evilbad ([personal profile] evilbad) wrote in [community profile] peopleofthedas2012-01-11 04:05 pm

Cut Deep Chapter 1 (Post-endgame Dragon Age 2 fic)

this is my very first fanfiction and I would so much appreciate feedback. Part 2 will be up soon.

exit, pursued by Templars


what became of Anders

Kirkwall was burning, and Hawke's first priority was to get the hell out of the city and away from the chaos. Mages and Templars fought openly in the streets, a cacophony of steel and sword against magic and fire. Neither side cared, or was even aware, that Orsino and Meredith lay dead in the Gallows. Cullen had sworn to her that he would hold off his own command of Templars from pursuing them, but Hawke knew his words would have no effect on the legions of Templars that would soon pour into the city. She had to act to save herself, and her friends.

Hawke left so many behind. Bethany was with them in the end, joining them to fight off the abominations Orsino and Meredith had become, but she would never know what happened to Bodahn, Sandal, Orana, or even her dog Fang. She hoped that they were all together, somehow, and that they had made it out of Kirkwall. She even wondered about her horrid uncle Gamlen, and about all the other acquaintances she had made in Kirkwall. Had any of them survived the firestorm she was leaving behind? Should she have warned them? Tried to rescue civilians?

There were so many that needed to be saved, but Hawke did the only thing she could do; she pushed through the sea of dead and dying, the smoke and fire, took her closest friends and ran.

Unable to leave by sea with the harbor up in flames, the rag-tag group fled along the coastline. In the dead of night, once the lights of Kirkwall had faded, the landscape was almost pitch-black. And almost immediately they had a new problem: Darkspawn. There were good reasons why Hawke and her companions never traveled the Wounded Coast at night.

"FDE," Varric muttered. "Fucking Darkspawn Everywhere." He absentmindedly stroked Bianca.

Hawke nodded. No one with sense was caught outside the city at night. Without the sun to drive them underground, great swaths of the Free Marches were definitely FDE. In the inky blackness above the cliffs, the party could sense movement, and watching eyes.

Warily, her various companions walked along the familiar paths of the Wounded Coast, tired but alert. By now the paths were narrow, too narrow to march all together, forcing the group to spread out or risk stumbling over the edge and taking a considerable fall into the sea. Merrill and Bethany were leading the charge, trying to get as much distance as possible between them and Kirkwall before the Templar armies began to march at first light. Aveline and her compliment of city guards were just behind, ready to defend if needs be. Fenris and Isabela walked together, with Sebastian trailing them. Hawke and Varric were bringing up the rear, where Hawke could keep everyone in sight.

For a time it was quiet, and wordlessly they rushed to make ground while they still could. When the first Hurlock hurled itself at them from above, it was immediately set upon by a cacophany of blades and did not last long. But from there a steady stream of darkspawn came to call, a stream that was rapidly becoming a river. As time ticked by the assault built to the point that they had long since stopped putting distance between them and Kirkwall.

Hawke bit her lip. She had let the darkspawn flank them, and now they were quickly becoming surrounded. Up ahead she could see all of her companions grappling with the wretched creatures pouring in from further up the coast. Meanwhile she had her own set of nasties coming at her side of the party, and she was forced to turn away to deal with them.

With her enormous battle axe, Hawke swept the field in front of her and knocked her heavier opponents off their feet, and in the crush of darkspawn many were pushed off the cliff onto the rocks below. She would allow none to pass. No more friends would be lost today.

The darkspawn kept coming, and she tore into them with gusto.

Varric stayed at her back while he and Sebastian picked off shades from the cliffs above before they could descend on the party. But their supply of arrows was not unlimited, and after this had gone on for some time their barrages had slowed considerably.

"Bianca needs a break, blondie," the dwarf warned Hawke. "Besides, in this light she might leave a new part in Mr. Guard Captain's perfect hair, and Aveline would flay me alive!"

"You serve up the running commentary!" Hawke shouted. She squinted, and rubbed a spray of tar like darkspawn blood out of her eyes.

"And the good looks. Don't forget the good looks!"

Hawke rolled her eyes and yanked her battle axe out of a hurlock's back. She whirled around for the next attack, and plunged the axe into a genlock's throat. Varric's good looks weren't going to hold up long in this neighbourhood, she grimaced. Personally, were she on her own, she would be grateful for the darkspawn attack. Running at her enemies, her weapon sweeping a vicious arc before her, seeing them cringe back and fall at her feet; this was exactly what she needed. The bone-jarring impact of her weapon embedding in the rotten flesh of the undead felt good to her aching arms right now. But she worried about her friends, who were surely tiring. Yet another scrape she had gotten them into. It was her responsibility to get them to safety. Wherever safety was.

There was only a slip of moon, and against the still burning backdrop of Kirkwall, the stars shone dim. Everything looked like a wave of shadow, and with blood already in her eyes...

"Hey Broody!" Varric yelled. "Think you can turn up the lights on those tattoos so we can see what we're doing here?"

Nearby, Fenris was neatly skewering a line of wraiths on his enormous sword, and ignored Varric's comment. With both hands he hoisted the writhing mess of them over the cliffside and kicked them over, pulling his sword back neatly. The elven swordsman glanced over his shoulder at Isabela, who was making a sport of tripping her opponents and shoving them over the ledge. They both needed to keep an eye on Sebastian, who had been in a kind of daze ever since the destruction of the Chantry and was showing signs of exhaustion.

Varric turned back to Hawke, grappling with her own troupe of wraiths just in front of her. "Why don't the mages just light up the place?"

"Certainly Varric, let's invite all the darkspawn in Thedas to join us here," she hollered over her shoulder. She thew up her gauntleted arm, just in time to deflect a set of claws groping for her face. There were only three of them on her now, but not enough room to wield her axe. Varric turned Bianca around and smashed her into what resembled a face on the nearest wraith. It stumbled, and Hawke pulled Varric back. She then swung her axe mightily across its midsection, and cleaved it in half. She made short work of the other two.

They could hear the mages blasting away at a whole wave of monsters. Merrill and Bethany avoided fire and lightning, which tended to attract hungry darkspawn, and primarily focused earth magics to beat on the unholy creatures with stone fists. Aveline and Donnic, side by side, shielded the spellcasters from flanking attacks, the three other guards watching their backs.

When Hawke had completely had her fill of decapitating the darkspawn, she shouted up the line to hold their position. The group pulled in tighter, within speaking distance, hungry creatures ringing around them. "Think we're far enough?" she asked them all.

Aveline gazed back at the fiery shape of Kirkwall in the distance. "We're far enough that anyone chasing us would be deterred by a swarm of darkspawn from following any further. I don't think we can cover much more ground before dawn, at this rate anyway."

Hawke nodded tiredly. "Can we make some sort of shelter?"

Bethany and Merrill halted their pummeling of darkspawn long enough to use whatever stone could be magicked out of that ragged earth for a makeshift barrack. They built this against the cliffside and formed a tiny cave protected on three sides. It would need defending on the fourth side. "Mages first," Hawke insisted, knowing how depleted they would be from the days events. "The rest of us can rest after daylight."

Merrill was so thoroughly exhausted that she climbed into the shelter without another word.

Bethany looked back at Hawke. "Can you keep beating back those creatures until dawn, Sadie?"

Hawke gestured to Varric and Sebastian, who were now freed up to send volleys of arrows into the darkspawn horde. "We'll manage, Bethany. Get some sleep."

Aveline, who had slipped up beside Hawke and taken her arm, fairly pushed her in after her sister. "You get some rest too, Hawke. We're going to need you in the morning."

Hawke protested, but not a lot. Varric and Isabela were looking pretty fresh, Sebastian seemed to have gotten a second wind, and she could just make out Fenris tirelessly slashing away at anything that came near the archers. The guardsmen, too, were competent enough to at least hold the darkspawn at bay until one of Hawke's companions could mow them down. All they really had to do was not die before daylight. When morning came, and hated daylight moved in, most darkspawn would lose interest and wander off since they were not commanded by a blood mage to continue their attack. It was surely safe to rest.

Inside the barracks, just as soon as she had curled up on the bare ground next to her sister, Hawke went to sleep.

And she was back, almost immediately, in Kirkwall, in front of the smouldering husk of the Chantry.

Anders was there, too, with his hands up between them beseechingly. He was wearing his long black fur that he had so taken to in those last months. Hawke hated that black coat.

"Please understand," he was saying.

That was the whole dream, and it was endless. It was just this. Standing there. Trapped there in that terrible moment, staring at her lover and the thing that he had done.

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