Title: Pranksters of Kinloch Hold: An introduction of sorts…
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Anders, Alim ‘Fen’Din’ Surana
Rating: T (L2 N0 S0 V1 D0)
Warnings: Teenage mages, bees, Surana’s kind of terrifying
Notes: Alim Surana was not the average elven mage. In fact, it was an act of the First Enchanter that between the talent for necromancy and his … unusual views on the nature of reality, that he hadn’t been made Tranquil. Once he introduced himself to Anders, though, win, lose, or sunburst, they’d end up going down in history as the pranksters of Kinloch Hold — not that anyone could prove it.
They met when Anders was sixteen. A brief tangle in the hall, between classes. Something almost forgettable.
"Hey, roundear, I heard them say you think you’re really something. You keep trying to break out of here, like it’s going to mean something. Don’t you know there’s nothing out there?"
Anders turned to face a little brown elf with bright red hair. The boy looked like he already knew all there was to know about the world, huge golden eyes already condescending and a little sarcastic.
"You know who I am, and you’re still talking to me?" Anders scoffed, running a hand through his hair. "That’s not going to end well for anyone. You’re too young for me, kid. Piss off."
Anders walked away, and the elf let him go.
Two days later, Anders opened his trunk to find it was full of bees. No hive, no queen, just angry workers. They swarmed as soon as the lid was lifted, and from somewhere off in the far end of the dormitory, he could hear laughter, under all the yelling from other apprentices.
"I’m looking for some little ginger elf," Anders insisted, as he returned from the clinic, upstairs. Wynne had managed to get the swelling down, and all of the stingers out. Someday, he’d be able to do that, too, but someday hadn’t yet come, and he was still stuck going to Wynne. "Dark skin? Yellow eyes? I’m pretty sure that elfy asshole’s responsible for the bees."
"Sounds like Alim," one of the younger girls said, pointing to the other dormitory. "I don’t know why he’d … bees? Are you sure it was him?"
"No, I’m not sure, but I have this creeping suspicion. I only pissed off one person so far this week."
"You’re not trying very hard, are you?" Jowan teased, sprawled across Solona’s bed, with a book.
Anders threw him the finger and went to lunch. Alim was sitting at the first table through the door, eating a bowl of soup and balancing an egg on the tip of his finger. Anders slammed his hands on the table and Alim caught the egg, looking up, unimpressed.
"Bees? You asshole! You little elven asshole! You— you elfhole!" Anders hissed, trying to keep the whole thing below the level of templar intervention. "Is this because I said you were too young? Well you still are."
"You assume so much, roundear. I have no intention of putting anything in your ass, which does seem to be the popular thing to do, around here. Unless it’s my foot. Or maybe bees." Alim smiled up at Anders. "I could put bees in your ass, but I don’t think that would get us anywhere."
Anders looked utterly terrified for a split second — of all the things he’d had done to him or imagined someone doing to him, that was, without question, the worst he’d ever heard. "Fine. Talk. What do you want from me?"
"I know you can read ancient Tevene. I decided to study Nevarran, first. Between the two of us, that means there are nearly no important books we can’t read. The Antivan books are mostly translations of the Tevene, and they don’t allow Rivaini texts, here. Too dangerous." Alim scoffed and took another mouthful of soup. "Too dangerous, but they’ll give us the Tevinter books. Who thought of that?"
"What’s your point?" Anders asked, not sure he liked where this was going.
"My point is that we could be unstoppable, and if we’re good enough, no one will ever know it was us. But, I think that takes two of us, because you keep getting caught, and I’m … Nevarran texts are good for things that aren’t really going to do much, around here."
"So, explain to me why you picked Nevarran?" Anders grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl and took a bite.
"There are days when the dead will walk," Alim recited cryptically, gazing into his soup, "and these are days to remember."
"You’re a necromancer!?" Anders hissed, eyes wide.
"It’s a talent. I like it." Alim smiled. "The templars took my pet sparrow and broke her neck. Told me robe trash didn’t get to have pets. She still sings in the barracks at dawn, every day."
"Holy shit." Anders laughed. "I’m starting to like you, elfhole."
"I’m still not sure about you, roundear." Alim raised his eyebrows.