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Author Topic: [Dragon Age] To The End  (Read 2933 times)

Offline Estrea

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[Dragon Age] To The End
« on: January 27, 2010, 09:43:39 PM »
I've been playing too much Dragon Age, so I ended up writing this. Don't read it unless you want spoilers for the end of the game. XD

Pairing implied is Fem!Cousland/Leliana, but it isn't mentioned much here. Focus is more on the Warden's BFF relationship with Sten. XD

Anyway, enjoy.

Oh and final warning. SPOILERS AHEAD. Yeah. XD


Before the Battle

A soft rustle behind him was all it took for Sten of the Qunari to leap to his feet, his broad hands feeling and finding the familiar hilt of his broadsword, the Asala. The feeling of completion came in a rush with the reassuring weight, and he whirled around in readiness. Despite being in an encampment surrounded by a friendly army, he did not relax. A soldier of the Beresaad could not be caught unaware; he had learned the lesson the hard way, when he lost his sword for the first time. He would not be so surprised again.

It was the Warden, her face grim and preoccupied. Sten lowered his sword, nodding a greeting to the leader. He was fairly sure that his watch was not yet over, not that it mattered who was going to take over later, since they would be breaking camp soon enough for the final surge on to the city of Denerim. He had volunteered for this final watch, needing to sharpen his battle senses before the climatic battle with the darkspawn horde and the archdemon.

"Shanedan, Sten." The syllables slipped past her lips with the faintest trace of an accent, and Sten did not hide his smile at the familiar words. The kadan had learned some few words of his language, and he approved of it. Perhaps the Warden could yet be brought around to the teachings of the Qun.

"Kadan." His acknowledgement was simple, and she nodded, moving to stand beside him as they faced the blighted landscape. The darkspawn horde had moved past this area, and it showed in the tainted ground.

The city of Denerim was burning in the distance, lighting the horizon over the hill. Every soldier had seen the signs, and tension rippled through the camp. The motley crew of adventurers led by the Warden showed no outward sign of their inner state, and Sten approved of the discipline. They were all battle-hardened individuals, and would prove a worthy match to any one of the Beresaad.

"We will kill the archdemon today." Sten turned his attention to the short human woman, her arms folded as she stared at the horizon.

"You will stand at my side."

Sten inclined his head briefly, acknowledging the command, though he still watched the somehow lonely back of his leader. She would not have come out here to the edge of camp simply to tell him something like this, so early in the morning.

"Is there something else you wish to say, kadan?"

Months ago, Sten would not have asked, but the kadan had earned his respect and affection. Were she not outside of the Qun, he would have proudly acknowledged her as a sister, and as things were, she already held a high place in his heart. He waited, giving her the time she needed.

Elena Cousland sighed, the tension easing out of her slightly with the solidly reassuring presence of Sten behind her. The qunari's unwavering attitude was a source of strength to her, and she drew on it now, needing that firm belief to shore up the decision she had made.

"I may not survive the battle with the archdemon, Sten."

The qunari frowned. It was unlike the usually confident woman to say something so deflating. Besides, a warrior should not concern oneself with the prospect of death, merely embracing that it will be there and leaving it aside until the moment itself came. Death was not something to be worried about, not for a warrior. It would distract them too much from what they had to do.

Before he could say anything however, Elena turned to him. Her eyes weary, but he saw the determination there.

“There are three Grey Wardens in Ferelden, and one of us has to die for the archdemon to be destroyed.”

Sten frowned. To him, an enemy could be defeated by killing it, plain and simple. Did not the darkspawn fall from blades and arrows? He had assumed the archdemon to be no different, though perhaps more difficult to kill due to its power and sheer size.

“I do not understand.” He said at last. Elena closed her eyes briefly, before narrating the short version of what Riordan had told her and Alistair. Sten’s eyes narrowed during the account, but otherwise showed no further sign on his face. He could easily grasp the notion of sacrifice for a greater cause, and he could see that the Warden was ready to perform her duty, but yet something else was causing her distress.

“Riordan may yet survive long enough to deliver the final blow, but nothing is certain.” Elena puffed a short breath out. “Alistair will be king, but if Riordan falls before we reach the archdemon, I will be the one who delivers the final blow.”

Sten nodded. “It is your duty, kadan. I would do no less.”

Elena looked up at the stalwart qunari. She had known that he would take the news well, and indeed, he looked on her with a mixture of approval and pride that she would embrace her duty as a Grey Warden so well. He would not grieve until she was dead, and then only to hold the memory of her close to his heart. She was proud to have a friend such as he.

“I have not told Leliana.” She said suddenly, the words slipping out before she could stop them. She needed someone to know that, and she could not tell Alistair. She could not burden him further with the knowledge that she would take the final blow in his stead, and already before she had to beg him not to tell anyone else,  not even their companions, about the price of bringing down the archdemon.

Sten looked on her with sudden understanding. While he could not fully comprehend the relationship between the two women, he respected the fact that they were important to each other. He chalked up another point of respect to the Grey Wardens for the burden they bore, and still more for the woman who stood before him.

“I see. Do you wish for me to tell her?”

“No!” Her response was sharp, the anger in it draining in an instant, almost before the sound had ended. She bowed her head briefly.

“I am sorry, Sten. I simply do not know how to tell her.”

“It seems to me that you do not dare to tell her.”  Sten observed calmly. Elena’s shoulders tensed, before the fight drained out of her shoulders and she sagged visibly.

“How can I tell her that I plan to die? That I rejected the chance Morrigan gave me to live in order to stop the Blight?” The last sentence was bitter. Sten knew that the kadan valued the marsh-witch’s company, and the woman’s sudden departure in the night had come as a surprise to everyone, even himself. Though he was not truly fond of the witch, he could not help but feel disappointed in her absence, after months on the road together. There was no better bond than that forged in battle together, and the betrayal did not sit well with him.

“Simply inform her of the possibility. She should know that death is an end that all warriors eventually face.” His advice was practical as always, and Elena gave a short bark of laughter quite suddenly.

“Do those in the Qun accept death the way you do, Sten?”

“It is how we are taught, kadan. Those who pass on are remembered for what they have done for the Qun, and that alone is enough.”

Elena shook her head in bitter amusement. “If only it were that simple here.” Her smile grew ironic then. “If Riordan does manage to kill the archdemon, perhaps I will convert to the Qun after all. It seems less complicated than what we have to deal with over here.”

Sten smiled then. “The Qun gives us all a place and duty to uphold. It is not ‘easy’ as you would put it, but there is no questioning who we are and what we have to do.”

Elena’s lips quirked into a wry smile. “I seem to recall a conversation on this topic.”

Sten shrugged. “I have never understood why Fereldans feel the need to look for their place in life. Everyone should accept their place and forge the meaning of life in the way they live.”

“Perhaps they do it just to be stubborn. I know I did.” Elena allowed herself a soft smile at the memory of her own subtle rebellion back in the happier days of her childhood, before her face wrinkled again at the problem at hand.

“I suppose I’ll just deal with the problem as it comes. After all, nothing is final until we’re actually right before the archdemon.” She flashed a winning smile, and Sten nodded in return.

“We will cut a path to the archdemon, kadan. We will not fail now.”

Elena turned back to the horizon once more, seeing a vague shadow of an enormous dragon soaring over the highest spires of the city ahead. It would all end today, one way or another. She started suddenly then, as if reminded of something. Turning back to Sten, she clapped a hand to his upper arm, staring up at him.

“It has been an honor fighting with you, Sten of the Beresaad.”

Sten returned the gesture, placing his hand on the smaller woman’s shoulder.

“The honor is mine, kadan.”



Shanedan: Means 'Hello', or literally "I hear you."
Kadan: Someone important to you, literally meaning "center of the chest", close to the heart, so to speak.

The Beresaad is the vanguard of the qunari, the best of their armies. The Qun is the central tenet of the qunari, their religion and value system. Probably the equivalent of the Koran/Torah/Bible. I always rather liked the Qunari philosophy, so practical, although there are parts I personally disagree with. XD Honor and duty are always foremost, and the qunari view themselves as part of a whole rather than an individual. I hope I managed to convey the sense of honor Sten has...he is rather difficult to portray. XD

There probably will be more to come. This is the ending to my previous playthrough (I'm on my third playthrough now :lol: ), though this scene doesn't actually happen, I just kind of filled in the blanks the game doesn't provide. Isn't that what fanfiction is about? :P

Hope you guys like it, if you even read it...


Currently writing:
- Lilium-related things. God save my soul.

On Hold:
- Everything Else. Too many to list.

I'm also on AO3!

Offline Fenrir

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Re: [Dragon Age] To The End
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 06:51:34 AM »

The bond between Sten and the warden is so warm. lol ah Yes, Sten. I somehow gain approval points yet I do not know why. XD Maybe because I'm practical as well. lol

Offline Sancho

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Re: [Dragon Age] To The End
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2010, 11:24:01 AM »
Wow. I never thought someone would make a funfic of this. I really love this game. You seems to like Sten very much. I do always have problems talking to him. Maybe I'm a bit complex. Hehehehee.  But Sten was so cool. From that frightening look has soft heart. Please keep it up

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: [Dragon Age] To The End
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 12:39:02 PM »
Omg, I wasn't expecting a Dragon Age fic to pop up here, of all places, but damn am I glad it was you who authored it. I haven't beaten it yet, but it's my new fav obsession right now. This was good, I liked the 'moment in time' type situation and how Sten was portrayed oh so true to life. Or true to pixels. Whatever, it was a good story.

Offline Estrea

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Re: [Dragon Age] To The End
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2010, 03:33:24 PM »
^Haha I've finished Dragon Age Origins about 5 times now, and am in the middle of the Awakening expansion (and making a right mess of it...). ^^;

I tend to favor dating Leliana, so most of my Wardens somehow end up with her. Hehe. :D It also helps that she's easy to please...


Currently writing:
- Lilium-related things. God save my soul.

On Hold:
- Everything Else. Too many to list.

I'm also on AO3!

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