- “It's literature. Smutty... literature.” ―Cassandra Pentaghast
Swords & Shields is a romance book series written by Varric Tethras.
Swords & Shields is one of two known book series written by Varric, the other one being Hard in Hightown. According to the author himself, the series is not very popular and the latest issue barely managed to cover the cost of publishing. Two known characters in the book are a female Knight-Captain and a Guardsman.
One of the books ends with a cliffhanger, and according to Cassandra, the Knight-Captain was falsely accused of doing something.
During the first conversation with Cassandra at Skyhold, the Inquisitor sneaks up on her reading the latest issue of the book. She acts like she wasn't reading it, only to confirm a moment later that the romance serial is her guilty pleasure. She suggests the Inquisitor orders Varric to write the follow-up as the book ends with a cliffhanger.
The Inquisitor may then choose to approach Varric and ask him to write the book for Cassandra. Varric agrees under the condition that he may be present when the new book gets handed over to Cassandra.
- One of the issues seems to depict a dwarf similar in appearance to Varric. Another depicts a red-haired human woman similar in appearance to Aveline Vallen.
- Depending on whether the Inquisition supported the templars or the mages, either Cole or Dorian will witness the conversation about the book between Cassandra and the Inquisitor. Dorian will state that Cassandra lend him the book and it was so bad he couldn't get through it, whereas Cole will say Cassandra read the book to him aloud and that he shares her dislike of the Captain in the book.
- Either Cassandra has left a copy of her book in the Skyhold's wine cellar, or there is another person at Skyhold reading the series.
- Another copy lies on the War table.
- One lies inside the Ghislain Estate.
- One more lies on a table inside the house of Alban Poulin in Sahrnia.