Sunday, January 26, 2014

The pitfalls of being an adventurer...

"Maybe Lord Hanwey will save us," Leilana whispers quietly. "He wouldn't let us die here, would he?" she asks it aloud, though seeks no response. Waiting upon a ghost to save them seems rather unlikely and unfortunate.

She cradles Nora's lifeless form in her arms. Her slow, shallow breaths, the only evidence that life still flows within her veins.

"How could we have been so careless, Alaric?" Leilana asks, as her eyes roam over the stone walls of the enclosure. "We were so careful upon entering, checking each hall for traps, and at the first sign of defeat we panicked. We let fear consume us, and now..." her eyes slowly meet his, "...the village may be lost."

Desperation paired with exhaustion rolls over her spirit in waves. Her eyes search his for an answer, any answer. She knows the brave paladin would gladly sacrifice himself in order to save his friends, this town, or his village. There is courage in that, she thinks, perhaps not wisdom, but courage no less. Her eyes study his, filling with pity at the thought of the oaths he has sworn, the sacrifices he has made, the promises that will go unfulfilled. And for what reason? Because death has been brought at the hands of creatures that use rocks for weapons.

When the boat is pulled over the enclosure from above, their situation suddenly feels all the more dire.  As the darkness settles in, Leilana's senses become more acute as her half-elven heritage surfaces.
Suddenly the fear of dying, of defeat, of all of Morningsong being utterly destroyed by these pesky little rodents, is too much to bear. Fear turns to determination and she pulls herself upright. The hair upon her arms stands straight up as she turns to Alaric and declares, "This will not be our tomb. We will not surrender ourselves, nor the town."

She sets her jaw as she looks for a way out. She turns the remaining spell over in her mind, Create Water, as she studies the walls. The rocks seem jagged, but may provide enough foot holes to climb. If the creatures were to climb down, a slippery surface would hinder their descent.

She paces the small floor, thoughts forming quickly. "We have a rope. We have a hook."  Her voice, just above a whisper, is higher than normal, though her words come out even, set with determination, "We will need a distraction."  Her eyes catch the sight of the torches in Alaric's bag. A thought quickly arises, and she pushes it out in a rush before changing her mind, "Smoke will blind them. We will set the boat on fire, flip it over, use it for cover, pull Nora up with the rope, and run like hell." Even as she says it, she knows it seems unlikely that it would succeed.

"And if that doesn't work," she faces Alaric and quietly states, "I will put the mask on." Without hesitating she adds, "I know you don't agree." Her eyes meet his one last time, pleading for understanding, "But Alaric, we must escape and warn Morningsong." She lays a hand on his shoulder and plainly says, "I expect you to destroy the mask by whatever means possible once they have been warned." The ramifications of what she implies lies heavy in the air between them.

She takes a step back and begins preparing the rope and grappling hook. The thought of dying by Alaric's hand is actually a relief then the idea of dying by whatever lies above.


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