That was what first stirred her, given her life in the swirling, chaotic tumult that is the Fade. She was an idea, a thought, an emotion that had finally taken a form. She was Love. From that raw feeling, she was born and given purpose and she eagerly poured all of herself into fulfilling her reason to exist. Love was her calling and it was her reason to be. And in the Fade, she allowed herself to slip into the dreams of mortals and conceal herself from them for they were afraid of spirits or demons.
So many of the dreams she'd visited were beautiful. Often, they were of young maidens who were feeling the first signs of romantic love. She would listen to the whispers of their heart's desire, often hushed like a secret that only the she can hear. She then would scour the whole Fade to find the men's dreams and then lead them to each other.
Never will she tire of when the gazes of two young lovers meet and their expressions change that to something sweet. And the two once-strangers would come to each other to dance and embrace. They would look at each other with pure adoration in their eyes then experience their first kiss in their dreams. The blissful sigh that would escape their lips is the moment she would slip away from the dream, happy to have made and fulfilled her purpose. Even after fulfilling her duty as the Spirit of Love, she would continue to search for more ways to help and bring together two people who were in love.
It was then she heard it. Barely audible in the noisy pandemonium that was the fade, but she could hear it there. It sounded like a quiet prayer in the disorder that surrounded her. Passionate yet still barely able to contain the intensity of this feeling. She must see it she thought and followed the sound like a moth to a flame, never straying too far from the path to the whispers of love.
She dipped and dived, flew over and under rocks and then she saw him. Amidst the bedlam, a single solitary figure stood, proud and benevolent. Despite how he appeared, she could sense it. Underneath all of the protective layers that he surrounded himself, underneath all of the pain and suffering, it was there shining bright.
She instinctively hid from him, ducking under a pile of rubble that belonged to the Fade. With curious eyes, she quietly observed him.The figure was an elven man, tall and slim yet regal despite his simple clothing. The little spirit could immediately tell that this elven man was someone special. Wordlessly, the man raised his hand and with a gesture, the scene around them began to stir.
Walls began forming around them, towering high and surrounding them in a room that she didn't recognize. She panicked for a moment, not wishing to be seen. A floor above began to form and quickly, she fled to there in hopes of hiding in the bland colors of the setting.
Colorful paint then started to emerge from the walls surround them. Elven in style and they depicted fantastic tales. Simple wooden structures started materializing and was scattered along the walls of the room. Smells of old tomes, fresh paint and candle fire permeated through the air and the little spirit stared in amazement at the man. No normal mortal has that kind of power over their dreams.
The scene soon settled then and the elven man drew near to center of the room. He stopped before the old wooden desk then stood there to look at the table filled with books, runes, tomes and candles. A knock on the door startled the little spirit and she almost let out a surprised squeak but covered her mouth with her hands. The wooden door creaked when it swung open and then she saw her emerge. An elven woman, strong yet elegant, walking towards the elven man. Her short and wispy white hair flowing a little as she drew nearer to him, her delicate hand outstretched in order to reach out for his.
"Solas," she called out to him in a voice that sounded like smooth velvet. Her tone deep and sweet like honey. The male elf turned to her with a gentle and warm expression.
"Ma vhenan,"he whispered reverently.
She saw how his eyes shone brightly in the candlelit room. He caught her outstretched hand and drew her to his body. Her expression reflected his, warm and adoring. He cupped her face and gave her a chaste kiss on her lips and she sighed blissfully into it. No sooner, they broke away from each other and her eyes fluttered open to gaze at him with loving affection.
The spirit could feel it. Love in its purest form. Yet, she can sense that this was all just a conjured illusion by the elven man. The elven woman was there, but not really. She was merely a shadow, remnants of a memory that he must have imagined and summoned in his dream. The scene was false and the little spirit could sense the underlying pain in the fantasy that was playing before them. She wanted to help.
"She is beautiful," she whispered quietly in the ancient tongue that he also spoke.
The man started and she saw the warm look in his eyes harden, his gaze snapping up towards where she was. Immediately the scene disappeared in a cloud of green smoke, joining and mixing in with the Fade. The last thing to swirl back into the vortex of smoke was the woman.
"Reveal yourself," he demanded in a grated voice.
The little spirit peeked out from her hiding place, a little uncertain. His sharp gaze immediately fell on her and she smiled to him in greeting in hopes to show that she meant no harm. By the look of surprise on his face perhaps he had not expected her or her appearance. She looked like a young girl, with long straight hair that cascaded past her shoulders. Flowers braided and twined together with her locks. She looked at him with shy eyes and showed him a small smile in greeting.
"Who are you?" he asked looking genuinely curious.
"I am the ardent whispers spoken only in the middle of the night. I am the stars that are reflected on people's eyes as they gaze at one other. I am the soft, gentle touch of hands twining through hair. I am the honeyed sigh that escapes through lips after a kiss."
"You are love,"the elf declared with a warm smile.
The little spirit's smile grew and she nodded to his answer, crossing her hands behind her in a playful fashion.
"It has been a while since I've last met a spirit such as yourself," he commented, a look of delight crossing his eyes as he gestured her to draw nearer to him. She obliged and skipped towards him as he sat down on the ground.
"Spirits like me like to watch and guide from afar,"she replied and stood in front of him with her arms still at her back. He looked at her, openly observing her and she allowed it.
"What made you decide to show yourself to me, child?"
"Because I want to know who she is."
She saw how his jaw clenched, his shoulders stiffening in defense. His lips curled into a small frown and the weight of his pain crossed his eyes momentarily. The air between them suddenly grew cold but the little spirit stood in front of him, unaffected and unwavering before the man.
"Ah,"he replied, his eyes looking at a distance past her. "Why do you wish to know?"
"I want to help,"she replied simply.
His blue eyes reflected his inner turmoil. All of the feelings that he had guarded in his heart seemed to pour out, the weight of sadness that his eyes bore betrayed the steely expression on his face. The ache of love called out from his heart. She sensed its cries, sensed the conflict of love that made him both elated and distressed.
"I am sorry but you cannot help," he replied softly, his lips forming into a pained and melancholic smile.
"Why?"she asked leaning forward towards him and coyly tilting her head.
"I have abandoned her and I should never return to her."
"Should never, can never or will never?" she started and skipped again then disappeared in flash.
She was behind him and he turned his head to look at her."They are all very different phrases but are used similarly and interchangeably. These phrases have different underlying messages and convey different meanings."
The little spirit paused and stared straight into his cold, blue eyes. "Which do you mean, Pride?"
Pride became silent. Unsure and afraid, perhaps not even knowing the answer himself.