Oct 24, 2021 10:02 PM
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The shield shimmers much more enthusiastically! The "paint" seethes and turns blue, and the heraldry twists itself into a silver star.

The teddy bears flare up, growing into enormous warped demonic forms. The shield twitches in Tev's hands.
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"Fuck!" yelps Tev. "What?!" He clutches the shield and backs away from the arcane bears.

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The bears snarl and come closer! They are angry bears.

The shield twitches very insistently in Tev's hands! It appears to want him to do something.
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"What the fuck?"

It is very hard to interpret a twitching shield! But fuck it, he's running out of ideas here and he does not want to try punching these things. He hurls the shield at the nearest bear, just like throwing pie dishes in an alley.

The bear is decapitated by a silver-blue blur that bounces off two walls and the floor and comes whizzing back at him. He leaps into the air to catch it, and when he throws it at the next one he accounts for the bounce better, and it comes right back to his hand.
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The bears are predictably distressed by this! They pause, but elect to continue their charge.

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On the next throw, the shield takes the head off one bear and a leg off another. Then they're too close for throwing to work so well. He seats the shield on his arm and bashes one of the four remaining bears in the face with it, very very hard.

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The bashéd bear is thoroughly distressed! It collapses in on itself unpleasantly.

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"I like you," Tev says to the shield. "I'm keeping you."

He hits another bear, this time with the edge. It cuts remarkably well for something that isn't actually sharp. And he has noticed it never cuts him when he touches the edge. Apparently it likes him back.
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It does like him! It's thoroughly appreciative of his dedication to crushing his enemies.

The two remaining bears decide to flank him, displaying remarkably existent intelligence.
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"For fuck's sake," says Tev.

He shield-bashes the bear on his left and brings the shield around to slice at the other bear's face.
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The bear dodges! The bear strikes! The bear's paw collides with the shield, which abruptly interposes itself between the bear and Tev! The paw does not come out very well from this.

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Tev smashes this bear in the face. The bear goes down.

He looks around. Is it worth staying here any longer? Probably not. There might be more fucked-up magic bears.

Shirtless, barefoot, shield on his arm, he walks out.
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No fucked-up magic bears appear on his way out.

In the street outside, there is a human. His skin is dark, his beard impressive. He has a sword and a dagger crossed over his back, and an unreasonable number of belts on his torso. He's being led around by Valendrian.

Valendrian takes a moment to recognize Tev. "Ah. Sentevlan. I... should really be surprised. I am not surprised. What in Andraste's name happened to you?"
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"I... don't know," he says. "Some man pretending to be a beggar grabbed me off the street, and I woke up in a... horrible room. There were mages... blood mages, sacrificing whole cages of us... and then this happened," he gestures at his altered body.

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Valendrian's eyes widen in shock. "Blood mages? Sacrificing- Maker preserve us. I knew that some were missing, but... this is not good. Duncan, what can be done about this?"

Duncan sighs. "This is... troubling. But the Blight must take priority. I must go to Ostagar, but I will make sure the guards are informed of this and it is made clear that I expect results."

"The guards? Duncan, they would leave every elf in the city rotting in the streets but for the smell!"

"That may be true, old friend, but they know well enough to fear me. I will return from Ostagar in a few weeks, and if one elf has gone missing then the guards know there will be hell to pay. And I will tell Loghain of this; I know that I can trust him to defend the people of this realm."
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"Who are you?"

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"I am Duncan, commander of the Grey Wardens of Ferelden," says Duncan, taking in Tev's appearance with the eye of a man who knows what he is looking for. "Currently recruiting potential Wardens to fight the impending Blight. And yourself?"

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"Tev Rasna," he says. "...Can I join?"

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"Son, you apparently just killed blood mages and trained mercenaries in a building full of demons and you don't have a scratch on you," Duncan says seriously. "If you didn't want to join, I would be forced to carry you to Ostagar myself. I can only thank you for making this easier on my back."

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"Yeah, I think I weigh about three times what I did this morning," Tev says agreeably. "All right. You have yourself a recruit."

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Duncan grins and claps a hand on Tev's shoulder. "Excellent. What preparations do you want to make before heading out? Do you have a family or loved ones you want to say goodbye to?"

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He shakes his head. "I could go get my change of clothes, but I don't think they fit me anymore. And I think the blood mages did something with my shoes. Do Grey Warden recruits get shoes?"

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"Traditionally, yes. I believe shirts are included in the recruitment package as well. And perhaps a sword, unless you'd prefer to just bash your enemies with your priceless artifact."

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"I like my priceless artifact. But I'll take a sword if you'll teach me how to use it."

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"I think we will, if only for appearances' sake. You can still mostly bash your opponents with the artifact."

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