Chaos at the Landsmeet
Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Age.
Note: Alistair is unhardened in this.
Alistair Theirin was quite convinced that he would make a terrible king. He had had it drilled into his head from birth that he was a commoner, he knew very little about the world, he had almost been a templar, he was a Grey Warden, bad things happened when he tried to lead, he was willing to put Angélique Amell of all people in charge after she'd been a Warden for all of a week (and most of that time she'd been unconscious), he knew nothing about the art of ruling…And if nothing else, how could someone so convinced that they were going to be a terrible king actually end up being a decent one?
Arl Eamon, it could be said, felt quite differently. He said that Alistair not wanting power somehow made him more desirable as a ruler. Alistair really didn't get it but apparently that meant that he could be more trusted not to be corrupted by power. It was true that Alistair really couldn't imagine himself going mad with power but, then again, he doubted even those that did go mad with power to think that it would happen to them. Since Eamon was looking to depose Anora – whether over his doubts about her fertility or the fact that her father was born a commoner and pure evil were up for debate – he would probably claim that Alistair would be a great king no matter how true this actually was. After all, how would it look if Eamon openly proclaimed that he thought Alistair was doomed to fail but wanted him on the throne in place of smart, competent Anora?
So Alistair had severe doubts about his ability to rule and his fate was about to be decided. The Landsmeet had decided that actually following the results of their vote would be too easy and so they were going to let Angélique and Loghain fight and they'd listen to whoever won. Now, Alistair had known Angélique for over a year now and he knew just how good she was at killing things. She could probably kill Loghain. On the other hand…well, Alistair couldn't help but be a bit hesitant – to put it mildly – over the thought of leaving any sort of important decision up to her. Why people kept insisting on doing just that was beyond him.
Loghain took out his sword and charged at Angélique who, for her part, merely stepped a little to the side so that Loghain's sword didn't slice into her chest like he'd intended – why Angélique couldn't be bothered to wear proper armor instead of fancy dresses everywhere was beyond him – but rather into her arm. Once she started bleeding, she flung her hand out at him and the blood (far more than should have been coming out of that one little cut and more than she should be able to lose safely as well) was flung at Loghain, locking him down and he hit his head hard on the floor, rendering him unconscious. Alistair wrinkled his nose. He hated it when Angélique used blood magic. In addition to it being evil and whatnot, it was so unhygienic!
"The winner is the Warden!" the Revered Mother announced. "Warden is there any way that you could revive Teyrn Loghain so that we may decide his fate?"
Angélique nodded cheerfully. "Can do." She waved a hand lazily at Loghain and he moaned.
He sat up slowly. "What happened…wait…blood magic! You used blood magic!"
"Honestly, Loghain," Eamon said disapprovingly. "Just because you lost is no reason to go accusing Angélique of blood magic."
"But…I'm not just making things up," Loghain protested. "I cut her and then her blood flew out and attacked me. Revered Mother, surely you must recognize the signs of blood magic. I mean, the name makes it pretty self-explanatory and it's not like she was being at all subtle about it."
"I resent the implication that I cannot recognize blood magic when I see it," the Revered Mother sniffed. "Honestly, between this and your illegal imprisoning of templars, I'm beginning to think that you're trying to alienate the Chantry."
"What is wrong with you people?" Loghain demanded, bewildered. Alistair couldn't believe he was about to say this but he could almost sympathize with the man. Angélique often had that effect on people but his templar training ensured that he could resist her…well, usually. He was somehow dating her even though he couldn't stand her and he honestly had no idea how that had happened.
"Teyrn, we do not appreciate your condescension," Bann Alfstanna said frankly. "First you tried to trick us into thinking that a vote that was exactly tied meant that you won and so were allowed to execute your challengers and now this."
"I believe you, Loghain!" Bann Ceorlic cried out loyally. Given that Ceorlic always sided with Loghain on everything, Alistair couldn't quite tell if the man really meant it or if he was only agreeing because Loghain thought so.
"Well none of us do," Bann Sighard spoke up. "Seriously, does anyone else believe Loghain's ridiculous claims that the Warden was cheating and using blood magic in her duel?"
There was silence.
"Such ridiculous accusations should be beneath you," Arl Wulff said with a deep frown.
"She can't possibly be controlling them all through blood magic…can she?" Loghain muttered to himself. "This is exactly why I can't stand nobles."
Alistair stayed quiet for as long as he could – for fear that he'd say something stupid, mostly – but when Riordan stepped forward to suggest making Loghain a Warden and Angélique seemed to agree, he could stay silent no longer. He didn't blame Riordan, really. The man barely knew Loghain and had surely not heard of all of the man's atrocities while he'd been tortured for months on end in Howe's Denerim estate. He didn't know what he was suggesting. Angélique, on the other hand…well, to be fair she might not know what she was agreeing to either. This was Angélique, after all.
"Please tell me you're not seriously considering this," Alistair begged, the anger in his voice making it far harder to tell how desperate he was. He could not possibly stay in an order with Loghain and the Grey Wardens were really all he had at this point.
"Why not?" Angélique asked, puzzled. "He's a good fighter, I don't blame him for Ostagar, we need more Wardens, I don't actually hate him, he called me pretty when we first met…Why wouldn't I agree to this?"
"Because he's evil and I don't want you to," Alistair said, cringing a little as he said that. That was a horrible way to put that and wasn't likely to convince anyone. It was hard to be eloquent when filled with so much hatred, however.
To his great surprise, Angélique turned tear-filled eyes to Loghain. "I am so sorry," she apologized before sending out another wave of blood and killing him. Some of the blood she sent flying everywhere completely drenched Anora who had been standing all the way on the other side of the room.
"Angélique…" Alistair said, monumentally confused. "What did you do that for? I thought you said you wanted to spare him."
"I did," Angélique agreed, nodding. "But you told me not to and so I decided to ignore what I felt was right in this situation and murder someone I had intended to let live because someone else told me to."
Alistair stared at her. "Yeah…you…probably shouldn't do that. I mean, not like I don't appreciate you killing Loghain and fully approve of it but you shouldn't let other people make your decisions for you." Alistair paused as he realized what he'd just said. While that was true for most people, this was Angélique he was talking about and no matter who she listened to, the advice-giver was virtually guaranteed to be more rational than she was.
"And so it is decided," Eamon said, coming up to stand beside him. "Alistair shall take his father's throne."
"…Yeah, no one decided that," Alistair pointed out. "The Landsmeet just decided that Loghain wouldn't be the regent anymore since he's dead."
"I agree with Alistair, for once," Anora said, hurrying to stand by them as well.
"Clearly you're being biased here, Anora," Eamon told her patronizingly. "Warden, why don't you decide who should be king? It's not like you've just proven yourself highly susceptible to ignoring how you feel about things and to listen to one of the candidates instead."
Angélique smiled magnanimously. "That's fine by me. I think Alistair should rule and I'll be his queen."
"NO!" Alistair cried out, horrified. Everyone stared at him. Embarrassed, he cleared his throat. "I mean, I'm sorry, Angélique, but that's just not possible. Mages can't be queen, you know, and I'm going to be marrying Anora and ruling jointly so since it's not fair to either of you to continue seeing you I'm afraid I'm going to have to end things."
"You are?" Eamon cried out, horrified.
"You are?" Anora asked, puzzled. She shrugged. "I can work with this."
"You are?" Angélique asked, sounding heartbroken. "But I love you!"
"I know you say that," Alistair assured her.
"I would set my own grandmother on fire for you!" Angélique exclaimed.
"I thought you didn't know your grandparents," Alistair reminded her. "Or any of your other relatives seeing as how you don't have any memories of before you were taken to the Tower."
"If I knew who she was I would light her on fire," Angélique explained.
Alistair decided not to mention that even if she could find her grandmother, she would be a stranger and so it wouldn't have the same meaning as if someone who knew their relatives better had actually said it. "I do hope you're joking."
"I'm not!" Angélique swore. She looked around. "Where's Wynne? She keeps insisting on being team grandmother even though everyone but you dearly wants to stab her when she starts lecturing us like we're disobedient children. I can use her as a proxy!"
"Why would I even want you to light your grandmother on fire?" Alistair demanded.
"Because she said that we couldn't be together," Angélique said as if it were obvious. "Which Wynne has totally said in the past."
"But we can't be together, remember?" Alistair reminded her. "Because you just made me king and I'm marrying Anora." He would have really preferred to just let Anora rule alone but he wasn't so big a fool that he couldn't recognize the perfect opportunity to escape from Angélique's clutches once and for all.
Angélique started to cry. "You're mean!" she wailed, her eyes mysteriously not turning all red. Why didn't it at all surprise him that she looked gorgeous even when she cried?
"I'm sorry," Alistair said lamely. He didn't regret his decision for a minute but he hated seeing people cry, even more so when it was because of him.
"That's it!" Angélique declared, running for the exit. "I quit!"
"Quit what?" Alistair asked blankly.
Angélique paused with her hand on the doorknob. "I quit the Blight."
"You can't just quit a Blight," Eamon said mildly.
"Nobody asked you," Angélique snapped. "And I totally can. I was just cruelly dumped since my boyfriend's been mind-controlled by an evil harpy and now I have lost the will to live. I demand that all of Ferelden suffer with me and so I'm going to go fall in a well or something. Have fun getting eaten by darkspawn!" With that, she pushed the door open and slipped through it.
"She doesn't…she doesn't really mean that, does she?" Riordan asked uncertainly.
Alistair shrugged. "I really don't know. Maybe we might want to look into using those Joining supplies you mentioned after all…"
Note: Poor Angélique, driving a man to Anora... :P