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As of this moment, I declare the Inquisition reborn.
— Cassandra Pentaghast

The Inquisition is an organization affiliated to no government, created first to seal The Breach, and later to combat the threat of Corypheus, an ancient magister who wants to restore the old Tevinter Imperium. They rallied first around Haven and then in Skyhold, rapidly becoming a major political force in less than a year. While they have many forward camps, the fortress is their only actual territory, and it is always kept well-defended. The Inquisition eventually defeats the magister after foiling several of his plots, and discovers that Lyrium is actually the blood of massive stone giants.

After the Qunari attack a conference held by the Divine, one of the Inner Circle - the elite, governing members of The Inquisition - betrays them, and turns out to be Fen'Harel, an ancient Elven god. The Inquisition's ultimate fate depends on the player's choices. It is either turned into a small, personal force dedicated to hunting down the traitor or integrated into the Chantry, helping to prop up the corrupt and crumbling institution and for it to be to used for the Chantry's own nefariously oppressive ends.

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

Prologue: Seriously, Fuck Sebastian[]

“So,” Josephine says, the candle that somehow never melts firmly attached to the board she carries around, “Since the three of us are the only Inner Circle members here…”

“It falls to us to run the place. And receive ‘guests’” Cullen grumbles, looking at an impatient man in armor, polished to a mirror gleam.

“Any volunteers to talk to Prince Shiny?” Josephine asks, noticing where the commander was looking.

“I’ll do it,” Leliana says, “We have a history, and he should be easy to control.”

“How so? He is… quite stubborn,” Josephine says, “Even came here in person after the Inquisitor ignored his requests to help annex Kirkwall.”

“He’s easily fooled by appearances and soft words. Even now, he still thinks Elthina was a force for peace. Anyone looking at her actions would realize she was anything but.”

“Go, then,” Cullen says, “Maker knows I can’t stand the twit.” With a nod and a smile, Leliana turns and walks towards the man in question, Sebastian Vael, the Prince of Starkhaven. He looks up, and his eyes flash, recognizing the woman in front of him.

“Sister Nightingale!” he says, breaking out into a sad smile, “It’s been quite some time.”

“Indeed, it has. Pity the Grand Cleric didn’t listen to my warning.”

“Yes. That cursed apostate… I wish your Inquisitor would listen to reason and support my annexation.”

“He seems to be… ill-disposed towards Starkhaven,” Leliana says, “Something about a payment dispute when he was with the Valo-Koss. I’ll try to convince him, but it will take doing.”

As Sebastian opens his mouth to reply, an explosion rocks the mountain fortress, followed by a messenger sprinting into the throne room.

“Report!” Cullen says, sparing no time.

“We’re under attack from some… flying… thing. It’s using its canons to break the bridge as we speak. There are people inside.

“The Maker shall provide,” Sebastian mutters, just loud enough for Leliana to hear. “Come, men,” he shouts, waving his guard, “We will help defend the fortress. Ready your bows.” He and his men trot towards the gate, making a show of coming to help.

The Adventurers line up in their airship, a trio of Dark Knights at the fore. The archers on the other side fire volley after volley, but the arrows simply clatter off of the shielding they create.

“All right,” one of them says, holding a horned helmet in his arms, “As we discussed. Once the third Blackest Night pops, we charge in and create a beachhead with Quietus. I call the shiny one.”

The other two nod in agreement and pick out their own targets, separating along the deck, and a Monk and a Paladin step up behind the knight in the center. The Paladin looks slightly nervous, while the Monk is doing warm-up stretches.

“You don’t know the meaning of tense, do you, Tee?” the Paladin asks.

“Hey, I get to punch things,” the Monk replies, “I’m cool.”

“You’ll do fine, Marshal. There’s, what, 300 of us?” the Dark Knight says, resting his greatsword against his thigh, “Someone will pick up your slack.”

“I’m more worried about you, Leo. You sure you don’t want to swap to a healer?” Marshal says.

“I may swap here and there,” Leo says, putting on his helmet, “but I’m gonna start off as Dark Knight. Shield’ll drop soon; get back.” He stabs his sword to the sky, activating Darkside, and uses Dark Arts to boost his next attack. The snarling man in shining mail looses another arrow, which finally makes the shield drop. On cue, the three Dark Knights that made the van use Plunge, diving towards the mass of archers.

All three hit their targets, the two on the edges cleaving straight through Starkhaven’s finest while Leo impales Sebastian. The prince, still living, attempts a last, desperate strike, but is quickly flung off the blade as Leo flicks it behind him. The three Dark Knights all use Quietus, spinning their swords in a lateral circle, causing several small explosions of magic along the arc. Starkhaven’s soldiers get thrown backwards or off the gatehouse, slamming between the mountains as they fall to join their prince. A few slashes and spells later, the Adventurers take a landing point. Their airship comes closer, and the mass of Adventurers pours into Skyhold.

“So much for that,” Cullen mutters as he runs across the walkway to the tower that served as his command post. “Inquisition! Fight for your lives!” he yells, putting some more heart into the soldiers. A raven swoops past him, and leaves a note on his desk as he slams open the door. Leliana had already sent word to the Inquisitor, so they only had to hold out until the Inner Circle returns.

Part 1: The Breach[]

“Vanguard! With me!” Marshal yells, as he charges into the gatehouse, activating Hallowed Ground. The other five members of his group sprint to catch up with him as he draws the attention of the mages and archers within the gatehouse. A Roegadyn pauses for a second to grab her Greatsword from Leo before plunging in, impaling one of the scouts as she leaps to her friend’s aid. Marshal draws attention away from the large woman as she’s joined by other adventurers. An Elezen ninja quickly flashes through Mudras before launching a fireball at one side of the room, and uses Shukichi to move in its wake.

She tosses several throwing knives at the cluster of foes, injuring some, before vanishing as a Lalafell Black Mage launches a trio of flares on the other side. The gatehouse cleared in a manner of seconds, and the Adventurers start to stream into Skyhold. One Samurai charges in ahead of the rest, forgetting he’s not a tank, and gets impaled by an Inquisition soldier waiting behind a corner. Another Adventurer gets snagged by a warrior’s chain and hauled to the top of the wall, here she gets stabbed in the back by a scout and tossed over towards the gap. The Miqo’te does not fall for long, however, as Leo uses Rescue, bringing her plummeting into the stone gatehouse.

Leo draws his personal weapon – a long, thin sword with no guard – and uses the pommel’s focus to cast Benediction, fully restoring the bard to normal. She charges back into the breach with a nod of thanks, and Leo follows, the arcane geometries on his sword and armor flashing as he channels mana to heal his allies, along with the occasional spell to harm his foes. He ducks around an Au Ra machinist firing at any Inquisition targets she can find, and tosses a shielding spell on her as he moves to the front, using Plunge to slam his sword through another opponent and land next to Marshal.

“Their main chokepoint is that arch,” Marshal says as Leo falls in beside him, “I’ll use that against them, you keep them off my back.”

Leo flips his sword around, holding it like a staff as he applies a rapid succession of protective and regenerative spells on his friend, topping the mass of magic off with an Enhanced Bole and Celestial Opposition to ensure those spells lasted for a longer time.

“I’ll see if I can help us take the other side,” Leo says, “Rally the other healers towards you.” Marshal nods, and Leo casts Aetherial Manipulation in rapid succession to cross the growing bubble of Adventurers storming the courtyard.

“Come on, look alive!” Krem yells as he deflects an arrow from a bard, who follows the attack up with a fireball, which he swiftly blocks with his shield. “Dalish! They got one of you!”

“Aye,” Dalish says, and the elf casts Dispel Magic to cut off the longer attack the Bard was about to do. The horned man barely has time to grimace before the Inquisition’s scouts turn him into a pincushion, and the large man falls back into the mass of his comrades. Krem frowns, having seen that their foes possessed near-miraculous healing magic. The troublesome mage would be back in short order.

“Templars!” he shouts, grabbing the attention of the handful of soldiers Cullen had trained, “See if you can disrupt their mages. They have a bloody army of them.”

The Templars rush in at his request, covered by the few Champions on this side of the castle. They use their abilities to dispel magic, and all the Adventurers around them falter. Their swings are now simply swings, not the aether-manipulating techniques they normally are. One of the fighters winces in pain as the punch he thought would be enhanced slams into the unyielding steel plate of his foe, breaking his hand.

The Inquisition rallies in that brief lull, finally forming a defensive line and killing a few of the Adventurers while their ire turned towards the Templars. The valiant warriors were swiftly targeted and slaughtered by the Adventurers nearby, and their corpses were pulled behind enemy lines to deny the Inquisition’s mages the ability to revive them. Their purpose was served, however, and the Adventurers now faced a proper battle formation. The line pushed forward and back a few meters at a time, neither side holding an advantage for long.

Krem wipes the sweat off his brow, and notices a raven swoop in, delivering a message for him.

Good job stabilizing that line. We’re having trouble holding the archway on the other side of the courtyard; work your magic there. -Cullen

Krem sighs and dips his finger in the blood running freely at his feet, and uses that to pen a reply.

Work your anti-magic. That’s what helped here. – Krem

That done, he passes command over to the remaining Champion and gathers the Chargers, moving up the wall and behind the expanding ranks of Scouts and Mages filing in to pepper the Adventurers from above.

The Adventurers’ line parts, admitting a massive Roegadyn male, covered from head to toe in plate armor. The human soldier swallows at the ten-foot lump of muscle and steel, but calms down when he notices that the man is unarmed. He activates Walking Fortress, and catches the man’s attacks on his plate, unharmed. A strike at his foe’s face is dodged, the fighter moving at a speed which belied his bulk. The champion is barely able to attack, taking all he can do to hold his ground.

Then, sensing that his ability to block his opponent’s attacks is running low, he dodges a hook. Rather than pull back, however, the Monk throws a straight, catching the Champion directly in the chest. He is thrown back as his armor crumples, breaking his bones and stabbing into his flesh. The soldier bleeds out quickly, lamenting that the Inquisition never thought to learn healing magic.

With their commander broken, the Inquisition soldiers only put up a token resistance. Leo activates Hallowed Ground and charges into the hole the monk opened up in their ranks. He uses Swiftcast to cast Holy, blinding the Inquisition soldiers unlucky enough to get caught nearby. A quick spin kills or knocks them back, giving the Dragoons space to leap in and the other mages softer targets for their spells. In short order, the soldiers in the lower courtyard retreat to other positions or are massacred, the pelting from above doing little to slow their advance.

“Good thing Moerfian was there,” Tee says as he finds Leo, cradling his hand, “I don’t think we could have beaten them back otherwise.”

“He is a hard man to stop, yes,” Leo says while casting Cure to fix up Tee’s hand, “The question is where we go from here. Marshal’s blocking the upper courtyard, so we can go through along the wall or inside the castle itself.”

“From what I can see, that tower along the wall is their command post,” the massive Monk says, walking towards the pair, “But the tower there is where all their communications go through. That’s probably the better target.”

“Yes… that is reasonable. Tee and I will take… half our forces,” Leo says, “The rest of us should hold this area and rotate out with Marshal. Don’t have him fight everyone by himself.”

“Looks like we can get to that tower from two places,” Tee says, “I’ll take top, we pincer them?”

Leo gives a fierce grin at this suggestion, which is hidden by his helmet. He nods, and the Adventurers set about splitting up their forces.

Part 2: Light Remains[]

“Let’s go!” Tee says, as Leo charges up the ramp to the lower door. He grabs a spear, and leaps. He gets nary a meter in the air before he lands back on the ground, confused. One of the Dragoons grabs him by the shirt and executes his own Jump, scaling the entire tower in seconds and ramming his spear through the throat of the soldier looking below. The Dragoon lets go as he returns to the courtyard to ferry up more of his comrades, letting Tee roll on the ground, surrounded by a knot of Inquisition soldiers.

He quickly leaps to his feet and uses Arm of the Destroyer, letting a swift burst of aether flood the ground, knocking his foes off balance. He kicks off of the breastplate of one of them as they stagger, using the height to polish off a small group with Elixir Field, directing another blast of aether from his palms toward the ground. He activates Perfect Balance as he lands, and finishes off the rest with a flurry of Rockbreakers, the shorter-range blast pulverizing flesh and bone as easily as its name suggests. As a pair of Dragoons ferry two White mages up, he directs one final blast at the door, blowing it off its hinges.

Across the room, Leliana lets loose a pair of arrows, which hit home in Tee’s throat. He gurgles as the blood runs down, pulling the arrows out. Both White Mages offhandedly use Regen on him, one following up with Tetragrammaton and the other using Divine Benison to erect a barrier around him before going back to ferrying up more Adventurers by using Rescue. Satisfied that he was healed and protected, Tee vaults the railing and uses Shoulder Tackle to dash across the empty core of the tower and slam into Leliana.

“The righteous shall stand before the darkness…” she mutters, drawing her bow.

“Eh. Darkness has never been my thing,” Tee says, as the arrow falls out of the air, “Don’t suppose you could surrender for me?”

“Magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him,” Leliana says, hiding behind scripture as she leaps out of reach of a punch.

“I’m not a mage, though,” Tee says, shrugging as he ducks under a knife swipe. He returns the attack with a kick, but Leliana jumps out of the way and draws her bow again, aiming an arrow at his groin. He barely dodges the shot as she activates Mark of Death. Another punch misses, and she grazes his arm with her next shot. The Adventurers stream in through the door, as they fight, leaping down to the lower levels and taking the fight to the Inquisition.

Growling in frustration, Leliana throws a knockout bomb at Tee’s feet, making the monk fall asleep where he stands. She draws her dagger and activates Hidden Blades, lacerating him in several places. She wipes the blood off her blades as Tee bleeds, confident in her victory.

Tee uses Second Wind, curing enough of his wounds to stand. He circles to Leliana’s side and executes the Forbidden Chakra, sending a powerful uppercut Leliana’s way that catches her under the chin. The force behind it lifts her up in the air and over the railing.

She screams as she falls, the sound cut off by the wet thud as the stone floor at the bottom of the tower breaks her fall and her skull. The Inquisition falls silent for a brief moment before being cut down in a rout, attempting to flee the site where one of their commanders fell. A raven lights off her body, and flies over the heads of the Adventurers still fighting in the courtyard.

“Marshal, move!” a Roegadyn woman yells, pulling the Paladin out of the way of sword strike.

“Thanks, Askwyb,” Marshal says as he staggers next to Moerfian, the massive monk having made his way to where the fighting is. Moerfian holds up his right fist, and the gem in his gauntlet glows purple as he casts Flare, the Black Magic spell knocking back several of the defenders. He extends his left fist towards Askwyb, and the small panel of wood within that gauntlet glows white as he casts Regen on her, the White Magic spell invigorating the Dark Knight.

“You can make an opening, Wyzwilfwyn?” he asks her, and she nods. She activates The Blackest Night, shielding herself as she dives into the fray, impaling a soldier behind the lines as she does so. A flurry of wide sweeps creates a pocket for her to move in, and Marshal and Moerfian attack the Inquisition soldiers who turned to help their comrades.

This is enough to shift the tide of the battle, and in short order the remaining section of the courtyard is taken and held by the Adventurers. “With me!” Moerfian yells, and the shout directs the swarm of Adventurers up the stairs towards the throne room. The Inquisition attempts to defend from the frontal assault, but that leaves them open to the flanking strikes from Tee and Leo.

Leo charges into the room, using Tri-Bind to root a knot of Inquisition soldiers in place before casting Foul, the explosion of energy sapping their lives. He detaches the focus from his sword’s hilt and spins in a circle, discharging some of the mana stored within in a flash of enchanted swordplay. He leaps in, using shielding magic on himself, and uses Triplecast to start spamming Holy, the massive outflow of unaspected aether stunning the Inquisition while slamming past their armor.

The other White Mages in the group follow suit, while the Black Mages cast Flare and the Summoners use Painflare to enter Dreadwrym Trance. The massive outpouring of magic saturates the throne room in its deadly energies, and the Inquisition falls within, the bodies unable to decide if they’re charred, withered, or simply pulverized.

“Fall back to the towers!” Cullen bellows, getting the attention of the remaining Inquisition soldiers, “I want at least one Templar and one Knight Enchanter per building. Per floor, if you can! Go!”

As his soldiers rush to follow his commands, the Templar picks up his lion-shaped helmet and slips it on, fastening it tight. He draws his sword and unlimbers his shield, and finally looks to a small wooden box on the table.

“Maker, my enemies are abundant. Many are those who rise up against me. But my faith sustains me; I shall not fear the legion, should they set themselves against me,” he says, speaking the beginning of the Canticle of Trials as he pops open the lid. The hateful blue Lyrium shines from within, the very blood of the stone giants that provided Templars with power. He had sworn not to use it, but the need was dire.

“Maker, though the darkness comes upon me, I shall embrace the Light. I shall weather the storm,” he says, bringing the vial to his lips. He drinks it contents in one swig, and smashes the glass against the ground.

“I shall endure.”

Part 3: The Maker Has Turned[]

Marshal hacks and slices his way up the stairs, smashing the occasional straggler out of his way. The constant shielding output by the group’s Scholars rendered most of the Inquisition’s attacks useless, breaking through the enemy mages’ and templars’ abilities to dispel magic through sheer brute force. Marshal reaches the top of the ramparts without much difficulty, and a shield swipe from him and a couple broad lashes from Askwyb clears a path for the rest of the Adventurers to stream up. They split into two, Moerfian and Askwyb charging towards the Mage’s Tower while Marshal makes his way towards the towers flanking the gates.

He smashes open the door of the first tower, and a White Mage slips in as he bashes the Inquisition soldiers within aside. The Lalafell uses her short stature to sneak into the crowd and swiftcast Holy, blinding and stunning all the soldiers inside. He steps to the side, making way for a Warrior to barrel in, yelling in fury. The large, sweeping motions of his axe battering aside even the heavily-armored Inquisition soldiers. The burly Miqo’te does what the Adventurers do best: overwhelm with skill of arms. The small pocket expands to a channel, letting Marshal smash his way through the door and onto the final stretch towards the gatehouse.

On the other side, Moerfian and Askwyb lead the way, their massive frames smashing and slicing apart their foes. A Knight Enchanter tries to stop them, but his mana blade shatters on Askwyb’s own magic shield. As they reach the tower, a shout draws her attention above. She parries Krem’s downward slash, while the other Chargers pile onto Moerfian. The narrow ramparts pin the rest of the Adventurers down, forcing them to take temporary cover.

The first casualty is Grim, when Moerfian uses Black Magic to materialize a pillar of ice around the silent man and smash it with a haymaker. Krem parries one of Askwyb’s slashes, only for her to let go of her sword and cast Dark Passenger. A quick-thinking mage uses Dispel Magic, saving the Tevinter warrior and allowing him to draw blood on his foe. Another quick exchange gives him a second opening, which he takes without hesitation.

Askwyb uses Living Dead to survive the stab to the heart, and headbutts Krem. He loses his grip on his sword, which the Dark Knight rips out of her chest and tosses aside. He leaps back into action, tackling the larger woman to the ground. He then straddles her and slams his shield into her face, yelling with each strike. She laughs in his face, spitting blood while Living Dead keeps her from dying. As he brings his shield up for one final blow, Askwyb manages to right her sword and plunge it through his bound chest. One of the Astrologians behind her heals her, reversing time so that her injuries never happened.

Krem coughs up blood as Moerfian punches through Dalish, and uses the other fist to smash Rocky’s skull. A quick Blizzard cast stops the dwarf from exploding after his death, and Krem finally pulls the sword out of him. Askwyb retrieves her blade and stands over his kneeling form, and he sighs.

“Well, shit.”

And a stroke of the blade later, the last of the Chargers fell.

The swift pulverizing of the cream of the Inquisition’s crop of soldiers demoralized those within the tower, making them easy prey for the first wave of Adventurers to swarm in. They attempt to rally, but are in no state to fight, and the Mage’s Tower is taken in short order.

Cullen stands before the first Adventurer to make it past the guard tower, sword drawn and shield at the ready. Marshal takes his own stance, and Cullen lets out a war cry as he charges. Marshal blocks the first sweep, attempting to get a strike in as well. Cullen uses his Templar abilities, which saves his life as the blow glances off his shield. The pair locks shields, putting their full weight against each other. They strain, evenly matched, until Marshal raises his arm, thunder flowing into his sword. He uses Requiescat, the simple overhead strike rending Cullen’s helmet and sending him reeling.

Marshal then brings his hands before him, sword pointing up, as if mimicking a prayer. Cullen raises his shield just in time for him to cast Holy Spirit, the blast of magic pushing him back, and the following four send him reeling into the tower. A machinist fires behind Marshal, and her projectile glances off of Cullen’s shield, killing one of the men behind him. Marshal runs to close the gap, sending a quick stab Cullen’s way. The Templar parries the blow, and launches a strike of his own, which skitters off of Marshal’s shield.

After a brief flurry of exchanges, Cullen activates his Templar abilities again, and hews through the aetherial defenses of his foe. A momentary lapse due to surprise allows Cullen to slice through his foe’s neck, and Marshal staggers out, and is pulled to safety by a Scholar, who patches him up. Cullen lets loose another cry of victory, heartening the soldiers in his tower. The last bastion of the Inquisition rallies, secure behind their walls.

Leo stabs the last Inquisition soldier in the castle’s garden, the soil drowned in blood and caked with gore. He nods to the Miqo’te Machinist, who uses a Linkpearl to inform the rest of the Adventurers that the garden area is clear.

“Looks like that tower’s the last holdout,” she says, using one of the horns on Leo’s helmet to turn his head, “They’ve got one of those blue glowy soldiers at each entrance. One killed Marshal, but my sister brought him back. Let’s go help.”

Leo grabs her wrist, clamping down until she lets go, and sighs.

“You’re thinking small, P’fhiroh. With all the fighting that’s been going on, we can just destroy the tower.”

“That… feels like overkill.”

Leo just shrugs, and uses Aetherial Manipulation to teleport to one of his allies in front of the throne room, followed by a Plunge on one of the defenders who had sallied forth to the bridge connecting Cullen’s Tower to the throne room. He plants his sword-staff hybrid into the ground, and channels the energies of his party members through it. A pair of Paladins intercept the Inquisition’s attempts to dispel Leo’s magic, and the spell completes. He draws his sword out of the ground and points it dramatically at the sky, causing the Inquisition soldiers to look up in confusion.

The massive meteor bearing down on the tower quickly turns confusion to horror, the chunk of rock tearing through the once-sturdy stone tower, killing everyone inside.

Tee strolls into the wreckage and slams the standard of Ul’Dah into the rubble, causing his footing to crumble and sending him flat on his face, to the general mirth of his companions. Mission complete, the Adventurers file over the rubble to board their airship, leaving the blood-soaked castle for whoever manages to find it next.

Expert's Opinion[]

Overall, the Adventurers had more versatility and power to their attacks, as well as the all-important ability to heal. Lacking this, the Inquisition was able to be whittled down while the Adventurers could replenish their stamina and cure their wounds.

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