So I really didn’t have a picture for this post, at least nothing that I felt really fit. What I’m using is called “The World Reborn” by Nazgullow and can be found at http://nazgullow.deviantart.com/art/Dragon-Age-II-The-World-Reborn-416254179
A Favor for a Favor
“Look,” he said turning back to Anders. He tried his best to look at something else in his direction, but was constantly drawn back to the mage’s eyes. “My brother and I, we’re part of an expedition into the Deep Roads. Any information you have could save people’s lives.”
“I will die a happy man if I never think about the blighted Deep Roads again. You can’t imagine what I’ve come through to get here. I’m not interested …” A sudden thought hit him and he was quiet for a few seconds. “Ok, how about … a favor for a favor. Does that sound like a fair deal? You help me. I’ll help you?”
“Help our expedition reach the Deep Roads, and I’ll do … uh … we’ll do whatever you need.” Hawke stated then blushed.
“You don’t ask for my terms?”
“Let’s be more specific.” Carver stated. “We won’t do anything involving children or animals.”
The Warden looked Carver up and down, studying him for a moment. “What if I were asking for the Knight-Commander’s head on a spike?” Anders put forth.
“Well, is that what you want?” Hawke asked.
Bluff called. “You decide. I have a Warden map of the depths in this area. But there’s a price.” He turned and paced away from the group trying to gather his thoughts and come up with a request that didn’t sound completely ludicrous and impossible. “I came to Kirkwall to … aid a … friend. A mage. A prisoner in the wretched Gallows.” He turned back towards the group and jumped back slightly in shock when he noticed they had followed him a bit. He took a quick breath to calm himself, then continued. “The Templars learned of my plans to free him. Help me bring him safely past them, and you shall have your maps.”
“What do the Templars know of your plans?” Aveline asked, obviously not wanting to get into tremendous trouble with them.
“Tell me about your friend.” Hawke interjected before Anders could respond to Aveline. He then wondered for a second why that was so important to him.
So did Anders. “His name is Karl Thekla. He was sent here from Ferelden when Kirkwall’s Circle required new talent. His last letter said the knight-commander was turning the Circle into a prison. Mages are locked in their cells, refused appearances at court, made Tranquil for the slightest crimes. I told him I would come.”
Because Anders’ voice rose with each word, the others decided to back up a step or two, just in case.
“Are these accusations true?” Aveline asked.
Anders looked over at her, almost shocked to see her there. “Ask any mage in Kirkwall. Over a dozen were made Tranquil just this year.” He looked back at Hawke, realizing that he was also a mage. “The more people you ask, the worse the rumors become.”
“What do the Templars know of your plans?” Carver reiterated Aveline’s question, now worried that they may be walking into a trap. This was not something he wanted – his brother captured before they had a chance to get ahead wasn’t in the best interest of the family, even if it put him in charge.
“I don’t know! I had been exchanging notes with Karl through a maidservant in the Gallows. Then the letters stopped coming.”
“So you want to make your friend an apostate.” Varric stated.
“That’s such a weighted term. Yes, Andraste said magic should serve man, not rule him. But I’ve yet to find a mage who wants to rule anything. It goes against no will of the Maker for mages to live as free as other men.”
“Forcing mages into servitude is not the way to prevent the rise of another Imperium.” Hawke stated flatly.
Anders was pleasantly shocked. “That’s not usually the response I get. Perhaps we will work together better than I expected.”
Hawke blushed and suddenly lost his train of thought.
“Not to rain on your parade,” Aveline came to the rescue, “but how do you plan to break him out of the Gallows?”
Anders looked back at Aveline. “I’m hoping it won’t come to that. But if I did have a plan, I’m not sure telling a guardswoman would be the best way to go about it.”
“I sent Karl a message to meet me in the Chantry tonight. Maker willing he’ll be there, alone. But if there are Templars with him, I swear, I’ll free him from them. Whatever the cost.”
“I’m not sure about attacking Templars.” Varric stated. “We might be better taking our chances with the Darkspawn.”
“If we fight Templars, it is because they decide that anyone who befriends a mage deserves death without questioning.” Anders responded.
“As just as his cause is, it makes me nervous. I don’t want to give the Templars reason to hunt us.” Merrill stated softly. Carver smiled warmly at her and motioned to not worry.
“I would help any mage in such circumstances, map or no.” Hawke stated, hoping that would calm the man down.
“Better make this good.” Carver said quietly to him. “We’re risking a lot if we anger the Templars.”
“Now you’re just trying to get on my good side. Seriously, I welcome your aid. Let’s head to the Chantry, and ensure that no matter who is with him, we all walk away free.”
Hawke nodded, and they all started for the Gallows area. They tried to move as quickly as possible as part of the night was already gone while they were discussing things.