The rebels don’t want Anders with them, and he understands.
He always meant for it to be that way, meant for him to be the one the world hated. His name had to be the one that became another word for monster, because then it wouldn’t be Hawke’s, or Orsino’s, or the name of any mage in the Gallows. So he wanders Thedas alone, except for the spirit woven in with his flesh, because even the people who are free because of him don’t want him near them.
But he still helps them, of course. How could he not?
He keeps an ear to the ground, listens to the rumours and watches the shadows. He learns where the Templars are heading and what their numbers are, puts himself into their path. They go after him, eager to be remembered as the one who caught the abomination who began the war - and the group of runaway mages they were tracking reaches a place of safety, unscathed.
Sometimes, he stumbles upon a battle. A group of mages huddled back-to-back, robe