4 years ago today we killed the Demon. 4 years ago today I left Deneriem and never went back. 4 years ago today I lost everything for the sake of the country. The city burned around me and the Demon died as my blade pierced his skull and killed him. I could still hear the blade as it scraped though the scales like metal scraping against metal.
I never regretted what we did. I never regretted what happened. But that didn't make it hurt any less. After the blight had been stopped I left. Straight away. I never even seen him on the throne. The only person I seen as I left was Morrigan as she magicked her way out of there. The only feeling I had toward her was jealousy. Why did I have to sneak in the shadows when she was able to leave so quickly. The second my blade pierced the Demon skull and I had realized what Alistair had done, I decided to leave. I moved to a small cottage outside of where Lothering use to be. A place in the middle of no where, where I thought I would be safe.
It was small. Nearest neighbours were half a days walk away. I had a few cows, chickens and a horse. All of them grazed on fields of perfect green grass that stretched for miles around he small thatched roof cottage. When I first arrived the land was dead. All tainted by the blight. The ground was littered with the corpses and bones of the Darkspawn who had now retreated back the Deep Raods. It had taken me weeks to remove the dead and kill the few that were still straggling around. The grass had taken months to grow back. And at first it grew back black. I burnt it off and after doing that a few times the grass finally grew back a dull green. My life was boring but it was quiet. I spent my days now training, working and living out the remainder of my short life happy and by myself. Avoiding the life I had before.
Dog came with me as well. I did try to leave him there, thinking he would have a better time in the castle than with me but the blasted thing tracked me. Tracked me for a week before he caught up. It was a relief to see him though. I was sitting under a tree beside the road resting. I had brought little supplies with me, basically only what I had left from preparations for the Archdemon. I didn't dear stop in any village for fear they would know who I was and report back to Demeriem. Dog came bounding out of the bushs so fast I hadn't had time to react. My first instict at the monster jumping out of the bushes told me to pull my dagger. Thanks to Elven reflexes though I stopped before Dog landed on my blade. He was covered in blood, not his own thank fully and smeared my face with drool as he licked my face.
Zevran and Leliana visited me every so often. The only two who had the skill and time to track me down. Zev liked to come out here to hide himself. The crows still chased him from time to time but I think he enjoyed it. He wasn't one to settle down in one spot for to long.
Leliana just came to check on me, see how I was. She had gone back to the Chantry and I suspected it was bordom that also brought her out to the middle of nowhere.
I didn't mind. They would keep my secret hiding place. Both of them understood why I left. Well to a degree at least. They didn't know about the ritual. They didn't know what had to be done. But they knew what had happened those days before the battle. Especially the day after we put Alistair on the throne.
I remember it like it was yesterday, the feel of putting Alistair on the throne was amazing. We had defeated Loghain and now we could focus on defeating the Blight and the Arch Demon. We all gathered in a room at Arl Emons Estate in Demeriem celebrating. The room was filled with the quiet hum of people talking. Zevran and Ogren laughing as they downed a drink, Morrigan not really taking part , as usual, Leliana was standing beside me with a smile on his face. Dog was asleep by the fire unworried by the coming bight. Sten was confused. From dealing with the Qunari I'm guessing he is confused why we are celebrating when there was still the blight to remove. Wynne was smiling in the corner. Alistair wasn't here. Zevran gave me a confident smile as I walked past him. "Ah my dear you will be Queen soon." He placed a finger on his chin and smiled, white teeth gleaming, "An elven Queen. Ah the nobles will be in an uproar."
I just brushed him off with a smile. There was still the blight to get through before we worried about that. There was still a very nasty looking Arch Demon to defeat as well. Sten watched me as I walked towards him "Warden, why do we celebrate! We have not done anything."
"We defeated the man who betrayed us Sten. it's a small victory." My hands on my hips and a small smile on my face.
The Qunari glared at me "Why celebrate now when there is still the blight to defeat."
I rolled my eyes. I liked Sten. He was to the point but even I became frustrated with his train of thought some time. Qunari were very literal and very stubborn. The sound of Ogren's loud belching made us all turn just in time to see him pass out onto the stone floor. Zevran shrugged innocently. As if he hadn't been feeding him drinks since they got back. The door to the room opened and Alistair walked in. At the first sight of him I smiled. I never thought I would fall for a Shem but here he was. Golden hair sparkling, armour shining. But his face, his face was sad. No sad wasn't the word for it. Depressed, miserable, but yet serious at the same time.
As he scanned the room I lowered my chin and narrowed my eyes as I looked up at him. What was he thinking? Everyone was silent, none of them seeing what I saw in his eyes. All of the smiling at him. Thinking he was happy. His brown eyes caught my green one and he signalled for me to come to him. I glared as I walked towards him. Suddenly feeling very unsettled. Was he angry at me for putting him on the throne. He said he didn't want to be king but would do it. I wouldn't have put him on there if he didn't want it. "We need to talk." he whispered
"What is it?"
His eyes were so serious. Very serious. I had NEVER seen him like this. "It's just being king raises a few questions about us. About you and me."
My throat clenched, my stomach tightened and my legs felt like they wouldn't hold me. Inside I was praying to the Maker, the Creators, whoever would listen. This cant be true. "I thought you were in love with me."
"I am" He defended. His brown eyes giving away his shame for a few seconds before reverting back to seriousness. "Its just, this is all I have been able to think about since the landsmeet."
I forgot everyone else in the room, I didn't notice them stare. But I couldn't say anything. I knew where this was going and I didn't want it to go there. He continued speaking, never taking his eyes away from me. "First there is the fact we are both Grey Wardens, its not a matter of obligation as much as blood. You know that Grey Wardens don't usually live to become old right?"
"How does that affect anything?" I snapped at him. What did it matter?
He continued never losing step with what he was saying. If I had knowen any better I would have thought he had been practising this speech. "As king, I'll be required to have a child. Even more so because my death is assured. That assuming someone with tainted blood can or should have a child."
I remember swallowing the lump in my throat. He was taking a very long way about getting this out. He had been practising. Coming up with points to make me see reason. Probably trying to make this easier on me. "Are you saying I should have this child?" I questioned.
"No, I'm not." My heart smashed and fell to my stomach. No Dark Spawn could hurt me more than he did with those three words. He much have seen the pain because he continued "Both of us with tainted blood. Both of us will die young. I will need to find a wife, one who can bear a child. Who will live to raise it. I don't relish it, but… I will have a duty as king. I love you," he began to whisper "More than I thought possible. But… I have to face what this means. I cant run away from it."
My breathing quicken, my now broken heart thumped against my chest, each beat was like a dagged stabbing into my chest. My eyes narrowed to try and stop the tears "So we have sex and now… that's it?"
"Please don't say it like that," he begged his eyes softening back into the brown I remember from the Alistair who loved me "I didn't know it would turn out this way. I can see it becoming very hard to tear myself away from you, Impossible even. If this is what must be, then… then I have to do it now. I'm sorry."
I could feel the tears pricking at the back of my eyes. My breathing hampered by the massively painful lump in my throat. Don't ask me what the others were doing. I had no idea. To me. Alistair was the only one in the room. "Is this revenge," I whispered "Revenge for making you King?"
"No of course not." he tried to defend himself "I understand why you did it but at the same time I can not avoid what it entails."
I felt it, A single tear betrayed me and slipped down my cheek "Why do it now?" I pleaded. Looking back I wish I hadn't. I wish I had just let him walk out "Why not what and see what happens?"
"If I don't end it now," his serious voice was back "I fear I never will be able to… I'm sorry but.. I have no choice."
"So this is it? It's over?" I snarled at him. That was the first time I noticed dog by my leg, growling quietly at Alistair. My hand went to his head before I looked back at Alistair.
"I think it is best. For both of us." His dark eyes looked down at Dog then back at me. I couldn't read what was inside. I couldn't read what was in his head. I felt lost. If I knew this was how things would have been I never would have put him on there. For my own selfish reasons I would have let that cow Anora have her throne.
But here he was being completely unselfish. Putting his country before himself. I looked away from him. Slightly ashamed at my own selfish nature coming through. Dog whined as he looked up at me. "You'll be a good king Alistair."
I didn't dear look at him. For fear my eyes would betray me further but I heard the pain in his voice. "But I would gladly trade it for what I really wanted." My breathing stopped for a few seconds as I absorbed the words. That didn't make it easier. That just confirmed to me that I had dug my own grave as it were. "I need to go back to camp for a while… " he continued "Just to be by myself for a while." His voice cracked. Then he said something about the Arl and something about the up coming battle but I didn't hear him. I didn't even notice he had left for a few seconds.
Zevran placed his hand on my shoulder, pulling me out of my dream but I shrugged him off, shook my head and retired to my room.
The horse played around the paddock in the front of the house as I stared at nothing. Dog walked up to the fence line, curious at what was happening. He was old now. Grey hair scattered through the brown fur of his muzzle and shoulders. He was still powerful. Killed the few rabbits that scampered his way but he was slowing up. To slow to catch them if they seen him first. I brushed my brown hair behind my ear and looked to the sky. Was a perfectly blue sky. The opposite of what it was the day we fought the Arch Demon. Dog didn't even hear the horse and carriage before I did as it came down the long road to my house. I didn't recognise them so pulled my black hood up over my ear and face. It was amazing how many people still held a gudge towards Elves.
The Cart came down the path and stopped infront of the house and I stood both in defence and a greeting. I did not recognise the dwarf who controlled the carriage. He was a little rounder than most of the dwarfs I saw and was bald. His red beard was very bushy though. A strange contrast. "There you go Elf!" To start with I thought he was speaking to me. My finger twitched as I reached for the dagger that was strapped around my waist behind me.
"Ah, Thank you kind sir." Came a very recognizable Antivan accent
The blonde haired elf popped off the back of the cart and threw a small sack of coins to the driver. Who caught them without taking his eyes off me. He grunted a reply before leaving. "Hello my dear Warden how are you?" I grinned at him before removing my hood "Still as reclusive as ever." he smiled
The Elf was exactly the same. Absolutely nothing had changed about him. And I was grateful. Everything else had changed in the world but I was so happy to see my old friend was the same. His brown pants hung nicely off his waist and his white shirt was unlaced at the top. He looked unarmed but I knew better "I missed you Zev."
He still even had that wee swagger in his step. Oozing self confidence. He caught me in a hug "And I you Warden."
"Please stop calling me that Zev." I had to tell him every time he came here to call me Kaillian "I'm not a Warden anymore."
"Oh so you got rid of the taint in your blood did you love." Zevran smiled. Dog came bounding across the small field when he finally noticed Zevran. Barking his deep happy bark. "Oh well havent you gotten old." Dog whined before licking Zevran's hand.
The three of ussat down on the patio of the hut. Dog curled up in a ball and quickly fell asleep. Zevran slouched back in the chair and began twirling a piece of his blonde hair between his fingers "So it has been a long time since I last saw you." I sat down on the chair opposite him and offered him a drink. "I can see nothing has changed out here."
I giggled quietly as he sipped his water "That's why I like it out here."
He nodded "I suppose when you're the most famous missing person in the world you don't want thing to change."
"Exactly." I smiled taking a drink "What brings you out here Zevran?"
He shrugged continuing to twirl the hair around his finger "Nothing to important. I thought I would update you on the real world."
"Update away." I smiled not believing he travelled all this way to simply update me.
"Well," he smiled. Zevran really was a bit of a gossip and who better to gossip with than the person who knows nothing about what is happening. "I'm afraid its not great news my dear. Wynne, finally kicked the bucket."
A frown crossed my face. I knew the old woman was on the way out but it was still a little bit of a shock. I hadn't seen her since that day at Fort Drakken. "That's sad. She was a really nice woman."
Zevran agreed "Yes, Funeral is next week at the Lake."
I always remembered Wynne getting angry at me that night at camp. About Alistair and me. Seems she never had to worry at the end of things did she. "Wait," I glared up at Zevran "Your not here to convince me to go to the funeral are are?"
A cheeky grin flew over Zevrans lips. "Well I was hoping you might come to say goodbye to her. She was a dear friend towards the end of the Blight wasn't she."
I felt the tightness returning. The same feeling I have every time I think of him. Everytime I think of seeing him. My heart felt as if it stopped and my brain went a million miles an hour running through all the things that could happen. I looked over my shoulder out at the fields I called home now. I didn't know if I could or even wanted to leave.
4 years of sitting here, forgetting about the world outside and waiting for the taint to claim me. It was a long time to hide. "Kaillian?" Zevran saying my name forced me to look at him "Tell me. What happened between you and Alistair? More happened than what our little group witnessed, no?"
No one knew about the ritual except for Morrigan, I and apparently Alistair. I hadn't told them what had happened that night. None of them. And guessing from the fact Zevran didn't know, Alistair hadn't spoken of it either. I sighed. "it's a little complicated Zev."
He smiled "Please Kaillian. I know it has hurt you. That is why I never speak of Alistair."
Taking a deep breath and began telling him about what had happened with Morrigan that night before the battle.
Riordan, Alistair and I all stood in Riordan's room as he told us about what had to be done to kill the Arch Demon. One of us would have to die. The tension between Alistair and I was unbearable. My heart ached to be near him. I felt my whole body want to move close to him to stand near him but I didn't. I stood with him beside me but my shoulders were turned away from him slightly. My eyes never looking at him. If Riordan noticed, he never said anything.
The moment Riordan said one of us would have to die. I decided it was me. I had no reason to stay in this world. I was a city Elf. What was I going to go back to? The disgusting Alienage. Or to be worshipped as the Warden who led the King to his death. No. I made up my mind to die that day.
Nothing was said between Alistair and I. He left the room in front of me and I stepped into my room. Morrigan stood infront of my fire. Her back turned to me. I never held distrust towards the woman until that moment. That was when I seen her true colours. When I seen who she really was. "Do not be alarmed," she said almost mockingly "Tiz only I."
"Don't you have your own bedroom?" I asked her with an equally mocking tone. Something wasn't right.
"I thought it was time we spoke." suddenly serious. She turned her head to me looking at me out of the corner of her eye "I have a plan you see, a way out, the loop in your hole." My eyes narrowed as she turned and started walking towards me.
"I know what happens when the arch demon dies, I know a Grey Warden must be sacrificed. And that sacrifies could be you." She stopped walking. Our eyes connected and I narrowed my eyes at her. What was she planning now?
"I've come to tell you this does not need to be." Her voice was almost sweet.
"Does not need to be?" I questioned "What do you mean?"
She smiled but it was not sincere "I offer a way out. A way out for all Grey Wardens. There need be no sacrifice. A ritual." She added a matter of factly "performed on the eve of battle. In the dark of night."
My senses went into overdrive. I had had more than enough of dark magic and rituals in the mess they call the circle. "Why all the secrecy? I don't trust this."
"Anything to do with magic stirs ones fears, especially from those who do not understand it. What I speak of is old magic." Of course it is. My thoughts went straight to Flemith. "A ritual from long before the time of the circle of magi was ever created. Some would call it blood magic. But I think that means little to one like you."
My eyes narrowed. What did that mean. "And from where did you learn this ritual, Morrigan?" I already knew the answer but I needed to be sure I knew all parties involved here.
"Flemith of course. I have knowen about it for some time."
"Nothing comes without a price." I did not trust this. It had been planned from the second Flemith saved us from the tower. I did not like being taken advantage of.
"Perhaps." She grinned slightly "But that price not need be so unbearable, espically if there is so much to be gained. All I ask is that you listen to what I have to offer. Nothing more."
"Very well," I crossed my arms glaring at her. I was curious but I had also made up my mind to die. "What is your plan?"
She turned and walked towards the bed, my eyebrows rose "What I purpose is this, convince Alistair to lay with me, here tonight, "My head, heart and soul all cursed the woman. She was there a few days ago when he left me. Why would she ask me to do this? "from this ritual a child shall be conceived within me. The child will bear the taint and when the Arch Demon is slain, its essence will seek the child like a beackon. And in this early stage the child can absorb that essence and will not perich. The Arch Demon is still destroyed with no Grey Warden dieing in the process."
"I see. And why arent you speaking to Alistair about this?" I snapped, turning away from her and crossing my arms over my aching chest. The wounds were still fresh.
"Alistair despises me! You know this! He rarely listens to reason. But he would listen to you. You of all people could influence him. Think about what I offer. The chance to avoid death. Or better yet," she looked me straight in the eye as I turned back to her "The chance to slay the Arch Demon and live as a Hero. No Warden has ever done this. In return I conceive a child," I knew there was a catch. What did she want? To be Queen. I doubted it "A child who will be born with the soul of an old God. After this is done you will allow me to walk away. And not follow. Ever! The child will be mine to raise as I wish."
So no Queen. Just Alistairs child. A Demon Child of all things. She could still be bying for the throne through the demon child "Why Alistair? Why not Roridan?"
"Even if I though Riordan could be convinced." She said angrily "He is not suitable! I need one who has not been tainted for long. It must be him and it must be tonight."
"No," I growled at her barely holding onto my anger. "I will not do this! Alistair will be king and I will die that's the way it has to be. Get out!" I pointed at the door.
"Very well." her head was held high, snobby as ever "I do as I must now. As must you." She walked away and I glared at her over my shoulder.
"Wait, wait, wait" Zevran grinned in a cocky way "She needed a child to absorb the Arch Demon?" I noded smiling slightly at the comedic way he had put a very serious topic. "Why couldn't I have been a newly tainted Grey Warden?"
"Would you have really gone there, Zevran?" I laughed
"Oh no no, but just to have the option."
So when the Arch Demon fell I grabbed the sword without a second thought and ran at the Demon. I think I heard Alistair in the background but I couldn't be sure. When I speared the creature in the head I expected to die. Part of me wanted to. I had no reason to live. I was ready for it. The energy of the Demon shot up through me. I felt the darkness moving over me. It felt like fire licking at my skin. The taint in me roared with awareness at the ultimate Dark Spawn moved through my body. I wanted this. I was ready to die. On my death bed I looked back at the man I loved expecting to see him hurting. However what I saw has haunted me from the day onwards. Alistair was not looking at me. He was looking at Morrigan expectantly. My eyes moved to Morrigan and she was smiling. No… No they didn't… that's when the darkness began to move.
"Nooooo!" I screamed as I felt it slipping towards Morrigan. It swept across me straight to her. My eyes moved back to Alistair. He was reaching towards me and I glared. How dare he take this away from me. How dare he sleep with her after I was so willing to die. I was willing to give it all up for him. To let him have his happy little Kingdom without the woman he couldn't have running around the countryside.
The Demon exploded in a great light. I took the opportunity to flee. I ran to the door. Looking over my shoulder at Morrigan as I ran. She waved a hand over her face and she disappeared by magic. I hated her. Why couldn't I have disappeared like that? I took off. Avoiding every person I knew would recognise me. That was the last I seen of them, apart from Zevran and Leliana.