Adventurers of the Inquisition: A Dragon Age RP (started)

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Eventually the excitement of the battle faded and sleep engulfed the town. By the time the party rose the next morning many of the villagers had begun work on repairing the damage caused, though they were happy to help resupply the group for their trek back out of the mountains. In fact most set aside their work for at least a moment to wish them goodbye, by the time they made it out of the village they'd had their hands shaken by almost everyone, and heard "maker bless you" more times than they could count. The last person to wish them well was Arthur, who was still recovering from his injuries but looking quite well considering the condition the abomination had left him in.

"I'm almost sorry to see you go," he said "this has been the most excitement I've ever seen, I don't think we'll ever forget how you helped us out. Don't see too many visitors up here, but anyone we do I'll be sure to tell them what you did for us."

With the storms having passed said trek proved much easier going back than it had been before, though it was still a tiring trip through rough trails that were in places still covered with snow and ice. By the second day hiking back though the sun had melted the worst of it, and they made excellent time back to the Inn where Calien had first hired them. However Calien was not there to meet them and instead they were greeted by a rather strange sight. In his place two men dressed clearly as agents of the Inquisition. As the group approached the Inn they moved to speak with them.

"Ah, you must be the party Calien hired," one of them said.

"We don't know that," the other said to him, annoyed.

"They match the description exactly," the first one said "how many groups containing two Quns, and two dwarves do you think are up in the mountains anyways?"

"I dunno, its a big mountain range," the second said "besides, they're missing a person."

"They were sent to investigate demons, we've lost more people on operations to investigate nugs," the first one said, causing the second one to shudder.

"Don't remind me, I still have nightmares."

The first one sighed and turned back to the party "Were you hired by Calien?" he said "If so we've instructions to gather your report and escort you to Haven."

"I'm almost sorry to see you go," Arthur said, "this has been the most excitement I've ever seen, I don't think we'll ever forget how you helped us out. Don't see too many visitors up here, but anyone we do I'll be sure to tell them what you did for us."

"It certainly has been an eventful couple of days," Berund agreed with a nod. He added, chuckling, "Just try not to go after any more abominations, right? Best of the vein, friend."


"Were you hired by Calien?" he said "If so we've instructions to gather your report and escort you to Haven."

"Yes, that would be us," Berund stepped forward to answer. He expected the welcoming party to at least be under a roof where they could take a moment to rest and eat. He could feel his stomach rumbling, though thankfully it wasn't particularly loud. "Are we expected to give our report here, or shall we take this inside?"

She felt like she'd nearly had her arm shaken off by the exuberant locals, had her back slapped so many times she was sure there was a hand print on her armour, and received one stammered marriage proposal from a little boy; she thought he would burst into flames when she kissed the top of his head. Getting her sword back from the smith she'd been greatly impressed by his skill in re-honing the blade, as well rebinding the grip.

"I'm almost sorry to see you go, this has been the most excitement I've ever seen, I don't think we'll ever forget how you helped us out. Don't see too many visitors up here, but anyone we do I'll be sure to tell them what you did for us."

"Well don't take this the wrong way boy-o," She said with a smile. "but let's hope that that was the most exciting thing you see. Tangling with demons can have a pretty disastrous effect on your health." With that, she clapped Arthur on the shoulder, and headed off after Berund.

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Kari nodded in agreement as Berund identified the group, but she couldn't help but tighten her grip on her sword when one of the Inquisition soldiers mentioned 'escorting' them to Haven. Being 'escorted' by uniformed forces had a tendency to have negative connotations in her experience. "Aye we're short one." She added, doing her best to keep a note of suspicion out of her voice. "Turns out she didn't have the nerve for it and bailed on us." Maker damned drunk...

For all it was worth, Ash had slept well that night, and though he still felt rather good, he could feel the influence of the demon again, creeping back into his mind. However, at least the rest helped him be calm as he and the others suddenly were the centre of attention. Ash wasn't skittish, not at all, and he didn't mind talking to people, he could quite enjoy it. That was when it was some people, though, the entire village as well as the mages, shaking and patting his back and praising him and asking and--- he was a bit unnerved by the end of it. Despite his size, he had gotten fairly decent at avoiding attention from 26 years of hiding, sit in the back and ignore the pointing and occasional remark thrown his way.

Maker, please, can't it stop?

The mages especially made him look to the floor, even if what Jacques had said was true, even if they weren't going to hurt him. It took some getting used to. Not to mention, it was... embarrassing having so many people thank you when what you had done amounted to letting a spirit into your body and casting one spell. Embarrassing, yet it felt good, yet he'd wish they'd tell him once at a time, and instead it became mixed with everything else, and he took a breath of relief when they had finally gotten to the last person, Arthur.

"I'm almost sorry to see you go. This has been the most excitement I've ever seen, I don't think we'll ever forget how you helped us out. Don't see too many visitors up here, but anyone we do I'll be sure to tell them what you did for us."

"Please don't mention me then," Ash frowned. "Not, like, in details, not... I'm... happy you're fine. Don't let that pretty face get any more scratches on it, okay?" With that, he stepped away, more eager to face the storm than the village. He knew that once he had let it sunk it... like, a lot, it would feel better, he'd feel like their thanks meant something, but right now it was a little too much.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Were you hired by Calien? If so we've instructions to gather your report and escort you to Haven."

"I can help give the report," Ash said, defensively, stepping a bit away. With what the others had said, he couldn't deny being who they were looking for, but he didn't like the situation. It was barely noticeable to the rest, but for him it meant a straight path to the door and outside, in case they tried to do something. He settled for a somewhat intimidating expression, hostile and suspicious, he had no plans of letting whoever that was taking him anywhere, regardless of if it was the inquisition or not.

An odd change, perhaps, for the rest of the group, but the hostility was more a ruse than anything else, hiding the fact that he was fearing the worst right now. It was, however, an easily seen through ruse.

"But after that I want my money. I don't want to get escorted anywhere by anyone. Not unless you tell me why."

"Have a meal first please."

"Don't worry, they will bring it up in a second. Surely my ghastly face will encourage them to spice the tasteless stew up." Von chuckled with warmth.

"What use is the past?"

Hearing his courageous comrade speak of such as thing, Von turned his head to the floor and placed hand upon chin. "Ah ... a difficult question as any." He gasped with his former strangeness. Starting to walk around the room, Von's feet stepped slowly, and his eyes met each object. "Of course, the past is something everyone has, and it builds the road to the future ..." The Templar's voice echoed through the room, containing hints of slight bitterness.

"From family to failure, it sticks with us to death." His mutter sounding more distant, as if he saw into the Fade. Swiping his finger across a dusty countertop, Von came to the fireplace. Quickly, he threw a piece of wood into the raging flames. "Even you have an answer to that question. My past has dictated my need for redemption and discovery, and I use these feelings for those goals, like kindle to my dying flame." Von lastly said, before his eyes gazed deep into the fire.

Spinning around back to Jarrett, Von clasped his hands together, fire back into his eyes. "Well then, I better clean up here." He said eyeing the bloody mess on his sword and biting his lip. Yet, before the Templar said anymore, there were three knocks on the door. "Come in, come in!" Von announced from the inside with joy, a smile now spread on his face.

A young girl excused her way in, handling a tray with stew and wine like a professional tavern maiden. "Here my Lord." She said with a lack of emotion, at that moment even Jarrett could see the shocked eyes of Vonr. "Ah ... no, you don't need call me that." He said with gentleness. Taking the tray from the girl, Von placed it by his fire. "As good as any home." He announced, turning back to the girl. "Thank you little missy." Von's voice filled with cheer. With a true smile, he handed over more bronze than usual to his tips.

Looking gleefully at the tip, the girl bowed. "Thank you, thank you sir." She said before rushing out. Which left Von turning to Jarrett. "And that felt like a good award as any." He giggled before opening the door. "It was ... good to talk, thank you Jarrett." Von said, a friendly face and noble tone overtaking his horrifying aura beforehand. With his guest gone, the Templar sat down for his meal.

Before he knew it, sword was polished, armour was shining, and the fire was dying.
Von quickly jot the thoughts of today in his journal before turning in, just as darkness took the room.


In the bright morning in the mountains, Von woke up surprised at his surroundings. "At least it isn't a barn." He muttered to himself, at that moment he could feel the warmth back in the skin, yet as usual, the coldness of the mountain nipped at any revealed flesh. Cuddling himself with his cloak, Von hurried downstairs to get his fill of food. The time went faster than usual, and by the time all had gathered for a farewell, Von almost talked up the young lass that gave him his food last night.

Bah, I know, I know. Maker, you can't give me some personal time. Von thought in his head before meeting up with everyone else.

"This has been the most excitement I've ever seen, I don't think we'll ever forget how you helped us out. Don't see too many visitors up here, but anyone we do I'll be sure to tell them what you did for us."

Still in the middle of saying thank you to those that blessed the Maker upon him, Von finally turned to Arthur. "Thank you for all the hospitality ... but if you need assistance again ..." Von's voice trailed off, his mind was filled with doubts, but for once he smiled at them. " ... You can call the Inquisition!" The Templar boldly claimed before turning. His cloak flowed with energy as Von walked by his comrades.


The Agents of the Inquisition, it all seemed a strange sight for Von, it was the first time he has seen others from the faction. By the time Berund and Kari has spoken, even Von noticed a light sense of tension between the two groups. Stepping forward, Von gave a strong nod to the two. "Yes, we are that party, and we have fulfilled our contract. As the strong one suggested, one party member abandoned us." Von said, his tone now turned into one of bold confidence that one could usually hear from a Templar.

"Before we do anything, we would like proof of identification. For in the world of today, trust is a most sacred thing." Von boldly asked, his sharp eyes turning on them. In Von's mind though, all he had tried to do was imitate his father who was Knight-Captain, after all, it did run in the family.

"Are we expected to give our report here, or shall we take this inside?"

"Turns out she didn't have the nerve for it and bailed on us."

"But after that I want my money. I don't want to get escorted anywhere by anyone. Not unless you tell me why."

"Before we do anything, we would like proof of identification. For in the world of today, trust is a most sacred thing."

The duo both started to speak at once, answering different questions, then paused. The second shook his head, clearly annoyed, but the first shrugged and turned to address Von. He rummaged around in a bag for a few moments before producing a small letter, from the folds of the paper it looked to have been rolled up at one point.

"This will hopefully do as proof," he said "it's the instructions we received from the Nightingale, er, she is the Inquisitions head on such matters."

The note indeed seemed to be instructions, and bore the seal of the inquisition. Simply put it told the two agents, Norton and Pell, to wait at the inn, though anything beyond that was written in some sort of cipher.

"As for your money I'm rather sorry to say we don't have it here," the first one said "that's part of why we're required to escort you to Haven. Simply put Calien didn't have the authority to hire agents to act in his place so we were a rather short notice replacement for him once he was recovered. We were fresh off of another operation and didn't exactly have much money on us. Besides sister Nightingale is interested in getting your report herself."

"That said," the second one interjected "we'd like to hear it now, that way we can be sure you were the ones Calien hired."

His eyes wandered over the group, lingering briefly on Jarrett who was standing back from the others, carefully observing the conversation. He sighed and spoke again.

"Calien certainly hired an odd bunch though, I doubt there are many other groups that would match your description," he said "I have to wonder at how he found you."

"Not like we can talk," the first one said cheerfully "from what I hear the Inquisition recently hired on some mercenaries led by a Qunari, flames I even heard there was a Vint in the band."

The second rolled his eyes "So then, your reports?" he said, then turned to Ash "I trust there will be no issue in coming to Haven for your payment? You'll be free to leave afterwards."

Nola stayed quiet as they other voiced their suspicions. No reason for five people to say the same damn thing. Nola grabbed the note first. Her own curiosity getting the better of her. Simple instructions and scribbles. Yup those were orders all right. She handed it back to the men with a nod to the others. "Can't say I'm not unfamiliar with orders from the higher ups. If it makes you feel better I get your suspicions now." She shrugged.

"We went to the village like your friend said. It was getting hit pretty hard by all sorts of things. Most of them stemming from a demon possessed mage. Crazy Wolves, a Giant Bear, A demon made of lava. Even tried to get a drake under it's control." She smiled at that and pulled a scale from her pack. She looked it over, showing the two men the proof of the kill. "That was a fun fight. Got a pretty decent reward out of it even if you don't pay us." She chuckled and put the scale away.

"As for where the possessed mage came from, a group of escaped mages made their way out there to get away from the fighting when they got caught in a blizzard. They lost a few of their own and apparently one hung on long enough for the demon to take notice. From there it tried to raze the village. Whether out of some sorta sick kicks, or if it had better plans, I don't know, it didn't get that far." She finished with a smirk. "I think that's about it, unless I forgot something?" She asked looking back at the group.

"So then, your reports? I trust there will be no issue in coming to Haven for your payment? You'll be free to leave afterwards."

Ash nodded, carefully. While he still didn't completely trust these people, orders or no orders, he honestly wasn't looking forward to when they eventually split up. Having people, -someone, anyone- around him was comforting. Well, as long as they weren't there to harm him, of course. He let Nola talk about the events.

"As for where the possessed mage came from, a group of escaped mages made their way out there to get away from the fighting when they got caught in a blizzard. They lost a few of their own and apparently one hung on long enough for the demon to take notice. From there it tried to raze the village. Whether out of some sorta sick kicks, or if it had better plans, I don't know, it didn't get that far. I think that's about it, unless I forgot something?"

"I don't think so," Ash said, not exactly feeling eager to mention what he had done. "A rage demon, the hunger demon, some lesser fade-beings, more than two dozen wolves, a drake..." he counted.

And apparently a bear.

He definitely would've remembered that one. "And a bear. The village should be safe now." With that, he went quiet again, eager to get moving, though not so eager to be left alone.

I do wonder how much that'll get me.

It should be enough for a fairly comfortable bed for at least a couple of weeks. Perhaps he could go home too, though he always felt emptier, more lonely, each time he left. He heard the words leave his mouth before he realized he was still talking.

"Uhm... is the inquisition hiring? I'd like to join. I can do... magic things."

Anything was better than being alone, but Ash still found himself surprised at his own mutterings. Yet, it made sense.

I'm tired of being alone. And I'm tired of hiding that I'm a mage.

Listening to the situation unfold, Jarrett was unconcerned about the matter of payment. If anything, it could clear up any lingering doubts as to everyone's motive. He was however annoyed once Nola spoke up, up to and including the end of her report.

"I think that's about it, unless I forgot something?"

Jarrett couldn't help but give a frustrated expression as Nola revealed many of the dangerous details early on. It wasn't just that she gave what he saw as an unprofessional impression but that it could give the Inquistion a grasp on the situation firm enough to make their own decisions on the situation. He'd prefer to have greater control over it.

"Uhm... is the inquisition hiring? I'd like to join. I can do... magic things."

Speaking up Jarrett acted casual as he attempted to add to this. "Your magic was of aid to us. Kept good control over the battle." He tried to direct the conversation to avoid the specifics of Ash' abilities and actions. Ash's request did have the benefit of reminding him of something.

"We won't have trouble with the Templars here since he's with us? Are there Templars here actually?" A question he already knew the answer to though.

"We won't have trouble with the Templars here since he's with us? Are there Templars here actually?"

Hearing the concerns of Jarrett, the party, and the surprising wish from Ash, asking to join the Inquisition, Von decided to speak up. "I've only heard rumors, mostly concerning Knight-Captain ..." Von's words trailed, making him look down as his memories flashed back to his life in Kirkwall, and how he served Cullen back in that career. Finding his voice again, Von cleared his throat. "I heard some things about a possible former Knight-Captain, in fact I served under him before." Von said, gently grabbing the note from Nola.

Opening it up, his eyes remained on the Agents in front. "Even if there isn't a single Templar ... there is now. For I also will join the Inquisition." He announced to the party. Internally the now former Templar only hoped that the rumors were right, for if Cullen were there, certainly some special Templars would rally to him.

Nodding, Von opened up the note, fully gazing over each word. "Nightingale ... I swear I've heard that somewhere, something about shadows ..." He muttered, but his voice trailed off once more, deciding that sometimes, the shadows do not need to be exposed to light.

Closing the letter, Von spoke up once again. "I will certainly go with you, but I wish to ask, may I report to the Commander of the Inquisition?" His voice trailed on the edge of hope and worry.

The duo listened carefully to the reports, the second making notes as they spoke the first just nodding as they spoke. When they were done they turned to answer the group's questions.

"Uhm... is the inquisition hiring? I'd like to join. I can do... magic things."

"We won't have trouble with the Templars here since he's with us? Are there Templars here actually?"

"I will certainly go with you, but I wish to ask, may I report to the Commander of the Inquisition?"

"Mages are certainly welcome in the Inquisition, as are others who are willing and able of course," the first said "in fact last I heard the Herald was pursuing an alliance with the mage rebellion."

"We might've been helping with that if we were only stationed closer to the Hinterlands," the second muttered.

"As for templars there are a few who are with the Inquisition already," the first said "though I'm afraid the majority have rejected the possibility of an alliance, sequestered themselves somewhere to the east I believe. Still you needn't fear them working for us, it's going to take all sorts to seal the breach, mage and templar alike."

Finally he turned to Von "And I suppose you can report to Commander Cullen if you like," he said "though he's rather busy, so he might not appreciate you doing so."

"The man needs to learn how to delegate better," the second said.

"Anyways you should make yourselves ready to head out," the first said "there's still plenty of daylight left so we should get heading to Haven while it lasts."

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They arrived at Haven several days later, their pace aided by the agents obtaining spare horses for the group though these were quickly stabled on arriving. They were not the only recent arrivals to the Inquisition's headquarters though, it seemed that the Herald had indeed succeeded in allying with the mage rebellion and the camps were practically overflowing with newly arrived people wearing robes and carrying staffs. Indeed the soldiers and agents of the Inquisition seemed to be struggling to manage all the new arrivals. The two agents who had brought them to Haven departed to make sure people were aware of the groups arrival and returned a bit later.

"Well I've got some bad news," the first one, who by now they knew as Pell, said "seems like things are a little busy right now."

"You can say that again," Norton, the second one, said.

"Yeah, the Herald and the mages are preparing to seal the breach," Pell said, looking excited "but uh, it does mean that it might take some time to sort out paying you."

"Don't worry, it'll get done," Norton said "just make yourselves comfortable in the meantime, some of us agents are going to be skywatching, see if we can watch the breach get closed. Or hopefully at least shrink a little, so long as it doesn't start spitting out demons again I'll take anything."

"Have a little faith buddy," Pell said, then turned to the group "if you need anything we'll be over by the chantry."

With that the two left, leaving the group standing in the snow. Around them soldiers sparred and practiced, though many had taken a break to watch the Breach. Mages discussed and argued among themselves, and some merchants and other civilians went about their own work.

After saying her piece, Kari remained quiet as the others fired questions at the Inquisition troops that'd met them. Bit by bit she relaxed, they were answering questions too readily for it to be likely that they were going to be lead into a trap. Unless that's the intention, and this is just...Andraste's Ass girl, this isn't Val Royaux. Chuckling to herself, she noticed things appeared to be wrapping up.

"Anyways you should make yourselves ready to head out, there's still plenty of daylight left so we should get heading to Haven while it lasts."

"Fuck..." She muttered. It'd been a long cold walk and she'd been hoping to get warm meal, a few drinks and maybe a nap, in before they headed back out; unfortunately that didn't seem to be in the cards.

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She was glad of the horse, but would've been much happier riding towards somewhere much warmer, and much further away from the Breach. During the ride to Haven, Kari found herself staring at it often and growing uneasy the closer they got. Her unsettling thoughts were pushed aside when they finally came into view of Haven; sure it was little more than a few huts clustered near a Chantry, protected by little more than a simple palisade wall, but the sea of tents and constant streams of people moving about showed that the Inquisition was far better organized than one would expect from such a newly founded organization. While their handlers went off to check in, she admired the set up.

"Well I've got some bad news...seems like things are a little busy right now."

Oh no...

"Yeah, the Herald and the mages are preparing to seal the breach, but uh, it does mean that it might take some time to sort out paying you."

"I fucking knew it!" Kari spat, trying to keep a lid on her temper. One or two soldiers looked her way as she took a deep breath. Don't start shit...at least not with you sword. Sure she was good in a fight, but she was way outnumbered, and that didn't even count archers or mages.

"Don't worry, it'll get done, just make yourselves comfortable in the meantime, some of us agents are going to be skywatching, see if we can watch the breach get closed. Or hopefully at least shrink a little, so long as it doesn't start spitting out demons again I'll take anything."

Hefting her blade onto her shoulder, she made a little sound of disgust the sighed. "Fuck it, if something needs killing call me; otherwise I'm going for a drink." Norton raised a hand towards the entrance. "Through the gate, up the second set of steps, building on your right." He said. "Thanks." With that Kari set off.

Ash felt a little tense as templars were mentioned, he had not considered that. Why? Perhaps because he hadn't considered joining the inquisition either, it had just sort of happened. Right now.

I do hope I'm not making a mistake.

However, he was relieved to hear that not only would there be a place for him, but that there were other mages there. He wouldn't have any reason to fear templars if there was that many mages, right?

And I won't be lonely either, Von seem to be joining as well. Even if he's a templar, I don't think he'd try to arrest me.

He looked over at the other, smiling to himself.

"Anyways you should make yourselves ready to head out, there's still plenty of daylight left so we should get heading to Haven while it lasts."

Ash really wanted to get some food, but he nodded. He supposed it was better to just get there and be done with it. Besides, he wasn't leaving again, odd as it sounded, he'd be able to stay there. Surely they would be able to feed him there.

"Let's get going then," he replied, and sat down for a short moment, waiting for the others to get ready.

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As they rode, Ash couldn't help but feel uneasy as he got closer to the breach. It was like a tear in the veil, just bigger, ominously so, and he found himself tugging at his horns as they continued. The closer they got, the more of the fade he could sense, and the more of the fade he could sense, the closer the sloth demon felt. It had definitely returned, though his visions had returned to a somewhat calm, minor version, nothing as severe as what he had felt when slaying the drake. Now, however... he feared falling asleep in Haven, if only because he wasn't sure he'd like the way he could wake up, confused and haunted by hallucinations.

It'll be fine.

When they arrived at Haven, he was pleased to hear that they were preparing to seal the breach. However, he wasn't as pleased to hear that it would mean that they wouldn't get their money anytime soon. Then again, he was cold and hungry, money didn't matter right now.

"Don't worry, it'll get done, just make yourselves comfortable in the meantime, some of us agents are going to be skywatching, see if we can watch the breach get closed. Or hopefully at least shrink a little, so long as it doesn't start spitting out demons again I'll take anything."

Oh. Right, that could happen.

Ash rubbed his hands together, wanting to get inside. Especially since he had forgotten to use some of the cold-salve, and he was freezing. He had no response to the thing with the money, at least they would get it eventually. He hoped. Kari was clearly more upset about it, cursing and leaving to get some drinks.

"Fuck it, if something needs killing call me; otherwise I'm going for a drink."

"Wait up," Ash replied, and followed her, keeping up with her pace. He figured that the food would be in the inn too, and he was getting beyond hungry. He had eaten some berries and such that he had found on the way down from the mountain village, but it wasn't nearly enough to keep his appetite stalled, and whenever they had stopped, he had taken the chance to eat more. The last bit had been a long trip, though. Following for a short moment before catching up, he spoke to her.

"So... are you going to leave after you get your money? I know there haven't been much talking between the two of us, I always seem to trail behind when we walk and I go to bed early instead of drinking, but, if you are leaving, I wish you luck." He smiled, trying to cheer her up a bit.

"Of course, I have a feeling that the people who really need that luck would be whoever facing you in a battle, you're scary," he chuckled, feeling a little warmer as he did, as laughing was almost kick-starting the heat in his body.

"Wait up,"

Kari checked her stride slightly and turned to see Ash hustling after her. Odd. She thought. Ash had seemed to mostly keep to himself for the most part, though after the assault on the village he seemed...different.

"So... are you going to leave after you get your money? I know there haven't been much talking between the two of us, I always seem to trail behind when we walk and I go to bed early instead of drinking, but, if you are leaving, I wish you luck. Of course, I have a feeling that the people who really need that luck would be whoever facing you in a battle, you're scary."

"Well thank you," She said, giving Ash a grin that would've made a dragon proud. "If I can scare my opponent, then the fights half won before we ever cross swords. As for leaving...been thinking about heading home for a bit. Haven't seen Dad since before the Blight hit; I know he survived and all that, got a letter from him a few months back, but that's not the same...it'd be good to see the old rabbit again."

Nola sighed, she had wanted to rest for the night. The return trip from the village had been long and cold, and she wanted the drink Kari owed her and a warm bed. Oh well, at least it's a pass the the inquisitions main camp. Maybe now I can actually help on a bigger scale

"Anyways you should make yourselves ready to head out," the first said "there's still plenty of daylight left so we should get heading to Haven while it lasts."

Nola nodded and smiled. "Then lead on man. No since in staying here and getting comfy if we're just gonna leave."

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Nola jumped from her mount as soon as they stopped, shooting a look at the horse as she massaged her cramped leg. Damn horses. Dwarves weren't built to ride animals like that.

She looked around Haven, admiring thew view of the mountain range despite the big glowing green hole in the sky. She could feel the tension of the passing troops and workers, all anxious to see the Breach closed. Nola tried not to let it show, but so was she. She was almost used to the big empty space above her, but the tares in the sky had brought most of the fear that she thought she had left behind.

Still she smiled looking around. She had made it to the inquisition camp. Maybe she could still make Ilyn proud. She closed her eyes and inhaled the cold air. A familiar scent hit her. It was faint but unmistakable. Her eyes bolted open as she looked around. No, could it really be....? She thought trying to drown out the sound of voices and clashing of blades. The ringing of a hammer, the heavy breathing of the bellows, the hiss of hot steel in the cooling liquid. She smiled as she finally spotted it. The forge.

"Berund, I know where I'm gonna be if anyone needs me." She said without looking at the man. She quickly made her way to the forge, her face in a grin. She set her pack beside the fence and leaned forward, taking in the sight of the forge workers. The hammers rang and the bellows groaned. It was music to her ears.

She looked around and spotted a man who was clearly the one in charge. "Hey! Hey forge Master! Over here for a moment!" She called raising an arm. "Any chance you want another pair of hands? At least for a bit?"

Entering Haven silently, Jarrett quietly mentioned to the rest that he'd be busy until the Herald closed the breach before waving off the group. Maybe if he had spare time after this he could head to the bar and try and calm her down. Heading to it were looked like there were a number of soldiers training, Jarrett called out to whoever looked the most important. "Names of your Templars and best tailor?"

"Well thank you. If I can scare my opponent, then the fights half won before we ever cross swords. As for leaving...been thinking about heading home for a bit. Haven't seen Dad since before the Blight hit; I know he survived and all that, got a letter from him a few months back, but that's not the same...it'd be good to see the old rabbit again."

Ash was curious. Was her father Tal-Vashoth, like his mother? However, he didn't ask, it might be considered rude, seeing as Tal-Vashoth was, according to his mother, traitors to the Qunari. Instead he thought of what she had said.

"I know how you feel, I miss my mother. I mean, I've been to see her after the blight, but it feels like she's so far away. Then again... she's happy where she is, it's a small village in the middle of nowhere, and they let her boss them around because they respect her," he chuckled. "Imagine that, a Tal-Vashoth being respected by humans and elves. It was a wonder we ever found it, almost 15 years of walking back and forth between Ferelden and Orlais, never being able to settle down. We were always moving around, hiding, and then..." he trailed off, looking at the sky.

"Of course, I couldn't stay. I've always had so many nightmares, and they started getting worse after a couple of months there. My mother mentioned leaving, the nightmares scared her even more than the magic. She would always wake up when I had the worst of them, and prepare warm milk for me when I woke so that I would have an easier time going back to sleep. But when she said we would have to leave, even though she was getting settled in and accepted, I didn't have a choice.

She sacrificed everything she believed in and all her friends, and then she became a Tal-Vashoth for real so that I would never have to follow the Qun and become Saarebas. I couldn't take this from her, not this friendly little village of misfits. So I left, 15 years old, during the early time of the blight. I really shouldn't have, but... but she's happy. It's almost been a year since I last went to visit her, but she's always smiling when I'm there, even though she's afraid of magic. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to leave again, she makes things feel so much easier, as if I could be shielded from anything."

He sighed, looking at Kari.

"She'd not be so happy if she had known about the blood magic, though." He stopped talking as they got inside the inn, and it wasn't before a short moment he continued again. The inn was warm and nice, and he saw a nice spot by the fireplace he wanted, motioning towards it to Kari.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to talk so much. I suppose I've just got a lot to say, huh," he grinned, and tugged at his horns. "Anyways, I'm sure you have a lot better stories than I have, mine are dull, gloomy and unremarkable. And the happier of them reveal that I'm a bit of a mommy's boy, if you couldn't already tell," he chuckled again, for all the regret he was feeling, he wasn't going to make Kari feel down as well.

Hearing the news that Cullen was certainly alive and at Haven made Von's eyes lit up. Knowing the man, the Templar had served under him, and with him as Commander of the Inquisition, it would certainly be a military marvel to witness his work with a whole army. Yet hearing the news that the Inquisition was still new, it only reminded Von that he could serve as a pillar that pushed the Inquisition to better heights.

Eager to ride, Von looked at everyone, a look in his eyes could transmit feelings of hope. "Let us go."


With the group dissipating around him, either walking heavily to tavern, with eagerness to the tailor, or even intrigue to the soldiers, Von only looked up at the The Breach in the sky. A tear in the realm of man, with a green envious glow, it gave the feeling of despair. Von could barely take his eyes off that tear, for a bad feeling swelled up in him, both past and present. Remembering the news from before, this was where many bodies lay, including that of the Divine.

Tearing his gaze off the gash that stained the Heavens, Von knew what he had to do. Marching off by himself, he flowed through the small village with an aura of determination, looking upon the many Chantry members that swept by him. Von could see the hope that came from the center of the Inquisition, the feelings that battled that tear in the sky.

Certainly Von could use the money, and just like everyone else, he was a little annoyed, but with his future in front of him, he did not care as much. Coming in front of the Chantry, the former Knight-Corporal breathed in gently. "So they use this as their headquarters?" He muttered quietly. Shrugging, the Templar walked in, giving a nod to the two agents in front. Busy, was the only word that could describe it. Members of both Inquisition and Chantry ran around.

Sighing, Von knew he would get not silence, but still he would offer his prayers to those that died in the area, and that hope will prevail over the bad feeling he had.

This is why I should just keep to myself. Kari thought as Ash went on about his life. "At least you've met you mother." She said casually as they entered the inn.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to talk so much. I suppose I've just got a lot to say, huh. Anyways, I'm sure you have a lot better stories than I have, mine are dull, gloomy and unremarkable. And the happier of them reveal that I'm a bit of a mommy's boy, if you couldn't already tell."

Settling into a seat beside Ash, she smirked at him. "Well most of my stories involve fightin', fuckin' or drinkin'...sometimes all three; anyways you're not that much of a 'Momma's boy'. I mean you held your own pretty good against that drake, and that thing you did in the village...I've met plenty of people that would've bitched out in that instance." Kari paused for a moment as one of the serving staff at the inn brought them tankards and bowls of hearty stew. "If nothing else, the Inquisition seems to have good grub...anyways...like I said before, at least you've met one of your parents, that puts you one up on most Qunari."

"Berund, I know where I'm gonna be if anyone needs me."

The Brower looked toward Nola and raised a brow. Her words pulled him from his own thinking and he was lost as to what she could mean, but when the forge came into view it was perfectly clear. He smiled as she scampered off like a child. He didn't see that sort of excitement often enough.

Berund had just finished collecting his gear from the horse's saddle bags when he noticed a few of the others heading off in search for a good drink, and perhaps a hot meal. He had a mind to follow when he wondered if he should see about getting his steel checked by the forgemaster. It had been quite some time before his weapons were last touched by a professional's hands, and they had been used fairly liberally in the recent days. For that matter, he figured he may as well get his armor checked as well. He was due payment, so it wouldn't be much trouble for his pocketbook.

After changing into some plainclothes, and sure to wear a thick fur coat to fight the cold, Berund marched towards the smith, taking in the sights of the quaint village as he went. He thought Haven to be the kind of place he may want to settle down many years down the road. Aside from the gaping demon breach, of course. He felt a small village wherein everybody knew everybody and it allowed for a powerful bond between them. He felt it was the sort of environment that bred strength and stability. Ideal for a family. But that was a thought for another time.

"At least you've met you mother."

Ash winced as she said that, had he said something wrong?

"Well most of my stories involve fightin', fuckin' or drinkin'...sometimes all three; anyways you're not that much of a 'Momma's boy'. I mean you held your own pretty good against that drake, and that thing you did in the village...I've met plenty of people that would've bitched out in that instance. If nothing else, the Inquisition seems to have good grub...anyways...like I said before, at least you've met one of your parents, that puts you one up on most Qunari."

He rubbed his neck, not sure if she was trying to tell him to knock it off with mentioning his mother, or if she just meant it like that.

I think this means that her father isn't a Tal-Vashoth.

Or even a Qunari. Probably best not to pry, then. Ash nodded, swallowing the mouthful of food before talking, as he had started eating the second it was brought out. He only took sips of the drink, though.

"Yeah, I didn't mean to sound like I was complaining or bragging or anything. And thanks, I try not to be a coward, like, really hard," he joked, enjoying the food inbetween sentences. Mostly that, at least. Everything was warm, and nice, and there was a buzzing from the people around them that tinged with excitement and anticipation, likely because of the Breach.

"Also, I wouldn't mind your stories, I like fucking and drinking, and the occasional fight. Me and my friend, Sol, we---"

For the briefest moment, there was a pained expression on his face. Then he smiled, it wasn't necessary to force himself to either, he was still in somewhat high spirits. He wasn't about to get upset either, it had just stung for a short moment, like a prick or a tiny shock of electricity. Still, Sol was the only person he hoped he hadn't met twice, even if the time they had spent together eight years ago was the happiest he'd ever been.

Noticing that he had gone quiet at a bad spot, he continued, speaking as if he had gotten lost in memories. Good memories, only that, no reason to make Kari think he was being moody.

"Let's just say we used to have a lot of fun including all three. As I said, I like that kinda stuff, so I'd love to hear your stories. Unless, of course, you're in a bad mood still and would rather I stopped talking... then that's fine too."

Ash stuffed his mouth with more food -he would have to ask for a refill soon- and examined the inn a bit more, curious to see what kind of people he would be working with from now on. His eyes went from person to person, looking at the inn and the people inside like a child might look at magic before they were taught that it was dangerous.

"Eh, not really in a bad mood; more annoyed than anything." Kari said eventually. "One does expect to get paid after a job like that..." Petering off again, she tucked into her meal before letting out a satisfied sigh as she slumped in her seat. "Nothing like freezing your ass off and eating trail food to make you appreciate the little things."

She sat in silence, taking in the sounds of the inn before grinning at Ash. "So you want to hear a story? Alright the. It was a year or so before the Blight hit, and I'd signed on with a company based out of Starkhaven. It was a not bad gig, but kinda low paying; mostly guarding merchie caravans going between the city and some of the little farming towns. Easy but dull...anyways, we were back in the city blowing off some steam between jobs, drinking plenty and generally spending our coin like an Orlesian chasing the latest fashion. We're all sitting around at our usual dive, telling bullshit stories and getting drunk when some shit-face Rivaini asshole starts trying to start shit with me. I'd gotten up to order another round for the crew and this ass deliberately bumps me, then blames me for his spilled beer."

"Anyways, we start yelling at each other, and his friends and the Company all start to gather around, and they start yelling. Pretty soon, those not involved are clearing out and the innkeeper is trying calm things down when a voice come thundering down from the upper level. 'WHOSE DICK DO I HAVE TO SUCK TO GET SOME BLOODY PEACE AND QUIET AROUND HERE?' It boomed. We all fell silent and looked towards the railing, and there was the Company's Captain, Doras, the shortest elf I'd ever met, stark naked. He'd taken a woman up top a while ago, and we'd kinda forgotten he was there. As he's standing there glaring at all of us, the woman he'd been with appears, trying to drag him back into the room...and here's the kicker. She was the Rivaini asshole's sister. The asshole yelled something about slitting Doras' throat, Doras pegged him with a thrown bottle from where he was still standing, and the inn exploded. The next thing I clearly remember, the Company, were sprinting away from the inn laughing our asses off. According to a few of the guys, at one point I grabbed a Dwarf from the Rivaini's crew, by the ankles and was using the poor bastard as a bludgeon."

"Any chance you want another pair of hands? At least for a bit?"

The smith grunted and motioned with his head for her to join the others at the forge, he didn't say much but seemed perfectly willing to hand Nola work; and there was plenty of work to be had. The Inquisition might still be a young organization but it was already fielding a veritable army of soldiers and spies, and needed proper armor and blades for every man. There were even enough bits of armor sized for dwarves that for a moment Nola could feel as if she had drifted back to her smithy in Orzammar, crafting blades for some Deshyr.

"Names of your Templars and best tailor?"

"Eh? What d'you care about what Templars we have?" one of the soldiers answered, seeming confused and suspicious "I couldn't tell you that anyways. If you want tailoring done you could try the quartermaster. She's up on the hill outside the chantry most days, whinging about how we need another logging stand."

Shrugging the soldier turned back away from Jarrett and continued sparring, though even among the sparring soldiers their attention seemed distracted by the Breach. The group was in haven for some time and through it all the Breach seemed to be wavering. It was hard to say how long they had been in the camp when at last, with a brilliant flash of light the hole in the sky was closed. Cheers erupted throughout the camp, some even began to cry tears of joy, the Inquisition had done it, the Herald had done it. Surely now the world would see what good the Inquisition meant to do. Festivities quickly sprang up, people began dancing and singing, drinking and playing music, reveling and laughing in their triumph. While this was a welcome distraction it did mean further delays for the group's paycheck, but at least they had entertainment now while they waited.

The joy was not to last however, night had scarcely settled over the town of Haven when bells tolled out in alarm. A force was approaching, an army of men clad in steel and covered in jagged crystals that bathed the mountainside in a dark red glow. Only a strangely attired messenger arrived with a warning, calling them the 'Red Templars', and at the armies head appeared a monstrous figure, a twisted mockery of man. Few could hear the messengers words though, the only thing that was widely known were the orders Commander Cullen shouted as the army drew nearer.

"Soldiers gather the villagers, fortify and watch for advance forces," Cullen shouted, sword drawn "Inquisition, with the Herald! For your lives! For all of us!"

In moments the front of the horde would hit the walls, which were far from adequate to withstand a continued assault, but some men including the Herald took to the front standing to meet the oncoming tide. The choice was with the various members of the group what to do, there was panic in haven and fortifications to be shored up, but there was also the advancing army to be fought. Already dozens of red templar soldiers began making their way to the walls, clashing swords with the defenders, already some of those defenders were being driven back towards the walls, fighting desperately against a relentless foe. Inside the walls was better, but people were still stumbling and tripping over each other trying to flee into the chantry, some even too terrified by the sudden attack to move, instead cowering where they stood.

Ash had spent most of his time after that eating and resting, not falling asleep, but curling up on his chair and allowing himself some rest. Nothing to think about, or worry about, or anything like that, just staring into the fire, listening to Kari when she spoke, though his mood was a calm one. Waiting. He couldn't help but feel a bit anxious himself, even if the hole in the sky never had been his main concern -oddly enough- and even if he knew it wouldn't help him.

When the breach was closed, he could feel it, and a breath of relief quickly became something more, as he decided not to worry about the drinking for once, and allow himself to have some fun. It was a long time since he had done anything remotely close to partying, and he was still feeling rather good.

For once. I mean, this herald of theirs just saved the world, and that doesn't happen every day.

Hours later, he had some young guy in his lap, another mage, as he sat outside to look at the sky. Between discussing the looks and bodies of others in the area -both women and men- and making suggestive comments towards each other with the occasional peck on the cheek, they got along well. Ash could feel the alcohol getting to his head, but he wasn't feeling that bad, and his new friend was getting him drinks whenever his cup ran empty, and he didn't have the heart to refuse. Not when his friend -had they even introduced themselves?- looked at him with big brown eyes and a freckled smile that looked like it might vanish at the first hint of rejection.

He had emptied another cup, and the mage had already gotten up to get yet another, when they could hear the bells. He could see the lights arrive over the mountains, enemy troops, and quickly got up, ready to act. He watched as the doors were opened, and someone in an odd attire entered, though he couldn't hear the warning. A blonde, good-looking man with feathered, puffy shoulders then shouted.

"Soldiers gather the villagers, fortify and watch for advance forces. Inquisition, with the Herald! For your lives! For all of us!"

Right... I'm a part of the inquisition now, am I not?

The change of pace got Ash startled, though he quickly ran ahead, keeping his distance, but starting to shoot lightning-bolts at the attackers.

I think I've had far too much to drink, though.

He thought to himself, as he looked at the attackers. There was something sticking out of them, red spikes, almost. A kind of lyrium? It certainly didn't look like it, and he figured it was just the hallucinations getting affected by the drinks.

Because that's not what Templars are supposed to look like.

After parting company with Ash, Kari wandered Haven for a bit before getting dragged into a game of Wicked Grace with a few of the other mercenaries the Inquisition had hired. By the time the cheering started, and somebody burst into the inn shouting that The Herald had sealed the Breach, Kari was up a considerable amount; one more good hand and she'd own a full set of 'Bulls Chargers' armour, dwarf sized.

From there, it went from gambling to pass the time, to drinking to celebrate the victory. So long as they remember to sodding well pay me! One drink turned into two, two into four, and so on. By the time the parties started to die down, she was very drunk, even by her standards; now tired and wanting to crash out, she stumbled through the doors of the Chantry and collapsed into a darkened corner.

It felt like she'd barely fallen asleep on the floor, when the bells began to sound. "By the Maker I am going to hang that bell ringer by his balls!" She snarled as the clamour woke her. There were people streaming through the doors of the Chantry, the sounds of terrified voices were enough for Kari, even in her state, to realize something was wrong. Pushing through the crowd, she shouldered outside to see a torch lit force spilling over the hills towards Haven. "Fuck me..." Gripping her sword, that she hadn't realized she'd even been carrying, she began to run towards the palisades.

"Soldiers gather the villagers, fortify and watch for advance forces," Cullen shouted, sword drawn "Inquisition, with the Herald! For your lives! For all of us!"

Her cry joined those of the Inquisition troop, and she charged with them, crashing head long into the attackers. Using the pain of her throbbing headaches to fuel her anger, Kari cut a swath of destruction though an early wave of troops; during a brief lull, she actually looked at who she was fighting, and was stunned to see Templar crests on the armour of those not twisted into horrendous monstrosities by the red crystals that seemed to jut from their flesh. "By the Dread Wolf! What are these things?"

Having spent most of his time getting scouting Haven and getting the tear he made in his clothes fixed, Jarrett was disappointed that he'd yet to reunite with his friend. One that would have to have to wait a little longer it seemed as bells as the voice of the Inquisition's commander signalled Jarrett that battle was fast approaching.

Catching up to Ash, Jarrett saw a look of what seemed to be surprise or confusion and it didn't take long to figure out why. The Templars attacking looked deformed at best, their corrupted bodies reminding Jarrett of abominations. Speaking at Ash, "They're as in need of death as abominations. They needn't suffer much longer." Unsheathing his daggers, Jarrett leapt past the other defenders, rushing into the thick of battle already knocking down a few of the attackers.

Quietly praying, Von could feel the people flow around him. The feeling in the air was not just one of occupation, but one of panic. Feeling the edge of tension in the air, the Templar opened his eyes and separated his hands. Once getting to his feet, he saw, people were flowing in like waves of ants. They were yelling, gasping, and sweating all over the place. Von even saw someone who had a gash, whose blood was flowing on the floors of the Chantry.

"Soldiers gather the villagers, fortify and watch for advance forces,"

Hearing the voice of his Commander, Von wanted to go, but looking at the villagers and chantry sisters working for survival. "I will." Von said, his commitment now aimed at the survivors. Walking outside the Chantry, Von pulled out his blade with grace, and raised his sword in the air, beckoning to whatever power now lingered in the sky. "Everyone, rally to me. Man, woman, and child, come here, embrace the safety that is here!"

Taking a breath, he could see some of the shaken villagers get up and run. Smirking, he raised his sword in a determined posture. "Friends, soldiers, fellow Templars, fight for the people, fight for yourself, and fight FOR VICTORY!" Von shouted, forcing his voice to bellow across the battlefield, so that even Cullen could hear him.

Gathering the rest by force and making them go to the Chantry, Von came down like a force of Heaven, as he rushed to the front-lines. Before arriving at the gates of Haven, he slew a Red Templar. His sword plunging into its body, allowing unnatural blood to flow out onto his blade. Looking down at the corpse, he knew it was a Templar, and what was worse, he knew the red that surrounded it. "Red Lyrium ... I've heard of the rumors, but this is ... " Von's voice cut off, as he had to suddenly counter another Red Templar.

With a quick flick, Von's empty hand had already equipped his dagger and gashed the throat of the enemy.
Coming to his friends, new comrades, and familiar superior. Von rushed into the battle, jumping off a rock and plunging both of his blades into a unlucky enemy. "FOR THE INQUISITION!" He yelled.

By the time Berund arrived at the smithy, he could see Nola had already taken it upon herself to begin working. "Makin' yerself right at home, I see," he said, setting his gear down on a nearby table. "How long has it been since ye last set foot near a forge? I'd guess far too long, given the way ye hurried off," he added with a chuckle.

Nola hummed as her hammer stuck the hot metal, a smile never leaving her face. She stood by the anvil in her under shirt, her armor in a neat pile by her pack just outside the forge by the fence. She lifted the red hot blade in her tongs, inspecting the blade before nodding and sliding the blade into the barrel beside her, hissing as it sunk. She reached out to the hot coals and took another long hunk of metal. She began to swing again, her arm moving in a steady rhythm, never wasting a swing. Her head cocked as she heard Berund speak, her gaze not leaving the anvil as she spoke. "Too long." She agreed quickly, her smile growing wider. The blade was already taking shape. She kept quiet as she finished the the hot blade, pounding it into it's final shape before it too slid into the barrel of liquid next to her. She grabbed a rag, waved over a replacement before she left.

She wiped her brow of sweat, her face red from the heat. "Yeah far too long, haven't had a real one since Orzammar, haven't had one period since before the Rebellion. It feels good to be back, even if it's not mine." She said leaning back against the table with her elbows up.

"Well, I was thinkin' I could pester a friend about makin' a few repairs," Berund started, swiftly rapping his knuckles against rather noticeable dent in the breastplate of his armor. "After all, who else would know a dwarf's steel better than one of Orzammar's very own smiths?" He looked over his gear once more before shifting his gaze back to Nola. "Although with so much time away from a proper smithy, I'm havin' second thoughts," Berund added in jest with a sly grin.

Nola put on a face of mock hurt. "You wound me good sir!" She said before chuckling. "Trust me, my smithing is fine. It's in my blood. I may be a decent warrior, but working with a hammer? Whole nother level." She said with a wave of her hand. She leaned on the table, a smile on her face as she looked out over the mountain. "Ya know, despite it's flaws I still miss Orzammar. The heat, the solid roof, my own forge is probably the biggest thing I miss." She sighed. "Don't get me wrong, the surface ain't so bad. People who appreciate fine work, better drinks, far better views, current situation not withstanding." She jerked a thumb at where there used to be a glowing green tare. "But I don't think I'll ever stop missing our old hole in the ground." She said, a hint of sadness creeping into her voice.

Berund scratched at his bearded chin, wondering how he make an upturn of his companion's crestfallen comportment. "Perhaps ye'll take comfort in this fact," he began, giving Nola a friendly pat on the back, "when it comes to holes in the ground like ours, ye can be sure they'll stay right where they are for a good long while. Certainly long enough to take time for a visit. No one should keep from home for such a stretch." He smiled with this last statement, but behind it was a stinging pain. He'd spent a great deal of time from Orzammar himself. Possibly too much.

Nola shook her had. "Would that I could. Orzammar generally doesn't let exiles back in." She said sadly looking down at her hands. "Not a day goes by I don't regret that either. Guess I'll have to try and come to terms with that." She sighed looking up. She pushed away from the table. "But enough with my sad history. I need a drink. And Kari owes me." She said as she began to strap her armor on. She slung her pack over her shoulder. "C'mon, I'll buy yours." She said jerking her head. AS thy made their way towards the small inn, they heard the sounds of battle and the cries of civilians. "Ancestors tits, can't a girl get a drink in peace?" She called angrily as she pulled her ax from her belt and her shield off her back. "Let's go Berund, that drink will have to wait."

"Let's go Berund, that drink will have to wait."

"So it shall," muttered the former Legionnaire. He began to strap into his plate armor and motioned for Nola to move on. "Go, I'll be right behind you." It seemed his repairs would have to wait. With any luck, there'd be opportunity when whatever it was that threatened Haven was dealt with. He was just about prepared, save for one buckle in particular that simply wasn't fastening. "Blasted...belt," Berund cursed.

A refitting wouldn't be remiss, thought the dwarf as he finally managed to secure the steel plating to his waist. Or a few helpings less...

Berund wasted no time after gearing up, dashing for the wall. There was chaos in Haven's streets, fear and screaming overtaking the atmosphere. Those that didn't flee only stood, completely petrified. "Move yer feet!" Berund shouted, hoping to at least shout enough sense into the townsfolk to take action. "Head for shelter, into the chantry if you value your lives!" His words were harsh, and his voice was stern, but they would have to take heed or risk harm through their inaction.

The group soon found each other on the battlefield, a familiar face was a welcome sight under such conditions after all, and their various efforts cut a swathe through the attacking troops, driving them away in places and staining the snow red with their blood. Other groups of soldiers also found themselves drawn to the group, seeking a rock in a sea of whirling blades and falling arrows. Still they came, looking out across the mountains there seemed to be no end to them. The pockets of Inquisition troops were badly outnumbered, and as ever more twisted monstrosities came crawling from the ranks of the Red Templars they found themselves steadily driven back. In places, such as around the group, some pockets held, but most were pressed back to the walls of Haven.

A fireball launched from a trebuchet arced through the air, striking the side of a mountain and bring down its cold weight on the enemies head. A cheer erupted as many of the hostile lights in the distance winked out, but the morale boost was short lived as what looked to all to be an Archdemon swooped from the sky and destroyed the offending siege engine. For those who had experienced the terror of the fifth Blight it sent a chill through their hearts, it was too soon for it to be another Blight wasn't it? They were centuries apart usually, but such thoughts had little time to develop on the battlefield and so the terror held.

As the corrupted dragon's fire scoured the towns defenses the call for retreat came out, every man was to fall back while a plan was formulated. But even as such a call went out a great behemoth emerged from the enemy ranks to confront the group, it was hard to tell that it had ever been a man, save for some lingering scraps of armor, so engulfed it was by the crystals that had overgrown it. It should not have been able to move and yet it did, striking the ground with one massive arm and producing a wall of crystal spikes behind the ground, cutting off them and several other soldiers from retreat while it lived.

The battlefield, it was an experience that Von had never felt. Full of blood, sparks, and heads from both sides. Horrifying, terrifying, these were feeling that were leaked into every individual. Yet even then, roars of determination, blood-lust, and hatred rang throughout the thick field of bodies. Even the bright hope was completely destroyed, as the large, flying creature rained even more death.

Von was concentrating, his bloods flew like the dragon, striking, tearing, and drawing buckets full of blood. By the time he had reunited with his comrades, a thin layer of blood had covered him. Examining his companions, he giggled to himself. Naturally, he was happy and more hopeful with his comrades.

"That isn't a challenge to go for ... I'm looking at you Kari!" Von bellowed his verbal jab, following with a literal jab to a red Templar's eye-socket. Forcing his blade sideways, the bloody blade took half the brain, revealing the rest that still resided in the now dead, former-human. Kicking the corpse away into the ever-growing pile, Von saw a lumbering giant approaching the group.

The lyrium covered beast looked more monster than human. "Much better ... At least we can save the dragon for later." Von said to the group, allowing a charming smirk to spread on his face. Giving his own roar, Von charged, cutting at a singular leg, barely avoiding the hammer-like arm of the beast.

Ash kept fighting through the enemies, taking small breaks to get a lyrium potion, and casting drain life whenever he got hurt. Judging by what the others said, and their reaction, they really saw what he saw. Red crystals poking out of people, templars, then a dragon. Everything seemed off, like, blight off, and he wasn't the only one who noticed. There even was a big dragon that looked like an Archdemon. They were ordered to retreat, to plan for something else, but they were cut off by a giant being that no longer looked human.

"That isn't a challenge to go for ... I'm looking at you Kari!"

It was odd, hearing Von chuckle. He sounded a lot happier, was it the situation? Wasn't these other templars? Although, what could Ash say, he couldn't really feel scared at something as seemingly horrible at this. As a matter of fact, the mage was getting tired of casting lightning-bolts. Ash looked at the other soldiers with them.

I wonder if they would mind me using blood magic... I don't think this is a situation where anyone would care.

"Much better ... At least we can save the dragon for later."

"I'm just happy you all see what I see," Ash replied back, loudly, as he cut his arm and a blood mist gathered around him. Allowing some of it to resupply his mana, he then used blood boil on their enemies, hoping that the crystals didn't take up every single space in their insides, or that they lacked blood for whatever reason, because he was fairly sure they weren't demons.

"Blood, deformed people, and other things clearly out of the fade. Welcome to my world, and I hope you enjoy your stay."

Nola scowled as her ax sunk into the hip of one of the red Templars. He fell with a scream of pain that was cut off by her ax, once more rising and then coming back down to sheer through his helmet and embed in his skull. She didn't care much for Templars anymore, Von being the sole exception so far. Whatever these Templars were though, they weren't human. Nola grunted as she jerked her ax from the Templars head.

She was glad to have the group around her though. It certainly made the enemies disappear faster, especially if Kari got going and Ash busted out that magic of his.

She looked up at the roar, her hand wrapped tightly around her ax. Her eyes went wide and she almost dropped it at the sight of the Dragon. The pictures from the shaperate, her mothers stories, warnings from returning warriors. It all came flooding back. "Berund! Please tell me we didn't just see what I think we saw. Please tell me a sodding archdemon didn't jut fly over us." She asked a hint of panic creeping into her voice. This wasn't something they could fight and win. This wasn't something even the height of dwarven engineering could stop.

She turned to fall back, meaning to happily follow the call to retreat. If it weren't for the monstrosity blocking the way between them and the gate she would have. She fought the panic that tried to raise in her chest. They needed to work fast and get out of here. "Kari , Von, Ash! Same plan as the drake! Berund, Jerrett, flank this thing and bring it down! We need to get out of here!" She called as she turned back to face the Behemoth. Ancestors preserve me, We need the strength of the Stone and a miracle to get out of this. She thought as she brought her shield up again and closed in on the giant, her ax clashing against her shield."

Carving her way through the enemy, Kari was glad to see the others; she didn't know them well, but any friendly faces were welcome in a time like this. Holding her ground against the on rushing hordes, her voice joined the cheer as whomever fired the trebuchet dropped the side of the mountain on the main host of the attacking army; and like many she faltered a bit when the dragon shattered the offending siege weapon. "Fuck me running." She said, every ounce of common sense telling her to run fast and run far, fortunately the retreat was being sounded.

When the latest horror cut off their retreat, she steadied herself and faced the massive thing; if there was to be no flight, she'd give them a hell of a fight. Already Von was charging the behemoth, with a madman's grin on his face.

"Kari , Von, Ash! Same plan as the drake! Berund, Jerrett, flank this thing and bring it down! We need to get out of here!"

"ON IT SHORT STACK!" She replied, joining Von in his mad rush. Several of the Inquisition soldiers that had gotten trapped with them joined her charge, their voices merging into one baying howl. Dodging its sledgehammer blows, she attacked its knees, trying to hobble it when she misjudged a backhanded blow and was knocked back against the red crystal wall that was keeping them there. Slamming into the wall she collapsed gasping like a fish out of water while a few of the soldiers, who didn't join Kari and Von, helped her up. Catching her breath, she spat blood on to the snow. "I-if you're not...gonna fight," She gasped. "Se-see if you can knock a hole." Once she was sure she had her feet under her, she resumed her attack.

In the middle of the battle, Jarrett was glad too see the group's efforts against the Templars. When things looked to be in their favour with the trebuchet burying a large number of the attackers, Jarrett grew confident that if nothing else they'd cripple the enemy. The tide of battle change once more when a dragon unlike anything Jarrett had heard of fly overhead, tearing their forces apart. Turning to one the Templars he'd killed he looked at the deformations it had. "This isn't what a darkspawn is supposed to look like, right?"

He had to dismiss any theories as a colossal monster cut off their retreat. Turning to other soldiers trapped by monster in front of them. "Stand back and wait for my signal!"

"Kari , Von, Ash! Same plan as the drake! Berund, Jerrett, flank this thing and bring it down! We need to get out of here!"

"On it!" Dashing to the side, Jarrett flanked the monster in an unforgiving chain, hoping to chip away at the crystals. With a merciless strike he'd used the last of his momentum, Jarrett eyes grew wide in sudden surprise as the monster punched away. Landing face down in snow, he weakly pushed himself up and yelled, "Berund, men... NOW!"

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