Aedan Cousland is the youngest son of Teyrn Bryce and Eleanor Cousland and has spent most of his life in Castle Highever. The teyrn and his wife have always noticed that Aedan is almost a complete foil to his older brother, Fergus. Whereas Fergus is humorous, good-tempered and has a dashing sense of charm that would make King Cailan jealous, Aedan is ill-tempered, has a dark sense of humor, and possesses what the bards would call a bad-boy sense of charm and is always ready for a fight. Regardless both the teyrn and his wife raised him to be an able and noble man and the proof of his character came in the form of a mabari pup that just showed up to the castle's door one day and rushed straight to Aedan's side and refused to leave. Aedan named the puppy Dane. While Aedan loves to hunt with his mabari and participate in tournaments he also loves to draw and paint, his mother taught him how in the hopes that he would learn both discipline and focus without having to bloody his fists. Under the tutelage of his teacher, Aldous, Aedan is highly educated and speaks several languages, including Orlesian, Tevene, Antivan and a little Dwarven.
Unlike nobles from other countries who believe that their status is their inborn right Aedan was taught by his father that their status is a sacred trust given to them by the people who are sworn to them. Like a pyramid, those on top must be supported by those on the bottom or they will fall. So every noble, even the king, especially the king, must earn the loyalty of all those who are sworn to them, and it is this loyalty that has earned the Couslands the rank of Teyrn for six hundred years. Aedan constantly tries to live up to his proud lineage and he swore a solemn vow to his father that he would strive to honor it; to always place the needs of the people above his own, show respect and honor to all people no matter their race, be just and noble to his people and be as just and terrible to his enemies.
When Aedan and Fergus both came of age Teyrn Bryce decided to send the boys abroad to further their knowledge of the world and broaden their horizons. Fergus went to Antiva and came back a few years later with a wife, Orianna. Aedan went to the University of Val Royeaux and came back only six months later with a renewed hatred for Orlesians and their values. He had gotten into an altercation with a chevalier over an elven woman when he stood up for her against his advances. Aedan ended being expelled and the chevalier ended up in traction. Bryce was extremely displeased that his son had gotten himself expelled from one of the fines universities in all of Thedas, but he was also proud that Aedan was willing to throw that away for the honor and safety of another and ultimately that is what is meant to be a leader; to always place the best of others before yourself no matter the personal consequences.
Aedan spent only two months in Orlais but it took him six months to return home because he spent the winter in the Frostback Mountains with the Avvar tribesman. Aedan will always look back on his time with the Avvar fondly for while their home may be treacherous, the beasts cunning and dangerous and the people as harsh and unforgiving like the mountains, but Aedan found that their harsh environment whittled them down to their true nature. And Aedan found more honor, honesty and nobility in the tribesman than anyone he met in Orlais, because for them these are not principals that one should strive for, you either are or you are not. Aedan hunted, feasted and even prayed with these people and he was the first lowlander they accepted as a brother and taught him how to be a Berserker.
In keeping with his barbarian roots Aedan is extremely fond of tattoos and wears his with pride, some of them he got from the Avvar. On his face he wears a traditional blue Alammari tattoo, he has the Cousland family crest over his heart. On his right arm he bears the heraldry of Highever and the symbol of Haakon Wintersbreath on his left. And on his back he bears the visage of the Lady of the Skies.
Aedan is extremely pro-Fereldan, takes great pride in his barbarian roots and he doesn't take kindly to insults toward his people. The value he loves the most about his people is their sense of independence and freedom, and hates the Orlesian Empire, the Chantry, the Tevinter Imperium and the Qun as these are all powers that "would force themselves into another's home and put them on their knees". In keeping with Fereldan values he believes that people of any race must learn to be able to make their way in life on their own and have no one else define who they are. The one thing that Aedan makes no secret of is the fact that he is not an Andrastian, in fact he hates Andrastianism and the Chantry altogether and despises it when anyone assumes he worships The Maker. He feels that the Maker is unworthy of his prayers because He thrice turned His back on His creations and has not once ever made His presence known except through Andraste who He left to die, whereas the Old Gods have made their presence known throughout all Thedas. He despises the Chantry because he believes that they use the Maker as an excuse to grab power and take control over people through zealous superstition.
With word of the darkspawn massing an army in the south Aedan yearns to test his mettle against the monsters like how the likes of Hafter and King Maric did when they forced the invaders out of the valley and back where they came from. And now with his father gathering their forces and has called on Arl Howe, their closest ally he hopes to finally put his training to the test and win honor and glory for his family and country.
In combat Aedan is a vicious warrior who prefers to dual-wield a sword and an axe with masterful dexterity that can only be described as savage grace. He is both a Reaver and a Berserker turning his anger and pain into strength making him a powerful and terrible sight to behold on the field. In battle Aedan knows no mercy, no fear and no equal.
"Many people revere knights. Everyone fears barbarians." –Aedan Cousland.