"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."
Lady Josephine Cherette Montilyet was born on the 15th 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 Montilyet (née 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 OrlaisEdit
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.
- "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."
- 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".