A/N: This is my first evah FanFiction, and also my first fill for the Dragon Age k!meme. The prompt:
"I want to see Lady Hawke meeting Fenris's previous personality, by whatever means necessary, be it AU or reversion to a previous personality or what have you."
This is my take on the prompt, which starts a few years before the Fifth Blight and will follow the repercussions through the events of Dragon Age 2. I look forward to any and all ConCrits, and I hope you enjoy! ^_^
However much she wanted to carve her fingernails into the guards' lungs, Ryna Hawke knew there would be no point. She was already on the slaver ship, which was already well on the way to Tevinter. Besides that, she was still bruised, shackled, weak with hunger and recently awake from a drug-induced sleep. No, she'd have to bide her time. She lowered her head when one of them walked by, lightly tapping the end of a club into his palm.
Once he was past, Ryna pushed her back against the beam she was chained to, massaging the sores and trying not to think of worst case scenarios. Which, really, seemed to be the current one. Honestly, evading slavers had never been on her mind. Templars? Of course! Her whole life had been about hiding Bethany from the Templars. But who would have ever guessed slavers would find their way to small-town Lothering? Ferelden didn't permit the practice, but apparently that didn't matter.
All Ryna could do was pray Bethany had kept hidden from the slavers and the Templars, that Carver had made it to warn Father, and that Father wouldn't try to rescue her. She got herself into this mess, and by the Maker, she would get herself out, even if it took years. So long as her family was safe, Ryna could endure anything.
Ryna didn't have much to do, so when she wasn't attempting to sleep, she watched the slavers, and her fellow cargo. The guards made sure each slave ate the stale bread and drank enough water to keep from dying, and Ryna wondered how many trips hadn't yielded a return on investment, to have them so careful with their cargo. Even when they were beating down scrappers, the slavers never went near the face or broke many bones.
When Ryna noticed the young teen girl beside her gather herself as if to lunge, she groaned inwardly. A fighter like her would only get sold to a master who wanted to break her - in any way he could. Ryna didn't want to get involved, but neither did she like the idea of that spirit being destroyed. With a sigh, she placed a careful hand in restraint on the girls' shoulder. At the startled squeak, Ryna shook her head slowly, then retreated against her beam as a guard began heading down their line. When the guard came past she held her breath, grateful when the girl didn't attack.
"I'm not going to give up and let them take my pride," the girl whispered resentfully, when the guards were far enough from them.
"It's not giving up." At the skeptical look from the girl, Ryna offered a mischievous smirk and a wink. "It's planning ahead."
The training yard, normally a cacophony of hard working bodies, was almost deathly quiet. All the guards and trainees not on duty stood along the four walls, watching their Master pick and prod at the wares Steward Petrel had brought from the bazaar for his perusal. Leto shifted uncomfortably under the heavy weight of the greatsword strapped to his back. He was used to the heft of the weapon in his hands as he trained, but was not in the habit of simply carrying it.
A glare from Captain Goreth stilled Leto. Rumor among the guards had it that whatever experiments Denarius was preoccupied with required a lot of magic. The missing faces amongst the staff left little question on where the Magister was getting the extra power. No one had commented on how the ones missing were the ones most recently reprimanded.
Leto raised an appraising eye at the potential additions to the household. Few of them looked strong or fast enough to be placed in the Magister's guard, and the ones that did had been quickly rejected by Denarius. Leto let his gaze wander over the others with a modicum of relief. The fewer he had to compete against for a place in the Magister's personal bodyguard, the easier it would be for him to win a spot. The boon he would receive would free his mother and sister. Even if it meant he couldn't go with them, he would see them free and safe.
With the afternoon waning, Leto was sure his Master was done acquiring new blood - he suppressed a shudder at the unfortunate choice of words - and hoped he'd done well enough today to gain a full ration for dinner. Denarius seemed in better spirits, if now bored with the slavers and their wares.
Denarius had just begun walking back to the mansion when one of the slavers called for his attention, hauling a young woman with him. She pulled on the chains, but Leto could see it was out of a desire to show some measure of decency rather than fear. The slaver mentioned she was a trained mage, which garnered the Magister's undivided interest. The guards and slaves all stiffened at the notion of extra magic in the estate.
"She should just give in and hope she's worth something to Denarius," Torpa, on Leto's right, muttered under his breath as the slave shook her head in confusion.
"Maybe that's exactly what she's doing." There was something… determined about the woman, yet cautious. "We'll see."