She was back the next day and the next, until the never ending afternoons blended into weeks. She would appear like a ghost, breezing through the shadows of the docks and suddenly materializing on the steps of the Qunari compound. Each time the Karashok was taken by surprise, though at this point, her presence was almost expected. She would never make herself known to another guard, waiting patiently for the opportune moment to plague the Karashok with her increasingly insufferable questions.

'What are you doing?'

'Guarding the Gate.'

'Why are you guarding the gate?'

'Because someone has to.'


Why, why, WHY. The Karashok was beginning to hate that word. Most of the other gate guards knew that she was out there, watching, but had thus far not had the unfortunate experience of meeting her. No, that honor was reserved especially for him. So on the afternoon of the thirty-first day, the Karashok finally caved.

She came flickering up the steps, cautiously eyeing her surroundings before letting her keen gaze lock on him. The Docks were devoid of their workers and the Karashok had soon developed the sneaking suspicion that she wasn't meant to be here. Hence her selective appearances.

She slid closer, watching his face as she moved to his elbow. The Karashok found himself softening as he took in her ragged appearance, but soon became alarmed when her eyes widened in an expression of innocence and curiosity that he knew far too well. Then he watched in horror as she took a deep breath and opened her mouth. He cringed inwardly, bracing himself for what he knew would come next.

"Can I go inside?"

He actually flinched.

"No." He resisted stubbornly, trying desperately not to be swayed by her wide eyes and not-cute looks.

"But, why?" She questioned curiously.

He exhaled forcefully, long past begging the Qun for patience.

"Because, you are not allowed inside, you would need an escort…" He trailed off, a thought suddenly occurring to him.

She could only enter if she was given express permission by the Arishok or if she was escorted by someone she knew. Someone she knew…

His eyes narrowed and he barked out a laugh, turning it into a cough at the last moment.


She stared up at him in surprise, her dumbfounded expression tearing another laugh from him, which he quickly turned into another cough. She moved forward, daring to touch his arm.

"Are you alright, Messere Demon?"

He pulled away abruptly, more unnerved by the imekari's touch than by her questions.

"I am well." He answered gruffly.

He looked down at her dirty form thoughtfully, liking his idea more and more. She smiled, her gaunt face quickly bouncing from concern to excitement. It made him dizzy just watching the emotions fly across her features.

"So… Can I go inside?"

"Yes." He said bluntly, gritting his teeth as her shrill squeal reached his sensitive ears.

"Really?" She gasped out, clasping her tiny hands earnestly.

He had to bite the inside of his cheek to hold back an evil grin. He would have his revenge.


She began to hop about, joy apparently knowing no bounds. The Karashok turned to the gate, letting a sharp-toothed grin form on his face while he unlocked it. When he turned back to her, his features had resumed their mask of seriousness and the little girl was oblivious to his inner glee.

"Now remember: be silent,"

He inwardly rolled his eyes at his own words, knowing how long that would last.

"Listen to your escort, and be obedient."

She nodded solemnly, reverently absorbing the Karashok's words. He shoved the gate open effortlessly before turning and snagging one of her fragile arms. The tiny imekari froze, breath rushing out in a panicked wheeze, before stiffly making herself relax.

The Karashok was once again stunned by her negative response, but only nodded at her restraint. She smiled at him weakly, shuffling her feet awkwardly in the dry dirt.

She was clearly uncomfortable but far too eager to let this opportunity pass her by.

He straightened, waving another guard over before pacing purposely through the open gate towards the barracks.

He smirked.

The Karashok knew exactly who would be receiving this "little bundle of joy". He dragged her faster, ignoring her stumbling and the looks of disbelief sent in their direction.

Soon, the unapproachable Karashok would once again be unapproachable.

He flung past the flap opening of the barracks, pausing at the smell of leather and sweat, before setting his sights on his victim. The Karashok stomped determinedly towards the far corner to the tent, the crowed mess hall parting in front of him like a wave and the once jovial chattering fading quickly into silence.

His victim wasn't facing him, a fatal mistake if he were an enemy. The Qunari in front of him turned just as he stepped up behind him.

"What are yo-"

Lifting the squealing and struggling girl-child and dumping her in the now speechless Arvaarad's lap, the Karashok smiled evilly and spat,


Then he smugly turned heel and swaggered quickly back to his post.

The Arvaarad stared blankly at the imekari on his lap.