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Old 01-18-2013, 03:08 PM   #22
Vaprakgruumsh
Drizzt Do'Urden
 

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

William set his helmet on the dresser and stared at himself in the mirror for a long moment. What was he doing? What was he going to do when he reached Denerim? Demenad that Teyrn Loghain pay for what he’s done? In Denerim? Where Teyrn Loghain no doubt had already had the time to spin his tale in favor of his actions and convince the nobles that what he did was the logical choice.

He fought the yawn that he felt rising up, his eyes stung. His body ached terribly. Sleep would do him some good. Just as he sat on the edge of the bed, a gentle knock came to the door. William’s hand moved beneath his pillow where he felt the welcomed cool, steel of his dagger that he had always kept close by. “Who is there?” he called out.

“It’s me,” the soft voice replied. William was puzzled. What would Navah want at this house? Moving across the small room he opened the door slightly and saw that Navah stood there, her large green eyes looking at him, pleading that he open the door and let her in. He stepped aside and let her come into his room. “What is it, Navah?”

She wrung her hands several times, her eyes now averting his. “I realize I have been, difficult,” she stammered over the words, “and that I have not been easy to get along with always… you walk a much darker path than my own… one I have a difficult time following sometimes… but then… I have seen… that sometimes,” she continued to fumble, hating that she sounded foolish in front of William. “I have learned that sometimes,” she looked up and saw his gaze transfixed on her, and she immediately looked away, “Sometimes there are difficult choices. Choices that are a step into the darkness; but the end of that path – there is light. Great light.”

“What’s this about?” William asked.

“Quinn. You. Both. Me,” she wasn’t sure how to answer it. “When you were dying… Quinn made me decide if your life should be saved by using Blood Magic, by draining the rest of Crusant’s life… Crusant was willing to give his fading life force to save you, and to redeem himself… I knew Blood Magic was evil… I knew it… I still know it,” she added softly, “but to lose you… felt worse than agreeing to Blood Magic.” She looked up at him, and this time met his gaze and held it. “I was suddenly afraid of what it would feel like to lose you. Forever.”

“What I am saying is,” she took a step closer. She could feel his warm breath. She put her hand on his chest, felt his heart beat beneath his shirt. She looked at her hand, then up at him. “What I am saying is…”

At that moment, there was an explosion and a wave of heat followed by shouting from Quinn. William pushed Navah aside gently and grabbed his sword and swung the door open, only to be welcomed by more searing flames.

“Maker’s Breath,” were the only words that escaped William’s lips as he saw men rise, even as their flesh was ablaze with fire.

“We’ve got trouble,” Quinn laughed as he launched another wave of flames at the men who advanced. “Lots of trouble,” he added, when the men did not fall, and continued their steady march towards Quinn.

Berik’s door flew open and three dead men fell out. “Is that really your best?” Berik laughed. He jumped out into the hallway. “You know, I was thinking,” Berik smirked, “my life was very exciting as a member of the Broken Hand. Now, I see I wasn’t living until I traveled with you, Grey Warden.”

“What’s going on here?” William asked as he charged the three men who were advancing on Quinn.

“Snuck into our rooms through the closet,” Quinn said. “They thought I was asleep. I knew something was wrong. I feigned as if I were sleeping and they emerged from the closets!”

“Same,” Berik said. “Except I was asleep and they woke me. Sounded like an arch demon coming from the closet. Of course,” Berik added with his charm, “I have exceptional hearing. Broken Hand training, and all. And perhaps some of that Elf Blood in my veins gives me an advantage!”

William hacked down the three who were advancing on Quinn. Quinn kneeled down to examine the men. “This one,” Quinn pointed, “it’s the pleasant guard who greeted us at the gate.”

“How did they even survive the flames you were burning them with?” William asked, as he searched their bodies for clues. He turned and faced his own closet. “Why didn’t they come for me?”

“Perhaps they thought a Grey Warden might be too much for them,” Berik shrugged. “I guess they didn’t expect a Blood Mage and an Assassin. And I guess they didn’t go for her because, well, looks like she was in your room, huh? Guess we only needed three rooms after all?”

William shook his head. “If these men were sent for us – then someone else must be expecting them to come back.”

“We should prepare for more,” Quinn nodded. “I will need to regain my strength. Navah, you may wish to avert your eyes.” Quinn did not wait for her to look away, he began chanting and speaking the twisted words of dark magic! Suddenly the bodies of the deceased began to glow faintly; then shiver; then blood trickled out of their pours and into the gash in Quinn’s hand that he had cut with a ceremonial dagger. Suddenly Quinn doubled over, clutching his stomach.

William immediately went to Quinn’s side. “What is it?”

Quinn looked up, but his pupils were gone. His eyes were white. William stared in disbelief; it was the same look he saw in the two others that had been with him during the Joining.

“Their blood,” Quinn’s voice was there, but it was echoed by a deeper voice. “Is tainted.”

“Tainted?” William asked, although he was uncertain who he was speaking with.

“Their blood, gives them their resistance, their power,” Quinn’s voice echoed that of some other being.

“Maker’s Breath,” Navah gasped, “What has happened to him?”

“I’ve never seen this before,” William answered.

“I’d worry about yourselves,” a voice said from down the hall. William looked and saw the innkeeper and several others. This time they were armed with weapons, rather than relying on stealth.

William stood between the innkeeper and Quinn. “This doesn’t have to end this way.”

“Oh,” the innkeeper smiled, “but it does have to end this way, Grey Warden. We wanted to get them out of the way first. We knew you would be a tough one to handle. If we got rid of your help, we would eventually get you through sheer numbers.”

“What’s the meaning of this?” William asked.

“You will find out soon enough, Grey Warden,” the innkeeper laughed. With a gesture, the men behind the innkeeper charged forward.
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