This is a multi-chapter work in progress written for this fantastic kmeme prompt:

The City Elf Origin happens as canon, but little does Vaughan know that F!Tabris is secretly the shadow of Denerim... lone badass vigilante that saves the innocents from the dark underbelly of the city. OP wants to see F!Tabris beat the shit out of every rapist bastard there, Batman style. Ie. grabbing people out of the shadows and leaving broken bodies for them to find. Sex could be Nelaros being F!Tabris Lois Lane (they know each other in her vigilante identity) or F!Tabris admitting to Zevran in bed her deepest secret - that she's the Denerim Shadow.

Since it's growing into a huge monster of a story, I figured I'd start posting it here. For now, the rating is T, but will probably be bumped up to M in later chapters. Feedback is greatly appreciated. What you liked/didn't like or thought worked/didn't work is especially helpful.


Shadowalker – Chapter One

Shianni is the one who finds Kallian kneeling over the bloody corpse of her mother, eyes wide, face pale, slender shoulders shaking. While the shouts of the gathering crowd demand answers from the girl still in shock, Shianni shoulders through the onlookers, snapping at them to move back. She grabs her cousin's hand, sticky with blood, and leads Kallian home, away from the pitying stares of the onlookers. And doing her best not to burst into tears of her own, Shianni washes away the blood, checks for injuries and finally wraps Kallian in a worn blanket.

Eventually, Soris appears with Elder Valendrian. When they tell Kallian that her father will live, relief is the first emotion that Shianni sees crack through the haze of shock. But it is gone as soon as the questions start.

With her answers, Kallian paints a picture in a numb monotone. Of three drunken, bored shem on a hot summer night, looking for a way to make easy coin. Of a brutal and swift attack over a string of glass beads, worn by Kallian's mother, mistaken for pearls. Of a struggle that ends with two dead, two missing, and two people whose world has been shattered beyond repair.

When Soris and the elder leave, Shianni thinks that now Kallian's tears will come. Instead Kallian speaks and Shianni cannot tell which breaks her heart more: the still blank look on Kallian's face or the words that are spoken.

"It's my fault."

"Don't say that! Of course it's not your fault."

Kallian meets Shianni's eyes for the first time that night. "No. It is. I was the one who pestered father into going to the market district to see the bards. We wouldn't have been there if it weren't for me."

Shianni grabs Kallian's shoulders trying to be gentle, fighting the urge to shake her cousin until she understands that there is no guilt in being a little girl who wants to hear songs of honorable knights and outlaw heroes.

"Listen to me. You are not to blame."

"If I paid more attention to mother's lessons, I could have helped her fight them off."

Shianni cannot bear it any longer, her voice grows thick and her pretty face twists. "You're eleven. They were three grown shem." She spits the word out with all of the contempt she can muster. "They were faster, stronger and well armed. There's nothing you could have done."

Kallian is silent for a long time until finally something else cracks through the numbness, an ice cold fury much darker than simple grief and too painful to bear in anyone, much less a child.

"Then I will learn to become stronger and faster and better armed, so that when I find them, I can kill them."

And with that, Kallian turns and walks out of the room, leaving Shianni to weep the tears that she could not shed.