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reversed positions, and not in a fun way

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     Duncan stopped the group with a raised hand, Nezca stopping just next him, slightly annoyed with his command. Behind her, the human princeling and his little entourage of humans stopped as well. She wasn’t sure why there were so many human men and one elf but she also didn’t really care. She was already so close to getting out of Orzammar, what time did they have for whims? However, she understood his hesitation a moment later when she heard frantic footsteps in the passage behind them. Nezca reached for the crossbow they had bought for her before they left the Diamond Quarter, when one of the humans asked a question, hand going for his weapon as well.

 

     “Is it darkspawn Duncan?” The Warden just shook his head, not going for his own weapon at all, unsettling Nezca even further. After another tense moment of waiting, a figure burst out of the darkness behind them, covered in nothing but rags, the figure began running faster at the sight of their group. Nezca couldn’t really identify what it was until it pushed past all of the humans in their group, and threw itself on the ground in front of Duncan. The others shouted and started to actually draw their weapons until a voice broke out above all of them.

 

     “Paragons have mercy! Duncan of the Grey Wardens, I beg for your help, and can only offer myself in return. Please, I can never return to Orzammar, lest I wish for execution,” the voice said, finally lifting her face. Nezca immediately recognized her as the Princess Aeducan, second in line to the throne, and Duncan seemed to recognize this as well.

 

     “Lady Aeducan, what are you doing here? Where are your troops?” he asked in return, as shocked as Nezca was. Thankfully, at her pleas for mercy, the humans in the group started to put away their weapons, but Nezca still kept hers in her hands, not trusting this sudden appearance.

 

     “I was betrayed, and have been exiled, left to walk the Deep Roads. There is no one else,” She said, looking away from Duncan to finally settle her eyes on Nezca, flinching when she saw the brand on her face. Nezca only lifted her head higher, relishing in the situation where she, a branded fucking duster, was standing tall above Orzammar’s darling, who was begging at their feet.

 

     “Very well, when we spoke, you mentioned an interest in the Grey Wardens, we are currently heading to Ostagar to fight the Blight, would you undertake this risk and come with us? If we are to be formal, I am inviting you to join the Grey Wardens, Lady Aeducan,” Duncan offered, reaching his hand down to help her up. Nezca and Aeducan snapped their gazes from each other to look at Duncan, who was being entirely sincere. After a conflicted look crossed her face, the Princess took his hand and stood up.

 

     “I, former Princess Ghrena Aeducan, accept your offer to join the Grey Wardens, may the Paragons bless us all,” she said, as formally as she could. Nezca could only scoff, there was a Blight starting topside, no Paragons were blessing them, much less even giving a shit about what was happening if you asked her. Nezca finally slung her crossbow back over her shoulder and allowed Duncan and Aeducan to start walking ahead of her. There was no way she was gonna let someone from the Diamond Quarter be behind her, who knows when their whims would just drive their sword through her back?

 

     The rest of their party all exchanged confused looks, clearly unsure about what just happened considering that most of them had been left to wait outside the city and knew very little about Dwarven culture. Nezca just kept following Duncan and the other new recruit, a storm of emotions brewing in her. She had to remind herself that they were almost to the surface, and then it wouldn’t matter that she was just a Duster, most humans thought that the brand was just a tattoo anyways. Besides, being exiled meant that Miss Princess was no better than a Duster now. This would be a new start for the both of them.