So everyone’s been busy comparing the houses of Ilvermorny to Hogwarts houses, but I’d like to propose an alternative. I think Ilvermorny sorting requires asking a slightly different type of question.
Hogwarts houses are chosen based on traits you consider important and value beyond yourself, e.g. Hermione thinks bravery is more important than “books and cleverness.” That’s because the founders wanted to see those values in others (i.e. the students they chose).
On the other hand, the characters of the Ilvermorny founders “leaked into the houses,” so it seems to divide along the lines of how you define yourself and what tools you prefer to use in your approach to life.
Horned Serpent: “I’m defined by what I think.” (Scholars, mind.)
Wampus: “I’m defined by what I do.” (Warriors, body.)
Thunderbird: “I’m defined by my experiences.” (Adventurer, soul.)
Pukwudgie: “I’m defined by what I feel (or maybe love).” (Healers, heart.)
This could apply to a variety of Hogwarts houses. So, for example, a Wampus is defined by action, but why they fight (to defend the weak, to promote themselves or those they consider family, because it’s wise, or because it’s right) defines their Hogwarts house. Meanwhile, a Horned Serpent in Ravenclaw might think, “My mind defines me, because knowledge and/or creativity is important.” The Slytherin counterpart might think, “My mind defines me, because that is how I can achieve what I want out of life.”
Sure, Justice was angry, even before they left Ferelden. Of course, considering Anders had already seen far more than his share of injustice in his lifetime, as both victim and bystander, and now it was as though Justice had lived it, too. By his very nature, to say he would be unsettled would surely be an understatement. Even aside from the adjustment, too, the resistance neither he nor Anders expected, of course he was going to change. But despite what Varric says, or perhaps even what Anders believes, the problem was never Vengeance. Justice wasn’t corrupted, and Anders was never truly afraid of him.
Anders’s and Justice’s reactions to and relationship with each other after merging would still be strained and are certainly fair, and for a myriad of reasons (Anders’s own mental health, and of course his Chantry-manipulated upbringing, as well as Justice’s having to cope with basically his entire world changing so harshly, and then I personally still have my one very particular headcanon about Anders’s past and Justice’s difficulties). Too many emotions run rampant between them, which only time and support and understanding can fix. Thank the Maker for Hawke, then, right?
Kirkwall, though. Kirkwall is something new altogether. Yes, it brings them Hawke, friends that are more like family, love and protection they hadn’t expected. At the same time, however, it brings new hardships, new hurdles, new things to learn and grow accustomed to, already a struggle for the displaced Fade spirit just trying to figure out the mortal realm from within his dear friend’s already tumultuous shared consciousness.
And what does Kirkwall bring them? A city built on the backs of slaves with a Circle that is infamous even by Circle standards, where the Veil is notoriously thin, with an out-of-control Knight-Commander and a Grand Cleric who refuses to act. Injustice, injustice everywhere, the likes of which the spirit had not yet seen, could not have prepared for. So they build their sanctum of healing and salvation, do great work helping people who would otherwise likely be unable to get help, yet this comes at the constant cost of discovery by Templars, that extra fear of being shut down and taken, because they help those in need. This is not justice, this is abhorrent, and the literal embodiment of such a virtue surely cannot comprehend, cannot sit well with this distress. Kirkwall also comes with loss. That brand upon Karl’s head followed by the cry of “you will never take another mage,” but of course they will, and Justice must know it just as well as Anders.
This city takes and takes and takes, not just from Anders but from those he cares about, as well, so Justice throws them further into the mission, to fix this however they can. Anders is angry and it scares him, but he is driven as he has never been before, he is making a difference, even though he puts himself at so much risk to do it. Justice fears for him, too, but Anders knows too well by now that they must persevere, if he even interprets Justice’s concern correctly; he very well may not, however, and by no fault of his own. This will take time, even with having Hawke there to help them through, even with the blessing of the outsider’s perspective coupled with the blessing of the love they provide them.
Anders is a bipolar trauma survivor who hasn’t had a single chance to try to work through or even process all he’s been through, and Justice is literally justice in a world where there is none to be found, where he just wants to help, and Kirkwall is a toxic cesspool that works against them so thoroughly, so adamantly, so it’s surely no surprise that this would complicate these already complicated matters. After they leave, worlds of possibilities for healing and understanding could open up, likely would open up. Kirkwall, however, would never allow for this, and they do a phenomenal job of working together considering all this wretched place throws their way.
Some color theory and simple shading practice, also an attempt at stylizing, as I tend to draw too detailed/realistic.
So the other day I was looking at the dark souls tag, then I came across @otherwindow ‘s absolutely adorable Lucatiel x Solaire art… and I got hooked gosh dangit.
I know it’s impossible due to the differences in timespan, but dangit, I’m a sucker for optimists x broody ships, and this is no exception.
Just think of this as an AU where Solaire and Luca just adventure the world and meeting interesting people… Including the Covenant Leader of the Warriors of Sunlight himself, The Nameless King, who Lucatiel would suspect to be the Forossan war god Faraam.
I have lived my life reading books about these incredible women doing incredible things- but lately I’ve realized the impacts of the women in some of my most recent reads that have really changed my life and they have taken a special place in my heart because of it.
Feyre Archeron, Nesta Archeron, Mor- A Court of Mist and Fury Aelin Ashryver, Mannon, Elide Lochan, Hell ALL of the Thirteen- Throne of Glass Series Nina Zenik, Inej Gafa- Six of Crows Laia and Helene- An Ember in the Ashes
All of my life, I have wanted to be a strong woman- If I am being perfectly honest, I wanted to be a warrior. With armor, and a sword, wiping the blood off my face with a shirt sleeve, I’ve felt that warrior woman in my soul. Stirring when I raged at life, when I fought with family, when I went about my life, and my whole life I did not know how to reconcile that piece of me with the expectations of a woman today, what people want girls to be- small, soft, demure, all made up, and quiet, because that was so different than anything I wanted for myself. I wanted a fight and I wanted to be respected and fearsome and fierce and brave and strong as hell. I wanted to be a force of nature, you know? I was never interested in what my mother tried to tell me about getting boys to like me- I’ll never forget what she said “They aren’t looking for someone to fight, love, they are looking for someone to save.” she smiled and touched my hair. I never understood what she meant, because I was always looking for a fight- even when I was younger I knew that there was a certain kind of intimacy in a fight. Not with fists, but the struggle- the fight of life, of just having to be- it was all a fight, and I never wanted to be saved- all I ever wanted was someone to fight next to me.
So I did what most girls did that were not interested in that girly mold they try to shove us all into- I became a “tom-boy”, hated everything that was normally associated with girls and put on cons, combat pants and too big t-shirts. I shudder today to think of middle school me- and high school rolled around and my mother screamed and begged me to at least put some make up on, still I resisted. In my wisdom, I though that accepting those pieces of girldom that were thrust at me would lessen me- would lessen that warrior in myself, and I thought that jeans, and flannels and mens t-shirts and beanies were better gear than anything else. Makeup didn’t make me a warrior, dresses definitely didn’t make me a warrior, I was weaker and less because of those things. So I never wore a dress willingly, or put on makeup for anything other than family holidays or party’s- always only when it was expected of me.
I’m twenty two now- and I have read hundreds, if not more, of books where badass warrior women are the main character- but up until the books that I have read in the past few years those warrior women that I loved were never allowed to just be women. It was always things like, they had to pretend to be boys so they could train, they were women but they were so masculine (all cargo pants and slick-backed hair), used only for love interests, then to be stripped of their warrior status once a man came to care for them- they were never allowed to be women once they became warriors. Just like I had never allowed myself to be a woman- never allowed myself to enjoy the fact that I was a girl, that I was, in fact, a woman.
Then these characters came along, all of these women, even Mannon and her Thirteen, are WOMEN who are warriors. They allow themselves to be feminine and soft and beautiful but then they are also more than able to kill a man on a moments notice. They are smart and fierce and beautiful and vicious- their femininity does not take away from the fact that they are WARRIORS. That they will all step onto a killing field, and fight, and rage, and triumph, and then they wash the caked on dirt and blood out of their hair- step into a dress and dance with a man that loves them and fought beside them. And to have that man not think less of her because she picked up a dress instead of fighting gear- and for that woman to not have to pick between the fight and being a woman because she is already inherently both and there is no one without the other and one is not lesser because of the other. And to have someone love that woman, Love her and not want to save her- but want to fight beside her?
It has changed my life. These women have changed my life.
And the fact that I, a twenty two year old woman, spent my whole life denying that the two could be reconciled. There was no warrior if there was femininity- there could be no femininity if there was a warrior. I spent most of my life denying myself of a huge aspect of my existence- of feeling sexy, beautiful, feminine. And I did not know I was keeping myself from feeling powerful and ferocious by refusing all those pieces of womanhood I felt a warrior would never accept.
It’s thanks to all of the women that I listed- Feyre, Mor, Aelin, Elide, Helene, Laia, Nina, Inej- it is thanks to them that I have embraced myself entirely. In all my ferocious, beautiful, raging, feminine warrior glory.
It might be foolish- but it makes me happy to think that they would be proud of me, and would all be more than happy to walk into battle beside me.