Tamlen’s end

I found it strangely affecting, learning what happened to Tamlen—the friend who gets lost to the mirror in the cave if you do the Dalish elf origin story. After the Darkspawn attacked my camp following the archdemon dream, my failed attempts to persuade Tamlen he could be healed lead, suddenly but inevitably, to him attacking me. The entirety of my camp of companions piled on with the killing, so it was equally inevitable that it would be over quickly.

I’m not sure if it was design, serendipity, or a bit of each, but even with Sten and Alistair and Morrigan and everyone else pounding and blasting and slicing and dicing away at sad little Tormented Shriek-Tamlen, the killing blow was reserved for me:

A sword to the heart; the slow slide of his body down the blade; a backhanded finishing blow with my second sword that took off his head.

Maybe it was my imagination, but I remember there being just the right amount of slow-motion on the decapitation to make me feel the sadness I’m sure my Dalish Grey Warden felt, as she committed the necessary and merciful execution of her friend.

Then nothing but the sound of the sheathing of blades, and silence as the others returned to their fires, respectfully leaving me with what remained of Tamlen.

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