My Fathers Shoes (Complete)

Makers oath, even though she was being controlled and her moves clumsy, they were by thier very essence dangerous, an indelicate swing here or a shambled strike there could cause both men injury or harm. 

"I agree, but how?" The other Templar called "Even the newest Templar would sense blood magic being cast from such close quarters."

David dodged another clumsy strike, his goal to keep his daughters focus on him and let the other Templar find what he needed. "One of the cups she had a tea in had a chip in it." He ducked and brought his shield up whistling a little to keep her attention on him "it was only a small cut but sometimes its enough." 

"There must be at least another mage who is somehow obscuring the blood magic," Henri-Julien called across the room. "And if they're doing that, both must be somewhere nearby. It would affect the potency of the blood magic."

David agreed with that, but for the moment he concentrated on keeping the Wardens attention on him, he didn't want to have to put her down, this was his child and he had only just started to get to know her. She had given him little information but when they spoke on Ostagar, she had told him some things as she had when they talked about Denerim and the great battle to end all battles. He had told her that was what some of the mages there had called it, she had snorted at that and just muttered that it was probably the biggest death sentance since Ostagar. 

"I believe the woman she mentions was her captain in the Denerim Guard." He called over as Henri found a pair of daggers, David didn't think too much on the other mans choice of weapon, as a Templar he would have been proficient in all weapons, it seemed he just preferred the daggers. He had seen the Templar Rogues at work on the battlefield, quick, smart and deadly at close quarters, good, this will keep her on her toes and give either of them a chance to look for an opening. If it was anyone other than a Warden, then he would say wear her down, but Wardens were known for thier, almost superhuman stamina, no, they would just have to find an opening "She was her closest friend from the way she spoke about her, it would appear that the Darkspawn took her down into the Deep Roads towards the end of the battle, something i think still haunts her and something the mages have managed to tap into.

David brought his shield up and with his sword slashed the other sword away giving Henri time to join him. There was only one room left and that room filled the normally stoic Knight Lieutenant with more dread then catching a Templar and a Mage in an uncompromising position, which he had done over the years, "There are five mages not in thier quarters, all are Enchanters, and all of them were vocal supporters of Uldred." He shook his head and motioned with his head upwards "The only place they could be. We did not give them the brand as the First Enchanter believed they were misled and could be rehabilitated, Gregor accepted that reasoning, and they seemed contrite enough." He ducked again "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice..." His voice trailed. 

Above them was the Harrowing Chamber and for a slight moment he closed his eyes and took a breath. That, that was not going to be a pleasant experiance. Sometimes when he closed his eyes he thought he could still hear the sounds that came from that room that day. He had been in the corridor leading upto this room, and this room was where the hero had found Cullen, Makers arse Cullen, he snorted a little as the memory surfaced like a tidal wave and it took all he had to squash it down. 

"We have to disarm and capture her, or somehow break the link. I..." He gritted his teeth. "Cannot use my Templar abilities at this time."

David shot him a look and heaved a sigh, a mage hunter without his Lyrium? that was next to unheard off, unless of course he had been out of contact with a tower or garrison, they did tend to do things thier own way and many walked the path alone, of course, there could be an entirely different reason or two and right now none of them were worth vocalising for the moment. 

"Agreed" David replied with a bit of a bite to his tone this time. He saw it then, her left side, ducking under the woman's attempted shield bash he threw his sword and shield to one side and hooked his arms up under her shoulders holding them to prevent her from moving, she was strong as an ox and the two of them struggled in some paradoy of a wrestling match. With a grunt he span her round to face Henri "Forgive me loveNow!" He breathed "Hit her now!

The Knight-Lieutenant was able to explain a little more about how Lessa had come to this predicament but that did not prevent his incredulous sigh upon hearing Henri-Julien's admission. As if Henri-Julien himself was pleased to have to admit as much! Besides, what would a mere Circle Templar understand of the demands upon a Knight-Tracker? There were any number of reasons why Henri-Julien might not be able to utilise his skills that did not involve lyrium withdrawal. 

"Agreed," the other man finally said, an edge to his tone. Henri-Julien gritted his teeth but refrained from snapping. Instead, he waited for the opportunity to overpower Lessa, ready to act whenever the Lieutenant did. The moment that he spun Lessa around, their limbs locked together as they fought against the other's strength, Henri-Julien already had his hand raised, the hilt of the dagger firmly in hand.

"Forgive me love, Now!" The Lieutenant barked. "Hit her now!"

With a force and precision calculated from numerous encounters, Henri-Julien knocked Lessa out cold with one blow. For all his arrogance and disdain, he did not normally exhibit cruelty, and he saw little benefit to prolonging the pain of another if it could be avoided.

"There," he grunted, straightening. Lessa had collapsed into her father's arms, unconscious. "She should not even walk the Fade for a time. It gives us a chance."

His gaze rose to the staircase leading upwards, where the Lieutenant had indicated that the missing Enchanters might be located. For Enchanters to use blood magic meant the Rite of Tranquility at best and death at worst. He could guess what these five would choose. The past seemed to linger in this space, unnaturally close to the present. It was not difficult to imagine that Uldred himself might still exist above them.

"We should summon reinforcements," he advised. It seemed folly for the two of them to face against five Enchanters when there was an entire garrison of Templars within the Circle. Although the suppression spell had clearly worked exceedingly well since no one else had noticed the commotion.

Alas, his good advice proved to be ill-timed. No sooner had the words left his mouth than the door above them swung open and one of the Enchanters emerged, already casting a spell. Paralysis took hold of both Henri-Julien and David, rendering them immobile. The Enchanter smiled, closing the distance between them.

"All it takes is a little blood," she crooned, before her expression hardened. "You will be the agents of destruction for your own kind."
"There,She should not even walk the Fade for a time. It gives us a chance."

David bent and swept his daughter into arms, setting her on the table nearby. He touched the side of her neck, relieved to find a pulse, no that he doubted the other Templars word but that was a crack he gave her. One thing was sure, she was going to have a headache to end all headaches when she eventually came round. 

We should summon reinforcements,"

David nodded in agreement, that would be the wisest course of action, the Lieutenant was about to bark for back up when his entire body froze. Not for the first time in this place he now felt powerless, he heard the mage cackle about blood and, despite being frozen in place he recognised her voice. Helena, one of Uldreds supporters and someone, who at the end of it all had sworn to Gregor that she would toe the line and do whatever punishment was necessary. 

She was coming towards the two of them, intent on grabbing some of thier blood too. No doubt to cause more mayhem in the circle than they were causing already. David had enough of this, this tower needed to heal, this tower needed to be a tower again and he was sick and tired of mages who perverted the laws that kept them safe and perverted everything about mages, making those who just wanted to do the right thing in the eyes of the Maker and blessed bride look as evil and twisted as them. 

He gritted his teeth "
I. Will. Not. Be. Held!" He seethed and calling upon the last piece of Lyrium in his body he broke free of the hold this enchanter had on him though it cost him. The force of him breaking her hold caused Helena to blink, she was an enchanter! He should not have broken free of her command, she turned her attention to Henri, if she could grab his blood then she could turn him against his fellow templar. 

Staggering a little David grabbed his sword and slammed the hilt of his sword into her face breaking her nose causing her to lose her hold on Henri, grabbing the enchanter he slammed her head into the wall twice and fumbled in his pouch for a phial of Lyrium. He pulled two out and opened his hand, 

Do you need one or not?" He breathed his sword ready to cleave the woman's head from her shoulders if she so much as moved, then again he was not keep on the idea of having too much blood splaying about. "DAWSON GET IN HERE!" He yelled "GET SOME MEN AND GET IN HERE NOW!"  and with that he knocked back his Lyrium closing his eyes for a moment as the blue liquid flowed through him, invigorating him. 

When Knight Dawson came in David pointed to his daughter "
someone get her to my quarters and stay with her, You get this mage out of here and locked up the rest of you with us,
Henri-Julien did not have the reserves of lyrium to counter the spell, but the Lieutenant was able to dig deep. His jaw clenching - be it the spell or his own anger, he forced out a smothered, "I. Will. Not. Be. Held!", before casting a cleanse which freed from the paralysis. Alas, it did not extend to Henri-Julien, who continued to be at the maleficar's whim. Even more so as she realised that he was to be her last hope if she wished to subdue this interruption to their foul plans.

Unsteady on his feet, the Lieutenant nevertheless summoned the focus to raise his sword, bringing it down hard against the woman's face. The crunch of bone and cartilage was swiftly followed by a nasal scream. Before she could fully alert her companions, the Lieutenant grabbed her hair, slamming her head into the wall and rendering her unconscious. 

With the breaking of the spell, Henri-Julien discovered a weightlessness which was disconcerting. He staggered a few steps but regained his balance, accepting the lyrium vial which the Lieutenant offered to him. Given his state of withdrawal, he should be careful with how much he ingested at once, but such concerns were not appropriate when faced with a group of maleficar intent on causing anarchy with the Circle. Even so, the world suddenly grew brighter and louder as the lyrium flowed through his veins, prompting a restless agitation which Henri-Julien struggled to contain. He shifted from foot to foot, glancing upwards to the doorway at the top of the stairs, almost as though he intended to storm the room single-handedly.

"DAWSON GET IN HERE! GET SOME MEN AND GET IN HERE NOW!" the Lieutenant yelled - likely announcing their survival to the maleficar above - before consuming his own vial. 

When the other Templar arrived, the Lieutenant pointed at Lessa, still out cold on the floor. Who said a rogue couldn't land a devastating hit? "Someone get her to my quarters and stay with her, You get this mage out of here and locked up." He addressed more new arrivals directly. "The rest of you with us."

For all the havoc that the group of maleficar could have caused, once they were found out, there was no hope for them. Not when half a dozen Templars exploded into the accursed room, wielding their lyrium abilities and negating the very existence of magic again and again and again. Not for nothing were the Templars an excellent military force, even without their lyrium. And against a group of maleficar who had attacked someone important to one of their own? Tranquility was never going to be an option.

With the threat neutralised, Henri-Julien stood over the bloodied body of one mage, taking a moment to catch his breath. The euphoria of the lyrium was wearing off, leaving him feeling somewhat bereft. The thought of having to endure only the smallest sips of lyrium once more was almost as painful as being held in that paralysis spell. Waving away any respectful enquiries from the lesser-ranked Templars who recognising his title as Knight-Tracker, Henri-Julien looked to the Lieutenant. This mess was not for him to oversee.
The Harrowing Chamber had long since been cleansed of any reminder of that awful time. Still, enough Mages and Templars had died at the hands of scum like this, and in Davids mind they were scum. He would never blame another mage for the actions of another, many mages had fought Uldred and his madmen and women, and lost, Nial being one of them, but he would always hold onto the view that Mages belonged in a tower to protect them as well as others.

it was with a heavy sigh he realised that only the mage that had attacked them downstairs remained alive. He furrowed his brow at the paperwork and the report he was going to have to write up for the Knight Captain later. Still it would not be in question, of the surviving mage, Ava, then her fate would be in the hands of the Knight Commander. 

"At least we got them all." he muttered and stepped back as the other Templars removed the bodies, those mages who were studying late would have been ushered to thier dorms and the doors shut. He knew that eventually these mages would be noticed as missing, but given that most mages just wanted to study or go on day excursions to gather herbs for thier studies, or help the local community under Templar supervision of course, he doubted it would create that much of a hue and cry.  "Have a an Enchanter see to Ava." he told Dawson "and send a message to the Knight Captain to see me at his convivence."  David turned "If anyone wants me i I will be with my daughter.
Lessa sat nursing a headache as her father explained to her what had happened in a surprisingly gentle and compassionate tone. He also told her how he and Henri had to lay her out for her own protection as well as theirs. Her hazel eyes met Henri's for a moment then lowered. She was still finding it difficult to wrap her mind around the fact that such a small drop of blood could have caused her to think about someone dear to her and cause her to react in such a way. "What happens to them then?" She asked her voice a little shaky.

David sat forward and clasped his hands between his knees "She will either be executed or made Tranquil. it will be for the Knight Commander and First Enchanter to decide.

Lessa didn't ask anymore, she knew what being Tranquil was, one of the mages in the Keep had told her once. Seemed like it was a fate worse than death, and although she didn't say it, the flicker in her eyes said that she hoped they would get that. Playing with peoples minds to eek out a revenge plan against those who did not deserve it? that was the gravest insult to her and to play with her memories, to dishonour the memory of one she had held dear and who had most probably died in one of the most inhumane ways possible, well if it wasn't for the fact she didn't want her father or Henri to see her cry, especially Henri, she might well have burst into tears herself. As it was she swallowed it down and looked around her. 

"The boat will be ready to take you back when you need to." David told them both and returned his attention to his daughter "What will you do now?

"Go to Kirkwall." Lessa replied although her voice sounded distant

"if i may..." David took some parchment and tore a small strip, He wrote two address's, one in Gwaren and one in Denerim. "These are my parents homes in Gwaren and Denerim. I suspect my parents would have made thier way to Denerim by now for the summer months. I will write to them and let them know about you, but, when you are ready, and if you want to...well i am sure you will be given a warm welcome.

Lessa looked at the paper then David and finally she took the strip and set it in her belt pouch. Wether she would visit or not she did not know, she wasn't sure about a lot of things right now. Turning up on someones doorstep and saying "Hi i am your long thought dead grandchild" was, well, it needed some thought and right now she had a pounding headache. Getting up she picked her back pack up and her sword and shield. 

"Thank you. I think its time to return to the road." Lessa looked at the pendant and put it back round her neck "I am glad i met you."

"I have leave in a couple of months, perhaps we could meet up in Amaranthine?" David offered, he would have liked to have gone to Kirkwall with her, but this was something she needed to do for herself and besides, Kirkwall was nowhere he wanted to be. "I'll write to you, at the Vigil?

Lessa gave a small smile and nodded "I'd like that." She looked at Henri "Ready, Knight Tracker?" her tone still quiet, haunted almost. as if she was there but wasn't there. However, leaning over she kissed Davids cheek and whispered in his ear. David glanced at Henri and then nodded at whatever his daughter had whispered.

He got up and left the room, returning sometime later with a small wrapped package and gave it to his daughter "Now let me walk you out." 

Lessa didn't disagree, the sooner she was away from here the better. She'd give this to Henri when they were on the other side of the Lake then go thier own way, he could frag of and return to his own business and she would go do hers. She had no intentions of returning to the Keep just yet.