Chapter 1: Prologue
Dorian pours over his pile of wrinkled notes under the light of a single candle. The chantry in Haven is almost empty with most of its citizens outside preparing for battle. Inquisitor Trevelyan will be here any moment along with her damned Inquisition. He silently curses himself for not noticing that the Envy demon took control. He curses himself for not noticing the signs or not stopping her when the Inquisition started taking a turn for the worse. Now the world is covered with red lyrium, Venatori, and corrupted templars. Those who have stood against Inquisitor Trevelyan have either been killed or are currently hiding out in Haven. This is their last base of operations and this upcoming battle will be their last. Now he is putting his faith in a gamble that might not even work. He has to admit that according to Alexius’s notes, his plan is possible. If he can throw Trevelyan through a rift he can send her forward into time. It will just delay her take over, but when she comes back through they will be ready for her. He fidgets with a corner of the notes as he goes over the spell one last time. It hasn’t had the chance to practice it. Instead under his breath he whispers a short prayer.
“Dorian, are you ready?” Dorian jumps at the noise and turns around to see an equally exhausted Commander Cullen.
“As ready as I could be considering I'm going to try using a magic that has never fully worked in all of history. A magic that I have never even tested before. What’s the worst that can happen? Death? Eternal suffering? Enslavement? Being forced to dance around as a jester for that demon spawn?” Dorian spoke quickly and is obviously tense.
Cullen just nods and glances at Dorian’s notes. “I don’t blame you for being nervous. This is one of the most important battles of our lives. Really all we can do is try to make that demon work for it while the others make an escape.”
“... Has anyone told you that you really know how to instill confidence in your companions? Also, who said I was nervous? This is obviously my confidence shining through.” Dorian says as he rolls his eyes.
“I can see that,” Cullen replies. “Her army has been spotted. They will be here any moment.”
“Excellent. Tell me, have the clouds cleared?” Dorian asks as he stands up and cleans up his notes.
Looking slightly confused Cullen shakes his head. “No. It’s still a heavy overcast.”
“Well damn,” Dorian doesn’t hide his overly exaggerated disappointment as he shoves the notes under a book. “If the world is going to kill me the least it could do is give me a beautiful dawn to look at.”
“Unfortunately you’ll have to be disappointed.” Cullen states with a straight face as he turns and leaves through the large wooden doors. Dorian follows through the door. Looking around he sees Cullen talking to Josephine and Leliana just a few feet away. Josephine can’t hide her shaking hands as she speaks in hushed whispers. After a few moments Leliana puts her arm around Josephine’s shoulder and leads her into the chantry. A few moments later Chancellor Roderick leads a group of civilians into the chantry as well. According to the plan they will escape down a tunnel leading into the mountains while the rest holds off the army for as long as they can.
“This is disappointing,” Dorian mumbles under his breath. He can see the specks of orange torch light coming over the mountains. “I didn’t plan to die in a place like this.”
Cullen finishes giving orders to a few soldiers and turns towards him. “How did you plan to die then?”
“In my sleep ideally. Covered in the finest silks and surrounded by attractive lovers and family. Also rich and still good looking despite my old age.” Dorian says without taking his eyes off the army coming over the ridge.
For the first time in a while, Cullen chuckles. “I’m sorry your dreams got dashed,” His serious expression returns to his face as he looks back towards the mountains. “Bull has already placed his Chargers. Cassandra and Ser Barris are leading what's left of the Templars. Are you ready to get into position? The enemy won't wait for us.”
Dorian sighs. “I’m ready.” With that Cullen head towards the walls to take his position. Dorian moves behind a group of soldiers. They know that Envy won’t be able to resist taking the front lines and when she does the first thing she’ll do is summon a rift. In that moment they will use this new magic. It is a desperate attempt but they are backed into a corner.
The inquisition army stops in front of the gates to Haven. The influence of the red lyrium is undeniable. Groups of demons and red Templars stand among their ranks. Envy steps forward to stand in front of her army wearing very ornate armor made of solid gold and lined with gems. Her dirty blonde hair frames her face as her crimson eyes stare as the rebel forces. She sneers as she signals her troops to attack. The two armies clash against the walls. Their blood and screams fill the air. The trebuchets on the walls launch at the invading army and fires begin to spread as the battle rages on.
As Dorian blasts through the crowd he looks for Envy. Thankfully it didn’t take him long to spot her on the battlefield. Her bright gold armor stood out like a sore thumb. Cullen and the Inquisitor were locked in a heated battle. His Templar training served him well against the super powered demon. Understanding that he can’t afford to get distracted he finds a rift on the battlefield to begin the spell. Other rebel soldiers defend him from the inquisition forces as he weaves magic through the air.
With a loud grunt she bashes Cullen with her shield and sends him tumbling into the snow. No longer distracted by Cullen she notices Dorian preparing his spell. As she approaches Dorian, Cullen scrambles to his feet. He charges at her once more but she parrys him and pushes him to the side.
“I’m not familiar with that spell, mage,” She smirks as she approaches. “You must be desperate if you are using such unknown magic.”
“Marker… If you exist, now would be the time to give me your assistance.” Dorian whispers under his breath as he holds the spell in place. As predicted, Trevelyan lifts her left hand and a rift appears between her and Dorian with a few feet left between them. Instantly Dorian lets lose the spell at the rift. When it hits the rift then sparks and trembles before a flash of light blinds the battlefield.
Chapter 2: Chapter One: A Step Through Time
He could hear the sound of the crowd. The laughter and joyous cheers echoing from outside the walls. Standing in front of a large ornate mirror the Inquisitor gives his appearance one final check. His wavy brown hair was parted to the right and, by Josephine’s request, styled this morning. Formal ceremonial garb made of bright green and pure white silks, fine leather, and silver fitted his lean form perfectly. On his left shoulder was the silver sigil of the inquisition carefully crafted and shining brightly. Although he would rather be wearing his faithful coat, a special occasion requires special clothes. Leliana had the outfit made just for this moment. She especially focused on the shoes and their silver decorations. The Inquisitor chuckled as he recalled the memory of Josephine and Leliana going over the outfit options. Cullen was disgruntled and felt that armor would be the best choice, just in case the worse happened. His opinion was quickly dismissed with an eye roll and a quick remark from Leliana about his love for feathers.
“Giving yourself a look see?” The Inquisitor looks up from his leather gloves into the mirror. Over his shoulder was a familiar dwarf.
“Well what can I say, Viscount Tethras,” Turning around he gives his friend a grin. “Gotta make sure I’m perfect for my big moment.”
Varric chuckles. “It feels weird for you to call me that and big is an understatement. It feels like all of Thedas is out there waiting for you.”
“If you say it like that I might get nervous.” Smirking, the Inquisitor returns to giving himself a look over in the mirror. Everything looks flawless.
“Ha! I’d pay good gold to see you get nervous for once,” Varric shakes his head. The look in his eyes softens as he watches his friend get prepared. “You know… Everything will be different once this is over.”
The Inquisitor pauses before letting out a deep sigh. “Yes. It will feel strange not being the Inquisitor. People will have to call me Solvane or just Lavellan. It’ll take quite some time getting used to it.”
“Well I suppose you’re eager to return home. You’ve been away from your family for so long they must be eager to see you.” Varric takes a seat on an ornate blue and gold couch that sat only a few feet from the mirror. He eyes Inquisitor Lavellan up as he gets comfortable.
Lavellan shrugs. “I am eager to see them again, however I am only half elf. After my family left… it wasn’t exactly home. Not that they mistreated me or anything, but I did feel more at home at Skyhold than anywhere else. Since Skyhold is going to be used by the Chantry for pilgrims I probably won't be staying there for too long. I was thinking of visiting my clan to see how they are then heading off to travel the world. Then once I’m done, I’ll think about finding a place to settle down.”
“I was hoping you would say that,” Smiling Varric pulls out a key from his coat pocket. “Here, this is the key to the city along with a manor I prepped for you. Also you’re a Comte now, I figured it would feel lonely without a title. Though in my opinion, you’ll never stop being the Inquisitor.”
Staring at the key the Inquisitor pauses. In silence he reaches out and takes the key from Varric. The metal feels cold through his glove as he looks it over. “Varric… I… Thank you,” The Inquisitor smiles warmly, his blue green eyes brimming with joy. “This means a lot to me. Once I stop by my clan I’ll be heading your way.”
Varric grins. “Good, Hawke will be there as well of course. She was talking about how you two could go dragon hunting or something else that is equally dangerous.”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world!” The Inquisitor laughs and places the key in his inner coat pocket.
“How you two can enjoy doing horribly dangerous things is beyond me. But, if for whatever reason I can’t be there, don’t forget to fill me in on every detail.”
“Thinking of writing a sequel book? A mix between ‘The Tale of a Champion’ and ‘This Shit is Weird’, perhaps?”
“Who knows. With you two around there is always a good story,” Varric winks and sits up from his seat. “I better get out there before it gets to crowded. I plan to get the best seat in the house.”
“Then you better hurry,” A third voice enters the room. Varric and the Inquisitor turn towards the door to see Josephine standing in the doorway. Formally dressed and with her trusty clipboard, she gives Varric a gentle smile. “The crowds are gathering rather quickly. The other members of the inner circle have already found a place to watch the speech.”
“Well shit. I better head off then. See you at the party tonight, Inquisitor.” Varric waves over his shoulder at Inquisitor Lavellan and nods at Josephine as he walks out the door. Josephine closes the door behind him before approaching the Inquisitor.
As she approaches she eyes the Inquisitor’s garb and gives an approving nod. “Inquisitor Lavellan, I’m glad to see the clothes suit you. The colors compliment your eyes.”
Giving one last look at his clothes he nods in agreement. “Yes. It does look better on me than I thought. This wasn’t my first choice in colors but they do suit me.”
“Well we have a lot to go through today,” Josephine grins as she looks down at her notes. “It’s the first day of the Exalted Council, though we have been preparing this for a while. The first order of business is to address the crowd with a speech about the disbanding of the Inquisition. Then it is time for the first meeting with the Council. There they will bring up matters about the Inquisition and the relinquishment of power into the rightful noble houses. Once the meeting is over you’ll have the evening to enjoy the day, though quite a few nobles have requested to meet with you.”
“May I see the list of nobles that wish to see me?” Inquisitor Lavellan asks with a hint of reluctance in his voice. Josephine nods and hands him a list of nobles. The Inquisitor looks over the list carefully. Every name is familiar to him and some are more welcomed than others.
“Would you like to save the best for last or put off the more difficult ones till the end?” Josephine asks quickly as she gauges his reactions.
“Lets spread them out. Put my least favorite ones in the middle of the time frame.” Lavellan states and hands the list back to his advisor.
“I shall make the proper arrangements. I will also ensure that you do have time to yourself during your stay. This is a trying time, yet also the greatest moment of the Inquisition. This moment marks the end,” Josephine says this with pride but also with a hint of sadness in her dark eyes. “It means that all the evil that we have been fighting is gone...but it also is the end of one of the greatest things I have been a part of… I..”
Josephine,” Inquisitor Lavellan places a firm hand on Josephine’s shoulder. He gives her a warm comforting smile. “It’s not over yet. We will be here for a couple of days. There is plenty of time to say goodbye.”
“You are right. I’ll focus on what’s in front of us. There are still a few more hurdles to get over,” The lady ambassador grins as she looks back down towards her board. “I will head out to make sure everything is in place for your speech. They are expecting you any moment. Please, finish whatever preparations you have left and I’ll meet you by the balcony entrance.” Josephine crosses something out on her board before leaving the room. The door closes shut behind her and the Inquisitor is left alone. The still present sound of muffled cheers being the only noise in the room.
Walking towards a nearby window he gently pulls back the curtains. Down in the courtyard below a crowd of people have gathered. From his vantage point he could see every member of the inquisition in the crowd. Dorian and Vivienne were talking with a group of mages, or maybe arguing is the more correct word. Cassandra and Blackwall were standing with Ser Barris and a group of Grey Wardens. Bull and his Chargers were standing close to the tavern, drinking it dry by the looks of it. Cole is nowhere to be seen but the Inquisitor is sure he is around somewhere. Then Varris, who seems to have made it down to the crowd, is trying to talk Sera out of something. If he were to take a guess probably another one of her pranks. Watching them all go about their day brought Josephine’s words to his mind. This is the end.
Everything he has worked for these past years is over. The bad guys are gone, red lyrium has been removed from the surface, and everything is stable. He is rightfully proud of all the work he has done, but he can’t shake a feeling in the pit of his stomach. The feelings of regret, sorrow, nervousness, depression, are all bundled in a ball that is bouncing around inside him. It makes him feel sick. He knows things won’t be the same when it’s over. All of his friends will leave and continue their lives before the Inquisition. With no threat to deal with his life will be his own, but he is unsure what he will do with it.
As these feelings swell up inside him he continues to watch his companions interact with the crowd. Seeing them move from person to person, smiling and enjoying the moment, the feeling of anxiety seems to fade. Even if it is the end, it’s not as if he won't have a place in this world. Spending the rest of his life traveling and spending his days with Varric and Hawke doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Feeling reassured, he pats the key through the coat and leaves the room. He puts on a confidant stride as he makes his way down the halls. Orlesian palace guards stand at attention as he passes. Giving them a polite smile he continues onward. After all the crowd awaits.
When he reaches the door leading to the balcony he sees his advisors, Cullen and Josephine. Leliana, now Divine Victoria, stands with them. Cullen tugs uncomfortably on his clothes and Josephine informs him about the importance of appearance. Divine Victoria gestures at them as he approaches and they quickly give them his attention. Near by, representatives from both Orlais and Ferelden watches him.
“Inquisitor, It’s good to see that you are ready. The crowd and our troops are eager to hear you speak.” Cullen stands up straight as Inquisitor Levallan stops next to him.
“Excellent. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be,” The Inquisitor looks over Cullen’s attire. He is dressed to impress in ceremonial armor that probably wouldn’t be practical on the battlefield. However it still suits him well. “You look good.”
“Good perhaps, but not comfortable. I can’t wait for this to be over.” Cullen sighs as he tugs on his collar.
“Oh stop fidgeting, Commander,” Divine Victoria chimes in as she looks at Cullen with amusement. “Just smile and look pretty.”
Cullen shakes his head in disbelief. “Why do you always tell me that? Looking pretty won’t help if we get attacked.”
“It doesn’t hurt to care about your clothes, commander,” Josephine gives him an unreadable smile. “After all, you style your hair, so what's so different about styling your clothes once and awhile?”
“I-That's,” Cullen looks between Josephine and Divine Victoria and shifts under their gaze. “I don’t ‘style’ my hair. It isn’t the same.” He states defiantly.
Inquisitor Lavellan smirks as he watches them attack his commander. “Now, I’m sure Cullen is very capable at dressing himself. Instead let's focus on the speech.”
“Agreed,” Cullen is obviously eager to change the topic. “The sooner we get this over with the sooner we can move on to other matters.”
“Such as the dog you found earlier?” Divine Victoria tilts her head slightly as she eyes Cullen.
“As a matter of fact, yes,” Cullen looks back towards the Inquisitor and gestures towards the archway leading to the balcony. “Shall we?”
“Lets.” Inquisitor Lavellan walks past his advisors and he steps out onto the daylight. The midday sun beams down at him. The silver details on his clothes and emerald silk shines as he moves towards his place on the marble balcony. Showers of white petals and colorful confetti rain down upon him and his companions. When he reaches the edge of the balcony the once muffled noise turns into a roar as the crowd cheers for him. He waves at the crowd and quickly identifies his inner circle. After a few moments the crowd calms down and with a deep breath he begins his speech.
“We observe today not a victory of one group, but a celebration of triumph for all. This symbolizes an end as well as a beginning; renewal as well as change. Thedas has suffered through one of the greatest trials it has ever seen. Through the power we wielded as a united force we not only overcome that trial, but became better than what we once were. Now, at the start of this new life, we will create a better future for all who come after us. We shall-.” A light sparks behind the Inquisitor.
A mixture of green and fiery red sparks flare up before a rift breaks open. The Inquisitor could hear a mixture of screams along with shouts. The heavy footsteps of guards running towards him. A figure made of light reaches out and pulls him through the rift before he could react. He could feel a frigid breeze brushes against his skin as bright lights fly pass. A second bright light flashes before him before it fades away. There he stands physically in the fade, just like he did at Adamant, and the Temple of Sacred Ashes before that. Confused and lost he sees the floating figure that grabbed him running up a set of stairs. Ignoring the dizzy feeling he runs after the figure. When it jumps into another rift he still gives chase and becomes blinded by a flash of light.
He blinks and rubs his eyes as his vision adjusts to his new surroundings. The first thing he notes is that it’s cold and it feels like he is standing ankle deep in snow. Nearby there are the sounds of battle; swords clashing, battle cries, and the sound of marching boots. As he removes his hands from his eyes he finds himself deep in the Frostback mountains. The sight is familiar to him. This is where Haven was located before it got buried in the avalanche. However, the familiarity of the sight didn’t distract him from what’s before him.
A human woman, covered in blood stood a few feet in front of him. Her bright red eyes remind him of the red templars and seem to be just as surprised to see him as he was. Her heavy armor was ornate, made out of solid gold and decorated with gemstones and silk. The chest piece showed the sigil of the inquisition where all could see it. Shield and sword still draw she was obviously in the middle of battle. As his gaze moves down towards her weapons he notices the mark. On her left hand, the same as the mark he bears, sparks with green light. His breath gets caught in his throat. Looking at the struggling figure lying a few feet away from her, he realizes that it’s a wounded Cullen.
“What sorcery did you use, mage? Is this really your last resort?” The woman spat at a person behind him.
Inquisitor Lavellan slowly turns around to look at the person she is addressing. Dorian stands there bloodied and bruised. His usual shiny silk robes were tarnished and torn. Exhausted, Dorian’s dark eyes stare at the Inquisitor with confusion and defeat. The Inquisitor’s eyes glance behind him and sees Haven in one piece. In front of the gates, leading a small army is Bull and his Chargers. Everyone has stopped their movement to stare at the newcomer that has just stepped out of the fade.
The Inquisitor looks back at Dorian and addresses him cautiously. “Dorian, what’s going on here?”
Dorian blinks in surprise as Lavellan addresses him by name. “How do you know me?” Dorian asks.
“Don’t be ridiculous Dorian,” Lavellan shakes his head. “We’re good friends. You know we fought Venatori together and built up the Inquisition. Do you not remember?”
Dorian’s eyes narrow as he begins to put the pieces together. “The only Inquisition I know is under the thumb of a demon. I don’t think you are where you think you are.”
“Well… Haven gave that away. I thought that was destroyed. Where am I and what happened to me,” Lavellan tilts his head as he focuses on Dorian. He looks pretty rough as does the soldiers around him.
“Who cares,” A low growl tears the two away from their conversation. The armored woman readies her blade and takes a step closer. “Whatever you attempted obviously failed! Pray for your false god to spare you, for I will not.”
Dorian shakes his head and looks towards the woman with desperate determination. “Yes I failed, but I refuse to roll over and die.” He twirls his staff and with a flick flames spark around him.
“Then die in agony.” The woman charges forward with her blade raised. Just as she swings down at Dorian she suddenly gets tugged aside. The force from a small rift forcibly drags her towards it along with other enemy soldiers nearby. Thinking quickly she stabs the ground with her blade to keep herself in place. When the rift collapses in on itself it crushes the soldiers that failed to stop themselves. She looks up with rage filled eyes as she searches for the source of the power. All eyes on the battlefield fall onto the newcomer who was now standing between her and Dorian.
“I’m sorry, but it’s rude to interrupt. Dorian and I were in the middle of an important conversation,” Lavellan smirks as he watches the woman stand back up. “However I’ll forgive you if you surrender now.” His left hand outstretched the mark shines brightly on his palm.
“How,” Dorian blinks in shock as he stares at Lavellan’s outstretched hand. “How do you have the mark? Envy has the only anchor we know of.”
Lavellan’s eyes narrow at the woman. “So this is what happens when Envy takes over. Glad it didn’t happen to me.”
“You… inscet,” She hisses as she stumbles to her feet. “I am the Inquisitor! Inquisitor Trevelyan! My power is absolute.” Trevelyan lifts her own hand and a second power surge appears. Lavellan reacts quickly and uses his own mark to try interrupt her focus. The two beams of power: Lavellan’s a bright clear green and Trevelyan’s a foggy green and crackling with red energy. Dorian, Cullen, and the surrounding soldiers stare in awe at the sight of the power of the two marks coming to head. With a final push Lavellan’s light breaks through and strikes Trevelyan in the chest. Flying backwards she tumbles through the snow before sliding to a stop. Lavellan can see her clutching her left arm in pain as her soldiers rush in to help. Panicking they carry Trevelyan away and her form disappears into the crowd.
“Look out!” Lavellan turns towards the voice and sees a red templar charging towards him. Instinctively he reaches down to draw his blade only to find it missing. For a moment he regrets not supporting Cullen on the clothing choice for the Exalted Council. Looking back up he finds that the templar has reached him. Its glowing red, rage filled eyes pulse with red energy. Before he can think of a back up plan a second figure blocks his vision. Cullen had raced over and now stands between him and the templar. Skillfully he parrys the templar before quickly cutting underneath the helm of the templar. The enemy stumbles to the ground as he bleeds out from his wound.
Cullen turns to face him. Blood from a wound trickles down the side of his face and his lip is cut open. However, his eyes are burning with a newfound determination. “I don’t know who you are, but if you can that to Envy you are just what we need.”
Lavellan pushes aside the need to ask more questions and nods. “On me, Cullen. We can push them back.”
Cullen nods and raises his blade. “Soldiers, to me! Lets drive these bastards back!” On his signal soldier’s pushed from Haven’s walls as if there was a fire burning in their soul. Bladeless, Lavellan focuses on his magic. It has been a while since he has used his talent as an arcane warrior without a blade. However in the middle of battle he must use any weapon he can get. His magical power surges within him giving him the strength he needs. Lavellan charges forward with the rest of the troops face first into battle. With a swift kick he sends the first red templar he meets flying ten feet. The next templar he punches in the jaw knocking them to the ground. He did his best to ignore the throbbing sensation. Punching armor isn’t the best idea but he will find a blade later.
The familiar sound of heavy familiar footprints sounded from behind him. Bull’s intimidating figure rushes pass him and swings at a crowd of soldiers. With one swing of his great axe he takes down four enemies with swift precision. Cassandra follows suit cutting down any target unlucky enough to be in her path. Just like he has done hundreds of times before, Lavellan focuses on the power of his mark and enhanced his companions around them. Blades bounce off their skin and arrows ricochet as a gentle green light empowers them. Having faith in his companions, Lavellan took a step back to assess the situation.
Despite their few numbers the opposing army is being pushed back into the mountain. It seems that their leader being defeated in battle delivered a blow to their moral and now they are scattered. Quickly Lavellan signals Cullen to keep pushing while runs back to the walls. Heading to the nearest trebuchet he sprints towards the closest soldier.
“I need you to redirect the trebuchet!” He shouts over the battle.
The soldier looks at him with concern. “I’m sorry but Commander Cullen instructed us to keep at the enemy’s left flank. Unless he says otherwise we will not ignore our orders.”
“Oh come on,” Lavellan groaned. This is the first time in years a soldier has told him no, but he quickly regains his composure. “Listen to me. We need to fire at the mountain. It’ll cause an avalanche destroying the enemy troops. I’ve done it before. We may be doing well now, but look down there and tell me if you think we can hold out,” Hesitating slightly the soldier glances out towards the battlefield. When he didn’t respond Lavellan pressed him more. “If I’m right, this battle will be over with a single shot. Think about it.”
After another quick glance around the soldier seems to have agreed and starts barking orders at the ones manning the trebuchets. Moving as quickly as possible they aim it, load it, and fire into the mountain side. Lavellan can see the snow tumble as the avalanche forms. With a loud roar it cascades down the mountain and wipes out the enemy. Feeling satisfied from the soldier’s victorious cheers, he watches Cullen’s troops kill the remaining enemies.
As the victorious army returns through the gates Lavellan meets Cullen, Bull, Dorian, and Cassandra. He can feel his stomach turning with nerves as they stare at him as if he was a stranger. If what he guesses happened really did, he supposes that he is a stranger to them right now. “That was quick thinking. With that blow, and their broken moral from Envy’s defeat, the army has retreated. For now at least.” Cullen gives Lavellan an approving nod.
“Yeah, wiped out half the army damn quick,” Bull agrees. “They’ll be back though. We should think of a plan.”
Cassandra looks towards the mountains scanning them for movement. “Agreed. First we should call Leliana and Josephine back. We need to discuss what has happened,” She gives Lavellan a guarded look. “Then we have questions for you. I’m sure you have questions for us as well.”
“Oh I can think of quite a few. However I do agree that we should have that talk with everyone present.” Lavellan replies and turns to follow the others as they make their way towards the chantry. He did his best to ignore the curious looks from the soldiers around him and instead focused on his surroundings. Never did he think he would be back at Haven.
Chapter 3: An Explanation and Confrontation
After dealing with Envy's army, Lavellan and the advisors talk about the their future plans. Coming to a decision they move to close the breach at the Temple of Sacred Ashes.
A few hours passed and Lavellan sits in the chantry hall watching his companions tend to their wounds. Most of the civilians have returned and rumors of what happened on the battlefield have already spread. Hushed whispers fill the hall as they glance over at him. While Lavellan is used to being stared at and talked about, the strangeness of the situation makes him feel uneasy. Hoping to ignore his surroundings, he stares at his hands as they rest in his lap.
“Excuse me,” He looks up to see Cassandra standing in front of him. “Leliana and Josephine have returned. Follow me.” She turns abruptly on her heels and heads to the backroom. When he enters the room he sees Cullen, Leliana, and Josephine staring down at the war table. Dorian and Iron Bull stand on opposite sides of the table offing their opinions. As Lavellan and Cassandra move to stand next to them all eyes turn towards Lavellan.
“So, this is the stranger that fell out of the fade after Dorian cast his spell.” Leliana stares at him with a piercing gaze. It has been years since he has seen her look at him like that.
Lavellan clears his throat and looks around the table. “Yes, well, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Solvane from clan Lavellan. A dalish clan in the Free Marches. I’m the Inquisitor, at least where I’m from I’m the Inquisitor.”
Josephine looks him up and down. “You are dressed impeccably. Perhaps you were attending a formal function before you were swept away? Please, tell us what you can of where you are from. It might help us grasp the situation better.” Nodding Lavellan began to tell them about his Inquisition, the Exalted Council, and how he was thrown through the Fade.
The room was silent once he finished and after a few Dorian broke the silence. “Fascinating. While the spell didn’t do what I hoped, it apparently instead dragged you here from an alternate timeline.”
“More magic bullshit,” Iron Bull grunts. “I’m more concerned about this Corypheus. A dark spawn magister? Sounds like bad news to me.”
“Are you sure he is a magister? One of the same magisters that invaded the Black City? Did you find any proof to hold up this claim?” Cassandra asks a barrage questions with a piercing stare.
“Yes,” Lavellan replies. “We even found out his original name.”
“Either way, this is an interesting development,” Leliana chimes in and looks at Cassandra. “We always knew that there was another force behind Envy. The same being that was at the Conclave. Now we not only have a name, but information on his inner circle.”
“Now we also have a second anchor. We can close those blasted rifts,” Cullen waves his hand at Lavellan who looks at the mark on his hand. “We can even close the larger breaches that have opened up and stop the flow of demons.”
“I’m sorry, ‘breaches’? Plural?” Lavellan frowns at the thought.
“Yes,” Josephine looks down at her papers. “Your timeline seems to be different from ours so allows me to tell you the current state of things. When Envy started showing her true colors she reopened the breach at the Temple of Sacred Ashes. Then she opened three more: Tevinter, Antiva, and Par Vollen are all currently under attack from demon armies pouring out from breaches. Venatori have taken over the political situation in Tevinter and the Red Templars are leaving nothing but destruction in their wake as they march through the Free Marches. Kirkwall is currently the only thing stopping their conquest.
Orlais is a shadow of its former self. After Empress Celene was assassinated, Gaspard became Emperor. However, he was a puppet and when the time was right Envy turned on him and burned most of the empire to the ground. Currently he is holding out with what is left of his army. Ferelden had originally agreed to help Orlais when their need was dire, but shortly after the agreement was made darkspawn began to surface in Ferelden. Unfortunately that was when it became apparent that the Grey Wardens have been completely destroyed. There have been rumors of survivors, but Adamant is overflowing with demons and Weisshaupt is completely empty. Adamant and the Anderfels have been over run with a demon army.
The Western Approach and Hissing Wastes are covered with red lyrium. We have done our best to prevent the spread, but the Venatori and the Red Templars are persistent. Otherwise Nevarra and Tevinter are at war and the Dales, along with the Emerald Groves, have become lawless. They are now home to bandits and all sorts of criminals,” Josephine looks around at her fellow advisors. “Am I missing anything?”
“No,” says Cullen. “Unfortunately that covers all the major issues.”
A heavy silence fell over the table once more. “That’s… a lot to deal with. Saying that is a mess is an understatement.” Lavellan grimly looks down at the war table. Several red markers show Envy’s victories and they cover more than half the map.
“Right now we have to focus on Envy’s army. They are still around and once Envy recovers they will come marching right here,” Cullen gestures towards the Haven marker on the map along with several models showing Envy’s march through the mountains. “The avalanche bought us time and with the roads covered in snow it will take them longer to reach us.”
Leliana reaches over and moves Envy’s troops slightly to the north. “The moment we got word of your victory I sent out scouts to find out where Envy’s troops went. They moved north and set up a camp. So far they have not shown any signs of moving soon.”
“Haven isn’t safe,” Lavellan looks at each of the advisors in turn. “We need to move somewhere else.”
“And where would we go? Envy’s forces have covered most of the world.” Dorian cocks and eyebrow and looks skeptically at the map.
Lavellan taps Redcliffe’s marker on the map. “Josephine, what’s the state of Redcliffe?”
“They are stable for the most part. Because Envy’s focus has been to destroying the remaining forces of Orlais they have been overlooked. Most of the Orlaisian citizens have moved to Ferelden for safety. All the refugees have made food and shelter a problem. I do not think that they will have room for us.”
“We will make due. We don’t necessarily need to go to Redcliffe village itself. We can use the Grand Forest Villa as a base. We can also use Fort Conner and Valammar, the local thaig. That is if they are not overrun with red lyrium. While we shouldn’t kick the refugees out, we should do our best to stabilize the region. If we can secure the area we can start looking to the surviving Grey Wardens. If we can get rid of Ferelden’s darkspawn problem, then they can make good on their promise and help Gaspard retake Orlais.” Lavellan crosses his arms as he eyes up the Hinterlands on the map.
Cullen rubs his chin as he mulls over Lavellan’s words. “As a sign of good faith, Envy had the red lyrium in the Hinterlands properly removed. It was later that we learned she replanted it in the hissing wastes. However, they would be good locations to set up camp. All three options will be more defensible than Haven, Valammar especially. However I am unsure if there is an escape route from those locations. I do not wish to be trapped in a corner.”
“If we choose to go with this plan I can send my scouts a head to look into those locations,” Leliana clasps her hands behind her back. “If there is an escape route, they’ll find it.”
“I agree that they sound safer than here,” Josephine says as she quickly makes note. “I also agree with the plan to help Ferelden first once we get settled. But what will be our course of action after that?”
“Kill demons?” Bull suggests.
Dorian sighs. “I feel like we will be killing demons no matter what we do, Bull.”
“Kill Vints then?” Bull looks at Dorian with a straight face.
“How lovely.” Dorian mutters. He rolls his eyes while Cassandra shakes her head at both of them.
Lavellan looks back towards Josephine. “Well I suppose the step after that would be the Free Marches. I highly doubt we have enough resources in our current state to deal with the reg lyrium in the west or the demons in the Anderfels or Adamant. We also obviously lack the political power to try to get rid of the Venatori influence in Tevinter. Orlais might be too busy rebuilding to help, however if we can close the breach in Antiva, the antivians might be willing to help the Free Marches push the templars back. To be honest Neverra would be best to ask for help considering that they are closer to the area influenced by the Red Templars. However I doubt will we be able to convince them to call off their war in our current state, or if Tevinter will even accept their truce.”
Cassandra nods. “Currently I can’t think of a better plan. We should focus on closing the breach, along with some of the smaller breaches in the area, before we leave Haven.”
“Agreed,” Leliana looks satisfied by this plan. “It would be wise to begin leaving as soon as possible.”
Lavellan looks around the table at the others. “It seems that we have reached an agreement. Leliana will send some scouts a head and make sure the path is clear along with investigating the areas in the Hinterlands. Josephine can organize the civilians and ensure they have enough supplies for the trip. Cullen, you and your troops will head down the path with them for protection. Iron Bull, Dorian, Cassandra, the remaining Templars, and I will work on closing the breach. Once we are done, we can catch up with the group.”
Coming to an agreement, the group leaves the room to go prepare for their tasks. Cullen makes a comment on how Lavellan is unarmed and suggests he gets new armor and weapons. Harritt was more than happy to help him. Although he was a bit put off by the fact that Lavellan knew his name before he even introduced himself. As he puts on his new light armor and straps a long sword to his waist, he finds himself thinking about his equipment he left behind. He suppose now he will have to remake his favorite coat all over again.
A few hours pass and Lavellan finds himself waiting near the front gate. People around him focus on packing up as quickly as they can. Taking as much as they could they make their way towards the chantry to once again march into the mountains. Looking up at the sky, he finds himself thinking about the timeline he left behind. He wonders if Josephine was able to keep the panic under control or if there was a search team trying to find him.
“I saw you fighting earlier,” Lavellan could feel his insides jump as he realizes that Bull is now standing right next to him. “You were punching but sending people flying. I would say you’re just really strong but your build tells me otherwise. Was that some form of magic?” Bull asks.
“That’s very insightful. Yes, it was. I’m trained by my clan as an arcane warrior.” Lavellan replies as he leans against the gate.
“Never heard of it. Is it some elvish thing?”
“Yes. It's a tradition that my clan has been dedicated to preserving. We use magic to enhance our bodies. With it we can make our bodies stronger while also still being able to throw fireballs if we want.”
“Is it like blood magic?”
“Not even close. We don’t need blood to make our magic useful. Vivienne’s skills are similar.” Lavellan feels a bit insulted but suppresses it.
Bull visibly relaxes and shrugs. “Good to know. Not really big on the whole blood magic thing.”
“I don’t blame you. Where are your Chargers? Did you send them with the others?” Lavellan looks around for Krem but doesn’t see him or the Chargers anywhere.
“Yeah, figured that they can help keep the civilians safe while we take care of the hold in the sky. With only the few of us we will travel faster when it comes time to catch up with them.”
Nodding Lavellan looks up towards the breach. “Sounds sound to me. The sooner we get this over with the better.”
“Agreed. Then we can go drink. I know I can use one,” Bull crosses his arms and leans against the wall next to Lavellan. “So you’re from another time future place. What do you think we are walking into? Is there like a big demon up there or what?”
Lavellan shrugs. “Can’t say. In my timeline we closed the breach once and didn’t have to do it again till we took Corypheus down.”
“Well hopefully this will be the last,” Says Cassandra sternly as she approaches with the rest of the group. “If we are all ready then we should move. The demons won’t wait for us.” Without waiting for a response, she walks past Lavellan and Iron Bull towards the Frostback mountains.
The path was difficult, and riddled with twice as many demons as he remembers, but after a few hours they reach a familiar sight. The Temple of Sacred ashes was still a pile of ruins in the middle of a wide crater made of pulsing green spires. The wisps of green energy lash out from the breach and dissipate into the frigid air.
Lavellan looks around as they approach the archway into the temple. “It’s quiet.” He whispers. True to his word, there were no sounds of demons, animals, or even the wind. His whisper alone could be heard by the other members of his party. He looks around at his group, the Templars have already drew their swords and his companions have ready their weapons.
“The air is so still,” Dorian mutters as he scans the sky and the surrounding mountain range. “I don’t like it.”
Cassandra nods and looks towards Lavellan. “I agree. It feels like something is waiting for us. We should move quickly and get this over with.” Stepping towards the gate way she leads Lavellan and the others into the temple. Hanging in the sky, the pulsing rift looms over the crater shrouding the area in an emerald light. Spires of red lyrium glow red and seem to whisper as they pass.
“I could have sworn we removed this stuff.” Iron Bull grumbles as he scowls at the lyrium.
Dorian glared at the lyrium as he took a couple steps away from the nearest cluster. “I suppose it’s safe to say that Envy put it back when she reopened the breach. She seems to have a fondness for the stuff.”
“I don’t trust this… But we should try to close this as fast as possible and return to the others.” Lavellan takes a quick look at his surroundings before he jumps down to the lower level. As soon as his feet hit the ground a magic barrier appears behind him and forms a dome over the lower level. Lavellan turns around to see his companions trying to break through the barrier to no avail. Ser Barris shouts a warning as Red Templars and Venatori appear around the edge of the temple blocking any exits.
“Heroes always try to go after the big targets,” Hisses a bitter voice. Lavellan turns back towards the center of the room to find Envy slowly walking towards him, weapon drawn. Her red eyes are filled with rage as she sneers. “They always hope to make themselves seem important by taking down things they think are evil. But you’re no hero. You’re an outsider. You’re a worm before my glory.” She comes to a stop under the breach and lifts her sword towards Lavellan. Her armor appears to have been polished based off of the extra shine it gives off. “You may have caught me off guard on the battlefield, but I will prove that someone as grand as me would never fall to a weakling.”
Lavellan pulls out his blade and calls over his shoulder. “Target their mages to take down the barrier! I’ll hold out.” Staring down Envy, he could hear Cassandra shouting orders behind him along with the beginnings of battle.
“Step forward and die by my blade. Once I am done with you I’ll cut off your hand and keep it as a trophy!” Envy let out a loud cry as she charges towards Lavellan. Their blades clash as they block each other’s attack. Lavellan takes a step back to avoid Envy’s shield as she attempts to bash him.
He smirks as Envy puts herself in a defensive stance. “Maybe all that fancy armor is slowing you down. An Inquisitor should fight better.”
“You won’t be so cocky when you’re coughing up blood!” She snarls and once again decides to take the offense. Their blades clash again. Lavellan feels her blade cut into his arm and ignores her satisfied smirk. A second shallow cut to the side of his neck followed by a slash across her check. Ignoring the sounds of combat around them they exchange blows. Envy swings upward cutting into Lavellan’s chest. He stumbles backwards with his hand to his wound. Blood drips through his fingers and seeps into his clothes.
“Obviously I fight better than you.” Envy’s look of triumph made Lavellan sick.
“Has anyone told you gloating isn’t attractive?” He groans as he focuses on his magical energy. The bleeding slows and he charges forward with his sword raised. Envy raises her shield to block. Her red eyes widen in shock as his blade cuts through her shield down to her arm. Before he could cut through her arm she pulls back and puts some distance between them.
“Afraid?” Lavellan grins. He keeps eye contact with her as he gently runs two fingers down the edge of his blade. In the wake of his fingers his sword glows with magical energy.
Envy didn’t respond as she becomes blinded by fury. She lets out a battle cry as she swings down towards Lavellan’s shoulder. He doesn’t block and instead swings his blade towards her knees. Her blade hits his shoulder but it sparks against a magic shield. His blade sinks between her plate armor and into her knee. Flinching in pain, Envy limps back clutching her leg. Seeing his chance, Lavellan swings upwards and leaves a deep cut across her right eye. She screams and clutches her face, dropping her weapon. Quickly he closes the gap and goes in for another swing. His blade slices through her armor and deep into her shoulder. Lavellan moves in for the finishing blow but Envy recovers enough to shove him with her shield.
“Lavellan!” He turns towards the sound of his name and sees the barrier dissipating. Iron Bull and Cassandra jump down and rushes towards him while Dorian readies a spell.
Envy lets out and ungodly cry as several red templars forcibly pull her from the battle. The right side of her face is soaked in crimson as she screams at Lavellan. Her eyes do not leave him as Envy’s allies drag her from the battlefield. Refusing to let her get away Lavellan charges forward, ready to cut through the Red Templars between him and Envy. A Venatori mage steps between Lavellan and Envy. He cuts his hand and chants as the blood flows from a wound. A pride demon, towering and intimidating, answers the mage’s spell and steps out of the rift. It lets out a loud roar at Lavellan and summons a whip of crackling purple energy. Lavellan’s eyes dart between it and the retreating Red Templars before deciding to deal with the more immediate threat.
“Pride demon! Templars, to me!” Ser Barris shouts orders to his Templars. They quickly move into position to deal with the monstrosity. Iron Bull lets out a loud battle cry filled with blood lust as he charges towards the demon. He swings towards the leg and lodges his battle axe deep in its grey flesh. As he pulls his axe free he tears the wound open wider. Cassandra follows up behind Bull, cutting into the already open wound making it deeper. The demon stumbles as her blade cuts into his tendons. The ground crackles and splits as the demon lashes his whip down at them.
Lavellan charges forward. Focusing his magic to his legs he jumps upwards, lifts his blade up, and sinks it into its shoulder. Using it as a grip, he climbs up onto the demon’s back. With a quick tug he frees his blade from the shoulder and swings down onto the back of its neck. The demon lets out a loud roar as it reaches back to try to grab Lavellan. He quickly ducks out of the way of the demon’s grip. Mustering all of his strength he places his heels firmly between its shoulder blades and grabs its horns. Lavellan grits his teeth as he pulls the demon’s horns downwards forcing it to look up.
“Dorian!” Lavellan shouts as he holds the demon’s head in place. Dorian sees the demon’s neck exposed and summons a shard of razor sharp ice. With a swing of his staff he sends the ice hurling towards its neck. It splinters as it cuts through the demon’s thick hide. Lavellan could see the tip of the ice pierce through the back of its neck. The skin around the wound cracks and oozes black blood. The pride demon lets out a final cry as it falls forward into its belly.
Without sparing a single moment, Lavellan calls out to the Templars. “On me! Focus your energy on the rift!” Seeing them rush into position Lavellan lifts his hand towards the rift. A beam of green energy arches from the palm of his hand towards the opening. A burning session spreads down his arm into every fiber of his being. Clenching his jaw, he braces himself. The rift emits a wave of energy as it closes, knocking everyone to the ground. Exhausted, Lavellan feels the burning sensation slowly fade.
A firm hand grips his upper arm and helps him to his feet. “You did it,” Cassandra smiles at him as she pulls him to his feet. “You closed the rift.”
“Now hopefully it will stay closed.” Iron grunts as he puts away his axe.
“Well, Envy could reopen it if she wanted,” Dorian crosses his arms as he looks up at where the breach once was. “But I feel like she will be focused on her embarrassing loss to reopen it. If I had to take a guess, revenge will be her top priority once she recovers.”
Lavellan sighs as he feels the fatigue from battle hit him. “Well thankfully that’ll be a problem for a later day. We should do our best to meet up with the others. They should have set up camp in the rendezvous point. There we can rest and head down into the Hinterlands.” His companions and the Templars nod in agreement as they quickly made their way out of the temple and into the snowy mountains.
The wind picks up as they hike through the mountain pass and down the secret path that Chancellor Roderick showed them earlier. Lavellan’s legs feel like lead as he leads them to the camp. The darkness of the sky indicates that it is close to sunset by the time they see the flickering lights of camp. Their approach was met with loud cheers and celebration at their victory. While the night was filled with songs and drink, Lavellan decided to turn in after getting his wounds treated. Settling into his tent, he had no time to contemplate today’s events before he fell into a deep sleep.