( Story under cut. Rated M for language. Winter fun in the Deep Roads ensues. )
Outside it was probably snowing. The ponds along the wounded coast would be freezing over. It had to be getting close to feast day but there was no expedition to find Harlot's Blush to hang in the door ways for them. No listening to the pop of corn grains roasting over the fire.
Nope, thanks to Bartrand, they were stuck in the blighted sweltering Deep Roads. Fighting possessed rock monster... thingies.
"I'll show you why Mages are feared!" Came yet another cry from Anders. Marian was really starting to wish he would stop saying that. Every flaming time those words left his mouth the Void ridden nug humping rock... thinga... would pause, shudder and call a bunch of teeny bitey rock thingas! It was infuriating!
Marian was getting tetchy about the whole maker forsaken afair!
Usually, Marian filled the role of main healer. She was a Spirit Healer, a very good one if she did say so herself. She quite enjoyed it, and it gave Anders a chance to stretch his magical muscles in other schools while he was away from the clinic.
Today however, she was annoyed. Feeling a little cranky. She was missing her damned snowman contest with Merril. She was missing baking with her mother! Void take it, she was missing cashing in on the expedition and getting royally shite-faced in the snow with her friends!
Enough was enough... really! A girl has needs!
She had just enough time to register the horrified look on Aveline and Varric's face as she stormed up to point blank range of the giant rock thinga and closed her eyes.
She muttered under her breath and in the space of three heartbeats, her breath began to mist. Ice crystals began to form on her eyelashes and fingertips.
"NO, you screaming FUCK!! I'LL show you why Mages are feared!" she shrieked, stamping her foot.
As she dropped her hands from their position high above her head, Anders let out a maniacal whoop and shouted for the rest of the party to dive for cover.
Anders popped out a haste spell on the party and managed to throw up a shield around himself just in the nick of time.
Marians staff connected with the stinking hot rock un-wintery under her feet with a resounding crack, and the temperature plummeted. The blizzard swirled around, building to a deafening roar. Snow and ice piled up past Marion and Anders knees, and the demon infested rock thingas in question froze solid.
Varric (from behind the safety of a large stalagmite) and Anders (cackling like a loon completely out in the open) picked the small ones off in short order. Marion, still apparently feeling a little snarky about missing her mother's famous roast followed by treacle cakes and cream, walked over to the giant rock thing and roared. She smashed it with the but of her staff, shattering it into a million little harmless un-possessed pebbles.
Slowly the non mages of the group crept out from behind cover, looking around at the pristine white underground landscape.
Aviline found her wits first, scowling at Marion.
"Void take it Hawk, what were you thinking?" The guardswoman growled, wading through a snowdrift to stand next to the oh-so-smug-looking mage.
"I want my damned Snow Spirits." Hawk muttered, kicking the bigger hunks of rock out of the way. She immediately plunked down on her back in the snow and started waving her arms and legs around, with a determined scowl on her flushed face.
"I don't know what they are Hawk, but I have to say you do get results. Messing with you is suicide." The Dwarf chuckled, shaking his head.
Aveline looked between Anders, who was conjuring yet more snow between his hands, and Marion who was now gathering a giant ball from the snow on the ground.
"You mean to tell me that you risked getting yourself killed, because you want to roll around in the snow?" Aveline squeaked.
"Yup!" Marion grinned.
Aviline closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose.
And got simultaneously pelted with two giant snowballs.
Aviline sputtered and coughed, trying her hardest to scowl. She almost succeeded when another giant snowball pelted smack in the middle of Anders' back, having flown from Varric's general direction. A small chuckle escaped, as she bent to gather a handful of snow.
Marion, seeing that Varric had so far escaped unscathed from the battle, began casting. The Dwarf in question loosed another gigantic snowball, and was suddenly caught in the middle of a two foot wide circle of falling snow.
The snow fight raged for quite some time, until finally the drifts all melted to water, and trickled away.
Laughing and soaked, the party sorted through the loot.
It was a temporary reprieve. A small piece of winter happiness. It lasted only a few hours, but the group knew that with the lives they led one had to take one's pleasures when they were offered.
Who knew whether or not they had missed the Feast Day festivities while stuck underground, or what would await them when they reached Kirkwall again.
What they did know was that they were alive, and they had each other. And that... well, hopefully that would never change.