Zevran had not been waiting long when the doe-eyed guardsman returned. The elf looked the dwarf over.
“Let me guess- her ladyship does not wish to be bothered?”
“I-” The guardsman looked flustered. “The Warden-Paragon would have you wait, messere.”
Zevran thought for a beat. This man did not look particularly well-trained. A quick blow to the chin could lay him out for not too long a time. It was not a bad stratagem, but it was unnecessary. If the prickliest princess he had ever met was not to receive him, this foolish looking underling would likely not have bothered returning.
“Of course. The reward is always greater if a man waits until his woman is ready, wouldn’t you say?”
The dwarf looked at Zevran uncomfortably, clearing his throat slightly.
“I couldn’t say, ser elf.”
Sereda took her time, partially because she was rather vain, partially because she couldn’t imagine any sort of actual importance in the request. If it had been, the guardsman who’d barged into her chambers would have left a name. Thus, it was with care that the dwarven princess assembled her Etoras-made armour and made certain that her plaits lay in tidy buns before she stepped out into the street, escorted by two of the castle guards.
The light from the lava and the many fires gleamed gently in their chestplates as the small party made their way through the Diamond Quarter and down to the Commons. Sereda kept her head high, gaze focused on a point far ahead of her, though from the corner of her eye she thought she noticed several concealed scowls and too many hands hovering by dagger hilts. For a fleeting second she wondered whether the visitor by the gates to the surface had been nothing but a deception, a plan to get her away from the safety of the palace… but no, the commoners were not who she needed to be most concerned with. It was a silly thought, and she effectively brushed it away before stepping into the Hall of Heroes and striding toward the exit.
“There is a visitor for you at the gates, my lady.”
Sereda looked up at the guardsman, brow furrowed. “I don’t remember asking you to speak”, she said testily, looking back down at the Deep Roads map that took up most of the surface of her desk. She was planning a series of expeditions over a long period of time to retake the thaigs closest to the city. The darkspawn had been allowed to desecrate what was once built by her people long enough, and with her status as Paragon as well as her abilities as a Warden made her perfect for the job.
She huffed. Warden-Paragon. That was what they called her now. Help save the surface from darkspawn and what do you get once you’re done? To fight more of the vile things, that’s what. Well, and a number of benefits and privileges, but that was neither here nor there at the moment. And then there was some damned surfacer wanting to… what? Ask for help, most likely. It seemed to be the only thing they wanted from the Wardens.
The guard shifted. She looked at him again. “Well?”
“As I said, my la-“
“Yes, I heard you the first time. You may leave.” Waving her hand in a dismissive gesture, Sereda turned away. Whoever the visitor was, they could wait until she had changed into her armour.
What, not even a smile?
Oh, you are a stern one. Stone cold, one might say.
Amusing as ever, I see. Have you nothing better to do than to bother me?
ladyaeducan started following you
Oh ho ho! You, I know. How has fate been treating you, my fair, improcerous princess?
Howe. Howe’s lands. The mere thought of Arl Rendon Howe used to make the Warden Commander’s face scrunch a fraction and her brown eyes to close in disgust. Grief still stung at the daily reminders of what’s been ripped through her but, now, despite the short amount of time that has passed, it just schools her face into impassivity and straightened her spine. She had no time, nor room for grief and sadness, Laylana had many a thing to do.
Though, a small sigh did escape her as she spoke truthfully to her fellow Warden.
“If you find this appropriate… I think you’ll find one of my recruits to be even more appropriate, though it’s more of a tragic case of irony than anything else. But, that is neither here nor there.” She finished speaking as they came upon the dining hall’s entrance. Laylana moved to the side slightly to let Sereda to move ahead and into the hall.
As they entered and found a table to sit, Laylana waved for a kitchen worker’s attention and gestured for food for both her and Sereda.
Laylana sat heavily opposite of Sereda letting a leather gloved hand rub lightly at her forehead.
“I’m glad to hear that Orzammar is still holding strong and well. I have no doubt that you and yours will keep them back. I would offer you some able bodies to help for a short time but, our current numbers aren’t up to par as they should be…”
As she finished speaking a slew of kitchen maids brought them a good helping of hearty stew, fresh rolls, and good sized tankards of ale.
“Vigil’s Keep… You are more than welcome to explore the Keep on your own in your own time. No one will bother you, except maybe Oghren… Is there anything you’d like to see or know beforehand?” She finished speaking will ripping apart a roll and letting it sit in her stew as she pushed at the bread piece with blunt side of her spoon.
Sereda, as hungry as she was, calmly removed her leather gloves before pulling the bowl of stew closer to her and allowed the corner of her mouth to curl upwards at the mention of Oghren. She’d never been particularly fond of the former warrior, unsurprisingly, but he’d lessened her homesickness by being a constant reminder of Orzammar, so she didn’t particularly dislike him either.
“I think I can handle Oghren”, she said, breaking off a small piece of bread. “I confess that I am surprised to hear he is here. There seems to have been even more going on than the rumours that reached Orzammar has told. Do tell me…” She paused, meeting Laylana’s gaze. “It can’t possibly be true, of course, but it’s been said that there were some, ah, unusual darkspawn on the surface a while ago?”
((ooc: wow I am so sorry I haven’t been around! Life just started happening and I’ve had little to no inspiration for writing anything the past few days. I’ll try to conjure up some imagination soonish and maybe even ease myself into the idea of having more than one thread going at once. What if I did that. What if.))
It had been a long morning, and Maker have it, an even longer afternoon for Laylana. She was getting bored with the yammer of how the Wardens have slighted these persnickety lesser nobles and they seem intent on sharing the entirety of their life stories with her.
Their whining was well on track to make her go mad and slip something sharp in between certain ribs. Rubbing her forehead with a sigh, she looked up with with a slight start to the front of the hall when one of her patrol guards came striding throught the thin noisy crowd. The Warden Commander waited for him to speak until the armored man was before her and had catched his breath. Whatever he was about, it has him in a hurry.
“Guardsman, what news do you have for me? And, where pray-tell is the rest of your patrol?” Laylana spoke cordially to the guard with curiosity peeking in her words.
“Commander, my patrol has gone forward with their duties… I was pulled aside by a visitor to the Vigil. A dwarf, Commander, she says her name is Lady Aeducan… She asked for you, ma’am.”
A small smile appeared on Laylana’s face as she began striding towards her visitor, a familiar visitor, patting the shoulder of the guardsman as stepped past him in a friendly gesture. She barely heard Varel dismiss the guard as she exited the hall quickly, her leathers and armor making soft creaks and dings as she hustled to Lady Aeducan.
As her vision and person came in view of the dwarf in question, Laylana could not help letting a friendly smile and letting her arms stretch outwards in a gesture of welcome. The Warden Commander made sure she kept a healthy distance for her old comrade so she did not have to crane her neck to make eye contact.
“Ah, Lady Aeducan, it’s good to see a familiar face. Come, let’s walk this way, I am sure by the smell of it we will find something to eat and drink of higher than faring quality.”
The Warden Commander gestured where the smells of the kitchens and dining hall came in abundance.
“If it is not too bold, may I ask the reasoning behind this visit? And, how Orzammar is faring?”
Sereda had allowed her gaze to wander around what she could see of the Keep from her position by the gate and found it, surprisingly, to be to her liking. It was a place with significant tactical advantage; plenty of places for archers to rain down arrows and the main building looked easy to defend even with a relatively small force.
Amusing herself with hypothetical tactics, she soon spotted Laylana approaching and crossed her arms across her chest, bowing just a fraction. While she had never been particularly fond of the other Wardens, she’d found a certain understanding for Laylana. They were both of noble birth, had both ended up at Ostagar due to betrayal and seen members of their family perish at the hands of someone they thought a friend. Of course, they were still very different - the human was, in Sereda’s experience, far too kind to those obviously below her social status (or whatever the proper term was for the surface’s substitute for a caste system). That did not mean that Laylana wasn’t exceptionally capable, however, and that was no doubt why she’d been elected to command the Wardens of Ferelden.
“Lady Cousland”, she replied, voice slightly softer than it had been for some time. Not quite friendly, but far from hostile. “Orzammar is doing well. The darkspawn have recovered quite a bit, unfortunately, but we are holding them back and will keep doing so.”
Keeping stride with the human, Sereda paused as she drew in the scents of food. It did indeed smell far better than anything she’d gotten on the road. Of course, with several Wardens around you were bound to have good kitchens.
“As for my visit here, I merely wished to see the Keep. I am, after all, still a Warden and it wouldn’t do not to know our headquarters.” The not-quite-truth fell effortlessly from her lips as she glanced up at Laylana. “If what I’ve heard is right, these used to be Howe’s lands. I think it’s appropriate that you’ve taken over.”
PEOPLE WHO LOVE ASH GET MY LOVE TOO OKAY
She’s so great though asgjsdg
And I basically camp out in the Ashley tag >.>
S A M E ON ALL OF THIS (especially about her tag oh man the time I spend in there~ I actually try to contribute to it every day through my personal or masseffect-caps but I’ve been bad at that lately 3: shame on me)
Ash is the queen of my everything omg I just adore her so much and could talk about my Ash feels all day every day forever ♥♥♥
wait oh my gosh YOU’RE CHIEF-WILLIAMS *_____* you reblog my Ashley caps sometimes eeeeeh oh man hi
omg not used to people knowing who I am unless I’m like forcing them to be friends with me???
BUT HI :D
ahah I hear you~ but you are usually the first person to like/reblog those and I just sit here smiling a little because oh man I love her so much and I get all giddy when other people appreciate her too~~