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Old 01-18-2013, 03:08 PM   #23
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 watched as the men charged up the stairs. There was something going on here. William’s hand was on the hilt of his blade. He could cleave through these men with no problem. But what was Quinn talking about? Their blood being tainted? He could kill everyone who stood in his way – but then he would know nothing of what was happening.

“Stand down,” William looked at Berik. His eyes went to Quinn who was still clutching his stomach on the floor. William looked at the innkeeper, “We will go peacefully.”

“When has a Grey Warden ever gone peacefully?” the innkeeper laughed. “Don’t mind if we take your weapons. Just as a precaution. I am sure you understand.” William hated the idea of being defenseless, but he had to discover what was happening. Could the taint in their blood have anything to do with the Darkspawn? If so, why couldn’t he sense them? Why couldn’t he sense the taint within them?

Something deeper was at work here. Something perhaps, more sinister.

The men quickly flocked William and shackled him. Though Berik continued to fight, a stern glance from William, and Berik surrendered as well.

“Get up, Mage!” one of the men shouted as they grabbed Quinn.

“He’s ill,” William answered. “Be gentle with him. He can barely stand.”

The men had little care for Quinn, and forced him to stand, shoving him forward. The only one they did not shackle was Navah, whom they circled around tightly in case she tried to run.

As they walked through the snowy village of Nahash, William looked at the innkeeper, “So what is the meaning of this?”

The innkeeper cast a side glance at William, but did not answer. William looked at the others and saw one of the men shove Quinn again. Quinn stumbled over his staff, barely able to stand. From beneath his cowl he shot the man a scathing glance; with a look that promised the man’s death at Quinn’s hands.

“Gentle,” the innkeeper said, turning towards the man who continued to shove Quinn. “You know that she does not like her dinner guests to be dead before they arrive.” The innkeeper smiled strangely. William was no idea. He knew what the innkeeper meant; they were to be dinner somehow; for something.

Berik said from the back, “You know, if this is about dinner, I’m rather full. The innkeeper servers a delicious stew, and I had my fill last night. If I could just be let go to lay down at the inn?”

“Shut up,” another man said, shoving Berik forward. Berik stumbled over his own feet but managed to keep his balance. Berik smiled at the man who pushed him, “The last person who pushed me like that lost their hand.”

The man pushed Berik again. “Yeah, I’m not worried about it,” the man grinned.

“The last man who pushed me twice lost both hands,” Berik said, glancing over his shoulder.

“Yeah?” the man laughed, “So what happened to the man who pushed you three times?”

“I cut off his head and spit down into the empty cavity of his brain,” Berik said.

The man laughed, but stopped immediately when he saw Berik’s scolding look.

They walked through the winding, empty streets of Nahash until the reached the side of the mountain. Standing against the elements stood a Stone Elemental, whose Ruby Eyes looked forward into the abyss of the unknown. William would have thought it was a statue before, but as a newly recruited Grey Warden he had been educated on the power of a stone golem and how they were renowned for their powerful strength and incredible endurance.

“Yam hes viel verofer,” the innkeeper spoke directly to the stone golem. The words immediately grabbed Quinn’s attention, who looked up, his brows furrowed together. He understood the words – but wasn’t sure if he actually believed them.

The Stone Golem activated, rock joints creaked to life as the animated creature turned and slowly pulled a large boulder out of the way.

The innkeeper gestured and forced William and the others into the cave. Stepping in after them, he looked at the Stone Golem and said, “Eth Gradon Lilw Irse.”

The door creaked shut as the stone golem worked to close it. William watched as the last bit of light faded away when the door closed. The innkeeper walked to the wall and ignited a torch and began to lead his men forward. Berik stumbled into Quinn, who shot Berik a cruel glance. “Watch where you walk, assassin.”

Along the passage he could see scattered bones in various states of decomposition. William tried to see the others, to see how they were doing, but the flickering torch provided too little for light. He thought he heard something, but couldn’t make it out in the darkness.

“Death,” William muttered, licking his lips.

“It’s all around.” Berik was looking at Quinn, shaking his head, “You know you get a little sick and you become extremely testy, Quinn.” Berik collided into William who had been forced to stop as the innkeeper held the torch to the stone wall and pressed a certain rock, revealing a hidden passage.

Up ahead, he could hear strange noises; noises and sounds he had never heard before. Roaring sounds. And yet some sounded like birds, chirping for food from their mothers. Then, the Innkeeper placed his torch on the wall and he could see stalls; and within them, something moving. Something with skin that flickered and reflected the torch’s dying light. Something longer than a horse. Bigger than a horse.

“Dragons,” Quinn said, finally. “Their blood is tainted by Dragon Blood. The words he spoke to the Stone Golem is the fabled tongue of Draco.”

“Shut up, and get to moving,” the man said, shoving Berik into Quinn.

“I warned you,” Berik whispered.

“You’re bound,” the man laughed.

His laughter stopped when he saw a glint of steel in the shadows coming at him. He felt a cold blade across his throat, immediately followed by the warm sensation of blood oozing down his chest. He collapsed to his knees, suffocating and drowning in his own blood.

“By the Dark!” the innkeeper shouted, when he turned and saw everyone was free.

“Funny thing about us Broken Hand members,” Berik smiled, holding his dagger firmly in his hand. “At a very young age, we are hand cuffed and thrown into a deep pool with stone blocks shackled to our feet. We sink to the bottom of the pond very quickly. It’s surprising how quickly you learn to unshackle yourself when your life depends on it.” Berik shrugged, smirking, “Sure, it’s a bit of a rough childhood. Easy to lose friends who aren’t as quick. But then, it trains us to have that emotional detachment that we need to do our jobs.”


The innkeeper stared at William and the others. The innkeepers men had been rendered unconscious or killed, either through Berik’s silent methods, or by the prick of his dagger, which was laced with crippling poison.

The innkeeper shook his head. “You’re foolish. These drakes are under my command. With a snap of my finger,” he held up his hand, and just then Berik was behind him, as if teleporting through the shadows, and grabbed the innkeeper’s wrist and severed it, throwing the discarded hand into one of the pens with the drakes. The drake immediately began feasting on the flesh. The innkeeper buckled to his knees, holding the stump of his hand.

“I guess we just don’t let you snap your fingers,” Berik said with a coy smile.

The innkeeper watched as his arm bled. He looked at Berik, anger burning in his eyes. The innkeeper suddenly stood and grabbed Berik by the throat and held him. Berik wheezed the words, “A little help here…”

William grabbed the fallen guard’s sword and ran it through the innkeeper. The innkeeper’s blazing eyes turned on William and flung Berik into him, sending the two of them crashing to the ground. The innkeeper pulled the sword out of his gut and stared at them.

“Well that didn’t go exactly as I saw it in my head,” Berik coughed, as he rubbed his throat and struggled to stand.

TO BE CONTINUED…
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