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Where are we going? How should I know? Do I look like the leader of this merry band of misfits?
Hawke

After the destruction of the town of Lothering during the Fifth Blight, the Hawke family decided to flee to the city of Kirkwall in the Free Marches where their mother once had influence. While they flee, the family encounters Aveline Vallen, a Ferelden warrior, and her husband Ser Wesley, a templar. Cornered by Darkspawn, one of Hawke's siblings is killed in battle before Flemeth rescues the small party. 

Seeing something special in store for the group, Flemeth allows safe passage for Hawke and their companions to Kirkwall. Buying their way into the city using criminal contacts with their uncle Gamlem, the Hawke family soon becomes infamous in the underworld while Aveline reaches a position in the City Guard. 

Seeking to better their circumstances, the Hawke siblings implore the dwarf Bartrand to allow them on an expedition to the Deep Roads. Initially denying their request, Batrand's brother Varric strikes a deal with the Hawkes; become their partner, rather than a member of the expedition. Doing various oddjobs around Kirkwall, Hawke meets several interesting individuals they may wish to call upon for assistance; the shipwrecked pirate Isabela, the Tevinter slave Fenris, the apostate Grey Warden Anders, the Dalish pariah Merrill, and the exiled Prince of Starkhaven Sebastian Vael

The Hawke family eventually earns the funds to supply the expedition, but Bartrand betrays the party in the Deep Roads when they discover a red lyrium idol of unknown value. The party eventually escapes, taking a large amount of other treasures found. The fortune allows the Hawke family to move up in society, gaining a title and wealth. 

This influence causes Hawke to become a middle ground between the Arishok and the Viscount. Although Hawke tries to broker peace between them, the Arishok's loss of an important relic combined with so many violations of the Qun causes him to order an attack on Kirkwall. Hawke is forced to confront the Arishok at the Chantry alongside Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard and First Enchanter Orsino. Hawke's actions convince the Qunari to leave, and they are crowned the Champion of Kirkwall by Meredith. 

Hawke is caught once again in a struggle, between Meredith and Orsino. Trying to maintain peace, Hawke's efforts are ineffectual as Anders, possessed with the corrupted spirit Justice, blows up the Chantry, causing the death of several innocent people. Meredith orders the Right of the Annullment, and Orsino dabbles in blood magic to defend the innocent mages of the Circle. Hawke is then forced to kill them both, no matter who they side with, and their remaining companions flee the city. Eventually, Hawke's Party scatters to the winds, and the Champion all but disappears. 

Battle vs. Adventurers (Final Fantasy XIV) (by Leolab)[]

Prologue: Fuck Sebastian[]

“We will meet them here,” Hawke says, casting Pull of the Abyss to clear away some pews, “The Chantry is the most defensible part of the city. Merrill, Varric, Sebastian – head up to the dais in front of the statue. You’ll pelt them with ranged attacks. Anders, go up to heal them…”

“No,” Sebastian says, “I will not let them breach this place.”

“Come on, Choir Boy,” Varric says, “You may not like all of us, but…”

“I’m sorry, Varric. I… I can’t. We should not fight within the Chantry; it is not just,” the man says, taking p his bow and walking out the door, “Please, help me defend the steps.”

“Let him,” Anders sneers, “I could do without his preaching in my ear.”

Hawke sighs dramatically, and continues directing his crew in preparations.


“For a bunch of Voidsent and their summoners, they’re dropping pretty easy,” Aldwyn Lancebane says, pulling his axe out of a young, blonde-haired Templar.

“Aye,” Aurifort replies, dislodging his lance from a mage with a three-headed staff, “Makes you wonder why the Guild asked for the eight of us.”

“We’re just lucky they don’t have any Crystals. I’d hate to see this ‘Maker’ they pray to be summoned as a Primal,” Argarar says, parrying a Red Lyrium-enhanced greatsword strike from a female Templar and impaling her on his own sword. “That would be bad, wouldn’t it, Leo?” The group turns towards their Black Mage, who stoically nods. They continue towards the Chantry, and look at the massive set of stairs.

“The righteous stand before the darkness, and the Maker shall guide their hand,” a man in white armor chants, as he aims an arrow towards Helala. The White Mage swiftcasts Stoneskin on herself, and the arrow is halted in its tracks. A’libo draws and aims an arrow at the attacker, letting it loose just as a fireball erupts over Sebastian’s head. The clergy member collapses in a smoking heap, dying instantly as the arrow whizzes through where his head was and plants itself in the notice board behind him. A’libo flicks a slightly annoyed glance at Leo, who nods.

“You ready for this?” Argasar asks, “This is the last fight. It’s been easy so far, but let’s not get too cocky.”

Aldwyn roars his approval and hefts his axe, prompting a few looks from his crew. “Yes,” he says sheepishly.

Hanagin draws a card from her deck, and smiles mysteriously. “I am.”

“As am I,” Aurifort says, leaning on his spear.

“And me,” Helala says, finishing a Stoneskin II cast.

“Ready,” Artur says, swiftly flashing Mudras to cast Huton.

“I’m ready,” A’libo says, smiling.

Leo stoically nods.

“Let’s go, then!” Argasar says, and the group storm the Chantry and fling open the doors.

Phase 1: Deus Non Vult[]

Argasar immediately raises his sword, cleaving a Sonefist cast in half. Hanagin barely has time to use an expanded Balance on the party before the scene devolves into chaos. Argasar uses Plunge to try and get into Unleash range, but the melee has quickly spread out. He looks towards Hanagin and Helala, who both gesture confidently while engaging their foes.

Fenris scythes towards Aurifort, who leaps over the sword swipe and attempts to stab the broody elf on the way down. Fenris barely dodges the blow, and swings at the Dragoon as he dislodges his spear. The sword is stopped short by Stoneskin, while Aurifort slides around him and strikes at his flank. Fenris brings his sword around in another slice, catching Aurifort in the gut and sending him flying. He lands, wounds taken care of by a spell, and launches a Geirskogul at him. He jumps back into the fight, launching a flurry of stabs at his foe. Fenris dodges most of them, taking only superficial wounds.

The elf activates his Lyrium tattoos, attempting to phase through Aurifort’s armor and rip the man’s heart out. Aurifort jumps back to elude the strike, also dodging a Stonefist from Merrill that would have taken off his head. The projectile shatters against Leo’s Manaward, and the Black Mage summons a massive column of ice at Merrill’s position. Merrill evades most of the strike, and uses Firestorm. A massive volley of fireballs rains down on Leo, but they fizzle ineffectively against his magic defenses. Leo swiftcasts Thunder 3, and Merrill cries out in pain as a core of electricity sends shocks throughout her body.

Going for the kill, he summons a massive ice crystal above the blood mage’s head. As he lets it drop, however, a knife slices into his left arm, throwing off his aim. Artur throws several knives around the mage, revealing Isabela in stealth with blood on her daggers. The Ninja charges in, flicking through Mudras to cast Suiton. Isabela coyly steps out of the geyser, as Artur does a flip over her to launch an attack at her back. The pirate cartwheels out of the way, aiming a kick at Artur. He deflects it with the flat of his blade, and she follows up by dropping a flask of smoke. Artur throws several knives, trying to figure out where the elusive woman went. He stops in shock as two daggers sprout from his chest, and Isabela leans in to his ear.

“Sorry, love,” she whispers, “you shot too soon for me.”

As the ninja bleeds out, Helala casts Benediction. She then casts Medica 2, sending a wave of succor out across the battlefield. Hawke casts Group Heal as well, mending his own allies. Helala casts Stone 3 at him, and Hawke ducks, barely dodging the rocks that erupted where his chest was.

“Why do we have to fight?” he asks, trying to buy time, “Why did you attack us?”

“The Guild called, we answered. You and your ilk did something to threaten our home.”

“Well, you’re razing mine,” he says, “And I kind of like it here,” Hawke unleashes a Telekinetic Burst at the last word, sending the diminutive Lalafell flying. She crashes into a pillar, and falls to the floor. She casts Tetragrammaton on herself, healing the broken bones, and grabs her staff to see Carver bearing down on her, sword ready to strike.

Aldwyn sweeps the blow aside with his axe, in a state of furious ecstasy. He rained down blows on Carver, swinging his axe in reckless abandon. The Grey Warden countered the furious swings with precision, riposting towards the Warrior’s weak points. Aldwyn presses forward, his rage that someone would dare harm his teammates blinding him. Carver sees an opening, and stuns Aldwyn with a swift pommel strike. He unleashes the Maker’s fury on the dazed man, launching blow after blow against him. As he was about to throw the final strike, however, a projectile hit him in the back of the head, distracting him long enough for Helala to restore Aldwyn to health.

He turns to see Argasar continuing his duel with Aveline. The Dark Knight uses swift, sweeping strikes to force the guard captain on the defensive. She attempts to strike back, stabbing her blade forward, but her focus on defense left her offense slow. Argasar deflects the strike and lands a kick on her shield, and nearly impales her as she staggers. She swipes at him with her shield, and focuses all her efforts on offense. Argasar, however, had used his inner darkness to improve his defenses, lessening the blows he did receive. He does a quick Souleater combo, and feels a card slapping against the back of his armor.

Hanagin looks back towards Anders, having nudged fate enough to ensure Argasar wouldn’t get hurt too badly. She draws and channels Aether from the stars, and uses her magic to materialize a clump of it within the apostate. Anders switches to Panacea, letting healing energies from the Fade flow through him. The magic halts the advance of damage, but Hanagin shoots a clump of aether at him, while he retaliates as best he can with his offensive spells sealed. Hanagin waltzes around the attempts at barraging her with small elemental bolts, performing another speed Tarot reading, this time for A’libo.

The Bard feels a card hit her side, and the Aether within made her limbs feel lighter. She rapidly drew and fired her bow at Varric, who sprayed bolts from Bianca at her. A’libo starts to hum the Mage’s Ballad while she fights, and the jaunty tune helps her allies regain mana. She fires off two arrows in rapid succession at Varric; the first contains a potent poison, and pierces most of the way through his armor, but only nicking the flesh. The second one had a blunt tip, and struck the first square in the back, pushing the venom into the dwarf’s blood stream. She then ducks behind a pillar, shielding herself from the flurry of bolts as she scans the battlefield.

A’libo catches Argasar’s eye and moves her finger in a circle. Understanding the gesture, he activates Living Dead and throws all notion of defense to the wind. His teammates take note as well, and draw their enemies towards him. Healala, noticing that the mages and Varric were still engaging at range, casts Fluid Aura on the latter, who gets knocked into the crowd. Argasar uses Unleash several times, and Hawke’s companions focus their energies on him. Aveline shouts as she pierces Argasar’s heart, a fatal blow. The Dark Knight, however, continues to fight, nearly taking off her head in reprisal. “Merril, Anders!” she shouts, “Help us kill him!”

At her request, Merril breaks off her duel with Leo and charges towards Argasar, who just used Salted Earth. Hawke’s companions kill the man several times over, yet he keeps fighting. Fenris rips through his armor, bisecting him at the waist. Argasar simply turns and slashes at him. Varric puts a bolt through his eye, only for Argasar to cast Unleash, forcing the party to avoid spikes erupting form the ground. Merrill rips out his blood while Anders hits him with a fireball, but to no avail. Hawke’s Party continues trying to kill Argasar in vain, barely noticing the rain of arrows, fire, and other attacks from the Adventurers.

Roasted, impaled, and frozen, Hawke’s Party drops like a bundle of stones. Anders swiftly changes to Panacea and casts Regroup, bringing his allies back from death. He switches back to Vengeance in time to see Argasar flying towards him, sword in the air. Hanagin casts Essential Dignity on the Dark Knight, fully repairing both flesh and armor, just before Argasar lands, turns, and rips Anders in half with his sword. “Do you really think you can kill us all?” Hawke yells, trying to intimidate the Adventurers.

Leo stoically nods, and swiftcasts Freeze, binding the rest of Hawke’s living companions in place. Aldwyn stuns Carver using Brutal Swing as the Black Mage plants his staff into the ground and throws his arms out.

“Wait!” Helala yells, “I think that might-” Her plea fell on deaf ears, however, as Leo finishes casting his Limit Break.

Outside, the non-combatants of Kirkwall look up in horror as the sky opens above the Chantry. A massive meteor casually falls on top of the building, reducing it to rubble and sending a shockwave through the city. Within, the Adventurers frantically dodge pieces of the collapsing building, as Hawke’s Party gets crushed by the debris. The Adventurers look around, confirming that they survived. The group of eight gathers together, and Helala casts Medica, closing their wounds.

“Please don’t drop meteors on buildings again,” Aurifort says, looking at Leo, “Or at least promise you’ll only do so as a last resort.”

Leo stoically nods.

An explosion under the rubble, however, interrupts the group’s victory celebrations. Hawke, battered and broken, stumbles out from the wreckage of the Chantry, his Healing Aura curing his wounds as he walks. “Well,” he quips, “Since you’ve saved Anders the trouble, I guess he should thank you.” Hawke then raises his staff and casts Revival. He casts Group Heal right afterwards, as his party claws its way out of the rubble. Both teams square off, and start to fight again.

Phase 2: Slaughter[]

“Can we just kill the healers first? Please?” Argasar asks, to which the team agrees. Argasar uses Provoke and Unmend to draw in Hawke’s other companions, while the rest of the Adventurers split up to strike down Hawke and Anders.

Anders left Panacea as Aurifort leaped, intending to impale the healer. He dodged the downward strike, and cast Stonefist at Artur. The attack hits, and disrupts his Mudras; his Ninjutsu summoned a small rabbit on his head. Cursing, he charged in with his shortswords, the rabbit balancing perfectly. The pair strike in unison, with Artur ducking in for a stab as Aurifort swipes just over his head – the rabbit jumped – but Anders sidesteps both blows.

He then stops stock still as several stony spikes erupt from his chest. He has just enough time to spot Helala casting Stone 3 again before the spell fades; he falls, bleeding, to the ground. Hawke turns, intending to aid his bleeding ally, when he feels his consciousness start to fade. A’libo, taking advantage of Leo’s sleep spell, shoots an Aether-infused arrow. The arrow causes spikes to erupt from within Hawke, killing him.

“Ma vhenan! No!” Merril yells, breaking off from Argasar to try and engage A’libo, only to be roasted alive when Leo casts Fire 4 at her.

“The mages are…” Fenris says, also looking away. Argasar takes off his head for his concern.

Artur tries his luck against Isabela again, raining strike after strike against her. She still dodges out of the way, twisting left and right as if dancing. He finally scores a hit, grazing her leg; she drops another vial of smoke in response, vanishing. Artur swiftly channels his Mudras, casting Doton. The Ninjutsu saps Isabela’s strength, and she drops out of hiding.

“You’re getting better,” she wheezes.

“Aldwyn! Stop her!” Artur yells, and the Warrior obliges, slinging a Holmgang at the pirate.

“Binding’s a little much for the first time,” she says, “You know you don’t have to tie me down to get it in, right?”

Artur simply stabs her. “You’re not my type,” he says, cleaning off his blades. He flinches as Aveline’s shield soars past him, hand still attached. Aldwyn finishes off the guardswoman, panting an axe through her skull. The group then starts to converge on Varric, who pelts them with bolts from Bianca. Snarling, he tries everything to halt the Adventurers’ advance, but to no avail. A’libo finds an opening, and shoots him through the eyes.

“Wasn’t there another?” she asks. She’s answered with a clatter, and the group turns to see Carver bearing down on Leo, having just knocked the staff from his hands. The initial stab is blocked by Manawall, and Carver brings the sword down in an overhead strike. Leo dodges the blow, and astonishes everyone by throwing a haymaker at the Grey Warden. He hits, square in the face, and launches into a flurry of punches, kicks, and jabs. Carver, unprepared for this avenue of attack, gets knocked flat on his ass. Leo then repeatedly hits him in the face, splattering blood, brains, and bone.

“Was that…” Aurifort says, “Did you train with the Fist of Rhalgr?”

Leo stoically nods.

“Why? You’re a Mage, you shouldn’t need to…”

Leo stoically nods towards the weapon that had been knocked from his hands.

“Oh.”

“Well, now that we’ve finished that, should we get going?” A’libo says, “I’d quite like a pint at the Quicksand.”

Leo stoically nods as he picks up and stows his staff.

“Hah, I agree as well. Let’s see if we can get free beer for our stories,” Aldwyn booms, and the group makes their way out of Kirkwall.

Expert's Opinion[]

Individually, all eight members of both parties are extremely powerful, able to deal, sustain, and heal incredible amounts of damage. Where the Adventurers shined, however, was that their party worked better together, compensating for each others' weaknesses.

To see the original battle, weapons and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Warden's Party (Origins) (by Cfp3157)[]

In an abandoned port in Rivain, two parties walk slowly towards each other. Stepping forward first was the Champion of Kirkwall, Hawke. On the other end, the Hero of Ferelden known only as the Warden did as well.

"Surely it doesn't have to be this way?"

The Warden shook his head, before drawing his longsword and shield. His party behind him did likewise, preparing themselves for combat.

"Not a very talkative fellow, are you?" Hawke grimaced, drawing his staff, with his companions equipping their weapons too.

Hawke was the first to attack, casting Paralyzing Hemorrhage just as the Warden and Merrill cast their own spells. All of the Warden's party save Oghren and the Warden himself immediately started convulsing and trembling as Hawke's magic twisted their blood against them. Merrill cast Chain Reaction, further shocking the Warden's Party and dealing damage. The Warden's own Blood Wound managed to halt the advancing members of Hawke's Party, but Merrill quickly dispelled the magic while Anders cast Aid Allies.

The dwarven warrior cast Cleanse Area, halting the area of effect spells as he charged forward with his maul. Aveline went out to meet him, activating Retaliation and Raise the Guard as she does so. Meanwhile, the Warden instantly casts Mana Clash against Hawke and Merrill; the latter instantly fell, while Hawke struggled to regain his composure. Morrigan cast a Death Hex on Hawke, and Leliana finished him off with a swiftly aimed Critical Shot.

With all the mages down, Wynne cast Grease around all of the remaining members of Hawke's Party as the Warden cast Fireball. The combination wreaked havoc, taking down an unprepared Isabela and weakening Fenris. Leliana's Scattershot further peppered away at the party, with Fenris falling down.

Sensing how powerful the Warden was, Carver used Lingering Silence on the mage. He leaped forward with Reaper, charging forward swinging his greatsword. Although Morrigan was left staggered by the blow, instincts learned from ancient Arcane Warriors prepared the Warden, letting him easily parry the sword swing. Confident, the Warden looked in shock as Carver used Lasting Cleanse. Left without his sustained spells, the Warden began to engage Carver in a secluded dual as the battle raged on.

Oghren closed in on Anders, who cast Winter's Blast just as Oghren came within axe range. The frozen warrior could do nothing as Anders cast Cone of Cold, leaving him freezing and brittle. Varric spotted the opportunity, aiming Bianca and using Bursting Arrow- the explosive bolt obscured Anders while taking the weakened Oghren down.

Forgotten in the thick of combat, Wynne cast Group Heal on the party, letting them all regain their composure and enter fully into the battle. "Come after me! I'm the one you want!" Aveline yelled, taunting the Warden's Party to engage.

Sten and Zevran immediately targeted Aveline, who stood firm and composed despite the overwhelming amount of attackers. Every blow the warriors struck her did little to harm her, while Zevran's axes barely made a dent in her armor no matter the angle. Activating Unstoppable, the Warden's allies and their attacks proved fruitless as she weathered the onslaught.

The Warden and Carver remained completely focused on their private dual, neither gaining ground. Although the Warden had managed to reactivate his sustained spells, Carver's Templar training prevented him from casting any other spells.

Likewise, Carver found himself equally matched against the Warden; he tried an overhead swing, but the Warden sidestepped it and thrusted his longsword. Carver lowered his blade, catching it, and attempted to strike at him with the pommel. The Warden dodged it by leaning backwards, narrowly avoiding the blow.

Taking advantage of the brief space in distance, the Warden cast Stonefist. The earthy projectile slammed into Carver, who only barely managed to remain standing as he stumbled back from the blow. Before he could reengage the Warden, a taunt echoed across the battlefield.

Loghain had used Taunt, unintentionally drawing Varric's ire as well as Carver's. The dwarf let loose a volley of bolts from Bianca as Carver moved in with Reaper, the arrows and sword briefly disorienting the general. Recovering just in time to block a sword swing from Carver, Loghain gestured to the archer as he parried Carver's thrust.

Morrigan registerd Loghain's request, casting a Vulnerability Hex on Varric. The rogue quickly fled with Back-to-Back, disappearing into the shadows beside Carver before the Warden could cast Winter's Grasp. Unfortunately, that was the moment Loghain used War Cry, knocking both down to the ground. Left outside of stealth, Morrigan cast a Winter's Grasp at the same moment the Warden used Crushing Prison. Left frozen and instantly shattered by both spells, Varric fell.

"Carver, I'm starting to falter!"

The Templar looked over to see Aveline's defense beginning to waver. Her counterstrikes, once powerful and decisive, were now sluggish and weak. He watched as Zevran easily avoiding each blow, ducking underneath or around them to counter with a swiftly aimed backstab. Arrows from Leliana covered her shield and armor, while Sten's sundering blows forced her on the defensive.

Before Carver could engage to help her, the Warden and Loghain both attacked Carver simultaneously. He narrowly avoided both their blows, using Whirlwind to maintain distance.

The mage healer, who'd previously been focusing on the guard, cast Heal on Carver. At that moment, he finally used Regroup. Knitting together the flesh and bone of his party, everyone in Hawke's Party rose up again to continue the battle. Surprised, the Warden's companions quickly fell victim to an onslaught.

Varric started with Zevran, disorienting him with a Pinning Shot. Aveline quickly took advantage, using the last of her energy to use Scatter. The blow knocked Sten away from her, while outright killing Zevran as her blade slashed across his throat. Already left weakened by his Aura of Pain, Sten was massacred as a resurrected Fenris swooped in and thrust his hand into his chest, silencing the Qunari.

Isabella, cloaked in stealth, had snuck behind the duo of Morrigan and Leliana. She used Shoreleave, stunning both of them as she weaved between them with several backstabs. Morrigan fell quickly after as Merrill used her own Death Hex, while Leliana only managed to loose a single missed arrow at the pirate before her blade sank into her back.

Only the Warden and Loghain remained firm, remaining on the offensive as Carver barely fought them both off. The rest of Hawke's team converged, with Fenris and Isabela going after the Warden while Merrill, Varric, and Hawke focused their fire on Loghain.

The elf swung down with his greatsword, intending to use that as a distraction to repeat his previous kill. The Warden, prepared, instead parried the blow and bashed his shield into Fenris' face. Left stunned, the Warden then cast Blood Slave.

"You...cannot...control-" Fenris struggled, before the Warden's overwhelmingly powerful blood magic forced the ex-slave to be his thrall.

"Shit, they got Broody!" Varric yelled, only for Hawke to smirk.

"They can keep him."

Anders smiled as well, deactivating Panacea and reactivating Vengeance. "I've always wanted to do this."

The healer cast Searing Fireball as Hawke used Tempest, the knockback of the former sending Loghain and the Warden to the floor. The lightning strikes shocked them both, but the mind-controlled Fenris escaped the spells. Lashing forward with his greatsword at Anders, he cleaved the healer in two. Activating his Lyrium Tattoos, he pursued Hawke and Merrill next.

The elf took that chance to cast Dispel Magic, deactivating all of the Warden's sustained spells. She backtracked as Fenris stabbed at her, casting bolts of magic to defend herself. Activating Wrath of the Elvhen, roots and stones sprung from the earth to assault the warrior. Merrill then cast a Misdirection Hex, with Fenris' sword swings missing her with every strike. Merrill then cast Dessicate, trapping him in stone, which allows Varric to finish him with a Bursting Arrow.

Both Grey Wardens struggled to stand, with Isabella and Aveline leaping into the fray between them. The former slashes several times into Loghain, her daggers slicing through every chink in his armor and his entire face. Waiting as Merrill cast Walking Bomb, Isabela lept in to finish Loghain. She finished it off the chain of attacks with a Explosive Strike, ripping into his face and skull. 

The Warden himself fought valiantly against foes on all fronts, parrying sword blows from Aveline and Carver while blocking bolts from Varric's crossbow. Isabela disappeared into stealth, briefly decloaking as she prepared to assault from behind. Before she could deliver the killing blow, the briefly forgotten Wynne cast Stinging Swarm on the rogue. Mosquitoes and insects converged onto the pirate, who's screams of pain warned the Warden of her prescence. 

Bashing his shield into Aveline, he turned around and cast Winter's Grasp on her. Wynne then cast Stonefist, shattering her into several frozen peices. 

"Isabela! NO!" Hawke yelled. Varric and Merrill looked at their friend in grief, who's sobs were replaced with a roar of rage. 

"Wynne, get the others back up now!" 

Just as Wynne cast Revivval, Hawke gave in entirely to his Blood Magic. He cast Firestorm, ordering Varric and Merrill to do so as well. The combined onslaught of bolts, arcane fire, and dark blood magic easily crumpled the old woman, who used her last ounce of strength to revitalize her recently resurrected allies with Group Heal. 

Both sides left without their healer, the two parties separated as the Warden used Mind Blast to gain space between himself and the warriors assailing him. The Warden reactivated his Blood and Combat Magic, his body entering into the Fade as he looked at his allies. Hawke did the same, twirling his staff and examining his own companions. 

"Tell me if you want to slow down; it gets crazy from here."

Looking across the scorched, bloody battlefield at their respective opponents, the Warden and Hawke's Party began the fight renewed. 

Oghren activated his Berserk, taunting and challenging the young Templar to attack him. Carver obliged, leaping forward with Scythe and slashing outward in a wide arc. Oghren absorbed the blow, using the chance to close the distance. He smacked the boy with the pommel of his maul, before swinging it underneath his legs. Left stunned and disoriented by the sudden onslaught and raw strength behind Oghren's blows, the templar fell onto his rear. Looking up, Carver screamed as Oghren used Final Blow; the maul promptly smahed into Carver, reducing his head to a bloody pulp and splattering his allies in his blood. 

Meanwhile, Leliana and Varric were both trading arrow after arrow against each other. The storyteller kept moving, disappearing and reappearing beside allies to prevent the bard from obtaining a good shot. He unleashed bolt after bolt from Bianca, but she stood her ground.  She held her Defensive Fire and Aim, only moving slightly and gracefully to avoid Varric's counters. She used Mark of Death when he was exposed, hindering him. She drew her last arrow, pulled back the bow, and let loose with an Arrow of Slaying. The arrow ripped clean through the dwarf's hairy chest. The arrow flew through him, reappearing as it sailed through his back and planted his heart firmly into the wall. 

Aveline firmly held her ground, desperately trying to draw the onslaught of damage her friends were taking to herself. Proving to be her downfalll, saddled already from the sustained stamina draw from her other abilities, she sluggishly thrusted her sword at Loghain. He swatted it aside, using his mace to break her sword arm. Before she could even react, Loghain used Assault, slamming his shield directly into her face. The first blow stunned her, the second knocked her unconscious, the third broke her neck from the impact, and the fourth and most destructive blow smashed the front of her skull inwards. 

The Witch of the Wilds made short work of her Dalish adversary- casting first a Misdirection and Death Hex, she left the elf unable to retaliate against her. Shapeshifting into a Bereskearn, the mage charged at her and rammed her shoulder into Merrill. Tearing at her with claws and teeth, Morrigan stood proudly over the mutilated elf. Mumbling feebly to her Dalish gods, Merrill could do nothing as Morrigan finished her off by ripping out chunks of her throat. 

Finally, the Warden advanced towards Hawke. Left alone and without a chance at survival, Hawke unleashed every spell he possibly could at the mage before him. Arcane fire, primal blasts of lighting, shards of ice, and gravity itself pushed against the Warden, who only slowed slightly at the magical onslaught. The Warden, in retaliation, just cast Crushing Prison, ending the spellfury altogether as Hawke struggling against the enclosing magic pushing into him. Hawke struggled and looked at the Warden, his face obscured by his helmet. 

"Isn't this the part where you say "Any last words?", and then I-" 

Interrupted, Hawke's smirk disappeared instantly as the Warden casually thrust his sword into Hawke's stomach. 

​Expert's Opinion[]

The Warden's Party was far too powerful, too well-coordinated, and too experienced for Hawke's Party to even hope to stand a chance against. While Hawke's Party had marginal advantages in combing their talents and spells into an element of synergy, this pales in comparison to the Warden's Party, who could easily fight either as individuals or as a cohesive unit. 

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

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