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Frost Flowers

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The Fade had never been one of his favored places. The confusing clash of images and places and the knowledge that he had to be alert to demons made the idea of spending a great deal of time here unappealing.

Tonight though….felt...different. There was a smell of water and salt and old fish, and the usual sickly colored fog was solidifying itself into something else.

A dream. Something about it alien to him though.

It was not something he'd have expected the Fade might construct for him.

A vast water stretched out beyond the mouth of a bay as far as the horizon.

Was that the ocean?

It seemed so...big. It was a little intimidating for one that had grown up studying the shore of Lake Calenhad.

It was a new dream, often when the spirits came to him they reminded him of home - of the alienage, taking the forms of his uncle or cousins (or what he imagined them to look like it had been so long he wasn't sure if he could trust his memories of them) ...the less pleasant dreams replayed the fear in his sister’s eyes as she looked at him and the way she had pointed him put to the Templars. Most often, though, the dreams were of the Tower and the people there.

This was a place he had never seen, tall ships and a wooden wharf all strangely silent even for this time of night. Why strangely?

The moon overhead was bright and full making the scene before him easily visible as he cautiously turned - buildings clustered together, painted with bright plaster, signs in a language he didn’t know, a gull cried somewhere in the distance despite the hour - making him smile a little: they came to the Tower sometimes, fishing out of Lake Calenhad. He and Solona would sneak bread rolls out during outdoors time to feed them while they still had it.

The smile felt wrong for this dream and faded nearly as quick as it had appeared. This place was heavy, sad and lonely - and tonight those weren’t his feelings.

Not his feelings.

That realization struck like the lightning he was so fond of calling - fear and alertness shooting through him, he didn't think he felt any demons nearby but that was no guarantee. The Fade wasn’t twisting itself for him - this was someone else’s dream.

He’d been a mage for most his life, it had been impressed on him very young that one should not trespass into the dreams of others - and that it required wishing to do so.

Guilt pricked - was this Sol’s dream? Kirkwall had a harbor, but there were no imposing statues or chains like she had described of her home…

No. Not Solona’s.

He hadn't willed himself into this place either, it had pulled him in.

A part of him wished to linger - curious as to what this was about - but it wasn’t fair to whoever did own this dream. He focused on the Fade around him and...couldn’t leave or influence, right now he was...stuck?

It was like the Fade itself was insisting he stayed there...it didn't feel malevolent though. It felt lonely but also familiar, and it made his chest tighten the way it did when one of his friends was upset and the only comfort he could offer was to be there.

So he waited and watched.

One of the large masted ships was sailing out the bay, if he looked closely enough he could see the spirits who mimed the sailors moving about upon its deck.

Footsteps behind him made him turn - a man had come running to the end of the wharf on which Falcon stood, passing him by as if not seeing the mage.

He faltered, seeing the boat and stilled, watching it in silence, an expression on his face that betrayed his sorrow and lost - it was painful to look at and Falcon jerked his eyes away, feeling as if he had intruded into something private.

Which, in a way he had, but…

His eyes drew back up, “Is there anything I can do?”

The blond didn’t seem to notice him, his eyes staying on the vanishing ship before he sighed softly, looking down to the key in his hand, a sad smile tugging on his lips.

“Ah, what a fool am I,” he pulled his arm back and hurled the key across the waters, watching it drop into the inky blackness.

As the ripples faded, lost among the gentle swells of the calm waters, a note of pride entered his eyes - they were warm colored, brown mostly with touches of gold that Falcon knew he probably shouldn’t be able to see in the lighting. He gave a soft laugh, and smirked, “The seas won’t know what hit them, Bela.”

He ducked his head, as if embarrassed at being so sentimental even though as far as he was aware there was no one there to hear or see - and turned back towards the city, walking away almost too casually, like he was trying to tell himself that he really didn’t care.

Falcon jerked forward a step or two - he had to try to help even if he didn't know how - and then yelped as the world tilted and shifted and he opened his eyes as he thudded to the floor.

Jowan leaned over the edge of the top bunk to blink at him sleepily, “Aren’t you suppose to sleep on the bed?”

Across the darkened pathway between the apprentices’ beds Anders snorted with a short laugh. “You alright there, Falcon?”

The teen muttered to himself as he crawled back into bed, “Yeah, I’m fine.”