that’s what champions do, all the best characters in all the best stories. they fade in and out of the picture—and when they disappear, your heart misses the shapes they made. scrolled letters, wrinkles on the page, fingerprints and smudges of charcoal, of chocolate, that spot where you pillowed your head against chapter five for just a moment and woke up hours later, sleeping with your favorites for a little while. letting them drift through your dreams. letting them slip through your spirit. letting them line your veins with lyrium light, or duel an arishok because of a broody elf’s arcane words, with a worried apostate and a beardless dwarf overlooking the inglorious battle. turning that triumphant moment its head. lighting the city on fire. making mountains of molehills, molehills of mountains. wounding the coast. ‘massive head trauma hawke,’ your protagonist murmurs, not in your voice, but you’re there anyway. his eyes have fire in them, a spark you lit. and that’s the spell being cast in each raw scene—how it really happened, and then what it left behind.