After restoring order to the Circle, Alistair and Neria agreed to never speak about what happened in the Fade. They’ve grown increasingly closer since they found themselves at the end of the world as they know it, and Alistair’s growing feelings for her raise questions about the Templar they encountered below the Harrowing chamber.
Cullen, her strong Templar, her polar opposite–never had a more forbidden pairing existed, but the heart was not so easily denied. Neria and Cullen grew up together in the tower, spent the years of their youth exchanging nervous smiles, curious glances. They knew from the start there was no future between them. He took vows to watch over her kind, was assigned to land the killing blow if she returned from her Harrowing with a demon inside her.
But she didn’t fail, not her Harrowing, anyway, and all the tension that built between them over the years exploded in the sharing of a single, powerful kiss in the quiet of her quarters before he slipped an amulet into her hand and silently backed away.
She may not have failed her Harrowing, but she failed the Circle and the Templars on a much grander scale when she lent aid to her best friend, Jowan. Jowan feared the Templars were planning to make him tranquil, that they believed him a blood mage. She helped her friend destroy his phylactery so he could run away with the love of his life, only to discover he lied. Jowan was practicing blood magic, and as punishment for her crime she was banished from the Circle, handed over to Duncan and the Grey Wardens to atone for her mistake.
She never thought to see Cullen again, but when she and her companions return to the Tower to assist the Templars against rampant blood magic bent on destroying everything the Circle stands for, she comes face to face with Cullen only to discover the things he felt for her went far deeper than he ever expressed.
She still wears the amulet Cullen gave her close to her heart, but that heart is broken and only Alistair can mend it once again.
*Inspired by Cullen’s in-game dialogue and the Cullen Romance Option Mod by Cmessaz