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There was once a tiny fishing village on the Waking Sea that was set upon by the Tevinter Imperium, which enslaved the villagers to be sold in the markets of Minrathous, leaving behind only the old and the infirm. One of the captives was the child Andraste.

She was raised in slavery in a foreign land. She escaped, then made the long and treacherous journey back to her homeland alone. She rose from nothing to be the wife of an Alamarri warlord.

Each day she sang to the gods, asking them to help her people who remained slaves in Tevinter. The false gods of the mountains and the winds did not answer her, but the true god did.

The Maker spoke. He showed her all the works of His hands: the Fade, the world, and all the creatures therein. He showed her how men had forgotten Him, lavishing devotion upon mute idols and demons, and how He had left them to their fate. But her voice had reached Him, and so captivated Him that He offered her a place at His side, that she might rule all of creation.

But Andraste would not forsake her people.

She begged the Maker to return, to save His children from the cruelty of the Imperium. Reluctantly, the Maker agreed to give man another chance.

Andraste went back to her husband, Maferath, and told him all that the Maker had revealed to her. Together, they rallied the Alamarri and marched forth against the mage-lords of the Imperium, and the Maker was with them.

The Maker’s sword was creation itself: fire and flood, famine and earthquake. Everywhere they went, Andraste sang to the people of the Maker, and they heard her. The ranks of Andraste’s followers grew until they were a vast tide washing over the Imperium. And when Maferath saw that the people loved Andraste and not him, a worm grew within his heart, gnawing upon it.

At last, the armies of Andraste and Maferath stood before the very gates of Minrathous, but Andraste was not with them.

For Maferath had schemed in secret to hand Andraste over to the Tevinter. For this, the archon would give Maferath all the lands to the south of the Waking Sea.

And so, before all the armies of the Alamarri and of Tevinter, Andraste was tied to a stake and burned while her earthly husband turned his armies aside and did nothing, for his heart had been devoured. But as he watched the pyre, the archon softened. He took pity on Andraste, and drew his sword, and granted her the mercy of a quick death.

The Maker wept for His Beloved, cursed Maferath, cursed mankind for their betrayal, and turned once again from creation, taking only Andraste with him. And Our Lady sits still at his side, where she still urges Him to take pity on His children.

—From The Sermons of Justinia II.


I’m suddenly reminded of when I worked at Dollar General and someone came in and bought some food. Cans of stuff, bread, some soda, and a jug of milk. I scanned and bagged his items, printed out the receipt and gave it to him. He took his bags, took about two steps from the register, and noticed that his receipt had the following item: “Homo Milk —— <price>”

He shoves the receipt back toward me, and says “What the hell is this?” “I’m sorry, sir?” “I don’t want this.” “I can throw it away for you…” “No, this here says you sold me HOMO milk. I don’t want no goddamn homo milk. I want good old fashioned regular American milk, damnit.” I may have looked a little incredulous at the time, but I managed to keep my composure for a few minutes. “Well, sir, if you’d like, I can put this one back for you and get you a different one.”

He agreed, and I got a different one of the same kind and handed it to him. He thanked me, and walked out, but I’m not sure I registered that he was serious until I heard him muttering about how “those homos are ruining this country” on the way out the door.

I’m speechless.

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