He comes to in a cell barely big enough to swing a fennec in, that's also colder than Hakkon Winterbreath's arsehole, with something green and glowing on his left hand.
To say that Ichigo was panicking would be understating it.
To top it off, then his chin was lifted by a dagger blade held by an angry Templar! Excellent! What a fantastic start to the day.
"You killed the Most Holy!" Ichigo has to blink. Did he kill the Divine? No, probably not. Mutely, he shakes his head, but this only makes the blade-bearer snarl, and shift so that she's bending down into his ear. "Liar! You destroyed the Conclave. Tell me now why we shouldn't kill you."
"Enough, Seeker. We need him alive." A taller man steps into the pool of light and looks at Ichigo with eerily golden eyes. He can't help but shudder at the intensity of the man's gaze. Something about it feels... off. That said, his words get the Seeker (what's a Seeker? is it worse than a Knight-Captain?) to finally take the blade away from his throat.
"You really think I did it." Ichigo's voice is raspy. He pauses to lick his lips before continuing. "I'm not a mage. Whatever you think I did, you're wrong." The Seeker and the golden-eyed man share a long look, before he steps closer, and pulls Ichigo's manacled hands up off his lap.
"Then, young man, explain this." As if on cue, the mark pulses angrily, sending broken-glass shards of foreign mana up his forearm. Ichigo howls in pain and his hands are dropped. He curls protectively around them, as if that will get the pain to stop.
"Sasakibe--!" It's all he can do to focus on their voices.
"Be calm, Sui Feng. The boy cannot harm us. Not when he is bound so." It takes an eternity for the mark to stop clawing its way into his arm, but when it finally stops, it feels to Ichigo that he's floating in a pool of water.
Sensation comes back in drips and drabs.
His panting breaths frost white in the air. Boots scrape on stone, then armoured shins invade his line of sight. They bend. There's the not-echo of metal-clad knees connecting with the ground.
"What are you planning?" Amusement, from behind him. Gloved and gauntleted hands tug his own away from his body. A familiar pommel is hitched at her waist.
"I'm going to show him." Despite his efforts to hold his hands close, she's got enough strength in one arm to hold him while she unhooks a ring of keys from her belt.
"Are you sure that's wise, dear Seeker?" The key stops, a finger's width from the manacles. Ichigo could cry. He might be crying. He isn't sure.
"Perhaps... it will jog his memory." The ground trembles as the mark pulses again. He whines softly, pressing his face further into the filthy floor. It hurts, why won't it stop?!
"And if it doesn't?" Metallic scraping, a click, and then his hands are free; he draws his left to his chest and clutches at it with all his strength... But it's not enough to stop the Seeker from dragging him upright and tying rope around his wrists.
"Then he will go to Val Royeaux for trial." Ichigo blinks up at the Templar - Sui Feng - through watering eyes. He hurts, he's cold... All he wants right now is to go home. He can't remember doing anything!
She draws him out of the dungeon, leading him with the rope around his wrists. He scrubs his face on the shoulder of his coat and nearly runs into a wall. The Seeker makes a disgusted noise and tugs him away, then up a flight of dark, damp stairs. They emerge into the cool warmth of a mountain chantry, flickering in the candlelight.
The massive double doors swing open, and the rush of brightness has Ichigo raising his hands to ward off the brightness - and then he sees what's in the sky.
He could not have done this. He's not that good of a mage! Certainly nowhere near good enough to rip a fucking hole through the Veil and into the blighted Fade itself. The Seeker is clearly not impressed: not by his reaction, nor by the hole spewing demons into the waking world.
"We call it the Breach. It's been growing for hours." She starts walking, and since he's not keen on getting dragged over the snowy ground, he trots along behind her. Those other people around them glare hate at him. Someone spits, and Ichigo's very pleased that they missed, thank you very much!
He's concentrating so hard on not faceplanting down the stairs that he almost doesn't notice when she speaks again. "Every time it expands, so does the mark on your hand." He stumbles, and she pauses a moment. When he's regained his balance, she resumes walking and continues talking. "And that mark... is killing you."
It takes them crossing the bridge into the valley proper, and Sui Feng freeing his hands from their bindings before Ichigo manages to find his voice.
"You're shitting me." This tiny ball of anger wrapped in steel looks up at him with dark, serious eyes and shakes her head.
"I am very much not! And since you were the only one to survive the explosion that leveled the Temple of Sacred Ashes, you are our best - our only hope of finding out who killed the DIvine." Ichigo gapes at her, then turns away. This is... This is ridiculous!
A pine tree shivers in the cold wind, and he runs a hand through his dirt-darkened mess of hair. He didn't ask for this! He'd gone to the Conclave to try and find out what the hell was up with the Templars going rogue, and now he was the sole survivor of something that tore the Veil apart.
"I can't believe this." He says, hearing Sui Feng shift impatiently a few feet away. "This - this is a dream! A nightmare!" He doesn't realise he's hyperventilating until tough hands grab his arms and pull his hands from his head.
"This is not a dream, boy. Now, get moving." Her words are effective as a slap, and his legs start moving. Towards the Breach, not away from it. Bloody Templars and their commanding voices. If only he knew how to do that.
They're climbing over a broken bridge when he feels it. The tingle in his back teeth, the way the hairs rise up off the back of his neck. Demons. And this time, he can't just wake up. There's no way he's facing them without a weapon!
"Do you think you could give me back my sword?" Her response to his question is a sneer. Templars. It's not like he's unable to cast without it, but he'd really prefer to not be Silenced when there are literal hordes of demons pouring through a hole in the sky! So now he gets to talk his way into it. Joy. "No, really, there's demons everywhere, and I haven't tried to run."
"And I suppose if I give you this, you won't try and stab me in the back immediately?" Ichigo just has to stare at her for a long moment.
"No, I'm not stupid! You'll kill me if I try anything." The Seeker hums approvingly.
"Correct. But you're still not getting this." A noise partway between a child's upset wail and a heart-felt groan escapes from him as they trudge up yet another rise. Why on earth did the Divine have to hold such an important meeting in the middle of the bloody Frostbacks?
A flaming green meteor smacks into the frozen surface of the river's bend, demons rising from the impact site with shrieks unholy and foul. Out of sight, a man yells - and a concussive wave of force shoves the demons back into the hillside.
Ichigo looks to the Seeker, but she's already unbuckling her swordbelt and halfway down the bank. The hilt thuds into his hands like it belongs there, enchanted gem still there in the quillion. He breaths a sigh of relief, then throws himself down the slope.
Ice is not a good surface for a battleground.
He's slipping and sliding, but the sword in his hands knows who the enemy is, and so he throws himself at a shade. It claws at him, wailing, but he gets in a good diagonal cut before he's sent skidding away.
As Ichigo clambers back to his feet, he glances over at the other people - a white-haired elf, casting lightning with a snarl on his face, and the biggest man he's ever seen (with some of the oddest swords he’s ever seen) standing in front of a very, very uncomfortably nervous horse with a body slung over it.
Then the shade is on him again - he parries away a swipe, bringing the blade back up and into the ribs – do demons even have ribs? In any case, it's enough to end the beast. With a final scream, it crumbles into dust that flows upwards towards the Breach.
And just like that, the battle's over. Ichigo retrieves the scabbard, glancing over the meteor-black blade. No nicks in the edge. When he looks up, the Seeker's already with the newcomers.
"Please, let there be shelter here somewhere." The elf says to Sui Feng, stowing his staff on his back. Meanwhile, his massive bronze-skinned friend has picked the body – a woman, with violet tattoos on her face – from the horse's back. "Our employer was knocked unconscious by the debris. She needs somewhere safe to recover." Now that he's closer, he can make out a Circle’s insignia on the horse's tack.
"Haven is that way," Sui Feng says, pointing behind herself. "We have stables for your horse, and food." The larger man nods, curly brown hair half out of what was probably quite an intricate braid once.
"You have our thanks, Lady Seeker." His voice is accented, but it's the term of address that Sui Feng startles at. "Come, Asaarash. You'll get a nice rub down after this." Ichigo steps to the side, staring at their backs until they're over the ridge - the elf leading the horse, the rebel mage being cradled like a child.
"A Qunari, this far south..? Never mind. Come, boy. The forward camp is not too much further now." The Seeker's voice carries, and he scrambles to follow. What a terrible day.