A/N: Credit where it's due. I could not have done this without Raven Sinead. She betad for me, idea-bounced for me, and in the process has become a dear friend.

She also wrote this ballad, which, in the context of my story, I am attributing to Leliana. Thank you, dear friend, for being so wonderfully awesome.

Thank you to everyone for reading, for enjoying, and for giving me feedback when I need it.


Epilogue

Leliana retrieves pen and ink. It has been many years since she has written more than correspondence to her agents, the letters she wrote to Solona while the mage was gone on Host Holy's mission notwithstanding. But she has not created anything since the end of the Blight.

Max brushes against her back as he rolls over, playing softly with Filou on his belly, who is still only half-grown. Bella keeps watch at the entrance to the tent. Outside, Solona speaks with Fiona. Cassandra took Zanneth to bed some time ago. Leliana fancies that, if she had her hearing, the soft, subtle sounds of their lovemaking would waft through the air if one were but to wander close enough to their tent.

The two of them warm her heart. They remind her of herself and Solona in their early days, and yet are so very different. They inspire her. She has loved a hero. She knows what it is to be in that situation. And they bear it… so very well.

Leliana has not been inspired to create anything in a very long time. Even for the Blight she did not set pen to paper, too grief-stricken was she. She had lost her hearing during the Great Battle of the Archdemon, but what she truly grieved was the loss of dear Wynne, whose life had bought Leliana her own. She could not bear to put to words the experiences she'd had during the Blight.

But here upon this mountain, out in the snow and wilderness... now she is inspired to create. And so, dipping her pen in a small, precious bottle of ink, Leliana sets pen to page and she creates something to satisfy the deep need in her heart.


O Seeker Still Seeking: The Ballad of Cassandra Pentaghast and the Herald of Andraste

As witnessed by Leliana, Hero of the Fifth Blight and Left Hand to Divine Justinia V

Through the black of the night and tear in the sky
The tongue of the righteous asks questions of why.
The Veil has been rent and the Maker undone.
Bright servant comes seeking the light of the sun.
O Seeker still seeking, your heartache resplendent,
Foregoing your heartbeat in struggle transcendent.
O Seeker still seeking for safe harbor home
One the Maker has marked you have marked for your own.

Your once-lover fallen, your leader cast down
the arcanists and jailers all vie for her crown
letting red blood flow free oe'r sea and oe'r land
lonely few still are hopeful and taking a stand.
O Seeker still seeking, your armor is cracking,
your heart torn asunder, your stamina lacking;
O Seeker still seeking for dreams that have flown
One the Maker has marked you have marked for your own.

The demon Pride screamed in the flaring green light
causing templar and archer to flee from its sight
still you stood daring death, daring hope, daring fate
with the Herald in infancy locking the gate.
O Seeker still seeking, please do not grow weary
though bleeding and anguish make Hope's vision bleary.
Oh Seeker still seeking, by Fate's wind now blown,
One the Maker has marked you have marked for your own.

The Right and Left Hand, one deafened, one blind,
to all but the world begging one strong and kind
to tend to the wound stretched out 'cross the sky,
hope resides in a hunter, a victim, a lie?
O Seeker still seeking, make valid the claim
of one who would wield great Andraste's name.
O Seeker still seeking, the seeds have been sown,
One the Maker has marked you have marked for your own.

You cradled the Herald so bruised battered broken,
her body a wreck of old hatreds unspoken,
through dark night you held her and lent her your strength;
your heart ached with love piercing its depth and length.
O Seeker still seeking, a mage leader coming,
all danger and destiny, threnody thrumming.
O Seeker still seeking, to Redcliffe's red stones,
One the Maker has marked you have marked for your own.

In Redcliffe the sky split; the Herald did vanish,
in red lyrium prison you suffered and languished,
the world fallen prey to the Elder One's madness,
all Thedas steeped deeply in bloodshed and sadness.
O Seeker still seeking, your love is still living,
she comes through time magic, now no more misgiving.
O Seeker still seeking, make your true heart known,
One the Maker has marked you have marked for your own.

With time set aright, Zanneth's spirit departed
her grief left unspoken, your love left unstarted.
You waited in quiet, in patience, in pain
for her silence to break, but you waited in vain.
O Seeker still seeking, no need now for guilt,
She carves a blade handle, a symbolic hilt.
O Seeker still seeking, bear a few nights alone,
One the Maker has marked you have marked for your own.

The sage Left Hand whispered, "Claim love, hold it dear,
seize the day, seize the moments; keep the one you love near."
'Neath the moon did the Herald acknowledge her heart;
seize her day and her moment, and let love's flames start.
O Seeker still seeking, the time came to lay bare,
your soul and your body, your spirit to share.
O Seeker still seeking, release self, blood, and bone.
One the Maker has marked you have marked for your own.

Then all the earth trembled; the dread Breach was sealed,
our riven faith mended, our deepest fears healed.
But a new terror rises, a would-be god roars,
demolishing Haven, slamming shut new love's doors.
O Seeker still seeking, you must leave her to fight,
and awaken without her when dark turns to light.
O Seeker still seeking, with heartache you groan.
One the Maker has marked you have marked for your own.

But, lo, she was found, body cold, hard as stone,
with your flesh you did warm her; for your absence atone.
From death's grasp she awakened, our Herald, our Light,
and your loving heart rested, now free from its plight.
O Seeker still seeking, this war is not done,
we all must keep fighting 'til all battles are won.
O Seeker still seeking, trust in love that is shown.
One the Maker has marked you have marked for your own.

And now we stand waiting, locked in mountains and snow,
but let the wind batter and the elements blow.
Our Herald shall save us and continue our mission,
strengthened by trial and by love's sweet admission.
O Seeker still seeking, embrace this tribulation
made sweeter by faith and love's transmutation.
O Seeker cease seeking for safe harbor home,
One the Maker has marked claims your heart as her own.