Chapter 1: Shattered Rainbows and New Worlds
“Loki!” Thor yelled as he glanced down, seeing their ‘sister’ on their tail. It was foolish to call the Bifrost, a move Thor wouldn’t have thought Loki would have done. Everything seemed to slow as he watched one of Loki’s daggers fly at Hela only to get flung back and catch the trickster in his side. “Loki!” He screamed again, watching him break from the glittering wall. With a smirk Hela caught up to him, her hand wrapping around his throat and pushing him into the wall. Shards sliced his flesh as he struggled against her iron grip; his foot coming up as she raised one of her wicked looking swords and kicking her back. As he connected with her solar plexus he felt the wall behind him shatter fully and the breath was stolen from his chest as he was gripped by cold space.
A scream broke through the still Ferelden sky accompanied by a flash of green. “ Kaffas ,” a loan figure cursed as a deeply tanned hand scooped up his simple staff. Nimble but worn boots easily faulted over a fallen tree, the figure would be damned if some low wrung demon was going...to…” Venhedis. ” Before him, in a circle of burnt grass, was a strangely dressed and deathly pale man. The figure sighed as he slid his staff into the holster at his back and knelt down; the man was breathing with superficial cuts everywhere his skin was on display. His clothing was strange (even by Southern standards) and he had no weapons as the figure crouched down to give him a once over. The figure let out a huff, blowing inky black locks from his forehead as he shook his head, hauling the pale man up and grunting. “ Fasta vass, Felix would be so proud.” He huffed, half carrying half dragging his newest companion to his camp by the light of the moon.
Loki groaned as pain lanced through his body and a wet sort of cold swept over his skin. He felt heated hands glide over his neck and shoulder and he turned his head to the source, “Thor?” Memories raced through his mind and his eyes snapped open as he jolted up, “Thor!” Firm hands pushed him down and the Trickster hissed in pain.
“With a slight change in accent, I would think you an Altus,” a voice snorted just off to his left.
“Who are you?”
“Dorian Pavus most recently of Minrathous,” a light appeared and Loki was struck by a good looking man dressed in a strange outfit with styled hair, closely shaven at the sides, and an artfully kept mustache that could rival Fandralls'. The mans skin glittered like bronze in the firelight and his eyes were a stunning shade of gray. “I do believe it’s customary to introduce yourself after someone does their own introduction.”
Loki shook his head and cleared his throat as he slowly pushed himself up, the man backing off to give him some room. “Loki...Loki of Asgard.”
“Really, would have pegged you for Ferelden.” Dorian mused, “curious that in all my studies I’ve never come across a place called Asgard-”
“Where am I?”
“Quite literally the middle of nowhere,” Dorian chuckled as he dug into his pack pulling out a bottle and holding it out to Loki. “Drink, it will warm you, your skin is like ice.”
Loki scoffed as he took the wine, “I hardly feel it.”
“That makes one of us, miserable weather down here. Always cold and smells like wet dog.” The darker of the two hummed eyeing the other man. “Who is Thor?”
Loki froze, the bottle resting on his bottom lip as he cast a glance at the other. “That…” he sighed, “is a very complex story.”
“I do have all night,” A single hand outstretched, rings glittering as he waited for the bottle to be passed to him.
“Loki!” Thor’s yell boomed as he bolted away, consciousness slamming into him all at once and he tried to sit up. Three sets of hands pushed the struggling god down, “unhand me!” He barked.
“Calm down you’ll tear your stitches,” a man’s deep voice rumbled. “Dalish do something!”
“Use your magic,” another voice, above Thor’s head, commanded.
“But I’m not a mage!” A females voice broke through.
Panic gripped the blonde as he blinked his eyes only to see nothing. Phantom pains of the Bifrost shattering prickled around his skin and he cried out as a firm body collided with his chest, locking his arms with skinny legs. A cold hand touched his forehead and a whine was pulled from his throat, “Loki…” He felt himself sinking as the pressure on his chest eased and the hands holding him down slipped away.
“Sorry about that,” the deep voice called to him from whatever void he was lulled into. “Can’t have someone built like a Bronto tearing through here. Is Loki your name?”
“No,” Thor rasped feeling a hand slide under his head and a water skin pressed to his lips. He drank deeply and groaned softly when it was pulled away, his head starting to clear though the darkness remained. “Thank you.”
“He good Stitches? Chief wants to talk to him?” A new voice broke through the haze and Thor’s head snapped around to the voice.
“Chief can come in while I check his eyes Krem.” The first voice, Stitches he now knew, grumbled helping haul Thor into a sitting position.
“You’re a doctor?”
“What happened? Where am I?”
“Well that I was hoping you could tell us,” A deep voice rumbled nearly rivaling Heimadal’s in pitch made Thor’s head swing to the new direction.
“Damnit keep still,” Stitches groused.
Thor heard something heavy drop and the telltale sound of wood groaning under weight. “Could put Volstagg to shame,” he muttered as he felt battle calloused hands on his chin holding him still as the bandages around his eyes was unwound.
“You got a name?”
“Thor...Thor Odinson.” Thor mumbled into the tent, catching the faint sound of waves crashing against rocks and distant thunder.
“So-” the voice was still deep, rumbling through him like thunder. “Mind tellin me how you ended up washed up on the shore like a dead man?”
“Depends, where am I?” Thor felt the last of the bandages fall away and a pressure on his eyelids.
“Keep ‘em closed. Gonna get some elfroot on those cuts.”
Thor grunted as he felt something close spread over the upper portion of his face. “Please, tell me where I am.”
“Storm Coast,” the ‘Chief’ grunted, “did you fall off of a ship?”
“A ship? No...was...did you find anyone else with me?”
“Nope, only you in the seaweed. Gave Rocky a jolt there Sparks.”
“Sparks?” Thors' head throbbed as his brow furrowed pulling at the cuts in his skin.
“Chief loves his nicknames,” another voice chimed in, this one the first one announcing this ‘Chief’ wanted to talk to him. “Camp is secure and Grim and Skinner just came back hauling a few huge rams.”
Thor jolted as he heard a loud clap that sounded fairly close to him. “Great! Feel up to eating?” The ‘Chief’ laughed as Thor’s stomach let out a loud rumble. “That’s a yes if I’ve ever heard one.”
“Who are you?” Thor groaned as he felt the pressure on his eyelids release and he slowly opened his eyes, blinking as wide set horns greeted him. Sky blue eyes went wide as he gaped, “Surtur?”
A brow over a flashy looking eyepatch arched as a wide grin split the grey skinned face before him. “Not even close. Name’s The Iron Bull, c’mon you can regale the Chargers with how you ended up in the sea.” The large...creature (man?) laughed as he clapped Thor on the shoulder and the blonde grunted as he was hauled up. A frown traced his features as he was lead out of the tent.
Where are you Loki? He thought to himself as he felt the first drop of rain hit his face and he caught the scent of the sea.
“So…” Dorian mused as they stopped for a quick meal, “You aren’t from Ferelden.” The morning had started off chilled, to which Loki’s companion had complained in an entertaining fashion, but had warmed up considerably. Loki’s new found companion was odd but likeable, reminding the Trickster of his more snooty companions on Vanahime.
“Nor from Thedas as a whole.”
“Correct again, you are an astute one aren’t you?”
Dorian hummed as he tossed the wineskin to Loki and pulled out some cloth wrapped bread. “You do, however, come from a place called Asgard where you grew up not only as a noble but as a Prince of all things. And to top it all off you spent some time masquerading as your father before being found out by your brother who nearly killed you with a magical flying hammer.” Dorian twirled his mustache around his finger as he raised a perfectly sculpted brow at the lighter of the two. “Just what sort of backwater Ferelden swill have you been drinking to come up with that?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Pardon granted,” Dorian shot back with a cheeky grin. “Oh don’t look so dour, you have to-” A yell and clash of swords against shields drew the attention of the men and had Dorian reaching for his staff. “ Kaffas I do hope you can fight!”
Loki felt a strange, yet tantalizing, pull as he watched Dorian pull fire to his hand and fling it at a strangely armored man. Never one to be outdone, Loki flicked his wrists out and-nothing. No sleek metal skimming his palms or fitted leather meeting his flesh. A glance down told him that-yes-no daggers were in his hands. He flicked his wrists again, and again the same thing happened.
“That one there! Get the Apostate!”
Loki’s head snapped up and he saw a man charging at him, sword waving wildly above his head. “Norns!” The brunette yelled as he flung his hands up, time seemed to stand still as he felt the strange pull Dorian had exhibited once again and saw a wall of ice come up; spearing the armored man before him and freezing him solid. His brow furrowed as he brought his hands back, not seeing his skin change and he glanced up at the wall watching it shatter and spear the other men trying to charge at Dorian. Silence settled over them before Loki’s legs gave out and he sank down to the ground, his head spinning.
“Well I wish I had known you were a mage,” Dorian clicked his tongue as he stepped over a body and held out a glowing blue vial to Loki.
“What is that?” Loki eyed the vial wearily, his head starting to throb as his vision blurred.
“It’s Lyrium, I’m fairly sure you were clubbed on the head so I will forgive the lapse of memory. This mage rebellion has thrown everything out of order. You probably lost your staff and got smacked around.”
The Trickster made a non committal sound and sighed as he drank the contents of the vial. He gasped as a soothing rush of cold swept through him and his energy was restored. “What in the Nine?”
“Much,” Loki sighed as he saw Dorian holding out his hand and he gripped it to be hauled to his feet. The laws of magic must be different here. He thought to himself, regretting the loss of-
“Ah-ha!” Dorian’s cry broke the pale man out of his musings to see him brandishing a long branch of wood. “Catch.”
Loki fumbled as the other man tossed the thing to him and he gripped it, feeling the cool smooth wood in his palms and felt a rush of power. “It’s a staff.”
“Of course,” Dorian snorted as he leaned on his own staff. “You seem to be gifted with Ice but you need the focus. Maker Felix is going to have a field day when you meet him. I’m practically teaching an apprentice.”
“I am not a child,” Loki bristled.
“Could have fooled me. You made a mistake like all children do and use magic without the staff as a focus. Again I will chalk it up to you have a nasty bump on your head and forgot you were a mage.” Dorian looked him over and sighed, “though perhaps with the sky being ripped open you coming from another world might not be as insane as it sounds.”
“Oh you are just now realizing this? I’m so thrilled for you.”
Dorian pursed his lips as he glared at Loki, “if you are from a place called Asgard and you have been on the battlefield before then why did you look so surprised at what you did here?”
“I don’t rightly know. Usually in battle I am able to bring my daggers to my hands from little pockets of seidr with the use of illusions to give my brother and his friends time to gain the upper hand on the battlefield.”
“If you are able to use daggers why did you not simply stab the Templars?”
“I...I can’t seem to access my seidr as I normally would on Asgard or Midgard.” Loki turned the staff in his hands over, “I felt a strange pull when I brought the ice forward and when I saw you pull fire to your hand. I am thinking that my seidr is transferring into this world in a way that it can manifest.” He kept the fact that it was ice magic and seriously messing with his head. He kept looking at his hands, expecting to see the crawling blue, but his skin stayed pale. “Who is Felix?”
“My friend, his father has done something very stupid and I am hoping that I can get to Redcliffe before things spiral out of control.” Dorian shook his head, “once there we can part ways and you can see if anyone knows anything about this Thor you are searching for-”
“Perhaps I should stay with you.” Loki interjected, “if this Felix is going against his father you will need someone who can help you. I have noticed that people are more willing to talk to me than they are to you.”
Dorian paused as he tapped his finger to his lips. “You are not wrong in that Loki, you sound like you are from Ferelden and many in the South do not trust anyone from Tevinter and the fact that we are hearing rumours of a Tevinter Magister running the Arl out of Redcliffe will not endear me to anyone no matter how damned charming I am.”
Loki rolled his eyes as he settled the staff in his hands and nodded. “It’s with entirely selfish reasons for me to stay with you as well. I need to know more about this world if I am to get back home.”
Dorian bent down, pulling a coin pouch off of one of the templars and opening it to look inside, “there’s a few royals in here. We should be able to get you some better clothing to help you blend in. We should check the other bodies, if they have anything of value on them we can sell it as well.”
“Then, for now we are partners,” Loki nodded as he knelt to search through the body nearest to him.
“That we are,” Dorian agreed, eyeing the strange man out of the corner of his eye.
The rest of the trip to Redcliffe was uneventful, Dorian giving tips on how to use his staff to fight and Loki quickly picking up how magic worked in this world. It was strange, to be a seidrmaster in his home but here be little more than an apprentice. He knew that Thor would laugh at him at is blundering but he was thankful that the staffwork here was much like how he trained with a staff back home. He soon found Dorian pulling a hood over his head, hiding his face in shadow as they slipped through the gates of Redcliffe, few gave them parting glances while others eyed them wearily; it was a look Loki himself was very used to and he began to wonder if himself and Dorian were not so different. He watched as Dorian pulled a slender crystal out of his pocket and lift it up, with interest he watched as it began to glow softly and Dorian muttered something.
“Dorian?” A voice came from the crystal.
“The one and only,” Dorian muttered. “Where shall we meet my friend?”
“I will take the tunnels from the castle, Father thinks I am sleeping. Meet me at the crumbling windmill there is much we have to discuss.” The crystal went dark and Dorian slowly stowed it away.
“Well, that does not bode well for my sense of comfort. Shall we?”
“After you,” Loki made a gesture, following after the mage as they made their way to the crumbling structure. Loki settled himself against a rock, looking over his staff once more and feeling the magic flowing from him and into the wood. It was fascinating and he had never seen anything like it. The scepter that he had been given by Thanos was nothing like this, it felt as if the staff in his hands was an extension of him not something to warp and suppress his mind. “Magic flows differently here, you say I control Ice. I saw you draw fire to your hand.”
“Ah yes, the mystical fires of the fade.” Dorian chuckled, “I manifested fire when I was but three years old. Father was so incredibly proud, though mother was furious that I ruined the carpet in her Salon. After that I was sent to school after school, trouble with people telling me what to do you see. But I passed my harrowing and I even became Enchanter at the glorious young age of twenty-one. Father was so thrilled, until he wasn’t.” A dark look passed over the other man’s face and Loki felt a pang in his chest. He knew that look himself, having known to have made it from time to time when Odin refused to acknowledge his achievements.
Loki opened his mouth to say something when the sharp snap of wood against stone caught the men’s attention. He looked over to see a man in very strange and gastly bright orange and yellow clothing push himself up through the trapdoor. He watched as a brilliant grin spread over Dorian’s face and he rushed to embrace the man.
“Felix,” Dorian gasped softly holding his friend close.
“Dorian, Maker’s breath it's good to see you.” Felix muttered holding him close, “when I heard what Halward did...I couldn’t...why didn’t you contact me?”
“Father took everything when he locked me up. If it wasn’t for Mae I wouldn’t have known that Alexius dragged you down here. Felix you must tell me everything.”
“Dorian I…” his eyes drifted to where Loki sat and an instant guarded look on his face came over him. “Who is this?”
“His name is Loki, explaining what is going on will take to long. Perhaps we can figure out what your father intends to do before we get into the nitty gritty of what we are doing here yes?”
“Can we trust him?”
Dorian turned to Loki, who in turn looked at him with an arched brow, “I believe we can. He is a mage and he just saved my life from the Templars. His name is Loki Laufeyson. Loki this is Felix Alexius, my oldest and dearest friend.”
Loki inclined his head though never taking his eyes off of the two of them. There was something off about Felix and he was not sure what it was. His build was fine, well defined under the garish clothing though his cheeks were hallowed and his skin sallow. He watched as Felix smirked at him. “You can see it. The Blight.”
“Loki isn’t from around here.” Dorian muttered softly.
“Got attacked by Darkspawn. They killed my mother and infected me. I’m living on borrowed time and my father has taken the path of madness to cure me.” Felix’s eyes fell onto Dorian, “your research is correct Dorian. You can make time change. It was how we got here when we did.”
“I feel like I’m going to need a drink...or seven to deal with what you are about to tell me.” Dorian groaned shaking his head.
“Because you are always looking for a reason to drink.” Felix laughed softly, Loki chuckling along with him. “I don’t have much time, let us talk.”
Several hours later Dorian and Loki sat quietly in the ruins of the windmill. Dorian’s head spinning with what his friend had told him and Loki wondering just what sort of mess he had been dropped into. “This world is a disaster and I’ve seen Midgard during the Middle Ages.” Loki sighed, passing the wine bottle to his companion.
“Disaster hardly covers it. A disaster is when a slave serves the wrong guest first. This...this is chaos. Using time magic to get here just after the conclave to gather a bunch of Southern mages? And for what? A fanatical cult? Not to mention the sky opening up like a festering wound to pour out demons and Maker knows what else.” Dorian groaned as he pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes after passing the bottle back to Loki. “And now he wants to lure this...Herald of Andraste here to give her to this Elder One.” Dorian looked up at the darkening sky, the suns dying rays casting brilliant streaks of red and gold against the oncoming night. “We have to save her.”
Loki choked on the wine, sputtering as he pulled the bottle away and wiped at his mouth. “I beg your pardon?”
“She’s coming here for the mages. Felix says she is one, a Dalish sure but a mage nonetheless. She will come here to seek them out and hopefully gain their help to close the Breach.” He sighed shaking his head as he let his head thunk back against the stone. “If you don’t wish to come with me Loki I will not make you. This is not your fight.”
Emerald eyes lifted up to the sky opposite the setting sun to see the eerie green of the Breach. “I think I would like to stick by you a little while longer Dorian.” He mused, a smirk curling his lips, “something about that Breach tells me that that is also my ticket home. You said you saw a flash of green light, well that is as green as green can get. Besides I think exploring this world might hold a bit of fun.”
Dorian laughed as he took the bottle back from Loki and downed the last of its contents. “You are a strange one Loki.”
Loki laughed as he pushed himself up and held out a hand to Dorian. “Not the first one to tell me that. Now come, you said something about getting me outfitted like one of your mages. I’d like to see what this world really has to offer.”
Dorian looked at his hand for a moment before sighing. “If we must, but be warned Southern fashions are deplorable compared to yours truly.”
“If your friend Felix’s clothing is anything to go by I would say I am in a lose/lose situation and must make the best of what we have here in Redcliffe.” He laughed as Dorian sputtered, slapping the man on the back as they walked into the village square to begin shopping before the shops closed and plan their little meeting for when the Herald of Andraste showed herself.
Thor leaned against a fallen tree surveying the sea as dark clouds rolled over head. He felt the loss of Mjolnir like a vital body part. The Iron Bull had been kind enough to help outfit him. The armor was solid but flexible and withstood the rain, the shield he had been handed was a metal that Krem had called Silverite and was stylized like a griffon with a matching sword. The shield was settled on his back as his hand rested on the hilt of his sword at his hip; he worried for Asgard, for his brother, and he had learned a lot about this world. He learned that this world was, for lack of a better term, a mess.
“Contemplating life’s mysteries?” Bull rumbled from beside Thor, “or missing your hammer?” He smirked, giving a ridiculous one eyed wink that had Thor laughing softly.
Four days, that was how long Thor had been in his present company. Four days of having to put up with lewd comments but finding himself endeared to the man (Qunari he reminded himself) who had the bulk of the Hulk and all the charm of Stark with a heart like Rogers. Thor shook his head before those thoughts could take place and settle. “Perhaps both. You are taking my tale quite well Iron Bull.” The Prince mused, a smirk curling his lips as he brushed his rain soaked hair from his face.
“My work for the Ben-Hassrath, they taught me how to tell when someone’s lying. Something tells me you’re a shitty liar Sparks.”
He barked a laugh, “Loki would say the same thing.” The blonde shook his head as he turned to look at their small camp. “Any word from Krem?”
“Nah, he’s a tough son of a bitch. Haven’s only a day and a half from here, should be back any-”
“‘Vints comin up the beach Chief!” Stitches called out as everyone picked up their weapons.
Thor caught the helmet that was tossed to him and slid it over his hair. “Highest kills takes first watch?”
Bull barked a laugh as he gripped his axe, “you’re on Sparks. Chargers!”
“Horns up!” They rang back and Thor charged forward, sliding along the ground and lifting his shield as a ‘Vint’s mace came down with a ringing clang. He saw the tell-tale signs of Dalishs’ ‘not magic’ shimmer over his skin and bouncing second Vint’s sword off of his shoulder. He grinned as he brought his shield back to throw the attack away...right onto Bull’s mighty axe. “Still my kill!”
“My axe says different!” Iron Bull laughed as he swung said axe around again.
It wasn’t like fighting with his warriors, or the Avengers, or even with Loki but Thor liked it. “On your left!” An arrow whizzed past Thor’s right ear and he heard a shrill scream of the new female.
“That’s your left Sera!” Thor saw a blur run past him and felt the pull of lightning as he spun to see a tiny slip of a woman slamming a staff into the ground and causing electrical currents to rip through screaming Vints. Another severe looking woman rushed with her shield slamming another into the churning violent waters of the seas as there was a barrage of arrows with the sound of a mechanical click from a dwarf with a crossbow.
The battle was done and Thor watched as Krem walked up, his large mace resting on his shoulder and his brow cocked in challenge. Bull grinned as he clapped him on his unburdened shoulder. “Good to see you back Krem. How we lookin’?”
“Five or six wounded Chief. No dead.”
“Good,” Bull nodded as he cast a look to Thor. “Help Krem while I talk to our new Boss.”
“But they haven’t-”
“They will,” Bull grinned and with a wink and a clap to Thor’s back he walked off.
Thor shook his head as he walked alongside Krem, “what’s your read on them Lieutenant?”
Krem shrugged as he knelt checking a body. “See that elf there?”
Thor looked over to see a woman with ashen hair standing on a tree to be eye level with Bull and grinning crookedly. “Sprightly little thing,” he chuckled softly.
“Yeah, she’s also the only one who’d talk to me. Herald of Andraste they call her.”
“That is...a God to you people?”
“Sort of?” Back home she’s just a woman, here...she’s the Bride of the Maker.” He shrugged, “all I know is that the Chief wants in. Worlds gone to shit and someone’s gotta fix it.”
“Sparks! Krem!” They looked up to see Bull motioning them over and they walked up, past Rocky who was gleefully taking an axe to an ale barrel. “Introductions. You met Krem, my second. The blonde is Thor Odinson but I call him Sparks.”
“Sparks? How’d you end up with that name?” The blonde dwarf with the crossbow asked with a laugh.
“Gave our sapper a shock, literally, when we pulled him from the waves.” Bull grinned at the noise of disgust from the angry looking woman next to the dwarf. The elf, still on the tree, grinned back before jumping down and landing before Thor.
“I’m Ellanna Lavellen, my cohorts, Sera, Varric, and Cassandra.” He nodded as each was pointed out, Sera being the blonde elf, Varric the dwarf, and Cassandra being the terrifying looking woman.
“We’re hired on, Krem you’ll be leading the boys on off missions and skirmishes for the Inquisition. Sparks and I are going to be front line when the Boss needs us.”
“Me?” Thor asked, his brow drawing down in confusion. “Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable with someone you know at your back Iron Bull?”
“How’s your tactile appliance of a skirmish squad over full army movements?” Bull looked amused as he arched a brow. At Thor’s silence (him mostly remembering the disaster that was Jotunheim) the Bull chuckled. “Thought so. Besides like you implied you’re still new. The boys wouldn’t trust you to lead them properly like Krem.” Bull grinned slapping his back as he turned back to his Chargers. “Chargers, pack up!”
“But Chief we opened the ale!” Krem groaned a small grin pulling at his lips, “with axes!”
“Find a way to seal ‘em Krempuff. You’re Tevinter try blood magic.”
Haven was both remarkable and not at the same time. IT was small, cramped, but Thor saw hope there. He stood outside the tent he shared with Krem and Grim, looking over at the commanding man with a feathered coat barking orders with Cassandra standing near by.
“They’ve got good form,” Bull mused making Thor jolt out of his thoughts.
“How can someone so large make no noise on the snow?” He grumbled.
“If I told you I’d have to end you. And I happen to enjoy looking at your ass.”
Thor laughed, shoving an elbow into Bull’s covered middle, “something you need?”
“Yeah, Boss wants us suited up. We’re going with her to Redcliffe to see what the Grand Enchanter has to offer.”
Thor nodded as he rolled his shoulders, “Who is she bringing with her?”
“The two of us, along with Varric. Small team but our job is to provide the heavy hits while she keeps hitting from a distance.”
Bull grunted as he shifted on his feet, “we’re going after the mages. With all their weird magical crap and demons pouring out everywhere I wouldn’t be shocked if we have a fight on our hands.”
Thor snorted shaking his head, “know that all to well.” A small, sad smile crossed his lips as he sighed, remembering Loki’s tricks and antics.
Bull said nothing as he gave his shoulder a pat, “meet ya at the gate Sparks. Hope you can ride.” The Bull laughed as he walked over to his own tent and Thor dipped into his to get ready.
“Think it’s a trap?” Ellanna asked, as she tilted her head back to look up at the Chantry.
“Did Tiny here ride in on a nugalope?” Varric snarked, a smirk curling his lips.
“Why bring Princess into this?” Iron Bull laughed causing Thor to snort, though he had been disturbed when he had first seen the creature. The fact that the massive Qunari could be carried on the beast was another matter. “Sparks likes her,” Bull continued on, jolting the blonde out of his thoughts.
“She’s sweet,” Thor agreed, “when she’s not nipping.”
Ellanna laughed as she flexed the fingers of her marked hand. “Well let's not keep the son of the Magister waiting.” The doors creaked open, Bull and Varric looking relaxed but alert while Thor’s hand gripped his shield tighter. The doors slid closed with a resounding boom and Thor felt the wrongness of an eerie electrical current wash over him. “Fade Rift!” Ellanna groaned.
There was a shriek and they saw a lanky Terror demon pick someone up and throw them with a soul shattering scream. Said body landed into the pews, breaking them even as the body glimmered from Ellanna’s barrier. “Crap! Demons!” Bull snarled pulling his axe from his back.
“Oh good! Reinforcements!” An accented voice called as a man rolled out of the way of the swiping terror. “Do give us a hand will you?” Bull and Thor charged forward, Thor swinging high as Bull swung low. Thor felt the pull of Ellanna’s torrent of magic and he heard the rapid clicking of Varric’s crossbow set the rhythm for their fight. It wasn’t his Warriors Three nor the Avengers but it was comfortable. The familiar crackling was heard and Thor turned to see the small elven woman sealing the rift, her face bunched in concentration as her hand glowed a pale green. With a snap of her wrist the rift sealed and they heard a laugh. Four sets, well three and a single one, of eyes landed on the man who had called out to them.
“Marvelous! However did you do that?” The man grinned as Ellanna looked down at her hand, the markings on her face pulled into a frown. “You have no idea do you?” He laughed again, “you just...wiggle your fingers and-”
“Dorian!” A shout came from the broken pews and Thor’s head snapped around as the mage, Dorian, ran forward.
“Ah terribly sorry my friend! But, I did tell you they had a long reach!” He tapped his staff to the floor, using his magic to lift the longer bits off and a pale hand shot out to grasp at the deeply tanned on that was offered.
Time seemed to stop, which was ironic, considering the weird shit that just happened with the rift. Thor was frozen as he watched the dark male, Dorian, haul a pale and darked haired man to his feet; pieces of pew and ash dusted his hair and shoulders. Stormy blue eyes went wide as the world narrowed down to a point. With a cry he threw himself forward, startling his companions as well as the newly named mage as burly arms wrapped around a slender frame and he spun the screeching man around. “You’re alive!”
“Thor? Put me down you lummox!” Loki yelled desperately wishing he could stab the over excited blonde. He pushed against the steel bands Thor called arms, trying to free himself and casting a desperate glance to Dorian. “Help me!” He hissed.
“I knew you were keeping secrets dear Loki...however I am wounded that you kept such a...large one from me.” Snickers could be heard and Loki went a violent shade of red as he continued to struggle, only to be put down when a second door opened and several sets of weapons turned onto the point of entry; Felix simply smirked at them with tired eyes.
“Looks like I missed a party.”
“Late as always Felix and not fashionably, what would the Magisterium say?” Dorian tisked as he hustled over to his friend.
“Hey...hi,” Ellanna said waving her hand. “Giant hole in the sky and mages sworn to Tevinter ringing any bells?”
“My apologies,” Felix sighed, “let us talk.”
Loki sat in the back of the supply cart, Dorian across from him and he knew the Vint’s mercurial eyes were on him. With a sigh he leaned his head back, closing his eyes against the midday sun. “I can feel your-”
“So that’s Thor?” Dorian looked positively giddy as he practically leaned out over the edge of the cart to watch Thor. The blonde was keeping speed with his brawny horse to the Herald’s massively antlered Heart. “He is...more broad than you had let on.”
“I had implied he was built like a brick shithouse.” Loki snorted.
“And that display at the Chantry?”
“He has always been excitable,” Loki carefully evaded.
“And you two are brothers?” Ellanna asked as she cast a quick glance behind her to see Loki glaring daggers at his companion who grinned like a cat who ate the canary.
Thor choked on his water from the flask that Grim had all but thrown at him before he had left Haven. “O-of course!”
“Shitty liar Sparks,” Bull mused from Thor’s left.
“We were raised together, shielded each other in battle.” Loki huffed at Dorian’s sly grin, glaring harder.
“I could say the same of my Circle brothers.”
“This shit is great,” Varric laughed as he made notes in a book from his own horse. “Weird, but great.”
Thor and Loki’s groans and Ellana’s gleeful cackle echoed from the mountains as they made their way to haven to plan their next move. Thor hesitated to look over his shoulder, there had been so much he had wanted to say. The last few years had been a strain and he was also worried about Loki’s mental state. He took a breath and looked back to see Loki’s emerald eyes on him and for the first time in what felt like eons he saw clarity. He vowed at that moment that when they were in Haven he would pull the Trickster aside to speak to him.
Things didn’t quite work out the way Thor had hoped. Loki had effectively disappeared by the time the blonde had brushed down his horse. Dusk began to settle, Thor brushing off invites to the tavern with the Chargers and instead retiring to his tent. He unbuckled his armor, thankful for the warming charms on the tents. It was bitterly cold in this world but nothing like Jotunheim; however after being stuck with Surtur for a week, then in New York tracking down his father, he was not prepared for the cold. He sat on his cot and began to attack his hair.
“You know you’re hopeless at braiding,” Loki’s voice jolted him and the elder looked up to see Loki standing at the tent flap.
“Loki,” Thor sighed, “I thought you had gone.”
“Where would I go?”
“So you haven’t found a way out of here?” Thor sighed picking up his brush. Bull had been generous with the armor and weapons but Thor had made sure to take the coin he had been paid in the jobs they had picked up to get himself taken care of. He felt the brush plucked from his hand and Loki settling behind him.
“No...I suspect that this...Breach has something to do with it.” Loki’s slender fingers helped detangle Thor’s helm matted hair. “Have you called for Heimdal?”
“Till my voice was raw. The Chargers thought me daft.”
“Well,” Loki drawled, “they’d be close.”
Thor sighed, “how can you jest-”
“I know, our people suffer. Hela worries me as much as she worries you Thor.”
“You’ve been masquerading as father-”
“Yes I have, but Asgard was prosperous while I ruled behind Odin’s face and name. I would not see her tear it down.”
Thor lifted his hand to grasp at Loki’s, “brother…”
“Hush now, let me braid your hair.” Nimble fingers made quick work of his locks and Thor felt the gentle soothing gestures lull him as it used to when they were young men. His mind spun as his eyes slipped closed and he saw visions of their past, the long afternoons under Asgards golden sun and sneaking away from tutors to simply be together. He felt Loki press his forehead against the back of his head and it all felt like it used to. Before Thor’s coronation and the blonde bit back a sob as Loki’s fingers settled against his neck, thumbs rubbing against his hairline. “Loki?”
“What is it?”
“I’m...I’m glad I found you.” Thor’s words seemed to echo in the tent and Loki went deadly silent as Thor slowly turned around. Suddenly the last few years seemed to melt away. They had always been close as children, exploring more as their bond deepened into manhood. Thor wanted that back, there was a wariness in Loki’s eyes but also Hope and Thor wanted to draw that hope out more-
“Sparks, Chief needs- Kaffas! ” Krem yelped as he covered his yes. “If you’re gonna fuck leave a boot outside of the tent!”
“I should leave you to it,” Loki mumbled as he got up nodding at Krem before slipping from the tent fully.
Krem gave a low whistle as he watched Loki walk off into the night, easily climbing the stairs to Haven. “Who is that?”
“That’s Loki,” Thor whispered softly as he grabbed his cloak and shoved his feet back into his boots.
“ That’s Loki? Fasta vass, Thor you sly bastard.”
Thor shook his head, “Bull needs something?”
“Oh yeah, needs to see you at the Chantry. Her Worship is planning things out and you seem to be somewhat tactical. If anything you’ll intimidate the Tevinter foot soldiers.” Krem laughed clapping him on the shoulder as Thor passed.
Thor’s laugh echoed Krems as he left the tent, but his mind still rested on Loki as his heart ached. He had his brother back, but he wanted the rest that he had lost. He took a breath of the cold mountain air as he looked at the Breach in the sky, vowing to ensure that both him and Loki were able to get home.
Chapter 5: Time is but a shift in reality
Chapter by Dark_Huntress_Moony
Note: the beta hated this chapter...the author died laughing
Ellanna’s scream echoed in the chamber as she crashed hard into the water. She sat up with a sputter, spitting the foul, stagnant water from her mouth as she scrubbed a hand over her face to clear her eyes. A second splash made her turn to see her newest companion dropping into the water as well. Before she could speak she heard two gasps and her head snapped up to see two guards going for their weapons. “Kill them!” One of them shouted.
She scrambled, searching the water for her staff as a roar of flame heated the top of her head. Her fingers closed around smooth ironbark and she lifted her staff; catching a ‘Vint under the chin before letting loose a blast of magic and watching the body crash into the water. She spun the staff before lodging it under Dorian’s chin who looked at her with an arched eyebrow and raised hands. “Where are we?” She demanded.
“I think the question is more of when rather than where-”
“Speak clearly shem .” She snarled, feeling a spike of guilt at the shuttered mask that fell into place over his face and he gently pushed her staff away.
“Very well, do try to keep up. It seems that Alexius has tried to get rid of you. Instead of removing you completely he flung us into another timeline.”
“Venturing a guess, I would say your mark. If he removed you you would not have been there to stop his Elder One at the Temple and thus his plans. Instead of killing you I was able to change the spell to displace you instead. You are quite welcome by the way,” he knelt and plucked a key from the dead guard and moving to the door. “If we can find answers as to when we are I can formulate a plan to get us back.”
“Preferably without getting us killed.”
“Preferably,” Dorian agreed.
They began their trek through the dungeons, Ellanna stopping to speak to a chanting elf who offered nothing useful to the situation. As they walked, staves at the ready, she heard a maddening humming sound and felt a strange heat with every red lyrium cluster they passed. “What happened here?” She asked softly, more to herself than to anyone, as they walked.
“You know the last time I was through here there were these horrid decorations. Dogs everywhere. Loki didn’t understand it either…”
She paused as she looked to see Dorian gazing at a wall, a far off expression in his eye. “You’re worried.”
“Of course, he fell from the sky, so he claims, and we have been inseparable since. His talks of his home are strange but we think oddly alike.” Dorian’s lips drew into a tight line, “I have not known him for long but I feel like I could trust him. That makes three people I could at least trust not to kill me while I slept...or worse.”
“How long have you two been together?” Ellanna asked as she shoved open a door and glared at the flight of stone steps before them. They slowly began to walk down and she heard Dorian scoff.
“What an odd question! Why-”
“Hush,” she hissed as her ears twitched and she heard faint groaning from the room on their right. “I hear someone, they might need help.” She skipped her way down the rest of the steps and further into the cells. Ellanna skidded to a halt nearly causing the human to mow her down and they both gaped. “Grand Enchanter Fiona?”
The elven woman lifted her head from her arms, eyes bloodshot and tired as strange red lines formed her face. She was hidden from the waist down in glowing red crystals...no, Dorian realized, they were growing from her. “Sweet Andraste…” He whispered.
“You live?” Fiona asked, her voice crackling in her throat. “How?”
“Don’t worry about that,” Ellanna hushed her gently. “I’m going to get you out-”
“No!” Fiona cried seeing her reach for the door. “Do not come closer.”
“It’s...growing….from you.” The Herald realized, violet eyes going wide.
“The red lyrium...it is alive. It consumes in order to grow more and give the Elder One power.” Crimson crystalline tears fell from her eyes. “He used my mages. Made them turn to blood magic. Those who stood against him were consumed.”
“How long has it been?” Dorian asked, “what year is it?”
“9:42...Dragon.” She gasped, groaning as her head fell back against her arm.
“A year? Extraordinary. He sent us forward a year.”
“How?” Ellanna demanded, a sharp look sent over her shoulder at him.
“The amulet, as I said he was trying to remove you from time itself but only managed to displace you. If we get the amulet we can go back...theoretically.”
“And prevent this from happening?”
“Theoretically, new stuff this magic. There’s bound to be a lot of trial and error.”
“Please,” Fiona begged, a trembling hand reaching out to them. “Stop this from happening.”
Ellanna reached through the bars and took the other elf’s hand. “ Ar abelas, Haren .” She whispered.
“Go on da’len , only you can fix this.”
The Herald cast a glance back to her before they stepped away and Dorian saw her wipe at her eyes. “I was not aware you were close,” he muttered softly.
“We are sisters of shared blood.”
“But she was not Dalish.”
“And Loki isn’t a ‘Vint but you still care for him.” Violet eyes gave him a sharp look, “we need unity, all of us, if we wish to seal the Breach and save Thedas.”
“That explains the Qunari and the dwarf in your attache.”
Ellanna barked a laugh, “stick around, you’ll learn to enjoy it.” She walked with careful steps to another branching hallway and groaned as she spun in a slow circle looking at the three doors. Her brow furrowed as she tilted her head to the side, “do you hear that?”
“That delightfully maddening humming sound?”
“This way,” Ellanna turned to the door on her left and pressed her ear to the door. “That’s Varric's voice!” She reared back and shoved her shoulder hard into the door, it’s hinges squealing as she pushed. It finally gave way and they darted into the cells and they followed the low humming to the final cell to see Varric slouched against the wall. “Varric!”
“Andraste’s holy knickers....” the dwarf gasped. “You’re alive.”
She brought her boot up, delivering a hard kick to the worn lock and grunting as the iron held and she staggered back. Dorian sighed as he pulled out the key and slid it into the lock, side stepping as the elf scrambled past him. “Varric! Sweet creators what happened to you?”
“I should be asking you the same thing Featherfoot, we saw you die.”
“We didn't die, we were displaced.” Dorian said.
“Varric, are you alright?” She asked, ignoring Dorian as she took in how her friend looked. There was a hazy red aura hanging around his head and his eyes pulsed with an unnatural red glow.
“I’m as far from alright as I can get. But if you’re here maybe the Maker hasn’t forgotten about us.” He pushed himself up, “have you found anyone else?”
“There are others?” Dorian asked.
“Fen’Harell’s balls Varric, who else is here?”
“That’s left you mean?” He asked, a bitter note in his voice. “Tiny, his cell was across from one but they moved him because we keep pissing off the guards. Sparks and Frostbite were taken away...haven’t seen them since.” He growled as he walked past them and knelt at a chest to pick at the lock. With a click, he pushed the lid open and pulled out Bianca before turning back to them.
“Solas? Madame de Fer? Cullen?” She watched in horror as his face closed down and he turned to walk out the door leading them across the hall. The silence only grew until he opened the door and they heard bored singing.
“Only on 398? It’s been four days,” Varric snorted.
“Down from five thousand it’s damned impressive,” large silver hands wrapped around the bars and a single silver eye tinged with red looked at him. “How’d you get out?”
“I had some help,” Varric muttered as he got the door unlocked and Ellanna rushed forward to hug Bull.
“Iron Bull,” she gasped pressing close to his near feaverish chest.
“Boss? Holy shit,” the Qunari’s massive arms wrapped around her slighter frame still careful in their power to not crush her. “How the shit? We saw the scorch marks and everything.”
“Alexius simply displaced us,” Dorian rushed in. “This was never meant to happen. This future will never happen so long as we get back.”
“Yeah well, your ‘future’ is my present ‘Vint and your countrymen are rank A assholes.”
Dorian sniffed as the Bull moved to grab the great axe resting on a wall. Silence reigned over them and Ellanna sighed, “Bull...what happened?”
“Bull please! Varric won’t say anything and I need to know.” She begged, and Dorian could see how that hit Bull.
The Qunari sighed, rubbing at his eye, “shit...fine. We ran, Leliana demanded we get back to Haven. We were trying to figure out what the fuck just happened. Without you the Breach kept spreading and more rifts kept popping up. Without a way to close them shit just kept getting worse. People kept gathering at Haven, trying to figure out what to do then the missives stopped coming. Orlais fell to a demon Army, Empress Celene was assassinated and with their army scattered because of their fucking civil war, Ferelden had no hope or allies to call on. King Alistair was killed when he lead the first charge against the demons and soon enough we were overwhelmed in Haven. We got the civilians into the chantry thinking they would be safe…” Bull’s words trailed off as he looked at the haft of his axe. “They burned it down, Solas fled during the fight and not even Cassandra could find him. My boys were slaughtered, Krem...he…”
“Can you fix it?” That red tinted eye turned to Dorian.
“I...yes.” Dorian was slightly disturbed at the intense look from the Iron Bull and wanting to help him. “If i can get my hands on the amulet he used I can send us back.”
“Then my axe is yours, the red lyrium is killing me but Iron fucking Bull goes out on his own terms.”
Ellanna wiped at her own eyes and nodded, “let’s kick their asses.”
The elf lead the way back to the hall and paused as she looked at the door to her right. The door was covered in pulsing crystals but they could hear the low murmuring from the other side and her brow furrowed. “Who’s-”
“Sparks,” Iron Bull rumbled.
She braced her hands on her hips as she looked at the crystals barring the door. Red lyrium creeping up and warping the wood and she glanced at Bull from the side of her eye, “think you can smash it?”
“With pleasure,” Bull snarled as he brought the axe over his head and swung with a roar down into the wood with a mighty crash. Ellanna squeezed under Bull (Dorian trying not to laugh at that image) and the three men heard her gasp. The room had no cells like the previous two, and red lyrium crawled over the walls and hung from the ceiling as Thor sat with his back to them. His eyes were fixed forward on a cluster of crystals before him. Dorian came up short as he saw the face of his friend, twisted and distorted as the crystals preserved him in his last agonizing moments and they finally heard what Thor was saying.
“Can you see Valhalla Lo?” Thor mumbled, “oh you’d scoff, call me a bumbling idiot but I’d always thought we’d go together. Together...together...first my own ego brought our downfall. Then your mind was captured...then you died….is...is this the final time? Have we finally ran out of time and said goodbye? Why won’t you speak to me anymore? I hear whispers...but they’re not yours...they’re not....” Thor spun around, looking as wild as a rabid dog. Violent red lines were lashing wildly over pallored flesh and the four were stunned to see an empty eye socket staring at them. Though empty was not quite the right word for it since red crystals were glowing from the socket. “Alive? Are you a Trickster as well?” He demanded, “though this trick was hardly funny.”
Dorian averted his eyes from his crystalized friend and focused on Thor. “Long story short, get us to Alexius and I can fix this.” His stomach rolled as his eyes kept trying to drift to Loki. The mage yelped as a hand wrapped around his throat, dragging him closer to the snarling, half-mad warrior.
“Can. You. Bring. Him. Back?” Thor growled out each word, his fingers tightening just a bit more around Dorian’s throat as the ‘Vint’s fingers dug into his wrist.
“Thor please,” Ellanna placed a delicate hand on his arm, prompting him to drop Dorian to coughed and rubbed at his throat. “We can make sure this never happens,” she promised. “We just need to get to Alexius.”
Thor stepped back seeming to consider this, his eye moving to Loki and he took a deep breath. “My sword will be lifted once more and I will fight.” He nodded turning back to Ellanna and she swallowed hard at the look. The blue made more intense by the corruption of the red lyrium, “the guards have said that he barricaded himself in the throne room.”
“Then that is where we will go,” she nodded and the four of them watched as Thor methodically picked up a discarded sword and shield. The part that shocked them all was when he moved to Loki, caressing his cheek and leaning in to kiss his slack lips, muttering something to soft for them to hear. He turned back to them and the Herald nodded at the look on his face. “Let’s get going.”
“Cullen!” Ellanna screamed as the last ‘Vint fell. The room was a horror show; clerics tossed about, Chantry sisters slaughtered like livestock, and the Inquisitions Commander naked from the waist down as he hung from shackles. Blood caked his arms and dripped from his lips, the elf scrambled forward but he did not move. His chest still, as she cradled his head to her breast; she had only known the Commander for a short time but he was starting to hold a special place in her heart. The blushing when she flirted with him was nice too.
“And mages wonder why they are feared,” Leliana, haggard and aged beyond her years, spat as her pale eyes glared at the woman. “No one should have this power.”
Dorian felt Bull shift next to him and he dared a glance upward to see his face set like stone. “Yes, well, it’s that power that will also save us.” He brushed past the Bull to kneel by Ellanna. “It’s not real,” he whispered in her ear, low enough for only her to hear.
“It feels real,” she whispered back smoothing Cullen’s errant curls from his forehead.
Dorian pushed himself back to his feet and held out his hand to her, “do you trust me?”
“I’m starting to,” she reached out, her bloody hand closing around his as he hauled her to her feet. With a final glance to Cullen she steeled herself, gripping her staff. “We need to fix this Dorian, I will not let this become my future.”
“Then we fight.”
With a nod she took point, feeling the distrustful gaze at her back from Leliana and the blood from Cullen drying on her skin. She could hear the Spymaster’s biting remarks as Dorian tried to talk and it cut her to her very soul. The woman was distrustful sure but an advocate for mages and their freedom. Now there was a hatred in her pale eyes, a hardness that Ellanna had hoped she had headed off when she convinced the woman to spare the double crossing agent’s life. They fought through demons, Venatori, and rifts opening every few steps and she saw the effect of the red lyrium on her companions. Quick witted Varric was silent as the grave, Iron Bull’s chest heaved with every swing of his axe and his arms shook from the death grip on his weapon, Thor’s smile no longer there instead it was replaced by a grim determination and frown. Standing at the doors to the throne room she took a deep breath. “Dorian?”
“We must do what we must. This future will not stand.”
With a single nod Ellanna shoved the doors open. What happened next was a blur for the Herald, she had seen what had become of Dorian’s friend Felix, watched as Leliana slaughtered him with no remorse, and fought as if her life depended on it. The fight was brutal, bodies tired and beaten but soon the victory was had and Dorian cast a final glance to the broken body of Alexius as he gripped the amulet in his hand tightly. “Give me a few hours…”
“ Hours ?” Leliana yelled, “we do not have that kind of time!”
An earth shattering screech sounded and the group looked up to the broken ceiling of the throne room. “The Elder One,” Thor muttered, a shared look between the four as Iron Bull and Varric stepped back.
“We will give you time,” Iron Bull rumbled softly.
She gasped, “no! I won’t-”
“Look at us Featherfoot, we’re already dead.” Varric smiled grimly as he started to walk away.
“Get back and fix this, Boss,” Bull said over his shoulder as the heavy doors fell shut behind them.
“You have as much time as I have arrows,” Leliana settled herself into an archers stance as Thor braced himself with his shield. Dorian began to chant and time in their little bubble seemed to distort. Ellanna watched in horror as the doors burst open, Iron Bull’s broken body being thrown to the floor by a large Terror demon as Thor roared and charged forward. She was shocked to see tendrils of lightning race over his skin as he fought like a man possessed, only to be crushed. Leliana continued to rain arrows over the demons and men that swarmed through the door, making sure that no one could get to them. The elf gasped as the archer was caught round the middle by a large Venatori, she tried to move forward only to have her wrist grabbed by Dorian.
“You move we all die!” Dorian yelled over the roar of magic.
The last thing Ellanna saw was Leliana being run through before the mage was thrown to her knees. Warmth rushed over her and the maddening hum of red lyrium was finally gone. Violet eyes lifted and she saw Alexius gaping at her, causing her lips to curl into a smirk. “Nice try,” She whispered as agents grabbed him and she was hauled to her feet.
“Sweet Maker,” Ellanna’s ear twitched as she spun around and launched herself at Leliana and wrapping the stunned spymaster in a hug.
Dorian leaned heavily on his staff when a cool hand touched his bare shoulder. He reached up, capturing Loki’s hand with his. “You, my frigid friend, have some explaining to do.”
Loki arched an eyebrow at him, “do I now?”
“Oh yes, but rest assured, I do believe you when you say you come from another world.” Dorian gave a tired chuckle. Before more could be said, the castle doors burst open and a small contingent of soldiers marched in all baring the Ferelden Royal crest on their chest.
“Well,” Varric drawled shaking his head, “shit.”
Chapter 6: In Your Heart Shall Burn
Chapter by Dark_Huntress_Moony
No excuses, this just...yep it's happened heres the chapter enjoy folks
Haven was alive with activity; the mages, now allies of the Inquisition, were starting to settle in. Loki had to applaud how the Herald handled the King of Ferelden, a man that reminded the trickster of Thor to an extent. Loki leaned against the staff he had been given and looked up to see Ellanna arguing heatedly with Solas. After her little trip into the future she seemed to be eyeing the other elf wearily. He watched as she threw her hands up and stalked away, moving to where Dorian stood.
“She remind you of anyone?” Thor asked suddenly, having (for once) gotten the drop on his brother.
Loki snorted, “a bit. She’s got a fire in her that Sif would love to bring out more.”
“This place...does it seem familiar to you?” Thor asked, his eyes looking around to the different people wandering around Haven.
Loki sighed with a small shrug, “I have tried to place it. People like The Iron Bull look as if they belong with Surtur. Varric looks like a short version of the dwarf who made your hammer. Ellanna and her people belong on Vanaheim, and this world…” He waved his hand, searching for the word.
“Feels like home?”
“Hey, you two.” Ellanna called as she stalked up to them, her boots kicking up snow around her. “A word?”
Loki smiled as he bowed to her, “you may have several, my lady.”
She rolled her eyes but her lips quirked up into a small smile. “You’re just as bad as Dorian. But...this is serious. It’s about what I saw...in the future.” Her bright amber colored eyes watched them carefully as she folded her arms. “Both Bull and Dorian have said you are from a different place, I didn’t really believe them. Thought them both to be mad quite honestly.” She chewed on her lip as the silence stretched between them, making the men shift uncomfortably. “Where is Valhalla?”
The two men paused and Thor looked to Loki before sighing, “it’s a place we go when we die.”
“That or Hel,” Loki snorted.
“We’ll be going to Valhalla Loki. Together.”
Ellanna arched a brow as Loki turned a soft shade of pink. “Right...another thing. When Thor came with us...he stood between Dorian and I and an army of demons. He was also glowing and covered in lightning. How is that possible when he’s not a mage?”
Loki sighed as he threaded his arm through Ellanna’s and gave her hand a pat. “I do believe we will need a drink for this.”
“Or several,” Thor grunted.
Several drinks later Ellanna looked thoroughly shell-shocked. “I would ask how any of that is possible...but with a giant fucking hole in the sky I’m not surprised.” She raked her fingers through her hair, the ashen strands sticking out haphazardly. “Can you go home?”
“Trying to get rid of us?” Thor teased lightly lifting his mug to his lips.
“Of course not you ass. But from what you said about your sister…”
“If we can close the hole in the sky, we may be able to find a way home.” Loki mused tapping his chin with his finger. “My theory is that this place is connected to the universe. We crashed through the Bifrost so it stands that this place can be reached yes?”
“Makes sense,” Thor shrugged.
“I also theorize that the hole in the sky is causing a sort of interference with reaching Heimdal.” Loki shook his head and sighed, “when are you planning on closing the Breach?”
Ellanna looked up to see Solas and Cassandra in the doorway of the tavern. “Now it seems.”
The men stood up with her, leaving money on the table for Filssa. “We will come along,” Loki said. “I need to see this up close and perhaps lend my seidur to seal it. If I can figure out what it is I can get us home.” Emerald eyes lifted to stormy blue, “Asgard needs her king.”
That night the camp was alive with activity; people singing and dancing as they celebrated. The Herald watched as people danced, her inner circle behind her sharing in the joy as her eyes gazed up to the sky. She heard the crunch of snow behind her and turned her head to see Cassandra walking closer. “Solas confirms the Breach is closed. The sky is scared but the heavens are calm.There are still reports of rifts but you did it.” The stern woman said, a small smile on her lips.
“Fate, or luck, I’m not sure which one put me at the center of this Cassandra. It was all of us who did this.”
Cassandra opened her mouth to say something when the Chantry bells began tolling. “Those bells-”
A messenger ran up, doubling over as he panted. “Herald! Lights on the mountain. Commander Cull-”
“Bull, Thor, Dorian, Varric, Loki with me. Cassandra you and Blackwall start gathering everyone and getting them into the Chantry. Vivianne, Solas, and Sera will gather supplies and politics.” She watched her inner circle disperse and sighed as Dorian handed her her staff.
“So I guess drinks are on hold?” Bull snorted earning an eye roll from the group.
They made their way down to the gates to see Cullen and Josephine talking, “Cullen report,” Ellanna called out.
“Our scouts, what’s left of them, say a massive army is coming over the mountain.”
“Under whose banner?” Josephine demanded.
“None?” The ambassador gasped.
Something hit the gate hard with a flash of light under the heavy wood. “I can’t help if you don’t let me in!” A muffled voice called out.
Ellanna nodded to Thor and Bull to open the gates. She heard the trusted click of Bianca beside her and felt magic rippling between the two men at her back. The gate swung open to a circle of bodies and a pale man...no not a man, a boy, with a large had obscuring his face. “I came to help...to warn. He is coming, and angry that you took his mages.” The boy panted.
“Who are you?”
“I am Cole,” he lifted his head and Ellanna caught sight of sallow skin and pale eyes. “He is here…” Cole turned to point to the mountain where lights marched their way. “The Elder One.”
The elf felt her blood run cold as she cast a glance to Dorian. “Well...at least we can meet him without the world going to shit.” An arrow whizzed past her head. “Fen’Harel’s balls!” She yelped, “Josie get to the Chantry. Cullen get the wounded back! Bull, Thor charge forward, Varric make Bianca sing. Loki and Dorian will cover the retreat of the wounded. Men with me!”
The first charge was brutal, she watched in horror as crazed Templars threw themselves at her men. She scrambled up the stairs of the trebuchet , putting herself between a soldier-no her soldier- and the danger. “Can you get this thing aimed to the mountain?”
“Do it, I’ll protect you.”
“Thank you Herald!”
She didn’t even flinch at the title that time. Bull and Thor’s roars echoed in the winter air as Varric’s well timed shots took out Templars further back. Roars of flame and crackling of ice drew her attention for a moment and she saw Dorian and Loki, who had no ties to these people, guiding and guarding her army.
“Firing the trebuchet!”
The whistling of stone in the air was welcomed as the lull in the battle followed. She gave the soldier a pat on the shoulder and jumped down, taking an offered lyrium potion from Dorian. “Thank you.”
“Herald! The second trebuchet isn’t firing!” Cullen yelled hauling a wounded soldier up.
“Dorian, Varric, stay here and help Cullen. You three with me.” She gripped her staff tightly as they raced up to the second trebuchet.
Ellanna gasped as she fell to her knees within the Chantry. They had saved as many as they could, but she could still see the bodies of people that she couldn’t keep safe. “You couldn’t have saved them.” Cole said softly as he crouched down in front of her. “You did what you could.”
Loki and Thor stood back from the crowd, Loki’s fingers drifting over Thor’s arm and sealing a wound. “I can feel it Thor...my seidur. My normal magic, it’s not all there but I can tap into it.”
“When we are somewhere safe...I’ll call Hiemadal.” Thor muttered watching as Loki’s magic knit his flesh back together.
Loki looked over his shoulder as Cullen let out an outraged shout. “Thor...I can’t leave them, not like this.”
The trickster sighed as he raked a hand through his hair. “Dorian...I can’t just leave him to this...this world it’s breaking Thor.”
“Our world is breaking.”
“Everything is!” Loki snapped, “but look around you Thor. This place…” he dragged the blonde to the statue of Andraste. “Look at her and tell me that does not look like Mother.”
“Or the thing they call ‘red lyrium’. It feels like what your precious human was infected with.” Loki sighed as he didn’t receive an answer from the blonde. “I want to...go home with you. But until this world is fixed I don’t think we can. I also think that there is something here that can help us in our fight against Hela. What was it that Mother was always saying?”
“Act like men and not children?” Thor hissed as Loki smacked him in the head with his staff.
“Things happen for a reason. I doubt it was mere chance we landed here and not some other backwash garbage planet.”
“I’m going Cullen! I have to save these people and you need to lead them to safety!” Ellanna yelled as she flashed her hand at the human. “He wants this so bad I’ll give it to him along with a sword in the belly.” She gave a weary sigh as she raked her fingers through her hair and blew out a long breath to calm herself. “I will take a small team with me. Loki, Cassandra, and Blackwall will come with me. Cullen and Bull will help get people through that path while Cole carries Rodorick as a guide. Thor and the Chargers will guard our people and follow behind once everyone is clear. Sera will keep the children quiet and entertained as you all walk while Fiona, Solas, and Lady Vivianne light the way through the snow. Creators and your Maker guide us all.”
Loki was gripped his staff hard as his stomach dropped at the thought of being seperated from Thor again. A warm hand cupped the back of his neck and he was pulled into the solid wall of Thor’s chest as warm lips claimed his own. Loki’s eyes went wide and he caught Dorian giving him a sly grin; Thor pulled back and let his forehead rest against Loki’s. “Be safe.” The blonde whispered, his words like a spring wind against the others lips. Loki’s own words were lost as he was pulled away and out of the Chantry.
Thor sighed as the massive doors swung shut and he felt Bull slap a hand to his back. “So...brothers eh?” The blonde groaned as he cast a glare to the massive Qunari.
“We make it through this...I’ll tell you everything.”
“You three get back to the Chantry! You can still make it out of here.” Ellanna yelled, her chest heaving as she tried to catch her breath.
“You’re hurt!” Loki said, eyeing her side as it bled through her robes sluggishly. “I will tend to her, you both go. We will be right behind you.” He watched as the two warriors took off and he hauled Ellanna’s arm over his shoulder. “Let’s ge-” The ground shook as the tainted dragon dropped down and it’s sweeping tail sent the two flying back. Loki hit the ground hard and saw stars behind his eyelids as a rock collided with his head. He blinked blearily as he watched a monster of a man stalk up to Ellanna and lift the elf clear from the ground by her arm. He struggled to right himself with the help of his staff as he reached into his pocket for the strange, buzzing jar Sera had given him. “Hey!” He barked, drawing the monsters attention; interrupting what he was sure was a passionate maniacal speech, and throwing the jar. A scream came from the creature as it dropped the elf who scrambled for a sword and ran for the trebuchet. The sound of the mountain crashing down was the last thing Loki heard as darkness swept all vision from him.