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In A Manner of My Choosing

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A flare of emerald light set her arm aflame. Ellana sank to the cracked flagstones with a pained groan. She clutched the gauntleted wrist of her left hand. She watched the silverite-shod fingers curl into claws. Her nerves were afire with agony as if she'd held her hand over an open flame.

“The Mark will eventually kill you. Drawing you here gave me the chance to save you. At least for now”.

The tears prickled at the corners of her eyes. Weeks of whispered endearments, stolen kisses, and heartfelt promises turned to ash. The love of her life regarded her with the cool solemnity he'd always used with their comrades. The façade of civility was another elaborate lie. He meant to destroy the Inquisition, to destroy her, and Thedas without a second thought.

“Keep your mercy”, hissed Ellana. “If I am to die than it will be in a manner of my choosing”.

She gasped as the pain flared anew. She gritted her teeth, refusing to scream, when her arm convulsed. She trembled with each involuntary shudder. Ellana flopped onto her back when the hot sting of discomfort ebbed. She was breathing hard, her chest heaving, as a shadow trickled over her like water.

“Ma vhenan”, pleaded Solas. “You cannot give up or give in”.

Ellana groaned when gentle hands slid beneath the nape of her neck. His fingers were rough and warm as he lifted her head. She sighed in relief, the agony subsiding, when her ear came to rest against silken softness. She realised her head was in his lap when Solas looked down. His eyes were the dreary grey of rain-clouds ready to burst.

“You did”, replied Ellana. “Abelas said my people and I were shadows wearing vallaslin. You said the Thedas of my time was like walking through a world of tranquil. If I believe what you have told me, Solas, than everything I have ever known is a lie. What hope is there for an elven soul crushed by the weight of such horrible truths?”


“With my death”, concluded Ellana. “Your secret will be safe”.

She trembled like a leaf when blood filled her mouth. She coughed, near gagging on her own bile, as the Mark tore her apart. She tensed like a drawn bowstring as her skin cracked like sun-baked earth. Emerald light poured from the fissures. Blood burned away as swiftly as it was shed.

“Nae! Vhenan!” cried Solas. “Vhenan!”

He wept when she whispered a last parting endearment.

“Ar lath ma, Fen'Harel”.

“You always were stubborn”, sobbed Solas. “You could never take the easy way out”.

The tears came thick and fast. He doubled over, nose pressing into her cooling cheek, as Ellana drew her last breath. The Mark pulsed once before extinguishing. Solas knew she was gone when her face and body slackened. The agonised grimace was replaced by sudden cold relief.

The light in her eyes dimmed.

“Ma vhenan!” implored Solas. “Come back!”

He gathered her into his arms.

He rocked her tenderly.

“Ma vhenan!” begged Solas.

He kissed her mouth and tasted the salt of his own unending sorrow.

“I could have saved you. Why did you refuse my help? Why?”

 Elvish Translations: Courtesy of the Dragon Age Wiki – Elven Language

Ma vhenan – My heart.

Solas – Pride.

Abelas – Sorrow.

Vhenan – Heart.

Nae – No.

Ar lath ma, Fen'Harel – I love you, Dread Wolf.