seeking_truth: (armor and shield)
[personal profile] seeking_truth
There's much to be done between the declaration of intent and their actual departure. Leliana sends her messenger birds flying on swift wings to all corners of Thedas, carrying notifications and news, requests and orders.

(The Divine is notified first, of course, before any other birds are sent. Several scouts are dispatched as well, each by different routes, to confirm and to bring word back with minimal risk of a message being lost to blade or bow or spell-strike. It's only prudent, in these troubled times.)

After speaking with Aveline Vallen to ensure that the Guard-Captain is willing to accept her aid, Cassandra directs that one of the first messages be sent to Lord Seeker Lucius Corin in Dairsmuid, requesting that he detach her former apprentice Daniel to Kirkwall for a time. She is blunt about the matter of the Gallows - or, more particularly, that the red lyrium remaining in the Gallows represents a problem that warrants the Seekers' involvement.

(For one thing, the statue of Meredith Stannard cannot remain there forever.)

She consults with Cullen on the needs of his troops, both on the journey to Val Royeaux and in the field after, but leaves their leadership to him as they prepare for departure. It surprises her not at all that he manages that as capably as he does everything else. (She tries not to let him see her concern as he continues the slow and laborous process of withdrawing from the lyrium, and simply does her best to assist if her help is ever requested.)

(It isn't.)

Leliana brings word that Lord Seeker Lucius has agreed to Cassandra's request, and that Daniel will be arriving in Kirkwall within the month. She also reports that she has sent notice to Josephine Montilyet to meet them when they arrive Val Royeaux; the Inquisition will need an ambassador, and Josie is more than well-suited. Between the two of them, they agree that Leliana will go on ahead to make sure that all is in readiness when the ships arrive, while Cassandra will remain to oversee their departure.

A few weeks later, that is exactly where she is: on the docks, watching while Captain Harald commands his crew to load the ships. All else is in readiness, save for one final matter.

Date: 2016-10-29 03:34 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (they shall be named Maleficar)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
It seems like it's been threatening to rain all morning. Kirkwall's final gift. The sooner Cullen can take it and run (and then set said gift on fire), the happier he'll be.

By a wall near their quay, Cullen sits on his trunk. Ci sits at his feet, watching passersby with what seems like regal disaffection. Cullen hasn't yet tried her on maps of Thedas -- that's going a little far, even for a mabari -- but she knows what Val Royeaux means, and she knows what it means when people say dog lord with that particular tone.

It's a rather ineffective insult, to Cullen's mind. But he was hoping he'd never actually have to use any of the Orlesian he learned in training.

(He was hoping more of his templars from Kirkwall would agree to join the Inquisition.)

The book with the Sword of Mercy on the cover is in his hands; it's unique enough that it's imprudent to let it out of his sight. But Cullen wants to be gone so badly that he might just open up the thing and start playing Die Hard at full volume to make everyone scatter.

Date: 2016-10-29 03:52 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (marvel at perfection)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
"After all our efforts to make you fall in love with the place," Cullen says, cutting his eyes in her direction.

Ci gives Cassandra a somewhat warmer response: four tail thumps and a brief grin. Cassandra carries treats and has been known to be profligate with them. Cassandra is in Ci's good books.

Date: 2016-10-29 04:00 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (the one who repents)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
If the treats were bigger, Ci would have to chew them. As such, inhaling is completely justified!

Still, to make Cassandra happy, Ci chews the treat. With her mouth open. Audibly.

"Think we'll manage to get off before nightfall?"

Date: 2016-10-29 04:11 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (though the darkness comes upon me)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
"Strange how that works."

Cullen rubs the back of his neck briefly. No headache, today, but he's not thrilled at the idea of being belowdecks for the duration of a sea voyage.

"What's left on the task list? Anything?"

Date: 2016-10-29 04:40 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (the one who repents)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
Cullen's feeling prickly enough that he might be tempted, just a little, to sass Cassandra.

However, having some sense of self preservation, he says, "Of course."

Date: 2016-10-29 04:46 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (the aegis of the alamarri)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
That's enough to get Cullen to sit up, pay attention, and put any thoughts of how badly he wants to leave Kirkwall out of his head.

It's a moment before he replies; ultimately, he chooses to say carefully, "I was unaware that Divine Justinia took an interest in the quotidian details of military command."

Date: 2016-10-29 08:26 pm (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (though the darkness comes upon me)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
He's that, he supposes.

It'll take some getting used to -- not least because while Cassandra has kept her promise to let him recruit and bring in his own people, she's also been managing... everything else. And then some. Perhaps he'll feel more authoritative when they have some idea of what they'll need from an army.

Without thinking about it Cullen rubs the back of his neck again. "All right. -- are you worried I won't behave myself?"

He also has not made any secret, with Cassandra, of how angry he is with the Chantry; if Cassandra thinks to warn him not to speak his mind with Divine Justinia, Cullen can understand that.

Date: 2016-10-29 08:58 pm (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (her foundation and her sword)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
Cullen gives her a beady look.

"All right," is all he says.

He could point out any one of dozens of failures of the Chantry since he took his vows -- failures that resulted in great harm and loss of life. Cassandra knows that. Cullen doesn't need to say it.

Date: 2016-10-29 09:23 pm (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (touch me with fire (that i be cleansed))
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
At their feet, Ci grumbles. Cullen places a hand on her neck.

"I don't know what you mean, Cassandra." Calmer. "I can't read your mind. Nor can I reliably anticipate your every move. Please say what you mean to say."

If she's got a weakness, Cullen thinks -- and it's a big if -- it's this: thinking too fast, assuming everyone follows the line of it, and then not providing enough detail for everyone else to follow through. Which then results in Cassandra snapping, when whoever she's speaking to doesn't respond the way she anticipates.

Hence, Cullen knows, his presence. It's a good trait for an investigator and an enforcer. It's a terrible trait in a military commander.

Date: 2016-10-31 02:39 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (take from me a life of sorrow)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
Cullen listens, brow first furrowing before his eyebrows lift in surprise.

"I -- appreciate it, Cassandra. Thank you. Both parts." After a (somewhat stunned) moment. "A leader should know her officers. Regardless of any feeling I might have -- that supersedes everything else."

Date: 2016-10-31 02:51 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (hymns of praise unending)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
"...if there's a story there," Cullen says, "you do realize you're now honor-bound to tell it immediately."

Ci barks, once, in agreement.

Date: 2016-10-31 03:03 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (judged and found wanting)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan

"Don't feel the need to engineer a similar entrance on my account."

Date: 2016-10-31 03:12 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (hymns of praise unending)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
"That's the best news I've had in years," Cullen announces to no one in particular. "Ci? Anything?"

Her tail thumps, she beams at the urchin, she remains seated.

"We're prepared."

Date: 2016-10-31 03:24 am (UTC)
howtoactfereldan: (judge me whole)
From: [personal profile] howtoactfereldan
"Years ago," Cullen says, fervent, and takes her hand.

He can shoulder his trunk without a problem; the contents inside rattle, a little. Not much in there. He holds his book with the other. Ci trots at his side.

And when the ship pushes away, and makes its way out of the Kirkwall harbor, Cullen doesn't look back. Not once.


seeking_truth: (Default)
Cassandra Pentaghast

October 2016

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