Reviews for The Flight of the Hawke
Kyla Baines chapter 1 . 3/27/2013
I think this is a really nicely done piece, and offers plausible explanation to several of the questions or issues I've had with Thedas/DA2 as well! I always have a difficult time playing as a mage in DA2 for exactly this reason - Cullen, for example, is so upset and angry about mages in general post DA:O, that I find it difficult to believe that he'd just be ok with a mage Hawke helping him out during Act 1 and not saying anything. Nicely done!

P.S. One of these days I plan on getting around to reading Victory at Ostagar... I've been so busy with my own writing and catching up on a handful of other stories that starting one that is nigh on a million words seems a bit intimidating! It is on my to-do list :)
kryobee chapter 1 . 3/27/2013
THANK YOU so much for this. One of my main issues with DA2 was the way playing as a mage had little to no impact on the plot. I love the way you've portrayed Hawke here and the spin you've given some of the character interactions. It's a much more realistic take on how things should have/could have played out, as well as highlighting how horrible mages really do have it in the DA universe. Sometimes I feel like it's sort of just swept under the rug. So yeah... excellent story. Brilliant!
Blinded in a bolthole chapter 1 . 3/27/2013
0) I myself usually go with Male Hawke (default looks and everything) and give him a long/strange/hard to pronounce/Tevinter name to justify him being called "Hawke" (Kinda like myself. Though my name is just long). Though unlike Fem!Shep, Fem!Hawke is actually fun (mostly due to better voice actress. Fem!Shep kills the sarcasm) so for warrior/rogue playthroughs its her (with the same rule about the name).

1) Aveline while not exactly the picture of competence (though being near a Source of Evil in a near-cursed city with an overbearing Templar Commander, a weakling failure of a Marquis, meddlesome chantry sisters, even more meddlesome Qunari, and corruption that rooted at every level, which effectively turns the city into an unholy child of a political sh!tstorm waiting to happen, untouchable criminals and a madhouse, I would cut her some slack despite doing just about NOTHING AT ALL) nor has a good grasp of the situation, I think she did a good job of not accepting Carver into the Guard. Carver, like any other Hawke is a rather competent individual and would fail to not be noticed by authorities, especially considering his desire to be noticed. This could be a very bad thing for a yet to become "too important to remove" Mage!Hawke and by extension Aveline herself.

Especially considering Hawke's shabby deals and less than legal activities, Carver's desire to top his older sibling in his/her own game (which would inevitably have involved a Guard-Carver into Hawke-crimes ) and Carver's habit of bragging about how he is all too superior older sibling (and slipping that the said individual is in fact a mage).

So... while Hawke might not look at it like this, Aveline had done everyone a favour by refusing Carver.

2) Well... Anders and Fenris made Loghain look approachable (despite the whole none-romancible and warden man-hunt thing). For that matter romance in DA2 was like a long therapy season with disturbed individuals...

3) What Qunari do to their mages is not exactly much worse than what they do to any other: They break their personality and individuality and make them willing slaves who absolutely love their leashes. Mages just happened to be more obvious examples of this.

Qunari create and maintain Stereotypes and if someone born to Qunari does not fit in, they would dispose of the anomaly (you have a chance to choose to accept your rule in Qun or die as Arishock put it). They remind me of one of Soviet's social experiments (which failed despite initial success in creating a generation of two of ultra-competent individuals due to being expensive and ultimately not being all that effective: Humans are not machines).

Guess that horn-headed race think differently from humans for this system to work.

4) A new turn... guess Carver, joining Templars/Leandra being alone after Carver going with Wardens discouraged Gamlen... makes sense considering right after None-Mage Hawke's return Bethany was suddenly discovered and taken away.

5) Ha... dear "O" who was most definitely NOT Orsino... Kirkwall is a City of Chains: Hidden sins, corruption and idiocy bind every free-man to each other with bonds of madness and blood stronger than any chain of the ancient Imperium.

6) Tevinters are extremely imperialistic areholes and despicable too boot as a general rule, but answer to their "Just what's wrong with them?" is rather clear. Far clearer than Chantry, Templars, Orlesians and Qunari's (who are equally despicable in their own way).

7) In this story it was Hawke Vs the World, where everyone except Varric and Hero screwed her over at least once. Unsurprisingly Hawke did not turn into a self-righteous hypocrite (these two are usually hand in hand) like ANders.

8) For Hawke not being captured, I think that returns to unique nature of Kirkwall and several other factors that contributed to his continued freedom:

a) Kirkwall has very strong ties with Tevinters and Magisters of Imperium (one and all heretical bloodmages) move in and about as they please and have villas and manors without so much as a meep from Templars, Viscount, or Chantry.

As result it's more socially accepted for Mages to be seen in public than anywhere save Tevinter. So if You are a mage, and Rich (with capital R) and influential you can get away with mage-stuff both because it's nothing new and because capturing Rich mages is not to Magisters liking which is very bad for business. And Kirkwall is all about business.

In other words if Meredith became aware of Hawke before he could collect fortune and great fame she would have added the Feralden to the circle.

b) After Hawkes entered Kirkwall they were immediately under protection of powerful crime syndicates and after that Varric protected them and considering Merril, the most urban-naive character in the series got away with being Merril from both sides of Kirkwall's law due to Varric's influence, I can say it was rather effective.

c) Gamlen, who was the one who sold his niece away here: In the original DA2, Carver is either so jealous that wants to be stronger than Hawke at any cost that becomes a Templar (and Templars are THE anti-mage force in Thedas) or after going through the deep road was save/recruited by Wardens.

In both these scenarios Leandra would have been left alone without any of her children, and Gamlen for all his faults and "I come First" attitude did not want to see her sister unhappy (especially considering without any of her children, and him as the one responsible, she would have given him nothing).

d) In addition to his fortune, Hawke managed to become an important piece in several chess games prior to becoming the Champion: The only human noble Qunari respected, a close friend of a local Prince and strong ties with several high ranking chantry individuals, and of course Varric's network's champion/big hitter/partner in crime world. Too important to be moved by anyone because too many people wanted him where he was.

I think the only reason Bethany was captured was because Varric was not there to do his magic ( Merril most likely had permanent watchers being the walking disaster that she was, also Gamlen, if he was responsible, didn't know her well enough).

e) Hawke, due to a certain tragedy and personal grudge of several blood-mages (not to mention his mage-hunting episodes) was too much a public asset to be removed without defacing templars. It did not help at all that he was the one who retook Kirkwall and defeated the Arishock in single-combat, making him/her the Champion.

f) There were certain high ranking Templar/Mages elements who may or may not have eliminated any reports that skipped Varric's net as having a free and friendly apostate served their personal agenda well. And from experience I know leaders and heads of organisations barely look at every report and in a sense it's the secretary who decides what the Boss would see.

The only real threat Hawke had encountered in his early years (and before becoming a psuedo-magister) was that Sister Petrice, who herself would have been flogged and kicked out of church by Meredith for conspiring with heathen mages if she decided to tell on mage!Hawke.

In this story several things didn't go as Canon Hawke's: Carver was less jealous and thus more rational. Hawke was more free about her opinions and not as "multi-coloured hydra" as your average Hawke and thus failed to make enough connections and leave enough people in her debt to protect her and most importantly the author underestimated just how corrupt a society can be ( I haven't seen one this corrupt but knew someone who went to Syria).

good job.
Melysande chapter 1 . 3/27/2013
Wonderful story. Glad you took the time to write it. I've never played my f/Hawke as a mage for many of the reasons you cite here. It just never felt right, so I play her as a rogue. I'm sure Hawke makes it to Tevinter. I love the idea of the blood vial in the Waking Sea. XD I almost feel sorry - but no, not really - for the templars.
Ledilettant chapter 1 . 3/27/2013
A well written story.
sizuka2 chapter 1 . 3/27/2013
Interesting and plausible. As soon as Hawke is out of the protective anonymity of the poor, and before she has widespread support among the rich from dealing with the Qunari - that is the most plausible time for her arrest. Everything afterward follows logically. And vividly. There's really nothing left for her in Kirkwall at the end - a friend or two (Varric, surely. Possibly Merrill, possibly Anders, but not really in either case), but that's why people correspond.

Tevinter might turn out to be better - or just differently bad.

Thedas really is a case of 'pick your poison', particularly for mages. On the one hand, phenomenal cosmic powers. On the other your choice of residence doesn't really offer any advantages. You could go with the thoroughly dysfunctional White Divine solution to mages - Templars - meaning either a life as a fugitive or a life imprisoned. Fugitive's not actually so bad, as long as you don't care about trusting people - there's certainly plenty of canon evidence that if you're paranoid, careful, and ready to kill people at need, you can walk the streets as an outright abomination indefinitely. Betrayal's the real problem. If a life without trust is not acceptable (and only if you're an elf), you've got the Dalish life - hunter-gathering with a side of persecution. Hope you weren't fond of anything urban. Finally, you could go to Tevinter, which is actually a nice place to be if you're a mage... assuming you don't end up a slave or used to fuel a death ritual or similar. The Qunari are not even an option.

Rivain... Rivain is actually an option. Not perfect, but perhaps the best place to be a mage in Thedas. Not Andrastean, not slavers, not Qunari, have been running a Potemkin Circle there for centuries, where mages just pretend to be imprisoned when inspectors come by. Give it another comic, and we'll find out that the seers are all abominations and the whole thing is a honeytrap run by unusually patient pride demons or Flemeth-style body-snatchers, or something equally appalling - there does seem to be a determined effort by Bioware to make sure all options are equally unappealing.

Some of this mess is the result of narrative convention - competent Templars would preclude the protagonist from having those interesting fights with mages, and would even (e.g., this very story) prevent most mage protagonists from having a story. Incompetent Templars give things a horror slant - prisoner abuse issues, and for all the power ceded to Templars, no protection from the abominations around every corner.

The Qunari preference for non-Qunari in spying roles is perfectly sensible. Who knows? Perhaps they consider espionage 'woman's work', or (more sensibly) the work of anyone who wouldn't be suspected as a spy. The apparent Qunari preference for Qunari in frontline combat roles, without use of converts, may indicate racial bias. Then again, Kirkwall is atypical of the Qunari in many ways.

Maevaris really is an interesting character. Tevinter: where the magisters can marry dwarves, and no one thinks it odd. Racial equality, hurrah! Too bad about the omnipresent slavery and ritual death-magic.

Meredith was always absurd. DA:O made somewhat the same mistake, having Loghain slide into being nearly a pantomime villain in cutscenes, rather than being a sincere and ruthless patriot (thankfully, the bones of a better plot remain in the written material). Misguided heroes make better villains, but worse boss-fights... and the latter is more important, apparently. Had Meredith been efficient at finding mages and governing Kirkwall - had she, say, saved Hawke's mother from that apostate would-be-Frankenstein - there might actually be some conflict about whom to side with. Or had she executed Alrik for overstepping his authority. Likewise Orsino, who goes abomination even if you side with him... for no reason whatsoever. Suppose he'd been generally helpful with advice, lore, training, information to track down that serial killer (which he could have done, apparently)... he might have a better claim on loyalties than being 'not-Meredith' (in fairness, that last is a cogent argument). Likewise Anders, who - instead of blowing up, say, Meredith - blows up the Grand Cleric.
Isabeau of Greenlea chapter 1 . 3/27/2013
I always enjoy the way you put a different slant on things and make them fresh, while still referencing canon. I'll have to agree with you about the Aveline/Carver thing-it never made sense to me. The only reason I could come up with for her decision is that she didn't want to put up with the constant bitching, never understanding that if she'd just given him some status, the bitching might cease.

This Hawke's take on the characters was definitely refreshing, and I enjoyed the glimpse inside of the Gallows, as well as the account of the Qunari battle from the mage point of view. The business with menstruation being a time of power was awesome, and your description of the Templars fear of it echoes the male fear of the female that has made them consider this facet of creation, which they can't do, as unclean. The fact that Mage!Hawke does get to prance around Kirkwall, staff on back in broad daylight, interview with Cullen and Meredith numerous times and never get taken into the Gallows really bothers me when I play. Too many times in DAII, game mechanics were given precedence over the story, to the point that the inconsistencies really play havoc with my suspension of disbelief.
Nukenin chapter 1 . 3/27/2013
Definitely a more realistic view of mage!Hawke. I think this is the first time I've seen anybody use menstrual blood for blood magic - interesting!

Tallis is part of the Ben-Hassrath, the priesthood, and is not considered part of the Antaam - the army led by the Arishok. She is not considered a warrior because although she is trained to fight, it is not her FIRST response to solving a problem, nor is it her primary function. dragonage. wikia. com has a lot of background information if you're curious.
Crown of Creation chapter 1 . 3/27/2013
Cool fix. You expose the flaws in DA2 perfectly!
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