“Mamae…Mamae!!” (Mother…Mother) A tiny voice rang out, though barely heard over the roar of the fires burning.
“Mamae…Mamae na mara san!!!” (Mother…Mother where are you!!!”
I could feel the little one run, feel the muscles burning from running and searching.
Looking through their eyes I watched the little one frantically run around the burning aravels, the hala running in terror. Flashes of light, loud booms ringing out through the air. All of the sudden, a familiar voice echoed through the noise,
“Da’len?! Da’len, Ma da’mi!!!” (Little one? Little one, my blade!!!”
Coming into view was a tall woman; her bright blue vallaslin covered with dirt and blood. She knelt down to the little one, putting her staff on her back, and picked my being up. She started running, clinging to the body as tight as she could, her breath ragged as she pushed her body to continue.
From behind me, in the direction we were heading, I heard two little voices,
“Mamae! Lyavel!” “Mamae!!!!”
All of the sudden the woman’s body shuddered, her back arching backwards as she fell to the ground. Her grip on the body loosened as she dropped. My vision turned towards the ground; the little body turning to brace for impact.
Just as soon as the little one pushed up from the ground, the view turned back towards the woman. There, lying on her stomach as she reached out towards my view, her face writhing in pain as she gasped out,
“Da…da’mi, ghilas. Ghilas, da’len!” (My…my blade, go. Go, little one!)
The view went to the woman’s back, three arrow shaft protruding from it. I could feel tears run from the little one’s eyes as she watched the woman try frantically to get up; yelling to the child to go.
Just then something glinted a little bit behind the woman. As the little one focused, I could see it was the shine of a long blade; dripping red. Holding the blade was a tall being; big and broad shouldered. Heavily armored with it’s face covered by a helmet of some sort, though I could see it’s eyes; bloodlust. A feeling of terror filled the little one, the body shaking as the being got closer and closer.
The woman looked over her shoulder and realized what was happening.
“Ghilas!!! GHILAS, DA’MI!!!” (Go!!!! GO, LITTLE ONE!!!!)
As I felt the child break out of the trance and start to get up the being was standing directly over the woman. As it lifted it’s blade above it’s head the woman’s hand started pulsing with power; lightning magic gathering into a small orb.
The woman looked directly into our/my eyes, a tear falling from a corner of her eye.
“Ar lath ma, Da’mi. Da’inan, Da’enasal… ma da’fens.” (I love you, Little Blade. Little Eyes, Little Gift….my little wolves.)
And as the blade came down with a rushing force, the woman turned her body towards the being and threw the lightning ball. The little voice rang out as each weapon connected,
My body jerked forward, sitting up in the bed. My breath came out in gasps as I gulped for air; sweat pouring down my skin as my heart pulsed throughout my body like a thunderstorm roaring over the ocean. I brought my knees up to my chest, wrapping my arms around them, and laid my head down as I tried to steady my breathing.
Why was that dream popping up again? It had been the only dream I dreamt for the past few days. I never knew what triggered it, but in the past I had my siblings wake me from it. My siblings… my mind immediately jumped to my clan. I wondered how they are all doing.
‘Probably better off without me, most likely…’ I thought to myself.
I wasn’t a favorite after all. I was only a Hunter that our Keeper thought was best suited to go to the Conclave to see what the shemlens were up to; to see if we needed to prepare for an attack on the Clan. I laughed under my breath. My clan was always cautious around the shemlen; some of our young hunters even went as far as killing a few and hanging the corpses at the edge of the woods to warn them that we were in the forests. Of course they always got in trouble for doing so, but it never really stopped. The entire clan was told to beware the shemlen; ever since that night…
I shook my head; shaking the images from my mind. I would never forget what I saw, what I felt and quite frankly I didn’t believe I wanted to. I had always had a rage inside me, wanting to join my fellow hunters in making the humans pay for what they had done. But as I grew older I knew that was not the way. For they weren’t the humans that murdered my kin, my mother, in cold blood in front of my eyes; they weren’t the humans that destroyed everything we held dear to our hearts. I knew that I would most likely never see them again in my life, but that did not stop my distrust for the humans.
My distrust… oh how I had started to change. My Keeper would most likely be ashamed of me.
‘Fenedhis, what am I thinking’
It had been a few months since this whole ‘Inquisition’ thing had started. Who would have thought a Dalish elf, one that despised shemlens for a good portion of her life, would now be the ‘Herald of Andraste’…
I started remembering the day the Seeker and the Spymaster ‘interrogated me. I was waiting for them to give me an excuse to kill them then and there, though I knew I would not survive to escape for the guards were already there with their swords waiting for me to move. Yet, even though the whole investigation, the Seeker undid my chains binding me to the floor. She even explained to me all that had happened. I could hear the sadness and mourning in her voice, see it in her eyes, and it made me realize something. She was just like me… That was what stayed my hand, my mind started doubting my hatred to her kind from that moment on.
After all of that I became the Herald of Andraste, the shemlens’ prophetess or something like that. That was still somewhat absurd in my eyes, an Dalish elf their Savior. I still didn’t know how it came to be that way, but I wasn’t complaining out loud; I was able to meet some interesting people to say the least. The Advisors were very interesting in their own rights.
Cullen, the strong but haunted warrior, was quite the gentleman. I could see it in his eyes that he was trying to redeem himself in a way. Plus he was so nice to me, making sure that I was comfortable and offering me advice for my travels; another reason that was starting to change my perspective on the humans.
Josephine was quite the woman; able to be so orderly and polite at the same time when it came to the visiting nobles. At times she reminded me of my brother, always the negotiator. She also tried to make sure I was comfortable, even going as far as finding Dalish recipes for the cooks.
Lelianna reminded me of my sister at times; calm and cautious. She definitely was a professional rogue. It actually shocked me to know that she traveled with the Hero of Ferelden, someone I thought was just a story the shemlen came up with to try and erase all of their darkness. Yet whenever she talked about her, how she came from being of a noble family to being the Queen of Ferelden, I could see it in her eyes that she was remembering memories that were very dear to her. That showed me that Lelianna definitely had a heart of gold, yet after the whole Breach incident, she was trying not to show it.
Solas was definitely a curious elf. He wasn’t a city elf, yet he wasn’t one of the Dalish either. I respected his opinions about the People, yet it bugged me how he took offense at some of the legends of old. I somehow felt that he was hiding something…but he had been very helpful on the road, even offering me guidance about the Mark, so I didn’t push it; though I did believe before all of it was over his secret would come to light.
Asha Adaar was a very interesting character. One, I had never met a qunari before and two, I had never heard of one being a mage; much less one in the Circle. Very tall to say the least; light greyish skin, curling dragon like horns around her braided white hair. She was one of the mages representing the Circle at the Conclave, but thankfully she was in Haven helping with refugees. At first a lot of people were wary of her, but over the next couple of days they realized that she wasn’t a danger to anyone; well not to people she considered allies at least. Apparently, she was like the 5th seat behind the First Enchanter; making her a very powerful mage. I respected her and in turn she respected me.
Now Varric…my he was such a character. Always telling stories left and right to anyone that would pay attention. I actually liked listening to him on the road. For one, he was an excellent rogue; we somehow now have a competition between us on how many traps we can find and dismantle before the rest can notice. And two he was always there for you. He was always there to help me understand any shemlen saying I had no clue of knowing. Plus… he was teaching me Wicked Grace…and how to cheat without getting caught.
Madame Vivienne was also a character. Calm and collected, yet I could tell she was up to something whenever we talked. I didn’t know if she was just using the Inquisition as a means to an end or just something to add to her list of experiences, but I definitely understood that she wasn’t a threat. She wouldn’t jeopardize us in anyway that would harm her. Yet, she had a ‘motherly’ air about her. She was always complementing me on my appearance or my behavior when it came to certain situations.
Now Sera was a really interesting character. I could never understand half of the things she said or did. Being raised in the city definitely made her become more and more like a shemlen, which really twisted my nerves when she talked ill about The People and our ways. Luckily, she knew when she was about to push me too far and she would shut up or change the subject in time. Varric got a kick out of seeing my expression whenever she pulled a, what did he call it… a ‘180’ on me. Still don’t have a clue what that meant.
Dorian was also…interesting to say the least. At first I thought he was just another noble trying to get on the Inquisition’s good side, though now after going through the whole Magister Alexius
situation I figured he wasn’t all that bad…that is from what I’ve heard about Tevinters. All throughout that mission he was always trying to be serious on completing our mission, but at the same time he was trying to make sure that my moral was up. No one, besides my siblings, had done that before. He made me feel safe, somewhat like my brother.
Blackwall reminded me of Cullen at times, someone who was trying to redeem himself of a violent past. I could tell just from the way he talked that there was something more to him, but since he was a Grey Warden he must have had a troubled life.
Then there was Iron Bull. Now there was a sight. Let’s just say that when I first set my sights on him, I was intimidated. He could have easily crushed me with a single blow, if he was able to catch me that was. Yet whenever he offered me his hand to help me up a cliffside or off of my Hart, his grasp was always gentle. He also had an interesting personality; always badmouthing his Chargers, yet he was fiercely protective of them. That was definitely a quality that drew me to liking his company. He was so lively and spirited, yet a fierce warrior in combat. I guess you could say I felt safe with him. I didn’t realize how much I depended on him until the whole mage/ time travel situation. When I saw him…being corrupted by the red lyrium…and then die protecting me. I couldn’t take it. As soon as I saw his body hit the floor I instantly remembered how my mother died. I swore to myself when we got back to our present that it wouldn’t happen again. Never.
I sighed as I looked out of the small window of the cabin; realizing it was way to early for the normal people of Haven to be up and about their business, but there was no way I could go back to sleep after that. So I got up and put on my armor, strapping all of my blades to my person; putting my dual swords on my hips last.
Being raised in the Lavellan clan you always carried a weapon, even to a holy ceremony. The Keeper was very adamant that everyone be prepared…in case anything like the catastrophe happened again. And being my mother’s child I always carried at least five blades; the two prominent swords on my hips and the other three smaller ones hidden somewhere in my armor. I was sort of different from ordinary fighters; I wasn’t a rogue…and I wasn’t a warrior. I guess you could say I was a mixture of both; I was so skilled with blades that I actually used duel wield rogue skills with warrior style one handed weapons. To tell you the truth I almost though Bull’s jaw was going to fall off when I first fought by his side. Even Cassandra was in awe of my skill.
After finishing all of my ‘morning ritual’ I decided I would go check on my Hart, Banalhan or Shadow in common tongue. Unlike normal Harts, Banalhan was solid black; everything from his antlers to his hooves. My Keeper wanted to leave it in the wilderness after he was born, believing he was a bad omen, but I protested that he should have a chance to live and prove himself. The Keeper finally agreed after I protested to do any of my chores for three days straight; my siblings got a kick out of that since I had to catch up after that. And Banalhan has not let me down to this day.
The fresh snow that had fallen the night before softly crunched under my feet. I was actually starting to welcome the feel of the boots that I was given. Being Dalish I was always running around barefoot, seeing as how we were ‘one with nature’, but having not been in the snow before I was extremely glad of them. Some of my companions thought it was hilarious to watch me with them on the first time I wore them…after getting a lecture from Josephine about ‘common etiquette’.
Upon arriving at the stables Banalhan was already at the fence; as if he could sense me approaching. I smiled at my childhood companion and jumped over the fence,
“Hello, my friend. How are you this blessed morning?” I asked as I raised my hand.
Banalhan pushed his face into my palm, careful of his enormous antlers to avoid hitting me. He then pushed forward, forcing me to move my hand as he moved to push his face into my chest. Somehow, Banalhan could always sense when I was troubled by something.
“It is alright. I am fine, Banalhan.”
He motioned with his hoof that he was wanting to lie down so I slowly dropped down to sit on the hay covered ground, my legs curled to my side as Banalhan repositioned himself so I could lean against his body. I was always comforted doing that, just sitting in silence as my mind tried to straighten itself out.
I must have been sitting there a few hours because the next thing I knew I could hear swords clashing with each other and a few people laughing. I looked up towards the noise and saw Iron Bull sparring with Krem; both sporting laughing grins as they circled each other and tried to slam each other into the ground either with a wooden sword or shield. I turned my focus mostly on Bull; the emotion on his face as he engaged with his lieutenant, the laughter and yelling coming from his Chargers. They truly respected him; they were family. I smiled a bit as Krem thought he had the upper hand, only to wind up face first in the snow as Bull side stepped him and tripped him up. It reminded me of my siblings; how we used to rough house and pull pranks on each other. We were so mischievous that some of the clan would call us Fen’ Harel’s little helpers.
Breaking me out of my memory was Banalhan pushing his muzzle into my shoulder. I turned to face him,
“What is it?” He motioned his head towards Bull,
“What are you going on about?” He pushed my body towards the direction of Bull and that’s when I realized,
“You think I like him?” He huffed in agreement,
“Are you completely mad? Why would I have feelings for him? He isn’t one of the People; why would I…”
I turned my attention back to Bull. What would a relationship with him be like? I’ve heard what some of the women have said about him; especially the Sister by the Chantry. Apparently he was an excellent lover, but…what would he want from me? Would he…? That’s when I shook my head,
“As if I could. There is no way…Hey!!!”
Banalhan suddenly stood up, putting his antlers under my body and lifting me up as he did. I was so unprepared as I started yelling at him as he suddenly took of to the edge of the fence; which he then unceremoniously dropped me into a huge pile of freezing snow. By the Creators it was freezing; the icy cold matter somehow finding its way up and into my top, more of it falling in as I flailed about to get out. I started spouting Dalish curse words that even my sister would have scoffed at when as one of my hands peaked out of the pile a warm hand grabbed it and gently pulled me out. I continued on my Dalish rant as I tried to get the majority of the snow out.
“Do I even want to know what you’re saying, Boss?”
That’s when I realized that it was Iron Bull that ‘rescued’ me. I looked up at him and saw he was sort of laughing at the situation.
“I don’t think you would want to. Might make even you blush.” He started laughing, then turned his head towards the hart,
“Then I’m glad I’m not him. He must have some brass ones if he is willing to incur your wrath.”
I looked over at Banalhan as he took a victory pose,
“He should be wondering if he is about to lose them or not.”
That got his attention, as soon as he heard that he started backing up and actually sat down like a dog. That got us both laughing. After finally getting most of the snow off of my body I looked up at the Bull, sort of grinning at him as I crossed my arms,
“So, what can I do for you today, Bull?” I could tell he had a comeback perfect for that opening, but he stilled his tongue, crossing his arms over his powerful chest.
“Nothing much. Just wanted to see what you were up to. You’ve been just sitting there for so long it’s already passed lunch.” I looked up shocked at him
“Wow, that long? I was just thinking.”
“Yeah, I figured as much. With the whole ‘fixing the Breach’ thing later today…you ok, Boss?” I sighed as I patted one of his arms,
“I’m alright. Just…”
“You’ll do fine, Boss. Knowing you that Breach will be closed in no time and everyone will come back for rounds and rounds of drinks.” He started turning back towards where his tent and Krem were so I turned towards the tavern to get something to eat when he added,
“By the way…”
“Yes?” He started grinning,
“First rounds on me.” I smiled at him,
“I’ll hold you to it.” He bellowed out a loud laugh,
“Sounds great. Been wanting to see how you fair.”