Posts Tagged 'venatori'

Warriors Such As: Fic Masterpost

rannadylin:

image

This story in the Hawkquisition timeline is now complete! Thanks for sticking with me through such an adventure. 

Synopsis: 

Fenris was once told that even in the Imperium, warriors with markings of his sort were rare – with the implication that he is not unique. When the Inquisition hears of Venatori creating warriors marked like Fenris, but with red lyrium, Hawke may have to take her turn being the one left behind while Fenris travels into danger to help the Inquisitor investigate.

Read it on: AO3 | FF.net | DA

Or if you prefer to read it on Tumblr, here’s the chapter listing with titles and synopses:

  1. Wherein parenthood is hard

    Raising baby Malcolm is overwhelming and new parents Lisbet Hawke and Fenris are on edge.

  2. Wherein an expert is required

    Venatori in Seheron are experimenting with lyrium tattoos; Thayer Trevelyan’s advisors convene and send for Fenris.

  3. Wherein an agreement is reached

    Amantium irae amoris integratio est.

  4. Wherein farewells and firsts are spoken

    Hawke bids Fenris farewell as the Inquisition’s expedition to Seheron sets out.

  5. Wherein the ship sails

    En route to Seheron, letters are exchanged.

  6. Wherein Metis meets the Inquisition

    Seheron is not a very safe place for the Inquisitor and friends, but they do find one friend waiting for them.

  7. Wherein the forest is welcoming

    The trek through the jungle begins; meanwhile, interesting developments are occurring at Skyhold…

  8. Wherein Hawke’s worries are not ill-founded. 

    Fenris knows when things are fishy; saarebas are deadly; the jungle is a big place but Harding has lots of scouts looking for our heroes! Also Metis is kind of new to this combat thing.

  9. Wherein the weather interferes. 

    It’s a bad idea to wander around a jungle when you can’t see where you’re going.

  10. Wherein things become clearer

    Fenris’ past catches up with him, in more ways than one, and the Inquisition gains a formidable ally.

  11. Wherein we explore Ath Velanis. 

    Time to see what’s actually going on in that Venatori fortress, as soon as we find a way in through creepy tunnels! It’s all fun and games till someone slips and falls!

  12. Wherein plans change

    From opposite sides of the Ath Velanis gate, Thayer and Varric, Fenris and Metis reconsider their course of action.

  13. Wherein saboteurs are loose in Venatori territory

    Stranded in the fortress of Ath Velanis, Fenris and Metis make mischief for the Venatori.

  14. Wherein the magister refines his ritual

    Licinius intends to use Fenris’ markings as a template for his next red lyrium warrior…and so the ritual begins…

  15. Wherein Metis gets a tattoo

    Thayer and Varric return to Ath Velanis but Metis is already being prepared for lyrium markings…

  16. Wherein everyone is loose in Ath Velanis

    Licinius resorts to blood magic; Thayer searches for lost elves; and the lost elves discover side effects of the red lyrium ritual…

  17. Wherein Fenris gets his sword back. 

    Reunions! Thayer gets the team back together and Caligo discovers someone she hadn’t expected to see again.

  18. Wherein we depart Ath Velanis

    Thayer and team take the fight to the magister at last! And Hawke finally hears back from her Fenris.

  19. Wherein the ship sails. 

    Our heroes depart from Seheron, but there is still the matter of certain red lyrium tattoos to be dealt with.

  20. Wherein Hawke provides the hero’s welcome

    Hawke and Malcolm rush to Jader to meet Fenris straight off the ship.

  21. Wherein Merrill works a miracle

    This is it. The final chapter. Lyrium cleansing and birthday cake!

Advertisements

Warriors Such As: Chapter 19

We are nearing the end! *gasp* I’m amazed how long this story has gotten. But still loving it. So here are a few scenes before the long awaited reunion with Hawke…

Word count: 3027
Rating: G
Fenris/F!Hawke
Summary: Our heroes depart from Seheron, but there is still the matter of certain red lyrium tattoos to be dealt with.

Read it here or on:  DA  |  AO3  |  FF.net

Masterpost in case you need to catch up or start from the beginning!

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!

image

Hawkquisition
Part 4: Warriors Such As
Chapter 19
Wherein the ship sails

“You know, Varric,” Thayer Trevelyan said, gazing at Ath Velanis
looming in the distance as the sun rose over the jungle, “that fortress looks a
pleasanter place already.”

“No, Shiny,” the dwarf disagreed, shaking his head as he climbed
to the Inquisitor’s vantage point on a pile of rocks at the edge of their camp.
“Not possible. Not even if you redecorated and put in a bar and dancing girls.
Ath Velanis will never be pleasant.”

“Slightly less menacing, though?” Thayer suggested. “No longer a
haunt of Venatori desperate to relive their dead master’s glory days by
building him an invincible army running on red lyrium.”

“That did contribute a lot to the menacing air,” Varric admitted.

“Might as well go ahead and put that bar in, now that we have the
architect of their dastardly plan in custody.”

“For all the good he’s likely to do you,” Varric grunted. “Elias,
on the other hand, might be more reasonable.”

“Elias?” Thayer frowned, then his eyes widened. “Oh. Do you mean
you found the Tranquil? And learned his name?”

Varric nodded. “He was fairly receptive to the job offer, once he
saw the rest of the Venatori being marched off by the Fog Warriors. I’d wager
it’s been a lot for him to swallow, the last few months, going on with their
world domination plans even with Corypheus dead. Not much point in it, but
would Licinius listen if he explained why?”

“So he’s content to change sides?”

“I think all he wants is purpose and protection, and the Venatori
can’t give him that anymore. So yes, Inquisitor, agent acquired.”

Thayer smiled. “And hopefully he can do what we need of him?”

“Oh, he knows the formula, all right. He whipped up a batch of it
on the spot to prove it to me, even if he did have a lot to say about how we
could have saved him the trouble by not destroying all the potions along with
the laboratory in the first place.” Varric shrugged. “Either way, Metis will
have what he needs.”

“That’s a relief, I’m sure.”

“One more thing, Inquisitor,” Varric said, drawing a tightly
rolled scroll out of his jacket. Thayer raised an eyebrow as he carefully
unrolled the parchment and peered at words in a language he did not recognize.

Varric explained, “I found him in the magister’s chambers, going
through a stash of things he apparently considered worth saving. Talked him
into donating that one to the cause once I realized what it was.”

“Which is?”

“Just a few hundred words in what’s apparently an old dialect of
Tevene,” Varric smirked. “Unroll it the rest of the way though. Check out the
pictures.”

Thayer narrowed his eyes at the dwarf, weighing his words for a
trick, before complying. He unrolled, at last, a series of diagrams at the very
end of the document, distorted where the pages had crumpled from much
rerolling, but there was no mistaking what they depicted. Thayer gasped and
nearly dropped the scroll.

“So they’re a bit rough,” Varric continued, “and apparently
nowhere near the detail of Fenris’ markings, which would be why Licinius
thought he’d use him as a live template. But yeah, looks like these are the few
hundred words that started it all. Some sort of ancient treatise on how to fuse
lyrium to a man’s skin and give him magical fisting powers.”

“Magical – what?” Thayer stuttered, side-eying the dwarf.

“Never mind. Thought you might be interested in the scroll, that’s
all. Crack the code, maybe someone can learn something useful from it
about…well, about what to do for a guy who’s been put through an arm’s worth
of this stuff, right? Or at the least, you can destroy it and hope it’s the
last of its kind in the world, so no one gets ideas like this again.”

“Maker bless you, Varric,” Thayer breathed. “Ath Velanis looks much
pleasanter with this in hand.”

~*~

Hawke, long desired and dreamed of, soon to be seen,

I am up with the sun to read your letters and write to you again
before the ship sails. Though that will not be terribly early today, since
Thayer has sent Varric with the Fog Warriors back into the fortress to take
care of some things left undone in our haste.

…And even now a scout brings me a third letter. You must have
sent this one before receiving my note last night, for I do not think the
ravens could have already borne that to you and back again with this. I suppose
I would not be surprised if there were yet more of your letters winging their
way to us now. But we sail today, so by the time you receive this letter there
will be no more camp to send your replies to. Save your words up, sweet Hawke,
that I may listen the longer to them when I hold you again. Happily I will pass
the voyage imagining what you are preparing to say to me, so much so that when
I see you I shall be speechless myself, having prepared no words of my own.

All the more important, then, to fill this letter with my answers
to your letters while I still can.

Your concern about my sudden influx of family is kind of you,
Hawke. You will meet Metis soon and judge for yourself what manner of man my
father is, but suffice it to say that I have been pleasantly surprised to learn
that you are not the only mage in the world on whom I can rely. He offered
himself for the Venatori’s ritual to stop the magister from killing me, Hawke,
and I…in that moment I knew I could not bear to lose him again. It was a
foolish thing for him to do, but he bore the process bravely. The Inquisitor
intervened and so the ritual was not completed, but he received the markings on
one arm.

You write of Merrill’s success curing Emmen of the red lyrium. Do
you think her methods can be extended to the markings created by the Venatori
here? Please, ask her, earnestly on my behalf, to prepare for such an attempt.
We are bringing Metis with us back to Skyhold in hopes that the lyrium in his
markings can be cleansed. Markings such as mine can be borne and controlled, despite
the trouble they have brought me, but the red lyrium in Metis’ markings
threatens to overwhelm him. For now it has not spread beyond the channels
created for it, yet even so he hears it calling to him the way we have seen it
do with others before it broke their minds.

I cannot have this man’s mind broken, Hawke. I make it my task,
till we reach Skyhold again, to keep him in the present, keep him from slipping
away into its clutches, but I do not think anyone can forever resist that
corruption. We must find a way to cleanse his lyrium as soon as possible.

But that is only one reason I am eager to return to Skyhold, dear
wife. May the ships sail swiftly this time! If the winds are favorable, we will
be home in time for Malcolm’s birthday after all. He will, I hope, not have
forgotten me. And yes, his chatter (as you write of it) does make his Da smile.
Has he truly not yet decided what to call you? If he can say “Da” and “Po” and
“Boo” and all of that, surely it is not beyond infant capabilities to pronounce
“Hawke”. I shall make a point of practicing that with him if he has not learned
to say it (or “Ma” or whatever other ridiculous combination you have been
needlessly trying to teach him) by the time I return.

Be well, my Hawke. I hope you have recovered, or soon will, from
whatever ailed you in your recent letters. I wish you all health and safety and
happiness, and I will hurry back to you in case Skyhold alone cannot supply the
latter.

Yours,

Fenris

~*~

“What will you do with Ath Velanis?” Caligo asked the Inquisitor,
as the soldiers began ferrying the Inquisition’s equipment out to the ships
anchored near Ath Velanis’ broken gates.

“I was thinking of asking you that, as a matter of fact,”
Thayer replied.

“What?” the Fog Warrior turned to squint at him.

“I don’t intend to establish an Inquisition stronghold in
Seheron,” he explained. “Too far away to maintain, and we really have no need
to involve ourselves in northern politics. Also, I can attest that everyone on
this island except for your people would be tripping over themselves to
drive us out.”

“I can attest to that, too,” Caligo grinned.

“The Fog Warriors, however, have proven fine allies,” he said,
sketching a bow that drew a huff of amusement from her. “Also, I’d rather see
your people take this island back than either the Qunari or Vints overrun it.
Plus you’ve suffered a great deal from the Venatori in this fortress
yourselves; you bore the brunt of captives to fuel their experiments.” He
glanced over towards a cluster of Fog Warriors further back from the shore,
where one dark-haired elf was crouched down, animatedly drawing something in
the sand while another stood shaking his head. “Your friends,” he said, nodding
towards Aeris and Nubis, “were quite brave.”

“They were idiots to come here,” Caligo said, but the warmth in
her voice was more fond than angry. “I am relieved we found them alive.”

“As am I, having met them,” Thayer smiled. “So I have two
proposals for you, lady of the Fog Warriors.”

She glanced up at him, eyes narrowing. “I’m listening,
Inquisitor.”

“I’d like to bring Nubis back to Skyhold with us. We’ve heard from
those who remained behind that they’ve had some success there with a process to
cleanse red lyrium from a boy who was infected with it.”

Caligo’s eyes widened and she glanced from the Inquisitor back to
her friends. “You could…fix him?”

“We could help him, I hope.”

She frowned. “It would be very far from home. He…we missed him.
His family back at the camp…”

“I cannot promise that he will not lose his mind to the red lyrium
the same as those who were completely marked with it did, if something is not
done for him. And I cannot truly promise that my people at Skyhold will succeed
in curing him. But I would not ask you to send him alone. You’d be welcome to
come along. Aeris too. Anyone you think should go with him, in fact. It would
surely be easier for him to heal with friends nearby.”

She nodded slowly. “I…will think on it, Inquisitor. And I will
ask Nubis what he wishes.”

“Of course.”

“You said,” she reminded, jutting her chin up at him, “two
proposals?”

“Ah, yes,” Thayer smiled. “I propose that the Fog Warriors take
charge of Ath Velanis. Occupy it and make a stronghold from which to take back
the island, if you like. Or burn it down, if you prefer. I would be satisfied
knowing its fate is in your hands, either way, and no longer in the
Venatori’s.”

Her hand flew to her mouth. “You would give us the fortress?”

“A going-away present?” he grinned. “It’s not exactly a nice
place, either. Just ask Varric. I don’t think he’d let me keep it if I wanted
to. But you could make use of it.”

“I cannot accept for the clan,” she shook her head. “It is not my
place. But I will send word to the Fog Dancer of your proposal. And I think she
will be happy, at least, to decide its fate. I would not mind if she ordered it
burnt to the ground.”

“Well, tell her Happy Satinalia from me, then,” Thayer shrugged.
“A token of an alliance of mutual benefit, and a friendship I hope to see
continue between our people.”

~*~

The ships sailed from Seheron as the sun began to set, turning the
sea to fire. Metis stood at the railing, watching the fortress recede, running
through a long-ago memorized list of herbs in his mind to keep from listening
to lyrium-song. …Felandaris, the demon weed, grows where the Veil is thin.
Amrita Vein, strong roots in sand, bears water deep within. Wood from a tree of
Dragonthorn crafts bow whose shafts fly true. Its gentle leaves add fortitude
to many a mage’s brew. Honey-sweet, the Vandal Aria thrives in arid climes.
Bells of blue on Crystal Grace: do spirits hear them chime?…

“You are not wearing the bandages,” Fenris’ voice broke him out of
his mental recitation. Metis glanced back to see his son eying the red lines of
his hand with a frown as he joined him at the railing.

“They get itchy after a while,” Metis explained.

“You’re not scratching at them, I hope.”

“No, just enjoying a little fresh air before wrapping it up
again.” Metis grinned, narrowing his eyes at Fenris. “I do believe you’re mothering
me now. Are sons allowed to do that?”

“How would I know?” he huffed, but smiled back. “I am only
ensuring that you last long enough to have the markings cleansed.”

Metis stared at him, his eyes crinkling with a frown of
realization. “You’re worried,” he said finally. “That…you’ll lose me.”

Fenris bowed his head. “You should not have taken the markings.”

“Yet I did, and there’s no changing it now. The time for that
argument is past, truly,” said Metis, raising his unmarked hand to Fenris’
shoulder. “I’m not leaving, son. Not unless you want me to.”

Fenris looked up, eyes wide in shock. “Why would I wish that?”

“You’ve managed without me all these years. Maker, I wish I’d been
there to see you grow up, but you became a fine man all the same. You are no child,
Fenris. You don’t need me hovering.”

“I – no. Perhaps not. But perhaps…I would not mind. Having you
near.” He shook his head. “No, that is ridiculous. Metis, you are my family. I
have lost too much of that to not hold fast to you now.”

“Then consider me held,” Metis grinned.

“So long as my grip is stronger than the lyrium’s.” Fenris
frowned, leaning on the rail and looking down into the water.

“It will be,” Metis said, confidence buoying him up as lightly as
the ship in the waves. He dropped his gaze to the markings on his hand, eyes
dancing from line to line, studying their patterns. With Fenris near –
ironically inclined to hovering himself – it was easier to divert the
lyrium-song to the back of his mind, dam it up behind years’ worth of conversations
they would have to catch up on. Including one that, before yesterday, he would
never have expected to have with anyone, let alone his long-lost son. “Fenris,”
he asked, “you’ll show me how to use them, won’t you?”

Fenris gaped at him, starting to speak at least twice before
thinking better of it, his brow furrowing as he considered his words.
“You…want to use them?”

“As you do?”

“Forgive me if I find the image of you pulling hearts from
chests a little difficult to swallow.”

“I wasn’t thinking of the chest thing specifically. There are
surely other applications.”

“Oh, surely.” Fenris rolled his eyes. “I could show you a card
trick that quite impressed some of the Inquisitor’s people once.”

“I’m serious,” Metis said. “I mean, it’s unlikely your people at
Skyhold have a way to completely remove the markings, even if they manage to
cleanse them. If I’m stuck with them, they may as well make themselves useful.”

“I suppose…”

“Especially if they’re going to continue to stifle my magic,” he
said, all trace of jest vanishing from his voice.

Fenris glanced at him, eyebrows knit with concern. “It’s gone
again? You summoned vines against the magister.”

Metis nodded. “It seems the bit of potion that splattered me
nullified the lyrium enough that I could reach my mana for a time.”

“But there’s magebane in the potion.”

“I reached it. It wasn’t easy. But it was just enough of
the potion to quiet the lyrium without being enough magebane to completely shut
off my magic.” He pulled a small flask from a pouch at his belt. “Varric
convinced Licinius’ assistant to make a new batch.” He uncorked the flask,
showing Fenris the blood-red liquid within. “So that’s an option, if I need to
access my magic.”

“You cannot always be keeping yourself drugged with that,” Fenris
pointed out.

“I’m hoping the red can be cleansed at Skyhold and the lyrium left
behind will be…like yours,” Metis shrugged. “But in the meantime, I need to
learn to use it.”

“Even with the potion rendering them useless?”

Metis shook his head. “Saving the potion for emergencies. The
lyrium’s still singing up a storm, but I’m getting better at ignoring it. I
think it’s time I…started fighting back.”

“By using the markings? Metis, what if using them before they are
cleansed only opens you up to their song?“

Metis frowned in thought, nodding slowly. “You have a point. Here
– take this.” He handed over the potion flask. “Surely quieting the lyrium
would loose its hold on me, should that come to pass. I will not train with the
markings without you present, and I will trust you to use this if I come near
to losing myself.”

Fenris hesitated, then nodded, taking the flask and tucking it
away in his own pouch.

Metis smiled, then reached for Fenris’ hand, bringing his son’s
long fingers up to meet his own, palm to palm, crimson brands to white. “You
have control of your markings. Right now, mine are trying to control me.
I need to know how to do what you do. I will master this, lest I fall to
it.”

Fenris stared down at their hands, then nodded,
reaching with his free hand to clasp Metis’ marked wrist in a gentle grip. “I
will do what I can.”

Warriors Such As: Chapter 18

We’re finally getting out of that fortress! Also, I finally get to use Fenris’ lines upon confronting the magister that I have been wanting to for several chapters now. Hope you like them as much as I do!

Word count: 2999
Rating: PG for canon-typical combat
Fenris/F!Hawke
Summary: Thayer and team take the fight to the magister at last! And Hawke finally hears back from her Fenris.

Read it here or on:  DA  |  AO3  |  FF.net

Masterpost in case you need to catch up or start from the beginning!

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!

Hawkquisition
Part 4: Warriors Such As
Chapter 18
Wherein we depart Ath
Velanis

Thayer came up with a plan as they hurried back to the dungeons,
where they found the Fog Warriors who had entered the fortress with them still
searching through the prisoners’ belongings in the antechamber, though they
informed the Inquisitor that Aeris had departed with Nubis. By the time they
all returned to the hallway near Licinius’ laboratory, the flames from the
grenade had died down. “Wonder if the Tranquil’s told him anything yet,” Varric
mused. “Or if he’ll notice the smoke billowing from his beloved lyrium stash.”

“He’ll believe what he wants to believe,” Thayer insisted. “As
long as we make it believable. Now, what shall we do with these – ugh, Fenris,
did you have to snatch their hearts out through the armor? What a mess.”

“Might want to mop up some of that blood first,” Varric chuckled.
“After all, Inquisitor, it’s all about making it believable.”

~*~

The laboratory was in disarray. Either the brazier had overturned and
the Tranquil had let the fire get out of hand (odd, Licinius thought, that the
man was not there; he left his post only to eat and sleep and those only at
times dictated by his routine), or the intruders had sought to sabotage his
work. Licinius fumed inwardly as he summoned ice to put out the lingering
flames, then hurried with his entourage down the hall in search of the room
where his test subjects had been stored after the interruption to the ritual.

To his relief, the two Venatori guards that he had left in charge
of the elves were still at their posts. “The subjects must be relocated,
quickly,” Licinius announced as he approached. “Intruders are loose in the
fortress, and before I deal with them, we must be sure these two are secure.”
He motioned to the mages accompanying him, and the five Venatori and three of
his red-marked warriors they had gathered en route, to wait outside the room.

The guards at the door nodded, inclining their helmeted heads only
briefly before one guard turned to the door and unlocked it. Within, Licinius
saw the two bedraggled elves, slumped against a wall with their hands still
bound behind their backs, lift their heads. Danarius’ pet tensed as if
preparing to cause trouble, but his expression changed to one of worry when the
guards pulled the older elf to his feet. The gardener cried out as his marked
arm was jostled, but looked at the younger elf with a shake of his head,
warning him off from interfering. Glancing from helmet to helmet of the guards
who now held both subjects in firm grips, and noting as well the red warriors
and mages waiting with Licinius in the hallway, the little wolf finally nodded
back. The guards guided their charges from the room without incident.

“They’ll be safest in my chambers,” Licinius informed the guard
bearing a greatsword on his back, the one who had unlocked the door. “The wards
will not easily be broken. Come along.”

He turned on his heel to march towards his tower, failing to
notice the look the two guards exchanged.

~*~

Varric leaned around the corner, noting which way Licinius was
taking his prisoners, and then looked back to the Fog Warriors stationed with
him. “All right, it’s plan B. Fall in behind, and don’t let them hear you or
see you. Quiet as the fog, right?”

“We can be quiet,” the nearest warrior said, cocking an eyebrow.
“What about you?”

“I’ll have you know dwarves can move very silently when we have a
mind to,” Varric huffed. “It’s a center of gravity thing.”

The Fog Warrior gave him a dubious but otherwise blessedly silent
look before leading his teammates around the corner, their white war paint
blending into the stone of the fortress nearly as well as it did in their
spooky fog. Varric followed last, keeping an eye out for Venatori behind them
and muttering to Bianca, “You just had to go with plan B, Thayer.
Shoving the magister into the storage room himself would have been so much
quicker, even if he did bring backup.”

~*~

Fenris glanced around the tower room as they followed Licinius in.
Surprisingly sparse, for a mage of Licinius’ standing and supposed wealth, but
his markings tingled in response to magic in the air. Wards on the floor, he
saw, and implements of blood magic. A slave chained to the far wall looked up
at their entry and paled. Several more sets of chains lined the same wall, and
Licinius waved the guards toward these.

“Now,” the magister was saying, “as soon as they’re secure, I’ll
set the wards and then we can deal with the intruders.”

Even as Licinius spoke, Fenris felt the cold press of a knife at
his wrists, bare of armor, as the guard leading him cut his ropes. At a glance,
he saw Metis’ guard doing likewise. His father met his eyes and winked, slowly
reaching for his belt pouch.

Licinius seemed to realize something was wrong even as Thayer
reached up to remove the bucket-like Venatori helmet concealing his face. “Why
haven’t you chained them yet?” the magister was saying. “Hurry up and –” His
eyes went wide as the Inquisitor emerged from disguise and grinned, tossing the
helmet his way before drawing Fenris’ greatsword from his back and handing it
over to the elf.

“Or you could deal with us now,” Thayer shrugged, sliding his
daggers from the gauntlets of his Venatori armor. “We’d hate to inconvenience
you any longer than necessary.”

“You!” Licinius bellowed, then took three steps toward the door,
yelling, “Venatori! To me! The intruders –” But even as one of his mages and a
lone Venatori Marksman made it through the door, a wall of red light sprang up
on the threshold, cutting off the rest who were running to the magister’s aid.

“Turns out,” said Thayer, “the Fog Warriors have mages who know
something about wards, too.” He nodded to the other supposed guard, now setting
his helmet aside and shaking out dark hair. “Well done, Algor.” He turned back
to Licinius. “Our friends will deal with your backup out there, and we can have
a nice chat.”

“Fool,” Licinius spat, beginning to move his staff in arcane
patterns. “Do not think you have rendered me helpless. Target the Inquisitor,”
he shouted to his mage and marksman, “but by no means kill the elves. I’m not
finished with them.”

“You will be,” Fenris growled, rushing forward to deal with the
spare Venatori mage even as Thayer ducked an arrow and Algor raised his hands
to cast a spell.

Then with a roar not unlike the sound of the laboratory going up
in flames, Licinius was joined by a trio of demons boiling up from the floor.
Fenris willed his lyrium to light, darting forward to engage the new threat.

~*~

Outside the freshly warded doorway, the remaining Venatori and red
warriors watched the mage caught on their side summon mana to bring down the
ward. He raised his staff, gestured to the door, and –

Fell to the floor with a thump as a crossbow bolt sprouted
from his back.

They turned to see a dwarf at the top of the stairs leading up to
the tower rooms, gesturing to the Fog Warriors who now came quickly up behind
him.

“That’s our cue, Whitey,” the dwarf said, hoisting his crossbow
again as he addressed none of the Fog Warriors in particular as far as the
Venatori could tell. “Oh, and no more need to be quiet.”

~*~

Metis, meanwhile, pressed himself against the wall, watching and
gritting his teeth against a feeling of uselessness. Thinking of all the ways
he could be helping right now, if the red lyrium weren’t drowning out his
magic, didn’t help. A bolt of ice would do wonders against that rage demon; and
his vines could have kept Licinius from casting in the first place; and when
the Inquisitor finally failed to dodge that archer’s shots, as it was looking
more and more likely he would, it would be awfully nice if Metis could send
some healing his way. Fenris’ lack of his armor, left in the storage room where
they had found it when they were first locked in there, lest his wearing it should
alert Licinius that the elves were no longer the prisoners they seemed to be,
made Metis itch to throw up a barrier around him. He watched Algor’s spells
with envy but also a measure of professional assessment: the lad’s fire spells
were dazzling if not terribly hard-hitting, but he did have some skill with
wards, locking two of the demons in place long enough for the Inquisitor and
Fenris to deal with the Venatori mage and marksman. Metis strained to feel his
own magic, but the lyrium sang as plaintively as ever, demanding his attention.
Gripping the flask in his good hand tighter, he edged along the wall, trying to
draw nearer to Licinius without being noticed. If this was the only way left
for him to help, he wasn’t about to waste it on a poor throw from too far away.
Fenris needed the use of his markings, and it was best to keep Algor in control
of his magic too. The potion had to target Licinius alone.

Then one of the demons reared up before him. Metis gasped and
backed away, still clutching his potion tight even as he glanced around for any
sort of weapon. Fighting in the magister’s chambers proved fortuitous; a rack
across the room held a variety of staves, none quite like the one the Venatori
had confiscated from him before subjecting him to their ritual, but without his
magic he just needed something to hit with and any staff would do.

He feinted toward the demon and then made a dash for it on the
other side, clutching his marked arm to his chest and grimacing against the
pain. He could feel the wrongness of the creature, pursuing him all the
way to the rack, where he fumbled for the staff nearest to hand, almost
dropping the potion when he forgot he was carrying it, shifting it to his
bandaged hand as well as he could before grasping at the staff again even as
demon claws grasped at his shoulder –

And then with a roar the thing fell away from him, blue lyrium
light gleaming through a hole in what passed for its chest. The demon slumped
and finally melted away into the floor as Fenris stood there panting, eyes wide
and wild as he reached out to Metis.

“You’re all right?”

“Excellent timing,” Metis said, summoning the weakest of smiles
while gasping for breath; he was in no condition for such sprinting, especially
after the day’s events.

Fenris looked around at the battle. “One of them left,” he nodded
at the remaining demon. Metis saw fabric puddled on the floor that he took to
be Licinius’ assistant mage, and a bow cast aside suggested that the marksman
had been dealt with as well. “We will see to the demon.” He gripped Metis’
shoulder before he turned away. “Don’t let him summon any more.”

Which was, presumably, what Licinius had in mind as he again
started moving his staff through its patterns. The magister’s eyes were on
Thayer as the Inquisitor played tag with the last demon, darting in to slash at
it from one side, then the other, while Algor stood nearby flinging ice at it.
Suddenly the demon broke away from the Inquisitor to charge at Algor, knocking
the mage aside to slam into a wall while Fenris ran up from behind, ready to
slice the demon in two.

And while that drama played out, Metis crept up as near Licinius
as he dared, uncorked the bottle, and hurled it. The magister saw it coming
just in time and turned, bringing up a hand to bat it away, but the open bottle
spun and splattered him with its contents before sailing away to shatter
against the wall.

Metis, feeling an odd shock to his marked arm, looked down at his
bandages. Drops of red stained the white fabric. Blood? He frowned as he raised
his hand, recognizing the scent of magebane. The spray of the potion had
reached all the way back to him, then, a tiny trace of it splattering his left
arm even as most of it landed on Licinius.

The magister stood fuming, waving his hands, shaking his staff,
trying to bring his magic forth again, but enough magebane had reached him to
nullify every attempt. At that moment, Fenris ran the demon through even while
Thayer ran a blade along its throat, and the thing shriveled back into the
Fade. Licinius snarled and turned his staff around, advancing on Metis with the
bladed end.

“No!” Fenris shouted as Metis slowly backed away from the
magister, nearly tripping over the marksman’s corpse before Fenris interposed
himself and his sword between the mages. Licinius hissed in frustration,
swinging his staff against the elf’s blade. Reinforced with metal along the
shaft, it met the blow with only the slightest shudder, and then the magister
was wielding its blade like a polearm against Fenris with surprising skill.

Metis took note of Thayer just before the Inquisitor vanished into
the shadows again, looking, he supposed, for an angle from which to creep up on
the magister and – well, not slit his throat, Metis guessed; he had
been so determined to take the man alive, but surely if Fenris was in danger…

There was a tingling in his left arm. Metis looked at it in
wonder, unwinding the bandages. The skin revealed was still red and tender, but
there were patches, he thought, where the lyrium lines themselves had grown
darker. Quieter. Quieter. The lyrium-quieting potion. He realized
in that moment, the song in the back of his mind was quieting too. Still there,
but no longer demanding his attention, not drowning everything else out as it
had before. So little of the potion had actually reached him, he realized:
enough to quiet the lyrium’s song, but what effect would the same potion have
on his magic now that he wasn’t distracted by the lyrium? Frowning, he raised
the staff he had snatched from the rack, adding his left hand carefully to his
grip on it, and began to weave a familiar pattern in the air. It seemed to take
an eternity, and all the while Fenris and the magister wove a pattern of their
own, blade to blade, and what Thayer was up to was yet to be seen.

And then the vines came. Slowly at first; his magic was there, but
not entirely unaffected by the magebane, and he was a bit rusty after hours
sundered from his mana, but finally the vines came. He called them from the
ceiling, above where Licinius stood, or had been standing before his duel with
Fenris carried them halfway across the tower chamber. Metis bit at his lip,
coaxing, encouraging, convincing the vines to twine further that way,
no, then back this way again, keep growing, reach for it, reach for the wrists,
he needs his hands to cast…

At last, with a shriek of outrage, Licinius was hauled up into the
air by strong vines binding each wrist and shrinking back to stretch them over
his head, leaving the magister dangling from the ceiling, kicking out at Fenris
as his staff fell from his hands.

Fenris dodged the kick easily and swung back around to face the
magister. With a fierce smile he lit his lyrium and plunged his bare hand in to
grasp the magister’s beating heart.

For half a minute, they stood eye to eye, or nearly so, since the
magister had a few extra inches on Fenris with his feet swinging above the
floor. But the swinging had become barely a tremble as Licinius went as still
as possible, eyes bulging as Fenris squeezed.

Thayer, emerging from the shadows at last, approached with a
polite cough. Fenris narrowed his eyes as they met the magister’s, fire in the
elf’s matching fear in the mage’s, and finally he nodded, easing his grip on
Licinius’ heart.

“You took my father away from me once, before I was even born,”
Fenris growled at last, stretching up on his toes to glare more directly into
the magister’s eyes. “You very nearly took him away from me again today. Be
glad the Inquisitor came when he did, for if Metis had died here there would be
no mercy.”

~*~

Hawke,

It is done. With joy I write to tell you that we are finished with
this place. Thayer has the magister who was behind these experiments in custody
on the ship. The rest of the Venatori and their red warriors are dead or in the
Fog Warriors’ hands, which they may find the less desirable fate.

The fight has taken its toll on us all, but we are alive. Thayer
and Varric are well. Metis…well, I shall write more in the morning, perhaps,
before the ships bear us away from this cursed shore, but for now he and I both
need rest. But we live, and you will see him soon enough, for he must return
with us to Skyhold.

I see the ravens have brought your letters while I was within Ath
Velanis. Their scent, your scent, consoles me but I wait till morning to read
them, as well, for I am truly wearier than I can remember being in years, and
that includes the nights Malcolm kept us both up with his demands.

I will read your news and send you more of mine tomorrow, but for
now the raven bears you this promise: tomorrow the ships bring us home.

Yours, always,

Fenris

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?
Fenris/F!Hawke
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  |  FF.net

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!

Hawkquisition
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
aunt.

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),

Hawke

~*~

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
me?”

“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
to.”

“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
here?”

“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
prisoners.

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
corner.

“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.”

“What?”

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
them.”

“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
you?”

“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.”

Warriors Such As: Chapter 15

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with the next chapter of this crazy adventure! 🙂 I promise, despite the terrible chapter title (so sorry for that, but I seem to be in a gallows humor mood after writing this part and also it is 1:36 in the morning here…getting slap-happy now), things start looking brighter by the end of this installment.

Word count: 5317
Rating: PG for lyrium ritual which is pretty much torture…
Fenris/F!Hawke
Summary: Thayer and Varric return to Ath Velanis but Metis is already being prepared for lyrium markings…

Read it here or on:  DA  |  AO3  |  FF.net

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!

Hawkquisition
Part 4: Warriors Such As
Chapter 15
Wherein Metis gets a
tattoo

Hawke,

Maker willing, you will never have to see this letter. But it must
be written, just in case, a contingency to be delivered only if we do not
return from today’s assault upon Ath Velanis. I leave it here in camp with
strict instructions that it be sent only in the event that neither I nor Varric
return to tell you in person.

At this moment, Fenris and Metis are trapped in the Venatori
fortress and we who escaped are preparing to go back in for them. And for our
mission, of course, but I confess I am more concerned now with bringing them
back safely. You came so close to sacrificing yourself for us all in the Fade,
Hawke, and after working more closely with both you and Fenris I know how that
would have devastated him. And here I have gone and put him in much the same
position to devastate you. I swear to you, I will do everything to ensure that
he returns to you unharmed.

But here I am forgetting the purpose of this letter. If you are
reading it at all, I suppose everything I could do was not enough. So I must
tell you what I would say in person if I could:

Your husband was the bravest of warriors. If the worst has come to
pass, he, as well as myself and the rest of our team, must be either dead or in
the magister’s hands. We were caught in a trap when we first infiltrated the
Venatori fortress, and though Varric and I escaped to plan a second assault
upon it, Fenris and Metis were cut off from us and forced to hide as best they
could until we returned with help. And if you are reading this, that help was
not enough. I am so, so sorry, Hawke. I bear full responsibility for this, for
bringing your husband and your friend into danger and not bringing them home
again. I could not have asked for better companions. It may be small comfort to
you, to hear that they gave their all, that they fought with everything in them
to right the wrongs we discovered in Seheron. It may be poor condolence to know
that I would do no less, but that even all our efforts combined were
insufficient.

But if you are reading this, we have failed. And the threat
remains. The Venatori have not, as I write this, yet perfected their lyrium
ritual, but from what the magister said when he sprang his trap on us I think
he expects that having Fenris in his clutches will somehow supply what he needs
to achieve that goal. The Inquisition, even without an Inquisitor, cannot allow
this to happen. So as sorry as I am for losing Fenris, I must apologize too for
what I ask of you next. Summon the advisors of the Inquisition, Hawke. Inform
them of what has happened and work with them to plan the next step. You cannot
leave Ath Velanis unchecked. I do not hold out hope that your next move might
even rescue whatever remains of us in Venatori hands, but you must put a stop
to their experiments here if we have failed to do so.

I do not ask you to come yourself, Hawke – please have a care for
the child you would leave behind! – but I will understand, all the same, if that
is what you decide to do. I ask only that you do not rush into your
counter-move, nor neglect to bring a force sufficient to stand against a number
of Venatori with Fenris’ markings and skills, for if you are reading this
letter, that is what you are surely soon to face.

I pray it will never come to pass.

And with that, Varric and I depart now to prevent all the fears I
have written here. It will be one of the happiest moments of my life, Hawke, to
return to camp and tear this letter to shreds.

In earnest hope,

Inquisitor Thayer Trevelyan

~*~

Fenris took little satisfaction in the delay brought on by his
desperate gamble for freedom: the ritual to mark Metis could not begin until
the Venatori had reset the laboratory – cleaning up the mess he had made and
swapping the injured mages for others of Licinius’ apprentices. When, however,
he and Metis were rounded up and marched down the hall, to be tucked away in an
empty chamber until the Venatori had finished preparations to begin the ritual
again, he gladly took the opportunity to speak with his father alone, in
whispers lest the guard outside the door might not be the magister’s only way
of overhearing.

“You cannot really mean to go through with this,” he began in a
furious hiss, brows furrowed as he rounded on Metis, hands clenched into fists
where the Venatori had bound them behind his back.

“I would not object,” said his father wryly, “to an alternate
solution.”

“Then tell him you are not willing!”

“He’ll kill you, Fenris.”

“And he will unmake you!” Fenris shouted. Metis winced and
nodded to the guarded door, gesturing as best he could, with his hands likewise
bound, for quiet. With a sigh, Fenris began to pace, but he dropped his voice
again. “Nothing is worth that. Not even my life.”

“I beg to differ.”

“Do you realize what this will do to you? Aside from the
likelihood that the red lyrium will drive you mad as it has the others,
even if the ritual succeeds, even if you gain the abilities that my markings
gave me, it is what you will lose that concerns me – no, it terrifies
me.” He met Metis’ gaze with wide and furious eyes. “Danarius’ ritual left
me with no memory of my life before. You will look at me when this is done, and
you will not know me.”

Metis dropped his gaze to the floor, but a weary smile quirked at
one corner of his lips. “Back to where we were just a week ago, then.”

“Does that week mean so little to you?” Fenris hissed. “Or are you
so prepared to forget all the rest as well? Varania and our mother, even the
very fact that any of us ever existed?” Metis winced, but Fenris continued, his
voice edging again alarmingly far past the whisper. “Are you so eager to serve
your master again?”

Metis blinked, and then, with a sigh, lowered himself awkwardly to
sit against the wall. “Perhaps you’re right.”

Fenris, somehow managing it with grace despite his bound hands,
came to sit next to him. After a moment of staring at the floor between his
knees, he spoke, hushed and trembling: “You are – Metis, you are a good man.
Those markings will remake you. I…I am afraid, father, to lose you again, so
soon and so utterly.”

Metis stared at him in wonder. “Do you know,” he said, “I believe
that’s the first time you’ve called me that.”

“I might not have another chance to.” Fenris grumbled, looking
away.

“Don’t be so sure,” Metis smiled. “At the least, this has bought
us time. You said once that this ritual can take days. I assume that’s true for
Licinius as it was when you…?”

Fenris nodded slowly. “His process is very similar to what I
recall of Danarius’ ritual. They had barely made any progress on the Fog
Warrior when you interrupted, and the mages would have needed to rest soon
anyway, to recover their mana. I do not think the Venatori could complete a
full set of markings in less than two days, more likely three.”

“Well then, just how long do you expect it to take the Inquisitor
to find us?”

Fenris opened his mouth to speak, then thought better of it,
frowning as he considered the distance back to their camp, the size of the
fortress. Thayer and Varric would have wasted no time, from the moment that
gate cut their party in two. Metis elaborated, “We’ve been wandering this
fortress all night, haven’t we? It must be tomorrow by now. I would wager that
Thayer Trevelyan is quicker about rescues than Licinius is at his ritual.”

Turning narrowed eyes upon his father, Fenris protested, “Unless
he is already within the walls – which, if he were, the Venatori would be
busier preparing a defense than your markings – they may not have time to
complete the ritual but they will surely have time to begin it.”

“I would also wager,” Metis nodded thoughtfully, “that the effects
of it which we most hope to avoid – the memory loss, the madness – do not
arise from the beginning, but more gradually, as exposure to the lyrium –”

“And the pain.”

“– yes, and the pain, presumably, as all of it combined suffices
to break the mind.”

Fenris scoffed, almost fondly. “How can you speak so…academically
of what you are about to suffer?”

“Avoidance tactic?” Metis grinned. “I’ve been researching the red
lyrium lately, you know. I’ve seen some terrible things, Fenris. One learns to
approach it rationally, even clinically, lest the mind fail to withstand it.
And one endures.” He shrugged. “If rescue is late, my boy, it need not be too
late. If no other chance of escape can be found, if I must let him begin the
ritual upon me, I do not think all hope is lost.”

Fenris considered this in silence for several minutes, till Metis
felt his eyes grow heavy as his thoughts began to drift to the memories Fenris’
words had stirred. Mara. Their first kiss, her hair soft and dark beneath
his hands, her eyes taunting, tantalizing, her laugh teasing and fond all at
once. Her hand in his, slender and strong. Her glance across a crowd bringing
warmth to his cheeks, her gaze that never left his when they danced at their
wedding. The first time he held Varania, his own green eyes in her mother’s
delicate face, eyes crinkling as she broke into infant cries and he couldn’t
stop smiling. And then those eyes again in Fenris’ face, so many years passed
that the memories of his baby girl had faded or surely he would have sooner
recognized him, this son he had so long not even known he had…

No. Losing those memories would be untenable.

But losing his son again, even more so.

Then Fenris broke the silence, speaking softly: “Perhaps…one
thing the magister said was correct.”

Metis looked over at him, brow furrowed in inquiry.

“You go into this willingly,” Fenris continued. “Brace yourself
against it, and you may withstand the ritual better than his previous subjects
have.”

Metis nodded slowly. “Will you tell me, then,” he whispered, “what
to expect? The more I know, the more I may brace myself for it. Academically,
you know.”

Fenris drew in a long breath and then nodded. “Very well. If
you’re sure it will help.”

“If…you’re sure you don’t mind talking about it.”

“Better that than letting you go through it unprepared.” And he
began to speak of pain. Slowly at first, halting, overwhelmed himself at the
memory of the torment he had long struggled to put behind him. But it became
easier as he went on, the warmth of his father beside him a reminder that his
purpose was to spare Metis the same panic he had felt at the first bright flare
of pain from the brand on his skin, the first white wash of pain from the
lyrium bonding to the burns, the mad rush of pain overwhelming his thoughts,
flooding his mind and crowding out his dearest memories. Fenris grasped at
Metis’ own tactics and found the strength to explain it all calmly,
academically, observing from time’s distance the unspeakable trial he had gone
through and finding it possible to speak of it after all.

And by the end, his father’s head leaned against his shoulder; for
which of them the comfort was meant, Fenris was unsure, but it was enough for
them both. Bound hands prevented Metis from working any magic, but Fenris could
feel the lyrium in his skin listening to the magic in his father’s blood, as if
waking from the sleep induced by the magister’s potion upon them both.

Magic. Fenris tensed again and
said, “Promise me one thing, Metis?”

“Anything,” came his father’s voice, weary and tingling with that
same magic.

“I…do not know if Licinius is correct in his theory, that the
markings will be more effective on a mage. But there is a risk for you beyond
what a warrior would face. The lyrium…it is connected to the Fade. I know you
are a capable mage, father, to have resisted the temptations that come with
your power all these years, but promise me…”

Metis chuckled as Fenris trailed off, shifting uncomfortably
against the wall. “Have no worries there, my boy. I promise not to take the
easy way out, no matter what demons offer when the pain seems unbearable.”

“They can be very persuasive,” Fenris winced, remembering years
ago, in Kirkwall, a dream into which they had all walked together and the
demon’s promises for which he had abandoned Hawke.

“Oh, I’m familiar with their wiles,” Metis said. “Persuasive; not
particularly innovative. I’ve lost count of the number of times they’ve tried
to portray your mother in my dreams. Occasionally your sister. Never you,
though. How curious. I don’t think the demons knew about you either.”

“Now they surely do,” Fenris almost smiled. “Suppose they try to
portray me during the ritual? Offer you a way out, power to kill the magister,
take his place and set us both free?”

“Sounds a very demonic strategy indeed,” Metis grinned. “But I
shall have you there, the real you, right beside me to tell me what an idiotic
idea that would be.”

“That,” Fenris grinned back, “you shall.”

~*~

“Trust me, Inquisitor,” Varric said, his voice hushed in the pale
pre-dawn light. “It’s a perfect blind spot. I got in this way just fine the
last time.”

“I have every faith in you, Varric,” Thayer said, gauging the
distance to the top of the outer fortress wall as he gave the grappling hook a
few preparatory swings. “I’d just feel better about this if the ships had
reached us already. We could use the distraction.”

“Look, Shiny, last time we had Qunari dreadnaughts creating
the distraction. And it was a mess. This’ll work. We slip in, shoot the
magister and find our friends, and when the ships get here they can deal
with rounding up the rest of the Venatori. You know, the part that can wait.”

“Well,” Thayer grinned as he let the hook fly up to the ramparts,
“I’m glad to see you remember the objectives, Varric.”

~*~

All too soon, the Venatori returned for their test subject and
template, marching them back down the hall to the laboratory so quickly that
Metis stumbled twice and even Fenris found it difficult to keep to his feet.

But the lyrium in his skin tingled once more when Metis stumbled
against him, and Fenris caught his breath. The potion was wearing off. Would
Licinius think to drug them again before this ritual began? Or would he perhaps
want Metis’ magic unhindered when they began bonding the lyrium to his skin?

It was something, at least. They had been rendered helpless
too many times this night. To have his lyrium awake again was a card up his
sleeve that Isabela would have envied. Figuratively speaking, since his
gauntlets and all his other clothing were still stashed wherever Licinius had
put them before his first attempt at copying Fenris’ markings. His wrist,
without Hawke’s favor and her violet sachet, felt barest of all even as the
ropes chafed at it.

And then they were stripping Metis as well, though only to the
waist, his upper robes pooling behind his back as they locked him down on one
table in place of the Fog Warrior, who had been cleared away to Maker knew
where while the laboratory was restored. Fenris shifted, glancing around at the
guards still gripping his arms, and the doubled guard of Venatori at the door,
Licinius and his Tranquil and two new mage assistants all fussing over Metis,
scrubbing down his skin and positioning him just so. Fenris considered finding
out just how well recovered his markings were, but the extra guards and his
lack of any other weapon, as well as the fact that they already had Metis fastened
into his restraints, stopped him from any rash attempt at escape.

Then Licinius, raising his staff, motioned for Fenris to be
brought close. Feeling the ropes cut away from his wrists, he tensed, prepared
to be returned to restraints himself, but the magister had other ideas.

“We must be sure the markings are done exactly right this time,”
Licinius said, beckoning Fenris closer to Metis’ table, where a chair had been
set out on his right hand side. “I want you where we can see you most easily.
Sit here. No, draw the chair up closer – right up to the table. Yes, that will
do. Now hold your arm out, on the table next to him, and – perfect.” Fenris
scowled and then felt the expression frozen on his face as the magister once
again caught him in a paralysis glyph.

“Will…you…” Fenris bit out, with marginally less difficulty than
the last two times this had happened, “ever stop…doing that?”

“I need you perfectly still,” Licinius chided. “And the restraints
would be ill positioned for our first session, anyway. We’re going to take the
procedure a little slower this time, just to be sure there are no
untoward…effects to inscribing the markings on a mage. I intend to begin with
your left arm, gardener. If that turns out well, we can go on with the rest. And
if problems should arise, well, limbs are expendable.” Fenris tensed at this
despite the magic holding him so still, and Licinius chuckled. “Relax, both of
you. This will all be over soon enough.”

Sooner, Fenris hoped, than the magister could guess.

Licinius nodded to the Tranquil, who brought forward one of the
red lyrium bottles now neatly lined up on the side table once again. One of the
assistant mages stood ready to apply the lyrium, while the other reached for
the heated branding rod. Metis’ jaw worked as he watched the Venatori gather
around him. Meeting Fenris’ eyes, he managed a faint smile. Fenris tried to
smile back, barely managing it despite the paralysis glyph. Then Metis turned
his eyes upon the arm prepared for the ritual, swallowed, and went very still.

Licinius glanced between Fenris and Metis, reached to adjust the
angle of Fenris’ arm, and then laid a hand on Metis’ left arm, which had been
left free of its restraint so that the whole arm could be branded without
working around the metal cuff. “Keep as still as you can,” he advised. Then, at
his signal, the mage with the branding rod stepped forward.

At the first touch of the rod to the back of his hand, Metis
sucked in a gasp of air through clenched teeth, eyes widening at the shock of
pain. Licinius’ hand, still resting firmly upon his arm, kept his reflexive
flinch from marring the lines as the rod moved steadily up to his wrist, as the
trail of lyrium followed after, as the magister reached with his free hand to
bathe the lyrium lines in the magic that fused them to Metis’ flesh. Fenris
watched his father tremble and shudder while the smell of lyrium and burnt skin
brought tears to his own eyes, and whispered finally, “Breathe, Metis. You have
to breathe.” And with great effort, pushing against the paralysis, he stretched
his hand scant inches across the table till his littlest finger brushed against
his father’s, and grasped for his hand. Their fingers linked, and suddenly
Metis’ breath wheezed out again. He whimpered, tears welling in his eyes as the
rod moved on up past his wrist, and finally gasped in a shuddering long breath
and –

At that point, his screams came as a relief.

~*~

Infiltrating Ath Velanis proved easier than expected, for the
fortress was in disarray.

Thayer and Varric, with their share of the Fog Warriors, scaled
the wall and found only a handful of Venatori guards patrolling it. Daggers in
the dark (or what was left of it as the sun went on rising over the fortress)
quickly dealt with them, and within minutes their team had moved on from the
outer wall to the next layer of the Ath Velanis defenses. Finding these
likewise underguarded, they proceeded nearly unhindered till they stood atop an
inner wall, listening at the door that had till now been guarded by only one
highly nervous Venatori Zealot, now crumpled on the floor.

From within came the sounds of battle. Thayer exchanged a glance
and a shrug with Varric, then signaled to the Fog Warriors to follow as he
slipped through the shadows inside.

Objectives: Magister. Allies. Prisoners. The magister could be anywhere in this huge hideout of his.
Fenris and Metis, likewise, though Thayer guessed Licinius would keep them
close if he had caught them by now. The prisoners, however, that was a place
they could start. “You remember where the dungeons were on your last visit,
Varric?” Thayer asked.

“All too well,” the dwarf nodded, taking the lead.

The sounds of combat grew louder as they hurried towards the lower
levels of the fortress. “Caligo’s team, do you think?” Varric guessed.

“Let’s find out,” Thayer said, breaking off into a corridor that
seemed to lead toward the chaos.

They emerged at last into a room lined with tables – or
presumably they had been arranged in lines, before the fight swept in to
make barricades of the furniture and a general mess of the room. There was no
sign of Caligo and the other Fog Warriors who had been sent to infiltrate the
fortress from the south while Thayer’s team came in from the north; instead,
they saw half a dozen Venatori warriors in close combat with a ragtag gang of
elves and men, wearing no armor over their shabby clothing, wielding swords and
daggers and table legs and what appeared to be one whole chandelier with a
relentless fury, though there seemed to be fewer of them still standing than
were scattered around the room, dead or unconscious, while the Venatori all
seemed to be still standing.

“I see odds that need evening,” Thayer murmured. “Whoever they
are, the Venatori are slaughtering them. Let’s change that.”

The Fog Warriors fanned out around the room, bursting in on the
fight with a ready will, while Varric climbed onto one of the still-upright
tables to rain down Bianca’s bolts on the enemy and Thayer slipped in to stab
Venatori backs while Varric had them distracted. It was over quickly.

One of the elves in the ragged clothes came forward afterwards,
while the rest of his group moved to check on their fallen comrades and rouse
the survivors. Drawing closer, Thayer could see the traces of white paint in
the elf’s hair – a Fog Warrior, once.

“You’re…not one of Caligo’s team, are you?” Thayer asked,
squinting to be sure. He usually had little trouble remembering faces, but
their Fog Warrior allies were new, and also numerous.

“Caligo?” the man’s face lit up. “She is with you?”

“Other side of the fortress, if their insertion went as well as
ours,” Thayer grinned. “A friend?”

“A wise woman,” he said solemnly, “who warned me against venturing
too near Ath Velanis. If I’d listened, I would not have spent these two months
in the Venatori dungeon.”

“Ah!” Thayer beamed as the puzzle came together. “You’re the
captives they were planning to install those markings on.”

The man nodded. “I’m Aeris.”

“But…I take it Caligo’s team weren’t the ones who broke you
out?”

Aeris shook his head. “No. It was no Fog Warrior, but an elf
wielding a greatsword, tattooed like one of Licinius’ warriors but not red, if
that makes sense.”

Thayer grinned. “It makes the best kind of sense, friend Aeris.
And the best kind of news. Think you could point us in the direction of those
dungeons?”

~*~

It was quiet in the laboratory when the mages finally finished the
markings on Metis’ arm. His screams had gone hoarse, as the ritual dragged on,
and finally dwindled only to shuddering breaths. Fenris ached to press back
against the paralysis spell again, as he felt his own markings returning to
their strength, lending him a resistance to magic that could have thrown off
the spell entirely with enough effort – but he would settle for grasping his
father’s whole hand more firmly in his own. But that would not go unnoticed as
Licinius and his mages looked between his white markings and the red ones they
were still twining around Metis’ arm, so Fenris settled for the linking of
their pinky fingers, willing what strength he could through the contact.

Then at last Licinius and his mages stepped back, looking over
their work. Metis’ skin shone with sweat and his eyes behind his spectacles
were closed, but his breath began to come more evenly now that the branding had
paused. With them came a groan, and his little finger twitched against Fenris’
grasp.

“A satisfactory replica,” Licinius nodded, raising Metis’ marked
arm to inspect it from all sides. “Well done.” He gestured to his apprentices
and they staggered over to return the branding rod and lyrium flask to the
table, while the Tranquil stepped forward and began gently rubbing a clear
salve into Metis’ branded skin. “This will prevent infection to the brands,”
the magister explained. “It would be a shame for all this work to go to waste.”

The Tranquil wrapped the arm in a clean white bandage when he had
finished rubbing in the salve. Next he brought a flask to Metis’ lips. Fenris
stopped himself from bursting through the paralysis to grab the Tranquil’s hand
just in time, instead looking up at him and growling, “What are you giving him
now?”

“It is water,” said the man in his toneless, detached voice. “The
burns are dehydrating, and his throat will be raw.”

“Ah. I…see,” Fenris mumbled, still hovering tensely at Metis’
side for fear of magebane in the water. But even without the magister’s
potions, Metis was in no state to work magic.

“An hour’s rest should suffice,” Licinius was telling his mages.
“Go and prepare yourselves for the next section, and we’ll –”

Then a murmur at the door drew his attention, and Licinius strode
over to the guards. Fenris strained against the paralysis spell enough to turn
his head and watch as the magister conferred with another Venatori at the door,
panting and disheveled. Within moments Licinius turned his sharp gaze back to
his assistants.

“It seems I am needed elsewhere,” he said. “Rest, as I said. And
you –” he turned to the guards. “Keep the subjects somewhere safe until we are
able to continue. Not in here. And no fewer than two of you guarding them at
all times, no matter who comes through, until I tell you otherwise. Do I make
myself clear?”

The guards nodded and “Yes, ser”’d him, and Licinius departed in
haste.

The paralysis spell broke when they pulled Fenris away from the
glyph at his feet, tying his hands again behind his back while he shook his
head and rolled his shoulders, stiff from hours of leaning over Metis’ table.
They loosed Metis from his restraints as well, but hesitated to tie his hands
when when he cried out at their touch.

The guards exchanged a look. “Not much he can do even untied at
the moment, I guess,” said the first.

“Like the others,” the second guard nodded. “Good for nothing the
first few hours.”

“Can he even walk?”

He couldn’t quite, but they managed to prop him against one guard
while the other force-marched Fenris down the hallway. The closet in which they
eventually deposited them, perhaps in their distraction at having to half-carry
the branded mage, wasn’t even the same chamber they had been locked up in
before.

But it had one pleasant surprise. Piled in one corner were the
clothing and armor that had disappeared from Fenris between being knocked
unconscious outside the dungeon and fastened to a laboratory table for the Fog
Warrior’s branding. There was no sign of the sword taken from him by the
Venatori, nor of Metis’ staff, but it was something going right and
Fenris felt his spirits begin to rise.

As soon as the door was locked behind them, cutting off the two
guards’ nervous conversation about what in the Void was going on elsewhere in
the fortress, Fenris gave his markings free rein, flaring bright blue and
slipping like a ghost from the ropes at his wrists with a sigh of relief. In a
few minutes he was back in his own outfit and armor, smiling and bowing his
head in thanks for a moment when he found Hawke’s red ribbon and violet sachet
tangled with the rest. He wrapped her favor back in its accustomed place on his
wrist with fierce gladness before turning to help his father back into the
sleeves of his robes.

“How are you holding up?” Fenris whispered, reaching tentatively
towards the bandaged arm, hesitant to touch him.

“I would be extremely pleased,” Metis rasped, eyes still closed as
he huddled on the floor, holding the marked arm to his chest, “if this
interruption means the rest of these appointments are to be rescheduled.”

“I was hoping for a full cancellation, myself,” Fenris managed
half a smile. “And I think the Inquisitor’s humor has rubbed off on you.”

One green eye opened, Metis’ eyebrow quirking up at him. “No, I’m
fairly certain Varric is responsible for my jests in the face of certain
annihilation.”

“Nothing is certain, Metis.”

“That dwarf’s sense of humor certainly is.”

“A fair point.” Fenris frowned then, quirking his own brow. “Are
you certain that this sudden urge to jest is not simply a sign of possession?
Did a demon of…of wit make you any promises?”

“No, lad,” Metis sighed. “It is a sign of weariness. I lack the
will to speak sense.”

“Do you lack the strength to escape?” Fenris asked, easing Metis’
sleeves back over his arms and fastening the robes carefully.

“Help me stand,” Metis said, all trace of jest and most of the
weariness vanishing from his voice. Fenris did so, and Metis leaned on him for
the first few turns around the small room, then managed a few steps on his own.

“Well,” he said at last, “I’ll manage to walk, but I won’t be
running from pursuit any time soon.”

“Then if we are pursued, we stand and fight.”

“I’ll do well even to stand. And I’ve no staff, but I…even if I
did, Fenris, I’m not sure I could cast at present.”

“Then I’ll fight.”

Metis nodded. “Time to go, then?”

“Thayer has to be behind the disturbance. Let’s not wait for him
to find us.”

“What about the guards?”

Fenris stood facing the door, flexing his fists. “There are two of
them,” he noted. “I have two hands.” And with a grim smile he strode forward,
lyrium flaring, thrusting both hands through the wall to each side of the door
and directly through the chests of the guards who had taken up their posts
there.

Crushing the door’s lock with similar efficiency, he eased the
door open, saw that the hallway was clear apart from the guards bleeding out at
his feet, and beckoned to Metis to follow.

Warriors Such As: Chapter 14

Things are looking grim in Ath Velanis. Fenris has been captured, and it’s up to Metis to save him…

Word count: 4302
Rating: PG for lyrium ritual…
Fenris/F!Hawke
Summary: Licinius intends to use Fenris’ markings as a template for his next red lyrium warrior…and so the ritual begins…

Read it here or on:  DA  |  AO3  |  FF.net

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! Also, this chapter’s extra angsty, so hugs to all readers in advance… 😦

Hawkquisition
Part 4: Warriors Such As
Chapter 14
Wherein the magister
refines his ritual

“Our objectives,” Thayer ticked them off on his fingers, pacing
before the Fog Warriors arrayed for battle, their eyes intense bursts of color
in contrast to the white paint with which they had covered their skin and
clothing: “Stop the magister. Take him into custody or kill him if he can’t be
taken alive, but our priority remains putting an end to his experiments, and we
accomplish that quickest by removing him from play. Second, rescue our friends.
Fenris and Metis are more than capable. I refuse to believe they’re not still
holding their own against whatever the Venatori can throw at them, but the
sooner we get to them, the better their odds. And finally, neutralize any
remaining Red Lyrium Warriors that Licinius has already created and free any
slaves or captives he intended to put through the ritual.”

Varric coughed and added, just loud enough for the Inquisitor to
hear, “And then maybe we can leave this fortress in ruins so we don’t have to
keep coming back here every few years.” That won a smirk from the Inquisitor.
Varric considered it a small victory.

“We don’t have the manpower for a frontal assault,” Thayer
continued, nodding to the Fog Warrior archer who had guided them to the tunnel
for the previous night’s reconnaisance, “so Varric has identified a few
possible infiltration points. Caligo, you’ll lead a team from the south. Varric
and I will enter from the north with the second team. Get in as quickly and
quietly as you can, and remember the objectives: magister, allies, prisoners.
If things go to pieces, get out of there. If they don’t, we’ll meet somewhere
in the middle.”

A shout interrupted the briefing, and they looked up to see one of
the Inquisition scouts approaching from the raven cages. “Reply from Harding,
ser,” the man said, offering up a small scroll.

Thayer hurried to open it; scanning the words there, he smiled and
nodded to Varric. “The ships are on their way.”

“It’ll take them most of the day to sail around the coast,” Varric
pointed out. “Do we wait?”

Thayer considered the timing with narrowed eyes, then shook his
head. “We use that time to do this right. Licinius has probably realized that
some of us made it out of the fortress last night. He’ll be preparing
reinforcements. We need to approach Ath Velanis cautiously, but if we wait too
long…”

“We’ll face more of his reinforcements,” Varric nodded. “Okay
then, Your Heraldicness. Let’s go scale that fortress wall.”

~*~

It was cold. Perhaps, some part of Fenris mused as he gradually
regained consciousness, it was the cold that finally brought him back to his
senses. At least by the cold he knew that he was awake; it never seemed this
cold in dreams. In the Fade. There was a pounding in his head, besides, and the
ozone smell of magic.

Magic. In a panic his eyes
snapped open and he tried to sit up, thrashing against the shackles that now
revealed themselves at his sudden movements.

“Ah, welcome back, little wolf,” he heard Licinius’ bemused voice
somewhere behind him. Panting as he tried to turn, Fenris took stock of his
situation. He had thought he was lying down, but as the swimming world righted
itself while his vision caught up to it, he found himself secured by metal
cuffs at his wrists and ankles to a table of sorts, likewise of metal, cold
against his bare skin, propping him up at an angle somewhere between standing
and reclining.

The metal shouldn’t be able to hold him like this. I am a free
man.
He willed his lyrium to light, to let him phase through the bonds, but
the markings remained white and inert.

He stilled, catching his breath while his hands balled into fists.
The cuffs kept his arms stretched wide enough to limit his range of motion, but
he could still turn his head. To one side he saw a wall lined with shelves of
potions, and between them a single door, guarded by Venatori. To the other, a
table like the one to which he was bound, at an angle that seemed to match his;
stretched out on it, likewise stripped and shackled, a dark haired elf. Traces
of white paint still clung to his hair, but from the redness of his skin Fenris
guessed that more of the paint had been freshly scrubbed from his body.

Facing forward again, Fenris saw a sight out of his nightmares,
with one difference: the lyrium in the bottles was red, not blue. In all other
regards, it seemed that even without Danarius’ notes, Licinius had come to many
of the same conclusions about the process of bonding lyrium to the skin.
Fenris’ earliest memories – before his time with Hawke had begun to stir the
older memories locked behind the wall of torment that in all his years as a
slave he had not been able to breach – had overwhelmingly featured the pain of
the process and less so the specific details of what Danarius and his
assistants were doing throughout it, but he recognized the rod, even now
heating over glowing coals, that would be used to etch on the skin the burning
brands to which the lyrium would fuse. His pulse raced, his breath came short
and ragged as he realized that this must be the magister’s laboratory, where
his lyrium-marked warriors had been created – and to all appearances, soon
would be created again.

Then what was he, already the product of such a ritual, doing
trussed up on a table like this?

“What,” he finally rasped, willing to his voice the veneer of calm
that had often been his shield in Danarius’ house, “do you intend to do with
me?” Despite the cold, sweat dripped into his eyes and he shook his head to
scatter it.

“Quite simply,” came Licinius’ voice again from behind him, “you
are to serve as a template. The ritual I have recreated works; at least,
we have succeeded time and time again in creating markings like yours. But my
subjects have not been able to make use of their markings as you do, which
rather defeats the purpose.” He appeared suddenly at Fenris’ side, smiling
widely. Fenris clenched his fists in an effort not to flinch away from the
magister’s nearness, glaring at him with furrowed brows as Licinius continued,
“I theorize that the actual layout of the markings is of greater importance
than I had originally presumed. It is as if we were inscribing runes of
enchantment upon the flesh, after all. Perhaps I have been leaving out some
vital branching or,” he cast a critical eye over Fenris’ skin, running a
too-warm finger over the lines curving around his arm, “filigree. Now
that we have your markings to refer to, we can either confirm my theory or at
least rule it out by making an exact copy of these patterns on my next
warrior. If they do not work on him, we must look elsewhere for the flaw in the
process.”

“And merely to see my markings,” Fenris growled, “you find
it necessary to restrain me so?” He nodded toward his bound wrists.

Licinius chuckled as he moved toward the table where the apparatus
of the ritual was laid out, lifting the branding rod and holding a finger an
inch from it to confirm the heat now radiating from the metal. “As you may
recall, since we met I have been extending the offer of cooperation. I truly
mean you no harm. Alas, given the hostility you have shown to my men in your
time here, I can only assume that you cannot be trusted to cooperate.”

“You cannot do this,” Fenris insisted with no attempt to swallow
the hostility Licinius had already observed. “This ritual is…it is a curse.
Danarius died by the very markings he etched on my hand. Do not think you will
escape.”

“Tell me, little wolf,” Licinius drawled, inspecting one of the
lyrium bottles, “just how deadly are those markings of yours right now?”

~*~

Naturally, the crawlspaces did not quite match up to the hallways
through which Licinius and his brutes had dragged Fenris back to his
laboratory. Metis kept as close to them as he could at first, but every
intersection meant a detour, either to find another route through the
fortress’s ventilation, or to wait till the coast was clear to drop down from
one grating and summon vines at another so he could resume crawling through
another dusty shaft. Eventually, he dropped from a grating, looked around, and
realized he had no way of knowing which direction the magister had gone from
this intersection.

With a sigh, he lowered himself to the floor, listening. Even to
elven ears, the fortress was silent. He had fallen too far behind already. Licinius
was beyond his reach; he couldn’t even say for sure that the magister had
passed through this intersection. Somewhere in this place, his son was in the
clutches of Metis’ old master, a man who could not even imagine the concept of
mercy unless it were sweetened with more mercenary motivations. And once again,
Metis was too late.

“No,” he whispered, brushing aside the first frustrated tear and
forbidding its fellows to fall. “Not this time. He won’t be taken from me
again.”

It was a large fortress. But with Fenris he had already explored a
good part of it, and the laboratory could not be too far; the last time he had
crossed an intersection from one grating to the next, he had certainly seen his
son being dragged away down that hallway. So he was starting from the right
point, at least. He’d just have to explore a bit more, carefully, and be
on the alert for the magebane that would render him useless again. He brushed
the dust of the crawlspaces from his robes and picked a hallway to begin.

~*~

There was little enough room to thrash in the restraints. From the
silence of his markings, Fenris guessed that Licinius had kept him drugged with
the quieting potion. Ropes might have eventually loosened if he worked at them
long enough, but the metal cuffs were inflexible. No matter how he squirmed and
tried to make his hands and feet smaller to slip through them, his position
scarcely changed.

Licinius ignored his every move, evidently confident that the
restraints could keep the markings still enough to copy. Grudgingly, Fenris
conceded that escape, for the moment, was beyond him. He lay still, except for
his eyes, narrowed as they followed the movements of the magister and his
assistants preparing for the ritual.

Two Venatori mages were present to assist Licinius – perhaps
more, behind the table and out of sight, Fenris considered. Two warriors stood
guard at the door to Fenris’ right; whether the laboratory had any other
entrance beyond his range of sight was difficult to tell. In front of him, a
Tranquil in Venatori robes bent over the lyrium flasks, preparing a pipette
with which the fluid would be transferred to the lines soon to be branded on
the Fog Warrior’s skin.

The Fog Warrior himself seemed to be unconscious. Remembering the
pain of the ritual even after so many years, Fenris envied him that. It
occurred to him that perhaps the subject’s consciousness was a necessary
ingredient in making the ritual successful; otherwise, could not Danarius have
created his markings on a Leto who need not feel every burn, every cut,
every searing pain of the lyrium bonding with his flesh? Or perhaps the pain
itself would bring the Fog Warrior back to a consciousness he would gladly
abandon again. Either way, Fenris was not about to suggest to the magister that
keeping the unfortunate man awake might be necessary to making the markings
work. Let him rest while he might.

Soon enough, the Venatori gathered around the ritual table.
Licinius nodded to one mage and the man carefully collected the branding rod
from the brazier and approached the victim, while the Tranquil stood ready with
the first flask and pipette of red lyrium.

Licinius frowned, looking over at Fenris, considering the patterns
of lyrium on his skin once more. “The torso, I believe,” he said over his
shoulder to the branding mage. “Let us begin there.”

The Venatori mage nodded, following Licinius’ gaze to take a
careful look at the lines on Fenris’ chest before he brought the branding rod
to the Fog Warrior’s skin for the first delicate line.

The man’s screams at the first sizzle of his flesh answered one
question. No one would have the luxury of remaining unconscious for this
ritual.

~*~

Screams from a hallway he had just passed brought Metis up short.
He held his breath for a panicky moment, wondering if he would even be able to
tell Fenris’ screams from another man’s. To be sure, his son had not as yet
provided much of an example to go by in their brief acquaintance; Metis had
known many taught by servitude to keep their emotions well guarded, but even in
combat Fenris was quiet. Perhaps, in an ordinary life, Metis would have once
sought the patience to outlast a stage of teenaged tantrums, but it was too
late to even guess if Fenris had ever been the sort of child to rage against
parental boundaries.

Then a sharp, curt shout rose above the screams, and Metis would
know that voice anywhere. He turned to follow, keeping to shadows since he saw
no convenient gratings in this hallway.

~*~

“It will never work,” Fenris shouted above the Fog Warrior’s
pained screams, goading the magister. “Red lyrium is not the same as what marks
me. You cannot expect the same results.”

“It has already worked,” Licinius finally shouted back, yet
without losing his concentration, as Fenris had hoped. The magister continued
to focus his magic upon the prisoner, fusing the red lyrium into the burns left
by the branding rod even as his assistant mage slowly and carefully piped the
lyrium into its tracks. As Licinius’ hands passed over each flowing line, the
lyrium faded from brilliant red to the purple of an old bruise, forming a
membrane of sorts over the top of its channel that left the lyrium flowing
below, independent of the Fog Warrior’s body and yet now inseparably a part of
it. Apart from its color, it was in every way like the blue-white lines Fenris
knew as well as the rest of his own flesh.

“They will not be able to control it,” Fenris insisted. “It drives
them mad. What good are the markings to you if they cannot make use of them?”

“That is,” Licinius said, sounding more strained for breath than
at any time since they had met him, “the final step. And we are
nearly…nearly…there.”

“It has nothing to do with the shape of the lines!” said Fenris,
wriggling again against the bonds that now chafed his wrists and ankles from
all his prior attempts to escape them. “You cannot make this work with red
lyrium.”

“We shall see,” Licinius brushed him off, resuming his magic
without any further acknowledgement of Fenris’ arguments.

~*~

Of course the door was guarded.

Metis crouched around a corner where he could just see through the
doorway, beyond which the screams of the ritual’s victim continued, now hoarse
between gasps for breath. Venatori Gladiators in their heavy armor stood at the
door, likely to see him each time he peeked around the corner.

No going in that way. Nor did the laboratory seem to have access
to the crawlspaces with which he’d become so familiar today. Odds were good
he’d run into more of the magebane even if he could get any closer to the door
without the guards catching him.

It was a fortunate thing, then, that magic still worked from a
distance.

He could see Fenris, not far from the door, arguing with the
magister despite the metal cuffs binding him to some sort of operating table.
Beyond him, Licinius and his Venatori assistants were intently focused on the
man whose screams had led Metis here.

Intently focused, indeed.

Metis raised his staff cautiously, keeping it out of the guards’
sight around his corner even as he kept his eyes fixed on the laboratory door.
Quickly, in and out and around, through the well-known pattern, and then his
free hand beckoned, calling…

He could barely see it from here, the green vine that suddenly,
quietly, curled around the nearest of Fenris’ restraints.

~*~

“You cannot hold me here forever,” Fenris continued to feint at
the Magister with words so long as his limbs were bound.

“Nor will I,” Licinius finally rose to the bait, but his magic
over the red lyrium lines never faltered. “But my potion will keep you
compliant long enough.”

Fenris opened his mouth to reply, then twitched at a sudden tickle
against his wrist. Suspecting some new trick of the magister’s, he turned to
see…

Vines.

They grew quickly, as they had when Metis made a ladder of them.
One wrist-cuff was now wholly covered in green, and a glance at his ankles
showed them succumbing to the vines as well. Fenris glanced around, seeing no
grating overhead from which his father might be calling these vines.

There were plenty of things in this room that Fenris, from his
spot in the limelight, could not see. But it would not do for Licinius to see
what Metis was doing, either. So Fenris kept talking – Licinius had thus far
disdained to even look at his precious lyrium template when he replied; let him
not grow curious now!

“I have to wonder, mage,” he growled, “what use these marked
warriors will be to you if you must always keep them under control with that
potion? How would you even know if they learned to use their markings? And
regardless, if you rely on rendering them powerless in order to keep them from
turning on you, why make them at all?”

“Those that gain control of the markings,” Licinius replied, “will
learn to obey me in time. The potion is for temporary control. It is certainly
not our only option.”

The vines covered each of the cuffs now, pressing uncomfortably
against Fenris’ skin as the space between the metal and his limbs grew ever
more full of plant life. He willed the Venatori not to notice, to keep their
eyes on the Fog Warrior. But then the mage who had been etching the lines on
the man’s skin turned aside to replace the branding rod in its brazier, and
looked up to check his work, comparing the new red markings with the pale lines
on Fenris’ chest.

Fenris tensed as he saw the mage gasp. Licinius looked up at the
Venatori, then followed his line of sight to Fenris, his eyes widening as he
saw the sudden riot of color (even one or two blossoms had come with the
vines).

Then, just as the mage and the magister took a step towards
Fenris’ table, with a loud popping sound all four of his restraints snapped
open, yielding to the unrelenting pressure of Metis’ vines. Fenris rolled off
the table into a crouch, launching himself past the mages, at the brazier where
the brand-wielder had just set the rod down to gather heat again.

It might not be hot enough yet to scorch the flesh for lyrium
bonding, but it would do to keep the Venatori at arm’s length, at least for a
moment. Fenris looked around frantically for a better weapon, even as Licinius
and his pet mages, though clearly drained of mana by their work on the Fog
Warrior, began to gather some spell or other to stop him. His sword was nowhere
to be seen, let alone his armor or even basic clothing. Nor were his own
markings yet recovered enough from the mage’s potion to be of use.

No time like the present, then. Fenris snarled and lashed out at
the nearest mage, interrupting the man’s incipient spell with a thrust of the
branding rod at his eye. He flung the brazier itself at the second mage,
setting the man’s robes on fire and occupying him with putting out the flames.
That left only Licinius, since the Tranquil assistant appeared content to stay
out of the way and await the outcome of the fight, much to Fenris’ relief. Even
as he looked around for something more to fling at the magister, there was a
scuffle at the door. He looked up, expecting to see the Venatori guards joining
the fight.

They were, in a sense. Their weapon was merely the mage held
firmly between them, his spectacles askew on his very dusty face.

Fenris froze as the guards informed Licinius, “Found this one
skulking just down the hall, ser.”

“Well, well, gardener.” Licinius straightened, dropping whatever
spell he had begun, to smirk back at Fenris. “Couldn’t bear to be parted from
this one, could you?”

“Let him go,” Fenris warned in a low growl, crouched and ready to
spring, held back only by the guards’ grip on his father.

“But he so clearly wishes to be a part of the ritual,” Licinius
said, raising one eyebrow as he looked between the two elves. Then he seemed to
make up his mind, and raised his staff to begin a spell.

“No!” Fenris shouted, lunging towards the magister. From the door
he could hear Metis cry out as well. The guards gripped him tighter, making no
move to stop Fenris –

Nor did they need to. Licinius completed his spell, and once more
Fenris saw the lights of a glyph spring up at his feet, felt himself jerked to
a stop, held against his will.

“Licinius!” he heard Metis call, but could not turn his head to
meet his father’s eyes. “Please.

But Fenris certainly saw the magister’s smirk as he turned towards
the doorway again. “You needn’t beg, gardener,” Licinius said. “I would be
happy to include you in the ritual.”

Fenris could imagine the look of shock on Metis’ face when he
heard him reply, “You’re joking. You can’t possibly imagine I would want
to help you mark that poor man.”

“Oh, you mistake me,” Licinius chuckled. “Although it appears I
will have to replace my current assistants, nonetheless. You,” he shot a
glance back at Fenris, “seem to have well earned the wolf part of your
name. No, my old gardener, it occurs to me that I have not yet tried bestowing
the markings upon a mage. Perhaps the magic in your blood would draw a greater
response from the lyrium. How would you like to be my next red lyrium warrior?”

“No!” Fenris shouted again, straining against the paralysis glyph.
“Do…not…do this!” It was easier this time, fighting against the magic’s
hold on him. He managed to turn his head enough to see his father gaping at
Licinius as he took in what the magister had said.

Metis finally collected himself, shaking his head slowly. “No,
magister,” he said, “I think you mistake me. I would make a
terrible warrior, no matter what markings you put on me. I wish no part at all
in your ritual. I wish only to take Fenris and go.”

“You know I cannot grant that,” Licinius laughed. “There is so
much I can learn from his markings. Why, if simply copying them onto my next warrior
does not work…” He glanced back at Fenris with a smirk, folding his hands
thoughtfully beneath his chin, “we can always cut him open and find out what
makes them work from the inside.”

“What?” Metis froze, then shook his head frantically, struggling
to break away from the Venatori guards. “No. No, no, no, Licinius, I will not
permit you to harm him!”

“Will you not? How interesting,” Licinius stepped closer to Metis,
crooking a finger to raise the elf’s trembling chin. “You know, gardener, you
are stronger than you look, but have you the strength to deny me?”

“You will not have him,” Metis whispered through clenched teeth.

“Such single minded focus!” Licinius smiled. “Such willpower! Your
magic shows strength of mind as well. And I recall,” the magister flicked a
finger at the scars just showing on Metis’ arms where his sleeves had twisted
up in his struggles against the guards’ grip, “you always did have a high
tolerance for pain. You bore those cuts so stoically.”

“Not willingly,” Metis hissed.

“Yes, that’s a good point. You see, I have noticed that this
ritual of mine turns out better for the subjects who willingly submit
themselves to it. The more they struggle, the more it seems to break their
minds in the end.”

Metis stared at him. “You…want me to agree to this.”

“It would be better for all of us. A willing subject and the
proper pattern of markings. That is the alchemy I have been searching
for. Do this, and I will have no need to dissect my template.”

“You mean,” Metis said slowly, “you will have my willing
participation, or you will kill him.”

“Metis,” Fenris gasped, “don’t! You…do not know…what he is
asking…of you.”

Metis’ sad eyes met his son’s, holding them even as he spoke to
the magister: “You will release him, Licinius. When this is over, no matter
whether or not your ritual succeeds, no matter what becomes of me, you will let
him go, unharmed. No dissections.”

“I assure you, there will be no need,” Licinius began, but Metis
turned to glare at him, and the magister threw up his hands. “Unharmed.
Regardless. You have my word.”

Metis nodded. “Then you have mine.”


Question mark for replies?

Warriors Such As: Fic Masterpost

rannadylin:

image

Let’s gather these chapters in a handy single post, shall we? Especially since, with Thanksgiving break over, I fear updates will slow down again…Here’s everything written thus far for my current Fenris/F!Hawke adventure!

Synopsis: 

Fenris was once told that even in the Imperium, warriors with markings of his sort were rare – with the implication that he is not unique. When the Inquisition hears of Venatori creating warriors marked like Fenris, but with red lyrium, Hawke may have to take her turn being the one left behind while Fenris travels into danger to help the Inquisitor investigate.

Read it on: AO3 | FF.net | DA

Or if you prefer to read it on Tumblr, here’s the chapter listing with titles and synopses:

  1. Wherein parenthood is hard

    Raising baby Malcolm is overwhelming and new parents Lisbet Hawke and Fenris are on edge.

  2. Wherein an expert is required

    Venatori in Seheron are experimenting with lyrium tattoos; Thayer Trevelyan’s advisors convene and send for Fenris.

  3. Wherein an agreement is reached

    Amantium irae amoris integratio est.

  4. Wherein farewells and firsts are spoken

    Hawke bids Fenris farewell as the Inquisition’s expedition to Seheron sets out.

  5. Wherein the ship sails

    En route to Seheron, letters are exchanged.

  6. Wherein Metis meets the Inquisition

    Seheron is not a very safe place for the Inquisitor and friends, but they do find one friend waiting for them.

  7. Wherein the forest is welcoming

    The trek through the jungle begins; meanwhile, interesting developments are occurring at Skyhold…

  8. Wherein Hawke’s worries are not ill-founded. 

    Fenris knows when things are fishy; saarebas are deadly; the jungle is a big place but Harding has lots of scouts looking for our heroes! Also Metis is kind of new to this combat thing.

  9. Wherein the weather interferes. 

    It’s a bad idea to wander around a jungle when you can’t see where you’re going.

  10. Wherein things become clearer

    Fenris’ past catches up with him, in more ways than one, and the Inquisition gains a formidable ally.

  11. Wherein we explore Ath Velanis. 

    Time to see what’s actually going on in that Venatori fortress, as soon as we find a way in through creepy tunnels! It’s all fun and games till someone slips and falls!

  12. Wherein plans change

    From opposite sides of the Ath Velanis gate, Thayer and Varric, Fenris and Metis reconsider their course of action.

  13. Wherein saboteurs are loose in Venatori territory

    Stranded in the fortress of Ath Velanis, Fenris and Metis make mischief for the Venatori.


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!

Categories

Webring

Navigation by WebRing.
This site is a member of WebRing. To browse visit here.

Blog Stats

  • 14,589 hits

RSS LOTRO Calendar

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Twitter Updates

RSS Ranna Plays the Flute!

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
Advertisements