-Twenty minutes ago, Calenhad Circle Tower, First Enchanter's Quarters-
"You cannot do this Gregoir! I forbid it!"
Irving tries in vain to reason with the gruff commander of the Templars, but to no avail. At a nod from him, two templars leave the room. Irving takes his staff from his desk and moves to pursue, but Gregoir blocks his path, his sword held out, the point near Irving's throat. "This is no longer your concern Irving. Knight-Commander Meredith agrees with my decision, that thing downstairs is a creature of the Fade and will be put to the sword before she can corrupt us all....as I fear she has already corrupted you."
"Don't do this Gregoir....please."
"It is already in motion. Soon this will be behind us and life will return to normal."
"No....I'm afraid it won't."
Gregoir's eyes narrow, a growl playing about his lips, "You want to do this now Irving? After all we've been through?"
"Yes.....I'm afraid I must do the right thing here."
"Then you'll die here and......" *CRACK*
Gregoir goes sprawling forward, his sword spinning from his hand. Young Petra holds a particularly heavy book in her hands, a look of sheer terror on her face. She looks from the knight-commander to the book in her hands and drops it hastily as her hands fly to her mouth. "Oh Maker.....what have I done?!?"
Irving deftly spins his ornate staff and swipes Gregoir across the jaw with a swift strike, sending the templar back to unconsciousness. He grabs Petra's hand, "Quickly child, we must make haste. Where is Liara?"
"Down.....downstairs. She was practicing in the library. Are we in danger?"
"I'm afraid that the Circle is no longer going to be safe for us."
"But where are we to go?"
"I'm not sure my child."
The sounds of Gregoir stirring in the chamber draws Irving's attention. Raising his staff once more, he carves a sigil in thin air in front of the door, erecting a barrier to keep the soon-to-be furious Commander occupied for a short time. Another voice sounds from down the hall, another templar standing in their way, "What are you doing? Where's the Knight-Commander?"
Irving swings his staff in a wide arc, unleashing a pulse of energy that throws the templar off his feet and into the wall as the pair race past.
-Circle Library, Ten minutes ago-
Liara concentrates on the three targets in front of her, the outfit from Irving fits quite nicely, the blue and white trim on the coat reminiscent of her clothes back home, and the ornately carved staff bears runes and sigils all over the woodwork. Upon contact, the blue crystals in the focal stone started to hum with energy, as if it was made for her. Raising the staff, she closes her eyes, "Let's try this again.....focus Liara.....you can do this."
The air begins to crackle with energy, arcs of electricity sparking from the crystals. As she raises her arm and a bolt of lightning forks from the staff and strikes all three targets simultaneously, burning a hole in the straw of each. She becomes aware of several pairs of eyes watching her from behind the shelves. Three children, each wearing the robes of the Circle, each staring at her in wonder. She gives them all a wink and giggles as they run away in surprise. The sounds of clanking metal reaches her, turning to face two templars, weapons drawn. "Can I help you gentlemen?"
"Come with us."
"And if I refuse?"
"Then we'll put you down right here and now."
"What? This is ridiculous! Where's Irving?!?"
"If the commander is smart, the old fool will be dead by now."
Liara feels the sigils on her staff hum with latent energy, as she holds it out slowly, the air crackles with static. The templars take a step back in surprise, "Stop what you're doing!"
Liara meets their gaze and her normally crystal blue eyes turn pure white as the energy reaches them, small arcs of electricity sparking from them. Each candle in the library goes out as a gust of icy wind blows through, swirling around the Asari. As she speaks her voice takes on an altered sound as a side effect of the energy, sounding deeper and more commanding. "If you wish to continue living, I would turn around and run. Otherwise, I'll teach you why it's not intelligent to wear metal around a girl of lightning."
As if the storm wished to prove her point, a blue bolt of lightning strikes one of the swords, causing the templar to drop it in pain. Liara takes a step in their direction, "Care for another demonstration?"
The templars take one last glance at the storm witch before them before fleeing for their very lives. Liara takes a deep breath and feels the power leave her slowly, the cold air dissipating, the runes and sigils growing dim once more. Before too long, Petra and Irving comes hurrying into the now pitch black library, the only lights coming from the faculty's staves. "Where are the templars, Liara?"
"I got them to leave....peacefully."
"Then we haven't much time. Kester. Aewin. Come here quickly."
Two of the senior enchanters hurry over and take their places with Irving, the three forming a perfect triangle around Petra and Liara. Irving's expression is grim as he hands a knapsack to each girl, and a thick tome to Liara. "This should be enough to get you to Denerim. If anyone questions you on your origins, you are from beyond Par Vollen. No one knows of what lies beyond the Qunari's lands so no one will be able to dispute this. Say you are an ambassador for your people and wish to speak with King Alistair. I hope you find your love."
He puts his wrinkled, calloused hand against her cheek, "Be well, Liara."
"But what about you?"
"We all knew this day would come sooner or later.....we've been preparing for this in secret for some time.....do not worry about us. We'll be fine."
Without another word he nods at the two senior enchanters, and the three raise their staves in unison, each glowing with an emerald light. Tiny orbs of lights emit from the crystals and start spinning faster and faster around the pair. Liara sees from the shadows behind Kester, the face of Gregoir appear, sword in hand. She goes to scream but it dies in her throat as the blade pierces his neck. She hears Irving's voice bellow over the rushing wind, "Aewin, I can handle this! Protect yourself!"
The woman goes to erect a shield too late as an arrow pierces her side, causing her to scream in pain. Irving's staff glows even brighter as he manages to control the spell all by himself. Liara feels herself being carried away, her vision showing two different locations, a field and the library of the tower. She grasps Petra's hand for balance before the lights explode in front of them. Blinking away the spots, she notices that they are standing in a meadow, about 4 miles away from the tower, which looms far in the distance. She hears sobs from Petra, who has fallen to her knees, still clutching Liara's hand, "He was lying............no one there is ready to face the templars."
Liara helps Petra to her feet, steadying her, "What are you talking about?"
"They are going to be slaughtered. Only a handful are capable of offensive spells, the rest are no better than children."
"Then we can't let their sacrifice be for nothing. We need to start moving Petra, where are we going?"
".......North. We're heading north."
"Come on then. We'll grieve once we're safe."
Kaycee takes in her surroundings for only a moment before she accosts the templars that slammed the doors shut behind her. She makes the fire dance to her rhythm, orange lashes of flame striking the hands of each templar before her, swords and shields scattering across the ground. Her voice comes out in a terrifying snarl, "Where is she?!?! What have you done with my Liara?!?!"
The fires wrap around the throats of the templars like rope, tightening slowly as the fires in her eyes glow white-hot. A soft voice comes from behind a pillar behind Kaycee, "Liara? You mean the nice blue lady?"
A small girl, no older than six peeks out from behind the stonework, "I saw her."
The fires go out as quickly as they had appeared as Kaycee drops the templars and kneels before the child, "Do you know where she is?"
"She was with the First Enchanter....upstairs......I heard screams and explosions so I came down here and hid. I don't know if she's still there though."
"Could you show me?"
The heavy iron doors burst open once more as Zevran and James burst into the foyer, Fenrir and Leliana close behind them. James puts a hand on Shepard's shoulder, "You alright?"
"She's here James......Liara is here."
"Dios....are you sure?"
"She says the blue lady is upstairs...with the First Enchanter."
Leliana looks over at the pair, "You mean Irving? I know the way. Zev? You and Fenrir try to save as many as you can. Kill any templars who try to stop you."
"You sure Leli? You are technically part of the Seekers."
"The Divine would not stand for templars invoking annulment without permission. Their lives are forfeit for this affront to the Maker."
"Just wanted to make sure you were alright with this."
"Get going....please. We'll find Irving and Liara."
With a quick bow and a smirk, Zevran vanishes into the shadows as Fenrir bounds up the stairs, his booming barks echoing through the corridors. Leliana turns to Kaycee, "I need to be sure you're going to keep your fires under control here. There are innocents here. Do we understand each other?"
James begins to protest, but Kaycee holds up a hand, stopping him in mid-sentence, "No, she's right James. I can't promise I will have complete control over them, but I will do everything I can to make sure they don't harm innocents."
Leliana continues to give her a hard stare, as if reading her thoughts, "I will hold you to that, now come."
-Hightown, Nobles Quarter-
"I'm not sure why you insisted bringing me along Varric. Surely you and Isabela would be more than enough backup for Hawke?"
Fenris, his black metallic armor catching the light from the afternoon sun, looks around at the fleeing nobles with a measure of joy, his tattoos alternating from a pale white to a ghostly blue. Varric points over near the Comte de Launcet's mansion courtyard, "Hawke can take care of herself for a bit. Right now, I'm curious as to what's going on over there."
Crates and barrels fly like missiles through the air as crashes and bellows echo around the area. A female battle cry reaches Fenris' ears and he stops short. "Seems we have a Qunari here.....a female by the sound of it."
Isabela smirks, "Wonder if they are attractive at all, my luck would be that they look like the men do."
"Ashkost say hissara!"
"Come on then! Is that the best you got? I've fought pyjaks that hit harder than you.
A tall, well-built Qunari woman decks a monster of some sort with the force of a battering ram, hurtling the lizard man away with enough speed to crack the marble tiles of the courtyard. The lizard man looks up at the trio of newcomers, "Oh great, more squishy people. I'll be with you just as soon as I'm done with this one."
Fenris looks over at the woman, "Ashka.....what are you doing?"
"Making this one pay off his debt with blood. Keep out of this Fenris."
Varric coughs loudly, bringing the attention of everyone there to him. "Look, as much as we'd like to sell tickets for this. I think the lizard guy there needs to come with us."
The "lizard" man glares at the dwarf, "Like to see you try to make me."
"Charming. Look, I believe we have some of your friends here in the city."
"Friends? What do they look like?"
"Woman with long black hair, well-built. A tall unearthly looking guy, sharp bones...like a carapace."
"Yeah.....I know them. But I'm kinda in the middle of something."
Fenris walks to Ashka and puts a hand on her shoulder, "Let us handle this first Ashka. If you are still not satisfied later, you can fight me for the debt. But if you come with us now, I can promise you that you'll be able to make Templars pay part of it. Do we have a deal?"
The tall Qunari glowers at Fenris before nodding silently. Fenris looks back to the other, who gets to his feet unsteadily. "Fine...whatever."
Varric claps his hands, "Great, now that's over with, let's get to the Gallows. Come on Lizard-boy."
The beast leans in close, "The name.......is Grunt."