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literature

You Don't Know Me

Dragonwyrd316's avatar
By Dragonwyrd316   |   Watch
20 28 3K (1 Today)
Published: June 2, 2011
You think you know  me, but you don't, not really.  The stories you've heard of me are somewhat accurate, but as with anything coming second-hand, the truths behind the actions either aren't known or understood.  Some like to make up bits and pieces if they don't feel that the truth fits in with the rest, or to fill a hole they believe is there when otherwise they would have had it correct.

I'm not going to start at the beginning.  Too much has happened for me to want to try and remember every detail.  I don't wish to share every decision, disagreement, or campfire discussion.  Nor will I tell this tale to the end, as there is no end yet.  I don't plan on there being one for quite some time.  Yes, I understand that my life will be shorter than the average person's due to the taint I took within my body the day I became a Grey Warden, but that doesn't mean that I'm ready to roll over and wait for it.  

If you want to hear my story, let's start near the end of the Blight, the Landsmeet more specifically.  Loghain had decided to ambush myself, Arl Eamon, and the others as we were trying to settle into the estate.  Nothing seemed to get through his thick skull in regards to how his actions were hurting Ferelden.  Arl Howe had added Arl of Denerim into his long list of titles.  Now that I know what the man is capable of, I'm not sure who was the worst of the two to reside in the Arling - Howe or Vaughn Kendall.  It doesn't matter now.  Both men are dead and the country is better for it.

It felt odd being back in the Capital again.  Memories are still burned into my brain of the day of my wedding, when Vaughn kidnapped Shianni, Valora, Nola, myself, and others.  Nola was murdered before my eyes because she had the strength to stand up for herself.  Nelaros died trying to save me.  Soris and I tried so hard to get to Vaughn's room before any damage was done, but unfortunately that human had already put his hands on her.  I took pleasure in killing him, especially after he offered me blood money to leave my cousin with him and leave the city quietly.  My family means more to me than any sovereign you could place in my palm.

But, I digress.  I hadn't even had a chance to relax when I was called to Eamon's quarters.  Anora's maid, Erlina, needed our assistance in freeing her mistress.  At least I knew the layout of the estate when we snuck in to try and liberate the woman.  Our luck disappeared when we were faced with a magical barrier keeping us from the queen.  Down into the bowels of the keep we went, meeting another Warden in our search for Howe.  I'm still not sure how I feel about Riordan, though the man did try to do his duty and keep us from needing to take the final blow against the Archdemon, losing his life in the process.  

I was disgusted with what I found in the basement of the keep.  Howe was torturing prisoners and it seemed as though it was more for his own pleasure than anything else.  While my actions netted me assistance in the Landsmeet, I still wonder how the two men fare whom I had freed.  At the end of the day, Howe ended up dead, the Queen freed, and I found myself a guest within Fort Drakon.  I won't go into details, but let me just say that it's not impossible to escape from, nor infiltrate.  It would have taken me much longer to leave on my own, but I'll never forget nor be able to thank Wynne and Zevran enough for breaking me out of my cage.  Neither one of them have spoken much of what it took to find me, though I do wonder how many times Zevran teased Wynne about the perkiness of her bosom.  Yes, there's a story there, but that's one for a later day.  As the last battle was fought on the fort's roof, I must admit that my time spent within its walls were not necessarily a bad thing as I walked out with a rough sketch of the floor plan in my head.  

While I understand that things needed to move quickly, decisions made, before the Blight truly overtook Ferelden, it seemed as though I was barely able to rest when I was requested to the Arl's quarters once again.  According to Anora, her father was involved with something underhanded within the Alienage.  The horrors of a possible purge flowed through my veins, but what I discovered was even worse.  After the initial hugs and tears between myself, Soris, and Shianni, it was brought to my attention that there were Tevinter Magisters supposedly treating my people for the plague.  Upon further investigation, the true reason for them being in the Alienage became clear - they were selling my people into slavery to fund Loghain's civil war.  My blood boiled in my veins at the knowledge that he considered us to be nothing more than a commodity to be bartered for his own gain.  I hope Caladrius and the others with him are still feeling the cold metal of my daggers in the ever after.  I was able to save my father, but unfortunately I was too late for Valendrian.  Why am I always too late?

Arl Eamon was ecstatic when he heard the news.  I was still in a state of shock and rage.  More ammunition to use against Loghain, he said, but what about those who had already been taken?  They deserved more consideration than he gave them.

After a brief conversation with Anora, I talked her into marrying Alistair for a stronger bid to the throne as well as a way to keep the masses happy.  I don't think she appreciated me interrupting her when she tried to soften my anger against her father, but my heart was still too raw.  Alistair wasn't too happy with the idea of marrying her, but he agreed to it, more to keep the peace I'm sure.

Not everything that happened during this time was filled with hurt or sorrow.  Zevran was able to finally rid himself of Taliesen and the rest of the Crows that had taken up the contract to finish what he had failed to do.  Once he was free and able to choose his own path, he admitted his love for me.  The earring I wear is his token, his gift, his promise to be ever faithful to me.

The day of the Landsmeet arrived.  Loghain was playing up the reasons why the people should follow his lead.  I slowly chipped away at his support, with all but one standing behind me in the end after Anora said her piece.  He wouldn't step down, but yet agreed to a duel to show the people who would be the stronger one to lead Ferelden's armies against the darkspawn horde.  I won, but before I could kill him, Riordan suggested making him a Grey Warden.  I couldn't fault his logic - there were only three of us in all of Ferelden and having yet another would give us a better chance at victory.  Not only that, but killing him would be too easy.  There was always a chance he would die in the Joining, but I felt forcing him into the order he despised would be an even greater punishment.  Alistair was furious.  He wouldn't listen to reason, but instead believed that I had betrayed him, stating that someone like Loghain didn't deserve the honor of being a Warden.  My decision initially cost me our friendship, but at least he didn't back down from his promise to me when it came to marrying Anora and ruling jointly.  I say initially because I think he finally understood when we spoke again at his coronation, that sparing Loghain was the right thing to do.  We both agreed that the man had paid for his crimes, and he apologized for his words to me the day of the Landsmeet.  Perhaps when I return to Ferelden, we'll have a chance to sit down and truly talk, but for now, other things are on my mind.

The next couple of weeks after the Landsmeet were a blur.  We departed from Denerim to head back to Redcliff and begin preparations for the final assault.  Imagine my unpleasant surprise when I arrived to find the village, which had survived the attacks from the undead months earlier, completely overrun by darkspawn.  I still don't know how many survived, but the fact that I was late again still haunts me.  We cleared them out then began the assault on the ones guarding the keep's courtyard, hoping that the rest of our party had made it safely within its walls.  They had, Maker be praised, but the worst was yet to come.  The Archdemon had been spotted and was traveling with the bulk of the horde toward Denerim.  Riordan gave it two days before they reached the city, not enough time for us to catch up with them.  Damnit!  Then came the news that the Warden who kills the Archdemon dies, due to the fact that we are not, as he put it, a 'soulless vessel' as a darkspawn would be, therefore when the taint drew it into our body, we would be destroyed as would it.  While I know accepting Morrigan's assistance would have kept me safe from that fate, I didn't quite trust her motives.  I didn't intend on dying that day, hoping Riordan would do as he had planned and taken that final blow himself, but events didn't play out that way.

Loghain decided to take that step and kill the Archdemon.  I didn't care to hear his reasons why but up until that final battle, each small moment that I gave myself a chance to rest, nightmares flooded my mind.  Fear of never seeing Zevran again or being held in his arms.  Never hearing the word 'Kadan' coming out of Sten's mouth as he talked to me - I'm still honored beyond words that he would look at me, a bas or outsider in our language, as someone he respected and trusted.  The thought that I'd never be able to lay my fears and insecurities on Wynne's shoulders and listen to her words of wisdom made me choke back tears.  She's the closest thing I've had to a mother since my own died.  Relief flooded my veins the moment I realized I would walk away from that battle, but the lives lost up until the point that the blight had been ended will always stay with me.  I needed to get away from Ferelden for a while, clear my head of everything that has happened.  It's why Zevran and I decided to follow Sten to Seheron.

*****

"What are you doing, piccola mia?" Zevran whispered in Yllwen's ear as he slid up behind her on their bed, his arms finding purchase around her waist as he lay his chin on her shoulder.

"It's only been a few days but already bards are telling tales of my adventures that don't match the truth.  I thought I'd try to set the record straight by writing part of the story myself."

"Let them have their fun, my dear Warden.  It's not every day they have a true hero to sing songs or spout prose about.  Besides, you know the truth and I know the truth, yes?  Why waste time writing this when we have only a few more days in the city before we leave.  I can think of more… enjoyable… ways of spending this time.  There is plenty of rope about the Arl's estate, or perhaps we could borrow a ship and I could play pirate?" he teased.  Laughing, Yllwen smacked at Zevran's wandering hands.

"Tonight will be for sleep only, love.  We have a full day tomorrow with my father and cousins."

"Ahh yes, a day spent with them asking my life story to see if I am worthy of you, mi amore."

"And drinking."

"Well that I could get into!"

"Goodnight, Zevran," she grinned, turning her head to give him a swift kiss on the lips before slipping out of his arms to set her writing implements on a nearby table, then curl up in the bed.  Laughing, he slid in beside her and pulled her close, a smile on both of their lips as sleep tugged them under.
This is my submission for *SoniaCarreras project for Yllwen. I was assigned to write the prologue, and after a few changes here and there that she and I worked and agreed on, it's finally ready for her project.

This encompasses the time of the Landsmeet until a few days after the battle for the Archdemon, her experiences and in her words.

Cover Art done by :iconsoniacarreras: - you can see the full sized image here: [link] (Isn't it gorgeous?! I think it is!)

Yllwen Tabris is (c) :iconsoniacarreras:
Zevran and the others are (c) BioWare (though don't tell Yllwen that because I don't want her coming after me with her nugcrusher).

*SoniaCarreras has my permission to use this as she sees fit, whether it's uploading it to her own account or elsewhere. I may have written it, but this also belongs to her with full copyrights as well
Comments28
anonymous's avatar
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victricia's avatar
victriciaHobbyist Digital Artist
*cough* took me ages to actually get to read this! But now I had time to sit down and give it the attention it deserved :) Marvellously written, dear! ^^
Dragonwyrd316's avatar
Dragonwyrd316Hobbyist Writer
Thanks hon! :hug:
Marilynde's avatar
MarilyndeHobbyist Traditional Artist
Very nice written! The story itself is beautiful, and you wrote it very touching, I just *had* to read it all to the end!! :aww:
Dragonwyrd316's avatar
Dragonwyrd316Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
Marilynde's avatar
MarilyndeHobbyist Traditional Artist
No problem!
Dragonwyrd316's avatar
Dragonwyrd316Hobbyist Writer
And thanks for the fav! :hug:
Marilynde's avatar
MarilyndeHobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome! :hug:
A-Redheads-Ramblings's avatar
A-Redheads-RamblingsHobbyist General Artist
This is so wonderfully written you should be proud of it =D
Dragonwyrd316's avatar
Dragonwyrd316Hobbyist Writer
Thank you sooooo much! I really appreciate it :)
bukittyan's avatar
bukittyanProfessional Digital Artist
Awesome prologue! I can just hear Yllwenn's voice in her diary. :D Well done!
Dragonwyrd316's avatar
Dragonwyrd316Hobbyist Writer
Thanks a ton hon! :hug:
gwpe's avatar
gwpeHobbyist General Artist
What a great start to the project!

I love that you wrote most of it in first person; it's interesting to get inside Yllwenn's head. First person is not easy to pull off, but you're very talented at it. I particularly like the line about not wishing to relate every disagreement, decision and campfire discussion -- don't know why, but it struck a chord :D

The switch from Yllwenn's writing to the interaction between her and Zevran is awesome. Zev's lines are so pure Zev that I can hear his voice :D

Lovely work! :)
Dragonwyrd316's avatar
Dragonwyrd316Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much! I had a blast writing this for Sonia and I'm glad that people are enjoying it.

And Zevran lives in my head almost constantly, even though I'm taking a break from DA due to burnout. Well him and Nathaniel. I actually think they're the flip sides of my conscience - Nathaniel shares the angel shoulder with Kaidan from Mass Effect, while Zevran shares the devil shoulder with Joker from Mass Effect. *facedesks* The voices in my head love me... bleh lol
gwpe's avatar
gwpeHobbyist General Artist
You're welcome :hug:

LOL. I think Oghren is my secret flip side. Which is kind of horrifying as I'm very much like Nathaniel in general :D

Aww, I hope you recover from your DA burnout soon. A few people have been suffering from that lately. I'm dreading about reaching mine, but luckily I'll have Mass Effect to fall back on ... haven't really played that yet.
Dragonwyrd316's avatar
Dragonwyrd316Hobbyist Writer
ME is my fallback - already 7 chapters into a Joker fic... and I haven't played ME nearly as many times as DA. During the long time I was unemployed (like over a year) it was my fallback of something to do when I wasn't out job hunting... then add in DA2 and how easy it was to get through quickly. Between the two of them I've played the game over 40 times. Between ME1 and ME2 - I've played that game a total of 3 times through. Yeah....
gwpe's avatar
gwpeHobbyist General Artist
Wow, well then, burnout is totally understandable. Yeah, I've tried to get into ME a couple of times but couldn't. I've just been too obsessed with Origins. I played DAO a few times when it came out, but I was so busy with real life that I didn't have time for anything more. This semester has been my lazy one, so I'm doing another playthrough right now (just for a Loghain mod :D) and indulging in fanart. At least I'll have a good game series to occupy me when I run out of stuff to do ...
Dragonwyrd316's avatar
Dragonwyrd316Hobbyist Writer
Loghain mod? What kind of mod?
gwpe's avatar
gwpeHobbyist General Artist
I thought you'd be interested ;)

[link]

Not all of it is finished, but someone else on dA told me that the portion about having Loghain as a romance option and companion reactions when you kiss him is done ... haven't even reached the Landsmeet yet so I can't verify.
Dragonwyrd316's avatar
Dragonwyrd316Hobbyist Writer
Whooo... can't wait to try this out... *giggle*
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Wirls's avatar
I love the prologue! Great work! :clap:

I found one error though:
"I needed to get away from Ferelden from a while (This should be "for a while"), clear my head of everything that has happened."
Dragonwyrd316's avatar
Dragonwyrd316Hobbyist Writer
Thanks.

And got it. Meant to change it earlier but been too busy and with E3 I totally forgot about it. Easy to miss since it's correctly spelled so spell check wouldn't catch it lol
Wirls's avatar
Yeah, spellcheck can be a pain like that at times... ;)
Dragonwyrd316's avatar
Dragonwyrd316Hobbyist Writer
Yup lol. Eh well! Thanks for catching it!
anonymous's avatar
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