Alistair is quite capable of making rapid decisions on his own if he feels the situation calls for it. I told him of my concerns over the wedding date, and most especially the reason why an earlier date would be desirable. Right after he recovered from the shock he grabbed me by the hand and dragged me after him to the guest quarters where the rest of our party were housed. This was after most folks had retired for the evening, so we actually caught them in their rooms. Alistair pounded on Zevran’s door and ordered him to dress and follow us. He likewise commandeered Leliana, Wynne and Eamon. We found Oghren in the Hall sharing a few ales with some of the off duty guards.
This whole party was then led to the Chantry where Alistair demanded the Templars wake the Revered Mother, claiming a national emergency. Our whole group had no idea what he was talking about and must have looked very puzzled indeed. The Revered Mother appeared in short order, asking what was going on. Alistair told her that he required her to perform three rites of her office immediately, namely two absolutions and a marriage. She seemed a bit reluctant at first, but when Alistair assured her that waiting until morning was not an option, she got into the spirit of things. We each received absolution for our sins against the Maker.
While that was happening, the rest of the people dragged into this adventure decided who would fulfil what roles. When we rejoined the group, Eamon was designated Father of the Bride, Wynne was Mother of the Groom, Leliana was my attendant and witness, Zevran was Alistair’s attendant and witness, and Oghren took station as Guardian and witness. Wynne conjured up a small bouquet of flowers, and all was in readiness. The Revered Mother performed the marriage rite, and blessed us all, and that was that.
Eamon was not especially pleased with the whole string of events, but did not interfere, he said, because he could tell that something deeper was going on. That was when my husband formally announced to our friends that his wife was with child, and that he had no intention of letting his heir be born a bastard. There were hugs and congratulations all around, and much teasing about how quickly we managed to consummate the marriage – so fast that no one even noticed we left the party!
We will still have a State Wedding a month or two after the babe is born. Word of the “midnight marriage” has been leaked out and enthusiastically embraced by the population of Denerim. I am sure that you will have heard some variant of it by the time this letter reaches you, Fergus. I just wanted you to have the truth of it from me. The pregnancy will not be formally announced until the Coronation a month from now, so I’m asking you to keep that bit of news to yourself for a while longer.
Leliana has been asked by the Chantry to take an expedition to the resting place of Andraste’s ashes for the purpose of cataloguing the find and determining the feasibility of opening the Shrine to the public in the future. She is very excited at the prospect of heading up her own adventure and will be leaving for the Temple just after the Coronation.
Wynne has accepted a post at court as Advisor to the King from the Circle of Magi. She hopes to be able to improve the lot of the mages who have been made to feel like prisoners in their Tower, and to show by example that mages are people too. Many folks assume that mages are abominations waiting to happen, and it’s so unfair. The mages I have met are decent sorts who want nothing so much as to be allowed to live their lives in peace and freedom.
Sten returned to his homeland the day after the celebration you attended. He said that he needed to give his report to the Arishok (some high-ranking Qunari) and admitted that he was homesick. I asked him if Fidelius could accompany him. The two of them have developed a rapport that the mabari and I never had, and Fidelius made it clear who he wished to be with. Sten accepted my hound as his companion, and I saw them both board the ship to Antiva the next morning. I’ll miss Fidelius, but I wish them both well.
Morrigan was true to her word. She disappeared as soon as the Archdemon was dead. No one saw her leave, and no one has any idea where she might have gone. Alistair says good riddance, but in some strange way, I will miss her. Caustic tongue aside, she was a loyal friend. I hope her chosen path leads her to contentment.
Oghren has not yet decided what he will do. He says he cannot return to Orzammar and would not even if it were possible. Too many bad memories live in those halls now. Alistair has offered him a position with the Royal Guard, but Oghren is not ready to settle yet. He thinks he might renew acquaintance with the lady dwarf at Lake Calenhad docks. He seems a little lost to me. I pray he finds a new base upon which to build his life. If he doesn’t, I’m afraid the drink will take him.
Zevran is going to be staying with us. He has accepted a position as Head of Royal Security. He is clearing the palace of traps and spies, and selects our bodyguards. He has already established an information network of sorts and keeps watch for any situations that might have potential to get out of hand. He has also been charged with selecting the staff to care for the babe when it comes. I trust him completely and so does Alistair.
Eamon has elected to stay in Denerim as Chief Advisor to the Crown, and I thank the Maker for him daily. His wise counsel has already helped us through many delicate situations, and he takes on a lot of the routine tasks so we don’t have to fill our days with trivial details. His wife Isolde has flat refused to return to Redcliffe after everything that happened there, so he has turned the Arling over to his brother, Teagan. As far as we have heard, the people of Redcliffe have accepted the change in leadership with joy. Teagan defended them the whole time Eamon was ill and became very popular.
Eamon transferred Jowan, the apostate mage who poisoned him, into the keeping of the Circle of Magi. First Enchanter Irving has detained the fellow in house arrest under constant scrutiny by the Templars until he can decide what to do with him. It seems there is a lot more to Jowan’s story than we heard at Redcliffe, and he had some justification for running away from Circle Tower. I don’t know if it is possible, but I hope Irving is able to find a way to rehabilitate Jowan. He truly struck me as a decent person who had been misled and abused in a terrible way.
Anora is dead. Her body was discovered in one of the tower rooms in Fort Drakon. At least, we think it is her body. It was wearing her clothes but was so badly mauled that it is hard to be sure. We are planning a funeral service for her and hope that no one comes up with the notion that Alistair or I killed her during our fight to reach the Archdemon. We had nothing to do with it but trying to prove that is like trying to prove we didn’t stop the sun from setting. Almost worse than that is the thought that she used the confusion to stage an escape and will come back to haunt us in the future.
I have sent two dwarven stonemasons and a few supplies to aid with the rebuilding of Highever. I’d like to send more, but every Arling in Ferelden has been affected and our resources must be carefully apportioned. If there is something specific that would be of use just let me know and I will do what I can to help.
I look forward to seeing you at the Coronation. I hope to be able to fit in a visit at home in the Procession afterward. Until then, brother mine, know that I love you.