|R is for Rylock
Author: karebear PM
Character alphabet. Crazy-dysfunctional relationship with Anders, pre-Tower backstory, daily life bits, emotional drama. Q: How much trouble can we get up to in 26 letters? A: All of it. ALL of the trouble.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Angst - Rylock & Anders - Chapters: 26 - Words: 11,945 - Reviews: 72 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 03-04-12 - Published: 02-01-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7797095
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
T is for Templar
She thinks it's ironic that they phrase it as a question, as though she really has a choice in it. They've been creating her for years.
In the beginning, they simply watched her very closely, gently guiding her back to the overcrowded dormitories when she lingered too long at doorways, pulled toward the familiar freedom of the Denerim streets, where she had to earn every scrap of food and fight every second for survival, but at least she understood the things she was supposed to do.
After a while, when they'd given her enough time to settle in, they stopped treating her as a young child who needed to be lulled with food and coaxed with kind whispers and calm touches. They switched over to harsh threats and harsher punishment. There were rules she was expected to follow, but the one threat they never made was kicking her out. She was caught in their cage now, they all were, and not fitting in meant a separation enforced by the other kids, a punishment that stung far more than anything the grown-ups in charge could dish out.
It's only later that she realized it's what they wanted, for these abandoned children to learn to channel their aggression in an appropriate manner. By that time, they had already begun learning swordplay, alongside lessons in carefully selected history and the indoctrination of the Chant, over and over, every day, until they could all recite it from memory, it sang in their sleep.
With their new knowledge came new responsibilities, less free time to find escapes, even to the old doorways where a long time ago she used to stand to watch the sun and sky, or feel the breezes that carried the hawking cries of the city that lived all around her, a whole world away. Those things didn't seem to matter as much any more, not when she was praised for her skill and composure, her devotion to the Maker and to her own training. They gave her a tiny vial, showed her how the blue liquid contained within the glass made it so much easier to focus, and walk away from the distractions of that outside world. It made the colored-light reflections of the Chantry windows brighter and sharper, more inviting. Why would she want to walk away?
It pumped through her blood like fire and lightning, crackling warmth and charging energy, a surging bloodlust that made her smile with clear certainty and the feel of the Maker's touch on her shoulder the day they caught an apostate in the alienage. The elven mage fought and cursed at them all in the language of his people, mixed with broken common, but he went quiet and limp when she drained his mana, almost effortlessly. He shivered and refused to meet her eyes, cowered away from her though she never touched him, and she felt powerful.
The people of Denerim jeered and spat and threw things at him, laughing and cheering on the other templars who beat him with fists and weapons in retribution for an imagined crime. When he crumpled, bruised and bleeding, they threw him into one of the Chantry's makeshift cells until an escort could be formed to haul him to Lake Calenhad. She walked past the locked door and listened to his babbling prayers to heathen gods, feeling no guilt, only the cool glass of a new vial in her hand, mixed with the echoes of the congratulatory handshakes of her superiors, warm against her skin.
When they ask her to swear her service to the Chantry and the Maker, to uphold law and duty and to protect the faithful, in that order, of course she says yes.