AN: Weekly prompt: Free Marches - write something about Nate and his time in the Free Marches.

The sounds of the tavern below seeped through the floorboards of the modest room Nathaniel had rented for the night. The crowd of the Portly Princess was just entering the prime of their evening's revelry. The people downstairs were having a good time, drowning themselves in tankards of ale or the swell of a nice set of breasts. Each remnant of laughter, each upbeat melody, each cheer of the crowd that echoed across the time-blistered plaster walls of his room felt like Maker was mocking him.

He scowled at the floor, unable to do much more than that at the celebrations taking place below. He knew they did not mean to insult him, but the feeling was there all the same. His father was dead, murdered and no one around him seemed to care.

They were not like Bann Brynon. No, earlier in the day he had dismissed Nathaniel. My debt to your father is now satisfied, he had been informed before he was instructed to gather his few belongings and leave. His services as squire were no longer needed. So eager was the Bann to lap at his father's heels when he was alive and now that he had passed, all respect was cast away, forgotten.

His father deserved more, deserved better.

The anger roiled within as he withdrew the single slip of parchment from his pocket. No matter how many times he read the letter, he still had trouble accepting the truth that his father was truly gone.

There were so many things left unsaid. So many things Nathaniel had wanted to do. His whole purpose in the Free Marches was to please his father and make the man proud, to do those things he had not been able to do in Amarathine.

Now, there would be no such opportunity. The Cousland bitch had seen to that, executing his father within the dungeon of his own home in Denerim. Her parents had been traitors, in alliance with the Orlesians. And her? She was supposedly a Grey Warden, the same group that allowed King Cailan to die on the fields of Ostagar.

His fingers clenched into a fist, the vellum in his hand crumpling. He stared down at the crinkled paper and wondered if her neck would do the same within his grasp. Would the skin wrinkle and give way so easily as he squeezed?

There was one way to find out. He had to return to Ferelden.