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Nethra Lavellan
The Inquisitor
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PostSubject: Reunited   9/12/2014, 20:27

(Ema, if you're reading this it may have mild Dragon Age Inquisition spoilers so be warned!)

It was snowing in Skyhold. The white flakes drifted down past the battlements and roofs to land in growing number over the courtyards. Few were up at this hour; the dawn had only just began its slow creep across the sky. Movement could be spotted by the stables, though, as a slight figure brushed the melting snow from the caramel brown coat of a halla.

Nethra had been up for hours already. In truth, she hardly slept anymore. There were too many things running through her head, too many worries she had to keep bottled up in order to be the figure of authority everyone expected from the Inquisitor. Now the only time she managed to rest was in the late hours of the night, after she had worked to the point of exhaustion.

Even before the events of conclave meeting she had been a troubled sleeper and would inevitably awake from the slightest sound. This morning it had been the journey of one of Bull's more boisterous men from the tavern to his quarters. His curses as he tripped over cobblestones jolted Nethra's eyes open, her dreams dissipating as she adjusted to the glow of embers. Knowing she would not be slipping back to sleep now that she had been awoken, Nethra sighed into her pillow and mentally prepared for the day.

She savored one last moment the comfort of the bed before sliding gracefully out of the sheets and onto the floor. Even through the rug the chill of stone worked its way into her feet and up her legs, causing her to shiver and quickly reach for her garments. The bedroom around her was dimly lit, though even in the shadows it looked extravagant. Nethra wished to be out of it as soon as possible.

The keep was well built, and it offered the Inquisition everything they needed in a base, yet Nethra could not feel at home. Everything from the towering walls to the hard stone floor was foreign to her. She had grown up among the trees and grass lands, near rivers and coasts. Her home had been wherever her clan had set up their tents, and the night skies had been her glowing embers. The ceilings and walls here often felt as if they were closing in on her, and Nethra took every opportunity she could to be out doors.

That restless feeling had brought her to the stables to idly run a brush over her halla's coat, doing her best to remove any burs or tangles she found. The walk across the grounds had left her with snow stuck to her hair and clinging to her boots, but Nethra cared little. Her attention was far away, on other matters.

The halla was all she had with her from her home. It had traveled with her from her clan of Dalish in the north to the conclave meeting where the breach first appeared. It had stayed by her side while she did business in Haven, and even made the trek to Skyhold without her. Caring for it as she was doing now brought her memories of home, and all that she had lost since joining the Inquisition.

She missed the smell of the cedars and the sound of the rushing rivers her clan always made camp near. She missed sprinting barefoot through the grass, and picking fruit from the trees. Most of all, though, she missed her family. Her entire clan was family to her, related by blood or not. As a liaison for her clan she had spent time away from them before during her travels and negotiations, but never for this long. Months had passed since the last time she had been home. While Josephine had assured her that her clan was safe, Nethra worried anyway. The weight of the Inquisition was on her shoulders, yet most often she found herself worried over the well-being of those closest to her.

The face of her younger sister flooded her mind when she thought of her family; Nethra cared for her sister more than anyone in the world. They had grown up close, as siblings do in the small numbers of the Dalish clans. Fiercely protective of her, Nethra had done nothing but fuss over the news that she had left the clan weeks ago, with no word of her destination or whereabouts since.

Nethra suddenly sensed movement further down the courtyard, and she turned with a sharp spin, hands already reaching towards daggers that were not there. She immediately felt foolish for her quick defense, as it was just Cullen making his way across the courtyard. She gave a small smile, barely visible through the sheet of falling snow between them.

“You're up early, Inquisitor.” Cullen's voice traveled well, even in the hush of the heavy snow. Nethra supposed it was due to the practice of commanding troops through the clamor of battle, making sure his voice was clear and audible to all those that he ordered.

Instead of turning back to her task as she had intended, Nethra stepped forward, meeting Cullen as he entered the covered area of the stable. “So are you, Commander.” As she watched him brush the snow from his coat she noticed the bags beneath his eyes and the look of fatigue clouding his features. He looked about as well rested as she felt. “Did you get enough sleep last night?”

“I don't think I have gotten enough sleep since before the last blight.” Cullen chuckled in that particular way he had, but Nethra was adept at reading the emotions of others, and there was more to Cullen's state than he was letting on. Before she could press the subject, though, he turned his attention back to her. “What of you? Are you settling into Skyhold with ease? I can't imagine it is what you are accustomed to.”

Nethra was surprised to find herself in a conversation concerning what she had just been day dreaming about. She could hardly tell Cullen that, and instead chose to act the part expected of her. “No, but it's a very...defensible position. It's what we need, right?I can't complain about that.”

“It is exactly what the Inquisition needs. I still marvel over how Solus knew of it.” Cullen's expression softened then, and Nethra was bestowed with more gentle words. “I hope you are comfortable though, Inquisitor. We may be here for some time.”

“Thank you. I'm sure it will feel like home soon,” Nethra lied, knowing full well the stones and structures around her would never feel that way. “I do like the garden, though.”

“I haven't had the opportunity to spend any amount of time there.”

“Well, the next time both of us can't sleep, I'll meet you in the garden.” Nethra smiled, letting it reach the bright hazel of her eyes.

“I...uh, yes. The garden.” Cullen's cheeks took on a rosy shade that had nothing to do with the biting cold, and he suddenly found the building snow piles very interesting. Nethra couldn't help her smile from growing as she watched the knight-commander become flustered from her words alone. He regained his composure quickly, however, and gave her a slight nod of his head. “I should get to work. Good morning, Inquisitor.”

“Goodby, Cullen,” she called out as he turned to walk back into the snow. Still smiling, she made her way back to her halla's stall. Seeing Cullen had brightened her morning the faintest bit; he was an interesting man, for a human. Nethra had come to rely on his advice and expertise during the months she had been with the Inquisition.

The sky had brightened while she and the commander had spoke, and now the murmurs of activity were seeping out of the castle's walls. The stronghold was awakening, getting ready to face another day under the broken sky. There was much to be done, and Nethra at the center of it all, whether she liked it or not. With a farewell pat to the halla, she gathered her cloak closer to her body and set off into the courtyard, head bowed against the wind.
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Keerla

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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   10/12/2014, 08:01

'Be swift and silent,' Keerla recalled the teachings of Andruil as she fixed her violet irises on a hare in a small clearing ahead of her. As the hare dug through the snow, she slowly drew back the string of her bow, arrow drawn. 'Strike true; do not waver,' She let the arrow fly, 'And let not your prey suffer.' When it hit its mark, she smiled and broke cover. She had struck a clean blow, so the hare did not feel any pain. Keerla retrieved the limp carcass and removed her arrow from its skull.

"Thank you, Andruil," Keerla whispered softly. She tied the rabbit to her sack and let it hang beside the other two she had caught beforehand. Hunting had not been as bountiful as this during her travels, and she took it as a blessing- that leaving her clan to track down her sister had been the right thing for Keerla to do. Nethra hadn't been back home since last spring, nearly half the year, now that it was winter. Keerla hadn't understood all the nonsense about holes in the sky, or the demons ravaging the lands, but once she heard of her sister's whereabouts, she had to leave the clan and track her down.

She felt a pang of guilt as she thought of the clan. They never would have let her leave if she asked, so she had to leave without telling a soul, not even her closest friends. Keerla knew that she would worry them, but it was just something she had to do. Nethra was out here somewhere, now leading the Inquisition to help save the world, and Keerla was going to help. It seemed simple before, but Keerla had never traveled on her own before. She was certainly a skilled hunter, but it was different without the support of her whole clan on her side. The lack of company overall had started to wear down on her.

But soon, Keerla wouldn't have to worry about that. According to her map, she would reach the home of the Inquisition before the day reached its end. The only thing left to do was get a bird's eye view and try to spot the fortress, and the best way to do that was obvious: to climb the tallest tree in the area. It wasn't long before Keerla found just the one; it was a giant in a sea of dwarves, and she didn't hesitate to find a foothold and start heaving herself up. Once she was a few feet up, she left her sack hanging on a thick branch, where it would not weigh her down, nor attract predators with the scent of the dead rabbit.

The climb was time-consuming, exhausting, but also invigorating. The higher Keerla went, the faster her heart raced, maybe because falling from this height would mean certain doom, or because for every inch she scaled, the closer she was to finding her sister. Either way, the view from the top was incredible. The mountain range on the other valley was like a giant wall, stretching as far as her eye could see, and just across from her location and slightly to the east, the castle rose up from the mountain peak and caressed the sky. 'Skyhold.'

"If only you could see me now Nethra," Keerla smiled and then raised her voice, "I'm coming for you!" She couldn't resist laughing at her foolishness. Making this journey probably wasn't her smartest decision, but she made it nonetheless. For a moment she just sat on the branch, admiring the view, and admiring Skyhold, but then she looked down. Below and between the two vast mountain ranges was a valley; Keerla had climbed one mountain to get here, and now she had to get back down, cross the valley, and climb up the other side to reach the fortress. "Oh," Keerla exhaled. She still had a long way to go.

---

By the time Keerla reached the castle gates, the sun had reached its peak in the sky. She was more exhausted than ever, and all she wanted to do now was have a warm meal and then curl up in nice, soft grass. Why did it have to be so snowy? Keerla approached the gates, but was stopped by a commanding voice from a soldier on the other side of the iron bars.

"Hold there, elf! What business do you have here?" It seemed routine, as the guard stood straight, and did not draw his sword.

Would they just let her in if she told them the truth? "I've come to see my sister. I want to join the Inquisition, like she did. I've traveled a long way to get here." It was partially true; her gut warned her that mentioning her sister was the inquisitor would beg suspicion.

The soldier studied her a moment, then gave a curt nod before turning and telling one of his comrades, "Open the gate!" He then turned back to Keerla as she walked through, "I'll need to hold on to that for now." He pointed her bow.

"Oh right, of course." She happily obliged and the excitement rushed through her veins as she stepped into the castle's courtyard, rubbing her cold hands together as she looked around for her sister. There were so many faces here, going about their business, Keerla wasn't even sure where to look.
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Nethra Lavellan
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   12/12/2014, 06:23

“With the snow fall and lowering temperatures our soldiers will need warmer gear, and soon.”

Nethra only vaguely registered Cullen's words as they descended the stone steps into the courtyard. She was flanked by him and Cassandra, both chattering in her ears incessantly. It had been going on for some time, ever since they entered the war room for a meeting hours ago. By now Nethra felt like she had heard it all – all the demands and requests from every noble and common folk in Thedas. Yet still her advisers could come up with new things that needed her attention right now.

“And will warmer gear keep them fed? We need to focus on outfitting the hunters so they can stay out longer to find game!” Cassandra's voice was rising in frustration, a tone that Nethra was very familiar with. She really should have been listening more intently to the views of the two humans, yet it had been such a dreadfully long meeting in the stuffy room that her mind could no longer focus.

“There will be no one to feed if my soldiers freeze to death!”

“Ugh. You will not see sense! Inquisitor, tell the commander what needs to be done.” Cassandra and Cullen both stopped and turned Nethra, who, by the sour look on the Seeker's face, took too long to realize she was being addressed.

“Hmm?” Nethra refocused on her two advisers, who were now both looking at her expectantly. What were they bickering about, again? “You're both right; just find a way to do both. I trust you.” She had found the best way to deal with their arguing was to appease both of them, if at all possible. She couldn't stand that disappointed look Cullen got when she told him no, and Cassandra’s glare was enough to send her hiding in her quarters.

“Maybe ask-” Her words trailed off as her attention was sharpy rerouted to an area of the courtyard nearby. New recruits and villagers were a common sight in Skyhold, and Nethra was accustomed to seeing many faces blend together. As she was idly scanning the area someone caught her eye and this time Nethra could not let them fade away as just another recruit. Another elf, looking younger than Nethra but oddly similar, was standing alone, gazing around in what appeared to be confusion. It took no more than that simple glance for Netha to know the girl, and her heart bounded in her chest at the recognition.  

“Keerla?” She called out, voice ringing over the noise of the yard. She saw the girl look to the sound of her name, cementing her suspicion.  

Nethra was gone in an instant, taking the remaining stairs in leaps and sprinting the distance of snow covered ground to reach the one familiar face she had been longing to see. When she reached her Nethra flung her arms around her sister, pulling her in close and squeezing her as hard as she could. She may have misjudged her speed and increased strength from the last few months, as she nearly toppled Keerla over with her embrace.

Nethra was no longer the Inquisitor, but just a young woman caught up in her emotions. She was grinning as wide as she could, both relieved at her sisters safely and delighted to have her at Skyhold. No thought of what the many people roaming the courtyard would think of her display crossed her mind; for a few shining moments she was just Nethra again.

“Are you alright? You're not hurt are you?” She reluctantly broke the embrace, holding Keerla at arms length in order to look her over. Now that she was certain she was real, not just a wishful thought, Nethra realized what her being at Skyhold must have entailed. To travel this far from her clan could not have been easy. She appeared to be alone and weaponless, a sight that made Nethra's worry for her safely skyrocket.

“Are you starving? Thirsty? I can get you whatever you need.” She was fussing, but she couldn't help it. Nethra had spent most of her life making sure her sister was taken care of, and old habits were hard to break. Ever since she was a young girl Keerla had been  her responsibility, and that responsibility was not something Nethra took lightly. All of a sudden she felt as if she had failed somehow. Her sister had left the clan alone, put herself in danger, and Nethra had been unable to do anything about it. She could only imagine the look of disappointment on the Keepers face, or those of her parents, had they still lived.

“Oh, Keerla. What were you thinking? You have no idea how-” Nethra stopped before the words tumbled out of her mouth; words that she might regret if overheard. It hit her then that people were watching her closely, rumors already on their tongues. Immediately she let her arms fall to her side, breaking contact with Keerla. She took a step away and nearly backed into Cassandra, who, along with Cullen, was now standing nearby.

“Ah, Cassandra, Cullen? This is Keerla, my sister.” Nethra motioned to Keerla with a grin, having trouble controlling her happiness. All annoyance at her two advisers that was felt only moments ago was gone, and now all she wanted was to introduce her sister to two people whom she considered friends. She could see the disapproval of her actions in Cassandra's eyes, but Nethra chose to ignore it and move on. “I need to speak with her. Could we finish our discussion later?”

Cassandra opened her mouth to answer, but Cullen was quicker. “Of course, Inquisitor. You know where to find us.” He gave the two elves a warm look before turning to leave, taking Cassandra with him.

“I can't believe you're here, da'assan.” Nethra switched to elven, knowing there were few in Skyhold who could make sense of it. It felt good to speak her native language, as she had few opportunities to do so working with the Inquisition. On rare occasions Solus would speak in elven to her, when they had a quiet moment to discuss things besides the war. This was different, though. This sounded like home.

“Come on, I'll take you to my quarters. You can wash while you tell me everything that's happened. We have a lot to talk about.” Nethra was eager to get out of view of bystanders and have her sister all to herself. She guided her into the main building and through the halls, doing her best to blend in and remain unnoticed. The last thing she wanted was to be stopped.
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Keerla

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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   14/12/2014, 07:54

Keerla's head whirled around at the sound of a familiar voice calling her name, and her lips stretched a smile as she saw her sister bounding down the stairs to greet her. "Nethra!" When Nethra threw her arms around Keerla, which nearly knocked Keerla over in the process, Keerla's eyes swelled with tears. In that moment, Keerla felt at home, even if she was surrounded by stone walls and strange faces. She was oblivious to all but Nethra, as she clung to her in fear of losing each other again. But Nethra pulled away far too soon, and then proceeded to worry over her, even though it was plain as can be that Keerla was alive and well. Keerla smiled as she answered, "I'm fine! I could use some water though, and..." As Keerla placed a hand on Nethra's shoulder, she could feel the silk fabric her sister wore, and it was only now that she took note of it, "...What are you wearing?" She always pictured her sister clad in leather and steel, not silk and gold; she was a warrior after all, not a noble.

As predictable as can be, Nethra started to give her a lecture about how dangerous it was for Keerla to go off her own. Anger bubbled up inside Keerla, and she had about fifty different retorts ready to deflect anything Nethra threw at her. Her anger vanished as Nethra's hands fell away, and instead she was puzzled. Nethra stepped away and turned towards the two humans who had been standing nearby in the midst of the conversation. As names were assigned to each of their faces, Keerla smiled, and gave a small wave, "Hello!" Proper etiquette was entirely lost on the young elven hunter.

The one called Cassandra crossed her arms, and the one named Cullen gave a curt nod, but soon dismissed themselves, and Keerla had Nethra's attention once more. She giggled, "Did you think I would let you save the world all by yourself?" Nevermind the fact that Keerla had felt trapped back at home. When Nethra became the 'Inquisitor', the Keeper stopped letting Keerla leave camp as much. She couldn't go on hunting trips, even though she was one of the best hunters in the clan. She had been reduced to collecting herbs alongside the elves who followed Vir Atish'an. She couldn't understand why the Keeper forced her to feel so trapped, and it was hardly fair. So she came here, to battle against evil like her big sister, who had been a hero in her eyes long before the any silly titles were introduced.

Keerla was proud. Proud that of all the people in the world, her sister had been chosen to close the holes in the sky, and put a stop to the creature who started it all in the first place. Thousands of soldiers supported Nethra's cause. Now they saw Nethra as a hero too, just like Keerla did. Back home stories and news of the Inquisitor was all Keerla heard people talked about. They said this could be a sign of change for the elves- all the elves, not just the Dalish. Keerla wasn't sure what they meant, only that what Nethra was doing was good, saving the world and all.

As Nethra lead the way into the castle, Keerla hooked and arm around her sister's, unaware that it would attract the wrong kind of attention; this felt natural to her, especially after having been apart for so long. Nethra was like the piece of her that encouraged her to be strong, as she imagined an elder sister should do. Keerla hadn't taken well to their separation.

As they stepped through the massive doorway into the castle, among other faces, one grey skinned being with great big horns glanced their way. Keerla's eyes widened as he stood from his chair, growing twice the size she was.

"Whoa." Was all she could mutter.

"Hey boss, you're just in time! I was just telling Varric about the time I took on a bear with one hand tied behind my back." He gave a hearty laugh. The other one sitting at the table- a dwarf, judging by his size- chuckled as he shook his head. The massive horned being took a glance at Keerla, "Who's your friend?"

"Your horns are huge!" Keerla blurted out without a second thought, and he laughed.

"If you think those are huge, you should see my-"

"You share a striking resemblance with the Inquisitor." The dwarf spoke up before the Qunari could finish, "You two wouldn't happen to be related... would you?"

The bull-headed one scratched the back of his head and laughed, "Well this is awkward."
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Nethra Lavellan
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   15/12/2014, 04:18

Nethra allowed Keerla to link their arms together as they walked for some time, enjoying the comfortable way they fit together. It brought back memories of them dashing through camp together, playing one game or another as children. She would have gladly walked all of Skyhold with her sister's arm entwined with hers, but the reality of the situation sunk in as she saw the familiar horns of Bull looming before her. She quickly withdrew her arm, bringing her hands to fold behind her back.

Bull was already half way through his greeting when he reached the two elves. It had taken Nethra a while to get used to the imposing figure he cut, and to learn that underneath his rippling muscles was just a good natured giant. Now, after nearly half a year with him she was not surprised by anything that came out of his mouth. Keerla, on the other hand, had never seen a Qunari before, to the best of Nethra's knowledge. Even so, Nethra was shocked to hear her blurt out the first thing that came to her mind. She cast a side long glance to her sister, silently reprimanding her.

Her outburst didn't seem to bother Bull, though, as he launched into one of his usual raunchy comments. Nethra knew exactly where he was going with it, and she had a moment of slight panic – both due to the image that popped unbidden into her mind, and to the idea that Keerla might actually agree to whatever Bull was about to suggest. She was saved the horror of intervening when Varric spoke up from his seat at the table. Nethra was relieved for his interruption, though somewhat disconcerted that he had been able to spot the resemblance between the two girls so quickly.

“Yes, actually. This is my sister, Keerla.” There was no point in trying to hide it from Varric, and Nethra wasn't certain there was a reason to. He was a good friend, and though he loved to spin his stories, he knew when to hold his tongue. Motioning from Keerla to the qunari and dwarf, Nethra introduced them as she had Cullen and Cassandra. “Keerla, this is Iron Bull and Varric. They both work closely with me and the Inquisition.

“Nice to meet you, kid. Any friend of the Inquisitor is a friend of mine.” Varric offered Keerla a smile while Bull gave her a friendly pat on the shoulder.

“Would you two mind keeping this quiet for now?” As quiet as can be after that display in the courtyard, Nethra scolded herself. “I'm not certain how Josephine wants to handle this yet.” As she spoke she noticed Bull give her sister another approving look, and she quickly added another order. “And Bull, she doesn't need to see anything besides your horns, ok?

He just laughed and nodded his head in agreement. “Now please excuse us, boys. We have a lot to talk about.” Nethra was getting antsy – she wanted to get to the privacy of her quarters.

“Oh, you're in for it now,” Varric's smooth voice chimed in again. “That's the Inquisitor Face. Go easy on the kid. It couldn't have been an easy trip here.”

Nethra bid her two friends goodbye and steered Keerla towards the corridor leading to her room. They passed the throne quickly, Nethra avoiding looking at it as much as possible. She disliked thinking of what it stood for, and what it meant for her. When they finally made it to the private stairway, away from all prying eyes, she let herself relax and finally speak again.

“Keerla, you have to watch your manners while you're here. I know this is new to you, but there are people everywhere here, and they are always listening.” They reached the top of the stairs, now standing in the large open space that was Nethra's home away from home.

“These are my quarters. They're a bit big, and drafty, but the view is nice, isn't it?” She gave Keerla an encouraging smile, motioning towards the large open balconies and the majestic scene of the mountains on all sides. Now that she was alone with Keerla she could let herself truly feel all the emotions that had sparked in her the moment she saw her across the courtyard. She let out a huge sigh, resisted the urge to flop into her bed, and instead headed towards the small wash room on the far wall.

“Here, I'll get some hot water for you. This is my second favorite place in Skyhold; imagine, a bathtub! It's nothing like a river, but Josie gave me some soap that makes all these bubbles...” Her voice became cheerful, lost the weight of all the responsibility it often held. She chatted about the tub, and about how she sometimes spent hours laying in it while reading some book or other that Varric gave her.

Once the tub was full, she took a seat on the edge of her bed and looked to Keerla. This was the moment she had been least looking forward to. There were issues that needed to be addressed, and it was best to get it over with before getting too comfortable.

“Alright, Keerla,” she said, her tone now serious. “Let me get through this lecture, then you can give me all your excuses and reasons for being here. Just keep in mind I am very glad you're here, even if it doesn't seem like it for the next few minutes.”

“First off; you're alone? You didn't tell anyone you left? Do you have any idea how worried everyone is about you? It was very selfish of you to do that, da'assan. The Keeper thought you had been captured by soldiers, or killed by dawkspawn! You put the clan into a state of panic when you went missing, and you know as well as I do that they need to keep all their wits about them during this war with Corypheus.” Though she kept her voice even, Nethra was filling each word with the force of her worry and frustration.

“Anything could have happened to you on your way here! The roads are not safe for anyone these days, let alone a young female elf by herself. Have you forgotten what happened to our parents so easily? We have to be careful, even now.” Nethra hated to bring up their parents – even after so many years the wound was still raw. She needed to emphasize her point, though, and there was no other way. A lone elf, or even a small group, was easy prey to the elf hating groups that wandered the lands, or slave traders from Tevinter, or even the common bandit. Their parents had been the victims of one such crime when the girls were but children; a crime that left its own mark on both of the sisters. There were few safe places for an elf in Thedas, and of all people Keerla should know that by now.

“Listen, I know you wanted to find me. But imagine how I felt when I got the news you were missing. I have enough on my plate as it is! I wanted to rush off and find you the moment the word came in, but I couldn't. I couldn’t do anything! You've caused a lot of needless worry and hurt, and I know that may not have occurred to you, but you have to learn to think of the consequences of your actions before you rush off.”

Nethra finished her speech, letting her words sink in. She could see the effect they were having on Keerla, and her expression turned soft. She did not mean to scold her sister, but to help her understand.

“What's done is done, though. You're here now, and I'll send word to the Keeper and let him know you are safe.” She met her sisters eyes again, speckled hazel locked onto the odd purple she had grown to accept. Her next words were a mere whisper, nearly lost in the high stone ceiling. “I'm sorry, Keerla. I love you with all my heart, and I am so happy you're here. You don't know how good it is to see a familiar face.” Nethra slumped her head into her hands, hiding her face. She was exhausted, both physically and emotionally. She honestly did not know how much more of this burden she could take.
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   22/12/2014, 09:34

Whatever the conversation truly consisted of, it completely flew over Keerla's head, seeing as she was such a naive girl. She just smiled as Iron Bull patted her on the shoulder, albeit he was using a bit more force than she thought necessary. "Thank you! It's a pleasure to meet you both." Her cheerful and unfortunately loud voice turned a few heads, but she didn't seem to notice.

As Nethra began to pull her away, Keerla couldn't help but frown at Varric's comment, and she looked at her sister. What Keerla saw was the grown-up 'big-sister' face, not belonging to some Inquisitor, but all the same, it meant a lecture was soon to follow. Keerla took a breath, waved a hand towards the two gents at the table, and followed after her sister quickly. Her pace slowed at the sight of a massive throne, and her eyes widened. Keerla had been told that Nethra was leading the Inquisition, but she hadn't really felt the wight of that until now. Nethra commanded an entire army of warriors, and they looked to her for orders. Keerla could not possibly imagine what that must have felt like to Nethra.

Speaking of, she only just took notice of her sister entering through a door on the left, so Keerla rushed after her, closing the door quietly behind her. Nethra spoke up then, resulting in another frown upon Keerla's face. She was prepared to argue that no one seemed bothered by her, but Keerla was quick to remember that Nethra would have far more to chastise her for. Keeping that in mind, she was inclined to agree with Nethra, and simply said, "Okay." The air was filled with silence as they ascended the vast staircase, and Keerla started to get a bit restless and uneasy. It wasn't until her hand skimmed the strap of her satchel that she remembered the hunting she did earlier that day.

"Oh! I have some fresh rabbit to share with you, sister. I saved the biggest and juiciest of the catch, just like I always." She smiled up at her sister, glad to have some normalcy amidst their long-awaited reunion. Back home hunters were meant to save their kills first for the elders and the children, but Keerla always caught plenty, so no one noticed her taking one or two catches to her sister. Keerla was always felt proud to show that she could support Nethra just as Nethra always supported her. She too, had strengths.

They reached the top of the stairs, and just as Nethra described, the view was the most captivating thing about these chambers. With the great wide doors that opened up to the balcony, Keerla could see the summit of the mountain beyond the castle. She found herself approaching the glass to fully take in the view, setting down her satchel in the process. "This is amazing, Neth." She smiled as she turned away from the mountain and listened to her sister chatter about the bathtub. Keerla giggled, "Humans seem to come up with the strangest way of doing things don't they?"

Nethra came and sat down on the bed after filling the tub, and she started her long winded lecture. Keerla opened her mouth in protest, but at Nethra's behest, Keerla reconsidered, and listened instead. It took all her willpower not to argue on each point Nethra made, even though every point was like an arrow through the chest. She stood there, arms crossed and her down as she stared at the floor. There was no way Keerla could have done anything but run away from home, life there had changed so much that it became unbearable to stay any longer. It started with less hunting trips, where Keerla was left with more time sitting around the camp. Then what little hunting she had left was replaced by tedious chores, such as collecting herbs with the healers. Though Keerla would often try to leave camp and get a breath of freedom, someone was always there, hovering over her- keeping an eye on her. Ever since Nethra became this Herald and Inquisitor, the clan had slowly become an overprotective prison in which Keerla had no intention of suffering. She was angry with the Keeper for treating her like a child, she was also angry with her clanmates.

But she'd never intended to hurt her sister, of all people. Nethra slumped her head into her hands, and Keerla went to her side. Sitting beside her, Keerla threw her arms around her sister, hoping to convey just how sorry she was, and she hoped to comfort Nethra in some small way. "I'm sorry... the Keeper wouldn't let me hunt, she wouldn't let me do anything anymore. I couldn't stay." She mumbled the words into Nethra's sleeve, as she leaned her head against her sister's shoulder. After saying it out loud, running away sounded so cowardly now, she should have just done as the Keeper said, no questions asked. Nethra being happy for her presence was the only comfort that Keerla had done the right thing, but it was still a nagging feeling in the back of her mind. What if it had been selfish to seek out her sister?
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   29/12/2014, 01:18

Head in her hands, hair soft on her shoulders, Nethra felt the bed sink as Keerla sat beside her. Suddenly her sister's arms were around her, hugging her tight in a way that was so familiar she thought she was home. Nethra did not fail to notice the role reversal that was taking place. She could recall many times throughout her life when she was the one with her arms around her sister, whispering condolences and soft words of hope. Nethra was the one who did the comforting, the one who was a rock for all of those around her. It was a rare occasion she needed someone to be that for her, and Keerla was one of the very few people who knew just when she needed it. She could find no words to thank her sister enough, to let her know just how much she was appreciated and needed. As the weight of the Inquisition was briefly lifted from her shoulders Nethra felt wet tears slide from her eyes and wash over her freckles.

Keerla was speaking into her sleeve, silk doing nothing to muffle her pained tones. Of course the clan had stopped Keerla from venturing too far. The Keeper must have known that if she had somehow been hurt Nethra would have dropped everything and returned home, or else she suspected Nethra's enemies were searching for any way to hurt her. Still, it angered her to think of them stopping Keerla from hunting. Not only was it something her sister loved, it was a benefit to the clan. It was similar to locking her away in a dungeon. While the news shed some light on why Keerla ran away, Nethra still struggled to decide whether it was justified.

“Thank you, Keerla,” she said as she lifted her head from her hands and quickly wiped away the tears that had wet her cheeks. The time for weakness was over. In fact, she felt better than she had in some time; the comfort of a loved one was a tonic she had sorely been missing. With a final sigh, she rose from the bed and made for Keerla's pack. She admired the catch that her sister had brought and imagined how pleased Cassandra would be to have a skilled hunter in Skyhold. After the argument this morning Nethra had thought that game was scarce near the castle, though she was not surprised Keerla had managed to find some anyway. She was the best hunter in the clan – a fact that Nethra was fiercely proud of. Taking the rabbit, Nethra placed it by the stairs so she remembered to bring it to the kitchens. Perhaps her and Keerla could dine with some of her companions this evening; she was certain some of them would enjoy the fresh meat.

Nethra leaned against her sturdy desk, looking back at Keerla. Now that the important things had been taken care of, she was eager to hear news from her sister. “Now, tell me everything that's happened since I left, and how you got here. And I mean everything; it's been terrible not hearing from anyone but the Keeper. She writes that everyone is fine, but no details at all! Has Brille had her baby yet? How's Jarel and the hallas? Is Taevan still-” Nethra stopped abruptly, words dying on her tongue. Did she really want to know how Taevan was? The last time she had seen him they did not leave on good terms. Netha groaned as she remembered the way they had behaved – as if they were children again, thinking only of themselves.

She would not lie to herself and say she had not thought of Taevan in the long months she had been away. He was a constant in her life, much as Keerla was. She and the young mage had grown up together and become close in ways Nethra had not experienced with anyone else. Friends and lovers, they had often spoke of what life held for the two of them in the future. Things have a way of changing, though, and the feelings between Nethra and Taevan were no exception. Even after months of strained interactions and nearly half a year of silence thinking of him still made her both angry and acutely sad.

“Maybe we need some wine for this....” Close by was an unopened bottle that Nethra had received as a gift from Dorian after she had prompted him to speak with his father. Now seemed like as good a time as any to open it, and she proceeded to pour two glasses of the dark red liquid before handing one of them to Keerla. “Another one of my new friends gave me this. You can't imagine all the different people working with me; you're going to love meeting them all.” Nethra knew the truth in her words. Her sister had always been curious about other cultures and Skyhold was a treasure trove of races and different ways of life. She had to remember to keep an eye on who her sister spoke to, though. Just to be careful, of course.
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   11/1/2015, 02:29

Keerla grinned as her sister stepped across the room to examine her catch of the day. Though normally she would have spent more time hunting, the three rabbits she did catch were particularly plump; just imagining what they'd taste like in a stew, or roasted over an open flame had Keerla's mouth watering. She would have started cooking one of them at Nethra's fireplace, had the Inquisitor not moved onto another subject. Keerla cleared her throat uncomfortably upon the mention of Taevan, seeing as how Keerla's last encounter with him hadn't gone so well.

It was the night Keerla had finally decided to pack up and leave the clan. She'd snuck out when the moon had just about reached its peak in the sky, but on her way through the woods, Taevan was there to intercept her. He refused to let her leave, said he promised that he would look out for her, a promise he still held onto, despite his falling out with Nethra. But then he said the clan needed her. "I can't even leave the camp, much less help the clan! I'd be better off fighting for the Inquisition, not here collecting herbs!" Keerla scratched her arm nervously upon remembering the hot sting of her own anger. Though the elf broke her sister's heart, he was still to be Keeper someday, and Keerla didn't think that boded well for her. Especially because when he tried to take her back to camp by force, she easily dealt with him. With a well-aimed kick she had knocked his feet out from under him, and had a knife to his throat before he could scream. Everyone in the clan knew he wasn't the best fighter, so it was no surprise that a measly hunter was able to take him down. Keerla imagined he was so embarrassed he wouldn't have breathed a word about it to anyone, so not even the Keeper would know where she was headed.

Keerla still could hardly believe how easy it had been, but she wasn't sure if Nethra would be pleased or angry to hear the whole story. Keerla had learned not to talk much about Taevan around Nethra to begin with. So, the young hunter smiled as her sister uncorked a bottle of wine, "That looks rather expensive Neth, are you sure you want to waste it on me? I'll be tipsy before I've even had supper!" She giggled, glad to be back on a more pleasant topic. "Speaking of which, I'm actually quite starving! Might we also prepare a meal to go with the wine? We can roast the rabbits, and I believe I still have some berries in my pack as well..." As she spoke, Keerla had walked over to her pack and started rifling through it in search of her other provisions.
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   12/1/2015, 05:07

Nethra sighed in contentment as the slightly sweet wine hit her taste buds. “It's not wasting it. This is a celebration! You're here, and that deserves something special.” She took another sip of her drink, savoring it and the warm feeling rushing through her. Dorian had good taste when it came to wine; she would have to thank him again. When she saw Keerla take a small swallow she grinned, remembering the times her sister had proved to be less than capable of holding her liqueur. “Though don't go drinking too much and making a fool of yourself your first night here, da'assan.”

Nethra was taking a seat on top of her desk, pushing the papers aside, when Keerla suggested cooking the rabbits. The idea at first seemed silly: here, in her bedroom? She was so used to eating in the dining hall, or having food already prepared brought up to her that she nearly forgot how she had lived most of her life. All her meals used to be prepared over an open fire, whether in a tent or under the open sky. She felt ashamed for a moment, and afraid that her new life was changing her in ways she did not want.

“That's a great idea.” She slipped gracefully from the desk to her feet, wine glass steady in her hand so as not to spill a drop.

“Why don't you get in the bath while I cook? It'll feel nice to wash off all the dirt from travel. Here,” she walked back to the tub hidden in the small alcove and the shelves above it. Rummaging through all the glass bottles she finally found what she sought, and handed it to Keerla. “Put this in the water. It'll smell like roses. It was a gift from some noble. Those Orlesians are something else, aren't they? Why they don't just put rose petals in their pockets I don't know...”

Nethra left Keerla by the now full tub, giving her her privacy. They had grown up bathing in rivers and lakes together, and while Nethra had no qualms about nudity, she thought it best to let Keerla relax in peace after such hard travel. “When you're done you can borrow some clean clothes. You can take anything you want; Josephine seems to think I need a new outfit every week, so I've got plenty.”

The two sisters were very similar in build and Nethra was certain all the clothes loaded in the wardrobe would fit Keerla just as well as if they were made for her. If her sister would want to wear any of them was another mater entirely. Nethra avoided the frills and lace as much as she could, but there was just so much of it. On the rare occasion she wore one of the more elaborate and feminine outfits it made Josephine happy, and Nethra supposed it was worth it. Her adviser had little enough to be happy about lately, what with her mountain of work, so Nethra did what she could to make her smile now and again.

“And don't think you're off the hook about telling me how you got here,” she called back to Keerla, reminding her the matter was not yet closed. “I'm going to get one of our mages to look you over, too, just in case you're hurt.”

Once she saw that her sister was settled in the bath, she took the plumpest rabbit from the pack by the stairs. Nethra had never been much of a cook, but the fresh rabbit and berries would have enough flavor on their own to make up for her lack of expertise. She set about skinning the rabbit and preparing it to be cooked, and while she would never be as good at it as Keerla, she deemed it done well enough.

As she worked and Keerla washed, Nethra spoke of many things. Nothing of much importance though, and nothing that would clue her sister in on the dire circumstances the Inquisition was fighting against. She retold stories of the people she had met, mainly, and the places she had traveled. She found herself mentioning her new friends often, and always with a smile.

“And then Sera took his pants and he had to walk back to Skyhold with nothing on, but he just strut around like nothing was amiss! Can you imagine, all those muscles and those horns glistening from the hot springs? No, wait, don't imagine that! And do not tell him I said that!” She shook her head in disbelief that she had even mentioned that last part. It had been so long since she could speak freely like this, and have someone listen who she knew would not judge. It felt like a weight was lifting further and further from her the more she spoke, and by the time the rabbit was falling from its spit over the fire she was positively glowing.
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   4/2/2015, 23:56

Keerla smiled and took a sip of wine, "I shall limit myself to this one glass then. I'd like to remember my first night with the Inquisiton." Her smile twisted to a puzzled frown. The word felt foreign on her lips, especially when considering that Nethra was attached to it- for Andruil's sake, she was the heart of the Inquisition. Keerla swelled with pride whenever she pondered on it, but it also made her painstakingly aware of the infamous green mark that she had heard so much about. She caught herself staring at Nethra's hand, and after a short exhale she took another sip of wine. Keerla didn't know much about all this 'fade' nonsense, but she had seen what the people were calling 'rifts': green streaks in the air that unleashed the sort of monsters that clung to her childhood dreams. The rifts were sew across the land, so of course Keerla had seen them. The clan had run-ins with those very creatures during their travels, and no matter how hard the warriors fought, they couldn't stop the beasts from coming through.

The stories she had heard about Nethra, all of her sister's victories, had played through her mind over and over during her journey to this place. Keerla didn't believe all the 'Herald of Andraste' things the humans spoke of, and yet, she had no doubt that Nethra had been chosen to protect all the people who's lives were constantly threatened by these nightmarish spirits. That's what the Inquisition's purpose was, what her sister's mission was, and she was eager to become a part of it. But perhaps that was a conversation best left until after supper.

As Nethra led the way into the small room, Keerla took note of her surroundings. In particular, she observed the gold trim lining the bath tub, and the collection of glass bottles that Nethra started searching through. Once she offered up the bottle that was half full with some sort of pink powder, Keerla took it into her palm and studied it curiously. Keerla's gaze drifted from the glass bottle to the glass cup in her hand, and she watched as the wine swirled in a dark unending whirlpool. It was a strange realization to find that Nethra had been living like a wealthy noble. It was simply unexpected, though really what she had imagined had been no less idealistic.

Keerla set down her wine glass and, as instructed, Keerla poured some of the bath salts into the steaming hot water. Then once she undressed, she stepped into the tub, and let the steam fill her nose as she sunk down. She could finally shake off the cold winter's grip and just relax, and the journey was put in the back of her mind. When Nethra's sharp accusing tone echoed into the small room, Keerla cringed and began looking herself over. There was of course the routine bumps and scratches that came from tree climbing, and then there was the overall soreness from traveling a great distance, but nothing that seemed like something that should be fussed over.

"I'm fine Eth Inan, I'm sure your mages have more important matters to be tending to." Keerla couldn't think of anything more embarrassing than Nethra babying her on her very first day here. She wanted to be more than just her little sister here in the Inquisition.

To avoid the argument, Nethra started talking about all the friends she had made within the Inquisition, and Keerla couldn't help but smile, learning that her sister had done more than fight in a war during her time away from the clan. She listened as Nethra trailed on, but eventually hearing of Nethra's adventures had gotten her thinking about her own adventure. Traveling all the way from the Free Marches down to Skyhold, which sat between the borders of Ferelden and Orlais. The biggest challenge at the start of the journey had been finding passage across the river into Ferelden, there weren't many humans who were willing to aid a Dalish elf, but eventually, Keerla met an elderly man and traded meat that would last his family several days, and in exchange, he offered passage on his small boat into Ferelden.

The rest of the trip, Keerla avoided the roads paved by man, and stuck to the woods wherever she could. It was a safer route away from bandits. She had a few run-ins with a pack of wolves, and had a close-call with a big grey bear, but any injuries she had sustained from those encounters had long since healed, or at the very least were on the mend. She had practically forgotten about the bruising and teeth marks across her shoulder, where one of the wolves managed to pin her down. The wound had come a long way in the healing process, but it was so close to her throat that Keerla wouldn't have noticed how horribly purple the area near her neck was.

When Keerla tuned back into Nethra's story, Keerla was horrified by the thought of the Iron Bull walking around Skyhold nude. She made a face to express her disgust, "I wish I hadn't imagined that. With bulging muscles like his, he must look very weird without clothes!" Once she shook the thought from her mind, she climbed out of the tub, and with a drying cloth wrapped around her, she stepped out into the main room. The cold air felt sharp along her bare skin, so she quickly crossed the room over to Nethra's wardrobe. She opened the large wooden doors, and her eyes grew at the sight of all the clothes that Nethra owned but Keerla couldn't even imagine her ever wearing.

"So this is what a noble's wardrobe looks like? How are you supposed to find something to wear amongst all of this?"
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   16/2/2015, 04:32

Nethra could not hold back her relieved laughter when Keerla gave a shocked look about Bull and his muscles. That was one thing she need not worry about, then. Her sister would not be romping around Skyhold with eyes on any of the inhabitants, not that that was a behavior she had ever exhibited before, but Nethra always worried. Plenty of people out there would be more than willing to take advantage of a young elf maiden.

When Keerla was finished bathing they stood in front of the open wardrobe, which was nearly over flowing with garments. It made Nethra anxious just looking at it. “That's a great question. If you figure it out, let me know. I usually just pick the one with the least straps and ruffles. But this-” she ran her hand over all the silks and skins until she found an extravagant gown made with the finest lace and detailed embroidery. She pulled it out and held it up to herself, the bodice line dipping so far down it seemed unlikely to cover anything at all. “What opportunity would force me to wear this? I would rather be bare skinned than attempt to get anything done at all in this dress.” She moved to place it back in the wardrobe, heedless of the hem dragging along the dusty floor. “Unless what I needed to get done was look like some shem princess. No one wants to see that. Here, put this on.” Pulling another outfit from the cramped wardrobe, Nethra handed Keerla what she thought might suit her sister the best. Still more ornate than what the two elves were used to wearing, the tunic she pressed into Keerla's hands was far from the rich dresses that surrounded it. It was made from plush fur and softened leather, with only the hint of embellishments around the collar. Digging through the bottom of the wardrobe Nethra found a pair of spare leggings and piled them on top of the tunic. They too were of fine quality. More fur lined the insides, and the color was not one that would help to camouflage, unless Keerla tried blending in with a brightly painted mural.

It was then that she noticed the wound on her sister's shoulder. Ripe yellow and green splotches surrounded a deep purple mark in the distinct oval shape of a mouth full of sharp teeth. Nethra could even see the pinpoints of broken skin where canines had ripped into Keerla's flesh. Though the mark showed definite signs of healing – the sickly greens of the bruise confirmed it – it was a gruesome sight to see. Before Keerla could even blink her eyes, Nethra was next to her again and taking her by the arm, leaning close to examine the injury.

“Keerla! This does not look fine! What happened? Why didn't you mention this the moment I asked if you were hurt?” She pressed her fingertips into Keerla's shoulder, feeling the tender flesh beneath them and drawing back when her sister shuddered. She could not fathom how she had missed seeing the bruise before now, and scolded herself for not being attentive enough. How many times had she looked over Keerla when she came home after tromping in the forest as a child? Looking for any cuts or bruises, any sign of ticks or leeches stuck to her skin. It had been a long time since she had last done so, and somehow the realization made Nethra melancholy.

“Oh, I knew I should have looked you over myself before letting you get settled. I'll go get one of-” She was already turning and heading to the door when she stopped in her tracks. She might be over reacting. Turning back to Keerla she gave her a weak smile, in ways of apology. “I'm fussing, aren't I?”

She took a deep breath, letting herself become calm. One thing she had learned during her time as Inquisitor was that she could not go rushing off to care for everyone at the drop of a hat. Other people were capable of taking care of themselves, and perhaps Keerla, in this one instance, was one of them. “You will need to get that looked at – no arguing. But, I suppose it can wait until after dinner. Just, next time, tell me when you have a huge bruised bite mark on your neck, ok? I swear one of these days you are going to give me a heart attack.” In truth she was surprised it hadn't already happened; Keerla's fate put a strain on her heart every time she looked into her unnatural irises.

“How did that even happen, da'assan? And Andruil help me if you try to skirt around the topic.” Knowing Keerla's easy going manner Nethra would not be surprised if she brushed it off as if it was nothing serious. It drove her mad when her sister was not cautious with her health or the threat of danger, yet she knew, after long years of frustration, that it was not a trait likely to change. Nethra had to be satisfied with giving her a stern look and moving on.

Crossing the room to give her sister privacy to dress in, Nethra looked over the rabbit roasting over the fire. There was juice running from it to drip into the coals, and the skin popped and charred as it cooked. The smell wafting up from it made her mouth water and her stomach rumble. Had she eaten since morning? Often times a whole day would pass before she ate again, kindly reminded by Josephine that even though the Inquisitor was busy, she still needed to remember to eat.

“The rabbit should be done soon; I'm afraid it won't be as good as if you had cooked it, but I think after all these years you can stomach my cooking.”

Nethra was about to take a seat on the top of her desk when there was a knock at the door. She frowned slightly before her expression became impassive; the mask of a leader was put back into place. With a glance towards Keerla to make sure she was fully clothed, Nethra called out towards whoever was waiting for admittance. “Come in.”

The door opened and the familiar figure of Solas walked through the threshold and into the room. He moved to Nethra with his usual confident sway, already speaking before reaching her. “Inquisitor, excuse my interruption. I wished to discuss-” he stopped abruptly, spotting the other occupant of the room. If he was surprised he showed no sign of it. “I was not aware you had company, forgive my intrusion.”

“It's no problem, Solas. In fact, I'm glad you're here.” It saved her the trouble of finding a mage to look over her sisters wounds. “This is my sister, Keerla. She just traveled here by herself,” she gestured at her sister while at the same time silently reminding her to be careful of her words, “and I was hoping you could look over her wounds briefly? I know it's not your specialty, but you are certainly better suited than I.”

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Keerla. I am Solas.” Nethra watched as he gave her a smile and nod. “I would be happy to lend my talents to looking over your sister if, of course, she agrees to it.”

Nethra raised her eyebrows at Keerla, giving the impression that she had the final say in the matter. If she refused, though, another mage would be more than willing to follow the Inquisitor’s orders tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   10/9/2015, 00:41

Keerla examined the clothes as Nethra laid them out on the bed, when suddenly her sister grabbed her by the arm and she felt her sister's cold fingertips burn into the ugly bite on her shoulder. "Ow!" Keerla turned on Nethra with a nervous laugh, "Ohhh, that? That was weeks ago, I guess I forgot about it!" She then quickly averted her gaze, and busied herself with getting dressed in an attempt to avoid the conversation. It was a feeble effort, however, once Nethra knew something was amiss, she didn't let it go. Keerla felt a small amount of frustration as Nethra made a move for the door to go get a healer, but was surprised to see her older sister stop and reconsider. Maybe they're time apart, and all these events with the Inquisition, and end of the world stuff had somehow changed Nethra. Keerla would always wish for Nethra not to worry about her like she always had when they were children, but then again, a small part of her didn't want Nethra to change at all, so the thought was worrying.

Nethra then asked if she was fussing too much, and Keerla looked up from her clothes to offer one of her easygoing smiles, "Seems some things never change. I can take care of myself, you know? I mean, it was just a pack of wolves, no big deal right? Besides, the wounds already healing!" Though, as she struggled to lift that arm through the sleeve of her shirt, it seemed to be quite the contrary. She pushed through the pain fairly quickly enough, as she had been dealing with the wound for some time now so the pain did not come on as strong, and she seemed to know just the right way to handle her arm so that she didn't reopen the wound. Once she was dressed, a knock sounded from the door to Nethra's chambers, and as Nethra invited the visitor to come in, Keerla approached the fireplace and knelt down to examine her sister's cooking skills.

Keerla looked up from her spot at the fireplace as a fellow elf walked in, apparently named Solas. She noticed the lack of vallaslin almost immediately, so he certainly wasn't Dalish then. Perhaps he was a city elf? As soon as she noticed his staff, however, she understood exactly where Nethra's train of thought was going. "I'm fine Neth, really! It hardly even hurts-" As she turned to her sister, she was met with a fairly steady gaze, and she sighed in defeat. "Alright, alright." She turned to Solas with a smile, and gave a curt nod, "It's nice to meet you Solas, sorry my sister is troubling you over something like this." She laughed a little, brushing off the feeling that Nethra was glaring into the back of her head.

Solas held his gaze for a moment longer, noticing the strange hue of the young elf's eyes, but he kept his thoughts to himself as he gestured to one of the regal chairs, "Would you mind sitting down?" Keerla shrugged simply and walked over to the chair. As she sat down, her hand moved to the fabric that covered her wound, but then hesitated. Keerla's face grew red as she glanced warily at Nethra.
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   10/9/2015, 20:24

“A pack of wolves...” Nethra could only shake her head in defeat. Her sister so easily dismissed a pack of wolves as if it were nothing more troubling than a stray dog. She supposed to Keerla it wasn't a terribly frightening experience, as such things seemed not to faze the adventurous girl, but to Nethra it was as if ice had been poured directly into her veins. She had a bad habit of picturing her sister as she was years ago – small and unsure of herself, unsteady with her hunting skills and needing the protection of her big sister. Somewhere in her mind Nethra knew that was no longer the case, and clearly if Keerla could handle a pack of wolves by herself Nethra had little cause for concern, and yet...

She forced the issue to the back of her mind as she ushered Solas farther into the room. Whatever he had come to discuss with her must not have been of too much importance, as he let Nethra's request take precedence. It was not the first time he had visited her here for a discussion, nor was he the only one of her companions to do so. That someone had shown up now of all times, though, was just another inconvenience she was forced to accept. There seemed to be little time for her own personal matters.

She tensed when she heard Keerla call her Neth. It was familiar, even comforting to hear, but it was not a name she had heard in some time. Inquisitor, Lavellan, Your Worship (which she hated most of all) were common now, and names she had learned to respond  to. Nethra, occasionally and only by a few of her close companions and advisers, but Neth? There was no one close enough in Skyhold to call her that. Hearing it on the lips of her sister made her acutely aware of that fact, and again she was over come with how glad she was to have her here.

When she turned towards the sound of her name, she noticed right away the hesitant look Keerla was giving her. The light blush of her cheeks was enough to clue her in on the discomfort her sister must be feeling. It had not occurred to Nethra that Keerla would be unaccustomed to the lack of privacy that went along with the examination of wounds, as it had become a nearly every day occurrence to her during her fights for the Inquisition. She had learned quickly that in the wake of battle it was necessary to forgo modesty and let those you depended on do what they had to. Keerla, on the other hand, had likely never faced such a need.

“It's ok; here, let me.” She moved quickly to her sister's side, slipping past Solas to reach the chair where she sat. From what appeared to be out of nowhere Nethra drew a knife into her hand and reached for the cloth covering Keerla's shoulder. She deftly drew a line in the fabric before grasping it in her hands and tearing. The delicate silk and fur tore apart easily, and despite herself Nethra felt a sense of pleasure in destroying the extravagant clothes. It meant there was one less outfit she needed to wear. She looked sheepishly over at Solas and gave a slight smile. “Don't tell Josephine I did that.”

She stepped back a few paces, but continued to hover nearby, keeping a close eye on what was going on. She pretended to tidy up the papers on her desk, a task that would take more than her half present attention. “Solas has been a great help to the Inquisition,” she called over, trying her best to put Keerla more at ease with the stranger. “He knows a lot about the Fade and he even helped save my life from this thing on my hand.”

“It was my pleasure, Inquisitor. I could not let it consume you.” The soft inflections of his voice washed over the room, some how making it feel more secure. As he spoke he bent over Keerla's shoulder, careful to remain a fair distance from her unless absolutely necessary. One hand reached up to inspect the angry swirls of greens and blues on her shoulder, to brush gently over the pinpoints still a deep purple. “These marks are deep. How long ago did this occur?”

Nethra watched on from her spot near the desk, took quiet note of the way Solas was considerate of Keerla's comfort. Her gave her sister a slight nod as he pushed away again, satisfied with his examination. “It appears to be healing well; you must have taken care of it quite thoroughly yourself.” Turning to Nethra now he manged to assuage her fears and let her mind move on from its first and foremost concern. “There is no need to worry, Inquisitor. Your sister will suffer no lasting damage from this wound.”          

“I imagine it may still be somewhat painful, however. I could help ease that pain with a small amount of magic. It will serve to help move along the healing process, in a way. Do you mind? It won't take more than a moment, and you will not feel a thing.”
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   10/9/2015, 23:17

Keerla's eyes grew wide as Nethra came over and ripped what was surely the most expensive fabric she'd ever worn, and she couldn't help but laugh nervously at the thought of the money that went into 'pleasing' the Inquisitors with such gifts. Nethra stepped away as Keerla was left to ponder who this Josephine was, and she watched Solas through curious lime green eyes as he stepped forward to examine the wound. Her gaze than drifted to her sister once again who had started rifling through some papers, stealing glances in their direction. Her sister was acting... different, now that this other elf had entered the room, her disposition seemed more reserved, rigid even. Was this what Nethra had meant by watching her manners?

Keerla flinched as Solas's fingertips brushed over the bite, but she stubbornly stood still as stone to pretend it hadn't actually hurt as bad as i did. She looked up at Solas, hoping he wouldn't make as big of a fuss as her sister, but instead he seemed to have a subtle bemused smile, though it was gone before Keerla could be sure. As the conversation continued on, Keerla turned at the mention of a mark on Nethra's hand. "So the stories are true then? Does it hurt?" She peered up at her sister with wide eyes, like her hand could explode in a flash of green at any moment.

Then Solas drew her attention back to the matter at hand, and she turned to him to answer, "I'm not sure... I ran into those wolves a few days after I left home. Buuuuuut, I'm not sure how long ago that was." She smiled apologetically and shrugged. She then turned back to Nethra, "See? I'm fine!" She hesitated as Solas asked to ease the pain a bit, as agreeing would also mean admitting there was pain, but finally Keerla nodded curtly and said, "Okay then."
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Nethra Lavellan
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   12/9/2015, 01:37

Nethra had moved from fussing with the papers on her desk to fussing with the rabbit slowly cooking over the hearth. She idly poked at it with the same knife she had used to tear Keerla's tunic, watching hungrily as clear juice dripped into the flames. Her ears were attuned to the conversation going on between the two others in the room, though, and she turned when Keerla excitedly addressed her.

“Some of the stories are true, I'm not sure which ones you've heard. But yes,” she waved her hand in Keerla's direction, though at the moment it was merely a hand – the green glow of the anchor was gone for now, its foreign magic only appearing when she was near rifts and tears in the fade. She smiled reassuringly at Keerla, a gentleness over taking her features as she masked the truth with her words. “It doesn't hurt at all.”

Solas eyed her askance, for he knew the lie she told better than most. It had been he, after all, that had worked so diligently to keep the pain and magic from tearing her apart. She quickly looked away, fearful her attempt at deceit would show on her face. Keerla didn't need to know the truth of it all; what gain would there be in telling her? Nethra was accustomed to suffering in silence, and that was the way she planned to proceed.

Since she had worked so closely with Solas Nethra didn't worry over his use of magic on her sister. In any other case she would have looked for alternatives, or at the very least been focused on nothing else other than being by Keerla's side in case something were to go wrong. Keerla's bad history with magic was evident every time Nethra looked at her: the strange glow of her unnatural eyes was a constant reminder that there were dangers in this world besides the physical. As it was, Nethra was confident in the other elf's ability to help her sister, and not to further harm.

She still looked on from across the room as he worked, though. She didn't see the calming smile he gave her sister before placing his hand back on her shoulder, nor the way his gaze kept drifting to her eyes with curiosity. He was still a moment before the hand touching her sister began to glow the fainest of blue as the surge of magic made its way from him to her.

“That is all. You should be free to move with little pain, now.” When he finished Solas stood and addressed the two sisters. “I will let you two get back to your dinner.” Again he let his gaze linger on Keerla, and Nethra had the distinct impression he was searching for something. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Keerla. Do not hesitate to seek me out if your shoulder still ails you, though I am certain I will be seeing you around Skyhold, if you planning to remain here for some time.”

As he moved towards the stairs Solas stopped in front of Nethra and spoke softly, perhaps to keep Keerla from hearing. “Inquisitor, when you've time I have a matter I wish to discuss with you.”

She had suspected as much, as there would be no reason for him to find her in her quarters otherwise. They got along well enough, but not so close that he would call upon her for a friendly visit only. “Of course. I'll find you later. Thank you for helping my sister.” She added sincerely, and bid him farewell as he left the room.

Nethra sighed as she heard the door close, ran a hand through her hair in exhaustion. “I'm sorry da'assan. I really don't get much peace here. I should blow out the candles and pretend we're not here so no one else stops by.”
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   12/9/2015, 19:05

Keerla watched as Nethra flashed her hand around, but she didn't notice anything amiss- she was somewhat disappointed, she was looking forward to seeing 'the herald's green glowing hand' she had heard so much about.

If Solas had been staring, it wasn't something Keerla would have noticed. After years of making people feel uneasy, she had grown accustomed to the stares, as her eyes had an unusual, foggy, green hue ever since that hunting trip so many years ago. She and the rest of the group  found a blood trail leading to an old abandoned structure out in the open plains. The others wanted to wait and send for help, but Keerla charged, fearing that one of her fellow clansmen might be in trouble. The next thing she remembered was being shaken awake by Taevan, and seeing the hunting party hovering around her, their faces stricken with concern.

Keerla's gaze followed Solas's hand as it glowed with a subtle blue aura. Her expression shifted to curiosity as his magic touched her wound, instantly ridding her of the pain. Not a moment later, Solas stepped back, and she was left staring at the purple and torn flesh on her shoulder. It didn't look better, but it felt as good as new! "Thank you Solas." She smiled, and a moment later he was dismissing himself to let the two sisters be. "if you plan to remain here for some time." Keerla fidgeted with her hands whilst Nethra and Solas exchanged a few words she could not hear. So far she hadn't had the chance to tell her overprotective sister that this was more than a simple visit, that she was here to join the Inquisition, and risk her life to save the world. It just... hadn't come up in the conversation. But instead of pressing the thought further, the smell of the roasting hare drew Keerla closer to the fireplace, and she examined the meat and deemed it ready. Now Keerla had been on the road for quite some time, maybe a little over a month, so any pleasantries when eating were thrown out the window. Her stomach growled as she picked up Nethra's discarded knife and started to cut out a manageable piece of meat. She turned to Nethra, now that Solas was gone, and grinned, "Here, you can take the first bite."

She let the rabbit roast on the spit for awhile longer so she could answer her sister, "You do seem very important, ma lin. You're like a hero, aren't you?" She grinned yet again as she looked to Nethra.
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Nethra Lavellan
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   15/9/2015, 03:58

Nethra followed her sister to the fireplace and took a seat on the stone floor. The scene unfolding felt to her like a memory: Keerla and herself, seated by the fire in their tent, alone but for the sound of the wind outside. They would share their meal while telling the other about their day and what news of the clan had reached them, and unfailingly by the end of their meal they would be laughing and content, no matter what else had transpired. Years before that, even, they would sit around the fire with their parents, though Nethra doubted Keerla remembered those times as well as she did.

Like so many times before, Nethra reached for the offered slice of meat and took a bite. The grease and juice dripped down her chin as she chewed, the flavor of the fresh hare better than anything she could recall eating in the past month. “Mmm, this is wonderful. You wouldn't think you could get tired of fancy, intricately cooked meals but you can. If I have to eat another tiny cake I think I might just give up food all together.”

When Keerla pointed out that she seemed an important figure Nethra couldn't help but sigh at the smile on her sisters face. Perhaps Keerla imagined her on some grand adventure, living the life of some hero in the stories they had grown up with. It was far from the truth – her adventure came with doubt and worry and endless amounts of pressure. There was not much about it that Nethra could find to grin about. Her sisters unfailing ability to find the positive in any situation never ceased to amaze her, even when she knew the probable cause for it was her naivete.

“Hero?” She frowned, eyes focusing on some distant mountain peak visible through the window. “I didn't try to be, but you've seen the sky. Someone has to do something.” She had just had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and thus the responsibility fell to her. That wasn't being a hero – that was just doing what had to be done. Nethra had never felt like a hero, and didn't figure she ever truly would. Heroes were people like Shartan, who had fought for the freedom of her people so long ago, or the Grey Warden who defeated the Blight. She was only struggling to do the right thing and that was hardly heroic.

Pulling her gaze from the jagged horizon, Nethra looked back to Keerla and did her best to bring back a smile. “Besides, it's not so terrible. There are a lot of good people here; I even met another clan of dalish and one of their hunters decided join our forces.”

The thought of the other dalish living in Skyhold refocused Nethra on the topic she still needed to get through with her sister. She had not forgotten the new duties that she had now that Keerla was here. “But, speaking of our people, da'len...I'm going to have to write the Keeper to tell her you are here, and unharmed. Don't give me that look, Kee; I have to. The clan will want to know when to expect you back, and maybe send out a hunter to meet you.”
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   27/9/2015, 05:36

As Nethra mentioned the clan, the juicy taste in Keerla's mouth turned sour. She sat there, staring at the fire with a frown, unable to come up with a quick response. Keerla had risked her life to come here, traveling far from any set trail or path that would lead to Skyhold, as the dangers of strangers were greater than any danger nature had to offer. She had been attacked by wolves, went many days without food when luck was not in the hunt, and she was in constant fear of losing her way. Nethra was treating this like some casual visit.

Her gaze turned sharply to her older sister. Keerla thought the travel here had been enough to prove her worth; that she was no longer a child that Nethra had to look after. It seemed Keerla was still had a long way to go before her sister would see it. Keerla turned her gaze back to the fireplace, knowing that what she was about to say would start an argument. "I'm not going back."

Keerla had spent far too long living under the protection of the clan. Ever since Nethra started up with this Inquisition, the Keeper had found more and more ways to make Keerla feel as confined as possible. The Keeper never would admit it straight to her face, but she stopped letting Keerla do anything useful for the clan, and she had nothing to say for herself, explaining why this had to be done. Keerla refused to be some healer- she was a hunter; a warrior. And she was going to fight, just like her sister.
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Nethra Lavellan
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   2/10/2015, 01:10


Nethra sighed, ran a hand through her hair. She had known this was coming. Somewhere back in her mind behind the joy of Keerla's arrival and the million other things she could never stop thinking of, she had known. Of course Keerla intended to stay. Nethra had not been gone long enough to forget her sisters impulsive nature.

“Don't be ridiculous, Keerla.” Her voice was tired, exhausted even. Just another issue that no one but she could deal with. How silly it was of her to think that Keerla's visit would mean a moment to breathe. “I can't keep an eye on you if you stay here. I've got too much to do. This is a war da'assan. It's not a game.”

She stood from her spot near the fireplace and walked to her desk, shuffling the papers on it yet again until she came up with a blank parchment. “You belong back at the clan. I'll write them, tell them to let you go back to hunting.”

Then everything would be as it should be. Keerla would be safe, her clan could stop worrying, and maybe the soldiers she sent with her sister could stay and help defend the clan. Things would be under control once again and she could go back to fighting this damned war so she herself could go back home.
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   14/3/2016, 04:31

Ridiculous. That was the word her sister used. After Keerla had traveled so far, even so far as to get mauled by wolves, and she was somehow ridiculous. "I know it's not a game Neth, I'm not a kid anymore! So what, I'm just supposed to go back to the clan and act like you aren't here trying to save the world?" She was shouting now, something she couldn't really help once she was angry. She was just disappointed to make it this far and still be seen as a nuisance, a child who would get in the way.

Her hands balled into fists as she held her gaze on her sister, "I want to help, Eth Inan." She huffed, "I mean, you think I traveled all this way just because I wasn't happy at home? You're out here sewing holes in the sky for Andruil's sake! How could I possibly let you do that by yourself?"

Keerla refused to be halfway across Fereldyn while Nethra risked her life every day accomplishing this task. She wouldn't let her big sister do this alone, even if she hated her for staying. She grew quiet then, angry and unsure of how to continue, to convince Nethra that she had to stay. She couldn't think of anything but to resort to the old tried and true method of sitting on the ground, arms crossed and refusing to move as she pouted, "I'm not going back!" She exclaimed, stubbornly facing her back to Neth.
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PostSubject: Re: Reunited   14/3/2016, 23:11

Nethra was interrupted almost immediately by Keerla's rising voice. She looked up from the parchment on the desk with a sigh and waited out her sister's tantrum. Her expression remained neutral the entire time – she was used to these outbursts, even if it had been some years since the last one this childish.

Keerla claimed she was no longer a child, yet gave no evidence to prove it. There was more to being mature than hacking your way through dangerous terrain and fending off wolves. There was responsibility and forethought, a consideration for others and the knowledge of how you played into the world as a whole. Keerla still lacked that as far as Nethra could tell. She was no more ready to save the world than a child still learning their letters.

When her sister had finished Nethra moved from behind the desk to stand in front of, looking down disapprovingly.

“I'm not doing it by myslef, Keerla. Did you see the army on your way in? I am in very little danger.” That was a lie, of course. She was in danger every time she stepped foot outside of Skyhold's walls. Her sister didn't need to know that, though. It was easier to hide the truth.

That small reassurance wouldn't be enough. The two women were alike in one way – once they made up their mind there would be no changing it. Nethra had to face the fact that Keerla would not just leave Skyhold without a reason she herself came up with.

So she wanted to play at being a soldier?  Nethra could arrange that.

“Fine. If you can stop acting like a child,” she motioned towards where Keerla was sitting on the floor, looking very much the petulant teenager, “then you can stay. You're going to be trained before you get to go on any missions though. I won't have you getting hurt because you're not used to working with other soldiers.”

A few days, maybe a week, of hard back breaking training and Keerla would understand this was not a game, that this was not a frolic through the woods. Nethra would have her Commander run Keerla into the ground, and though she felt a slight twinge of remorse for what physical suffering she was going to put her sister through, it was outweighed by what she imagined the results would be.

Her decsion made, Nethra returned to the desk and her unfinished letter. “I still have to write the clan...you really should have thought this through more, da'assan. But I guess it doesn't matter now.” She looked back to Keerla and smiled a rare, genuine smile. “I'm glad you're here.”

Despite the trouble her sister was sure to make, Nethra was still glad to see her and to have whatever small amount happiness she was allowed.
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