The Commander’s Book - Chapter 2/? - “Of Wars and Passions”
It has been a few days since Cullen has brought the mysterious manuscript in his office, and he finally finds time to read through it. It seems to be a novel of some kind, but the genre gets less and less obvious as it slowly turns from a military romanced story to a gaudy love and smutt story. Meanwhile, the Inquisitor comes back from the field on edge.
Cullen Rutherford x F! Inquisitor Trevelyan - NSFW coming soon
Read the Chapter 2 on AO3
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Happiest birthday to my dear friend @tessa1972 ♥
Ich bin so froh, dass ich dich kennenlernen durfte! Ich hoffe du hast einen wunderschönen Tag und ich drück dich doll!
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“I have an affinity for ravens.”
- Meryn Trevelyan aka love of my life 🖤
Thank you @agirlgivesnofucks for yet another banger OC that I’m obsessed with
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My dear friend @tessa1972 celebrates her Birthday today!!! Wishing you all the best, darling, and let the love between your two bois warm your heart❤
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Guess who's playing Inquisition again...
Chapter 36: Though I’ve been having complicated feelings lately about my fic as a whole, the Hissing Wastes chapter delights me.
Sera shrugs, then bites at her fingernail. And Galen can't help but notice a rising welt along her forearm.
"What happened here?" he asks, pointing to the obvious injury.
No one was hurt when they arrived back at camp — or so he presumed. But the night was still ending and the sun hadn't risen, so it was hard to assess for scrapes and minor wounds.
"Not much," she says. "Lizard bit me."
"What sort of lizard?"
She laughs. "Lizard's one of the dracolisks. I've been giving them names. Lizard, Monti, Varric, Pavs, Trevs, things like that."
"Interesting," he says. "Dare I ask after their namesakes?"
"Monti's gold and blue like Josephine's favorite dresses. Varric's the short one. Pavs and Trevs are two of the stallions. I'm pretty sure they only like each other. You know. Like like."
"Got it, that's... sort of disturbing, actually." He chuckles, but only because he has no idea how else to react.
"Why? It's just normal nature stuff," she says. "Everyone likes who they like. Even if they're a weird lizard-horse."
"I meant the way you're naming them," he says. "That's the disturbing part."
It is funny, though, that she simply named one Varric. He's curious how the actual Varric will feel about that. He might not appreciate it much — especially if, as Galen suspects, it means Sera will be shouting things like "Varric bit me again! That little arsehole!"
"I name them after people," she says. "That's the whole point. Unsettle the unflappables. Like you."
She kicks his foot again. And then, as abruptly as she arrived, she hops up and wanders off towards the tent where Bull is sitting, chatting up one of Harding's scouts.
Once the whirlwind is gone and he's alone again, Galen resumes his writing.
Fandom: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorian Pavus/Male Trevelyan, Male Inquisitor/Dorian Pavus
Characters: Male Trevelyan (Dragon Age), Dorian Pavus
Additional Tags: Mage Trevelyan (Dragon Age), Backstory, Emotional Baggage, Mages (Dragon Age), Templars (Dragon Age), Original Character(s), Sided with Mages, Light Angst, Letters, Diary/Journal, POV Third Person Limited, POV Inquisitor (Dragon Age), Loyalist mage point of view, Romance, Inquisitor & Cassandra friendship, Ostwick Circle (Dragon Age), Canon divergence regarding Ostwick, Happy Ending, Adding that happy ending tag because yes of course they're still together after Trespasser, Pavelyan - Freeform, Sex, Falling In Love, Love Confessions, Requited Love, Monogamy, Tal-Vashoth The Iron Bull (Dragon Age), Loyalist mage who stops being Loyalist, Intimacy
Series: Part 1 of DAI: Knight-Enchanter Trevelyan
Galen Trevelyan thinks of Ostwick, where his friends are still safely sequestered, keeping well away from the war. He wishes, and not for the first time, that more circles had been like Ostwick, and fewer like Kirkwall.
Mage Trevelyan's story, revealed through letters, documents, and narrative.
(Having mixed feelings about what I'm doing here lately. See my series note for details, if interested. Feel free to weigh in with concrit or negative feedback should you feel so inclined. I don't mind it.)
All of this happened because of fanatics and arguments about the next world. It’s time we start believing in this one.
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WIP Wednesday (?)
Thank you for the tag @varric-tethras-editor!
This is from the next chapter of my DA:I 1930′s murder mystery AU (which I am well aware is an offensively absurd concept but I have nothing else to offer) + an art WIP. I’m also kantrips on AO3 if you want to have a gander at the first three chapters!
“I didn’t think…” Cullen trailed off.
Evelyn let out a derisive sound and began to work at the tight lid of the piccalilli jar. “No. You didn’t.” Her voice was strained as she began to struggle with the jar, her nose scrunching with the effort. “I used to think you understood me best of anyone but recently I’m beginning to feel like you don’t know me at all.”
“You’re shutting me out.”
“And you’re assuming the worst,” she told him, voice increasingly faint from the effort, but the lid wouldn’t budge.
Growing agitated watching her, Cullen reached for the jar. “Give it to me.”
She twisted away from him. “No!”
“For Andraste’s sake Evelyn, stop being stubborn and let me do it.”
Evelyn gave the lid a final wrench and it popped off. A shared moment of surprise disrupted both of their mounting animosity, but only fleetingly before they remembered themselves and it descended once more in full force. Evelyn glared at his still outstretched hand. Cullen retracted it. “I don’t need anything from you.”
“You’ve misunderstood my intentions,” Cullen rationalised, desperate to get the conversation back on track and making a concerted effort to keep his voice even.
“So I’m in the wrong again? Good to know.”
He let out an incomprehensible noise of frustration. “That’s not fair.”
“It’s like I’ve always said: you’re the only one I can rely on to tell me the truth, Cullen,” she said his name like a curse and with enough venom to make him wince. “I’m glad to know what you really think of me,” Evelyn continued, voice still brittle as she began spooning dollops of what seemed like far too much piccalilli onto the waiting slices of bread.
“Evelyn…” Cullen began, but he didn’t know what he wanted to say. He finally opted for an admittedly unwise, “Don’t overreact,” and the look she gave him in return might have made a weaker man turn and flee.
“To being called callous?” She let out a scoff. “Next you’ll accuse me of killing her.” Cullen was silent for a moment and it was a moment too long. Evelyn’s posture went rigid and she turned slowly to him, not angry now, just dismayed, still clutching the spoon in one hand and the jar in the other. “Oh Maker, I really am a suspect.”
Bonus related art WIP (and by WIP I mean I’ll never finish it):
Thank you if you read this far! I’m already late with this so if anyone else wants to be late with me please feel free to consider yourself tagged!
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100 days of writing ||Day 18||
Thank you @the-wip-project for the daily asks. This one was great, it helped me put into writing what I’m wasting spending my time thinking about.
Although the image below is a pretty good summary :-)
Day 18 (June 18th, 2021): What ideas came to you recently from daydreaming?
Well, let’s be honest, most of the time I spend daydreaming involves the 2 dorks above. Probably because I have a number of WIPs for them, and they are the pairing I am exclusively writing at the moment.
I would like to change that, honestly, but you know, I figure I shouldn’t complain that they are providing me with inspiration on a continual basis. So I’m fully embracing my daydreaming about Loryen and Cullen.
In terms of ideas, well, mostly they are to do with the WIPs (see under the cut)
“Like A Violin’s Bow”: this is a playlist-inspired longform, where each chapter is linked to a song, and it covers Loryen’s journey from her Circle days to Post-Trespasser. I mostly focus on her relationship with Cullen, as opposed to in-game events, and her struggles with being the Inquisitor. Since I’ve been working on this for over 10 months, I don’t often come up with new ideas for it, unless a new tune or a song catches my ear.
“Thirty One Years Of Cullen Rutherford”: A Cullen character study, this is my upcoming side project, which I’ve mentioned a few days ago. Using the 31 prompts from the “Stories of Thedas” July event, I will attempt to get to know my version of Cullen, in Loryen’s world state. This is where most of the daydreaming energy gets expended at the moment.
"Airs of the Inquisition”: A companion project to the longfic, which I’m hoping to start after the summer. Loryen is a musician, and this will focus on the “airs” she composes about her companions/advisors/friends. A collection of one-shots to focus on the connections Loryen forges in the Inquisition. I’m currently working on gathering music for that, so that’s done mostly while I’m “drivingdreaming” or “doingboringchoresdreaming”.
Not sure I will want to share/publish/finish all the above, but it’s good to have a plan anyway.
I have a few more ideas, mostly for my other, much too neglected OCs, but I guess there’s only so many things that can occupy my mind lol. So I’ll stick with my two for now.
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Alexandra in the Forbidden Oasis.
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Varric notices things; that’s what he’s good at. Well, this and writing stories. But mostly, he cares, watches, and sees things. It has been on his mind since a few days, but he knows he’s right. He’s seen this gaze before. The Herald of Andraste is longing for something, or someone.
The cackle of fire is low and the group is silent. It’s a lovely night in the Hinterlands and things are going great so far; after all Cassandra hasn’t locked him up yet. The warmth of a bowl of soup in the middle of the Ferelden cold is delectable. While everybody is busy eating, the Lady is deep in thoughts, staring at her bowl.
If Varric loves one thing more than writing and observing, it would be teasing. It is a perfect occasion. Aside from the Seeker and Solas, nobody else is within earshot, and the mask of the Herald of Andraste could fall.
“Tell me if I’m wrong,” he casually inquires. “Would our Lady Trevelyan, by chance, have a crush on someone?”
He doesn’t have to wait for an answer as her reaction is fast and eloquent. Well, not just hers. Uriell’s cheeks turn red by the second, her eyes wide open in shock, and Varric is glad he has not asked while she was eating or she would have choked; the same way The Seeker just did. He does not know which one of the two ladies is the more dumbfounded, as Cassandra is left hanging, staring at him, with a similar crimson color to her face. Well, that’s interesting. Solas barely lifts his gaze from his bowl but does not hide his chuckle.
“What? What are you talking about, Varric?” Cassandra blurts, eyes flying from him to the Herald, hiding behind her soup. “What-- Is that true?”
The excitement of the Seeker is way too noticeable and unexpected of her, but she doesn’t think of hiding it. Uriell notices the starry eyes of her companion and baffles “Wait, me? what? no, no-- nothing like that I--”
Cassandra is an open book, and disappointment all over her face. She turns back to her bowl, ears still red as she realizes her behaviour. “I am sorry, I didn’t mean to...”
“Hey, Seeker, I’m the one who asked, no need to apologize,” Varric points out before locking eyes with the Herald. “I do not mean to pry, but for writing these things, I know that look way too well my Lady.”
Uriell does not answer. She’s still blushing and is carefully thinking about her answer. When she puts down her soup, Varric smiles again.
“Don’t you dare tell anyone--” she shys away.
Varric clicks his tongue. Cassandra is captivated. He knew it. He can’t wait to ask more questions.
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It’s true isn’t it?
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100 days of writing ||Day 17||
Day 17 and today’s question is courtesy of @the-wip-project
I will answer for my 3 girls: the Warden, the Champion and the Inquisitor (left to right)
Day 17 (June 17th, 2021): Think about an interview question for your main character/s and then write down what they don't say. What secrets do they keep? What do they lie about?
I didn’t quite get to write an interview question but I’m pretty sure that any interviews my OCs would take part in would see every single one of them reluctant to talk about their private lives. This is a trait of mine I have directly passed on to my 3 main characters, but for different reasons.
Eirica Amell, my Warden, has lived in a Circle since she was four, and was mostly on her own for much of that time, as she didn’t forge any meaningful connection with anyone. She is just not used to talking about herself. Especially her feelings. She can’ understand why anyone would want to know about her, other than her role as a Warden. That is all anyone needs to know about her. So if an interviewer asked her about her private life, or her love life, she would just not answer. Her scowl would be warning enough for the interviewer to know it is time to move on. Any other subject, and especially if it’s something she likes, she will talk about at length.
Marianne Hawke, my Champion, will be amiable, friendly and chatty throughout the interview. But any questions about her family will be deflected with a little self-deprecation. A lifetime spent as an apostate will help one develop such skills. It was paramount for the Hawkes that the fact three of them were mages remained a secret and Marianne learnt from a young age what to reveal and what to hide. She will give the impression of answering, but in fact will give away nothing of substance.
Loryen Trevelyan, my Inquisitor, is not the most eloquent in situations where she is under pressure and uncomfortable. Interviews would be challenging for her, and even more so if she is asked personal questions. Talking about her family is out of the question, seeing she has nothing good to say about them. All she tolerates revealing about the Circle is the fact she was happy there, the rest is just too painful to discuss with strangers. Finally, in her very public persona as the Inquisitor, she is used to every aspect of her life being dissected and discussed, and this made her fiercely protective of her private life. In order to do that, she normally deflects the question by asking a question, since she noticed most people love talking about themselves, and forget to pry as a result. But in an interview it might be tricky, so she might just request to move on to the next topic.
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Inquisitor: Did Solas just tell me he loved me for the first time?
Inquisitor: And did I do finger guns back?
Dorian: yeah, you did.
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Cole: You have a crush on the inquisitor.
Solas: That’s not- I’m- I don’t just fall for anyone who’s nice to me!
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“Metanoia”／ i. Solace
A/N: Symbolism, animal associations and dreams.
Created: May 31, 2021
Words and pages: 994 words; 1 page.
The burning aroma fades behind him as he blurs through the trees. No longer are there faces of mages and templars at war, or of a king betrayed by a friend, or of titans and generals and gods at odds, of red and blue blood sprawling from the earth. The black has swallowed it all, enabling him to enter a comfortable silence and the primal need to hunt beats loud within him as it should be.
Beneath the canopies of stretched black and rustling green, a white wolf runs — bounding over wood, rock and water; relentless in its pursuit. He looks lightless, weaving through the dark, and his breathing fast, the snarls emanating once in a while; the forest seems to turn soft underneath the force of his paws. He is a thoughtful point of white in a blur of darkness and moonlight, and the only one in this uncertain dreamscape — whizzing past trees, senses heightened.
The need to hunt is strong tonight, and he has captured the scent of his prey, but not the feeling. And he wants the feeling: fangs sinking deep, jaw unhinged and clasped around the tender flesh, paws pressed upon the skin as he yanks his head and snarls and growls in need, ripping tendon and muscle and feasting like no tomorrow — this is what drives him to pursue, what drives him to the excellent blooming of satisfaction itself, coaxing it to build a nest upon his being.
Heartbeat in his ears, he commits to focus, wary of teetering along the edge of frenzy, determined to find the doe. He needs the doe. It would save him from his madness.
A snap of a twig — and he, too, snaps his gaze toward the supposed source.
There is a momentary silence, and with his heartbeat in his ears comes the waiting, the searching — but nothing surfaces among the trees, to which the wolf pauses, sniffing the ground before him. He huffs and his gaze wanders, and when nothing still appears, he paces around the spot he is standing on, attention back unto the soft earth. His head lowers to the ground once more. Hooves, no wider than that of a flat rock are imprinted into the ground, one after the other, and he slowly follows the trail, nose still to the ground.
Another snap of a twig. It is not a mistake, he determines. There is something there! His head now above the rocks and bushes within periphery, his gaze wanders. Nothing still. He is growing impatient, craving the satisfaction of the kill. He sniffs the ground once more, and with his head lowered, continues to move forward as he does his best to move as silently as possible.
But then, a bristle among bushes that lasts for a few seconds, earning him his gaze. Head raised to the source of the sound, he spots a white deer among the bushes, seemingly unaware of the wolf.
Victory, he thinks, and everything is so simple now.
The wolf, now satisfied with his discovery, snarls and breaks into a run — the doe taking its own course and away, wolven speed enhancing for as much as his legs can take him. Rocks and leaves pass by him now and seemingly through him as he weaves through the earth in search of his prey. The path becomes more open, rocks set aside, coaxing him to go faster, faster, faster — and it seems to go on forever, this running, until he reaches a forest clearing with redwoods now taller than he last remembers stalking this scenery. There is an eerie green light along the treeline with mist wafting among the trees. Perhaps the moonlight, he figured, or an ill omen.
He stops. The air is clear and fresh.
The deer, however, is no more.
For a moment, he is confused — for in place of a doe were rocks and the statue of a rested wolf, upon a stone dais. If he were any more human he would recognize it to be of his reflection and be more inclined to turn back, but he begins to pace around the statue, sniffing for traces of the doe. He cannot afford to lose the trail.
… But he has. And so he points his snout to the sky, a short though eager howl rumbling from his throat. He has lost her; she has fled, and there is no other way to have her return. He rests against the statue, breath slowing until his head lowers upon his paws. Moments pass — for what seem to be ages — and then a short hooting resounds in the air.
His attention is not caught. Good, she thinks, and her pair of white wings beat and glide in the air, behind the statue’s silhouette. Its flight is quiet, nearly nothing — yet its claws are retracted. It drifts to the lupine statue's rear and lands, and with her gaze fixed upon the wolf, the owl tilts her head as it observes.
Is he dreaming? A tilt of her head; he does not move. Perhaps so, she begins to believe, and her call resounds once more.
And because it is much closer now, the wolf’s head raises and he gazes upon the owl. How long has she been there, he wonders, and he sits on his hind legs. A short howl to follow, and the owl begins to chirp — a note of gladness as she slowly walks along the length of the statue’s back, still quite wary to approach him. And then, she settles, a reasonable distance still between them.
Time seems to have stopped. A somewhat earnest moment is woven between them — a curiosity that imprints upon both; of one trying to understand the other. Perhaps they never will, but for a moment in time, everything stops — their gazes are fixed, in the blue-green light against the gloom.
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“Metanoia” / Prologue
A/N: Nervous to post this here before I do so on my AO3... so have at it: a prologue — to everything that hurts under the Solavelyan umbrella; and in my opinion, another potential tragedy that sincerely should have been explored besides Solavellan. Because while I do understand the tragedy of it, in my opinion in spite of the intricacies of the supposed pairing, it was overhyped. And because Maker knows how god-awful the human-elf dynamic has been, stretching over thousands of years — so, to know that there could be two from separate ages that could hold affection for each other ... the possibility and tragedy is worth exploring. Think Aragorn and Arwen — with the angst turned up to 110 (potentially.)
Written on: Jun 12, 2021
Words and pages: 2918; 3 pages.
“Can we sit? Five minutes. My feet are starting to ache. I can’t keep up.”
“If we stop now, we'll get lost when evening comes.”
Adalen exhaled as she struggled, knees wanting to buckle, and all the while her companion, a researcher, trudged on forward. They had not stopped moving since dawn, and now it was nearing five in the afternoon. The map given to them by Divine Victoria, their former spymaster, was nearly indecipherable — the only things that still made it worth keeping were indications of landmarks: of massive statues of rested wolves, ruined bridges, and toppled trees and mossy rocks, and other intricate indications that already told a story of people that used to frequent here and initiated pilgrimages, without the complete picture.
All this and more, Adalen and Thomas passed by — until Adalen called to stop and she sat upon a rock that overlooked the river.
“I don’t understand why we even need to do this.” Adalen frowned, eventually sliding down to sit upon the ground. She managed to quickly remove her shoes and let them rest ahead of her, toes flexing and craving relaxation. “I’m fine with being a scout, but this is…”
Thomas relented, giving himself a chance to rest. He sat next to her. “I know,” the calm assurance came, “considering their decision in the Exalted Council all those years ago.”
“They disbanded,” Adalen pointed out, “or so it was noted, and that it was a final decision. So why this?” She gazed out into the river. She never truly understood “... Politics is bullshit. Leave the poor woman alone. She’s lost a husband.”
Thomas wistfully gazed at her. As a researcher personally selected by the Divine, in spite of his personal beliefs he wanted to ensure the purpose would be accomplished. “... It would be remiss of me to simply acknowledge your feelings as insignificant just because you are young.” He then removed his beret.
Adalen never liked being regarded as young, nor dismissed only because she accepted things as they were, and this was one instance where he would honor that.
“You are correct, however, that it is all bullshit.”
She scoffed. “For a researcher under the Divine’s command, I figured you truly wanted to fulfill the religious directive instead of having your own volition.” Adalen may have been raised among the Dalish, but her choice of words were measured, and she wanted to make sure she got her point across — especially to someone like Thomas. “Do you believe in the Maker?”
He turned his head to her, giving a look that could only speak, “Really? This question?”
“I believe in a higher power,” he relented, sighing. “Does it have to be necessarily dubbed ‘The Maker’, or some such else? Not truly. We craft our own gods, our own destinies.”
Adalen thought about the history of her people, and their perceptions about the Evanuris. Powerful mages that assumed dominion over all, and were praised as ‘gods’ by those below their rank. Then she thought about the woman they were tasked in searching for.
“... Did she believe in the Maker? Did she believe she was the Herald?”
Thomas smiled. “According to the Divine’s journals, in her sections about her — the former Inquisitor never openly regarded herself as the Herald, and called for order amongst all.” He patted his beret, which was laid upon his lap. He then grabbed his waterskin and after a moment, slowly drank.
Adalen frowned. “So… she basically accepted the role for the hell of it? And… just did whatever?”
Thomas laughed at the propensity of the term. “When you are the only one that survives an explosion and a green mess appears in the sky — you are therefore called to a purpose, and in such dire need, people seek validation and something to believe in. That is what the former Inquisitor did, she simply stepped up to the task, merely taking initiative in what she needed to do, never reveling in the glory of it.”
A hum escaped Adalen, as she nodded. “...And in the same vein, we do what we need to do, we step up to the task because the Divine has chosen us.”
The researcher nodded. “Because the Divine wills it so,” he says, “and we search for the former Inquisitor because she is the only one who truly knew him.”
Adalen reached into one of her pockets and took out the illustration of an artifact they were tasked to look for. She focused upon it, fingers lightly touching the paper. She committed its shape to her memory; that once they showed it to her, she would know, and it would confirm everything.
“We best get moving before we lose her, then,” she notes, putting her shoes back on slowly and getting up. Thomas followed suit.
She was almost like a legend, the former Inquisitor — and according to Divine Victoria, and who was now apparently living in a quaint cottage in the Arbor Wilds, nestled quietly within the wildlife and visited by the occasional colorful bird. Her constituents in Ostwick and their descendants had regarded her as somewhat of a hero, and they still celebrated her birthday each year to honor her memory. But at the end of everything she chose to withdraw and live her life in solitude, within nature where she could never be found.
Why? The question nagged at her now. She had potential family, among her constituents (after all, family can be the people you personally choose to place your trust and love in), and members of the former Inquisition still kept in touch with each other in spite of their different paths now in life.
Was it the loss of her husband, the former commander? Which was usually the immediate thought, as grief and loss can overwhelm a person. It can drive someone to become reclusive or certainly more selective of the company they keep. It would take a lot of fortitude for the former Inquisitor to keep her wits about her in spite of her isolation — and yes, Adalen hoped that when they found her, she wasn’t crazy.
Perhaps nobody would truly ever know. And whether the rest of the masses would know what happened to her and understand, in spite of the Inquisition’s disbandment, it all depended on their interaction today. And they had the immediate privilege as granted to them by one of the former Inquisitor’s most reliable persons when the organization was active.
Adalen made it a point to remember to not waste any moment once they spoke with her.
Eventually it seemed that they ascended the wilds, and then came to a clearing, with two, enormous and toppled trees behind the home which nearly served as a very convenient fence around the structure, though its left side was open and overlooked the Temple of Mythal. A wonderful view, and thankfully not too high up, though it seemed as such upon first glance — what the length of the bridge could afford, across the expanse of water, leading to the main circular area was a sight to behold. It would be a shame to lose the former Inquisitor by a mere glance. Adalen spotted a window to the side, overlooking the view. Ah, she didn’t have to worry.
Thomas took a sigh and glanced around the place. It was quiet, and a little area for feeding birds that flocked to her home was designated. There were sections around the outside of her home that were set for a little garden, and a little porch as well. Items that told of her comfort and her solace were sprinkled around the area. Thomas neared the porch, and gazed upon each section. Endearing, he thought, that the former Inquisitor should acclimate to the wilds so easily and that she had already planned this much. Her husband’s coat upon a rocking chair that was turned so she could garner the spectacular view of the Temple of Mythal; a red blanket upon the chair, and a mug upon a small table close by. It made him sad, really; to think that she had decided to live such a life, but it seemed the trauma was deeper than he realized. Perhaps she had been here many times before, even prior to the death of her husband, and she’d scouted the area for a suitable place to retire.
Adalen double-checked the map she was given by the Divine and another roll of parchment that had a light sketch of the two trees. The sketch was rather rough, but it seemed to still match the location, and she did her best to stifle a smile as she gazed upon Thomas — half of her eager to sit down and rest her feet, the other half excited to finally meet the esteemed woman.
“I… suppose we’re here,” she began, doing her hardest to suppress the lilt in her voice.
Thomas gazed upon her briefly and smiled, though more of his focus was upon the cottage itself. It was charming, of course, reminiscent of a typical home in Crestwood but a lot cozier and more robust, like a standard Fereldan home. As much as he wasn’t fond of Orlais as a whole, it seemed Briala and Gaspard were able to work together with the Divine and work in providing the former Inquisitor one last grace, especially after the Exalted Council.
It took a few moments before Thomas mustered the courage to approach the pathway that led to the porch, holding his messenger bag against him. He was ready to take notes and pen down the former Inquisitor’s life since the disbandment—
A hum resounded as the front door opened, and out came a woman whose lines were growing visible upon her face in spite of the melodious and supposedly-happy hum. The scout and the researched stared. Adalen swallowed, trying to muster her courage, and Thomas in turn caught his breath as she came into view.
The former Inquisitor closed the door behind her, the soft wind caressing the lengthy white dress she wore, as she ensured the sheer white shawl upon her head and shoulders, her braided hair resting upon a shoulder. She turned to approach her rocking chair — she carried another maroon blanket, for which she traded the old upon the chair, for the new in her arms. “So many of you again today,” she uttered, and the two realized she was speaking to the birds. “...It has been a while.”
Thomas slowly approached. “Inquisitor?”
A double take, a hold of breath — she’d never noticed they were there, and she hugged the blanket closer to her body. It is easy to dismiss them, but she simply gives them a wistful smile, recognizing the colors of their outfits. Ah, yes. Ochre and grey. She can remember the very day these colors echoed confusion, betrayal, and sadness. But those days were long ago. There is no need to linger.
Neither was there a need to hide. “I am afraid that title no longer bears any weight as it used to.” She is wistful, and for a moment she recalls the very day she was shown the Writ and the Inquisition was founded. So long ago.
“We came to find you,” Adalen speaks up, and she approaches, maps and parchment and the image in her hands. “...The Divine willed us so.”
Leliana. “Truly?” How sweet — she was still thought of, to this day, though she knew Leliana was not without her reasons, and her cunning left a trail of motivation. “... I know for one your Divine usually has heavy reasons when she is looking for someone.” the former Inquisitor raised a brow, a knowing smile gracing them both.
Thomas did not falter. He could not lie. The former Inquisitor was known to be quite perceptive and intuitive. “We came to seek the truth. Every word, every memory, committed to writing. Though… perhaps not explicitly, of course. Not all are needed, only the important ones.” Maybe he did not have to mention that. Of course, she would never let anyone know her heart’s secrets. “But we will not let the world forget you.”
And she thought of Inquisitor Ameridan and how the Chantry had tarnished his memory, his heritage, by writing over it with what men and women of faith preferred instead.
“I want to believe,” the elven rogue blurted, and perhaps Thomas should have told her to hold back — but he didn’t. Adalen’s gaze upon the woman was gentle, and strong; her hands holding onto her papers a little more firmly than she should.
The Inquisitor raised her chin, not in defiance, but in awe with her honesty.
And she thought of her once-lover, who wistfully imprinted upon their final meeting that he would never cast her memory to the wind, and he would carry her with him, always; a man of poignant words and wisdom, yet with memories and demons that she could not save him from.
Knowingly, the former Inquisitor nodded and turned to open the door behind her, deterring from her porch and the rocking chair. The birds are able to sustain themselves for now. No need for her to devote her attention to them. The birds reminded her of friends and comrades in the Inquisition.
“Don’t forget to close the door behind you.” And with that, she headed back inside her cottage.
Adalen and Thomas gazed upon each other, and watched as the former Inquisitor disappeared into her home. The scout steeled herself and followed the researcher, who was already raising his messenger bag from being slung upon his body, ready to take out his papers and quill pen.
The home was as cozy as Adalen imagined upon their first glance; windows were open, enabling the breeze of the Wilds to caress as gently as it should. The sheerest of cream-toned linen, serving as drapery — signs of a softer existence for a woman who had been hardened by efforts and loss. The Divine had wanted to adorn the home with the most luxurious fabric, but the former Inquisitor declined. In spite of living so minimally, Adalen spotted ceramics of white and gold, and though they were few, it was notable that they were gifted by Josephine, directly from Antiva. They were untouched. A short stack of books were set upon a window nook that had wolf furs and sage green and cobalt blue pillows — ah, from Magister Pavus, Adalen surmised — as she could recall a shipment being sent out to the Inquisitor a year or two prior. A collection of coins as souvenirs, framed with black wood, hung upon a wall — only Viscount Tethras would be so kind to afford such an expensive collection as decor. A Templar sword hung above the window nook itself; there was only one man in her history that lived a life of service.
There were more items of significance. All these memories, Adalen thought, and this was a little world all to herself.
She sat at the dining table, eager to service her visitors. The former Inquisitor had already prepared three mugs upon the dining table in the middle of the room, and a kettle which she lifted so gently from the stove. She poured hot tea into the mugs, while Thomas slowly placed his messenger bag at the one far end of the table, away from the supposed area of discussion. It would be rude, after all, to have items cluttered where they needed to see each other so clearly. Adalen was the last to sit. The former Inquisitor settled the kettle upon the table, away from their hands and the mugs she had set. Once the scout sat down, she unfurled the parchment and maps before her, as well as the image.
Of course. The former Inquisitor touched the illustration of the artifact. There was a fondness in her gaze, and one that would birth a gift of her silence and her knowing, upon the scout and the researcher.
Thomas watched as the woman rose from her seat, disappeared into her bedroom, and came out with a long box made of redwood. She sat with them once more, and turning the box so they could see the brass latches, pushed it toward them.
Adalen gave Thomas a look that seemed to ask for permission. “May we?” he asked, on behalf of his scout companion.
They earned a gentle nod. Adalen carefully lifted the latch and there, settled upon velvet, was a wolf jaw pendant and its long leather strap. Adalen could only bite her lip in disbelief, and briefly touched the dark pendant. Her people had perceived the Dread Wolf as an outcast, and instilled upon their children that he was the denominator — but here was a mortal woman that could attest to the opposite. And she was eager to be proven wrong.
These two, who trekked so far to find her, had already earned her respect. That even through the grace and order of the Divine, they were so quiet, so earnest, and already full in their intent. Thomas quietly took out his papers and quill and ink, after the satisfaction of seeing the pendant in his periphery.
The Inquisitor raised her chin, a door to her memories slowly opening. A fond smile began to bloom as she warmed her hands with the mug of tea.
“... So, you’ve found me at last,” she quietly said. “I suspect you have questions.”
A/N: Adalen and Thomas are mine. And I hope you enjoyed that echo of Althea’s once-lover at the end. 🤍
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Cullen and Lydia Trevelyan smut
It’s not often her commander is late. It’s not often her commander keeps her waiting. But he kneels in front of her with a thousand apologies. She’s not really angry—not truly. But perhaps she’ll make a face, pout, and make him think he is.
Except he doesn’t believe it. He smirks when he kisses her hand a hundred times. He’s all sweaty and still pink from training. His hair has long broken free of it’s hold and curls fall against his forehead. She hates sweat, can’t imagine going to bed covered in grime or taking a lover to bed when he’s covered in sweat and muck. But he leans in to kiss her, cups her cheek in his broad hand before gently yanking on the small bun at the base of her neck. It tugs free, her hair falling behind her as he deepens the kiss. He tastes like wine from earlier, salty sweat on his lips. He tastes too good for her to refuse him, though she’d never refuse him. No matter how the night goes, no matter how much she’ll play proud, she’s as much of an ardent worshipper of him as he as of her.
“I am sorry, my lady,” he says when he parts. “Forgive me.”
“Hmmm.” He’s so earnest she almost breaks. “Forgiven.”
“Is there some way I may repent?”
A smooth hand runs through his slightly damp hair. “Give me your mouth Commander.”
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Just me thinking about Alex or Amayian going stargazing with Leliana, and the Inquisitor says, after Leliana asks why are they staring at her and not the stars, “Why should I gaze upon such light, when you are my favorite star?”
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