That was the only way to describe the two heroines that danced across this battlefield. Slowly but surely they were bringing and end to a smaller conflict. One, once finished, would start dozens more across the land. Blades clashed, and magic flared in response as the Mage Templar War finally broke out. The climax of this uprising taking place in the Gallows of the City of Chains. There, three women brawled it out, the concept of the war might have been lost of them, might have not been.
A red haired woman, an Arcane Warrior, adorned in the darkest armour that seemed to absorb the sunlight, raised her magical crossbow. With a quick pull of the trigger she fired a volley of three arrows, nothing more than a distraction to the enraged Knight-Commander Meredith of the Kirkwall Templars.
The attack was blocked by a swipe of her massive blade, but it left her back exposed for the Arcane Warrior's combat partner. A black haired Fereldan charged towards the Knight-Commander blades singing she moved like a deadly predator. She was upon Meredith who was still focused on the other woman, she didn't react in time, it was too late.
The Rogue's jagged dagger found an opening in the heavy Templar Armour, sliding deeply within her body. A piercing cry echoed across the gallows, resonating out onto the overall battlefield. Mages and Templars all of them freezing their own quarrels to look.
The Champion of Kirkwall had ended the Knight-Commander's reign.
Slowly Meredith fell to her knees, the Rogue slowly removed her her bloodied blade, flicking the blood clean as the Arcane Warrior slowly walked across the battlefield, her boots clicking on the stone while her cape she wore over her right arm, black, emblazoned with the red and white stripe of an N-Seven Warrior fluttered softly along with her movements.
The Arcane Warrior looked down on the Knight-Commander before holding out her left hand as a fiery blade formed. She held it at her side for a moment before bringing it down, shattering the Knight-Commander's Red Lyrium Blade..
"It is done." she spoke.
"Let this victory serve as a message to all mages that the Chantry and Circles can be challenged!" The Champion cried out, pointed her blade at Meredith's slumped form. "They can be defied! And they can be crushed beneath your heels!"
There was a roar throughout the gallows. Cries of victory. Cries of agony. Slowly the Arcane Warrior looked to the Rogue.
"Shall we depart? Champion?"
The Champion nodded her head, sheathing her blade as her lover came to her side. "We shall," came the answer, before her lover took her and pulled the Champion into a passionate kiss.
The blue skinned lover of the Arcane Warrior approached, and bestowed upon the redhead the same forum of affection.
"Shepherd." the abomination spoke, surely how could one love such a beast? The Shepherd just smiled as she raised a hand swathed in fire, the echoing roar of the mighty beast Normandy answering the silent call as a massive black High Dragon appeared over the Gallows. This dragon was like no other. For it breathed flames of the brightest blue and wore white armour that could turn even the darkest night into day-
The image was shattered when a short haired, angry woman, cut the storytelling dwarf off.
"Does that not match the story you've heard, Seeker?" Varric Tethras questioned from his seat, putting a hand out as he pointed at her before lowering it.
"I am not interested in the stories." she threw a massive book at him. "I want to hear the truth."
"What makes you think I know the truth?" Varric asked slowly, the Seeker of the Chantry paced slightly.
"Don't lie to me!" she snapped leaning in as Varric threw up his hands. "You knew her before she became the Champion! Before she met the Shepherd!"
"Even if I did, I don't know where they are now." he answered, it was a partial lie.
"Do you have any idea what's at stake here?" the Seeker growled, Varric chuckled softly.
"Let me guess; your precious Chantry's fallen to pieces and put the entire world on the brink of war? And you need the two heroes to put it back together again." Varric quipped naturally while the Seeker sighed, already annoyed.
"The Champion and the Shepherd where are the heart of this when it all began. If you can't point me to them, then tell me everything that you know."
"You aren't worried I'll just make it up as I go?" Varric asked, leaning forward in his seat to study her.
"Not at all." The Seeker snapped back as Varric leaned back in his seat.
"You'll need to hear the whole story." He stated with a smirk, bringing his hands up to his chin and leaning back in his seat.
The Blight, had been unleashed on Ferelden. Darkspawn poured out of the wilds, clashing with the army at Ostagar. The battle was a disaster.
King Calian died on the field with his men, betrayed by his most trusted general. Unopposed, the horde marched on the village of Lothering. The village burned, and many innocents were slaughtered.
The Champion's family barely escaped in time...
A family of four was running through the wilds. Three of which, were armed; they sprinted along the path, but the eldest among them couldn't keep up the pace.
The gray haired woman stopping, and falling to her knees, gaining the attention of her three younger companions.
The three rushed back to her aid, as a group of darkspawn quickly approached. The mage among them turning quickly, and releasing a fire to block the creature's path. One, caught in the initial blaze died instantly.
It's companion made it through, only to be run through on the dagger of a green eyed female. The final darkspawn sprinting through the flames, only to be struck down by the only male in the group; his massive sword slicing through the creature like butter.
There was a silence in the group as the mage turned to the elder woman, the others slowly gathering around.
"I think that's all of them." the only male declared, the mage bit her lower lip.
"For the moment." she added before looking over at her spell, before turning to look at their mother.
The eldest among them sighed, and shook her head. "Maker save us, we've lost it all," the golden eyed mother spoke. "Everything your father and I built..."
"Look on the bright side, at least you, me, Bethany, and Carver are all alive and together," the eldest Hawke sibling pointed out. "So I'd say that counts as not having lost everything," she added with a chuckle.
Leandra gave a nod from that information. "Yes, you're right," the golden eyed mother agreed, as she pulled herself together.
Bethany took a step back before turning to her brother. "We should have run sooner! Why did we wait so long?" she snapped, Carver growled as he looked at her.
"We've been running since Ostagar!" he snapped "Don't blame us!"
Hawke cast a glance over her shoulder. "Speaking of running...we might want to get a move on it, before the darkspawn decide to brave the flames," she remarked, noticing there were a few lined up on the other side of the barrier.
Swords drawn and baring their teeth at the family.
"Please, listen to you sister," Leandra instructed her children, while pointing to the rogue; successfully gaining the attention of her younger siblings.
"Then we should get moving." Carver nodded in the general direction they needed to go as Hawke took the lead, it was just a few minutes of running before Bethany noticed they had no direction, she slowed her pace down to a jog before stopping.
"Wait." she called out. "Where are we going?
"Away from the darkspawn." Carver pointed out like it was the most obvious thing. "Where else?"
"And then where?" Bethany threw out. "We can't just wander aimlessly."
Hawke approached the pair. "And why not? Doesn't seem like a bad idea to me," she voiced in her usual charming manner...despite the fact that they were running and facing darkspawn.
"Are you for real?" Carver growled
The rogue shrugged. "As long as we're all together that's what's important," she answered, earning a hiss from her brother, which she rightly returned.
Leandra growled at both of them, immediately stopping their confrontation before it began. The mother then took a few moments to search her mind for a solution. "We can go to Kirkwall," she informed her children.
The green eyed Hawke looked at her in surprise. "Kirkwall? Are you sure mother?" came the inquiry. It was the City of Chains...complete with it's own Circle.
"There are a lot of Templars is Kirkwall, Mother." Bethany pointed out, looking at the older woman.
Leandra turned to face her youngest. "I know that, but we still have family there-and an estate," she pointed out, hoping that would be enough of a consolation prize. Bethany sighed in defeat.
"Then we need to get to Gawren and take ship." she said, Carver frowned.
"If we survive that long." he snarled. "I'll just be happy to get out of here."
The group continued moving, before coming across another group of darkspawn, there they could see two others fighting the horde. A man in armour and woman in studded leather. Gracefully in unison they fought, until one of the hurlock got behind the man at struck upwards, catching him in his sword arm and drawing blood, forcing him to drop his shield and sword. The woman turned on the beast.
"You will not have him!" a ginger haired woman growled, as she pinned a darkspawn to the ground. She reached out and picked up a sword before bringing it down and severing the creature's head.
With that done, she rose, picked up the man's fallen shield and scrambled to his side. "They will not have you," she told him firmly, as they became surrounding by a small group of darkspawn. "Not while I breathe."
Hawke smirked. "I think someone needs our help," she commented, as she sliced through her down darkspawn, ending the tainted creature. "Bethany, stay back with mother, Carver and I shall handle this," running off into the fray before the sentence was fully out of her mouth.
"Wait, sister!" Bethany called out as the two warriors dove into the fray, quickly clearing out the field and aiding the two. "He's a Templar..." she added meekly, as she and her mother approached the group now that the fighting was done.
"Stop squirming Wesley, you'll make it worse," the ginger haired woman chided the injured Templar, who was covered in blood, as he struggled to his feet.
His eyes were trained on Bethany, and she quickly scurried to her sister's side before her anger took over.
"Apostate! Stay back!" Wesley tried to sound intimidating, but his injuries were getting the better of him as Bethany just scoffed.
"Well the Maker certainly has a sense of humour. Darkspawn and now a Templar." she pointed at him while chuckling to herself. "I thought they all abandoned Lothering."
"The spawn are clear in their intent, but a mage is always unknown." he struggled for a moment. "The Order dictates..."
"Wesley." the other woman stated his name, but he ignored her.
"That woman is an apostate." he declared, clearer in his tone as he walked forward, Bethany took a step back as Hawke stood between them glaring up at him. "The Order dictates." he repeated.
"Dear, they saved us," the female warrior pointed out, lifting a hand towards the Templar. "The Maker understands," she informed the man who seemed hell bent on enforcing the laws of the Chantry even in the midst of running from darkspawn.
The man stared at Hawke for a few moments, who had no problem with meeting the man's gaze. Eventually, he relented; shifting his eyes to the ground and stepping back to the woman's side.
"I am Aveline Vallen," the freckled woman introduced herself. "This is my husband, Ser Wesley," gesturing to the Templar. "We can hate each other when we're safe from the horde," she stated, as Hawke moved to stand closer to her family...Bethany more so than the other two.
Bethany turned to look at her sister. "If the nice Templar has been convinced to postpone his hunt for illegal mages," sounding as every bit as sarcastic as her older sister. "Let us not dwell upon it shall we?"
"Agreed," the rogue of the family said, as she folded her arms and studied the couple. "He's awful gentle for a mage hunter but, as long as he keeps away from my sister we shan't have any problems," she commented.
A quick nod from Aveline. "Then, let us be off," she said as the group began moving once more.
They quickly moved down the cliffside towards a small clearing that broke off into several paths. Slowly the group came to a stop as they felt tremors through the ground, something was coming, something big.
An ogre charged through, forcing the warriors to scatter while Carver drew his blade, standing before his mother as he looked up at the beast.
"You soulless bastards!" he roared before swinging at the beast, his attack blocked by the armour it wore.
"Carver!" Hawke shouted, when she saw her brother taking on the beast. It didn't look too happy with the boy's attempts either; especially if the way it took hold of her brother was anything to go by.
The next few moments happened in a blur for her.
One moment, she was fighting Genlocks, the next, she had severed the arm that held her brother captive. She wasn't done; the moment her feet were back on the ground, she was charging the wailing beast. Leaping forward and burying her blades in the diseased monster's neck.
Weapons tearing through flesh, muscle, and bone...black blood coating her form as the only thought that was on her mind was to kill what attempted to harm her family. When she finally came out of her trance, she was panting heavily and standing atop the corpse. And there was Carver, alive.
"I... I..." Carver was stunned for a moment as he looked at his older sister, if she didn't react, he surely would have died.
"Forget about that right now!" Bethany shouted as she pointed over to the other pathways where the Darkspawn were gathering. "We need to fight!"
And fight they did.
"Maker, there's no end to them," Carver breathed as the group became encircled by darkspawn. The creatures slowly advanced, but a deep rumble filling the air paused everything. Eyes turning upward to a mountain to see a dragon perched from it.
It's wings unwrapping from it's body, before it let out a mighty roar, which sent a majority of the darkspawn fleeing. Then, the red scaled creature took flight; flames hotter than lava exciting it's mouth and it attacked the darkspawn.
The beast landed among it's flames. Burning the tainted creatures with it's fire, hitting them with it's tail, and crushing them beneath deadly claws. Then, once they had fled magic surrounded the creature as it began to transform.
Leaving nothing more than a woman where a beast once stood.
Slowly, the white haired woman sauntered toward the ground. Dragging a darkspawn carcass in her hand; eventually, she dropped it before she stood before the group, cocking a hip out and placing an armored covered hand on it.
"Well, well...what do we have here," she spoke as she observed them. Hawke, and her two siblings moving to approach the woman, while Leandra stayed back; Aveline was busy trying to help Wesley stay on his feet.
It was to no avail.
"It used to be, we never got visitors to the Wilds," the dragon lady spoke, gaining attention back to herself and not the couple's plight. "But not it seems they arrive in hordes!" amusement filling her voice as she made the pun.
"Impressive," Hawke said as she held her hands out. "Where'd you learn to turn into a dragon?" she asked in her usual charm. Hard to believe that only moments ago she had just single handedly killed an Ogre.
An amused smirk came onto the woman's face. "Perhaps I am a dragon," she answered, as she stepped forward a bit. "If so, count yourself lucky. The smell of burning darkspawn does nothing for the appetite," she told them.
She then turned and began walking back a few steps to where the bodies of the darkspawn littered the ground. "If you wish to escape the darkspawn, you should know that you are heading in the wrong direction," she informed the group.
"Wait." Bethany called out. "You can't just leave us here!"
"So you think we can trust a dragon?" Carver spat.
The white haired woman cast a glance over her shoulder. "And why not?" she demanded to know, before turning back around to completely face them. "I spotted a most curious sight: a mighty Ogre vanquished! Who could perform such a feat?" moving to stand before Hawke.
"But now my curiosity is sated, and you are safe...for the moment. Is that not enough?" she asked of them.
An amused smile came onto Hawke's face. "You could show me that trick of yours," gesturing toward the older woman. "That looks useful."
Her response earning a laugh from the dragon. "I dare say it is. Such a clever tongue," she said before taking a step forward. "Tell me, clever child: how do you intend to outrun the Blight?"
"We wish to go to Kirkwall." Bethany answered. "In the Free Marches."
"Kirkwall? My, my but that is quite the voyage you plan," she remarked. "So far...simply to flee the darkspawn."
"Any better suggestions?" Hawke asked, giving a shrug of her shoulders. "I hear the Deep Roads are vacant now."
Her words earning another hearty laugh from the golden eyed woman. "Oh, you I like!" she stated. She observed Hawke a few moments before speaking. "Hurdled into the chaos you fight...and the world will shake before you," she said, almost as if she were speaking a prophecy.
The rogue gave her an odd look, as the woman turned and stepped a few feet away. She folded her arms across her chest as she thought aloud to herself. "Is it fate or chance? I can never decide."
She then dropped her hands and her head, before turning to approach the eldest Hawke sibling once more. "It appears that fortune smiles on us both today. I may be able to help you yet," she spoke, earning the entire groups attention.
"There must be a catch," Hawke said, once again getting an amused laugh from the woman.
"There's always a catch," the dragon confirmed. "Life is a catch! I suggest you catchit while you can."
"But we don't even know who you are." Carver pointed out firmly.
Aveline spoke up, gaining attention. "I know what she is. The Witch of the Wilds," she stated, as she looked over at the Hawkes.
The white haired woman shrugged. "Some call me that. Also Flemeth. Asha'bellanar. An "old hag who talks too much!" chuckling as she said that last one. "Does it matter?
I offer you this: I will get your group passed the horde in exchange for a simple delivery to a place not far out of your way. Would you do this for a "Witch of the Wilds?"
"She's a witch!" Carver spat. "We can't trust her!"
Her gaze when towards the young male, eyes shining in amusement as she looked him over. "And what of the company you keep?" she questioned. "You also travel with an apostate. Do you not trust her as well?" came the taunt.
"That's different!" Carver took a step back. "She's my sister!"
"Is it?" Flemeth challenged, with a raised eyebrow.
Hawke decided to step in before this went further. "Now is not the time to argue," she stated, stepping forward. "Considering our options of being a darkspawns twelve course meal, and accepting help from a Witch of the Wilds, I'll take my chances with the witch.
We don't really have much of a choice," she added, before focusing back on Flemeth.
"We never do," Flemeth remarked. "There is a clan of Dalish elves near the city of Kirkwall. Deliver this amulet to Keeper, Marethari," came the instructions as she approached Hawke and gave her amulet.
She took a step back. "Do as she asks with it and any debt between us is paid in full," she said, as Hawke placed it in her pocket. "Before I take you anywhere," she began, stepping back. "However, there is another matter..."
Gaze focusing on the ailing Templar. She and Hawke making steps toward the man, only for Aveline to stand before him. "No! Leave him alone!" the soldier ordered as she moved to cut them off.
"What has been done to your man is within his blood already," Flemeth responded, a look of sympathy coming onto her face.
Aveline glared at her. "You lie!" she accused, unwilling to believe what the witch was saying.
"She's right Aveline." Wesley spoke. "I can feel the corruption inside me."
Hawke looked at Flemeth. "This corruption...is the permanent sort I take it?" she guessed, judging by the severity of the situation.
"The only cure I know of is to become a Grey Warden," came the older woman's answer, causing Hawke to sigh and look at the ground.
"And they all died at Ostagar."
The dragon shook her head. "Not all," she replied, turning to face Aveline. "But the last are now beyond your reach," she informed the married woman. Aveline turned away from that knowledge, leaving Flemeth and Hawke behind who both shared a glance with one another.
Aveline kneeled above her husband. "Aveline, listen to me." he spoke, voice weak. "The corruption is a slow, painful death, I can't... I cannot do this."
Hawke kneeled on the other side of him. "I'm sorry Aveline...this has to be done," the rogue stated. Aveline said nothing, turning her head away for a few moments before nodding her consent.
They rose, Aveline to step away, and Hawke to take up the position where she once was. She observed the dying Templar for a few moments. Slowly, he drew the dagger he carried...lifting it above the soft spot in his armor, right on top of his heart.
"Thank you..." Wesley whispered, as the rouge placed her hands on the hilt. Then, quickly, she forced the blade down and into his heart; a gasp of pain...death was instant. She shut his eyes before rising.
Flemeth coming to stand behind her. "Without an end...there can be no peace," she commented, before turning and walking away. "It gets not easier. Your struggles have only just begun."
The Seeker of the Chantry was disbelieving.
"I thought that might interest you." Varric quipped, the Seeker crossed her arms.
"The stories said the Champion was saved by a dragon, but I thought it was the Shepherd's armoured dragon." she started to pace. "But now you're telling me that the myth of the Wilds swooped out to save the Champion instead?"
He let out something between an amused scoff and laugh. "Oh, come now Seeker. Do I need to recite the tale of the Warden as well?" he offered, pointing a hand in her direction.
The armour covered woman stopped pacing at that. "No...perhaps I shouldn't be surprised to hear of her involvement," she responded, as she looked at the storyteller.
He shrugged. "I liked my version better too," came his reply, as he lounged in the stone chair, observing her with near bored eyes. She shook her head.
She studied his expression and couldn't help frowning. "What else aren't you telling me, then? Did she send someone with the Champion?" Cassandra demanded to know.
"In a manner of speaking."
"So it's true." she crossed her arms. "But if you tell me they all flew to Kirkwall on a dragon..." she paused. "You never mentioned the Shepherd, where was she during all of this?"
"Dead," he answered simply.
She took a double take on what he said. "But she was there, how... I don't understand."
The dwarf sat back in his seat. "It's a complicated thing. If I tell you know, it will only confuse you," he told her. "To understand the true depth of what I am telling you, you'll have to hear more of the story."
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 hole, 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 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 their ship landed with all the rest.
Unfortunately, the city was locked down. Due to the Blight, there had been a surge in refugees fleeing Ferelden to escape its grasp; the city was being overrun...or so they said anyway. Everyone knows that Fereldens are considered low class.
But, the Champion wasn't one to give up.
After saving the lead guardsman's life, he went and fetched their uncle: Gamlen Amell. The man admitted to having...left out details in the letters he wrote to his sister. The Amells weren't as well off as they had been when Leandra left; so, he simply couldn't use influence to get the family plus Aveline into the city.
However, he's managed to get two..."business" associates to come to the Gallows, who had the coin and connection to grease a few palms to get them into the city. They simply had to meet with them and decide who they wanted to work for. The catch?
They'd have to pay of their debt for a year.
A small price to pay all things considered. They decided to work for Athenril-a woman who specialized in smuggling. Thanks to Hawke, they managed to move up and become the only rival the Coterie.
"And that, was how the Champion and her siblings spent their first year within the City of Chains," Varric finished, as he sat up in his seat.
"Okay, so you gave me the start of the Champion's part of this story." the Seeker sighed, knowing that this was going to be a long one, years and years of material that needed to be covered. "What about the Shepherd?"He adjusted himself in his seat. "This portion of the story, I unfortunately, was not present for. However, I got it from a very good friend...who's very good at information," he informed her, chuckling at the thought.
"So what use is it to me?" The Seeker asked. "For all I know, it might not be the truth."
"Oh, it is the truth. This particular friend of mine only deals with the facts," the dwarf assured her, an amused smirk playing on his lips just thinking about this particular friend.
A/N: Another Dragon Age X Mass Effect crossover in the works, if you made it to the end of this chapter. We thank you.
This story is being written between me and my friend, OffMyLeash.
The first few chapters will be retellings of the respective games until we get to a proper crossover. There is a list of warnings that will come with time. Also to keep personalities apart. I solely write Commander Shepard and OffMyLeash solely writes Hawke.