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Some choose greatness, while others have it thrust upon them. These great ones take what destiny has given them and twist it into their own desire, gaining a legacy and a reputation that far exceeds themselves. Two men have chosen that, challenging fate to attempt to bind them again; Hawke, the Ferelden mage that became one of the most beloved and notorious figures of Kirkwall throughout a decade of misadventures, and Kratos, the Spartan general and former servant of Ares that now serves no one but himself in a quest for vengeance. One is a paragon of justice, the other a force of chaotically nature. In a match of an immovable object and an unstoppable force, only one of these mighty fighters can be...THE DEADLIEST WARRIOR!!!

Hawke; The Champion of Kirkwall

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Why is it always Hawke to the rescue?
— Garrett Hawke

A mage refuge from Kirkwall who led his family to safety from the Fifth Blight, Hawke would soon become one of the most influential people of the Dragon Age. Enlisting with his brother Carver as a mercenary in Kirkwall, Hawke spent a year doing the occasional enforcement or bodyguard job until he joined the Tethras expedition, led by his soon to be best friend Varric. Recruiting several key companions including the Grey Warden Anders and his future lover Isabella, Hawke and Varric went into the Deep Roads in search of a lost dwarven thaig. Despite Varric's brother attempting to seal them in to thei deaths, Varric and Hawke escaped. When Hawke returned to the surface, he learned Carver had joined the Templar Order and left his mother alone.

During the next decade, Hawke would become influential in the events of Kirkwall. Hawke led the resistance of Templars and mages during the Qunari uprising, killing the Arishok and becoming Champion. He was also forced to pick sides in the first conflict of the Mage-Templar war, siding with his fellow mages before exiling himself to draw attention from Kirkwall.

Equipment:

  • Iconic - The Hawke's Key: A staff found in the ancient Warden prison of Corypheus in the Vinmark Mountains, which was used a key to the prison. The staff launches bolts of electrical energy, may slow down enemies with every strike, and may regenerate health with each strike.
  • Projectile Spell - Stonefist: Hawke hurls a stone projectile that strikes with massive force.
  • Fire Magic - Fireball: Hawke unleashes a bolt of flame that explodes, scattering and scorching foes
  • Protection Magic - Heal: Hawke imbues himself with restorative energy, knitting flesh and mending bone.
  • Ice Magic - Cone of Cold: Hawke launches a cone of deadly ice shoots forth from his hands to injure and slow opponents.
  • Disabling Magic - Horror: Hawke casts a spel that leaves visions that rend an enemy's mind, leaving the target stunned.
  • Death Magic - Walking Bomb: Hawke curses an enemy with an effect that turns the victim's own body into a weapon. If the enemy dies while the spell is still active, it explodes, harming all other foes nearby.
  • Minion Magic - Blood Slave: Hawke enslaves a target, forcing it to fight alongside the party for a short time, after which the victim dies unless it is particularly powerful. Blood Magic must be active.
  • Lightning Magic - Tempest: Hawke casts magical bolts of lightning to stab down into foes across a wide area of the battlefield.
  • Area of Effect - Pull of the Abyss: Hawke conjures a maelstrom of energy that draws enemies to its center while slowing them to a crawl.
  • Super Mode - Blood Magic: While this mode is active, Hawke can use blood magic, sacrificing health rather than mana to obtain a deeper pool of energy for casting spells.

Kratos; The Ghost of Sparta

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The hands of death could not defeat me, The Sisters of Fate could not hold me, and YOU will not see the end of this day! I will have my revenge!
— Kratos

A legendary Greek warrior and feared servant of the Gods of Olympus, Kratos was once a mighty Spartan Warrior who quickly rose to prominence because of his rage, brutality and skill, eventually becoming a legendary general at an early age. Ambitious, Kratos sought to bring the glory of Sparta to all of Greece- but when he was confronted by the Barbarian King and his hordes, Kratos was overwhelmed. Just before death, Kratos called out to the God of War, Ares, to save him. Ares answered, binding the deadly Blades of Chaos to his arms and making Kratos his servant, but giving him the power to push back the Barbarians and turn the tide. He continued to serve Ares bidding, until the God tricked him into slaughtering his own wife and daughter, believing that he would create the ultimate warrior in Kratos if he no longer had anything to live for. The Oracle bound the ashes of his fallen family to his skin, making him appear solid white- The Ghost of Sparta.

Vowing revenge on Ares, Kratos abandoned the God of War, taking up the cause of the rest of Olympus on a long, many year journey to obtain forgiveness for his sins, to gain vengeance against the God who betrayed him and to finally relieve himself of the nightmares.

Equipment:

  • Iconic - Blades of Chaos: A pair of swords forged in the depths of the Underworld, the Blades of Chaos are chained to Kratos' wrists, which can slash and stab from his hands or thrown by Kratos to function like grapples.
  • Projectile Magic - Zeus' Fury: Kratos creates a bolt of lightning and hurls it at the enemy at incredible speed. He can also charge a single more powerful bolt.
  • Fire Magic - Charon's Wrath: Kratos creates a short range wave of green flame in front of him.
  • Protection Magic - Sun Shield: Kratos creates a magical shield that reflects any projectile spell back to the attacker.
  • Ice Magic - Horn of Boreas: Kratos summons a tempest over a small area that instantly freezes those trapped within.
  • Disabling Magic - Medusa's Gaze: Kratos holds up the Head of Medusa, turning his foe into fragile stone temporarily.
  • Death Magic - Army of Hades: Kratos summons two spirits from the Underworld to help him defeat his foes.
  • Minion Magic - Efreet: Kratos summons a powerful spirit to slam its fist into the ground, surrounding him in fire.
  • Lightning Magic - Eye of Atlantis: Kratos holds up an artifact that lets him shoot a stream of electricity at his foe.
  • Area of Effect - Poseidon's Rage: Kratos surrounds himself in a circle of powerful lightning, damage increasing over time.
  • Super Mode - Rage of the Gods: Kratos gives into his fury and power of the gods, giving his attacks much more power and increasing his attack speed. The buildup requires a significant amount of combat, however.

X-Factors

X-Factor- Kratos / Hawke

Experience- 95 / 90

Kratos has been a warrior his entire life, slaying both man and monster with little regard or discretion. He's faced a far wider variety of foes as well, almost always alone. While Hawke has had his fair share of conflicts and experiences, fighting dragons and participating in several large-scale conflicts, he's been assisted by his allies for a majority of that and faced far less variety.

Intelligence- 70 / 85

Despite Kratos' admirable skill as a strategist and commander, Kratos has always been more of a fighter than a thinker. His ability to create solutions to various puzzles presented to him is noteworthy, but this is only barely applicable to his fighting style. Hawke is not only an intelligent and scholared individual, he has displayed a fine-tuned ability to judge the abilities of himself and others. As his party's leader and important figure in his city, Hawke's simply required to do more thinking than Kratos is.

Training- 90 / 75

Spartan training is second to very few, and this especially applies to Kratos. Trained in almost every form of weaponry and combat known, Kratos is thoroughly prepared for any threat to come his way. Hawke, as an apostate, hasn't even had the benefit of typical Circle education. Although taught quite well by his father, Hawke is a mostly self-taught and disciplined mage.

Tactics- 80 / 85

Kratos' ability to adapt to his opponent's fighting styles, weaknesses, and strengths is noteworthy. Oftentimes he finds himself fighting foes he's never encountered before, forcing him to adapt immediately. Hawke, however, regularly has to strategize against far greater numbers. Not only must he plan for himself, but Hawke also must help lead his party of companions, formulating strategies to suit their strengths and weaknesses as well.

Brutality- 95 / 80

Kratos is an absolute monster- no one is too weak or too powerful for him to kill. The sole exception to these have been children on occasion, but otherwise he is willing to go to whatever brutal lengths he needs to. Hawke's had to make several difficult choices throughout his life, and his use of the brutal practice of blood magic displays a certain pragmatism, but he's nowhere near the level of brutal Kratos is.

Notes

  • Voting ends when I desire.
  • The match will take place during a Spartan invasion of Kirkwall.
  • Full votes require either edges and a three sentence summary or a five to ten sentence statement.
  • Votes that do not meet those specific requirements but offer enough substance can gain half or full vote credit.
  • Votes with little reason or irrelevant information are worth zero credit.
  • All votes must contain proper grammar.
  • I will not strictly follow these guidelines, should I see something especially worthy of promotion/demotion.

Battle

Prologue

Hours away from the infamous city of Kirkwall, six large ships speedily leap above wave after wave towards the City of Chains. As the massive war machines cross the Waking Sea with urgency, each bears two flags. The first, the spear and shield- the symbol of the elite Sparta, flowing proudly in the ocean's winds. The second standard varies with each ship- a silver owl, a turquoise horse, a black goat, a pure white lion, a bronze snake, and, leading the armada, a golden eagle. These Spartan armies were not just fighting for conquest, glory and honor- this was a divine act.

And on the flagship bearing the standard of Zeus, king of the gods, stood Kratos; the Ghost of Sparta and God of War. He left his quarters- and the two beautiful women that had kept him occupied for the long journey- to approach an ancient mirror. A flash of magic filled the mirror, and the neutral face of Athena appeared.

"What is troubling you, Kratos?"

The Spartan grunted, cracking his neck before answering. "Why does Zeus command an army to strike a city so far from Greece?"

"Our king-"

Kratos cut her off immediately. "Your king, Athena."

The goddess sighed, clearly wishing to discuss that at another time. "This city- this continent- worships a different deity than us. Zeus states that he sees this "Maker" as a threat to Olympus, but it is quite clear it is jealousy that motivates him, not fear."

And yet Kratos seemed unmoved. "Why does this concern me, then? Surely Zeus could strike them down on his own." He asked, growing frustrated.

"Because the Spartans worship you, Kratos- perhaps even more than Zeus, and certainly more than Ares. He would never admit it, but Zeus needs your support for their's."

At that, Kratos allowed himself a small smile. "This is true."

Athena smiled warmly at her pupil, and both stopped as they heard orders being bellowed above deck. "Indeed- but the battle almost begins. Go now, Kratos, and prepare yourself."

With that, Athena disappeared, leaving Kratos alone once again.


In the Hawke mansion of Hightown, three people sat casually around a table playing cards. One, the dwarf merchant Varric Tethras, smirked as he triumphantly played the winning hand. His two companions, his best friend Hawke and his lover Isabella, groaned as the storyteller collected his winnings. "You really need to learn how to play cards, Chuckles. Or least how to cheat like Rivaini over here."

"Forgive me for trusting you to play fair, Varric. Besides, Isabella didn't che-she definitely cheated what am I saying?"

Isabella laughed, viewing her hand as she sipped from her wine glass. "Deary, I'm a pirate and Varric is a member of the Merchant's Guild. I would have to end things right here if you expected something else."

"It would be that easy to get rid of you, huh?"

The three laughed, but a pounding on the door interrupted them. Hawke stood up to open it, only for Aveline, Captain of the City Guard. She had her sword and shield equipped already, and Hawke's once friendly grin slipped a tad while his eyes expressed genuine concern.

"What's wrong, Aveline? Meredith and Orisno arguing about the wine fountain in the tower again? It was just a small birthday gift for-"

"Kirkwall is being invaded, Hawke."

Hawke's grin quickly disappeared entirely, with Varric and Isabella already grabbing their weapons. He immediately equipped the Hawke's Key and walked outside. The sky was black, with gigantic fiery boulders and ballista bolts landing around them. "Who is it? Qunari, Tevinter?"

Aveline shrugged as she led them outside. "I'm afraid I don't know who these people are, Hawke. They've already taken the Circle Tower and Lowtown. They're pushing through Darktown as we speak."

"Shit, did-"

"Merrill's leading the evacuation up to Hightown right now. Anders is covering the retreat with the remaining mages while Fenris is assisting the Templars with Carver."

Hawke began sprinting down, Isabella and Varric beginning to follow him. He quickly turned around and ordered them to stop. "Stay here and help Aveline prepare the defenses at the Chantry. I'll be back in time for tea, don't worry."

The two rogues looked at each other uneasily, but did as told and walked with Aveline. Hawke looked towards the burning city of Kirkwall, and a righteous anger overtook him. Wiping a smear of blood across his face for good luck, Hawke ventured down to halt the invaders of his home.


"Spartans! Charge!"

Kratos bellowed to his troopos as the phalanx pushed forward against the City Guard. His Spartan's long spears made short work of the initial City Guard, who came ill-equipped to take on the tight formation during the hasty defense. As they began the retreat across Darktown, Kratos quickly led the charge into individual combat.

Yelling viciously, Kratos took his Blades and swung them in an arc, decapitating several Guards with the initial slash. He quickly launched himself forward and thrust both Blades into the chest of another. Turning around, he easily rolled out of the way as a Guard chucked a javelin at him. Before he could unsheath his short sword, Kratos used the Eye of Atlantis.

The beam of lighting burned through the Guard's chest, leaving a scorched hole where his stomach once was. Watching himself get surrounded by a dozen City Guards, Kratos cast Horn of Boreas, freezing all of the foes in place. He finished them off with Poseidon's Rage, the lightning and tremors shattering them all into tiny fragments of ice, flesh, and bone.

"Challenge someone worthy of your skill, mage."

Kratos looked over as a tattooed warrior glowing blue appeared, swinging his sword with unexpected speed and precision. Only barely blocking it in time, Kratos headbutted Fenris before flipping backwards to avoid a sweep below his legs.

"YOU DARE!" Kratos bellowed, swinging his Blades at a surprised elf as he charged forward. The warrior only barely managed to sidestep Kratos' dash, swinging his sword but overextending. Kratos easily ducked beneath the strike and slammed his shoulder into the warrior's chest, launching him into a market stall. Fenris quickly stood up, and Kratos snarled like a rabid dog at the resilient foe. 

"Prepare to die, mongrel."

Fenris merely continued his scowl and raised his greatsword. "Give it your best, invader."


"Anders, are you okay?"

Hawke jogged up to his friend Anders, who kept a weary eye for trouble. His eyes showed the slight shade of blue when Justice was about to be unleashed, and Hawke looked where he was glanced. The Champion quickly raised his staff as Anders activated Pancea.

Two mages were swiftly cut down by a phalanx of Spartans, who peppered them with javelins. The shield wall stood firm as the individual warriors charged, swords in hand. Hawke cast Tempest, causing bolts of lightning to strike those unfortunate enough to get caught in the radius. He followed it up with activating Blood Magic, allowing the dark magic to envelop his body and mind.

With a brief look of pain, Hawke cast Blood Slave over one of the Spartans, who quickly rammed his spear into two of his companions. The warrior unsheated his xiphos and started to dual his former friends. Hawke quickly deactivated the spell, and watched Anders give into Vengeance.

"Can you handle the retreat, Anders? Watch the refugees, and get to the Chantry with the others."

Three more Spartans surrounded the two mages, and Hawke smirked. He cast Stonefist at one, sending him hurtling back and reducing his chest into a blood pulp underneath his armor. One charged with his sword, but Hawke parried the blow and shoved the bladed end of his staff into his foe's chest. Anders cast Winter's Grasp on the last Spartan, and Hawke finished him off with Stonefist again.

"Are you sure, Hawke? Do you at least have a plan?"

Hawke shrugged as he sprinted towards the bulk of combat. "Of course not, but when has that ever stopped us?"


In the thick of the docks of Darktown, the two armies of Spartans and Kirkwall dualed viciously with each other. The Spartan phalanxes held firm against the defenders, but the mages were able to break through them enough times for the Templars to break the ranks and engage in individual combat.

And in the apex of the brutal melee were Kratos and Fenris, the latter covered in cuts, bruises, and blood. The Ghost of Sparta, meanwhile, had almost no mark of injury upon him. He took his Blades and flung them into the spines of two Templars, killing them instantly, before tossing them into an exhausted Fenris.

Hawke charged into the fray at that moment, launching bolts of energy at Spartans while trying to find enough groups to cast his larger spells. He took the Hawke's Key and conjured an electrical surge of energy, slashing with the bladed end into the side of a Spartan. The Kirkwall guard finished him off with a quick hack, and gestured over to another skirmish.

Hawke looked over to see his rival Fenris, bloodied and defeated. The elf charged a final time, thrusting his great sword at a shirtless white warrior. Kratos leaped over the blade and thrust both Blades into Fenris' shoulders. The elf staggered, and Hawke quickly cast Heal to his ally.

Sensing his foe's energy returning, Kratos quickly summoned Efreet upon his weakened foe. The large fire demon rose with a roar, before slamming his fist down into a ring of fire. Fenris looked in horror as the fiery blast enveloped his entire body, reducing his head to a pile of char and scorching his entire body.

Hawke watched in horror as Fenris' headless body fell down with a thud, vaporizing into dust on impact with the ground. Although the two disagreed on almost everything, they'd also been comrades-in-arms for almost a decade now.

"Is that the best this pathetic city has to offer? I will burn it to the ground just for wasting my time!"

"You'll have to get past me first. You could also pay a toll, but your bill's already rather high." Hawke replied, launching a bolt of lightning from his staff. Kratos raised the Sun Shield, sending the projectile back towards Hawke. The mage dodged the blast, letting it slam into a Spartan behind him. Smirking, Hawke twirled his staff and glared at Kratos.

"So which is it? Because you're going to pay either way."

Kratos snarled and hefted his Blades. He replied only with a gutteral roar, before charging at the defiant mage.


Meanwhile, the Spartan armies had all but taken the entirety of Darktown. Carver and Anders remained at the barricades being hastily erected to hold back the Spartans, several City Guard having formed a shield wall of their own. The Templar hefted his greatsword and Anders twirled his staff as the Spartans emerged. He cast Haste, and Carver sprung forward.

The knight cleaved his way through Spartans, slicing and hacking his away through them with ease. One manged to pierce Carver's sweeping attacks, his spear thrust into his thigh. Letting out a cry of pain, Carver yanked his attacker towards him and thrust his greatsword into him. Anders cast Heal, and the Templar slowly fell back as the Spartans advanced.

"Fall back, Carver. Take the Guard with you, and set up the defenses at Hightown."

"I won't leave you here to die!" Carver said, only for the mage to shove him back. His eyes glowed a bright, fiery blue, and Justice took over completely. "Now."

Turning around, Anders cast Firestorm, meteors of flame showering the ever-growing wave of bronze-clad warriors. Feeling his stamina draining, Anders started to fire bolts of magical energy at his foes. Each blast struck down a Spartan, but for every one dead two more took his place. Soon, Anders found himself surrounded.

Casting Mind Blast, the mage swung his staff in a circular motion, using a surge of spiritual energy to enhance his staff and keep the Spartans away.

"You shall take no more innocent lives!" Justice yelled in defiance, unaware of the Greek archers that had arrived. Anders screamed in pain as a volley of arrows pierced his body, and he fell to his knees. Attempting to heal himself, his spell was interrupted as two more Spartans attempted to finish him off.

He deflected one with the body of his staff, but the other thrust his spear cleanly through Anders' chest. Gasping for breath, Anders died as the Spartans viciously lifted the mage's corpse to the bloodthirsty cheers of his fellow men.

He planted the spear into the ground, letting the body slide down it with a sickening squelch as they advanced upon Kirkwall.


"You are strong, mortal. I shall end you quickly."

Kratos lashed out with his Blades again, grappling them around Hawke's staff. The mage simply pulled Kratos forward, taking the lower end and knocking Kratos on his back. The Champion took the bladed end of his staff and thrust it down at Kratos, who flipped backwards to avoid it. He attempted to charge in once more, but Hawke quickly cast Cone of Cold. Icy pillars sprang from the ground, one piercing the demigod's shoulder.

"I try my hardest. A routine jog every morning followed by a breakfast of five dozen eggs. It's quite helpful."

The mage then tried to cast Blood Slave, attempting to take control of his opponent's mind. Kratos coughed up blood, convulsed slightly, but let out a bestial roar and charged once more. The Spartan used Charon's Wrath, sending icy shards and tongues of fire back at Hawke. Feeling his skin cut in several places, Hawke quickly cast Heal, knitting his wounds.

"Strange, that usually works." Hawke mused, firing a bolt of lightning at Kratos. Unable to raised his Sun Shield in time, Kratos slowed slightly at the tingling of electricity that had hit him. Hawke quickly followed up with Fireball, stepping backwards to avoid the recoil.

Kratos managed to block it with the Sun Shield, sending the blast off target into a house. Summoning a lightning bolt of his own, Kratos tossed Zeus' Fury at Hawke in retaliation. The bolt hit the mage dead on, who was sent flying backwards from the impact. Hawke, tired but determined, stood to engage Kratos once again.

An arrow swiftly flew past him, however, hitting Kratos directly in the shoulder. Hawke turned to see Aveline, Sebastian, and Merrill arriving to help. Aveline quickly positioned herself in front of Hawke.

"The Guard has rallied, and the last of the refugees made it thanks to Anders' sacrifice."

"Anders' sacrifice? People don't usually say that unless...oh Maker."

Sebastian interrupted their conversation as he loosed another arrow. "Get back to Hightown- they'll need you there. We can handle him."

Hawke looked unsurely as Aveline charged, her shield easily blocking the flurry of attacks from Kratos' Blades. Nodding, Hawke sprinted back to reinforce Hightown. Merrill and Sebastian looked back as Kratos grabbed Aveline's shield and tossed her into a wall.

"Oh no..."


Varric and Carver looked uneasily at each other as they awaited with the Kirkwall City Guard. The warriors stood firm, hearing the war cries of the advancing Spartans. They'd barely been able to repel the initial wave, but both armies were rallied and prepared.

"Y'know, Junior, this is usually the part where the two rivals come to respect each other. One, the witty archer, and the other a blunt but well-meaning warrior."

"You're not going to confess your undying love for me now, are you Varric?"

The dwarf scoffed, pulling the lever of his beloved Bianca as he saw the Sparta phalanx emerge. "Nothing of the sort, Car-"

The battle began with a volley of ballista bolts, shattering the Kirkwall Guard's shield wall. One of the stray bolts slammed into Carver's skull, destroying most of the young warrior's face upon impact. The remaining bits of flesh still attached to his skull were sent flying back as the momentum of the projectile ripped his entire head off of his body.

Varric looked in horror at the headless corpse of his friend's brother, but swallowed it with a deep scowl. He turned to see Isabella emerge with a gasp on her face, before drawing her knives and disappearing in a cloud of smoke.

"Well, shit."

Taking a vantage point over most of the marketplace, Varric sighed as he watched the vicious skirmish begin all over agian.


"And although I walk through the trenches of death, I despair not, for the Maker guides me with a steady hand..."

Sebastian continued to mutter a prayer under his breath as he loosed another arrow at Kratos. Aveline shrugged herself off once again as the Spartan gave a vicious yell. He raised the Sun Shield once more, rebounding the arrow back to Sebastian. The projectile pierced his thigh, and the prince grunted as he tugged it out.

"Oh, that doesn't look very healthy." Merrill helpfully stated, before casting Spirit Bolt at Kratos. Instead of deflecting it again, Kratos took the Blades of Chaos and entangled Aveline's legs, flinging her in front of him to take the attack for him. The bolt shocked the guard, and she fell once more with a thud.

"I"m sorry, Aveline. I didn't mean-"

"I know Merrill, just take him down!" She ordered, quickly raising her shield to block another slash from Kratos' Blades. The Dalish mage quickly cast Wrath of the Elvhen, causing Kratos to fall to his knees as he convulsed from the blood magic. Coughing, he cast Army of Hades, summoning two souls to attack Merrill and Sebastian. Before he could stand, Aveline slammed her shield into his face, sending him reeling backwards and out of the area.

She charged forward, intent on finishing him off. As she thrust her sword over, however, Kratos managed to muster the energy to duck beneath the blow and thrust both Blades into her stomach. As she gasped for air and coughed up blood, Kratos looked with intense anger into her eyes as he yanked them both out.

"Not...like...this...Wes..." Aveline then fell with a thud, her eyes glossed over.

Merrill and Sebastian, meanwhile, had just defeated both of the demons Kratos summoned. Looking over, they shared a glance of horror as Kratos flung himself forward. He kicked Sebastian down first, tearing into him with his Blades. He twirled them in a circle several times, cutting and hacking the man's body into bloody ribbons of flesh.

Merrill cast Ensnare, causing Kratos to become enrooted in the ground. He tried yanking himself out of the ground, but was met with several blasts of fire from Merrill. She fought back the tears as she kept casting bolts of magic, battering away at Kratos.

Kratos raised the Sun Shield. The bolts of fire immediately were sent back to Merrill, who's abrupt shift in concentration let the snares loose Kratos. The Spartan snarled and lunged forward. He sent both Blades in a downward arc, but Merrill hastily raised her staff in defense. The Blades' chains became wrapped around the staff, but Kratos simply pushed towards the elf.

Grasping her head and yelling with intense fury, Kratos brutally yanked her head sideways, snapping her neck instantly. He began to take deep breaths, calming himself just enough to gather his surroundings. Looking towards the direction his army had marched towards, Kratos sheathed the Blades of Chaos and walked, leaving the bodies of Aveline, Merrill, Fenris, and Sebastian in his wake.


The streets of Hightown were covered in bodies, debris, and weapons as the Kirkwall Guard slowly started to crumble. Only two dozen or so remained, while the Spartan army seemed almost endless in comparison. Forming a crescent wall, the Guard remained steadfast as the Spartans tried to breach their defenses.

Hawke looked in mild amusement as he emerged from a side street, with a clear flanking position. Twirling his staff, he whistled at the bloodthirsty Spartans.

"Looking for little old me?"

The Greeks looked over, and began to reroute some of their forces to deal with the mage. He simply cast Walking Bomb on one of them, and followed up with Winter's Grasp. The frozen, tainted Spartan shattered as Varric shot a volley of arrows into him. With a brief, pained yell, the Spartan exploded, shards of ice and magical energy showering the Spartans.

Revitalized by the sight of the city's Champion, the Guard lashed out with short sword and shield, hacking down the distracted and wounded wave. They briefly disengaged as Hawke finished off the soldiers sent to take him. Sprinting to Varric, Hawke took a position behind the Kirkwall Guard's shield wall.

"Boy am I glad to see you, Chuckles. Those walking bronze bells almost had us a couple of times. Of course, I had everything under control."

"I'm sure you did, Varric. Just like you did with the expedition, and the mansion, and in the Fade. Need I go on?" Hawke began healing the Guard's, casting the magical spell as often as he could. "Speaking of disappointing brothers, where is Carver?"

The dwarf's smiled disappeared instantly, replaced with the look of a bearer of bad news. Hawke's own grin disappeared, and tears started to swell. "Don't tell me, Varric. Tell me he's at the Chantry, recovering from tripping over a rock or falling down the stairs."

"I'm sorry, Hawke."

Hawke dropped his staff. Carver, as much of an ass as he was, was still his family. His only family, with exception to that drunk uncle. His mourning was interrupted, and worsened, when he heard a familiar gutteral roar.

"Where is this city's Champion?"


Kratos proudly marched at the head of his Spartan army, covered in the blood of Kirkwall's finest. His Blades hung loosely in his hands, and he halted as he watched the final defenses of Kirkwall fortify the path to the city's temple.

"Where is the mage who was worthy of challenging the God of War? Bring him forth, so I can cut him down like his weak friends."

Kratos lashed out with his Blades, taunting the Guard to break as the Blades showered them in sparks. He continued, scraping the front of their shields and sending flicks of fire in front of them. "WHERE IS THE CHAMPION OF KIRKWALL!"

Haawke emerged from the crowd of Kirkwall's soldiers, his grief replaced by an intense and unbridled fury. All semblance of humor and wit was gone, replaced with a rage almost equaling the Ghost of Sparta's.

"I'm right here, you monster. Every single one of you bastards is going to pay for this!"

With that final threat, Hawke thrust his staff into his body. The Spartan soldiers uneasily tightened their shield wall, while even Kratos raised his eyebrow in discomfort. Hawke grunted in pain, but smiled a cruel snarl as he yanked the staff back out. He felt the powerful, ancient flow of blood magic tingling in his body, and his eyes glistened a dark red as he glared at Kratos.

"You. Die. Now."


At that moment, Isabella and several Dalish rogues emerged from the shadows. Her knives danced as she and the dwarves cut through the Spartan files. With a yell, Hawke sprinted, gesturing for the Guard to join him. Varric fired a volley of arrows as the Kirkwall Guards charged.

Kratos coordinated the Spartan phalanx to divide itself, focusing the brunt of his forces on Kirkwall's guards. "You ten, with me!" He yelled, grabbing an elf that lunged at him and slamming him onto his knee. The sheer force of blow snapped the elf's back, and she lay limp as he tossed her aside. Unsheathing his swords, Kratos tossed one of them as a challenge to Isabella.

"This is for Carver, precious." She replied, twirling her knives and throwing a Miasmic flask at him. He caught it and threw it at a group of Kirkwall Guards, and the two warriors lunged at each other.

Meanwhile, Hawke cast Hemorrhage over the Spartan phalanx. Most immediately fell to their knees, screaming as their blood started to boil and bust. Some even collapsed there, dead before they touched the ground, while others had blood flowing out their noses, eyes, and ears. Others simply exploded on the spot, their blood moving so unnaturally that the pressure turned them inside out.

Isabella leaped over another swing from Kratos' Blades as the Dalish and Spartans clashed. She rolled underneath an overhead swing, slashing upward as she stood. Her dagger managed to cut Kratos' chest, who responded by pulling a Blade black and swinging it in a circle.

Those strong enough to stand were met with Hawke's bloodthirsty rage. He cast Firestorm, with meteors raining fiery destruction onto the phalanx. Spartans screamed in agony as they were scorched, covered in the blood of their comrades or their combusted ashes. By the time the Firestorm and Hemorrhage had ended, every single Spartan lay dead or dying, left either scorched to the skeleton or flesh cut in a variety of places.

For final emphasis, Hawke cast Pull of the Abyss. The pile of Spartan corpses slammed together violently, collapsing into a single pile of burnt and boiled flesh.

The Kirkwall Guard and Varric looked with total shock at their Champion, realizing just how powerful and brutal the mage was. Hawke unsteadily coughed up blood, leaning on his staff for support.

Isabella slid underneath her attacker, rising and turning around to face her attacker. Parrying another blow, she victoriously threw one of her knives at Kratos. The weapon embedded itself in his chest, and he stumbled back in surprise.

"That's what I thought." Isabella taunted, and threw her other knife at his skull to finish him off.

Kratos' feint worked, and he raised the Sun Shield to repel the knife back. The magic sent the knife spinning back at Isabella, who's surprised reaction was froze as the knife firmly planted itself in her neck.

Hawke looked in surprise, and an inhuman yelp of pain escaped his throat as she fell down. Before he could cast Heal, Kratos grabbed Isabella by the leg and threw her to his remaining Spartans. They quickly raised their spears, impaling Isabella. Hawke fell to his knees as Isabella's corpse fell with an unceremmonial thump.

"No..."

Kratos yanked Isabella's other knife out of his chest and dropped it. He looked at the mournful Hawke, and spit at him. "I see you and this girl were close. Do not weep, for you shall join her soon."

The Spartans and Guards stopped the skirmish to see what happened next. Every soldier slowly went relaxed, eagerly awaiting to see what happened next. Varric gently gripped Bianca, nervously waiting for something to happen. "C'mon Hawke...don't give up now."

As if he heard Varric, Kratos started to scream in agony as Hawke cast Horror. Visions of his wife and child filled his head, while an image of a razed Sparta entered his mind. Hawke stood up and launched a bolt of electricity at the Spartan. He was sent flying back still screaming.

Kratos' vision blurred as a collage of terrible visions entered his head; himself clutching a strange girl in his arms, Zeus standing victoriously over his dead body.

"Are you feeling it? The pain, the agony of all your sins?" Hawke asked mercilessly as he approached Kratos. He took the blunt end of his staff and swung it at Kratos. The weapon smashed into Kratos' jaw, sending teeth flying as he fell.

"Tell me- can you even stand it? Don't you just want to die?"

Kratos' eyes filled with a mix of rage and fear, but the final vision showed itself. Kratos held a dying Athena in his arms, but her words suddenly renewed his rage. "Do not despair, Kratos. Finish this."

"I'd say Maker have mercy on your soul, but I doubt He'll have any." Hawke remarked, raising the blade of his staff victoriously.

But with the Rage of the Gods flowing through his body, Kratos roared and parried it. Much to Hawke's surprise, Kratos caught the staff and yanked it out of his hands. Hawke looked in shock as Kratos snapped the Hawke's Key in half, tossing the two pieces of wood aside.

Hawke quickly cast Mind Blast, but the demigod shrugged it aside with ease. He grabbed Hawke and slammed his fist into the Champion's face. Hawke cast Heal, only for Kratos to take out a Blade and thrust it into his chest. The mage screamed, feeling his life slip away. He saw the spirits from the Fade gesturing for him to join them, and he knew he wouldn't have a choice.

The Kirkwall Guard dropped their weapons in complete shock and surrender, the Spartans cheered in victory. Varric looked in absolute horror, clutching Bianca in pain.

Even as he died, Hawke felt a strange sense of peace. "It can't end...I was supposed to die in old age. Little kids, dogs...lots of dogs..." He chuckled at his last joke.

"You may go to Elysium, mortal- you fought bravely." Kratos half-assured the dying mage.

With that final remark, Kratos thrust his two hands into the cavity cut open by his Blades. Channeling the last of the Rage bestowed upon him by the gods, Kratos ripped Hawke's body in half. Being showered in blood of the Champion of Kirkwall, Kratos tossed both pieces of the mangled corpse aside.

The Ghost of Sparta stood, bathed in glory, as the Champion of Kirkwall- and with him, the will of the conquered city- lay destroyed in front of him, broken and thoroughly defeated.

Epilogue

Kratos sipped out of his chalice in his improvised chambers. According to his new bard, this had been the residence of the mage who'd fought him. Much to Varric's surprise, Kratos kept the estate in order, disturbing nothing but the dining table and the bedroom.

"Has Athena sent any word, dward?" Kratos asked, and Varric stepped forth. In place of his well-tailored duster and Bianca upon his back, Varric wore the simple loincloth of a servant and had his arms in chains.

"Afraid not, your godliness. Your troops are waiting outside, however. Might wanna give 'em a pep-talk; conquering a city tends to be exhausting."

He nodded his head in absentminded agreement. Kratos remained seated, and Varric took the gesture. The dwarf walked away in quiet, seething anger- leaving Kratos to think on his victory alone.

Expert's Opinion

This battle was unimaginably close. While Hawke had a vast array of options in terms of pure magical prowess, he lacked the strength, determination, and mindless brutality Kratos brought to the fight. The Ghost of Sparta's magical durability, aided by the ever useful Sun Shield and a vast array of destructive spells, combined with his training and discipline to overwhelm the Champion of Kirkwall in a hard-fought but clear cut victory.

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

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