Oct 25, 2020 6:38 AM
Karl, Masque, Rae and Nova return to Kirkwall
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“It’s so good to see you both again!” Karl says, grin faltering a little when he sees Cia’s strained smile. 

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"Freedom seems to agree with you. With all of you."

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Karl laughs once, grin back firmly in place. “I’ve got a life stretching out in front of me now, it’s like nothing I’ve ever felt. And you’re both a part of that. Thank you so much.”

He looks past Cia, into the clinic. “Is Anders...busy?” He sounds very hopeful that he isn’t. 

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"Yeah, about that-"

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"He's off on some expedition into the Deep Roads," Ilska says before Cia can make it sound like Anders is dead or worse, in the Gallows.

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“He’s not here? But-“ Karl grasped for a reason that Anders would return to the place he’d said in so many letters was a living nightmare. “Why did he leave you two behind? Is he back with the Wardens?”

And there was a thrill of fear. If Anders was a Warden again, Karl had lost him. 

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"Woman came here looking for maps. Anders decided he had to go to make sure she didn't tell the Templars about us."

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"Didn't seem much like a Warden."

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“Left you here to keep you safe. Sounds like him, the self-sacrificing martyr,” Karl says, and even though he meant it as a joke, his words come out a little angry, and very worried. Any body going into the Deep Roads who wasn’t a Warden is mad, and if they ran into darkspawn. 

“How long ago? And where did they enter?” Karl is already forming a plan to go after him. 

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Ilska catches his anger, and narrows her eyes.

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Blaise shies away slightly from him as well.

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"No." Raeli's voice is firm.

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"If Anders is down there I'm going after him. I'm not going to lose him."

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"And would Anders be happy if you threw your life away on a fool's errand to try and find him? The Deep Roads are a labyrinth."

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"I can't stand here and wait to find out if he's-" 

He can't even say it.

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"It wouldn't do much good. They left nearly three weeks ago."

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"Three weeks?" Karl can't keep the devastation out of his voice. He's got no chance of finding Anders without knowing exactly where in the Deep Roads they were, or what they were searching for. Maybe he could start by asking people about this woman who wanted maps, see where that leads him-

What the void was he thinking? Anders is a trained Grey Warden, he knows how to handle the Deep Roads, Karl is a Circle mage and has always been a Circle mage, living in the forest for three weeks was the most he'd ever done outside. And he thought he was the one that should go down there?

"This woman, can we trust her?" He asks finally.

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"She seemed...reasonable."

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"Reasonable." Karl runs a hand through his hair, feeling like his heart is cracking in two. "Do you know when they were supposed to be back?"

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Cia shrugs. "No. They didn't seem to have a time frame."

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"Could we...wait with you? We could help out. I'm something of a healer, not as good as Anders, but who is?"

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"Yeah. That- that sounds. Good."

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Karl looks over his shoulder. "Rae? Def? Blaise? That okay?"

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"We're good with that," Raeli confirms.

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Blaise shrugs awkwardly. "I- whatever you. Think best?"

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