Chapter 1: The Unyielding Truth
Legs pumping as fast as his strained and exhausted muscles would allow, air burning his lungs as he desperately breathed in and out ragged breaths. He was trying in vain to catch up to the one person who could answer all his questions. The one person who had snatched his love away from him and had the power to deliver him back to her side. His brows creased in determination and he felt himself push that little bit harder, almost on the verge of collapse. But he wouldn't give up, he had waited too long to catch the woman and he wasn't going anywhere until she gave him what he desired above anything else in all of Thedas.
"Morrigan!" He roared her name out in the cavern and it echoed violently, threatening to shake the very rocks surrounding them.
She was facing the Mirror, an Eluvian and stopped in her tracks and very slowly turned round to face him. Her expression glowered with anger momentarily before becoming weary when she realised that she could no longer ignore the man. Despite everything he had done in his past, being an assassin sent to kill them; he had fallen in love with their fearless leader and followed her to the end of the world.
Oh perhaps she should have said until the end of the Warden.
"What did you do to her Witch?!" His voice uncontrolled with pure anger and hated and a tinge of desperation.
"I cannot tell you that Zevran." She merely replied coldly. It wasn't that she didn't want to cause any pain to Zevran, she had come to respect him in her own way though she never fully approved of him. Still he had meant something to the woman Warden who had become a sister to her. So in a weird sort of way they were family. Oh Maker she was beginning to sound like Alistair.
"Liar! I saw you with her body! You took her from that blasted rooftop!" Zevran drew his hands to his belt and took his twin daggers out of their sheaths. Morrigan may have been an ally once but now she was his only enemy as far he was concerned. She had left them on the eve before they marched to Denerim and in his mind she sealed the fate of his beloved.
Morrigan closed her strange golden amber eyes and sighed heavily. She would have to console the fool somewhat. She couldn't risk him following her, because he would undoubtedly ruin everything. Though she wasn't sure if it was necessarily the right thing to do but it was the needed thing to be done and that was it. She swallowed and took a deep breath before opening her eyes and staring Zevran right into his dark brown ones. She knew that he would be able to tell if she lied to him, his years of training and experience in studying people and their habits had no doubt stayed with him. So she settled on telling him parts of the truth, for it was all the mercy that she could possibly give the tortured man.
Oh and he was definitely a tortured and lost man. When he had first attacked their merry band of misfits, he had been confident, charming and unbreakable. The way he moved was proud and unafraid of any dangers that could pose to him. He seemed to glow a little resembling the sunny landscape of Antiva as he trekked through the dank and muddy overgrowth that was Fereldan. Now though he broken, his spark gone and his glowing charm all but dissipated.
"She is alive, Zevran." She spoke slowly and clearly allowing time for the words to sink in. When he stopped his cautious steps towards her she knew she had his attention. His eyes flashed with shock and disbelief and she could see that he was going to protest again so she continued.
"T'is true that when she sunk that fool of a king's sword into the Archdemon's head it took both their lives. However we both know that she was chosen to slay that tainted Old God, it was the end of her and the beginning of something else."
Zevran couldn't believe the words that came out of the Witches mouth. His beloved was alive, but he had seen her die, crying out in anguish and triumph as she brought about the end of the Fifth Blight. Suddenly he's transported back as his mind replies the horrifying memory forever engraved on his shattered soul.
He's on the floor paralysed by her spell as she races past him. Her footfalls light and steady despite the flow of blood that escapes her ribcage. She slows momentarily to grab Alistair's swords off the ground from where the idiot dropped it. He watches in horror as he realises that all of them, including Wynne a fellow mage, cannot unbind themselves from the paralysis she has cast upon them. She turns to face him then, briefly as her piercing blue eyes raging like the electric storms she creates at her fingertips soften when she gazes, searching his soul.
She's not saying a word but she's screaming goodbye and everything else that they never shared.
Her long dark brown hair falls in front of her face and the moment passes as she whips round and her hair follows like a curtain of certainty. The air around them has change and become thick and heavy with anticipation as if nature itself knows the importance of the events about to come to pass. Time slows for Zevran then when he struggles helplessly at the invisible ties that keep him out of harm's way.
He doesn't care what happens to him, he never has and now that life has given him a reason to live he can't watch that reason be taken away from him and simply do nothing. He'd rather die by her side than live one second without her but she won't allow him that small comfort.
She charges, gripping the sword uneasily in both hands lifting it with a strength he has never seen her possess and a numb emptiness explodes inside his body. She plunges the flawlessly sharp blade into the Archdemon's head and as an unholy bright white light bursts forth and up towards the heavens, the beast collapses and so does she.
Her life gone and so is her spell. Zevran pushes with all his might to lift his bruised and broken body onto his knees, trying to gather the strength to reach her. His dignity, his pride, forgotten he starts to crawl. His eyes hurt and he's only vaguely away that tears must be falling down his face, it is the first time he's cried since before he joined the crows.
He's barely moved when an impossibly large bird covers the sky and lands between him and his love. The bird shifts and the frame of Morrigan stands with her back towards him. Relief fills his entire being, for surely she has come to help bring her back to life. He doesn't care how she does it, whatever magic she uses, so long as this tragedy is averted.
However when she bends down and scoops the frightening real lifeless body up into her arm; Zevran knows with every fibre of his being that she isn't here bring her back, but to take her away from him.
"Morrigan don't!" He screams at her and hopelessly raised his left arm out as if that one simple act could close the short but eternal distance between them.
She turns wordlessly and the body in her arms sway ever so slightly and it's sickening. The Witches eyes are silently pleading for him to understand but he doesn't and he can't and he fears he never will. Then there is steel back in her eyes and he wonders if there's anything human about her. She shifts back into the bird form and soars high into the burning sky leaving large black feathers in her wake.
"She was dead." The words fall harshly from his own lips and he doesn't recognise his own voice anymore. There is no anger, no hated, not even desperation laced within it. He is hollow as saying the words aloud are another dent in the remnants of his heart.
Remarkably her voice is also broken and unseen tears want to break whatever composure she has left. "She was." She pauses trying to find the right words and when she finds none she says what comes to mind instead. "She still is, in a way. She died that day and was reborn with the soul of an Old God. I don't know how or even why. All I know for certain is that she simply is."
Her words don't make any sense and only confuse him more than he already was. So he focuses on what he desires. His desire to see her again, no matter what she is overwhelming. "I have to see her." He sheathes his daggers and puts his hands up open in a peaceful gesture.
"You cannot. T'is too dangerous and you will only jeopardise everything." Her voice is firm again and she won't tolerate this pathetic whiney demand of his anymore than she already has. Had she not already done more than required? She had told him that the Warden is alive but he couldn't follow them for his own sake? She didn't understand why that wasn't enough!
"Give her back to me!" He's reaching for his daggers again and so Morrigan uses the only weapon she possesses to keep him at bay long enough for her to get through the Eluvian.
"You never say her name anymore, do you?" She says it ever so casually, her trade mark tone and she notices him go rigid and freeze.
"Don't" Burning anger like the blazing fires that engulfed Denerim not so long ago. His fingers curl around one dagger and he's determined to throw it.
"You claim to love her, do anything to have her by your side. Yet you can't even say her name. Are you ashamed of her?" She snarls at him and half turns back towards the Eluvian with her hand outstretched, ready to go where she is needed.
"Witch. One last chance." He throws his dagger with perfect aim and it flies like an eagle, about to embed itself in her shoulder when it's deflected by a shining purple light and it clatters to the ground.
He instantly recognises the familiar sensation of her magic and colours she could ignite whenever she discharged a protective spell to keep her friends safe on their travels. His eyes widen and his mouth hangs open in a gasp as he simply has no idea what to do. She is so tantalisingly close yet it may as well be the entirety of Thedas.
"Seraphia?" Her name finally graces his lips and it feels as though a burden has been lifted off his shoulders.
"Ah, I was beginning to think you'd forgotten it." Morrigan teases and connects her hand to the mirror and allows it take in her body and she leaves him with her parting words.
"You will see her again, just not today."
The Eluvian having served its purpose shatters into thousands of tiny shards making it impossible for him to follow suit. His legs give out and he slumps down to his knees, his hands digging into the earth beneath him. Why couldn't he see her again? Did she not want to see him again? Had everything they shared together meant nothing?
He couldn't help the painful treacherous thoughts from swirling round his head this way and that way. He slammed his fists down in frustration and defeat when he realised that despite everything Morrigan hadn't lied to him, which meant that he would see his beloved Warden again.
Years later when the world is literally tearing itself apart, he finds himself in front of someone called the Inquisitor. The one person who can probably save the world from ending itself, a person much like his beloved Seraphia used to be.
"I'm told you know about the famous Warden Seraphia Surana." The Inquisitor asks him and Zevran is perplexed as to why the hero of today wishes to know about the hero over ten years ago.
He smiles an easy smile that genuinely lights up his entire face and puts a spark in his eyes that hasn't been there since the day she died.
"I'll tell you a story Inquisitor, about a Warden who defeated the Fifth Blight before it truly began. Who united a divided country and slew an Old God despite walking through Oblivion. It all started when I was sent to kill her..."