The First Blight: Curse of Dumat [RP/Closed]

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Ulrin looked down at his meal as part of it was forced off of his plate an the rest smashed by their new equipment. His lips twisted with aggravation and he had to bit his lip before he said anything to the blood mage that would cause a scene. As soon as he walked away the elf picked up the pile of leathers cursing, "How is it that he is so unpleasant! To say I am tired of him is too kind."

The elf handed new armor off to Diocles, "Here. Apparently it was too much trouble to dump it on your meal."

Ah, Thaedrin, of course. They were all overdue for their dosage of foul moods. He had a certain finesse with tearing down atmospheres.

"Lovely to see the Constable in good spirits.", immediately she checked to see if Thaedrin had managed to her the words that were supposed to remain in her head. When he did not react, she exhaled, breathing easier. The Constable's suggestion was sound. It was best to fill their empty stomach and go rest, not that it actually needed suggesting. She hurriedly ate whatever fowl had been served to her.

When she'd had her fill or rather, when her plate was picked clean, she wiped her mouth and excused herself from the table. "I hope you'll excuse me. I want to get a bit of sleep in before dawn...but first I need to find a gown to sleep in. Good night, gentlemen. Ghil."

Or at least one that wasn't missing half of it.

Ulrin picked through what was left on his plate, eating up what he could. He too was ready for bed, is had been a long a day, and the days ahead were only looking longer. "I think I too shall go get some rest, since most of my meal was finished off for me..." He stood up nodding to Ghil and Diocles. "I will see you in the morning. Good night."

With that he excused himself hoping the stay at this inn would be more pleasant than their last.

"Goodnight, my lady, brother."

Diocles nodded to Sul. He had decided to not comment on her compliment, but his grin would shame a shark. He took his new armor, examining it carefully before beginning to dig in to his food.

"Still, this is fine quality. Clearly, he has fallen for me."

Alrik appeared from outside, his hair wet; it was drizzling.

He was holding an entire roasted turkey, and he dropped it onto their table, ripping off one drumstick for himself. "Is better than inn food. Shopkeeper gave to me for free, because I... how do you say it... threaten him with violence?"

He nodded, content that this was the correct choice of words.

"We reach Alamarri soon. May need to kill everybody. Everyone ready?"

Ghil eyed the turkey with equal parts disapproval and envy.

"As ready as they can be. Alrik. You have not mentioned from where you come. Ciraine?"

"Yes, sir!"

Diocles dug in with gusto, not caring for the origin of the meal. Idly he wondered if they'd kept the feathers, turkey feathers worked quite well for fletching.

Alrik shook his head, responding to her in his native tongue. "My ancestors come from Ferelden, but my people went long ago to lands beyond what you call the Hunterhorn Mountains. My name and clan is not known to you. Let us hope they do not find my foreignness offensive, or bloodshed may be unavoidable."

He didn't seem particularly troubled by the idea.

Ghil nodded and pushed herself up from her chair; she clapped a hand to Alrik's shoulder and said, in Tevene, "You fight good." The barbarian woman took her sword off the wall and carried in down the hall to the room she was sharing with Sulahn'nehn. Dawn wasn't so long off now, after the Darkspawn took so long to die.

In the small room, she locked the door and took her time removing her gear: breastplate, mail, uniform. Th bandages came next, and when she pulled them free the skin beneath looked as though it had never taken a blade in all her life. She flexed her arm appreciatively and checked her thigh wounds next before coming to bed.

"Scoot."

Nestled up against the elven girl, she dropped her head to the pillow and heaved a contented sigh.

Alrik settled in to finish his meal, mumbling with satisfaction over the food.

"You fuck with boy elf, too?" he asked Diocles conversationally.

"Pft!"

Diocles choked on his food, coughing in response to the ludicrously inappropriate question. He stared at Alrik for amoment, trying to judge the giant's non-expression, before composing myself.

"Ahhhh, no. Though I'm afraid I do have to bunk with him. Speaking of, I think, uh, I'll retire soon myself."

Sulahn'nehn had gone to bed tickled pink. Never, ever had she believed that any point in her life someone would refer to her as 'my lady'. It would not even happen in her dreams. And yet, just a little while ago, it occurred. She had no idea what to do with it other than lay awake as aflutter as she could be.

When she heard Ghil enter, she knew it was time to seriously consider sleep. Which was for the best, her cheeks were beginning to hurt from all her smiling. She made room for Ghil and then snuggled closely to her for warmth. "Good night."

"Is no worry. Boy elf is close like girl. Commander say all are humans now, but still look like elves to me." Alrik shrugged, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand before getting up and heading upstairs.

He went to Thaedrin's room, entering it without knocking.

"Plans?"

[Double Post]

Shaking his head, Diocles took his new equipment and went to find the room he would be sharing with Ulrin. He had considered asking Ghil to switch with him, but.. Well. Perhaps the next time.

Having found his way in, Diocles didn't offer the same courtesy as last time. He didn't need a bad back before a day of horse riding. He quickly stripped to his underclothes, joining Ulrin without acknowledgement, though he avoided touching the elf as much as possible.

Thaedrin jolted, throwing his chair back with a half-formed spell at his hand. He let out the breath he'd been holding when he saw it was only the brigand, but the tension did not leave him.

"Alrik. Toth's... scaled ass, you startled me." He returned to his seat, which was pulled up to the bed. He'd been using the mattress as a makeshift desk, and maps were strewn over it like poorer blankets. "The plan has not changed, although we have made this detour. We will have to make up the time lost tomorrow evening, we'll ride through the dark until the horses can no longer manage. As for the river... The bridge over the Minanter was destroyed years ago to slow the Darkspawn advance, for all the good it did. We will need to find a way to cross. If we cannot ferry the horses over, we would be lost in the marshes on foot, and that would be ill-advised."

After a moment more, Thaedrin looked over his shoulder at the giant barbarian, one eyebrow raised. "Are you comprehending?"

"Yes," Alrik said simply, coming in to look over the maps.

"Cannot cross there," he said, pointing to the nearest town to Minater. "Darkspawn hold there now."

He pointed to another spot. "Ferry there, years ago. Maybe still there? Maybe Darkspawn."

A third spot. "River shallow there, sometimes. Maybe horses cross, if lucky. If not, waste of time, dangerous."

"Then we won't know until we get there. Wonderful." The blood mage rubbed at his eyes tiredly; when he pushed his chair back to stand, it was with resignation. The maps he piled together and rolled up tightly. He'd need to return them to the lieutenant. "Get what sleep you can, I told the others to be ready at dawn. Another day, likely two, of this wonderful riding weather and we may end up getting some work done."

Thaedrin kicked his chair into the corner, away from the bed. The barbarian could have it, he wouldn't be needing it. He sat and folded his arms and then, closing his eyes, slipped into the Fade until morning.

Diocles was not up early this morning. Perhaps it was the strain on his body from the night before, but the archer was fast asleep as dawn began to creep upon them. While he had attempted to give Ulrin his space, Diocles had migrated towards the other side of the bed during the night, perhaps unconsciously seeking warmth.

Ulrin, perhaps because he was so tired from the previous days events or used to having to share a mat with other slaves, did not initially notice how close the other body in the bed had drifted towards him during the night. The additional warmth after riding through the cold all day only made the short night's rest more comfortable. But of course, he could not sleep forever.

When the elf opened his eyes the first thing his mind told him was that someone was near. Very near. But in his groggy state the first person he could think of that would cling so closely to him in the middle of the night was his sister. "Twynne...?" Hazily he rolled over expecting to see her face and instead cringed and sat up right at the sight of the human archer's nose less than an inch from his own. "DICOLES!" He kicked out a leg and pushed out one hand immediately shoving the archer and himself to opposite ends of their bed.

Diocles coughed, Ulrin having caught him in the chest, as he stumbled to his feet. He hadn't any idea he had done, of course, but he was certain he had deserved that reaction.

"Sorry, sorry.."

Wiping the sleep out of his eyes, Diocles eyed his torn clothing with a somewhat wistful look before beginning to get dressed and armed.

"I'd kill for a bath, but I doubt we have the time.."

The visions of darkspawn seemed less troublesome this time, only intermittently breaking up her otherwise decent dreams. The last one, of course, woke her up. A few seconds later she was able to surmise that the darkspawn were not in there room and there was no immediate danger. It was, however, probably time to climb out of bed, something that was as difficult as fighting the creatures themselves. The bed was so warm and comfortable that it took her a few minutes more to actually leave it.

Sulahn'nehn yawned and stretched, walking over to her uniform. She wished she could wash it and herself, but maybe such luxuries weren't available out here so instead, she dressed quietly. The elf went to her pack and rummaged through it until she found her comb. Just because evil was spilling into the world didn't mean she had to let her hair become a matted mess.

Ulrin let out a dissatisfied grunt at the human's apologies, He turned and climbed out of the bed himself muttering, "Next time I will sleep on the floor..."

He gathers his uniform and got dressed as quickly as he could. What a horrible way to start the day.

"Hopefully next time the accommodations will be more, well, accommodating, and that won't be necessary."

Diocles took his time equipping his new armor and finding the best way to strap his gear to it.

"Be that as it may, if we have to bunk again, I will gladly sleep on the floor rather than-" The elf stopped and shook his head. "I am going downstairs to meet with the others, before Theadrin comes and ask where we are."

Ulrin left the room leaving Diocles alone. Out in the hall he rubbed the side of his head in aggravation. Never again was he sharing a bed with someone. He made his way downstairs to get ready for the days ride.

Ghil rolled over, stirring from her sleep. When she saw Sulahn'nehn working on her hair, she stretched out and smiled. "You want to do mine also?" Then Thaedrin hammered his fist on the door and she groaned, sitting upright, "All right, all right, I will dress..."

The Constable passed Ulrin and hurried down the stairs, a bag over one shoulder. "I swear, if the sun is overhead by the time you all mount up, I will not make it an easy time for you."

Sulahn'nehn sighed.

"Well, I can do so quickly." Once Ghil had dressed herself, the elf brushed out her hair. She would have loved to have taken her time on it, it was a very relaxing task for both parties. But she only did what was needed and stopped there. She was sure if she told Thaedrin they were late due to fixing their hair, he would have her head.

Grabbing her pack and staff, Sulahn'nehn rushed out to meet with the rest of their group. This very early rising would take more getting used to.

Diocles was out shortly after Ulrin, and looking only mildly disheveled. Still, he was ready for battle, bow strung. He nodded to Sul as he passed her, making way after Thaedrin to grab a bite to eat before they left.

The elf sneered at the man's back as he passed him in the hall. How he wished the Darkspawn would take him off their hands. But then who's to say the next Constable put over them wouldn't be worse? "No nothing could be worse than him."

Once downstairs the elf only requested a bit of bread so that he could eat it while he prepared his mount. He knew it was going to be a long day, but he didn't want to linger and give Theadrin a reason to make it longer.

The barbarian woman took bread and dried meat from the barkeep before she followed Ulrin out. In the street, the Constable was already mounted and waiting for them with an irritated expression. Already the clock was ticking past dawn and getting into general morning territory. Ghil eyed one of the few mounts gathered around Thaedrin and turned toward Ulrin with a nod of her head.

"I will ride with you. Come, you are light as feathers." She swung up into the saddle and reached a hand down to help the elf up.

"Komnenos," Thaedrin said, though loudly enough that all could hear, "I hope your performance will not continue to decline at the same rate as yesterday. Come, we've wasted too much time already."

Both Constables had their own mounts, so it was left to Sulahn'nehn to either ride with Diocles or walk; in either case, Thaedrin was already headed towards the gate and the highway at a canter. He wasn't lying when he said the journey was far from over. The pace he set was hard, and if the horses were not living creatures he may have chosen never to stop at all. The further south they came, the more blatant the destruction left behind by the Darkspawn. One stop, for a quick meal of rations and to water the horses, was in the cover of a small town left burned black by a raid, and empty of living souls. He didn't allow them to linger, though, who would have wanted to? They were back on the highway in less than an hour.

Diocles sighed, following the lead of his compatriots in filling his pack with fresher field rations before following them out to the horses. He rolled his eyes at Thaedrin's barb and mounted with grace, taking a moment to adjust his quivers and equipment to make room behind him before offering Sul a hand, insisting on her mounting behind him so he could keep the reigns.

The journey was hard, but somehow he was in better spirits than the night before.

Ulrin took Ghil's hand and allowed the female barbarian to pull him up. He slid onto the saddle behind her and found himself wondering where he should put his hands. He grabbed onto the larger woman's hips as she started out and he wondered just how long it would take before sharing the horse became uncomfortable.

At the burnt on village, the elf couldn't help but look around at the destroyed homes. So far with each battle they had been successful as stopping the Darkspawn's attacks, but this place was not so lucky. He wondered if the barbarians refused to help them,or if they failed how long it would take the monsters to make every town and city like this one.

Sulahn'nehn was faced with a difficult choice. Be left behind to walk alone in the elements or ride with the charming archer. Perhaps it wasn't actually a difficult choice.

The elf readily accepted his help up. She'd meant to gingerly hold onto Diocles for the journey, but the pace set was a bit too fast for comfort, especially on the back end of the steed. She clutched onto out of fear she would fall off. She relished in the short break they had to fill their stomachs before they set out to ride again.

It was settling into evening when they reached the Minanter. Alrik's knowledge of the area proved accurate, and they were able to bring the horses over a shallower section of the river, avoiding both of the Darkspawn-infested cities. Thaedrin never asked where the brigand had gotten his information, since the Hunterhorn mountains were distant from here. He didn't care, either, so it made no difference. He was preoccupied with the cities they had left behind, and the urge inside him to kill what was left crawling about, reproducing.

It was well past midnight, past time to make camp, but Thaedrin pushed them still. An hour more, and Ghil had had enough.

"The horses are all but wheezing, I am near falling off. It is enough of the riding today."

The Constable gave his reins a sharp tug, slowing to a halt. His gaze lingered on the horizon for a moment, long enough that Ghil feared he would return to a gallop. Finally, though, he dismounted and gestured to the others. "Off the road. Set up the tents, we will rest here for as long as is necessary."

Ulrin was thankful that Ghil had spoken up. He was not sure Theadrin would have listened to anyone else if they mentioned how exhausted they were becoming. As soon as they stopped he slid off the back of the saddle. When his feet hit the ground he grumbled just a bit and stretched it wasn't to comfortable riding on the back end of the horse; and to do it for so long was killing him.

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