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UNBOUND

Here on Unbound, our plot follows four different timelines, set throughout the canonical history of the Dragon Age. The events following Trespasser, the time of the Inquisition, the rise of the Champion of Kirkwall and the quest of the Warden against the Fifth Blight.

And So is the Golden City blackened
With each step you take in my Hall.
Marvel at perfection, for it is fleeting.
You have brought Sin to Heaven
And doom upon all the world.

-Threnodies 8.13


 
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 walk unafraid, kat | 29 solace 9:29
as played by HOLLY

20" posts

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Rogue
Johannah stood across the street from the market, her arms crossed over her chest defensively as she watched the people mill about. Most of them ignored her, and one or two looked at her with disdain. She wasn't sure why. It wasn't as though they all knew her, and it wasn't as though she'd done anything to any of them. As far as her appearance went, she'd certainly looked rougher; her hair was brushed, there was hardly any dirt on her face, and she was wearing the newest, least-worn clothing she owned. No longer a girl but not quite yet a woman, she was having to find new clothes every few months, it seems, either from her mother or plucked off a clothesline in the middle of the night.

And yet they judged her. She knew the look they were giving her now; it was the same look she received when she was out asking for a few coppers. It was a look of disgust, a look of judgment, but in a relieved sort of way: no matter what they were going through, or where they were in life, they could be glad they weren't her.

It made Johannah feel pathetic. Dirty. Hungrier than she already was. Desperate. She crossed the dirt road carefully, each step light and uncertain as she entered the marketplace. Immediately she was bombarded with the scent of breads, the bright colors of fruits, the chatter and hum of patrons and animals as they wove around one another and through booths and tables. She was half starved, she suddenly remembered, and surrounded by too much temptation for a girl of only fifteen. Remembering this later in life, she would come to claim she had no choice but to try her luck. The best case scenario for the attempt? She brings a loaf of bread home to mama and papa. The worst case? Well, to be frank, she'd rather not think about it.

Even when the bakery owner has her by the wrist, she'd rather not think about it. He's so much larger than she is, and he's shaking his fist so angrily, and she's almost certain that he's pulling back his open hand now to crack across her face. "I'm sorry!" she lies, trying to pull her wrist out of his grasp with no success. "I won't do it again!"

KATARINA

Jul 14 2017, 10:41 PM
as played by Cherith

107" posts

group

Rogue
Cold water ran between her fingers as she rubbed them together and then over her face. She scrubbed until her hands were dry and then used the inside of her collar to rub off the worst of the dirt from her forehead and cheeks. Her reflection in the fountain was blurry at best but her face was a little brighter after the effort, though her sunburned cheeks didn't quite thank her for the effort. She regretted the loss of her last hat, the days between then and now had definitely left their mark on her skin. Her horse had seen better days too and she'd left him in a field on her approach to the city, making her way in on foot to avoid extra taxes for the beast.

Looking up from her reflection, she pulled her hair down and rearranged the kerchief over her head and the tops of her ears underneath. Both hair and cloth were bleached whiter by the sun and the effect with her reddened face made her appear much younger and far more human.

Stomach growling, she watched the market from the fountain, trying not to breathe in the hay dust or the fresh scent of spices from nearby stalls. She'd nearly nothing in her purse when she'd stopped in town, but she'd passed through a group of tittering noblewoman making their way through town and managed to end up with a few extra shinies in hand for the effort. With a little effort, as long as people didn't look too closely at how worn her boots or the hem of her jacket was, she looked at least like she belonged. Her father had taught her more than a handful of ways to survive on the streets when they needed to, but easiest amongst them for a young woman had been how to fit in.

A clean face and square shoulders made too much difference and people barely realized how much they could misjudge a pretty young girl. She licked her lips, blue eyes and hungry stomach focusing on a nearby bread cart. No sooner had she picked her destination than the baker was turning and grabbing a young woman by the wrist. Kat couldn't hear the confrontation at first, but it was obvious he thought the young woman had stolen.

She was small, and pretty even under all the dirt and ill-fitting clothes. In fact a few years ago, Kat imagined she looked much the same way after her first few days hell bent on getting as far away from Anderfels as possible. With a few steps, she's at the cart and drawing her hand out of a small pouch at her waist.

"Excuse me," she said, her words were barely accented but it takes effort and her speech was slower because of it. "What does my sister owe you? I had to run an errand and sent her ahead."

She looked at the girl and smiled. "I'm sorry I'm late."

Jul 17 2017, 08:53 PM
as played by HOLLY

20" posts

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Rogue
She doesn't know this young woman. She was certain that, if she did, she would have remembered this face. Friends in Johannah's world were few and far between, and only a friend would have stepped in like this, no? Her eyes narrow, searching for some sort of clue. A friend of her parents', perhaps? But that voice is entirely unfamiliar, that head of blonde hair one she'd never seen before. Whoever she was, this young woman was a saint.

Johannah glances up towards the baker, worried he might not buy it. He does seem very angry, as though he'd been waiting for someone to punish. The thought of throwing her in jail, or cutting off a hand, or worse, might have been all too tempting. It would be easy for him to say that there was no way these two were related; she looked so clean, so put together, her posture so determined. How could they have come from the same place? She herself looked wild, frightened, as though she'd just been plucked off the streets.

Still, she certainly wasn't going to shun the opportunity for help. The moment his grip loosens, the moment he begins to consider it, she throws her arms around her savior, placing them hip to hip. Perhaps it isn't too unbelievable, she thinks. They're both small in stature, light in hair and eyes. "I was worried you were never going to come," she offers, feeding into the story with ease.

And he buys it.

It would have been easy to split, just then, but it was easier to avoid the hassle that would come with the chase. He was likely slower than she was, but she didn't want to be branded a thief and never allowed back into this marketplace again. Johannah steps back, then a half step to the side, almost hiding behind the stranger who'd done so much to save her. She's still wary, though; she doesn't know many people who would go out of their way to help someone they knew nothing about. She especially didn't know anyone who would risk the wrath of another to help an obvious thief. Grateful as she was, she still decides that she needs to tread lightly.

"I can't pay you back." She whispers the obvious, just low enough that the baker cannot hear.
Careful not to shatter the illusion of sisterhood too soon, she reaches out for her hand, weaving their fingers together in an instant. If she'd been able to afford it, she wouldn't have had to steal it... though there were some that liked to steal for the rush it brought them, her appearance should have been enough to show that Johannah was not one of those people. Still, better safe than sorry... she didn't want to be a charity case, and, more importantly, she didn't want to owe this stranger anything. Debts were dangerous and tricky things. They almost always seemed to get ugly. For as long as she could, she intended to steer clear of them. No one would hold anything over her head.

KATARINA


Jul 22 2017, 12:16 PM
as played by Cherith

107" posts

group

Rogue
As the other woman put her arm around Kat, she let out a small huff of air. She patted the other woman on the shoulder. They were close enough in height and similar enough in build that Kat could imagine they did seem as though they could be sisters if one didn't look to closely. The man's frustration and intention on getting paid for his wares seemed to be his singular priority.

"It's two copper." He gave Kat a hard look and lifted his chin at her supposed sister. "And teach her some manners. A moment later and I would've called the guard." He harrumphed and took the coin from Kat as she offered it.

"I'm sorry. It won't happen again. I'm sure she's learned her lesson now." She looked at her 'sister'. "Next time wait for me, okay?" She patted the other woman's back as she let go and stepped behind Kat.

"Let's call it five for the trouble?" Kat gave him a sweet smile. It was no surprise that she had nothing to pay Kat with, not that she would've asked for something in exchange. Kat wasn't paying with her own coin anyhow, so it mattered little. Slender fingers pressed against hers and Kat gave them a squeeze, playing on the illusion of sisterhood as they turned away from the baker.

"Thanks," the baker said and waved them off to tend to another customer.

Kat led the woman away from the booth and waited until they were around a corner to let go of the woman's hand."Don't worry about the coin. Wasn't mine," Kat smirked. "A little lesson. If you're going to steal, go for coin purses, not for food. It's easier to bump into someone and lighten their load than take something off a merchants cart. If you do that, you need a friend." With a wink, she passed over the bread she'd bought for the woman.

With an examining look, Kat gave the woman a once over, taking in the light hair and eyes, tattered clothes and the hollows in her cheeks. She was thin, but pretty and cleaned up and filled out, the woman could easily fool a few men on the street into just handing over coin. A woman with a pretty face like hers shouldn't have been stealing bread in the first place… but there were other ways to get fed.

"Well, Sister," she said with a low chuckle. "I'm Kat. What's your name?"

Jul 23 2017, 12:25 PM
as played by HOLLY

20" posts

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Rogue
It's all she can do to hold back a scowl, eyes already pinching at the corners, as he demands that her savior teach her some manners. It's not that he's wrong... she really doesn't have much manners, especially if her hamfisted attempt at swiping some bread from the cart were any indicator. It's that she doesn't like to hear it. She doesn't like his tone, dripping of condescension like it is. It's one of the reasons she's itching to leave this place, and a big part of why she's ready to quit being poor: she hates the way that people talk to you when they know that you are nothing, from nothing, having nothing. Johannah hates it.

She almost balks as the other young woman offers to pay more for the bread, something almost unheard of in her life. Johannah is sure, now, that she's somehow going to be indebted, that things are going to turn into a mess very quickly. She watches the money exchange hands warily, but as the baker passes the bread back over, her stomach growls. As much as she'd like to think she didn't need charity, well... maybe just this once, she could make an exception.

Eyebrows raised in surprise as the girl swore it was stolen money she'd paid for it with. Well... that explained it, then, didn't it? "Purses over food." She nodded solemnly, the way she had that one time her mother had taken her to the local chantry and insisted that they pray. This time, though, it seemed she actually meant it, taking the words to heart. "But what if I'm not sneaky enough to get close?" She frowned down at the bread that was now in her hands for a moment, thinking about how much trouble she'd nearly been in over this.

The thinking did not last long, however, as her stomach growled again, louder this time. She tore off a chunk, likely a bit too large, and dug in. "Johannah," she offered in return, mouth still mostly full. Kat. She would have to remember that name. "How'd you learn to..." she wasn't sure quite what to call it. Lie so well? Steal? All of the above? She waved the loaf of bread around, hoping it conveyed what she meant. "You think you could teach me?" Maybe the whole 'you need a friend' comment had been a hint. "We could be friends." Not that she would have been a very good partner, as clumsy and unused to this as she was, but Johannah figured it was worth a shot.

KATARINA


Jul 28 2017, 08:42 AM
as played by Cherith

107" posts

group

Rogue
Oh, Katarina remembered that feeling. She watched the Johannah dig into the bread, chewing hungrily and she smiled. Free food always tasted better, especially on an empty and starving stomach. It was motivation too. Her father had sent her back into the market again and again when she'd been learning, pushing her limits to skirt crowds, lighten purses and carts, gathering food and coin until they could binge themselves. Or until they got caught, but that'd only happened twice, her father coming along to bail her out much like she just had for Johannah.

"You don't have be sneaky all the time, at least not maybe the way you think," she said. Kat led Johannah over to the lip of the fountain and gestured for her to sit down. In response to the other girl's question, she shrugged. "It was just me and my pa for a long time. I learned a lot from him about how to get by." With a breath she leaned forward, elbows on her knees as she scanned the crowd.

Friends. Well, Kat had the time today and she was hungry too. She wasn't exactly sure why she'd helped in the first place, aside from the slight disappointment she'd felt at seeing someone who looked a little like her get caught at something that was literally child's play. Or what passed for play when she was a kid anyhow. "Sure," she said, "friends. Besides, you're not the only one who's hungry." The other girl could provide a useful distraction. And if she got caught, Kat might not know the city well but if she knew anything about anything-- it was how to escape.

There. She spotted a group of friends walking towards them, two men and two women, the women were lost in thought and the men gestured wildly as they spoke. One of them leaned slightly forward to tease one of the ladies and the four of them laughed. Fine clothes, obvious coin purses on the men, distracted. Swinging her gaze to Johannah she tilted her head to indicate the group.

"See them?" Kat waited for an indication that Johannah had spotted the group before continuing. "You'd avoid them because there's a group, right? And they're loud?" She turned her eyes back to the group, studying them as she cast her voice lower to keep speaking. "That's why they're perfect. They're not paying attention to anyone but themselves. So you just have to find the right moment--" She stood and held a hand up behind her to keep Johannah from following. She pulled the scarf from her hair and ran her hands through it as she starting walking towards the group, letting her hair fall around her shoulders in loose waves, partially covering her face.

Taking the long way around the fountain and placing herself in front of the group, she stopped at the corner of a nearby stall. The group was advancing, casually browsing the wares of the carts they passed but without any real attention on anything but the conversation between them. Between her and the group was a cross street, people filing in and out of this section of the market. There was no telling if the group would turn when they hit it, but Kat waited until they were moments from it before she started walking straight for them.

She filled in with the crowds coming in from around the corner and bumped directly into the man on the right side of the group. The knife pressed against her palm slipped through the loop on his purse and her other hand patted the man's shoulder.

"Entschuldigung. Bitte verzeih mir,"* she said in Anders. She kept her eyes cast down and bowed slightly, repeating her apology. She touched her forehead with her free hand and nodded again as the man shooed her away with a wave and a shake of his head. Kat kept walking, not turning as she pulled the purse inside her sleeve until she was past the group and into the crowd. She never disappeared, her dirty blonde hair was hard to hide in a Marcher city, but she filled into the crowd heading down the next lane of stalls until she reached the fountain and turned to sit back down next to Johannah.

Her breaths were a little heavy as she sat and rested her arm in her lap, setting the purse on her legs. "There's a lot of ways to do it, but when you stand out, trying to hide and strike from the shadows wastes time. And don't run when you're done, take the coin, leave the purse." It was just a small purse, nothing but a few silvers and a few coppers for spending she doubted the man would even remember he had it on him until he got home, unless he wanted to buy something for one of the ladies. But, it would feed her or Johannah she guessed, for a week if they were clever about it.

She tossed the purse into the dirt and smashed it under her boot. With an elbow she nudged Johannah and stood again. "Let's get a drink, and some better food."

*Excuse me. Please forgive me.
MATHILDE GEOFFROY

Jul 29 2017, 01:10 AM
as played by HOLLY

20" posts

group

Rogue
Not the way she thought? Johannah nodded, as though she understood, trying to hide the way her brows knit together. That didn't make perfect sense, but she didn't want to seem completely helpless, right? She wanted to appear as though she had some idea of what she was doing out here, especially to a virtual stranger. Sure, Kat had bought her bread and saved her from the baker, but there could still be some sort of ulterior motive behind that... couldn't there?

But at least she could relax a little when the offer of friendship was accepted. It would be good, to have a partner... or, maybe more accurately, a mentor. Someone who knew what they were doing. Someone who wasn't going to get the two of them thrown in prison. And if things went wrong? Well, then she was right back where she started, wasn't she?

Johannah was nodding before she'd even spotted the group. She didn't know why; it wasn't very often that she wanted so desperately to be liked by someone. To be accepted. This young woman made her feel like a baby bird: very fragile, very foolish. Kat seemed to know how to survive, an admirable trait indeed. Light eyes searched for the group that was being pointed out, then widened the instant she found them. Alarmed, she glanced at Katarina. Surely she couldn't be serious, could she? This must have been some kind of trick, she thought. No sane person would pick such loud, visible people as targets.

And yet it wasn't a trick. "Don't," she pleaded, her voice a quiet hiss so as to not be heard by anyone around them. It was of no use. Katarina slipped off, leaving Johannah behind to watch her new friend as she transformed before her very eyes. Did she blend in? No, not quite, but she wasn't drawing as much attention as Johannah would have thought.

To anyone else watching, they saw a pretty blonde Anders girl clumsily bump into a man. Johannah knew what she was looking for, though; she saw the hand at the man's purse, making quick work while he was distracted.

Even as Katarina made her way back to Johannah, she was a mess of nerves, certain that the man would suddenly notice his coinpurse gone missing and come after them. Who else could have taken it, if not Katarina? How could one just not notice that they had been robbed? She fretted her bottom lip between her teeth, hands twisting nervously in her lap until she sat on them to hide the anxiety. She only felt able to breathe right again when Katarina sat down beside her, coin purse in tow, the group long gone down the road. They were laughing and carrying on as though nothing bad had happened to them. As though they hadn't just been robbed before their eyes. To be fair, as far as they knew, the hadn't been.

"That was incredible," she gushed, turning a bit red at her own excitement. She tossed her hair, took a deep breath, and lowered her voice just a bit. "How did you know he would't feel it? That you wouldn't get caught?" She watched as Kat stamped the purse underfoot, shiny coins in hand. Not a lot, but more than Johannah had seen in a long while, certainly. More than she would have expected to see for a long while.

At the mention of better food and drink, she nodded, standing up and smoothing her skirt. Try as she might to hide her smile, she felt.... giddy. She couldn't help it. She hadn't even been the one to steal anything, and yet the adrenaline was there, all rushing to her head. Catching a glimpse of herself in the fountain pool's reflection, she frowned, dipping her hands in the water to wipe a smudge of dirt off her cheek and twisting her unkempt hair together to appear more presentable. A veritable street rat walking in with coin? Not likely. Then again, perhaps Kat being there would make things look better. A street rat getting charity from a kindly Anders girl.

She was overthinking things.

Turning back to her new friend, she linked their arms once more. "Where'll we go?" She raised an eyebrow, still grinning. "And how long will I have to practice to be able to do what you just did?"

KATARINA

Aug 3 2017, 05:40 AM
as played by Cherith

107" posts

group

Rogue
"It's all about making sure people pay attention to what you want them to," Kat said. She watched Johannah clean her face and smiled. Sure, separately, they looked like poor girls without a coin to their name. Scrub away some dirt and put them together and they looked like comely sisters down on their luck. It was far different and with a few coins to toss around on food and drink, people would take much kinder to them in a tavern.

"Lead me to whatever's closest," she said with a shrug. "I'm sure as long as it's not too fancy we'll be able to afford two meals." A part of her bristled at the part of her that wanted to spend her new coins on two meals so that Johannah could eat something other than the bread she'd also paid for. But the flushed cheeks and bright blue eyes that stared at her with such awe made it easy enough to shut down that greedy little voice in her head. After all, if she hadn't been showing Johannah an effective method, who knew what kind of money she would've come up with on her own.

With a squeeze of Johannah's arm to her side, Kat thought about the question. "Well, I dunno. Were you born here? You know these streets well? Sometimes that can be just as important as being able to do what I did. You can make other people work for you without knowing it, if you know a few routes, a few schedules." She wasn't precisely leading them through the streets, but she had seen an inn near the docks so unless Johannah led her elsewhere, she headed toward her last memory of the place. "To do what I did… well, with some practice, you could learn that trick in no time I think. It's the timing of it, and learning how to pick your marks, that takes a little longer."

Kat slid her gaze to the other woman and smiled. "Being pretty will work to your advantage too. People will be willing to excuse a pretty face far more easily than others." A variety of things worked better than others and at different times. Kat remembered the smile her father had taught her when he bought her a pretty dress and sent her out into the small town square near where they lived. It came easier now and she used it for far more than pleasant introductions. She had a smile to wield against others and yet had still fallen victim to a few herself.

She winked before turning her gaze back toward street before them. "I know it works on me."
Aug 30 2017, 08:48 PM
as played by HOLLY

20" posts

group

Rogue
"Making them pay attention," she repeated, a solemn look on her face as she thought back to what she'd witnessed: the subtle bump, the quick fingers that no one would have noticed (no one did notice, that didn't know to look). A misdirection of things. It wasn't that Katarina was trying to avoid being noticed at all; rather, she had just made sure they were looking somewhere else while she did what she needed to do.

It made sense. It was brilliant. Surely Katarina couldn't have been clever enough to come up with that all on her own, could she? Either someone had taught her, much like how she was teaching Johannah now, or she was a thieving blessing sent straight from the Maker himself to save her ass when she needed it most.

She smiled as the older blonde said they should find a tavern. They as in the two of them,
meaning that the bread wasn't all she'd have to eat. She knew plenty of places that they could go,
but there were a few that she'd been thrown out of before, sticky and hungry fingers getting her in more trouble than the food was worth. Sure, they had coin now, and paying customers were paying customers... but she wasn't prepared to try and squabble with anyone over something so unimportant, especially not when there was a tavern that might treat her a little more kindly just beyond the way. So they wouldn't go to the closest one, no, but close enough. "There's one over this way."

And so they were off, Johannah leading the way, but never going so quickly or so far off that she couldn't hear what Katarina was saying to her. "People work for me?" She couldn't help but smile at the concept; in her wildest dreams, she never would have imagined someone working for her, whether they knew it or not. Definitely not willingly. "I think I like the sound of that." When Katarina tugged her in another direction, evidently having a place of her own in mind,
she went easily. "Do I practice alone? What happens if I get caught?"

Though, really, she supposed the answer to that was "run fast."

Cheeks burned hot red at the compliment, a smile creeping up as Johannah bent her head away,
suddenly bashful. "I look a lot nicer when I'm not a gutter rat," she responded with a wave of the hand. They came up upon the inn's tavern at that moment, much to her relief, giving her something else to focus on. The doors loomed in front of them, and she suddenly felt herself grow nervous. The smile gone, she inched closer to Kat, still holding tightly to her hand. These places usually didn't end well for her. "There won't be any trouble, right?"
Sep 16 2017, 10:38 AM
as played by Cherith

107" posts

group

Rogue
Her enthusiasm was encouraging and Kat found herself flagging in her steps more than once, just to judge Johannah's reaction to something as they walked. She nodded as she spoke, finding it was mostly her father's calm, rational instructions that issued from her. At her youngest, his directions had never made it seem like he'd been sending her into danger, or even into do something that could've had her arrested. She'd always imagined if things had been different, good old Mikal could've put those brains of his to work as a teacher somewhere. Not that her father had much patience for children. Likely one of the reasons he was so dedicated to her training. She'd learn to help make a living, or what was she worth to him.

"Sure," she said with a shrug. "Children make for excellent distractions, for one. Squabbling couples, guards or templars, another thief who isn't as quick or clever as you." She winked. "Or like that group back there… they were paying far too much attention to each other on a crowded street. Though not all rich folk are as stupid. You'll learn to pick your targets."

She kept her voice pitched low as she spoke, careful of those who might eavesdrop or interrupt. But she continued, following Johannah through the streets.

"You'll need to practice on your own at some point," she said. "Though when you do, make sure it's a place you know like the back of your hand. Somewhere you can move around in easily and escape quickly if you have to run." She eyed Johannah carefully before adding, "Don't get caught. But have a plan in case you do- somewhere to run to, a story, a smile…" She let her words trail off instead of finishing. Katarina had learned on her own what she was capable of and what she was willing to do to get out of a situation. She had no doubt this girl was resilient, but she couldn't tell Johannah what her own limits would be.

"If you plan to stay here, learn the guard schedules. Make friends with them too, if you can. It'll help. Or… just figure out which ones are corrupt, when you have coin you can toss some their way."

As they reached the inn's door, Johannah inched closer to Kat and she instinctively squeezed the other girl's hand. "If there is, we won't be the ones to start it."

Kat pulled the door open for the both of them, keeping her hold on Johannah as they stepped inside. The place was busy, but not any more so than expected. Though Kat could tell after a cursory sweep of the crowd, why Johannah would've asked that kind of question. This was a place the staff was paid to keep the food and the ale flowing, not to put an end to nightly brawls.

With a practiced shake, Kat made sure her hat was in place and her ears were covered. It wasn't a foolproof plan with Johannah her side, but it might buy them enough time to eat a quiet meal. She led them to a table and waved over a barmaid as they sat.

"Two waters and whatever you've got on for dinner, please." She smiled at the woman and pulled out a couple of coins to hand over for their meals.


Oct 21 2017, 10:44 PM
as played by HOLLY

20" posts

group

Rogue
She wished she could have been writing this down. It would have seemed silly, but she was worried that there was something she would forget, or misremember, and then she'd be in deep trouble. Sure, Johannah could always try and find Kat again, especially if the girl was from around here, but... what was going to happen when she left? These skills would be handy, handier than anything she'd learned so far, but if she got caught with no one around to defend or save her?

She was as good as dead, she was pretty sure. Johannah preferred not to think about that, but it was a possibility. A very real one, at that. Best, she figured, to stop worrying about the what-ifs of the future and instead focus on what the other girl was saying. It all made sense in the way that as soon as she heard it, she can't believe that she hadn't thought of it sooner on her own, and it was all good to know. The idea of having people work for her, even if they didn't know it, still left a glow in her stomach. The idea of having money in her pocket, of never going hungry... that made her feel even better. She did her best not to interrupt, instead nodding every once in a while to reassure Katarina that she was listening while she absorbed as much of it as she could.

Everything she's learned is still fresh in her mind as she's lead to the table, and she watches as her newfound friend takes care of their food. She's grateful for that, too, because she isn't sure she'd be able to hand over that stolen coin without coming off as suspicious. There's still a certain giddiness lingering within her, the adrenaline of having done something and gotten away with it.

As soon as the barmaid has left, she leans in toward Katarina, elbows against the tabletop and her voice low. "But what if I don't know the place like the back of my hand?" She's starting to give herself away, but it doesn't matter. She's not sure she'll ever see this girl again, and even if she did, Kat didn't seem like the sort that would rat her out to her parents. "What if I'm hungry and I'm in a place I've never been before? What then?" Because Johannah couldn't imagine waiting to know the place a bit better just to eat.

Being so vague probably isn't going to do her any favors, though, and she could recognize that easily. If she wanted help, she needed to ask for it, and she needed to be specific. Having someone guess at what she meant had never worked out for her.

"I need to tell you a secret." This will have been the first time she's said it out loud, rather than just thinking it, just planning it in secret after her parents had gone to sleep for the evening. There's something to actually admitting it that's threatening to make her nervous, because the second she says it out loud, that's when it becomes real. Even if Kat wouldn't judge her for backing out of the plan in a week or a month's time, just saying the words would give the plan some finality, some weight.

"I'm getting out of this place."

Johannah doesn't know why she whispers it like it's a secret, because there are very few people around who would give a damn, and very few people in Kirkwall at all that would miss her. At the same time, though, it was almost relieving to have said it out loud to another human being. "But I don't know where I'm going, and I don't have any... skills." That was the truth. No point in being gentle about it. "So how do I not starve?"

Nov 21 2017, 12:27 PM
as played by Cherith

107" posts

group

Rogue
It was difficult not to be taken in by the concerned but earnest face of the other girl. And Katarina had never been particularly good at keeping a humble exterior. She liked being a show off and she especially liked the way that Johannah looked up at her, as if she hung the stars. She might've too. Especially to keep those blue eyes trained on hers, that eager, hungry look focused on her.

She almost felt a little guilty about it. Those things hadn't all come easy to her, at least not as easily as she made them seem. She'd had years of training, of practice, of Mikal's constant reminders of what befell little girls who couldn't keep up, or who got caught. Her father would never have left her behind, she'd known this as fact, but it didn't stop her from being properly frightened by the threat of it. He'd given her all the tools she'd needed to succeed once she'd had to go off on her own. She wasn't sure the same lessons could apply with Johannah.

Kat felt a chuckle bubble up in her throat at Johannah's question. She knew very well what happened when you didn't know a place. She'd been doing it daily for the past two years. When her father had died and she'd repaid the man who'd done it in kind, she'd left the Anderfels and never looked back. She'd never been anywhere her Mikal's boat couldn't reach until she'd stolen that horse. And yet… here she was, heading… Maker only knew where.

Anywhere. Everywhere.

"Then you don't. And you make it up," She shrugged and lifted her hands to illustrate. "This is my first day here." Leaning in towards Johannah a little she added, "Probably my last."

She looked at the other girl, eyes searching hers for something more. There was a story there, not that Kat was very good at them but she knew fear when she saw it. "You too?" She asked. "Leaving… I mean. Soon, I'm guessing."

Their dinner arrived, two bowls of thick stew, potatoes floating near the top. Their waters were set on the table and Kat reached for it immediately, drinking deeply and letting the grit of the road wash down the back of her throat. She tucked into her stew, listening to Johannah as she devoured the first few bites.

"Well…" Kat said between bites. "You could come with me?" She stopped eating, the weight of what she was offering settling around her.

Kat had never travelled for any great lengths with anyone that wasn't Mikal and her father had been dead for more than two years. And Johannah already admitted to knowing nothing… Kat had seen her in action and knew the truth of it.

But the face looking back at hers was so soft, open to possibility and learning. She couldn't not offer. She liked this girl. And she could be useful… Kat hadn't been wrong about distractions and pretty faces. She knew the value of them well.

"If you want, that is."
Dec 6 2017, 10:43 PM
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