Stories focused on the family and the friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. Pretty much anything that isn't focused on romance.Trouble & Strife by scarylady1 (Alternate Universe fic. M-rated for some sexual situations, although they are mostly glossed over)
Synopsis: The Blight is over; Melissa Cousland to be entombed at Weisshaupt. King Alistair must go to Orlais and select a bride of Imperial blood, while in Ferelden the Chantry has plans of its own. A tale of fluffy romance and unfluffy politics.
Comments: A "What-If" story dealing with what could happen if Alistair has to marry an Orlesian princess who is not what she seems to be. Be warned that this has a very strong AU feel (Said princess turns out to be a unique mage that has the power to heal Blight-tainted lands), and that this is a story that deals very heavily with politics; specifically, between Chantry and Crown, over the issue of mages and the lyrium trade. Without revealing any more spoilers, the political intrigues and conflicts are the main focus on the story, and unless you pay attention you will lose the interweaving threads that make up the plot. Everything in this story has a place and purpose, and each chapter is like watching pieces of a large, intricate puzzle falling into place. A riveting read.
YMMV note: Said Orlesian princess does have quite a few unfortunate shades of Mary Sue to her (which unfortunately taints Alistair by association), but if one is able to gloss over those bits, then the other characters and plotlines make the story as a whole worth reading at least once.
Synopsis: If all Origins are true Story, then six wardens will have to work together to defeat the Archdemon.
comments: A Story of a scenario where all six wardens origins occur. Each character is given a great amount of personality and individuality. , The author does extremely well job portraying how they interact with each other so differently, making each character feel as realistic as possible.
Seconded. Made an account wholly to second this. This fanfiction is a wonderland of characterization. It follows the game's plot closely enough to allow for extraneous detail to be left out, but the real wonder of the story is the characters. Each Warden is beautifully fleshed-out, with realistic flaws, strengths, and quirks related to their backstories. Each character's evolution is realistic and deeply touching, and the ending remains true to each of their characters, avoiding the dreaded "just make everything perfect" ending a lot of fanfics go for. The NPCs are also all fleshed out realistically through their interactions with the Wardens, and it's just seriously amazing, guys.
Synopsis: An AU <<non-canon warning>> where Cailan divorces Anora to marry Empress Celene and everything quickly goes to hell.
Comments: A delightfully fun soap opera with strange pairings and some delightful cliff hangers. It's hard to tell what is going to happen next in this wild ride filled with an interesting mix of humor, drama, action, and pathos.
It says something that the comments on this fic are often longer than the chapter in question. Mutive has really managed to create a unique, engaging plot with a wide range of characters who are identical to how they are in game. A must read.
The fic has been pulled off FF.net for unknown reasons and doesn't seem to be available anywhere else.
Synopsis: Would a wolf still seek out the wild if tamed so completely? The Fog Warriors are dead, but the challenges they pose to the truths of his world live on. On a dark and not quite stormy night, Fenris hides in a cave and wonders why he ran away.
Comments: A shortie with introspective!Fenris shortly after the incident with the Fog Warriors. The psychology explored in here is powerful and the imagery is compelling.
Synopsis: A modern day woman is thrown into the body of Elissa Cousland during Elissa's joining and is stuck figuring out how life works in Ferelden.
Comments: A zany, wild ride filled with all sorts of strange and fascinating surprises. What will Lucy do next? Who will she hook up with? The plot is a mile a minute, and filled with laughs.
Zute has been smart enough to edit out the parts that are less interesting and keep to a fast moving and engaging plot.
YMMV All the sex is potentially annoying. Other than that the Warden becomes a somewhat sueful with half of the plot relevant males falling for her, and she becoming quite a bit of a super powered mage/thief/fighter.
Synopsis: Bhelen had all bases covered, but didn't consider that his older brother would get himself framed on purpose just to fake the death of a certain someone. AU Fanfiction including all Origins as characters. Different outcome for House Aeducan and Orzammar.
Comments: After being forced to time and again fall victim to Bhelen's plot, it's refreshing to see a story where things aren't so set in stone. Despite being perfectly in character, Trian isn't dismissed as just a useless, arrogant fool while Bhelen isn't deemed unrepentingly evil which is a nice change. Things have changed enough - and believably - that while the DN still leaves to join the Wardens it isn't clear just how things are going to play out, especially once the other origins get involved.
Synopsis: She hesitated-"Mostly, I couldn't kill you, knowing that I cheated. At the Landsmeet. Our duel." There was a heavy silence. Loghain said slowly, "You do realize that I am holding a naked sword at this very moment?" M for naughty language.
Comments: Initially a one-shot that's been expanded upon, this story has Loghain as the Only Sane Man with a hilariously unstable Cousland Warden who actually acts out gaming mechanics like stopping to loot everything and randomly giving presents to bribe people into liking them while the other companions have long since accepted her behavior and even encourage it.
The beginning was absolutely amazing, but it feels like it's slowing towards the middle. Hopefully it will pick up again when Arsinoe gets into Awakenings territory.
Recommended by Sarah1281, Vellaen, Clendy82, punchclockhero
Synopsis: When Bryce Cousland's little spitfire scaled the Tower of Ishal and lit the beacon at the critical moment, King Cailan won a mighty victory against the darkspawn. For the moment. Cousland/Alistair/Loghain/Cailan/Morrigan and eventual other origins.
Comments: Word of God states that while Loghain was planning on confronting Cailan at some point and taking action to support his position, he didn't actually intend to leave Cailan until the Beacon was lit too late. Since the Warden managed to light it, everything changes. This is really well-written and you can really feel Bronwyn's noble upbringing shining through and giving her a nice aura of competence.
This is an interesting fic that works in virtually all origins and characters. While it could perhaps use some editing to tighten up the story (which fanfiction couldn't?), it's still a wonderful adventure.
Seconded. A great fic for those who enjoyed the depth of the game world, especially the feudal drama of Ferelden. The game itself claimed inspiration from A Song of Ice and Fire, and this story calls to the fore a snake pit of conflicting interests in that vein.
Quite well written, but the titular victory at the beginning of the story takes away a great deal of the plot's urgency, without replacing it with another more immediate threat. Also, the abundance of party members, including original NPCs and those introduced in the expansions, mean that attention on them is increasingly divided, bogging down the story. Much as I hate to say it, this might be a case where splitting the party might help alleviate the overcrowding and keep things moving.
While the writing was good and serviceable, the characters suffered quite heavily from Flanderization. Personality traits of certain NPCs tended to absorb their entire character, making them seem shallow. Cailan is the obvious example; he's portrayed as a childish fool with heroic notions. While those aspects were certainly observable in the game, there were deeper facets of his personality - take his intriguing with the Orlesian Empress, for instance.
That intrigue is a major plot element in the story - although credit for it is primarily pushed onto Arl Eamon.
Synopsis: Loghain sees more than he expected in the Warden who spares his life.
Comments: An insight into Loghain's character and, to a lesser extent, the PC's. Generic female Warden, spoilers for end game. Wonderfully written oneshot that sheds some much-needed light onto Loghain's thoughts, motivations etc.
Synopsis: Aunn Aeducan, practical if sheltered exile, knows only two things for certain: if she returns to Orzammar she'll probably end up actually committing fratricide at some point and it's about time to show the world what a dwarven princess can really do...
Comments: It's not easy to find an Aeducan story and even harder to find one that's not paired up with Alistair (which is nice but sometimes seeing something different is good). This story doesn't have any romance aside from a past relationship with Gorim but it is a nice retelling of the story with a Warden who never quite manages to forget where she came from and doesn't really fit the bill of a conventional hero.
Synopsis: From the summary: The trouble with winning is that you have to figure out what do to next. A short character piece focusing on everyone's favorite bird-hating golem, Shale.
Comments: A short yet very interesting story centered around a criminally underrated character who doesn't get nearly as much love in Dragon Age fan fiction. Shale is a tricky character to write properly, much less as a POV character, but Sinvraal handles the surly golem in a way that's both wryly funny and believeable.
Synopsis: From the summary: What if the Warden had died during their origin story? What if Alistair found himself alone, facing the task of uniting Ferelden against the Blight? How would things differ? What would happen to the others?
Comments: Brilliant. Bamftastik catches the essence of every character; her portrayal of Alistair is remarkably and painfully accurate, from the way he's cruel to Morrigan and often thoughtless, an aspect many fans of Alistair forget. Kudos for the ghosts of Wardens-that-could-have-been. Originally on LiveJournal, where it had illustrations.
Synopsis: From the summary: A young man awakens on the field of Ostagar, apparently transported from another world. Joining the Warden, he must face danger at every turn - and learn to separate fiction from reality.
Synopsis: How one modern man deals with his sudden appearance in Ferelden.
Comments: A Self Insert fic done not by an Alistair fangirl or wannabe badass fanboy, but rather by an middle-aged, retired Army sergeant. The narrator seems to be acting as a mentor to the group in a realistic manner, and the writing is done in a first-person journal style. However, the writer still seems to be conflicted on whether he wants to focus on action or characterization.
Synopsis: A beautiful fable about hope, freedom, and the power of love. By far the best story I have ever read on fanfiction.net
Comments: Only 812 words, but every one of them well-chosen. Beautiful, moving imagery. A transcendent fairy tale.
Karl's Alphabet and
Anders' Alphabet by Combination_NC (I'm recommending these together since they mirror each other in many places. Rated M and TRIGGER WARNING for some sexual content and mentions of verbal, physical and sexual abuse.)
Synopsis: A collection of stories of varied length, one per letter of the alphabet, tying together the story of Karl and Anders' friendship and its significance and their lives in the Circle.
Pairings: Male slash, Anders/Karl as friends with benefits
Comments: These stories are basically extensive character studies told through fics. Karl's character is explored and built upon in a way that's believable and makes him a compelling character. Anders' story shows the effects of being confined and what life under Chantry rule is like, especially regarding how the Chant is interpreted. This fic shows in horrific detail how it can affect someone's mind. It's not all angst though - his F and G comes to mind as sensual and almost joyful. Karl's Alphabet is great, especially the later parts, but the writer has grown and Anders' is arguably the better one between them.
Tags: There's plenty of angst in both but Anders' Alphabet is a Dark Fic hinting at the possibility of him as a victim of sexual abuse. What's interesting is that it's never shown, only hinted at through his (pretty subtle actually) thoughts and reactions to things around him. It's a very realistic portrayal of depression/mental illness and aftermath of several kinds of abuse. For the love of all that's holy, read the tags and warnings for this one.
Really not kidding about the warnings there. It's disturbingly realistic as an aftermath story. I'd say Anders is portrayed as bipolar too.
The focus on Anders's mental state in the sequel aside, while interesting... where the first fic really shines is the portrayal of Karl as a character in his own right, independent of Anders and his whims. Playing through the Tranquility quest will never be the same after reading this one.
Synopsis: All Grey Wardens know when their time has come when the nightmares return. When the song begins to haunt their dreams. But how many ways can one leave to face one's death? There are infinite possibilities, infinite realities, for all Wardens, all peoples face death in different ways. It is finished. The time has come. How will you face your inevitable end, Grey Warden?
Comments: A fanfic which examines how Grey Wardens from all possible origins face the time of their Calling. Only a few, thus far, have gone for a "traditional" Calling. Most others have expired in a myriad of different ways. There are lots of Shippings here, but mainly just Warden/Love Interest. Nothing crack-y. A good, albeit dark and depressing, read.
Synopsis: "Seeker Cassandra has finally tracked down the Warden, three years after her old recruit Anders started the Mage-Templar War. How does a Seeker convince a mage to side with the Chantry?"
Comments: Interesting take on how confrontation between the Seekers and mage Warden may look like. Kathryn sometimes comes out as overpowered and too much of a smartass (especially at the beginning), but writing gets better as the story progresses. Wardenís comments are really funny and her whole character is enjoyably and positively insane. Author likes to make fun of some elements present in Origins, like Wardenís tendency to loot all corpses he/she comes across or banditsí Suicidal Overconfidence.
Synopsis: Ferelden burns. As factions form to fight Teryn Loghain for imposing himself as Regent, a singular Grey Warden joins forces with the new, reluctant King of Ferelden to battle a war on two sides. Warden Daylen Amell and King Alistair Theirin have a fight on their hands and they collect their allies in a war that will make legendary hero's and villians.
Comments: An AU where Alistair was legitimized before the events at Ostagar. It's fantastically well written and even though the Warden is an Amell, the other origins are brought up and some of them are even made into characters. I'd highly reccomend this.
Synopsis: Leliana arrives in Val Royeaux to discover that Morrigan is in the court of Empress Celene - and is dressed terribly! She decides to stage an intervention. And in doing so, makes peace with a past that has haunted both women.
Stories focused on the romantic relationships between the cast.
"What We Were" by Crisium
Recommended by punchclockhero
Synopsis: f!Amell is conscripted, heads off to Ostagar, and meets Alistair. They fall in love. Follows the basic plot of the game. What We Were is a prequel to What We Become, also by Crisium.
Comments: This fic shapes the romance between the female Warden and Alistair beautifully—the Warden is a fish out of water when she's taken from the tower, and Crisium paints this believably while developing the romance between the two. I particularly love her Alistair—I feel like she's plucked him right out of the game, and his lines and the situations in the story are hilarious (the first time Alistair gets drunk is a time to remember!). Meanwhile, the relationships between party members are also shown, in character and satisfyingly real. Crisium has a knack for italics and does not use them sparingly, and it manages to add to the story rather than take away from it—stress is added to Alistair's thoughts and it is easy to believe that the things he says and thinks could be from the game.
TL;DR: A believable, satisfying, and fluffy take on the f!Amell/Alistair romance.
Unfortunately it is save to say that this story has been abandoned. Last update had been 8 months ago.
This story is, in fact, now complete! Read with confidence!
Synopsis: A series of short stories where the pragmatic mage Marcus Amell has a brief affair with Morrigan, falls madly in love with Anora, then marries her to Alistair for the good of the kingdom.
Comments: The story is a fun play on the "mistress" ending, where Anora gets in the way of true love. (Instead, Alistair comes between Anora and Marcus). Beyond that, the romances are passionate and beautifully written, the characters well developed, and the plotting intense.
There's so much bittersweet love, with beautifully crafted characters.
Indeed a great, enjoyable read, particularly for the characters.
Synopsis: Arranged marriages aren't easy, especially between two very different people.
Comments: It's the understated simplicity of this story that makes it so sublime. The characters grow and come together in a natural, unforced way with real human emotion.
Agreed. Very subtle evolution of emotions, and the quiet "everyday" tone of voice used just makes the relationship between Alistair and Anora grow in a very real way. Anora's character is very well-developed, showing the insecurity behind her queenly mask. A very good read.
Also read her sequel, Pride and Parity. Jessica is a truly gifted writer.
Synopsis: From the summary Love hurts, metaphorically and literally. That lesson is one every Crow learns early. But there is another side to that particular sovereign. A retelling of the game -so spoilers are/will be present-, but with an emphasis on The Grey Warden (a male City Elf) and Zevran, and eventually their relationship.
Comments: What makes this story worth noting is the fact that the author is taking time to build up both characters instead of throwing them together right out the gate. Takes a nice look at Zevran's character and motives and the Warden is a pretty interesting character on his own. For a first time fan fic writer (so the author says), this shows great potential and I look forward to future chapters.
Synopsis: As part of summary goes: "There are many tales told about the Hero of Ferelden, but few have been told about his various comrades." The game retold from Zevran's point of view, regarding his attraction to the Wardens as well as his opinions and reactions to the events of the game.
Comments: The writer's attention to detail (which, despite the name, mostly averts the Purple Prose) and ability to paint a picture with words are what kept her reading. Stays mostly true to Dragon Age: Origins' tongue-in-cheek dialogue, with additional lines that mesh seamlessly with in-game dialogue and events, and occasional Lampshade Hanging on the game's mechanics. The Warden, while lacking any defining physical characteristics besides good-looks and athleticism (despite a drawing by the author), or even a real name, has a quirky and very unforgettable personality, and the author skillfully and sensitively conveys the emotional vulnerability of an actual person going through the events in the Human Noble origin, and she handles Zevran's growing feelings with a careful delicacy that keeps him both believable and in character. The build-up of Unresolved Sexual Tension is very well-paced, just enough to keep readers hanging on the edge of their seats, and the intimate interludes (when they happen) are tenderly passionate and sexily intense at the same time. Updates are slow, but the author has repeatedly stated that she will see the story to its end.
Note: The name has been changed from Of Whoresons and Nobles to The Crow and the Wolf as to prevent confusion with another fanfic.
Synopsis: M!Warden/Morrigan. Ten years after the fact, he still has no idea what will come of it all.
Comments: The author has a few good one-shots with various pairings, but this one stood out to me because it's hard to find Morrigan romance fic that doesn't creep into heavy optimism or else fall apart completely. The player character manages to be vague without utterly lacking in personality and the OC actually isn't bad, despite eating up a large portion of the writing. Spoilers for the end of the game.
Absolutely seconded. I tend to be wary of fic, especially ones with a heavy OC focus, but this was really brilliant. The vagueness mentioned above really worked in this author's favor, making the Warden just generic enough to be enjoyable for any reader without ever becoming boring. The OC is difficult to explain without spoilers, but suffice it to say that the characterization felt very much in the spirit of canon.
Synopsis: After the Blight has ended (and the Archdemon died at Loghain's hands, taking him with it), Asleena Cousland decides to track down Alistair and either reconcile with him or burn that bridge forever. Aside from her Mabari, Zevran is the only friend who volunteers to accompany her...
Comments: A brilliantly-written gripping story full of twists and turns. Notable for the author's excellent take on Zev (and success at managing the other characters), the exploration of his backstory and psyche and his character arc. The other characters, including the O Cs, are similarly fleshed-out, well-rounded and interesting. The dialogue is excellently written. In spite of the complicated premise, the story reaches a very satisfying conclusion. A must-read.
While the fic is indeed well-written, with the main plot handled smoothly and the OC characterizations fairly dynamic (or at least inoffensive), this reader found Zev's storyline and characterization to basically just be rehashing his in-game romance, and subsequently kind of dull. I would recommmend it more for Alistair's fans than Zevran's.
Fortunately, the in-progress sequel centers around Zevran which should fix that.
Pairings: Fem!PC/Zevran (PC's origin does not appear to have been specified)
Synopsis: "He has seen the cold equations in her eyes, and this time she has come out the cipher."
Comments: An angsty little oneshot focusing on a darker side to both Zev and the PC that is not shown in-game. Major spoilers. Inspired by an anonymous 17th century Irish poem that has been converted to music by various people. Beautiful, understated prose, well worth the read.
Pairings: Fem!Dalish PC/Sten, some Alistair/Leliana in the background.
Synopsis: So what happens when representatives of two of the prickliest, most insular cultures in or around Thedas are asked to help save a country that neither of them cares about very much? Threeguesses.
Comments: A lovely, amusing look into the unique mindset of everyone's favourite Proud Warrior Race Guy, and the other characters come across nicely as well. Unsurprisingly given the site it's on, later chapters contain lemon.
Pairings: M!Cousland/Morrigan, M!Surana/Zevran, F!Tabris/Leliana, F!Aeducan/Alistair, some others like Mahariel/Tamlen.
Synopsis: M!Cousland/Morrigan, M!Surana/Zevran, F!Tabris/Leliana, F!Aeducan/Alistair. Het, slash, and femmeslash. What if Duncan had been able to recruit all six possible Wardens for Ostagar, instead of just one?
Comments: The idea of using more than one or even all six origins has been done before but I've never seen it done better than here. Thus far, only six chapters are out but they delve deep into the backstory of each very unique and well-fleshed-out character - the chapters ending moments before the origins start - who are very much products of their environments and you can already see why the Wardens-to-be would choose to pursue their love interest of choice.
Pairings: M!Amell/...well, anyone female he can get his hands on
Synopsis: This is an incredibly bizarre fic. You're fooling yourself if you think it's anything other than an excuse for whole bunch of characters to have sex, but it also contains a Warden who is irrevocably evil and yet still a compelling and interesting character, as well as some interesting relationships. Be warned: Very, very NSFW and contains some ... excruciatingly descriptive language. Worth reading, though, I think.
Iaculus: The writing is technically competent, and if you want to read a story about a Villain Sue with a Coke-bottle-sized dick smugging his way across Ferelden, go right ahead. Not exactly my cup of tea, though.
Synopsis: There is nothing Loghain Mac Tir would not do for his country, but an arranged marriage with a woman half his age is the last thing he thought might be required. AU with Elissa as eldest.
Comments: This is one of the best-written Loghain's I've ever seen. The story starts off six years before the Blight starts so as of yet any of Loghain's in-game actions haven't occured. He manages to come off as likeable while completely in character and Elissa is very likeable as well. Circumstances forced them into marriage but they're making it work.
The story has some merit, but I had a hard time getting into it. The characters felt fairly flat to me, and the rationale of Loghain marrying Elissa to get her from carrying on with Cailan made me think less of virtually every character in the story. (Other than possibly the long suffering Anora.)
I can see why that would make you think less of Cailan but why would it make you think less of the others? Elissa worried that rejecting Cailan would hurt her family and Loghain wanted to protect his daughter from getting cheated on. Loghain is a noble with no heir since Anora became Queen and anyone else Elissa could marry would be beneath her. It is a very good political marriage that they happened to enter into because of the issues with Cailan.
Synopsis: A young man is thrust into the shoes of a hero and is forced to fight the Fifth Blight as one of the last Grey Wardens in Ferelden.
Comments: A novelization of the events of Dragon Age that follows a Morrigan romance. The lead character seems to go through a sort of coming-of-age though itís definitely in the background through most of it. The romance is largely front and center from the beginning, and it can make for slow going when coupled with the gameís plot. Altogether enjoyable read.
Synopsis: "Feeling betrayed by Lady Hawke, Merrill seeks to remove her from her life. Or does she? A Lady Hawke/Merrill rivalry romance."
Comments: This was a surprisingly well written story that managed to be very good and this is coming from someone who hates angstmance. I also recommend the comedic story set before the last chapter  because it is funny.
Synopsis: "Hawke needs a few lessons in etiquette and Fenris is the most qualified to help, much to the dismay of both parties. Hopefully they can manage not to kill each other in the process. Non canon but not completely AU."
Comments: Excellent characterization, humorously written. Very effective portrayal of two people with a very prickly and truly difficult relationship, who clash over differences (or is it uncomfortable similarities?) of personality rather than empty angst, with clashes that do not center too heavily on the mage issue, Hawke being a rogue in this one. The author's other stories, particularly the "Haunted" series, are well worth checking out, as well.
Synopsis: A series centering on Fenris's and Hawke's early and uneasy relationship building, Act I and past it.
Comments: Low on action, high on interesting interactions and psychology. One of the better and more detailed takes at Fenris's psyche and the way his past experiences still haunt him and color his everyday actions. Read carefully, there's a lot between the lines.
Synopsis: What would happen to the Warden's if they realized that they shared the Fade? Would it help them in their quest to defeat the archdemon or would it ruin their chance to survive?. Mildly AU.
Comments: M for some language and definitely sex. Pretty lengthy at 98k words (and change), covering the entire timeline of the game and all its events. It's a very well-written exploration about Cousland and Alistair adjusting not only to their roles as Warders but also their growing feels for each other.
While the story is epically long and has an interesting take on the fade and its effect on the main characters, the story is hardly as well-written as most of the others listed here. The author uses an odd form of present-tense that feels jarring and more like a general overview of the game's events rather than a story. The relationship between the two leads feels rushed (compared to the in-game relationship that develops over the course of several months rather than just a few days) with love scenes and descriptions bordering on Purple Prose. There are some incidents of uncharacteristic behavior from some of the other players as well, particularly Zevran, and the writer's take on the Grey Warden herself gives us a protagonist who comes off as a bit Faux Action Girl, in my opinion. I would not recommend.
Synopsis: Trust is a delicate flower that needs to get nurtured and time to grow. Even more so love. A tale of two disparate Wardens forced together, of finding a way to overcome the distrust, and their own painful past in the time of the Blight.
Comments: Stories focusing on Dalish wardens are hard to come by, even more so those where the author actually pays close attention to all the cultural elements that define the character of the wandering Elvenhan. This tale is one where the writer gathered what was an underwhelming amount of Dalish lore from a game written primarily for human warden PCs, down to the language of Arlathan, and fleshed out a whole culture by showing the struggles of a female Dalish elven warden called Lenya. Starting off as reluctant, even bitter, she does prove herself to be an ultimately well-meaning heroine capable of accepting that not all Shemlen are rotten and deserving of her contempt. Of course, Alistair is half responsible for this shift in perception, and his portrayal is at once unique and faithful to his game persona.
Seconded. While Lenya is all but a sympathetic character in the beginning (She's bigoted, impatient and believes her ways are always right - making her a bit of a, well, ...bitch) ...but that is not much of a surprise due to the history humans and elves in Dragon Age share and how she was raised to hate humans all her life. What makes the story interesting is to see her growing, learning and changing her prior stuck, bigoted view as the story progresses. Not everything is as black and white as it seems. While following the Blight timeline, the author takes enough liberties to keep it interesting. Aside Lenya, all characters are given enough room and space for believable development. Especially the blooming romance between a Dalish and a human is well paced with its slow development and a realistic appraisal of the relationship within the humans/elf racial dynamic. Nevertheless, this might not be a story for everyone, given the Dalish Warden's initial demeanor, which makes it hard to appreciate her at first.
For all the references to how Dalish are an isolated, insular community that rarely interacts with outsiders, Lenya doesn't come of as "Dalish who distrusts shems because she had not actually interacted much with them", and more like a "She's a Dalish who hates shems because they're shems". Granted, there are times where Merilsell does make Lenya somewhat more sympathetic, but these are few and far between. The times where her hate makes her lose any ability to see reason are too often and hence she loses the credibility as a character. The truly bizarre aspect in this story is how the characters seem to call that part of her charm; particularly Alistair. This aspect doesn't make any sense, especially because you LOSE approval with Alistair in-game whenever you are being rude to him, even in a romance. The pacing of this story is too slow and editorial cuts would have helped with that problem, which the author unfortunately completely missed to make.
The person above didn't seem to have played the same game I did. Dalish DO distrust/hate shems because they ARE shems and mostly because they were enslaved by humans for a long time. And the Dalish are particularly obvious about this. Not only in the Dalish camp in DA:O, but in Dragon Age 2 too. It's important to remember that the "domestic" elves are still being forcibly and brutally segregated, and slavery still exists in areas of Thedas. So they have a very IMMEDIATE sense of injustice. It takes a lot for a person to overcome the prejudice that is taught by parents and grandparents who suffered on the hands of others. That being said, above FF portraits such a Dalish character, who might not be your typical "happy rainbow"-Warden (which is overdone anyway) in the beginning, but one who is gradually growing into her role and new life over the course of this story. The story is long and yet not finished, but it is a gratifying, interesting read in terms of character development and life of a (reluctant) Dalish Warden.
Synopsis: In the aftermath of the Orlesian occupation, young Teyrn Bryce Cousland married the daughter of a dispossessed Fereldan merchant whom he found working in an Antivan brothel. A generation later, his daughter Ržona confronts the Blight equipped with a noblewoman's ambitions and a courtesan's approach to diplomacy that will bring her into conflict with politicians, the Chantry, and her fellow Grey Wardens. The story begins here: Prologue
Comments:Riona Cousland, the Player Character in this fic, is a subversion of the Action Girl female hero that is a staple of your average fanfic, and more of an Action Survivor with a huge chunk of The Determinator thrown in. The story's main strength is in the character interactions; as shown in the Pairings, the conflicts between Alistair, Zevran and Riona are what drives the plot, and the author manages to make the characters and their relationships entirely believable. This fic is also a rare gem in that boasts a large number of illustrations, all drawn by the talented DragonReine (the writer behind The Crow and the Wolf), and if the story doesn't get you hooked, the illustrations certainly will.
Synopsis: All Aodhan Hawke wants is peace, all Fenris wants is a sense of belonging... which, it turns out, are not so different ends. A series of connected shorts, many of which will be kmeme fills.
Comments: As stated in the synopsis, this "fic" is mostly a set of kmeme fills that are connected together by the pairing of Aodhan Hawke and Fenris. Unusual in that all the chapters can be read as stand-alone shorts, but manage to form a coherent whole when read together. The author's good at writing very sexy, sensual, explicit sex (one of them being a well-done scene where Fenris, he of the deep, growling voice, seduces Hawke with his words alone), but it's the more emotional chapters that are the gems in this collection. There is this sense of a deep affection and longing between Fenris and Hawke, even when their relationship goes through the "separation" stage, and the dynamics between the two men, each stubborn and strong-willed in their own way, are very real and believable.
Synopsis: Awkward Garrett Hawke is a barista with a crush on the guy with white ink tattoos who comes in to Bianca's Coffee every morning. His friends Isabela, Merrill and Andy take it upon themselves to help him, in the capacity of Wingmen, to not totally blow it with him.
Pairing(s): Fenris/Male Hawke, Anders/Isabela, Anders/Nathaniel Howe, Male Hawke/Sebastian Vael
Tags: Lemon, AU
Comments: Awkward, adorable, hilarious, and incredibly realistic. This story is a fun, easy read that isn't weighed down by excess description, and Hawke's fantastic internal monologue is guaranteed to make you laugh at least once per chapter.
Definitely one of the biggest things in the fandom and worth the read if you're a M!Hawke/Fenris shipper. Some have issues with the POV it's written in but the writing itself is solid.
Synopsis: When Morrigan develops feelings for Alistair, she struggles to maintain her mask of indifference. Will she succeed or will he be her undoing?
Pairings: F!Cousland/Alistair and Morrigan/Alistair (keep the title in mind for this one)
Comments: A well-written look at the effect Morrigan's upbringing has on her now that she's joined the Warden's party. As implied in the synopsis, she fights an internal battle between everything Flemeth taught her and her growing feelings for Alistair. Contains a number of realistic tear jerkers. M rated, so not for younglings.
Synopsis: AU where Leandra dies while fleeing Lothering and the Hawkes and Aveline travel to Amarnthine instead of Kirkwall and build a life there. Things gets a bit more complicated when they get tangled up with the Hero of Ferelden and a certain apostate turned Warden.
Pairings: Het, male slash. M!Hawke/Anders, Nathaniel/Bethany, F!Surana/Zevran
Comments: A long fic but completely worth the time invested in reading it. It's a believable story of how things could've played out if the Hawke siblings had ended up somewhere else. The build up to the relationships are nicely handled and the political intrigue is tense and interesting. The characters are fleshed out, especially Anders. The author's take on how Awakenings!Anders would still be a troubled individual is especially well done.
The Hawke twins get a lot of screen time and development, and the three siblings have a very believable family dynamic. A nice thing about this fic is while it's mainly Hawke's POV, the other characters are still given space to grow and shine.
Synopsis: A retelling of a F!Hawke and Anders romance from the point of view of Justice/Vengance building off of his characterization in Awakening and how his views on life, love, and justice change through out the events of Dragon Age 2 as him and Anders steadily begin to loose it while simultaneously falling for Hawke.
Commments: A very well done fic that manages to tackle the difficult taske of examining Anders and Justice in Dragon Age 2, as challenging as it can be try decipher the characters and where exactly one begins and the other ends. It sticks pretty close to canon, granted a lot of stuff with Anders and Justice is open to interpretation because of how vague the game is most of the time. It's a beautiful fic, very bleak and heart wrenching yet ultimately uplifting, with a pretty hopeful ending. The only problems with it is that it can fall victim to Purple Prose and get very philsophical, navel ponder-y if that's not one's cup of tea. Not too bad, but it can ward off a reader if it's not to their liking. Sebastian is also sort of villainized, though since this is told largely through Justice(and Anders' to a certain extent point) part of this can be chalked up to jealous, hateful bias. Still Sebastian doesn't come out of it looking very good, almost to the point of Ron the Death Eater. Also the story can be sort of confusing at some points considering it's a companion piece to another fic, and the author doesn't really bother to clearly details events that carry over. That said, it's still an excellent fic and well worth the read for anyone who likes the pairing or enjoys the character Justice and would like to understand his view of things during Dragon Age 2. Flaws aside, I solidly recommend it.
Synopsis: Retelling of Origins from the perspective of a City elf Warden.
Pairings: M!Warden/Zevran (early days)
Comments: Smart, funny Origins-rewrite. It features a well-rounded back-story and spot-on characterisation, keeps the recycled lines to a minimum and adds new takes on familiar situations as well as some unexpected twists. It was great to see a fanfic address some of the nags from the game that are generally glossed over (plain weird timelines, the inevitable Mary Sue-ism due to every incident seeming to land on the Warden's doorstep, etc.) The writing gets better after the first few chapters and stays strong throughout the rest. The downside (for me) was that the story is still very much in progress, though it appears to be updated regularly. If you only read one Origins story, this should be it.
Synopsis: In the aftermath of the Chantry explosion, sisters Kiara and Amelle Hawke attempt to make sense of an irrevocably changed Kirkwall, and to offer aid to a city that—perhaps—no longer wishes for their help.
Synopsis: Used to a life of hardship and violence, young Kallian Tabris now faces the consequences of her actions from that terrible day. The Blight now awaits along with a mysterious stranger named Revan whose interest in Kallian might not be entirely benevolent.
It's a mediocre piece. The writer rushes through the plot and as a result the characterizations stumble. Revan has got a few (but still too many) shades of Stupid Evil and the main character transforms too quickly into a Sith Lord.
Synopsis: Cerberus thought they had found the key to human evolution once they stumbled upon two unlikely people wandering the woods lost and confused. Now the Projects meant to better humanity, Magia and Lazarus, might just the key to bring an end to Cerberus, the Collectors, and the Reapers.