He should not think of the markings as beautiful, not when they had caused so much pain and posed such danger to its host, but the way they outlined his muscles and caught the light still were so, without a doubt. It was an additional cruelty, Karl thought, to design the markings to be so beautiful that they would distract from the person who bore them and come to define him in the eyes of too many.
At least he did not touch them, even as his eyes lingered; instead he traced the unmarked skin around them with careful fingers, softly as if the skin still burned from within and were in need of soothing.
The first kiss was pressed on his chin, between the white lines, earning him a soft sigh of a body’s yes, but he had to make sure.
“In words, if you please.”
Fenris chuckled, amused but content. “Do go on.”
And so he did, tongue carefully travelling the paths between the markings on his neck, fingers caressing the skin they met as he undressed him with all the reverence of a first time.
Anders, Karl, Sebastian. You would not dare!
“Hawke. Thank you for coming,” Anders said quietly as they met in the shadows near the chantry doors. “I haven’t seen any sign of Karl – nor of templars. I don’t know whether or not to take that as a good sign.”
The mage looked even tireder than he had when Hawke had first met him in his Darktown clinic earlier that day, and he’d seemed on the verge of collapse then. Hawke wondered if he’d rested at all since then; she doubted it. He seemed the sort to push himself, even well beyond when most others would have given up, or broken down. “Was there any specific place inside you were to meet him? It’s a big place,” she pointed out.
“One of the side chapels,” Anders said quietly. “Maker, I hope he made it safely… he claimed he could get out without my help..” He swayed a moment, then took a deep breath and drew himself upright. “Well, standing around out here doesn’t accomplish anything,” he pointed out, and turned toward the doors, taking a step forward.
Yesss splendid *hugs tight*
Follow-up to this. Yeah. KARL and DUNCAN. They are going to get it on. Because beard porn, clearly!
Karl leaned back against the old stone wall, made so different from the ones in the tower simply due to him being on the outside of them for once. He tried to not look too closely at the young man before him, unsure of where it would be proper to rest his eyes. He had to remind himself that this was their King, a person to respect and perhaps be in awe of, that his enthusiasm for fighting darkspawn ought to be regarded as bravery; he should be thought of as a warrior king and not a foolish youth playing soldier for his own amusement.
It was difficult, however, to regard him with the proper amount of respect when he practically beamed and spoke of glory as he did.
“So! A battle mage called to defend our homeland, to crush our unholy enemies with your dangerous powers! Glorious, is it not?” Cailan beamed at him again.
Karl did not feel particularly glorious. While wearing trousers and proper armour made to survive battle in made sense from a self preservation angle, the actually wearing them part was… uncomfortable. The leather armour chafed and smelled somewhat strange after a day in the sun, the trousers were not as great as the soldiers would have him believe, and during one undignified moment he had almost managed to stab himself with the end of his newly assigned staff, designed for a combat style that would put him much closer to the enemy than he would have liked. He wanted to sigh, deeply, but had to keep up appearances.
“Simply fulfilling my duty as a Circle mage, Your Majesty,” he said, keeping his voice level. Being let out of the tower only to be thrown in the vague direction of some monsters was not his idea of glory; not that he had entertained many thoughts of glory before.
“What is that like, anyway? Exciting? All that power!”
Karl blinked. “I… live locked up in a tower. So rather dull, I must say. Your Majesty.”
Cailan - The King, Karl reminded himself sternly, seemed a bit at loss for words after that, and in need of hearing something a tad more cheerful.
“My friend attempted to grow his hair out to have a braid long enough for a rescuer to climb up it, like a maiden in a story. Not a very well thought out plan, if you ask me - any rescuer would be just as stuck as the mage.”
“There are not… many escapees, are there?” Cailan sounded a slight bit concerned.
“Oh no, we are surrounded by a lake,” Karl ensured him, “and he only managed to get it to about shoulder length. It was not a very well planned attempt.”
Hey hey how about some Tuesday morning explicit smut?
Yes. Yes always. And to keep going yes and yes and yes now would feel a slight touch inappropriate, but in the spirit of TMI Tuesday, yes. Because perfect smut. Thank you for this beautiful, beardtastic moment that really requires a .gif of a flustered woman fanning herself that my folder is sadly lacking. INSTEAD, ALL CAPS AND EXCLAMATION MARKS TIME! AU KARL/ISABELA AWW YEAH!
The hallways of Kinloch Hold did no longer simply feel strangely empty, but were. The Circle Tower always seemed emptier with Anders missing, but this time he was not the only one gone. And hopefully, unlike Niall and so many others, he was at least not entirely gone from this world.
As much as mages taught themselves not to form too close attachments, Karl could not help but feel a pang of loss; he had known many of the victims of the carnage, had formed bonds with some. Like Niall; they had been friends, of sorts. He had valued their philosophical discussions and although he himself did not want to see all mages separated from the population at large, Niall was a good speaker and had made him understand his point of view as well as well as been open to listening to Karl’s. Karl had appreciated their discussions, how they had been able to challenge each other’s viewpoints through intelligent debate. He found himself missing it, their mature conversations conducted on even ground.
Not as much as he, beyond all reason, missed the heated discussions with Anders that would sometimes result in Anders storming off in a fit of rage when opposed too intently. There was much good to be said about calm arguments, but they lacked the fire that Anders had always brought.
But even though he has missed him, he was glad that Anders had not been present during Uldred’s rebellion. Karl had been lucky to survive himself, guarding young apprentices from demons and templars alike. There was no doubt in his mind that some of the templars would have used the chaos as an opportunity to kill a troublemaker like Anders, to be rid of what they viewed as nothing more than a problem, never sparing a thought for the person under the defiance, or the reason for it.
He hoped with too much of his heart that he had been able to survive the Blight outside the tower.
It does call out to me, yes! I want to fill this so much it hurts. I really really really do, and I have been thinking of what I could do with it, how they would act, and Ser Pounce-A-Lot. I would love to fill it. If the OP is alright with me not being the speediest writer, then I will and I will love it and I just wrote about Karl thinking that the Gallows would break Anders so I have all these ideas and… aah feelings!
My family is having nap time, which means less fun for me (my sister really is my greatest source of entertainment). I am trying to write but my mind is rather scattered right now. I have been going on a bit of a Karl binge, which has put me in a rather melancholic mood, because Kaaaarl. I just, I want to save him, recruit him, have him hang around with Anders in the clinic and make him happy, have happy times with Anders and have happy times together, and keep Anders sane, because I think he could. I am writing a fic where that happens but it is not getting as long as I want it to because I keep choking up, unable to continue - I just. That is an AU I want so much, but I am not capable of putting it together. There are just fragments and short moments and not coherent, not as I want it to be. I just… want to read something really really long and happy, something that makes me sigh afterwards and think yes, this is how the world was meant to be.