Title: A Bard's Love
Game: Dragon Age Origins
Characters/pairing- The Warden, Leliana
Disclaimer- DAO (c) BioWare
Dragon Age: A Bard's Love
"Wait… what?!" Cogdale shouted at the portly dwarf. "I'm sorry my friend but my boy and I must leave you." Bodahn said quivering in the corner of the tavern they resided in for the night. The entire group had surrounded the old dwarf. Leliana kept her patience and sat at the counter, nearly drunk.
She could barely hear or care what the bullying of poor old Bodahn was about. She was happier that she was back in Orlais. That she could have fun and relax on Orlesian wine. That she always loved to indulge on during her bard life. She took another sip of her mug and struggled to keep herself up on her stool, all the while giggling to herself. She did spot that several men had taken notice of her and were eyeing her all night. A part of her knew she mustn't flirt with them but the alcohol made her very rowdy.
She gave the most attractive man out of the group across the tavern a wink. Realizing she had done something wrong she quickly twisted her attention back to the beatdown of Bodahn who was still backed into a corner.
"Listen here dwarf! You are our only way of transportation through Orlais." Garrden said with slurred lips. The young elf was completely inebriated and at any moment could take a swing at Bodahn.
"I understand that Garrden. I do but I have pressing matters elsewhere which lead away from Orlais back into Ferelden. You'll have to find someone else." Bodahn said with a wrinkled nose. Cogdale stumbled back and tripped over an empty chair, landing on his butt. A stubborn look appeared on his face only to transform into a drunken chuckle. Cogdale's spill took everyone's attention away from Bodahn who quickly made his way out of the tavern. Leliana had the mind to go after him but her body yawned her away from doing so. She grabbed her mug again and gulped down more of her wine and made her way over to the fallen Cogdale.
"Oh I knew him well, my lover and hero! M..Maker watch over him in the world beyond the fffade." Leliana jokingly said holding his head in her arms and stroking it. Garrden bursted out laughing to the poor joke and continued to dig his face into his beverage. Helena returned to a table and shyfully just watched her friends have fun. Her face red from being drunk herself. Leliana kissed Cogdale on his broken nose helping him back up only to fall over herself into Cogdale, knocking him over once more.
"This is so much fun" Leliana said laughing at herself. "Yep" Cogdale said finding it hard to breath from all the laughter. Breathing in and out slowly Leliana tried to compose herself so she could stop laughing. Only to start imitating Orlesian nobility's snobbiness that they had by trying to stand on her toes and pose like orlesian dancers.
"Madame s'il vous plaît votre boisson devient chaud." The Tender said to her. Which of course he was warning her that her wine was getting warm. She stumbled over to her mug and finished the rest off. "I've had enough." She said to the barkeep. Leliana being drunk didn't realize the man didn't speak King's Tongue.
"Excusez-moi?" he asked her. Leliana giggled she struggled to remember what she said in orlesian. "J'ai eu assez à manger" she responded awkwardly patting him on the face and slowly by the last pat glided her palm down his face. "S'il vous plaît simplement accéder à votre chambre pour que je puisse reposer." He said with a loud sigh. Leliana understood that and wobbled her way over to an area that her friends may notice her. The man she winked at earlier halted her.
He was shorter then her, his skin tanner then most complimented his long dark brown hair. His facial features didn't seem Orlesian though. "So I heard you have a problem." He said his accent was very strong, it was a rich Antivan accent. Even more then Zevran's from what Leliana could remember. His words came in and out of her hearing, the last drink of her wine was finally kicking in and it would knock her out very soon.
"I guess.. pfffff" Leliana murmured leaning on a table for balance. The Antivan man only let a smirk appear on his lips. "It seems I should've confronted you when you were less… drunk." He regretfully said looking at her then the rest of her friends. "I guess you should've thought of that huh?" Leliana spat out with a rude tone.
"Well enough you can still understand what I'm saying, so here is my proposition." He said adjusting the collar of his clothing. "You are in need of new transportation through Orlais yes?" He asked putting his finger on Leliana's chin lifting it up to keep her attention on him instead of the floor. She only nodded as her eyes were becoming very heavy.
"It just so happens that I have a caravan of my own. And I am offering a trade of sorts. But I need you and your friends here to do something for me." The Antivan said. "Here I'll be in La tasse en état d'ébriété down the street if you're interested tomorrow." He said handing a piece of torn paper with the other tavern's name on it. Leliana put it in her cleavage for safekeeping as she finally fell asleep face planting into the table she was leaning on.
Waking up with a severe headache Leliana found herself in bed with a wet cloth on her forehead. She realized while removing the cloth she had a pretty good-sized knot on her forehead from hitting the table the other night. She looked around the room but Cogdale was nowhere to be seen. Only Helena was in the room with her resting on the wall adjacent to the door. Her robes lay awkwardly across her left shoulder. Leliana for a brief moment smiled only to stop when it brought in a small migraine. She now had some pathetic form of sympathy for Cogdale's broken nose even though her pain paled in comparison to what he had to deal with.
She could smell the wine on her breath when she sighed. She wouldn't ever do that again. But she knew that this tavern had the best ale and wine in Lydes perhaps even all of southern Orlais. At the very least all of her friends had a blast. She tried sitting up on the bed feeling something fall into her breasts. She grabbed the small paper and looked at it. She vaguely could remember the strange man offering something to her. The note had where he was and offering help.
"Helena." Leliana called out to the mage. How odd that she awoke the first time she called to her. "Huh? What is it?" Helena whined rubbing her eyes smearing her make up on her hands. "Do you know how long we've been asleep?" Leliana asked flipping the wet cloth to feel the cold again. "That's a silly question to ask someone who has been out the same as you." Helena said getting up on her feet and grimacing from the small hangover that followed.
"Eugh alcohol does wonders with my magic." Helena sarcastically said holding her head. "I think you would've gotten along very well with my friend Oghren then." Leliana grinned. "You are so cute when your quiet and he'd break your silence pretty quickly I'm assuming." Helena only raised a brow and shook her head. "Too bad you were so drunk you didn't see Cogdale drunk." Helena said continuing their conversation.
"Right riiight what did my warden do?" Leliana said slowly patting the spot next to her in bed, signaling Helena to come lay with her. Helena did so but with the carefulness of a rock falling down a cliff. As she took a step to lift herself onto the bed her toes slipped and she found her face in the soft fabric of the bed. "Ahhh that feels nice." Helena moaned in relief. Leliana giggled.
"So what is that piece of paper in your hands there?" Helena asked trying to reach for it, to no avail. Leliana took a moment to read the note again and tried to remember the man. She couldn't remember his name, if he told her or not wasn't the case.
"All I remember was…" Leliana tried her best to remember anything about him. "That a man said he could help us." Leliana said scratching her head. "With what?" Helena asked. Leliana couldn't remember, only one thing came back to her. That he was Antivan. "I can't remember." Leliana grunted in frustration. "Don't worry it will come back to you." Helena said touching Leliana's arm. "It really is up to the Maker if that's the case." Leliana jokingly said.
"So do you know if the men are still out getting drunk out of their gourd?" Leliana asked Helena. "Nope, they left me here with you and from what I could recall is that they're going after Bodahn for some reason." Helena answered fiddling with Leliana's clothing between her fingers. For a moment the 2 of them didn't talk and only looked at each other in silence. It finally took this moment for Leliana to guess Helena's age. She must've been around 20 or 22 years old. And what Leliana knew of The Circle of Magi was that most mages didn't pass their Harrowing usually around 25 or 30 years of age. Helena must've excelled at The Circle. Her turquoise eyes swirled with gold and green. Very rare eye color for a human of her age. But Leliana had no right on "rare" eye colors seeing as so many people she met the past 2 or 3 years had odd eyes, including Cogdale.
"Where did you get your eyes?" Leliana said brushing a couple of bangs out of Helena's face. "No one." Helena blurted out. "No one? What do you mean by that?" Leliana frowned. There was no way she didn't inherit those eyes. "I didn't get them from my parents if you were thinking that." Helena said. She grabbed Leliana's forearm and pulled herself up to Leliana's eye level. "Some in The Circle say that was a dead giveaway that I was to have magic when I got older. Perhaps they are right. Both my parents had dark brown eyes." Helena said still holding Leliana's arm. "That is very interesting. To think eye color might hint at if a child is gifted with magic." Leliana said. "So you think magic is a gift?" Helena angled. Leliana nodded, "If you were born with magic, I think it was given to you by The Maker. Why would he randomly curse you with magic? He loves all of us." Leliana said.
Leliana raised the note again to her line of sight. "Guess we should go looking for the boys?" Helena said. "Yeah, see if this compatriot here can help us with what ever dilemma we have, that I can't seem to remember." Both got out of bed their small headaches not strong enough to push them back into bed. The hallway was dimly lit as the fires in the torches began to die out. But they wouldn't need light. The windows in the tavern showed that morning was showing herself outside. They would be lucky enough to catch the legendary Orlesian sunrise.
They rushed to the door to run out in the streets of Lydes. Because of the buildings blocking the sunrise the cold, wet streets were still dark as night. One of those moments when the sky was brighter then the earth below it.
The street was empty except for the occasional pigeons and hopping crows that always infested Orlesian street life. "Where do you think they went?" Helena asked huddling next to Leliana for warmth. They could see their breath in the cold winter air as Leliana chose a direction. "Lets go down this way to the stalls." Leliana suggested pointing down the road. Leliana wasn't randomly choosing a direction. The path would get her to the tavern the Antivan was staying at.
"Watch out for guards Helena, Orlesians tend to take any opportunity they get with "fragile" women such as us." Leliana warned her friend. Helena kept herself to the back of Leliana as they fastwalked down the snaking streets of Lydes. A few dark eyes peered at them through the alleyways of the city but Leliana didn't worry nor care for the disgusting hermits. The fact she had her large dagger exposed on her leg was enough deterrent for them not to mess with her and her friend.
Only a couple more structures and they would reach La tasse en état d'ébriété. Perhaps the Antivan would be asleep? Perhaps all that hassle of travelling through Lydes was for nothing? Leliana couldn't stop pondering such odd thoughts as they reached the tavern. The door was locked and the sign outside said they were closed until the following night. Leliana's gut feeling gloated in her face. "Damn." Leliana said disgruntled. "What?" Helena said. "Oh… this is that place that guy wanted to meet you at right?" Helena walked up to the door and tried looking through the small opening to see if anyone was inside.
"I think I'm tired of taverns. I've been more taverns in the past month and a half then I ever have my entire life. But that's not saying much since I've been a Circle lackey for most of it." Helena laughed. Leliana gestured to Helena if she wanted to head back to their room. Helena nodded only to stop mid nod as she was looking at someone behind Leliana. "What is it Helena?" Leliana said slowly reaching for her dagger on her leg.
"Wo wo wo ladies!" A familiar voice shouted as a hand stopped Leliana from gripping her dagger. "No need to be so jumpy." The man said. It was the Antivan from earlier. "I knew you'd come to see me about your travelling troubles." He chuckled. Leliana spun around to see the man fully clad in his armor. Something that wasn't of Orlesian or Antivan make. "Don't go thinking you're going to get anything from us with this." Leliana said surprising the Antivan with her speed of snatching her dagger and putting it to his throat. "No! no no I'm not looking for any sexual favors. Trust me that's the last thing I want… ever" He said with an odd and unexpected sadness.
"An Antivan who doesn't like bodily pleasure? Really? Your joking right?" Leliana said hand on hip. He shook his head. "No I'm not."
"Well mind telling us your name?" Helena said stepping in front of Leliana for the first time this morning. "Oh! My apologies ladies, you may call me by name Leone." He said bowing in front of them. His demeanor reminded Leliana so much of Zevran. "So Leone it is then." Leliana said shaking his hand, the cold chainmail that hugged his fingers sent shivers up her arm.
The sunlight was reaching them now; Her long hair seemed to want to get in the way of her face. Leone offered something to put her hair in a ponytail like his but she denied. "Why do you want to meet with us? Why not the men?" Leliana asked him. "Well I didn't know if they'd be hostile or not, so I was hoping you would introduce me to them." Leone said randomly prancing around the surrounding area while he talked.
"You seem capable enough to do anything by yourself Antivan." Leliana said taking a breath. "Why would you need the help of some poor helpless Fereldans." She finally asked using air quotations. Leone laughed and sat down on a barrel. "Please, please don't make me laugh my dear red headed orlesian." He said. "You think I didn't recognize you and your friend as the "Hero of Ferelden! And his Orlesian LOVER!"" He snidely mocked.
"That easy to recognize us?" Leliana asked with worry. "Actually no, To tell you the truth I once was a Crow myself. I am a friend with the elf you know as Zevran Arainai. He said you and Cogdale could help me with my problem." He said randomly lifting himself off the barrel by a handstand.
"I knew you were too similar to him to be just a coincidence." Leliana jested. Leone threw himself off the barrel and landed on his boots. "Anyways, enough dilly dallying shall we go find the Warden and that elf?" Leone yowled. Leliana shrugged and followed Leone back to their tavern where out front Cogdale seemed to be searching for Leliana and Helena in odd places such as crates and on top of gutters.
"So you must be The legendary Warden I presume?" Leone pounced on Cogdale by surprise. Cogdale fidgeted in response to the random visitor. "Zevran?" Cogdale queried not knowing who this small Antivan who seemed to be on his back was. "No my dear friend. My name is Leone!" He said front flipped over Cogdale's shoulders into his view.
"Excuse my rudeness but what is a random Antivan doing in a city like Lydes out in Orlais?" Cogdale asked then suddenly stopped himself. "Wait… forget I asked." Cogdale said realizing the man was a Crow. "So you come to assassinate me?" Cogdale asked still unaware of Leliana right behind him. "Why would I even try, if Zevran Arainai can't kill you who can?" Leone joked shaking Cogdale's hand. "You may call me Leone Dahnay."
"So Leone Dahnay… why are you, no offense, talking to me?" Cogdale folded his arms as he started to use his size to try and intimidate Leone. Leliana held her laughter in from Cogdale's cute display of muscles. "Well ser, I know you have a certain, lets say getting around Orlais problem." Leone said mimicking Cogdale now. "How do you know of that?"
"I'm a Crow what do you expect me to do? Not eavesdrop?" Leone chuckled. Cogdale embarrassed only shook his head in disbelief for being so thick skulled on par with Oghren. "So what can you do?" Cogdale asked. Leliana was shocked how long it was taking him to notice her and Helena behind him. Leone knew it, giving the 2 of them quick glances every so often.
"Well for one, I have a caravan of my own that I'm willing to lend to you." Leone said pretending to clean his fingers. "Really? You'd do that… wait what is an Antivan Crow doing with a trading caravan?" Leone looked around like he didn't hear Cogdale's answer.
"Fine, I guess I don't want to know either." Cogdale said correcting his fault in asking an assassin on how he acquired such a costly thing. "I'm sensing that this is a barter however." Cogdale could read anyone like a book. "Right you are Warden, I need your help finding someone with me."
"This morning is just filled with things I just didn't expect." Cogdale said shrugging. It was at that moment, A red headed Bard and a Mage made their "Unexpected" jump on Cogdale.