|Anora Mac Tir|
"We have been given the gift of freedom by our forbearers. Let us not squander it."
|Behind the Mask|
Anora paced the room, hands clasped, lip thoroughly chewed. Here, she looked harried, distressed and distraught. Her mind could not settle on one subject; it flitted about in the middle of thoughts, reminding her of too many crises at once, the ever-present self-awareness plotting the quickest way to recompose her veneer should her unkempt patrol be interrupted. It would not do for the Queen to seem troubled. Not when Ferelden balanced on the edge of civil war and a darkspawn insurgence.
It was getting to become a difficult facade to build up, however. She hadn't slept well since Cailan left for Ostagar, and since his death had slept even less. She knew she would become accustomed to it eventually, that she would stop forgetting to bring the extra blanket needed to keep her warm without her husband's bulk, the one Cailan had always thrown off until she stopped spreading it out. Yet, even as she dipped into melancholy flashbacks, her mental checklist pulled up, underscoring a long-worried line: heir to the kingdom.
One hand flew to her abdomen, an involuntary reaction to the thought. Cursing, she dropped it back into place in front of her, clasping just a little too tightly. It was not her fault. It was due to Cailan and his inattention, nothing more. If he was truly potent, a bastard would have emerged from all of those trysts he was so fond of, the ones that left him too tired to do his duty when he finally made it to bed. Because of him, because of that, her position was in jeopardy.
It was not her fault.
Still. With so much to do, it was a mixed blessing to not have small children to console, to protect, to coddle. She had all the time in the world to deal with darkspawn and dissenters. She could not fathom why her father felt it was a good idea to become regent after Ostagar, but...there was so much to do, and she did need someone she trusted. Howe was a snake, plain and simple, and having her father on her side was a boon. He had seen the darkspawn, as well, and if anyone could assess a military threat, it was the Hero of River Dane.
They would keep Ferelden together, in the face of this and everything yet to come.