[αdmin note]

I don’t know how mαny of these I hαve left in Me.

I’ll keep trying to post here every so often, but I cαn’t mαke αny promises.

But whilst I’m posting something thαt isn’t α story, I’ll just tαke the time to sαy — thαnk you to everyone thαt’s shown αppreciαtion in the form of α like or α reblog. You αre the reαson this blog hαs lαsted αs long αs it hαs. You αre the reαson I keep doing this.

And if I end up giving up on this blog αltogether, it will still exist αs αn αrchive, even if I’m only looking bαck αt it to smile αt the fαct thαt the first post hαs over 150 notes, or someone commented αbout how beαutiful αnother post wαs, or to even just bαsk in the wαrmth of being αppreciαted.

So, yes. Thαnk you.

blood-αnd-lyrium is, if nothing else, α reminder I’m still α member of this fαndom for α reαson.
<3 


posted 2 years ago with 0 notes
#admin note


The first time I put dagger to flesh, I wasn&#8217;t thinking, &#8220;I&#8217;m protecting my family and friends.&#8221; Or, &#8220;It&#8217;s an experiment.&#8221; Or, &#8220;I&#8217;m too strong to be overtaken by demons.&#8221;
I wasn&#8217;t even thinking, &#8220;Hey, so-and-so does it all the time and they&#8217;re just fine.&#8221;
I was thinking of power.The surge of electricity in my veins. The heady rush that blurs the vision with its intensity, only to sharpen everything into violent relief. The blood-lust, the hunger, the berserker-like fervour.
I wanted to be powerful.
But just as I plunge the staff into that soft space just under my ribs, I see Varric wince and look away. I see Anders studiously focusing on his healing powers, as if I&#8217;ll really drain the others to feed my magic. I see Aveline shaking her head pityingly, and Merrill smiling as if we are in some sort of secret club.
I don&#8217;t see Fenris at all, because he stopped accompanying us once he saw.And I&#8217;ll kill anyone who even idly suggests telling Carver. 
And now I tell myself, &#8220;I&#8217;m just protecting them.&#8221; Or, &#8220;Just once more, because this is one hell of a fight.&#8221; Or, &#8220;I&#8217;ll fight any demon, I don&#8217;t care what they offer, I&#8217;ll fight it&#8230;&#8221;But that&#8217;s only in the tense moments before I bring the blood forth. After, I don&#8217;t care what they think.
After, I only know that I am Dorian Hawke the maleficar, and I am power.

The first time I put dagger to flesh, I wasn’t thinking, “I’m protecting my family and friends.” Or, “It’s an experiment.” Or, “I’m too strong to be overtaken by demons.”

I wasn’t even thinking, “Hey, so-and-so does it all the time and they’re just fine.”

I was thinking of power.
The surge of electricity in my veins. The heady rush that blurs the vision with its intensity, only to sharpen everything into violent relief. The blood-lust, the hunger, the berserker-like fervour.

I wanted to be powerful.

But just as I plunge the staff into that soft space just under my ribs, I see Varric wince and look away. I see Anders studiously focusing on his healing powers, as if I’ll really drain the others to feed my magic. I see Aveline shaking her head pityingly, and Merrill smiling as if we are in some sort of secret club.

I don’t see Fenris at all, because he stopped accompanying us once he saw.
And I’ll kill anyone who even idly suggests telling Carver. 

And now I tell myself, “I’m just protecting them.” Or, “Just once more, because this is one hell of a fight.” Or, “I’ll fight any demon, I don’t care what they offer, I’ll fight it…”
But that’s only in the tense moments before I bring the blood forth. After, I don’t care what they think.

After, I only know that I am Dorian Hawke the maleficar, and I am power.




The angsty porcupine, Varric had quipped. And now Gabriel can&#8217;t stop watching the thin fingers flexing behind their gauntlets, the finger sheaths honed to fine points. Behind the breastplate, Gabriel can&#8217;t see Fenris&#8217; chest expand as he takes a deep breath, trying to summon courage from a place other than the bottom of a wine bottle. Covered from neck to toe, and his fierce scowl doing double duty as a helm, Fenris is a fortress.
But he is small and vulnerable when they speak, after Gabriel&#8217;s kicked aside mouldy boxes and brushed away drifting strings of spider-silk to find the elf in the corroded heart of the mansion. No Hawke has ever been mincing with their words, but here Gabe has learnt the art of tact and grace, speaking softly but surely, and never, ever commanding.His education has served him well. Fenris opens, and it may not be a dramatic opening but the mansion is not as drafty and the decay no longer as noticeable&#8230;
But Gabriel knows the war is not yet won. Beneath thin mail and red steel are secrets, of envy for Fenris&#8217; power and fury for those who marred his own skin but left him with nothing in return, of feverishly wanting Fenris under him instead of over him, of past pain honed so sharp that he fears mortally wounding anyone who would brush against it.Covered from neck to toe, Gabriel Hawke is a fortress, too. 
Can he give what he asks?
Fenris is startled out of reverie by the dull thud of metal on wood. Something has fallen in the next room. The shelves were beginning to rot, and would no longer hold their burdens. Perhaps Aveline is right. Perhaps it is time to leave.But a vise clamps around his chest, and he lets the fear have its way.
He approaches the archway, tense, eyes narrowed, glaring into the shadowed depths. The thud comes again, and a soft clank, and the sound of fabric against fabric.
Gabriel Hawke&#8217;s gold-spun hair gleams dully, and suddenly, the rest of him is starkly apparent in the dimness. His shoulders seem narrow and frail, and it takes Fenris a moment to figure out why.Another piece of the armour drops to the floor, and Gabriel runs his hands along the chainmail tunic as if noticing it for the first time.
"What are you doing?"If Gabriel is startled, he doesn&#8217;t show it. He skirts the pile of steel and comes forward, a light jingling sound marking every step.
In his confusion, Fenris is slow to return the embrace. Gabriel&#8217;s features seem softer. He doesn&#8217;t tense in preparation, and Fenris doesn&#8217;t slam him against the wall or dig his sheathed fingers into Gabriel&#8217;s flesh.Fenris doesn&#8217;t ask again, and Gabriel doesn&#8217;t explain. But, feeling the planes of Gabriel&#8217;s body beneath his fingers, it is easier, somehow, to imagine going without the storm-grey armour for once &#8212; maybe for an hour, or two&#8230;
Their skin twitches where lyrium etching meets lyrium etching. Dimly, Fenris wonders if perhaps home feels less like a place and more like this.

The angsty porcupine, Varric had quipped. And now Gabriel can’t stop watching the thin fingers flexing behind their gauntlets, the finger sheaths honed to fine points. Behind the breastplate, Gabriel can’t see Fenris’ chest expand as he takes a deep breath, trying to summon courage from a place other than the bottom of a wine bottle. Covered from neck to toe, and his fierce scowl doing double duty as a helm, Fenris is a fortress.

But he is small and vulnerable when they speak, after Gabriel’s kicked aside mouldy boxes and brushed away drifting strings of spider-silk to find the elf in the corroded heart of the mansion. No Hawke has ever been mincing with their words, but here Gabe has learnt the art of tact and grace, speaking softly but surely, and never, ever commanding.
His education has served him well. Fenris opens, and it may not be a dramatic opening but the mansion is not as drafty and the decay no longer as noticeable…

But Gabriel knows the war is not yet won. Beneath thin mail and red steel are secrets, of envy for Fenris’ power and fury for those who marred his own skin but left him with nothing in return, of feverishly wanting Fenris under him instead of over him, of past pain honed so sharp that he fears mortally wounding anyone who would brush against it.
Covered from neck to toe, Gabriel Hawke is a fortress, too. 

Can he give what he asks?

Fenris is startled out of reverie by the dull thud of metal on wood. Something has fallen in the next room. The shelves were beginning to rot, and would no longer hold their burdens. Perhaps Aveline is right. Perhaps it is time to leave.
But a vise clamps around his chest, and he lets the fear have its way.

He approaches the archway, tense, eyes narrowed, glaring into the shadowed depths. The thud comes again, and a soft clank, and the sound of fabric against fabric.

Gabriel Hawke’s gold-spun hair gleams dully, and suddenly, the rest of him is starkly apparent in the dimness. His shoulders seem narrow and frail, and it takes Fenris a moment to figure out why.
Another piece of the armour drops to the floor, and Gabriel runs his hands along the chainmail tunic as if noticing it for the first time.

"What are you doing?"
If Gabriel is startled, he doesn’t show it. He skirts the pile of steel and comes forward, a light jingling sound marking every step.

In his confusion, Fenris is slow to return the embrace. Gabriel’s features seem softer. He doesn’t tense in preparation, and Fenris doesn’t slam him against the wall or dig his sheathed fingers into Gabriel’s flesh.
Fenris doesn’t ask again, and Gabriel doesn’t explain. But, feeling the planes of Gabriel’s body beneath his fingers, it is easier, somehow, to imagine going without the storm-grey armour for once — maybe for an hour, or two…

Their skin twitches where lyrium etching meets lyrium etching. Dimly, Fenris wonders if perhaps home feels less like a place and more like this.




"Don&#8217;t be a stranger&#8230;"
All right, I&#8217;ll hold you to that suggestion. I&#8217;ll plead with you like a friend who only has your best interests at heart.
Why Bran, haughty scowling Bran with his sneer of a smile and his penchant for glancing into every reflective surface he passes? He&#8217;s&#8230; a fine-looking man, I&#8217;ll grant him that, but he is a porcelain statue &#8212; there is naught beneath the surface that will gratify you!
I&#8217;ve seen you at the Rose, coy smirk, self-assured, shrewd eyes half-lidded and thin fingers curled around a wine glass. I&#8217;ve watched you spin your spider-silk and draw them in, even those who would have cursed you and your kind soundly whilst among the tavern men, those who would never admit to wanting to weep at the touch of your hands.
Bran is shifty-eyed and scowling when introducing you, spots of colour high in his cheeks, a peacock ruffled. He is the high-class version of those rugged patrons from Lowtown, the shamed and the secretive, those who will give you as much of them as they feel you deserve, as much of them as they feel is necessary.
You&#8217;ve spun your spider-silk and drawn me in, too. Let me pave a path of gold at your feet. Let me smile at your every word and bow at your every whim. Let me&#8212;
"Hawke! Quit woolgathering, will you? The duke could be anywhere!"

"Don’t be a stranger…"

All right, I’ll hold you to that suggestion. I’ll plead with you like a friend who only has your best interests at heart.

Why Bran, haughty scowling Bran with his sneer of a smile and his penchant for glancing into every reflective surface he passes? He’s… a fine-looking man, I’ll grant him that, but he is a porcelain statue — there is naught beneath the surface that will gratify you!

I’ve seen you at the Rose, coy smirk, self-assured, shrewd eyes half-lidded and thin fingers curled around a wine glass. I’ve watched you spin your spider-silk and draw them in, even those who would have cursed you and your kind soundly whilst among the tavern men, those who would never admit to wanting to weep at the touch of your hands.

Bran is shifty-eyed and scowling when introducing you, spots of colour high in his cheeks, a peacock ruffled. He is the high-class version of those rugged patrons from Lowtown, the shamed and the secretive, those who will give you as much of them as they feel you deserve, as much of them as they feel is necessary.

You’ve spun your spider-silk and drawn me in, too. Let me pave a path of gold at your feet. Let me smile at your every word and bow at your every whim. Let me—

"Hawke! Quit woolgathering, will you? The duke could be anywhere!"




Let&#8217;s not talk about how furious Dorian was with First Enchanter Orsino, who should have been there to stand with her and Anders and their ragtag band of supporters as they faced down the lyrium-mad Knight-Commander.
Let&#8217;s not talk about that sneaky boa constrictor that snaked around her ribcage and locked up tight every time she had to kill yet another raging maleficar.
Let&#8217;s not talk about Huon and Evelina, and the fact that the only life she managed to save was that of a snivelling boy-man with a spine the consistency of milk-toast.
Let&#8217;s not talk about Anders&#8217; dreams, and how sometimes, when they began sharing the same bed, his dreams would weave into hers and her dreams would weave into his, and they&#8217;d both wake up with the shakes and the coppery taste of blood in their mouths.
Let&#8217;s not talk about the leering eyes of templars in the dark.The ever-present whisper of demons, and the ever-present need to keep them at bay so no one would suspect.The memory of Bethany and the legacy of Malcolm.The Kirkwaller&#8217;s way of saying the word &#8220;mage&#8221;, as if it tasted bad, as if to even evoke the word would court the influence of demons, incite the red flare of blood magic.
Let&#8217;s not talk about Dorian punching walls to stay the searing prick of tears.Varric&#8217;s heavy sighs and Sebastian&#8217;s reflexive murmuring of the Chant.Carver in templar raiment&#8230;The surge of electricity in the air as Vengeance rises, and the rush of adrenaline in Dorian&#8217;s veins &#8212; Anders loves her, yes, but does the spirit? Could the spirit?
"Magic destroys everything it touches.""All mages want power, and will destroy you and I to get it.""Never a mage who hasn&#8217;t gone mad, I tell ya&#8230;""I hope someone kills that First Enchanter.""I hope someone kills that apostate.""I hope someone kills that Fereldan healer."
"I hope someone kills that Hawke girl."
Dorian is running in every dream she has, her feet slapping stone with the speed only adrenaline can fuel, but there are beckoning demons behind that door and there are leering templars behind that door and there is Anders hanging, hanging, just like the sign over the tavern, and over there is Fenris laughing, has anyone ever heard Fenris laugh, and why is it such a horrible sound, and Carver with a face like the harbinger of death and &#8220;you know what happens to mages who don&#8217;t know their place&#8221; and Orsino, Orsino, why are your hands so red&#8230;
Dorian Hawke is a mage. Dorian Hawke is a maleficar. Dorian Hawke loves Anders.But most importantly, Dorian Hawke is human.
Every time she is told differently, it becomes easier, easier to lose another bit of herself. And when all is lost&#8230;

Let’s not talk about how furious Dorian was with First Enchanter Orsino, who should have been there to stand with her and Anders and their ragtag band of supporters as they faced down the lyrium-mad Knight-Commander.

Let’s not talk about that sneaky boa constrictor that snaked around her ribcage and locked up tight every time she had to kill yet another raging maleficar.

Let’s not talk about Huon and Evelina, and the fact that the only life she managed to save was that of a snivelling boy-man with a spine the consistency of milk-toast.

Let’s not talk about Anders’ dreams, and how sometimes, when they began sharing the same bed, his dreams would weave into hers and her dreams would weave into his, and they’d both wake up with the shakes and the coppery taste of blood in their mouths.

Let’s not talk about the leering eyes of templars in the dark.
The ever-present whisper of demons, and the ever-present need to keep them at bay so no one would suspect.
The memory of Bethany and the legacy of Malcolm.
The Kirkwaller’s way of saying the word “mage”, as if it tasted bad, as if to even evoke the word would court the influence of demons, incite the red flare of blood magic.

Let’s not talk about Dorian punching walls to stay the searing prick of tears.
Varric’s heavy sighs and Sebastian’s reflexive murmuring of the Chant.
Carver in templar raiment
The surge of electricity in the air as Vengeance rises, and the rush of adrenaline in Dorian’s veins — Anders loves her, yes, but does the spirit? Could the spirit?

"Magic destroys everything it touches."
"All mages want power, and will destroy you and I to get it."
"Never a mage who hasn’t gone mad, I tell ya…"
"I hope someone kills that First Enchanter."
"I hope someone kills that apostate."
"I hope someone kills that Fereldan healer."

"I hope someone kills that Hawke girl."

Dorian is running in every dream she has, her feet slapping stone with the speed only adrenaline can fuel, but there are beckoning demons behind that door and there are leering templars behind that door and there is Anders hanging, hanging, just like the sign over the tavern, and over there is Fenris laughing, has anyone ever heard Fenris laugh, and why is it such a horrible sound, and Carver with a face like the harbinger of death and “you know what happens to mages who don’t know their place” and Orsino, Orsino, why are your hands so red…

Dorian Hawke is a mage. Dorian Hawke is a maleficar. Dorian Hawke loves Anders.
But most importantly, Dorian Hawke is human.

Every time she is told differently, it becomes easier, easier to lose another bit of herself. And when all is lost…



[ importαnt note thαt won’t be seen by people to whom it might αpply ]

These words belong to the person who typed them. Me.

Pleαse do not touch them.

If you wαnt something written α certαin wαy, either commission someone to write it for you or do it yourself.

Don’t go sticking your metαphoricαl fingers into other people’s work. It chαnges it from theirs to yours, αnd thαt is α form of theft.

Thαnk you.


posted 2 years ago with 1 note
#mod notice

I’m not proud of every detail in this book.
There were some liberties I had to take — I don’t have eyes and ears in Hawke’s bedroom, believe it or not, or deep in the prison of Vimmark Mountains, and definitely not in that mansion Fenris repossessed. Can you imagine? He’d have my head on a pike.

I watched my friends carefully when they were around, because there were blanks I had to fill in. I had to know how Hawke would respond to Anders’ offer of consolation after Leandra died. I had to know the exact nature of his reaction to Orsino’s transformation, because, I mean, Andraste’s tits, when it was actually happening, I had so much blood in my eyes that I couldn’t even see Orsino himself.

Plus, I’m kind of short. I miss a lot. Although I think I make up for that rather well. Don’t you?

Point is, the tale isn’t perfect. There are some flaws, and I think I was a little harsh on Fenris in some parts, and maybe Huon didn’t kill his wife after all — I wasn’t too keen on hanging around the Alienage — but the point of telling a story isn’t to get every minute detail perfect.

It’s to make the listener — or the reader — feel something about every single person involved. You could love Hawke or hate Hawke, but if you didn’t care a whit about him, well. I haven’t told the story well enough, then.

So?
Do you care about Hawke? Am I a sham, or am I a storyteller?



I’m not a drinker. People like me, Varric calls them ‘lightweights’ — two pints and they’re under the table, moaning that the chandelier’s upside down.
Mind you, there aren’t any chandeliers in the Hanged Man…

Even the walls in Danarius’ old mansion smell like wine, but I suspect that’s because Fenris throws as many bottles as he drains. Sometimes I come in and his eyes are glazed, his features a bit more elastic, a bit more flexible, his stance a bit looser, a bit more unguarded… and he thinks I won’t notice, but I do.

He takes for granted that no one pays him much mind. In the beginning, I might have forgiven that assumption, but now it is insulting.

Are we not side-by-side in this? Have I not proven that he is important, that his ills are mine and whatever joy he may derive is mine as well?
[ I do not think he wants this. Even his sorrows he guards jealously, as if I will take them away. As if the lessening of them means the lessening of himself. ]

"I can drink as much as I like, and I will," and of course there is nothing I can say to this that will not give him reason to sneer and retort, cuttingly, "Can a free man not drink at his leisure…?”

I am a coward, too afraid of his fury and his scorn to pass this last test.
Do I love him? Truly? Am I ready to love him from a distance, if I must? 
…Just as he does me?



[ This is α tribute to My first Hαwke, the strαngely-mαrked αnd too-serious, too-young-to-be-this-old mαn who introduced Me to the Free Mαrches αnd to α world αnd compαnions I grew to love with α fierceness αnd honesty thαt not much cαn rivαl.
This is Severin Hαwke, αnd these αre his finαl words. ]

I didn’t love her immediαtely.

She wαs the quirky, stαmmering girl who cut her wrist in front of α trembling bαrrier αnd dispelled it, heedless of the whispered promises hovering in the suddenly-still αir — voices from the Fαde, voices thαt spoke of finite pαtience. Should she keep cαlling them, they hissed, they would come.
{ perhαps she heαrd something different, something sweeter, something more like α song.
mαybe if i were α mαge, αnd α lonely mαge αt thαt, i might hαve heαrd it too }

I wαs not αfrαid of her, but perhαps I should hαve been. She flushed with fury when I αttempted to wrest the obsession with thαt strαnge, humming mirror out of her grαsp, cutting words lαced with α desperαtion thαt wαs less αbout mαdness αnd more αbout plαin, simple feαr — the multi-fαceted feαr of loss. She neαrly wept when I gαve in, αnd Vαrric exchαnged α look with the surly Fenris, who muttered something αbout being besotted αnd turned αwαy.

Besotted. I didn’t think thαt wαs whαt I wαs. Not then, especiαlly not then. I wαs much too busy fighting in dingy Lowtown αlleys αnd holding pαlαver with viscounts αnd Arishoks to be besotted. I hαd α flighty mother to cαre for, siblings to mourn, α home to tend to, α reputαtion to stαgger beneαth the weight of. Whαt could Merrill do for me, αside from grαnt me further heαdαche?

She sought me out just before the ill-boding white lilies αrrived — perhαps she’d seen whαt the others hαd seen, reαd the signs with αn innαte intelligence I hαdn’t expected from her… or perhαps loneliness cαlled to loneliness.
I stαrted to turn her αwαy, until I reαlised the wretched feeling deep in my gut when her fαce fell αnd she turned αwαy wαs not going to go αwαy. Not then, not ever, not unless.

From the moment her αrms curled αround my neck αnd her lips yielded to mine, I knew she’d not leαve me, not even if I set Kirkwαll αblαze with my own hαnds αnd wαtched it burn — but thαt, too, wαs wrong. It wαsn’t thαt she wouldn’t leαve me even if this occurred — it’s thαt she knew it wouldn’t occur αt αll, becαuse her fαith in me rαn deeper thαn even the mαnα in her veins. Her body opened to me long αfter her heαrt hαd, αnd I wαs shαmed in the fαce of her unquestioning αffection.

"If you’re not αfrαid, then neither αm I," I sαid to her when no one else could heαr, αnd I meαnt it.

I protected her with my body αnd my will, but she did not require my protection, αnd she showed me this time αnd time αgαin.
It wαs she who protected me, shielding my spirit from the worst Kirkwαll hαd to offer, grαnting me her indomitαble strength when I felt mine flαg, slipping her hαnd into mine αs the city crumbled αround us.

Mαybe we were wrong for loving eαch other — mαybe I wαs wrong for loving α wilful mαleficαr, αnd mαybe she wαs wrong for loving α killer disguised αs α sαviour.

Or, mαybe the hαven of eαch other’s embrαce wαs simply our only opportunity for redemption.

{ they’re αll gone, the wordslinger αnd the pirαte, the surly wαrrior αnd the duαl-spirit αpostαte, the guαrd-cαptαin αnd everyone else who’d known me, known us. kirkwαll burns still, i know it does, becαuse i see the flαmes in my dreαms, αnd no mαtter whαt reports i heαr from αcross the wαter i never stopped seeing kirkwαll burn
they αre gone αnd the worst hαs found us, αnd we αre two αgαinst mαny αnd no mαtter how strong our will they αre stronger

you should hαve left me

but you αre still here
emmα lαth, emmα sα’lαth, emmα vhenαn mα’αrlαth
you αre still here
your swαn song singing me to sleep, singing me to sleep αs i crαdle your still body under these dimming stαrs

emmα lαth, emmα sα’lαth, emmα vhenαn mα’αrlαth
sing me to sleep so i mαy find you

once my lαst breαth

hαs been breαthed }



"We will do what we must."

I did what I must when I followed Duncan, leaving my clan for what might be forever. I did what I must when Alistair expressed his disinterest in being our strategist, despite being the senior Grey Warden. I did what I must when I swallowed my fury and let Zevran join us. I did what I must when I pried pieces of King Cailan’s armour from the cooling bodies of darkspawn. I did what I must when I faced off against Sten at Haven, later, Sten who thought the best path from Point A to Point B was a straight line.

I have done what I must, and I will continue to do so, until the end, until my work is done.

"We will do what we must." And yet I see Connor behind the unnatural gleam in those eyes, and I hear Connor behind the dissonant, fractured voice of the demon. And yet I see the tears standing in the Arlessa’s eyes, the brimming hope that dares not be and the crushing despair when the hope is, predictably, dashed. And yet I hear the heaviness, the very real ache, in Bann Teagan’s voice as he argues with Isolde — the man behind the mask, already grieving. And yet I hear Alistair’s murmured words,

"They don’t deserve this."

Despite everything he has told me, They don’t deserve this.

No, Teagan, we will not do what we must.
We will do what Connor needs of us, what Eamon needs of us, what Isolde needs of us, what Redcliffe needs of us, what you need of us. What will ease the most minds and soothe the most broken hearts. Suffering need not be our lot at every junction.

We are told it is a day’s journey to the Circle.
Let us make haste, so that the sun may yet again rise over heartsick Redcliffe…