When going over this story, it’s hard sometimes to not write down certain things that I know happened, may have happened, haven’t happened or that I want to happen. Unsure whether to omit them to increase suspense or add them to keep the audience in the know, I tend to wonder how some writers do it.
Today’s picture is called Anders/Justice by Rayne430. Yes, it’s DeviantArt and can be found at http://rayne430.deviantart.com/art/Anders-Justice-384767846.
Anders isn’t the only important person to my story.
Next Stop Darktown
Year 2, Day 21 – mid evening in Darktown
It was rather late when they arrived in Darktown. Because of what Lirene had said, they figured they’d be able to catch the mage if they took their time getting there. As they made their way to where they overheard the Warden would be Carver brought something to Hawke’s attention.
“Isn’t this the way we went to get to our estate?”
Hawke looked around and nodded. Maybe coincidence or fate, but it gave him a good feeling about this. They found the lit lantern before two closed doors, looked around a bit, then opened one of them.
Six pillars greeted them, three to the left and three to the right. Tapestries similar to the ones both inside and outside The Hanged Man hung intermittently along the walls. The floor was dirt and there was clutter off to the left. Close to one of the larger pillars were three people circled around someone laying on what they could only guess was a table. The only light close enough to them was a small lantern and in its meek glow they saw two men standing and a woman crouching over a patient, for lack of a better word.
One of the men, a tall blonde, was moving his hands over the person on the table. As they moved, they started glowing and in the faint light it appeared as though he were trying to withdraw whatever malady the patient was cursed with. None of them noticed the party walk in. The man, the mage, moved with urgency and persistence, concentrating on his patient, trying everything he could to help him. Exhaustion showed on his face, but he didn’t falter, he didn’t stop until whatever had been wrong with the person was banished. When it was done, the person on the table, a child, sat up completely healed. The woman, his mother perhaps smiled and hugged him.
The mage stumbled slightly, then turned and started moving away. The other man there, the father perhaps, walked up to and thanked the mage before the family departed. On that cue, Hawke and his party approached.
The blonde man put a hand to his head; the pain and fatigue proved it had been a long night, and it barely began. He was so wrapped up on trying to pep himself up for the next patient that he didn’t hear the party approach. His only inkling was when Justice warned him. They didn’t notice his eyes glowing blue because his back was turned to them. He quickly grabbed his staff that was leaning by the pillar close to him and turned to face them, holding a hand out to them both to protect himself and to cast if necessary.
“I have made this place a sanctum of healing and salvation. Why do you threaten it?” He, and Justice, asked.
Unaware of his condition, the group noted how different his voice sounded. Hawke especially stood transfixed, but he wasn’t entirely sure why. The brown eyes that now stared at him were full of fear and pain, but there was something else within them as well. Aside from that, there was nothing extraordinary about him: thin build, unkempt stubble beard, and deep dark circles that lined his eyes. Maybe it was that his hands were shaking slightly.
The man before him also stood still and stared at him. His heart had already been beating rather hard within his chest from the healing, but now it was all he could do to keep from hearing it pound within his ears. The young man standing before him had the darkest, deepest, most soulful eyes he had ever seen.
They may have remained that way for a long time if Varric hadn’t cleared his throat.
“We…we’re just here to talk.” Hawke finally said.
“Of what?” the mage asked suspiciously.
“We’re interested in getting into the Deep Roads. Rumor has it you’re a Warden … or were one. Do you know a way?” Varric stated and asked, seeing as how Hawke seemed to be a bit tongue-tied.
Carver had been looking around during this time, then looked back at the mage. “Strange occupation for a Warden. Aren’t you more about taint and death, not healing and salvation?”
“It’s possible we could pay you to find an entrance.” Aveline interjected.
The man, Anders if they remembered Lirene correctly, lowered his hand and relaxed his stance a bit. “Humph. If I wanted money, I’ve been going about it all wrong. Did the Wardens send you to bring me back? I’m not going. Those bastards made me get rid of my cat. Poor Ser Pounce-a-lot. He hated the Deep Roads.”
“You … had a cat … named … Ser Pounce-a-Lot?” Merrill asked.
“And you had him in the Deep Roads?” Hawke added.
“He was a gift. A noble beast.” ‘Obviously she’s not a cat person.’ Anders thought as he answered Merrill but quickly turned his attention back to Hawke. ‘I wonder if he is.’ “Almost got ripped in half by a genlock once. He swatted the bugger on the nose. Drew blood, too.” He smiled proudly at the memory. “The blighted Wardens said he ‘made me too soft’. I tried arguing that the Commander of the Grey gave him to me but in the end had to give him to a friend in Amaranthine.”
“So, you came to Kirkwall just to escape the Wardens?” Hawke asked.
“You say that like it’s a small thing. Yes, I’m here because there’s no Warden outpost, no Darkspawn, and a whole host of refugees to blend in with.” He kept his eyes on Hawke for a moment longer before he lowered them and his head. “And … some reasons of my own.”
The two sides stood still and silent, looking at each other for what seemed an eternity. “I’ve always heard that joining the Wardens is for life.” Aveline said, breaking the awkward silence.
“That’s only partly true. The ‘hopelessly tainted by the Darkspawn’ and ‘plagued by nightmares about the Archdemon’ parts don’t go away. But it turns out if you hide well, you don’t have to wear the uniform or go to the parties.”
Hawke turned and looked at the others. This … wasn’t going anywhere near the way he thought it would.