The Pre-RitualMature

I held tightly onto Anders as we made our way to the back of the pub, listening to Merrill intently as she went off about what needed to be done. He would make comments every once in a while pertaining to the potion she was talking of, and I kept to myself as I focused on just making it to the bloody room. As I arrived at the entrance, I stopped dead in my tracks at the sight. I skinny woman stood before me in a black and red robe, holding something in her hands as she spoke to Varric. Her white blonde hair flown over her shoulder as she turned to the door, a warm smile plastered on her thin pink lips. My heart stopped as well as my feet. "Flemeth?"

"Yes, child. I've came to help you with your... Ailment." She paused, her smile widening as she came towards me, little wrinkles forming at the corners of her mouth. "I trust Merrill has told you all you must know for the time being. Come, join me at the table. Your friend, too. He will be needed for what must be done." Anders looked over at me, raising his eyebrow a little as we followed Flemeth cautiously into the room. My feet feeling heavy as my heart raced in my chest. I felt like I was about to faint.

Varric sat by the empty chair, a grin on his face when he saw us. "Looks like I have a lot to catch up on, Blondie. Hope you didn't use too much of her energy before you came here." He winked over at me, patting the chair as we made it to his side. Anders pulled me down onto the chair with him, holding me quite protectively on his lap as he watched the witch float across the room to get whatever she needed before returning to us. Varric and him were talking about something I could no longer make out but I didn't bother getting involved.

I kept listening to the voices around me as my head ached in my hands, feeling my eyes sting as I saw the look on Merrill's face. She looked terrified, she had to have known more than she told us and it didn't look good. I grumbled to myself, shifting my weight from one side to the other in his grasp and slowly pulling his arms from around my waist to give me enough room to lean up a little to look into the pot. Some weird gooey salve. Dread Wolf, take me, I must drink this muck?

I stuck my finger into the pot, picking up a little wet crumble of what appeared to be lyrium dust and licking my finger audibly. "What in Andraste's name are you doing, love?" Anders looked up at me, grabbing my hand before I could take another chunk to my lips. I swallowed the grainy dust that was in my throat as he examined my finger. It had little sparkles of blue all over it and the lyrium had pasted itself to me. "Why would you.. Eat this in it's raw form?"

I grabbed my hand back from him, licking the remains from my finger. "Bad habit I formed as a child. I used to eat raw ingredients that father brought home. Lyrium was my favorite for when I had a headache." I muttered under my breath, uncomfortably looking around the room before focusing back on him. He shook his head, pulling his arms back around me.

"I wouldn't reccomend eating tidbits of lyrium dust, darling. Especially from an unknown pot. Who knows what else is in there."

"Oh, Blondie, stop your worrying. Everyone here has been working their asses off to help make that goo, and all you have to do is become her chair. Lazy nug of a mage. Let the girl have some fun." Varric grinned again, shooting him the look as he took a drink from his tankard.

"Not exactly, dwarf." Flemeth's voice rose from the air, a laugh making it's way from her throat. "He will be playing a big role in this."

Anders huffed, leaning back as he muttered something back to Varric, most likely saying some smart ass comment under the lines of 'I somehow knew this isn't all I'm here for'. "What is my role in this, exactly?" He finally spoke up, a little too eagerly for my liking. Flemeth eyed him as she slid a piece of glass in front of me, taking my hand into hers.

"Your going into the Fade with her." My heart cringed at her words, everything seeming to stop around me. I knew I was going into the Fade, but I thought I'd be doing it alone. I inhaled a large sum of air as my lips quivered, trying to suppress my tears.

"Alright. As much as I dislike the Fade, if it means keeping her safe, I'll gladly do it." My heart ripped again as I pulled my gaze from her to him. My eyes were welling up with tears. He brought his hand to my face, smiling at me as he wiped under my eyes. "It's okay, Hawke. I'm not letting you go alone whether you want me to or not."

"Anders you-" I felt a pinch of my finger that Flemeth had in her hand, followed by a warm stinging sensation. I swung my head back around, seeing her set down what looked like 'Bela's blade as red liquid poured from my hand. She placed it over the glass, squeezing it gently as the blood fell onto it. "Why are you doing this?"

She looked down at me, setting my hand down gently to pick the blade back up. "It'll be used as a type of pathway. I'm going to have to cook the ingredients over it. I need more, though." I pulled the blade from her hand, clenching the other into a fist as I turned my wrist up. Anders grabbed the point of the blade before it touched my arm, looking at me with concern.

"Is this blood magic of some sort?" His voice was strict and his eyes seemed to gleam blue as he looked at her, his jaw tight as he glared. Flemeth placed her hand on his, moving it off the blade.

"No, it isn't. This is a pre-ritual experiment that was around long before blood magic. This is how we find out if the ritual is necessary. If her blood sets fire we must continue."

"You speak of Elgar Lin'Shiral?" Merrill looked over in surprise, lacing her fingers together as she rocked on her heels. "I've only heard of it once in my lifetime. It was a ritual my Keeper's ancestors practiced. It dates back to the Dales' first contact with Darkspawn. It tells if there is taint in the blood, or a possession of some sort is in her. The ritual itself is very dangerous, so this is good to do beforehand. They didn't want to endanger someone if they weren't absolutely sure it had to be done."

Flemeth smiled to her, nodding. I bit my lip nervously, thinking of the Elven words she had spoken. "Elgar Lin'Shiral, meaning... Something blood journey?" Elgar. What did it mean? Deadly, maybe? Oh, my head..

"It means Spirit Blood Journey. I didn't know you spoke Elvish, Lethallan. When did you learn?" Merrill smiled at me, tapping on the floor with her foot. I could tell that the little elf was trying to delay what had to happen.

"I know a little from my sister. She had a Dalish friend when we were young. I loved listening to them talk and I picked up on a few words." I spoke, taking a deep breath and closing my eyes. "This must be done, Merrill. I'm sorry." With that, a reared my arm back a bit, exhaling once more as I flung the blade across my wrist, blood splattering over the table. My arm felt hot as the blood spilt from it, making me numb. I sat the blade down, feeling the room become tense as the glass filled with blood. Anders squeezed tightly onto me, pulling my wrist towards him.

"May I fix it?" He shuddered, looking at the blood seep into my light brown suede pants. Flemeth gave him a look of approval, her breath a bit heavier as she saw how much blood had left the small cut. I closed my eyes, feeling a coldness surge through my arm, looking back at Anders as the pain left the sore little by little. His eyes shown blazing blue as he stared at it, squeezing my wrist tightly on both sides of the sore as the light illuminated from his gaze to the gash. Flemeth waited for him to finish before continuing.

She pulled an empty vial from around her neck, handing it to me. "Put a little inside of this to preserve it. Anders will need it to lead him to you. Do you have anything of his?" I bit my lip, shaking my head as I shoved the little piece of cotton back into the vial and handed it to him. He muttered something under his breath, reaching around to the back of his neck.

"Here.. This should work.." Anders unlatched a chord from around his neck, holding out a little vial that glowed a brightly. I looked at it intensely, thinking to myself.

"That looks.. Familiar. I think my cousin had one of those. She broke it when she left the Circle."

He pulled it around my neck, leaning over my shoulder to kiss my cheek. "Then you must know what it's for." I nodded holding it it my hand as I thought back. During the battle of Ostagar we had no time to talk, she had looked so different since her escape. I would have to write her if I made it through all of this. I sighed, leaning back against him as I looked back at the blood in front of me. If she was alive..

"Okay, now that everyone has traded phylacteries and other bodily fluids can we get on with it?" Varric muttered, sitting up from his chair a little as he took a big swig of ale.

"Very well then." Flemeth took in a bit of air, puffing out her chest as she dipped her finger into the blood, closing her eyes as I stood for her. "Na'isala el'vir na arla. Suledin na shiral na'reth, len alas." She chanted over me, sliding her bloody finger over from under my eye and across my nose, ending at my cheek. "Your in need of our way home. Endure your journey to safety, child earth." She pulled her hand away, watching me carefully. I felt the heat rise in my face as I shook, something in her words provoking the pain inside me. The burning flooded my sight as I squeezed onto my head, screaming.

"What's going on with her?" I heard Anders voice faintly over the beating of my heart as it pounded violently in my chest. "Hawke!" I gritted my teeth as the burning became worse, the place the blood was feeling like it was on fire.

"Concentrate that rage you feel on the glass! We've awoken something!" Flemeth's shouts barely made to my ears as I let out another scream. I breathed in deeply, squeezing tighter on my head as a loud shriek went through my ears. Another rush of fire. I wobbled to the table, looking down at the hazy red before me. I felt my eyes sting more and more as I concentrated on it, the pain growing in my chest as everything around me seemed to close in. I saw a light growing over the table, whistling to me as I watched it. All the pain left again and I fell back to the ground shaking.

"Unbelievable! Look, Hawke!" Merrill mused gleefully, looking at the table with shimmering eyes as Anders helped me to my feet. I looked down, at the table, a blue flame now hovering over the blood on the glass. "Look at what you did! It's beautiful!"

I swallowed the lump in my throat, looking to the side. "Ah, yeah. Fire. Great. Just what I had hoped for."

The End

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