From the Ashes We Rise

This is a Dragon Age: Origins fanfic. Warden Amell tries to rebuild her life at the Tower after Alistair got married. Main characters in this story are the mage origin warden, Alistair and Cullen.

Rating M for language and sexual content.

This is my first big fic so all constructive criticism is welcome because I am planning on doing a rewrite.

Dragon Age belongs to Bioware, the artwork I use as a preview is not mine either but I would love to know who the artist is.


16. The Death of a Templar

Greagoir was dying, there was no point in denying it any longer.

His body was giving in to the numbers of years and his mind slowly started crumbling. On top of it the old man suffered from a stroke recently and didn't get out of bed any more. He was just a husk, a shadow, a whisper in the dark.

Greagoir's illness had left its mark on the Templars under his command. The old man could be a major pain in the arse, but to many of them he was the closest thing they'd ever had to a father. In a constantly changing world he had been the constant factor. Even Irving seemed depressed by his illness.

There was a little army gathering around the room, apart from Wynne, Irving and Cullen, several high ranked Templars and a priest walked on and off trying to create order in the chaos Greagoir had left them in.

The air smelled damp and magic-y.

Wynne and Irving took turns casting spells to make the knight commander as comfortable as possible and Cullen had not left his side for days, filing his paperwork and keeping the Circle running.

He was sitting behind Greagoir's desk when Devon walked in with the mail. The look on the young man's face broke his heart.

"How is he doing Sir?" Devon inquired after carefully eyeing the patient.

"Well, he's sleeping a lot."

They both looked at Wynne who was sitting by Greagoir's bed, mumbling spells to lighten his suffering. His heart was stubborn.

"Wynne is doing everything she can."

Devon nodded, saluted Cullen and went away again.

Cullen dug his way through the mail with a sigh. He never imagined Greagoir's job involving so much paper work. Half of his days were filled staring at requests, propositions and troubles. The old man's sword was just a symbol now, a reminder of more glorious days in his past.

Cullen's eye fell on a note written by a pupil. It was a request and...oh.

He rested his head in his hand as he reread the entire thing.

She was not going to like this.

He looked at the old man. It was not like he would wake up any second now, have a miraculous recovery and walk out to deliver her the news himself. Which meant Cullen was going to be the one to tell her.

He folded the note in half and put it in a drawer. There was time enough to deal with this later.

Cullen got up and walked over to the window. It was the one nice thing about working in this office, there was actually a window there one could look out off, one could get lost at. He liked getting lost, it was a nice alternative to everything that had to be dealt with at the Tower.

Greagoir's illness and the fact that they had appointed Cullen to find him a successor, or even better, replace the commander himself, wasn't the only thing bugging him.

The mage in the dungeon hadn't given him anything to work with and he didn't know what to do with him any more. Cullen couldn't just execute him, there was no evidence and the entire ordeal just felt wrong. There was something about this mage.

And then there was the matter of the new recruits that had arrived late last night. They reported seeing bands of Darkspawn roaming the trade routes, which was bad, but really not his business at all. He heard King Alistair was planning something in Amaranthine and it involved the Grey Wardens. Grey Wardens fought Darkspawn, Templars protected mages, this was how things had always been. But if innocent people were attacked, he couldn't just let it slide.

If that wasn't enough there was still the matter of Jaleth's ever expanding belly, which could only mean so much. She was either a man eating pig or she was pregnant. He didn't know which of the two was worse.

With Greagoir gone, he was the one who had to confront her about it. And he was not looking forward to it at all.

A hand on his shoulder pulled him back to what was happening inside the room.

It was Wynne's and it was most welcome. He had always liked Wynne, even back in the days when he hated all the mages and a dark cloud followed him everywhere he went. Wynne had something maternal. She gave you advice before you knew you needed it.

"You should take some rest Cullen."

He turned to look at her.

"Get some sleep child."

She retracted her hand.

"I can't Wynne. There is so much that needs to be done..."

His eyes rested on the knight commander a little too long for Wynne not to notice the concern in them.

"He is stable for now child, I will fetch you if his condition changes."


The knock came somewhere during the night. He had been drifting in and out of sleep, his dreams making no sense at all.

"Just a minute."

Wynne was standing in the hallway, wearing a bathrobe, her eyes sleepy and her hair messy. She looked like she had been crying.

"It's time."

Cullen wanted to pat her shoulder but didn't.

"Just let me put on some clothes and I'll be right there."

Wynne went on ahead as Cullen found some pants and a tunic to slip into. His heavy armour remained resting on the armour stand, there was no need for it tonight.

The Tower was silent, most of its inhabitants were sound asleep and Cullen could hear the wind making a mess of things outside. Summer had arrived with a bad temper this year.

When he arrived at the knight commander's office Irving and Wynne were already there.

Something in Wynne's appearance remained with him for a long time after Greagoir's death. It was in the way she held Greagoir's hand, the way the old man looked at her with watery eyes. He seemed to soften around here, or maybe every one softened in the end.

Irving stood in a corner, more of an observer than a participant, like always. He had already said his goodbyes.

"How is he?" Cullen asked the first enchanter.

The old man seemed absent minded, watching an era pass. The things they had gone through together, always at each other's throats, but having each other's backs when it really came to it. Watching Greagoir die, was watching a part of himself die.

"If you have something to say to him, you'd best say it soon," Irving mumbled.


"He's completely lucid son, he asked to see you."

It was only then that Wynne seemed to notice Cullen was there. She made room for him to sit by the bed.

Greagoir looked very pale in the candle light that lighted his face, like he was transparent, like part of him was already some place else. His eyes were swimming in black pools of fatigue and the colour on his cheeks had disappeared completely. He was ready to go.

"He wants to speak to you," Wynne said, still holding Greagoir's hand, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she was.

She let go of it when Cullen sat down, embarrassed, and she left the bed side to give them some privacy.

Greagoir's hand searched for the hand he had been holding and when he couldn't find it, he took Cullen's hand instead.

He started mumbling and Cullen had a hard time making out separate words. The old man gestured him to come closer.

Greagoir whispered something in the young Templar's ear. Something that made the blood in his cheeks vanish. The last confessions of a dying man.

Greagoir spoke slowly and sometimes indistinct and Cullen had a hard time focussing after the first few lines that were spoken to him. They were like something out of a bad dream, something made up during a rough night involving too much alcohol.

Just before he retracted his hand Greagoir squeezed it.

"Thank you son," the old man mumbled, his eyes tearing up. Or maybe Cullen just imagined them tearing up, something to hold on to in the days to come.

Facts often mingled with fantasy, to make life a little more bearable.


He saw her at the funeral, no longer able to hide her condition.

It was the first time he had seen her in public ever since she had locked herself up in her room. It took a lot of guts to be there and Cullen respected that.

She didn't look up, she just stared at her feet, trying to hide from the way people looked at her. And when she finally looked up she held her ground.

Yes she was pregnant, yes the child was fatherless and no it was none of anyone's business but her own... and that of the new knight commander.

His eyes met hers when Greagoir's pyre was being lighted.

There were tears there but he was pretty sure they weren't for Greagoir.

They were for all of them;

for the Templars cursed with their duty,

for the mages cursed with their magic.

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