Ostagar, or How to Fail Even When the Odds are In Your Favor

Author's Note: I want to start this by stating that this is a mostly cannon piece. Yes, I added a bit of dialogue when appropriate, and definitely added a lot of original work in the form of Neria's thoughts. But I tried to not stray too far from what you can do in Dragon Age Origins provided that you're "absolutely insane" as Alistair would say. To be honest, that gives me crazy enough outcomes that I have more than enough fodder for comedy, particularly when seen through the lens of Neria.

Dear Diary,

I am writing you for the ages. OK, so that sounds dramatic, but perhaps not so specific. So to be a bit more detailed, I am writing you as it is quite obvious to me that I will eventually be the greatest mage ever and that, for this reason, I will have biographers. As I will need to remember the exact details of my life to give to my biographers, I've decided that I might as well write them down now so that I don't forget something really important in my dotage. Not that I'll have a dotage, being ridiculously awesome and all. But I might forget some small detail. Like the name of some unimportant lover or what I was wearing when I did something especially magnificent.

So what am I going to do that makes me the greatest mage ever, you might ask. Well, initially I'd figured that I'd be the youngest and greatest First Enchanter ever. But then that bastard Irving totally betrayed me (I hate you now, Irving. Even more than Jowan.), and made Duncan invoke the Right of Conscription. I'll admit that I had my doubts at first about this whole "Grey Warden" thing. Leave the tower to become part of an order of obsolete warriors? Yeah, not so much. But then I realized something. Grey Wardens get to defeat arch-demons. So I've decided to set my sights higher. No longer will I be content to merely be the greatest mage ever. Oh, no, I'm going to become the greatest Grey Warden ever in addition to being the greatest mage ever. You might ask how. Well, I intend to kill an arch-demon. And unlike all those idiots before me, I intend to survive the process.

You might think that it is arrogant for me to say "I'm going to kill an arch-demon and live unlike everyone else". But it's not. You see, all the former Grey Wardens who killed arch-demons were something inferior to me. That is to say that they were not mages. So I'm sure that they died due to some triviality that even the greatest of warriors can't avoid. Like getting out of the way of a humongous falling corpse after you've killed it. Meanwhile, as a totally awesome mage, I can kill at a distance, and therefore completely eliminate the whole "arch-demon crushing my body into smithereens" problem. Then once I've killed the arch-demon, I can retire to the Circle and become the Greatest First Enchanter Ever. Two birds with one stone. Why did I hate Irving again? Eh, it'll come to me.

Oh, yes, because of the trip over. It has been hideously boring.

Seriously. I had such high hopes. When you think impossibly hot elven mage and aging warrior from a mostly male order who are traveling together completely alone what do you think? If the word is "celibacy", apparently you have the situation better figured out than I did.

I just don't get it. Not that Duncan is my type, per se. He's a bit old and a bit short for me. But, you know, the whole fantasy of "two travelers on the road, facing danger together, cuddling together in a single bed roll to keep warm before doing wild and crazy things all night long" really appeals to me. Sadly, this wasn't to be.

Don't imagine that I didn't try. I did what I reasonably could. I fluttered my eyelashes at him. Whined about how cold it was. Bathed every afternoon in a stream (where he would often catch me, then walk in the other direction. Hello! Hot elven mage! Bathing! Response to situation should be obvious!) In one case, I even faked hypothermia, hoping for the old "body heat is the best way to warm another body" cure. (Is it only mages who use this? Well, I suppose that we have experience with hypothermia, considering the regular dives into Lake Calenhad to escape the Circle...) And yet, all I got was a warning to stay closer to the fire. And to avoid particularly cold streams.

It's just pathetic. And now I have officially been celibate for over a month. Which is far too long.

Luckily, we arrive in Ostagar tomorrow. Where we meet other members of my mostly male fraternal order. And an entire camp of soldiers.

My odds look good!


Dear Diary,

So, good odds are apparently not so good. I haven't seen a woman yet, other than Wynne, who's definitely past her prime and hasn't really been any fun since she popped out that kid. And yet...nothing. What gives?

I started off the day with hope. Duncan introduced me to the King, who's a hot piece of work if I ever saw one. Long yellow hair, rippling with muscles...now I wouldn't mind being invited back to his tent. And yet, all he did was pat me on the back and tell me how happy he'd be to fight beside me. What is wrong with these people?

His adviser really wasn't much better. When he told me that I was "very pretty for a Grey Warden" I was totally expecting the next words out of his mouth to be "so do you want to join me in my tent to discuss strategy". But, no! Instead I got this whole "you go girl" speech about how female Grey Wardens are every bit as awesome as their male counterparts. While I beg to differ (I am far more awesome than my male counterparts, thank you very much), I guess the tone was kind, even if the words should have been something that led to my willowy body being bent over a desk. What's wrong with everyone?

I poked around the camp, figuring that surely someone would have some kind of use for a gorgeous elven mage. But, apparently not. Most soldiers were too busy to even talk to me. I did find the kennel master who asked me to "muzzle his dog". I agreed, assuming it was a euphemism for something a bit more interesting. Apparently not so much. So I got stuck wrestling a real, live dog to the ground and putting a muzzle on it.

Camp life sucks.

Eventually I gravitated over to the king's tent. Surely, even if he didn't proposition me in camp, he had to understand that a hot elven mage was something that any king in his right mind would like to have a few indiscretions with.

Sadly, I couldn't even get ahold of him. His guard was willing to give away that there was some sort of battle between the king, his wife, and/or the king's adviser (who's apparently also the king's wife's father and the foster father of the king. So...does this mean that the king and queen were raised as brother and sister? Not sure if I should be disturbed or think "kinky" and ask to join in.), but he refused to let me have an audience with the king. Even when I noted that I had something private to discuss with him. Actually, mentioning that only made the guard less eager to let me into the king's tent. Stupid guards.

The adviser's guard was a bit less bossy. He actually let me meet with the man.

OK, so not my usual. He's definitely older than I'd like, but, eh, he's tall and in good shape. And after a month's worth of wishing that Duncan would pay attention to me, who am I to judge?

Sadly, the conversation didn't quite go the way I'd like.

I tried again and again to steer him towards the obvious "don't you want to show me what a good time at Ostagar is like" just to be met with quizzical looks and the adviser explaining his concerns about the King's plans. Even asking to "discuss strategy in private" with him was just met with an invitation to the king's council later that evening.

I really hate it here.

Eventually, I realized that nothing was going to happen and figured that I'd find the other Grey Warden that Duncan wanted me to find. It didn't take long. Apparently Alistair isn't very good at hiding.

What can I say? Upon first glance, it was perfect. Short, red-gold hair. Toned, tanned muscles. A boyish grin. Oh, I thought to myself. I'm going to enjoy this. My mind pictured long battles fighting by his side, him protecting me from all the nasty creatures that might hurt my delicate flesh, me causing monsters to explode in bursts of gore, just to be followed by me delicately patching him up in a warm bath and in return...

Sorry, I got a bit carried away there...

Anyhow, my first vision of Alistair made me think, OK, fine, so neither the king nor his adviser nor the elderly head of my order have any interest in me. But who cares? I have a hot, young, Grey Warden to fraternize with.

This is until I learned that he was a templar.

Just figures that I'm finally given someone to "introduce me to the order" and he's a mage hating celibate.

My life is as good as over.

I hate Ostagar.


Dear Diary,

So, the battle of Ostagar only went well if you were darkspawn. They seem to be smarter than us, which makes me think that we are rather stupid. I'm blaming much of this on the king. His adviser came up with about a dozen contingency plans in the advisory council, but did the king listen? No!

Note to self: in biography, remove any hint of lust for king, replace it entirely with lust for adviser. This will make me seem like the kind of woman who goes for men who aren't complete and total idiots just because they are pretty.

As for my part, I remember racing up a tower far too late to do any good, killing an ogre, then passing out.

Next thing I knew, I woke up naked in a bed. So far, quite promising. But who took off my clothes? Did they do something to me while I was unconscious? And if they did, will they do it again now that I can appreciate it?

I walked outdoors, to find Alistair staring at the marshes, and two marsh witches that I'd met earlier on some stupid quest waiting to greet me. Since it obviously wasn't Alistair who'd so delightfully taken advantage of me, it must have been one of the witches...

I wonder which one had undressed me. I am very much hoping for the dark haired one. Morrigan, I think. Hmmm...would it be worth putting on clothing again just to see if I could get her to take them off me a second time?

Anyhow, everyone seemed glad that I was up, and seemed to think that I needed to do something important. Take Morrigan and Alistair with me and gather an army of some sort. I'm none too clear on the details, seeing as I spent the time the elderly witch was explaining the situation to me undressing Morrigan with my mind rather than listening, but whatever. I'm not really the military type, but I do like being in charge, so why not?

Although I can't say that I'm a huge fan of taking Alistair along. OK, so Morrigan is hot, and maybe I can get her to take off my clothing while I'm awake in the very near future. But I have absolutely no hope of doing anything fun with a monk. Templars are no fun. No matter how many times you ask "oh, Mister Templar, where do you intend to put that impressive looking sword", you never get the desired response. Prigs.

Still, I'm stuck with him.

This is so not my day.