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Dragon Age: Apocalypse: Prologue

The moon sat low in the night sky; its eerie blue light reflecting off the still waters of the dozens of stagnant pools. The pungent smell of death filled the air around the village, thick as fog. He had no difficulty drawing breath, as he did not need the air to breathe, but this one’s lungs groaned against heavy acrid air. With each step he took, a sucking sound accompanied with a puff of gas emanated from under his feet. The ground was still covered in the oily substance left over from the abominations which haunted this land. Everywhere he looked he saw death. It shamed him that a place, once so beautiful, could be infected this far. Even as he admitted this to himself, hope fluttered in the pit of his stomach. There might be a chance that he could return home. He had seen enough of this world to realize its hypocritical nature. Men claimed to seek truth, but when faced with it, cower from the realization that their lives may be changed. Convictions gave way to material possessions. Coin breaks a man’s spirit, and honor is rewarded to the one who has the most of it. He reached the main thoroughfare of the small village. Smaller streets streaked across the ground to connect to the two larger roads, which met at a tee just outside a large gate into a small courtyard. Small stone houses with thatched roofs once lined these streets. He remembered the way the smoke from the chimneys curled through the sky. He remembered the sounds of laughter from the villagers and children as they played their games in the streets. He saw the women washing their clothes in large basins beside their homes. He smelled the baked bread and stew, and saw men hurrying home with bundles of wood to last the long winter months. Away in the distance he heard the familiar pang of hammer on stone, and men calling for anchor at the docks. The vision lasted only a few moments and vanished, leaving him feeling strangely empty. He saw the crumbling mass of stone lying about as the walls of the houses had fallen. He peered into a nearby home and saw a small cot, now only a frame with fragments of a sheet laying loose about it. He stepped over the stones, through the opening they had made in the wall. He knelt beside the cot and picked up a corner of the sheet. The fabric, though centuries old, still felt warm in his hand. He rubbed the sheet between his thumb and finger and saw the thread of the fabric move, twist and pull-apart. The fabric fell from his fingers and his thumbed moved against his own fingers. He saw how his own skin moved and peeled from the bones in his fingers. He scratched at his left arm and noticed flakes of skin falling to the ground. He didn’t have much time left. He needed to get back home, among his kind. He once again sent out emanations from his body, searching for a small trail he could follow. If the Veil could be torn here once, it could be again. If the Veil was still weak he could sunder it, and return home, but he had not sensed anything in days. He looked again at the barren cot and its failing sheet. His shoulders slumped and his arms fell to his sides, knuckles scraping on the ground. Lost in thought and hope, he had not heard the muffled footsteps behind him. He abruptly turned to face the assailant. His hands remembered their old routine and reached behind him to grab both mace and shield. He stood, knees bent, shield in front, mace held slightly above his head, preparing to make the assault. His opponent stood in the shadow of a blackened tree which grew beside one of the houses, her feminine form outlined in the bluish-white light from the moon. She stopped and rested one shoulder against the tree, crossed her arms, and wrapped one leg in front of the other. He stood watching her, waiting for a sign of her intentions. His fatigued and failing muscles began to shake, and his shield lowered from his chin. He snapped it quickly into place just as his mace fell from his grasp. “What a shame, a warrior who can no longer handle the instruments of his trade, though I see your courage has failed you not.” He knelt to pick up his mace, and repositioned himself, with his mace resting across his body on the edge of his shield. “I chose to face my foes than to hide in shadows. Would that the same be said of you?” He whispered but a word and felt his muscle and bones strengthen and the weight of shield and mace lessen. “A courageous and honorable denizen from the Fade, my lucky day. I thought only demons and abominations could enter this world, how pleasant to see that is not entirely so. I had heard stories of a spirit working alongside the Warden Commander, but I had no idea he would be so….frail.“ “If you wish to see how frail I am, show yourself and let’s be about it. If not, then speak to me of who you are and what you wish so we may both be back to our own business. I have no time for games.” “I am the Witch of the Wilds, the Mother of the Forgotten, Daughter of Flemeth, choose your favorite bed time horror, but your Warden Commander knows me as Morrigan.” As she spoke, a slender black leather boot slipped into his view, the pale skin of her leg shown brightly in the moonlight. She moved eloquently towards him, each step m esmerizing. He watched in stunned silence she moved closer, her hips swaying back in forth, making each step last an eternity. She was clothed in a black tunic, which wrapped around her body, only covering the most modest parts of her chest, leaving bare her silky, ivory skin. Her skirt was fashioned of strips of black studded leather which were longer on the sides than in the front, again managing only to cover the barest parts of he being. Draped across her shoulders were a cloak made from the feathers of ravens, and lined with teeth of wolves. She carried on her back a black staff, made of three branches entwined together. Closer to the top, the braches separated and curled outward, tips facing to the center of the staff to make a cradle. Lodged it the cradle was a white crystal, which glowed with the same intensity as the moon, which seemed to brighten slightly. Her dark black hair cascaded down the sides of her face, and flowed down behind her shoulders. Nested on her brow was a silver circlet with a crystal, which matched the one on her staff, centered neatly on it. One corner of her small pink lips curled up a smirked at the astounded warrior. “I know what it is you seek. I know also how you may obtain it. But it has its price.” The man dropped his mace again and sat his shield against his leg on the ground. He looked at the remarkable woman in front of him. “How do I know what you say is true? You do not know me or what I have become. You say you can help but many others have failed. Speak to me of what you know, and then I will determine what is just.” “I should have known that a spirit of Justice would not blindly take my offer. You seek to return to the Fade. You seek to be gone from this world which you strive to bring Justice, but are unable to find. You seek to destroy evil, yet in its destruction, you find more. Even your Warden Commander betrayed Justice in letting the Architect live. Your companions hear your words, and they pledge that one day they will seek Justice against those that have wronged them, but they stand and do nothing. How much longer can you endure? “ “You know much what you should not, but there is one who has yet to turn from his path. But I do long to go back home, into the beauty and power of the Fade. I feel the essence slipping from me. Tell me witch, what do you plan?” “I offer a solution to both your longing for Justice and your yearning for home. There is just one task I require. For this, you will also need to leave your current host, such as it is, and take on a new one. One who will be willing, one with the power to withstand the procedure, and one whose cause will satisfy the demands of Justice, and it helps that he is weak of mind as well. You know of who I speak?” “Yes, I do. And how will this possession be capable? I have read text on lyrium and have found no such theory which supports such a procedure. “ “But my dear Justice, the answer is just right within your reach. Quite literally I say. That is no idle trinket you bear on your finger. That pure lyrium will supply much of the power to sustain you throughout the procedure, and the blood that still runs through your host’s vein should be enough to bind you to your new host. “ “And the one task you require?” “A trip north through the Free Marches to the city of Kirkwall, the gathering of a few materials native to the area, and then you will have the Justice you seek. Once you are completely bound to your host, when the host dies, you will behave as his soul would and be released into the Fade. Your answer?” “I agree” “Good, now I will impart these instructions into your being, so that our willing host will believe he is acting on his own beliefs, but you will be his guide. “ She stretched out her hand, and the crystal on her brow and staff sparked into bright white light. The light wrapped around her outstretched fingers and pulsated with blinding intensity. Justice closed his eyes, and felt an intense heat on his forehead. He screamed in agony as his spirit, his being, felt like it was being torn apart particle by particle. He felt himself being guided and taught a strange new magic and felt a voice inside him whisper of acts of vengeance on those that would enslave. Then all was black. He was no longer Justice. He would seek out Anders and with Morrigan’s help he would be united with the mage, and he will seek justice for the wrongs committed against all enslaved mages. He will stop those who speak Justice but do wrong in its name. He will seek Vengeance and he will return home.Erick21 (talk) 16:58, May 2, 2011 (UTC)Erick21

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