Victory and the Aftermath

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Victory and the Aftermath

Post  Furiae on Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:24 am

(This is a fic about the events that occur between the death of the archdemon and Alistair's coronation, with a human noble PC. Alistair leads a party to the top of Fort Drakon's tower to search for survivors--in particular, his fiancee. Hope you enjoy!)



Blinding light shot across the sky. A booming explosion roared from the tower’s direction. The darkspawn understood that their leader had fallen, and they faltered immediately and began their retreat. As the horde fell back, the forces of Ferelden knew that victory was theirs. The lady Warden had slain the archdemon.

A silence fell upon the fighters…then, the thunderous roar erupted. Swords beat upon shields and elf, dwarf, human, and mage alike all broke into great cheer. Among the crowd, only one did not smile. The Ferelden king stood still, his face crestfallen.

“Elissa…” he murmured the name of his fellow Warden.

“Sire?” an officer called to him, awaiting instruction now that the darkspawn cleared the streets.

Alistair’s head snapped toward his people, and with newfound authority shouted, “We enter the tower, lieutenant!”

“Yes, sire!”

“We will flush out the remaining darkspawn from the fort, and those who remain here will dispatch of them. Alert Bann Teagan that he is in charge here, and find the bard Leliana to accompany us. We will need her skills to dispatch of what traps remain in Drakon,” instructed Alistair as he looked up at the tower. “And a healer. We will need a healer.”

Wynne approached the king. “I will go,” she said, her voice grim.

***

As Alistair led the ascent toward the tower’s top with his companions, he recalled the previous night. He bedded Morrigan at his love’s behest in a ritual that was supposed to save them today. But what if the ritual failed? I should have stayed with her last night. I will never forgive myself if… he thought ruefully. I should have been with her last night, and I should have stood by her today.

The king’s company could not advance as quickly as they wished through the fort. Traps aplenty remained. And while Alistair knew that Leliana’s deft skills were unmatched in Ferelden and that she disabled the remaining traps far faster than anybody else could, he still felt frustration at the delay. The darkspawn left Fort Drakon a mess, and weeks would pass before the fort could be considered safe once again. As they ascended further up the tower, they began to find Ferelden survivors. They were shocked to find Sandal, covered in blood but unable to account for his father.

“They tried to scavenge, but stayed too long and met the darkspawn,” Wynne noted as she wiped clean Sandal’s face, whose expression was one of delight.

“Enchantment?” the dwarf asked.

“Lyrium addled, I’m sure of it,” Wynne sighed.

“We’ll fetch him on the way back,” Alistair said. Sandal’s father was likely dead, and he did not need to think of dead friends, especially when nobody knew what awaited them at the top. “He’ll be fine.”

The king led his companions further up the tower, past the darkspawn corpses and undead remains. When finally they arrived at the top, they emerged into the open air and saw the bodies of darkspawn and allies alike spread out before them. Alistair looked for and soon found the remains of the archdemon—a behemoth. He motioned for his people to follow him with a gesture of his hand and he rushed toward the site of the beast’s felling.

Panic crept over Alistair the closer he got to the archdemon. Elissa would not be far. Frantically, he looked for her. Finally, he saw the stirring of movement toward the head of the slain god. As he got closer, he saw the familiar stripes of a mabari. The dog stood firm in an aggressive stance, and, in the space between its legs, Alistair could see the dusty blonde hair of his friend lying behind the hound.

Alistair stepped closer, and the mabari growled threateningly. We’re covered in darkspawn stench, Alistair thought, and he can’t recognize us.

“It’s me, boy—remember me? You liked chewing my shoes?” said Alistair to the dog.

The mabari relaxed its stance instantly and limped toward Alistair, whining desperately at his mistress’s friend.

“I know, boy,” replied the king. “We’re here to help.”

Alistair and Wynne each knelt beside one side of Elissa. Wynne touched her face. “She’s alive!”

Leliana and Alistair exhaled loudly in relief.

“Barely, though,” Wynne noted. “These injuries require immediate attention. We need to take this armor off.”

Alistair immediately began to remove her breastplate. Leliana ran off and returned with a fallen flag, which she folded quickly and slipped gently under Elissa’s head.

“Please, my dearest friend, stay with us,” Leliana whispered as she brushed the hair from Elissa’s forehead.

Wynne worked quickly, moving from wound to wound efficiently and with great determination. Alistair applied the bandages after Wynne, and Leliana prayed softly. And although only minutes of time had transpired, the time that passed felt tortuous and long.

“My Maker, know my heart,” Leliana continued to pray. “…lift me from a world of pain, judge me worthy of Your endless pride…”

“Le…li…?” croaked Elissa.

“She speaks!” gasped Leliana.

Wynne immediately turned her attention to Elissa’s eyes. She lifted the young Warden’s eyelids and studied her pupils. “She may have suffered injury to the head. I’ve healed what I can up here, but we need to take her to the other spirit healers immediately, or she may not wake otherwise.”

Without further prompting, Alistair immediately removed his breastplate and gauntlets, and gently lifted Elissa off the floor.

“Wynne and I will retrace our steps back to the bottom. Leliana, go ahead of us and lead more help back to aid the survivors up here,” said Alistair, eager to leave with his beloved. “Lieutenant, stay here and await Leliana’s return.”

***

When Alistair returned with Elissa lying seemingly lifelessly in his arms, great alarm spread amongst everybody at the tower’s base. The mages immediately constructed a healing circle, and the remaining stores of lyrium were brought out. Alistair left her side unwillingly, but he knew that he was needed elsewhere to deal with the aftermath of the battle.

That night, the Dalish patrolled the outskirts of Denerim for darkspawn stragglers while the Ferelden forces rested safely within the city walls. The healers attending to Elissa labored throughout the night, and, by daybreak the next day, they finally broke their circle.

Alistair did not sleep. He stayed awake, eagerly awaiting any news from the spirit healers, and when the mages’ messenger interrupted a meeting between the king and his advisors to announce “she is awake,” Alistair finally smiled.

Teagan, present at the meeting, patted the king’s back. “Go to her.”

***

Elissa sat up in her bed, propped up by pillows behind her. Her hair had been cropped short by the healers, and her shorn head was wrapped in a neat bandage. Attendants had bathed her and dressed her in a simple, white dress. She looked nothing like herself, but Alistair recognized her immediately. He knew that long neck. He knew that figure. Even the shape of her nose and chin—he knew those well.

When he approached, she turned and looked at him. He met her gaze, lovely as ever, and sighed. “You are beauty, come to hold the darkness at bay.”

She smiled, and her eyes lit up. “Did you think of that yourself?”

Alistair laughed. “I was so afraid that I had lost you,” he said as he sat by her side. He took Elissa’s hand in his and caressed the back of it gently. “Dear lady, you are my light.”

“As you are mine,” she responded softly. She lifted her hand to touch the side of Alistair’s face, and he pressed his cheek against her palm.

“So, now that I am king, will you do what I say for a change?”

“Don’t forget who put you there.”

Alistair laughed again. “I’m sure that I won’t be the first monarch who finds himself at the complete mercy of his wife.”

He rested his head on her lap, against the soft white fabric of her dress. Elissa gazed down lovingly at the king. She slid her slender fingers through his hair and caressed his face, her fingertips trailing softly across the rough stubble of his chin. Alistair shut his eyes and sighed, content, and that night, the nightmares did not come.


Last edited by Furiae on Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added italics that didn't survive the import from Word =))

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Re: Victory and the Aftermath

Post  Odie on Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:05 am

I really like it! Though, Alistair is going to be sore in the morning, if he sleeps kneeling like that Wink


Last edited by Odie on Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Victory and the Aftermath

Post  Furiae on Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:10 am

Don't worry--the PC will wake him up at some point. "Uh, honey? Wake up. You're cutting off the circulation to my leg."

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