The group, along with several soldiers made their way through the Temple. Aedan was looking around, cautiously looking for possible ambushes by demons, his sword ready.
Moreina, Varric and Leliana, walked together, their bows, and crossbow out. Varric’s eyes widened, as they saw what looked to Moreina as red gem stones.
“Seeker. That’s Red Lyrium.” Varric called out, to Cassandra.
Cassandra frowned deeply. “I see it Varric.”
“But what is it doing here?” The Dwarf asked, looking more concerned than Moreina had yet seen him.
“The magic from the breach must have drawn it to the surface.” Solas suggested.
Varric spat to the side. “It’s evil, don’t touch it.”
Moreina looked at Varric, she could tell he spoke from experience, she notched an arrow a habit whenever she found anything considered evil, she found demons nearby.
Leliana seeing how tense Moreina was put a hand on her shoulder. Moreina looked to her, seeing the concern there.
“Are you alright, Moreina?” Leliana asked.
Moreina nodded slowly. “I will be, I’m just getting a really bad feeling about this place.”
Varric snorted. “That’s an understatement.”
Solas frowned as he looked up at the breach. “I think we’re all on edge right now, I feel cold, but I don’t think it’s the breach.
Cassandra stopped to look at Solas, arching a thin brow. “What do you mean Solas?”
“It feels like something inside the breach, something that leaves me cold.” The elf said rather vaguely.
“It feels familiar…” Moreina said softly.
Before they could ask the Rogue Captain what she meant, a green burst of fire shot from the breach, shooting far from the Temple of Sacred Ashes.
All around them, everyone looked confused, why would it land so far from the Temple? Moreina on the other hand looked terrified, sweat running down her brow.
Aedan noticing this stepped forward. “Moreina, what’s wrong?”
She couldn’t respond. Terror had grasped her heart, seizing her breath. She knew the feeling that emanated from that foreign object, she had faced it once before, in the depths below Tristram. Except now, it seemed more potent.
‘No, how could he have come here, he couldn’t have known.’ Moreina though desperate for it to be false.
Aedan grasped Moreina’s shoulders, noticing how cold and clammy her skin felt under his hands.
“Moreina snap out of it, what’s wrong?” The Warrior asked.
Cassandra though compassionate about many things, did not have a great deal of patience. She moved up to Moreina gently pushing Aedan aside, then without warning, slapped Moreina across the face.
Moreina blinked, shaking her head, and rubbing her now throbbing check. Her vision cleared, she looked around, seeing the worried faces of her new friends around her. Then she turned her attention to Casandra.
“Thank you.” She said softly, reaching down she picked up her bow, and stood, nodding to the group. “Sorry, I….let’s go.”
Cassandra however was looking hard at Moreina. “What was that just now?”
The Rogue Archer looked at the Seeker, and sighed. “I’ll tell you all later, after we deal with that breach.”
Cassandra looked like she wanted to press the issue, but knowing what was at stake nodded.
Varric stood back, watching, he knew that look he had seen it before on Hawke’s face when Quentin had killed Leandra, except magnified by a hundred. A look of pure horror. He knew the others could tell as well, whatever had fallen from the breach, had scared Moreina that badly.
Solas as well felt what Moreina felt, being attuned to the Fade as he was, he thought of the most potent demon he knew, a Pride Demon, whatever fell from the Breach, dwarfed that, by a giant margin.
“Come on, we need to get moving.” Moreina said, putting on a brave front.
Leliana spoke up, sympathetic to Moreina’s feelings, it was amazing how easily one can connect with others after fighting beside them in battle.
“She’s right, let’s go.” Leliana said taking Moreina’s hand and gently coaxing her forward. The Two archers walking side by side, made their way ahead of the group.
The others exchanged glances, Cassandra was the first to start following, then the others. Behind them the soldiers followed. As they walked the amount of Red Lyrium grew, Varric was nervous, so much of the stuff was not a good sign in the slightest.
Everyone had their weapons out and ready, but so far no demons attacked then. As they turned a sharp bend to continue down the path, they heard a voice, like an echo on the wind, a voice sinister.
“Keep the sacrifice still.” The voice was foreign to everyone.
“What are we hearing?” Cassandra asked, looking around sharply.
“The veil is thin here, we might be hearing memories, things that happened in this place.” Solas explained.
“We have an intruder….kill him.” The voice commanded.
“Run! You must warn them!” A woman’s voice shouted urgently.
Both Cassandra, and Leliana recognized the voice. “That’s Divine Justinia’s voice!” The Seeker shouted.
They hurried down, continuing to their destination, as they jumped off a short ledge, they beheld a vision, an echo of the past manifested by the Fade.
A shadowy figure with no distinguishable features stood before the Divine who was floating in the air, strands of magic holding her arms out to the sides.
Before their eyes, an image of Aedan ran into the area. His face blank. “What’s going on here?”
The shadowy figure turned pointing at the image of Aedan. “We have an intruder, kill him.”
The image of Divine Justinia turned her head, urgency in her expression.
“Run! You must warn them!” The urgency in her voice was palpable for the group.
The vision ended, and Cassandra rounded on Aedan, who looked confused.
“You were there, who was that? What are we dealing with?” Cassandra demanded desperate for answers.
Aedan looked to her annoyance visible on his face. “I told you. I don’t remember.”
“We can’t start pointing fingers now.” Moreina said looking up, above them the breach swirled.
Aedan followed her gaze, and nodded. “How do we close that? I don’t think I can reach it from here.”
Solas shook his head. “No. But this rift was the first, if we seal it, we may close the breach.”
The bald elf stepped forward, studying the rift. “It looks like it was closed but not properly….we’ll need to open it to seal it.” He said.
Cassandra knew what that meant, she turned to the soldiers behind them who looked nervous, but ready. “That means demons, take up defensive positions!”
The soldiers did as commanded, drawing their swords and moving to different locations around the rift.
Moreina, turned and ran. Up the ledge, and drew her bow, across from her on another ledge, Leliana also readied her bow. The two archers readied their arrows, and waited.
Varric moved back enough so he could make shots at whatever demons came out of the rift. Aedan and Cassandra drew their swords, and Aedan stepped forward.
Everyone watched as Aedan extended his hand, and forced the green light into the silent rift. It exploded outwards and with a green flash a demon appeared.
The demon was huge, towering over them all, draconian in appearance a dark purple, with black eyes. Moreina standing on the ledge had seen demons before, but this one, was almost as big as Diablo, she trembled slightly.
Then the memories of all those she had killed while in the service of the demons came to her, her eyes hardened, she had been sent here to atone for her sins, the crimes she committed the deaths she had caused.
“Attack!” Aedan shouted.
Though it was not Cassandra who shouted the command, though it was the man they had suspected of killing the Divine Justinia, the soldiers, as well as Cassandra, and the others attacked.
The Pride demon roared lashing at them with whips of lightning, Leliana, Moreina and Varric, plus any soldier that used a bow were safe from the lightning whips, but the warriors and soldiers who fought with a sword or axe was in danger.
Aedan proved his athletic skills as he jumped over the whips as they slashed sideways across the ground, and rolling to the side when they came straight down.
Seeing an opening in the demon’s defenses, he struck with his sword. To no avail. The demon’s skin was rock hard, and the sword merely connected against the demon’s hide.
“Aedan! Focus on the rift! It might weakening him!” Cassandra shouted.
Aedan moved back, as Cassandra rushed forward, the soldiers following her lead, and attacking the demon to distract it.
Moreina and Leliana fired arrows, aiming for the demon’s eyes, hoping to blind it. It was as if a barrier was surrounding the demon, as their arrows seemed to have no effect.
Moreina frowned deeply. Taking out an arrow the Rogue Archer drew back the string until it became taut. Her arrow head started to glow brightly. And she let it go. It pierced forward shooting through the barrier, and piercing the demon’s eye.
The Pride demon roared in pain, giving Aedan the time he needed, focusing his mark on the rift, the rift burst, then calmed. With the rift briefly silent, the Pride demon fell to it’s knees. Cassandra’s eyes widened.
“Now! The demon is vulnerable!” She shouted.
All at once they attacked the pride demon, slashing at it with swords, the archers pelting it with arrows, their brief assault ended with the rift burst open again, and the Pride demon rose with a roar, several sloth demons also emerged from the rift, now dividing the soldiers’ attentions.
The other soldiers were forced to contend with the lesser demons, while Aedan and the others focused on the Pride demon. Aedan fought alongside Cassandra while keeping an eye on the rift.
When the rift pulsed again, he turned his attention to it, holding out his hand, and once again the demon fell to it’s knees.
Moreina fired arrow after arrow into the demon’s hide, using her pierce ability to make sure the arrows did some damage to the demon. In her mind she saw the Pride Demon as Diablo, the Lord of Terror who had plagued her nightmares since leaving the Catacombs who drove her to madness, leading her to side with Andariel.
Each arrow shot from the Rogue’s bow accentuated her anger, her passion for justice renewed. She decided she would tell her new friends her past, of that which fell from the breach, and should they decide to punish her, she would accept.
Finally, with everyone fighting hard against the Pride Demon, and lesser demons, they fell.
“Seal the breach!” Cassandra shouted to Aedan.
Aedan wasted no time, rushing up to the rift and extending his hand. The green light pulsed from his hand, into the rift, and with a flash, the rift sealed. Aedan swayed, then fell forward, collapsing on the ground.
“Aedan!” Moreina shouted as she leapt from the ledge she was standing on and rushed to his side.
Everyone gathered around the fallen warrior, though he seemed to be still breathing it was easy to tell the cost of using the mark as he had. Out of a sense of duty for one of the first friends she had Moreina lifted the warrior up after struggling to carry his weight she felt him lighten.
Cassandra had taken hold of his other side and archer and warrior carried him back to haven.
Moreina out of a sense of duty to a friend, sat beside Aedan as he lay in bed, his breathing was normal but he was still unconscious. Solas had explained that the magic Aedan unleashed from the mark had exhausted him.
Hearing the door open, Moreina looked up. Cassandra stepped in giving Moreina a gentle smile.
“How is he?” The Seeker asked.
“The same, still unconscious.” The glanced at Aedan her hands resting on her lap.
How did it come to this that she would find camaraderie with people she didn’t know as quickly as she had. Though the dangers of life threatening situation and fighting demons could bring people closer. She had never felt strongly for anyone since she lost the man she had fallen in love with when they fell to the corruption.
“Come, let’s get you some fresh air.” Cassandra coaxed.
Moreina looked at Aedan then sighed. Knowing she couldn’t do anything at the moment, she stood up and followed the Seeker.
“I want to ask for your help.” Cassandra said as soon as they stepped outside.
Moreina glanced at Cassandra, studying the woman.
“My help with what?” She asked.
Cassandra was silent, as they walked, considering how best to answer, to voice her request.
“I need someone skilled with archery, someone who can train others to be like her, women who can use a bow.” Cassandra explained.
“What about Lady Leliana?” Moreina asked.
Moreina had seen Leliana’s skill with a bow, she was very talented.
Cassandra paused, having stepped past the gates she gazed at the soldiers training, Cullen was a fine commander, training his troops into the soldiers they were. She turned her gaze back to Moreina.
“Leliana’s job takes up a great deal of her time. We have plenty of soldiers, but we need more. Especially if the danger that Divine Justinia wanted Aedan to warn us about is real.” Cassandra said.
“I could….” Moreina said softly.
‘Dare I though, to recreate the Rogue Sisterhood here on Thedas?’ Moreina thought to herself.
She thought of all those she left behind, her friend Kashya. High Priestess Akara, and all the Sisters she had betrayed. Controlled by a demon or not, she blamed herself. Her sadness and hesitation was evident on her visage, because she soon felt a hand on her shoulder.
Looking over at Cassandra, she saw the concern in the woman’s expression, but also hope in her eyes.
‘I can do this, I can bring honor to those I betrayed.’ She thought, then smiling at Cassandra she nodded.
“I’ll do it. But if I do I will train them to be Rogues.” Moreina said firmly.
Cassandra smiled, remembering what Moreina had said to her and Solas. “A Rogue Sisterhood. I think Thedas can use such a group. Thank you.”
“I’ll get started tomorrow. If you know any women willing to take up the bow and fight, send them to me….” She paused for a moment looking around, then pointing to a copse of trees to the right of the gate. “Over there.”
Cassandra nodded, once more placing a hand on Moreina’s shoulder. “Thank you again.”
The Rogue nodded and gazed up at the breach, still in the sky but silent. Aedan’s closing of the rift had silenced the breach, but not closed it. Her mind went back to that moment, seeing that object fall from the Breach.
Turning around, Moreina made her way back into haven, she had a great deal of planning to do, if she was to reform the Rogue Sisterhood.
Unknown to Moreina and the people of Haven, who were celebrating their brief victory, the Breach gave a slight flash, and two objects fell from it, close together, it looked as though two figures held each other, falling from the breach, and landing in the country known as Orlais.
The impact scattered wildlife, and within the crater lay two people, a large man with dark skin, wearing gold armor, with a sword strapped to his back, and in his arms, a woman with silver and blue armor, long blonde hair, falling past her shoulders, and a huge mace and shield on her back.
The two lay there silently in the wilderness.
A.N: That ends chapter 6, and ends the Temple of Sacred Ashes Arc, also yeah anyone who’s played Diablo 3 should know who those two are, but they won’t make a major appearance until much later. Next up is the HInterlands Arc.
Hope you all enjoyed the first arc of Diablo: Redemption.