Loghain has named himself Regent without benefit of a Landsmeet to confirm him, and is positioning himself to take the throne from his daughter, Anora, according to the rumors we are hearing from refugees on the road. He has put a bounty on the heads of any surviving Grey Wardens, accusing us of killing King Cailan! That monstrous, lying snake! It was he who abandoned Cailan and the Grey Wardens at Ostagar. Our forces were almost completely annihilated in that battle. How can anyone say we left Cailan to die?
I have since found out that there is no vile action to which he will not stoop. He went so far beyond decency as to put a contract out on us with the Antivan Crows! How do I know this, you ask? We were led into an ambush by what appeared to be a refugee lass and captured the Crow who set it up. As soon as he regained consciousness, he told us everything he knew about the contract, including who hired him. Howe is the one who contacted the Crows, and Loghain is the one paying them! I pray that Howe crosses my path one day so that I can send him to the Maker for judgement. I owe him at least that!
The Crow also offered me his services in exchange for his life. Zevran is his name, and he says that he is now every bit as much a target as I am because he failed to fulfill the contract he was sent on. He has pledged his service and (questionable) loyalty to me personally until the Blight is defeated and I see fit to release him from his oath. He believes that the Crows will not be able to honor the contract on my life, and that if he stays by me then by extension he is also safe from them. According to Zevran, he was purchased as a child by the Crows and was raised to be an assassin. He had no choice in the matter, and is happy to have the opportunity to escape from them. I gather very few Crows manage to die of old age, and even fewer manage the transition to ex-Crow. Zevran thinks to beat the odds by casting his lot in with mine. Given the Blight, the bounty hunters, and now the assassins, I have to wonder a little about his sanity.
You may wonder at my sanity, too, accepting into our party a man who was sent to assassinate me, but it seems that he is not the only "professional" we have among us. Sweet little Leliana was a Bard back in Orlais. You and I both think of minstrels and bards as being much the same, but in Orlais, Bards are minstrels, spies and assassins. There are depths to lay-sister Leliana that I had not suspected. I think I shall make more of an effort to get to know her better.
Morrigan is once again her acerbic self. She has finished interpreting her mother's grimoire and is most unsettled by what she found. It seems that when Flemeth grows old, she raises a daughter. When the daughter is trained and coming into her full power, Flemeth takes over the body, moving her own essence in and the daughter's essence out. Morrigan is determined that this will not happen to her. She plans to prevent the takeover by the simple expedient of having Flemeth killed. As she cannot be sure that her mother will be unable to complete the transfer should Morrigan be present at the time of death, she has asked that I be the one to slay Flemeth. No small order, I think, given Flemeth's abilities. I told Morrigan that I would undertake the task when the opportunity arose, but that other matters relating to our quest might delay it. She seemed willing to wait as long as she has assurance that the execution will take place and that she will receive Flemeth's true grimoire as proof the deed is done.
Wynne has been complaining that Fidelius stinks, and to be honest, he is a little ripe. I suspect he has been rolling in something rotten again. She has asked permission to bathe him the next time we camp near a suitable body of water, and I agreed to it. I warned her that she would get at least as good a bath as she gave, and offered to help. She seems to be looking forward to the challenge. Little does she know just how much Fidelius loves a good bath!! Remember the time he got into the bath chamber, knocked over all the soaps and oils and then tracked all through Nan's kitchen? I still wonder who left the bath unattended and the door ajar. Wouldn't be you, would it? You wouldn't set out to play a joke on a poor innocent mabari pup, would you? No, of course not! Although I recall you had a fit of the giggles when I got stuck cleaning it all up under Nan's wrathful eye.
Alistair has asked a favor of me. He found out he has a half-sister living in Denerim, and he wants to meet her if the chance arises. I see no harm in it as long as it doesn't take too long. She's a lucky girl to have such a man for her brother (but not as lucky as me to have you - there, I said something nice about you!). I have come to realize that Alistair longs for the connection that family provides. I hope this Goldanna is willing to accept him. It would mean a great deal to him, I think. The only other person who ever made him feel truly accepted was Duncan, whom he misses terribly. I try to be careful not to bring up reminders of his passing in our conversations, but it happens, and it takes the joy from Alistair when it does. I also feel the pain of loss, but I still have you out there somewhere (Maker let it be so!) and I have known what it is to be loved and accepted for who I am. This is not something Alistair has experienced, and I hurt for him. Taking a few hours out of our quest to find his sister is the least I can do for him.
We should reach Orzammar in another two or three days, and I will write again once we arrive.