robes by Jean Luc in Hightown. Extra rune slot.
- Act 2: Rigid Boning, purchased at Apparel Shop (Tailor) in Lowtown. +38 defense.
- Act 2: Lambswool Insoles, found at the Lost End Foundry in Lowtown during the "To Catch a Thief" quest, in a crate in one of the upstairs rooms. +2% critical chance.
- Act 3: Boiled Leather Plates, found in a Mountain Cave during the A Murder of Crows quest, on a skeleton near the entrance. Extra rune slot.
If Isabela is romanced, she will update her outfit with a black corset, added goldwork embroidery to the bottom hem of her sash, a red scarf around her right bicep, and replaces the leather pauldron on her left shoulder with a metal one.
Isabela specific gearBackstabber
Damage: 8 physical damage
(15 per second) - One of Isabela's two starting daggers. Heartbreaker
Damage: 8 physical damage
(15 per second) - One of Isabela's two starting daggers. Lady's Choice
+5% attack speed
+14% damage resistance
Immunity to knockback
Improves with level-up - Requires Rogue Item Pack 1 DLC The Pearl
+(0.4 + 0.04 * LVL) cunning
+(4 + 0.1 * LVL)% critical chance
+(10 + 0.25 * LVL)% critical damage
+(8 + 0.4 * LVL)% magic resistance
Improves with level-up - Requires Rogue Item Pack 2 DLC Dagger of the Four Winds
Requires: Dual Weapon
Damage: (1.6 + 1.68 * LVL) electricity damage
((1.85 * DMG) per second)
- Requires Mark of the Assassin DLC Badge of the Felicisima Armada
+(0.1 * DEF(LVL)) defense
+(8 + 0.2 * LVL)% critical damage
(0.8 + 0.1 * LVL)% chance to stealth when hit - Requires Mark of the Assassin DLC
- Main article: Isabela/Dialogue
- "Sailing is like sex. If you do it wrong, you will get sick... but do it right, and there's no feeling in the world like it."
- "Ah the blooming rose. Where people come... and then go."
- "And then Isabela went to the Chantry, and saw that it was...boring. Canticle of Isabela, stanza one, verse one."
- "You smell that? Smells like repression, doesn't it? (in the Chantry)"
- '"Hmm... apostate prostitutes? ...Apos-titutes! (Laughs)"
- "Our mistakes make us who we are."
- "Ah, the Hanged Man. Sometimes you want to be where everybody knows your name."
- '"A warehouse? I don't like being led around. Unless leashes are involved. And they're not."
- "Your death toll is approaching natural disasters. (After combat)"
- "I like big Boats, I cannot lie."
- "A sneer on your lip, but want in your eye."
- "I'm sorry, I don't speak never-gets-sex-again." (both when speaking to commoners)
- "Why must it always be ancient horrors? Why can't it be fabulous treasure once in a while?"
- "Aveline, if you shove your thumb up his ass, I win."
- "Wait. I’m helping the Qunari recover some priceless artifact? Oh, the irony."
- "Step 1: Go to Velasco. Step 2: Something exciting happens. Step 3: Profit."
- Isabela was written by Sheryl Chee.
- Ironically her name means "devoted to God" in Hebrew, when she has no respect for religions.
- If you don't recruit Isabela during Act 1 the game will continue normally. All that happens is that you will never find out what kind of Relic was stolen from the Qunari.
- Mika Simmons does not voice Isabela as she did in Origins; this is to reduce confusion as she also voiced Anora in Origins.
- In Dragon Age II, she will remember her sexual encounter with the Warden, or lack thereof, at the Pearl in Origins.
- Isabela's home base is The Hanged Man tavern, more specifically the bar.
- In both Dragon Age games, the player meets Isabela as she is being attacked by three men in a bar brawl, who are handily beaten by her and forced to flee.
- In DAII, the final clip of Isabela putting a knife to someone's throat is a perfect replica of the mugging clip in The Sims Medieval.
- When encountering the Desire Demon in the side quest Night Terrors, upon betraying Hawke, Isabela will say "I like big boats, I cannot lie," a reference to the song Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot.
- Isabela references an erotic novel she has read in party banter.
- Isabela brings up sex in banter with all party members.
- In a party banter with Aveline, she'll make several sexually-based references to Origins, including "Shank your Jory", "Grey your Warden", "Master your Taint", and "Arl your Eamon".
- If you take Isabela into the Deep Roads she may comment nervously on how she "really doesn't like tight spaces", implying that she is claustrophobic.
- The Line "Step 1: We find Velasco. Step 2: Something exciting happens. Step 3: Profit" is a reference to the Underpants Gnomes in the TV show South Park, whose business plan was "Phase 1: Collect underpants. Phase 2: ? Phase 3: Profit."
- Upon meeting King Alistair in Viscount's Keep, Alistair will say that Isabela looks different, to which Isabela will respond "Don't we all." This in probably an in-game joke referring to the changes in character appearance between the games. If imported from Origins where Alistair is exiled or selecting the "No Compromise" backstory, Alistair will be found intoxicated in The Hanged Man, where Isabela and Alistair will not recognize each other. She will say he's been ranting about being the "Prince of Ferelden" all day and he will say she sounds like Morrigan.
- Isabela references Joss Whedon's Mutant Enemy Production with the "Grr. Argh." when speaking of abominations during party banter with Anders. This is said by a monster during the Mutant Enemy Production logo at the ending of every show they produce.
- Despite being from Rivain (hence Varric giving her the nick name of Rivaini) she doesn't appear to know a great deal about the Qun. It is more likely she is from Southern Rivain as Kont-Aar (A Qunari settlement) is located in the North.
- "Fools Rush In" quest title may be a reference to the movie "Fools Rush In", in which Salma Hayek plays a character named Isabel.
- According to David Gaider, Isabela always had dark skin. Gaider says the promo art of her being pale is a marketing error. In Origins, she is actually dark skinned, but the lighting of the game makes her pale. You can check this by putting her model into the model program and seeing it without the game's lighting. 
- The Pearl (amulet) that you receive in the second rogue pack DLC could be a reference to the Pirates of the Caribbean movies or to The Pearl of "Origins".
- In the recruiting quest "Fools Rush In", if the player loots the corpses before instructed, it is impossible to recruit Isabela.
- Every time you go to the Qunari Compound with Isabela she will disappear with an "excuse". However if you speak to her while she is talking, she stops what she's saying and stays with you in the Qunari Compound.
- pc If Hawke has slept with Isabela and slept with Merrill (and after that has chosen to reject Merrill to keep Isabela's romance alive), it will put the former's romance in a sort of a "ghost" state. This means that the romance dialogues still play properly, but in certain situations the game won't acknowledge the fact that it's still active (like making the threesome with Zevran impossible, missing companion interactions, endgame outcomes, etc.).
- This bug can be fixed by using the console commands "runscript zz_app_debug" or "runscript zz_isa_debug" and adjusting Isabela's romance flag to "Active". This has been tested only with the Zevran threesome dialogue which it fixes, but has not been tested with any other situations and it may break other things.
- If Isabela is romanced, her outfit may not properly update to the newer version. Using the Maker's Sigh potion from the Black Emporium to respec her skills will update her outfit, picking up any armor upgrades for her also seems to work. It has been reported that her romance outfit can also be triggered by pressing the "Escape" key right after the bed scene (PC only).
- Prior to patch 1.03, if the Supportive Corselet was purchased before armor change, rune slot didn't properly carry over to the new armor. It would disappear and reappear empty later, at the beginning of Act 3.
- It is possible that Varric will say that she stayed with the Champion, indicating that she was romanced, even if another companion was romanced. This may happen even if she has left the party.
- Varric will mention Isabela on the docks during the Rise of the Qunari quest regardless of whether of not she was recruited in Act 1.
- Occasionally Isabela will turn completely white apart from her face before the final battle in Act 3.
- If the Tome is given to Isabela, it is sometimes possible for you to have a scene with her in the Hawke Estate. This can be triggered by speaking to Dog.
- pcps3 If the Legacy DLC is installed and you sleep with Isabela, but do not pursue a romance she may still receive her romance armor.
Codex EntriesCodex entry: Isabela Codex entry: Isabela - After the Deep Roads Codex entry: Isabela - The Last Three Years
- ↑ Sheryl Chee's Forum Post
- ↑ "Isabela". BioWare. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- ↑ DRAGON AGE 2 DEMO
- ↑ 
- ↑ David Gaider's Forum Post
- ↑ 
- Short story on Isabela in Dragon Age II by Sheryl Chee