Summary: Hawke tampers with Merrill's eluvian one day and is magically transported back to the past, much to her horror and confusion. What happens when she finds out she'd been transported to Danarius' mansion, where a certain elven slave is held? Slightly AU.
Rated: M for disturbing content.
Fenris x Hawke
Hello everyone (: Welcome to 'Shackle Bound'! This is a story about Hawke being sent to the past, where she is forced into apprenticeship by Danarius, Fenris' ex-master. This story tells of Hawke's struggles and battles in the strange world of Tevinter all while building a fragile, yet tender relationship with the still-enslaved Fenris.
Note: This fic disregards the events from Witch Hunt concerning the Eluvian.
Takes place in the beginning of Act II. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
'Thoughts, dreams, memories, emphasis.'
Hawke fidgeted apprehensively, watching Merrill carefully and intricately weave the arulin'holm into the ten-foot tall mirror before her. Her mouth was set in a tight line, deeply concentrated on every detail, every crevice of the mirror. It was almost hard to believe that anything could go wrong, with the care that Merrill was giving towards repairing the eluvian, but Hawke refused to give the elf the benefit of the doubt. Hawke didn't trust Merrill enough with the mirror, knowing the kind of dark past it had, and knowing Merrill's habitual tendency to be ditzy. Merrill insisted that all the taint from it was gone, but Hawke decided to stay and keep watch, just to make sure Merrill didn't set her house on fire.
"What is this thing supposed to do again, anyhow?" asked Hawke, yawning tiredly. She had been lying back, propped up against a few pillows, watching the standing Merrill work restlessly for over three hours. Her bones ached to be stretched. She eyed her staff standing against the wall along with Merrill's near the doorway, longing to go out and practice on a few bandits or raiders or something. She had never been one for patience.
"I told you, remember? Long-distance communication, Hawke," stated Merrill," I think they may have been used to teleport between cities once, though. Whatever the function, I want to finish repairing it so I can unlock our secrets and history!"
Hawke wished that she shared Merrill's enthusiasm, and began to tune out her babbling friend as Merrill continued on chattering about its origins and telling Hawke yet again how the mirror killed her friend Tamlen long ago. Hawke stared up at the giant mirror and scrunched her nose. The structure was very tall, but very slim, with large, heavy ornaments decorating the sides and front. The reflective side of the mirror was cracked. Who could possibly have the patience for such a contraption?
Then again, Merrill was… special.
"What if this thing doesn't do anything? It doesn't look like anything special," commented Hawke.
"Oh, you just don't have any appreciation for elven culture, Hawke," pouted Merrill, her eyes not moving away for a second away from the eluvian. Hawke frowned in protest.
"I do too! I just don't get the point, Merrill. Is this really absolutely necessary for you to spend days poring over? I think you should take a small break, at the very least. The eluvian can wait, you know."
To Hawke's surprise, Merrill paused, then put down the arulin'holm onto the floor and turned to Hawke, nodding her head.
"I am feeling a wee bit drowsy," she said, stretching, "I'll just step outside for a moment and grab a bite to eat from Lyla's. Want anything, Hawke?"
"Just some sweetrolls, thanks," smiled Hawke, and then added quickly," I'll pay you back." Hawke knew that Merrill never had much money.
She smiled at Hawke appreciatively, then skipped out of the main room, and finally exited the house. Hawke stood still, listening to the door shut loudly behind her, before sighing loudly. Good God, she was exhausted. Deciding to stretch for a bit and release some tension, she stood up and reached for the stars, yawning all the while. Satisfied, she began to pace the room, waiting for Merrill to return.
She wondered if Fenris was back at the mansion yet. He said he'd be gone the entire day, working as a bodyguard for the viscount, so she wouldn't be able to see him the entire day, and now it was close to dusk. She couldn't deny that they had something between them, even if she didn't wish to admit it. The thought of him, however, made her smile.
As she walked back and forth, Hawke's eyes caught sight of something odd. The eluvian stood proud and tall, roughly repaired, with several small cracks on the mirror itself and on the ornaments that framed the mirror. However, at the top of a mirror, a small scratch embedded deep within the mirror stood out. That was not the odd thing, however. Dark red blood was steadily seeping out from the crack, and the small droplet began to run down the reflective side of the mirror.
'What the...?' thought Hawke with a frown on her face. Was the mirror supposed to do this?
Hawke wondered whether she should simply wait or run for Merrill. Leaving Merrill's house unattended seemed unwise, Hawke knew, in case anything happened with the eluvian while she was gone. Thus Hawke decided to stay.
Trying to ignore the disturbingly increasing amounts of blood that made its way down the mirror, Hawke returned to pacing the room. She kept looking over at the mirror, her curiosity inflating with each glance.
'Why is that thing bleeding? Does the arulin'holm have anything to do with this?' wondered Hawke, who had stopped pacing. Her curiosity getting the better of her, she gingerly approached the mirror, and inspected the scratch in the mirror. It continued to gush blood in copious amounts, running down the mirror in dark rivulets.
Hawke cautiously lifted her finger to where the cut was, and slowly placed it inside the scratch, stepping on her tippy toes to reach the mirror top, and stopping the flow of blood completely from running. Hawke felt more at ease now; the sight of the mirror bleeding made her rather queasy.
She let out a breath of release, not knowing if what she was doing was wise or not, but feeling calmed for the moment.
As the minutes passed, however, her finger soon began to ache from the pressure she was placing on the cut, and she looked for something else to put in its place. She looked down, where the arulin'holm was lying down on the ground. Momentarily lifting her finger from the scratch, Hawke bent down to pick up the tool in hand, and raised the blunt end of it to the scratch in the mirror, and then clogged the cut once more, stopping the blood from flowing down.
Suddenly, as soon as the arulin'holm touched the mirror's surface, the reflective side of the mirror disappeared, leading into an unending, dark abyss.
Hawke stared in shock, her mouth wide open, quickly dropping the arulin'holm. She had no time to react, however, as a dreadful wind began to pick up, sucking everything into the abyss of the mirror.
"What the hell…? Ahhh!" Hawke screamed, but her cries were overpowered by the deafening howl of the wind.
She fell into the mirror rapidly, her limbs flying in every direction possible, feeling the wind tear her apart as it tossed and turned her inside the abyss.
"Hawke? Hawke!" called Merrill cheerily, carrying a few sweetrolls in her hands. She looked side to side, trying to find her friend. Frowning, Merrill looked inside the room with her Eluvian, wondering where on earth Hawke went to. The sight that greeted her made her gasp and drop her sweetrolls.
The eluvian's reflective side was completely gone. All that remained was simply the ornaments that shaped the mirror. Merrill could simply step into the mirror frame and come out the other side. The arulin'holm lay flat down on the ground, a few feet away from where Merrill originally placed it.
What shocked Merrill most, however, were the drops of blood lying on the ground directly in front of the mirror. Tiny rivulets ran down the bottoms and sides of the mirror, giving it a ghostly and menacing look. Hawke herself was nowhere to be found.
This worried Merrill.
What could have happened to Hawke?
'I… I have to get the Keeper…' thought Merrill urgently. She stepped back cautiously, away from the mirror, taking one more glance before breaking out into a run to the outside, running as fast as her skinny legs would carry her. She hoped that the Keeper would have answers to this bizarre occurrence.
She couldn't feel her feet.
'Uunngh… where the hell am I…?' thought Hawke wearily. Her head felt dizzy and swollen, while her body, on the other hand, was completely numb. She struggled to force her eyes open, finding herself caged in darkness's frightening grasp. Her hands flailed about, trying to familiarize with her surroundings.
The first thing she knew was that she was lying down on something soft and warm, like fur. Her sore body settled into it amiably, but she was still tense to find out where she was. Finally, after the initial shock wore off, her eyes finally opened. Her blurry vision allowed her limited sight. Her chest rose and fell with shakiness, and her mind blanked.
Hawke saw lights. Expensive, bright lights with lampshades made of marble hanging from the pure white ceiling, with intricate designs on them, each telling a story. Soon she realized that she was lying down horizontally, and she scrambled to her knees, taking in her surroundings.
She was in a bedroom. A very rich bedroom, painted snow white from floor to ceiling. A long, soft carpet made of white fur kissed the floor, covering the entire area of the bedroom. Windows made of cut glass were stamped across the walls of the room, illuminating the room with a soft, dim glow, and a king sized bed sat behind a small set of mini stairs, leading up to the bed. A white cabinet and a small coffee table sat on either side of the bed on the elevated floor. Hawke was dazzled.
'How on earth did I get here?' thought Hawke, amazed.
…Where was here?
Hawke turned around, and was met with ten-foot tall glass. A beautiful mirror stood in front of her, encased in a gold-colored frame. It was nearly identical to Merrill's eluvian, but this one was free of scratches or marks. The only adjective that could possibly describe it was… grand.
'Is this another eluvian…?' wondered Hawke, her eyes wide with wonder. She racked her brain, trying to remember what Merrill said about the functions of the eluvian, so that she could find out how to get back.
'Was it for transporting things or was it a weapon...?' thought Hawke in vain.
'No, it couldn't have been a weapon... it teleported me here, so it has to be a teleportation unit of some sort.'
Silently chiding herself for not listening better, she sighed and instead decided to attempt to move.
She tried to lift herself, muscles aching, onto her knees on the soft floor, and stretched, feeling the cages of immobility lift and expand away, and sighed pleasantly, reveling in the feeling. The soft fur beneath her body attributed to her comfort.
After a while, Hawke found the strength to stand up, shaking. She knew that she'd better leave this room soon, lest someone comes in and thinks her a thief. Wobbling slightly, she tried to will the strength to come back into her legs. Looking around the room, she looked for anything, any clue as to where she could be. She inspected the architecture, trying to figure out what type it was with no avail. Her eyes traced around the room until it fell upon the coffee table.
She shuffled over to the coffee table, where she eyed a few letters lying on it, hoping that the address was printed on it.
Her fingers clumsily picked up one of the many letters lying down on the table. Her eyes quickly scanned the content of the front and back of the letter envelope, her eyes widening at the words.
1163 Ironbird Way,
Minrathous, Tevinter Imperium'
Hawke dropped the letter back onto the coffee table wordlessly. She'd been transported to Tevinter.
'Tevinter? Tevinter? Of all places? What if I can't get back? It's so far away from Kirkwall...'
But Hawke knew that the faster she found someone to help her, the faster she could find out if it was possible to get back. She straightened up, determined, and took in a deep breath. Perhaps a scholar could help her...
"Well well, who is this delightful little angel?" a slippery-smooth voice said suddenly from behind her.
Hawke gasped audibly at the sudden voice, dropping her silent musings and turning around sharply. She found the source of the voice in the mouth of the elegantly arched doorway.
A tall, proud and grey man stood. His eyes were sharp and cold, loveless and ruthless. Sunken cheekbones lined the sides of his face, along with numerous scratches and scars. He had a grey beard that jutted out of his chin proudly, giving him a menacing, majestic look, and a proud nose. Most of all, Hawke noticed his elegant magister robes, electric blue in color. She couldn't help but feel a twinge of recognition. Who was this man?
The strange man's expression did not change.
"Who are you, dear? Not a thief I hope? Otherwise I'd have to have you cut into little tiny pieces, yes?" asked the man rhetorically, advancing towards Hawke," and we wouldn't wish to harm a fanciful little thing such as you, would we?"
The man cupped Hawke's chin with his large fingers, analyzing Hawke. She made a face and pulled away from him defiantly.
"I'm not a thief. I'm here by accident, I swear!" she insisted.
The man grasped her chin again, his fingers nearly bruising her skin in his crushing clutches.
"It is advisable to submit to me, girl," said the man, his voice moving like silk, calm and collected. It frightened Hawke.
"Now then, I honestly care little for where you're from or who you are, girl. You've arrived at quite the opportune time," he said, still holding her face in place.
"Wh-what do you w-want from me?" asked Hawke, shuddering. The man smiled.
"It is so very late, and I am to have my evening bath in a matter of moments. My slave is drawing the water as we speak. Afterwards, however, I am seeking some… pleasant female company."
Hawke paled, and then slapped away his hand, stumbling a few feet back. She gave him a murderous glare, wishing that eyes could spit fire, while he looked down at her nonchalantly. The icy hint in his eyes never faltered.
"Is that how it is to be, then? My warnings, girl, it is not wise to deny Master Danarius of something he wants."
Hawke's eyes widened.
That man… that man who kept Fenris as a slave...
Hawke stared at him blankly, the pieces coming together in her mind. She had been transported to Danarius' mansion, Fenris' former master, in Tevinter. Why doesn't Danarius recognize her then? Furthermore, Hawke recalled Fenris telling her that Danarius considered Fenris his dearest item, his most treasured possession. If so, then why would he get another slave? Unless the slave Danarius mentioned was Fenris?
'This doesn't make any sense...' thought Hawke.
Danarius smiled at her coldly, reading her expression. It seemed obvious to him that she had heard of him. As she was looking dazed, he began to touch her again, trying to coax her into succumbing to him. His large fingers traced the bones on her face, smiling when she flinched.
"Now then, kitten, shall we play master and slave tonight?" his sickeningly sweet voice churned the remains of her stomach and Hawke's eyes widened. She slapped away his hands and backed against the eluvian, feeling the cold glass kiss her clothed backside. Her shock soon twisted into rage when she remembered what Fenris said this man did to him, being the man who instilled the hate and anger in him, the pain and the agony and the endless confusion. Soon however, that rage turned into fear and she gripped the sides of the mirror.
She prayed silently that the eluvian would take her back, prayed that somehow this bizarre nightmare would vanish as her fingers grasped around the sides of the mirror. Her prayers were in vain, as she was still there, in the magister's bedroom. She knew that she wouldn't be able to take him down alone.
Danarius' mouth tightened into a grim line.
"Is that how it is to be, then? Cross me, girl, and you shall regret it," he said dangerously. Hawke knew at this point that she had to escape from this demented man. Her hand felt around her lower back cautiously.
'Drat, I left my staff at Merrill's,' she thought,' I only have my hands for this.'
Danarius waited patiently for her to make the first move, his eyes daring her, taunting her. He stood in front of her with his arms outstretched slightly.
"Go on, kitten, try. Try and defeat me, if that's your will."
At these words, Hawke quickly cast a protective bubble around her and ran towards the doorway, her heart racing faster than her legs were moving.
'Get away from him, get away from him, get away from him!' Hawke yelled at herself mentally. She ran blindly through the hallways, trying to light another spell to let her see better, hoping that her bubble would last for as long as she needed to get out of this place.
The tall magister watched after her, smirking knowingly. The girl was just too predictable. He walked out of the doorway, towards the grand staircase, muttering a small charm under his breath. The crashing sound of slammed windows and doors was then heard.
"You can run, kitten, but you cannot hide!" his voice echoed in the dimly-lit chambers and corridors. His yell only encouraged Hawke to run faster.
Danarius smiled and snapped his fingers, calling to his slave.
"Fenris, come to me."
In a matter of seconds, a tall, pale and ghastly elf approached the magister, limping with every step. His head hung submissively, hands dragging by his sides. This was only a sample of what elven slaves looked like in the Tevinter Imperium. In Tevinter, elves were comparable to dirt, but even dirt was too high a status to be compared to elven slaves. His true name was Leto, but the magister Danarius had made quick work of that, ordering him to change his name to 'Fenris', saying only that it suited him better. Now, only his mother and sister called him Leto, in the few times that he saw him nowadays.
The elf's hands were wet, signaling that he had finished drawing the magister's bath.
"Your bath is ready," the elf croaked weakly, having not eaten in days.
"Worry not about the bath, lad. It seems that we have company tonight," chuckled Danarius cruelly. Leto looked up, an expression of resignation constantly on his face, mixed with confusion. Rarely did Danarius have any guests at this hour. Leto decided not to question Danarius and instead began to shuffle towards the storeroom to collect wine for their guests.
"I shall bring wine, then," said Leto compliantly. Danarius shook his head.
"None of that, Fenris. This particular guest came… unexpectedly, without reason. I politely invited her to stay but alas, she decided to defy me, quite rudely, and is now attempting to flee the mansion. I have magically sealed the front and back doors and windows, preventing any escape."
The elf nodded, understanding. No words were needed; he had learned long ago that words were only spoken when necessary from him, lest his master beat him for speaking out of turn or send him for a trip to the torture chambers. Or worse yet, give him to Hadriana for a few hours.
"Do be a good lad and come fetch her for me. See if she resists. If she does, then my, we are going to have some fun," said Danarius, smiling widely. He loved it when his foes showed spirit and resistance. It made it all the sweeter when Danarius crushed them under his boot. Leto nodded silently and walked towards the grand staircase, where the visitor had run off to.
"Try not to kill her, little Fenris. It is so much more fun with the kitten alive," called Danarius after him.
Leto pulled out the greatsword that was always strapped to his back, wielding it weakly, feeling the crushing weight of it pull on his frail arms. He knew that he'd better get into shape soon, for the upcoming slave competitions. He swung around the sword, trying to get used to the heaviness as he walked, holding the sword in one hand while brushing the jet black hair out of his face with the other. He would find this girl, bring her to Danarius, then set upon getting ready for the competitions. His mother and sister's freedom awaits.
'Yes, freedom awaits,' Leto thought to himself harshly, brows furrowing. He stopped before the grand staircase, greatsword slung across his back, pommel in hand.
Hope you enjoyed this first chapter! (: R&R!
Note: To avoid any confusion, this story takes place after Fenris has been enslaved by Danarius but directly before he gets his markings. Thus, 'jet black hair' and 'slave competitions' if you remember the quest 'Alone'. It'll become more clear in the coming chapters.