- "We must look beyond our own wants to secure peace in Thedas. That is the crucial point. Common ground is the starting point of all negotiations."
- ―Josephine, to Maxwell Trevelyan
After a series of negotiations with the Exalted Council, Josephine resigns from her post as Ambassador to take her place as head of House Montilyet.
Lady Josephine Cherette Montilyet was born on the fifteenth day of Kingsway 9:13 Dragon in the plutocratic nation of Antiva. She is the first child of Lord Yves Montilyet and his wife Lady Esperanza of House Lucinia. According to Antiva's King Fulgeno II, she is an eminent figure in diplomacy, forging relations with grace, charm and careful favors. As the eldest of five children, Josephine is heiress apparent of House Montilyet.
The Montilyets were one of the major naval powers in Antiva until the start of the Blessed Age. They had vessels numbering in the hundreds, including a large contingent of warships, ostensibly at the disposal of the royal navy, actually charged with keeping their merchant vessels safe. Their cargo was the target of many Rivaini pirates and they became entangled in many rivalries and vendettas against them. They also had strong ties in Orlais until their falling out with the Du Paraquettes over a question of marriage and fidelity led to vicious infighting, shocking betrayals and public duels. They were exiled from Orlais, which greatly crippled their fortune. When Josephine attempted to restore her family's landed trader status in Orlais, she became a target of assassins from the House of Repose.
Due to tradition regarding the lines of succession, Josephine began her education at the University of Orlais in Val Royeaux in 9:28 at the behest of her mother, where she built connections among the Imperial court. She finished schooling early two years later―at a surprisingly young age―and returned to Antiva to begin her diplomatic career, one that marked the beginning of House Montilyet's return to prominence.
During her time in Orlais, Josephine got into life as a bard with a bunch of other nobles from Antiva, enticed by the romanticism. However, during a mission, she encountered a rival bard and killed him by accident. When Josephine removed the man's mask, she saw that it had been a former friend of hers. This caused her to renounce the life, and violence in general.
Antivan Ambassador to Orlais
- "I had the great honor of serving Antiva's Crown as ambassador to Orlais."
In 9:31, King Fulgeno II appointed Josephine to be Antiva's ambassador to Orlais and is very familiar with Orlesian politics. She is well traveled, familiar with many forms of etiquette, and by all accounts a skilled negotiator.
Josephine met Leliana in 9:34 when the latter became Left Hand of the Divine under Justinia V, and organized a diplomatic ball to celebrate her ascension. The two would later become good friends and shared a close sister-like bond, often leaving formal parties at midnight to seek new excitement. According to Leliana, they pinned another person's small clothes to a Chantry board at one point—describing the event as "not being a real party unless that happens next." Josephine would often advise visiting dignitaries to flee if they ever saw Leliana carrying a ball of twine, a yardstick and a handkerchief. She also grew fond of Leliana's young son Adrien, often playing hide-and-seek with the boy in the embassy courtyard or babysitting him whenever Leliana tended to her duties as Left Hand.
Ambassador of the Inquisition
Josephine was recruited by Leliana enlisted her as the newly created Inquisition's political advisor and chief diplomat at some point after resigning her post as Antiva's ambassador to Orlais.
After meeting Maxwell Trevelyan, Josephine becomes engaged in a debate with Marquis DuRellion, who politely protests the Inquisition's presence in Haven. Regardless of Maxwell's response, Josephine performs a shrewd diplomatic word play to get the Marquis to reconsider his stance.
After being forced out of Haven by Corypheus, Josephine joins the rest of the Inquisition as they journey to Skyhold. Upon arrival, as the Herald is elevated to the rank of Inquisitor, Cassandra calls out to Josephine, asking if their people have been told. Josephine confirms it and promises that the world will soon know. Josephine then lets out a small cheer with the rest of the assembled before catching herself.
As the eldest child of the Montilyet family, Josephine must oversee her family's merchant business in addition to her duties to the Inquisition. To improve their financial standing, she attempts to restore their former place as traders in Orlais.
However, her messengers are intercepted and murdered, and the documents permitting the restoration are destroyed. Comte Boisvert in Val Royeaux says that he can provide some information on the subject, in exchange for Inquisitor Maxwell's presence at the meeting. Once the Inquisitor agrees to go with Josephine, they journey to Val Royeaux and the estate of Comte Boisvert. Upon meeting the Comte, he produces a copy of a contract of the House of Repose assassins guild, instructing them to target anyone attempting to reinstate the Montilyets in Orlais. The family responsible, the Du Paraquettes, lost their noble status 60 years ago; however, they put out the contract one hundred and nine years ago. A little thing like the death of the contractor is not enough to nullify the bond. Josephine cunningly deduces that the "Comte" is an impostor given how well informed he is. The Repose assassin admits to having bound and gagged the real comte in the closet nearby, and says that the House of Repose wanted to grant Josephine the courtesy of an explanation, as her situation is so unusual. Afterwards, the assassin politely observes that he hopes he and Josephine never meet again, and wishes her luck in her plan to have the contract voided.
Afterwards, Josephine seeks to restore the Du Paraquettes' titles to get them to annul the contract. However, Leliana suggests that she send agents into the House of Repose to steal the contract on her life so the guild would not have any cause to attack her, an option that Josephine is opposed to.
Grand Masquerade Ball
During the ball at the Winter Palace, Josephine is forced to put up with her sister Yvette, and interrupts every time she attempts to talk about her past. Josephine also advocates preserving Empress Celene's claim to the throne.
Upon returning to Skyhold, Josephine is accosted by a cleric, who insists on having Leliana and Cassandra Pentaghast stand as candidates for the Divine. Josephine politely tells the cleric that the Inquisition needs them for the time being.
Battle of the Arbor Wilds
During the battle at the Arbor Wilds, Josephine is seen at the forward camp talking with Empress Celene about events in the Orlesian Empire as the final battle rages in the background. She worries for Maxwell and hopes for his safe return.
Battle at the Valley of Sacred Ashes
During the final battle, she posits that Corypheus's pet dragon may be coming for the Deep Roads and suggest contacting Orzammar for support, when she is interrupted by the Breach re-opening in the Valley of Sacred Ashes. When the Inquisitor returns to Skyhold victorious, she curtsies before her leader (and then embraces her lover) and spends the rest of the evening fretting over the details of the celebratory banquet, yet she is relieved she had to prepare for this instead of the end of the world.
Appearances in other media
- "For some years, I was the royally appointed court ambassador from Antiva to Orlais. The nobility of Thedas is a rather singular sphere. Those I'm not acquainted with, I know through reputation."
- (about the Inquisition) "We are a young cause. Diplomacy is essential to our credibility."
- "The Game is like Wicked Grace played to the death. You must never reveal your cards. When you meet the empress, the eyes of the entire court will be upon you."
- "Don't let them detract from your victory at Halamshiral."
- "The support of the empire should make our search for the Grey Wardens easier."
- "Varric is eager to help his friend Hawke."
- "We've beaten his Wardens and stopped his intrigues. Soon, Corypheus will have no place to hide."
- "Cullen is hoping to press our advantage. We'll plan our next attack when you're ready."
- Josephine Montilyet: "Val Royeaux has noted your lineage. It gives the Inquisition some legitimacy, although not as much as we'd hoped."
Maxwell Trevelyan: "Why not?"
Josephine Montilyet: "You are from Ostwick. Orlesian nobles consider the Free Marches somewhat... quaint."
Maxwell Trevelyan: "Orlesians are just baffled Free Marchers governing themselves without an empress to hold their hands."
Josephine Montilyet: "A peasant might get away with that insult, but not someone of your stature."
—Josephine and Maxwell
- She is described as "sweet and caring, has a lot of integrity, and has a bunch of really cute and funny moments".
- When visiting the Black Emporium, Xenon the Antiquarian sends his regards to Josephine, mentioning that one of her ancestors visited the hidden shop during the Blessed Age. Xenon sold her a candle mounted within the severed hand of a first acolyte of Razikale, and wonders if it's still in the possession of the Montilyet family as he should like to see it again.
- Josephine enjoys Carastian candies. Upon receiving them as a thanks from Magister Maevaris Tilani, mentioning that you would have to "pry them from her cold, dead fingers." Additionally, Leliana will also try to claim the "candied chocolates".