Find someone to look at you the way Varric looks at Bianca
Find someone to look at you the way Varric looks at Bianca
Here, have a few shots from last night’s game session, where I learnt how to play with the Flycam for the first time, while Kita explored Haven and got to know her new allies…
Day 1: RING.
Running late as always so I guess that counts as “being consistent”
The bald and the bushyful
In which Haven is destroyed and Maria Cadash is buried while they watch helplessly from above. Full story on AO3!
When Maria was a little girl, Nanna told her that dwarves built Ostwick, that they built many surface cities ages before. Nanna of course didn’t care for them, those first deserters of the Deep Roads were nothing but thieves and murderers exiled from their home according to her. They were the same people who founded the illegal smuggling operations her eldest granddaughter would someday join, although Zarra never considered that possibility. The second wave of dwarves fleeing, of course, happened to be the houses that would make up the Dwarven Financiers Union. Those blood traitors (Nanna’s words, not hers, although the sentiment felt accurate) planned their exit strategically and left their homeland in a lurch as the remaining once great houses scrambled to save their home.
The great stone cities underground still stood, but nobody visited. Dwarven architecture lasted the test of time, after all.
Maria’s people, her ancestors, were among the last dwarves to flee their dying cities at the turn of the industrial age. The last ones to see the only hope of survival was to abandon their pride, their blighted stone, and take their chances up on the surface where the dwarves with money and power shoved their brethren into dark, dank factories churning out poison only slightly less lethal than what killed the remaining dwarves beneath their feet.
But, Nanna grudgingly admitted, there was nothing like good dwarven architecture and Ostwick had plenty of it thanks to those traitorous bastards. Ostwick was built to last the ages even as the buildings grew higher and people from every corner of the world poured into the city.
Maria wished Haven had been built the same way. There was no dwarven stone to protect them here, nothing but wood cottages with cheerful painted clapboard going up in smoke and flame. Only one building in Haven was made of heavy brick, the quaint little chantry, and that’s where they all fled to instinctively like nugs escaping a flood, blind and desperate in the smoke.
Screams for help pierced the night around them. The dragon made another pass overhead and they pressed themselves flush against one of houses, the roof above them erupting into flames. From inside, Maria heard weak, desperate sobs for help. She pressed her hand automatically to the doorknob and found it blazing hot. She swore and wrenched her burned fingers away, darting to the side of the house.
“Cadash!” Dorian hissed, unaware of the people trapped inside. The rear exit was blocked by some burning debris, a fallen electric pole maybe. But there was a window high above her, one she couldn’t quite reach even if she stretched as much as she could.
“What are you…” Varric followed her. Of course he followed her. She turned to him insistently, braced her hands on his shoulders and fought the urge to curl into his welcome warmth and give herself over to horrified sobs.
“Lift me up.” She demanded instead.
He arched a brow. “Is this really…”
“Listen!” She slapped his shoulder, even though she shouldn’t have, and pointed up over her head. His face went blank for an uncomprehending second, then understanding dawned on him and he mumbled a curse under his breath.
“How in the world did you hear that through all of this?” Dorian asked, aghast. She ignored him. Varric still wasn’t moving fast enough for the urgency of the situation. She dug her fingers into his shoulders hard enough to bruise and glared steadily into his eyes. “I know you can bleedin’ boost me up there!”
If he could carry her the whole way up to her bedroom while kissing her within an inch of her life without dropping her he should be more than capable of tossing her through a window. He finally acquiesced and bent at the waist. He tossed his broad, sturdy arms around her thighs and hoisted her up like she weighed nothing. She twisted in his grip to reach for the high window, trying valiantly to ignore the way his hands squeezed just below her ass, his face pressed just below her breasts.
“This isn’t how I planned on getting my hands on you again.” He joked weakly.
She gripped the windowsill and tried to shove the pane glass open, but it didn’t budge. “Close your eyes and look down.” She ordered tersely. “Both of you.”
To his credit, Varric shut his eyes immediately, like he’d aided and abetted in a hundred break-ins. It was Dorian who continued to stare up at her, and she thought part of that reason may have been the sudden keen interest in the man’s too shrewd eyes when he heard the word ‘again.’ “Dorian!” She snapped waspishly.
When they both finally dropped their gaze, she thrust her elbow through the glass and it shattered easily despite the jarring throb to her sore shoulder. She tried to punch out as much glass as she could, peering through the smoke filling the home. She saw two figures huddled together and yelled. “Here! Over here!”
Thank fucking Andraste herself they moved at her voice. She hauled herself through the window, a tight fit, but manageable. Varric yelled her name as she vanished from view, but Maria simply rolled to the tile floor and shoved her arm over her mouth to try and keep from inhaling the acrid smoke. There was a kitchen chair nearby, a rickety old thing, but it would have to do. She pulled it over and the first figure, a skinny child with a human’s too long limbs, was thrust up onto it by the woman behind him. The kid paused, uncertain, peering down into the darkness outside.
“Jump!” Maria yelled, coughing on the smoke. “They’ll catch you!”
For a second, she still thought he wouldn’t, but his mother’s hushed, gentle words convinced him to clamber up through the sill. She watched him pause, breathless, before he tumbled into the abyss outside.
“You next!” Maria ordered, shoving the woman forward. She clambered up and vanished through the opening in seconds. Maria jumped up on the chair herself, listened to the threatening crack of the flimsy wood and leapt for the windowsill. She caught it just in time, the chair falling to pieces beneath her as she struggled to lever more of her upper body through the opening. She heard the panicked caw of a bird, her name ringing in the alley, felt fingers wrap around her wrists and tugging her forward. Dorian released a blistering torrent of swearing she didn’t understand, then she could breathe again, the air crisp and clear in her lungs before gravity took over and she toppled out of the window.
She collapsed on top of a sputtering Tevinter witch, his face embedded in her breasts while Nyx flapped above them in a panic.
“C’mon, we’ve got to move.” Varric urged, pulling her up by the damn arm that’d been nearly wrenched from her shoulder. She winced in his iron grip and he loosened it immediately, running his thumb over her arm apologetically instead while his eyes caught Dorian’s on the ground. “Sparkler, you with us?”
“All of me but my spleen, perhaps, which is almost certainly ruptured.” He complained acidically.
“I’m not that heavy.” Maria muttered under her breath.
“Perhaps not for chiseled dwarven physiques.” Dorian grumbled under his breath. She ignored him as they pushed back out into the square.
do u know how badly i wanna romance varric bc like at first i wanted to romance iron bull and i still do but VARRIC! he’s so fucking charismatic and cool and i like his side profile
Pairing: VarricTethras/Charise Trevelyan
Rating: EXPLICIT Full series of 14 Days here
It was almost midnight when the group playing Wicked Grace dispersed. Charise trudged up the stairs from the tavern to her room. Upon entering her bedchamber she wasn’t surprised to see Varric already divested of his tunic, hair free of its tie and brushing his shoulders, awaiting her in the large bed. With nervous elation, she hustled into the center of the room, and angled herself so she was in his line of sight.
Smiling invitingly, Charise took her time unbuttoning her blouse, letting it slide smoothly across her arms to pool around her feet. Hooking her fingers under her breast band, the rogue flicked it across the room. Varric swallowed hard, balling the coverlet in his large hands as she revealed her tantalizing creamy skin, glimmering a soft gold in the hearth light. Coquettishly unlacing her breeches and sliding her thumbs under the waistband, she rolled them with agonizing slowness over her hips and past her thighs before stepping out of them and kicking them Maker-knew-where. Standing bare before him was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking, but if his burning amber eyes and pulsing jugular were any indication, she needn’t worry about any of her perceived faults.
Swallowing hard, he took a moment to drink her to give him time to calm his racing heart. This was actually happening. They’d danced around each other for months. She’d contrived a stupid mission for the two of them to work solo and give them alone time on the road. Even after fighting the attraction like an idiot, she waited for him and continued to let him know he was the only one she wanted. And now, she invited him to touch her heavy breasts heaving with excitement and to trek past her dark patch of curls. Andraste’s tits, he was one lucky son of a bitch. Crooking a finger at her with a broad grin, Charise crawled the length of the bed, hovering over him with her breasts practically swinging in his face, but he stared into her bright blue eyes.
“Gorgeous,” he murmured.
Cupping his hand around her nape, Varric gently pulled her closer to kiss her fervently, stealing her breath with his ardor. Her stomach flip-flopped and she doubted she’d ever get over to the weak-kneed response of his mouth on hers. Moving his lips down her neck, Varric nipped the dip of her collarbone, then soothed it with his tongue. Charise moaned, followed immediately with a surprised gasp as he easily flipped her into the middle of bed to give him better access.
— You’re probably wondering what happens to the Knight-Captain after the last chapter.
— Nothing should happen to her! She was falsely accused!
(DA - Hawke/Varric)
There were hounds in the stables at Skyhold. They weren’t mabari, but they were well bred enough that Hawke was equally as entertained by their antics as their canine intelligence. She missed Goliath sorely, but these rangy hunters filled a little of the void.
She smiled to herself, remembering Goliath and Varric’s oft exasperating relationship back in Kirkwall. She’d never had the heart to discipline her massive gray dog for barreling him over, it was just too funny. Mabari were singularly loyal to their masters, this was true, but whatever the master was loyal to seemed to fall into a category of ‘also important’. And of course Varric was important to her…
Goliath pricked his
ears in attention as soon as the door opened below. From her casual
sprawl in the library, Hawke could hear Varric’s murmur as he spoke
with Orana. In her mind’s eye she could see him shrugging off
Bianca’s harness – although he wouldn’t leave his crossbow behind –
and doffing his customary leather duster. He might even stop in the
dining room and grab two tumblers and his favorite bottle on his way
up. It was strange how much changing one thing between them had
Malika Cadash & Varric Tethras
Wow, writing this little something of a fic took way longer than I expected, but I got there in the end. I really needed to get this story out of my system to get my fanfiction mojo flowing again.
This one-shot features my Elenara Lavellan and her companions Varric, Cassandra and Solas in the Hinterlands. After writing Solavellan romance with no specific Lavellan, it’s was so nice to write with one of my OCs again.
Sadly, Elenara and Solas are far away from their relationship in this one, so no sappy romance here, but I enjoyed exploring her thoughts on the Inquisition and being a Dalish among humans before she became Inquisitor. Also, some friendly bonding with Varric at the end, which is always good. Happy reading! :)
“So, Chuckles,” Varric said, “is it true you spend most of your time in the Fade?”
“As much as is possible, yes,” Solas answered with a curious side-glance. “The Fade contains a wealth of knowledge for those who know where to look.”
The dwarf scoffed. “I don’t know how you dream, let alone wander around in there. Especially when the shit that comes out of the Fade generally seems… pretty cranky.”
“So are humans, but we continue to interact with them…,” Solas replied with a smile tugging at his lips. “When we must.”
“Point taken,” Varric said.
Cassandra made a disgruntled face. “If you gentlemen are quite finished…”
“Come now, seeker…”
Elenara smiled, despite only half-listening to her companions. She was too busy keeping an eye out for rebel mages or rogue templars in the surrounding forest. It hadn’t been long since the party had stumbled in a battle between both sides and she was not keen to repeat that experience just yet.
They had spent the last week traversing the Hinterlands, running errands on behalf of the Inquisition. Every now and then, Solas or Cassandra urged her to call the retreat, get back to Haven and move on to Val Royeaux to speak to the remaining clerics of the Chantry. Elenara, on the other hand, didn’t want to rush the matter. She was rather happy to be out in the wilderness again, even as an envoy of the Inquisition. The rustling leaves and whispering wind reminded her of a time when everything had been much simpler. Before the sky had been torn apart.
If only she could remember what had happened at the conclave…
Elenara squared her shoulders, wiping sweat from her brow with one hand. Dwelling on the matter was no use. Her memories wouldn’t return just because she wanted them to. The only choice she had was to focus on what was before her: the refugees that required her help. She had decided that their lives mattered more than her knowing what had transpired at the Temple of Sacred Ashes. And so she hurried through the Hinterlands, doing everything she could to make them feel safe and protected. As if somehow, through her own actions, she could feel safe and protected, too.
Her companions didn’t seem to take much liking to the remote
wilderness, though. Varric used any chance he got to complain about the
weather, the people, the food, and the lack of proper ale. Even
Cassandra, who had been at odds with the dwarf since Elenara met her,
seemed to agree with him, but she did not voice her contempt as loudly
as he did. Only Solas kept quiet and dismissed any of her questions if
he felt ill at ease. “What we accomplish here will one day serve us in
our mission to seal the Breach,” he said. “That is more important than
my personal comfort.”
A Dragon Age fic | Cullen x f!Lavellen | Read it on AO3
It is easy to forget the world is not the high stone walls of Kirkwall.
That the tides don’t align themselves to the breath and beating heart of the city. That the heavens don’t split and weep for the sole purpose of washing the blood and grit from the flagstones.
Though really, Haven could be its own extension of Kirkwall — a second cousin, maybe. Or an estranged uncle — things keep blowing up, after all.
It’s a bit galling to realize that all this doesn’t make the top five lowest points in Varric’s life. This — the Conclave, and Haven, and a thousand people gone in an instant. It barely makes top ten. It may be that the horrors he’s experienced have always taken on a strangely intimate flavor — the blood-red of Bartrand’s eyes; the taint crawling slowly up Junior’s veins; the stitching on Lady Amell’s neck coming apart beneath Hawke’s shaking hands; Anders and a dagger and an impossible choice.
The near-fatal blows of an eventful life.
Things better left buried under miles of repression.
Death by inches. Death by greed. Death by monstrosity.
Death by a broken heart.
Read the whole thing at AO3 here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/20045989/chapters/54099550
When the gunshots started, Varric didn’t look up because he couldn’t risk the distraction. His hands needed to remain steady in spite of the cries from outside the gates. Thankfully, Harding’s white knuckle grip on his tablet didn’t falter either as she tersely reported on what their camera saw as it flew above the snaking road leading into Haven.
“A dozen more trucks coming up towards us.” She reported grimly into her cell phone. “Advance force, I think. Trucks are armored, but I’m not seeing any external weapons.”
“Keep the drone out of their sight.” Cassandra ordered tersely through the speakerphone. Varric fought the urge to roll his eyes, speeding the device through the air higher, pushing as fast as it could go. He hadn’t even realized he crested the next mountain until he watched Harding angle the camera down on the tablet, getting a good view of what sprawled out below their flight path.
Varric barely bit back a curse while his stomach dropped. He saw hundreds of people marching forward, carrying flashlights and flood lamps, identifiable against the snow only by the glowing spikes of red lyrium piercing their skin. Harding lost her voice beside him, but he heard her gulp audibly. He chanced a glance up from the tablet to meet her eyes and noted she looked pale, but maintained her calm exterior like a veteran combat reporter. She brought her phone up to her lips and hit the button without tearing her eyes from the screen.
“How many templars are there in the order?” She asked into the silence.
Curly answered, voice taut. “There are three brigades. With the exception of the battalions stationed in the Free Marches, many of those north of the Waking Sea remained in their posts.”
Cullen said it like he answered the question. Harding swore and hit the mute button on the phone before addressing her question to Varric. “Any idea how many people are in a brigade?”
“Fuck if I know.” The mass below the drone seemed endless, a sea of trained soldiers bent on destroying Haven with no peace talks, no chance to fight back. “It’s like a riddle. How many humans does it take to fuck it all up for the rest of us?”
this is potentially the best and worst thing I have ever made!
Dragon Age Companions
Solas // Varric
Cullen is closeted bi i decided
THIS NEVER MADE IT INTO MY MAIN CADASH/VARRIC FIC OKAY AND I’M STILL UPSET.
Varric, unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, sat through too many games of strip wicked grace to be surprised by how the tables had turned. He nonchalantly looked up from his hand, but he wasn’t able to stiffle his chuckle as Curly grew steadily more and more beet red from the tips of his ears the whole way to, Varric guessed but would not date confirm, his bare ass pressed against the bench.
“Don’t say a word, dwarf.” Cullen snarled as effectively as he could while sitting in all his Maker-given glory and nothing else.
“I tried to warn you, Curly.” Varric laughed. From across the table, Maria’s eyes glimmered joyfully. She had her head resting on Dorian’s shoulder and Cullen’s…cape, thing, around her shoulders. She’d been pleased to win it from Josephine. Cullen had been hopeful she’d give it back to him, but their Inquisitor was just as merciless as their Ambassador.
“Never bet against an Antivan, Commander.” Josephine pulled the last pot towards her with a flourish of her ruffled sleeves. The good news, Varric reminded himself as he folded his own abysmal hand, was that most of the time the clever little Ambassador was on their side.
Cassandra pushed her chair back, the legs scraping against stone as she scoffed. “I’m leaving.”
“So soon, Cass?” Maria lifted her head from Dorian’s shoulder.
“I don’t want to witness our Commander’s walk of shame back to the barracks.”
“Well, I do!” Dorian perked up immediately, lifting his glass of cheap wine to his mustache with a sly, predatory grin that made Cullen flush all the more crimson. In fact, Varric would hazard to say the shade nearly matched Maria’s scarlet hair.
“Inquisitor…” Cullen pleaded helplessly. Maria shook her head quickly, a corner of her smile curling her lips.
“Don’t Inquisitor me. You got yourself into this mess.”
“It comes off.” Cole reached out to touch the furred mantle over Maria’s shoulders with an air of bewilderment. “I didn’t know it came off…”
Laughter broke across the table, Maria slammed her head down on the table, shoulders wracked with mirth as Josephine stood up with complete, elegant nonchalance. She picked up both Cullen’s shirt and breeches, threw them over her arm, and began to sashay away.
Varric stood as well, the spell breaking over the assembled group. Chairs pushed back, coin clinked, last sips of ale and wine thrown into open mouths. The only three still sitting were Maria, the Iron Bull, and Cullen. Maria raised her silver eyes from the table and slowly spun out of the chair, turning her back on the poor commander with an amused toss of her head.
Cullen pushed his chair back so violently it clattered to the floor. The only sight Varric caught of him was freckled pale flesh dashing up the stairs behind Josephine.
“To Cullen!” Bull cheered, raising the last of his ale and downing it. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and stood, stretching. Varric shook his head while Maria drifted to his side, the rest of the group scattering. Bull cast a meaningful glance in Varric’s direction as he too ascended the steps.
“I’m glad you came along for the ride, Princess.” Varric grinned into her face, flushed rosy with laughter and the spiced ale she favored. Maria made a small, non committal noise in her throat and looked into the flickering flames. A small armchair, just the right size for her to curl up in and get lost, stood just to the right. She leaned back against the chair, watching him with those striking eyes.
“How’d you know I needed this tonight?” She asked quietly.
“Well, typically, I know everything.” He waved his hand dismissively. “Although I confess, it’s not hard to tell. We’ve been back at Skyhold getting ready for this damn Orlesian nonsense for months. You get this little wrinkle between your eyes every time someone bows and calls you Lady Cadash.”
As if to illustrate his point, her brows drew together and she glared at him playfully. “See!” He waved with a beaming grin. “Just like that.”
“Varric…” She warned softly. He sighed, adopted an air of weary martyrdom as he sidled around her, dropped himself into the armchair so she had to twist to look down at him from her perch on the armrest. He patted his thigh with an arched brow.
She considered it for a moment, but only for a brief one before she slid effortlessly into his lap. He hadn’t been sure she would, had half-thought she’d smack him for presumption.
He hadn’t quite expected his body to react to her so viscerally. His arm moved on his own, curling around her soft waist, the thin cotton shirt warmed from a combination of her own heat and the fire in front of them. He wanted to dip his nose to the dip of her neck, to inhale greedily the scent of leather and spices, elfroot and alchemy.
“It’s easy to forget you’re not just an icon. A symbol. Like those statues of Andraste holding bowls of fire. It’s easier when we’re out of Skyhold, when it’s just our people out in camp or trekking through whatever blighted wasteland you drag us to.”
“You’re the only person I’ve heard refer to the Emerald Graves as a blighted wasteland, Varric.” She reprimanded with a mischevious grin.
“Roots the size of us, Princess!” He exclaimed, horrified. “And you nearly had to scrape me off a giant’s foot.”
“I saved you.” She reminded him with a fond roll of her eyes. “So stop your whining.”
“That’s the gift of being the storyteller. In my version, I heroically dash in and rescue you from becoming toe fungus.”
“So very grateful for the assist, Serah.” Maria purred, shifting in his lap so she could wrap both her arms around his neck, still encased in the leather gloves she hardly removed.
He shouldn’t have, but he couldn’t help himself. He stole a glance at her brilliant eyes and found himself breathless in the face of them. She frowned, in concentration, while she peered into his face.
For a moment, he feared she’d see everything there. The heartache, the loneliness, the disappointment.
For a dizzying second, he almost hoped she would.
“Do you?” She asked
“Do I…?” He sounded like a blighted idiot, a nug-brained kid with a girl for the first damn time, but Ancestors help him he couldn’t figured out what she was talking about.
“Do you forget I’m a real person?” She whispered.
He’d been beside her through deserts and battles, swamps and rain-drenched coast, through her worst nightmares in the Fade, through his. And she couldn’t be real, his mind protested, because she was certainly too brilliant, too brave, too kind to be real.
And yet, Maria Cadash perched in his lap. Warm, alive, no figure of stone holding a bowl of flames.
“No.” He admitted. “Even though I probably should, Maria.”
The smile that broke over her face could have dimmed the sun in comparison. It lit her up from within and she swooped closer to him, her lips touching his forehead tenderly, sweetly. “Thank you. For this, for tonight, for… for everything.”