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The Living One

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Forum' started by Elric of Melniboné, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. Elric of Melniboné White Wolf

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    You feel your bones break, and there is blood seeping from the gashes on your torso. The pain did not register.

    Virgil...

    He was wrong. You were not Nasrudin.

    You were no hero. You were just some lucky fool.

    "You are the only one left." Kerghan the Terrible. What a monstrous visage he was to behold. He wasn't a human being. Not anymore. The black necromatic has since warped his body and soul beyond recognition. "I can make this easy. You need only ask." There was no venom his voice. No, instead there was empathy. This was a man of reason. It made him all the more dreadful.

    He truly believed in what he was doing. He does not do it out of hatred, or because of a misplaced grudge. He does it because he knows the truth. That life is an abomination. That it torments the soul. He would free these spirits from their earthly shackles. So, that they might know peace in those tranquil waters he found so many centuries ago.

    Where he found enlightenment. Where he found freedom.

    Virgil was the same way. He saw the afterlife. He experienced it. He could even admit that Kerghan the Terrible was right. However, there was something the necromancer was missing. A vital fact that he could not see or understand.

    "Just because the afterlife is so flawless--" Your body begins to glow. The touch of the white necromantic healing your wounds, and regenerating what blood you lost. "--doesn't mean that this life isn't worth living!"

    Kerghan the Terrible only knew the ugliness in the world. He never saw the beauty in it. He never realized what it could be. After all, why should he? The game was rigged from the start. Why bother playing it when the alternative was so much easier?

    Arronax was the last one to die. You saw him reduced to ashes. He became dust before your eyes. He was once so powerful that even Nasrudin feared him. You thought he was your enemy but he never was. How the prophecy is made a mockery of.

    The Living One? A sham.

    A convenient lie.

    "You see this world through diseased eyes, Kerghan..." You could not find it in yourself to despise this necromancer. No, you began to feel a measure of pity.

    How horrid it must be to see the world in such a way.

    "I have seen beyond the veil. Your words cannot dissuade me." The necromancer coils around himself. Just like a snake. A dragon. You could not tell which it was now. He transforms, and changes. He was malleable.

    "I know." You lost your friends. You could bring them back. Just like you did Virgil but there is a part of you that questions this course of action. A part of you that heard, and listened. Did you have the right to tear their souls away from that paradise? Just to satisfy yourself? "I know but that doesn't change the fact that I have to stop you. You will not leave this void. You will not destroy my world. You will not take another life."

    "Your words are bold but have you forgotten? Arronax could not defeat me! How can you? You are but a child! A sorcerer that is just beginning to understand what he is capable of! I have seen millennia! I laid the foundation for the white necromatic, and the black necromatic! I created those disciplines! You learn from amateurs who admire my work!" He was right. He was more experienced. He knew more than you possibly could. What Arronax taught you would not be enough. "Do not push yourself any further! You have lost your friends! You endure this pain for no reason! When you can join them!"

    Virgil, Franklin, Geoffrey, Z'an, Raven, and Arronax. They are gone.

    No, as far as you were concerned? There was only one decision you could make.

    "I will just have to surpass you." You have seen enough. Divination was the first discipline you studied. You saw his aura, and could analyze his magic. Now you just had to replicate it.

    You turn your magic on yourself. You cannibalize your very being.

    "What are you doing--"

    "You know the answer already."

    Your magic devours you.

    What understanding you could muster before disappears. You revel in everything that you are. The losses you have felt. The friends that were stolen. Their futures dashed in but a moment. You were powerless against this necromancer.


    D̷͖̼͌͋ẹ̶̱͓̣̣̰͙̀̈́̏̾ͅ ̸̲̟̤̅̋̔̾͆̚̚̚͘a̸̻̣͇͇͒̐̂̅͗́͝n̴̛̘͕͆̈̓͝͠ ̵̡̙̯̙̩̭̼͌̄̀ͅà̷̧̛̤̪̠̅͝i̶͚̬͑̀͐̾̽͋͂ļ̶̧͇̪̖͈͔̣̠̇̽͌̉͝l̵̨̯͎̲͋͆̐ę̸͈̖͈̎͂a̷̛̳̺̮̖͖̟͈͇̦̒̋͐̆͐͗̈́ͅc̶̻̼͇͕͇͎̦̗͓͊̾͊͜h̶̯́̊̏̍̈̈́̂̈́̀̄d̵̨̙̳̣̟̰̣̪͔̉̔̉͌̅ ̵̤̝͎͕͈̠́͐́́͌̒̔͗̕ã̷̜̱̭̝̦̱̬̹̓͊̑͛́͛̆ ̷̧͓̩̻͊͗̍̆͗̈́̎t̷̜̫̟͆̎͆͛̄̿͂̌̕͝h̷̨̻͍͇̰̺̋͜ ̵͉͕̻̂̅͊̾̃͠'̸̢͎̆̐̿͒̆̇͘͝á̷̯͉̯̺͆͗͊̐n̶̝̝̿n̸̤̫͓͔͙̱̳̈́̍́͘ͅś̸̨̪̰̓̈́͒͋̀̀̾ ̵̧̛͚͊̆̆̓̅̈̑̍̚ă̴̢̖͖̹͓͖̗̯̺̘͂̽̿̈́͋͝͠'̴͉͓͙̘̲̤̔̈́́̉̈̽͒̐̕ ̷̧̡̲͔̯̱̠̩̼̀̑̓̂̅̂̓̈͠b̷̞̰͈̭̝͈̰͛̾̌̔̈́͊̃̍̕͝h̶͙̦̑̏r̵̡͇̭͋̂̏͘ọ̸͕̫̀̒ǹ̸̡̠͖̣͇͇͎̼̼ ̷̢̰̬̫̄̄̂s̸̢̹͈̐e̸̥̰̦̗͔͋ͅͅo̴̢̥̰̲͕̹͕͚͇͍͐͋̀̔!̸̙͖̰̱͖̘̜̃͋͂́̓̔̒̋̈́͜


    Your mortality leaves you. Your body is mutilated, and your soul is torn asunder. Your bones and muscles contort. They take another shape. . . .

    Morph? No, meta.

    The nature of this spell changes the very nature of the mystic arts. There was no plateau. There was no summit. The peak of the mountain was just the beginning. This was a fathomless ocean whose depths knew no bounds...


    D̵̢͚̘̼̯͕̤͍͋̍͊è̸͓̜̏ ̶̢̢̖̺̟̬̣͎̈́ç̴̻̪̹̱̥̬̙̦̝̉̍͊̅̓̔h̷̘̙̬̙̫͕͔̮̄̔͌̀̅͊̓̒͘͜o̵̹̘̗͊̏̿̉̇̽̎́̚ͅ ̸̜͕̭͎͓̜̱̲͘͜à̴̠̠̣͓̳̀͘̚l̶̳͖̫̍̇̄̒͋̆̍͝͠a̷͍͆́̇ị̸̰̰̱͋̓̂̕͜n̵̘̑̅̊̇̍͑͘̚ṇ̶̱͚͎̦͔̗̭̋ ̸͇̤͓̔̍͠'̴̭̈́̿̕s̶̬̘̒͊̌̂̎̑͂ȁ̷̛͖͔͕̀́̒̄ ̸̢͍̲̦̠͔̐͛͂̈́t̴͎̄͒̔̈́̍̋̔̀͘h̵̜͕̘̍͋̍̂͌ä̸̻́ ̵̱̗̙̮̂̀͌̿̒́̕͠t̶̡̼̪̳͇̠̽͛̔͛͑̍̄͂̿̀h̸̛̀̅̂̐̽̕͜u̷̺̬̎ͅ ̴̡͕̼͍̖͉͙͙͍͓̎̔͝ǹ̶̨̡͇̯̩͓̯a̶̤̱͍̣͉̬̪̠̘̾̆͒̃d̶̦̄͋́̀̄̈̓̏̐̚ ̴̨̖̗͙̮̫̯͈͒̆͗͒͆c̷̰͓͔̃̉͌h̸̤̞̲̬̲̭̀̀̎͆̀̓̚͜i̷̢̢̙͈̓́̓̈̀͋̿ͅa̸̰͎͖͉̜̿͛͗l̶̰̥͆̈́̓̆̚l̵̺̤͓͚̓̈́̀́.̵̡̤̪̜̫͎̣̬̱̗̾͌̈͛̑͘


    This must have been what Kerghan the Terrible felt when he slept beside those spirits in the ether. This tranquility, and this enlightenment?

    You snort, and everything within you roars! You break free of this reality.

    "I desire no peace! I seek no absolution!" Your words are garbled. As if you speak in static. "Kerghan the Terrible? I only wish for your soul!" There is something monstrous dwelling inside of you. A hunger that was not there before.

    You become a distortion. Just like Kerghan the Terrible. A fracture in reality. A hole in reason and logic.

    The mystic arts were always about changing and altering the way the world works. This was not as subtle. This was about forcing yourself upon the pattern. It was about transcendence.

    Deification.

    Your flesh and your blood is burnt away. You become magic.


    Whatever physical manifestation you have is cast away.

    "You want an answer, Kerghan the Terrible? Why is this life worth living?" Your voice reverberates across the void, and directly into the mind of your adversary. Penetrating whatever defenses he had. "It is because we never give up! It is because we refuse to bend the knee!"

    We are helpless. We squirm in the face of the unknown. We are powerless. We are weak. Yet, despite that? We have courage. We face our fears.

    There is beauty in that ephemeral moment. We may lose, and we may achieve nothing.

    It does not matter. It is not about winning.

    It is about dying with your pride, and your dignity!

    Tempus Fugit.

    You distort time, and you are a blur. The world around you slows down, and you become faster. Your fist strikes Kerghan, and sends him flying. He crashes through mountains. He breaks the landscape. The void begins to crack and crumble.

    You would not let him through that gate. You would not let him return.

    Kerghan the Terrible gets back up, and his movements sends shivers down your spine. The snake. The dragon. The skeletal aberration. You could feel the black necromatic.

    Quench deprives your surroundings of life, and banishes the souls of those around you. You remember what Arronax taught you. You disperse the magic. You would not let it touch you. You use your magic to defend yourself.

    A bolt of lightning. You see it coming.

    Your barrier is erected. The spell is reflected back on the necromancer. He growls. It was little more than an annoyance. He blocks the lightning bolt.

    He doesn't realize the truth.

    You reappear beside him. You conjured a nightmare that was nearly identical. An illusion. After becoming invisible, and distorting space. You could feel the earth, and you channel the strength beneath your feet. You become like stone.

    You tackle Kerghan into the ground, and repeatedly pummel him. You push him deeper underground. You break through the floating isle in the void. You both tumble into the endless darkness.

    The necromancer is indignant, and an unseen force pushes you away. You push back, and torpedo back downwards slamming into the aberration. You hit him so hard that the rest of the islands in the void begin to break. They fall to pieces, and crash into the abyss.

    You could see it. You could feel it.

    You were hurting him.

    Whatever difference in strength that existed before? It was gone.

    You were now his equal.

    "You have to let me do this! You don't understand!" He is desperate. He believes in this. You squash whatever hesitation that was there before. Your fists ignite, and your body becomes encased in flames. They burn away at the abomination. When he strikes back at you? Your body becomes air, and his attacks pass through you. "You're not saving anyone! You're cursing them!"

    You can feel the necromancer begin to cast another spell. No, you wouldn't let him.

    You shackle him with your magic. He is bound. His magic is taken from him. You would end this.

    You grab him, and you delve deeply. You tear the life and soul from his body. If he likes it so much? Why not give him what he wants.

    "You say it is perfect!" You grab his soul. "Now enjoy your Shangri-La!" You cast it into the ether.

    You disintegrate his corpse. You take his body apart.

    It was done. It was over.

    You could rest.

    The Living One. It may have been a lie...

    However, your actions make it real.

    Your choices determine the truth.

    [] You fall, and you fall. You lose count of the years. You become lost in the void. There was no way back. That is when you begin to feel something. A change. You reach towards it, and grasp hold. You see the Earth. You come crashing down. You hit the ground as if you are a meteorite.
    [] You fall, and you fall. You lose count of the years. You become lost in the void. There was no way back. You are in the ether. No wait, it was a different one. Another realm that you were not familiar with. You hear the pleas of a woman. There are demons chasing after her.
     
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  2. Unlosing Ranger Rebirth and destruction, again and again

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    [x] You fall, and you fall. You lose count of the years. You become lost in the void. There was no way back. That is when you begin to feel something. A change. You reach towards it, and grasp hold. You see the Earth. You come crashing down. You hit the ground as if you are a meteorite.
     
  3. Elric of Melniboné White Wolf

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    You hit the atmosphere. You burst into flames.

    You were born to wealthy merchants. They made a profit in the mercantile trade.

    Your family did not have the inclination to raise you so your maids and butlers did. In your youth you would run away at night. No one would ever notice. You would cavort and cause trouble with the street urchins. They taught you how to steal. They taught you how to lie.

    They were your friends.

    You grew older, and as you did your family expected things from you. You were supposed to take the hand of some treacherous sow. A poisonous, and manipulative woman. Who was born into the aristocracy.

    Naturally, you refused. You humiliated your bride.

    Your family disowned you. You were cast aside.

    You did not have money. You made a spectacle so no one would dare hire you. You could not work. So, you had to take what you needed.

    That is when she found you. An elf who was just another mark.

    A high-born lady. Whose life was measured in centuries. Whereas your life was only measured in decades. The sorceress took a liking to your thievery, and your lies.

    "Dear, if you need a place to stay so badly why not visit my vineyard?" It was the first time anyone ever showed you so much unconditional kindness. It left you speechless.

    You couldn't refuse. You needed this.

    You were her indentured servant. You couldn't say you were a slave because you chose this. You were certainly treated better than they would be. You had a bedroom, food, water, and clothes. In return you need only dutifully serve your mistress, and fulfill her every need.

    You were never happy living as one of the elite. You were happy serving your lady as a butler instead.

    As the years flew by you grew closer to her. The elf saw something inside of you. A talent that most human beings did not have. A proficiency in the mystic arts. Your mistress began teaching you. Of course this was not free. There were hungers that she sought to sate, and only you could satisfy them.

    "You could have anyone..." Your run your fingers over her legs. You lips kiss at her feet, and make their way upwards. "Why choose a disheveled criminal?"

    "Don't be so melodramatic." Your mistress wears something of an impish smile. "You have stolen something precious from me. If you must know."

    You knew the answer. You knew what you stole from her.

    "You should never bend the knee." Your mistress speaks. "No, not even for me." Her hand caresses your cheek. You gently grab it.

    "I do a lot more than that for you..." You tease her.

    "You know what I mean!" Your mistress has the decency to blush.

    You knew what it was like to live. After so many years?

    This was life.

    "No one knows what the cause was! Sir, I know you are upset by this loss but--"

    "Get out of my way!"

    The white necromatic. You envelop her corpse in a soothing energy.

    Poison. Who would do this?

    "Never trust a relative. It is far worse than trusting strangers." You thought she was paranoid but now you wonder. What did she mean by that?

    Your investigation bears fruit.

    Her sister. The inheritance was what she sought.

    When you meet with her to discuss the matters of your lady's last testament? You offer her a cup of tea. It takes only a few moments before she drops her teacup. Her body convulses, and foam leaks from her mouth. After which her carcass is frigid.

    Your mistress was avenged but you felt no satisfaction. This was your duty.

    You read the will. You are not surprised by what it says.

    "Sir, the vineyard belongs to you now. You should tend to it." Someone who was once your friend now serves as your butler. You worked beside him.

    You couldn't stay. The authorities were looking for you.

    You have the coin, and in the end you were given everything.

    It was time to leave. You remember the IFS Zephyr.

    The blimp that was supposed to bring you somewhere where you could start anew. Your life was over. You were not an indentured servant. You were a wealthy entrepreneur.

    That is when you plummet into the ground.

    ***
    You gasp. How many years has it been? Your magic was what sustained you over the centuries. You did not need food, or water. You did not age.

    There were elves that would be hard pressed to have this sort of longevity.

    Where were you? You look up at the sky. The hole in it catches your interest. There was some sort of magical energy you were not familiar with pouring from it. Perhaps that is where you came from?

    There were meteorites crashing down, and destroying everything around you.

    You see creatures spawn from the remains. There were demons crawling from the meteorites.

    "What is going on?" You were in the void. After you defeated Kerghan the Terrible there was no way back. You made sure of that. There was nothing that could be allowed to escape.

    You hear screams. You see soldiers.

    They rush to their deaths. They cannot do battle with these demons.

    You get back up, and try to stand. There is nausea. You were used to the sensation of falling. Now your feet were on the ground. It would take a while to adjust. You look at .

    You couldn't approach anyone like this. You rely on morph. You try to give yourself another disguise. An appearance that would not frighten these people.

    You form shifts, and changes. You become something else.

    You become who you used to be.


    You grab your pocket watch, and see that it is broken. It has been a while since you used it. You could hasten the flow of time. You could congeal the flow of time. You could even stop it. However, you most certainly could not reverse it. This would require something else.

    You rearrange the pocket watch, and try to repair it. The matter is dissembled, and reassembled.

    "That should do it!" There is something jubilant in your voice. This was your favorite watch. It took you forever to figure out how to make it work with your magic. Anything mechanical usually malfunctions when it comes into contact with the supernatural. Since they rely on the laws of physics. Which have a habit of being disjointed, and out of alignment wherever you are.

    The price for mastering the mystic arts? It was that technology did not take kindly to you. You could not use trains, and you only managed to board the IFS Zephyr because you were barely a sorcerer. You knew only the basics when you left the vineyard.

    Now you could only count the number of sorcerers on one hand who were anywhere near as powerful as you are. You doubt that even Nasrudin could challenge someone like you. After all, if Arronax could not be beaten by him alone? What chance did he have against you?

    You make your way forward. The moment any spirits and demons approach you gesture with your hands. They disintegrate. They are reduced to dust.

    You erase whatever energy is holding their atoms together.

    The source was ahead of you. A temple you have never seen before.

    As a soldier retreats you grab him.

    The college of mental. That should suit you.

    "What is going on? What is that temple?" You ask the soldier, and you compel him to answer.

    "An explosion! A hole in the sky! The conclave was being held at the Temple of Sacred Ashes, and then demons started falling from the sky--" You snap your fingers in front of his face, and the daze leaves him. He immediately starts sprinting away from the destruction.

    That was enough. You didn't need to know anything else.

    You create a spatial distortion. You disappear into thin air.

    A moment later you reappear inside of the temple. It was anarchy. There were soldiers fighting demons. There were mages casting spells. In the middle of that you sense someone. A person who emanates the same sort of magical energy as the breach.

    It was an elven woman, and she was fighting a humongous monster. A velvet demon towering over them with fangs, and claws. As well as the largest horns you have ever seen. There was a dwarf, and another elf beside her. Then you see a human. A woman with scars. A sword, and a shield.

    No flintlock pistols. No revolvers. No rifles. No shotguns.

    It wasn't strange seeing someone with a preference for medieval weapons but for there to be no firearms whatsoever? There were demons prowling, and they didn't bother to arm themselves with anything of the sort? These soldiers were either suicidal, or confident in their physical prowess.

    You frown as you see them begin to struggle.

    It was with a resounding crack that you appear at the bottom of the temple. Your application of conveyance catches the attention of the demon.

    "Another morsel?" The beast growls, and crackles with electricity. A whip of lightning is swung towards you. It passes harmlessly through you. The demon make a strange noise. That is when it looks back at the whip. He swings at you again. The attack passes through you.

    "Why--" The demon stomps on you. That is when nothing happens."Can't--" He swipes at you with his claws. "I--" He tries to grab you. "Touch you?" If he was human he would be wearing a gobsmacked expression on his face.

    Your body had become gaseous. It was one of the more advanced techniques of the college of air. You wave your hand, and there is a gust of wind that hurdles into the beast. The demon is sent careening through the crumbling ruins. He is forced through red crystals, and boulders.

    He wasn't done. The demon tries to get back up but that is when a fireball rushes towards him. It strikes at the beast, and melts through his hide. The demon can only scream as he is burnt alive.

    If anything you would have to say that the demon was weaker than what you were used to.

    You snap your fingers and the beast is put out of his misery. You tear the life, and soul from him.

    You dust your dress suit.

    "Now does anyone know how to close that?" You ignore the looks of surprise. "This is getting tiresome." There is something nonchalant about the way you say that.

    "Who are you?" The shield-maiden is the first one to approach you.

    "I don't believe we have time for introductions." You feign annoyance, and try to get your point across. You point towards the meteorites that were falling from the sky. "Unless you wish to greet our guests?"

    "Cassandra Pentaghast."

    "Edgar Rowley. It is a pleasure."

    The elven woman tenses when you approach her.

    "I believe you can solve this problem." You gently grab her hand, and look at the mark on it. "You should be careful." Whatever this etching in her hand was? It could take her life.

    "Y-Yes." The elf blushes, and tries to look away. There was something intense in your eyes that unnerved her. Her keeper never spoke of shem like you.

    . Her skin was chocolate. Her eyes were emerald. Her hair was a particular ivory. The strangest thing about her were the red markings on her face, and arms. They appear to be some sort of tribal tattoo.

    It was starting to become clear. This wasn't your world.

    Qintara was the closest resemblance. Those elves held an affinity for nature. However, the color of her skin was something you have never seen before. They were pale, or rosy. They were never dark like her.

    "What is your name?"

    "Ashana Lavellan."

    The dalish elf is surprised when she speaks the words before questioning why.

    "I thought as much." An elf would never be called something like that. "Good luck."

    You turn away, and begin to walk in the other direction.

    "Uh, excuse me! What was that--"

    "Just focus on the rift, and you will be fine. If anything goes wrong I will be here." You check your pocket watch.

    The elvish woman frowns. Her disappointment was palpable.

    "Just leading me on like that..." Ashana grumbles, and extends her arm. Her hand grasps at the rift. A blast of emerald energy pierces it. After several seconds it seems to close. "That wasn't so hard--"

    You catch Ashana Lavellan when her eyes rolls back into her head and she falls.

    "You're going to cause me a lot of trouble, aren't you?"

    [] You carry Ashana Lavellan back to Haven. Along the way you learn more about this Thedas. You decide to stay with her, and address her injuries. What exactly was that strange mark on her hand? Maybe you could help her, or ease her pain.
    [] You carry Ashana Lavellan back to Haven. Along the way you learn more about this Thedas. You decide to explore the village. You never caught the name of that elf or the dwarf that was with Ashana Lavellan in the Temple of Sacred Ashes.
     
  4. Unlosing Ranger Rebirth and destruction, again and again

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    [x] You carry Ashana Lavellan back to Haven. Along the way you learn more about this Thedas. You decide to stay with her, and address her injuries. What exactly was that strange mark on her hand? Maybe you could help her, or ease her pain.
     
  5. Elric of Melniboné White Wolf

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    Thedas.

    That was the name of this land. Arcanum was gone. You could not return. The Ring of Brodgar would not be weathered away by entropy.

    You were stuck here.

    You brush your fingers through her hair, and check her forehead. No fever... at least, not anymore.

    Ashana Lavellan.

    This dark elf made you curious. The marking on her hand was not made using any methods you were familiar with. When you try to divine whatever origin it has? It looks nothing like the magic from your world.

    "How marvelous. A mystery I can't solve." You sound disgruntled. You knew enough. The mark was spreading. The process wasn't exactly expedient but eventually it would consume this woman.

    You humor amputating it. You could simply regrow another hand for the dark elf.

    The white necromatic was useful like that.

    There was one problem. The breach was not closed. The rift that was sealed was but one of many. What was done stabilized it but rifts were opening around the country. There were demons invading this land.

    The mark was necessary.

    It was slowly destroying this woman who was just growing into adulthood but without it the breach and the rifts cannot be closed.

    You feel disgust at whoever did this to her. It was shoddy.

    It wasn't professional in the least bit.

    "The apprentices at Tulla take more care with their guinea pigs..." They were hardly sorcerers. Just amateurs. Yet, they could do a better job than this. This wasn't intentional. It was an accident.

    It wasn't meant for her.

    "Just exactly who could it be meant for then?" The energy signature the mark left behind felt strangely familiar. You couldn't put your finger on it.

    "Ugh." Ashana Lavellan begins to wake from her slumber. "What hit me?"

    "I wouldn't say you were hit by anything. It is just that you exhausted yourself." You take a seat in front of her bed. "You should be careful with that mark. If you overexert yourself?" You lean forward for emphasis. "You could die."

    "Hey, that's a joke... right?" The dark elf looks frightened. "You're not serious." There is something desperate in her voice.

    "No, I am afraid not. That mark is not meant for you. If you use it as recklessly as you did yesterday? It will get worse. I would say you have a few years before..." You frown. "...your body gives out."

    "Oh." The dark elf begins shake. "A few years that isn't so bad--" That is when the rogue faints again.

    You grumble, and grab some smelling salts. You wave them underneath her nose.

    "What in the world is that stench?" Her face scrunches in disgust as she wakes back up. "I had the strangest dream. You told me I was going to die in a few years--"

    "That wasn't a dream."

    "Don't be ridiculous! Of course it was a dream!"

    The dark elf laughs nervously.

    "If it makes you feel any better? I can amputate your left hand--"

    "It doesn't! I happen to like my left hand!" There is a mania that overtakes her. "I am a lefty! Yes, I am!" Her cheer is in stark contrast to her situation.

    "I am a mage." You pat her on the back. "I specialize in many branches of sorcery." Namely, all of them. "I happen to know some spells that can regenerate a lost limb. If I amputate it? I can grow you another hand."

    The dark elf stops shaking when you say that.

    "You're not just lying to make me feel better, are you?"

    "I would never do such a thing!" You give her the brightest smile you can manage. "Do I look like the sort of person who would lie to a beautiful young lady like you?"

    Ashana Lavellan blushes in embarrassment when you complement her.

    "Thank you." The dark elf has a hard time facing you. Her fingers brush a strand of hair out of the way of her eyes. "Where are we?"

    "A village called Haven. It is in the Frostback Mountains." You lean back, and give her some breathing room. "You have to prepare. You see, when you closed the rift in the Temple of Sacred Ashes? You drew the attention of a lot of superstitious people. They think that--" You wear a strange grimace. "--it was divine providence. The rumors have been spreading, and they have only gotten more exaggerated with every telling." You are reminded of the prophecy you were straddled with. You have a feeling that this is no different. "The Herald of Andraste. That is what they are calling you."

    "You make it sound as if it is a bad thing? That's a good thing, isn't it? If they think that I am some sort of saint or savior... that means they like me, right?" The dark elf is painfully naive. It wasn't that simple.

    "No, it isn't. It is just a lie, and just as with any lie it can get out of hand." You shake your head. "It means people will expect things of you. They think you are the only one who can close the breach. You already have in a way by closing that rift. The breach has stabilized." You sigh. "However, the breach remains open. There are no more meteorites but the threat of a demonic invasion is still there."

    "So, they want me to close it? They want me to save them?"

    "To put it mildly? Yes, but it is more complicated than that. You have become a figurehead. They see a symbol. They don't see a person."

    The dark elf becomes silent at that.

    "You said your name is Edgar Rowley? Where do you come from?" The dark elf starts getting out of her bed. The blanket covering her is thrown aside.

    "I wouldn't do that if I were you." You probably should have told her that first.

    "Why is it so cold?" That is when she looks down. "I'm naked." Her face is red again, and she quickly grabs the blanket to cover herself up. "Why am I naked?"

    "I had to remove your clothes. They were covered in blood or at least what I think was blood." If you had to guess? It was whatever the demons she killed left behind. "I had to check for any other injuries, and tend to your wounds. Your clothes got in the way." It was easier to heal when you could actually look at the wounds you were treating. "I got rid of the scars on your back."

    "You what?" The dark elf sounds indignant. "I liked those ones!" The dark elf turns her head around. "I got them after fighting a bear! They were one of my favorite--" The dark elf bites her tongue before she can continue.

    "You are a hunter, I presume?"

    "It's that obvious, huh? The keeper says I am the best in the clan."

    The dark elf gives you a dirty look.

    "You didn't get rid of the scars near my--"

    "I did."

    You answer her before she can continue.

    "That's okay just don't tell anyone that I--"

    "Trim your modesty to resemble a rose?"

    You give her a wry look.

    "You know, you look like a gentlemen but you have no shame do you?"

    "None at all."

    You could feel her seething. "What are all of these mixed signals? At first you treat me like I am nobody. Then the very next day you strip me naked, and heal my wounds. Do you want to bed me or what?"

    "You just said I had no shame, and now you are asking me if I want to have sex with you?"

    "Yes, I am."

    This was incredibly awkward.

    "I assure you my intentions are entirely platonic."

    "I don't believe you. I think you are one of those lecherous fiends my keeper is always warning me about. Those sort of disgusting shem that kidnap dalish elves just so they can make them into their obedient pets!"

    What was this woman's problem?

    "That is oddly specific. Any reason why you brought that up?"

    "I, uh, er, just forget I said that!"

    You snort.

    "That is going to be difficult, and I tempted to tell everyone in the village."

    "Okay, I am sorry. You are not a lecherous fiend."

    You smirk, and that is when you begin to chuckle. "You are a strange one. Alright then, I don't come from Thedas. I come from another continent. My people call it... Arcanum."

    The dark elf looks interested when you say that.

    "You have never been to Thedas before?"

    "No, this is my first time here."

    Arcanum wasn't another continent. It was another world entirely. This lie will have to do for now. Besides that, it wasn't entirely untrue.

    "What is it like?"

    "It is..." Your voice cracks. "It is home." You couldn't say anything else.

    Ashana Lavellan doesn't pry. "I take it you don't have a lot of good memories?"

    "No, it is the exact opposite. I have a lot of good ones, and I can't go back because of some things that I did."

    "What sort of things?"

    There is a twinkle in her eyes.

    "Great things. Terrible things. Wondrous things. Monstrous things." You pull out your pocket watch. "It is a story that takes a while to digest. You are not ready for it." You are concise.

    "Now I want to know even more!" The dark elf pouts. It is strangely cute.

    "Just so you know once you leave this cabin? The fanatics are going to parade around you like flies."

    ***
    Ashana Lavellan did not heed your advice. After she was finished dressing?

    The dark elf made her way outside, and was nearly assaulted by the people surrounding her. You could hear the praise that was in the air. They were worshiping her as if she was this martyr they speak of.

    Andraste. The prophet. The betrothed of the Maker, or whatever their patron deity is called. A load of hogwash as far as you were concerned.

    "They never listen..." You hum as you leave through the back door.

    [] Cassandra Pentaghast. You could see her training outside. There was something that you could grant her. A miracle. You saw how many people died in the Temple of Sacred Ashes. It doesn't have to stay that way. However, you have witnessed how superstitious these people are. What will happen if you bring the dead back to life? You have no idea. Whatever happens? If you do this there is no hiding behind the Herald of Andraste. Your name will cast ripples into the water for better or for worse.
    [] You decide to visit the chantry. Maybe you could learn more about this religion. You fear that it may be no different than the Panarii, and you knew how that turned out. Perhaps you were wrong?
    [] Varric Tethras, and Solas. That's what their names were. You heard of it in passing among the hushed whispers of the villagers. Perhaps you could talk to them?
    [] Josephine, and Cullen. There were many people here you would have to become acquainted with. You haven't even met them. Perhaps it was time to remedy that?
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  6. Unlosing Ranger Rebirth and destruction, again and again

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    [x] Varric Tethras, and Solas. That's what their names were. You heard of it in passing among the hushed whispers of the villagers. Perhaps you could talk to them?
     
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