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

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Ulrin stopped and turned around to face the mage. "Gratitude?" He snorted. "Why should I? You may have save my life on occasion, but I never wanted it to be saved. I only had to be, because you forced me to live. Had you slain me from the start, I would not need your magic to keep me alive."

He pointed at Theadrin, "And now, you very nearly killed us all. I owe you no gratitude, blighter."

The blood mage came away from the stone, stepping toward the elf to look him sternly in the eye. He easily had height on the elf.

"I forced it on you, yes, you poor thing. I forced it on you because the world has need of all capable hands as Grey Wardens, to combat the Blight. Believe me, I would have rather you perished during the Joining than be someone I must rely upon to perform. And yet, here you stand, clothed in ignorance and narcissistic pity, craving peace for yourself while so many others are left to suffer." Thaedrin's voice had grown sharp as the words spilled past his lips, but now he paused, and murmured lowly, "Now tell me again why you ought not be grateful."

The elf's own face twisted with anger and frustration as the mage spoke. How dare he demand he be thankful. How dare he ask anything of him after all he had taken from him?

"The only reason Grey Wardens are needed are because of selfish humans like you!" He spat. "You want me to be grateful! For what1 being forced to clean up the mess of you and your disgusting brethren! Oh yes!" He gave a mocking, flourishing bow, "Oh yes! Constable Theadrin, I am so thankful that you arrogant blighters have the nerve to slaughter my kind to bring a curse upon the world- then force the rest of us to clean up the horrors you have unleashed upon us! The world suffers from the doing of your magic! And you and your kind continue to use it! And you ask I pay you respect!" He took a step back and spit at the Bloodmage's feet.

"I do not fight for you, because you forced me to! Or even for myself! I fight for those you've brought suffering to and for those sleeping back there!" He pointed back into the ruined city. "They are the only ones that deserve anything from me! And they deserve an apology from you!"

Thaedrin's hand lashed out and struck the elf full across the jaw. In the silence of the ruined city, the sound seemed impossibly loud.

"You know nothing of suffering, you worthless wretch, but if you continue to test me I will be certain you learn." The Constable's expression was one of absolute fury, and it may have been a struggle in the man to stay his hand against another assault, "Get out of my sight, before I make your death wish a reality."

The elf snarled after the human struck him. His hand moved to grab his knife, he almost drew it to slash the mage across the face, but Ulrin stopped himself. He glared at the Bloodmage while he spoke and ordered him away. Ulrin had no problems departing from the man's presence. He turned on his heels and stomped off, fist clenched. Though he did look back over his shoulder, wishing he could stab the man through the chest. If not for their situation, he felt he could have.

But cutting into a Bloodmage wouldn't really help would it? Not unless he could take his head off in one swing. Or stabbed him to death in the dead of night while he slept. He clutched at the knife all the way back to the shelter, seething with anger.

Ultin climbed over the other occupants and wedged himself next to Ghil, there was something comforting about being next to the barbarian. Perhaps because she wanted to be in this situation about as much as he did. The elf folded his arms around his chest and shut his eyes trying to sleep his anger off.

Thaedrin similarly smoldered during his watch, walking the perimeter to work off his frustration. When dawn came, he ripped back the blanket covering the opening of their makeshift hut, letting the growing daylight onto his sleeping comrades.

"Up. All of you." He turned away from the structure, watching the distance again, "Antiva City is a long way away from here, the sooner we leave the better off we'll be."

Ghil grunted as she sat upright, blinking. There was a dryness in her mouth and a dull ache behind her eyes that she didn't like. Still, she clutched at her broadsword and gently shook the elves beside her awake.

Diocles awoke with a yawn. It hadn't been the best night's rest, but it had been an excellent night. He was content and fairly happy, despite his miserable circumstances and companions. The prior night was a little foggy, but what he remembered was quite nice. He habitually reached for his gear, only slightly put off when he realized he had none of it.

"Good morning."

Sulahn'nehn rose reluctantly, stretching her back to alleviate the aches caused by the hard ground. She covered her mouth, shielding rather large yawn. She greeted her companions the same as the archer did. Unlike him, she had not forgotten she was without her staff and left their place of rest. She did not go far, she awaited Diocles to accompany her.

"I've never traveled by boat. Is it very awful?"

"The boat is small, it will do much of the rocking." Ghil clapped Sulahn'nehn on the shoulder as she passed, heading to the bank to get the craft into the water, "I hope you will not be sick!"

Thaedrin held Alrik back as the others followed Ghil to board the boat, "Listen. Assuming the damn thing doesn't sink the moment you step into it, we will be vulnerable if the Darkspawn find us. Worse, if it's Alamarri. Be watchful."

Sulahn'nehn's face greened at the possibility of becoming ill due to the motion. It was going to be an extremely long trip...

"Maybe I should ride on the outside..."

"Center shakes the least, actually. Come on, I don't remember it being much worse than a horse."

He gave Sul half a smile, helping her into the craft.

Ulrin awoke still feeling as annoyed as he had when he went to sleep. Theadrin had a knack for consistently souring his mood. Not that it was usually pleasant. However he did nothing to hide his contempt for the bloodmage as they made their way to the boat.

He looked to Ghil and spkoe in a low voice to her, "If the boat does not make us sick, I know dealing with that man will. "

Ghil's brows raised at the remark; not that it wasn't true, only that she had assumed it went without saying.

"What is it now?"

Alrik nodded to Thaedrin, looking equally grim. "Lucky us, Alamarri have not so many archers. Have to wade in to get us."

Ulrin looked up at the barbarian woman. "Theadrin..." the elf looked over his shoulder at the man briefly before looking back at Ghil, "Last night when he took over the watch.. He was just his usual upsetting self. Demanding things of us he does not deserve." He huffed, and crossed his arms. "How I wish the Alamarr had killed him instead."

Ghil reached over, squeezing the elf's shoulder reassuringly, "And here we are, obeying."

"Remain aware," Thaedrin said to his fellow Wardens as he climbed into the boat, "Enemies on the shore will not damage the boat as surely as debris in the river."

The craft was carried by the current, more swiftly than their feet could have carried them by far. Alrik was at the rear, directing their route with the handle of his greataxe at Thaedrin's direction. Tension between the Wardens left the drift downstream an oppressive atmosphere, but the silver lining for some, at least, was that Thaedrin didn't speak a single word beyond the boat's navigation.

"I'm not obeying him becuse he is right, Ghil. I am only working to keep us alive." He nodded to her before retuning his attentions ahead at help keep an eye out for any debris or dangerthat could cause damage to their vessel.

There was no plus side to being trapped on a small boat with Thaedrin. Or being stuck anywhere with him for that matter. The boat itself was about what she'd expected. The swaying, the ups and downs made her feel a bit ill, but if the center was the best spot for her to be in, she did not want to imagine what the outer side was like. Sulahn'nehn focused on her feet rather than the shifting horizon, groaning.

Diocles kept his ears open, but did not speak. He eyes stayed on poor Sul, and he rubbed her back with one hand in an attempt to soothe her. It seemed he was the only one still in a good mood. Still, he restrained himself from attempts at levity, they likely wouldn't go over well.

Hours later, Thaedrin stood and called a halt. They were soon to reach the bay, and they lacked paddles to navigate it. He directed his comrades out of the boat, and let the current sweep it away. It was a miracle it had lasted this long, besides.

"We've no choice but to go the rest of the way on foot. Come, let's hurry."

Ghil looked north, toward the direction of the city; plumes of black smoke rose from the horizon. "That does not look good."

"Darkspawn. Fasta vass. Vorenus should have sent us with some damned griffons. Let's move. Things will be grim if we continue at this pace."

Ulrin clutched the handle of his knfe and looked toward the smoke. "It's been grim for a while. Let's just hope that we can do some good in our present state."

The ground had never seemed so beautiful but the relief was short lived. They seemed to be too late everywhere they went. "We'll just have to press forward."

"We should approach with stealth-We'll need to if we're to be of any use."

Despite his vulnerable state, turning tail never occurred to him.

Antiva City was strewn with corpses; in the southern district they laid three deep in some places. Only one guard remained standing there: Jarrik de Avalos, still largely unhurt thanks to his heavy armor. Only three Darkspawn were left to face him, but more Darkspawn were coming all the time, whereas there was no sign that Antiva City has any guards left to give.

The last living Hurlock charged on Jarrick and fetched him a heavy axe blow to his breastplate; this dealt damage, but was mostly mitigated by said armor.

Two Emissaries, their battalion mostly dead now, turned their rage on Jarrick as well. They fired bolts of lightning into the knight; these crackled over his body, dealing substantially more damage than the axe.

The closer they grew to the city gates, the denser the corpses. Antiva City's lines of defenses had been overwhelmed, the gates smashed and splintered. The combat had moved within the walls, and if they did not turn the tide they would have no one left to demand aid from.

Thaedrin turned toward his Wardens, eyes fixed on their mostly empty hands, "Get what weapons you can from the fallen, there isn't time!"

Ghil still had her broadsword, which she drew now in anticipation of the charge, "With me!"

"And the day had started so well..."

With the sun beginning to wane in the sky and the air chocked with smoke, Jarrik stood alone amid make-shift barricades that had funneled the carnage. With the bay at their backs and everyone wealthy enough to afford the newly extravagant rights of passage with remaining ships already fled, everyone else was left without recourse: fight or die. There was no where to retreat.

Scores of men had rushed to defend their homes and livelihood from sell swords, cut purses, merchants, peasants and what remained of the city guard. They all stood, and died, as one for the once in their lives. Few had any equipment to speak of, in truth Jarrik was only on his feet because of the steel encircling him. The normally gleaming plates long since caked in blood, human and darkspawn alike.

His arms felt like lead, Jarrik was not one to tire easily, but hours of fighting had taken its toll. And the three remaining darkspawn had done little to improve matters. Even as his mind focused on his skin burning and the aching in his chest where the axe had impacted, enough muscle memory had been drilled in to act without thought though. Jarrik battered through the Hurlock's feeble guard with his shield and drove his spear into the monsters side, retreating sluggishly to his guarded stance ready for the next assault.

"Killll himmmm," one of the Emissaries groaned. It was apparently quite overtaken by its own bloodlust, as its next bolt went wildly astray and blew a chunk out of a nearby mill.

The other Emissary, more cool-headed, landed another strike, putting a shard of ice through Jarrik's calf.

The Hurlock, stumbling back after taking his blow, responded in kind, again striking true, though again without too great an effect.

Diocles' keen eyes quickly surveyed the battlefield, and he seized a strung bow and half-full quiver from a darkspawn corpse. He took only a moment to adjust for the strength of the bow, its uneven nature, and the lack of proper nocking points. His arrow flew true despite the difficulty, wounding the Emissary slinging ice. He shouted fervently, hoping to draw the beast's attention.

"Your doom approaches!"

Ulrin followed after Diocles into the battle field. Like the archer he looked over the bodies as he ran, stopping to pick up a knife. The elf followed up the human rogue's attack on the genlock with one of his own. slashing into the monster's arms.

"You damn monsters never quit!"

Ghil found the Hurlock warrior on the lone guard and gave it a new target. Her broadsword slashed in an arc across its backside, and while it shrieked in its shock she gave it a solid kick to the gut. The woman danced around the foe to defend the armored man, shouting at him, "Run! Go!"

"Damn...!" Thaedrin cursed as his spell went wide of its target; perhaps Alrik's blood had not rejuvenated him as much as he'd thought.

Seeing bodies was still not easy nor was rooting through them for weapons. A staff lay a few feet away from a corpse and she rushed forward to grab it. She did not have the time to consider how wrong it was to take from the dead, it was more important to say, focus on the darkspawn that were still standing.

The staff was unfamiliar and possibly damaged. It felt foreign. Her spell seemed to sputter out of the end of the staff, striking down a darkspawn.

"Ah, Ser de Avalos. Yes, I believe we'd be interested in services. Here's your stipend for the month as requested."

There'd be none of that cheap Tevinter swill now, only the finest Antivian reds. He had thought to himself leaving the merchant steward's office. That was before deciding that perhaps a pre-breakfast drink to celebrate was in order.

Then the watchtower bells began to ring.

The darkspawn's last assault left Jarrik nearly leveled, but not quite broken. He was beginning to loose feeling, nerves frayed with conflicting messages of skin burned with lightning then frosted cold and the creeping dull numbness of absorbing blow after blow from that Hurlock's axe.

Where was the glory in this? No one sings tales of the last soul added to the pile of the dead.

The Hurlock pressed the advantage, slamming into the armored warrior in an attempted to force him to stumble back on the wounded leg. Luck or skill, in the middle of a melee it's often hard to tell, but Jarrik managed at the last moment to set his spear for the Hurlock's charge. The heavy shaft bending under the vile beast's weight, holding it at bay but not quite piercing its hide. Jarrik took the opportunity to crack it across the jaw with the hardened shield, just as much as weapon in practiced hands as any razored edge.

Alrik sprinted at one of the mages and swung his axe in a blow that likely would have taken its head off if it hadn't ducked, avoiding the blade entirely. Alrik looked marginally offended.

The Genlock mages knew when they were overmatched; both tapped deep into their last reserves, and each unleashed a mighty fireball. These exploded centered upon the group of newcomers, blowing Alrik, Ghil, and Ulrin off their feet.

The Hurlock, single-minded to the end, barely noticed the grievous damage Ghil dealt to him and continued swinging away at Jarrik, again dealing only a small amount of damage.

"Run! Go!"

For a moment the haze of heavy fatigue lifted and Jarrik was startled to notice he was not alone. At first glance it appeared to be some last wave of common folk, finally steeled to dying, joining the fray. One didn't even have a shirt, but his welcome relief fought much to well for hands more accustomed to fishing nets and plows.

A large burly woman nearly cleaved the Hurlock he was fighting in two. Its attention split between foes, he lashed out with the blunt end of the spear, tripping up the wounded darkspawn. As it tried to scramble to its feet, a final jab to the neck sealed its fate with vile ichor spilling out onto the street.

"Them that could flee have already, but whoever you are, you have my thanks."

Ghil looked almost surprised at the dead Darkspawn at her feet. Her eyes swept over the man's copious plate and nodded stiffly in response. Who was she to argue? She turned on her heel to aid her comrades in the fight against the two enemy mages. Her sword flashed up and severed the arm of an emissary from its body. As it screamed, suddenly a spell hit it from the side and drained it of the last of its blood and life force.

Thaedrin retreated quickly out of range once he had delivered his blow, "Be cautious, there's still one left!"

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