Long Way Down
stabs herself to heal you
If asked, Imira will tell you that she’s from the Frostback Mountains, where she lived within an Avvar hold. The very same one that Astrid is from. That is how the two of them know each other. Her accent suggests that, perhaps, it’s not where she originally was from, but she’s not exactly open to talk about it. Follow what she says close enough, and you’ll find she has stories about Ferelden during the Blight and some comments about a few Free March cities. It’s more travelling than any Avvar would ever do.
The truth is that she’s Liberati from Tevinter. The mage was technically “freed” from the slavery she was born into when her magic manifested at the age of nine but never actually left the grasps of her owner. Imira was taught magic for the express purpose of using experimental spells that were too dangerous for anyone actually important to test. The first kind of magic Imira ever learned was blood magic and it remained the only kind she could cast for many years to come.
It was when Imira was fourteen that she was told she was being sent to Seheron to help in Tevinter efforts against the Qunari. Lana, a dear childhood friend, hastily put in motion plans that had been in the working for years in order to get the both of them to safety before this could happen. Imira found freedom, but at a great price. Lana made it only so far. In the Free Marches, the other girl told her to keep going. Told her that they would meet up later.
Imira’s feet took her South, to the Waking Sea. She stayed, waiting, for as long as she could, but she had nothing and the shadows on the streets that she slept on had her jumpy. They had to have recaptured – or killed – Lana. Determined not to let her friend’s sacrifice go to waste, she snuck herself onto a ship that was headed to pick up refugees from the Blight stricken Ferelden. It was unlikely that her pursuers would even consider going after her there. It was safety in the loosest terms possible.
Ferelden was miserable. She never stayed in one town for long, but the mood was a lot of the same. Scared people who were either looking for a way out or praying that the darkspawn wouldn’t come their way. Imira managed to avoid the horde, but was more than aware of the tales of darkspawn stranglers throughout Ferelden. It was not until after encountering such a group on a road between villages that Imira finally changed her route and headed West, towards the Frostbacks and ultimately Orlais. While blood magic seemed to down darkspawn, she doubted that if she wasn’t alone it would have gone over well with whoever could have seen her cast the spells.
Ferelden itself had been near unbearably cold for the Northerner and the mountains were so much worse. The coverings she had gotten from a Chantry months ago were not enough to stave off the cold that bit deep into her bones. The wind seemed to carry reminders of Lana, however, and she pressed on, never quite sure where in the mountains she was. Sleep began to evade her even more than they had before, as the demons pressed closer. They offered safety, warmth, anything they could at all.
Help came in the form of the Avvar. Astrid was the first face she saw and was surprised to find that they had actually been looking for her. The augur, a woman named Embla, had been told of her location by one of the spirits their hold consulted and had sent her daughter and a group of others to find her. It, at least, made the Tevene teenager’s joining of the hold rather smooth.
It was there that Imira would stay, learning Avvar traditions and learning more forms of magic. One in particular was that of healing, that she learned from a spirit of Hope. Imira and Hope had become one for two years, in a fashion typical for Avvarian mages. Through this process, she healed in her own way. It was not easy, but it was something. And it was sorely needed. Once there was nothing left to teach and nothing left to learn, the two split ways in the form of an exorcism spell that unbound the two from one another. The rite of passage passed, Imira spent the next few years helping younger mages and healing the injured of the hold.
News of the mage rebellion came with traders of the hold. News of Ferelden taking in refugees came from a group of Orlesian mages who found themselves lost in the Frostbacks. Imira didn’t take long to decide to escort them to Redcliffe herself. Nor did it take long for her to decide to stay and help once she was there. There was a deep feeling that this was where she needed to be. It was where she could do the most to help out. On the way, the Orlesians had talked much to her about what the circles had been like. About the Southern templars and about what they personally had been through.
In the time Imira aided those in Redcliffe, she stayed rather close to those Orlesian mages. She also managed to meet the Hero of Ferelden. While living on the streets of Ferelden, all those years ago, she had heard much about Lillian Cousland, who gave many, including her, hope during those dark days. Her blood magic was discovered by the Warden during a trip to help mages pinned down by rebel templars. Later it was called upon to pull poison out of the bloodstream of a child, marking the first time she had used it on a person since her escape from Tevinter. It proved, however, that it could be used for good.