Context: Grey Wardens have tracked a darkspawn horde to Ivalice and are recruiting from among the local populace. Balthier and Basch are among the first group of recruits for various reasons. Nathaniel and m!Surana (who is not "The Warden" in this universe, just one of their number -- f!Cousland is Warden-Commander) are about to board the Strahl for the first time.
"I'd like to invite the two of you to the cockpit, to enjoy the view." Balthier raised an eyebrow. "Am I correct in assuming that neither of you have ever flown before?"
"We have no flying ships in Thedas," Nathaniel replied. "The Grey Wardens once flew into battle on the backs of griffons, but the last died over two hundred years ago. To my knowledge, this will be the first time that any Warden has taken to the air since." He glanced at Alim. "I would be lying if I said that I was not petrified. But the idea is thrilling as well."
"I'll say." Alim broke into a quick smile, the first time Balthier had seen a Grey Warden look anything other than dead serious, and he found himself smiling back. For the first time, it truly hit him that, if he survived this process, these men would become his brothers. As would the others who had come from Ferelden, and the Rozarrian woman he had just recruited as his co-pilot, and the four men in the Strahl's hold. Even Basch, whom Balthier already thought of as a sort of brother, would become bound to him in a new and different way. It was an odd thought for a man who had spent so much of his life not belonging to anything, or anyone.
Considering how uncertain I was of this idea at first, I'm really excited by how smoothly things are coming together. Maybe not smoothly enough to have a rough draft in less than two weeks (who decided having such an early deadline was a good idea? Oh, right, that would be me), but certainly better than it was before. 13,000 words but with a ways to go, plotwise. So we'll see. But I am feeling hopeful, at least for tonight.
This entry is also posted at http://owlmoose.dreamwidth.org/548174.html. There are currently comments on DW.