[ Master Post ]
Title: Rhapsody in Ass Major – Chapter 271
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Varric ♂, Artemis Hawke ♂, Anton Hawke ♂, Fenris ♂
Rating: T (L2 N0 S0 V1 D0)
Warnings: Canon-typical violence from canon-atypical sources
Notes: Things go from interesting to worse. The house stops throwing furniture and starts throwing larger things.
"Hold on," Varric said. He hefted Bianca and shot down one of the books, pinning it to the wall. He stepped closer, peering at the title, and swore under his breath. "Son of a bitch. This is one of mine. This crazy house is attacking us with my books."
"Us?" repeated Anton. He grabbed one book out of the air and used it to bludgeon the other books.
"Well. You." Varric shrugged.
After taking a moment to watch Anton flail a bit, Artie clenched a fist, and the books were sucked to the floor, where their pages flapped uselessly.
Cormac let the barrier fall, as the books ceased to be at head height. He looked at a few covers as he made his way down the hall. "They are…! These are all Varric’s books! I had no idea you’d gotten quite this, er, prolific."
"Because you’re missing out on the finest literature to come out of the Marches, obviously," Varric told him. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe mentioning to a friend that you are unfamiliar with the breadth of his catalogue might be taken amiss?"
"Not once. Better you should know that up front." Cormac laughed.
"I couldn’t get a copy of the last one!" Anton complained, kicking a few books out of the way. "Serendipity and I tried every bookseller in Kirkwall, but they were all sold out!"
"When did you go?" Varric asked.
"As soon as it was supposed to come out! We were sure of it!" Anton squinted at the books on the floor. "And there are four copies of it right here. Move your foot, Cormac. I’m taking one of those with me."
Fenris twisted to read the book’s title around Cormac’s foot and then Anton’s hand. "I did not know you were looking for that one," he said. "We have the full series." He offered Anton a wry look. "Artemis would not display it if we were missing one."
"I would too!" Artemis protested. "I just… wouldn’t be as happy about it."
Shaking his head, Varric continued on, stepping around the books. "Well, I know what to get everyone for Wintersend this year," he said. He kicked open the door into the main hall. "Better duck, Nervy. We have some more dancing vases."
Artemis stepped behind Cormac.
A glow built along Cormac’s limbs, brightening as he strode into the room, glaive first, and started crushing the vases into dust. "I realise that I’ve very likely just destroyed antiquities in the range that I could never hope to afford, but I’d like to think the continued safety of the faces of my friends and family far outweigh such concerns. Besides, I don’t expect they’d have made it anyway, with whatever blatantly pissed off Fade-creature is traipsing around in here winging them at us."
"Not really worried about the furnishings, Shouty. Bartrand’s too far gone to have any concerns, and I never really liked the look of those ones, anyway. I’m not much for dwarven crafts. Give me Antivan, any day." Varric reloaded Bianca, as he talked, trusting the sudden silence to get him through at least that.
Fenris looked toward the stairs. "Do you hear that?"
"Not you, too," Anton groused, checking for more flying furnishings, as he made his way across the room.
"No, no, not singing. I thought I heard a scream." Sword still in hand, Fenris jogged toward the stairs. "Someone might be in here. An actual someone, not just… ghosts or demons or whatever this is."
Fenris scaled the stairs two steps at a time and tore open the door at the top. Anton had disappeared again by the time he got there.
A woman peeked out at Fenris from around the dresser, where she’d been huddling. "Are you real?" she said in a tremulous voice. She dashed up to Fenris, glancing nervously over his shoulder. "You’ve got to get out of here before it comes back!"
"It?" Fenris asked, only for Varric to push past him.
"Where’s the idol?" asked Varric, an edge in his voice.
The woman recoiled. "What idol?"
"Don’t waste my time with your lies!" Varric snarled, a strange light in his eyes. "Tell me where it is!"
"Varric," Fenris said. "Calm down. I don’t think she knows anything." He exchanged a look with Artemis.
"She’s hiding something!" Varric insisted. "Don’t lie to me! I know it’s here! You must have found it!"
The woman cowered back. "I swear, I don’t know anything about an idol! Please!"
The ground trembled and the walls shook. Cormac shot a look at Artemis, but his brother didn’t look upset, which meant this was actually serious. "Ah…" He looked over his shoulder, turning slowly.
"Maker, no!" the woman cried out. "It’s starting again!" She ran out into the hall, unarmed, trying to get to the door.
"Wait!" Fenris called after her, but it was too late. The woman was halfway down the stairs when the golem shimmered into being in the middle of the front hall, and she didn’t make it past.
Fenris threw himself over the railing, sword in his hands, and Varric fired on the thing.
"Are you insane?" Cormac shouted, bringing up a shield around Fenris, as he dropped to the ground. "Shields aren’t meant for that kind of impact!"
The woman’s screams became gurgles and then stopped, as the golem squeezed her, and then threw her aside, turning to face its attackers.
"Okay, I’ve met golems. I ruined some very nice knives on golems. Golems do not magically appear in the middle of the room." Anton looked over the balcony rail in horror. "They do that, though. Ogres do that, too. Have I mentioned, recently, how glad I am that ogre didn’t do that to you?"
"Not in a couple of years, but thank you." Cormac still wasn’t quite certain what qualified as a vulnerability on a golem, but he focused on compressing any part of it he could get a grip on.
"That’s not just a golem, that’s…" Artie squinted at the thing even as his lightning arced through it, lighting it up from the inside. "I don’t even know what that is. It’s translucent. It’s a translucent golem. What the actual fuck."
Fenris snarled and blazed bright blue, stepping onto the same side of the Veil as the golem as he charged, sword swinging in a punishing arc. The creature roared, chunks of translucent rock shearing off. It turned to swat at Fenris, but the elf had already darted past, out of range.
Anton slid out of the shadows on the other side, trying to find a weak spot in the not-golem and knowing he was going to have to replace these daggers after. Annoying.
Blades, bolts, and magic came at the golem from all sides, and it staggered, catching itself with a hand on the ground. Its fingers dug into the floor, and when it straightened, it brought a chunk of the floor with it.
"Get back," Artie warned Fenris and Anton as the golem turned, aiming its new projectile at the balcony, where the mages and archer were spread out. As the golem wound up to throw the chunk of flooring, however, Artie clenched his fist again, and it overbalanced, slamming on its back into the ground.
"How’s your aim feeling? That looked pretty good," Cormac muttered, squinting down at the golem. He wrapped a barrier around its head to keep it down. "Because I’m thinking you can shake it apart. Just, you know, hit the golem, not the wall, or we’re all going to die." He laughed and tried to squeeze an ice spell into the cracks in the stone.
"Did you just suggest we bet our lives on Nervy’s aim?" Varric asked, pulling something out of his bag and shaking it violently. "Clear!" he shouted, giving Anton and Fenris a few seconds to reconsider anything they might have been considering before he lobbed the bottle down at the golem. A decent-sized fireball followed, with enough force to shake the chandelier and rattle the stair-rails.
Cormac tried the ice again, getting a better grip, this time. "I really think we can take it apart. I just don’t know what’s going to happen, if we do. Spirit golem? Is that even a thing? Balls, balls, and the balls of which I am most fond, why in the blighted fuck did we not bring Anders?"
"He was whining about his potions and his patients, again," Varric said with a shrug, trying not to think too much about the balls of anyone in the room.
"I really wish we had Justice here, to make this make sense…" Cormac shot a glance at Artemis. "Artie? Earthquakes? You’re looking a little contemplative, over there."
"Well." Artie cleared his throat, peering over the rail. "I was just thinking, maybe the golem should buy me a drink first." He dropped an earthquake on the golem before anyone else in the room could make a smart comment.
The ground trembled, and the golem shook, rocks knocking together and shaking loose. Light rippled through the creature, crackling over it like lightning, and the golem fell into pieces — six large pieces that shifted into six shades.
"Uh," said Artie, the ground still shaking. "Well, at least that’s a shape I’m more familiar with."
"I don’t need to be familiar with six of them," Varric muttered, shooting the one closest to him through the head. It disintegrated. "Then again, this is easier than the ghost golem thing."
"I have no idea what you just did, but thank you!" Anton called, digging his blades into the back of a shade.
"That is not how golems work," Cormac declared, squinting down at the shades as he drove a wall of ice through them.