It was never a good idea for professional liars to spend so much time alone together.
But on sultry nights when the sky seemed like lush velvet cast over the air, hanging low and heavy and studded with diamond shards, when the air was warm and thick with spice and incense and sweat and the wine flowed liberally, who was to say what was a good idea and what was not.
After all, finding oneself the prisoner of the Archon himself was never particularly a splendid idea to start with, so all other bad ideas seemed to pale into insignificance beside it.
She had been taken first, too curious and too sure of herself, slipping across the border and into Tevinter with the curse of overconfidence snapping at her heels. It did not take long for her to catch the eye of those in power, and not much longer before she was dragged before the Court of the Archon, defiant to the last.
He had been taken not long after, a special request from the higher powers- a man with knowledge, it was said, a man with stories. Tales worth more than their weight in gold, if they were to be believed, and the Archon had gold to spare.
Theirs was a prison without bars, an opulent suite in the palace itself, because for the sake of diplomacy they were honoured guests rather than caged songbirds. And through their mutual incarceration they learned a great deal about one another- among them, their love of a good story.
It started simply enough- one would tell the other a tale to pass the time, to buoy the spirits and make their situation seem a little less grim. And then of course the other would reciprocate, spinning out a tale of intrigue and danger and mystery and romance… but of course, it was always just a little bit more dangerous, slightly more mysterious, just a hint more romantic.
A challenge, as it were.
And the wine would flow, and the evening would drag on, and the stories would grow. The heat never died off, and neither did the drama.
She had encountered werewolves in the depths of an ancient forest.
He had dueled an ageless Rock Wraith in the bowels of the earth.
She had entered the Fade itself, the helpless prisoner of a Sloth demon.
He had entered the Fade too, actually, and wasn’t that remarkable since dwarves were supposedly unable to do so?
She had uncovered long lost dwarven thaigs, lost to the war with the darkspawn.
He had uncovered a prehistoric dwarven thaig, older than memory served.
She had travelled with a Qunari.
He had fought a Qunari (on this point they both agreed that perhaps his encounter was a bit too macabre for their contest).
She had known and loved the Hero.
He had known and befriended the Champion.
Days and nights passed by, long and warm and decadent as the tales grew taller and the lies grew bolder. Never quite a victor, never quite a truce, and never an end to the glorious stories…
… although she did hit the dwarf in the face with a pillow more than once.