Kyle sits on the couch, shivering. Mari notices it and runs to touch his forehead. It is burning of fever. She looks at him, concerned, wondering which kind of medicines she should give to him. He coughs, not blood anymore, thanks the maker, and sweats. Maybe milk with honey and lemon, as they used to do in the alienage?
She rushes to the kitchen and prepares a glass of that. When she comes back, he grimaces and makes a disgusted noise.
“Take it, love. You need it”. It is hot, and he seems to back at the smell of it. She blocks his nose to force him to drink but he seems to reject the taste of milk. Maybe she should have added peppermint, as the cook suggested?
Kyle sits on the couch and sweat through all his body, coughs.
Mari forces him to lie down and covers him with a blanket, then she goes back to the kitchen, and while boiling some water to prepare a better remedy, she soaks towels with cold water to help the fever go down. When she comes back and starts putting them over his forehead, Kyle mumbles some delirious words.
Mari washes his sweat with cold water to lower the fever and listens to the words. At first, only short ones like “mom” can be heared.
Mari kisses his forehead.
"Shh, honey, I'm here for you", she whispers, not caring if she can catch the same illness or not. She only wants to care for him.
He holds Mari's hand. "I'm sorry", he mutters.
"All those years I blamed myself…"
She strokes his hand, listening to him, even if he doesn’t seem to look at her.
"That's.... my choice…I made the wrong choice"
Mari feels her eyes full with tears. "Which choice, my love?". She continues stroking his hand, lovingly.
"Tell Lindy I'm sorry, Seth…” Mari strokes his cheek and takes the hair away from his face. She doesn’t know who Seth is… and he seems too lost in his past. What can she say?
"Lindy already knows, my love"
"It was so much more awful than I thought..." he continues, sweating more, his face now wet with those sweat, not listening to Mari. She washes his face with a wet cold towel and kisses him again. A tear runs down her cheek
"Of all the choices I could have made, I finally decided to go here"
"Here? Where?", Mari asks, not understanding.
"I deserve....Deserve death"
Mari shakes her head. She sometimes wants to slap him when he says that kind of things: "No, you don't. Nobody deserves it less than you". She continues stroking his head, threading her fingers in his hair. She's crying silently
“I do”
"Don't you dare to say that"
“Because if I had not chosen to come here, I would not have met you”
"Met me?" Mari is not sure if Kyle is talking about her, but she wishes so.
"I'm sorry; I did so many things that hurt you"
"If I lose you, you'll hurt me forever", she says, terrified. She kisses softly his lips, and he kisses her back weakly, whispering: "I love you"
She continues making his fever go down. She wonders if she should ask Lauren for help
"I do too". She sobs
She puts a wet towel on his forehead, and washes his body with cold towels too, like a big baby. Then she wipes her tears with her sleeve. She can't afford crying when she has to care for him.
He breathes very heavily, but sighs of relief. She reaches the herbs she prepared and helps him to drink a bit of medicine brew. Actual medicine, not just lemon and honey. Special herbs Lauren gave her to make the fever go down, and that she has always kept with her, along with the grindyroot. He sips, but doesn’t want to drink anymore.
She helps him raise his head
“Drink, my love. I know these herbs are bitter, even if they're sweetened with honey”
He shakes his head lightly, making her smile, he reacts. He gropes to find Mari. He’s not sure, but now tries to hold her.
"I'm here, my love" She takes his hand and puts it over her cheek. "I won't leave your side while you need me"
“I'm not worth”, he insists.
"You are for me"
“One day you will leave me”
“And I don’t know if I can survive”
Mari wishes he's actually talking about her and not about Lindy… one never knows with fever's delirium. Just in case, she replies:
"I will only leave you if I die first. And death will have it hard to part me from your side"
“But if you ever find another guy better than me…”
Mari chuckles: “If I do I'll kick his ass before he tempts me”
“…I’ll still accept if he makes you happy”
"And that's what makes you better than any other man I can ever find", she says, a knot in her throat.
He just shakes his head. She kisses his cheek: "Don't worry about that"
He tries to reply to Mari's kiss, so she moves her mouth to find his. He kisses her weakly, but she doesn't mind. She rubs her nose with his "You won't get rid of me so easily"
He smiles, sighs and starts falling asleep again. Mari watches him sleep; hoping this time is a resting sleep and not a feverish one.
He still mumbles “Thank you”
She's smiles: "No. Thanks to you". But he’s not listening anymore, peacefully asleep.
She tucks him in the blanket, and sits on a chair by his side. She holds his hand during all the time he sleeps. Watching him rest, looking for signs of him getting better, and feeling relieved when she hears his breath is now lighter, softer, and quieter.

What you wish for - RPG log turned prose

Highever, The Flemeth's Broomstick Tavern

"We should have followed Adrienne and the others." said Håkan collapsing on his chair. He was tired of repeating every time the same thing.
"Well..." sighed Lauren, "At least now there's a HUGE chance every templar in Highever knows us."
"Are you kidding? It was the third time that the same guy asked to see my permissions!"
"I'm sorry..." mumbled Kyle staring at the bottom of his glass. "You wouldn't have been put through this if..."
"How could you know about this, Kyle?" scoffed Mari. "I swear, if they don't get these apostates soon I'll go get them myself! I'm sick tired of being searched! To think I used to LIKE templars..."
"Oh, I like the uniform." said Ambrose putting a pint of cider in front of her and Lauren, then sitting on the empty chair sipping his own ale.
"Denerim Templars are way much better than the local ones." said Håkan raising a brow. "These are rude and dumb. They remind me of the ones at the Circle Tower..."
"They weren't rude and dumb..." tried to say Lauren.
The look Håkan gave to her stopped the rest of the phrase in Lauren's troath and mage's expression made Kyle and Mari understand it wasn't the right moment to ask the Anders who this Carrol guy was. Not without giving him a cat to pet first.
"Who's Carroll?" Mari whispered to Ambrose instead.
"A Templar who thought Håkan had a crush on him." Ambrose whispered back trying to hold a chuckle.
Mari frowned looking at the Anders mage "Are you sure he's not gay?"
The former frog giggled "Trust me: if he was, I wouldn't become Lauren's pet but..." he froze mid-sentence noticing Lauren and Håkan's combined stare of disapproval. An awkward silence fell on the table as everyone synchronized sipping their drinks.

"So, Kattergórd, any luck yet?"

The woman's voice hit broke through the white noise of people chattering around them. Håkan startled and Lauren turned towards the counter. A tall man in a robe and a templar were talking to Sophia, the bartender.
"It's Kattergård, Sophia, and no, we didn't find them."
"Sucks being a mage, doesn't it?" said the templar arrogantly, but the tall mage didn't seem to notice.
"It could be worse, I could still be in the Anderfels."
"Why so secretive?" asked Sophia. "Your templars are making a mess in town, seaching anyone who's wearing a skirt or carrying a stick but you two don't seem to put much effort in it... or there's something we don't know?"
"We can't talk about this." said the templar frowning.

All the people at the table turned at once to Håkan who was staring blankly to the mid-aged mage.
"Is he..." started Lauren in a whisper, but something in the eye-twitching of her boyfriend made her stop. She knew Håkan was born in the circle and took by the chantry that sent him to the fereldan Circle as soon as his magic talents showed, but he never talked about his parents, she didn't even know if he ever met them. They couldn't hel overhear the rest of the conversation.

"Oh, come on, it's just Sophia!" laughed the Kattergård mage, "Who do you think she can tell?"
"Half the terynir, to begin with." the templar took a long sip of ale and slammed the mug on the counter. "Stellan, I am hunting this bloody apostate since he fled. I've followed him to Tevinter, nonetheless, where I was so out of jurisdiction that my ears bleed, and now that he's here again I won't miss the chance to bring him to justice."
"You're taking this matter too seriously." said Stellan finishing his wine. A gesture they had seen everytime Håkan had finished one himself.
"Wait, you said he fled from the circle... What about his phylactery?" said Sophia.
The templar frowned even more. She had tricked him into talk too much. "How do you know about phylacteries?" he mumbled.
The bartender scoffed: "You have no idea about how many mages I have filled the mug to, Donovan. And those who drink talk as well." added with a grin while blinking at Stellan.
The mage was giggling: "It seems he managed to steal his philactery. A sad story, and always the same: he tricked a girl into love him and made her help him steal the phylactery, then he ran away... without the girl."
"Oh, poor thing. The circle had her skinned, I bet."
"No, she did run with him, but he abandoned her before leaving Ferelden." Donovan noticed Sophia had filled his mug again and shrugged before taking it and swallowing a long sip. "Oh, We tracked her down, in time, but it was too late." said finally Donovan, "She was murdered by him, and her husband as well. After that, they reassigned me here, but I didn't give up, and now that he's so close..."

"I don't und..." Kyle turned around and froze: Mari had suddenly turned pale and had raised a hand to stop him. She was listening too carefully to them. He looked at her, then at Ambrose who looked as puzzled as him. Lauren glanced at her then at Håkan, who didn't keep his eyes off Stellan. She could understand why he was so interested, but why Mari?

"They reassigned you?" Sophia asked.
"They thought he was lost for good." explained Stellan, "It seems it's a common practice here: if a templar fails his duty he's reassigned to another location. And to not making it look like a punishment they also give you a promotion. Not bad, uh?"
Sophia looked at the mage raising a brow. Her thoughts about the matter were so clear the mage couldn't help to chuckle.
"I choose Shtellan here as my pardner in thish inveshtigation because I need a mage." Donovan had finished his pint and was obviously drunk. "He'sh good for being one of them, and he'sh an eshperienced enchanter... and he'sh... he'sh..." he froze like he was looking for the right word.
"As I'm a mage, he thinks I should know how an apostate reasons." said Stellan giggling. "Now, now, Donovan..." he gently grabbed the templar's arm, "let's go back to our quarters, you sure need some rest..."

As the two were exiting Håkan sighed, like he was holding his breath all the time.
"I think..." he murmured, "I think he may be my father."
"You don't know him?" asked Ambrose.
"Who does?" said Kyle sarcastically, "Mari, are you all right?"
"No." She said still staring at the table. "I mean... I don't know, what that templar said... It reminds me what happened to my parents."
"I'm following him." said Håkan standing up.
"WHAT?!? Are you crazy?" Ambrose tried to grab his harm, but the anders scoffed.
"I want to know if he's really my father. I... this is a chance I may never get again, I must... see him. Talk to him."
"He's with a templar, Håkan, do you really want..."
"YES. I do." he said too harshly than he meant to.
"I agree. Let's follow them."
Everyone turned towards Mari. Her face was a mask of stone, dead serious.
She finished her cider in a sip and stood up: "I want to know too."

One by one, Håkan, Mari, Kyle and Lauren exit the tavern in a hurry, while  Ambrose was still sitting staring blankly at the door, not sure about what just happened.
"So..." Sophia approached him from behind, making him startle, "I guess you're the one who pays this round..."

Ambrose swallows, and searches frantically in his purse, sure that the middle-aged but still sexy owner of the tavern will make him pay in nature if he’s unable to fulfil the debt. And no matter how sexy she is, he’s not ready yet to become bi-sexual.

The group is in the streets: Håkan is following the mage and the templar. He tries to keep a distance so the two men don’t notice him or the group, but without keeping his eyes off them. Mari follows them too, managing to be unnoticed even while dragging Kyle, who walks in silence, behind her. The templar is obviously drunk, and though he can walk by himself he seems a bit disoriented.
Gem follows, and Lauren walks in silence, taking Håkan’s hand
Using her natural talent, Mari gets a bit closer of the templar and mage, listening to their conversation, and she almost runs into them while they stop. It looks like Donovan is feeling sick as he leans against a wall. Stellan holds the templar's shoulders as Donovan is about to vomit. Mari steps back, disgusted. Lauren slows down and glances at the others, while Gem keeps to the back of the group.

Ryan is walking with Nadette, a job applicant at the castle, when he sees the mage, the templar and the suspicious group of people following them. Nadette looks at him, wondering if there will be a fight, but when she realizes the situation, she walks towards the templar to offer her help
Ryan follows her closely, considering to take another road if things get ugly. She’s pregnant, after all.
"Oh, you're too kind, milady, but I think I have him... he just doesn't know where to quit", Stellan says to Nadette.
In that moment, Nadette notices the group following the templar. At the same time, Mari notices Ryan and points at him to Kyle, who looks at them quiet.
"She kept filling my mug...”, Donovan excuses himself.
"If a mug is full doesn't mean you have to empty it..." replies Stellan
Nadette offers a small smile, and quietly points at another group that is approaching, all elves. Ryan gets closer to the man as he sees the approaching group "You might want to hurry up, gentlemen, it's not good being out here like this."
Stellan frowns looking in the direction Nadette is pointing, but smiles at her pretending he didn't see them.
Mari, hiding on a doorway so she’s still out of sight from the side the templar and the others are, looks at the group of elves wondering who they are. Håkan is still keeping his distance, Gem is at the back of the group, watching, and the rest of the party seems unnoticed.
Stellan and Donovan are about to move with Ryan and Nadette, but from a side alley the group of seven elves in leather armor appears. They have some clubs and pat them in a threatening way...
Lauren moves her ears and looks up at Håkan. Whispers "Do you want ah…to get closer or...?”. Suddenly she notices the elves and stops talking.
Gem whispers to group "I sense trouble..."
From her hideout, Mari is looking at the elves trying to see if she knows any of them. They look like street thugs, and approach the four people with a threatening smile.
Nadette rests a hand on Ryan's arm. “Maybe we should take another road, my lord...”
Ryan takes Nadette's hand and nods, turning away from the templar and the mage. But before they can leave, one of the elves speaks: "Ser Donovan, I s'pose..."
Kyle draws his dagger silently, while Mari also prepares her weapons, ready for battle if necessary. Lauren lets go of Håkan's hand and grabs her staff, and Gem draws her twin daggers and readies herself, true to her grim feeling.
Ser Donovan steps forward and draws his sword. "This again? Tell your master I'm not so easy to intimidate"
The elf who spoke before grins and attacks the templar, and as the first elf charges, the other start to scream and charge towards the templar as well.
Lauren gasps and looks at Håkan again and at Gem "we have to do something!"
Kyle throws the dagger to the elf that attacks the templar, aiming at the hand. Mari sees it and decides to help, still using stealth to attack the nearest elf. From her position, Gem can see the elves on the left, Ryan, Nadette, Stellan and Donovan in the center and Mari and Kyle on her right, so she rushes at the elves and strikes at the nearest one.
Nadette gasps, looking for a way to escape with Ryan, but he sees the dagger and realizes it as Kyle's, so he makes Nadette sit down at a bench on the other side of the road and gives her an apologetic look before hurrying over with his daggers.
"The fade...", curses Lauren, and casts a glyph of paralysis on one of the elves which is not attacking the templar. She doesn’t want to paralyse Donovan too.
Nadette remains where Ryan left her, trying not to draw attention on her, and her hands look for her dagger under her cloak
Ryan rushes over to Kyle's side and thrust his dagger handle directly to the elf's eyes, trying to stun him "Need some help?", he smirks at his childhood friend.
It all happens suddenly: as the elves charge, Stellan grabs the air and three of them are lifted in the air and smashed on the ground. One of them lands on Lauren's glyph and is blocked in that position. Two on the sides are blocked by Kyle's and Mari's attack: one has Kyle's dagger in the shoulder and falls screaming against the wall, while the other is hit in the back by Mari and falls. Another one is engaged in single combat by Gem. The last one looks disoriented and freezes on the spot.
After throwing the dagger, Kyle draws his sword and runs into the battle, looks at Ryan and nods.
The elf that was hit by Kyle's dagger is blinded by Ryan's attack and now screams in pain.
Mari runs to the last elf and tries to make him fall without killing him, knocking the panicked elf “Arlathans”, so he squeals falling on his knees. Mari pins down the elf in the ground, taking her rope to tie him.
Gem slices with the first dagger and thrusts with the other right after. The elf avoids the first dagger but gets stabbed by the second in the shoulder. The pain makes him drop the club, and Gem takes advantage to cut his throat with both daggers.
Two of the attackers that were lifted by Stellan are getting up, but one gets hit on the temple by a dart from Håkan's staff. Lauren casts a dart with her staff to the other one
Lauren hits the second elf standing (the one who talked) and Donovan smashes hin to the ground with his shield

Ryan pin the elf he and Kyle's fighting to the wall with his strength, while telling Kyle to go helps others.
Kyle focuses only on hurting the elves, trying not to kill them, when he notices there are no more standing attackers: one way or another they managed to knock out them all. Mari thumbs up while immobilizing her elf. Lauren holds her staff and sighs, then she thumbs up at Mari
"Okay, looks like we got them all!", smirks Ryan
“My lord! Are you alright?", asks Nadette.
“I think I have seen this one before,maybe we could ask him some questions”, Mari says, looking around. They have two dead elves, one paralyzed, one severly injured and screaming, one tied up
and two unconscious on the ground. She opens her eyes in admiration.
Gem, pragmatically, sheathes daggers and searches the elf's pockets, while Lauren walks to the injured one and knees by his side. "Alright… ah...wait...let me see that..." she sighs again. She just wants to heal the injured elf enough to keep him alive so he stops screaming. But Ryan punches the injured elf to knock him down before turning to Nadette
"I'm alright, my lady. Here, let me say a few words to my brother before we get you back, if you don't mind.."
Nadette nods "Don't worry about me, sir"
Kyle puts his sword back, and kicks some random stone, when he hears Mari calling him: “Help me with this one, love?”
Kyle turns at Ryan, hesitantly.
Ryan smiles, "Looks like your lady needs you, go to her first, we'll chat later."
Kyle nods and goes to help Mari, while Ryan turns to Nadette "Sorry for making you wait, let's get back."
“My lord, shouldn't we call the guards?", asks Nadette, concerned.
"No worries, my brother got it under control, right Kyle?", replies Ryan with a wide smile. Then he takes Nadette's hand and guide her away from the ruckus. Nadette is a bit shocked that there are mages in the street, doing magic freely
“Help me get him up and let's go with the others, Kyle. I think I have seen him before”, is saying Mari to her bethroted.
“Okey” he says, taciturn. Kyle approaches to help Mari, and thinks this guy is definitely similar to someone.
Donovan turns around trying to sheat his sword with Stellan’s help "And with this it's only seven times this week."
“Seven times?” asks Mari, eyes open wide, while making the elf approach the group with Kyle's help. “Excuse me, ser Templar, but do you know why they attacked you the previous times?”
Stellan smiles: "Yes. Too bad they all die before they can tell us who sent them, but if I have to make a wild guess, it's the apostates we're looking for."
“Well I have wrapped this one as gift for you, if you want to question him”, Mari says slightly amused. Elves are easy to defeat, she thinks. They don’t eat well at the alienage.
“Ah...Mari?”, calls Lauren “Could you ah..."wrap" this one too?” She thinks she has healed him enough.
“Ah? Sure”. Mari cuts the remaining of the rope with her dagger and makes Kyle take care of the tied one, then goes to help Lauren to tie the other one. “Love, take care of this one and try to learn why they attacked the templar. I'm going to help Lauren”. Kyle nods at Mari
The elf was knocked unconscious by Ryan has been  healed by Lauren and stopped bleeding, though it's not clear if he has suffered permanent injuries Lauren stands up and looks around looking for Håkan who stands a bit back in the group, and looks unsure. She  reaches him and takes his hand again
Nadette lets Ryan guide her, until she hears 'apostates'. "My lord, I think this might concern you. It is Highever we're talking about" Ryan turns back immediately at Nadette's words. "Don't worry about me, I'm not made of porcelain, my lord. If there are apostates in Highever, your father should know. Let's ask the templar"
"A thousand apologies for making you wait on me like this, my lady, but you are right. I should have a word with my brother.", says Ryan.
Nadette smiles a bit "If you apologize one more time, sir, I'm going to feel embarrassed. Please, go. Highever's safety should be our first concern"
Gem listens vaguely to the conversation while searching pockets. She knows what the priorities are. What's more important than loot? Mari ties the elf Lauren has healed, and searches his pockets too, since she's at that, following Gem’s example. After she finishes tying the elf and since he seemed to have empty pockets, she turns back to the group.
Finally Stellan notices the tall mage that keeps his distance and makes a face as he was trying to remember where he had seen him before. Lauren gives him a little smile and whispers "come on?" moves her head a bit towards the OTHER tall mage
Stellan approaches Håkan: "Do I know you? You really look familiar."
Lauren coughs and looks UP at Håkan and then at Stellan "ah..uh...ser Kattergård?"
Stellan rises a brow looking ast Lauren "You know my name?"

Lauren coughs again and looks at dat brow (just like Håkan's) and tightens the hold on Håkan's hand. “Well ah...yes...we do.." Lauren moves her ears and gives Håkan a "come on...say something" look
Stellan looks at Håkan and widens his yes: "You don't happen to be Anders, boy, do you?"
Håkan nods to Stellan and the elder mage smiles: "Are you... Håkan? Is that you?" Håkan nods again "Are you...?" but before he finishes this sentence the other mage hugs him "MY BOOOY!!! I've finally found you!"
Lauren has a little smile, more relaxed. Her eyes goes from Håkan to Stellan and back to her boyfriend, while she steps back a bit before being squashed by the two Anders mages
Ser Donovan is ignoring the tender scene and trying to interrogate the elf, but though the attack gave him a bit of lucidity, he doesn't seem able to make a sensed question: He goes all serious and then asks only "Well?"
Seeing it, Kyle grabs the elf’s collarbone, and presses hard to make the elf hurt: “Why did you attack us?”
The elf stares at him, still whining in falsetto.
Nadette looks around, still nervous. There are mages around, and dead people. Nothing good can come out of this.
Ryan has proceeded to walk sit down next to Kyle "Right, questioning time! Hey, you look familiar!" - he said to the elf. “Right? I dare to say he looks a little bit like Nelaros....”
Mari looks at the elf too “He looks familiar to me too, but he’s completely different from Nelaros Only the ears look similar”, she teases.
Ryan shrugs, feeling he has become an ignorant human noble who can't distinguish between elves except when they are ladies.
The tied elf looks around then sees Mari and has a sudden illumination: he is about to say something but from his mouth comes only a squeal.
“Speak or I hit again” threatens Mari, aware that her presence scares the elf.
“Well, it's not like I can recognize different elven faces now”, Ryan says, with a nervous laughter while looking around, “but there is something that I can't quite put a finger on......who are you?”
“Wait!”, shouts suddenly Mari. “I remember now who he is!!”. Mari turns at Kyle and Ryan: “He was with the group which attacked us the last time we were here!. Remember? After the marketplace?”
“Yes! How could I forget!”, agrees Ryan
“Because he is a male elf?”, Mari winks at Ryan. Ryan winks back heartily.
“Right”, acknowledges Kyle too.
Nadette approaches carefully, now that seems Ryan knows these people.
“Well, the nerve, you think that he has learnt a lesson by now!”, is the noble laughing.
“I don't know if he has learnt anything, but he must teach us a lot of things”, ponders Mari. “Like why does he go around attacking shems”
The emasculated elf finally gloms and seems to be able to speak, his voice is still a bit high but looks like a male one: "It's all your fault, bitch” Kyle punches his face almost before he can stop saying it.
“Ah... be careful, love”, says Mari, unable to hide her satisfaction, “we want him to speak and he may have it hard without teeth”
Ryan wince at Kyle's punch hit the elf's face. "Right, hey, lad, you better start showing some respect or my bro Kyle here will rearrange your face, and it won't be pretty."
Mari looks at him crossing her arms: I can hit him again where he will still be able to speak... even if in a higher tone....
Nadette tries not to look at the scene. Kyle continues grabbing his neck. Gem gives up trying to loot the elves and goes to help Mari interrogate. “Tell us what we need to know elf…”
The elf turns to her and his eyes fall on her hips. He stares at them for a moment and says "The phylactery..."
“What about the phylactery?”, Gem continues, deadly serious.
“Phylactery?”, asks Mari “Which phylactery?”
“The thing that is used to track mages from the tower”, helps Kyle.
“Oh”, understands Mari.
“But which mage?”, asks Ryan.
“But what does this have to do with us?”, starts Mari, then she turns to the elf again. “Are you tracking a phylactery?”
The elf shakes his head "What? Phylactery? Which Phylactery? I've never said anything about a phylactery! I don't know anything about a phylactery! Why should I want to track a phylactery?"
Ryan takes out his dagger and caressing it with his fingers "Maybe I should give him a little....motivation."
Nadette rests a hand on Ryan's shoulder "Please, my Lord. Calm down"
Ryan smiles up at Nadette reassuringly "I was only jesting, my lady. My brother and his fiancée are enough problems for the poor slob."
Kyle thumbs up at Ryan, and the noble mimics the gesture back.
Gem quickly unsheathes her dagger and rests the point on the elf's manhood. "Tell us everything now, if you still want to have children..."
The poor elf gloms and starts opening and closing his mouth a few times, then starts whining louder "PLEASE DON'T KILL ME! IF I DON'T FIND IT MY MASTER WILL SLAY ME! IDONWANNADIIIIIE...", and shoves his face on Gem's hips crying.
Kyle has to resist the urge to facepalm, instead he says. “Here you still can die, now focus to our question”
“Okay, intimidation doesn't work, how about persuasion?”, says Ryan
“Do what you think is the best Ryan”, nods Kyle.
“Well if he attacked this templar... maybe he's related to that apostate the templars are tracking?”
Mari starts to consider to actually castrating the elf like one does with cats. After all half of the job is already done. The elf emerges from Gem's lap and turns to her, yelling: "You! It's your fault! If you had kept that satchel... And now he's angry and You must help me... help us!”.
Mari blinks: “Satchel? Wait... THAT satchel???”
"He's forcing people to obey him! He's growing violent, he's treathening to kill our families if we don't... don't..."
Ryan sighs, from what Mari say, the elf’s master could very well be a blood mage. From what he know, it's impossible to extract information from someone who is being mind-controlled.
“I'll tell you what, elf...”, says Gem, serious. “If you help us, we will make sure your master doesn't hurt you. If you don't, we'll kill you right here, and be done with it...”
Kyle drew his dagger: “Or I can etch on your skin. Go to the point”
Ryan looks to Mari "You have the thing they are looking for? Of course."
Mari looks at Ryan, showing him her hands: “Not at all!”
“Well, that blows it”, snorts Ryan
“When we were at the marketplace, the last time we were here, he slipped it into my cloak”, explains Mari. “But I got rid of it, I didn't want troubles. I don't even know what it was”
"You angered him!" the elf yells. "He finally managed to find his phylactery, and now... well, you know, he lost it again!”
“ Me? Me?”. Mari faces the elf “I didn't ask you to give me that satchel! What did you expect me to do? To give it to you out of the Marketplace, "Here's your satchel, thanks for choosing me, sorry for the inconveniences?"”
“Yeah, she was not looking for any trouble! Trouble usually looks for her!”, teases Ryan “Anyway, there is nothing we can do now.”
Mari glares at Ryan: “Hey!”
The elf looks at Mari blinking his eyes: "He said you'd have helped us. I mean, aren't you...?"
Ryan facepalms. Blasted apostate. Meanwhile,  Nadette notices ser Donovan has fallen asleep and is leaning against a house wall, so she walks towards the sleeping templar and tries to wake him
“Helped you?”, is Mari argueing with the elf, not aware of Nadette’s concern for the templar. “Why on the Fade should I do such a thing??? I don't even know who you are!”
"You're not... which one she was? Marilyn or Evelyn, one of the two?”, says the elf.
Mari opens her eyes wide “What? How do you know THAT?”
“Lynette's daughter, aren't you?”
“Leave her alone”, Kyle steps ahead. “She had no way to know the phylactery was there! Your master was playing with you all along, trying to get you on a goose chase”.
“He knows, but he thought... I mean...”
Mari puts her hand over Kyle's arm to stop him. “How do you know my mother's name?”
“Is it just me or are things getting dramatic in here?”, yawns Ryan.
The elf gasps: he looks like he's not breathing well. He bends and makes some noise as he's about to vomit, he's clearly in pain. Mari reaches the elf trying to help him, but not lowering her guard. It could be a trick
“Andraste's blood....”, Ryan freaks out. “Any healer here????”
“We should get Lauren!” Gem calls over to the elf: "Lauren, we need you!"
Lauren keeps looking at the Katterhug and touches her scarf not knowing very well what to do, wondering when will start Håkan twitching his eye and trying to touch papa too much, when she hears her name and looks around very alarmed. Stellan also turns around like he has heard something, so does Håkan. Lauren tugs Håkan's sleeve "I'm sorry to interrupt...really ah..:"
"I feel it too..." nods Håkan. "Go to them."
Lauren turns her head and nods. Runs to them. “What..ah..what is it?”
The elf is now rolling on the street floor trying to scream but he can only make some guttural noise. His eyes start bleeding. Lauren gasps "Oh my..."
“Something's wrong with him”, says Gem pointing to him.
Nadette sighs in relief and keeps trying to wake the templar. "Ser! Ser, you have to wake up and do your job!". But Ser Donovan just snores. Gem rushes to ser Donovan and smacks him through the face to try and wake him.
Lauren rushes to the elf and tries to hold him. “Please! help here!”
Mari turns to the mages: “Can't you help him?”. She thinks bleeding eyes aren't easy to fake
Lauren is still trying to get the elf quiet. “Can somebody, hold him? NOW?”. Mari hears her and rushes to help, trying to avoid the poor boy to keep rolling...
“Here, Lauren. What do you need?”
Lauren examines him the best she can, trying to cast Heal on him. “Just ah...to make him stop and see what happens...”.
The elf reacts to Lauren's spell and gasps for hair. As he's still tied he has a spasm but can't get up, but he looks like he's a little better. He has time to whisper "He's here..." before starting screaming in pain again.
Lauren looks at him and then to Mari. “Nononoonono...wait...ah...”
“But who?”, asks Mari astonished, while the mage tries to heal him again
“Well, there goes our chance to retreat smoothly and quietly.”, smirks Ryan.
Ser Donovan wakes up but he doesn't look completely conscious: "What?”
“We need you!”, shouts Gem. “I think it's blood magic!”
“Thanks the Maker!”, agrees Nadette “Quickly! It could be a blood mage!"”
“Mari it's ok...Go and bring Håkan!”, orders Lauren, still busy trying to heal the elf, “and his...father...now”
Kyle prepares his weapon, just in case. He doesn’t like what his fiancée is getting involved in. Ryan also takes out his daggers and turns to Nadette "I think you should go hide, his master could be here any moment now." Nadette nods and tries to hide, holding her dagger
Gem readies herself and draws her daggers, alert to her surroundings. Kyle looks around with the sword in hand
As ser Donovan hears “Blood magic!” he gets an adrenaline rush and stands up looking around. Then sees the elf screaming and mutter something before casting what looks like a templar spell. The elf stops and starts breathing normally again, making Lauren breathe relieved.
“Okay, are we going to fight a blood mage or not?”, mumbles Ryan a bit disappointed.
Mari rushes to fetch the Kattersgårds. Stellan and Håkan are looking around, pointing their staves as they are scanning for something. “Håkan, eeer... and Håkan senior, Lauren wants you to come there!”, calls them the elf. Stellan and Håkan nod and go to Lauren.
“Ok...now...who is comming? what's happening”, is the mage asking to the choking elf. He gasps and mutters
"He knows... I shouldn't have told you that... I didn't you didn't... I thought you knew..."
“But ah...who is he? what we know?”, Lauren asks confused.
He grabs Lauren's scarf and says: "You should bring him what he wants."
Stellan kneels and examines the elf: "He looks like a blood mage's thrall. He's still conscious, but his will is controlled by a blood mage. Perhaps all those elves were..."
Mari scowls: Seems a good way to keep clean the alienages
Lauren grabs the elf's wrist, even more confused, then turns to Mari: "Is it true? You know where this blood mage’s phylactery is?"
“No. I have no idea”, Mari shrugs.
"But he thought you knew”, insists Lauren. “You said you have seen this elf before... what happened? Did he gave you something or..."
Mari starts to feel nervous. She doesn’t want her past as a thief to come back in front of everybody. “Listen, that guy gave me a stolen purse in the marketplace. I had never seen him, I knew nothing about him” she starts to explain. “I just thought he just wanted to get rid of it before the guards caught him with it, so I just left it in a stall before anyone noticed I had it, and went away. Why should I have kept it?”
“Mari got nothing to do with this”, intercedes Kyle, protecting his girl. Mari takes Kyle's arm and smiles at him gratefully
“At least not voluntarily”, clarifies Ryan.
"Do you remember where it was?", asks Stellan.
“Aaah... Maybe”, Mari ponders. “But this was like... two months ago? The first time we went to Highever…”
“If that purse contained his philactery, it may still be there..." observes the old mage.
“Or it might already be destroyed, who knows?”, shrugs Ryan.
“There?” asks Mari confused. She doubts it, after two months.
"If he's looking for it, maybe nobody found it in the meantime.", Stellan tries to explain.
Lauren takes the elf’s hand off her scarf and coughs "Ah... all right...look I don't have the remotest idea what you are...ah talking about… but we're going to try to solve this...ok?". Then she pats him and stands up again. “This all was for that blood mage's phylactery?”, she says then, frowning at the group. Gem watches and listens
“I imagine the merchant took it...” adventures Mari.
“You want to look for a needle in a haystack?” asks Kyle, taking Mari’s arm protectively.
“But Kyle”, protests Lauren “it'd be worst if they...ah..find it before?”
“I know” Kyle mutters. “I just have a really bad feeling about this”.
“Ahhhh, paranoia. Don't worry, bro, it happens to the best of us”, teases Ryan.
"Which stall was it?", insists Stellan.
Mari tries to remember. “Ah, I think... it was a spices one I think... Spices, or herbs.. or something which smelled strong”.
Donovan raises a brow: "Perhaps an herbalist?"
“Ah, I don't know. I didn't pay a lot of attention; I just wanted to get rid of the purse”. She grabs Kyle's arm thighter “What really worries me... is the fact that they gave me the purse on purpose”
“Why would they do that, Mari?”, asks Lauren
“Maybe ah...because you are an elf?”
“They know her mother”, Kyle says.
“They seemed to know my family...”, Mari nods at her boyfriend.
“So they could find you la-“ Lauren is starting to say, and suddenly stops. “oh”
“My mother's name... and my sister's and mine”, Mari continues.
“How would they know you?”, asks Gem.
Lauren blinks "you've been to Highever before?. I thought you ah...never left Denerim?”
Mari shakes her head: “Only once, with Kyle”
“ They must have knew you from way before that”, says Kyle.
“ But how can they know me?”, still wonders Mari. “I barely know my family, I don't even know my family name!”
Lauren hesitates. “Maybe ah...your twin sister?”
“ Interesting question, I think we should ask him”, Ryan says pointing to the unconscious elf. “After he is awake, of course. Anyone got a bucket of water?”
“ Or maybe a water flask?” suggests Gem.
Nadette approaches "Maybe you should keep him as a hostage, my lord"
“ Ah... maybe you can carry him?”, adds Mari. “He's not heavy, he's an elf”
“ I know.”, says Ryan looking at the elf.
Meanwhile, Stellan gets up: "You think she hid it in Marcelo's stall?"

Donovan nods: "That would explain many things: He left for Antiva two months ago..."

Donovan starts walking towards the markeplace's square. Stellan looks at him then at Håkan. "I... I should follow him."
Mari also looks at the others leaving.”I don't want to go... I also have a bad feeling”.
Lauren notices the templar leaving and the Kattergårds. Walks again to Håkan, who is frowning.
"If his master was trying to kill him with blood magic I don't think he'd be much of an hostage. He's clearly expendable for him."

Lauren grabs Håkan's hand again and tightens it softly "if there are blood mages implied...we should go with the templar..."
Nadette nods "Of course. But with the help of templars, maybe we could interrogate him properly"
“ Håkan, if he was trying to kill him, it could be because he knew more than he told us”, points wisely Gem.
“ We still need him for his connection with Mari's family, ser mage.”, agrees Ryan.
"I think if we want to get to the bottom of this, we should follow my... that templar.", adds the mage, suddenly realizing his girlfriend’s attempts to draw his attention onto the couple going away.
“ I agree, let's follow the templar...” says Gem.
Mari turns to Kyle: “Do you think this can be related to my parents' death? That... that my mother could know something about this phylactery?”
Kyle rubs his chin “ah… relate”
Ryan pulls the elf up and hoists him over his shoulder, then looks at Nadette "My apology, my lady, looks like we'll have another detour."
“Don't worry, my lord. I've spent years in the military. It was far worse than this", she smiles
“We should keep him...anyway...maybe he knows something else? Mari?”, asks Lauren
“ Maybe...”, nods Mari. “Can we make sure we can keep him.. alive?”
“ I will try” smiles Kyle. “Hey Ryan, can you keep an eye on him? He's still valuable”.
“ Yeah, sure, I'm keeping an eye on him right now. His bottom anyway.” Jokes the noble.
Mari smiles gratefully at Kyle and Ryan and continues grabbing Kyle's arm
Lauren looks to the way Donovan and Stellan left and sighs "I don't know...but if he attacks with blood magic again...we'd need a templar. I don't know if I could do ah...much" "
"Templars can negate spells, even blood magic spells”, clarifies Hakan
“ I'm sure ser donovan can perform that trick of his again” shrugs Gem
"that...", nods Lauren
"I know there are spells to protect from magic, but I don't know them well", insists Haakan
“Time's a wasting, if we're going to follow the templar, then let's go...”, hurries Gem.
“I’ll go where My lord goes”, smiles Nadette, and Ryan winks at her. Mari thinks Ryan is such a teaser, and Ryan shivers at the strange feeling of somebody suspecting him of being a teaser.
They follow Stellan and Donovan's steps and get to the market square. Since it is in the evening, the stalls are closed, and the market is empty. Donovan is searching a stall, but from the position Mari can tell it's not the stall she hid the purse in, but the one on the left of the one she hid the purse in.
“Ser Donovan... I think it was that one...”, Mari says, pointing to the stall at the right.
Donovan and Stellan raise a brow: "We've already searched that one, it's not there."
“Well, I don't think it will still be there after more than two months...” Mari shrugs. “I'd come back tomorrow when they open the market and question the seller”. Anyway, she decides to have a look around the stall anyway
"You remember where did you stashed it?" Haakan ask watching her look.
“I didn't really stash it, I just dropped it” she simply says, looking around the closed stall. “The market place was crowded, nobody should have noticed”
“A pity it's dark already, Tim could have helped a lot.”, mumbles Kyle.
“Why, where is that bird now? I haven't seen it.”, asks Ryan
“Unfortunately, I released him for his daily flight since noon.”, replies Kyle
“Awwww.”, protests the noble.
Mari bends down and looks under the stall. “Wait a minute....”, she says suddenly, and she slides under the stall to reach something under it. Lauren tiptoes and raises her head trying to see Mari's hands.
“I can't believe it is still here!”, Mari says, surprised. She moves up, acting as if she was grasping something, maybe a purse, but nobody can see anything.
“What’s here?”, Gem asks.
Mari shows her empty hands to everybody
“The purse. I really can't believe it”, Mari says triumphally, unaware that nobody else can see it.
“Is it there?”, asks Lauren.
“Yes. Look!”
Lauren looks at her as if she were crazy, while Gem asks. “What? I don't see anything”
“What?” asks Mari
“Where?!” replies Gem
“I'm worried, is it cursed so that anyone who try to take it will burst out in flames or something?”, asks Ryan suddenly. Mari looks at the purse in her hands. She can see it perfectly, so she has the feeling people don't take her seriously. At Ryan’s words, she hands it to Håkan: “Want to try?”
Håkan looks at Mari's hands then at Mari "try what?"
Mari grabs Håkan hand and puts the purse on it. He doesn’t burst in flames, so Ryan looks at him a bit disappointed. “Guess I was wrong”.
“I don't see anything”, insists Gem
Lauren blinks, looking at Mari’s hands "what are you talking about, Mari?"
Nadette looks at ser Donovan: "Can you tell us if there's any magic working on here?"
“Okay, people, stop with the eyes”, says Kyle wisely. Mari smiles at him. At least one person understands what it is happening, even if they take him even less seriously than her..
Håkan startles: "I... she's right, there is something here... an invisible purse?"
“Invisible?”, asks Lauren. “But ah...Mari sees it?”
“Yes. I see it perfectly”
“Why can Mari see it and the rest of us can't?”, asks Gem
“Because some stupid blood mage think picking on elven girls is macho”, replies Kyle, definitely pissed off.
The redhaired elf takes back the purse and opens it, then she shows the open leather purse to Kyle: “Can you see what's inside, love?”
“I see something...but then I see nothing.....I don't know, love”, Kyle hesitates.
Mari takes the object from inside the purse, showing it on her hand. It definitely isn’t a Satinalia gift, even if she wouldn’t have minded it to be a pair of glittery- crystal decorated handcuffs.
Lauren 's eyes go from Mari to Håkan and back to Mari, and stares at Mari's hand. On her palm, there’s an hourglass shaped viale, filled with a glowing red fluid. It's like Mari got it out of thin air.
“Is that what I think it is?”, asks Gem.
“That's the...ah...the phylactery?”, corroborates Lauren
Ryan is looking into the purse with interests "Wowee."
“But I still can't understand how is it that I can see it...”, Mari shakes her ears.
Suddenly ser Donovan can be heard cursing: "Andraste's panties!", while he unsheathes his sword and Stellan grabs his staff and put on guard.
“What is it?!”, asks Gem again, unsheathing her daggers too.
"He's here..."
Nadette bites her lower lip, her face pale. "We'll head him right to where we are!”
“The mage enchanted it so only Mari can see, but why?”, is still wondering Kyle.
Ryan swings his dagger around "Well, we can always ask him directly."
Donovan is looking around rising his shield: "The phylactery glows when you are near the mage who's blood is inside. If it glows like this it means he's really close."
Lauren looks at Stellan and grabs her staff. Pushes Mari behind her instinctively
Gem looks around, scanning the area, when a laugh coming from one of the alleys startles her.
Nadette approaches Ryan, drawing her dagger "Nadette, please come behind us. Be careful.", says Ryan knightly. Mari also looks around, making sure she's still by Kyle's side. Her boyfriend puts himself in front of Mari like a shield, while Lauren is still half covering her by the other side.
Deliberately slowly, a slender hooded figure in a robe emerges from the shadow. "So I was right. You and Evelyn were not his..."
Mari raises a brow. “Who?... How do you know my sister and me?”
The figure stops at about ten meters from them. It’s possible to see he's an elf, even if they can't tell his features very well. "Lynette fooled that poor man, Raphael. He thought you were his, but I always suspected the truth. You were some months too old to be his, and now I have the confirmation."
Mari feels her heart about to stop. She understands, but she doesn't want to believe. “You.Killed.Them”, she finally states.
"Oh I did." he laughs, "She didn't kept her part of the bargain so did I."
“No doubt about it”, says Kyle, disgusted at the mage.
Nadette looks around nervously, trying to find cover, instinctively protecting her belly
Ryan looks back at Nadette "Hide under the stable, far away from here. Please, just go."
Nadette nods slightly and whispers "I'll try. I'll go find the templars. Please be safe, my lord"
"Now, Marilyn... give daddy a hug... or my phylactery, your choice...". The sinister figure raises his arms.
“Phylactery, in the fade”, swears Kyle pointing his sword at the mage, while Lauren puts herself and her staff in front of Mari. Gem moves to stand next to Lauren to protect Mari, too, and the redhaired elf looks around confused, wondering what to do
Mari looks straight at the mage, feeling a bit ridicule tiptoeing from behind all the people protecting her: “There's a templar with us. I will give the Phylactery to him”
Lauren holds her staff "Stay away from her"
“If you want to touch Mari you'll have to go through me”, threatens Kyle, knightly style.
“Good point, bro, less talking, more stabbing”, agrees Ryan with a smirk.
"My my... such a handsome guy you found, Mari...”, the mage says cynically, approaching to Kyle. “Too bad he's so... unhealthy."
“Hey, it's my bro you're talking about! Apart from a few monthly bloodthirst, he's completely normal!”, Ryan jests.
The hooded figure laughs again. Suddenly Håkan's voice yells "Hey" behind them, and when they turn to look, they see ser Donovan has grabbed him and holds his sword on Håkan's throat.
Stellan looks horrified: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
Lauren startles “HÅKAN!!”, and she can’t help but lowering her staff “LET HIM GO!”
Mari looks at the templar terrified. “What?”, echoed by Gem "WHA...?"
Nadette stops, because the templar is on her way to escape
The mage laughs again: "Give me the Phylactery and he'll let him go, sweetie."
Mari looks around nervous, not knowing what to do with the flask. Suddenly she sees Kyle trembling, and putting his hand over his mouth to stop himself from puking his brain out, his entire body feeling weak for no reason at all. “KYLE!”, she shouts, running to him, reminding perfectly the way her mother died in front of her eyes and freaking out at the idea that her beloved can die the same way without her being able to avoid it.
“LET HIM GO!”, yells Ryan, and runs straight toward the mage to attack him with both his daggers.
“Mari! wait!”, shouts Lauren trying to catch Mari's arm. But the swift elf is already holding the warrior’s arm, helping him to stand on his feet.
“Don't you dare to touch him!”, she shouts, tears of rage in her eyes.
The mage laughs again: "Seriously, dear, you should have chosen a healthier betrothed..."
Lauren looks at Mari and then at Ser Donovan and Håkan, then at the hooded mage, not sure about what to do. Gem seems to have the same dilemma, glancing nervously between Håkan and Kyle.
Mari turns to the mage and shows the phylactery on her hands. “This is what you want?”
He moves his arms in a dramatic fashion: "Exactly"
“No! don't give it to him!!” shouts Lauren looking again at Håkan, trying to be reasonable and failing, while Gem shouts “NO!”, but it is Kyle’s painful “Don’t... give it... to him” which makes the elf hesitate. Finally she looks at the mage straight in the eyes.
“And you've waited all this time for me to find it for you again?”, she says, trying to gain time.
"The phylactery was safe unless you wouldn't return here. Have you seen the stone in the purse?"
“Yes. And?”. Mari would shrug if Kyle’s weight wasn’t about to bend her over.
"It makes the purse invisible for anyone who doesn't share my blood. That's why I had to keep you and your sister under constant watch.", the mage explains. "Evelyn left, and she was not much of a problem, but you... you were planning to marry here, in Highever..."
Ryan rolls his eyes "Mages."
“But if it was safe... why messing with us? That just drew our attention to it”. Mari doesn’t understand. Lauren is breathing slowly trying to calm down
“He’s such a sucker”, Kyle manages to say, breathing hardly. Mari holds him tighter.
"I thought cursing your betrothed couldn't have been enough: you had mages travelling with you, they could have healed him enough to keep him alive to the wedding...", the mage says, obviously delighted with himself. "Then I thought to go to the source of the problem and ensorcel the templar who was hunting me"
“That, and being voted most likely to learn berserker from the dwarves, also Kyle is one hard-headed lad, dear uncle-in-law”, mumbles Ryan.
Lauren can't stand it more and casts a glyph of paralysis on Donovan. Lauren's spell paralyzes the templar, but Håkan is still stuck in his arms and the blade is till pointing at his throat. Lauren rushes to the templar and grabs the sword, trying to take it away from Håkan's throat CAREFULLY
Mari is getting pale, she holds the phylactery so hard her knuckles are turning white. The mage laughs looking at her, misunderstanding her rage: "You want to destroy it? Come on! Do it! It will save me time!"
“So it was you who cursed Kyle?”, Mari spits out.
Kyle spits blood on the ground: “Forget it, don’t give him that”, he mumbles. Mari makes a soft pressure in his arm, making him understand she never intended to do it, and crouches to help him stand up, kissing softly his cheek, and whispering something to his ear. The couple stands now together, facing the mage, who chuckles, sure of his victory.
"It wasn't difficult. He had already health problems, I just... helped them. The problems, I mean.."
“And you're so coward, that you attack him because he's already weak”, Mari scowls, while Kyle whistles a signal
"Do I look like a chevalier, dear?" he grins, not paying attention to Kyle’s whistle.
Mari takes absently the purse from her pocket. “So... only those with our blood can see this purse?”
The mage frowns at Mari: "Yes. You want me also to explain how this magic works?" he makes a sinister giggle.
Stellan rushes to help Lauren, but the grasp on the sword is very tight. Lauren looks at Stellan, gasping "what do...what do we do?". The girl ponders to cut the templar’s arm, but she doesn’t want to hurt him…. even if she can heal it later, because of the risk of him killing her boyfriend is too high. Lauren glances at the hooded mage "He's controlling him? Can you do something?
"I can try a dispel on him, but that would get rid of the paralysis as well, though I’m not sure if it would free him from the blood magic", Stellan ponders.
“You know, I'm pretty sure killing the master will release the thrall permanently”, suggests Ryan.
Lauren bites her lips and looks at Håkan, holding her staff nervously. Then stares at the hooded mage again "And what about him?" She’s so mad that she is considering knocking the templar out with the staff....
Mari looks at the sky for a moment, then she makes a movement to put the phylactery into the purse. “It’s what I wanted to know”. Kyle smiles faintly, ever so glad to hear Tim's shriek, which sounds clearly from above. Mari glances at the falcon too, then she throws the purse at the mage, and makes a movement to throw something to Tim at the same time
Kyle almost jumps for joy as Tim comes swinging back and catches something in the air just in time before it hits the ground. The mage freezes looking at the purse flying and at the night sky where Tim is flying. He doesn't catch the purse, but looks disoriented at Mari and the falcon. He didn't understand where the phylactery went.
Ryan also smiles. “I've always loved that bird”. But Mari’s face tells everybody something went wrong, corroborated when they all can hear a *ting* noise behind them.
“Tim can't see the purse, right?”, Mari mumbles, her palm on her face.
“Stellan...?”, asks Lauren.
“I think animals are excluded”, says Ryan. “See, bloodlines between human and animals are kinda different…  he enchanted the purse against ANYONE who does not share the same blood.
Mari shakes her head. She threw the phylactery to Tim, and the purse to the mage. It was such a good plan! Why each time anything can go wrong, it GOES wrong?. “Manure!”, she swears, using Lauren’s favourite curse word.
The mage is still puzzled: "What the... Where's the phylactery now?"
Mari shows her hands open: “You'll have to look for it”
Kyle shows an evil smile: “Go to the fade to find it!”
“Can I poke his eyes out now? Please!” Ryan is already on attacking stance.
Nadette ponders to try and knock out the templar. She's a strong lady. But a glance of Ryan dissuades her. Nadette, think about your baby, think about your choices, think about how bad I would feel if something ever happen to you on my watch, he seems to say. Anyway she has no time to act. She freezes as the philactery falls right at her feet. Slowly, without drawing attention on her, she tries to hide it under her cloak
The mage roars and shakes his hands. Ryan, who was listening to the sounds behind him, sees Nadette's movements instants before he doubles over as sudden pain courses through his body. “Andraste's blood!”. Gem shouts “AAH!” at the same time, while Kyle collapses again, gritting his teeth. Mari shouts by their side, trying to control the pain a blood wound spell is causing all the four of them.
“Stellan...if we defeat the blood mage, ser Donovan will turn normal again, right?” whispers Lauren.
Stellan nods to lauren: "I hope so" then turns while he hears the screams
Lauren reacts casting a glyph on the blood mage. She thinks it is not going to work, but it's the only thing she can do, and to her surprise, the mage gets blocked, and the effect of the spell fades, making the four affected people to feel better. Lauren can’t believe it, and blows on her staff. “FUCK YEAH”
“Finally! Now let's kick some blood mage ass!”, shouts Ryan relieved, swinging his daggers toward the mage.
Mari runs to Kyle's side again, who stands up slowly, ready to attack the mage. In this very moment, the mage breaks free from the spell and three shades emerges from the ground to fight them. Lauren turns to Håkan and ser Donovan again, but they’re still blocked, which causes her to curse.
“Blasted creature!”, bursts out Ryan at the sight of the demons, unable to see what happened to his dagger. Mari runs to attack one of the shades, and Lauren helps casting a dart to the same monster, but it doesn’t seem to care and tries to hit Mari with its claws. Mari dodges swiftly, and Kyle swings his sword at the shade who dared to attack his girlfriend.
Gem recovers and uses the confusion to flank the mage, taking a dual stab from behind at him, hoping he doesn't notice her.
Nadette stands still, looking at the redheaded elf with urge, and decides to try and draw the mage's attention on her, so the others can attack him. Holds the phylactery and yells at him "You! Elf! Is this what you're looking for?"
Lauren keeps casting darts to the same shade, while Mari is dodging its swipe. The shade turns to face her, giving Kyle the opportunity to trust his sword into it. They hear some strange sound coming from the shade that then turns to face Kyle. The warrior then brings his shield down upon the shade, attempting to immobilize it, while Mari attacks the shade trying to deliver a fatal blow. The couple hits the shade at the same time, and it "screams" and falls to the ground disappearing in a puff of smoke.
Ryan drives his daggers repeatedly into the second shade, trying to hit their vital points if there are any but he seems only to make it angrier. Ryan then use his old trick of thrusting the dagger's handle into the shade's eyes, trying to immobilize it at least. “Oookay, you can stop moving now” But the shade doesn’t collaborate, and waves a claw knocking him back. It's damaged but still lethal. Ryan regains his balance and get up graciously. "Getting a little carried away, are we?"
The third shade points towards Nadette and Lauren, but it's slowed down by a spell cast by Stellan. Lauren changes her objective and casts her darts towards the slowed shadow. Nadette stands next to Lauren, ready to attack if the shadow approaches more "I'll cover you! Cast your spells!". Lauren nods to Nadette and keeps casting darts.
Meanwhile, the mage screams as Gem stabs him, then falls. He has Ryan's dagger stuck in the left leg. “Aha!”, shouts the young Cousland when he realizes. Gem tries to incapacitate the mage and hold him securely standing over him. He's bleeding and he looks like he's about to die. Wondering if they want the mage alive, she shouts “LAUREN!!!, I NEED YOU!”
Lauren turns her head to Gem and looks at Nadette. "You'll be fine?"
Nadette nods, "Go! I'll handle this myself!"
Lauren runs to Gem, who grabs her hand. “I need you to heal him enough to stay alive!”
“Why do you want him alive?”, asks Mari when she hears it, forgetting the shades for a while. Lauren kneels by them and raises her head to Mari. “He almost kills all of us!”, continues the redhaired elf. “He killed my parents! He wanted to kill Kyle!”
Lauren looks at the mage and then to Mari again. "Don't you want to...ah...know?
“It's your decision Mari”, shrugs Gem. “I thought you might like to know more about what happened”
“I'll do what you tell me”, Lauren glances at the blood mage again. “But it needs to be now, Mari...”
“Now, dead or alive depends on you”, says Kyle, grabbing her shoulder reassuringly. Because no matter what she decides, he will support her. Mari walks slowly to the dying mage, her mind full of hate and fear. Why should she leave him live? He didn’t have that consideration with her parents. She doesn’t need to know anything else. She only wants him dead.
“Give me a single reason to allow him to leave” she spits out.
The slowed down shade has been hit several times by Lauren and Stellan and now is within reach of Nadette, who faces it, trying to hit it. When Ryan sees it, he shouts out "No! Maintain your distance, Nadette!"
Nadette yells to Ryan "I've been trained in a battlefield, sir!" and tries to hit the shadow again, sweat drops running down her forehead, regretting to have left her own, well known sword at the inn. Nadette and Stellan hit the shadow who now breaks free from the gravity ring and goes backwards, like it's disoriented. Ryan can’t help her, his shade tries to hit him again, and he resumes his attacks with both his blades. “Help Nadette, Kyle!!!!! She's the one with a baby, maker's breath!!!”
The group around the mage is now aware that there are still two shades alive and Gem turns quickly to help. “It's up to you Mari...”, she says, before running to help attack the shade with Ryan. Kyle also runs, changing his way from Ryan to Nadette as soon as he says the noble already has help. But before nobody can get much closer, Nadette thrusts her sword into the shade's eye and the spirit falls to the ground and disappears.
Nadette pants and leans against a wall, trying to catch her breath for a moment, then she looks at Ryan, and starts to move to help him too.
Kyle rushes to attack the shade Ryan and Gem are attacking. Gem thrusts at it, because Ryan and its shade are stuck: Ryan's blades are in the shadow's hands, but it can't let them go without allowing Ryan to hit it. But Gem and Kyle’s attack finally kills it, making it disappear too.
“And stay down!”, pants Ryan, swinging his daggers free.
“Mari, it's up to you, but I need to know NOW”, says Lauren, getting impatient.
Mari stands by Lauren, deadly serious. She has made her mind up from the beginning. “I don't have reasons to let him live, Lauren. Don't waste your magic on him”
“Then do what you wish”, says Lauren clearly pissed off, as she stands up "It's your decision, I don't want to ah..just...whatever you want". She moves a step away, then she seems to think it better and turns back to her. “Look...we could give him ah...to the templars...but...”
“What would the templars do to him?” asks Mari, fearing that the mage will hurt them again if he is healed.
“They'd take him to Aeonar...or kill him” explains Lauren.
Before Gem and Kyle can rush back to Mari and Lauren, in the same moment the last shade dies, the mage's body starts to levitate. Lauren steps back and grabs Mari's arm, while Mari tries to grab the body. “Don't let him go!”
“What in the fade?”, asks Ryan
“Only the fade knows, bro” replies a shocked Kyle.
For a moment, Lauren tries to catch the mage too, but when the mage's face seems to melt and he seems to grow in size, Lauren drags Mari away from the THING “MARI STEP BACK!!!”
Then he opens his eyes (at least the one they can see) and roars at them. Mari gets rid of Lauren’s arm and attacks before it becomes whatever it will become.
“Well, nothing like a Pride Demon for dessert”, says Ryan sarcastically, while Gem freezes. Kyle rushes to Mari’s side as soon as he realizes the danger.
“Oh Maker!” Nadette freezes, terrified. It's the first time she sees an abomination. “STUN HIM! NOW”, shouts Ryan, who grabs Nadette's hand and pulls her behind him. While he prepares his daggers, ready to attack. Nadette reacts to Ryan's movement "I've got your back, my lord!"
Ryan look back at Nadette nervously "Actually, I kinda want you to turn into a little hedgehog and roll away to hide in a dune, but it's not gonna happen, is it?"
Nadette can't help but laugh "Never, my lord!"
Gem finally reacts and jumps at the abomination with both dagger poised to strike. The abomination rises its hands and casts a blame burst in front of it. Gem is hit, but manages to thrust her daggers in the abomination chest. She's a bit scorched but not aflame or severely injured, well except for her eyebrows…
Despite Lauren’s attempt to drag Mari away, she keeps attacking the abomination, but it doesn't seem to care, as if attacks during the transformation were ineffective, instead of weaker as Mari thought. Lauren gives up and casts the same old glyph on the abomination.
Kyle slams his sword at abomination, hitting its side, and it swings a arm slapping him on the face, making his nose bleed. He stumbles, a little disoriented, but quickly regains his feet and continues to attack with his shield.
Mari yells: "KYLE!" and jumps again to attack the abomination with both daggers to help him.
At the same time, Ryan rushes toward the abomination to attack “How dare you! My brother's fugly face is even more ruined!”
“Hey! He's not fugly! At least half of his face...” protests Mari.
Nadette rushes after Ryan, trying to reach the abomination from behind
Lauren's glyph seemed to be ineffective on the abomination, but he obviously considers her a treat as he's pointing towards her.
Gem grunts through the pain and tries to drag the daggers through the abomination's chest. Gem drags her daggers out the abomination while Mary stabs it in the back. The abomination doesn't seem to care all the damage and continues advancing towards Lauren floating over the street.
Lauren steps back and aims at the abomination with her staff, casting darts.
Stellan curses behind Lauren: something that sounds "is there a spell to which is not immune?" in Anders
“I don't stand a change, do I?” Ryan winks to Mari.
Mari giggles while attacking: “Too late, milord”
Kyle turns to Mari. “Ah he just jokes…”, then he thrusts forward while slashing the enemy repeatedly, trying to stun it
Ryan continues to slash the beast with his daggers while yelling "Any more stunning spells?" The abomination suddenly stops and turns to Ryan, slapping him.
Gem charges at the abomination again, slashing with her daggers, and making it fall on its knees and explodes. All the group is  knocked back by the explosion, but they don't suffer much damage. Where the abomination was now there is a pile of rags.
Lauren stands up and looks around to check if everybody is fine
Ryan staggers back a little, arms flailing wildly to stop himself from collapsing. Nadette holds Ryan in time. Ryan smiles back at Nadette, slightly embarassed and quickly stand up straight. "I guess we know who is the damsel in distress now."
Nadette pants, tired, and smiles back "I never was a damsel in distress to begin with, my lord"
Ryan laughs loudly "Of course, silly me.", he then looks around "Now let's clean thing up and we can resume our journey."
Mari looks at the remains of the abomination, then walks and looks carefully between what once was her father. “So it is over...”
Kyle moves closer to Mari and take her hands. "I am sorry, love. But he is not worth it."
Behind them, they hear a clang: ser Donovan has collapsed on the floor when the abomination died. Håkan is rubbing his troath checking if there's blood on it.
Lauren turns and runs to them, glomping Håkan, and looks up "Are you all right?"
Stellan is helping Ser Donovan, then he rises and hugs his son, not noticing Lauren is in the middle "I'm so sorry, Håkan....did they give you this name, right?"
Håkan nods: "Yes, that's my name. But why...? How...?"
Lauren coughs and steps back to avoid being squased by the tall anders
“Is everyone ok?” Gem looks around to make sure that there are no more shades or abominations
Nadette nods, and walks towards Mari "I know it's not the best moment, but I still have this" she shows the philactery to Mari. The philactery's content now seems to have dried: you have a vial filled with concealed blood.
Mari looks at the phylactery with unfocused eyes
Gem goes over to Mari "Are you alright Mari?"
I am so sorry, girl. But it's you who has to decide what to do with this", insists Nadette.
“So does this mean he's dead? For good?”, Mari asks, not sure if being relieved or not. “I don't really know... Maybe the templars should keep it, in case he comes back... or something...”
Mari continues taking Kyle's hands, not very sure of what to do. Kyle  tighten his hold on Mari's hand.
Nadette sits on a bench, exhausted, staring at Mari with saddened eyes
Mari realizes she has a key in her hands, a key she has found amongst the rags. She shows it to Kyle
“What do you think this is for?”
“Where did you found it?” the warrior asks.
“It... it was in his clothes”, she replies. “I was looking for some clues... about my parents”
“It's similar to our room keys at the Flemeth Broomstick's inn” points Kyle.
“Is it? I had not realized...”. Mari is so shocked by the events she has to blink twice to acknowledge what her betrothed said. “Do you think he was in the same inn we were?”
“I think so”, Kyle smiles.
Ryan is walking around idlely when he hears that "Well, then we know our next location."
“Maybe we can look in his room?”, ponders Mari looking at the key.
“Well, he's not staying in it anymore”, says Kyle.
“It looks like we are going the same way then”, Ryan shrugs.
Gem stirs awkwardly, feeling she has nobody to hug and comfort or be comforted. Nadette notices her and smiles at her, patting at the bench by her side. She’s been left aside now that Ryan is focused in Kyle and Mari too.
In the background Stellan is explaining Håkan how, after they took him away from him and his mother, he decided to find his son again, and started to collaborate with various templars to hund apostates becoming a famous mage-hunter.

Some minutes later, the group is back at Flemeth’s Broomstick’s inn. Mari tries the key in several rooms, while the others watch trying not to be noticed. After a few attempts, she finds out the key unlocks a chamber near the attic. It's a tiny room, and very messy.
Mari enters the room carefully, and Lauren follows her watching her feet. Apart from some clothes - some are obviously disguises, as there are ragged and stinky clothes that look like a beggar's and cleaned and perfumed fine noble clothes, they can find several robes decorated with feathers, Tevinter style, shoes and personal effects. There are two boxes: one's locked and the other one contains some vials. Some of those vials are perfumes, other are filled with unknown liquids, probably potions. Mari doesn't have special idea about Tevinter fashion, but thinks feathers in men are terribly gay. Nadette on the other hand thinks they're so cool - men in Orlais look fabulous.
“Wow, look like we have found his special carnival wardrobe”, says Ryan looking around. Gem giggles at Ryan's joke.
Mari finds also something that looks like a book, possibly a journal, and takes it carefully while Kyle stares at it, opening to see what is written.
Ryan eyes the book with interest "His diary?"
Lauren examines the potions, trying to recognize anything, and eyes the robes as if pondering to examine them later. Gem joins her, hoping any of them is a poison, while Mari reads the journal. And of course there's his staff: it's a regular Tevinter staff, the one that looks like a whip for cream. Lauren leaves Gem with the potions and goes to examines the staff
Nadette simply rests against the wall, to tired to do anything. Ryan looks at her concerned "Are you okay? I can take you to your room now, it's just down the hall."
Nadette shakes her head. "Hah, I'm so much into this right now to leave without knowing what's happening, my lord. I'm sorry I've been such a headache".
Ryan shakes his head in turn "Oh no, I just like fussing over you like a mother hen, it's so much fun."
Nadette laughs a bit "Then let me stay, mommy", thinking that her  husband may be cursing in his grave.
The journal looks like a delirious chronicle of what happened to the mage since he fled from the tower. The story starts when he abandoned Lynette and tried to reach the Orlesian border, and how he got stuck on the frostback mountains for a whole winter. It describes then his travels to Tevinter...
Mari flips through the pages looking for the moment in which he killed her parents, impatient. That event takes just one paragraph, like it was barely worth to mention it, but that starts an interesting part in which he talks long about his daughters. Mari reads completely focused
It looks like he knew the girls were home when he killed Lynette and her husband, but choose to ignore them as he already thought they were his, and he was hoping they would have shown magic abilities. He was disappointed when they didn't but decided he should have keep checking on the regularily to see how they would have grown. Mari snorts. He was furious when they started hanging around with templars, moreover because Eglantine and Ser August were the ones who were charged by leutenant Donovan to find him. He was planning to kill them both, but for a reason or another he never did it.
Mari doesn't speak, but tears are running down her cheeks, remembering her family and her sister. The more she reads, the more she realizes he was a complete madman, probably he was mad before turning to blood magic.
Kyle wraps his arm around Mari and pulls her close. “The bastard.....”
Mari sighs, closes the book and decides to keep it to read it more carefully. Then she buries her face on Kyle's chest. He strokes her hair: “It's okay, love, it's all over now. He will never be able to hurt you ever again”. Mari nods looking at him, not saying aloud that the worst part was thinking he was going to hurt Kyle, not her.
Nadette frowns with delicacy, wanting to do something for Mari, but not knowing what
“I'm so sorry Mari...”, mumbles Gem, still rummaging into the potions.
Lauren leaves the staff, lowers her ears and rubs her arm, not wanting to interrupt them. “Mari ah...I'm sorry”
“I am really sorry, Mari, Kyle. This should never had happened if we have done something”, says Ryan.
Mari turns to him: “There's nothing you could do, milord. That happened long ago, and such, it can't be changed”.
Ryan shakes his head sadly at Mari. "This has happened in Highever, under my watch. And it will never happen again. As long as I'm still here, I'll make sure of that."
Mari smiles gratefully at Ryan: “But what happened to my parents was in Denerim. This mage has been in many places. You couldn't do anything there” Then she stands up and kisses Ryan's cheek: “Anyway, thank you so much. It is reassuring to know I'm going to live in such a safe place”
Ryan close his eyes and nods sadly "Yes, but maybe someday I will. Maybe someday...."
Kyle says nothing, with a sad smile.
Gem shows a potion to Lauren, "do you know what this is?. It looks like an antidote of sorts”
Lauren looks at the potion and wrinkles her nose. “Yeah, it looks like ah...an antidote, but I wouldn't dare to say exactly for what...”
“Thanks, I just thought you might know”, nods Gem
“No, I'm sorry...”
Gem smiles at Lauren "Thanks anyway" Then she moves apart to examine her loot: some silvers, a knife and a locket she got from the elves, and the potions she took from the mage’s room. One seems to be an antidote, even if Lauren couldn’t identify it; the other is shinny blue and seems Lyrium. She pouts. Probably smuggled… she doesn’t like that. If the templar, Donovan, were not a ginger, she ponders…. But she doesn’t like drunkards. She sighs. Seems the man for her had not showed up yet…
Lauren walks to Mari and hugs her, and she returns the hug tightly. “It's all right, he can't do anything to you now...”, Lauren says patting her back.
Mari simles shyly. Tim has arrived back with the purse, an invisible purse only she can see, and the possibilities are starting to make her feel better about all the tragedy. She keeps it in her pocket, with the dry phylactery and the journal. One never knows…
Ryan turns to Kyle "Okay, give your bro a big hug, This is goodbye. I will have to return to the castle immediately." Ryan opens his arm wide and gives Kyle a dazzling smile.
Kyle hits Ryan on the head "Hug yourself"
“I knew I should have asked for a kiss” Ryan laughs, crouching to dodge the hit. Mari giggles a bit.
“But you got a kiss”, she reminds him with a smile.
“And you don't have to remind me”, chuckles Ryan. “I'll just kiss Kyle goodbye and go”
“Okey!” Mari says, cheerful again.
Ryan bows down, take Nadette's hand and plant a light kiss on her skin "You are a blessing, my lady."
Nadette giggles "So are you, my lord"
Ryan then jumps over to where Kyle is and give that brooding head a kiss before putting on sunglass and swing down back "Catch y'all later! It was fun!"
Kyle grits his teeth: “Now you just kiss yourself goodbye tonight”, he says, pointing at a frying-pan
“Why are you treating your brother like this Kyle?”, pouts Ryan. “Seriously Mari what do you see in this guy ?”
“You want me to kick your ass, right?” Kyle facepalms.
“This Cousland is ah...weird, Mari”, stammers Lauren.
“ Is he?” Mari smiles
“ A bit...”
“Maybe he drank the wrong potion” Kyle points out.
“Weird? Ah, the lady has seen through my real nature! Well done”, Ryan winks to Lauren. Kyle headbangs, while Lauren is trying to figure out who this lady he speaks about is... Mari can’t help but gigglesnort.
“Awww don't do that, I know you love me, right?”. He takes Kyle's head and smashes it against a wall. “Ouch”, complains the warrior, taken by surprise.
“Hey!”, protests Mari. “Don't damage him too much!”
“Lady, calm down, I was only jesting”, replies Ryan with a smile, lowering his guard, so Kyle kicks Ryan’s stomach with an evil smile. Mari makes poker face“ Besides, his head is so hard nothing can damage it.”
“ Pfft, That I agree, he has a hard head indeed” nods Mari.
“I'll bring some poultices...”, sighs Lauren, and runs away.
Ryan slaps Kyle's butt. "Bad boy!". Kyle jumps
“Seems we don't need enemies”, mutters Mari. “They're going to kill themselves without help”
“Hmmm, the ladies does not approve of our masculine playing. Well, I'll stop then”, Ryan chuckles, and it is stopped by Kyle pointing at his head with the frying-pan. “Just revenge bro”
Ryan dodges the frying pan and runs to the corridor. Gem giggles in the corner, wondering why she decided to travel with this lot... ;)
Ryan shouts from backstage "Revenge brings you nowhere, brother."
“OH REALLY?! LOOK who talking nah?”. Kyle is getting nervous, and Mari rubs his arm to tranquilize him.
While the rest of the group starts moving away, Mari decides to stay a bit longer in the crazy wizard who claimed to be her father’s room, and opens the book again. The journal ends with a strange phrase that doesn't even seem to be written by the same person, as the writing is slightly different.
"I always wanted freedom. I always wanted a family. I always wanted power. I have them all, but then why this doesn't feel right? I guess it's true what they say: be careful what you wish for."
“Okay, who put the steroids in Kyle's drink?”, Ryan’s voice can be heard from the corridor.
“WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?” Kyle shouts, running behind him.
Mari sighs. Life in Highever with these two will be anything but boring. Then she smiles, closes the book and follows her betrothed. She’s luckier than her the person who wrote it. She has a real family now.

9:05, 15th day of Guardian
Today I ran from the Circle. Four months preparing this, and that stupid hollowhead spoiled it all getting scared when I silenced Glenn and Heather. What did she expect? Did she think I could just tell them “Oh, please, don’t tell anybody we’re running away!”, and pinch their cheeks?. They knew my name. And now she has my phylactery. I need to track her down… I need to get that thing back… before the templars find me.

9:10, 6th day of Cloudreach
Found the bitch. She was hiding in Denerim, amongst the other lamb-like elves, stupid things. Got there, killed her. She didn’t have it. There was something in the wardrobe, though… my own seed. I know they were mine, she may have fooled that RedCliffe moron, but she can’t fool me. I felt my blood in them.
Twins. How interesting. Double the offspring, double the chances. I didn’t have time to get them with me, but I’ll keep an eye on them. My faithful shades will care for them, until the power they hold inside wakes up…
(Excerpts from Edanhor Blank’s journal, as found in Highever on 9:25, 14th day of Haring)