Short Description: Dark hair, gray eyes, carefully-groomed mustache, and not a hair out of place.
Magic Knight: While it's not uncommon for mages to be "squishy", Dorian defies this type quite soundly. Not only is he as tough as a warrior, but he's physically stronger than one might expect a mage to be, and he can use a staff as more than a magical focus. He's been taught to use a staff as a bludgeoning weapon too, and is not above cracking a skull or two.
Magical: His magic possesses a utilitarian side too. The pure power itself, when unshaped into any specific element, can power magical devices. He can read and sense magic in his general area too, though he may not be able to get a sense of what exactly the magic is.
Tactics: Not strategy, that's planning ahead. He is, however, great at thinking on his feet, and can come up with a plan with little more than a few moments' thought.
Heraldry: He can recognize the crests of all the noble houses in Tevinter, and match the crest to a name. Bloodlines are serious business in Tevinter.
Politicking: Dorian has been groomed pretty much since birth to take over his father's seat on the government of Tevinter. While that looks unlikely now, he does still have the know-how and skill-- and the pure charisma-- to run for an office if he so chose.
Politesse: Dorian Pavus is the son of a noble house. In keeping with this, he knows how to behave himself when in the company of high class or titled guests. Though just because he know how to behave himself, that doesn't mean he will.
Tevene: Tevene is the old language of Tevinter, comparable to Latin on Earth. It's generally relegated to official Tevinter documents, but Dorian has been known to curse in Tevene when so motivated.
Dorian was born in the country of Tevinter, to House Pavus, the latest in a project to create the perfect mage and leader in Tevinter. His parents were selected and told to marry, despite the fact that the two didn't like each other in the slightest. But his family took good care of him nonetheless. He was important to the future of Tevinter's project, after all. He learned many things growing up. One of them, learned from his father Halward Pavus, was a hate for blood magic. His father called it "the resort of the weak mind". He told Dorian of the hidden dangers, of the blood magic and backstabbing that went on behind the scenes, so that his son would be able to negotiate the hostile territory.
When he was young he was apprenticed to Magister Gereon Alexius. It was his chance to hone his superior magic even further! He had grown up being told that he was Tevinter's pride, after all, and more than that, that he was the pride of House Pavus. He had high expectations when he went into Magister Alexius's care that he would be one of Tevinter's finest mages. And under Alexius his talents developed.
He also began working with Magister Alexius on a theory based around the practical application of time magic. If Tevinter could master time, they would doubtless be unstoppable! But the magic never worked, and remained a theory for Dorian's time with the Magister. However, during the time he also befriended Felix, Magister Alexius's son. The two became friends, though, with Felix sneaking Dorian food from the kitchens when Dorian was up late at night working in the study.
At some point in Dorian's life, likely in his teenage years, he heard the rumblings of marrying him off to the next link in the chain. He didn't like the idea, either. A young fellow by the name of Rilenus is mentioned in passing; perhaps it was Dorian's feelings for Rilenus that made him realize why the idea of marrying a woman that his parents picked out for him that he didn't even know was so objectionable. Well, more objectionable than it should have been under normal circumstances.
All indications are that he attempted to explain this calmly to his father, that he wasn't interested in the woman that had been picked out for him-- and furthermore that he wasn't interested in women at all. Unfortunately his father wasn't prepared to negotiate, and the situation likely blew up into a major argument. At the end of which Halward apparently said, "Get out. You are no son of mine."
Not too long after this, Dorian caught wind of something horrible-- his father was planning a blood magic ritual to try and make Dorian obey the command to marry. Dorian was crushed. His own father had taught him to hate blood magic, suggesting that only the weak-minded would rely on such things. And not only had Halward turned to it, but he was using a ritual to try and change his son. The risks? If the ritual failed, Dorian would be all but braindead. The realization stunned Dorian-- his father was willing to take a risk like that with his own son's life, just to preserve his legacy? Just to preserve his place in the Magisterium? Just to keep receiving the benefits from this "breeding program"?
Between that and all that had happened in Tevinter, all the things he had learned growing up about how things were behind closed doors, all the horrible and unsavory things that were hidden-- and the knowledge that, if he stayed, he would have to hide who he was throughout his entire life-- Dorian decided three things. Firstly, he would have to leave. Not just his house, but leave Tevinter entirely. Secondly, that Tevinter had to change. No more hidden blood magic, no more backstabbing and favors. And third, HE had to be the one who did it. Himself because only someone from Tevinter would know what needed to change, and how to change it. Besides that, it would show the world that not all "Vints" were the same.
But when the Breach split the sky, Dorian was drawn into the Fade. He thought at first that he was being drawn in to be possessed by a demon of some kind. But eventually the Fade spit him out, along with a handful of demons. Fortunately the rift closed behind him, so there was no need to search for someone who could close it.
Unfortunately that left him alone, in a strange place (he didn't know it was called "Twisted"), with several demons. Demons that, now that he was the only prey in sight, had their dead black hearts set on "Altus mage tartare".