I meant this to be a bit quicker
, but, well, "you can't always get what you waaaant..." Quick or not, it's still silly.
Prompted by Corker's suggestion, "DAO Dog meets DA2 Dog." XD The situation probably isn't canonically impossible (with *my* canon, I mean), though it would change the encounter later in Act 3 a little. ;D I do imagine this happening in Act 3, though. ;)
References to events in DA2 are so vague that I don't think this needs a spoiler warning. ^^;Dogs of LowtownAuthor: jenovaWord Count:
It was a rare day when some emergency wasn't demanding Tristran Hawke's attention, and perhaps an even rarer one when the same could be said for Kirkwall's formidable Captain of the Guard. Aveline had wanted to find some sort of gift for Donnic, and after turning the Hightown market inside out, they'd picked up Fenris and Varric and headed to Lowtown to hopefully find something more "sensible". Tristran had wanted to point out that gifts certainly didn't have to be sensible, but he decided that it would take a better man than he to challenge Aveline's notions of proper gift-giving.
It was a pleasant enough spring day, and he'd thought nothing of bringing his mabari, Morren, with them — it wasn't as if he needed to keep him on a leash, after all. The hound could use some fresh air, and like any other dog, he enjoyed catching up with the canine "news" left by signposts, corners, and the like. Besides, as Varric pointed out, the sight of the immense dog tended to keep pickpockets at bay.
Of course, it was Hawke's luck that nothing was ever so simple. One moment, he was browsing a trinket stand, looking for something for Bethany; the next, he was chasing Morren as the hound galloped through the marketplace, barking with an unfamiliar note of excited query in his voice. The others quickly fell in behind him, used to sudden trouble popping up, but they reached the neighborhood near the Hanged Man unchallenged and not particularly enlightened.
"What's this about?" Aveline asked as they slowed to a fast walk, in a tone that implied she didn't really expect an answer.
"Damned if I know. I didn't see him chasing anything, but that's how he acted — like he saw a rabbit or something," Tristran replied anyway. Farther ahead, Morren turned a corner, and in a moment there was another outburst of barking.
"That sounds like two
dogs," Fenris observed, and that was enough to spur Tristran into a run again, but what he saw when he rounded the corner halted him in his tracks.
Two elven men stood in the narrow lane. They both wore light leather armor that seemed well-made, to Tristran's eye, and were obviously armed. The shorter of the two had golden-brown skin and blonde hair; the way he tensed and didn't
obviously go for his daggers when Tristran and his companions rounded the corner was a warning that he was not a combatant to take lightly. The other elf, fair-skinned and dark-haired, had a sturdy longbow slung over his shoulder and seemed less on edge than his compatriot. His attention was more focused on the two mabari standing in front of him, docked tails wagging identically as they panted at him with their tongues lolling out.
Tristran's first outraged thought was that the elves meant to steal
Morren, and perhaps sell him, along with the other hound, to the highest bidder, but after a moment he realized how ludicrous an idea that was. Mabari had minds of their own and were almost impossible to part from their imprinted masters, and neither of the elves seemed to have enough substance to restrain a full-grown war hound if it really wanted to leave.
And anyway, the dark-haired elf didn't look like much of a smuggler. He spoke to the two dogs with a bemused smile on his face, and only took note of Tristran's group when the other elf gestured for him to pay attention.
"Ah, this fellow must be yours," he said with a slightly sheepish smile. Tristran was surprised to note that he was a Fereldan. "I'm sorry, he must have come looking for my Ovden." He reached out and gave the unfamiliar mabari a scritch on the top of his head, then cautiously offered the same to Morren. "I hope he didn't pull you away from anything urgent."And what if he did?
Tristran thought wryly. But no harm had been done, and it wasn't really the elves' fault. "Only if you consider shopping urgent," he said with an easy grin. He gave a short whistle that caused Morren to quickly turn and look at him — although surely the hound had heard him the moment he walked up the lane — with an attentive expression. "Get over
here," he muttered exasperatedly. Looking somewhat shamefaced, Morren trotted to his side and sat at heel.
"Oh, I am sure there are times when shopping is a deadly serious task," the other elf said with a charming smile. His rich accent was clearly Antivan. "Whatever the case may be, we apologize for the trouble." Next to him, the dark-haired elf nodded in agreement.
"Ahh, it's no trouble," Tristran said with a wave of his hand. He glanced at the strangers' mabari again, meaning to ask how they'd acquired him, when the Antivan elf spoke up, almost as if he'd guessed Tristran's intent.
"As much as I am sure you Fereldan fellows would like nothing better than to discuss the pedigrees of your hounds" — and he managed to say this with just enough good humor to take away any sting of implied insult — "we do have a ship to catch. Si, cielo?
" The last bit was addressed to the other elf, who smiled in such a way in reply that Tristran finally realized they must be lovers. The thought made him glance at Fenris, whose expression was unreadable.
"Well. Nice meeting you, then," was all Tristran could think to say, somewhat at a loss. The two elves smiled, murmured their farewells, and retreated quickly enough to be just a little suspicious. His gut feeling — something he'd learned to trust more often than not — was that they weren't bad folk, but what were they hiding?
"Not too many elves with one of those war dogs, I'd think," Varric mused as they sat around their usual table in the Hanged Man. His tone drew the attention of the others, and he grinned, a storyteller with a suddenly rapt audience.
"Someone you know?" Fenris asked in mild disbelief.
"Nah," the dwarf said with a dismissive wave. "Well, only by reputation." He gave Tristran a significant look, and in a moment the pieces fell into place. A not-so-poor Fereldan elf with a mabari? One who Varric might have heard of?
"You don't mean..."
Varric shrugged, smirking at Aveline's thoughtful frown and Fenris's raised eyebrow. "We'll have to ask Anders, eh?"
That seemed to tip off the Guard Captain, finally. "But... what would the Hero of Ferelden be doing in Kirkwall — Lowtown, no less? And who was the Antivan with him?"
are questions I have no answers for." Varric shook his head. "Maybe Blondie'll know all that, too. Let's go pay him a visit, eh?"
Predictably, the suggestion made Fenris scowl mightily, but the two former Fereldans were keen on solving the mystery; in a few minutes, they were heading into Darktown, a chastened mabari at their heels.