Where the story leaves, Lucanis has hunted Solas only to discover his deception in this hunt. Now Lucanis must contemplate what has been proposed to him.
Lucanis and Solas get into an intrication that leaves on of them fighting for his life.
Lucanis rapped his fingers on the wooden table; the sound echoed in the cavernous chamber. He was leaning back on the chair, an arm resting on its top rail. The wind outside the thaig within the mountain whistled. His gloves lay on the table next to a candle that had burnt halfway down. It lit the Dread Wolf’s face with an amber glow, making the elf’s eyes look ominous in the low light contrasting the Veilfire torch that stood behind him.
Lucanis stared at Solas, keeping his expression neutral. Solas had explained to him his plan and his reasons, time had whittled away, and the silence would have been overwhelming if not for Lucanis’s rapping of his fingers. He’d been staring at his quarry for a long time. He had met very few people who could maintain eye contact with him for this long without being intimidated. He kept his head low, his eyes upward. Given he rested his mask atop his head, at this angle, his expression should have appeared more intimidating. And yet, the elf merely stared back, waiting, looking very patient.
Lucanis stopped himself from rolling his eyes. He had been hoping the elf would have broken eye contact by now.
Lucanis paused and placed his hand flat on the table, cocking his head to the side. ‘You want me to hunt beings who might not even be alive.’
‘That is correct,’ replied Solas.
‘You hunt them. Find them through the Fade.’
‘It’s not that simple, as I’ve told you. They are very well hidden, some of them may even be going by an alias. The world of dreams can only reveal so much. I have visited the memories of the places where I suspect they last were, but that did not reveal where each of them is now.’
Lucanis stared for another moment. ‘You want me to find and hunt the very beings who are the reason that blights exist.’ He said conclusively. ‘You want me,’ he stood and walked behind his chair, taking hold of its top rail, ‘to find ages-old magisters because you believe,’ he said pointing at Solas, ‘that doing so will save Thedas. From what? You? There’s obviously something you’re not telling me.’
‘It would be too easy for me to reveal all my secrets,’ said Solas.
‘Oh, sure!’ Lucanis chuckled. ‘You’ve lost your mind, old elf. Some of the seven are dead, others are missing. Two are at least searching for their old god. And who knows where the remaining fled to. And you want me to find them? Magister darkspawn. Beings like Corypheus!’ He let out a mirthless laugh.
‘You are excellent at what you do,’ said Solas. ‘You can detect magic, I’m told.’ He paused. ‘You followed my trail here.’
Lucanis leaned forward. ‘Don’t insult my intelligence.’
‘You will have access to the Eluvian network,’ said Solas, unphased.
‘And pray, tell me, since I possess no magic of my own, how will I activate these Eluvians?’
‘With this elven artifact,’ said Solas. He placed a runic key on the table that glowed with magic. It made Lucanis’s eyes sting.
Lucanis shook his head. ‘I’m sorry. You’re on your own. I’m not doing it. Hunting you was one thing, but the magisters sidereal… No.’
Lucanis took his gloves, turned on his heels, and began towards the corridor that led back the way he’d come.
‘The stakes are too high to refuse,’ Solas called after him.
‘Find someone else,’ Lucanis shouted back.
He reached the Eluvian; it shimmered. He continued forward.
‘I don’t think you understand,’ said Solas from behind him.
Lucanis glanced at the elf. Solas’s eyes glowed white, and the Eluvian’s shimmering surface darkened and cracked.
‘I’m giving you no choice.’
There was something in Solas’s tone that gave warning to danger.
Lucanis laughed joylessly. ‘I might have known.’ He turned back to face Solas. ‘They say, “May the Dread Wolf take you,” because I walked right into his trap.’ Lucanis clocked in his memory the other passage out of the room at the far end. He pressed his finger on the palm of his hand, bringing forward a hidden dart, readying himself. ‘Looks like I’m going to have to do this the hard way.’
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