Posts Tagged 'hawkquisition'

Hawkquisition 5 Preview: Ave Atque Vale

So I’m still in early planning stages for the next installment of the Hawkquisition series, but a week ago an idea for a scene that simply must occur sometime in that storyline struck me so strongly that I wanted to get it written out while it was yet fresh. Being wary of spoilers, I’ll just mention that part 5 will involve Varania, and at some point they’ll end up in Tevinter because…ah wait, the rest is spoilery (if you haven’t read Warriors Such As yet or don’t know who Metis actually is…) so here is a cut!

Yes, so, I wanted a chance for Metis to visit Mara’s grave – his wife, who along with Varania was sold into slavery separately from him while also pregnant with Leto. I like happy endings, you know, but there’s no way around the fact that Varania’s mother died before she reunited however briefly with Fenris in DA2, and that Metis hadn’t found any of his lost family by that point, so it will always be too late for him to find Mara again while she’s alive.

So we’re visiting her grave, because I wanted to give him a chance at closure.

This is a rough draft that will probably end up reworked to some extent once there’s a longfic to fit it into, but it made me cry and so I must share it now as is. 🙂 I would love to hear your thoughts on it!

“This is it?” Metis asked, glancing around at the small
collection of monuments outside the city limits. It wasn’t the Grand Cemetery
where the magisters buried their generations of too-powerful ancestors, but
even here the mausolea loomed to impress over their heads.

A snort of derision drew his attention back to Varania at
his side. “None of those. Did you think we could have afforded such nonsense?”

“I didn’t mean –” He looked back at one of the tombs,
shaped in concentric layers like an elaborate cake. The scrolls carved along
its edges resembled frosting as well. Perhaps it was the tomb of a particularly
well-off baker. “They are rather ridiculous, aren’t they?” he mused.

“This way,” Varania said, tugging him along by his elbow. He
followed his daughter to a doorway set into a building like the standing tombs
around them, but starkly plain in contrast. No filigreed carvings nor
ostentatious etched runes decorated its surface. Beside the door, a single
torch waited, unlit. Varania gestured and brought its flame to life. Metis
allowed himself a faint smile of pride in her magic, since she wasn’t looking.
Varania took the torch and led him down into the darkness.

It was as simple below as it was above, but it was vast. The
underground chamber stretched ahead of them and to both sides of the stairwell,
vanishing into darkness. He followed her, silent as their barefoot steps on the
dusty path, glancing aside to see the niches in the walls, one after another
till he lost count. Low as the passageway was, he counted six rows stacked from
floor to ceiling, the niches open and empty this near the entryway. As they
walked deeper into the catacomb, they passed more and more bricked-up niches,
with plaques bearing simple inscriptions. Nothing like the rows of letters
carved on the tombs aboveground. Surely, he thought, there was more to say of
each life gathered here than such small words could bear.

And then Varania was stopping, running her fingers over one
plaque low to the ground, kneeling to read it by the torchlight. “Here it is,”
she said after a moment, her voice catching. “Mother.”

He knelt beside her, brushing a finger over the roughly
carved plaque. Terracotta – they’d been able to afford something more permanent
than the wooden plaques he saw on some of the spaces, at least. Nothing down
here was marked with metal. In the flickering light he made out the words:




“I thought I would join her here before long,” Varania said
after a moment, indicating an empty niche just beside Mara’s bricks. “I made
payments on that one. For the last of us.” She met his gaze, briefly, and he
wondered if in the torchlight his green eyes looked as golden as hers did now.
Probably. “When she died, I was the last of us, I thought,” Varania explained.

“I know,” he murmured, and for a moment her eyes narrowed.
Anger? He wouldn’t blame her. She had lost her father when she was barely old
enough to speak in full sentences, her brother to a bid for freedom that had
turned sour for them both. But he did
know. He had thought them all lost since the day the slavers came to Seheron.
Finding one another again after the decades had softened the memories was like
reopening old wounds, and all the more so, he guessed, for his little girl, no
longer so little.

She frowned, but before she could speak he asked, “Varania.
Give me a moment alone with her?”

“There’s only one torch,” she pointed out.

“There’s only one path,” he said, his mouth quirking into
half a smile. “I will find the stairs again when I am ready. Please. It has
been –” His breath caught as the numbers, the memories, rushed in on him. “It
has been years. There were things I…hoped to say to her, if I ever found her
again. Even if it’s too late, I still…” He swallowed. “I must.”

After a moment she nodded, but she did not immediately
depart. Shifting nearer to the wall, she bowed her head, resting her forehead
against the bricks, and in the flickering light he thought he saw her lips move
briefly. Then, raising her head, she gathered herself along with the torch,
nodded to him again, and stepped past him to make her way back down the

He watched her light until it disappeared, waited several
minutes more, carefully removing his spectacles and tucking them into a pocket
of his robe. Then in the devouring darkness Metis bowed his head too, not to
the bricks but all the way to the packed earth beneath his knees, and he wept.
Tears flowed till the ground became muddied with them, and he wept on, a flood
against the tide wall of his heart, dissolving barriers long erected against
the loneliness of his first years of slavery. It had not been safe to miss them as he did at first, so
he’d learned to be content with the happy memories. Memories of his young
family were precious things to be treasured like the odd little collection of
seeds and fruit-pits Varania had insisted on gathering when she was two as if
they were priceless gems, and cheerful memories of just that sort had been all he had allowed himself, content that Mara
and Varania, whether they had survived the raid to be sold as he was or not,
had existed once upon a time, his stars and his sun.

He had not let himself dream that he might ever see them
again, and by the time he had looked for them…it was too late. Bricks and a
plaque were all that was left of his wife, and a brittle, bitter liberati mage had replaced his imperious
and imaginative little girl. She spoke little of what they had gone through,
either before or after Fenris won their freedom against her wishes. His
imagination was all too helpful to fill in the gaps.

However long he wept there, at last the tears trickled to a
stop. With a hiccup he sat up again, drying his eyes with the back of his hand
and then resting a palm against the plaque. “Mara,” he said quietly, and then,
braver, “Mara. I’ve missed you so. And now…now, I miss you even more.”

His eyes stung with tears again, narrowing his throat. When
he had blinked them back, he took a breath and began again. “I am so sorry, my
love, that I return to you so late. That I was not there for you through all
those years. My proud, brave Mara; to think of your head bowed in servitude,
your bright spirit broken…” He swallowed and shook his head. “I couldn’t. I
never could imagine you a slave, even when it was clear the raiders had taken
you. You must have adapted, as did I, but in my memory you were always that
bold girl who would not let anyone else make a decision for her. And do you
know, Mara,” he smiled faintly, shifting from his knees to sit up against the
wall, leaning a shoulder to the plaque and his cheek to the bricks, “that was
the memory that carried me all those years. It’s funny, now, but those few
years we had together stand out more vividly to me than all the decades of
slavery and freedom that followed. You carried me, you know. Just thinking of
you, of the way things were before the raid, you kept me sane through the worst
years.” He closed his eyes with a sigh. “Perhaps I did the same for you. That
would be nice. Oh, but I wish I’d been with you, in person. And the children.
All these years I didn’t even know Varania had a brother, but suddenly, Maker,
here he is, all grown up. And here she is too, barely resembling the little
girl I remembered. Oh, Mara. All alone you had to raise them both. I should
have been there; I’m so sorry I wasn’t.”

Again he shifted, resting a hand against the bricks. “But
here I am now. It doesn’t change the past, but I promise you, I’ll look out for
them now. For Fenris, who doesn’t even remember you – and I think he can’t
hardly be the same Leto you knew him as, or at least Varania thinks not – I
shall give him what I can of my memories. He takes after you, you know, your
pride and your cleverness. As does Varania. I think she cannot have always been
this bitter – she lost so much, her father, her brother, her mother, even the
security of her master’s house – but she always was this stubborn.” He chuckled and then winced at a thought: “They
must have been impossible, raising two such bull-headed children at once. Even now
they bicker like –” He shook his head. “Well. There is trust growing there
again. I shall tend it as best I can. They’re strong, Mara, and they do you
credit despite all they’ve suffered.” He smiled then, straightening to face the
bricked niche. “Thank you. You were the brightest dream of my heart, Mara, and
more than I ever deserved. I will look after our children now, dearest. Rest

He pressed a final kiss to the wall with a whisper of, “And
now, in aeternum, cor meum, ave atque
” Then, rising slowly and pausing to stretch joints weary from his
vigil, he turned to retrace his steps down the dark passage and out into the
light where Varania awaited.

Latin-as-Tevene interpretations:




“Varania, her
daughter, made this for her dearest mother, Mara. True freedom holds you now.”

in aeternum, cor meum,
ave atque vale

“Forever, my heart, hail and farewell.” (with apologies and deep debt to Catullus)





I am in the mood for some Ecce Gratum because Spring Break has at last begun. 🙂

And oh, the list of creative productivity I’d like to tackle while there are no lessons to plan or papers to grade:

Keep reading

Updated (and therefore now behind a cut) with many progress reports and pictures. Spring Break has been fairly productive. 🙂

All that knitting 0_o. 

I am throughly impressed.  And also waiting with bated breath for Hawkequisition pt. 5. 

Well…at this point it has characters, it has setting, it sort of has some themes going; now if I could just decide on a plot, I might get started on part 5 😀

So a while ago, in Warriors Such As, there was a passage where Metis, ever the gardener or nature-mage or whatever we shall call it, distracts himself from the lyrium calling to him by mentally reciting an old nursery-rhyme of sorts, a catalog poem of herb-lore, plants and their properties. Rhyming lines about Thedosian plants may be one of the quirkiest things I’ve written yet for fanfic (um, or any project; this may be quirkier even than the chapters I wrote of Latin stories for my previous school’s curriculum which were sort of textbook fanfiction…), and I loved how the snippets of that poem turned out. So my new project, sneak peek of which you see above, is Metis’ Book of Herbs, a collection of sketches of the plants to go with the poem. I’m happy enough with these first two to post them, but the Dragonthorn one turned out a little wonky trying to fit its two lines of the poem into the picture so I’ll probably redo it when I am done with the rest of the plants.

Actually I may have to write more of the poem now and draw all the Dragon Age plants. Because it’s years since I did any proper sketching and getting the likeness of a plant right is much less intimidating than of a person. 🙂


Another giveaway prize! Metis for @rannadylin.

If you don’t know who Metis is, I highly recommend you go read Ranna’s fic Warriors Such As at once! 🙂

Yay! *hugs the precious gardener nerd elf mage* I should go write more of him now…

Warriors Such As: Fic Masterpost



This story in the Hawkquisition timeline is now complete! Thanks for sticking with me through such an adventure. 


Fenris was once told that even in the Imperium, warriors with markings of his sort were rare – with the implication that he is not unique. When the Inquisition hears of Venatori creating warriors marked like Fenris, but with red lyrium, Hawke may have to take her turn being the one left behind while Fenris travels into danger to help the Inquisitor investigate.

Read it on: AO3 | | DA

Or if you prefer to read it on Tumblr, here’s the chapter listing with titles and synopses:

  1. Wherein parenthood is hard

    Raising baby Malcolm is overwhelming and new parents Lisbet Hawke and Fenris are on edge.

  2. Wherein an expert is required

    Venatori in Seheron are experimenting with lyrium tattoos; Thayer Trevelyan’s advisors convene and send for Fenris.

  3. Wherein an agreement is reached

    Amantium irae amoris integratio est.

  4. Wherein farewells and firsts are spoken

    Hawke bids Fenris farewell as the Inquisition’s expedition to Seheron sets out.

  5. Wherein the ship sails

    En route to Seheron, letters are exchanged.

  6. Wherein Metis meets the Inquisition

    Seheron is not a very safe place for the Inquisitor and friends, but they do find one friend waiting for them.

  7. Wherein the forest is welcoming

    The trek through the jungle begins; meanwhile, interesting developments are occurring at Skyhold…

  8. Wherein Hawke’s worries are not ill-founded. 

    Fenris knows when things are fishy; saarebas are deadly; the jungle is a big place but Harding has lots of scouts looking for our heroes! Also Metis is kind of new to this combat thing.

  9. Wherein the weather interferes. 

    It’s a bad idea to wander around a jungle when you can’t see where you’re going.

  10. Wherein things become clearer

    Fenris’ past catches up with him, in more ways than one, and the Inquisition gains a formidable ally.

  11. Wherein we explore Ath Velanis. 

    Time to see what’s actually going on in that Venatori fortress, as soon as we find a way in through creepy tunnels! It’s all fun and games till someone slips and falls!

  12. Wherein plans change

    From opposite sides of the Ath Velanis gate, Thayer and Varric, Fenris and Metis reconsider their course of action.

  13. Wherein saboteurs are loose in Venatori territory

    Stranded in the fortress of Ath Velanis, Fenris and Metis make mischief for the Venatori.

  14. Wherein the magister refines his ritual

    Licinius intends to use Fenris’ markings as a template for his next red lyrium warrior…and so the ritual begins…

  15. Wherein Metis gets a tattoo

    Thayer and Varric return to Ath Velanis but Metis is already being prepared for lyrium markings…

  16. Wherein everyone is loose in Ath Velanis

    Licinius resorts to blood magic; Thayer searches for lost elves; and the lost elves discover side effects of the red lyrium ritual…

  17. Wherein Fenris gets his sword back. 

    Reunions! Thayer gets the team back together and Caligo discovers someone she hadn’t expected to see again.

  18. Wherein we depart Ath Velanis

    Thayer and team take the fight to the magister at last! And Hawke finally hears back from her Fenris.

  19. Wherein the ship sails. 

    Our heroes depart from Seheron, but there is still the matter of certain red lyrium tattoos to be dealt with.

  20. Wherein Hawke provides the hero’s welcome

    Hawke and Malcolm rush to Jader to meet Fenris straight off the ship.

  21. Wherein Merrill works a miracle

    This is it. The final chapter. Lyrium cleansing and birthday cake!

Warriors Such As: Chapter 21 (Final chapter!)

And so we have reached the end! *sniff* I’m going to miss this story…Now to go plan part 5 though 🙂

Word count: 2763
Rating: G
Summary: This is it. The final chapter. Lyrium cleansing and birthday cake!

Read it here or on:  DA  |  AO3  |

Masterpost in case you need to catch up or start from the beginning!

Comments and reblogs are always appreciated! I love seeing what you think of each chapter, what parts you liked or want to respond to, or even just a note if you enjoyed it!

Part 4: Warriors Such As

Chapter 21
Wherein Merrill works a

The Champion of Kirkwall was certainly free with her affections.
Her claim on Fenris’ heart was evident from the never-broken flow of touches,
Metis thought as he watched them approach where he sat in the garden the
morning after their return to Skyhold. She walked at his side, close enough to
brush shoulders, and he leaned over to brush a kiss to her hair. She took his
hand, while he balanced Malcolm against his hip with the other, and he twined
his fingers with hers. When her arm slipped around his waist, his went to her
shoulder, drawing her in closer. To say that they could not keep their hands
off each other would imply the desperation of a younger relationship, still
working out the details. This seemed a union whose details were worked out to
the point that they fit so neatly into one another’s space as to seem
incomplete without those touches of reassurance: You’re still here? Good. So
am I

Hawke’s presence brought smiles to Fenris’ face more regularly
than at any time since Metis had met him. He lit up at her touch; sometimes,
even literally, his markings giving off a faint glow. Metis sighed as he looked
down at his own markings. They hurt, still; their song was an ever present
danger; they might just kill him, if they could not be cleansed soon. But to
see his son smile like this, he regretted none of it.

“Good morning!” he greeted them, as they joined him on his bench.
Malcolm slipped from his father’s lap to the ground but kept a hand on Fenris’
knee, the other fist in his mouth as he stood there, staring up at Metis. He
winked at the child, and Malcolm pulled back slightly, pressing himself against
Fenris’ leg, but a smile tugged at the boy’s face behind his fist.

“Sleep well?” Lisbet asked, brushing her fingers through Malcolm’s
curly hair from Fenris’ other side.

“As well as may be expected,” Metis answered. “It is…more
difficult, at night, ignoring the lyrium.”

Fenris looked aghast. “But you’ve been able to resist it so far.”

“Yes, but that’s easier to do in the daylight, with plenty of
distractions. Oh, don’t look at me like that, Fenris. I’ve managed; but I will
be glad if this friend of yours really can cleanse the lyrium and tame its

“She can,” Lisbet beamed. “I’m sure of it. Reasonably sure.
Emmen’s made a full recovery.”

“Metis’ markings are different from the red lyrium that infected
Emmen,” Fenris cautioned.

“It will still work, darling,” Lisbet insisted. “You know
how Dagna is when a project challenges her. And Merrill is…well, she’s
practically giddy at the chance to help. They’re ready to begin today, Metis,
if you wish.”

“No time like the present,” he smiled. “I am eager to see what
miracles they have prepared.”


The Undercroft was crowded already that morning when Metis arrived
with his family. The three of them (plus one toddler) emerged from the stairway
to find three elves already conferring with Dagna. Without their usual white
paint, it took Metis a moment to recognize the tiny woman, her arms crossed
over her chest instead of drawing a bow, peppering the cheerful dwarf Arcanist
with questions.

“Caligo!” he blurted, upon recalling the name of the archer who
had shown them the entrance to Ath Velanis. The Fog Warrior looked up, smiling
when she saw him. “I…did not expect to see you here,” Metis said.

“We came on the second ship,” she explained, nodding to her
companions. “These are my…” she glanced between them. “This is Aeris. And this
is Nubis. He…The Inquisitor offered help at Skyhold, so we decided to come.”

“Nubis,” Metis repeated, taking in the elf standing quietly at
Caligo’s side, with his dark hair and pale eyes. And the faint red lines, just
showing above the collar of his shirt. “Oh. Oh. You’re the one…”

“They tell me you,” said Nubis, nodding to Metis’ left hand
with its matching lines, “are the reason I didn’t have to go through more of…”

“Yes,” Metis quickly interposed. “We’re here for the same purpose,
then, I take it?”

“If,” Caligo said, turning the full force of her stare back on
Dagna again, “you really can cure him?”

“It’s not a cure,” Dagna said, with the air of one launching into
an oft-repeated speech. “It’s more of a cleansing process. Based on Fenris’
markings, we think the lyrium is a symbiote and to remove it entirely would
probably cause more problems than it would solve. But we should be able to
cleanse it and leave you with just the pure lyrium, stable enough to maintain
the symbiotic relationship for…”

“Oh hello!” said a voice bursting brightly in on them from the
stairs. They all turned to see Merrill scurrying in, fists full of leaves. “I’m
late, aren’t I? I’m so sorry. I know we meant to begin this morning but I
nearly forgot about the embrium. Oh, Malcolm! Hello, da’len,” she said, bending
down as the boy reached for her neck, chanting, “Up! Up, Mimi!”

“‘Mimi’?” Fenris arched an eyebrow wryly at the Dalish mage as she
somehow managed to heft the boy up in her arms without dropping any of her
fistfuls of embrium.

“He can’t say ‘Merrill’ yet,” Lisbet explained. “Considering that
he doesn’t say ‘Mum’ yet either, I’m a bit jealous that Merrill gets a baby

“He calls you Hawke,” Fenris smirked.

“Hah?” said Malcolm, glancing around at the sound of her name.

Lisbet sighed. “Come here, dumpling, and let Aunt Mimi get to
work, hm?”


It was not, by far, the work of a single morning. The procedure
that Merrill and Dagna had devised between them was slow and painstaking,
working at the red lyrium bit by bit to remove its taint and leave behind the
pure white lines. Avoiding blood magic, Merrill went through vast amounts of
lyrium to maintain the power required to banish the corruption. Most days,
Fenris stood a grim watch over the whole process, while Hawke kept Malcolm busy
far away from the Undercroft so as not to disturb Aunt Mimi’s work. Carver was
a constant visitor as well, bringing lyrium from the storerooms when Merrill’s
supply ran low and coaxing her to take a break when the empty lyrium bottles
piled up. Wary of the danger to a mage consuming so many lyrium potions in a
short time, they took the work slowly, a few cautious hours a day.

A month went by while Metis and Nubis took their turns under
Merrill’s ministrations, the red gradually fading from their brands, until one
day, as Metis sat down to dinner in the great hall alongside his son, small
fingers tugged at his left wrist and he looked down to see Malcolm’s curious
green eyes on him.

“Da?” the boy said, looking between the faded, nearly-all-white
markings on Metis’ hand and the similar patterns adorning Fenris beside him.

“Ah…no, little one,” Metis chuckled, opening his palm so that
Malcolm could trace the white lines on it. “I am your Da’s Da, though.”

Lisbet, across the table, giggled. “Malcolm, Metis is your grandfather.
He looks a little like your Da, see? Even apart from the markings.”

“And the markings are in no way a part of the family resemblance,”
Fenris rolled his eyes.

“Absolutely not,” nodded Lisbet, “so don’t go getting ideas about
running off to get a tattoo when you’re a few years older, pup.”

“Da!” Malcolm insisted, looking up at Metis again.

“He doesn’t know what to call you,” Lisbet chuckled.

“‘Grandfather’ is a burden for such a small tongue,” Metis nodded
solemnly down at the boy.

“Can you say ‘Grandpa’, Malcolm?” Lisbet asked.

“He can barely say ‘Hawke’,” Fenris pointed out.

“Not for lack of trying.” Lisbet wrinkled her nose at him and then
turned back to the boy. “Metis is your Grandpa, love. Grand. Pa.

Malcolm considered this for a long moment, squeezing at his
grandfather’s arm and pursing his lips, before he finally said, “Pa?”

“Close enough,” Fenris grinned.

“Pa!” Malcolm said again, reaching up with determination in his
eyes. “Pa, up!

So Metis swung his grandson up to his lap and spent the rest of
dinner making polite if somewhat nonsensical conversation in reply to Malcolm’s
constant half-comprehensible chatter, resting his chin on the boy’s head with a


Malcolm sat before the fireplace in Josephine’s office, surrounded
by friends and family and brightly wrapped packages, but the cake took priority
over all else. Metis chuckled as the boy crumbled a honey-drenched wafer in his
hands before cramming it all at once into his mouth. Then he took a bite of his
own cake and his eyes widened at the taste of anise beneath all the honey.

Fenris, beside him, froze at the taste himself and turned to Hawke
in wonder. “You remembered.”

“Of course I did,” said a very smug Lisbet, eyes closed in delight
as she polished off the last of her portion. “And I wrote to Orana to see if
she could provide her recipe to Skyhold’s cook. It seemed an appropriate
tradition to continue with Malcolm.”

“Indeed it is,” Fenris smiled slightly, savoring the next bite of
his cake. He glanced over at Metis and explained, “My mother used to make a
cake like this on my birthdays. I…remember little else from my childhood, but
Hawke’s…” he hesitated, glancing at his wife.

“Housekeeper,” Lisbet suggested, helping herself to another of the
little cakes. “And miracle-worker, where kitchens are concerned.”

“Housekeeper,” Fenris nodded, “Orana, the first time I tried her
anise cakes, I remembered that much.”

Metis took another bite, licking honey from his lyrium-lined
fingertips. They were quiet now, at last, every last trace of crimson finally
cleansed from the channels, leaving behind only the pale white lines, stark and
delicate against his skin. “A birthday tradition, was it?”

“As often as she could find the spices for it, at least,” Fenris

“We used to trade plums for the anise on Seheron,” Metis recalled.
“There was a merchant who would travel through town every few months with the
best spices and a weakness for my plums. Maker, I haven’t had anything like
Mara’s anise cake in years.” He followed Lisbet’s lead, reaching for
another. “She put nuts in, sometimes. I never had as much success with nut
trees as with fruit, but one year we had pecans that ended up in everything
she baked.” He chuckled. “I may have stopped trying to grow nut trees
after that year.” He sighed with contentment. “It’s a good memory, Fenris, your
anise cakes?”

“Yes,” Fenris said without hesitation or elaboration, intent upon
the cake in his hand as he continued to slowly nibble at it as if to commit it
to memory anew.

“Good,” Metis said. “I’m glad you have some such.”

“Speaking of which,” said Lisbet, brushing crumbs from the newly
barely-visible swell of her belly and scooting closer to her father-in-law on
the rug, “we’ve something to ask of you, Metis.”

“Oh?” he raised an eyebrow, but did not withhold his grin as
Lisbet leaned into his shoulder, wrapping her arms around his elbow.

“Cole,” she announced, as Fenris, on his other side, looked up
with a sly smile, “has determined that baby number two is to be a girl.”

“We want,” said Fenris quietly, “to name her Mara. After my

“Oh,” said Metis, dumbstruck as the last of his cake crumbled in
his fingers. “Oh, child.” He brushed a kiss, sticky with honey, first to
Lisbet’s head (she giggled) and then to Fenris’ (he scowled, not without
warmth, and squeezed his father’s hand, only making it stickier). “Are you
asking my permission?” Metis wondered, glancing between them.

“Your opinion, perhaps?” Fenris glanced away.

“In my opinion, then,” said Metis, “you honor her. I would be
delighted to call my granddaughter by your mother’s name.”

“Presents!” went up a shout from across the room. “Enough cake.
Let the kid open his presents!” They looked up to see Varric picking one of the
packages out of the piles surrounding the birthday boy.

“Varric,” said Hawke, eyeing the shape of the package with
suspicion, “if you’re giving my one-year-old son a weapon…”

“What?” Varric shrugged as Malcolm toddled up to him to poke at
the yellow fabric wrapping the gift. “It’s just a toy, Hawke. And he’s got to
start learning sooner or later. He’s a Hawke, after all.”

“Hah!” Malcolm confirmed, pulling at the fabric to reveal a tiny
bow and arrows.

“He can barely even stand at this point, Varric!” Hawke laughed.

“Then learning to shoot will be motivation to learn to walk, won’t

Hawke scoffed, but Malcolm, waving the bow around in one chubby
fist, seemed pleased enough with the gift. Varric tried to show him how to pull
the string, until the child, still preferring to wave the whole bow around,
whacked the dwarf in the ear with it. Conceding defeat, Varric distracted the boy
with another package.

The celebration continued until Malcolm, losing interest in the
remaining gifts, suddenly crawled over to climb up in Hawke’s lap. “Oh, hello
there, dumpling!” she cooed. “I thought you’d forgotten all about your Mum
since Da got home.”

“Haaaaah,” he objected, cuddling up against her chest with his
thumb in his mouth, looking out through half-lidded eyes at the friends
gathered there.

“Don’t wear that name out,” she said, tucking her chin to his
head. “Someday, it’ll be yours.”

Malcolm had nearly drifted off to sleep when, a few minutes later,
Varric came to sit beside her. “So, Hawke,” he said, “I thought you should
know. I’m heading back to Kirkwall in a few days.”

“What, really?” Hawke glanced up. “Finally got enough material for
your Inquisitor Trevelyan story, have you?”

Varric chuckled. “Things are quieting down around here. Thayer can
manage without me at this point. But I left Kirkwall a mess, and it’s high time
I did something about that.”

“From what I saw, you were one of the few people doing anything
about the mess.”

“And then I got dragged away to the Conclave,” he reminded her,
“leaving a lot of things undone.”

“And now it’s two years’ worth of things.”

“Aveline’s a force to be reckoned with, Hawke, but we’ve all left
her holding down the fort for too long. It’s time I went back.”

Hawke nodded, lips pressed thin in thought for a minute. Finally
she spoke, “You’re right about Thayer, I think. He can manage things here
without us.”

“Us?” Varric’s eyebrows rose, as Hawke glanced over at Fenris.

Arms crossed over his knees, Fenris shrugged and gave her his
half-smile. “I am with you, Hawke.”

“You’re sure you don’t have your heart set on a full time
Inquisition career, my brave hero?” she asked.

“Seheron,” he answered, “was enough of that for a lifetime.”

Hawke looked back at Varric. “It’d be nice to give birth in my own
home this time. Provided there are proper midwives in Kirkwall? Can you
guarantee that?”

“Hawke,” Varric laughed, “if I have to I’ll put out a Merchant’s
Guild contract and have the finest midwives brought in from wherever you want.”

“That’s settled, then,” she smiled. “Fenris, let’s go home. I
think Orana’s been missing us.”

“I have missed her cooking,” Fenris smirked. Then he turned to his
father. “Metis, if you…We would…Kirkwall is far from your Circle, I know,

“What he means,” Hawke came to his rescue, “is, will you come with
us? There’s room for you in the estate. For Malcolm and Mara to grow up with
their grandfather near….”

“It would mean the world to us,” Fenris murmured. “But if you must
return to Tevinter…You were acting on your magister’s behalf, after all,

“And Mae will understand,” Metis chuckled. “She is my patron, not
my master.”

“She’s also my cousin-in-law,” Varric reminded them, “and if I
know her, she’ll jump at the chance to have this agent of hers keeping
an eye on me.”

“Furthermore,” said Metis, “she can as easily ask my aid with a
letter to Kirkwall as to the Circle. After all these years, Fenris, nothing
would keep me from you.”

“Then it’s settled,” Fenris smiled.

“Paaaaa,” Malcolm agreed, suddenly leaning from Hawke’s lap to lie
half across Metis’ as well.

“That’s right, my dove,” said Hawke, brushing
the boy’s hair out of his eyes, “Pa is coming home with us.”

Do Lisbet and Carver ever come to a healthy place in their relationship?

Oh, definitely. I think the key to Carver’s relationship with Hawke always boils down to him finding a way out of the elder sibling’s shadow and standing on his own two feet. Of the in-game options for him, joining the Wardens probably helps more with both of those, but in Lisbet’s playthrough he became a Templar. Still, there was the “glad to call you sister” conversation before the final battle, and I think all that time doing his own thing in the Order did help him to grow up to that extent. 

They’re never going to be overly affectionate with each other, I’m sure (well, Lisbet might well try, but she’s also grown up enough to learn that such advances only push Carver away more), but by the time of Warriors, they do get along well enough. The intense sibling rivalry has mellowed to more typical but affectionate bickering. 

And as for Carver’s place in the world: Since Meredith’s fall, he’s left the Order and Kirkwall entirely to avoid the red lyrium, and he’s found a stauncher ally (and lover) in Merrill than he expected. Traveling with her and her refugee clan, he’s become someone her people all rely on, a shemlen they trust because Merrill does, and all of that has nothing to do with Lisbet Hawke. 

Pretty soon now, Lisbet and Fenris will head back to Kirkwall, but Carver and Merrill and their patchwork clan will stay at Skyhold as long as the Inquisition remains (will Thayer disband in Trespasser? stay tuned…I haven’t decided yet 🙂 ). Merrill’s pretty much the best friend Lisbet has after Varric, so for her to not rush off after Lisbet but to come to the decision, with Carver, that their place is with the new clan and the clan’s place is in the Inquisition, is confirmation to Carver of his independence, and that’s one of the healthiest things that could happen to his sibling relationship.

Also, it does help that he’s got a really cute nephew now. That’s an excellent reason for Carver to stay on Lisbet’s good side…

Blogger Gatherings!

Click the button for reports from the 2010 Spring Blogger Gathering, hosted by Linett of Nimrodel!

Berethron of Brandywine hosted the 2010 Summer Blogmoot.

The Winter Blogmoot was held on December 4, 9 p.m. EST at the home of Telwen of Silverlode.

Next up: The Spring Blogmoot of 2011 shall return to Nimrodel with Tuiliel (Whart, aka user-1027520) hosting! Linett is looking forward to another local moot!



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