AWAKENING SPOILERS.

I've almost finished my first playthrough of Awakening (made an Orliasian, because my favorite PC sacrificed himself). I'm really addicted and all, but I was upset with how little your companions play into the plot. I noticed a lot of repeated conversations, and, well... their personalities were very much like those of Origins. Just seemed like they threw some personal quests on a NPC and said, "Here!" Or something. Eh. I don't know.

But my Surana (Ellifain) will be my first imported character, and this idea struck me as something that I would like to happen, even though I know it won't. Curse the no-romances. xD


It's unfair to him. He's a nice man, and only wants the Chantry to leave him alone; only wants to meet a nice girl and live on the quiet country side, using his magic as a tool to better his life. She can relate, having grasped onto Duncan's offer like a drowning child to a parent's hand. He doesn't deserve to be caged his entire life just because he has magic -- a man without arcane power can kill just as easily, and can be corrupted just as badly (perhaps not by demons, she relents, but by power and promises and riches).

And she sees the way he looks at her, when he thinks she isn't paying attention, but she catches the glances; two years of constantly having to watch her back and step has trained her eyes to see everything. But she is Commander, now, and won't allow herself to indulge; won't let herself dare to believe or trust herself to hope. And she won't allow herself to break his heart. She's no longer Surana, no longer a small mage thrown into a huge role to fill, with an unsatisfiable curiosity brought on by a life locked away from the world. And not-so-old wounds still crack and bleed whenever she thinks of the not-so-distant-past.

And that is what's not fair to him; that every time she looks at him, she is reminded of Alistair. Every time he opens his mouth to speak, every time he moves, she's comparing it to the newly-crowned king. His witty one-liners, his ability to be distracted by the simplest things, his fondness of animals. It's all there, but instead of an innocent, would-be templar, it's wrapped in a scarred and determined mage. And she hates herself for that, and she hates Alistair for making her hate the guilt-less Anders. So she ignores his attempts at flirting, so used to dismissing Zevran's more forward attempts. And while she may have not been in love with her assassin, like she was with her fellow Warden, she did love him, and it hurts to not be able to laugh and tease with someone again. Because Anders is like the Crow was -- calm, easily bored, but darkened by a life he didn't want nor choose.

And thinking of Zevran and where he might wander now leads back to Alistair and his pretty queen, and thinking of Alistair makes her heart break anew, and makes her wonder how one man can be so similar to both of the men she trusted her life with, and loved more than she could have ever believed possible.

And yet, how that one man can be so different. Alistair wore his heart on his sleeve; Zevran kept his locked in a fortress. Anders is somewhere between the two extremes. Anders is not afraid to show his emotions or speak his mind, not caring how harsh it may be. Zevran used to word the things he said carefully; a master manipulator, voicing his displeasure or approval so subtly you'd be hard pressed to tell what he thought on the matter. But Anders is afraid of the more personal side of the emotions, not truly letting you understand in fear of being insulted. Alistair would always speak from his heart, anxious and cautious, not wanting to be made fun of, but never once did he back down. (Turn tail and flee afterwards, she remembers fondly, but he never let it stop him from saying what he needed to say.)

She supposes that maybe she is being unfair, though. Because she could give him less gifts; she could have ignored his request to search for his phylactery. But she learned from her last band of misfits that keeping morale up is almost as important as having food to eat and water to drink, so she continues to indulge him, for morale's sake, she tells herself, even if the excuse is a weak one.

And if the time should come, when the boundary of friendship is starting to press into something more, she can only hope she will be strong enough to end it before it can begin.