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Redcliffe in a Nutshell

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4 Ferventis 46 Dragon

Ah. Redcliffe. Pretty as a painting. The view is stunning, the sound of the river lulling the soul into a sense of peace. Or it would. Except when I am here, there are also demons. I’m starting to think it’s me. Remember how Sera wondered if I would bust out in demons? Hah. And we thought she was being ridiculous. Or I did.

Anyway. Maybe one day I’ll be standing above the village and look down and see the beauty of it. Without fear or worry tainting it. No mentor gone mad with grief, no demons, no missing you so fucking much.

So yeah. Waterfall, peace, and demons strewn in as a pastime. That’s Redcliffe for you, if history is any indication.

It’s no use. It is how it is. No-one here to blame but myself.

 


 

5 Ferventis 46 Dragon

Should I be writing Justinian? Would that make me seem less like a pretentious Tevinter than Ferventis? Kaffas.

Speaking of demons. Today there were two. One despair demon and one rage demon. Crossfire can work to one’s advantage. Where they came from, I haven’t the faintest idea. I woke up in the stupidly early morning by someone shouting, ran out and lo! demons. Apparently that happens every few days. They have a resident mage here that handled them so far. But he can’t find where they’re coming from. Good thing I am here now. As you know, I have a certain affinity towards spirits.

 


 

6 Ferventis 46 Dragon

I wish we had demons today. Then I wouldn’t be alone with what I’ve done. I keep justifying it to myself, you know. But he didn’t trust me? – How could you have? But he wouldn’t even listen? – Of course not, you were hurt. But I am right! – Am I, though? Well. I think so. But I hope – for you, not for me – that it won’t always be true.

Fine. That was a lie. I hope it for my sake, too. But I do want you to be free. Free of what Danarius and Hawke did to you. And I too. I thought nothing of the way I used you. Gereon did, and only then I started thinking. Not that it stopped me. I hurt you too. I. Hurt. You. Long before this horrible thing I said to you. You said it was in the past, but you are still haunted by its spectres. And I do worry that one has my shape.

It is moot, of course. But I am sorry. What I should have said is, I love you, Fenris. I missed you and I couldn’t think of anyone else than you, let alone touch them. I will never hurt you. And I will never stand by when anyone else wants to hurt you. I will give you space. Please come and find me.

We both know what came out of my mouth instead. I wasn’t even angry at you, but it’s you I lashed out against. You didn’t deserve it and I don’t deserve you coming here. I should go home.

 


 

7 Ferventis 46 Dragon

It’s amazing how cold some days still are. I bet it’s still freezing in Skyhold. Not that it isn’t always.

The cold harsh wind makes me think of how we first met.

Well, no. Not really. I mean the first time that counts. When I came to Haven. I don’t know what I expected. Some tall, imposing human, possibly in Templar uniform. Not you, though. I swear my heart stopped beating. Would you kill me? Would you leave me to die in the cold, slaughtered by Fiona’s army? I didn’t expect you to say you trust me. To let me in. To let me stay, later. And now there’s this nasty voice, saying it would have been better if you’d left me out there. I want it to shut up. Self-pity is so unbecoming.

 


 

8 Ferventis 46 Dragon

Still no demons. I wonder what you are doing. Are you still there? I suppose I’d know if the Inquisition had disbanded already. Where will you go after? With every passing day, my hopes that I will be there to see it, to see you again, dies a little. I don’t doubt you have the strength to go it alone, but I do hope you find comfort. In yourself or someone else. The thought of you with another is painful. But you deserve it. Being loved. I hope you will let someone. Preferably me, of course. But that’s entirely up to you.

 


 

9 Ferventis 46 Dragon

Finally. A few terrors terrorised the village. That sounded better in my head. Still no source. Although I did sense … something before it happened. Like a sense of anticipation that had nothing to do with my unquiet mind. I think.

 


 

10 Ferventis 46 Dragon

You know, this is probably Gereon’s doing. You weren’t here, you don’t know what it was like. His time magic had messed up the entire village. Perhaps there is still a rift somewhere? That would be … not good. Since no-one can close them anymore. Maybe I could do … something. Whatever that would be. Ward the area?

Well. Let’s not be so pessimistic. I could do with Alexius right now. The way he was. Not the way he became. He always knew how to set my head straight. Would have nudged me in the right direction and given me the feeling I came up with the solution all on my own. I miss him. And Felix. What a waste.

 


 

11 Ferventis 46 Dragon

You know, I really thought you’d come to us. Of course, the Inquisition would find out there’s something amiss at Redcliffe and come. I’d make contact with the Herald and then we could take care of Alexius, perhaps save him, whether he wants to be saved or not. It could have been different, if you’d come.

 


 

12 Ferventis 46 Dragon

Great. Now I feel stupid. What happened, that Felix is dead, it isn’t your fault. Alexius was too far gone to be saved. And of course, if you’d come here, the Templars might have been lost to you. There wasn’t much time left. It’s not like I don’t know that. I also understand you didn’t want to go to a bunch of rogue mages for help. And I think … I think if you’d known I’m here, you’d have come. I like to tell myself that even then, you liked me enough for that.

 


 

13 Ferventis 46 Dragon

Not exactly a demon, but in my search for them, I found something funny and asked around. There’s this goat. Apparently you sent it home to its owner. I wasn’t with you when that happened. It’s pretty, but that isn’t the point. It’s a spirit. Of what, I’m not sure. Talking to the owner, I would guess at Peace. They are supremely rare and extremely easy to corrupt. I wondered briefly if I should kill the thing. It’s a bit of a risk, you see. But they are treating it well and cherish it. So I let it be. Should I? Let it be, I mean? What would you have me do? I know you don’t generally trust spirits. You did let Cole stay, though.

Where is Solas when I need him? He might know what sort of spirit I’m dealing with.

 


 

14 Ferventis 46 Dragon

I cannot stop thinking about this ridiculous goat. Spirit. Thing.

I know what I want to do. Take it with me, take a look. With magic. I would probably frighten it and it would bust out in demons. Sera would triumphantly yell that she knew it and nail it to the wall with her arrows.

I won’t do that, of course. Younger me – pre-Fenris-me that is – would have bought it or snuck into its enclosure at night and experimented away and told the baffled farmers that I saved them from the evil demon. What’s worse, I would have believed it myself.

I can’t do that. And it’s your fault. Because even though you are not here, you became my guiding light in the abyss that wants to devour me. My conscience when temptation was beckoning. Even now.

No. Lord Woolsley will live and continue to give joy to his family. I will not harm him.

 


 

15 Ferventis 46 Dragon

No demons. I wish there were demons. Then I’d stop thinking about you.

Thinking about the deep green of your eyes. Of how your pupils dilate when we kiss. Of how your lips taste. Of how your back arches when I brush my fingertips over the sensitive skin of your testicles and let the slightest bit of magic whisper over them. Of your hand in my hair, gentle, never demanding but sometimes desperate.

I want nothing more than to have you here right now, smiling at me. I want to peel you out of your armour, piece by piece. I want you to shove me on this bed, run your hands over my skin and kiss your way down to my groin. I want you to lose control. I want to see your lyrium flare in your passion. I want you to flip me onto my belly and cover me with your body, to enter me, wrapped around me like a living, loving blanket. I want to be inside you, to feel your nails digging into my back, your legs holding me close to you while we make love. I want to hear my name tumble from your lips, gasped and shouted and whispered. I want your seed on me and in me as a physical, undeniable token of your trust and your affection.

And if you think this part of your absence is difficult, let me tell you what it is to wake up alone. It hasn’t become easier. Every morning where your face isn’t the first thing I see is a disappointment, a dagger of pain. I miss you mocking me when I groom my beard. I miss the fondness on your face while you tell me I’m an overly sensitive Tevinter mage that complains about everything. I miss the warmth of your body at night. I miss talking to you about everything, the way you pry my mind open and make me question everything I took for granted all my life.

Everything hurts without you. My soul is starving. I miss you. I need you. Amatus. My Amatus.

 


 

16 Ferventis 46 Demon Dragon

Venhedis. See what this is doing to me?

There were a bunch, and they killed a villager. A young woman. She has a baby boy. Her sister took the kid. I was too late. Again, there was this sense of disquiet. I didn’t react fast enough to it. Mea culpa.

But I may have an idea where it came from. I’ll need to check it out.

What, I wonder, did you feel when I called you my Amatus? Did you, deep down, feel that the possessive pronoun was just that – possessive? An expression of me owning you rather than just my love for you? Or did you know that this isn’t it, that all it means is that I am less without you? Did you ever overthink this the way I do now?

 


 

17 Ferventis 46 Dragon

Today it’s been two weeks since last I saw you. Fourteen days. A fortnight. Varric said he’d come. Will he come to tell me it’s no use? Every day I hope he’ll barge in here, beaming at me, saying that you’ve finally decided to give me a chance. Or maybe that you’ve mentioned that you miss me and he feels now would be a good time to fortuitously show up. That would be so Varric. But Varric isn’t coming. He is not coming.

 


 

18 Ferventis 46 Dragon

That location I found, I do sense something there. Not a rift, I think. Some mage must already have placed a ward there. It dampens the demons’ aura, which made them harder to detect. How many are still trapped there is beyond me. The mage, I heard, died. It was one of the Tevinter ones. What he wanted with them, I wonder. Not to kill them. He could have done that, with help, at least. I don’t even want to know. It can’t be anything good. Now, occasionally, a few slip past the weakening ward.

Anyway. I can’t tell for sure how many there are. A bunch. I need to prepare. Maybe they’ll overwhelm me and kill me. I hope I won’t end up possessed. I’d rather die.

Should I send you a letter? Dear Fenris, I am going to tackle demons. If you don’t hear from me, I’m either dead or an abomination you might have to put out of its misery. Yours forever, Dorian. Ah. I will hope for the best.

 


 

19 Ferventis 46 Dragon

I’ve got potions. I’ve got elixirs. I just need rest and mental preparation to face the demons. There should be five or six. A lot for one man but not impossible. I could ask for help, but honestly, I prefer to do this alone. The other mage here is probably doing what he does best: lying drunk in a corner. He would be a danger to himself.

I will go tomorrow after a good night’s sleep. I might have to help that along a bit with some mild herbal tea. Nothing that would encumber me in the morning but soothe my messed up mind into sleep.

The full plan is to go in the early morning when the village is still sleeping. Hide myself from the demons until I’m there by masking my aura. Burst in and start killing. Stay near the door to duck out and slam it shut and ward it for a moment’s reprieve if I need it. What’s the worst that can happen, really?

I hope I’ll survive this. I will come up to Skyhold before I have to go back to Tevinter. I have to try, at least. I never ceased to love you, Fenris. Not in the past one and a half year. Certainly not in the past sixteen days. I love you so very much. And because of that, I will leave if you don’t want to see me.

 


 

20 Ferventis 46 Dragon

If I die, I’ll find Alexius in the afterlife and give him a mouthful. Festis bei umo canavarum. I am not frightened enough, considering what I’m going to face. Gereon, Felix, if you’re out there, look out for me, would you? You wouldn’t want me to die today. Fenris … I’ll hold the memory of your voice within me, keeping me full of you and not allowing room for a demon.

So. Here I go.

If I do not return and anyone finds this, please burn it and tell the Inquisitor Fenris that I will always love him and watch over him from the Fade. I am – or was – or will have been – Magister Dorian of house Pavus in Vyrantium, citizen of Minrathous, and no matter where I am, I will always be his.