Stormy Mountain describes a Dragon Age Origins Playthru with two heroes (Mikhail Cousland and Natasha Amell). It incorporates some crossover/connection scenes to a second story (following later) with a Dragon Age 2 PT. Apart from a double beginning (the Human Noble Begin and the Mage Tower begin) it will follow the normal play in most parts. A few decisions and follower choices cannot be replayed in the game. I hope you'll enjoy the reading. Let the story begin …
Comment Jan 13th 2012:
I noticed that the duration of the described adventure is too short (only 5 months instead of the most often described 12-15 and with the finishing battle in year 9:30 instead of 9:31). I tried to correct this and hope I didn't overlook any wrong date.
Road from Denerim to Highever, 9:30, Cloudreach 28th
The coach wheels rattled on the stony underground. The voyage neared the end of the third day, the small hamlet – planned to be the place of their night's rest – could only be a few miles ahead, as Mikhail Cousland assumed. They should have already been there, but Lady Landra's coach was not in a prime condition – a clear sign of the financial standing of her husband, Bann Loren – and the driver was a first-class incompetent.
More than once Mikhail had to intervene to avert an accident. Probably the driver was a house lackey, unused to this kind of work. The young Cousland sighed deeply. What had he done to deserve this? Cursing he thought about his mother, now surely in full action home at Highever castle, planning here, and giving orders there. All had to be right for the feast in three days, no matter what was happening in other parts of Ferelden.
The news from the south had been chastening. Some said a new blight was coming. Others deemed that to be impossible. Regardless who was right, the king was gathering an army to defeat it. And he would not be part of it. Mikhail grinded his teeth. Fergus, his older brother, would lead the Highever Vanguard, their father the remaining troops, already rallying at the southern border of the arldom.
And Mikhail? He would be custodian of the castle, master of a dozen older guards, the servants and his mother. The idea let him guffaw. As if anybody - including his father – could be called master of his mother. With nearly an age of 45 already a little bit old, she had surely not lost any of her temper or sharp tongue. And no, he wouldn't call her old to her face. Mikhail loved his nose unbroken.
A loud noise awakened him from his thoughts. Shouts, whinnying horses, a cracking whip. Openmouthed he saw the coach slowly, dead slowly roll on the side, the right wheels sticking in a ditch. Panicky voices could be heard from within the coach, the driver rescuing himself with a wide jump. Within moments all stopped and gathered around the coach. Dairren, Lady Landras handsome if a little dumb son, was the first one to leave the coach. Immediately he began to scold the driver, leaving it to Mikhail to save his mother. Lady Landra was little bit shaken, but not enough to prevent her leaning against Mikhail one-two seconds longer than necessary and darting a wicked grin in his direction.
But a low moan called Mikhail's attention to the last passenger, one of the few – if not the only – advantage of this unpleasant voyage. In the darkness Mikhail could only guess the shape of Iona, Lady Landra's elven lady-in-waiting, only her blond hair shining clearly.
"Alright? Are you unhurt?" Another moan answered, followed by her beautiful voice, now filled with pain. "My right arm, he's hurt. I can't move, some chest is on my feet." Cautious he entered the coach, groped ahead. This was … her leg. Oh. Iona stiffened, as Mikhail searched the hindering chest. Moments later she was free and Mikhail able to hold her up to the other servants. It was by pure accident that his hand stroked her breasts, really.
Surely it would cost hours to bring the coach back on the road and repair all damage done. So it was decided to make the last miles on horses and send help from the hamlet. It did nothing to enhance Dairren's mood with Mikhail arranging him to lead his mother's horse while Mikhail walked beside his own carrying Iona.
Her rambling about "I can walk, sir" blocking of with a sharp wave of his hand, Mikhail felt very well in playing the gentleman. Arriving a while later at the hamlet, he enhanced his good feelings with Iona carrying as would a groom his bride in the house, relishing the feeling of her body, the arousing smell of her hair now mixed with the sweat of the voyage, setting her very careful on a chair. "It's alright, I can help Lady Landra." Iona's try to stand up was cut short by his hand on her shoulder. "There are enough others to help, you sit where you are, and that's an order, understood?" Almost hypnotized she could only nod.
Letting Dairren the work to organize help, Mikhail went to his horse, got his saddle bag and sent the housewife to fetch some hot water and clean linen. Lady Landra, provided with some hot tea, watched interestedly as Mikhail examined Iona's arm. A long cut, not very deep but bleeding profusely, showed there. "Please, sir, you'll ruin your fine clothes." A little annoyed Mikhail replied with commanding voice "would you please stop to give me instructions what I have to do and what not? You're not my wife." Shutting her mouth with blushing cheeks she watched silently as Mikhail cleaned the wound with sure but not very tender moves. Her eyes widened as he pried a bundle from his saddlebag and began to spread small flasks on the table, followed by needle and twin. "You know what you are doing, Mikhail?" Lady Landra was more than a little bit surprised by the string of events.
"I know it," was the short answer, Mikhail holding a cup with the content of one of his flasks at Iona's lips. "Drink!" Iona hesitated. The smell was awful. "Drink, it's against the pain. I have to stitch the cut, and that will hurt." Finally she gave in, the taste not better than the smell. Within minutes Iona felt the effect. All around a little dizzy, all in cotton wool. As if the arm didn't belong to her she noticed Mikhail stitching the wound. Meanwhile he explained in a neutral tone to Lady Landra.
"Some knowledge is helpful. Among soldiers there are often wounds to tend, often no physician at hand. And while there are many officers with formidable swordsmanship and inspiring speeches, I learned that nothing is so impressive for a soldier as his leader tending his wounds after the battle, showing his respect and care for his men." Lady Landra regarded him thoughtfully. "So it's only to enhance moral?" Irritated Mikhail answered "yes, what else? "
Pleased with his work, he cleaned the arm and bandaged it careful; the whole time gazed at from Iona with dreamy eyes. Lady Landra bent forward and whispered in his ear. "She has a crush on you, you know, since she first saw you back in Denerim." Iona's pointy ears and lovely cheeks reddened. "Milady, please, don't say so." With lowered head Iona followed an evil grinning Lady Landra to their rooms.
Wrapping his tools, Mikhail smelled Dairren before he saw him, the thick aroma of alcohol in the air. "She is mine, you know? Mine. My little sweet pointy-ear." Mikhail was always proud on his ability not to show any feeling if he not wished to do. But this drunken bastard made it a hard fight. It was not easy to judge the relationship between Dairren and Iona. Clearly she followed every command and he saw her as his property. But also everyone could see her disgust, when Dairren touched her.
"Sure, Dairren. I would never interfere. A grin sneaked in his face. It will last hours before this idiot of a driver will arrive with the coach. Fancy shortening the time with a little card game?"
Highever Castle, Cloudreach 29th
The second day of the voyage passed without complications. Dairren showed a grumpy face, staying silent the most time. As they arrived at Highever, he stormed away to his guest room, leaving his mother with Mikhail. "What's the matter? Any problem I should know about?" Mikhail waved with a charming smile. "Nothing serious. He lost a card game. And he seems not to be a good loser." Following his eyes to Iona, Lady Landra understood, laughing out loud. "But from time to time I hope I may have my maiden, yes?" She went to her room, leaving Iona completely perplexed behind. "What … what do you mean? What for a card game?" All the gentleman Mikhail led her to her room, a guest room near his own. "Yesterday Dairren and I played cards. He lost. Money. Much money. And in the end: you. I won you, for one week to be exactly." Anticipating her reaction Mikhail had no trouble in defending against her slap, holding her hand in firm grip and kissing very softly on her fingers.
"It is no obligation for you, Iona. I only wanted to give you a few days without Dairren approaching. You and only you will determine what happens. If you want it so, no more than me bandaging your arm. If more, you'll have to allow it. I really would like to be with you, hear your voice, and adore your face. But I won't exert pressure on you." Another time he kissed her fingers. "Now allow me to inform my parents about our arrival."
Storming away Mikhail left behind a very confused Iona. Minute-long she stared at the empty hallway before battering the door closed. How could he dare? Card game. Was she a prize cow? And Dairren. Evil … grinning … touching … nasty … kissing … bastard. Each word accompanied by a piece of cloth angry thrown on her bed. To the fade with all those not so noble men.
"He's very handsome, isn't he?" Lady Landra smiled friendly as Iona's head jerked high. The last hour she had been very silent preparing Lady Landra's outfit for her meeting with the Arlessa. "He … he won me. At a card game. No gentleman would do such a thing. I'm not a … prize." Showing a little jealousy in her smile Lady Landra disagreed. "But you like him. I see it; don't try to lie about this. And he … surely he likes you too, else he wouldn't risk so much to win nothing but a few days with you. What else could he do with my lovely Dairren in-between?"
Musing she looked at her maiden, let hear a faint sighing. "I don't know what happened between Dairren and you. He acts as if he would own you. And you never object, although you clearly despise him." Lady Landra let out a harsh laughter. "Don't look at me as if I'm deaf and dumb. I have eyes." Gently Lady Landra touched Iona's cheek as a mother would do. "Give him a try. At least you will have a few nice days. And perhaps … he's good in bed … now. It could be worse for you." Iona's blushing deepened as she understood the meaning of Lady Landra's words. At last she nodded. "You're right. As always milady. I'll try."