The gentle rocking of the boat, Dorian mused as he leaned his sore back against the wooden barrel behind him with his knees drawn to his chest, could have reminded him of his mothers hold, were he an infant. Well into adulthood, however, the persistent motion of the ship was all but soothing, the nausea that had made home in his stomach from the moment he snuck on board and the ship set sail like an ever present second cousin who would not leave him alone. He had snuck on the ship while it docked in Minrathous, having had the last of his coin stolen so he could no longer buy his way on with tender. Panicking, as the danger of staying so close to his family loomed farther and farther over his shoulder, he decided he had no other choice but to stow away on one of the ships, planning to ride it for as long as possible before the risk grew too great and he deemed it necessary to sneak off. Though he was no rogue, the initial task of sneaking on board proved fairly simple; if you acted with enough confidence, no one would suspect you were doing anything wrong. So Dorian had pulled off his robe and tied it around his waist so it looked like an ordinary shirt, grabbed a crate on the ground he assumed was to be loaded, and, when no one was looking, picked it up and proceeded to carry it onboard. Being able to use the crate to cover his face was ingenious; no one had assumed anything, and when someone’s gaze turned his way, he just hoisted the crate up higher to hide his identity. He figured sneaking off wouldn’t be nearly as easy, but he’d managed to get to the bottom deck below the sleeping quarters without being caught, so perhaps the Maker was on his side.
Dorian had been hidden away, a small hideaway made by a barrel and three crates stacked together, for what he could guess was nearly a week with little food and water. He ate his dried beef carefully, proportioning it just enough so he could make it last at least two weeks, but water he was even more cautious with, allowing only a couple of drinks throughout the day. He had no notion of time, having no light save for what seeped through the cracks in the wood above his head, and his inner body workings had him falling asleep and awakening at irregular intervals which made it far more difficult to guess a time. His sea sickness wasn’t doing him any favors either, but luckily the small amature healing spell he picked up on when he was a child was perfect for keeping his upset stomach at bay. He couldn’t risk losing what little nutrients he was getting being ill, and worse yet was the risk of revealing his hiding place. So when he got nauseous, he murmured the spell to himself and satiated his stomach for the time being. But apart from physically, mentally he wasn’t doing too well either. He was dirty, or felt dirty at least, not having had a proper bath since he left Minrathous, and days down below deck in the hot and stale air made a layer of grime coat his upper body that was still bare, it having been too hot to even dream of covering his arms. His face itched from unwanted facial stubble growing in places it shouldn’t, and his hair had gotten so thick with grease he didn’t even want to imagine what it felt like to touch at that moment. He was miserable, dirty, sick, and his legs were so cramped from staying in his sitting position for so many hours at a time he wondered if it was possible they’d freeze like that. Still, he toughed it out, every day praying to the Maker he was just a little bit closer to getting off the awful contraption.
It had been one of Dorian’s periods of rest where his stomach settled just enough to allow him to fall asleep, and no sooner had he done so had he been roughly grabbed by the arm and forcefully pulled over the crate with such force that the corner of the crate had caught him in the side and he felt his skin slice open, pain shooting up when he was tossed on the ground. Still in his half asleep daze, however, he had no chance of fighting back as multiple sets of hands were on him, shouts and footsteps filling his ears as he was spoken to, but the jumbled words of his assailants blended together so he couldn’t make heads or tails of what they were shouting. They probably realized this too as a hand slapped his face and another hand off to the side pointed the tip of a sword at him. What are you doing here? He heard someone ask again, this time the words processed clearly. They didn’t wait for his answer, however, before he was roughly pulled to his feet, hands on his back shoving him forward into the person in front of him, before he was pulled by the arm once more and the limb was twisted behind his back. Fully awake now and inwardly panicking, he started to struggle, which earned him a kick in the back of the knee. Dorian, falling and barely catching himself on his good knee, turned to snap ‘If you want me to move faster then don’t trip me up!’ but he was gifted another slap in the face for attempting to speak. With a growl, he forced himself back on his feet to save himself his remaining dignity, and began walking in the direction they were leading him with his own power.
He was lead up the stairs to the deck, momentarily blinded by the sunlight (so it was late afternoon then, it seemed) and urged towards the door that stood towards his right center of the ship. The captain’s cabin, he assumed, where he was to be possibly tortured and murdered at best, and at worst, thrown overboard to be eaten by sharks. Perhaps he’d be given a chance to explain himself, though he doubted on a pirate ship they cared much for what a stowaway had to say. Not that Dorian had been taking up much space to begin with, but the principle of someone sneaking on board unnoticed and uninvited was enough to set a pirate in a frenzy. He’d heard tales of people being murdered by a pirate for doing a lot less.
The door was shoved open, the man holding him by his arm shoving him in with the same aggressive force of a gorilla, despite him being elven and a whole head shorter than Dorian himself. Still, if the scars on his face were any indication, he wasn’t an elf to be reckoned with when he needed to be, and Dorian took the time he spent explaining the situation to take a look around the new room as his eyes adjusted from the assault on them but moments before. It was spacious, with just the large oak desk and chair, where a dark haired man sat seated, a look of possible intrigue pasted on his scarred features. Dorian’s eyes skimmed over him in disinterest, taking in the papers of various importance scattered about the desk instead. A large wooden chest sat in the corner, a few barrels and crates on the opposite sides, but other than that there was little in the way of decoration. “So this is the lair of a pirate captain? Fascinating. There are far fewer parrots than I imagined,” he said, instantly earning a dagger pointed at his throat. The man was quick; Dorian had barely seen him move before he was standing before him, intrigue replaced with irritation as he ordered a member of his own crew thrown overboard as if the decision required no thought or remorse on his part. Steely gaze ordered his silence, which Dorian obliged if only to get a better look at his captive before his death.Hard lines weathered from life at sea and thick scars from countless battles greeted him while steel colored eyes bore holes in his skin from the intensity they scrutinized him with. His arm was released as the elf behind him turned and left, and Dorian, in his best act of defiance in a losing situation, stuck his nose of at the shorter man. Now that they were alone together, he wasn’t sure what would happen, just that he would die a sarcastic shit than a quivering coward.
Their gazes met, and while Dorian settled on a silent glare, the captain’s expression was nearly unreadable, no doubt from years of experience in interrogation. Hands found his hip and, with the tip of his dagger trailing up his thigh, Dorian held still while his belt was sliced off his body, tossed off to the side while Dorian was slammed up against the wall, the edge of the dagger pressed against the skin of his throat far too close for comfort. Rage, malice, two of the worst kind of emotions were directed towards him and, with a sharp blade threatening to slice the thin skin beneath it, the situation was most definitely not ideal. It was true that he’d been given a chance to explain himself, that was in his favor at least, but he doubted anything he could say would appease a pirate. “You know, I was just thinking that your quaint little office here could use more decoration, however I don’t think the red from my blood would match the warm earthy atmosphere you have going on in here. It’d be an awful mess to clean up, and I don’t believe you’d get anything more done with those brutes in here taking care of it then you would if you left me alive.” He paused, reconsidering tactics, but his mind was a bit fuzzy from his small diet the past week and having sat in darkness in a cramped corner for hours on end. His legs were sore and his cheeks hurt from being struck, and at this point he wasn’t even sure he had the patience to gamble with his own life. He was irked and tired, sick, and all he had in him were snide comments that were sure to get him killed. But, of course, he had a mission, and dying was a last resort.
“There’s also the fact that I’m heading out to join the growing inquisition in Ferelden. Maybe you’ve heard about them? Or have seen the big glowy hole in the sky? I know I have all the way in Tevinter.” Alexius, his former mentor, had written to him once or twice about the massive grouping in Ferelden after the explosion at the conclave, however his son Felix had warned him of his fathers involvement with the Venatori and requested Dorian’s aid. The timing couldn’t have been better, seeing as he was looking for an excuse to leave Tevinter after the latest fallout with his father, and if he could help the bud of the inquisition and foil what Alexius was planning, it was for the best of everyone. “I’m hoping to use their resources to help my people and free the slaves back in my home country, which is the reason I stowed away on your ship. Terribly sorry for the inconvenience I caused you, being below deck, completely out of the way and causing to harm to anyone, and all.” He glared again, his fingers pulsing with magic building up for release, though he kept his gaze steady and his powers at bay. If he could get out of this situation peacefully, that would be preferred. He might be able to defeat the captain and a few of his men, though there was no way he could take on an entire crew in his state. Not to mention he was trapped on a ship with no ability to steer it. He needed everyone alive.