The bear and the rage demon had fallen and Jarrett felt a brief moment of relief that it seemed that momentum was beginning to turn in their favour. But not a moment could go by before he had to jump into the thick of the battle once more. He saw a mage fall from a roof and wolves beginning to swarm the area. As Kari was ahead of him and moving to the mage he rushed to the broken defences shoving whatever got in his way to the side. Stopping right in middle of the wolves he saw the abomination at the back.
"Damn cur." He would target it next. Reaching into his jacket he pulled out a smoke bomb and held it loosely in his right hand, planning to drop it to chase the abomination once the situation was safe. This single-mindedness nearly cost him as a wolf lunged at his right arm, biting it firmly. His eyes darted to his the beast and he plunged his left dagger into it's skull. "AWAY WITH YOU CUR!" The pain of the bite meant far less to him than the fact it had distracted him. Throwing off the wolf the others were fast approaching him. Kneeling down with tranquil fury, he gently placed the bomb, planning to crush it with his dash to the abomination once he was nearly overwhelmed. His mind doubted his chances of making it to the abomination unless he received aid but it mattered more to him that he defend rather than use the bomb to escape.
Von, still inspired by the burning bear, stood motionless as hair was shredded and flesh turned black. He was unaware of the events that unfolded around him. Time seemed to slow down, as ice dashed across the sky, marking its target like an arrow. Then it went and struck a mage, sending him spiraling to the ground where the snarling wolf pack awaits. It brought time back to Von's world, and once again, action would consume his life.
Stunned by the action, Von shot a gaze over his shoulder, and Kari seemed to already plough through the wolves with her sharpened chunk of metal. The raging movements swatted the blood from these hungry beings, and marked the surroundings with the crimson liquid. Turning his head to the front, the abomination was further back, surrounded by minions and the cold body that it deserves. Desire raised within the Templar, it called to him like a song from memory, and it was sung with the voice of demand.
Feeling his flesh fold, Von did not notice the scowl that spread to the corners of his mouth. "Bastard!" The Templar spat, and before he knew, his own rage and legs ignored the cold atmosphere as he moved toward the demon. Barely noticing, his eyes meet the swift figure of Jarrett in the distance. His figure almost lost among the forest of wolves that surrounded him.
Beginning to stride, Von allowed adrenaline to fuel the body. Pounding the ground with one foot, it launched him into the air. His cloak trailing behind him with the colour of a shaded forest, yet his two blades twinkled with the hope of this fight. The silver-like metal firmly plunged into one wolf's head and neck, allowing the white ground erupt into the air with a hint of crimson, surrounding the two humans. With this opening, Von launched a wide sweep that pushed the aware wolves back.
Looking over his shoulder, he noticed Jarrett and his device. "Do what you need to do. We both need to get to that bootlicking churl!" He yelled, hair now covered in white forst, and his eyes conveying urgency and passion. If Jarrett noticed, Von had placed his dagger back into it's sheath, and now his empty hand held a syringe of Lyrium.
With the demon dead before Berund's eyes, and the sounds of the bear in its death throes, he turned his attention towards the hordes of wolves that were unleashed. He didn't know how many there were, but he knew he was prepared to kill each and every last one if necessary. As they were running in, he set his eyes on one that was charging right at him. He kept his maul low as he readied his strike, and when the time came he swung upwards, sending the studded face crashing through the wolf's lower jaw.
Bone shattered with a meaty crunch as the steel carried through and practically turned the beast's skull into power within its skin. The dwarf spun as the lifeless form fell beside him and, following through with the swing, sent the flat into the chest of another animal. Its innards ruptured with a squelch as they were pierced by shards of its ribs. Carrying on, Berund delivered yet another swing. This time sending the narrow end of his maul into the back of a wolf, almost folding it neatly in half beneath the force.
A fourth wolf was already in mid leap before Berund saw it, and it was after his throat. He managed to raise his arm, saving his neck with his reflex. Though he was tackled to the ground and the wolf thrashed with his plated forearm in its teeth. Berund withdrew an ax from its sheath and fervently hacked away at the wolf's neck. It gnashed and snarled until its neck was almost cut completely through. The dwarf wrenched his arm from the dead animals maw and unsheathed his other ax with his freshly freed hand. The wolves weren't finished with him yet, nor was he. He charge with his axes raised, bellowing a mighty battlecry. "Come on! Ye'll be chargin' the other way 'fore I'm through with the lot of ye!"
Berund buried the edges of his axes deeply into one of the wolves haunches before swinging it around, battering other nearby beasts with it as if it were a club. He pried his axes apart, tearing through the creature's shoulders before flinging the bloodied mess of fur and flesh aside. He cleaved at legs and throats, his axes biting at whatever meat and bone they could. Blood splashed and spattered in great swaths around him and he kept up his onslaught. He grinned widely inside his helm. It had been some time since he had fought so fiercely. He wanted to savor every moment.
"Are you okay?
The mage Kari rescued nodded meekly and on seeing her wounded leg winced visibly. It was easy to tell from his wild frightened eyes that the mage had seen little combat before. As the wolves formed a circle around Kari the mage backed away towards the village, before turning to run towards the inn which at least was largely untouched by the fighting thus far.
The abomination laughed, its voice deep and cold, as it surveyed the scene before it.
"Look at you, scrambling, clawing, fighting to live!" it declared "so hungry for life... I was like you once, but now, now I hunger for your deaths."
It raised its hands towards the sky and a wave of exhaustion spread over the town, all at once the defenders on the rooftops began to waver, bows and arrows fell from hands which in turn fell limply to the sides of the overwhelmed defenders. A few staggered and fell seemingly fainted to the snow below. Even the group themselves were not immune, thoughts turned to sleep instead of battle, the wolves and demons right before them seeming to fade away, a problem that could be dealt with once they were better rested. The wolves that had been driven back from Kari and Berund began to circle closer, seeming to laugh in canine voices. Nola, Von, and Berund each seemed more resistant than the others, but even they struggled to keep their weapons from slipping from their grasp. Jarrett and Berund had met this spell before, and knew it could be resisted, but it seemed far more powerful than before and would be difficult to fight even for the group.
Ash felt a wave of strength wash over him as he took the spirit's hand. All at once he was standing, striding towards the barricades with purpose in every step. His arms raised up of their own accord and a voice that was not his spoke through his mouth.
"Enough," it said simply, without raising its voice though it seemed to echo through the village "Weariness may bite at your mind, but Duty will not be forgotten."
The abomination stumbled back as though it had been struck, its spell broken and strength returning to the defenders. Bows and arrows were snatched up and the demonic wolves were caught off guard by the renewed assault and driven back. The abomination howled in anger, calling up ice around it as armor and weapon, but that did not change the sudden opening through its ranks.
The rest I leave up to you Duty whispered into Ash's mind, sounding drained from the effort of breaking the spell, though proud all the same.
As the mage scampered towards the inn, Kari hollered at the wolves, keeping their attention on her. Bastard...
"Look at you, scrambling, clawing, fighting to live! So hungry for life... I was like you once, but now, now I hunger for your deaths."
Her arms felt heavy, and her vision began to blur as a wave of fatigue washed over her. No... The urge to just drop her sword was growing in her mind and the desire to just sleep pulled heavily at her. "No..." She whispered, the tip of her blade starting to droop down. The wolves began closing in their barks and growls sounding more like laughter. Gathering her fading strength, she tightened her grip and raised her blade high. "NO!" She screamed, slamming the pommel of her sword into her wrenched knee.
Her leg exploded in pain, and she screamed in rage, the shooting sensation clearing her mind. Her damaged leg throbbing, she attacked; the fury of her charge catching the wolves off guard. Two were dead, and a third was mortally wounded, before they could claw themselves out of range of her blade; but it wasn't going to last long, the demon's magic was seeping back in and fatigue was starting to build again.
"Enough, weariness may bite at your mind, but Duty will not be forgotten."
An unfamiliar voice sounded behind her, and the demon's spell seemed to vanish; instead she found herself imbued with new energy. Adrenalin overriding the pain, she turned her attention away from the recoiling wolves and towards their master. Splattered with the blood of the first three wolves, she cut down several more as she rushed towards the demon, bellowing at the top of her lungs.
Crashing into the abomination, she shattered chunks of its armour with her heavy blow, staggering it. "I'M GOING TO SEND YOU BACK TO THE FADE WITH YOUR HEAD SHOVED UP YOUR OWN ASS!"
The Elf and Templar were surrounded by wolves. Growling, begging for their flesh, wanting to drink their very life essence. Von's thoughts turned to fear, these were not ordinary wolves of course, they were twisted by the dark minds from the fade. Yet, it was worse, as the abomination were only a few meters away. Remembering the almost flesh-ripped mage, Von's eyes darted around the place, but he finally looked down and found himself holding a syringe.
It was not a health concoction, but it held the glowing blue liquid that meant power for mages and Templar alike. Yes, it would serve its purpose, but for Von, it would require sacrifice and gain him consequences. Lyrium was important in Kirkwall, it was practically a drug to the Templar profession, and even his own family almost worshiped it. What made this worse, was that Lyrium intake was mandatory in his training. Of course though, they would take more and more as the Mage rebellion came close.
So, an addiction was formed within Selthen Von Souchet.
The source of only the smallest of his problems.
Trying to fight off the urge for power, the Abomination bellowed above them.
"Look at you, scrambling, clawing, fighting to live!" it declared "so hungry for life... I was like you once, but now, now I hunger for your deaths."
A air of exhaustion was spread. Planting seeds of defeat within this battle. Being one resistant to magic, Von kept his sword out to ward off the wolves. Yet, their laugh tried to mimic a sadist as they came ever closer to the duo. "Heed me, beasts ... I ... I will ..." His voice trailed off in defeat, as his hand started to lower the sword of his profession. The fatigue was increased, and each breath every figure took became ragged. This was not a battlefield, it was the beginning of a massacre.
Yet, one would not allow this.
"Weariness may bite at your mind, but Duty will not be forgotten."
A mythical voice boomed through the air, renewing the life of each combatant. Von looked up from his personal defeat, and could see the horizon beyond this battle. His eyes closed down on the Abomination, a figure that dared to look down upon not just humanity, but all life on Thedas. "My duty ... my duty is to eradicate the foul-spawn of the fade!" The Templar roared, which echoed throughout the battlefield. Immediately, the hand that carried the blue, glowing poison was thrust to Von's sword arm. The syringe found its home and leaked the power into him.
With energy and power flowing through him, the Templar raised into a sprint. Spotting the raging Kari stagger the demon, Von internally thanked her as he followed up with stab through the unprotected flesh. Within seconds, Von raised his left, empty hand and cried to the sky. "Meet your Maker, and witness the wrath of his Heaven!" Von cried. The clouds above were pierced by a blinding pillar of light and it slammed directly onto the abomination. It was now left open.
Pulling his sword, Von jumped back but landed on his knees. Gasping for air, the power in his body was taken by his Lord, yet he would not allow him to push his confidence away. "Attack!" His voice screamed in command.
All of a sudden, Ash was out of the fade, in the battle-field, feeling the cold again, as well as an odd, unusual strength. However, the far more peculiar feeling was that of his own body moving with conviction and purpose in every step. Ash was unable to move, and for the briefest moment he tried to resist, but it did nothing.
It'll be fine.
This wasn't a demon, it was a spirit, it had no interest in staying in his body. It was simply... borrowing it, though that was odd itself. He felt his own hands move, and then Ash spoke, or rather, Duty spoke. It didn't sound like him, and Ash supposed that was a bit comforting, the thought of Duty taking over everything he was, even for a brief moment, was unsettling.
"Enough. Weariness may bite at your mind, but Duty will not be forgotten."
Ash felt that something was happening, but he wasn't sure what. He hadn't felt anything, or perhaps he simply had an issue telling it apart from the rest. Whatever this weariness was -it had apparently caused several people to fall over, asleep or dead- it was disappearing from the faces of those there, and weapons were gripped.
I think I... we, yeah, we did something very good.
As if Duty had left, he felt the control over his body, but if the spirit had left, some effects still lingered, Ash felt stronger.
The rest I leave up to you.
He wondered if Duty could hear his thoughts, or if he had just been talking to himself, although... had the spirit heard the other thoughts too? Would it leave, or was it going to stay until the abomination had dropped dead, to know that its duty had been fulfilled? It didn't matter, Ash still felt some of it, that duty, mixed in with the power, and a strange bit of pride. Duty was a strange feeling, heavy, unlike most of what Ash dealt with, because he tried not to linger on the heavier emotions, the ones that would have tied him down to something. They tended to be limiting and crippling. This was... different, however, though he couldn't have told anyone how.
Feeling this power well up in him, Ash knew that he would have to act, else he would regret it. With one hand raised, he started summoning lightning. It sparked, if it hadn't been his own he was sure it would have been painful for it to be so close. However, instead of casting the spell, he let it charge up, more lightning appearing around him, hair starting to stand up.
"I would recommend," he started, loudly, letting the others know that he was preparing to cast a spell. They probably didn't need to know that, though. "That you move out of the way!" He would give them a few seconds. And then, regardless of who stood in the way, he would unleash a powerful lightning spell, making sure to end it.
The dwarf's arms grew burdensome, his legs were like stone. He pushed through the fatigue as best he could, though with all the energy he'd expelled it was just a matter of time. He breaths became short and ragged. He was forced to drop his axes and remove his helm, else he would've suffocated. He drew in the crisp air more easily, and already his head became clearer. As did his vision. Suddenly they focused on a white blur that charged him. Berund was felled once again. It seized his arm between its jaws and thrashed. Another beast began pulling and gnashing at his leg. He swatted at them repeatedly with no avail. He was far too weary...
"Weariness may bite at your mind, but Duty will not be forgotten."
Berund heard this voice, as clear as day. His eyes, once heavy, were now wide with focus. His leaden arms were now restored to their former strength. It was with this strength, he struck the wolf that was on his arm. His closed fist pummeled the beast's nose and it released its hold. Not allowing it a second chance, the dwarf tightly grasped each of the animal's jaws and began to pull them further apart. "We'll see what ye can bite after this!" Muscles tore and bone crunched as the wolf's lower jaw was wrenched from its place and left to hang freely from the beast's skull. The creature whimpered and writhed in agony on the cold ground.
With a heavy boot, the dwarf kicked the other wolf from his leg. A second harsh kick and the wolf was dazed as its snout was nearly crushed. Berund grasped an ax and swiftly sent the edge into the wolf's skull and it went limp, lifeless. His immediate troubles were taken care of, but there was still some fighting to be had.
Nola let out a yelp of pain as a blur of white and red locked around her shoulder. The wolfs fang sunk into her, piercing through armor to join the wounds the drake had inflicted. She brought the other end of her ax up, sinking the three-pronged spike into the wolfs skull. She breathed heavily her shoulders slumped. This battle was even beginning to take a toll on her. She could feel her strength beginning to wain, like a dying fire in a forge.
Well, looks like I'll be returning to the Stone tonight. Shame, hopefully my ancestors need more smiths. She thought be ginning to resign herself to her fate.
"Weariness may bite at your mind, but Duty will not be forgotten."
Nola didn't so much hear the voice as feel it. Fresh coal for the forge, the bellows pumping again. Her wounds no more than small burns again she raised her shield and ax, matching the glares of the few wolves circling her. "C'mon flea bags....let me show you what's kept the darkspawn at bay for so long." She would leave the Abomination to Kari and Ash, she would keep the insects from biting.
Backed up by Von, Jarrett had his opening. However this ray of hope began to be covered as the abomination raised it's hand.
"Look at you, scrambling, clawing, fighting to live! So hungry for life... I was like you once, but now, now I hunger for your deaths."
With this act Jarrett began to collapse. The wave of exhaustion was all too familiar, a spell cast by the abomination. "Hmmph, mere bravado!" Concentrating on the wound of his right arm, Jarrett tightened his right hand, hoping to use the pain to focus him. He fought the spell as best as could but he was stuck on the defensive.
"Weariness may bite at your mind, but Duty will not be forgotten."
An new feeling swept over Jarrett but he knew what it was. Silently nodding his head in thanks, Jarrett slammed his right foot down, crushing the smoke bomb and leaping off of it. The area was instantly covered it smoke, allowing Jarrett and Von the advantage. Rushing towards the abomination and meeting it within seconds, Jarrett positioned himself underneath it's right arm. With as much strength as Von and the aid Ash summoned, he aimed to impale the abomination's right hand with his left dagger before moving behind it.
Ash counted quietly inside his mind, as he waited, not even looking at the battle-field now. He had closed his eyes, focusing on letting the mana build up, keeping it all under-control.
They had heard him, had they not? Hopefully they would have moved away enough, though he couldn't help but not care too much of it. Perhaps it was Duty's interference, willing him to kill the abomination and the demon, wanting him to end it for it, so that it could fix its failure. Perhaps, even with control over his own body, it still saw Ash as simply a tool.
Ash listened to the fighting, had it quieted down? He wanted to open his eyes, but he feared that the moment he did, everything would be wrong. What if this was all an elaborate... ploy. What if it was no spirit he had accepted, but the Sloth Demon in disguise? Hadn't he been really foolish about it. He shook his head, no time to think, no time to doubt. He couldn't doubt.
At the three, he opened his eyes, taking the briefest moment to make sure he was aiming correctly, the demon was completely open. "DIE!" he shouted, and lightning struck, from him, from the sky, bright white and blue, terrifyingly loud. It wasn't as much a bolt as it was a spear, concentrated lightning no thicker than a couple of inches, though the air around it shook, violently. As it hit the demon and the ground, one could feel movement. Then, it was over, suddenly the bright electricity disappeared, leaving only the light from the fires and the stars again.
There you go.
He thought, smugly. It had to have been enough, he felt himself shaking from both excitement and exhaustion. He had never felt so much power in his hands, and never seen such a bright night. The air still felt like it bore the sparks of the lightning-bolt. Electrifying.
There's your closure, Duty.
The wolves fell in droves before the renewed assault, the ranks of the demonic beasts breaking and scattering leaving a clear path to the abomination. For the first time its eyes were lit by fear, and it stumbled backwards throwing up frail walls of ice at its attackers. Snarling angrily at the wolves who fled around it it was barely able to throw up a shield in time to absorb Von's attack, though it stumbled back as the pillar of light shattered its barrier.
A blast of energy threw back Von, but he was far from the only one attacking the demon, and it was driven steadily back, its ice armor crumbling before the onslaught. Still it defended itself with tooth and claw, fighting now like a wild beast until it felt the gathering power of Ash's spell.
Lunging out with one clawed hand it attempted to fend off the blast, but Jarrett's dagger caught its hand and broke its concentration. Eyes widened in panic as the lightning struck it. For a brief moment the night was broken by an intense flash of blue-white light and then it was over. The abomination's smoking form collapsed to the ground and as humanity returned to its eyes a whisper of "thank you" could be heard before it finally expired.
Cheers went out from the defenders, and without their leader the remaining wolves were slaughtered or driven off into the mountains. For many the immediate response was to head to the inn to drink to their victory, but others set about making repairs or checking on the livestock. The battle was over but the rebuilding had only started.
As the chaos settled Jacques and a few of the other mages made their way out to the body of the abomination. On seeing the tattered robes it wore Jacques fell silent. After a long moment he spoke.
"David," he muttered, trembling slightly "He is, was, one of mine. The... the templars followed us across the mountains and we set off an avalanche to stop them. We... underestimated how much would come down, he and a few others were lost, I... I had thought he was dead. Now I suppose he is."
He turned to the others "If... if you will allow it I would give him a proper funeral," he said "then I think we will stay here a while, help these people recover from this. I see no other recourse for us, the way the world is I cannot imagine anyone else would take us in."
Ash felt a strange elation coming from Duty it is done. Now I must seek a new task worthy of me. Unless... For a moment Ash felt a grasping, choking, feeling from Duty as though the spirit was struggling with itself, its pride in having accomplished the task set before it. Then just as suddenly it faded.
No, I will not become what I have fought against. Such would be the greatest failing I could reach. I thank you for your offer to help me find another duty for myself, but I feel that such a task should be left to myself alone. Goodbye shaman, I wish you luck in your struggles. With that the spirit was gone, and with it the boost of energy it had provided leaving Ash quite worn out. The world even looked rather faded, as though color had left it, though this like the tiredness would be erased by rest.
It was done, Ashtalan couldn't help but smile to himself when he noticed it. It was so amazing, who else could speak of doing what he had just done? However, then everything went wrong.
It is done. Now I must seek a new task worthy of me. Unless...
Ash's felt strangled, there was a grasping, choking sensation coming from Duty. Something was wrong, something was almost happening. The spirit felt at its pride, and Ash couldn't even bring himself to think, it was terrifying, was Duty going to turn into a Pride Demon? Abandon all it was? And then Ash realized that it wasn't only that, it wasn't only considering becoming a demon, but also taking over his body. Ash would be unable to stop it, he had let it in willingly. Ash had no chance to stay who he was if Duty decided to embrace Pride.
All he had gone through with the Sloth demon, and... and he would lose himself just like this.
Then, The feeling faded.
No, I will not become what I have fought against. Such would be the greatest failing I could reach. I thank you for your offer to help me find another duty for myself, but I feel that such a task should be left to myself alone. Goodbye shaman, I wish you luck in your struggles.
When Ash felt the spirit leave him, he almost cried out in relief, even though he was exhausted, visibly shaking at the sudden strength leaving him. It took him some time to get propped up on the nearest wall, trying to slow his breath as his heart drummed in his chest.
Thank the maker.
Sweat ran down his forehead, and he wiped it away, pushing some of his fringe back as he relished the full control of his own body, and the lack of a presence inside his body and mind other than his own. Even the Sloth demon had taken a step back, likely unwilling to get caught up in what had happened. For the first time in a while, everything felt... real. So real that he wanted it to stop, he had almost given up everything he was on a whim. He kept shaking, giving himself some time to gather himself.
I'm going to need a drink.
Could he drink without the hallucinations now? How long would it be until the Sloth demon noticed that he was alone again? Would Duty truly leave him alone now? Ash rubbed his eyes, people were walking past him into the inn, while the mages spoke of the one that had gotten possessed. Ash didn't want to think about it, just thinking that he could have become that made him feel sick to his stomach. Yet, that foolish curiosity drove him forth, to look at the remains of the abomination. He looked at the robes, and the other mages, he had questions and things he felt a need to say, but he would wait. Now wasn't the time.
I'll do it later. Right now... I can't. I can't bring myself to talk.
Passing the other members of the group, he smiled, weakly. However, he didn't speak, only looked to his feet and continued towards the inn and into it, muttering to Marsha that he wanted a drink, and settling in the darkest corner there, burying his face in his hands.
She knew she'd connected with the demon, but the wolves had surrounded her, preventing her from carrying though her attacks. Fortunately Von and Jarrett didn't have that problem as she saw Jarrett connect out of the corner of her eye; moments later, their attacks were followed by a brilliant bolt of lightning that burned the demon to a crisp. With their Master dead, the wolves fled from the village leaving the ground marked with many of their dead; as Kari took stock she realized she was surrounded by the bodies of at least another dozen or so animals.
Kari's jubilant cry joined that of the villagers, but as she turned back to make her was to the inn her much abused knee collapsed after only a few paces, dropping her into the blood stained snow. She lay there staring up at the sky, her leg throbbing, feeling totally spent, and wondering if anybody even realized she was still out there. "Far be it from me to judge." Came a deep male voice from just of eyesight. "But you might find the inn a tad more comfortable." "That sounds grand." She replied, shifting her head a bit to see the man who'd identified himself as the blacksmith earlier, approaching. "My leg on the other hand, had a different idea." The smith laughed, and crouched down on her bad side, helping her up and bracing her as she limped toward warmth.
Once in the inn her leg was tended to by a mage, while the smith disappeared towards his forge with her blade. Now fed, warm and with a slight buzz, she laughed and celebrated with the mages and the villagers as they reveled in their victory. "Just think!" She exclaimed to a group of defenders. "The next group of sodding bandits who think a little place like this'll be an easy mark, will be in for a nasty shock." They defenders cheered, and they all raised their cups. Kari finished her drink and excused herself, limping slightly towards Ash, the mage who'd healed her had said the knee would probably be a bit stiff for a few days. She'd spotted Ash when she'd first come back, and she realized he wasn't the most sociable type, but it seemed like he was deliberately trying to avoid the celebration. Dropping herself into a chair across from him, she rapped on the table with her knuckles. "So, what's eating you?"
Ash hadn't looked up before someone knocked on the table, and was surprised to see both that a cup of ale and Kari sat in front of him, the former likely having arrived while he was trying not to think of... well, anything.
"So, what's eating you?"
"It's nothing," he said as he took a sip of the ale, though his expression betrayed him. It was somewhere between extremely fatigued, worried and shocked. The taste of ale, although familiar, seemed different, more pleasant, though there was also something sickening to it. Even so, he finished the cup in another mouthful.
"Really, I'm... I'm fine. It's just... I'm... tired." His voice broke at the last part, and Ash smiled a pained smile. "You guys did a good job, though, sadly I didn't get to see most of the fight. I was playing around in the fade," he chuckled. "Just... playing around. Only..." he closed his eyes, and breathed in, slowly, hand gripping at the cup. Kari would understand that it wasn't his fault, right? Or...? He looked at her, biting his lip.
She didn't care about the blood magic thing.
None of the others had. Openly, at least. Still, he sighed, and looked at the table as he spoke, eyes fixed on the uneven wood.
"... the duty spirit almost turned into a pride demon. While inside of me. I was... I was the whim of a spirit away from getting possessed. It was... I could feel it considering it, tasting at the opportunity to take over my body, and I was powerless to do anything. I wouldn't have been able to warn you, or any of the others..." He was already speaking in a quiet voice, but by the end it was merely a whisper.
"I think the worst thing is that I've spent 10 years fighting off another demon, a sloth demon. It forced me into a desperate situation when I was younger, and I had no way out apart from taking its offer and learn blood magic. I thought the price it asked for was... very very small, but it tricked me. Night after night, nightmares, so many that they blend with the day and there are days I don't know if were true or if they were simply nightmares. All of this... and I'm still me. But all it takes is a spirit feeling pride in following its purpose, letting it feel at controlling my body, and I'm nearly an abomination... I..." He had to keep tears from welling up in his eyes, a dark pit in his stomach and chest.
"It's just so bitter... perhaps it doesn't matter, whatever I do. I'm tired, you know. So... very very tired. I don't know how to give up, but sometimes I wish I did." He took another breath, and looked at her.
"I'm sorry, but you asked," he smiled, still feeling miserable. While he was looking towards her, his eyes flickered, as if he was still trying to compose himself. "I... I don't know what else to say."
Kari sat quietly, at times straining to hear Ash, as he vented. Well damn... She thought, keeping her expression neutral, while she took a drink from a cup that Marsha had just brought her. And here I was thinking it was just post fight nerves. She sat in silence for a few moments, never breaking eye contact with Ash, while she composed her thoughts.
"You took a gamble, and it paid off." She said finally. "The same type of gamble I take whenever I pick up my sword. 'Will I live through this?' In your position, I probably would've done the same thing; I mean I don't know about the others, but I sure as shit never fought a demon before this, so we needed every edge we could get. Yes it did nearly go bad, but life is full of close calls...you should see some of the scars I've got...you can't worry about the 'might-have-been', instead focus on the 'kicked a demons ass!' part." She said with a grin.
"As for the sloth demon...stop beating yourself up over your choice. Sure you got fucked over, but you can't change the past...think of it this way, of all the mages in Thedas it could've gone after, it had to target a scared kid. Is that really a being worth being afraid of? You've held it off for this long, you can hold it off longer; imagine its frustration when you finally die an old man, and it realizes it spent all that effort for nothing." Reaching out, she clasped one of Ash's hands. "So if you can't get the prick to leave, fuck with it instead."
Close enough to the fight, Von could see it continue.
Lightning dragged through the air, carrying the power of its creator. Looking onto the Abomination, Von's lower half started to shake, aching with the urge to get up. Yet, on his knees, Von could now feel the fresh feeling of blood tainting his pants. It had made him bite his lip, but what he did see was the hard work of the swift Jarrett, whom fought the demon with no fear, enough to almost make the Templar's mind wonder.
Unknowingly, a blast of energy was shot from the demon, throwing Von away as if he were only a leaf on a busy path. Darkness quickly came ...
Feeling the pinch of pain, and the leaking blood, Von opened his eyes quickly. The snowy setting surrounded him. Dark trees stand tall, and snow covers all evidence on the ground. Nothing was around him, and he knew not where was. Pain fought back, dragging Von's eyes downward, where a branch stuck out from his stomach. Feeling his breath cut short, the recovering body started to bellow out white mist into the air.
Deep within the mind, the Templar part of him was thinking, but the instincts of humanity overpowered him as panic settled in. Urging himself to plea to his surroundings, hoping that someone would find him, his eyes stood still on a figure that made them open wide. "Selthen." A gentle voice graced his ears. Flax-coloured and a smile like the unique Free Marches sun, Von's mind calmed down, but his heart ached. "You ..." Voice trailed off, pupils adjusting to this sight.
With a white sundress and bare feet, the girl in front of him moved with a dance-like touch, until she sat at his side. "So, Selthen, what have you been doing?" Her spirit-like voiced muted the pain within Selthen's body, and he immediately explained all. About how he desired to join the Inquisition, about his new friends, and how he missed her.
Nodding, the girl softly grazed her hand over Von's cheek. "But, what is my name?" She asked. This was a sudden question, and Von's brain was only directed to emptiness, the information lacking, like if it was a black tumor that laid within his mind. "I don't know." He sadly admitted, knowing that his mouth formed a shape with no emotion. "But-" Von started to talk, but as his head moved, that girl was nowhere.
Instead, howls filled the night as suddenly, wolves had surrounded him, and a green portal buzzed with great, foreign power in front of him. A figure stepped forward, and it looked like a stick. From training he knew, terror, Von's minded repeated. Not going to die on the cold unforgiving ground, Von immediately pulled out his dagger, feeling the striking anger rise up in him. Summoning the dagger's lightning properties, the Templar let out a blood-curdling yell.
Yet, when he turned his dagger on these enemies, nothing dwelled there. Not even the snowy ground was disturbed. Lowering his dagger, his eyes looked to his stomach, no injury, only the syringe that stuck out from his arm. Calm at the sight of lack of injury or demon, Von could hear the sound of the village. Gazing to his side, he were only a couple of meters in the woods. Sighing, he pulled the syringe, stepped off from the ground, recovered his sword and walked to the Inn.
One question lingered.
"What was that?"
Walking into the Inn, the Templar looked like as if a spirit struck through him, for all of his skin was pale as if the sun never touched him. With blades at his side, and cloak flowing behind him, Von quietly flowed to the table where Kari and Ash sat at, and he said nothing. Except his face talked for him, one word, terror.
"You took a gamble, and it paid off. The same type of gamble I take whenever I pick up my sword. 'Will I live through this?' In your position, I probably would've done the same thing; I mean I don't know about the others, but I sure as shit never fought a demon before this, so we needed every edge we could get. Yes it did nearly go bad, but life is full of close calls...you should see some of the scars I've got...you can't worry about the 'might-have-been', instead focus on the 'kicked a demons ass!' part."
Ash nodded, though he couldn't help but still let it bother him.
"I know, it just... feels like I got a taste of my future, when the spirit moved my body and spoke through my mouth. The almost getting possessed thing was a bit too sudden, I suppose." He still spoke in a hushed tone, this wasn't something he wanted to speak about freely in front of this many people.
"As for the sloth demon...stop beating yourself up over your choice. Sure you got fucked over, but you can't change the past...think of it this way, of all the mages in Thedas it could've gone after, it had to target a scared kid. Is that really a being worth being afraid of? You've held it off for this long, you can hold it off longer; imagine its frustration when you finally die an old man, and it realizes it spent all that effort for nothing. So if you can't get the prick to leave, fuck with it instead."
But I won't die an old man.
He had neglected to mention that it kept getting worse, that the bottom result wouldn't be Ash giving up, but rather becoming too crazy to know what was up and down, and accepting it out of a pure lack of sanity. However, he was feeling better, and he chuckled, his smile warmer and demeanor more calm. Just talking about it, with someone, anyone, had helped him. He was still sure of his impending future of becoming an abomination, no doubt about that, but it made sense not to linger on it. They had just taken care of a demon, with the drake and the wolves, the pay to be pretty decent.
"Thanks, Kari," he said. "I--"
He trailed off when he saw Von's face. The horror on the man's face was enough to render him speechless for a brief moment. Then he smiled again, this time comfortingly. "Looks like I'm not the only one having a bad night. S--- a friend of mine, the best and only I've ever had," he started, wiggling his hand out from Kari's grasp. He couldn't bring himself to say the name out loud, else he'd spend the rest of the night thinking about the past.
"My friend, would always look at me, when I had been having a nightmare, or something else bothered me, and say: "Ash, you're adorable when you're pouting like that, but I'd much rather see you smile." He would reach out, and put his forehead against mine, and ask me to pass onto him the things that worried me, like this," he reached out for Von's head, carefully and comfortingly putting the lower part of his forehead against Von's. Whether the other struggled or not, he still spoke, eyes closed.
"I don't know what's bothering you, but it's fine, you don't have to talk, you can pass it onto me. I'll carry your worries, I'm bigger than you, after all." Ash's voice was calm as he spoke, friendly, his forehead and hands warm to the touch. "Don't worry, everything will be fine, you can relax." He waited for a reaction, knowing that his own feelings betrayed what he spoke of, that it might have been a good idea to follow what he preached.
The abomination laid slay and the village safe, and Jarrett grinned emptily at it's corpse even as it's former companions mourned.
"He is, was, one of mine. The... the templars followed us across the mountains and we set off an avalanche to stop them. We... underestimated how much would come down, he and a few others were lost, I... I had thought he was dead. Now I suppose he is. If... if you will allow it I would give him a proper funeral, then I think we will stay here a while, help these people recover from this. I see no other recourse for us, the way the world is I cannot imagine anyone else would take us in."
Listening to Jacques his ears were alerted to a few key words. "Others? ...Do with the body as you wish, you've done no ill and were brave. Please ensure there are no others now and onwards." To his credit Jarrett did try to hide his apathy to the abomination's tragic nature but the grin didn't leave Jarrett's face.
With not a sound more Jarrett disappeared into the inn unnoticed. His companions were having a very interesting conversation. Kari's resolve and Ash's openness were admirable to him. As Von entered with an obvious sense of unease, Jarrett continued to observe, impressed by Ash's attempts to comfort Von. He decided he'd let them have their moment as he watched on unnoticed.
Cold, many things were cold. The table felt like it could break underneath arm weight. Flesh looked like it would stick and break like glass. People, they looked dead, just like memories of the past. Von felt like the latter, he could feel a sense of dread in himself. For at this moment, reality did not exist, yet it also did. Past or present, dream or reality, all of these things meant nothing. Nothing came to his mind, all of the training, all of the talent, nothing, only cold blood pumping throughout the body.
Even for a second, the Templar thought he felt a strange essence rip apart, as if the veil was torn away from life itself. That is when words reached him like the wind.
"I don't know what's bothering you, but it's fine, you don't have to talk, you can pass it onto me. I'll carry your worries, I'm bigger than you, after all."
A rope at the end of a cave, money for a begger, the light that the Maker gave to believers. Words came forth to Von's mind. Hope, victory, faith. It brought something to all the isolation that this sensation created. It was like as if Selthen felt a strange sensation. He would have called it 'warmth'.
Opening his eyes, Von recognized his surroundings. It was the warm atmosphere of the Inn, combined with the talk of victory and new beginnings. Now this was reality, Von's heart thought something he wanted the most. That was when he noticed his forehead was against Ash's.
"Don't worry, everything will be fine, you can relax."
Grasping Ash's shoulders and gently pushed himself upright, Von took in slow breaths of air and shivered. "I ... I don't know ... thank you." He blurted out, feeling warmth return to himself. "I felt ... gone after the battle. As if I had entered the world of death. It was cold. So very cold." Von said, all without emotion. Yet, he continued to breath, and allow the blood to return the feeling to his body.
Deep in his mind, he knew what this was.
Kari simply sat and watched as Ash and Von had a 'moment'. Those boys have issues. She thought to herself quietly. One thing she knew for certain, was that she wasn't one to be much help; her preferred ways of dealing with 'head' issues that bothered her where to either beat someone or something to mush, or just bludgeon the offending thoughts with alcohol until they gave up...it seemed to be working so far. Quietly taking her leave of the duo, she made her way back toward the more jubilant celebration, when a light touch on her elbow stopped her.
Turning, she found herself looking down at one of the serving girls Marsha had running drinks and what not to the various tables. "Umm...excuse me..." The girl, who couldn't have been more than fourteen. "Miss Marsha...she...she would like to know if you wouldn't mind handing over your leathers so that I can wash them." The poor girl was flush with embarrassment, and could barely look at Kari. "Sh-she says you're making too much of a mess." That caught Kari off guard for a moment, before she then looked about to where she'd been seated, both by the fire, and over at Ash's table. The chair's she'd used where damp with wolf blood, and a noticeable trail went from where the smith had brought her in to where she was currently standing.
"Andraste's Ass!" She muttered to herself, nodding in apology to Marsha who was giving her a somewhat good natured glare from the bar. "Of course." She said a bit louder to the girl. Retiring to where she'd left her gear, she handed over her bloody armour, and donned her tabard before returning to the celebration. Getting a new drink, she settled into a seat and smiled slightly to herself as the murmured conversations around her turned to the fact that it was pretty obvious she was only wearing her smallclothes under her outerwear. Prudes...
Nola cheered with the crowd as the abomination fell. The creature dead, the drake dead, the wolves driven off, and the villagers with some experience in a fight. They had certainly earned their pay for this job. She joined everyone on their way to the inn, fully planning on joining the celebrations, but there were a few things she needed to do first. Like get out of her armor. Most inns didn't appreciate tracking blood through their common rooms.
She quickly went upstairs to pull of her armor, setting the blood stained scale mail in a neat pile in the corner. In nothing but her undershirt, a pair of leather pants and her now cleanish boots. She went back downstairs, a smile on her face and joned the festivities, laughing and telling stories of her time as a mercenary. She had gather a few of the villagers around her in time. "So then this guy looks at me, standing there in the bar in full armor, just trying to seal a contract and must think 'She's short, no way she can out run me.' He tries to steal my purse right off my belt, next thing he knows he's on the ground with my boot between his legs." he finished with a laugh, others laughing or wincing along with her. AS they wandered off to talk again Nola drained her tankard. She looked over the crowd her mind wandering back to her old friends. How often had The Lions been here, celebrating another group of bandits gone. Still got the Pride goin Ilyn. It's just smaller now. She thought sadly. The Lions ain't gone yet my friend, Your company still stands.
She took a deep breathe and went to grab a refill. She looked over to see Von and Ash together, heads bowed close. Hope those two either leave it for the morning or take it somewhere private. She thought shaking her head. She joined Kari, ignoring her her current outfit. "Congrats on taking out that bear by the way. That things gonna make a great coat if you can get someone to work it's hide." She said with a smile.
In the time after the battle, Berund had resolved to aid in the recovery. Mainly finding a place for the dead and inspecting the wolves for salvageable pelts. Admittedly his brutality reduced the number of quality pelts, though scraps still had their use. The work was tiring and bloody, though simple and good. Berund did not complain.
When the work was done, at least what could be done for that night, the former Legionnaire found himself seated by the inn's hearth with a rag, a pot of hot water, and a set of halfway-cleaned armor. He was dressed in plainclothes and had already washed himself so that the only marks were the ink scars beneath his eyes. The ink claws ended in his black beard that hid a smile. Berund was in good spirits. Pausing to let the rag soak in water, he grabbed a thick hunk of dried meat from his pack and began chew on the tough flesh, the end of the cut sticking out like a pipe. He kept chewing as he picked up the rag and went back to wiping the blood off his steel.
The dwarf overheard his female counterpart's comment regarding the bearskin and couldn't help but add, "No doubt about that. It's head would make quite the cap, too. F'ye can find a way to fashion it around yer horns that is." He chuckled as he dipped the rag back into the water and resumed his chewing.
"I ... I don't know ... thank you. I felt ... gone after the battle. As if I had entered the world of death. It was cold. So very cold."
"It's fine," Ash said, making sure the other was fine. When Von looked like he had gathered himself a bit, Ashtalan let go of Von, though he ruffled the other's hair, playfully, as he stood up.
I think he should be fine now.
He had noticed that Kari had left, and that most of the others had gathered elsewhere. "You should go talk to the others, I'm sure you guys have a lot to discuss regarding the battle and such. I... don't really know most of it, and I don't really feel like celebrating." He chuckled, wearily, keeping a smile up in order to make the other feel better.
"It's a bit odd, it wore me out so much, but I wasn't there for most of the battle. It doesn't feel like I helped much either. I'm happy, though, I'm just tired." He yawned, and went to grab another cup -this time he made sure to get wine- before going upstairs.
I'm a liar, am I not?
He should be happy, but he wasn't, not at all. Relieved, yes. Glad he could help the village, and, if only a little, the mages. However, he wasn't happy. Going to the room he and Raven had shared -though, all her stuff was gone, so clearly she had left before or during the battle- he started undressing, feeling dejected, and beyond exhausted. Everything looked normal, for once, and he couldn't bring himself to enjoy it. Ash didn't like being alone in his room like this either. Part of him wished someone would enter, ask him if he really was fine, and not ask why or what or anything, but just be there. Then again, it was his own fault, for only telling half-truths, and for hiding away whenever he didn't feel like he should.
They would probably leave in the morning, travel, and a day or two later, when they had all gotten their money, split up. It was only a temporary team, after all. Ash sighed, downed the glass of wine and, stared at the ceiling. He had a feeling it'd be harder for him to sleep than it felt like it should be, old habits dying hard and all that. His head felt woozy, though he didn't know if it was the wine and the ale or not. He didn't feel tipsy, everything just spun either way.
But at least I'm still alive. Like Kari said... I took a chance, and I survived to live another day.
He smiled to himself, feeling a bit of that tingly, uncontrollable happiness as he did. Odd how a thought and a smile could do that to him, the same way a bad thought could make him feel absolutely terrible. At least he knew how to survive, if not he would be completely lost.
"Congrats on taking out that bear by the way. That things gonna make a great coat if you can get someone to work its hide."
Kari returned Nola's smile, and saluted her with a raised cup. "Much obliged." She added, luxuriating in the warmth. "He was a right bastard, though all things considered, I'm glad we nailed that lizard first...a demon playing puppet-master with one of those would've been a real bitch. Ataash varin kata!"
Letting out a satisfied sigh, she slumped down in her seat a bit, resting her cup against her stomach. "So short stack, once we get paid where are you off to?" Into the heat, the path spirals, bad vibes...
Nola shrugged "Dunno, don't really have much of a place to go. My company got wiped out in the Mage/Templar thing." She leaned back staring at the ceiling. Where could she go. She could offer her services to villages, most small gathering of hut needed a blacksmith, but that wouldn't suit her. Making tools and nail is all well and good, but she would fall on a sword before too long out of sheer boredom. This Mercenary thing was working fine, but too many memories. "Might see in the Inquisition is still hiring. If nothing else it'll be three meals a day." She said with a smile.
"What about you? Big girl like you who know how to swing a blade, I'm sure you could find work easily." She asked draining her cup. "And You Breund? Be nice to get another Orzammar dwarf in the Inquisition, show these surfacers how to really fight something this big and strange."
She winced visibly when Nola mentioned that her former Company got hammered during the Mage Rebellion; she'd lost quite a few compatriots to the fighting as well. Mage or Templar, neither side seemed to bother with checking to see who they were attacking went they did.
"What about you? Big girl like you who know how to swing a blade, I'm sure you could find work easily."
"Me?" She replied. "Probably head home for a bit, haven't seen my dad since the Blight ended; he's got a little farm near the Lothering, it got flattened pretty good along with the rest of the village, but the last letter I had from him said he was going to rebuild. After that, I'll probably head back to Antiva City...speaking of, you should think about heading there, a woman of your skills could make good coin there; hammer or blade."
"And You Berund? Be nice to get another Orzammar dwarf in the Inquisition, show these surfacers how to really fight something this big and strange."
There was a pause in Berund's chewing. The taste of the salted beef had gone bland briefly at the mention of his home. Perhaps it was a slight, or Nola was merely assuming. Thankfully Kari began to speak, allowing more time to think.
With the blood gone from his armor, Berund dropped the rag into the pot and withdrew a block of wax from his pack. He applied the first layer onto the steel plates as he resolved that time spent wondering how Nola knew where he was from would be time wasted.
"...probably head back to Antiva City...speaking of, you should think about heading there, a woman of your skills could make good coin there; hammer or blade."
"Ah. Antiva City. Where the wine flows like water, an' blood like the wine. In twice the measure as well," Berund joked. It crossed his mind that he could just leave the question unanswered, hope it would just pass on by. There was also the option to lie, but he didn't care for deception if he could avoid it. He decided that it might be best to find out if Nola actually knew with any amount of certainty of his home.
"Once I actually have the coin in my hand from this job, suppose then I could really give the Inquisition some proper thought. An' what makes you think I'm an Orzammar dwarf?" Berund asked with a curious smile.
"....you should think about heading there, a woman of your skills could make good coin there; hammer or blade."
Nola smiled at that. "Maybe I will. Sounds like a a nice place.." She thought a moment and laughed. "And if nothing else I have a plan for once this Inquisition thing blows over." She eyed Berund as he stayed quiet, whether or not her comment caught him off guard was hard to tell.
"Once I actually have the coin in my hand from this job, suppose then I could really give the Inquisition some proper thought. An' what makes you think I'm an Orzammar dwarf?"
Nola winked and flexed, the muscles straining against her short sleeve. "I'm a smith friend, remember? And from Orzammar besides. I'd recognize the Seal of the Legion anywhere, even on that old worn maul of yours." She crossed her arm over her chest again. "Which means you're either from the Legion and by extension Orzammar, a lucky spelunker, or actually rich enough to by a genuine Legion of The Dead maul off of one. You're a merc so that rules out the last two, either it would be over a fireplace or you would be out on another job."
Feeling his somewhat long hair tossed by Ash, by the time Von re-adjusted it, the mage was nowhere in his sight. Holding back a sigh, the Templar stood up, but stood silent as the body began to shake. With that his vision shook as if the land was a moving giant. "Not again." Von only said as his body recognized all the energy being used to keep him conscious. Gripping his arm, he swiftly took himself to the fireplace.
It took several minutes for Von to feel real heat sink into his skin, and as he walked away he could feel another patriot of the bar grip his shoulder. "Ey stop ... *hip* 'oggin the foire" He drunkenly stuttered in the similar atmosphere, but when his eyes faced the cold eyes of Von, he immediately let him go as his yes gazed downward. Walking away, by the time Von stopped by the main counter, he noticed that his hand was frozen on top of his dagger. It was not Von's position in battle that made him scared ...
Shaking to let it go, he eventually forced himself. Marsha came to check upon him, and Von simply slammed down several pieces of copper. "S-stew, and a cup of ... wine, please. Take it to my room." Von responded without any emotion. Trying to shake his mind loose, it only pointed the negatives of his life.
Walking towards the stairs, he came upon the trio of Berund, Kari, and Nola. Brushing past them, Von only muttered, "Excuse me, I'm tired." Before walking heavily up the stairs and quickly falling into his own room. Grasping the wall, he embraced it with a slam from his head. Feeling the warmth of the blood trickling down, he could only smile. "Oh Maker, what has happened to me?" He asked the only thing that he believed in.
Allowing the crimson read to flow, Von began to settle down. Managing the fire in his small room, he simply sat back on his chair and started cleaning his weapons and armour. He would await for his wine and food before sleep.
Tonight, it would be a nightmare. The Templar was certain that his plague would return.
Seeing some of his companions beginning to disperse, Jarrett contemplated joining telling them of some fiction vaguely resembling his actual life. He dismissed this, not wanting to ruin this moment of openness even if it would be unknown to them. He was about to head out to give the village a quick security check before heading to the barn, though he couldn't ignore the what he saw in the corner of his eye.
Seeing Von push his way upstairs, Jarrett couldn't help but be worried. He followed him into his room and watched as he sat down and began cleaning his equipment.
"I'd like to know what happened to you as well." Making his presence known, Jarrett fearing that Von's weariness would have him fall asleep, greeted him with a slap across his face. "Wake up." Allowing a moment for him to regain his senses, Jarrett continued. "What's wrong?" He had his theories but he'd allow Von his chance.
"I'm a smith friend, remember? And from Orzammar besides. I'd recognize the Seal of the Legion anywhere, even on that old worn maul of yours." She crossed her arm over her chest again. "Which means you're either from the Legion and by extension Orzammar, a lucky spelunker, or actually rich enough to by a genuine Legion of The Dead maul off of one. You're a merc so that rules out the last two, either it would be over a fireplace or you would be out on another job."
Berund pushed the dried meat to the other side of his mouth and sucked a sliver of beef from between his teeth. By the nonchalant way she brought up his former ties to the Legion, he was sure she couldn't care less about the fact that he should be dead instead of sitting cozily by a fire in that inn. After all, a good Legionnaire was to die a second death in the Deep Roads. He saw no sense in trying to be tactful now. Nola was certain, and she was not wrong. He smiled and resumed to wax his armor as he spoke. "Well, ye aren't wrong. Though just so we're clear, if ye're of the mind that it was cowardice what brought me to the surface, ye'd be best puttin' those thoughts to rest. I've fought harder'n most in those Roads an' earned every last breath of this air."
There was a pause to allow that information to settle and allow Berund a few more chews. "So, seekin' a place in the Inquisition? Well, ye're right by thinkin' with yer gut. Three square meals is a mighty fine way to sweeten any deal. If they offer any more work that's exciting as this, it'd be hard to turn that offer down."
With the crimson liquid trickling down down his face, the Templar winced and swiped the blood from his eyes. This certainly feels like the land of the living, Von had thought to himself. Before long enough, he had started humming a tune from his childhood. It allowed him to grab hold onto those feelings he holds dearly. Yet, the mystery of that girl still remained, the worst part, he knew many things about her, it was just her name that escaped his thoughts.
"Bah!" He said, cursing his own mind and placed his sword on the table with a loud thud.
"I'd like to know what happened to you as well."
With that breeze-like voice, Von felt a chill up his spine. Naturally it had to be the mysterious one, Von echoed the thought internally. With natural instinct, Von already felt his hand on the dagger by his side. With a low groan he lowered his hand. "So ... with the not knocking on doors thing, is that a cultural or personality thing?" Von sent a sly jab of a question at Jarrett. Rising from his seat, the former Knight-Corporal opened his arms. "So what brings yo-"
Suddenly, a hard fleshy impact wiped across Von's face, allowing the room to proudly echo the sound. "Arg ... when did this become an interrogation?!" Von's voice sprayed with annoyance, and his smirk almost turned to a sneer. Yet, when he was slapped he could see the sword he was cleaning. The light from the fire reflected its metal, it was covered in a thin layer of red. Touching his forehead, Von had forgotten the blood, which had leaked onto his sword. "I guess I'm somewhat out of it." He muttered quietly.
Stepping briefly away, Von fixated some poultice from his stash and placed it into a bandage that he then wrapped around his head. Noticing the brief stains of blood on his night-set, the Templar sighed. "Well, lets see ... there is the past demons, present demons, and the demons we fought today quite literally." Von spoke with a little bitterness, the smirk on his face reflecting his cheek. It took a few seconds, but Von shrugged his shoulders.
"I guess it should be obvious that Lyrium isn't safe for us." Von said, allowing his body to point to his Lyrium kit on the room table. "Tired ... and looking back, I guess." Von shrugged once more, feeling reluctant about revealing himself to his new comrades. "I guess we have been through a bit lately ... heh." He said again with a short, cold laugh while looking at the ground.
Meeting Jarrett's eyes, Von gave a nod and a more warm smile. "I guess I should hope that sleep will kick some energy into me."
"I mentioned I was from Kirkwall." Jarrett's response was short but he expected it to be a completely acceptable answer as to his harsh attitude and not just in this moment. Listening to Von once he came to his senses Jarrett attempted to remain focused but was distracted by the Lyrium kit Von had gestured to.
"This... is it?" He felt a mix of emotions, curiosity as to exactly how this could've led to tis exact state, concern of what it had done to Von and disappointment that it had done this much. Returning to what Von was saying, he saw his warm gestures.
"I guess I should hope that sleep will kick some energy into me."
"Have a meal first please." He nodded to Von, he was about done with this conversation but wanted to ask Von one last thing. "What use is the past?"