Adventurers of the Inquisition: A Dragon Age RP (started)

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A Quiet Roadside Inn

You saw the posting on the board just outside the inn, perhaps you're interested for a chance to serve the Inquisition, maybe you're just interested in the pay. Whatever the case is you find yourself sitting in the back of a dimly lit roadside inn at the foot of the Frostback Mountains surrounded by other hopefuls, sitting before you is a man in the hooded uniform of an Inquisition scout. He's probably not quite what you expected of a member of the Inquisition, his uniform is somewhat bloodied and torn and he's taken about as much care to clean the rest of himself, in fact the only part of him that looks terribly clean are the bandages wrapped around his leg which he keeps elevated on a chair next to him, it's likely broken.

"Ah so you're here about the job," he says in a vaguely Antivan accent, smiling briefly "praise the maker, I was starting to worry I'd have to send for reinforcements."

He winces in pain as he adjusts his leg then continues speaking "shouldn't be too hard just a quick trip up the mountains to check out a village, I'd go myself but..."

He gestured meaningfully at his injured leg then seemed to hesitate for several moments, taking in the various applicants that stood before him. A couple of Qunari, they were probably the most surprising of the lot, and he had to keep himself from whistling in approval of the female Qunari, she certainly cut an impressive, and imposing figure. Not that the others didn't stand out in their own way, one girl seemed to positively bristle with knives and he didn't doubt she had more hidden on her person, the dwarves both looked to have seen their share of battles and then some, and the elf looked like the sort you'd see lurking in the alleyways of Antiva city.

"Erhem, as I was about to say the job should be fairly simple, though given the rumors I'd rather not leave anything to chance, so I will be hiring any of you who are interested," he said "which I suppose brings us to discussing the terms of the arrangement."

He cleared his throat, immediately assuming a more businesslike manner, though a hint of nervousness was present in his voice underneath it "The Inquisition is not normally in the practice of hiring random adventurers, however these are special circumstances," he said "therefore you will be paid on completion of the task, that is returning from the village with your report of its situation, with pay being based on the dangers faced, though ah rest assured I have the coin to reward you well even should the task prove without hazard. What rumors we've heard claim wolves and other animals in the area have become quite hostile, which could be the work of demons though no rifts have been sighted to my awareness."

He paused as a particularly rowdy group of travelers on the other end of the room started chanting some drinking song, waiting for them to finish before continuing.

"I suppose now that the terms of business have been laid out introductions are in order," he said "I am Calien, Agent and Scout for the Inquisition, if it isn't apparent from my accent I hail from Antiva."

As he introduced himself he leaned forward, as well as he could given his leg, and offered a hand out for any who wished to shake, waiting to hear their own introductions or questions if they had them.

A Quiet Roadside Inn

An empty mug in hand, eyes gazing away from the flickering candles, and all of his focus upon the Antivan scout in front of him.
Selthen Von Souchet was trying his hardest to hide his eagerness from the group which surrounded him, yet, he could not, if others could see, his eyes danced with the light of possible redemption. Von had heard little about the Inquisition itself, in fact, he had only heard of it while travelling to visit the Scared Urn of Andraste, hoping that the journey might cleanse him, or grant him the unknown something that he desperately needs.

This job did not only revealed the chance, that this might be that certain something he needs, but his childhood ambitions came to the front of his mind. Von was excited, a little bit he heard about this Inquisition is that it is not only a branch of the Chantry, but it is above the Chantry itself! Hiding his excitement, Von's armour creaked quietly as his ears picked up everything Calien said. For Von, this job contained all that he needed, gold, a journey, and most importantly, a future.

When the Inn burst into song, Von was annoyed, he wanted to hear the Inquisition Scout, not a song from a drunken posse. "Bloody drunks." He spoke quietly. If he had the chance, he had hoped to throw something at the group to quiet them, but even then, Von did not want to cause and disturbance for the scout or group around him. When it came to such things, he would prefer not to intervene, for it is the unknown to him, he does not know if he would help or ignore.

By the time Von had arranged his focus back on the Inquisition, Calien had introduced himself, allowing others to do the same or accept his offer. Deciding to make his future now, Von's quick hand grasped the scout's and shook it heavily. "Von, that is the name I wish to go by. I've been many places in this world, and I wish to have a future with the Inquisition." He with confidence, and with a weak Free Marches accent. Once he had spoken, he sat back down on his chair, hoping to not be at the bottom of another mug this day. Yet of course, he harbored a hidden interest concerning his possible new companions, especially since some were Qunari, and Von remembers when they came to Kirkwall quite clearly.

Nola ran a thumb along the blade of her ax as this Calien explained why they they were being hired. As the patrons erupted into song behind her her head turned, eyes closed as she tried to catch the tune. Her head bobbed as they sag as small smile on her face. It was good to hear joy in peoples voices, even if it was a little forced. As they quieted down she turned her full attention back to the Inquisition scout before her.

"Nola." She responded with a nod and a smile. "Mercenary out of Denerim. Hope to be of longer use than just a scouting mission though." She was looking forward to working for this Inquisition. Hopefully it would provide a steady source of income on top of letting her do some good in the world.

While the recruiter talked, Kari leant against a post and surveyed the others that seemed to be interested in the work; a couple of humans, a couple of dwarves, an elf and surprisingly another Qunari; and judging from his lack of fighting gear, a mage. Still got his horns, and no scars around his lips...he's not Saarebass, interesting.

"I suppose now that the terms of business have been laid out introductions are in order; I am Calien, Agent and Scout for the Inquisition, if it isn't apparent from my accent I hail from Antiva."

Looking over the heads of her new companions, Kari glared at the drunks as the started singing; once they noticed that, they shut up in short order. After Von and Nola introduced themselves, she leant forward and shook Calien's hand, being careful not to squeeze too hard...humans were so fragile. "Kari." She said pleasantly, with an accent that was Dalish, with a touch of Antivan. "Got my start in this line of work in Antiva City." Releasing the man's hand, she settled back against her post and signalled the serving girl for another; from the looks of the table beside her, Kari was on at least her fourth beer.

Ashtalan had only been going to the inn to get some food when he noticed the poster. It was a surprise, someone was hiring, and, if his eyes weren't failing him, there would likely be good pay. Going inside, he bought a bowl of whatever stew they were having that day, before locating the scout. The inquisition scout was already talking, and he just took a seat close by, making it clear that he was listening. He felt a bit intimidated by the female Qunari there, he didn't know if she followed the Qun, but if she did, he didn't particularly want to get involved with her. Then again... he needed work.

"... The Inquisition is not normally in the practice of hiring random adventurers, however these are special circumstances. Therefore you will be paid on completion of the task, that is returning from the village with your report of its situation, with pay being based on the dangers faced, though ah rest assured I have the coin to reward you well even should the task prove without hazard. What rumors we've heard claim wolves and other animals in the area have become quite hostile, which could be the work of demons though no rifts have been sighted to my awareness."

Ashtalan wasn't sure why the other had stopped speaking. He could hear the people singing in the background, but found it odd that the scout wouldn't just... you know, speak over them. At least it was a sign that there wasn't anything... dubious, going on. Regardless, he took the chance to finish his meal and put the bowl away. He turned away to listen to the drinking song, only turning back to the group when he realized that the scout was talking again.

"I suppose now that the terms of business have been laid out introductions are in order. I am Calien, Agent and Scout for the Inquisition, if it isn't apparent from my accent I hail from Antiva."

"Von, that is the name I wish to go by. I've been many places in this world, and I wish to have a future with the Inquisition."

"Nola. Mercenary out of Denerim. Hope to be of longer use than just a scouting mission though."

"Kari. Got my start in this line of work in Antiva City."

Calien, Von, Nola and Kari.

He'd have to remember their names. Von seemed very eager to get started, and Nola sounded like she was in the same situation as him, needing coins. Kari shook the scout's hand, which seemed odd. Even more odd, she had a Dalish accent. The rest hadn't spoken yet, but he was sure they soon would, and decided to go ahead and introduce himself as well.

It shouldn't be a danger, they don't know.

"I'm Ashtalan," he said, and tilted his head, examining the others again. Nothing looked off about most of them, so that was good, and he smiled. "I've been a lot of places too, so I'm mostly just travelling around. It's a pleasure." His own accent was indescribable, a little of everything, a result of moving around a lot and having a mother with a very strong Qunari accent. His eyes went to the female Qunari again, then away. He wasn't scared, but what if she got ahold of him and dragged him back to the Qunari homelands? A ridiculous thought, of course, perhaps he would be sooner to get dragged into the fade and slaughtered, but it was still something he didn't quite like to imagine.

Besides, she might not be from there, since she has a Dalish accent. She might be like me.

He turned to Calien, deciding to ask a question.

"How long will this job take? How much time? Are we being paid according to how quick we are, or would it depend on the time used?" It was useless for him to try to think in dates anymore, he didn't always know whether it was the same day as earlier or not, and it wasn't that important either way. However, he still wanted to know, if only to make an estimate of how much they might receive.

Sitting in the corner of the inn with his hood covering his face and holding a half drunk mug of ale, Jarrett took note of his surroundings. It seemed like everyone was doing the same, something which made his paranoid side twitch but the words of what-appeared to be Antivan Scout calling themselves a member of the Inquisition were intriguing. It wasn't too long ago a friend of his joined the same group. However this was important compared to what came next.

"The Inquisition is not normally in the practice of hiring random adventurers, however these are special circumstances."
"What rumors we've heard claim wolves and other animals in the area have become quite hostile, which could be the work of demons though no rifts have been sighted to my awareness."

These words in particular rang in his ears. He began musing as to the answer behind this incident he and the other fellows in the bar were being hired for but put that aside for the moment. For now it seemed it was his turn for an introduction if he wanted the job and so he reached his hand out to the scout. "Jarrett, Kirkwall, mercenary, a pleasure. May we find each other agreeable." Short and as detailed as he wanted it for the moment. Everything seemed to be going well except for his attempts at tuning out the singing.

Wine and Ale flowed like water to Raven's cup and with each verse she took another swig of the stuff. Around in the tavern drunk men sang rowdy songs about naughty maidens and their spear-handling, while tossing remarks about the Queen's arse - a hearty bunch of lovable misfits and degenerates, just like how Raven liked 'em. The more foul liquid they gulped the duller became their wit, which wasn't sharp enough to cut through butter in the first place.

"But she knew the ways of nobler men-", the men sang together off-tune and in an endearing fashion, like a three-legged dog trying to bring back the stick you threw for him, "-And she knew well how to suck 'em!", Raven shouted the next verse and her voice rose up above all the others. A round of laughter greeted her, and her cup was filled yet again. She forgot why she was there that day, and stopped wandering about the steadiness of the deck. The ship must be at port, which explained all of the booze and grub - today they all went ashore, and spent all of their booty on wenches, grog and even more wenches. A serving girl went past her and raven slapped her on the bottom and the men around her cheered when the girl's face turned red.

"Why change the past, when you can own this day?", Raven jumped on the table she was sitting at and raised her cup high in the air, which was when the rest of the tavern's patrons except for a handful of quite types in the corner cheered with her. There were two giant bleedin' horned types standing about there, together with dwarves and - what the hell was that skinny one, she couldn't figure out herself even if they had a rusty blade at her throat.

"To Queen Anora's Arse!", Raven toasted the bodacious noblewoman's behind and the rest of the men followed her lead, enchanted by her sharp tongue and captivating eyes. "But she knew the ways of commoner men, And she knew just how to fuck 'em", she sang together with the tavern, changing a word to the sound of even more laughter. They were terribly interested in her personality, so interested that one of the patrons, an old man with a scraggy brown beard, tried to experience her personality more intimately while muttering "I'll screw you good". Raven jammed her elbow up his nose and smirked at the sound of his cartilage getting smashed up to the inside of his head. She watched him smack his head on the table and flatten on the ground, to the sound of even more laughter. "Fuck my elbow then, you fucking swine", she jumped down from the table and landed on his belly. Raven raised her cup again and watched as the serving girl came up to her, leaned forward and whispered something in her ear.

"What coin? We're in my Ship!", Raven gave a loud reply, and the girl whispered once again. "I have the silver! Ah, yes, that guy-", she pointed at the one in the corner with the cask on his leg, "-he has my silver".

"therefore you will be paid on completion of the task...I suppose now that the terms of business have been laid out introductions are in order..."

"Cap'n Viscount Raven Theirin, at your service!", she gave a mock bow and leaned forward so much a throwing knife fell out of her pouch and landed on the ground between her two feet. She bent forward and wrapped both of her skinny hands around the blade, trying her hardest to pull it out. She let out a grunt, shot out a few curse words and finally pulled out the blade with such force she fell on her arse.

"Though Raven's just fine", she pushed herself up, "Viscount Raven for you Quns", she gave them the stink-eye.

Berund, content to sit by and listen, occasionally taking large swigs from a fresh tankard of beer as the others had made their introductions. The first was a man who, while quiet, seemed particularly eager to shake the scout's hand first. The man's quickness to express his interest was a stark contrast to his seemingly reserved nature, but that was either a sign of rehearsed reticence on his part or an inability to accurately distinguish character on Berund's. The next to step forward was the other dwarf of that tavern's corner. She certainly had the look of a fighter, and that was more than fine by Berund. Then the female Qunari with an admittedly striking figure and rather brief background followed by the male who had the look of a mage, even with the heavy frame. Ashtalan, so he was called, seemed particularly interested in time, having fired off several question on the matter.

Great Ancestors, Berund internally exclaimed, does he have somewhere to be?

Shortly after, an elf stepped forward, slouched and spindly while not ungainly so, with a short and fragmented manner of speaking, but friendly all the same. It seemed to Berund that he was to be next in making his introduction when in came a boisterous and frankly unruly woman who apparently was another prospecting applicant. She presented herself as a Captain, though only in spoken word as there was little else about her that gave that impression. While she fumbled around with the knife made loose by an exaggerated bow, Berund stood with evident gaiety after having wiped the froth of his drink from the bushy bristles of his upper lip. "I am Berund, and would be glad to lend my hand if you'll have me."

Kari returned the other Qunari's gaze, with a raised eyebrow. I know that look...he's not sure wither or not to consider me a threat. I wonder why...Gods I'm daft. She thought, as she reminded herself just how the followers of the Qun treated mages. In that case it's surprising he didn't peg off as soon as he saw me.

"Viscount Raven for you Quns"

"Viscount, hmm?" Kari said to the diminutive drunk. "Sorry hun, but I think you need a cock for that to work; However if you're a viscountess, then Your Ladyship is welcome to kiss my bronze coloured arse." As she finished speaking the serving girl appeared with her next beer, doing her level best to avoid the groping hands of Raven's men's hands. Once she was paid and away, Kari downed her beer in one long pull. Satisfied for now, she returned her attention to 'Viscountess' Raven.

"So tell me Your Ladyship." She said in the most mocking tone she could manage. "Are these mongrels of yours going to be getting under foot on the job, or are you going to put them in their kennels while we're away?"

Quietly, but intensely listening to the introductions of the others, Von signaled one of the serving woman. "Just fill this with water." He said gently, placing the correct amount of copper pieces in her hand. Turning back, intrigued, he heard the two Qunari talk. Back in the days of his Templar training, he did not mind the Qunari in the lower docks, for he actually found it interesting talking them. Yet he had never met a female Qunari, or a mage. ("This is going to be interesting") He said closing his eyes, sipping on his mug of water.

Von held respect for the races of Thedas, he found them rather interesting. The Templars in Kirkwall were rather quick to judge, and he did not allow himself to sink into that habit. The rogue Templar had an easier time getting along with the Dwarf and Elves in the city, even if his father scolded him for doing so. Thinking about how big this world truly is, he nodded to his own thought. Those thoughts of wonder and excitement were, unfortunately, interrupted by said "bloody drunks". More importantly, their 'Captain' walked over, and introduced herself.

"Viscount Raven for you Quns"

Still, sipping his mug of water, Von sighed. A hope within his mind wished that this 'lady' would not be included on their adventure, or that the scout would reject this drunken rogue. His mind was starting to feel light, the alcohol was getting to him, so he started to take larger mouthfuls of the water.

"However if you're a viscountess, then Your Ladyship is welcome to kiss my bronze coloured arse."

Hearing this jab at the female pirate, Von almost blew all of his water out. Immediately placing the mug down, he placed one hand to his mouth, trying to cover up the masked giggling he was making. The jab was all too precious to him, Von loved good humour, but he had never heard a Qunari crack a joke before, which made it all the better. Placing his hand down finally, Von gave a final huff, "Heh ... good one." He said to Kari, his mouth giving half a smile.

("This adventure will not just be interesting ... it might even be fun!") Von thought, before returning to his drink.

Nola eyed the others as they introduced themselves, her eyes having passed over the quiet man known as Von. Giants, humans, an Elf, even another Dwarf. Well this'll be fun at least. She mused. Her eyes lingered for a moment on the woman who had stumbled forward. Loud, boisterous, with just a hint of racism. And they said humans were more diverse. She shook her head slightly before the Giantess responded.

"Sorry hun, but I think you need a cock for that to work; However if you're a viscountess, then Your Ladyship is welcome to kiss my bronze coloured arse."

Nola laughed out loud at that. She slapped her thigh as she doubled over slightly. "Not even five minutes of knowing each other and she's got you beat already lass! Oh by my Ancestors that's rich!" She wiped a tear from her eye. "Ohhh I like you already lady." She said to Kari.

Two drunks were pushing themselves towards the party in the corner, too awfully grubby for Raven's tastes, "Piss off", she smacked one over his shin and he whimpered. She drew her sword, a well-crafted and castle-made rapier, its handle embroiled with signs of golden leafs, which were the first to go when Raven needed the spare coin. The Qunnari had a big mouth, which was saying something for a Qunnari and their..their..big-ness. She showed her the blade, turned around to smack the second drunk who was trying to fondle her arse on the back and brandished her blade. "Call her M'lady", she made a mock bow to the sword, "Viscountess of Starkhaven, or something of the sort".

"Are these mongrels of yours going to be getting under foot on the job, or are you going to put them in their kennels while we're away?"

"Those puppies?", she asked sarcastically, "They won't be trouble". She singled out the young man who took over the merry band after she left, and pitched her tankard at his head. He fell unconscious, or at least that's what she hoped, down over the rest of his mates. "Stuff it and shut up!", she ordered the group of now not-so-merry drunks. "They're ain't mine crew, or anything related", she began with her reply. "I wouldn't have it kissed if I were you, or I would be eating Qun Shish-kebabs the whole week!", she twirled the sword around, gave off a friendly smile and put it away.

"Shut up", she jabbed at the human.

"Kari-", she pointed at Kari, "Nola", her finger moved to the dwarf, "Ashtalan", the magical bull got the finger, "Jarrent", next came the elf, "Berund", which was the second dwarf all around - "And you" - she poked Von in the thigh, "Nice Scar. I didn't catch your name".

Ashtalan smiled innocently to the next people who introduced himself, as he waited for a reply from the inquisition scout. Berund the dwarf, and Jarrett the hooded individual both seemed pleasant enough, while this Raven was pretty much completely drunk.

"Viscount Raven for you Quns"

Ashtalan wasn't sure how to respond to that. However, it was far from the first time he had been singled that because of his heritage. Or was it because of that they thought he was a follower of the Qun, as opposed to a Vashoth?

I wonder if I should mention that I don't actually follow the Qun.

Ashtalan shrugged, it wasn't important to tell the newcomer since most of the people there would likely not know the difference, but it might be something to mention to Kari when he got the chance.

"Sorry hun, but I think you need a cock for that to work; However if you're a viscountess, then Your Ladyship is welcome to kiss my bronze coloured arse."

He couldn't help but smirk at that, Kari was correct, though a title hardly matter either way. Rather than try to interrupt someone, he decided to wait for the racket that was surrounding them. Apart from the group talking, some people were singing, and was that a tortured scream? No, surely not. He wouldn't let it get his attention, though he brought a hand up to one of his horns out of boredom, trailing it in circles the way someone might twirl their hair.

"Ashtalan"

Ashtalan sat up, his attention caught. "Just Ash is fine too," he said, deciding to ignore the pointy-finger and the remarks from earlier. "Speaking of which..." he looked to Kari. It wasn't exactly the easiest question to ask, but it was better to get it over with.

"Kari, if I may ask, do you follow the Qun? I don't, which makes it sort of important to know if you are." He lightened up and smiled.

"Besides, even with such a nice accent and face, I can't be sure that you're not going to drag me into re-education unless you tell me," he continued, making it sure that he was mostly joking with both the flirting and the re-education statement.

Witnessing the female Dwarf laugh at the same jab, this put Von in a more happier mood. The surrounding air feels much more lighter than he is usually acquainted to. As priorities go, Von has already mentally listed to become friends with the more livelier members, ("Time will tell as usual.") Von thought, looking at the rest of the members. Even the other Qunari had a smile. Von was glad that he was wrong about the whole Qunari race, one event in Kirkwall almost made him close his opinion.

"And you"
Von suddenly felt a poke in his thigh,
"Nice Scar. I didn't catch your name"

The 'lady' known as Raven has request his name. Before he could mentally speak the Maker's name, Von's half smile lowered into a more calmer look. "The name is Von. I would talk about these scars ..." He spoke softly with a touch of nobility. Touching the scar running up is right arm, and moving his fingers across the one beside his eye. "But ... I'm far more interested why a Captain is far from the sea, and is without a ship or crew?" He questioned, wondering why exactly this type of person, is far from the very thing that makes them who they are. Or at the very least, gives them their title.

With Von, while he was interested in his new companions, he did not want too talk much. So, he had hoped this Captain would spin up a tale or two, as sailors usually do in truth or habit. In the meantime, one of the Qunari had attracted his ears, talking about the Qun.

"Call her M'lady. Viscountess of Starkhaven, or something of the sort."

"Cute toothpick." Kari replied, as Raven beaned one of the drunk with her cup. Ohh, he's gonna feel that in a few hours.

"I wouldn't have it kissed if I were you, or I would be eating Qun Shish-kebabs the whole week!"

"Oh I could do with a good 'eating'," She shot back with a wink. "It's been far too long."

"Kari, if I may ask, do you follow the Qun? I don't, which makes it sort of important to know if you are."

Her further banter with the little pirate was interrupted when her 'kinsman' spoke up. "I'll take a shot and say you're a mage, correct?" She asked. "If that's why you're asking, then no, I don't follow the Qun. I've worked with Tal-Vashoth who explained it to me, and that told me enough. Live my life as dictated by some musty Codex written by others long dead? Not bloody likely."

Moving from where she'd be standing, she stepped around behind Ashtalan's seat and bent over, wrapping her arms around his chest, and placing her lips beside his ear. "While the compliments are welcome love, sad to say you're not my type." Standing, she ruffled his hair, then made her way back to where she'd been.

The events of the meeting dragged on far too long for Jarrett's linking. The antics of this Captain started to grate on his nerves. If nothing else he hoped he'd find her more agreeable with a hangover. It was still a prime opportunity to learn about these new supposed allies however. "You there, Raven, correct?" He made sure to tap her on the shoulder while saying so to grab her attention. "Now or when you're done with 'this', talk to me in the corner I was at."

Calien listened to their introductions and questions, taking note of each adventurer as he did so, his smile growing somewhat as Kari mentioned Antiva city, and he couldn't suppress a laugh at the jabs some of them threw back and forth. So far they seemed a decent lot for adventurers, though the pirate girl was somewhat troubling, as he doubted she would work well as a member of a team but really what choice did he have? It was this lot or report back to the spymaster empty handed. The rowdy lot she seemed to have been associating with prior were a nuiscance as well, but fortunately they departed quickly when it quickly became clear there were neither wenches nor booze for them at his table.

"Ahem," he cleared his throat to get the parties attention "to answer your questions I will be happy to put in a good word with the Inquisition for each of you when this task is finished, no doubt the Herald would be happy to have the services of such fine individuals. As for how long this task will take I cannot truly say, it really depends on what you encounter though," he gestured towards the innkeeper, "Olaf here seems to think there is a storm coming soon, which might lengthen things somewhat."

He shrugged then continued "I think he's crazy personally, other than that big green hole the skies been relatively clear hereabouts," he said "I'd prefer you be quick about the task of course, but you'll be paid based on the dangers faced not the time it takes to handle them."

He reached into his bag and after a moment of digging pulled out a rolled up map, swiftly unrolling it and laying it out on the table. He fussed over it for a moment or two before he planted a finger firmly on one spot.

"Since we're all introduced now here is the village I want scouted out," he said "as I said its not far off from here, the hike up the mountains shouldn't take more than a couple of days if you keep up a good pace, though ah if Olaf's right about the weather I'd encourage you to get moving, I'd hate to manage that trail in a blizzard. The village itself isn't terribly large, grew up out of an outpost that traded with the dwarves way back or so I'm told, still sees travel from local Avvar on their way to trade in Orzammar though otherwise its just your average quiet little mountain village, hardy folks who aren't much troubled by the rest of the world."

He rolled the map back up and offered it out for one of them to take.

"The best route is on the map, as I said I'd advise you get what you need and head out soon, while the sun's still up," he said "Just remember you're representing the Inquisition here so please try to act appropriately."

Quietly listening to the two Qunari, Von was surprised that Kari did not believe in the Qun. From his experience at least, Tal-Vashoth were quite violent towards outsiders. From the flicker of memory, it might have been due to his membership in the Templars, or just how they lived, but Von was now glad to confirm that not all Tal-Vashoth are bloodthirsty and wishing to break his spine. Remembering back again, his first encounter with the Tal-Vashoth, it was bad, several of the front line Templars were killed horribly, and it took many of the remaining squad to silence the violence. Once his shift had ended, Von remembered asking the Qunari Compund guard about Tal-Vashoth, and they had a worse view of them.

Still, as thought before, he was glad they are not good. Giving a small sigh of relief to the thought, Von did not know the situation could not get better, but Seeing Jarrett try to attract the attention of the lady Captain, this perked up his mouth in the motion of a smirk. Hearing Calien clear his throat, Von's attention immediately turned to the scout. Inspecting and remembering the spot the Inquisition member pointed to, Von was happier than usual, and eager to get this adventure underway.

"Just remember you're representing the Inquisition here so please try to act appropriately."

"Of course, I will try to give the Inquisition a good image." Von said to the scout. The thought lingered in his mind, ("What about everyone else though?") Shrugging at the thought, Von took the map. "I'll take this, unless anyone has any objections? The faster we leave, the better." Von asked to his new comrades.

"The best route is on the map, as I said I'd advise you get what you need and head out soon, while the sun's still up. Just remember you're representing the Inquisition here so please try to act appropriately."

A reasonable request, though given this lot, I'm not sure how that task will fare, The dwarf thought, taking a hearty gulp from the tankard. As was a habit of his, he tucked his upper lip into his lower lip to get at the beer foam that collected in his mustache. There was a little more banter being exchanged, some friendly, some less so. It hadn't broke out into a classic tavern brawl, so perhaps they'd all get on well enough. He would have to hope so if he was going to get paid. But given the diversity, a fight would likely be payment enough just with its entertainment alone.

"I'll take this, unless anyone has any objections? The faster we leave, the better."

"I agree, there's little reason to wait around when we're not bein' paid by the hour," Berund joked with a sly wink. He walked over to Von and said with a smile, "It's always a welcome sight to see someone eager to work, so I can honestly say I don't mean to put a damper on your spirits here by tellin' you I should like to have a look at that map. I've done more than a fair bit of scoutin' in my day and I expect to take up a similar role in this..." He paused to look around for a moment and acknowledging his new acquaintances, "well, the word party comes to mind."

"I agree, there's little reason to wait around when we're not bein' paid by the hour,"

A Dwarven voice called out. Von's attention turned to Berund, who was giving a wink. ("Dwarven jokes are always good") Von thought, and gave a slight smile to Berund. While angry, short, and very violent, Dwarves were some of Von's closest friends in Kirkwall. Once again remembering of the horrible memories of the Mage rebellion beginning, Von shook his head slightly, as Berund started to talk once more.

"It's always a welcome sight to see someone eager to work, so I can honestly say I don't mean to put a damper on your spirits here by tellin' you I should like to have a look at that map. I've done more than a fair bit of scoutin' in my day and I expect to take up a similar role in this..."

Secretly thankful for the change of topic, Von placed a hand to his chin, closed his eyes, and nodded quickly. "A scout ... huh" He said quieter than usual. Handing the map to Berund, his mouth bent into his small smile again. "It's better than my experience. And I'm only eager so the blizzard doesn't kill us ... I don't know about you, but I haven't seen a frozen Qunari yet." Von said in a slight cheeky tone.

His face going back to a calmer look, Von's tone become serious. "By Andraste, this damn blizzard better not have any surprises for us ..." Von said, leaving a pause before talking once more. "Hmm, could we plan for that?" He asked Berund.

"Oh I could do with a good 'eating'...It's been far too long."

Raven tilted her head slightly to the left in a curious pose. She wasn't sure what she was talking about. There was plenty of food right on the table.

"I'm far more interested why a Captain is far from the sea, and is without a ship or crew?"

"Hmm...?", Raven was stuffing her face with the sweet pastries served at the table when Von asked her a question. She stopped chewing, gulped down the whole mess of bread, butter and jam and greeted him with a sugar-stained smile. Her deft hands retrieved some more of the pastries and hid them down her deep pockets. "What ship? What captain? I'm here for the sweets-", their employer gave them the job description, "-and to do that".

The shifty elf gave her a wicked invitation, to which she nodded and winked several times. "Oh, right now?", she asked loudly and walked off to speak with the lanky elf in private.

With as much quiet as there could possibly be in this dank corner his eyes stared Raven down and asked her what at first appeared to be a straightforward question. "Have you ever killed a person before? Understanding your views is important, please. If you can't answer I'll leave and look over the map." He began to turn his back to her, almost not anticipating one.

Raven tugged at the edge of the elf's shirt as he turned to leave. She saw the others - murderers, each and every one, especially the elf.

"Everyone is a bloody murderer", she whispered to him, "My only virtue is I don't look like one".

She walked away from the elf and returned to the table, her pockets stuffed with delicious sweets. "What are we all waiting for, then?", she asked the rest of the group and lunged at the the map, "move your asses and get out. The faster we stop jerking off the closer my next binge gets-", she poked the viplage at the map,"-off we go!".

"I'll take a shot and say you're a mage, correct? If that's why you're asking, then no, I don't follow the Qun. I've worked with Tal-Vashoth who explained it to me, and that told me enough. Live my life as dictated by some musty Codex written by others long dead? Not bloody likely."

Ashtalan nodded, a bit hesitant to say it out loud, but then again, the others there had likely either suspected it, or would find out as soon as something happened either way.

"Yeah, I'm a mage," he replied, as she made her way over. Kari walked behind him, putting her arms over his chest and whispering into his ear, in response to his -hopefully apparent- jokingly flirting.

"While the compliments are welcome love, sad to say you're not my type."

It didn't take Ashtalan long to figure out just what that meant. Or, what he thought it meant, either way, and he just chuckled.

"Oh, that's fine," he replied, as she ruffled his hair. "I just thought I might try it out. Being friendly, and all that." From the tone of his voice, a playful, teasing one, it sounded like that likely was true. It was, after all, for all he knew, this might just be a more pleasant part of a nightmare.

It shouldn't be, everything's looking fairly normal right now. Then again, do I even remember what normal is supposed to look like? Probably not.

He perked his ears when he heard that Calien was speaking again, though gave no indication this time that he was listening. Kari had gone back to where she stood before, though he had to admit that he was relieved to hear that she didn't follow that "musty Codex".

"The best route is on the map, as I said I'd advise you get what you need and head out soon, while the sun's still up. Just remember you're representing the Inquisition here so please try to act appropriately."

"Alright then," he replied and stood up. He checked his stuff, making sure that some thief hadn't taken the chance to stick their hand in his pocket while he was listening. Not that they'd make it far either way, Ash' senses was a little warped, but n a way that often made him more alert rather than less. Deciding that everything was there, he waited for the rest to get ready. Von and Berund was discussing the blizzard.

"By Andraste, this damn blizzard better not have any surprises for us ... Hmm, could we plan for that?"

"move your asses and get out. The faster we stop jerking off the closer my next binge gets, off we go!"

"I'd hate to repeat what the lady said," Ash replied, smirking. "But what the lady Raven said. We'd be better off trying to get there before the blizzard comes than after. You can't make plans for a blizzard, apart from getting some warmer clothes, I suppose," he said, shrugging. He was already wearing furs, so he didn't need to worry about it, but some of the others...

"Besides, we'll probably see it coming if it does, and I have some decent ice salve, so in an emergency we could at least make sure that no one gets a nasty frostbite and has to amputate their foot," he remarked, in a light-hearted manner.

"But what the lady Raven said..."

"Who, me?", she laughed out loud and splattered ale through her nose. She wrinkled her face when her nose started to burn up and frowned at Ash. "I'm no lady and now my nose burns like a campsite fire", she looked around the room with a certain spark in her eyes. She went off without a sound to the drunks behind her and then appeared out of nowhere with a fur coat four sizes too big. She talked while a series of cries for help and accusations of theft came from the crowd.

"Right, I won't be losing my foot now, so lets go!".

"Oh I could do with a good 'eating'...It's been far too long." Nola couldn't help bur raise an eyebrow at that. With a smile and a over exaggerated wounded tone Nola put a hand over her heart. "Ohhhh I know your pain m'lady." She winked at the Giantess before turning her focus to the task at hand. The blizzard was her main concern, even if they were prepared it wouldn't do to get caught in the blizzard. She had a cloak but that could only do so much.

"Besides, we'll probably see it coming if it does, and I have some decent ice salve, so in an emergency we could at least make sure that no one gets a nasty frostbite and has to amputate their foot."

She raised an eyebrow at that. "Aye that'll help." She said with a nod. "If we're lucky the village will have an in or a barn big enough to fit us all, Ancestors willing there will be a decent cave." She thumbed her ax, thinking. Her only other worry was dry wood for a fire should the need arise, with luck there would be enough. Too much rides on chance...not much we can do now though. She nodded to herself. "The lass said it best, let's get movin."

"Everyone is a bloody murderer, my only virtue is I don't look like one."
This seriousness caught Jarrett off-guard. The one he seemed most cynical of may prove to be a greater ally than most he'd dealt with.

Raven, Von, Kari, Nola, Berund and Ash he counted to himself. What seemed to be a fortunately pleasant company respective to the usual scum he makes use of.

Walking to the table Jarrett heard one by one each of this party readying themselves. "Ready for the worst", a polite wave to the rest of the group accompanying this. If they were to get caught in a blizzard they'd have to adapt and there are few creatures in the world that wouldn't have the same handicap, comforting him should they face hostility.

When Calien pulled out the map, Kari made her way over, getting a good look at where they were to be going. Satisfied, she went to the bar, and exchanged a few words and some coin with the bartender; payment for keeping her gear secure while she'd seen about the job. He hefted a sizable pack and a two handed sword on to the bar with a thanks from Kari.

Opening her pack she withdrew a heavy woollen cloak, and a sealed metal pot with a wrapped brush. Opening the pot, and unwrapping the brush, she worked from memory, applying blood red vitaar to her face and neck. Once that was done, she capped the pot and brush, and put them away before donning the cloak and pack. Her sword, she carried like a farmer would carry a rake, with the flat of the blade against her shoulder; with that she stepped outside.

"By Andraste, this damn blizzard better not have any surprises for us...Hmm, could we plan for that?"

"Oh, the cold is easy to fight against, so long as you pack more layers for your back," Berund nodded, and motioned towards his pack. "Yes, some furs and a fire should do. And if we find ourselves really desperate, we may just have to huddle together for warmth." The dwarf took a moment to consider that scenario though quickly shook the thought from his mind. He took a gulp from his tankard and continued, "Probably not how anyone here would expect to make friends on this job. Though I imagine it's crossed someone's mind," he added quietly, nudging Von and nodding towards the female Qunari, recalling the rather lewd suggestion she made just moments before. "Anyway, I'd like to have that map if you don't mind. It looks like we're just about ready to get movin'."

"But what the lady Raven said. We'd be better off trying to get there before the blizzard comes than after. You can't make plans for a blizzard, apart from getting some warmer clothes, I suppose,"

Giving a nod to Ash, Von would like to leave quickly too. The suggestions Berund offered were handy. Von had little experience with a cold or snowy environment, so he was plenty happy that someone here knows how to survive. Listening to the advice made him realize that the hooded cloak he wore was quite not too thin. A sudden thought had struck him, ("This is the most I've talked since then.") Happy with that improvement, he smiled, and not just at the remark at Kari.

"Anyway, I'd like to have that map if you don't mind. It looks like we're just about ready to get movin'."

"... yes ... that would be good." Von said, allowing the scout to keep the map. The Templar in denial was glad that the map was off him, the hate that it would create if he lost it would be terrifying. Taking a final gulp of his water, Von let out a satisfying gasp. "I wonder what her type is exactly?" Von said quietly, but Berund would be able to pick it up. Leaving a pause, and realizing what he said, Von tried to cover it up. "I mean ... the mage, Ash, could help with the fires." He said more louder.

Taking a deep breath, he was ready too. Tightening his cloak, he looked back at the Inquisition scout. "Once complete, where will we meet again? Otherwise, we're off."

A Stormy Mountain Trail

The odd group soon made its way towards their destination, the smooth overland road transitioned quickly to a rough mountain trail slowing progress greatly. In places it would smooth out for a time but then just as quickly they would find themselves struggling over seemingly innumerable switchbacks and rocky unstable footing that made even the short downhill parts of the path difficult to navigate. Still it seemed safe enough so far aside from the occasional chill wind coming from the North, heralding the dark clouds gathering on the horizon.

By the second day it was becoming clear that the old innkeeper's instincts had been right, heavy snow had begun falling earlier in the morning and the wind was making it difficult to see, the constant flurries obscuring the groups vision as well as any fog. The cold in particular was especially hard on the Qunari (or rather Vashoth) members of the group, their race's homeland was a warm tropic clime after all, and while living to the south of that had acclimatized them somewhat they remained somewhat more vulnerable to the cold weather.

The lights of the village, their destination, glimmered through the wind and snow some distance ahead. No doubt in this weather then village's inhabitants would all be holed up indoors. Still they were almost there, though the comfort of this knowledge was dampened somewhat as the howling of the wind was joined by animal voices. The group had until now not been troubled by wild beasts, though that seemed about to change. The howling was close but no wolves could be seen yet, the storm obscuring them from sight.

Ash was relieved that he had brought the cold salve, as it got colder than he had expected. He had allowed those who wanted some to do so, it was almost strange how a small amount of salve could make the cold seem a lot less severe. While they couldn't see too much when walking, the group as a whole had done great, though the amount of white snow and fog had taken its toll on his mind, tiring it. It was so much easier to imagine all the worse things when the world around them was a blank canvas, and the fog reminded him of the fade.

He also hadn't gotten much sleep, both because of the cold -and therefore, need of movement to keep warm- and because of nightmares, forcing him awake almost the instant he fell asleep. Being awake made it more and more difficult to keep ignoring the sounds he kept hearing, and he had no way of telling what they were or where they came to, or even if the others could hear them. However, the company of the group made it easier for Ashtalan to keep his mood up, even if he was sleep deprived and his head was currently more than a little foggy. A comfort, if nothing else.

As long as they don't worry.

Ashtalan had little desire to make his new-found travelling companions worry about his mental well-being.

When he saw the lights of the village, it was the most pleasant sight he had seen for what felt like more than two days. However, the new-found eagerness was stifled quickly when he heard sounds again, these sounded like beasts. Looking around, he tried to determine whether the others could hear it this time on their reaction, or lack of reaction.

The blizzard and trek may have waned Jarrett's patience but the sounds of beasts demanded a little more of him. The scout mentioned something about animals with unusual behaviour and knowing the luck they've had with the blizzard was beginning to prepare for the worst.

If there were hostile beasts they could attack any moment. He quickly began alerting the group of his suggestion should things be as bad as they seem. "Sounds could be what the scout mentioned. House, fence, cliff, whatever, find cover. Maybe funnel these hypothetical beasts if that's what we're hearing. Better ideas?"
As much as he wanted to with the blizzard he would rather not risk revealing their position to this unknown sound. "Might seem obvious but don't lose sight of each other. Someone says 'Nutter', that's me."

The cold environment was an adventure to Von, in his find he often compared it to the scorn of his sisters. He would talk about it in his journal when they would camp. The memories of his sisters hurt, but he kept on writing in the pages, filling it for hope of himself. At the first camp, Von's cloak came in handy, it was a handed to him by a larger man who ran a caravan of supplies. Von guarded it, and killed a couple of crazed, badly armed people, presumed non-soldiers. Von couldn't help but cut them down and put them out of their misery.

Still, this earned him the elven forest-coloured cloak, and with the big size, it made a excellent cover from the harsh crisp air. On the second day, snow, it was as if balls of harsh light fell from the Golden City, until it hit the group, then it's cold really came down on them. Most of the time Von held his hood, to stop it blowing away, and using the other hand to keep his cloak around him, for he did not want to have to clean his armour much.

Von was thankful though, this adventure was proving better than a solo journey, especially since they had not only a mage, but a scout. He was very thankful to Berund and Ash for what they did, even if he was quite for most of the journey. When coming to the the sight of light, Von genuinly looked happy, "By Andraste, now that's a sight." The good news, was of course, interrupted by the sound of bad news. Von paused, his hairs stood, wolves. To Von, they were ferocious, and if you were alone, it made it even worse. Calmed down by the presence of his new group, Von heard Jarrett.

"Sounds could be what the scout mentioned. House, fence, cliff, whatever, find cover. Maybe funnel these hypothetical beasts if that's what we're hearing. Better ideas?"

Nodding, Von pulled out his Templar longsword, and his red steel dagger with it. "Lets us hope they miss us." Von said, wondering if his voice got to the others of the group. Being at the front of the group, he ducked behind a tree in cover. The only thought he had now, is the hope they would not be seen thanks to the storm.

Andraste's Nipples its cold! Kari though bitterly as she once again tugged at her cloak, trying to keep her hood up. What kind of mad man would live in such a damned place. While her armour and cloak did a fair job of keeping her body warm, and the salve Ashtalan had been kind enough to let her use was a blessing for her hands and face, it was still too bloody cold. Fortunately the lights of the village could be seen ahead, promising hot food and a warm bed; then she heard the howls. "Shit."

"Sounds could be what the scout mentioned. House, fence, cliff, whatever, find cover. Maybe funnel these hypothetical beasts if that's what we're hearing. Better ideas?"

"Not really." She replied, dropping her pack and cloak. "But I have a slight variation." Stepping through the snow a few paces toward the howls, to where there was a wider space, she began to limber up with her blade. "You lot stay protected and stop whatever is coming from overwhelming me."

"Lets us hope they miss us."

"Don't worry Von." She said teasingly, as she faced the approaching sounds and slid into a relaxed guard position. "I won't let those mean doggies hurt you."

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