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 The Stubborn Lavellan

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Keerla

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PostSubject: The Stubborn Lavellan   29/7/2017, 06:09

The last few days had been more difficult than Keerla's entire journey getting here. Cullen was a harsh instructor, drilling her with the most grueling tasks that left Keerla feeling more sore and exhausted with each passing day. First it was marching through the snow with heavy leathers to weigh her down, then it was sparring one on one with the commander using wooden sword, and because that's not enough he had her running errands around the camp: taking deliveries around, lifting heavy crates and moving them to their proper place. She'd hardly gotten a second to breathe since she had arrived here in Haven, and the brief times she did get a break was during meals or sleep.

Her stomach growled as she slowly made her way back into camp from the training grounds, and she winced with each step she took, her muscles crying out in agony from all the strain she'd been putting on her body since she got here.  A less trusting elf would have wondered why Cullen had been training her in sword and heavy armor practice when she was clearly an archer and a hunter, but Keerla saw no reason to doubt the wisdom of the commander army. That, and the second Keerla showed signs of giving up Nethra would have her shipped back to the clan faster than a wolf on the hunt for rabbits.

Speaking of rabbits, the smell of stew wafted through her senses as she grew closer to the kitchens and her pace quickened to reach the line of soldiers who were waiting for their meals. She caught a glimpse of the small, familiar figure of Varric through the open window chatting up one of the cooks. He seemed to notice her as well as he smiled and waved in her direction just before he turned to say something to the woman behind the counter and was handed two bowls of stew. A few moments later Varric walked out of the building and approached her.

"Keerla! Working hard I see- here, I got this for you." The dwarf explained as he handed her one of the two bowls he'd been carrying.

"For me? Aw thanks Varric, you're a life saver! I'm so hungry I could eat a whole horse!" She paused to immediately take a big gulp of stew as she brought the bowl to her lips, oblivious to the peeved looks from the soldiers who'd been waiting in line.

"Don't sweat it kid," Varric chuckled, gesturing to the camp fire nearby, "Here, it's nice and warm by the fire."

The two walked over and sat down on whatever they could find; Keerla positioned herself atop a crate with her legs crossed, while Varric took his place on an overturned log. At first the conversation between them had died as they let their appetite get the better of them, but eventually Varric piped up to spark the conversation.

"So, how's training going?"

Keerla paused and gave an exasperated sigh and set her bowl down beside her before flinging herself down so she could lie across the crate, "More difficult than anything I could have imagined. I feel like my arms are gonna fall off!"

"That bad huh? I would have thought you'd adjust quickly, after traveling here on your own. Couldn't have been easy."

Keerla sat back up, slouching lazily as she glanced over with a smile, "I thought so too, but Cullen- I mean, the Commander has been having me run around in this heavy suit through the snow, and then he wants me spar with him using wooden swords; Neth was always better with a blade than I was." She chuckled.

"I see." Varric replied before taking another slurp of rabbit stew. He observed Keerla for a moment as she continued eating, and slowly turned his gaze away out in the direction of the training grounds outside the camp's gates. It struck him as odd to have a natural born hunter like Keerla being put through the same kind of training ordinary footsoldiers go through, and to spar with Cullen himself? It seemed like a harsh training regiment, and not particularly beneficial way for an archer to prepare for the battles to come.

He pondered on it for a moment before he realized that the Inquisitor herself must have made these arrangements. Of course she wouldn't want her younger sister to join in the war, it was much too dangerous. And what better way to avoid that then to have Keerla see how challenging the life of a soldier was? He smiled a bit somberly before taking another sip from his stew, understanding that this was for the girl's own good. He wouldn't tell her what Nethra had actually been trying to do by setting up these training sessions.

A few more moments of silence passed as they watched the other Inquisition soldiers milling about, until Keerla glanced over at Varric with an eager grin, "So you use a crossbow right? I've never seen one like that before." She glanced to the crossbow strapped to his back with a curious look in her bright green irises.
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