l was lying in my bed fully wake and alone in my room for once which was rare since nobody felt it was safe to leave me alone. Granted I was injured badly and I really would have a hard time protecting and fighting to defend myself; but, protect myself….I shall. I have to get out of Fort Drakon and get out of Denerim and get back before anyone realizes I’m gone. It was getting harder to keep this ruse up.
I’d been awake plenty of times; I just didn’t want my companions to know. I especially didn’t want to let Alistair know. I wanted so badly to lash out at him. He didn’t make it easy on me coming everyday to see me and keeping his concerned imagine up. I know one thing, I’m very angry with him. It was going to take time to get over his betrayal. I would always love him; but, for now I had to move on. If someone would have told me this a month ago I would have told them they were crazy — Alistair loved me as much as I loved him. Well I’ve had been wrong before, it doesn’t lessen the hurt in knowing all of this. There is nothing that I can do about it; he doesn’t want a relationship with me. I have no choice except to accept this.
I don’t want to give him the excuse for him to marry me just because I’m with child. If he doesn’t really love me then what is the point in spending our lives together being miserable. I’d seen too many marriages in my short life such as Cailan’s and Anora’s that I knew this is something that I didn’t want for myself. Loghain had been a prime example of this if the rumors had been true that he hadn’t loved his wife either. I’d never realized how lucky my own parents had been to find love with each other, the same for Fergus and Oriana too. I wanted this for myself, how was this wrong? This was the very reason I wasn’t going to tell Alistair about our child or children.
I’ve already been through a lost love once before and I didn’t think anything would ever hurt as badly as that relationship had ended, or non relationship might be a better term. I’ve certainly been the fool and my actions a few years ago have set me on this path. It was ironic since I’d never taken a shine to the other Bann’s sons that my mother had thrown at me. All of those young men had only wanted me because I was Bryce Cousland’s daughter – for what I could give to them as the daughter of one of the highest nobles in the land besides Cailan at the time. It seemed that Alistair had been the worst of all.
I had disliked Darrien’s remarks to me at Highever that night. He had insinuated that Fergus and I would be in a power struggle over Highever. That was not the case on how my parents wanted things run once they were gone. Fergus was to inherit Highever, which had been my father’s wishes. I had always been the spare so I’d always understood how Alistair might have felt, except he hadn’t been acknowledged and I’d been loved by my parents. I still had to be trained to run Highever just like Fergus, in case something happened to him. I wasn’t going to explain such things to someone like Darrien that night. I was sad that he had died that night even though I hadn’t really liked him. He was just another lower lord’s son and that was all, someone who might have been seeking my hand in marriage. From what I had gathered through the garrison and village gossip, I really didn’t have anything to worry about where he was concerned. I had been lucky that my parents wanted me to marry for love. It seemed to me my life wasn’t meant to work out that way.
If I could go back in time, I would make different decisions, if I’d only known – how my decisions would have brought me to this place in time. Instead, I should have been helping Fergus secure Highever against the blight and I would never have become a Grey Warden. Duncan had tried to help me overcome what had happen and accept my new destiny. Unlike Alistair, I never wanted to become a Grey Warden. The odds were that Alistair and I wouldn’t have met. Cailan wouldn’t be King; he would most certainly be dead. Fate seemed to have decreed it so on his account. My parents might not be dead and Fergus would still have Oriana and Oren.
The weight of that one decision had brought me here…I had paid a heavy price and lost my heart in the process the first time and had it torn out of my chest the second go round. Never again, would I place my faith in a man if I could help myself. It seemed I was now destined to be alone and alone I would be to face what came next.
If only….oh Alistair, I pinned my hopes and dreams on you. You were my knight coming to save this poor maiden in distress, you don’t fully know the whole story and it will be doubtful that you ever will. Cailan saw to it that we saved each other, trust me my love, he had his reasons of which I’m the only person in Ferelden who truly knows why, now that my parents are dead.
I remembered the conversation I’d had with Morrigan and the more I thought on it the more I felt Morrigan had been right. Love is a waste of time. Power and survival seemed to be the only way for a woman alone in the world to make it on her own. I wasn’t an ordinary woman any longer. I’m a Grey Warden. With the power in my blood, I will survive to live another day. I’d never understood what Morrigan had actually meant, now I knew. I’d never had these ideals before but they were becoming harder to ignore given my circumstances. The only man I could count on had been my father and he wasn’t here to protect me any longer. It’s all up to me now. I can’t even tell Fergus without breaking his heart. Right now my brother had enough heart aches. Would Fergus forgive me if he knew the truth? It will be hard to face him if he ever learns of the truth. I so sorry Fergus, if I could change things I would.
Zevran for all of his reputation had been the most honest of all the men who had tried to court me. I had broken Zevran’s heart, which was something I’d never wanted to do. I loved Zevran like my brother. I knew that Zevran was in love with me. I had to be honest with myself regarding him, it wouldn’t be right to use him. I certainly knew and understood how it felt to be used. Zevran was an elf and it just wouldn’t have worked out, never mind the Crows either. I didn’t have anything against elves or dwarves; I just didn’t want to have that type of relationship. Friends yes, lovers…..no. I have to stop this I thought and just get on with it.
I had fallen for Alistair the moment I saw him that first time at Ostagar, and I thought he felt the same as our relationship progressed. He had charmed me from the start. Wynne had been right; I should never have gotten involved with the son of a King. I should have known better, my parents taught me better than that. I had made him King and lost everything. How could he do this to us? What was the use, it’s over and I have to get on with whatever comes next.
What Alistair didn’t know was that I would always have a part of him. I didn’t need Wynne to tell me what I had figured out just before our march on Denerim. First Enchanter Irving had been right. I am carrying the heirs to the throne of Ferelden. If it hadn’t been for my child or children in case I was carrying twins; I would never have accepted Morrigan’s offer, nor presented the offer to Alistair. I would have gladly taken the final blow killing the Arch Demon, ending the blight and lost my life in the process. At least I’d never feel the hurt and pain in my heart again. I would have been happy to pass through the fade and onto the Maker, anything was better than here without Alistair. I’d also decided to never tell Alistair and allow our children to be free of the throne and the responsibilities of the Grey Wardens. Hopefully, they would be born without any trace of the taint. With hope and alot of prayer they would be born whole and strong. The big question…how I am going to pull this off?
The first step being I had to get to Gwaren and find two particular elves as well. A day of reckoning will come once I find both of you. My search has to start at Gwaren, where this all might have begun, I’m sure some evidence can be found there. Anora wouldn’t have left that evidence at the palace. She would have secured it at Gwaren if she hasn’t destroyed it, which I’m sure she has something in writing to hold over my head, once used it would have been destroyed then. Erlina wasn’t sent to the dungeons with Anora, which meant that Erlina was on her way to Gwaren. Anora didn’t dare show her hand while my father was alive. I’m sure in making her Queen I would have become her in palace killer to do her dirty work for her, just as she had bent Howe to her will. Funny that Howe had turned on her, it was even funnier that it was me that rescued her. It’s obvious she knew of my secret and the secret my parents and I were hiding. Fergus doesn’t even know the truth of all of it.
What Anora never knew was that we would never have done anything and remained faithful to the crown. Loghain’s betrayal at Ostagar had occurred over a woman’s jealous act and a threat to her throne once she got rid of her husband if this is what she did. Her father didn’t exactly fall in line beside her either. She didn’t inspire men the way she thought she had the ability to do. With Anora it was all about blackmail on a grand scale. She thought I’d help her keep her throne, after having my parents murdered she should have known better. That was her mistake and one that I wouldn’t have made. Making Alistair King was only my first step in making Anora pay for her crimes.
You and I have a day coming when we will talk it out, just before you hang. This is a promise that I made to myself once I survived the Battle of Ostagar and the blight. Oh yes, you icy bitch we have a lot to discuss. First I need that evidence and the evidence she has on me when I was in Orlai. Alistair will keep her imprisoned forever if I don’t get that evidence. Anora tipped her hand when Riordan tried to persuade me in taking Loghain on as a Grey Warden. I caught what she said, did Alistair? I don’t think he did, he was in a tizzy over Riordan wanting to make Loghain a Warden. Oh yes, I caught what she said. Right now Anora and I are at check, let’s see if I can make it checkmate.
My feelings aside, I can’t leave Denerim for good until after Alistair’s coronation, which was in three weeks. Damn, I’m in a pickle for sure. I have to get out of this room and get to Gwaren without anyone knowing before Alistair and Eamon send men to secure Loghain’s former home…if they haven’t already. It’s what I’d do…send knights and guards to secure Gwaren before an uprising occurred.
How I’m going to get out without Alistair’s personal guards knowing I’m gone and all of my companions knowing as well was going to be tricky and time was wasting. It was a problem I had to find a solution for and quickly. With luck an opening would present itself and when it does, I’ll grab hold of it and run for all I’m worth and hopefully make it back in time before anyone realized I’m gone.
Now what to do about supplies and some armor, my best armor set had been cut to ribbons by the Arch Demon and it was probably still on the roof. With any luck I can get up and see if they have brought my backpacks and placed them here in my room. I have supplies galore if I can make it back to camp. Oh crap! Alistair had sent Sten, Oghren, Thor, and Zevran to break our camp a few days ago. I remembered them talking about it; once in awhile I’d over hear bits of conversations from the room next to mine that everyone was using. Well everyone except for “His Highness”, he was using Eamon’s Estate when he wasn’t here at night sitting with me.
Torture was the word that came to mind with Alistair sitting here holding my hand, caressing my hand. A shiver run through me, from repulsion or pleasure I wasn’t fully sure. It took all of my rouge abilities at my disposal to not react and slap his hand away.
I can’t take Thor with me either, I’ll have a chat with Thor on my plans or he’ll give me away. Thor will think he is doing me a favor by getting me caught. That dog is too smart for his own good. I’ll need a horse as well. I have plenty of gold to buy one if one is even available after the battle for the city.
Since nobody was around at the moment I risked trying to sit up in bed on my own. Oh Maker! My head is spinning. My chest feels like I have been hit with an emissary’s fireball. Oh my legs….they hurt the worst. The pain from my legs shot up into my lower back. Oh how I wanted to groan, instead I bit my lip.
What I really need is a shot of good Antivan Brandy right about now; actually the whole bottle had more appeal than a shot. Oh where was Oghren when I needed him and his homebrew? I’m behind on getting a good drunk on. Well that will have to wait for a time as well since I’m carrying babies.
Andraste’s knickers! Not again.
Coming down the hall I could hear Wynne, Alistair, Fergus, and a voice that I didn’t recognize close by. That voice had an Orlesian accent and it wasn’t Leliana, no this was a man’s voice. All of them were probably on the way here to my room. Great just what I needed, to play possum once more; this is getting old really fast.
Urthemiel, some help please. I reached out with my mind to talk with the Old God. He came to my assistance at once.
I laid myself back down, and prepared for slumber and with luck Urthemiel would pull me into the fade so I wouldn’t have to talk or let my companions know that I was indeed awake. I could hear the song and feel the chill of frost pour over my body as Urthemiel gently brought me forth into the fade just as Wynne opened my bedroom door.
I’m sorry Fergus, I thought, I’d love to let you know that I’m awake, with Alistair along….I just can’t do it. I want to talk with you desperately.
“I daresay my dear that you have the most boring fade dreams I’ve ever had the misfortune to view.”
Urthemiel was lounging near the fire that had been Morrigan’s exclusive little camp. He took up nearly the entire area of the camp on that end. He was in dragon form and he wouldn’t allow me to see what he may look like in human form in the future. He looked totally different from his corrupted form. He was white with a faint blue tint, instead of the purple/red color he had been as the corrupted arch demon. He looked similar to the dragon at the Urn of Scared Ashes, just lighter. He was actually beautiful to look upon.
“I’m sorry; this was the best that I could come up with on such short notice.”
“Oh! Why do you say that?” “I was hoping for something regarding Orlai?” “How I miss Orlai, especially the Avenue of Flowers in Val Royeaux, the smell and the scent is filled with beauty.” “It used to be one of your favorite places remember?”
“I don’t want to remember that time Urthemiel.”
“I will never be that happy and carefree girl again, it’s too painful.” “Just as being here – in this camp again will always be painful for me.” “I can’t bring myself to create a dream of Highever.” “I’m afraid my parents will be in it. I don’t think I could take seeing them again and go back to reality and feel their loss all over again.”
“Why do you think I suggested Orlai and Val Royeaux?”
“I’m sorry about your parents.” “I owe you a great deal; just know if it was in my power to change your past and allow you the happy-ever-after I would do this for you.” “I’m afraid I can’t change the past for you or the future.” “You must shape your own destiny.”
“This is why I sit here with you to guard you while you come here to heal your broken heart.” “I won’t allow other fade beasts and demons to harm you nor my siblings.” “It’s the least that I can do for you.”
“I’m also sorry that my soon-to-be human father is being an idiot.” “Yet, it may be for the best.”
“Did Morrigan tell you to call Alistair an idiot?” “She seemed to do that alot while all of us were together on the road.”
Urthemiel laughed, “No my dear, she did not.” “I came to this conclusion all on my own.” “I’m fairly certain my father will come to regret his decision of ending your relationship.” “Time will tell on that score.”
“Ferelden must see that Alistair can rule this nation on his own.” “With you at his side many will feel that you are the real power behind the throne.” “The future must remain a mystery to you so that both of you determine your own destiny so that you will become the people that you need to be for the sake of others.”
“You’re sure my children weren’t harmed during the ritual and killing your corrupted shell?”
“I’m positive that my brother and sister will be whole and well, of this you can be certain.” “Since my mother cast the spell upon herself this is why I didn’t seek the bodies of my brother and sister.”
“You’re also certain that my children are Alistair’s and not the guard from Fort Drakon?”
“Ah, you’re a tricky one.”
“You and I both know the guard never finished what he started.”
“I’m sure; they are my father’s children.”
“How do you know this Urthemiel?”
“It’s their blood, it calls to me, and we do share a bond through my father’s blood.” “However, since you are their mother and not Morrigan the taint within you is stronger than in my father.” “This was due to you drinking Averness’ blood potion.” “I was truly shocked that you drank that vile potion.” “It did aid you in your abilities to fight me in my corrupted form.” “The power in your blood is strong, darkspawn and the demons both are not immune to its effects.” “Another will seek this power within your blood within the future” “This is all that I can tell you on this subject.” “You must be wary of this enemy that you will come across.”
“You’re still on that issue, of not sharing what you know about the future and why it was necessary for your mother to perform the ritual.”
“The ritual saved your life, did it not?”
“Yes, it did.”
“It’s best at this time that you don’t know.” “There are changes coming that will change the world and its best that you not know for your own good.” “I promise you, my birth into the real world will not be for evil but to fight evil.”
“Will you look like Alistair when you are born?”
“No, I will look more like my mother and I will be born a male.” “You saw Alistair’s fade dream.” “I was that child standing behind him.” “This will give you an idea on what I will look like.”
“Your son will look like you and your daughter will look like Alistair.”
“So I am having twins just as the first enchanter claimed.”
“Yes, you are carrying twins.”
“Know this, my brother will be born but my sister – her entry into the world will be difficult.” “There is the possibility that she may not be born at all.” “You will be surrounded by danger during you’re time of birthing.” “Make sure that you have an elf mid-wife with you.” “This will be important.” “This is all that I can tell you.”
“Go now to your tent and sleep peacefully, I’ll sing to you.” “I will awaken you when it’s time for you to return.”
“Also know this, I will bring you forth into the fade a few more times, but our time together is drawing to a close.” “Once Alistair’s coronation is over I will not see or draw you into the fade again.” “My mother will finally leave Denerim and it will be best you not know of her plans.”
“I thought she had already left when the battle was over?”
“She is close by and she will watch in shape shifted form during my father’s coronation and you gaining a new title and praise.” “For what you did to save all of humanity and for saving me and allowing my true essence to be cleansed of the taint.” “She will leave Denerim for good to go into hiding to bring me forth into the world.” “She does want to watch because you are her friend, her only friend.”
“I know that you are angry with her right now, hopefully in time you can forgive her for what was necessary in saving your life.”
“You must also prepare for your own future.” “You will still face many hardships and difficulty in the future.” “Your life ahead will be filled with danger and you must take care to protect yourself and your children.”
“Thank you Urthemiel.”
“You are most welcome, go sleep in peace.”
I nodded. I walked the distance back to my tent, here in the fade. Before entering I turned and viewed all of the spots that my companions had stood. Alistair, his place directly across from me, I remembered coming out of my tent in the mornings; he would smile his bashful smile at me causing my heart to flutter. Wynne’s tent just a short distance behind my tent, it had been larger for Wynne to have room to mix our parties healing potions, along with her books of recipes. Zevran on my left to help guard the women with: Alistair, and Sten, along with Thor being on the front line near the entrance to the camp in case something happened. For the warriors to form a battle line with Oghren on Leliana’s right, backing up Zevran to keep the women safe. I just realized the men had taken care of this without ever asking me. Shale had been positioned to help back up the warriors if need be giving her a flanking option to Alistair and Sten’s backs. Leliana’s lute and how she had sung for us at night, not every night though, sometimes the things we had done to battle the blight at times had weighed heavy on everyone’s mind. My fade dream showed the camp exactly how it had always been right down to our cooking utensils near the fire.
I slipped inside my tent. I was already in a sleeping shift. I lay down and drew the bear skin covers up over me. I could hear the beautiful music that Urthemiel sang. It was peaceful and soothing to the soul. There were tears falling from my eyes because I knew Alistair would never join me within this tent again. Nor would he be in my life as my husband or lover as I had mistakenly thought he would be. He would only be in my life as my King. There was nothing left in me except an endless chasm of sadness. Quickly I drifted to sleep with the tears still falling from my eyes, leaving my cheeks wet from their moisture. I didn’t have the energy to wipe them away.
Alistair, Wynne, Fergus, and the Grey Warden Kristoff stepped into Bellavalia’s room and what they saw took their breath away. The officially soon to be named Warden Commander of Ferelden was surrounded once again in the beautiful white light that had shimmers of blue and tears were streaming down her cheeks as she deeply slept and her tears freezing on her cheeks as they spilt down her face. Even with her tears, she was beautiful to look upon. Her tears showing as glitter on her face, tiny and delicate.
Alistair had never seen Bellavalia cry before. Not even when she had told him of how her parents had been murdered that awful night at Highever so long ago and Duncan had helped her escape. She had been sad and held her emotions inside. He remembered hearing her soft crying when standing watch at night outside her tent after she had told him what had happened. The very night she had got him to talk about Duncan.
The heir to Ferelden’s throne knew in his heart he was the reason for those tears.