A/N: I have been out of commission for a long time and trying to pick up the pace from my other stories was harder than I thought. I have written stories for Games of Thrones, another for DC comics, Bioshock, Legend of Korra, Skyrim, and Gears of War and strangely for Twilight. But every time I try and write these stories my word count gets less and less and now, I can barely break the 5k limit.
I need a change of pace and after reading a ton of self-inserts, I decided to make this. I'm thinking of a series style for this idea. Hopefully this can help me get back to my old writing strength. This is like an exercise for my brain.
Note that this story will have mentions of other games as well as the main character pulling things from other video games into this (Read to find out what I'm talking about :D)
I'm a fan of a lot of video games so some you may recognize (Because of its recent release) but others you may not.
But hey, give it a try, you may like it.
P.S. This was not beta'd so if you find anything wrong, be it small or big, just tell me and I will fix it.
Italicized sentences are thoughts
This story is written in first person POV.
So, long story short?
I died, rather painfully if I remember correctly.
The full version of my painful death is… well, why don't we start at the beginning? Not the very beginning where I was born, but rather the beginning of my day.
It started at ten in the morning. There was a convention in town that showcased video game, comic book, trading card and cosplay booths and activities. I was more interested in the video game booths since I had found out that big developer names were going to be there. Electronic Arts, Bethesda, Konami, Activision and THQ were some of the names I immediately recognised and there were even a few indie developers. The convention was going to be a three day event and my friends and I would be there the whole time, deciding to stay at a nearby hotel for the event. Luckily the con landed inside our week long term break so we didn't have to worry about any projects or thesis work.
Sounded like it would be a good weekend right?
Everything started to go bad when two of my friends cancelled because their offices calling them to work, the last one had to stay home for family matters. I didn't blame them, circumstances were unavoidable, but I was still pretty bummed out. I had to cancel reservations for the hotel since the four of us would split the bill and I couldn't pay the whole thing with my meagre college student's allowance. So aside from my friends having to do other stuff as well as the hour long commute from my house to the convention centre, the good times plan ended up being 'meh'. I would still enjoy the convention but without anyone to experience it with the experience would be dulled somewhat. What made it worse was that the event would probably be the only time I would get to see them with all of their props. A small downside to living in the Philippines I guess, not being able to experience a convention as grand as the one I always watch on the internet.
So there I was, going around the booths alone and sticking out like a sore thumb. The curse of tall people, me being six feet tall, and the movement of someone who was new to conventions in general made people turn and look at me. I wouldn't have felt so out of place with more people with me but everyone I invited had something better to do and the original group I had planned the outing with couldn't ignore their responsibilities to hang out with me. But I ignored everything around me and enjoyed everything as best as I could.
I must have missed something while I was looking through the video game booths because the next thing I knew, people were panicking all around me and smoke was slowly filling the building. I could hear people shouting that a fire had started in the building's power room and everyone was already making their way to the exit. The fire had eaten away at one of the temporary walls to separate the different areas of the convention and the sudden crash of the drywall caused an even greater panic as everyone started stampeding to the nearest exit.
Now usually, I was a lot faster on the uptake but I've never been in a situation as hectic as what I was experiencing now. The smoke coupled with everyone in a panic was making my head spin. Every moment I spent standing there and trying to make sense of the mess I found myself being pushed back further into the building. I tried to make my way to the exits but found myself fighting against a wave of a thousand people pushing and pulling their way to safety.
I could already hear people screaming and yelling as the fire caught up with them and oh god the smell! I was starting to feel the well of panic building up in the pit of my stomach and as I started to feel the heat from the flames, I also started to try and fight my way out of the burning building.
I turned at the sound, a whisper loud enough for me to hear over the screams of thousands of scared individuals. I didn't know why I suddenly stopped. I didn't know why I just stood there in the middle of a panicked crowd as the fire quickly caught up with us. But, over there! Through a path cutting safely across the burning booths and collapsing walls was someone…
I know a way
The heat from the fire was distorting the person so I couldn't get a clear view of whom or what the figure was, but I knew enough that it was a child. Something clicked or snapped inside me. I turned on my heel and started to sprint and shove my way through the people. I didn't stop and think what the fuck are you doing running into a fire like that?! Get out of here while you still can! I never saw myself as the hero type of guy, but here I was. Thank god for the jacket I was wearing because if I hadn't decided to wear the thing, my arms would be burned horribly by now.
Adrenaline was probably dulling my senses because at this point, I couldn't feel the heat bearing down on me. I didn't think only acted. I ran through fire, leapt over collapsed metal support beams. I just kept running until the child was in front of me and I instantly wrapped my jacket around her before spinning on the spot and looking back to where I came from.
And the roof suddenly decided to fuck with me as it collapsed into the path.
Well shit, things went from worse to no chances of survival.
I should have never left my bed this morning.
As the sudden realization of I am going to die a slow and painful death, I felt a pair of small, cold hands touch both of my cheeks. I had almost forgotten about the child! Shit, the parents would be devastated! I looked down at the child and tried to put on a smile and try to reassure that we would be able to escape the inferno. Even now I could feel the heat of the fire circling and slowly closing in on us. I looked down and was met by blood red eyes… wait…
I woke up.
It was dark and the only thing I could hear was the sounds of crickets. Was I back at home? Was all of that just a dream? I slowly sat up and looked around. I couldn't make out anything. There was literally no light and my eyes were having difficulties trying to focus enough so that I could see just a few feet in front of me.
This wasn't my room.
Did I die in the fire? Was all of that real? Where was I? The sounds around me suddenly hushed. My ears rang from the lack of sound and it was scaring me so much that my hands are shaking.
I'm not alone.
Then I saw her, as if the shadows were just waiting to part, walking out of the darkness. It was the kid I saved at the fire. She was maybe six years old, wearing a black, metal collared coat over a blood red dress and blood red stockings. Her hair was bright blond, almost platinum and was cut just above her shoulders. She looked familiar to me and I could have sworn I saw her from somewhere before. But… no… That's not possible, right?
"I have been looking for someone brave, and stupid enough to fall for my trap. And finally, here you are!" The child I assumed to be Manah from the video game Drakengard, one of my PS2 favourites, said to me as she paced in front of me. She had a knowing smile, weird to look at on a child's face, and looked at me like I was a new toy to play with. And from what she had said, I probably was a new toy for her to play with.
Please tell me this is a self-insert! This would be totally awesome. Please tell me this is a self-insert!
"Do you know where you are?" She said as she looked up to me. Her head had craned back a full ninety degrees since I was six feet tall. I was probably three times her height. I was so excited about the possible situation I was in that I blurted out what I was thinking.
"I was chosen, either by chance or fate, to help balance or save an alternate dimension. Either that or I was chosen to prove how awesome humans are! OR, maybe you're an all-powerful god-like being pulling in random people and throwing them into random video game dimensions just for shits and giggles!" I must have said something right since her smile widened greatly. Then I was right! I am officially living a self-insert! I should be worrying about what happened to me back on my dimension, but why look at the downside! I am about to be thrown into a game that I… hopefully… played before. I was about to meet characters that I played as or played with! I was video game fan boy geeking out right at the moment but I couldn't help the shivers going up and down my spine. Who could honestly say they had gone through what I was about to go through now? Well, ok, the other fan fiction writers' count and all, but not everyone can say they were thrown into a video game!
By this point I was dancing and fist pumping like a madman and I didn't care that Manah was laughing and dancing with me.
The voice at the back of my mind kept reminding me to worry about what had happened back at the convention centre and about the family and friends I had left behind. This was overpowered by a louder voice screaming YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE IN A VIDEO GAME FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE. CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?!
"I see that you already know what situation you were pulled into, good. This speeds things up quite a bit! Now then, unlike anything you have read on the internet, I am a considerate being and shall grant you one power to help you through your adventures." Manah stepped to the side to reveal dozens of floating, golden goblets behind her. I stepped up to inspect them and found out that they were each filled with a liquid substance of differing colours and textures. One of them even looked like it was filled with lava! I guessed that they represented an element of some kind, meaning I'd be in a game where magic plays a big role, and Manah confirmed it when I asked her. Some of them were your run of the mill basic elements: wind, water, earth and fire. Some were the 'cooler' elements like lightning, acid, poison and blah. But the one goblet that caught my interest, the last one in the line was filled with a black substance that had the consistency of maple syrup. I had a good guess as to what it was but still asked Manah on what it was.
"You already know what it is and it will be counterproductive of me to say otherwise, but yes. If you choose this goblet and drink from it then you shall have the power over Darkness. It is the strongest and yet the weakest power to be a master of. It has no form: Neither solid, liquid nor gas. Shaping it for your use will be quite easy. Light can be your closest ally or your worst nemesis. With enough practice, you can change the shadows and the darkness into any weapon you can come up with."
"Fucking sweet, thanks!" So I drank from the goblet until everything was gone. There was no time for hesitation since I wanted to get out of this dark place and go exploring!
I thought that something cool and action movie-like to happen. A flash of light, a chorus from heavenly singer's maybe? But all that happened was a slight shiver that caused the darkness around me to slither in place. It was kinda cool but I thought something more would happen. Something extravagant and over the top would be cool…
I looked back to Manah and saw a portal-esque… portal behind her. At the other side I saw was a lush forest and in the distance I could see a village bordered by a stone-carved highway. As the excitement died down and the reality of what I was getting myself into settled, I finally had enough sense to ask the really important questions.
"Hey, why am I here anyways? What's the point in sending me in to help the protagonist? Do you want me to change things or make sure they stay the same? Out of all the people you can get from my dimension, why me? What makes me so special? Why do you look like Manah, anyways?"
"Manah was a six year old girl who controlled an empire through power and fear. She was the high priestess of a cult that worshipped beings called The Watcher's. Her background and mine are notso different. In my mortal life, I was a high priestess to a religion that worshipped god-like beings. Aside from that, I chose a form you would recognise. As for why I chose you? Out of every soldier, every scientist, every extraordinary human out there, only a few have what I look for."
I raised an eyebrow at her before nodding to make her continue. She only smiled before pushing me into the portal. I was too surprised by her strength to try and stop her but had enough sense to roll with the force and ended up in a low crouch.
"Do whatever you want in this world! Experience what consequences your actions cause, create another ending for this dimension, cause chaos, and seize the throne for all I care! But whatever you do, I want you to make a mark in history!" The portal was slowly closing around her and it would have been stupid to try and dive back in. What was the point in that? Before the portal fully closed, Manah took something behind her and threw them to me. I easily caught them and saw they were gauntlets with clawed fingers. "Don't lose those! Those gauntlets are the only way you can harness your powers!"
You know if I hadn't played games like The Darkness I and II, and maybe prototype? Not necessarily darkness per se but a weapon that could theoretically take any shape and form what the user thinks of? Yeah, the Black light various could be considered as a Darkness element as far as I was concerned. I would probably be a bit pissed since I didn't know or have played games that used Darkness as weapons but I was a very imaginative guy so I could have probably figured things out eventually, probably.
"And use an Alias! Don't use your real name!" A weird request/order but I could handle that. I was known for going with the flow and this time wasn't so different. You know, except this time things were a million times cooler. I put on the gauntlets and was amazed by how light and smooth they were. Plus they looked super badass. With that last thought, the portal closes with a soft hiss and I am left alone in the forest.
Ok, let's be serious for a moment here. Now I didn't know where I was so that's the first thing I need to figure out. When the where is answered all others will be answered as well, like what game am I in and all that shiz. My strongest weapons right now are these gauntlets, which I am guessing acts as either my wand or staff, and the knowledge I have of whatever game I'm in.
I'll probably spend an hour or two in the forest to try and get a hang of my powers before even thinking of exploring. I was in an unfamiliar place-for now- and armed with a weapon I had no idea in using-for now - so it was probably a good idea to try and figure out what I can and cannot do. I could remember that Mana and stamina were probably the same thing since the characters in the video game would get tired if the bar empties. I wouldn't' have to worry too much about that though. I mean I was a part of my colleges Judo varsity team and I trained from Monday to Friday every week. But it was better to test out my limits now rather than finding out in the middle of a fight.
It would really suck if I had to chase down someone but couldn't attack them since I was too fucking tired. Maybe I should learn how to use a weapon? What did this place have anyways, guns, swords or what?
I pushed those thoughts to the back of mind before putting on the gauntlets. The inside was lines with a cloth of some sort and was surprisingly comfortable. Should I be in physical contact with the shadows to be able to manipulate them or I could just wave my hands around like a maestro and they would just respond to my will?
I tested out the physical contact test and imagined the shadows following my hand as I brought it to half my height. The shadows stuck to my hand as it obeyed my will. It was a strange feeling to actually hold a shadow. It felt cold and moist but nothing stuck to my skin or the gauntlets. I thought of making the shadow more solid and it responded easily enough, forming the hilt of a sword in the process. I pulled the hilt out and the shadows that were still connected to the ground came with it. Only the hilt was solid though and the blade part looked like a flame as it drifted with the wind. I thought of solidifying the blade and instantly I could see the progress of the solidification as if it were being frozen. A few moments passed by before I held a short sword in hand? It was cool but featureless and aside from the obvious shape of the sword, there were no other defining features. It was as sharp as I imagined it would be, enough so that I could easily hack off medium sized branches with enough force but still not enough to easily slice a tree in half, but I attributed that to my own strength rather than the blades sharpness.
So far, I didn't even feel tired, although I was sweating a bit, but it could have been from the noon sun bearing down on the clearing that I was in. I reformed the sword into a bow and one arrow and took aim at a tree that was at least three meters away. It was wide enough to not miss-I only did learn archery just for the hell of it- and I quickly sent the shadow arrow flying through the air.
It splashed and broke apart on the bark like a cheap water balloon and I immediately thought that my powers couldn't handle range that well? Or maybe I didn't will it to be solid enough? After dismissing the shadow bow in my hand, it slithered back to where I had obtained it. I bent down and pulled it back up again but this time, willed the shadow to become a spear. And now I was holding a three foot long spear. It felt solid enough so I tried throwing it at the same tree but unsurprisingly missed. It did stick to the ground though but when I lost my focus it dissipated again before slithering back. I didn't really mind so long as it causes some damage.
Now I needed to try something more complex. I looked down and held a hand over my own shadow, willing it to shoot up into my hand. I felt resistance this time, like what you feel when you stick out your hand out of a car window when you're going down the highway really fast. I concentrated on my shadow more and thought harder, screaming in my mind for it to shoot up into my hand. Progress was slow, but sure enough the shadow was slowly rising into the air. I could only get it about halfway before the feeling of breathlessness made me stop.
Ok, so first obstacle discovered. I could control shadows without touching them but it was harder to do. Practice could probably make it easier for me later on. For now, I'd stick with making physical contact to try and craft various weapons.
After maybe an hour and thirty minutes of testing, according to my watch which thankfully followed me to this different dimension, I found out that I could shape the shadows into guns as well but they were rather useless since I couldn't replicate bullets or even gunpowder from the shadows. Any shadow would do and it didn't matter how wide it was. Light did make my creations weaker. I had recreated the shadow sword and was swinging it at a tree. The sun was still high up in the air and after a dozen full powered swings; the blade reverted back to its flame like state when it made contact with the tree trunk. It then turned solid again once it passed through the trunk.
I even thought up of ranged attacks like what Alex Mercer would do in Prototype (the ground spikes), but found the same resistance when I tried to will the shadows to form into vertical spikes. I even tried it with physical contact on a nearby shadow and tried to will the shadow across from where I was crouched to explode upwards but the resistance slowed it down too much for it to be dangerous. Hopefully it would become easier with practice.
At the second hour mark, I had to rest up for thirty minutes since my muscles started to ache; I decided to craft my own set of armour. I wanted to have a badass set of armour and the first thing I thought of was the Didact's armour from Halo 4, shout out to 343 industries by the way for making an awesome continuation, with its cool Forerunner design and floating pieces that could interlock together to make a set of Badass armour. I could replicate the floating pieces bit but that would probably tire me out faster. I should also probably wear armour underneath that and just layer the thing with my shadows because unless I was fighting at night, then the sunlight would make my armour weak enough for anyone to cut through it like it was wet paper. I wonder if I could make the eyes or certain areas glow on my armour. Hm, probably not though, for now I'd just wear the jeans and shirt I've been wearing ever since getting pulled into a video game from the burning convention centre.
The finished product was just as I imagined it and was light as a feather but at the same time solid enough for at least a slight degree of protection. And by the way, yes it looked quite awesome. Only other downside I could think of was that I did not have enough experience to maintain the armour form. I had to keep concentrating for it to stay that way and that wouldn't do, especially if I was in the middle of a battle. Maybe when I can scrape enough money together, I could commission a real set of the Didact's armour and just layer it with shadows. Double protection and stuff
How would I do that anyway, the fighting and killing? I've never had training with a sword, only a passing knowledge in using a bow. I can defend myself with my training in Judo, but that's it. How do I even go about killing? Shit, this was going to be harder than I thought. I wish Manah at least trained me the skills I'd need to survive god knows where.
So with that done, I made my way towards the village in the distance, armour on my person. The strange feeling of coldness and moistness of the shadows was keeping me cool from the sun which I was grateful for and pretty soon without stopping to rest, I was near the village. It was a good thing to since I was starting to feel hungry.
Oh wait, I didn't have any money! At least useable money, as I would think people here would not accept Philippine pesos. Maybe I could steal some money, or just the food? But I've never stolen any money before and I wasn't exactly the sneaking type of guy, what with my six foot height and hundred kilo weight? Psh, in my dreams.
I could see the people in the village now and they were all quite filthy, with the smell of shit everywhere. Was this what it was like to live in the medieval ages? Without indoor plumbing, I could literally see people throwing out their shit and piss out of their houses and into the streets. Bystanders would just move out of the way without any fuss.
As I came into the town proper, I could see that everyone near enough to see me just stop dead in their tracks and look at me as if I was some kind of demon. I probably looked like one too and the intimidation factor of my height over them was helping with that.
I actually didn't mind the fearful looks since this would lessen the chance of anyone trying to rob me. There was a sign on a post to my left. In flowing script;
Welcome to Lothering
I'm in Dragon Age?
Well, I never did finish Origins so I guess I could tag along with the Hawkes…
Wow, I am taking this dimension hopping really well. I Hope that holds up right until the part where I mentally break down some time in the future. Anyways, right now Lothering was filled with people and at the outskirts of town were hundreds of tents. The atmosphere was intense in and outside the village. Everyone actually jumped in fright by the mere sight of my badass armour. There were soldiers passing through the Imperial Highway and the bandits that you would see in the beginning of the game after the betrayal at Ostagar had not set out the roadblock yet.
So that means I'm probably starting at the introduction of the first game, where players would be introduced to the backstory of their chosen characters. Not going to bother following the soldiers since I'd probably be the first unlucky bastard to get killed by Darkspawn. I know that the Hawke siblings would be fighting the horde before hightailing it back here to save Leandra and Bethany from the advancing Darkspawn horde.
Damn it, if I was sent maybe a few years back, maybe I could have built up a power base in Ferelden, maybe make a few allies and all. I would change the outcome of Origins entirely, warning the king of the betrayal as well as trying to save and change other stuff. Buuut, since I was at Lothering, maybe a few days or hopefully weeks before shit goes down I would make nice with the Hawke family. I always loved Bethany in Dragon Age 2, but hated the fact that there was no way she would be able to join your party after the Deep Roads Expedition mission.
Ok, now I have an agenda.
First, I will accompany the Hawkes to Kirkwall. I will befriend Leandra and Bethany here, in Lothering, and will follow them in their splendiferous adventures.
Two, I would bitch-slap the shit out of Bartrand for being a grade A Douche, with a capital D.
Three, when I accompany Hawke into the Deep Roads, somehow, I will make sure no one gets tainted by any Darkspawn. I will also collect pieces of Red Lyrium to graft onto my armour to complete the Didact's armour, woot.
Four, I will try and… uh… stop the Qunari from waging war against Kirkwall.
Five, I will try and stop the Templars and Mages from killing each other.
I'll make more through time. For now though, I should probably start walking again since I've been standing still for the past ten minutes and the village guards were actually starting to approach me. Shit, better go before-
"Halt stranger! What business do you have in Lothering?"
- I get stopped. Shit, now I'm going to get arrested. Fucking shit fuck. Quick, think of some bullshit excuse! I've lied plenty of times before so this would be a piece of cake!
"I am just a weary traveller looking for a quiet place to rest, good sir." Aw yeah, channelling my Lord of the Rings to speak medieval style. "I'm not looking for trouble."
The guards look at one another before the leader spoke again, "You could have fooled us stranger, what with that armour and all," Ok maybe it was a bad decision to wear the Badass armour into the village but fuck logic. Badass is still badass, "But why would you travel here of all places? The Blight has reached the old fortress at Ostagar and King Cailan has amassed an army to fight off the incoming Blight. The only reason people would go here would be because they are escaping the Darkspawn or going to fight them." Sheesh this guy could talk, can't they just leave me in peace?
"I don't plan on fighting the Darkspawn nor am I a refugee. I travel wherever the roads take me, be they to the highest mountain or the deepest ocean." There, hopefully that would shut this guy up.
The leader probably caught on to my irritated tone of voice since he held up both his hands in a none-threatening gesture, "I meant no offense in my questioning stranger. Lothering is quite full with the sudden influx of soldiers and refugees coming from the south. The inns and pubs have already been converted into shelters and the Chantry has also been filled up. Unless you have the coin, no one would take you in."
I tried to casually wave off his warning before speaking again. I had to get in and look for the Hawkes and make sure that I follow them to Kirkwall. "Do not worry about my wellbeing guardsman; I am fully capable of taking care of myself." It looked like the guards were finally going to let me pass as their stiff stances relaxed.
"Very well, but remember that you have been warned. The people of Lothering are tired and afraid so do not expect kindness." With that final warning, they walked back into the village with me going near the farms just a ways away from the refugee camp. They never did explain in the game what the Hawkes life were in Lothering. Did they own the pub? Did they own the farm you see in the game, Lothering was actually bigger now that I was seeing it in person, or were they just your everyday villager?
Whatever, it was a good time as any to go look for them… Right after I find something to eat. But first, I need money. Actually, now that I know that I'm in Lothering I remember that there were quest boards near the Chantry, named the Chanter's Board, and that the minimum reward was one sovereign, one gold piece. One sovereign was a hundred pieces of silver and one silver was a hundred copper pieces. One sovereign would be more than enough to fill my belly.
That was actually a good place as any to find a quick job for quick cash. Maybe the chanters could even tell me where the Hawkes lived?
With that in mind, I turn around and head to the building that kinda looked like a temple/church.
I decided to retract my helmet back into pieces that would float over my shoulders and the act of doing so caught a lot of attention. Whatever, not like I cared about their opinion. All that mattered was finding the Hawkes before Ostagar falls.
Just like in the game, The Chanters board was placed right in front of the staircase that would lead up the Chantry. Chanter Devons was standing right beside it, just like in the game and when I inquired about accepting one of the jobs on the board, he smiled at me and was happy to note that there were still good souls out in the world who would be willing to help those in need. I'm doing it for the money was what I wanted to say but whatever.
So the first job I took was a kind of Search and Rescue type deal. I was to find Lady Sarha who had been missing for a few days now. The husband was a total wreck when I came to him and asked where she usually went to during the day. She had gone out to collect some herbs in the surrounding forests but never came back. The next day the husband had posted on the Chanter's board, willing to reward anyone fifty silver if they find his wife.
Good thing I could still, vaguely, remember that you could find Sarha's body on a 'grassy rise' just north of Lothering. The walk to the hill took me about ten minutes in a brisk pace and finding the body, which was getting chewed on by fucking wolves! Oh shit, I'm going to puke! The wolves hear me retching and the sudden appearance of fresher and bigger prey attracted the attention of the whole pack.
"Fuck no; you're not getting any of this!" I quickly reach for my shadow and just like how I practiced in the woods, I willed the shadows of the wolves to spike upwards. Some of them were lucky enough to dodge before the shadow spike bifurcated them, but most had already ran towards me. Did I forget to mention that once I…? I guess you can call it possessing? Once I possess a shadow it becomes stationary, it can't follow the body that it came from. How does that even work? I have no fucking clue whatsoever. How did I test this out in the forest? One word; bunnies
The wolves were coming in fast and extending my right arm in front of me, I reshaped the gauntlet I wore into a shield big enough to cover my whole front and when the wolves decided that they wanted to dog pile me, meaning they tried to pounce on me, the smooth surface of the shield turned into spikes. I could hear the wolves suffering and dying but so long as I didn't see the gore I was dandy. I can't do anything about the smell though, ugh.
My helmet clicks back into place to block out the smell and I drop the shield, along with the pincushions that were once wolves, before approaching Sarha's body.
And here enters my first crisis… I mean shit, in the game you just take something off of her body before returning to Lothering. But, seeing her in person makes you stop and think. This was someone's wife, someone's mother! She was just out one day when she was suddenly attacked by wolves! I am truly happy that I was never born during the medieval time because, who wants to live in a time where you had to throw your shit out of the window and worry about this kind of bullshit happening? I should bury her, out of respect to the person that she was.
The shadow her body makes starts to slither, before eating away the dirt. Slowly, Sarha's body was lowered into a six foot deep hole. Before closing it I grabbed Sarha's ring. Saying a little prayer for her soul and kicking the dead wolves a few more time, I made my way back to Lothering.
And I was one sovereign richer! Deal with the ups and downs one step at a time.
Now that I had money, I went straight to the pub. I decided to ditch the armour for now and it slithered into a new form. The cloak wasn't too eye catching and I didn't want anyone approaching me and challenging me, if ever. I've seen the movies, I know some assholes would want to try and show up the toughest guy in the place so that people could see that they were the shit. When it comes down to it I could fight them off, but if they had weapons I'd probably get screwed badly. My shadows would see to it that I won in the end, but doing so in a crowded pub with Templars everywhere was not a particularly bright idea.
So I go in the pub, ignore the hostile stares going my way and sit right in front of the bar. The barmaid manning the counter looks at me strangely for a split second before smiling and asking, "What can I get for you serrah?" The barmaid sounded kind enough so I decided to be kind as well. No use pissing off the person responsible for cooking the food, don't want her putting in something special in the food.
I smile back at her before asking what food and drinks they served here and gave me a full list. In the end I decided on a loaf of bread, a few slices of ham and two wedges of cheese. I washed it down with at least two cups of freshly squeezed juice of some kind, tasted citrusy, and all it cost was sixty a silver piece and forty copper.
After paying and saying my thanks, I went to the blacksmith and asked how much would it cost me if I commissioned an armour set I had put on again. The blacksmith replied that it would depend on the material I wanted it made from. I asked how much it would cost me if I made one in White Steel or Volcanic Aurum, the top two strongest metals in Dragon Age if I remembered correctly, and the smith just quirked an eyebrow at me before saying, "I don't know why you would want another set of identical armour like the one you're wearing now, but unless you have five hundred sovereigns on you right now then any smith worth his metal will not make it for you." Holy shit, it would cost five hundred gold pieces for a commissioned set of armour? What for one set for both? I hope glitches worked here like they worked in the game because I don't think I'd see that much money in a long time!"What material was used in your current set, if you don't mind me asking serrah?"
"Oh this," I asked nonchalantly as I raised a gauntlet into the sunlight that streamed through the roof. The light didn't reflect off of it as expected and the blacksmith looked twice as intrigued when he saw this. Come to think of it, this would actually make perfect armour during sneaking or night time missions. Not only was it able to not reflect light but was also soundless. Don't believe me? Answer me this then; what sound does a shadow make?
Yeah, that's called science.
"A metal the Qunari named 'Umbra'. It's rare outside of Par Vollen."
"You've been to the Qunari home land? How did you get ashore, much less collect enough material to make that armour? No outsider is allowed in Par Vollen!" I couldn't resist the temptation. With a though, the pieces that hovered around my shoulders came to life and clicked back into place, reassembling back into the skeletal-like visage of the Didact's helmet.
"I can be very persuasive," I say simply before turning around and leaving the smith alone in his shop. Aw Yeah, that's a sure plus fifty in reputation! Badass meter just went up a notch.
Now that the sub quests are done for now, I should move on with the storyline. With a pocket full of coins and a belly full of food, I set off to find the Hawke family-
-And bumped right into Bethany just outside the smithy. Before she could fall flat on her ass, I managed to snatch her hand. I was careful not to cut her with the clawed tips of my gauntlets of course. Bethany hadn't registered that she was saved yet because both eyes were still closed shut, waiting for the inevitable splat of mud and piss and shit, the roads were dirt and was filled with human and non-human waste, which never came. She opened her beautiful, amber coloured eyes to lock onto my helmet covered eyes. I could feel her tense up in fear before she quickly recovered her footing.
"That-Thank you, serrah. I would have gotten soiled if you hadn't caught me." Bethany sounds just like she did in the game. What was also weird was how she looked exactly like she did in the game. I mean, I thought that video game and real world would have a few changes but no, she looked exactly the same. I let the helmet open, just the face plate, and smiled kindly at her. At least I think I did a kind smile.
"No need to thank me, my lady. I was the one who ran into you and for that, you have my apologies." I gave her a slight bow but this seemed to make her panic a bit more.
"There's no need for that Messere! Just out of principle, I should be the one saying sorry…" She was wringing her hands together and was just generally looking both adorable and sexy at the same time. Damn it, focus here!
Also, note that she called me Messere. A title which usually means that the person thinks you are a higher status than them, for your information
I chuckle a bit before letting the whole helmet retract from my head. "That's kind of you to think that, but I'm not a knight, Templar or noble. Just…" Think of a fake name quickly, Manah said not to use my real name, "Call me Vasili or if you prefer; Vas." Sheesh, I am just pulling every other game into this little adventure aren't I? I'm probably going to start saying: Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?
"O-oh, I didn't realize. You just talk like a noble, is all?" She seemed to relax quite a bit since she thought I was not someone who would turn her in because she was an apostate. "I'm Bethany by the way, Bethany Hawke." She offered a dainty hand for a handshake, but instead of shaking her hand too, I used the charming/flirty route and took her hand carefully in mine before kissing her knuckles.
"A pleasure to meet you, Bethany," I say, noticing the slight blush that powdered her cheeks. Oho, nice going Casanova, didn't know you had it in you! Before I could make nice with her a bit more, a voice behind me called out to Bethany. Both of us turned, I did the turning, to see the Hawke Matriarch walking towards us.
Although the game portrayed Leandra Hawke ne Amell as a woman who was probably thirty of forty years old, in the 'real world' version she looked much younger, although she still had grey hair.
"Bethany, there you are! I've been… looking for… you…" I guess she just noticed me now because she stopped dead in her tracks to just stare at me. I gave her a friendly wave with my clawed gauntlet.
"Hello," I say to her.
"Good day serrah," Leandra quickly replies before turning to her daughter. "Come along Bethany. I've received word from your sister and brother."
Uh oh, was this the start of the running away from Lothering because of the Darkspawn bit?
"Oh, have they arrived at Ostagar safely?" Bethany asks hopefully, clutching both her hands together.
"Why don't we read their letter together… in private?" At this she gives me a pointed look and I have the distinct feeling that she did not like me that much. Didn't know why though, I was adorable.
"Yes, well, uhm, it was nice to meet you Vasili. Are you just passing through or are you staying a while in Lothering?" She asks in that adorable and sexy way of hers that's just so! I have the urge to just hug her but that will probably not go so well. I smile at her before my helmet assembles back into place.
"We'll see," I say to her mysteriously, it's cliché but I love doing that, before turning around and walking towards the local inn. Hopefully the manager could be persuaded by a few silver pieces to give me a room or even just a bed, I wasn't picky.
So, funny thing happened when I got my room in the inn. Remember when I thought I could handle the strain of going through the whole day with my Badass armour on and for some reason I didn't feel tired at all? Apparently it stacks up throughout the day and once I relinquish all of my control over the shadow I'm poof! Out like a light, face first in the hard as stone bed.
I woke up a few moments later back in the dark void I had met Manah in and lo and behold, there she was sitting in mid-air. She wasn't in her six year old body anymore but had transformed into her twenty-something self we see in Drakengard 2. She smiles at me when I make eye contact and she was the first one to speak.
"Now, what have we learned on our first day in Thedas?"
I giggle a bit, that's right I giggled, before sitting in mid-air with her. The act wasn't so hard to do especially in a place made out of darkness. I actually felt more powerful now than I did a few hours ago. "My power is only limited to my imagination? Shit, if you gave half the people I know with this kind of power we would rule the world!" I laugh at that actually, we would, "Aside from that though I know that the more I use my powers the more tired I get. Using my powers in direct daylight will diminish its strength. And I just found out that maintaining the armour form throughout the day is a bad thing."
"I want to add a few things to add to what you already know. The more detailed a weapon is the more powerful and stronger it becomes while the less accurate it is makes it last longer."
"And how does that mechanic work exactly?" I ask her sarcastically, but she ignores it.
"At night, or in complete darkness, your power is absolute. But! A light source bright enough can destroy your control."
"You Aare making me really powerful aren't you? Why is that, usually in things like these I have to become powerful, I have to earn my strength. But you, you're giving them to me in a silver platter! Won't I change things too much, alter the course of things too much from its intended path?"
"Foolish boy," Manah actually laughs in my face at this point. Like really just a few inches away from my face and she was bawling her eyes out, "This is not an adventure where you 'find who you really are'! I need a puppet that can change history, not some nineteen year old boy lost in the big bad world!"
"Then why the fuck did you choose me, then?! I've never been in a life or death battle before, I've never killed!" The stress from this whole mess came crashing down on me, from the fear and stress I suffered through in the convention centre to the fact that I was taken from my home and thrust into another dimension.
"I have taken care of that as well."
"What do you mean? You can't just change something like that on a whim!" It would have been better if she reacted angrily as well, maybe then I would have stopped shouting. Her cool responses and indifferent look just kept riling me up.
"I can't? You forget who I am and what I can do. I have changed, or rather heightened, a part of your mind that deals with high stress situations. Just like your tournaments, you enter a state where a majority of your actions is through muscle memory. You act and do and only after a fight does the fatigue get to you. In this case, when you find yourself in a situation of whether you will kill or be killed you will enter that state. You will act and do everything in your skills and power to survive and only after all the threats are dead and gone do you feel the ramifications of your action." She notes my shocked expression and smiles at me, "Think of this as a gift rather than a burden. You don't have to worry about hesitating when you find yourself in a situation like that and only after, do you feel the psychological strain of killing."
"Spin it anyway you like. That's more of a fucking curse!"
"Your opinion of what I give you does not matter. I am giving you the tools to reshape the course of history in this dimension and the histories of other dimensions. And last advice? Keep exhausting yourself like this. It will build up your 'Mana pool' much faster. Think of it like muscle failure training."
Wait, what did she mean other dimensions? "What do you mean 'other dimensions'?" I ask her aloud, my anger slowly dissipating.
"You'll see soon enough, my puppet. Now as your generation so eloquently phrased it stop being a pussy and man up!"
I woke up
Were all the god-like beings trained to be assholes? I mean, I've read self-inserts portrayed them like this but damn. Manah was a Bitch!
I slowly sit up from my rented bed and look around the room. To my left was an old, rough wooden night stand. Silver and copper coins covered the surface. To my right were the window and a chair in front of it. My plain white shirt with the Didact's symbol, I'm a Halo fan boy so sue me, spread over the back of it. I still wore my jeans but my socks and rubber shoes were at the foot of the bed.
Standing up from the bed, I walked towards the chair and lifted the shirt up to my nose. It didn't stink for some reason and still smelled and felt like it was newly washed. A careful sniff of my socks had the same results. That was weird.
I put the shirt and socks and shoes back on before deciding to just manifest boots over my shoes as well, I may have forgotten to take off the gauntlets, before finally creating a cloak around my form. Wearing full armour was cool and all, but I could do without the staring for a day.
Ok, things to do today:
Get more money, meaning get another job from the Chanter's Board.
Get closer to the Hawke family.
Get information about the battle in Ostagar.
With that final thought I went down to eat breakfast before leaving the inn. I headed straight towards the board and Chanter Devons smiled my way as I plucked one of the posters off the wall. The poster detailed the recent bandit attacks on the refugee camps and a concerned Templar, one Ser Bryant, asked any brave soul to deal with them. Since refugee camps were out of Lothering's boundary, the guards were not obligated to risk their lives for them. Had no idea why the Templars didn't help them.
So my idea was to just scare them off, I mean it worked with the rest of the villagers it would work with a few medieval bullies right? So once I enter the mercenary camp that was settled deep in the surrounding forest and manifested my awesome Badass armour. The bandits reacted worse than I thought and charged right at me with weapons drawn.
The next few moments, a sort of calm had settled over my mind. The sounds of the forest dulled and my vision tunnelled to focus on the closest bandit. I reacted and moved how I was trained, throwing the first bandit over my shoulder before sweeping off another bandit off of his feet. I spun quickly to dodge an overhead swing but the bastard managed to slice through my right pauldron. It was enough to scatter the shadows and now my shoulder was bare. I turned to grab his still outstretched arm and over exerted a standing arm lock, breaking his elbow. With that, I go through the rest. I can't explain it, but it's as if the shadows I came into contact with pushed me in the right direction, whether it was to dodge or to move onto my next opponent. It was as if the shadows had a mind of their own and were helping me survive the fight. It was kinda easy since they never encountered someone who fought like me, with judo, and my strange moves were confusing them to the point of them hesitating.
At the end, after a heart pumping five minutes of dodging and throwing, I was able to beat the four bandits. I had acquired a few light wounds, nothing to worry or seek medical attention for. The bandits had it worse since they did not have the benefit of falling on the relatively-soft-once-you-get-used-to-it tatami mats we used back at our dojo. The bandits fell on hard, compacted dirt and some were unlucky enough to fall on the exposed tree roots around us. Since they didn't know the proper way to break their fall, some tried to stop it with outstretched arms only resulting in them dislocating their shoulders or breaking their arms, the usual injury one sustains when one does not know how to fall properly in judo. I used the rope that I found in their camp to tie them together, finally some use in the mandatory Boy Scout lessons I had back in high school! I proceeded to haul them back to Lothering.
When I handed them to the guards and was given my reward, another sovereign, I was happy that I didn't need to kill anyone. If this non-kill thing can keep up, maybe I can live through this still relatively sane. Whatever that upgrade Manah did to my brain was actually useful and found myself mentally thanking the Bitch. I wandered the village until I saw Bethany sneaking around a few patrolling Templars. If you weren't looking for her, you probably would have not seen her. Did she really live like this her whole life? Were the Templars able to tell whether a person was a mage or not? I can't remember anything I've read that covers that certain topic. But whatever, I position myself in front of her path and when she sees me; Bethany doesn't hesitate to link her arms around mine and proceed to drag me to the nearest merchant stand. Interesting enough, it was a trinket merchant.
"Please play along, serrah!" She whispers hurriedly as I spot the Templars rounding a corner and walking down the road we were in.
"Oh, that necklace looks quite lovely Vas! Would you buy it for me?" Oh man, this is movie and or video game material right here! Now play it cool and follow her lead.
"Anything for you, Beth," I say with a smile as I turn to the merchant. She just looks at us amusedly before telling me how much the ordinary silver trinket was before I picked it up and looked over the thing. As the Templars passed by us, Bethany heaves a sigh of relief before letting go. She looks at me kindly before thanking me. Before she could go, I lightly hold on to her shoulder.
"You know," I start quietly as I leaned down to whisper, "It's better to hide in plain sight rather than to do so in the shadows." Bethany knows exactly what I was talking about and she quickly panics and turns from my hold on her.
"I don't know what you're talking about serrah." I scoff at her attempt to cover up the fact that I knew what she was. It wasn't that hard since I already knew she was an Apostate and if anyone smart or observant enough to see how she acted around Templars they could easily put together the puzzle.
"I'm not threatening you or anything Bethany. After all, it takes one to know one, right?" Hopefully she gets the hint I'm dropping in front of her face and by the sudden realization that flickered past her eyes, she did.
"Y-you're one too?" Bethany asks hopefully as she turns back to face me. She must have led a lonely life, understandable if she had to hide the fact she was a mage from anyone outside her family. Plus, I bet there weren't any other apostates nearby where she could mix and mingle with. I raise a finger to my lips and smile at her again, this was so fun!
"Do you know a place where we can talk in private?"
Bethany ended up taking me back to her home. The Hawkes actually owned the farmlands you see in Origins and by the looks of things, they were actually successful. When Leandra saw me behind her daughter, she was about ready to yell for help but was quickly silenced by Bethany with a quick 'He helped me avoid the Templars. He has the same problem as I do'.
"Thank you for inviting me to your home," I tell both of them as I take a seat at the dining table. I only wore my cloak when I went back into the city after dealing with the bandits so there was no fear in the wooden chair being scratched up and mangled by my armour.
"So, serrah Vasili, is it true that you are a mage as well?" Leandra asks straight to the point. She was looking at me critically and by the stance she was in, hands crossed in front of her with her hips cocked to the side, she still did not trust me.
"Yes, I was never admitted into the circle as a child so that makes me an apostate as well." No lies there.
"And how were you able to avoid the Templars grasp for so long?" She follows up without pause.
Rather than explaining, I take off my clawed gauntlets and drop them off the table. My cloak quickly slithers back under me, reforming into my shadow. "I hide in plain sight." I tell them smugly, plus reputation on the second day?! "I was taught and raised how to do this." I turn to look at Bethany before continuing, "I hide by acting as if I was part of the rest of the crowd. I blend in. Other apostates have a primal fear of Templars finding out about them so they try to avoid them at all cost, resulting in giving away what they are. But, when you act like the Templars are just bystanders and don't mind them at all, they leave you alone. It's only the people who are nervous around them or steal a glance at them that they suspect. If you suddenly try to run or hide from them, then they know you're already guilty of something."
Its common sense mixed in a bit with logic. Mages in Dragon Age always panic when they see a Templar and they don't try to blend in. They instantly run and hide or lash out. Plus, they wear mage robes instead of armour or bring their staff along with them the whole time. If they could have just dressed up like villagers or better yet, in armour, then the Templars wouldn't even look at them twice. I could see that Bethany was smart enough to dress up in normal clothes and didn't bring her staff everywhere she went, but she still panicked when she saw Templars, much more now when Templars were streaming in through the Imperial Highway on their way to Ostagar.
I tell them what I thought of and answered questions they asked. I told them about my real world parents but made them out to be successful merchants. When they found out I was a made, they approached a mutual friend and I told them that she taught me how to blend in with the normal people. Bethany asked me about my gauntlets and powers and I told her that the gauntlet acted like what a staff would for her. I demonstrated my powers by touching the shadows of the table and pulling it up and out of the ground. I then formed it into the shape of a diamond before putting it on the table. Bethany and Leandra took turns in holding and examining it.
"It's solid! I never thought that shadows could be… well… How do you do this? Who taught you how to do this?"
"The same person who taught me to blend in, of course," I saw that Bethany wanted to ask who my teacher was but decided against it. She knew that I would be revealing another apostate mage.
"Bethany, I know we've known each other for only two days and all, but our kind have to stick together, right? I can teach you how to blend in. Know that doing so; we'll be spending quite some time near Templars themselves." I turn my gaze to Leandra as well, "If, of course, I have your consent as well?"
I was going to pull lessons out of my ass but I knew enough to be invisible in plain sight back in the real world. So when both of them agreed, I had told them that it would only take a day for me to teach her how to blend in like what I do. Leandra was sceptical about how easy it was and I told her my lessons were a mixture of common sense as well as a bit of logic, real world logic anyway, and we were off.
"The first thing you have to do is the exact opposite of what you were taught when you were a child. Do not voluntarily avoid the Templars, do not run from them and do not look suspicious. Blend in, wear normal clothes, don't bring your staff or if you can try to hide it on your person, here let me give you something…"
I touched the shadows of the nearby try before pulling out a pair of black welder-style gloves. I gave them to Bethany who just looked at them weirdly, "I look silly," she told me as she flexed her fingers inwards then outwards.
"Silly? Yes, practical? Yes, these gloves are special obviously; in their palms is a set space where you can put your staff in. What's amazing about my powers is that it is only limited to what my mind can make up. I can literally make anything from the shadows. And, if I am ever in a place where there is no light, where there is only darkness, I am unstoppable."
"Hubris will be your downfall, Vasili. None of us are invincible. Neither the King nor the Divine are invincible." Bethany was chastising me? Wow, ok maybe I was over-exaggerating but whatever. I was here to enjoy the video game world and change the course of history for this dimension. I was given powers that no one else has here as well as the supportand backing of a god-like being. Well, the last one isn't all true since she told me that I was her puppet and everything she gave me were tools to help reshape this world. It was like what the Watcher's did to her except I was in control of my own decisions. Which by the way was rather strange, I mean why would she want me in control? What if the changes I made was not to her liking? Well whatever, one thing at a time. Now was the time to help Bethany.
Our first stop was the Chantry and I had to clamp down on her shoulder before she could run back home. I slowly explained to her that no sane on-the-run mage on the run would even think of going near the place since it acted as the Templar's headquarters in Lothering. She asked me if I knew that no sane apostate would go near this place then why were we?
I smiled before pushing her into the building and making her sit with me. "Now stop fidgeting Bethany, you'll give the game away."
"I can't stop fidgeting! All the Templars are looking right at us!"
"That's because you're making a scene, Bethany. Come down and blend in, not stick out like a sore thumb." I pull out a Chanter's book, like Dragon Age's version of the bible, and start reading quietly. Bethany is still looking left and right, watching the Templars move about the place. Even though they were the military arm of the Chantry, all of them were quite happy to help the Lay Sisters and Lay Brothers in their duties. I guess it was a way for them to try and relax before getting shipped off to Ostagar? I know that King Cailan had called on anyone capable of wielding a sword to join him in stopping the Blight.
"What are you doing now?!" Oh for the love of-
I gently grab Bethany's shaking hands and place the book in them. I lift her chin with a finger and calmly tell her, "Blend in Bethany. Act like a normal, non-magical person visiting the Chantry. Stop acting like a mage who walked into a building filled with people trained specifically to put mages down. You are making it obvious that you do not belong here." With that, I pull out another book tucked into a shelf built into the pew in front of us and open it into a random page and start reading.
After a few minutes of just sitting there reading, Bethany finally calmed down and was just looking around the temple. Knowing her life, this was probably the first time she had ever gone in here. On the twenty minute mark on my watch, it was one of those automatic winding types that didn't need batteries, I tapped Bethany on the shoulder and motioned that we were leaving.
"Now that wasn't so bad, was it?"
"The Templars didn't even go near us… But, I thought they could sense magic?"
"No my dear, Templars are trained to spot mages, they cannot sense magic unless someone is actively casting a spell, in which case everyone can sense it by that point. You see, Templars know that the mere sight of them will cause a panic to anyone trying to hide their magical status. As for why they didn't come at us? As I said before, no mage is stupid enough to go into the Chantry! That's practically them signing their own death warrants! So when we came in, they didn't suspect us to be mages because they knew that we were normal, everyday citizens. Hundreds of years of mages running away from the sight of them have conditioned the Templar Order to spot signs like that. If we don't show fear and just make sure not to look the part of the mage as well as being careful not to cast a spell anywhere near them, then we are practically invisible to them."
She was so engrossed in what I was telling her that she doesn't even notice the groups of Templars walking by us. As I could see it, another platoon arrived from the Imperial Highway on their way to Ostagar. I tell Bethany to stay put and don't panic as I ask around about the news of what was happening south of Lothering.
It seems that I have miscalculated the time.
Apparently, A Blight is called that only when the Darkspawn Horde leaves the Deep Roads. I thought that because of the gathering army at Ostagar that the Blight was already happening.
The reason why they were gathering an army because word had been sent out from Orzammar that Darkspawn numbers had dramatically increased the past year. King Cailan had instantly called on every city in Ferelden to rally against the growing threat. I remember that the army would successfully repel two waves of Darkspawn before the Wardens would arrive at the old fortress in Ostagar. From what I was able to sweet talk out of a soldier, sweet talk translating to bribing with a gold coin, the first wave had yet to emerge from the Korcari Wilds.
This puts me in a bit of a dilemma. Do I venture towards Ostagar and try to link up with the Grey Wardens, or do I stay with Bethany and Leandra here in Lothering? On one hand, I have no idea what happens during Origins since I stopped playing when I couldn't kill that damned Brood Mother. On the other hand, I had already been making a bit of progress with Bethany.
I'll stay with them. I preferred Dragon Age 2 anyways.
So with that situation done, it would seem that my time limit had considerably extended.
And after six months of just doing stuff around Lothering, it finally happened.
But before that, let me tell you what I had been up to!
Learning that I had plenty of time before Lothering gets overrun by Darkspawn, I continued my lessons with Bethany. Some may ask where I pulled out these lessons. Simple really; back in High School my friends and I would pull pranks on one another and they would usually leave a mess in the Hallways or the Bathrooms in school. When the teacher's came by to ask what had happened, we would act like nothing ever happened and do the 'innocent' routine. I just put to use my avoiding trouble experience here and since nothing has backfired on me yet, then I'd continue to train Bethany in acting 'innocent'.
I also noticed that I didn't get as tired as I used to when I would manifest my Badass armour but after two months of constantly exhausting myself, I only felt my muscles ache. By the fifth month, I would sweat more than normal but would not get knocked unconscious or feel the strain on my body that much. And my shadows were somehow responding much quicker. For example, when I am too slow to dodge or block an attack from the bandits I'd help the town get rid of the shadows that were either making up my armour or the ones still on the ground would react and block the attack. They also made my attacks stronger by pushing me just that little more to help throw a bigger enemy or make my punches hit harder by automatically making my gauntlets thicker, or spiked. I was not complaining at all and it was actually making my life that much easier.
After I was so sure that my shadows were more than enough, a big ass bandit comes charging into one of my 'clean up' job and swings his gigantic war hammer at me. The shadows reacted in the nick of time, saving me from a shattered rib cage and a broken back. Bethany, bless her soul, was actually there with me. She was bored and wanted to see what I did when I wasn't breaking her fear of Templars. She incinerated that bastard and made him regret ever trying to turn me into a pancake. Realizing that not everything could be solved with my powers I looked for anyone willing to teach me how to wield and use a sword, with pay.
By the way, did you know that once a bandit leaves their plundered treasures behind, it's free game? Got a lot of gold from selling the trinkets they stole from people. And because I am not a complete asshole, I return the property to their owners, but only if they came looking for it. They were happy enough to give me more money for its safe return. I actually had to buy a chest, one foot tall and two feet wide, to put my money in. I was also saving up a bit more from my jobs ever since Leandra's opinion of me did a complete one eighty. Seeing her daughter relaxed and not fearing for her freedom every second of every day must have been what caused it. She didn't speak to me in harsh tones anymore and often invited me to their house for meals. I wasn't born a freeloader so I repaid them by doing manual labour around the house. The farm was taken care of by hired workers and I butting in would only get them angry at me since I was stealing their jobs from them…
Who knew being a sword/mage (not that they knew that) for hire would make you so rich? I was pretty sure I could pay my way into Kirkwall without much fuss as well as the Deep Roads expedition. Hell, maybe I could bribe a few nobles in the Viscounts court to help the Hawke's get their estate back.
Something at the back of my mind was telling me that it wasn't normal for someone to get this rich so fast in a short amount of time. But who cares? It was probably a glitch in this dimension that I was exploiting the shit out of. I wasn't complaining! This would make the upcoming adventure super easy since I wouldn't have to worry about expenses that much.
Then one day, when Bethany and I were on our way to get another job slaying bandits, ever since the time I almost got myself killed, Bethany decided that she would watch my back from here on out. No complaints here, she had told me to buy a new set of armour since just relying on my 'talent' would end up with me getting almost killed again.
So, there I was getting some medium armour made from Silverite. It was the only one I could decide on that was in my price range without bankrupting me, light enough for me to move and attack unhindered as well as strong enough to deflect attacks weak enough. Of course, I asked the blacksmith to make it as rounded and compact to my body as possible so that I could layer my shadow over it to form the Didact's armour. Seriously, that armour is badass. I turn to leave the smithy when I bump into someone.
"Oh, sorry," I turn to see who I bumped into and freeze. Bright yellow eyes regard me with amusement and I couldn't do anything except stare at Morrigan. What the hell was she doing here anyways? Wasn't she supposed to be with The Warden and Alistair, unless of course if they were already here.
That means Ostagar has fallen, the real game is about to start!
"When I first entered this helpless little town, I thought that nothing of interest would be here," She raked her eyes over my form, taking note of the exotic, black armour I was wearing, I layered my Silverite armour with my shadows before leaving the change room. "And yet, as I stepped into the town's proper, I felt a wave of power wash over me, thick and crushing. It was nothing I have ever felt before and that sense of power leads me to you." She smiles wickedly, finding out about my powers without even looking that hard. Sheen of sweat appears on my forehead at this. I had no idea how to handle Morrigan and I couldn't really do anything against her because I knew she was part The Warden's party. If I did, it might affect the storyline and that would make things unpredictable. "What have we here, I wonder? Are you an abomination, perhaps? An apostate hiding from the Templars and the circle? If so, then you have chosen poorly."
"Try; an inter-dimensional traveller acting as a god-like beings puppet." I say cheekily as I cross my arms in front of my chest. With a thought, my helmet clicks and retracts to reveal my face. "Good day, traveller." I smile at her, trying to hide the fact that her smile was creeping me out.
"It has manners! My, my, I might have been wrong on my impression of this town if it holds a being as interesting as you." She uses her staff to lean on and that catches the attention of a few roaming Templars. "So what brings one such as you to a hole in the ground such as Lothering?" Oh man, she is attracting attention from everyone! Insulting the town is not getting her any plus points either.
"I was actually just waiting until the right moment. And seeing you here, then the game has already been set, the die cast." I don't know why I talk like this. In the real world, I am never this mysterious or cool. "I suggest you move through this town quickly, the Darkspawn are at our heels by now." I turn and make my way towards Bethany who was sitting and reading at a nearby bench, "Bethany, we have to get back to the farmhouse, now."
She looks up from her book questioningly, but my serious expression must have tipped her off that something was about to happen. She nods before following me back to her house.
"Vas, what's going on? What happened?" She stops me with a firm hand to my shoulder. I stop and think for a moment what to tell her. I could always lie, that never failed yet, or I could tell her the truth? How could I even explain what I know to her? It's not as if magic… Wait, that's it.
"I had a vision at the smithy," I start off, thinking quickly to piece the sentence in my mind into completion, "The army at Ostagar has fallen, the King is dead."
"W-what? But, there were thousands of soldiers at the fortress, hundreds of thousands! How could the Darkspawn go through the army so quickly?"
"For every soldier that falls from our side, they had to their ranks."
"My brother and sister are at Ostagar! Did you see them, are they safe?!"
"They're on their way here. Right now you have to tell your mother and start packing essentials! I'm going to get my chest at the inn. I'll meet you back here soon."
I knew things were going downhill when the smell of smoke and the sounds of screams started.
It was an hour or two since I left Bethany at the farm and ten minutes since I saw Morrigan and four other figures leave through the Imperial Highway. It was ten minutes ago that I saw the smoke rising from the forest surrounding the village and five minutes before I saw my very first Darkspawn. It was a gunlock, judging by its short stature and was uglier than anything I have ever seen in my entire life. That one was followed by ten more of its fellows and behind them were hundreds more. I could see some of the forest trees shaking and falling to the ground, meaning an ogre was nearby as well. Screams were also emanating from the bowels of the forest, telling me they had Shrieks with them as well.
I grab my chest full of money and push it into my armour, the container sinking into its shadowy depths without resistance. The weight of it is no bother to me and once I'm sure that everything else has been packed and stored within the confines of my armour, I quickly run back to the Hawkes farm.
The guards were quickly rushing to the opposite direction to try and save as many villagers as they could.
When I arrive at the house, I see two people quickly talking to Leandra and Bethany. One was female, with short black hair and pale skin. She wore leather armour and had a great sword strapped to her back and a short sword at her waist. The other was male, with short messy black hair, wearing a sleeveless leather tunic and brown leather pants. He also had a great sword strapped to his back but had no other visible weapon on him.
"Bethany, Leandra, we have to go!" The two Hawke siblings I haven't personally met yet turned to look at me. I didn't mind them for now as I helped Bethany put their things onto a wagon before pointing at the hills behind the house. It was the path that the Hawke family took during the Dragon Age 2 opening and I had scouted out the place weeks ago and deemed the corridor big enough for a horse drawn carriage.
"Wait! Mother who is this stranger?" Carver, the male one duh, asked as he openly glared at me as I lifted a particularly heavy chest, sounded like it was filled with either coins or jewellery, into the wagon.
"No time for introductions boy, the Darkspawn Horde is right on our tails. The path behind the house leads around and away from Lothering. Following that path leads us to a port town. If we don't want to die, we have to move!" I turn to look at the village and see that the buildings were catching on fire. The Chantry was filling up with scared villagers and the last of the Templars and Town Guards were making a last stand in front of the temple. They were getting surrounded by Darkspawn and running to help them would just kill us all as well.
There were too many.
Not looking back, I tell everyone to board the wagon. Leandra and Bethany driving while Carver, myself and Marian, at least I think that's her default name, ride at the back. Using their shadows, I create three long bows and pull out a large quiver of arrows from one of the chests. I still couldn't create ammunition from my shadows and had no idea why. My control was stronger than before so why couldn't the arrows last more than ten feet?
"Shoot anything that goes near the wagon!"
"Who in the Maker's name are you?!"
"We'll do introductions later Carver, their coming," and just as Marian (?) says that, dozens of Genlocks, Hurlocks and Shrieks come running towards us. Carver and Marian (?) quickly unload a volley of arrows at the approaching monsters and I get a few kills as well. That Battle Haze I've been upgraded with settles over my mind and everything goes on autopilot. I don't instantly kill Darkspawn by the dozen, but my hesitation to let go of the bowstring disappears and I send a good handful tumbling to the ground.
"They're in front of us!" Leandra shouts just as an Ogre barrels over the hilltop. It roars in challenge as it sees our wagon and bring down its horns to charge us like a bull.
"I'll handle it," I hear myself say calmly before my helmet assembles over my face again. I climb to the front of the wagon before the shadows underneath me catapult me towards the ogre. Holy shit, I had no idea I was capable of this! I cup both hands together and the gauntlets reform into a serrated, jagged lance. It was taller than I was but only a foot wide in the middle.
The ogre was caught by surprise and made a sound that sounded like a 'huh?' before I speared it through its right eye. As soon as my feet are planted on its shoulders, I will the lance to explode into spikes, causing the ogre's head to explode like a dropped watermelon. The wagon drives past and I jump safely into the back. The horses had an easy time trampling over the few Genlocks that tried to block our path.
"Vas, how did you do that?" Bethany asks from the front of the wagon. I have no idea how I could do that myself so I just shrug before screaming.
"LOOK OUT!" Two people were in our path and thanks to some quick reflexes in Leandra's part as well as willing the shadow of the wagon to stick on the underside of the wagon helped us avoid them. Unfortunately for those who were standing, completely forgot about Marian and Hawke, they were flung out of the wagon and on to the fellow escapees. "Bethany, block our path with your fire."
"On it," she easily replies as she plunges her hand into the palm of her right glove. A few seconds of trying to get a grip on her staff and she pulls it out, a black staff with two dragons balancing an orb of light in between their mouths as the head of the staff, before throwing a ball of flame into the path. The Genlocks and Hurlocks try to run through the flames but its magical nature instantly burns them to ashes. The Shrieks try to jump over the flames but couldn't clear it as the flames would reach out and burn them as well,
"This won't hold them off forever," Bethany states before climbing back into the wagon. I nod at her warning before helping the four downed people. Both the Hawke siblings are alright aside from a few scratches. The two they landed on had it worse though. Like us, they had fought their way through the Darkspawn and judging by the nasty looking cuts that the one in full Templar uniform had, the Ogre's went through them to get to us.
"Are you two alright?" Asks Leandra from the wagon and as soon as they nod, I start pushing them towards it. We didn't have time to waste on pleasantries, plus I already knew that these were both Aveline and Ser Wesley.
"We'll talk later! For now, let's concentrate one escaping the Blight!"
We were all aboard the wagon and were quickly approaching the plateau that the Darkspawn would ambush us in. But, surely the precautions I took to ensure that everyone would survive would work right? The wagon will help us outrun them and my powers and skills were more than enough to kill the next ogre judging by the results of a few minutes ago. Hopefully we could just rush through them and crush anything that got in our way.
But by the time we cleared the rise, they were already waiting for us. Dozens, maybe a hundred Darkspawn were at the other side with drawn swords and snarling mouths. They were mostly compromised of Hurlocks just like in the game and the ogre was probably not too far behind.
"Anyone still strong enough to fight, follow me." I say to the group as I jump off of the wagon. "Someone stays with Lady Hawke," I add without turning around. This wasn't a good time to just rush into battle and leave the defenceless matriarch of the Hawke family alone. Bethany agrees to stay easily enough so Aveline, Carver, Marian and Ser Wesley followed me to the front where we faced off against the small army of monsters blocking our path.
"Even with the five of us, there's still too many!" Carver complains as he readies his great sword in front of him. Aveline does the same with her sword and shield but Ser Wesley couldn't even lift his shield arm halfway. "We'll need a miracle to get through this!"
I look at him for a second before turning my attention back at the Darkspawn. For some reason they were waiting for us to move first and that was a fucking advantage for me right there! The Battle Haze creeps over my mind again and with deliberate slowness, I bend down to touch my shadow. I worked too hard for the past months to die here! "On my signal, we charge. Take as many of them down!" I could feel my power connecting with the shadows beneath them and estimated that I could take down half of them before they could move. If they do suddenly charge now, then we were fucked.
Pouring the majority of my power into the shadow below me, I watched as ten foot tall spikes erupted underneath the Darkspawn. Some of the spikes shot straight up like I intended but the rest spiked sideways or low enough to just take off the legs. Without a pause I stand back up, a shadow great sword, designed like a Daedric Great Sword from Skyrim, in hand and I let out a shout as I run towards the confused Darkspawn, "FIGHT!"
Again the Battle Haze clouds my senses and for the first time in my life, I took someone else's. Granted, they weren't human and they were out for my blood. But, who was ever comfortable with killing another being? I see myself just going through the crowd swinging. I take one or two with each swing and any that I miss gets killed by the people following behind me. Bethany was taking pot shots at the Darkspawn with lightning bolts or fireballs and I could actually feel the shadows that made my armour vibrate when a spell gets too close for comfort.
When the Haze finally lifts, I was standing in the middle of a field of corpses. I do not feel sick at the sight. I feel… satisfaction in what I have done. It confuses me why I would feel happy, but could not think more on the topic when something big lumbers into view.
I raise my sword to defend myself, but a fireball from Bethany destroys the shadows that made up my sword. I look at the handle awkwardly before getting grabbed by the ugly beast and get treated like a ragdoll for a few minutes. My whole world turns into pain and incoherent screams of;
And so forth
Someone had probably distracted the fucker because the pain had stopped. There were figures, blurred and moving fast, above me. I could hear people talking but couldn't understand what they were saying. Was I dying?
I was slipping…
Get up; I won't let you die yet, puppet
No, wait, I'm not. The pain that tells me my bones are broken is gone. The pressure that was making my lungs and heart hurt disappear. Everything refocuses and I look up into the crying visage of Bethany leaning over me. I can feel something wet clinging to my body and the feel of the shadows on me isn't present. I still have my gauntlets though which was good. With another badass/cool moment springing up to mind I suddenly sit straight up, surprising the small crowd that had encircled my dying form.
"Well, that was fun. Time to go," I jump back to my feet and note the drying up blood that was all over me. Was it mine or from the ogres? I couldn't tell right now but whatever. My Halo 4 shirt is completely ruined now and the watch that had survived with me in this dimension was crushed around my wrist. Great, now I have to learn how to read sun dials! The realization of not being dead hasn't struck me yet and I'll probably just ask Manah the next time I see her what was up with my recently discovered immortal status.
"Vasili, you're alright! But, how did you…?" I turn to the gaping masses and shrug my shoulders. Hey, I couldn't explain this either anyway so whatever.
"What's important is that we are all safe and stuff. We should probably high tail it out of here before more Darkspawn come." And like any other cliché, as soon as I finish saying that, another group clear the rise and see us all standing there like a bunch of idiots. "Or we could kill them first."
Before the horde could charge, a great roar fills the clearing and everyone looks up to see something on the overlooking cliff.
Huh, I totally forgot about Flemeth arriving to save our asses, I think to myself as I watch her flash-burn the Darkspawn quickly and cleanly. She does the whole cloaked-in-fire-before-emerging-as-a-human bit and until now, two years after its release, I am still conflicted whether to think if she was hot or not. On one hand, she's centuries old, but on the other hand that body is rocking and the game's graphics did not do her beauty justice. Ok, inappropriate thoughts, concentrate!
"Well, well… What have we here?" She says teasingly as she looks at our haggard appearances, "Used to be we never got visitors in the Wilds, but now it seems they arrive in hordes!" She was wearing the exact same thing she wore in the game and I couldn't help but to stare at her yellow coloured eyes. Just like Morrigan's eyes.
"Impressive," Was the first words I hear from Marian ever since meeting her. It shouldn't come as a surprise anymore that she sounded the same. I turn to look back as Ser Wesley collapses to the ground, the Taint already making itself known, "Where'd you learn how to turn into a dragon?"
"Perhaps I am a dragon?" Flemeth responds as she turns to look at me. The same wicked smile that Morrigan gave me played across her lips and I couldn't help but stand behind Bethany for protection. What's up with them? Sheesh, "If so, you should count yourself lucky! The smell of burning Darkspawn does nothing for the appetite."
"If you wish to flee the Darkspawn, you should know you are heading in the wrong direction."
"Wait," Bethany calls out before I could stop her, "You can't just leave us here!"
"Actually, she can. She is a dragon after all! Say bye-bye to the relatively nice dragon lady!" I tell them as I duck behind Bethany when Flemeth turns to look at me.
"I spotted a most… curious sight," The Witch of the Wild says as she keeps staring at me, "A pair of mighty ogres, vanquished! Who could perform such a feet?" Does anyone not notice her eyes were glowing?! Seriously, this lady was freaking me out! "But now my curiosity is sated and you are safe… for the moment. Is that not enough?"
"You've done more than enough, thank you! We can definitely take it from here!" Bethany's elbow catches me in the ribs. I couldn't help the surprised yelp that escaped me.
"You could show me that trick of yours," Marian continues, eying her sister and me curiously before turning back to Flemeth, "That looks useful!"
Flemeth laughs at that and the sound just sends tremors through my whole being. "If only a clever tongue was all one needed… Tell me, clever child, how do you intend to outrun the Blight?"
"Kirkwall," Leandra suddenly pipes up from behind us, "We need to get to Kirkwall, in the Free Marches."
"Kirkwall… My, but that is quite the voyage you plan! You're king will not miss you, Hm?"
"Of course he won't! King Cailan fell at Ostagar. It's hard for a dead man to feel anything." I think it was safe to say that Flemeth was scaring me so much that I was blurting everything I said in my mind out loud. Wait, did that mean I was doing it right now? Shit
Flemeth laughs at me loudly before speaking, "Oh, you I like!"
"Hurtled into chaos, you fight... and the world will shake before you." She turns away from us and looks to the setting sun in the horizon, "Is it fate or chance? I can never decide."
She turns back and walks to stand closer to us, "It appears fortune smiles on us both, today. I may be able to help you yet."
"There must be a catch?" Marian asks to which Flemeth replies with a laugh.
"There is always a catch. Life is a catch! I suggest you catch it while you can!"
"Maybe… we shouldn't trust her? I don't even know what she is." Bethany interjects into the conversation.
"I know what she is," Aveline says from behind us as she looks to Flemeth, "The Witch of the Wilds!"
"Some call me that, also; Flemeth, Asha'bellanar, an old hag who talks too much!" Deciding to keep a safe distance away from Flemeth, I turn and walk towards Leandra.
She looked a bit pale but none the worse for wear. When she saw me approaching, she gave me a tired smile. "It is good to see that you were alright, Vasili. When we saw that ogre snatching you up…" She pauses here to wipe her eyes with the back of her hand. Why was she crying for my sake? Have I really made that much of an impression on her?
"How are you, Lady Hawke? Are you hurt?" I ask instead as I try to spot any wounds or blood on her person. But aside from a few bruises from the rough ride on the wagon, she seemed fine.
"A little shaken up, but fine," Leandra looks back to the wagon with all the things they were able save from the farm. A wistful smile passes quickly before she looked back at me, "Thank you for helping us, Vas. If it weren't for your warning, we might have lost everything to the Blight!"
Leandra always reminded me of my own mother. She was always happy and full of smiles for her kids. Don't start crying now…
"Hey, that's what friends are for, right? We look out for one another."
"No, I said I'd drag you out if I had to and I meant it!" Aveline's outburst catches my attention and I could see from here the dark veins that were visible with his pale white skin. Poor guy has a few minutes left before someone puts him down. Oh man, he's getting glassy eyed.
Without thinking on it, I excuse myself before walking towards Ser Wesley and Aveline.
"He's been infected." I say bluntly to Aveline before looking at her straight in the eyes, "The only cure for this is becoming a Grey Warden or death and I saw a Grey Warden leaving in the other direction we took in Lothering."
"Then what would you have me do?! He's my husband and I can't just!" She tries to hold back tears but I could see them at the edge of her eyes.
"The corruption is a slow death… I can't" mutters Ser Wesley as he looks at us pleadingly.
"You can't ask this of me…" Aveline sobs as she finally breaks down.
The emotions here are so thick. If I don't keep it together, I might end up crying myself!
"It… has to be done. I'm sorry serrah." Aveline looks at me angrily before settling down and giving me a stiff nod. She stands and leaves me with the dying Templar. What I would do for a curaga spell right now!
Ser Wesley struggles for a while before handing me his dagger. He thanks me before closing his eyes and waits for me to end his suffering. How did I think this was a good idea?
Instead of the painful death choice, I decide to use my shadows and try to give him a more peaceful death. I push my will into the Templar's shadow and they obey instantly, crawling into the pores of his skin and finding their way into his body. I was planning an instant death for him instead of letting him bleed out here alone. To do that, I had to destroy all his organs at once. At least, I think I do…
"Think of happier times," I tell him and once I see him smiling I will the shadows I placed inside his body to act. In an instant, he collapses, boneless, to the ground, the smile lingering on his face. "Rest in Peace," There was nothing else to say. For the first time since coming to this dimension, I felt guilt. Could I have saved him if I planned more? If I had done more rather than concentrated on the Hawke's, could I have saved Lothering?
A shadow looms over me and I turn to see Flemeth looking down on me. She holds out a hand and in it, I see the amulet that we have to bring to the Dalish Elves that lived at the base of Sundermount near Kirkwall. I remember that the amulet held a piece of her soul or something. It was her back up plan if ever she wasn't able to possess Morrigan to extend her life.
"Without an end, there is no peace," Flemeth intones as she drops the amulet into my open palm, "It gets no easier."
"Your struggles have only just begun."
"Flemeth" Cassandra says incredulously as she glares at Varric.
"I thought that might interest you," The dwarf smiles at the Seeker, but only irritates her more than before.
"You expect me to believe a myth swooped out of the wilds to save the champion and her family?"
"Oh, come now, Seeker. Do I need to recite the tale of the Warden as well?" Varric says as he crosses his arms.
"No. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised to hear of her involvement."
"Heh, I liked my version too," that smug smile on his face was pissing Cassandra off so much. She wanted nothing else but to punch him across the face.
"What else aren't you telling me, then? Did she send someone with the Champion?"
Varric suddenly loses his jovial demeanour and stares at the Seeker for a long moment. Cassandra was actually surprised that the dwarf could pull off such a face. "Did Flemeth send someone with Hawke to Kirkwall?" He leans forward to lean on his knees. "In a manner of speaking… Tell me Seeker, how much do you know about Vasili Attano?"
Cassandra quirks an eyebrow at the question but indulges him nonetheless, "He was a friend of the Champion. A powerful mage said to have the unique ability to control the shadows around him. He led the mercenary group called Dead Cell and was a large contributing factor to the Hawkes getting into Kirkwall. He also invested a large sum of gold into the Deep Roads Expedition that your brother, Bartrand, led."
"And what have you heard of the man himself, Seeker?"
"Don't tell me those rumours are true as well? I can believe, barely, that the Witch of the Wilds would cross the champion. But, now you're telling men that rumours about him are true as well?"
"Yes, but I also want you to keep those rumours close to your heart, because it was no exaggeration how deadly and how powerful he is in Kirkwall. Hawke once told me that the first time she had met him, he was 'a sweet if a bit strange boy'. I met him too and at first impressions you can tell he was raised in a good home with a loving family."
"But he made killing an art form. At the battlefield, nobody could touch him. He could kill you without moving and you wouldn't even know you were dead until it was too late."
"You make him sound like he was immortal!"
"I just told you he got crushed by an ogre and stood right back up as if nothing happened! He told me once that something was not allowing him to die. Every time he did come back from the dead, he could feel his mind slipping from him." Varric clears his throat loudly before leaning back into his stone chair. "And another thing; whoever gave you that info about him controlling the Darkness? He got some details wrong."
"And those details are what exactly?"
"He didn't just control it…
He gave the Darkness life."
The witch kept her word and got them to Gwaren, where they took ship. They sailed north across the Waking Sea, lashed by terrible storms. Two weeks they spent in that dark hold, packed in with the fearful and the desperate. And then they saw it: Kirkwall, the City of Chains. Long ago, it was part of the Imperium, slaves coming in from far and wide to work the quarries. Now it's a free city. But I use the word loosely. Sail through those black cliffs and you'll see what the slaves of old saw: the Gallows, welcoming you. That's where the ship landed with all the rest.
Next Chapter: Kirkwall
So what do you guys think?
Leave a review and tell me your thoughts on this, or if you're busy how about a word or smile to tell me that you enjoyed my fic? Constructive criticism is appreciated and any misspelled word or wrong grammar you find, please tell me so that I can fix it. :)
Also, if you don't like the story, then that's alright with me but please do not take the time to send something negative my way.
Have a question, ask and I'll try to answer as soon as I am able to but know that the questions you have will probably be answered in the next chapters.
Also, I plan to update this every weekend (Between Friday and Sunday) and will make all the chapters at least ten thousand words strong.
Till next time