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Posted: Apr 10 2018, 06:10 PM
How long had it been?
Hours? Days? Minutes?
Cassandra had been so preoccupied with getting up to the Conclave that they had missed all the signs. The fucking green tear in the sky? Yeah, that one. Bad sign — very bad sign. And they had walked right into it like they were gods; like nothing could hurt them. But, as soon as they were close enough to feel the static energy pulsing from the center of the rift, they had been sucked in. All of them.
After that, all Varric remembered after that was snippets: wandering around, staring at the same rocks over and over again. How many times had he walked past that statue? Was that the same one from before? He had thought he was going to lose his mind in the Fade.
Just when he thought he had reached his breaking point, it expelled him. Like a cough of phlegm he was forced back into the real world…right on his face.
Varric lay there for a few seconds, hardly able to process what had just happened. A guttural growl escaped his mouth, which parted slightly. The dirt on his lips tasted like home. Shit, was that even possible? Was he in the Deep Roads?
Fucking nightmare. All he wanted to do was be back in Kirkwall, feet kicked up at the Hanging Man. But no — he was here — eating dirt that had probably been pissed on by Maker only knew how many dwarves and darkspawn.
“Bianca…” He muttered, his hands finding comfort in the crossbow that was still slung across his back. Alright, at least something made sense. His hand went to his chest, next, momentarily clutching at the thick tufts of chest hair that remained. Ok, two things still made sense. “What the hell have we gotten ourselves into this time…”
The dwarf groaned, forcing himself slowly to a seated position as he looked around the dimly lit thaig. Definitely Deep Roads, but he didn’t recognize the rock surrounding him. It wasn’t Orzammar. He could be anywhere. Andraste’s tits. Varric thought, lifting his hand and turning it over so he could look at the palm. A rock must have cut him when he fell. “Did it hurt, Varric? When you fell from heaven? Is that what you’re going to tell all the girls back in Kirkwall?” He asked, turning over onto his back. The dwarf exhaled deeply, momentarily closing his eyes. He had no idea where he was. Not a fucking clue.
But he couldn’t sit here. Varric knew better than to play a sitting duck. He needed to get on the move and he needed to stop the bleed. Leaning down, the dwarf used a surprising amount of force to rip at the hem of his shirt, creating a small strip that he used to wrap up his left palm. It would do for now, but he hoped there was a settlement nearby.
Left or right? Varric pulled out a gold coin, flipped it, and turned to his left. He started walking, destination unsure. Maker’s balls he should’ve gone back to Kirkwall when he had the chance.
Posted: Apr 11 2018, 08:43 AM
Carver’s luck had long since run out—it’d been bled dry. It was only going to be a matter of time; with the odds always stacked against him as they were, something like this was bound to happen.
He wasn’t a Grey Warden, but he wasn’t… dead, either. Something in between, toeing the line of uncertainty, forcing him to question his faith. Why would the Maker allow this? Why couldn’t he just die? Carver would have taken a blade to his own throat had he not been worried about the consequences of death in this state. He would never be allowed to be with his family like this. A monster, more blackness to be wrought upon the Golden City. No, he would be cast out—rejected, and nothing scared him more than that.
The Templar was deteriorating fast. He’d been unable to keep down any more Darkspawn blood since his faux-joining, much to his dismay. It hadn’t been right, Anders had known that, but he thought it would have bought him a bit more time than simply losing his life in the deep roads. He’d lost track of how long they had been stuck down here. Months? Weeks? It was hard to tell, when every single winding tunnel looked the same. Perhaps he should just become subject to a half-life down there, eventually snuffing out the mage, when he became one of them.
His arm was slung over the mage’s shoulder who was—rather impressively—doing a decent job of handling the Templar’s weight as he struggled to keep pace. The feeling of being so close to him made him sick to his stomach. He didn’t know what was brewing but he wanted nothing more than to strangle him, rip into his flesh—this went beyond the regular annoyance he held for the maniac.
Carver did not blame the mage. But still, he wanted to hurt him—and that was more than troubling. He hadn’t told Anders, he hadn’t told Anders anything—simply suffered in silence. Carver had opted to not sleep nights anymore, after the joining. He was always awake when Anders rose, and simply explained he was a light sleeper. The truth was, he didn’t need to anymore.
Something was horribly wrong.
He’d lost all of his color, even worse than his time in Kirkwall, from his time of being around all of those Darkspawn in Lothering—perhaps he’d always been a liability to them, and on the borderline of getting the taint, but simply hadn’t realized it, then. There had to be something in the chemical makeup to lure a man into becoming a Darkspawn—because Anders remained healthy as a horse.
The pupils on his dark eyes rounded—he’d lost the ring of bright blue around them, but had no access to a looking glass so it’d caused him no alarm—as he caught the smell of something. It sang to him, urging him forward—stronger than any lyrium withdrawal. Carver pushed away from Anders almost rudely, picking up his pace with a zeal he’d been lacking for days—explaining only came as an afterthought. ”There’s something up there that’s going to help me,” Carver spoke, his voice hoarse, unused, and the hopeful smile he shot Anders did not come off as such, not with its wicked curve and his dark eyes.
Practically bounding through the tunnel, he forced himself to a stop when he rounded on the stunted figure—a dwarf, but the smell was coming from him.
Oh no, Maker, please, no….
Carver zeroed in on the material around his hand, and the blossoming of red through it. That. That was what he wanted. He swallowed hard, the bob of his throat telling of his confliction. The dwarf’s face was still shadowed, and Carver called out a warning from the few yards’ distance in the dark:
”Get away from me, or I swear to the Maker, I’m going to bloody kill you.”
Posted: Apr 11 2018, 02:00 PM
Stupid mage. It was what he had been repeating in his head over and over and over since Carver had been showing the signs. Anders wanted to say that helping Carver was a purely innocent act, but the truth of the matter was he was being incredibly selfish. It would have been better, kinder, to just put the man to the knife, save him from this torment. Instead, he kept him alive, urging him to drink the darkspawn blood with false hopes that it would make him better, solely because he didn't want to be alone. It was true that Carver perhaps hated him, but it was better to be around someone who hated him than be lost in the expanse of tunnels with nothing but his own agony and thoughts to keep him company.
It was why Carver's weight didn't bother him, even if the young Hawke wasn't exactly a small man. Being a grey warden--and an abomination--Anders was perhaps stronger than normal, not to mention his job as a doctor required him to be able to manhandle patients without help if need be. So he didn't complain, merely walked in silence with the occasional snarky quip just to get an angry response from the man he held up. Because anger meant he was still alive. He was still him.
"Carver," Anders called once the man suddenly shoved him away. He frowned, watching him move forward with a new sense of purpose. The response he received told him nothing, but it caused unease to spread through him. He couldn't sense anything, so it wasn't darkspawn and it wasn't a grey warden. The only other thing that he could think of was spider or deepstalker and neither one of those would help Carver in anything. "Oh bloody hell," he muttered, picking up his pace to try and catch up to the templar at the sinister smile that crossed Carver's face.
"I swear if you run ahead and fall into a crater I am not helping you." It was a lie, but he was annoyed and concerned enough to make it almost sound convincing at least. He watched Carver come to a halt suddenly, and he swore the man grew even paler than he had been--if that was even possible. The words he heard come from Carver's mouth had his hackles raising, but once he had come into sight, once he saw not what but who Carver was speaking to his attention was automatically snapped back to Carver.
"Carver. I know what you're thinking and do not do it." Anders took a step forward, holding his hands up in the universal sign of surrender, in the case an attempt to ease Carver as he approached him. He could take the man down, especially in this state, but he honestly would rather not.
"Fancy meeting you here Varric." Anders spoke forcefully cheerful as he continued his slow walk around Carver's side. "You'll have to excuse Carver, he has worse manners than usual as of late."
Posted: Apr 11 2018, 05:18 PM
He was going to have to write about this: a hero, drawn into the Fade only to find himself thrown into the Deep Roads. Maybe he would meet the love of his life: a mysterious darkspawn with a heart of gold. They would fall deeply in love, despite the consequences.
Wait…what? He was losing his touch. No one was going to buy a book about a Dwarf and a Darkspawn.
Someone rounded the corner and Varric pulled Bianca, the sight lingering just at head level. He couldn’t see more than an outline; tall, probably human, heavy armor. Varric was almost immediately ticking a list of weaknesses: the joints in the armor would be weak, the neck, the face. “Woah, slow down there, kid. You’ll trip on a rock. The dirt tastes terrible, trust me.” Maker, he was the one who had run up on him! Crazy…
The light hit the man’s face just right. His face. “Hawke?”
He’d recognize him anywhere: Carver Hawke…here in the Deep Roads.
Was he dreaming? How hard had he hit his head when he fell out of the sodding Fade?
Sometimes, it felt like Carver was all Varric had left of his old life. Everyone else had moved on…but he and Junior, they had stayed and rebuilt Kirkwall…together. They had grown close in the years after the rebellions. When Hawke, Orsino, and Meredith were gone, Varric and Junior remained.
They never missed drinks at the Hanged Man.
It was Cassandra’s fault they hadn’t seen each other in some time. Bitch had him kidnapped and detained in Ferelden while she tried to figure out what happened to Hawke.
Varric immediately pointed Bianca at the ground, an easy smile on his lips. “Are we past hugs? You too old for that now?”
But Carver was still panting a few paces away. Varric narrowed his gaze; he could tell something was wrong. It wasn’t something he could easily put his finger on, but the dim lighting of the thaig illuminated pale skin and dark eyes.
He didn’t want to lose Junior.
Another familiar face appeared around the corner, raising his hands and maneuvering around the ravenous looking Carver. “Blondie, you’re here too. It’s a family reunion!” He laughed — it was the only thing he could think to do. It had been a while since they had seen each other — a while since the Chantry had been blown to bits. “Could’ve used your mom’s pillow a few minutes ago. The fall out of the Fade isn’t exactly comfortable.”
He was still eyeing Carver carefully, trying to hide his concern. “Am I glad to see you assholes.” He moved Bianca back to her idle position on his back. “What are you doing down here? The Deep Roads weren’t either of your favorite places to take a walk, last I checked.”
Posted: Apr 11 2018, 06:31 PM
Not him. Anyone but him. He hadn’t seen Varric in months and had thought his friend dead, after he’d been seized by the Seeker in search of his brother—Carver had been out on Templar business or perhaps they would have taken him, as well. He didn’t know where they’d taken him, despite all of his questioning about it—no one else seemed to know, either. He wanted to feel relief that he was alive, but he didn’t—the world was spinning in front of him: the blood on his hand forced him to take another step closer, as much as he willed his body not to. He wished that his ankle was still broken from that altercation with Justice some time ago—it would have made it harder to close the distance between them.
All of Varric’s humor, which normally would have had him grinning ear to ear after he failed to keep a stony face around him for more than a minute, didn’t cause a reaction in him at all. He swallowed again, listening to Varric talk, hoping that he would be able to use it as a sort of focus point to bring him back, but it was like trying to keep bile down—it just wasn’t going to happen. Not with his blood out in the open like that. Carver’s hand pressed hard on the side of the cavern, knuckles turning white in an attempt to keep himself in place. He didn’t have the mentality to respond to his first crack, instead focusing on the facts. “We’ve been down here for—weeks, at least….” His tone hardly had flow to it—his words came out rough, jagged. ”Something brought us here—Maker..” Carver grimaced, steeling himself harder against the wall, trying to get that pull of blood out of his head, but it wouldn’t come easy.
He wasn’t going to be able to keep up the conversation like this. A few more words, maybe even a wave of Varric’s hand and he’d lunge—and the Templar wasn’t sure if either of them would be able to stop him. “Anders….” He’d unfortunately grown accustomed to addressing the mage by name, ever since he’d saved his life, the first time. He hoped he wouldn’t have to say what needed to be done to stop this, because he didn’t think he could talk anymore. He felt hot, too hot, like someone had lit a match and dropped it down his throat. It was starting to aggravate him, and no one liked Carver before when he started to get ill-tempered—he doubted that would change in their current situation.
He had to get away from that blood, or he was afraid of what he might become after getting to it. Carver tried to narrow his thoughts to all of their good times—one particular moment stuck out to him, and he recalled Varric on his shoulders, repeatedly punching a Tal-Vashoth in the face when they’d gone out not entirely sober outside the city limits. Varric had wound up sailing off, face first in the sand, and it was that image alone that kept him from putting the dwarf’s wrist in a vice grip and—
”Anders, do something!”
Posted: Apr 11 2018, 07:04 PM
Oh Varric. The dwarfs cheer and optimism was sorely needed as of late and was very much appreciated, even if most of his attention was focused on Carver. Varric's words were bittersweet. A distant memory of attempting to make the most of his friendships before they were forever tainted by his actions that day. Still, they drew forth a chuckle from his lips.
"Well, if only we could go back in time." Anders could tell that Carver was fighting, barely holding on to his sanity and it was a feeling he knew all too well. The sound of his name falling from Carver's lips was as close to a plea as the templar could get and it caused Anders to wince slightly. The following snarl for him to act caused his brows to pull together into concern.
Anders raised his hands, drawing an intricate pattern in the air, illuminated by a soft blue glow--not the harsh brightness of Justice. The ground beneath Carver shimmered, a glpyh appearing under the Templars feet. It wouldn't hold him long, especially if he had half a mind to use his templar abilities, but hopefully it would be long enough.
The mage turned from Carver, keeping one eye on him even as he approached Varric. He gestured loosely at the dwarf's injured hand. "May I?"
Waiting until he had permission, he took Varric's hand in his. The tips of his fingers became frosted as he formed ice beneath his palm, using it to clean the blood from Varric's skin the best he could. "Well you see," he began while he worked, keeping one eye locked on Carver as he spoke. "Carver and I were taking a lovely stroll, where he was showing me his utter lack of knowledge. Let's say I...lost my temper?" He didn't need to explain more, after all the dwarf spent ten years with him and knew all too well the dangers of his temper. Retelling the story was also an attempt to redirect Carver's attention onto himself instead of on Varric.
"Which causes the Fade to open up and swallow us. Carver got a lesson on why you don't listen to demon's in the Fade, unless of course they are the one you've been traveling with for days." Anders took a breath, letting the cold melt away into the warmth of his healing magic as blue light engulfed the injury, knitting it back together. "Well anyways, the idiot almost died. The Fade spit us out here and here we are. Happy as can be!"
Anders released Varric's hand finally the wound closed and most traces of the blood gone except for what could be found on the mages on fingers. It was just in time too as the paralyze spell sputtered and then died, releasing Carver from it's grasp.
Posted: Apr 12 2018, 05:48 AM
Carver looked bad — worse than Varric had ever seen him.
Maybe there was a part of him that always wanted to turn a blind eye. He wasn’t a healer, he couldn’t do anything but make people laugh…or stare. One of which Junior was getting really good at. He watched the internal struggle, like an animal trying to talk himself out of the hunt…and Varric was paralyzed. He didn’t want to run from the only people he had come across in this pile of dirt…especially not since they were Carver and Anders. What was wrong with him?
Thankfully Anders was a voice of reason, bringing him out of his own thoughts…and pushing him right back into the rabbit hole. Andraste’s holy asshole, Anders always had a way of doing that.
It seemed like only yesterday they were all standing around and Anders was spewing his “last will and testament,” offering Varric his mother’s cross-stitched pillow to remember him by. Why were they all so horrible at goodbyes? At least Anders had tried. Hawke just —
It didn’t matter, now.
Blondie had trapped Carver in some sort of rune — stopping him from advancing any closer. That only added to Varric’s suspicions that something was horribly, monstrously wrong. His hand inadvertently closed, the blood stained cloth now clutched in his own fingers. “Yeah…yeah, go ahead,” Varric said, his eyes still on Carver. He could tell that Anders was focused over there, as well, keeping a close watch on the rune that he had just magicked into existence.
He was glad dwarves couldn’t do magic — it was too…cerebral for his liking.
Anders spun a tale — he wasn’t one to lie — and Varric rolled his eyes. “Justice came a-calling.” He finished. They had spent enough time together that Varric knew. It had been a source of controversy amongst the companions in Kirkwall, but Varric had a way of seeing past all that. He preferred to see people for who they were, not for whatever weird demons they allowed to inhabit their bodies. Blondie was a friend…so was Junior.
His eyes trailed off as the doc worked his magic and stared at Carver. There was always a part of him that felt he needed to look after Hawke’s little brother. It didn’t matter that Carver was a damn adult and could probably take Varric with one hand, there would always be a part of him that felt like they were family. And family didn’t abandon family.
Except Bartrand. But he was an asshole.
“I got drawn in at the Temple of Sacred Ashes. The Seeker thought it was a good idea to go poke our heads into the giant green tear in the sky. The Chantry's full of idiots,” he explained, wincing slightly as the energy Anders was producing suddenly turned from cold to hot. He looked back at Blondie who seemed to be finishing up his healing spell. Varric felt they were far enough away that the dwarf felt he could safely whisper to Anders. “What happened to him?” How did they always end up in shit like this? Sometimes, Varric liked to blame it on Hawke. Carver’s older brother seemed to be a beacon for trouble. But that wouldn’t explain how they were all here without him.
“Thanks, Blondie,” He said when his skin had finished stretching itself back together. “You’re a real life saver. And right on queue…you always had good timing,” He muttered as the rune faded back into the Deep Road’s dirt. “Alright, everything’s okay now, kid. Now will you shut up before you let the whole world know exactly where we are? I don’t really want to fight a darkspawn army. Or the dwarves. Or both…” Varric held up his hand, which was free of any injury or blood thanks to Anders’ handy work.
Posted: Apr 12 2018, 08:59 AM
Carver watched with relief as Anders closed the distance between himself and Varric, and started to work. He’d come to rely on the mage far too much to be deemed appropriate, especially now—he just couldn’t help it, there was no choice in it for him, anymore. The cruel hands of fate had already turned him towards the road he was meant to go down and slammed the door—all he could do was walk forwards, no matter how slowly—it was the only way he could go. He focused on their conversation as the two talked, still losing himself—hardly able to contribute himself, even though he wanted to. He wanted to tell Varric how glad he was to see him, and Anders to shut up.
He was grateful for the glyph to hold him in place—now, he didn’t have to fight anymore because Anders’ magic would do it for him. He thought he heard himself snarl as Anders unwrapped the makeshift bandage and started to fix the dwarf’s wound—but nothing in his head had been quiet ever since he’d drank that Darkspawn blood to spare his life. Honestly, the amount of times that he’d been marked for death and survived was almost funny—it was bound to have fucked up at some point. Might as well have been now, like this, where his every waking thought somehow involved taking a bite out of his friend.
Varric had a sobering point. He and Anders hadn’t been able to figure out where exactly they were, besides the deep roads, but it had rang an alarming bell that something was amiss the further they traveled and not being able to upturn a single token that was recognizable. Carver had lost focus on figuring that part of their troubles out as soon as the taint had overwhelmed him.
When it was over, and the spell around his ankles loosed, Carver didn’t try to lunge at Varric—the restraint not to had given him a tremendous amount of leeway, but it didn’t change the fact that he was hungry and couldn’t keep anything down. His features drew thin, regarding the two for a moment longer before he turned around rather violently, heaving up absolutely nothing except acid. At least he was still human enough for that.
”Sorry,” Carver apologized after he regained himself, both for the noise and the previous display. He was just glad he could talk now, without trying to force his body still. The blood was still present, but Anders had done his best to clean it up—the fact it was no longer an open wound had helped significantly. He felt it necessary to explain how this had happened, because he didn’t like the way Varric was looking at him. Anders had never looked at him like that—like he was scared.
Come to think of it, he wasn’t sure he had ever seen Varric look at anything like that before.
”I was dying. Anders performed the joining ritual on me, but it didn’t quite… take.” A grimace. ”We were hoping to find someone who could help… seeing as the wardens generally populate the deep roads, but you’re the first person we’ve found, too.”
A pause, and he carefully took a step forward, his eyes staying locked on Varric’s—his hand automatically returning to Anders’ shoulder for support. Now that he wasn’t being pumped by adrenaline to kill, he was reminded of how weak he was. ”I thought that I’d never see you again. I’m glad you’re alive.”
Posted: Apr 12 2018, 07:58 PM
Anders just made a noise of agreement in his throat as Varric made a mention of Justice. He snorted in amusement about the Chantry being full of idiots. How long had he shouted that? Although, Varric was never one to outright dismiss his crazed rants, merely just calmed him down and offered him alcohol that Justice refused to let him drink. A wistful sigh left his lips at that reminder, and he refocused on the job at hand.
Varric's quiet question made Anders' pause, although his hands continued to weave healing magic. The mage flicked his gaze towards Carver briefly and he struggled to figure out what exactly to say. He failed? Again. He wasn't watching close enough? He didn't want to be alone so he was making Carver suffer? Luckily his attention was diverted back to Varric's hand once he had finished.
"You seduce me with your kind words," Anders spoke cheekily, winking once at Varric. It was nice to feel something other than dread or the crippling fear of being stuck down here for weeks.That was beginning to ease the longer he was down here. A few times he'd had to stop, to catch his breath and remind himself that he was in fact fine.
"Carver," Anders spoke, stepping towards the other man in concern as he violently whirled around. He winced a moment later, sighing softly. His features taut with concern, and he glanced down at the ground briefly. He released yet another sigh, turning his gaze back towards Varric as he started towards Carver.
"I'm not sure when he contracted it. I'm doing all I can to help..." Anders trailed off, leaving the obvious but hanging silently in the air. He took hold of Carver's arm, looping it around his shoulders to help hold up his weight. He tried to be optimistic, but he knew how this would end if they didn't find help soon. He didn't know anything about these tunnels, not that he knew any of them, but something felt different. The darkspawn they had come across were harder to fight, they were louder in his head.
"On the bright side, as long as we're quiet, the darkspawn don't seem to notice us anymore!" It was a very bad attempt at being optimistic. The darkspawn ignored him because he was a Grey Warden. They ignored Carver because...he was becoming one of them.
Posted: Apr 13 2018, 04:38 AM
“No harm, no foul,” Varric said shrugging his shoulders. He tried his hardest to ignore the aching feeling in the pit of his stomach. He tried even harder to ignore those boring eyes of Carver’s. It looked like he hadn’t eaten in days; sallow skin was beginning to show the wear and tear of whatever it was that he was battling.
And then it came out: The Joining. Maker, of course it was the Joining.
He didn’t know much — only rumors that had trickled down over the years. The Grey Wardens liked to keep their business mostly that, but Varric had managed to wrangle some of the details. Which of those were fact and which were fiction, he wasn’t quite sure. But he knew one thing: it involved Darkspawn blood. If that were the case, it would explain why Carver looked closer to death than he did to life.
“Course I’m alive, Junior. Darkspawn, mage rebellions, big green tears in the sky…nothing’s going to keep me down,” Varric approached, slinging Bianca over his back and finally sheathing his weapon. Nothing had rounded the corner fo murder them…at least, not yet. “And nothing’s going to keep you down, either.” He put on a signature smile, trying to reassure everyone — maybe even himself.
Family was such a strange concept for Varric. He had always hated his. Bartrand was an ass — a dead ass. The rest of his family (imagined and otherwise) stayed out of his business. He didn’t seek them out either. But it was his chosen family that had come to mean the most to him. Hawke, Carver, Anders…hell, he even counted Aveline and Fenris among the bunch: they were what he fought for. And right now, it looked like they were going to be doing a lot of fighting…especially if Carver had gone through a botched Joining.
Anders was now supporting Carver, holding him up. The dwarf would be little help in dragging the human through the tunnels…Varric snorted, shaking his head. “Built in cover, I could get used to this.” He reached up to give Carver a squeeze on his forearm, attempting comfort, though he wasn’t sure if it would help. He wasn’t even sure if Junior could feel his hand.
He looked to Blondie, giving him a knowing smile. For all the differences the pair of them had — Anders and Carver — he was trying to help. Varric knew that. Now, it was his turn to try and help.
Maybe they were close to Orzammar, he thought. Then again, he wouldn’t really know. He was born on the surface; he knew so little of the Deep Roads apart from what they had explored. “So we’ll keep going.” He muttered, crouching to look at the dirt. It didn’t seem like one path was travelled more than the other (or maybe his eyes were giving out on him). They were fucked. But at least they were together. “If we’re anywhere close to Orzammar, they might have something that can help. I’ve never heard of anything, but I’m not a downstairs, dirt and grime kind of dwarf.” They needed something — anything — that could save Carver.
He wasn’t going to lose his family.
“I can scout ahead and see what I can find…or we can stick together.”
Posted: Apr 16 2018, 09:01 AM
It still burned, slow and long, in the pit of his stomach—a flame that kept him hot, tied to himself, maybe. A lesser man might have broken by now—one who lacked conviction, a reason to stay himself. Carver would not succumb so easily, there was no reason for him not to fight when there was everything worth fighting for. Losing himself down here, now that he’d just found Varric, it would be a zero sum, and he would remain nothing—be nothing.
He would not go down without a fight.
Perhaps he should have been more grateful for the mage’s concern, but now his touch just angered him, poured oil over the embers in the pit of his stomach. He shoved him off, still surprisingly strong, considering the mental and physical torment Carver was going through. ”I’ll walk myself,” He spoke through near-gritted teeth, already feeling slightly bad for the outburst, but it was different now.
Carver had to come to terms with the fact that no one was able to help him. He was going to have to fight this, or die. Someone else would just get in the way, perhaps in the line of his fire, and he didn’t want that. It was a constant ringing in his head that made him want to hit something. He’d always been violent but this was even more so. He had matured enough to know that he couldn’t punch his way out of everything, and he doubted using excessive force on a rock wall was going to do anything but make him hurt, in other ways.
”No. I’ll go ahead.” Carver said abruptly, gaze sliding past Varric as he sidestepped him, picking up the pace to get away from that blood. After all, what was the point of one of the others leading? They weren’t expendable, and going to die anyway. If he was going to go out, it might as well have been protecting the people he cared about.
He traveled at the head of the group in silence for a time, until he was forced to a stop. There was something in the air, something that made his skin crawl, and a small scratching in the corner of his mind that he’d come to associate with the Darkspawn. An uncomfortable pull of his blood and he knew they were there. The mage would know, too. Carver drew his sword, and pointed it towards the pair. ”Stay back. I’ll clear the way.”
The Templar moved with confidence, rounding to find the mass of Darkspawn—more than he’d thought, but now he could see why—they had a mage with them, those hardly traveled alone, and somehow had a way to pull more around them for protection. His face pulled into a grimace and he charged them around the outside first. What unnerved him more was that they didn’t attack—he likely could have passed by without them even giving him the time of day—but he knew the same would not be said for the others. Their lack of response to his presence just made him angrier, and he charged through the first line, kicking one back to stagger into the mage, slicing through another, and jabbing his elbow to a third.
Now that he’d started he had provoked them, so they fought back, more spawning from around the corners. His arms screamed with every swing, having had so little nutrients since he’d done the “joining” that his body was more viable to lock up, and it was showing. Carver was quickly overwhelmed, unable to keep the numbers down for every one he managed to take down.
He didn’t stop fighting, but he’d relaxed, the pounding in his head hard to focus on what was actually happening around him, and a strange sense of peace flooded over his nerves, spreading calm.
Maker, lift me from a world of pain… Judge me worthy of Your endless pride.
Posted: Apr 20 2018, 10:14 AM
Anders hissed in annoyance as Carver shoved him away. He released a breath, crossing his arms as he stared after Carver's retreating form. Bloody stubborn fool. He was probably going to stumble into a nest of deepstalkers and get eaten. Or spiders. He wondered if the young Hawke had the same phobia as his brother? Anders shook his head, throwing his arms up before he started forward.
"Come on, Varric, before the idiot trips and falls into a nest of something nasty. I'm not helping him if he does." Which was a lie. Despite Carver's attitude most of the time, and the way that he made him want to strangle the life out of him, he couldn't bring himself to just not help him. He wanted to sometimes. Just to turn and leave him bitching in the middle of the deeproads, but he wasn't that far gone down the rabbit hole of insane vengeance just yet. Lucky for Carver.
The mage's step slowed to a stop just mere feet behind Carver, and he knew that Carver sensed it too. Anders raised a hand to stop Varric, muttering low for the dwarf to hear. "Darkspawn." Varric knew by now to trust Anders' judgement when it came to the blasted creatures of the deep. After all, Hawke had drug his sorry ass into the deeproads for their expedition solely because having a grey warden with them would be good. Hawke was good at doing that, talking people into doing things they didn't really want to do. Carver didn't get that ability. He just thought he'd hit things until it went his way.
"Carver!" Anders snapped too late as the warrior charged in. The mage released a harsh breath, tipping his head back to stare at the ceiling of the deeproads. Was this some kind of punishment for his crimes? Babysitting the youngest Hawke while he ran off to do something stupid? Actually no...it was just like normal really. Hawke was constantly doing something stupid and getting into trouble. He had just traded in for the newer model it seemed.
"Andraste's flaming tits, I swear," Anders muttered under his breath as he started forward. He didn't need to tell Varric what to do, he was a skilled fighter and knew how to handle himself. The only one that needed to be told apparently was Carver. Bloody idiot. He fully expected to continue his tirade as he approached the darkspawn that were massing around Carver, but the moment his eyes landed on the emissary he remained frozen to the spot.
He could feel the mage pulling at his mind, word whispering in his head at a pace he almost couldn't understand them. He'd felt this before. With Hawke and the others during their trip to that fun little prison in the desert. Anders swallowed thickly, trying to will his body to respond but all he could feel was Justice stirring at the intrusion of his mind. He tried to speak, tried to warn Varric as the dwarf moved closer and yet nothing would come out. He felt the emissary pushed harder against his mind, trying to bend it to his will and Anders grit his teeth. Anders watched in growing horror as the darkspawn began to overwhelm Carver, and the stupid idiot did nothing. He literally just stood there. The whispering in his mind grew louder and Anders was able to shake his head, trying to clear it from his mind.
There was something different about these darksapwn. They felt wrong. Anders grit his teeth, focusing on the emissary. If he could just get that bastard then maybe. Maker this was going to hurt. Pushing past the frenzy of whispers in his head, he grasped for the one spell that he didn't use often. It hurt to use it, but in this instance, it was the only option that he had. A sound almost like a shockwave exploded from him, harmlessly passing through the darkspawn, Carver, and Varric. The emissary screamed in pain as it hit it, a crushing prison of light blue mist falling around it.
Anders groaned as it's presence left his mind, and he staggard slightly. "The emissary," he groaned out to Varric. "Kill...the emissary."
The other darkspawn seemed to scatter momentarily in confusion as their leader was brought to it's knees, the mana clash stealing away it's magic as well as inflicting damage on it's corrupted body.