What does it take to radically alter the passage of time? It has been argued that a single butterfly ten thousand years in the past, if its down stroke were to be slower by a single millisecond, can causes a chain reaction of minute divergences which accumulate into a vastly different future. Time has been compared to a flowing river, and to continue this analogy, imagine the down stroke of a butterfly ten thousand years in the past to be a grain of sand. If one were to suspend this grain of sand at water level, a small, very narrow delta will form due to the disturbance of the drain on the water. If this narrow delta were the effect of the disturbance on a single planet, what then would be the stone or the boulder with their vastly larger trails? What would be the effect of the damming of the river of time, the subsequent divergence of the river? What we have is an event of with universe altering consequences.
The Twelfth Age aka Dragon Age, Year 37; Anno Domini 1137, Spring
Kentish Peninsula, Kingdom of Britannia
Ethelred leaned on his spade, its head digging into the loamy soil scattered about from the digging. He nodded his head, pleased with the irrigation trenches he and his sons had completed. Britannia was rebuilding from the century of misfortune that had befallen it since Le Batard had invaded Ethelred's homeland. First came the Norman horselords, imposing their ideas of serfdom and servitude onto the populace. Shortly after they had been expelled, a Blight ravaged the Midlands, drastically decreasing the population base of the Kingdom. Now, there was the infernal Mage-Templar conflict to be worried about. Apparently some fool had thought it a good idea to blow up the Chantry at Antwerp. The fact that the fool had been executed on the spot was cold comfort for Ethelred as the problem had intensified and affected all of Europe. Honestly, he had better things to worry about, like the new son he was expecting.
His eldest son was waving at him from across the field, what was he doing instead of working? "Get back to work, Oswine!" He yelled.
"Father, riders approach!"
Grumbling under his breath, Ethelred lifted his spade from the good earth, spraying some of the rich black dirt onto his pants. It reminded him of the black blood that poured from the accursed darkspawn whenever his axe cut through their horrible distorted bodies, drowning in their own blood chuckling like it was a good joke. That was long ago.
Stomping towards Oswine, Ethelred could indeed see a mounted trio approach his homestead. At its head was a woman with a severe expression and short black hair to match it. To her left another woman with a well crafted expression of neutrality, her head covered mostly by a hood. The last rider was clearly a warrior wearing splendidly shining armour that flashed in the sunlight. Ethelred could recognise that armour anywhere, having fought next to individuals such as he during the blight. Templar.
"Get your brothers to safety Oswine, I fear this may not be a mere house call."
Oswine immediately herded his brothers into the storehouse. Meanwhile, Ethelred positioned himself in front of the front door, his spade planted in the earth in such a way that one could imagine him as a hero of old. The trio stopped their horses a spearlength away. They did not dismount.
The man spoke, "Be at ease, freeholder, we are here for inspection regarding matters of the Fade."
Oswine better to a good job or he won't be my son any longer, Ethelred thought.
The severe woman spoke with an unknown accent, "We shall commence this inspection immediately; regardless of whatever objections you may have."
She marched towards him like a one man, or woman, shield wall. Her glare was like the gaze of the archdemon itself.
The other woman spoke up, "If you would kindly allow us to inspect your dwelling, we will be able to leave sooner." That accent was recognisably French, though not very strong. Ethelred considered his options, and then reluctantly moved to the side.
"Nothing appears wrong with this place, perhaps your spies are not as capable as you say they are, Leliana?"
"I assure you, my nightingales are rarely, if ever, wrong."
"Lady Seeker, would you please examine this?"
Ethelred could resist no longer and took a look at this "inspection". The man was holding one of the hoes, the one his youngest son Adalbert typically used. Adalbert was prone to zap his brothers for amusement with that hoe. Ethelred's heart sank, it was only a matter of time.
The severe woman glanced at the farm tool and snorted. "I sensed that long ago, Cullen. We are not here for apostates."
Ethelred exhaled loudly. At the sound Leliana looked at him with a slight smile, "We knew you were harbouring apostates within the first report. But as the Lady Seeker Pentaghast says, we are not here for your sons."
Cullen gazed around the room then shrugged, "I suppose the anomaly has moved on." He turned towards Ethelred, "We thank you for your cooperation, be more careful with your sons and do remember to send them to the circle."
As they turned to leave, Ethelred asked, "Aren't you with the Chantry?"
Lady Seeker Pentaghast looked at him with that piercing gaze, "We serve a higher purpose."
They mounted their horses and left Ethelred in the dust.