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Private Nerve: No Such Thing As A Free Lunch?

Discussion in 'Ark City' started by Marian Hawke, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. Marian Hawke

    Marian Hawke Dragon Age

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    49
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    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
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    January 2, Year 108
    Noon
    @Inigo


    January 1 was apparently an important day in many worlds. People were celebrating, throwing wild parties and drinking and everything, and some of them were even still staggering through the streets when the sun was high in the sky. It was a good time for a task, and Marian had to admit she was glad for this one. Whereas most of them were silly and would have fit in well with the festivities of the previous night, this one seemed like it was actually meant to be nice to people.

    “Buy a meal for another table or guest at a restaurant or bar. Record the reactions too,” her phone had displayed this morning, and the reward money was more than she’d seen for any of the other tasks so far, enough to pay for the meal and then some. But now the question came: who was she supposed to buy the meal for?

    The obvious answer, and one her viewers (it still felt weird that she had them, but their numbers just kept increasing) would probably want, was someone having some sort of party. Then maybe she’d get to go to the party, and she could film whatever shenanigans she got up to there. She’d have to find someone who looked like they were still celebrating, which wasn’t hard considering the generally happy vibe of the people on the street.

    She turned on her camera in front of the hostel where she was staying. “VioletDragon again - but you know that already, right? And you know this new year is going to be fang-tastic!” The catchphrase was still holding its popularity even though it had been little more than an impulse of several weeks ago, and she was not about to give up the chance to do something this cool (not to mention if Carver ever found out she had a catchphrase, it would make the eye rolls and dramatics of the last several years completely worth it).

    She practically strutted over to a local diner where so many of the tables seemed to be getting up to some sort of shenanigans. They all looked so interesting; how was she supposed to pick? She decided to take her time, following the hostess to a booth and sinking down onto the comfy cushion while leafing through the menu halfheartedly.

    “Pancakes for me. Chocolate chip, of course,” she ordered, and continued looking around. The larger tables would be more money to cover their bill, but they were likely to lead to more fun things. There were several in her immediate view, chatting loudly about what they got up to last night and how much food they would need to feel human again, and their orders were as impressive as their stories.

    She was just about to make her choice - a table of young women who had apparently had an incredible party last night and were getting very chatty about the details - but then the hostess walked by with someone new, and Marian felt a pang of pity.

    The new person was a young man, younger than her even, but at least older than that awkward teen stage her brother seemed to have been stuck in for years. He had blue hair, something she’d come to see and expect more in Pandora but still amused her, and he shuffled over to a table alone, sinking into a chair and reading the menu intently.

    She hadn’t expected to see anyone alone, not on a day like this. Looking around, she realized there weren’t any other people alone in her section, at least not that she could see. And true, she was alone, but she was also playing Nerve and had a dare to do, so she hadn’t thought of going anywhere with anyone. It was a little sad, honestly, to see someone sitting there alone when everyone else was enjoying the company of others.

    Marian considered her options as she ate her pancakes. They were good, if a bit heavy, and she watched as the boy ordered too. She couldn’t quite tell what he got from her angle, but by the time the waitress was coming back, she had made up her mind.

    Yes, Nerve was supposed to be about fun, and she had no idea what the boy was like. But he was alone, and she knew all too well the pain of being alone, both in Pandora and back in Kirkwall. It was easier in Pandora, where everyone came in alone and left alone; back home, she had to think about her father, resting under the earth; Bethany, dead to an ogre; Carver the templar, who was as good as gone to her, as if he’d been worth anything to her to start out with; and Mother, poor Mother, who had died in a way that no one ever should… Her family had always taught her kindness, and now, Marian was going to interpret the challenge in this way. She knew exactly what she had to do.

    “I’ll be paying for his meal,” she told the waitress, and thankfully, she listened, bringing over the blue-haired boy’s check before her own. She folded some of the money from her previous dares inside, then trained her camera on the young man, wondering how he was going to react when the waitress approached him with a bill for absolutely nothing.


     
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  2. Inigo

    Inigo Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    37
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    Pandora...Somewhere.
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    19
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    The Dancing Duelist

    [​IMG]

    The festivities of the night before had been enjoyable for Inigo. He had quite a good time celebrating the New Years. It was his first New Year celebration here in Pandora and he was rather new to the world. He had only just arrived a little over a month ago. He thanked his lucky stars that there was still family that he had encountered. Shigure, his son and Lucina, his elder sister. He had also gotten to see who else came from where Inigo was from and it was a delight. Truly, a wonderful experience but soon the festivities were over and now, Inigo found himself out here in Ark City again. This was where he first arrived in Pandora.
    As he walked, a diner came into view. From his vantage point, he could see people still in a celebratory mood which was uplifting. Having earned himself a decent amount of money, and feeling hungry, the blue haired prince stepped into the facility. Having no one to accompany him, his family still off doing their own celebrations now with their friends, Inigo appeared to be all his lonesome. In a strange way, he did feel as if there was a void there but that was because he missed his wife and daughter. Wondering what became of Azura and Soliel, Inigo admittedly felt a bit unhappy. A hostess lead him to a table by himself and he took his seat, going over the menu that the hostess had given him.


    The blue haired prince wasn't aware that he was being watched. For once, he was minding his own business as opposed to paying the group of young women attention. While he went through the menu, deciding on an omelette with ham on the side, a waitress approached him. Inigo brought his strange blue eyes up from the menu. Anyone nearby could see that there was a strange marking in the very iris of his right eyeball. Was it a contact? Anyone could mistake it for such but it was a genuine, natural part to his eye. A sign of his heritage as a prince from Ylisse.



    "Ah, thank you. I would like to have an omelette with ham on the side, please!"
    he said with his usual, winning smile. However, this smile didn't quite meet his eyes. The only indication that he didn't feel happy but it was hard to tell with him. Most people assumed he was never unhappy.


    The waitress would leave to enter his order in. She would bring him the meal in a short wait. The cooking staff were rather efficient. Keeping to himself, Inigo silently ate his meal. It was a good one. One to brighten one's mood during a "down" day. When he finished the meal, it felt somewhat disappointing that it was over with. Still, he wasn't one to over indulge. By now, he waited for the waitress to return, unaware that a woman nearby had kindly paid for his meal. That is, until the waitress came back with a bill that said he owed nothing for the meal. Confused, Inigo looked up at the waitress.



    "Ma'am, where I don't mind a free meal here and there, surely I owe something for that meal?"
    he inquired. The waitress chuckled before pointing out that someone had already bought his meal for him. His look of confusion turned to that of surprise. She pointed out the woman nearby who had something trained on him. Inigo believed that was what one of his friends or family had referred to as a cell phone. He gave her a smile and a friendly wave.



    "Thank you! That was very kind of you!"
    he called out to her.


     
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  3. Marian Hawke

    Marian Hawke Dragon Age

    Posts:
    49
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    Marian waved back at the blue-haired boy, thrilled to see the smile on his face. Having known the pain of being alone at times like these, she was glad that he could have something to brighten his day.

    “You’re very welcome,” she said, for once not delivering any sassy remarks with her answer. She considered what to do next for a moment, then got up and walked over to the other table. “I just wanted to make sure you weren’t feeling lonely. I’m Marian, by the way. Marian Hawke.”

    She flashed him a smile, then her attention was drawn to the noisier tables again. It would definitely be fun to join in on something like that, but she didn’t know any of the people there… they all seemed very absorbed in their own conversations, especially one girl regaling the young man she’d met last night, and precisely what shade of limpid blue his eyes were.

    “Are you new here, too?” she asked, wondering if he, like Marian, hadn’t had much time to form relationships in Pandora yet. Not that she was looking for a guy, even one with limpid eyes or whatever that even meant, but there was no harm in making friends. Most of the time she didn’t feel lonely in Kirkwall thanks to her friends rather than her family, and she had a feeling it would be that way in Pandora too.


     
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  4. Inigo

    Inigo Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    37
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    Pandora...Somewhere.
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    19
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    The Dancing Duelist

    [​IMG]

    Once he acknowledged the woman's kindness and had thanked her, she had approached him. He listened as she introduced herself. If this were one of his better days, she wouldn't likely be so friendly with him. Most women avoided him like the plague. Well, save for those like Severa whom accepted his womanizing tendencies and learned how to cope enough so that they were good friends. That and it also helped that Severa was one of the few women that kept him in line whenever he acted up. Something about this woman, although she was friendly, reminded him of Severa. She had that strong woman vibe about her. A vibe that he respected, of course...lest he get his ass kicked that is.

    "A pleasure to meet you, Marian! I am Inigo Lowell and I appreciate your kindness. I admit I am having a tad of an off day." he replied with an equally bright smile. A simple act of kindness was enough to help lift his spirits.


    Inigo should have known his hiding his papers on dancing would be considered shady. He felt embarrassed for it but if she read it, he'd likely die of embarrassment. Okay, an over dramatic reaction to be sure but he'd surely feel like it. He rubbed the back of his neck when she said that, clearly uncomfortable while he tried to come up with an explanation.

    "W-Well...you see..." When Marian asked him if he was new to Pandora as well. He thought back on it. How long had he been here, exactly? Well, he hadn't been here for too long. Maybe just a little over a month? In such a short time, he had hardly made many friends. Understandable, given that he had only just arrived essentially. If not for running into some of his family, he'd probably be in a much worse state than he was right now.


    "I believe I've been here for only just a little over a month. How long have you been here for? Such a strange place, this Pandora! I've never seen such things like a...car and cell phones. Such foreign things!"

     
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  5. Marian Hawke

    Marian Hawke Dragon Age

    Posts:
    49
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    The boy introduced himself as Inigo Lowell. A cool-sounding name, something that would be fun to repeat until the word had no meaning at all. But she wasn’t here for wordplay. She was here for the smile he was now displaying, the one that stayed clear on his face until she asked him if he was new.

    He shuffled a bit, fidgeting with something before he replied. It seemed like they had been in Pandora for approximately the same amount of time, although it wasn’t a surprise that they hadn’t crossed paths before. The place was just so big, with so many different kinds of people and so many places to explore. She definitely understood where he was coming from with the technology, as well.

    “I’ve been here for around the same time, and I agree that the things here are strange… I honestly thought the first car I saw was a dragon since there was smoke coming out of the back pipe and I was so excited over it, but completely discomfited its owner.” She wasn’t keen to admit to embarrassing things like this, but Inigo himself had admitted to having an “off day,” and she wanted to fix that to the best of her ability.

    “As for the phones,” she continued, “I think they’re genius. If my parents had phones, they’d have been able to talk to my Amell grandparents, and I could have even heard their voices! Although I don’t suppose it’d be nice to be available all the time, even at night.” Now that she was the Champion of Kirkwall, she had a strong feeling that even more random strangers than usual would be asking her help for every sort of thing. The last thing she needed was to give them a window into her home.

    She shrugged her shoulders. “Either way, I don’t think phones or cars are coming to my home world anytime soon, and I think we must come from similar worlds if you didn’t know about those things either. What’s your home like?” Belatedly, she realized that question could feed into loneliness and sadness, and she hesitated before turning off the camera. It had been fine to record the reactions up to this point, and she’d technically done the challenge, but she didn’t want to impose on Inigo’s privacy any more than she already had, especially about potentially sensitive matters.


     
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  6. Inigo

    Inigo Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    37
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    Pandora...Somewhere.
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    19
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    The Dancing Duelist

    [​IMG]

    Inigo listened as Marian told him that they had been here at about the same amount of time. She seemed to be more adjusted than he was, however. He still had yet to understand how cell phones worked. Shigure seemed keen on not letting him learn too much about them for some strange reason. Inigo could never understand why, however.

    "Heheh! I also wasn't used to seeing cars, myself. Thankfully, I saw someone enter one before anything happened. I found them to be some sort of strange carriage that wasn't drawn by horses or wyverns."


    Inigo listened as Marian mentioned how it would have been nice to have cell phones from where she came from. That way, she could have communicated with her family somewhere else. Yes, he recalled Shigure saying something along those lines. The tiny devices sounded pretty handy but the good he did was dial the wrong number and cause awkward situations. As a result, Shigure had to take his cell phone away for the time being.

    "Heh, life would be easier if that were available where I came from. Would have made contact with my own sister and parents much easier than it was...although, I'm not sure if it would have really worked for another situation such as crossing over worlds. I see the sentiment of the whole night thing. It wouldn't be nice if someone were to call your cell phone in the middle of the night lest it be an emergency."

    Inigo agreed with Marian in how their worlds sounded pretty similar. It was nice to know there were other people and beings that came from similar backgrounds and worlds. He looked thoughtful for a moment when she asked him what his home had been like. Former home, that is. He wasn't sure if there ever would be a time where he and his family could go back to Ylisse or Valla. There was...also the haunting story of the future timeline that Lucina and he had hailed from. How does one even explain these things without sounding insane or boastful? By now, Marian would probably see that cheerful smile of his leave his face. His expression seemed to be haunted a bit.


    "I am...unsure of where to begin. You see, in my world, I come from an apocalyptic time. Ylisse, the land I came from, has two known dragon gods that are revered depending on the kind of person that one is. Naga, the good dragon of light and life...and Grima, the evil dragon of destruction and death. Grima, because he had taken over due to a ritual that had been performed that...turned a friend of ours against us against their will...had made the world a land of decay. Everywhere one went, there was the risk of fighting hoards of the undead. A shame since, according to my sister, it was a far more beautiful place than ash, desert and decay. I did get to see it for myself, since we did go back in time in effort to reverse the world's fate and to change things. A whole different story, I assure you. I met my parents of the past, an interesting scenario let me tell you! It's strange when you're meeting your parents at the same exact age as you are, presently."


    Inigo would let that chunk of information sink in. Chuckling at that last part that he mentioned. Ironically, his family lineage seemed to have that issue. His own children, Shigure and Soliel were also about Inigo's age due to the Deeprealms. Something that isn't always easily explained but he was fine in trying to explain it to this woman.


    "What of your home?"



     
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  7. Marian Hawke

    Marian Hawke Dragon Age

    Posts:
    49
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    The way Inigo described cars let Marian know for sure that he was from a world like hers, even if she had never met anyone with blue hair. Carriages were common, after all, and wyverns were too in some places of the world. She had never been to Orlais before, but she had seen one at Chateau Haine. She could hardly take the things seriously after remembering Tallis’s crazy “nug calls” that attracted them.

    The conversation continued to flow, with both Marian and Inigo considering the practical applications of cell phones in their worlds, but when Marian asked for more details about the place where he came from, Inigo fell oddly quiet, and the smile slid off his face. Quite an odd reaction - most people from Pandora seemed to miss their homes a great deal - but perhaps his home hadn’t been a good place to come from…

    She listened to his explanation, awed at the way dragons were responsible for the world. It didn’t seem like the best way for things to work even though dragons were very cool, considering it had turned the place apocalyptic, but she wondered what it would be like if the good dragon ruled things instead. That would be a much better places, undoubtedly.

    The time travel thing was cool, though; Marian had never considered attempting anything like that, having learned from her father that it was impossible to manipulate time with magic, but it definitely sounded fascinating. She would love to meet her young parents, maybe even her grandparents, maybe the Templar who made it possible for her parents to be together… the possibilities were endless, if such magic existed.

    “That time travel sounds amazing,” Marian said, not quite sure how to respond to the fact that his world was doing so badly under the influence of Grima. The last thing Inigo needed was to hear that Marian liked dragons or thought they were cool.

    “There are some people who I’d like to meet, and maybe I could spend more time with my father… or my sister,” she realized, her breath suddenly catching in her throat as she thought of another implication of functional time magic. If she could travel back to the instant the ogre came over the hill, she could attack it before it had the chance to rush at her mother, before Bethany tried to get between them…

    Belatedly, she realized Inigo was asking about her world. “My world had a crisis too - my family fled from it, and wound up in the city where my mother grew up. It’s called Kirkwall - not too nice, far too many Templars, and not many opportunities to succeed economically, but we’ve made it work,” Marian explained. “The city was actually just attacked in the time I came from - I managed to fight off their leader, and got a fancy new title, but I don’t know if that means I can actually implement change in the place. It might just mean I get blamed for the bad stuff.” She hoped it’d be more than that, but with Knight-Commander Meredith in charge and no viscount, Marian knew there was little chance of that happening.

    “I will say it’s nice to be here,” she continued. “Pandora’s been fun so far. Have you had a similar experience?” Sure, Inigo had seemed lonely sitting there all by himself, but he probably had some positive experiences in the world as well.


     
  8. Inigo

    Inigo Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    37
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    Pandora...Somewhere.
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    19
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    The Dancing Duelist

    [​IMG]

    If Marian said anything about dragons, he wouldn't think much on it, truthfully. After all, Inigo was able to know that there were good dragons as well as the bad. Grima was the dark god of his world but Naga, whom he worshipped, was his world's good god. Tiki and Corrin were also dragons and they were good dragons. Well, technically, they could be called Manaketes at this point since the stones were used to prevent dragons from becoming insane from their own power but that was beside the point. When she commented on how time travel was amazing he nodded. He certainly thought so. It was thanks to that ritual enabling them to go back in time that Lucina and he had been able to prevent their apocalyptic future from happening.

    "I can't agree more. It was thanks to the time travel that Lucina and I had been able to prevent our apocalyptic future from ever happening and put a stop to Grima's reign of terror. Judging by that gasp...I presume that you were considering stopping a point in time in your past as well or changing it?"


    Inigo would pay close attention to what Marian was saying about how if she were to go back in time, what she would like to do and had taken notice of that gasp. It were as if she had made a realization of something. Of course, anyone would like to meet their parents and grandparents from the past or change something in their past to make a better outcome. Soliel and Shigure got to meet his own mother thanks to the odd time traveling that his world was able to do. Inigo had been able to meet a parallel version of himself, as well. Time travel could be so interesting...as well as confusing at times. Soon, Marian would go on to tell him that her world, she had also experienced a crisis of sorts. Her family had fled from it and they came upon Kirkwall. A place that was her mother's birthplace that she grew up in. A city that apparently had too many "Templars" and had little chance for economical advancements. Sure, it was tough but it was home. According to Marian, her world had been attacked and she had killed the leader of who attacked their city. It had earned her a nifty title but instead of enabling her to do anything worthy of her title, she supposed it just meant she would receive the blame if something bad happened.

    "That's a shame...becoming a hero only to receive the blame for the actions of others or things that you can't control. I felt that somewhat, too. Before I traveled back in time, I got blamed for the Risen attacks. Say, what's a Templar? Are they your world's version of knights? They sound like it."

     
  9. Marian Hawke

    Marian Hawke Dragon Age

    Posts:
    49
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    “So you actually managed to change the past? How did that work?" Marian asked, hoping against the odds that it would be a spell she could somehow bring back to Kirkwall. If she could have Bethany there with her, alive and well, it would take away so much of the guilt she felt about being the world's worst sister. Even her own mother criticized her immediately after for not acting fast enough, but there was a limit to the control she had over magic in the split second she would have had to react, not to mention if she threw a fireball, she could have just as easily hit her sister instead of the ogre... Bethany's death had at least been painless considering she'd lost consciousness immediately. The last thing she would have wanted was to set her own little sister on fire.

    And then there was her mother, stolen by Quentin and turned into that thing... if only she could have gotten there sooner, or even been waiting for Quentin as he broke into their house, and broken his face instead...

    “I'd change some things," she said solemnly, although her father's words about time magic rung in her ears. She'd asked him about it once, only for him to reply that even changing the smallest thing could affect the whole world in an enormous way. Maybe there was some way in which this was for the best, even though she still felt guilty about it all these years later.

    But she hadn't come over to Inigo to bemoan her past, and there were plenty of good things in her life too. She couldn't wait to explore her new freedom in Kirkwall, and she was having an amazing time in Pandora. Nerve made her life so exciting, and she was even beginning to make friends even though she was still so new.

    “It'd be easy to blame me because I'm a mage - a magic user," Marian explained. She was definitely more open about this in Pandora considering the lack of consequences, not to mention it gave her a thrill just to be able to say something like that out loud. “I hope people won't blame me for things, but I'm sure Meredith - she's the Templars' leader - will."

    It was a little funny still to hear that most people here didn't know what the Templar Order was, and she was more than happy to explain now that she was safe from them. “Templars are like knights, but more organized, and they're dedicated to keeping mages separate from the rest of the population," she explained. “All mages are supposed to be in Circles, but I grew up out of one, so for me it was a matter of avoiding them, or not letting them know I'm a mage. It's a little complicated, but I'm curious to see what'll happen with them now since the whole 'Champion of Kirkwall' thing."

    It sounded like Inigo was a hero too, in his own world. Maybe he'd have some advice... “Any tips on being a good hero?" she asked, for once not being sarcastic. This was important enough to her that she needed to know how to do it right, both for her own sake and her friends'.


     
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  10. Inigo

    Inigo Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    37
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    Pandora...Somewhere.
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    19
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    The Dancing Duelist

    [​IMG]


    "It's not as easy as it might seem. We ended up scattered throughout the past. One of our group that went with us had ended up in time by about five years before us and had noticeably aged since he had entered the portal, so it had it's downs. There also was no way for us to go back to our own time, so we risked everything going back in time, risking our lives and cutting off our chances of ever going back just to change our future for our past selves and our past parents. We managed it, too...but it wasn't easy...we had to lose someone in the long run. So that no one thousands of years later would have to deal with an awakened Grima ever again. You see, Grima doesn't just simply die. We had to kill him with his own flesh and blood. A descendant of his, or rather, a vassal of his that had just the right makings for a perfect new Grima at the time, sacrificed their own existence just to kill Grima for good. He managed it too. Unfortunately, I don't know if we ever did find him again since I had to cross over into another point in time in my world to help with a situation that a nice dragon had asked me to. I definitely don't recommend it for the faint of heart. Also, there's the repercussions of changing time. You see, the world I came from, when we intended to change it, could easily still be the same and we didn't change anything for ourselves but another timeline. There's always the risk of things never changing...and then there are things with drastic changes. Changes where our siblings we had could no longer be our siblings or we have different fathers or mothers, things like that. We only had a one time trip, I'd like to think that my own timeline did change to something more positive but who knows? If I go back and found Grima still there, it would be disheartening. I'm guessing Naga, our dragon goddess, decided to spare us from that if it was unchanging and let us live out our days in the past. I do not know. I was pulled before I could find that out."



    Inigo noticed the solemn look on Marian's face when she said she'd change some things. Had family died in her past as well? He did wonder what sorts of things this woman had undergone. He wouldn't pry, however. Such things were best left alone unless it made the person's every day demeanor a depressing one. Only then did he step in to cheer a person up when he was usually the one who needed cheering up. The thing is, Inigo never showed it. Rarely did it ever show on him unless he was being dramatic, which were situations that were trivial or petty at the time.


    Soon, Marian explained that even if she had achieved becoming a Champion in the place she came from it was easy to blame her because she was a mage. This, he had to look at her questioningly. Where he came from, mages weren't looked on in an unkindly manner. Even the dark mages and the like were viewed as good people even though they studied dark magic. Marian had made it clear that she hoped no one would blame her but she was sure that Meredith, the Templar leader, would.



    "I'm sorry that your world is like that toward mages. Where I come from, they're no different than every day people. In fact, we don't treat them any differently. The only ones that could be frowned upon are those that study the dark magical arts but even then, I've met some outstanding people who dabbled in the dark magical arts. Even my own cousin and his daughter, my second cousin, were dark mages and they are kind people."


    As Marian explained what Templars would, Inigo couldn't help but wonder how a society could ever sit well with the fact they were segregating people like that just because they were gifted with magic. Then again, in his world, where a mage would have an affinity with magic they also had to have an item in their possession that enabled them to use it. Even the dragons had to become Manaketes. The only ones who didn't were the dragon gods, themselves. Why? Well, a long time ago, it was said that evolution made it where the dragons would gradually lose their sanity because of their immense, unchecked power. Thus, why they became Manaketes which helped them keep their powers checked as a sort of limiter.


    "I'm sorry to hear that. Your world sounds...more hostile toward mages than my own. In my world, there are mages but their powers are limited since they need tomes or staves for powers to work. Even with dragons, regular ones have to use a dragonstone in order to transform into their dragon forms and to enable them to use their dragon powers. The reason being that there was an evolutionary issue with dragons. Their power became so strong that their own bodies couldn't handle the increase and it would drive them to insanity. Only Naga and Grima have kept their powers in check and that's because they are celestial dragons, not regular ones. In other words, already dead or considered deities for reasons I don't know, myself."


    Then came Marian's question about tips for being a hero. At that, he gave a bit of a chuckle. In truth, anyone could be a hero. It wasn't something someone could be considered an expert on. Although, he had been through two incidents...no, actually about three no maybe five? Yes, about five incidents that he could remember where he had been a hero in. It sure wasn't easy and no one could ever claim to be an expert on the affair.


    "Now that's something that can't be predicted nor can anyone claim being an expert on, even if they were lucky enough to earn the fame of a hero. It's never easy. All I can say is be yourself. Stick to what you think is right or what evidence you're given feels right in how you should react. Try to reach an understanding even in things that you might normally feel biased against. You'll be surprised what you can learn from other angles of the same road. And, most of all, when things get tough just keep smiling and keep your mood up. It certainly helps the morale of those around you if they think nothing is wrong. Enemies love to exploit weaknesses so if you seem just fine and all smiles, you also get the edge of unnerving your enemies because then they may think you have the upperhand or that you're addled. Regardless, it gives you an extra edge in battle."


     
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  11. Marian Hawke

    Marian Hawke Dragon Age

    Posts:
    49
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
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    Inigo launched into a story the likes of which Marian had never heard before. She supposed it could be a tale of victory, but it was also a cautionary tale, for even Inigo had no idea what happened to his original world after all of his hard work. It was like her father always said - time magic was finicky, and no one could ever fully understand the nuances of what they were changing. The whole world's fate could hinge on the smallest thing...

    And yet, she thought Inigo was brave to make the attempt. It seemed to be born of nothing more than seeing a problem in the world and trying to make it a better place, which was hard to construe into something negative. Not to mention he seemed so young to have gone through so much, and yet he was still capable of smiling and making new friends and looking upon the world with kindness. She'd definitely made a good choice in giving away the meal to him.

    He was even sympathetic to her situation as a mage, even though he didn't seem to be one from the way he spoke of them. It was refreshing to hear from someone without the prejudices inherent in her society, and she thought it sounded splendid to have a society where mages were treated the same as everyone else. Of course there were the dangers of possession, but mages with a good support system seemed far less to succumb than those who were desperate for even the slightest bit of recognition as human beings.

    The one thing that tripped her up, however, was the mention of dark magic. “You don't happen to mean blood magic, do you?" she asked hesitantly. It wasn't exactly a topic for polite conversation, even if she was not a practitioner. Even she, who had never been in a Circle and never intended to be, appreciated the Chantry's ban on blood magic. What use could there be for magic that could only hurt others? If Inigo really meant blood magic, his society might be a little more Tevinter-like than she'd imagined.

    Perhaps the lack of restrictions, Marian soon realized, was based on the limitations on a mage's power. In Inigo's world, there was no need to lock up all mages if their powers could simply be curtailed by a lack of access to spellbooks and whatever else they needed to wield their magic. “In my world, magic is tied more to the person," she explained. “We don't need books or anything - I mean, they're helpful for learning theory, but we can do magic without them." She briefly summoned a small fiery wisp in her hand before dispelling it. The last thing she needed was to set the place on fire. “It sounds so strange to hear tales of other kinds of mages and magic, which is something I've always been so familiar with, but I suppose that's the good part about Pandora - always more things to learn."

    She smiled at Inigo's explanation. “I have to admit I've done the 'smile-at-your-enemies-to-confuse-them' bit recently," she said as a small chuckle escaped her. “I was doing magic - albeit to help defend the city from an invasion, I'm not that stupid otherwise - and Meredith saw me. Came over all angry, I could tell even though she had that steely exterior she's always got - but she was completely nonplussed when I talked to her like I would address a friend. Not to mention the look on her face when the nobles were cheering and she had to declare me the Champion to save face! I wish I could have framed that."

    “As for your other advice," she continued, “most mages take to their places in the shadows with aplomb, but I've never been that good at hiding. The actual act of it, sure, to save my family from imprisonment, but I don't like hiding who I really am." Her thoughts returned to a conversation with her father many years ago, when she was first learning about why mages had to hide. “My father always said that there were two ways to be a mage outside of the Circle. You could either fade into complete obscurity," she said, momentarily wishing he was from her world so he could understand her "fade" pun, “or become so indispensable to the Chantry or local authorities that they can't lock you away, for their own good."

    She smiled. “My father and my sister chose the first way, but I'm hoping my recent deeds in my own world have won me my freedom, publicly."