Vigil's Keep

Dear Alistair,

The Mother is slain, but at a cost. But that is always the way of war, is it not? I have not the heart to list the dead as yet (hence there is no attached report), I will get to it after we have sent them on their way with all proper respect. Then I will set my feet on the road to Denerim and tell you their names in person, face to face, so that their King may hear directly of their service to Ferelden.

The Architect also lays dead. Did I do the right thing, Brother, in killing a potential ally? I suppose now we'll never know. Philippe tried to stop me, but all I could see before me were tainted villagers, those women, that child, my son as I made him a Warden! I let my fury rule me and I killed in a bitter rage. It is one thing to slaughter these mindless creatures we call darkspawn, but to battle against one that talks and reasons and bargains, it is hard to reconcile. I am haunted by it. I am haunted by so much of what I have done, yet every time I fear I have confronted my worst nightmare… I cannot continue this thought.

In the meantime I will attempt to sketch out what we have lost. Amaranthine smolders, our farms are ravaged, villagers are scattered and afraid and Vigil's Keep has been breached once again. Had it not been for Voldrik's diligence, we may have lost more, we must think of a fitting reward for him. We are supposed to do that sort of thing when the war is won, right, decorate our heroes? Until then I will thank the Maker (or the stone as he prefers) for him, and for Wyman and Zevran.

What we have gained: At best a temporary respite. We need to dismantle the Architect's 'laboratory'. I will write to Irving and request the Circle's help. We need to map the Deep Roads. I think is time for us to partner with the dwarves, with the Legion of the Dead, and to make a concentrated effort to exterminate this filth before they rise above the ground. We must make plans!

Now that the darkspawn threat has been put aside for a while I can turn my attention to the Black Marsh. Nathaniel Howe has told me much of the place's history; I hope it is yet another territory that can be restored.

I have assigned your soldiers to Amaranthine for the time being. I apologise for keeping them from their families for so long. Now that the immediate threat is over I will organize for them to take leave as and when we can arrange it. We must talk about rebuilding the city, add it to your list (do you keep lists? Never mind, it is on mine). We must also talk about the Dalish, I am sure Brenna will have many suggestions about how we may forge a close bond with our neighbors. I am sending Wade and Herren back to Denerim, and soon I will follow.

Remind me to tell you about the dragon when you see me,

Aedan


Vigil's Keep

Dear Leli,

Put aside this note and look to your window, my love. I am there on the road and I am coming to you as fast as my feet will carry me. Gather the children and meet us at the city gates, your husband and son are coming home.

I love you, and remember, my heart is always yours,

Aedan.

.

The End


For the curious: Aedan took Justice, Anders and Sigrun to the 'nest' with him. For the sake of this story, I replaced Justice with Philippe (S&S Warrior). I imagine he would also have taken a sizeable contingent of soldiers and Wardens with him and these would have included what I call 'The Northern Patrol': Taren, Marin, Runir, Kayley and Darat. (Philippe leads this team). No Wardens lost their lives in the fight against the Mother or the Architect, however several 'ordinary' soldiers would have fallen.

When Vigil's Keep was breached, Velanna was crushed by a falling wall (from his epilogue). Aedan will 'angst' about her death for some time. Not just because her life was lost, or because he saw her as a link between the humans and the elves of Amaranthine, but because he had started to forge a friendship with the prickly woman. Several Wardens lost their lives during the assault on the Keep, none that I had named, so I will not record them here. Zevran took it as his personal mission to protect Luke and in this he succeeded.