It’s that time of year again, sports fans: time for school. Yay? I will try to keep up my weekly postings despite the fact that I have a relatively easy class and a relatively hard class. Girl Scouts is also starting up again and there will probably be some changes. Either way, I’m hoping to keep up with everything.
Today’s picture is courtesy of Dragon Age Wiki and is the concept art for Kirkwall (found at dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/File:Kirkwall_concept_art_2.jpg.
The Witch kept her word and got them to Gwaren, a remote town on the southeast corner of Ferelden. It is surrounded by the Brecillian Forest and accessible only by ship or traveling along the Brecillian Passage. It is here the survivors took ship and sailed north in a caravan across the Waking Sea, lashed by terrible storms. Not all the ships made it.
Two weeks they spent in that dark hold, packed in with the fearful and the desperate. And then they saw it: Kirkwall – or The City of Chains as some call it – the coastal city-state and major population center located in the Free Marches – a group of city-states situated in the eastern continent of Thedas. It’s on the southern edge of the Vimmark Mountain range, east of the Planasene Forest, and north across the Waking Sea from the kingdom of Ferelden.
Long ago, it was part of the Imperium, slaves coming from far and wide to work the quarries. Now it’s a free city. But I use the word loosely.
Sail through those black cliffs and you’ll see what the slaves of old saw welcome them: the Gallows, the beloved and abhorred isolated fortress built just off the Docks. Adorning those cliffs were four figures, each one humanoid in form, thin and emaciated in stature with their hands covering their faces – tortured slaves, the reminders of the past. Then there are the buildings themselves – grey, cold and impenetrable in appearance. That’s where their ship landed with all the rest.
Varric stopped for a moment and poured himself another drink as he watched Small Fry take in everything.
“I will tell you something I never told anyone, not the Seeker and especially not even your mother. At the time I never thought to – it didn’t connect. But looking back… Before they arrived at Kirkwall, Hawke awoke from a dream. In the dream he saw a female – or rather he saw the form of a female. The feeling he got was that this person was there to help him, no matter what. He couldn’t approach her, couldn’t talk to her, but she seemed to know what was needed. He felt a deep connection with her, as though they were almost one. Her face was always hidden from him though, no matter what he tried. What awoke him from the dream was actually seeing her face.”
The elf looked up quickly, very intrigued. “Mother?”
Varric gave him a knowing look. “Perhaps. But one would have to wonder how.”
Small Fry looked down in thought. “How indeed.”
“Well, they arrived in Kirkwall, and they tried getting in. I’ll spare you a few details, I’m sure you’re more interested in where your mother comes into play.”
“I would, but I’ve never tired of his story. Maybe it was the way she told it.”
“Maybe, although a lot of it came from me.”
“You were a great teacher?”
“Flattery will get you nowhere, Small Fry, especially if you remain as emotionless as your father.”
The elf grinned. “So they arrived at Kirkwall. Cassandra mentioned a few incidents they encountered.”
Varric nodded. “The four of them waited three long days in that cold courtyard for Hawke’s Uncle Gamlen to make an appearance or send word that they could enter the city. They were tired, hungry and dirty as they watched other people come and go.”
“Gamlen took his time getting there.”
“And with good reason.”
“Ah yes, the estate. He never did stop gambling from what I’ve heard.”
“I think at some point he even owed your mother money – not that she ever thought of collecting anything.”
“She didn’t seem to care about that much.”
“She had a great affinity for helping those she considered less fortunate.”
“I wonder what would have happened had she been around to help Hawke at the beginning?”
Varric grinned but then quickly shrugged.
“So, Hawke and his family were given two choices: Anthenril, the female elf rogue and smuggler, and Meeran, the arrogant human leader of the Red Iron. Want to know a little information, Uncle?”
“Something I actually don’t know?”
Small Fry nodded. “Mother told me one night that she was glad Hawke chose to work for Anthenril rather than Meeran, even if Carver always appeared ashamed of it. She wasn’t sure if he’d be the same if he had started his new life as a murderer rather than a smuggler.”
“Murder? Well, considering it was Meeran, I’m not entirely surprised. But that your mother would say that… Either way would have put them into indentured servitude for a year. Hawke wasn’t exactly happy about it, even though he did want to make sure his family was safe and well taken care of.”