"Maker save us, we've lost it all. Everything your father and I built." Those are the words I remember most falling from mothers lips as we ran, tirelessly, away from all we knew.
Mother came up with the brilliant idea to go to Kirkwall. I suppose it was the best idea, considering we didn't know anyone anywhere else. But the templars there, Father you warned us about Kirkwall and I am nervous about our destination.
We met a couple on the road fleeing Lothering, Aveline and her husband Wesley. I could hear your laugh in my head when we ran into them, Wesley being a templar. Funny I seemed more interested in Aveline and the way she was so protective over him. Her expression was filled with fire and strength...it reminded me of you when you looked at Mother.
Carver and Aveline spoke of Ostagar, of its spreading destruction. The road we traveled was enough evidence of that; the soft green grass turned brown and shriveled under the constant fall of death. Your demon stories did nothing to help me face my first darkspawn Father; their snarling teeth dripping of spit and blood. Their sullen dead eyes...I don't suppose anything can prepare you for that.
Or the sight in the distance as we battled the foul creatures. We could see the smoke funneling into the sky from where Lothering used to be. Our home Father, the last one we knew with you, gone. I nearly lost myself into its flames, wishing to curl into your lap again as if I were still a child. But the twins looked to me to get them out, save Mother, and survive. No time for self-pity at that moment. Is there ever? No you'd say, I know.
Have you ever seen an ogre Father? Did you ever watch it lift someone you care about and slam them into the ground repeatedly, and then toss the body aside as if it were a rotten piece of meat? This is where I failed you Father. Failed Mother, and Carver, our family. Bethany was strong and brave and faced that ogre head on, praying to the Maker for strength before she poured her magic over him.
When I saw her fall...Father I nearly failed you again with the anger that welled up inside of me. I wanted to call to every source of power I was able to and bring my sister back, the only one besides you who understood me in this world. "How could you let her charge off like that," Mother had said. She blamed me. Do you blame me as well? It's alright if you do, I blame myself.
I hope she is now at your side Father. That templar said some words to help her find her way. At least you have some company now.
Wesley. That templar's name was Wesley. I try to forget his name, his face, the way his hands clasped around mine holding the dagger that would end his life. The corruption of the darkspawn blood seemed to have infected him and he begged for death rather than try to continue on with us. The witch, I'll explain her in a minute, insisted we leave him behind.
You know me Father. I have a hard time killing a fly. Those creatures were easy. That ogre even easier. But a man, even if a templar, was still a man. He had a wife who knelt beside him watching her lover take his last breaths. I don't know if he had other family, but I'm sure he had friends in the Order. I haven't had a moment to myself to really accept responsibility for my actions, but I fear what that solitude will finally do to me.
I allowed Bethany to get killed. And a man died at my hands. Purposefully. Merciful or not, I pushed the blade through his armor, into his flesh, and robbed him of any further words to his wife. I can't Father...I just can't...
Sorry for the delay in completing these words to you Father. It seemed Mother was still angry with me and Carver suggested I speak to her while we were trapped on this ship from Gwaren to Kirkwall. Mother is still lost in her grief over her daughter and home. I hope Kirkwall brings her out of it.
So the witch...Flemeth is her name. I don't know what we would've done if she didn't arrive. At first she swooped out of the sky in the form of a dragon! Father, it was magnificent and frightening all at once! To watch her descend upon the darkspawn that were overwhelming us, destroy them within seconds, and then transform into the woman we met...I wish you could've been there. I'd love to know what you think of her.
"Hurdled into the chaos you fight, and shape the world before you." Those words may have fallen from her lips, but they reminded me of you Father. I like to think you or the Maker sent her to us, seeing that we had suffered enough. Carver didn't want to trust her, no surprise there. For the son of a mage and the brother of two, he sure does hate us doesn't he. I am trying Father, remembering your words to be patient and kind towards him, but he infuriates me sometimes! Again, I digress, sorry. My mind is all over the place and I really want off this blighted ship!
Flemeth, the witch, offered us a deal. She would get us safely to Gwaren in exchange for a delivery of an amulet once we get to Kirkwall. Too good to be true? Probably, be on your guard you always warned, but Mother was so exhausted by this point I didn't see what choice we had. Aveline didn't agree with me; going off and trusting an apostate. Does she remember I am a mage? Or was her marriage to a templar clouding her judgement? We had that in common Flemeth said, both of us apostates, and of course she wasn't wrong. "We don't have much choice," I told her.
"We never do," she responded. She seems very wise Father. Powerful obviously, but those golden eyes of hers seem to see much more than she lets on. Though she does speak of a future, if you listen carefully to what she says. Another lesson of yours, always pay attention to the unspoken words. I heard her, though I think I wanted to ignore her at the time.
We're arriving in Kirkwall Father. As we approached we saw the cliffs; they seemed to stretch for miles on each side of the city that was tucked away between them. The stone was black, haunting, and did nothing for squelching my fears about this idea. There were two massive bronze statues; figures covering their faces...in tears? And the chains Father...the chains are everywhere. Truly frightening to pull into this city. I hope someone is watching over us. I hope you are.
"What is she doing," Aveline asked as she watched Hawke approach a barrel lit with flames, warming other refugees in the Gallows courtyard.
Carver shook his head, rolling his eyes at the back of his sister. "She writes letters to our father; been doing it since he died."
"I'm sorry," Aveline said sympathetically, "I didn't know."
"How could you, we've only just met," Carver replied as he watched Hawke burn the pages. "She believes if she burns her letters, the magic of the flame will reach Father and he'll be able to read them."
Aveline wasn't sure if she was touched by the gesture or slightly disturbed. "It sounds like she has a problem with moving on," Aveline muttered, though Carver heard her words.
"Yes well, it seems to work for her so I don't discourage it. I just wonder when she realizes that she'll be doing it until she dies."
Aveline turned to carver. "Surely she plans to give up on such a foolish activity eventually?"
Carver shook his head. "'When the letters no longer burn' she told me once when I asked her. She thinks that's when Father will either have heard enough or be done with supporting her from the Makers side. That she has learned everything she needed to learn from him even though he wasn't with her. My sister may be older Aveline, but her heart will always be a child when it comes to our father."
Aveline scoffed. "That's ridiculous. He's dead, she needs to accept that. Remember him and move on."
Carver laughed. "Don't ever let her hear you say that," he warned, "or your jaw will hurt for a week. Trust me."
Hawke allowed each page to be consumed by the dancing flames, eyes following the ash and embers as they flew through the air. She knew her remaining family was watching, as well as their new companion, but she didn't care. Father needed to know what was going on in her head. Always keep the head clear, more advice she intended to follow. Her time in Kirkwall would be no different than her time in Lothering. Father would hear from his daughter. Every day, twice if need be.