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Through Thick and Thin [Closed]

Sofia di Castelbuono

Prominent member
Grey Warden
DAO/DA2 Timeline
[[9:41, Wintermarch, three days after ‘The End of the World As We Know It’, morning]] Cauthrien

The compound was not a good place for convalescents right now. A manic energy had followed Sofia and Cauthrien’s return to the city, as the city guard was scrambled and a detachment of templars and Wardens were sent with them to pick off demons from a distance while frantic missives were sent off to the Circle tower begging for a solution. With Cauthrien confined to her room, Sofia had given herself little recovery time before rising the next morning and attending to the requests for help that had poured in. Technically the Wardens should only be getting involved in matters of darkspawn, but to borrow a charming Fereldan idiom, bugger it. She might even have headed back out herself if Muriel hadn’t threatened to relieve her of command if she did.

And all the time it was going on, she was worrying over Cauthrien. They’d both been exhausted upon the completion of their mad flight back home, but Sofia’s injuries amounted only to a few bloody scratches along her face. Cauthrien had many broken bones, bruising, and Maker knew what she’d done to herself when she’d tried to turn a smite on the rift. Sofia had wanted to check in on her as often as she could, but everything else that needed doing had kept her away, and Muriel had been tending to the Constable in her stead.

This morning, however, the tide of requests and queries had ebbed. For now, the city and outlying farms were being kept safe, and there was nothing more that could be done until the mages of the Circle came back with a solution.

Sofia was still exhausted. A day previously, a rider had spread the news throughout the city; the source of the rifts had been a massive explosion at the Conclave. The meeting of mages and templars, which Sofia had been thinking of with cautious optimism, had ended in calamity, and the Divine was dead. That had felt like the end of everything. There would be no peace between the warring factions now, and the Divine - oh, that had ripped at Sofia’s heart. Divine Justinia had been somebody she deeply admired, who had actually tried to come to an agreement that didn't end with all mages totally supressed, and now her peaceable presence was gone. Sofia had spent most of that night in the chapel, praying for the souls of the departed, and allowing herself the space to weep.

But a new day dawned, and the dead needed nothing from her now. The living still very much did, and she wanted to focus on one in particular. In the kitchens, the servants were preparing the tray of food for Cauthrien’s breakfast. Sofia took charge of it, stating that she would deliver it to the Constable’s quarters herself. Nobody argued. She could see some of them watching her cautiously on the periphery of her vision. Perhaps her eyes were still a little reddened.

No matter. She had other people to focus on beside herself.

Tray loaded with food and a potion that should wipe away any lingering pain in Cauthrien’s head, Sofia headed upstairs. When she got to Cauthrien’s door she knocked gently, then stepped into the darkness of the room.

“Cauthrien? Good morning. I brought you your breakfast.”
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Warden-Constable of Ferelden
Staff member
Canon Character
Grey Warden
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
‘Patient’ had never been an apt description for Cauthrien during any type of convalescence. When sick or injured, she had always pushed herself relentlessly, generally returning to duty days ahead of schedule. The headaches that resulted from her use of her templar abilities had presented a frustrating exception; trying to force herself to recovery all but guaranteed a relapse very nearly as agonizing as the initial episode. The most recent had been the worst by far, and it had taken nearly two days before she had been able to raise herself from a prone position without feeling as though her head was going to explode, with the sounds of booted feet echoing on the stones of the corridor outside an added agony on two very different levels.

The pain had mostly receded now; Cauthrien could still see the bright spots of light dancing at the edges of her vision, warning her not to rush things, but she was on the verge of doing it anyway, perched on the edge of the bed and forcing herself to look up at the faint light that filtered around the edges of the heavy curtains over her window. She’d had no visitors apart from Muriel, but after she had threatened to get up and go in search of information, the healer had agreed to provide her updates (while also calmly informing her that she would be sedated if she tried).

None of the news was good. The rifts were widespread, evidently caused by a catastrophic explosion at the Conclave that had opened a massive breach in the sky above Haven and killed Divine Justinia and countless others. Nobody knew what had happened or who caused it. Mages blamed templars, templars blamed mages, and the demons killed without regard to faction. At least those fighting the demons had learned to engage them well away from the rifts, keeping them from being overwhelmed and slowing the pace at which more demons emerged.

It was a holding action at best, even with the assistance of the templars. And if she was going to end up flat on her back for three days after every fight -

Gritting her teeth, she pushed herself to her feet and stood swaying in the darkness, feeling the pain pulsing at the base of her skull, reaching fingers around to press threateningly at her temples, the flares of light growing brighter and reaching farther into her field of vision. She sank back to the bed with a groan, elbows resting on her knees, head drooping in defeat. Adding to her vexation were the assortment of lingering aches and pains in the rest of her body, ruthless reminders that she no longer healed as quickly or as completely as she had at twenty. Or thirty. The memory of Beorlic, sitting in darkness with only his memories and an old hound for company, haunted her thoughts every time she was forced to recuperate from one of these headaches, but it had never loomed larger than these past days.

She did not lift her head at the knock on the door, resigned to being scolded by Muriel and sent back to bed.

“Cauthrien?” She looked up in surprise as Sofia entered, nudging the door closed with a hip. “Good morning. I brought you your breakfast.”

“Good morning.” She sat up straighter. “How are you doing?” Muriel had assured her that the mage had recovered from her injuries, but Cauthrien still felt guilty knowing that her second had likely pushed herself in order to see to the duties that should have been fulfilled by the commander of the compound.