Chapter 4Mature

            Within a few days, I came to Denerim. Much was going on in the city at this time. King Maric Theirin had recently died, and his son, Cailan, was to take the throne. Many of the nobles were to swear oaths of fealty to Cailan, including Loghain Mac Tir, Teyrn of Gwaren, and Maric’s best friend. Such things did not concern me though, as I was not one to share the belief that respect comes automatically due to someone’s bloodline.

            My objective was the Chantry here in Denerim. I had to infiltrate the basement, find my phylactery, destroy it, and sneak back out before anyone was the wiser. Then, I would disappear.

            I pulled my hood over my head, and hid my sword beneath my cloak, in order to appear as a travelling monk. Not that people gave much notice to me.

            I made my way towards the Market District. I took a shortcut through some back allies. The places were dark and filthy, but I didn’t care.

            I was walking down a particularly dark alley, when I heard a rustle behind me. I turned around to see a knife fly at me. I dodged the knife and grabbed the hand that was holding it, pulling out a dirty looking elf. I threw him to the ground and pressed the knife to his throat.

            “And just what were you hoping to accomplish?” I said to him. He looked very frightened.

            “I didn’t think you’d catch me,” he said. “Please, don’t kill me!”

            “And why shouldn’t I?”

            “I just wanted any coins you might be carrying. You don’t know what it’s like living in the Alienage.” The Elven Alienage was a section of Denerim where the elves were forced to live, as second-class citizens, walled off from the rest of society. Poverty and disease were abundant there.

            “As disgusted I am with what the city does to your people,” I said to him. “It does not give you the right to randomly murder someone. At least have some decency and pick someone who you know is a bigot or a zealot; nobody will miss them in that case.”

            “Please, don’t kill me,” he begged. “I have a family to look after.”

            “And what would your children think if they know you spilled blood to get those coins?” I asked. The elf said nothing. I threw away the dagger and continued on my way, leaving the elf where he was.


            I soon reached the Market District of Denerim. Many stands and shops were set up all over. The place was bustling with people. Not far off, I found my goal: the Chantry. Two Templars stood at the gates, while two sisters preached outside. I walked in through the doors.

            The inside was set up like a standard Chantry; pews, murals, statues, and the like. None of them were my concern, however.

            I slipped into a corner of the room where I could not be seen, and cast an invisibility spell on myself. I then made my way towards the back of the building.

            I found a locked door, to what must be the basement. I magically unlocked it, stepped through, and locked it again. I descended down a staircase into the basement.

            There was nothing spectacular about the place; a few boxes and crates here and there. However, another door stood down the hallway. An arcane character was emblazoned on the door: this was it.

            The door was locked by several locks, of course. I waved my hand and tried to magically open it. To my surprise, it didn’t work. I tried again, but still no success. It was only after a third try that I realized it; an anti-magical ward. What better way to keep mages out then to prevent the use of their power?

            Of course, what the Chantry foolishly does not realize, is that not every mage is entirely dependent on his powers all of the time. Ruffling through my pockets, I took out a skeleton key. I had made it myself, guided by the instruction of a friend at the Circle Tower.

            It took a few minutes of fidgeting, but I managed to open the locks. Inside was a shelved room, lined with vials of mages’ blood.

            I focused with all my energy on the blood that surrounded me, and projected my consciousness outward. I searched the shelves, until I found a vial that seemed to connect with my consciousness. I regained myself, and walked towards the vial. I picked it up in my hand, holding it for a second. To think, this little thing was the only thing separating me from freedom and imprisonment, or death.

            I casually let the vial fall to the ground. It shattered, and my blood that was inside it splattered on the floor.

            I turned around to leave, but stopped. I turned towards the blood that lay splattered on the floor; my blood.

            I waved my hand towards it, and the blood collected itself in a pool that hovered in the air. I drew it in, and absorbed it. I figured I might as well reclaim what was mine.

            I went up the staircase and back into the Chantry. I went into the same corner and brought down the invisibility spell, then casually exited the Chantry.

            Finally, I was free. I supposed I would have to decide what to do with my life. I always wanted to travel to Tevinter; the mages there have the largest collection of arcane knowledge in Thedas. Again, however, my thoughts were interrupted.

            “Halt!” a voice sounded behind me. I turned around. A dozen Templars stood grouped together, weapons drawn.

            “By order of the Divine Chantry, you are under arrest,” he said. “Surrender now and you may be shown mercy.”

            “I take it you didn’t hear about the other Templars I killed,” I said. “It would be wise not to repeat their mistake.”

            Not backing down, the Templars readied their weapons. My hand gripped Spellweaver’s hilt, when suddenly another voice interrupted.

            “Stop!” it commanded. I turned around to see a man dressed in light metal armour that covered him from neck to toe. He wore long black hair pulled back into a ponytail, a full beard, a dark complexion, and an ear piercing.

            “Who are you and what do you want?” one of the Templars asked.

            “My name is Duncan,” he said. “I am commander of the Grey Wardens in Ferelden.”

            “A Grey Warden?” I asked. “What are you doing here?”

            “Strolling through, as it were,” said Duncan. “When I heard the commotion.”

            “Grey Warden or no, be gone,” said the Templar. “There’s nothing for you here.”

            “Oh, but there is,” said Duncan. “If this mage is indeed as strong as he claims, he may be of use to the Grey Wardens.” I was somewhat puzzled by the statement.

            “Me?” I asked. “A Grey Warden?”

            “Indeed,” said Duncan. “If you prove yourself worthy.”

            “He is a maleficar!” said the Templar. “He is to be punished!”

            “He’s right,” I said to Duncan.

            “All are welcome among our ranks; harlots, kingslayers, common bandits, blood mages. Anyone with the skill and strength to stand against the darkspawn.”

            “Because you aren’t prejudiced?” I asked. “Or because you’re desperate for recruits?”

            “I won’t lie; it’s a bit of both,” Duncan said.

            “He will not become a Grey Warden!” said the Templar. “He must face justice for his crimes!”

            “What the hell do you people know about justice?” I responded.

            “Enough of this,” said Duncan. He addressed the Templars. “If you will not willingly let him come with me, then I will invoke the Right of Conscription.”

            “Very well then,” said the Templar. “He’s yours. But he must return that sword. It is stolen property.” I took the sword off of my belt and threw it at the feet of the Templar. He stooped over to pick it up, and with that, the Templars walked back into the Chantry.

            “Thanks,” I said to Duncan. “I don’t think I would have enjoyed spilling more blood.” I said this more out of a sense of contempt than regret.

            “You're welcome,” said Duncan.”

            “So,” I said. “How exactly am I to prove myself?”

            “In battle,” said Duncan. “We have heard reports that a band of darkspawn has been prowling the Korcari Wilds. We will go there and kill them. You will take a vial of blood from one of them. That will be needed for your Joining Ritual.”

            “Blood?” I asked. “Let me guess, I have do something stupid, like, drink it?”

            Duncan kept a straight face.

            “Oh,” I said. “Oh dear, you’re serious.”

            “Come,” said Duncan. “Let us gather supplies for our journey.”

            “Ugh,” I said. “What have I gotten myself into?”

The End

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