INTERLUDE: Manly or Ruin innocence, by Revan-Sama

Author: Revan-sama.

Game: Dragon age origins.

Summary: When your son say 'I want to be a real man like daddy', you're really happy to make that wish happen. However, NOT when you got the help of your best friend hero of ferelden and his former dwarf companion...If so, then you really hope your wife won't have knowledge of this.

Character/pairing: Ryan Cousland, Oghren, Shane Mallory/ Kyle Mallory x Marilyn Mallory.

Disclaimer: Ryan Cousland, Shane Mallory and Kyle Mallory are kylemallory's characters.
Marilyn is SoniaCarreras character.

Author's note: Gift for SoniaCarreras Birthday! Hope I did it well!

-DAO: Manly or Ruin innocence?-

"I'm home!"

Today has been a very hard day of work for Kyle Mallory. Fighting bandits who kept stealing some merchants. Picking up some heavy materials to different shops. Giving some fishes to the cats. (it's not a job but since he loves cats...)

However, now that the day of work is over, he could finally go back home to his most important persons. His beautiful elven wife, Marilyn and his adorable son, Shane.

He would walk to the kitchen where she was cooking dinner for them (assuming that the kitchen wasn't set on fire like last time...) , Then he would surprise her with a kiss and she would response to it with the same passion.

Then behind him, he would hear a happy voice saying : "Daddy! You're home!"

For a five years old, Shane Mallory was really adorable. And he like his daddy very much.

Of course, he liked his mother too. But he admire his father's fighting skills.

Marilyn said it was a bit soon for him to pick up a sword. When he saw his son's disappointment, Kyle wanted to give him one of his wife's dagger but as soon as he wanted to give it to their son, she said : "Give him that dagger and loose a hand." So he gave up.

Yeah, he would finally find some rest in his hou-


Oh no.

"Hello Kyle! Good work for today." said Ryan Cousland, his best friend with his stupid grin on his face.

"Hello lad, have a sit and some ale." Said Oghren the dwarf friend of Ryan.

Usually when those two came to visit, it ended badly...When I said badly it means his wife killing the three of them: Ryan, Oghren AND her husband...even though he did nothing.

"What are you two doing here?" asked Kyle very calmly...trying not to activate the berserker mode.

"Oh, we came to visit you! We were passing by and decided to come here." Said Ryan, very happy to see his best friend.

"...You were here the day before yesterday."

"Is that so?" asked Oghren.

"Yes, it is..." Answer Kyle.

Ryan and Oghren looked at each other then both looked at Kyle with a grin.

"Well, you don't mind having two of your friends in your little home, right?"

As a matter of fact, I do.

But he didn't said that out loud.

"By the way, where is Mari?" Asked Kyle to change the subject.

"She went shopping with her sister and asked us to babysit the little lad here." explained Oghren while drinking some ale and pointing at Shane who was a bit half asleep and half awake.

Kyle gasped with his eyes wide open.

"She LET you TWO babysit our son?!" He shriek.

"hehehe You sound like a nug murdered." Laughed the dwarf.

"Shut up!"

"Don't worry Kyle, She said that if anything happened to Shane,  she would 'obliterated' our 'insensitive' ass with 'sharp objects'." said nervously Ryan... who was not feeling so well while saying that.

"That doesn't make me feel better...And what happen to my son?! He looks half asleep and half awake!!! You didn't drug him, did you?!" Demanded Kyle while taking Shane in his arms.

"Uh...He wanted to try some of Oghren's ale...and...well...he gave it him." Said Ryan.

Kyle's face was blue now...which made him look pretty with his green eyes.

"HE DID WHAT???!!!"

"Come on, don't squeal like a nug. it's no big deal." Said Oghren very naturally.

"Don't worry Kyle, He didn't gave him everything.  Just a taste of ale...80% of it..." Ryan tried to comfort his best friend.


"Hmm...I didn't thought about it....Lyrium is tasty." said Oghren while thinking about it.

"Oghren, I think Kyle was sarcastic..." said Ryan.

Kyle's face was half blue and white and he kept saying, alone: "Mari is going to kill us, Mari is going to kill us, Mari is going to..."

Then Oghren told Ryan : "I think he fainted."

Kyle woke up again and asked : "Why...By the maker, Why did you gave him that?."

At this Ryan smiled a bit and said: "He said he saw you drinking some of this, so He wanted to do everything you do!"

"Yeah, He said: 'I want to be a real man like daddy'."

At this, Kyle's eyes become softer. He looked at his son and smiled proudly.

"He...he really said that..."

Both of his friend grinned and nodded.

"I...I guess it's alright for long as Mari doesn't know about it."

...They began to tremble a bit...of the thoughts of what the young elf wife would do if she knew....

Marilyn knew her son was growing up, and soon he would be a young man. But still she wanted to keep his innocence for a little while longer. Like most mothers.

For her, Giving him ale to drink is like taking him to the whorehouse.

"It will be our secret! There is no way she'll find out, right?" said Ryan.

The three of them laughed a bit and Kyle decided to put Shane to sleep in his room.


"I'm home!" She was back with...lots of bag...And some of those things looked more like loot than bought stuff.

"Welcome back, Mari." As soon as she saw her husband in the living room she ran to him.
And kissed him passionately.

"How was the shopping?" Asked Ryan.

"It was great! Lots of loot...I mean, lot's of great stuff...found on the...ground...and people..."

She looked a bit around and asked: "Where is Shane? I missed him all the way here!"

"The little lad is in his room." Said Oghren.

"You put him to bed? Wow, you guys are better at this than I thought. I guess I can forgive you for that time when you said the word 'whore' in front of my son." Said Marilyn with a smile.

Ryan and Oghren became pale at the memory.

"Do I have to remind you that you set our clothes and armors on fire because of that and we had to walk naked in the street!" said Kyle.

She turned her face toward her husband and smiled with an angelic smile.

"Yes, I know. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll have to go see if my son is alright."

She went to Shan's room.

The three men sighed.

"I think we better leave before anything happen." said Ryan.

"Right...and leave me here, with the consequences." said Kyle.

"Better you than us...beside you live here." said Oghren.

When suddenly.

"Wait a second...." A cold voice coming down from hell.


Marilyn  stood behind them with a somber expression on her face.

The three men turned around to face her...but stayed very far away...just in case...

"Y...Y...Yes...Dear?" asked Kyle very nervously.

It's probably nothing...
She couldn't possibly notice...

"Why does Shane's breath smells like ale?"


Oh shit...

-Later, outside the house-

Some people were walking calmly in the street when suddenly they heard some kind of earthquake and a loud voice : "YOU GAVE 80% OF WHAT TO MY SON????!!!!"

-Later in the house-

"Was it really necessary to bury them alive in your garden Mari?" asked Marilyn's sister.

"It's for the fresh air...No more ale in this house until Shane has the right age for drinking." Marilyn nodded to herself.

"There is fresh air underground?" asked her sister.



R.I.P (rest in peace)
Kyle Mallory
Ryan Cousland.

A birthday party

The time spent in the Deep Roads has been difficult to calculate, but somehow and as we expected, when we finally see the daylight again we realize we have skipped Kyle’s birthday. Kyle says it doesn’t matter, that nobody cares after all… but I know he’s lying-
“I will organize a party for you”, I say, sticking my tongue at him. We’re back in Highever, and I’m sure Ryan will be delighted with the idea.  A pity Lirya isn’t around to celebrate it though… I feel sad for a moment. A year ago she was still at those creepy Inquisitor’s dungeons, and today she’s gone on her own to seek revenge on that Orlesian woman. I sigh.
He stares at me. “No working night youuu”, he pouts. He feels tired. And who hasn’t? Damn deep roads, how manage those dwarves to live underground?
"Take a day off" I tease him, because I didn’t mean what he thinks I mean, but I think it is funny to follow the joke. "I will buy special lingerie"
"You want to drain me?" Kyle stares with doubt.
I put an innocent look. "Ooh, am I? You need a rest?"
"I do need a rest!" he sigh, agreeing,
I lean down and lick his nose. "All right. I'll let you rest. No sex for you tonight", and I move back to get out of the room, bouncing my hips. I know it always has an effect on him.
"Where do you go?", he asks confused.
"Oh? To sleep in the guest room, so you can rest” I reply with a smirk.
"What? No. You sleep here. Don’t go", he demands. His authoritarian tone makes me melt, but I try to resist. I stop and turn slowly towards him.
"Oh, you sure?"
"Just SLEEP. Cuddle", he commands.
"All right, it works for me". I can’t help but smile. Months ago, a year ago, I had to fight to be able to just SLEEP by his side, unable to face my demons. Now the demons are gone… at a high price I sadly remember, but now it is him who wouldn’t let me go. I feel warmth in my heart.
I walk slowly to his side and lean my head in his chest, purring. He rubs his chin over my head, takes one lock of my hair, and sniffs it. I snuggle in his arms.
"So let's go to bed?"
He makes a pout, but it’s a trick.
"Yes!" and tickles my armpit.
I laugh "Hey!" and go to tickle his waist too. "You're a cheater!".
"Not like you" he says, taking me and spinning me in the air. It makes me laugh like a child.
"I'm not cheating!! I was cuddling!", I protest between laughs. "You said cuddling was allowed!".
He brings me to the bed, laughing too, and embraces me in cuddling mode. I wonder if he will resist my proximity, smelling my scent and feeling my skin… because I’m starting to feel turned on by his. But it is true we need a rest, I say to myself, and I decide to enjoy the feeling, relaxing and expecting to get asleep in his arms. He glances at me from time to time, as if he expected me to harass him, but I respect his need to rest , as he always respects my needs.
I look at his smirk, amused, but behave meek as a sheep. He snuggles me like a puppy, and again, he makes me laugh of pure bliss. I can’t resist, and sink my head in his neckline and kiss his neck softly.
He runs his fingers through my hair softly, with that adoration look he never loses… I look at him dreamily, and suddenly I feel a pull when he gets stuck.
"Ouch!" I complain.
"Sorry!", he says concerned, untangling his fingers very smoothly not to hurt me. I hold my hair from the root to help him, and when he finishes, I rub my scalp where I feel the itch.
"Aww, it’s nothing. But be more careful next time", I say with a smile. He leans to kiss the tip of my nose and smiles too. "It's okey", I reassure him, kissing his nose too.
"I want to feel the love!", he says, gaze into my eyes, hands in my butt and my nape.
I stroke his cheek, thinking that that hand in my butt uncovers him. "Hey, what happened with that "I need to rest tonight" thing?".
"No! I mean... not about sex!", he protests, confused.
I rub my nose against his and purr softly. "All right. I think it was your hand in my butt which misled me"
His hand quickly leaves my butt, disappointing me.
"Well my bad, dear!", he says.
I take his hand and put it back in place. "Don't worry. I like it there".
He strokes my cheek from time to time , following my jawline and my nose with his fingers. I can’t help leaving a moan out, and I stroke his arms at the same time, following the line of his biceps. He makes a grimace, and I suddenly realize such a simple caress is turning him on, so I stop it quickly.
"Okay, sorry", I mumble, putting my hands on my back with a smile. He bites his lips. "Seems like cuddle is enough to turn us on??” he says concerned. Sure. His single touch makes my skin ache and long for more, even when he only strokes my face. I rub my face against his.
"Because you're so intoxicating", I reply with a smile. He blushes more, so I just put my head under his chin and snuggle against him. "Let's stay like this".
"I see! Good night dear, in case you feel tired and get asleep before I can say the wish". He drops a kiss on the top of my head and cuddles me as he used to do many time
"The wish?" I ask, purring. "Which wish?"
"That you have sweet dreams", he whispers in my ear.
I smile tender, and kiss his shoulder softly. "Sweet dreams to you too, my love".
"Dream without fear, love, without limit… I wish I were good enough for you", he says almost to himself.
"You're more than I deserve" I try to reassure him, but I’m so sleepy now I wonder if he heard me.
My last thoughts before meeting him in my dreams wonder again why he is still afraid  not to be good enough for me. If he knew all the good things he did for me… how I feel alive by his side…
If he only knew…

The Lost

I open my eyes and find myself in a dreamy land I recognize soon.
The Fade.
I’m probably dreaming. But it is the Fade… well, after all, it is here where we go when we sleep, isn’t it? The funny thing is how aware I am it is the Fade… other dreams don’t allow me to notice so easily. Maybe it is because we’ve been there so many times?
A whisp of light starts moving around me. Like thousands of them in the Fade before. I remember Lirya also had one around the last times we met her here. I wave it away, not paying it attention, trying to decide if I let the dream guide me or I prefer to struggle and wake up so I have normal dreams again. Then I hear a whisper.
I turn my head around. “Who?”
But there’s nobody to be seen. Just the whisp moving frantically from here to there.
“Mom…” I hear this time closer. I shiver, and look around again. But only the whisp… A whisp can whisper, I hear in my mind suddenly. “Who said that???”
"Mom?”. The whisper is now a bit hesitating. And the whisp slowly flies around me. I wave it away, more scared than I want to admit.
"Go away, I'm not anybody’s mom!"
"But.. you're…"
The whisper freezes me in the middle of the movement. I follow the whisp with my eyes. "No... no... It can't be...", I deny. "He died. The demon killed him"
"If i can...". The whisp moves around my leg, like trying to hug it like a baby. My heart breaks and I fall on my knees, covering my face out of sadness and shame.
"How can it be? Are you his soul?". I feel a soft tickle in my leg, as if the whisp were stroking it, and then in my hands over my face, so I slowly move them down and cup them, as if I were going to drink, allowing the whisp to shelter there. I realize tears are falling down my cheek. "So you're stuck here?"
The whisp stops flying around, as if it was happy to be in my palm, and it moves just enough to sort of rub my cheek softly. "Many things want to catch...” it whispers.
I look around, worried. "Demons?"
"That’s their name?"
"How do these things look like?"
"Purple…", but more than a word, I see the color in my head. I picture that horrible female horned demon who tried to put my baby in her tummy and I choke. “Sometimes I have a person who keeps them away..."
"A person? Who?", I ask suddenly. "Someone cares for you?"
"She feels like a mom", the whisp puts in my head, and I feel even sadder
I shake my head, guilty. "Not me... not me... I thought you were lost...". I cry again. How could I neglect him? How could I continue living without wondering what happened with this little soul? How could I have known?
"But she feels a bit like dad too?" the whisp rubs against my cheek. I close my eyes and hold it closer to my face
"How does she look like?"
"Black hair!!"
I sighs. "Black hair, blue eyes? Pointy ears like me?"
"You know!". The tone of the whisp sounds now happy that I could realize
"Lirya...". The thought of the kind elf makes me smile warmly. "She hasn't forgotten us completely". I look at the whisp… at my son… "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I let you alone, I'm sorry I allowed the demon to take you away from me...". My voice breaks. "You should have grown up, become a baby..."
"Now I have you here...", the whisp says softly, and I suddenly feel scared. I’m I going to be trapped here? Decay and die outside? Not… seeing Kyle again?
"But I can't stay here forever" I say, torn into two.
"In the middle of the chase... poof... a thing went through that purple thing", the whisp is saying. Suddenly it moves, nervous. “You leave me?"
I look at the whisp, eyes crying again, heart broken. "Living beings can stay here forever. But... I will come back, I promise". I try to offer some comfort. "Now that I know you're here, I'll come for you all the nights...” Then I remember Kyle… he’ll want to know… his son… is here…. “And... I will try... to bring your father too"
"Dad just... passed by here!?"
I turn around. Kyle here? Where?. "You saw him? He already knows... you're here?"
I suddenly feel down. "He... never told me". Why didn’t he?
"So I shouldn’t say?....Arrow on the chest... purple", the whisp says cryptically.
"What? You He's hurt?", I ask, suddenly worried. The whisp flies around a bit.
"No. He not... "
I get up. "Not here? Not hurt?"
"I mean the demon...". I shake my head trying to understand. He’s probably learning how to speak to humans so I can’t blame him but I’m so lost.
"Your father... killed a demon?", I ask finally.
"The first is not him", he says determined.
"So... who shot the arrow?". I’m very confused.
"Like you...",  he says
"Evelyn?" I open my eyes wide. It’s the first person who comes to my mind who looks like me and can shoot an arrow, but how could she know? Maybe we’re still linked? The whisp starts to fly toward a path, playing with my hair
"Not same colour"
I blink, suddenly understanding. Tahl. "Her hair is yellow?"
The whisp stops a bit. "Time for mom to leave", he says. And he flies back to me like pushing me out. And now I don’t want to go!
"Wait! I need to know more!!", I say, reluctantly stepping back.
"Then yes ", the whisp replies, while the ground around us starts moving like waves in the sea. I look around, feeling hysterical.
"I can't leave you here! This is not safe!" I try to catch the whisp to keep it in my hands and protect it, but I find myself falling back to my bed.
I wake up, gasp and look around, and then I look into my hands, half expecting to see the whisp there. Of course it isn’t here anymore, though I have the feeling I see a shinning blurry image vanishing, along with my dream. I breathe deeply, defeated, and then turn to make sure Kyle is still sleeping by my side. I sigh of relief when I see him, and hug him tight, happy to be back in our world, the world we share. I’m starting to wonder if this has been true or just a weird nightmare, when I notice his sleep is not normal. He shakes in his sleep, uneasy, and suddenly I realize he’s stuck in the Fade, like I was moments ago… maybe facing that danger the whisp was trying to warn me against. No... No... No... Not stuck in the Fade, not you, my love! Please come back to a place where I can help you, where I can fight by your side!!!! I shake him, terribly scared, and don’t stop until he opens his eyes, after what seemed to be an eternity. Then I grab his face, and look into his eyes. "Are you all right?"
He blinks, sweating. "Right, right"
I stroke his cheeks. "Did you see him?"
"You know her?", he asks suddenly, and I startle.
"Her?”. Then I realize. “The whisp... the baby... she... was going to be a girl?" How does he know? I feel my eyes about to fill with tears again. Why is it even more painfully? Because now she has a gender she is even more real?
He touches my cheeks. "No, no, don’t cry, please"
I stare at him, trying not to cry. But you know me, my love. I cry too much. "What did you see?", I finally manage to say, choking a bit. "Please tell me"
"She’s safe. Don’t worry", he says with a calm tone.
"But what happened?" I hug him. "We'll have to protect her in the Fade?"
"I want to find someone who can make she go happily as she deserved", he says, thoughtful.
I nod. She can’t stay there. Wherever the dead ones go, that’s where she belongs. We’ve had our share of unrest ghosts; we don’t need to have to protect one too. "But who? And how?"
"Mage", is his only word, and I freeze.
"Oh no, no, no, not mages again" I shake my head. "Please tell me we're not going to ask help of that fanatic of Håkan"
He perks his brow, surprised. “Ehhh, I don’t think so"
"He would say we're crazy and we did everything wrong and we're going to be unhappy and the sky is going to fall over our heads or something like this" I say almost without breathing, half joking but knowing he would react that way.
"But I don’t think Håkan is the right person to solve this??", Kyle mumbles softly, kissing my hair.
I shrug. "And who is? Not my father, either"
"I was about to ask him" he jokes. "With your permission" he adds
I snort. "I don't know if there's a mage we can trust. Moreover, one who knows about what we need to know". I sit on the bed and hug my legs.
"So I’m in a dead end about ideas. Your suggestion?"
I deny with my head. "I don't know. A priest, maybe? If it is a lost soul, maybe they will know what to do"
"The chantry??". He gets up slightly to hug my body, but he bites his nails.
I shrug again, seeing his discomfort. "I don't know. But isn't that their bussiness?"
"So try no matter the cost?". I thought he liked the chantry better?
I grab my own head. "I... I don't know. I... didn't even know she existed until now...". What can I say? I have no idea how to handle this. He wants a mage? Let’s look for a mage. I turn to look at him. "Because... if we were to talk to a mage... did you have someone in mind?"
"Apostate Ryan" he jokes
I blink. "Ryan? You mean... Ryan Cousland?"
"Who else?". He scratches his head
I open my eyes wide. "I... didn't know he was a mage!"
"He hides it well". Of course, he has to, or he would lose his noble title.
"Then we lose nothing for asking him", I nod. "At least he looks saner than other mages we've met"
He chuckles at my words. "You seem to dislike mages a bit?"
I shrug. "Except Lauren, I know no mage who has done anything good for us". All right. Håkan has saved the day a couple of times, but that doesn’t compensate for the times he has treated Kyle and me like shit, so I’m not going to give him the merit. "Well, now I include Ryan" I chuckle.
"He’d be proud if he knew"
I smile softly. "I can't imagine why. As if my opinion mattered". He pecks my lips, and I return the soft kiss. "So we should come back to Highever" I say almost in his mouth.
He gives me a nod, staring deep in my eyes, and I feel so sad again I have to hug him and start to sob. "We must do something", I mutter. "She... she can't stay there... risking to be eaten by a Demon or something worse"
"That’s what I thought... ", he says stroking my hair.
Ryan is an apostate, I think to myself before getting asleep again. Who would have imagined!!!!
"Tomorrow we leave to Highever", I finally mumble, determined. Goodbye, my old Mabari, it was good to see you again!


I look at the window. The morning is quiet, even a bit foggy. Kyle is dozing in the bed. Denerim is already active at this time of the day and I can see some people moving around the marketplace. I sigh. I wonder where should we start looking for that Orlesian woman.
Lirya must be still sleeping in the room besides ours. Or maybe she didn’t want to bother us. Well, soon I’ll have to check both my sleeping beauties and start to look for clues. I peek through the window again. The beginning of a new day… the beginning of a new life.
Before I leave the window, I see our old companions walking down the street. I release the curtains and come back to bed, with a conflicted feeling. We could be with them now, I wish we would… but things always have an end. I still regret having offered them to come with us to Tevinter… I know the mages wouldn’t have missed it, and George profited to find a tutor for his sister… But I feel they didn’t have to pass through all they endured for us, and they know too… and somehow, they make me feel guilty.
Kyle’s curses are his own business. Mine too, because I’m his wife and I chose so. But some of our companions left clear they weren’t theirs. Well. They won’t have to mess with us anymore. We were together before meeting them, and we will be now they’re on their own way. I can’t deny I’ll miss some of them terribly… specially those who became more than friends, the family I never had… And that hurts. But I can’t stay where I don’t feel welcome, even if there’s people there which I don’t want to lose.
I look at my husband and I smile. He’s the only one I need. So it’s ok if he’s the only one I have.
I walk to the bed and sit beside him, then I lean and kiss softly his lips to wake him up. He opens his eyes and gazes at me, smiling. He was probably already awaken. He grabs me by my waist and pulls me on the bed, by his side, depositing soft kisses like snowflakes over my face.
“Good morning”, I grin. “You did sleep well, I assume”
“Mmh”, is his only answer, rubbing his nose with mine. Oh, Maker. I love this kind of mornings.
“Your mother is in the next room”, I remind him. “And we came here to help her”
He licks my noise. “Spoilsport”. Which, of course, doesn't encourage me to get up... more like the opposite.
Some time later, he’s resting his head over my chest, and I get drown into his dreamy green eyes, stroking his hair. I would stay in this haze of bliss forever, his weight over me, his love in my heart.
But suddenly noises and screams outside the room make us startle, and a different haze, this time made of smoke, crawls from under the door. That and the cries of “Fire, fire”, are enough to make us get up swiftly, get some clothes back and rush to the corridor, trying to sort out what happens.
When Kyle realizes the smoke comes from Lirya’s room, he can’t be stopped. He rams over the door with his shoulder and slams it open. And then he stops in the threshold, and I with him, seeing how his mother just looks at him, her eyes expressionless, while burning carefully the pages of the Inquisitor’s diaries in the fireplace. The old parchment and ink in flames smell funny, and produce all the smoke which caused all the ruckus.
People in the corridor make harsh comments out of relief and amazement, but Kyle runs to hold Lirya’s arms.
“Mother! What happens? Why do you burn that?”
Lirya just turns her face at him, a sad look in her eyes. “It doesn’t bring memories back. Just pain”. I wave the curious away, telling them there’s no danger and the fire is controlled, but giving them some privacy is useless. As usual, Lirya’s behaviour towards Kyle is formal, without the motherly love he expects. He leans his head on her lap, heartbroken, and she hesitantly strokes his hair. “I wish I could say otherwise, Kyle… but I read them and I only remember the needles under my skin, the liryum in my veins, the pain in my limbs. And I already remembered that”.
As every time I see my husband that way, my heart breaks a bit. I wonder how would I feel if I found back my mother, or the man I considered my father, and they wouldn’t recognize me. I lost them in such a short age I hardly remember them myself. Maybe it would be the opposite, maybe they hearts would ache because I can’t remember them. It’s that how my real father feels, in his few moments of lucidity? He almost seemed to care for me that… sad night in the Fade….
Suddenly Tim, Kyle’s faithful falcon companion, perches on the window and squeaks. I walk slowly to pet him.
“What’s the matter, birdie?” I ask.
Tim moves awkwardly across the windowsill to climb in my arm and suddenly lets a shinny thin fall in my hand. Then he shrieks satisfied, looks at his master, who has raised his head with curiosity, and flies away again. Clever bird.
Kyle walks towards me and looks over my shoulder. “What is this?”
I open my hand and look at it. A shinny necklace, in the shape of a bleeding heart, is resting in my palm. The chain is broken, and I’m not sure if Tim has taken it from the floor or stolen it from a neck.
Kyle moves forward and takes the pendant from my hand. “Seems silver” he says. He looks at Tim flying over the Denerim buildings. “He probably took it near the Guard’s headquarters” he mutters. “I sent him there to find clues about Raleigh”. Personally, I’m more worried about why he did so. I mean, he’s a damn falcon. How can he know if something is relevant or not? Maybe it was the shine which drew his attention?.
Kyle shows the pendant to Lirya, but she doesn’t seem to recognize it. For a moment, though, the red stone which fakes a drop of blood in the heart makes her blink. “Blood”, she says. “So much blood and pain…”
Kyle startles. No matter how prepared he thinks he is for the moment in which she recovers her memories, she always manages to surprise him.
“Does this pendant tell you something?” he whispers.
Lirya’s eyes are unfocused, still pointing at the pendant but not looking at it. “Blood. Knifes. Torture”, she says again.
“At the inquisitor’s dungeons?” I try to help.
“No… not those dungeons… not that man…”. She looks at Kyle and for a moment a sparkle of recognition crosses her eyes, but it disappears again.
“Mother?” Kyle asks, holding her shoulders. “What was it?”
Lirya shakes her head, recognition gone again.
“A flashback. Gone…”
Kyle clicks his tongue, disappointed. Again. I grab his arm.
“Must be Raleigh’s dungeons”, I say. “Probably the blood reminded her. Maybe we should go there? If sergeant Kylon is still in charge… well, he still owes me one”, I say, not wanting to speak much about why he owes me some attention, after one of his men tried to rape me. Sometimes I understand why Lirya doesn’t want to have all that knowledge back. If I, who was infinitely more luckier than her, don’t want to even think about that… how would I react if I had suffered as much as she has?
Lirya shakes her head when she hears my proposal. “Coming back… there? No… no… I can’t”. She covers her face with her hands and Kyle seems torn.
“But… but… what if it helps you to remember?”
“I don’t want to remember that!” she says, stubborn. I squeeze Kyle’s arm, still holding it.
“Maybe you need to think about it, Lirya… I know it is hard… But it may be the only way…”
She looks at me with a despairing look, like begging me not to force her to take that decision. But she knows, as I do, that she must come back there.
It’s a windy afternoon when we walk to the Denerim City Watch headquarters. Sergeant Kylon remembers me, and proves again to be a nice person when he seems genuinely happy to learn that I’m now a married woman. Only a raised eyebrow at Kyle seems to tell him “Are you sure of what you did, lad?”, but his smile towards me is honest.
“A visit to the dungeons?” he asks, a bit surprised by our request.
“My mother was held captive here in Raleigh’s times, Ser”, Kyle explains. “And she has lost her memories. We thought that maybe visiting them would help her to remember”.
The sergeant shakes his head, still reluctant. “Do you really want to live all that again?”. Lirya looks small, lost, which is hearbreaking because she’s always looked like a strong woman, but swallowing, she nods. I suddenly realize she’s doing it because of Kyle, and I wish he could understand that, no matter what has happened with her memories of her past life, she loves him again. Enough as to expose herself to all that suffering again.
Finally Kylon shrugs, and orders one of his men to go with us.
“It’s your choice. Constable Phil will go with you. Phil, accompany the ladies and the man to visit the old dungeons!”
Kyle smiles and thanks the Sergeant, then he takes Lirya by her shoulders gently, both to comfort her and to guide her behind the Constable. The young man doesn’t like to go to those dungeons either… Seems Raleigh’s legend still endures.
Lirya glances around, nervous, and her hand reaches Kyle’s over her shoulder and squeezes it. I feel a bit out of place. It’s something they have to solve together, but surprisingly, it doesn’t hurt as much as with Tahl or Lindy. Maybe because I feel Lirya as my own mother too, or maybe because she has missed as much of Kyle’s past as I have done too.
I look at the dark corridors and shiver. Behind the bars I can see some torture benches, fetters and shackles, and memories of the time I was caged in one of these cells come to my mind. I shake my head and focus on Lirya. If Kyle wasn’t guiding her, I think she would freeze and not walk anymore. I’m about to tell Kyle it is enough, that we should turn around and come back to the daylight, when she looks at a cell by her right and, getting rid of Kyle’s gentle hands, walks slowly to the door and grabs the bars, shaking.
“There. I have been there”
Kyle makes a hesitant move to touch her shoulder again, but I stop him. Lirya’s eyes roll, scanning the room as if she was drinking it, like cold water in a hot summer. Her breathing, though, is calmed, and I swear I can’t imagine what is passing through her mind because her face is like a mask.
I just can hear her mutter: “Bitch”, and suddenly she spits on the ground. And she softly releases the bars, and walks back, without more words, without a sign that anything has changed.
“Let’s go”, she says. “There’s nothing else here to do”
Kyle looks at her, stunned. Suddenly we both are aware of her transformation, because her fear, her hesitation, has disappeared and turned into… what? Hate? Rage? Kyle raises a hand, and suddenly stops. He just looks at her. And she looks back at him. Still no recognition. Still not that sparkle in her eyes. And Kyle lowers his head and looks at the ground. I sigh, and grab his arm.
“Lirya is right. We need to go out. Things will look different out of this gloomy place” I say, trying to make him feel better.
And we walk, following the Constable, back to the reassuring daylight.
When we leave the guard’s headquarters, Lirya is trembling. Kyle notices it and takes his cloak gently, putting it around her shoulders and embracing her at the same time.
“You remembered” Kyle whispers, more an affirmation than a question.
Lirya nods. “Only a few bits. The bitch… the Orlesian bitch. I saw her face… And glimpses… glimpses of things I don’t want to remember again….”
I look at her concerned. If she doesn’t want to remember, maybe we shouldn’t force her… I understand Kyle’s feelings… but the price… the price seems too high.
“We’ll find her” are his only words. Revenge. Always revenge.
We’ve spent more time than expected in those dungeons, and the sky starts to get the fire-like hues of sunset. But the cold Lirya feels is not due to it, of course. I glance at Kyle
“We should go back to the inn and get some dinner. A warm one”
Kyle nods, and we three come back to the tavern, after a short goodbye to Sergeant Kylon. But the dinner is uncomfortable, and the silence weights like lead while I look at Kyle, Kyle looks at Lirya, and Lirya focuses on her dish.
It’s when we’re back in our bedroom when Kyle releases his temper. Feeling useless, guilty for the pain he has inflicted to Lirya, even without wanting, he hits the wall with a rage that scares me, even if I know he’s not mad at me. His hand throws away all the things over the table, making poor Tim startle on his perch, and suddenly he realizes it and collapses on a chair, his hands covering his face.
I’ve been silent all the time, but I know now it is the time to act. So I just walk to his side, and hug him.
I can feel his shoulder tremble, and I know a sob is trying to escape through his throat, even if he’s not crying. Big boys don’t cry, and he will better be caught dead than allow me to see how his heart is broken in a thousand pieces. But I know. I’m his wife, and his soul has little secrets for me now.
I say nothing, just stroke his hair, and hold his head against my chest. Finally he lets himself go, his arms grab my waist, and I feel the tears warm over my breasts. I just lean down and kiss his forehead.
 “Hush my love”, I whisper. “It wasn’t your fault, and you know it. She’s a strong woman, she’ll overcome it… and maybe tomorrow the good memories, the ones you want to come… will return too”
He sighs, deeply, and his hug becomes tighter. I let him stay that way for a while. He needs it… just support, just love… not useless talk. And only after what seems a blink, even if I know it has been a long time, he finally releases me and gets up, not looking at me in the eye.
“I’m going to train” he says, and takes his sword and goes outside.
I look at him going and hug myself, feeling as if winter had arrived. I feel the same every single time he goes away, even if it is just for a while, even if he’s going to be just some meters away from me. But even if I never liked his training schedule, I must admit this time he needs it. So I just shiver, and prepare to go to bed. At least, demons don’t haunt me anymore, so the only thing which will avoid me to sleep is the lack of his warmth by my side… which is always painful.
How can I have ended needing him so much?. The thought floats over my brain like a butterfly, before I get asleep. He’s like air to me… when he’s not here, I feel as if I couldn’t breathe…
And with no transition my mind wanders from vigil to dream, from reality to the Fade. In a world which shines like diamonds, I have a glimpse of Lirya, the Fade Lirya, the one who remembers all, smiling at me, and then turning back to go.
“Wait!” I want to shout, but no sound comes from my mouth. And I wake up looking for breath, as if I had been diving.
It must be four or five in the morning. Kyle groans by my side. He must have finished training and slipped on the bed without me noticing. I have a bad feeling, and when I hear him whisper “No… mother… no”, my suspects are confirmed. I wake him up, even if I know I’m stealing his time with the Lirya who remembers him, and when he opens his eyes, surprised, I jump out of the bed.
“Lirya! Let’s check her room!”.
He blinks, but jumps after me without thinking twice. He has understood the meaning of the dream as well as I have, and when we find Lirya’s room empty, just with some discarded letters wrinkled in a corner, we know she’s gone.
I look at Kyle, thinking he will be devastated, but somehow his face is serene. He takes a look at the wrinkled papers on the floor… all start with a “Dear Kyle” or “Dear son”, all of them suggest a promise, and none of them is finished.
“So finally she reached me in dreams” he mumbles.
I nod. “That was her goodbye”
“Not a goodbye”. He shakes his head. “She… she wants to remember. She wants those days we shared back, like I do. But she doesn’t want to see me suffering because of that. That’s why she left. To do her quest alone”
 “So she’ll come back when she remembers you” I reply. He nods absently, looking around at the now empty room. I touch his arm. “You know she will. Unless you want to look for her…”
“I don’t know what to do. I… I don’t want to loose her again, but I don't want to hurt her again either. I suppose... I should respect her decision…”
I smile sadly. “She didn’t want to see you sad. I think that’s a step in the right direction”.
I really believe it. Same as he suffers when she does, she feels his pain too. As simple as that. Her feelings are there, waiting for a gentle nudge to come to the surface again.
Kyle sighs, and looks at me again. I fear for a moment that he’ll want to run after her, but he touches my elbow and guides me back to the bedroom again. There, he embraces me softly, sinking his face in my hair, smelling it, as he likes to do. I stroke his, giving him all the support I can.
“We’ll find her” I promise. “And when we find her, she’ll look at you, and in her eyes you’ll see her calling you “son” again”
And I know that it is true, and that we just have to be patient, and wait for the future to bring her back to us.

INTERLUDE: First romance

The stream must flow
The wind must blow
Even the sun can go
Such as the deer knows to call his lover
Why are you still here
Why are you taciturn
I go to find the beauty
Following the sun from the East to the West
Coming after the moon like the day to the night
With the stream since it is full until it is dry
Follow the muntjac from his youth to his old age
But I still can’t meet my darling
Still can’t see the one I miss
My hair is profuse as the flower season
My heart is full of ardency like the color of a peach
Where are you now?
Oh my darling, oh the one I’m waiting for
If in this incarnation you don’t come
I will wait my whole next life
However, wherever existence is understood
It only becomes dangerous inside human beings.
“Come on, Kyle. It is your sixteenth birthday!” Ryan shouted, making him cringe. “Let’s celebrate!”
“Let’s go to the tavern!” Seth added. “You’re now old enough to go for the first time!”
It was going to be Seth’s first time too, but he wouldn’t say it aloud, of course. Between the two friends, they grabbed Kyle by the arms and pulled him towards Flemeth’s Broomstick. Kyle could do nothing to avoid it. Not that he wanted to, anyway. After his mother left him alone, four years ago, Ryan was the only thing he had remotely similar to an elder brother, and well… the tavern sounded like something exciting to do to celebrate a birthday.
At first the crowded place surprised him a bit. He was not used to the smell, the noises, the fuss… But Ryan guided them to a quieter corner where he had reserved a table, and they sat there until a beautiful waitress asked them what they wanted. Ryan noticed how Kyle didn’t take his eyes away from the girl when she went back to the counter to take their ales and smiled. It seemed a good start. The girl was more or less Kyle’s age and she seemed to appreciate his young friend’s charms. Maybe this would be a birthday to remember.
And indeed it was.
After asking for their third round of ale, the pretty girl returned to the counter, and when passing by one of the tables, one of the men tried to slap her bottom. She was agile and dodged fast, but at that moment, Kyle had already drunk too much and he couldn’t resist. He got up and walked calmly towards the table.
“You should apologize to the lady” he said to the man. He looked at Kyle and smiled with teeth black because of the scurvy.
“Hey, hey, hey, white knight”, he laughed. “It’s been two months without seeing a girl, I like to test the goodies!”. His breath smelled like rum, and his companions didn’t seem more sober either. Not that Kyle himself was in a better situation, though.
“She’s not merchandise to be tested!” Kyle spat. “If you want to… touch her rear, it must be with her permission!”
The waitress had stopped and was watching the scene interested, but when she saw the expressions of the sailors at the table she whispered. “It’s all right, big boy… He didn’t touch me, I can deal with…” suddenly she stopped and pointed down. “Beware! He’s got a knife!”
The sailor was trying to reach a dagger in his belt, and if the girl had not warned Kyle, he would probably had unsheathed it, but thanks to her shout, Kyle moved quickly and hit his arm, so the knife fell to the ground. Almost without thinking, he punched the sailor’s face, making him fall backwards into his friends’ arms.
Before Ryan or Seth could intervene to prevent it, Kyle was already involved in a fight with the three sailors. Fortunately, nobody used knives anymore, but when Kyle’s friends arrived and managed to pull the furious men away, he was already laying, unconscious, over the remainings of what once had been a not-so-sturdy tavern wooden table.
The other customers at the tavern calmed the sailors down, and Sophia, the owner, invited them to an extra round of ale to appease them. And when Kyle opened his eyes, head spinning both for the hits and the excess of alcohol, and back aching amongst the wooden splinters, the very first thing he saw was a pair of beautiful sapphire blue eyes looking concerned at him.
He tried to say something comprehensible, but only a groan got out his throat, and soon Ryan and Seth got into his vision field and helped him to get up and to walk out of the tavern. Kyle kept looking over his shoulder to have another glimpse of that heavenly beautiful face, but she was already bending down to check the wreckage he had left behind, and he sighed. Seems she was more concerned about the table than about him.
After that incident, Kyle got a sudden interest on hanging around the Flemeth’s Broomstick tavern. Well, not exactly the tavern, but that pretty girl who caused it. Lindy, was her name, and she had just been hired by Sophia some weeks ago. Ryan had to admit, though, that Kyle had good taste. She was quite a beauty. Arrived from Nevarra some years ago with her mother, young, pretty, silky dark hair and big innocent blue eyes… and a smile which sometimes said she wasn’t as innocent as she looked like.
So there they were again, sharing a drink as if nothing happened, while Kyle spent the time staring at the pretty girl, still with a black eye because of the recent fight.
Ryan pushed up his friend’s jaws to close his mouth.
“You’re drooling too much, Kyle. Go ahead and ask her for a date!”
“Wha… what?” Kyle stammered. “Who? Lindy?”
“Who else? Not Ralph the cook, that’s sure!”, Ryan laughed. Seth chuckled into his jar of ale.
“If you don’t do it, maybe I will” he took part in the conversation. “Before the competence gets a move on”. He pointed at a blonde guy who was trying to charm the pretty girl when she arrived with a jar of wine to his table. Lindy shook her head at whatever he whispered to her with a reproving smile and danced to another table.
“The beauty won this round” joked Ryan. “But Ivan is not the kind of dude who surrenders easily”. He got up to call the girls attention. “Here! We need another round of ales!”
Kyle suddenly awoke and pulled Ryan’s sleeve. “What are you doing?” he asked, panicked.
“Helping you, silly one. It is clear you’re not going to be the one to talk first, so let’s bring her to this table”
Kyle was going to reply, but Lindy was a fast, dedicated waitress, and before he could articulate a word, she was already there, bright smile creating cute wrinkles around her eyes. Kyle just opened and closed his mouth like a fish out of the water.
“Ale for all of you, messires?”
Ryan chuckled. “I think our friend here needs something stronger”, he said elbowing Kyle.
“Oh… ah… rum” Kyle stammered.
“And he pays!” added Seth
“Two ales and one shot of rum, then”. Lindy nodded and walked away with a graceful swing of her hips. Kyle collapsed in his chair.
“I hate both of you” he sighed. Ryan shook his head.
“No, you love us. And you’ll love us even more when she surrenders to your charms”
Kyle tried to kill Ryan with his glare, but it didn’t work.
Some minutes later, the pretty girl arrived with two big jars of ale and a small shot of rum. She put the jars on the table, but handed the tiny glass directly to Kyle’s hand, and when doing so, her fingers softly touched his. Kyle blushed red up to his ears and she giggled like a tinker bell, winked and went away.
Kyle drank his shot of rum in one single sip, almost choking.
Their teenage love ritual continued some weeks while Kyle continued attending the tavern with his friends, and Lindy continued working there and being cute and adorable with all the customers. Unfortunately for poor Kyle, as Ryan had foretold, Ivan had not surrendered either and he was as frequent a customer as Kyle used to be. Worst of all, Lindy didn’t seem to make a difference between any of them, so he never dared to take a step to avoid spoiling it all. Funny thing, his rival was keeping his distances too… Both of them stalking the prey, no one wanted to scare her taking a first step.
Ryan and Seth looked at each other. Kyle needed an incentive. And maybe… a bit more intimacy. So next time Ryan reserved again the private Cousland table at the tavern, told Kyle to meet there… and sneaked away with Seth to spy him from a second intimate table, watching without shame how the poor boy looked at the door nervous wondering where their friends were. To make things worse, Ryan gave a couple of generous tips to Lindy asking her to go from time to time to Kyle’s table asking him what he wanted, so his jar was never empty… and he would have to talk to her. The trap worked. After one hour, the young man was tipsy enough to feel brave, and the fifth time Lindy arrived to the table and asked him if he wanted to take anything while waiting for his friends, he gathered courage, and replied.
“Yes! You!”. And quickly got up and kissed her cheek. Lindy reacted like lighting and her hand didn’t look so delicate once it collided hardly against his face, making him get sitting again, a hand over his own cheek, a surprised look in his face.
Seth face palmed. “Here goes our last hope to see these two together”
“We better go and give him some support”, Ryan sighed getting up from their hideout. “Come on, and look surprised. Remember, the date was now, not an hour ago”
Seth chuckled. “Don’t worry. I am surprised enough”.
What Seth and Ryan didn’t know was that that slap didn’t discourage Kyle to continue attending the tavern. Even more, now that he had had a first contact (and what a painful one!), he seemed more prone to talk to her. Maybe it had been Ivan’s muffled giggle when he was slapped, or just the feeling that well deserved prizes were worth fighting harder. But his resolution was clear. He had to win that girl’s heart
But this time, he would go alone.
He didn’t tell his friends he was going. He just entered the tavern, asked if the Cousland reserved table was free, and since Sophia already knew he was a friend of the noble, she guided him there. Then he gathered courage, raised his hand and called Lindy. The girl arrived with a bright smile, no resentments, it seemed, but the perk of a brow said to him she was expecting for something.
“I…” he started, feeling suddenly all his resolution fleeing away, and taking a breath to catch it again. “I think I owe you an apology”.
“An apology! What for, my lord, if I can know?” she said, but he could feel the sarcasm in her tone. He had somehow foreseen it, so he took the hand he had got in his pocket all this time and softly deposited it over the table.
“I started the wrong way” he just said. “Will you accept this?”
She frowned a bit looking at him, her nose wrinkling in such a cute way his heart jumped. “Not another unwanted kiss, I hope?”
He retired his hand. A white flower, a bit withered for having been in his pocket, but still beautiful and fragrant, stayed on the table.
“No if it is unwanted” he just said, with a sad smile. Then he looked at her, waiting for her reaction. She looked at the flower, then at him. She said nothing, so he, the boy who always had no words, felt forced to continue. “It… it is for you. My…mother told me these flowers were called Nevarran Beauties, so… when I saw it I thought…” He scratched his head, confused. “I’m sorry. I spoiled it all. I shouldn’t have kept it in my pocket”
She took the flower, slightly amused. “Nevarran Beauty… True, true. My mom used to call them like that too”. She put it on her hair, and the flower didn’t look withered anymore, as if her beauty was contagious. Then she smiled to him. “Thanks. It brings… sweet memories” and she seemed a bit sad when she said that. “Now… what do you want to drink?”
“Wine”, he said, suddenly inspired. “Vintage wine”
“Good choice” she said, turning to go.
He observed her go, relieved and excited at the same time. Finally things started to go well, he thought. At least this time she had not slapped him.
Some minutes later she returned with the wine. She had not taken the flower from her hair. Maybe that was a good sign.
“Your friends aren’t coming today?”, she said, when she put the glass in front of him.
“No” he said. “I’ll be alone this evening”.
“No one should drink alone” she said a bit sad.
“Well, maybe…” He stopped. Too soon. Too rushed. “Maybe one day… not today… you’ll want to keep me company, so I don’t drink alone?”
She smiled warmly. “Maybe. One day”. She walked a couple of steps, then turned her head. “I’m free on Thursdays”. And she went with a wink.
And he grinned, and drank his wine, which tasted sweet and warm and comforting. “Then see you next Thursday”, he said almost to himself.

Fading dreams

I’m wandering in the Alienage, and I’m not sure which one it is. It has a familiar feeling, as if it was Denerim, but the buildings are Highever’s. That makes me realize I’m in none of them… but in the Fade. This must be a dream.
A tall figure soon towers over me and I raise my eyes to meet my beloved husband’s ones. He seems as lost as me… There’s nothing more confusing that dreaming and being aware you’re dreaming. Especially when you share the dream with someone else.
“Is this… the Fade?” he asks, searching for my hand. Somehow we both know the other is the real one. We’ve visited this place awaken often enough to tell the real things from the false ones.
“Seems so. But it looks so peaceful… I hope we won’t meet Edanhor’s demons again”. He grabs my waist and holds me closer as only answer. We both have too recent what Edanhor’s demons did to me when we were here the last time…
Suddenly we’re inside one of the houses, without transition because that’s how dreams work, and we face a beautiful elven woman sitting in front of us. Lirya, Kyle’s adoptive mother, smiles and makes a gesture for us to sit too.
Her hair glows black as a raven again. Not having forgotten her botanical knowledge, she started to dye her hair black again when Kyle and me got married, but I have the feeling here in the Fade she looks as she looked before the Orlesian Inquisitor held her captive: dark-haired, young and beautiful. As usual, I wonder how does manage Kyle to be always surrounded by stunning women, and why on earth did he chose me, such an average red-haired, as his wife.
Lirya takes my hands and looks at me sadly, and I shiver. We didn’t tell her about my miscarriage in Tevinter, because we didn’t want her to worry, but she knows. Somehow she knows, and my heart aches. Then she looks at Kyle, and I can hear his breathing change. The look in Lirya’s face, here in the Fade, has nothing to do with the look when she’s awaken. In the real world, Lirya loves us and is grateful because we rescued her, but she doesn’t remember her past… and that breaks Kyle’s heart. But here… here she remembers everything… and she’s looking at Kyle as she was meant to look at from the beginning… A mother looking at her son. Kyle swallows, and Lirya’s smile widens.
She moves a hand and takes the hair away from his forehead, touching the almost unnoticeable scar he has always had there. He grabs her hand, and presses it against his face. He’s not crying, but I know this look in his face. There may not be tears in his eyes, but his heart is aching.
“Mother…” he mumbles.
“Shh”, she replies. “It’s all right, honey. You’re doing it right”
“But why?” he asks. “Why can’t you remember when you’re back?”
She shakes her head. “I don’t know. Something blocks everything. Maybe the liryum, maybe the magic… maybe the hate. But it is all right this way”
“No, it isn’t!” I complain. “He’s broken inside, can’t you see it?, What can we do to have you back with us?”
Lirya retrieves her hand, and at the same time a tiny sparkly of light, one of those whisps from the Fade, moves around her like a butterfly around a flame. She just glances it, but doesn’t pay much attention.
We have been studying with her the diaries I found in the Inquisitor’s cellar, and the results have been more grievous than productive. The diaries only describe the processes he has experimented on her body, all of them probably painful, and reading them back made our teeth grit, but brought no memories from her. If half of the descriptions are accurate, though, I’m happy she doesn’t remember it, but I know Kyle needs her mother back, and I won’t hesitate to achieve it.
“I don’t think those diaries will help”. Lirya confirms my theory. “At least not in our hands. Maybe you should hand them to someone who understands magic, and can find out a way to revert what was made to me… if it can be reverted”
I nod. “But who?” I doubt our mage companions, Haakan and Lauren, are qualified to find anything in those texts… at the Circle Tower the mages didn’t seem much qualified either. Though if we ask Haakan, he will surely come out with a thousand of paranoid theories he will swear are absolutely right and logical. Anyway they will soon go on their own way to retrieve their phylacteries and do all the things they want to do to get married in what Haakan’s think is a safe way. I smile against my will. It may take them decades to achieve that. I’ll never understand everybody’s interest in marrying. Maybe that way he thinks he’ll prove his love to her but wouldn’t it be better to share a life together without so much risk? I would have been happy enough moving to a home with Kyle forever, and I didn’t even had to pay for my wedding dress. Well, it is their life, and I don’t plan to mess with it anymore. I’ve had enough hostility as it is.
This is a very secret magic… maybe we should go as far as back to Tevinter to find a mage able to replicate these experiments… Unless we ask Edanhor of course, I shiver.
Kyle fists his hands. “There must be a way! If I had been there… maybe I could have made talk that bastard before they killed him!”
I stroke his shoulder. We were in the ruins when the rest of the group fought the mage in the tavern and was forced to kill him. “I doubt he would have helped us, love”, I try to comfort him.
“Yes… but maybe if she had seen him… maybe that would have brought her memories back?”. Kyle looks hopefully at her mother. Lirya shakes her head.
“There’s no use on crying over spilled milk, my son”
Then a light hits in my brain. “The inquisitor is dead… but Kyle… when you tracked her up to Orlais, wasn’t there other people involved?”
“Yeah. Commander Raleigh, but he was already dead” he looks at me. I nod. I remember Raleigh’s times, and him being killed was the best it could happen to our community. He had even captured Adaia once, and she had not nice words for him either. I’m grateful to whoever did that dirty job.
Lirya stares at us with a mysterious smile. She says nothing, but I feel we’re close to the answer.
“The person who sold Lirya to the Inquisitor?” I ask. “The Orlesian woman? What was her name?”
“Marjolaine”, Lirya whispers… and we both look at her. The whisp is floating around her face and gives her a gloomy shine. But her smile shows we’re on the good track.
“Marjolaine”. And when I open my eyes in the real world, as the dream starts to vanish, the word stays there. “Marjolaine…”. I look at Kyle by my side, he’s blinking confused and I know he’s trying to keep that name too. “Marjolaine…”
“Where can we find her?” I ask him, instead of saying good morning.
“We will start in Denerim”, he says, leaning on one elbow. “Some one must remember her. And then, we’ll follow her. To Orlais, or wherever”
I nod. We have something. And we won’t leave it fly away.