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As told by Leandra, taken from previous CR:

Leandra folds her arms on the table and looks off into the distance, into a past she remembers clearly. "My husband, Malcolm...he was an apostate, and we left Kirkwall together for Ferelden, hoping to find a way to live quietly together, to raise our family. It was never easy, of course. Hiding Malcolm's skills was tricky enough, but hiding Bethany's, once she was found to have them...that was much harder." She smiles. "Bethany's always been a careful, quiet girl, but children make mistakes. And such powers are hard to control at that age. We had to move around a great deal when the children were young."

She shakes her head briskly. "I'm sure you can imagine it all. So. Malcolm impressed upon the children at a very young age how important it was that we stick together and take care of each other. If one of us was at risk, all of us were at risk. They got the idea after the first few times we had to move in a hurry. It was such a relief when we came to Lothering. Finally we had a place where we were able to stay; the children were all old enough by then to not make foolish mistakes, and once we'd been there for a while the very fact that we had lived there for years became an added protection."

She rubs her forehead. "Then Malcolm died. The fever came on so fast...there was nothing anyone could do. The twins were twelve at the time, and Marian fifteen." Leandra sighed. "How can I explain? Marian had always been a laughing, curious girl, every bit her father's child. She had all his wit and humor, and twice his mischief. Even when things were at the worst, the two of them would make the rest of us laugh. We could be hiding in bushes on the side of the road as Templars rode by, breathless with fear, and I'd see the two of them grinning at each other, thinking You know, if we'd strung a trip-wire along this road, the armor would make an almighty racket as they all fell, and wouldn't that be hilarious?, or something of the sort. Marian believed until the last second that her father would pull through, that they--that he--could do anything."

Leandra closes her eyes briefly. "Malcolm's death changed that. For weeks after, we barely saw her, and when we did, she was different. It was the first real grief she'd known, and it went deep. In many ways, Malcolm's death was harder for her than for the rest of us. I had almost twenty years of memories and love to sustain me, and the distraction of raising the three of them on my own. The twins had each other. But Marian was blindsided. It wasn't just grief, or even fear of losing the rest of us. Perhaps it was disillusionment. I've never been sure, and she won't discuss it.

"What I do know is that after that, she became...driven. Our family had always come first, for all of us, but after that time it became the only thing for her. She set aside everything else in her life, whatever other possibilities she might have had for herself, in order to protect the rest of us. It was her way of making sure she wouldn't lose us the way she'd lost her father, or guilt because she hadn't somehow prevented it, or anger because he'd failed us by not living forever...one of those, or all of them, or none of them. I'll never know, and I doubt she does. I doubt she was consciously aware of much of this.

"But it was then that she said she stopped answering to Marian, and said she just wanted to be called Hawke. At first, I thought it was a way of honoring her father, but in time I came to see it as a rejection of everything except that one, single-minded purpose. It grieved me almost as Malcolm's death. She deserves more than to sacrifice herself to become some, some tool to keep the rest of us safe."


Where the mabari came from.

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Hawke

August 2017

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