I was going to type out a definition of where I got the idea for this story, but it actually can be found at http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Dragon_Age_II. For the most part, I follow the game, but my story runs around and through it.
I’m not going to post the whole story right away, just bits and pieces of it. See what you think.
And now, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Dragon Age II – The Actual Story
The Midnight Visitor
It is said that anything can and will happen at The Hanged Man tavern. This could be true due mainly to the fact that it’s the most popular place in Kirkwall. Well, ok, it’s the cheapest tavern in Kirkwall – especially since it’s located in Lowtown, which is north of the docks.
For those of you who don’t know, Kirkwall –or The City of Chains as some call it – is a coastal city-state and a major population center located in the Free Marches, a group of city-states situated in the eastern continent of Thedas. It’s on the southern edge of the Vimmark Mountain range, east of the Planasene Forest, and north across the Waking Sea from the kingdom of Ferelden.
Ah! That’s right! You’re a stranger to these parts, I readily forgot. Forgive me.
Our world, you see, is of magic and adventure – for most. You will find Humans, Elves, Dwarves and other types of interesting beings both benevolent and downright evil. It’s literally divided into two realms: Ferelden and the Free Marches on one side, the Tevinter Imperium on the other. Ferelden’s a bit on the younger side, having been around only four hundred years or so. The Free Marches have been around much longer – since the time of Andraste.
Um, you’ll learn about her later.
The Tevinter Imperium is the oldest realm and still ruled by powerful magistrates. But I digress.
The Hanged Man itself isn’t big, but it looks bigger inside than it does from the outside: the largest area of course is the bar and tavern itself. When you first enter, you are in a tiny foyer. And I do mean tiny; three big men could barely fit in there.
Once you enter the tavern common, you’ll see four large pillars: one directly to your left, one between the bar and the stairs, one directly to your right and one half-way between the right pillar and the back wall.
Tattered and torn maroon banners run over and between low-hanging, mismatched ‘chandeliers’. These were more dangling fire pits than the elegant picture one would think of when hearing the word.
Three-foot tall and narrow windows dot the walls in uneven places about half-way to the ceiling, while old, dusty tapestries cover the rest. Odd murals line the bottom of some of the walls – made back in the days of Tevinter rule.
The bar itself is located to the left, behind the pillar and against the wall, and is large enough to sit 10 grown men – if there were barstools. Five smaller pillars hold up a makeshift shelf where sit a few kegs of either alcohol or dried meats.
The wooden floor is by no means clean – I think there are still blood stains from last year’s fights still visible.
Seven sets of unique and interesting tables, wooden chairs, benches and other odds and ends make up the rest of the large area.
On the opposite side of the entrance is a wall with a small flight of stairs.
At the top of these stairs sit the rooms: four residential rooms and two storage rooms. The largest, the suite, is reserved for Varric Tethras, a smooth-talking and very knowledgeable rogue, bard and surface dwarf. From this vantage point, he is privy to just about all information that comes and goes in the bustling city.
The tall, cloaked and hooded figure melted into the main tavern area from the darkness outside. Despite the heavy rain, the figure looked almost dry. Uncharacteristically from others who preceded and followed, this person left their hood up as they looked around the area. Despite the late hour, the tavern was still bustling.
Not seeing who or what was wanted, the person walked up to the bar – in the corner closer to the darkness and away from prying ears and eyes.
Corff was tending bar that night. His stoic, expressionless blue eyes glanced at the newcomer before the blonde man motioned for Norah – the main serving wench. He whispered to her when she arrived and kept shooting sideways glances at the figure as he spoke, making it plain what his topic of conversation was.
Feigning ignorance, the figure merely waited until Norah approached.
“What’ll it be, hon?”
“Actually,” the voice whispered, though she could hear it quite well over the din of the tavern, “I’m looking for my uncle.”
“We have a lot of folks come through here. Anything in particular you could tell me that could set him apart from anyone else?” She moved her arm out and away from her and fanned it towards part of the tavern away from the bar.
The tall figure never moved. “His name … is Varric.”
“Varric?” Norah looked him up and down for a moment, her eyes rather wide.
“I’ll … see what I can do.” She said nervously as she rapidly moved away from him and pushed her way through the crowd.
The figure kept its eyes on her, though she wasn’t aware of it. Norah did do her best to try to lose herself in the tavern area before she reappeared by the stairs and quickly walked up.
It wasn’t that she was bad at disappearing – she had, after all, lots of practice at doing that. It’s just that the figure was better at keeping an eye on its prey.
When she successfully disappeared upstairs, the figure looked around again, sizing up the patrons tonight, wondering who was and who wasn’t someone of interest; who would or wouldn’t be necessary to dispose of; who may or may not be an ally.
As the being sat, watched and waited, memories came – some foreign. Hardened eyes temporarily saw other times and other people sitting about the tavern. For a moment, two shadows in particular almost came into focus and those same said eyes softened.
After a moment, movement at the top of the stairs brought the person back to this reality.