Chapter One: The Witching Wood Click for inspired Theme "And so is the Golden City blackened With each step you take in my Hall. Marvel at perfection, for it is fleeting. You have brought Sin to Heaven And doom upon all the world." -Canticle of Threnodies 8:13 The chantry teaches us that it is the ignorance of men that brought the Darkspawn into our world. The Mages sought to uncover the glories heaven, but instead; they destroyed it. They were cast out, twisted and cursed by their own corruption. Returning as monsters- the first of the Darkspawn. They became a blight upon the land, unstoppable and relentless. Since that time, Ostagar has become a booming camp for King Caillen's forces, keeping the nasty creatures at bay and waiting for the day that they will rise up with all they've got in an attempt to overcome them. New members, willing and not, are briefed on the current Darkspawn situation, as well as any required news in camp, before being assigned a group and sent out on their first missions. Today, of all days, was a blessing to the dwindling numbers at Ostagar, fresh blood is being brought in by the scouts. These members will be crucial in the Kings plans to extinguish the Darkspawn threat. Three large caravans brought both capable men and women to aid in the ever going battle. Among new supplies and weaponry, they were going to be the key in achieving the goals set by Caillen and his wide spread intelligence. Within one of the Caravans, was a member of the first group. A Dalish Elf named Neviha and her trusted hunting companion, Esessar. Neviha was born among the Dalish Elves, noble wanderers who refused to join the society of humans that subjugated their homeland so long ago. The Dalish struggle to maintain their half forgotten lore in a human land that fears and despises them. The elf is young, believing that her kinds outlook on the social progression of race is a bit archaic and closed minded. Though she has not been living long, she has proved her skill as a hunter, also expressing the sacred ability of befriending the wildlife surrounding the Dalish camps. It is rare to see such a connection to a Dale with nature now and must to her keepers dismay, she wishes to use her gift in any way she can in order to defeat the Darkspawn threat. Ostagar was most definitely not what she had thought. It's rotting pillars and decaying walls were not quite as regal as the idea of a famous camp. Of course, Neviha had done her research, understanding the vast historic importance of the place. Representing the furthest point of encroachment by the ancient Tevinter Imperium into the barbarian lands of the southeast, the fortress ofOstagar was once one of the most important defensive Imperial holdings south of the Waking Sea. Straddling a narrow pass in the hills, the fortress kept the Chasind from the fertile lowlands of the north, being exceedingly difficult to attack due to its naturally defensible position. Standing at the edge of the Korcari Wilds, its Tevinter garrisons watched for any signs of invasion by barbarians. Though most of the walls still stand, as does the Tower of Ishal, it does not seem as strong or threatening as before, especially now that the threat were Darkspawn and not Barbarians. Neviha sat with her legs crossed, under the nearest tree to watch the hustle and bustle of the camp. From what she knew so far, her group consisted of two men and one more woman; a warrior. The men seemed strong in their own way. A Templar and a Healer, though she had yet to see them face to face. The parchment she held in here hand told her everything she needed to know: what she was doing and whom she was doing it with; simple enough. The elf's hand moved to smooth through Esessar's coat, delighting in the natural calm her was able to give her despite the change. Soon enough, she would meet those who would be fighting by her side and she hoped they would be worthy. ____________________________ Esessar followed his Elf over to a tree where she sat down and crossed her legs. He trotted over and plopped his head into her lap and rested there as she ran her hand threw his fur. It was a delicate touch with even hand movements. Something you would expect from such a great archer. She did, however, have such a way with nonverbal creatures that seemed almost unexplainable to him. It was almost like a connection that everyone didn't have. That was the main reason he never left her side, she always had something about her determiner that really created such a feeling inside of him that would just make his tail wag, even now, just by the light strokes of her hand his tall was lazily beating the ground. It was a feeling that wasn't love, but held the great feeling that accompanied it. He really didn't know what it was but whatever it could have been his Elf had it.