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 Fear and Lothering in Ferelden, The Smash Sisters lick their wounds
Scully Brosca
Posted: Jun 11 2011, 05:29 PM


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How long had they been on this road? Scully had tried keeping track of the passage of time by the rising and setting of the sun, but that whole process was confusing! So far, she had counted the sun setting once, and the sun rising once. How long had that been?

Tamar's condition seemed to be improving, but Scully was no healer. They had to find people soon, or they would both be in trouble.

"I smell smoke." Scully said, lifting her head up into the air and sniffing. It wasn't the smell of burning bodies, and she couldn't sense the darkspawn. She was sure they were ahead of the horde. This smoke smelled like... a wood fire. They were close to a town! And healing! And food! And drink! She could barely contain her happiness, all grins and giggles.

There was a rumble of wheels behind them, and Scully waved her arm out, if they could hitch a ride the rest of the way, it would make things so much easier on the two of them.

"Hellooooooo!" She shouted, waving her arms madly. She grinned at Tamar, pleased with herself.
Tamar Aeducan
Posted: Jun 11 2011, 06:23 PM


Commander of the Grey


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Thus far, they had managed to outpace the bulk of the horde. She could still sense Darkspawn in her periphery, but they were distant. Tamar wasn’t sure how they had managed to get this far unscathed; their pace was abysmal. She still required Scully’s arm to support her, hobbling along the worn highway like an old maid.

Because they were not making any sort of time, she had refused to let Scully stop, even when the sun set. They were both worn down to the point of breaking, and she felt badly for pushing so hard, but she knew that they had to keep moving. Scully would make much better time alone, she had pointed out during one brief respite, but the woman was stubborn.

Like a couple of head-butting brontos… Tamar thought, smiling a little before more sobering ideas drew her attention. If they did not run across some luck soon, Scully may have no choice. Tamar needed a healer in a bad way. No sooner had this thought crossed her mind, however, than the rumble of wheels alerted them to a wagon on the road behind them. They shuffled off to the side of the road, and Tamar used the broadsword she had scavenged from the field at Ostagar to lean against while Scully flagged them down, a grin finally returning to her face. Tamar couldn't help but smile in response. Even now, Scully's enthusiasm was catching.

A pair of sturdy beasts—she could not recall their proper name, though she probably had heard it used before—drew the covered wagon, and pulled to a stop nearly level with the two women. Trusting Scully to charm a ride out of the driver, Tamar didn’t raise her head. It was too much effort, and her energy was better spent breathing.

“Dwarves?!” A man’s voice, and surprised. “..and armed to the teeth. What are you ladies doing on the road alone, in these dangerous times? You don’t look like merchants.”
Scully Brosca
Posted: Jun 11 2011, 09:19 PM


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"We're injured, kind ser, and we need a ride to the nearest town. My friend here isn't going to last much longer without a proper healer and food." Scully smiled at the man as sweetly as she could. They were both exhausted, having all but run from Ostagar.

When Scully leaned her face up to look at the man speaking, she was surprised to see another dwarf. A surfacer, and a merchant at that! At least they would be in good company, it was like a little bit of home landing at their feet.

"I'm called Scully, and this is my friend Tamar." Waving a little wouldn't hurt, right?
Tamar Aeducan
Posted: Jun 11 2011, 10:56 PM


Commander of the Grey


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"Well met, I'm sure." The man seemed uncertain as he climbed down from his wagon, resting a hand on the flank of one of the great beasts. Tamar sensed him appraising them, and looked up, surprised to see a dwarf! He had russet hair and a matching beard, braided into a fashionable pattern, like any well-to-do of the higher castes of Orzammar. Behind him, she could see that the wagon was filled with crates and barrels. A merchant, then. That made sense.

"Bodahn Feddic, at your service, sers." The dwarf looked up and down the road, taking in where they'd come from and the direction they were obviously heading. "Lothering's not more than a day's ride ahead, the way these oxen move. I can't leave such a charming lass behind to be swallowed by the Blight, now can I? Come here," he waved at Tamar, "let me give you a hand up. You look as though you've got quite the story to tell." He extended a hand, offering it to her with a sympathetic smile.

Tamar hesitated, but knew that they had to accept his help. Another debt she had no way of repaying. She should be grateful for this turn in their luck--that someone would happen upon this Blight-stricken highway and not demand compensation for their passage was no small incident--but she hated the idea of owing favors.

"Sandal! Make room in the wagon for two more, lad! Snap to!" There was a commotion from somewhere in the depths of the canvas, and Bodahn answered Tamar's question before she posed it, saying "--Just my son, Sandal. Here," He gestured for hand, and she accepted. Gingerly, cautious of her wounds, he lifted her into the wagon, handing her sword up after her.

Settling between the canvas and the crates, Tamar closed her eyes. It was so nice to sit. She knew she shouldn't sleep, that she needed to begin to try to plot their next move, but she was so tired...
Scully Brosca
Posted: Jun 12 2011, 09:28 PM


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"And by the Ancestors, do we have a story. But it will have to wait until later." Scully feigned exhaustion, hiding a yawn behind her hand. She helped herself up into the cart, and settled herself next to Tamar. Her friend looked exhausted as well. "I think we both need a rest." Scully couldn't remember the last time she'd had a proper sleep.

But this village called Lothering wasn't that far away. Only another day away. Maybe there would be food and water and a healer for Tamar! Their luck had much improved, and Scully rested her head against a crate, taking stock of their new surroundings.

This Bodahn seemed like a decent fellow, what with a fully stocked merchant cart. Crates full of food and armor and other such goods. Her fingers were just twitching at the thought of it all. He wouldn't notice anything missing, what with all these full crates?

No, she couldn't steal from him. He was helping them, with nothing to gain from it. Scully let out a sigh, and sat opposite Tamar, who looked like she was having a struggle all of her own. Scully dug the flask of alcohol out of her bosom, and shook it gently, only a little left.

"Here, drink the rest and sleep, salroka. I'll keep an eye out for trouble."
Tamar Aeducan
Posted: Jun 12 2011, 10:38 PM


Commander of the Grey


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Tamar had already begun to doze when Scully offered her the flask. She considered accepting it for half a moment, but did not open her eyes. She needed no help drifting off, and was not sure her pride could accept any more charity. It was a small thing, to be sure, but it gave her some comfort. She already owed Scully much, and she was unaccustomed to being in anyone’s debt, regardless of whether Scully actually expected repayment.

The jostling of the cart might have made her uncomfortable, but she fell deep into sleep before the oxen had even jerked forward, pulling the wagon forward with a great pitch. Her exhaustion was so complete that not even the nightmares of the Archdemon could interrupt her rest.


She didn’t stir again until the wagon lurched suddenly, and Bodahn’s voice drifted back to her, woaaahing the beasts to a stop. Upon waking, she was quickly aware that enough time had passed to increase her stiffness. She tilted her head, half expecting it to creak right off its hinges.

“A-are we here already?” She stuttered, looking around and catching herself on a crate as she tipped with the swaying of the wagon. The sun seemed to have crossed the entire sky in a matter of moments. She heard their driver laugh once, before he called back,

“Already? You’ve slept the trip away. Welcome to Lothering, ladies. It’s not much, but by the looks of things you aren’t the first refugees to come through here….”

Tamar was torn between relief at their arrival and irritation at herself. Now what? She had no plan to follow after reaching this human settlement, and had slept away the opportunity to formulate one. Lazy fool, she berated herself. What, in the name of all the Paragons, were she and Scully supposed to do next?
Scully Brosca
Posted: Jun 13 2011, 06:30 PM


Tater Salad


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Scully was finding it hard to keep her own eyes open as well. She polished off the last of her flask, and curled up in a ball on the floor of the merchant's cart as soon as Tamar's eyes had closed. Sleep came quickly, claiming her just as fast as it did the other woman.

It seemed as soon as her eyes had shut, she was being flung forward and into a crate. Scully's immediate response was for her hand to go to her chest, digging for a dagger. Why had they stopped? Was it darkspawn? Bandits? She could handle it! The redhead jumped to her feet, ready to defend.

Then she paid attention to what was being said. They were at the village already? "Praise my thieving Ancestors!" Her demeanor changed from on the offensive to cheerful, and she grinned at Tamar, who looked worried. Scully's smile never broke, and she smoother her hair out, then peeked out from behind the canvas of the cart. Bodahn was right, there were quite a few refugees scattered about the village, and they looked just as bad as Scully and Tamar. There were several small camps set up along the outskirts, by the Highway. Further off in the distance, there was a large building where most of the people seemed to be flocking to. Scully could hear faint music coming from it. That seemed like as good a place to start.

"Thank you, Bodahn, for all your help. We'll find a way to repay you for your kindness, eventually." Scully turned her bright smile to the merchant and his son. She was also very proud of herself for not pilfering anything from his wares the entire time. She hopped down from the cart, helping Tamar get down as well.

"There's a big building over there, past the camps. All the humans seem to be heading for it. I think we should go there first, see if we can't find a healer for you."
Leliana
Posted: Jun 14 2011, 10:56 AM


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((-flails in-))

Being the nearest settlement to Ostagar, Lothering was busier than ever after the battle with the darkspawn there. Terrible rumors flooded in along with the refugees: rumors of a Blight coming. Rumors that the Grey Wardens were traitors. Rumors of King Cailan's death.

Leliana fully believed that a Blight was coming. Her vision had told her as much. And a Blight could only be ended by the Grey Wardens. She did not believe that they could have betrayed Ferelden. All the legends and songs Leliana knew of the Grey Wardens spoke only of their unfaltering strength and the sacrifices they made to protect the lands from darkspawn. They would not turn their backs on Ferelden at a time like this. And there was her vision... telling her clearly what she needed to do. The Maker favored the Wardens.

She had no doubt that she would come across them soon. Everyone fleeing Ostagar ended up in Lothering, seeking refuge in the chantry.

That was where the bard found herself now, tending to the sick and weary. Her heart ached for those unfortunate refugees who had been robbed just outside the town; for the the children orphaned by the darkspawn. But they all found their way here. With kindness only could she help them, but Leliana would do her best. And the Maker would guide her down the right path; she was certain. She could feel it in the air that something was about to change.

"More refugees by the minute." Ser Bryant approached her, a crease between his brows. "We will never be able to shelter them all. Lothering will not last long at this rate. The people don't need to linger here."

"More will be lost than just Lothering, Ser Bryant, if this is truly a Blight," Leliana said. "But we must do what we can for the people who find their way here. The chantry cannot turn away a soul in need."

"We may have no choice soon. There is no room for them all."

"Outside the chantry then," Leliana agreed. "We can offer aid there, too. The Maker is not trapped within these walls. Why should we be?"

He made a noncommittal noise, turning away from her. She knew the templar well. He was not unkind. In fact, he was a generous man. But he was under great strain with the templars being the only armed force left in Lothering as well as being responsible for a surplus of refugees. Leliana did not begrudge him his cynicism.

She had spoken truthfully, however. Later, she planned on leaving the chantry to offer aid to those crowded into shoddy tents outside, and crammed into the local tavern because there was room no where else. But for the moment, there were several who had been injured fleeing the darkspawn who needed tending to within the chantry. Leliana was no healer, but she could manage bandages and fetch clean water for the weakened souls to drink.

Something told her she needed to be here, for now. The Maker's hand was steering her toward the right place and time. Leliana had faith.
Tamar Aeducan
Posted: Jun 14 2011, 08:03 PM


Commander of the Grey


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Tamar accepted Scully’s hand to assist her in climbing down from the wagon. Leaning on her sword, she offered a stiff salute, crossing her chest in the traditional way and bowing as deep as she could manage. “Thank you, Bodahn. Atrast nal tunsha.” May you always find your way in the dark. Such darkness, Tamar knew. The Blight was quick behind them, and if she and Scully were the only surviving Wardens….darkness was indeed in store for Ferelden.

Bodahn nodded at them, tugging his braids. “Sandal and I will be around for a few days, at least. These people might can use our goods. I don’t know what your plans are, but if you decide to move on, you’re welcome to join us for a ways.”

“Thank you, Bodahn,” Tamar said again, “I don’t know what we’re going to do,” She looked at Scully, uncertain and unwilling to commit to any path at this time, “but we will certainly consider your generous offer. We’re grateful.” Talking so much was painful, and she took several shallow breaths as she turned away.

Scully pulled her gently around, steering her towards the only real building in sight. Tamar suspected it was a Chantry, but it seemed to currently be serving as a first aid station, and many of the wounded refugees were heading that way already.

“They look like they’ve been busy.” She remarked with a grimace as they joined the queue, not overly hopeful for the sort of aid they could get here. Any aid, of course, was welcome aid, but it was painfully apparent that these people were struggling themselves. There may not be much they could offer.
Gabrielle Hawke
Posted: Jun 14 2011, 08:59 PM


Unregistered









Some of these refugees must have news from Ostagar. Maybe some of them survived the battle, and would have news about Carver. He’d been gone for too long now, and the news the Hawke family had heard wasn’t good news. A darkspawn victory, a Grey Warden betrayal, King Cailan dead, the army destroyed, Teyrn Loghain declaring himself the Regent; all of these rumors were flying about the country. One of these refugees had to know something.

Gabrielle wasn’t one to blindly accept what she was told, never had been. Especially since her father passed away, she had had to step up and take more responsibility than she ever had to before. It had definitely made her stronger. Right now, the news she was hearing made absolutely no sense. Why in the world would the Grey Wardens, sworn to end the Blights and defeat the darkspawn, side with the darkspawn? Unless it was a political maneuver to kill the King, like they had once before they were exiled from Fereldan, there was no other logical reason.

Eyes scanning the refugee camps, she stopped a few battle-hardened looking men and asked for news, but all she got in return were the same rumors she had been hearing in the week since the battle. One man even had the nerve to offer her a silver coin to come “warm his tent” for him. Scowling, she had turned her back and left without a word in response, having to clench her fists tightly to stop the involuntary lightning that immediately jumped to her fingertips.

Next stop was the Chantry, where long lines of more refugees awaited any aid that could be provided. Resolving to invite whoever had news of Carver back to the farmhouse for a nicer meal and bed, she scanned the lines for anyone who looked a likely candidate.

After a few more useless answers, she resolved to check the tavern next. Maybe those who survived the battle would be drowning their horrors in tankards of ale. Just as she was about to leave, however, two dwarves caught her eye. Both had weapons, and one was in armor. The other looked to be in bad shape, as if she had been wounded. In the battle, maybe?

Hopes soaring, Gabrielle strode over to them. “Excuse me,” she started, “Were either of you in the Battle of Ostagar, by any chance? I’m looking for news about my brother.”
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