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In The Spirit of Love

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Some say the Champion of Kirkwall merely got to power through her noble ties. Others, that it was cunning and relentless political maneuvers. Still more that it could only have been pure, dumb luck.

Despite the relevance of the last idea, those who know her seem to disagree on all those accounts.

The stories continue, of course. For good or ill, none can stop the chatter, idle or otherwise, and the title has seen express use recently. The Champion of Kirkwall.

Everyone wants to know who she is.

There are questions - of the motivations of this so called Champion. There is a vicious debate over why she has done what she has done for the people around her. The same ideas are recycled - the same speculations make their rounds. In the end, they all come down to the same choices.

Wealth, power, or glory?

They seem to have made up their minds that it is one of those things - or perhaps a measure of each. As if those motivations were the most obvious ones, the woman who started off with very humble beginnings, who did not utilize her noble house for politicking, and who did not ask to be called Champion. Still, they are certain on this - it must be those, at least one of them. As if those are the only things worth fighting for. They wrap their elaborate stories and half truths - bend them around her until they are stretched to breaking - to stay within the confines of those three motives.

The truth is far more simple and far more complicated - Marian Hawke has only ever had one true guiding factor in life, and for that reason she chooses her companions carefully. Not for wealth did she accompany a dwarven merchant in a triumphantly terrible escapade to the Deep Roads, nor seek a lost and stolen (not in that precise order) relic with a Rivanni pirate. Not for power did she befriend a Dalish blood mage in her pursuit of her culture’s ancient mysteries, nor stand with the Fereldan warrior she would see become Captian of the Guard. Not for glory did she hunt slavers who in turn hunted an ex-slave elf from Tevinter, nor extend her aid and sympathies to a rebelling ex-Warden apostate.

Her one and only motivation, as she’ll gladly tell you - even under exclamations of cheesiness - has been love.

A strange concept - sure. It might sound perhaps too idealistic - too “pure” to those disillusioned with the world. There were times when she thought so - that she would do better to abandon the world rather than attempt to muddle along, hoping her spirit would not be corrupted by the ugliness of those around her. There were times she nearly faltered - not despite her love but because of it. When instead of providing a crutch for her to cling to, it became the blade pointed at her head.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I should probably start at the beginning.