There were many things in life that Terra Cousland simply could not stand. Lack of personal hygiene set her teeth on edge, being treated as a brainless piece of eye candy irritated her, spiders, oh those hateful giant spiders! Of all the things she hated in all of Thedas, however, she finally came to the conclusion that standard sizes for uniforms and armor had to be the absolute worst.
Having been raised as a noble, Terra had never had to worry about clothing sizes. Most of her clothing and armor had been custom made to fit her frame, and her mother had insisted that she keep her armor in prime condition. Anytime she outgrew it, her mother would order a new set made. Terra had always had a certain roundness to her, even when she'd been younger, though her high energy had kept her running and thus kept her fit. Even so, she had the tendency to fill out any uniform she wore. When she'd reached the age of 17, she had stopped growing taller and had begun filling out. She hadn't minded the plumpness at first; Cath had told her before that he preferred women with a little meat on them. He certainly hadn't complained about her large bust size, though Terra's mother had worried about them getting in the way of her archery despite the fact that Terra continued to excel.
When she'd been forced to flee her home in Highever, she had been wearing an older uniform that had begun to squeeze slightly. Her mother had mentioned possibly getting her another set soon, perhaps after her father and brother had returned from Ostagar. Then Terra had found herself walking through the wilds, her armor battered and battle tested and now falling apart. For the first time in her life, she had been forced to give up her comfortable, well made, custom armor and had donned one made for someone else.
Despite being busty and slightly plump, Terra had been able to squeeze into the standard human women's rogue armor, a small feat that had made her slightly happy. However, after having walked from the Wilds to Lothering, and from Lothering to Honnleath, the armor had begun to chafe and grew more uncomfortable with each passing mile. Even so, Terra kept quiet. Occasionally, she would find herself glancing at Leliana, who, though they'd barely known each other more than a few weeks, had become like a big sister to the young Gray Warden. She had confided in Leliana about how uncomfortable standard sizes were, and the red haired orlesian had readily agreed, pointing out where her own breasts bubbled slightly over the edge of her leather armor. Terra wasn't the only one suffered from poorly fitted armor, so she felt she shouldn't complain and just be grateful she could squeeze into it.
As they traveled north from Honnleath, however, Terra began to feel more and more light headed. She walked towards the back of the group, her steps frequently stumbling, her eyes glazing slightly, as her entire focus became centered on her breathing. Breathing through her nose didn't seem to be giving her enough air, so she walked, mouth slightly agape, trying her hardest to fill her lungs with each labored breath. Her tongue grew dry, her throat raw, as she lost focus of the road they followed. Keep breathing, she told herself. In, then out again., In, then out again. With each breath, it felt like there was less air, and she felt herself shaking. Finally, as she attempted to breath in once more, no air reached her lungs. Panic gripped her, as she immediately tried to inhale again. Nothing. No air. She couldn't breath. Her vision faded around the edge, growing black, as she staggered and pitched face first into the ground.
Hearing the resounding thud, her companions turned. Alistair exclaimed loudly, coming to her side and turning her over.
"What happened? Oh Maker, she's not breathing!" Alistair paled, shaking at her limp body with growing desperation. Morrigan shoved him out of the way, calling him a fool, as she began looking over Terra's form, trying to find the cause of her collapse. Without a word, Zevran unsheathed his dagger, knelt by Terra, and sliced open her armor from her belly button through the curved top above her breasts. With a loud gasp, Terra's eyes flew open, and she rolled to the side as she began coughing. The others watched her for a moment, before turning to look at the assassin. He grinned at them.
"There was a target who attempted to evade the crows by disguising herself as a man. She was quite voluptuous and had bound her chest so tightly. We found her suffocated near the border." He shrugged, sheathing his weapon. Terra choked slightly as she coughed, then began to sob quietly. Leliana pulled her into a comforting embrace, stroking her hair as she tried to calm her.
"Darkspawn and bandits and assassins and who knows what else on these roads and now my own breasts try to murder me. What next?" Terra pouted, her sobs quieting.
That night, as they made camp, Leliana took Terra aside, commenting quietly on the poor girl's need to find new armor. Zevran had enthusiastically offered to help, stating seriously that rogues had to stick together and that he had a good eye for fit. Leliana had forcefully and silently shoved the elf away.
Now, behind the tents, Terra stripped off the ill-fitted and now torn leather armor, kicking it to the side in contempt while Leliana dug through their packs. Most of the armor they had collected along the way was battered and well-worn, but it was better than fighting in her small clothes, Terra thought. As she tried on the various different armors, it became all too clear that she'd outgrown any standard women's sizes, and the men's leathers were almost as bad. Pursing her lips thoughtfully, Leliana pulled out a few discarded mage robes, tossing them to the side.
"This is vexing, no? Why they insist on making armors that fit no woman's form is a mystery to me." Her brows furrowed in frustration as she reached the bottom of the pack.
"It's because most armor is made by men, and men don't seem to grasp the concept that women come in all shapes and sizes." Terra huffed. Leliana smiled slightly as she wagged a finger at Terra.
"Now now, there are plenty of women armorers as well, and they build common armor to the same size standards as men." Leliana chided gently. Terra gave her a half-smile.
"Please don't use logic and reason to defeat my angry man-blaming rant. After all, I need to blame somebody for the fact that no armor fits my chubby frame, and Maker forbid that I blame myself for all the sweet cakes I love to eat." The two women giggled slightly, though Terra sighed as she looked at the pile of various armors with a growing sense of defeat. Leliana put a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
"Do not look so troubled, warden. If we must, we can modify the armor that fits closest to you to make it more comfortable. I'll check with Bodahn to see if he has found anything." With that, Leliana trotted across camp to speak with the dwarf that always seemed able to find them whenever they pitched camp. Terra sighed again heartily, already knowing the answer. She'd asked Bodahn several times, so unless he'd come across a hidden cache of plus sized armor, she was stuck with what they already had. Slowly, Terra began stuffing the spare armors back into the pack, knowing they'd be selling most of them later. As she reached for the mage robes, she saw a flimsy wad of leather and feathers laying underneath. Picking up the piece, she unrolled it and held it up. Her eyes grew wide as she studied the make and build of the clothing. It wouldn't protect much, but maybe…
"Move, fool, lest you wish to wear tonight's supper." Morrigan groused, waving a preoccupied hand at the hovering Alistair. He frowned, his lower lip jutting slightly.
"That seems uncalled for. I just wanted to see what it was. And, y'know, make sure you're not going to poison us or anything." He huffed. Morrigan rolled her eyes.
"'Tis far more likely that you will poison us if you are allowed to cook again. Away with you."
Alistair walked away, muttering under his breath.
"Trouble with dinner?" Terra called as she walked into the firelight. Alistair turned to answer her, and almost swallowed his own tongue as his eyes fell on Terra's leather-bound form. Amidst the many armors, she had located the Chasind robe they'd uncovered back when he'd led her and the other two recruits into the wilds, and it hugged against her every curve. Split up the middle and held together by a thin belt below her breasts, Terra's ample bosom pushed against the leather hide, straining it. Thin strings of twine were all that were holding the two halves together, tied into a tight knot. Alistair found himself staring at that knot; half willing it to remain held fast, half hoping it would burst and spill forth it's glorious contents. Terra caught his stare, and blushed heavily, her arms raising to cover herself in a show of modesty. Zevran laughed heartily, breaking the awkward moment as they both turned to stare at him.
"I congratulate you, my dear warden, on finding an armor that fits your luscious curves so well. Best have a care though. A single swipe of a well aimed blade could easily divest you of it again." Zevran bowed slightly to her, winking. The blush on Terra's cheeks intensified, spreading to her ears.
"I...it….I mean…." Terra swallowed, feeling self-conscious. "It was the only one that fit…" She said lamely, tears coming to her eyes. Zevran took one of her hands, kissing the fingertips.
"And fit well it does. You have a marvelous figure, mia bella. Do not be ashamed of it." Bowing again slightly, he went back to his seat by the fire, pulling out a wet stone to sharpen his blades. Terra stared after him, smiling slightly. Then she caught Alistair staring again.
"What?" Her tone conveyed a challenge, Alistair jumped back slightly, finally making eye contact.
"Uh...well… shouldn't you cover yourself more? You're...uh...rather expo-"
"No more than with other armors! Whoever designed the women's leather armor was more concerned with showing cleavage than covering the more critical organs like the lungs and heart. I mean, Maker forbid that women be fully covered to protect themselves; you might actually forget that we have breasts if they're covered!" Terra ranted, crossing her arms. Alistair began guiltily stepping out of her vocal range as she continued her rant, not stopping until Morrigan called them together for supper.