The old, tired sun sat stubbornly on the horizon, the light fell over the cathedrals around the Temple of Sacred Ashes, sinking into the grooves of the marble-work. It was once a place of faith, hope, and one of the few remnants of Andraste’s remains, warming the people of Haven and the Chantry, a perpetual symbol of the Maker. Now, the temple was a pitiful ruin, only smoke and embers remained, and everyone that was present inside had been obliterated, the flames so hot that they had been turned to nothing but ash, all except for one - the Herald of Andraste, Lucatiel.
How laughably ridiculous, that such an influential place could be wiped clean off the world, just like that. Well, this was Ferelden. It was currently Wintermarch where it was a few degrees north of freezing to death. Most places at the moment only had to deal with wolves, giant spiders , bandits, and other petty things. Ferelden had…
It didn’t stop there though. The demons had spread across the west and into entire regions of Orlais. When the temple was destroyed, many had lost hope. Why Lucatiel didn’t die with them was a mystery on its own. She had actually hoped she did die, because she knew she’d have to answer to many things. She had cheated death after all.
When she awoke, she realized she was taken and held captive. Ah, another prisoner of some residence. Felt just like home , she thought. Was she the herald of Andraste? Or the harbinger of demons? It didn’t matter to her, they could call her whatever they wanted. She was more focused on closing the breach, and leaving the damned place.
She remembered watching the demons pouring out of the emerald behemoth in the sky, like a giant hailstorm that seemed to go on for which felt like forever. When it opened, you could hear the thundering and sonic boom from a mile way, how the breach tainted the skies green, like a wound-no, an infection, leaking out its spores. It was such a disgusting mess, but it was a sight to behold from far away.
She looked at her hand, remarking how similar it looked like to the breach in the sky.
“Hey, wake up.”
Dammit, she was spacing out again. Seeker Cassandra grabbed her by the arm, “Pull yourself together. We need to get to the rift as soon as possible!”
The two of them rushed across the frozen fields, where swords and bodies lay scattered across the grounds. The air was thin and sharp from the cold, making it hard to breathe. Demons spawned everywhere, and they were forced to battle through them.
At last, they reached the fade rift, and Lucatiel saw a dozen troops trying to fight back the unending wave of demons. She and the Seeker quickly rushed in to help, ignoring all tactical approach. The demons were tough, any false misstep and their claws could kill her easily. At the corner of her eye, she spotted a dwarf, unaware of two demons slowly approaching him from behind.
“Behind you!” she shouted, rushing to block their attack.
He saw them then. Silent as beetles, two demons slithering towards him as they prepared to attack. He turned just in time to shoot one with his crossbow, while the other one was cut down by Lucatiel.
“Thanks,” he said. More and more demons spawned as she prepared for the next wave.
Using her shield, she bashed one in the head, causing it to growl. It tried to slash at her. The attack was meant for her face, but luckily she ducked in time, and felt her hair ruffle at the force of it. With a final blow, she thrusted her sword into the demon, ending its existence. If one demon posed this much trouble, she would need to improve much more.
Out of nowhere, a demon knocked her to the ground. It screeched like a banshee, lifting its claws to slash at her throat. Luckily, it was quickly shot down by the dwarf. As it fell to the ground, the dwarf helped her up.
An elf suddenly grabbed her left hand and raised it to the rift, “Quickly! Before more come through!"
Lucatiel watched as the green cluster of spikes and magic dissipated, ending in a small eruption. “What did you do?” startled and dumbfounded.
“I did nothing. That was you,” he simply answered.
“You mean this?” she corrected, raising her mark on her hand.
“Whatever opened that breach in the sky is also responsible for that mark. Since it is linked to the opening of the breach, I theorized that it could be able to close its rifts. And I stand correct”
“Theorized?” she asked, slightly taken aback.
“That means the same can be done for the breach!” the Seeker said.
Lucatiel was still trying to take everything in, “First of all, can someone explain why there are demons falling from the sky?! This makes as much sense as raining frogs and flyings pigs.”
“The breach explosion opened a rift in the fade, allowing all the demons and spirits to enter into our realm. Which is why we must close it as soon as possible. We can worry about the aftermath later once things are under control,” the elf explained.
They first took a moment to introduce themselves, Solas, Varric, and Bianca being the elf, dwarf, and crossbow’s names, respectively. They continued down the path, towards the breach itself. Lucatiel felt dreadful. Could she actually close such a massive thing?
That elf had better be right , she thought.
They followed the brightness of the rift like a beacon to find their way to the destroyed temple. The explosion was so large, the blast radius reached far and wide, decimating small buildings and pavilions. Burned and charred corpses laid on the grounds. Some weren’t even corpses, they were merely black, ashen imprints burned onto the walls where you could make out the shape of their bodies. What kind of monster was allowed to have this much power to do something like this? At the back of her mind, she began to suspect she was the cause of this. She was the only one that came out alive, the Seeker hadn’t mentioned anyone else. Lucatiel couldn’t remember a thing, and it made her stomach churn to think she could’ve possibly done this, unintentionally or not.
“You okay there, Lucy?” asked Varric with a worried look.
“Yes, I’m fine. Perfectly okay.” She was trying to assure herself more than to assure him. She was not okay. Of course not. After everything that’s happened, how could one be okay?
As if reading her mind, Varric gave her a sympathized look, “Hey, don’t worry too much about it. If you were able to close that rift back there, chances are you’ll be able to do it again with this one.”
“I really hope you’re right, Varric."
As they reached the foot of the temple, Lucatiel could see the rift high up, looking incredibly unstable, with its emerald spikes and magic constantly shifting. Solas had said it was closed temporarily, but it wasn’t enough. She needed to reopen and close it properly. Something told her that would be a terrible idea. It was the last thing Lucatiel wanted to do, but she didn’t have any better ideas. So she followed the group as they ascended the steps of the temple.
“Is this... red lyrium ?” Varric asked in disbelief.
“Yes, I see it Varric,” said the Seeker, with an obvious tone.
“But what’s it doing here ?” He was nervous.
“Magic could’ve corrupted the lyrium underneath,” offered Solas. The crimson crystals were sprouted everywhere from the ground and walls, like overgrown fungi. If you walked close to one, you could no doubt feel its dark energy, humming like electricity, trying to draw you closer to it.
“Well, it’s evil. Whatever you do, don’t touch it.”
Suddenly, a deep voice appeared from an unknown location, ‘ Bring forth the sacrifice’. It resonated in the ruined temple, speaking as if it was everywhere, yet it was nowhere to be found.
“What are we hearing?” The Seeker grew weary, and so did Lucatiel.
“My guess? The person who created the breach.” She was grateful that Solas didn’t think it was her doing.
‘Keep the sacrifice still’ It spoke once more. Then a woman’s voice appeared, ‘Someone, help me! ’’
“That is Divine Justinia’s voice!” the Seeker exclaimed.
As they neared the rift, a cloudy vision appeared before their eyes. It showed the Divine held in place by a large entity. It looked like it was some sort of sacrificial ritual, only to be interrupted by Lucatiel herself.
‘We have an intruder. Kill her, now. ’ The vision faded away at that, leaving her even more confused, and a very angry Seeker.
“You were there! You saw the Divine, she called out to you, and...what was that vision? Was it real?!”
“I don’t remember anything, I’m sorry okay?!” Lucatiel bit back.
“You can settle this yourselves later. We must re close the breach properly. With your mark, you must try to open it. But that will also attract attention from the other side,” explained Solas.
“That means demons! Everyone stand ready!” the Seeker commanded. Troops spread around the area, archers readied their bows up top, and Lucatiel approached the rift. She reached out, her mark’s magic latching onto the rift, and as it opened with a small eruption, a giant demon five times her size emerged to the ground, roaring like a dragon. It was grey, horned, had scales that looked like stone, and stood upright.
Archers started firing, and the appearance of the demon was correct. Nothing could penetrate its hide. They needed something to weaken it.
“You must disrupt the rift! It is the only way to break its armour and allow us to hurt it!” shouted Solas, while he shot another one of his fireballs.
At that, she quickly rushed towards the rift, sidestepping and ducking away from any of the smaller demons that came to stop her. Soldiers were sent flying, the demon whacking them away effortlessly. As Varric drew its attention away from her by shooting at its face with Bianca, Lucatiel pulled at the rift with her mark, and with a loud crack, the rift stopped spawning demons temporarily, and the large one dropped to the ground, stunned.
Taking her chance, Lucatiel jumped atop the demon’s spiked back, and thrusted her sword into its head. It made no sound, only falling to the ground with a loud ‘thud’, like stone against stone.
“Now’s your chance! Close the breach. Do it!” yelled the Seeker.
Wasting no time, she reached out to the rift once more, closing it once and for all. The magic shot up into the sky, and the breach was closed, the force of it so strong it knocked everyone near its perimeter to the ground, and Lucatiel went unconcious.