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Becoming - Chapter 1

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Literature Text

Title: Becoming
Author: Freckles04
Game: Dragon Age: Origins
Character: Alistair
Disclaimer: Originally posted on BSN and FF.net. The world of Dragon Age belongs to Bioware, and many thanks to them for encouraging community creations.

Chapter 1: Selection

Alistair stood in front of the raised platform, trying desperately not to fidget. Bouncing from foot to foot or, Maker, shouting "Pick me!", wasn't going to help his cause any. He needed to remain calm and collected, like the full templars standing on either side of him. Ser Kalvin, Ser Eryhn and Ser Talrew waited in their glistening armor, motionless, for the Grey Warden to speak, as impassive as the rock faces that surrounded Redcliffe. That was what a templar should be, or so Alistair was told.

Andraste's ass, who was he kidding. He closed his eyes briefly as disappointment shivered through him. He'd won some of his sparring matches, sure, but he was by no means the best on the field. He was an initiate, not even a true templar--though rumor had it that he would be by the time the week was out. If the Grand Cleric didn't change her mind again, hoping that another year of training might teach him to hold his tongue a bit better. He sighed quietly, resigned to his fate. No, the Grey Warden would choose one of the more seasoned warriors, and Alistair would be left to take his vows and his allotment of lyrium, and become a good little mage hunter as was decided for him long ago.

"Have you made your decision, Duncan?" Knight-Commander Glavin crossed his arms as he regarded the participants. Alistair forced himself not to look at his feet as the senior templar's eyes lingered on him.

"I have, Knight-Commander. Thank you for organizing this tournament that I might see who would be best suited for the Grey Wardens." Duncan's voice was softer than the Knight-Commander's, more fluid due to his Rivaini heritage, perhaps, but no less strong.

"I hope you weren't...disappointed...in the performance of the candidates."

Alistair swallowed as the Knight-Commander's glare intensified. Maker, the look on the man's face when the Grey Warden had suggested he--a lowly initiate--take the field... He groaned, knowing the senior templar would likely banish him to the kitchen, again, for his presumptuous participation, despite it not being his idea at all. The Chantry was like that, he'd discovered: everyone had a place, and Maker spit on them if they stepped beyond it.

"Not at all. The participants conducted themselves as I expected they would, with honor," the Grey Warden said. "I have decided that I will recruit Alistair."

Alistair nodded as disappointment wound through him, then froze. His eyes snapped to the Warden. "Wait...what? Did I hear you right?"

The Knight-Commander's arms fell to his sides in shock. "Duncan, I implore you to reconsider. Alistair is barely fit to be an initiate. He certainly has not earned the honor of becoming a Grey Warden."

"I believe that is something only I can determine, my friend. I have said I will recruit this young man, and I will." Steel entered Duncan's dark eyes at his proclamation. "I came here seeking a warrior of character, and I believe I have found him."

"Absolutely not!"

Alistair turned at the indignant shout from the Grand Cleric. The woman might look old and frail, but he knew from experience she could wield her cane with impunity. She thumped up the steps to join the Knight-Commander and Grey Warden, her body practically vibrating with anger. Odd...Alistair had thought she'd be happy to be rid of him.

"I refuse to allow this...this initiate to be recruited," she fumed. "He is a disgrace to the Chantry! I will not allow his insolence to pollute your order."

"Your Reverence, it is not for you to decide." Duncan's lips curved in a cold smile. "King Maric reaffirmed the Grey Wardens' Right of Conscription, and his son, Cailan, has continued to support it. I hereby invoke that Right and welcome Alistair to the order."

"You--you--"

Alistair held his breath, certain the old harpy was about to have a stroke. Or call for their arrest. She could do that; Alistair had seen it on a handful of occasions when the Chantry had been asked to mediate a dispute. Her face had reddened to match the rust-colored dirt of the tournament ring. All at once, she deflated and shook her head.

"If you must," she said. "I cannot deny you your Right of Conscription." She turned narrowed eyes to Alistair. "Maker watch over you, son. Perhaps the danger you'll face as a Grey Warden will smarten you up. And if I hear you've shared Chantry secrets..."

Alistair swallowed and nodded before turning to Duncan. "You're actually serious?" Part of him thought someone would jump out any minute, declare this whole thing a jest, and send him off to scrub pots. "You want me to be a Warden? But..." He blinked and gave his head a shake. "Why?"

"We can discuss it as we travel," Duncan said, still smiling--but now his expression held a warmth that hadn't been there before. "Go get your things, boy; we leave immediately."

Stunned, Alistair turned and began the trek to the barracks. Him. A Grey Warden. By all the holy...

His steps quickened into a run, and he didn't bother to stifle the triumphant shout that burst forth.

###

The miles fell away beneath their feet. Alistair barely noticed the passing of time, so caught up was he in the joy of being free. For the first time in ten years, he was beyond the yoke of the Chantry, free from disappointed gazes and intolerant sighs. He wanted to kick up his heels and whoop with delight, but he restrained himself. Barely.

As some of his exuberant energy wore away, Alistair noted the lengthening of the shadows. He'd never travelled this way before, but the countryside looked the same as that surrounding Redcliffe. His stomach gurgled, and he hoped the Grey Warden would decide to set up camp soon.

"So, Ser, are we going to Denerim?"

The Grey Warden chuckled. "You may call me Duncan."

"Ser Duncan--"

"No, just Duncan. I'm no knight, believe me." The dark-skinned man cast a smile back at Alistair, which the younger man couldn't help but return. "And yes, we'll be going to the Grey Warden headquarters at the palace in Denerim. There, you'll undergo the Joining."

"The palace?" Alistair closed his eyes briefly. Maker's breath. "Wonderful."

"You have something against the King's quarters?"

"No, no," he said quickly. "Not at all. I'm sure it will be just fine." He patted his stomach as it rumbled again. "Duncan, will we...be stopping soon?"

"Tired already?"

"No! I mean, sort of." He gave the Grey Warden a crooked grin. "It's just that I'm rather hungry. Trail rations don't go very far."

"True enough." Duncan chuckled. "We're nearly to Lothering. We'll stop there for the night. It's another hour, perhaps two. Think you can make it?"

Alistair nodded. "I know I can."

"That's a good lad. Come on now, enough chattering."
Alistair, bastard prince and former templar, embarks on a new life as a Grey Warden.

Next chapter: [link]
© 2011 - 2021 Freckles04
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Once-Upon-A-Dream250's avatar
I think thats probably just about how Alistair's origin story went haha. I love it ^_^
Freckles04's avatar
Thanks! There's more to come. :)
Once-Upon-A-Dream250's avatar
Good im lookin forward to it ^_^