Hi, this is the first time I've written properly for a while so here's hoping I'm not too rusty. Obviously, I do not own dragon age or any of the characters, I'm just having fun.
The first few chapters will be building the story up before I add a little more action and intrigue. Amell's character will be a little over-chipper, but that is for a reason, and I could not be stuffed writing out the proper lines for the characters (I started but it took too long and didn't leave me much creative power) - just a head's up.
Thank you for reading!
The sun's rays exploded from amongst the trees piercing Elayne's eyes as she walked behind Duncan towards Ostagar, her legs ragged from the long journey from The Tower. She'd never been out of The Tower, so her feet were so numb they felt as though they'd sunk into the Fade. Only a few more steps, Elayne thought to herself, I can see Ostagar from here.
"Ho there Duncan!" A voice sounded as they reached the gates.
Tripping up on a stone, Elayne quickly looked up from her feet, her face red; it wouldn't be a good start if the soldiers thought the new recruit was a stumbling girl. Duncan looked taken aback as well as he walked up to the speaker. Even with Duncan's self control his voice gave away his surprise, "King Cailan! I didn't expect a-"
With a cocky smile, the king interrupted, "A royal welcome?" As the king reached for a handshake his face gave away his amusement of surprising the Warden-Commander, this was a man who was self-assured and knew that he had power. He put his arm on Duncan's shoulder, "I was beginning to think you'd miss all the fun." The king's blonde hair, blue eyes and strong jaw clearly showed that he was, indeed, the son of the late King Maric.
Duncan seemed as if he looked down on the king as he replied, "Not if I could help it your majesty". Even though he talked to the king in the proper protocol Duncan's dark eyes and skin made him look as if he were an eagle staring down at a sparrow.
Elayne shifted uncomfortably, how the hell does a mage, of all people, introduce themselves to the king? Elayne stared at the ground; she knew she should've paid attention in 'Social Studies' instead of thinking it a pointless subject. Mages are cursed, mages never left The Circle, mages never met the king. She knew only way to deal with people, be overly happy and girly and outright... informal.
The king smiled and stood at Duncan's side proudly, "Then I'll have the mighty Duncan at my side at battle after all, glorious!" The king added emphasis on 'glorious' fitting into his role as an over-zealous young king, just as the rumours stated. He was young, around 25-years old, and attractive. His stature and nature showed that he was confident, in himself, in his men and, especially, in the Grey Wardens.
At least he isn't going to notice me, Elayne thought. She wasn't anything special. Elayne had light red, curly hair that was tied into low pigtails; her eyes were a light shade of green; and her skin pale. Not to mention she had been called a twig on more than one occasion, along with being teased for not having much... cleavage. So all in all, she was pretty much invisible to the ki-
"The other wardens told me you'd found a promising recruit," the king started. "I take it this is she?" He looked over at her with a curious twinkle in his eyes and a cocky smile gracing his lips.
Oh Maker have mercy, Elayne thought nervously. She should've escaped The Tower when she'd had the chance, become a rogue and learnt stealth – or something. Elayne looked at Duncan nervously, knowing her she'd open her mouth and royally piss off the king.
"Allow me to introduce you, your Majesty." Duncan replied staring at Elayne – either not noticing her anguish or choosing to ignore it. The Warden-Commander seemed to take formality to the extreme; it was obvious that he had been trying to make the king grow up for some time.
"There's no need to be so formal Duncan. We'll be shedding blood together after all." The king looked over at Duncan, talking as if Elayne were not there. His proud posture not faltering for a second, which was a miracle considering how heavy his armour looked. He turned his head to look at Elayne in the eye, "Ho there friend. Might I know your name?"
Elayne looked at Duncan one last time trying to picture how a Lady might react in this situation. Calm, collected, cool... "Hi! My name's Elayne." Elayne smiled happily and offered her hand to the king. Realising what she'd done, Elayne let a small gasp and pulled her hand back, lowered her head and added, "Your Majesty." She grimaced, nailed it you dimwit.
Taken aback the king took a while to regain his composure; obviously no-one had ever treated him as a... normal person. "Pleased to meet you, the wardens are desperate to bolster their numbers, and I for one, am glad to help them." The king's blue eyes stared into Elayne's, a soft smile again touching his face, one that was more sincere than his previous boasting smirk. He was like a king from the stories Elayne had read when she was a young apprentice. "I understand you hail from the Circle of Magi. I trust that you have some spells to help us with the coming battle?"
Elayne's eyes widened, not knowing what to say, she opened her mouth and shut it again, "well, yeah I guess so." She looked over at Duncan and shrugged her shoulders, "that's what I was recruited to do." She looked up at the king, who looked obviously complexed at her informality. "I'm sorry, I'm not used to this whole... king thing."
The king couldn't help but laugh, "it's ok, too many people act like chantry priests around me because of my title." His blue eyes looked into Elayne's green. "Allow me to be the first to welcome you to Ostagar. The wardens will benefit greatly with you in their ranks." The king's face was soft yet controlled as he was still recovering from Elayne's outburst. The fact that he could stay in such control was a sure sign of his strict upbringing.
Elayne looked down at the ground, trying her hardest to form some kind of formality, composure, dignity, any of the above. "You're too kind, your Majesty". There, that was the most dignified response Elayne could come up with, she knew the only reason her head was still attached was because she was a grey warden.
The king seemed to tense up anyway, "I'm sorry to cut this short, but I should return to my tent. Loghain waits eagerly to bore me with his strategies." A king that liked to fight instead of strategise, King Cailan definitely lived up to every stereotype the rumours had presented. A young, handsome, yet dim-witted King that was more interested in glory than governing his country.
"Your uncle sends his greetings and reminds you that Redcliff forces could be here in less than a week." Duncan said; his body tense. Elayne looked at her Commander more intently; he was not only a warrior but a political mind. He had networks with the Ferelden royalty as well as with the mages and Maker knew who else. It was if he had more leadership capability than the one who headed the campaign against the Blight.
"Hah!" The king laughed turning to look at his knights as if they were in on the joke, "Eamon just wants in on the glory. We've already won three battles against these monsters and tomorrow should be no different." His confident swagger moved heavily under the weight of his armour, as he held his chin up in defiance.
"Well seems like everything's turning out to be a great old Epic then." Elayne smiled playfully, forgetting to think before she spoke. The king seemed like a joke to her, like an apprentice jumping into a deal with a demon. It was going to be an interesting battle, Elayne concluded. From what she'd learnt when she actually paid attention in history, Generals never under-estimated their foes.
The king didn't even notice, too caught up in his own thoughts. "I'm not even sure this is a true Blight," he sighed turning his back towards Elayne and Duncan. He chuckled finding his statement amusing, he seemed half his age. "There are plenty of darkspawn on the field," he continued, "but alas... we've seen no sign of an archdemon." His voice sounded disappointed, as if he wanted the archdemon to swoop from the heavens.
Duncan, surprisingly, remained calm. Surely, wanting a Blight to happen was like kicking a warden in the gut? "Disappointed, your Majesty?" Elayne admired Duncan's control, she was about to start laughing at this king's naivety – even she wasn't that silly... surely?
The king didn't turn around, "I'd hoped for a war like in the tales... you know, a king riding with the fabled Grey Wardens against a tainted god". The armour clanged as the king shrugged and turned towards Duncan and Elayne again with a childish smile. "But I suppose this will have to do." For some unknown reason, he looked at Elayne with a subtle smirk on his face and dramatically rolled his eyes. "Now I must go before Loghain sends out a search party." He joked, "Farewell, Grey Wardens" – with that he sundered off, his guard following him diligently.
"Rand," Cailan said turning towards one of his guards, "wasn't that one of the youngest and prettiest mages you've ever seen? Remarkable, from what I'd seen I'd have thought all of them to be at least 100 years old." He laughed, remembering the stern faces of the mages he'd riled up earlier today. You would've thought they'd send mages who'd follow orders from The Circle. He'd never met anyone who had completely ignored his title and talked openly before; Cailan didn't know whether he felt happy or angry at that fact.
"She was pretty and a little... ditsy. She didn't seem to have a care in the world." Rand answered freely; Cailan had made sure that his guards saw him as a comrade rather than their king. It made for easier discussions, better fights on the battlefield and more ways of wriggling out of Loghain's tight grasp.
"She was ditsy wasn't she? Joking with me like that! You'd think The Circle would teach their apprentices manners," Cailan joked again. He was in a weird mood today, on edge. Cailan never thought he would feel this way before a battle, and he was overcompensating fear with humour. Kaladin had told him that someone had already opened one of his letters from the Orlesian before he'd received it. That meant he was facing more than just the darkspawn at Ostagar.
As if feeling Cailan's building tension Rand replied, "I doubt she had to go to classes. She'd bat those big green eyes of hers and the Senior Enchanters and Templars would let her do whatever she liked. Though she did seem awfully girly, it was painful to watch," Rand laughed nudging Thom, a fellow guard in the gut.
Cailan found himself laughing too, "It sure was difficult to talk to her; she looked like a deer caught in a trap!" They neared the tent where Kaladin was standing dutifully, "Ho there! I'm guessing Loghain's inside?" This was it, Cailan thought; this was going to be another argument of the century with his father's best friend.
Kaladin nodded, stepping aside to let Cailan go through. No turning back now.