Into the Darkness

Musings of a Mage #7

Finally arriving at our destination we approached the Circle Tower—I must say I rather thought it would be … larger. Staton and the RedHead sensed there were darkspawn approaching and indicated they would stay behind to cover our move to the Tower; and our little band of caravan travelers agreed to assist the local townsfolk with making their way to Orzamar for safety. I suggested Ailen travel with Pierce and I to the Tower for obvious reasons and I directed Cavall to help guard the caravan. Until I can learn the secrets of curing him of the taint I intent to keep Cavall out of active combat if I’m able—he is after all, a very valuable ally, it would be a waste to see him infected.

Approaching the Tower it was obvious strong magiks had been used as the water was parted like a well-groomed hedge. We made our way down the path, stepping upon littered armor of fallen Templars. Honestly, a few less of them in the world…perhaps these darkspawn did us a favor. As we reached closer to the Tower Templar bodies began to rise up and the three of us made quick work of the undead that dared block our path. Once they were defeated Ailen, apparently well-schooled in the arts of civility for a Wilder, knocked on the Tower door to gain entrance. Much to my surprise a man answered and let us in.

We met with Knight Commander Rhyk Masons, who hailed from Denerim originally, he had received a pigeon from the Tower stating their distress as they were under attack. Commander Masons brought 50 of his troops along with him, however, all but three were killed in the onslaught of the Tower. Upon inspection it was apparent to us that the remaining troops of his, if you could call them that, were infected with the Taint. Pierce explained that to him and we mentioned we might be able to perform the joining ritual to save them. All ready this poor man seems rather taken with Pierce…what is it with her and town authorities…perhaps they sense she’s about to rob them blind and they like the danger? Regardless, their dialogue humored me and I must say with her former mercenary travel companions being so abrasive it’s likely she could use a bed mate. This Knight Commander, such as he is, could well serve that purpose.

After agreeing to clear the Tower, Masons and his men ushered us inside, past the doors they had barred to protect themselves—I didn’t bother hiding my disgust at their obvious lack of bravery. Honestly, for as savage as this country is one would think that its people would be a bit…stouter of heart. Perhaps they simply make up for it with their simple minds. Regardless, shortly after venturing past the Templar’s barricade a mage woman ran towards us as several rage demons were pursuing her. Ailen transformed to attack them—I suppose this little mage woman seeing his alternate form is better than one of us dying, but honestly, for as profusely as he claimed to want to keep the secret it seems he turns at the slightest provocation. I unleashed blood magic in front of the girl to take her eyes off Ailen. The implied threat of a powerful blood mage was hopefully enough to turn her head and have her consider…all the ways she could regret discussing secrets that aren’t her. As the fight dwindled one rage demon fled and the mage girl, who called herself Brinowen, announced she was a spirit healer. I suppose she thought this to be a shattering revelation as she implied she had secrets of her own…a spirit healer…honestly—those were a copper a dozen in Tevinter. But if her disillusions of thinking she’s special protects us, so be it.

Pressing on further into the Tower we learned that the 1st Enchanter, Avron Roreksted, was likely held up at the top level. We fought numerous Hurlocks to make our way to the top only to encounter a rather interesting darkspawn. This one talked. He spoke in old Tevene and at first seemed intelligent, and could use magic, but conversing with him proved pointless as he was incapable of true coherent conversation. The new darkspawn breed, perhaps I call him a Thaumaturge, mentioned something of wanting to bargain…the first recognizable sentence the thing said, but unfortunately for him Tevenes don’t bargain and I explained to him that “Tevenes aren’t known for their negotiations, all I do is take…that staff for instance…” it was after all a very nice staff. I cast fireball at him and he absorbed it with the staff before he vanished. Hopefully I’ll see the Thaumaturge again—I’d like another chance at acquiring my new staff after all.

Once the Thaumaturge vanished we were left to defeat the remaining darkspawn that he’d left behind. We dispatched them with ease and then tended to the captives that were held. The 1st Enchanter was unconscious in a ruined rune circle of his own blood. It appeared he was strong enough to ward off the Thaumaturge’s magic as the 1st Enchanter was untained. However, the rest of the mages and Templars that were being held captive were not as lucky. All of them carried the taint. Conscripting that many people would obviously prove problematic—not to mention these “mages” allowing themselves to be captive would hardly be worth the effort. I was considering leaving them in the Tower for an unfortunate fire when Staton showed up. He directed us to leave stating that he would attend to the people here. I had no hesitation with that…either he’ll correct their issue or burn them—both options mean I don’t have to risk retribution for any action I would have taken.

We went back downstairs to find that Staton had already healed the other 3 infected Templars. Pierce informed the Knight Commander of this and he looked equal amounts of pleased and horrified. After their little dialogue it became rather obvious he had Pierce’s attention. I supposed he is decently attractive and certainly scratching an itch is needed now and again. I decided to nudge her in the direction of believing she wanted to conscript the Knight Commander. It would also be nice to learn the Templar’s secrets. After all, when facing an enemy one can never have too much intel. In addition to bringing the Knight Commander along I requested of Brinowyn that she joinl—although I didn’t conscript her, merely “requested” heavily that she oblige me. I do not want to risk the information she has getting places it should not go…the 1st Enchanter for one; so I will have to endure her presence on our caravan to ensure her compliance.

With our business concluded, and our wayward original Grey Warden friends in the wind, we decided to meet back up with the rest of our caravan in Orzamar. As we were setting out the next day I suggested we accommodate ourselves with the now abandoned town—we did after all perform for them a service. Pierce and Ailen went off hunting while the Knight Commander and I…reviewed the town for resources. I tracked down another wagon, and a few horses, we will be able to take to Orzamar. While on our little shopping endeavor I also bent the Knight Commander’s ear about Pierce…he already seems quite intrigued by her—I simply fanned the fire; something I’ve always been rather good at. We stayed at the abandoned inn that night and were able to have the luxury of a proper hot bath after our meal before sleeping and setting out at dawn for Orzamar.



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