My question: “When did I get so busy?”
The response? “When you started trying to rule the world.”
Seriously? When did I start doing a stupid thing like that? And how to I stop?
This week’s picture is “Witch of the Wild” by ElynGontier and can be found at http://elyngontier.deviantart.com/art/Witch-of-the-wild-280691465 along with a number of other great looking character pics.
Year 2, Day 17 – dawn in Sundermount
After a night of climbing the mountain, traversing a cave, and fighting undead, the party decided to rest before finishing their quest. Although Merrill protested, the other assured her that nothing would happen: after all, Flemeth had waited over a year for her amulet, another night wasn’t going to make a difference. The morning sun met them when they emerged, and so did the faded lights shining from more hanging lanterns. The path went in three directions: to their right was the rockslide – they each grimaced knowing that had it not been there they could have already gotten everything done.
The path also led straight ahead, but that ended at a cliff. They could actually see the entire Dalish camp from this vantage point. To the left the path went in two directions: straight into a glistening barrier and then further left to an area further up the mountainside. They carefully approached the barrier, with Merrill leading the way. She stopped them about a foot before the barrier.
“I can open the way forward. One moment.” She walked the remaining steps alone, stopped, drew her dagger and sliced her palm. Blood started flowing from the wound, but none fell to the ground. Instead, she used her arcane knowledge to turn the blood into fuel to cast a powerful spell that would eradicate the barrier. She turned back to them once she accomplished her goal.
Carver, noticing that Merrill didn’t appear to be injured, turned to Hawke. “Right. That was not normal.”
Hawke looked back at him. “That was blood magic.”
“Yes, it was blood magic, but I know what I’m doing.” Merrill quickly and nervously answered. “The spirit helped us, didn’t it?”
“Sure, demons are very helpful … right up until they take your mind and turn you into a monster.” Varric chastised.
“Well … yes. But that won’t happen. I know how to defend myself. Be careful up ahead. Restless things prowl the heights.” She warned.
“You mean more than what we’ve already encountered?” Carver quipped.
They made their way into the area, of course they had to battle beings to finally get to their destination close to another high ledge. There stood what looked like a stone altar, black and cold. Merrill approached while the others fanned out behind her, and placed the amulet almost dead center on the altar but between two stone statues, one on each of the two corners closest to them. They were each at an angle, one facing towards, and the other away from a ceramic/stone urn at the back. . Merrill used a spell and lit this – a green/blue/black flame burned. She was quiet for only a moment as she recalled and concentrated on the words. “Hahren na melana sahlin. Emma ir abelas souver’inan isala hamin vhenan him dor’felas. In uthenera na revas.”
Once the last word was spoken, the day instantly turned to night as clouds quickly covered the sky and a rumbling could be heard all around them. A fire seemed to be slowly shooting up from the amulet, yet they were also engulfed in a fire vortex that started large but slowly shrank. The next thing they saw was a form rising from the altar, almost as though someone had been kneeling over it and was now done and standing up.
For Hawke and Carver, it was the dragon all over again. Flemeth stood there, staring out over them into the horizon. To say that Hawke and his companions were shocked was an understatement.
She effortlessly moved down from the altar and stood looking out over them. “Aaah, and here we are!”
Merrill bowed low before her. “Andaran atish’an, Asha’bellanar.”
Flemeth turned her yellow eyes towards the Dalish Blood Mage. “One of the people, I see, so young and bright. Tell me, do you know who I am, beyond that title?”
She didn’t rise. “I know only a little.”
Flemeth raised her hand towards Merrill. “Then stand. The People bend their knee too quickly.”
Merrill rose and Flemeth turned her attention to Hawke and his companions.
“Are you some kind of vision?” Carver asked.
Flemeth laughed. “So refreshing to see someone who keeps their end of a bargain. I half expected my amulet to end up in a merchant’s pocket!”
“I agreed to deliver the amulet,” Hawke responded, “though you could have told me you were inside it.”
“Just a piece. A small piece, but it was all I needed. I don’t believe in being in only one place. Bodies are such limiting things. I am but a fragment cast adrift from the whole. A bit of flotsam to cling to in the storm!”
“A fragment?” Varric asked, very intrigued.
“A bit of security then, should the inevitable occur. And if I know my Morrigan, it already has.”
“Is that someone we should know?” Hawke asked.
Flemeth smirked. “She’s a girl who thinks she knows what is what better than I, or anyone.” Then she chuckled. “And why not? I raised her to be as she is! I cannot expect her to be less!”
“I’m not sure whether she’s your daughter or your enemy.” Aveline stated.
“Neither is she.”
“Why did you need us to bring you here?” Carver asked.
“Because I had an appointment to keep! And because I did not want to be followed. You smuggled me here quite nicely.”
“An appointment.” Hawke stated flatly, trying hard to believe the Witch’s words.
Flemeth walked towards them. “You do not need to understand. None of you do.” She turned to Hawke. “Least of all you, child. Know only that you may have save my life, just as I once saved yours. An even trade, I think.” She turned and walked back to the altar.
“This … appointment … will lead to other plans, I take it?” Hawke asked.
She faced them again. “Destiny awaits us both, dear boy. We have much to do. Before I go, a word of advice.” She turned away from them and looked out over the altar into the horizon. “We stand upon the precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment … and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap.” She turned back to them. “It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.”
“What should I do?” Hawke asked.
“Do as I do. Become a dragon!” She laughed. “You could never be a dragon.”
“Are we going to regret bringing her here?” Carver asked looking at Hawke.
“Regret is something I know well.” Flemeth responded. “Take care not to cling to it, to hold it so close that it poisons your soul. When the time comes for your regrets, remember me.” She then turned to Merrill. “As for you, child, step carefully. No path is darker than when your eyes are shut.”
“Ma serannas, Asha’bellanar.”
Flemeth started walking towards them again. “Now the time has come for me to leave. You have my thanks … and my sympathy.” As she walked back towards the altar, she started to glow. And not just as an aura or a simple light surrounding her. Her whole body changed as though she had become a sun. A wind blasted against the party and they braced themselves and turned their heads – thus missing her transformation into a dragon. She spread her wings and flew away. Only Merrill ran after her, stopping only when she came to the altar.
Not having anything else to do, they turned and made their way back down the mountain.