Chapter 1: A Mother's Love
"So that is the Temple of Sacred Ashes…" A male voice said from the cover of the trees. His hood was obscuring his face but he had an intricate bow on his back and a hip quiver. He had a forest green scarf around his neck. He had a chest plate that had a delicate design, and fur lace shoulder pads. He wore a dark long sleeved shirt underneath with thick gloves and bracers with the same design on his chestplate. He had a thick leather belt with various pouches. He had on tight pants with greaves and knee pads, his feet slightly covered but his toes were out. He took small strides on the cliff face, watching as more Mages and Templars gathered together and walked toward the building.
"Nellas!" He turned around swiftly and saw another hooded person coming toward him. They had a long, dark leather vest, with a belt tightly wound around their waist and a loosely wrapped cloth scarf around their neck. They had chainmail on their arms and legs with the elbow pit and the back of their knees without any for easier movement. They had sturdy boots though it only went to their ankles and left them barefooted as it is for the Dalish. They took off their hood and she had dark, short, choppy hair that moved with the wind as it spiked up naturally. Her ears stuck out very noticeably and her tattoo was grass green, covering her forehead and around her cheek bones. It made her very emerald eyes stand out far greater. She let out an exasperated sigh.
"How many times must I tell you not to go near the Temple?" She rubbed her face.
"Ir abelas, Mamae." Nellas said sheepishly. She held out her hand to her son, showing how her gloves and bracers covered her chainmail while leaving her hands free though in the mercy of the freezing mountain.
"We are scouting for our people. We can't have the enemy know of our relationship. Remember to call me Elera, da'len." Elera reminded him gently. "Come, we have spent enough time here. It's time to go and meet with the others." Nellas nodded as he followed his mother. She put her hood over her head and he noticed how her daggers shined right behind her. The young man couldn't help but look back toward the Temple.
"Ma…I mean, Elera, why are we treating this meeting, these humans, as important?" Nellas asked, catching up to his mother.
"We do not know what decision they will reach in this 'Conclave' of theirs. After the last one, our people knew that we had to keep a closer ear to their politics. This will inevitably change their world and influence ours, especially yours." Elera stopped and turned to her son, giving him a soft look. He almost reached her height, just a few inches more. She gently took off his hood as his straight bob danced in the wind, giving his blonde hair highlights from the sun. His face bare as he hasn't gone through his rite of adulthood to earn his vallaslin. Elera caressed her son's face, a sad expression played out. Her son was a mage and she could not bare to think any one of those Templars ever killing him. She will not let them have him caged either. She was here to secure his future more than anything.
"Mamae?" He wondered, chiding himself mentally for not remembering to call her by name. Elera sighed and put his hood up.
"Come, we are wasting time." Elera continued down the mountain swiftly and Nellas followed her. Their footsteps light and fast, their experiences in mountains added to their nimbleness. Soon they were at a cliff overlooking the village of Haven, the headquarters of the humans behind the Conclave. Elera stopped and Nellas almost ran into her. She crouched down, put her hands around her mouth, and expertly did an owl call. Their ears twitched as they heard a similar call. Elera gave Nellas a confidant smile as they walked through the forest into a small clearing with people with similar armor.
"Lethallan, it's good to see you." A male elf took off his hoods as did everyone else.
"Yes, sorry for the wait, Fennas. I found this one sneaking his way toward the Temple, again." Elera deadpanned after apologizing. The other scouts looked at Nellas and he felt his ears twitch with embarrassment.
"I know you would like to join but we can't until we have everyone here." Fennas mentioned.
"Yes…" Nellas mumbled.
"What do you mean? Haven't those from the Lavellan clan come?" Elera wondered with annoyance.
"No." Fennas sighed and shook his head. "They had another delay. It seems there are still many patrols of rogue Templars and Mages surrounding the area."
"We can't wait any longer. Sooner or later, this Conclave will start." Elera started while Nellas did an inward sigh and walked further from the talks. He leaned against a tree and looked down toward Haven. His mother was wary about the humans but didn't hate them like the others. Nellas found himself more curious of them than anything. He never had much of an interaction with them besides the few merchants that they found on his mother's travels. She was what the humans called an archaeologist, someone who studies the ancient past. Even if his mother wasn't a mage, she still found their history fascinating.
From when he was young, it was always moving from one clan to another, looking for the next ruins. He spent those times watching his mother scribbling furiously with papers scattered everywhere and journals open everywhere. Of course those places were not as safe as they should be for a child growing up. He had his fair share of scares with giant spiders, undead, and the rare demonic spirits. When he was 10 years of age, he had discovered his talent by accidentally moving the earth to crush a nest of spiders from a random jump scare.
His mother was proud but was soon scared. Not of him, no. She loved him with all her heart but his gift had to be nurtured by their Clan Keeper who died with the rest in Kirkwall. Even so, she would have to give him up to a clan to be their first, separating them. His mother wouldn't let him go. All they had were each other since their clan was gone.
"Then we send at least one person. Their Divine must already be here." Fennas mentioned.
"It's risky. I'd rather go as a group." Elera fidgeted with her hands.
"Then two scouts and then we wait. Once Clan Lavellan comes, we relay them the information we gathered." Fennas suggested. Elera bit her lip before scratching her head.
"Fine. Until then, pick your people. I shall continue reconnaissance on the shem's village." Elera crossed her arms
"It is dangerous going alone. They have already recognized your Dalish armor." Fennas glared.
"Don't worry." Elera smirked and put her hand on Nellas shoulder, shaking him out of reverie. "Nellas will protect me, right?" She smiled confidently at him. He swelled proudly and nodded vigorously.
"Mamae will be protected by me." Nellas bowed. Fennas laughed and Elera face palmed.
"My name Nellas, not mamae." She groaned.
"I'm sorry!" Nellas said meekly.
"Well if that is all, then we'll continue forward to the Temple. Stay well Lethallan." Fennas said, putting his hood up with the others behind him.
"You as well, lethallin." Elera bowed in respect as they walked off. She gave a disappointed sigh before groaning loudly and rubbing her face. "I swear, this is the reason why I do most of these things alone. Never on time, not enough help, Creators help them." She shook her head and paced. Nellas chuckled as it was something his mother did when she was frustrated. He remembers how she spent a near hour pacing all around a statue of Fen'Harel when she discovered something about him. "Well, there is no use groaning about things that are past." She shrugged.
"You always groan about the past mamae, especially in your notes." Nellas laughed. She gave him a pout before putting on a mischievous grin. She stalked over and grabbed him in a chokehold before messing his hair wildly. "Mamae! Stop! I finally got it straight!"
"I do not see why you spend so much time on this hair. Just let it stick out like mine. At least yours was saved after your little fire accident." Elera laughed then sighed, rubbing a lock of her hair. Nellas blushed as he remember burning off most of her long and beautiful hair, then fully ruining it with his mediocre cutting.
"I didn't mean it…" He mumbled into his mother's arms. She hummed slightly but Nellas soon found himself leaving his mother's embrace. He was 15 years old, almost a man. He wasn't supposed to still feel comfort by his mother's hugs.
"I know da'len. Come, after this disappointing meeting, I need a stiff drink." Elera shimmied down the forest onto the Pilgrim's Trail with Nellas following after her. They arrived at the gates which were open to anyone although most noticed their distinct dress. While his mother put on her famous glare to keep them away, Nellas was looking at those that were staring at them. There were a few whispers that his ears managed to pick up upon, mostly bedtime horror stories about the Dalish. He didn't care though. This young elf knew his true history and his people.
"Ma…Elera." Nellas said and his mother stopped just before they reached the tavern.
"What is it Nellas?" Elera wondered.
"I saw that they hired a blacksmith. I was wondering if I could observe how they make their weapons." Nellas said with a straight face.
"But why? We do not need their techniques for our people. You do remember how Varathorn crafted us our proud armor from ironbark?" Elera crossed her arms.
"Elera you really need to be more flexible. There is nothing wrong wanting to expand my world is there?" Nellas gave her his winning smile. He saw his mother's face soften and he inwardly shouted in victory.
"Well…I guess there isn't anything wrong with learning something new but keep a low profile." Elera gave in as Nellas turned before she knocked his head.
"Ow." He rubbed the spot she hit.
"But do not use this as an opportunity to go near the Conclave, you understand me?" She glared at her son.
"I won't do it again, I promised." Nellas nodded.
"Ok, go on now. I expect you back before sunset." Elera said, going back to the tavern. Of course, she had no real reason to doubt her son. Not once has he disobeyed something as dangerous of this. Elera hummed as she went into the tavern and Nellas stood outside.
She forgot to realize that Nellas is an adolescent who will be disobeying their parents even with the best of warnings. Nellas went out of the gates and saw the blacksmith working away. He smirked and went back to the trail before going up to the forests and following the way back to the Conclave.
Elera yawned as she found the incessant gossip of the humans irritating. What she wouldn't give to go find her pack up in the mountains. At least she would have her journals of elvish writings to study though she doubts that a tavern would allow her mess around a table. She works best with clutter after all.
"Um here you go." A shy waitress gave her a tankard of something foul. Elera sighed, is this really what they can offer? Oh well, she needed something to do and drinking was one thing she was good at. She opened one of her pouches and gave the human girl the coin needed for the drink. The girl nodded sheepishly before leaving.
"Shems…" Elera rolled her eyes. She sipped at her drink, allowing it to dull her senses slightly. Once she got the answer from the Conclave on whether the mage prisons will be back or not, Elera is swiftly going back to her ruins. She was spending way too much time with humans and her own kind.
'And Marethari always wondered why I never spent time with anyone besides her and Merrill. Everyone else just gets too annoying for my tastes.' She thought and drank the last of what was in her cup. She looked outside and saw that the sun was going low. 'I might as well go see what Nellas is doing at least.' She got up from her seat, her emerald eyes held onto the door, her ears twitching at the rumors flying around. The mother wondered if there was anything else the shems could do besides gossip. At her distraction, she ran into someone who was coming in and she was going out.
"Excuse me." She deadpanned and saw that she had run into a dwarf. He had his hair up in a half tail and was missing his signature beard.
"No worries here." His gruff voice said and she nodded while going out just as a ruckus started in the tavern. She rolled her eyes, knowing that most humans just didn't have their head on right. As she walked toward the gate, an enormous explosion occurred. The sound reverberated in her skull to the point where she felt her drums pop and her head started to ache from it. Her emerald eyes looked up as a giant rift opened in the sky with green meteors coming from it.
Elera unconsciously took a few steps back as people started to scream and panic. It was something she couldn't even believe. The ruins she visited would have open rifts but nothing like this. After the initial shock wore off, there was only one thing that she could think of: Where is Nellas? She gasped, 'He couldn't have, could he?' She saw the beardless dwarf come out of the tavern and mumble to himself.
"I'm sorry for disrupting you but I have to know, did you see another Dalish? A young man with blonde hair and the same eyes as mine?" She asked frantically. The dwarf's eyes shined with realization.
"Yeah…he was headed down the trail…" He said softly. Elera felt like a bucket of cold water was splashed over her. Her eyes widened as she saw the rift grow larger.
"Nellas…" She whispered as she ran from the village, hearing the dwarf's shouts behind her. She ran down the trail, not caring if the humans saw her. 'Not him, no, please not him!' She thought then she saw humans fighting a losing battle against demons. She grabbed her daggers and ran over. She used the freezing trail to her advantage to quickly maneuver herself behind the demons. A shade looked over its shoulder to only have her dagger impale its only eye. She ran her blade up, cutting its head in half.
Another shade came by but Elera leapt out of the way only for the human to shield bash it. It became distracted and she rammed both of her daggers into its chest while kicking it into the human's sword.
"Oh thank Andraste that you came along-" The human came toward before she grabbed his armor.
"Please have you seen a young elf with blonde hair and emerald eyes like mine! I have to know!" Her panic showing in her voice.
"Um uh! I! well," They started.
"He's my son!" She shouted. The other warrior, who was a woman, gently grasps her hand on Elera's shoulder.
"I saw him at the beginning of the trail before this all started. He seemed to take the forest after a while. I'm sorry." She said. Elera gasped as the world seemed to sway beneath her feet.
"No…no…I told him not to…I told him to stay here." She whimpered.
"The first report we got was that…there were no survivors in the Temple or surrounding area." The man said. Elera lost strength in her legs and fell on the ground.
"He…he's my child…He's my son…I only have him." Elera shook as her hands trailed over her belly, the place that held him for 10 months. "Mythal, Sylaise, Dirthamen, Falon'Din, Ghilan'nain, June, Elgar'nan…Even Fen'Harel…please, Creators…" She doubled over, tears flowing freely as her heart of a mother clearly denied his death.
'Find my son.'
Nellas wandered through the blizzard, the snow freezing his face. He felt like he couldn't go on and knelt in the snow. Walking was hard, thinking was hard, breathing was hard. The snow felt soft to the touch and Nellas lied down. 'Yeah, maybe I should just sleep here…' Nellas thought before a wolf cry sounded through. He gasped and got up, letting the snow surrounding him fall.
A large black wolf with clear blue eyes looked at him through the snowstorm. Nellas felt no fear and he knew fear from accidentally finding demons through his walks of the fade. It reared back its head and howled, loud and clear. Nellas felt a warmth growing in his chest, shaking off the cold from the snowstorm that seemed to clear. The wolf kept on howling and Nellas put his hands around his mouth.
He howled as well.
Elera was a machine with her daggers, her shining eyes were completely dull as another wraith died at her hands. The people around her said their thanks but she only knew to keep on going to the next target. She had nothing else. Her brother was missing, her clan was massacred, and her only friend left to guide flat-ears in the Free Marches. She only had Nellas and now the world has taken him as well.
She ended up at the makeshift camp at the gates leading to the Temple. The great rift, a Breach as they were now calling it, glowed eerily against the dark of night. A redhead was covering the reports with crows coming in from all over the place. Another dark-haired woman was rallying the soldiers, and a blonde hair man was leading another legion of soldiers to fight the demons that were coming from the Breach.
She had to see it for herself, the epicenter of the blast. Elera found the bodies of her compatriots. They weren't at the Temple but the blast shot out shrapnel which killed them. Elera prayed for their souls to peacefully be taken by Falon'Din. Because of her state of mind, she was able to successfully use the scrambling camp to her advantage and followed the blonde human. Elera pulled her hood over her head and followed the rest of the soldiers. Smaller rifts were opening up all over the place, most near the Breach itself.
One such rift was being kept busy by rotating soldiers as they had no one else that can close them. Elera has only seen rifts being opened by old magical runes, once you destroyed the runes and fixed the tear, then things should quiet down but this? Elera, for all the knowledge that she gathered over the years, nothing can explain this. They crossed the door of the now destroyed Temple. She saw bodies that were charred beyond all identification.
'How could I even find…No, he's still alive. I know it!' Elera gritted her teeth as a green comet shot down on the ground. She blended in with the shadows and allowed the soldiers to fight against the demons. She wasn't here to help them. All she could see in the low light was charred bodies, none that were whole. Elera felt her heart twist painfully. It was hard to hold onto the hope that her son was still alive.
Then, in her moment of doubt, she saw a tear form near the entrance to the Breach and a single body falling onto the ground. The light shined and she saw blonde hair on that body. Everything in the world pointed that such a miracle could not have happened right in front of her but every bone in her body assured her that it was Nellas, her flesh and blood. She saw the humans gathering around him and her dull mind was replaced with anger.
The ground underneath tore her calloused feet but she didn't care. She did a high kick and brought down one soldier before kicking him in the face. Another slashed at her but she elbowed his gut before catching his chin in an upper cut. The last one managed to catch her off guard and slashed at her arm. It got caught on the chainmail, no blood but a nasty bruise in the morning. She crouched and headbutted the soldier's groin. He went down with a whimper and Elera ran to the body. She turned him over and there he was.
His pallor was bad, pale, he had shallow breathing, and his eyes were fluttering like mad. Elera had to take him to a healer but she had him back. Nellas was here, on the ground, his face in her hands, and was warm and alive! She held back a sob before planting a soft kiss on his head. Then the Breach pulsated, causing Nellas to scream, and his hand to twitch madly with the same green light. Elera gasped as she went to touch it before Nellas screamed again.
"Step away from them!" Someone shouted behind her. Elera glared at the blonde man that she saw was leading the soldiers. "My name is Cullen Rutherford and I order you to leave that man alone!"
"Your shem name does not hold any power over me. You will not take him!" Elera screamed as she took out her daggers. She didn't want to kill the shems as they are the only ones that were tackling the demon problem. She could see the practicality of their offense, even if they were losing more soldiers every hour.
Cullen held his shield in front of him, keeping his blade low as Elera circle him, keeping her eyes on her prey. Honey colored eyes met green ones and Elera did the first blow. Her feet gripped the ground as she launched her body at him. She did a high kick but Cullen deflected with his shield and tried for a slash but she twisted her body to avoid it. Elera tried stabbing on his right rib but he was more dexterous than he looked. Cullen twisted and caught her in a shield bash. Elera used the momentum to flip herself away.
Her nose freely bled and she panted heavily. Elera found her son again and this man was willing to fight her for that. She saw a green pulse underneath him and out came a rage demon. It roared at the both of them. They caught their eyes and knew that they had to fight together. The rage demon blew out fire but Cullen deflected it with his shield and Elera sneaked right behind to cut the burning flesh of the demon. She had stopped for its flame body heated up her weapons. It tried swiping at her but Cullen bashed it with his full weight and stabbed his sword through the demon. It bubbled into the ground.
Elera looked at Cullen and he at her. Perhaps she was too hasty. If this shem called off the fight for the demon instead of letting it catch her, then maybe he could be reasoned with. Elera put away her daggers and was about to say something until she got hit on the side of the head, another of his soldier's took the opportunity to attack. She gasped as she fell to the ground, feeling warm blood running down her scalp. Her vision wasn't clear as she saw more of his men going near Nellas.
"No…" She whispered, crawling over the sharp rocks to get to him, not caring that she was being cut apart. She heard shouts but the mother reached out her hand to the son. The mark on his hand pulsed again, his screams tearing her heart apart. She grabbed his wrist.
"Da'vhenan, da'len…" Her eyes filled with tears and she saw the glint of many swords surrounding her. She saw the man called Cullen. There was doubt in his eyes. "He's my son!" Her voice rasped out. "Please, please don't kill him." She sobbed. "He's…he's my son." She sobbed and slowly crawled to Nellas' body. She covered him with her own body, the only thing she could do to protect him. She wailed into Nellas' chest, her vision slowly blacking out from the relief and blood loss. Elera felt a hand on her shoulder and she weakly looked up. Honey eyes.
"We won't kill him." Cullen said softly. She smiled and let the darkness take her, finally content that she was with her son.
"Commander what should we do?" A soldier that was taken down earlier said. Cullen saw that she had fought but didn't kill. She was only willing to kill him because of the fact that he was nearing her son. Then Cullen saw that she had helped him with the rage demon and even stopped attacking. There was no doubt in his mind that what she was saying was true but this young man, almost boy, came out from a tear when everyone on the Temple died.
"We take them both in and you tell Sister Nightingale and Seeker Cassandra what you saw here. Get a stretcher for both of them and take them to the dungeon!" Cullen commanded, his soldier's scrambling for what he asked. The mark on Nellas' hand pulsed again and his eyes fluttered open, mumbling about the Grey ones and a black wolf. Cullen rubbed his face as the Breach opened further.
"Maker, help us all."
Beta'd by FearaNightmare and Syutaku!
Hello everyone! You might have seen me around with my "Our Days" saga which is currently being rewritten. Not that I'm going to stop working on that it's just this dynamic wouldn't stop hounding at me! I've seen twin Heralds, a young boy like 5 years old, pairs of Heralds and every sort of Herald under the moon but none that had Mother/Son or Father/Daughter dynamic. After having the story blow up in my head, I decided, why the hell not!? Anyway, I hope you liked the first chapter. This will update at a weekly basis so next friday will be the next one!
Also a poll with later be up for romance. Nellas is too young and, at most, will have a crush on someone but nothing towards romance. His mom is fair game though. The poll will be up after 4 chapters!
Please Review! :D