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A Life Most Ordinary And Wonderful [Closed]

Alistair Theirin

King of Ferelden
Canon Character
Noble
Grey Warden
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
106
#21
Nicolette was an attentive and empathetic audience, reaching out to offer a light squeeze on his arm as he spoke of the Crow dungeon and the pathetic wretch he had found there. The bright sun in the cloudless sky overhead, the cool breeze touched with the scent of the sea, the noise from the laborers on the docks and the cheers from the deck below signifying a victor in the contest all helped to anchor him in the present as he revisited the memories of darkness, gloom and the frustration of discovering that his father had been held in Velabanchel, but was there no longer.

“What would she have wanted with him?” the minstrel wondered aloud when he told her who had taken Maric. “Did the Crows explain why they kept him prisoner for so long in the first place?”

“Never did find that out,” he said, shaking his head. “If I had to guess, I’d say they planned to hold him for ransom, but other people had other ideas. We went to the Tellari Swamp looking for Yavanna - that was her name, by the way,” he added, “and ran smack into a high dragon.” It was easy to summon a droll expression now, but he’d nearly shit his royal trousers at the time. With no mage to heal them, fighting it would have been suicide. “I thought that it might have been Yavanna - Flemeth could change into a dragon - but then, she popped out of the bushes and called it off.” That had been very nearly as frightening as the dragon; Flemeth hadn’t had that kind of power (as far as he knew, anyway).

“And that’s when things started getting really weird,” he went on with a wry smile. “She took us to a place in the middle of the swamp: the Silent Grove. It was a … a sanctuary for dragons, to keep them from being destroyed by men.” Not something he would have ever considered necessary, but at least it was in Antiva, not Ferelden. “She told me that Flemeth had saved Maric’s life a long time ago, and in return, when his children were old enough to rule, he was to come to Yavanna. I don’t know if that was what he was trying to do when the Crows captured him, but she said that someone - she didn’t know who - had taken him from her, and she didn’t know if he was still alive.”

He pursed his lips and blew out a sigh. “So … foiled again,” he told Nicolette with a wan smile. “She tried to convince me to give up the search, and when I wouldn’t, she just walked away. We thought about trying to chase her down, but the pet dragon was a bit of a problem.” He snorted. “I hope that Arwen never gets that idea.” She certainly wouldn’t be hearing it from him, at least, not for a few more years.

“So, there we were, with no idea where to go next,” he continued, rolling his eyes. “And then, when we were leaving the swamp, we were ambushed by Claudio and his lackeys.” He smiled thinly. “He’d let us go hoping that we could lead him to the Grove, and we did a smashing job of that. Of course, he wasn’t going to turn down the chance to get his hands on another Fereldan king, and since we were outnumbered ten to one or so, I made a deal: he could take me if my companions went free.” Claudio had figured that Isabela would cut and run to save her own skin; Alistair had hoped that she would do otherwise, but there had been no knowing. She and Varric had both been injured in the initial attack; fighting on had not been an option.
 

Nicolette O'Hara

Prominent member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
212
#22
Nicolette had not been sure what Alistair meant to tell her when he asked her for privacy. Not in her wildest imaginings could she have predicted it; Crow princes and travels across the sea, a monarch long thought dead proved living under capture, and now - a witch in command of a high dragon. Nicolette would have asked for more of a description of the beast, but one look at Alistair’s expression guarded her against making him relive it. Echoes of fear flickered in his eyes.

“And that’s when things started getting really weird.” He smiled wryly at her, perhaps predicting her thoughts - had things not already been weird enough? Apparently not. The witch protected the dragons from men. “She told me that Flemeth had saved Maric’s life a long time ago, and in return, when his children were old enough to rule, he was to come to Yavanna.” But why? “I don’t know if that’s what he was trying to do when the Crows captured him, but she said that someone - she didn’t know who - had taken him from her, and she didn’t know if he was still alive.”

That must have been frustrating. To come within a hair of his goal, and denied it again...Nicolette paused her internal monologue as her face creased with sympathy. She had more questions, but let him speak on. Only to then develop an instant dislike of a man she had never met, as Claudio had reappeared on the scene and tried to capture Alistair. "Of course, he wasn’t going to turn down the chance to get his hands on another Fereldan king, and since we were outnumbered ten to one or so, I made a deal; he could take me if my companions went free.”

The noble gesture would be no less than Nicolette would expect from Alistair. Although she had pieced together in their first meeting that he was a king, he had a naturally chivalrous attitude to those around him. He was, in essence and in full, a good man. “How did you get out of that? And also...do you believe Yavanna was telling the truth, that she did not know who had Maric?”

Nicolette would guess this Flemeth character was behind it. Was it not her who had told Maric to go to Yavanna in the first place?
 

Alistair Theirin

King of Ferelden
Canon Character
Noble
Grey Warden
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
106
#23
Not for the first time, Alistair wished that Leliana was here and not in Val Royeaux, serving as Left Hand to the new Divine. He knew the reasons; she had told him years before of the debt that she owed to the woman who had once been called Revered Mother Dorothea, and Divine Justinia V could ask for no better adviser and guardian. But the King of Ferelden missed her counsel, and Alistair missed his dear friend. She would have been invaluable in the search for Maric; she and Zevran made a potent team. And had she been here now, she would have enjoyed hearing his tale, prompting him with questions to recall the little details that had eluded his memory at first telling

By her own admission, Nicolette was not fond of combat and danger, but she was as attentive an audience as Leliana would have been, and her eyes had widened at hearing of Claudio’s ambush and the bargain that Alistair had struck to save his companions.

“How did you get out of that?” she asked him wonderingly. “And also...do you believe Yavanna was telling the truth, that she did not know who had Maric?”

“I believed her,” Alistair confirmed. “Witches - the ones I’ve known, anyway -” Three, by the last count, which was three more than he preferred. “They hate not knowing something, and even more than that, they hate admitting they don’t know it.” Some of the best points he’d scored on Morrigan had taken advantage of that trait. Childish? Undoubtedly, but in the middle of a Blight, you took your diversions where you could. “She didn’t know … but Claudio did, and being a proper villain, once he had me where he wanted me, he started getting chatty. Which didn’t really bode well for my long term prospects, but I figured that as long as he was talking, I would listen. Seems he was the one who’d taken Maric, on orders from his master, and he figured I’d be considered another good catch.

“Fortunately - for me, anyway - my companions found their way back to Yavanna, who healed them up. For her own reasons.” He smiled thinly. “Which didn’t extend to actually helping them rescue me. They did it anyway … actually got the jump on Claudio’s goons. Unfortunately, Claudio got killed in the fight before he could tell me the name of the one giving his marching orders.” He’d been angry at the time, but not too much; they’d been trying to save his life, after all, and the bastard had been about to kill Isabela when Zevran’s revelation that he had been the one to kill her husband Luis, who had evidently been a close friend of the Talon, had given the pirate enough of an opening to turn the tables on her opponent.

“But it turns out that witches are good for more than acting superior and making vague statements,” he went on. “Yavanna arrived - after all the fighting was done, of course.” Lying bitch that Morrigan had been, she had at least never shirked away from battle. “She called Claudio’s spirit back from beyond the Veil - and it was every bit as creepy as it sounds, in case you're wondering. Told him if he didn’t answer her questions, she’d leave him tied to his corpse in that swamp forever.” He snorted. “That did the trick, and he told her the name of his master: Aurelian Titus, a Tevinter magister.” He felt his lips curl as he spoke; simply saying the name again left a bad taste in his mouth.
 
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