seeking_truth: (armor and shield)
[personal profile] seeking_truth
The Hero of Ferelden has vanished, it seems, or at least is nowhere that any of Leliana's spies have yet been able to discover.

They cannot afford to wait. They must continue their search, in order to be ready before the Conclave. Besides, Cassandra had argued, there are other preparations that need to be made.

(That argument had resounded from the very stones of the keep. Fortunately, both Hands are long used to each other's ways by now.)

In the end, Leliana had conceded the need to act, while Cassandra had agreed that the Nightingale's spies should keep looking for the Warden-Commander, just in case.

* * * * * * *


Kirkwall is a ruin.

Not as much of one as it had been, of course, but Cassandra's gaze is still drawn like a lodestone to the spot where the Chantry had once stood, before the apostate Anders's work.

It does nothing to improve her mood.

"Find him," she snaps to the nearby lieutenant. The Seekers she has brought with her are enough to suffice almost any need, without being quite enough to constitute an official invasion, and are already spreading out to establish their base of operations. Nearby, Leliana is deep in low-voiced conversation with her most trusted scouts. "Guard-Captain Vallen as well. All of them. Now."

"Right away, Seeker Pentaghast."

Date: 2016-02-06 11:44 pm (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (champions of the just)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
"Knight-Captain Cullen, yes. Rutherford is my family name."

Cullen returns the lieutenant's gimlet gaze without emotion. "You're one of our visitors."

Date: 2016-02-06 11:58 pm (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (champions of the just)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
"Please inform Seeker Pentaghast that we cannot leave our base at this time, though she is certainly welcome to join us here. I imagine she'll want to look through our records regardless."

The Viscount's Keep is one of the most defensible places in Kirkwall. Cullen doesn't plan to leave unless he must.

And if the lieutenant insists, Cullen will give the signal to go hide the mages: he can't protect them from whatever it is the Seeker has in mind.

Date: 2016-02-07 01:28 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (champions of the just)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
My father is dead, Cullen doesn't tell him, and he would never be here giving orders in someone else's house.

But the lieutenant's response is its own signal; Cullen decides he wants one more. Just to make sure. "Oh?" Placid. "I was under the impression it was standard protocol across Thedas for visiting dignitaries to present themselves at the seat of government before opening talks with local leaders."

Date: 2016-02-07 01:43 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (blessed are the peacekeepers)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
"And in their absence, the guard-captain and I have been keeping the peace," Cullen says, "and coordinating relief efforts in the absence of any assistance from the Spire or the Grand Cathedral."

That last was a little flinty; Cullen takes the opportunity to rub the back of his neck. "But if the Hands of the Divine believe it their right to act in this particular regard -- "

Particular here meaning you come into MY HOUSE. Meaning without courtesy, without respect, without consideration for the innocents in Kirkwall, and just like the rest of the damned Chantry.

" -- then you might lead the way, I suppose."

(Behind Cullen, one of the guard has lifted an arm, very briefly, in what looks like it could be an idle stretch. Another, further up the courtyard, does the same.

Two more city guard go inside the keep.

Just as they were ordered, should this come to pass.)

Date: 2016-02-07 01:56 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (should they set themselves against me)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
The mages, with guard and templar escort, should be headed through the tunnels to the small dock below Hightown. Aveline can hold the Keep with the guard she has, for a little while. Their charges will be safe, and Cullen's keeping his word to Donnic: that's what matters. Aveline, Donnic, Brennan, Merial, and Rylen have their instructions about writing Cullen's sister, should this go the way Cullen thinks it might.

(There's a small pang at the thought of Ysalwen: he never could figure out a good contingency plan to get word to her. Perhaps Ci will figure something out. It's beyond his control now, anyhow.)

They pass one of Rylen's windlass systems for the removal of rubble, and Cullen tamps down another wave of rage: how dare they march in here and assume they're in charge?

Safer, then, to be silent as they walk.

Date: 2016-02-07 02:04 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (should they set themselves against me)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
Now there are pleasantries.

"I was under the impression that I had very little choice in the matter."

Inadvisable, impolitic -- and Cullen doesn't care.

(That's the other side of making all the necessary preparations he can.)

Date: 2016-02-07 02:14 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (should they set themselves against me)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
"Oh, no," Cullen says.

Saltily.

"Merely overseeing the safety of the city in the absence of any other authority or assistance. But I understand you might not think that's too important, given that you've just sent your bulldog to retrieve my counterpart."

Date: 2016-02-07 02:20 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (the one who repents)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
"Is it going to be a few hours?" Cullen raises his eyebrows. "Is that all? Are you quite sure? Or did you have other plans?"

Date: 2016-02-07 02:35 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (the one who repents)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
You cannot, Cullen doesn't say. Neither does he smile back.

He folds his arms. He knows how interrogations work. He's not falling for it.

Date: 2016-02-07 02:44 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (blessed are the peacekeepers)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
"No doubt some would say the same of the apostate Anders, as I'm sure you're well aware."




They're off to a great start.

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Cassandra Pentaghast

October 2016

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