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UNBOUND

Here on Unbound, our plot follows four different timelines, set throughout the canonical history of the Dragon Age. The events following Trespasser, the time of the Inquisition, the rise of the Champion of Kirkwall and the quest of the Warden against the Fifth Blight.

And So is the Golden City blackened
With each step you take in my Hall.
Marvel at perfection, for it is fleeting.
You have brought Sin to Heaven
And doom upon all the world.

-Threnodies 8.13


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 Wake Me Up, Nolani | 9:45
as played by ANGEL

24" posts

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Warrior
Sweaty palms pressed against bark, and leaned forward to rest his forehead on the tree. Diedrich's head was pounding to the point he felt as if it may split in half. The taste of bile still lingered in his mouth and his stomach lurched once again because of the pulsing pain that seemed to drown out everything. Everything but the anger. He had done this to him. That fucking asshole who claimed to be their father had forced this on him. On all of them.
And now they were back here. Back at his homeland where too many memories lingered. Painful memories. But he was here for her, for Quirin, he had to remember that.

Turning so that his back was against the tree, Diedrich slid down to sit on the damp ground. In the distance the flicker of the campfire was present and he could barely make out the forms of people asleep. The smallest of course was Nolani and a smile curved his lips at the thought of the insults that would be thrown at him had she known. The smile faded quickly with a groan of pain, and he squeezed his eyes shut tightly as thumb and forefinger dug into his brow in an attempt to make the pain stop.

Diedrich.

His name whispered so softly by his ear caused his head to snap up. Nothing greeted him. Nothing. Not even the glint of the fire could be seen anymore. The forest was quiet, like the calm before a storm and it caused a shiver to run along his spine.

"Nolani?" Diedrich called out, his fingers twitching at his side for the dagger he knew hung from his him. What in the fuck was going on? Had he moved without realizing it? Ventured further away that he had thought? It was getting more frequent, losing track of time. Of spacing and not remembering things that had happened.

"Nolan--" Diedrich cut off as he saw a movement to his left. His lips pressed into a thin line and peered forward. One step, two, three, he was moving towards the figure confusion etched into his face. A woman? But...And then she turned around and it felt as if he'd been punched in the gut.

"Cami," The name tumbled from his lips in a harsh whisper. The soft, dark hair that curled around her face, the warm, inviting brown eyes that beckoned you forward. It was comforting. It was terrifying.

"Diedrich." That soft voice sent shivers down his spine and as she started towards him every fiber of his being wanted him to run. But he was frozen. Frozen to the spot just as he had been then. Useless and pathetic. Arms wrapped around him, and Diedrich made a choked sound in his throat, arms coming up to encircle her almost mindlessly. Was this real? But it couldn't be. The Wardens. Nolani.

No sooner had Diedrich thought that name did a piercing pain shoot down his spine. Purple flames licked at Cami's eyes and she raised her head to hiss, forked tongue flicking between fangs to touch his cheek. The hand wrapped behind his head dug claws into his skin while the other took hold of his chin.

"You kill me, Diedrich. Because you're too weak. Pathetic. You're just a child with daddy issues."

"Get off!" Diedrich snarled. Trying to slow down the erratic beat of his heart and quell the panic threatening to choke him.
Jul 13 2017, 05:05 PM
as played by SQUEE

23" posts

group

Warrior


”Nolani!” The hiss spit over her and something jabbed her shoulder. Awake, Nolani opened her eyes to see Faylin crouched beside her, the Warden’s copper braid dangling over her shoulder. The elven warrior recoiled her hand away from her sword hilt.

“What?” Nolani groused. Faylin gestured over to a figure by the tree and Nolani sat up, squinting over the fire. Diedrich? She twisted, glancing over her shoulder where he usually would be and found the space empty. Not there.

“Something’s wrong,” Faylin informed, voice still low, recapturing Nolani’s attention. “And I’m not going near him. He’s calling you.”

With a burdened sigh, Nolani shifted away her blanket and moved around the crackling fire. Other Wardens were awake, a couple pretending not to be, but she noticed the shift. Her bare feet turned over wet leaves and she jeered when she stepped on a rock. “Diedrich?” she called.

He said her name, but it cut off and he looked to her right. Nolani followed his gaze. She waited, shoving her flopping lock of hair out of her face, but saw nothing. No flickering. Normal night time noises of far away crickets and maybe a frog or toad.

“Cami?” She didn’t know who he was talking about. There wasn’t a Cami in their group. Scowling, she crouched in front of him with another tired sigh. Hesitantly, she touched his knee. Sleepwalking?

“What’s the matter with ya?” Nolani questioned, cupping Diedrich’s chin and steering his face toward her. His blue eyes were out of focus. He was sweaty as if he’d just run five kilometers in full armor. Frowning further, Nolani brushed his dark, damp hair over his head.

“Get off!” he snarled in her face. She snatched back, startled by his ferocity. Then her jaw locked and her dark eyes set. “Ya fuckin’ idiot! It’s me!” she snapped at him. “Stop this!” Nolani grasped his chin again, hard, and leaned in. ”Wake up!”

What was going on? Sometimes he twitched in his sleep, but it wasn’t like this. Sometimes she woke and he wasn’t there, but already fully awake. Nolani never questioned. She figured if he wanted to talk about it, he was just fucking talk about it. However, if this was how it was going to be, he needed to fucking explain some things to her.

A long shadow cast next to her as one of the other Wardens walked in the light of the fire.
She noticed but didn't acknolwedge, eyes locked on Diedrich's distant expression. Despite her cruel grip on him, she was worried, and it roiled from her in angry commands. "Diedrich!"
Jul 13 2017, 08:06 PM
as played by ANGEL

24" posts

group

Warrior
The digging claws proceeded. Pain sparking through his head and down his spine. It made his stomach churn, ready to vomit everything up that he hadn't already. The pressure on his jaw seemed to lessen briefly only for it to return with a tighter grip.
Blue eyes blazed with anger, guilt, as Diedrich glared at her.
The same face he used to love now twisted into an abomination. The last memory he had of her before...

"Get. Off." Diedrich snarled, this time shoving her away from him with extreme force. He was angry. He was tired. Cami laughed as she stumbled backwards, the sound low and yet oddly seductive. It sent a shiver down his spine. His fingers curled around the hilt of his dagger, and his jaw clenched tightly.

"Oh? Big boy now, are we, Diedrich? Can you do it. Can you run that blade through me. Cut me down? Or do you need to hide behind your brother? Like you always do." Her lips curved into a vicious smile and she raised a finger to draw it across her throat, a thin line of blood swelled to surface, causing Diedrich to swallow hard.

Diedrich's breath was coming out in harsh, labored, pants. She was right in one thing. He should have been the one to kill her. To make it stop. He had promised she'd be okay and he should have been the one to put her out of her misery. Instead he had froze. He'd seen the attack coming, had enough time to counter, and yet he'd done nothing. He had wanted to die.

But not now. He'd found something worth living for. He'd found something he never thought he'd have again. Sure, their relationship wasn't conventional, but it suited both of them. This wouldn't change. He wouldn't let it. Diedrich drew his dagger, flipping it between his fingers before he lunged forward. This time he would end it himself.

Cami laughed, dodging the attack with ease. Focus. You're a templar. It's a demon. But it wasn't that easy. Everything was hazy. He hurt both mentally and physically. It wasn't long before an iron like grip caught his wrist, forcing the dagger from his hand.
Diedrich didn't even hesitate, bringing his other hand around to punch her. They tussled for a bit, struggling for control until he was ultimately pinned.

"Fuck you! Let go of me!" Diedrich snapped, struggling to get free.
Jul 13 2017, 10:00 PM
as played by SQUEE

23" posts

group

Warrior


He shoved her. Her fingers snapped off his chin and Nolani rocked right onto her backside. Her lip curled, determination to wake him surging through her as she pushed back onto the balls of her feet. His hand fidgeted at his side, his fingers clasping the hilt of his dagger. “Don’t you fuckin’ do it.” Nolani stared into his crystalizing eyes, the way they got when they became angry. “You’re sleeping! Wake up!”

He drew his dagger and Nolani sprung backward as he launched toward her. “Diedrich!” she spat, as he slashed at her again. The blade glanced across her forearm, and that was enough. Her dragon’s blood heated her veins, spilling out from the small slash, and broiled with energy. He got one more swipe before she captured his arm, cranked it, and took the dagger.

His punch smacked her across the jaw. Nolani reared back toward him, seeing red, dagger cast behind her, and a predator’s growl rumbling past her lips. In retaliation, she sunk her fist between his ribs, blood sliding down her arm. “Stop this!” she yelled. But he didn’t. So Nolani sidestepped him and kicked out his ankle. Then threw herself into him so they barreled to the ground.

Dodging fists and taking a couple of hits, Nolani finally captured one arm against her chest while pressing the other into the ground. ”Hold him!” she called, to anyone. Faylin and Randall scrambled forward, each accepting one of Diedrich’s arms. Planting a knee squarely across his chest, Nolani raised her bloodied fist and cracked it across his face.

VHENAN!” she roared. The word shattered into the night like a shockwave, echoing off a rock face and silencing the night-time critters. The Wardens and other traveling companions didn’t stir from their places. Even the fire obeyed her, noiselessly flickering as she stared down at Diedrich with her breath ragged between bared teeth.

“Tel’nuvenan mar din!*” She was too in a fit of rage to notice she was speaking elven instead of the common tongue. Nolani clasped both sides of his face and shook.“Itha’em! Itha’em, vhenan!**” She searched for recognition in his eyes, panic curling behind her ribcage as her thoughts whispered, this is it. That if he didn’t come back to her, she would decide he was past her. If he was going to behave and act like he was possessed, she would have to treat him as such.

“Falon’Din dirth’var’an! Ar tu dala ma!***” Her lip was busted, stinging with the annoyance of a gnat each time she spoke. She shook him, again. “Itha’em! Diedrich!”

---

* Tel’nuvenan mar din! = “I don’t want to kill you”; lit. “I do not wish your death.”

** Itha’em! = Look at me/ See me!

*** Falon’Din dirth’var’an! Ar tu dala ma! = “I swear by Falon’Din! I will kill you!”; lit. Falon’Din’s promise, I will kill you.
Jul 14 2017, 02:50 AM
as played by ANGEL

24" posts

group

Warrior
Words of malice whispered in his ear caused him to fight harder, screams of rage leaving his lips. A woman he once loved now an enemy in his eyes. A foolish boy with hopes and dreams now nothing more than a tarnished soul slowly dying because of what his father had forced him into. The voices changed. From the sweet, sultry voice of a former lover to the deep, rasp of his father, then switched once more to the soft, nurturing of his sister. Until all that was left was a cacophony of sounds echoing all around him.

Vhenan!

The barked order cut through the noise like a knife. Diedrich knew that voice and found himself clinging to it. A light in the darkness and while he still struggled against the arms that held him, he desperately tried to find his way to the voice that was harsh but sounded so sweet to his ears. He needed to focus on that to be remind of the present and not the past.

"Nolani," He croaked out, voice soft and unsure. Clarity began to shine through his mind, chasing away the fog and darkness of a nightmare come to life. Blue eyes blinked, staring into the most beautiful, enraged, face he had ever seen. But there was worry behind that rage, he could see. See it in the way she desperately clung to his face. To his side he could see the wardens that kept his arms pinned slowly relax and he took the moment to jerk one arm free.

Diedrich's hand wrapped around the back of Nolani's neck, pulling her down in a forceful kiss. It was desperation behind it. A need to forget everything that had just happened, that had happened in the past. He just wanted to focus on her. Oh he was waiting for the punch that would surely follow, bracing for the insults that would be flung at him. But he didn't care because that was who she was and he loved her for it.

Breaking the kiss off, he rested his forehead against hers, his breathing harsh like he'd just run a marathon or as if he'd been terrified of something.

"I'm fine." Diedrich broke the silence finally, gently pushing her back so that he could sit up. His words were hard, meant to be accepted without question. He didn't really want to talk about it, but he especially didn't with others around.
Jul 31 2017, 05:37 PM
as played by SQUEE

23" posts

group

Warrior

She was terrified of the incomprehension in his face as she called his name. He bucked beneath her, sneering and roaring, and Nolani leaned her full weight into his shoulders. Dalish curses poured from her lips in a tone that could sear stone.

The taint? Had he somehow been contaminated and he was reacting in a violent, unprecedented fashion? She forced his face toward the light of the fire. He jerked, teeth snapping at her hand, and Nolani hit him again without reservation. Shoving one side of his face into the dirt, ignoring his furious scream, she examined his face for black and purple veins. His complexion was clear, all the way down his neck, except for the flush of exertion.

“What the hell’s going on?” she heard Faylin mutter. Nolani shook her head, lips curled into an enraged sneer, as she released his head. Possession then? While doing what? Although uncommon, non-mages could be possessed but usually through significant effort on the non-mage part and part of some deal. She couldn’t imagine Diedrich making a deal with a demon.

Or had he simply just lost his goddamn mind and spiraled into a depth of crazy she hadn’t known existed?

Come back to me. By the Creators, come back to me! He was dangerous like this. He couldn’t tell friend from foe, spitting cusses like a wild man overdosed on elfroot and wild mushrooms. He’d drawn his dagger. On her. He’d injured her. That was often not a problem, in a controlled setting, but this was beyond a brawl. This had been intent to kill. She couldn’t tolerate that, and so he had until she had a sword in her hand.

“Ma mis,” she said, only to get a confused question back. Glaring, it took Faylin telling her she was speaking elven to understand why they were confused. Nolani gestured roughly, indicating her sleeping roll on the other side of the fire. “My sword.”

Then he said her name.

“Vhenan!” She snarled, bending over him once more and squeezing either side of his face. His eyes found her. Clear and focused on her and there was relief. He settled, laying as if dead except for his steep breathing. His chest rose and fell beneath her.

“Ya fucking son of a bitch. What-” His lips locked on hers in deep, fierceful desperation. The fires of anger swirled inside her, wondering what the hell he was doing. Was this a trick? Was he still himself? She made the briefest shift, trying to sit back up, but his hand was vice on the back of her head. Those seconds, though, let her sense Diedrich was himself. He’d kissed like this several time before, after nightmares she knew he had. He was troubled and seeking an anchor in their kiss and Nolani knew because she was prone to doing the same.

Nolani waved off the other warden holding Diedrich’s other arm. She clung tight to his head as he did hers, forehead to forehead. Breathing the same air. Letting her adrenaline high pulse begin to rest. “Ya idiot. Moron.”

He pushed her back, gentle this time. Nolani remained straddling his lap, tension hardening every muscle to firm tautness, again uncertain if he was himself. If he was going to remain himself or present, or phase out the moment she blinked.

“I’m fine.”

Her fist dashed from her side and smacked his cheekbone. Of punches she’d thrown, this one had been pulled, but her knuckles still throbbed and she was sure his face felt it too. “Telas hara em!” she raged, centimeters from his nose.The roar robbed the night of all sound once again. Nolani glared at him, features hard, lacking empathy, and fire eagerly reflecting the anger in her dark eyes. Then repeated herself in common, “Don’t you lie to me.”

Nolani stabbed a finger in direction of his dagger, tossed aside in dirt and molded leaves, and being avoided like a cursed object. “Ya cut me!” Lifting her arm, hand in a fist, she pointed at the slice on her arm. “This is not fine, vhenan!” Her hands smacked her thighs as she sat still again, on his lap, still glaring at him.

She turned her head to Faylin, who stood aside, looking as uncertain and awkward as the rest of them and wholly content on letting her leader handle Diedrich. “Get me the lantern. And water,” she said. To Diedrich, with a tone daring him to argue, so she said, “We’re going for a Creator damned walk.”
Aug 1 2017, 05:55 PM
as played by ANGEL

24" posts

group

Warrior
The words were barely out of his mouth when Nolani's fist collided with his jaw. The hit was pulled, he'd felt the full might of her attacks before, but it still hurt. It would probably leave a bruise later and honestly Diedrich welcomed it. Guilt ate away at him as she drew attention to the cuts and bruises that marred her flesh. Attacks that had not been from one of their many brawls but from an honest attack against her.

Like father, like son.

The words whispered through his mind, causing him to cringe and shiver. Diedrich wasn't sure what he wanted to say as she yelled at him, but he did know that each time her voice rose in pitch it caused him to grit his teeth. She was a beserker, her rage knew no bounds, but his was a close match, especially when his head was pounding and his stomach yearned to get rid of whatever was left in it.

The snapped order of going for a walk made Diedrich seethe, but he didn't argue. He merely pushed her off him, surprisingly gentle despite his anger, and clambered to his feet with a snapped "fine". Diedrich didn't wait for her either starting off in a direction. Once he was further away, his shoulders sagged and he raised an arm to rest against his forehead as he leaned against a tree to wait for Nolani to catch up.

It was getting worse and he knew he couldn't keep it from her much longer. Diedrich knew Nolani wasn't stupid. She'd picked up on things no matter how hard he tried to hide it from her. The nightmares that he awoke from only to kiss her and take her with a desperation he couldn't explain. The headaches that caused him to be unable to move for fear of making the pain worse. He had darkened circles under his eyes both from lack of restful sleep and just from pure fatigue.

The sound of heavy, angry footfalls caused him to turn slightly, catching her glinting eyes in the dark as she approached. Diedrich turned fully to look at her, bracing himself for an attack sure to come.

"I'm sorry." What he was sorr y about was up for debate. For hurting her? For keeping this from her? For letting it get this far? It didn't really matter at this point because what was more important was that Diedrich had apologized. Something he never did.
NOLANI MAHARIEL
Aug 8 2017, 07:00 PM
as played by SQUEE

23" posts

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Warrior
“Ass.” Mumbling her insult when he pushed her away, Nolani stood up and dusted herself. Not that she needed the dusting. She was nervous and worried and watched him march away with a heavy brow lowered in what one could construe as anger. Collecting the lantern from Faylin, Nolani secured a bucket and slung her water flask around her shoulder before plucking bandages from her saddlebag.

Shoving her feet roughly into her boots, Nolani shrugged off doing the laces and began marching after Diedrich’s direction. “Go back to bed.” Her command was firm, with well intentions, but spoken almost with a snarl. She left behind all blades, a mulled over decision.

Nolani wished to put a significant distance between her and the other wardens, to eliminate eavesdropping either by their companions or pick up on their rumorous whispers. She wanted Diedrich to feel comfortable speaking plainly, and plenty of distance to deal with another episode. Everything was fine if he hurt her. She could handle it. She could handle him.

Finding him, leaning against the tree, Nolani’s lips dragged into a deeper frown. She was confused by his actions, and had more than a few thoughts on where to punch him next, but worry wiggled it’s way into every beat of her heart. He must have heard her, and turned, his tired face looking pale in the lantern’s light.

“I’m sorry.”

Nolani halted in her tracks and stared at him. She held the lantern at chest level, and her cheekbones cast black shadows across her eyes and presenting an overall eerie expression that was devoid of her previous rage. Instead her eyebrows pulled toward her hairline in surprise. He sounded genuine and exhausted.

“Forget it.” she answered, harsh and awkward, trying to cling to the ebbing flickers of her anger threatened by worry, and sympathy, and… surprise. Diedrich didn’t apologize. Neither did she know how to forgive him.

“Come on.” Walking past him, lantern out, she led them further from the camp. The darkness peeled away from the firelight in the lantern and she headed more confidently in the direction of a cluster of frog noises and crickets. The gentle rush and bubble of water guided her toward the lake she’d known was close. She skirted around the final bush, the shrubbery about as tall as her waist, and heard an alarmed ribbit before a plop of water. A vast body of water lay before her, framed with elongated stretches of land reaching like fingers into a glittering watery surface catching a few twinkles of moonlight between heavy clouds.

Nolani pointed at a fallen log, perhaps felled in the last great storm in this region. The wood was still good, with minor moss growth and the rot was minimal. She set the lantern on the trunk. “Sit.” Firm, but it lacked bite. She cast a look at him. “Don’t argue. You are barely standing.”

Crouching by the water’s edge, Nolani gently washed the cut on her arm. She let the quiet longer between them, besides the swish and dripping noises of water. The bandage stuck to her wet arm and made it easier for her to wind it around. Taking the bucket, Nolani filled it and moved to stand in front of him.

Her head tilted as she appraised the damage she’d done to his face. He had her blood on his face, which had swollen where she’d punched him, and a thin but present layer of dirt and other forest debris clinging to him from their tussle. She made a clicking noise with her tongue as she brushed away sweat soaked hair, clung together in salt and dirt.

Nolani kissed him. Not only to assure herself he was still actually Diedrich but to also to attempt to ease him with the action, rather than words she couldn't speak. Lips hard on his, she hoped he knew she wasn't fleeing from this. His earlier performance had frightened her, but not frightened her off and she would stay. She would fight this. She just needed to know who or what her enemy was and until then she was aggressively worried for everyone involved.

Then she upended the bucket over his head, dousing him in lake water and some splashing onto her.

“What the fuck happened?” The question was uncompromising but said at a reasonable volume. Nolani grabbed his chin and bore intensity into his blue gaze. Nolani slid her palm across his cheek to wipe away blood. “Do not lie to me.” She watched his eyes, anxious he might shift into that alternate state. And don't turn on me again.

“I’ll know if ya lie.”


DIEDRICH ALBRECHT
Aug 14 2017, 08:43 AM
as played by ANGEL

24" posts

group

Warrior
Silence stretched between them, and each step they took away from the others caused his heart to lodge further in his throat. He shouldn't be afraid, but he couldn't help but worry that they would be alone. If he had another episode, it would only be the two of them and while he knew she could handle herself he still worried.

Sit.

His expression must have darkened because before he could respond she was already telling him not to argue. Diedrich sighed, sitting down on the fallen log as instructed. He ran his fingers through his hair, tugging at the ends as he bowed his head between his knees. Again silence fell over them, and part of him was okay with it. It was normal almost. A fight followed by silence, that was always how his home had been. That thought made him sick. What made him even more sick was the fact that he had hurt her.

Diedrich looked up as Nolani approached, and he swallowed before her lips were on his. He let out a sigh of content against her lips moments before he returned the kiss. It both eased him and concerned him. Something like this would have run a sane person off and yet Nolani stayed. She was a strong woman, and it worried him because this wasn't something she could fight.

The kiss broke, and his lips parted to speak only to be cut off as the cold water was dumped over his head. Diedrich's words turned into a curse, and he turned a glare towards her as she grabbed his face, wiping blood from his skin. He pulled away from her, standing and wiped his hand over his face. Great, now he was fucking cold on top of everything else.

He didn't want to tell her. He'd tried to hide it from her the best he could, but he was smart enough to know that he was losing that battle. It was getting harder to hide, harder to shrug off the questioning looks. Diedrich released a breath, scratching at his jaw as he turned to look at her. She was Dalish and didn't know much about templars.

"...Part of templar training is taking lyrium." There was no beating around the bush, no lessening the blow. He was just as blunt as she was, it was part of the reason they worked so well together. "The chantry gets you addicted to the shit and then tells you that you can't get it from anyone else. It's the leash they use to control the templars and its barely less than poison."

Diedrich knew that was a bit of an exaggeration, but it might as well of been the truth. The templar cleared his throat, glancing away from her as he collected his thoughts--something else that had been harder and harder these days.

"At first...it's fine, like an itch you can ignore. And then...its a thirst or a hunger you can't quench. That an itch turns into an ache until finally it feels like your head is going to split in two. Some days are better than others, and some days you can't move because if you do the pain is so great that your body shuts down. Nightmares consume your sleep and sometimes..." Diedrich had moved closer to her, his brow creased in a mixture of anger and concern and he raised a hand to cup her cheek, thumb brushing against her skin.

"Sometimes the nightmares don't stop when you open your eyes. Sometimes you get stuck in a waking nightmare and you can't tell what is real and what is not." Diedrich let his hand drop, and he just stood in front of her. "It can kill me..."

Sep 13 2017, 07:11 PM
as played by SQUEE

23" posts

group

Warrior

He pulled away, hand swiping her away and Nolani didn’t chase him. Half a step back, allowing him to pass, her hands clamped to her hips, where they remained as she stared at his back.

“Uh huh.” She knew about lyrium. Well, had once. Now that he’d said something about it, her memory pinged with the sound of Alistair’s voice telling her templars partook in its imbibing. Those faint echos of a memory synchronized with Diedrich, recalling something about how the Chantry oversaw its mining, transport, and delivery.

Nolani stood by, her feet shoulder-width and firmly locked in their stance. Powerful, sturdy. A rock. An immovable, safe rock he could count on in this moment. Perhaps, also, the immovable obstacle which he could not get around in this moment, as she waited for him to comply with her demand to know what the fuck was happening with him.

He summed up all his headaches, all his night terrors, in a way that sounded like he could otherwise not have them. Her brow deepened, and did not let up even as he touched her cheek. Nolani closed her eyes against his caress, letting her stern body posture break enough for her to tilt her head into his hand, only to right again as he dropped his hand.

Exhaling on his conclusion, she stared ahead, so happening to be his chest, while she mulled over his final words. Kill him? How long does he have? Why hadn’t he spoken sooner if he was dying? That thought carried a splash of anger and Nolani, for once, put a snuff over it. She had no room to speak of telling people, particularly not Wardens, that she was dying herself. In fact, Nolani hadn’t considered telling Diedrich, especially when he’d first joined, simply because it hadn’t crossed her mind to inform him. Unless another Warden had told him the core reason they searched for a cure, but that would mean telling him about The Joining, breaking the secrecy of the ritual. Since the serious development of their relationship, however, perhaps she should mention her impending death? That was something close partners did, wasn’t it?

“So… ya not taking the lyrium? That’s what’s caused all this? What does cause all this?” After his confirmation, Nolani shifted to jam her heel against the soft dirt. Her mind made a conclusion, yet it was one she didn’t know if he really wanted. He’d called lyrium poison.

Her lips twisted around the words of her uncomfortable proposition. “I can get you lyrium, vhenan,” she said, confident in that knowledge. Sometimes Templars who became Wardens needed lyrium still, and so she’d had a way to acquire it for years. In the end, the Taint often overran the desire for lyrium. “If that is what ya need. If that stops yer nightmares. ‘Specially since… ya are a fair bit dangerous when yer having them now.” Nolani shrugged their shoulder of her hurt arm in emphasis.

Her next statement carried more force. “If it stops ya dying.” Nolani rolled her head up, to meet his eyes turned a dark blue in the small yellow lantern light. Her hand curled off her hip and Nolani stroked his forearm with light, hesitant fingers.

She didn’t want to see any of his pain and struggling. His debilitating headaches, which she had halted entire days travel for his rest and recuperation. His nightmares, which caused him sleeplessness, crankiness, and now presented potential danger to her, himself, and her Wardens. If that could be resolved with a little potion each day, why wouldn’t he want it?

What she wouldn’t give for the solution to her terminal condition to be found in a bottle of blue.
Sep 24 2017, 07:49 PM
as played by ANGEL

24" posts

group

Warrior
A bitter snort left Diedrich’s lips and what little comfort that her touch gave him melted away into bitterness. It wasn't anger at her, she didn't know, didn't understand. Sometimes he was amazed at how innocent Nolani could be. She didn't understand, didn't realize that getting Lyrium was the furthest thing from his mind. Yes, it could help him, but then he would remain shackled to a life he never wanted. He would remain chained by his father, forced to do what the bastard wanted even when he was far from his father’s grip.

”I never wanted to be a Templar,” Diedrich spoke finally. ”But I wasn't given a choice. It was either do as my father commanded or get beaten. More than we usually did anyways...”

Diedrich paused, a breath leaving his lips as he raised a hand to thread through his hair. He’d never spoken about his father to her before. His brothers yes, but never his father. He was a darkness in his past that he would rather forget. Turning his blue gaze to her, he shook his head.

”My father condemned me and brothers to this life to help his own fucking ego. I can't go back to that again. I won't.” Diedrich swallowed, turning his body so that he was completely facing her. His hand rose to cup her cheek, tracing the path of her cheek bone with his thumb.

”...If I can make it through this...I’ll be free. Free from the life he wanted me to have. I'm strong enough to do it...but I need you to be by my side.”

Because without her what was the point? Diedrich found that thought a bit unnerving. For so long he'd cared nothing for others, focusing only on himself-- and his siblings--but now he found himself needing her more than anything. He needed her to bring him back from the darkness that drew him in at night. He needed her to be able to knock him back if he needed it. He could hear his father’s voice in his head, sneering at him for needing a woman to lean on, and he grit his teeth. She wasn’t just a woman, she was his woman, and he would be damned if he let his father ruin that...even if it was nothing but a memory.
Oct 21 2017, 07:32 PM
as played by SQUEE

23" posts

group

Warrior
Nolani retracted her hand, seeing it made no change in his disposition. “So… No?”

His continued story gave her all the background she needed to infer, no, he didn't want the lyrium. She could be all right with that, even if she thought he was making a reckless decision that was costing his safety, her safety, and the safety of their party.

There wasn't a way for Nolani to empathize with Diedrich’s fatherhood troubles having no father of her own and thus utterly empty of the experience. A guardian, yes, but a guardian who chastised her more for her stupid excursions, abrasive behavior, and a talent for irking other people. So even if Diedrich’s father was a brutal asshole as he described, Nolani had no comprehension for why he would choose potential death to separate himself from a path he wouldn't have chosen.

Nolani stood as a stone with her arms crossed, even when he touched her cheek, her frown meeting his tender look, even for Diedrich. She said nothing for several moments with her brow pulled deep in reflection of difficult thoughts. Worrying and deciding if the danger to himself and her men were worth it. If death was worth him. Knowing that, reversed, she wouldn't be making the same decision, would accept the lyrium offer, and lived her life without fear of meeting the grave tomorrow.

“I’m here for now, Diedrich.” She clamped his wrist and turned his hand to press it into his chest, pausing stonelike again. “But ya need this for yourself. Ya need to make the promise to yourself, vhenan, that yer strong enough even without me. Because I say take lyrium.” Nolani met his gaze with the readiness of battle. “Reform its purpose and meaning because it’s not worth the damage.” Neither the damage to him, the terrors and the pain, nor the damage to her in stress and physical manifestation. It will be her to watch him and it’s her responsibility if he harmed someone.

Ah. This is what he meant. Someone at his side. Someone capable of shouldering the burden. Most likely, the only someone he seemed confident had the sturdiest and most reliable shoulders.

Yet her Calling could start even tomorrow.

“I am here, now, and I have defended ya and I will continue to do so.” She would until they ended, one way or another. “If we can avoid something like tonight, then fine. Changes can be made. We’ll try. But I can't promise to always be here. So make it. Make the promise to yerself and not to me. And… Mythal’s mercy, don't square me into a promise.”

Nolani released him, perplexity and uncertainty screwing up her eyebrows and mouth. “Because I won't make a promise I can't keep. I mean… I make them sometimes but yer too important for me to say stupid shit.”

Exhaling loudly, the wrinkle across her face had yet to lessen, as she talked around the matter closest to the forefront of her mind - The Calling had a greater chance at taking her than any darkspawn. “We’ll make some changes to accommodate circumstances like tonight.”

Nolani stooped to collect the bucket and tossed the bandages into the latter. As she reaches for the lantern, ready to make way back to camp, she realized, like cold water splashing her face, her words had a natural, probable implication of a breakup.

“Creators, I made it seem like I’m calling us quits or some bullshit.” Smacking the bucket from frustration, it fell from the trunk with a metallic rattle and Nolani inhaled as she curled her fists at her aides. “Diedrich, I am fucking dying.” There was no hesitation, just short snippets of truth now that she’d started. “Yer lyrium thing might kill ya -” She jabbed his chest with a finger before smashing it into her own, “-my tainted blood definitely will. Ya become a Warden, and ya got anywhere between 10-20 years left. I’ve been tainted for 15 years. That’s why I won't promise. I mean I’ll be dead. Not left ya.”

She swallowed, tongue a bit dry, as she stared up at the curves of his face illuminated by small firelight. “So… I don't get it. Why ya might choose potential death over life, when I don't have the choice. My song could start tomorrow and I got no control over it but all ya need is in the next major town!” The composure she had demonstrated thus far was unraveling the more she stayed on the subject, and slipping faster now that she’d said some words aloud. Her stance became more challenging, as she gestured into the night with her voice raising. “I’ve been looking for years for a solution simple as that! Why the fuck do ya think I’m looking for a cure, vhenan?!Because I’m swayed by stories like yer brother? Fuck yer brother! I’m out here for me!” Partial truth, because she cared about Diedrich and what was important to him.

“And ya… Ya just…!” Nolani shoved him with both hands and continued with increasing volume. “Ya got a fine damn luxury on yer damn hands! Ya didn't want this Templar bullshit, but ya got a solution to yer fucking problems! I didn't want this Warden bullshit and there’s no fucking solution!”
Oct 26 2017, 09:48 PM
as played by ANGEL

24" posts

group

Warrior
Diedrich's jaw set, teeth grinding together as Nolani spoke. Her words, the way she pushed him away. Fine, if that was how she wanted to fucking do this, he could fucking do it. Despite the way his heart seemed to clench in his chest, and the way his stomach twisted and churned, causing his breath to catch in his throat. This suddenly reminded him of why he didn't fucking talk to people.

The sound of the bucket being thrown onto the ground caused him to turn towards Nolani, his expression dark but otherwise unreadable. Her words caused his brow to raise, and the corner of his lips curled into a frown. She was dying? Fucking Hell, why didn't she tell him this shit? Diedrich didn't move as she quickly jabbed her finger into his chest only to turn around and do the same to herself. Diedrich was only half listening to her, attempting to wrap his brain around the fact that Nolani was dying.

Diedrich's gaze snapped to her suddenly, anger blazing in those blue depths as she shoved him backwards. For such a small thing, she had the strength to move him--especially when she got worked up over something.

"A luxury?" He snapped, stepping forward to tower over her. "It's a god damn collar. Yes, we can go to the next town, we can get lyrium and I can take it. I can get fucking drunk on the shit if I want. I can go back to being a perfect little Templar, under the Chantry's rule. So they can rule every little aspect of my life."

Diedrich narrowed his eyes, raising a hand as she went to speak again. No, she was going to fucking listen. "You're a warden, you can get it whenever you want. I get that...but as you said. You're dying. Which means...eventually you are going to leave...and then I'm back at square one. I'm either going to have to restart this whole process or go skipping back to the chantry. So fuck you, Nolani. You might be dying but at least you do have choices."

Dec 6 2017, 02:52 PM
as played by SQUEE

23" posts

group

Warrior
She was prepared for his anger, for him to square back up to her. Her arm shot up, forearm placed against his chest, to create a barrier so he would not force her backwards. Diedrich still had a one and a half reach on her (it seemed sometimes) and height to force her to look up, but she was a fortress withstanding the weather. “No! That’s not-!” But he talked over her and she sneered. “That’s not what I said!” she yelled, loudest yet but he kept over her.

“No! I want ya ta-!”

She slapped his hand aside as he raised it in front of her face, her breath growling. She hadn't thought about after she was gone. What he might have to do. What options he’d have. She was thinking here, now, tomorrow, and, Creators willing, the next few months. Could she stand to watch his suffering?

“CHOICES?!” she roared. Nolani shoved him back again, her canines flashing as she bared her teeth. “Ta go inta the deep roads and hope ta die before I lose my mind and turn inta one of them!” Her voice jumped an octave at the end of that sentence, betraying her fear. She wouldn't become a darkspawn. She wouldn't become a ghoul. She wouldn't! She refused! “That’s the Warden way! I won't do that! My song starts tomorrow, and Faylin takes my fucking head off! That’s my choice! I won't become one of them!”

She paused, breathing raggedly, her throat hurt slightly from speaking higher than usual. All she could think of was Tamlen. Tamlen lumbering from the dark, eyes sunk and silver and absent. Dead but walking. In a whirl, Nolani kicked the bucket into the dark. Shoving back her hair that had fallen in her face, she jutted her chin forward. “Ya stand here and ya’d let me watch ya die! Yer choice but fuck ya! I don't have ta like it!”

Cruelty tangled within the thoughts in her mind. She wanted to goad him. Get a rise. Make him furious. She glared darkly at him and spat, her shoulders hunched like an animal ready to fight or spring. “Ya know what? We get back to camp and I’ll give ya yer dagger back. Maybe ya will kill me in yer sleep and spare me.”
Dec 6 2017, 06:51 PM
as played by ANGEL

24" posts

group

Warrior
There was a point that he reached that all thought of feelings and comfort left his mind. It was like a switch in his brain where all he wanted to do was fight.
Diedrich bared his teeth at her as she screamed at him, and his breath was ragged and coming out in hisses between his teeth. His gaze darkened and he tilted his head at her with fury in his expression as she slapped his hand away from her.

"You seem to love going in there anyways!" He snapped at her. How many times had she drug them into the deeproads only to tell him if things got bad to get the fuck out? Was this whole thing an excuse to attempt to push him away? Nolani didn't really seem the type to dance around the truth, but he'd been surprised before.

Everything slowed down as she snapped at him again, those words of her death echoing in his ears louder than anything else. Diedrich wasn't even aware of when he had moved, the next thing he knew her blood coated his knuckles as his fist connected with her lip. His other hand snapped up to catch her fist as she went to retaliate the punch, and he used his larger frame to push her back, pinning her against a tree.

"You can scream at me. You can punch me and kick me and even stab me to your hearts content. But don't you ever say that again. Do you hear me? I will not be responsible for the death of someone I love again. I won't.." Diedrich tightened his hold on her fist before he shoved it out of the wave and dipped his head down to capture her lips in a hard, demanding kiss. He tasted her blood against his tongue, and he released a harsh breath through his nose.

As the kiss broke, he raised his hand to gently rub his thumb against her lower lip where her lip was busted. Diedrich tilted his head at her, his lips curving into a slight smile. He snorted softly, bitterly, and shook his head.

"We are so bad for each other....you know that right?" Because they were so similar and they fed each other's anger until they were both ready to kill each other.
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