Participants:

Adeline_icon.gif Fenris_icon.gif Anders_icon.gif

Special Guest Appearances: Horde of Entertaining Templars

Scene Title Templar Traps
Synopsis Anders receives a second - more frantic note from Karl. Rescue ensues, but Templars complicate everything.
Location Chantry, Darktown Clinic
Date Justinian 17, 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Templar Joe
Logger Anders

As though being finally resolved on a decision had been some kind of universal signal, the second note had come the very next day. There is a different tone to this one - one Anders doesn't recognize - and it's made him anxious and antsy all day. There wasn't time to go and have another nine rounds about the entire subject (and frankly Anders isn't entirely sure he could /handle/ another nine rounds about this particular subject) but bless Adie, a note had been sufficient. Now, with night finally fallen, he paces in the shadows outside the Chantry doors, his damn spear on his back again.

Fenris hasn't left. Anders asked him to stay, and he had done. So now, as Anders paces, the elf just watches. Leaning against the nearest wall, he frown as he watches the mage go back and forth, back and forth, with no real attempt to hide his concern. But Fenris was capable of being a very patient creature.

Real talk time. Adeline Vael was not always the most persuasive person in Thedas. When she needed to get some place, she just went, and hoped she wasn't spotted doing it. Normally, she wasn't. And when she was usually the uniform was enough. Tonight, though, Adeline's stomach is twisted in knots. Coming up on the pair silently, the Senior Warden fixes Anders with a stare. Sterling is perched upon her shoulder, and she is armed, this time more thoroughly than when Anders had asked her help last time. A larger quiver, her bow, boot knife, dagger at her hip, even a larger blade that she only keeps for when shit gets really bad.

The sight of Adeline approaching armed to the teeth is a reassuring one. "Thank you." They're the first words out of his mouth. "They've been trying to get information out of him ever since word got out about Summerday and this was the only chance he had." It's what the note said - he'll even hold this one out if she wants to see it for herself. "We may have to knock a few heads together on our way out if anything goes wrong." He includes Fen and Adie both in this statement, looking from one to the other and trying to ignore the little bit of twisting in his guts that says 'what if'. "But I don't want to hurt anyone we don't have to." Yeah, he's entirely unsuccessful. Damn Cenn to the Void; Anders should be capable of being mad at him without simultaneously worrying about him. Deep breath in, deep breath out. "Ready?"

Fenris doesn't seem all that bothered by the prospect of fighting people. That's just… His life, wasn't it? It's what he did. No changing that. Being here at all, though, that's another thing. None the less, taking a deep breath, he nods to Anders and pushes away from the wall. No time like the present, and this wasn't going to get any easier.

"Thank me when it's done." Adeline says, eyes flicking in the direction of the Chantry. "I meant to come down here tomorrow… This is not…" Adeline sighs, shaking her head. "Let's just get this done." She pauses. "I doubt it will come to this, but you should both know my cousin is a Brother, and if… Somehow… He gets in the way in there, and someone hurts him…" She can't finish her sentence. "Just. Don't, please?"

Pain flashes brief and raw across Anders' face, followed by something of almost sibling fondness and then determination. "Just shout if you see him, Adie. I can make him sleep if I need to." But he will not lose her any more of her family. But that is that is that. There is nothing left to do but plunge forward and - much as he has been anxious all day - Anders is not at all certain he's ready to do this.

He opens the doors anyway, because what else is there?

The inside of the Chantry is beautiful to behold. None of them look like mages, so no one even bats an eye. Well, not that Anders notices anyway. He leads them through the quiet peace of the building and up a set of stairs to an alcove on one side, a quiet nook where sit beds and a bureau for the Chantry sisters. There is a man - a mage - with fine robes and grey hair standing in front of the wardrobe, his back to the people that approach.

Anders would know that figure anywhere.

"Karl?"

There's a look to Anders before he opens those doors. Something more sure from Fenris. He didn't like this, but he didn't regret this, either. This is where he said he would be, and he had meant what he said. So he follows, wary but present. The beauty of the Chantry is lost on the elf. He's not interested. It's all the same, really. Gold statues, candles everywhere, gilding, stained glass. What good was any of it?

Following Anders up, Fenris gets more and more uncomfortable with every step. This is… Quiet. This is a hall… No… This is a corner. No… This is a box. Running for as long as he had had taught Fenris precisely where the best places for traps were. While he says nothing, the tension in his shoulder and the drop in his ears says he doesn't trust this at all. None the less, he is momentarily distracted, looking over the back of this man they've come to see. He manages not to growl, but only just, something feeling… Off, though he hoped it was only his own paranoia.

"Thank you." Adeline says to Anders before he opens the doors. She is a right sight less paranoid, despite all of her arms. The only reason she had brought them was that the last time she'd gone to help Anders with some crazy plan, she really ought to have had them. None the less, the tension from Fenris makes her glance around. But as of yet, she's nowhere near round as tight as the elf. Likely little surprise. She didn't have a reason to intrinsically hate this situation. She waits, thumbs looping into her belt as Anders speaks to his friend, rocking back onto her heels.

The sound of a word is enough to rouse him. The word is his name and that has meaning. It is not much meaning, but it is enough. This voice is familiar. This is someone he knows. This is Anders. This is the apostate. "Anders, I know you too well." It is as he predicted. The plan is a success. "I knew you would never give up." His words lack inflection. Life lacks inflection. None of this is important, now. He turns. He stares. He is. There is nothing more.

By this point, Anders has learned enough to rely on Fenris as a barometer for Bad Things. In any usual circumstance he would already be alert to danger simply from the elf's tension, but this is far from anything he could call 'usual'. "I don't understand." That those are the first words out of his mouth now - the words of a child - makes him angry, but the anger has to war with another kind of childishness; a fear for which there is no name. "Karl, what's wrong?" The voice is right-but-wrong, audibly exact but somehow hollow, somehow lacking. "Why are you talking like - " He doesn't get the chance to finish his question. Karl is turning and Anders stumbles back a step as though he has been struck a physical blow. "No…" There is no mistaking the Sunburst brand.

Oh, that tone, or lack thereof does not help Fenris feeling like what they have walked into is possible the mother of all Bad Things. It's not a common sound, that tone, the emotionless inflection, where he is from. So rarely is the punishment used in Tevinter. But the stories, they travel, even to slaves. It's dawning on Fenris right as its dawning on Anders, and though he would like to go Anders in this moment, that is not the smart decision. No, the smart decision, or at least what he feels is the smart decision is drawing his blade. Tranquil didn't send notes asking for help. Tranquil didn't ask for anything. There was something else going on here.

It all sort of happens at once in situations like this, doesn't it? Karl turns, the horror dawns, Anders falters, the ringing of Fenris' blade. Shit shit shit. This was bad. This was really bad. Adeline, unlike Anders, had not learned to watch Fenris as a barometer for Bad Things, and this… The stream of curses under her breath are not ladylike. "Anders, we need to go…" It's all she can manage. She's not been hunted all her life, but the ranger can spot a trap when it's sprung.

The answer is simple. He knows it before he sees the apostate recoil. "I was too rebellious." He understands now. "Like you." Soon the apostate would know. Soon Anders would know. "The Templars knew I had to be made an example of." It is a simple truth. It had been explained. "How else will mages learn to control themselves?" There is a disturbance in the apostate. That had not been his goal. A smile is appropriate. A smile will place the others at ease. "You'll understand, Anders." That would be some comfort. "As soon as the Templars teach you to control yourself." The sound of metal on stone heralds their approach. He has done as he was told. "This is the apostate." It will all be over soon.

This isn't real. This can't be happening. "No…" It's a whimper that is entirely undignified and Anders could not possibly care less. Everything had seemed so simple, so straightforward - he had dared to believe… But now there is a weight like a stone on his chest. He cannot draw in air and he can hear his pulse rushing in his ears. The pain is sharp, it cuts him in ways he was not prepared for and could not possibly describe. If only that were the worst of it. This is wrong, this whole situation is just wrong and Anders had been angry but he never would have wished for… no. No. "No!" Out of nowhere his head begins to pound, the pain at once sharp and dull. Cracks begin to form along his skin and he falls to his knees with the monumental effort of simply maintaining control over his own body. It is not normally an issue, even before when it … he could fight it, then, but this is so much and holding on hurts so much more than letting go. The last thing he sees is Fenris with his sword drawn. When the body rises, it is with a crackling explosion of Fade energy - the same that pours from eyes and mouth and the cracks along his skin. "YOU!" There is rage in that voice - deep and ancient beyond reckoning. "YOU WILL NEVER TAKE ANOTHER MAGE AS YOU TOOK HIM."

Did someone say 'trap'? Why yes, yes they did. Sneaky Templars. Well, probably not so muchthere are a few who are actually in full plate… it's hard to really 'sneak' in that case. There's enough in this group that the small handful of visitors is easily outnumbered, and the spread of abilities is obvious. It's /not/ just a bunch of tin cans with sword and board; there's archers in the backbows drawn and aimed at what is obviously going to be the biggest threat—And Templar Sense means that said threat is the mage. Immediately obvious to anyone who knows how to read body language are the ones who are just simply there doing their duty to the Maker and have no vested interest. One of these is one of the pair heading this. He even gives of a rote "Surrender peacefully and no one gets hurt," sort of response. Then there's the /other/ guys, like his partner, who's body language clearly is riveted with anticipating in beating some poor schmuck mage and his schmuck pals down for, well, y'know how these guys are. And those sorts outnumber the first sort in this group.

"Step off," this second one growls, stepping forward in a manner to assert his dominance and control over the group. A couple of the plate wearers turn their attention to Adeline and Fenris, obviously aiming to get them /too/. Accomplices, yanno. And they all seem to have this air that this is going to be such an /easy/ job. That is, until Anders finds a huge ass monkey wrench and tosses it into the works.

The act of their mage target all but literally exploding in a display of spiritual energy and then turning around and threatening the group means all stops are off. Curses and prayers are immediately uttered in varying degrees of volume! Arrows fly from the back! Anti-magic countermeasures are immediately cast! Both of the men who seemed to be of equal rank and possibly in charge of the group make their attempts to subdue the abomination! And those who decide to actually pay attention to the non-mage move to engage and subdue before things get further out of hand.

This is bad. Bad bad bad. All Bad. Every fucking bad that has ever walked, and Fenris does not like these odds. A… Spirit possessed mage who would be effective… He had not idea how efficient Templars could be when Justice was driving, himself, and Adeline. Formidable, surely, but this? He didn't want to count them. He didn't want to do the equation in his head, but it doesn't stop none the less. He knows the risks with traps like this. He's seen them countless times, but he has only ever been trying to get himself out. This was something else entirely.

And maybe trying to talk would have been on his agenda. But with Justice making a light and sound show, and with arrows flying, the time for that has long past. There was no slipping away quickly, no honeyed words, no paying the lot of them the coin he's managed to save here in Kirkwall to get them to just forget they were here. No, there is just fighting. Lyrium alighting, Fenris turns first to the nearest. Archers were a pain in the ass, but they have a ranged combatant, and they have… Whatever the fuck Justice does, if he does, and he is ONCE A-FUCKING-GAIN shoulder to shoulder with a healer and an archer. At this rate, he was going to have to take up a shield.

For half a moment, Adeline had really considered words. "No - Sers - He's a War-" She even manages to get half the sentence out. And then Justice. "Maker's breath, Justice, you and I are having words later." She snaps, pulling her bow from her back then. It doesn't matter what she says. It doesn't matter in the slightest. Because now these Templars think Anders is an abomination and there's no hope of convincing them otherwise. Knocking an arrow, one of the bright blue ones, she steps between Anders and the archer line, loosing and whistling. Sterling would have to be a distraction if she was going to counter archer this many bows. "Fuckfuckfuck - So much trouble when we get out of this - Night watch for a week - " It's all just stream of consciousness scolding at this point.

This time, Fenris, there is no doubt, no hovering back and forth - no wavering across the line of existence. This is no longer the delicate mageflower even a little bit. This is Justice and he is certainly no healer. Drawing on the mage's connection to the world he once called home, Justice calls forth the tools to which he is accustomed, sword and shield made of raw and crackling energy. He knows his business with them, but this body he wields lacks the right muscle definition - lacks the right muscle memory - and has his usual weapon of choice strapped to his back to boot. He charges, honed in on the source of the greatest injustice in the room. This happens to be the asshole captain and while there is a satisfying crunch-crackle as that shield hits his arm, the bite of steel into his side burns like fire along his skin. Locked in some kind of strength contest, he misses entirely the first arrow sailing over his head, but the one embedding itself in his thigh earns from the spirit a mighty (frightening) roar.

No. The moment Anders started glowing any and all possibility of this not ending in some kind of bloodbath was obliterated. Either the Apostate and his friends are going down, or the near half-dozen Templars will. There will be no middle ground. /Maybe/ one of the Templars will stop losing his shit long enough to consider taking Anders in alive… but for the most part, the entire freaking group of Templars have gone into full 'Deal with the fucking Abomination' mode. And that's never a good thing.

The Decent captain… Let's call him Joe… Joe's a good name for a decent fellow…who's, y'know, three days from retirement or something and is just here trying to do his /damn job/ is one of the ones moving to try to subdue… "Oh, For crying out loud!" says Joe when /this/ one, this elf with the fluffy hair /also/ starts glowing. Grant it, it's not the same kind of explosion that Richard (since, y'know, Dick captain is a dick) is now dealing with. For Fenris, a pommel strike sounds like a good thing to do. Because, y'know… glowy.

And somewhere in the back, there's a yelp! when Adeline's arrow manages to find a target. "You /bitch/!" this one calls out and it looks like it's personal.

Now for Anders… well… Richard here grins as he finds himself in melee with a mage. "Done fucked up," he sneers with a twisted grin. "You ain't the first abomination I've taken down, ain't gonna be the last," and he's bringing his mace up, calling upon his abilities to literally Smite the freak before him.

What is it with people and pommel strikes in his life right now? Maker's balls, this was never fucking fun. Blades… Like… You know, Fenris could handle that. He'd gotten used to blades a long time ago. The weight of fist and pommel and just pure, unadulterated fuck you? It was rude, is what it was, and he never took to it well. Or the unpleasant crunching of whichever bone has decided to be broken today. But, you know… Honestly? Fenris is a hell of a lot scarier when he's in pain. In pain, angry, and downright protective - Because don't think he didn't see that cut to Anders' side there, Richard, you're gonna have a bad day for that one - Fenris is… Cold. Suddenly, completely, unreasonably, and terrifyingly calm, as the glowing intensifies, and he ceases to fully be in this realm anymore. Doesn't make his blade hurt any less, though, just makes him wickedly, impossibly, fast.

"Same to you, snookums." Adeline calls back to the archer who is about to have a really unpleasant date with a gyrfalcon. And trusting Sterling to keep her distracted, Adeline knocks a very different kind of arrow for the poor, unfortunate souls she's about to fire into. This one, is a lot less kind than an angry falcon clawing at your face. No, this one, it has this nasty habit of exploding on impact. Bring other archers to a fight with a Vael? Nice try, buttercup, she had a family name to do proud.

The mace coming down from above can be met only one way. Justice is a warrior and he knows - even if this body does not - how to raise his shield above his head with one arm and drive his sword clean through his opponent's exposed belly with the other. And that, as they say, would have been that, save for the tiny detail of that Smite. The Veil trying to reassert itself against a piece of the Raw Fade… no one could think anything good comes out of that combination. The two energies spark against each other, creating a small explosion of Fade energy that washes through Anders and the still-shifted Fenris, but impacts everyone else with a physical blow. Sorry, Adie! Templar Dick is dead for sure, his insides turned to jelly, and poor Joe is probably deaf in one ear, now, but the serious damage seems limited to the two closest at hand, thankfully.

Joe, poor poor Joe… his experience serves him well. He is very familiar with opponents finding a cold, tranquil (no pun intended) fury and then utilizing it. It is literally all he can do to keep behind his shield to buffer the sudden spark of speed that Fenris' attacks have gained. He's on the defensive, and Fenris does likely nick the poor bastard once or twice. "Lieutenant, stop playing around and—"

So yeah, about that explosion. Which, incidentally, was /not/ Adeline's boom-arrow. No, it was that damn…whatever.

Lucky for Dick, he dies with a smile on his face. Oh, he didn't see the killing blow (ahem) coming, and now he is gone. The explosion of conflicting energies /throws/ Joe off his game, causing him to stagger. Larry, Moe and Curly also seem to have issues—though one of them again manages to insist that Anders-slash-Justice start a new career modeling arrows. Curly, in particular was about to have SUDDENLY BIRD… but he's just flailing his arms now trying to bat the damn thing away because, fortunately, for the boom, it means there's no gyrfalcon trying to eat his face.

Look, this is just going to be a bad, bad day for being anywhere near Anders or Fenris. And as that… Whatever in the Void that was, washes over and Fenris is, mercifully spared its force, that calm turns to the slightest smirk. See, it comes in stages. Anger, calm, art. And when Fenris continues his assault against Joe, he does not delay. Being spared that force buys him time. What's more, it gives him an idea. Sorry Adie. Because if the first jostling had been this effective… He'd tried this once before, and while he wasn't sure what it would do to Justice… Nothing for it, the energy from his brands flares out from Fenris in a Spirit Pulse. Have fun with that one, Templars. Not sure what to do with something you can't suppress, yet?

GENTLEMEN. Could you just let a lady work? Whistling again, Adeline urges Sterling back into his attack, rather than him getting distracted by batting arms. At least he wasn't taking arrows. That was good. But why had that damn thing not gone off. The Warden staggers at that… Justice, really, there would be SO MANY WORDS if they survived this. This was how all their fights were going to go now, wasn't it? Anyway… More arrows, more cursing, more being very cross.

This mortal form is tiresome, troublesome. It aches and it breaks and it bleeds. There is an arrow in his leg and one in his liver. There is pain and it's distracting and maddening and he cannot make it stop. It's frustrating enough that he misses the gathering of energy that precedes Fenris' attack. By the time Justice has any idea of what's going on, there are only seconds to spare. Trying to cast a Barrier does not come so naturally to him as to his host. The cast that should have protected two does exactly squat. 3, 2, 1…

The initial pulse of energy is impressive enough, but it's when it impacts Justice that the positive feedback loop explodes. From the epicenter of the Chantry room, a great white ball expands outward like a physical explosion. Justice and Fenris feel no more than wind whipping around them to rustle hair and clothing, but for literally everyone else in the Chantry it is an instantaneous loss of consciousness. Lights out. Wonderful.

Joe is just having one hell of a time with this elf! This is magic. It has to be. He can see it, he can probably feel it (Lyrium, yo). But for all of his wanting, none of the things that should be neutralizing magic is actually neutralizing this thing. So, Joe has to go with the tried and true physical attack, and actually pushes forward in an attempt to shield bash Fenris. But then more weirdness happens!

On the one hand, yes, Joe is unconscious. Joe is also very likely also dead thanks to Fenris' attack. On the other hand, and this really is the only possible upside to this, the archers may actually survive their being unconscious, and not wake up dead, and could inform the Knight-Commander that HOLY COW we never ever want to go apprehend an Apostate again because FUCK, weirdness.

So yeah, long story short… Dead/dying/KO'd Templars! Everyone take five, nap time!

Oh fuck. That… That was not… What?! Fenris actually doesn't know what in the world to do with that. "Kaffas…" He mutters as the light spreads out and people drop unconscious. Looking over to An - Justice - After that, it's well and truly stuck in Fenris' mind now that he's dealing with the Spirit. He shakes his head, looking bewildered. "Festis bei umo canavarum." More muttering Tevene, turning, the elf glances around, taking stock of their surroundings.

Good night, sleep tight, don't let the Darkspawn bite. Or… Something? Adeline's on the ground, out cold. Though… Otherwise fairly uninjured. Save, maybe, her dignity about that still as of yet unexploded blasting arrow.

Oh it is very firmly Justice involved, without a doubt. The Fade crackles blue in a haze around his body even in the ensuing stillness. "That is unfair. You have not been unjust, I have no cause to be your death." Fade Spirits… distressingly pedantic. He surveys the resulting damage, oddly calm for the two arrow wounds and a sword nick slowly oozing blood to soak his clothing. "The Templars will have to be killed." His voice is so far beyond Not Anders that it's just wrong coming out of this body. "Else they will bring the wrath of their Commander down on the Senior Warden." She is a friend, this must not be allowed to happen.

Well, damn. So much for that plan. Said Templars, provided they are still alive, likely drool in their naptime. Save for Joe. He's probably dead. Poor Joe.

Fenris blinks. So many things to say, but this is not the time or the place. He just nods, it's a true enough statement even if it is completely foreign coming from Anders' lips. With a sigh, he puts his blade away. He doesn't need it for times like these. Bending over Joe, Fenris is ruthlessly efficient in snapping his neck. He's done this enough times. And almost unthinkingly he loops the room, killing the Templars as though their breath means nothing. And when it is done, he looks up at Justice. "Grab the bird, I can get…" He looks then at Adeline… And at Karl… "What do we want to do with the Tranquil?"

Adeline Vael is currently unavailable, please leave your message at the tone.

Justice watches the elf dispatch the bodies, nodding with sharp approval at his clean and efficient methods. Locating the bird is a momentary distraction, but he is - perhaps surprisingly - gentle with it once found. The Tranquil, however… he presents a unique problem. "His treatment of Anders was unjust, but so was the forced severing of his connection to the song." Nuance has never been his strong point - not without one of his sisters to temper him. Finding the exact weight on each side of the scale is fruitless. "We will bring him. He can assist in the healing of those in need. It is a fitting existence."

This day just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Fenris picks up Adeline, putting her over a shoulder. When Justice begins to answer his question, he seems to be hearing what he expected. Until the very end there. "You mean to tell me you intend to have Anders keep him in the Clinic?" He says, practically barking a laugh, "You're mad if you think that won't end in… So much death. Death and…" He swallows the rest of why he cannot stomach the thought.

Adeline grumbles a little as she is lifted, but is still very much unconcious. Though, Maker have mercy if someone forgets her bow here. That 'so much death' Fenris is babbling about? Child's play.

The elf's reaction is puzzling. "Why is this so unreasonable? The Tranquil cannot stay in the Circle and he can be of use in Anders' just endeavor." He considers the matter for a moment longer and finally understands. "He is no danger to anyone in his current state." Certainly not physically, anyway.

Right… So… This is the part where they've killed all the witnesses, and need to get the fuck out before they make more witnesses. Fenris doesn't have time to sit here and debate the moral pros and cons of keeping Karl with this fucking Spirit right now. "Fine, we will let Anders decide when he's back… That's the best you're getting from me." And with that, Fenris bends, picking Karl up, putting him over his other shoulder, and taking up Adeline's bow. "Now let's leave." And he doesn't wait, making for the door with as much haste as carrying two people can manage.

Sleepy Warden is sleepy. But well done, Fenris, Adeline doesn't need to rip anyone's balls off today. Yet. Maybe.

Content that all is as it should be, Justice stalks behind Fenris, cradling the bird in the arm that doesn't have an arrow sticking out below it and looking not even a little bit inconspicuous.

Is that what we're calling this? All as it should be? No. No it was not. He still wasn't happy with the grinding crunching in his collar, and now he's carrying two unconscious bodies and… And Justice is still glowing. "Venhedis…" He mutters, looking back as much as he can to Justice, "Any way you can… You know… Not be a beacon?"

Sleepy Adeline curls a little, fingers gripping to the edge of Fenris' armor, toying with that edge there. She is not a still sleeper.

Justice looks perplexed. "I am what I am." Wonderful, existential crisis. "How can I be different?" There is a hazy sense of illusory magic in Anders' mind. It's clumsy and inelegant, but eventually the glowing appears to dim significantly. There's still a lot of blood, still arrows sticking out of his body but at least he isn't a walking night light. Maker, Anders is going to hurt in the morning.

Ugh. Spirits. Fuck. Fenris is about to say something snarky when the light dims. The Maker could be merciful, who fucking knew? "Thank you." Fenris manages, shifting some of the weight on his shoulders.

Justice acknowledges the thanks with a nod, but is content to pass the rest of their journey to the clinic in silence. He is quick to get the door, keeping it held open for the packmule Fenris in a gesture that's… surprisingly thoughtful. For a spirit. Anders' influence? Who knows. "You will all rest here. I shall return." And then Mister Glittery Spirit Guy Sporting Arrows And A Fashionable Fade-Tinted Glow turns on his heel like he's just gonna mosey right on outta there.

"Like the Void, are you leaving." Fenris says, setting Adeline and Karl down quickly and reaching to take Justice by the wrist. "You're wounded. What's more, that means he is wounded. Stop." He's not amused, that tone is brooking no argument, though it is unlikely to matter to Justice.

Right, so, they might be quick, but the trip down to Darktown does take awhile and Adie, at least, is starting to stir some.

"You cannot stop me, mortal. I have - " But Justice is not at all prepared for the press of skin against skin between braces of metal for those gauntlets. The hum is instantaneous and while it causes Justice's glow to spark right back up to pre-illusion proportions, he goes pliant and almost limp in that single hold. "You. You sing." Very helpful, Justice, as always.

Okay, so maybe Fenris should have accounted for this very real possibility. And yet, here he was, completely shocked by that feeling yet again, so much stronger this time. He shivers, but does not let go. "Yes…" Fenris says, almost breathless, swallowing hard to bury the welling in his chest that he can't stop, it comes along with the song, "He said that is what you said about me. Now… Please… Stop."

What a fucking day. Adeline rouses, but she keeps her eyes closed. The smell of lemons and vinegar, the feel of simple pallet beneath her, she knows where she is without opening her eyes, and she feels like she just got hit by a cart. She's going to wait a minute before addressing the world.

Justice… Justice is painfully literal. He exists in a world of absolutes. So when the song bids him stop - and he cannot disobey the song - he gutters like a lamp in the wind. It leaves Anders on his knees looking like he just got sat on by a bronto, but at least that is that.

That… Hadn't quite been what he meant. Fenris' eyes go wide, seeing that change happen so suddenly. Had, he done that? There's no time to think about it, though, as Fenris moves to catch Anders before he goes down hard on his knees. "Anders?" He says, not really doubting but wanting to be sure, easing the healer down gently, despite the wince it causes from his collar.

Taking a deep breath, the Senior Warden opens her eyes, looks around. "Well… We're alive…" She manages… And then pauses, pulls herself up quickly enough to make herself dizzy, and looks about the room in what looks to be a small panic, before catching sight of Sterling and moving immediately to the table on which he has been laid.

"Fen." It's a sure sign that this is, in fact, his mage, but even that single syllable is tight and laced with pain. He looks down slowly at the mess of blood and arrows he's become - somewhat relieved and somewhat concerned that the visible injuries account for only half of the places he hurts. "Fen," he tries again, mouth dry. "The arrows, can you - ?" He doesn't get more than that, but Fen has seen him do this particular procedure before.

"Yes, of course." Fenris says, almost relieved though the pain won't let it be that simple, letting Anders put as much of his weight on him as he needs. A small blade is drawn from his belt, just that simply utility he had the last time as well. Tearing arrowheads free was not something that was a pleasant endeavor, better to release them, at least a little. It wasn't as though Fenris had never had to pull arrows from himself. But it's with a surprisingly careful hand that he sees to Anders.

As time goes on, even Sterling stirs, and Adeline lets out a sigh, reaching to smooth down plumage. Making little nonsense chirruping clicks at him. For all that Adeline had severed family ties, for all that she'd run away from a lot of things, she had never run away from this bird. That, and soothing him back to wakefulness gives her a reason to not watch Fenris help Anders pulls arrows free. She really didn't need to stare at that too long.

It is never a pleasant ordeal, but Anders knows that it could be so much worse. He does his level best to keep most of his weight on his own knees because that skin-on-skin contact comes with an alert of pain whether he wants it or not. He's going to kill Justice for stirring up this much Fade in his blood. Or however it is that actually works. In any event, he looses his restorative magic on each wound as Fenris release the arrows. The shallow slice in his side is also an easy fix, but the way his whole body hurts is overwhelming and unfamiliar. "Thank you," he murmurs, enough of himself that there's pride in the little smile he gives. "You did that better than some healers I know." It's only then that he becomes peripherally aware of Adeline crooning at her bird and his expression goes wan and stricken without warning. "Fen, what - ?" Again his words fail him, but he looks up into familiar green eyes; perhaps there is hope that he can be understood without them.

For a moment, there is the faintest flicker of a smile at that praise. Then, though, there comes the questioning. Fenris had been hoping that maybe Anders would remember, but it didn't seem it was going to be that easy. "When Karl… When you saw him. Justice took over." Fenris begins, trying to find the right words, but the only thing that comes to him is bluntness, so he tries to be gentle in his touch instead, lifting his hand, with a wince, to brush at the mage's hair. "There were Templars… It was a trap. They're dead. I… Justice… I don't really know why it happened, but apparently when I send out the energy in my marks and Justice is about, it… Everyone else just lost consciousness." Fenris sighs, "I carried Adeline and…" Another pause, "Justice said to bring Karl here. And I did not know what you would want, so I chose the option that gives you the most choice." Surely, by now, the Tranquil is at least starting to wake.

As Sterling pulls himself upright again, Adeline lets him onto her forearm, then onto her shoulder before hopping up on the table. "Right mess, that was." Adeline murmurs. There is no real heat there, though, just exhaustion.

"Justice did what." Anders' voice is rough there as any remaining color drains entirely from his face. There is a moment of disbelief where it is easier to focus on the pain in Fenris, on rooting out its source and on the quiet 'May I?' that always precedes magic performed on Fen. With permission, he'll take the time to soothe the pain, fix the damage and restore the proper balance - as least so far as he can without touching the pain his lover clings to. Only then does he sigh, looking up at Fenris, over at Adeline and Sterling… literally anywhere he possibly can that isn't the unconscious form of a former lover that comes with more baggage than the Empress of Orlais on progress. "I suppose," he begins, swallowing hard around a dry throat and trying again. "I suppose it's best." He looks for a moment like he very much wants to throw up, but resists the urge. "I can… I'll think of something."

The permission is given, if only because Fenris can tell that it will give Anders some level of solace. None the less, he does relax some when the screaming pain in his shoulder eases. That sigh from Anders is matched with one of his own. "Anders…" Fenris says, shaking his head, "I only agreed because I didn't have the time to argue with him. I needed to get everyone out. But you cannot actually be considering having him stay here. He's Tranquil… That's… That's more than just an apostate that comes to help you out from time to time. Meredith will scream for your head. Not to mention that he would likely try to go back anyway."

Adeline huffs a little, continuing to pet pale plumage. "We're going to talk about that little trick at some point." She says then, giving a pointed look to Fenris. Busted. She'd seen the source of that energy. "I do not appreciate unscheduled naptime." As for the rest of it, the Senior Warden just… Does not have anything good to say. Karl, though… There's no way he is going to be out all that much longer.

Poor Karl got the epicenter of the blast and unlike Adeline does not have Grey Warden levels of fortitude to pull from. He's certainly starting to stir, but it's going to be a minute.

Anders does feel better when Fenris' injuries are healed, but it still does not mitigate the feeling that he's been sat on by a very fat wyvern. It's enough stiff soreness that he has to lean more on Fen than he'd like just to stand, but he does eventually make it to his feet. "Meredith can think he died in the trap she undoubtedly set," he says, voice quiet and withdrawn, but steady. "I didn't turn Maura away," since Fenris brought her up. "How can I possibly excuse saying no to this?" Adeline gets an apologetic look, but there's not much oomph behind it. Unscheduled naptime is indeed a grievous offense, but he cannot spare it more than a passing thought just now.

"Have you completely lost your mind?" Fenris says, standing when Anders finds his feet once more. "Anders, he was bait in that trap. You think they won't count their bodies? You think they won't notice his is not there?" His tone is desperate, scared, though on Fenris it might look more like anger, "Maura can hide herself. Maura isn't here every moment of every day. Maura has agency. For fuck's sake Anders, you cannot be serious." He cuts him short of saying something else, but, by some grace somewhere, realizes it is insensitive.

At this point, Adeline is just here for if things go sideways again. That and to nurse this headache. So she stays quiet, though the look she gives says that she agrees with the glowy elf on this one.

The escalating noise is starting to take effect on the body still laying out on the cot. Not long now.

Anders has heard anger in Fenris' voice before. It was cold and clipped and smooth - it burned like a cut from a fine blade. This? This is jagged and hot and desperate and he doesn't have the first clue what to do with it except recoil. It certainly sounds enough like anger to be getting on with. "What would you have me do?" Sorry, Adeline, you're both included in this demand. "He's only this way because of me, Fen. He was only sent here because of me and now they've cut out his soul because of me. Me! And I could have stopped them if I hadn't been so - so…" So ridiculously torn up over something that had happened a long time ago. "So stupid. Three sins, Fen. Three. What would you have me do?"

"No," Fenris says, glancing over to the shifting Karl now, "He was sent here because of his own actions, and I know you do not feel that way Anders, but you are wrong. You cannot carry the weight of the world's wrongs on your shoulders. You cannot carry the weight of his wrongs on your shoulders. He was sent because of himself. They did this… Because of their choices. And if you hadn't been so what exactly?" The elf is having… Actually none of this. Zero.

Okay, Adeline has missed a memo in here somewhere. "Anders," She offers, a right sight more gentle than Fenris is being, "I know you blame yourself. I hear you. But keeping him here won't help him and it won't help you. What will you have him doing that would be all that much different that what happens in the Circle anyway? At least there he's not, additionally, in danger of Templars raiding your Clinic. You can't undo what has been done, and I am sorry that you are hurting."

There is light. There is sound. There are heated voices over his head. His body aches. It is not life threatening. He opens his eyes. He sits up. He turns. "Where is this place?" His throat is dry. He swallows. "Why am I here?"

Fenris' assertions burn and Anders cannot help the way he flinches back from them. "If I hadn't been so obsessed with thoughts exactly like that. It hadn't even been his idea." Even as he says it, the words taste like ash in his mouth, burned by the anger and the shame and the sick, twisted hate. "It wasn't rape. Just because I am angry doesn't mean he deserves th-" But that voice coming from behind him - that voice that is so familiar and yet so hollow and dead - makes him physically tremble and he has a moment where he has to squeeze his eyes shut and clench his jaw just to keep from giving in to the childish urge to scream. When the immediate danger has passed, he swallows a couple times to try and regain his voice. "You are in the Darktown Clinic." He answers the questions with a voice that breaks in the middle but does not shake. "You were injured in the fight, but you are safe here." Every single word feels like a knife in his chest and he says them anyway because what else is there to say? "Adie, you've never lived in a Circle." It's a little easier to talk to his commander than to the Tranquil Karl directly, but not by much. "You don't - " his breath leaves him in a rush and he swallows hard to keep himself in check. "You don't know what they do to the ones that don't fight back." It is a disgusting truth almost everywhere in Thedas - though some places more so than others. Power corrupts. The story is always the same. "It isn't a matter of what he does differently that matters, but what will be done to him."

The look at Fenris gives Anders is one of a man who is not amused. He shakes his head, growls a little, more out of frustration than anything. He's about to open his mouth to retort when Anders is cut off. Seeing that pain, it twists in his heart and he hates it. Hates whatever has caused it, deeply. The problem, of course, being that this situation is just… A mess. Such a mess. Obfuscated morality on so many levels that Fenris almost couldn't make heads or tails of it. What he can make some sense of, though, is that Anders is hurting, and he just wants that fact to stop. All, ultimately, this amounts to, however is a huff, because there is, frankly, nothing he can do.

Adeline pinches the bridge of her nose. This was a fucking mess. She'd asserted this before, but it was only becoming more and more true. "Be that as it may, Anders," Adeline says, "You cannot just keep a Tranquil mage in your Clinic. For… So many reasons. They will find him here." Yes, the idea was horrifying, yes, it made her skin crawl, but Adeline had long ago become an pragmatist, loathe it though she may.

"There is no need for distress, Anders." He is calm. He is whole. "I am uninjured." There is no reason to cause distress. It is most efficient to ease it. "I can return to the Circle at your earliest convenience."

Wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG. Every word coming from the Tranquil in Karl's gutted voice is just intrinsically wrong. That Adeline has a valid point is unquestionable. The Kirkwall Templars are already unhappy about his clinic. Finding one of their Tranquil in it would just give them the excuse they would need to destroy him and everything he'd worked so hard for. But knowing this does not excise the guilt that twists inside his stomach and drags it down, so there is one last desperate grasp at atonement - at protection for what remains of the man who had once been the center of his entire world. "Adie, couldn't you Conscript him?" Yes, it is as desperate as it sounds. "Dwarves can survive the Joining and they have no connection to the Fade. He could be useful and he'd be safe with us."

Fenris hasn't even managed to bring himself to look at Karl. The strange mixture of emotions around this man were too much for him to face head on. This would have all been so much easier if he had just… Just what? What was it that Fenris hoped for? Honestly, he didn't even know himself. That crazy idea from Anders though, Fenris shakes his head. Nothing to say, but just… No. No, Anders.

Adeline's expression softens with apology, her brow knitting. "Anders…" She says gently, "I can't. For so many reasons. The Knight Commander would be beside herself. And I, look… The Right is never a good thing, but he cannot even remotely consent to this. And it's not his connection to the Fade I would be concerned with Anders, it's his lack of will. He would…" She glances to Fenris, and then fixes her gaze back on Anders, "You know well what would happen."

There is much talk going on around him. This talk is about him. It concerns him, but he has not been invited to speak. He will sit. He will wait.

Adeline touches on a facet of his Cunning Plan that Anders had not considered. His eyes go wide and then close entirely, brow furrowing as his whole body deflates in that way it does when he just Cannot anymore. "I would rather die than be made Tranquil." But it's more to himself than anyone else. At least in the Joining he would have had an honorable death, people to remember his sacrifice. This way offers nothing. It is hollow and Anders hates it but he cannot win against the ire of both mother and lover. "Fine," he cedes, sounding so much older than twenty. "Take him, then. But leave him with… leave him with Cenn d'Argent. He - he was with us at Kinloch. He's a tit, but he'd never sanction this. He'll… he'll be able to protect him." He hopes. That is all he has left in this.

And still Fenris can't bring himself to look over to Karl. What he can do, however, is close the distance that his frustration had made Anders recoil. He doesn't touch him, but he is in again within easy reaching distance. "I am sorry it has to be this way." He offers, trying for gentleness. Though… There is a thought then, and Fenris blinks. "Anders… Had he ever expressed the same to you? That he would rather die?"

"You want to, what, just march him back like, 'Oh, excuse me, Ser, does this belong to you?' Like I've just found him on the side of the road-" Adeline cuts herself off, sighs, Anders' obvious pain removing her ability to really argue with him. "Fine, I will see what I can do. Maybe I can send word to Cenn to meet me somewhere…"

Anders sighs. Adeline's point is once again well-taken, he just… it's a hard place from which to think clearly, this. "I'm sorry," he offers, pushing a hand back through his hair and shaking loose some of the shorter strands around his face in the process. "He'll be coming here, actually. Either tomorrow or the day after. He's bringing a Primal mage to help me clear the rock slide out from the northern Roads entrance." It's nonsense business, but Cenn had asked for an excuse and at least they're being productive. "Karl can… stay here until then." It drags out an already agonizing ordeal, but it makes the most sense. Fenris' approach is a welcome relief. He reaches out just enough to brush the backs of his knuckles against one of the places where his armor exposes skin. But that question is enough to make him jerk. "I - what?" Obviously mage is running out of steam. "I mean, sure. We all do at one time or another. It's an atrocious injustice." And that's the point where he catches on and shakes his head. "No. Not in a reliable way. We can't, Fen. He can't consent."

Let's not get any crazy ideas now, Fenris is not a fan of mages by any stretch. He still doesn't see all of the similarities between the Circle and slavery. This, however, this is something he doesn't know what to do with. It's… Wrong. Even Fenris can figure out that much. There's a small shiver at Anders' touch, but this situation is unpleasant enough that he keeps his composure. "Anders," Fenris says, a shade darker, somehow even more serious, "How many of them mean it? Is…" Fenris pulls his gaze away from Anders then, looking over for the first time to Karl. No fan of mages, not happy with what he knew about this man, and yet here he was talking about a mercy killing. "Anders, you knew him. I know it is difficult, but if there is anyone capable of life and death decisions…" He looks back to Anders then, one hand reaching for his shoulder. He would likely reach for Anders' face, but his gauntlets don't make that terribly comfortable. Yes, if there is anyone. The man who knew him before. The Healer.

"Ugh, no Anders, I'll-" Adeline starts, but then the talk of mercy killing begins and Adeline promptly shuts her damn mouth. This is nowhere near her decision.

Anders shakes his head, steadied only from stepping back entirely by the reassuring pressure of Fenris' hand. "I - at one time, yes, but it's been years, how could I possibly - " He cuts himself off and shakes his head again, like he can somehow drive the thoughts back into some semblance of order. This isn't some… some wounded stray he can put out of its misery. This is a person. Or was a person once. His own beliefs burn strong in his belly, but they war with one another. Tranquility is a terrible thing, especially for those who do not choose it. But it is not painful, it is not malignant. There is still life. It is not a life he would choose to live, but without explicit consent that is not his choice to make for someone else. "No. I can't inflict my beliefs on someone else just because they're incapable of choosing. It would be murder, Fen. In cold blood." On some level he recognizes the oddity of Fenris inclined to show mercy to a mage, but it's one of those things that will need to be considered later. After… this.

Look, Fenris isn't really one to shy away from murder. Hot or cold blooded. He'd done plenty of it. No, really. People paid good coin for a quick death. The idea didn't bother him, and so when Anders says it, it doesn't immediately make him recoil from the thought. There is no immediate realization like most normal, well adjusted, not murderous people would have. It takes him a moment to understand the weight that statement is meant to have, and he sighs. "Very well." He says, glancing once more to Karl, "Though… I do not understand." Because, really, if he was staring down the arrow shaft of something like Tranquility, Fenris would want exactly Negative Everything Ever of that.

Still not her decision at all, so Adeline waits. Since she's now the designated Tranquil Courier. Because like fuck is Karl staying here a minute longer than is necessary.

Anders does not, perhaps, showcase the skill often, but he can be patient. It is one skill that time with Fenris has both eased and improved. Not every silence makes his heartbeat skip and stutter, now. When the answer is finally given, Anders takes half a step forward and cups Fenris' cheek with the hand mirroring the one Fenris has on his shoulder. "I know you don't." They've discussed their wildly varying levels of empathy before. "Thank you." For the thought, for understanding why it was not the right decision, for all of it and much more besides. "We'll get him to Cenn." It's not the best case scenario by any stretch, but in this situation there really are no more best case scenarios, only the least of all the various evils.

Fenris nods, though he does not seem to like this implication of parting. "Come back in one piece…" Fenris says, "I do not want to have to kill every Templar in the city." He huffs a little, protective but without the will to argue.

"I'm staying until we take him back. I don't like the idea of Templars finding their way down here. They've inevitably found the bodies by now." Adeline says, wincing. Sebastian was probably in the Chantry… Ugh. She doesn't know how she's going to face that awkward when she finally gets around to seeing him. 'Oh, there were dead Templars the other night…' 'Oh, really? How… Very… Strange, I wonder what ever could have done that.'

Fenris' huff and instructions warm Anders in a deep place that does not often see the light of day - left raw and exposed by the day's events. He brushes his thumb along the apple of Fen's cheek and turns his head just enough to listen better when Adie speaks. "It's late." Way to state the obvious there, buddy. "There are plenty of cots and I've no shortage of blankets." Oh Maker does he have a lot of blankets. A lot. Also pillows, but mostly blankets. "Going now would just pull people from their beds and then they're as likely to pick a fight as listen." Plus everyone looks about as tired as he feels. "We can make the trek up in the morning."


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