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That's What You Get for Waking Up In Thedas

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I wake up in a cellar. No, a dungeon. Cold, wet, in pain.

I recognize the dark-haired woman who is shouting at me, as Cassandra Pentaghast. "Explain this!"

I recognize the painful, green-glowing gash on my left palm as the Anchor.

I recognize the purple-hooded figure as Leliana. "A woman?"

I try to swallow down my panic.

Stick with the script. Play along. It'll all be fine, just fine, everything's fine... oh gods.

Leliana leaves for the Forward Camp and Cassandra exchanges my manacles to ropes.

I see the Breach for the first time and it is terrifying beyond imagination.

I swear I'll help. Do my best. "Whatever it takes." (I do not expect to live out the hour.)

I'm cut loose outside the outer gates and we take off at a jog. Cassandra is in the middle of her recollection of how I was found, "They say a woman was in the rift behind you...," when we reach the bridge. I'm too preoccupied with watching my step, (the snowy path is too slippery, especially while running,) and I'm tumbling down before I even register the bridge exploding.

"Stay behind me!" Cassandra yells and she's off to fight the first Shade. I'm left to frantically hunt for a weapon, to have any chance against the second one emerging a few feet away.

I find a mage staff, half buried under the cracked open supply crate. I'm happy to be a mage for all of half a second, before remembering that I know nothing about how to do magic.

I try to jerk the staff free, a big stick is still better than nothing. It doesn't even budge, however, and I lose my footing on the ice, just as the second Shade reaches me.

I'm torn to shreds by its sharp claws in seconds.



Everything goes black. The music swells. Nothing hurts anymore. I must be dead.

Then a voice.

"Are you all right?" It asks. "Did I hurt you?"

I open my eyes and see the hideous form of the Shade leaning over me with a look of... worry?

"I didn't mean to. But they set the difficulty to Nightmare mode, so..." its explanation trails off at my horrified expression.

I scream.