Harvest Her! [complete]

"Fire," Barrows ordered. "Burn it!" The head of the creature had fled while she was rending the rest of the body. "Before the head comes back, burn it!"

Never mind that they were in close quarters. Never mind that setting fire to the creature would mean it would then be on fire, and still ambulatory. She was a mage, just an incendiary to be ordered about, and not at all an expert on her own abilities. She manifested a ball of fire in her hand and launched it, hoping that satisfied Barrows. It collided with the monster, but with the head gone it had no capacity for sound. Only the sound and smell of putrid flesh burning.

Velanna fell back, letting the warrior come between herself and the abomination. Her companion delivered blow after blow, losing her footing for the briefest of moments before righting herself, and severing a limb away from it.

Get down!” Velanna yelled to the other woman. If they wanted fire, she would give them fire. As easy as breathing was reaching for the power she needed, rotating her hands past one another as she wound fire around herself. The blaze grew in size and intensity, but she barely felt anything but the rush of power. The Veil really was quite thin, and it would have been an easy thing for her to get greedy with what she pulled. She’d trained better than this, and only pulled what she needed. Thrusting forward with both hands she unleashed a deadly storm. It exploded above the monster, catching it a vortex of flame. The creature pulled against the roots holding it in place, writhing against the blaze in a gruesome silence. Sweat trickled down Velanna’s face; the other two were on their own with the damned head, at least for the moment.
While the others dealt with the still dangerous body, Henri-Julien raced after the skittering head, straining his hearing to pick up some clue as to where it had fled. Yet the acoustics of the tunnel, coupled with the din behind him, made it impossible to accurately pinpoint the location of the scrabbling limbs. Moreover, the accursed creature was accostumed to the darkness, granting it an additional advantage which Henri-Julien could not rival. 

A wall of heat rushed down the tunnel, knocking the Warden from his feet. He lay sprawled, struggling to catch his breath against the sudden suck of air in the tunnel. Dimly, he realised that Velanna had, at last, summoned fire, but it must be a literal inferno in that cavern right now. Damned apostate! He could only hope that Lessa was sufficiently shielded from the ferocity of the flames.

Shaking his head, Henri-Julien clambered back up onto his feet, but he sensed that the opportunity had passed by. Wherever the head was, it was gone now. Another joy to explain to the Warden-Commander when they returned. Henri-Julien was not used to failing so consistently in his duties. It irked him greatly.

He retraced his steps to the cavern with the fleshy body. The stench of burning flesh was suffocating, more so than even the heat, and he gagged. But for now, he was trapped on the opposite side, waiting for either the flames to die out or the monster to make some dying attempt to take one of them into the Void with it.
Lessa cursed as the whoosh of flame moved past her and she turned side on to avoid become roasted human, and she was pretty certain she would not taste like chicken....overdone pork chop maybe, tasty roast chicken not. Still the thing was dead and going up to it she kicked it with her foot, to make sure. Lessa looked around her and then the area cautiously to make sure there was nothing more like them...whatever it was. 

She had heard the tales of course, the rumours of what the Hero had found in an abandoned Thaig. but she had thought them nothing more than fables, another myth to add to the Hero of Fereldens legend, honestly if she had not seen the man kill the archdemon then she might have just thought him some mythical figure, more god than man, or maybe, considering what else she had heard about him, that is exactly what he would have liked to have been thought off. 
Still there was no more sign of the skittering head or the body, both of which was going to haunt her dreams for a while. Times like this she envied the dwarfs. 

Lessa saw Henri....correction Henri-Julien return, and lowered her shield and her sword but didn't sheathe it for the moment "So," she asked peering behind him to make sure nothing skittered behind him and face hugged him or something, "What now?
With the creature sufficiently anchored in place by a web of roots, the fire did its work, killing it where it stood. The oily stench of burned flesh threatened her gorge, but it was done at least. The other Warden woman lowered her sword and her shield, reaching the same conclusion: whatever it was, it was dead. Velanna had her reservations about how dead was dead, but for now, the immediate danger was cleared.

Henri-Julien rejoined them, and Velanna had to assume he’d carried out his duty against the escaped appendage.

"So," the other woman began, her attention turned toward their illustrious leader, "What now?"

Velanna wet a cloth with water from her waterskin and wiped her face. Were it up to her, and it clearly was not, she knew what she would have them do. “We’ve seen how well it functions without its head,” she noted. “It might be prudent to dismember it.” She shrugged one shoulder to indicate she was well aware it was not her call to make. Obviously they could also set it on fire and tend to it until it burned away. “We can always continue to breathe in its filth as it burns.
Finally, once the flames had died down sufficiently, Henri-Julien stepped around the burnt debris of the cavern to rejoin the others. At least neither of them appeared to have suffered from either the floundering body nor Velanna's ill-advised inferno. Really, instructing that she burn it was not the same as creating a fire storm. Further proof that apostates could not be trusted.

Lowering her sword and shield, Lessa acknowledged Henri-Julien's return. "So," she began, peering over his shoulder guardedly, "what now?"

Using her waterskin to wet a cloth, Velanna wiped her face. Henri-Julien rolled his eyes. All of them were begrimed with Maker only knew what but at least he and Lessa had the decency to set aside their vanity for the moment. "We’ve seen how well it functions without its head," she observed deadpan. "It might be prudent to dismember it." She lifted her shoulder, shrugging off any and all responsibility. "We can always continue to breathe in its filth as it burns."

Henri-Julien could feel the grind of his back teeth over her casual rejection of anything but haranguing him. And this woman was supposed to be a Senior Warden? He would rather work with Theirin.

He gripped both of his daggers a little more firmly before turning to Lessa. "If you hack the larger joints, I will sever the tendons in each limb." Between them, they would be able to ensure that no amount of magic would ever knit the body back together again. Turning his body towards Velanna but refusing to look in her direction, he also added, "you can set it alight as we leave." He did not wish to breathe in more of this corruption than was necessary.

With a sharp nod towards Lessa to indicate that she should get on with her appointed task, Henri-Julien got to work with his own responsibilities. 
"If you hack the larger joints, I will sever the tendons in each limb."

Lessa really did not, repeat not, want to even go near the maker damned thing, but she caught the look that the former Templar gave the Mage and thought maybe it was better NOT to get involved in whatever those two had going on. Brother Bernard had taught her to hold a shield, he said if she angled it slightly then she would protect her face, she had never expressed any interest in joining the Templars by by the Maker she listened when a former Templar trained her as a teenager.  Lessa didn't know why he would take such an interest in her, she was just glad that he had, a lot of what he had taught her, when she was sparring in the orphanage yard had stayed with her and saved her life in more ways then one. So, she gave Henri-Julien and Velanna a nod and went to do as she was asked. 

By the maker it was disgusting, and the smell alone was enough to make her want to gag, several times over, she would rather be fighting darkspawn than this maker damned concoction. Who in the thier right minds would create something so, vile in the first place? no one with a sane mind. 

"Maker damned abomination." She muttered through clenched teeth "this is what makes the circles a damn frigging good idea in the first place!

Lessa didnt blame every mage for the ills of the world, that would be unkind but there were those who sought to gain the freedoms others had by whatever means necessary, and just when she thought that maybe they should have some say in things, something like this comes along and she went back to the same thinking as most people. Nothing good ever game of bad magic, blood magic or whatever this was. When she discovered that the Wardens did whatever was needed to stop a blight and took who was needed she wondered even more if it would have been better if they had just killed her when she contracted the taint. 

She was exhausted by the time she cut the last limb and stepped out the way so the other Warden could finish his work and Velanna could set fire to it, bringing her face plate down to at least take out some of the smell. "I am going to need a bath, a long hot steaming bath" she said to no one in particular "So, who tells the Warden Commander?
Velanna expected Barrows to push back against her suggestion, and was no prepared with a reaction for when he did not. He issued instructions to the other woman Warden, following it up with orders for her. "You can set it alight as we leave."

Must he always state the obvious to her? His need to be acknowledged as the leader was outshined only by his arrogance. Since he’d not seen fit to make use of her abilities to help, Velanna stood out of the way, arms crossed over her chest as she watched them dismember the corpse. It was no concern of hers.

When they’d finished their grisly task, their companion said "I am going to need a bath, a long hot steaming bath." The idea held a lot of appeal to Velanna, as well. Despite her uniform, she could feel the grime from the fire and sweat from the battle seeping into her skin. That wasn’t the woman’s only concern, however, and the she looked between Velanna and Henri-Julien. "So, who tells the Warden Commander?"

Velanna lifted a shoulder, relieving herself of that responsibility. "It sounds like a job only to be entrusted to our leader." If the other two had anything to say to that, they kept it to themselves, instead choosing to leave the cavern as Velanna conjured one more fireball, launching it at the remains of the monster, giving them plenty of time to avoid the worst of it.