The Couslands are a noble family from Ferelden. From their seat, Castle Cousland, they rule the teyrnir of Highever, one of only two remaining teyrnirs in Ferelden, giving them wealth and power second only to the royal family.
Together, they destroyed a dozen enemy ships side by side in the battle in Denerim Harbor, cementing their friendship and demonstrating once again that nothing brings Fereldans together like a good fight.
[…] They met again in Denerim at the formal coronation of King Maric. The teyrn of Highever attempted to propose to the Lady of the Storm Coast by singing her all ten verses of “The Soldier and the Seawolf.” She only let him go to three.
SF&R, Short Stories: I’ll Gently Rise, and Softly Call
A side story, apart from the main fic. A memory, and a ghost.
But since it fell unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise, and softly call
Good night, and joy be to you all.
- “The Parting Glass” as performed by The High Kings
8 Justinian, 9:21 Dragon
Bryce Cousland was
unapologetically a morning person. His wife, Eleanor, was decidedly not, nor
were their children, but he did not begrudge them the few precious hours of extra
sleep they claimed every morning while he padded quietly about the house. He
enjoyed having the time to himself; sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of
coffee and his newspaper, watching the sun rise over the sea. It was even
better in the summer, when he could leave the windows open and allow the
fragrant scents of Eleanor’s garden to waft in on gentle breezes.
He stepped over to the kitchen
counter and switched on the coffee maker, breathing deep as the brew churned
and bubbled, producing the dark, rich elixir that would shake the last few
cobwebs of the fade from his mind. When he turned, Bryce was surprised to see
that he was not alone in the kitchen. There on the window seat, her knees
pulled up to her chest and her eyes focused somewhere off in the distance, was
his niece, Theadosia. She was still wearing her pajamas and her fiery red hair
was loose in tangled waves. Clutched close to her chest was the stuffed bear
Nathaniel had given her for her birthday a few months prior. ‘Teddy,’ she
called him. Bryce wondered if the boy had realized how much the simple gesture
had meant to the little girl.
Probably all too well, he sighed to himself before pouring a
mug of coffee and sitting at the kitchen table. Looking at his niece, he asked,
“bad dreams again, little cub?”
“Is there any other kind?”
Thea retorted, still looking out the window. Bryce gave her a small smile that
he knew she couldn’t see. The little girl was exceedingly bright for her age,
and even now he could tell she was going to end up breaking some hearts sooner
or later, but she had suffered too much and for too long under the neglect of
his wife’s sister and her husband. It had been heartbreakingly easy to convince
the Trevelyan’s to let Thea come and live with the Couslands in Highever. Bryce
and Eleanor loved the little girl as fiercely as their own, but the damage to
her heart had already been done.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
He asked her gently, knowing that there would be no use in trying to pry
anything out of her that she wasn’t willing to share.
She shook her head, a frown
set upon her little brow. Instead, she just inhaled deeply. “I like the way the
coffee smells,” she explained. “It makes it easier to forget the nightmares.”
Bryce thought for a moment,
then stood up and reached into the cupboard for another mug; his favorite, in
fact. He poured it half full with coffee, then handed it to Thea. She looked at
him uncertainly, but he just smiled. “Don’t you dare tell your aunt. She’d
skin me alive if she knew I was giving it to you.” This prompted a broad grin,
and she took a tentative sip. As she did, the lines on her face faded and for
the moment, she seemed almost at peace. They sat there together, quietly
drinking their coffee and watching the sun rise over the horizon. Finally, his
niece spoke up.
“I dreamt that I came home
from school and everyone was gone,” she spoke in a flat tone, almost as though
she were trying to distance herself from the memory. “You, Aunt Eleanor, Cat,
Fergus… everyone. You all left me, because you decided you did not want me
anymore. Just like Tiberius and Adaline.”
He sighed. Thea never referred
to her parents by anything but their given names, and he could not blame her.
They had certainly never acted as parents towards her. Bryce reached out a hand
and wrapped it around Thea’s smaller one. “Theadosia, listen to me: we will never
abandon you, do you understand? Your aunt and I love you with all our hearts,
and you know that Cat and Fergus do too. You will always have a home here, no
matter what. We will always be here for you.”
Thea met his eyes, the storm
behind her own quieting for the moment. “You promise?”
promise. Now, come on,” he stood and took her empty mug. “Let’s rinse these
before Aunt Eleanor comes downstairs, ok?”
Firstfall, 9:40 Dragon
Theadosia Trevelyan Rutherford
pulled her coat tighter around her shoulders, trying to block out the biting
chill of the early winter wind. She had made the trip west alone this time; if
she timed the flights right she would still be back in time for dinner and
would be able to avoid any awkward questions from Cataline. Her footsteps rang
out on the paved path leading up the hill until she veered off towards a pair
of seedling trees that stood as silent sentries over a simple plaque. When she
reached them, she stopped and sat upon the grass and pulled a metal thermos
from her bag, as well as two familiar ceramic mugs. Thea poured the steaming
coffee from the thermos into both mugs before taking a tentative sip of one.
Then, she carefully poured the contents of the other into the ground just to
the left side of the marker.
“Don’t tell Cat, ok Uncle
Bryce?” She murmured, trying to keep her voice from shaking. “She thinks I
drink too much of this stuff as it is. She’s probably right, but let’s not tell
her that either.” Thea took another swallow of her own drink, allowing the
peace and quiet of the cemetery to calm her mind. “She misses you, and I know
she wants to visit, but… she just isn’t ready yet, you know? There’s been a lot
going on, especially at work, and I think she’s been a bit overwhelmed.”
Thea looked out over the sea,
much the same way she had on all those mornings when she had crept out of bed
early and spent an hour at the kitchen window seat with her uncle, neither
saying much at all, but just sitting and enjoying a cup of coffee before the
rest of the house started to stir. Those mornings remained one of her most
“The nightmares aren’t as bad
anymore, and I almost never lose my temper like I used to.” She tried to keep
her voice cheerful, although she couldn’t be certain why. “Cullen helps. You
were right about him, Uncle Bryce. He has been good for me. I’d like to think
we are good for each other, but between you and me I think he got the worse end
of the deal. As for the other thing… I think it is getting better. Anders says
I am making progress, but that a relapse was not surprising after you…” Thea
stopped short, her voice catching in her throat as her lips refused to form the
final word in her thought.
“I’ll be ok, Uncle Bryce, I
promise. And I’ll make sure Cat is ok too. I know you always worried about us,
but we’ll be alright. I wish you were still here, you and Aunt Eleanor both.
Every single day I wish you were here.” There were tears flowing down her
cheeks now, but she was knew that there was no one there to see her cry, and
for once Thea did nothing to hide them. These moments were hers, and hers
alone: one of the few times she allowed herself to grieve. She sniffed, then
continued the one-sided conversation.
“You’ll be pleased to know
Teddy is well. Vivienne has promised me her seamstresses will have his new
wardrobe finished by spring, and in the meantime they have already finished a
rather dapper suit for Satinalia…”
Thea sat and talked for almost
an hour, sipping her coffee and watching the sun sink lower in the sky. Then,
she stood and gathered her things. Giving one final glance to the stone that
marked the burial place of Bryce and Eleanor Cousland’s ashes, she turned and
walked back down the hill.
It was time for her to return
to the living. There were still battles ahead.
What’s this? Why it’s part 3 of a bunch of life-less faces! Ok so these are all the young versions of characters we know (and how I imagine them). The canon!gang (Bryce, Eleanor, Rendon and Leonas) are around the ages they have at which I imagine the Battle of White River took place (9:00). The other two characters are depicted around 9:11, when Lorelei Cousland was born (hint hint).
Ages in picture (left to right, top to bottom): Bryce
(22), Eleanor Mac Eanraig (21), Rendon Howe (23), Aidan Cousland (born 8:84, younger non-canon brother of Bryce, around here he’s 27), Amaranth (±23), Leonas Bryland (21).
This man, Teyrn Bryce Cousland, was more of a father to the Dragon Age version of me, Robert Cousland, in 30 minutes than my lazy good-for-nothing abandoning father has been my entire 23 years of life.
He made me feel loved, and it was just scripted words from a CGI character. He made me feel like I was good enough and I could make him proud of me through my actions.
CGI or not, fake or not, Happy Father’s Day Bryce. I love you “Dad”.
Before she became the Hero of Ferelden, Elissa Cousland had every intention of following–albeit a little more softly–in her mother’s footsteps. As much Mac Eanraig as Cousland, the only calling upon Lis’s young heart was that of the sea, and her love for (the future Ser) Kellen Gilmore.
Chapter Three: Restless As A Young Heart. Eventual Cousland x Ser Gilmore, but we have to get them all grown up first. :) 2.5k words. Chapter One and Chapter Two if you need them!
To what would forever be her great annoyance, Elissa cried for a month after Kel left
for Denerim. Home was never the same without him. She set upon her weapon’s
training with a fury, but even the hours of drills, the soar aching muscles,
and nights of exhausted sleep couldn’t distract her from his absence. Every day
there was something new to tell him, and every night the letter on her desk
grew more and more unwieldy, until she realized that once a week simply would
not do. Her letters became twice weekly, then daily, and when she found herself
sitting in his empty room talking to the walls about her day, she decided
enough was enough.
“I want to go to sea with Aunt Idaline,” she announced to
her parents one mild spring morning.
Her lessons would be on hold for the summer—her comportment
tutor had quit yesterday anyway, weak-spined creature—and her training was
going well, but there was no reason her mother’s sister couldn’t take up the
task. Idaline had trained mostly trained Eleanor after all.
It wasn’t a new subject; her parents were well aware that
the sea called to her Mac Eanraig blood. Still, they both looked surprised at
“The letter came yesterday.” Lis held out a small, neatly
folded square of parchment. “Aunt Idaline will be on the Storm Coast in two
weeks. She thinks it’s high time I got my sea legs.”
Her parents exchanged an easily read glance and Lis waited,
heart hammering in her throat. Please,
please, please, she prayed. The
refrain filled her head, became louder than her own heartbeat, and she nearly
missed their acquiescence.
“It’s time enough,” Eleanor said with a smile. She reached
for her husband’s hand, gave his fingers a gentle squeeze.
“I thought we would at least keep her home as long as we did
“Then you haven’t been paying attention.” Eleanor met her
daughter’s hopeful stare. “She’ll be twelve at the end of summer.”
Twelve. Eleanor had been the scourge of the Orlesian Navy by
the time she was fifteen. Lis would be lucky to make first cabin boy.
Bryce sighed, heavily. “Alright, pup.”
“Really???” Lis wanted to shriek with gladness.
“Really. But there will be a list of conditions.”
“Anything!” Lis threw herself at both of them, nearly
climbing her father’s taller frame like rigging to pepper kisses across his
face. “Thank you!”
She reached out to grab her mother, dragging her into their
affection and the three of them toppled to the floor of Bryce’s study. “Thank
you so much!” Lis squealed. “I’ll make you both so proud.”
“Too late for that,” Bryce said gruffly, helping Lis right
Eleanor before she could chide them both for their dramatics. “Now… what are we going to do about your hair?”