The Return of the Imperium

Martin Hawke was busy moving through his estate, packing his belongings together for the long trip out of Kirkwall. And if he had his way, it would be out of the Free Marches entirely. It was the day after the Arishok had died by his hand, a day since the few surviving Qunari had been driven out of the city with their precious book. And it was also a day since he had been forced to reveal himself as a apostate...right in front of the Knight Commander herself!

It was in that moment that he wondered if he should start worshipping his ancestors or the Natural Order, since it was obviousl the Maker held no love for him. After four years in hiding as an apostate. on top of an entire life of running and hiding. His secret was out, to the worst person imaginable, with the possible exception of the Divine herself.

Meredith may have given him a temorary repreave from the Gallows (or possibly execution) while the Qunari were attacking the city. Whatever else could be said of Meredith, sh didn't waste valuable resources in a hard situation. But she had made it very clear that once this crisis was dealt with, he would have to answer for the heinous and illegal crime of being born a mage.

He was confident that the only reason she hadn't slapped the shackles on him right there in the vicount's throne room. Was because he was in the middle of being proclaimed Champion of Kirkwall by the entire nobility. Meredith herself had even gone along with it at the time, seeing that there was no way she was arresting him at that time. Well not in front of the city he had just saved anway. But he had seen her eyes when she congratulated him in the forum in Hightown later that day. And those ice blue eyes told him that this was not finished. Even the most mage sympathetic Knight Commander in Thedas would be hard pressed to ignore a open apostate in their realm of influence. espeically one as powerful as Hawke. And Meredith was the polar opposite of that description.

The fact that said mage was a rich noble or even a champion wouldn't matter. Meredith would find away to despose of or imprison him, either openly or in secret. And Hawke had already decided that, that dispite all the trouble life constantly brought him. He was eager to carry on living it on his own terms.

That was why he was leaving Kirkwall and taking his fortune and possesstions with him.

He had already told his companions about his choice and most of them had expected it to happen. Aveline was supportive, she may be guard captian, but she knew she could not intervene if the Templars came for Hawke. Varric had agreed with her and while he was sorry to see Hawke leave, he understood the necessity. He had helped Hawke get his things together quickly, and had used his Carta connections to ensure that Hawke's departure from Kirkwall would not be hintered by anyone.

Isabela he would have liked to say goodbye to, but shortly after the duel with the Arishok he had taken her aside for a talk. He had thanked her for coming back for them with the Tome of Koslun. But Isabela didn't seem to want to talk about it, she had left the city that night on a ship bound for Antiva. He doubted her would see her anytime in the near future, if ever again.

Anders was not happy at all with Hawke leaving. He had argued that no with Hawke an open apostate and a hero to the people. He had a golden chance to serve as an inspiuration and figurehead for mages. He accused Hawke of being a coward and turning his back on their people. Hawke had tried to reason with him to start, but eventually anger at the accustations caused him to point out that all Anders had ever done was run away. He ran from the Circle, he ran from the Wardens, and now he ran from the damn spirit inside him!

Anders had paled and looked like he was about to attack him then and there. But he had just stood there until Hawke just shrugged his shoulders and left the clinic.

He had never been close to Fenris for obvious reasons. They had just stayed together for mutual aims and protections from their enemies. But even so he had gone to his house in Hightown and said a quick goodbye and a word of luck regarding his future.

Sebastian took the news well. He knew as well as Hawke that Meredith wouldn 't let him rest in peace. And while he wasn't in favor of an apostate fleeing the gallows, he felt Hawke had more then earned the right to his freedom. He was also confient that Hawke would never be swayed by a demon. He gave the Maker's blessing and wished him well on his travels.

Merril was coming with him of course. They had been together for a while now and Hawke was not leaving Merril alone in Kirkwall. Merril had no great love for Kirkwall, after the alienage, and no wish to remain near to her former clan. She claimed it just made the separation from them harder.

Bohdann, Sandal and Orana were coming too. Orana couldn't function in normal society after an entire life as a slave. Plus Hawke was very fond of her and her cooking aswell.

Speak of the archdemon Bohdann came up to him with the last bags from the estate. "Messare the work is all done and we are rady to depart on your say so."

"Good, have the servants ready the horses and the wagons outside the city. I want us on the road north before the moon reaches the zenith." Hawke grabbed his father's staff off the wall where it was leaning. He then collected Merril from the bedroom that she was taking the last moments to admire. With that they all walked out of the estate, but not through the front entrance. Hawke had no doubt that the estate was under watch by the Templars, so they exited throught the basement passage into Darktown.

"Ma Vhenarn, where are we going to go?" Merril enquired innocently

Hawke had been thinking about that for the last two days and he had been forced to a hard conclusion. "I have no doubt that Meredith would have already sent word and describtions to all the chantry authorites in this half of Thedas. So i have to ask Merril, infact i need to ask you all."

The group stopped and waited for Hawke to continue.

"How do you feel about going to live in Tevinter?"

Hawke had been wresling with this descion for a long time. His father had battled with it aswell. It was the only land in Tedas mages could live free. Admittley mages were not equal in Tevinter, they ruled in Tevinter. But Hawke had had enough of running and pretending that he was fine with it. He had heard the stories of Tevinter, everyone had. But he heard them from those who had never been to it. And from the teachings of a Chantry that demanded his death or enslavement for his powers. What loyality did he hold to them?

The group took a moment to process that. But it didn't take long to decide. Orana was more familiar with Minrathous then she ever had been in Kirkwall. And dispite everything she was eager to return to her homeland.

Bohdann and Snadal had no opinion on the Imperium and were not bothered much

Merril of course was edgey with the Imperium given their history with the elven people. But she did realise that she was in just as much danger of the templars as Hawke. Actually more so for being a blood mage. It was a battle between her fear of the Imperium and her fear of the templars.

The fear of Templars won.

Hawke, satified that the group was unified with their course of action. Turned to begin the long trip to Minrathous, and hopefully a new life.