Prolouge: The Aftermath
The warrior kicked at the gravel at her feet, a pebble flying off before hitting a boulder that was the ruins of the Chantry. She sighed as she looked around the destruction before them, her eyes watering at the smears of blood, the burning bodies, and the scent of death in the air. Her companions stood behind her, watching her with sad eyes, before an elf with strange markings came forward and laid a hand on her shoulder.
"Hawke, we must go." The elf, a former slave named Fenris, said, his touch gentle despite the sharp edges of his gauntlet.
Hawke sighed, wiping the tears that fell down her bright green eyes, before running a hand through her dark red hair, "Did we do the right thing, Fenris? Were the mages really worth saving after all this?"
"I should not be the one you should ask that to, Hawke." Fenris said frankly, "You know what mages and magic has done to me."
"Perhaps." Hawke said, "I just… don't know what is right or wrong anymore. After this… after what Anders did… I…"
Fenris sighed and stood beside her, "I do not know what that… abomination thought of when he did this. But we cannot do anything now. If we had known this was his intention, we would've stopped him." He shrugged, "What was that saying… 'no use crying over spilt milk'? The only thing we can do now is to survive through this."
Hawke chuckled a little at the elf's speech, but soon she sobered, "But… I had a hint of it, Fenris. I had a feeling that he was going to do something wrong." She sighed again as she looked up at the ruins of the Chantry, "I just didn't know it would be something like this."
"None of us expected he was capable of doing this, Hawke." The dwarf behind them, Varric, said as he came forward as well, "Blondie was a good kid, but his anger got the best of him."
"His anger led to people dying." Aveline said angrily beside Varric, "I just hope I don't see him. He must never return to Kirkwall."
Merrill shook her head, "He's gone now. I don't think he'll ever come back."
But the pirate queen, Isabella, scoffed, "If you have travelled the world like I had, darling, you'll understand when I say 'you'll never know'." But she sighed and looked around, "But… shit, this is one hell of a mess he had created. What are we supposed to do now?"
Hawke ran a hand through her hair again before sighing, "I don't know. Is Sebastian gone?"
Fenris nodded, "Yes. He made clear that he's heading back to Starkhaven to gather an army to hunt down Anders. I'm sorry, Hawke."
"Then I suppose we should leave as well. The Templars from other regions might come after us. And I doubt Sebastian would forgive me for allowing Anders to live. Leaving Kirkwall is the only thing we can do now." Hawke said, finally turning around and looking at her companions, "I do not know where to go though." She smiled a little before looking at the pirate queen, "Any idea where we can go, Isabela? I could use a vacation."
At this, the company laughed. "There's plenty of room in The Siren's Call for everyone. And I could use some able-bodied crew." Isabela said, before smirking at Aveline, "Including Miss Man-Hands over here."
Aveline chuckled a little, "A vacation with a slattern is a bad idea, Hawke. But it would be a good idea to find somewhere to relax a while." She looked towards the town, "I… I have to find Donnic first, tell him that I'll be going with you."
Hawke sighed again, "And I supposed I should speak with Knight-Commander Cullen as well, to restore order and the rescue of those involved. Or course, there are the others too. I would have to send Sandal, Bodahn and Orana away… probably the dog, too. Poor Ringo… he's going to be upset when I'd have to put him in a cage again so he could travel with Bodahn…"
"Where will you be sending them?" Fenris asked.
"Bodahn told me that they'll be heading to Orlais. He said Empress Celene is interested in Sandal's enchantments." She smiled up at Fenris, "Perhaps we could visit them one day."
The corners of Fenris' lips lifted into a small smirk as he ran a hand through her hair, before running his thumb across her cheek, "We will, Hawke."
She nodded, before smiling and reaching up a hand to her lover's hand. She sighed and the group started walking away from the ruins, when suddenly, Merrill stopped. "Did you hear that?"
"Hear what?" Hawke said as she looked at her elven friend.
"That." Merrill said, and Fenris turned towards the rubble. "I heard it, too. What is that?"
Hawke's ears perked up, and finally she heard it… a muffled groan. Her green eyes widened as she looked at the rubble, "By the Maker… could it be…?"