Cullen as a templar has definitely been on my mind after a bit of comparative Cullen/Alistair meta this week so be warned, it’s heavy. And it should be. tw: blood, violence, anti-mage sentiment. 1233 words.
PS. This is in no way meant to excuse behavior, it does, however, intend to explain how religious indoctrination works. Especially when started at a young age.
People don’t usually think “oh, I’m the bad guy, doing bad things” and the ones who do aren’t usually the ones who try to change.
Those who oppose thee Shall know the wrath of heaven. Field and forest shall burn, The seas shall rise and devour them, The wind shall tear their nations From the face of the earth, Lightning shall rain down from the sky, They shall cry out to their false gods, And find silence.
-Canticle of Andraste 7:19
Cullen is eight years old when
he receives his calling, a revelation as clear as a clarion echoing out of the
summer sky, as if the Maker himself has turned his face upon him for a single
heart-stopping moment. Branson and Mia tease him; they claim he’s arrogant,
addled, a long list of names children call children who don’t quite fit in. His
parents believe he will change his mind, but Cullen is stalwart. He knows his
heart, and he knows his hands. The Maker has built them for war, and the
templars down at the chantry tell him that’s what they’re at. No matter what
he’s heard, there is a war coming, there is a war now, no matter how sad some
would claim the plight of mages. And so Cullen begs for stories, drinking up
lyrium-soaked tales of bravery and divinity from the men and women who guard the small
chantry in Honnleath.
Then he begs for training, determined to be the Maker’s arm, to
do His will.
He knows that he must prove himself worthy to serve. He shows up almost daily, swings a wooden practice sword with the devotion of a veteran. If enduring the
ridicule of his siblings and the fond exasperation of his parents is just another test, well, the Maker is not without compassion. Cullen knows he’ll
never be truly alone. Rosie understands. She says the animals call to her as
urgently, just as clearly as the Maker called to him. She too young to truly sympathize,
but Cullen accepts the solidarity for what it is. Only a decade later will he
dare to wonder if it’s something else whispering to Rosalie—some fade-tinged
temptation staring back at her from the behind the falcon’s bright eyes—but he
never has the courage to ask her.
He tells himself, in the endless empty hours of the worst nights,
that he would have the strength to do his duty, no matter what.
He’s thirteen when the Order finally accepts him. Being a templar
recruit is everything Cullen ever dreamed it would be. He never quite fit in
with the village kids, never quite fit in with his siblings come to that, but
there’s fellowship here, unity, strength in like-mindedness. Boys and girls with the same calling, the same faith.
Cullen would have never said that he was lost, but he feels as if he’s come
He throws himself into study, into training. He’s desperate for
both, as if he’s been drowning in ignorance all his life and now there’s so
much air just to breathe. He gulps it all down, takes it in, makes it his own,
fills a greedy mind with books, empty hands with sword and shield and he
thrives beneath the Chantry’s banner.
They have made him who he always knew himself to be.
i have never actively wished death upon someone so fiercely, daily. honestly, it’s the first thing that comes into my head as i wake & check the newspapers, but here we are & trump is a fucking abomination, a truly low point for humanity.
Vampire ecological survey report: City Guards-
CV: Ono Kensho
Vampire Annihilation troops member Hyakuya Yuuichiro’s childhood friend, who 4 years ago was turned into a vampire. Although he is of course not a noble, he has the combat capability of a mighty warrior. Side font next to Mika: Lives off of blood as he seeks to reunite with his <family>.
I have a very wise friend, the kind of woman who makes everyone around her want to be better, and though she’s constantly trying to see the best in everyone and everything, one thing she hates is the idea of talent. I know, to some of you that sounds like a weirdly petty thing to hate, but I bet some of the artists already know where this is going. And I bet in your head it sounds something like, “Gosh I wish I was talented like you.”
Specifically and most intensely, she hates the idea of talent as it’s sold in children’s shows. Find that one thing you’re great at, the thing you love and shine at, and you’ll be set for life, right?
‘Find your passion’, not ‘carefully cultivate the things you care about’.
‘We all have something that makes us special.’ ‘Everyone’s good at something.’
No, we don’t, and we’re not, and ‘talent’ is an incredibly thin branch to build on. It will never be enough without work. But if you think that ‘talent’ is the be all-end all, then you risk the trap that a lot of people fall into–either you obviously don’t have it, in which case why try, or you clearly do have it, in which case–why try?
As a person with a lot of ‘talent’, that is, innate ability in certain areas, I think I have a slightly different viewpoint than my friend (I think she, absurdly, sees herself as one of those with no innate talents), but ultimately I end up in the same place. I am good with words. I always have been. That makes me a natural at writing. But I will never be the writer I truly want to be without work, and lots of it. And the constantly hovering idea that I’m just naturally good at things, beaten in by a lifetime of children’s shows and public school self-esteem initiatives and loving family members, is a massive barrier to that.
Compare my beadmaking to my writing: with beadmaking, it’s all new territory. I have no expectations of myself. I readily grasp that to get better, I must make near-daily effort, concentrate fiercely, research, and keep. fucking. trying. But I write a thing, find that it’s not amazing, and then sulk for three days, because after all, I’m talented. If I don’t automatically excel, I’ve failed.
Yes, of course, some people are physically and mentally well-suited to certain skill-sets. Some people receive early learning that helps enormously later on, and others don’t. Not everyone is capable of being equally good at a given activity given the same amount of effort. People are not the same, and that’s fine. But no one becomes a master on talent.
The idea of talent is not, I think, useless. Parents, for example, should certainly watch for and support the things that their children excel at. But the idea is so tangled up in this bullshit culture of ‘some people are just good at some things and some are not’ that really–fuck talent. If you want something, work.