Blood in My MouthHe's dying, but that doesn't mean that he cannot be completely repulsed by the idea of drinking darkspawn blood. Not that the Wardens tell him what it is, there isn't enough time. That, and Stroud is rushing them along, something about urgent business that they have to get to.
Still, he knows that it is blood when it hits his lips, metallic as it touches his tongue, and he gags, barely manages to swallow.
He feels nauseous, ill, and his legs can no longer support him.
He had never thought the last thing he would do would be this.
When Carver wakes, later, it it is with a splitting headache, the taste of blood in his mouth, and the taint running through his veins. But he is not dead.
And that is something.
Every well-bred petty crook"You're an apostate," Leandra says.
"Ah, no," says the man who has just leaped into the courtyard somewhat sheepishly, eying the broom that Leandra is brandishing at him somewhat warily.
"You set my rose bushes on fire."
"Ah, yes. Yes, I did. A complete accident, mind you."
She pokes him in the chest with her broom. "Why did you set my rose bushes on fire?"
His face twists into a somewhat apologetic look. "Ah, they morally offended my self of justice? Really, I'm quite sorry about that. They were lovely roses. Can you put that broom down?"
She glares at him. "No. A strange man leaps into my garden and sets my roses bushes on fire and you ask me to stop poking you with my broom?"
"Well, to be fair, I didn't ask you to stop poking me with it -" He glances behind himself. "Although, you can poke me all you like if you could not tell the lovely Templar over there that I'm here."
She glares at him, then glances where he is looking, through the gateway into the courtyard. "Ser Carver is looking for you?"
"Well, yes," the man says with a smile that is probably supposed to be roguish. "Setting rosebushes on fire is a rather...ah...bad thing to do. Templars come for you. Got to dash. Sorry about the roses!"
She manages to hit him with the broom once before he is gone.
But, for whatever reason, she doesn't tell the Templar that he was here.
Red RosesThere's a rosebush that grows along one of the walls of the Keep, one that creeps along the stone and blooms with roses that are deep red as blood.
Now, roses are rather romantic and Nathaniel is a bit of a romantic himself, and Bethany is the sweetest sort of girl who deserves as much of the romantic as he can possibly give her to counterbalance all of this killing darkspawn and hopelessly tainted stuff.
So, he picks her a rose and then dithers about in the hallways for far too long, trying to gather up the nerve to give it to her.
Which is where the Warden-Commander catches him, giving the rose a withering look like she wishes she could set it on fire with her mind.
"You giving that to Bethany?" she asks, and he doesn't bother to deny it. "Right. Well, if you tell her what a rare and wonderful thing she is, then run off to become king of some country that smells like wet dog, I will hunt you down and shoot you with your own arrows." She glares at the rose, then smiles at him. "Good luck!"
Somedays, he thinks the Commander might be just a bit bitter.
And there you were, completely naked... "This was a terrible idea," Nathaniel says, with a scowl that Kiva would probably find amusing if any of them were bothering to looking at one another. Well, if Kiva was bothering to look at his face, that is.
"The worst," Sigrun agrees.
"Why am I even here? I'm not a rogue! Why do you keep dragging me along to do roguish things?
"Shut up, Carver. It's not the first time we've all ended up naked," Kiva tells him, before turning back to Nathaniel. "Nate, help me get to that window. I think I can sneak in and get our stuff."
Back to the StartWhen she looks at the new Warden, it's almost like she's looking at herself. Well, sort of. Most of the new Wardens aren't tiny elves and she highly doubts any of them will go on to slay an archdemon or turn place a king on the throne or -
Still, this boy has something to prove, just like Kiva did in those first days out of the alienage. Not the same things, and she isn't able to tell just who this boy needs to prove it to - no, she knows, because even if he thinks it is someone else, it is himself who needs to know that he is capable.
And, just like her, he's not as good as he thinks he is, but he's better than he could be. He's got potential.
So as she and Nathaniel discuss who to bring on their next expedition into the Deep Roads, she says that she wants to bring along Carver Hawke.
A Cake the Size of Thedas"We're making a cake!" Hawke announces one afternoon, and Anders inwardly groans. For several reasons. Cake is delicious. Cake is fantastic. Cake is also messy to make and they will probably accidentally blow it up in the process. That's what tends to happen when Hawke bakes.
"Why a cake, love?" he asks her. "Why not pie? That didn't turn out too badly last time."
She glares at him. "We're making cake because it's Varric's birthday and he likes cake better than pie. Also, it's going to be a giant cake. A huge cake. The most fantastically large cake that I can possibly make!"
And she's got that determined look on her face that means that this will get done, even if it turns into a disaster in the process.
Where the Streets have no NameThe Fade is a familiar place, though it still frightens her. It is half spent dreams and shadows of things that she doesn't want to see. Sometimes, the places she sees when she wanders there are real, sometimes they are twisted imaginings, places that exist nowhere except for here.
In these half-dreams, she wanders, things nightmarish plaguing her, memories and fears, and when she wakes it is with the same wonder that she always has to see Anders beside her, and with the same disbelief that Justice is still here, when the spirit is one of the faces of her many nightmares.
This? This is why I hate the TemplarsHawke finds him in her cellars, having heard the sounds of people coming from the kitchen, and while she is used to Anders using it for shelter now and again (after all, she's not going to allow one of her best friends to get caught by Templars when she has a secure cellar not twenty feet from his door), there are too many voices for it to just be him.
He looks tired, far too tired, but that is not what she first notices. There are other people in her cellars - mages, by the looks of their clothing. Three of them, two adults and one boy who looks like he can't possibly be older than fourteen.
"Anders, what is this?" she asks softly, seeing the two adult mages tense as though they expect her to attack them. The boy just stands there.
"I'm sorry," Anders says, sounding tired and worn. "I needed someplace safe...just for a bit."
"Anders, you can't bring them here!" she says, voice low and harsh. "You need to go."
And she doesn't want to argue with him, so she simply shakes her head a bit. "Fine. Do what you will."
But as she turns to leave them to their own devices, her gaze falls upon the boy and she sees the sunburst branded upon his forehead.
Villains by NecessityHe doesn't know how history will remember them. The Champion of Kirkwall and the man who killed the Grand Cleric. The defender of the mages and her abomination. Hawke and Anders.
It depends upon how this ends. On what they do. On if the Templars or the mages or the Chantry win this battle. On if this revolution succeeds.
He thinks that he will become the villain. That history will forget that he was the sort of man to help the injured and homeless, that none will remember all the lives he saved and remember instead the lives that he took.
But he is willing to become the villain, if that means that the world will change.
He just hopes that history will not be so unkind to Hawke.
Water in the DesertIn the months after Alistair, Kiva is unhappy. Terribly unhappy. The world might be safe, all of her friends might still be alive, but she is unhappy. And maybe it means that she is a horribly selfish person, but in her darkest moments she wishes that she had never suggested that he marry Anora and take the throne. Even if she knows what she did was the best for Ferelden.
At least, she thinks it was for the best.
She tries her best to be a good Warden Commander. She really does. But she feels bland, worn out, not like herself. She laughs, but isn't happy.
And then there is Nathaniel. And he argues and questions her, and she finds herself growing irritated with him, more so than anyone else, and she makes scathing comments back at him. He blames her for his father's death and she calls him ignorant and they do not like each other.
Not at first, at least. Not until Nathaniel realizes that his views about the world are not always right, and not until Kiva realizes that having someone there to question her actions is a good thing.
And, one day, there is less arguing and they are able to talk to one another as though they are friends. And it surprises her to realize that she really does think they are.