There are nine possible followers/companions/party members in Dragon Age: Inquisition and BioWare has now revealed them all.
Only one of them has been a party member in a Dragon Age game before: Varric, the wise-cracking dwarf rogue/marksman, who has a fancy crossbow.
Morrigan - perhaps the most iconic party member in Dragon Age: Origins - reappears but this time as a plot device, playing a mysterious role as the arcane advisor to Empress Celene. I wonder if there's a 'side with my plan or fight' moment in store.
Dragon Age: Origins party member Leliana, the human rogue/bard, returns as a part of your Inquisition but as an advisor in charge of your agents and spies. She's still fiercely loyal to the Divine (a kind of Pope) and still silent and deadly. It doesn't sound as though she'll go into battle with you - at least not on a 'pick her to be in your party' basis.
BioWare has said it's possible to annoy your followers to the point that they'll leave, and that it's theoretically possible to finish the game with only one.
In no particular order, I introduce you to your companions below:
Cole was a major part of Dragon Age novel Asunder, and he's an intriguing character. Most people couldn't see him apart from those who willed him to kill them. He was known as the Ghost of the Spire - a mage tower.
Discovering who - what - Cole is, was a compelling arc throughout the book. And you never found out for sure.
If you'd still rather not find out - even though BioWare writer Patrick Weekes talked openly about it on the Dragon Age website (he's writing Cole for DAI, even though David Gaider wrote the Asunder book), then try to ignore the short blurb below the picture.
Cole is a demon. Of sorts. "He's definitely somewhere on the demon-or-spirit spectrum of Fade creatures," Weekes said. "A lot of people will always see him as a demon. He would rather be a spirit. He's trying.
"Now that he has accepted his nature, he's less constrained by human limitations. He can sense people's pain, which is actually what he was doing back in Asunder without realising it, when he found the mages who were terrified and desperate enough to be able to see him. He can find people who are hurting, people in need, and he can help them."
If you let him join your Inquisition, "weird" things will happen, Weekes said. And not everyone will take kindly to his being there.
"If you want someone who can move around the battlefield undetected, sinking daggers into enemies who never see him coming, Cole is your guy. He can still make people forget him, but he's no longer the scared young man who couldn't stand against Seeker Lambert in Asunder. He knows he's more than human, and he is absolutely deadly when faced with foes who want to hurt innocent people (which safely applies to most of the Inquisition's enemies)."
An elf mage.
Elves are considered a sub-race and mages are hunted if they're not effectively imprisoned in Circles (mage schools/prisons) - outside of mage-land Tevinter, that is. So it's no surprise to hear that Solas is has spent his life out of view as an apostate mage - a mage not in a Circle. In fact, he's never been in a Circle - he's self-taught.
And being self-taught has enabled him to explore his fascination with the Fade - the ethereal other-world where magical power, and demons, come from - without prejudice.
"Solas has trained himself to do something a lot like lucid-dreaming," explained Weekes. "He goes to ancient ruins where the Veil [the barrier between the Fade and the normal world of Thedas] is thin, goes to sleep, and actually experiences the history of places no one else has seen in centuries."
Also, added Weekes: "Solas' expertise with the Fade lets him manipulate magic in ways that would never occur to most mages."
His area of study draws him and Cole together.
The Iron Bull
A huge horned Qunari, and previously of a mercenary spy group for the Qunari. He joins the Inquisition initially to spy but he's open about it, and he wants to help kill the invading demons. If you can handle him sending spy reports, you may learn a thing or two about the Qunari in return.
"The Iron Bull is casual, friendly, and confident," said Weekes. "There are very few things in the world that he can't kill if he needs to, which puts him at ease most of the time. He's got no need to compete with anyone or prove himself, and he doesn't need his ego stroked.
"What he does need are people he can trust to watch his back and friends he can laugh with. After surviving years of ugly, nasty fighting, The Iron Bull has learned not to take anything too seriously. Unless it involves demons."
Oh, and: "He overeats, drinks himself sick, and will hop into bed with anyone he's reasonably sure he won't break. He's been close to death enough times to appreciate life whenever he has the chance."
Apparently he doesn't get on too well with Varric who, understandably, has an issue with Qunari after the events of Dragon Age 2.
An elf rogue with a big bow. She's an outsider, a pawn caught in a game of chess that's spiralling out of control, and she's never trusted the players.
Writer Luke Kristjanson described her as "brash and fun" and as someone who doesn't take much seriously. She lives life for the now, it sounds like, for herself.
The Inquisition comes across her on the streets of Orlais and she senses a chance to answer some big questions as well as keep those rising to the top humble.
"Sera is raw and genuine," said Kristjanson. "I've written plenty of characters who were too clever for their own good. Sera hasn't had to test her beliefs, so she brings a level of honest discovery that is cutting and refreshing. I had a lot of fun with her voice in particular. The actor nailed it day one. From the first voice test, she was Sera. Her laugh is great.”
A Grey Warden, just like you were in Dragon Age: Origins. That is, someone who sacrificed their life entirely to a lifelong and largely thankless battle against evil - usually the Blight.
He believes whole heartedly in the ideals of the Wardens and willingly joins the Inquisition's evil-fighting cause.
He's a battle-hardened warrior who's heavily armoured and wields a two-handed sword.
"What sort of person could decide that dying for something is better than just living?" teased writer Sheryl Chee.
She added: "While he always keeps a close watch on his conduct, he loosens up around certain people."
Varric was among the first companions recruited in Dragon Age 2. He was the character relaying your story - Hawke's story - to his Seeker (church special agent, effectively) interrogator Cassandra Pentaghast (also now a companion).
What he experienced in that interrogation, which Leliana had a hand in too, was the birth of the Inquisition. Understandably, he doesn't like Cassandra.
As a Seeker of Truth she's a special agent to the Divine, the leader of the Chantry - think Pope and Chrisitian Church, sort of. The Templars are the more common police embodiment of that organisation. But during the book Asunder there was a rift caused by a powerful Seeker who declared the Templars and Seeklers no longer beholden to the Divine's bidding. They would deal with their eternal enemy, the mages, in their own way, answering to their god - the Maker - only.
Cassandra stands by the Divine - a reasonable-sounding figurehead who wants to end the chaos rather than add to it. Cassandra seeks order.
"Cassandra does what she believes is right and just, and holds those values as more important than things like law or duty. If she needs to rebel against tradition in order to drag the world kicking and screaming back into a semblance of order, then she will do it," explained writer David Gaider. "Once Cassandra commits to a cause, she jumps in with both feet, and the Inquisition is no exception."
Gaider also said that, deep down, Cassandra is a "romantic", though having her admit that would be like bleeding a stone.
She's equipped with sword and shield and presumably has magic-countering abilities similar to a Templar.
Dorian comes from a place - Tevinter - where mages and their wit are cherished and held above others. He's been free to flex his magical muscles and has strong powers - involving those that manipulate spirits and the dead - as a result.
He'd be the pride of his family and society - if he didn't hate it all. He's proud to be a pariah and outcast and seeks to root out the corruption ruining Tevinter.
Also known as Madame de Fer - "the Lady of Iron" - is the official enchanter to the Imperial Court, advisor to the Empress and leader of mages. She attained her influential position through clever political manoeuvring, making her a fearsome enemy for more reasons than her learned magical powers.
The establishment she spent time climbing is rocked to its core by the tear in the sky your Inquisition is battling. She joins you to help close it and perservie her world.
Naturally, as a pro-establishment, she clashes with Dorian.