The Slave Mage: Origins Part 3
The celebration for Duran was on. It was sooo boring. Basically a bunch of random nobles came and asked him favors
or something. I stopped paying attention after the first asked Duran to restore Surface Dwarves Castes. Duran agreed. I was sitting on the tiny stool. Like always.
Really the most interesting part of the evening was when the nobles left. Mainly watching the bickering fools leave was enough to make anyone happy. They all staggered out, completely, one hundred percent, drunk. It was a riot.
I went back to my room near one o' clock. I love my stone sense, it developed around my second year underground. I got back and filled up the tub. They have runes in them to where you can just rub a finger over them and hot water immediately fills the tub.
Twenty minutes later I get out and throw a robe on. I just managed to tie it when the door busted open and Duran came striding towards me.
"I think Trian wants to kill me." Hello to you too.
what?" I asked.
"Behlyn just told me that Trian was talking about how I am more popular with the people than him and he thinks that there will be compotation for the throne and he was talking about 'disposing' of me in the Deep Roads tomorrow and making it look like an accident.." Oh that's right he's going down there to get the Shield of Aeducan as celebration for his being commissioned General.
doubt there's anything to worry about
but do me a favor and
keep your guard up tomorrow." I said. He nodded and yawned, "You know you can't kill Darkspawn if you're yawning in battle." I laughed despite my worry.
"You're right. Good night, Lillith. See you tomorrow." He said before he left.
*The Deep Roads*
They are going over plans while I'm just standing here like I know what I'm doing. I have no clue why they insisted I come. All I know it that I'm going with Duran to retrieve the shield of Aeducan. Yay me. I was so excited that I was getting to sleep in and the next thing I knew Duran and Behlyn were jumping on the foot of my bed. The second my eyes opened they threw my armor in my face and told me that I'm coming to the Deep Roads with them. Fun. A signet ring changed hands between Duran and Endrin, Endrin saying that it will open the empty sarcophagus that holds the shield and the door to the Thaig.
"Ready, Lil?" Duran asked. I nodded and we left with a map to Aeducan Thaig. It took a good three hours but we got there. Dark Spawn and spiders and Deep Crawlers attacked us on the way. We were stopped two different times; one when we came across the warrior that was assigned to our group, and again when we found the scout. When we got to the door we had a very
hostile reception party.
We arrived at the door to the Thaig, "Looks like somebody beat us to the door." The scout who was assigned to our group said. There were Dark Spawn corpses littering the entrance to the Thaig, "These bodies are still fresh. Whoever opened the door is most likely still in there."
"They had to have an Aeducan signet ring to get in." Duran said.
"It could have been stolen. Recently or generations ago." I said.
"Or it could be an ambitious cousin, out for his own glory." The scout said.
"We'll see soon enough." Duran said and we walked through the door.
"Understood. Let's move men." I said. We entered the Thaig and found more dead Dark Spawn. We crossed a bridge and immediately saw what killed the them.
"So glad you could finally join us! We had feared you'd gotten eaten by Darkspawn!" Mercenaries, "Turns out the shield isn't as easy to retrieve as we were led to believe. I'd wager you know where it is, though. So maybe you tell me where it is, and I don't mutilate your body so bad your father doesn't recognize you."
"Who are you? How did you get here?" Duran asked.
"I'm your better, that's who. As for how I got in, that's a question you'll have to ask the stone after I butcher you." This guy has nerve, I'll give him that, "Now where's the shield?"
"You're an idiot. And now you're going to die." Duran said. He can be goofy, immature, and even a little naïve some times, but when it comes down to it he can be pretty sodding brave.
"Just kill him, boys. We'll find the shield on our own." He had a lot of 'boys' and even a ballista to boot. Duran charged the leader and I froze the ballista. An arrow flew past my ear and hit a mercenary in the eye. I looked over and saw the scout firing them off at a un-human-like rate. The warrior with us was at Duran's back, where the mercenaries had formed a circle around them. I shot lightning at the one nearest to me and it passed from him to the one next to him and kept going until they all went down.
"WATCH OUT, LIL!" Duran shouted. I had just enough time to jump out of the way when a ballista bolt hit right where I was standing. I looked over; they had chiseled the ice off of it. Sod. Duran and I ran up there. I froze the mercenaries and he shattered them. That was all of them. Duran went over to mercenary leader's corpse and looked through the pockets.
"Is that an Aeducan signet ring? Explains how they got in
" I said looking at what he had just pulled out of the man's pockets.
"Could be a fake
" he replied almost too hopefully. Maybe Trian is trying to kill him
"Or it could mean one of your kin was keen on claiming the glory of this mission to himself." The scout said, honing in on Duran's naivety on the matter.
"Whatever the plan was, it failed." Duran said.
"As you say."
"Let's not waste time! Carry on men." I said before Duran splattered the scout's head all over the Thaig with his war hammer. They begrudgingly went silent and Duran led us into the Thaig Chamber. It was a very bare room with a platform that sat beneath a sarcophagus.
"This is the room. How do we get the shield?" Duran said almost to himself.
"Look around. See if you can find anything out." I whispered to him.
"You two! See if you can spot anything." Duran said to the two men following us. I walked up on the platform. When I took a step the ground sunk a few inches. I lifted my foot it came back up. Down, it sunk, up it raised. Pressure plates.
Warrior!" I substituted because I couldn't remember his name, "Both of you over here." They came, "You stand here." I directed the scout to stand where I had just put my foot. I looked around and found another piece of the floor that sunk beneath my feet, "You stand here." I told the warrior. He stood on the pressure plate. I walked around some more and found another and stood on it. The sarcophagus' lid slid open.
"Lillith! You're a genius!" Duran said, walking over. He picked up the shield and examined it.
"That's it! We've got it!" the warrior said.
"It doesn't look like much," the scout mumbled.
"The skill your crafter's has come a long way. But still
the Shield of Aeducan." I said.
"The strength of Aeducan is in this shield." Duran said.
"I can feel it. It's inspirational." The warrior remarked.
"If you say so. It's just a shield." The scout said. Duran looked ready to pop his head off
can't say I blame him.
"Enough talk! Where's the rendezvous point?" I said, before the scout went back to the stone.
"Back in the direction we came from. At the cross roads." Where we found the warrior assigned to our group.
"To the cross roads!" Duran said, walking to the door. It took us less time to get back, even though we still had to fight Dark Spawn, Spiders, and Deep Crawlers. Finally we made it to the cross roads. But before we went any further I had to talk to Duran.
"If Trian were really scheming against you, this would be the perfect place for an ambush." I whispered, "We've got the shield, and we're all alone out here."
"Trian is my brother. You were right yesterday; nothing will happen." Duran whispered back.
"What's this your muttering about?" the scout interrupted. Now I want to kill him.
"My brother, Trian may try to ambush us." Duran said, hesitantly. I face-palmed. Why? Why would he tell him that?!
"Fantastic. As if the Dark Spawn weren't enough to worry about."He said
"Just keep your eyes open." I growled at him and we walked on.
We finally got to the crossroads and we immediately knew something was wrong; there were dead bodies. Everywhere. We walked among the dead, rolling over bodies to examine faces. I rolled over one and as I looked upon the face I felt as though somebody poured a bucket of ice water on me, "Duran," I choked out, "You might want to see this." He walked over.
"Trian!" He yelled, sprinting over, "Ohh no-no-no-no-no! This isn't happening! This cannot be happening!" Trian was lying on the floor, surrounded by a pool of his own blood. I examined his hands.
he doesn't have the ring." I said, still finding it hard to breath. He looked over.
"I guess now we know how they got in." The scout said. That's it; I had enough of that sodding, insensitive, basterd!
"Yo--" I stopped, "Did you hear that?" There were foot-steps coming from one of the pathways. All of us but Duran backed up and took a defensive position. Duran just stayed kneeling over his brother's body, like he was willing it to come back to life.
"Come on! This way before it's to la--" Behlyn was leading Endrin and their combined groups down the hallway. He paused when he saw us. Endrin ran up and looked down at his first born son.
"By the Stone! What happened here?!" Endrin asked us as he knelt down by Trian's corpse. Duran seemed unable to answer him so I was going to speak for him. Right before I opened my mouth, however, Behlyn spoke.
"They ambushed him! Duran wanted the throne for himself so he killed Trian!" What?! That didn't happen!
"No we--" Behlyn cut me off as I was about to explain what happened.
"Silence, slave!" Stab me in the back, why don't you?
it wasn't us
" Duran weakly explained, still obviously shell-shocked from finding his brother.
"Can any of you confirm this?" I looked over at the voice that spoke. Harromont. Was he always here?
"I can, Sir; we came from Aeducan Thaig and found this like it is. Trian was already
already dead when we arrived. There was nothing we could do." I said, ignoring Behlyn's furious glares.
"We can't trust her! Duran could have ordered her to keep her silence! Or they could have planned this together!" Behlyn said, pulling of crazed with sadness without a hitch. Or maybe it was just crazed. It's hard to tell with him.
"Lillith, I am going to have to ask you to stay silent. We won't know if what you say is the truth or if you were ordered to say it." Harromont said. Behlyn visibly relaxed, but I was the only one to notice.
Endrin got up and turned to the others assigned to our group, "What happened here?"
The scout answered, "We
we came from the Thaig and
" He looked at Behlyn who nodded at him, "Trian was already here. Before they saw us Duran ordered us to attack." Was I the only one that noticed his nervousness?
as much as I hate to say it
Duran, you are under arrest for the murder of Prince Trian." He didn't even respond. He just sat there, in his stupor. They had to literally drag him to his feet and push him to make him move.
This will not end well.
Two days. Two days with no one to talk to me, give me any orders. I was locked into my room. One meal a day of sodding bread crusts and water. On the third night the door creaked open and Kellen stood there, one of the servants.
"Endrin wants you. He's in his study." I stood and walked out. "I think you should know; Prince Duran has been sentenced to the deep roads." He told me, a look of pity on his face.
"Thank you, Kellen." I said. So that's what they are doing to him? His punishment for a crime he didn't even commit is basically a delayed death sentence? Sodding basterds.
I walk arrived at Endrin's study and knocked, "It's open." A tired voice said from within. I opened the door and walked in, "Well
you have, no doubt, heard what is to become of my middle son." I didn't respond. He continued, "The matter now is what to do with you." Wait. What?
"You are, according to Behlyn, one of two things; one of Duran's cohorts, or lying. Both of these could easily be a death sentence." I don't believe this! "But
I have not forgotten all that you have done for me for the past six years
" he lifted a paper off of his desk and handed it to me. I looked at it. Gibberish. Pure gibberish. Wait
that's my name. I might not be able to read but I know what my name looks like, "This is the deed to you. You are free. Leave Orzamar."
"It is my last order to you. Take this and leave. Gather your possessions. I expect you out of Orzamar by tomorrow." He said, effectively cutting me off in the process. I turned and stormed out. The way to my room seemed a lot longer than I last remembered. I finally got to my room and slammed the door.
'Who does he think he is?!' I thought, 'He knows Duran didn't do it and he's PUNISHING him?!' I changed into the armor Duran gave me, 'If they had just
I don't know
ORDERED ME to tell them, ASKED ME even, they would have gotten the truth. But NOOOO! "Be quiet, Lillith!" "We can't trust what you say, Lillith!" Andraste's ASS they drive me INSANE!' I finished packing. I looked down at my deed that had magically landed on my bed
did I put it there? I picked it up and looked at it. It was still one-hundred percent gibberish to me; the Magisters in Tevinter don't teach slaves how to read .I looked over at the small fireplace in my room. Moving as close as I dared to the open flame I balled up the parchment and threw it in. I'm officially free. I picked up my bag and left. Surface world here I come.
I got to the Hall of the Paragons, or whatever it was they called it and walked to the giant door at the end. Duncan was having a conversation with the guards. I walked up, "I need out." I said interrupting whatever it was the guard was saying.
"As I was telling the Warden, Orzamar is closed off from the surface world right now. We open the doors for no one."
"King Endrin said he wanted me out of here by tomorrow, the sooner the better right? So let me out." I reasoned with him. He looked at me.
"I need to be in Fereldan now. The Kings army needs all Grey Wardens in the country at his side." Duncan said.
"But--" I cut the guard off.
"Look we're both on a tight schedule can you just
open the doors? That'd be great, thanks." He sighed conceding to our pleas. He and the other guard opened the doors for us.
"If I might ask, what are your plans?" Duncan inquired.
I'm a free woman now so
I think I'll probably travel around a bit."
"Would you consider becoming a Grey Warden?" I looked at him, "We need people like you. I had been talking to that man for two hours before you came, trying to get him to open the door. And your performance was very impressive in the Provings the other day."
I thought about it. The Dark Spawn are a menace. And if there is a Blight all Grey Wardens are needed, "Okay. I'll become a Grey Warden." We shook hands. The doors were open now we stepped outside.
Nine years underground then sudden sunlight is just painful. I lifted my hand over my eyes and blinked back the colors. I paused and looked at my hands. "Makers breath!"
"Something wrong?" Duncan asked.
I'm so pale!" And it's true my skin is barely a shade darker than the snow on the ground. Duran had teased me about it but I didn't believe him until now. Duncan laughed. Half a dozen other men were standing by the door with a Griffon emblem stamped on their armor. More Grey Wardens. Duncan introduced me and we were off.