Alistair tried to rub the burning need for sleep out of his eyes. It was, like all the times before it, in vain. He had been complaining about not being able to sleep on his hard lump of a bed for weeks, but people had grown used to ignoring him. 'Join us, brothers and sisters' clearly meant little to them. Obviously, he wasn't about to fall asleep. Hours of lying in bed in the dark hadn't done the trick, and it usually did.
Alistair rolled to his side. He was staying in a simple room. It had a bed, a closet, a small bedside table. It was everything he needed. A quick glance out the small window confirmed that it was almost dawn but still quite dark. Alistair could only see the creepings of the light that would soon light up the sky. Good. Alistair liked to wake up before dawn these days. Join us in the shadows where we stand vigilant.
Humming a quiet tune, Alistair hopped up to his feet. He splashed his face with water from a small bowl he kept. Normally he would use his shirt to dry his face, but he didn't think he would change out of it today. His face could air dry. Besides he didn't like being even somewhat undressed when people could walk in on him. His door was unlocked, and you never knew.
Once the water cleared from his eyes, Alistair saw his empty bed. It had likely already grown cold. He had never found someone to lie beside. He had never had kids or owned a house, but that was part of being a grey warden. They were his family. There was no time for regrets now. The wardens were the first home he had ever felt. They would be his last.
Bare feet slapping across the stone floor, Alistair headed towards his closet. He was going on a trip and needed to pack. Join us as we carry the duty that can not be forsworn. He had never taken his shoes off in the Deep Roads because why would anyone, but he imagined it would feel similar. Cold stone but with the occasional squishy patch of taint.
And should you perish, know that your sacrifice will not be forgotten. Having been a warden for longer, Alistair had always thought he would go before his friend. Things hadn't been the same without the man beside him. There was little purpose for him anymore among the wardens, and now he lacked his best friend. The one who understood him. The one who was going through the same things. The one he had travelled with for so long. And that one day we shall join you.
Alistair reached out to begin putting his armour on. There were so many straps. Maybe Alistair should have checked in with the others, but somehow he had never gotten around to it. He had heard that Zevran had been doing well, and he knew Leliana had been busy. He had heard rumors of Morrigan, and Oghren was with the wardens. He had seen Sten. Maker only knew about Wynne and Shale, and he had taken his Mabari with him.
Alistair pulled his necklace out of his armour once he finished. He wanted it to be visible today. A list of names all the way back from his joining. So many people sacrificed themselves to be part of this cause. Duncan. At least Alistair had said goodbye to his friend before he left. Standing there now, Alistair didn't think he would see the others beforehand.
He shoved the supplies he would need into his pack. He wouldn't take much from the others. Packing a few good meals was important. Leliana always said he was a terrible cook, but it was hardly his fault Morrigan had refused to.
A few steps led Alistair to his door. He was ready to go. He was being called home. Alistair steadied himself with two deep breaths. He always had before making an important decision, and Alistair was glad he had been there to lead. He placed his hand on the doorknob to stop it from shaking.
"In War, Victory. In Peace, Vigilance."
Alistair slowly turned the knob before stepping out into the first rays of morning light, leaving his room for the last time. A light breeze brought the scent of dewy grass to him, and he closed his eyes to take in the scent. He could hear the birds waking.
"In Death, Sacrifice."