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Remembrance of Thornecrofts Past [Solo | Complete]

Hanamene Thornecroft

DAO/DA2 Timeline
[OOC: 25 Bloomingtide, 9:25 – Easternmost Fringes of the Arling of Redcliffe, Ferelden - Mid-Day - w/ @Magnus combined]​

A local wedding was taking place in a clearing by the lake not far north, down the hill, from the Thornecroft cottage. A young girl sat upon a low stone wall, watching it from a distance. The stone had been overgrown with roses for the most part, but she’d managed to find a single spot free of the vines. Whether the vines refused to grow in that particular spot on their own, or whether it was by consequence of the fact that the girl had sat there many times before, did not matter. What mattered most was that it was a position that offered the young girl the best view of Lake Calenhad and, on a clear day, of Kinloch Hold further in the distance. Though the freehold itself was not far off the beaten path from the Imperial Highway either, it remained tucked away; often forgotten and nestled in the hillside. It was situated on a stony hill with taller cliffs to the west and a copse of Hinterland woods to the south before the road and with more hills to the east, resting on the very fringes of the Arling of Redcliffe yet east of Lothering as well. Given the slight remoteness of the location, the Thornecrofts rarely had visitors. Thus it was always something of a novelty when one suddenly appeared ascending the long, winding trail that led up to their home.

“Rider!” Hanamene blurted, excitedly, “Nan! Rider!” She altogether lost interest in the quaint nuptials happening beyond. Horses and their horsemen always had that effect on her. Hopping down from the wall, she began scurrying toward the house. While elated at the prospect of a visitor, the Thornecrofts had also instilled in their grandchildren that it was better to be safe than sorry. If they saw anyone they didn't recognize, they were to run inside the house immediately and lock the door.

Hanamene’s brother, pushing a wheelbarrow full of peat toward one section of the croft itself, ceased his occupation as well and followed after his sister though with a less enthusiastic gait. “Nan!” Caethan said, bowing his head as he entered the cottage to avoid hitting it on the frame of the front doorway, “Someone’s coming. Working their way up the trail.”

Inside the house their grandmother, her back turned to them, appeared to have been working away at something in particular. There was a quick clunk and clatter as she swiftly placed a number of what looked to be small stones into a sack. The siblings exchanged looks.

“Are you… expecting someone?” Hana inquired at length. Caethan shook his head at her, as though indicating that his sister should not have asked.

Estella straightened, her shoulders squaring. Hanamene already regretted her curiosity. “Not a word of this to your father,” her grandmother said, coolly, cinching the sack firmly closed, “Or your grandfather for that matter.” While Estella’s Tevene accent had faded over the years, her Tevinter beauty had yet to diminish. The siblings’ grandmother’s long, black braid had only but a few wisps of silver in it. She turned around to face her grandchildren, her violet eyes stern as ever. The siblings said not a word more, though moved aside to allow their grandmother to take leave of the cottage through the front door.

Caethan crossed the small kitchen of the cottage to stand by a shuttered window and reached up to adjust one of the slats in order to steal a glimpse of their grandmother’s dealings with the rider down the trail. Hanamene, meanwhile, straightened her skirts and moved to where their grandmother had previously stood hovering over a small writing table. She eyed the table itself, finding nothing out of the ordinary but as she took a step back she felt something under foot. Hanamene looked down, moving her foot aside, and saw the rune. Should we…” she began slowly, “Tell father?”

Her brother did not have to turn his head for Hanamene to become aware of the disapproval in his face, his tone had been enough to convey as much in his response. “Don’t be stupid, Hana. They’ll lock her up in the tower with the rest.” Caethan’s eyes never left his hidden view, rather they seemed to grow further interested in what was happening outside of the cottage.

“Would that be so bad? Father still has friends there, they could look out for her. Maybe she would be happier?”

“You think our father still keeps in touch with templars at Kinloch Hold, from Hossberg? Don't be stupid. She wouldn’t be happier, Hana. She's be a prisoner,” Caethan said, turning quickly. He watched his sister pick the rune up off the floor. “The rider’s leaving with the bag, but grandfather’s just coming back up the trail now too.”

“So?” Hana said, confused by the shift to urgency in Caethan’s tone. Her brother crossed the cottage and took the rune from her grasp. “Hey!” she protested. Her fingers still tingling from the fresh magic set within the stone.

“We’ll bury this one later,” he told her, shoving the rune in his pocket. He grabbed Hana by the arm and bid her sit at the small, kitchen table with him. The chairs they sat in were both wobbly, the legs having been uneven. From his other pocket, Caethan pulled out a deck of well-worn cards and began to shuffle them. “Just act natural,” he told her, dealing.

Hana furrowed, trying not to pout, and accepted the hand dealt to her. Not long after their grandparents entered the cottage, with their grandmother explaining to her husband, old Mason Thornecroft, that she had just offered the wayward rider directions to get him back on the road along with some vegetables from their garden for his long journey. At the latter, Hanamene scoffed. Caethan kicked her shin, under the table.“Oowph!” Hana yelped, “Venhedis!”

“Hanamene Rosamund Thornecroft you watch your tongue!”
their grandmother scolded the crude use of Tevene.

Mason scolded both siblings in turn. “What are you two doing in here, lazing about when there’s chores yet to be done? Caeth get out there and move that damn wheelbarrow, you left it in the middle of the croft! And Hana go put out those traps like I told you or else those damn rabbits will be at the garden again!”

“Yes grandfather.” and “Yes grandfather.” The siblings spoke in unison, before scurrying out the door. Hana took the opportunity to pay her brother back in kind with a hard punch to his bicep. The elders watched their grandchildren chase one another out into the yard from the doorway, eventually throwing tufts of moss, and even some of the peat, at one another.

Mason wrapped his arms around his wife, and sighed. “Between their restlessness and listlessness, I wonder if we ought to reconsider…”

Estella looked on, her hard exterior softening, “Send them to one of your Orlesian Chantries, for good?”

Mason murmured in the affirmative, “Hmm. Prefer your Black Divine all you like, my love, but when will you admit that our son didn't turn out so bad?”

“He's a templar who hunts people for a living, and a father who sees his children hardly more than once a season,” Estella said, brow raised.

“He's helping to keep Thedas safe. For them. For us. Hana, at least, would make a good templar. Like her father.

“Over my dead body,” Estella responded, affectionately however, before turning to silence her husband with a kiss.

[OOC: Caethan/Magnus Text: 008099 | Estella Text: 540099 | Mason Text: A20B30]
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Hanamene Thornecroft

DAO/DA2 Timeline
The siblings were scolded one last time by their grandparents, before the latter left them to their chores and disappeared inside the house. Caeth moved the wheelbarrow as he was told and Hana went about setting the traps that her grandfather had told her to set. Rabbits and other small animals sometimes snuck into their croft, looking for an easy meal—Hana had nothing against the poor creatures, but even in those days, then at thirteen, she understood the necessity of preserving the garden that helped feed their family throughout the year. She and her brother went about cleaning up the peat they’d thrown at one another as well. It was dirty work, to say the least.

“Psst,” her brother signaled to her, crouching behind the wheelbarrow where he remained out of spying sight from the house.

Hana looked up, “What?” Her brother procured the rune from his pocket and waved her over to him. She looked back at the house only once and told him, “They’re not minding us, for once.”

“Just get over here and help me dig, will you,” he told her in hushed annoyance.

Rolling her eyes, Hanamene obliged and joined her brother in crouching down behind the wheelbarrow. Like him, she dug her hands into the soft earth of the garden. They dug until they were satisfied the hole would be deep enough that the rune would likely never resurface on account of rain or some curious creature. It wasn’t until they were ready to drop the rune into the hole that Hana caught her brother by the wrist. “Wait!” she said.

“What’s the problem?”

“What if—” Hanamene hesitated, she didn’t want to sound silly in her concern. Caethan was the older sibling and all the more likely to tease her for Hana saying something he felt was foolish. “What if it does something to the garden?” she finished.

“Like what?”

Hana shrugged, “I don’t know. We don’t even know what it is.”

“It’s a rune, Hana,” her brother said with a roll of his eyes.

“I know that,” she bit back, “We don’t know what kind. What if it does something to the soil? The vegetables we eat?”

Caethan’s brow furrowed. Hanamene was five years his junior and yet the most likely out of the two of them to consider the different, potential consequences of any action. While he enjoyed teasing her, her considerations occasionally made sense to him. “Maybe we should just throw it in the lake?” he suggested, looking at his sister for concurrence.

“Good idea,” Hanamene granted him, which made her brother’s puffed up confidence appear in his expression in the form of a broad, pleased-with-himself smile. He tucked the rune back into his pocket and rose to standing. “Wait!” Hanamene told him, “Give me a second.” She wiggled out of the skirt she was wearing, revealing that she donned a pair of slightly oversized trousers tucked into boots beneath.

Her brother raised a brow at her. “Are those my old trousers?” he asked, mildly amused.

Hanamene rose to standing as well. In those days she was still quite short in contrast to her brother’s height. Her growth spurt wouldn’t come for another three years. She was barely taller than the wheelbarrow back then. “Maybe,” she said, her tone overly defiant in an effort to mask her embarrassment. She huffed, kicking her cast-off skirt into the hole they’d just dug, “I hate these stupid skirts nan makes me wear. They catch on everything.”

“You’d think you'd learn to like skirts, if y'want to become a templar like our father,” Caethan snorted. He helped her bury the skirt however; both siblings pushing dirt into the hole with their feet and then stamping down upon the loam thereafter.

“Those are robes,” Hanamene corrected and defended, “And they wear armour too.”

“Come on,” Caeth laughed, “Let’s get a move on so we can be home in time for supper.” The tall, strapping older brother led the way north and down the trail toward Lake Calenhad, making long-legged strides as his younger sibling scurried behind him in hand-me-down trousers looking rather like a very small pirate. “See the wedding goin’ on down there?” he called to his sister, over his shoulder.

“Yes,” Hana said sounding breathless, stubbornly trying to keep pace with her older sibling, “I think they’re from Redcliffe.”

“Think any of the wedding guests are pretty, young girls?” he said, turning around to walk backwards down the trail without even needing to watch where he was going. They’d made the journey many-a-times before, but Hana’s brother showed-off whenever possible.

“Maybe. None willing to talk to you, though,” she snarked. Her brother clutched his chest, pretending to have had his heart pierced by some lethal arrow. Hanamene burst out laughing. To his credit, Caethan was a good sport when jibes were thrown his way in turn.

“Come on, half-pint,” he urged her, shuffling his feet into something of a dance as he righted his heading to descend the trail normally, “You need to learn to keep up if you’re ever going to chase mages for a living.”

He hurried ahead of her, leaving Hana to hustle harder in an effort to keep up with him. “I’ll do it from a horse, you wiseacre,” she mumbled under her breath, knowing he wouldn't hear her.
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Hanamene Thornecroft

DAO/DA2 Timeline
Eventually the siblings descended the length of the winding trail leading down from their tucked away homestead in a narrow hilly region, north of a southern stretch of the Imperial Highway, to stand along the southeastern banks of Lake Calenhad. To the west and to the east, they could see evidence of the settlements of Redcliffe and Lothering respectively—namely the billowing of smoke from neighbouring hearths rising skyward from cliff or hill in lieu of being able to see the tops of the neighbouring rooftops themselves. Squinting to the north, they could espy the outline of Kinloch Hold well across the great lake in turn. Hanamene, in particular, had many-a-times sat along the southern shore and gazed northward, musing of what life might be like at the Ferelden Circle. She had always wanted to look upon the Tower up close, but since the days of her father’s transfer to Hossberg—when Hanamene was barely more than a toddler—he’d always forbidden it.

While Hana looked north once more, her brother’s glance fixed to the wedding celebrations taking place less than a dozen yards away from them. Noting that the guests paid the pair little to no mind, Caethan procured the rune from his pocket a second time though wasted no such time at all in skipping it across the lake—startling his younger sibling’s musings in the process.

“Why do you think she does it?” Hana asked, watching the rune disappear from sight beneath the sparkling surface of the lake.

“Does what?” Caeth responded, sounding amused. His attention had been recaptured by a gaggle of wedding guests daring one another to dip their toes into the infamous lake. Local superstitions abounded about Lake Calenhad, partly due to the Circle Tower in the north but some legends went further back as well.

Hanamene frowned. They rarely discussed their grandmother’s magic aloud. She whispered her question, “Why does she sell those… things… from out of the house, no less?”

“Well,” her brother shrugged when answering, “Probably because it’d be pretty awkward to set up a stall at one of the local markets.”

“Jack-ass. It was a serious question.”

Caethan laughed, “And it was a serious answer... sort of. Look, we’ve talked about this before. Nan can’t just go around being… who she is. Not openly. Not without being taken away.”

Hana fell silent for a moment, but eventually asked in a small voice, “Do you think grandfather knows?”

The siblings looked at one another, as if deliberating the issue further from their own minds—though both shrugged in the end. “Father certainly doesn’t,” Caeth said.

“What makes you assume that?” Hanamene asked, then made it a point to add, “She’s his own mother. Maybe… maybe that’s why he became a templar?” Her brother snorted, which just made his younger sibling whine. “What? Why's that silly to consider?”

Caethan outstretched his arms.This is why father became a templar,” he told Hana. His younger sister just looked at him, uncertain of his meaning. Caeth explained, “There’s nothing to do out here. He was an only child, Hana. He was probably bored out of his tree!”

“He could’ve apprenticed for grandfather,” Hanamene put in.

Her brother rolled his eyes, stating, “Father and I might have little in common, but the one thing we’ve always agreed on is that the only thing more boring than living on the fringes of the arling is renovating Chantries.”

“Grandfather doesn’t just renovate Chantries!” immediately, Hana jumped to Mason Thornecroft’s defence. It wouldn't be the first time that she defended their grandfather's occupation to her older sibling, “Sometimes he designs and builds ‘em from the ground up.”

Caethan pantomimed the process, “Ooo, an alcove here. An alcove there. Excuse me, Mother, could I make a recommendation? Yes, that’s right, more alcoves. You can never have enough alcoves, you know.” Hanamene punched her brother, hard, in the arm. He burst out laughing.

“He doesn’t just build Chantries,” she sulked, “He’s just come back from a nobleman’s commission, y’know. All the way from Denerim this time!”

“Building a manor for some highborn Denny lord don’t make our family any more noble by association,” Caethan told her, his laughter having subsided. He often spoke of nobles disparagingly, sometimes giving them pithy epithets.

“I know that,” she answered, annoyed that he should think she thought otherwise, “I was just saying, being a builder isn’t so ignoble an occupation. Master Builders like grandfather get to travel, see the world.”

Her brother shrugged, “Still means taking orders from other people.”

Hana rolled her eyes, telling him, “Everyone takes orders from someone.”

“Not the king,” he argued.

“The king does, most of all,” she argued back.

“How do you figure?”

“A king is only a king if people choose to follow, and people will only choose to follow a king if the king listens to them,” she answered, as if it should be common knowledge. Her brother gaped at her. What?

How old are you?” he asked, impressed but still of a mind to tease his younger sibling in some way.

Hanamene shook her head at her older sibling, telling him, “If you ever actually listened to any of father’s lessons…”

Caethan shoved his hands into his pockets, and sighed, “Think he’ll be visiting us again, anytime soon? It’s been a while, this time. He’s been away longer than last.” The siblings both fell silent once the absence of their father became heavily felt by each of them. Eventually, it was the older of the pair to break the silence in asking, “How far away is the Anderferls, do you gather?”

Hana’s gaze lifted and turned firstly north and then to the northwest. She pursed her lips before answering in a small voice, “Far.”
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