Alright, this story hasn't been updated in AGES and I apologize, but if anyone is still interested, here's the next chapter.


Helen placed the notebook back where she found it, giving a dainty cough as she took out a handful of the letters at random. The first was a large envelope that, from what she could make of the broken seal, was sent from the Orlesian royal court. Thinking back to what was in the notebook, she opened the letter, hastily scanning the loopy penmanship.

The letter appeared to be from the same woman Arabus was sending to search Val Royeaux, someone named Leliana. It looked to be a status report on her search, going on to say that nothing of import had turned up, except apparently the woman had found a gorgeous pair of shoes- Helen had no real idea how that could be related

Picking up the next letter, she started to open it before voices from the hallway caused her heart to skip a beat. Glancing around franticly for a hiding spot, she decided on the wardrobe. Diving in between a beige pair of pants and a bright red jacket, she closed the door, leaving a slight crack to see through.

Arabus and a darkspawn- who she was relatively sure was Messenger- stepped in, causing Helen to suddenly be able to make out their words. "-could just be coincidence, of course, but it seems highly unlikely. If nothing else, it does warrant further investigation."

Helen saw messenger nod while Arabus started pacing. "Of course Commander, shall I be sending the unlearned to watch the Grey Wardens?" The elf shook his head and looked thoughtful.

"No," he replied, "The Wardens would just sense them, causing the endeavor to be more counterproductive than anything. We need to find a way to observe them without-" The elf had stopped and was staring at his desk. Helen stretched her neck to find what was of interest to the elf, only to stop when she realized the notebook was still in the open. Arabus grabbed the edge of the desk for stability and leaned down to see the pendulum arm tray swung down.

Turning from the desk, the ex-warden began stalking around the room, while Messenger followed his movements curiously. The darkspawn started to ask a question, but was shushed by his leader. Helen held her breath as the elf walked past her wardrobe. Suppressing the tickling in her throat heralding a cough, she almost missed the small thump of a rat jumping from his perch and landing on the floor that caused Messenger to jump, but only made the elf spin in place and point his finger at the creature. It had a moment to contemplate the sudden bright light before the bolt of lighting hit it.

Realizing that rat could have easily been her, the young woman in hiding in the wardrobe did her best not to give in to her body's rather persistent demand to be unburden itself with her breakfast. At Messenger's questioning look, Arabus shrugged. Grabbing the rat with a handkerchief and setting it in a chamber pot to be picked up, he said "Sorry, friend. I suppose the Wardens showing up has me a bit paranoid." Walking back to the desk and setting everything back in it's place, he continued, "Although I was quite certain I had closed this. I'll come up with a solution for the wardens momentarily. For now, let us go find something to eat. I don't suppose they will allow us an early supper, do you?"

The talking faded as the pair got farther and farther away from the room, but Helen remained frozen. There was no way she would have survived that bolt had she sneezed, or coughed, or any number of things to startle her captor before that rat did. She had to get out of here and back to civilization, but how? Even if she managed to sneak past the army of darkspawn, they would be on her in a moment, and she was certain Arabus' leniency would not extend that far.

Then the idea struck her. They had just been talking about Grey Wardens! If she could make it to them, they could protect her!

With a new hope, Helen managed to get herself out of the room without an incident, being careful to pass as full of the chainmailed darkspawn as possible on her way back lest they report to their commander and he make the connection of where she was coming from.

Barring any major setbacks, she could begin preparation to leave tomorrow.


As it would turn out, the small cough she had turned into a major setback. She developed a fever overnight. With her sore throat preventing her from calling anyone in her room, she was only discovered when Messenger came in after she did not answer his knock. Finding her this way he quickly fetched his commander who quickly began making a health potion for the sick girl. After drinking the vile tasting stuff she gave him a weak grin. "I didn't know you were a healer."

After deciphering the croak that passed for her voice, the elf smiled at her. "Not much of one. I have the basic knowledge to make a few poultices and potions but most of my magical talent is far better suited to hurting people instead of healing them."

"Thank you." She managed before closing her eyes. She felt the elf lay a hand on her forehead, before he swore quietly. She felt him raise of the bed before calling quietly to Messenger.

"I'm not able to heal her. If left like this, she will die within the week. We need someone better suited for this." Helen knew she should be more worried by that statement, but at the moment her exhausted mind simply didn't care. "Messenger, go to Amaranthine. Tell Wynne she's needed. I will stay here and do my best to keep her comfortable, although I do urge you to make haste. I am a Blood Mage, not a Spirit Healer."