Merrill causes trouble
A/N: Thanks for reading! Don't forget to give me a review while you're at it! Okaythankyoubye!
Merrill loved Kirkwall. It was an absolutely interesting place, but definitely not the most beautiful. Even so, Kirkwall gave her the freedom she never had. It was ironic. Kirkwall was often referred to as a 'slave settlement', the best bet to find the cheapest elven slave. On the other hand, the Dalish was the only legal place that granted mages the best freedom. Merrill never saw it like that. The Dalish condemned her for her blood magic. She was saved by Hawke and brought to this unfamiliar city.
Elves of all backgrounds lived there. It was called the Elven Alienage. The name sounded negative to Merrill, but she truly liked it there. There weren't many friends she could make, but Hawke visited her from time to time. Varric acted like the big brother she never had. It was like a family, and Merrill liked that.
Although she lived the life of an apostate, it granted her enough freedom to experiment in her own home. She found a scroll of ancient blood magic. How very strange, it seemed to her. Some of the texts were unreadable. They were of old elven descent, and the elven language definitely developed since. The elves were not quite like the dwarves – who treasured every ancestor – and the younger generation of elves did not cherish the old language.
There was one particular section of the scroll that Merrill found interesting. It was that of the Rebirthing Spirit that Merrill developed a keen curiosity in. According to what she may deduce from the script, this spell is powerful blood magic and has the capability of enabling the subject to live a life of eternity. Wouldn't this be perfect? Humans always go on about living forever – and here it is – the ultimate cure for life's limits! Merrill gathered the script and took quick, short steps around Kirkwall, in search of an herbalist.
The spell required complex procedures, as well as rare ingredients. Some of them, she has not even come across! There was a refreshing atmosphere that filled Kirkwall, but mainly Merrill thought it was just her excitement. It felt like spicy, fresh mint filling her lungs, knots twisted in her stomach. She squealed with delight when she received all the required ingredients. The Dalish merchants never had such wonderful inventories of goods. The merchants refused to even step into the Brecillian forest for some iron bark. What wusses, really.
The story doesn't start there. Oh no. If you thought you were about to read a story on Merrill collecting ingredients, you are severely mistaken! Collecting ingredients was a mere catalyst to the story, a trigger even. If you were to ask yourself: alright, now that Merrill's got her ingredients, what now? Performing a spell as such was not so simple. Most spells involved an organism to follow through. Most of the time this 'organism' might be Merrill herself. However, this cannot be the case this time! If something terrible—and I am not suggesting that it may—were to happen, how should Merrill reverse this in a perhaps more vulnerable form? No, Merrill definitely needed someone: a volunteer! You know, just in case…
"How typical! Picking on someone tinier than yourself!" Varric complained.
"Fenris wouldn't talk to me! No one else here would, except for you, Varric!" Merrill explained.
"You know Hawke would."
"Yes, and if something were to happen…?"
"Hah!" Varric snorted. "Alright, Daisy, what do you need me to do?"
Merrill sighed in delight and relief. It would be terrible if Varric refused. He was really the only hope she had. No one else paid much attention to her. People often treated her like a little girl. Hawke would explode in anger if Merrill's spell went haywire. Obviously, it wouldn't! Most of her spells went perfectly. Most.
"Okay, Varric. I just need you to come over this evening so we can start preparing."
"Not your bedroom, Daisy, I hope? Because that would be forbidden."
"'Spoke the confused blood mage and she missed the innuendo.' Nothing, Daisy. I'll be over at seven."
The dwarf kept his word. He turned up precisely by seven. Merrill had him sat down at the dinner table as she fumbled for the ingredients the herbalist sold her. Merrill squashed the mixture together as instructed by the scroll and Varric shined Bianca. A terrible stench filled the room and Varric's nose crinkled up. It was the smell of rotten peas and dried blood. He sure hoped that he wouldn't need to drink that!
Minutes passed and Varric noticed how Merrill dug for a brush. She dabbed the hairs of the brush into the smooth, creamy mixture. Then, she approached Varric.
"Wait! What are you actually going to do, Daisy?" Varric backed away carefully, his eyes never leaving the brush.
"Varric, I told you! I paint the ancient marks on your face and I speak the ancient words. If things go well, you'll live a life of eternity!"
"Life of eternity, huh? What good does that do me? How will we know that the spell goes successful?"
"It's good, Varric! You won't die of natural causes! We can test it out by having you take a stroll in the sewers. People get sick if they go there. You won't! Even if you do, Anders will be there!"
The idea and its theory sounded sketchy. Merrill's shaky voice wasn't very reassuring either. But it appeared that he had nothing to lose. So the ritual began. Blood was drawn. The soft brush was cold to the touch because of the mixture. Merrill painted thick dashes across Varric's face. The painted on tattoos were definitely elven, but only elves would guess that they were ancient patterns. A damp cloth was pulled over Varric's head. Merrill took a deep breath and spoke the ancient chant. Her pronunciation was probably incorrect, but that didn't seem to matter. Varric's face was glowing with the paint, and his body seemed to begin reforming.
Merrill didn't expect the restructuring of his body. Varric's proportions grew smaller and smaller. His nose was less protruding, and his hair on his chest lessening. When he seemed to have stopped shrinking, Varric was lost in a puddle of his clothes. Merrill peeked from her corner. This was definitely not normal. As she leaned in closer, Varric was barely above the height of her knees. He was perhaps the size of a small sack of potatoes.
"Daisy? Is it over?" A high pitched voice called. "I feel different. I sound different."
Merrill tip-toed towards the voice, and cautiously removed the damp cloth over his head. There sat a tiny baby. Young, and soft, but with squinted, suspicious eyes.
"Daisy! You look humongous! Did you grow?"
"No, Varric, you are just tiny!" With that, she showed him to a hand held mirror.