Alright. This is the first chapter of my first ever fan fiction! It’s a Dragon Age piece and as a writer myself I have all of these head cannons for my characters that just needed to be written and posted. (At least that’s what Mulan keeps telling me!) This piece is just after Adamant Fortress, you know the whole Fade debacle. My Hero is a human noble inspired by Selene from Underworld–volatile and reckless. My Inquisitor is a ginger. ‘Nuff said.
Here we goooooo…
“Are you alright?” Cullen asked the inquisitor. The standard question everyone always asked her after every big mission. Usually she could fool them, tell them she was okay and most of the time she believed it herself—but not tonight. Tonight, Arwynne was anything but okay.
She had been standing outside the fortress staring out across the approach, arms crossed over her chested if she were trying to hold herself together. The rest of their forces were gathering the dead, rounding up the remaining wardens and preparing to leave. The sun had started to rise over Thedas blanketing the sand in pink rays of light. She couldn’t look at the fortress anymore without remembering what had transpired. She remembered everything now, both of her trips to the fade and what she had seen there.
She hated spiders. It was a silly fear, but one the nightmare demon had exploited. When she was younger, Arwynne had tripped in the garden at her families estate. When she woke she was covered in these tiny black spiders…it gave the Inquisitor chills just to think about it.
“Inquisitor?” Cullen was being formal, they were still surrounded by soldiers—not that it mattered. Everyone at Skyhold knew the two of them were a thing, Dorian and Josephine were terrible gossips.
Arwynne turned to face the commander, his face wrought with anguish but he was still concerned for the woman he had come to care for. Tears filled the Inquisitor’s eyes, “No.”
Despite the wandering eyes of the soldiers, Cullen reached for the Inquisitor. She buried her face in the lion fur he always wore, using it to hide the tears she was freely shedding. “I couldn’t save him.” She cried.
“He stayed to save you,” the commander whispered, “there was nothing you could have done.”
“I should have tried.”
“Then all of you could have died.”
Arwynne pulled back and Cullen’s gloved hand went to wipe a tear from her cheek. “Let’s get back to Skyhold. I think the inquisition can survive for a few days without its inquisitor. We’ll gather everyone at the war table when Hawke reports back from Weissahaupt.”
It took the Inquisiton four days to reach Skyhold, and the inquisitor and her party were silent for most of it. Arwynne barely slept, Bull refused to eat for two days, when Dorian did speak he was criticizing something, and poor Sera was practically catatonic. Upon their arrival, Arwynne’s advisors lost no time planning their next move. The inquisitor was present, she did her duties and when Hawke returned (with Fenris attached to her hip) the war council convened to discuss the events at Adamant fortress and submit their reports.
They had hardly been in the war room for twenty minutes when the wooden doors were thrown open by a very scary looking woman with black hair and big blue eyes. A Mabari hound trotted happily behind her. “Selene?” Lelianna said, her voice dripping with surprise and a little bit of fear.
“Lelianna,” Selene replied. Selene’s voice was harsh, deeper than the inquisitor expected.
“How on Thedas did you get here so fast, I dispatched my ravens only four days ago.”
“What did you do, ride a dragon or something?” Hawke asked the warden, just being her normal sarcastic self.
“You don’t wanna know what I had to do to get here,” Selene growled at the champion as she marched up to the war table, cocked her hip and crossed her arms to stare the inquisitor down.
“Then maybe you could explain your presence,” Morrigan tried. The apostate had a small smirk on the corner of her mouth. She had been wondering how long it would take for her old friend to barge into the castle, looks like the spymaster owed her five gold.
“I’m here because I’d like to know why someone left my husband in the bloody fade.”
It was Cassandra’s turn to speak up, her resting contorted bitch face glared at the hero of Fereldon. “He sacrificed himself so the inquisitor, Hawke and the others could escape.”
“Of course he did!” Selene snapped, “that’s sort of his thing, that doesn’t mean you had to let him do it.”
“Would you have preferred Hawke stayed behind?” Fenris asked angrily. The tattooed elf had begun to glow slightly, but no one seemed to notice.
Selene rolled her blue eyes, “Cool down glow stick, that’s not what I said.”
“I offered to stay,” Hawk said, “but he wouldn’t hear of it. He said this was the wardens doing, so it should be a warden to make it right.”
“Gah! It’s the arch demon all over again!” The hero cried, throwing her hands up in the air as she began to pace.
Her old companions stared at their feet, with small smirks on their lips. The rest of the room stared at the hero of Fereldon curiously. So Selene filled in the gaps.
“Do you know how an Archdemon is killed? Only a Grey Warden can take its life, and in doing so they must forfeit their own. Alistair offered to do it, apparently he has some martyr complex because of severe abandonment issues.”
“But both of you survived.” Cullen pointed out, “How?”
Selene stopped pacing to stare deep into the commanders eyes, “I found another way.”
With that said, the warden turned on the heel of her boot and traced her steps out of the war room. Her Mabari had been sitting quietly on the floor at Morrigan’s feet. Selene let out a sharp whistle when Porthos didn’t follow, reluctantly the war dog followed his master out back through Josephine’s office.
“Technically I’m the one who provided the alternative, if my memory serves me.” Morrigan muttered as the hero left. Lelianna giggled.
“That’s the woman you wanted to lead the Inquistion?” Josephine asked Cassandra sarcastically.
“Lelianna neglected to tell me she was so, so…”
“Intense?” Hawke finished and the seeker nodded. Lelianna only snickered some more.
“Someone should follow her,” the commander said, “if I remember correctly she wasn’t exactly a people person.”
“I shall go,” Morrigan said, “and I’ll make sure the Hero doesn’t blow up anything of use.”
The inquisitor stared after their strange advisor as she sashayed out of the war room in pursuit her old friend. Arwynne had been silent since Selene had barged in, a little out of fear but mostly out of awe. The warden hadn’t been what she had expected—she was better. And although Selene’s presence only made the inquisitor feel worse inside, she had to admit she was swooning—in an entirely professional sort of way.
“Inquisitor, are you alright?” Josephine inquired playfully. Arwynne turned a shade lighter than her ginger hair and nodded.
“Yeah, uhm. Do you think she’ll stick around?”
“I’m not sure you want her to.” Lelianna laughed.
Selene expected Morrigan to follow her outside, Selene stopped in a secluded corner away from any ears and eyes. “You and I need to talk.”
“And so we shall. What about?”
“I need your help to rescue Alistair.”
Morrigan scoffed, “You can’t be serious.”
“Oh for Andrastes sake! Morrigan you of all people know how dangerous the fade is. To be in it physically? That’s a death sentence!”
“I understand your pain, Selene. Alistair was a fine man and his loss is tragic, but rescuing him is a death sentence as well.”
“I don’t care!”
“And what if you find him dead? Hmmm? What shall you do then? This is a fools errand Selene and no good will come of loosing two high ranking wardens.”
Selene’s face was no longer filled with anger, it contorted in pain and fear. “I can’t just leave him there. You know him; even if he survived the nightmare demon he won’t find a way out himself. He’ll wander the fade accepting it as a punishment. What if you were in my shoes, what if it was Kieran?”
Morrigan was at a loss. She wanted to help her friend but didn’t want to risk everything the Inquisiton had accomplished or put her son in danger.
“There has to be a way,” Selene pleaded, “I can get in through a rift can’t I? As long as it remains open that will be my exit.”
“The fade is unpredictable walking mentally through it, physically is trickier.”
“Please, Morrigan. Please?”
Morrigan let out a sigh, “Very well. Though I will not guarantee the outcome, and I will not be held accountable. There is much research to be done, you cannot just go barging into the fade like you did the last time.”
“Yes, yes. Do not go all Alistair on me just yet.”
Morrigan slicked off to her liar or wherever it was she slept to do her research. Selene, who had left her company rather rapidly with little else but Porthos and her sword, stood idly in the corner of the courtyard. For a time, she remained unnoticed. The Hero of Fereldon, with Porthos at her feet, tried hard to keep the hard look in her eyes but the sadness kept creeping in. It wasn’t long till Lelianna spotted her old friend hiding.
“It is okay to be sad, Selene.” Lelianna said, approaching the Hero from a walkway leading up onto the battlements.
“Sad doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling.”
Lelianna pulled her friend into a much needed hug. Selene had never been an easy person to get to know, but it hadn’t taken Lelianna long to open up the young warrior when they were running around Fereldon trying to end the blight. Those weren’t exactly better days, but they definitely were anything but lonely. Selene was raised to be strong and had never wavered not even when she came face to face with the Archdemon. Selene wasn’t sure if it was fear that was filling her chest or loss. Whatever it was hurt worse than the joining; it was worse than pain. This feeling it felt like a spirit had reached into her heart and was squeezing it while smothering her with a thick wool blanket.
“I know,” Lelianna whispered, stroking Selene’s black hair.
“I’m going to get him back, Leli. I am.”
“I believe you.”
The inquisitor had spotted them as well, and had started to approach them but found herself intimidated.
“Don’t just stand there, inquisitor. Do come and meet the hero of Fereldon.”
“Please do not call me that, you know I hate that name.”
“Titles are a bit overwhelming, aren’t they?” The inquisitor asked. She forced a smile then held her hand out so that the warden could grip it.
“Inquisitor, meet Selene. Selene, this is Arwynne.”
“Pleasure,” Selene said as politely as she could. The warden knew it wasn’t her fault, but she had needed someone to blame and so she chose the inquisitor.
“I hope I didn’t interrupt anything,” Arwynne said and the spymaster shook her head.
“Not at all.”
“I get the feeling the two of you are up to something,” the inquisitor began. “And I want to help.”
“I’m sure the inquisitor has enough duties to attend to,” Selene stated, “besides you’ve done enough. I came here to speak to Morrigan.”
Lelianna gave Selene a disapproving look and as hurt as Arwynne was inside she didn’t show it-Josie would have been proud.
“I understand. But if you have questions about the fade, Solas would be the one to ask. You’ll find him in the rotunda, now if you’ll excuse me I have inquisitorial duties to attend to.” Arwynne gave the Hero her best smile before nodding to the spymaster and heading back to the main staircase to the throne room.
Lelianna, although having known Selene for ten years, was very displeased. “Was that necessary?”
“Probably not, but she’ll get over it.”
The inquisitor climbed the stairs up to the library where she knew Dorian would be poring through book after book looking for something interesting enough to be worthy of his time.
“Ah, Inquistor my Love,” Dorian said with a slight smile, his eyes still in whatever book he was reading. “You must read this rubbish they’re writing about the imperium. It’s absolutely infuriating, this Francis DePurioux calls himself a scholar yet he fails to see…” The mage looked up at his friend just then to see her sad face on the verge of tears. “Honey, what ever is the matter?” Dorian tossed his book onto the nearest table so he could draw his dearest friend in for a hug.
“The Hero of Fereldon hates me!” Arwynne cried, “she blames me for leaving Alistair in the fade.”
“That wasn’t your fault, Alistair sacrificed himself and I’m glad he did. She obviously needs someone to blame and sadly your an easier target than Hawke.”
Arwynne pulled back, “Thanks, Dorian I feel loads better now!”
“She’ll come around,” Dorian continued, his mustache quivered a bit. “Your impossible to resist.”
Arwynne forced a smile. “There’s that smile.” He reached up and tapped her nose.
“Gahh, Dorian she’s just so…terrifying. In a good way, but still she’s absolutely furious.”
“Well, from what I’ve read that’s sort of her personality. I wouldn’t take anything personal.”
“Everyone talks about her like she’s the most wonderful person to exist! Even Morrigan likes her.”
“That is strange,” the tevinter Mage leaned on the edge of the table while he rubbed his chin questioningly. “I suppose I could get Bull to rough her up a bit, would that help?”
The Inquistor laughed. “No, don’t do that. Josephine would be beside herself; I’d never hear the end of it.”
“Do we know why she graced us with her presence?”
“She came to ask Morrigan for help, she wants to rescue Alistair.”
At that, Dorian laughed, he couldn’t help it. That was the most ridiculous thing he had heard all year. “I say let her take a crack at it.”
Arwynne punched him playfully. “What? I don’t need to remind you that traveling physically in the fade is practically impossible, not to mention dangerous. As long as she doesn’t enlist our-your-help she can do as she pleases.”
“She doesn’t want our help, or my help at least.”
“Good,” Dorian said shoving off the desk and reaching for his book. “You stay far away from that barbarian.”