Twisted Oaths ~ Lake Celestine: 9:43 Dragon (in progress) Jun 2, 2017 22:41:23 GMT phoray, smilesja, and 3 more like this
Post by Norstaera on Jun 2, 2017 22:41:23 GMT
When the baby, normally the mildest-tempered little thing in all Velun, decided to start the morning with one long, loud temper tantrum, Guardsman Gervais knew it wasn’t going to be a good day. He was late reporting for duty because he couldn’t find his boots, his captain yelled at him for a loose button and suggested he’d been doing something unseemly behind the barracks with one of those women, and now he was escorting this blubbering foul dwarf to Sister Nenet, accompanied by a very green young guard by the name of...Luca, he thought it was. Or perhaps Lucas? Gaston nearly cringed when he opened the Chantry door and saw all the people inside. He had been hoping for a much smaller crowd; Gervais certainly didn’t like the looks of the group at the front of the Chantry, especially the warrior. She watched him bringing the stupid dwarf, Gaston, down the aisle, though she appeared to be thinking of something else.
The guardsman tightened his grip when he saw Helen, “What’s a delicate lady like Mademoiselle Helen doing with them? I’ve seen the one dwarf Bhegan, I think, often enough, but not the one with the tattoos. She’s probably a thief, or even worse . . . and that warrior, she looks like she’s left more than a few dead bodies behind her. My wife says Mademoiselle Helen is a bard, but she’s always been such a nice lady and during services she sings like an angel.” When Nenet’s door opened, Gervais was relieved until he saw the male warrior come out. He noticed that the warrior woman seemed confused when the Sister motioned for Helen and the tattooed dwarf to wait. They weren’t his business, and he got ready to hustle his charge into Sister Nenet’s care but the man who came out of the Sister’s office approached them. The guardsman stiffened, Mademoiselle Helen, the sorry looking dwarf, and the two thugs with her were staring at him. Rather, they were staring at the man and Gaston. Guardsman Gervais looked distastefully at the sniveling dwarf in his care; he could feel the eyes of the townspeople.
Gervais listened and it dawned on him who this man must be. “Would you happen to be Edmund the Mage?" he asked more loudly than he intended.
Conversation, already stalling between the women and Bhegan, came to a complete halt. The warrior winced. The tattooed dwarf gasped, and she, Bhegan and Helen took a step away from Edmund. Luca did as well, though he at least kept a strong grip on Gaston’s other arm. Guardsman Gervais didn’t blame them. Mages were scary, even if the Divine, Maker bless her, thought differently. Just look at all the trouble they caused with their demon work! In his opinion, though, slavery was just as much an affront to the Maker, even if it did involve a mage. Apparently, this Edmund didn’t like the question and said something derogatory that caused one of the Chantry Sisters to gasp in horror and the tattooed dwarf to nearly stifle a giggle. Gervais heard muted titters from the parishioners behind him and he didn’t miss the smirk on the warrior woman’s face. He tightened his lips in anger. Before he could say anything, the mage, Edmund apologized. The situation didn’t get better when Edmund learned Gaston betrayed him.
The words, “I saved your life you worthless piece of pig shit!” rang throughout the Chantry. Gervais puffed up his chest, ready to reprimand the mage when he heard somebody snort, as if they were trying not to laugh. It was that tattooed dwarf. From the corner of his eye he saw Mademoiselle Helen wrinkle her nose slightly in disapproval. He couldn’t remonstrate with the little heathen, he was too worried about the mage in front of him. He sent up a brief prayer, “Maker, please don’t let this young man kill this cowardly dwarf. He has a right to be angry, even if he is a mage, but I don’t want to have a fight in your Chantry.” Guardsman Gervais drew his sword, swallowing his spit in fear, but fortunately Edmund the Mage came to his senses.
When Edmund walked out of the Chantry after dropping the miserable merchant in his own piss, the warrior burst out laughing. It was a bit rusty, a bit cynical, and a whole lot amused. The tattooed dwarf joined in, her laughter surprisingly girlish for her apparent age. Still smiling, the warrior shook her head. “I could almost like him. Maker, nobody could write this stuff,” she said.
The dwarf woman interjected, “I dunno. There’s an author in Kirkwall that wrote some crazy sh-- uh, stuff...sorry, Helen...and I bet this’d be right up his alley.” She tapped her chin. “Actually, I wonder if he’d pay for a book proposal.”
“Oh yeah, I’ve heard about him. Varner, Varet, no, Varrick, that’s his name,” the warrior replied.
“It’s Varric,” Mademoiselle Helen corrected her. “I do not think the Viscount of Kirkwall needs any help coming up with vulgarities to write about.”
This day, the guardsman thought morosely, was getting better every minute. He tried to ignore the guffaws and murmurs around him. What would the other guardsmen say when they learned he drew his sword in the Chantry? And he was going to have to clean his boots before entering his own house; they were now splattered with the dwarf’s piss.
At the sound of laughter, Gaston looked up as if he found a possible ally and began to stutter. “Not a word, not a sound, worm,” the warrior glared at him, all levity disappearing from her expression as if it had never been. She sneered, “Slavers get no sympathy or help from me. Don’t annoy me or I’ll put my boot on your throat.” She crossed her arms and stared balefully at the piece of scum.
Gaston cringed. The guard found himself wondering if he would have to protect the stupid dwarf before he could pass him over to Sister Nenet. He scowled somewhere between the drunken sniveler and the intimidating warrior. Gervais raised his head and jutted his chin in the woman’s direction. “Your name, serah,” the guard demanded superciliously, conscious of the congregation’s attention. He came to the belated conclusion he should have been more discreet, something his good wife, his captain, and his sainted mother before them were constantly telling him.
Thene raised an eyebrow, but answered the question calmly enough, “My name, guardsman, is Thene.”
“Thene, just Thene?” Gervais wanted to be clear in the report he had to make.
“Thene will do,” she replied, her eyebrow rising higher.
“Well, serah Thene,” the guardsman’s lip curled, “while I am sure there are those who need the help of your sort,” his gaze slewed to Bhegan and then returned to Thene, “the city guard does not. Please do not cause trouble by interfering in official business.”
The dwarf woman, still giggling quietly, said, “Sorry about her, guard. She doesn’t know when to keep her knives in her own stabbing victims, if you take my meaning.”
Gervais rounded on her, a reprimand on his lips. His patience was beginning to wear very thin. But she only held up her hands in a gesture of apology upon seeing his ire. “Just a joke, guard. I’ll keep my mouth shut,” she said more quietly, though not quietly enough, “for now, anyway. I forget sometimes that Orlesians can’t recognize a joke unless it’s covered in mabari spit.”
“It has to be gilded and well-trained mabari spit,” Thene murmured sotto voce. She then raised her voice and nodded her head slightly, “I’m glad to know Velun is in such good hands.” Guardsman Gervais frowned, he didn’t hear the first part of what she said, was she being sarcastic or just polite? He couldn’t tell from her expression and decided to say nothing further, for now. He prayed that he could deliver Gaston into Sister Nenet’s care and take his leave without any further trouble.
Helen smiled serenely, “Kali, dear, perhaps it is time to present ourselves to the Revered Sister. We do not want to antagonise this good guardsman.”
Grabbing Gaston by the arm and inclining his head to direct the young guardsman, he sketched a slight bow to Helen. “You are no trouble at all, my lady. I appreciate your concern, but my duty is to deliver this dwarf into the good Sister’s care immediately.” He spoke quickly and was hustling the sniveling Gaston towards Nenet’s office before he finished speaking. When he saw a Dalish elf in her office, he stopped. He didn’t know how many more surprises he could take. A mage who didn’t look like a mage, thugs at the front of the Chantry and now a Dalish warrior in Sister Nenet’s office.
"Sers, if you would let the lady pass and bring the man in already?" Nenet’s irritated words broke through to Gervais. He flushed and moved aside awkwardly with Gaston. He closed the door behind him, but he could still hear somebody cursing loudly and then accosting the Dalish woman who just left.
(OOC: Part 2 still to come)