msbarrows: tumblr / AO3 / dArt / original TFAB post

Stunningly versatile, msbarrows is an incredibly prolific writer, who relishes in expanding the possibilities of minor characters and exploring the most unusual of relationships, whether they be romantic, friendly, or antagonistic.  Humor to horror to love to lust to death and back again, she has explored the depths of Thedas in her work.  Besides her own art, she also colors with other artists, creating whole new interpretations of beautiful works.

What do you say to your daughter, when you have been away while she watched her mother die?

"I’m sorry," was not enough. Nor could "I love you" remove the hurt. "She never told me," was not excuse enough, for not having been here.

And so he stared dumbly at this calm young woman, standing gracefully erect, with her smoothly braided hair and neat clothes. Nothing at all like the exuberant young girl with bedraggled pony tails, grass-stained short dress, and skinned knees whom he remembered.

"You’ve grown," he said finally, voice hoarse and breaking a little on the words. As stupid as all the other things he could have said, but hadn’t.Of course she’d grown. Time had not stopped in Gwaren while he was off in Denerim, working at Maric’s side.

"Yes," she said, and then suddenly stepped close, and flung her arms around him, the girl he remembered showing through. "I missed you,” she said, burying her face against his chest for a moment, then looked up at his face. “Mother wouldn’t let me send for you. She said what you were doing was too important.”

He closed his eyes for a moment. Celia… “Your mother should have known that she was more important,” he said finally. “I would have come. When I heard…” he broke off, unable to continue.

Anora nodded, then slipped her arm around his waist. “Come,” she said, kindly, with a maturity far beyond her years. “I will show you the garden where I sprinkled her ashes.”

He nodded, and let her lead him away, thinking, as he did, she is so much like her mother. And regretted all the moments that he had not been here, with Celia, to see his daughter grow up into this regal young woman, to spend what time he could with his family, to be with Celia in her final sickness. Another person lost to eternity while he followed duty, another loved one dead without him being able to say a proper good-bye to them; his father, then Rowan, now Celia.

"You will come with me to Denerim, afterwards," he said.

"Of course," Anora answered, calmly, almost coolly, the smooth mask back on her face. But her arm tightened for a moment around his waist, clinging to him like the little girl often had, and for now it was enough.

No Proper Goodbyes

hobovampire: tumblr / art blog / original TFAB post

At turns adorable, ridiculous, beautiful, and heartbreaking, hobo’s art is a glorious exploration of character and expression.

(editor’s note: she also made one of my favorite sebris pieces ever, but y’all know I’m biased. ^_~)

thighhighdalish: tumblr / art/Thane RP blog / original TFAB post

An exquisite style, clean lines, amazing detail and design, gorgeous color and composition.  Even the sketches are painfully adorable and perfect.  And, of course, there’s the steampunk<3

While it’s frequently a good idea, we really must request in this case that you take the time to click through for the larger images on all of these.  The attention to detail is simply stunning.

giant-sequoia: tumblr / AO3 / original TFAB post

art by negacrow:

  1. Wild Hawke
  2. reactions

Scorching.  Terrifying.  Perhaps a little feral.  And yet completely irresistible.  That’s giant-sequoia’s Michael Hawke.  (Just ask Anders.)

Of course, it’s not all Dragon Age, nuzzling, and AU Hawkes … there’s also Ask James and Steve.  And some Jupiter.  And did we mention a tendency towards NSFW that never falls out of character?

“I… well.” James fought for control of his tongue. “I do want to stay. I mean, I’m nervous as hell.” The idea was enough to make him chuckle. His father had made him nervous. Collectors made him nervous. The very real possibility of the imminent doom of all advanced sapient life made him pretty damn nervous. But up to this point, making an idiot of himself in front of people he cared about had never really bothered him. Strange, when he thought about it, considering how often it happened.

“Why are you nervous?” Steve asked. He seemed to be thinking along the same lines, if the glint of mischief dancing in his eyes was any indication.

“I’m not really sure how good I’ll be, for one thing,” James went on. “Sex with guys is not exactly my area of expertise. But… it’s mostly because you two are pretty important to me. I guess I just don’t want to come between you, or something.”

There. He’d said it, and it was only as he did that he really became aware of it himself. James knew he wasn’t into Steve romantically, but the friendship they shared was something deep and powerful, as vivid as anything he’d ever felt for another person. And Shepard – James liked and respected him, and he wanted Shepard to like and respect him in turn.

“James,” Steve said. James looked at him.

“We trust each other,” Steve said, indicating himself and Shepard. “We’re committed to each other. But these are stressful times we live in.”

Shepard and James both let out short, bitter laughs at the truth of that statement.

“We invited you up here because we like you, we think you’re hot, and we thought you might enjoy having some fun with us. In a manner of speaking… we want you to ‘come between us.’”

He arched his eyebrows suggestively, and James couldn’t help laughing. Here was the good old smirky Steve with his playful innuendos James remembered from Fehl Prime all those years ago. A Reaper invasion was a strange time to feel almost giddy with happiness, but James couldn’t help the gladness he felt at having found his old friend – and furthermore, that his old friend had found Shepard. What might Steve have done, or not done, if the Commander hadn’t pulled him out of his despair?

“Steve’s right,” Shepard said. “We’ve worked out the details of our relationship already. You don’t have to worry about that.”

“Well alright then,” James said. He couldn’t really argue with that – they knew themselves and each other better than he did, after all. He raised his glass. “To us.”

“To us,” Steve agreed, raising his own glass.

Shepard picked up his snifter from the table and followed suit. “To us.”

Gravity

archer and anders: tumblr / AO3 / original TFAB post

  1. portrait by domirine
  2. sketchcard by payroo
  3. figurines by weifan

Passionate, devoted, inspiring, terrifying … ridiculous and frequently hysterical … Archer Hawke and Anders are one of the most compelling and unique pairs in all of Thedas.

“Well I’m not going to lurk in a dark corner with offerings of candy and Mabari puppies for whatever kid I can find,” Hawke assured him. “I would find a kid who really wanted a home. The estate is huge, and I have so much love to give.”

Anders turned onto his side and wrapped his left arm around his lover. “Just give me all your love then because I’m not changing my mind. I know how much you want children, but you need to think about this logically. We would not be model parents. I know that we would both love a child and raise him or her to the best of our abilities. But we also put ourselves in harm’s way on a daily basis. It’s a miracle that we’ve survived this long doing what we do. And I have the Templars to worry about. There is just no good way that we could do this and also be fair to a child.”

“But-“

“No, Archie,” the mage said softly. “I’m sorry. I know how badly you want this, but I also know that you know, deep down, that this isn’t the right time. Maybe in the future if we truly settle down, and if I don’t have to worry about the mages and Templars…maybe then. But unless that happens, we just can’t.”

“I don’t like it when you’re right,” Hawke groaned. “Usually you’re so radical and ridiculous. It throws me off when you’re the voice of reason.”

“You’re a dick.”

“I feel I have the right to be,” the warrior said with a small smile. “I don’t get to have children and you totally left me with blue balls.”

— Smoke and Scales

hey-its-tsai: tumblr / dArt / original TFAB post

Tsai’s remarkable versatility is put to use to create art that is adorable, expressive, and endlessly entertaining.  She is generous as well as talented, as the majority of her gallery is full of portrait requests she has completed for other people.  

iheartapostates: tumblr / original TFAB post

Charlotte creates gorgeous and detailed art, and possesses an amazing eye for composition and color and form, in everything from rough sketches to paintings to her infamous napkins.  (And killer mermaids.  How can you not love mermaids?)  She also created some truly amazing work for the Mass Effect Big Bang: The Trolley and User: K.Reegar.

anon1879: AO3 / original TFAB post

Such economy of line, of words, to capture such action, such desire, such despair, in a single moment, never static, never dull, with light that positively radiates from the screen.  Anon is particularly skilled at embracing and developing the secondary characters that sometimes fall into obscurity.

It is a cool morning even though it does not look like one. The sun shines brightly through the colored glass of the chapel, its light broken into a spontaneous mosaic onto Andraste’s tall figure. The eyes can get lost easily into this pattern, searching for hidden messages in between the specks that have no design, but the granite chills the heart through fingertips that lay against it, reminding Maurevar that there is always the blunt, simple reality of life behind all the dreams that can be dreamt.

He stands there in silence, staring at the wall but not seeing, feeling the need for guidance but not asking for any, listening to his mind but not hearing any answer. His heart is disturbed. He does not understand why it happened, but he knows that it is all it takes to create the ripples of feeling that will not stop. A droplet sinking into the perfect stillness that was there, carrying all his uncertainties below the surface.

Maurevar has said nothing, has done nothing. Malcolm does not know, has not noticed.

One tear going down his friend’s cheek, and discreetly brushed away. That’s all it took to make him doubt.

A Templar and a Mage

fragilespark: tumblr / AO3 / original TFAB post

An artist for the DABB, fragilespark is perhaps better known for her fic and poetry, especially for the ‘small’ idea for a kmeme fill that eventually spawned over thirty thousand words and two separate stories: Light.

dirt-raked fingers
written against
polished armour
how
could you
ever understand

in sinew strength
and forbidden force
with softness bared
find
another
pain furrowed soul

naked hands
and hearts
entwine
and contemplate
the falling
of a star

Fallen

(Source: mangacatfantasy.com)

defira85: tumblr / AO3 / original TFAB post

art: 
Pride and Lightsabers
by mygoodrabbit
Elise Shepard by helila
Elissa Cousland by hawkeward

Defira has a knack for falling in love with characters others tend to overlook.  Her enthusiasm and brilliance in exploring the histories and possibilites of these characters are more than up to the task of making sure we all learn to appreciate them.

All of this he felt in a rush, a sudden and painful revelation as powerful as the moment when the Veil had torn aside and he’d been cast into the mortal realm. Nothing else so far had sparked such depth of feeling within him, emotions that he had only known by name up until now. And now he knew, he knew, with such startling clarity that he wondered later how he had stayed upright, that she was hurting, that his very presence offended her even before she’d called him abhorrent.

The pain in her eyes was familiar, and he knew it, and he wanted it to go away.

Her name was Aura.

And on that day he felt something other than determination to see justice done. It was the beginning.

— Justice Alphabet: A is for Aura