UNBOUNDHere on Unbound, our plot follows four different timelines, set throughout the canonical history of the Dragon Age. The events following Trespasser, the time of the Inquisition, the rise of the Champion of Kirkwall and the quest of the Warden against the Fifth Blight.
And So is the Golden City blackened
With each step you take in my Hall.
Marvel at perfection, for it is fleeting.
You have brought Sin to Heaven
And doom upon all the world.
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17 August, 9:04 Dragon
Fereldan; of Honneleath
Commander of the Inquisition's forces
MIA RUTHERFORD, sister
ROSALIE RUTHERFORD, sister
BRANSON RUTHERFORD, brother
Sword & Shield
Cullen is a patchwork of scars, bruises and freckles from training and fighting as a Templar, as a Knight Captain and as the Commander of the Inquisition's forces. He carries dark circles under his eyes due to poor sleep, over-extention and years of lyrium use.
Physically, Cullen is still in excellent condition due to years of hard work and training. With the Inquisition disbanded and turning forty, he's softened somewhat and must work harder to keep up his strength and conditioning.
Mentally, Cullen suffers the long affects of PTSD from his years as a Templar and lyrium abuse. He hasn't used lyrium in two good years, but struggles against the cravings daily. His sleep is often short and troubled, and memories of his torture under demonic influence lingers.
I am not alone. Even As I stumble on the path With my eyes closed, yet I see The Light is here. Draw your last breath, my friends. Cross the Veil and the Fade and all the stars in the sky. Rest at the Maker's right hand, And be Forgiven.
--Trials 1:15 & 16 Behind closed eyes the shadowed face of the demon waited, and the sound of the chant from the far corners of the hall-turned-infirmary turned to whispered seductions. Even the healing magics of the nearby healers made his skin crawl. Each spell felt like a creeping itch or the slow trickle of cold water down his arms. He laid, tense and unmoving, for hours; he couldn’t sleep, and he couldn’t forget.
He didn’t know how long he laid there or how long he’d slept, but finally he willed himself up. The weight of effort to sit up on his cot was heavy, like the first time he’d ever been strapped into a full set of armor. His chest heaved with the strain but he sat up and leaned forward, hands on his thighs. After a few deep breaths he was calm enough to look around.
The hall was quiet and darker than he remembered it before. Templars stood everywhere, hands clasped behind their backs: a uniform set of guards for the men and women that laid on the cots surrounding him. Of those that filled the cots, some were mages, some were templars; he was familiar with most of them.
The dreams of what had been haunted him. Demons, mages, the ill and infirm as a result of magic, demons, humans. The violence in his life seemed to live on a cycle of repetition. The scene before him, matched those from years before... and years before that.
The battles ended and Cullen was left to pick up the pieces of not just his own life but the lives of people entrusted to his care. And the number of those people had only grown as he aged, as he moved, as he was given commands beyond those he'd ever dreamed of.
His past followed him everywhere he went. It hid behind closed eyes, it hid in the Chant of Light, in his prayers. It hid in a kiss and in a nightmare. Behind each swing of his sword, the pressure of the shield on his arm, the crack of his knees with increasing age. Given the chance to do it again, his steps would've been the same. The blood he saw, the cravings he fought, the struggle to regain his sanity -- they were worth the fight, weren't they?
He'd come to the Inquisition in the full knowledge that his service to the fight against the destructive forces of magic was not over. It would likely never be over. His service to one battle had ended, the city of Kirkwall far behind him as he settled in at Haven, at Skyhold. But the resonance of those places never left. He fought at Honor's side, The Inquisition may have been over, but he knew Honor and he knew the state of the world. He'd lived longer than he'd thought possible a decade and a half ago. He should've died.
He should have died.
Blessed are they who stand before
The corrupt and the wicked and do not falter.
Blessed are the peacekeepers, the champions of the just.
Blessed are the righteous, the lights in the shadow.
In their blood the Maker's will is written.
It's Cullen! Let's fuck him up.
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