Oct 25, 2020 6:08 AM
Anders, Ant and Ira meet new friends and rescue old ones
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They hug him tightly in turn, a little desperate, but mostly content.

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Anders is loathe to let them go, so even when he gently pulls away, he keeps a hand on them both. “Well. Let’s go see what the fine people of Hightown are up to this morning.”

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"Stepping on the people of Lowtown and Darktown and pretending we don't exist?"

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"Obnoxiously ignoring the fact that their entire city was built by slaves?"

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"Being oblivious to pickpockets?"

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“Caring too much for Orlesian fashion that is probably made by elven servants?”

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"Now that's a real crime. What even is Orlesian fashion?!"

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"Oh, I don't know. If I had destroyed an entire culture and built an empire on the ruins, I'd probably dress like I decided to wear everything at once."

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"Every empire is built on the ruins of someone else's culture."

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"Very true, it just smarts a little that it happened to the elves twice. Can't lay down a foundation before another empire comes their bloody way."

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"...Yeah," Ilska agrees. The closer they get to Hightown, the twitchier she gets.

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Anders reaches out to wrap an arm around her. He feels plenty twitchy himself. "I may be Andrastian but I will never understand the Chantry. What possesses someone to constantly tear down cultures they don't understand? And then the mages. Where to even start!"

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"Yeah," she agrees quietly. "-But. Let's not have that rant right in the middle of a load of Chantry-abiding citizens."

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"You're right. Better to go and have it in the Chantry itself. Though what would Karl say if we just got him out and then I was dumped in the Gallows?"

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Cia pokes his side. "No getting yourself dumped in the Gallows. I'm pretty sure Ilska has a plan to get you out, but."

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Anders smiles, but there is a hard glint to his eye. "Don't you worry, I'm far too pretty to get locked up."

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"Can we avoid even risking that?"

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“Am I aging you beyond your years?”

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"Uh-huh. And I'm pretty sure that's our job."

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“We’ve never been a conventional family.” Anders squeezes her shoulder. 

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"Best family though."

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Anders heart thuds happily, and all he can do is smile. 

At least, until the final set of steps to Hightown are before them. 

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Ilska leans a little bit closer into him, trying to be reassuring.

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Anders takes a moment, and a breath, and then starts heading up the stairs. 

These particular ones empty out in the market, across from the Merchant’s Guild.

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Hawke's stood outside, with their back to them.

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