Dragon Age

Chapter 5: Trial by combat

Clods of sodden earth were cast into the air as spurred steeds thundered onward, Eye’s that had given up hope gazed upward regaining their lost glimmer as Anastasia’s yells of a cure pierced through the heavy mist in their minds, only Ser Villem resigned grimace remained as the dwarf, accompanied by Lemore, began insisting upon the infected being, aside from those too far gone, allowed to live so that the long awaited cure might be administered, after a furious back and forth between Villem, a Chantry Arbiter called Ser Gelda, Anastasia and Lemrore, Villem’s pale grimace turned to ashen fury as he lost his argument while simultaneously being accused of treachery, the evidence of the men he had apparently ordered onto the road to attack the group being levelled in his direction, A trial by combat was requested, the casteless dwarf relished in accepting.

By a cauldron nearby it was more than just the cure that was brewing, Student and Teacher were discussing what right any man had to decide the fate of another, despite Stoyanka’s best efforts to intervene, Remi ultimately deprived Ederith of any responsibility regarding the infected, Anastasia once again dirtied her merciful knife, the worse off were loaded into a wagon for the ride to Wulverton, The agreement to Ser Villja fresh in their mind, at long last a safe journey was had, Stoyanka begun her preparations and again began to brew the cure, fresh as it was required, Edarith, dismayed that so little Shadow Moss had been kept for the sprites, and frustrated at her seeming lack of ability to prevent their demise, broke away from the group, with Zevvi in quick pursuit she ran to seek some lonely solstice and shelter from the worsening weather.

Daria Fiore entered the village, a perplexed look on her face, the absence of people struck her certainly as out of the norm, feeling her hand stray, as but a precaution, to the hilt of her sword, winding her way to the village centre she emerged onto a scene of some peculiarity, the robes of a circle mage, currently with his back to her, only caught her attention so much as the old woman kneeling over a cast iron cauldron, waving her hands and chanting in a voice that was not at all pleasing to the ear, as she moved closer, transfixed by apparent open witch-craft being practiced, she failed to notice the mage turning in her direction, Rapid realization rippled across Remi’s face as he called for some hitherto unnoticed friends to halt Daria’s continuing trajectory. Hastened words were exchanged before the dwarf released Daria from her cast iron grip, with assurances that no action was to be taken against the healer as she performed her ritual, Daria set off to find her true quarry, Ms. Tarramar, of whom she had been appointed “protector.”

Edaraith’s pleas fell on death ears until the jingle of coin caught Anastasia and Lemore’s attention, Lacking the threat of infected, the journey to Dosov village was a relative walk in the park, a brief aside for some minor purchases with an increasingly happy trapper, the trip, by comparison to others, was a walk in the park, Baba was less jovial upon noting the templar in the midst of the group, begrudging the idea of her even setting up tent at the end of the ramp, the moon was raising into view as Ms. Tarramar skulked off for the tree-line, her templar babysitter hot on her heels, in the clearing, enticing it out with half remembered lullaby’s, a lone fire-sprite appeared, tentatively approaching, before making a feasting on the precious pinch of Shadow-moss remaining, it’s joyful song offered such stark contrast to the mournful one previously sung, the song floated in the air as the sprite departed back to its kin.

The embers on the fire we glowing in the dark, giving no hint as to the terrors running through the woods, or the crocodiles that were chasing them, As Edaraith and then Daria burst into the clearing by the tents the group sprung into action, Anastasia was roused from her story sharing with Baba as Remi unleashed a blast of flame before retreating to a position of safety, the dust settled quickly, one of the river reptiles frozen solid by an altogether jubilant Remi, Daria cleaned the purple blood from her blade while maintaining a confident silence in the face of jibes levelled at her by Edarith during the fight, The morning’s ride back to Sothmere was so much more relaxing, sights and sounds were taken in without the looming haste of previous journey’s rush to deliver the cure, and it was only as the party rode into Sothmere that they noticed a concerned look upon Ser Gelda’s face, and the absence of something they couldn’t quite put their finger on.



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