The Orzammar Trail - Zasalim and Teelo
The woman once again smiled. Teelo was so full of energy and youth, so free of the cares of the world and the responsibility it brought. But she knew that such a thing could not stay and exist if he wished to progress as his teacher had insisted.
He was youthful, but untrained and wildly native. He reminded her a lot of herself when she was younger.
She agreed with him, to a point. The Wilds would make any man or woman strong, independent, and powerful. In those woods and mountains, you'd be pressed to survive and forced to be the strongest. Every skill you had would be tried and tested, improvements made and new ones developed. But it also weakened you. Independence leads to distrust of others. Strength leads to hunger. Morals slip and fade, the wild has no need of kindness, compassion.
But in the mortal world, you are handicapped. you are unfamiliar with customs and traditions, language proves difficult, and trading is difficult to grasp when you've been taught to take for yourself. She knew that this "two-leg" world Teelo saw would prove just as challenging and dangerous as the Wilds themselves.
In truth, Teelo's world - the Wilds, and the world he sees as the "two-legs" world needed each other. The Wilds brought simplicity to life, but the real world brought a richness to it.
She pondered for a moment, considering what she could tell Teelo and get away with.
"Yes. I know your Teacher, young one," she said as they continued on. "He is a good teacher, a good guardian for the forest realm. He has great expectations and hope for you on this journey."
She paused for a moment, considering what exactly to say next. "Teelo, be wary of this new world you are stepping into. Learn as much of it as you can and free yourself. The Wilds have their power, but this world has its own that can shape everything."
TERYN COUSLAND - Lol, wut King?
He tried not to think about it too much. The Prince was... not unexpected, but early. He was more surprised that Theordred came instead of his brother Eomer. He had a pretty good guess about what the Prince was here for. It... well, frankly it did annoy him.
The Teryn reached the door and pushed it open, expecting just the Prince, but found his runner, Kassar offering a bottle of wine. His eyebrow arched in amusement. Had it been anyone else, he would have been deeply suspicious of the person being a spy or trying to get gain some how. But this was Kassar, more like caught in a awkward moment and improvised.
"Prince Theordred!" he boomed, bowing slightly as he walked in. "I see you've met my newest servant, Kassar."
"Ahh, Teryn Cousland," replied the Prince. His voice radiated confidence as the young man smiled warmly. His dress was not the least bit simple, but rich and elegant, every feature screaming his social status. The only thing missing was really a crown, but such things were easy to loose and rarely left the throne room itself. "You are just the man I was looking for."
The Teryn smiled. Of course he was. He walked around his desk and motioned the Prince to have a seat while he himself looked out the window and over the city of Denerim. The Prince took a hold of the motion and seated himself. "Kassar," said the Teryn. "There are some glasses over there on the shelf, grab three for us." The Prince smiled awkwardly. It was odd that a man of such a status would invite a servant to the table, but Teryn Vern Cousland was unusual.
"Anyways, Vern, how is your family doing?" asked the Prince, engaging in some small talk.
"Doing well, although I am planning on leaving Denerim today to see them in Highever. How is your father doing?"
"Not very well, I'm afraid," he said with a exaggerated sigh. "That is actually the reason why I wanted to talk with you. See, I'm in need of some support, some action. You are the most powerful man in Fereldin right now, well liked, respected, wealthy, and I believe we can help each other out..."
The Teryn placed a hand on the hilt of his runeblade, his other hand rested on his belt. The Prince was trying, he'd give him props for that. But the execution was terrible. It was time to show him exactly who he was dealing with and put him in his place.
"You want me to lend support to you in becoming the King," the Teryn relayed it more as a statement of fact rather than a question. He got a small chuckle out of the Prince.
"I see we are on the same page," assumed the Prince. "You can help me gain the throne."
"No... we aren't"
"B-beg your pardon, Vern?"
The Teryn sighed and turned around to face the Prince. "How long have you been playing this game? A few weeks with the lesser nobles? My boy, in politics you destroy or compromise your enemy and in making alliances you side with those that believe what you do, or make a deal. Bottom line, what are you offering me? What would I get out of you becoming the next King?"
The Prince eyed the Teryn, he could see the mistrust in his eyes. The boy still held on to his "cards" and did not yet realize that he was making a deal with the devil. "I can give you riches, women, horses, land, even troops if you help me," he replied.
"I already have those, dear Prince," said the Teryn. "Material items, worthless. I want something longer lasting, more... open and worth my time. think about it, what would I gain from you being King instead of... I dunno, me."
Valmyria Windstrider - Outside of Redcliffe
The Warden caught the amulet with ease, despite the cuffs she was in. She almost wish she hadn't.
There was something about this amulet. It was as if it was forcing her to stay away, not with actual physical pain, or mental pain, but it was like it was pushing her way from it. It was completely disturbing, like some sort of thing had hijacked her senses and warning her to stay away.
But she could see what it was, and was amazed by it. The amulet was almost like the Warden's Oath amulets that the Wardens wore once they had survived the Joining. but it was the extra circular piece to it that caught her interest. Her magic rune interpretation was a bit rusty, but she could tell that it worked as a amplifier to some sort of replant spell under the vial of blood. This would cause the spell to target the blood, or more specifically, those with similar blood. Which would explain why it was affecting her has well. Valmyria tossed the amulet away from her as if it was some sort of unclean thing. The action did not go unnoticed by the Arl though as he looked at her with suspicion as he stood up.
"What was that?" he asked mockingly. "You don't control darkspawn? Just what is going on here?"
Valmyria silently cursed Zha. "Except for that one. Main Horde, no. Him, sort of. Zha'Ghren, Arl Drail Hailstorm of Redcliffe. Drail, Zha'Ghren Rogue Hunter."
The Arl stood up and eyed the creature and walked away from it and towards the elf. "This amulet, what is it and why is it affect you as well?" Valmyria took a unintentional step backwards from the Arl and stopped herself as he got closer.
Val glared at him. She didn't want to talk about this, it was the most guarded secret the Wardens had. But she had to break this one secret."Wardens are unique," she began. "In order to have the abilities that we have, we drink a mixture of darkspawn blood, and lyrium... if you survive the process you become a Grey Warden - forever connected to the darkspawn and tainted by their blood. That amulet repels darkspawn by targeting their blood, similar blood runs through my veins. "
"So, you're a darkspawn, but look normal."
"I'm not a darkspawn," she said, suddenly embarrassed for some reason. "But I am tainted and connected to their hive mind, meaning I can sense them. Eventually I will experience death or..."
"Succumb to the taint and become like them." she mumbled underneath her hood.
"What do you do at that point?"
"Wardens undergo a final ritual, called the Calling. It's when the taint almost consumes us. We go forth to the Deep Roads and fight the darkspawn until we fall in combat," the Warden-Commander looked away and found something particularly interesting near her feet to focus on instead. She didn't want to go on further with that. A good eye would catch that there was some uncomfortableness with the topic, but it wasn't exactly the nature, but her failure.
"Hmpf. You seem really close on that one. Not a darksapwn? You certainty fought like a archdemon in the thrown room. What the hell was that?" said the Arl. "What the hell is this," pointing to the general and the decapitated heads. "And who the hell are they?" he finished by pointing at all of the people in the grove.
"I can't explain that," she said, snapping back up to look at the Arl. "I know has much as you do about all of this. It seems as if you've been betrayed by your nobles and generals. Deacon said something about a Templar, a Knight-Captain who could have details on this. But still these darkspawn would have to be collected and armed. You would need someone skilled in fighting darkspawn, who knows the Deep Roads, and darkspawn habits."
The Arl turned and walked away from the elf. tired of the endless conversation with the damned woman. He'd love to hit someone right now to vent his frustration. but he found his target, nearly forgotten and approached the general. He grabbed the man by the front of his armor and hauled him to his feet, only to slam him into a nearby tree. "General, if I were you, I'd start explaining," ordered the Arl, steel back in his voice.
"We had no idea it would be like this," he started to whine. "My Lord, please believe me, I only wanted what was best for you an-"
"STOP WITH YOUR EXCUSES, AND EXPLAIN THIS," he yelled and slammed the man he once respected so much, into the tree for a second time. "I trusted you with my men, my forces. You were a guest in my home, a friend in my family. Years of commitment and honor and this is how you choose to repay? Now talk, what do you know?"
"We were promised great things," replied the General. "New positions of power in the new world. We could finally make a difference in this world instead of w-waiting on you to decide what would be the b-best. we would be the new masters."
"Who told you these lies and twisted your mind? The Teryn?"
"N-not directly, a different man- b-but, we believed he was his messenger. We were to guard and keep the darkspawn a secret. but by the time the signal was given, we didn;t have enough men to h-hold them back, and they broke loose."
"Why the darkspawn?" asked the Arl.
"To cover us up."
The Arl remained quite for a moment and let go of the other man. "General Warfeild, you are hereby relieved of your command and your duties. You will be placed under arrest and held by the Red Guard until we can reach a situation where you can be tried for your actions here today."
The Arl turned next to Val. "I am sorry about my actions and accusations this day. There is a lot going on. you'll have to forgive me though if I choose to have you remain in those cuffs for a while, just until we are sure we don't have a repeat of the throne room."
The Warden simply nodded. She would rather be free of them, but understood why not.
"Captain?" asked the Arl as the Red-Knight stepped forward. "Gather those that we have here. The wounded are to be carried or on horseback. Send riders out to the surrounding villages - forify the larger ones and evacuate the smaller ones too them. Gather what you can of the army and have it meet us in Lothering."
“Salvation comes with a cost. Judge us not by our methods, but by what we seek to accomplish.”
"To punish and enslave..."