“I have a better idea,” I say, signaling Sylas and Caleb as I take a casual step forward, hiding the motion of my hand from Karinn’s view.
She tilts her head, studying me with narrowed eyes. “There’s a third choice here?”
“Yes,” I say, mimicking her fake smile. “We could just force you to take us to Jeremiah.”
“Foolish little knife ear,” she says, rising slowly to her feet. “You have no idea who you’re dealing with.”
“You have no idea how little I care how important you think you are,” I counter, drawing my swords and advancing on her.
Behind me I hear Caleb nocking an arrow into his bow, and the scrape of metal as Sylas draws his weapon as well.
“Can you fight all three of us off?” I ask, leveling one of my swords at her. I’m confident that if Sylas or I can’t reach her before she casts a spell, one of Caleb’s arrows will.
“You will regret this,” she says, narrowing her eyes at me, probably having come to the same conclusion. She’s powerful, but she’s not foolish enough to risk fighting us here.
It’s my turn to smile coldly. “Take me to Jeremiah.”
The sun is setting as Karinn, hands bound, leads us to a shabby building on the outskirts of the city. The area seems deserted, which makes it perfect for Jeremiah.
“I have given you what you want, now release me,” she demands imperiously, as though she has any room to do so.
“Not yet,” I say, pulling out one of my swords again. I hold the tip to her neck, staring her down. “Tell me about this relic, and why Jeremiah wants it badly enough to betray you.”
She raises her chin stubbornly, but that only lasts long enough for her to feel me press my blade into her skin. She hisses in pain, jerking away.
“Stop!” she says, struggling futilely as Caleb holds her still for me. “I’ll tell you. I swear it, but then you must release me.”
“Fine,” I say, but I don’t lower my weapon. “So tell me.”
“It’s the most powerful object I’ve seen,” she says, glancing nervously at my sword. “It allows you to control-”
Before she can finish, there’s a flash of blue light, and she screams, stumbling as shards of ice pierce through her chest. Coughing on her own blood, she falls to the ground.
All three of us turn to face the threat, weapons ready. Adrenaline is coursing through my veins as I meet my enemy’s gaze.
“She talks to much,” he says casually, a blue glow still surrounding his staff. “Where’s the fun if she gives all the details away?”
For just a moment, I feel a pressure in my chest. The part of me that used to love him, filled with regret now instead.
He watches me, measuring my every move.
“You will answer for what you’ve done,” I say, advancing on him slowly. I hold up a hand, signaling to the others that I want to take care of this myself.
“I’m impressed that you managed to find me.” He raises his staff between us, his gaze shifting to the others, then back to me. “But consider, Ilara. We could work together. With the relic, no one will be able to stand against us.”
“I want nothing from you,” I say, narrowing my eyes at him. “Nothing could convince me to stand beside you again.”
“So be it,” Jeremiah says, shielding himself in magic. “If you’re not with me, then you’re of no use.”
He’s already moving his staff as I charge him. Shards of ice hurtle towards me, sharp as daggers. I manage to dodge or deflect most of them, but I can feel some tear into my arms and legs.
The pain is nothing compared to my hate. I swing my swords down on him hard, forcing him to bring up his staff to block. The pendant I gave him catches my eye as he shoves me away, and only pisses me off more.
“You bastard,” I mutter, leaping at him.
He moves again, and ice tears into my side, stealing my breath for a moment.
“Ilara!” I can hear Sylas’ angry shout behind me, and hear a scuffle that must be Caleb restraining him.
“You’ll only get in her way!” Caleb growls as I make a sweeping strike against Jeremiah’s middle.
He leaps back, pushing my blade to the side, and I use the momentum to follow through with my second sword.
I hear his shout of pain, and see the shock on his traitorous face, as my blade plunges into his abdomen.
He sinks to his knees, dropping his staff, and glares up at me. Using the tip of my other sword, I snag the chain my pendant hangs from around his neck, and break it. Crushing the trinket beneath my boot, I turn my back to him for the last time, and hear him slump to the ground behind me.
Aside from my heavy breaths, there’s a deafening silence around me. I close my eyes briefly, and then raise my gaze to the others.
Caleb merely nods at me, as if to say I’ve done well.
Sylas walks to my side, placing a hand on my shoulder. “It is done, Ilara. He has paid for his crimes.”
I nod, not sure what to say in this moment. I feel like a weight has been lifted. I’m at peace, for the first time since this all started.
“Now what?” Caleb asks, moving to stand beside me as well.
I look at my companions, not knowing where I really want to go from here. I hadn’t thought any further than my need for justice.
Neutral Ending 1:
Denerim, inside the Silent Blades hideout
The study has been cleared of Jeremiah’s belongings, and I take a deep breath as I look around me. I don’t know if I’m cut out to lead the Silent Blades back onto the right path, but I’m going to do everything in my power to see it happen.
There are still rumors of the power struggles in Minrathous, and I’m glad to be away from it all. My contacts there are working to sort it out. The most disturbing find has been a secret room at Karinn’s estate. There’s nothing but an empty cell there now, and some kind of research Karinn been doing on blood magic. The Blades have found nothing further, unfortunately. It’s a dead end that bothers me, but there’s nothing more I can do.
There are whispers of the relic, but they’re quickly dying down, even as the conflict between mages and templars intensifies. The tragedy at the Conclave, where so many on both sides died, and the Breach in the sky, have only made things worse. It’s probably for the best that no one has been able to locate the relic.
Who knows how it would be used if it were found?
Word of a new power is beginning to reach me as well.
I’m not sure what I think of them yet. I suppose we’ll see if they turn out to be a force for good, or just another problem, dragging the world further down into the abyss.
Sylas and Caleb are always at my side, helping me out when I need it. They’ve worked hard to spread word among the Blades of what happened. All the proof we needed of Jeremiah’s wrongdoings was at his hideout, and in Karinn’s study.
And now, finally, I can look towards the future again.
I take a deep breath, smiling to myself for the first time in a long time, and turn my attention to rebuilding the Silent Blades.
For easy navigation, and do-overs. ~ DA FF: Blades (Chapter Master Post)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, lore, etc. are the property of BioWare, and their respective writers. The only things that are mine are the original characters and plot of this story – DA FF: Blades. I am in no way associated with BioWare. No copyright infringement is intended. This is for entertainment purposes only.