|Reviews for The Flight of the Hawke|
| Ivar Hugo chapter 1 . 2/3
Good story, thoroughly believable. While it's understandable from a gaming perspective, it does shatter one's suspension of disbelief somewhat when Mage!Hawke openly lays waste to bandits on the streets with blood magic and suffers no ill consequences for it. I am curious about your opinion of Orsino. In the game, he seemed very decent up until the contrived reveal and fight, and I'm not sure what to think of him. He seems a wasted character of sorts. Anyway, I your DA fiction is really top-notch. Now to finish reading Victory at Ostagar...
| StormyBlue chapter 1 . 12/5/2013
That was amazing. Very well written and accurate. I have never played Mage!Hawke myself, but just knowing the looks the knight commander gives you when you're merely a rogue makes the idea that she leaves you alone as a Mage very implausible! Well done!
| Guest chapter 1 . 7/16/2013
Brilliant, a little tragic and very plausible. Bravo.
| GlysMari chapter 1 . 6/5/2013
Excellent. Real, real, really real. I followed one of your reviews here. Glad I did. I guess you already know you're good. Now I know it too.
| zevgirl chapter 1 . 5/5/2013
And this has many of the reasons why I don't play as a mage. Not very believable, and therefore, hard to immerse in for RPing. Yes, they'd not be roaming about, flaunting their magic. And in her case, she has more tastes of freedom than most mages, so it is particularly heart-breaking. i also think her family's reactions and her lack of interest in said reactions was depicted well. I loved the mention of menstruation having an effect on magic too. Clever, that. And she is wise to stick with Varric and no one else really. Though this has some serious threads of sadness and isolation, I did feel like by the end, she'd come to terms with her lot in life - well, before the end really - as best she could, and chose to move on and make a better future for herself, damn everyone else.
| Nemrut chapter 1 . 4/21/2013
Interesting one shot, this Hawke is naturally far more likable, if only because life is continuously screwing her over and we see her dealing with it very admirably. I would like to read more about this Hawke's adventures in Tevinter, actually, if you want to continue this at any time but it works magnificently as a stand alone too.
What always disturbed me about this Mage-Templar dynamic, was that the mages are undeniably far superior in combat than Templars and they should be able to overthrow them quite easily as long as they have the moment of surprise but I guess they are too beaten down to do that, even though the PC mages are all rather dynamic and capable. Don't think it would have been hard to rally a circle if they had a charismatic enough leader to sway them. And by the time other templar's arrive, they could have left the circle and seeing that they phials full with their blood are there, they could have destroyed them. And even if they weren't 50 mages are a frightening number, one that the slow templars wouldn't be able to catch up with, since they would need twice that number to actually fight them.
Anyway, thank you for sharing this, am looking forward to more.
| Psyche Sinclair chapter 1 . 4/13/2013
This is brilliant, in so many ways. I finally got around to reading it and I probably should have waited to review because I hardly know what to say about it. (Then again, if I wait, it could be weeks before I review. -_-;;;)
I like your Arabella. I like the detached, rational way that she is able to deconstruct her family, companions, and enemies.
As for Qunari female mages- perhaps they are hidden amongst the males and simply not considered to be female? That's the implication that Sten gave me when he had that interchange with Leliana. Given that they also see mages as "defective", I imagine they're excluded from the breeding program.
As for blood magic- well. It's also possible that the Qunari don't know all that much about the mechanics of it. Somehow I don't see them as all that willing to study it in detail. Yes, they've probably got reams of research on Tevinter, magic, mages, and the like, but given how they seem to see "unenlightened" belief systems, such as the one upon which the Chantry is based- I'd believe that their understanding is limited, especially since it is unlikely to be a mage compiling and testing this knowledge, given their fear.
If anything, the strength of the mages they do possess makes little sense. Theoretically, their mages should be far inferior to anything that the other nations of Thedas produce, and should certainly not have any knowledge of healing magics.
Perhaps Qunari mages really do, as a necessity, deal with demons to learn their arts. In which case- their strength makes more sense, but so does their imprisonment.
| Kamish88 chapter 1 . 4/9/2013
Really cool little story. The whole who does everyone not yell apostate when Merril, Anders and Mage Hawke run around with giant staffs always seemed a tad off to me too.
| trevalyan chapter 1 . 4/9/2013
Wow... okay, first speaking to the menstruation thing: it probably doesn't matter much because medieval menstruation isn't particularly interesting to most fans- it's just handled offscreen, relatively simply. While it could conceivably power blood magic, I really don't think it does matter. Every female mage or templar with a shred of decency and intelligence, and hopefully some of the men, would instantly know what's going on when a female mage "suddenly" manifests exceptional talent, especially if it's monthly. Then promptly turn the maleficar in for well-deserved execution. Wynne would have this in DA:O, and I'm annoyed by the fact it was cut from the game, because interesting story consequences shouldn't be dumbed down so blatantly and lazily. As dumbing down describes all of DA2, however, I like the general thrust of this story exposing it.
What I don't like is some of the more questionable inferences. Qunari don't waste anyone, so I can't see them simply executing children for manifesting magic. Sewing their mouths shut, yes. Rendering them Tranquil, yes. Shoving them face-first into qamek, yes. They definitely could see the advantage of female mages, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear they treat them like breeding cattle to make saarebas who are powerful yet docile. But the Qunari do that to absolutely everyone, so I'm not surprised. They're far more benevolent than many other players in Thedas, but it comes at the cost of systematically eliminating free choice- similar to the Turians in many ways.
At any rate, their ban on female warriors shouldn't extend to assassins: they can fight, but it isn't their strong suit. Tallis is there to sneak in, investigate, then murder people: if she has to fight, something's gone wrong. Then again, the fact she's a super warrior does reflect poorly on qunari doctrine, and I chalk it up to lazy Mary-Sue writing (there it is again!) as well as pandering to the Felicia Day fans.
As for the Templars- of course they have trouble finding mages. Not only do they have to be exceptionally strong and mentally resistant, they have to be outstanding detectives too? Against enemies with mind control and magic powers? Even then Gregaoir, Ser Otto and Ser Emeric do a commendable job in trying to bring evil mages to justice, which is more than I can say for any other mage in the series except the PC mage, and maybe Wynne/ Irving. But then, I suppose the idea of having reasonable templars and mages rubs against the grain of DA2's heavy-handed morality play where all templar are evil jerk-faces whose religious fanaticism demand they treat mages and Tranquil like things, DOES THIS REMIND YOU OF ANYTHING. More laziness masquerading as maturity and one more reason I truly hated DA2, especially compared to the original game.
I think the writing here is wonderfully evocative of the negative emotions that Kirkwall, aka The Worst Place Ever, breeds in people. I think Varric is the only character in this story that I feel the slightest amount of sympathy or approval for, and I'm sorry about this Mage!Hawke- sorry only to the extent that Cullen, or even Meredith, didn't lop her head off about five seconds after she entered the Gallows. The story reeks of Hawke's whining- yes her life is hard, join the club, and she goes out of her way to assume that everyone else besides herself is a gigantic wanker who is out to make life miserable for poor pitiful her. That no one else is having a -difficult time- except the mages, who are so oppressed because no understands them. As opposed to having their reality-warping powers controlled. Empathy is completely beyond this Hawke, considering her friends and family can't resist the mammoth tyranny that Meredith has built, and I manage to dislike her even more completely than Anders or Act 1 Fenris. (But not more than Ser Alrik, cartoonishly evil Templar that wouldn't be possible without a STUPID retcon of the Tranquil-ization process.)
I admit that I dislike mage whining when I'm willing to cut Fenris, and even Carver, a great deal more slack. Maybe because they're incredibly powerful, and yet it's never enough for them, so they deal with demons for blood magic? Maybe because so many look to Tevinter as an example, when it's a nation of supremacist slavers who gladly enslave or murder anyone who isn't sufficiently evil enough for them? Of course this Hawke has gone to live as a Magister: it's the logical place where a certain type of mage will definitely be happy.
Regardless, the story makes the point of the reality of Kirkwall brilliantly. Your use of time-cuts and subtlety was about a hundred times better done than the actual game. If your point was to distill all that made Kirkwall a shithole in a short story- bravo.
| D-Ro2593 chapter 1 . 4/8/2013
Okay, I'm utterly convinced. You are, without a doubt, the greatest Dragon Age writer on this damn site. This was amazing!
| cruelflames chapter 1 . 4/8/2013
Your take on menstruation and Blood magic, is certainly, interesting, and a quite unique idea . :)
Overall, I quite liked this story. Too bad it's a one shot only :(
I agree that Meredith would have never let the Champion prance about either, but as Varric says when you first meet him, money buys power and influence. Becoming the Champion means that even the Knight Commander cannot touch you, directly. But there is not excuse why Hawke was allowed to go roaming around in Act 1, after they were freed from their job to Red Iron / Athrenial's gang.
As a result, I've always imagined that my canon Mage! Hawkes were going around, erasing memories of every templar they've met, to avoid detection.
Regarding the use of staves by the mages in DA2, I've found it interesting that that most of the staves we see are fashioned into polearms, basically, and not the glowy stick that screams ' MAGE'. Maybe that's why the templars don't take much notice towards Hawke.
Regarding Tallis, the Qunari prejudice against female warriors doesn't apply to her as she is not technically a 'solider'. She's part of the Ben Hassrath, whose ranks are, filled with both men and women. The Ben Hassrath are more concerned with re-education of the masses and, as we see in MotA, with the stealth route, they prefer not fighting at all, if possible. So, in the eyes of the Qunari, Tallis is not a warrior by any means, so she can fight.
I know you don't like Tallis, like so many other's, but I'm curious, will she be appearing in Victory at Ostagar (after making her character a little less Mary Sueish) or not? I didn't mind Tallis that much, and I hope for an appearance from her in DA3.
| Ravus chapter 1 . 4/7/2013
Yes this would have to be a one shot. I agree about the absurdity, you can understand Bioware trying to dumb down the game for a larger audience, but for me the disconnect between the game and the story was appauling. Once you've played as a mage and thrown around blood magic openly in the streets only to have combat end and have a templar watching boast about how he will capture any mage he sees, well the suspension of disbelief is gone.
I also disliked how no matter what both the circle and the templars leadership ends up corrupted. Then you have to fight them both. It's ridiculous. This ending, that of simply leaving is that much more satisfying then my own playthrough with a female mage.
| RakeeshJ4 chapter 1 . 4/7/2013
Shame this is a one-shot, but after so many months and so many words into DA fanfiction it's certainly understandable! Thanks very much for sharing.
I have to agree with you re: Aveline's characterization. Even as I played the game-I ended up with Carver alive in my first playthrough, too-I was surprised at how brazen and unapologetic Aveline was about not helping out the Hawke family. It's certainly a plausible, human portrayal and there are many (bad) reasons why it would not be surprising Aveline would behave in such a way, and only a few good ones. What took Aveline from 'friend and ally' to 'friend to not put my back to', though, was that in the game, Carver and my Hawke were never anything short of friendly and helpful to Aveline throughout the story and until Aveline made it clear that her attitude towards the Hawkes was...temperamental. It would make more sense if I had taken the nastier or more mocking dialogue options, but I didn't and she still burned the Hawkes. Her attitude towards lawfulness is, shall we say, also problematic. It made it difficult indeed to like the Aveline who ends up in Kirkwall.
Nice to see someone for whom Fenris's constant invective against mages actually registers as it usually would for almost anyone who was part of that group. Rather than considering it a chance to change someone's mind, Hawke is quite annoyed and then angered by Fenris's hatefulness and never comes to understand why his own damage might lead him to be such a schmuck. Unless one is aspiring for sainthood, one usually doesn't try and dig past that sort of eager antagonism.
Leandra, too, doesn't come off well, as is fitting with canon. It's a bit of a mismatch in storytelling, I felt, Leandra's portrayal. I didn't get the feeling that Leandra had behaved as quite such a woeful, entitled...well, schmuck again in the years the Hawkes were more or less successfully living as fugitives, but that's what she becomes very quickly in the game. I got the feeling that it was a happy, productive marriage in Hawke's childhood when I played the game, and had to fill in some blanks when I was playing to explain her behavior: her grief threw her mind and attitude for a serious tilt, it was her first encounter with real, in-your-face danger and it changed her, or a combination of these and the return to Kirkwall made her revert somewhat to type.
Carver...yeah. Carver is actually impossible to like in this story, but I can't complain because again it does fit with a certain lighting on past events. There would be a great deal of natural envy and unhappiness possible given that 3/5 of his family were mages, and would need naturally for the purposes of training and survival to spend a great deal of time together, and exclude whether intended or not the remainder. Which also explains Leandra's favoritism, come to think of it. But to be satisfied as Hawke was sent to the Gallows, after having actually spent time in Kirkwall, is more or less beyond the pale. It was the sort of wickedness that comes naturally to so many people when they are getting what they secretly desire, even if the means is less than noble.
Great job with the Qunari, and Meredith...ugh. I find once more I'm in my old reviewing habit!
Suffice to say I thought you did a good job covering such a sweep of years in this story in relatively (for the timeline) few words. There was also something different about this story that was enjoyable...perhaps I could put it this way: Hawke is just as clever and skillful and powerful as she is in canon in this story, but when it comes to emotions and dealing with people she is much more human than many of the options given to the player. When someone tells her, verbally or not, that she ought to be mutilated and chained forever, well, she's not going to think kindly of that person. When someone sends her and her buddies out to die as fodder and sneers at them for their trouble, that person is unlikely to look kindly on even the more amiable sorts wearing the same uniform. So on and so forth.
Nicely done! People did awful things, but it didn't feel like a bash.
| Chiara Crawford chapter 1 . 4/7/2013
Great one-shot. Your version of Kirkwall makes much more sense than DA2 canon, which, admittedly, is not hard to do. Will you ever write a short sequel to this one? It would be for Hawke to hear about Anders' blowing up of the Chantry and say "good riddance".
Really, you were able to show just why I prefer DAO to DA2. Apart from Varric and possibly Isabella and Merrill, all other characters are less than sympathetic.
| The 17th Immortal chapter 1 . 4/7/2013
Tallis was also specifically a spy, whereas the Arishok's forces were basically regular army. Different specializations. Not to mention that, being nothing BUT soldiers, they wouldn't really know HOW to integrate their new recruits into their forces – attempting to do would probably be considered as trying to go outside of their assigned roles.
They weren't trained for it, it's out of their comfort zone, therefore they're passing the buck.
(That's my own issue with the Qunari – that extreme narrow-mindedness, how they deliberately use the "surety" of the Qun to run away from any and all sense of responsibility. Or as I usually tend to phrase it: the freedom to choose, by definition includes the freedom to make the WRONG choices. The Qunari would rather take that choice away entirely, rather than risk the possibility of a wrong choice, the hypocrites.)