The Heartless DLC - The Rest of the Story

I've given a lot of thought to this, but I've decided to drop my Dragon Age: Inquisition/Dragon's Dogma crossover fic, The Heartless DLC. I'm not out of ideas, but it turns out retelling the entire last 2/3rds of the game WITH original quests was too much of an undertaking for me. That combined with my surprising distaste with elements of Dragon Age and issues with the fandom just made it a project that I have no interest in continuing at this time.

It's not fair to keep my readers in the dark, even if I *do* plan to get back to it someday. So I'm going to give a heavily abridged but general summary of how The Heartless DLC would've continued and ended right here, just so you get the full story instead of me leaving you hanging.

After the events at Adamant, the Inquisitor and Arisen ltake care of some side-quests, favor quests, and cleaning up some areas whilst also preparing for the ball at Halamshiral. As stated previously, the Arisen and Gale will be going on their own, not under the Inquisition. Once there, the Inquisitor searches for clues, and the Arisen very quickly realizes that there are pawns serving at the ball. Gale pretends to faint, which allows him and the Arisen to be temporarily excused while the pawns take them to the servant's quarters.

Once in the privacy of the servant's quarters, the pawns give Marnie an urgent update about the state of things in Gransys. The Duke wasn't ill, he was trying to keep her away. Nothing particularly heinous is unfolding, but the pawns are worried the Arisen has abandoned them. Marnie assures them that she'll return, but before they resolve the issue, the harlequin drops in and tries to murder them.

Cut back to the Inquisition. The Inquisitor finally finds some clues and escapes to the servants quarters with his companions. By the time they get there, Marnie and the pawns are nowhere to be found and everyone else is slaughtered. They briefly have a moment of "oh, so I guess we might have to consider Marnie did this" and move on. They find Marnie and the pawns engaged in battle in the courtyard, and the two groups converge for the rest of the quest. They discover the pawns have been traveling to and from Gransys by a Riftstone they brought overseas with them. This Riftstone is later transported to a grove closer to Skyhold for ease of access to the Pawn Guild. It might be noted that Marnie is the one who finds and unlocks the Empress halla door, mostly because her pawns were collecting whatever they could find already. She has Gale interrogate the man for her, then she brings the information to the Inquisitor. The empress is spared, Florianne is arrested, and the Inquisitor has enough evidence to ally all three parties.

Now that there's a Riftstone at Skyhold, Gale is going out at night on jobs in other worlds. More pawns begin to frequent Skyhold. They don't blend in well, but the Arisen is able to explain it away as if the Duke sent over members of his elite army, of which the Arisen is a commander. No one ever suspect she had that kind of station. The pawns all seem moderately wary of Solas, but decide he won't pull anything in Skyhold around the Arisen, for whatever reason. Gale has the most influence over the other pawns aside from the Arisen because he is the main pawn in this universe. That puts him at a high position, even though he may be younger than many pawns he meets.

Gale still goes to Solas frequently. Their meetings range from Gale asking for help with spells to discussing the Inquisition and the Arisen. Solas starts asking Gale to keep their meetings a secret from the Arisen (red flag!). Meanwhile, Cole and Marnie settle their differences; Marnie says she was never upset with Cole to begin with, and they both make a point to be more objective and communicative with each other. Marnie resumes training Cole and gifts him a pair of climbing boots with spikes on the bottoms (shout out to RavenNox on for mentioning the strider concept art in a review, because I hadn't seen it before!).

After Wicked Eyes, Wicked Hearts, the Inquisitor decides to finally get in a good dragon hunt like I've been teasing. This is a long-ish "Dragonhunt Arc," and it's what I'd imagine Marnie's main favor quest would be if this was a real DLC. They go to the Hinterlands to fight the Fereldan Frostback, (I know, I should be writing them getting back at that damn dragon in Crestwood, but I haven't written anything in the Hinterlands yet, and I wanna get to it). There's an epic battle where the Inquisition FINALLY gets to see more of that dynamic climbing from Marnie and Cole. Gale also shows some creative use of healing spells by preemptively casting healing spells while Marnie is in danger, then she'll heal as soon as she's injured and it'll spare her, (Gale actually did stuff like this with consumable curatives while I was fighting the Ur-Dragon quite a few times, so I wanted to implement it).

At the end of the battle, the Arisen realizes that dragons are just animals here, as opposed to intelligent, self-possessed beings like in Gransys. Therefore, the only real "reason" she came to Thedas was a bust. She's noticeably sullen and distraught for several days, and Gale begins to worry. Eventually, Gale reaches out to the Inner Circle for help, and they arrange a quiet evening in the yard where she and Gale could dress fancy and slow-dance because it was the one thing she wanted to do at Halamshiral and couldn't do. There's this vague internal monologue about how she never gets to keep what she loves, and it's implied she only truly loves Gale, and it's also a subtle reminder that she's a fucking god, but anyway.

After the Dragonhunt Arc, I get back to the main quest, except I kind of don't, because I want things to be more dramatic. They chip away at some favor quests, and oddly enough, Gale and the Arisen start to drift apart. This is due to several factors including but not limited to Marnie being preoccupied with other pawns and Inquisition-related duties, but it's also largely because of a concentrated effort on several people's part to get Gale to assert himself as an individual human as opposed to a pawn defined by his Arisen.

When they go to the Temple of Mythal, Marnie and Gale can barely keep themselves together. The group manages to complete the quest regardless. They ally with Abelas and Morrigan drinks from the Well of Sorrows.

When they face off against Corypheus, Marnie uses the Backfire skill when fighting the red lyrium dragon to ensure it dies. In that moment, a part of her is frighteningly powerful, almost like she is no longer human. (God this stuff sounds corny.) She passes out for a minute and Gale stays with her while she recovers and the others go to fight Corypheus. Corypheus probably delivers a villainous monologue. I was originally going to have Marnie and Gale bust in and at the part where Corypheus says "ancient ones, if you've ever been there, be with me now," Marnie says "I am one" but I decided against it. The Inquisitor lands the killing blow because this is his quest and his game.

During the afterparty, the Arisen and Gale interact with each member of the inner circle with the news that they'd be leaving for Gransys in the morning. Neither are drinking and they're both dressed as if they're going to leave any minute.

When Marnie and Gale are setting off, Cole comes to Marnie one last time and tells her she never will be alone. That reassures her and, for the time being, she seems ready to confront Grigori upon her return to Gransys.

When Marnie and Gale return for the Tresspasser DLC, they still haven't killed Grigori, but they did go to Bitterblack Isle. As such, their gear is dope and dragonforged, and their mental health is in shambles. Gale also converted to the way of the bow while they were there. They aid the Inquisition in fighting Qunari and finding Solas, and he and Marnie have a final showdown where he's revealed to be the Dread Wolf and she's revealed to be the Seneschel who reset the world so she could relive being the Arisen again and again. Solas needles her about why she redid everything, why she refuses to assume her place as Seneschel, and how many times she's done this same thing over and over again. Gale manages to shoot Solas from afar and they're all driven apart.

After the Inquisition returns to Skyhold and orients themselves, only Gale reappears saying his Arisen sent him in case they meant her any harm after her reveal. After the Inquisitor agrees not to compromise Marnie, Gale leads him to the ruins by the Riftstone, where Marnie's been waiting. They have a chat about her true origins and intentions, and she admits she didn't defeat Grigori because she knew she'd have to leave the mortal world soon after. She agrees to help the Inquisition when she can and places a Portcrystal by the Riftstone. They both agree that things are probably going to get a whole lot worse.


And that's where the fic ends. There's also a number of subplots I neglected to detail. Cole's favor quest, a few side quests related to the pawn guild, etc. As I said, I might return to the fic later on, but I really don't care for it or the fandom or the source material anymore. It's sad, but I'm happier elsewhere. And I thought it was only fair to leave some conclusion to the fic regardless. I might post certain chapters and snipets on my tumblr, but for the most part, this is the last you'll see of the official fic.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the readers and fans that have stuck with me through all this. I wish you all the best, and I'm sorry I couldn't give you the full fic. Stay safe out there!