June 2014 (October 2017)

Disclaimer: I didn't mean to leave this snippet sitting for so long! Do not archive without permission.

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Helmet

Philippe le Beau sneezed, wished for about the three hundred and forty-seventh time that plate armor had pockets, and dug in the left gauntlet for the handkerchief he had stashed there. Maker, but he hated this country. On first arriving at Vigil's Keep, he'd spent hours running around in the pouring rain, getting his feet soaked, and then he'd sneezed for days. Then he'd gone to the Blackmarsh, which was, unsurprisingly, a marsh, wet and miserable and full of midges, and then been dragged into the Fade for a short while (at least it was dry there), but come back to the real world in time to get his feet good and wet again in time for the trek home, of course.

The Wending Woods hadn't been wet, but he'd managed to step in mud, and then in wolf guts, and the air there was full of some fuzzy floaty little seeds that it turned out he was severly allergic to, and he'd used up his handkerchiefs in the first hour, even the emergency ones tucked down his cuisses. Then darkspawn had trapped them and stripped them of their gear, and though he'd eventually gotten his armor back, all the handkerchiefs were lost down in that old mine, and he very much doubted that the darkspawn would bring them back freshly laundered.

The city of Amaranthine might be halfway civilized, if he ever got to spend more than five minutes there without being dragged into smugglers' tunnels, which were damp and unpleasant, or off to try to salvage a stranded cargo which was more than half in the actual sea.

As for the wardens he had to work with, well. One smelled like cat piss, one smelled like the morning after a particularly brutal night before, and one smelled like a weeks-dead corpse. (Because he was a weeks-dead corpse.) Philippe had considered putting scent on his remaining handkerchiefs. The other two weren't quite so offensive to the nose, but one of them had started out wanting to kill him, and the other one apparently wanted to kill all humans just on general principle. That made it rather difficult to start up a normal conversation.

Too bad, really, since they were the best-looking ones of the lot, and under other circumstances, he might have tried flirting with one or the other of them. If he could manage to stop sneezing long enough.

Mostly, though, he just wanted to go back to Orlais. One moment he'd been at the imperial court, everyone's darling, invited to all the best parties, then the next moment he must have done something terrible, because he was pulled aside and entrusted with a very special and important mission, chosen by both the empress and the Grey Wardens as being the most suitable candidate, and he would have been honored except that they sent him--

--here. To this cold, damp, miserable country where he did nothing but sneeze and his feet never got completely dry. A strange, thick haze hung over the Knotwood Hills, tickling his nose, and he sneezed. Again. Philippe wondered if this strange darkspawn-infested chasm in the ground that they'd come to investigate would, perchance, happen to be perfectly dry.

He thought not.

* * *

dragon age || e‑mail