When the templars found him, he'd been hiding out in a cave in the middle of nowhere. They'd taken him by complete surprise, a mark of how far he'd fallen in all this time.
He fought them but it had been five against one...
In the end, he'd suffered a bloodied nose and a badly bruised arm by the time they put him in chains. His magic had been suppressed from him, damn the templars and their abilities.
How did it come to this? Anders thought, as he was forced to his knees whilst the templars put him in chains.
For once he had been strong, now he was weaker... no not weaker but rather unstable. He had trouble using his magic these days.
Over the years, Justice had begun to fight him for control. Justice, the spirit that merged with Anders all those years ago, the friend that he had made in his time with the Grey Wardens.
Justice didn't fight Anders directly, even he wasn't sure where he ended and Justice began, but at times he felt emotions and thoughts that were not his own.
It made it hard for him to use his magic.
Then there was the blood running through his veins. The mark of all Wardens, the Darkspawn taint that gave him the ability to sense their presence.
Only that been troubling as of late. He wasn't sure what had happened, for months he could hear the Darkspawn as he had never heard them before, where once it had been whispers had suddenly become shouting.
Almost as if his Calling had arrived. But no, that would have been impossible. It hadn't been thirty years yet.
Strange, he'd felt something similar when he'd ventured deep into the Warden prison with Hawke. But he knew it couldn't be Corypheus again. Hawke killed him... Anders saw that evil thing get it's head cut off.
Regardless... that feeling had gone away weeks ago.
"Found you, bastard" a templar hissed shoving Anders forward and bring him out of his thoughts.
The man tugged on Anders's chains and hauled him out of his cave... out into the outside world after months of hiding. "Ugh" he groaned as the light hit his eyes, the templars dragging him forward regardless of his discomfort.
"Are we sure it's him?" one templar asked another.
"It's him. He can grow a beard, and his hair may be greying, but the phylactery doesn't lie" another templar answered.
Anders, whom had frozen as he listened to their conversation, was suddenly shoved forward.
My phylactery... so they managed to find that did they? I thought I'd gotten rid of it... unless they made copies he thought.
"Apostate! Move!" a templar shouted, shoving him forward again.
Anders stumbled and fell to his knees, the chains made it hard for him to move.
"Get up!" another said hauling him to his feet.
This isn't going to be pleasant Anders thought as the templars shoved him forward.
Hours later, after walking for miles they'd finally stopped in some dark woods. Anders didn't know where they were anymore.
He didn't know much of anything of the outside world anymore. He was still in the Free Marches; he knew that much.
Funny, how being on the run seemed to mess with his sanity.
The templars had set up camp for the evening. They had chained Anders up to a tree before getting comfortable around their camp fire.
He said nothing as the templars ate in front of them, not a single one of them offering him even a drink of water.
Anders tried to move his hands, to summon the Arcane magic he'd learned during his time with the Wardens and break his chains, but no.
The templars had taken his magic from him.
Every four hours, like clockwork, they used Silence on him to make sure he was never able to use even a fraction of his power.
Smart, he may not have been as stable as he had been before. But he was still a mage, and all it took for him to lay waste to his enemies was a wave of his hand.
He was snapped out his thoughts when he heard the templars arguing about him.
Anders looked up with hazy tired eyes and saw the templars yelling at each other.
"We should kill him right here and now!" one shouted, this one a human male.
"Cane listen! It isn't like it was before and you know it! The Order isn't what it used to be!" the leader of the templars, a human female said.
The Order isn't what it used to be? Have the mages took them down? I've been in hiding for too long... I know next to nothing about the outside world Anders realized.
Anders watched the templars arguing over his fate before closing his eyes in frustration. He was tired and felt a hundred years old.
He hardly looked like his old self since the events at Kirkwall. He'd lost weight while on the run, attaining a more gaunter almost skeletal look, grown a beard that he'd hadn't been able to keep clean, and his hair had gone unwashed and started to grey as of late.
That was of little concern to Anders now though.
He had wanted to be the spark that ignited change, the revolutionary whom freed the mages. Instead he'd became a fugitive on the run and in the end, the templars had found him again.
Not even his fellow Apostates had stood with him.
Anders had tried to regroup with the rebel mages after Kirkwall, but a lot of mages despised him for turning them into fugitives. Those that praised him for his actions where often not the revolutionaries that Anders had thought they would be, but rather cold and ruthless fools.
And so he'd fled from his own people, fellow Apostates on the run...
It had been for the best. His presence had done more harm than good among the rebel mages, he brought divides among their ranks and they couldn't have that.
At least that's what he told himself.
So Anders had left it to others to lead the rebel mages across Thedas. The templars had their own leaders, but as he had just been captured... he didn't think things were going so well for the mages.
Anders opened his eyes, and looked at the templars arguing again.
"The Inquisition would be the best option!" the leader was shouting. She seemed to being having trouble with one of her men, Cane, his name was apparently.
Anders chuckled as he realized something.
Of course, it had to be a woman who captured me.
"What the hell are you laughing at!" a templar shouted.
Anders gulped as suddenly he felt cold steel at his throat. One of the templars, Cane, had unsheathed his longsword and shoved the blade at Anders's throat.
Anders met this Cane's glare with one of his own.
"My sister was in the chantry at Kirkwall" Cane hissed at him with cold, hatred fueled eyes.
Anders stared at the templar unblinkingly.
"She used to teach children the chant of light... and then you killed her! You murdered an entire chantry full of innocent people!" Cane shouted.
"... and how many sisters have you killed?" Anders asked barely a whisper.
That took the templar aback.
"Wha-" Cane began.
"How many innocents have you murdered? How many mages did you kill to 'serve the Maker'. How many Apostates or frightened children did you put to the sword or worse... made Tranquil!" Anders shouted coldly.
All the templars stood silent before his words.
"How many! How many kids! How many parents! Siblings! Not so easy when you have your eyes opened is it? To realize your enemy is actually people and not some nightmare you can kill guilt-free? To realize that they all had families!" Anders shouted back.
Cane spat on him. The Apostate flinched but stared unblinking, he'd been running from templars all his life, and he learned long ago not to show fear.
"Do it" Anders said coldly.
The templar pressed the blade of his longsword to the Apostate's throat. "NO!" the leader shouted and two templars grabbed Cane by his arms.
Anders scoffed as the longsword left his throat and Cane was hauled back.
"They'll kill him anyway! The Order! The Wardens! The Inquisition! It doesn't matter... he dies no matter who orders it" Cane shouted.
He's not wrong Anders thought darkly.
"That's enough!" the leader shouted even as Cane was hauled back by two of his comrades, each holding him back by an arm.
"The Wardens are even more disorganized than the templars. The only place we take him is the Inquisition, and that's final" the leader said sternly, her word law.
Anders shifted uncomfortably in his chains, the tree made his back hurt and his chest was aching the longer he was forced to sit up.
Justice? She wishes to be just? She should have done that ages ago... when the mages were suffering under the Templars' rule, when she could have made a difference; a voice that was not his own said in Anders's mind.
"There is no justice in this world" Anders muttered to himself. He did that a lot lately.
"You shut up!" the leader said snapping back at him.
Anders made to raise his hands up in surrender, a polite acknowledgment of her authority in this situation, but remembered that he was chained to a tree unable to move.
Instead, Anders nodded.
The leader turned away from him and addressed another templar.
"Make sure he's given enough food and water to live. We don't want him dying yet. Tomorrow we head for Skyhold" she said.
Skyhold? Anders thought.
Later, as Anders was gulping down the little water that had been afforded to him, he managed to chuckle inwardly.
Well... at least they remembered to feed me he thought.