Fanfiction Fridays: If Wishes Were Poppy by todisturbtheuniverse

Looking for fic for a newly released game—or an older game that you haven’t finished—is dangerous. From the short summaries on the search page, it’s usually impossible to tell if there’ll be spoilers inside or if it’s safe for consumption. Needless to say, I don’t go looking for fics that fall in these categories. Yet, when one happens to metaphorically fall in my lap—well, I’m only human. A somewhat weak-willed human.

Dragon Age 2 CassandraSpoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition under the cut.

“Cassandra,” she repeats. “I am sorry I did not come sooner. I am not as ignorant as Varric believes, I’m afraid.”

You were half-sure this was the case, even as you shouted the dwarf into silence yesterday. It was easier to blame him than to blame her, this ghost you’ve chased in a desperate bid for answers.

“He is one of my only friends, now,” she says, so quietly that you nearly miss it. “Believe me when I say I have not enjoyed being away—on my own. But I am a Champion, not a leader. Your Inquisitor is rather better suited to the post, I promise. I couldn’t keep a merry band of misfits focused for five minutes, let alone five months. And more misfits.”

“I know.” The words ache in your throat. “We only needed someone, and you seemed a logical choice.”

Desperation in Thedas is at its peak due to the destruction of the one institution, the Chantry, that everyone globally trusted (or at least had a healthy respect/fear for) and the world literally coming apart at the seams. Although she can’t show it, after all but breaking away from the crumbled remains of the Chantry, former Seeker Cassandra Pentaghast is shouldering her own desperation. She must fight against this oncoming evil, but even with trained soldiers, practiced spymasters, and a slew of other professionals, she’s still left with one burning question: how can they fight against something that has the power to bend time and reality to its will? In todistrubtheuniverse’s If Wishes Were Poppy, with this question burning in the back of her head, Cassandra talks to the one person she knows who has been immortalized for their own “miracle working”: Hawke, the Champion of Kirkwall.

You can never stop being the hero...

You can never stop being the hero…

The most impressive thing about If Wishes Were Poppy is that in such a short amount of words, the author manages to perfectly capture the mood in not only Inquisition, but Dragon Age 2 as well. Where Inquisition is desperation, DA2 is exhaustion, and Hawke is wearing this exhaustion like a mantle. Poppy‘s Hawke, while not necessarily a perfect reflection of every player’s Hawke, is a tired fable. Her legend of defeating the evils in Kirkwall lives on louder than ever, but she has been displaced: exiling herself from her home and staying away from most of the people she had grown close to. She is lonely, she is tired, and never has her limitations as a human been clearer. Hawke is no miracle, she is simply a woman; a fact that Cassandra knows in her mind, but in her heart wishes wasn’t true.

Though Cassandra is a pragmatic woman, she, out of everyone, was the one who devoured Varric’s tale about Hawke the most. Cassandra wants to believe in miracles, to believe in the romanticism behind these fabled warriors of old (and not-so-old), and is more disappointed with herself than with Hawke when faced with the reality that Hawke is just someone trying to get by. Hawke is just like Cassandra: a fact that inspires as much as it intimidates.

If Wishes Were Poppy is only 835 words, but todisturbtheuniverse leaves the reader wanting more. More of Hawke getting to meet up with Varric, one of her truest friends, after so long and realizing that the both of them are still yearning for a Kirkwall that no longer exists, and can never exist again. More of Cassandra growing from the dreams she holds so close and secretive to her heart, learning to put faith into more than what the Chantry guides her to. And more hope, because lying just beneath Inquisition‘s desperation is just that—a hope for things to get better and a hope that they actually can.

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