There is power in stories, he has always said that.
He has told a lot of stories, about tragic heroes, about fighting for survival, about dramatic twists and turns in the lives of fictional characters. Sorrow. Happiness. Hate. Love.
He knows them all, those feelings, and when he talks, when he tells tales – even if he only tells them to a few drunks late at night at the Hanged Man – he lets them flow through him, fill him up until he is close to bursting, before he interlaces them into this wonderful, wonderful thing. The story.
Yes, he has told and written countless stories, but there is one that is special, one that stands out from all the others.
He wasn’t the one moving this one story forward. He wasn’t the one breathing life into it. Others had taken care of that.
Aveline in shining armour, with her shimmering shield on her back and righteous determination etched on her face as she prepares for battle. Aveline with sparkling eyes and tender voice whenever she talks about Donnic. She is still here, bound to this city just like him, but for a different reason.
Merrill, whose clear, happy laugh still echoes off the cold stone walls of the Gallows. Merrill, who looks at him with confusion, asking him if she missed something, with flowers from the Viscount’s garden in her hair and his ball of twine in her pocket.
Fenris, his brow furrowed as he holds the cards which will help him win yet another round. With that deep emptiness in his eyes, telling Varric about loss, about broken dreams, and dark shadows in his former master’s mansion, still haunting him years after his escape. Telling him about his plans for the future. Hope.
Isabela, beer mug in her hand and witty remark on her lips. That passion, with which she speaks of the sea, untameable and free, just like herself. With the heart of gold that she so desperately wants to hide even though everyone has already seen through her.
Anders, standing in his Clinic, bathed in shadow and in light, healing countless people while he is planning to kill others, in those dark hours where nothing exists except him, candlelight and paper. And the wish for freedom, woven into his life just like the threads woven into his mother’s pillow from whom he was taken such a long time ago.
Carver, with his morose expression and the never ending hostility, sighs and rude gestures. In the end, they have all underestimated him, the youngest member of their group of people all missing their place in life and whom fate had brought together in such a serendipitous way.
Although… their fate has a name.
Varric can still hear his voice as well, even after all those years. The jokes, sometimes too morbid to laugh about in public. The slightly narrowed eyes watching his enemies before he sets them on fire.
The way he can command respect from the Viscount, the Arishok and the Knight Commander with a single glance, but at the end of the day he is a man that you can sit shoulder to shoulder – or shoulder to elbow– with at a filthy bar, listening to him singing tavern songs.
His proud set shoulders when he stands against oppression and adversary, his slumped body as he speaks with his dying mother for the last time.
Hawke has brought them together, all these people, and Varric is thankful for every single one who has accompanied him through the years.
He still sees them sometimes, laughing in his room at the Hanged Man. They have each left a trace of themselves, in Kirkwall and in him, that will never vanish completely.
Because Varric tells stories, he always has, and this story, about these people – the memories, sweet and sour, the voices that will never fade because he won’t let them – this story is the best damn story he has ever told.