(Written at 1:37 AM after my 1,000th restart of Dragon Age: Origins.)
How did I find myself in this position? At my party camp, kneeling over a large bucket of soapsuds and hot water from our nearby fire, I scrub diligently...
Eight Hours Earlier
"Blast these bandits! How are we ever going to get past them?!" That was Alistair, holding his (borrowed) Shield of Highever over his face like a coward. He called it "shield defense," but I knew better. How could he inflict any damage on the highwaymen of Lothering if he couldn't see any of them?!
"Woof!" That was my faithful mabari war hound, Fhqwhgads. He'd been at my side ever since I was a wee child of two years, which was when I pointed at him and happily gurgled my own invented word for "dog". The name stuck!
"Well, we're certainly not going to get past them if we act like a bunch of walking weapons, now, will we?" Morrigan. Always one to insert a witty comment and insult Alistair's manhood in veiled ways. Not that I minded...
"Warden." A soft nudge behind me. I assumed that Sten meant Alistair.
"Remy." Another nudge. "Let me fight. These are not worthy opponents of a qunari, but I long to break their hold upon this village." Smiling and nodding hastily, I agreed.
We charged into battle--Morrigan, Fhqwhgads, Sten and I. Alistair? He ran away into the nearest field, where he accidentally found more bandits. Ooops!!!
The fight went something like this:
Sten: (Unintelligible qunari battle cries)
Morrigan: (Snide comments overheard over cascading bolts of ice)
Fhqwhgads: (Growls and snarls, plus the sound of teeth carving up flesh)
Me: (Lady Remy Cousland) OH, MAKER'S BREATH, WHO GOT FIFTIED?!?!?
That's "fiftied", as in "who lost fifty of their heartbeats just now because one of the bandits sliced him right in the neck?!?!" Sten. My heart skipped a beat.
Alistair: Uh...A little help over here? (Sound of metal hitting flesh.) Hello?
After the fight was over (and Alistair finished bandaging his sore fingers), I tried to think of some way I could repay Sten. He had gotten 50'ed, after all.
"Are you on laundry detail?" asked Morrigan slyly. "You should be. I cook."
I stifled a rueful chuckle. "Very well. It's only fair."
Was it "only fair" that Morrigan handed me her "unmentionables" just then...?
Suddenly I saw a shadow approach me. It was big and lumbering, and for a minute I thought that a werewolf or hurlock alpha had found our camp--!
A pair of sweaty "small clothes", or drawers, was laid humbly upon the grass.
"Once you start...do these twice." A soft yet commanding voice. Sten's.
"Are you certain?" I let haughtiness creep into my voice. "I'm a noble lady."
Silence. "In order to be first, you must become the very...what is it?"
I blushed. "Parshaara.
Of course. You have my thanks and service."
"And clean underwear! Ha, ha, ha!" Stupid Alistair. He'd be stuck on camp guard duty.
Flash Forward to the Present Moment
So that was how Sten checkmated me. So much for bargaining with him!