Title: The Deep Roads

Author: Trillian N7

Summary: As a Grey Warden there is only one path out of this world.

Fandom: Dragon Age: Origins

Pairings: Human Noble PC/Alistair

Spoilers: Beware

Rating: Mature

Word count: 922

Disclaimer: Dragon Age: Origins is not mine, despite how much I wish I could claim Alistair. Sadly, Bioware and EA have that privilege.

The dwarves at Orzammar were in awe of their guests. It had been many years since they had seen Grey Wardens heading to the Deep Roads and the two that passed were legends of Ferelden. Many older dwarves remember the siege of Denerim and the young Cousland who lead the army with the aid of Maric's son. The Grey Wardens stayed at the palace, under King Bhelen's insistence, readying themselves for this one last trip.

The dreams had started a few months ago for Alistair. It was different to the nightmares he had during, and after, after the blight, but no less terrifying. It was always going to happen; there was only one end for a Grey Warden. Alistair knew it was time to travel the Deep Roads and to his dismay Eadgyth refused to be left behind.

'But you probably have many years left, Eadie,' Alistair tried to reason as his wife began to pack her own equipment for the journey to Orzammar. 'You should stay here, keep an eye on everything.'

Bother of them were older now. Alistair's hair was silver and Eadgyth's own long braids were mottled with grey. But age had not affected their skills; both were considered formidable warriors among the Grey Wardens they trained and fought alongside.

Eadgyth smiled at her husband.

'What makes you think I have much longer than you? My joining wasn't too long after yours.' She shuddered at the memories of that fateful evening. Despite the years, she still remembered the deaths of her friends all too well. She continued, 'Besides, it was always you and me. Right from the start.'

Eadgyth's nightmares began on the journey. As she tossed in the thrall of the dream Alistair had lay beside her, holding her tight with a tortured expression on his face in seeing pain in his loved one. If there was any way he could have taken her pain on himself, Alistair would have done it.

In reflection they had been lucky in life. In Ferelden's darkest hour they found each other and miraculously both had survived. Alistair had refused to be king, he was a warrior and hero but once the blight had ended Ferelden was in need of a political administrator to fix the country. Queen Anora was perfect for this and her rule flourished with the support of the Grey Wardens. The Grey Warden order was rebuilt; many volunteers sought out the organization after hearing of their part in ending the blight.

The couple had even been blessed with one child, shortly after the end of the Blight, and miraculously their son had not borne the taint that would condemn him to a life as a Grey Warden. Instead their son has succeeded Fergus as the Teryn of Highever, keeping the keep in the family Cousland. Alistair still wasn't sure how this lucky situation came about, though Wynne had compiled a few theories and ideas. Something about the early stages of the taint in Eadgyth's blood, Alistair wasn't sure but simply thanked the Maker everyday for the happiness his family had brought him.

The journey through the Deep Roads was uneventful. The final destination was the fortress of Bownammar, one of the main camps of the darkspawn. Eadgyth and Alistair had met with the Legion of the Dead, who in turn provided an escort to the couple for the journey downwards. Legends of the Grey Wardens were common in the Legion as they had fought atop Fort Drakon against the archdemon alongside the heroes in one of the greatest acts of redemption possible for the outcast dwarves.

The doors of Bownammar, this was it. The packs were left with the Legion; supplies were of no use where the Grey Wardens were travelling. Eadgyth and Alistair readied their equipment and with one farewell salute at the Legion of the Dead they closed the great doors of the fortress and turned to face their destiny.

Alistair pulled his helmet over his head and slowly drew his sword.

'Ready? I will have your back, you know.' he asked his wife.

She nodded, holding her sword and dagger in a low defensive pose.

'Always. Remember, Alistair, you and me against the world.'

The two descended the stairs slowly, facing the darkspawn mob below them. They were ready for whatever would come.

Darkspawn carcasses surrounded the Grey Wardens as they stood back to back and took on the masses. Eadgyth's face was cut badly and Alistair had a broken shield arm and his helmet had been lost earlier in the battle. Tiredness was setting into their muscles making each swing harder than the last. They fought valiantly as the masses closed in on them, pounding them with attacks from all sides.

Alistair parried a sword thrust from the side, barely noticing the axe the came from directly in front of him, biting into the side of his neck. Blood spurted forward and in that few brief moments left in life, Alistair was glad for the contact of his companion behind him.

Eadgyth's felt her husband's body tensed and froze briefly. This was it, it was all over. She turned to look at Alistair, to see if there was any chance. She did not see the great maul crash down upon her chest, breaking her ribcage and killing her instantly.

The fall of the heroes of Ferelden was worthy of legends, but none would ever be told. No living man knew the events in that dark fortress, for no man that entered those doors ever lived.