At Least You Avenged Some Ancient Ashes

Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Age.

Note: So I have a hard time believing that Wynne and Leliana could kill any of the Origins so feel free to fill in whichever Origin you think would be most likely to die in that situation. Maybe an archer of some kind? Still, calling her 'the Warden' just feels so artificial. Then again, all of my characters kind of fail at being Wardens anyway for one reason or another so I suppose that it would.

Also, I don't want to hear how OOC it is for Wynne and Leliana to do this as they do, in fact, attack you and whoever else is in your party if they are with you when you do this, they just don't win.

Leliana and Wynne returned to camp that evening in a somber mood. The Warden and Alistair, who had ventured into Haven with them, were nowhere to be found.

"Where is our illustrious leader?" Zevran asked once it became clear that the two women weren't going to volunteer the information. "I have something I need to…discuss with her. And Alistair isn't here, either," he added almost as an afterthought.

"Oh, well, this is so difficult to say," Leliana began, flustered.

"We were misled," Wynne declared dramatically. "The Warden was not who we thought she was."

"It was not a Grey Warden?" Shale asked, surprised.

"No, she was," Wynne corrected. "Technically, at least. But she was no true Warden."

"Parshaara!" Sten exclaimed. "Either she is a Warden or she isn't."

"What do you mean 'was'?" Zevran asked suspiciously.

"It was awful but we had no choice," Leliana insisted.

"We were forced to kill the Warden and when Alistair fought to defend her, he left us no choice," Wynne elaborated.

"You…you killed the only two Grey Wardens left in Ferelden?" Morrigan couldn't believe that anyone would be so stupid. "I knew you were an ignorant old crone but this…how could you have been so foolish? Do you have any idea what you've done?"

The Warden's dog howled in anguish.

"I have ended a great evil," Wynne said virtuously.

" 'Ended a great evil'?" Morrigan repeated, laughing derisively. "Wasn't that the Warden's job? And you." She turned to Leliana. "What about your 'vision'? Did your Maker wish for you to doom Ferelden to being consumed by darkspawn? How very Orlesian of him."

"No, that was not what the Maker wanted!" Leliana said firmly. "I didn't want to kill her. How could I ever want to kill her? I loved her. She left me no choice…"

"It seems that the sister has made a habit of killing those that it loves," Shale noted.

"Normally I would approve, as nauseating as the very idea of approving of anything SHE does is, but whatever possessed you to kill the only two Grey Wardens we have?" Morrigan demanded. "Surely you are not so senile as to forget that they were our only hope? And by 'they' I mostly meant the Warden."

"She was evil," Wynne said simply but unrepentantly.

"Be more vague," Morrigan challenged.

"What Wynne means is that we actually found the Urn of Sacred Ashes," Leliana explained, slipping into her bard voice. "It was a harrowing journey to get that far and there were tests. I have never been more touched and humbled as when I was standing in front of the Urn. I could literally feel Andraste's essence and the hand of the Maker. And then she just…she just…" Leliana trailed off, unable to continue.

"It's okay, Leliana," Wynne said soothingly, patting the ex-bard absently on the shoulder. "I have no idea how she managed to trick the guardian into believing she was worthy but she most certainly was not."

"You killed her for not being 'worthy'?" Zevran couldn't believe it and his hand twitched for one of his many weapons. Still, he felt obligated to at least hear them out before killing them.

"No, I killed her for what her unworthiness caused her to do," Wynne said gravely. "The village of Haven was the home of a dragon cult that killed anyone who got near them to protect their village's secret existence. Several of Arl Eamon's knights had been tortured to death there and we found their bodies strewn all over town."

"We killed our way to Brother Genitivi and then up t he mountain to the Ashes. We met the leader of the village, a man named Kolgrim. He offered to let us pass if we poisoned the ashes by pouring dragon blood on them. He was under the impression that the dragon that lived on top of the mountain was Andraste reborn, you see, and that destroying what was left of the human Andraste would help their dragon Andraste. The Warden agreed and then…well…" Leliana trailed off, a little awkwardly.

"And the Warden did this, I take it," Zevran supplied. "I don't see why you're so surprised if she outright said that she was planning on doing this."

"I didn't think she would actually go through with it!" Leliana protested.

"Only someone truly evil would so senselessly destroy the source of so many people's hope," Wynne agreed. "Even if no one will ever find out about the ashes being destroyed or their even existing in the first place, it is still a great loss."

"Am I hearing this right?" Morrigan demanded, wishing she'd given in to her initial impulse to murder both of the Blight-enablers self-righteously standing before her. "You killed the Warden to protect your precious ashes after she already destroyed them? Why didn't you try to stop her beforehand? Or did you really believe that your Maker you have insisted has abandoned this world would turn his attention back to Ferelden and restore the ashes if you murdered their defiler?"

"Of course not!" Leliana scoffed. "But we just thought that she had told Kolgrim that she would do as he asked so as to avoid a senseless slaughter. We never dreamed that she would actually go through with it and it seems that that was a mistake."

"You feel that you are perfectly justified?" Morrigan inquired, raising an eyebrow.

Wynne nodded sadly. "The Warden chose her path and when Alistair fought with her he did as well. It is unfortunate, certainly but it is not as if-"

"Everyone in Ferelden is going to die," Morrigan interrupted.

"Right, it's not as if…Or do you mean that that is what you believe will happen?" Wynne asked.

"We all know that the Wardens are the most effective darkspawn killers but they are hardly essential," Leliana reasoned. "I don't like this situation but we can't change the past and so we have to just focus on moving forward. We still have those treaties so surely we can-"

"No, no we cannot," Morrigan disagreed.

"And why not?" Wynne challenged, her hands on her hips. "We're hardly helpless here, you know."

"We cannot stop the Blight. The elves, mages, and dwarves cannot stop the Blight. Only the Wardens can do that," Morrigan pointed out.

"I know that's what the stories say but-" Leliana started to disagree.

Morrigan shook her head. "You don't get it. This isn't a story or a legend. ONLY a Warden can truly stop a Blight."

"You sound like you know something we don't, Morrigan," Zevran noted.

She nodded. "Indeed I do. I never said anything as the Warden and the fool themselves seemed not to know."

"Then how does it know?" Shale asked curiously.

Morrigan waved the question off. "My mother's been around for awhile. She knows these things. When the Archdemon is physically killed – a feat that can be technically accomplished by anyone – the tainted soul of the Old God will migrate into the nearest darkspawn and the Archdemon is thus reborn. Only if a Grey Warden delivers the final blow will the tainted soul of the Old God be drawn into him and both will die," she revealed.

Leliana looked horrified. "So you're saying that by killing the Warden and Alistair we just-"

"Doomed Ferelden and allowed the Blight to continue unchecked until Orlais sees fit to deal with it?" Morrigan cut her off.

"How were we supposed to know this? The last Blight was over four hundred years ago and the Grey Wardens are always so secretive!" Wynne cried, beginning to get angry that her oh-so-valiant attempt to end a great evil unworthy of stopping the Blight had backfired so horribly.

"You could have thought for a moment and realized that when people say 'only a Grey Warden can stop a Blight' they might actually mean it and there may even be a reason for it," Morrigan said flatly, completely unsympathetic to the elder mage's plight.

"Well, what do we do now?" Leliana asked helplessly.

"Now?" Morrigan repeated, sounding darkly amused. "Now you die. Both of you."

"What? You can't possible-" Wynne's protests died as she was hit by Morrigan's cone of cold.

Zevran, Shale, Sten, and the dog advanced on Leliana as Morrigan made short work of the frozen woman.

Within minutes, it was done.

"That was a good question, you know," Zevran admitted. "Now that their stupidity has doomed all of Ferelden, what DO we do now? We certainly cannot stay here."

"I will return to Par Vollen," Sten informed them. "I must tell them of what has transpired. Fortunately, the Warden had recovered my Asala before being ignobly slain." The dog barked twice and Sten looked down at him. "It seems the mabari wishes to accompany me. So be it; it is a warrior and my people will respect that."

"I will probably head to Orlais at some point," Morrigan decided. "If the Orlesians at large are anything like Leliana then it would be a trying experience but at least they have more sense than this repulsive dog country seems to."

The dog barked in offense but she ignored him.

"I have no idea what I'll do," Shale confessed. "I was only following the Warden for lack of anything better to do."

"I see," Zevran remarked. "Have you ever considered travelling to Antiva? Now that the Warden is dead I'll need to deal with the Crows at some point and I could always use a golem to watch my back."

"Can we obtain more shiny crystals in Antiva?" Shale asked hopefully.

"I love shiny crystals," Zevran claimed. "The more colorful the better."

"Then I shall accompany the painted elf," Shale acquiesced.

And so it was that the five remaining companions left for parts unknown. Teyrn Loghain did his best to end the Blight – and even managed to slay the Archdemon twice – but ultimately Ferelden was consumed by the darkspawn. Still, no one could deny that it really had brought it on itself.

Note: Seriously, what did Leliana and Wynne THINK would happen if they won?

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