- “For those who value survival, sentimentality is not an option.”
Vivienne is an Orlesian mage and personal enchanter and adviser to Empress Celene. She is an optional companion to the Inquisitor in Dragon Age: Inquisition and can be unlocked through The Imperial Enchanter quest.
Vivienne's parents were both merchants from Dairsmuid in Rivain, though she was actually born in Wycome in the Free Marches. She was taken to the Ostwick Circle at a very young age, where she became one of the youngest full-fledged mages in Circle history. She was transferred to the Montsimmard Circle at the age of nineteen. She was already an exceptional scholar and showed early promise at the Game. In a shocking move, she elected not to join any Fraternity when she became a fully-fledged enchanter.
At the Imperial Wintersend Ball of 9:16 Dragon, mages from the White Spire and the Montsimmard Circle were invited to attend the festivities and entertain the court. Vivienne was among the envoys from Montsimmard. There, she caught the attention of Duke Bastien de Ghislain, who spent all evening dancing only with her, slighting a number of powerful nobles in the process. Bastien paid her a visit in Montsimmard just a few days later, accompanied by a small army of florists bearing armloads of peonies. In short order, he invited Vivienne to several parties held at his estate, and by the start of summer she had a suite of rooms in his house from which she conducted most of her Circle business.
Their relationship caused a huge scandal at the time because of Vivienne's status as a mage. Several bards were sent to make an example out of her; half of them were returned to their employers frozen solid while she persuaded the rest to work for her instead. The nobility continued to stew in their opposition until 9:20, when the newly crowned Empress Celene chose Vivienne as her court enchanter after a single meeting with her. While the position had always been regarded as little more than being a glorified court jester, Vivienne managed to turn it into an advisory position to the Empress despite the official ban prohibiting mages from holding political power. Nearly every fraternity clamored for her favor in hopes of having a representative at the empress' ear.
Her reputation kept growing after becoming Court Enchanter, and she was eventually given the moniker Madame de Fer, the Lady of Iron, a name that indicated her place as both a respected and feared member of the court. She was voted First Enchanter of Montsimmard at an age young enough to cause scandal. Vivienne is also connoisseur of fashion and was dubbed "the jewel of the high court of Orlais."
Dragon Age: The Masked Empire
Vivienne is briefly mentioned by her epithet "Madame de Fer" by Empress Celene while she considers speaking to her about Lady Cosinne de Montsimmard and her husband's familiarity with the Circle of Magi.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Vivienne is one of the Inquisitor's companions. With the world thrown into chaos, she sees the Inquisition as the only group willing to stand against it and introduces herself by throwing them a party at Ghislain Estate, an estate of her lover, Duke Bastien de Ghislain. An invitation to the party is obtained the first time the Inquistor goes to Val Royeaux and speaking to a mage there. She intervenes when marquis Alphonse openly disparages the Inquisition and attempts to challenge the Inquisitor, magically immobilizing him, and leaves his fate up to the Inquisitor. Afterwards, she offers to join up with the Inquisition to help her fellow mages however she can. Later in the game, however, Cole reveals during party banter that Vivienne manipulated the Marquis into attacking the Inquisition at her party, which allowed her to move against him in response to a vicious insult he had previously dealt her.
Vivienne is extremely bitter and resentful at what she perceives as the selfish actions of the rebel mages. In her mind, they see only their own oppression and fail to consider the well-being of others outside the Circle of Magi, as well as the justifiably increased fear of magic in the populace and ranks of the Templar Order; a fear that she believes is now, by their actions and that of the Kirkwall Rebellion, greater than it ever was since the rise of the Tevinter Imperium. She believes that the Circles and Templar Order must be restored to ensure the continued protection of mages, and thus supports Cassandra Pentaghast as the new Divine. Despite Vivienne's preference for Cassandra, Vivienne notes to the Inquisitor that Cassandra's lack of charisma is a serious fault in her leadership abilities. The Inquisitor can mention that mages like Vivienne should be more active in Chantry politics, and that Vivienne herself may make a good Divine - to which Vivienne responds positively.
If her approval is low, however, Vivienne will have movers rearrange all of the Inquisitor's furniture in Skyhold. She claims that she was needling the Inquisitor to test their limits but she also expresses her disapproval at how the Inquisitor allows the mage rebel "malcontents" loose on the population unchecked.During her personal quest, Vivienne asks the Inquisitor to bring her the heart of a snowy wyvern. Should the Inquisitor procure this item, Vivienne uses it to create a potion for Duke Bastien, who is suffering an incurable disease, but he passes away regardless. If the Inquisitor gives her the heart of a common wyvern instead, Vivienne will unknowingly attempt the potion and it causes Duke Bastien an uneasy death. She will later reveal that she is now aware that the Inquisitor had tricked her. It is possible to have Vivienne elected as the new Divine, after Justinia V. If chosen, she will be known as Divine Victoria. She is the first mage to hold the position and once appointed, the uproar is immediate. Three revolts follow in quick succession, and her response is immediate and vicious. Chaos reigned for months but eventually subsided. To the surprise of many, she reinstates the Circle of Magi and creates a Templar Order firmly leashed to her hand. Mages rise quickly in the new Circle, having more freedom and responsibility then ever before - even if all true power lies with her. Her reign is contentious and the Chantry could either accept her reign despite her detractors' displeasure or begin to fracture.
Vivienne reappears during the events of the Exalted Council, two years after Corypheus' defeat. She appears either as herself or as Divine Victoria.If Inquisitor is friends with Vivienne:
Vivienne treats the Inquisitor to a "spa day". The two relax and catch up in a spa Vivienne likes to frequent while Sera causes mischief in the background.
If Vivienne is not Divine Victoria...
If the mages were allied: If Cassandra became Divine, the Circles are rebuilt and Vivienne is elected Grand Enchanter. The College of Enchanters leaders are spared only as a favor to Divine Victoria.
If Leliana became Divine, the end of the Inquisition sent shock waves through the College of Enchanters. Madame de Fer ably played on the mages' fears. Her followers united to build a new Circle- with Vivienne as the Grand Enchanter- in direct competition with the College. What the Circle lacked in numbers, they made up in political connections and became a force to be reckoned with.
If the mages were conscripted: If Cassandra became Divine, the College of the Bright Hand floundered as a result of the Inquisition no longer being the power it had been. Grand Enchanter Vivienne succeeded in pushing it to the margins of Circle politics, and its leaders reforged it as the College of Enchanters, breaking away from the Circle.
If Leliana became Divine, the Inquisition's mages that once served it as the Bright Hand were left to take up civilian lives. Some joined the re-established Circle of Magi under Grand Enchanter Vivienne's guidance. Others formed the College of Enchanters - a secular institution seeking opportunities for mages across the South.
If the templars were recruited: If Cassandra became Divine, Vivienne was elected Grand Enchanter of the Circle of Magi, but her inauguration was not as triumphant as she had hoped. Those veteran mages of the Inquisition who did not return to the fold formed a new College of Enchanters as a rival organization to her circle.
If Leliana became Divine, the Inquisition's end as it once had been left its few mages with nowhere to go. Vivienne led many of them to form a new Circle with her as Grand Enchanter. The remaining veteran mages formed the College of Enchanters as a rival organization.
The two groups settle into an uneasy coexistence in which they vie for power.
If Vivienne became Divine Victoria...
As Divine Victoria, Vivienne sits on the Exalted Council representing the Chantry.
The Exalted Council continues to exist and advise her, and Cassandra serves on the Council as well. However, she later becomes disgusted with Vivienne's perversion of the Chant of Light's intent to suit her whims and leaves.If the mages were conscripted and the Inquisition is disbanded: The Inquisition's conscripted mages wish to reform the College of Enchanters, despite Vivienne crushing them soon after becoming Divine and sending many retreating to the Inquisition. This time, secure in her hold over both the rebuilt Circles and the Sunburst Throne, she grudgingly allows them to live as a show of respect to the Inquisition that was. The two organizations settle into a barely peaceful coexistence over the next few years.
- Main article: Vivienne/Approval
Vivienne favours a return to the old order of the Chantry and Circles. She detests the violence that has come with the mage rebellion and is scornful of radical change. As a result, she likes those who support the Circle system and scorn the mage rebels. Despite her approval of the Circle system, however, Vivienne is ambivalent towards the templars. She will slightly approve of actions that support the Templar Order, but she will also approve of negative or distrusting remarks the Inquisitor makes about them.
Vivienne is fond of politics and appreciates an Inquisitor who plays The Grand Game well, either by maintaining a polite facade or by noticing and pointing out hidden motivations in others, including in Vivienne herself. As a player of the Game, she knows the value of cultivating an image and approves of an Inquisitor who puts care into how they appear to others. She will disapprove if the Inquisitor ignores her advice or rejects the Game.
- During the first conversation with Vivienne at Haven, tell her "We need the Circle restored", "This chaos harms everyone" or "The rebels are apostates"
- Conscript the rebel mages during In Hushed Whispers
- After either In Hushed Whispers or Champions of the Just, tell her "We need mages in the Chantry" or "We need the Circle back" when discussing the future for mages
- When dedicating the Inquisition, have a mage Inquisitor say "I will set an example as a mage"
- Give Vivienne the heart of a Snowy Wyvern during Bring Me the Heart of Snow White
- Tell Vivienne you think she'd made a good Divine
- Complete Favors the First Enchanter
- Drink from the Well of Sorrows during What Pride Had Wrought
- Ally with the rebel mages during In Hushed Whispers
- After either In Hushed Whispers or Champions of the Just, tell her "Mages should be free"
- During Bring Me the Heart of Snow White, either refuse to help her or lie and give her the heart of a common wyvern
- Let Morrigan drink from the Well of Sorrows during What Pride Had Wrought
|Ability trees||Initially selected abilities|
|Weapons|| Disciple Ice Staff (Vivienne)|
Requires: Level 1
Damage: 19 Cold
+6% Critical Damage Bonus
|Armor|| Enchanter Coat|
Common Light Armor
Requires: Level 7
+6% Spirit Resistance
- Main article: Vivienne/Dialogue
- (To Cassandra Pentaghast) "Rest assured, dear Seeker. I'm never truly out of my element."
- (Regarding the Mage-Templar War) "Kirkwall gave the world a reason to remember its fear of magic. A mage killed hundreds with a snap of their fingers. Across Thedas, a new tangible fear of magic grew. Commoners and nobles alike called out to the Chantry for protection. But the malcontents in the towers thought nothing of this."
- "Magic is dangerous, just as fire is dangerous. Anyone who forgets this truth gets burned."
- "In my own experience, nothing is more deadly to a young mage than a lack of knowledge."
- "I never worry, darling. A leash can be pulled from either end."
- "The Divine must set the example for all Thedas. She must seem to be the embodiment of the Maker to the faithful. She needs the authority of the Maker and the charisma of Andraste."
- "We need an institution to protect and nurture magic. Maker knows, magic will find neither on its own."
- Vivienne was written by Mary Kirby, who remarked that she is "allergic to Fereldan fashions," arranges to receive only approved gifts on Wintersend and favors gold encrusted boots made from rare animals, "and possibly the skins of one or two of her political rivals."
- According to David Gaider, Vivienne's "fashion touchstone" is Maleficent.
- She is described as "The Ambition".
- Vivienne's greatest fear is irrelevance.
- When asked to compare Vivienne to food, Mary Kirby described her as "Ortolan Bunting," a notorious French dish. This kind of bird dish is a delicacy in France. The bird is caught alive and then blinded or put in a darkened cage. In the cage, the birds are force-fed until they get very fat and then drowned in a snifter of Armagnac. After which they are roasted for eight minutes.
- When Bioware announced Vivienne's voice actor, Indira Varma, they had her instigate a fake twitter war with Vivienne's writer, Mary Kirby.
- Despite her standing in the Orlesian court, she does not wear a mask at the Winter Palace, as she does at the party she throws for the Inquisitor. This is not remarked upon, even when the Inquisitor asks her about Orlesian mask customs.
- In game files, Vivienne is referred to several times as "Odette", implying that this may have been her name at one point during development.
- "Introduction to Vivienne"
- Dragon Age Inquisition Character Kit #3 - Vivienne
- Vivienne Character Guide