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Old 01-18-2013, 03:03 PM   #10
Drizzt Do'Urden

Join Date: November 24, 2001
Location: Neverending Nights
Age: 48
Posts: 634
Default Re: Dragon Age: Life Begins With Death.

William awoke to the sound of Forodin’s growling. Sitting up he looked around, his eyes trying to adjust to the dark. “What is it,” he whispered, asking the Mabari that continued to growl. Slowly, William reached over to Quinn and shook him awake, immediately signaling him to be silent. There was no need to keep watch anymore; sneaking on a Mabari was virtually impossible. Something outside had triggered the Mabari’s hackles to stand on edge.

William slowly eased up so that he made as little noise as possible and peered outside the shattered window. His eyes tried to adjust to the dark, but the moon and stars had been blotted out by the very Blight that had tainted this part of the land, as dark clouds consumed the most feeble bits of light that had struggled to get by.

For a moment, William wasn’t sure he could believe his eyes. There was a woman. And she was running. Frantic. Scared.

William quickly stood and ran out of the house, despite Quinn trying to grab him. “William, don’t this could be a trap!” Quinn snapped, but the Blood Mage had been too late. The ever valiant William was already out the door, with Forodin right behind him. Quinn quickly stood and prepared a spell on the edge of his lips.

“Over here,” William called out to the woman, who paused, and stared through the darkness, unsure to believe what she was seeing. Once she believed what her eyes had shown her, her dash towards William had become even more frantic than before. She wrapped her arms around William, then hid behind him.

“They’re after me,” she wheezed, barely with enough breath to remain conscious. “They’re everywhere.”

“Who?” William asked, as his eyes peeked into the dark.

“Darkspawn,” the woman huffed between deep breaths. Even as she spoke the word, nearly ten Darkspawn emerged from the brush that she had just emerged from. They saw William and howled, pounding on their chest.

William drew his sword. “Quinn, Darkspawn out here.”

The woman, puzzled, looked around to see who the Grey Warden had been talking to. That’s when she saw Quinn standing up in the nearby abandoned building. “You’re a Grey Warden,” Quinn shouted, “go vanquish them!” William looked to Quinn, who was smirking as he was coming out of the abandoned house. “Only ten of them. Any Grey Warden worth his steel can handle ten Darkspawn.”

“Fine,” William growled. “And here I thought you were itching for a fight.” William looked at the woman. “Wait here. Forodin, guard her at all costs. All costs, do you hear me?”

Forodin barked an approval.

William drew his sword and charged the Darkspawn. Seeing the Grey Warden, the Darkspawn howled in joy and charged as well. The first Darkspawn to reach William was cleaved in half, as William’s blade cut clean through. In that same fluid motion, William brought the bottom of his hilt up and hit the next Darkspawn on what would have been the bridge of its nose. That Darkspawn toppled over backwards from the sheer force, and before it could recover, William brought his steel boot through the creature’s face. Still moving fluidly, he then spun his hilt in his hand and stabbed behind him, running his blade through the Darkspawn that had hoped to strike from behind. With that Darkspawn still with his sword through it, he used his closet metal gloved fist to punch the next Darkspawn charging him. It too fell over, which allowed William to pull his blade from the Darkspawn he had stabbed and crush the throat of the Darkspawn he had just punched.

The woman, fearful, looked at Quinn. “Are you not going to help your friend?”

Quinn, annoyed, looked at the woman. “Not yet.” He took closer notice at her clothing. She was from the Chantry. Wonderful, he told himself. She should like this…

Just as William finished off the last Darkspawn, the ground seemed to shake. “What in the…”

Suddenly the bushes ripped apart and an Ogre stepped through howling with fury. “Ogre!” William shouted. Of all the Darkspawn, the Ogres were the most respected and feared for their sheer strength and power, and steel determination. Most Ogres did not know when they were dead and should fall over.

“Now,” Quinn said, “I will help my ‘friend’ as you call him.”

Taking a ceremonial dagger he cut his palm open and squeezed his hand tightly, feeling the blood run down his arm. With his other hand he pointed at the Ogre and closed his eyes and began chanting.

The Ogre suddenly ceased moving and howled in pain. Quinn strained. William watched in almost fascinated horror as the Ogre’s eyes began to bleed; then its ears; then mouth, and soon its entire body was convulsing before it suddenly exploded, splattering blood everywhere.

“You’re a Blood Mage,” the woman screamed.

“And I just helped save your life,” Quinn snapped, grabbing the woman by the arm.

William grabbed Quinn’s wrist. “Let her go, Quinn. Right. Now.”

Quinn looked at William and with a yank pulled his wrist free and released the woman. “You don’t get it, William. She will run to the first Chantry she finds and turn me in to the Templars. They will execute me for being a Blood Mage, since there’s no one from Ostagar to speak on my behalf. Then they will possibly execute you or imprison you for your association with me.”

“Settle down, Quinn,” William snapped. “I think her first concern is surviving,” he said as he looked at the woman. Despite the soot, dried blood, and stains all over her face, hair and clothes; the woman was strikingly beautiful. “Listen to me,” he said to the woman, as her horrified eyes locked on an angry Quinn. “We can help you get to a safe place. But you will have to trust us.”

“Trust you?” she spat the words. “You’re walking with a Blood Mage!”

“Even the Chantry recognizes the fact that during a Blight, the Grey Wardens, which I am,” he pulled back the cloak he had made from the blanket he had previous purchased from the Elves, “use anyone strong enough to stand up against the Blight – including Blood Mages.”

“Perhaps the fact that there is a Blight going on escaped her,” Quinn quibbled sarcastically.

“Enough Quinn,” William said, looking at the Blood Mage sternly. William turned back to the woman. “These are not safe times to be traveling. How did you even get here?”

“I was with others, from a caravan from the Chantry of Lothering,” the woman explained. “We were on our way here, to spread the Chant of Light when our caravan was attacked by brigands.”

“Those were not brigands,” William pointed to the piled corpses of Darkspawn. “Those are Darkspawn.”

“No,” the woman shook her head. “It had been highway men who blocked the road. They were going to…” The woman shook her head. “Well, they took Sister Devera… they… raped her. Said the rest was going to happen to us. But that’s when I heard Devera scream. I thought it was the brigands. Then I heard the brigands scream. I knew something was wrong. When the ones guarding us went to check on the others… I fled… hearing their screams behind me.”

“We will get you somewhere safe,” William assured her. He ran his hand through her sunset colored hair and pushed behind her ears. “You just need to have faith in us.”

“May the Maker forgive me,” the woman answered, looking at Quinn.
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