The assault on the Temple of Dumat was unforgiving—an apparently never-ending stream of crystalized corpses and men who had sold their souls for a taste of fabled clarity. Red lyrium abominations swarmed her at every turn, roaring as they bashed their weapons into her form and attempted to take her apart, limb from limb. But she was prepared for that—as she was prepared for being punched and lifted off her feet, an arm locked around her neck and doing its damnest to snap it in half. This was the base of Red Templars, monsters and men hidden in every corner, and as soon as her army had walked the gates, she knew they would be attacked and kept apart.
Eurydice was ready for the pain.
What she wasn’t ready for was Cullen’s cry, even as he promised her nights prior that he was ready to face the Temple and all the reminders inside. He was her Commander and comrade, one of the best warriors in the Inquisition, he had survived Kirkwall and the Blight; in the back of her mind, she knew he could survive something as straightforward as this. Trust in his strength, believe in his fortitude and determination as he believes in you. Worrying over him hadn’t even registered in her mind when Cullen had requested to come with her; this was his duty, after all. Him winning this should be as simple as breathing air for him.
But as Eurydice watched in horror as a flock of behemoths flanked a distracted Cullen—one by one slashing, carving, ravaging him with their tainted claws—all she could feel in the depths of her body was the flooding fear that she has miscalculated.
And then, when he spat blood and struggled to stand, legs and armor shredded through, Eurydice could comprehend nothing but a primal, bloodcurdling wrath.
They made him bleed.
She was going to destroy them.
The scream that tore from her was unlike any sound she had ever made her entire life. It was the ugly, savage bellow of a thunderclap and she was the strike of lightning splitting down the sky and turning the world to ruin. And though it had no power to shake the earth beneath them, those around her shivered still in a sudden flurry of panic and dread.
In spite of this, the men around her kept on their assault and so Eurydice’s hand was forced.
Snarling as a wolf might do, the elf opened her mouth as wide as she could and clamped her sharp teeth down on the arm of the templar still holding her, tearing through cloth and skin alike, hooking in his flesh and refusing to let go. He yelled and beat at her head but she kept her hold as his blood rushed into her split mouth, until he could not subdue her any longer and shoved her away. Free now, she scrambled back to her feet and spat the blood of the man at one of his allies’ faces and then she beat her staff head against the ground.
The earth quaked and from above them a rift tore the sky asunder, and down from it flew a firestorm—meteors frozen in green, smashing into the bodies of the fools surrounding her.
Take all her power, she doesn’t care, as long as it got her closer to Cullen.
Eurydice looked again and she saw Cullen on his feet once more, his sword and shield raised despite his damaged body. A behemoth thrashed against his dented shield and every swing brought him another inch to the ground. Another behemoth was bursting its red lyrium seeds from the ground and Cullen struggled not to let the tainted crystals brush against him but it mattered not, for it seemed they were not trying to stab him but form around him in a circle.
Like a cage.
They were trying to trap him. Trap him like–
A maddening growl came from deep within Eurydice, the electric in her body coursing through her, flowing through her hair which now slithered about her head like snapping, hissing snakes. Dashing between the crashing rocks, Eurydice leaped onto the back of the behemoth in her way and stabbed her fingers into its eye sockets. Infect her, she doesn’t care; as long as they felt the pain of her magic, white and scorching and insane, then she would let herself be corrupted. She wanted it to shatter from the inside, break until its crystal heart exploded and died.
Feel what they made Cullen feel.
Grunting, Eurydice surged a current of lightening up her arms and through her fingertips, feeding it into the monster by its wounds. She forced the electric course into its very bones, watching with an almost sick delight as the lightning erupted inside its mouth and then abruptly shot right out of it into the sky. The behemoth’s body cracked from head to toe with a vibrant, shocking light and as it slipped suddenly from the elf’s fingers, all that seemed to be left of it was a charred, smoking husk.
And there were more. So many more—she wanted to kill them all. She wanted to turn into that white electric light and eradicate them all from the world until not even their footprints could be found in the sand!
Her clawed hand sparked with green and blue as she stepped over her victim and started stalking towards the rest. With a swap of her hand, she cast a wall of electricity between Cullen and the Behemoths, keeping him from their touch.
The Commander stared at her with wide, bloodshot eyes and yelled at her with a shaken voice, “In…Inquisitor…Inquisitor! Inquisitor, what are you doing?!”
The beast which was once her heart roared in her ears, drowning everything else out. She barely registered two hands grabbing her by the shoulders, keeping her in place. She couldn’t see past anything but the red of the lyrium and the hatred in her heart.
“Inquisitor! Inqui—Eurydice. Stop it, will you?! Look at me!”
She set her blood-stained teeth and when she breathed, all that came out of her was traces of the lightning coiling within, seizing her by the soul and to the mind. She fought against the hands keeping her still, away from her prey, and out of her mouth came an almost possessed voice, hoarse and biting: “Let me go. I’ll kill them! I’ll KILL them! They hurt him! I’LL KILL THEM! I’ll—!!”
It hurt when Cullen’s bruised mouth collided with hers. It was far too sharp and hard to be any good—their teeth scraped against each other and their noses mashed awkwardly. Cuts and slices bleed more, singing with hurt as Cullen pressed against her, his tongue pushing into her mouth. He tasted like metal, like kissing a worn blade, and she couldn’t tell any more if their mouths were laced with her blood or his. But it was solid, hot as a fire, and the hand on the back of her neck was gentle as it stroked through her hair.
For all those bad sensations, it was a kiss that told her one thing: I am here, I am alive, I love you.
No one will take me from your side.
As fast as the kiss happened, it ended. The magic controlling her sucked back into her core with little more than her a fluttering of her eyes. Cullen was injured far more than she had first thought—a rigged, terrible claw mark had made a path down his left cheek, oozing with black blood, his face was beaten purple, his nose bleeding, his hair dirty and sticky, his armor barely able to protect him from the behemoths’ onslaught.
But he still here and, despite it all, he was ready to fight by her side.
“I thought I almost lost you.” He said and Eurydice swallowed because he had. She would have been utterly lost, and happy to be, if she had lost him. Just as she wanted to tell him that, the two them heard the distinct sound of lightening fizzling out. They both turned to see Eurydice’s electric wall sparking on and off, its power fading, and the Behemoths slamming their fists through it.
“Here they come…” Cullen grimaced as he lifted his sword and shield up with injured arms and readied to fight again, but Eurydice stepped in front of him and this time when the lightning snapped to life in her hand, it was under her command.
“Close your eyes, Commander. You will not enjoy what I must do next.”
These creatures wanted to put Cullen into another cage? Fine; then let’s see how much they enjoy being tortured and trapped in a static cage of her design.