A/N: I have been talking about this one for a while now, and now it is time to get it started. This will be a Male Hawke/ Isabela story. It is a follow up to my story Dragon Age: Love and Legacy, and The Grey Trilogyif you have not read them, you might not understand some of the things that are happening, especially involving Bethany. Well without further ado, I present A Champion and His Queen!
Dragon Age: A Champion and his Queen.
Chapter 1: Seventeen Years Ago
The waves lapped gently against the shores of Rivain. The yellow sand and dark brown rocks jotted the coast, gulls screamed overhead as the sun sunk like an orange ball beneath the horizon.
Two figures stood on the sand, a man and his young daughter. He was tall broad shouldered with dark skin and raven hair; his eyes were golden and flashed dangerously when in combat. The little girl had his eyes, but took more after her mother, a fact that the man thanked the maker for. She would be a beauty one day, like her Mother.
The man frowned.
This is why he trained her, beauty was both a gift and a curse this close to Tevinter. Slave hunters were always on the look out for young girls to drag back to the imperium.
His daughter would be prepared, he thought…
She will never be easy prey.
The man watched patiently as the girl performed the dance of blades, the moves and training sequences that had made him a celebrity in the arenas of his homeland. He had been teaching her these sequences since she was eight, now four years later, her muscles performed the moves flawlessly.
The man could not be more proud.
His name was well known throughout Rivain, he was one of the finest knife-fighters in the north. He had grown up poor, and had been forced to survive by his wits. He learned what he could where he could, and over time his fame had grew. The dueling rings in Rivain were always packed when he fought, people eager to bet on him, or pay to watch him lose.
The fighter did not lose very often.
Twelve years ago he had taken a wife. When she had come with child he had been ecstatic. A son, he thought, a son to pass on his skills to, a person to carry on his legacy.
The Maker it seemed had a strange sense of humor. He blessed the fighter and his wife with a daughter.
The man had been disappointed, at least until he had held the babe in his arms. His heart had broken with love when he had stared down into those golden eyes…
She had been born with his eyes.
He had dotted on her, he knew that, she began to follow him around where ever he went. She was definitely a daddy's girl, and worshipped the ground he walked on. At first he had been hesitant when she showed interest in the dueling arts, but her persistence had worn him down.
She took to the blades like a duck takes to water, she learned fast, and absorbed his knowledge far quicker than he would have expected.
She had surprised him, he would admit that. She was faster than he was, and was not above playing dirty to get the job done.
Have honor my dear, he had taught her, but prepared to put it aside if you must. The dead have no use for honor, and I intend to keep you alive.
Thedas was a dangerous place; he intended to see his little girl prepared.
She finished the sequences, her eyes blazed with excitement, she could see the pleasure radiating off of him.
She had been flawless; he had not had to correct her once…not once.
"Very good," Father said smiling, "very good indeed."
"Do you have anything else for me to study Papa," she said gamely, "a new sequence, more footwork?"
The old fighter chuckled.
"You have passed beyond the need for my training sequences," he informed her, "You changed sequences three times during the dance, and you did it flawlessly," the man's grin widened. "Any opponent you face will be hard pressed to keep up with you."
The girl beamed, bathing in her Father's praise.
"Can I go to the arena with you Papa?" she asked, "I would like to test my skills against a real opponent."
The old fighter grimaced.
"Please Papa;" the girl said excitedly, "Can I go with you to the Arena?"
The man sighed.
He knew this question would come up soon.
He had feared it.
His daughter was still innocent of the ways of the world. He had done his best to shield her from the ugly realities of life here in Rivain. The coin he earned kept his family well fed, and his reputation protected his wife and daughter.
In the arena, his daughter would stand alone. It was a hard road to walk, it could lead to fame and fortune, but it also stole something from you…something precious.
Perhaps he loved her too much, but that was the way he had felt.
He was not ready to see the light fade from his daughter's eyes just yet…not yet.
She had her whole life to be an adult, let her be a child for a while longer…
…let her be innocent for a while longer.
"Soon enough my dear," he promised.
Her face fell slightly.
Her Father chuckled.
"Let us return home," he said placing a hand around her slender shoulders, "You have done well today. One day I suspect you will be known as the sharpest blade in Rivain."
The girl grinned, his denial of her momentarily forgotten.
"No one will even be better than you Papa," she said, "No one!"
The old fighter grinned.
Few things in this life could truly make him smile, his wife was one…
…his little girl the other.
One day he would lose her, he accepted that, a man would come into her life, and she would forget her worship of him and turn to someone new.
It was a bitter draught that…but one every Father had to accept.
He was pleased to know that he would not have to fear for her. The skills he had given his daughter would make her a predator, never prey. He had seen too many young girls beaten to death by drunken louts.
His daughter would never suffer that fate.
He pitied the man who tried to hurt her.
The two walked across the sand, hand in hand. He smiled down proudly at her.
She looked happily up at him, some of that faded when she saw how serious he looked.
She tried to cheer him up.
"I love you Papa," she said.
Her Father smiled.
"And I love you my Naishe," he said proudly, "Never forget that."
And the girl who would one day become Isabela, the Pirate Queen of the Eastern Sea never did.
A cold winter wind blasted the village of Lothering. The wind keened like a wailing child, shaking the trees.
Malcolm Hawke, apostate, mercenary, and now a farmer, stood in the bottom of a rock quarry with is eldest son.
Garrett Hawke looked very much like his father. The chasind blood of their forebears darkened both their skin, their dark brown hair though cut short was always unruly, and the same golden brown eyes stared curiously out at the world.
He wished that his son had only inherited his looks, alas that was not so.
Like Malcolm, Garrett possessed the gift of magic, or as some would call it the curse of magic.
Malcolm intended that his son never see it that way. Magic was a part of them.
It was nothing to be ashamed of.
"Focus son," he whispered.
The boy gritted his teeth, and furrowed his brow. He whispered the ancient words as mages had whispered them the earliest days of magic.
Fire flickered in the twelve year Old's hand.
Two weeks ago he had caught his son putting his hand in one of candles. He had been frightened at first, but quickly noticed that the boy felt no pain. The fire burned in his hand without any ill effect.
His wife Leandra had gasped, she knew what this meant.
Garrett had magic in his blood.
Leandra's reaction had scared the boy. The fire in his hand rose, threatening to consume their farm.
Malcolm used a calming spell on his son. He smiled and tried his best to console the boy.
"You are not a freak or a monster lad," he had said, "You are gifted, special, that is all…just like I am. I will teach you to control this gift. You have my word, bit you must not fear it. Fear will destroy you if you let it."
Garrett had nodded, and hugged his Father, much as he had done when he was small.
Malcolm welcomed it, he was proud of his son's strength.
Malcolm gave his wife a knowing look. He knew she was frightened, but she had to be supportive for the boy's sake. As an apostate, Malcolm had always feared being taken by the Templars, dragged back to the tower, or killed.
Now Garrett also would also face that fate. He would need to be clever if he wanted to survive, but it was possible. Malcolm was proof of that.
Garrett was his Father's son, he could do it to.
Bethany and Carver, Garrett's twin siblings had dealt with the news in their own way. Bethany had apologized with tears in her brown eyes. She had always feared losing Father to the circle, now she would worry about Garrett too. Carver had grumbled that it was not so special, and went back to his reading. That night at dinner, Mal had caught Carver glaring at the candle flame, trying to manipulate it with his mind.
The flame did not even flicker.
Mal was grateful for that.
Carver was always competing with his brother; Bethany kept them from coming to blows, but…
This was one thing that Mal hoped that Carver and Bethany did not inherit from him.
The twins were only eight, if they had magic, it would not manifest for another few years. Malcolm prayed that it never did, magic was a fearful gift. He would train Garrett, but he would see the twins spared that life.
The life of an apostate was never easy.
Garrett felt the flames rise around him, the air shimmered with heat.
The feeling, the sensation…it was hypnotic.
Light danced off the stones of the abandoned rock quarry. Malcolm stood back, watching his son cast his first spell.
Garrett was intent to impress his Father.
He wanted to show him just how powerful he was.
"Easy," his father called out, "Don't let it burn out of control."
The boy gritted his teeth. He closed his eyes and tried to reign the flames back in.
Magic roared through him, he thought he could hear voices whispering in the back of his mind.
Do not listen to them, his father had warned, they are the voices of the fade, liars…they will trick you every time.
Garrett obeyed; he trusted his Father's wisdom.
In this…Father knew best.
Malcolm had been so busy watching over his son, that he did not see the giant spider scuttling out of the shadows.
The attack came seconds later.
The spider lunged at Malcolm. He tried to cast a spell but one of the spider's fangs sank into his forearm.
Malcolm had always warned them about the giant spiders that lived around Lothering. The venom made the mage woozy, but not incoherent, his arm was paralyzed, and the rest of him would soon follow.
His only thought was for his son.
"RUN RETT!" he cried, "RUN!"
The boy turned the flames blazed wildly around him.
No…not my Father!
"Get away from him!" the boy howled at the beast.
The spider did not acknowledge him, so lost in consuming its prey.
Garrett Hawke lashed out with his magic. A jet of flame struck the spider, it squealed and fell away.
Malcolm whispered a healing spell; it pushed back the spider's venom.
The beast was maddened with pain. Its black beady eyes glared at the boy in fury.
It tried to leap.
Garrett thrust his hand forward.
The spider exploded.
Garrett grinned; this victory only awakened his hunger.
He wanted more.
An inferno consumed the quarry.
Malcolm raised a shield to keep from being consumed.
His son was losing control, become lost in the magic.
He would not allow that!
"Rett calm down," he shouted, "It is over lad, calm down!"
Magic turned the boy's brown eyes red with power.
He did not hear his Father's words, only the power coursing through his veins.
Power and fury!
Garrett was lost in the magic, it was…intoxicating!
He never wanted to stop!
The power…it was so great…I feel…
I FEEL LIKE A GOD!
A cold wind nearly knocked him down; he tried to summon more flames to no avail.
The cold intensified.
Who would dare!?
Father stood stern faced before him; he summoned the winter cold down on the quarry, drowning his son's flames.
"You will stop Rett," Father shouted over the wind.
"YOU WILL STOP NOW!"
"No!" the boy growled.
Father raised his hands. Winds knifed into Garrett.
He gasped at the sheer force of it.
The cold blew the boy off his feet, the magic fled, leaving his cold and shivering.
He looked up at his father; the cold stern look on his face shook the boy out of his daze.
"Yes you will." Father said coldly.
Garrett blinked, his mind coming back to him.
He had…he had almost…
He looked at his Father, he…he felt so…ashamed.
"Father," he whispered, "I…I am sorry! I did not mean to…"
Tears came to the boy's eyes, tears of fear and regret.
Malcolm took his son into his arms.
He held the boy, just letting him cry, letting him mourn the innocence that he had shed today.
"It is okay," Father whispered, "It will be okay."
But Garrett knew better.
It would never be okay again.
Malcolm and Garrett returned home quickly. It was likely that the light of those flames had been seen in Lothering.
The mage wanted to be far away from that Quarry, should any Templars come to investigate.
They had left no evidence of who had been there, and the winds would erase any evidence.
Still they would have to be watchful for a few weeks.
If the Templars became suspicious, they would need to move…again.
The apostate sighed; he hoped that would not happen.
They were just starting to make a home here.
He looked down at his son; Garrett had said nothing since leaving the quarry, too lost in thought.
Malcolm's mouth was a grim line; the next few months would not be easy for the boy, not easy at all.
He would say nothing of the spider attack to Leandra, or how Garrett had dealt with it.
As far as he was concerned the matter was closed.
The mage shook his head.
His son was strong, but with power came temptation. Garrett would have to learn more than just the basics of magic.
He would need to learn what to fight for.
Mal looked down on the boy; he gave him a sheepish look.
"I'm sorry I bawled like a baby," the boy winced, "You must be ashamed of me."
Malcolm gave him an understanding look.
"I would only be ashamed if you had not stopped," he said, "Remember Rett: Magic is to serve and not rule over, we cannot let our power rule us, and we must use it to serve what is best in us…"
"Not what is most base," the boy said finishing his father's old motto.
"So you have been listening," the older man said dryly.
The boy snickered.
"Only a little," he replied.
Malcolm laughed then, as first magic lessons went, this one was not bad, not great, but not bad.
Garrett looked up at is father, all joking gone from his eyes.
"I have a lot to learn," he said.
Malcolm smiled slightly, pleased that his son understood the seriousness of what had happened tonight.
"Yes, you do," he agreed.
It was the boy's first lesson in magic, and Garrett Hawke, one day the Champion of Kirkwall, would never forget it.
A/N: So what did you think? Next chapter we jump into modern Kirkwall, and catch up with Garrett and Isabela. See you all next time!