It was unknown how much pain he could endure; Valasan had encountered it before in multiple ways throughout his life but never had it been inflicted on such an intense magnitude. Forced to feel every ache and every burning, the elf did not know how his body continued under such duress. The Champion played a part in that, even if the acts to keep him conscious and aware came out of the man's own malicious hatred, and that silence Valasan so desperately craved was stolen away once more by a brief snap of electricity that felt more like a slap to his mind. It was but a brief reprieve not granted for long, blood rushing in his ears accompanied by a faint, disorienting ringing that traveled to the back of his mind when the dagger was wrenched. The numbing was incessant, muscles rendered useless save for the reflexive twitching as the elf’s body adopted a tremor. His right hand had fallen away when he blacked out, that squeezing grip on his throat relenting though the callused hand did not pull back and only trailed up the expanse of tattooed skin to settle beneath his chin. Oxygen was pulled greedily into his lungs with a raspy gasp, chest expanding with the force of it until it caused him to cough painfully with the sharp inhale. Muscles in his abdomen clenched involuntarily with the action, ribs smarting with a jabbing reminder that his body was battered. Fingers found Valasan’s jaw once again as they turned upwards ever so slightly, though pressure was not applied as it had been before with bruising force that only added to the discolored flesh already present.
He swallowed, congealed blood felt and tasted as it trickled down and the mage had to fight the urge to cough again. The Dalish had opened his eyes again, blinking against the sting of the tears before becoming aware of the hands that cradled his face. Once rough and heavy they became light and gentle, pads of the Champion’s thumbs tracing lines across the slope of hs cheekbones and the tattooed elf pursed his trembling lip to still it. Nausea was quick to follow with the words the man spoke, disorientation swept away by the constant clarity forced upon his tired mind and body. A gaze that had settled against the darkened features of the shem pulled away at the look that rested there, golden eyes holding that telltale absence of care, replaced with a glint of hatred and foul intent that the Dalish had dealt with before. There was nowhere for his head to go to escape the too-warm hands, bruises hardly stirred by the ghosting touch that slipped back down to where the twisted dagger still remained. More blood was left to mix with the already dried mask of it that crusted along his cheeks from the man's wounded hand, the punctures disallowed a moment to coagulate with continuous touch, this time settling against Valasan’s chin. Teeth were forced together with the firm pressure of the Champion's rough hand, neck lacking the strength to attempt to lift his head against the wounded touch.
The other hand occupied itself with the dagger that was now at an angle more severe than it had been before, untouched flesh sliced with the motion and despite the arm having numbed Valasan could feel each miniscule shift of the human's hand upon it. The way it trembled through the blade with each subtle movement the dark-haired man made flashed in his mind, signals flaring to life within the gouged flesh until he was acutely aware of what was happening and eyelids fluttered with despair. A sharp tone cut against him, a far cry from even the mocking ones that had been uttered before, and Valasan winced at the demand to keep his eyes open. In that he did, subtle twitches finding his form as the Champion continued to hold the dagger, poised threateningly even as the human mused aloud. Air was taken in with a small intake, chin tilting upwards in a flinch when the dagger was nudged as if the elf needed reminded of its presence. The Champion's voice lifted once more with an airy tone, words nothing more than an observation in passing with the intent to drive home the fact that the nothingness he had succumbed to before truly had been nothing. If not for the immediate threat positioned beside him that fact would have brought him to hysterics, Valasan certainly not wanting to die, least of all at the hands of the violent creature who tugged with a testing pull at the blade yet again.
The things he said were harsh, intended to carve their way through the elf’s mind and despite knowing that it was meant to harm he could not help but feel the truth of it. Shadows beyond the entrance into the tent had filtered away, space given to the construction as if to allow the man to work even if he was doing anything but that. There was no telling how much time had passed, or would pass, until someone did not have the inclination to heed the Champion. That is, if anyone were to come at all. Such thoughts pulled Valasan’s gaze away as much as it was allowed grimacing when the dagger was tugged yet again. The Dalish could not stop the choppy intakes of strained breath, nor the stuttering whimper that seemed to catch in his throat. So slight that it was Valasan could not say for sure that he had uttered it, eyes having closed against the pain that caused them to burn. No other outlet was presented to him, body reacting against his will even though the Dalish knew the human ultimately would not care what he did. Such a despicable person so deeply rooted in their ways had no room for change, and that was evident in his cruelty disguised as a helping hand.
Before Valasan could attempt to say anything or do anything the dark-haired man pulled at the dagger again, a slow fashion that began the blade’s exit from his body at last. Even that act was not free of pain, the mage’s body lurching as the sharp edges dragged along the inside of muscle and flesh, and immediately that drew an almost pleading groan from his throat. A sound that was internalized, the Dalish still not able to scream with frustrating persistence from the hand still braced against his chin and jaw. Sweat still clung to his body, trailing down from his disheveled hair, and his skin was beginning to grow all too warm even when it drained and took on a more pale pallor. Valasan tried to turn and pull the shoulder away as blood wept freely, so much blood lost yet the wounded was not allowed to recover it. Many things were not allowed, it would seem, for Valasan could feel more than see the arm lifting that held the bloodied dagger. In the human's fingers it shifted, turning downwards and seconds later it was coming down. Valasan froze as eyes widened, waiting for the added agony, and he flinched away when the weapon was buried inches from his head instead. Into the bed it landed, and that was where it stayed, heart skipping a bit as if the rapid pattern was not irregular enough already.
Compliance seemed to do very little in the way of placating the twisted individual despite his demands, but it was forced with the lingering, unspoken promise of the human making it worse than it was now. How close the dagger sat, blood dripping down the parts still uncovered, and temptation could only rise when Hawke pulled his hand away and left the weapon open. A daring act, and no doubt a lure, though Valasan could not get his hand to cooperate no matter the thought that crossed his mind to grab it and turn it against the man as he had before. Hawke continued to belittle him, staking claim on the supposed favors he was granting the brutalized elf yet Valasan had no gratitude to give him. All that remained was the fear, disgust, and panic, running through his thoughts in an ever present cycle the longer he remained motionless. Energy had been drained considerably, a brief flicker of that connection making itself known yet it remained just out of reach. What little help it would be anyways, if the elf managed to pull the magic forth, given the state of his mindset. Hawke's hand slid beneath the fabric of his shirt, fingers moving along the skin with a delicate touch and briefly Valasan could recall the close proximity the Champion had placed himself within when they first encountered one another. A sense of dread far more twisted than the fear of pain settled heavily in his sinking stomach.
The fabric was pulled aside, threads of it torn and sticking to the wound and it peeled back as the shirt was displaced. Valasan’s head shook as much as it was allowed, which wasn't much, as he felt the fingers against the edge of the carved flesh. It stung, the tiniest touch causing the Dalish to squirm as his eyes dropped to where the Champion's hand rested precariously upon his body. The man's grip tightened against his jaw, pressing down on the bruises along the left side and stirring further discomfort as they flared to life, and with it came the barely veiled threat to keep quiet. It was not something he could do, Valasan fairly certain he knew what was coming next. ”Please, you don’t…” he said through clenched teeth, voice catching in his ruined throat as it trembled, small and tapering off into a hardly contained sob of grief and pain. He swallowed again, trying to find his voice so he could attempt to give the man pause. A far stretch, and he knew that, but his mind was just as worn as his body, clinging to false hopes. ”You don’t have to do this. You made your point.” The words came forth a little stronger now even if it was pleading, a disbelief still in place that someone could be so heartless walking amongst them supposedly on the same side and allowed to remain there.
Such knowing thoughts were confirmed without necessity as the human chimed in again. A soothing promise that it all would continue if Valasan did not still his tongue, the human casting his words aside and fingertips bent to prod at the open gash. Valasan sucked in a breath, feeling each digit crawling along the exposed nerve endings and his body stiffened as the elf tried to flatten himself away from the unwanted touch. It was when the fingers were shoved deeper that Valasan choked, brows knitting together as he struggled to stifle the noise that began to climb up his throat. The pain was excruciating, and it did not take long for a mangled cry to slip forth, muffled by teeth that were still pressed together. Eyes blinked at the tears that slipped down as blood pooled beneath him and impulsively a newfound burst of strength was turned against the human with a punctured hand. He did not need to grip to shove against him, shoulder twisting and head turning to the side as if he could pull himself free though the hand only gripped tighter. Mindless pushing is all that the Dalish could accomplish, far weaker than he intended though it jarred the shem whose hand only chased him further down until there was nowhere left for the elf’s weight to be distributed.
Magic crackled in the air, a warmth blooming throughout the wound that was not unpleasant as a lazy attempt to mend the carved flesh was put into place. Hawke yanked at his head, strain put into his neck as Valasan fought the grip but could not hold the resistance before he was straightened out again. A mind warred with the duality between the comforting presence of the magic and the agonizing intrusion, the Champion only shoving down further until the elf whimpered and ceased his renewed struggling. Only then did the man pull back, focus becoming difficult through the haze of the tears the Dalish could no longer stop, a trickling display of the anguish he felt. Valasan did not look at him even as the other mage stared upon him, gaze remaining fixated upon the ceiling even as a question was asked and no answer would be offered. The bleeding had been stopped, Hawke removing his fingers with a final tug as the gash pulled together minisculely, Valasan wincing at the tug only for a battered frame already tense to jerk when a none too gentle slap was given to the poorly healed wound. A hand that lingered, Valasan resigning himself to silence even when the one bracketing his jaw tentatively fell away.
That predatory stare lingered, dark eyes holding a malicious intent that had not lessened, and the Champion straightened himself out as he grabbed the dagger from where it was still embedded. A pointed ear twitched at the closeness of it, the sound cutting through his senses as the larger man hefted it in his uninjured hand and stalked around to stand at the elf’s feet. Valasan tracked the movement warily, temptation to call out once again rising yet as emerald eyes dropped to the blade the fear of where the blade might end up quelled the urge. Suddenly hands were against his legs, Valasan startling as fingers found purchase and his body was roughly pulled down the makeshift bed. It brought the Champion closer, situated between his legs and the movement stirred the fractured ribs. ”No!” he gasped, an elbow curling against the cot as if he would be allowed to pull himself away. Harshly one of the hands remained, the other placing the sharp edge of the dagger against his throat. Valasan froze, chest heaving once again as panic made dull revitalized itself.
A threat upon his life, one that held truth in the way it shone in the Champion's eyes, and barely after he had spoke the drenched blade was twisted to slide dangerously close to his skin beneath the collar of his shirt. Cold steel and blood still wet streaked against tattooed flesh, and audibly the shirt was torn with a tugging motion until it sliced open easily. A violent shudder pulled down Valasan’s spine, a nauseating panic gripping him and causing him to lift his left leg as the vile human began to lean forward. The sole of his boot planted firmly against Hawke's hip, Valasan shoving backwards to allow for the other leg to rise only this one was kicked into the man's face. The pain was drowned temporarily, adrenaline bursting forth and no time was wasted in sending another kick against the Champion's body only for another to follow suit in quick, desperate succession. He did not know where he had hit, nor did he care, the other mage cast backwards enough for the Dalish to twist and for a leg to swing over the side of the bed.
The sudden movement as he lurched upwards caused black spots to swim in his vision, left arm struggling to find feeling again and leaving Valasan to lean against the other arm as he braced the trembling limb to push himself up. An action that gave him a crushing lightheadedness, Valasan swaying as a twinge ripped through his side and his face contorted into a grimace. The distance looked longer, tunnel vision stretching out the feet that actually lay between him and freedom as a thin layer of sweat clung to his surprisingly cold skin. In his adamant attempt to remain upright he did not think to call out again to those no doubt still standing beyond the cover of the tent, taking a step away from the bed and praying that his leg would hold his weight. His left arm hung uselessly, neither of them adequately functional enough to catch himself should he fall, but that was the furthest thing from his mind as his chin dipped and he strove to be free.