Chapter 24- What the… HAWKE?
The palpable relief the party felt returning to Skyhold was felt by the waiting defenders as they winched the party up from the valley road to the causeway.
“Finally” Elariel sighed as she slouched in her saddle. It had been a long, hard road back and she was more than ready for a bath and her bed filled with thick furs.
“Agreed” Cassandra groaned next to her, her face was still set init’s stoic expression but Elariel was pretty sure that the seeker’s face was actually stuck like that. Her posture was ramrod straight, but Elariel was sure that it was will power alone that held her friend up.
“Ready to get away from the happy couple?” Elariel questioned and received a glare for her levity.
“I don’t know how you stand it! All the sighs and coy looks, the vanishing into their tents at the first opportunity!” Cassandra exclaimed, looking over at Leliana and Miranda.
Miranda had a dreamy smile on her face while Leliana looked beyond smug.
That expression had actually become semi permanent for Leliana, while Miranda alternated between pure bliss, dreamy happiness and intense stares that made everyone except Leliana feel awkward.
Elariel sighed but kept her fond smile “I’m Dalish, we have absolutely no privacy” she informed Cassandra “usually when a new couple gets married we set their aravel to the side, post some guards and a silencing spell. We leave food for them for about a week and then they come out ready to go back to work” to informed her friend who developed a considering expression.
“Just lock them in Miranda’s room for a week?” she queried but she was interrupted when Josephine joined them.
“It won’t work” she informed them grimly, a grimace forming on her face. “I overheard them planning their next tryst. Apparently they have a list of places they want to defile” she informed them with a faintly ill expression.
“I just know that I will be sleeping in my office until this phase passes” she added and Cassandra’s eyes grew wide.
“Please Maker not the War Room” she begged but Josephine nodded.
“Apparently Leliana has a thing for desks” she added and Cassandra looked a little green.
“Please no, not my desk” she begged.
“We can hear you, you know” Leliana called and the three of them froze with looks of horror. “And we weren’t going to go for your desk Cassandra, but since you offered” the bard trailed off suggestively, her grin growing over her face while Miranda laughed and leaned across the space between them to kiss Leliana on the cheek, murmuring something in Leliana’s ear that made a crimson blush slide across the bards fair skin.
Cassandra let out a faint whimper that she would deny till her dying day while the others paled and shuffled away quickly, kicking their mounts into a trot to get away from the flirting pair.
They thundered into the courtyard with looks of terror on their faces that had the guards reaching for their weapons with the rest of their party behind them, though Leliana and Miranda were at the end of the stampede, both laughing uproariously.
The sight of their spymistress laughing sent many of the staff into panic as they tried to make themselves scarce while also helping the other members of the party unpack.
Miranda laughed and shook her head. “You’re scareing the help love, might want to return to your usual taciturn self before you give the poor people a heart attack” she chided, slipping off Aitheria’s back and landing lightly in a swirl of white fur and silver boots.
Leliana sniffed and dismounted gracefully and gave Miranda a heated look before she turned away to begin giving orders out to her minions as she strode back to her aerie.
Watching her go Miranda leaned back into Aitheria’s side “Damn I’ve got it bad” she whispered. Aitheria snorted and turned her head to look at her rider ‘seriously, you haven’t been this bad in centuries? Whats so special about now’ she wondered.
“Every time is special” Miranda reminded her sadly. “I never know how long i’ll have my love for, or when I’ll find them again. It’s just this time feels different…important. I can’t put my finger on why” she murmered before she straightened.
“Why don’t you go and get a nice rub down in the stable, I’m sure that young groom who knows how you like it will be happy to give you a good rub down” she urged and Aitheria thrust her head forward under her friends arm.
‘I’m happy for you Miri, you deserve this’ she assured her rider before straightening her head and prancing down to the stables. Miranda watched her go with a smile.
“Joy, burning bright, chasing away the sorrow. Love, higher than the stars, smothering the rage. Tender hope, nurishing joy and love, ready to catch when the fall comes. How do you bear knowing you will have to lose her again?’ Cole’s voice was curious and sad.
She turned, her smile tinged with sadness. “By seizing the joy while I have it and keeping hope close to my heart Cole. As a powerful woman once said, I live on hope. And so must I” she told the young spirit slinging her pack over her shoulder.
“She has worn so many forms, male, female, alien. How do you always find her?” he asked, cocking his head to the side like a confused puppy.
Miranda shook her head at the boy turning to look up at the tall keep that loomed overhead. “I don’t always find her Cole. Sometimes she finds me, sometimes I miss her by moments. Other times by centuries. Her position is precarious. Not an agent, not a worlder anylonger. I hope to someday find a way to hold onto her. Her wish was dangerous, and it has grown beyond what anyone could have imagined.Hopefully I will someday find a way to stop her wandering and let us live together. But for now I will love her with my entire soul. Perhaps then I can call her by one name for the rest of eternity”
Leliana woke in the early morning, as was her custom. But instead of rising immediately she lingered. Miranda was a warm, solid presence at her back and had an arm wrapped around Leliana’s waist and their legs were tangled together.
Her head was bent into Leliana’s shoulder with her nose resting lightly on her neck. At some point in the night her stalks had slid forward, and a few were now draped over Leliana’s own shoulder.
The Zerg woman was mumbling softly to herself, faint little growls and snarls that Leliana had noticed she did in place of sleep talking. All in all it was rather endearing. She twisted her head to look fondly at the woman’s sleeping face and smiled at the look of absolute peace on Miranda’s face.
Her dreams that night had been peaceful, filled with long walks through forest hand in hand with Miranda. Though Miranda had a pair of skeletal wings and had worn a backless shirt. The forest had been filled with redwoods and ferns with a gentle drizzle sifting down through the needles overhead.
She had not felt cold, despite her shirt sleeves and thin pants. It had been perfect and filled with a sense of such peace and contentment that the feelings lingered even now.
She inhaled softly and basked it Miranda’s scent of cedar, rain and liquorice. It was an odd scent but one that seemed to fit her perfectly. Slowly, with all the stealth she could muster she slithered out of Miranda’s grip, sliding her pillow into the vacuum she had left behind.
Miranda shifted and tightened her grip around the smaller pillow, curling tighter around it and snuffling sleepily. A blue eye cracked open to glance blearily up at Leliana but closed when the bard leaned down to gently kiss Miranda’s cheek.
She sat back up and tenderly pulled the covers back over Miranda’s bare shoulder, taking a moment to run her finger lightly over the circular tattoo of a heavily armoured snake biting it’s own tale around a tree with intricately entwined branches and roots.
She smiled and finished covering Miranda before she stood and slipped back into her sleep shirt before tucking her feet into slippers and wrapping her dressing gown back around her shoulders. She stood and leaned back down to kiss Miranda who turned her head to catch the kiss meant for her cheek on her lips before she sighed a soft “le melin” which Leliana had learned meant I love you.
“I love you too” she whispered softly, placing another kiss on Miranda’s lips before she straightened and drifted quietly from the room. She shut the door quietly ad padded through the dark hallways lit with only the occasional torch to her own to get her clothes and prepare for the day ahead.
Morrigan sighed into the bitingly cold wind that swirled through the valley she and her son were riding along. To their right thundered and newly named Whiterush river that would join up with it’s daughter the Therin river in Fereldan. To her left rose the steep sides of the valley, and underfoot ran the newly constructed Skyhold road.
Every league sat a white standard with the inquisition sigil in black. The style overarchingly Dalish to honour the inquisitor’s origins. They marked the road even through the snow so that travelers would not stray. Her horse was a strong and hardy Fereldan breed that strode forward with a strong gate, unhindered by the ankle-deep layer of freshly fallen snow.
Kieran rode just behind her on a shaggy pony his father had given him before he had left as a nameday present, humming to himself in a quiet and contented manner. Morrigan smiled fondly as she looked back at her son.
He was a very delicate looking thing, he had inherited the slim elfin build, fine auburn hair and delicate features from his father, though he had her eyes. The same eagle like gold that she had in turn inherited from her mother.
She had not thought that she would truly love the child, conceived as he was through her mother’s plans. She had felt that she would have hated him by sheer association and had removed herself from her love and best friend for fear that they would condemn her for her inability to love the child.
Then Adrien had chased her down, determined to follow her where ever she wandered and had supported her through her pregnancy. She smiled remembering the idiot’s instance to wait on her hand and foot and the antics he had gone through to care for her.
How she loved her silly idiot of a mate was a mystery to her, but one she cherished non the less. Her eyes were drawn up and away to the fortress that loomed at the end of the valley, crumbling no longer it stood, tall, majestic and proud. Even from this distance she could see the troops manning its strong battlements and the pennants of black and white banners fluttering proudly in the high wind. And beyond those high walls stood an even taller keep.
A keep that held a woman she had once called, and still thought of as her friend. The friendship between her and the bard had been hard won, mostly through the woman’s determined cheer and sheer refusal to be driven away. She had bravely picked through the thorny barrier around Morrigan’s heart and established herself with as if it were her right.
It had begun after the bard had given up her designs upon Adrien and had grown from there until they had become fast friends. They had been unstoppable upon the field of battle and had found a similar sense of humour behind Leliana’s false naivete.
They would quietly chuckle at their companion’s antics when no one was looking and Morrigan had ranted to Leliana’s listening ear about the state of mages in Thedas. It had torn at Morrigan to leave her without even saying goodbye, but she could not have been able to look into the bard’s eyes and refuse her offers to stay, or at least let her follow.
By the time she had let herself regret her choice it was too late. The damage had been done and she didn’t want to see the betrayed look in her friend’s eyes.
So, she had stayed away, first from pride, and then from cowardice. Now here she was, ten years older, ten years wiser. The fine lines of age beginning to form around her eyes and the marks of motherhood upon her body.
She was no longer the arrogant, yet naïve nineteen year old who had scoffed at the softer things in life, who had declared hope and love to be useless emotions best left in the dust. But time had not stood still for Leliana either, she too was no longer a coltish looking eighteen year old with eyes far older than her body had indicated. She was no longer the laughing minstrel with tales of love upon her lips.
When Morrigan had seen her at the ball it had been almost like a punch in the gut. The bard had grown into her longer limbs, now a voluptuous beauty with eyes of silk clad steel. Everything about Leliana had been honed to a razor edge, even her smile.
There was a darkness in the bard now that had not been present when they were younger, and to tell the truth, it frightened Morrigan a little. Somehow she could see the fine edge of ruthless efficiency that had been cultivated in a woman who could now bring kingdoms low with but a handful of words.
Would Leliana accept Morrigan’s apologies? Would she even let the witch explain herself or would she turn away. Time may heal wounds, but Morrigan could feel that her betrayal had cut the other woman deeply.
“Don’t be sad mother” Kieran’s voice broke her from her musings and she turned her head to look back into the kind eyes of her son. “I am not sad little one” she told him, smiling a little “just concerned about something” she admitted, knowing that he would pry at her until she acquiesced, another trait he shared with his father.
Her son looked at her with a raised brow that he had definitely learned from her and she snorted. “Do not think to try that with me. I taught you that” she informed him haughtily and he pouted at her denial before turning his attention to the fortress ahead.
“It’s so old” he murmured, looking at it in awe “It’s stones do not remember a time when they weren’t part of it’s walls…except the new ones, but they can feel the memories of the stones who were there before” he informed her and she looked back at the fortress too, raising an eyebrow at that declaration. “There is something else, something older that even the stones” he added after a moment.
“It reminds me of the purple on you when you came back from the ball” he admitted and she turned to look at him in curiosity.
“Purple?” she asked and he nodded absently.
“An Old, old purple. But it has a lot of blue in it to. Blue like the ice papa showed me in the mountains. Its so old that even the dreams seem young to it” he cocked his head before looking down and began to braid his pony’s mane, a habit he had picked up from his father who had a tendency to braid things when he was thinking or in need of something to calm his mind.
She had often woken up to find her hair in elaborate braids because he had woken from nightmares and couldn’t sleep. “Its angry, but sad…and happy too, it’s reaching out for a light, green like leaves, but silver like the stars, I saw some of that on you at the party too” he admitted causing Morrigan to ponder this deeply.
“What is the purple doing now?” she asked him, wondering if it meant what she though it did.
“Its happy right now, curled around the green light, like it’s protecting it.” He informed her, squinting up at the castle at something only he could see. She sighed, she had a feeling that Kieran meant Miranda Starsinger.
She was not as sensitive as her son when it came to feeling the auras of other beings around her, even as deeply connected to the fade as she was. Kieran, by virtue of the circumstances behind his conception was deeply connected to the fade and could often see a person’s soul, or their colours as he called them.
That Miranda Starsinger’s soul was so strong that he could see it from here and had seen where it had touched was a little frightening to consider. Good thing she seemed amiable to those around her then. Morrigan shook her head and wrapped her fur a little tighter around her shoulders. She would find out soon enough she supposed.
Varric stared down at the letter in front of him. He had been unsure when he had sent the letter, and to now see the response made the weight of his actions ring a little louder in his heart. He sighed and stood, tucking the letter that had been enclosed in his personal correspondence into his coat. Time to face the music.
There was a war council session happening right now so he knew that he should present his information now. This did not keep him from dragging his feet as he left his comfortable spot by the fire in the great hall and made his way through the corridors to the war room.
“…ur scouts in the dead marshes, they are demanding that you go and fight their chieftain your grace” Josephine was reporting as Elariel, Leliana, Cullen, Miranda and Cassandra all leaned over the massive war table, staring at an unfurled map of the specific area.
Leliana and Miranda were next to each other, their hands just barely touching each other as they braced against the table.
“Our own troop can’t rescue them?” Miranda asked but Cullen shook his head.
“We have few troops to spare in that area, we are already busy chasing down Venatori strongholds in Fereldan’s northern hinterlands.” He reported, running a hand through his golden locks.
“Damn” Miranda growled, staring at the many tokens that littered the maps and the rubbing her eyes.
“We will have to go help them, I refuse to leave any behind if there is a chance that we can save them” Elariel commanded sternly, making Cassandra wince a little.
Varric took the momentary lull to clear his throat, drawing everyone’s attention.
“Hey Varric” Elariel greeted, looking over at him, her eyes a little dull from exhaustion. Varric knew that look well, he had seen it often in Selene’s eyes in the later years of her Championship.
“I have something that might help a little” he offered, handing the letter to Miranda, who stood the closest. Miranda took it and glanced at the neat lettering on the front declaring it to be for the Inquisition council. She flipped it over and raised an eyebrow at the crest stamped into the dark red wax on the seal and he knew that she had guessed the sender. She cracked the wax and unfolded the letter.
“To the members of the Inquisition council” she read. “It has come to my attention that you are seeking more information on Corypheus and the location of the Greywardens. Whilst I am sorry that I cannot help much on the first matter I have recently had a breakthrough on the second. I will be traveling to Skyhold to meet with you and to deliver what information I can to you in person.
Sincerely, Selene Hawke, Former Champion of Kirkwall”
There was pure shocked silence before Cassandra exploded in a manner that brought to mind a volcano roaring to life. Even Miranda looked mildly alarmed at the fury being exposed to her. The others began backing away, though Elariel bravely took a stance in probably the only safe place.
Between Leliana and Miranda, who both eyed the Seeker warily. “YOU KNEW WHERE SHE WAS ALL ALONG?” The seeker demanded, lunging for the dwarf.
He dove out of the way, dashing around the other side of the war table. “Of course I did!” He yelled at her as she spun on her heel, murder in her eyes as she sprinted round the table almost to fast for him to react.
“You little shit!” she snarled at him before she swung and he ducked, rolling under the table and popping up on the other side as she stumbled from the force of her swing.
“You Kidnapped me! Interrogated me and dragged me to Fereldan! What was I supposed to do!” He demanded from his new position as she spun to glare at him like a bull in the arena. Before they could continue in their new game of contact tag Miranda slammed her hands down on the table.
“Enough!” she roared, all four voices loud and demanding. They both turned to look at the normally jovial Zerg in shock, Miranda rarely shouted like that. She had somehow grown in height, whether it was only in his mind or an actual thing was up for debate, but she now loomed over the entire room like a giant.
There were no whites or pupils visible in her eyes, only a chilling icy light, a similar light glowed in her mouth as she bared her long fangs in a snarl. Vapour the colour for ice poured from her eyes and mouth as her power began to leak into the physical world.
Her stalks had fluffed up and were now quivering and buzzing in fury. Her fingers too had lengthened into long claws. “This fight is pointless” she growled, turning from one to the other.
“Hawke could have been at the conclave! She could have save-”
“NO” Miranda cut of Cassandra’s rant, her voice overpowering in it’s volume “she would not” her voice turned softer “there is never a thread in which Divine Victoria survives. I have asked and every time she dies. It is an unassailable truth. Something that must happen, even the gods cannot stop that” she informed Cassandra before turning her blazing eyes to Varric with renewed fury as Cassandra deflated, her shoulders slumping.
“I do not begrudge your protection of a friend, but you could have gone about it in a million different ways. This stunt has weakened your position as a truth teller. We trusted you with out secrets, we depended on you to be straight forward and honest with your comrades.” Her voice was a low growl and her glowing gaze froze the dwarf where he stood.
“It will be up to you to earn back their trust Varric.” She commanded him, her voice stern and her gaze cool. He nodded wordlessly, and she took his submission as agreement. She looked between the two combatants and the rather cowed audience, only Leliana remained at her side.
The Spymistress carefully reached out a had and placed it on Miranda’s clawed right hand. The touch seemed to calm Miranda as she closed her eyes and inhaled deeply before exhaling. Her stalks relaxed, and her form seemed to shrink, her claws retreating and leaving her hands normal.
The light from her eyes and mouth faded and her fangs appeared to retract. Returning to their regular size, rather than their frightening prominence just moments before. Wen she opened her eyes once more she looked as she had before, though her eyes were weary.
“We cannot afford to fight amongst ourselves” she informed them quietly, making both bow their heads in shame while Elariel sighed, stepping back up to Miranda’s side and putting a hand on her elbow.
“Thank you, I could have handled it” she told the Zerg gently and Miranda gave a half-hearted smile “I know. But I didn’t want to see this Inquisition torn apart by internal strife. I have seen it before and I refuse to allow another schism to happen on my watch” she told her leader sadly, reaching instinctively for Leliana’s hand.
The bard took it and entwined their fingers with a small smile, reaching up with her other to turn Miranda’s face to her and kissing her softly on the lips. She withdrew and looked around the war room with stern eyes.
“it is done. How long before Hawke Arrives” she told them, directing the question to Varric who let out a deep sigh.
“three days, four at most if the weather is bad” he answered and Leliana nodded. “Good, now we should also be ready for Celene’s representative to arrive next week.” She informed the room at large, striding back to her spot at the table, her hand still twined with Miranda’s. The other’s returned to their spots quietly, returning to the business of running their organization while Varric quietly slipped out. He needed to go do some thinking.
Miranda hummed happily to herself as she finished a fluffy purple wool scarf. This would nt have been so unusual if she was not sitting with her legs dangling out over the outer curtain wall of sky hold.
She drummed her heels against the ancient stone, blissfully ignoring the precipates drop that even she would not survive if she fell. She also ignored the howling wind that whistled past her, tugging on her own blue and gold scarf.
“Isn’t that a little dangerous?” a rather cheeky mezzo wondered behind her. Miranda looked up from her work and cocked an eyebrow at her visitor.
“Oh probably” she answered, smiling at her visitor. The woman was tall, with jet back hair tangling in the wind. Her eyes were a piercing cerulean that missed nothing and a smear of red war paint or blood was drawn across the bridge of her nose.
“You must be Hawke” she guessed, retrieving her legs and standing, tucking the knitting under one arm and offering a hand to shake. Hawke grinned mischivieously.
“And you must be Miranda. I’ve heard much” she noted impishly.
“Varric has been talking behind my hasn’t he” Miranda guessed with a grin.
“Only good things I promise” Hawke assured her before her grin changed to a smirk.
“I also heard that you tamed a Nightingale” she whispered leaning in and looking around furtively as if said Nightingale would pop up at the mention of her name.
“One does not tame such a creature, it only deigns to allow you close” Miranda informed her playfully, though with an undertone of seriousness.
Hawke nodded sagely “indeed. But enough of such serious talk. I hear you are good at climbing” She agreed before straightening, mischief once more taing over her face.
Miranda grinned widely, catching onto the spark in Hawkes eye. “Oh, does the Hawke want to play with the Zerg? Perhaps to prank a certain storyteller?” she wondered, her tone light and slightly mocking.
Hawke grinned widely “you read my mind” she informed Miranda who laughed.
“Please tell me you have more than one victim, Chaos loves company after all” she informed the Champion in mock offence.
Hawk snorted “But of course” she replied. There was a moment of silence before they grinned wildly at each other and sprinted off the wall, chaos on their minds as they desended upon their prey.
Sera saw them as they made for Josephine’s office and after a rushed, whispered argument jined them on their noble mission.
So while Miranda was busy with a tube of crazy glue attatching everything to Josephine’s desk. Hawke and Sera were busy rigging a bucket full of water over the door. Miranda looked up from where she was attatching the ambassador’s pen to it’s stand and grinned.
“Who’s next?” she asked it a low whisper, dusting her hands of and stashing her glue back in her pouch.
“Cullen” Sera responded with a cackle and they dashed out of the amassador’s office towards the commander’s tower.
Cassandra rubbed her eyes tiredly, it had been a long day of meetings and paperwork. She had been locked up in her office for the better part of four hours and the light from the winter sun made her squint her eyes painfully.
A loud shriek echoed through the keep and Cassandra was instantly on alert. She dashed toward the sound, hand gripping her sword, ready to draw it to fend off whatever had caused the scream.
She skidded into the entrance hall in time to see a sopping wet Josephine storm out of her office. There was a bellow and Cullen raged into the hall as well.
His hair was covered in black ink, staining his golden locks and the tops of his shoulders black.A hiss could be heard and Cassandra looked up to where Vivienne had ensconced herself.
The mage was glareing at her fingers which appeared to be stuck together. “Who did this?” the mage demanded in an icy voice.
Elariel stumbled in and looked around, uncertain of what to make of the scene. Cassandra swallowed a laugh. The inquisitor’s hair was mussed with sleep but her face was also newly decorated with a circle around one eye and a curly mustache drawn on her face with ink.
Thundering footsteps echoed from the library and rotunda, heralding the arrival of a very colourful looking Solas who’s smooth head had been decorated with intricately drawn patterns that also covered his face like vallaslin.
Behind him stalked Leliana. Her hood was now a violent shade of orange which clashed terribly with her now lime green locks. In fact her entire robe was now this colour, mixing poorly with the screaming pink that her chainmail had turned. The sheer violence of these obnoxious hues together made Cassandra want to claw her own eyes out.
“Where is she?” the bard hissed, her fingers clenching and unclenching as if she was already imagining a neck between her hands that she could wring.
“Who?” Casandra wondered, loking at the slowly growing crowd that was forming.
Bull wandered in looking rater pleased with himself. His horns had been decorated with several evergreen bows and a line of multicoloured lights on a string.
“Woke up from my nap like this” he explained when Cassandra looked at him in confusion.
Blackwall’s magnificent beard was now braided with a pair of pretty pink ribbons and his gambeson was now a frilly pink dress and he appeared to be sulking and attempting to remove the offending garment and ribbons without effect.
Dorian strutted in sporting a spiraling horn glued to the middle of his forehead that he looked far to pleased with and trailing some kind or sparkling randow dust that seemed to have been dumped on him. Which she now realised covered Leliana as well.
Cassandra looked to Varric who was pokeing at his chest hair in bewilderment. It was now striped black and orange and was at least a foot long. Cole appeared, his hat now a happy yellow with a flower tucked into the band and a bemused smile that looked odd on his glowing blue skin.
Cassandra realised in fear that she didn’t know if something had been done to her and frantically drew her sword to look at her reflection. Except it wasn’t her sword.
Her sword was not made of a floppy substance that made a high, obnoxious squeaking sound as it flopped over to the side.
“You have “Certified badass” written on your forehead” Leliana informed her tersely before looking around.
“The only ones missing are Sera and Miranda” Elariel noted, looking around at the gathering of prank victims.
“They glued everything on my desk down!” Josephine cried, throwing up her hands and splashing Cullen next to her with residual water from her dunking. The Commander looked miserable as the ink dripped down his nose and onto the floor.
“I want to know how she did all this without us knowing!” Bull commented, looking around at them all “because damn that’s some sneaky shit she pulled. Ididn’t even feel it when she did this” he informed them and Leliana sniffed.
“I didn’t even know she had done something until one of my agents cried at the colour” she informed them stiffly.
“It is… rather….vibrant” Vivienne observed as she joined them on the ground floor. She was tugging ineffectively at her fingers which were stuck in a steepled manner at the tips.
Cassandra looked up from her violated weapon and growled “she touched my sword.”
Varric’s eyes widened and he backed away carefully from the fumeing seeker. “Easy there” Bull rumbled, trying to sooth her like she was some wild creature “I think it was all in fun” he tried and Cassandra glared at him so fiercely that he took an involuntary step back.
The lights on his horns twinkled merrily, casting strange patterns on his grey skin and the flashing seemed to only fuel her mounting rage. She spun on her heel and stalked out of the hall, scattering the other denizens of the castle before her like leave.
“MIRANDA!” she bellowed, the others following in her wake.
Miranda, Hawke and Sera were giggling quietly on the wall top when the enraged roar reached their ears. “Oh crap” Miranda realised before she turned to her conspiritors.
“Quick, Sera, Selene get the sharpies!” she urged and the other two reliased what she planned. Sera began to frantically scribble over Selene’s face with a variety of colours while Hawke grabbed a left over vial of ink and a small pot of paint, dumping them over Sera hurriedly.
Miranda was digging through her bag, muttering frantically. “No, no, no, no.. Aha!” she cried in triumph, pulling out a ball of black yarn and a tube of crazy glue.
“This is going to suck” she muttered before she began to tangle her stalks with the twine, glueing it a pair of spires, eventually managing to style them into a pair of back sweeping horns.
Then she reached into the pocket again and pulled out three packets of glitter, throwing two to Selene and Sera who threw them over their own heads before she dumped the final one over her own head, shaking herself so they settled everywhere.
“Now quick, run!” she told them as Selene cast a colour change spell on the three of them. Miranda now had bright purple skin and Sera was a glowing chartreuse.
Selene herself was yellow. They giggled again before scattering as they heard the hall doors crash open.
Cassandra raged forward on a mission, her hands clenched into fists in place of gripping her sword which she had thrown to the floor but heard Varric pick up.
As she entered the courtyard they heard and ungodly screech which could have only been Sera. The elf stumbled out of the tavern, her skin chartreus and leaving more of the sparkling dust wafting in her wake. Her hair was black with ink as well and she looked furious.
“Fucking Ass jackal!” the elf shrieked at the courtyard. “When I find out who did this I’ll make you sorry you were born!” she declared, glaring balefully around the courtyard.
Cassandra’s step faltered only slightly at the realisation that Sera was innocent.
“Where is Miranda?” she demanded stalking up to the she-elf and glaring at her. Sera’s eyes drifted over her in fear before she caught sight of the others from the circle.
She began to giggle at the sight before he doubled over, clutching her knees as she whooped and hollered.
“They got you too!” she howled, slapping her knee “now I don’t feel half as bad for this” she gasped before Cassandra gave a fierce growl and grabbed the elf by her tunic.
“Listen here” she rumbled, bringing a frantic looking Sera up and face to face. “Where is Miranda” she demanded and saw Sera swallow in fear.
“Up on the wall last I heard. She was talking with some mage lady” she hurriedly babbled, unable to hold out under the Seeker’s gare. Cassandra let her drop and spun on her heel, aiming for the nearest stairway unto the battlements.
She came upon a sight she had not expected to see, and it left her both seeing red and thoroughly confused. Miranda leaned against the battlements, her stalks wound up like a pair of dragon horns, covered in sparkling powder and her skin was a bright violet hue.
She was chatting amicably with a woman with bright, sunny yellow skin and shoulder length black hair.
“What?” Cassandra gaped, looking at the pair. The dark haired woman turned, showing a pair of piercing cerulean eyes and a streak of blood red paint over a narrow nose.
Sparkles wafted off of her as well and a few rude pictures were scribbled on her forehead. “Hey Cas, you too?” Miranda asked with a smile as she looked at the words on the seeker’s forehead.
“What?” Cassandra tried again, not comprehending what she was seeing
“I was jut telling hawke here about how good the prankster must have been to get me without me knowing. Didn’t even hear them” Miranda told her jovially.
Cassandra’s eye began to twitch as her fury swirled like a mass of confused hornets looking for a target. “It’s almost like them made me forget it completely” Miranda told the seeker with a smile.
Cole looked at the Zerg in bewilderment before his eyes widened dramatically as Cassandra’s rage found a new target. “YOU?” she demanded turning on him.
The pale boy’s face became a new shade of white and he vanished with a soft pop. Unfortunately his escape had triggered Cassandra’s chase instincts and she took off from the battlements with a feral roar, Josephine, Elarial and Cullen folling behind her. Murder in their eyes.
Leliana glared a Miranda with narrowed eyes before she stalked forward, her hips rolling seducatively and murder in her gaze. “I hope your pranks were worth it” She hissed, malevolence pouring from her in waves “Because you will not be seeing me for a fornight. I hope your laughter can keep you warm Ma Chassresse” she informed her lover before she turned on her heel and stalked away, seduction in ever line of her body.
Miranda turned the colour of old porridge under her new colouration and her jaw found a new home on the battlments. Then what she said penetrated the Zerg’s slowed brain and she took off after her love.
“No wait! Leliana! Melin nin!, Fea Nin! Light of my life, Star of my soul! Please say it is not so!” She begged as she trailed after the spymistress, her words high and desperate as she was reduced to pleas and names of adoration in an attempt to soften the rage of her beloved.
“Damn that’s cold” Varric murmered as they watched the zerg queen, conquerer of armies and a being older then civilazation fall to her knees, clutching at the hideous coloured robes, tears rolling from her blue eyes as she pleaded with the stone faced Leliana who simply twitched her hooded robes away from the clutching fingers and swept up to her aerie once more.
“I am satisfied” Vivenne told them all coolly before she swept away like an offended cat.
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