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

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Ghil came to join them, dusting off her hands. It would be a tight squeeze for all of them, but they needn't go to sleep just yet. She sat outside the plank-hut, gesturing to the rice, "How are we to cook that?"

"River water seems... inadvisable. We ought boil it in the alcohol." Focus, and a gesture, and a fire crackled to life in a cradle of wood bordered by stone. Thaedrin flexed his hands over the heat, easing. "Surely a pot or pan must have survived the fire."

Ulrin looked back to the old inn that had collapsed. "I think there's one where I got the materials for out shelter." He made his way back over to the ruined building and scrounged up a pot to make the rice in and a few cracked plates to serve it on.

"This should do."

Diocles stayed close to the fire, keeping himself warm. He was rather exposed, and now that they had stopped moving he was beginning to feel it.

Ulrin sat down net to the fire and handed the cracked plate ware off to the other elf to hand out. Following Theadrin's suggestion he filled the pot with whiskey and rice and started to boil it. He used his knife to stir it, trying to keep it from burning over the flame. And used his blade to serve it out his comrades as best he could.

"Eat up."

Oh, poor thing.

Sulahn'nehn retrieved one of the blankets from their makeshift bedding and draped it over Diocles' shoulders. "May as well make use of it now. I do not know if it will be much warmer..." She sat herself close to the archer, her shoulder against his wishing to warm the poor man without blatantly wrapping her arms around him.

She took her plate from the male elf. It smelled strongly and tasted about the same as it smelled. Sulahn'nehn winced and wanted to spit the rice back out. But she was so very hungry. Why would anyone drink something that had this flavor? "This...is awful."

Diocles smiled appreciatively at Sul and Ulrin in turn, taking the blanket and food quietly. Unlike Sul, he dug in hungrily and without hesitation. Perhaps it was a side-effect of his body's regeneration, but he was ravenous.

"Mph. Well, it isn't really consumed for the flavor."

The elven rogue sat next to Ghil and handed her a plate. "Beggars don't have the right to choice," he started to eat. Like Sulahn'nehn he thought it tasted awful. But what could they do about. He ate slowly, no matter how hungry he was he couldn't manage to choke down the meal as quickly as Diocles.

"So to where are we sailing the boat?"

She twisted her lips, it wasn't great, but they did need to eat. "I think you'd have to be made to like this for it's flavor." She ate in mouthfuls to get it over with as quickly as she could. When she just could not take any more, she gave the remainder to the archer. "You may have the rest of mine."

Diocles chuckled at Ulrin as he accepted Sul's plate. He wished she'd eat.. but he wouldn't turn it down.

"Downstream. Kind of the only way to go. 'Beggars don't have a right to choice'."

Ulrin let out a grunt of acknowledgement between mouthfuls at Diocles' words. Though he still wondered if there were any towns or settlements left along the river for them to sail to?

He then turned to Sulahn'nehn looking confused, "You are full? We've hardly eaten today."

Ghil took the plate from Ulrin with a grunt of appreciation, eating quickly and heartily. She kept close to the elf, since he seemed uncomfortable with the others.

"Komnenos isn't wrong. The Minanter will take us east, to Rialto Bay, assuming the boat can last the journey. We'll go to Antiva City, there is no better place to restock. Armor, weapons, rations..." Thaedrin eyed the archer pointedly, "Clothing."

"No. Not really." she brought her knees to her chest, keeping warm. "It is difficult to eat. But, I think I have had enough. I do appreciate the concern."

Sulahn'nehn had no clue where Antiva was, but a place that was hopefully in tact with everything they needed would be nice.

"Antiva. Yes, excellent! Big city, everything we need. I certainly would like some clothes, we don't want me going around like this all the time. .. Hm. Are there wardens there, or will you be buying these clothes for me, Thaedrin?"

"I believe we've discussed how you are to address me. Regarding the matter, it would behoove the merchant lords to make a donation to the Grey Wardens' cause. The Darkspawn have no coin to spend on their wares, after all." He paused, setting his empty bowl aside and adding a thought, "As the son of a magister, they will not deny me."

Ghil went for a second helping, speaking up, "This Antiva city is big?"

He nodded to Sulahn'nehn. The rice was hard to eat, but he imagined traveling starving was harder. "Well, there is more if you change your mind."

Ulrin passed the female barbarian his knife so she would not have to scoop the rice out with her fingers. "A big city with supplies would be nice. I haven't a clue where my second knife went to after that demon..." He shook his head. "I just hope the journey is a safe one. We haven't anything to defend ourselves until we get there."

Diocles rolled his eyes at Thaedrin, but decided to answer Ghil rather than taunt the mage.

"It is. No Minrathous, of course, but large enough it's self-governed without outside interference. Like a capital with no nation."

Diocles collected more food for himself, having little difficulty eating with his fingers. The food seemed to warm him up some.

"I'm with you there, Ulrin. It's unnerving being unarmed like this. Perhaps I should start keeping a boot knife-Or two."

"A back up is not a bad plan, at least not when we are so far from home." Ulrin resumed eating his rice. He only had a small second helping. He felt if he ate as much as he did the first time he would just be sick.

Knife? What knife?

"Oh." she blurted before she thought better of it. She forgot that she'd picked the thing up in the first place and still wasn't entirely certain she did it on her own. "You must have dropped it somewhere in the fray. It was quite a mess."

Sulahn'nehn shifted uncomfortably, hoping no one recalled that particular part of the event. More specifically Thaedrin. And now Diocles was on about them.

Could everyone stop talking about knives for a bit?

Any change in conversation would have been welcome.

Diocles laid down his plate, grasping Sul's shoulder as he did so. It wasn't intended as an affectionate gesture, though-He was trying to steady himself. He hadn't taken into account just how absorbent the rice was, and as it broke down in his stomach he was starting to feel a little intoxicated.

"Woo. We, uh.. Should probably all turn in soon. We could post watch but.. As we are we'll probably all die if we're attacked anyway, and we should be fairly well concealed here."

Ulrin watched the human struggle to stay up right and let out a faint sigh. Death had not made him think twice about the way he lives in the least. Even he had been considering how he was living as of late. "Regardless, we should. Even if we have no weapons, teh advanced warning could be the difference between escape and being trapped."

Fortunately for Diocles, Sulahn'nehn had not had nearly as much of the bitter rice as he did and was able to support the surprise weight. Or perhaps that was unfortunate. She did feel somewhat off, but nowhere near as far gone.

The elf pondered on that subject on that subject. She did not want to volunteer to go on watch and she had an inkling no one would pick her to do so in the first place. Someone else would have to do it. But if Diocles were to go on watch, well, there wouldn't be too much complaining. She could just keep him company, now couldn't she?

"Why don't you take first watch? I bet I'd be rubbish at it, but I can help make sure you don't dose off. Just out front, yes?" Without another word or waiting for confirmation, she got up from around the fire and let her fingers trail across the archer's shoulders as she headed away from the group.

"I-Ah. hm."

Diocles blinked pointedly then, hesitating only a moment, threw Alrik a wink and rose. He headed after Sul with only a slightly uneven gait. Perhaps he was only mildly intoxicated, or perhaps he was merely suffering from an excess of motivation. Regardless, he followed the elf closely.

Ulrin watched the two head off, and he set his plate down with a roll of his eyes. He did not feel there would be too much watching going on. And honestly thinking about it made him sick.

"I think I have had my fill," he stood up from his place at the fire. "So I shall lie down."

Sulahn'nehn sauntered toward the devastated town front, looking for a good spot. "Off to the side? Or are we supposed to be out in the open. I'm afraid I do not know much about keeping watch."

The elf came to a stop as she neared the town's threshold and turned to face the archer with a demure smile, "I must admit, I do not have much interest in watching the trees. I did mean to keep you company, of course. I did not lie about that."

"Right. Like I said, there's actually not much point, it's just for their peace of mind. I mean, ideally you'd find a location that masimises your cover and area of vision, but.."

Diocles trailed off as he eyed Sul, remembering that she absolutely did not care. She was a sight. Were elves shaped like that?

".. Yeah. I'm glad. I'd probably be pretty cold all by myself."

Sulahn'nehn put her hands to his chest, following along his scar. "Then it is a good thing I came along, isn't it?" The elf was fairly nervous. Seduction and leading up was usually completely omitted. Was she supposed to speak frankly or just keep dancing around it? It was definitely not her forte and she was winging it. "I think I can help."

Diocles didn't say anything, just giving her his characteristic grin. He entwined her fingers in his, running his thumb gently across the back of her hand while his other arm wrapped around her back, pulling her close. He hesitated for just a moment, taking her in, memorizing her face. Finally he couldn't resist any longer and moved in to kiss her.

The others remained silent around the fire; it was no mystery what the elf and the archer might be getting up to, but neither was it their business. Thaedrin was the second to crawl into the sleeping area, though he kept well away from Ulrin. Ghil remained awake for a time to assist Alrik with drinking the last of the whiskey. With neither barbarian much for conversation, there was no interruption to the sleepers. Eventually, she crawled inside as well and stretched out to sleep beside her other elf friend.

Sulahn'nehn had not wanted to move, lest she come crashing down from her current state. Which may be described as anywhere from dazed to euphoric. It was different or it least it seemed so to her. You just could not get that in the Imperium.

The elf finally, albeit reluctantly, began to gather herself together. It was cold out and she was legitimately tired."I think..." ,  She took a deep breath and sighed contently with her eyes closed, as if she could fall asleep right there. "I think someone else can take watch now."

"Right you are."

Despite his words, Diocles didn't move right away. Instead he stroked her hair fondly, looking somewhat wistful. A moment later he could not suppress a yawn, and expressed his agreement to retire for the night. He still took his time getting ready to head back. When they did, he escorted his companion arm in arm.

Having returned, he quietly roused Ulrin to take his shift before settling in contentedly to the habitual nightmares of the Wardens.

If she had the energy, she would have expressed how ecstatic she was that the archer's sweetness had not faded away. It was an absolute pleasure to still be treated that way.

Barely had Ulrin been nudged before she started to settle in next to Diocles for comfort and warmth.

The male elf slowly pushed himself up off the ground. It seemed like he had just gotten to sleep. He was too groggy and tired to care what had gone on during the first watch. Ulrin crawled out of the shelter just as Shulahn'nehn made her way in, and made his way out to the front of the town ruins to keep watch.

For hours, Ulrin was alone amongst the ruins. At the third, Thaedrin joined him, walking stiffly from the hardness of the ground and the discomfort of the crowd. Still, he wasn't accustomed to sleeping deeply in the first place. For him, the Fade was just another sort of wakefulness and preferable to the calls of Dumat. It was a door through which he easily crossed the threshold of Alrik's dreams, of Sulahn'nehn's, of Ghil's and Diocles' and Ulrin's.

For the most part, they were all the same.

When he reached the elf, he leaned against what was left of a well and folded his arms, eyes fixed on the inky black of the river. "Go back to bed, while you still can. Dawn will come soon."

Ulrin looked up from where he was sitting on a pile of rubble. He rubbed the side of his face with a yawn, surprised to see Theadrin was there to relieve him of his post. But thankful someone had come. And at least this way, he would not have to sleep next to the man upon his return to the shelter. A thought that made him visibly shudder.

As he stood he muttered half to himself, yet loud enough to ensure he'd be heard, "I hope you can watch over us without summoning any more demons. Or do you need your accursed magic to stay awake as well?"

Thaedrin straightened, his eyes following the elf, "That 'accursed magic' has saved your life more than once, despite your willingness to throw it away. I would suggest gratitude, the next time you wish to show emotion."

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