"Is it true what they say mother? That there is going to be a Blight?"
Eleanor Cousland did not immediately answer her. The matriarch of the Cousland castle grabbed at the strings of her daughter’s corset and pulled. Sonya let out a breathless yelp and clenched her teeth. Her mother chuckled lightly under her breath but regained her composure as she finished helping her child dress. “That is what they say. But I am not completely sure my dear. Darkspawn don’t commonly come to the surface but it is not wholly unheard of.”
Sonya considered that for a moment, turning and smoothing the lavish silks nobility granted her. While she sat in the safety of a castle people below in the village had to bolt their doors and snuff out candles come nightfall. They didn’t have hundreds of guards to protect their homes.
The dark haired girl turned slightly eying her mother for a moment before responding. “Is that why Uncle Rendon and the Teyrn of Gwaren are coming? Father and Fergus have been all abuzz since the courier came.” Sonya’s elder brother had always wanted to meet the Hero of River Dane, a simple farmer’s son who’d risen within the Ferelden rebellion against the Orlesians becoming a veteran hero. His daughter was queen and he was greeted with praise wherever he went. From Sonya’s point of view the Teyrn was doing quite well for himself.
Sonya clawed at the waist of her dress. The gown felt like a vice compared to her armor. She wished she was training in the courtyard rather than entertaining guests. Even so it was her duty. At nineteen her father Bryce was searching endlessly to give her a husband she didn’t really desire. How was it fair that Fergus got to be the heir and still battle while she was confined to hide her talents and pretend to care when an uptight nobleman’s son came to introduce himself?
Thomas likes to hear of my training and so does Ser Gilmore.
Then again she wished not to marry either of them. But if Howe was coming he’d certainly mention a match with one of his sons and herself…again.
Trumpets greeted the oncoming party. Sonya and her mother both hurried to the window and watched the horde of soldiers accompanying two men who stood out from the armor clad guards along the bridge. The door behind her clattered open and in ran Sonya’s nephew Oren. “They’re here! They’re here! Did they bring the King? Is the King here?”
"No silly. The King is at Ostagar." She replied, half disappointed he hadn’t joined as well. Cailan was a married man but he was no less pleasant to look at. "Go find your mother, brat. We need to be with father and Fergus when they enter." Sonya ruffled his hair and hurried out of the room followed by Eleanor. By the time they entered the greeting hall the doors were being thrust open. Sonya and her mother took either side of Bryce who shot them both a curious glance. Fergus kept his eyes forward but his grin did not go unnoticed.
"Presenting Arl Rendon Howe of Amaranthine and Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir of Gwaren!" A thin man at the entrance announced, bowing swiftly to the two noble guests before rushing off. Sonya had seen Howe dozens of times but she could not recall ever once meeting Teyrn Mac Tir face to face. Seeing the mountain of a man now she realized he held an air of something grand, perhaps that of a true warrior. To be fairly honest she hoped one day people looked in awe at her as they did for him.