templar appreciation

Carver Hawke
  • is a wonderful character.
  • is Pro-Templar.
  • was named after a Templar whom Malcolm Hawke deeply respected.
  • cares very deeply about his siblings and loves them very much.
  • has spent his entire life trying to protect his mage siblings.
  • joined the army to do his part in protecting Ferelden, including his family.
  • doesn’t get a chance to mourn his twin’s death because he has to continue protecting his family.
  • recognizes that devoting his whole life to taking care of his older sibling is unhealthy for him.
  • joins the Templars because he needs to feed himself and his mother (and Gamlen) somehow with no guarantee that Hawke is alive and ever coming back from the Deep Roads; he cannot get a job with the City Guard because Aveline refused him employment; and his only employable skillset is with his blade.
  • as a Templar understands that mages are inherently dangerous and that non-mage people need protection from the, but he also understands that mages need a protector and an advocate as well.
  • is, like Ser Barris and Ser Bryant, everything a good Templar should be.
  • finds a purpose for himself and his own path in life that he chose himself away from the shadow of his older sibling and as his own person.
  • takes responsibility for himself and his actions.
  • comes to grips with his own agency and acts upon it.
  • never stops loving Hawke.
  • never stops loving Bethany.
  • will fight to defend Hawke in the end no matter which side Hawke chooses.
  • is not anti-mage.
  • is not a whiny brat.
  • is not a traitor.
  • is Pro-Templar, and that is not a bad thing.
  • does not stop being Pro-Templar just because you don’t like it. You do not have to and should not erase a part of his personality and characterization in order to make him “acceptable.”
  • is underappreciated.
  • deserves more love.
  • also deserves a hug.
  • Please let me love you, Carver!!!
  • I would die for you, Carver!!

This has been a Carver Hawke Appreciation Post.

I’ve touched a bit before on how much I love Wesley Vallen, but I need to talk more about him. Wesley is a good Templar, a good man, who deserves so much better in the game as well as in the fandom.

The thing is, Wesley wasn’t in danger. He wasn’t at Ostagar. He was in Denerim. He was safe. He wasn’t a Circle Templar, so he wouldn’t have been hurt during Uldred’s takeover at Kinloch unless he went with the reinforcements Greagoir sent for to carry out the Right of Annulment. But he was safe and would have stayed safe until Urthemiel marched the darkspawn horde onto Denerim at the end battle of Origins.

But he leaves that safety because he heard about the defeat of Ostagar and had to find out if his wife was alright, and he dies because of that.

Wesley was always a protector. From the moment he and Aveline first meet (as depicted in Aveline’s short story),  the third thing he said to her is that “No one else dies tonight,” with so much conviction. He was so determined to stop the demons the soldiers were fighting, so determined to keep the others (like Aveline) alive. He refused to do anything less than the fullest devotion and committment to his duty as a Templar – as a defender! (Despite the demons and both of them being covered in blood, their first meeting is still so wonderful and the kind of thing to make my heart melt! It’s no wonder they fell in love.) So of course he leaves Denerim to make sure Aveline was still alive and to fight at her side if he can.

And the two of them find each other alive and well against all odds, but the darkspawn are upon them, and they have to flee. Then they’re trapped and fighting for their lives when they encounter a group of refugees including a dangerous apostate (or two  dangerous apostates, depending on the world state). That must be so terrifying for Wesley! His sword-arm is injured. He can’t fight. He doesn’t have any lyrium, so no access to his magic-nullifying Templar abilities. And he does not know who these people are. He does not know their values, their capabilities, their intentions, how strong they are with their magic, if they’re maleficarum. He does not know if they can withstand temptation from demons who, in this frightening and perilous time, could easily promise soothing words of safety and escape from the darkspawn. He does not know them. All he knows is that he can’t fight them if they turn on him and his wife.

Yet despite not knowing them, Wesley still offers prayers for the twin who dies, even if it’s apostate Bethany. He still prays for her soul and offers what comfort he can to grieving Leandra.

Then he realizes that he’s dying a slow and painful death, but he agrees to give up his life so that he won’t hold the others back, so that they can reach safety, so that he can protect Aveline – and the Hawke family – the only way he can.

The last words Wesley says to Aveline are a soft and reassuring “Be strong, my love,” because not only does she need to be strong in that moment as she mercy-kills him, but she needs to be strong every day after that to survive, to escape the Blight, to move on without him, to keep living her life. And he knows that she can be strong enough because he has so much faith in her.

That part breaks my heart so much.

Wesley deserved better than to die like that. Think about what the story could have been like if he had survived and come to Kirkwall. He could have been someone who’d stand with Thrask and speak up for better treatment of the mages. He would have looked out for Bethany. He would have been someone for Carver to look up to. He would have found friendship easily with Fenris and Sebastian. He would have supported Aveline completely in her role as Guard Captain. He would have fought at Hawke’s side against all the demons and blood mages wreaking devastation upon Kirkwall. He could have had so much more.

And he’s practically forgotten in the fandom. If he’s mentioned at all in fanfic, even in AUs it’s only as the dead husband for Aveline’s tragic backstory or as a hateful homophobic bigot (which he isn’t!) who becomes Aveline’s dead husband for her tragic backstory, and he’s better than that. He deserves more than that.

To me, Wesley Vallen encompasses so much of the good of the Templar Order, a good man who protects others even with his very life. I love him so much.

Night of the Lilies

Okay, Tumblies, here’s an unpublished work I did with @auroraborealia - since it’s both Cullen Appreciation Week and Bethany Hawke Appreciation Week in the Dragon Age fandom, this is something that features them both.

In Dragon Age II, I headcanon that while Hawke is comforted by his/her love interest following the events of the quest “All That Remains,” Varric takes on the task of comforting his best friend’s younger sibling. For me, that’s Bethany. To do this, he needs to get into the Gallows, and that requires some Templar assistance, so he goes to the only Templar he feels comfortable approaching. Slight Varric/Bethany if you squint, because that’s my ship, but it’s mostly just platonic here. F!Hawke/Fenris in the background.

Spoilers, obviously. @cullenappreciationweek, here’s my first contribution. :)

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“Canticle of Trials”

**For @cullenappreciationweek : Day 1**

[Excerpt from “I Shall Embrace The Light”]

I will not forsake You, even if I forget myself.”

Cullen had forgotten himself: forgot the wide-eyed little boy who begged the local templars to teach him, forgot the determined brother who trained with his siblings every day, forgot the eager recruit who studied diligently, forgot the idealistic templar who thought mages needed a soft touch.

“I cannot see the path.

Perhaps there is only abyss.”

He lost sight of himself to Uldred’s madness. He lost friends, both templar and mage - lost her. He lost the notion that mages were people. The possibility for disaster, the temptation for wicked power, was too great for mages and they could not be trusted. They had to be watched. They were a danger to all, including themselves. Especially themselves.

For there is no darkness in the Maker’s Light,”

Mages held potential for devastating, dark acts. He had already seen more blood mages in Kirkwall than he ever encountered in Fereldan, reaffirming the need for stricter rules, but not every mage in the Gallows had the glint of wickedness in their eyes. He saw it often, the shadows that cast over the faces of those who tried to flee, but in some there was only light. Those who understood Andraste’s teachings, understood the Maker’s laws, understood the Chantry’s rules…

I am not alone. Even

As I stumble on the path

With my eyes closed, yet I see…”

Cullen had forgotten and lost and was surrounded by shadows. He remembered he became a templar to help people. He found a certainty in his task, even when he stumbled and made mistakes. He discovered that the brightness of an honest, caring, humble soul could be a beacon of light and banish the darkness… for at least a little while.

“The Light is here.”

Temptation Flourishes

1795 Words. It got away from me, but I am more than pleased with it. I am giving a mild warning. This is slightly Dom/Sub sex/Virgin sex. It’s Cullen’s first time, in the Circle and he is 18 so is his partner to clarify. So if that offends, I apologize but I stand by my piece. Put under cut for length and the NSFW stuff. Last post of the day for Templar Cullen. Hope you enjoyed!!! See you tomorrow ;)

Anoria moved her pawn two spaces forward as she crossed her legs and leaned back in the wooden chair, “I wonder how you will attempt to best me this time, Rutherford,” she sneered as she flicked a long section of auburn locks over her shoulder.

Feeling the heat paint his cheeks he tried to focus on the board. After all he had been the one to invite to her to play this evening. Wesley had been kind enough to leave them the room for the evening. He had chuckled as he elbowed Cullen in the ribs before winking and strutting out the door. The memory drifted into his mind. Mentally shaking off the image he moved to match her pawn, “I intend to win this round. If you do not cheat,” he smirked as he watched her posture change.

“Cheat? My dear Rutherford, why would I need to cheat?” Selecting her knight, she moved him out from behind the line of pawns. “I best you in nearly everything, this should be no different.”

Trying to see the move he analyzed the board. If she wasn’t going to cheat she had several moves to make. He would need to see a few more moves before he could correctly plot his appropriate response. Opting the safest route, he moved a pawn forward to back the first, “I allow you to win. That is the difference.”

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For @cullenappreciationweek 

Song is If I Told You by Darrius Rucker 
I thought the lyrics fit Cullen nicely. Lyrics below the cut

I hope it’s the right day, I mean I guess it could be either Day 1 Templar Cullen or Day 2 Redemption and Romance. I couldn’t figure it out. It’s more along the lines of a compilation of Cullen from all three games. 

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My fave fic: Knight’s Bloom

Seems a shame not to share at least something for Day 1: Templar Day of @cullenappreciationweek, so celebrating my first major fic ever (and still probably my favorite). Knight’s Bloom followed Cullen becoming Knight Commander of Kirkwall and dealing with the aftermath of DA2. And Marian Hawke becoming Viscountess. It was fun imagining a new epic adventure for them as they tried to put Kirkwall back together, together.

Knight’s Bloom by R2sMuse

As the new Viscountess of Kirkwall, Marian Hawke needed all the friends she could get. So then why was Knight-Commander Cullen avoiding her? A story of how Hawke and Cullen navigate a new friendship in the aftermath of the Battle of the Gallows, leading to an explanation for why the Viscountess ultimately left Kirkwall.

Words: 119,861 Chapters: 27 Rated: M

Cullen x f!mage Hawke, past Sebastian x f!Hawke

Since I believe that it’s unfair to judge the entire Templar Order by actions of few rotten apples, I’ve decided to make a series of posts dedicated to appreciating all those Templars who did everything in their power to make Thedas a better place, often at the cost of their lives. Nothing fancy, just a quick reminder that decent Templars do exist and are in fact in majority.

A Crystalline Heart (DA2)

For Day One of @cullenappreciationweek - Cullen as a Templar!

Summary: Some days in Kirkwall prove harder than others following the death of the arishok, and when Cullen finds out Knight-Commander Meredith has had spies watching Hawke Cullen has to begin questioning his own loyalties.

Despite his best efforts, Cullen found himself less and less appreciative of his commander’s new restrictions on the Circle. At first Meredith had seemed right to act as she did; after all, mages were dangerous, any of them could be blood mages or abominations in disguise -

- like Uldred, like his followers, murdering everyone, Maker save them, save us -

- but after ten years in Kirkwall Cullen felt as though a mist was finally beginning to clear, a mist that had not left him since Kinloch Hold.

Cullen was finishing off duty rosters and reports for the week and headed to Meredith’s office to deliver them when he first realized it. Coming down the hall from the knight-commander’s office, a pair of Templars were carrying a figure between them in mage robes. Cullen had stopped cold as they passed, as the mage lifted her head: face bruised, one eye swollen shut while blood ran from her nose over her lips to her chin. Even three years ago he might have felt some surge of righteousness, that this mage had undoubtedly gotten what she had deserved short of Tranquility.

But now he looked at her and Cullen felt his stomach twist in discomfort. Regret.

He didn’t react as she mustered herself and spat at him, blood and spittle landing on the stones just shy of his boot. He could have flinched in case it was an attempt at blood magic, could have kicked her and worsened her injuries.

Just three years ago he would have.

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Nate // Shadow of the Templar by M.Chandler

>> Nate looked to be just awake enough to have realized that sitting out on his front porch unarmed was a bad idea, so he was sitting on the top step with his gun dangling from one hand, casual as anything, blind to the ‘crazed killer in between rampages’ look he was currently sporting.<< 

- M.Candler, With a bullet (Shadow of the Templar book 3)

On Fandom and Hypocrisy on the Mage-Templar Conflict

After the anon hate I received on another blog (all the more reason to keep anon turned off here), I need to say something loud and clear:

You cannot take the worst actions of a few extremist Templars (Alrik, Karras, Mettin, even Meredith at her worst), who are explicitly stated to be extremists beyond the rest of the Order, and apply that to every single Templar without also therefore by the exact same logic take the worst actions of mages like Tarohne, Uldred, Danarius, Idunna, Quentin, Corypheus, Erimond, etc. and apply them to every single mage. If all Templars must be considered evil abusive rapists then so must all mages. It is completely hypocritical to pick and choose who’s evil and who’s not due to what side you prefer.

There are indeed some evil sadistic Templars who get off on hurting others, like Alrik (who, I shall remind you as explicitly stated in the codex, was working behind Meredith’s back, though that does not absolve her of fault and responsibility as Knight-Commander, but don’t you dare come to me with that “Meredith is an evil psycho bitch who wanted every mage raped” bullshit I keep seeing when that is not actually part of her character). The presence of a few bad Templars does NOT negate the many, many good people among the Order. Just as the presence of the depraved Tevinter magisters and other incredibly abhorrent maleficarum we see throughout the series, particularly in Kirkwall, does not automatically mean that every single mage including Bethany Hawke and Wynne is also evil and depraved.

There are good people on both sides. There are bad people on both sides. There are a whole lot of people on both sides who are in between because this is a very morally gray issue. Stop trying to force it into an all-or-nothing, black-and-white conflict when it is not and cannot be, particularly when your arguments become increasingly hypocritical in order to try to force it into that mold.

The Templars are NOT evil evil oppressors, and no amount of anon hate is going to prevent me from loving and appreciating the Templar Order. So take that.

deepwoodian  asked:

I really enjoy your style, characters and your in depth writings of them. What I perhaps like most is your way to represent Greagoir. I like his character very much (and whole concept of the templar order). I also appreciate the way you analyze and think about templars. Not outright condemning but not being blind to their flaws either. How you see the relation between Greagoir and Cullen? Was he a star-recruit or a foolish boy with infatuation to a mage? Or both? Bree's thoughts about Ser Otto?

“Eager to uphold the tenets of his new post, Cullen proved enthusiastic and loyal, if more inclined to converse with the mages than the other templars.”

- World of Thedas, Vol. 2, p. 224

Thanks for the compliments! I’ve answered your questions below the readmore.

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For @bisexualsatan, who gave me the best character ask–CASSANDRA FLIPPIN PENTAGHAST 

1. How I feel about this character

Cassandra is perfection. Cassandra is all that is good in this world. Cassandra helps old ladies across the street and carries in their groceries for them.  Cassandra says “please” and “thank you” and always tips at least 20% because she understands that being a server is hard work. Cassandra picks up after herself and doesn’t leave wet towels on the floor. Cassandra pays her bills on time. Cassandra’s socks always match but doesn’t judge if yours don’t.  Cassandra’s favorite movie is Titanic.  Cassandra punches Nazis.  

2. All the people I ship romantically with this character

- f!Trevelyan 
- f!Adaar
- me
- m!Lavellan 
- @cassandrapentayaaaaas
- Josephine 

3. My non-romantic OTP for this character

Her and Cullen are #bros4lyfe.  Even though he’s probably pretty young for the job (you’ll forgive me if I’m muddy about this–haven’t played DA2 yet) she sees his leadership potential and sells the Inquisition as an opportunity to leave the Templar life behind.  He appreciates the confidence she has in him and is grateful for the opportunity.  Late at night they sit around drinking beer and bitching about all the political bullshit the Inquisition has to deal with.  He teases her about the Inquisitor. She punches him.   

4. My unpopular opinion about this character

That she…isn’t straight. Is that unpopular? Sorry. I do what I want. 

5. One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon

How is it that she has literally the most terrifying and amazing power in the entire game and we never get to see it?  Or that it’s buried in one dialogue tree and never mentioned again? Am I missing something here?  Homegirl can SET LYRIUM ON FIRE WITH HER MIND and we’re just not going to talk about it? Ok, cool, thanks.  I am both frightened and aroused.