Decem Reliquias

The Cure

“Corryn, you must…” Suddenly the face and voice of First Enchanter Rhys are replaced by an unfamiliar voice calling his name. Corryn wakes with a start on a simple cot in an unfamiliar place. He closes his eyes a moment to clear his head and remember where he is. He had ridden with Berchan through the night to the Empress’ camp. After a short conversation with a pair of guards, they lead him to Sister Stone, her pink robe and title signifying some Chantry connection, but her young age cast doubt on how high ranking she might be. She had agreed to take the boy into her care and immediately set to work. Empress Celene I of Orlais had deigned to grant the mage an audience as requested, but his warnings of a possible Blight underway in Ferelden were dismissed. An elf, not Dalish it seemed, had stood near and signaled to her that he was either lying or wrong.

Another call from outside the tent snaps him back to the present. A handsome young man, for all the Empress’ guards were handsome young men, informs him that Sister Stone requires his assistance. Without delay he follows the man out into the crisp pre-dawn air.

The guard leads him to a tent on the outskirts of the camp. Unlike the multitude of pure white tents in the area, this one is strikingly bright red. The guard motions for him to enter and takes up a vigilant position outside. Inside, Corryn finds a stone dais where Berchan lies motionless surrounded by lit candles. Sister Stone holds a white feather and slowly draws it back and forth over the boy, not acknowledging Corryne’s entrance. The [[elf-woman:|elf woman]] that denied his claims in front of the Empress steps out of the shadows towards Corryn. She gives him an elaborate bowl and bids him hold it. She produces a wicked looking dagger engraved with many symbols he does not recognize, stares into Corryn’s eyes, raises the dagger and slices her palm, then squeezes several drops of her bright red blood into the bowl. She then passes the dagger to him, takes the bowl, holds it out to him and waits. He mimics the elf, and winces at the sharp pain and burning of the dagger slicing his flesh. The elf then takes the bowl to Sister Stone. She dips the pure white feather into the pool of blood, then returns to the boy. She begins a low chant while again moving the feather, now blood-soaked, above Berchan. Corryn notices a slight shimmer in the air which solidifies into the image of a twisted mockery of the material world. Corryn recalls his recent harrowing and recognizes this as a tear in the Veil, a window into the Fade.

A shadowy figure appears in the distance, humanoid but indistinct. Corryn prepares to defend himself, as all Circle mages are taught to do when confronted by denizens of the Fade. It slowly approaches, and whether through illusion or simply by virtue of being closer, takes the form of a Content Not Found: faith-spirit. It steps through the tear into Thedas and vanishes. Corryn watches close for a change in Berchan’s condition, but does not see any difference. Sister Stone continues her chanting and ritual motions.

Another figure appears across the Veil, but this one Corryn recognizes. A mass of writhing flesh and organs, a Content Not Found: sloth-demon, like the one he fought off during his Harrowing, grotesquely slithers towards them. The elf recognizes it too, and throws the bowl to the ground, smashing it to pieces. The image of the Fade starts to disappear, but the demon does not slow it’s advance. Corryn unleashes a bolt of magical energy, trying to hold it back long enough for the tear to dissipate. It responds in kind, sending a wave of entropic energy through the swiftly closing portal. He and the elf are overwhelmed by the demon’s spell. As he falls to the floor into a fitful sleep, he sees Sister Stone still standing and the demon and the tear vanish.

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amethyst_marie

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