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Sailors only care about a very small number of very specific things:
The Sea, Strong Drink, and Booty... both kinds.


Isabela was the 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.[1]

Background

Isabela is originally from Rivain, but has traveled far and visited many places during her life. She was once married to the original owner of The Siren's Call, until he was killed by Zevran for unknown reasons, leading her to inherit the ship. She doesn't seem too regretful over her husband's death, calling him a "greasy bastard", explaining her rather cordial relationship with Zevran. She has picked up a special fighting technique during her travels, one that depends on speed instead of strength. Since she has learned this technique by dueling many different warriors, she calls herself a "duelist".

Involvement

Dragon Age: Origins


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.


IsabelaDAO

Isabela's appearance in 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 from dry land". 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.

Once you have learned the specialization from her, Isabela will no longer be available at The Pearl.

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:

  1. Isabela-Warden
  2. Isabela-Warden-Leliana
  3. Isabela-Warden-Zevran
  4. Isabela-Warden-Alistair (female Warden only)
  5. Isabela-Warden-Leliana-Zevran

Reactions

  • If you have flirted with Leliana but her personality has not been hardened by the time you speak to Isabela, she will get jealous, ask "what about us?", which will trigger Isabela taking back her offer to sleep with the Warden.
  • If you are female but not in a relationship with Alistair, he will wonder if he's dreaming, and then tell you 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 you bed Isabela and tell you to rinse off the stench after you 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) If Oghren is in your party, he will faint if the Warden and Leliana go to bed with Isabela.


Note: There is no cutscene for this activity. The screen will fade to black and the game will pick back up with a very brief bit of playful post-sex banter.

Approval

Inviting one of your companions to bed with Isabela nets the following approval changes:

  • Ico Appr Heart Alistair approves (+2)if he joins.
  • Ico Appr Heart Leliana approves (+4)if she joins and the Warden is female.
  • Ico Appr Heart Zevran approves (+7)if you accept Isabela's invitation for him to join.
  • Ico DisAppr Heart Zevran disapproves (-3)if you deny Isabela's invitation for him to join.

Dragon Age II


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.


Dragon-age-2

Isabela fighting against a Qunari

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."[2] Isabela is a Rogue class fighter, which means she's fast, agile, and prefers to strike quickly and get out. [3]

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. Varric will mention her during party chatter even if you have 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.[4] When you first encounter Isabela, she will reveal she has so far been unsuccessful in finding the relic again and one of Castillion'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. [5]

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 your influence was what made her come back. It is at this point that you have the option to surrender her to the Qunari, or to duel the Arishok for her life. Defeating the Arishok will cause Isabela to rejoin your party with the option of continuing her romance.

Acquisition

In Dragon Age II, Isabela can be found in The Hanged Man during Act 1 after you recruit Anders. Go to the Tavern when no quest is there and you should find her. Talking to her and accepting her request to watch her back in a duel initiates Fools Rush In, at the end of which she joins your party.

It is possible to fully skip recruiting Isabela by not going to the Hanged Man at all, despite the fact that she does develop a major essential plot point later on in the story.

Fate


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.


Like all of Hawke's companions, Isabela may either remain with Hawke for the whole game, or leave to Ostwick at the end of Act 2. 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 you must have completed her final Act 2 dialog quest. If romanced, she will return even if Questioning Beliefs was not completed.

If Isabela leaves with the Tome, she 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.

Romance

Isabella romance armor

Isabela's post-romance look "Threads of the Eastern Seas".

Isabela was the first announced for both male and female Hawke.

You can initially only flirt with Isabela in Act 1, but can later 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 your home.

In Act 2, Isabela will approach you in your home. If you choose to engage in the romance scene, you can question her about love. Isabela will state it was just "rutting" and that her "curiosity is sated". She 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 you questioning her emotions on the matter, she will walk away with +10 friendship if you do (or +10 rivalry, if you are in a rivalry romance).

Of note: you should question Isabela about love in order to get the achievement. In some circumstances, failing to do so keeps you in a quasi-romance where other characters will remark on your relationship, but you won't get the achievement or the outfit change and she may not show up to comfort you after All That Remains. It's also important to note that after you sleep with her and follow through at the inn (i.e. "Questioning Beliefs"), you do need to buy and use a Maker's Sigh or pick up an armor upgrade to trigger the romance outfit change. (Also, see Bugs section.) Both of Isabela's armors are named "Threads of the Eastern Seas" and it is not an item that is looted but auto-equips.

However, you can follow Isabela's lead after the tumble and agree about not having feelings. You still get the achievement, new costume, and +10 friendship. You do have to buy Maker's Sigh or pick up an armor upgrade for isabela to make her costume change.

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 still feels honorably 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 you are in a rivalry romance and you told her to keep the ship, she will admit regretting to do so. If you didn't let her 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 you give her some time. The rest of the dialog 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 romanceable options move in with you 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 you. Sometimes a bug occurs, even if you are in a relationship with someone else in the end it still says "except Isabela of course" **[6]

The following quests have flirtation dialog options with Isabela

Act 1:

Act 2: Isabela's Ongoing Search, Questioning Beliefs - Isabela, A Ship for Isabela

Friendship

Isabela values fun, freedom and getting ahead; she responds well to sarcasm. Jokes, flirting and Hawke if s/he tries to squeeze a little extra coin out of the people they help or who solve problems in particularly clever and devious ways. She also approves if you seem a bit selfish in your dealings with other people. Below are some specific ways to earn Isabela's friendship.


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.


Act 1

Act of Mercy Friendship small (+5) if you agree to kill Ser Thrask for the Apostates
Act of Mercy Friendship small (+5) if you agree to tell Ser Thrask that you killed the Apostates
Bait and Switch Friendship small (+5) if you agree to help Anso in return for payment
Bait and Switch Friendship small (+5) if you demand payment from Fenris in return for helping him deal with Danarius in his mansion
Blackpowder Promise Friendship small (+5) if you agree to help Javaris Tintop in return for payment.
Enemies Among Us Friendship small (+5) If you kill Idunna after questioning her about the magic and blood mages base. Enemies Among Us Friendship small (+5) if you choose to kill Idunna
Finders Keepers Friendship small (+5) if you agree to help retrieve Martin's cargo
Finders Keepers Friendship small (+10) if you tell Martin where the Raiders stored his cargo
The First Sacrifice Friendship small (+5) if you tell Ghyslain to shove off.
Grand Cleric Elthina: When talking to her, choosing the option "That wasn't the Maker." (must not investigate) will give you Friendship small (+5).
Isabela's Contact Friendship small (+5) if you choose the theatre mask (humour) option when meeting Martin for the first time and then agreeing to help him.ps3Icon ps3
Isabela's Contact Friendship small (+10) if you choose to tell Martin where his goods are (green tick).
Loose ends Friendship small (+5) If you let Pryce have the goods and lie to Athenriel, or if you join the mercenaries, don't kill Harriman and then lie to Meeran.
Magistrate's Orders Friendship small (+15) if you kill the criminal hiding in the Ruined Passage.
Wayward Son Friendship small (+5) if you tell Feynriel that there must be an alternative to joining the Circle and in the end tell him that he should do what he thinks is best.
The Unbidden Rescue Friendship small (+5) if you say "This is not a matter of my concern" after returning Seamus to his father.


Act 2

Hawke Estate: Sleep with Isabela (requires previous flirt, and existing friendship): Friendship small (+10)
Isabela's Ongoing Search: Flirt with her: Friendship small (+25)
The Long Road: Friendship small (+10) if you tell Aveline "No excuses! Arrange a patrol."
Fool's Gold: Friendship small (+5) if you refuse to help Yevhen.

Questioning Beliefs - Isabela: Friendship small (+20) If you choose the humorous/aggressive/flirt options.

Unofficial guide on Isabela can be found here: http://social.bioware.com/419394/blog/17005/

Rivalry

Getting involved in other people's business tends to annoy Isabela, so helping an NPC 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). Below are some specific ways to earn Isabela's rivalry.


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.


Act 1

Bait and Switch: Agree to help Fenris without accusing him of tricking you Rivalry small (+5)
Enemies Among Us: Rivalry small (+5) if you hand Keran over to the templars
Finders Keepers: Rivalry small (+10) if you refuse to tell Martin the location of his cargo.
The First Sacrifice: Rivalry small (+5) if you agree to help Ghyslain.
The First Sacrifice: When talking to Emeric after the fight in the meeting place, choose "Can I help in any way" Rivalry small (+5)
Get Back to Work: Offer the workers a raise Rivalry small (+5)
Isabela's Contact: When accepting the quest choose "I'm not a charity" Rivalry small (+10)
Magistrate's Orders: Rivalry small (+15) if you take the criminal back to the city.
Kirkwall Chantry:Rivalry small (+5) If you choose the pious reply when discussing the blight with Grand Cleric Elthina. (Note that this option is only available if you do not Investigate)

Act 2

A Bitter Pill: After the ambush, tell Fenris "Now they're dead" or "Calm down" Rivalry small (+5)
A Bitter Pill: Tell Orana to come work for you and tell Fenris that you plan to pay her Rivalry small (+5)
Hawke Estate: Sleep with Isabela (requires previous flirt, and existing rivalry Rivalry small (+10)
The Long Road: Have Isabela in your party when you meet Donnic at the Hanged man. Choose "A friendly ultimatum" when talking to Aveline for Rivalry small (+10)
Fool's Gold: Rivalry small (+5) if you agree to help Yevhen.
Isabela's Apology: Call her a backstabber and accuse her of making excuses Rivalry small (+10)
Prime Suspect: Rivalry small (+5) if you let Gascard live

Questioning Beliefs - Isabela: Rivalry small (+15) If you choose the diplomatic option.

Gifts

Isabela's first gift, 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).

Isabela's second gift, Rivaini Talisman can be found in Act 3 in the Disused Passage at the Docks.

Armor

See Companion armor for a list of all companion armor upgrades.


In Dragon Age II, you cannot change what armor your companions wear but you can upgrade it. You will find companion armor upgrades that can be purchased at shops in the tab designated by the Gem Icon. Her armor has four slots available for upgrades. These upgrades may be purchased or found at various locations in the game. Upgrading a companion's armor once unlocks the "A Friend In Need" achievement and fully upgrading a companion's armor unlocks the "I Got Your Back" achievement.

Isabela's armor upgrades can be found at the following locations:

  • Act 2 Robes By Jean Luc Hightown: Supportive Corselet. (Gives Isabela an extra rune slot.)
  • Act 2 Apparel Shop (Tailor) in Lowtown: Rigid Boning. (+38 Defense)
  • Act 2 Lost End Foundry in Lowtown: Lambswool Insoles (+2% Critical Chance): During the "To Catch A Thief" quest, in a crate in one of the upstairs room
  • Act 3 Mountain Cave during the A Murder of Crows quest, on a skeleton near the entrance: Boiled Leather Plates (Gives Isabela an 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.

Quotes

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... 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? ...Apostitutes! (Laughs)"
  • "Our mistakes make us who we are."
  • "Really? We're going to just waltz in here and fight dozens of blood mages? Ourselves? All right. I'm game."
  • "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."
  • "Coming in here of my own free will feels wrong. Like diddling a sister. (in the guard barracks)"
  • "Your death toll is approaching natural disasters. (After combat)"
  • "Sailors only care about a very small number of very specific things: The Sea, Strong Drink, and Booty... both kinds."
  • "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)
  • "If we kill them, we get their stuff!"

Gallery

Trivia

  • "Isabela" is not her birth name. Her birth name is unknown.[7]
  • Mika Simmons does not voice Isabela as she did in Origins; this is to reduce confusion as she also voiced Anora in Origins.[7]
  • 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.
  • When encountering the Desire Demon in the side quest Night Terrors, upon being betrayed Isabela will say "I like big boats, I cannot lie," a reference to the song Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot.
  • Isabela seems to have a collection of erotic books, and usually refers to sex in conversations with Varric.
  • In a party banter with Aveline, she'll make several 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 South Park episode "Gnomes" (Season 2, Episode 17), wherein the business plan of the underpants gnomes happens to be: "1. Collect Underpants. 2.? 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, were Isabela will remark upon Alistair 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 Mutant Enemy Production's ending of every show they produce.
  • Despite being from Rivain (hence Varric Tethras 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.
  • Isabela shares some similar physical and personality traits as Ellen from the book The Pillars of the Earth.

Bugs

  • In the recruiting quest "Fools Rush In", if the player loots the corpses before instructed, it is impossible to recruit Isabela.
  • 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. Alternatively, you can avoid this problem using following approach. It looks like the glitch is happening during Isabela's first line right after sex cinematics: when she starts saying the phrase ("That was... (Laughs) Thank you." in case of female Hawke) you can actually see her new outfit (red band across her right upper arm) and in the next line ("I should go.[...]") it's gone already. But! If you're quick enough to hit "escape" key right after sex scene - the glitch won't happen and Isabela will wear her new outfit from now on. You may need to try it few times to do it right. You won't get the romance achievement at this point (it's intended) and the rune slot will still disappear (see next item).
  • Similarly, if the Supportive Corset has been purchased before romancing her, the rune slot will disappear. Using a Maker's Sigh does not restore the rune slot. It may reappear after a save-load or/and in Act 3 though (without a rune).
  • There is also a well documented bug with her friendship bonus - if you have it and remove her from your party without using the remove from party screen (Such as entering your home with her in your party) the game will remove the attack speed bonus from your base rate instead of the increased one. This effect is cumulative leading to greatly reduced attack speeds. The bug is heavily discussed here. Fixed in patch 1.02.
  • It is possible that Varric will say that she stayed with the Champion, indicating that you romanced her, even if you had romanced someone else. This may happen even if she has left your party.
  • Varric will mention Isabela in the docks during the Rise of the Qunari quest regardless of if you recruit her in Act 1 or not.

References

  1. "Dragon Age Developer Diary - The Story". IGN. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  2. "Isabela". BioWare. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  3. Gamesradar
  4. DRAGON AGE 2 DEMO
  5. Gamesradar
  6. [1]
  7. 7.0 7.1 "What do we KNOW so far? Updated: 8 Jan 2011 *spoilers*". BioWare Social Network. Retrieved 2011-01-11.

External links

  • Short story on Isabela in Dragon Age II by Sheryl Chee


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