bamftastik: (Zev)
bamftastik ([personal profile] bamftastik) wrote in [community profile] peopleofthedas2011-02-23 08:45 pm

No More Heroes, Chapter 6

Title: No More Heroes, Chapter 6
Characters: Oghren, Shale, Wynne, Shianni, Nathaniel, Zevran, Anora
Rating: T
Words: 1,500
Summary: The Blight has not ended. Alistair departed during the Landsmeet and both Loghain and the Warden perished in the siege of Denerim. In its wake, the scattered companions undertake a search for a wandering drunk and the witch that could save them all. ~ Oghren and Shale are scouting outside Denerim when they encounter a group of fleeing strangers. ~

Previous Chapters

"If the Drunken Dwarf is too easily tired, I would be happy to return it to camp."

From his perch on the golem's shoulder, Oghren could see well out across the hills, past the smoldering ruins of the city. He wasn't sure what he was supposed to be looking for, but the sun seemed to be reflecting on every surface, bathing the withered grasses in a wavering, blinding heat.

"I ain't had a drink in weeks, ya know… Heh. Maybe that's the problem."

"Oh, yes. I have heard the humans speaking of a noticeable improvement in it's smell."

"You can put me down now."

"Gladly." Shale stooped, growling with wounded dignity as she allowed him to slide down her back.

Oghren landed hard, teetering as he braced a hand against the golem's knee. Weeks now and still the leg threatened to give. Wynne had done her best, but she had cautioned him to rest, made him agree to let the sodding pile of stone carry him around like a sack of nug droppings when he protested. At least Shale seemed no more pleased about it than he.

"Did it at least spy anything of interest?"

"Nah." He sighed, slumping down on a nearby log. "Buncha darkspawn, big dragon. Same as always."

"Good. Then the archdemon is where we want it to be." The voice carried through the trees behind them, borne on long and determined strides. Other than that Oghren wouldn't have recognized the woman. Still her hair was pulled back into a severe bun, but her robes had been exchanged for tight-fitting leathers, the laces of her tunic straining to conceal an ample rise of bosom.

He goggled, spluttering into his beard. "Stone, woman!"

Wynne only laughed. "We are guerillas now, it seems, and my robes are horribly worn. I thought I might try looking the part."

There had been a convenient network of cellars beneath Denerim's outlying farms, enough to shelter a few dozen survivors and deserters. Oghren couldn't say how he himself had escaped from the city. He remembered the Warden, a wordless argument with that nug-loving elf, the pillar that had crushed his leg. But after that there was nothing. Shale claimed to have found him outside the walls.

They'd been harrying the darkspawn ever since. Apparently they were a small enough band to be beneath the archdemon's notice, but they were doing what they could to make their numbers seem larger. Just over a week since Bann Teagan and his riders had left for the border, gone to get find more Wardens in Orlais. It was left to them to keep the archdemon's eyes on the city, to be the distraction. At the memory of seeing the creature up close, seeing Her swept aside like She was nothing - all thanks to that traitorous, little blighter - red had begun to seep in at the corners of his vision.

Heh. Distraction. He was just fine with that.

Oghren pushed to his feet, suddenly overcome with the desire to hit something. But again the leg gave, his curse lost beneath a moan of pain.

Crouching beside him, Wynne lay cooling hands on his knee.


Shale was still regarding them with narrowed eyes. "So the Elder Mage seeks to impersonate the Grey Warden? Is this the grief you spoke of?"

Oghren glared up at the golem. "It's called tact, ya useless rockslide!" The days spent on watch had been long and it was not the first time he regretted trying to make conversation.

But if the mage took offense, she hid it well. Seems she'd gotten good at that.

"Wynne!" There was a sudden crash in the trees behind them, one of the elven scouts pushing her way through the underbrush. For all the vaunted grace of her people, the girl found herself tangled in the brambles, ripping them free with a string of curses that made Oghren grin.

"Shianni? What is it?"

"We've got company." Striding to the edge of the trees, she pulled a spyglass from her belt and handed it to Wynne.

Shale gave a rumbling sigh. "Come, Dwarf." Grabbing Oghren by the collar, she deposited him back upon her shoulders.

From the familiar vantage, he could spot the shadowed figures snaking cross the pale grasses. "They're headin' right for us."

"The Mage has selected the only tree cover for miles. Our position is obvious."

Oghren had to agree, but Wynne lowered the glass and smirked up at them both. "Darkspawn do not generally go about hooded." She turned to Shianni. "Still, we must be cautious. Tell Fergus to intercept."

"Cousland and his men are raiding in the east."

Chuckling to herself, the old woman smiled. "Then it falls to us."

Her hand strayed to the blade at her side, a gift from the Warden, recovered in the same frozen temple where they had found the dead woman's ashes. They said it was infused with magic - arcane something-or-other - but he'd seen the looks on the faces of the men. He didn't know much about mages and plenty of women in Orzammar carried bigger arms, but he had to agree that the sudden change was... unsettling.

Wynne had already stared back through the trees, meaning to slip down to the copse's edge and catch their quarry by surprise. A few more elves waited there, those from the Alienage already learning to blend beside their Dalish cousins. They'd adapted as easily to shimmying through the low grasses as to these few sparse trees. He'd bet they'd been through the tunnels too, maybe even back to the city. None of them were tethered to a big hunk of rock.

"The Dwarf's growls will give away our position." Shale shifted beneath him, angling just enough to poke a bit of crystal into his arse.

"'Ey! Watch it! And it ain't like your stompin's any better."

But they had reached the edge of the trees now, Wynne stopping ahead of them as the elves ranged wide. If he squinted, he could make out the figures cresting the rise just ahead, huddled and harried and making straight for their cover.

"Heh. Golem. You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?"

"Gah! I should certainly hope not."

"Come on. Don't tell me you're not tired of all the waiting, the watching." He noticed her looking up at him now. "I mean, what's the point of being a big, soddin' killing machine if you're not—"

With a bellowing roar, Shale burst through the underbrush, charging toward the strangers. Oghren clutched at her crystals, biting a laugh as she pulled up short and slammed a pair of fists into the earth directly in their path. The four staggered, but none lost their footing and the man at their head wasted no time in whipping the bow from his back and leveling an arrow at the nose of the chortling dwarf.

A sudden breeze sent his cloak fluttering behind him, dark hair for the moment obscuring his scowl. It was the only movement in the stretching stillness, broken slowly by the elves rising from the grasses around them, their bows likewise drawn. Looking to the arrows trained on him, the stranger's lips twitched with amusement. "Hm."

"You may be a fine shot, my friend, but I fear in this even you are outmatched."

Oghren gaped, the familiar voice and slithering chuckle out of place on this strange human. The stranger lowered his bow as Zevran appeared behind him, stepping round to look up at them with an exaggerated shrug.

"Gharh!" Oghren threw himself from Shale's shoulder, the glare behind his eyes blinding him to the pain in his leg. He hit the elf hard, the momentum bearing them both back to tumble in the grass.

Zevran was laughing now. But another roll found Oghren on top, a knee to the chest knocking the breath from the elf as a fist to the mouth silenced him.

This at last seemed to reach him, a well-placed kick sending Oghren sprawling as Zevran rolled aside and drew his blades. He spat red. "If you wish to bed me, Oghren—"

"Shaddup." Ripping the axe from his back, he planted his feet.

"Enough!" One of the figures was hooded still, stepping between them with a sniff of distaste. Wynne stood now at Shale's side and it was to her that the stranger turned, delicate hands lowering the cowl with great ceremony. Looking to what remained of her people, Queen Anora solemnly inclined her head.

But the elves for their part were unmoved, the golem impassive, Oghren's own surprise forgotten as Zevran took the opportunity to drive an elbow into his gut. Even the stranger with the bow seemed to be stifling a laugh.

Wynne was the only one to return the gesture, doing her best to ignore the scuffle that had erupted again at their feet. "Your Majesty."
ashstoner_021: Lexie, rawr (Default)

[personal profile] ashstoner_021 2011-02-24 01:36 pm (UTC)(link)
If you can hold that thought for a few weeks... I may be able to help you with that. Just throwin' it out there.



Once I'm done moving that is. I hate moving. I really do.