Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize from the game.
Author's Note: And with this chapter we mark this story as complete. This is your buildup to the sequel. It could have been the 'still alive' song from portal I suppose but it isn't. It is in fact a telling of a past event. As stated before, the sequel may not be what you expected. Also, if parts of this chapter feel a little incoherent or cryptic it's because more or less the whole chapter is from Deimos' perspective. Without further ado, enjoy the final chapter.
Reflection: An Orlesian Prison
Deimos strolled down the streets casually. He had been trailing the prison official for some time now. The prison of course was a fair distance away from the city. Orlais was quite different from Ferelden. He wasn't quite sure what word he was searching for. More luxurious? That was one way of putting it. Far more petty and warmongering certainly. But then, nothing was perfect. This entire situation could have been avoided if he had been a little more careful. But of course, other matters sometimes took precedence. He glanced around; he was certainly in the more elite parts of the city. Only nobles and the elite as far as he could see, servants excluded of course. He knew he didn't look too out of place in his green robes, different certainly but not suspicious.
He smiled as he saw the man turn into a tavern, if that is what you would call it. He was a balding middle aged man who dressed well. Up to date with the latest fashions as everyone here seemed to be. The decadence of the place was physically painful. He followed him in silently. It looked more like a palace than a tavern to be sure. He observed the man sit down at a table alone. That was exactly what he had been hoping for. It made things a lot easier. He walked up to the man, smiled as genuinely as he could before attempting to spark a conversation.
"Excuse me, but aren't you in charge of the prison on the city outskirts?" He asked, draping the words ever so slightly with magic. That servant he had killed in the back alley would last him a little longer.
"Why yes." The man said, turning towards Deimos. "And who might you be?"
"I happen to be a traveler from a far off place. I simply like to collect information that I may keep records of. I was told that if I was to gauge information on crime and punishment, you were the man to come to."
This was the least believable statement he would have to make. It was coated far more thickly with persuasive magic. It helped that he was stroking this man's ego. The man smiled back before replying.
"Certainly. Please, do have a seat."
He liked advertising himself it seemed. Deimos sat down and faced him. He knew how to handle things from this point forward.
"Please, allow me to buy you a drink." Deimos said as he gestured one of the waitresses.
"You are too kind." The official responded but did not raise any further protest.
"After looking at this wonderful nation I can say with certainty that people like you are a great asset. It is you who keep the streets and the nation safe. So allow me to offer my own congratulations." Deimos said warmly, attempting to stroke the man's ego more.
He nodded, clearly enjoying the compliments.
"Tell me; does this prison house prisoners for all crimes? I mean, would it include people accused of say, treason?"
"Our prison has the very best security in the nation. Most of our captives are in fact accused of heinous crimes, treason being one of them."
"I heard something regarding the capture of a young female bard who had been selling military secrets. Would you happen to know anything about that?" Deimos asked, cracking a half smile.
The man faltered for a half second before responding. Deimos caught it; he knew he had come to the right place.
"I'm afraid I have no idea what you're talking about. Perhaps it is simply a rumor."
"Must be." Deimos said dismissively. "I hear the inmates are treated in very humane ways…"
In fact he knew the exact opposite but this wasn't the time to bring any of that up. The waitress brought the drinks and placed them on the table. Deimos gently pushed one of the glasses towards the official. No one saw the tiny sprinkle of powder that fell in the glass. The man before him took a sip before speaking.
"Of course, we would never torture other human beings." He said. "Even the death penalty is given with great hesitation."
The fake sorrow in his voice was painfully obvious. Deimos smiled inside. This was such a disgusting man.
"You must be very well known in Orlais' top circles…"
The conversation continued for a time. The official grew more and more relaxed and distracted. Sensing an opportunity, Deimos struck.
"That red haired bard is extremely beautiful isn't she?" He asked casually.
The man nodded jovially and began to agree before freezing.
"I- uh… about what I said. You see it's a secret of sorts; we don't want people knowing about what she did. So please… if you could forget…" He spoke quickly, stumbling over his words.
"Of course. You need not worry. But where do you hold such a dangerous prisoner?" An excess of hypnotic magic now covered his voice.
His smiled widened as the man explained the location of the cell was deep in the prison's basement. Deimos knew exactly what he was talking about now. He pardoned himself and took his leave, promising never to speak a word of this again. As the door shut behind him, he heard the thud of a body and gasps and shouts. He vanished.
Deimos stood staring at the prison in front of him. This would be easy enough. He could have simply devastated the place but subtlety was an art. He had not brought any fadewalkers with him. He didn't want them to know anything regarding what he intended to do. He himself wasn't sure if this was a good idea but he didn't have much choice. This tiny weakness had to be overcome one way or another. He doubted it would work but it was worth a try. He teleported himself away.
He appeared in a small cell, no windows, only a tiny bit of light streaming from a small opening in the door. No one inside, except a young red haired woman curled up on the floor. She hadn't noticed him yet. His eyes examined her quickly. Her clothes were in rags, burn marks suggested torture with hot iron brands. She also appeared to have been raped several times. So this was what the prison official meant when he had said humane treatment.
A look at her expression indicated minor delirium. She was almost broken, so unlike the Leliana he had trailed before this. Ah well, he supposed his timing was good enough. The bard's eyes looked questioningly at him.
"Who- who are you?"
Her voice was unusually firm for one in her position. He was mildly surprised but also pleased. He had chosen well. He indicated for her to keep her voice down.
"I'm here to help you get out of here."
The distrust in her eyes was clear. It didn't matter to Deimos at that moment. Now he was nervous, this could well be a mistake. But he realized he had no choice. There was just too much similarity. Painful amounts of it in fact.
"But first I would like to speak with you about something. Would you like the world to be at peace forever? That is what I work for you see. Now if you weren't to help with that, there would be no point in setting you free. I am a guardian of this world, this world has always needed guardians, it always will."
Leliana looked on, not entirely conscious as Deimos could make out. But she was hearing it clearly enough.
"All guardians die some day; some guardians become corrupt or make foolish decisions to achieve their goals. We all make errors, and we all look for someone or something more complete to fulfill a legacy that cannot be abandoned."
He was implying certain things falsely but not lying. There were no multiple guardians, perhaps only very few. Two, in a certain sense. And he had succeeded in a most unorthodox manner. Yet, his words needed to hypnotize, he needed to draw this young woman out of her delirium.
"I set you free, you do whatever you wish. But you shall strive for peace and if I might make a request of you one day, I only ask you to consider it seriously. And to consider it without the past impeding your judgment. Consider it seriously even if I ask you to do what I may not be able to."
The bard nodded faintly. Partially in desperation he supposed but her subconscious was replying truly.
"Do you accept my aid, whatever the cost?"
She nodded again. He cut her palm with his knife and let blood flow. There was a minor flash of pain across her face. He turned and the door creaked itself open. The guards outside rushed in and burned to ash. He cast a minor spell of invigoration as the bard grabbed their weapons and prepared to flee.
"Run. But remember, I expect repayment eventually." His voice echoed down the corridor as she ran.
He smiled. He may not have gained a successor so to say. Nor had he gained someone who would help him directly. But perhaps one day, when he was unable to perform an important task, she might do it for him. Insurances were always useful to have.
His earlier words about corrupt guardians struck a chord somewhere. He brushed it away. He wondered if Leliana would escape. Well if she didn't make it she was never as useful as he suspected. But the similarities. Ah, the accursed similarities.
Author's Note: Well, there you go. The sequel should be up soon enough. I haven't finalized that title but that should all be done soon enough. Once again a thanks to all readers and reviewers for being on board for this little journey. It shall continue soon enough. See you all!
To my reviewers:
grover11606: Thanks! Oh and interesting guesses, very interesting. You'll see soon enough :p
interesting2125: Thanks! The conflict coming up may not be as epic as the one presented here but the character arcs are 'bigger' in the sequel. At least, that's what I'm planning...
StarKrazy: Thanks so much! You shouldn't have to wait too long.