Note: Hello all, and welcome to my newest addition. I've had this story in the works for a while. It originally had a different plot but thanks to the best DLC ever, Trespasser, it underwent a facelift. This story has a lot of characters from both the game and originals. A lot of this will focus on characters so it might seem a bit slow to start as I introduce them. Please be patient with me. There are also a lot of spoilers from Trespasser and also from the book Masked Empire for a few characters.
This is a work in progress so please be patient with me. By all means I appreciate feedback so feel free to leave a comment.
Summary: 15 years after the events of Trespasser the Inquisition is still at full capacity, answering to the Devine herself and trying to stop the lingering threat from the Ancient Elf, Solas; his plan to sunder the world continuously thwarted by the interference of his former lover Inquisitor Khrystabel Lavellan. The Inquisitor must juggled the very real threat from Solas, Tevinter threatening war on the South, a very powerful ancient Relic, and her daughters love life.
**THIS IS A REPOST**
I have changed around the relationships of three characters; The Inquisitor, Michel, and Fenris. The story remains the same but I had to edit several chapters with new content. Sorry about the confusion but 17 chapters in I just wasn't feeling a major relationship.
Khrystabel felt odd, it wasn't because she was standing in front of the Exalted Council, no, she'd lost half of her left arm to the magic that created the Anchor. Solas stopped it from killing her but couldn't save her arm. It felt strange and was going to be hard to get used to but that was a problem for later. Another thing Solas took from her, she'd gotten used to her lack of vallaslin and in time she'd get used to this. Khrys was a small Dalish Elf born to Clan Lavellan in the Free Marches. To say she was small was an understatement, she was barely 5 foot and a hay bale weighed more. Her white hair was pulled into a tight proper bun and was a stark contrast to the black, white, and red of the formal Inquisition uniform.
"The Inquisition will remain at Skyhold at its full capacity," Khrys stated and could see the nobles from Orlais and Fereldan squirm but Gaspard, Alistair, and Lydia remained silent. "The Inquisition has always been a neutral party and will remain so."
"We understand the Inquisitions importance, Inquisitor," Alistair assured, he was fine with the organizations presence as it had saved his Kingdom twice and all of Thedas. The problem was his nobles, Crestwood and Redcliffe were in an uproar over the huge army that straddled the Orlesian and Fereldan boarder and held considerable ground in both countries. "But Arl Teagan is not wrong. You can remain in Fereldan but you must give back Caer Bronach in Crestwood and reduce your presence in Redcliffe. You can keep Grand Forest Villa and Mage's Keep and you may establish a permanent presence in Denerim. The Blades of Hessairin may remain on the Storm Coast so long as Highever deems it fit." Khrys simply listened to Alistair speak; he was a good King…a little goofy at times but a good man. "In the Follow Mire, you may keep the Hargrave ruin and restore it to its former glory if you wish."
Not an unreasonable concession and Khrys nodded in agreement. "Of course, Your Grace," she replied and Alistair groaned, he hated being called that.
"I have not forgotten your tireless efforts to save my Empire, Mistress Lavellan, the Inquisition is always welcome in the Empire of Orlais, no stipulations are necessary, Dear Lady," Gaspard said, and Alistair made no attempt to hide his eye roll. He'd been competing with Gaspard for two years now. "You are more than welcome to remain at Suledin Keep at your full capacity for so long as you deem it necessary. Orlais has not forgotten the debt that is owed to the Inquisition and my debt to you personally."
Dorian was standing by the door, or rather leaning against the wall with his arms across his chest. He'd returned from Minrathous and it wasn't nearly soon enough. It had been a rough two years for him and he couldn't wait to return to the Inquisition but now his father had died and that prompted another return to Minrathous. Honestly the entire time he'd been in Tevinter all he wanted to do was come back to Skyhold. He missed Khrys and strangely enough Iron Bull too. He'd been invited to the Exalted Council as the Tevinter ambassador, he grumbled about it but it was a way for him to get back to the Inquisition. He'd rather be here than in the bickering, squabbling Magisterium. "Kiss ass," he thought sharply with a stifled snort.
To her credit, Khrys didn't say what she was thinking because it mirrored Dorian's thoughts. Gaspard was a great ally but he did tend to kiss her ass more than anyone else in Thedas. "You're too kind, Your Majesty."
"We would ask one more thing of you actually, as the Wardens have been expelled from Orlais we do understand that you have a number of Wardens in your ranks," Gaspard went on. "if you would allow those Wardens to man Griffon Wing Keep in the Approach it would put the minds of those worried about another Blight at ease."
Khrys nodded but the number of Wardens she had in her ranks amounted to about ten. She'd need more, far more.
"The Fereldan Wardens would happily garrison Griffon Wing for you, Emperor Gaspard, Lady Inquisitor; you have but only to ask. We are allies after all," Lydia Theirin stated from the floor. The Warden-Commander of Fereldan was also the Queen of Fereldan, she was the love of Alistair's life, and Mage or not Alistair married her. She had noble blood as she was the daughter of Bryce Cousland, sent to Kinloch Hold at age eight when her power manifested. The fact that she was a Blood Mage was well hidden given that it would be one more issue about them getting married. Alistair loved her ability to thumb her nose at the nobles and the Chantry when they said she couldn't marry the man she loved. It was a hilarious sight watching her rail away at the Chantry and his Advisors giving them every reason as to why it was none of their business who Alistair married and if he chose her they could give their best shot in trying to stop them. They also really hated the idea that she was still serving as a Warden, again nose thumbing. Going to war with the Hero of Fereldan and her love was the last thing Fereldan needed to do. "The Inquisition fought to save the Wardens from Corypheus so we will help in any way we can."
"Boy she can kiss ass with the best of them," Dorian thought, he'd been silent for the entire talk. As the Tevinter Ambassador he had the right to be there but he didn't have anything to say. Tevinter could shove it; he was here for her that's it.
Gaspard looked at her and smiled beneath his mask with a nod. "Yes, of course, My Queen, I thank you. King Alistair, your wife is truly magnificent," he accepted smoothly, the Orlesian charm showing and Alistair shook his head, but knew all too well the type of woman he married.
All in all this Council was going better than she would have thought. It had been delayed and moved around about a hundred times while she headed off the Qunari threat and Solas' threat but Gaspard, Alistair, and Lydia gave her the benefit of the doubt. Coming back missing half her arm with a very real threat from her former lover was also a big indicator that she wasn't lying.
Alistair and Gaspard both told their nobles to shut the hell up and sit down which didn't win any medals but it did lessen the load that was weighing on Khrys. Now it was Leliana's turn to speak, still seeing Leliana as the Divine was strange sight, of course she didn't go by Leliana now…she was Victoria and that didn't seem right to anyone. Alistair still couldn't call her Victoria, and like Khrys, kept calling her Leliana until they both just gave up trying to correct it.
"Inquisitor Lavellan, the Inquisition has the full support of the Chantry to do what is necessary to contain any threats to Thedas and the Chantry," she stated and the room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Her statement was bound to be unpopular considering the sheer size and influence the Inquisition was. They were a power in their own right that could rival any kingdom on its boarders.
"The Kingdom of Fereldan supports this also," Alistair added from his position to the left of Leliana.
"And Orlais' as well, My Lady," Gaspard echoed.
The murmuring in the chamber grew steadily louder as those for disbanding the Inquisition did not hear what they wanted.
"You are to remain neutral in dealings with Thedas' kingdoms. A Council will be called at a later date to discuss further details as to the Inquisition's role and establish oversight. I declare the Exalted Council adjourned," Leliana ordered hearing the voices of angry people getting louder and louder. Cullen's sheer presence was normally enough to make people think twice about being stupid, he wasn't a small guy and bore a striking resemblance to a Lion when he was about to lose his temper. Lydia's presence was also a deterrent, the Hero of Fereldan, she killed countless dragons, Darkspawn, the Architect, and the Mother…not exactly the person that someone wanted to tangle with.
Dorian kept a watchful eye on Khrys; she was his only friend, he was sure of that. She never judged him, even Bull judged him from time to time but Khrys simply shrugged and kept flirting with him. "Nobody's perfect," she always said to him. Tevinter or not it flattered him to know that she trusted him completely and that was something he'd never betray. He'd rather die before hurting her in anyway. It was hard enough for him to see her with the disintegrating left arm after she stumbled back through the Eluvian. He carried her back through the network and could still hear her half-conscious sobs that weren't entirely caused by the pain in her arm. Cole babbled uncontrollably on the way back about love and pain and duty. When Cole babbled like that around Khrys it usually was related to that fucking Elf. The physical and emotional pain she was in, and had been in for quite some time, was because of Solas or Fen'Harel, whatever he was calling himself, and it was just one more reason he had to kill that bastard when he saw him again.
Since he brought her back to the Winter Palace he didn't stray far, he was there at her bedside and stayed there until she woke up hours later. Her arm from the elbow down was lost, it disintegrated in the form of the familiar Fade rift material he'd sifted through during the War…it sickened him and angered him like he'd never been angry before.
Dorian never went back to Tevinter after the Exalted Council, for good anyway; he visited to take care of business but never stayed more than a month. All he'd wanted for most of his life was to get a seat in the Magisterium, and now that he took over his father's position he didn't want it. He and his father may not have had the best relationship but he knew his father had been assassinated. He'd had enough of Tevinter. He may not have liked the rustic side of Skyhold but he loved being around Khrys, she made him a better person and he liked that. He also took a leap and asked something of Khrys that shocked her and himself too; almost a year after the Exalted Council he'd asked Khrys to have a child with him. She was more than a little surprised to hear him ask that but she was the only one that he trusted enough for such a thing and the logistics of doing such a thing were hilarious in its own right given his sexual preference. It was strange but it wasn't the strangest thing in Skyhold.
Chapter One: Denerim
When Dorian first came south seventeen years ago he found Fereldan and Orlais so alien it made him homesick, now it was still alien to him but he'd gotten used to it. He missed some things about Tevinter, the social gatherings, the freedom that mages enjoyed, one or two people as well but he loved being at Skyhold with the only person he really counted as a friend, Khrys. She had insisted that he had more friends than just her but there was a special bond between them. He didn't typically leave Skyhold but after receiving a letter from King Alistair inviting him to come to Denerim he couldn't very well refuse. It was shocking honestly, it had been a while since he saw Alistair and Lydia and he wasn't sure why he had been invited to come to the palace but he went anyway.
He was accompanied to Denerim by a full contingent of Inquisition guards, the invite had been for him and Khrystabel but she wasn't feeling up to a two or three week journey so Dorian went alone with his twelve soldiers. He couldn't figure out if that was Khrys' doing or Cullen's.
Fort Drakon was massive, still the same size it was when he was last there but he still found it to be quite impressive. His people never did anything small and when they built an outpost it stood the test of time.
Alistair and Lydia both were still hailed as the Heroes of Fereldan, The Warden King and Queen. Lydia killed the High Dragon at the Temple of Sacred Ashes and lead the Warden's to victory while Alistair dealt the killing blow to the Archdemon. Lydia still served as the Warden-Commander of Fereldan and despite being a Mage she was absolutely loved by the people. Alistair hadn't changed much, still the handsome smartass that he ever was. When Dorian first met him, Alistair threatened to have him and Khrys executed for the mess in Redcliffe if they didn't leave. You could say they got off on the wrong foot. Alistair even threatened his own mother, Fiona; of course Alistair didn't know who she was at the time. Eleven years ago Lydia and Khrys sat them both down and had them talk. They really needed to and it shocked the hell out of Alistair to learn who his mother was. It took him time to figure out how to handle it but years later the relationship between Fiona and Alistair had stabilized.
Dorian was dressed in his travel clothes, at Skyhold he typically wore finer clothes but didn't like parading around the Fortress looking like a princess. His clothes were practical, the fact that they were made of out fine silk, fine cotton or other expensive fabrics was merely because he could afford it…and the finer stuff felt better against his skin. He couldn't quite shake the Tevinter noble in him. For travel across the entirety of the Fereldan Kingdom he wore his armor, a lot of armor. As stable and popular as the Inquisition was among Fereldan they did have their fair share of enemies and those who didn't trust them. Redcliffe was a big one still with Teagan as the Arl. He didn't trust all the Mage's in the Inquisition ranks and was the one who poked and prodded his 'nephew' Alistair to call for the Exalted Council. Teagan was a pain in the ass then and he was pain in the ass now. This was new armor too, dominate color in it was a dark red with obsidian buckles, buttons, and gauntlets and greaves; it was a gift from Khrys on his birthday. She was a practical woman and had been telling him for months that he needed a new set of armor so she had Dagna and Harritt make it; the fact that it was red wasn't a surprise to him. She'd always said he looked good in red.
The Palace guards eyed him closely, he may not have been the most intimidating character in the Inquisition but he was an extremely skilled mage. Right now he was dressed for battle, had a dagger on his left hip, his three headed dragon staff on his back, and was flanked by several Inquisition guards that were firmly under his command; he didn't blame the Palace guards for giving him the hairy eyeball.
"Dorian," Alistair greeted as Dorian was escorted into the Main Hall and Dorian respectfully bowed to him. "nice to see you again."
"Your Majesty, nice to see you as well," he said and Alistair extended his hand to him in friendship.
"Oh please, drop the formalities, call me Alistair," he said as Dorian shook his hand firmly. "Khrystabel not with you?" he asked scanning the six guards that were with him.
"Regrettably she had other business to attend to…the Inquisitors work is never done," he replied as he removed his gloves happy to be off the road. At least at Skyhold he had servants that could attend to him. He was still a Tevinter noble after all and enjoyed being pampered; the staff at Skyhold had gotten used to him and stepped up the service to him. It wasn't perfect seeing as how Khrys told the staff to do what they could and not bend to his every whim but he took it.
"Well, that's too bad," he said and gestured for Dorian to walk with him further into the Palace.
The Royal Palace put Skyhold to shame; it was twice the size and far more grand. Grand by Fereldan standers, statues and carvings of Mabari were everywhere. He really didn't care for the décor in the palace but then again he was used to Imperial carvings. When they first reached Skyhold Khrys noticed that its décor was distinctly Elven, most notably Falon'Din. There were Owl statues and carvings everywhere, Cullen's office, the main hall, Khrys' chambers and various other places. This gave more credibility to Solas' claim that Skyhold was built by the ancient Elves. Skyhold's décor was now a hodgepodge of Elven, Fereldan, and a little Tevinter.
"Dorian," a female voice greeted as they entered the wing of the palace that held the apartments. Dorian's eyes moved to the woman who stood up from the couch letting the book she had fall to the couch. "welcome to Denerim," she finished. It was Lydia, Queen of Fereldan, her reddish brown hair hung loose down over she shoulders as she wore a light blue dress. Dorian blinked, he wasn't attracted to women but had to admit she was pretty. He'd never seen her without armor of some kind on. Even at the Exalted Council she wore her full Warden armor.
"My Dear, Lydia, you look positively radiant," he smiled and walked up to her taking her right hand in his and kissing the back of it like a gentleman. Dorian was absolutely irresistible when he turned on the charm; years spent being a gentleman in Tevinter playing the part of the good son. He snared Khrystabel by accident but thankfully she didn't hate him when the truth came out. He may not have been attracted to women but he could see beauty when it was there and Lydia was definitely beautiful.
Lydia blushed as he was almost as charming as Alistair. No one was as charming as Alistair; he gave her a rose after all to show how much he loved her and bashfully came to her to ask her to his bed. While she was at the Circle Tower there wasn't much time for charm or ceremony so when Alistair professed his love for her it won her heart forever. He told all of Thedas to shove it when they said that he couldn't marry her. Dorian was a charmer but nothing compared to her Alistair. "Charming as ever, Dorian," She smiled and couldn't help but blush. "I can see why Khrystabel hasn't sent you back to Tevinter."
Dorian chuckled. "Only because she hasn't gotten around to it yet," he replied grinning letting his sense of humor show through.
Lydia giggled at his joke as Dorian stood up straight to his full height; he was tall, taller than Alistair. "How is Gabriella?" she asked gesturing for Dorian to sit down. Servants hovered and buzzed around like bees providing finger food, water, and wine. He still wasn't sure why Alistair had invited him but good manners dictated that he be cordial and friendly to the hospitality first before diving into business.
"Good," he answered settling into the comfortable chair across from where Lydia was. A servant poured a healthy amount of wine into the glass he was holding and he could smell the sweet scent of a Tevinter red. He found that a little odd but it also could just be more hospitality, he was from Tevinter and enjoyed the finer things, Tevinter and Antiva had the best wines. "Very good actually, driving her mother and I crazy. She's got this independent streak and insists on breaking every rule Khrys and I lay down."
"How old is she now…sixteen?" Alistair asked as Dorian took a drink from him wine glass.
"Almost…in a few more months," he replied as the door on the other side of the room opened. A young man walked through and headed for them. He was about five foot ten with brown hair that was long but slicked back properly. He was young, probably barely seventeen, but fit and carried himself with confidence. He wore black tall boots, brown trousers, and a black tunic. Those clothes weren't indoor clothes, Dorian observed, they were outdoor ware. Probably going riding, he'd recognize riding clothing anywhere as Bree wore it daily.
"Father," he stated addressing Alistair who hadn't sat down and turned to face him.
"Ahh..," Alistair said and patted his back drawing him to sand next to him, "excellent timing."
Dorian blinked realizing who the young man was as soon as the word 'father' left his lips. "By the Maker," Dorian exclaimed, setting his glass down and rising to his feet. "Is this Duncan?"
Alistair grinned proudly patting his son's back. "Duncan, may I present Lord Dorian Pavus of the Inquisition."
Duncan gave a respectful head nod and Dorian bowed to the Prince before him. "A pleasure, Lord Pavus." The Inquisition was a highly respected order that Duncan had grown up hearing about just like the Wardens and the Templars.
"The last time I saw you, you were about two," Dorian said smiling and looking the young man up and down. "You look just like your mother…and that's a good thing…your father's not very handsome," he sniped and Duncan chuckled, almost awkwardly. He did look like Lydia, all in the nose and mouth, but Dorian wasn't sure where the dark brown hair came from with an auburn and a blonde being the parents, his eyes though...they were just like Alistair's and his smile was Alistair's too.
Lydia laughed and Alistair shook his head to the kindhearted ribbing. "That's the same thing mother says," Duncan joked causing Dorian to laugh louder.
"Oh splendid sense of humor, young man," he praised as Duncan turned to his father.
"If you don't mind I was going to go riding. Commander Roth was going to show me more cavalry tactics," Duncan asked respectfully to Alistair who nodded. "It'll give me a chance to work more with Raider."
Alistair nodded to his son; Duncan had a heavy interest in combat and cavalry, something he encouraged. "Of course. If Raider is still giving you problems come find me, I'll help you," he said and Duncan nodded to the group.
"Mother," he acknowledged then looked to Dorian. "Lord Pavus."
As he left Dorian was shocked and sat back down. "What a difference in fifteen years makes," he said. "He's grown up to be a handsome fellow."
Alistair sat down and looked like the proud father that he was. Duncan was a one in a million miracle child. Both his parents were Wardens, one parent being a Warden was hard enough to reproduce but two was supposed to impossible. It took nearly ten years of trying but it finally happened and Alistair and Lydia had Duncan. Since he was the miracle child he was barred from doing a lot of things. He wanted to be a Warden but Alistair and Lydia forbade it. The Templar Order had been rolled into the Seekers under Lady Seeker Cassandra Pentaghast and that was more acceptable to both than a Warden but the fact Duncan was heir to the Fereldan Kingdom meant he wasn't able to go and do much of anything, Templars, Seekers, Wardens…none of it. "He's bored with Denerim though," Alistair sighed. "Wants to join the Wardens or the Seekers."
Dorian cackled. "For a miracle child of two Wardens…I don't think so," he said making Lydia chuckle, that was the exact sentiment that they'd had.
They exchanged glances and Dorian's eyes flicked between them. Something was up and he got the feeling that he wasn't going to like it or at the very least it would be unpleasant. "That's actually why we asked you here," Alistair said. "You and Khrys."
"Oh this can't be good," Dorian thought and took one last drink from his glass and then set it down crossing his legs and giving them his full attention. "Alright…"
"It's about that time where Duncan is getting a lot of attention from the court to marry," Alistair began and nearly felt uncomfortable about this topic but he'd worked it out with Lydia beforehand that he would do the talking, a dangerous prospect given Alistair's fear of talking to large crowds or to people in general. He got flustered and that usually resulted in a babbling idiot. "And Gabriella's become a fine young woman. Raised well, educated, and has two parents who love her."
Dorian's brow furrowed. "Uh oh…here it comes," he was quiet as he looked between them but he could see this coming like fireball. No wonder they sprang for Tevinter red wine, and an excellent vintage too. They were buttering him up. Part of him was enjoying this but not after the next sentence made it to his ears. "I think Duncan and Bree would make an excellent match." Dorian heard from Alistair and he blinked out of his own little world. Immediately the protective father in him went on high alert.
"Pardon?" he questioned, and shook his head not really sure why he just said that. He'd heard Alistair, loud and clear.
Alistair looked at Lydia not sure if he could do this again; he'd seen what happened when Dorian lost his temper. He was a powerful mage like Lydia and his position he'd probably have the same reaction that Dorian had. "Umm…I like Bree, she's a good girl and I think she and Duncan would be great together."
Dorian finished off his wine with one final gulp; normally he'd savor wine of that vintage but as it happened the rest of the bottle was on the table for his leisure. He suddenly felt uncomfortable and almost a little mad, but he didn't know why. Alistair and Lydia hadn't done anything wrong; they actually chose to do this in person, a respectful way to broach the topic of marriage between houses or whatever Skyhold was classified as. He always did like them but this was his daughter that they were talking about.
Lydia could see the reaction and stood to pour him another glass of wine. Dorian got flustered when she stood and he got to his feet waving her off. She was a Queen, she didn't need to pour his wine for him he could do that. "No, no, My Lady, its fine…I can do that," he said, he felt his face flush. His mother would kill him for flustering like this.
"Sorry if this took you by surprise," Lydia soothed batting his hand away and poured his wine for him anyway. Dorian regained his composure and sat back down. "Putting this into a letter just didn't seem right."
Dorian cleared his throat and took the glass from Lydia with a respectful nod. "Umm…I'm not sure what to say here," he stalled; he only had one answer to this. Bree was his only child, probably the only one he'd ever have so the idea of her marrying someone was literally terrifying. He'd rather face Corypheus all over again than deal with this. No one was good enough for Bree, she was all his. Period. "Uhh…," he cleared his throat and sighed. "Of course I'd have to talk to Khrys but as of now I'll have to say no. I won't marry my daughter off on a whim."
Alistair looked to Lydia and sighed a little. He really hoped that Dorian would be a little more receptive to this but at least he didn't fly off the handle. Alistair would have reacted the say way if he had a daughter, but he was certain that if Dorian actually got to know Duncan he'd see the same thing. Alistair had been to Skyhold a half a dozen time over the past fifteen years and had really gotten to see how Bree had progressed; he liked her immediately as did Lydia.
Alistair stiffened slightly but caught the look of his wife silently telling him to relax. "Hardly a whim," Alistair defened and tried not to sound offended by the comment.
"We don't expect you to decide anything right now," Lydia added and Dorian took another drink quickly.
"I don't mean to be rude," he began as he realized that he was dangerously close to being just that. "she's fifteen, too young to be thinking of this. I was raised in a society where marriage was arranged and forced on us. My father tried…among other things, its one reason I left Tevinter."
Lydia smiled to him and poured herself a glass of the Tevinter wine before sitting back down next to Alistair. "It doesn't have to be right now," she repeated, but didn't want to push Dorian too far. "All we ask is that you think about it."
Dorian allowed a smile and nodded to her. "I will do that, My Dear Queen," he would think about it but his was certain his answer wouldn't venture beyond 'no'. He would have to talk to Khrys about this and maybe even Bree but he was firm in his position that she was only fifteen and could do what she wanted. She didn't need to get married or have children, play the part; she was free to be independent and never have to endure what he did.
Dorian enjoyed the royal hospitality, there was a 'feast' of sorts and the food was amazing. One good thing about being here was a little vacation from everything at Skyhold. He did miss Bree and Khrys but it was nice to be away for a while. Alistair was right, he did like Duncan; he was smart, polite, with a sharp sense of humor. Dorian let the topic of his daughter marrying drift to the back of his mind during dinner with Alistair, Lydia, Duncan, and a few other people. Stories were traded about the War and spells gone wrong. Dorian actually had a good time and the food was great, maybe it was another bottle of Tevinter wine but he actually forgot about what Alistair and Lydia had asked for a while. He wondered what Khrys' reaction would be; knowing her it would the exact opposite of his. For now he did what he said he'd do and tried to get to know the young Prince.
Duncan wanted to hear all about the Inquisition from an actual member of the organization. He'd heard all about the Templars from his father and the Wardens from both his mother and father. There were enough Wardens running around in at the Palace and he'd spent enough time with them at Vigil's Keep and wanted nothing more than to join them but his parents staunchly forbid that and the Templar Order. The last thing they wanted was their only son placed in impossible danger as a Warden or to renounce his lands and holdings as a Templar. The kid was stuck.
Dorian took a moment with his last few days to wander around. He checked on the soldiers that came with him and did a few things that Khrys, Josie, and Cullen had asked him to do while he was there. He stopped in to see how the Inquisition's Denerim post was doing, headed by Captain Greta Briony, a fine and fierce soldier. She was a veteran of the War and one of Cullen's absolute finest soldiers. She had some extremely amusing stories about how the Fereldan soldiers and Warden's in Denerim underestimated the pretty face. Greta Briony was a small woman but fierce, an Officer of the Inquisition and former Templar still taking Lyrium she was often underestimated by her opponents, she and Dorian actually got along very well despite being a Tevinter Mage and Fereldan Templar; most people called that oil and water.
After that he found himself in the paddock area and joined a small crowd looking into one of the paddocks. They were watching the young Prince on an obviously green horse. The young dark dapple grey was arguing with his rider. Duncan was not only polite and smart but calm too. He was talking to the young horse but not loud enough for anyone to hear him. The horse skipped and hopped a little until Duncan regained the control. He gathered the colt up and started again. Trying to get the colt into a collected trot seemed to work this time and he went into a higher action trot. Dorian wasn't the finest horseman in the world but he'd spent time watching Cullen teach Bree over the years so he knew what he was looking at.
"Easy. Easy." He heard Duncan coach as the horse continued to fight him.
Dorian guessed that he was teaching maneuvers to the horse, or at least trying to. Thom, Cullen, and Dennett did it enough at Skyhold he was certain that he was witnessing the beginning stages of a young cavalry horse in training.
After a while the group dispersed as Duncan took pointers from another man on the other side of the paddock. Dorian recognized him as Roth, Alistair's top military commander. After a few minutes of conversing with his apparent teacher Duncan began again and it seemed to be a better round this time. Duncan was an exceptional horseman and Dorian was rather impressed. "You can learn a lot about someone from the way they ride." He remembered Thom tell him on several occasions, the burly Free Marcher was right.
When the schooling was done Duncan let the horse relax and rode him with a loose rein noticing Dorian watching him from the paddock gate. He wasn't really sure why Dorian was here, a member of the Inquisition was usually at Denerim daily. They had a post at the Palace but they didn't really cross paths too much. Dorian was what the Inquisition called a Senior Agent and it's Tevinter Ambassador, and usually only left Skyhold for really important or personal business. His parents invited him here and appeared to be showing him off to Dorian and that never boded well for an only child.
Duncan had shucked his stirrups and pulled his horse to a stop by the gate sparing Dorian a curious look. "Well, he's a spirited one isn't he?" Dorian commented about the colt Duncan was on. "So, is there anything you can't do, Prince Duncan?" he asked as Duncan dismounted, he smiled and shrugged bashfully. He was shy, that wasn't a surprise given his bashful father. Guess it was a genetic thing because Lydia wasn't bashful at all. "Who taught you to ride like that?"
"My father," he answered and patted the colts' neck as he turned his full attention to Dorian. While he wasn't entirely sure what was going on with his parents and Dorian he was polite to him. Dorian was a member of the Inquisition, an organization that his parents might actually let him join.
Dorian expected any other answer but that one; general, horse master, Warden, Templar; technically the last two were the same thing as his father was both a Warden and a Templar. "Really?"
"My father's the best horseman I've ever seen." he added and Dorian cocked his head to him. He had to admit, he did like Duncan. He never thought that Fereldan would or could produce someone as refined and seemingly sophisticated as Duncan; that was the smug Tevinter noble in him that he couldn't quite shake. He preferred Orlais to Fereldan but preferred Alistair and Lydia to Gaspard and his troupe of masked schemers.
"I had no idea," he said honestly. "Tell me more about you, My Lord," he asked, seeming to fish for more information.
Duncan passed his horse to the stable boy and pulled his gloves off walking with him. "What…what would you like to know, Lord Pavus?"
"Call me Dorian, please," he said then remembered that he was addressing a crown Prince. "If it pleases you, Prince."
"Please, you don't have to call me that," Duncan said with a smile. Dorian was of the Inquisition, he really wanted to learn more about them and he grew up with stories about them. "You can call me Duncan, Dorian."
Dorian allowed a smile and nodded to the young man. "I see you are a fine horseman, what else do you like? Your mother says you like to read a lot, any particular subject?"
"History. History of the Wardens, Templars, Seekers…the Inquisition," he answered. "What can I say…I'm nostalgic about the ancient romantic orders of Thedas."
Dorian chuckled to the young man. "Nothing wrong with that, reading tales of great battles from long ago was a favorite pastime of mine when I was younger. Still is," he admitted with a smile. "Khrys calls me a bookworm but everyone comes to me when they have a question on magic, history, or something mundane."
"I'm not really one for researching but I do like the history. I just started reading a book on Mages," he said and Dorian wasn't surprised. His mother was a Blood Mage, the fact that even she hid from the general public.
"Which one?" he asked finding it rather easy to strike up a conversation with him. They appeared to have similar interests.
"When the Mages helped King Calenhad unite Fereldan," he replied. "Created the Kingdom." Dorian nodded, he'd read that one but to perfectly honest those reads were pretty dry. The Tevinter books on Mage history were better but probably a bit embellished and bias considering the source. "May I ask you something?" Duncan asked as he and Dorian left the paddock.
"What's it like?" he asked. "The Inquisition…what was it like during the war?"
Dorian shrugged not really sure how to answer that. During the war everyday presented something new, some new threat, some new challenge that they had to deal with, a fluid situation that changed daily. "Busy. A lot busier, that's for sure."
"I thought the Inquisition was supposed to disband after Corypheus was defeated," he inquired and Dorian nodded, he was right about that.
"That's true," he answered. "Khr…- the Inquisitor was ready to disband the Inquisition but there was a credible threat from…" Dorian trailed off as the 'betrayal' from Solas still angered him. Finding Khrystabel with a disintegrating left arm was a memory he'd never get rid of and it he ever found that damned Elf again he'd kill him. "Well, it prevented her from doing it at the time."
"My father says the Inquisition is a neutral force but doesn't answer to any one nation."
Dorian shook his head. "Not necessarily true, we are allied with all but Tevinter and answer to the Chantry and the Seekers both," Dorian looked down at him as Duncan clasped hands behind his back. The kid was curious, trying to figure out where he fit in, most likely. "I would be more than happy to show you around Skyhold if you're ever there."
Duncan smiled like a kid in a candy store. "I would enjoy that, but I doubt my parents would let me out of Denerim."
A chuckle rumbled from his chest, he knew exactly what the poor kid was going through. "Tough being an only child isn't it?" he asked with a smile and turned to face him. "I tell you what, My Prince, come to the next council meeting in Skyhold and I'll give you the run of the Fortress, free to watch and learn all you want. I'm sure Khrys and Commander Cullen won't mind."
The Council meeting he was referring to was held every few months or so for the powers of Thedas and Inquisition allies. Duncan would be ecstatic to go but he'd never been brought along by either his mother or his father and they both went to Skyhold on a regular basis. He'd probably be able to go this time, he was 17 and if he was going to take over for his father one day attending the important meetings was a good idea. He'd already sat in on several military sessions, and meetings with the Wardens, the Seekers, and other smaller meetings. Dorian's offer to show him a lot more about the Inquisition then what the average person saw was right up his ally. If his parents wouldn't let him join the Wardens, the Templars, or the Seekers they might just let him join the Inquisition.