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Soul

Miscalculated Improvement (Creus x Soul)

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Qunari, horned men and women from another continent, have begun to wage war against those who dare oppose them. Their main aim: to spread their religion, the "Qun." However, such creatures have always been at the edge of the world, miles away from the main continent. That is, however, till, they are run aground by a passing enemy ship. The battle ensues will determine more than the victor and survivor.

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"The Qunari (literally, "People of the Qun") is the name most commonly used to describe the white-haired metallic-skinned race of giants and their society that governs the islands of Par Vollen and Seheron, as well as the settlement of Kont-Aar in northern Rivain, and Qundalon in the Anderfels.

"Members of the Qunari race are rarely seen outside of their lands with the exception of Rivain. During the Dragon Age, a fleet of Qunari ships sank in the Waking Sea between Ferelden and Free Marches, which resulted in Qunari presence in both of these lands. Tal-Vashoth are much more present in non-Qunari lands, most commonly as elite mercenaries, such as the Kadan-Fe in Ferelden.

"The Qun is the religion of the Qunari, though it is closer to a philosophy than a full-fledged religion. It governs every part of Qunari life, and even the governing structure is dictated by it. It gives every Qunari a defined and fixed place in their society, either as a soldier (part of the body), a craftsman (part of the mind) or a priest (part of the soul).

"Qunlat is the Qunari language. Few among the Qun's people speak the common tongue, and fewer speak it well. In a culture that strives for mastery, to have only a passable degree of skill is perhaps embarrassing, so Qunari often keep quiet among foreigners."

- Dragon Age Wiki

 

The Qunari

“They call us barbarians, but look at how they treat each other.”

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Arvaarad

Nicknamed Gale

"One Who Holds Back Evil"

Warrior of the Berserker class.

Twenty-four years old

Personality:As per customs, Gale was raised and trained by the Tamassrans. It was there that she began to understand the true path she was meant to walk, and where she gained her unshakable loyalty and stubbornness. Like all Qunari, she is quite attached to her family (meaning the Qunari as a whole not a familial unit), and has put her own life on the line to ensure her comrad's life. This has resulted in her baring more pain than those around her, even as she passed her training and became an Arvaarad. When she is the midst of a battle, she hardens her heart like any and plunges straight for the enemy. However, when in isolation, she find herself weighed down by the loses and the cruel treatment of the Saarebas. Qunari are not known to cry, yet she had come close several times in the past few years, and this is why her loyalty brought her to the Ben-Hassrath. There, she endured rigorous torture as being re-educated, yet, when she left their care, she still felt compassion toward the mages under her care. The once firm ground beneath her feet began to soften and shake at that moment, and now she hesitates to use Saarebas as tools for the current war.

In regards to outsiders, Gale is quite cold and curt. She was raised in the time where humans had tried to take back their home and this caused more strain to be placed on the Tamassrans. They were the sole ones who could produce more warriors and leaders, after all. Thus, her experience with humans had always been them attempting to kill her or her kin, even if her people did walk in peace. Even so, she would not attack blindly. Her training to become a Arvaarad dictates that she always try to be diplomatic and save murder for last. However, her words can be as cutting as any blade, and this often causes outsiders to be put off or be enraged. 

When outside of her home, she rarely allows her to guard to relax and this may result in a blade being pointed at anyone's throat, if they so happen to step out of line. If a mission is unsuccessful, it will count as a failure on her part as a commander rather than the whole platoon. Thus, her attitude towards those under her can be blunt, but never directly insulting. Toward the Saarebas, she is more flexible and pays little attention to them unless there is a need to use their power.

Appearance:Gale stands at eight feet tall, with a slender body mass. Compared to the males of her race, she is either of the same height or slightly shorter. Her skin is of a light grey color, as is typical for a regular Qunari, and is rather rough to the touch due to her visit to the Ben-Hassrath a year ago. Accompanying her common skin color is her white hair that is usually free-flowing, yet has been tied back in times of battle. Soft to the touch, it greatly contrasts with the texture of her skin. Since her hair often frames her face, her bright orange eyes seem all the more startling and vibrant.

Gale possess a slender body type, yet she has little issue manipulating her war hammer. Qunari, both genders, are meant and made to swing large weapons with ease. Their body is simply made for it, and the ease in which the female utilizes her weapon boldly states this as fact. Her height is also another common trait of a Qunari, for she is taller than most of any race, humans included. 

Her facial structure is angled, and more square in the chin area than most. It is rumored that she is the Arishook's daughter for the two possess the same facial structure, but this has neither been confirmed nor denied. Her lips are of a darker grey than that of her skin, and rather plump (yet again, another trait typical of Qunari). As Qunari do not kiss nor have any romantic desires to for each other, it is a safe bet to guess they have never touched another's. Gale's nose mimics her facial structure and is angled and sharp. This trait varies amongst the Qunari, but it furthers the rumor that she is the Arishook's daughter. Small, sharp, and angled eyebrows frame her vibrant orange eyes that are usually narrowed. Lastly, her ears are as pointed as any Qunari's would be, yet they are typically covered by her hair.

Gale sports typical Qunari armor and does not stray from this armor. She has been trained to fight and move in it, thus she treats it as if it is part of her skin. The only difference in her armor is that the upper straps are of a lighter brown and gold than any other. Whether this is to display rank or to easily identify her in battle is unknown. 

History: Gale was born with two biological parents, yet Qunari do not raise their children. No, they are sent to the Tamassrans instead and raised to fulfill their future role. This was no different for Gale, and she soon came to see her instructors as her parents, even though they only call her by the number. Qunari are not given names under the Qun, only numbers, yet a few had given her the nickname of Gale to describe the manner in which she fought. However, this technique is common amongst Arvaarads, for they need to be powerful and swift to ensure a Saarebas does not escape or lose control. Years of constant practice sharpened this skill, and she finds solace in her technique. 

Upon becoming Arvaarad, the female found herself in another world entirely. Responsibilities were placed on her shoulders in rapid succession due to the war. It was clear that she struggled to adjust, yet she was given time for her loyalty in the Qun never wavered. Thus, she was given the opportunity to become a true leader even if she showed momentary weakness. However, those of a higher rank than she often disregard her due to her early struggles. At this time, she is still struggling to prove her worth even if most missions lead by her have been successful. 

Her success as a leader lasted till she turned twenty and a battle ended in the bloodshed of most of her platoon. Most of the Saarebas under her control died in the battle due to her eye straying from the objective. When she returned home, she found herself isolated even though she continued to receive orders and roles to assume. Qunari society relies on each member to function as a whole, and, for the first time, she felt completely separated from this. Even so, she continued to perform her duties while attempting to forget her raising doubt. However, in another battle, she hesitated and this resulted in a close acquaintance being killed before her eyes. 

Death was common, almost second nature to her by this point, yet the guilt ate at her. The resounding silence of those around her made her slip further. This was the moment when she turned herself over to the Ben-Hassrath. She forgot some of her grief, her anger, her disappointment, yet her depression remained. No amount of wounds, whether physical or mental, could cure her or soothe her as it did most. Seeds of doubt had already been planted and were growing roots. Yet, she kept this quiet. She did not speak to any of this, for she did not wish to be killed or become Tal-Vashoth. This is why she began to accompany more platoons into the front lines, for she hoped to meet death on the battlefield, but death as yet to greet her.

 

The Mage Thief

Creus Aurinko

Twenty-three years old

Male

Appearance: Creus if fairly fair skinned  usually being most active at night however if he spends enough time in the sun he gets a light honey colored tan. He is also fairly tall and lean reaching 6 feet and a hundred and fifty-five pounds, with a chiseled physique due to years of living life on the run. He has a rather athletic and well proportioned build. He isn't overly muscular as he is built more nimbly his assets lying in speed and stamina rather then physical strength.  As a result he isn't very wide in the shoulders but his build has served him well in his years of living as a thief. Like this rest of his build his face is also well proportioned, oval in shape and narrowing at the jawline. His proportions give him a rather graceful appearance for a human. He also bares thick, golden blond hair that falls just above the center of his back when left loose however he often keeps it tied back out of his face. One of his most striking features are his eyes. If one where to examine them closely they would see a dark blue rim around his iris and jagged rays of lighter blue around his pupil. He generally tends to wear lighter weight clothes preferring not to be weighed down when a speedy escape is needed. He often dresses in a somewhat noble fashion with stolen clothes as he often goes around impersonating a traveling noble. His usual attire often includes a simple white button down shirt with black pants and black leather boots. Over that he wears a stolen white trench coat with plenty of hidden pockets sown into to stow away stolen valuables.

Personality: Creus is a bit of a loner, he is slow to warm up to others and is often a bit standoffish and distrusting but as he warms up to the people around him his kinder side becomes apparent. He will often quietly lend a hand to someone in need without asking anything or wanting in return. In fact he generally does not like to be recognized for his good deeds and will often try to put others off snarky or blunt comments. Creus is definitely not the type of person to sugar coat things, if someone ask him a question he will tell them exactly what he thinks and sometimes his words can be a bit cruel. This is because he believes the truth is far more helpful then gentle lies no matter how tough it might be. However while he might be blunty truthful with personal stuff with other people he usually contradicts himself as he is generally far from an honest person. He is a thief and a con-artist and has quite the silver tongue often trying to talk and lie his way out of dangerous situations often preferring to try and avoid conflict with words rather then action. Along with that he is generally a more intellectual person spending quite a bit of time in his pursuit of knowledge, specifically magic. Cunning is another word that could be used to describe him as he has been thief the majority of his life and had so far avoided capture.  Along with all that he had a rather pronounced rebellious streak to him, he's not afraid to question who's in charge and the choices they make. He will do so openly, often directly challenging anyone who had a superior rank to him but only if he truly believes that the higher ranking person is mistaken. Something that will probably get him into some trouble but despite his challenging nature he is loyal once he befriends someone. Not only that but despite his challenging nature he has no desire for power or anything else that might give him extra responsibilities, leading to the fact that he is quite lazy. If he can manipulate or coerce someone to do work for him he most likely will.  With all these faults however he does do a few good deeds, one in particular is that often what he steals goes to help others in need.

History: At the age of six his family made a deal with a slave trader and old family friend intending to sell the young boy to the black markets of asia and get rid of him for good, as well as make money while they where at it. The slave trader however was far from sane and he had a rather bad history with Creus's father. Thus he crafted another plan one that would enact his revenge against Creus's parents and make himself some money. Iinstead of buying Creus from his family at a rather hefty price he simply murdered his family in front of him and kidnapped Creus with intention to sell him once his power fully manifested. During this horrible moment of the young mans life, then a young boy Creus too made a critical mistake that would forever change his life. During the initial attack when the slave trader took out both his parents the then, young boy's, older brother tried to defend his two younger siblings. When Creus saw his elder brother who was valiantly trying to defend both him and his younger sibling was about to be struck down he tried to interfere. In a fit of sheer panic he tried to use his power to strike at their attacker however young and untrained he struck his elder brother down, completely missing the slave trader. After this happened both young and terrified Creus attempted to run away dragging his youngest sibling behind him but they where soon caught and his youngest sibling was killed.

      For an entire year he was held captive by this madman as they both waited for his power to grow stronger. He spent the entire time locked in the mans dark, damp and musty basement without seeing a single glint of sunlight while the man attempted again and again to force the boy to use his unusual power, often through cruel and even downright torturous methods. Until the boy learned to use his power on command in order to show it off to potential buyers Creus was of no use to the slave trader.

     After enduring this torturous confinement for so long things finally began to look up for Creus, first off he finally began to gain some control of his power. It wasn't much at first and the young boy wisely chose to keep it hidden from his captor no matter what pain came his way knowing it would only lead to a life of slavery. During the many hours he spent along he would practice using his magic manipulation to undo the lock on his shackles while he waited for an opportunity to escape. That opportunity lay with his captors addiction to alcohol, once he got his shackles open the first time he didn't have to wait for long. The next time his captor passed out drunk he escaped, the basement, the house and into the forest beyond never again looking back at the place which held him prisoner for so long.

      The young boy spent the next few days stumbling through the forest until he finally arrived at a nearby town, exhausted and starving.There he met with a group of street rats, a bunch of orphans led by a slightly older boy who survived by stealing. They took him in with open arms and taught him the life style of the streets. As the years went by with the aid of his powers Creus quickly rose through their ranks to becoming one of the best thieves among them. As he grew older he began to take charge and help look out for the others and he also started leading a double life. He stole good clothes and began attending local schools under a false name, although he didn't have much interest in a lot of the things he learned there he wanted to have other skills and knowledge aside from street smarts and thievery

      For a few years all went well until the locals whom grew fed up with the losses began to retaliate. They began to hunt down the orphans one by one either hanging them or executing them on the spot for their crimes. Eventually they hunted all but two of the orphans down Creus and his best friend whom both decided to flee town. On the day that they where preparing to leave a local farmer who had a vendetta against the orphans for stealing from him in the past claimed that they where the leaders and last surviving members of the local thieves. Although both Creus and his friend tried to escape they where surrounded and caught. Later that very day they where both sentenced to execution by hanging without so much as a trial or proof that they where indeed the thieves.

       That night Creus managed to escape using the same lock picking spell that allowed him to get free from the shackles years earlier. Upon escaping he immediately went to the jail that supposedly held his friend but upon arrival he realized his friend was gone. He searched briefly for his friend but he did not have the time to hang around as the authorities and locals where both on his tail eventually forcing him to flee town without locating the whereabouts of his best friend. To this day he does not know the fate of his friend but he believes he was either executed that day or escaped on his own. Since that fateful day from over ten years ago he has always kept an eye out for his friend hoping that somehow he was still alive.

        Since then Creus has spent most of his time traveling from place to place making a living as a thief. He has never spent too much time in any one location in fear of having to relive the events of his past. Over the years he has picked up various spells and knowledge about magic from people his has met or watched during his travels and studying book. He has mostly learned elemental based and healing spells, however he has learned a few others as well. Of course his favorite is still the lock picking spell that saved his life and earned his freedom not once but twice. As of three years ago Creus was caught in a blizzard near the northern border of the country he was in. While trying to get to safety he stumbled upon a white wolf pup whom was curled against its dead mother and siblings. On a whim he picked it up and brought with him too next town intending to sell it off to someone. However the person he had met in which he intended to sell the pup insisted he should keep it. As some where in some old book apparently white wolves where good luck. At first he wanted nothing to do with the animal but it soon grew on him and he named it Blizzard after the storm he found it in. Later on he shortened its name to Blitz Its now been two years and he would not trade Blitz for the world as the wolf has proven invaluable. He cast of his last name as a child due to what his parents did however he often makes up random ones as he goes ones of his favorites is Aurinko.

 

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The rhythmic rocking of the dreadnaught soothed the troubled Arvaarad's soul, yet she was eager to return home. Her temporary deployment in a far off land had been met with success, and this would please the Arishok for certain. Perhaps it would even help her regain some honor and respect from those above her, for once. They judgmental gazes had always pierced her back. However, she could not blame them for holding such an opinion. It was rare for a female Qunari to be in her position. Males were commonly the ones who were warriors and entrusted with leading invasions and platoons. Even so, the Tamassrans had long ago dictatd that she was worthy to hold this position, and no Qunari could argue with their verdict. 

Her calloused hands gripped the steel railing that ran along a short potion of the deck. The sea breeze brought salt and a different scent, one she found alien. With narrowed orange eyes, she exhaled and leaned her elbows against the railing. The cold and wet steel reminded her where she was and the grisly state of affairs. It had been several years since this war had begun, and the more she participated, the more her eyes opened. While taught to be emotionless and proud, even her taunt back became subjected to the weight of watching her comrades die. Her gaze fell onto the ocean lapping against the steel exterior and then closed. However, this only lasted a moment.

"Teth a!"

The warning call was shouted from nearby, jolting her from her thoughts. Without hesitation, her body maneuvered around the bodies that rushed to man the weapons onboard. As if synchronizing with her platoon, she wove her way toward the command center of the large, steel ship. From there, she witnessed the flag of two swords: the flag of a noble family in the rival continent. Her teeth gripped, her jaw squared, and she spat, "Shok ebasit hissra. Meraad astaarit, meraad itwasit, aban aqun. Maraas shokra. Anaan esaam Qun." Those surrounding her straightened their posture and proceeded with their duties.

As soon as she emerged from the center, warriors gathered near her. These were those who were not needed to man the ship, and she knew she would need them. "Vinek kathas! Anaan esaam Qun!" The males replied in shouts before moving in uniform order toward the deck. The spear-throwers were positioned within seconds, and she felt relieved that she had been able to organize the platoon this quickly and effectively.

"Grasp your foes in the jaws of the aban-ataashi!" 

At this, the spear-throwers took aim and fired once the ship was within range. However, the enemy mages countered with a fireball attack of their own. 

The ship rocked violent, for dreadnaughts for not made to sustain much damage. This was why the Arvaarad shouted, "Saarebas." However, her call falls on deaf ears for all around her are entangled in the battling unfolding. This left her no choice but to retrieve the mages herself, and she knew how pivotal their aid could be. 

The ship creaked and groaned constantly, and the rocking became steady. Even so, as she slid on the metallic floor, Arvaarad did not halt in her advance. However, by the time the young Qunari reached the holding station, a large jolt caused her to be knocked against the bars hard. Blood coated her tongue, and bathed her taste buds in a sea of metallic. Slowly, she began to regain her footing, yet, another jostle caused her to be knocked off her feet once more. They had breached, and she knew it. Somehow she had avoided death on the dreadnaught.

"Vinek kathas," she told the Saarebas before her as she opened their cage and permitted them to leave, Each was silent as they pass her, yet they followed the path toward the deck. Once all had left the room, she charged after them with her War Hammar in hand. 

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Until just a few minutes ago, everything had been silent aside from the the cool breeze rolling in from the ocean causing the leaves of the thinning foliage to rustle and the steady sound of hoof beats on the loose sandy soil. Aside from the occasional wild animal, few tread upon or even near this isolated beach on the eastern coast of this continent. This made it a perfect place for someone seeking peace and solitude to travel, such as the rider who was currently passing through the area. He wanted nothing to do with other people and he had a good reason for it, he was a mage a largely feared and hated being which most sought to either imprison and control or eliminate. As such he had no choice but to live this lonesome life if he wished to maintain his freedom but it was better than it had been in the past. Now at the very least he had two companions, though one had a less than pleasant attitude. 

The first of his companions was a large golden eyed, white wolf weighing in at around one hundred pounds. He was a pleasant beast, highly intelligent and of good nature. The other was the steed he was currently riding, a sleek white Arabian stallion from some ancient bloodline, a beautiful animal to look at. One whom most would assume would only ever be ridden by the rich and powerful however this one had one big problem. That was his attitude, deemed untrainable by countless people he was a horse that was bound for slaughter until his rider stepped in and rescued him, or rather stole him around a year ago. It had been a very unpleasant year to say the least, even after numerous injuries, going thrown, bitten, kicked and even suffering broken bones and the rider had only managed to get so far with this horses training. 

Most people would have given but to the thief who put up with him, it was worth it for the stallion was the perfect get away horse. The same stamina that allowed the stallion to fight ceaselessly against his human rider was easily channeled into running and once the horse got started, there where not many breeds out there that could keep up. The Arabian was a breed of horse bred for their endurance over thousands of years and even to this day they where a relatively rare sight. Even if it was a constant struggle the advantage the horse offered over the everyday, commoners horse was well worth every once of pain. Although he was incredibly cautious when around civilization and pulling off thefts occasionally things still went wrong and when they did, as long as he could get to his horse his chances of getting away where relatively high. 

So when the sounds of an off shore battle reached the trio, even before the mage heard it himself his horse started acting up. The stallion huffed and snorted, his head flying up, his ears forward and his normal smooth movements became jerky as he skittered this way and that way towing the occasional buck and bounce into his step as he fought to flee. Of course the young mage didn't know at first what caused his steed to act up like that, for all he knew it could simply be a leaf blowing in the wrong direction but even as he reined the horse in he couldn't help but go on alert himself. It was only when the distant sound of a battle reached his own ears shortly there after that he relaxed slightly.  He knew the ocean was near and from the sounds of things the battle was occurring just off the coast, which meant it more than likely had little to do with the groups he had to worry about which would be local law enforcement groups, hunters and any other land bound group that might seek to try and hunt him down. 

Although the various navies and militia that traveled the region where indeed fearsome, their primary targets where their enemies not lone travelers like himself. If anything such a close battle might actually provide a nice and rare opportunity to do some looting should a ship go down. Usually ships like that where stocked with all kinds of items that might be useful to the thief, things he could either sell or use like weapons and medicines. Perhaps he could even get his hands on some useful form of identity like a badge or pocket watch off a felled soldier which he could sell in the black market for a good price.  Such an item would provide the perfect opportunity for spies and the like to sneak into their enemies rank and while it might prove harmful to one side or the other, he couldn't care in the least. After all, no matter what side one, his circumstances where not bound to change.

So after a brief fight for control he guided his horse closer to the coast though the white stallion complained with huffs, snorts and the occasional tossed head and buck.  His other companion, the wolf, Blitz was a complete contrast to the horse as the animal ranged out ahead of them as calm and curious as usual and the wolf was the first of the group to cross from the tree line to the sandy shore though he paused once he saw the ship that had run aground. There the white wolf stood, his white coat standing out in bright contrast to the green foliage behind him and the tan beach watching the commotion without the usual fear a wild animal should have. The mage pulled up just behind him, though both horse and rider remained behind the tree line they where both adorned in white, the stallion was the color of snow and the mage wore a white trench coat so they both stood out if one where to look past the wolf and directly at them. 

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The battle was silent on the giants' side, with only an occasional order or grunt. The sight was familiar and the sounds even more so, and it brought back both pleasure and pain. It was quite normal for any warrior to take pride in their victory, and the Qunari did so more than most. It was neither a feast, or a large celebration. In fact, it involved only one and that was typically enough to satisfy the adrenaline that would continue to surge in their veins for hours to come. While Arvaarad did not partake in such rituals on a common basis, she knew she would reflect on this battle with great respect, and deep grief for those who would be lost.

The Saarebas formed a uniform defense line the instant they were greeted by the warmth of sunlight. The massive males and females shackled in collars, chains, with both eyes and lips sown shut, caused the opponents to waver. It was not a common site to have such a large force housed on one dreadnaught, but one knew better than to meet a rivals's expectations. With little effort, the powerful magi began to concentrate their life force. However, this attack would take some time to form and the handler knew this well enough. She would not allow this to be a repeat of that massacre, not if she could prevent it in any means possible.

The enemy, once shaken by the sight of the Saarebas, swiftly recovered and began to step in their direction. Swords, shields, and staffs raised, the humans mounted their assault on their reinforcements. The Saarebas did not move a muscle, for they were trained to merely use their gift and aid the Qun in whatever way the higher-ups decided. That was why the Arvaarad  gracefully used the shoulder of a nearby Saarebas to propel herself toward the enemy. A grunt escaped the mage's lips, but only one of surprise. It would take much more abuse to harm or even pierce the collar they wore.

Sand rose from where her feet landed, sending a medium-sized spray in the direction of the smaller species. Shields rose in response, forming a formation, to protect against the spray and whatever attack the large she may dish out. At this same moment, the human mages began to chant as their eyes twinkled in the heat of the moment. Even so, she had been trained to cancel magic and the armor she wore attested to this rank. With a mere smirk, the she raised her heavy hammer and dropped it upon the top of one of the shield's surrounding her. The shield creaked, sturdy as expected, yet she knew quite well that the human holding it could not offer much resistance. 

With gritted teeth, the Arvaarad applied more force and the shield bearer buckled. This created a momentary opening, and she leapt at this chance. if she could kill the human mages, she could greet victory with bared fangs. Thus, using her stature and agility, she swiftly slipped through the opening, stepping on the human beneath the shield in the process. Something snapped, but she did not let it weight in her mind. After all, this was a battle. Pity or sympathy did not exist in such a situation.

The mages realized their error, yet there was little time to halt the impact of the weapon. With a calculated and powerful swipe, two opponents were flung to the side. Whether dazed or dead, she did not care. Her duty was clear. "Meraad astaarit, meraad itwasit, aban aqun." (The tide rises, the tide falls, the sea is unchanged.) Another powerful blow met little resistance. "Var-toh katashok, ebadim maraas issala toh." (They will struggle, and we will turn them into nothing.)

Blood coated her mouth as she tasted the blood, which called upon her title and class of Berserker. Fire lapped at her back as she had mistakenly turned her back on a enemy mage. The pain did nothing to halt her assault, for she simply whirled on her heel and used the momentum to land a powerful blow. "Shok ebasit hissra. Meraad astaarit, meraad itwasit, aban aqun. Maraas shokra. Anaan esaam Qun." (Struggle is an illusion. The tide rises, the tide falls, but the sea is changeless. There is nothing to struggle against. Victory is in the Qun.)

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From where he stood the mage thief was just in time to witness the explosion of chaos as the battle reached the shore. There he stood witness to a fight between a species he had never scene before and humans. The large grey creatures where beings he had only ever read about but what he saw was enough to nearly convince the mage to turn on his heals and run. The chained ones especially drew upon his nerves especially once he sensed their used of magic, yet he couldn't help but stare in a mixture of horror and disgust. How could one possibly treat one of their own like that? It was one thing, to chain and shackle as almost all species did that to some extent but to sew their mouths shut too? That seemed unbelievable, it was like torture all he could do was hope that there was more to all this than just them being able to use magic. Perhaps they where criminals? Perhaps these poor souls did something horrible to earn this kind of treatment and the magic users among them just happened to be turned into battle slaves? It was still cruel but that idea at least settled a little better with him.

He could only watch in both horror and fascination as the grey female giant squashed her human enemies and the tortured mages stood like statues as they preformed their magics. Even as he studied the entire scene with keen blue eyes he kept his hands taught on the reins keeping his horse as still as possible while ready to flee at a moments notice. He didn't dare call to the wolf who was standing just within sight of the battle, not wanting to call attention to himself though he silently urged his lupine companion to  retreat back into the safety of the trees. The blond haired mage did not want to be scene by these people but he couldn't quite tare himself away from the fascination of watching these strange creatures nor the possibility that this might provide and optimal chance to do some looting once the battle ended. He just had to wait them out and hope that they cleared out of the area and left things behind as he had no desire what soever to tangle with those giants.

Unlike these people, his form of magic was different, even rarer than their own and he was rather skilled in that area. While what he saw out of these people might have impressed others it wasn't really anything special by his standards however that did not change his desire to avoid conflict in the least. It merely gave him the confidence to stick around just a little longer, he wasn't sure he could win in a fight against those creatures, their brute strength was terrifying but at the very least he believed he could escape from them with the combination of his magic and Shiro's speed. All he had to do was briefly hold them back or block their path and give Shiro a head start though his limited knowledge of these people still made him uneasy. With their size and power they had to be fast but could they keep up with a light weight, nimble speedy horse like Shiro and did they have the stamina to keep up over the long haul? While he could imagine that these creatures could easily out run a human, it seemed a bit silly to think that they could keep up with a horse but he wasn't willing to take any more risks than he had too.

Looting battle fields was a good source of income for those who where daring enough. Even getting away with some small things could mean the difference between another night out in the forest, facing the elements and forging and hunting in the hopes of finding food or sleeping in a warm room on a comfortable bed with a full stomach at an inn somewhere. Considering his hunting and foraging hadn't been going so well lately as the fall was rapidly approaching and edible plants where getting harder to find. These days he had mostly been relying on his and Blitz hunting skills to keep them fed but there was never enough to keep the both of them full. As a result the temptation of money was just a little too hard to ignore.

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By the time she had sent the nearest human mage flying, the Arvaarad felt the blue flames gathered by the mages prickle her skin. Goosebumps rose, dotting her grey skin, and displaying how utterly terrifying those under her care were. Even if she had been trained to quell any mage, human or Qunari, she knew it best to avoid this attack. This was why she raised her hammer and shouted, namely at all those under her command, "Ebasit kata itwa-ost!" (It is ended. You all have fallen.) At this, all Qunari warriors and Saarebas moved away from the dreadnaught, marching in unison. The unified movement symbolized the perfect grip the Qun had on all present, and how unshakable one's loyalty could be. 

The Arvaarad followed suit, behind the Saarebas to ensure they were at a safe distance and would not harmed by the blast. Naturally, this occurred within a few seconds, leaving their enemies successfully stunned. That was when the mages released their fire, aiming at their own steel ship. Even in this battle, no dreadnaughts had been lost, thus the result of one "sinking" was unrecorded in the enemy's country. However, these highly equipped ships did not simply sink. No, that would mean any could salvage its parts and use it against the Qun. That was why it was designed to explode before it was fully submersed in water. 

The instant the fire touched the ship, the steel weapon exploded several times. Shock waves rippled through the air, causing the tall she to crouch low to the ground in order to maintain her balance. The Saarebas behind her did the same, even though the weigh in chains and armor would have kept them steady. Even so, they were trained to follow orders and nothing else. Unlike human mages, Qunari mages had little to no will. The instant magic is shown, they are locked away and trained in gruesome ways, more so than what the Arvaarad had undone during her "re-education."

"Ebadim astaar, Qunari itwa-toh. Asit tal-eb." (They will rise, and the Qunari will cause them to fall. That's how it will be.)

If not all were dead, a majority were for that explosion can easily kill a Qunari, even at a safe distance. A few stray pieces of steel had grazed her skin, causing red blood to intermix with that of her enemies'. Aside from this, she was relatively unharmed and she expected that her men were as well, since she was the closest to the blast. Nonetheless, some had lost their life in either the naval battle or afterward. This was part of war, and that could not be changed.

"Collect our brothers' weapons," she ordered the remaining warriors as she turned her attention toward the Saarebas. Only a few had noticeable wounds, but there were a few missing. Some soldiers must have slipped past her defenses and attacked them while they had been preoccupied. "Panahedan,  Saarebas." (Take refuge in safety.) These words were whispered, softly, to ensure none heard her heartfelt parting with those who had been entrusted to her. "Saarebas, stay by me." 

Aside from the enemy being dead, there was no plan and no rescue coming, ever. If she did not find a way back, then ti was safe to say she either died or thrived in this foreign land.  Thus, she needed to ensure that the Saarebas remained close at hand, for their protection and for the protection of others. Slowly, as she exhaled, she placed her hammer on its holder, which was located on her back.

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From his sheltered location Creus quietly studied the action before him, he had little doubt from what he saw that the humans had taken on a group far to powerful for them to handle. The strange giants and their unfamiliar language was indeed a frightening force to be reckoned with and for that gave him one more reason too not interfere with this battle, not that he had any reason to in the first place. He didn't flinch at the powerful attacks however his horse was another story all together, the stallion fought the reins and his control. The last thing the horse wanted to do was stand there and so he made quite the ruckus but unlike most horses who would try to flee the scenario the the stallion was fighting to charge forward, toward the battle. Every time the stallion threw his head down and bucked he managed to inch a bit closer to the fight and every time the mage had to pull him back. By the time the horse finally quieted down the battle seemed to be reaching a climax however what the mage saw next was sorely disappointing.

The female that seemed to be in charge shouted orders and the next thing he knew, a series of violent explosions rocked the shore and the boat went up in flames.  Shiro was having none of that, the stallion squealed and lurched away retreating several paces into the trees before his rider once again assumed control  though the antsy horse still danced around and fought to escape. Even Blitz seemed a little shaken by the explosion as the wolf pinned his ears and retreated back to his persons side staring nervously in the direction all those loud noises came from. Not one of the three appreciated the scene but the mages opinion differed from that of his two companions. He cursed under his breath in stared past the trees at the utter chaos left behind by the explosions.

"Well thats a damn waste" He muttered solemnly  as he had just witnessed a sizable fortune going up in flames however he wasn't yet deterred. There was still the humans ship to be accounted for and it was still possible that some things aboard that strange ship survived the explosion and he could still try to loot and corpses that might wash up ashore. Still he could understand in part why these beings used such drastic measure, it was a good way to prevent anyone from getting their hands on anything  of value. However he couldn't help but wonder why they didn't have those mages push that ship back out into the ocean it appeared to be in good condition. Then again, what did he know about the ships that belonged to this strange species? Perhaps they had deemed in unusable? Maybe their mages just didn't have the power or perhaps the know how to perform such a feat? Whatever the case was they where at least temporarily stranded here unless they stole the human ship, which seemed highly possible at this point. 

Whatever the case was he decided that for now at least he should call it quits. The hope that he still might salvage something interesting just wasn't worth the risk of an accidental confrontation with these people so he decided to retreat for now.  They hadn't seemed to have taken noticed of him yet or at the very least they hadn't reacted to his presence so he guided shiro around and the trio started retreating from the tree line. He wasn't done yet, he planned to keep an eye on the place and wait for these people to clear out, until they he intended to keep his distance.

 

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The anti-climax brought some peace to the group, for they reverted to their usual behavior of speaking in low tones. It was likely that the warriors were discussing what their next move should be, for the most reasonable action was to seize the human ship. However, even as they were stranded in a foreign land, using that ship would be impossible. The weight of all their people and equipment would cause the ship not to last. This one of the reasons why the Qunari had used steel in their ships. Wood had been deemed unsuitable and has cost several innocent lives. Thus, Arvaarad had to seek another way to find passage to their home.

The sound of many weapons hitting the sand and then clanking against each other echoed throughout the area. With little thought, she adjusted her holder and made an adjustment to hold five more. The weight would cause her to be sluggish while she adjusted to the additional pounds, yet she knew she could not leave these weapons here. They were the sole remains of those who had fought at her side, and who had ensured their victory. Bodies were useless to the Qun, for the soul that had been there had been released. Burning a body held no honor, and that was why many Qunari viewed those who buried or burned their dead as foolish. The action was more for those who mourn than the actual person.

She bent down and collected her share of the load and slid them, one by one, into the holder. The weight was as she had expected it to be, yet the burden of being responsible for all the lives lost was much worst. Mentally freeing herself of that sad note, she turned her attention toward the horizon. The wide, endless ocean spread out after the sandy shores, and mimicked the hopeless she felt. Her large hand fell from the handle of the foreign weapon of her brother. She bit her lip and turned her back toward the now setting sun. 

"Holster the weapons of the fallen and begin to set up camp," she ordered the warriors who had gathered around her. "Saarebas, half of you go to the ocean and try to fish. Any means necessary." After she cut the group in half using her arm to gesture, she turned toward the remaining Saarebas. "Rest. We'll have camp set up soon." One or two grunted in response but they all settled down where they stood. Silence descended upon them, as was expected. She, too, sat down amongst them, keeping vigilance over the warriors who were working, the mages that were fishing, and the group behind her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Arvaarad had two pieces of fish before her, untouched and now cold due to the constant breeze. Her appetite had always been non-existent, yet she had made sure she had time to consume something through the day. Yet, the strange smells and sights of her surroundings caused something to twist and turn in her stomach. It was unease, one that indicated that there was something near. Even so, she knew better than to leave the camp unattended. Most were asleep, and leaving them in this shape would be dangerous. 

The rustling of clothes behind her caused her to start, but she soon relaxed when a Saarebas sat beside her. Much larger than her, he towered above her and his limbs pushed against her side, though she knew this was accidental contact. "What is it Kubant? If you want my fish, you can have it." 

The mage shook his head and gestured with his arm toward the shore. A series of incoherent grumbles followed, which made her feel pity for the male. The pain of having your lips sown shut for life was not a kind fate. Deicing to turn her head to follow his finger, her orange eyes met the very faint form of a figure. "G. . .o."

"Then, watch the camp and protect all at any means necessary, Kubant," she stated as she swiftly got to her feet and began to head into the darkness. Specters were not held to any sort of fact in Qunari culture, thus she felt no fear at meeting a trapped soul. Such things did not exist in the Qun, nor anywhere in Par Vollen. After all, all that gave such rumors fuel was the fear of the unknown and life after death. Thus, the figure must either be a result of her eyes adjusting to the dark or an inhabitant.

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For the time being the mage thief and his companions retreated deeper into the forest intent on returning at a later time.  There was nothing more they could do for now, not with those giants so close however he did have a plan. He knew that later on in the evening the tide would start rising and that very spot where the battle had taken place would end up getting flood, unless those beings didn't mind setting camp in a foot of water chances where that they would be forced to retreat further up the beach.  Perhaps if he was lucky they would move out before the tide had a chance to sweep anything useful away and if not, they would probably not be in the same place by the time the tide began to return and there was always the chance that something got washed up by the tide as well. Either way, there was the possibility of him finding something useful. 

When he had started out that day he had intended to merely pass through the area and on to the next town where he had intended to pawn off a few things he had stolen along his journey. Sticking around one more night would mean one more night spent camping out in the forest but other than that it was of no consequence to the thief. He wasn't due at a certain location at a certain time like some other travelers might be, he arrived when he arrived and left when he wanted to leave. He had no place he had to be nor one to return to and that gave him a certain element of freedom that he had learned to appreciate over the years. So he retreated roughly a mile from the beaches edge and dismounted his horse and let the stallion rome free while he spent a little time foraging for food. 

There wasn't much to be found at this time of year a few small root vegetables here or there was about all he could find but it was enough for now. It would prevent him and Blitz from going hungry though the wolf much preferred meat. Once he returned to the spot he let his horse free he sat down near a base of a tree and split his meager find with the wolf. When he held out one of the small starchy roots out to Blitz the wolf whined softly and gazed off into the forest. He would much rather try hunting, even if the sparse sandy beach areas didn't provide the  idea habitat for large game.  "We'll hunt tomorrow, I don't want to have to cook anything tonight the smoke from a fire travels far, those giants would surely see it from the beach." The mage spoke softly in an apologetic tone to the wolf whom reluctantly snapped of the vegetable though he looked far from pleased to be doing so. "We will eat better once we get to town" The mage promised as he settled down to wait for night to come

***

Several hours later the mage thief rose from the spot where he was leaning against the tree and stretched slowly as sitting on the cold hard ground on a cold had left him feeling rather stiff, a feeling he was quite familiar with. By now the tide should be on the rise, so he could only hope that the giants had cleared out. "Shiro?" He called softly though he knew it was unlikely that the stallion would come to him the horse usually let him catch him these days but he didn't always cooperate. Though the mage didn't see the horse anywhere within sight he knew the animal shouldn't be far, he had probably wandered off searching for a better grazing spot.  Thus the mage first had to set out and find his horse, though he knew he could leave the animal and head to the beach himself he preferred to have a quick getaway at hand if needed. 

It didn't take him to long to find the horse, even in on a dark night like this one the animals bright white pelt was hard to miss though when Shiro saw him the stallion immediately pinned his ears and started walking away while still munching on whatever it was that he had found to eat. Every time the mage stepped forward the stallion would move a step away while giving him an annoyed glare. He had finally found food and wanted to eat it, he didn't want to do anything else but the mage persisted and the horse eventually gave in. Once he caught him he gave the horse a quick pat before setting off once more toward the beach.

Thanks to the minor delay of having to catch the horse by the time Creus arrived at the beach the tide had swallowed the majority of the battle ground but he saw no sign of the giants in the immediate area so he began his search. Jumping down from the horse he began slogging through the damp sand and water searching while Blitz ran about exploring the beach, snapping up various mollusks and small fish that had been washed ashore. At first glance there didn't seem to be much left to be found, there was shrapnel certainly he didn't happen upon anything much interesting for awhile until at long last a metallic glint caught his eye as the moon appeared from behind the clouds.  Without hesitation he kicked aside some sand and picked up the object , wiping the dirt away with his finger as he did so. What he found was not qunari in origin but rather human, it was a pocket watch made of pewter and it didn't appear to be the least bit tarnished which meant it hadn't been in the water long. Likely it had been dropped in the scuffle earlier and buried in the sand kicked up by those explosions. After inspecting it for a moment he popped it open to see that the clock inside had already stopped ticking, likely just like the heart of its owner.  After examining it further he found that there was indeed a name inscribed on the inside though it was hard to see in with just the faint moonlight to see by.

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The moonlight provided little aid in distinguishing landmarks and where she had wondered to.Even so, she knew that she would be able to sense a hostile presence.  The tension that rippled off her enemy had been something she had been trained to detect. This time, she only felt a slight charge, though it was far from hostile. In fact, it seemed to be stemming from a connection to the Fade. Such a transition was not intentional, for a mage could not mask it from her well-trained mind. Even so, she knew better than to approach with violent or malicious intentions. Though her armor was in tact, the burn on her back would take several fortnights to heal, even with the help of magic. Agitating it without there being a set cause would be foolish, and would cause the grey-giant to intentionally re-open a wound.

A soft sigh escaped her as she placed her hands on her hips and lifted her gaze. The bright, white light that touched her skin as she reached the water's edge caused her to furrow her eyebrows. Compared to the moon in Par Vollen, this one seemed to offer a different warmth, one she had been trained to disregard: freedom. Perhaps this was the Tal-Vasoth, or those who had abandoned the Qun entirely, had all decided to stray from the true path. Her lips furrowed, too, as this thought. The security of the Qun was what drew people in, for having a set role and responsibilities seemed akin to a dream. Though, questions were never raised and doubts were never soothed in a definite manner. Either you were re-educated, killed or forced to be Tal-Vasoth. You wondered if there were any of such Qunari here, for they had settled in the oddest countries. If so, then she would have some mission, some purpose, as to why she was here. 

"Meravas." ("So shall it be.")

No one would be searching for them, and a Qunari without a set purpose would equal a Tal-Vasoth. Thus, the only remedy would be to place all effort toward finding passage to her homeland. How possible this would be, thought, is difficult to say. Perhaps the Saarebas would live here in better comfort than they would at home, but she knew that they may turn dangerous if permitted to taste freedom. Some of them had gone insane while in her care, and she rarely let them simply rot in their prisons. If she decided to do this, it would eliminate some weight and perhaps the warriors would be able to return, at least. She knew some of them desperately wished to boast of the past victory, and she could not blame them. Though that battle paled in comparison to the most recent one. 

Slowly, she turned her attention toward the direction in which the dreadnaught had once stood. Even from this distance, she could make out a few jutting pieces of steel sticking in the sand. The cold, metallic surface reflected in the moonlight in an unsettling manner. Even so, she forced herself to head toward it. Perhaps now she would be able to retrieve some of the weapons that had been claimed by the sea. Even so, it was more probable that the sea currents had taken them far away from this foreign shore. That was when a smaller figure, perhaps the one Kubant had spotted earlier. Swiftly, she concealed herself. She would not attack, though she did not wish to be utterly defenseless either. 

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Slipping the pocket watch into one of his jacket pockets the mage thief moved on, the watch wasn't a huge pay off unless it belonged to someone really important but it was a start. For the next half hour after his initial find Creus spent his time slogging through tide pools, low surf and sand but to no avail. Everytime he happened across something interesting it just happened to be another fragment of something that had been blown up or broken in the battle.Though some of those things weren't necessarily useless, the hunks of metal from the giants boat for example could still be sold and repurposed into weapons and the like however the payout just wasn't worth trying to drag a larger piece all the way to civilization  and a smaller pieces wasn't going to be nearly as useful to anyone so they where relatively worthless unless he could collect a large amount which some black smith might buy and melt down. It would offer some form of money for sure but he was hardly equipped for such a big job. With one horse, himself and a wolf they couldn't carry very much and after examining a smaller pieces he had discovered that they where quite heavy. Too heavy to transport and likely not worth the effort he ignored them and moved on.

Eventually as he explored the area he lost track of time, searching every nook and cranny of the place until the cold began to get the better of him.  The tide was rising and the icy cold ocean waters where lapped at his ankles, his boots and the bottom of his pants soaked through to the skin. It wasn't bad at first but at this point it was so cold  that it was starting to hurt so he turned away from the site and started heading back up the beach. The mage thief didn't make it very far before his food connected with something hard and heavy just below the waters surface. He was tired and cold and so his initial thought was merely to ignore the piece, assuming it was just another bit of shrapnel from the ship since the water was to loudly to see through. It was only a few inches deep but the churning waters had kicked up the sand leaving it a dull muddy mess. He intended to move away right away and get out of the water that was quickly making his feet numb but something drew his eye down to the piece he had kicked though he didn't know what.

Experimentally he nudged the piece again with his foot, it was hard to tell with the numbing cold but whatever it was the thing was heavy and long as well. It was probably just another bit of shrapnel but he still reached down anyway and felt around with his hand. It only took a moment for him to find the smooth metal pieces and just from the feel of it he knew immediately that what he had found wasn't shrapnel. It was far to smooth and even to be anything of the sort so he carefully grabbed it and pulled it free from the water and grunting a little in surprise as he felt the things weight. It was blade of some sort and it was far larger and heavier than anything that could possible be useful for a human. With a start he realized that he had happened across one of those giants weapons and he could't help but stare down at the incredibly heavy thing. 

What kind of power did it take to use one of these things?  What should he do with it now that he found it? Would such a thing sell well in the market? That was just a few of the questions he asked himself as he studied it however he wasn't in the least bit familiar with these kinds of weapons. He had no clue what it was or wasn't worth or if anyone on the continent would even want anything to do with it. After all it was far to heavy for a human to wield properly so no one would want to keep it as a useful weapon. Perhaps some wealthy weapons collector might use it as a center piece on a shelf somewhere? That was probably all it would be worth to most people but he still lit up at the thought. Even if it wasn't useful, if the right buyer came along he should be able to get something decent for it.

He was about to head up the shore and leave the beach behind when a sudden soft growl from Blitz caught his attention and he went on full alert, gazing around wearily. All he saw was the white wolf standing at attention near by and a little further up the beach was Shiro and the stallion seemed relatively calm as he stood there, gazing off at something in the distance as if he where watching a small wild animal or something near by. The both of them stood out fairly distinctly with their white coats but he saw nothing else noteworthy.

 

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The grey warrior had kept a dutiful eye on the human, her body and armor blending into the dark blanket of the night. The cold air stung her skin, yet it was nothing compared to the cold waters that surrounded her home. While it was encouraged that Qunari die along with their ship, all were trained to swim encase an enemy escaped them. After all, the battle waged between the Imperuim was one that brought easiness to any's heart, and to ensure a stable foothold on that front, any warrior or mage needed to be able to swim to slaughter any rival. 

Her orange eyes glowed dully in the night as she stalked the small male, her cautious movements making little sound as they glided over sand and metal. The weapons on her back offered some resistance, yet it was not enough to cause a mistake. If anything, she felt a heavier burden rest on her shoulders. She was the front defense of her sleeping platoon, and, while formidable in battle, any could be killed while they slept. Losing anymore comrades would be unneeded if all she needed to do was keep track of one measly human. After all, he had not even detected her presence. Whoever trained him clearly did not do so well.

Her muscles had remained tense, charged in case she needed to attack, till he began to trek up the beach. It seemed he had ended his search for anything valuable, and she would have relaxed if it was not for the dull thud that pierced the air a second later. Her breath hitched, for she knew well what that sound was. The metal used was valuable, in a skilled blacksmith's hands.  Though, the sentimental value to the Qunari exceeded that monetary value. At this moment, she cursed the training that forced her to be diplomatic first. 

"Mertam." ("Light boot", an insult).

The hiss naturally left her lips as she slowly stood to her full height, ensuring that she was well within sight. Her weapons lay sheathed in their holster, yet her muscles remained tense. The expression she wore bore disgust and hostility, yet her training distracted that this was necessary to avoid further bloodshed. Being killed by this puny mage would offer no honor. Under the cold moonlight, the Vitaar that painted her skin glistened like any metal. (Vitaar: "Poison Armor." A warpaint used by the Qunari that is toxic to other races and has a metal-like quality once applied to the skin.)

"Scavenger is what you are, correct?" She inquired, though her tone held certainty. "Meaning you only seek to gain profit by what you encounter, correct? That weapon holds no value to your people, or to any that inhibit this land. Not even your most skilled blacksmith would be able to melt down the mineral used to create Bassrath-Kata. It holds no merit to carry to your village and sell. That is why I propose to buy it from you. Name your price."

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Although his eyes saw nothing out of the ordinary in the limited light offered by the sliver of moonlight that peeked through the thick cloud coverage the mage trusted his two companions senses. Something was out there, though he had no way of telling what it was without invoking magic to increase his senses. Without magic his senses where little better than the average humans however even as he started to draw upon his magic words hissed by a distant voice immediately brought that process to a halt. Instead of working leaning toward sensory magic he immediately switched gears to something more defensive in nature though he only prepared for the possibility of an attack, he cast no actual spell. What he heard was most definitely a word though not one from a language he understood. He did however immediately recognize the tone and style behind it, the word was almost certainly from the same language he heard those giants speak. The word was also most likely directed at him.

The mage thief stood there, clutching the weapon he had found as he cautiously as he followed his companions gazes toward the source of the sound. The same direction both beasts had been looking before he heard anything, what he saw was a bit unnerving as he saw the female giant he had seen before straighten to full height in the distance. She was far enough away that without any light and his human eyesight he would likely never have spotted her unless she moved as she did now. He stared in her direction for a good moment, uncertainty crossing his face. He only could see one but he knew there was more somewhere on this beach. Had this one come alone or where her companions waiting further out in the darkness? The last thing he wanted to do was face a troop of those things but while his heart beat nervously logic dictated. She was not close and Shiro was, if she charged he should be able to reach his horse first unless she had some sort of teleportation magic which he had not witnessed this one use in battle. Furthermore he always had his magic...

When the giant, though a relative term as they where only a few more few in height that the average human, spoke again he was surprised to hear his own language coming from her lips. He had wondered briefly if she would launch into a tirade in her own language in which he would have little of diffusing the situation should it turn hostile.  After what he witnessed he kind of expected her to react in some violent and barbaric way so her words came as a somewhat pleasant surprise though he would much rather not face her at all. Instead he took advantage of the brief delay her speech caused and quickly summoned his mage sight, casting out his senses in search of someone else and was relieved to see no one else but this giant in the immediate vicinity though he kept his senses reigned in not wanting to attract too much attention to them. 

Feeling a bit reassured that there wasn't a horde of these people near by the mage thief focused on her words, which he couldn't help but find slightly amusing. A scavenger? Well, that was one way to describe it he supposed though he was much more than that. He didn't just loot what was left behind in a battle field, he stole for a living what he was doing now was merely taking advantage of an opportunity he saw. So he neither agreed  to or denied her word that and one other reason. He had no idea how these people view 'scavengers' as she mentioned and though her not attacking right away seemed like a good sign but that didn't mean they viewed 'scavengers' in a good light so he saw no need to dig himself further in a hole should his agreement or dissent anger her.

Rather he focused on what else she had to say, which was perhaps more amusing than the scavenger part. Why would a giant whom came ashore and slaughtered humans offer to buy one o their own left behind weapons from someone who happened upon it mere hours later? Why not just demand he return it or straight up try to forcefully take it back? She surely had the advantage of power so she probably could, unless these beings could sense magic users which might be reason to hesitate. It seemed odd to hear the giant act in such a civil manner after that battle he had witnessed though he certainly couldn't complain. Now, what was the best course of action to take? Should he just meekly hand over the weapon and retreat? Would it be a good idea to send such a cowardly message? No, it didn't seem so.

"That depends, do you carry coins of this continent on you or something else of value to trade for it?" He asked instead, a bit doubtful that this being would have a form of money that could be used in this land. How would they get a hold of that type of money, unless they also looted things from their enemies?  Surely a rival army wouldn't just hand over coins right? Unless they had coins from past transactions before they went to war but if they did why would this person bother carrying it with her into battle? Let alone for a walk on a beach? Though despite his doubt he knew there was always the possibility that they found some reason or other to carry such a thing around. It seemed more likely that she might have something else of value to trade for it, since apparently the weapon he found was something she clearly wanted but they had blown up their ship...

 

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The Arvaarad had nothing of true value on her that would interest the scavenger, but she knew better than to state this directly. The one object she knew would hold some value to the human before her would be the gem embedded into her hammer. Though, she was hesitant to hand over such a treasure, for it symbolized her rank. Even so, she knew that it was doubtful that he would trade over the weapon for a mere scrap of metal that was embedded into the ground. However, it was known in most lands that Qunari mercenaries offered their services for more than a pretty coin. That was one option, but she was hesitant to offer such, for she doubted he would be enticed by the offer. 

Her piercing orange gaze met his before it strayed, landing on the raising water behind him. Darkness cloaked the area behind him, but she knew of the treasure the dreadnought carried. It was commonly known that jewels and precious metals were sought after by the common populace. Even the Qunari had used foreign metal to produce formidable weapons, not that it was known. They were a proud race, and would never admit to using resources they did not farm themselves. An nearly inaudible sigh escaped her as she turned her gaze back onto the human.

A soft stream, an accent, of magic reached her and she knew it originated from him. It contained a different pattern and felt different as it lapped against her skin. She wondered if her armor would be able to tolerate a direct attack from this mage, though she knew she could retreat and rally her platoon if needed. No matter how powerful the mage, a decent number of warriors could easily end his life.  Thus, if he attacked or chose to be difficult, she would feel no worry prickle at her skin.

"I have nothing on me, but there were valuables on the dreadnaught," she stated, unflinching even though it wounded her to tell a well-kept secret of the Qunari. "Not the steel of the ship, but gold and jewels brought from Fereldan. Such metals are precious as they cannot be obtained in this land, and could be sold for a pretty coin. If that does not entice you, the metal from the ship, while heavy for your kind, can be crafted into any weapon of your choice. We have a skilled maker of weapons among us, and he is able to craft any weapon, human or Qunari."

"And to assuage any fears, we are diplomatic and wish to avoid bloodshed when possible, but are more than capable warriors," she added, to ensure he understood none of her people would attack unless provoke or ordered to. Qunari had once walked in peace, but the changing world had brought about wars waged in the name of the Qun. Whether such wars could have been avoided if the leaders had not been afraid of change is unknown. What is understood is that she must protect her own and follow her path, no matter how long or bloody it may happen to be. It was ingrained in her blood, after all.

 

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Creus wanted to raise a quizzical eyebrow at this being but refrained from doing so. She had just stated to a so called scavenger that her ship carried precious gems and metals and that her people could make weapons. Which was good and all but he wouldn't exactly call that a trade considering these precious gems and metals could have been blasted to who knows where. What was he supposed to do? Hand over the weapon and go look for them in hopes that she was telling the truth or did she intend to find them first. As for the weapon, well he supposed a good weapon might sell for a high price but considering she was supposedly willing to trade a hand made weapon for the one he held made it seem as though what he found was extremely valuable. Why would he hand something like that over so easily if she seemed willing to barter.

"Well that seems all find and dandy but what use is there if those precious metals and gems you mentioned got blown far out to sea in that explosion? They aren't much use to either one of us there. As for the weapons you mentioned, surely they are not as valuable as what I am holding now? At least it certainly seems like they are not based on how you seem to want this one. Why would I trade something more valuable for something less valuable? If I find the right buyer, it sounds like this thing can help me feed and house my companions and I for quite awhile. I think the three of us would all enjoy quite a few good meals."  The mage stated allowing a bit of amusement to show in his words as he cast a purposeful glance to the wolf whom now stood by his side and the horse standing a short distance away. Despite witnessing the battle and now being confronted by one of those giants he showed no fear though his heart still beat with nervous energy. He knew he was playing on thin ice but this supposedly diplomatic giant seemed rather determined to get this seemingly simple weapon back and that piqued his curiosity. 

"If you could find those enough of those precious metals you mentioned, I might considered a trade but this weapon now has me intrigued."  The mage thief continued on rather boldly despite his usually cautious disposition. It was a strange situation and he didn't quite know what to make of it. He was an opportunist though so he hoped to make some use of it. If he could actually get something good, that he would have an easier time selling he certainly wouldn't fight a horde of giants over this thing but no good barterer gave up on first go around. He wanted to see how much he could get, if this person was telling the truth at all and he suspected that if she chose to stick with her words as a diplomat she might at least try to find something to offer. It would be nice to have a little extra coin for the winter, the more money he had the less days he and his companions had to spend out in the elements.

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The female sighed, and narrowed her eyes. This male, it seemed, was quite idiotic. If he knew of the power she held in her hands and the damage she could cause with a simple twirl of her hammer, he would retreat and, at the very least demonstrate some respect. Perhaps that was what made it seem as if all humans were fools. It was the fact that they developed they could merely speak and people would bend to their will. If she had been trained differently, she was certain she would have taken the blade form him already. "As-eb vashe-qalab," she hissed under her breath as she battled with the rage boiling in her veins. ("This is bull****.")

"Since all you humans seem ignorant of the ways to respect the deceased, I shall state it simply," she growled, her rage now showing in her orange eyes. "Weapons from our deceased are valuable as they are what we take to honor them. The bodies are useless to us. The reverse is true for your kind. You bury your dead, honor their corpses, and, at times, turn them to ash. Such ways are barbaric in our eyes. By collecting the blades of our fallen, we honor their bravery and sacrifice. Thus, that weapon holds no value to anyone of common stature. Most humans cannot even afford to hold it steady, let alone use it."

"Also, our Saarebas are more than well equipped to recover such treasures," she continued, though her voice grew tight as she became more impatient. "Recovering such jewels and metals is not a matter if, but a matter of when." It was true, she had been trained to utilize their abilities in the case of an emergency. While this was not so urgent, she knew better than to attack an innocent when there may have been better methods to deal with him. Though, he was trending toward dangerous waters, and she knew the ice further in would not hold his weight.

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"I can wait" The mage stated calmly in response to the giants angry tirade. "I have no idea what a Saarebas is but if it helps you find them that sounds good to me, I don't have a battle to fight or anything so I've got plenty of time. I am, sure if your species is truly diplomatic and wish to avoid blood shed it shouldn't be a problem." The way he spoke it was as if he hadn't even heard the rest of what she had to say but the reality was he really couldn't care less how a group of one religion viewed another. They always hated each other, always called the other savage or barbaric or some other thing and that was even between various human religions. What she said was literally no different from what he heard out of people, however it seemed that she was mistaken to think that he held that same values as other humans. If a corpse had cash on it, he would take it another human might not in fear of angering the dead or something like that. Furthermore there was also the point that humans quite literally hunted his own kind, if his own species did that to him under various beliefs like mages where evil and out of control and he had most certainly heard the word barbaric directed at them as well. So what did it matter if a giant of another species entirely say the same thing?

"I must say though, if your speaking diplomacy you aren't very good at it. You won't generally get very far by assuming a religion and calling one barbaric based on assumed religion let alone calling another species religion things like that. Certainly it makes sense that one disrespecting another religion would upset them? As I am sure your people would not like for others to do the same?"  Speaking of disrespect, she was telling him that her people honor their fallen by their weapons, which by him holding that weapon and not giving it back would certainly be a sign of exactly that. Which just so happened to be exactly the same thing she was doing by calling the ways most humans followed disrespectful. "Don't you think that would kind of be lie a pot calling the kettle black scenario?" 

"I don't intend to be disrespectful of course but with winter on its way I need as much money as I can get. I don't know about where you come from but here winters are pretty rough. We get nasty storms, everything gets buried in snow and ice, it becomes next to impossible to forage for food, the fish all retreat into deeper waters, prey animals go into hibernation or stay on the move in desperate search of food which means you have to track them down and it can take days, even weeks before you manage to do so.  Surely even your people need to eat? Its not easy surviving out here in those conditions, a little money can make all the difference between survival and starvation. Speaking of which, if you people intend to stay here for any length of time you might want to start seeking out a place to winter and if you go around insulting the religions of locals...well best of luck too you." 

He knew next to nothing about these people but he understood the basics of how life worked, people need to take in energy in order to expand it and he doubted these people where free from that burden.  There was more reasoning behind his words than that, one of the intentions behind them was to distract this giant from her obvious anger even slightly with basic reasoning and a reminder that life would not be easy here. They where a relatively small group on a continent owned by humans, unless they had a way off this land right away he doubted they would get very far if they went around insulting people and if they just tried to stay out on this beach or camp out somewhere they would have a hell of a time trying to feed themselves and survive nature at its worst. 

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The Arvaarad snorted at him, for he knew little of the plight her people suffered from.  Mages from the Imperuim had tried to invade Seheron, and reclaim it, thus causing children and innocents to die. Then the fog warriors in Par Vollen and Sehereon use gas to camouflage themselves to deal attacks.  Amongst all rebels, they were the only ones honorable, though she never had the pleasure to cross steel with them. The worst were the Tal-Vasoth, those who had betrayed the Qun and work as mercenaries. They attacked, though only away from their home town. She was born and raised in a battlefield, thus she had no reason to fear death - whether it came from a blade or frost.

The winters and the changing of the seasons on Par Vollen were not horrid. Most of their city was modernized, thus the cold nor heat bothered them. Houses that entrapped the cold in the summer, and systems to heat the home usually kept most content. Even if they did not have this, their skin was tougher than most and their genetic makeup differed completely from that of a human. Food was another matter, however. Yet, she knew she and her kin would find a way to leave this country before winter fully grasped this land. Ensuring their safety was her only priority and that included sending them back to their home country.

"You are mistaken to think we fear death, human," she stated gruffly. Neither she nor her kin did. They were born ready to parish  for the Qun and their belief. The only ones she knew had little choice were the Saarebas, and she was their only advocate, here and in their home.  This was why she felt frustrated that she would not merely let it end here, for her desire wished it to be so. She had suffered the inner battle long enough, and she knew that the Ben-Hassrath could not help soothe her mind. The wounds they inflicted had relieved some pain, yet the remnants were as sharp as any shrapnel. "Ataash varin kata. In the end lies glory." With this, she turned her on her heel and began to walk in the direction of camp.

"It would be wise if you accompanied me," she cautioned. "Some of my brothers are not so diplomatic when it comes to any of the other species. Our warriors are trained to kill, and only that." Meaning, they would find no reason to speak to him, and she doubted that he could survive a Qunari attacking him. All were trained to perfection, perfect soldiers in a word, and she knew that their movements were ingrained in their mind. "Then again, I might be disrespecting your species by assuming that, and, also, I wasn't assuming religion. Most honor their dead by using the body. Even I know that. None honor them using their weapons, like we do. Correct me if I'm mistaken." Some sarcasm had slipped into tone, thought it was very faint.

 

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"There is a distinct difference between not fearing death and actually dying, far too many warriors boast about the same damn thing but in the end few actually want to die and those whom actually do must have quite the miserable existence."  The mage responded rather dryly to what seemed to be the classic response of a warrior. Tell them of the dangers ahead, listen to them boast and watch as they suffered should they choose not to listen. It seemed the same all around but that wasn't his problem. He never understood such people or the seemingly silly belief that there was glory in death. As far as he was concerned the whole glory in death thing  was just another tactic for leader to coerce their warriors to give up their lives willingly, With enough brain washing any species could fall victim, while their leader pursued whatever it was they where after their pawns could die in droves beneath their without ever stopping to question why. Those few pawns who dared to stop and think where either killed, exiled or dealt with in some cruel way.  He had seen it countless times on small scale, just within humanity and he was already coming to suspect that these giants where the same. 

Worse yet, the more cunning leaders where able to trick their pawns into thinking those whom the leaders themselves made into enemies where to blame. All they had to do was spread the word, start rumors of how horrible their target was and soon widespread hatred of said people would consume their own and it would only be a matter of time before some where willing to fight against them even if the targeted group had actually done no wrong. That or they could incite their target in some way or form to attack and use that as leverage against them. Those where just a few of the numerous ways people started religious wars, almost all of which started and ended with those who pulled the strings behind it. Countless lives lost with the simple difference in view points seemingly at fault. At the same time if the leaders behind those groups sought peace instead of war chances where that was exactly what they would obtain. Spread hate and they obtained war, spread understanding and they obtained peace.

"All you humans, your kind, both words spoken in reference to the religion most of my kind follow while directed at me certainly seems like an assumption of religion to me. If you want diplomacy, you should probably drop that notion, at least verbally anyway. That would be like me saying all you qunari disrespect the dead by not giving their corpses a proper send off. I am sure that would be a good way to anger or upset members or your race, no?" Yeah, it was dangerous saying that directly to her face and that he knew even if it was only meant to be an example, not what he believed.

"Besides, a large reason behind humans burying and burning their dead is to prevent the spread of disease. Religion came after words and it was used as a means to convince people to do so for way back when many people didn't understand the link from improperly buried dead and the continued spread of the plague.  All it took was one person to fall ill with an infectious disease, their body would get dumped or partially buried some where and then rats would feed on it and return to town transferring the disease over and over again. Its written in our history though now a days few connect that to their religions who demand such actions being taken when it comes to the dead. They simply assume that they need to do that without ever stopping to think why, as is the case with many other aspects of their beliefs whether they be for good reasons like preventing the spread of disease or bad reasons such as making it so people are easily manipulated." 

"Also it is not necessarily uncommon or humans to keep an honor mementos of their fallen family members. Walk into someones house and you may just see a sword on a mantle that once belonged to someones grandfather, they may keep armor or other weapons as well in which future generations may take up and use in battle. Likewise they may also hold on to other keepsakes should their ancestors not be a warrior, the hammer of a blacksmith, the jewelry of a mother and many other things they deem of importance in remembering those that passed. Of course not everyone does this and I am sure its different from what your race does but similar things do happen amongst humans." The mage  calmly added in response to the females sarcasm, it as as if she thought humans where barbaric because they didn't honor their dead in the same way, yet quite a few humans did something that seemed similar?  Though he of course didn't know what the qunari did with those weapons once they retrieved them from the dead. Did they give them to future generations to use, keep them somewhere or did they do something else? 

"Beyond all that, I question the wisdom behind me accompanying your people. How do I know you won't turn on me and crush me like you did to those people back there? Furthermore what do I have to gain for it? Also about those gems and precious metals you offered in exchange for this weapon of yours..." 

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The muscles in her face contracted, causing a vein in her temple to protrude. Humans, in her eyes, would always be the same. They wished to speak of their kind, or highly of themselves, yet turn around do acts in which the Qun would have never have permitted. The gas used by the Imperuim caused their own to die in agony, all the while preaching of how slavery was correct. At least the Saarebas are taken care of to a decent point where they are not killed. Mages in other lands are killed relentless by the Templars who believe magic itself is evil, and those who bare it are entirely evil. Perhaps such thoughts were what influenced Qunari mages to be chained and restrained. History records did not state when this practice began, but she could only hope that it had been decided upon after western fear had reached Par Vollen. 

"The humans I have met and seen, even near my home, have killed their own to achieve their own end," she growled as she whirled on her heels. Her white teeth were bared to display her intense rage and dislike for the scavenger. "Why should I hold humans in any good light after being surrounded by how truly monstrous they can be? Killing children, women, innocents because they simply do not care? As-eb vashe-qalab! Even the Qun does not permit such actions! Humans, no matter how hypocritically you speak, will always be seen as barbaric to those who have grown seeing only the worst of them. You have not seen through my eyes, have you? You have not been put in charge of hundreds of lives and felt a blade plunge into you with every death, have you? Do not speak so highly! The world consists of more experiences than yours!"

With this, and ignoring is latter question, the Qunari marched on toward her camp. If he followed, she knew he had some common sense and did not wish to be torn apart by a lone warrior. Honestly, she would feel more than comfortable sending one of her more experienced warriors to procure the blade. After the way he spoke, she felt her skin prickle and that typically caused her to switch into battle-mode. If it was not for the waves of magic hitting her skin, she would have launched an attack. As it where, the feel of the magic being entirely different, she did not know what to expect of the foolish male. Thus, she would have to restrain herself till she obtained a better grip on her situation, and his condition.

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Creus stared blankly after the female, when did he speak so highly of the human race? All he had done was merely state the original reasoning behind burying the dead and that yes, humans did sometimes use memento's to honor the dead. Was that speaking highly in her mind somehow?  As for the whole killing thing he was well aware, he had experienced it himself countless times. He hated it but he had also seen the peaceful side to humanity as well, not everyone was evil. In fact most of the evil he had seen had been ruled by fear and desperation, terrible yes but one could argue that such a thing was not true evil. Humanity needed help, someone who could set things right but where the qunari any better? If those beings with the sewn mouths he saw earlier where their mages then how did that make her race better?  Humans killed or enslaves mages, qunari enslaved them, sew their mouths shut and robbed them of free will? If that was the case, then what did they do to the ones who did not submit. What about their religion? Surely not all of them followed it with unquestionable loyalty What happened to them?

"Um, speaking of experiences have you actually stepped foot in any one of the countless peaceful human settlements in this country? You know, the places where woman, children and men all live and work together in harmony as they have done for thousands of years?  Places where murdering innocents other than mages is illegal and could earn someone some seriously heavy punishment? Has your people taught you about that? It is true they treat mages badly, they where taught to fear and revile, if they can't control and enslave them they will kill them but what does your people do to the mages whom won't submit?" Why was he even bother trying to defend their actions against someone like this anyway? It wasn't like he had much love for them but he had often witnessed the peace and longed for a simple life like that. If he wasn't a mage his life would probably be far different, far kinder. "Every rose has its thorn and where there is light, there is darkness. Its just a fact of life."

The mage thief made no attempt to follow the woman, instead after glancing down at the weapon he still held he retreated to his horses side and climbed into the saddle. He had something useful so what reason did he have to follow this person? In fact why would he? It made no sense for him to follow her into a camp full of people whom apparently all hated humans and she had already stated wouldn't be so diplomatic?  She had mentioned gems and things but hadn't made any attempt to actually prove what she said was true and he could always search for them himself. As for the weapons she mentioned, the only worth they held to him was their possible monetary value but since he wasn't a weapons expert they could hand him a crappy blade or two and he would have no idea. He didn't much like the idea of holding onto such a memento that someone might use to honor the dead but playing nice and just giving it back would have unpleasant consequences for himself, unless he could find or steal something else to help him once winter set in but a good chunk of that was luck which was not often on his side. 

"If you want to trade for this, listen for the wolfs howl tomorrow night at this time and come with no more than two others of your group with whatever you have to offer. If you come with any more than that I will know and leave before you arrive." He called after the woman before he nudged Shiro into action and the stallion turned and raced up the beach in the opposite direction the woman was walking. The mage thief had a meeting place in mind already and he felt that allowing her to bring more of her kind was some show of good faith but far better than facing an entire horde of them should things get ugly. 

(I have work early in the morning tomorrow so I am going to have to end it here tonight, will be back tomorrow)

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(So, I'm having a really hard time finding the patience to reply anymore. By this point, she would have already attacked him, and for the sake of the RP I'm fighting against that urge. I can understand Creus' point, but, speaking from my character's view, he's not worth speaking to. Thus, I really can't see this going anywhere for she would rather just send people after him to forcefully take the weapon back. Sorry, but this is what I feel when I place myself in Gale's shoes.)

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