Jun 21, 2021 1:01 PM
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Miraculously, the six of them make it to Ostagar without further surprises.

As they approach the gates of the ancient fortress, a blond man in heavy armor comes out to greet them.

"Ho there, Duncan!"

"King Cailan? I didn't expect--"

"A royal welcome? I was beginning to worry you'd miss all the fun!"

"Not if I could help it, your Majesty."

"Then I'll have the mighty Duncan at my side in battle after all! Glorious!" He looks at the other five travelers. "Did you really find this many recruits?"

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"Oh, I'm not a recruit," says Elissa. "I'm here on other business. Hoping to speak with you, in fact."

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He looks at her again, this time actually paying attention to her face instead of just noticing that she existed as a member of a headcount. "Lady Cousland! This is a surprise."

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"It won't be a pleasant one, I'm afraid. Rendon Howe killed my parents and took Highever by force, and I'm here to tell my brother - he should've arrived within the last few days, bringing the Cousland troops to fight the darkspawn."

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"Howe--my greatest condolences, my lady. I swear that when we're done here, he will be brought to justice. Your brother is out scouting in the forest, he arrived a few days ago."

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"Thank you, your majesty."

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"You're quite welcome. We've slain quite a lot of darkspawn, but alas, there's been no sign of an Archdemon."

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"Is that bad?" inquires the six-foot-tall elf.

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"...Maker you're tall. Are you an elf? Yes, you must be. I had no idea elves could get that tall."

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"We usually don't."

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"Don't worry, Shiral and I are regular sized."

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"So I see!" the King says, blinking at the two other elves.

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"Hello," says Shiral.

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"Hello!" He looks over his shoulder. "I'd love to stay and talk, but unfortunately I think Loghain is anxious to bore me with his strategies."

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"Good luck with that."

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He waves and heads off.

"Congratulate me, Elissa, I didn't tell him off for being an idiot."

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"Congratulations," says Elissa. "I'll see if I can do anything about him."

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"Good."

"The Joining should be undertaken soon," Duncan says to the recruits. "I don't know if Ambrose has yet returned from his recruitment trip from the Circle of Magi. If he has, you should seek him out sooner rather than later. You're free to explore the camp as you will, although I ask that you don't leave it. Once everyone is ready the Joining can begin."

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"What does Ambrose look like?"

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Duncan describes a young man with curly brown hair in Warden's armor.

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"Let's go look for him, I guess," says Tev. "Elissa, are you coming?"

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"Sure, why not."

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"It'll be an adventure. Or something."

Daveth shrugs in agreement.

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Elissa laughs.

The camp is nestled among the ruins of the fortress that once stood here, tents pitched between cracked flagstones. There's the Wardens' tent, and the various sections of the army - she looks, but can't see the Cousland banner anywhere - and over there, the Chantry tents, and past that the mages, and then the infirmary, and then -

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"There he is," says Shiral, pointing.

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Sitting nearby are what appears to be two mages.

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