The Maker would not send a mage in our hour of need, the Chantry sister’s words echoed in her head as she walked towards the bathing chambers inside the chantry. They had just returned from Val Royeaux a few hours ago and she knew that everyone would want to meet and discuss their trip but Aylin just didn’t have it in her. She was tired from the long ride, listening to Cassandra and the others speculating about what the Lord Seeker was up to just added to the stress that had already been pulling at her shoulders. All she cared about was getting away from it all, even if it was just long enough for a bath.
Aylin moved as quietly as she could through the Chantry, trying her best not to draw attention to herself. She needed just a little time on her own to collect her thoughts. Val Royeaux was even more troublesome than she had originally expected. It was more than just an indicator for how the Inquisition was viewed, it showed how far the chaos had spread. They feared us… They’re afraid of me, Aylin thought as she looked on down the hall.
What do they even know about being a mage? she thought tiredly as she pushed the door open to the bathing chambers. Slowly she shook her head as she tried to clear her thoughts as she walked to the left where the Chantry sisters bathed. It seemed the more she tried to clear her mind the more she ended up thinking about it all. She couldn’t believe the Templar just hit the Chantry sister like that. She had no real love for the Chantry but even she felt how deep that betrayal struck.
Mindlessly, Aylin set her things down by the side of the large bath before she started pulling off her armor. Carefully she set each piece down in a neat stack before climbing into the bath. The water was warm, but not as hot as she liked. Closing her eyes, she leaned back against the smooth stone of the bath and called her magic around her heating up the water until steam clouded the air around her. She could feel her muscles slowly begin to loosen up as she took a deep breath.
“That seems to be a handy trick,” a voice called from the other side of the bath.
“Wha- oh, Leliana,” Aylin greeted quietly, scolding herself for not noticing someone else was there. “I’m sorry I didn’t notice anyone else was in here.”
“No, do not worry Herald, it was a long journey back from Val Royeaux,” Leliana said softly. “From what my scouts reports, your travels have been quite the challenge,” she continued on as she looked over to Aylin.
Of course… Can’t she wait until we meet at the war room Aylin thought as she rubbed her arm under the water. She took a deep breath as she sunk down to her neck in the water. Might as well get on with this Aylin thought as she reached over taking her soaps.
“It was, more so than I anticipated,” Aylin admitted as she scrubbed the sweat and grime from her body. “We are in no position to approach the Templars…” she thought aloud as she looked down into the waters. “Or the mages, I fear,” she finished as she thought about their invitation to Redcliffe to meet with the mages. Something isn’t right, Fiona would never hide behind hushed secrets like this Aylin thought, she didn’t know the Grand Enchanter personally but this was unlike anything she would have expected from her.
“No, it would seem we have a ways to go,” Leliana agreed as she turned to see Aylin standing up in the bath. “Those scars…” Leliana started as she saw the last of the day’s light shine across Aylin’s bare back as she reached up to free her hair.
“Are none of your concern,” Aylin finished coldly as she peered over her shoulder while she let her hair fall down her back.
“I see… I do apologize,” Leliana apologized quickly, easily hearing the bitterness in Aylin’s tone. “I did not mean to pry,” she finished as she saw the muscles in Aylin’s back tense.
“I received these long before I started out on this misadventure, that is all you need know,” Aylin said as she submerged herself down into the bath, preparing to wash her hair.
For a moment, Alyin was lost in the memories as she thought about the scars Leliana had seen. She had always been careful of who she changed around, making sure no one would see them. They were hers, her burden to carry. She could not do much about the scars on her face, they weren’t something she could hide. She could only be happy that no one had ever asked her about them. Part of her assumed that Leliana hadn’t asked about those because she already knew, the amount of information that Leliana knew about her and those around her was unnerving to say the least.
“Herald?” Leliana called after Aylin hadn’t responded to her questions. “Herald?”
“Hmm?” Aylin hummed as she turned back around to face Leliana. “I’m sorry… I was just trying to figure out how we will approach the templars or mages.”
“I see…” Leliana said quietly. “Do you have an opinion on which group we side with?” she asked curiously.
“That is a rather heavy question,” Aylin admitted as she ran her fingers through her hair. “Are you curious as to whether I sided with the rebel mages? Or if I remained a good little mage and hoped for the Templars’ return?” She asked, her tone a little rougher than she had first intended. “Magic created the breach in the sky… Maybe it’ll take magic to close it… or it could very well make it worse,” she thought out loud.
“So you believe in the Templars then?” Leliana asked as she watched Aylin rinse the oils from her hair.
“I don’t know… I’m not sure they would agree to work alongside a mage, nor if their abilities would prove useful against that magic… We don’t even know what it is,” Aylin answered as she looked down to the water as she squeezed the water from her hair.
I wish I were strong enough… If only I could close the Breach Aylin thought as she stepped out of the bath. But I have to try something she thought as she got dressed.