She is certain that she will never grow accustomed to being called the Herald of Andraste. The title is an overstatement that boarders on farcical. A day before she was no more than a minor emissary from the Ostwick Circle of Magi, one of many attending the Divine's Conclave, but now she is looked upon as though she is a holy relic to be treasured. It is uncomfortable, unnerving.
"I am not the Maker's chosen," she says to Cassandra as they stand in the nave of Haven's Chantry. "The very idea is ludicrous."
The Seeker shrugs. "Perhaps, but I will not pretend that you and that mark on your hand were not just what we needed exactly when we needed it. If that is not divine providence, I do not know what is."
She sighs, looking down at her left palm. It appears perfectly ordinary, the familiar lines unchanged by whatever magic is now bound there. It itches from time to time, though, as if to remind her that no matter what she says, there is now something quite extraordinary about her.
"What are we waiting for?" she asks.
"For the Inquisition's advisors," says Cassandra. "If we are to seal the Breach, we must have a strategy. There is much to plan, Enchanter Trevelyan."
"Is it necessary that I attend such a gathering?" she says, massaging her hand absently. "I am not one of your advisors."
Cassandra turns to her, cocking a brow. "No, but you are a part of the Inquisition, and like it or not, as Herald, you must be privy to our talks."
"Very well," she says, though her words are all but lost in the creaking of the Chantry doors as they swing open. A gust of icy wind sends snow swirling into the nave, though it melts quickly as it lands on the flagstones.
Sister Leliana seems indifferent to the bitter cold as she strides inside. Following close on her heels is a petite young woman with olive skin. She brushes the snow off of her gilt sleeves and runs a fretful hand over the intricate plaits in her dark hair.
"Enchanter Trevelyan," says Leliana, "it is good to see you again. May I present Josephine Montilyet, ambassador of the Inquisition?"
"I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Herald," Montilyet says, dropping a shallow curtsey. Both her accent and colorful garb are Antivan.
"Lady Ambassador," Trevelyan says, inclining her head.
"Shall we move this discussion to the war room?" asks Leliana.
"Not without the Commander," says Cassandra, her habitual frown deepening.
"I'm here." It is a man's voice. He stands at the threshold, his left hand resting on the pommel of his longsword.
At first the brightness of the snowy mountainside behind him hides his face, but when the doors slam shut behind him, Trevelyan sees him quite clearly. Her heart seizes as if it has turned to ice in her chest.
"It cannot be," she breathes.
Leliana looks over at her, brows knit, but she says nothing.
"I was detained by the soldiers returning from the forward camp," he says as he strides toward the others. "My apologies, Cassandra."
"We were not waiting long," the Seeker says. "Commander, may I present—"
"Rhoslyn," he says, his eyes widening.
It has been ten years since she last heard him speak her name.
"Hello, Cullen," she says.
Notes: I usually won't give the Inquisitor a first name because I like the reader to be able to envision their own, but in this case I did. I hope that doesn't dissuade you all too much.
I don't currently have a beta, so please forgive any errors that I haven't caught!