A blood mage who escapes from the Circle proves his worth to the Grey Wardens.
Fanfiction, based on the videogame Dragon Age: Origins.
“Every mage can feel the dark lure of blood magic. Originally learned from demons, these dark rites tap into the power of blood, converting life into mana and giving the mage command over the minds of others. Such power comes with a price, though; a blood mage must sacrifice his own blood, or the blood of others, to fuel these abilities.”
So said the words I had read in one of the ancient tomes I found within the Tower of the Circle of Magi. Having spent my entire life there studying to become a better mage, I had always wanted to explore it, to learn what secrets it held. Blood magic was one of those secrets.
But the Circle doesn’t exactly look kindly on blood magic. They almost willingly swallow what the Divine Chantry says about it: that it is evil, and eventually leads to corruption. True enough in most cases, but not my own. I did some investigating and found out that someone had discovered my pursuits of the forbidden arcane. It was decided I would be made tranquil, a process in which a mage is rendered completely emotionless, without feelings, dreams, or any kind of independent thought. Being a person who favours independent thought, I decided to flee the prison that I had been kept in all my life. After stealing a map of Ferelden, I made my escape.
I would be pursued, however. The Templars, men and women who guard the mages at the tower, were certain to be following me, thanks to a special item the Circle likes to keep called a phylactery. It’s a vial of a mage’s blood that lets them track down rogue mages wherever they may be. Every mage has a phylactery. I was on my way to Denerim, the capital of Ferelden, in the hopes of finding mine and destroying it. Being nothing more than mage hunters, the Templars possessed abilities that could allow them to nullify a mage’s powers, making him vulnerable.
I sat by the fire in the small camp I had set up for the night. I was clad in a red and black robe, with metal greaves, bracers, pauldrons, chest guard, and a black cloak that was red on the inside. For weapons, I carried my staff, as well as an enchanted sword I stole from the depths of the tower. Due to my need to travel as fast as possible, my weapons, clothing and armour were the only things I carried with me. The hood of my cloak was pulled up, concealing my face.
I sat by the fire in anticipation, sharpening the sword, which I had dubbed “Spellweaver.” I could hear their footsteps in the distance, and they soon stepped out of the shadows. Five Templars, fully dressed in silver armour. The one standing in front approached me, stopping a few feet away. He waved his hand, and it emitted a silver and blue light.
“Your powers are useless now, mage,” he said to me. “You stand no chance in a fight against us. Come willingly, and you may be shown mercy.” I simply kept sharpening the sword, keeping my eyes focused on the blade.
“You may have nullified my magic, but, as you can see,” I said, gesturing towards the sword, “I am not without means of defending myself.”
“A single mage, clad in nothing but robes and a few pieces of cheap armour, with a stolen sword,” the leader said. “Against five Templars in full plate armour, also armed with swords. Any fight between us would be rather one-sided.” All the while, the Templar in the back did not notice the dagger that silently slipped out of its sheath on his belt and floated away.
“Perhaps,” I said to him, still focusing on the sword. Not looking at him, I said to him:
“Ever heard the old saying, don’t count your chickens before they hatch?”
“Anyone above the age of six has heard that,” the Templar said, seemingly annoyed.
“The same is true for combat. You cannot expect to defeat your enemy unless you understand him completely, until you know every trick that he has up his sleeve. A victory by any other means is pure luck.”
“What kind of trick could you possibly have? Your powers are useless!” Suddenly the Templar in the back said something.
“Where’s my dagger?” he said, looking down at the empty sheath. The eyes of the Templars were drawn towards the fire, where the dagger sat, floating in mid-air.
“Right here,” I said to him. With that, the dagger flew towards the Templar whom it belonged to, into the eye slot on his helmet. Blood came out of the slot, and he fell to the ground, dead. The Templars drew their swords and faced me.
“How did you do that?” one of them asked.
“The same way I did this,” I said to him. I snapped my fingers, and a bursting sound came from the Templar that asked the question. He fell to the ground. His helmet fell off, revealing a headless body. A few feet away, blood, bone, and brain matter poured out of the helmet.
The remaining three stood their ground. Although I could not see it, because of their helmets, I knew there was fear in their faces.
“You did not think I would be so stupid as to run from the Tower without first learning how to counteract your abilities, did you?” I asked.
“What?” the leader asked.
“I’ve made myself immune to your powers,” I said to him. “Your arrogance has betrayed your overall weakness.”
One of the Templars let out a yell and charged forward. He swung at me with his sword, but I merely grabbed the blade in mid-swing. Thanks to a magical shield, the blade didn’t cut through my hand. I cast the blade aside and grabbed him by the throat, lifting him up. I stabbed him in the gut with my own sword; it went through his armour like a knife through butter, thanks to the enchantment. I threw his body across several yards, allowing it to slam into a tree.
Another Templar came at me. He swung wildly, trying to butcher me, but I deflected every blow, until I parried and severed his sword arm. He screamed in pain, and I ripped off his helmet. I grabbed his face, burning an imprint into it, and I pushed him aside. He stumbled for a few yards until his entire body exploded into a mess of blood.
Only the leader remained. I faced him.
“You’ve become evil!” he yelled at me. “You are a scourge of this land! You must be destroyed.” He raised his sword, but stopped when it crumbled to dust.
“Allow me to congratulate you on a sincere effort,” I said. “But know this; you believe that blood magic will always (eventually) lead to corruption, out of a mage’s desire to become stronger. However, what you fail to realize is that if a mage allows himself to become corrupted by the art he is studying, he is only revealing himself to be weak.
“I do not use blood magic for the sake of becoming stronger; I am already strong, strong enough that I can prevent myself from becoming corrupted by the arcane art that I study, and strong enough that the kind of men who are trained to kill me cannot do so. I study and use blood magic for the sake of knowledge, for the sake of a more complete understanding of the arcane. I do not intend, in any way, to use it for evil.”
“You just murdered four Templars!” he said.
“Out of self-defence,” I said. “You claimed to be giving me a chance to surrender, but we both know that you and your companions would have liked nothing better than to spill my blood and mount my head on a pike. For the sake of pity, I will spare you. But know this,” I said this as I walked up to him.
“You and the rest of your Order have no idea what you are dealing with,” I said to him.
“Consider it a warning.” I threw him to the ground, and walked towards the fire. I waved my hand towards it, and it went out, leaving the place in darkness. Not caring for what would befall the Templar, I continued towards Denerim.