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 Off a Dead End Street, Fenris
OISIN AONAIR
 Posted: Jun 17 2018, 12:11 PM
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Chrissy
8 posts
25 years
Rogue



It felt like forever ago that Oisin had opened his eyes to this new world - or old world; in all honesty, he wasn't in the least sure what had happened or where he was. He'd been in these nug-cursed tunnels for two days - at least his stone sense told him that much - but what it was failing to tell him was how to get to any sodding civilisation. It was something that all good dwarves were able to do - navigate underground, on their home turf - but, he didn't know ... it was like something had changed that he couldn't quite perceive. Every time it felt like he was getting close to people, he rounded the bend or entered a tunnel to encounter more sodding dark tunnels.

He had, thankfully, managed to avoid the worst of fighting, slinking into the shadows when a great hulking hurlock lumbered by, but by no means had he been unscathed. A great gouge out of his bicep had been hastily bound up in a makeshift bandage formed from nug skin, but he was still standing and that's what counted. For now, at least.

Each time he lifted himself to his feet after a short rest, he strode forward with a new determination that he would get to the bottom of what in the Stone was going on. And this time was no different. With a bit of a grunt, he exited the little den he'd hewn out for himself and set out, both daggers in hands. His experience so far had taught him that whatever he encountered was either enemy or food (or both), so there was no need to risk travelling unarmed.

He strode round to a heavy door and lay a hand on its opening mechanism. The door swung open with ease and ...

"Paragons' ballsack, what in the sodding stone is going on?" he cursed generously to himself, and not at all quietly. He knew from the first look at the godsforsaken place that he'd been down here before, having emerged from a cave-in further down the path. It was infuriating. But, if he took a second to think, he'd realise that if he was beginning to circle round on himself then hopefully his mental stone sense map would begin to solidify.

For now, though, he had lost his temper and he was almost certain that he would have attracted every cursed creature in earshot. He pulled his daggers close to his chest, turning his back to the wall and melting back as he listened intently for any activity down the dimly lit path. Still covered in dust, blood and general filth from head to toe, if his scent didn't give him away, he was at least quite well camouflaged.
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FENRIS
 Posted: Jun 19 2018, 05:19 PM
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SQUEE
15 posts
35 years
Warrior


His hair was pulling from his tie, tickling his cheek and dangling near his peripheral vision. Standing with his back against the wall, Fenris pulled out the tie and began to furiously scrub the white locks to shake them loose. He breathed relief; the tension completely gone from his temples for the few moments he rested there.

Rested. On guard. Wary of the dark path stretching behind him and cautious of potential sounds ahead of him. Fenris twirled and straightened his tie a few times, liking the feel of it between his fingers, before he gathered his shoulder length hair back into a tight tail.

With a snap, his hand sprung suddenly from anchoring the final knot and he brought his hand around to stare, bewildered, at the frayed quarter of ribbon.

“A poor time for a joke,” he remarked under his breath. He dropped the ribbon fragment. At least the red sash tied firmly on his wrist still, albeit a filthy brown and stiff with old sweat.

Fenris touched the dirty sash, reminiscing for a second as his chest ached and his mind clouded. Where was he? Why had he left him behind?

Brow pinching, Fenris dropped his arm and moved forward, because it was the only way to go. It wouldn’t do him much good to look for Hawke until he knew where he was. Besides understanding he was underground, and in some old Deep Roads, he hadn’t learned much else since walking through the green magic’s portal a few hours ago. He had no understanding where he was going or how to tell direction. Anywhere was better than the Fade and in the presence of those demons. He supposed he could be sourly grateful to the demon (or spirit?) who’d led him to the portal. It had said Hawke could be found here. So, he was mostly counting on finding either dwarves or gray wardens or Hawke.

Then loudly, a cursing voice carried by echos. Not too far, if he had to judge, and Fenris adjusted his pack straps to bite someplace else on his shoulders. The source sounded currently grumpy and perhaps unfriendly, but Fenris was confident in himself if the source was too unfriendly.

As he passed a cave-in, a snarl emanated from it and Fenris gave it a cursory inspection as he passed. When he heard scuffling following him, he activated the lyrium, blue luminescence brightening the space around him.

He twisted, sensed the creature was too close, and phased as he charged through its material body. He was a bit startled the creature was about half his height, burly, and running on fours. No matter. His hand swathed in a ghostly fog as he lunged, passing through the darkspawn’s back, and clenching around its heart. A burst of blood on exit as his hand partially rematerialized and the darkspawn flopped dead.

Shaking his arm, spattering some blood and fleshy bits, he stepped around the body. His skin crawled in suspicion before he took three steps and Fenris squinted at the shadows, uncertain if he was paranoid or intuitive. “Is there something there? The owner of the angry voice, perhaps?” he asked. “If you’re darkspawn, you may remain hidden.”

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OISIN AONAIR
 Posted: Jun 20 2018, 05:31 AM
Quote
Chrissy
8 posts
25 years
Rogue


From his relatively secure location in the shadows, Oisin watched the spectacle unfold a few feet away from him. He had just begun to sense and turn towards the approaching darkspawn before the stranger had arrived on the scene; and then he paused, and watched, and waited. It wasn't cowardice that stayed his action, and if the fight between the darkspawn and the newcomer began to go south for the latter he would have stepped in, but quite frankly he was stunned to stillness by ... pretty much everything about the elf. To preface this whole thing: Oisin had never seen even a basic elf before in his life, so the sight of his skin bursting into light (he wasn't close enough to see the markings as distinct things), shifting through a solid creature and removing its heart - well, it was a lot to absorb in the three or so seconds it seemed to take for all that to happen.

In theory this creature was on his side; even if he wasn't so into casteless, carta dwarves, he was definitely against darkspawn, which - for now - was good enough. After all, the enemy of one's enemy is one's friend. Having said that, the hand through the chest thing - there weren't many skills Oisin had that could dodge such an attack and he'd be so pissed off if his final resting place was next to a nug-rutting darkspawn in this gods forsaken place.

At lightning speed, his mind oscillated between revealing his location on the chance of gaining an ally and melting further into the shadows (if that were even possible) to avoid a grisly death. Happily, though, he was more of a mind to step forward when the other creature spoke.

"No blasted darkspawn here," he announced, his voice gruff and world-weary, but betraying a youthfulness. At that, he stepped out of the mirk, allowed his cloak - as filthy as the rest of him - to fall away from his face, and brought his daggers down to his sides. He wouldn't go so far as to completely disarm himself before the stranger but he had no desire to present himself as a threat. Now standing in front of the much taller man, it was easier to see the strange markings - strangely reminiscent of something, but he had no idea what. "Except the one you just ..." He struggled to find an appropriate description. "Ended. I hope you're planning to keep that trick of yours for the tainted beasts running through these sodding tunnels?"

He cast a suspicious look in Fenris' direction, which in reality was disguising the complete loss he felt - about the situation, about the strangeness of this person. In fact ... "It's not often we find-" He paused a beat. (This one has the ears; are the ears elves or humans? I can never sodding remember.) "Not-dwarves in the deep roads. You here for something?" No one would ever call him a wordsmith, but it'd be remiss of him if he didn't try to glean any intel he could from this person.

FENRIS
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FENRIS
 Posted: Jun 20 2018, 07:20 AM
Quote
SQUEE
15 posts
35 years
Warrior


A figure stepped from a deep shadow, and Fenris stood his ground with a widened stance until it removed its cloak. A dwarf. Seems he was very fortunate.

“My abilities are reserved for my enemies,” Fenris confirmed.

Non-dwarves? Fenris has to snort, smirking. Perhaps this dwarf wasn’t the brightest candle, but he strung sentences better than Sandal. Of many things he was missing from Kirkwall, Bodahn’s son was not one.

“If I had a better choice in the matter, I wouldn’t be down here either. The last time went about as well as could be expected. Perhaps better, since we had a map and an excavation team.” Fenris swiveled his head, checking behind him, on constant surveillance in case something else decided to pop up.

The dwarf seemed about as clean as a roll in the dirt. “Seems you might have been here for some time. I’m looking for someone, and was told he was… potentially here.” Would the dwarf believe him if he said he’d jumped through a green magic portal? Weren’t dwarves afraid of magic or something? More than humans? “A human about so tall,” Fenris described and raised his hand a few inches above his height. “Black hair and beard. A mage, you’d know from his staff. Might have been a bit crass.”

In this instance, Fenris looked down at the grimy dwarf with hope. Another lead on Hawke would both brighten his spirits and fill him with dread. What could Hawke need in the Deep Roads?

What if darkspawn has gotten him? What if he’d been tainted? Where were the nearest Wardens? What if Hawke was gone forever?

These were unhelpful thoughts, and Fenris momentarily glanced sideways, obviously wrestling internally with concern etched into the lines of his face.
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OISIN AONAIR
 Posted: Jun 20 2018, 10:44 AM
Quote
Chrissy
8 posts
25 years
Rogue


The inward sigh of relief was great; unless, of course, Oisin became this elf's enemy then he was safe from the strange powers that he had. Presumably this was one of those magic-users, albeit a peculiar one. His own experience with magic was slight, being a dwarf that hadn't left Orzammar for anything other than short dalliances into the Deep Roads, usually to help hijack lyrium shipments on behalf of the Carta, but he had heard stories. Mostly horror stories, it had to be admitted. Still, there had been more than one occasion on which he had dreamt of gaining some sort of power that would free him from his class bondage.

But if the elf was a mage then he definitely could prove a powerful ally, which Oisin was sorely in need of. Skilled though he was, in remaining unseen and distracting foes in conflict, his swordsmanship was nothing to write home about and the daggers he used hardly tore flesh from bone unless he got the sweet spot while said foe had their attention elsewhere. He could hold his own against a fellow thug, but not so much in tunnels teeming with darkspawn.

He didn't miss the smirk after his stumbling description of him as a 'not-dwarf' and though a little flare of irritation sped up his spine, it was quickly extinguished as the conversation continued. If this had been a dwarf he was speaking to, he might very well have laid out his thoughts on the matter but a surfacer probably had no good idea of the level of deprivation the Casteless suffered. Not to mention, it would piss him off a whole lot more if the elf were to take pity on him. Yes, this was a hard dwarf to please - the chip on his shoulder was more like a cavern.

He narrowed his eyes, clearly conflicted about sharing more of his own situation. "I've been here a couple of days, but I had been ... disguised to match the stone. Even us nobodies know how to bathe," he said, trying not to sound bitter. After a pause he continued in a flat tone, "I was thrown out of Orzammar on to the surface. And I woke up here. Since then I've seen nothing but darkspawn, nugs and deepstalkers. Oh and spiders. But nothing human shaped." Did that mean this person was an elf? He'd go with it.

Watching the elf carefully as he broke the news, a frown creased the dwarf's brow. Empathy didn't come easily to him. "But I haven't seen any bodies either."
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FENRIS
 Posted: Jun 25 2018, 08:54 AM
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SQUEE
15 posts
35 years
Warrior



"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend," Fenris responded as the dwarf snapped. Us nobodies? He wasn't quite sure what the dwarf was referring to, but by his tone, his "nobody" was not inclusive of Fenris, who had once considered himself a "nobody". "As you can see, I've had cleanlier days myself."

The last bath he'd had had been a smoke bath. Even then, the smell of wood smoke had weened away, for it had to have been several days since he'd been in the forests somewhere in Orlais. He was grimy, his breeches coated in dirt, and his skin was sticky and his hair oily. He was also splattered with fresh darkspawn blood.

"Ah." It was the only thing Fenris could think to say, as he considered the dwarf's information. It was both a relief and not. He was nowhere closer to finding Hawke but he also wasn't closer to find Hawke dead. Absently, he touched his belt pouch where he stored the letter, then dropped his hand to his side.

"Then would you happen to know which way to go? Toward a dwarven city?" A hint of a snarl echoed from behind him, coming from the path branching from this tunneled chamber. "I'm afraid I don't have a map and no way of understanding which way I am headed. I recall someone once saying dwarves are very good at knowing where they are underground." His ear twitched at the sounds of garbled voices, like monsters speaking to each other. With a flicker of his hand, Fenris began walking away from the cave-in entrance. His voice softened as he offered, "In return, I can offer a few pieces of silver, or merely bodyguarding you from darkspawn. And deepstalkers, spiders, and nugs if they feel particularly confident." A smirk twisted his lips again; not in mockery, but genuine silly humor. Hawke had rubbed off on him more than he was willing to admit at this time.

"Because if I know my boyfriend, we'll find him lost and eating mushrooms, or he'll have made it to a civilization." And Fenris was choosing, which difficulty, to be optimistic and hoping Hawke had come to the Deeproads with some preparation.

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OISIN AONAIR
 Posted: Jun 27 2018, 12:47 PM
Quote
Chrissy
8 posts
25 years
Rogue


Oisin gave Fenris what could be easily called an utterly baffled look, the split-second irritation dissipating. Luckily, this dwarf wasn't easily given to long-lasting temper (it took far too much energy), but more short bursts of outrage that were easily put to rest. This time he was distracted from his irritation by the idea that someone actually hadn't meant to offend. Lifting his hand to his face he rubbed at his cheek, lest the casteless mark - and the subject of the 'us' he had spoken about - lying there had been utterly concealed with dirt. Or maybe he was really as dirty as had been suggested ...

"You don't know much about dwarves, do you?" he asked, before abruptly cackling to himself (and a little bit at the elf). He regarded Fenris in a conspiratorial manner. "Let me give you one tip, friend - we bump into any other dwarves down here, you make sure to haze me good and proper. Maybes then they'll help you, and by extension, me. And if we meet dwaves with this mark - probably best just to kill 'em." Still not at all in the loop about where exactly they were, he figured that if other Carta members ran into them down here, they were more likely to view Oisin as a threatening loose end rather than help him into hiding.

From behind a guarded expression born out of at least realising he was perhaps not being sensitive enough, given that this man's partner was missing, feared dead. There wasn't much he could glean from the stoic-sounding 'ah', but at least it seemed the elf wasn't emotionally vulnerable ... Oisin would not be so good at dealing with that. However, moving forward and trying to figure out how the hell to get out of there was something he could contribute to.

He looked round, stuck a hand out and touched the stone wall. Frowned, then shook his head. "There's something wrong. Orzammar, I think, is in this general direction, but ... I don't know, it's not close," he rambled, clearly confused by what his stone sense was telling him. His ear caught at the snarling sound and the hands both went to the concealed knives, but he relaxed after a moment and nothing jumped out at them and the elf went to investigte a little closer. "That sounds like a good deal to me. You can save your silver until we find some nug-humper that'll actually take it. Like I was saying - the stone's wrong. It's like-" He squinted at himself at shook his head. No point in trying to explain the stone sense - or the peculiarities he was feeling - to someone who didn't have it. "At the very least, I know where I've been and where left to trek. Let's head this way - we'll either hit civilisation or a horde of darkspawn. Or maybe your boyfriend in a deep mushroom field."

He pulled his cloak back around him, his form somehow shifting and becoming slightly less distinct in the gloom, and stepped to a narrow dug-out path to the side of the cave-in, filled with sticky webs and a few bones.

He turned to look over his shoulder at the elf. "And no underestimating the humble nug - once they realise it's fight or be eaten, they can be nasty blighters."
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