• Hello Guest, the Post-Trespasser timeline is open to all characters now. If you want to play your DA:O/DA2 timeline characters in the Post-Trespasser timeline, please check out the thread below. It will give you all the information you need to get up and running in no time:

    Getting your DA:O/DA2 Character ready for Post-Trespasser!

Give Me A Reason To Try Again [Closed]

Sati Adaar

Prominent member
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
99
#1
[[Evening: 9:20 Dragon, Bloomingtide, three miles short of Ansburg in the Free Marches]] Shokrakar

Sati hadn’t felt much in the last few weeks. After wallowing in the grief that had consumed her following Ser Lehman’s murder and her abrupt dismissal, she had shut her emotions behind a wall and tried as much as possible to keep them there. She’d wobbled a little when she had returned to her home village and found no trace of her parents. After a little questioning, she’d learned that rumours of a qunari raiding party gradually encroaching on the area had been spreading, and overnight they’d upped sticks and vanished. It was sensible. Her parents were Tal-Vashoth and as far from the brutish image that term inferred as it was possible to be - neither would have stood a chance against trained warriors, and they wouldn’t have been shown any mercy either. They’d left only a couple of months ago, but could have gone anywhere.

Thedas was vast. Sati had no idea where to even start looking. She put her feelings back behind the wall.

She’d visited home rarely since coming under Ser Lehman’s tutelage, and perhaps that had been a mistake. The people she remembered as children were now nearly adults themselves, and while a few had offered sympathy, most were clearly glad to see the back of her. She couldn’t blame them. It was a rare day that a sword-wielding qunari came as a welcome sight. She could have taken ownership of her old dwelling, but it just felt like a shell. All the personal touches that had made it a home were long since gone. The village headsman, Eidread Gelbraint, quietly suggested that she might try her luck with a mercenary company in a big city.

Once upon a time, she’d let herself dream of being a knight. She had the training, and some of the experience. Sati wasn’t naive; she knew that Ser Lehman had taken her on for the glory it gave him to have a qunari at his command, but she’d worked hard every day to prove that she was worthy of the chance. Now like any Tal-Vashosh, she was going to end up a sellsword. There was little else she knew how to do, except perhaps be a scribe, and who was going to hire her for that?

She fought the heavy weight in her chest. She would not shame her mentor’s memory by succumbing to despair, even though as each day went by, each step felt a little harder.

Fortunately, she at least had a few coins to her name. She had decided completely at random to head for Ansbury - there were always a few wealthy merchants there who needed bodyguards - and along the way she’d escorted a lord’s youngest son and his retinue. They’d parted ways at the man’s country estate, and now she might be able to afford a night in a tavern once she reached the city, before starting her search for work.

Unfortunately, it looked as though she would be sodden through by then. The sky had opened a little while ago and Sati was staggering a little in the mud, rain coursing down her face. The pathways leading to the city should be well defined further in but she was just far out enough that it was still mostly mud track, sucking at her boots with each step. She could have pulled off to the side and hidden under a tree, hoping to wait it out, but if she had her distances right Ansburg was only a few miles off. She could survive another couple of hours of this. It wasn’t as though sunshine would have made her feel any better anyway.

However, she wasn’t so numb that she missed a faint flash of light through the trees as she approached a bend in the path. It was definitely armour, and she slowed her pace, stepping carefully up to the trees and peering around the corner. Her breath caught in her throat.

Qunari. Several of them.

Only regiments of the Antaam and Tal-Vashosh travelled in those sorts of numbers. Sati couldn’t see from here which it might be. Neither was likely to treat her well. She’d never met another of her kind, apart from her parents and occasionally seeing lone workers at a distance, but she knew almost all Tal-Vashoth went mad with their freedom and attacked indiscriminately. And if ‘pure’ qunari saw her as Tal-Vashoth, they’d kill her on the spot. Or subject her to the brain-washing that was apparently so popular for easing problems with dissidents.

She could likely sneak around them without being detected. It wasn’t one of her strengths, but between the rain and the failing light, she might be able to pull it off. However, left to their own devices, they might wreck havoc along this road for months, maybe even kill. Ser Lehman, in this situation, would tell her to back away, find some authorities for reinforcement, then come back and deal with the situation sensibly. However, he would also never leave if he thought innocent people might suffer in the meantime.

A thread of pain that wound tight around her heart gave her another reason to stay. Better to die in a fight trying to prevent people being hurt in the future, than perish while protecting some crooked merchant from his competitors.

She rounded the corner in full view, Ruin drawn. The group of qunari were strangely attired, and none wore the red vitaar she knew was the staple of the Antaam. Tal-Vashoth, then. Sati steadied herself, ready to defect anything that came her way. “What is your purpose here?”
 

Shokrakar

New Member
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
3
#2
“How about this? ‘The summer rains roll down my face/like blood from another time and place’.”

Sweet fuck, not now. Shokrakar gritted her teeth and focused on the tent poles. Living under the Qun fucked you up, and every Tal-Vashoth dealt with the damage in their own way. For Kaariss, it meant indulging in the poetry that had been forbidden to him as a member of the Antaam. That he pretty much sucked at it was beside the point; it helped stave off the madness that had claimed so many others of their kind, and if it sometimes drove her crazy, it was a different kind of crazy: one that she could choose to respond to or not. The choice made all the difference; for the first seventeen years of her life, she’d been given none.

Four years later, she was free and the leader of her own mercenary company, and even if said company only consisted of herself and five other Tal-Vashoth, it was hers, and damned if she would engage in the same bullshit that the Qunari had inflicted on them all. “Sounds good,” she grunted, wedging the pole beneath the oilcloth and pushing it upright. Almost there. “Now get your fucking tent set up.” Tempting as it had been to try to make it to Ansburg, a group of Tal-Vashoth, arriving at night and in the rain, would most likely be refused by all but the seediest inns. Better to sleep a bit damp than share a mildewed straw tick with a legion of biting insects.

They’d found a copse of fir trees that offered some shelter from the driving rain and enough space beneath the spreading branches to set up six tents. She dreamed of the day when such a small space would not contain the Valo Kas company, but it was going to take time. Most Tal Vashoth who hadn’t lost their minds were already members of one mercenary company or another, where they were generally valued for their martial prowess; difficult to convince them to leave that to join a group less than six months old and barely large enough to be considered a company. Thus far, her recruits had been new deserters, like Kaaris and Ashaad, or ones looking to leave shitty companies, like Meraad, Sata-Kas and Sam.

“Yes, Karasten!” She gritted her teeth again. The patterns seared into the brain over a lifetime were not easily redrawn; even she found herself speaking and thinking in Qunlat without meaning to, falling back onto the military terms used in the Antaam. Samuel was the only one who had taken a name for himself with no ties to the Qunari tongue.

A long pause, then a sheepish, “Sorry, Shokrakar.”

She glanced over her shoulder; Kaariss stood looking crestfallen, rain dripping from his curving horns. “It’s all right,” she told him with a smile, and it was. What mattered was that they were free; everything else would come with time. The bleakness left his eyes, and he nodded gratefully before bending to unpack his tent. Satisfied, she turned and set the second pole in place, then moved to tighten the ropes.

“What is your purpose here?”

The voice that rang out in challenge had a definite Marcher accent; given the location, that was hardly surprising. What was surprising was the sight that greeted Shokrakar when she came to her feet and turned, one hand on the hilt of her greatsword.

Horns.

The newcomer was young: several years younger than Shokrakar, from the looks of her, with the gangling look of late adolescence, but she held a well-crafted bastard sword in the manner of one comfortable with its use, her stance ready, her weight balanced nicely on the balls of her feet. She’d had training, Shokrakar noted approvingly.

“Trying to get out of the damned rain,” Shokrakar drawled, jerking her head toward the tents, a gesture from her free hand signaling the others to stay ready but not attack. Training didn’t necessarily preclude crazy. “You?”
 

Sati Adaar

Prominent member
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
99
#3
Several sets of eyes turned in her direction. The general impression Sati got was one of surprise, not aggression, which slightly put her on the back foot. She’d honestly expected to be rushed the moment she made herself known. Instead, one female qunari straightened up, gesturing to her companions, and the few hands that had reached for hilts or bows as Sati appeared went no further.

The appearance of the group was startling enough, and their apparent leader embodied that. Missing horns were common enough amongst qunari - hence Ser Lehnman’s insistence that Sati have hers tipped in bronze, although Sati had never been sure herself how effective that would be - but the tattoos were not. The woman, like Sati, was almost as tall as the men with her, but she was broad and curvaceous, so she had a presence just as physically intimidating as anybody else in the group. Sati wouldn’t let herself be distracted, though. The qunari obviously had at least a measure of discipline, but that could make them more dangerous than if they were completely wild. Sati kept one ear open for somebody sneaking up on her, and kept her guard up as the leader looked her over.

She didn’t seem put out by Sati’s challenge. “Trying to get out of the damned rain,” she explained, indicating the half-built camp. “You?”

There were six tents, as far as Sati could see. That didn’t exclude the possibility there might be more than six people. She wouldn’t beat those odds. Besides, other than practicing sensible caution, there was no need to be uncivil. While she didn’t lower her sword more than a few inches, she adjusted her posture enough to politely dip her head in response to the leader. “The same. I was going to try to find a room in Ansburg.”

Apart from the sense that the qunari were waiting to see if she’d attack them as much as she was waiting to see if they’d attack her, there’d been no hostility so far. It was a strange counterpoint to everything she’d been taught to expect in the behaviour of any others of her kind. Merciless warriors intending on bending everybody to their will, or straight up butchers, was what she had been told. Of course her parents had been living proof against that, but how common could they really be? It took a lot to break from the Qun without fighting at least a little. They’d planned for a long time, and been very lucky.

Sati cleared her throat. She might as well rip the bandage off now. “Are you Tal-Vashoth? You don’t match the descriptions of the Antaam I've read.”
 

Shokrakar

New Member
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
3
#4
The newcomer relaxed marginally without lowering her guard. “The same,” she replied, inclining her head ever so slightly in Shokrakar’s direction, rain dripping from her horns. “I was going to try to find a room in Ansburg.”

That drew chuckles from most of the group and a measuring glance from its leader. “Unless you’ve got the coin and are willing to pay ten times what it’s worth, the best you’ll likely get is an empty stall in a stable.” How was it that she’d been in the Free Marches long enough to pick up the accent and didn’t know that? Ben-Hassrath? She was dismissing that notion almost as soon as it arose … mostly. There remained an off chance that the kid only looked that young. “You have a tent? You’re welcome to set up with us.” Wouldn’t be the first time she’d slept with one eye open, and the potential gains in the situation currently outweighed the risks.

The kid continued to look between them, her expression caught between wariness and wonder. Seeming to realize she’d been staring, she cleared her throat awkwardly. “Are you Tal-Vashoth?” There was curiosity, right enough, but what lay beneath it was harder to define. Something hungry and hopeful and afraid of revealing itself. “You don’t match the descriptions of the Antaam I've read.”

More laughs, and Samuel hawked and spat on the ground. “Fuck the Qun,” he said flatly.

Shokrakar snorted and turned her gaze back to the kid. “Tal-Vashoth and proud of it,” she confirmed with a smirk. “You’re Vashoth, aren’t you?” If she’d only read about the Antaam, it was the only possibility.

Unless she was Ben-Hassrath. But they could always kill her later.
 

Sati Adaar

Prominent member
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
99
#5
The derisive chuckles that rose up brought a brief flare of discomfort, but Sati grounded herself, determined not to show shame. People who flared up in the face of minor mockery were those most likely to be stabbed in the ribs and left bleeding in the dirt. “Unless you’ve got the coin and are willing to pay ten times what it’s worth, the best you’ll likely get is an empty stall in a stable.”

Of course. Sati was still learning - while she’d been afforded a great deal of leniency as Ser Lehman’s protegee, not many people would extend her the same courtesy now she was on her own. She tried not to let the realisation show on her face. “A stall would suit me fine. I suppose I can’t be picky.” Polite, always polite. She still didn’t know if this group was being particularly cunning. Nonetheless, she couldn’t detect any subterfuge in the leader’s invitation for her to join the cmap.

“You have a tent? You’re welcome to set up with us.”

Not so much. Grief and desperation had driven her from the estate with little time for practical thoughts; her failure to find her parents hadn’t helped. Still, her lessons would come in handy. “I can rig myself a shelter. Your...generosity is appreciated.” Not that she was likely to be asleep most of the night.

Wondering would keep her awake, and rather than being murdered while she was lying down, she decided to address her main concern before they went any further. Were they the wild Tal-Vashosh of the stories she’d heard human men repeating without any experience themselves? Or were they a spy group from the qunari?

The answer was abrupt. One of the men spat on the ground. “Fuck the Qun.”

That was a relief in a way; she wasn’t going to be killed for having the audacity to have parents who had fled the Qun. On the other hand - “Tal-Vashoth and proud of it,” announced the leader. There was no hint of derangement in her eyes, and the fact that they hadn’t attacked her for her few belongings spoke well...so far. “You’re Vashoth, aren’t you?”

Sati nodded, slowly, finally lowering her sword. If they chose this moment to rush her she could probably dispatch one or two of them before she was overwhelmed. “My parents were Tal-Vashoth. I never knew the Qun. From what I’ve been told, I didn’t miss much.” She eyed the leader. Throughout the course of her life, she’d met a few people so comfortable in their own skins that she couldn’t imagine them being any other way. This woman was such a person. For a long time, Sati had been equally assured, and now that the ground had been ripped from beneath her feet, she desperately wanted to regain that sense of assurity. She’d never attack an innocent, but in the meantime...this couldn’t hurt. “My name is Sati Adaar. And I don’t really know where to go from here.”
 
Top