What was the worst day of your life, I wonder? Was there ever a time when you thought you would die, but you just kept on living, day after day?
Before dawn I was taken to the place of ritual, washed, prepared. It was a day of celebration. A day of remembrance. The day I was to become a full adult in the eyes of my people.
The day of my greatest shame.
To cry out or speak in any way would be to fail this test, though I thought about it several times. Just yell. Why would they do this to me? How can they bare it? Scream out your injustice and end this disgrace.
But I would have only been letting her win.
And so I let them fill in the beautiful curving lines of my vallaslin. The deep green of the forest, the leaves, the earth. Ghilan’nain, the halla mother. Green.
This was the final step. I would never be the First.
You see, in my clan and in many others, the Keeper’s Firsts do not fill in their vallaslin until it is time to take leadership of the clan. And then among much celebration, it is tattooed in most coveted golden ink.
Golden, like Marethari. Like my father, Keeper before her, whose magic runs through my veins.
My entire life is shame. The Keeper tells me nothing. Only that she has seen a “different path” for me. Hah! How could she send away to a different clan for another mage? How could she do that to me?
I don’t trust her. That woman hides secrets darker than the shadows of our past, and I will find out what they are. I will learn magic and the ways of the hunter both. I will conquer my shame. I must, if I am to live.
The dawn my tattoos were completed I wept silently and listened to the forest’s singing.
If I am to walk a different path, I thought, then I will meet it head first.
Freyja Mahariel, 8427 FA
Nehari was being sent to study with another clan at the age of ten when her group was set upon by Templars. She was taken to the Tower where she studied for eight years before she manged to figure out an escape on the coattails of another mage, some healer or other. She returned to her clan, where she hid from the Templars successfully for another three years before the Blight.
Ewyn was born in Denerim, where she was a slave to the nobles since she was a little girl. At the age of five, however, she began to show signs of magical ability, and the templars became suspicious. One day, she was getting beaten, and she became so angry that she threw the man off of her and into the wall with incredible force. She was shipped off to the Circle of Magi promptly that evening. Ewyn joined the wardens when she was sixteen, and since then, she has had a gift for elemental magic. She is very optimistic and enthusiastic about things, and tries to keep her party cheerful. She enjoys reading, learning new magic, and drinking tea.
Born in Minrathous, Misia comes from a line of Tevinter magisters. She lived happily with her doting parents and sisters, until circumstances took her away from her sheltered environment. As a mage of the Ferelden Circle, Misia spent most of her time fantasizing about the outside world and the prospect of returning home. Although Misia wants to help everyone that can be helped, she prefers to stand on the sidelines— until she joins the Wardens.
The night after she goes to her calling he looks out his window before bed and he talks to her. The moonlight shining on the tears that streak his face. He tells her he misses her. That he is not sure how to do this rulership thing without her. That his bed feels empty and cold without her beside him. That his heart feels empty and cold knowing that she is gone. That he can’t do this. And then he just sobs in the darkness without her to hold him.
A few days later he talks to her about her funeral. How he barley managed to make it though his speech. Eamon wrote him one but when it came down to it he just spoke from the heart. He cried in front of everyone. If a strong king is not supposed to cry he does not want to be a strong king. Besides he was not the only one crying that day.
A few years pass. Every evening before he goes to bed he talks to her. He tells her about the laws he’s made. About the ridiculous noble woman who try to show off their daughters in front of him. How he can’t believe he has not screwed the country up yet. How he has noticed his first few grey hairs. He expects his calling will come soon.
A few more years. He stares up at the moon and stars. He’s grown a beard. His hair is starting to recede Does she know he can still picture her laughing face? Every time someone bests him in combat he has flashbacks to her. The new generation did not even know the blight. He wonders what she would think about this new treaty. The servants asked him if he wants a single bed. He said no. His calling must be coming any day now…
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