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Rana was rushing out of the secret passage of her childhood home, Highever. Rana had just lost everything, her sister-in-law, nephew, childhood friends, nanny/cook, and finally father.

She watched in horror as the stone door started to close, she watched her mother take down four men with 'Challenger' her mother's trusted bow, before she too was struck in the heart by the fifth, a rogue, who snuck in behind her.

Her mind switched to autopilot when the realization of her best friend, protector, and wall just may have very well been killed as well, Ser Roland Gilmore.


Death blanketed in and around the castle, it seemed to blot out everything moon, stars even the winds. The only sound heard was the barking of mabari, clanking metal, and screams of their victims.

"Wait." She growled through her teeth, with a wave of her hand she halted the movements of her mabari Ruoni and Duncan, the Grey Warden, who visited Highever to find recruits on behalf of the king.

She pulled her long blood red hair back in a tight bun; Ruoni steadied himself in the shadows awaiting his mistress next order.

There was a guard and his dog with him, with subtle hand motions she signaled Ruoni to attack the man, in one swoop Rana slipped her dagger between the vertebrae of the beast's spine covering as well as covering the mouth of the man before he made a sound when her furry friend crippled him at the knees. Pushing her dagger into his kidneys, with a twist and pull she released him drug him into the shadows against the wall.

"Let us go before more show." She cleaned her blades before placing them back into their holsters. Duncan followed and they began their two-week journey to Ostagar.


Once at Ostagar the Commander and is charge arrived late in the afternoon. Partly frozen, filthy, and exhausted, Duncan carried Rana the remainder of the way to the recruit camp, Marrus saw them approach and took Rana from Duncan's arms.

"She passed out when we saw the fires for the camp. Take her to the mages for healing she has been through a lot." Duncan looked at the girl sleeping in the other warden's arms. Turning to Ruoni Duncan looked at the dog that had been at his side whole walk to camp.

"Your mistress will be fine, come so I can alert the King, and find you something to eat." With a pitiful whine, Ruoni reluctantly followed behind Duncan, taking glances back over his shoulder.

Once food and hygiene had been taken care of Duncan met with King Cailan. "Your Highness I have brought back a recruit from Highever, I think she has a few words to say to you once she recovers." He bowed his head slightly as he led him to her tent.

They entered the tent to find a mage doing one last sweep of the girl checking to see if anything was amiss. She was given clear to move slightly and bowed before leaving the King and Duncan to speak with her. Gently moving her legs over the edge of the cot as she went to stand felt a wave of dizziness wash over her, Cailan quickly made it to her side, holding her elbow to steady her.

"Are you ok, my lady?" He asked as he let her go when she was steady.

"Yes I am fine, thank you." She swept her hair over her shoulder looking at the man who kept her from falling. "Cailan?"

"Rana?" He gave the girl a long look, through narrowed eyes he looked into her sapphire eyes, and saw the girl he knew what seemed like ages ago.

Rana threw her arms around Cailan's neck sobbing uncontrollable into his shoulder. The sobs were heart wrenching to hear but the understanding of the what took place in Highever weeks ago it was a time for the girl to mourn, she clung to him for dear life as she started to hyperventilate and was soon was heaving due to lack of air.

"They are gone, your highness, as far as we know. I will leave you two." Duncan slipped out of the tent and headed to the Warden Camp on the other side of the encampment.


Cailan sat Rana down rubbing her back as her sobs softened. He looked at the girl before him and fought with himself to question her whereabouts opting that this is not the time or the place he took a moment to probe her carefully.

Cailan handed her a cup of water, "Rana, what happen exactly?"

"Mother, Father, Oren, Oriana and Fergus are gone, murdered." She quietly spoke as she stared into the cup of water while thumbing the sides, as the tears fell.

"Oh Rana…" He said voice full of sorrow he continued with what he hoped was a bit of good news, "Fergus is in the Kocari Wilds as we speak." He said hoping to cheer her up a little bit.

She looked up at him, he was never the one for lying, but after all she has been through, she was far from being hopeful. "I must go to him then." She started to get up and Cailan pulled her back down.

"You are not going anywhere!" He snapped

"Fergus is out there and I need to tell him what happened!" Her face twisted into a combination of feelings, Cailan grabbed her into his arms and hugged her.

"You are not going anywhere you are in no condition to go find anyone. As your friend I will not see you hurt more by running off, I will send a messenger." He pushed her back slightly lifted her chin and placed a comforting kiss on her forehead.

"Please get some rest I will set up a place for you in my tent I wish to keep a close eye on you." He helped her to her cot, satisfied she was comfortable he lifted the flap before taking one last glance before he left.

"You have a habit of disappearing during important events, we will talk later." Cailan left.

Rana lay staring at the canvas of the tent

'Important events?' Echoed for a brief moment before her thoughts trailed back to the matters at hand, muddling over wither or not to find Fergus, she needed to see that he was alive and well and inform him of their parents.

"Why did this happen?" Rana cried herself into a tormented sleep.


Rana woke to find herself in a place that felt so very warm and inviting.

"Pup, come here…" her father called

The sun was bright and warm; it was a beautiful day they were at the lake behind their home was wafting on the winds as her and her family was enjoying an outing. Rana came running through the flower field to where her parents stood, waving, and inviting her to eat a lunch with them. She was laughing when Ruoni tripped her in the flower field, eyes closed from the blinding sun as it beat on her tanned face. A slight shadow blocked some of the sun's heat.

"Oren is that you silly boy, come give your Auntie a hug." She reached up and pulled the little boy into a bear hug.

"Oren you're all cold and wet… and sticky?" Rana sat up with the boy in her arms giggling and slowly opened her eyes looking down at her beloved nephew.

Terror took her voice when her eyes cleared to the sight before her, in her arms was the cold limp body of her nephew, his lifeless eyes staring as the fog covered them with their death.

She looked around and everything was gone, blanketed by the crimson slick as the bodies of her family scattered around her from where she sat, all slain in pools of crimson life.

As it ebbed closer to her the blood formed at her feet as the sound of a cackling laughter filled her ears, taking the form of a man, Rendon Howe, he had a murderous look in his eyes as he reached for her, blood dripping from his hand as he clamped down around her throat.


Cailan, Loghain ran to the screams coming from her tent, Cailan knelt by her cot shaking her.

"Rana, wake up!" He called as he shook her, her sapphire eyes flew open as she bolted upright throwing a punch-landing square on Cailan's jaw, startling the two men in her tent.

She looked around wildly gasping for air clutching at her throat. Rana dashed out of the tent brushing past Loghain, in an attempt to be free of her dream, she fell to her knees gasping for air. Rana crumpled as she started to cry again her vision became blurry. As her mind kept picturing her butchered family, she lay on the cold ground in a ball sobbing.
Loghain came to her side and picked her up from the cold hard ground and carried her back to her tent,

Cailan lifted the flap rubbing his jaw, "Loghain, I want her in my tent I need to keep an eye on her."

Loghain raised an eyebrow, "Do you not think you have enough issues, your Majesty?"

Ignoring the older man, he took Rana from his arms and carried her off into his tent.


"There there, it will be ok." He laid her on his bed and covered her with number of warm blankets, stroking the side of her face.

Her sobs lessened as she let him comfort her "Howe did it… W-why would h-he." Rana's face twisted "He killed a little boy!" she arched her body, as she wanted to scream and wretch. She slapped Cailan's hand away as she reached up to press the thoughts from her head in her hands.

Rana snapped she shrilled trying to dispel the images from her mind to make them stop. She would not sleep or keep her eyes open without the thought vividly coming to the forefront.

Loghain rushed into the tent followed closely by two guards, "Call a healer now!" Cailan shouted.

With another piercing scream, she twisted violently as if she were trying to shake free, as she continued to clutch her head with fistfuls of her hair.

"Don't stand there Loghain, help me!" on either side of her they pried her fingers from her hair as they held her down.

The mage came in shortly after, Cailan was lying on her legs and Loghain holding her arms down.

Loghain shot a nasty glance to the mage standing at the entrance, growling, "Put her to sleep, something!"

She was still thrashing about trying to get them off her; she continued to scream as if she were being attacked like her dream again.

As soon as it had started, it stopped. Rana lay motionless, not another sound was uttered as she slept. Loghain released her hands slowly as to expect the worst. Cailan rose to his feet looking at her, her face red and splotchy, hair in severe disarray, and her hands still balled into fist.

The General looked at the boy king and waited for an answer, "Rendon Howe, killed the Couslands."

Cailan said finally as he continued to look down at the woman in his bed, covering her once again. Loghain froze for the briefest of seconds he knew Howe was in Highever to escort Bryce and Fergus to Ostagar, but to murder the Couslands?

"We need to go over strategies." The older man looked upon the young woman face and left the tent back to his own.

Cailan moved strands of hair from her face, talking to her as she slept,

"Where have you been these past years?" He kissed her forehead pressing his to hers, before leaving to find His nagging General.
This one is about my Rana Cousland, King Cailan and Alistair.
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September 19, 2011
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