|Affiliation||Templar Order and the Ferelden Magi Circle|
|Gear||Templar plate, Templar shield, and a standard longsword|
|Behind the Mask|
He was a common sight in the Circle Tower. His black hair was mostly gray now, and his face was weathered. His beard – once referred fondly by Ser Seorgi as a “dead animal” – was a shadow of its former self, trimmed neatly and lining his jaw, chin, and the sides of his face. His eyebrows, too, were diminishing, but his gray eyes still retained their alertness. He might have been an old man, but his body was kept immaculately fit, and he moved as though his heavy plate were a part of his body, its clinking announcing his authoritative presence. It was hard to think that Knight-Commander Greagoir wasn't a part of the tower itself, he and Irving had been there so long bickering at one another.
Despite their disagreements, they retained a respect for each other, and could in fact be considered friends.
As it was, Greagoir was waiting for Amell to be brought up the stairs to the Harrowing chamber. Moonlight filtered through the stained glass windows, glistening off of his armour, the Sword of Mercy embossed on its front. Standing in a semi-circle were himself, First Enchanter Irving, Wilmer, and Cullen. The lad showed promise, for sure; he had a strong willpower, and bloody good talent. Greagoir had, however, noticed something between him and Amell. This was to be a test of sorts for Cullen. The Knight-Commander needed to know where his loyalties lay, and so his first Harrowing would be Amell's.
The mage herself showed promise, and was one of Irving's two favourites, but talent wasn't the only thing necessary to face a demon. A strong user of magic could turn into a deadly abomination. If Solona became an Abomination, she would have to be quelled, no matter the cost. Nothing could be allowed to threaten the lives of the people in the Tower, and more importantly, no monster could be allowed to leave its halls. And no abomination had ever left the Harrowing chamber alive – Greagoir intended to keep it that way.
He would do anything to prevent innocent people from suffering at the hand of magic. He still had his father's shield, which he kept in his room; an heirloom that reminded him of the dangers an unchecked mage posed. His story had not been especially tragic; he had been a knight in the Bannorn, doing his duty to his country, and had ended up on the wrong side of a spell. It was what had driven him to join the templars, and it had been so long ago, yet he remembered that day.
The clanking of templar armour that echoed through the chamber alerted Greagoir to her entrance. Sleepy and bedheaded, the mage was being led by one of the templars into the chamber. The templar led her up to Greagoir, who focused his serious gray eyes on her, and began to speak the words he had spoken many times earlier. Over the years, they had not lost their potency. “'Magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him,'” he quoted. “Thus spoke the Prophet Andraste as she cast down the Tevinter Imperium, ruled by mages who had brought the world to the edge of ruin.” Such was the teaching of the Chant of Light, which he knew by heart. “Your magic is a gift, but it's also a curse, for demons of the Fade are drawn to you, and seek to use you, as a gateway to this world.”
Greagoir knew that Irving would pick up as he stopped, but as usual the two paused, allowing this to sink in, allowing her to guess at what they were about to do. A few brief moments, and the First Enchanter spoke up, uncrossing his crossed arms, and focusing a gentle, fatherly gaze upon her. “This is why the Harrowing exists. The ritual sends you into the Fade, and there you will face a demon, armed with only your will.”
“If you fail, apprentice,” Greagoir warned, “the demon will turn you into an abomination, and the templars will be forced to slay you.” Greagoir never, never enjoyed a failed Harrowing, unlike a few of the recruits here who would just have loved to see the mages all die. It was a sad occasion when anyone had to die. Unless they were an apostate, or a maleficar. The latter deserved no mercy whatsoever. An abomination was a mage taken over by a demon; they had no control over what they did. Wynne wondered if there was a way to “cure” abominations but Greagoir knew they had to be put down, no matter what.
The Knight-Commander led the apprentice to the bowl on the pedestal, the substance glowing blue within it. “This is Lyrium,” he told her. “The very essence of magic, and your gateway to the Fade.” She already knew these things from her training, but this was a tradition.
Irving stepped forward, and said quickly, “The Harrowing is a secret out of necessity, child. Every mage must go through this trial by fire. As we succeeded, so shall you. Keep your wits about you, and remember, the Fade is a realm of dreams. The spirits may rule it, but your own will is real.”
“The apprentice must go through this test alone, First Enchanter,” Greagoir snapped, interrupting him. Irving had a real soft spot for this apprentice, he knew, no other apprentice got this treatment. He motioned to the chalice. “You are ready.” As she stepped forward, he turned his gaze to Cullen. Now the real test would begin...