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 Into a Trap Goes the Mouse, 14 Guardian 9:23 Dragon - Dahlia/Anders
Anders
Posted: Feb 8 2012, 08:41 PM


Mage, Warden, Healer


Group: OFFLINE
Posts: 119
Member No.: 142
Joined: 25-September 11



14 Guardian 9:23 Dragon

Lights out happened an hour ago, but Anders was anything but tired. He had a plan and had it going though his mind for several days now. It had been a week since he passed his Harrowing. He remembered the sour look on the Knight Commander's face and the proud look on the First Enchanter's. Shaking his head, Anders slipped out of his bed, ignoring the soft snores of the sleeping apprentices around him. He rearranged his pillows to look like him sleeping in the bed.

He slipped his pack over his shoulder and pulled a length of rope that he had stashed in his foot locker. Quietly, he moved over to the window. Using a bit of magic, he slowly opened the window. Peeking his head out, he could see the tide crashing against the rocks down below. Slowly, the rope was lowered from the window, down, down, down the rocky side of the tower. He swallowed and glanced around him, no one was awake, good. Securing the rope to a statue of Andraste in the room, Anders climbed up to the window ledge, crouching low.

One foot then the other, Anders slipped out of the window and slowly climbed down the side of the tower. the breeze and smell of the water filled his nose. Freedom, so close he thought as he slowly and carefully lowered himself down to the rocks below. It was slow going, not wanting to be caught by someone that might be looking out the windows at the time of his descent.

He was grateful that his room wasn't higher up when he finally got to the bottom. Pressing up against the tower, he waited and listened. He hoped his deception wouldn't be found till morning, but he had left the window open, there's no telling how soon his disappearance would be found out. The shadows hid the boy, as he slowly moved around the base of the tower. The misty spray of the water crashing on the rocks tingled as it hit his face and hands. Lowering into a crouch, Anders slid his hands in front of him. He had dropped a practice staff around here from the library when the Templars watching over them had turned their backs. His hand came in contact worn wood, a feeling of familiarity coming over him.

Fingers snatched up the staff and he held it close, again pausing to hear movement or alarm. So far so good... He thought, his heart pounding in his chest. He pulled his robes over his knees and lowered to crawl over the rocks.

When he was in the yard earlier, he had seen a small boat in an alcove, the Templars didn't seem bothered, given how it was nigh impossible to reach on land. Anders wasn't discouraged by the idea. It was his ticket to freedom. Crawling his way to the top of the rocks that surrounded the alcove, Anders looked down, swallowing hard. The drop was a good hundred or so feet, into rocky waters. No wonder the templars overlooked this section of the island. He pulled back, looking the way he had come. No time for second thoughts, Anders he chided himself and looked around for some kind of route down.

He'd find a thin pathway. It was more an old goats path that not even the goats would use anymore. Anders secured his staff to his back and rechecked his bag before starting down. Fingers dug and clung to the rock face as he shuffled his feet down the pathway. Rocks crumbled under his feet and fell down into the lake below.

Slowly he descended down to the water's edge. The ledge gave out once, causing Anders to dangle for a few minutes on the rockface, his fingers gripping the rocks as his life depended on it. white knuckled, he swung a bit to the next part of the ledge.

An hour an a half had passed since lights out and Anders finally made it down to the boat. he pressed himself against the rocks to catch his breath. He couldn't hear much over the roar of the waves lapping at the rocks and crags in the alcove. Who knew if he was found out missing yet?

Silently thanking whoever was watching over him, Anders moved to the boat. It was a small craft that looked like it had it's fair share of lake travel. It was smaller than the boats that the Templars bring mages over from the shore in. He looked over the oars, the paddle part was broken. Tossing them onto the rocks, Anders got into the boat, using his staff and a bit of magic to paddle.

When the moon was high overhead, Anders finally reached the opposite shore. Anders looked around as he got up to the Imperial Highway. Heading south, he headed towards the frostback mountains. When the Templars brought him to Kinloch Hold, he had crossed them, so hopefully if he can cross them back, he could be well on his way to the Anderfels.

Night melted into day and Anders hid in the trees, finding a bush to hid in as he slept for a few hours. He traveled the roads at night, having the least likely to run into anyone that way. By now, he knew they had found his empty bed and his rope ladder, but he didn't care. He was free and he was going to stay that way.

Sticking to the trees when people passed and sleeping during the day, Anders managed to elude the Templar patrols sent out to find him. five days passed, then ten. Anders found some berries and fruit to keep hunger at bay, but he didn't pack for being gone for so long. Hunger tore at his stomach.

He came across a road sign pointing to a town named Haven. Squinting up the path, Anders paused for a moment, wondering if he should go to the village. Surely they'd have food...

He looked down the path again, steeling himself. He headed up the path, intent on finding food. He kept his hand tightened around his staff, using it as a walking stick as well, given how he had gone ten days without real food.

He stopped, smelling cooking food. His stomach growled loudly, his feet traveled towards the cooking food. He blinked as he came across a campfire, the food cooking. He paused, looking around, finding no one. He scurried forward and snatched a fish from the fire, sinking his teeth into it and ripping the meat off.
Dahlia Savage
Posted: Feb 8 2012, 09:59 PM


HUMAN ⋅ MAGE-HUNTER ⋅ LO


Group: OFFLINE
Posts: 21
Member No.: 242
Joined: 5-February 12



It wasn’t often she was woken in the night, and as the sound of banging at her door refused to desist, Dahlia felt she didn’t like such impromptu awakenings. Grudgingly, she had swung her legs round to the floor, skin tingling the moment she touched the cold stone floor of her living quarters; she decided she hated whomsoever it was at her door. It was all she could do to pull a dressing gown on across her shivering shoulders in an attempt to return herself the sense of warmth she’d left behind in the warm cocoon of her bed sheets. If the Circle was still standing, she struggled to think what on earth it was that warranted waking her so suddenly.

The last time she had been sprung out from her slumber, it had been her Knight-Commander in the College of Magi back in Nevarra, when she had been told to pack her things and ship out to Ferelden. She hadn’t been in Kinloch hold for much more than a few weeks, on standby while those apprentices, who met specifications, underwent their harrowing. It was a…harrowing time, so open to misfortune and things going horribly wrong that most circles took measures to prepare for it. At least, that was the guise under which she had operated thus far, though her real duty was to keep an eye on those who completed the Harrowing.

With such a trial passed and under their belts, more than a few Mages seemed to get rather ‘brave,’ and suddenly, there was an influx of runaways. This year though, it hadn’t been so bad. Or so Dahlia had been allowed to assume, until the inevitable happened that very night.

She’d heard all about it, upon opening her door. Anders, a talented yet wilful Mage had given the ole’ Ferelden Templars the slip. They themselves didn’t appear to be at all surprised about it, given that he was listed as a flight risk from the very beginning, but their entirely unapologetic apathy over the matter surprised Dahlia. It was as though they’d known it was going to happen, and yet, did nothing to stop it. Really, it was their job to keep a tab on the man, but as news of her arrival from Nevarra had spread (along with her ‘mage-hunter,’ reputation) it seemed that all responsibility for the rogue Anders was laid at her feet. Such a fact did not sit well with the woman, and rather than abide by the negligence of the Ferelden Templars any longer, she had set out that very evening.

From the open window, to the rope swaying in the wind and the missing boat in the alcove, it wasn’t hard to recapture the man’s initial movements. She was almost impressed, almost, before she realised how badly it reflected upon the circles Templars. For a mage to get so far, so quickly, was just…unthinkable.

Of course, the Templars had discovered the open window the same night Anders had escaped, then wasted several more hours searching around the jagged rocks at the bottom of the tower for his body, at some point, they’d realised the absent boat and only then did they think to wake Dahlia. By then, the runaway mage would have had a good lead ahead of her, but Dahlia was not to be perturbed by this.

Neither was she put off by the choppy boat ride to the shore, which had almost capsized thanks to the rower’s lack of coordination. Perhaps it was the way she had been staring at him, it could unnerve anyone. She was thankful when they reached the shore, with the early morning light streaming in through the overhang of clouds, it felt reassuring to have solid ground beneath her boots. Thanks to the light of the sunrise, dim as it may have been to begin with, she didn’t have to trek up and down the shore to find the mages boat, but merely spotted it a few metres from her own. From there, the wet soil of the shore marked out his footsteps towards the road, and then…she had to work a little harder.

Instinct, and her own lack of knowledge of Ferelden kept her on the Imperial Highway the frostback mountains looming forebodingly in the distance. She found the further she moved towards them, the brighter the man’s phylactery would glow within her closed palm. Dahlia could understand the logic, but she didn’t care for it, or the fact that she’d have to follow him through it. She hoped to head him off before he got across them.

As the kitchens hadn’t noted anything about there being any supplies unaccounted for, Dahlia was quite certain her little runaway would be starving very soon. She herself had been given quite the generous amount of supplies; the same could not be said for Anders. As the days went by, she could almost sense the distance between them growing smaller, aside for the phylactery telling her so. A hungry man couldn’t cover as great a distance as a well fed man, it was really that simple.

The map she’d been given named the mountain town as Haven, and when she first step foot in the place, she felt something wasn’t right about it. Something, in the way the villagers looked at her, gave her some cause for concern. They looked to be a backward sort, maybe even all from the same gene-pool, she smirked at that. At the very least, they would be quick to point out changes in their environment and population, this was not somewhere a runaway mage could hide. One probably wouldn’t even try to either, the only thing Haven had going for it was its status as a place of civilisation, and where people were, food was generally plentiful.

The phylactery was almost humming, so much so, she’d stashed it away beneath her armour, hanging around a woven necklace. He was definitely here. She tipped her head back a bit, the scent of cooking fish wafting through the village. Something a starving man would likely seek out immediately. Dahlia sought out the source too, nodding somewhat in acknowledgement to those villagers who spotted her, a smile on her face that said she meant no harm; to them, at least.

She found him poaching fish from a neglected campfire, and grinned. The chase was only part of the fun, the arrest and the dragging back were still to come.

“Stealing holds a hefty penalty, thief.” Dahlia spoke, by way of announcing her presence as she hovered by behind him, her voice loud enough to have caught the attention of those villagers that dallied by whom predictably stopped to stare and mutter amidst themselves.


Anders
Posted: Feb 9 2012, 10:47 PM


Mage, Warden, Healer


Group: OFFLINE
Posts: 119
Member No.: 142
Joined: 25-September 11




Anders savored the taste of the cooked fish, his first taste of meat in thirteen days. The meat melted on his tongue, his eyes sliding closed. So caught up on the taste of the food, he didn’t even realize that anyone was around.

He jumped hearing the feminine voice behind him. “Oh… I’m sorry… I’ll pay for it” he said, thinking it was the owner of the campsite. “I just haven’t eaten in a few days…” He reached into his bag, his back still against the woman.

Fishing out some coin he had, he turned around to face the woman. His eyes widened when it wasn’t the villager he came face to face with, but a Templar. It wasn’t just any Templar, but the one that had horrible stories whispered among the apprentices. He swallowed and dropped the half eaten fish into the dirt.

He remembered the woman from his harrowing, one of the Templars in the harrowing chamber. Her cold eyes still invaded his dreams at night.

Quickly he regained his composure and gave a half assed grin. “My bad…” he said, rubbing the back of his head. Slowly, he took a step back, amber eyes darting around. He saw the people of haven watching what was going on.

He was screwed and Anders knew it. There was no way out of this one, a heavy tree line surrounded three fourths of the campsite and the Templar blocked the only entrance and exit. How could he be so stupid? How could he have fallen so easily into this trap? He swallowed and watched the Templar, hand gripping the practice staff. He didn’t raise it the Templar, just held it at his side.

There has to be a way out of this… maybe I can give her the slip? He thought, his mind still trying to calculate an escape route. Unfortunately, it was sluggish given his state of hunger. He backed up even further, careful not to trip over the fire.

“Look… I know how this works… you look that way… and I’ll go this way… and everyone’s happy” He smiled, though he knew that it wouldn’t work.
Dahlia Savage
Posted: Feb 10 2012, 11:38 AM


HUMAN ⋅ MAGE-HUNTER ⋅ LO


Group: OFFLINE
Posts: 21
Member No.: 242
Joined: 5-February 12



She stood by idly as the mage offered her his apology, muttering about how he’d pay for it and how starved he actually was. Dahlia had of course, stopped listening after realising he wasn’t aware of the fact that there was a Templar at his back. Had she been one for abusing her power (which she was, generally) she may have taken this opportunity to strike him down. Her need to see the hope fleeting from his eyes kept her standing by, and her sword nestled away within its sheath at her back.

As he turned finally, Dahlia smiled warmly at him as though greeting an old friend. His expression seemed less enthusiastic about her appearance, however, and more like a staggered animal staring into the eyes of its hunter. It lasted merely a fleeting moment in time, however, as he was quick to catch himself before falling further into despair and replaced the look of helplessness with a smug grin. Dahlia was not impressed; her eyes narrowed as he muttered something and took a step backwards. When he did, she made up for it by edging closer.

“While you might be a talented mage, Anders, you seem to lack the ability of foresight.” Otherwise he wouldn’t be guzzling down someone else’s fish, or looking so weakened by lack of food. “I’m interested to hear what you planned to do next, after escaping the Circle.” Her keen, calculating eyes noted as he clutched at his practice staff, but that did not deter Dahlia from pushing further forwards.

At his suggestion, she looked less displeased and more amused, even chasing up the quirk of her eyebrows with a soft laughter. “Oh Anders.” She stopped in her progress towards him, shaking her head some as the lilt of her giggles came to a gradual halt, “You clearly have no idea about how this works, despite what you say to the contrary.” Grimacing, Dahlia held her hand out towards him, gesturing that he give her the staff immediately.

“Now, you’re going to come with me back to the Circle and we’ll leave these people in peace.”


Anders
Posted: Feb 10 2012, 04:20 PM


Mage, Warden, Healer


Group: OFFLINE
Posts: 119
Member No.: 142
Joined: 25-September 11



Anders narrowed his eyes a bit at the insult, yellow gold darkening into amber; his hand tightened around the staff. He clenched his jaw shut, refusing to answer her question about what he planned on doing next. She didn't need to know, no one needed to know.

He pulled his staff closer to him, being defiant to her demands. A look of disgust crossed his face at the thought of giving up his staff.

"I was never a threat to these people in the first place" He scoffed. He glanced past her. More villagers came to watch. He didn't want to put them at risk, but he didn't want to go back to the circle. he had escaped. He wasn't meant to be cooped up in a tower, no mage was.

He looked the templar over, in her plate armor, surely she couldn't run fast. Shifting a bit, he threw his staff at her and started to dart around her. his heart pounded as adrenaline filled his veins.

He ran past the templar and the gawkers. "Out of the way... Out of the way" he called frantically as he made a break for it, pushing and shoving the villagers out of the way. He glanced behind him to see how close Dahlia was.
Dahlia Savage
Posted: Feb 10 2012, 08:20 PM


HUMAN ⋅ MAGE-HUNTER ⋅ LO


Group: OFFLINE
Posts: 21
Member No.: 242
Joined: 5-February 12



Dahlia smirked, of course he wouldn't come quietly, few ever did. She hadn't come all this way expecting him to give up so easily, neither had he. Anders had tasted freedom and as with those to come before him, he never wanted it to end. In a perfect world, where magic didn't taint humans, perhaps his wish could come true. This was no perfect world, however, and his was to be a life of imprisonment.

"You're a constant threat to everyone around you, as well as yourself. The moment you think you're beyond losing control, will be the same moment you prove otherwise." Mages had a keen ability with getting too big for their boots. She'd seen it before a thousand times, men and women fresh from their Harrowing, suddenly thinking themselves faultless in their self-control. Magic was unpredictable, it could not be tamed, never entirely. The Circle was by no means perfect, but better than the set up in the Imperium.

She watched him curiously, blue eyes sparking in the dull, eerie sunlight, watching as he seemed to work through things within his mind. Then, his staff was flying towards her and Dahlia caught it before it struck her in the face. In the flurry of movement, she'd vaguely registered Anders flying past her in an attempt to flee.

The suited and booted Templar merely pivoted on her heel in the direction he'd ran, bending one leg at the knee and using it to help snap the practice staff in two. He made slight progress, the gathered crowd making it difficult for him to break free and into the trees as he tried to navigate his way through. There was no urgency to Dahlia's chase, instead, she tossed the broken fragments of the staff into the still burning fire and moved in the direction Anders had run, walking. Leisurely. At some point, she greased the palm of a villager with some coin for the still warm fruit loaf she picked from his stall and continued in Anders wake, picking off pieces of the stuff and tossing it out for the birds that eventually fluttered down out of the sky to claim them.

"Keep running Anders. You'll tire before I do." She was sure of it. Dahlia was also certain he'd become more intent on flinging spells at her when she was out of the village and in the open with him. For that, she greased the palm of a scraggly looking street rat, a young boy no older than thirteen and asked him to carry her shield for her, telling him she'd pay him one sovereign for each mile they walked. He'd be her shield against Anders. "And I do so love watching you Mages tire yourselves out." She needn't ask the villagers to part for her, they simply did her armour and aura of authority enough to convince them of moving.

Anders could not escape.

Anders
Posted: Feb 19 2012, 10:53 PM


Mage, Warden, Healer


Group: OFFLINE
Posts: 119
Member No.: 142
Joined: 25-September 11



Blood pounded though his veins as Anders ran for his life. He had heard what this woman was capable of from the whispers at Kinloch Hold. He didn't doubt any of the tales, but he didn't want to be the next cautionary tale of this woman.

He continued to run, blindly into the forest. He heard her taunting voice behind him and tried to ignore her comments. I am not a threat. I am not a threat. I am not a THREAT became his mantra as he ran. Muscles flexed and contracted, pushing his body further.

Feet planted unsteadily on the dirt, his boots scuffing against rock and tree root alike. He skidded to a halt when the path he was running on came to a sudden end. His chest was heaving, his heart pounding against his chest like rainwater in a rain barrel during a rainstorm. He looked behind him at the templar and the boy she employed to be her shield against his spells. Coward his conscience screamed.

He looked down the cliff he was standing over. It was a good seventy five feet down. He swallowed hard. His mind tried to calculate which way would be the safer way to go. He looked back at the woman, turning to face her, his back against the cliff. He steeled his nerves, hands forming fists at his sides, then slowly unclenched them. He could feel the touch of magic, the pull of the fade as his fingers tingled.

He was prepared to fight the Templar, prepared to make a stand. His eyes narrowed as he stared down the approaching Templar. Suddenly the ground, damp from recent rains, gave way under Ander's feet. Narrowed eyes widened as he stumbled to get to stable land or grab a hold of rocks or exposed tree roots so he wouldn't fall seventy five feet. Fingers clawed at loosening dirt.
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