Walks on the Wounded Coast
1043 words, featuring Esther Hawke, Carver Hawke and me (and the siblings) getting emotional over the Hawke family and all the things they’ve lost once again <3
It was a shock, seeing the ocean at the Wounded Coast for the first time since Esther and her family had settled in Kirkwall. It wasn’t as though there was a shortage of water in Kirkwall, especially around the Docks, but the walls of the city, the towering statues and the imposing chains dominated the landscape, the ocean and the world beyond insignificant in comparison.
The Hawke siblings’ work with the Red Iron had largely kept Esther and Carver within the walls of the city itself, as had the fear that if they left, they would not be allowed back, not without another argument with overzealous guards tired of refugees. It was only now that they found themselves on the Wounded Coast, looking out at the open water, the imposing rocky crags as they followed the path to Sundermont.
It was beautiful and intimidating and Esther found herself feeling both simultaneously awed and very small. The wind whipped around her, goosebumps rising on her arms as she stood at the cliff’s edge, watching the water move.
“You can almost see home from here,” Carver said softly and she jumped, not realising her brother had moved behind her.
“Really?” Esther asked and he nodded, his eyes fixed on the horizon.
“This is the Waking Sea. You sail that way, away from the Free Marches, and you end up in Ferelden. On the Storm Coast, I think. I’m not sure exactly where it lines up though.”
Esther peered into the distant sea, trying to make out anything beyond the constant shifting of the water and the dull grey of the overcast sky.
“Highever is that way, to the west of Amaranthine,” Carver continued, pointing. He moved his arm to point more directly in front of them. “And I think if you went that way and kept going once you got to Ferelden, you’d head across the Bannorn and end up back home.” He faltered. “Back in Lothering I mean.”
“If there’s anything still there to find,” Esther said, turning to look at Carver. His eyes were still focused out to sea but his lips pressed into a thin line, tension evident in his jaw.
“It’s still Lothering,” he said. “Even if the buildings are gone and the people have… left.”
Esther didn’t bother answering. Ever since the attack on Lothering, ever since they had fled, leaving the town behind them as it fell to the same Darkspawn that had overwhelmed the King’s army… Carver had always found that harder to accept than she had. And they both knew that while many had fled, many had not made it past the attack the way they had.
“I don't know if it’s beautiful or terrifying,” she said instead as a particularly large wave broke against the rock formation, mist spraying out across the ever changing water. Esther was thankful that the rocky path kept them high above it, safer. “Maybe it’s both.”
“I think Bethany would have liked it here,” Carver said, still not looking away from the ocean. His voice was soft, barely audible above the crashing waves, the wind catching their hair, carrying their voices away. “She always loved the sea.”
“She had that book of poems,” Esther said, the hint of a smile on her lips as she recalled the memory. “The one Father bought her from that market. She always used to make me read the one about the sea.”
Something felt like it was clenching her heart, making her chest feel tight, the way it always did these days when she thought about her younger sister. It hurt less than it used to, or maybe she was just used to the pain, but that didn’t mean it didn’t still hurt.
She wished the wind could carry the pain away too.
“I used to hate reading it but I could never say no to her,” Esther continued. If she tried, she could probably remember most of the words, though she hadn’t thought of it in years. The thought put a lump in her throat.
“I always used to listen as well,” Carver said and Esther let out a soft gust of air, almost a laugh but not quite.
“I seem to remember you telling me to shut up a lot when I did,” she said and watched her brother’s ears turn red. She could have teased him further but she wasn’t in the mood, not now.
“I miss her, Carv,” she said instead, trying to tell herself that the tears pricking at her eyes were just from the wind that blew around them, from the salt in the air and nothing else.
“I know,” he said, one strong arm wrapping around her shoulders. She didn’t hug her brother much anymore, not these days, but it was a comfort to lean into him. “Me too.”
They stood in silence for a moment, both taking the time to remember the sister they had lost as they watched the restless water.
The faint clatter of shifting rocks sounded behind them and Esther jumped, turning to see Varric shifting his crossbow as he clearly tried to make himself seem less visible.
“Sorry Hawke,” he said. “Didn’t mean to interrupt. Just checking if you’re ready to head on up to Sundermont.”
“It’s fine, Varric,” Esther said, stepping away from her brother. She sniffed, wiping her eyes quickly with the back of her hands. “It’s ok. I’m ready to go. Carver?”
Carver nodded, adjusting his pose to stand straighter, taller.
As Esther followed Varric back onto the main path, she glanced back at her younger brother. His longer legs meant he normally overtook her with relative ease but he still stood, looking out at the water in the direction where you’d apparently find Lothering. He took a deep, visible breath, his shoulders rising and falling before he turned to follow.
They hadn’t had much chance to get out of the city of Kirkwall but perhaps it was time the family began to visit more often, and Esther made a note to travel to the coast with her brother again some time, a trip where they weren’t focused on some new job and had time to spare.
Maybe it’d do both of them good to have that time together.
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4. Share a sentence or paragraph from your writing that you’re really proud of (explain why, if you like)
That's a very hard thing to answer, both because I forget what I wrote fast and because I rarely like anything I write. But I've been re-reading this (because I re-read previous chapters from time to time to know what's going on) and I'll go with this from chapter 6 of you know I've been breaking all the rules:
This is gonna get long, maybe boring, so here's a cut. There are spoilers in case anyone wants to read that story. (One line summary: omegaverse cheating porn with plot.)
The context: Cameron, who's the alpha with who the main character cheats her husband on with, uses a scent blocker. So, even if they had sex multiple times, Kelly, the cheating omega, never really smelled her scent. Cameron gets hurt - she's my second character in the rank of canonically whumped characters - and during the hospital stay, the level of blockers is low enough for Kelly to smell her.
Now, why I like it?
I admit openly that this is one of this pretentious lines, it's an attempt to have a cute prose, poetic description. I rely more in this attempted poetic descriptions than direct physical descriptions (I have aphantasia, which means my mind doesn't have visuals, in my case, just general shapes. So I'm insecure about physical descriptions).
It's suppose to say things about the character.
I mean, I don't know how much people use scent as character trait in omegaverse because I barely read omegaverse – this is hypocrisy, I know, I just like more writing than reading omegaverse – but I like to do it. So it's scent description and personality description.
Cameron is all warm and cuddly. Like, she'll cuddle with who she likes and trusts at every opportunity. I think that I'm enjoying more them cuddling than fucking at this point. It's also part of the personality, generally a quiet person who looks scary until she smiles. She's also all sweet and stuff. I noticed now you can call her a rapadura in human shape, hard and sweet. Uh, if you don't know what rapadura is, it's this candy (??) made of sugar cane. Basically a stone of sugar. Not too common where I live, but pretty common up North-east and I think North too. (If you don't know: the country is divided in five regions.)
And the sharp thing is basically about her trauma. Baby is full of trauma and pain. In this omegaverse, your scent is only full 'grown'? Fully developed when you're 21, which is the mating age, so things like underage mating will change the scent and sorta add a thing that makes it not the expected.
Ok, I think I should shut up now because this is getting long.
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