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Old 01-18-2013, 03:05 PM   #14
Vaprakgruumsh
Drizzt Do'Urden
 

Join Date: November 24, 2001
Location: Neverending Nights
Age: 47
Posts: 634
Default Re: Dragon Age: Life Begins With Death.

The doors to the Chantry burst open.

Navah who had been kneeling in worship was one of the first to turn her surprised look to the doors. “William,” she gasped seeing him stand in the doorway. Behind him Quinn, Berik and Forodin were like shadows, but Navah recognized each one of them.

She stood and walked across the long hall. “What is the meaning of this, William?”

William looked down at Navah, his face wrinkled with anger, but once he saw Navah, his eyes once again softened. “It would seem that we should have a word with Sanara.”

“What’s this about?” Navah asked, putting her hand on his chest, as if her small form could stop him.

“Bann Vrock opposed the arrival of the Chantry,” William said. “We spoke with Bann Vrock’s brother, Orlen. Sanara would have benefited greatly with Bann Vrock removed.”

“William!” Navah gasped in horror. “You are not suggesting that Sanara hired that assassin,” her eyes went over William’s shoulder to stare at Berik for a long moment. The Rivian Elf smiled at her, as if she was perhaps flirting. Her eyes went back to William when she spoke the next few words, “She would not kill someone to have the Chantry here.”

“Orlen seems to think she’s a bit of a fanatic,” Quinn said, stepping around William. He folded his arms and looked at Navah defiantly.

“She is devoted to the Chant of Light, as we all are in the Chantry,” Navah protested.

“Being devoted and being fanatical are two different things,” William said. “A devote follower follows the word of the Chantry. A fanatic may do things… to make sure that everything falls into place. Questionable things.”

“William, you are letting the shadows overcome your soul,” Navah pleaded. “They seek to mar the Chantry’s name. Like demons from the Fade, they whisper things in your ear. They bend the truth so that it becomes easier to believe their lies.”

“If that’s the case,” William said matter-of-factly, and removed Navah’s hand from his chest, “then Sanara will have nothing to fear from our questions.”

William and the others passed her, but Berik stopped to look at her. “Forgive him for his rudeness. He seems easily agitated. I don’t suppose you and I could meet sometime? At a tavern? For drinks or something?”

Navah blanched and turned away.

Berik watched her leave and shrugged. “Well, at least that wasn’t a ‘no.’” He looked down the hall and trotted to catch up to the others.

As William approached the door to Sanara’s office, her could hear muffled sounds coming from the other side of the door. Just as he reached the handle, the door swung open and a man, dressed in Chantry robes stormed past them, without even giving them a second glance.

Sanara saw the new people standing at her door and immediately stood. “Grey Warden,” Sanara said, as if the words were vile on her lips. She let her hair down by removing one pin. Her elderly grey hair collapsed around her shoulders. “I wish I could say it was a pleasure to see you.”

She leaned against the table and folded her arms. William looked at Sanara, “What was that about?” He gestured to the man who had stormed out of her office.

She shook her head. “That’s Cursant.” She seemed to roll her eyes. “But I am sure you’re not here to talk about issues of the Chantry. What do you need, Grey Warden?”

“Actually,” William responded, “issues about the Chantry is exactly why we’re here.”

“Really?” Sanara seemed amused. “Looking to save your soul? I can tell you, with the company you keep,” she looked past William before letting her eyes fall back on him, “I am not sure even the Maker can save you. Navah has told me about the Mage you keep with you. And now a confessed assassin.”

“We’re here about Bann Vrock,” William retorted, ignoring her words.

“He was assassinated, by the very man you walk with,” Sanara shrugged. “What more is there to know?”

“We want to know why he was assassinated,” William clarified.

“Ask Orlen,” Sanara replied, as she turned to sit at her desk. “Apparently he has long desired Bann Vrock’s wife. Now with Bann Vrock out of the way, the path to her heart is cleared.”

“Except for the fact that he’s sitting in a jail, with a death sentence,” Quinn snapped. “Orlen may seem like the obvious answer – but it’s also the most illogical. Bann Vrock’s death by an assassin would have clearly been placed on him. So why would he do it?”

“Years of rejection from what I understand,” Sanara answered, not even looking up as she shifted through several pages of a book. “It can drive a man mad.”

“And the fact that Bann Vrock did not want the Chantry in Cherathin could have nothing to do with his assassination?” Quinn asked. “It seems that you and Bann Vrock had several confrontations with each other, before the Chantry arrived, during the time that the Chantry was being built, and even after the Chantry was here. Bann Vrock wanted you out of here. But of course, you didn’t listen. Just like always, you Chantry people push your religion on people even when they don’t want it!”

“It’s true,” Sanara said matter-of-factly. “Bann Vrock did not want the Chantry in Cherathin. But the people did. The people of Cherathin wanted something more to their lives. The Chantry brings them that with the Chant of Light. We are destined to bring the Chant of Light to the four corners of the World.” Sanara shrugged, “It’s true, he and I did not get along. But would I go as far as assassinate the man? Not at all.”

William frowned. He believed Orlen was innocent. And judging by the way Sanara spoke, she was either very good at lying, or she too was innocent. He looked at the others, “Come.”

As they walked out of the room, they were greeted by Navah. William paused, his eyes gently falling upon her. “Navah, what can you tell me about Cursant? I thought the Chantry was made up exclusively by women?”

“Cursant?” she thought about it. “When I was speaking to Sanara, he had come by.” Quinn frowned. This was no doubt when she had told Sanara that Quinn was a Blood Mage. “He is what is called a ‘Chanter.’ While he is not officially a member of the Chantry, he follows the belief of the Chantry and goes about preaching the Chant of Light. According to what Sanara told me, his parents were killed by brigands. He was only spared because he hid beneath his bed. Sanara found him and took him under her wing, when the Chantry had come by to cremate the bodies of his parents.”

“Interesting,” was all William replied with and walked past Navah. She reached for him but quickly retracted her hand. Her head slumped down in defeat. She feared greatly for William’s soul.

Outside the Chantry, Cursant did what all the Chanters do. He recited passages from the Chant of Light. Even as William and the others approached, he looked at them, unaffected and said aloud, “Here lies the abyss, the well of all souls.
From these emerald waters doth life begin anew.
Come to me, child, and I shall embrace you.
In my arms lies Eternity.”

“That’s him,” Berik whispered. “That’s the voice that hired me in the alleyway. The one that was supposed to meet me for payment and never did. The one, that I believe, set me up to also be captured.”

William approached Cursant. “I would like a word with you.”

Cursant, as if not hearing William’s words, continued the Chant of Light, “Blessed are they who stand before
The corrupt and the wicked and do not falter.
Blessed are the peacekeepers, the champions of the just.”

“We know what you did,” William pressed.

“Blessed are the righteous, the lights in the shadow,” Cursant continued.
“In their blood the Maker's will is written.”

“Those who had sought to claim
Heaven by violence destroyed it. What was
Golden and pure turned black,” Quinn retorted.

William turned, shocked at Quinn’s knowledge of the Chant of Light. He turned back to Cursant. “You hired this assassin to kill Bann Vrock. We want to know why.”

Quinn stepped in front of William. “There’s only one way to get through to him. He’s had his own thoughts revoked by the Chantry through their relentless teaching. Let me try something,” Quinn smiled, almost all too happy to do what he was about to do.

“All men are the Work of our Maker's Hands,” Quinn began.
“From the lowest slaves
To the highest kings.
Those who bring harm
Without provocation to the least of His children
Are hated and accursed by the Maker.

Those who bear false witness
And work to deceive others, know this:
There is but one Truth.
All things are known to our Maker
And He shall judge their lies.”

Suddenly Cursant buckled to his knees. Quinn looked at William smugly. William stared at Quinn for a long moment, “I was not aware that you were familiar with the Chant of Light.”

“It is best to know your enemy, or you risk ignorance,” Quinn replied flatly. “I am not ignorant. My reasons for hating the Chantry are founded by knowledge, not assumptions.”


Sanara’s door flew open again. She looked up from her studies and shook her head. “Grey Warden. You again. To what do I owe the pleasure this time?”

William stepped aside and Quinn threw Curant to the ground. “He has something he would like to confess to you.”

Cursant looked up, his deep brown eyes buried in sorrow. “I am sorry! I did it for you! Maker forgive me, I did it for you!”

Sanara looked from Cursant to William. “What is the meaning of this?”

“Tell her, Cursant,” William said firmly.

“I did it,” Cursant wept. “I was the one that hired the assassin to kill Bann Vrock.”

Sanara rushed to Cursant’s side. “Do not let those who walk in darkness intimidate you to confessing lies, Cursant.”

“They have not intimidated me to lie,” Cursant confessed. “I did it for you. I did it because everyone knew Bann Vrock was a bad man! We all knew why he opposed to Chantry’s arrival! We all knew why he hated you so! He would have never stopped! I saw you age because of the fights he would start with you! I had to stop it! I had to stop him! I had to! I posed as Orlen, said I had money, and needed my brother removed from his title, so that as Orlen, I could have it! I did it for you!”

“By the Maker,” Sanara gasped. “Cursant, do you realize what you have done?”

“He’s violated the Chant of Light,” Quinn said, all too happily to make it clear. “A sentence of death, I believe in such a case.”

Sanara looked up at Quinn, her eyes could not hold back the tears. “Go!” she screamed. “Go and leave us! Speak with the guard, release Orlen. I will take care of matters here. I hope you are happy with what you have brought us.”

“The truth,” William replied. “All we have brought is the Truth.”

“Those who bear false witness,” Quinn stated again.
“And work to deceive others, know this:
There is but one Truth.
All things are known to our Maker
And He shall judge their lies.”

“Spare me your petty gloating, Blood Mage,” Sanara barked.

As they left Chantry to press on, to head north towards Denerim, a familiar voice called out. “William!”

William turned to see Navah running up to them. No doubt to say farewell. He was surprised when she said, “I am coming with you,” instead of bidding him farewell and good journeys.

“But I thought, since we found you a Chantry,” William stammered over the words.

“I have seen the path of Darkness that you walk,” Navah replied. “I have prayed to the Maker for guidance. To help me understand… all that I feel. He has told me that I am to go with you. I shall be the star that lights your way in darkness.”

“You have got to be kidding me,” Quinn moaned.

TO BE CONTINUED.
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