The Second Warrior
I do not own Kung Fu Panda or Dragon Age. Those belong to Dreamworks and BioWare.
For years, I often regretted being given the gift of foresight. Perhaps if I remained silent about the Warrior of Black and White, many lives would not have been lost. And the young lord would not have gone down the dark path further by committing a grievous sin. And now, the lord is gone and the Warrior of Black and White was victorious. I am certain his parents, living and gone, would be proud.
I did have one joy out of the tragic ordeal. I had told no one, not even the late rulers of Gongman City, that there were not one, but two Warriors. But I held my tongue because of the destiny the little one held.
When Lord Shen attacked the panda villages, one young mother fled farther than any panda could in one night, resting only when it was safe for a time. She ran and ran, carrying her infant child, a daughter, and shielding her from anything that would do her harm. The mother ran until she reached caravan of unknown make. With her pursuers catching up, she begged the caravan owner to take her child and hide her. The foreign woman reluctantly accepted and hid the child in the caravan before she went after the mother.
By the time she found her, it was too late.
And so the child, with nowhere to go, was taken far away. Far from the village of her birth, far from Gongman City, far from China. Far across a vast sea to a new land. It is on this land that the child was able to grow up. The stranger who was given the child gave her to the mages when it was discovered that she possessed magic. Over the years, she worked hard so she could master her powers. But unbeknownst to all, the child was destined to become a great warrior that could save the land from a great evil.
Now that Lord Shen has been defeated, it is time for the Warriors of Black and White meet.
It had been nearly two months since Gongman City was freed from the madness of Lord Shen and Po was helping his adopted father, Mr. Ping, with the noodle shop. It was nothing new to the panda, yet he missed it. True, he found the life of the Dragon Warrior awesome, but it was nice to return to his simple upbringing every once in a while. Mr. Ping called out as five bowels of fresh noodle soup sat on the counter.
"Table 5 is ready!"
Heeding his father, Po collected the soups and carefully made his way to Table 5, where he placed the five orders carefully into place. As he was returning to the kitchen, a voice caused him to stop.
"Po! Shifu wants you to come to the Jade Palace right away!"
Po looked up to the source of the voice to find that it was Crane beckoning him.
"Can't it wait, Crane? I'm working at the shop today!"
But Crane shook his head.
"He says it's important."
With that, Crane flew towards the Jade Palace, the lone Kung Fu monastery that stood overlooking the Valley of Peace.
The panda looked to his goose father before gaining the nod of approval to leave.
"Go on, Po. Lunch Hour's over anyway."
"Thanks, Dad!" Po thanked his father as he headed towards the Jade Palace.
He started climbing the stairs with such vigor, but when he reached the top, Po collapse on the stone as he struggled to catch his breath.
Just then, a new voice spoke.
"Hello again, panda."
Po remembered this voice. It belonged to the one who helped him recover from his injuries after his foolish attack against Shen as well as the one who helped him remember his distant past.
Turning around, he saw the owner of the voice, covered by a cloak. The short figure lifted her head to reveal a goat's face. Po's eyes widened as he recognized her.
Inside the Jade Palace…
Inside the Hall of Heroes, Po sat in a semi-circle with the Furious Five and their master, Shifu. In front of them was the Soothsayer that had saved Po two months prior. Having been told of her involvement on what had happened, Shifu stood up to bow.
"You honor us with your presence, Soothsayer. But why have you come and why did you request the Dragon Warrior to be here?"
The Soothsayer's gentle smile fell as she answered, her eyes going over old memories.
"I've had a vision. The Fifth Blight is upon us."
Shifu's eyes widened with sudden horror while his students became confused.
"A…blight? Like a plague?" Viper asked.
The Soothsayer shook her head while Shifu remained silent, the shock keeping him silent.
"No, child. This is no illness, although it might be all things considered. To explain the Blight, I must start at the beginning."
She took a seat on the cushion that was brought before her as she answered the warriors' questions.
"Long, long ago, a group of greedy mages sought to conquer a heavenly city. But they were cast out. As punishment, the mages became the first of monstrous creatures known as the Darkspawn. These creatures desire nothing but to cause death and destruction. In addition, a poisonous taint within their blood has the potential to kill or corrupt any who consume it."
At that part, Mantis held his mouth to keep his breakfast down. The Soothsayer continued.
"These creatures make their home underground, but once in a while, they will come up to the surface and attack. But a true Blight will be recognized by the appearance…of an archdemon."
"And…what is an archdemon?" Crane asked, not liking where the conversation was going.
"As the heavenly city fell, the old gods that resided there fell into slumber. When an old god is found by Darkspawn, they taint it. Once it becomes an archdemon, the creature leads the Darkspawn to the surface. Thus begins a Blight."
Tigress narrowed her eyes.
"How do we stop it?"
After much silence, Shifu finally spoke.
The six martial arts masters gaped at their teacher's response.
"But…why not?" Viper asked, her gaze focused on the red panda master.
Shifu answered her whilst gazing at the hall's tapestries.
"There is only so much Kung Fu can do. But ending a Blight is not among them. No Kung Fu master can stop it."
The students lowered their eyes, saddened at the sound of defeat. But once again, Shifu caught their attention.
"But they can aid the ones who can."
The students listened in while Po asked the question.
Shifu answered, keeping his gaze upon the tapestries.
"The Grey Wardens."
"The who?" Po asked, once again voicing the students' curiosity.
Shifu approached the shelves of scrolls at the end of the hall and, with the aid of Kung Fu, pulled out a particular scroll from the top shelf. After clearing the dust, Shifu unrolled the scroll on the floor. The students looked at the parchment and saw warriors of different races unknown to them fighting against demonic-looking creatures. All of the warriors had an image of a shield with a silver griffin over them.
"The Grey Wardens: an order of warriors dedicated to defeating the darkspawn and protecting the world from them. They are a neutral sect that takes in recruits regardless of race, gender, class, even of what crime they had committed."
He then gave his students a look of serious urgency.
"The Grey Wardens are absolutely instrumental to defeating a Blight. Without them, the entire world will be swept by the darkspawn hordes."
The Soothsayer gave a slow nod.
"And it is a Grey Warden that I asked you all here."
The seven turned their attention to the goat, curious as to what she was talking about. The Soothsayer turned her head sadly to Po, giving him a pained look.
"I had told you of the vision that had doomed your kind. Of the Warrior of Black and White, that was destined to defeat Shen. But there is one part of the vision I had told no one, not even Shen."
Po's ears perked up as he listened intently. The Soothsayer finally revealed the long-kept secret.
"There are not one, but two Warriors of Black and White. And the Second is to become a Grey Warden."
Hearing this, the surprised masters looked to Po. His mouth hung open in shock. He wasn't the only one that had escaped Shen's wrath that terrible night. What's more, the second Warrior, a panda, was to fight against the oncoming Blight.
The Soothsayer continued.
"And if the First has defeated Shen, they will join their fellow Warrior…to fight against the Blight. If the First was defeated, then the Second would come and put an end to Shen."
This brought the others' attention to the goat, Po still in his stunned stance. Shifu spoke up in shock once he realized what the Soothsayer meant.
"Are you saying…that Po…?"
The Soothsayer answered the Kung Fu master, shaking her head.
"He will not become a Grey Warden. But will protect them instead. Two lands must fight together to preserve the world and those within it."
"But where is this other warrior?" Monkey asked. "What province is he in?"
The Soothsayer shook her head.
"The warrior is not in China. But in the land of Ferelden. And…it is a she."
This brought up Po's attention once more. Another land? And the warrior was female? After hearing this, he turned his attention to Shifu.
"Master Shifu! I have to go to this Ferelden place!"
The Kung Fu masters gasped in shock as Po said this.
"Are you crazy, Po?" Mantis protested.
"Going to another land," Crane argued.
"During a Blight." Monkey added in.
"To find another panda?" Viper asked.
Shifu proceeded to speak his own mind as well.
"What has brought this on, Dragon Warrior? You must have heard what is to come."
Po nodded, turning around to look at the sky outside the doors of the Jade Palace.
"I heard. But…I was thinking about her."
The Kung Fu masters raised their eyebrows at Po's statement. They waited moments until Po continued.
"Just think about it. This other warrior. She must be going through what I had felt when I found out my dad wasn't exactly my dad. Wondering who she is, what she is, and where she came from."
He then turned to his fellow warriors and spoke.
"I…I feel like I have to at least meet her. If not to help her with the Blight, then with her own past."
The masters were stunned at this. Normally, Po would be excited and energetic about going to another land. But this…the solemn yet humble answer surprised them. The Furious Five looked to their master for an answer, something that could convince the Dragon Warrior not to go. But Shifu's frown became a light smile.
"That is an honorable, yet humble response, Po. And I will allow it."
"What?!" The Five shouted.
"What? Really?" Po asked in confusion.
Shifu returned to the scroll shelf and brought out another parchment. This one, however, held a seal with the image of a griffin on it.
"Long ago, Master Oogway led all of the Kung Fu masters of China and their students to aid the Grey Wardens against the Blights. This treaty asks aid between the Masters and the Wardens. Present this to the Grey Wardens of Ferelden and explain to them that you are to aid them by the treaty that was made by a strong bond from long ago."
"So even if another panda wasn't involved, we are obligated to helping the Wardens?" Tigress asked.
Shifu answered the tiger.
"It doesn't matter, but we are all affected by the Blights and the sooner our orders unify, the better."
Taking the scroll, Po became his excitable self again.
"I've gotta go tell Dad!"
Meanwhile, in Ferelden…
In the land of Ferelden, a lone tower overlooked a vast lake. Inside, animals of all ages and races strive to master their Maker-given magic. Aside from the students and masters are the templars, warriors of the religious Chantry of Andraste. These warriors were formed to deal with rogue mages Of course, with the persecution of those with magic blood, the mages within the tower most often felt more like prisoners than a protected flock. Most mages never see the light of day. And for one woman, it is all too true.
She was a panda, about the height of a human and had thick, white and black, braided cords draping from her head to her back. Her clothing consisted of blue and gold apprentice robes and had leather boots on her feet. Her sapphire eyes gazed upon the book in her paws, filled with studious intent.
In a month, she would undergo the most important event in a young mage's life: the Harrowing. No apprentice knew exactly what goes on during the Harrowing, but if they pass it, then not only would the apprentice become a full-fledge mage, but they would be allowed to leave the tower. That was the one benefit she was looking forward to.
The tower she lived in was both a home and a prison. She wasn't the only one either. Many of the mages, mostly apprentices, felt that the tower was more of a massive cell than an educational institution for those gifted in magic. In addition to there being so few kind templars, there was also the fear of becoming one of the Tranquil.
The Tranquil were mages that went through the Rite of Tranquility, in which they are cut off from the Fade, the otherworldly realm where mages draw power. In addition, Tranquils could no longer enter the Fade as well. But what was worse is that it removes the emotional center of the mage, while becoming practically immune to demonic possession, they remain as automatons for the rest of their lives. Only those who truly feared or despised their own magic would volunteer to become Tranquil.
She refused to become one of the Tranquil. Thus, she studied daily, practicing new spells and reciting the rules of magic and once in a while, the Chant of Light. At the moment, she was studying the effects of elemental spells and how to counter them when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
She turned her head to find one of her oldest friends, a spotted hyena apprentice named Jowan, looking at her with weary eyes.
"Come now, Aja. Curfew is upon us and I am certain you don't want to get into trouble with the Templars again."
The panda, Aja, gave a smile as she set the book down.
"Alright, Jowan. I'm getting up."
As she stood, Jowan took the book and set it aside before he walked down the dark corridors with the panda. Aja let out a yawn as they entered the apprentice's dorm. Wooden bunk beds lined up in the room, uncomfortable to the students.
As Jowan went to his bunk in the men's dorm, Aja made her way to an alcove at the far corner of the women's dorm room. That was where her bunk was since she had gotten bigger. She wasn't overweight, but she was still bigger than the other students. After a few accidents where her size was an issue, Aja was given her own bunk. Once she completed the Harrowing, she would be moved to the mage's quarters unless otherwise. And for Aja, it was otherwise. She had a goal she wanted to keep.
Aja wanted to explore the outside world.
I've done it again. I've created a new fic.
The hardest part in creating this fic was choosing an origin and a name for Aja. Originally, I planned to have Aja be the adopted daughter of the Dwarf Noble after they were banished.