Before starting in on this story, I want to mention a couple things. First thing… I have taken parts from the Dragon Age world, weaved them in with a little Harry Potter, and tied it all together with the idea, given to me by a group of friends, of Vampire Mermaids. This all started because of a conversation in a discord chat, that somehow started to put all these pieces together. Second thing… my mind seems to have a thing for doing “parts” instead of chapters. So this is written similar to Koratar, the Black Prince which I wrote in three separate parts. I believe this story will have 4, maybe 5 parts. I haven’t decided yet, as I haven’t quite yet decided the ending, and because I just started writing part 4.
So I’m going to start with posting part 1, with the subsequent parts to come in the following days.
There was a time not too long ago when the elves had their own homeland, and did not have to wander the lands avoiding the humans as they do now. The land had been known as The Dales, and the elves, known as the Dalish. There were small towns in this land where some elves chose to settle down, but some preferred to wander with the Hala. It was a good life.
One of these wandering elves went by the name of Tahlmus. He had been born with magic, and sent to study with the local towns Hahren. The studies went well at first. He excelled in his lessons and his parents visited him weekly to show their support. By the age of ten, Tahlmus was doing spells meant for students much older than him. The Hahren was asking him to do magic that pushed him to the limit. Practice started taking up the majority of his time. So much so, his parents slowly quit coming to visit, until finally they never came at all. They even quit sending letters. Tahlmus started to feel alone, and his studies suffered, but his power continued to grow.
The Hahren didn’t know what to do, to improve the young mages mood. For a year he tried to help Tahlmus. Little did he know Tahlmus was trying to improve his mood by learning other skills, those being that of a rogue. Wielding weapons, moving with stealth, picking locks; it all intrigued Tahlmus in his depression.
Just as the Hahren was ready to give up, Tahlmus had his sixteenth birthday and everything changed. Tahlmus came into his full power, and he started having visions of things to come. Visions that warned him of danger, or showed him how things would turn out based on his decision. That was also the day that Winky entered his life. Winky was an outsider. Her family had been one of the few, chosen to serve human families known to have magical lines. Her family had been serving the infamous Crouch family, who spent most of their time in the Tevinter Imperium. It was an honor to work for such a prestigious family, and Winky had taken it very seriously. She felt she had served the family with honor and distinction. However hard times hit the Tevinter Imperium and the magic families were waring with one another. Winky had done her best, but some dark magic, and a misunderstanding had caused Winky to be out on her own wandering. No family of her own and no family to serve, is how she found herself on the Hahren’s doorstep, that cool drizzly morning.
The Hahren was kind to her. He invited her in and set a place for her at the table. He would not accept her help in making breakfast, so she sat quietly and waited. Both started at a crash that came from a different part of the house. They heard some muffled words, then a young handsome, but grumpy looking male elf appeared in the doorway. Winky tried not to stare, but she couldn’t help it. The young elf only had pants on, and he was much more fit than most humans she interacted with.
Tahlmus, after falling out of bed due to a vivid dream, felt cranky. He was sixteen now and having nightmares that rolled him out of bed. Little did he know that the nightmare was actually a magical ability that he now had, and had actually been a warning of things to come. His eyes brightened though as he stood in the kitchen doorway looking at the female elf, who was staring at him. She looked to be his age, and she was beautiful. Hoping to impress her, he used his magic to make a shirt appear and he put it on as he sat at the table.
Both of the young elves waited patiently for the Hahren to bring breakfast to the table. He gave thanks to the creators, then encouraged the two young elves to eat. It wasn’t until they had finished eating that the Hahren made formal introductions. Both only gave a shy smile during the introduction. Noticing that the sun had come out, the Hahren suggested that Tahlmus show Winky around the town, help her buy some new clothes, and get settled in her room before they started lessons. Tahlmus readily agreed offering his arm to Winky and escorting her out the door.
Over the next two years Tahlmus and Winky became close. You never saw one without the other. Tahlmus helped Winky come to terms with what had happened, and get used to her new life. Winky helped Tahlmus refocus on his studies, and with her help he found that some of his nightmares actually told him of things to come based on his decisions. They both decided to try and keep that magical talent a secret from the Hahren, agreeing he would try to exploit the talent, even though Tahlmus didn’t have any control over when it happened or what decisions it helped him make.
The Hahren was pleased with the development the two young elves had made. Tahlmus had far surpassed his need for the Hahren’s teachings, and Winky was coming into her own, becoming her own elf with quite the vibrant personality. He also saw how close they were getting. While Winky was older than Tahlmus, he felt that their bonding would be a wonderful thing for both of them. They would however, have to learn how to live on their own without his help.
“Tahlmus,” the Hahren said as he heard the two young elves enter the kitchen for breakfast, which he was fixing. “Today is your eighteenth birthday, and I believe we should…”
“Hahren, Winky and I have something we’d like to tell you,” Tahlmus interrupted. The Hahren turned away from the stove to look at the young elves. Winky had her arm wrapped around Tahlmus’s as had been normal the last few months. Both were smiling.
“Tahlmus and I have been discussing it for a while, and this morning we determined today would be the day to do it,” Winky stated once she noticed that they had the Hahren’s full attention. The Hahren just nodded in encouragement for them to continue.
“We want to open a clothing store,” Tahlmus stated. “Winky is very good at designing, and the magic she weaves is perfect for it.”
“And Tahlmus’ magic is good for everything else,” Winky stated looking up into Tahlmus’ eyes. “He can make repairs, keep up with inventory, and take measurements much faster than me.”
The Hahren could not hide his shock. Their news was not the news he was expecting. He had expected to hear that they wanted to be bonded, or that they were going to be apart of those who wander.
“This is what we want,” Tahlmus stated seeing the shock and surprise on the Hahren’s face. “We’ve a… we’ve actually bought a place and were wanting to go get started after breakfast.”
“If that’s what you want, then I will not interfere,” The Hahren stated turning back to the stove. He let out a short gasp as Winky squeezed him in a hug unexpectedly. He did his best to keep a smile on his face while the two spoke excitedly about their plans. He’d had much higher hopes for Tahlmus.
After breakfast, the two young elves, cleaned the table and did the dishes before grabbing their bags and saying goodbye. The Hahren waved as they walked away, sighing as he let them go.
It took a lot of work, but in a few days, Tahlmus and Winky had their store up and running. It was slow at first, but during this time, Tahlmus and Winky grew even closer than before. Both wanted to be more than friends, but both were too shy. Soon their reputation for remarkable, durable clothing had reached as far as the human lands. They grew to be so busy, that non-magical elves wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the orders.
“Winky,” Tahlmus started one evening after they had closed down shop. Winky turned to look at him. He took her by the hand. “Winky, I hope you know that I care for you.” Winky nodded, and Tahlmus pulled her closer so both hands were on her hips. “I want to bond with you.” Winky looked up at him , smiling. Her eyes telling him everything he needed to know. Filled with confidence at her receptiveness, Tahlmus leaned over bringing his lips closer to hers. He was pleased that when he hesitated, she closed the distance and their lips met in a gentle, soft, sweet kiss. The first one either had ever shared. “That was nice,” Tahlmus whispered as their lips parted. Winky just nodded in agreement, her eyes twinkling; something in them, Tahlmus had never seen before.
Putting her hand on his neck, Winky pulled Tahlmus down for another kiss. “We have a lot to do this week, but let’s go see the Hahren after we close shop on Friday. Maybe he will perform the ceremony on Saturday.”
“Ok,” Tahlmus whispered. He was still slightly out of breath. “I will see you in the morning.” Winky nodded, kissing Tahlmus on the cheek before the two parted ways for the evening.
With the shop being busy, the days flew by and before they knew it, they were at the Hahren’s door asking if he could bond them. To their delight, he agreed to do it the next day after lunch. Elated the two young elves walked back to their shop and up the stairs to their living quarters. Both were excited for the day to come, and sleep did not come easy.
Tahlmus finally fell asleep around mid-morning. As soon as he closed his eyes a vision came, the same one which had woken him the day he met Winky, except it was clearer, and more detailed. Life as he knew it would drastically change, and for the best outcome for everyone, he couldn’t tell Winky; couldn’t warn her of what would happen. He had seen her suffering, her anger… the worst part was that the vision didn’t show him if she would take him back. He awoke with a heavy heart. He knew what he had to do to have the best outcome for elves everywhere, would compromise his relationship with Winky. “How will I follow through,” he whispered.
“What was that?” Winky asked from the doorway. Tahlmus felt his heart jump into his throat, and his pulse quickened. Only Winky could sneak up on him.
“Nothing,” Tahlmus tried to reply as calmly as he could. “It was just a dream. And… isn’t it bad luck for me to see you before we are bonded?”
Winky went wide eyes, then hid in the hallway. “I heard you thrashing around. I wanted to make sure you were ok.”
Tahlmus smiled and sighed. He loved Winky so much. “I’m fine,” he said. “I will see you at the ceremony after lunch.” He heard Winky giggle and run off. Tahlmus groaned, but he got dressed in his best robes, and as agreed teleported to the local produce market. He would spend the morning there wandering around while Winky used the shop to get ready. While he was out he stopped by a few other shops. He was going to need some weapons for later.
“Ah, Tahlmus, you are here, good,” the Hahren said as he opened the door. “Please walk around back and take your place. I will tell Winky we are ready to begin.” Tahlmus nodded. Doing as he was told, he walked to the back of the house, into the garden and stood under the arch of flowers. He took a deep breath. Everything was about to begin. Then the backdoor opened and out walked Winky being escorted by the Hahren. Tahlmus let himself be taken in by her beauty. The white dress was the most elegant she had ever made.
The Hahren placed Winky’s hand in Tahlmus’ and that’s when it started. Screams from the marketplace could be heard. Winky threw her arms around Tahlmus. The screams… the screams is how things started in Tevinter. She buried her head in his robes, as she started shaking. Tahlmus put his arms around her, holding her tight against him. The closer the screams got, the tighter he held on to her. When the Hahren left to take a look out front, Tahlmus pulled away from Winky to look in her eyes.
“Winky,” his voice came out strained, “you know I love you with everything I am, right?” he asked. Winky nodded with tears in her eyes. Tahlmus leaned in and kissed her more passionately than he had before as the screams continued to draw closer.
“Shouldn’t we start running?” she asked. Tahlmus closed his eyes, pulling her into him. He held her so closely their hearts beat as one. He fought every urge he had to take her advice and run.
“We can’t,” Tahlmus replied with a shaky breath. Winky looked at him in confusion. “Do you still believe that I have to make the choice that provides the best outcome for everyone and not just myself when it comes to my visions?” Winky nodded, tears streaming down her face. He pulled her close once more, there wasn’t much time left now. “I love you,” Tahlmus said tears now on his cheeks. “I love you and I will save you no matter how long it takes,” he finished in a whisper as the humans rounded the corner.
The humans were from Tevinter. They were looking for Winky. The Crouch’s had forced her to go away because she had helped them, and they had been on the losing side. Having used Winky’s magic to deceive so many and harm important figures on the winning side, the human magisters wanted her. They wanted to put her in their deepest darkest dungeon, eventually forcing her back into slavery for an important magistrate’s family. The humans from Tevinter had traced Winky to that elven village. They were prepared to kill everyone that got in their way.
Winky had turned to see the humans, screaming as they got closer. She felt Tahlmus wrap his arm around her chest. She heard him whisper, “I love you. I’m so sorry.” Then her world went black.
If you want to read what happens next head over to Tahlmus, Winky and the Vampire Mermaids: Pt. 2