Our heroes are people and people are flawed. Don't let that taint the thing you love.
-- Randy K. Milholland, Midnight Macabre
Once upon a time, my father stood with humble stature, a boy like any other, with a heart that loved, a mind that pondered, and honor that cleaved true to those he had sworn to serve and protect. These qualities - noble qualities, truly, of a noble man - were not born of pride, or of privilege, but instead born of a boy who labored in the dirt for his food and saw his own mother slain by those drunk on their own power. Yet he did not surrender to despair, this boy; instead he chose to throw in his lot with those who stood against tyrants, against lies, against the taking of freedom. And among these warriors, he made his mark, both upon history and upon the enemies of Ferelden.
Once upon a time, my father stood on the shores of River Dane, unaware that he would later become the Hero of that battle. He led the charge against the invincible Chevalier where others would have faltered. He stood at the side of the rightful King of Ferelden, long before the head of that man bore the crown. He swore his life and life’s blood to the country of his heart to ensure it would be re-forged into a strong nation for a strong people. With Ferelden thus restored, at great personal sacrifice to himself, Loghain willingly gave of his talents and time, ensuring that Ferelden remained free from those who sought to enslave her once more. He chose to give up his personal happiness so that the nation would grow and prosper. Thus, his nobility was acknowledged with a title never before bestowed upon a commoner, and Loghain Mac Tir, born of a farmholder, became Teyrn of the Realm.
Once upon a time, my father stood once again at the crossroads of greatness, faced with a difficult choice: join a hopeless battle and fall, leaving Ferelden completely unprotected; or retreat from the field and fight the battle when victory could be assured. Though it tore at his heart, he decided to act for the good of the many rather than the good of the few and returned to Denerim, armed and armored with valuable knowledge to defeat the enemy when the time came. He chose the difficult path, the misunderstood path, yet, though he still acted in the best interests of Ferelden, the people of Ferelden held it against him.
Once upon a time, my father stood before those to whom he had given his blood, sweat and tears, and was judged wanting. Though he had proven his worth time and again, had fought with his own sword to protect those under his charge - including me, his own daughter - the Land turned against him, and he was found guilty: guilty of doing what had to be done, even if no one else would confront that simple truth. Rather than succumbing to those who sought his head, however, one stood against the tide of murder and declared that my father had earned a second chance, if he were willing to risk death for the good of Ferelden. And, naturally, my father chose to accept this risk, since it was a risk he was well acquainted with. So did my father become a Grey Warden, protector and defender not just of Ferelden, but all of Thedas.
Once upon a time, my father stood, sword in hand, at the foot of Fort Drakon, preparing to face the greatest foe any could imagine: the Archdemon Urthemiel. He and the only other Warden willing to fight at his side fought their way through hordes of foul Darkspawn, aided by stalwart companions that nevertheless could not end the Blight on their own. And this time, as he fought his way through the hordes, my father faced not the possibility of death, but the certainty of it. When they finally reached the top of the tower and beheld the evil corruption that was the Archdemon, he chose to take certain death upon himself so that the one who had given him his second chance would yet live, and flourish.
Once upon a time... my father lay dead atop his final, greatest enemy, giving his life gladly for the people of Ferelden. And so I choose to establish this monument to his memory, to the memory of the man who gave everything - including his love and his life - to the country he loved above all else.