Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

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Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Ze Blitzkrieg » Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:23 pm

Spoiler (click to show/hide):

Name: Dessa
Race: Elf
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Appearance: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/976834566394347590/1002693276446490715/5eqm6aeqegs81_3.jpg

Background: It took facing the blight head on to provide Dessa the chance to escape her life in the circle. As strong headed and relentless as a Bronto, Dessa's steely conviction and focus elevated her among her pierces at the Circle Tower on Lake Calenhad. Succeeding the Harrowing at a young age and proving to be a fast learner in combat related magic, particularly in the Primal School, Dessa gained a reputation among her fellow students as being the best at the arcane duels performed to hone their skills. In time she even earned a position mentoring apprentices sooner than most, training them how to defend against spells and to cast in a fast paced environment such as a battlefield.

Dessa's motivation for advancing so quickly was born, as with many Circle mages, out of a desire to leave. To explore Ferelden freely. She hoped with enough power she would be permitted to take jobs outside of the Circle as a valuable asset. This desire for freedom eventually led to her taking certain... shortcuts. She had earned the respect and interest of a certain Master in the Tower, Uldred, who had been attempting to gather young, impressionable mages of interest. From Uldred, Dessa learned a few secrets of magic forbidden to the Circle, Blood Magic. Though she took to it cautiously, she still dabbled enough to enhance her abilities beyond those expected of a mage of her years. This put her under suspicion, but Uldred made sure there was never any evidence that would lead to her downfall.

So through her combat prowess and Uldred's recommendation, when the time came to rally Ferelden's forces against the growing Darkspawn threat in the Korkari Wilds, Dessa was chosen as one of the sparse few mages permitted to leave the Tower to join the army gathering at Ostagar. It is here fate, and the machinations of ambitious men, would conspire to provide Dessa the opportunity to flee. When the tide of battle turned at Ostagar, and the King's army fell before the Blight, Dessa found herself at the backlines, witnessing the army that was supposed to come to her aid retreat and leave them all for dead.

Considered lost to the world, Dessa released only once she had cleared the sight of the battle that she no longer needed to fear being tracked down by her phylactery. As far as the Templars, the Circle, and everyone else were concerned, she died with everyone else at Ostagar. With little other options, she fled, managing to join up with refugees fleeing from Lothering. Now posing as a simple Elf fleeing the loss of her home to the Blight, she travelled with them to the port of Gwaren where she among many other Ferelden refugees found themselves bundled aboard great ships and sent on their way to Kirkwall in the Free Marches. It was far from the most ideal place for her to hide, given the strong Templar presence in the city, but with no one looking for her it might just be the opportunity she needs to start a new life. A free life.

Perks:
Blood Magic: When push comes to shove, Dessa can draw upon the power of her blood or others to strengthen her magic. She has little practice in using it in the manipulation of others, though if she so chooses she could work to strengthen her abilities in this area too.
War Mage: Dessa has trained to use spells in the heat of combat. She can cast spells quicker than most and is faster at reacting to spells cast by others.
Martial Combatant: Dessa is capable of fighting with weapons in melee combat. This is particularly useful if needing to fight while under the observation of those she doesn't want to reveal her magic abilities to.
Flaws:
Quick Temper: Dessa has never had much time for those that displease her. Narrowly surviving Loghain's betrayal at Ostagar has not improved her temperament at all. She's quick to snap at those that annoy her and sometimes this lands her in more trouble than she anticipated.
Call of the Blood: The ever present danger to all mages is made worse by Dessa drawing on the strength of her blood. Whenever she uses her Blood Magic, she must deal with the temptations of demons, drawn to her and often choosing to invade her dreams after she uses these abilities.

Turn Ons: Sub/dom play, coerced/tricked/forced sex, hypnosis, romance, public sex, drugged/drunk sex
Turn Offs: gore, vore, insects/arachnids, egg laying


Another day dawns upon the rickety barge that had been your home for countless others, marked by the few strands of daylight that manage to stream through smudgy glass portholes to either side of the cargo hold. You've spent almost a week packed in with what must be a hundred, maybe two hundred other refugees, all fleeing the Blight that is swallowing ever more of Ferelden by the day. Having bore witness to the Darkspawn hordes yourself, you can't exactly blame them; the majority of your company are not men or women of fighting shape, but widows and orphans, those too young or too old or too weak to defend themselves from the vile tides that threaten to blanket all of Thedas should the Wardens fail where Cailan had. But that wasn't your problem now. You had done your duty at Ostagar, served more than half your life away in the Circle. You were finally free, free from all of them, and you weren't about to let thoughts of what may happen ruin the reality of what is happening. A soft voice stirs you from any sour thoughts.

"We'll be arriving soon," The source is familiar to you. Elora had become your companion during the journey, not through any choice of your own, but by her own insistence. The two of you were among the only elves on the vessel, and if your brief taste of freedom from the Circle had taught you anything, it was that the rest of the world was not half so egalitarian as the confines of that blasted tower. When people looked on you with suspicion going forward, it wouldn't be because of your abilities, but because of the shape of your ears and the slightness of your build. It was for the best, Elora had reasoned, that the two of you stuck together. Elves needed to have a sense of solidarity to make it in a human world, and to top it off, she offered to introduce you to her brother once the two of you had made it to Kirkwall, who in turn would get the two of you into the alienage, where you'd have a better chance of finding permanent lodgings than the rest of Lowtown.

"The captain said he could see the cliffs when the morning fog cleared. It should only be another hour or so," She chirps, ever the optimist. Her upbeat demeanor had made suffering the squalor of the refugee vessel a little more tolerable during the journey, another reason to keep her around if nothing else, "Are you excited? I've heard some... interesting things, about Kirkwall. But I'm sure it's not all that bad. It can't be any worse than Ferelden right now."
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Lazy Kitsune » Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:54 pm

The constant tossing and turning of the waves beneath us didn't sit well with my stomach, unused to moving long distance much at all, let alone across a stretch as tumultuous as the sea. The farmers and servant stock that filled the lower decks of the barge, equally unused to the to and fro of the waves didn't help matters, more than a few of them having spewed forth their stomachs once or twice over the course of the trip. But if there was one thing I had a great deal of practice with that could help, it was centring myself. The inner focus and resolve needed to maintain a complex spell, and that got me through my Harrowing, was now coming in handy at keeping in the few scraps of meals I've had inside of me.

Little remained of my stave, gnarled and worn from the battle, only for me to mar it further to safely disguise it as a walking aid. A wound to my leg suffered at Ostagar helped sell the disguise, and though that now was well on its way to fully recovering, a walking aid could very well be all my stave will be used for for a while. Still, I clutched it close, it being my best defence against anyone should any of these desperate folk decided they could get away with robbing the elves and throwing them overboard.

My grip tenses around it as Elora speaks, and I have to hold back the reflexive flinch I feel coming on. Having been through so much in such a short amount of time, it was a little difficult to be anything but on edge. "It'll at least be better than this ramshackle boat." I murmur, casting my eyes over through the portholes to see if I could catch sight of the Twins in the distance. "You're sure your brother will be able to help us. Or willing to, I suppose I should ask. I'm a stranger to him, after all."
~Yawn
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Ze Blitzkrieg » Sat Jul 30, 2022 9:54 pm

"I wouldn't worry about it. He's a good man, and I'm sure he'd be happy to help a fellow elf in need. Especially if you're with me." Elora says, reaching out with a reassuring hand. Through the cloudy glass, you can make out the sight of the huge statues through the morning mist, and beyond them, the Gallows, which you recall serve as the Circle for Kirkwall. The ship's voyage takes you passed both, the shadow of the Chantry hanging over the vessel as it navigates its way through the channel and towards the docks of Kirkwall. Elora remains optimistic for much of the journey, if only because the harrowing trip to Kirkwall is finally coming to an end. For the first time in a long time, there's a sense of hope among the downtrodden inhabitants of the barge, and after an hour or two, the door to the deck is flung open.

"We're disembarking within the hour. Gather your belongings and get ready to get out!" Barks down one of the deck hands. As if most of the refugees much in the way of belongings. Elora herself only has a small pack and a satchel to her name, and many have even less. When the ship is thoroughly tied off, and all the requisite procedures finished, you're given permission to head upstairs onto the deck.

The light of day is blinding at first, and the smell overwhelming; it's certainly not the clean, fresh sea air you had hoped for, but the salty stench of Kirkwall's docks still manages to be an improvement over the musty stink of a refugee vessel. Your elven companion sticks close to you as you're shepherded by sailors towards the gangplank, thankful that your wound is more a cover story than an actual nuisance with how hasty they herd the lot of you off the ship and down onto the docks. Elora, for her part, tries her best to support you until the two of you manage to clear out from the flow of lost souls and get a little bit of breathing room, as much as one can get on the crowded docks of a major port city.

"This is it... Kirkwall. We'll probably want to get to the alienage before dark; they don't like elves out and about after sunset... But, before that, is there anything you wanted to look into first? I don't think I ever asked if you had any business here yourself."
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Lazy Kitsune » Sun Jul 31, 2022 4:44 pm

"I appreciate the help, Elora. Come on, lets get off this driftwood. Hopefully the docks smell a little less of piss and shit." I steady myself on my stave, less out of an act and more of the dizziness that comes from standing and moving about after such a long stretch with little movement. Herded out onto the upper deck with the rest of the desperate refugees, I shielded my eyes from the sun as I got used to the unfiltered brightness of day. Arriving at the docks had brought us within the shadow of the Gallows, a certainly more grim Circle than the one I was used to in Ferelden. No doubt many refugee ships would be making their way here as the Blight spreads. With any luck, we would be here earlier enough to get settled in before any problems that might cause. As we departed the ship, our feet finding steady ground once again, I was thankful for Elora's support as we were buffeted about by the crowd of souls eager to make it into the city. At the very least it helped keep us together.

Once we pulled away, I took a moment to catch my breath and feel myself stand tall once again. "Business here? No, none at all. Though I've skills enough to put towards work, just need to find it first." I couldn't exactly go around advertising that I was a mage, but I trained enough to fight without magic that I could use those skills to pass as a decent sellsword, and then use my more well honed talents should I need to and have the safety of isolation. Of course an elf trained to fight was suspicious enough, but it was easy enough to come up with a lie to explain that away should I need to. "I think its best we go meet with your brother first, then maybe try and find work once we've gotten settled in. And a strong drink too, while we're at it."
~Yawn
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Ze Blitzkrieg » Sun Aug 07, 2022 6:57 pm

"I'm sure Aidan can help us find work. The alienages are good for that at least, hm? It'll be nice, having a community to support us."

You get the impression that Elora is trying to convince herself of those words more than yourself, but it doesn't matter. For the time being, both she and yourself would need to hope that her familial connections can help separate you from the sea of hungry mouths pouring into Kirkwall. The two of you make for deeper inland, through the crowds of sailors and refugees and merchants alike, up off the docks and onto the stony shores that host the city. Your destination is in Lowtown, and once you've been waved through the city's gates, you can certainly see why it's called such; what was once a quarry now places host to a veritable cauldron of the lower class. Shantytowns and sharp, hexagonal corridors snake as far as the eye can see from your vantage point at the walls. Following Elora down the sloping roads, the stench of industrial fumes alerts you to the presence of what must be Kirkwall's industrial sector, conveniently located where the smoke from the forges can choke the poor.

It goes without saying that, despite her relations in the city, Elora doesn't' quite know where she's going. She leads the two of you for some time, through the labyrinthine slums in search of the so called promised land until, eventually, she begins to falter. Just as she turns to address you, however, a bystander interjects; the first of the day, considering the local's habit of merely ignoring the pair of you in favor of their business, either out of bigotry or habit.

"Lookin' a little lost, are ye?" A rough looking human calls out, leaned back on the wall of what must be some kind of drinking house, if only because of the mug hastily scratched into the signage outside. Perhaps he's a little smarter than his burly, thuggish appearance would imply, because he tries softening his otherwise hawkish gaze once he's caught your attention.

"Don't worry, I don't mean ta heckle ya. It's hard, gettin' a foothold in this city. 'Specially with the Blight causin' half of Ferelden to pound on the gates. But ye two, ya look alright enough. Could offer ye some work, if yer lookin'."

Elora's eyes dart between the man and yourself, and you can see it in her big, doe-like eyes; she's likely aware of what kind of work a seedier gentleman might have for two lone, elven women. But, despite that, she looks to you, to try and gauge your own feelings on the matter, before answering.
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Lazy Kitsune » Sat Sep 24, 2022 11:44 pm

Noticing Elora's own uncertainty, I show her a supportive smile and nod in agreement. "Yes, it'll make for a nice change of pace for sure." As we break away from the crowd and weave our way through the streets of Kirkwall's Lowtown, the mass of refugees that were swarming the docks dwindled down by the moment, sparse few of them the time that would also be headed in the direction of the Alienage. I gripped my worn and battered staff tightly as the number of guards in sight took a drastic drop.

I keep my head low and do my best not to draw any attention. Forget being an elf or a mage, just being a pair of women walking through here alone seemed dangerous enough, especially as it became clear neither of us knew precisely where we were. A human man might have the luxury of asking for directions in these parts, but if we wanted to be safe, best not to start any conversations that don't come to find us.

I was moments from suggesting perhaps we turn back, find a guard. They weren't a whole lot more likely to help elves than anyone else, but they were hopefully less likely to rob us than the people here. But before I could, a human man sought to approach us. I furrow my brow as I try to get a read of him. No doubt we must look quite the easy marks to anyone who felt it was worth the time to bother. It was that last part that was our protection thus far, neither of us looked like we had anything worth stealing. Of course was staff was more valuable than perhaps anything in the ramshackle stalls set up at Lowtown's entrance, but no one here should be able to notice that. Though when he turns his words to an offer of 'work' it becomes obvious its not our possessions he's interested in, but our bodies.

He's just one human, I might even be able to deal with him without using magic, though as poorly rested as I am after the journey here I hardly want to risk it. I work to soften my expression, play the polite, humble elf for a bit. Hopefully he wasn't about to press the matter if we refused. I step in front of Elora to help her feel a little more comfortable and took it upon myself to speak with the man.

"Thankyou kindly, good sir." I say, taking on the subservient tone I had overheard some of the elven servants at Ostagar use. "Though we're in a hurry to meet someone at the moment. We just want to make our way to the Alienage for today."
~Yawn
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Ze Blitzkrieg » Sun Sep 25, 2022 1:07 am

The man gives a snort.

"Aye, I'm sure ye do. Well, if ye find yerselves in need of coin, and ya will, c'mon over. We'll find ya some work."

It's a mercy that he doesn't seem keen on pressing the issue, though you imagine that given the situation, there isn't exactly a shortage of women with nothing to lose and everything to gain by spreading their legs and thinking of better times. Elora tugs at your sleeve, and soon the flow of the crowd consumes the two of you again. For her part, she does well enough in navigating the two of you through the streets, perhaps feeling as though she needs to repay you for your courage.

"I... Thank you. I uhm... I knew pretty immediately what he wanted," She admits softly as the two of you round a corner and have some breathing room. At least, what can be considered breathing room in Lowtown, "When Aidan and I were younger... When it was just us, there were others like him. They'd offer me coin for my... my body. I... More than once, I took them up on it."

She breathes.

"It... It wasn't all bad. Some of the men, they'd be... well, you know how humans are with us. But some of them were kind. They'd talk to me first. Leave a little extra. I'd even... enjoy it, with a few." She seems lost for a time, before finding her resolve. "This... Look, I'm only telling this to you because I meant what I said back on that ship. We're in this together, right? So... If we ever need the coin. For your wounds, or just to help out... You don't have to join me, but... I'll do it. I've already sunk that low before, right? What's a couple more times?"
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Lazy Kitsune » Sun Sep 25, 2022 1:20 am

"Thank you very much, sir. We'll keep that in mind." I say, nodding politely and moving on as quickly as I could without seeming rude, reaching out with my hand to find Elora's to make sure she didn't fall behind. Once we are absorbed back into the crowds of Lowtown, I let out a sigh of relief, before turning to look at Elora as she speaks.

I squeeze her hand as she talks before pulling it from her touch and resting it gently against her cheek. "Having gone down one path does not mean you'll always have a foot in it going forward. I would never expect or ask you to do anything like that for me. Nor do I judge you for having done so before, or if you choose to do so again. But only if its your choice and with someone you wish to offer such a service to. If you are pressured, by that man or others, come to me. Together, we will find another way."

I withdraw my hand from her cheek and takes hers in mine once again as we move through the crowd. "Now, it mustn't be much further. Or I'll have to start knocking some walls down with my walking stick. We're here for a new start, Elora. Who knows, maybe we'll be working in Hightown one day?"
~Yawn
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Ze Blitzkrieg » Sun Sep 25, 2022 1:43 am

(You'll have to forgive the tats, it's hard finding dragon age elves who aren't Dalish)

Elora's cheeks practically go scarlet as you speak such comforting words to her, and she lightly grips your hand in return. You get the idea she doesn't receive much in the way of positive touch, but the same could be said of most in Ferelden with the Blight consuming every day life. With her hand firmly in yours, she quickly returns to the moment, and begins to take the lead once more.

"It shouldn't be too much further. The Alienage is-"

She doesn't get to finish the thought, as a voice cuts through the dull roar of the crowds around you. A male voice, and one that sees her immediately perk up.

"Elora! Over here!" Your keen eyes find the source, if only because he's begun to wave his hands to make himself stand out. Elven man, as you'd imagine, and a fairly tall one at that. The recognition in Elora's eyes must mean that is her brother. She tugs you excitedly towards him, where he's managed to find an outcropping besides an abandoned stall to shield the three of you from the traffic.

"Aidan! I can't believe it's really you!" Elora cries, throwing herself into his arms. The siblings share a tender moment, embracing each other tightly, before realizing you've been left out. Elora decouples herself from her brother, smiling brightly for the first time in... well, as long as you've known her. It suits her.

"This is Aidan, my little brother. Well, little. He's got a head and a half on me these days. Aidan, this is Dessa. She's a soldier. She was, erm, at Ostagar when... Well, you know. She was fleeing to the Marches same as me, and seeing as though we were both elves, I figured sticking together was best!"

As she speaks, he appraises you. Your looks, your belongings, even the way you hold yourself. But whatever his thoughts are, he gives you a soft smile, and offers a hand.

"It's a pleasure to meet you. Any friend of my sister's is a friend of mine. Welcome to Kirkwall... for all that's worth, I suppose."
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Lazy Kitsune » Sun Sep 25, 2022 11:02 am

(That's fine.)

The first piece of real relief since Ostagar was a joyous sound to my ears. It didn't take years of study at the Circle to be able to figure out who the man calling Elora over was. Breaking away from the crowd, I made my way alongside Elora to Aidan, smiling softly from behind her as she ran in to hug him. It was a wonderful sight to see, family reunited, especially after such a harrowing experience. There would likely be many more sights like that in Kirkwall over the coming weeks, I imagined, though sadly far less of it then there rightly should be.

I don't mind the quick appraisal. If you're taking someone in to your community, it makes sense to be a little cautious. If anything he was remarkably welcoming given the circumstances. Perhaps that's what all City Elves were like with their own kind. It would make sense. The whole world is against them... us, I suppose, so it makes sense that we at least not be against each other.

I take his hand and shake it. "The pleasure is mine, really. I'm only just starting to realise how much all this walking has been aching my leg. And it's worth quite a bit, after what we've been through."
~Yawn
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Ze Blitzkrieg » Sun Sep 25, 2022 4:46 pm

Aidan's smile falters slightly, but he nods.

"I suppose so. Compared to a tide of Darkspawn, Lowtown isn't so bad. But, enough of that. You came to Kirkwall to avoid talk of Blights. Lets get you two back to the Alienage, hm? You must be hungry and exhausted from the journey."

With a proper guide at the head of your party, the journey is expedited quite a bit going forward. Elora takes your hand almost as soon as her brother releases it, something of a trend between the two of you at that point, and by following Aidan, you eventually come to a segmented portion of Lowtown. Even through the huge, iron banded gates you can see a massive, well decorated tree. The vhenadahl, or Tree of the People. Supposedly all Alienages had them, a token of heritage lost, but seeing one up close as you're waved through the entrance almost brings a sense of hope. Despite being just as (or more, perhaps) dilapidated than the rest of Lowtown, segregated by high walls and strong doors, the Alienage's residences still try to give themselves something, anything to be proud of.

Close knit as the community must be, you're given a few wary glances, but nothing more than idle curiosity from most. Aidan's presence must soothe any questions as to your identity, and by the way he comports himself with the handful of other elves who greet him, you glean that he might be something of a leader here. You're spared any introductions by his insistence; the new arrivals need something warm in their stomachs and something soft to sleep on before a litany of questions can befall you.

Both can be found at his home. Most of the residents seem packed into tenements of varying degrees of decay. Aidan, to his credit, is not much different. Despite the deference his fellow elves offer him, he's either too humble to have obtained greater lodgings, or the Alienage simply could not provide better. He opens the door for you both, welcoming you in.

"It's not much, but it's enough." He explains as you're greeted to the interior. It's not half so bad as one would expect; the floor is clean, the walls kept sturdy enough. There's some furniture about, two tables, although one is set lower to the ground as to be more level with the benches on either side. A fire place with a nice rug in front of it, the embers of which burn beneath what must be a cook pot, wafting a savory scent throughout the humble abode. For light, there are a few oil lanterns here or there, one of which he swiftly lights to provide better viewing for the two of you.

"You'll have to forgive the lack of lodgings. I've only got one spare room, and a single bed for it. Had I known you were bringing company, I would have prepared another," Aidan offers sheepishly, "Of course, I won't see you fend for yourself, Dessa. If you'd like, you could simply have my bed, and I'll stay with a friend until we can work out more permanent housing for the two of you."
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Lazy Kitsune » Sun Sep 25, 2022 9:14 pm

Though most of my memories of growing up in the Circle, seeing the Vhenadahl stirred something in me. Perhaps it was vague memories of before I was taken, or maybe just that I had read for so long about things like this, some of the few scraps of elven culture that still existed, without ever being able to interact with any of it. And now here I was, beneath its shade. I was still an outsider here, I didn't know their way of life and even if I did, I'm not from the Free Marches. I'm not one of these elves. But maybe I could be, one day.

As much as I thought I was escaping a cage by fleeing the Circle, I couldn't help but notice how familiar the tall walls that surrounded the Alienage felt. The same oppressive atmosphere I had lived under day after day, but now without the comforts of soft beds and warm meals readily available. The freedom to walk out of here whenever I wanted still felt worth the trade, but it would likely be a process to adjust.

Aidan's home was... rustic. It was simple but it was clearly cared for. It was better than what some of the Templars would say about the conditions the elves in the outside world lived in. Perhaps Aidan was on the luckier side, or perhaps those stories were exaggerated to keep me from wanting to leave.

"Maker, no, I wouldn't dare to drive you out of your own bed, let alone your home, even if only for a night or two." I hold up my hand as if to halt the very notion of him leaving so I may take his bed. I scan the room and give a quick nod. "If you have spare blankets or sheets I can make do in here for now. I've had rougher sleeping conditions on the way over here."
~Yawn
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Ze Blitzkrieg » Sun Sep 25, 2022 9:19 pm

"You're still injured from the battle. I can't just let you sleep on the floor!" Elora is quick to interject before her brother even had a chance to protest. "You can have the spare bed. I'll either sleep out near the fire, or share it with you if that isn't acceptable. We'd been huddled up in that hold for days, I'm not shy about it."

Aidan, perhaps knowing better than to argue with his sister when she was so set on something, simply leaves the matter to the two of you. He wanders off to a chest tucked away further down the hall, likely to fish out extra blankets and bedding for whatever scenario you decide on.
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Lazy Kitsune » Mon Sep 26, 2022 8:33 pm

I'm surprised by Elora's sudden interjection, and perhaps a little flattered. Though my life in the Circle was no doubt safer than those of elves in the cities, even among the other mages I was still an elf first and a fellow mage second. I was used to having to stand up for myself. It was something that hardened me, made me a stronger person, so perhaps its something I should feel grateful for. I don't shun it the way I do my lack of freedom from those days. But it does mean I always assume no one will stand up for me unless they have something to gain as well. Partnerships had always included equal measure of give and take, so even after travelling here together it still took me by surprise to see Elora step forward for my comfort even when she had nothing else to gain from it.

"I'm used to sleeping rough, and my leg is mostly healed." Even as I object, I can tell its useless to. It seems her brother knows just as much himself, as he leaves us to discuss the matter between ourselves. Sighing, I brush a few strands of scarlet hair out from the corners of my vision. "Fine, we'll share then. A fair compromise."
~Yawn
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Ze Blitzkrieg » Mon Sep 26, 2022 9:42 pm

Elora seems more than pleased with her victory, and trots off to assist her brother in gathering extra blankets and pillows for your shared abode. Setting a bed is, mercifully, an easy enough task, so you aren't left to wait long before the siblings return.

"I'm sure you're both hungry, so I've had supper set to simmer this this morning," Aidan gestures to the pot over the coals, grabbing a bowl off the table and a ladle besides, "Went and got some bread from Rutila's as well. It's not the best of loaves, but you can't be picky with flour these days."

He fills one bowl, then another, until he's placed three on the table. It smells like your typical stew, thicker with carrots and turnips than actual meat, and probably not half so fortified as the carefully monitored meals of the Circle, but better than what most must be eating in Lowtown. The aforementioned bread isn't too bad either, probably more rye than actual flour, but fresh enough that it tears easily in the hand. Your host even manages some weak beer to wash it down with.

"Whatever you've got is fine, Aidan," Elora offers, sweet as ever, "We won't be a burden for too long. There's always work to be done, if you're willing to look."

Her brother grimaces at that. "But not the kind of work you ought be doing. You be careful when you're outside the Alienage, you hear me? The gangs are always looking for new girls to work their winesinks and whorehouses, and there's no shortage with the refugee crisis. I'll see what I can set up for you with my contacts."

His eyes drift to you, their hardness from unpleasant truths becoming supplanted by curiosity. "How about yourself? Did you have any plans for how you'd make it here in Kirkwall? I know you were a soldier before, though I don't reckon the city would be too interested in hiring you to the guard."
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Lazy Kitsune » Mon Sep 26, 2022 11:10 pm

"Believe me, we're grateful for any warm meal. Thank you very much, Aidan." I say, trying to restrain myself from eating too quickly for polite company as the siblings have their conversation. I hadn't realised just how much I needed even food this simple. Journeying had left me with meagre portions, and everything offered on the boat was cold and stale. Though it just made the thought of a more full meal all the more appealing. Perhaps that was a goal to keep in mind. Reach a point I could be eating meals that put those at the Circle to shame - though they were certainly more full than this stew, they lacked character or flavour - and then share those meals with people like Elora and Aidan and repay the favours they have done for me.

I pause in my enjoyment of the food, realising the seriousness of the conversation at hand. At least Aidan will help alleviate the pressure Elora feels to take up work she doesn't seem all too comfortable with. Though when the conversation turns to me, I pause to think for a moment.

"Not in the guard, no. But there's always work for a sellsword. Being an elf doesn't change that. It'll be tough at first getting recognition, but its the kind of work I'm best at. Other than that, I'm stronger than I look, and I make for a nimble climber. I could probably get by with some manual labour or helping out at the docks if the mercenary work isn't enough to get by. Especially seeing as I'll need to get some coin for some proper gear first."

Truth be told, I don't need half as much gear as your typical sellsword would. But I still needed to look the part, and until I was alone or with people I could trust with my life I needed to fight the part too. A sword would do, but it might help to look into seeing I could get my stave fitted with a bladed end of some kind, so I had it on hand if a fight got too hairy. Though ideally if I were to rely on magic again I would want to get a better stave too. This one had seen much better days. Though it was still a great comfort to keep by my side, and will do for now.
~Yawn
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Ze Blitzkrieg » Tue Sep 27, 2022 1:07 am

Aidan seems at least a little surprised, but not unimpressed by your plans.

"Good to see you're willing to be flexible. With the refugees... Well, not to speak ill of the unfortunate, but crime has been on the rise lately. The Viscount is loathe to hire on more watchmen, so many businesses have taken to hiring mercenaries to beef up their security. I'm sure I could help you find something as well, if you'd like. Something low risk, at least until your leg is fully healed. I know a few warehouse owners down by the docks."

It seems as though you wouldn't find total peace in Kirkwall, but that was likely for the best. Your skill at battle was your best asset in a city crawling with Templars, and breaking the nose of some thuggish brute sure beat having to slay ogres on the front lines of a Blight. Perhaps sensing that his talk of business threatened to sour the mood, Aidan moves the topic on.

"I'm sure you two are weary from the journey here, but would you like to wash up before bed? I've an old tub here, if you'd like the privacy, but there's a little bath house down the way for those of us who aren't so fortunate. It's nothing luxurious, but it's enough to get the stink of cargo hold off you."

His eyes widen just a bit.

"Not to imply you stink of cargo hold, of course. Just... you know."
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Lazy Kitsune » Tue Sep 27, 2022 1:27 am

I laugh off his comment with a wave of my hand. "Stink of cargo hold? We would never. Its puke and raw fish you smell. That's much more in season." There was no exaggeration needed for the joke. I've had but a river to clean of the stench of death from Ostagar, and the way I smell now I'd take over the smell of that battlefield any day, but since then I've been cooped up with people of questionable hygiene with no real means to improve that. A bath is overdue.

"I'd be delighted to use the tub, old or not. Goodness knows I could use it. Thank you very much, Aidan." I finish up my stew before setting it down on the table with a satisfied sigh. "I could use some sleep, but I think I'd love to do it clean. How about you, Elora?"
~Yawn
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Ze Blitzkrieg » Tue Sep 27, 2022 1:37 am

"I'd love a bath too," Elora admits, "We can take turns in the tub. I'll scrub your back, and you can do mine!"

It's a testament to how relieved she must be that she can joke and smile so easily. When you had met her on the ship, she had been all nerves. Now she was... comfortable. You could only hope that you, too, could feel such comfort, far from the prying eyes of the Chantry and among your own kind. Aidan, for his part, acquiesces to the request, and leaves the table to fetch the required tub and pots with which to fill it.

"You'll need to give us some privacy, you know. As much as you'd like a show, I'm sure." Elora teases the younger elf, who can only groan.

"Elora, don't-"

"He was quite the peeper as a child, you see. There was this human girl he was sweet on, and when she'd-"

"Elora!"

A fit of giggles punctuates Aidan's indignant departure, and only once the door has slammed shut does she calm down.

"I'm sorry. I just couldn't resist. He's always been such a stern, serious boy. I'd tease him often, when we were younger. It's good to see his reactions haven't changed," Elora waxes in his absence, sipping at her beer. "Do you have family as well? I don't think I've ever asked... I shouldn't, even, considering the circumstances. Please, feel free not to answer."
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Re: Dragon Age: Kirkwall Bound [LazyKitsune]

Postby Lazy Kitsune » Tue Sep 27, 2022 1:52 am

I don't interject in the sibling batter, merely watching with a crooked brow and wry smile as they go back and forth. It was good to see Elora like this. It seems reunited with her brother she's become more at home. Figuratively at least, though it can be literally too in time. I pick up my own beer as Aidan leaves, turning to Elora with a soft smile. My expression stills a little as her questions turn to my family, and I have to take a moment to ponder - a moment Elora seems to take to retract the question.

"Oh, no, its fair to ask. You've brought me into your family's home. Its only fair you be curious about me. I'm... a closed book at the best of times I'm afraid. But even if I weren't, I wouldn't have much to say about my family. I didn't really know them. Not enough to remember them. Its been just me against the world for about as long as I can remember. Sure, there have been some that have helped or supported me in one way or another... for one reason or another... I don't want to write them off as not having had an impact on my life. But none I would call family, and sparse few I would call friend. I don't expect to see any of them again anyway. They likely think me dead and that's probably for the best."

I catch myself taking the conversation in an unexpectedly dour direction and work on pulling it back. "But, I'm here now and that's what matters. And I like to think I've made at least one new friend in the process." I say, raising my cup to Elora before taking a swig. "Thankyou for not being too off put by my perpetually grumpy brow."
~Yawn
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