Authors' Note:

This is a collaborative work by User:Isolationistmagi and User:GabrielleduVent. Original characters are owned by the respective owners. The story picks up immediately after Alistair Theirin leaves with Isabela and Varric on his quest depicted in The Silent Grove.

We do not endorse murder of elephants in any way, shape, or form.

Killing Elephants: Prologue

By: GabrielleduVent

It is a very rare occurrence for anyone to hear the elven mage to swear. Generally, Amarina Surana was a quiet woman. She did not speak very often, and when she did, her words were precise and well-chosen. There was sweetness to her words that just did not go well with swearing. Swearing was ugly, crass and cacophonic, and her voice just did not do well with it. That did not mean she was a defenceless demure maiden, but if she was a rose, she was a rose with sharp thorns. She’d make a few choice remarks but that would be it. Ever since Ferelden had rejoiced in the coming of the Golden King, she had very few reasons to make those remarks, if ever. Her lover adored her to the point it was near worship – it was rather obvious that Alistair loved her, even to a blind eye – and her heart was filled with love for him. Their nights spent together, when one of them was not travelling, were filled with joy. The public adulated and loved her, and she had established a solid trade with Orzammar, so the economy was in a boom.

So when, on a bright, Sunday morning, the palace residents heard a string of curses and things crashing, the last person they thought of was the elven mage. But Amarina had a tendency to give people nasty surprises. This was no exception. Suddenly there was a shattering thunderclap so violent it shook the palace; people peered out the windows to see a clear blue sky, and were puzzled, only until another crash ripped the quiet morning, followed by frightened babble. Another crash followed, then more shouting and confusion. Teagan Guerrin opened the door, curious and annoyed at the commotion – how could he do anything with all that noise going on? With Alistair’s ascension to the throne, his workload had just tripled – when he saw people coming down the corridor.

People were running – actually fleeing. There were screams that echoed through the halls and calls of “Fire!”. He saw Isolde bolt from the general direction of the Royal Apartments, where Alistair and the Lady Mage shared their life, her eyes wide with terror and her hair askew.

“What’s the matter, Isolde?” He asked.

“It’s The Warden!” Isolde gasped, stumbling on the hem of her dress in her haste to flee. “She’s destroying everything in sight!”


Another deafening crash sent the Orlesian woman reeling, and she clung to Teagan in terror. Unravelling the woman’s arms from himself, he went to investigate. The inside was a disaster. The apartment was in complete ruins. Furniture was shattered, wall hangings ripped down, windows turned to dust and the air full of fume. Teagan knew temper tantrums enough to see the artistry of destruction when there was any, and the disaster inside the Royal Apartment was so absolute that it went beyond art into the realms of natural catastrophe. Apparently the Lady Mage, the elven flower of Denerim and the beloved of the Golden King, was having a very bad day. So bad that she deemed it necessary to set things on fire. Being an elementalist mage, she was extremely good at setting things on fire or scorching everything to the ground with a lightning bolt, and it was apparent that she was doing just that. Spectacularly.

Red flames leapt out of the second floor windows of the palace, suddenly frozen in place with another shrill spell. People were evacuating the palace, terrified that the slender elf would burn it to the ground. Teagan decided this was a wise idea, and therefore did not see the mage’s harried departure.

A few minutes later, series of doors crashed open, and a loud gallop was heard from the courtyard of the Denerim palace. The courtiers looked at each other but decided not to ask any questions. You really didn’t want to anger someone who could conjure a fist-sized rock out of thin air and hurl it at your head.

“Laryn! Solaryn Mahariel!” The Dalish elf, the vallaslin stark against the skin, looked up from her breakfast, brushing the crumbs away from the reports she was reading. She knew the owner of the voice very well, but just not in that tone, exactly. Her voice was usually soft, even amidst the din of battle, but now it was clear as clarion and just as penetrating.

There were voices stopping, and then a terse reply, then more voices, then a sharp command that told everyone that she would not take no for an answer, then hurried footsteps, and there she was, her dark blue gambeson stark against her skin so white it reminded her of bone. Her grey eyes, almost silver in hue, were stark and livid, and her mouth was drawn in a severe line. She stood, blade at her hip, her dark hair shining in the morning light, looking as if she was ready to kill something. Solaryn blinked.

“Hello, Amarina.”