I shake my head, offering him a confident smile. “This isn’t something you need our help with. Have more faith in yourself.”
Vaellen frowns, but seems to be considering my words. “Easy for you to say…”
“Karinn kept you caged for ten years, experimenting on you, and she never managed to break you,” I say, trying to reassure him. I straighten away from the door, giving him a measuring look. “You are stronger than you think. Besides, you know Briall won’t let anything happen to you, and his friends all throughout Tevinter will support you both.”
Vaellen is quiet a moment, still looking a little troubled, but he finally nods in understanding. “At least let me help you, alongside my grandfather. It’s the only way I can repay you.”
I hesitate for a moment, before nodding gratefully. I offer my hand to him, and he shakes it, smiling faintly. “Thank you, Vaellen.”
I bid him goodnight, and he leaves for Briall’s. I’m glad he understands, and doesn’t seem to take it personally. None of us are mages, so we’re limited on how much help we could give him anyway.
With Briall’s connections, it’s only a matter of days before we find Jeremiah’s hideout. It’s tucked away in the outskirts of the city, in a quiet area.
Briall and Vaellen enter from the back of the building, while Sylas and I sneak in the front. Caleb finds a way into a second story window, and looks for a position to rain arrows down on people.
Sticking to the shadows, Sylas and I manage to navigate the hideout without being noticed. We have to incapacitate a few of Jeremiah’s mercenaries along the way, and I worry a little about Briall and Vaellen being on their own. Briall assured me they’d be fine, but never having been on a mission with them, I’m still uneasy. I try to take the relative quiet of the hideout as a good sign.
Making our way to a large room, towards the center of the building, we find a group gathered around a table. They seem to be looking at maps, planning something out.
I spot Jeremiah easily. He’s as handsome as I remember him, dressed in a black mage coat and pants, but I’m completely unmoved for once. I see that he’s still wearing my pendant, and I’m filled with an uncomfortable mix of loathing and regret.
I catch sight of Briall and Vaellen in the shadows of a hall at the opposite end of the room, and breathe a sigh of relief. From my crouched position, peering around a doorway, I signal them. Drawing my swords, I rise to my feet, and step into the room, making sure I have everyone’s attention.
His gaze locks on me the second he hears my voice, and I see his hand tense on his staff. There are at least a dozen mercenary Blades in the room as well, and they start towards me, just as planned. Magical energy charges the air as Briall and Vaellen step out and begin picking them off from behind with spells.
Shouting fills the room, chaos breaking out as Sylas joins me, and we charge forward. Caleb and Sylas have my back, as always, and I place my trust in them as I fight my way towards Jeremiah. Arrows whiz by, while Sylas clashes with anyone who tries to throw themselves in my path.
Jeremiah sends deadly shards of ice shooting through the air. I manage to deflect or dodge most of it, but his magic still tears into my limbs and body. Sharp, slicing pain cuts into me, but it’s not nearly enough to distract me as I finally reach him, lashing out at him with both of my blades.
He’s forced to block with his staff, and shoves me away.
“Ilara, wait!” he growls, obviously thinking there’s still some chance he could possibly talk me down. “It doesn’t have to be like this!”
“You betrayed us!” I shout, leaping at him again.
Jeremiah scowls at me, managing to hold me off with his staff and spells.
Bolts of lightning fly through the air, under Briall and Vaellen’s control, taking out anyone who would come to Jeremiah’s aid, and one of them drops a magic shield over me to even the odds more. Jeremiah’s ice strikes it seconds later, shattering harmlessly before it gets near me.
Jeremiah curses, at a disadvantage suddenly, having to rely solely on his staff for close combat. He still gets several good hits in, blocking my swords to the side on my next attack, and cracking me in the ribs with his staff. The wind is knocked out of me, and I stumble.
Pressing his advantage, he lifts his staff high, ready to bring it down on me. I barely manage to roll to the side in time, and spin to slash across his middle with both of my blades as I leap around him. I hear his gasp, and immediately turn to bury one of my swords in his back.
The fighting dies down around me as Jeremiah’s men are defeated, and he slumps to the ground at my feet. Most of his men are dead, but the others left a few alive for questioning.
Reaching down, I tug my pendant off Jeremiah’s corpse, and drop it to the ground. I crush it beneath my boot, and take a deep, calming breath. My body aches from the fight, and I can feel a hundred little cuts throbbing all over my body from Jeremiah’s ice shards.
But I also finally feel at peace again.
Sylas joins me, laying a hand on my shoulder. “It’s over now,” he says, giving me a reassuring squeeze before releasing me.
Caleb and Sylas watch our captives while the rest of us split up to search the hideout for evidence. It doesn’t take long to find proof that Jeremiah framed me, and that he’s been planning on changing the Blades into mercenaries for a while.
Lightside Ending 1
Denerim, Silent Blades hideout
A couple months later
It hadn’t taken us long to prove our innocence to the Silent Blades contact in Minrathous, and we’d soon been on our way home. The Blades had been left in a mess, and it’s only now getting back to how it used to be.
I lead the remaining Blades, who have renewed their vows, and anyone who wanted to become mercenaries have long since left. Sylas and Caleb stay by my side, helping me.
Our first order of business was sending a group of Blades to help Briall and Vaellen go after Karinn, who had disappeared not long after we killed Jeremiah. Even though she no longer had Vaellen, she still had the relic. Whatever the relic was, by the time we found her, it had corrupted her so completely that she had become an abomination, covered in jagged shards of red crystal.
Briall was quick to destroy the relic, scattering and burying the pieces so they’ll never be found again. He told me he could feel the evil in it, and said sometimes he could’ve sworn it even whispered to him.
That’s the last thing he needed around Vaellen, who still struggles with demons on occasion.
They’ve become strong allies, and have even chosen to support the Inquisition, alongside the Silent Blades. While it worries me that everyone else seems more focused on the war between mages and templars, at least the Inquisition sees the bigger problem.
I have a new course now, helping them fight the menace responsible for the Breach, and the demon-filled rifts popping up all over the world.
We won’t let the world spiral further down into chaos.
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.