Longevity had its drawbacks.
The wrinkles were only the beginning. Teeth, for example, didn't wear as well after the first six decades, and hair was an absolute pain to maintain after seventy. There was also the sagging of flesh, the aching of bones, and the failing of various body parts as each sense began to fade.
Though not all her bodies fell to waste that way. Some quite simply stopped working after an enterprising Warden put a sword clean through her heart, or still others had been gutted by zealous templars whose misplaced sense of justice demanded a service to their order in the form of a decapitated head.
Regardless of the little setbacks, she always found a way back. She understood it was a game, and for the right player, there was always a path. Her mortal opponents did not understand this, while her fellow players… Well, that was part of the fun, wasn't it? Even so, the long-lived Flemeth saw more seasons than most, and had been responsible for eliminating more players than most. She knew that the board was longer than the span of just a few warring landscapes, and that strategies crossed backwards and forward through centuries, not decades. It was a multi-dimensional arena, and in the end, she intended to be its only survivor.
These were Flemeth's thoughts as she drifted idly above the burning wreck of the town below her. Frail though her human form might be, Flemeth had other shapes at her disposal: the benefits of a long life and thorough study of the world about her. The heat of the fires were so intense that it sent warm drafts swirling up towards her, which exploded in the cold atmosphere, causing small ripples that pushed and sucked at the air like a dying man. The heat would have fried mere mortal beings, but though her dragon form did not speak, her scales were hard and fire resistant, her teeth sharp enough to pierce armor, and her wings strong enough to lift men. For her, the fire below was barely enough to tickle her scaled belly.
The Chasind called her the Witch of the Wilds, the mother of their greatest fears and their darkest nightmares. The Chasind tales were useful in driving away others from her door, and the Chasind were not misinformed in their superstition. What she was and what she did… well. "Witch" was a good enough word for mortal minds to comprehend; few would know of a truer word for her kind, and even fewer to understand a creature who possessed the clarity of sight to pierce between the veils, to see the connections between worlds, between present and the past. Such a preternatural premonition had drawn her here, and she could still sense that there was something to be found below like a tickling against the back of her head. Waiting. Ready.
A movement on the ground drew her eye, and she spied darting figures retreating up a hill. Darkspawn swarmed after the figures like black ants over a new kill. A flash of mage fire burned a streak through the creatures, only to have even more darkspawn surge forward to fill the space. Flemeth dropped until the figures were no longer the size of ants, but appeared like little chess pawns upon the board, and her claws raked the mountaintops as she found a cliff edge to perch upon.
There on a small hilltop a handful of humans huddled, futile numbers against an endless horde; and yet, so humanlike, they struggled against the dictations of destiny. Flemeth's dragon maw could not smile, but if it did, the sight of rows upon layered rows of teeth like blades would have been a gruesome vision.
She chortled out loud, her mirth a deadly knell that roared across the enclosed field. Without further warning the high dragon leapt, her wings pulled in tight for a dive, and thus Flemeth hurled herself into the chaos, drawn by chance, or perhaps fate; she could never decide. Her path was heralded by a banner of supernatural fire that demolished the darkspawn ranks, and this time, the darkspawn did not surge to fill the places of their fallen. She plucked a defiant Hurlock as she passed, giving the creature a jolt that broke its neck. Flemeth angled away from the earth and swooped back, returning to the humans who stood gape mouthed at the mountain pass, her trophy dangling by a leg. She who the Dalish called Asha'bellanar dropped to the ground, her body shifting between states as she walked towards the party, dragging her prey behind her.
The world stood upon the precipice of change. The plummet into the abyss was inevitable, for had not Flemeth herself been amongst those who had engineered it? The strangers tensed as she approached. She wondered if these would be the ones to make the leap.
"Well, well…" Flemeth said to the pawns of destiny before her. "What have we here?"