Arl Eamon was standing behind Alistair when he heard a commotion coming from the main entrance of the roof. Eamon unsheathed his sword ready to defend Alistair if need be. When he saw it was his own knights, and the two Templar knights returning, he placed his sword back in its scabbard on his back.
Eamon walked a few paces away from Alistair to speak with his men.
“My lord, Fort Drakon is secure, and we’ve had word from other Redcliffe Knights that the darkspawn are in retreat,” spoke Sir Perth. “The battle is won your grace.”
“Your brother is making his way here and should arrive in a few moments, we saw him in the courtyard below.”
Arl Eamon placed his hand on Sir Perth’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze.
“Maker be praised,” spoke Arl Eamon.
“Which room would be the best to move Warden Commander Lady Cousland to once we are ready to move her?”
“There is a large bedroom just outside of the main hall on the first level just below us, there seems to be a fair amount of space in the room with chests and trunks to provide storage and room for cots to be placed for healers to attend to her through the night. There is also a second bed in the room.”
“The dwarves have a door nearly off of it hinges and they should be carrying it up shortly to use as a pallet to mover her on.”
“We also discovered kitchens in the lower level and I’ve sent some of our knights down there to start fires in the hearths to get water boiling and for them to do another search for any supplies within the fort that will be needed. The Templar’s took the time in the bedroom to find fresh linens and have her bed prepared for her.”
“We’re just waiting on your orders to move her once the dwarves get here.”
“May I ask your Grace, how is Warden Commander Lady Cousland?”
“Her injuries are critical; we’ll pray to the Maker for her survival, she seems to be holding her own for now.”
“You’ve done well Sir Perth.”
“Thank you, your Grace.”
“Please help Sir Greagoir and His Templars with the injured, then bring me a count on the injured and dead here on the roof.”
“Yes, my lord, right away.” Sir Perth and Sir Richard turned to do their lord’s bidding.
Arl Eamon walked back to stand behind his young King to protect him if the need arose.
Eamon had stood for just a short time when he saw the dwarves carrying a door and right behind them was his brother Teagan with twenty of his knights. They were as covered in gore as he was, but looked none the worse for wear. Several bruises were showing here and there along with many cuts and dented armor. The dwarves carried the door over to Bellavalia’s side.
The commander’s mage continued to work on Warden Commander Lady Cousland. Alistair was still sitting in the blood next to her and rubbing his thumb over her hand still in shock. Enchantress Wynne had stopped in her ministrations of Lady Cousland to cast heal spells over Alistair.
Teagan came to stand next to his brother, placing a hand on his brother’s shoulder. “I’m thankful you live brother, after the explosion we saw…” Teagan paused to allow his words to sink in. “I wasn’t sure what I’d find up here or if there was even a roof left. Maker be praised.” Arl Eamon embraced his brother. “I’m thankful you live as well brother.” Patting his brother on the back.
Teagan glanced down at Bellavalia, and then Teagan looked at his brother.
“Walk with me brother,” softly replied Eamon. The two men walked several paces back so that their conversation wouldn’t be overheard by Alistair.
“I know what you’re going to ask Teagan and the answer is – she is barely alive, and it’s by the Maker’s own hand that she yet lives.”
“The dragon gored her and her body is badly mangled.”
“Maker’s breath,” replied Teagan.
“Eamon if she dies, Alistair will be devastated, they were deeply in love from what I understand, and he set her aside not for the fact that he didn’t love her, it was due to the fact both of them are Wardens and their abilities hamper them in having children. It might be difficult for Alistair to produce a child, from what he told her, and near impossible for two wardens to have a child.”
“Their companion Leliana told me what happened after I found Warden Commander Lady Cousland crying on the battlements at Redcliffe; the night before we started our march. I don’t think the Commander slept a wink that night. I never did get her to agree to return to her room. Alistair, I guess being young, and with his lack of experience in these types of situations, dumped her in front of all of their companions.”
“It had to be humiliating for Lady Cousland.”
Teagan paused and finished his thoughts.
“Alistair might never forgive himself.”
“My thought, exactly Teagan, and we’ve got to do everything in our power to see that she lives,” replied the Arl.
“It’s heartbreaking that she is a Grey Warden, Teagan. Being Bryce Cousland’s daughter would have been the perfect match for Alistair as King. Fergus and Bellavalia Cousland are second in line to the throne next to Alistair, if her brother even lives.”
“Alistair knows and understands his duty as king to provide the kingdom with heirs for the throne and he will eventually marry; if she dies – it will destroy him and we will have lost everything we’ve worked so hard for.” Eamon spoke with heartfelt empathy for the young couple. Their duty would pull them away from each other and there would be no help for either of them.
“Deep down we all know that he’ll love her all of his days, even if he is wed to another, but this is the way it has to be for both of them.” Eamon spoke with finality.
Arl Eamon and Bann Teagan were both lost in their own thoughts, for a few moments before continuing.
“Teagan how fares the estate in the city, were you able to get through the Market District?”
“I don’t know brother, we had to come through what is left of the Market District on the east side, and the bridge is out from the Alienage; I’m not certain if there are pathways through the fallen buildings near your estate. If we have to we’ll find a way in from the back, if the front is blocked.”
“I did notice getting here – the Chantry in the city is still standing. I’m sure the Grand Cleric will allow wounded to be brought there and hopefully your estate as well. Templars that are injured or mages will have to be taken to the Chantry – you’ll have to get with Sir Greagoir on how this needs to be handled. I’d imagine that space needs to be found for all the elves — be they City or Dalish, and then the dwarves of Orzammar for all of their wounded. I don’t think we’re going to get any direction from Alistair at the moment, until he knows that she is safe and out of danger.”
“Yes, I see what you mean. I’ll send Sir Perth and our knights under his command to scout the city for the other commanders of the different armies after we move her ladyship. I’ll instruct him to direct those commanders to me here at the Fort. If the dwarves and elves agree we can get started on making an encampment for them just outside the city gates. We’ll have to check the wells to determine if the water supply is safe.”
Arl Eamon paused in thought once again and came to a decision.
“Teagan, take the knights that came with you and backtrack through the city, and see if you can make your way to the estate. Gather any of our knights that you see on your trek back taking them with you, and see if the darkspawn made it into the estate and get word to me as soon as possible if the estate is in any shape for us to use.”
“We need to get Bellavalia moved to a cleaner environment.”
“Once her mage gives me approval, we’re going to move her down to one of the bedrooms off of the main hall – the first level below us, which I think is going to happen in just a few moments.”
“When you send me word on the condition of the estate and if it is usable, we’ll move her there as soon as we can.”
“As you say brother,” both brothers embraced once more before Teagan and the knights that came with him set out for the market district. Finishing off a few more darkspawn as they went.