The crowds cheer as I walk into view, and I force my hand to wave back in gratitude. I can see in their eyes the truth how ashamed they must feel that an elf, hailing from the Circle of Magi none the less, single handedly held their world together in its darkest hour. For now they are merely glad that they have survived a Blight, but I know the memories will fade quickly as Ferelden rebuilds, and soon I will be an elf and a mage once more. Subject to humans and templars, where can I call home?
I cringe as a guard announces me as "the elf who saved us all!!". Zevran looks amused, the little bastard. Alistair, Ferelden's new king, avoids my gaze. It appears I made the wrong choice in the Dalish wilderness; I should have known my place. Should of known even a forgotten royal bastard was out of my league. After everything we went through, everything he said to me
I want to rip that pompous, golden royal armour off him and shake him until he comes back to his senses. Ask him if it was all a lie.
After the crowds disperse, Wynne tells me I am welcome at the Circle anytime. Her eyes are sad, she supported Alistair and I for a time, and feel she understands my pain better than most. I did call the Circle my home long ago, but to go back after this? I could not stand living as a prisoner again in that tower, and if they were to find out I dabbled in blood magic
no, it would be too dangerous. I thank her graciously and tell her I will be in touch. White lies, but her time left in this world is short.
Zevran, to my surprise, still wants to travel with me. He asks where I'm going next, and I have no answer. But as usual, he laughs it off, and tells me if I leave without him he will track me down anyway. Such an odd turn of events, that the one sent to assassinate me is the only one remaining by my side after all is said and done. He was a better friend than I realized. As I watch him walk back to his room to gather his things, I feel a hand on my shoulder.
"Please tell me you aren't leaving with him."
"Alistair, you made it clear I can't be a part of this world," I look into his eyes and can almost see the internal battle between honor, duty and desire turning in his mind. I wait in vain for him to suggest something better than my current choice of action.
"Please, just, don't--"
"You made me choose once, between Zevran and yourself. You made me promise myself to you. Its your turn to choose now, Alistair." His silence tells me he already has. I reach into my pack and retrieve a rose, dried and slightly disfigured from countless miles of travel. "I think this belongs to you."
Alistair takes it without a word. He probably has no idea what to say. I don't either, so I bow to my king one last time and make my way to the palace gates. I hear Zevran cat-calling from the corridor to my left, returning from his room. I'm relieved he is as eager to move on as I am.
I saved this world, and yet it has left me still without status, and has taken those dearest to me. I suppose the sacrifice was worth it, if Duncan had not taken me from the Circle I surely wouldn't have survived the carnage of the blood mages. But as Zevran and I walk out of the cold palace into the warm light of the sun, I realize that perhaps things have turned out for the best. For the first time, I am free to travel as I wish, seek out adventure after adventure, until the taint inside of me claims my mind and body.