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In hushed whispers

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“This is fucked up.” Drace mutters, rubbing a hand over her face.

“I agree.” Dorian agrees, “Are you feeling alright?” Drace looked a little pale, might be the lighting or what just happened.

“Peachy, where the fuck are we?”

“Not a clue.”

“How did this happen.” Drace asks, not to dorian but mostly to herself. But she knew the answer. It was because of Fiona. After the templar little stunt in Val Royeaux drace was getting ready to leave the city, when she was stopped by Fiona. The leader of the mages extended an invitation to Redcliff, not one to turn one down an invitation drace went. Those something was off, a fade rift had opened distorning time around it. It made Drace unease, but didn’t say anything about it. When they reached the tarven after being told that the mages had been spoken for they meet with a man that turned darce stomach, a magister named Alexius. Drace was polite but didn’t want to be. (Her family had a bad history with magisters.)

She told him she wanted the mages, Alexius told her that they could come to some agreement. To bad his son got sick and they left. From there it was a shit storm from hell. From meeting Dorian, to being told it was a trap and knowing it was a trap. To going to the castle, springing the trap and telling Alexius he was a fool to him using an amulet to make rift appear in the middle of the thorn room that sent Drace and Dorain to where or when they didn’t know.

All either knew was they were in a jail cell flooded with water that came knee high and two very large chunk of red lyrium drace paled that was not good sing , and they took small trio of guards by surprise. And now they lay dead. The cell was littered with odds and ends that looked useful but Drace wasn’t in the mood to loot.

“Displacement, interesting.” Dorian hums his stance neutral as he thinks. “It’s probably not what Alexius intended The rift must have moved us… To what? The closet confluence of arcane magic.” Dorian says moving about the cell and kneeling in the water as to examine it, maybe to find his answer.

“The last thing I remember we were in the castle hall.” Drace tells him feeling a little sick, but otherwise okay.

“Let’s see. If we’re still in the castle. It isn’t.. Oh! Of course. It’s not simply where its when!” Doran exclaims standing. Drace could only give him a confused look,

“Alexius used the amulet as a focus. It moved us throughout time!”

Drace tilted her head and pinched the bridge of her nose, “Moved us? Did we go backwards or forward? Can we get back?” She asks feeling panic set in, an trying not to show it.

“Those are excellent questions. We’ll have to find out, now won’t we?” Dorian asks watching drace as if she was trying to hide it, she started digging her blunt finger nails into her palms and looking scared. “Let’s look around, to see where the rift took us. Then we can figure out how to get back if we can.”

“What?” Drace squeaks out in fright.

“Don’t worry I’ll protect you, we just need to find a way out. Alright?” Drace nodded yes, as they looked around they found the cell key. They quickly left the cells to find that hall was flood with more water and more red lyrium.

“This is fucked up.” Drace mutters, rubbing a hand over her face.

“I agree.” Dorian agrees, “Are you feeling alright?” Drace looked a little pale, might be the lighting or what just happened.

“Peachy, where the fuck are we?” She sarcastically tells him.

“Not a clue.”

“How did this happen.” Drace asks, feeling sick to her stomach with the very thought whatever happened was her fault.

As if reading Drace mind and wanting to change the topic Dorian spoke, “I heard an interesting rumor about you.” Dorian says as they were looking around the lower cells, trying not to touch the red lyrium that lined the walls.

“What rumor was that?” Drace asks grateful that she didn’t wear real shoes for this, but the fake ones that iron bull had made for her.

“That you worked for that brute the iron bull.”

“Well yea, I worked for him before the explosion at the conclave. Why do you ask?” Drace asks raising an eyebrow.

“Just wondering is all.” Was all Dorian said as they made it to the main area of the cells, and coming to a cavern of sorts, there with four bridges only one was up. And there were the venatori waiting for them.

“Oh what fun.” Drace mutters pulling her maul off her back and rushing in and taking out one of the guards, then another guards noticed her but were frozen by Dorian.

“Don’t go rushing in my dear.” Dorian scolds as the pair worked on clearing out the guards. Drace didn’t say anything as they headed, her best guess north, over the bridge through the down bridge and down some stairs to see doors, lots of doors.

“So which way?” Drace thinks out loud, hearing someone humming. The song did sound familiar, she turned and went through the door on her right. “That way.” She mutters heading down to find more cells, and more lyrium. This was making her sick. The humming was coming from, a cell with a very familiar face.

“VARRIC!” Drace cheers happy to see the writer, but something was wrong with him, there was a red hazy over his head, his eyes were red and red vines running down his chest and face. And he looked liked like death warmed over.

“Andraste scared knickers, is that you kid?” He asks his voice distorted and strained. “I know someone who might be happy to see you.”

“What? Are you okay? You look ill, and what?” She asks taking a step back, varric pointed his hand to the left as if saying go check one of the other cells.

“Drace go check I’ll stay with varric, I’ll see what he knows.” Dorian tells her. With a hesitant nod she did that, in the last cell was,

“HAWKE!” Drace cheers opening the cell and hugging the older mage.

“Is this a trick? Is the marker fucking with me for failing fenris, anders and the others?” Hawke sounded like varric distorted and hazy but defeated and sad. Drace ventured a gaze, the older mage was in the bad shape as Varrice, he had a red hazy over his head, red eyes, red vines running down his face and neck and looking like death warmed over.

“This isn’t a trick hawke it’s really me drace. I-I-I don’t know how to prove it to. But it’s me.” She whispers trying not to cry.

“Let me see your arm.” He orders, drace was quite but pulled her arm out armour from the warden battlemage armor that hawke had gifted her. Running the length of her arm to her neck were the same white lyrium markings that fenris had. There was no way in hell that anyone could copy drace markings, they were a one of kind trait passed down to her by fenris. The realization came to hawke all at once as he pulled the girl into a tight bone crushing hug.

“Oh drace, we thought you were dead.” Hawke whispers, letting drace go, as he put her arm back into the armour.

“What are you talking about? Alexius he sent us forward in time, if we find him... dorian can fix this. We will able to return back to the present and fix this.” Drace tells him sounding hopeful.

“Go back in time? Then...you can make it so that none of this happened? Fenris and Anders and others they would still be alive?” And then it hit drace, what hawke meant, her father was gone, back with the marker, free.

“I hope so.” She whispers trying to hold back tears.

“Alexius…. marker after you didn't we… could not stop the elder one from rising. Empress Celene was murdered. Then a army that swept in afterwards- it was horde of demons. Nothing stopped them nothing.”

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.” Drace swears trying to hide her face from hawke, she wanted no needed to cry. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” She repeats.

“Your here now. I think the iron bulls is still around and kicking lets get him and varric and fix this miss.” Hawke soothes rubbing her back.

“Right.” They collected varric and hawke and got bull who then punched drace breaking her nose, who knew she deserved that. Hawke was nice enough to set for her, bull told them that Alexius had locked himself in the throne room. Off they went.

“Drace wait.” Hawke says stopping her from going up to the stairs, dorian, varric and bull had went ahead.

“Yes hawke?” She asks, hawke put something into her hand, it was Fenris gloves.

“He would want you to have these. I know you always wanted your own pair.” Hawke tells her pressing a gentle kiss to her forehead.

“Thank you hawke.” She smiled and put the gloves on. The gloves fit a little to well, and it scared drace to think that her father had died wearing these. Drace wasn't sure if it was luck or not that they found Fiona next. The poor mage enchanter was swallowed by the red lyrium or was it growing out of her.

“You’re alive how? I saw you disappear into the rift.” Fiona chokes out, sounding weak.

“I don’t understand. What’s happening to you?” Drace asks feeling a pang of guilt.

“Red lyrium… it’s a disease. The longer you are near it… eventually….you become this. And then they mine your corpse for more.” Drace let out a gasp, she could feel bile rising up, but had to stop herself from vomiting.

“Can you tell us the date? It’s very important.” Dorian asks keeping the fear and dispersion out of his voice.

“ Harvestmere 9:42 dragon.” Fiona gasps out.

“A YEAR!” Drace yells angrily slamming her fist against the bars, “This happened in a year’s time!”

“Please stop this from happening. Alexius severs the elder one. More powerful than the maker...no one challenges him and lives.”

“We’ll just have to change that.” Dorian boast. “Our only hope is to find the amulet that alexius used to send us here. If it still exist maybe”

“Your spymaster is here, find her.” Fiona pleads before passing out.

“Well at least we know that Leliana is hard to kill.” Drace jokes leaving the cells. They headed back to where they started, to see more guards, drace got a dark smile on her face.

“You know I think it’s time I stopped pretending.” Drace mutters as her body glowed blue, in color.

“Drace?” Dorian question with fright in his voice. Drace gave him a dark smile, as she approached the guards

“You might want to stand back.” Varric warns, watching as drace pulled the handle off the maul to revel a staff, and then she summoned yellow spirit blade and attacked she killed off the guards, either using the glowing yellow spirit blade or using her markings to rip out of the hearts of men, or casting winter’s grasp. Soon the guards lay dead at her feet, and drace could only smile as she put the staff back in the the maul.

“What is she?” Dorian asks, frighten by Drace.

“Best not ask a question you don’t want the answer to, you feeling better sweetheart?” Hawke asks watching as she was flinging the blood off her gloves.

“Yes, papa hawke. I think we need to go this way.” Drace points to the open door at the top of the stairs.

The door lead the group into the guard barracks, there wasn’t much to gather or take. It just sent chills up and down drace spine. From there they found and freed Leliana who was not at all shocked to see them alive and well, just bitter. She and the whole world suffered, this was just pretend to them, a future that should not be real. Josephine and Cullen were dead, everyone was dead. This was her present we were just visiting trying to fix the mess, that we made. The feeling of guilt that been gnawing at drace since there arrival had only gotten worse with each step they took.

“I don’t like this.” Drace whispers after closing a rift in the courtyard. The breach had gotten large enough to block out the sky and the sun, it was hard to tell what time of day it was.

“I know you don’t but we need to keep moving. The throne room isn’t to far.” Hawke tells her. They made it the main hall before the throne room it was over run with demons and vantori. And so much red lyrium that drace was on verge of throwing up, they cleared the main hall, but iron bull found something. It was large shard of red lyrium.

“You’ve got to love what Alexius has done with the place.” Varric dryly comments.

“If you like the whole end of the world vibe yes.” Hawke smirks back, “We need to find way in.”

“Doors right over there.” Drace mutters heading over to it, only to see that was locked.

“Maker's breath! Where did Alexious even find this? How did he even move it here?” Dorian yells.

“Can we open it?” Drace asks wondering if she could phase through it.

“Perhaps, but it looks quite strong. How desperate and parndiod must he be? The servant must have a way through. He must eat.” Dorian guesses,

“Would you be looking for this?” Bull asks holding up a red shard, it looked like it could fit into the door.

“Yes! Yes,we're going need to find four more of those shards to get in.” Dorian tells them.

“So let’s go look around.” Drace orders. It took them two hours to find the rest of the shards battling Alexious men, demons along the way. With the five shards in hand they went back to the hall ready to fight him. There stood the man who caused all this, Alexious was staring into the fireplace and next to him a corpse like human.

“HOW FUCKING DARE YOU!” Drace yells, alexius looked them with the most pitiful expression on his face.

“So it is, I knew you would appear again. Not that it would be now, but I knew I hadn’t destroyed you.” He says softly. “My final failure.” Gesturing to the hall

“Have you lost it?” Drace hisses, feeling his body start to glow.

“Was it worth it? Everything you did to the world? To yourself?” Dorian asks clear worry and concern in his voice.

“It doesn't matter now, all we can do is wait for the end.” Was Alexius answers.

“What end?” Drace asks balling her hand into a fist.

“The irony that you appear now, of all the possibilities. All that I fought for, all that I betrayed, what have I wrought?” Alexious asks “Ruin and death there is nothing else. The elder one comes for me, and for you for us all.”

“Pretty empty words for someone who is about to die.” Drace hisses, it was then that Leliana made her move, she had sneaked around and grabbed the poor human by the backs of his jacket hoisting him up and put a knife to his throat.

“Felix!” Alexius yells out in surprise,

“That’s felix? Maker’s breath, Alexious what have you done?” Dorian asks startled.

“He would have died, Dorain! I saved him!” Alexious tells Dorian as he reached his hand out to get his son, “Please don’t hurt my son. I’ll do anything you ask!”

“Hand over the amulet, and we’ll let him go.” Drace tells him, trying to defuse this mess.

“Let him go, and I swear you’ll get what you want.” Alexious tells Drace.

“I want the world back.” Leilana tells him slitting felix throat killing him, the magister let out a yell of agony as his son fell to the ground dead. Drace thinking very fast snd before the mage could react she charged him and reached into his chest where his heart was.

“This is for running everything.” As she squeezed his heart killing him. The magister dropped dead on the floor with a thud.

“Anti climax.” Dorian mutters as drace found the amulet and tossing it to him.

“Fitting end.” Hawke says almost feeling sorry for him almost this mess was Alexius fault his loved ones and family were gone, “He did all this for his son? The world is no more? He wanted to die you could see it in his eyes as he spoke. Dorian can fix this?”

“If you give me an hour.” Dorian tells him as they all stilled hearing a roar that shock the room.

“An hour?! That impossible, you need to leave now!” Leliana orders the castel shock and a roar rocked the castle.

“That would be the elder one.” Bull says, “He knows your here. Time to go.”

“You have to hurry this is bad.” Varric says, looking at hawke, and bull who tearfully nodd,
“We’ll hold the main door, once there through its up to you nightengale.”

“NO!” Drace yells watching bull and varric leave, Hawke stood there looking at her, “I can’t let you do this. I won’t let anyone die for me!” She yells feeling hot tears well up in her eyes falling to the ground with a wet splat. “This mess is my fault I can’t lose anyone!”

“Drace this… this isn’t your fault.” Hawke says in a gentle voice as he cupped her face wiping away the tears that feel, “Alexious did this, he made a mess of the world and it’s your job to fix it.” Drace could feel the tears falling freely down her face,

“You’ll die. Please don’t.” She pleads shaking as she cried, “Don’t please don’t.”

“We’ll die no matter what sweetheart. Let us die on our terms not his.” Hawke hisses, “Your father would be proud of you.”

“Hawke.” Drace hiccups, hawke wiped away a few of the stray tears.

“I know you’ll fix this, and when you do, this won’t happen. Trust me?”

“I have no choice do I?” Drace whispers sniffling as she talked.

“No, you don’t.” Hawke frimley tells her pulling the young mage into a tight hug. Drace cried into hawke’s armour, she knew there was nothing she could for them now, she didn’t want to lose him.

“HAWKE! TIME TO GO NOW!” Varric yells as the castle shock again. Hawke pulled out of the hug and planted a gentle kiss on drace head, and placing something into her hand. She didn't see what it was.

“I love you sweetheart, maker go with you both. Save the past, make a better future.” Hawke orders leaving the room.

“You have as much time as I have arrows.” Leliana tells them as she took her post at the door.

“Hawke.” Drace whispers wiping away her tears. Dorian grabbed and pulled drace up the throne. The mage started to work on the spell, right as the demons broke through to the throne room, leliana held them back as long as she could. Drace wanted to leap in and help her but was stopped by dorian.

“YOU MOVE WE ALL DIE!” Dorian yells keeping his hold on drace arm, with luck he opened the portal. The demons had broken through, drace catching a glimpse at three dead bodies, as the portal started to engulf them a greater terror kill Leliana.
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Drace and Doarin stumbled back into the throne room, the right room, the right time. Alexious looked stunned and scared.

“It’s over.” Drace hisses as her arm glowed blue. “Put aside all claim to redcliffe and we’ll let you live.”

“You win.” Alexius says falling to his knees, he was pulled up by inquisitions soldiers and led away.

“Well glad that’s over with.” Dorian proudly smirks as the royal army came marching in. “Or not.” Drace shoulders slumped as she let out a growl her arm returning to normal. Right as the king and queen came in.

“Grand enchanter, we’d like to discuss the abuse of our hospitality.” King Alistair says standing tall and firm.

“Your majesties.” Fiona says coming over from her hiding spot, and bowing low, trying to be humble

“When we offered the mages sanctuary, we did not give them the right to drive our people from there homes.” The queens scolds. Fiona started to gravel, but the queen cut her off,

“In light of your actions good intentions are no longer enough.”

“You and your followers have worn out there welcome. Leave ferelden or we’ll be forced to make you leave.” The king orders.

“But.. we have hundreds we need protection. Where we will go?” Fiona pleads Drace let out a loud and noctable sigh,

“I could still use the aid of the mages to close the breach.” Drace says in a sing song voice as she walked over to Fiona.

“And what are the terms to this arrangement?” Fiona wearly asks

“Hopefully better then what Alexius gave you. The inquisition is better than that, yes?” Dorian asks looking at Drace, who looked ready to pass out.

“I’ve know a lot of mages, they can be loyal friends if you let them. Friends who make bad decisions but, still loyal.” Varric says.

“It seems we have little choice but to accept what you offer.” Fiona says.

 

“We would be honored to have the mages as our loyal allies.” Drace tells her smiling.

“I hope the rest of the inquisition honors this agreement my lady.”

“They don’t have much choice.” Drace tells her, walking away, it was then that Drace saw what Hawke had given her. It was a red scarf, one she knew all too well. With a sad smile she tied the scarf onto her left wrist. There was hope.

End of line