Day 7-9 of Domestic Fluff

Huddles & Cuddles by Aimo

Huddles & Cuddles by Aimo (Blackwall and Fem Cadash)

And yes, apparently I am incapable of posting these consistently, so I’m posting them when I can. 

Exercising – Day 7

Ava did not like to exercise, at least not intentionally. If, for example, she managed to walk all morning while hanging out at a vintage market, then that sort of exercise was just fine for her. Paying money to be a part of a gym and take an on-going aerobics class was something that she didn’t normally last that long in. She would start it all full of vim and vigor, and be totally gung-ho for a couple sessions, but usually got bored and stopped going after a while. This time though, she also knew that she and Blackwall needed to get out and exercise more. He was beginning to develop a small paunch, to say nothing of her growing tummy, which on a dwarf was even more noticeable.

That was why she had bought some comfy exercise shorts, a t-shirt, and some walking shoes and had asked Blackwall to take walks with her at night. Nothing too strenuous, just a mile or two walking at their normal pace (his was slowed down a bit because he was so much taller than her and had longer legs) and then they could add to the mileage once they built their endurance up. Plus it gave them the chance to discuss their day and get away from the house.

Even on the weekends, they didn’t miss a day. Blackwall worked remodeling and construction firm during the week so he got plenty of exercise, but he knew how important it was to Ava to do this, so he participated, even if he was exhausted. Before they had started walking every day, there were nights that he would pass out in his recliner almost as soon as he got home. Though he would probably never admit it out loud, the walks gave him a chance to unwind and destress at the end of a busy week.

Wearing Each Others Clothes – Day 8

Blackwall is a big bear of a man. Literally, he is about 6’3” and weighed about 275lbs, though most of that was muscle from all the heavy lifting and moving he did all day. He is a supervisor, but preferred to be out in the field versus staying at the office and doing paperwork. Ava, on the other hand, is a dwarf and as such, is significantly shorter, though she’s rather tall in her family. She had a more sedentary job working as his secretary, so she kept together all the paperwork that he hated doing when he was in the office. It was a win-win situation for them both. Ava was about a foot shorter than him and weighed about 100 lbs less, and was more curvy, so fitting into each others clothes was comical at best. She did like wearing his t-shirts because they were usually more soft, smelled like him, and could literally cover her down to mid-thighs. They usually ended up being her sleep shirts.  The things he liked to wear were her scarves. She crocheted them herself every fall, were soft, and kept him warm in the winter times, even if they were a bit more pastel than he typically wore.

“How come I can never find my black shirt?” Blackwall complained, currently tearing apart the room to find said shirt.

“Which one sweetie? You’ll have to be more specific. Pretty much all your shirts are black,” Ava replied, not looking up from her book, the latest Laini Taylor book that she’d finally been able to put her hands on.

“The one with all the different gaming controllers, that’s all pixelated?” he queries, then pauses to look at what she is wearing. “Wait a minute…you’re wearing it again! Why didn’t you say so earlier?” he exclaims, obviously frustrated.

“Because I’ve been in it for hours and it’s comfy,” Ava states, hands on her hips in just the t-shirt and some undies. “But if you want it back, here…take it,” she responds, taking it off and handing it to him without a second glance.

He blank stares at her for a minute, standing in a power stance with only her underwear on, and then swallows. “No love, it looks better on you,” and hands it back to you.

She smirks as she knows it took all his willpower not to do anything. She grabs it and puts it back on, and then stands on her tiptoes to give him a kiss. “Thanks,” she says softly and sits back down to read.

Nursing the Sick One – Day 9

Why were men always so pathetic when they were sick? Ava muttered to herself, under her breath. Normally she would’ve just left him to his own devices, to take care of himself, but she had gotten ill as well. Blackwall was propped up in bed with his pillows, looking miserable. They both had the flu and couldn’t keep much down. Ava had swung by the store to pick up some ginger ale, gatorade, crackers, and severe cold and flu medicine. As soon as she got home, she got into her comfy pajamas and set herself up in the living room. She’d given him the bed because she had trouble going to sleep anyways and it was nearly impossible when she was this congested. Sleeping in the recliner was the only thing that allowed her to breathe.

She got the chicken broth and some orzo from the pantry, and set about making her own chicken soup. She brought it in to Blackwall with a spoon and some crackers, a book tucked under her arm to read when she got back in the living room. “Here ya go, do you think you can stomach it? I brought some Saltines as well if not,” she said with a smile.

“Thank you love, you always take such good care of me,” he responds, turning his head and coughing into his elbow before he can take the bowl from her. “Where are you gonna be? I know you’re not feeling well either.”

“I’m camped out in the living room so I can hopefully get some sleep. I’ll be alright in there by myself. Not feeling as nauseous as before, but I’ll have some ginger ale anyways,” she replied.

“But I want you to be in here, to be with me and take care of me,” Blackwall says frowning.

“Oh, all right you big baby,” Ava responds with a laugh. She goes back to the living room to get her drink, then climbs into the other side of the bed and gets under the covers, propping her back up with pillows so she is comfortable. “Put your head in my lap and I’ll stroke your hair until you fall asleep.” He puts on The Princess Bride on the TV because he knows it’s one of her favorite movies, and then lays across the bed with his head in her lap above the covers. As Ava is avidly watching the movie, she is running her fingers through his head, scratching it and massaging his scalp. It is not long before he falls asleep, snoring loudly. All of that congestion isn’t letting him breathe any easier, she mutters to herself. She watches the movie to the end, and then nods off herself, so comfortable in the nest of blankets and with her own personal radiator laying on her, to keep her warm.

NaNoWriMo 2018


I know me and I won’t write a novel in a month, but at least it can get me writing everyday (though I’ve already had a late start). Because I mostly write Dragon Age fanfics and post it on AO3 when I am comfortable enough with it (and have it edited by a friend), I’ve decided to try a challenge I found on the DA Prompt Exchange and taken from this Tumblr, and called 30 Days of Domestic Fluff. I’d like to use my newest story creation characters, Avana (Ava for short) Cadash and Blackwall, but in a modern setting.

And of course, I’ve not managed to write the first four days so I have have five prompts to finish today. And they were briefly edited by me, so probably not as polished as they usually are, but they were fun to do. They are mostly SFW, except the last story which gets a little NSFW.

  1. Waking Up Together

They had been dating about four months before he was finally able to sleep over at her house, due to his crazy working schedule. It had been years since Ava had had someone spend the night and wasn’t sure what to expect. She was so anxious she had not slept a wink till about 1 am, and of course her body woke up like clockwork at 7am. He was still asleep, snoring rather loudly, but it didn’t bother her. Just seeing him completely relaxed, sprawled out in her king sized bed was enough to give her small smile. She had only been up about ten minutes when he rolled over onto his back and rubbed a hand over his eyes.

“Morning,” Ava says quietly, hoping not to startle him.

“Good morning,” Blackwall replies gruffly, his voice still half-asleep.

“I know it’s early, but I couldn’t sleep. I normally get up between 6:30-8:30 am regardless of what day it is,” Ava responds in a rush as the color quickly spreads across her cheeks.

“No need to be nervous love,” Blackwall insists, rolling on his side to face her and leaning in to lightly kiss her lips. He brings a hand up to her face, running a thumb down her cheek before sliding his hand back into her hair and deepening the kiss. They continue for another minute before Ava finally pulls back.

“I know, it’s just been awhile for me. I mean I’ve only ever been with two guys and you’re the second. I just don’t want to screw anything up,” Ava says with a frown.

“Trust me love, you’re not. I’m perfectly happy the with the way things are going,” Blackwall says with a big smile on his face, and moves his hand down her side and around to her back, pulling her closer to him. This time she leans in to initiate the kiss and gets thoroughly lost in him and forgets about her worries.

2. Morning Routine

Finally it was time to get up. Since Ava had gotten up early, there was still over an hour until she needed to get ready but she had been enjoying a little extra time in bed with Blackwall. Early morning shenanigans were her favorite after all, she thought to herself with a big grin on her face.

“I’ll take a shower first, so you can go back to sleep if you want. But I will have some music on.” Ava said aloud.

Blackwall smiled at her and flipped away from the sunny windows to get some more shut-eye. Ava grabbed her phone from the dresser and took off the black cotton and lace nightie that she somehow miraculously still had on, and slung it over the end of the bed. She turned on the shower, finding the right temperature. Finding her Happy Mix playlist, she put it on and stepped into the shower. Getting under the warm water felt wonderful, and Ava felt her body slowly relax. After washing her hair, face and body, she turned off the water and grabbed a towel to wrap around herself.  Ava grabbed her toothbrush and brushed her teeth. She opened the bathroom door and the steam built up in the bathroom from the shower billowed out of the room.

“Your turn,” she exclaimed, leaning over Blackwall to give him a quick kiss and then shook her wet hair all over him.


3. Doing Laundry

Ava had been putting it off for the last couple of days, like she always did. I really detest doing laundry, she muttered to herself.

Blackwall came in quietly and grabbed her in a bear hug from behind, surprising her. Ava squeaked and Blackwall laughed. “I know you hate it, but it’s got to be done love,” he said leaning his head over to kiss her neck. He lifted his head and continued, “You start the first load and I’ll help you fold it when it gets out in a couple of hours.”

Ava went outside to the patio where the washer and dryer lived, put the first load in the washing machine, put the detergent in, and turned it on. Then she came back inside to the living room and curled up on the couch next to Blackwall with her head against his side, and they settled in to watch a movie on Netflix. An hour or so later, the dryer dinged to tell them it was finished, and Ava went out to get the basket full of clothes. They went into the bedroom and started folding each other’s laundry. It feels nice to do something so couple-y, thought Ava with a slight smile on her face.


4. A Night In

Ava had been driving around all day running errands. She had gotten up extra early so she’d have time to do everything. She had completely forgot about the author event her friend Varric was a part of and that she had promised to take him so he didn’t have to rely on public transportation. She had also promised to babysit a friend’s child and take them to the local Children’s Museum, but thankfully that opened later. She drove her friend to the author event first thing in the morning and then was able to pick up the child and go play with them at the Children’s Museum for a few hours before having to dash back to pick up Varric and take him home. It was nearly dusk by the time she was able to  head over to Blackwall’s house.

“On my way there,” she told him over the phone. “I can’t wait to just chill at home with you. I’m so exhausted.”

Ava pulls into the parking lot, gets her overnight bag out of the trunk and walks to his front door. She uses the knocker twice and he quickly comes to the door, his frame filling up almost the entirety of the open door. He must not have left the house because he’s in his comfy pajama bottoms and a t-shirt.

“I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve missed you,” Blackwall admits. He waits until she’s laid down her bags before he walks over and gives her a hug. She loves being wrapped in his arms and he knows how relaxed it makes her feel. “Why don’t you get your comfortable pajamas on and I’ll order us some Chinese?” he adds.

“You know just what I need. I knew there was a reason I loved you,” Ava snarkily replies, and earns a smack on the behind as she walks away. She giggles as she makes her way to his bedroom where she takes her overnight bag.

“I love you too,” Blackwall yells after her with a smirk.

Ava takes off her clothes and changes into a tank top and the super soft pajama bottoms she loves to lounge in. She comes back into the living room and settles at the end of the couch. Blackwall sits down next to her and finds the show they’re going to watch on Netflix. About ten minutes into it, there is a knock on the door and the delivery guy has arrived with the food. It smells amazing and Ava is so hungry, as she realizes she hasn’t eaten since that morning in her haste to get to her destinations.

“I got you that spicy noodle dish you like and dumplings to share, and I picked up a pint of that Salted Caramel ice cream earlier because I know how long today has been,” Blackwall informs me, setting the take-out on the side table.

Ava doesn’t even wait for him to sit down before she pounces. “You are the best boyfriend ever!” she exclaims, pushing him into a seated position on the couch and climbing on his lap. She strokes the side of his face and looks into his eyes, before slowly leaning into kiss him. His hands slide down her back and sides to the top of her bottom and he squeezes it in appreciation. The kiss becomes more aggressive and soon she is grinding in to him. Needless to say, they end up eating their food cold an hour or so later.



5. Nighttime Routine


It was close to 11pm when they finally headed to bed. Blackwall went into the bathroom first and Ava got dressed into her pajamas while he was in there. It was never anything too fancy unless it was a special occasion, usually just a tshirt and shorts or occasionally a night gown. “As little as possible” was usually the way Ava liked to handle it because she couldn’t sleep when she was too warm (even in the winter), plus Blackwall was usually like a radiator and projected the heat from his body, so if she ever felt cold, she would snuggle up against him.

He finally came out and Ava went inside, using the bathroom first and then washing her hands and brushing her teeth. She came back out and got into bed lying down on her side and getting comfortable. Blackwall stares intensely into her eyes for a minute, looking like he wants to say something important, but doesn’t. Instead he leans forward and kisses her, his lips deceptively soft. She loves sucking on his bottom lip and doesn’t waste an opportunity to do so now, licking all around his mouth when she’s done. Ava secretly loves the way he moans under his breath when she does that and she knows he’s getting hard. She reaches down his body and can just feel the outline of him in his boxer shorts, but doesn’t reach inside quite yet.

“Do you want to continue things or are you ready for sleep?” she says backing away from him and looking at him expectedly. She knows she is giving him a questioning look and begging him to continue, but also knows that his stamina won’t always allow him to last as long as he would like, especially if he was up early. “I mean, you know I’m always up for it but…” and she trails off, unsure if she should continue. She lays back on the bed but still looks at him.

Blackwall comes closer and looks down at her, lightly tracing down her arm with his fingertips. “We should just continue like this and see where things go,” Blackwall responds with a pause and a tentative smile.

“As long as you keep touching me, we can keep doing this as long as you want. I need your hands on me,” Ava asserts. She turns on her side to look at him intently.

“As my lady commands,” Blackwall replies, pulling Ava’s shirt up and exposing her breast. He cups it in his hand and a shiver runs down her spine. He aggressively starts kissing her while pinching her nipples hard. She pauses mid kiss to moan into his mouth and then continues to make out with him. They eventually get to sleep later that night, though it was a lot later than they originally intended.


30 Day Writing Challenge

30 day writing challenge

I haven’t done anything like this, so I thought it might be fun to try. 

Day 1: List Ten Things That Make You Really Happy

In no particular order:

  1. My son (he really makes my day brighter)
  2. Playing Dragon Age games (Origins, Awakening, DA2, or DA: Inquisition)
  3. Writing – blog posts, poetry, and Dragon Age fanfiction
  4. Reading during any spare minutes I have – esp if they’re ARCs (Advanced Readers Copy so I get to read and review them before anyone else)
  5. Talking to anyone who will listen about art and sharing my knowledge and appreciation of it – doubly so if I get to teach an art program like Art Explorers or the ones I used to do for Kids Cafe
  6. Having intellectual conversations with cute educated guys
  7. Nerding out/Fangirling while watching Star Wars/LOTR/Miraculous Ladybug/anything vaguely Anglophile (see my Pinterest page for more of what Nerdy/Geeky things I mean)
  8. Going to Comic-con in Phx – maybe one day I can do the big one in San Diego
  9. Traveling – last trip was to Alabama to visit my family so not sure that really counts but last trip before that was to Prescott/Sedona/Northern Arizona area which I hadn’t really explored since before I moved here to AZ so that counts. I haven’t been on a good trip since college, esp a “dropping me in the middle of a country where I don’t speak the language but still manage to have fun”, but here’s hoping for more in the future. 
  10. As corny as this sounds, doing my job at work. I got a Masters Degree in Youth Services in a Public Library and I really do love helping kids and their families, so anywhere I get to do that is awesome, i.e. during Preschool STEM storytime, during Baby Storytime, Kids Cafe, Reference Desk, Readers Advisory, or helping out with other programs. 

Moments of Zen: Jan 3-8

This week has been really slow for me because I came home from Alabama with a really bad cold/cough/bronchitis or whatever this horrible thing is. Not getting much sleep for the past few nights (well less than normal) hasn’t helped either. This is my first week back since my trip. 

Tues Jan 3rd: Honestly, it was napping after I dropped off my son at school because we got home so late from the trip the night before. Well that and playing Dragon Age 2 after a week’s hiatus. 

Wed Jan 4th: I had picked up a copy of Star Wars: Rebels animated TV show before Christmas intending on watching it with my son but we never got around to it. So we started it on Wed and enjoyed it so much, I let him watch 3 episodes. 


Thurs Jan 5th: Watched a few more episodes of Star Wars: Rebels with my son and we both agree that Jedis are pretty awesome. I was pleased to find out that Freddie Prinze Jr, who also voiced Iron Bull from Dragon Age: Inquisition (one of my favorite game characters), also voiced the Jedi in Rebels.

Fri Jan 6th: Getting back in the storytime groove again as I haven’t done it since end of Nov 2016. Today we were talking about robots and a co-worker who was observing me today said I did a good job and called it “stand-up for 3 yr olds” which cracked me up. I had not been feeling great and it perked me back up. 


Sat Jan 7th: Finally got a copy of Ouran High School Host Club Vol 18 by Bisco Hatori, though I am very sad the series is over. 😦 I also managed to find a copy of Star Wars: Kanan, the Last Padawan which I discovered while looking for some Star Wars: Rebels books on our library’s catalog. I think it is so cool that they did an origin story from the most interesting character on an older children/YA TV show. 


Sun Jan 8th: Played pretty much the entire DA: II Legacy download and loved it. The final battle with Corypheus was nearly as hard than the final battle in Inquisition, even in Casual mode, in my opinion. I loved the dialogue between Hawke, Anders, Varric and Fenris in this premium content. I wish I had gotten the content sooner as this makes so much more sense to do before Inquisition because it explains so much of the storyline before you see Hawke in Skyhold. 

Moments of Zen: Dec 17-23

My son is on his Winter Break and at daycare while I work for the last week of the year (ok will work next Monday too). We’re going to Alabama to visit my maternal grandfather and my brother and his family are going to be there as well. It will be a long drive from Arizona to Alabama, and I still need to find some things for my son to do. Overall, it was a good week. 

Sat: Got to see A Christmas Story: The Musical with my parents and son, and he managed to sit still and watch it for 3/4 of the show. I was very impressed with that, though probably helped that we were right next to the stage. Yay for free tickets!

Sun: Dinosaur battle, on my lap, between the good and bad dinosaurs (determined by whether or not they were smiling) that my son had gotten the previous night. Oh and a Tie-Fighter and the Millennium Falcon were also helping the fight. Also, getting to finally sit down after work and relax, whilst eating salmon and playing DA2. 

Mon: Working on a new DA story, and listening to more DA: Inquisition party banter and completely cracking up. 

Wed: Finally got to see Rogue One with my parents! I enjoyed it because it was definitely a Star Wars movie – good with a lot of personal sacrifices ultimately triumphs over evil, and had better storyline and aliens than Episode VII (my guess is because it wasn’t in the constraints of being in a trilogy and therefore they had more freedom to get creative but still stay in the SW universe). The ending was sad and I would’ve hoped for a smooch, but all they had time for was hand-holding before life ended as they knew it. Also got to have snuggle time with Boo to watch our new copy of Big Hero 6 together. Yay cheap movies at library book sales!


Thurs: Work Christmas party and even though I was late, I still got enjoy it and see everyone (even my recently promoted friends). Finally finished the all-mages-all-the-time story line for DA 2, which I had never played before. I actually really enjoyed romancing Anders even though he totally betrays you and uses you to get his own way, but I stuck by him, didn’t kill him, and fought with him against evil templars (aka Knight Commander Meredith and the come-to-life statues). 

Fri: Reading volume 13 of Ouran High Host Club and loving the new storyline. The anime only went up to about Vol. 11 or 12, so everything past that is brand spanking new and the story has finally picked up. Currently our heroine is trying to figure out who she likes, while the guy she likes is clueless and the other one that likes her can’t decide what to do or how to behave. It is awkward cuteness at its fineness! I must say though that I like Hikaru better than Tamaki, even though I’m pretty sure she picks Tamaki. Ideally I would want her to pick Mori, as he’s my favorite, followed closely by Kyoya. Those are the two pairings I usually read fanfiction about the most. 

Dragon Age: Magekiller

DA - Magekiller

Dragon Age: Magekiller (Dragon Age: Magekiller #1-6) written by Greg Rucka, Front Cover Art by Sachin Teng, Pencils by Carmen Carnero, Inks by Terry Pallot, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, and Lettering by Michael Heisler

To be published: August 9, 2016

Tessa and Marius are mage killers, and we see the evidence of their handiwork in the first couple of pages after a mage turns into an abomination and tries to kill them. They escape, only to be tailed to their hideout by an elven slave coming to ask their help for his Tevinter magister master. Marius immediately turns it down, as he himself was a former slave and wants to have nothing to do with them. The elf convinces them to come and they do, only discover that the magister is not just another mage, but the Archon himself (the equivalent of ruler in the Tevinter Imperium). He wants Marius and Tessa to get rid of four Venatori agents who are aiming for Tevinter to be restored to the way it was 200 years ago, in the “glory days” of the Imperium. The mage killers make short work of their targets, until it comes to the last one. Marius knew the woman from his past, and won’t kill her. In the end,  she helps Tessa and him escape from the Archon.

Shortly after their escape attempt, the Breach opens up in the sky and rifts start forming and spewing out all manner of things. So not only are they fighting the Archon’s assassins, but also demons. After a big battle that saved a few farmsteads worth of people and going back to the closest town to recuperate, a mysterious woman comes in and Tessa is sure that she is an assassin sent by the Archon. Charter, an elf, turns out to be a scout sent by the Inquisition (the soldiers and other people banding together to seal rifts and get rid of demons and other baddies), asking them to join the cause. Tessa and Marius join the Inquisition and they are sent to the Western Approach to get rid of the Venatori in the area. They are joined by Dorian Pavus, a Tevinter mage and the Chargers, led by Krem. They manage to rescue all of the slaves captured by the Venatori and destroy the camp before returning to Caer Bronach in Crestwood to recover when they run into Leliana, spymaster of the Inquisition, and are summoned to the headquarters at Skyhold. They find themselves thrown into the final battle with Corypheus at the remains of the Temple of Sacred Ashes as reinforcements for the Inquisitor. Can everyone work together to save the world from evil? To find out, read this exciting comic. 4 stars. 

I am a huge Dragon Age fan, so when I found out that this comic was coming out, I jumped at the chance to review a copy. So my review will probably be a bit more detailed than most people because I recognize most of the locales in the comic, even if they aren’t labeled. This blog post will illuminate that further. This is a cool comic because not only does it feature the freaking Archon, a character only hinted at in-game, but also because timeline-wise, it is situated between Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition. So you get to see the Breach and the rifts from an outside character in Thedas. While I really enjoyed the comic, I can see how someone who is not versed in the Dragon Age universe would get very lost. There are a lot of unexplained parts and storylines that just stop or end awkwardly. Maybe a preface with a map and a brief description of Thedas would be a good way to ease people into the story. 

Tessa reminds me a lot of Cassandra, and not just because they are both from noble families in Nevarra. They are both strong, determined women who do what they have to in order to survive. I absolutely adored how Greg Rucka managed to sneak in a copy of Varric’s Swords and Shields as choice reading material for Tessa and Marius, it made me laugh! My favorite parts were when the “assassin” comes to kill Tessa and Marius in the town after they defeat the demons and Tessa begs her to come back tomorrow morning as they are both too tired and the assassin says “There are no such thing nice assassins.” Followed shortly thereafter when they both have daggers to each other’s throats and instead of making a move to strike, they count to three and both take a sip of beer. And of course, they had to bring in my favorite mage, Dorian to make things more snarky (yay I love Dorian!). Plus you get more time with all the interesting characters from Bull’s Chargers. 

Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this comic, from Edelweiss via Dark Horse Comics, in exchange for my honest review. 

My Dragon Age Obsession

All DAI characters

Companion Cast from Dragon Age: Inquisition. From L to R: Sera, Cassandra, Solas, Varric, Dorian, Blackwall, Iron Bull, Vivienne, and Cole

For the past couple of months, I have been completely obsessed with the video game Dragon Age: Inquisition (DA:I), the third game in the series. I currently have about 200+ hours of game time on it so far and four characters (two mages, a rogue and a warrior). I’ve finished it twice and we have the Game of the Year edition, so I am attempting to play through the Trespasser DLC but have gotten stuck. I have started a Pinterest board to keep up with the obsession. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, I recommend you check out the Dragon Age universe wiki. This will give you a detailed description about the storyline of the three games if you so wish. For a briefer description, check out the edited comic below (which is linked on the Pinterest board) from Erika Moen & Matthew Nolan.

Edited Explanation of Dragon Age

Bioware, the company that also creates the Mass Effect series (another fantastic series if you love great storylines), has created the Dragon Age games. I love the series because they have great narrative storylines, the player can get really invested in the characters (both the main, as you can minutely create your hero down to the last physical detail, and secondary ones), and yeah the fighting is cool too. Plus there are progressively better graphics (really the difference between the first and third games is staggering) and hilarious companion conversations before/during battles really crack me up.

My favorite characters in DA:I are Iron Bull, Dorian,Solas and Cullen. Iron Bull and Dorian because their witty random comments are very entertaining, Solas because the intellectual/nerdy side of me loves his character and wants to do him even though he is kind of a bastard, and Cullen because he’s so awkward and shy it’s freaking adorable. Needless to say, these are also the characters I have romanced in-game.

I discovered fanfiction and have been reading that for awhile now too. It’s cool to see what other people can create from a beloved video game or TV show. Some of the writing is horrible (not just badly written but also bad grammar – sorry but the grammar nazi in me is coming out here). Some, however, is really good and you can tell that people put a lot of effort into writing good stories/books (some with over 100,000 words – the same as a PhD dissertation, in the UK at least) and genuinely want to hear feedback/comments from the people who read their works. I also discovered that the game series has released five books and a series of graphic novels. So excited to read them!!

I just finished The Last Flight (Dragon Age #5) by Liane Merciel and thought I would share my review on here. The book is set half during the Fourth Blight and right before the Fifth. The Blight is basically when the darkspawn (a group of tainted creatures like ogres – think of orcs and goblins from The Lord of the Rings trilogy) who corrupt an Old God and turn it into a dragon called an Archdemon, which in turn causes all the darkspawn to come up from underground and raze the countryside of Thedas. The Grey Wardens are the fighting force sworn to protect everyone from the darkspawn and kill the Archdemon. The story starts out with Valya, an elven mage coming to the Grey Wardens to help research info from the Fourth Blight as the darkspawn are stirring for another uprising. The book switches between the main storyline happening right before the Fifth Blight (which occurs during the first Dragon Age game, Origins), and the end of the Fourth Blight (about four hundred years earlier). While researching, Valya discovers a hidden diary from Isseya, a Grey Warden mage and twin sister to the hero of the Fourth Blight, Garahel. The symbol of the Wardens has always been a griffon, but I had no idea that they actually rode them into battle and Isseya’s diary is full of the battles with the darkspawn as well as how her brother managed to kill the Archdemon. Will the diary be able to help the Wardens on the onset of the Fifth Blight? 3 stars.


Map of Thedas

I was so excited to get the book because it has Wardens flying and fighting on griffons, which is pretty badass. It was cool that they described a bunch of cities/countries like Antiva, Nevarra, Starkhaven, and the Anderfels, which get only a casual mention in the games. I’m actually hoping the next game will be located in these areas. I liked Isseya’s character, though I would’ve liked more information on the mage Calien and being a member of the Crows, as well as being a blood mage in general. My biggest gripe was that the story was a little bit long in its grinding descriptions of the Wardens killing the darkspawn, which took up a significant portion of the book and just glossed over most of the characters, including the hero of the Fourth Blight, Garahel.

This is how I feel about video games, in particular playing a really good one like DA: I. Add in staying up till 1-5am because I’m so involved in the story that I completely lose track of time and you’ve pretty much got me.

Video Games Then and Now