I was that girl involved in everything, mainly dancing. I was a good student; I made good grades. I never paid attention in class, but right before a test, I was up until whatever time in the morning studying for it because I didn’t want to fail.
Cullen’s body wracked with pain as the lyrium flowed through his veins, cursing his blood and mind with it’s poisonous heat. His skin burned and blisters of red lyrium began to erupt from inside him, staining his flesh with blood and stone. The Red Templar Horror had gone deep when it finally hit him, infusing it’s toxin with Cullen’s soul.
From across the battlefield he could see her… long black hair whipping around her as she flung one spell after another at the opposing forces. His body wretched as she made eye contact with him over her shoulder mid-attack. Eira’s expression in a split second went from aggression to terror. Her eyes widened upon seeing her Commander disappearing behind the red infesting his body. As she turned to face him, Cullen collapsed sideways onto the blood filled battlefield. Crumpling beneath the excruciating sickness spreading rapidly. His vision started to blur, he saw Eira fall to her knees as she got closer, gathering him into her lap. He felt her running the tips of her fingernails across the stubble on his chin.
Tears streamed down Cullen’s face, blood baked his skin, his body was becoming fire. Cullen could feel how fast he was succumbing to the red lyrium, he went in and out of intense aggravation. If Eira didn’t get away soon, she wouldn’t be safe. Cullen tried to force a warning from his throat, but no words came out. As battle raged around them. even if he could muster any sound it would be for nothing, Eira would never hear him over the cries of war and death consuming their world.
Elgara vallas, da’len
Mala taren aravas
Ara ma’desen melar
Eira’s sweet voice played the Dalish lullaby she sang for the children back in Skyhold to him, now. Her singing echoed between her lungs holding back deep and heavy sobs and she played with Cullen’s hair. His body convulsed with pain.
Iras ma ghilas, da’len
Ara ma’nedan ashir
Cullen felt Eira’s tears kiss his skin, a momentary relief from the pain of red lyrium taking over his entirety. Another convulsion.
Bal emma mala dir
Cullen’s body had lost, it was out of his control. The red lyrium took authority ready to kill her, she was now his only target. Cullen shoved her, propelling Eira away from him, her body releasing a heavy thud as it crashed into the dirt. Cullen stood rushing her, blade drawn, as she lay on the ground - he couldn’t stop no matter how he willed his legs to crumble beneath him. Eira quickly cast a lightning blast his way, intentionally missing, but powerful enough to cause Cullen’s lost body to fly back.
Eira rose, gaining her ground as Cullen, once again, charged her. He tried to take back command as his sword crashed against Eira’s staff, the ear-splitting ring of metal against metal. He saw the coin he’d given her, on a chain around her neck, fall from her body as she blocked his attack. Words could no longer escape Cullen’s body, his mind was screaming trying to reach anyone would could hear his internal begs.
Please not her! Take me instead, kill me! I promised her!
His blade ran along the side of her body, slice her abdomen easily. Eira shrieked out in agony as blood rushed from her wound, she grabbed at her side
NO! PLEASE MAKER, HELP ME STOP THIS!
Once more his blade moved toward Eira, she caught it mid-swing with her staff and held it in place.
“EIRA! Cullen’s made a monster! Someone help The Inquisitor!” Dorian’s voice rang across the field as he tried to make his way to her, to protect her, like Cullen knew he promised her he would do. Cullen promised her he’d keep her safe.
“Cullen… I know you’re in there.” Eira wept as she spoke to her love, he wanted to respond, but he couldn’t, his fate was not his own, red lyrium had overcome him, “I can’t do this… I love you so much, I hope you know that, but I can’t keep fighting you…” Cullen felt the harsh sting of tears in his eyes, tears like acid as they rolled down his face.
Please! No! She’s saying goodbye! Run Eira, let this consume me, please!! I love you! Please run!
What was left of Cullen pleaded against the red lyrium. Yelling, torturing him, knowing no matter how much he begged nothing will change
Eira’s eyes rushed with saltwater, “I can’t kill you, ma vhenan. If you’re still in there, listen to what I say - we both know you can’t stop what’s happening to you…”
“Inquisitor!! Someone get Cullen off of her!” Bull’s voice rang from the sidelines now, too.
“Someone help her! The Commander is trying to kill her! He’s one of the beasts now!” Cassandra’s cries joined the choir.
Though voices called her, Eira’s eyes never left Cullen’s, “You are not this monster, please know this isn’t your fault… I’m going to die, but… I get to decide how…” Eira smiled at him through her tears.
NO! EIRA! PLEASE, MAKER NO! STOP! DAMN IT STOP! DROP YOUR BLADE, CULLEN! SOMEONE HELP!
“Not many get that choice…” with Eira’s words she dropped her staff and Cullen’s blade ran straight through her chest. The world slowed as he watched her body release a final wail of cruel pain. Her scream more deadly to him than the lyrium infesting his body. EIRA! with one final scream in his mind, Cullen was entirely gone. The monster he’d always feared becoming…
Everyone of Eira’s companions dropped their fight, running to her side. As Cullen withdrew his blade, Eira’s limp body crumpled to the ground - her blood joining the mosaic of death surrounding them.
“EIRA!” Dorian screamed, crying rushing to his friend from across the scene.
“No! The light is extinguished!” Cole wept.
“Keep fighting! Dorian! Get to The Inquisitor!” Cassandra demanded. Cassandra locked eyes with Cullen and sprinted toward him, “You killed her!”
The red lyrium had won, Eira was dead beneath him. He dropped his sword, with one final sharp pain of Cassandra’s blade, his world went black.
Cullen shot straight up, drenched in the heat of his sweat. Cold air hit his body. He fumbled blindly in the dark, scouring the bed in search for proof it was only a nightmare. Searching for Eira. Finally, he reached her body.
“My love, I’m here. You’re safe.” Her voice delicate and sleepy, “Lay with me, we’re both safe.”
“I will always protect you, Eira… I love you.” Cullen said, laying down and scooping Eira deep into his arms.