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WIP Tell it from the Mountain by deliriiumofyou - Dragon Age

Discussion in 'Games' started by CareOtters, May 23, 2018.

  1. CareOtters

    CareOtters Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,549
    Title: Tell it from the Mountain
    Fandom: Dragon Age
    Rating: T
    Length: 178,302 words
    Status: WiP
    Published: 22/07/2016
    Updated: 06/05/2018
    Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/7555096/chapters/17183452
    Summary: "The Herald is an Avvar. Everyone panics.

    "She cannot read. She has multiple gods, none of which include the Maker."
    "Andraste was Alamarri. Why not an Avvar as her Herald?"

    -​

    Vivid worldbuilding is one of my favourite things to see both in Dragon Age and in fanfiction, so it's no wonder that I enjoyed this, which combined elements of both. We see the events of Inquisition through the eyes of a barbarian mage Herald who believes all spirits are gods, lesser and greater, and colours her interactions with them accordingly.

    It's an excellent portrayal of the events of the Dragon Age series seen through a fresh and wildly different perspective. Some elements of character interactions are refreshing as well. There's an honesty and directness to Aslaug, our Herald, which is missing from the soft insincerity of typical fanfiction relationships. The dreaded Ao3 tag system promises Solas/F!Trevelyan, which is the closest thing there to Solas/F!Avvar. Don't let that put you off. It's a minor thing, and done rather better than I would have expected, with all interactions in character; Solas keeping a polite distance, Aslaug bluntly going up to him and asking him how she should court him, whether leaving gifts of fish and fowl before creeping into his bedroll in keeping with Avvar traditions, or if he had different Elven courtship traditions she should be trying.

    At times the plot feels somewhat as if it's rehashing the path taken by canon. This is true, but I recommend reading the story anyway. Dragon Age is a game meant to be replayed as different characters, making different choices to gain a different experience of the same story. This is exactly the same as that, but even more so because the format of a written story can get much deeper behind the protagonists eyes. The outline of canon quests which this story is loosely draped over is just a skeletal structure used to prop it up, enabling it to be used as a vehicle to showcase a new and very detailed look at Avvar magic.

    Perhaps I'm alone in this, but I really liked much of the story of Inquisition. Some things in it were handled absolutely atrociously (see: the way the writers handled everything Corypheus did after his incredible introduction during the attack on Haven) which soured my view a little, but had it been done better, the raw material for something incredible was there. Quite possibly the reason why I'm so eager to find Dragon Age fanfiction. Alas, Bioware fans almost exclusively write hollow fluff or plain old porn.

    If you've played Dragon Age: Inquisition and enjoyed the world, this is for you. The lack of originality in overall plot holds it back, but there's plenty of nuance and new material in the journey along the way, even if it heads in a generally similar direction. I'd liken it to any first year Harry Potter fanfic which features its own twist on all the classic beats - the bathroom troll scene, the first broomstick lesson, who Harry meets on the train, the sorting scene, etcetera.

    4/5
     
  2. KaelMyec

    KaelMyec Second Year

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    56
    So I just finished reading this and I like it. The world building for the Avarr is well done, it took the scant information from DAI and expanded wonderfully. Additionally the plot is handled in a realistic manner which is a plus and rare to find in Dragon Age fics. I would call this a cousin to fics like Victory at Ostagar, not quite as well done yet but there are definitely similarities.

    As for the negative, this fic focuses on the Solas interaction a lot. I personally never cared for him as a character so others may enjoy it but it detracts from the fic for me. Additionally I want to see more of this Inquistors combat/magic style what little we have so far is tantalizing and so far under utilized.

    Overall a 4/5 for me and a good time sink if you enjoy Dragon Age
     
  3. Erandil

    Erandil Headmaster

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,179
    Location:
    Germany
    I am only halfway through but I have to say that while I really like the general idea and much of the worldbuilding it features a few to many "mary-sue/fixit" elements for my tastes. This is especially true when it comes to the Avvar and mages in general where I would have preferred a somewhat more multifaceted approach, though part of that can of course be explained by this being told from the PoV of Anslaug.

    And I too felt like the story could do a bit more with its really interesting take on Avvar magic, as its stands it makes for great worldbuilding but seems strangely underutilized in the actual fighting/actions. Also it sometimes interprets the game mechanics a bit to literally for my tastes, as for example when it comes to rogues and their shadows/"teleporting", which while generally only a minor issue are still enough to crash my suspension of disbelief in certain scenes. L

    Lastly I personally don't really care for Solas, especially portrayed as he is here, that much so much of the romance and interactions with him don't really gather my interest either.

    As it stand I would give it a 3.5/5, well worth reading if you are interested in the fandom.
     
  4. The.Snorting.Hat

    The.Snorting.Hat Second Year

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    It's under Fidelius.
    High Score:
    0
    I'm about halfway through now, and i agree with the assessmenta that this fic isn't very friendly to people who don't know a lot about the dragon age world.
    The writing is competent in the technicality and grammar, but it's a fairly dry read. Lots of telling instead of showing. The characters other than solas and auslig suffer because of that, simply because they don't show up enough.

    I think I'll go with 3/5

    I would have probably rated it higher if I hadn't just read 'Dragon from Ash'. Unlike dragon age, I've never played Skyrim, but I never felt that I was missing any inside info while reading that fic. Comparatively speaking, this author has a pretty long way to go.
     
  5. Banta

    Banta The Chosen One DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,223
    I enjoyed the first third of this, when everything is fresh and new and we're seeing how Aslaug and the rest adapt to her being the Herald. But somewhere around the middle the flatness of the story and character interactions (except for Aslaug and Solas) caught up, and I stopped reading around chapter 23 or 24 because I just didn't care what happened next.

    3/5 for the portion I read as a whole, with a solid 4/5 for the first 10 or so chapters. Shame it couldn't keep me enthused past the middle bit.