owl speaks her words of wisdom

Questionable Artistry

Hers is a craft that leaves marks, and he just handed her his heart.

Because let’s face it, I was going to do one of these eventually. Modern AU Solavellan, in which Lavellan owns a woodworking shop. 2700~ words, rated T.

The little shop looks misplaced, sitting three paces down a dingy alley and on the ground floor of a large, imposing brick building that looks one murder away from a local tourist attraction. He spends a moment on the steps, considering the looming structure, and the at-odds little business that looks like it might have sprouted from the side of the building of its own accord. Three stone steps lead to a wooden door, the garish purple paint chipped and fading, and above which hangs a cheerful, swinging sign, the finely carved words declaring the shop’s name, Straight off the Chopping Block.

He checks Cassandra’s message again, just to be sure he hasn’t misread the address. And finding it correct, Solas belatedly decides to forgo his better judgement. After all, not all things are the way they appear, though it takes some repeating the phrase before he finally makes to open the door.

The bell chimes, though the pleasant sound is spoiled somewhat by the ear-splitting shriek of the door’s hinges, but despite having likely drawn the attention of every living soul two neighbourhoods down, the front room is empty when he enters.

It’s not a big room, though going by the shop’s ramshackle façade that’s no surprise, and he’s relieved to find that he’s at least found the right business, by the wood carvings displayed on the walls. A large grandfather clock looms to his right, along with an assortment of engravings – birds, animals, and heraldry, though the grandest by far is an enormous tree, carved into the wall behind the counter, its curling branches taking up the entire stretch of wall, all the way towards the ceiling. Individual leaves have been added, a meticulous and massive project, and by the look of it, an unfinished one.

For a brief moment, the sight steals his breath, before he locates his voice enough to call, “Hello?”

Behind the counter, just beyond the reach of the tree’s longest branches, there’s a door leading to a back room, through which a large, apron-clad Qunari ducks, fixing his one-eyed gaze on Solas. He looks too tall for the shop, but moves like he isn’t, and with a comfortable ease that suggests he’s the owner.

“What can I do for you?” he asks, in the way that implies there is more than one answer, for those who know the right questions. But Solas is only there for business. The right sort, hopefully.

He lifts the wrapped package he’s brought, giving no indication of its contents. “You do engravings?”

He receives a nod, before the Qunari turns back, to shout to someone beyond the door, “Boss, there’s a guy for you!” A wicked smile makes his lone eye curve. “He’s got wood.”

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