Author's Note:'s certainly been awhile. Sorry about that.

Thorin shook his head in what felt like a futile attempt to clear it. Surfacers were crazy. All that sky up there, and no roof. Thorin once heard some merchant talking about falling up into the sky. At first Thorin scoffed, but based on how woozy his head felt, he was almost willing to believe it.

He pulled a journal out of his pack (one of the wardens traveling with Duncan was nice enough to give him one) and began updating his memories.

By the Stone, how do the Ancestors keep giving me trial after trial. Orzammar may not count me as one who exists and claim the ancestors repudiated me. But my record in Orzammar is what keeps me alive there, with a written record of Bhelen's treachery. Long may his reign be plagued with misfortune. Or may he receive a dagger in his back. Works for me. I personally want to be the one who kills him.

Since the fact that I'm writing again, I am still alive and on the surface. Harrowmont had a brilliant plan, brought to me by my fellow exile Gorim. My former second brought me news that the tunnels I was cast out to die in were connected to the ones the Grey Wardens were in. I took special care not to die for real and give Bhelen the satisfaction of succeeding completely. A couple of sharp rocks and a few heavy pebbles and suddenly I had a good basic trap disarming kit. Lord Harrowmont gave me a fine blade, much better than I had expected to receive. It made battling the darkspawn easier. I found a couple of dead dwarves in the tunnels. Sodding morons were better equipped than I was. One of them even had a casteless brand on his face! How did a casteless get such good equipment?

Speaking of Casteless. Brosca was glaring at him.

Most of the armor was no good. Bite marks and large holes where they had been run through with arrows or swords. I had to scavenge my armor individually from the corpses. But now I have a full suit of, well, it's decent armor for a foot soldier. It wasn't fitted for me so it is kind of tight around the chest, loose around the legs. But it's better than nothing. Can't wait for my own armor sized for me specifically.

So I managed to fight my way through the darkspawn and find the Grey Wardens. I don't want to talk about my exile often, but I felt they had a right to know why I was seeking them out. I was quite shocked when not only did they accept me, but they had already accepted another dwarf named Leniah Brosca. And a casteless at that. She apparently was the casteless who won the proving a week before mine. I knew the Wardens recruited anybody with sufficient skill, but why a casteless!

"What are you doing?"

Thorin jumped off the log he had been sitting on. Brosca was right there glaring at him. "It's no concern of yours, so why does it matter to you?"

She continued glaring at Thorin. "It IS my concern if you're planning on killing us in our sleep. Poisoning our food, just to make yourself look honorable." Thorin stopped and stared at her for a long while.

"What are you talking about?"

"My sister told me all about you nobles and your political games. You let the rest of us starve and die while you feast and praise how great you and your families are. You play nice with all the other Houses while you scheme to overthrow them and destroy their soldiers while hoping it makes you look better."

"What would-" A pause. Thorin stopped what he was going to say. He was casteless too now. "-you know about that. It isn't your place." Thorin honestly didn't see the punch coming. All he knew was that his nose was bleeding, maybe broken, he was on his back and Brosca was on top of him punching his face in. Once he figured that out, he swiftly grabbed the collar of her shirt and pulled down while kicking one of his legs up, throwing her over him with the grace of a legless nug. She flew like one too. Scrambling to his feet, he was much more prepared for the punches that flew in with surprising power. Swiftly dodging and ducking under the punches, he placed a well-located punch right below the neck. She was now on her back, trying to catch her breath as it had all been knocked out of her. Her leg shot out and tripped him, and now he was on his back as well.

"It matters because you are like all the other nobles, killing your brother...ow. Sodding stone, I'm lucky none of those warriors can fight like you in the proving."

Thorin grunted even as he saw the Wardens handing each other money from bets on their little fight. The big burly fellow with the thick beard seemed to be making the most. "I never killed my brother. I had nothing to gain from it."

"Except glory and the throne. Please, my sister saw it all. She and her patron saw how his brothers got along. You hated each other." Patron...of course, that casteless he saw in Bhelen's room.

"And with my conviction...without a trial I might add, has cleared the only two people in the way of Bhelen taking the throne." He smiled at her widened eyes. "The name of your sisters patron right?" They were on their feet again. Before he was punched in the face again and was back on his back.

"I'll be watching you, noble." The way she said noble with such disgust, annoyed him unlike anything else...besides losing. Getting back to his journal, he continued writing.

Duncan says we will head to the Circle of Magi next as it's on the way to Ostagar. He's interested in looking up written records in the library there. I heard him mutter something about treaties. The other wardens seem nervous. Why do surfacers become so scared when anyone mentions magic? I just don't get these surfacers at all.