Some of you may have heard that I wrote a tome of a Dragon Age fanfiction – like, close to 400,000 type of tome. It was a story that I wrote for me after playing Dragon Age: Origins, and spawned from about two or three scenes that sprung into my head. For the four Saturdays of Dragon Age Month, I’ll be posting snippets of my fanfiction over here. If you like what you’ve read, check out my Dragon Age series on Archive of Our Own for more!
The following excerpt is one of the scenes that sparked the first fanfiction, I Will Call You Home: A Recounting of the Fifth Blight.
“Somewhere in the Brecilian Forrest, near the Drakon River:
The human had been patrolling her camp for a quarter of an hour when a rustle from the trees caught her attention. Peering into the darkness, she thought she saw two floating green glints hovering in the shadows. Deciding to leave her bow, and pulling out her dual daggers instead, she went to investigate.
The glints moved, and the bard followed almost noiselessly. The creature in front of her was moving completely silently, and if it weren’t for the shafts of moonlight she would have lost it entirely. In one such bit of light the woman noticed that the creature had pointed ears, and her heart thrilled at the thought.
An elf? Her heart sank again.
She knew of the Dalish elves, and had respect for them, but also was very aware that the Dalish were dangerous toward humans in their forests. With a jolt, she wondered if the elf wanted her to follow it, and that was why it wasn’t simply disappearing into the trees as elves were known to do. She braced herself for a trap, cursing herself for being so careless.
Suddenly she felt herself pressed up against a tree by strong hands, with her arms pinned high above her head. The green glints were inches in front of her, and she was suddenly aware of the scent of the pine trees growing around them.
“Please,” she said softly. Her heart was racing. “I don’t mean you any harm.” She kept her voice steady even though she knew she was still gripping her daggers.
The elf tilted its head, studying her, but didn’t respond. That was probably a good sign…
“I… we are just traveling through. We are on our way to Amaranthine.” The young bard mentally kicked herself. But then again, who was this elf going to tell?
The eyes blinked and the woman wondered if the elf knew what “Amaranthine” was. “It’s a… human city north of here,” she explained kindly. “We didn’t know any Dalish lived here. Is this your forest?”
The elf responded with a scoff. “Nae, seth’lin shemlen. No,” it said, switching to the common tongue. “This is not our forest.” The woman listened with interest; she had never heard a Dalish accent before.
“But you live here, no?” She felt herself pressed a little more firmly into the tree. The green eyes were enchanting to her, and in the low light her gaze traveled to the pointed ears in spite of herself.
“You have strayed too close to our camp,” the elf said now. The human noted that the voice was female. “You must leave.”
“But we are weary, and…”
The elf twisted away, and suddenly the woman found herself released, but without her blades. They shone in the hands of the elf. Suddenly she was very afraid. No good bard was ever unable to evade a disarming. The ones who couldn’t hold onto their weapons often ended up dead.
“You must leave.” The elf’s eyes glinted dangerously in the dark.
“Please,” the bard said, offering her empty hands to the elf. The elf backed away quickly. “Please allow us to stay one night. We will do you no harm. I will not allow it.” Even in the dark the young woman could see the contempt on the elf’s face. Of course, she wouldn’t believe her.
Finally the elf sighed. “There is a diseased bear in this area.”
The woman nodded, not sure how she should respond.
“It is not safe for shemlen to be here.”
“Perhaps you would be willing to stay and watch over us tonight?” the bard asked with some charm, hoping flattery would twist the situation to her favor. “After all, a Dalish elf would be well-prepared for such danger. I am sure you are more than a match for it.”
The elf laughed, and the human felt hopeful for a moment before:
“I am not about to help any shemlen. Go back to your encampment. I will not bother you more tonight and will keep my clansmen away.” She hesitated. “As long as you do not come closer to our camp.”
“If you are not east or north of here, we will not.”
With a little more hesitation, the elf offered her the two daggers back. The bard took them and immediately sheathed them to reassure she was not a threat. They stared at each other for a few silent moments before the elf turned and started to walk away.
The elf paused.
“I… I don’t know the way back to my camp…” The bard hated to admit this, but it was true. The elf sighed with annoyance.
“Come,” she grunted, starting back the other way. They walked in silence until they came to the edge of the little clearing. The bard’s three companions were asleep.
The elf startled. “Ir tel’him?” She blinked. “What did you say?”
“…thank you. For bringing me back.”
“Hm.” And with that, the elf disappeared back into the forest.
The young woman woke early the next day, stretching luxuriously. She stood and looked around, enjoying the feeling of the sun on her face. With a start, she saw a big bear lying dead near the entrance of the clearing, just hidden by the shadows of the trees. She stared at the enormous creature, its red-rimmed eyes no longer seeing the world.
Something green and out of place caught her eye. Leaning against a tree and blending in with the forest was an elf clad in green leather armor, half hidden in the shadows. She was loosely holding an arrow to her bow, as if on guard, and was watching the human with interest, her green eyes glinting. One of the human’s companions stirred, and when the young woman turned her attention back to the forest, the elf had vanished.”
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