While I don't know anything about the original story that this was written for, I'll start out by saying that you do an amazing job grounding the reader in this world and with the characters. Many times, when I try to read pieces that are from worlds already established, it's hard for me to grasp everything about them and I'm often lost without the proper knowledge, but you do a great job in making it so that even if a reader didn't know anything about this world, they would understand the way it works, etc. For that, I definitely say good job!
On top of that, your descriptions are beautiful. They're not overly done, but at the same time, not too little. You have the perfect ground between them to make the reader engaged and able to visualize the world without beating them over the head with it.
Another thing that I have to applaud you on is your dialogue. Many times, dialogue can come off as "cheesy" or there because it should be there, but you make it a point to have all the dialogue that is added to have a purpose. Everything said is said with meaning, and I think that's what really drives this story along.
I really don't have any real criticism with this piece at all. I suppose my only suggestion would be to give this a read-over aloud and see if you can catch any unnecessary words that don't need to be in there. I came across a few here and there (nothing extreme, but eliminating some may just help get this to its final, polished form) that could be cleaned up and taken out. It would still keep the meaning of the sentence, but just make it shorter and more tidied.
I think the only real thing that I'm going to be nit-picky about overall is when "foreign language" is used, it needs to be italicized. There was one part towards the end of the chapter where Fenris makes a statement in Latin (I believe) that just needs to be italicized.
Overall, however, like I mentioned before, this was a very well written piece. You've established a believable and compelling world and atmosphere and place the characters into it well. Your style is smooth and keeps the reader interested and engaged. Very well written!
I just italicized the Tevinter phrases (yes, based on Latin ). You do not think it is confusing when I already use italics for flashbacks and occasional emphasis?
I don't; it's grammatically correct to have foreign words and dialogue italicized
Thank you so much for the wonderful critique! It makes me very happy that you were able to follow and enjoy the story without having played the game first and I must thank =BloodrainFireDawn and *DarkDelusion for lending me their perspective and letting me know where further description was needed!
I had not realized that foreign words should be italicized - thank you for pointing that out! I shall fix that. Do you recall any of the words that struck you as unnecessary? Perhaps I finished editing this chapter too recently to see them at present, but I shall endeavor to keep that in mind for both this and future chapters.
Thank you again for your thoughtful and encouraging critique!
I'm not certain just looking at it from a glance. They're usually really small and can be picked up via reading aloud, though. There were only a few that I recall thinking that they could be eliminated, but, I don't remember which
And you're most welcome!