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The End Of The World As We Know It [Closed]

Cauthrien

Warden-Constable of Ferelden
Staff member
Canon Character
Grey Warden
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
299
#21
Like most healers of Cauthrien’s acquaintance, Sofia was a middling patient, at best, and didn’t always follow the advice that she dispensed. She did let the Warden Constable tend her injuries, at least, but rejected the notion of rest, though she looked very nearly as exhausted as Cauthrien felt.

Andiamo,” she demurred, coming to her feet and extending a hand. “We must report this as soon as possible.” She was right. Cauthrien took her hand, but tried to use it only as balance while she pushed herself upright under her own power. Even without the bulk of her armor, she was heavier than Sofia, and the mage looked ready to tip over as it was.

Speaking of her armor - “This, we may have to leave and retrieve later,” Sofia remarked, glancing at the hauberk and pauldrons. “Not your sword.” Despite the pain, Cauthrien felt her lips twitch into a smile at the hasty qualifier. “But better to the gates in one piece, minus your armour, than not reach the gates at all because we stopped to pick up everything.”

Cauthrien nodded. The mere idea of having to bend over, heft the weight of the chain and plate, and secure it on Dragon, made the throbbing in her head intensify. Crouching, she retrieved the Summer Sword, returned it to the scabbard and settled the harness into place across her back, then moved to Dragon. The roan snorted and pawed at the snow as she approached, but did not shy away. The sweat on his hide was beginning to freeze, and was mixed with blood over the bloody gouges on his rump.

“Enough,” she chided him, catching his bridle and tugging his head down, feeling the warmth of his breath gusting against her face. “You did good, you ugly bastard,” she said with gruff affection, scratching along his neck and ears. “Just a little longer.” He snorted again and butted her chest with his nose - gently for him, but still nearly enough in her current condition to knock her off her feet. His wounds were ugly, but not deep; they could be tended once they were back at the compound. Taking a fortifying breath, she hauled herself up into the saddle, then shifted back and held a hand out to Sofia.

“You’ll have to guide him,” she admitted. Already, the relief afforded by the healing magic was beginning to fade, and the pain in her skull was beginning to thunder back towards a crescendo that promised to return to blinding intensity in a very short time. The only sure cure for these headaches was several days of rest in a dark and quiet room … and for that, they’d have to get back to Denerim.
 

Sofia di Castelbuono

Prominent member
Grey Warden
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
71
#22
She’d earned a smile, sort of. Sofia was aware that Cauthrien would rather not be parted from her sword if she could avoid it, and she calculated that they could at least take that. Dragon would have enough to be going on with carrying them both, let alone with the injuries to his rump, and a sword would about top what he could manage. Maybe not even then, but Sofia clung to hope anyway.

Cauthrien had gained her feet and was now approaching Dragon, who, mercifully, didn’t flee from them. Sofia kept close, mindful of what she’d seen the warhorse try to get away with, but other than butting Cauthrien with his head (Sofia immediately rested one hand against Cauthrien’s back), he behaved. Cauthrien got herself into the saddle and Sofia followed, putting as little of her weight on the other woman as she could.
“You’ll have to guide him.”

Sofia had expected as much. Horseback riding was already a bad idea for somebody with a headache, and for somebody who had massively overextended themselves on a purely mental ability, it would be agony. By the time they reached the Denerim gates, it would be a miracle if Cauthrien had not temporarily lost her sight again. Firmly, she reached behind her and drew Cauthrien’s arms firmly around her waist. “Hold tight. If I feel you slipping, I’m going to stop.”

She took the reins. Dragon’s head was canted slightly to the side, one ear turned in her direction. Sofia imagined he was currently weighing the benefits of bucking both of them off. She patted the side of his neck. “Come on, Dragon. The sooner we get to Denerim, the sooner we get off you. And if you run away nobody’s healing your rear.”

While he couldn’t have understood her words, perhaps he had come to the same conclusion on his own. Dragon turned in the direction of the city, and broke into a fast trot.

She quickly lost the passage of time. Everything came down to keeping herself upright, wary for any indication that Cauthrien was losing consciousness, straining within herself for even the slightest drips of magic she could spend on either her friend or Dragon. But the well, for the moment, was dry. She had lost a glove somewhere in casting, and the wind bit her fingers on the reins. Every step Dragon took shook her bones, and Maker knew what it was doing to Cauthrien. Around them, the winter had made the trees barren and the landscape largely featureless. It felt as though they had been doing this for an eternity.

And then the trees thinned, the road widened and there were wide fields on either side of them, and the high walls of Denerim ahead. Perhaps excited by the prospect of getting rid of both of them, Dragon broke into a run and Sofia clung to Cauthrien’s arm as hard as she could. As they reached the gate, Dragon didn’t respond to her tugging on the reins or the cries of the guard on watch – he bolted through the city, scattering citizens, and didn’t stop running until he reached the compound.

Immediately there were what seemed like dozens of people around them, helping them down, concerned voices, questions. Sofia spoke over them, as loud as she could, although her voice rasped with exhaustion. “Someone call the captain of the guard. And get the Warden-Constable to the infirmary, quickly!”
 
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