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The Gate Guardians [IC / CLOSED]

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Emere
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The Gate Guardians [IC / CLOSED]

Postby Emere » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:27 pm

The Gate Guardians






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Image



Letter of Invitation


Dear Ser/Lady *your name*,

Following the recent unexpected darkspawn surge and Grey Warden inactivity, the land is in desperate need of protection.
The Inquisition is working tirelessly to assure the safety of all people. Our forces are currently working towards eliminating the darkspawn threat in Southern Thedas.
In order to extend our efforts to the North I am organizing an expedition with the purpose of investigating and eliminating the darkspawn presence.
On behalf of the Inquisition, I invite you to Skyhold on the first of Kingsway (9th month) to participate in the investigation as an officially sanctioned member of the Inquisition.
I beg you consider the invitation seriously, for this is an urgent matter.

Sincerely,

Maxwell Trevelyan
The Inquisitor
Last edited by Emere on Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:45 pm, edited 11 times in total.
Seemingly parted from the void | By void they are predated, | For all are born to be destroyed | And die to be created.

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Nakarisaune
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Postby Nakarisaune » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:06 pm

Arazda isn’t used to having letters sent to her.

She almost gets excited before she realises that this is probably being sent out to everyone with at least one fighting hand and a knowledge of how to use it. She eyes up the messenger, who is now apparently done for the day and is chatting with the innkeeper across the smoky room. She eyes up where she thinks he keeps his money and wonders if she’d get better results from going straight for the coinpurse or from talking him into buying her something. No - for now she'll focus on the letter.

Again, she pores over it, rubbing her fingers over the smooth parchment. The letter looks awfully official. The seal looks rich. She sniffs it. Yeah, they used fancy wax. And it's fancy handwriting, too, she knows enough to recognise that. She runs her hands over the wax and imagines how rich Skyhold itself must be. She’s heard a lot about the inquisition but it’s such an intimidating name, she hasn’t really wanted them to hear about her. She turns the letter in her hands. She’s been doing a lot of bounty work recently, she guesses that’s how they got her name. She’s tense as a nug in a trap until she forces herself to relax. It's okay for people to know she exists. She should be proud of it, shouldn't she? People want her for her skills and she didn't even need a patron to do it.

Is she going to go? Arazda knows the answer to that without even thinking about it. Killing darkspawn with the Inquisition, doing something that means something, is better than getting sweaty and scratched up murdering bandits and bears. Even if it makes her gut turn a little to be known and to be part of something as big as that. It's been three years now since she came up to the surface and all that time she's been clawing at survival in ways she hasn’t had to since she was a teenager. Working for the Inquisition could make things relatively easy again. She doesn’t want to get tied down there, or anywhere, but fuck if it can guarantee a decent place to sleep and decent pay...

She counts her coins. Just a few coppers and a silver left after she's eaten. She has the feeling that the innkeeper’s been hiking the price up every day just for her. Only a week or so in this town and they’re already sick of her. She has enough to pay for a room here but she doesn't really want to, she could use this on the way to Skyhold. So she eyes up the messenger again, and over the course of cheerfully self-deprecating conversation and a couple tankards of shitty ale, she spins out the usual story about the exiled dwarven princess and points at her gold teeth to prove it. Either he believes it and pities her, or he doesn’t believe her and pities her even more for that, but either way she doesn’t have to pay as much for shelter tonight.

And then the next morning Arazda sets off for Skyhold, with her belongings slung over her back in a leather bag.
Last edited by Nakarisaune on Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Alyekra
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Postby Alyekra » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:51 pm

Gile Reeves had packed enough provisions to fuel his trip to Skyhold and back home twice over. He must have cut a comical figure to them who passed him on the road, a diminutive, bald man with a backpack extending a full six inches above his head and a flamberge blade sticking up almost three feet above his head, with the blade spikes resting on the nape of his neck, the hilt running the whole length of his arm and resting in the palm of his hand which rocked back and forth gently as he plodded implacably down the path.

The Kingdom needed him. The Inquisitor needed him.

No more endless days on the ranch punctuated only by dueling drills and dry combat texts, now his father's sword- taken from a nobleman or somesuch he had slain in battle - would see battle once again, and Gile would finally see a return on those hours he spent in practice.

Hopefully.
Last edited by Alyekra on Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Emere
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Postby Emere » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:13 pm

A pouch of coins, dried meat, a flask of alcohol. A mild wind blows through the fir trees surrounding her. From a high branch an owl is quietly judging the events below.

A rusty key, spare buttons, a small metal cup. Those were the contents found in the bag of the man now laying lifeless at her feet. It had been an accident.

A grey shirt, frayed rope, a stained cup. The thief approached her from the darkness with a dagger in hand. She panicked and unleashed a wave of force magic towards him. She should have raised a barrier.

A silver bracelet, dried tea leaves, a bottle of perfume. Perhaps he would have left if she’d given him some coin. But instead he tripped on the tangled roots of the silent forest and struck his head against a sharp boulder. It was unfortunate.

A soft ribbon, small gloves, a letter for a Lady Wutherford. All of them bloodied. No point theorizing what had happened to the owner. She takes the letter and as brusquely and as silently as the owl’s flight she drapes her red coat on her shoulders and walks away. No point in lingering either.

She conjures a small flame in her palm, to read as she walks. The seal’s eye exudes a waxen glimmer, its stare conveying the desperation held within the letter’s message. Another Blight so soon? It has only been what, 13 years since the last? The shortest inter Blight period lasted for 200 years. For another Blight to arise so soon would be cruel.

Skyhold. It is in her way and she was headed North too. Perhaps she should join this expedition, if only for the thrill of it. Mages have so very little to lose nowadays. She has less. Mind made up, she pockets the letter and quickens her step.

As the red hooded mage fades into the darkness of the night, a solitary wolf’s howl splits the deathly silence of the forest. The thief won’t be found.
Seemingly parted from the void | By void they are predated, | For all are born to be destroyed | And die to be created.

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The Grim Reaper
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Postby The Grim Reaper » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:25 am

Iridius massaged his blistering feet, sitting on the side of the Imperial Highway. A letter was stuffed into his cloak pocket, its expensive parchment now creased and damaged. He had received it at his home in Vyrantium, now - thankfully - a distant memory, separated by both time and a trip up the river to the Silent Plains. Now, he intended to answer its call, travelling south to Cumberland in Nevarra along the Highway, sailing across the Waking Sea to the city of Jader in Orlais, and finally completing the trip to Skyhold.

This was not an easy trip to make for most people, but Iridos was by no means most people. He was a man of his own means, both magical and mundane. Nor, for that matter, was Iridius Iridius. It was an assumed name, by which he hoped to hide from suspicious, prying eyes. His real name, now merely a curiosity he hoped to forget, spoke of a deep and distinguished lineage of mages. It had taken a backseat to a reputation which he had no desire to escape, but no means to survive.

He did keep one particular momento of his noble upbringing - a hefty bag of coin. He had been a studious child, even if it had been primarily on matters of administration and practice rather than on the course of study intended by the Circle of Magi at Vyrantium. He was reasonably confident that he had competently budgeted out enough to keep him until Skyhold, and a little change on top to boot to put together a field pack there. It meant, at least, that he would not have to complete the arduous trek carrying days of supplies on his back. At any rate, his lifestyle had not been one where he had needed to have an adventurer's kit at his beck-and-call before.

This far from the heart of Tevinter, he had come to let his guard down somewhat more; his posture took on the tell-tale signs of a civilized upbringing, and years of being told that he was better than those around him. However, his eyes did not show the matching haughtiness - they could be best described as 'weary', not in a physical sense, but spiritually. A disappointment with circumstances he had no right to be disappointed in. Thought he was otherwise in appearance unremarkable, he had a sheer sense of presence about him. His clothing was practical, but clearly of good make, clothing that would survive the journey in good tick, and that had been tailored meticulously to fit him.

Iridius had idly wondered if Maxwell Trevelyan was a distant relative of his - he faintly recalled that the Trevelyans had relatives in the Imperium, such as in House Pavus, whose members he somewhat resembled. This was the most he had thought of his lineage since he was a child. It would explain why he had received the message; perhaps one of his few well-wishers had recommended him, knowing that his days would be numbered in the Imperium. Perhaps it was an opponent, looking for a more amicable separation than the norm. Either way, serving the Inquisition would be be a convenient way to start a life that would otherwise be cut short.
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Emere
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Postby Emere » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:54 am

Skyhold



Image






Image

The air is thin this high up. The only thing bigger than the range of granite peaks is the pale expanse above, silver clouds swirling over the sky’s surface like paint on water. An eagle can be spotted against a sun that struggles in vain to warm the sharp rocks scattered across the land. It is late summer and although Kingsway hasn’t made itself known yet, last year’s snow still clings to the highest peaks. The range follows no rules, clusters of hills rising into mountains, huddled together like they are cold. A crude line cuts the horizon diametrically, a garish hybrid between torn parchment and beautiful shards.

Among all a citadel stands sublime, cold grey crevices holding the memories of many battles. From static forgetfulness Skyhold rises, reluctantly acknowledging time’s need to pass. Tall walls stand mute in the pale light. It could be any century. The high towers sear upward as if determined to kiss the heavens - a mosaic of humble rocks crowning the landscape. It is perfect. Just looking at them it is easy to see why the Inquisition saw fit to settle here.


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Inside the gates, a day with no season or military order slowly drags by, oblivious to the chaos in which it lingers. This is the place the songs told of, where the Inquisitor, companions and advisors reside, where history was and still is made.

The smith’s hammer striking hot steel creates a constant background noise. The news came this morning: a new corps is being formed, weapons are needed. Letters have been sent out with the purpose of recruiting talented individuals for the task. Darkspawn are never kind and so even a research party must be well equipped.

Horses are being prepared for a long journey, but not the best breeds. They’re not expected to come back. Not even the Wardens were expected to return from their expeditions into the Deep Roads, but still their disappearance was a shock to everyone.

With no military force solely dedicated to keeping the darkspawn in line fear began to creep into people’s minds. If any one country started drafting it would be considered a vile grab for power so soon after the war, only a politically neutral institution could assemble a military force and escape civil unrest. So the Inquisition started enlisting.


Image

The enormous doors of the castle are open, as always. A wide corridor leads to a raised platform where the throne sits.The chair is rather modest for all the power its occupant holds. Behind it light pours in from tall windows, the stained glass Fereldan in design. The walls are lined with Dwarven tables, Tevinter chairs and Orlesian statues. Unsophisticated fire pits bathe them all in the same light.

People of all origins and professions dart from chamber to chamber, all intently focused on their tasks. A heavily muscled qunari woman carries a full tray of food on each shoulder. A dwarven man fixes a wobbly chair with a warhammer. A human girl magically reignites the chandelier’s candles while a nug chews on her robe. A scrawny elven man dodges them all in a hurry.


Image

A small hallway to the left leads to a heavy wooden door. Behind it serious voices converse.

“Inquisitor, the horses have been shoed and saddled, travel provisions are being packed and there are only two batches of weapons left to forge.” merrily chips a woman with a thick Antivan accent. “We are practically ready for the expedition.”

“My agents inform me that the path North-West is clear of opportunists for the moment.” Supplies an Orlesian woman. “If-”

The breathless elf barges in without preamble “They’re here!” The Orlesian fixes the messenger with a deathly glare.

“Well, let’s greet them, shall we?” The Inquisitor interrupts before his hardened advisor has a chance to lash at the poor man.
Last edited by Emere on Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:02 pm, edited 8 times in total.
Seemingly parted from the void | By void they are predated, | For all are born to be destroyed | And die to be created.

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Nakarisaune
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Postby Nakarisaune » Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:51 pm

Oh god she fucking hates heights. For some reason it had never really clicked with Arazda that Skyhold was so high. She hates mountains. And she really fucking hates occasionally getting passed by people who have either horses or long legs. She spits when they overtake her. There are passages where the road cuts right close to a rock face, and she prefers those as she can lean up against the rock, and anyway she always feels safer next to stone. Then there are small sections of path where long slopes cut away at either side and if you fall you’re going to be falling for a long fucking time. She’s brought a flask of whiskey with her and she sips at it to try and propel her on. The worst parts are where she needs to go downhill cause it’s hardest to trust her legs then.

It starts to get foggy. It’s like she’s walking through a cloud. Her eyes fill up with cold white and she blinks furiously. After a while the fog clears and she breathes deep in relief, cold fresh sharp air that cuts her lungs. There isn’t a smell of soil or plants here. Just the smell of rocks and snow. She looks around and sees the clouds below her. “Fuck,” she whispers, and backs up against the rockface. She looks up to check the sky is still there and then feels incredibly disoriented.

Arazda hadn’t seen the sky for nearly thirty years of her life. Then it had taken a good long time to get anywhere used to it. And now, fuck, she’s in the sky. She didn’t even realise the clouds weren’t right at the top. Okay. This is fine, as long as she doesn’t think too much about it. She drinks again and focuses on the grey stones of Skyhold, a looming square in the distance. One foot in front of the other, focus on the stone beneath you, don’t look down. Don’t look down. The worst part of all is the bridge, where clouds swirl around the base like water circling around a drain. But she makes it, and even though her legs are shaking, she gives the guards a cheerful, confrontative smile, presents her invitation, and she’s there in Skyhold.

It feels good to be back between walls. She takes a moment to breathe. The air is loud with footsteps and clanging and the smell of animal hide and manure and wood and straw. She settles a little. It isn’t as rich as she’d imagined it looking. Maybe she’ll have to readjust her expectations. Proper blankets, that’s the least she’ll hope for. She braces herself to have to fight for that. She’s a dwarf, she’s used to being looked down on.

As she's deciding how much she wants to bargain, someone else is let through the gate, also not wearing the Inquisition gear. She gives an aggressive grin. “You got called up here too, huh?”
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The Grim Reaper
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Postby The Grim Reaper » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:50 am

Iridius cut a stately figure as he emerged from the clouds, coming to a gentle stop in front of the guards of the gates of Skyhold. The now well-leafed letter of invitation was produced, swiftly and with the decorum one would give to a deed of property or a grant of title. He offered not a single word to explain himself to the guards; nor did they ask. He took stock of his surroundings. Skyhold was, of course, now well-known to him, and it still maintained all the splendour he had imagined of a grand fortification. Though it was not obviously the lap of luxury, he had it on good authority that it was furnished befitting its lofty legacy where it counted - its court, and its other formal spaces, if not its yard.

Iridius stepped back with just the slightest hint of a start. Despite the long journey, he had not yet become accustomed to the skulduggery of travel that might be expected of a notional refugee like himself. Nevertheless, he maintained his composure.

He did not let his surprise hold for long. He was well-acquainted with dwarves, being Tevinter himself, and before his invitation, had taken some opportunities to curry favour with the dwarven Ambassadoria, in the hopes that they would have had for him an opportunity to leave the Imperium for good. Nevertheless, it appeared that the influence of the dwarves ran far afield enough that he could not stay away from them for long - not necessarily an unwelcome development, given that they had nothing to do with the questions of magic which had made Iridius a persona non grata in his home.

"You got called up here too, huh?" said the dwarf, flashing an aggressive grin - and, Iridius idly wondered, seeming to avoid staring back out into the clouds past him.

Iridius offered a gentle nod and smile. "Indeed." Despite his muted facial expression, his voice was surprisingly confident and smooth - as if he were giving a speech, rather than a conversation. Though someone familiar with the nobility would certainly pick up on his well-trained rhetoric, he tried to suppress his accent as much as he could. Iridius flashed his letter of invitation at the dwarf.

"Iridius. I'm from the Imperium."

Iridius mulled over how to finish his thoughts. He knew that calling one's self a mage was not typically a clever idea, and it was not like he was equipped with anything that obviously gave him away - he carried a staff, but he had intentionally chosen it with an eye towards discretion rather than efficacy, appearing more as a walking stick than a weapon. Then again, she was a dwarf. Dwarves typically had more open feelings towards mages, given their involvement in the trade of lyrium, and their insulation from...the more everyday aspects of magic. Well, at least, the dwarves he had been acquainted with had - and they were, perhaps, not a representative collection.

"I'm a mage. I'm not experienced in matters of the battlefield, but I am committed to the Inquisition."

He stopped for a moment; a comfortable silence, rather than an awkward one. The dwarf seemed like quite a talkative one, so he chose to be a little more forthcoming - to give her a little something to latch onto.

"I imagine you noticed I'm not...a local, from my clothes. I'm thinking of moving to the south - you see," Iridius continued with a sly smirk, "I think it'll be easier to keep an active lifestyle at Skyhold. What brings you here, ma'am?"
Last edited by The Grim Reaper on Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Kingdom of Circle of Magi
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Postby Kingdom of Circle of Magi » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:30 pm

A robed figure drops a bloody bag on the table of the Mages' Collective and takes off his hood. Revealing a Chasind man with face tattoos and braided, black hair.
"I take it that the storeroom is clear?"
The Liaison gazes into the bag and then looks at the Chasind, waiting for an answer.
"Yes. 75 silvers."
the Chasind answers with his stoic voice.
"75 silvers from the requester and extra 25 for our friendship."
the Liaison says, drawing out a pouch of money from under the table and handing it to the Chasind man.
"Got any requests left?"
the Chasind man asks while placing the money into his bag.
"Don't have any open requests left, Gawne. But we have received a letter from the Inquisition that has your name on it."
Gawne looks surprised, he hasn't received direct requests in years, but to have the Inquisition itself to be the first in years was a surprise.
Gawne nods and takes the letter, reading it as he walks through the dark streets of Highever. Tomorrow he will leave for Skyhold.
Last edited by Kingdom of Circle of Magi on Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Benevolent Thomas
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Postby Benevolent Thomas » Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:30 pm

"So this is Skyhold!" Thomas mused to himself, a brief grin signifying the pleasure he felt upon accomplishing his goal fades as a sudden shiver reminds him of the discomfort he's been wrestling with for days. A native of the blightlands of Aderfels, Thomas had never witnessed snow until his journey brought him to the peaks of the Frostback mountains. The barrenness of the region was just enough to comfort him as he struggled his way through the mountain pass. To be in the presence of warriors again was motivation enough to forgo any detours as he made his way to the city walls.

As he made his way to the gates, Thomas debated whether he should be forthcoming with his identity. Surely nobody would know him personally; he did not even have a reputation in his home nation, but what he is provides for much more intrigue. Thomas is a Grey Warden. While he has plenty of combat experience, Thomas only encountered darkspawn sparingly. Conscripted by a Senior Warden on their way to Weisshaupt, Thomas did not know that he was being recruited to fight men. Not until days after he completed the Joining, on the eve of his first battle, was he made aware of the internal conflict. After a few cycles of skirmishes, truces, debate and returns to violence, he made the decision to go AWOL. Unaware if this action was considered desertion, Thomas committed himself to serving the founding principles of the Order. He was a Warden. He was not going to waste his limited time on this world targeting humanity.

Knowing of the Order's banishment, Thomas abandoned his family name as he traveled toward Orlais, where he would first hear about letters circulating claiming that The Inquisition was recruiting warriors. Rumors turned to substantiated fact once Thomas laid his eyes on such a letter being passed around a pub in Montfort. He had never seen such an official looking document before. The Eye of the Inquisition was embedded on the parchment itself and was stamped with thick wax. The allure of hunting darkspawn for a change was too tempting. Thomas would not be staying in an inn for the night, he paid for his meal and started on his new expedition. He encountered many different people at the start of his journey, most of whom would shun him after making first contact. He did not know why, but just about everyone could tell that he was a Warden within minutes. Thomas was not wearing any identifying armor or cloth. He determined that the aura he gives off must be what is identifying him, as physically, he appeared no different than any other warrior with a few scars to brag about. Perhaps it was an effect of the Joining? Needless to say, Thomas ceased engaging others outside of necessity by the time he crossed the Shining Sea.

Reflecting on how well-loathed Wardens are in Orlais was enough to deliver Thomas back to the present moment. He had come to a decision, he would present himself as simply Thomas, a skilled fighter with just a sword, a shield, and the light armor on his back. There is a good chance that he will give himself away in moments, as he so frequently did during his travels, but there is no need to advertise his background until he at least heard the details of the expedition.
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Emere
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Postby Emere » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:20 pm

She arrives at noon, overheated and out of breath. It has been a long time since she traversed these mountains, much preferring the thick obscuring forests of the Arbor Wilds and their small and isolated villages. Remote places were the best hiding spots for Fereldan apostates like herself. Now that the tensions between mages and templars have been slowly dissolving she dares to practice her magic even more freely. Times were changing indeed and she hopes knowledge of the arcane will be more accessible and less feared.

The outer walls of the fort are tall and decorated with Inquisition banners, scouts and archers walking the battlements. Two more guards are posted at the gates. For a brief moment she wonders who would still have the energy to attack the castle after making this climb. She dispels the aura that’s been keeping her warm - too warm - on the way, letting the crisp mountain air cool her down. After a moment she casts it back. A great number of crows fly overhead, shitting the bridge connecting the mountainside to the castle’s foundation. She abjectly makes her way across, pulling her hood up and keeping her face down. As she approaches the gates-

“Hey, you!” A high pitched voice comes from above. “Yeah, you, red hood! Looky here!”

She reluctantly raises her head to address the scruffy female elven archer. “Yes?” She asks simply.

“Who're you?” The woman asks. The gate guards’ faces change into well used ‘not this again’ looks.

“Name’s Emere. I’m here for-” she begins as she reaches for the letter.

The woman rudely interrupts by blowing a raspberry. “Don’t care ‘bout that. Take your hood off. You a Jenny?”

She first raises an eyebrow, then lowers her hood and replies slowly. “My name is not Jenny.” A guard groans in irritation.

“Didn’t ask your name.” The other guard rolls his eyes. “I asked-”

“Walk up front and take the first set of stairs.” The first guard offers, pointing at the letter she is now holding.

“Hey elfie!” The offended archer hollers. Emere raises the other brow.

“Go.” The second guard urges. And she goes.

As she walks through the enormous gates and into the courtyard she is struck by several things at once. The bulky figure of the castle casts a loomy shadow over her, making her feel all the more tiny, her red cloak flimsy in the wind. Up the weathered stone grow ivy tendrils covered in green and red leaves. The walls look as if they could not contain the bulks anymore and simply burst under the pressure, random growth patterns sprouting here and there. She takes a few steps forward, the aggravated voice of the archer lost to the sounds of the busy courtyard. A set of stairs leads to an upper plateau. A scout on the battlements whistles to a messenger on the landing, gesturing to the Inquisition pin on his coat and raising four fingers. The latter nods and breaks into a sprint.

To the left are a set of tents, their occupants gathered around a campfire rasp a merry song to the screech of an out of tune lute. To the right a stablehand struggles in vain to move a most hideous mount. “Dennet!” the boy calls for help. The stubborn beast is grey and bony, teeth sharper than winter wind without lips to cover them. A dracolisk - she remembers from a book she once read. She is thankful it shrieks with its maw closed. In the stables further back she can see a dozen saddled horses. She turns her head to the breeze. A smell of animal hide, manure, wood and straw hits her and she wrinkles her nose. Next to the stables are a number of merchant stalls, almost a small market. She is not surprised to see humans, elves, dwarves and even a few qunari among the customers. The Inquisition did indeed welcome all.

There are two other people standing in the courtyard with identical letters in hand - a human and a dwarf. Another human approaches from behind, only now arriving. She hears their little exchange and hopes she won’t be sent on her way for not being the woman in the letter. For a moment she entertains the idea of pretending but quickly dismisses it as too dangerous. Surely, if the Inquisition summoned this Lady Wutherford they would know something about her and recognize an imposter. “Dennet!” the stableboy yelled again. She approaches the warrior standing a few paces away and extends a magically warmed hand in greeting.

“Hello. Pleased to make your acquaintance. My name’s Emere.” she offers with a curt smile.
Last edited by Emere on Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Seemingly parted from the void | By void they are predated, | For all are born to be destroyed | And die to be created.

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Nakarisaune
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Postby Nakarisaune » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:46 pm

So her new companion is a mage from Tevinter. Yeah, makes sense, looking him over again. The clothing's nice, looks well made, now that she pays attention to it. She almost feels self conscious of her scruffy, scarred leather. But she's met Tevinters before who would make a long and obnoxious point of having nicer clothes than her, and Iridius seems to be genuinely polite about it. He seems pleasant enough, and she's mostly at ease... if not for the voice, which she's curious about.

She isn't sure what to make of his accent. It isn't quite what she's heard from other Tevinters. Sounds rehearsed, almost. Arazda recognises that quality cause she's spent a long time around noble dwarves in Orzammar who speak just like that. She had spent half of her youth trying to train herself to speak like that, trying to strain the dirt out of her voice. She spent so long speaking like a noble that even when she'd been exiled, and decided to revel in her castelessness, it had stuck to her tongue like gold leaf. It took a while to get her casteless-voice back but she's using it now without even having to think about it any more, rough and blunt and warm and proud.

"Name's Arazda. Got the letter, same as you, and figured I didn't have anything better to do. Half of my money comes from fighting anyway, and the Inquisition's gotta pay better than some random chantry."

She gestures without shame towards the brand on her cheek. It's faded to a dark brown over the years but is still very clearly defined. "I'm not from round here either. Orzammar originally, I only came up to the surface a couple years ago. Here's better than there, I think. Took a while to get used to the sky, but the freedom is nice. Sometimes the ale is even alright," she chuckles. "If it's no good up here, I dunno if I can stay."

Arazda's aware somewhat of all the trouble about mages. Before coming up to the surface she'd kind of suspected mages were just a myth. Seeing magic for the first time had made her just as uneasy as seeing the clouds from above - which she's still studiously ignoring, keeping her eyes fixed on Iridius, even when there's movement in the corner of her eye and new sillhouettes appear against the sky. She's never really got close to a mage, so none of the news has really been relevant enough to be worth paying attention to. In the taverns she frequents, people tend to get rather passionately loud on the subject of mages, and it's in her interest to keep them cheerful, so she tends to gently steer away from the topic.

She shrugs and hooks her thumbs around the straps of her bag, "don't know if it's any better here than Tevinter though. Especially, well, for a mage. Templars haven't bothered you too much, have they?"
Last edited by Nakarisaune on Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Nakari won best WW player, awarded to the person who is best at lying." - Fratt

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Alyekra
Minister
 
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Founded: May 03, 2012
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Alyekra » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:50 pm

Giles had imagined introducing himself to the others that had responded to the request, impressing them with the story behind his sword and making fast friends with those with whom he would be serving. When it came time to enact this, he was... not in the mood, perhaps.

He followed quietly behind a nearby elf, lowering his hood as she was told to lower hers, followed up the stairs she had been told to ascend, and listened in, quietly, at a distance, to her conversations for the next clue of what he was supposed to do, scanning the rest of his surroundings with a nervous frown, careful not to look directly toward his "target".

He wished he were tall enough to see over the scattered crowd around him, or at the very least tall enough to not be the shortest person in the room. His height, a perpetual source of shame, and his large sword, of which he had always been proud, would, he was certain, attract attention that he suddenly wanted only to avoid.
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The Grim Reaper
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 10524
Founded: Oct 08, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby The Grim Reaper » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:19 pm

"Don't know if it's any better here than Tevinter though. Especially, well, for a mage. Templars haven't bothered you too much, have they?" asked Arazda.

Iridius offered a mischievous smirk.

"Ah - fortunately, I was forewarned about your Templars. Our Templars back home are an entirely different breed; more a convenience than a hindrance. But no, I've not run into many Templars on my travels. I prefer to take the road less travelled, where I can, if you get my drift.

You'd be right usually; it is better in the Imperium for a mage than it is here."

Iridius hesitated for a moment. Though he was not necessarily the most moralistic person alive, he did not necessarily like the idea of lying - certainly not to someone who seemed so sincere. At any rate, he reasoned to himself, surely he had left the Imperium for the freedom he would not have had in his former home? What was the point if he was to lie through his teeth now?

But he had to put his safety first. Admitting to being on the run seemed like a poor decision, practically speaking.

He decided to split the difference; to tell a half-truth, perhaps.

"I did not come to Ferelden out of sheer wanderlust, per say. I'm not sure how familiar you have become with the Chantry in your time on the surface. We have - well, a Chantry in the Imperium as well, but it is different in some subtle ways to the one that represents the rest of the world.

Where you have Divine Victoria, we have the Black Divine. Your clerics are women; ours are men. And where your Chants criticize the use of magic, for instance, ours does not.

Let us say - to keep it short - that though I continue to hold the Imperial interpretations of some of the Chants, I believe that the Chantry under Divine Victoria is...a more positive institution. One cannot worship a prophet who freed the slaves, and yet yourself place them back in bondage, no? It is, in my opinion, easier to disagree on the text, and to agree on the action, than it is to do the opposite.

And so the Inquisition gave me an opportunity to make good on that opinion. If, through the Inquisition, I am able to eventually acquire some of the standards in Ferelden that I was accustomed to in the Imperium - then that, I think, would be a desirable outcome for both heart and mind."

Iridius had a notion in the back of his mind that, though he had a genuine interest in getting to know his fellow...Inquisition...ers...it was perhaps not prudent to have been so forthcoming. He considered attempting a gentle deflection, if he could execute it with a reasonable amount of flexibility.

"So - you mentioned that you were from Orzammar, originally. I recall being told by some of my associates that it is quite a big change of pace to join us on the surface. How did you turn a living when you first left the city?"
Last edited by The Grim Reaper on Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If I can't play bass, I don't want to be part of your revolution.
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Kingdom of Circle of Magi
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 14
Founded: Nov 22, 2016
Democratic Socialists

Postby Kingdom of Circle of Magi » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:24 am

Gawne drinks from his hip flask, draining the tiny amount of mead still left in it. He places the hip flask on his belt and sits down into the snow.
"Next time I am in Highever, I'll buy myself a horse," Gawne mutters to himself while rubbing his legs, waiting for the alcohol to numb the pain.
His feet are sore. He hadn't walked like this since the fifth blight, and most of the jobs didn't get him far away from Highever.

As Gawne's mead starts to do its magic on his body, he rose from the soft mountain snow and swept some of it off his cloak made out of hides. Soon enough, Gawne already hears the cawing of the Skyhold's crows, and just seconds after, the Skyhold reveals itself to Gawne. The fortress was magnificent, but Gawne doesn't have the time to take a look at the walls. It has already been a week since he received the letter and he didn't want to lose the job. As he enters the Skyhold, he looks around the courtyard, looking for mercenary types with the same letter as he. Not soon after the smell of horse manure started to become more noticeable, did Gawne notices a group with similar-looking letters in the courtyard. Gawne walks over them but stays silent to not disturb the discussion the casteless dwarf and human are having.
Main of Warden-Commander and the orders very own wizard thing, Sir Merlin

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Emere
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 5
Founded: Dec 22, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Emere » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:43 pm

Image

[...]“Well, let’s greet them, shall we?” The Inquisitor interrupts before his hardened advisor has a chance to lash at the poor man.

“Go. I will stay behind and prepare the board.” The Antivan advisor proclaims, already beginning to move papers and markers off the war table.

Maxwell tiredly sits up from his chair and makes his way towards the door. “Thank you, Josephine.”

Once he leaves, Josephine turns to the purple hooded woman who raises as well. “Leliana?” She begins expectantly.

“Don’t worry. I’ve got this covered. And I will be there as well.” Leliana assures. As she follows Maxwell at a distance she whispers to a servant to prepare food and rooms for today’s expected arrivals, then gestures to her spies and a few Inquisition soldiers to congregate around their leader.

The Inquisitor walks through the enormous doors and descends the stairs into the main courtyard, loyal soldiers at his back. A loud horn announces his presence, scaring Emere and forcing her to quickly bring her extended hand close to her body, leaving the warrior waiting. Archers on the ramparts turn to the familiar sound and train their eyes on the scene unfolding below, preparing but not yet raising their bows.

Maxwell cracks a smile and opens his - arm - in greeting. “Welcome, friends!” He addresses the small crowd gathered before him. Shadows dance below his eyes but his honest smile brightens his face. Twin daggers rest snugly on his back harness. A dual wielding rogue with only one hand is a sad sight, Emere decides. The hooded woman carefully examines the newcomers from a distance, signaling to the soldiers, bluntly yet smoothly displaying her intention to protect her ally. “I assume you’re all here to join us.” he says, joining the travelers like they were kin. “Please, follow me into the main hall. You must be exhausted from the road. I know Skyhold is not an easy journey to make, I have made it so many times myself after all. Let us eat and rest for a moment we shall discuss business afterwards.” Then, in a show of trust, he turns his back to the party and leads the way, expecting but not imposing to be followed.
Last edited by Emere on Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Seemingly parted from the void | By void they are predated, | For all are born to be destroyed | And die to be created.

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Nakarisaune
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1737
Founded: Sep 17, 2011
New York Times Democracy

Postby Nakarisaune » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:01 am

Arazda nods politely along to the religious talk, though it mostly goes over her head. She didn’t know before now that Tevinter saw it that differently. It’s still really strange to her just how obsessed with religion the surface is. Does a god really need all this attention? It just seems silly She kinda wishes she understood though. Surface religion makes her feel like she is sitting in the cold outside a warm inn she’s just been kicked out of, and there’s music and jokes coming out the windows, but the music’s muffled and she doesn’t really get the jokes that everyone inside is laughing at. Her own god is disgusted by her.

"So - you mentioned that you were from Orzammar, originally. I recall being told by some of my associates that it is quite a big change of pace to join us on the surface. How did you turn a living when you first left the city?" Iridius says, and she’s visibly relieved by the change of subject. Now this is something she’s used to talking about. She is usually very open on this subject to anyone who seems receptive to it, and Iridius seems open enough.

“I did what people would pay me to do. And if that wasn’t enough to stay alive, I asked nicely. And if that wasn’t enough,” she half-smiles, “I didn’t ask. That part wasn’t so different from Dust Town.”

Iridius is exactly the kind of person she wouldn’t even bother asking, actually. She doesn’t know where his coin is but she reckons if she could get the staff away from him, she could take him in a fight pretty easily. Mages without staffs and with a little honest conversation to disarm them are typically unprepared. He almost certainly has enough money he won’t miss too much of it. But this isn’t Dust Town, and she’s really fucking hoping the Inquisition will pay her enough to stay alive. So she won’t. Yet.

A broad-shouldered Chasind man comes close, and Arazda turns and waves up at him. “Hey,” she starts, but that’s all she gets out before a horn blares, and she turns towards the keep.

A man approaches in a cluster of blank-faced soldiers. She supposes this must be the Inquisitor. She should probably feel some kind of reverence but he's not really as impressive as everyone says, or maybe she's just not easily impressed enough. He looks younger than she’d expected but with older eyes. He’s got a weirdly friendly lilt to his voice, like he’s known them all for ages, and Arazda both warms to that and is wary of it, cause it’s exactly what she does no matter her intentions towards anyone. Still, she follows, turning to the Chasind man as she walks - "Arazda," and pointing to the Tevinter, "Iridius." She’s ready to get down to business, but she’s even more ready to eat.
Last edited by Nakarisaune on Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Nakari won best WW player, awarded to the person who is best at lying." - Fratt

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The Grim Reaper
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 10524
Founded: Oct 08, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby The Grim Reaper » Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:41 am

“I did what people would pay me to do. And if that wasn’t enough to stay alive, I asked nicely. And if that wasn’t enough,” she half-smiles, “I didn’t ask. That part wasn’t so different from Dust Town.”

Iridius smiled - now less politely, and more genuinely; an affable smirk, if anything else. "I think I can sympathize, somewhat. I have seen many people ask questions to which the answers were insufficient. But coin stays good, no?"

Iridius noted the arrival of a hide-bound man, whom he presumed to be Chasind. They were a people he had only second-hand knowledge of, being not just Tevinter himself, but rather avowedly a creature of the city. His new conversational partner offered the man a perfunctory greeting, and he too offered a warm nod to Gawne.

Turning his face to the stairs, he took what stock of the Inquisitor he could. He was not yet well accomplished at reading a person with an eye for matters of combat; though some things were obvious enough, he noted, counting two daggers on the Inquisitor's back. This was, it seemed, an unusual decision for a man with only one hand.

Iridius had had dealings enough with Tevinter nobility to have learned how to read a man like his life depended on it - as it usually did. And so, of the Inquisitor, he concluded that he was to pledge his staff to a man unafraid of combat, and who had taken on the burden of great personal loss. Loss personal enough that even losing a hand was a footnote in his history; one that was so insignificant, he had never bothered to reconsider the equipment that he carried with him. On any other man, it suggested disuse, traditionalism, unwillingness to change, but Iridius suspected that was not the mark of the man here. No, it was deeper - it was the conscious decision that there was nothing to be gained from giving up a dagger just because he could no longer use both.

Iridius took note of the Inquisitor's tone. Warm, and friendly - maybe even honest. He mused to himself that this might be how he commanded such loyalty from his men; if he was closer, Iridius wondered idly, might he be able to see the tell-tale signs of deception on the face? In the twitching of his muscles?

Iridius set aside the question that most concerned him for the moment - did the Inquisitor trust them because he had an army, or did his army follow him because he trusted them?

For now, he followed.
If I can't play bass, I don't want to be part of your revolution.
Melbourne, Australia

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Is "not a blood diamond" a high enough bar for a wedding ring? Artificial gemstones are better-looking, more ethical, and made out of PURE SCIENCE™.


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