Post new topic   Reply to topic    Galad én estel Forum Index -> Creativity!
View previous topic :: View next topic  

user avatar

Joined: 03 Mar 2014
Posts: 3

Send private message
Reply with quote

re: Bedtime Stories With Varric Tethras


(A bit of backstory: I'm a huge Dragon Age fan. One night while dealing with insomnia I decided to imagine Varric telling me a bedtime story. This ended up being the result. It's not Shakespeare, but I highly recommend it to anyone struggling to get to sleep.)


The great hall of Skyhold was silent—a moment that came rarely and only at the latest hours of the evening. Dignitaries, servants, and other sundry guests of the ancient hold had finally turned in. With the moon hidden this night, darkness pervaded most of the room—save for a small, crackling fire near the end. An overstuffed stone chair sat near it, a short but hearty figure upon it—writing away on a clipboard.

“Did you swipe Josephine’s tablet, Varric?” asked the Inquisitor, taking a robe off a nearby coat hook and pulling it around slender frame tightly. Even with the fires, Skyhold could be mercilessly cold at time.

“Ruffles let me borrow it. I’m catching up on some correspondence. The Merchant’s Guild is starting to be a pain in my ass again. Ever since that plagiarism catastrophe came to light, my publisher has been hammering me to use the publicity as an opportunity. HAH!” he snorted. “As if being a friend of The Inquisitor wasn’t publicity enough! Speaking of which—why are you up this late, your holy elfyness?”

“I was about to ask the same my chest-bearded friend,” replied the she-elf with a smirk.

“There’s nothing like tedious business shit to help one get to sleep.” grinned the dwarf. “You look like you’re having a hard time catching 40-winks yourself. Care to help? You’d be dozing in no time!”

“I have enough “tedious business shit” to deal with on a regular basis, Varric.” sighed the Inquisitor.

“I thought that’s what Ruffles was there for…”

“Even she can only do so much. Some of our ‘allies’ and ‘patrons’ will settle for no less than a personal letter or meeting from ‘Andraste’s chosen.’ Nobles…” she snorted., “If we still weren’t dependent so much on their stupid money, I’d be glad to be rid of them.”

“Sounds like you could use a diversion, my friend. For that matter…so could I. A game of Wicked Grace perhaps?” The dwarf pulled out a deck and began shuffling.

“Not tonight, Varric, sorry…I’m bad enough as is when I’m not bloody fatigued.”

“At least you know your limits, Inquisitor…” mused the dwarf with a smile. “Not everyone does.”

“Do I sense a famous Tethras story coming on?” chuckled the elf, as she pulled a stool up next to him. “I thought I’d heard them all.”

“You can never hear all of my stories, my friend. I am an endless well of them.” winked Varric as he lay his business to the near table and grabbed a large bottle of wine in turn. “I’d like to call this one…The Ben-Hassrath Who Lost His Horns.”

“But…Bull still had his last I checked…” interjected the she-elf before being silenced by a dramatic clearing of the throat—the dwarf had begun his show.

It happened, actually, in Kirkwall during the Qunari’s ‘brief’ stay—about a good three months before the crazy shit hit (though compared to now—I guess it’s relatively normal). I was at the Hanged Man. Hawke and our gang had finished up helping the dear Guard Captain of a slight problem, and we were all content to call it a day. Now, it also happened to be a Wicked Grace tournament of sorts…and I was settling in to be titled “Champion” for the fifth year in a row. Well all of the sudden a hush hits—a rare occurrence if you’ve ever been to the Hanged Man—and a giant horned figure approaches me from the shadows of the bar.

“Are you the one called Varric Tethras?” he asks me in a deep gruff voice. “I have traveled the world and seen much of these diversionary and curious games. I have seen the particular fondness for this “Wicked Grace” from the people on this rock. And while stranded, I have learned it. You are the best I am told, and I will have an opponent who is no less than worthy.”

He took a seat and plopped a bag of sovereigns on the table. Tell me, how could I resist, Inquisitor? Sure, his size alone scared the shit out of me, but the coin was simply calling for a new home—my pockets. ‘Very well. Don’t say they didn’t warn you though, shorty.”

He frowned and I figured I better lay off the nicknames for once.

I placed my coin on the table and we began. The first round I won. The second was a draw. The third, I won again. He was a fast learner I could see early on, with steely keen eyes that are as sharp as the Qun’s dogma. And in that gaze I found myself very uneasy, Inquisitor. Like watching fuse burn and waiting for the explosion to come. It was the first time I considered throwing the game and cutting my losses. I was a little too sober though…and after a couple drinks and long glances at the gold piling up around me, I grew easy again. Finally, after another three rounds—another draw and two more wins for me—the Qunari slammed his fist against the table.

The Inn went as silent as the grave.

‘You’re too smart to cheat, dwarf, I should think.’  he growled.

‘I’m nothing but an honest sportsman.’ I shrugged, happily counting each piece as it plopped into my bag. ‘Don’t feel bad…you’re the best opponent I’ve had in ages.’

‘You’re just lucky it didn’t come to taking off clothes, dear.’ called the sea captain from the near bar.

‘That’s your favorite game Rivaini, not mine!.’

The Qunari stroked his chin awhile. ‘So, it seems the true test is when one’s pride is at stake. Here I was thinking coin was the key with your kind…but you are different. You enjoy the coin…but there is no fear in losing it…’ he mused. ‘The stripping of garments is a barbaric and base goal…but there is the lesson of shame.’

‘Forget it. I have no interest in seeing your violet butt cheeks…or other parts on the Qun’ I lifted my hand in decline.

‘Nor I would see your hairy ones.’ replied the giant with a ever so slight smirk. ‘I was thinking higher stakes anyway…your crossbow perhaps. It is of glorious work and I admit to have heard tales of it’s wonders.’

It hit me at that moment what that purple mountain was really after. He seemed too chatty and too willing to part with coin. I hadn’t been toying with him at all. He was the one waiting for this opportunity. You know the Qun and their curiosity for everything they haven’t tried or perfected yet. Imagine what they could have done to poor Bianca here…I still shudder at the thought.

And he did—the dwarf’s hand lowering to the beloved crossbow propped against his chair.

‘No deal,’ I said and rose to my feet, ‘You have no gold left so there’s nothing worth my while or my curiosity.’

‘There must be something,’ and with this, he offered a silver belt and a couple ancient daggers.

I laughed and jokingly said, “Hardly the treasure equal to my Bianca, pal. Nothing but the horns on your head could sway me otherwise.”

A gasp echoed in the Hanged Man as the Qunari rose too—glaring down at me. Then, with grit teeth, he banged his fists in the table again and said ‘Let it be so.’

I couldn’t believe it—but didn’t dare to say it was sarcasm! Plus, I had a sneaking feeling if I did not play the game as he wished—‘honorably’—sweet Bianca would be taken from me whether I wanted it or not. Tiny once told me that the Qunari don’t have a word for forfeit in their language—it’s the same as defeat.

We sat down again and each took a turn shuffling the deck.

‘This better be worth my while.’ I grumbled as the cards were dealt.

‘These horns have speared two hundred men and twice as many wild beasts.’ the giant said, evident with pride—though even he hinted hesitation. ‘Can you say the same for that?’ he nodded, almost with a sneer, toward Bianca.

‘You know, after all these years I’ve lost count, pal. Several hundred dark spawn to be sure—from being trapped in the Deep Roads. Maybe a hundred or so of other scum—slavers, blood mages, Qunari—Tal Vashoth I mean, of course. And one dragon.’  I grinned as his eyes grew wide before we both settled in for one of the longest games of Wicked Grace I’ve ever played. The night was melting into the dawn and neither of us had succeeded in beating the other. Only becoming increasingly drunk and cantankerous to the point where the tavern had completely cleared out. Six draws had occurred. But by Andraste, on the sweet Maker’s number seven—I beat him.’ 

He was as furious as a she-dragon in heat and was on the verge of leaving when I reminded him of his word. At first he tried putting it off—saying he would have the horns taken off himself and sent to me here. But I’ve been apart of too many debts to know better—I insisted he remained and a blacksmith be sent for with a Silverite saw. At first, the Smith thought I was ‘sodding drunk’ to come up with such a request—but soon couldn’t believe his ears when the Qunari told him it was the truth. Even with Silverite it took two and a half hours to saw the horns completely off—and cost me five sovereigns to replace the saw. Then the Qunari and I shook hands and parted ways.

“That’s IT?” the Inquisitor asked skeptically, crossing her arms and studying the dwarf carefully. “I expected a assassination attempt or something…”

Varric merely laughed. “This isn’t Hard in Hightown, my pointy eared friend. He was humiliated, but a Qunari never goes back on his word.”

“What did you do with the horns? Hang them on a wall like a trophy?”

The dwarf smirked, picking up one of his crossbow bolts and looking at it fondly. “You know we ended up crossing paths again not too long ago. It seems shortly after Hawke’s skirmish with the Qunari, he went off on his own, declaring himself Tal-Vashoth. He became a farmer though and an excellent gambler on the side. I was asked the same thing about the horns. Told him they were still cutting through enemies like butter and the count has surpassed a thousand. May not be dragon bone…but it’s close enough.” he handed the dumbfounded woman the bolt. “Keep it.”

“Thanks Varric…I don’t know what to say…” the elf held it in awe before rising and giving the dwarf a hug.

“Sleep well Inquisitor…” he replied with a warm smile, watching as she shuffled back toward her quarters half in awe, half drowsy.

Once she had closed the door behind her…

“What did you say the Qunari’s name was, Var?” came a voice from the shadows.

“I never did, Tiny. He’s not causing any trouble so you best leave him be from those ‘reports’ you send back to your people.” grumbled the dwarf, noting a long horn peeking out from a hall corridor under the guise of a coat hook. “It’ll be yours next if you’re not careful…”

“I’m always careful, Var.” replied The Iron Bull. “And I’d remember to check both your socks for a hidden ace.”


user avatar

Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 44

Send private message
Reply with quote

re: Bedtime Stories With Varric Tethras


I have fallen asleep to this, not an easy task, for a couple nights now. Bravo for the brilliant writing and thank you for sleep :D


user avatar

Joined: 03 Mar 2014
Posts: 3

Send private message
Reply with quote

re: Bedtime Stories With Varric Tethras


Thanks man! :) I appreciate that! You know, I think as people get older we underestimate the power of bedtime stories. Maybe we should have a section for insomniacs xD and write tales. 


Posts from:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Galad én estel Forum Index -> Creativity! All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum