Reviews for The Little Hero
Teanni chapter 5 . 3/12
I wasn't sure about Alim at first, not because he's not your typical hero, but because I had the feeling I had to still learn more about him to form any kind of opinion about his character. Now four chapters in I feel like I know enough to say that I like him and the fact that he isn't that super-buff mega-hero and still has to grow into his position as leader, but I suppose since that's what is says "on the box" that is the effect you were going for. Mission accomplished :-)
cavco chapter 21 . 8/23/2014
I'm really glad I found this story, it's beautiful, thank you.
hinatalover445 chapter 4 . 11/23/2012
Is there a reason Alistair did not use Cleanse Area to dispel the curse? Or why Wynne didn't use Dispel Magic?
hinatalover445 chapter 3 . 11/23/2012
ERROR: '"How do we ever know it works?" Morrigan interjected.' Ever should be even. (I think...) Very amusing with an such insecure Warden. Love Morrigan's comments.
Mana Tatsumiya chapter 21 . 5/16/2012
I wanted to let you know that I have literally probably read this story about twenty or thirty times now.

I love Alim. I love the relationship betweeen him and Leliana, and I love the fact that they have their happy ending, but most of all I love your writing.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is probably the best Dragon Age story ever written, and I wish you had more from this universe. Excellent work, truly excellent.
Lady Cailan chapter 11 . 11/29/2011
Hmm...I still think Alim would have been a great King of Orzammar! :grins:

I liked the pacing of this and how well you wove together all that happens around the Landsmeet without making it hugely confusing. I also think you voice Anora well - one of the best characterizations I've read.

It's interesting; I've never played through as a character not romancing Alistair, so this viewpoint is refreshing to me - meaning Alim's support of Alistair even if he doesn't take the throne. His support is unbiased, unlike my characters in the game who are looking to land Alistair as a partner and the new king, lol.

Oh, and Oghren is hilarious as usual, as is Morrigan's distaste with him. :D
Caerl chapter 21 . 11/28/2011
So, the cover closes.

An enjoyable, entertaining read. :)

In particular, I liked Leliana's insight into what the Joining was really about and Alim figuring out Morrigan's intentions. (Your character's solution to Morrigan's ritual vs wife's involvement wasn't too shabby either. ;)

Well done. A great effort. :)
Caerl chapter 15 . 11/11/2011
Great pair of chapters! :)

As a student of the Ember trial in Neverwinter and now the Landsmeet in Denerim, I applaud you! Very well done!From Alim's standing down Cauthrien to his debate with Loghain, it was all there. The game had, sadly, too little dialogue choices in the encounters.

With your penchant for a blow-by-blow re-telling, on to the duel… Now who will be Anora's champion, Hmm? On to ch. 16. :)
Caerl chapter 13 . 10/14/2011
Good chapter. :)

Rounding off the edges-Your flow is getting better.

Alim's family ties? Very well done. Can't wait to see sister, no Goldanna, she! ;)

Inhospitable hospice? I liked it. On to ch. 14. :)
Caerl chapter 12 . 9/22/2011
Another good one! :)

Leliana broaching the conversation between her love and the queen was a dangerous chance. Anora's grace and Lel's presence apparently balanced-No harm done... Well Done! :)
Josie Lange chapter 21 . 9/16/2011
Well, I did it. I made it to the end! I was stuck on chapters 18 and 19 for a week...damn real life!

I thought bringing Cauthrien into the fold was a bold move that worked wonders. Surely, she would still harbor doubts about Alim even after their conversation before the Landsmeet. She and Alim forged a symbiotic working relationship that began to deepen into a sort of friendship. They quickly learned to trust in the judgment and insight of the other and it makes for a well honed battle machine. Big snickers at Oghren telling Cauthrien that Alim knew what he was doing after all in keeping her alive rather than fighting her at the Landsmeet and killing her.

The battle of Redcliffe was as action packed as all your battle scenes were and it was very easy to picture it in my mind's eye. I too wondered if Eamon purposefully pulled his troops out of the village and into the castle proper to save his own hide. He is, at least IMHO, far more ambitious and ruthless than he likes to let on. Other nobles are far more open with their scheming; Eamon quietly plots.

I enjoyed Alim's use of the ogre in Redcliffe and how he let the spell get away from him a bit. Again, he's not perfect and his smugness at having an undead killing machine got into his head a little bit. It gave him a small sense of invulnerability and because if it, soldiers died. Leliana was right to chastise him about raising the dead in Redcliffe of all places. I also liked stacking tempest on top of blizzard...which I have never tried in DA. Since I have a DA game going now, I'm going to have to try that. :) I do like the grease slick/fire combo; you saw that a lot at the end of RA during the battle at Vigil's Keep. Although I, like Alim, occasionally got caught up in it. Oops.

Another thing I don't think I ever mentioned about Alim: I love his sarcastic snarkiness. When he sees something that isn't quite right (like Eamon's "We have to get to Denerim right away...tomorrow" speech), he points it out and pulls no punches about doing it. Of course, a lot of Alim's snarky observations are the same observations we as players had while playing DA, especially the second (or more) times through. The first time through, you're just playing for the experience. It's the subsequent times through that make you scratch your head and say "huh?"

I have always felt that Flemeth knew far more about the Grey Wardens than she ever lets on. We know she's shared some of that knowledge with Morrigan in the Dark Ritual, but it makes me wonder just how much she (Flemeth) knows. I think she's forgotten more about the Wardens than most of them will ever learn in their lifetimes. Alistair, of course, is wary about Morrigan and any sort of magic from her and the ritual is no exception. I can see him trying to pry the information out of Alim. He will likely have a hard time deflecting the questions from the Orlesian Grey about why Alim still lives. The Chantry, if and when they hear of it, will likely have a stroke. Any magic that is beyond what "they" say is magic is clearly evil. Ah, but that just gets me started on the anti-Chantry rant again and we won't go there now. :)

Alim's despair at Riordan's revelation was also well done, as was Leliana's reaction to it. Here they think they can kill the archdemon and move on with their lives only to have that hope all but destroyed by yet another Warden secret. Leliana knew that she and Alim may only have a scant few days left so hurriedly planning their wedding was very much in line with her character.

One little nitpick in chapter 19, and it really is little and is probably more of a character issue than anything else. Eamon calls the Queen "Anora"...not "Your Majesty", not "Queen Anora", but simply "Anora". She doesn't correct him. I would think that after all the trouble Eamon tried to give her at the Landsmeet (how he wanted Alim to support Alistair for the throne...alone), she would insist that he use the proper title for her (if anything, just as a reminder that SHE is Queen). Anyway, that's just me. ;)

Chapters 19 and 20 were definitely nail biting, edge of the seat chapters. I really liked how you used the "dead character" angle. It makes total sense...the characters "die" in battle only to be revived by the spirit healers later on. With that being the case in TLH, having Alim just pop right back up after the battle ends made no sense, but having Wynne bring him back does. The descriptions of Alim fading into the blackness and then being ripped out of it were mesmerizing. The reactions of the characters was also well done; they knew Alim was "dead" but they had to continue on. Their reactions when they saw Alim alive and well were very much in character. Zev makes his magical bosom's comment. Sten is quietly relieved to see his kadan again. Alistair hides his pain behind a facade of humor. Oghren is, well, Oghren. Leliana wants to put the feeling of nearly losing Alim aside and move on to the bigger task. Losing her Warden is something she doesn't want to think about and you bring that point across well.

I've mentioned before how much I like how your characters are not invulnerable and the latter chapters are no exception to that rule. They all get injured during the game where healing just isn't going to be enough...I'm currently running through Soldiers Peak in my DA playthrough with ZERO injury kits...oops. Of course, everyone has an injury and I just don't feel like backtracking out to camp. The injuries hinder the characters in the playthrough and having it be the same in the story adds to the realism and makes a stronger tie to the game.

I liked how you put little bits of humor in the later chapters of the story. There is a lot of action and angst in the latter battles and it was refreshing to see a bit of gallows humor thrown in there. The situation is grim and they all know it, but they still find a way to have a laugh.

Alim using Asala to kill the archdemon made me giggle, but only at the thought of the little Warden using a sword bigger than he is to kill the beast. But, Alim used what was available and at that point, beggars can't be choosers. Besides, Asala is a far better weapon than the cheap sword that is shown in the clip of the Warden killing the archdemon.

Leliana's letter to Alim as he lay unconscious was heart wrenching. Watching Alim exist (but not live) was almost worse than losing him outright. I giggled once again at Alim looking at himself in the mirror, hoping he didn't have a Rip Van Winkle moment. That would be awful, waking up all those years later to find your companions gone (and Leliana too). I giggled at Alim traipsing about the palace in his smalls looking for clothes, turning all shades of red in front of the Queen, the soldiers, Alfstana, and whoever else was roaming the halls. Alim isn't the most confident guy in the world and though he knows he's fit, he's still going to feel horribly embarrassed. The reunion with his companions and Leliana was wonderful. The teasing between Alistair, Zev, and Oghren was so in line with each of them, as was Leliana's reaction to seeing her Warden awake and seemingly no worse for wear.

Anora did the crafty thing by appointing Alim Arl of Denerim at that time. She knew that putting that proposal by the nobles and Chantry now was the best thing to do, since everyone was still feeling jubilant over the end of the Blight. Same thing with the mages; waiting would only cause issues.

I'm glad that you pointed out this story to me. I very much enjoyed it and thought it was cleverly written. It moved along at a good pace and the battle scenes were wonderfully described and obviously very well planned. The companions were all very much in character and NOT Mary Sues. They made mistakes, did selfish things, got hurt, and acted like brats from time to time...but I think that's what made them all the more enjoyable. They weren't perfect little people and that made them even more believable. Only a few little nitpicks here and there, but nothing glaring or major and certainly nothing that detracted from the story at all. Alim is, in many ways, the polar opposite of Misery...but I think there is more of Alim in Misery that she would like to admit. :)

Well done, Wyl!
Caerl chapter 11 . 9/9/2011
Good chapter. :)

We think alike about Eamon. What is he up to? Well done!
Josie Lange chapter 16 . 9/5/2011
I found that once I started reading about the events leading up to and including the Landsmeet, I just couldn't stop. I felt bad for Alim when he discovered his family in the Alienage. He knows now what Alistair went through when he met Goldanna. Neither man had any control over what happened to them and yet their families saw fit to blame them for their misfortunes.

Alim is understandably incensed over what he found in the Tevinters in the Alienage. He may not feel any sort of strong attachment to the elves per se, but seeing them taken away as slaves is as wrong as can be and he knows it. And poor Alim finds himself banged up again in the ensuing melee with Caladrius.

I'm glad Alim was able to learn something of his heritage and that not all of his relatives blame him for the death of his parents. How was he to prevent the burning of his father at four? He couldn't help that no more than he could help being born an elf. Alim's reunion with Neria was both sweet and awkward...waking up to see some strange elf leaning over him and his companions doing nothing to stop it.

I also like how Alim isn't afraid to let himself voice his doubts with Leliana. He's bearing a large burden and though he tries to carry it himself, he simply can't. He doesn't want to burden his companions with it, but that's something he needs to try and move past. A heavy burden is much lighter spread across many hands.

I still giggle at Leliana being the "lead" in this relationship, but it completely fits. I also giggled at Alim's view of Riordan. Thanks for picking up your share of the burden, Riordan. I see now where your dislike comes from. :) But Alim is right...Riordan didn't do much more than point and delegate during his time in Ferelden.

Alim certainly has a smooth tongue, turning to diplomacy before Spellweaver whenever he can. I wondered what was going to happen with Cauthrien...if he'd have to fight her after all..but he did make her see reason. Loghain was certainly trying to do what he thought was right, but let his intense hatred and paranoia for Orlais get the best of him. Of course, having to deal with the Blight, Cailan's quest for glory, and running the nation didn't help either. I thought Anora's plea for Loghain was genuine, but even she doubted her father's motives at that point. Personally, I think Howe was behind the worst of Loghain's atrocities (Loghain gave him too much leeway IMHO), but that's neither here nor there.

I always had my character battle Loghain at the Landsmeet too and for the same reasons. There needs to be no question about the Warden and their ability to lead the armies against the archdemon. It's a bit of "if you want something done right, do it yourself." But it's also more than that. The nobles will be more vehemently behind the Warden for having fought Loghain him/herself, no matter what happens to Loghain in the end. Defeating and recruiting Loghain also brings surprising loyalty from him; he's warrior enough to accept a thrashing from another warrior and learn to live with it.

But we'll never know that, will we, since Alistair cut his throat. ;) I forgive you.

The battle with Loghain was well written. Logahin certainly made the battle with Alim very difficult and it's only thanks to Alim's quick reflexes that he's alive to tell the tale. Alim was right about vengeance as well. Loghain is just another body now where had he lived, he could have been of benefit. Or not. But we'll never know now. Alistair has his vengeance, but it seems a little empty for him. Now that the civil war has ended, the archdemon awaits.

And the dark ritual. ;)

Hopefully, I'll have more read soon. Great job!

And I thought I caught a KotOR reference in here...something about turning an enemy to your cause? All I could hear is Bastila telling the story about capturing Revan... :p
Lady Cailan chapter 10 . 9/3/2011
Alim is kicking ass left and right! I was confused at first some words were in italics, and thought it was all combat and spell stuff, I guess? There were a few places where it wasn't needed, but it doesn't take away from the story, just a silly little thing I have about italics, I guess, lol!

Alim didn't need them - I thought he was getting out of there alone, and so I understand Leliana's upset at the end of the chapter. And, of course, her fear. He could have died - they all could have. The whole combat scene was epic. I think you said it was going to be, but this story has some of the most drawn out battle scenes I have ever read!
Guest chapter 12 . 9/1/2011
I very much enjoyed Alim's escape from Fort Drakon. He was definitely a bad ass coming out of there. It was great to see him do that. He has such fragile self confidence and to see him do that had to make him feel better about himself. His companions knew they had to get to him as quickly as they could, especially since they also knew he'd be tortured until he died. Leliana was obviously beside herself knowing what Alim would go through. She barely survived and she's right...Alim is a more frail creature than the rest of them (or so they thought). I think all of the companions have a new understanding and respect for Alim after that experience. HE was the one that rescued THEM. How quickly the tables turn!

The reunion between Leliana and Alim was intense, but only because of Leliana's anger, fear, and doubt. It wasn't Alim himself that scared her, but the very real fear that by the time she got to him, it would be too late. Of course, I think Alim made it up to her. ;)

Eamon. You know my feelings for him. I see Alim has a healthy wariness of the Arl. I always thought Eamon pushed just a little too hard for Alistair to take the throne (not that Alistair wasn't Maric's son). I think Eamon craved the power and influence he thought he would wield as Alistair's chief adviser. I think that's also part of the reason why he wanted Anora out of the way. I liked how Alim wanted Alistair's opinion to make the decision of how to approach the question of Alistair wanting to take the throne.

I think Anora, in the end, appreciated Alim's direct approach. He wasn't going to listen to innuendo or political spin and so decided to ask Anora his questions bluntly. I think she was surprised but found him refreshing, in a way. But, Anora is a need to know gal, and using both Erlina and Leliana to gather more information is very much in character for her. She is truly her father's daughter.

The fight between Alistair and Alim was also well done. Alistair felt that by compromising with Anora, Alim betrayed everything they stood for as Wardens. Will he feel the same when he hears more of what truly happened at Ostagar? Maybe, maybe not. Alistair can be stubborn in his own way. He didn't see Alim trying to find the best compromise that they all can live with and still present a united front at the Landsmeet. All Alistair heard was that Loghain would be spared...not even MAY be spared. He heard "Loghain" and "spared" in the same sentence and lost it. And then, to get a revenge of sorts, he kicks Alim in the knees and tries to divide him and Leliana. Alistair is hurt and he wants Alim to hurt too...what better way than to push a wedge between Alim and Leliana? Leliana knew what Alistair was trying to do and you could see her internal conflict. She was hoping that Alim wouldn't buy what Alistair was selling, but there was no way she'd know for sure without speaking to Alim himself.

It was good of them to also realize that their relationship could be exploited; that one could be used to draw out or harm the other. Their companions may know differently, but they'll have to be very careful in the future. There are those who would see their relationship and use it against them in one way or another.

I'm glad to see Alim really starting to embrace the leadership role and feel better about himself. Sure, he'll likely have instances where he's not confident, but his companions will be there to prop him up when he's down. He's really turning into a strong, yet still flawed, leader.

It's too bad the body requires sleep eventually...must read more... :)
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