She is sobbing.
There is no reason for her to do so, and Selene mentally berates herself for breaking down like this while they are out and busy. They arrived in the Lost Temple of Dirthamen almost an hour ago now, and while she had felt uneasy since entering, she had been managing it well, up until now. Solas stops in his translation of the codex writing and exchanges a look with Inquisitor Lavellan who shrugs helplessly while Varric pats Selene’s shoulder.
“You okay there, Moonbeam?” he asks.
She nods, wiping at her face with her sleeve, “Yes. Yes, I’m fine, I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me.”
“You may be experiencing a reaction to the magical energies that still reside here. I am impressed they are potent enough to do so, with what little fragments remain,” Solas remarks.
“Yeah, maybe…” Selene grumbles, rubbing at her head as it starts to throb; it feels as though someone is whispering to her, but it’s not Des’s usual prodding. It feels…older. Much older.
It is much more difficult to move through the dreaming, since the Wolf put up his Veil. Fear and Deceit have been spending most of their time in the fade, looking for a weakened point and creating new paths in an effort to make one The Great Aspect would be able to travel in his weakened state.
He does not move much, these days. The loss of their Daughter and Heart in the war took a heavy toll on them all.
But someone is moving through the temple, now. The puzzles are being solved and old runes re-activated. Not some fumbling dull-eared shadow, but someone with purpose.
Someone who knows it.
Deceit makes the decision to expend the magic required to cross over, while Fear remains at the Great Aspects side, feeding him the necessary energy to keep him going; there is no shortage of fear in this new world.
Deceit strains with the effort, still largely residing on the dreaming side of the veil, but it is enough that they can see what is happening.
They are stunned, momentarily.
Daughter and Heart are both here. In the temple.
Fear sends back an argument, images of each of their respective deaths to discourage Deceits newfound optimism.
But Deceit knows disguises and hidden truths; would be able to recognize if they were impostors.
It is undoubtedly them. Alive.
The Great Aspect shifts in his interest and instructs Deceit to continue its observations.
The group has moved to another room while they were having their debate, and Deceit follows its old paths, overgrown with tainted energies that it is easily able to maneuver around like a well-worn trail.
Daughter and Heart are traveling with others.
There is a Child of the Stone, though he does not seem connected to it in the same manner they once had been; it seems the People were not the only ones to lose pieces of themselves.
And the Wolf.
The Great Aspect rises when he sees him beside Daughter once more, and Deceit can feel the anger even with so great a distance between them. He understands sacrifices can sometimes not be avoided, and must be made for the greater good of the world and its people.
It does not mean he will forgive the Wolf for what he took.
Deceit debates attempting to trick the wolf; perhaps they could lead him someplace where a trap is still active, could seal him there and keep him from harming Daughter or Heart once again. But there is no trap that would be powerful enough now, they know. Not with their temple in shambles and their own powers so greatly diminished.
They will revisit the idea when they have gathered more power.
Heart- Selene, the Wolf calls her and Deceits feathers ruffle to hear her name spoken by one who wronged them so greatly, to see her smile at him and offer him a friendship that he does not deserve, is observing the Runes, holding up a torch of Veilfire while the Wolf inspects them and pretends to not have intimate knowledge of their workings already.
Still…Deceit is unable to safely communicate with the Wolf, and Daughter is radiating with the wolves magic in a way that sends chills down its spine, but perhaps Heart would be safe. She would not hurt them, they think. It is not in her nature.
Still in the dreaming, it drifts to her shoulder, briefly taking comfort in the familiarity (however one-sided it may be) and whispers instructions into her ear.
She pauses as it speaks to her, and though it knows she is not hearing everything, is only getting pieces, broken and disconnected as they are muddied in their journey past the veil and spoken in a tongue she is no longer familiar with, she is clever. She will be able to decipher the puzzle. All they will need to do then, is wait.
The High Priest is a difficult battle, but they manage without too many injuries. The Inquisitor is gathering the loot while Selene is healing some of Varric’s wounds; she’s not sure how he goes down so quickly when he shouldn’t be anywhere near the heart of the battle in the first place, but he just laughs it off and tells her “Healers aren’t supposed to turn their arms into magic swords and go charging headfirst into battle either, Moonbeam.”
Selene just shrugs “Someone has to cover the Inquisitor when Solas is too busy staring at her ass to remember his frost spells aren’t permanent,”
Solas sputters indignantly from somewhere behind her (where he was no doubt watching the inquisitor bent over the treasure chest anyways) while Lavellan and Varric laugh.
A chill goes down Selene’s spine as she hears something whispering again, and she stands quickly, spinning on her heel in an attempt to locate where the sound is coming from.
She doesn’t see anything.
Solas is looking at her curiously though.
“Is something wrong, Lethallan?”
Selene goes to shake her head, but stops herself “I’m not sure. I thought the whispering was just because of those creepy body parts and the Priest, but we’ve defeated him and they’re still…I don’t know, but I can definitely hear something.”
“Tell me this is the part where we ignore it and go home anyways,” Varric sighs
“What kind of story would that be, Varric?” Selene teases.
“The kind where the hero lives to tell their own tale,” he calls out while she walks back towards a chamber they had already opened and looted anyways.
There is nothing left in here that she sees, but the whispering is louder. There are two altars on the wall, both empty after their collecting spree. Something seems to be…glinting, though, on the wall between them. She picks a veilfire torch off the wall and holds it just above the glimmer, but still nothing appears. She reaches out for it, the whispering growing louder and louder in her ears, and she can almost hear Solas yelling something from behind her that sounds like 'no’ or 'dont’ but her hand is on the wall now and it is warm and the whispers sound more like words and the voices are familiar as the wall disappears in a great burst of blinding light.
There is a dragon on the other side.
Large, and black with scales like stars in the light of the veilfire and it’s eyes are a deep blue and it is staring at her and she knows she is supposed to move, get behind it’s legs and take those out first if you want to defeat it without losing anyone, but she does not want to hurt it. It doesn’t seem to want to hurt her either.
It emits a low grumble and a bird flies off of its shoulder as it shifts, and becomes distinctly more elf-like.
It is very tall, with long black hair the same color as its scales had been cascading down its back and almost onto the floor. It is dressed in elaborate robes that she suspects Vivienne would practically drool over while taking mental notes to give to her tailor, and it’s eyes are still that same deep blue behind its mask, which is twisting up on two corners in a mimicry of its horns and comes down to a sharp point on its chin.
“Ma Serannas, emma lath” it grumbles without moving its (his?) mouth.
“Wait, what?!” Selene cries out, when his words register.
It is strange to be on two legs again after so long, but this form seems to unnerve Selene and his Daughter less, he thinks.
His mask has changed, likely a side effect from remaining in the other form for so long.
Selene is speaking, quickly and often as she always has, but he is unable to understand the words.
He looks at his Daughter, and she looks healthy and happy and his heart swells to see her alive once more even if the Wolfs energies are swirling through her; he will be able to correct that, in time.
She also does not seem to recognize him, however.
He reluctantly turns to the Wolf who appears stuck in between his own Fight or Flight instinct.
“How much time has passed here?” he asks of the Wolf.
The Wolf looks as though he has bitten into a particularly sour fruit as his gaze flits between Lavellan and himself “More than I can adequately portray here.”
“Then we will go someplace more adequate,”
“The world has changed. Your family is a myth now, stories told to children. Not People any longer,”
“Then I will walk as one of the People myself, if that is what will be necessary,”
The Wolf tenses “That would not be advisable,”
“I have no interest in your advice,”
Deceit flits back to Dirthamen, solidifying itself now that the three of them are back on this side of the dreaming, and informs him of the Wolfs secrets.
Dirthamen considers “I will not permit you to harm them again. I will come with you, or else I will reveal to them all of the things you have been hiding,”
The Wolf’s knuckles whiten briefly over his staff, before he reluctantly agrees “…as you wish.”
Solas and the Elven-dragon-man have been conversing in surprisingly fluent elvhen for several minutes now, and Selene and Lavellan are stuck exchanging uneasy looks with each other while Varric casually cleans some of the demonic gook off of Bianca.
Solas looks uneasy as he turns back towards the group, and lets out a sigh “Selene,” he says, looking at her pointedly “This man will be your responsibility,”
Selene gawks at Solas “Excuse you?! I never agreed to that! I can’t even speak to him, how am I supposed to keep an eye on someone who can turn into a blasted dragon?”
“You sealed the pact when you placed your hand against the wall,” he explains “It was a blood pact. Likely an ancestor of yours was a servant here, and so you became a sufficient key.”
Selene groans and places her head in her hands “So, is he another priest? A particularly faithful servant?”
Solas tenses and looks briefly at the mostly-elvhen man behind him “He claims to be Dirthamen himself, in fact,”
The Inquisitors eyebrows shoot up and Selene pales. Varric lets out a deep sigh,