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A Conversation Between Two Starkhaven Lords– 18th of Justinian Dragon 9:42

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“Heard the toll. You saw it, yeah? Here, wine will give you some color again.”

“N-no. No. Keep it away. Yeah, I saw it. Got a front row seat–ha, fool me fought for it with some nasty Ferelden bitch. Thought I could’ve stomached it.”

“What she do? Drawn and quartered the bloody bastard? You actin’ like she called a demon down on his head.”

“Wouldn’t put it past her, the– Liss’en. You know how you been goin’ on for months that they got themselves a Tranquil on the throne?”

“Aye, aye. She be acting like one. Got the same dead eye. Dead voice. Haven’t seen a smile or anythin’ from her.”

“Well, you might be on to somethin’, mate. See, they had the Tevinter down on his knees on the stage and she came up with a sword. Should be two, three chops and off, right? Why she doin’ it, I wondered, coulda got the Seeker or the Commander–or that Blackwall fellow. His people, his foot in the race, right? Nah, it’s her. In her white dress. And she gets to him and she’s hovering over–getting real close to aim–and the Tevinter’s laughing. Going on about Corypheus; shouting red in the face bout his place in the next world and shite. Mate, he was off his knocker, I think he was cracking. Wanted to smack his right mouth off.”

“Yeah, yeah? And?”

“Yeah, well, he’s goin’ mad right there, calling the Inquisitor every dirty thing on the roster, and then he’s looking at her and he. Stops. Goes mute right there. Looking at her, right up at her face, and his face goes from red to pale. It wasn’t right, those eyes of his. Never seen someone look that way before–or start keening like a beat pup. I think he saw somethin’ he shouldn’ve in her.”

“Like what? She get angry? She had a sword–if she was fixing to be my death, I’d be shaking too. Send me off to the void and nothing, she could.”

“But she didn’t change. There was nothing in her, Rab! Ain’t even a frown. Like-Like-Like a doll, she was!”

“So?”

“So? He starts trying to get away from her and the Inquisitor gets out her hand and she shocks him into place. Shocked him so hard, he vomits blood! Maker–his eyes almost pop from his head. Then she’s dragging that big ol’sword over to him and buzzes it with even more magic and CHOP! His head is clean off!”

“Maker…in one swipe? But she’s–”

“Brittle, yeah? That’s what I thought. Knife-ear should’ve had her arm snapped by that sword but she’s stand there, right as rain, and the blood doesn’t even get to her. It’s all over her face, her dress, her feet are in the puddle, and she doesn’t even care, mate! And her eyes. There ain’t nothing in them or anywhere else. She wasn’t even there!”

“What’s it to you, though? We’ve chopped the limbs off for laughs. What’s a savage elf blinking away blood got you so spooked for?”

“You didn’t see it! Most people, they got something on their face. A smile. A frown. A game to ‘em! Even that Qunari of hers gets that color to his cheeks from the kill. Her? Cold as ice. Tellin’ you. You gotta see it. Then–then, Maker Bless Me if this is what we got leadin’ us, she’s watchin’ the guards take the body away and picks up the head! Goes right to one and tells em to keep the bones and she’s keeping the teeth.”

“The–you fuckin’ with me, now. Blood, I can get. Blood, elvish magic and all, but what she want with the–”

“I don’t know! She wanted em! Got the head in her arms like she’s holding a babe! It’s dripping on her!”

“Mate, sit down–”

“Tellin’ you! Ice in her, like a demon–!!”

“Oi. Oi! Allen! Sit yer ass down. Take a drink before you get us in trouble! They have ears everywhere.”

“I…I…I–Gi…give it here–I…I don’t care, mate. I don’t. You didn’t see it. Didn’t see any of it. Something ain’t right about that elf, that Inquisitor.”

“It’s them Tranquils, Rab. They take their minds and make ‘em walking dead.”

“I don’t know. I don’t think I was lookin’ at a Tranquil. Wish it was. She got a mind of her own, that one, and from what I saw, it’s a frightful one. If that’s what’s on the throne, then Maker, we better watch our arses…”