Posts Tagged 'mara'

Hugs for the Seheron elves


It’s Hug Your OC Day! Considering that it’s been a while since I wrote and I left my Hawke family on relatively happy endings in the meantime, I’ve decided to offer preemptive hugs to young!Metis and his wife Mara, on account of the pain that there will be if/when I finally write down their backstory.

“You keep Varania occupied,” said Mara, “and I shall wash

“I can help,” Metis began to insist, carrying dishes in a
tenuous stack toward the basin.

Mara shook her head, intercepting him to take the pile. “And
while you do that, she’ll be out in the herb garden trying to dig a tunnel to
Ferelden again.”

He considered with a smile at that memory. “Right. Well
then, I’ll just go…supervise any digging. Keeping it strictly imaginary, of

Mara’s ears followed the sound of their progress as she
worked through the dishes. Her husband’s laughter pursued the squeals of their daughter
from one side of the yard to the other, deftly steering her away when she came
too near what remained of their kitchen herbs. She grinned when she heard the
wordless shrieks and giggles give way to a shout of “I fly, Papa! I fly!”
Through the window, Mara caught a glimpse of the tiny girl lifted aloft in her
father’s arms, zooming around the yard.

Keep reading

Hugs for the Seheron elves

It’s Hug Your OC Day! Considering that it’s been a while since I wrote and I left my Hawke family on relatively happy endings in the meantime, I’ve decided to offer preemptive hugs to young!Metis and his wife Mara, on account of the pain that there will be if/when I finally write down their backstory.

“You keep Varania occupied,” said Mara, “and I shall wash

“I can help,” Metis began to insist, carrying dishes in a
tenuous stack toward the basin.

Mara shook her head, intercepting him to take the pile. “And
while you do that, she’ll be out in the herb garden trying to dig a tunnel to
Ferelden again.”

He considered with a smile at that memory. “Right. Well
then, I’ll just go…supervise any digging. Keeping it strictly imaginary, of

Mara’s ears followed the sound of their progress as she
worked through the dishes. Her husband’s laughter pursued the squeals of their daughter
from one side of the yard to the other, deftly steering her away when she came
too near what remained of their kitchen herbs. She grinned when she heard the
wordless shrieks and giggles give way to a shout of “I fly, Papa! I fly!”
Through the window, Mara caught a glimpse of the tiny girl lifted aloft in her
father’s arms, zooming around the yard.

When the dishes were washed and dried, Mara took advantage
of the cottage’s emptiness (astounding how thoroughly a tiny two-year-old
seemed to fill any space where she was) to extend the tidying-up to the rest of
it, sweeping out one little room after another, returning to their places the
chairs Varania had dragged together in an attempt to climb up to the counter
where Mara kept the remnants of yesterday’s sweet biscuits. As she gathered
clothes for washing (Varania’s dress from yesterday thoroughly muddied from her
tunneling attempts in the garden), the patter of footsteps announced their
return indoors. Passing through the front room with the laundry basket under
her arm, Mara saw them seated before the hearth as Metis made up some story for
the wide-eyed girl on his lap.

All was quiet when she returned some time later with the
empty basket, leaving the laundry behind on the drying line. Glancing towards
the fire, she saw that they hadn’t actually moved. Metis was sprawled on his
back, one arm behind his head, the other draped over Varania, snuggled on his
chest and sound asleep. Mara stepped closer, unable to resist the urge to
straighten her daughter’s rumpled dress and smooth the red hair out of her eyes.
Neither of the sleepers stirred at her ministrations.

She left them to it, eventually, and went to fetch a blanket
from a chest, spreading it carefully over them both before she went on about
her business. There was mending to finish before the daylight faded (Varania’s dress,
torn three days ago when she caught it on the fence she was trying to squeeze
through). Settled down in a chair near enough the hearth to keep an eye on
them, Mara sat and stitched till only firelight remained. They shifted in their
sleep from time to time, but neither woke.

Mara went to get ready for bed herself, peeking at them from
time to time, biting at her lip as she considered waking them. Varania was
young enough to sleep anywhere, she supposed, but Metis would be stiff in the
morning from sleeping on the floor. Best to send them back to bed, then—but,
approaching with that intent, she saw Varania still curled up on Metis’ chest,
her head tucked beneath his chin, her small fist twisted in the fabric of his tunic,
and Mara could not bear to disturb them, whatever morning might bring.

She returned to the bedroom, but as comfortable and enticing
as the bed’s softness was after the day’s work, it seemed all too much. She lay
there wide awake for a time, staring out the window and straining to hear the
sounds of the Seheron wildlife, before finally pulling herself to her feet with
a huff of resignation. “Spoiled me for sleeping alone, you two have,” she
muttered, gathering the blanket and pillows from the bed and stumbling with her
load back into the front room.

The tableau before the hearth was unchanged. She spread the
second blanket over them before crawling in under it herself, attempting to
slide a pillow under Metis’ head without waking him.

She nearly succeeded, but he stirred as she finished and curled
herself against his side. Metis hummed, blinking blearily at her, and Mara
shushed him. “Go back to sleep, darling. It appears we’re camping out.”

Half awake, he glanced at her and then at the fireplace
behind her. “Or in, it seems.” The hand that had been stretched behind his
head, he now rearranged to hold her closer to his side, while Varania, still
stretched out on top of him, sighed in her sleep. “You should know, Mara,” he
murmured, “this daughter of yours is a demanding taskmaster. Had me flying her
around the yard till we wore both ourselves out.”

“As demanding as her father is obliging,” Mara muttered
wryly. When there was no response she glanced over to see that the obliging
father had already fallen asleep again. “Lucky girl,” she added in a whisper,
with a kiss to his cheek before she settled in against his side for the night.

I blame @quinnlocke‘s lovely Iris Trevelyan portrait for getting me started on the dollmakers again…have some Metis and Mara portraits! (The first two are the new ones today; the last two I made a couple of weeks ago and am including here just for fun.)

And now there are young!Metis and Mara dolls.

For inspiration. Because I have stories to write about these precious Seheron elves back in the day. 🙂

Once upon a time in Seheron…

Survey: Is there interest in reading fic about young!Metis and Mara, their childhood, their romance, their separate paths through slavery?

Because writing Ave atque Vale kindled a lot of feels and I’m still thinking about those two and their kids. I’ve been thinking about the details of their back story for a while now, but yesterday I sat down to type up a more orderly timeline of the scenes I’d come up with and it was 5 pages, so…yeah, I have a lot of thoughts on this star crossed family. Would people read it if I actually wrote a series about them, considering there’d be minimal Fenris or other canonical characters in it? Or should I stick to going forward with Metis’ story after Warriors Such As?

Warriors Such As: Chapter 16

A little shorter than the last one, because it seemed like a good stopping point?

Also, look at the lovely picture I stumbled upon today – exactly how I imagined Metis and Mara to look! The picture itself is spoilery if you aren’t past chapter 10 of Warriors Such As, but if you’re reading chapter 16 already, go see the picture when you read Metis’ reminiscences at the end of this bit…

Word count: 3335
Rating: PG for blood magic?
Summary: Licinius resorts to blood magic; Thayer searches for lost elves; and the lost elves discover side effects of the red lyrium ritual…

Read it here or on:  DA  |  AO3  |

Comments and reblogs are always appreciated! I love seeing what you think of each chapter, what parts you liked or want to respond to, or even just a note if you enjoyed it!

Part 4: Warriors Such As
Chapter 16
Wherein everyone is
loose in Ath Velanis

Fenris, heart of my heart,

All right, I know it’s not even a whole day since my last letter
(still on its way to Seheron, no doubt, of course you can’t have seen it yet
and written back) and it does take time for the birds to fly back and forth so
you’re probably done with the Venatori and on your way home by now. At least I
would like to think so, except that Charter says there’s been no word from the
Inquisitor to say that the ships are on their way back. Maker, I worry. I’ve
been helping Josephine with her correspondence, just to keep busy. Never was my
strong suit in Kirkwall but after these weeks of writing to you I should hope
I’ve developed a skill, or something. All right, I’m just hoping that writing
on Josie’s behalf to contacts I established as Viscountess will distract me
from writing to you twenty more times a day.

I’ve been spending more time in the Chantry here, too, for what
it’s worth, lighting candles and praying for your safety. Oh, and Merrill has
invoked the Creators on your behalf. Someone had better be listening. I need
you back here. It’s horribly selfish of me, I fear, and perhaps for that reason
the Maker frowns on my prayers, but it’s…

Well. I would very much like to have you here with me now. Surely
the Maker can understand if I wish my family near me? After everything…after
everyone I’ve lost, he wouldn’t take you away too. It’s been more than a month
since I bid you farewell, and…

Let’s say I am just anxious for you to be here for Malcolm’s first
birthday. Barely two months away now, and I expect him to start walking any
moment. Also do not fear that he has forgotten you in your weeks away. Oh, no.
It is “Da” this and “Da” that everywhere he goes. He throws a fit when I read your
books to him, you know, the ones he always picked for you to read because
apparently he has sorted the books into Da books and Mum books and I am not
allowed to read from your share. Also, he has been fascinated with Merrill’s
vallaslin lately and I think perhaps they remind him of your markings. Or
perhaps he’s just fascinated with Merrill as usual. Definitely his favorite

Oh yes, I may have forgotten to mention. It’s official, or will be
soon. I’m not sure if Carver popped the question or Merrill rambled her way
into talking about what they would do after they were married and he just went
along with it, but it is A Thing now. My little brother’s engaged, Fenris! This
is actually quite a useful distraction as there is much to do in preparing for
the wedding, especially in figuring out how to blend Dalish vows with a Chantry
service, as Carver says Mother would have been scandalized at anything less but
he won’t hear of leaving Merrill’s traditions out of it either. So we’ll be
making an official aunt of Merrill soon. Not too soon, though. Not till you’re
here to welcome her into the family with a scowl!

It’s becoming quite a good family, after all. But it still needs
you. And we’ll make room for your father too, if that’s worked out all right.
We’re all looking forward to meeting him, if so.

Love and kisses (oh, and Tiberius sends puppy kisses too, don’t
give me that look, you know you adore my dog),



Licinius sped from the laboratory to his tower, his alarm growing
with each Venatori corpse he saw. The intruders had clearly passed this way,
but the magister thought better of trying to follow their trail. He left that
to the Venatori he found still alive (more of them than the corpses, he was
relieved to see; wherever the intruders were going, they weren’t stopping to
fight every denizen of Ath Velanis, at least), directing some of his men to
pursue the enemy forces loose in the fortress, others to come with him to the
tower. Until he could determine the source of the disturbance, it would be rash
to go about without backup.

The Inquisitor’s breach of his defenses yesterday had left too few
of Licinius’ marked warriors available, but the hordes of them patrolling
outside the fortress had consisted of those least useful to him, whose minds
had been too broken by the ritual for them to learn control of the markings.
Some of the red warriors who had fallen to Danarius’ pet inside the fortress
had been more skilled, occasionally able to pull some bit of power from the
lyrium; what Licinius had seen through their eyes in their last moments made
him all the more eager to produce warriors who could control the markings as
Fenris did.

But there were a few who had had the will to withstand the
branding nearly as well as Metis was doing when the ritual upon him was
interrupted. Licinius had tested them, found their minds surprisingly intact,
compared to most of his subjects, and begun to put them through training. Their
control of the lyrium was still tentative, faltering, yet every one of them had
at one time or another managed to activate the markings by their will, not just
at random as the broken warriors tended to do, and two or three had nearly
succeeded in phasing a hand through solid objects. Licinius was sure, in time,
he could make something of them.

But right now, they were all that remained to him, and he would
make use of their eyes.

He dispatched guards to bring his pets to the tower. As soon as he
arrived there himself, he set about preparing the seeing spell. A slave,
chained to the wall, trembled as his master approached with a mirror in an
elaborate frame. “Be still,” Licinius snapped, pressing the mirror into the
slave’s shaking hands before drawing his knife. “And try to keep the mirror
still as well,” he admonished, tilting it till the polished surface reflected
the tower’s ceiling far above.

Drawing his knife, he added a quick and practiced cut to the other
scars along the slave’s arm and guided the mirror beneath it to catch the first
drops of blood. Then he signaled to one of the Venatori attending him to bind
up the wound, while Licinius focused his magic upon the mirror.

He was just finishing this step of the spell when the guards he
had sent for his elite warriors arrived with five of them in tow. Licinius had
seldom had cause to use the eyes of this group of his warriors, but they did
not balk when he drew their blood and added it to the mirror, each one in turn,
weaving them into the magic.

At the end, the mirror shone with a menacing red light but no
trace of the blood that had stained its surface. Licinius pressed it back into
the slave’s hands, fitting his fingers into the grooves and rings placed on the
mirror’s sides for this purpose. Then he turned to the red warriors with
instructions. “Intruders are loose in the fortress,” he explained. “Find them.
Stop them by any means necessary. I will be watching so that I may come to your
aid when required. I want this disruption settled quickly; I have work to do in
the laboratory.”

The red warriors bowed as one and took their leave, splitting up
to patrol one by one through the fortress. Licinius turned back to the mirror,
stepping close as the slave holding it squeezed his eyes shut, shuddering.

“All right, boy,” the magister said, wrapping his hands around the
slave’s to hold them tight to the mirror’s frame, “show me what the first one
is seeing.” At his command, followed by the spark of his magic, the light of
the mirror resolved into images: hallways, doors, ceilings and floors,
everywhere the first of the red warriors was looking, transmitted by blood
magic to the eyes of the slave whose blood had first infused the mirror, and
through him to the mirror itself. The slave shook with the force of the magic
conveyed through him to the mirror. Licinius watched with grim focus for any
sign of the intruders disrupting his experiments.

Cycling through the five warriors’ views, at last he saw something
of worth. A dozen or so Fog Warriors in their ritual paints raised their
weapons against Licinius’ pet, their eyes widening and reflecting a gleam of
red when his markings flared to life. Licinius estimated that the red warrior
might kill at least a third of them before they could stop him; an unfortunate
loss, given that this one could so readily activate the lyrium at will now, but
that was the extent of his control; he would not be able to use the markings in
his defense as easily as the Fog Warriors clearly feared.

Licinius had seen no other sign of the intruders from the other
four warriors’ eyes. Perhaps he could learn more in person from the Fog
Warriors facing this one. With a gesture, he broke the seeing spell, returned
the mirror to its cabinet, and strode out to find his beleaguered warrior.


The dungeons were almost empty when the Inquisitor’s team reached
them. Thayer swallowed his disappointment at not finding Fenris or Metis safely
locked up there, in the last place he knew either of them had been seen.

They had, at least, found Fenris’ greatsword along the way, cast
aside in the hallway just outside the dungeon. Fallen Venatori, and a few
corpses that appeared to be prisoners cut down in their attempt to escape with
Aeris and the others, left a trail nearly to the dungeon door, but there was no
other sign of Fenris or Metis.

They found the dungeons themselves guarded by only one Venatori
Zealot, who succumbed to trembling and babbling when he saw the Inquisition
team approaching. While the Fog Warriors tied him up and tried to question him,
Thayer and Varric searched the cells.

“Something here you’ll want to see, Shiny,” Varric called to him
from across the hall. Thayer hurried over, dodging to avoid yet another
Venatori corpse, a hole punched through its chest yielding further evidence
that Fenris had been here.

Varric waved from a cell, and Thayer slipped past its mangled bars
to see the wreck of an elf, dark hair still matted with fragments of the Fog
Warriors’ white paint, curled up in the corner to which he was chained, hand
and foot. At Thayer’s cautious approach, the man finally looked up, pale eyes
glazed over as he tried to focus on his visitors.

“It’s all right,” Thayer reassured him, arm outstretched. “We’re
not Venatori.”

“Wonder why he didn’t escape with the others?” Varric asked.

“Because he wasn’t here when we escaped,” came a voice behind
them. Thayer and Varric turned to see Aeris slipping into the cell with them,
his eyes intent on the chained elf.

“I thought you were on your way out of the fortress,” Thayer said.

“I was,” Aeris nodded. “Then I remembered what brought me here in
the first place. If you’re putting a stop to what the Venatori do here, I want
to help.” He stepped forward to kneel by the prisoner. “Nubis. Can you hear

“Ae…Aeris?” the man’s voice rasped, the name barely recognizable
from his raw throat. He blinked, focus slowly returning to his eyes as Aeris’
face fell at the sight of him.

“They took him from the cells last night,” Aeris explained. “For
the ritual.”

Varric stepped forward with a flask from his belt. “So if they
brought him back, did they…is he…?”

Aeris held the flask up to Nubis’ lips. As the man uncurled from
his corner to drink, the markings on his chest, purpled like angry bruises,
came into view. Thayer sucked in a breath, the smell of burnt flesh and lyrium
catching him by surprise when the man moved.

“I know none of them so far have had identical markings,” Varric
pointed out in a low voice, fishing out his lockpicks and stepping forward to
begin on Nubis’ chains, “but they do usually cover the whole body, right?”

“They weren’t finished with him,” Thayer nodded. “Why bring him
back to the cells, then? Did they usually do so, Aeris?”

The Fog Warrior shook his head. “No, never. Once they took a man
to mark him, we never saw him again, unless the magister had the whim to parade
him before our cells when it was all over, show us what we had to look forward

“They were interrupted, then,” Thayer guessed. He exchanged a look
with Varric.

“You think?” the dwarf began. “Might not be them.”

“Would they send this man back to his cell just because we’re

“I don’t like the implications of them getting rid of one
ritual subject when they’d barely started on him…” Varric mused.

“We can’t be too late,” Thayer said briskly. Turning to
Aeris, he asked, “Can we move him?”

“Go on, Inquisitor,” Aeris said as Varric finished unlocking the
last of Nubis’ chains. “I’ll see that he gets out of the fortress safely. You
see that the Venatori never get the chance to finish what they started on him
or anyone else.”


Fenris cast the broken shortsword aside, cursing the negligence of
these Venatori in maintaining their weapons. It was the second weapon he’d
stripped from the trail of corpses they were leaving behind them in their
flight from the storage room. Fighting by lyrium alone would not be his first
choice; of course it was a relief to once again have the option of snatching
hearts from chests, if pressed, but like a mage’s mana his markings took time
to recover after such an expenditure of power, and it was better to have a
weapon in hand and not to rely overmuch on his lyrium. But these poor little
knives made him miss the greatsword taken from him after they freed the

The way ahead was clear. When he reached for Metis, left to lean
against the wall while Fenris fought off their attackers with the now-defunct
shortsword, the mage winced and caught at his bandaged arm.

“You’re in pain,” Fenris said.

“Well,” Metis breathed, “not so much as…before.”

“You needn’t make light of it,” Fenris insisted, brows furrowing
as he eased Metis’ free arm more carefully over his shoulders. “I know how bad
it is, you remember.”

“I do. You described it all quite…intensely.”

Fenris glanced at him as they walked slowly down the hall. “You do
remember that.”

“It did in fact help.” His voice was still shaky, but he pressed
on, eyes fixed ahead. “Knowing what would happen. I…recalled your words,
rehearsed each description in my mind as it was done to me. It did help.”

“It still hurts,” Fenris said, pausing to lean him against a wall
again. “Here. Let me see.” Gently he lifted the branded arm and unwound the
bandages. The skin revealed was furiously red, hot to the touch, but the lines
inscribed upon it were a deeper crimson, like purpling veins too near the
surface of the skin. Fenris frowned at the sight, hesitating to touch it, until
Metis himself reached with his right hand to poke tentatively at one red welt.
He started and swore at his own touch, pulling his hand back quickly. Fenris
shook his head. “Don’t be an idiot, father.” He quickly and carefully rewrapped
the bandage.

Metis frowned at his palm beneath the wrappings. “Can you…hear
it?” he finally asked.

Fenris looked up to see his father’s head tilted to the side, his
eyes fixed on his hand. “Hear what?”

“I didn’t notice it at first. Because of the pain, I’m sure. But
it’s…almost like it sings.”

“It…sings?” Fenris frowned. “Do you mean…”

“Do yours do that? It’s like it’s…calling to me. Like a song at
the back of my mind, something I’ve heard and I can’t remember where and I
can’t quite turn it off.”

Fenris’ eyes grew wide and he groaned as he seized Metis by the
shoulders, forgetting for a moment to be gentle. “No. Metis, you mustn’t listen
to it. Fight it. The red lyrium…” he shook his head, glancing down again
at the branded hand. “I should have guessed. No wonder the other subjects went
mad. Varric’s brother, and the Knight-Commander…”

“It’s…rather persistent,” Metis mumbled.

“Can you…do something with magic? To block it, or…if you speed
the healing of the brands, perhaps…”

Metis went quiet, frowning at his hand, and then his shoulders
tensed in Fenris’ grasp. “I…can’t.”

“Can’t what?”

“Can’t even feel my magic.”

Fenris froze. “Perhaps the magebane?”

Metis shook his head. “It had worn off by the time Licinius caught
me. Vines, remember?” He waggled his unbandaged fingers at Fenris’ wrist. “He
didn’t administer any more of it before the ritual.”

“Maybe you’ve stepped in more of it.”

“I’ve been leaning on you, and your markings still function. No,
it’s not like being cut off by magebane, anyhow. It’s more like…the song.
Whatever I’m hearing, it’s too loud. It drowns the magic out.”

“Fasta vass,” Fenris spat. “The sooner we find the Inquisitor, the
better. Varric…knows something of this. And Hawke…Hawke wrote of work
Merrill was doing at Skyhold on a boy taken by red lyrium corruption. We will
fix this.”

Metis nodded, and after a moment Fenris slid a shoulder under his
arm again and they continued down the hallway.

“What about…the rest of your memories?” he asked as they neared a

“Hm?” Metis responded as if in a daze.

Fenris squeezed at Metis’ hand over his shoulder. “You remembered
our talk before the ritual. Do you remember the rest of…well, of your life?
Your family?”

“Oh. Of course,” Metis mused with a faint smile.

“Tell me.”


Fenris squeezed again, hoping to keep his father’s mind occupied,
away from the song teasing at his consciousness. “Tell me what you remember of

“Varania. Your sister,” Metis began quietly. “Three, I think she
was, the last time I saw her. All grown up now, isn’t she? If you are, of
course she is. And you’ve seen her. Maybe you should be telling me about her.”

“My mother, then,” Fenris hurried to change the subject.

“Mara,” Metis sighed. “Prettiest girl in the village. Her father was
a merchant. I didn’t think I had a chance with her, not with the swarms of boys
hovering around her like flies.”

“What did you do?”

“Kept my distance, mostly. Well, I thought I did. I let the others
hover. Too crowded for me. She came to my father’s farm sometimes to trade, and
I smiled and tried to say clever things which, in retrospect, were the very
opposite of clever.”

A smile tugged at Fenris’ mouth. “Won her over in the end, did

“Hardly!” Metis laughed, his eyes turning to Fenris with a gleam
breaking through the glazed look of the lyrium’s song. “Well, maybe I did. But
she sought me out first. Found me in the orchard where I always worked, dragged
me behind a tree and demanded that I kiss her.”

“So…did you?” Fenris grinned back at him.

“Well,” Metis raised his eyebrows, “here we are, aren’t we?”

Fenris laughed and they resumed walking in silence for a few steps
before Metis murmured, “I asked her once, after that, why she chose me, when
there were handsomer and wealthier men falling over themselves to court her.”

“And she said?”

“Because I’d been kind to her,” he said with a wistful smile. “The
others, they demanded her attention. Me, I gave her apples and listened to her
complain about her suitors. No one else had ever been so kind, she said.”

“You are kind, father,” Fenris said.
“Please. Never forget that.”

Blogger Gatherings!

Click the button for reports from the 2010 Spring Blogger Gathering, hosted by Linett of Nimrodel!

Berethron of Brandywine hosted the 2010 Summer Blogmoot.

The Winter Blogmoot was held on December 4, 9 p.m. EST at the home of Telwen of Silverlode.

Next up: The Spring Blogmoot of 2011 shall return to Nimrodel with Tuiliel (Whart, aka user-1027520) hosting! Linett is looking forward to another local moot!



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