She had to run.
The body on her back, her other half, was unconscious, legs hooked around the sprinting one’s waist and hair and neck and back scorching from mages' fire. As limp and charred as she appeared, she was the halve who would have known what to do. The one who was currently working her scrawny legs ragged only had a single thought in mind, and that was to:
Run. Get to the golden lady at the top of the crooked hill.
The elf’s short legs were trembling from the combined weight of her and her sister’s small frames as she fled from the spider-like abominations that were nipping at her hind ankles; she could feel the hot yet quickly cooling tears stream down her face as she lose hope of getting out of this god forsaken place even near alive.
The spiders’ shrill squealing pushed the young mess forward, one leg instinctively moving in front of the other as she neared the god-like female figure reaching out to her, a last sign of hope. Grunting as she repositioned her greatest, but most beloved burden, she stretched for the glowing woman's hand- until she wasn't.
Until she was lying on her back, seeing nothing but the taste of volcanic ash.
This wasn't quite right.
Two prisoners. Two very young prisoners, both unconscious, one in critical condition, and the other with a glowing mark on her hand that could be what had killed all the people who attended the Conclave. Cassandra fisted and crushed the scattered papers on the petite desk she was looming over. These were the little bastards who killed Divine Justinia.
“Cassandra, the marked prisoner has awaken,” Leliana’s knuckles rasped on the metal door of the caged office, face unreadable but intent obvious. It was time for the interrogation. “Alright,” the Seeker grunted, unsheathing her sword and exiting before opening the wooden door to the deeper parts of the dungeon. Room dark and murky from a leaky ceiling, a small, limp body sat in the center, chained, with an emerald-glowing hand and cool eyes of confusion. The kind that wanted answers.
The fire wasn't the best thing to prevent her toes from frostbite, she quickly noted when the usual pink appendages seemed more comfortable inside a warm cabin, buried into soft great-bear furs instead of the blanket of snow her bare feet were currently in. “I don't remember you being there, Varric,” Elloen spat, arms wrapped around her knees as she sat next to the campfire, bottom planted into the snow and eyes lowered. “You don't know how I reacted to Cassandra. How do you know I wanted answers?” She mumbled , poking at a loose ember and sporting a knarly glare. Varric guffawed, patting the back of the elf’s head, much to her dismay.
“I could only guess! Besides, I know things, and I know with how the way you took on that huge, montrosorus ass demon three days ago there is absolutely NO possibility that you could be afraid of little ol’ Cassandra, no matter how nasty her disgusted scowl is…” He carried on, kicking up snow and disturbing the innocent fire.
“I was terrified…” She whispered, then glanced up (or more like across) to the dwarf only to start again, “And I barely did much to that, what, demon the other day or whatever. I just poked at its ankles a few times with little knives… basically.” Before Varric could retort with how she, Elloen, had destroyed the monster, with few potions, with the glowing green mark on her holy hand, she raised from the ground. As much as she wanted to voice the words, 'Don't say it...' Elloen had decided that a glassy look and small shake of the head would portray the words fine enough as she made a hasty escape. Varric didn't call out to her.
Haven was small, and inside the walls were quiet. Elloen slouched next to her sister, Roen, arms and legs crossed in the small cottage the two used until her sister recovered, which would most likely be… weeks. Months. She had suffered severe burns on her neck, her nape bald and her hair singed; the only way she was allowed to rest on her lonesome bed was to lay on her stomach. A face of blank distance plastered itself on the conscious twin’s mug as she recalled what had happened in the past three days.
She’d awoken and immediately been put to work. She had to kill a lot of things, and meet a lot of people she did not want to meet. Only one she enjoyed. The humans began to worship her. And a lot of different people started coming in and out to touch her delicate little hand, and her sister’s leathered back. Both she hated-
“Da’len?” Oh, it's this one.
“I’m not a child, shem-elf.”
“And again, I am no city elf, da’len." She wasn't too young to know the man called her this ironically." And I doubt you've even reached your first milestones as an adult.”
So cynical, she did not like this one. She hated this man. His amused face smoothed to cool as he opened the door to the small hut, stepping inside with one long stride, way too accustomed to entering the twins' domain. Ellown really hated this elf named Solas.
“I'm only here to check on the child.” “You're no nurse-” “But her wounds are magical. Please, young Herald, let me care for your sister.” A moments pause. Elloen lowered her head and looked to the floor boards, stretching her toes and crossing her arms. “Fine… Just don’t--- touch her too much,” she glared at nothing, dragging her feet as she moved out of the way for the apostate who in turn kneeled by the older twin, grey eyes examining her mage inflicted burns. Elloen sat back down in an old, creaky chair, trying hard to not study her sisters wounds too closely, but keeping a weary eye on the three-day-old acquaintance.
“It's about time we headed out to The Hinterlands, da’len.”
“... I-- told you not to-” She sputtered at the sudden burst of unnerving words.
“It will be at least a full moon cycle before your other half awakes, I'm afraid.” The older male was attempting to be gentle, spinning on his heels and facing the solemn Herald of Andraste. “I apologise.”
Elloen glared, no apology was needed. “But what… if she wakes up while I'm gone? She's surrounded by--- by freakin-... SHEMS!!” A bit after the outburst, she moved to cover her mouth with her palms, salty, bitter tears prickling at her icy eyes seconds before turning away from the elder. Solas slowly stood but did not move, not wanting to intrude on the younger's justified emotions. She watched the opposite wooden wall with steely determination, making sure not one damn tear fell. “She’s…” her voice cracked, “surrounded by strangers.”
'She really is only a child,’ Solas pondered, mildly heartbroken and shaken, his next moves coming to mind. “Commander Cullen and Leliana will stay here, of course. You do trust them, correct?” Elloen didn't say anything. Meaning, she didn't say no.
“You have the mark,” he quoted from days before when the much, much younger elf inquired why the adults let her make the choices that would inevitably affect them all. “You… at the moment, you are the one responsible for our next movements. Choose wisely, young Herald.” A closed eye grin.
They didn't share any more words. Solas moved to exit the door, and Elloen stared down at her feet, fists clenched. She looked at the deadly still Roen, and tried to avoid looking at the days to come without her at her side. As the “Herald of Andraste.”
“...She's... the one who would have known what to do..."