Stay behind the three dealing with the Dwarf, Von caught his knife just as they tried intimidating Volshen once again. Smelling conflict in the air, the Templar disliked the ominous suspicion that there will be blood. Ignoring the Dragon lie, Calien threw out, he looked at the Dwarf, almost looked like he was made out of stone, just like the Golem behind. Frowning, Von thought up of the worst case, everyone in the camp could turn against them. Throwing up the knife again, the mental cogs began to turn one more.
"Anso was lost in a cave in two days ago,"
Remembering that detail, Von caught his dagger and examined Volshen. After his brother became missing, he remains. The Templar thought, having a notion that this stubborn Dwarf was either a coward or a caring superior protecting the other dwarfs from going down. Biting his tongue, Von would give one last push before they had to use force. "Are you a coward or just an unloving brother?!" Von called out loudly from behind the three.
Allowing the moment to seep in, Von opened his mouth once again. "Because, spoiler, he's in danger or worse ... Your brother that is, along with anyone else down there." Von spoke up, pushing himself off the wall, sheathing his blade as he walked closer.
Willing to give up his temporary muteness, Von pulled back his hood and brushed his long hair backwards. Giving a look of seriousness and determination, Von gave out the special keyword. "Darkspawn. They're down there, doing Maker knows what to them." He spat, giving himself a few seconds to calm down. "But you probably know that ... Could be the reason you're up here." Von said with a calm smirk, hoping that his silver tongue would come into use.
Giving a sigh, Von took a more calm posture. "I'll be fair. We don't know you, and for all we know, you could be up here making sure no one else is put in danger, including us. Still, there is no reason to not allow us down there, especially since we could easily find your brother ... And ..." Von said, giving a sly look to Calien. "Well, seeing how the Inquisition are connected to your King, a reward can be issued towards a certain dwarf who lets us through." He said, turning to Volshen with a more powerful look.
After talking, Von hopes that this would work. No blood, a saved brother, and even a reward. Surly that is something that would turn even the most stubborn head.
"Well, seeing how the Inquisition are connected to your King, a reward can be issued towards a certain dwarf who lets us through."
"What are you doing?!" he hissed to Von. Ash hadn't intended to lose his composure. He didn't mean to reach for his staff, nor to step forth, in front of Von, trying to keep the human from continuing this ridiculousness. Really, Ash had planned to stay still, bite his tongue and see what happened. However, he couldn't, he refused to watch this go down.
To the fade with that.
"We're not paying this guy for hindering us in helping the dwarves with something they asked the inquisition to do. He has the choice between letting us through, or losing his golem. I wasn't joking when I said that I can, and am very willing to smash the thing. As far as I know, lightning should work just fine, I doubt it could withstand more than those red lyrium guys."
Fire won't do much against stone, though. Not unless it's hot enough to make it melt, and I doubt that's possible. Still, lightning should do just fine, if it's strong enough. I've seen lightning bolts split rocks before.
He chuckled again, the situation was kind of amusing to him. Even though Ash was normally the one hiding, had to be, he could afford to not do so now. He was strong, so much stronger.
I won't ever hide again.
He barely kept himself from activating his blood magic, and instead stood, ready to act. Actually angry for once, Ash sounded about as intimidating as he had tried to make himself look, it was enough to make most grown men take a step back.
"Stay out of this if you're going to act like a wimp. I, however, refuse to let the inquisition pay someone who is purposely keeping us from doing our job. You don't reward someone for being a nuisance, you punish them. Else you are letting some tiny bully walk all over you, is that what you want? I... I'm done with letting people weaker than me frighten me into hiding."
He pointed the staff at Volshen, fire and lightning crackling down it. Of course, he also kept an eye on the golem, just in case it moved.
"Your options are these; Get away, or get hit by the leftovers of the lightning bolt cracking your golem friend apart. You've got about 3 seconds. Choose."
Unsurprised that Ash disturbed negotiations, Von's calm smile twisted into a scowl. Bastard does hold a grudge! The Templar's feelings struck internally, inspiring the paranoia to become active once again. Yet Von hoped he could recover this, after all, the objective was to get this man out of the way, without blood. It doesn't matter if he has to get an reward or a lie of one, it would save the reputation of the Inquisition.
"Stay out of this if you're going to act like a wimp."
With that short sentence, it completely broke any positive thoughts about Ash, and threw the option to apologize right out of his mind. Breathing slowly, even now the Templar could feel his brow twitch. Von curled up his fists just as Ash retrieved his staff. Not even listening to the rest of what Ash has to say, the Templar raised his fist, finally deciding how his powers would serve him. "You blazing fool." He spoke from behind.
"Your options are these; Get away, or get hit by the leftovers of the lightning bolt cracking your golem friend apart. You've got about 3 seconds. Choose."
Without a second to waste, the air around the group was suddenly blown away, and whatever magic lingered within the air went with it. The Templar knew that it was a risky move, but this would be something that will make the Inquisition's reputation stronger, and with that, the public will have a more positive mindset about them. All of these things would make the future easier for the group. Of course though, if this does not work, it is always a good thing to have violence as a backup.
"Think before you speak mage. Sudden actions will only mean consequences for all. And I doubt you will feel any better with more blood on your hands?" The tone that came from behind Ash was unnatural, but it was that same one that spoke at the tavern. "This dwarf won't move, even without a towering bodyguard." Von said, tone lighter and natural. He was beginning to think how he would hate to see a dwarf corpse that tried to stop them.
As Von stepped back in front, now he could hear an inner voice yell for committing such a thing against his comrades. Yet he knew the kind of person he was, one to sacrifice a companion than a innocent person. The question was is that the sane or insane Von yelling that?
"You blazing fool."
You sure know everything about being a fool, don't you?
Ash thought with an unamused expression. They had a plan, and Von had gone and ruined it by trying to be nice. Of course, that wasn't the worst thing he did, Ash could take some insult, and Kari had told him not to get upset by stuff like that, so he was really trying too. No, the worst thing was when Ash suddenly felt magic leave him without him choosing to, leaving him feeling empty. Bare. Weak.
"Think before you speak mage. Sudden actions will only mean consequences for all. And I doubt you will feel any better with more blood on your hands? This dwarf won't move, even without a towering bodyguard."
Oh, I'm sure you know all about blood on your hands, you...
Ash trailed off in his thoughts, shuddering, feeling uncomfortable. Not only uncomfortable, violated, as if someone had removed something special of his. Von had too. He wanted to continue, he wanted to call Von a bloody bastard out loud, and remind the human that Ash was so much bigger than him, that he could still crush him even without his magic. Ash could feel the sheathed short-sword on his hip, and while he wasn't the most adept at it, he was sure he could still use it well enough to take Von by surprise. Of course, Ash didn't attack his companions, even if it was very tempting.
What is wrong with him? Doing that kind of thing to me. And calling me mage... he really doesn't see me as anything else than that.
However, he stopped all his plans of striking back or even speaking, removed himself from the situation by stepping back -close to Kari so that Von didn't decide to actually stab him in the back or something- and putting his staff on his back. Then he put his arms around his chest, clearly trying to calm down. He even ignored the urge of stepping back and forth, just sent Volshen a glare that made it clear that he wasn't above murdering anyone.
"Think before you speak mage. Sudden actions will only mean consequences for all. And I doubt you will feel any better with more blood on your hands?"
"Enough, both of you," Calien commanded, visibly flustered by how events had gone, he paused seeming struggling as to what to say next in front of Volshen.
Volshen meanwhile had taken events in turn, Von's offer had raised slight interest, a raised eyebrow, a twitch of the mouth. Ash's continuation of the intimidation met with a visible flinch as the staff was raised, hands raising reflexively, the golem took a step forward when Von's technique cleared magic from the air. At first Volshen seemed confused, then he began to chuckle to himself.
"Next time you try your scare tactics you should make sure your underlings are clear on the plan," Volshen said to Calien, smirking broadly "As if you surfacers could ever scare an Orzammar dwarf," he directed his gaze to Von "we live with the Darkspawn, templar, we know the danger they pose, and we are better equipped to handle them than you are."
With that Volshen started to leave, pausing only for a closing remark "Kal Hirol is a site of dwarven history, I won't have you surfacers damaging it with your investigations," he said "So run back to your inquisition and tell them we don't need your help."
Calien sputtered somewhat feebly and fell silent, once Volshen and his golem had left down the tunnel he turned to Ash and Von, his expression disappointed and aggravated.
"Flames! We almost had the screws put to him," he said "Von what were you thinking trying to switch tactics like that? We needed to portray a united force, not squabble like children!"
He sighed and rubbed his forehead "Alright, no sense dwelling on it for now," he said, sounding rather downtrodden "we just need to find another way in. Maybe if we're lucky they'll find Anso and he'll let us in."
"I've heard rumors about what you've all seen, but I want a first hand recollection. You tell me everything you've both seen about these 'ghosts' and dispel the talk of darkspawn down there and there might be more 'cure' coming your way."
The worker whistled at the gold, taking a coin and polishing it with spit to admire its shine under the sunlight before pocketing it.
"For this I'd tell you the sky is green and Andraste was a cross dressing dwarf, if that's what you wanted to hear," he said with a cheerful grin, pausing to think for a moment before speaking again.
"Well, the darkspawn were mostly cleared out when we got here, wardens work I was told, and the dwarves, er other dwarves not including yourself, brought their own soldiers to deal with them," he said "we're mostly just cleaning up rubble, trying to burn away that shit the darkspawn leave everywhere."
One of the other workers seemed to wretch at the thought of it "horrid fleshy stuff," he added.
"Yeah," the first continued "the dwarves are always watching us though, don't want us breaking anything. See, there are ghosts down there, I heard the dwarves call them 'memories of the ancestors' trapped in the stone or lyrium or something like that, I'd call 'em demons 'cept they just do the same thing over and over again. Dwarves don't like letting us near them, but there's one right in a main hall where its just a bunch of dwarf spirit things gathered to listen to a speech or something."
"It's bloody unnerving it is," one of the workers added, then clarified "some of them just die over an' over again."
"Right, sometimes they have to take us past those to get to what they need moved," he continued "usually they wait until the ghosts are gone for a bit, at first I didn't know why they wouldn't want us seeing them, but I think I've figured it out."
He paused and glanced back and forth before leaning in conspiratorially "the ghosts are going crazy, attacking people," he said "its got the dwarves worried, they don't know what's causing it, but some of them are turning red like blood and going mad."
The other workers had mixed expressions, for some these 'ghosts' presented a very real fear, for others it was the sort of story invented after having too much to drink. One in particular rolled his eyes and spoke up.
"Enough of that nonsense," he said, turning to Nola "your coin's wasted on him, he's just full of ghost stories and such nonsense, wouldn't know a demon if it bit him in the arse. Sure people have been injured, but it hasn't been any ghosts, the tunnels are old things are bound to collapse, and there are still a few darkspawn down there in the shadows."
"Oh yeah?" the first one said "why don't you tell that to Morris? One of the ghosts took an axe to him, nearly cut his arm right off!"
"So he claims," the skeptic said "more likely he had too much to drink and fell on something, Maker knows there are enough old blades lying around down there, its half of what we bring up some days."
"Von what were you thinking trying to switch tactics like that? We needed to portray a united force, not squabble like children!"
Pulling back from the three, Von heaved an aggressive sigh. He had already noted the look of intrigue upon the dwarf, it seemed the Templar's hunch was right. Turning around he pointed a finger. "No, you were far from moving him. You saw that too. Maker knows how Dwarfs are, he was more immovable than the damned golem behind, and bait would have proved better than blade." Von said, his rebellious nature getting ahead of the authority. Turning around, he had already prepared to march back to another plan.
"we just need to find another way in. Maybe if we're lucky they'll find Anso and he'll let us in."
"No, surly his brother is dead. I'm finding Jarrett. Providing he can appear from nowhere, surly he might have found a secret." Von announced, his face twisted into a look of a maniac. Then without a second wasted, the human immediately marched off back to the surface, propping his hood once again over his head. "This isn't a team, this is chaos." He muttered under his breath, and internally the black tendrils of paranoia attacked the image of Calien, and the twisted mind told him, that the once Recruiter was no leader at all.
Reaching the surface, Von began his search for Jarrett, or Berund, either seem to have a good mind around the environment. Twisting his scowl back into a wild smirk, Von pulled out a blue potion and swallowed all the blue liquid that lingered inside, after all, that move to cancel the magic cost him important Lyrium.
... What would the red Lyrium do to my enemies?
"Next time you try your scare tactics you should make sure your underlings are clear on the plan. As if you surfacers could ever scare an Orzammar dwarf, we live with the Darkspawn, templar, we know the danger they pose, and we are better equipped to handle them than you are."
That's a lie, he was nearly pissing his pants.
Ash remained quiet, dreading what would follow. They had failed, and Calien couldn't pick up the pieces of what they had. Ash wasn't sure who of them being angry was the scariest thought, Calien or Kari. At least Kari always was somewhat intimidating.
"Flames! We almost had the screws put to him, Von what were you thinking trying to switch tactics like that? We needed to portray a united force, not squabble like children!"
"No, you were far from moving him. You saw that too. Maker knows how Dwarfs are, he was more immovable than the damned golem behind, and bait would have proved better than blade."
"He was this tall," Ash muttered, showing the dwarf's height compared to himself. "If we had been forced to deal with the golem, we could have lifted him out of the way afterwards."
Or just stepped over him.
Of course, Ash could continue arguing with Von... or he could do what Von hadn't, and apologize.
No use trying to keep up some sense of pride, I clearly went too far.
Ash thought, as frustrating as it was to realize this.
"I'm sorry, Calien," Ash said, looking at the ground. There was no hiding it, he had messed up, a lot too. "I was trying to continue the intimidation thing, but I got carried away, and angry, and I'm very sorry. You too Kari," he then said, turning to her.
"I know you asked me to follow your lead, and... I'm sorry. I'll do better, I promise."
"Alright, no sense dwelling on it for now. We just need to find another way in. Maybe if we're lucky they'll find Anso and he'll let us in."
"Perhaps the others had more success than us." Ash thought he might as well try to be helpful. Especially since he still wasn't sure if he could use magic. He thought he could, it felt like it, but what if Von just did his trick again? Of course, he wasn't going to ask the man himself, Von clearly hated him. Instead, he leaned over to Calien and whispered.
"Calien, could you tell Von not to do that again? In a "I'm your boss" way? I don't feel comfortable without my magic. It's like... well, you without your charm and wit, I feel helpless." He chuckled, awkwardly. It wasn't an attempt to flatter the other, it was simply what Ash considered the most obvious of Calien's traits. "Really though, I can't explain it. It just feels... wrong. I promise not to lose my temper again, just tell him not to do it. Please."
Kari let out an exasperated sigh as things fell apart around her. Ash may have laid it on a little thick, but they were close to cracking that fat little dwarf when Von started swaggering about and getting in the way...and then the two of them started to bicker in front of Volshen. "Maker-damned, nug humping morons!" She growled under her breath.
Volshen and his golem headed back down into the ruins, and Von began to head in the other direction. She heard Ash attempt to apologize to her and Cailen, but she was in too foul a mood at the moment to acknowledge it. Instead, she stalked after the human, her quick pace and long stride catching her up to him in short order. As she approached him from behind, she saw him down a vial of Lyrium; just as he finished, her iron-like grip fastened to the back of his collar, and with a heave, she dragged him into the lee of a shed the workers had throwing together.
Still gripping his collar, she spun him so she could look him in the face. "Did the Templars train you to be that stupid, or does it just come naturally?" She snapped. "You are not the one in charge, you had no place offering that bribe. Paying off that fat fuck would've just lead him to trying to hold out for more if the Inquisition has to deal with him again, and thanks to your little hissy fit with Ash, you two have utterly fucked our chances of talking our was past...Maker damn you, I've met nugs with more common sense..." Releasing her grip, she rested her sword against the shed and paced a bit; part of her really wanted to deck Von. Hell, She thought. In most of the companies I've worked for he'd at least be on the dirt trying to find his teeth by now.
"A pit opened right beneath me, barely missed falling into it. Entrance is small, don't know how deep. Plan? There should be one of our group to stay back to know what's going if anyone else goes. Let anyone who needs to know in case. I understand if you don't want to come with, but if you do we should find someone we can trust with this. If nothing else, the hazard should be noted to someone."
"Yer light on yer feet, I'm certain ye weren't in any real danger," Berund said lightheartedly. He scratched his beard as he considered the options. "I don't much like the idea of splittin' the group when it comes to delvin' into the Roads. I think it fair to say I know more'n most how perilous that can be. An' I never said anythin' about not wantin' to go. This is a Brower yer talkin' to, an' while ye won't see the name gilded on no fancy temples, that still means somethin'."
At that point, Berund wasn't certain whose confidence in him he was trying to build more, Jarrett's or his own. "If we find that the others were, well, not so successful with their own search of findin' a way through, that pit might be the most attractive option.
Nola listened as the workers bickered. Whether or not these ghosts really were down there, and whether or not they were hostile was still up in the air. But the darkspawn were the known threat. Something they knew they could fight. Still they had a better idea. "Thanks fellas." She said with a smile. "Just one more question. My associates are trying to convince the boss man to let us in. But I know enough of nobles to know that, chances are that ain't happening. Don't supposes there's a side tunnel we can get in through anywhere is there?" She asked, sliding another few gold pieces forward.
About to start walking to find the other members of his group, Von was shocked to be suddenly pulled and dragged around. Being in his current state of mind, which is somewhere between reality and dream, Von was on guard and already had his dagger out as Kari's face entered his gaze. The blade was pointed directly upwards, in a position that would make it easy to thrust upwards into the neck. For a split second, the Templar's mind thought it was a demon, so he was midway in the maneuver.
"Did the Templars train you to be that stupid, or does it just come naturally?"
Sighing and taking several breaths, Von slid the dagger back into its sheath within a flash. "Get off me. I don't car-" Von said but was suddenly interrupted by the rest of the giantess' rant. With his pupils dilated, almost smaller than a single dot. Within Von's mind danced the song of Lyrium, it was such a beautiful song, and he could not hear a single word. Shaking it from his head, the last thing he heard from Kari was a comparison to a nug.
Trying to force her hand off him, Von gave her a lifeless look. "Done? Now if you'll excuse me ..." The Templar's voice trailed off as he was released, and simply walked off into the distance. If anything, this was completely different, unnaturally different from the Von that was there weeks back before their first mission. Yet the Templar thought nothing wrong, for he could feel nothing, only the sweet sensation of the power that Lyrium gave him.
Searching for Berund or Jarrett, Von remembered that he passed them back at the tunnel. Almost wanting to slap himself, the human shook his head and walked back. Yet upon walking close to the two, there was a dwarf foreman that is obviously following them. Stepping behind the short man, Von placed a silent hand on his shoulder, and his other on the hilt of his dagger. "If you want to know something, you only need ask." He said, a sadistic tone steeping into his voice. Looking further ahead, he looked up. "Hey guys, I found a little bird." Von said enthusiastically, even giving a weird wave to them.
"I don't much like the idea of splittin' the group when it comes to delvin' into the Roads. I think it fair to say I know more'n most how perilous that can be. An' I never said anythin' about not wantin' to go. This is a Brower yer talkin' to, an' while ye won't see the name gilded on no fancy temples, that still means somethin'."
"Then pardon my insensitivity." He apologised friendlily. He hadn't expected this courageousness from Berund, and sighed, somewhat ashamed at underestimating him.
"If we find that the others were, well, not so successful with their own search of findin' a way through, that pit might be the most attractive option."
"At least we have the option." He said in a reassuring manner, Volshen seemed difficult to deal with earlier and there was no guarantee any of the workers would be more co-operative. "Either way, this is gettin' done." A familiar sense of determination returned to Jarrett, his face stoic, and words confident. This step in their mission would have another issue to address as Jarrett was forced to address the odd sounding voice directed towards him and Berund.
"Hey guys, I found a little bird."
Looking over he was somewhat baffled to see it was Von. "That tone, sounds too much like me," he thought to himself, somewhat concerned. Looking next to Von he saw the 'little bird'. "Oh, him. I was wondering what to do with him." He nonchalantly noted in his head.
Regardless Von's unusual behaviour could pose a problem but it was clear upsetting Von was a bad idea. "Calm down. We're trying to see how to help make progress in getting in." He said to both of them before staring at the worker. "We can show you what we found, see how to deal with things properly. Not jump ahead of ourselves."
"Calm down. We're trying to see how to help make progress in getting in."
Raising his hands in a fake surrender, Von smirked. "Hey man, I'm as calm as I can be ... I think" He said, the last of his tone held a small malicious intent. But below his mind, Von knew he was wrong, but a pile of negative emotions covered any sense of common sense. Giving a slight push to the Dwarven foreman, Von shook his head. Only a fool would follow dangerous individuals. But ... He though, uncertainty clouding his mood.
"We can show you what we found, see how to deal with things properly. Not jump ahead of ourselves."
"Not only that, but our dealings with the Dwarf failed. Apparently he would have responded to barter instead of blade." He said, lowering his hands with a shrug. "Guess we'll have to do the old fashion way." Von sighed, clearing the hair in front of his eyes. Yet his eyes seemed unnatural as they were flashed once before hiding back under the hood. "Personally, I wouldn't mind scouting that hole ... Unless you've already done it." Von finally said, his bitter tone revealing that he'd rather be alone.
Or is it that I'd rather not be a danger to them?
The fact that Von pulled a knife on her didn't faze Kari in the slightest, the glazed look in Von's eyes that meant she may as well have been talking to a rock, on the other hand... "Maker-damned, piss brained, addict!" She swore as the human left. Balling her right hand into a fist, she let loose a stream of qunari profanity, as she put her gauntleted hand through the side of the shed. Extracting her hand, she retrieved her blade and headed back to Cailen in a thunderous mood.
Once there she stepped in close to the Antivan, bringing her head down close to his ear so she could speak to him without anyone else over hearing. "Von needs to go." She said flatly, struggling to keep calm. "He's already a damned lyrium addict, and he's probably going to get somebody killed. Now if that 'somebody' was guaranteed to be him I wouldn't give two shits, but as it stands he may endanger someone useful." She was tempted to spit more venom, but she'd already said the important part. That done, she stormed off towards the miner's camp in search of a strong drink or eight.
"Really though, I can't explain it. It just feels... wrong. I promise not to lose my temper again, just tell him not to do it. Please."
"Of course," Calien said "not that I should have to tell him, I suppose old conflicts die hard."
Calien smiled briefly at Ash's attempts to cheer him up, though it quickly faded as they moved down the hall to meet the others, only to run into Kari thundering back down towards them.
"He's already a damned lyrium addict, and he's probably going to get somebody killed. Now if that 'somebody' was guaranteed to be him I wouldn't give two shits, but as it stands he may endanger someone useful."
Calien frowned as Kari stormed back off the other way "Well shit," he said, then turned to Ash "you're a mage, don't suppose you'd know some way to deal with this? Force some sense into him? No nevermind, that would probably be blood magic."
He shook his head and sighed, then pressed on down the hallway where Von had grabbed the inquisitive foreman.
The foreman was quite startled by Von, and moreso by the look in his eyes.
"I-I just heard something about a hazard, felt it w-was my d-duty to find out," he said, wringing his hands nervously "Th-these things don't always get reported you know."
He stumbled as Von pushed him away, then looked back and forth, unsure if he should take off running or not. As Calien approached though he made up his mind and scurried off towards the tents up above.
"What's going on now?" Calien said, his tone becoming angry "Von, a word."
Uncaring that he was interrupting a conversation he grabbed Von roughly by the shoulder and turned him so they were facing.
"If you can't work as part of this team then you're gone," he said "Just leave for Amaranthine, or run back to Skyhold, if you can't keep yourself together then you're just a danger to the rest of us."
"Just one more question. My associates are trying to convince the boss man to let us in. But I know enough of nobles to know that, chances are that ain't happening. Don't supposes there's a side tunnel we can get in through anywhere is there?"
"Well..." the workers seemed somewhat more hesitant to speak, though the glint of coin gradually loosened their tongues "There're two entrances we know about, front and back, though the back one hasn't been used since they hauled a ton of corpses out of it, I remember hearing there was lyrium in the air over there, dangerous or something."
"They blocked it up," another said "we could point it out on a map prolly."
"Yeah, er, other than that you could try finding a way through some other deep road," the worker said "I suspect you'd know more about that then me though, what with you being a dwarf and all."
"The lady might not be an Orzammar dwarf," another said, cuffing the worker on the back of the head.
"Ow, right, well if you don't know they say all those roads are linked up, and full of darkspawn," the worker continued "I wouldn't chance it myself, but during the Blight I hear the darkspawn dug all sorts of holes to crawl out of, bet they link back to the roads."
"Of course, not that I should have to tell him, I suppose old conflicts die hard."
"I really don't get it, I don't want to be in a conflict with him."
He was, however, pleased to see Calien smile, the man was probably already exhausted, given his attempts at clearing up the mess with Volshen. Of course, that only lasted a brief moment, as Kari came and whispered something to Calien. Ash, standing close nearby, couldn't help but overhear it.
"He's already a damned lyrium addict, and he's probably going to get somebody killed. Now if that 'somebody' was guaranteed to be him I wouldn't give two shits, but as it stands he may endanger someone useful."
Oh. That explains a lot.
"You're a mage, don't suppose you'd know some way to deal with this? Force some sense into him? No nevermind, that would probably be blood magic."
"Yeah... I don't do that kind of thing," Ash replied. "Mind control, I mean. I'll make sure he doesn't get to any of my lyrium potions, though." He rested a hand on his bag where he kept the potions.
"Of course, lyrium addiction is... unfortunate, since people who aren't mages don't deal with it well. It gives them lasting damage, and addiction..."
Ash trailed off. Calien didn't seem to pay much attention to his trivia, instead he marched towards somewhere. Ash's attention was split between wondering where Kari had gone, and when his own bout of luck was going to go over. The lack of nightmares and bad days from Skyhold still showed their mark, there were relatively few hallucinations or voices to be heard.
Even if... no, when I get worse, I would never let it endanger any of the others. Ever.
That much, Ash was assured of. He wouldn't even let them know. Or perhaps he should.
I suppose I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
It wasn't before he stood in front of Von that Ash realized where Calien had gone.
So much for blindly following someone.
"Von, a word. If you can't work as part of this team then you're gone. Just leave for Amaranthine, or run back to Skyhold, if you can't keep yourself together then you're just a danger to the rest of us."
Ash stepped back a little, uneasy. Not only having heard about Von's addiction had caused this feeling, but Von really didn't seem... right. And Ash knew a lot about that. However, he also knew more about not letting it show than Von seemed to do.
I wonder if I should've just gone to talk to Kari... But she probably needs some time to calm down as well.
He wasn't sure he should be here. However, when he noticed Berund and Jarrett, he relaxed a bit more and smiled, carefully, to them.
"Did any of you find something?" he said, trying to keep away from Von and the conversation with Calien. "As for us, we didn't... well, there was some disagreement upon how we should do it, and it fell apart." He looked down at the ground, then back at the dwarf and the elf. For a brief moment, he looked back at Calien as well, just to check that nothing bad was happening, and then his eyes went to Berund and Jarrett again, and he motioned for them to follow him a bit away.
I could tell them more in detail what's going on... but I don't want to do it in front of Von.
From how angry Kari had been, he suspected that Von had done something to her too, or the very least given her reason to worry. And with Von already loathing him...
"Only a moment, okay?" he added, hoping they would get it.
Shortly after his urge to see no one in his sight, the thought flew out of his mind as Kari entered his vision. Feeling himself about to spit on the ground, Von sucked it back up and clicked his tongue. "Tch." The sound echoed throughout the tunnel, the tone of disgust hanging over it. Brainless churl. Maybe you ought to ... Hmm, I don't know, gouge her eyeballs? She won't need them, just like her brain! A mental thought rang. Yet within a couple of seconds and a smirk, the Templar was confused. "D-did I say that?" He muttered, left groping the muscle in-between his eyes.
"If you can't work as part of this team then you're gone,"
Then that was when Calien came along with Ash, who suddenly pulled him to the side. What is this fool talking about? Suddenly thinking he is a leader of some kind. Another dark thought echoed from his head. The Templar placed something that was between a fake smile and a angry smirk on his face. "Ah, such excellent support, Calien. Here I was almost thinking that ... Actually, no, no. It is fine." An unusually enthusiastic tone said, eyes darting between the supposed leader and something glittering in the background.
Now that is pretty. Taking a deep breath, Von faced Calien again. "I'll stay silent this time. Call me when something ... or someone needs to be cut." He said with a sudden emotionless tone, brushing the grip that the once recruiter held on him and walked ten steps to one of the walls. A large Lyrium vein grew thick from the bottom and all the way to the top of the tunnel roof. Trying to act casually, Von rested his back against it, humming.
Was it always so pretty?
Always, my boy. Lyrium has always been pretty to us. The two thoughts said, immediately agreeing. Soon after, Von kept mostly quiet, leaning against the Lyrium, but he pulled out his dagger again, and once more started cleaning his nails. Nobody would notice in the tunnel, but underneath the nails were all red, and thin cuts of blood started oozing out with each movement, yet the Templar said nothing. Well, all except the Chant of Light that slightly echoed through the tunnel, it would almost be pleasant if the tone didn't sound like it came from a demon or pipe smoker.
Though the lands suffer a thousand wrongs,"
The Maker yet notices the smallest of deeds.
The deep dark before dawn's first light seems eternal,"
But know that the sun always rises.
Miners and surface workers alike, scrambled to get clear of Kari as she made her way out of the dig site. Cursing and swearing in every language she knew, she stalked through the work camp until she spotted what she was looking for; and work site this big, and with the potential to be going for a long time, started to collect the trappings of a town, and generally the first thing to show up was a tavern of some sort.
Pushing through the curtain 'door', she stepped into the tavern. It was one part shack, two parts mess tent and five parts shithole, but it had liquor and that's what mattered. Being built by dwarves, primarily for dwarves, the roof was more than a little low but she made do, weaving through the off-duty workers to the roughhewn bar. "What can I do for ye?" The bartender asked, eyeing the qunari woman curiously. "A bottle of whatever has the most kick." She replied, throwing some coin on the bar. In one deft swipe, the bartender swept up the coins and turned around. "Got just the thing." He said, producing a large bottle that was filled with a caramel coloured liquid. "This is a-" "Don't care." Kari replied, grabbing the bottle and leaving.
Back outside, she found a spot away from the activity of the dig and opened the bottle. The first long pull sent a rolling wave of fire down her throat. "Maker-damned piss-brained moron!"
To his dismay, Jarrett's interaction with the worker had to be cut short as Von was dragged away by Calien. He was left speechless by the interruption, at a loss of what to do until Ash approached him and Berund.
"Did any of you find something? As for us, we didn't... well, there was some disagreement upon how we should do it, and it fell apart."
"A pit with a lot of unknowns." He spat out fast so they could focus on the other situation. To say the situation was awkward was an understatement but Jarrett was glad Ash was keeping things focused. As Ash motioned him and Berund to follow him, Jarrett quickly asked Berund whether they wanted to keep an eye on the worker. "Maybe chat that guy up, keep him calm? I'll see what Ash has to say if that's okay."
"Only a moment, okay?"
"Von's unstable, right?"
"Von's unstable, right?"
"Well, that much is clear, but..." Ash lowered his voice, even though Von had walked further away. "You don't know why, right? He... ehm, he dispelled my magic while we were trying to talk to Volshen, and... then he upset Kari, I don't know what, but she called him a lyrium addict and said he was dangerous for the team. That he might get someone killed." Ash shifted where he stood, he didn't like talking behind someone's back, especially regarding something like this. However, the others should know.
I wonder, what would happen if he really did do as Kari said? Got someone killed?
Ash didn't like the thought of that. He didn't really like thought of Von dying either, even if he wouldn't mind Von staying at home next mission. Or the one after that.
"So yeah, be aware of that. He'll be... unpredictable at best. Although, if he tries to cancel my magic again, I'll make sure he understands that I'm still bigger and stronger than him, magic or not."
With that, he moved onto the hole that had been mentioned, this pit with a lot of unknowns. "Anyways, that hole you mentioned... could it be used? I suppose the main question would be where it leads, and if the biggest person here could get through it." He then chuckled at the rather obvious innuendo there.
I think it'd be me in both scenarios, though.
Although, perhaps Berund was rounder than him. He chuckled again, and looked over to Von, and stopped suddenly.
"Isn't there a lyrium vein over where he's standing?" he asked. He wasn't sure, but he thought so, having taken note of most of the lyrium when entering. One normally would, considering that the stuff could kill him in this form.
Let's see... pure lyrium is lethal to mages and to humans it would make them crazy, right? Even more crazy. That's bad news.
"Hey, Von," Ash said, and walked over."I wanted to apologize for what I did in the tunnel," he lied, and grabbed Von's hands, making sure that the other couldn't do anything with his hands as he dragged him away, using as much force as necessary. Then he noticed the bleeding -kind of difficult to ignore when he felt it running from Von's hands- and continued.
"O-oh, hey, you're bleeding, let me fix that, okay? I learned a healing spell. Come over here, though, I need some more light to see." A soft glow around his hands, Ash started trying to heal Von, holding the other's hands tightly as he could. He had been correct about the lyrium vein.
Thank the maker I noticed, though.
He prepared himself for what Von would do, though. Just in case.
Berund's concern for Von's well-being was growing rapidly. He knew Von wasn't exactly feeling great from the scouting the night before, along with the distinct lack of communication the whole while. But now the man was completely out of his mind. Berund sighed with pity at the sight of Von in such a state. It didn't take long, thankfully, before Calien had shown up to grab the Templar by the scruff and give him a stern talking to.
Meanwhile, Ash had approached the dwarf and the elf as they looked on. Jarrett had turned to Berund and asked to check on the dwarven foreman, "Maybe chat that guy up, keep him calm? I'll see what Ash has to say if that's okay."
The dwarf scratched his beard for a moment before shaking his head. "If it's all the same to ye, any concerns about one our own, I'd like to hear about it."
The Qunari's words only confirmed Berund's suspicions. Von's Lyrium addiction was becoming a problem. The words, when spoken aloud, were more troubling than just his inklings. The dwarf allowed Ash to finish what he had to say and walk off toward Von without a word. If he suspected anger in the Qunari, then he may have acted but it seemed he was just concerned. If not for the Templar, then for the group as a whole.
With Ash having left, Berund turn to his elvish companion and shrugged. "Well, suppose someone's gonna have to look after our mineral-addled friend. Gotta see that he doesn't do something regrettable. And probably make sure Kari doesn't doesn't strangle him in his sleep."
Nola nodded as the workers explained a possible back entrance. Good, they wouldn't be totally screwed if negotiations went south. "Thanks fellas, you've been a big help. You guys enjoy your game and drinks. If everything goes right you'll all be able to get back to work soon." She said settling her helmet back on her head. "Try to at least get your families something nice with the gold yeah?" She said with a chuckle before heading back towards where the group had split. Hopefully they had been as successful as she had been, if not more.
She looked around the camp as she walked, making sure she wouldn't bump into the noble. Instead she found Kari, the rest of the group no where to be seen. And she looked pissed. "Great, this can only be good news." She thought bitterly. She approached the angered giant. "Dare I ask what's got you all but skewering anybody who looks at you wrong?" She asked crossing her arms over her chest.
The tunnels echoed with the many voices of the adventurers, with tones bleeding with hope and urgent concern. Further into the dark tunnels was the Templar, Von. The young adult was dabbling in a rather bleak-spoken Chant of Light reading, while slowly cutting into the skin under his nails. The blood dripped and dribbled down onto his skin, yet no reaction was committed, for his eyes were empty and persistent in the dream he played in.
Even the blue glimmer of the Lyrium did not illuminate his mind, in fact, it only hardened the fantasy, paranoia, and rage that dwelled within himself. For within this dream Von saw the grand, glorious marble floors of one of the largest ballrooms in Kirkwall. It extended larger than the Vicount's keep, spread out in all directions. Food of all kinds was laid out on long tables, and many heroes, politicians, and leaders were mingling with each other.
Here the Templar was Selthen, second of the Von Souchet family, it was a position he had forgotten, yet here, it always remained. The night invited them to a grand occasion, and the Von Souchet wore their forest green attires with pride. Selthen stood to the side of the room, goblet of wine in hand, and hidden from any responsibility that was forced upon him. Stroking his unusually clean shaven face, the Templar wondered where his date was.
Selthen's mind raced with youthful anxiety, after all, this was the flax-haired girl who held his desire. She had been delivering fruit and herbs to the family household since they were both children, and each knew each other greatly, even if it was a secret from both families. Closing his eyes from the grand sight and music of the ball, the young Templar could already remember the days that were spent as children, running through fields, spending time outside the cage-like city. At that time, the young boy could feel understanding for the mages within their prison towers.
It was a time where everything was new and fun, the outside held so much freedom compared to his life within the city, where he was forced to endure a life of a noble and promised Templar. At this time his father beat the knowledge and skills as a fighter into him, and made Selthen drink a blue medicine, as it would 'make him stronger and a true templar' as his father said. Yet it was a lie, for it was Lyrium, the substance that gave much more than the power the Templars needed. It was this that took his youth away from him.
Opening his eyes it seemed that the open dancing was closed off, and a ring of guests surrounded the open floor. Surprised and even more anxious, Selthen quickly drank the cup of wine, but only for it to drip plenty onto his hands. "Oh Maker ..." he mumbled, shaking off the crimson liquid and stepped towards the floor where the gentle music roamed. Yet in the Templar's way was a rather large man, in fact, it was a Qunari. The large man wore a colourful robe which seemed to blend in with the aura surrounding him, the Templar found it rather spectacular, especially the fine staff that held a carved dragon on top, which only made him wonder if he were a mage.
Intrigued by the name that he called, Selthen wondered if the large mage had heard of his family. Almost shaking, he even held the thought it might be someone to kill him in revenge for what his family had done to the mages in the Free Marches. Feeling the moisture of sweat on his face, Selthen gave a soft smile. "Aha, I'm sorry, I believe my partner is waiting, ser ... " He said, yet his voice trailed off as he could see a flash of flax hair in the distance, within the ring of influence.
Walking off slowly, Selthen soon found himself forcefully pushing through the crowd which had the thickness of an ocean, each face in it showed only a blank slate, laughing and cheering with whatever was housed in the middle. Coming to the gigantic open space, the young Templar son saw two figures dancing. One was her, in a simple sundress, smiling as if she was dancing with her true lover. Yet, the other was unusual, almost demon-like. It carried red armour that sung like Lyrium, and its presence only demanded power on respect. The two danced as if the floor was made out of ice, and the Red figure stared directly at Selthen.
The Templar knew exactly who that was. It was him, the other voice, the one who dangled and empowered himself off the power of Lyrium. Von would say he started all of this trouble, yet, he also knows it is apart of him. The scene was bizarre, yet it was beautiful as it showed power beyond any human's. That was when the young man saw that the red claws dug through the girl's skin, and blood dripped all over the floor. Mind and heart racing, Von was suddenly at the heart of the circle, forcing the unnaturally beautiful dance to stop.
"I believe you meant to say, hello darkness, my old friend."
"Get away from her, now!"
"Oh I'm sorry, does she only belong to you. She belongs to us."
"I'll kill you!"
"You can try, but I'll always be here ... With the Lyrium."
Feeling the dark smirk, suddenly Von was pulled back. It was the mage, no, Ash, dragging him away, pulling him into the sea of people. Fearful of losing sight, Von kept looking, unconscious of whatever he was yelling. As the darkness of the crowd surrounded him, the last thing he could see was that dark figure kneeling, as if he were a prince. Unable to hear, Von could feel himself calling her name.
Thus, the dream ended.
Meanwhile, that dark tunnel held a darker personality. "Enjoy the dream, knight." He whispered to himself, giving a silent chuckle before looking up at the Lyrium vein, not stopping the violent and non-painful torture of its host's body. The power and song of Lyrium was most enchanting, as if the sound came from something more than the veil. Yet, this darker Von did not care, it held power, and that only meant that his enemies could die quickly.
"What kind of person doesn't desire power? And I'll make sure this one acquires a position that can burn worlds." He muttered, feeling the burning sensation that came with this body's determination. Humming a soft tune, it looked at the work it had done on the body. "Hmm, too far?" He mumbled, then suddenly a voice called out. Immediately, the knife appeared in Von's hand, blade pointed towards the voice. Yet it seemed to be only Ash, the mage.
"Oh ... Mage." The voice said with disappointment, the usual tone of Von was replaced with something rough and dark, as it this was not Von to begin with. "I'm somewhat disappointed, only if you were something to kill, or that half-brained weakling that you call a kinswoman. To be perfectly honest, I think she's overcompensating with the hunk of iron." He said, ending with a giggle. Yet as the figure of Von looked upon Ash, it almost looked that his blue eyes had become red. That or his sclera had completely turned red. The supposed Von gave one last horizontal cut to his skin and sheathed the precious dagger.
"I wanted to apologize for what I did in the tunnel,"
"Oh finally, though to be honest, I feel like we should have just simply thrown a dagger at his face. After all can't we-" The dark tone spoke, yet with a grip of a bull, the mage started pulling away. Giving a dark giggle, the dark Von gasped in relief. "So that is what you wanted to do, interesting, but it won't keep him away forever." 'Von' said, and it seemed rather strange that the Templar referred to himself as "him". Yet surprisingly to the mage, the body it dragged suddenly turned lifeless. The pupils became large, and it felt like nobody was home.
As the mage started healing the Templar, the dream ended, and suddenly it looked like as if the body became possessed, or life just came back. What was most shocking was the voice that yelled.
"I'll kill you!"
It Von's normal voice, yet it sounded like as if it was combined with the one Ash heard earlier.
"Oh ... Mage. I'm somewhat disappointed, only if you were something to kill, or that half-brained weakling that you call a kinswoman. To be perfectly honest, I think she's overcompensating with the hunk of iron."
I have a name, you know.
Ash thought, bitterly. He had to feign concern for Von, and it was getting increasingly difficult to do. Even so, he channeled his annoyance into pulling Von further away.
"Oh finally, though to be honest, I feel like we should have just simply thrown a dagger at his face. After all can't we- So that is what you wanted to do, interesting, but it won't keep him away forever."
Was I too late?
It sounded as if Von was beyond saving, although... those red eyes, was this really all Von? Or had Ash's own issues crept up, slowly?
But I feel... I feel fine.
He calmed himself, focused on the task. Yes, Von was being particularly nasty, and yes, he would definitely put in a complaint, or even make sure Von never could go with them again, but the guy didn't deserve to go completely insane. Not even if he was stupid enough to walk over to a lyrium ore and cuddle it. Von's wounds had healed by the time he acted up next.
"I'll kill you!"
Ash's eyes widened, not by shock or even anger. He just stared at Von, head tilted. Then he chuckled, re-tightening his grip on Von's hands, before pulling them around so that Von couldn't move without it hurting. Honestly, Ash wasn't sure what was going on, he suspected that his own psyche had something to do with all that was going on, but he refused to get scared.
He threatened me. Again.
"Hahaha... No. You can't scare me," he said, pushing the feelings of uneasiness away. Ash was about to continue, but he bit his lip, saying what he wanted to say inside his mind.
You don't threaten people who try to help you, because, maker help me, I will knock you out and drag you into the most disgusting and revolting pit of darkspawn I can find here to make sure that your last moment are as horrifying as some of my worse days.
Ash wasn't quite sure how he felt. Disgusted, perhaps. He had tried to help Von, and only gotten psychotic statements as a reply. Then again, why did he bother? Von obviously didn't want his help. Still, it was... well, almost insulting, Ash had dealt with this kind of thing for so long, yet Von chose to take it out on everyone there.
You think you're insane? Don't expect me, or anyone else, to go easy on you, or pity you. Not when you walk over to the closest Lyrium ore and hug it, whispering creepy things to it like it's your lover. I have no sympathy for someone who purposely makes themselves worse.
Ash let go of Von, finally, this was useless. Von wasn't going to listen either way, not to him.
"I tried," he said, and walked over to the others, standing especially close to Calien. He was clearly not sure of what to do next. Hopefully, Von wasn't lost enough to try to damage their leader. If he was... well, Ash had the advantage of range. And, given how Von was acting, he didn't doubt it'd be self defence if something did happen.
As the normal Von gained control over his body, he prepared for silence, meditation, anything, any form of help that would aid him battle the thing that was crawling, changing, grasping his head and mental well-being. Ash simply gave up and walked away. At that moment, it felt as if a held out hand was severed, not just by a brigand or enemy, but by someone who was on the same side. The easiest way to call this is ...
The sensation that Von felt next was crawling, he could feel the red-armoured figure walk heavily inside his mind. Even just closing his eyes gave him the feeling that two yellow eyes gazed back at him. The dark personality walked up closely to Von, to the range limit where he could do whatever he wanted. ("Huh, not bad for a mage, but horrible for a helper. He shouldn't quit his day job.") the voice echoed, immediately giving out a crazed laugh, it echoed within the landscape that was Von's mind.
That was when the physical body of Von quickly shuffled to a wall, eyes only looking on the ground, once more he gave only silence, and his body quaked slightly.
("Because he doesn't give a shite about you! As I said back on those battlements, he's working against you, the natural work of a blood mage.")
With that last mental echo, the personality that is Von felt a non-physical tease, and at that moment, sensed that once again. ("Feel comfortable, because once you desire power that lingers in Lyrium, or you give up, I'll be there.") A more fierce tone muttered, caressing the cheek
(" I still can't believe you forgot about me, still. Now there are no more strings on me ... Hah.") The eerie voice called within, before walking back into the black shadows of the mind. With the nameless one gone, Von stood up, his body still as water, eyes somewhat empty but flickering a flame. "I'll fight, I'll show you a fight. In my mental halls I'll ... I'll force you ..." The voice of Von trailed off as he started exiting the tunnel. The only thing that echoed for him was the other voice's hysterical laugh.
("I'd like to see you try, helpless one.")
"Dare I ask what's got you all but skewering anybody who looks at you wrong?"
Her first instinct was to tell Nola to 'fuck off', as she really wasn't in the mood to talk to people. It's not her fault that human doesn't have the wit the Maker gave a slug... After a long sigh, and an even longer pull on the bottle, she shifted slightly so she could look at the dwarf. "That human is what's wrong." She said eventually, spitting out the word 'human' like it left a bad taste. "Me an' Ash were doing the 'strong arm' approach...the kid laid it on a bit thick, but never-the-less, we had that fat little gold fucker this close to cracking when Von swaggered over and cut Cailen's legs out from under him by trying to bribe the little shit."
Taking another pull she, she wiped her mouth before going on. "You never try to buy off turds like that, it just encourages them to hold out for more. Then Ash got in Von's face face about it, they had a little pissing contest, and then Von left...all in front of the dwarf. Needless to say, that pretty much killed all the headway we made..." Finishing off the bottle, she pitched it into the inactive dig site. "And here's the real kicker. I went to have a 'word' with Von, and saw him downing some lyrium. When I caught up to him, he barely even realized I was there; so to top all that shit off, not only is he a total fucking idiot, but he's an addict too..."
Nola wanted to kick herself as Kari explained Von's newest mishap. Ancestors damned Templar. First picking fights within the group, now undercutting the guy who basically got us paying jobs? The question is, is this just the human arrogance showing through? Or the lyrium? "Shoulda just left the guy back at Skyhold, get him back out on the training field. Few days back with the grunts mighta done him some good."
Nola remembered her first real training session. Iilyn had run her ragged with her blade and shield for weeks. "Shoulda seen this coming too. He mentioned something about Lyrium back at Skyhold. I didn't pay it too much mind. I'm used to using caution around the stuff. seems like the humans don't quite get it though." She admitted, scowling behind her helmet. She sighed. "Well at least I have some good news. The workers had plenty of information for sale. They don't get paid much as it were. I might have us a back entrance to the mine."
"Well at least I have some good news. The workers had plenty of information for sale. They don't get paid much as it were. I might have us a back entrance to the mine."
"That is the best bloody news I've heard all day." Kari replied, pushing herself up. "If I have to spend much longer here and deal with that fat little prick I'm going to deck him, golem or not." For a brief moment, her expression turned even darker than it had been. "And if Von fucks us over again, I'm going to gut the prick and leave him for the darkspawn. C'mon, let's see if we can't find us that 'back door' and get this shit show over with."
"Don't trouble yourself," Calien said, though from his expression it was clear he wasn't able to follow his own advice "if he can't keep in line then we'll send him back to Skyhold, the Commander used to be a Templar maybe he'd have some idea what to do."
Calien shook his head and was silent for a bit. After a fashion he began pacing, brow furrowed in thought before he turned back to Ash. Suddenly he stopped and began digging out his maps of the region, pausing on one and jabbing a finger at a point, those close enough could make it out as Vigil's keep.
"it could work," he muttered to himself "they're all connected right? Probably too far though... best to explore other options."
"Who all isn't here? I need to know what we've learned," he said suddenly, looking up at Ash "If we've got an entrance or some leverage on Volshen. Think you can round them up Ash?"
The 'back doo' as it was proved somewhat difficult to find, concealed by the rugged terrain, but the worker's advice was simple to follow and Kari and Nola eventually stumbled on it. From the outside it appeared almost as nothing more than the shadow under a hill, closer it looked like some shallow cave, but following it soon reached a massive set of stone doors and a square cut hall. pale blue-green light was visible in the cracks on the doors, but they were sealed shut. It would take more strength than Kari or Nola had to budge them, but it was certainly an entrance albeit one that hummed with the power of lyrium.
Even dispersed in the air as it was it could prove hazardous, capable of blistering exposed skin and numbing the mind, perhaps the dwarves could resist it but not the rest of the group. This much was commonly known, and unless they could find a way to reduce or suppress the magic in the air they would have no way forward here.
"Anyways, that hole you mentioned... could it be used? I suppose the main question would be where it leads, and if the biggest person here could get through it."
"Only way to know either it seems is by testing it." He dryly said to Ash.
"Isn't there a lyrium vein over where he's standing?"
Looking over to Von, Jarrett stood back quietly as Ash approached him. The conversation took a turn for the worst it seemed as Von's instability became undoubtedly apparent.
"I'll kill you!"
Making up his mind, Jarrett thought to himself, "That settles it, I'll have to deal with him." This problem, whatever it was, was undoubtedly dangerous to Von and others and an unneeded obstacle in the group's mission.
"Hahaha... No. You can't scare me,"
As Ash went to Calien, Jarrett quietly muttered a simple "Impressive." Refocusing his view on Von and his thoughts. "But fear is too useful a tool as I know far too well and so will he. His thoughts were viscous and imaginative in his plans and as he approached Von, Jarrett wore a friendly smile, a façade which only emphasised his unfettered nature. Walking right behind Von as he was about to exit the tunnel he let out a call to him that was both concerned and sadistic. "Hey, everything right?"
"Don't trouble yourself. If he can't keep in line then we'll send him back to Skyhold, the Commander used to be a Templar maybe he'd have some idea what to do."
"I hope so," Ashtalan muttered quietly, looking over at Von with an expression of concern and anger. He couldn't help but to judge Von harshly, Ash had been worse, way worse, yet he had never acted as Von did. Not even when everything and everyone had been covered in blood, and not when he felt like curling up and crying.
Because if something isn't done, I might end up doing something that'll get me kicked out of the Inquisition. Not to mention, if he dislikes me because I'm a mage... what about the rest of the mages?
Ash wouldn't sit still if Von tried to harm those who was weaker than Ash, especially if he took away their magic.
"Who all isn't here? I need to know what we've learned. If we've got an entrance or some leverage on Volshen. Think you can round them up Ash?"
"I'll look for them," Ash replied, giving a careful smile. "I'll just point at me and say I'm looking for someone who looks like that, just female and with a huge sword. Besides, I need a moment to calm down, I suppose." With that, he went ahead to look for Kari and Nola. Hopefully, it wouldn't be too difficult to do.
Having found the workers and the bar, Ash had been told that Kari and Nola had gone somewhere together, directions being somewhat unclear. However, it wasn't too difficult to find the pair, though he found them in front of a place he would rather not go.
Good, they're still together. That saves me some time.
"Hi, Calien wanted me to come get you guys," he said, and eyed the opening, warily. "You're not considering that place, right? I'm fairly sure it would kill me, so I'm not going." He rubbed his arm, taking another step back. "Oh, also, Von had another incident, I think he calmed down now, but I'd be careful around him. He kind of told me he'd kill me, so I don't want to talk to him anymore."
Ash decided against mentioning the insult leveled at Kari, she hardly needed another reason to get angry with the human.
"Also, Jarrett and Berund found an opening we could, perhaps, go through. If not, I think we'll have to get rid of the golem."
Nola frowned at the door. Just their luck, the workers had been right. She could almost feel the lyrim humming beyond the door. Even if they were able to get them open, what were they to do about that? They could probably jury-rig something to protect the others, but between Ash and Von alone it could still probably spell trouble. She crossed her arms and tilted her head side to side, thinking of a possible solution.
She was snapped from her thoughts when she heard Ash's voice behind her.
Good, they're still together. That saves me some time.
"Hi, Calien wanted me to come get you guys. You're not considering that place, right? I'm fairly sure it would kill me, so I'm not going. Oh, also, Von had another incident, I think he calmed down now, but I'd be careful around him. He kind of told me he'd kill me, so I don't want to talk to him anymore. Also, Jarrett and Berund found an opening we could, perhaps, go through. If not, I think we'll have to get rid of the golem."
"Well we were, but if this other path leads to somewhere close to Kal'Hirol, then it'll be close enough to get there through the Deep Roads. Personally I'd rather avoid this place too. Not sure if even Berund or myself could survive this." She jabbed a thumb at the door. "Besides damn things too heavy." She sighed. "Well that was a waste of gold. No matter might as well see if this other path is any good." She scowled behind her helmet again. "C'mon, lets get back to the others then. I can't decide if I want Von to be calmed down or still crazy. One we can talk too, the other we can beat some sense into, right now either sounds helpful."
Kari was glad Nola's information had been correct, though her enthusiasm was pretty dampened when she spied the distinctive lyrium glow coming from cracks in the door. Raw lyrium was not something to be taken casually.
"Hi, Calien wanted me to come get you guys, you're not considering that place, right? I'm fairly sure it would kill me, so I'm not going.
She gave Ash a slight smile and nod as he approached. "I'm no mage," She replied. "But even I know one should stay away from unprocessed lyrium" She raised any eyebrow as Ash continued to back away from the doorway; something other than the lyrium was bothering him as well.
Oh, also, Von had another incident, I think he calmed down now, but I'd be careful around him. He kind of told me he'd kill me, so I don't want to talk to him anymore."
Visceral anger flashed in her eyes while Nola spoke; taking a few deep breaths, Kari slowly reigned in her rebounding anger. Doesn't matter how satisfying it'd be, gutting that shit-stain in public won't help things. She repeated that a few times in her head before her more emotional side began to believe it.
"C'mon, let's get back to the others then. I can't decide if I want Von to be calmed down or still crazy. One we can talk too, the other we can beat some sense into, right now either sounds helpful."
Opening her eyes, they were hard and almost unnaturally calm. "Personally? I'm going to break his spine and let the darkspawn eat him." She replied in a voice that was as eerily calm as her eyes. "Come on, let's go see the Boss." Turning away from the door, she began to head back to where she'd last seen Cailen.
"C'mon, lets get back to the others then. I can't decide if I want Von to be calmed down or still crazy. One we can talk too, the other we can beat some sense into, right now either sounds helpful."
"It's the same to me," Ash muttered, and looked at his feet. It really was, he had no intention to get close to Von for the remainder of the mission, not unless he was forced to.
"Personally? I'm going to break his spine and let the darkspawn eat him. Come on, let's go see the Boss."
Well. At least I'm not the only with the idea of feeding him to the darkspawn.
Still, he was glad he had not gotten on the bad side of Kari yet. At least, he hoped he hadn't. It was partly because, well, she had a huge blade, but also because he could get quite angry himself, if he was threatened at least.
Perhaps... I'm a bit harsh on Von.
But then again, Von had been threatening him. Ash rubbed one of his horns, thinking.
I really don't know what to do. Perhaps I should just go home, being distracted, even more distracted than I normally am, is dangerous. Then again... they might need a mage, and I don't need to talk to Von, someone else. At least someone who doesn't seem that angry.
Nola seemed to be calmer about it, unsurprising, she didn't seem as intense as Kari. Berund and Jarrett had seemed patient with the human too, so there was enough people there to do what Ash didn't. Then, Ash realized he had been standing still for quite a while, looking at his feet. That wasn't what he was supposed to do, and it would help no one to keep thinking about it. He stepped in front of the two ladies, having noticed that Kari was going ahead without knowing where Calien had gone.
"Oh, yeah, that's right. Follow me," he said, and started showing them the way to where the rest were.
Walking in those dim lit tunnels felt unusual, as if the feeling of being alone suddenly became non-existent, disappearing into the void where that mental demon resided. Yet Von was alone, and with a quick lance he could confirm it. Curling his hands into fists, he marched one, yet he could still feel it walk around freely, as if were just behind him. Reaching the opening, the Templar took a deep breath, for now he was feeling more in control, and further away from the singing mineral. ("You are wrong.") The inner voice hissed. It turned out that Jarrett was following him.
"Hey, everything right?"
Hearing both voices call, Von gave a look of grimace. ("Hmm, whats this. A tone with dripping disquiet and leaking with callous? Colour me interested ... Or rather, you.") It whispered, taking a few steps back within the mental landscape. Taking another deep breath, Von groped his face, forcing a deadpan look upon it. Leaning against the side of the tunnel entrance, he gave Jarrett a look of intrigue. "Now why could you possibly be here?"
"Hmph. To scold me, to possibly even threaten me? This group is just full of supporting members." He said, leaving a bitter tone hanging off the last words. ("Haha, now that is the Von I love!") It responded with a bellowing laugh, which echoed throughout his head. Groping his head, Von suppressed the urge to just yell at it, especially since it would only distance himself even more from the group. "Arg, fucking voice." He moaned with disgust.
"I'll tell you what, this may sound insane. I am plagued ... Plagued by a horrendous mental voice. It sneers and insults to torment. Even worse, I feel it trying to control me, both physically and mentally." He admitted to the elf. ("Keh, way to ruin the surprise.") The other Von said once more, its voice becoming more and more quiet with each jest. "Worst of all, it lives off Lyrium. To which I'm addicted to, and finally, can't do my job without." Von bellowed, giving his own self-hating smirk. "Ah, Maker plow me, for I have purposefully become a burden to this group!" He spat with sarcasm before lightly punching the stone behind him.
The Templar could tell that his negative feelings were spiraling out of control. It was as if this other voice opened the jar which contained everything he suppressed. Feeling the mental presence once again, he took a intense deep breath. "Arg, fuck, sorry, is this what being an aggressive arse feels like?! Terrible ... Ah, I need a damn drink." He said softly with regret, all the while ruffling his hair.
"Or more accurately ... Darkspawn to kill."