Into the Darkness

A Letter
from Pierce to Masarian

Father, I hope this letter finds you well.

I’m back in Ferelden…I promise I was making my way to Denerim to see you, but I’ve taken a slight detour to Lothering for the New Beginnings Festival. I came hoping to find some work, or at the very least, people who I can bear to work with. I think I may have found the latter.

My new companions are both very odd and, I’m almost certain, inexperienced when it comes to adventuring. However, they are powerful in their own right, so traveling with them should prove interesting. I’m looking forward to it.

I think that the three of us will be able to stand on equal footing at least, which will be an improvement over my last working arrangement. After almost a decade at the mercy of that man’s whim, as much as I owe and respect him, I’m relieved to not be taking orders from anyone.

I will come to see you as soon as I am able, but please don’t fret if I’m delayed more than you think reasonable. It has been so long already since I left that surely a few more weeks, or months, will be nothing in comparison. (When your anger and frustration with me threatens to overwhelm you just remember that you have my love, as so few people do.)

Say hello to Gwynn for me.


Musings of a Mage #1

This country is much more savage than I could have imagined. The whole of it seems to smell of dirt and livestock. The people seem uneducated, unrefined and uninteresting. And their regard for mages…they are terrified and more oppressive than I could have thought; but there is no bridge for me back to Tevinter. There is no reunion I can hope for. The reality of the permanence of my situation has perhaps made my taste for this country that much more bitter.

At a competition during this tiny backwater festival (I was forced to endure to regain a small portion of the funds that were stolen from me) I was surprised at the level of suspicion automatically given to mages. Templars swarmed the area like locust to a field … and the mages … they let them, even complied with the Templars. I have never seen such a display of cowardice. Even my father’s slaves showed more backbone than these “mages” who toe the line the Templars have drawn. I am not strong enough to oppose them by myself and as such have allied myself with individuals capable of providing some small sense of support. However meager that support may be.

To complicate the situation further the town was overrun by Darkspawn in the night. My newly found group escaping the carnage thanks in part to …. Qunari. I doubt even Lyrium will wash that bitter taste from my mouth.

Musings of a Mage #2

It appears that regardless of the Country I reside in…the Fade, and even darkness itself, follows me. Am I suspicious enough to believe that perhaps the Chantry was correct…that all Tevenes are cursed for their blaspheme against the Maker.

This Qunari that assisted Pierce and me with our escape from Lothering simply led us further into danger. A spirit or dragon who claimed to be an Old God sent us on a quest to join with powerful spirits of the Fade in hopes of escalating our power to fight against the coming Blight. Pierce and I were successful, perhaps too successful and seemed to anger the Old God with our hubris. We woke up, without the voices of the spirits we conquered and in the company of Grey Wardens. These Wardens claimed to be able to tell that we were also Wardens…tainted, and asked about our joining ritual. Pierce and I were vague, not wanting to divulge the truth behind the likely cause of our “taint”, one does not simply tell a Grey Warden they were chosen by an Old God to host a spirit in ones body. But these Grey Wardens seemed to think we were slightly addled by the joining ritual and asked if we had hallucinations…they even mentioned some of their comrades had thought themselves visited by gods during their own joining ceremony. Perhaps it is hubris, but I do not believe these were hallucinations. I believe we angered the Old God and must now prove our worth to use the power he granted us.

The Wardens, two ill mannered men, are taking the Master Tyrian to get aid as he was infected with the taint during our “escape from Lothering”. In reality it appears that Master Tyrian was not successful with his trial from the Old God. Perhaps these Wardens can prove useful if they are able to help Master Tyrian. In return they stated we would be traveling to Redcliffe Village to warn the townsmen of the impending threat of the Blight.

On the road to Redcliffe we encountered a small band of blighted wolves chasing a rather underdressed man. Pierce and I assisted dispatching the wolves with ease; after which the man assisted in cleaning our Mabari of the blight wolves blood. He seemed reluctant to travel with women, but was quick to accept our aid once he learned we were “Grey Wardens”. It seems this little title we’ve conned our way into having is going to prove useful. The Circle and even the Templars themselves will have no claim on me; and even the locals appear to respond to us with more reverence. The man, Ailen, could prove to be useful. Not only was he a capable combatant, but could prove to be a rather pleasant distraction. I’m fairly certain he’s hiding a few rather closely guarded secrets, but highly doubt they’re as interesting as he believes they are. The things these Fereldens think of as “dark and terrible” are the Tevene version of a garden walk. Honestly, how has this little country even lasted the last few centuries.

Upon our arrival in Redcliffe it was clear the small little village was already aware of the Darkspawns presence and were in fact under siege. Pierce agreed to help them, pulling myself and Ailen into their pathetic little crisis.

Musings of a Mage #3

The little village of Redcliffe was rather easy to retake…their dead had been carted off by Darkspawn and tainted, turned into little more than Darkspawn themselves. They attacked the town with gusto as we had Aiden as “bait” at the town center. The somewhat mindless vermin flocked to him, swarmed, and with one well place fireball I obliterated 8 of the attacking 11. The remaining 3 were rather easy to take down as well and our victory was sound…not even a scratch save for brave Reaver who, honestly, fought better than all 6 of the town’s guardsmen. Really, how this town survived even one night is beyond me.

Once the battle was over we decided to rest before trying to take Redcliffe Castle, if you can indeed call it a castle. Pierce was rather disappointed it seemed in the lack of effort needed to thwart the Darkspawn and sulked off. I suppose she simply isn’t used to things coming easy to her…something she’ll have to get accustomed to now that I’m traveling with her. Aiden and I retired to the Guard Captain’s house. He obviously needed sleep, and a bath. I only required a quick nap so I allowed Aiden to have the bed, however, after realizing I may as well get more rest Cavall and I joined Aiden. I put Cavall between us so Aiden wouldn’t have an aneurysm when he woke to me in the bed. And it appears Aiden has quite the issues of his own; he is less than fond of fire and woke several times with nightmares. Perhaps he was in a burning building once? My humming seemed to lull him back to sleep at least in the moment and we were able to get some sleep.

Pierce, Aiden and I ventured to the Castle after we woke. The little passage way the Guard Captain showed us was indeed quite narrow and Aiden barely fit…I rather enjoyed the sight. Perhaps this little side trip wasn’t entirely worthless. Once inside the Castle we learned more of the townsfolk were killed and stored within locked rooms. During our siege of the Castle we were slightly outnumbered as a Revenant rose to attack. Aiden looked to me, apologized, and transformed into a large sleek black werewolf. Well, isn’t this little country full of surprises. I had always read that Werecreatures, once transformed, could never turn back. Aiden fought gracefully, but seemed territorial even after the Revenant was dead as he turned to snarl at me. Perhaps I’m simply used to men thinking they can intimidate me, perhaps I’m rather sick of it…I reached up and closed his maw like I’ve done to Cavall. I commanded him to back down and he reverted back into a human. Apparently blood magic can affect the pull of the beast through it’s blood. How very convenient…and possibly entertaining.

The Arl and his daughter were sitting in the throne room, waiting for us. At first it appeared that the daughter was an abomination and I had choice words for the Arl about letting about one hundred of his townfolk perish while he protected his daughter. He was quickly angered and launched an attack. I attempted a final time to bring him round and suggested a solution that would even result in his daughters salvation, but he was too enraged to see reason. We struck him down…no thanks to Aiden’s help as he was reluctant to attack a noble…even in self defense. The thought of this backwater pathetic man being an Arl…the thought that Aiden would place that simple status so highly even though he’s a wilder. Perhaps I should tell Aiden I’m the daughter of the Archon if that’s the only stock in people he holds. Regardless of his lack of help Pierce and I dispatched the Arl easily enough and Aiden raced after the Abomination girl. We found Aiden looking into the sky where she had escaped…and it occurred to me. This girl wasn’t an abomination, rather, she was similar to Pierce and me…she made an arrangement with a spirit and was reaping the power thereof. Knowing this realization was too late to assist I decided truth was perhaps a better solution in this instance and explained to the others. We agreed to lie about the Arl’s death and blame the beasts in the Castle. On our way out I also noticed that Aiden had magical residue…perhaps some kind of lingering mind control…

The RedCliffe Farse
  • tell Redcliffe Knight Captain the Art was slain by the beasts in the castle
  • the fire damage on his body was obtained in the pitch of battle and he was already dead at that point, in fact we barely made it out with our lives
  • the Arl’s daughter is an abomination and murdered most of the townfolk
  • had the knight captain write a letter about what happened so it can be delivered to Denerim
Musings of a Mage #4

We arrived at the little dock town that our Grey Warden “friends” requested we meet them at. I was rather less than surprised they weren’t there; but we did run into Master Tyrian, and that was a pleasant surprise. Master Tyrian, apparently, was told by the Grey Wardens to meet us her. Now I’m actually somewhat curious what has detained them. Regardless, their absence is a boon and gives me the chance to explore a few interesting prospects in this town.

Master Tyrian informed us of rumors about the town of a crazy man wondering the docks claiming that hidden artifacts were uncovered by the receading water of the blight. There is also a local bandit group attacking the town and its residents; and I do have a rather itchy impulse to remove those bandits of their belongings—after all what’s theirs is mine. Not to mention that will help our image with the Grey Wardens as do-gooders. Something, unfortunately, I need to be concerned with after the little incident at RedCliffe.

Pierce and I ventured to the docks and spoke with the “crazy” man and indeed found out he is crazy. The mad little scientist has some contraption to take us into the water, deep into the water, and let us explore the caverns below the town in search of some artifact he believes to be there. He wants only the claim to fame for the discovery and said he would allow us the spoils. For some Maker known reason Pierce seemed truly interested. I, on the other hand, strongly enjoy breathing and without a spell or rune of some kind to protect myself have absolutely no desire to embark on such a fool’s journey.

We also encountered a few of Pierce’s friends. Mercenaries from her previous escapades. A human, lumbering and serious, who goes by Sawyer; and a pretty little elf called Lincoln. Upon seeing their old friend they invited us all to drink in the tavern. Pierce, Master Tyrian and I accepted, but Ailen simply stated he’d stay with the wagon and watch our belongings and the horse. Lincoln flirted shamelessly with me and I certainly hope it worked on Ailen’s nerves.

The tavern was…small, dirty and like the rest of the town—smelled of fish. The drink was equally as terrible and I settled on indulging in my own wine versus risk whatever disease one might catch from using the tavern’s mugs. The mercenary boys discussed their recent adventures…something or other about a missing member and maybe wanting to join us, I wasn’t really listening…Lincoln was a very pretty distraction. He seemed to think the same of me and was very bold, and lude, in his bravado of telling me. He appears to lack the intelligence to understand the finesse needed to woo a person of my caliber. I felt slightly guilty for leaving Ailen as our servant and brought him dinner, but he seemed uninterested in socializing so I returned to the tavern. Master Tyrian drank as much as I’ve seen any Dwarf and was soundly drunk midway through the night. He even proposed I retire to his room with him—and if it weren’t for more…interesting…prospects elsewhere I might have. I’ve heard wonderful things about the stamina of Dwarves; but I can’t image even a Dwarf could compete with a were-creature.

Ramblings of a Rogue 1

Finally wrapped things up in Redcliffe and I’m disappointed in how easy it all was. Hopefully helping the Grey Wardens with this Blight will prove more challenging.

I have to admit a begrudging respect for Callisto. She has certainly forged a way for herself, much as I have, there is no denying that. Though it is unfortunate that she doesn’t enjoy the same kinds of challenges that I do… plowing through our foes with her spells.

After a long tedious journey we have arrived at Jader. The Wardens, Galaren and Rolant, are not in town yet, but they did send our friend dwarf ahead of them. It is good to see that Tyrion survived, we owe him one since it seems he saved us after we angered the old god, though it is apparent that he dud not pass his own trials.

Ran in to some other old faces in Jader while on our way to the post master. I shouldn’t be surprised to see them, Lincoln and Sawyer, where there is chaos there is profit to be had and Lincoln is as business minded as ever. Sawyer is still fated to be forever getting Lincoln out of trouble. I’m less surprised to hear that our old master, the cagey bastard, has disappeared. These two seem unnecessarily concerned, it’s not the first time he’s gone “missing” I’m sure it will not be the last. He’s probably just found some thing to do that is more stimulating then babysitting these two.

I just pray he’s not holding a silly grudge against me for leaving when he does catch up with his boys. It will be exciting to face him some day, and I very much look forward to it, but that day is not yet.

In the meantime, we’ve all decided to work together again, at least temporarily. Looks like Callisto’s idea of entertainment is to create as much tension as possible amongst the lads. She’s got Ailen thinking he’s half in love with her, master dwarf has already embarrassed himself propositioning her, and I do believe Lincoln is positively looking forward to the challenge (and possible pain) involved in attempting to bed her. I can’t believe that he’s not aware that she’s just toying with them all, but possibly it just gets him more riled up. More fool them.

Glad to see at least one of the men seems to have more sense.

At least we’ve found some jobs to keep us busy in Jader while we wait for the Grey Wardens. There’s a group of bandits causing trouble, Lincoln and Sawyer are looking in to that for now. While Callisto, Ailen, and I are going to speak with a supposed “mad scientist” at the docks.

Musings of a Mage #5

Pierce and I discussed the matter of needing better equipment with Master Tyrian. He did agree he would help us, but stated he would need facilities to do the work—thankfully the little dock town has a blacksmith shop and it was with relative ease we convinced the smithy to let Master Tyrian use his forge. In the meantime, we purchased what goods we could; and much to my surprise there was even a rune crafter in town who was able to create a hybrid rune to allow underwater breathing. That certainly changed my mind of the underwater expedition the mad scientist was so keen on.

Feeling better equipped we decided on attending to the bandit issue first, that way Master Tyrian would have longer in the forge while we were in town. We spoke to the town’s guard captain who, rather surprisingly, actually managed to capture a few of the bandits. And Pierce, has impeccable luck with guard captains as she was able to finagle our way in, unsupervised, to interrogate them. Unfortunately the “interrogation” was nothing more than a few menacing words before the bandit gave us the information we needed…and I had rather looked forward to his…stamina.

We easily traced the bandits back to their meager little hideout; their leader being a blood mage one would think it would have been slightly more difficult. But I suppose mages here are not like Tevenes…in fact, I wouldn’t even call these creatures blood mages—they are nothing more than sniveling children with a magnifying glass and ants. And I do so hate sniveling. It was with little effort that we dispatched the bandits and their leader; Pierce and the brute were subjected to a few of the more polite blood magic spells and it seems to have had quite a little impression. Perhaps the brute will be a little more polite…we shall see. We took the slight amount of coin the bandits had, returned the goods stolen from the blacksmith and left the rest to be confiscated by the town guard.

After, since we still had plenty of energy, and I a backup plan to drowning, we spoke with the crazy scientist and decided we would explore the cave and ruins. We reached the cavern to find a few skeletons; where Ailen felt the need to wolfe out—it seemed he was still rather hostile towards us in this form, but I removed the thorn from his paw and we were able to explore the treasures of the cave. Dozens of ancient books littered the floor, I pulled away two of particular interest, one on Grey Wardens the other on blood magic, and we agreed the rest the scientist could have—minus the gold we stumbled upon of course. On our way out of the cavern a strong downdraft caught Pierce and flung her deeper into the cave. Ailen was able to muscle her back onto a clear swimming path, but she was obviously a little blue and I was generous enough to provide her with air. I must say, her build under my hands reminded me of Sindrin—her elven heritage is perhaps a little more dominate than I thought.

Once back on solid ground we provided the scientist with the leftovers and agreed to return the next day for our pay. Soaking wet I retrieved my unsoiled shoes from the dock guard and we made our way to the Inn. Ailen seemed to work up some sort of nerve and asked me to dinner in a quaint little country way. I suppose that was his attempt at courting; regardless, I agreed and must admit dinner was actually enjoyable—not the food certainly, but the company. He is pleasing to look at and able to maintain civil banter…I hadn’t expected that. It seems this little country is full of surprises as during the early hours of morning I felt darkspawn descend upon the town. We rose to, not darkspawn, but a band of Wardens coming in from the dock.

A man, obviously the leader, flanked by a woman and 8 little helpers trooped in. The man announced himself as Statton and his female companion as Katarina—Grey Wardens from Tevinter. Statton eyed me and in Tevene told me he knew who I was. The nerve. Regardless of his status as self-proclaimed leader of the Wardens for this man to think he could intimidate me. He might have more power due to training, but my blood is more pure than he could even dream his great grandchildren could be—he is certainly not my superior in anything other than Warden rank. He then quickly singled Ailen out as well as ousted him in front of his 9 recruits that Ailen was a Were. Perhaps he is Tevene, but he is certainly unworthy of his opinion of himself. Ailen seemed to take less offence than I did and agreed to speak with Statton in private; words transpired and Statton cast a spell I was unfamiliar with. After, Statton drew a knife, cut Ailen’s arm and ingested the blood off the knife. Fool man either tricked Ailen or cured him. I’m not sure which I prefer as the cure would require my gratitude. Statton and Katarina announced they were setting up camp and began to depart. I was able to speak with Ailen out of ear shot and he explained that Statton, also fascinated by Weres, had “aged” his blood; given Ailen more control of his condition, including being able to control whether or not he infected someone. I relented and provided Statton my gratitude for his aid. Statton accepted in Tevene style and admitted he enjoyed seeing the havoc that I’d created for my Father before I’d left Tevinter. Turns out that Statton is not a supporter of the Archon; perhaps we have more in common than I thought, but that doesn’t change the fact that I must be cautious. A Tevene bloodmage is a dangerous ally at best…and Statton, with his Warden capabilities, is certainly more than dangerous.

We retired to our Inn for the night while the Wardens left to make camp outside of the city. We were privy to a little skirmish between Statton, Katarina and a few darkspawn. Honestly, I believe they led the darkspawn here so they could provide a show—perhaps demonstrate how powerful they believe themselves to be. They announced that our other Warden friends were stuck at the Tower and would need our help. As Pierce, her men and Ailen all agreed to join the Wardens I had little choice myself and, it seems, will have to endure the presence of children with magnifying glasses at the tower. I suppose it can’t be helped if I wish to surround myself with capable people—there are bound to be…unpleasantries…along the way. Perhaps I can solidify something more stable with Ailen and at least reserve myself more than one loyal dog. On our way out of town I ensured we retrieved our compensation from the scientist—lest this whole dock town endeavor would have been a waste.

Ramblings of a Rogue 2

Still in Jader. I have been enjoying myself immensely, probably more than Callisto since she’s still wearing an expression on her face like she’s surrounded by the reek of rotting flesh. She’s from Tevine so you think she’d be used to that. It does seem as though she’s had some luck amusing herself with the unfortunate Ailen, but she doesn’t enjoy the same life affirming danger- …challenges that I do.

Happily, a shared enjoyment of the finer things in life isn’t required for the continued success of our partnership which has been quite lucrative. Enough so that we were able to turn our equipment into something more worthy of us.

While master Tyrion did the work on our equipment, we had a chat with Lyle, the Captain of the City Guard. He and his men have been over taxed dealing with the repercussions of this Blight and were almost desperate to have us help them deal with the bandits that have been looting their city. We were allowed access to the “villains” they had captured, I’m surprised they weren’t able to get them to talk before… I didn’t even get to torture any of them before one of them spilled his guts. Figuratively…so sad.

After getting our new and improved gear from ser dwarf, we paid the bandits a visit at their humble abode. They apparently don’t take kindly to uninvited guests, I cleverly figured this out when they attacked us. Goody for us. At least their leader was a bit of a challenge, though I’m glad Callisto is on my side at the moment, being on the receiving end of blood magic was…interesting. I usually can embrace the pain, but this was different. I couldn’t control it at all.

Since that wasn’t enough excitement for us we did some deep sea delving for the supposedly crazy scientist, Rhett. He can’t have been so very crazy after all since we found what he was looking for. We had to fight some skeletons to get it, but that just made the endeavor worth the time. Nearly drowned, glad I didn’t meet my end that way. That would have been embarrassing. Callisto found a musty old book, amongst the many many musty old books, that she found interesting, we let the old man keep the rest of the discovery in exchange for any sovereigns it brought him. Such mercenary “Grey Wardens” we are.

We barely had time to rest on our laurels before some actual Grey Wardens arrived.

Not our Grey Wardens, mind you, but the ones they said we were to meet. Our Grey Wardens are still MIA. These Wardens came for a training exercise in the Deep Roads and were unaware of the blight until their arrival it seems. The obvious leaders of this bunch, ten all told, are head and shoulders above anyone I have ever met in skill. I watched Katarina slaughter several hands full of dark spawn all by her lonesome, it was a thing of beauty to watch. Statton the leader of the group, a Tevine who has already earned Callisto’s ire, dispatched an even grander number. If they had not arrived when they did who knows if this city would have lasted the night.

I hunger for the kind of power they possess. Someday I will attain it. Until then, I will follow them and wrest from them as much knowledge and skill as I am able.

In the morning we will be off. According to Statton and Katarina our Wardens seem to be in need of rescuing, so we are off to the Tower. I find it incredible that they can detect dark spawn at that great a distance… but so it is. Lincoln and Sawyer will be joining us, against their better judgement. I do believe Lincoln’s lust for coin has won out over Sawyer’s good sense yet again. Though Sawyer frequently demonstrates a misplaced sense of chivalry, or nobility, or what you will… so I suppose his good sense can’t be so very depended upon after all.

Musings of a Mage #6

Thankfully we’ve finished with the little dock town of Jader and are heading out to the Circle of Mages with our Caravan to help our “fellow Gray Wardens”. It’s going to prove a long and tedious trip with the lovely company we’ll have along the way—thankfully the two books I salvaged from the underwater cavern at Jader will come in handy while I distract myself.

After a solid day of reading the book on blood magic I was desperate to try out a few techniques. Dinner was the perfect excuse. I convinced Ailen to go hunting with me and I practiced my blood spells on a bear before he dispatched it for our plates. I’m even going to get a fine blanket out of it—I call that a rather productive day on the trail if I do say so myself. And although it was productive I find I despise travelling dusty roads all day via caravan. It’s more boring than I anticipated and after sitting, bouncing in the wagon, tucked next to Ailen I was ready to burn the whole forest down with boredom and frustration. The filth of the day and wound up tension from being so close to Ailen for so long meant I needed a bath. And it appears I wasn’t the only rather affected by the day’s travel as Ailen seemed eager to join me in the river. I must say, there is certainly something to be said for a werewolf’s stamina…the elf and the human lover that I’ve known weren’t nearly as…vigorous or thorough. Mmmm, I can only imagine what his other form would be like. Perhaps I’ll have more to entertain me on our travels than I anticipated. Ironic really that I find this country rudimentary and savage and yet the Wilder is what has my interest.

Thankfully despite our evening’s entertainment I remembered to discuss with Ailen, while alone in the caravan with each other, about a certain blend of tea to ensure less complications for us down the road considering our indulgences. Turns out an appropriate remedy was already being served to me—that presumptuous cocky buffoon. He’s quite lucky he was rather skilled in our little endeavor or I would have burned him alive for the assumption alone; so I spent the night reminding myself, atop him, why I liked keeping him around.

The next day on our little journey I delved further into my blood magic book—it’s starting to become clear to me that what Staton can do won’t be in this book. He’s perhaps progressed past any known blood mage in history. It pains me to think I will have to speak with him to get the information I so desperately need. On top of this annoyance the brute and the elf chattered like clucking hens and in an attempt to drown out the noise I decided a few little interesting stories with Ailen were in order. I told him of Pierce and I’s true “joining” and about the Old God and our spirits. I also decided, since he seems rather enraptured with me, it was safe to tell him about my father being the Archon and that the Crows were likely still after me. I was pleased to see I gauged him correctly as the news didn’t alarm him as it should have. Since our little dialogue was proving useful I asked a few questions of my own. I eased him into the information I was seeking easily and went from “oh bear is your favorite food” to figuring out my suspicions on Wilder life were incorrect. How interesting. Ailen has not had children yet and has only bedded werewolves, apparently I’m his first human. The crude man that he is seemed slightly shocked that I’d only been with two men. Just because I have a clever tongue for banter with men doesn’t make me a whore—I suppose in this backwater country women are either prudes or sluts…a shame really. Another thing Tevinter got right—women aren’t afraid of their own bodies or their own sensuality. In fact, women aren’t afraid of power in general, whether it stems from their curves or their magic. We camped near another stream in the evening and I was able to assert my own power of Ailen in ways we both enjoyed.

On our third, and Maker thank you, final day on the trail I finally forced myself to speak with Staton about his blood magic. To my surprise it was like he had been waiting for me to do so and was relieved that I had. He readily gave over his notes on the subject. His research on how to fix the taint in animals, the joining ritual, how to manipulate the taint to live longer…it was all there. It’s all the information I wanted, but instead of thankful I’m suspicious—why did he give it to me; and more importantly, why was he so very relieved to give it to me. That Tevinter bastard has something up his sleeve, they’re always plotting. I wasn’t the only person with something on their mind. Pierce talked to me about Sawyer and the Elf leaving. Apparently she’d overheard them discussing taking off and once I got her to admit she wanted them to stay I agreed to resolve the matter for her. This will after all mean she owes me. Pierce also discussed the redheaded bitch with me. The redhead explained to Pierce she knew we’d be leaving as the redhead herself would “put an end to us” if we didn’t. Honestly, I’m not surprised by her revelation. That doesn’t make her a fate seeing, on the contrary, it’s clear we all despise one another and only a matter of time before we come to blows.

I spoke with the brute and easily persuaded him to stay. His mind works like rusty cogs and it wasn’t hard to see what he needed to latch onto. Hope. Hope that he could matter if he stayed with us and fought the blight, hope that he could protect Pierce and hope that blood mages weren’t the monsters he’d always thought they were. Silly fool, of course we’re monsters…no we’re worse; but the only blood mages he’s ever known are from Ferelden—Tevene blood mages are something else entirely. It’s said after all, Tevene mages are what pulled the Gods from their thrones and turned the blight on mankind. The Tevenes became the first true darkspawn. Ironic that an Old God has made Pierce and I what we are…just like my ancestors. Regardless, I told Sawyer highlights of my past—my father the Archon, my dead elven lover and a narrow escape with the Crows…painting myself as the victim and he couldn’t resist. Of course he’ll stay, a man like that only has one purpose in life—to serve.

Pierce felt the need to discuss with the Brute and the elf about our “joining” and after a ridiculous conversation about them wanting to look the Old God’s city of Sanctuary I ignored them the rest of the day. Apparently they weren’t the only ones looking for conversation as Ailen asked a few questions of his own. I suppose that is only fair since I interrogated him yesterday. Well I’m nothing if not productive so I figured I’d drum up his possessive and protective little pack nature and gave him a few damsel in distress stories to chew on. I told him about my tutors using blood magic on me as punishment and about being forced to drink lyrium potions to test my resilience. I even told him about how my elven lover was killed, the vengeance I planned to get on my father and about my narrow escape from the Crows. It had the desired effect of course, he was almost professing his devotion, but what I didn’t expect…it was actually rather easy to speak with him, perhaps even comforting. Hmmmm, that’s something I’ll need to quell and did so that night by humoring myself with him in the wagon.


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