|Alistair (gryphonshield) wrote in theconsolelog,
@ 2018-06-04 16:22:00
|alistair theirin, morrigan, status: complete
WHO: Alistair & Morrigan (NPC'd Kieran)
WHERE: Princess Peach's Castle - Morrigan's room
WHEN: Last night
WHAT: Morrigan wants to 'discuss' some things / confuse Alistair more
It was equal parts sweet and comical the way Kieran wanted to be by his father - he didn’t know Alistair that well, and yet that unfamiliarity wasn’t going to stop him. He was a boy of ten, but he often sounded so grown-up that sometimes one could forget his true age - however, when he had those moments of unmistakable boyhood, with the desire to climb trees and gorge himself on sweets, it could bring a slight smile to even his icy cold mother's face.
Besides, now that they were here and there was not an overpowered Magister to contend with - nor a disgruntled elf with far too many grudges held - she was more than willing to agree to a catch-up for father and son. A Warden's life was not easy, nor were their burdens. Of course she understood this - Alistair was owed the time, may as well take it now.
She was not terribly unreasonable.
The castle grounds had been explored and it was overall pleasant, but even when she was residing in Skyhold - brought there at the behest of Empress Celene, what felt like ages ago - she still missed the Korcari Wilds. It had been far too long since she'd been back. But the herbs that had arrived with her here, the scents of elfroot, blood lotus, and Andraste's grace, helped with her slight homesickness.
Morrigan sat at the desk in her and Kieran’s room, reading a book and jotting down notes. She was a voracious reader, but not much of a writer - she had kind of a shorthand that she used, while making notes, but never liked to let anyone see her handwriting. Interestingly, she’d always been fond of Leliana's style of penmanship, with how flowery and swoopy it was, and back during the time of the Blight she'd practice on spare scraps sometimes even if that type of penmanship didn’t come naturally to her. Any practice sheets were always burned in the fire, however. But recently, she heard tale of dragons here in this land, atop a great mountain (information-gathering went quickly when she took to the air as a raven, or wandered sneakily as a cat) and planned to pay them a visit. It was simply a matter of mapping out a plan - and convincing Alistair to come with her.
Which she would do, when he returned with Kieran. They’d gone on some adventure - she did not ask questions - and were due back soon. Soon arrived right then, and it was at that moment she heard the door open. Kieran rushed back in, happy and excited - mouth smeared with chocolate, naturally.
“Did you spoil your supper, my darling?” she asked, taking his chin in her hand.
“No, mother,” he responded, even managing to sound convincing. But nice try, the evidence was all over his face.
Morrigan merely smirked. “Go wash up.”
As luxurious as it had been to have a moment to take part in things a Warden didn’t normally get while traveling, though Ferelden was getting there, Alistair had made sure to wander the castle for potential threats, inside and out. The inside had an impressive kitchen. Nothing like he’d ever seen, odd utensils, but he was no cook. In the least. Other accommodations that were gladly given with a few mere coins here and there in exchange. Coins, he’d learned, that could be given if he destroyed the angry wandering mushrooms or fire flowers--yes. Fire. Flowers.
He’d even learned there were neighboring villages. Some not even villages, but cities of great lights, a beach, and others there trapped from worlds he didn’t even want to hurt his brain with. He had enough to worry over with his small bunch and he’d keep it there.
Since his son was keen on spending time with him, Alistair welcomed the opportunity with open arms. He also appreciated they were able to do so without having to get into any conversations that could have otherwise broken him down into a mess of gloop that was his cooking. No, Kieran was curious about the immediate, the now, and Alistair was content to advise on what he knew, and enjoy the time with his son.
It made him feel more whole than he had in a very long while. A little less lost without the other Wardens, or his own Commanding Warden who was not a queen and had different expectations of him.
He also saw no reason not to spoil the boy. He was so polite and proper, Maker knew that Alistair had to give him a bit of fun. Their adventure that day had led them along the castle grounds with a lesson on which mushroom people to avoid, the blocks, and definitely to stay away from the pipes. And of course--a trip to the kitchen.
Apparently, Kieran had never experienced an eating contest and though he said his mother would be upset he may ruin his dinner, Alistair hardly seemed to care. “You don’t always get an opportunity to spoil dinner.” He’d said. Wonderful sense. But it made the boy smile and that was all the Warden cared about, watching fondly from the doorway as Morrigan inspected the damage. He was half surprised she’d even let him spend the time alone. But Alistair suspected that she wouldn’t want to cause an uproar here. There was no excuse for her not to. Not now, unless she wanted to be a heinous bitch. And it seemed she had shed at least one layer of that skin.
“He’s a growing boy. I’m sure he’ll find room in there to put his supper away.”
“I’m sure,” Morrigan repeated, that smirk reaching her eyes - an eerie golden shade, endless fields of grain. But then she turned more thoughtful, fiddling with the locket that she wore tucked in her cleavage - a gift from the Warden in ancient times, this locket, an antique cameo depicting a woman with her hair adorned with jewels. It was one of her most prized possessions.
She sighed, glancing back in Kieran’s direction - he likely would get distracted with that oddly-shaped communication device (they finally figured out what it actually was) with the buttons. Or he’d fall asleep before supper, since the sugar crash from that spoiling would likely kick in shortly here. Thus ensuring a nap.
“Have you a moment to stay? There are a few things we ought to...catch up on,” she added delicately, pinning Alistair under the weight of her stare once more.
And there it was. The inevitable catch.
The immediate answer that came to Alistair’s mind was ‘I’m sorry, but I think you’re about ten years too late’. But that wasn’t a very nice thing to say to his son’s mother when he wasn’t very far away. Not that words would hurt her--did anything? Probably, she obviously cared for their son. At least there was a heart in there...somewhere...deep...hidden. In a box. In the Korcari Wilds.
Alistair frowned, his blue eyes blinking in the direction Kieran had wandered to before looking back to the witch. He’d left the outer workings of his armor and weapons back in his room. Sigh. Well. Best get this over with. “A few things to catch up on, hm.” He mused with a very lackluster feeling in his voice as he entered the room and closed the door behind him, moving to stand before Morrigan and folding his arms pensively. “What ever could it be?”
It was so hard not to glare at her. The sarcasm and anger was pooling ever so lightly, a bristle at the back of his neck. She’d kept such an amazing thing from him. His only family. The only thing he’d ever truly wanted other than with...whom he had thought would be friends from the Blight. It was a very touchy subject. But their son was too clever and Alistair kept his face and voice level. For now.
“I know what you are thinking and I assure you, I did not go into hiding with Kieran out of malice or spite,” Morrigan insisted. “It was to protect him from Flemeth.” She had given him Alistair’s surname though, as a way to have some connection besides cursing him and wishing him dead during the very painful, very solitary birth. Morrigan had even cut her own umbilical cord - she'd done it alone, everything alone, in the Crossroads. The in-between, a safe place found after she'd gotten herself an Eluvian and where she was a single mother until they literally could no longer remain.
One could not stay indefinitely in the Crossroads - it was an odd place, so very green and fresh, where time seemed to stand still. It was like being caught in a painting, viewing the world through a layer of fine, hazy mist.
“Besides, you held such deep loathing for me - you could barely be convinced to lay with me that night, though I was correct,” she rested a hand on his arm, lightly squeezing the bicep, looking up through those spider web lashes, “...you did not hate it nearly as much as you believed.” Or at least, he didn’t seem to - there hadn’t been any complaints on her end either.
Then she stepped back a bit, going to perch on the end of her bed. “Though it does not matter now, which is what I wanted to mention. Eventually Flemeth caught up with us. And ‘twas quite the surprise to see that she had never really been Flemeth at all.”
“Why would I think that? You’re not spiteful or mean and certainly would never do anything to hurt me, Morrigan.” He said with a roll of his eyes that was actually more casual than it was emotional. It was because he believed her. Alistair might have thought differently ten years ago. But he was a little less young and naive. And it was clear being a mother had definitely shaped her in some manner.
But the Warden wasn’t a walking meat sack with a head of lard. Despite popular belief and a past that would have said otherwise.
Flemeth wasn’t someone to disregard. Over dramatic about witches as he may have been, she was very old, tactful, wise, and generally far ahead of everyone else in her thinking. That much he knew when he and Elissa had gone to “kill” her for Morrigan. He watched her move about the same as he would watch a snake. Waiting for it to change its mind about feeling timid and bite him.
“Despite what I felt for you—as warranted as it was, you know I would have wanted to see him. Don’t try to paint that any other way.” She knew of his past. And whether or not she was a heartless bitch, she would be smart enough to put together the last thing Alistair would want was for his own child to wonder why their parent was gone or did not want them. “What do you mean she wasn’t Flemeth at all?”
She really liked dragging out the suspense. But Alistair was concerned if Flemeth were after their son for his soul in replacement for Morrigan’s own life or whatever crazy shit it was those witches used their children for.
“Yes, I know. ‘Tis a shame it could not be that way - you seeing him - but living in hiding was the only option,” Morrigan replied, lifting her chin defiantly. It was difficult for her to say the words ‘I’m sorry,’ so this was as close as she could get right now - but she was sorry that Alistair didn’t get to meet his son sooner. Though how such a thing would be wrangled, given his duties as a Grey Warden, that was more difficult to fathom - if Flemeth were not in the picture, then she supposed they would have found a way.
It was apparent that time and experiences had hardened Alistair - and softened Morrigan. Very interesting, no? They were on more of an equal footing now, each losing a bit of edge or consequently gaining one. However, the Witch of the Wilds was still no pushover or weeping willow. She didn’t know anyone else here and didn’t care to make friends either. If it happened, well, she’d see.
Hands folded in her lap, she took a breath. “Flemeth took Kieran through the Eluvian - and so the Inquisitor and I followed,” she began to explain. “We found her in the Fade, and I moved to attack - but since I had previously drank from the Well of Sorrows, and whomever does that not only obtains extensive knowledge of the ancient alves but also becomes bound to the will of Mythal, she stopped mel. Mythal, as it turns out, had possessed Flemeth many years ago - for the purposes of seeking justice she feels she was denied. She offered a ‘deal’ of sorts - keep Kieran and I’d be free of her, but I could take Kieran with me and she would continue to pursue us.”
“Naturally, I told her to leave Kieran be and offered my own body instead. But Flemeth merely extracted the Old God soul from Kieran - what she was after all along. He is fine, as you can see, but simply feels differently now that Urthemiel is no longer a part of him,” she finished. The memories of this experience - it had not been that long ago - were still fresh. The shock and horror of everything, of being so terrified she would lose her son.
Morrigan would never. She protected him even more fiercely now.
It was not the only option. It was the only option she saw, much as were the decisions that Elissa made for his life as well. For the benefit of Ferelden, the child, whatever it may be. There were decisions made that should have involved him but apparently, he didn’t get the luxury of knowing about them.
Alistair knew little about the Well or Mythal but it was probably something Morrigan shouldn’t have tampered with but did anyways because it was Morrigan. He might have laughed at her if it didn’t affect their son directly. He just didn’t understand them, her, or her mother. They played life as a game, like a roll of die, as if they were the only ones weighing in the balance of the next throw. He supposed that’s what power did to someone. But he wasn’t interested in the politics of Morrigan’s mistakes or Flemeth’s alliance.
What mattered was Kieran. And the fact that nothing made sense, again. The Warden could only throw his hands in exasperation. “Why didn’t she just do that in the first place?” It was rhetorical. Undoubtedly, she wanted to watch Morrigan squirm or see the extent of her love for the boy.
“So the boy is fine and no longer possess the soul of an Old God. I don’t see how this is a bad thing.” Frowning, Alistair let the story sink a little further, closing the space between he and Morrigan. “And what can she do with the souls of two Old Gods?”
Her eyes flashed an even brighter gold, otherworldly and almost animal-like. “What do you mean why didn’t she do that in the first place?” Morrigan huffed. “I did not want Kieran anywhere near Flemeth, Alistair, what about this can you not understand? Do you not see that I never trusted Flemeth and had good reason to not do so, based on my upbringing? You take our separation as some slight against you when it is not even about that. The world we come from is not fair - you are no longer the naive puppy you once were. You understand that difficult decisions must often be made.”
However, she didn’t expect him to understand about the Well of Sorrows - it was either she drank, or the Inquisitor did, but it wasn’t as if Morrigan did it for particularly noble reasons. It was knowledge she craved, knowledge to defeat Corypheus and much more - there were benefits to the decision, but also consequences. And she’d weighed them carefully, contrary to what he might think.
He closed the space between them and she stood, eventually coming to fold her arms across her chest as she faced him. “Turns out he was in no danger - nor was I - but how was I to know? ‘Twas better to stay away from Flemeth, in my mind. As for what she can do with two souls - that is what we have to be concerned with. Or we would, if we were in Thedas.”
But they weren’t. They were here. Not for the first time, she didn’t mind it so much. “As I said, she desires justice. A reckoning. One that will shake the very heavens.”
“No, I’m not naive,” He knelt down in front of the bed, narrowing his eyes, lowering his voice to barely a whisper. “I know that you “helped” keep Elissa and I alive to end the blight, but I also know you fully intended to keep such a gift for yourself before you began to feel for our son, and that is why you truly left. To keep such a thing from Flemeth was an afterthought. So you can take your difficult decisions speech and bury it in the other trunk of lies we won’t tell Kieran.”
So yes, he did understand her ‘oh so righteous’ motherly intentions. After she grew a sodding heart. And while Alistair knew nothing of magical mirrors and travels into the Fade--well. He might have known more than he cared to in that regard, a letter was not that hard to write.
She certainly had no difficulty securing a position beside the Empress of Orlais. That wasn’t exactly hiding. But the past was neither here nor there. Alistair couldn’t change anything.
He returned to his full height once she stood, still towering over here and everyone else in their ‘party’. Save for Sten or the Shale. But that was hardly fair competition. “Then we’ve got nothing to worry about while we’re here. As for when and if we can return--what ‘justice’ could that have been? No one who could have slighted the Old Gods has been alive for centuries. Thedas is divided and barely recovering from the hole in the sky. She would gain nothing.”
Or perhaps those with power didn’t necessarily care. Alistair knew what Lyrium did to people, and that was enough. But the power of a God? Maker, couldn’t Thedas have one generation to let the grass grow?
An afterthought! Hardly. But Morrigan did seek power, that she would admit to. It was a trait ingrained in her by Flemeth herself, only she differed in that she sought that power to be used to break the shackles her mother imposed upon her. A child with an Old God soul was very much that. And she did grow to love Kieran, truly - he was the only person in this world she was certain she loved. It had not taken her that long, while she’d been pregnant with him, to reach that conclusion.
“I wanted my freedom above all else,” she said, stepping close to him - in fact, she was sort of drawn there, since she was not used to Alistair bubbling and simmering like a threatening eruption of lava. Her palms pressed to his chest, the softness of her breasts all up in his business - pushing his buttons had always been fun, though she supposed she preferred this over taking potshots. “You ought to learn your elven history, Alistair - Mythal was betrayed and murdered by the Well of Sorrows. This is what she seeks justice about, not to mention...have you been to an elven alienage lately?” Thedas did not look kindly upon its lower class - it was a powder keg, certainly. An elven ‘reset’ in the future, perhaps?
But at any rate. She certainly wished for a generation wherein the grass simply grew, yet wishing for such things in a world where campsites were marred with frozen dead bodies and war lurked around every corner was foolish. “No, we do not have anything to worry about while we’re here - “ She paused, those eyes glinting with curiosity. “However, there are dragons from what I hear. ‘Tis only fitting we see what they have to say, don’t you agree?”
It was a rhetorical question. The answer was obviously yes.
“Oh, sorry, I was busy being tossed between learning about Andraste, the Chant of Light, and the Templar order until becoming a Warden and learning to live with Darkspawn taint in my body. The elven historical text never crossed my path.” What was she getting at? She knew he hadn’t grown in the luxury of a proper education. And what was she doing? The Warden stiffened at her touch, glancing down briefly and noting she was only trying to bristle him. It wasn’t going to work. Not yet anyways. She had the benefit of ten years of maturing and their son in the other room protecting her. But Alistair had hardened, and he wasn’t to be played with--or a tool in others’ great plans for Thedas anymore.
It wasn’t as if he’d say no anyways. He knew what his oath was. Wardens did what no one else would, for the better of everyone. Even when they were hated for it. He only thought he deserved the consideration in some notice. Only Duncan and the Arl had seemed to think of him as a person deserving such a luxury.
“Not since I traveled Ferelden to get rid of the rest of the Darkspawn after the Blight, and conscripted any looking to join the Wardens.” That would make sense. The Elves were treated horribly--not by Wardens of course, but that was not their jurisdiction. Darkspawn and Archdemons were. “Why would I care what the dragons here have to say, Morrigan?” He asked, less than enthused with her games. It made his chest tense and he backed away from her, folding his arms once more, as if that would shield from whatever it was she was trying to egg him on with. “I’d be happy to never see one again for the rest of my life. And if I’m lucky, I won’t have to.”
Blights didn’t tend to come about every 30 years. He would likely die before then.
“Surely they have some insights regarding these lands?” Morrigan suggested, stepping forward when Alistair backed up - she wasn’t trying to corner him, not really. “Helpful advantages, things to know. I would not let you get burnt to a crisp. You must trust me at least a little by now.”
It was true. No harm would come his way. And being that Morrigan herself could shapeshift into a dragon, that gave them an advantage - however, she wouldn’t appear in dragon form around the others yet. That might make them bristle, or feel threatened.
“Kieran can stay with Elissa - he has been wanting to spend some time with her anyway.” Normally, this sort of excursion would be taken by the three of them (like old times, just without the other annoyances tagging along) - but she hardly trusted anyone else to watch Kieran. She did not know them, after all. Certainly not that toadstool who guarded this castle.
Now that he could laugh at, Morrigan and trust in the same sentence. Oh, she was too much. She was right—deceptive and cryptic as she could be, Morrigan couldn’t gain anything from hurting Alistair. It would only hurt Kieran. And that boy was too smart for even her to spin a lie.
“I’m sure they might.” He watched her approach him pensively. Maybe Alistair would be more inclined to trust her if she wasn’t so difficult to read. What was she doing? “Why don’t you ask Elissa to go with you, and let me stay with the boy?” There was an underlying something there.
Even Elissa would prefer to go. Why did Morrigan want to take him? Weren’t they super best lady friends for life? They loved adventures into dangerous things like a den of dragons in hopes not to be burnt to a crisp.
Well, this prickly sort of witch did not know if she would describe anyone as a best friend for life - but it was possible that the Warden would come close enough. Regardless, she wasn’t about to beg anyone to join her. She’d even go herself if she had to.
“I thought perhaps you might want to hear their insight firsthand - there is much to be learned. The potential for opportunities here in a new land, ones we would not have in Thedas. ‘Tis something to consider, at any rate. I will head out in a few days time - if you wish to join me, meet me at the base of the mountain.” And she would have supplies, a warm cloak above all else - it looked chilly up there, a picturesque snowy mountain scene though dangerous to traverse if not prepared.
Morrigan moved to stand by the door - she assumed by the quiet in the rest of the place that Kieran had indeed fallen asleep. The inevitable end of the sugar rush. Hopefully he’d done as she asked and washed his face first. “I shall not keep you any longer,” she added, giving Alistair room to exit, watching with that unsettling look in her eye - but then again, there was hardly a time where she didn’t give off those vibes.
Opportunities and “we”, yet no direct statement. Maker, was she frustrating.
Alistair sighed, too worn to try and pry anything from her. He didn’t want to fight or tell her how frustrating speaking around a question with answers that didn’t directly answer it was. Instead he moved to check on their son, who had in fact fallen asleep. He just wanted to see. In case he’d wake again in another world. Or Morrigan took him away to go live with the Dragons…
“He’s an incredible boy,” he told her, turning away from Kieran’s room and moving to stand in the doorway, regarding her look and trying to study the witch best he could. He let the air stay quiet as he thought before responding. “I’ll think on it.”
If it would somehow help Kieran he might have agreed. But beyond a dangerous curiosity Alistair didn’t know what Morrigan truly wanted from him accompanying her. Other than sacrificing him...but with that, he left her and their son to a quiet night so he could go and ponder all of that. Perhaps ask what Elissa made of it.