*SPOILER ALERT* Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker (the movie).
Cassandra Pentaghast: Dragon Hunter. Seeker. Hero of Orlais. Right Hand of the Divine.
Such titles for someone who started out living in a small Nevarran village with her family. Legends of their own, the Pentaghast clan was well known for their skill at hunting and killing dragons. Because of that legend they had all lost their lives; murdered by blood mages for not bowing down to their demands.
All but Cassandra, who was witness to the brutal slaying of all whom she had loved, including her beloved brother Anthony.
Being raised by the Chantry as an orphan didn't diminish her hatred for mages. It was that hate that fueled her need to be the best at everything she did; daggers, two handed weapons, sword and shield, her skill was matched by none. Joining the Seekers of Truth helped her focus that hate; an organization which fought against blood mages and apostates.
Fueling her hatred further was the death of her mentor, and father figure, Byron. At the hands of even more blood mages. Yet even with his last breath, Byron taught her the greatest lesson she had yet to learn: hate can only breed more hate.
And in earning her title as the Hero of Orlais, it was only by the Makers humor, she assumed, that the one who would free her from that hate was a mage. Regalyan D'Marcall, better known as Galyan, had somehow managed to not only get Cassandra to accept and trust a mage, but fall in love with one as well.
It was a love she could never give in to, not completely. Her duties and his kept them separated for months at a time. Galyan would wait forever for the dark haired beauty, as he would remind her whenever she could manage a visit to the Circle of Magi. Often she wondered how this mage had managed to capture her heart.
During this moment, she wondered it again, as she lay beside him naked and breathless. For all her stamina the mage knew how to exhaust her, and her heart was finally starting to slow its pace. She turned to look at him; his dark brown hair stuck to his face in places by glistening sweat, his large mossy green eyes staring back at her. Cassandra ran her hand along the thin beard that framed his face, knowing at any moment his lips would move and plead with her again.
"What will convince you not to leave," Galyan tried. "You realize you could be gone for an entire year or more."
Cassandra turned away, unable to endure any more sadness from his eyes. "I must Galyan, you know this."
He rolled onto his back when she avoided him but continued regardless. "I know you feel it's your duty, but what of me? I'm not as strong as you Cassandra," he admitted. "It's hard for me to only be able to touch you three times a year."
"It's hard for me too," she whispered sadly, revealing her vulnerability only to him, only ever to him. "Please understand this mission is more than just a task for the Divine." She sat up and turned to him again. "Lives are at stake. Your life is at stake. No mage is safe now, not after this, not after…"
He placed a hand on hers, offering his support. "I know," he said defeated. "Though I do have to chuckle at you becoming so passionate about the lives of mages."
"Only yours," she shot back at him, a bit more angrier than she had meant to. "Need I remind you…"
"No," Galyan said sitting to be level with her. A hand to her cheek calmed her rage as he let his fingers get lost in her hair. "No need. But you can not carry that hate with you to Kirkwall. We're talking about good people Cassandra. From everything I have heard, the Champion did all she could to protect that city even when she didn't have to."
Cassandra glanced at the book under her carelessly tossed clothes on the desk. "You and I have heard different tales then," she said closing her eyes. "It was a mage that was responsible for a Grand Clerics death. The Champion a mage as well, sent to spread subversion against the Chantry. These actions have started more wars than our armies can battle." Her dark eyes met his and filled with tears. "The war will be here soon. For all we know this is our last time together."
"Shhhh…" Galyan said before kissing her gently. "The Maker did not bring me to you just to take me away. It is you I worry about, heading into the lions den. Kirkwall isn't exactly stable at the moment."
Cassandra pulled away from him and lay back down, her mind focusing on her upcoming mission. Going to Kirkwall was dangerous at this time, but the Chantry needed answers. "There is no way to know the truth without me going," she reminded him. The mages considered the Champion a hero, the templars considered her the catalyst of all that was happening in Thedas. With the Wardens disappearance and now the Champions, the evidence was stacked against them.
But she was a Seeker. Trained to suspect everyone and remain vigilant in protecting the Chantry. Bards tales and stories passed along by hundreds of people were bound to have the facts twisted and distorted. It was her job, her duty, to uncover the truth. Her last six months were spent in Ferelden discovering the true tales behind the Hero Warden. Now she needed to find that truth again.
Galyan suddenly jumped on top of her and she released a gasp of surprise. "Enough thinking," he told her sternly. "Your truth will still be there tomorrow."
Cassandra took in a deep breath and soaked in the sight of the mage looming over her. He was the reason she now remained vigilant. That was her secret truth. Every day another mage/templar dispute was reported, and it was only a matter of time before it reached her beloved. Galyan taught her to trust, to love, to be loved. To lose him in this fight may be her undoing, after losing everyone else before him.
She wrapped her legs around his waist and pulled him in closer in a desperate need to have nothing between them. The road ahead would be difficult for both of them, but she took comfort in his words that the Maker would never tear them apart.
At least not tonight.