Dragon Age II

Cassandra seeks out Hawke, the "Champion of Kirkwall", with the Seekers, an offshoot of the Templars. She captures and interrogates Varric, demanding to know how Hawke started a war between the mages and Templars. Varric complies and tells her how the war started. The story starts shortly after the Battle of Ostagar, with the Hawke family escaping their home village of Lothering in Ferelden with a darkspawn horde in pursuit. Either Bethany or Carver (Hawke's siblings) are killed in the process. Flemeth, a witch who can assume the form of a dragon, helps the party escape to Kirkwall, a city across the sea, provided Hawke completes a task for her. Hawke enters the service of a mercenary band or smuggler group to enter Kirkwall, after which the family takes up residence in the city's Lowtown with Hawke's uncle Gamlen.

A year later, a prosperous opportunity presents itself to Hawke; Varric and his brother Bartrand are planning a treasure hunting expedition into the perilous region of the Deep Roads. Varric partners with Hawke to acquire funding and knowledge of the region. Hawke enlists the aid of Anders, a former Grey Warden with knowledge of the Deep Roads. However, a magical red lyrium idol corrupts Bartrand's mind and causes him to betray Hawke and Varric. Additionally, Hawke's surviving sibling is either killed by the darkspawn taint, or conscripted into the Grey Wardens if they are brought along. If not, then they are conscripted either into the Circle of Mages or the Templar Order, depending on the sibling who survives. Despite this, Hawke and Varric are able to escape back to the surface, and the proceeds from the expedition make Hawke famous and wealthy, enabling them to buy back their family mansion in Hightown.

Three years later, the Viscount of Kirkwall summons Hawke to help resolve a political situation caused by the foreign military forces of the Qunari. The Qunari, shipwrecked in Kirkwall three years earlier, neither obey Kirkwall's laws nor seem willing to leave, escalating tension between them and the inhabitants of Kirkwall. Hawke's mother, Leandra, is murdered by a blood mage serial killer preying on Kirkwall's women. Hawke resolves to uncover "O", the identity of the serial killer's accomplice, but eventually discovers the reason the Qunari refuse to leave Kirkwall is because Isabela stole a coveted artifact from them, which they are not allowed to return to their homeland of Par Vollen without. When she flees Kirkwall with the artifact, the Qunari leader, the Arishok, decides to attack Kirkwall and executes the Viscount. Hawke's party successfully retakes Kirkwall and, if Hawke chooses, eliminates the Arishok. Hawke is declared the Champion of Kirkwall in the aftermath.

After another three years, Kirkwall is turned into a police state under the tyrannical rule of the Templars. Under the command of Knight-Commander Meredith, they aim to oppress mages for their use of blood magic. Meredith is challenged by First Enchanter Orsino, the Circle of Magi leader in Kirkwall, who tries to topple her with public support. Constant violence between the two sides forces the Champion of Kirkwall to intervene, during which a group of anti-Meredith rebels kidnap Hawke's surviving sibling/closest friend. Fearing for their loved ones' safety, Hawke attempts to get away from the conflict. However, Anders orchestrates an explosion that levels the Chantry and kills Grand Cleric Elthina. This triggers a battle between the mages and templars across the city, forcing Hawke to choose a side. They end up killing both Orsino, who is surmised to have been "O", and Meredith, who bought the lyrium idol from Bartrand, which has corrupted her mind and convinced her to go through a mass extermination of mages. Afterwards, Hawke either leaves Kirkwall as a hero to mages, or is elected the city's Viscount.

Varric concludes the story, saying that eventually, Hawke's companions drifted apart, and Hawke left Kirkwall. The Circles of Magi all over Thedas have followed Kirkwall's example and rebelled, with the Templars breaking away from the Chantry to fight them. Cassandra lets Varric go and leaves with Leliana and fellow Seekers, believing that since both Hawke and the Warden (if alive) have disappeared, they must be found to stop the war.