“You can’t keep those men in Rainesfere! I forbid it!”
Natia lifted her eyes from sharpening one of her daggers to look at Jarriad across the hall. The elf was watching the door of Arl Eamon’s office just as unobtrusively as she was and shook his head at her as he noticed her watching him.
“Rainesfere is my bannorn, Eamon!” she heard Teagan snap harshly. “You can advise me on what to do with it but the matter stands that I am in charge. Should I choose to house these men for a time, then it’s on my head.”
“A bannorn under the auspice of Redcliffe! Think, brother, what might happen if Loghain discovers what you are doing!”
“After what I saw at Ostagar, Eamon, I couldn’t give a rat’s arse about what that traitor might think.”
Unable to repress her snort at the bann’s words and the Arl’s indignant sputtering in response, Natia mouthed across the hall, I like him. Jarriad just smiled in response and she got the feeling he liked the younger Guerrin too.
“Teagan! Teagan, come back here!”
As the office door flung open, Natia turned her head to see Teagan storming out with his brother right behind him. When the elder Guerrin reached out to grab the younger, he spun out of reach with one hand falling to rest on the hilt of his sword.
“Do as you will, brother,” Teagan snarled through clenched teeth. “I, however, will not see good men and women suffer and my people agreed with me. Disown me if it will make you feel better.”
Eamon’s eyes slid over her and Jarriad for a moment then he hissed, “Think about this.”
“I’m not a boy running around on daydreams anymore, brother.”
“Yet you still think like one!”
Oh. Natia slowly rose to her feet as she sensed an unconscious shift in the dynamic of room. The feeling coiled tight, like a spring, and when it released it was all beautiful fury as Teagan lashed out with a gauntlet clad fist and caught his brother in the mouth. Eamon went sprawling and the younger Guerrin followed him with a snarl, more predator than man suddenly.
“I have had enough,” he spat. “As when I explained all of this to you earlier, I have had weeks to consider my actions and promises. I watched Cailan die, Eamon. Our own blood died out there of betrayal of the worst kind that I saw with my own eyes and you want me to keep my head down. Maker, brother, I knew you were a politician but I didn’t think you such a coward.”
The Arl wiped a hand across his bleeding lips before hissing, “You fight the battles you can win, Teagan. Now isn’t the time for it.”
“I’d rather fight the one’s that need fighting.” Teagan turned away as he said those words and looked at Jarriad as he said, “Wardens, Rainesfere will welcome you as well if you need shelter.”
Arching her eyebrows, Natia started to open her mouth but the elf beat her to it in saying, “We appreciate the offer, Bann Teagan, but there is a task we must undertake on our own. With you and the others safe, it is well past time for us to be on our way.”
The younger Guerrin nodded. “The offer will stand so long as I hold the bannorn,” he said sharply and then he was gone, striding off purposefully from the hall. Natia watched him go for a long moment before she turned to look at the Arl, who had finally dragged himself off of the floor.
“Get out of my arling, Wardens, before I see you thrown into my dungeons as the traitors they claim you are,” he said sternly before he retreated into his office, slamming the door shut behind him.
“Well,” she stated, “now what?”
Jarriad frowned darkly as he answered, “Now we have to deal with these treaties that the Commander left in my care. Kinloch Hold is the closest so we might as well take care of recruiting the mages to our side if possible.”
As she followed him towards the way out, Natia grinned and reached out to elbow him lightly in the thigh. “At least we got a good ally in the Bann. That’s a good starter.”
“Agreed. Alas, I fear finding allies will be harder from here.”
The dialogue about battles (one’s you can win vs the one’s that need fighting) is lifted from dialogue from The American President.