Hawke and I will be attending a wedding. Fortunately for me, it is not mine.
Anonymous: Isabela, how would you use your powers if you were a mage? Would you have any specialisations (shape-shifter, healer, blood)?
If I were a mage, what would I do? I haven’t really thought about it. I mean… I’ve always been curious as to what being a mage is like. I’ve been told that it’s very hard to explain, so I asked an expert on the topic.
When I first asked, Hawke simply shrugged and said it was like trying to explain what pink was to a person who’d been blind her whole life. From what she’s told me, being a mage isn’t something you do, like being a pirate or being a blacksmith. Being a mage is something you are, just like how I’m a human or Varric is a dwarf or Aveline is a mannish ball-buster. But then she thought about it a bit, and told me this.
Hawke described the mage’s ability to consciously feel the connection to the Fade as a constant tickling in the back of your mind whose intensity waxes and wanes. In order to actually harness that power, it’s like flexing a muscle that only some people had the control to consciously flex, sort of like being able to curl your tongue, or being double-jointed.
But that isn’t all of it. It isn’t random when the tickling comes and goes. It can open up like a flood, especially when using blood magic or lyrium, and threaten to set your every nerve ending on fire unless you release it somehow. The stronger you are at flexing that muscle, the more powerful your magic becomes. If you use those other means to enhance your magic, it’s like a sudden rush, not unlike a powerful narcotic. They allow a mage to push beyond her normal limits and it can be just as intoxicating, which is why so many mages can become addicted to lyrium after a few uses.
The worst part of it is that the tickling can take a sinister tone to it, since the strongest mages are the ones under the loudest temptation and whispering from the demons in the Fade. The stronger a mage you are, the better and closer your connection to the demons, and the more they desire you. Demons are constantly watching and whispering - she tells me that they hold no concept of time, so they can coax and promise indefinitely. All it takes is a single moment of weakness, just one opening in the mental defenses, and the demon can squeeze itself through directly into your mind and take over. In the process, the demon tears an even larger opening to the Fade, empowering itself in your body. Once that happens, you’ve become an abomination, and may the high ones have mercy on you then.
I’m honestly not sure I’d ever want to be a mage. Sure, it would be fun to have that sort of power, but I’m not sure it would be worth the headaches or the constant feeling of being driven insane by voices and whispering in my head for the rest of my life that come with it.
Anonymous: How should a woman go around asking specific people she is interested in for casual sex when emotional intimacy and relationships are the last thing on anyone's minds and the only things she knows she really wants?
I’m not sure if I am understanding this right, my lovely. I think you have it backward. In my experience, most people feign the looking for the emotional intimacy and relationships in order to have the casual sex, and not the other way around.
Asking for a midnight docking is actually quite easy. You really just have to have the confidence to approach someone and make it abundantly clear exactly what you’re after. The only real trick to it is that you may not always get a ‘yes’ answer from anyone you ask. Some potential lovers don’t have the time, have someone else already, or just aren’t interested in what you have to offer. And that’s perfectly alright - nobody can be everything to everyone. If a pleasant evening of bent-over bumping is your goal, cast a wide net. Ask around until you find someone, and don’t be too picky. I’ve been called many things not repeatable in polite company while on the hunt, but I don’t let it bother me. If your goal is just to find a partner for an ungirded grindfest, I’m sure you’ll find success if you do the same.
It sounds like what you want, however, is to involve all those pesky feelings with someone. I must caution against it. Dealing with feelings and that emotional stuff is already quite complex, far more than sufficient to make a girl’s head spin on its own. But complicating things even further by using your honey pot to entrap a casual paramour into a relationship at the start? That’s a recipe for disaster! Believe me, I’ve been in (and caused) more than my share of emotional shipwrecks. The core of any sort of emotional intimacy is trust, and that’s already an enormously complicated feeling - that’s why I would tend to avoid it before Hawke came along. But to try to start such a relationship by misrepresenting what it is you want? That’s even worse, because you’re starting off with a lie, and that’s virtually the antithesis of trust. If you’re ever discovered, it will likely tear any trust your partner has for you apart by the roots.
It isn’t even that good an idea, because you’d be screening for crew entirely from the wrong pool of recruits. If you want a relationship, why in the void would you choose from those who don’t wish one? You wouldn’t go hiring for pirates from among fishermen. You might get lucky and find one, but you’ll have to sift through a lot of coal before you find a gem. And if you’re telling them you’re looking for a fisherman when you actually want a pirate, you’d be in even worse shape once they discover what they’re in for. That’s the sort of thing that can cause mutinies.
If your real goal is to find and build a real relationship with someone, my experience is actually rather limited. She found me, not the other way ‘round, after all. But I will say this - try to be honest about what you want, and don’t take rejection too harshly. Remember - if you are rejected, it isn’t because there is something wrong with you. It’s just that your destination and theirs don’t happen to line up. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just means you need to keep your eyes open for someone who does.