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In the Darkspawn Chronicles DLC, you'll play a hurlock vanguard -- which is essentially the same as a level 12 shield-and-sword warrior. There isn't any way to change the class of your character, and you won't gain any xp during the campaign, so the character you start with is the same as the one you'll end with.
You won't have any true companions during the campaign, but you will be able to "enthrall" up to three darkspawn to help you out. The game will give you the enthrall command at the start of the campaign and place it in your hotkey bar for you. You can also find it under Racial Abilities on your talents page. Enthralling a creature will add it to your party, and enthralling it again will kill it and remove it from your party.
You won't be able to talk to your enthralled darkspawn, but you will gain approval from them when you kill things. Just like the companions from the main campaign, the more approval you gain with your enthralled darkspawn, the more they'll gain talents that will add bonuses to their attributes.
If an enthralled darkspawn is killed during a battle, then it will disappear from the game (but other darkspawn will show up, so you'll always have creatures to choose from). If your character dies, then it will wake up with an injury at the end of the battle (just like characters in the main campaign), provided that at least one of your enthralled darkspawn survives.
You'll have to enthrall an ogre early in the campaign. If this ogre survives the entire campaign, then you'll gain an achievement. You'll also gain an achievement if you earn perfect approval from each type of darkspawn.