Hi all, following my participating in the awesome fan-fic forum 'Lord Cousland's Dinner Party' (check it out if you haven't yet) and reading some other examples of fan fiction from around the Wiki, I have decided to start my own. I probably won't be getting pieces up very quickly, so hopefully if you are enjoying it you can stand waiting for more. To my friends from the afore mentioned forum, I hope you don't mind, but I was planning on setting it in that universe and using some of your characters, if you have suggestions, preferences or concerns let me know. I have christened this story 'Dragon Age: Agents'. It is set during the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition and may be rendered an alternate universe once DA:I actually comes out. For now, there are only two canonised points; one, Alistair was made King of Ferelden, though we never mention if he was alone on the throne or not. I may touch that point later or not. Point two, Lord Darion Cousland is the Inquisitor. For the sake of continuity, all the would-be Inquisitors of the LC's DP forum will be written as high ranking agents of the Inquisition instead. Thanks and enjoy reading.
Drakk of Denerim - Drakk is the main protagonist and the character I created for the afore mentioned forum. A Senior Enchanter and former Arcane Advisor to King Alistair. He was one of the few mages of the Ferelden Circle Tower to survive Uldred's revolution and the Fifth Blight. He is and accomplished scholar and Primal magic expert. He has also dabbled in the Force Mage and Blood magic specializations, the later of which caused him to become an apostate at one point, but was given a royal pardon upon his capture.
Deakial Adaar - An immensely powerful Vashoth Mage and Elemental expert. Met during the LC's DP event and became friends with Drakk. A consummate drinker that could rival Oghren and one of a rare few to have tamed a Wyvern. Created by ACdeakial.
Scaea Cadash - A sly and quick witted dwarven rouge with a penchant for nicknames and daggers. Like Deakial, a passionate lover of strong ales and brews. Also encountered during the Skyhold Dinner Party. Her and Deakial became fast friends over joint interest in drink, humour and bashing Demons. Created by Xari.
Chapter 1: In the Heart of Chains
Drakk listened to his surroundings. The gulls in the air, screeching and circling, the nearby moored galleon and wharfs creaking in the water. He opened his eyes and looked around the dock. He turned to face the south. Over the peaking Frostbacks you could see green in the sky, The Breach, like a wound in the heavens, a bridge between this world and the Fade. Despite the horrors it was spitting out into Thedas, things seemed calm from here. Drakk shook his head. A man, the dock's Harbour-master, called out to him.
"They're here!" Drakk looked to where the man pointed and saw a small sailing ship floating into moor. He waved his thanks to the man and made his way down the wharf to the docking point. Two shipmen on the small deck expertly tossed ropes over the dock posts and slowly pulled the small craft in. As they stretched out the plank to the wharf, two new figures emerged from the lower deck. They were a striking sight. Drakk waved them over.
"My friends! I'm glad you could make it." The first to greet him was the hulking kossith mage Deakial. The grey skinned giant wrapped his arms around Drakk and hugged him to the point of his back cracking. Once he was put down again, Drakk leaned on the large man and caught his breath. He righted himself and slapped Deakial on the shoulder. "It's good to see you old friend. Though, next time, let's tone down the greeting eh." The next figure was a stark contrast. Kossith males were the tallest of the humanoid species of Thedas and the next was a dwarf female, perhaps the shortest. The slight woman elbowed the Vashoth when she noticed him standing on the tips of his feet to exasperate the size difference. The two's banter and repartee was near legendary in the Inquisition. She pushed past Deakial and placed a small kiss on Drakk's cheek.
"You're looking good 'Robes'." Drakk smiled and returned the gesture.
"You too Scaea. I'm glad you were both free to come, I know Val Royeaux is in turmoil right now." Deakial waved his hand at the comment.
"The Inquisitor signed off on the mission, he's been a bit hard to talk to since that encounter with that Shade of his wife in the Fade, but it seems like the cogs are still turning." Drakk nodded and ushered his friends along the wharf. Deakial cracked his neck audibly and stretched his shoulders as he walked. "A cramped craft that one. All the good ships seem to be in service getting people away from Ferelden and Orlais."
"Well sadly we must get on another ship, more spacious however. And just think, it would've been much worse with Jericho with you. Where are you keeping the Wyvern anyway? I didn't think he liked to leave your side."
"With a friend near Skyhold. If they feed and excercise him enough, hopefully he won't notice I'm not there. So where are we headed?" Drakk grimaced slightly.
"The infamous City of Chains, Kirkwall."
"Kirkwall?" Repeated Scaea. "Where the Mage rebellion first began?"
"Indeed. Times have been hard for them. The second Qunari invasion, the uprising. And now the Carta has started muscling in and gaining a major foothold. The Champion of Kirkwall dealt them several serious blows a few years back, but they seem to have redeveloped at double strength, even recruiting elves and humans from the lesser gangs they've pushed out."
"So what's our mission there?"
"Several things. The Inquisition needs resources and there is a rumoured supplier of rare magical artefacts and ancient lore, I'm going to track that down. Dear Scaea, I believe you used to be a member of the Carta? If so, we need you to approach them on behalf of a 'mysterious benefactor' and see if you can contract them out for scouting." Drakk kept walking as he was talking and they filed up another plank onto the larger Galleon Drakk had called upon.
"The Carta are tricky to deal with." Scaea replied. "They won't like just scouting, and they won't do it for free."
"I know, tell them they are free to engage anyone in the area. We'll be sending them to hostile zones, so there shouldn't be any innocents for them to harass, just our enemies. Promise them any loot they find is theirs." Scaea nodded at this.
"And what would you have me do?" Said Deakial.
"Contact the remnant of the Tal-Vashoth, not sure if they'll fight for us, but we could use some mercenary forces. You should be safe enough, they'll recognise you as a free mage, something the Qunari don't have. Hopefully that'll be enough to peak their interest and prevent them from attacking you." Deakial nodded grudgingly. "Okay my friends. Let's be away." Before the ship set sail he stepped to the edge of the railing and looked over the small fishing port. He was going to wave goodbye to the Harbour-master, however the man had disappeared. "Strange." He muttered. He noticed too that all the gulls were gone and the air still. He shrugged his shoulders and returned to his friends.
The ship let loose it's large sails and took off from the small port outside Jader, heading north across the Waking Sea towards the black cliffs of Kirkwall.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Deakial walked sombrely through the first level of the lower decks to the area he had dubbed as 'his quarters'. Of course they all had proper bunks, but Deakial preferred his seat near the grog storage. He sat at the small bolted down wooden table and grabbed the nearest bottle. Antivan spiced wine. Hmm, not bad. He thought. But not Silverhorn brew. He poured a mug-full and downed it in one gulp. Too bitter. Not matured enough for a good wine. He noticed the number of elves and humans around and something niggled him. Things were getting better for elves it was true, but many places still had prejudices to get over, strange that there should be as many humans down here with them. Also, they were all more tanned than a below deck crew ought to be, either that or they were Antivan...
He felt the bitter wine sink into his stomach and that's when he knew something was wrong. Fell poison. Rare. Said to leech the very life from the victim.
"So that's how it's gonna play huh?" He muttered under his breath while quietly picking up a knife and sliding it under a wristband. Two elves who'd been chatting in hushed tones hopped off the barrels they'd been sitting on and stepped forward encircling him. A human approached from the side and Deakial turned to him, judging him the biggest threat.
"The Antivan Crows send their greetings, and a 'goodbye'." Deakial snorted. Antivan Crows. What a laugh.
"What? Were there no better assassins to send?" Antivan Crows were honour driven, the mocking words made them loose focus just enough. Deakial jabbed his hand on the knife bound to his wrist and felt the tiny trickle of blood worm down his finger, a single hot bead. He drew the power from it, he had learned the maximise the most power for the least blood cost. He whipped his hand back up, and the fluid motion, sent a wall of force towards the two elves. They were plucked from their feet before they could gasp. One was thrown into a nearby rack of barrels, the other, not nearly as lucky, sailed to the far end of the deck. Deakial didn't see the landing, but he heard the crunching of bones. The human drew a short sword and started to close in. But Deakial spun his hands and a cool sea breeze turned rapidly to an icy wind, propelled at the remaining Crow. The man took one step back before a wave of white engulfed him. When the mist cleared he was pinned to the wall in a pearly prison. Suddenly another figure ducked in behind Deakial. He wielded two daggers, one blunted on Deakial's armoured mid section, but the other found purchase in his side. Deakial growled as he felt more poison enter his bloodstream. He backhanded the assailant, sending him spinning over the lower deck hatch.
Deakial followed to where the man fell and slammed his boot on the hatch lock. The hatch door fell open and the assassin tumbled down into the dark. Deakial scanned the area and nearly concluded all opponents were down, but suddenly someone wrapped a thick sail rope around his throat. However the figure didn't have the height or strength to hold him back and truly choke him. He pulled forward, his vision darkened slightly but he felt the assailant pulled off the ground. One of the elves, the one only thrown into the barrel rack. He charged backwards at full speed and slammed the wiry man against the hull. There was a loud crack and he went limp. Deakial stepped away, the rope fell from his neck and he rammed his elbow with full force and bracing into the elf's midriff. He didn't get up again.
* * * * * * * * * * *
It was some time later when Deakial managed to fully shake off the effects of the poison. He emerged from the lower decks expecting to find more of the assassin's controlling the ship, but it was eerily quiet. He looked around, a few splatters of blood on the planks but no corpses or any sign of the crewmen. There was a noise and he turned to look to the ship's wheel and saw a figure stretch an arm out waving to him. "Horns! Up here!" Deakial recognised the pet name, the dwarf had a thing for them, and sprinted up the stairs two at a time. Once again he had expected foes, but Scaea stood alone steering the vessel.
"Do you even know how to pilot this thing?" The dwarf frowned and raised an eyebrow.
"I'm ashamed and a little hurt. I've lived on the surface for my whole life Horns, of course I learned how to steer these things. And, as it happens, I know the way to Kirkwall." Deakial rubbed the back of his neck and shuffled on the spot.
"You know we have something of an assassin problem right?"
"Of course. Antivan Crows. I dumped them overboard first chance I got. The must've been hiding in the cargo hold and slowly replaced the crew. Drakk's down there now untying the survivors." The kossith grinned. Of course.
"Do we know why they came after us?"
"Does it matter? I suppose so. Not sure, maybe Drakk will figure it out, see if they had any notes or contracts on them. The Venatori hiring assassin's now? Or maybe the Chantry heh?" Deakial nodded.
"You're right, I guess it doesn't matter now. They're defeated and hopefully we won't see them again for some time." Scaea chuckled to herself and shook her head.
"Obviously you haven't encountered the Crows before..." Drakk chose this moment to interrupt the pair as he climbed up the deck stairs.
"It seems our business in Kirkwall will be harder than expected. The Carta already know we're coming."
"The Carta?" Said Scaea. "Did they send the Crows? Why would the Carta hire other assassin's and why send them after us? They have plenty of their own anyway."
"Yes and yes to answer the first two. For hiring the Antivan Crows, it seems it was a debt or something. Whether a debt between the groups or simply individual members, I'm not sure. Their documents were encrypted and my translation is sketchy. Knowing the answer to the last would be the most help. Sadly I have no clue why they sent the assassins. The Inquisition has had run-ins with the groups of the Carta before, but nothing that wasn't business. Business that I thought this group might look past." Replied Drakk.
"Whatever their reasons, obviously they're out to get us." Said Deakial. "What do we do now? Our two missions will be that much harder, but Scaea's would be suicide." Drakk scratched his chin and hummed.
"Perhaps not. The Carta here likely don't know Scaea is a member of the Inquisition. It could possibly still be pulled off."
"No. It's too risky..." Scaea held her arm in front of the grey skinned mage.
"Easy Horns. I've been in tighter spots." She grinned. "On more than several occasions. Besides, I can handle myself." The kossith nodded.
"Then it's settled." Said Drakk. "We continue."
In several hours the galleon sailed gently past the outcropping that held Kirkwall's lighthouse and between the two metallic statues called The Twins. The water got rougher as they passed down the narrow channel of black cliffs. Shags and gulls flapped about far above, screeching for their nightly meal. The passage opened into a large basin of water. On the far side stood the remains of the fearsome Gallows, once a Tevinter slave dungeon then a prison of a different kind for the mages years later. Now it stood abandoned. Surviving mages from the Kirkwall uprising had long since fled, and more recently the Templars had left the isolated compound under mysterious circumstances. The galleon pulled to the right, towards the Lowtown Docks. One of the least damaged areas of the city, still in bustling trade. They docked as the sun began to low over the great Sundermount in the distance.