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Wouldn't You Give A Hand To A Friend? [Closed]

Varric Tethras

Bullshitter Emeritus
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
101
#1
((10 Solace, 44 Dragon; Viscount’s Manor, Hightown))

As expected, relocating to Kirkwall had put just about everyone’s knickers in a knot, but ultimately, they had to agree that it made sense. A token force remained at Skyhold, vetting recruits and feeding out misinformation here and there while the move was underway.

Varric had made sure that Dagna was one of the first to relocate. Introducing her to Gaddrick had been a calculated gamble: it would either be the beginning of an extremely productive partnership or the end of Thedas as it was known. But their combined talents - Gaddrick’s genius with gears and mechanical devices and Dagna’s skill with enchantments - had been what was needed to bring the idea that Varric had first conceived at the Winter Palace to reality. And both of them had been more than willing to contribute their efforts on behalf of the one who had saved Thedas.

It had taken more than talent, though. The raw materials hadn’t been cheap, but once again, contributors had not been hard to find. It had been one of the best-kept secrets in the history of the Inquisition: everybody knew about it except the one person who wasn’t supposed to, all of them equally determined to give something back to the one who had given so much of herself - literally - to the cause of the Inquisition.

And now it was done; all that remained was to see if it worked, but that required revealing it to Sati. Varric had faith in the skill of the two dwarven artisans, but he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t just a bit nervous. He’d limited the number of onlookers in the audience chamber: one of the perks of being Viscount, but there was going to be a crowd in the street outside waiting to see the results. He hoped that didn’t bite them in the ass.

Nightingale, Curly and Cassandra flanked the Viscount’s throne: the comfortable one he’d had commissioned, not the torture device that had been there when he got voted in. Bull and Krem, Sera, Cole, Vivienne and Dorian stood by. And Dagna; she would handle any tweaking of the enchantments, but thirty years of exile hadn’t lessened Gaddrick’s dread of the open sky. Any mechanical adjustments would need to be done in his shop. One of these days, Varric was going to have a tunnel dug from Gaddrick’s shop to the manor, once he could figure out how to do it without collapsing half of Hightown into the earth. Because that was the kind of shit he had to concern himself with now. Growing up sucked.

All they needed now was the guest of honor, and Ruffles should be bringing her any minute.
 

Sati Adaar

Prominent member
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
74
#2
Sati had been through Kirkwall once or twice over the years, although she and the Talo-Vas had avoided it ever since the Arishok had lost his mind and attempted to take over the city. She’d visited Varric when he’d been made Viscount, of course, as much to tease as to congratulate him. His efforts in keeping out of the backstabbing mess that was the Merchant’s Guild, his general generosity, and his popularity with the majority of people who made up the city’s lower echelons had made him a natural candidate for the job, much to his annoyance. From the sounds of it, he was the Viscount the city needed, though.

And he was the ally – and friend – the Inquisition needed. Progress in moving their base of operations out of Skyhold had been slow, but it had been oiled by Varric’s influence. And if there was concern from the merchant princes of the Free Marches about the Inquisition’s presence here, nobody had yet expressed it openly, for which Sati was grateful. After everything that had happened at the Divine’s palace, she’d had quite enough of people yelling at her about what she should be doing.

After Corypheus had been defeated, she’d known that returning to her former life was out of the question. There was still quite a mess to clear up, and besides that she didn’t want to return to roaming about as a mercenary, as she wouldn’t be able to bring Josie with her. She’d thought maybe that eventually she could step down as Inquisitor and maybe serve as the ambassador’s bodyguard in an official – and extremely unofficial – context. But Solas had thrown those plans out of the window, and it was back to playing guessing games about what their enemy was up to.
Josie had taken it well. Some time had been allowed for her to return to her childhood home, and Sati had come along. It had been a blissful few weeks, deliberately forgetting everything that needed to be done and revelling in her lover’s company, but neither of them were suited to idleness. By the time they turned back towards their task, they were ready for it.

Or at least Josie was. Sati was still learning her way around her disability, how to strap a shield to the crude prosthetic that was tied around her right arm and fighting with her left. Using a dual-handed sword had at least kept both arms at equal strength, but her right side had been the dominant one and she felt frustratingly clumsy this way. Still, regular practice would bring her forward, and so she had religiously trained every morning, for hours.

Until this morning, when she was only a few minutes in. Josie appeared, insisting a matter of great urgency awaited her presence in the Viscount’s throne room; Sati had dropped everything to go immediately, concerned that one of their agents had turned up something they could use on Solas. When she got to the audience chamber she wasn’t surprised to see the other members of the council and inner circle there; it made sense they would be in attendance.

What was more surprising was how happy most of them looked. Josephine and Leliana were beaming, Cullen appeared pleased; Bull gave her a wink as she went by. It was…an unusual atmosphere, to say the least. Surprised, she looked up at Varric. “What’s happened?”
 

Varric Tethras

Bullshitter Emeritus
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
101
#3
Things had been quiet since the Qunari had been sent packing, but while Thedas in general was enjoying the respite, everyone in the Inquisition knew that it was simply a matter of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sooner or later, Solas’ plan would move from sneakiness and subterfuge to something more overt. Hopefully, that something wouldn’t take the form of another Breach, but his track record wasn’t exactly reassuring. So Varric couldn’t really fault the wary, ‘Oh shit, what now?’ expression that Lucky wore when Josephine escorted her in.

“What happened?” she wanted to know, not seeming reassured by the expressions worn by the peanut gallery (though admittedly, Sera’s grin could be legitimately interpreted as anything from surprise cookies to surprise bees in your underwear drawer).

Varric chuckled. “No disasters, for once,” he assured her. She was wearing her prosthetic arm: the second one that had been made for her. The first had been a hastily assembled construct of iron and leather. This one had been crafted with more care, the silverite polished and elaborately engraved, but the end was a simple hook that could be secured to a shield, and it still chafed the stump raw if she wore it for too long.

Time to do something about that.

“I suppose you’re wondering why I called you all here today.” Varric could hear Cassandra’s eyes rolling in their sockets, but one of the perks of being Viscount and bestselling author was the chance to use lines like that. Or maybe it was a side effect. Whatever.

We know just fine,” Sera spoke up impatiently, jerking her head toward Sati, “but she don’t. So get on with it!”

“Just getting in a little creative tension building,” Varric replied amiably. “Anyway, we wanted to get you a little something to say ‘Thanks for saving the world’ -”

Evidently, that wasn’t grandiloquent enough for the resident specialist in pompous proclamation. “You have given a great deal to the Inquisition, and to Thedas,” Cassandra stepped in, giving him a reproving glower, “and sacrificed much, without expectation of recompense. We cannot give you back what you have lost -” The faintest inclination of her head toward the prosthetic arm, “but we hope that this will make that loss less keenly felt.”

She stepped back, and Dagna stepped forward, beaming and holding the magnum opus of two geniuses. The exterior was primarily of stormheart, the muted forest-green not so shiny as the silverite but stronger, intricate lyrium runes inlaid along the length of the arm, but the real difference was from the wrist onward. No hook here, but a full hand: four fingers and a thumb, all of it fully articulated from within by an intricate series of gears and pulleys to completely reproduce the range of motion of a real hand. Varric knew this because he had spent countless hours in Gaddrick’s workshop as a model, grabbing and releasing, flexing and extending, twisting and rolling, with the inventor watching from beneath bushy eyebrows, then bending to scribble notes while muttering to himself.

The straps and padding were crafted from snoufeur skin: strong, soft and durable, but the ultimate key to both fit and function lay in the enchantments that Dagna had worked into the metal. While Gaddrick had been working his mechanical wizardry, the young prodigy had been laboring to develop the runes that would attune the finished artifact to its owner, binding it more securely to the stump than the straps could manage and using Sati’s own thought and will to power the motion of the hand, much as its flesh and bone counterpart had been. It couldn’t feel, but Dagna was convinced that with a bit of experimentation once it was attuned to Sati, she could create at least a rudimentary tactile awareness. Varric wasn’t convinced of the utility, but that would be for Lucky to decide.

“Just a little something that Gaddrick and Dagna threw together,” Varric said as Dagna held the prosthetic out to Sati. The Inquisitor had met Gaddrick, seen his work, would know that he didn’t just throw together anything, any more than Dagna did.

“Many people helped,” Cole piped up eagerly, “everyone wanted to help.”
 

Sati Adaar

Prominent member
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
74
#4
[Josie’s actions approved by her player.]

Varric’s warm laugh settled Sati’s unease slightly; while he could be sardonic, he wouldn’t chuckle over matters that presented a threat in that fashion. All the same Sati was left feeling a little at odds with the situation, as she had no idea what was coming next. It said something about the usual state of her life that seeing so many of her close friends smiling at the same time was downright weird. Varric began his address in an appropriate fashion for a storyteller, only to be immediately interrupted first by Sera and then by Cassandra, who had clearly been planning out exactly how she was going to say this.

“You have given a great deal to the Inquisition, and to Thedas.” Sati wouldn’t argue that point. Although there were a lot of people over the last few years who’d given more. “And sacrificed much, without expectation of recompense. We cannot give you back what you have lost-” she indicated Sati’s missing arm, “but we hope that this will make that loss less keenly felt.”

Dagna popped into few, clearly overflowing with her usual exuberance, bearing a gleaming length of dark green metal fashioned in the shape of an arm. Another prosthetic, but even at a glance, and with her limited knowledge of artificier’s works, Sati could tell immediately there was more to this one than the one she was wearing. Each finger was articulated, and small glints within the joints hinted at a complex inner mechanism. Curled markings in the metalwork refracted light in strange ways, clear evidence of enchantment; and the lashings were made of a material that looked far softer than the wool-lined leather keeping Sati’s current construction in place.

“Just a little something that Gaddrick and Dagna threw together,” Varric offered, after she was silent a few moments too long just staring at it. She’d never seen anything less ‘thrown together’ in her life. More work had gone into it than the actual starting of the Inquisition.

“Many people helped. Everyone wanted to help.” Cole’s voice broke Sati out of her reverie, and she pulled herself together. She had a suspicion about what all those mechanisms and enchantments would do, and she doubted it was for show. She just didn’t quite dare to believe it would work.

“Thank you.” Her voice was a little hoarse. She’d never been great about receiving thanks for anything, and the gift touched her about as much as anything else anybody had done for her in her life. The Inquisition had much to do, with Solas running wild Maker knew where, but they’d spared the time for this. Sati had been compensating for the loss of the limb as much as she could, not allowing herself to dwell overlong on it, but it had left her feeling almost helpless at times. Now she fumbled at the straps on her arm, trying to get the old contraption off, not quite managing to hide her sense of urgency. “Josie…”

Gently, Josie worked the buckles free, easing the leather away from where it had bitten into her arm. Sati was by now too used to injury to even hiss as it peeled away, despite the welts it had left. Cassandra came forward, hand outstretched, and took the old prosthetic, before Dagna came over and she and Josie started assisting with the new. The straps left no digging sensation as they settled on her skin, and as the prosthetic was pressed against her stump, Sati twitched sharply.

The finger on the end of the arm twitched with her.

Dagna was almost dancing on the spot from glee. Josie finished buckling the last strap, then stepped away. Sati looked at the new hand, and concentrated, trying to remember the pull of muscles in her forearm before it had gone. The hand closed as smoothly as a real one, opened again, and then one by one she flexed the fingers. Her fingers.

Sati didn’t given try to contain the grin that broke like a dawn across her face.It was odd, like moving a limb that had gone to sleep. But it was working!
 
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