The first time I played Dragon Age 2, I came up with a whole story about the Warden using Blood Magic to ‘clone’ Anders without his consent so Justice could have a body to explain why he was so different from the joking dork from Awakening. I was very grateful for this headcanon come endgame….
"I heard the mailman approach my office door, half an hour earlier than usual. He didn't sound right. His footsteps fell more heavily, jauntily, and he whistled. A new guy. He whistled his way to my office door, then fell silent for a moment. Then he laughed."
Easily one of the weakest in the series. 3/10.
"I never used to keep close track of the phases of the moon. So I didn't know that it was one night shy of being full when a young woman sat down across from me in McAnally's pub and asked me to tell her all about something that could get her killed."
Nicely ominous. Thanks to this book, I also keep track of the phases of the moon. Helped me catch a local werewombat. You have no idea how hard it is to put one of them down. 8/10.
"There are reasons I hate to drive fast. For one, the Blue Beetle, the mismatched Volkswagen bug that I putter around in, rattles and groans dangerously at anything above sixty miles an hour. For another, I don't get along so well with technology. Anything manufactured after about World War II seems to be susceptible to abrupt malfunction when I get close to it. As a rule, when I drive, I drive very carefully and sensibly. // Tonight was an exception to the rule."
Not bad, per se, but not all that good. It takes too long to get to its point, which makes it not as good of a hook. 6/10.
"It rained toads the day the White Council came to town."
This one makes me giggle. 8/10. Good job.
"Some things just aren't meant to go together. Things like oil and water. Orange juice and toothpaste. // Wizards and television."
Very relatable. I, too, am no fan of toothpaste in my orange juice. I used to put toothpaste in my orange juice all the time and had no clue why my orange juice tasted so bad. I mean, who knew? 9/10.
"The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault."
There is no need to explain perfection. 15/10.
"On the whole, we're a murderous race. According to Genesis, it took as few as four people to make the planet too crowded to stand, and the first murder was a fratricide. Genesis says that in a fit of jealous rage, the very first child born to mortal parents, Cain, snapped and popped the first metaphorical cap in another human being. The attack was a bloody, brutal, violent, reprehensible killing. Cain's brother Abel probably never saw it coming. // As I opened the door to my apartment, I was filled with a sense of empathic sympathy and intuitive understanding. // For freaking Cain."
One of the all time greats of this series. Lovely illustration of how Dresden feels and catches people up on his relationship with his brother really quick. 10/10.
"Blood leaves no stain on a Warden's grey cloak. I didn't know that until the day I watched Morgan, second in command of the White Council's Wardens, lift his sword over the kneeling form of a young man guilty of the practice of black magic. The boy, sixteen years old at the most, screamed and ranted in Korean underneath his black hood, his mouth spilling hatred and rage, convinced by his youth and power of his own immortality. He never knew it when the blade came down."
Dark. Really sets the tone for the book. Also, I'm, like, totally jealous. Blood stains are the worst. 8/10.
"Many things are not as they seem: The worst things in life never are."
I know, right? It's, like, I thought this guy who came into work would be just a normal customer and get his stuff and leave, but, instead, he rants about conspiracy theories and shit when I can't tell him to fuck off. 9/10. Good job.
"Winter came early that year; it should have been a tip-off."
Not bad, but kinda weak. I mean, did he even consider that maybe winter came early because Global Warming is actually a hoax? I mean, it isn't, but couldn't he at least consider the possibility? 6/10.
"The summer sun was busy broiling the asphalt from Chicago 's streets, the agony in my head had kept me horizontal for half a day, and some idiot was pounding on my apartment door. // I answered it and Morgan, half his face covered in blood, gasped, 'The Wardens are coming. Hide me. Please.'"
It's just, like, whaaaaaat? Why's Morgan here? How'd he get all bloody? And, like, he even snuck in some nice foreshadowing with the headache. Really well done. 8/10.
"I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, 'They've taken our daughter.'"
Nice and shocking, making you want to read more, but the last book did a similar shocking opening better. 5/10.
"Life is hard. // Dying's easy."
Totally relatable. I, like many others, wish for death because life is too hard. Thanks for making me feel better, Harry. 8/10.
"Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness, monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe, has unique ideas regarding physical therapy."
One would imagine. I mean, did you hear her TED talk on it? Fascinating stuff. She's an innovator in the field. 7/10.
"There was a ticking time bomb inside my head and the one person I trusted to go in and get it out hadn't shown up or spoken to me for more than a year."
Don't you just hate it when you have a time bomb in your head? I know I do. But not all of us know bomb defusal experts. We're not all as lucky as you are, Dresden. I had to defuse my time bomb myself. Dick. 4/10.
this is me getting my thoughts together. i feel like i’m close to an answer to the bigger problem in dai, but i also feel like i’m missing some vital information.
the blight, however, is definitely cause for concern. i realized that after putting all these points down.
anyway, read away and if anyone has anything to add, be my guest.
lyrium is alive - lyrium is titan “blood”
titans enslaved the dwarves, making them mindless drones
mythal killed a titan and had lyrium mined from its body
lyrium grants templars abilities to halt magic - “enforces reality”
mages drink lyrium to replenish mana (dao)/increase magical damage (dai)
constant ingestion causes severe addiction, insanity, and eventually death
has been proven that you can quit lyrium, withdrawl is painful (reference cullen rutherford)
red lyrium = lyrium infected with the blight
(red lyrium increases strength significantly at cost of sanity, inflicts constant pain and physical deformity; it grows inside its host until they die - seekers are resistant)
andruil the elven godess was said to have created armor made of “the void” - it drove her mad
blight disease a.k.a. the taint is akin to radiation poisoning - causes physical deformity, illness, and severely affects environment for several years preventing plant regrowth, and causes animal and human deformity, illness and madness
deep mushrooms grow near the taint; also grows in spider corpses
darkspawn and those infected with the blight for a long period hear a “song” - the old gods the magisters worshiped and fen’harel walked among speak to the tainted in dreams and in a hive mind; the darkspawn find the old gods, dragons, taint them, thus starting another blight
grey warden blood given to darkspawn grants them sapience; they no longer hear the song or are forced to obey it
grey wardens ingesting darkspawn blood including the blood of an archdemon slow the taint significantly
dragons are unusually resistant to the blight, but not indefinitely
dragons ruled the skies before the creation of the veil
the taint grants those who know how incredible magical power (reference warden avernus)
dog was cured of the taint (reference dao)
fiona was cured of the taint after giving birth to her son alistair, who like his father, has dragon blood (reference the calling)
merrill purified a tainted eluvian with blood magic (reference da2)
warden anders was either cured of the calling due to his possession, or his taint corrupted the spirit of justice possessing him
the mother was driven mad due to the deprivation of the “sweet music” (reference dao awakening)
“so long as the song plays, we dance.” -flemeth, dai
it is said the blight began because the magisters entered the black city in the fade
has been proven that red lyrium existed before the first blight (reference primeval thaig discovered by varric and hawke)
corypheus claims the black city was already corrupted
solas a.k.a. fen’harel created the veil to punish those who murdered mythal, and to save those still under their power
Someone sent me a prompt for a Hawkebela Weisshaupt reunion ages ago and I’m sorry it took me so long to get to it! Here’s a little drabble for it. Since we still don’t know what actually happens there, I’m just going to take a guess that it’s something to do with corrupt wardens. 1087 words.
Warnings: slightly violent reaction from Isabela (don’t know how else to tag that lol)
“Hawke this,” Hawke mutters as she pulls her blade out of the chest of the warden at her feet. “Hawke that."
She turns and throws it across the room, hitting another one of the corrupt wardens right below the sternum. Another one appears at her side and she ducks under his sword and drives her other dagger up into his stomach.
1. The mage rebellion should not have been resolved in this game. Not while we’re playing as the Inquisitor. Look, I love being able to help Fiona, and I love seeing Leliana declare the mages free. But.
Two games and a novel showing us the struggle of the mages, fighting this uphill battle, winning boons only to have them taken away again, people like Anders going to great lengths to show the world the abuses going on, people like Fiona struggling to unite the mages behind her because only when they are united do they have a chance to change anything-
And then it turns out the key to freedom was to be the messiah.
Just wake up one day and find you’ve been declared messiah.
How can you convince the Chantry to let the mages go? Easy! Just be the person in power! Be the person who gets to choose the new leader of the Chantry! Gosh, it’s so simple, how did we not see that before?
SO... (a/o/b au) Fenders in new but passionate relationship, then BAM! (more lyk 'bang' amirite) Anders unexpectedly pregnant. Fenris goes NUTS! Accuses the 'sterile' grey warden of blood magic and trying to trap/enslave him, threatens him and child. Anders flees into sunset. Fenris overwhelmed by grief and regret seeks Anders after act3. He finds Anders, looking hawt, and his daughter who now posses Justice! BigJ passed to kid during birth to protect her. They argue then make-up sex. The end. X
damn i never thought of how justice might react to anders being preg in abo verse, i like how anders looks hot a+
Well, no, you’re right, the Wardens don’t really like to share this sort of thing, but it’s not like I’d expect you to rattle off the entire Architect debacle, just, you know, the basics? Amaranthine was overrun by Darkspawn? The Vigil’s Keep was under siege for days? I’d expect there to be stories from the sailors if nothing else - really, not even you, Isabela?
Ha, all right, if you insist. I better not read this in a book in a few months though, Varric, I mean it.
So I’d been recruited a few weeks ago, obviously - I think, anyway, I mean, you know how - no, no, it was definitely a few weeks. The first Darkspawn attack happened just after I’d arrived, I helped the Warden-Commander fight them off, Joined not long after, but that was when we met the first one. A talking darkspawn.
No, I’m serious! They’re supposed to be mindless, I know, but these ones weren’t. That was at the heart of the whole thing - seriously, not even a rumor about it?
Well, no, they can’t all just talk. It’s - will you let me tell the story or not? Honestly. The Architect was the first, an Emissary - actually, you’re right, Merrill, those are the ones that can use magic, but it’s more complicated than that. Most Darkspawn only answer to the song of the Old Gods. They have this sort of… hive mind they all tap into. I don’t know if I’d call it ‘talking’, it’s not like the song has words, usually. It sounds a bit more like the Fade, but darker - no, I am talking about lyrium. Lyrium song echoes the Fade song, sorry, I forgot for a second.
Where was I? Right, the Architect. The Architect was an - awakened Darkspawn, I suppose. He wasn’t tied in to the same song as the darkspawn. I don’t really know how - he said he never was, but would he remember before it happened? Regardless - okay, hang on. I need to backtrack a bit. The way the Wardens work is - Varric, seriously, I need you to swear to secrecy here. I don’t exactly care about the Warden oaths and whatnot, but I’m not giving them a reason to come after me.
… could you at least pretend you’re going to keep that word? Well, no, now I’m not telling any of you. Long story short is, the Architect found a way to use Warden blood to make other darkspawn like him. He claimed he was trying to end the Blights by cutting off the darkspawn from the call of the Old Gods, but, well, it seems things only got worse from there. See, he’d managed to find one of those Old Gods, and decided to try his little ritual on it.
… yes. That’s what started the Fifth Blight.
… if you need a moment to process that, I’ll understand.
… this part of the story, you all know. Enter Warden-Commander Tabris, exit the archdemon. Skip to several months later, and there I am at Amaranthine, surrounded by templars. ‘Just a short rest,’ they said, and oh look, suddenly, darkspawn. I managed to free myself in the attack, and when all was said and done, here I am, recruited as a Warden. Very exciting, but of course, there’s the question of where the darkspawn had come from in the first place. They’re supposed to go back after a Blight, not keep coming. Oh and, you know, there’s the little matter I raised earlier of why in the Void are they talking?
It doesn’t help that just about, uh… all of the Wardens who’d been at the Keep were killed in the attack. So we’re just slightly short-staffed, and our only real lead is the investigation of this Warden, Kristoff, who’d gone missing shortly before the attack.
So this is where I come in. In the Fade in Blackmarsh there was-
Huh? Oh, right, no, sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. We tracked Kristoff to the Blackmarsh, and we found an - Maker, I’m no good at keeping this timeline straight. We found another of the talking darkspawn, ranting about someone called the Mother. We didn’t know this at the time, but it turns out that not all the darkspawn the Architect had ‘awakened’ were so happy with their new lot in life. Some of them had banded together to fight him under some leader they called the ‘Mother’, and we’d been caught in the crossfire. She’d laid a trap, and it propelled us into the Fade, which is where I met them.
Well, so some years back - I mean, some years; it’s hard to keep track of time in the Fade, but the physical village was long gone when we arrived - there had been a Baroness, a powerful mage who’d saved the village once. But she’d given into Pride long ago, until there was nothing left but the demon. The villagers had tried to stop her when it happened, but she’d pulled all their souls into the Fade. The villagers had been scared, confused, but we got them rallied and beat the Baroness. But then I was - honestly, Varric, do I interrupt you like this? - but then- hang on, I lost my place again.
Yes, this where Justice was trapped outside the Fade, I remember now. I- he was - hang on, I need to think this through, you keep distracting… yes, I woke up and saw him. He didn’t really know what to do when we were done - I mean, there was no guarantee of going back to the Fade, so what else was I going to do?
Huh? I said what else was he going to do? Besides, the waking world was so beautiful - Maker, is this even what I started telling this story for? I’m about to tell you a story about a massive battle with darkspawn and you’re picking my brain about timeline details that don’t even matter? Long story short, Justice stayed with us.
Not long after we got back to the Keep, though, we heard reports of an attack - darkspawn marching on Amaranthine. What a mess, right? So the Warden-Commander took a group of us to investigate, and of course dragged me along for healing. But not long after they left we were attacked-
What? We got to Amaranthine and one of the Architect’s messengers arrived and told us they were attacking the Keep. He explained the whole situation, but the Warden-Commander refused to abandon Amaranthine - which was the right decision as far as I’m concerned, too. We were up to our necks in darkspawn and all that, but we held the walls just fine thanks to all the fortifications. Ha, you should have seen Oghren when we were fighting, actually, he was -
Why are you looking at me like that? What? Yes, I was at the Keep! I told you. The Warden-Commander left Justice behind and took-
Took me along to-
… I don’t think I’d like to talk about Amaranthine any more.