Title: The Handmaiden's Canticle
Wordcount: 386 (poem plus notes)
Characters: Andraste, an unnamed OC
Spoilers: Alludes to endgame spoilers for DA2
Notes: A retelling of "Spirits" by heretherebdragons, in the form of the Chant of Light (the holy text of the major religion of Thedas). Not version of Andraste's life story that the Chantry would like you to hear.
A prettified version, made to resemble the codex screens in Dragon Age: Origins, is available on Tumblr and on AO3.
Let us now sing of the Lady Andraste:
Born from the sea, waves bearing her home
She calls thunder and lightning, scorching the heavens
Gentle rains coaxing sweet blooms from the earth
In each fall of rain, hear the song of Andraste.
Let us now sing of the breath of Andraste:
A song speaks of freedom, lends strength to sore feet
The voice of the goddess turns darkness to light
A gale and a trembling, the lords fall to their knees
In the touch of each breeze, know the words of Andraste.
Let us now sing of the lands of Andraste:
Stolen from one home, then fled from her prison
Fields feed her armies, stones show them the way
While hillsides collapse on the enemy's path
In every sword forged, feel the will of Andraste.
Let us now sing of the fires of Andraste:
A hearth flame banked safe as the love of a mother
Righteous blazes consuming the yokes of the damned
A funeral pyre, ashes live on forever
In the heart of each flame, see the eyes of Andraste.
No Maker, no King, no other man’s power
Naught but one woman, her vision to bear
Fire and water, earth and air at her call
She raises her sword of truth, and they come:
Wind and waves sweep the land with fresh tide of freedom
The chains washed away, flowers grow in their wake
The unworthy left behind to burn
And lament the day they chose the lie
In the mercy of song, learn the truth of Andraste.
Discovered among the papers of the Archon Hessarian in 41 Black, scholars now believe the original work was written by a slave woman who attended upon Andraste in the time of her captivity, before she was martyred. Declared heretical by the Divine for the suggestion that Andraste was a mage, the mention of an unknown goddess, and the repudiation of the Maker, the canticle was destroyed and thought lost until variations of it surfaced in 36 Dragon, passed among the mages who rebelled against the Chantry. Although not to be considered a canonical text, historians hold it to be of interest as a possible alternate interpretation of certain events in Andraste’s life.
From “Songs and Tales of the Rebellion” by Sister Madeline, Chantry Scholar
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