Searching for Answers

This little scene was inspired by a phrase prompt at the WriYe DreamWidth (The Library).  It’s not a terribly exciting scene in and of itself, but it does make me think of possible plots to follow with these characters.


Whenever Konrad asked, he was told that there was no precedent for it.  No member of a Cross family had married a member of another member of a Cross family.  It had simply never happened. Konrad didn’t believe that for a moment.  He’d also been told repeatedly that they always lived together as a community.  You didn’t have people living together, growing up together and attending community events together and have none of them ever intermarry.  It couldn’t be both ways.  That meant that one thing or the other was wrong.  Since Konrad knew that most of the Cross families lived in towns called “Haven” that left the idea that none of them had ever intermarried.

He did what his teachers had always taught him to do when he had a question and no one was giving him a satisfying answer: he began to do research.  There was only one place where he could go for information at that moment: the library.

It didn’t take very long before he had narrowed in on the section of the library that he was interested in.  It had all the information on the people who had lived in Starkhaven.  There were property records and marriage certificates and birth records.  He started with the earliest records that he could find and began searching.

He’d seen how Cross families were marked in such records before, so it wasn’t difficult to pick out family names and began tracing lineages.  He smiled when he found what he was looking for.  Not once or twice.  No, several times he found Cross families that had intermarried.  Each time the result was the same.  He released a deep breath and pushed the books away.

“How goes the research?” a soft voice said.

Konrad glanced over his shoulder and nodded.  He wasn’t at all surprised to see Dorian standing there.  The man loved books – or seemed to, at least.  “It’s just like you said,” his voice faint.  “When the member of one Cross family marries another, their children are stronger than other children in their generation.”

Dorian nodded.  “Magic does that,” he said, shrugging.  “It’s common practice in Tevinter.  Strong mages marry other strong mages, so that their children are that much more powerful.”  He leaned back against the wall and crossed his arms over his chest.  “I find it curious that it would meet with so much resistance among your… sort of mage.”

Rolling his eyes, Konrad held up the family lineage he had found.  “Here’s why,” he said, his voice soft.  “This family had two other families marry into their line.  It made them that much more powerful, but… now you have to ensure that the next generation is three times larger, or you risk losing a gift.”

After a moment, Dorian nodded in understanding.  He smoothed a hand over his mustache.  “It’s like with your family and your cousins,” he said.  “The gift that Estera inherited could have, just as easily, gone to Frieda, but… then there wouldn’t be an Engel Lance.”

“Because Frieda would be the Balchunas Staff and there are just five of us,” Konrad said, nodding.  He shut the book and then heaved a sigh.  “So, then,” he said, “that just means we need to make sure that there are plenty of little Engels and Balchunases in the next generation.”

“Best of luck with that,” Dorian said, nodding.

Konrad couldn’t help but chuckle softly at his words.  “Yeah,” he agreed, a faint flush darkening his cheeks.


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