Fan Fiction: Dragon Age II

So classes are almost over for this semester and I’m going to have more time again to read and write. In fact, I’ve already dabbled a little bit on a couple of other stories.

Today’s picture is from actual game play but I found it at http://www.52miji.com. I’m thinking this site is outside the U.S. since I can’t read most of the writing.

Hope you enjoy!


Justice and Karl

Hawke considered himself a pretty powerful mage, but compared to Anders and what just happened, he paled in comparison. Whatever Anders had become, he was almost an infinite pool of mana that attacked the Templars ruthlessly and repeatedly. Man after man fell before them, too easily, until only one remained. As fatigue and injuries started to weigh him down, he glanced over and saw Anders still standing, still casting, and still glowing.

Only Karl remained stationary, that is until Anders, and whatever was in Anders, released a final blast of … something. Hawke wasn’t entirely sure what he did, but he felt it to his core. Anders would have continued his barrage, but Karl’s voice seemed to snap him back to reality.

Karl moved, looked around and shook his head, almost as though he had woken up from a long sleep. “I – Anders, what did you do?” Anders spun around and faced the man. The look on his face was something Hawke would remember for the rest of his life. Karl continued, his eyes emitting confusion and shock at what just transpired. “It’s like … you brought a piece of the Fade into this world. I had already forgotten what that feels like.”

“This … this bastard … ratted you out … to the Templars!” Carver stated in between heavy breaths.

The Warden was too elated to let the young warrior’s words bother him. “He wasn’t himself. Being made Tranquil takes away everything human inside you. He wasn’t capable of caring for me anymore. He could only follow the rules.” Again the warm smile and look on Anders’ face said more than what he explained and his eyes poured over the man’s features like a waterfall.

“I thought the Tranquil were cut off from the Fade forever.” Hawke stated as he turned to Carver. “This is what we were protecting Bethany from.”

“When you’re Tranquil, you never think on your life before.” Karl explained as he looked at Hawke. He then turned back to Anders and put a hand on the younger man’s shoulder. “But … it’s like the Fade itself is inside Anders. Burning like a sun.”

Hawke turned to Anders. “What did you do? Not the Fade part – the angry glowing bit.”

“It’s like a gateway to the Fade inside you.” Karl said to Anders. “Glowing like a beacon.

Anders frowned and a bit of the warmth and happiness in his eyes faded as he looked from Karl to Hawke and back. “I have … some unique circumstances, yes. But, Karl, what happened? How did they get you?”

“The Templars here are more vigilant than in Ferelden. They found a letter I was writing you … You cannot imagine it, Anders. All the color, all the music in the world, gone. I would gladly give up my magic, but this? I’ll never be whole again.” Karl’s demeanor changed from appreciation to fear and he released Anders, although the Warden tried to take hold of his friend’s hand. “Please, kill me before I forget again! I don’t know how you brought it back, but it’s fading.” Panic filled the gray eyes of the mage before them as he pleaded with Anders.

“Oh the poor man.” Merrill stated sadly.

Anders looked broken again and he shook his head. “Karl, no – you … you can’t ask me this …”

“Anders, I know there’s no cure for this.” Hawke started as he put a consoling hand on Anders’ arm.

“No. It’s like wanting to cure a beheading. The dreams of Tranquil mages are severed – there is nothing left of them to fix.”

“I would rather die a mage than live as a Templar puppet.” Karl said sadly. “Please Anders, if I revert I may … try to betray you again. I don’t think I could…”

Carver turned to Anders. “My sister called being made Tranquil a fate worse than death. Give him peace.”

Even Merrill agreed. “I would rather die than be Tranquil. Help him.”

Anders looked down, a defeated man, and his voice cracked when he spoke. “I got here too late. I’m sorry, Karl. I’m so sorry.”

Karl started to panic and moved back away from Anders. “Now! It’s fading …” Then he was quiet, silent. Tranquil. “Why do you look at me like that?”

Anders was on the verge of tears as he saw Karl die before him yet again. He gently touched the man’s cheek and then looked him in the eye as he drew his dagger.

“Goodbye.”

Karl gasped as the blade plunged deep into him. Anders turned as his friend fell to the ground. “We should leave before more Templars come.” He said as he walked away.

Fan Fiction: Dragon Age II

At one point I think I found the right picture for this chapter, but I’ve since lost it because I didn’t save it at the time I found it. I need to do that. This, however, is as close as I’ve come so far – it’s an actual screen shot from the game from http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Tranquility

I apologize for being behind in my postings. End of year at work, finals at school, Girl Scouts and other life things have gotten in the way a little. Not to mention that yes, I’ve actually written some on my Savior: Chronicles stories. Not sure whether they’ll also be blog stories or published as I have two other pieces of work plus my Sanity story available.

Hope you enjoy this! Thanks for your patience.


Rescue

Year 2, Day 21 – just before midnight in Hightown

It didn’t take them long to get from Anders’ clinic in Darktown to the Chantry in Hightown. The fact that they did so with absolutely no interference, interruptions or bloodshed, however, didn’t exactly sit well, though each was grateful for the reprieve. They entered Hightown slowly and cautiously, looking around for any signs of life.

The only one to see any movement, Anders ran off from the group amongst whispers of protest and practically sprinted up the stairs. The others took a slower pace, making sure the entire courtyard was clear. Anders was pacing when they made it to the top.

“Why did you…” Hawke started.

“I saw Karl go inside a few minutes ago. No Templars so far.” He stopped and looked at them. “Are you ready?”

“We didn’t see anyone suspicious out here. Let’s do this fast.”

“All right. I’ll handle the talking. You watch for Templars.”

They stood in the long hall of the Chantry. There were four large statues, two to the left and two to the right. Numerous candles surrounded these nearly twelve-foot behemoths, red candles that caused the statues to appear red, though they were probably copper color during the day. The men the statues portrayed held spears in one hand, and from the tip dangled lit braziers that emanated smoke rather than light – an incense to cleanse and purify the area.

Two doors stood between each pair, though what lay behind them was unknown to the party. In the distance were four marble pillars and a stone-brick hewn balcony upon which stood the altar. A red tapestry graced the wall along with numerous red candles. Further back and beyond the railing stood two more statues.

“When we find Karl, please, just let me talk to him.” Anders begged.

They made their way down the hall towards the pillars. As they came close they noticed mounted candle holders on them, each with a lit candle. These pillars also attached to two sets of stairs going up to the altar. Taking a chance, they decided to go up the right staircase. There was an alcove here, with lit braziers on each pillar. High tall thin windows let moonlight fall into the building. There was another door to the right and a small waiting area to the right of that.

And Karl.

He spoke as they approached, and Hawke immediately sensed something was wrong. “Anders. I know you too well. I knew you would never give up.”

“What’s wrong? Why are you talking like -?” The sheer emotion and panic in Anders’ voice was very visible.

Karl turned and faced the group. His eyes were devoid of life and there was a mark on his forehead. “I was too rebellious. Like you. The Templars knew I had to be … made an example of.”

It looked like Anders’ world crashed all around him. “No!” Thinking back, the others would describe the sight as his heart and soul breaking.

“How else will mages ever master themselves?” Karl’s monotone voice continued. “You’ll understand, Anders.” He shifted his eyes and looked behind the group. The motion made them all turn around in time to see Templars approaching them. “As soon as the Templars teach you to control yourself.”

Anders turned and faced his enemy as Karl motioned in his direction. “This is the apostate.”

Anders was too distraught for words. This was his worst nightmare come to life. Everything was spinning out of control. And then Justice took over. Anders’ eyes suddenly burned bright blue and he cried out again. “No!” Hawke took a step back, recognizing the voice from just hours earlier; Varric also noticed the difference, but none were prepared for what transpired.

He couldn’t lose control, couldn’t become the monster they thought all mages were. Those were his thoughts as he sank to his knees and let Justice burst through; and burst through he did. Hawke felt the shockwave when Justice came out. An almost inhuman flame surrounded Anders and it looked as though his skin were cracking and would completely break apart. The brown eyes were now blue, completely blue – no iris, no pupil, only a glow. And that voice, the same voice they heard when they first met the mage now took shape and appeared to regard them all as the enemy with just one single sentence:

“You will never take another mage as you took him!”

Fan Fiction: Dragon Age II

So I really didn’t have a picture for this post, at least nothing that I felt really fit. What I’m using is called “The World Reborn” by Nazgullow and can be found at http://nazgullow.deviantart.com/art/Dragon-Age-II-The-World-Reborn-416254179


A Favor for a Favor

“Look,” he said turning back to Anders. He tried his best to look at something else in his direction, but was constantly drawn back to the mage’s eyes. “My brother and I, we’re part of an expedition into the Deep Roads. Any information you have could save people’s lives.”

“I will die a happy man if I never think about the blighted Deep Roads again. You can’t imagine what I’ve come through to get here. I’m not interested …” A sudden thought hit him and he was quiet for a few seconds. “Ok, how about … a favor for a favor. Does that sound like a fair deal? You help me. I’ll help you?”

“Help our expedition reach the Deep Roads, and I’ll do … uh … we’ll do whatever you need.” Hawke stated then blushed.

“You don’t ask for my terms?”

“Let’s be more specific.” Carver stated. “We won’t do anything involving children or animals.”

The Warden looked Carver up and down, studying him for a moment. “What if I were asking for the Knight-Commander’s head on a spike?” Anders put forth.

“Well, is that what you want?” Hawke asked.

Bluff called. “You decide. I have a Warden map of the depths in this area. But there’s a price.” He turned and paced away from the group trying to gather his thoughts and come up with a request that didn’t sound completely ludicrous and impossible. “I came to Kirkwall to … aid a … friend. A mage. A prisoner in the wretched Gallows.” He turned back towards the group and jumped back slightly in shock when he noticed they had followed him a bit. He took a quick breath to calm himself, then continued. “The Templars learned of my plans to free him. Help me bring him safely past them, and you shall have your maps.”

“What do the Templars know of your plans?” Aveline asked, obviously not wanting to get into tremendous trouble with them.

“Tell me about your friend.” Hawke interjected before Anders could respond to Aveline. He then wondered for a second why that was so important to him.

So did Anders. “His name is Karl Thekla. He was sent here from Ferelden when Kirkwall’s Circle required new talent. His last letter said the knight-commander was turning the Circle into a prison. Mages are locked in their cells, refused appearances at court, made Tranquil for the slightest crimes. I told him I would come.”

Because Anders’ voice rose with each word, the others decided to back up a step or two, just in case.

“Are these accusations true?” Aveline asked.

Anders looked over at her, almost shocked to see her there. “Ask any mage in Kirkwall. Over a dozen were made Tranquil just this year.” He looked back at Hawke, realizing that he was also a mage. “The more people you ask, the worse the rumors become.”

“What do the Templars know of your plans?” Carver reiterated Aveline’s question, now worried that they may be walking into a trap. This was not something he wanted – his brother captured before they had a chance to get ahead wasn’t in the best interest of the family, even if it put him in charge.

“I don’t know! I had been exchanging notes with Karl through a maidservant in the Gallows. Then the letters stopped coming.”

“So you want to make your friend an apostate.” Varric stated.

“That’s such a weighted term. Yes, Andraste said magic should serve man, not rule him. But I’ve yet to find a mage who wants to rule anything. It goes against no will of the Maker for mages to live as free as other men.”

“Forcing mages into servitude is not the way to prevent the rise of another Imperium.” Hawke stated flatly.

Anders was pleasantly shocked. “That’s not usually the response I get. Perhaps we will work together better than I expected.”

Hawke blushed and suddenly lost his train of thought.

“Not to rain on your parade,” Aveline came to the rescue, “but how do you plan to break him out of the Gallows?”

Anders looked back at Aveline. “I’m hoping it won’t come to that. But if I did have a plan, I’m not sure telling a guardswoman would be the best way to go about it.”

“Fair enough.”

“I sent Karl a message to meet me in the Chantry tonight. Maker willing he’ll be there, alone. But if there are Templars with him, I swear, I’ll free him from them. Whatever the cost.”

“I’m not sure about attacking Templars.” Varric stated. “We might be better taking our chances with the Darkspawn.”

“If we fight Templars, it is because they decide that anyone who befriends a mage deserves death without questioning.” Anders responded.

“As just as his cause is, it makes me nervous. I don’t want to give the Templars reason to hunt us.” Merrill stated softly. Carver smiled warmly at her and motioned to not worry.

“I would help any mage in such circumstances, map or no.” Hawke stated, hoping that would calm the man down.

“Better make this good.” Carver said quietly to him. “We’re risking a lot if we anger the Templars.”

“Now you’re just trying to get on my good side. Seriously, I welcome your aid. Let’s head to the Chantry, and ensure that no matter who is with him, we all walk away free.”

Hawke nodded, and they all started for the Gallows area. They tried to move as quickly as possible as part of the night was already gone while they were discussing things.

Short Stories: Savior – Main

I went through and did a bit of maintenance on this series. No, I didn’t redo the story, I just did some cosmetic work.

I added some links in case anyone happens to want to read the entire story straight out. I noticed that although WordPress does have links for the next story, it does it according to what you write and I was busy writing out about three stories. That makes for a bit of confusion.

I’m also going to put a ‘chapter’ list here, just in case anyone loses their place or wants to start at a certain area.

Today’s picture is called “Angel and Demon” by ryky and can be found at http://ryky.deviantart.com/art/angel-and-demon-279936351.

I will be writing chronicles for Zhovaer, Karen and even Konnor. Still not sure about how I’m publishing them though.

I hope you enjoyed this series. I’m going to continue on with Sanity and my Dragon Age stories as well as working on about three other story lines.

I’m also putting up links to writers that I’m following – I think you’ll find them interesting, informative and entertaining. This is by no means everyone I follow and I’ll be putting up more with other stuff I post.

Thanks for reading!

=============================================================================

Savior

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

=============================================================================

Other Authors

Christopher Breidenger

Sasha the Sprite

Keith Garrett Poetry

Confessions of a Readaholic

Author Luther M Siler

Author Belinda Crane

Ryan Lanz – A Writer’s Path

Sir Isaac’s Universe

Short Stories: Savior

Yes, dear readers. It is sad that this short story now ends. But as the song says, it may not be the last you will read of these characters. I have notes for chronicles – just not sure if I will post them here or actually be brave enough to publish them.

I thought today’s picture was appropriate considering how I pictured my characters. This is called “My Guardian Angel” by Camino-Studios and can be found on deviantart at http://camino-studios.deviantart.com/art/My-guardian-Angel-250338737

I also thought I’d give you a final listing of the people who inspired this story:

God (Evanescence) – partial inspiration Alanis Morrissette
Metatron (Breaking Benjamin)
Archangels Michael (Kevin Durand), Gabriel (Tilda Swinton), Raphael (Paul Bettany), Cassiel (Shinedown) and Uriel (10 Years)

Jesus (Hozier)
Zhovaer (Five Finger Death Punch)
Konnor (Avenged Sevenfold)
Karen (Rachel Platten) – later inspiration

Lucifer (Panic! At The Disco) – later inspiration
Various angels and imps (DJ Earworm)

This isn’t to say that this is how I think of these people or bands. The story came to me as I was listening to their music.

===============================================================================

Gabriel put his arms around Konnor when everything was said and done. He had been on his knees but stood with the Arch Angel’s help and was now crying as he looked down at the area where his twin once lay.

“Why are you crying? What’s wrong?”

The range of emotions that flew across his face and surrounded him were so intense that he wasn’t able to answer his creator right away, but Gabriel patiently waited until the misled Guardian calmed. Taking a shaky breath, he finally answered. “I failed! I … I thought I knew what she asked of me when Lucifer took her, but I couldn’t help.”

“And who exactly did you fail?”

“Zhovaer, Karen, you! I failed God. I tried to keep The Beloved from going, but he left. I couldn’t stop him.”

The Arch Angel squeezed Konnor’s shoulders. “Oh, my lovely. You didn’t fail. It wasn’t your job to keep him from going.”

Konnor blinked and looked over at him, confused but perhaps hopeful.

“You were originally made to keep Terrans from forgetting who they are, why they were created and mostly importantly, to guard them from the traps Lucifer created when he fell. You were meant to be a beacon for when the time came.”

“But … Karen ….”

“She was created to be the beacon for those who saved the souls the Guardians weren’t able to rescue. I honestly think you two were my greatest creations.”

“She’s gone.”

“Oh ye of little faith.”

Gabriel let his arms fall from Konnor’s shoulders as the once-Lowly spun around to face the sound of the voice. They both gazed upon Michael as he strode up next to them and amazingly smiled. “Your kind never had much.” The Arch Angel said mainly to Konnor but he addressed both.

“He has more than most, and more than Terrans.” Gabriel retaliated before turning back to Konnor. “I am sorry that you both got too close to Terrans that you became more like them and less like us. But I never question God’s plans for us – she’s always known better than any the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ of it.”

Michael nodded. “She isn’t lost, not by any means. I got here as fast as I could to let you know what will happen.” He then put his hand on Gabriel’s shoulder. “And I think maybe I should be the one to do this my friend.”

Gabriel smirked, but then bowed and moved away from them.

“Karen made a great sacrifice – she gave up her ‘life’ for you, Zhovaer but especially for Metatron and she did it without thought of any but to help the three of you. Therefore she is saved but she needs to be cleansed. The only way this can be done is …”

“…for her to be born a Terran. So … she’s gone from me. I won’t … ever see her again.”

“Yes and no. You are to be a Guardian again.”

“I … me? A Guardian again?” Konnor felt a wave of happiness engulf him.”

“More specifically, you are to be her Guardian.

You’ll be there to see her born.

You’ll be there to comfort her when she has a bad dream and her parents don’t hear her crying.

For the joys and sorrows that come during the awkward Terran ‘teen-age’ years – you’ll be the one hope she will hear or feel when she thinks she’s alone.

When she’s in the university library looking for books and she thanks you for keeping that rather large one from falling on her head.”

“I will protect her.”

“Meanwhile, we’ll be up here, trying to fix things. We’ll call you back up once things are relatively settled.”

“How long will that be?”

“It may be for the rest of her life.”

===============================================================================

Previous Chapter                        ©2015 Dazrahe / Deborah McCarthy

Fan Fiction: Dragon Age II

So, last week I started school and wasn’t able to post as much as I wanted to. I know I posted my fan-fiction because it’s something that I pretty much have almost all written.

We’re getting really close to the part where my imagination takes over from the story.

Today’s picture is a screen shot from the game, but it came from dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Bianca


The First Year and Varric.

Indentured servitude with Athenril began the Champion’s first year in Kirkwall.

Word arrived from across the sea that the Hero of Ferelden had defeated the Blight. Now before you ask, it was gauged that it had been about six months from the fall of Ostagar to the Champion’s flight from Lothering. It was about another month before Hawke got to Kirkwall. But getting back to the story: the Hero saved Ferelden and subsequently the rest of the world and put a queen on the throne: Anora Mac Tir Theirin – Cailan’s widow and ironically Loghain’s daughter. But Lothering itself was destroyed beyond rebuilding at the time. Kirkwall was the Champion’s home now. So he remained, paying off his debt. Made quite a name for himself in the underworld.

It was busy that year in the city. That’s when the Qunari, you know that white-haired, metallic-skinned, gigantic race whose society governs the island nations of Par Vollen and Seheron and the settlements of Kont-Aar and Qundalon in the northern Rivain and Anderfels, landed. They claimed a great storm caught their ship and left hundreds of their warriors stranded in the city, waiting to return home. To say it made the citizens of Kirkwall nervous was an understatement.

That’s also when the trouble began with the mages. Although some blamed what transpired at the Ferelden Circle of Magi for this, others were more skeptical. Either way, the Templars had become very powerful under the near-tyrannical grip of Knight Commander Meredith Stannard. Even protected as he was, that made Hawke nervous.

But most importantly, that’s when I first met the Champion.

Year 2, Day 1 – early morning in Hightown.

Hawke and his younger brother Carver were walking with Bartrand Tethras, head of the once noble Tethras House in Orzammar. Hence, he’s a dwarf. They were no longer under Athenril’s protection but still needed to hide from the Templars and had heard Bartrand was preparing an expedition into the Deep Roads. They figured if they were able to go, they’d be able to get enough money to either continue hiding, have enough influence to escape notice or leave Kirkwall altogether.

Their pleas weren’t going over too well.

“No!” Bartrand bellowed as he walked to his destination, the brothers following right behind him. “Andraste’s tits, human! You know how many people want to hire onto this expedition?”

“Look,” Carver said as diplomatically as he could, “we know you’re going into the Deep Roads. You’ll need to hire the best and we’re…”

“No!” the dwarf reiterated. “You’re too late! Already done! This is the sort of venture that could make a man for life! I’m not about to take any chances hiring random humans.”

Carver continued, but it was apparent his temper would be getting the better of him. “The money from this trip could fix everything! You need us. We’ve fought darkspawn!”

Bartrand stopped walking and briefly put a hand to his forehead as Carver spoke then lowered it when he gave his response. “Look, precious, I don’t care if you tore the horns off an ogre with your bare hands. I don’t need you! Go home!”

Carver frowned, grit his teeth because of the memory that description brought to him, then completely lost it before he turned to Hawke. “You make him understand! We’re running from your bloody Templars!”

“I know how you feel, but we’ll earn no favors with your fist in his face.” Hawke said calmly, although he too was affected by the dwarf’s statement.

Carver shook his head. “Then we do nothing, as always.” He turned away from Hawke as Hawke turned to Bartrand.

“My brother can be hotheaded, but we do have the skills to benefit your expedition. We can discuss this over a drink, I’ll buy! Everyone wins!”

“Get in line, human. Half of Kirkwall wants to be my best friend right now. You’re looking for a quick way out of the slums, right?” Bartrand asked. “You and every other Ferelden in this dump. Find another meal ticket.” He barked as he left the two.

Carver turned back to Hawke after they watched the dwarf leave. “Well. Back to waiting for someone to turn us in. This expedition was our last chance.”

“It’ll get harder if we’re at each other’s throats.” Hawke replied.

“I know. It just … seems like you either die in this city, or you end up like the scum we’re bargaining with.” They turned and started walking away from the area. “We need coin, status, something we can shove in that dwarf’s face. And keep people off our backs. As long as we’re just refugees, we’re no one.” Carver stopped and faced his brother. “And all I can think of is Uncle Gamlen.”

“I know he got us into the city, but he’s the reason we’ve been practically slaving here for a year. I don’t trust him, I’m sure he actually got something out of ‘helping’ us. But, if there’s a chance he can push Bartrand…” Hawke responded.

“It’s worth checking.” He continued on sounding depressed and dejected. “What else can we do? We’re losing ground, and I don’t fancy waking up in the Gallows.”

“Neither do I.”

They started walking again, their next stop: Uncle Gamlen’s house. Of course, The Blooming Rose would probably have been a better place to start and they were already in the area, but it would probably be safer to start at home.

After a few feet, a red-haired man bumped into Hawke. Hard. At first neither brother thought anything of it, but then Hawke went to reach for his coin purse.

“Hey!” He yelled at the already fleeing man.

The thief ran around a corner when he heard a loud, clicking sound. The next thing he knew, his shoulder was hit by something sharp, cold and heavy and he was shoved up against the wall. As he struggled to free himself, he saw a dwarf putting away a crossbow and walking towards him.

“I knew a guy once who could take every coin out of your pockets just by smiling at you. But you? You don’t have the style to work Hightown, let alone the Merchants Guild.” He held an open hand to the man, who promptly put Hawke’s coin bag into it.

The dwarf pocketed the money just as Hawke and Carver came into view. He didn’t acknowledge them yet, though, just looked straight into the thief’s face. “Might want to find yourself a new line of work.” Then promptly punched him in the jaw, grabbed and withdrew the crossbow bolt he fired and let the man fall down. “Off you go.”

Hawke gasped as the dwarf approached, bouncing his coin bag in one hand, which he tossed to Hawke once he was close enough.

“How do you do? Varric Tethras, at your service!

Fan Fiction: Dragon Age II

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.

Enjoy!


Entering Kirkwall

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.”

Fan Fiction: Dragon Age II

I probably should have used the picture from the last fan-fiction post for this post but be that as it may, this picture wasn’t that bad either. This is a wallpaper option from http://www.wallpapersource.co/dragon-age-2-fire-hd-wallpaper/. I would have loved to have found one with more than just Hawke and Flemeth, but this isn’t bad.

I really revamped this one, for me it’s actually a combination of two chapters. Enjoy!


The Price of Freedom

“Flemeth.” Small Fry said absently as he looked down at the table. “I’m sure she was proud enough to state every name she’s been given through the years. Tell me, was Cassandra surprised?”

Varric stood up, walked over to one of his casks and took out a bottle. He then walked towards and past Small Fry to the cabinet behind him and procured two chalices. Returning to the table, he placed one of them before the elf and poured some of the contents of the wine bottle into it. He then walked back over to his chair. “Well, I thought that bit of information would be of interest to her.” Varric replied. “Although she was reluctant to believe a myth swooped out of the Wilds to save the Champion.”

Small Fry grinned then took up the chalice and looked at it for a moment before speaking. “Yes, that does sound like her to a T. Did you have to recite the tale of the Warden to her as well?”

He shook his head. “No. She finally admitted that Flemeth’s involvement wasn’t as far-fetched as she had come to believe. But for a moment, she didn’t believe what I was saying.”

Small Fry nodded as he took a drink. “Questioned what you were telling her, did she?”

“Or what I wasn’t. Not that it mattered much; what was most important was that Flemeth offered to get Hawke and his group past the horde in exchange for what she claimed would be a simple delivery.”

“A delivery. The one to the Dalish.”

“That’s what he told me but there was more to the price to be paid than just this delivery.”

“You mean the Templar?”

“Wesley. He was more than injured, he was writhing in pain. He suggested that the group leave him behind, but Aveline wouldn’t hear of it.”

“Sometimes there’s not much choice. What you described to Cassandra – he swallowed Darkspawn blood.”

Varric nodded. “That part worried Hawke, because they all had been fighting the creatures. When Flemeth said what she did, he pleaded that there had to be something someone could do to help. He didn’t want to lose another person, even if that someone was a Templar who he didn’t really know.”

“The only known ‘cure’ is to become a Grey Warden.” The elf stated. “And at the time it had been believed that they all died at Ostagar.”

“Hawke told me what Flemeth said: Not all, but the last are … now beyond your reach. I didn’t say this to Cassandra, but Hawke caught Flemeth’s action when she said it – she turned and narrowed her eyes at Hawke as she said the last part, as though he was contradicting her response.”

“Did she have any inkling about Mother?”

“Are you asking about Flemeth or Cassandra?”

“Cassandra.”

“No. It didn’t appear that she did, but that made no difference. At that point in time your mother wasn’t involved, so everything I told her was the exact truth as much as I could describe it since I too wasn’t there to witness it firsthand. I think it was more that she felt Flemeth was somehow part of the cause of this whole mess.”

“Interesting. She couldn’t have originally thought that the Witch was involved in all this. I do wish she wouldn’t make assumptions until all the facts are laid out.”

“She’s not the only one who does that, Small Fry.”

The elf ignored the statement. “Did Mother ever meet her? Flemeth I mean.”

“No. The witch never made an appearance while your mother was with me or any of our group.”

“That doesn’t mean she wasn’t aware of her.”

“True. Stories I’ve heard and personal interaction confirms that she has knowledge of quite a bit that goes on in Thedas. Makes me jealous.” Varric chuckled. “If either was aware of the other, well, Flemeth that I know of never ventured to seek her out. Your mother never mentioned to me that she saw or spoke to the infamous Witch of the Wilds; I don’t recall Hawke mentioning it either. Whether Anders or Merrill knew…” Varric shrugged. “Fate or chance or maybe both intervened.”

“But, from what you said of her just now…

“I know why you’re asking.”

The elf raised an eyebrow.

Varric grinned. “I’ll save that for later though.”

Small Fry sighed. “I cannot imagine what Aveline went through, what had to be going through her mind when she was asked to kill her own husband. I can’t imagine anyone having to do that.

“Just wait then, Small Fry, my story gets better. ‘Without an end, there can be no peace.’ That’s what the witch said when she turned and walked away from them. ‘It gets no easier. Your struggles have only just begun’. What do you think she meant by that?”

The elf merely sat quietly looking at his uncle, contemplating everything said so far.

Fan Fiction: Dragon Age II

Today’s picture is called Asha’bellanar by Spicyroll and can be found at http://spicyroll.deviantart.com/art/Asha-bellanar-217215951. There are lots of great pictures on this site


The Witch of the Wilds

They all turned away from Bethany, hoping to make it off the hill before the rest of the patrol caught up to the ones they vanquished.

“Flames!” Aveline cursed. “We’re too late.”

Three waves came at the simultaneously, one from each path – right, left and straight ahead of them. They could hear the Darkspawn growls, yells and shouts, could see them brandishing their weapons. Cold, merciless eyes focused on the now smaller group, preparing to destroy them.

“They’re too powerful!” Carver cried out as he eyed their foe. “We need to retreat!”

“We’ve nowhere to go.” Aveline answered.

True enough, their only hope was to whittle the groups down as quickly as they could. Three groups turned into two, then immediately shot up to four as another battalion emerged from the path behind them, the very one they had taken to get to the area.

“There’s no end to them…” Carver groaned, looking at the now closed and encroaching circle of monsters.

Suddenly, another grumbling sound was heard and again the ground shook. They looked around thinking another ogre was on its way to them. Only thing was, the Darkspawn also looked around. Seeing nothing amiss on the ground, and nothing charging them, all eyes went up the mountainside. Standing there, or maybe sitting there, its wings folded about itself, was a giant red dragon. As they continued watching, it spread its wings and bellowed a roar that shook them all to the core. The Darkspawn retreated slightly, Hawke and his party however stood their ground and never took their eyes off it.

The dragon jumped up off its perch, flapped its wings and promptly flew down at them spewing fiery death in its wake. It circled around and grabbed a fleeing Darkspawn in its claw, flew up into the air and promptly dropped it, letting it plummet to a fiery death.

Hawke and the others had ducked when it first swooped down off its perch, now they stood as they saw it fly back around for another attack. It landed in the midst of the burning horde and let loose another pillar of flame. Its tail swished, sending a multitude of creatures flying. Then it grabbed another Darkspawn, stood on its hind legs and looked over at Hawke. He stood there, fear in his eyes, wondering if it would come after his family and newfound companions now that it was done with the Darkspawn. As they watched, it was enveloped in a swirl of fire. The form started to shrink within until all that was left was the figure of a … person.

A woman.

An old woman to be precise.

She had long white hair that fell almost to the middle of her back; some from the front was tied back with red twine to resemble horns, while a reddish metal face piece held those back. Since she had been a dragon, it seemed appropriate, just like what looked like red leather armor that she wore, except for what covered her arms. Those shined like cold red steel plate. The woman approached them, dragging a corpse in her armored and clawed hand. She dropped it once she passed the ring of fire then stood before them.

“Well, well, what have we here?” She said, her voice almost purring out regalness.

Hawke and Carver both approached her, but before they got half-way they heard the clanking of metal. Turning, they saw Wesley collapsing while Aveline attempted to help him. Hawke turned back to the old woman as she kept speaking, seemingly oblivious to the predicament with the couple. “It used to be we never got visitors to the Wilds, but now it seems they arrive in hordes!”

Funny? “I don’t know what we would have done if you hadn’t arrived.” Hawke said diplomatically.

The woman smirked. “I do! You would have perished. You still may.” She turned and started moving away from them. “If you wish to flee the Darkspawn, you should know you are heading in the wrong direction.” She meant to depart.

Carver started walking towards her. “So you’re just going to leave us here?”

The woman stopped, then after a moment slowly turned her head towards them. “And why not?” She turned completely around and faced them, then started walking back towards Hawke as she spoke. “I spotted a most curious sight: a mighty ogre, vanquished! Who could perform such a feat? But now my curiosity is sated, and you are safe … for the moment. Is that not enough?”

“We won’t be able to get through the Darkspawn on our own.” Hawke pleaded.

“They are everywhere…” the woman agreed “…or soon will be. Where is it you plan to run to, hmm?”

“We’re going to Kirkwall – in the Free Marches.” Carver responded.

“Kirkwall? My, but that is quite the voyage you plan. So far … simply to flee the Darkspawn.”

“Our home is gone, and we have nowhere else to go.” Hawke explained.

“I see. Hurtled into the chaos, you fight … and the world will shake before you.”

Hawke just looked at her, unsure of what to make of her words.

The woman turned around and walked away from them a bit. She then stopped, crossed one arm over her stomach to brace the other that rested under her chin. “Is it fate or chance? I can never decide.” She lowered her hands then lowered her head and thought. After a moment, she turned back to them with her answer. “It appears fortune smiles on us both today. I may be able to help you yet.” She walked back towards them.

“Anything you could do for us would be appreciated.” Hawke said.

Carver looked at his brother. “Should we even trust her? We don’t even know what she is!”

Aveline responded to that statement as she continued tending to her wounded husband. “I know what she is. The Witch of the Wilds.” Wesley lay next to her looking pale and near death. Only small movements he made told that he wasn’t yet gone.

Short Stories: Savior

Hello dear readers!

I know I’m early in posting this, but I got so deep into writing I had to. I will apologize to anyone who this part disturbs although I didn’t go into great detail about things. But as you can see from the picture (which I got from http://www.history.army.mil) it may bring back some not so pleasant memories.

And I know how painful those can be – my grandfather was a P.O.W. in WWII.

At any rate, I hope you enjoy this. And – and this goes out to one blogger in particular because we already spoke about things like this – if anyone is good/great at writing Vietnam-type stories, you’re more than welcome to fill in the gaps that I’ll unfortunately be leaving here.

Thank you!

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He walked on slowly and quietly, his blue eyes scanning the area before him, his ears straining to hear the faintest noise that would indicate any trouble.

“Zane?” he jumped when he heard his name whispered and quickly and subconsciously raised his left arm, elbow bent, and fist clenched, to tell the guy behind him to shut up and stop moving. Then he tightened his grip on his weapon and motioned for them to get down.

‘Honestly!’ he thought. ‘This kid is gonna get us all killed if he doesn’t keep quiet while we’re on patrol.’

Both men squatted low. Granted they were still in the midst of the jungle, but anything could happen. The enemy was better at hiding than they were. Any minute they would hear a weapon click and fire…

Suddenly, Zane shook his head quickly. What was he thinking? Exactly how long he had been in this place? He closed his eyes and took a deep breath then raised his hand up and wiped the sweat from his brow. For a moment he felt the cold metal through the mesh of his helmet against his skin. This wasn’t right, they had to keep moving; he opened his eyes, stood and motioned for them to continue.

They walked on in silence, but now Zhovaer was more aware of what was going on. Pretty soon things would be clearer for both of them and then … what? He wasn’t exactly sure. Nothing was changing and it was beginning to worry him. He thought for sure that the green of the jungle would meld into the dark and red desolate desert that he saw when he met Karen, but nothing was. Doubt began to gnaw at him and it took everything in him to push down the feeling that maybe he had actually gone crazy from the war and he wasn’t actually leading them both to their deaths.

What had Karen said? She had felt this way when she rescued him? Scared? Afraid she would lose him back to whatever part of Hell she had taken him from? Everything she had told him, all the preparation but nothing said hinted at anything he had experienced. But thinking about her, her words, hearing her voice tell him he had an important job to do, all of it started to calm him down, to have more faith in himself. If nothing else he convinced himself that he was doing this for her.

Suddenly, he felt pressure on his shoulders and a tug against his back. Reaching up, he took hold of the straps to his backpack. He felt the wind in his hair and lifting his hand to his head felt the helmet was gone. He looked down and saw he wore fatigues but not what he had been wearing only minutes before. Gone also was the weapon he had been holding. His spirits rose, everything seemed well. Except that looking around, what he saw surprised him. The jungles of Vietnam were gone, but instead of a desert scene, he saw what looked like a sunrise in the distance to the right. Although the area was becoming more and more empty, there was grass and rocks on the side. For a moment he wondered if he didn’t come out the wrong door.

Then he started hearing noises, but different noises than what he had experienced back in the section of Hell he just escaped from. There was an especially loud sound coming from behind him. Breathing a sigh of relief, he turned mid-stride and looked behind him. Then he thanked God.

Glen was there, walking behind him, looking around. He was still wearing his uniform, but his helmet was hooked at his waist and he no longer held a weapon. The man also had a hold of the straps of his backpack and his face held a rapture that Zhovaer couldn’t place but was glad he was able to witness. When Glen turned back and looked at Zhovaer, he smiled.

“What happens now? Where do I go? Do I follow you?” Glen asked him, fear starting to gnaw at him.

Zhovaer smiled brightly, then looked down at the path beneath them. He glanced behind him and saw the fork in the road. “No man, this is where we part ways.”

“But … but … you’re just gonna leave me?”

Zhovaer shook his head and grinned brightly. “Just follow the path.” He responded, pointing up and to the right. “Don’t leave it, and you’ll get to where you’re supposed to be.”

Glen looked in the direction the man pointed. “Where I’m supposed to be? You mean with my family? Finally?”

Zhovaer clapped his hand on Glen’s shoulder and grinned. He saw the fear evaporate and become replaced with hope and happiness. “Yeah man. Finally, they’re waiting for you.”

Glen turned back to and hugged him. “Thank you! I can’t tell you …”

“It’s all good, man. Just don’t get off the path. And don’t lose your ticket.”

Glen let him go, gave him a funny look, but turned and started walking up the sloped road to the right.

“You did really well, Zhovaer.” Karen said as she walked up behind him.

He wasn’t surprised to hear her voice. He was actually now grateful to know he got something right. “You think so? He didn’t even look like he remembered what happened.”

“You helped him let go of what was keeping him here – those were the only memories he had. Besides, do you remember?”

He thought for a moment, and found he couldn’t, not entirely. Just bits and pieces. “No, not really.” He turned and looked at Karen. “Is this how it is for you?”

She grabbed the straps of her backpack and started walking up to the fork in the road. “I think so. I don’t remember. I guess I never needed to.”

He followed her quickly. “Until me.”

She shrugged.

“I was starting to worry. Things don’t look the same.” He started looking around: things weren’t changing, except that the light of the sunrise he saw was fading. But the forest-type scenery he first encountered pretty much stayed.

“That’s because you’re in charge now.”

“In charge?”

“This isn’t my Hell now, it’s yours.”

He nodded in confusion, and then quickly shook his head. “Wait. What?”

“Do you know what Hell is?”

“It’s torture – a punishment.”

“Mm … yes and no.”

“Ok.”

“Simplistically speaking, it’s a torture because you’re away from God. And the reason that keeps you away is the punishment.” They walked along as she explained things and he watched her intently, not wanting to miss anything that would give away the truth of what was going on. “Everything here has no memory – no lasting or long term memory. Only the redundant emotion that eats at us is allowed to survive here. That is what creates the world you see around you.” She motioned her arm out in a sweeping gesture. “Only you don’t have those emotions, so your world here will always look different.”

It still didn’t make much sense, but as he looked around it made him feel better about things. Especially knowing what he did for that young man. “So, where to now?” He thought for a second, and then added. “Hey, you weren’t with me at all. Where were you?”

She sighed softly and then ignored his second question. “I don’t know where we’re going yet. But there’s no rush. We may not find our way for a long while.”

He didn’t miss it. “Why not? And don’t think you’re off the hook, I asked you a question, Missy.”

She grinned and softly chuckled for a moment, but kept walking until he grabbed her arm. When he turned her around to look at him there was sadness in her features.

“Oh, I’m not gonna like this right?” He asked as he let her go.

“Come on. There’s much to tell you and no, you may or may not like it, I don’t know.”

They continued walking down the path, to the left, away from Glen.

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