Chapter 1: Podfic
Readers: blackglass, daisydiversions, Kess, Opalsong, RsCreighton, SomethingIncorporeal
Song/Sound Effects: "Sera Would Never (Instrumental Version)" from the Dragon Age Inquisition soundtrack
A text version of the story is posted in the next chapter.
Read by blackglass as Sera
Kess as Cassandra
daisydiversions as Cole
Opalsong as The Iron Bull
RSCreighton as Dorian
And SomethingIncorporeal as Vivienne
Bull: I have to say, I’ll be glad to make camp this evening. This new shoulder strap is starting to chafe.
Sera: Yeah, ugh! Damn this Forbidden Oasis. I’ve got sand allllll up my vag. Itches something fierce.
Dorian: Must we continue to talk about lady parts? I fear I shall have the vapors.
Sera: Repeat after me, Dorian. Vagina. VA-GI-NA.
Dorian: [shuddering noise] I prefer to keep them as far away from my mouth as possible, thank you.
Sera: Your loss, mmmm.
Cassandra: [startled] Oh, Dorian, it’s you.
Dorian: Good evening, Cassandra. Oh, sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt your reading. Is that the journal we found in the last village?
Cassandra: [pause] ...no. It’s… Swords and Shields.
Dorian: Isn’t that one of Varric’s romance novels?
Cassandra: [passionately] I know it’s not generally considered one of his best, but there’s really more depth to it than many people assume just from reading the synopsis. The extended metaphor of how the infrequent appearances of the dragon in the mountains represent the forces of duty tearing them apart really rings true to my experience as a soldier.
Dorian: I meant no criticism. It’s just… You looked happy, reading that book. It’s a good look on you.
Cassandra: [at a loss] Ah. Well. Yes. Thank you.
Cassandra: Vivienne? Can I ask you a question?
Vivienne: Of course, darling.
Cassandra: Dorian said something yesterday and… Do I seem… angry? to you?
Vivienne: ‘Angry’ is not the word I would choose, no. You are an exceptionally driven and dedicated woman, and I have always admired that in you.
Cassandra: Growing up in a gilded cage among the Nevarran nobility as I did, my childhood was a very… quiet and restrained one. I see peasant children playing in the streets sometimes, totally carefree, and I regret that I never got that kind of opportunity. [pauses] But then I reflect on that moment when I completed my Trial, when all of the pain, the hunger, the thirst -- every bodily sensation -- melted away, and all that was left was pure euphoria, a direct connection to the Maker’s love… I wouldn’t trade that memory for anything.
Vivienne: I, too, occasionally wonder what could have been, had I lived a simpler life. The paths we have chosen for ourselves have their challenges, but they are accompanied by joys in equal measure. [pauses] Now, that Dorian. How like a man! Always telling you to look happy, but when you knee them in the balls, you are the one being rude.
Bull: What did that merchant call that new staff of yours, Dorian? An Archon Fire Staff?
Dorian: Yes. ...why?
Bull: So many possibilities. “I’ll set YOUR staff on fire.” “My staff is always on fire for you, baby.”
Sera: Admittedly not my area, but if it’s on fire, shouldn’t you see a healer about that?
Dorian: Yes, yes, very funny.
Sera: [cackles] Hahaha! I love me a good battle, but sometimes looting the corpses after is the best part. Mama’s just got herself a shiny new dagger. I’m gonna stab soooooo many bad guys with this, I can’t wait.
Vivienne: Your bloodthirstiness is, as always, charming in its brutality.
Sera: Stabbity, stabbity, stabbity! Snick, snick, gwaaaaaa [dying groan]
Cole: I don’t think a human body holds that much blood. Maybe a Qunari’s does?
Bull: It would work even better now that you have that new dagger. Just think about it. I pick you up and toss you, pointy end first, at the mass of the enemy. If I aimed you right, you could probably nick three or four of them on the way down.
Sera: It’s the horns, innit? They’re so thick they’re blocking the sound of me telling you it’s never gonna happen.
Cole: We should stop soon. Madame Vivienne needs to piss.
Vivienne: Your concern for my comfort is admirable, my dear, but I can hold out until we reach that little wood down the way.
Cassandra: I vote to take our break down there as well. More privacy, less risk of rashvine in unmentionable places.
Sera: [not at all quiet whisper] Weird to think of Miss Hoity-Toity deigning to piss like us common folk, eh?
Bull: Brrr. Cold night today, huh, Dorian?
Dorian: [absently] Hmm, yes.
Bull: My tent’s big enough for two. What say tonight we… cuddle together for warmth?
Dorian: [scoffs] My mage fire is warmer, and doesn’t smell of wet nug.
Sera: Ooh, can *I* cuddle with you for warmth, Bull?
Bull: Sure. There’s certainly room for someone your size, Stabby.
Cole: May I join you as well?
Bull: Why not. The more the merrier, at this point.
Dorian: [sputters] Wh-what?
Cole: There’s no need to feel jealous, Dorian. You can still join us.
Dorian: Jealous? Don’t be preposterous. Enjoy cuddling your wet nug.
Sera: Woohoo, hit ‘em harder! Again! YEAH!!! Er, Madame Vivienne, ma’am.
Vivienne: Please, call me Vivienne. I suppose we have been traveling together long enough that titles between us are past their time.
Sera: [brightening] Vivienne? Well, then I’m Sera. [pause] Say, next time we hit an inn or pub or something, I don’t suppose I could buy you a drink?
Vivienne: Oh, how adorable.
Sera: Is that a yes?
Vivienne: No, my dear, I’m not interested. But you are a sweet little kitten, aren’t you.
Sera: You don’t have to be so snooty about it. A simple ‘no’ would do the job.
Vivienne: Ah, I see the kitten has claws.
Sera: Yessss, looting time!
Dorian: Here, Sera, how about these arrows?
Sera: Nah, not my size. Too long for me. Probably just about the right length for you, though.
Cassandra: [giggles] Well, that’s… rather ambitious of you, Dorian.
Dorian: Sera, how can someone with a mind as filthy as yours keep doing this?
Cole: Can you really bend that way, Dorian?
Dorian: [clears throat] I imagine not, no.
Bull: [intrigued] I don’t know what you’re thinking, Dorian, but whatever it is, why don’t we try it out in my tent later this evening?
Cole: I don’t think the staff should really be used that -- mmph! [mouth being muffled]
Dorian: Let’s save the surprise for later, shall we?
Bull: Oh-ho, it’s like that, is it? I look forward to it, mage.