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 The Odd Couple, Carver
Loghain Mac Tir
Posted: Oct 22 2011, 10:28 PM

On Borrowed Time

Posts: 80
Member No.: 150
Joined: 18-October 11

9 Kingsway
9:32 Dragon

Loghain had a mixed relationship with the Deep Roads, something between being grateful and being terrified of them. From what he'd gathered from the other Wardens in the time he'd been with them, the terror wasn't exactly an uncommon reaction to being miles underneath the earth in Darkspawn infested pits with no way out. The gratefulness, well, that was something rather unique to him.

Loghain had been, all things considered, rather surprised that Orzammar hadn't really taken to avoiding him like most people on the surface did, once they learned precisely who he was. Apparently the kind of stupid bullshit he'd pulled was far from uncommon among the dwarves, and none of them seemed to see it as any particular skin of their backs, since he hadn't done anything against them specifically.

And to his surprise, this little group of foreign Wardens he'd met hadn't seemed to care overmuch either. Risbet had cheerfully proclaimed herself to be a murderer within the first few hours that Loghain had met her, her Antivan accent clearly marking the elf apart from the rest of them. Loghain had had his suspicions that she may have been a Crow in the past, but if she was the pretty redhead wasn't planning on telling. Scarra was a mage, originally from the Starkhaven Circle, and hadn't seemed to care much one way or the other who Loghain was, instead saving most of his considerable dislike for the Templars. Not that he was in any position to do much about it at this point.

And rounding out their little group was one boisterous dwarf named Brethgann that rather reminded Loghain of someone he once knew, though this one smelled better that wielded a great big maul as if it were nothing. The brand on his face had marked him as a casteless, though like most things it didn't matter now. In addition, he was accompanied by a truly massive bearded man named Frath who seemed to speak only in grunts and single syllables, who was Loghain's favorite of them all.

They all had rather interesting pasts, and though Loghain had gotten so many of the Order killed at Ostagar, they seemed to accept him without too much trouble. In fact, that was likely why Loghain was paired with this little group in the first place. When he'd asked about it, Brethgann had responded that he wouldn't be the first Grey Warden to have killed others before joining. It, all in all Loghain thought, was rather more than he deserved.

Which apparently the youngest member of the group agreed with. Well, at least they could agree on something even if it was that.

Loghain didn't know much about the newest recruit, Carly, Carson? Something like that. And it seemed that the boy hadn't wanted much to do with him, either, and kept to his own side of the camp. He wondered what he'd done to piss the lad off, and supposed the list was probably too long to narrow down too well. Either way, he'd accepted the young man's clear dislike without comment. That's right, he had a rather unusual name, Carver or something like it. He didn't recognize it. The young Warden was a new member to their little group, having joined them shortly before the trip had begun.

They'd only been traveling for a day so far, but they were already deep enough into the Deep Roads that Loghain had been working on a map as they went. There were endless miles to this place, and any little bit helped. They'd only encountered a tiny group of Darkspawn half a day ago, and it had been easy enough to dispatch them. They sat underneath one of the old crumbling statues of some Paragon or another around a tiny campfire, the darkness around them looming and somehow quite threatening. Hopefully if all went well, they'd reach Kal'Hirol by tomorrow night.

Loghain tucked his cloak tighter around him and sighed, eyeing the soup boiling over the small cauldron suspiciously as Risbet laughed with Scarra about some joke or another.

"No offense, but that stew looks suspicious." He said, wondering if he had any jerky left.

"Hey, Loghain, if you want to go ahead and cook, be my guest!" Brethgann growled, giving him a glare and stirring his soup protectively. Scarra leaned forward, his serious face grave, and poked at it with the end of his staff.

"I hope that's not what I think it is." He noted, though Loghain detected a slight sly expression in his eye.

"I'll have you know that Deep Stalkers are a perfectly acceptable food source." Brethgann sniffed in offense, turning to glare as Risbet leaned closer and into his personal space, grinning.

"Maybe for stinky old dwarves." She said cheerfully.

Loghain laughed and shook his head, opening one of the pouches at his side and looking to see if he had any food that didn't come from Brethgann's questionable food sources. Frath shrugged, venturing one of his few words.

"I've eaten worse." He said noncommittally, helping himself to a good big ladle of soup into the small wooden bowl that looked even smaller in his massive hands.
Carver Hawke
Posted: Nov 21 2011, 10:02 PM

In Your Shadow

Posts: 62
Member No.: 52
Joined: 25-May 11

Carver hated the Deep Roads, more even than he had hated Uncle Gamlen’s hovel. Aside from the closed-in oppression of the slick stone walls, Carver was always reminded of how he had gotten into this line of work. The Roads were responsible. Well, the Roads and his sister’s insatiable ego.

He did his best to put the bitterness aside, or at least push it a little deeper beneath the surface. It didn’t matter now, and his bitter resentment of his station wouldn’t change it.

As soon as they passed below ground and into the darkness of the Roads, Carver felt the Taint rise in his veins. He hoped he was imagining it, but it seemed to dance under his skin, clawing away at the ends of his nerves the way it had when he had first contracted it.

To make things worse, his first assignment was to a group of foreigners. Once he’d been initiated as a Warden he had been told that nationality meant nothing, but that was a complete load and it seemed to him that everyone knew it. Or at least, they should. Still, Carver felt could tolerate the foreigners if the only other Ferelden in their little party wasn’t that man.

Carver was still seething from discovering that Loghain Mac Tir had been made a Grey Warden. It devalued the honor of the station that someone of his history bore the title. It made the young Hawke feel ill to be anywhere near the murdering traitor, and he made a point of walking as far away from the man as possible. He had nothing to discuss with the traitor, nor did he wish to share air. To that end, Carver found himself opposite Loghain when they hunkered around the fire.

The dwarf—Brethgann, Carver remembered—had begun preparing a soup for their ration, and Carver’s nose wrinkled as the odor filled the cave. Even though it smelled rather rank, Carver’s stomach rumbled and he found himself craving his sister’s cooking. No one in his family was particularly talented at the stove, but…well…he’d never admit it, but Carver missed home.

Brooding a little about how he felt completely ostracized from this group of foreign strangers and the carefree camaraderie they seemed to share, Carver pushed off the cold stone floor to fill his bowl half way. The young Warden took a tentative sniff at the substance before blowing on his spoon and lifting it to his lips.

It was possible that this was worse than his sister’s cooking. In his knowledge, she had never tried to cook a Deep Stalker.

"H-how does that qualify as edible?" He choked, coughing as the stew burned his throat.
Loghain Mac Tir
Posted: Dec 13 2011, 10:06 AM

On Borrowed Time

Posts: 80
Member No.: 150
Joined: 18-October 11

Loghain, as was his custom, ignored the boy when he approached the fire, which was probably for the best. In the past, he'd always been part of organizations who'd had something in common even if they hadn't always gotten along on a personal level, but the Wardens? The Wardens were a strange hodgepodge of different people from different backgrounds, and Loghain had met one or two that hadn't even spoken a language he could understand. He was bound to run into people that went beyond 'we don't get along' well into, 'I will stab him if I have to spend one more day with him' territory'. And indeed, he had more often than not.

All in all, ignoring the boy was probably the smartest option. Not that the infamous Loghain Mac Tir always made the most intelligent decisions, mind you.

A form padded silently up from the shadows around them, a Mabari, coat gleaming with health but seamed by scars. The bitch growled and bared her teeth at the mage and the archer that she pushed through to get to her master, her one indignant eye looking at Carver, then ignoring him as if finding him less than a waste of her time.

"Lady, where have you been off to?" Loghain said fondly, tossing a bit of jerky at the Mabari. She snapped it out of the air with a flash of sharp teeth, and laid down behind the former Regent, back facing him and chewing on the jerky with not so much of a stubby tail wag. Loghain shrugged and went back to his stew, chewing on a bit of tough sinew placidly.

Without wishing them to, Loghain's thoughts turned to the newest member of the little band, and he watched him with a strange expression of almost-puzzlement. Though, there really wasn't that much to be puzzled about, all things considered. Many Fereldens had a chip on their shoulders against him, and for good reason. He couldn't help but be curious as to what transgression he'd committed against this particularly lad. It didn't matter a whit, but he was curious regardless.

Loghain noted the way the others watched Carver with some expectation, and couldn't help but chuckle under his breath. They'd done the same to him the first time he'd had Deepstalker, which wasn't really considered edible in polite society. Brethgann outright guffed at the boy's reactions, and even the huge, bearded Frath ventured a chuckle.

"Deep Stalker a little too much for you, Carver?" Risbet grinned wickedly leaning in close to the newest Warden.

"It could be worse, you know." Loghain said in a conversational tone, dipping into his stew with his fingers and lifting an unidentified organ out of it, making a face and tossing it gently into Lady's expectant, open maw. "The first time I went into the Deep Roads with them, they made me look for the key to a door inside a Genlock's gut. All of it."

Scarra burst into a quick, short hyena-like laugh, and Brethgann's grin was short of frightening.

"He squeezed Darkspawn intestine for an hour before we finally told him there was no key." Risbet bumped her shoulder against the sturdy young man. Loghain noted that often, she offered a hand to the newest Wardens when they were feeling uncertain.

"They think they're hilarious, you'll soon find. Never trust an Elf, boy." Loghain laughed with them. He'd been highly offended at the time, but there was nothing truly vindictive about the prank. Disgusting and very disturbing in a dark and morbid way, but no harm meant.
Carver Hawke
Posted: Dec 27 2011, 11:16 AM

In Your Shadow

Posts: 62
Member No.: 52
Joined: 25-May 11

Loghain's ragged Mabari padded up to the group, sneering at everyone before accepting a bit of jerky from her master. The creature confused Carver, who had always coveted the great dogs. What could a Mabari possibly see in a man like Loghain? They were supposed to be great judges of character. Of course, this one seemed questionable, with her one eye and wicked temper. Maybe that's what they had in common.

Risbet bumped his shoulder good-naturedly, perhaps trying to encourage him. Bethany had been that way, sometimes, and Risbet's gesture boosted his spirits at the same time he missed his sister.

Ah well, he could at least be grateful that she had stayed safe at home with their mother. Wardening would not have been to Bethany's taste. He wasn't sure it was to his, either, but at least he had some experience soldiering. When they returned to the surface he would write her, he resolved.

"Spawn guts wouldn't bother me." Carver said, a little defensively. It was true though. He had waded through an ocean of them to escape Ostagar. "It's mostly the smell, but once you get past that--" He shrugged.

"This though?" He took another hesitant taste of the stew, and his face contorted again. "This is cruel." He was starving, as the rumbling of his gut readily displayed, but he couldn't decide if it was better to starve or to eat another bit of this horrid stew.
Loghain Mac Tir
Posted: Dec 29 2011, 02:41 PM

On Borrowed Time

Posts: 80
Member No.: 150
Joined: 18-October 11

"Good for you, lad." Loghain said distantly when Carver spoke up again, a little more preoccupied with poking through his soup with the end of his wooden spoon. Last time he'd had this, he'd found something uncomfortably like a hairy bone inside of it, and he'd been sick for a week afterwards. Beggers couldn't be chosers, of course, but Lady was more than happy to clean up anything he didn't want. An animal that often enjoyed rolling in rotting dead animals wasn't too picky about what she put in her mouth, he'd noted.

Brethgann laughed heartily, drinking up his soup as if it were a mug of ale, and taking long swigs from his flask that was no doubt filled with something stronger. He didn't seem to care if they made noise, but then again the former castless dwarf didn't seem to care a wit if he lived or died in any case. Rumors had already been circulating amoung the others that Brethgann was beginning to have more intense dreams, and had been even more reckless than usual.

It was a shame. Loghain was going to miss him when he went on his Calling. With his age, it probably wouldn't be that much longer before he joined him. He'd be lying if he said he was looking forward to it, but it was better than wasting away from the Darkspawn illness in a bed somewhere. He glanced at Carver and Risbet and Scarra, all of them young, and none of the three over the age of 28. It seemed like such a shame to cut their lives so short. No one really knew how old Frath was.

Risbet grinned, picking through her soup as well.

"You're new to the Order, aren't you Carver? What's your story?" She asked curiously, either not knowing or not caring it could have been a sensitive issue.
Carver Hawke
Posted: Dec 31 2011, 11:53 AM

In Your Shadow

Posts: 62
Member No.: 52
Joined: 25-May 11

Risbet's straightforward question caught Carver off-guard, and he spilled hot soup over his hands as he jumped. He hissed, shaking the scalding liquid off his hand.

"Ah! Erm..." He looked up, a little startled to see everyone staring at him. They hadn't paid him this much attention since he had been assigned to the rag-tag group.

"It's...nothing exciting." He had heard the tales of the Hero of Ferelden, of course. Lady Cousland had joined the Wardens after her family had been brutally killed, and many of her companions that fought to end the Ferelden Blight had exciting stories. Loghain himself had joined the Order at their behest, and had served under the Commander of the Grey, who had been one of the Wardens to end that same Blight.

His own story seemed rather...well, lame, in comparison.

"My sisters and I had worked our way into an Expedition. We slaved for weeks to scrape up the coin to buy our way in as partners. Adrian hoped it would help us get out of Kirkwall's slums...we were stuck there like all the other refugees..." His cheeks burned, ashamed of his family's poverty.

"We should have known better though--once we were in the Deep Roads our partner turned on us. He locked us down there and left us to die." Carver's voice was steady, almost emotionless. He could remember how frightened he'd been, thinking of his poor mother, how glad he had been that Bethany had not come, and worrying how their family would get by without him and Adrian. Adrian had been scared too. They all had been. But he told the tale as if it had happened to someone else, and he had just been an observer.

"My sister wasn't going to let that happen, of course. We'd worked too hard to just lay down and die. She found another way around, but...we'd been underground for a long time. I was sick. I told them to leave me--I saw plenty of the sickness in the Blight, before Ostagar. I knew there was no cure. But we had a Grey Warden with us--Anders knew where we could find other Wardens."

As much as Carver had disliked the mage, as dangerous as he had found the man, it was a strange feeling to owe his life to the apostate. "He didn't want to find them, of course. I think he's on the run from the Order, but he said he couldn't just leave me to die. We found the Wardens and they took me to the surface and gave me their 'cure'." He couldn't keep the bitterness out of his voice at that last bit. He was grateful not to be dead, of course, but slowing the inevitable was not what he would call a "cure".
Loghain Mac Tir
Posted: Jan 3 2012, 04:59 PM

On Borrowed Time

Posts: 80
Member No.: 150
Joined: 18-October 11

Of course, they hadn't been paying much attention, but despite what Carver might have believed, it was not out of any sort of spite and dislike they did so. As a general rule, Grey Wardens tried to avoid bullying other Wardens into speaking up unless they wished to, a rare show of tact that was sadly necessary with so many people of such different backgrounds working together. All they'd known about Carver at first was that he was new to the Wardens, and a Ferelden, but not much else. Now in the Deep Roads, though, their curiosity was getting the better of them. Strictly speaking, Risbet could have been considered out of line, for not letting Carver speak up on his own.

Still, despite themselves, all the Wardens, even Loghain, leaned in to hear what he had to say. Even if they were supposed to be legendary warriors, that didn't mean they couldn't be curious.

Unlike in some other places, no one made any sort of face when Carver mentioned how poor his family was. Loghain would be the last one to say something haughty about that sort of thing: his father had been a lowly peasant farmer without a name, and his mother an illiterate (but amazing) commoner woman with not a sovereign to their names. Loghain restrained himself from wincing when Carver mentioned Ostagar, like he wanted to do every time anyone mentioned Ostagar. He tried to keep as neutral a face as possible. It would be a lie to say that Loghain thought himself in the wrong with that battle, but... it was difficult. Many of the troops there were so young, had grown up in a world where they were free from the Orlesian yoke. They couldn't understand the meaning of sacrifice, the price that everyone had to pay. Loghain regretted many, many things, but retreating at Ostagar was not one of them.

Probably unwise to mention, in any case.

Risbet made a noise of sympathy, eyes gentle.

"No matter how you came to us, Carver, we're all glad to have you here. Being able to survive the Taint under such a circumstance.... well." She grinned, and Brethgann grunted, though what he meant from it, was hard to say.

Loghain shrugged, then paused with unnatural stillness. He threw his head up, looking down one of the darkened halls of the crossroads with a frightening intensity.

"Do you feel that?" He said lowly to the others, "We need to move. Now."

Loghain had, oddly enough, sensed it seconds before the rest of them had, but the taint was present just down the hall, and moving quickly.
Carver Hawke
Posted: Jan 12 2012, 03:46 PM

In Your Shadow

Posts: 62
Member No.: 52
Joined: 25-May 11

Carver jumped a little as Risbet touched his arm. The elf's touch was lighter than he had expected--or anything he had experienced in a good long while--and it sent a strange surge down his spine. He didn't like the pity in her eyes, though. He knew she meant well, but his hackles rose and he pulled away from her touch. She grinned at him.

Opening his mouth, he began to--what? Snap at her? Growl? Apologize? He wasn't certain.

Whatever his intentions had been, they never reached fruition. Loghain's warning was enough for everyone to spring to the ready, hands on their weapons. Carver, so new to the Wardens, could sense nothing. He had heard others speak of the strange ability to sense the Spawn. He reached over his right shoulder, wrapping his hand around the familiar and worn leather grip.

Risbet looked up, her eyes going distant as she focused on something beyond Carver's abilities. "That's a lot of Darkspawn." She didn't sound concerned, but a furrow had appeared between her brows. Those delicate hands closed into fierce fists around the knives at her back, and she was suddenly much more intimidating than she had appeared when offering comfort to the new recruit.

Brethgann kicked hastily at the small cooking fire, extinguishing it with his boot. Everyone knew it was probably already too late--the Spawn would have smelled the smoke and the pungent soup--but it would still serve them better if they could avoid discovery rather than stand and fight. Alerting the hoard of their presence would complicate their mission considerably. Their makeshift camp fell into darkness until Scarra produced a weak werelight, burning from the orb at the tip of his staff. It glowed just bright enough to lend his fellows shape in the darkness. Carver was familiar with the spell--his father had used it as a nightlight for the children when they were very small--but the shadows it cast here made the darkness of the Deep Roads more unsettling than they naturally were.

They abandoned what had been an already makeshift camp--hardly anything had been unpacked--and moved with swift urgency away from the approaching Spawn. Scarra led the way, silent and grim-faced. Risbett followed close behind, knives drawn, with a look of practiced boredom.

For his own part, Carver kept calm. He followed at the back of the group, close to the dwarf, and though he had reassured himself of its presence did not draw his blade. It was far too unwieldy to swing about in these close tunnels when they were not immediately in combat.

"Stop!" Scarra hissed suddenly, thrusting out his arm to prevent Risbett from overtaking him. The Wardens bunched together, pressed against the cold arch of the Road, less than a yard away from a sharp turn in their path.

"Wha--" Carver bit his lip as someone heavy trod on his foot.

"Oh no." The whites of Risbett's eyes flashed wide, and even in the dim light Carver could see that fear was now present. That did not bode well.

"Which way?" Scarra asked her, urgently. He held his staff behind him, keeping the light as far from the corner as he could reach.

She hesitated only a second. "There are more behind than ahead. Move forward. Let's try to make this quick." She added. No more fuss than was required.

"Cover your eyes." Scarra instructed, swinging his staff back around, and Carver barely got his arm up in time. Bolts of blinding white shot from the same orb, arcing around the corner and dancing from one Darkspawn to the next. The smell of burnt flesh and an audible electric sizzle drifted back to the Wardens. The Darkspawn howled.

"I love that spell." Risbett grinned.

"I know." Though Scarra did not grin, the corners of his mouth twitched with some amusement.

Brethgann grunted and elbowed Carver in the gut, saying, "I'll guard the rear. Those bastards are closer than I'd like."

Carver growled at the dwarf, but drew his blade and pushed past the rogue and mage. It was standard to let the warriors into the fray first, to make openings for the rogues and mages to exploit.

Around the corner the path narrowed to the point where Carver's shoulders brushed the wall on either side. Directly after that though, a cascade of loose stone lead to what could only have been the actual dwarven highway. It was wide enough for wagons to pass down, and tall statues lined either side.

It was so familiar, and yet he knew this was a part of the Roads he hadn't seen before.

The lightning spell was dying quickly, but it provided enough light for Carver to see their foes. A handful of Genlocks--no real threat there--and one Hurlock Alpha would be no trouble at all. But the Ogre. Carver felt his mouth go dry.

The last time he had seen an Ogre...well. It had very nearly been the last time he'd seen anything. His knuckles went white, but he knew he didn't have time to waste. The Hurlock alpha was at the back of the group, and that's where Carver directed his steps, thinking it best to take the leader down first.
Loghain Mac Tir
Posted: Jan 13 2012, 10:05 PM

On Borrowed Time

Posts: 80
Member No.: 150
Joined: 18-October 11

"Yes, that is. Far more than there should be this close to the surface." Loghain murmured with some alarm, eyes flickering across the darkened halls as if he expected them to be on them at any second. He was probably right to do so, though he flinched when the light of the fire was extinguished by Brethgann's boot and plunged them into further darkness. It didn't take as long as it had at the beginning for his eyes to adjust to the lessened light. That still didn't mean he had to like it.

Scarra's light was comforting, but it was a calculated risk, he knew. They Darkspawn might be able to see his light and track them easier, but in the end the light was likely moot. The ability to sense Darkspawn went both ways, Loghain had eventually learned sometime after his joining, and it was uncommon for Wardens to make a trip to the Deep Roads that didn't involve Darkspawn at some point.

So far, Loghain approved of Carver's actions if not his attitude. He had dropped the brooding act with swiftness, and the awkwardness of the new member seemed to disappear when faced with a crisis. Loghain kept near the back of the pack after unhooking his shield and sliding it onto his arm, the cloth and leather cover over it making it impossible to see what emblem if any that the shield was emblazoned with. Loghain preferred it that way. Some had tried to get him to retire this shield over the years, and he had always refused. Still, his ownership of it was not something he wished broadly broadcasted.

Their trek had entered into a odd sort of soothing pattern when Scarra stopped them suddenly, his senses having always been slightly more acute to the Darkspawn than the rest of them. Brethgann cursed silently and didn't apologize for treading on the young human's boot. It really was not the time for it. Loghain tensed, pressed shoulder to shoulder against Carver in the tight tunnel.

"Oh, brilliant. We're surrounded." Loghain frowned deeply as he murmured to Carver, the boy haven't come into his ability to sense the 'spawn yet. It was perhaps unnecessary with their next words, but it hadn't been that long ago that Loghain had merely had to go on what others told him.

He didn't have to respond twice to Scarra's warning, covering his eyes with a hand well before the mage let out the spell. The scent of roasing tainted flesh wafted from the tunnel ahead, along with the infuriated screaming of angry Darkspawn.

"If you two are done, we really should get moving."

The giant-like human Frath had been quiet up to this point, shrugged at Brethgann's silent orders and undid the massive maul across his back, lifting its weight as if it weighed but a feather. He stalked past them to help guard the rear without being asked. As capable a warrior as he was, they needed someone who had defensive skills in the front as well.

And seeing as he was the only one who had the sense to use a shield, that was Loghain. He sighed and drew his sensible blade and wondered if he should invest in an enchanted one if he survived this experience. Lady pressed close to his legs, her angry growling deep in his chest vibrating through his bones. He ignored Carver's irritation as they moved up front together. Fighting for one's life certainly made strange bedfellows.

Carver paused at the entrance to the Roads. Loghain cursed softly in irritation and pushed at the young man's broad shoulder in a situation that could almost be considered rude. Until he saw what exactly the man had seen to make him pause so dramatically.

"Fantastic, this trip just seems to be getting better and better." He said with a sigh as the Darkspawn turned to face them, the ogre's eyes judging and full of delight for the feast it was about to partake in. Loghain looked down and felt the intense heat of the lavaflow underneath them.

Everywhere underneath them.

The older Warden's eyes widened as he took in the sight. It was like a bridge, one straight path forward and back over a literal river of lava. Fantastic. Even if they made it out onto the bridge, they could easily be trapped here. Much of the bridge seemed to be in crumbling disrepair, much of it having already fallen into the lava river below.

He didn't have time to think about it. A genlock screamed and charged at him with it's shield raised, and Loghain ducked to the side and dispatched it with an expert swing to the neck. But it wasn't the Genlock he had to worry about. The Ogre roared at them and charged, head down and swinging his head to and fro like a battering ram. Loghain leapt to the side out of reach of it's massive body, wincing as he hit the waist height barrier separating the path from the lava.

"Scarra, Risbet! Ogre!" Loghain yelled, no longer concerned with attracting attention. Of all the many types of Darkspawn, Ogres were by far the most feared. Loghain's body still bore the scars of his encounters with them at Vigil's Keep, and it was not an experience he wanted to repeat. And yet, he really had no choice in the matter. Lady snarled and leapt upon one of the genlock with her jaws clamped around the creature's throat, it squealed like a pig when it went down.

The Ogre started to turn for another charge, but it must have spotted something in the tunnels, likely their companions. It roared and reached into the tunnel, then reared back with a snarl as Scarra set it on fire.

In such a pinned area, they were sitting ducks for the Ogre. It would simply pluck them out of the hole one by one and crush them, taking full advantage of its incredible healing potential.

Loghain cursed, this time loudly, barely paying attention at the battle going on behind him and trusting Carver and Lady to watch his back. The Mabari snarled and leaped from her fallen foe, clamping onto the back of the Alpha's thigh as he swung up his sword for a blow against Carver and distracting him momentarily.

Loghain put two fingers to his mouth and whistled sharply, temporarily gaining the Ogre's attention. "Hey handsome, I have a present for you."

He withdrew the dagger at his belt and flung it through the air towards where the Ogre stood several feet away. It was more luck than anything else when the dagger hit the creature in the shoulder, biting deep into its flesh. It turned with an enraged roar and charged at him. Loghain winced.

Idiot old man. He braced himself.

The bridge had apparently had enough of the antics of the living things trodding upon its surface. It buckled under the weight of the charging Darkspawn and... crumpled underneath it.

The Ogre snarled all the way down before hitting the lava with an under-dramatic poofing sound. And also left a gap between them, and their companions at least twenty feet wide.

Not good. Very not good.

Carver Hawke
Posted: Feb 1 2012, 12:00 PM

In Your Shadow

Posts: 62
Member No.: 52
Joined: 25-May 11

It wasn't bad enough that they were travelling in the Deep Roads, or that they were surrounded, or that they had chosen a crumbling bridge as the place to make their stand, no. That wasn't bad enough. All the Wardens Carver had been travelling with, and it would be the traitor of Ferelden who stepped up to follow him to the front of their offensive. Carver didn't have time to spare on the growl he wanted to direct at Loghain, but he resigned himself to the knowledge that his chances of surviving this spat with an Ogre were lessening by the second.

When Carver froze in the entrance to their little tunnel--the only natural response when coming face to face with an Ogre--a heavy punch to his shoulder spurred him forward again. Loghain apparently didn't have the same healthy fears as the younger man. Perhaps it was simply that Carver preferred living. Either way, Loghain was moving and moving fast, and so were the Darkspawn. Neither of the two Warden warriors seemed inclined to attack the Ogre first, as Loghain was immediately engaged by a Genlock, and Carver's attention was focused on the dangerous Hurlock Alpha.

Carver took long strides, half-leaping to draw level with the Alpha. He had seen these twisted magicians practice the most unholy of magic, things that few human or elf mages dared. A fierce cry escaped the young man as he slammed the pommel of his sword into its jaw before the creature could utter a curse that might pin him to the floor or sap his strength. A sick crunch accompanied by a spurt of black blood that burned his skin even through his thick gloves told Carver he had succeeded in shattering the monster's jaw.

The Alpha responded as could be expected, emitting a garbled howl and swinging with its heavy staff to beat its attacker about the head. Despite what his sisters were wont to claim, Carver's head was not quite as thick as all that, and he half-collapsed, sprawled precariously over the raised wall that lined both sides of the bridge. A gust of stale air pulled at Carver's short hair as the Ogre charged past, narrowly missing him thanks in part to the Hurlock that had knocked him aside.

Dazed, Carver tried to push off the wall, registering somewhere in his foggy brain that the Ogre was going to come around for another charge. However, something else snatched the creature's attention. Swearing from the depths of the tunnel was the most immediate response to Loghain's warning shout, as the Ogre squatted to push its arm through up to its elbow, more interested in the Wardens still trapped in the tunnel than in Carver or Loghain. To Carver, half-raised from where he slumped, and still dazed from the blow, the frustrated creature looked almost comical, like a cat unable to reach a mouse.

Carver was out of time to be dizzy, despite the throbbing of his abused head. The Hurlock was still enraged and had recovered from its own shock at the Ogre's interruption. It advanced on Carver with an expression all the more menacing due to its mangled face. Carver rolled to the side, scrambling to his feet unsteadily, and barely avoided losing his own head. The Alpha lifted its sword again, but before it could finish its swing was pulled off its feet by Mac Tir's massive Mabari hound.

Carver made a mental note to slip her some bacon next time he had any food worth eating, and dispatched the Alpha without any further fuss, slamming forward with his sword to destroy the monster's chest cavity. He had to brace a foot against the carcass to retrieve the blade, and kicked the corpse aside when he had done so.

An awful roar drew Carver's attention, and he whirled to see the Ogre beginning another charge. He was slightly more prepared this time, and set his feet. When the creature drew close he would take a leap and try to impale it. If he aimed carefully, he could hit the giant in its eye or throat and hopefully end the conflict.

Such action proved needless, however, as the bridge seemed to fold beneath the Ogre, crumbling into the river of magma beneath them. The sound it made as it hit the molten rock was one of the most awful Carver had ever heard, jarring him to the roots of his teeth.

Several breaths passed before he dared to move, uncertain if the rock beneath him would similarly give way. He leaned on his sword, raising a hand to feel sticky blood against his temple, and stared across a gap that might as well have been a mile to where he could see Risbet and Scarra, huddled in the entrance to the tunnel. The elf's jaw hung loose in a horrified expression, and Scarra's pale face was grim.

"...Now what?" Carver asked, trying not to sound as frightened as he was. "I don't know about you, but I can't jump that."

Risbet and Scarra were talking quickly, Risbet making wild gestures while the mage stood stock still. He shook his head slowly once, before both of their heads snapped back, staring at something Carver could neither sense, nor see.

Risbet sent one apologetic glance over her shoulder, and then she and the mage disappeared in urgent haste.

"Wait--!" Carver cried out, alarmed, and took a hasty step forward. The bridge underneath him shuddered, and he froze, gritting his teeth and closing his eyes, as if that panicked action alone might save them. Given the choice between molten rock and an Ogre, he would have chosen the Ogre. He sort of missed the ugly thing, now.
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