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About Dragon Age

With the Fifth Blight plaguing the lands and Ferelden about to spark into civil war, the survival of your people hangs in the balance.  Make allies and enemies, friends and foes, lovers and rivals alike... but do not forget the looming threat from the underground.

 

The story so far... 

 

The Grey Wardens are still the only ones who realize that this is indeed a blight, and have sent out small party to begin recruiting across Ferelden.  While Duncan and King Cailan prepare a force to station in Ostagar, the wardens do their best to bolster their numbers.

 
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re: Thrown Away (Recruitment)

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A thick, cloying smoke hung over Dust Town. As the Warden passed the first cluster of rundown hovels dotting the slum he would not hear nor see any trace of the casteless dwarves who supposedly lived here in exile. It was unnaturally quiet save for the echo of a crackling fire around a corner Following the noise would lead to denser smoke that stung the eyes and restricted air to the lungs. From over the tops of the dreary stone hovels a pillar of black smoke rose like a distress beacon over the dusty streets.

The streets wound this way and that as the Warden traveled to the "beacon", perhaps out of curiosity, perhaps in search of another living soul. Finally upon rounding a corner he would see it. The street stopped abruptly at an area that opened out into a semi-circle of hovels. Before the Warden a great bonfire had been constructed in the center of the cul-de-sac. The flames licked at splintered remnants of shoddy wooden furniture. Here and there a chair or table could still be seen partially intact. The bonfire had been built recently.

A lone dwarf lay propped up against the wall of a hovel beyond the bonfire. He is covered in a layer of dust and grime. He is completely motionless, his legs sprawled out before him and his arm limp on the ground with the palm open. It is not clear from this distance if he still lives. On his cheek is a black brand identifying him as one of the casteless.

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Desten treaded lightly through the dust and rubble as he eased himself through the slum. He was used to terrible living conditions...but those seemed to pale in comparison to the absolute poverty the casteless existed in. Maybe this was why Raelan had told him to stay away, but where is the fun in that? As he spotted the bonfire, he moved towards it, warming his hands as he found himself colder without the sun.

It didn't take him long, however, to the spot the figure near the wall. It was the first dwarf he had run into since he found himself in this part of Orzammar. He slowly stepped towards the figure, keeping one hand under his robe on the hilt of his dagger. "Hello?"

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Desten's questioning elicited a long groan from the dwarf. There's a pause and the dwarf opens one eye to peer at the man. The dwarf groans again and shifts, his fingers opening and closing over his palm. "It hurts," grumbled the dwarf. "Please. Help me." The dark eye shifts to Desten's left at an open doorway of a hovel. 

Over the crackling of the bonfire a faint thumping can be heard. The sound was brief and it would be difficult to pinpoint its origin. Evidently, the dwarf heard it too. "Oh, the pain," says the dwarf, a little too quickly. "Got me in th' gut, they did. Help me. Please."

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Desten blinked and then cursed a bit as he made to jog over to the dwarf. His pace slowed at the sight of the dwarf's eyes, and slower still as he heard the rhythmic thumping. He then stopped, slowly drawing a blade with his right hand, and tensing the left. He then looked to the dwarf. "Are we alone?"

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The dwarf stared at the hovel. "Yes," he says. He returns his full attention to Desten. He is sweating, and it doesn't appear to be from the heat of the bonfire before them. "We're alone," he croaks. "They...got me in the gut. Ran off." He looks down at the dry rags covering his stomach. The thumping repeated. "Blunt force," he added. "Ye sh-"

The dwarf was cut off by a shout and a crash from one of the hovels on Desten's left. A dwarf in dark leathers was launched through the doorway and crashed to the ground on his back. As he stumbled to his feet a second dwarf wearing makeshift armor burst out onto the street with a third dwarf hanging onto his back in an attempt to grapple him to the ground. Unfortunately for the third dwarf, the second was particularly stout and proceeded to slam his back into the stone wall, crushing his assailant between dwarf and stone.

When the amazing flying dwarf had regained his feet the armored dwarf shed the injured assailant from his back, raised a battered shield and took a defensive stance while brandishing an equally battered hatchet. His 'armor' was little more than scraps of metal buckled firmly to his muscular frame with leather straps. The half-helm he wore was dinted and rusty. His opponent drew a pair of daggers and charged.

The dwarf on the ground before Desten had begun blubbering, shielding his face with his arms. "No! No! Please! They made me do it! Don't hurt me! I didn't have a choice, sir! Please!" A crossbow bolt strikes the dirt at Desten's feet. Another dwarf in leathers ducked down away from a window from within one of the hovels on the right. Two more brandishing axes burst from another hovel and charged the man from his right shouting a battlecry.

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Desten growls a bit the cowardly dwarf, before looking up to the hovel. (14) He raised both hands before the two dwarves bearing daggers got near him, sending a fireball towards the window, making a tiny explosion on that side of the building. He then pulls forth his darkspawn blade and charges forward at the two attackers. (17) He parries the blades of the first one, lifting both the blades over the dwarf's head so he can land a kick in his chest, giving Desten space between them. (19) Before he has anytime to act, however, he turns to see the second dwarf about to make his move. Thanks to his increased stature, Desten has enough reach to plow his sword through the dwarf's throat before he even manages to get closer. 

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The explosion tore a small chunk of stone from the wall by the window. The dwarf sniper did not resurface for the moment. One of Desten's assailants took a boot to the chest and stumbled backwards. He lurched forward but stopped dead in his tracks when he saw his companion fall with a spurt of blood from the throat. He took a step back and instead stood ready to parry or dodge any blow Desten sends his way.

The armored dwarf took a dagger to the shield. His assailant had more strength behind him than he had anticipated and forced him to give ground and put his back to the stone wall. His attacker slipped his blade through a wide gap in his armor at his left shoulder (20). The armored dwarf cried out in pain, dropped his shield and then brought his hatchet down on the base of his attacker's neck (17). The thug crumpled into a heap. Wasting no time, the armored casteless turned his attention to the second thug he had shook off of his back and brought his hatchet down on his spine.

A crossbow bolt launched from a dwarf in a hovel on the far side of the cul-de-sac away from Desten went wide and bounced off of the ground at the armored dwarf's feet (3). He bellowed and with his left arm hanging limply at his side he charged through the door to the hovel and vanished inside. There is a thump and a clang as the pair grapple out of Desten's view. (5)

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Desten grits his teeth as he realizes he hadn't stopped the hail of bolts, before turning his eyes to the other dwarf on the ground. "You get one more chance to leave." He then looked up to the window again and sent out another fireball (18), this time managing to actually send it through the window. As he brought his eyes back down, he tried to see into the hovel. I need to get to the one with the shield. 

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The fireball flies through the window and explodes. The blood-curdling scream that rent the stale air confirmed Desten's success. On the opposite end of the cul-de-sac came the sound of thumping and grunting as the two dwarves grappled inside a hovel. Soon the armored dwarf was shoved against the window the crossbowmen had shot at him through. Desten would see the armored dwarf's sandy head of hair streaked with blood, though whether it was his own or another's was unclear. He had lost his helmet during the struggle. His assailant had drawn a dagger and overpowered the injured dwarf, attempting to drive his dagger into the dwarf's exposed throat. The armored dwarf kicked and struggled too much for his assailant to find any measure of success.

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Desten shoots a look to the other dwarf that was still alive near him, and points the blade at him. "Stay." He then moves over to the other dwarf's, while taking a deep breath. With a sweep of his hands, he sends a wave of ice towards the two, trying to encase them in it from the waist below but not enough . He misjudges, however, and covers more of the wall with ice than them. (9)

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The blubbering dwarf continued his blubbering. The angle is difficult - the two dwarves are hanging out of the window - but the frost spell connects. Unfortunately, it was the top half of his assailant that was causing him issues. Still, the cold air stuns the dwarf in leathers more than his foe. The armored dwarf jerks his head back and slams his forehead into his opponent (8) to buy himself time.

"Gerroff!" bellowed the armored dwarf, struggling against the ice that now froze him to the dwarf attempting to murder him.

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Desten casually strides over to the two dwarves in their quarrel, calmly throwing a right hook at the unarmored dwarf(14), hitting hard enough to almost knock him out. Even if the mage hadn't, the dwarf wasn't in any condition for more fighting after the cheap shot.

The Grey Warden offered a haphazard smile to the other dwarf as he raised his other hand to start thawing the ice. "Uh...sorry. You're not going to try and kill me too, right?"

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The armored dwarf watched Desten curiously. "Why would I do that?" he asks. As he waited for the ice to thaw, blood from his shoulder wound began to drip onto the dusty stone below. When he was freed he carefully climbed through the window and sat heavily against the hovel. He ran his hand through his thick sandy tangle of a beard. There was a black brand over his left eye. Three bars in a row, the first bar thick and covering his entire eye, the other two thinner and halting just before the bridge of his broad nose. "Bloody Carta," he muttered. His chin thumped heavily against his chest and he went limp.

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Desten pointed towards the dead dwarf and the cowering dwarf. "For whatever reason they did I assumed?" However, the man blinks as the dwarf suddenly hits the ground, quickly rushing over to the dwarf. He looks back to the cowering dwarf and waves him off. "I don't have time for you."

The young mage sat there and took care in healing any of the dwarf's more serious wounds, humming to himself a bit as he did. Only way to keep this semi-engaging. As he does, he begins to look over the man's armor and his eye a bit more. The pattern seemed more intricate than what he was told of the casteless marks, but he supposed that would be a question for when he woke up.

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The cowering dwarf found his courage and scampered off.

The dwarf's 'armor' did little to protect his more vital areas. The padded leather he wore underneath the metal plates was old and torn. The plates were securely strapped to him with leather buckles but only covered his stomach, parts of his chest and his back. The gaps between the plates were far too large for comfort. While old, the plates did seem well-made and may have even been impressive smithing work several years ago.

As Desten began his healing, the armored dwarf's eyes shot open. His eyes roamed down to the mess of his shoulder. "Huh." He turned his head and spat blood onto the stone.  "We gotta get ye outta here," he muttered as he braced himself on the wall to stand. "Bit o' a lab'rinth out here. I ken lead ye as far as the edge o' Dust Town." He looks the Warden up and down. "If ye come down here with more 'n filthy rags an' dead eyes th' Carta will know. There ain't much to take down in Dust Town and rangin' out is dangerous work." He hobbled away from the hovel, adapting his gait to minimize the stabs of pain in his shoulder.

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