A Search for the Truth
The figure stood and started walking through the crowd towards the familiar, stout form of the rogue dwarf. Although packed, the person made cutting through look easy, unlike Norah.
Varric Tethras stood quietly near the top stair and kept his enigmatic brown eyes on the approaching person, studying the movements as they continued up the stairs. He wore his signature brown overcoat that cradled his beloved crossbow, Bianca, on his back. His attire, along with the fact he tied his medium length brown hair back, made him look more like a human pirate than a dwarf.
Before he could say one word to his visitor, however, a thin hand, open palm facing him, appeared from under the cloak to stop him. He smirked, and then motioned with his arm back and behind him towards his residence.
When you first walk into Varric’s abode, the first thing you see is his dining room table; a long oblong stone structure. If he were so inclined, the table would seat between eight and ten people; but as it stands, he has only two high-back, cushioned chairs to it – one on either end.
The room itself is large enough that the table is literally in the middle and not obstructing anything. To the left are three stone built-in shelves, taller obviously than Varric, which hold a number of his more treasured, less valuable knick-knacks and books he’s picked up along the way. A wooden chair sits between the first two.
A small, rectangular table sits next to that and on the far wall. This holds a number of candles and three figurine sculptures.
Next to that is the fireplace, that’s made out to look like another shelf unit.
“Well, it’s not often that I get a family member looking for me.” He started once he shut the door. “Especially one who doesn’t owe me, wants to sell me out or kill me. It’s been a while, Small Fry. How’ve you been?”
The cloaked figure had walked all the way to the fireplace before Varric had spoken. Now, he turned around and lowered his hood.
Elven ears poked up over a bald head. Hardened eyes, which had once shone bright lilac, now appeared slate grey as he gazed at the man. “Hello, Uncle. It’s been a while since I’ve heard that name, though I am hardly small anymore.”
“Small Fry, I called you that the day your mother placed you in my arms and again when I saw you at age three and you were calling me ‘Unko’. You’ve always been ‘Small Fry’ to me.” Varric grinned brightly as he brought over a bottle and two mugs and placed them on the table. He then motioned for the elf to sit. “Would you rather I call you ….”
“No.” He answered too quickly. “I’ve not gone by that name in years; and the last time I heard it said was by my parents.” The elf sat and graciously accepted the drink Varric offered him. “Tell me, have you …?”
Varric poured the contents of the bottle into the second mug and, walking towards the other chair, took a drink of the liquid before responding. “I heard they were in Ferelden – guests of the Wardens, or under their protection.” He shrugged. “Personally, I’d wager your father returned to Tevinter, though without your mother.”
The elf also took a drink. “He was always very protective of her.”
“Love will do that to you.”
“So will mistrust – even though she wasn’t a mage.”
“She was powerful though, as was he and more so when they were together – when you have someone that powerful backing you up … but, you should know.” Varric nodded at the man. “Mage she was not but whatever ability she had all went to you. I haven’t seen them … for a very long time. Hawke was the last person to see them both, or so I’ve been told. But I’m guessing you didn’t come here for a way to a family reunion.”
“You’ve always been perceptive, Uncle. No, I’m here because I heard something, and I need the source to verify it … or deny it.”
“Ah!” Varric sat and leaned back against the back of his favorite chair. He then smiled at the man who stood and walked towards him, to better hear him and to keep the noise volume down. “Yes, I had a chance to tell the Seeker of the Chantry all about Hawke’s great adventure.”
“It was more than Hawke…”
“True, but we had agreed to tell it in a way as best to …”
“…protect me – and Mother. Yes. And I thank you as I’m sure she would and probably has. But I think I’m old enough to be told what actually happened.”
Varric chuckled as he studied the elf. “Small Fry, when did you grow up? You look older than they did when they had you – and older than what you should be.”
He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned a hip against the table. “I suppose I should thank Mom for that.”
“Possibly. Well, if you have time for this, I can relate what I know and what I never said to anyone else. But, we need a … more secure location.”
“Your residence…?” Small Fry looked around.
“Is fine for privacy, just not a lot of time, which this is going to take up a great deal. Plus I don’t want any interruptions from … uninvited guests.”
“Then where shall we go?”
“You,” Varric bit his tongue to keep from calling him ‘Small Fry’ again, “head over to the docks.” He picked up a scrap of paper and handed it to the man. “There’s actually a hidden house there. I’ll meet you there.”
Small Fry looked at the paper for a moment before taking it. “You’ve been waiting for this moment I take it?”
“I suppose you should thank Mom for that too.”
Without another word, ‘Small Fry’ covered his head and walked out of both Varric’s residence and The Hanged Man.