|Sins of the Brother
Author: Deeca PM
Six years after saving Amaranthine & leaving Ferelden; Marlena Cousland is summoned back by Fergus and a dying Eamon to help Teagan heal from the tragedy of his family's massacre.Rated: Fiction M - English - Tragedy/Romance - Cousland & Teagan G. - Chapters: 26 - Words: 64,699 - Reviews: 88 - Favs: 51 - Follows: 65 - Updated: 05-08-11 - Published: 06-09-10 - id: 6036948
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A few weeks after Liam's birth, Marlena and Teagan settled into a comfortable routine.
Marlena was not the typical mother who usually left their babies to the care of nurses and nannies, only coming to feed them during a specific time. She took care of Liam during those first weeks, only relying on Britta when she needed a rest.
Liam slept in a cradle by their bed during his first few weeks before moving to the nursery next to their room.
Teagan was also not the typical father. Remembering how little parenting Eamon did with Connor as well as his lonely upbringing; he wanted to be there for his children as much as possible. At night when Liam cried, he'd get up first and bring him to Marlena. During the day when he wasn't in his study working or out with his men traveling to various bannorns under his rule, he would always make time with Rowan. They also always had breakfast and supper as a family.
With Britta helping with Liam's care, Marlena devoted herself to running the house and being a mother to Rowan. She began a routine of taking walks with Rowan after breakfast. As they walked she would teach Rowan her letters and how to count. After lunch, she would read to Rowan before her nap and they would always play before supper. Sometimes Rowan would sit by Liam's cradle when he was awake and would talk to him, speaking how she would protect him as well of all the things she wanted to do with him when he got older. It touched Marlena and Teagan to see Rowan with her brother. Occasionally her jealousy would flare but Teagan and Marlena would always diminish quickly by always including her and reminding her of her responsibilities as a big sister.
Marlena could not remember a time where she felt this happy and at peace. Her time in Antiva brought her sanctuary. It gave her new experiences and adventures. And while she did have good memories of her time there, it was easy to realize now that those escapades in Antiva were merely her way of escaping. Being Teagan's wife and the mother of his children was where she was meant to be. She felt blessed by the Maker by having this second chance.
Marlena came down the hall after breakfast and saw various servants bringing down crates and furniture under Lorne's direction.
"What is all of this?" Marlena asked.
Lorne turned and gave her a smile. A tall, jovial man with silvery gray hair, Lorne was originally the butler for Eamon and Isolde in Denerim years before the Blight but he quit, taking a job in Nevarra but recently returned after Liam's birth and happily reassumed his position. He was happy that Teagan was arl and was married but had been shocked and saddened by all the past events. Lorne proved not only to be a wonderful asset to the household; he turned into a good friend to Marlena. One day when Teagan was out, Lorne confided to her how he hated Isolde and how she was one of reasons he quit. He conveyed his frustration at how Eamon would basically ignore her actions.
"His grace wants to commence renovating the closed wing. These items are to be burned tomorrow," Liam explained.
"What are in the crates?" Marlena asked.
When Liam's cheerfulness dimmed, she knew that these crates contained what was left of Isolde's belongings. It was disconcerting how Isolde was still a lingering cloud over this house.
"I can see why Teagan wanted them burned," Marlena said.
"I am planning to give the furniture away my lady," Liam said. "It would be a waste to burn it."
"I agree," Marlena said. "Is there anything worth salvaging in those crates?"
"No," Liam shook his head. "It's mostly just papers, books, and assorted odds and ends."
"Very well," Marlena said. "I won't keep you. If you need me for anything, I'll be in the study catching up on some letter writing."
"Excellent," Liam said. "There's a shipment of fish and other supplies heading for Denerim the day after tomorrow. Just bring them to me when you're done."
"I will," Marlena promised as continued on.
A couple of hours later as Marlena sat in the rocking chair in Liam's nursery feeding him, her thoughts raced back to those crates. Connor was searching for anything about his mother. He wanted answers and she could not blame him for that. If Wynne's theory was true about Isolde possibly being an untrained mage, she could end up hurting more people.
Marlena kissed Liam and gently placed him back in his cradle and went to look for Britta to let her know she would be going outside for a bit.
Lorne said they would be burning those items tomorrow. She had to see if there was anything that would give Connor the answers he was seeking.
Marlena found the crates sitting against the wall next to a pile of other rubbish. Looking around, she was relieved to see the two guardsmen not paying attention to her as she went through the crates. After coming with nothing on the first crate, she rummaged through the second one until she felt some books and slowly pulled them out one by one.
"Chantry books," Marlena groaned but opened one and was surprised with what she saw. Some pages had been crossed out while the words on other pages had been crossed out. Weird symbols and writing filled the blank portions of some of the pages.
Marlena set aside the book and reached into the crate and pulled out a black book. Opening it to the middle section she read the entry.
The Warden bitch condemned my son to the Circle. I could have saved him if she had not come along with that bastard. What's done is done. I am just thankful to the Maker for giving me the ability to shield my abilities.
"I've been called worse," Marlena turned the page and read another entry.
Teagan and his wife are having another child. I guess I should not be surprised. It only took that one time for me to be with child. Eamon looks at me like I failed him. It's not fair. She does not deserve it. Teagan does not deserve it. I spent my entire life hiding my abilities. I honor the Maker everyday but what do I get in return? I should have never let Eamon forbid me to have Teagan again. It's not always passed to siblings. I know I could have given Eamon another heir if he had let me.
"Maker!" Marlena stopped reading and perused more pages which detailed her jealousy and paranoia toward anyone and anything that she felt that was getting in the way of her happiness. Her writings also detailed her
fear of losing Eamon as well as struggle to quell any urge to perform magic.
There was even mention of Jowan in one entry and how relieved she was to see how incompetent he was to not sense her abilities. Isolde even mentioned with pride how Eamon got the Warden whore to leave Ferelden.
Marlena knew Isolde disliked her but never realized the depth of it. Isolde hated her. There was an entry how Isolde resented how Teagan and Kaitlyn stood up to Eamon by remaining friends with Marlena. She also spoke of having more of a difficult time hiding her abilities when she was angry. She spoke of enjoying tormenting Kaitlyn by hiding things and moving them around. Marlena turned to another entry and gasped.
He has told me those children are demons and if left alive, will cause great destruction to Redcliffe and all of Thedas if not dealt with. He spoke of their mother and how she will continue to bear these demons disguised in the innocence of children. She must be stopped. He said the man will be free of her when he sees her die but he too must be punished. He is right. I will be saving their souls. Eamon will understand. This is the will of the Maker.
Marlena dropped the book, stumbled towards a bush and vomited. She looked around and was relieved the guards had walked around the corner and didn't see her. She walked to the fountain and splashed some water on her face. Sitting on the edge, Marlena slowly regained her composure as she struggled with what she just read. Perhaps becoming a mother had changed her perspective because reading these entries horrified her. For everything that she has witnessed and experienced, the evil was always upfront. It never hid behind a façade. Though her Warden abilities were gone she still had the instincts she was born with and they told her Isolde would be dangerous wherever she was. The templars had to know about this as well as Connor. The worst part would be telling Teagan. Standing up, Marlena went back to get the book and search the crates for anything else that will prove that Isolde needs to be dealt with. She knew two of templars at Redcliffe's chantry would be heading back to the Circle and made plans to write a note to Wynne before they left.
A few days later Marlena and Wynne watched as Connor read his mother's journal.
"I'm sorry Connor." Marlena said.
"It's alright," Connor closed the book. "I was prepared for this and there were some entries in the beginning that weren't so bad."
Connor was right. Some of the early entries before the Blight were relatively normal. They conveyed her love and devotion for Connor. Once she discovered his abilities the tone changed to paranoia. Marlena and Wynne also noticed the possessive tone she had whenever Teagan was mentioned. It was like Isolde assumed he was bound to her because of Connor. There was even a mention of her resentment of the saving of Redcliffe and Connor. Isolde had actually thought she could do it on her own.
What was most troubling were the entries after the Blight. Isolde started talking about some unnamed person telling her about the demons. This thing amplified her jealousy, resentment and paranoia. It started as soon as Connor was sent to the Circle and it grew worse.
"Connor do you remember anything that would indicate your mother was a mage?" Wynne asked.
"Sometimes I would lose a favorite toy and then all of the sudden it would appear out of nowhere," Connor said. "I remember there was one time when some curtains mysteriously caught fire. Everyone presumed it was because of a candle being too close to them."
"Did she ever do anything that seemed out of place?" Marlena asked.
"There were a couple of times where I would wake up and look for her and she wouldn't be there," Connor remembered. "Nobody knew where she was and then she would suddenly appear saying she was out for a walk."
"She must have been using the underground entrance then," Wynne said.
"From doing some research the other mages who hid their abilities, always had a secret place where they could practice without being discovered."
"Then we have to look," Marlena said. "Have you found any information on those asylums close to the Orlesian border?"
"I sent inquiries to all of them and they replied saying they have nobody with that name or description. These asylums are run by the Chantry. Eamon could have sent her to a private one that is not sanctioned by the Chantry."
"I can see him doing that to avoid the notoriety," Marlena sighed.
"I think we should investigate the castle and the grounds," Connor said. "Wynne and I should be able to sense any areas where magic could have been practiced."
"Like how you can sense where the veil is thin," Marlena said.
"Yes," Wynne said. "There are some differences but it's basically the same."
"Is the veil thin in the wing where it… happened?" Marlena asked. "I've walked by the area and sometimes it just feels like I am being watched."
Connor and Wynne glanced at each other and looked at Marlena.
"In some area it is," Connor admitted.
"But the tragedy imprinted on these walls has been diminished by the Liam's birth, Rowan's feisty spirit and the love you and Teagan have for them and each other," Wynne smiled.
"Teagan is not going to be happy when he finds out about this. I'm actually relieved he won't be back until tomorrow."
"Don't worry Marlee," Connor said. "We'll make Father understand."
"Once he knows that that the templars will be dealing with it, Teagan will understand," Wynne said reassuringly.
"We'll investigate the castle and grounds tomorrow," Marlena said. "I just hope we find something that shows Teagan that this important."
The next morning after breakfast, Wynne sat with Marlena holding Liam as they waited for Connor.
"He's grown so much since I've last seen him," Wynne smiled. "In a few months he could start eating some solid foods."
"Liam has been cutting his first tooth," Marlena said. "I'm just surprised since he's barely three months."
"It's different for every baby," Wynne explained. "It doesn't mean they will all come in at once. Just keep him comfortable."
"Britta and I have been giving him slices of melon to gum," Marlena said. "He seems to like it. One of the townsfolk is making me something that's supposed to help as well."
"He's very healthy and happy," Wynne said as she handed Liam back to Marlena.
"Let me give Liam to Britta to put down," Marlena said.
"She's giving Rowan her bath," Connor laughed. "She asked me to bring him in."
"Alright," Marlena smiled and brought Liam to Connor. "We'll wait for you."
Marlena kissed Liam on the cheek and watched Connor smile lovingly at his brother.
"Come on LB," He said as they left the room. "I'm man of the house until Father's return. It's my job to help keep you and Rowan safe."
"Connor is so good with him and Rowan," Marlena let out a contented sigh. "I just feel so bad about him dealing with what his mother has done."
"Connor is a very strong young man," Wynne said. "Finding the truth about Teagan being his real father has really helped him. And while he is sad about his mother, he no longer blames himself for what happened. She stopped being his mother a long time ago. He's more concerned about her doing more damage."
"I'm glad," Marlena said. "Teagan and I…we want just want him to be happy."
"Connor is very happy but he will rest easier getting closure from this." Wynne said.
Hearing Connor speaking to one of the servant in the hall; Wynne and Marlena got up to meet him so they could begin their search.
Several hours later they stood by the mill after exploring the entire grounds and buildings for any clue.
"We've looked everywhere and found nothing," Marlena said. "Maybe she didn't even leave the castle."
"Are there any cellars we missed?" Wynne asked.
Connor suddenly looked toward the door and glanced back at Marlena and Wynne.
"It's in the dungeons," He said. "I just felt something."
"Then that's where will go," Marlena said. "I have my signet ring and it's quicker to get to the castle."
Marlena shivered as they walked down the underground passage and entered the dungeons.
Glancing at Connor, she could see the tense expression on his face as he looked around.
"It has to be here. I can feel the remnants of it," Connor said.
"I don't see anything Connor," Wynne said. "I see empty cells and the entrance to the castle."
"Wynne, I know I'm not crazy," Connor said adamantly. "Mother did magic here."
"Maybe she did it one of the cells," Marlena said as she opened an old cabinet that was on the opposite side of the castle's entrance.
Marlena opened the old cabinet and door literally came off its hinges.
"This has seen better days," Marlena set the door down. Looking inside there was gaping hole and she reached for it. "There's something behind this! Help me push this."
"Step back Marlee," Wynne said.
Marlena and Connor stepped back as Wynne unleashed a stonefist spell that destroyed the cabinet.
As the dust settled, they were astonished to see the cabinet had concealed a door.
"Can you feel it Wynne?" Connor asked as he ventured to the door.
"Yes," Wynne said cautiously. "I can feel the darkness too."
"I never even knew about this," Marlena said. "I don't think Teagan did either."
"Given how that door came off, it's obvious someone moved that there along time ago to conceal that door," Wynne said. "If they wanted to come and go, it would be easy to push if they had magical abilities."
"Let's see what is inside," Marlena said as she studied the lock before getting the lockpick out of her pocket."
"Old habits die hard I see," Wynne remarked.
"Connor, go grab those torches by the entrance," Marlena said.
"Can I light them Wynne?" Connor asked. "It will save time."
"Yes," Wynne said reluctantly.
Marlena watched in awe as Connor held the torch and lit with a simple tap before handing it Wynne.
"Connor studied the elemental school as well creation and spirit," Wynne explained.
Marlena picked the lock and felt the door open.
"It's safe Marlee," Connor said. "That door was not closed to keep anything inside."
"The door let out a loud creek that echoed around them as she opened the door.
A gush of stale, dead air enveloped them as they entered the room.
Wynne found a stand for the torch she was holding and set it down.
"Maker!" Marlena gasped.
As Connor placed his torch on the side of the room, they were able to see the scorch marks on the wall. There was also a table against the wall that was littered with bones and other objects.
There were also weird symbols carved onto one wall.
"This is where my mother practiced magic secretly," Connor said softly.
"And this is also where she unleashed her rage," Wynne said. "Those symbols are demonic."
"What are these objects on the table?" Marlena walked over to the table and picked up a bracelet and set it down when noticing the vials.
"What is inside this?" Marlena picked up a vial and was starting to open it when Connor knocked it out of her hand.
"What is it Connor?"
"The Circle doesn't even use that style of vial Marlena," Wynne said. "There's also a glow. Those potions have concentrated amounts of lyrium in them."
"And that's forbidden," Marlena set the vial down.
"Lyrium is only supposed to be used for mana potions and occasionally some high end potions," Wynne said.
"It's also used in the Joining," Marlena said.
"We need to take these Irving," Connor said. "He will know more."
"Yes," Wynne agreed. "And this room needs to be sealed by the templars."
"So this is where she practiced magic," Marlena said.
"There were other atrocities committed here," Wynne said. "There are blood stains on the ground."
Marlena looked down and saw the stains and shook her head.
"Do you think she actually killed people here?"
"I don't think she killed them. She just took some of their blood," Connor said plainly. "But I think that started much later."
"This room needs to be sealed after we get everything," Wynne said firmly.
"What in the blazes is going on?"
Marlena turned to see Teagan standing in the debris of the cabinet. He looked confused as well as angry.
"Teagan," Marlena rushed to him. "We were planning to tell you when you came back."
"It's a good thing I came back early," Teagan raised a brow and entered the room. "What is all of this? I've never see this room before."
"The cabinet was blocking it all this time Father," Connor explained as Teagan came in the room.
"What is all of this?" Teagan looked around the room and then ventured to table.
"We should go inside the castle and sit down," Wynne said. "This is not going to be easy for you to hear."
"That's my signet ring," Teagan picked up it and held it up close. "I thought I lost it years ago, so I had it remain. It looks as if it was burned."
"Let's gets back to the castle," Marlena said gently.
"This was Kaitlyn's," Teagan picked up the bracelet.
"We think Isolde is a mage and has secretly hid her abilities," Marlena said.
"I know she was a mage," Teagan said. "It was in Eamon's last letter to me. I just never said anything."
Marlena expression tightened and she let go of Teagan's hand.
"It appears we all have something to discuss then," Marlena said as she turned and left the room.
Marlena didn't look at Teagan as he handed her a drink. She felt hurt that he knew about Isolde and decided not to tell her. Sitting back against the settee, she let Wynne and Connor do most of the talking and waited for Teagan's explanation.
"Eamon made the confession about Isolde in his last letter before he died," Teagan said set his drink down and looked at Marlena for any sort of reaction. "He did not until after their marriage but Isolde swore she could hide her abilities. Eamon was so blinded his desire he agreed to keep her secret."
"She certainly didn't show it when I saved Redcliffe," Marlena said. "She seemed genuinely frightened for Connor although her lack of concern for everyone who died because of her selfishness was clearly noticeable."
"In his letter, Eamon said she started to change after Connor was sent away."
"I remember," Connor said. "She didn't even come with us as we traveled to the Circle."
"Her behavior grew more and more erratic and when I married Kaitlyn and it grew worse after she had the children."
"Why didn't you say anything?" Marlena asked.
"Because I thought it was done!" Teagan got and paced around the room. "Isolde is locked up. She can't hurt anyone anymore. Connor has rightfully been acknowledged as my son and I make up for the time we lost."
Marlena glanced at Connor and saw the sad smiled on his face.
"And I have you, Rowan, and Liam," Teagan put his hands on Marlena's shoulders which made her soften. "I didn't want to worry you."
"Teagan, Isolde is an untrained mage and those symbols carved on the wall in that room are demonic," Wynne said. "She maybe docile now but if something is inside her; it poses a serious danger to everybody."
"Do you know where they sent her?" Connor asked.
"No," Teagan said. "Eamon never said anything. All I remember hearing is that he hired some mages from the collective and mercenaries to take her away and I remember being angry that she wasn't dead."
"Then it's clearly obvious he sent her to a privately run asylum that had very little communication with the Chantry," Wynne said. "I do believe the Chantry may keep a list of those places if complaints are made about the living conditions. I shall make an inquiry when I get back to the Circle."
"Connor I know Isolde is your mother," Teagan said. "And I can understand why you love her. Why are you pursuing this?"
"Father, she stopped being a mother to me the minute I knew of her lies," Connor said. "As a mage of the Circle, I know she must be dealt with. Whatever maybe lying dormant inside her could come back. I can't let her hurt anymore people."
"I don't want to deal with this," Teagan said. "I have my life back and the family I always wanted."
"You won't have to," Marlena promised. "All the evidence we have will be going to the templars."
"Alright," Teagan sighed. "I don't care what you do. Take everything out of that blasted room and make sure it's sealed."
"Connor and I will go to Templars here right now," Wynne said.
"If they find her wherever she is what will happen?" Teagan folded his arms and looked at her.
"She'll be taken away and sent to the Aeonar but if she fights back, they will have to kill her."
"Maker forgive me for saying that but I hope she does fight back because then I know it will truly be over," Teagan got up and walked away.
"I should go to him," Marlena said.
"I'm going to go to the chantry to get the templars," Connor said
"Take them to the mill," Wynne said. "I'll be there shortly."
As soon as Connor left the room, Wynne turned to Marlena.
"I think Teagan still suffers guilt from not being able to protect Kaitlyn and Michael and is afraid he won't be able to protect you, Rowan and Liam."
"But that's not true!" Marlena protested. "I feel safe here and I know our children our safe."
"He's a man Marlena and you of all people know what self doubt can do."
"I do," Marlena said as she stood up. "I'm going to talk to him right now."
"I'll tell the templars that they can talk to you tomorrow morning," Wynne smiled.
"Thank you Wynne."
Marlena found Teagan sitting by the fireplace in their bedchamber."
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the suspicions Wynne and I had sooner," Marlena put her arms around him.
"My brother has been dead nearly a year and his sins still hang like a dark could over this place," Teagan stroked her hand. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you about knowing about Isolde. I wanted to keep you and the children safe."
"I know and you are keeping us safe," Marlena said reassuringly. "And you don't have to worry. This is a templar matter now. They will find her and deal with her."
"I should have made it a point to know where she was."
"It's alright." Marlena kissed him.
His tongue tenderly touched hers, his lips gently sucking on her bottom lip. Teagan brought one hand up to the back of her neck, and his other hand gently pulled her lower back into him. Marlena could easily feel the firm bulge in his breeches, and ached to be touched. She brought her own hands down to his buttocks and squeezed them gently, pulling him into her as well. They embraced passionately, kissing and holding each other.
Marlena had been fully healed from giving birth weeks ago, but it took longer to adjust to the demands of a newborn and by the time they had time alone, she was usually exhausted.
"Are you sure?" Teagan asked hesitantly.
"I locked the door to our chamber," Marlena said as she unbuttoned his shirt. "I fed Liam earlier so Britta will use the bottle if he wakes up. Wynne and Connor are dealing with templars and she told me they would not bother us until tomorrow. I want to be with you. Now!"
Teagan undid the buttons of her dress and let it drop.
A soft moan came from Marlena as the feeling of need overcame her body. Teagan easily picked her up, and she wrapped her legs around him.
Teagan laid her gently down on the bed and unlaced his breeches. His erection was bursting out of his smallclothes as he hurriedly pulled them off and tossed them aside where they landed on his pants. Marlena licked her lips hungrily and slowly spread her legs.
"Maker!" Teagan growled as he entered her slowly. "You are…so tight!"
"Just something I learned from my time in Antiva," Marlena moaned.
Teagan paused and looked down into her eyes and smiled when seeing her ecstasy. He kissed her passionately as he slowly pulled out and then back in again.
She thrust against him and moaned, and their bodies glistened with sweat as they increased their pace.
Teagan reached down and found her throbbing pearl and teased it gently as his body began to tense. Teagan shuddered, letting out a feral moan as he spilled his seed inside her and was still riding the wave as Marlena reached her peak. Sighing with contentment, Teagan fell limp against her.
"I promise I'll last longer next time," Teagan said between breaths. "My need was greater than I realized."
"As was mine," Marlena let out a chuckle. "Liam is on a schedule now and both he and Rowan have Britta when we aren't present."
"Good," Teagan said. "I've missed this."
"Me too," Marlena said dreamily.
"I'm just glad the templars will be dealing with it," Teagan said. "Alistair and the people accompanying him will be here in a few weeks. I want everything perfect for their arrival."
"It will be," Marlena said as she snuggled against him. "You just want to show off."
"You know me too well my love," Teagan chuckled. "It's also been many years since Redcliffe has hosted the king. His visit is actually good for the arling."
"Just make sure there's plenty of cheese and I'll be sure to hide Rowan's golem dolls," Marlena said as she as she closed her eyes. "I'm just looking forward to teasing him about having to go to Orzammar."
Jonah watched in horror as Marcos sliced into Paul's body and poured his blood into vials. Isolde sat in the distance and laughed. Isolde nodded approvingly at Marcos and he used a spell to set Paul's body on fire. They were only seventy miles from Redcliffe but Isolde whispered something in Marcos ear and they had stop traveling.
They were now accompanied by seven apostate mages and a dozen men. The men seemed to be enthralled and did whatever the mages told them. Paul had tried to escape today but he was found and Jonah watched in horror as they chanted and sliced into him as he was still alive.
"You are so much more obedient than your dead friend," Marcos complimented. "Isolde is pleased."
"Yes," Jonah nodded. "I will do whatever you want."
"Such a good boy and much smarter than those other men," Marcos stated. "Isolde will reward you. She's going to reward all of us when we get to Redcliffe. We just have to wait a bit more."
"What are we waiting for?"
Isolde got up and went to him and Jonah tried not grimace for she smelled like the walking corpses he witnessed the mages summon a couple of weeks ago.
She caressed his cheek lovingly and for fleeting moment seemed normal until her eyes glowed red.
"We're waiting for Maric's bastard." She laughed.
Jonah recoiled for that voice and laugh was not human and he knew at that moment he was at the mercy of a demon.
A/N: To all my readers. I am so so sorry for the delay. First I had computer problems and lost the chapter, then my focus was on my other Teagan/Cousland AU Story, Chasing Ghosts, and then I got consumed by Dragon Age2. I just want to say thanks so much for all the private messages! :-) And let me reassure you that I have NOT abandoned this story! Thanks so much for reading!