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UNBOUND > elsewhere > WHEN THE CAT'S AWAY


Posted by: Cassiopeia Sophronius Aug 12 2014, 10:33 AM
Lounging with her legs over the arm of the chair, a cushion in her back, Cassie only realised Jorren was trying to get her attention when he rapped his knuckles on the top of her head. She jolted, looking up from her book with an annoyed but inarticulate ‘wha?’ once she’d located herself in the present, nearly tipping herself out of her chair in the process.

Jorren snickered. ‘Sorry. Saying your name wasn’t working, and I didn’t fancy kicking you. You really do get into those books, don’t you?’

Cassie sagged back into her seat with a grunt, resting the open book on her stomach as she rubbed at her eyes. The moon was visible through her window, and since it hadn’t even rose when she started reading, it must mean she’d lost several hours – and gained a couple hundred pages, by the thickness of the left side of the book. ‘I like the escapism. Anyway, did you need me?’

He stood a little straighter. ‘Yeah, actually. Perrin says there’s someone at the door demanding to see you, specifically. Never said who it was.’

Cassie’s head jerked to look at him, hair whipping her face as she spun to sit in the chair properly. There was no one she could think of that would just be dropping in for a visit; the only people who knew she was even a Warden were those in the Circle, and there was no reason for any of them to be asking for her, never mind at this time of night. A chill ran down the back of her neck and along her spine. They couldn’t have found her here, could they? It’d been years, any trail she might have left had to have gone cold by now. ‘They asked for me by name?’ She said sharply, and Jorren nodded, face sobering at her tone. ‘Well, do you know anything about them? Where they’re from?’ Tevinter was a distinctive enough accent, surely.

‘No, nothing. As I said, it was Perrin who saw them.’ Jorren hesitated, watching as her eyes skimmed across the floor in thought. ‘Should I go out and check?’

Cassie shook her head slowly, the motion becoming a little stronger as she spoke. ‘No. No, I’ll go.’ She had enough presence of mind to slip a bookmark into the novel before setting it aside on her table, standing and reaching for her staff. She wasn’t in armour – it was being fixed after her latest outing to the Deep Roads. Civilian clothing would have to do. At least she wasn’t in her nightdress yet.

Jorren followed her to the door, face anxious. ‘Should I inform the Warden Commander then?’

Cassie paused, thinking. This could be nothing. She could be paranoid – Maker, she was paranoid, but if it was the Cernuus bounty hunters then they must be either confirming she was in fact here, or have large numbers at their back to risk angering the Wardens in their own stronghold. The latter was unlikely, very unlikely, though a fast assassin might be able to kill her and escape. She didn’t even know what the terms of her punishment were – whether it was kill on sight, capture only, what her bounty was, anything.

‘Paranoid,’ her thoughts whispered, and she shook herself. Focus. ‘Not yet. If a fight breaks out, tell him that it’s Tevinters attacking. He’ll know why. Don’t alert him yet though, it might be nothing.’ They both made their way through the Keep, Cassie building up her Magister’s Daughter persona. Her back straightened, each tap of the staff cracked against the stone floor, her face impassive. Even with her simple clothes and loose hair, her brothers and sisters in arms started when they saw her, one or two even scuttled out of her way. Beneath the mask, some old, tiny bit of satisfaction curled up out of her stomach and around her heart. Cassiopeia hadn’t been awake for a long time, but Cassie couldn’t afford to smother her now. Not if the Imperium was on her doorstep.

As they reached the foyer, Cassie motioned for Jorren to wait. ‘Stay here, watch. If a fight starts, inform the Warden Commander immediately. I’ll tell you if it’s clear.’ Without waiting for a reply, Cassie crossed the foyer, calling Perrin over when she spotted him by the door, back at his post. ‘Well, where is this guest of mine?’

He gave her a nervous look before nodding at one of the smaller reception rooms. ‘I showed her in there rather than leave her waiting outside.’

Cassie tried not to show her impatience. This woman, whoever she was, had had time to set up traps then, assuming she was alone, which was likely. ‘Very well,’ she said, turning towards the door. She shot Jorren a pointed glance as she moved to the parlour, making sure he was still watching. He was, giving her a solemn nod.

With a slow, deep breath, Cassie pushed the door open, taking a step into the room before freezing, mouth open. ‘What are you doing here?!’


Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Aug 12 2014, 02:37 PM
The Divine was all seeing, at least, that was what they wanted others to believe. If that were true they would have known to address more than just Neassa’s recklessness. They may have decided to do a detailed psychological evaluation before sending her out to do their work, but they had not. She left out the important details of her reports, never giving them the full picture of how an apostate met their demise, only assuring them that the end result was favourable, that death was unavoidable. There was no evidence provided to support her words, except maybe some violent incidents, some of which were easily fabricated along with the names of eye witnesses. According to Neassa, every man in Thedas was named Philip and every woman was called…Penelope.

She had never met a woman named Penelope yet, but she was still young. There was time for the Penelope’s of the world to mob her yet.

The practise of paperwork always seemed so counter productive to her, pointless really. A waste of her precious time. Hurried reports written in bad lighting, parchment damp from the rain, sweat or alcohol and blood, or a mix of all of the above. Occasionally tears. Of laughter. She was too busy to even sign her name properly, simply scrawling a large and obnoxious ‘N,’ across the bottom because she had overheard one of the administrators complaining about another Seeker not signing on the line.

Exposing your weaknesses to Neassa, whether knowingly or not, would always get them prodded by her.

So she signed on the line, through the line, above the line, across other lines.

Her non-existent respect for the rules of administration (and generally the rules of all things), was important because one of her reports had been pulled up, and she along with it. Blustering and incomprehensibly incensed, Neassa had stomped her way to Val Royeaux to answer to dimwits who couldn’t read her indelicate cursive handwriting. Words so curly and strewn together to hide the fact that they weren’t even words and she was filling out reports in scribbles. Small words like ‘Ogre,’ and ‘Darkspawn,’ had leapt off the page at them. An explanation as to what had happened to her armour and her ribs, something to help them understand why she had gone AWOL for a month then returned demanding immediate repairs.

A month wasn’t long enough for the bones to heal properly, but she could do the twist without screaming like she was giving birth, so what was the difference?

Seeker armour was expensive to make and remake and remake…they called her accident prone, irresponsible, and brash. They had questioned her ability to actually avoid conflict and rightly so, Neassa didn’t avoid conflict ever. If there wasn’t any conflict around for her to wrestle with, she would make some. Had she been fighting an abomination or a rage demon they may have forgiven her, too busy worshipping her to chastise her carelessness. But she had been fighting an Ogre…and she was not a Grey Warden, it was so far removed from her jurisdiction they couldn’t even fathom how she had come to engage with Darkspawn in the first place.

And she didn’t tell them. It didn’t stop people fleeing in the opposite direction whenever she sneezed or coughed, thinking she was tainted when really, she just had allergies and Val Royeaux did love their flowers.

They Grey Wardens though? Everything was grey. She had been left to stand out in the rain for five milliseconds too long, the inquisitive door man taking his time with the locks to let her inside. He had showed her to a cosy little room, which was not cosy at all considering all the stone. There were books crammed into bookcases, surprisingly, and a small fire crackling in the hearth. She had not been offered any refreshments…her review of this Warden Keep would not be outstanding. Even as she had requested to see Cassie, she had felt the words burning her throat on the way out. The door man had muttered something about her having to wait, Cassie was busy…as though Neassa cared for whatever plans the mage had. They would have to wait, more important matters were at hand.

Like Neassa.

She had been tapping her foot, first at a steady and slow pace, entirely normal, but then as the minutes ticked on far more furiously until finally the door was pushed open. Neassa turned from inspecting the bookcase with a narrowed glare and found Cassie standing in the door way a question upon her lips.

“I was reading the bookcase-“ oh, she meant in general, not what are you doing here in the immediate moment. How to phrase it? “It’s not that I need your help,” she leaned against the mantel of the fireplace, eyes looking to the ceiling as is standard for lying. “I just thought since you like helping I might ask and this is where you live.” The last part was said in an obvious way, as though Cassie should know this.

“You should go out and come back in with less attitude, I don’t like how you said ‘you’.”

Posted by: Cassiopeia Sophronius Aug 13 2014, 02:30 AM
Cassie groaned, slumping against the doorframe as the tension drained out of her. Neassa. Certainly not the best person to be asking for her, but not the worst by far. She resisted the urge to bash her head against the wooden frame repeatedly when Neassa mentioned the bookcase, merely opening her eyes and raising an eyebrow to show she was listening. The request – because that’s what it was, no matter how Neassa might try to disguise it – made her lips twitch with amusement as she stood up straighter. ‘Of course it isn’t. Because you never need my help,’ she replied, deciding not to mention the word ‘ogre’. Jorren and Cair still twitched whenever it came up, Jorren with a nervous hand on his ribs.

Speaking of which, she remembered Jorren standing watch and turned to wave at him that everything was fine. She mimed drawing an oval over her chest and mouthed ‘Seeker’, hoping he’d realise she meant one specific Seeker and not the group in general. He nodded, face brightening, and waved as he went back to his duties. He wasn’t walking as stiffly anymore, his ribs healing nicely. Wouldn’t be long before he was back on active duty.

That done, Cassie turned back to Neassa as she made her demand. Cassie snorted and moved further into the room. ‘I’ll do nothing of the sort. Next time, announce yourself, would you? I thought I had the Imperium banging on the door,’ she said, setting her staff aside before helping herself to the bottle of whiskey hidden in the sideboard. She needed it after that. She glanced over her shoulder at Neassa, lifting one of the short glasses in question. ‘Whiskey? Or anything else you fancy? I can have someone bring something up for you, if you’ve not eaten,’ she said. Even though she didn’t care much for Neassa, she hadn’t quite managed to shake the manners or good host skills her mother had drilled into her. Admittedly, those were more suited to hosting parties and the like, but it still applied.

Drink in hand, she headed across the room, sinking into one of the armchairs and sprawling out comfortably, gesturing at the other chair for Neassa. ‘So, how can I help you, since I apparently enjoy it so much?’ She asked, raising the tumbler to her lips again, relishing the heat flooding down her throat. She hadn’t really developed a taste for the drink until she joined the Wardens. She’d been too young to enjoy it in the Imperium, had favoured wine in Antiva, and hadn’t had access to alcohol in the Circle bar the few bottles someone could smuggle in.

It was only when she glanced down at floor level that she saw the basket. She was pretty sure it didn’t belong in here. ‘I’m assuming that’s yours?’ She asked, eyes flickering up at the Seeker.

Then the basket moved.

‘Uh, Neassa?’ Cassie asked, staring. ‘What’s in there, and why is it in my Keep?’

[OOC: Bit short, but I’m leaving the cat reveal to you. Lemme know if you want me to change anything re: the basket etc.]



Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Aug 13 2014, 04:04 AM
Was it just her or did it seem like Cassie wasn’t best pleased to see her? She considered the likelihood of her visit dragging the mage away from some abhorrent blood magic ritual, there was none, but she could easily ignore that and think otherwise. That’s not to suggest she had given up on the idea that Cassie might dabble in the darkest of dark arts, maybe if she accused her of it enough times then she might just cave in and see what all the fuss was about. The lack of a headache was the real tell-tale sign of nothing untoward, lyrium wasn’t flooding her brain in warning of evils afoot. Its tingle was still present, either due to Neassa’s over use of it or the fact that Cassie was a mage, she found it hard to tell these days. Maybe she should do a detox…lock herself in a room far from civilisation and just wait it out, get herself back to the recommended dosage and not far beyond what was acceptable.

Nah. It’s not like it was affecting her or her behaviour anyway…

“That’s right and don’t you forget it, never means never ever.” Except on the odd occasion in which Neassa expected it without condition, of course. Her eyes narrowed as Cassie seemed to gossip away with someone behind the door, it didn’t do much for The Seekers budding paranoia except set it on fire. She took a few steps forwards, leading with the head as she tried to see who was behind there. Better not be one of the hundreds of enemies she had made. She caught the odd oval gesture and looked down at herself, her Eye of Truth staring up at her with judgement. If it could talk it would call her a moron.

“AHEM!” It was necessary to announce herself because clearly Cassie thought she was a ghost or some figment of the imagination. She would have to remember to mention this in her review of The Keep. Left out in the rain, ushered into a room like an embarrassing drunk relative, terrible hosting, people kept whispering about me…

Neassa had adopted a typical defensive stance by the time Cassie returned her attention to her, arms crossed to compliment the sullen look on her face, very much like a moody teenager, a phase some might argue she never quite left behind. “It was raining, I didn’t have time to answer silly questions like who are you,” next time she would do her best Tevinter accent and demand to see Cassiopeia, perhaps she would be met with less delay. “I shouldn’t have to anyway, not with this-“ her arms fell to her sides so that one hand might gesture to the eye upon her armour just as Cassie had indicated to her imaginary friend behind the door. Because all of Cassie’s ‘friends,’ had to be imaginary.

At the offer of whiskey she merely shrugged, she was hardly a connoisseur of the stuff but Neassa was not particularly picky about the alcohol she consumed. Her speciality was whatever there was left in the cupboards and tonight, it seemed that was whiskey. “Just whiskey, I tried Grey Warden cooking once and it was barely palatable.”

Neassa didn’t move towards the chair opposite Cassie, for that end of the room would soon be a murder scene. A grin crept onto The Seekers face as the Warden acknowledged the basket at her feet, shaken by fear as it moved ever so slightly. “Oh come on Cassie, don’t be so terrified. It’s not like it’s a baby and you’re the father, is it?” That wouldn’t work on a number of levels.

She reached down to pick the wicker basket up, it certainly looked like a baby basket, maybe because she had helped herself to it after a mother had foolishly left it unattended. The occupant began to thrash around more violently as she lifted it, like it could sense Neassa was the one responsible for disturbing it. Her arms and hands were a mess from handling the thing, it hated her. But at least it was vicious, hopefully vicious enough to treat Cassie to the same treatment. Fearful of having to actually pick it up, Neassa just tilted the basket and half threw it at Cassie, enough to dislodge the cat inside, sending it flying towards the seated Grey Warden.

The urge to say ‘it’s a cat-ch,’ was overwhelming to the point of- “It’s a CAT-CH!” Then instant regret, the sort she would have to drown with that whiskey. “Get it?”


Posted by: Cassiopeia Sophronius Aug 13 2014, 10:16 AM
The most response Cassie gave Neassa’s wordless demand for attention was an unimpressed glance before finishing her message to Jorren and turning back to the sulking Seeker. Maker, hadn’t she grown out of that yet? ‘You couldn’t have told him once you were inside? Maker, I was ready to electrocute whoever was in here.’ She was still suppressing the magic she’d called up, ready to launch free. She shook her free hand out as if to shed the stray sparks, giving a dubious hum at Neassa’s elaboration. ‘I’ll blame Perrin for that one then. Jorren didn’t know anything except that there was a woman at the door.’

Cassie poured two glasses out, chuckling. ‘Believe it or not, but our cooking is far better with an actual kitchen and more supplies than just rabbits,’ she said, turning and handing Neassa her tumbler before taking her seat. When she spotted the basket, she set her tumbler down on the nearby table, tilting her head forward slightly without losing her relaxed sprawl. She gave the Seeker an odd look at her analogy, and her misjudgement. She honestly didn’t know how Neassa had concluded she was scared. ‘Did you get smacked in the head again?’

She had enough presence of mind to sit up properly when Neassa picked the basket up, particularly when she caught sight of the Seeker’s grin. That never boded well. Despite her assessment of Cassie’s own feelings, she was the one who looked worried when handling the shaking basket.

The she slung it forward, and something flew at her.

Cassie rocked backwards in her seat with a yell, arms up in something between defence and catching whatever it was. It sailed past her arms and onto her chest, latching on with claws and hissing. Cassie caught a long enough glimpse to identify it as a pale coloured cat, eyes blown wide, teeth gleaming as it growled, then the claws dug in painfully and the damn thing leapt away, darting under the desk in the corner.

Cassie slowly sat forward, rubbing the red welts on her chest, staring at the cat’s hiding place. She’d completely missed Neassa’s pun in the chaos of a flying, hissing cat and the distraction of its needle-like claws in her skin. She turned to gape at the Seeker. ‘Who in their right mind would give you a cat?!’ She demanded, pushing herself to her feet and crossing to the desk, muttering under her breath. ‘Poor thing’s probably traumatised.’ She got down on her hands and knees, peering under the desk, her unbound hair pooling on the floor. The cat was huddled up against the wall, eyes still mostly black until it turned to look at her and they caught the light, gleaming oddly, fur fluffed, tail three times its normal size.

Cassie shook her head, sighing, before tutting softly at the cat, trying to coax it out of its hiding place. ‘Come on, it’s alright. You’re okay, easy.’ The animal was still making a low growl in its throat, unconvinced. Cassie turned to glare at Neassa with the most disapproving look she could muster. ‘What did you do to the poor thing?’ She went back to the cat, keeping her voice low and soothing, trying to make it feel safe. It just growled at her.

Shaking her head, Cassie straightened to a kneel, hands on hips, before pushing to her feet, stalking to the door. ‘You might not want any food, but he – she? – is getting some,’ she said, opening the door enough to stick her head out and ask the nearest Warden to have a bowl of water and a bowl of mince brought up.

Then she closed it behind and turned to face Neassa, arms folded, face stern. ‘Now tell me why in Andraste’s name you and your traumatised cat are here. If this is all an elaborate prank, I swear I will throw you out on your ass, rain or not, and keep the cat here where it won’t be tossed around by a lunatic.’



Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Aug 13 2014, 03:16 PM
It wasn’t the first time her sulking had gotten her nowhere and it would not be the last. She could find some small slither of respect for those capable of ignoring her, she was fairly imposing as an individual. Her armour helped her cut out a jagged silhouette and that reputation and infamy, the Seeker who could but shouldn’t. “You forget that I think everyone knows who I am.” Arrogance wasn’t any less of an unattractive trait when you were aware of your own. Neassa hadn’t even thought of giving her name, she expected the halls of The Keep to be ringing out with legends of her heroism or, if Cassie was telling the stories, tales of a mage hating, mage killing scoundrel. Infamy was preferred, it was more achievable. Being good was just too difficult and without reward.

She gave a twitch in response to the magic lingering in the air and as Cassie acknowledged it, she glared at her. “That’s what that is!” Another twitch, adrenaline was primed to shoot through her body in the event of an attack, reacting in the same way it did when sensing magic in any other instance. But this time there was no attack and the feeling was just an irritation to her, like an itch beneath the skin and in the bone, something she could not possibly hope to scratch. “Stop that!” Her protests were not required as Cassie seemed to shake the spell off, magic dispersing but not fast enough for The Seekers comfort.

The nerves that had been set on fire by magic not expelled were soon set back to rest as a glass was placed within her waiting hand. Neassa very much doubted that a kitchen made all the difference, the Wardens were after all a military unit and everyone knew that military food was deplorable. “I’m quite full on those lies you just fed me.” Absently she wondered how terrible a Warden had to be to get delegated to cooking, or if they had servants of sorts. She wasn’t clear on the inner workings, never had a need to be as she hadn’t exactly dealt with any for much longer than to exchange expletives. As was the basis of most of her social encounters with soldiers of other factions, Templars were at the forefront of her disdain.

Actually, for Cassie’s information, Neassa had gone a whole week without incurring a head injury. It was quite something, a new record. One for the books. She had never been attuned to the emotions of others, finding difficulty in reading facial cues. Cassie could have been terrified or confused or hungry, they all looked somewhat similar to her. It was just a matter of spotting the nuances and Neassa did not have time for that nonsense.

As her newest addition to her load out flew through the air like an archers bolt, Neassa thought she saw victory so very briefly. It was hissing and clawing and latching onto Cassie just as she had planned, now all it had to do was follow through and maul her to death. Admittedly, it might take some time, but Neassa was willing to wait.

Alas, she snatched defeat from the jaws of victory once more. Cassie-Killer proved useless, not at all living up to her name and thoroughly disappointing The Seeker as it leapt from its killing perch and scurried beneath a table, growling all the way. While it had not quite managed to tear Cassie’s heart from her chest, it had made a start. Neassa sucked in a breath of air through her teeth at the sight of the painful looking tears it had left behind, false concern before laughing sneeringly. Those were going to sting for what felt like eternity. Neassa had so many similar scratches it wasn’t even funny.

She gave Cassie a look of apathy. “The Divine in her Divine judgement gave me a demon.” It was not a cat, Cassie had it all wrong.

“Something about me learning how to take care of things, as if a religious order doesn’t have enough money to bank roll a new set of armour whenever I need it.” They were the wealthiest after nobles, siphoning money from their worshippers to buy a snazzy new set of drapes. She took a drink of her whiskey as Cassie moved to comfort the cat, doing little to hide the scoff as she called it a ‘poor thing.’ “No, no, she’s fine.” Pointing at it accusingly, Neassa continued, “I’m traumatised. Me, me. Not her.” She caught a glimpse of her hand while taking another sip of her whisky, the expanse covered in a painful criss-cross of scratches and it all came back to her in a flood, the suffering she had gone through.

“What are you doing, what…get up.” Neassa joined the fray, moving towards the desk. Cassie paused only to look at her with daggers in her eyes and question her treatment of the creature. Neassa waved it off, she had no idea what she had had to deal with. “Stop being nice to her.” She thumped a fist upon the table top, “Come on, get out you little shit!” Kicked one of the four legs, “OUT! You need to finish her!”

As Cassie moved as if to flee, Neassa followed her ready to slam the door shut and keep her in the room. She couldn’t deal with this cat on her own any more, Cassie had to take her. At least for a while. Her hurried step slowed to a halt as the Warden made her intentions known, she wanted to give the demon sustenance. “It’s a she-devil hellcat.” She was certain it had been feeding off of the pain and anguish it inflicted upon the poor Seeker on a daily basis, that and vermin.

“Ugh, lunatic?” A hand flew to her chest in insult. “No-no-no, sheeee is,” her accusations were bolstered by a shaking indicatory point at the cat still hidden beneath the desk. When she looked back at Cassie, she was still giving her that severe stare. Neassa took a deep breath, that cat just got to her. “You need to take Cassie-Killer before I kill her.”

No elaborate pranks here just cat-sitting requests.

Posted by: Cassiopeia Sophronius Aug 15 2014, 05:18 AM
‘Your raging, out of control arrogance and delusions of grandeur aren’t my problem, Neassa,’ Cassie said, turning from the door. She shot the warrior an irritated glance when she gave her a completely redundant order. ‘I wouldn’t have done it if I’d known who was at the bloody door! Serves you right for not announcing yourself,’ she grumbled, flexing her hand as the magic finally settled. Her nerves still felt raw, probably would until she’d cast some magic properly. She’d have to fry a few training dummies from her window later. Target practice without getting wet.

Cassie snorted as she handed Neassa’s drink over. ‘If you knew anything about the Wardens, you’d know we enjoy our food far too much to eat anything substandard for long. In case you didn’t notice the way we devoured those rabbits like we were starving, Wardens have massive appetites. That doesn’t mean we tolerate shit food. If we’ve got to eat so much to keep us going, we can’t afford to put ourselves off our meal by gorging on terrible food. We’re quite the connoisseurs when we have the opportunity.’ Cassie was pretty certain that if ‘Grey Warden’ was something you could just peacefully retire from, many of them would go into cooking. Their best chefs really were superb, and since there was a rota for domestic chores around the Keep, everyone learned how to cook pretty quickly.

Then Neassa threw her cat at her, and all hell broke loose for a few seconds until the cat darted under the desk. Cassie dabbed at the scratches, only now starting to bleed, giving Neassa a flat look as she stood. ‘If she was dealing in demons, are you sure that wasn’t the Black Divine, Seeker?’ She grumbled, sighing at the spots of blood on her shirt before marching over to the desk. At least it was only cotton, it should wash out. ‘I’m going to write to the Divine to tell her what a stupid idea that was. Giving you a cat,’ she growled, getting down to peer at the cat. The poor thing just hissed at her. ‘You’re not the one cowering under a desk, Neassa. Shut up, will you?’ She went back to trying to calm the cat, ignoring the other woman until she appeared next to her and started pounding on the desk.

Cassie lunged up onto her knees, furious. What are you doing, you lyrium-addled lunatic?!’ She shouted, magic flaring up again. This time Cassie didn’t stem it, she shoved it outwards, knocking Neassa back away from the desk. Not enough to slam her into the far wall, though she was sorely tempted. Just to create some distance between her and the cat. She rose to her feet, scowling, quite ready to toss Neassa around like a ragdoll if necessary. ‘You are unbelievable,’ she snarled, shaking her head and striding towards the door. If Neassa wouldn’t look after the cat, she would.

Oh, there was a ‘she-devil’ in here alright, but it wasn’t the bloody cat. ‘Maybe she wouldn’t act so insane if she actually felt safe around you, instead of like she was going to get shouted at and thrown around?’ She snapped, before asking for the food. The look on her face sent the other Warden scurrying, and she caught a glimpse of several wide eyes staring at the door. Evidently she’d been shouting loud enough to be heard, and they might have heard Neassa banging the furniture as well.

She couldn’t bring herself to care right then. She slammed the door behind her and turned to glare at the Seeker. ‘Yes, lunatic! You’re fucking insane, and that cat is suffering for it.’ Then Neassa finally gave the cat’s name and the reason she was here. Cassie’s jaw dropped. She can’t have heard that properly. Oh, the staying here part was fine, though the Warden Commander probably wouldn’t be too happy, but Cassie-Killer?

The human Cassie dipped her head, pinching the bridge of her nose, eyes closed, shaking her head. ‘You named your cat Cassie-Killer? And you want me to look after her why? Besides threatening to kill her,’ she growled, glaring up at the Seeker. This was a prank. This had to be a prank.



Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Aug 15 2014, 10:32 AM
Cassie seemed somewhat irritated, apparently the idea of there being Tevinter bounty hunters at the door was a serious trigger for her. Neassa wasn’t sure why, they couldn’t take her back to the Imperium if they wanted to. She was a Grey Warden, her comrades would not allow for her to be taken. If they had any sense they would leave it be, attacking a Warden Keep would just bring long simmering tensions to the surface and cause far more trouble than was worth. More than that though -

“You think that when they come for you, because they will come for you, eventually, that they’re going to just knock on the door and ask to be let inside?” They had almost kicked down the door at The Circle, if not for Neassa’s handy work with a broom, they may have gotten past the threshold. The Seeker shook her head, giving Cassie a look of pity. “That’s not how bounty hunters work, Cassie.” That was how bad bounty hunters worked.They had managed to find her once, unknowingly and they could manage to do it again. Cassie hadn’t gotten very far from the Imperium, still mulling about Nevarra perhaps in the hopes that hiding right under the nose of her hunters would pay off. It usually was the last place they checked, the Warden had been evading them since before Neassa had even met her so surely they must be getting around to searching that ‘last place,’ some time soon.

Neassa snorted, if she had been the Black Divine then Neassa could rightly slap her with a fish. Unfortunately the White Divine was so revered she probably couldn’t get away with that sort of thing. She had never even seen the woman, let alone speak to her. Her orders filtered through the ranks on pieces of paper, conducted in secrecy so much so that Neassa had started to question whether she even existed. Others had seen her though, at least, that was what they professed. Neassa was just not important enough to be invited to the White Spire for a personal audience with her holiness. “I’m sure she’ll be interested to hear from a Tevinter mage,” her eyes widened, staring at Cassie in challenge suggesting that it was very doubtful.

“It’s a ploy! She’s not scared. This is how she gets you in the face, you try to lure her out, act all nice and she flies at you and scratches your nose off.” Neassa touched her own nose, the scratches had lost their redness but she could still feel their bumpy ridges, still healing.

Magic crept back into the equation, though this time with a very real intent to harm, lyrium shot through her in response preparing to meet the brunt of whatever was to come next. Neassa was pushed back and away from the desk, stumbling some until she caught herself in the forced backstep that followed. Tragedy struck, she managed to keep the glass in hand but the flailing arms that came with being thrown off balance lead to her losing the contents on the carpet. “I don’t mind being thrown around but honestly, look at what you’ve done! You monster!” Her brow knitted together in horror, looking down at the damp patch of whiskey seeping further into the thread count. Then Cassie was on her feet like she was ready to send a more devastating spell in her direction, Neassa filled her empty hand with the energies of a fledgling Silence but her intent was just to spit some more venom at her before turning towards the door.

The anti-magic died upon her finger-tips while The Warden provided some snappish sagely advice on how to bond with a cat. “You just did the same thing to me!” She was still shouting at her too, so shouty and angry. Cat’s liked being thrown around...so they could land on their feet and slink away all high and mighty about it. “And you used magic to do the throwing.” If she had been a cat that blast of magic would have probably killed her! It was not the same though, not by a long shot.

In the wake of the slamming door, Neassa adopted a patronising serenity about herself. “I think you need to calm down, Cassie-Killer can sense that you’re upset and it’s upsetting her-” Neassa took pause as the she-devil in question crept out from her hiding place to lap at the damp spot of whiskey on the floor. “Now she is going to be so much more aggressive. I hope you’re happy.” Of the few things Neassa knew of her cat, the fact that she was a mean drunk was one of the most prominent. What was she doing allowing her cat to drink alcohol? Well, trying to take it from her had proved too difficult and resulted in The Seekers hands to be torn to ribbons.

Neassa moved to refill her empty tumbler, stepping over the momentarily, content cat. Always happiest when she was drinking...perhaps the reason the two didn’t get along so well was down to their similarities in personality. Except Cassie-Killer was all the wrong colouring to truly mirror her owner. “You’d prefer it if I called her something ridiculous like Lady Meow-Meow?” Her face twisted into disgust, drinking down a mouthful of her whiskey. It wasn’t like the cat even answered to her name, either because she did not yet recognise it as such or she was above listening to people.

“I’m going to a little slice of hell past Orlais for fun and I thought the sulphur might kill her.” See? Neassa did care. “I couldn’t find any cat sized precautions, so I thought it would be best to leave her behind until I get back.” Or she might die, her mission did run the risk of dragons after all.

Posted by: Cassiopeia Sophronius Aug 31 2014, 01:35 PM
Cassie shot Neassa an annoyed look, partly because – now that the initial panic was fading – she was right. Mostly. Sort of. A little. ‘No, but I wouldn’t put it past them. Particularly if they weren’t certain I was here and was merely checking. Oh, and either Jorren or Perrin need to work on their choice of words, since they said someone was demanding to see me. Since I couldn’t think of why anyone I knew would show up this late demanding to be let in when nothing nearby was burning down or being swamped by darkspawn, I assumed it was someone I didn’t know. Namely, bounty hunters.’ She let out a heavy, irate breath, quietly tapping the butt of her staff against the stone floor as she found her temper before setting it aside.

In truth, she’d been planning on running further south before the Templars found her and brought her to the Nevarran Circle. After the Wardens recruited her, she’d not felt the need to request a transfer. She knew Nevarra fairly well, magic was accepted here more than anywhere else outside of the Imperium, and she had the Wardens to support her. That was the main reason she hadn’t asked for a transfer. The Wardens wouldn’t let the Imperium take her, which made her... overreaction tonight all the more frustrating. Stop jumping at shadows, she thought, biting her tongue as she poured out the drinks. She was – or should be – past that now. Of course, the Wardens couldn’t protect her against everything. Tevinter wasn’t above contracting the Antivan Crows for particularly tricky targets, and their own bounty hunters weren’t some thugs off the street either. If they could catch her, she doubted the Wardens’ diplomatic immunity would mean much to them when there was a bounty and the favour of an Altus magister at stake.

With the cat revealed and hiding, Cassie shook her head, frowning at her claw marks before resigning herself to them with a shrug. ‘No reason to mention my background, is there? All she needs to know is that I’m a Warden and you’re irresponsible.’ Both of which were perfectly true. She met Neassa’s stare with a placid smile, that air-headed, dreamy one she’d used in the Circle to convince the First Enchanter – and some of the other Templars – that she was harmless and sweet and wouldn’t hurt a fly. It had never worked on Neassa, sadly. She’d never done anything nefarious either, so she hadn’t technically been manipulating them. She just hadn’t told them she had the potential to, just as much as their most troublesome mages.

‘Maybe because she recognises the lunatic who’s been terrorising her and is pre-emptively defending herself?’ Cassie muttered from her place on the floor, still trying to calm the cat. She’d stopped growling, but was hunkered down out of reach, glaring balefully out at her. Cassie sighed. She doubted she’d be making any progress soon without something to motivate the cat to leave her hiding place. Then Neassa snapped completely and started beating up the furniture to try and chase the cat out. Cassie didn’t regret the surge of magic – no harm done after all, and Neassa could do with a good shock to remind her that Cassie’s patience did, in fact, have a limit. She spared the rug, and the Seeker’s building Silence, a single withering glance as she marched to the door. ‘You can get one just like it for a couple of silvers in any Antivan market. I’m sure replacing it won’t be hard. We don’t put anything expensive where it could be easily damaged by crazy guests.’ It was solely Neassa’s fault – if she hadn’t started pounding on the desk, Cassie wouldn’t have pushed her, and she wouldn’t have spilled her drink. Simple. Her levels of deliberate self-delusion would never rival Neassa’s, but she could occasionally come close.

‘You’re not an innocent cat! Besides, you’ve got armour and you survived an ogre. A bit of magical rough housing won’t kill you,’ she snapped, kicking the door closed behind her with a loud bang. Her glowering only intensified as Neassa took on that patronising tone, making her sorely tempted to zap her just to see the look on her face, until they were both momentarily distracted by the cat finally emerging. Cassie groaned inwardly and dropped her head into one of her hands. A cat that drank alcohol. This could not be happening to her. ‘Please tell me she’s just thirsty, and you haven’t turned your cat into an alcoholic.’ She was dreaming right now. This had to be a very strange, completely bizarre dream in the Fade, and Neassa was actually a demon of aggravation.

Neassa’s scathing choice of name made her snort. ‘Like Cassie-Killer is any better? Couldn’t you have picked something normal, like Flavia or Aurelia or something?’ They were quite common in Tevinter for pale cats like Cassie-Killer. She frowned at first. There wasn’t really anything past Orlais, nothing worth going to anyway. Then Neassa mentioned sulphur and Cassie’s eyebrows rose. ‘What in the world are you going there for? Besides “fun”,’ she said, her tone providing all the air quotes she needed. ‘There’s nothing there to go to!’ It couldn’t be a voluntary journey, surely? Perhaps an assignment to punish her for one mishap or another?

Then Cassie glanced down at the cat, and back up at Neassa. ‘That is perhaps the most sensible idea you’ve ever had. I can’t say the Warden Commander will be pleased, but he’s not going to notice one extra cat among the other mousers. How long will you be gone for?’ Hopefully long enough to let the poor animal recover from her previous ownership.

[OOC: And then Cassie realises the cat is in fact a hellspawn once Neassa’s far away and not able to be blamed for her psychopath of a pet. Sorry for the stupid wait! Life’s being busy right now, I’m hoping it’ll start settling down soon! I’ll get back to the other thread asap.]






Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Sep 16 2014, 03:47 PM
The flash of annoyance across the Warden’s face made Neassa giddy, it was so rare a sight the Seeker had come to think of it as an achievement, a personal best, mentally adding it to her list of small victories in life. It was barely worth mentioning of course, only someone as petty as Neassa could truly appreciate it. She regarded the panicked woman with a cold, vacant stare, allowing the flood of a reply to wash over her rather than actively drinking it in and actually listening to a word of it. Eventually, Cassie paused to exhale a ragged breath laden with irritation. Neassa’s gaze shifted to the staff the mage gripped onto, tapping it against the floor as if to beat out her anger in the motion.

The Seeker gave her a flippant wave of the hand; disregarding The Wardens panicked fit of information. “You need to stop over thinking things or you’ll drive yourself mad. If they do find you-" Neassa shrugged her shoulders, “kill them.”

It was not often she advised a mage to use their powers towards murderous gains and it was her duty to make sure those that did were hunted down and force fed some justice but, Cassie was different. Her position within The Wardens the most obvious distinction from other mages but that wasn’t just it. “You know as much as anyone that I’m in firm support of murdering civilians of Tevinter.” It was truly the best remedy, though she was coming to realise that murder was her solution to many of her problems. It was the execution she had trouble with. She could already guess at Cassie’s reply, a two day long explanation about why it wasn’t that easy. Killing was the easiest job in the world; life was so fragile a thing sparing it was a mercy while taking it was a whim.

“You would have an audience with the Divine and tell her one of the Seekers she selected for her glorious order is irresponsible. I’m sure she would forget her pride and leave aside her delusions long enough to thank you for your input.” The mad old bitch would smile that exact smile Cassie wore now and tell her she was dismissed. Whatever sanctions might come against Neassa would be carried out within the secrecy of The Order itself, they’d wrap her knuckles or beat her with some dull holy tome and lock her in a dark room for a week thinking that would be long enough for her to break. Neassa would go back to all her old and decidedly wrong ways and show to have learned nothing, or at least, that a little bit of abuse was not enough for her to change the contrary habits of a lifetime. Postscript, that was sarcasm.”

The smug look on her face weathered the butter-wouldn’t-melt smile of The Warden but shattered into pieces as Cassie continued, defending the cats volatile nature. “Oh, oh but when I pre-emptively strike out at mages everyone has something to say about it.” She should be a cat; she’d get away with literal murder. She could prance around Thedas cutting down apostates willy-nilly and not even a single brow would quirk up in challenge, she would just be pre-emptively defending herself. “Neassa no. Neassa you can’t do that. Neassa bad.” She drowned her jealousy with the rest of her whisky, any reluctance she had felt at drinking it all fading away with Cassie’s assurances that it was cheap plonk she was mistreating her to.

That cat was anything but innocent, that cat was a demon crammed into the tiny four legged body of a tabby, it sensed fear and killed indiscriminately, it sought nothing but chaos and disharmony and pain. It had tried to suffocate her just this morning when The Seeker had awoken suddenly to a lack of breath, the fat thing using her throat as a bed. It was pure evil. But Cassie, who was so usually wrong about many things (perhaps all things) was right about how incredibly resilient Neassa was. Ogre’s ran from her now, except that one that she had killed single-handedly, blindfolded, with just a wooden sword. She nodded her head along in agreement with the mage, an unusual sight for sure, but once the flurry of praise (that wasn’t really there) had dispersed, Neassa straightened. “It won’t hurt me no, not physically; it’s too puny a thing to harm something so robust. But it hurts my feelings.”

Cassie-Killer seemed rather fond of the cheap stuff, a guttural purring sounding from deep in her chest; Neassa smiled hoping she would soon pass out. Experience had taught The Seeker that she was incapable of holding her drink for much more than a few nips of spirits. “I didn’t turn her into anything. You seem to be under some kind of illusions, Cassie-Killer does what she wants and right now, she wants a drink.” Neassa, having required yet another refill had not ventured far from the bottle since recognising a theme arising in her behaviour, tipped the bottle enough to pour out a little more onto the carpet. A few drops thudded against Cassie-Killers head, she hissed, shaking it, ears flicking from side to side before returning to a state of content, sucking whisky out of a dirty old carpet.

Neassa’s brow knitted together at the alternative names the blonde offered her. “Flavia? Aurelia? Ugh.” Her disdain was so great it could not wait for her to go through the pouring motions and instead, Neassa simply took this drink straight from the bottle. “Those are normal maybe if you’re abnormal-“ she applauded her wit with a chuckle and a snort. “You ridiculous Tevinter woman.”

She took a moment to let Cassie stew in a stupor of confusion as to why on earth Neassa was headed to such a dead end. Unlikely she got to embark on many great adventures outside of jolly jaunts into the Deeproads to waltz with Darkspawn.

“An Ogre couldn’t kill me so I thought I should try starting a fight with a Dragon and see what happens. Clearly I am the pinnacle of strength in all of Thedas, by which all others are measured by.” Remembering her present company, almost absently, Neassa decided her answer simply would not do. “A holy blade that is probably evil or cursed by some vagrant witches magic is sitting out there all alone with no minds to meld or souls to corrupt. I have some sanity left to lose, might as well lose it there, hmm?” There had been a lull in her apostate hunts, or she had simply become bored with the routine of it all, honestly, there was no reason for her to be attending such a dangerous quest other than her natural curiosity and inability to stay still for too long.

“I have good ideas all the time.” Nope, her life was spent floating from one bad decision to the next, soaking up the recoil of consequences with a frivolous disregard for those caught in the tide along with her. As Cassie inquired about the duration of Cassie-Killers stay, Neassa jerked her shoulders in a shrug, indicating she had given little thought towards the finer details. The idea that she might be putting Cassie out had never entered her mind and even if it had, she would not have entertained it.

“Well, could be from a month, all the way up to forever, if I die of course.” In which case everyone would be very sad indeed, this went without saying. “Since there might be difficulty in returning my charred corpse to Nevarra, I want Cassie-Killer put in my crypt in my place. Whether she’s alive or not…” She pulled a folded piece of parchment from beneath her armguard. “I wrote it down, so you don’t forget my wishes in your grief.” Neassa placed the note on the table and should Cassie take the bait, she would find that the message inside was rather different to what Neassa professed. It simply read; Certificate of being a big-stupid-ogre-face, Cassiohlala Sophradamus.

Such dangerous missions required one to think on all of the likely scenarios, even those in the darkest of timelines. A world without Neassa? Not worth thinking of, Cassie would be distraught.

((OOC i was gone a long-long-loooooong time so I made up for it with a giant post full of Neassa'isms. DO ENJOY.))

Posted by: Cassiopeia Sophronius Oct 8 2014, 10:41 AM
Cassie gave the Seeker a flat stare. ‘It’s not that easy.’ Predictability be damned. ‘These aren’t some penny-for-hire mercs, these are elite, specially trained bounty hunters contracted to a single family. Sometimes they are the family. I might be impressive here Neassa – yes, I heard all the things the Knight-Commander said – but in the Imperium I’m barely above average. Against a group, I’m in trouble.’ Of course, she had the Wardens at her back now, though they weren’t much defence if the Cernuus got tired of bounty hunters failing and sent a sufficiently determined assassin against her...

Could you get any more paranoid if you tried?

Yes.

Cassie snorted. Her, in Val Royeux? She was fairly sure she’d burst into flames if she stepped foot there, or so the Orlesian Chantry would have people think. ‘I wouldn’t consider a letter an audience with her. And I don’t think the supposed personification of all that is sweet and good in Thedas would like to hear you mistreat the cat she gave you, delusional or not. I’ll be sure to mention you called her delusional, by the way,’ she said with a smile. No, she wasn’t above tattling to teacher when it came to Neassa. Maybe a five year old’s logic would work where an adult’s wouldn’t. Actually, Neassa was probably the kind of child to scream ‘I don’t care’ and kick said teacher in the shin rather than meekly acknowledge that she’d done wrong. Ah well.

Cassie spared the Seeker an annoyed glance over her shoulder from where she knelt on the floor, flicking her hair out of the way to do so. ‘It’s only pre-emptive if your opponent intends to attack you. You strike out at mages no matter what they intend. Besides, you’re human, you’re supposed to know better. She’s a cat being tormented by a lunatic.’ An emphatic hiss from under the desk agreed with her. Cassie threw Neassa an ‘I told you so’ look, raised eyebrows and all, pointing at the shadows the cat had retreated to.

Hurts her...? ‘You don’t have feelings,’ Cassie said bluntly, crossing her arms. ‘You admitted it yourself. You’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon.’ Well, she hadn’t said that specifically, but she’d owned up to feeling anger, frustration and not much else. That was as good as, in Cassie’s book.

‘Maybe because she had nothing else to drink,’ Cassie muttered. She considered going over and picking the cat up, but this was the calmest and most content she’d been since leaving her basket. No matter, proper food and water would be here soon for her, so she’d hopefully be distracted from the whiskey. Then Neassa poured more onto carpet and cat alike and Cassie groaned. ‘A mistake I can understand, but could you please not deliberately destroy Grey Warden property? Even if it is an old rug. And stop tormenting your cat,’ she added, even though the feline was doing a decent job of ignoring her owner. Cassie decided to follow suit when Neassa took possession of the whole whiskey bottle and she couldn’t summon up the caring to object. Maker knew they had a whole cellar of the stuff, and wine, and liquor, and ale, all better quality anyway. That pathetic come-back, however, deserved addressing. ‘Your insults need work. Rusty, are we?’ Or intoxicated. One or the other.

For a moment Cassie just stared, convinced she’d somehow misheard, that there was a perfectly normal word that rhymed with dragon. But no, replaying the line in her head, there was no mistake. She slowly shook her head before it dropped into one hand, a motion somewhere between hiding her eyes and facepalming. ‘Are you sure you haven’t lost it all already?’ She asked, muffled by the angle of her head and her wrist. At least Neassa wasn’t going out solely to tangle with a dragon – there was a reason for her being wherever she was going. A dragon encounter was just very likely too. Cassie silently wished the dragon luck. She wouldn’t be surprised if it tried to swallow Neassa whole and choked through the Seeker’s sheer determination.

Her only response to Neassa’s blatant lie was an unimpressed ‘uh huh’. This was possibly the first good idea Neassa had had in her life. How she was still alive, Cassie had no idea. As she finally gave something approximating a straight answer, Cassie echoed her with a deadpan ‘of course’. Die her ass. Cassie was seriously starting to think Neassa was indestructible. Being chewed on by a dragon wouldn’t faze her. Who would torment and kill all those evil pesky mages if she died, after all? Still, she listened with her arms folded, her weight on one leg as Neassa laid out her not-so-long-term contingency plans for Cassie-Killer should she not return. Cassie picked up the no doubt false note without even glancing at it, flames flickering at her fingertips to turn it to a handful of ash. She tossed it into the fire with a helpful little push of magic to get it across the distance, turning to Neassa with a humourless smile. ‘Even if I didn’t remember among my celebrating and getting absolutely shit-faced, I’d do no such thing regardless. She’ll just have to stay here and have a long, happy life of peace from you instead. I’ll quite happily organise what flowers to have at your memorial though,’ she added with a cheery smile.

Then someone knocked at the door, and Cassie turned to open it and let a slightly bemused junior Warden in with the bowls. The young elf woman’s expression cleared as she caught sight of the cat and Cassie relieved her of the bowls. ‘Thank you sister.’ And thank the Maker for handy labels to give the new recruits when you couldn’t remember their names. As the elf bustled out, Cassie bumped the door closed with her hip before clicking her tongue at the cat, setting the bowls down beside the desk she’d hid under earlier. Cassie-Killer trotted over, turning her nose up at the water but attacking the food eagerly. Cassie gently stroked her pale back, smiling when the cat simply purred whilst gulping her dinner down. So much for a demon cat. She just hated Neassa. Quite sensible, really.

[OOC: Oh, I enjoyed VERY much XD This thread is crazy and I love it. Sorry for my own delay!]



Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Oct 11 2014, 07:54 AM
The more time she racked up with Cassie, the easier it was for her to fall back into old habits and as The Warden began to explain the difficulties of being her and how overtly incapable she was at everything, Neassa’s head lolled back as she let out an annoyed groan. ”Well then maybe you shouldn’t have killed that one guy, eh?” She arched an eyebrow in a sage like look before continuing. “Consequences and such. If you are going to kill someone, you have to make sure that you have it in you to kill their whole family and anyone else who might seek revenge.” If Cassie took any advice from Neassa, this was the golden nugget she should adhere to for future murder. ”Don’t let them ambush you. You should go after them...one by one. Don’t sit here waiting on them, stop this silly business with Darkspawn because psh when was the last time you saw one of them, am I right?” More advice to mask the juvenile attempt at cheering her up that Neassa would never speak of again.

A letter? Even better, Neassa could chase down the courier and intercept its delivery. Cassie had not thought this through properly, Neassa poorly masked the look of superiority blossoming on her face at her most recent thought process. She couldn’t lay out all her tricks on the table, best to let Cassie think a letter could be her undoing, didn’t want her coming up with something actually viable. ”Oh no, please, don’t. However will I cope without my work?” She would have to come here and laze around like a jobless wonder demanding Cassie pay her way since it was her fault she was so poor anyway. Neassa scoffed, more like however will Cassie cope, ha ha ha HA. The Seeker glanced around the room, taking in what might become her new abode, a fire that wasn’t dug into the dirt was a rather large leap from what she was used to. Being jobless though, she’d have nothing but time in order to adjust.

It had been a long time since Cassie had bore witness to how Neassa treated mages, for all she knew she’d changed her tactics. Maybe she liked to get to know them first, get friendly then all of a sudden, slap the friendship bracelet out of their hand and strangle them with it! “I couldn’t possibly know better than you Cassie, all knowing one-” but then the damn thing agreed with her, a hiss sounding out from its hiding place. Neassa sent a scowl its way then to meet the look Cassie gave her. ”Talking to it eh? I always knew you consorted with demons.” What had she always said!? Cassie is evil. Cassie is stupid. Cassie is an evil-stupid-face and also consorts with demons on occasion. It was like a mantra.

No feelings? Neassa gasped dramatically, a hand flying to her chest in despair, what a horrid thing to say. “What like, hot or cold?” Then she laughed, far too much than was worth the pitiful joke she’d made. “Do you get it? Because if it’s in tea it’s hot and if it’s not it’s cold? You don’t get it.” Her hand flew into the air at a loss for her dimwitted audience. “Probably went straight over your head.” She resisted the urge to add a you poor thing at the end, giving Cassie a doleful look instead. Conveying emotions as best she could mimic.

“Are you suggesting I don’t take care of her? Look how fat she is.” That had very little to do with Neassa, Cassie-Killer provided for herself when it came to food. In the beginning she had been a proficient hunter, until she realised Neassa carried food in her pack with her, then she became an even more proficient thief. It had left her twice the cat she had been, a glutton and a drunk. ”The first one was your mistake but since you asked so politely…” the tiniest rivulet of whisky completed its long, snaking journey down the side of the bottle and dripped onto the carpet once more, aided by the slight tilt Neassa held it at. ”No.” She beamed a defiant smile, her inner self assuring her Cassie didn’t control her, not that she was in any doubt of such a thing. ”I stopped tormenting her already, now I’m just here to torment you.” Honestly, Cassie was so slow on the uptake, she should have been expecting this. It was a more likely scenario than those bounty hunters knocking on the front door and asking for her to come outside so they could kill her without getting blood on that old carpet. Neassa shook her head, as if insulting the quality of her insults was any more advanced than what The Seeker herself had offered. ”I don’t want to spoil you with all my good ones straight away.”

The stunned silence she was met with after her talk of dragons was expected. Few people actively sought the beasts out to do battle with them, they weren’t the true reason for her travels but she wouldn’t shrink away from a fight with one if it swooped down out of the sky at her. Perhaps it was the Nevarran in her, that seemingly region specific thirst for glory and adventure, mixed dangerously with the diluted Tevinter blood, where she was sure she got her arrogance and superiority complex. ”Stow your concerns! I haven’t met anything I couldn’t kill yet.” She eyeballed Cassie in a way that told her not to count herself amongst those she had tried to kill. There was still time yet, assuming she returned at all.

Neassa had occupied the gullet of a great beast before, a Pride Demon hellbent on chewing her into bits and pieces. Simply being swallowed whole would not be enough to count her out of the fight. They should really save themselves the embarrassment of her clawing free by taking her in bite sized chunks instead, but, they never thought it necessary. The last thing a Dragon would expect would be for its meal to kick its teeth out from the inside.

Unimpressed and honestly offended, Neassa watched as her neatly hand written note was tossed into the crackling fire. How dare she! Destroying Seeker property, which was probably loosely Chantry property by association. Her eyes narrowed in challenge as she tilted that whisky bottle and let another, tiny amount tip out onto the floor. Leaving it in The Seekers possession was clearly a mistake. ”Knowing you, you’ll probably accidentally freeze her after one too many and kill her in the defrosting.” A live cat wouldn’t take as well to a fire spell as a dead turkey might.

A knock at the door spurned Neassa on to claim one of the large plush chairs scattered about the room, setting the whisky bottle upon the top of a dark mahogany desk, she stared at the elf warden who entered, rolling her eyes routinely as Cassie addressed her. Oh sister, oh thank you sister, oh, friends. Disgusting, only marginally less so than the humanity shown to Cassie-Killer in the moments that followed. Neassa noted as the cat avoided the water, like the seasoned alcoholic she was. ”See?! All she drinks is alcohol and the blood of her enemies.” Standard really.


“You realise you burned my last will and testament, I have to write another one. Which of these crappy old books is crappiest so I can tear out the pages and put something interesting on them.” Another certificate for Cassie probably, or maybe a letter to send to Tevinter on Neassa’s death, with the location of Cassiohlala for that family that wanted her dead.

Such cunning. Neassa grinned to herself, she was too devious for words.

Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Feb 3 2015, 02:53 PM


Cassie hadn’t meant to kill him, just push him away because he was drunk and getting far too close for comfort. She hadn’t meant to put enough force into the magical shove to throw him over her head and the balcony. Explaining that would be a waste of breath, though.

Of course Neassa’s solution would be ‘kill them all’. Never mind that ‘all’ meant several notable Altus families, including the Archon’s at some point. Tevinter noble family ties were ridiculously complicated thanks to all the political marriages. ‘That’s a tad excessive. I’d also rather not take on the entire magisterium and their extended families on my own, thank you.’ Her lips twitched in poorly disguised amusement. Neassa’s irreverence could have its benefits when she wasn’t using it to drive her up the wall. ‘Two days ago, but who’s counting?’

She sighed and folded her arms at Neassa’s ‘oh no’ spiel. She only said ‘please’ when she had something else in mind and was trying to distract her or throw her off. Neassa just didn’t do manners unless she was trying to manipulate or antagonise someone with sarcasm. ‘You don’t need someone telling you to go hunt mages, you’d do it anyway, so you’d still have your work.’ Just not the money that came with it, but if Neassa could steal from Cassie in the Circle, she’d have no qualms about stealing from the mages she killed.

She couldn’t help the grin when the cat proved her right while Neassa was mid-speech. ‘Only the cute and fluffy ones,’ she cooed at the cat, forgiving the scratches still weeping blood down her top. The poor thing had been scared, after all. She inwardly groaned at the pitiful excuse for a joke, sending a beseeching look at the ceiling before fixing Neassa with as unimpressed a look as she could conjure. The one that said ‘really? You really just said that?’

‘I’m suggesting no cat would go for alcohol normally if they had another option first,’ she grumbled. She narrowed her eyes as Neassa started to tip the decanter, then when she was sure it was going to spill, she sent a jet of ice out to freeze the free falling whiskey solid. Globs of ice thudded to the rug, which Cassie swept away into the fireplace with a small wave of force magic and a smile.

It soon died and Cassie groaned in disappointment, of course she was. Her mother’s lessons hadn’t covered how soon was too soon to throw your unwanted guest out on their ass. ‘Lucky me,’ she said in a deadpan tone. She gave up and crossed the room to her abandoned whiskey glass, reclaiming it and taking a deep gulp. The heat helped settle her, and she resigned herself to tolerating Neassa until the Seeker decided to leave. She probably couldn’t toss her out without starting an incident between the Wardens and Seekers anyway. Pity. It turned out she needed the whiskey when Neassa announced the dragons she might encounter. She snorted at the Seeker’s filthy look. ‘Could have fooled me,’ she said in a sing-song. May as well play her game while she was here. Considering Neassa’s most serious murder attempt had failed only because of protocol intervening, she should probably worry more. Since most of her subsequent attempts had failed, usually thanks to them being spur-of-the-moment or interrupting darkspawn, Cassie dismissed the seriousness of the threat. She’d recently started to doubt Neassa’s heart was in it after all, so let her delude herself. Cassie still breathing was enough to prove her wrong. Although she genuinely did think Neassa would survive any dragon encounters, through sheer pig-headedness if nothing else.

Cassie stared at her, eyebrow raised as the note burned. She raised her hand in time with the tilt of the bottle, ice jetting out to freeze the drop before it followed the other ice globs into the fire. ‘Try it again and I’ll freeze the bottle,’ she said with a sweet smile before downing what remained in her glass. What was one lost bottle of whiskey after all? There were two others in the cabinet and a cellar full of booze. Not like they’d be running out any time soon. ‘No I wouldn’t. I’m careful with living things unless they deserve it,’ she said, raising her eyebrows pointedly. Neassa had felt brushes of her magic before when she was being an ass, like during that ogre disaster.

The knock at the door paused her showing off, but she didn’t mind too much. She took great pleasure in being able to stroke the ‘hellcat’ without being attacked. ‘Well she won’t be getting any alcohol here once you’ve left. Water will have to do,’ she said firmly, giving the cat a last pat before standing. She headed over to the cabinet and fetched a second bottle of whiskey, since Neassa had claimed the first and asking for it back would only result in another childish refusal.

She paused at the small desk in the corner to grab a piece of parchment and brought it over, dropping it on Neassa’s knee before slumping in the remaining chair, sprawling out comfortably. She neglected to provide a quill or ink, since Neassa hadn’t asked for them. Instead she grabbed her glass and filled it, deciding she may as well get comfortable. It was already late and Neassa might well be intending to stay the night at this rate. For that, she’d need alcohol and a comfy chair.


Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Feb 9 2015, 05:42 PM

“Someone has to make it their priority to keep you people down. ” Despite herself, she was nodding along to Cassie’s words. Neassa didn’t like to imagine a time in which she was no longer a Seeker. Though she had nothing but contempt for The Chantry and their teachings, she appreciated the fact that their symbology was so powerful across Thedas. The Seekers of Truth were a lesser known entity than The Templars but the eye of truth was so obviously holy in aspect that even the lowliest of commoners could guess her affiliation. Though being associated with such things had its advantageous, it also suggested certain things about the woman behind the armour that simply weren't true.

What little others knew of Seekers consisted of the general assumption that only the most devout were inducted into their ranks. While that was true (in theory), the organisation needed more than believers. It may not acknowledge the need for people like Neassa, it might even look down on her actions and behaviour, but that mattered not. At the end of the day it still benefitted from them more than she did and she asked for little in return. Nothing more complicated than asking they might turn their cheek on a few of her more aggressive antics.

“If you had offered me a glass of water as my first option I would have smacked you.” Any excuse to try and smack Cassie, she casually looked about for a newspaper...something she could roll up and beat her over the head with. It would work wonders for Cassie-Killer too.

Neassa looked sadly at the carpet, where there should be a darkening spot of spilled whisky. She gave a disappointed huff, counting this as one more time magic ruined her life. Whisky should not freeze but magic had its own rules and she really hated how it just stomped all over the rest of natures rules. If she had allowed herself to think on it anymore she might find similarities between how she dealt with rules and how magic laughed in the face of constraints. Thinking deeply about things though was something she tried to avoid to keep herself from having to confront difficult self revelations.

“Did you ever consider that fooling you was exactly what I was going for? Maybe I’m just luring you into a false sense of security, waiting for you to drop your guard around me.” Maybe she was just playing at being incompetent...did Cassie ever think of that? Neassa wasn’t about to start an incident with The Wardens over murdering one of their own. She would never hear the end of it and even though she expected she would one day be put on trial, it wouldn’t be over killing Cassie.

Why...why would she give Neassa such an ultimatum? Warning Neassa to behave was an invitation for her to misbehave. She could feel a vein in her neck beginning to twitch as she held Cassie’s gaze, jaw tightened against the inflammatory smile the woman beamed her way. Her inner voice screamed at her to do it again, to throw the bottle down and let it smash into a thousand tiny pieces. Cassie-Killer might even step on a few slivers of glass and and...yeah, she deserved to cut her little paws, deserved it for the criss cross of scratches up and down Neassa’s arms and legs. What was it with cats and climbing people?

“I’m getting uncomfortable with the amount of casual spell casting going on. I might have to silence you. Please just give me an excuse.” It might not come as easily and as quickly to her fingertips as Cassie’s ice came to her but all Neassa needed was a few extra seconds one way or another and she only had to do it once...Cassie wouldn’t be able to freeze anything again for a little while after that. “You remember how fun Silence is, right?” Whoever had named it that was Neassa’s personal hero, for a long time in Cumberland she had forgotten what it sounded like shortly after Cassie’s arrival.

Parchment appeared on her knee but nothing else. What a smart arse.

Neassa couldn’t help the half smirk tugging at her lips as she made a point of putting her glass down in favour of the parchment. The bottle was slammed on the table too, a little spillage here and there...passive aggression at its finest.

“Many not remotely sarcastic thanks.” For a moment she looked like she was in deep concentration, pondering over what she was going to write on this piece of yellowed paper with this imaginary pen she just pulled out of thin air. Then, she smashed it together between her hands until it was a crumpled ball she then threw at Cassie’s forehead. Freeze that and it would only hurt more when it smacked her in the face.

She sort of hoped she tried to freeze it.

Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Apr 23 2015, 02:59 PM
‘We have the Templars for that, Neassa. You should remember; you enjoyed it so much.’ Of course, once a Templar always a Templar. Not many left the life – even Neassa was still a Templar at heart, still used lyrium since she’d had a vial to give after the ogre attack. Her only change had been uniform and title.

Cassie rolled her eyes, giving a put-upon sigh. ‘Once again Neassa, you’re not a cat. If I offered you water as your first option, I’d be a poor host... and possibly be trying to make you sick if I hadn’t boiled the water first.’ She should bear that in mind actually. Might come in useful if she ever had to deal with someone she needed to kill indirectly. It was incredibly unlikely, but so were her childish thoughts of what to do if she ever became Archon. Hadn’t stopped her then.

She snickered, lifting her tumbler up to partially hide her mouth. Neassa, pulling that kind of long-lasting deception? The Black City would turn pink before that happened. ‘Briefly. For perhaps the first five minutes of our acquaintance. After that I realised you didn’t have the patience and focus required. Besides, it’s been three years. We’ve barely seen each other for the last two and a half and might never have except for crazy murder schemes and cat-sitting requests.’ She paused to give Neassa a pointed look. She would have quite happily continued life Neassa-less, given the choice. ‘So why in Thedas would that make me lower my guard, no matter how you acted? Whenever I see you you’re either trying to kill me or foist your alcoholic pets off onto me.’

Cassie narrowed her eyes, watching Neassa over the rim of her glass. Silencing was far from pleasant, and Neassa had thoroughly enjoyed it whenever Cassie had pushed her far enough in the Circle and no one else was looking. However the threat of it had never been enough to cow her – she’d just endeavoured to be smarter next time and would be back to pushing Neassa’s buttons the next day. Neassa seemed to have forgotten, or never realised, that Cassie saw the threat of a Silence as a challenge.

Magic was easiest when using a focus, like a staff. Hands were a reasonable substitute if no staff was nearby. Magic without any physical channel, just willpower? Tricky, and she really shouldn’t be using it for a simple little pissing contest – particularly after a drink – but she was confident in her skill and her ability to block the demons out.

‘Oh, I remember. Though I wouldn’t call it fun.’ Smirking behind her tumbler, Cassie pushed. Only lightly, and with complete precision, all without moving a finger. Just a little nudge, under the neck of the tilted whiskey bottle. Not enough to move it or even for Neassa to feel it against her hand, but if she tried to tip that bottle any further it would be like there was a solid table in the way. Oh, Neassa might be able to feel magic, being a Templar, but would she try silencing her if she couldn’t actually see any magic being performed? She’d been able to sense the magic Cassie had been holding close when she first entered, after all, and she hadn’t even been casting anything then. It probably depended on just how desperate Neassa was for an excuse... and how long it took her to notice.

Cassie raised her eyebrows at the whiskey on the table, but just settled deeper into her chair. The old thing was covered in ring stains anyway, one more wouldn’t hurt. She looked up at the sound of crumpling paper, and had enough time to close her eyes and scrunch her nose up before the ball hit her. She waited while it bounced away across the floor before opening her eyes and glancing down at it, twitching her nose to get rid of the phantom scraping sensation of parchment.

Then she looked up at Neassa, smiled, and the paper ball crunched down even tighter and smaller before whizzing at its creator. Cassie didn’t much care if she was silenced after that, it’d be worth it if it actually hit her.

Dimly, she acknowledged that the two of them were sat here throwing paper balls at each other like bored apprentices. Her and Neassa. The crazy Templar-turned-Seeker who wanted her dead. Throwing paper.

Oh well. Stranger things had happened.



Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Aug 18 2015, 04:29 PM
Not the patience? Neassa gave an indignant huff. Incapable of the focus required?! A second huff, more exaggerated this time, shaking her head the whole time. "Yes, it’s been three years. Twelve months, multiplied by three.” Whatever the hell that was, the third step after 24. "I’d say that shows patience.” The sporadic interactions, admittedly, made a point out of her lack of focus but Neassa had been preoccupied.

"I’ve been busy.” She was reminded of their situation and exactly where they were. "Obviously, you have been too, hoodwinking an entire organization into harbouring you from justice.” Her tone made it sound like she was almost impressed, something she caught onto and buried with a cough."You can consider the alcoholic pet foisting an isolated incident.” Mostly because she didn’t expect to have another inflicted upon her in this lifetime, at least. "I have to come up with more inventive ways of inconveniencing you now that you’re a Warden,” there was a pause, The Seekers eyes narrowed to slits as she stared suspiciously at Cassie.

"Allegedly.” She stared harder, swirling the whisky in her glass, letting the accusation set in. It was entirely possible. Entirely. When one disregarded Cassie’s ability to fight Darkspawn and probably bathe in their blood without coughing her way into an early grave, also the sensing them, and all that blue and silver...and her being here. In a Warden’s Keep and the little matter of being in charge of two other alleged Wardens...yes. When she ignored all of the evidence, it was just as likely Cassie was the maid than a full blown Warden. Neassa hummed out a ’hmmm’

It wasn’t remotely likely but - thirty-six. The answer was thirty-six months.

She rewarded her brain with another sip of the cheapest whisky anyone had ever pawned off on her. Still, she couldn’t expect a maid to have the funds required to buy something that wasn’t hideous. There was a way to find out and it was staring her in the face. Well, in the corner of her eye. That damp spot of spilled whisky on the carpet. A maid would know- "So what’s the best way to get whisky out of shag?” Was that shag? She didn’t know. She just wanted to say it, but now that she had, she regretted it and started thinking about what she could do to draw attention elsewhere.

Oh yeah. Drunk anti-magic.

The Seeker could feel the slightest ripple of abnormality shifting through the atmosphere, like a Minstrel quietly plucking at the strings of their instrument in a crowded Tavern, just because it wasn’t loud didn’t mean it wasn’t annoying.

Had Cassie just been a Minstrel, tuning Neassa into a migraine, the Seeker would have been able to remedy it quickly by breaking the offending instrument over her head. It would be far easier than messing around with anti-magic, probably a lot more fun too.

Her awareness fluttered, distracted by more important things. Such as her paper ball hitting its target. "HA!” She had never sounded more triumphant.

Neassa’s joy was short lived, as ever, she was too busy watching Cassie to consider the paper ball becoming sentient and seeking revenge on her. She would never know what it was about her eye the thing found so offensive-waaaaait a minute. A piece of paper couldn’t achieve consciousness.

Voices of her tutors echoed in her head, ...not that you would, as a responsible Templar, but it should go without saying that one should never practice anti-magic under the influence, not even to wipe the smug off the face of a most annoying irritant. That wasn’t verbatim, she was certain she had added that last part in herself. It would be massively irresponsible. Massively.

She was going to do it.

“You brought this on yourself.” It was difficult to sound or even appear menacing when she was forced to wink until the sting subsided, the idea that it might hinder her aim didn’t even cross her mind though. It wasn’t ideal, just meant she had to be smart, if smart was interchangeable with sneaky and if sneaky was interchangeable with stupid. That’s what she would be.

Success depended on a distraction, she had overused the bottle though. Spilling it wasn’t enough. So she needed a distraction...for her distraction.

Neassa grinned, kicked Cassie in the shin under the table, slapped the bottle to unbalance it and threw Silence across the table at the Warden.

(OOC: i'm getting whiplash going from this Neassa to serious Neassa.)



Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Sep 17 2015, 05:22 AM
Cassie gave a disbelieving hum, not deigning to give Neassa a more detailed response than that. Her opinion on Neassa’s patience and focus was well established, and her blustering over the three year technicality didn’t fool her one jot.

She snickered, opening her arms in an innocent ‘who, me?’ gesture. ‘The Wardens came to me, not the other way around. I even sent them away the first time. Can’t blame me for being prime Warden material. The diplomatic immunity is just a very welcome side-benefit.’ She settled back in her chair, allowing herself to feel smug. She thought Neassa had almost, almost sounded impressed. Probably the alcohol finally getting to her though. ‘Oh, so I’m only going to get one crazy, alcoholic cat? Joy of joys. I had visions of you turning up with a lyrium-addicted mabari next.’

Cassie snorted. ‘So you’ve downgraded from killing me to merely inconveniencing me, bar the odd call-out to non-existent darkspawn and a load of traps. Good to know.’ No, she was not letting that one go. Even if an ogre and a few darkspawn had turned up afterwards.

Allegedly? Allegedly what, a Warden? Cassie tilted her head, narrowing her eyes back at the Seeker in abject confusion. ‘What in the world are you on about this time?’ The next question threw her completely. She looked from the carpet to Neassa and back again, wondering if there was more than just whiskey in the bottle. Raw lyrium, maybe. This could just be one last delusion brought on by exposure to the stuff before she died horribly. Or Neassa was just plain crazy, as usual.

Since she couldn’t exactly say ‘get the slaves to do it’ anymore, she settled for, ‘haven’t the foggiest,’ though her tone was screaming ‘what are you on, and should I be backing away slowly yet?’. Francesco and Margarita’s pub had wooden floors throughout – precisely because it made cleaning up spillages easier. Cassie could mop up a floor no problem, but getting alcohol out of a rug? No clue. She wasn’t even sure the threadbare, stained, beaten thing on the floor was shag or not.

Then, of course, Neassa jumped topics again – to Silencing, this time – and started messing with the whiskey-and-possibly-lyrium bottle. Then nailed her between the eyes with a paper ball.

Apparently magical retaliation was akin to a declaration of war.

Neassa might well have taken her completely by surprise, if she hadn’t stated her intentions clearly before she acted. Given what they had just been talking about – and Neassa’s attention span – ‘this’ could only be a Silence. What Cassie wasn’t expecting was the battering ram of Neassa’s armoured boot to the shin. Swearing as she automatically bent over and drew her bruised leg up, Cassie ignored the teetering bottle and focused on the more important thing – kicking Neassa’s arse on principle.

She shoved, ice jetting from her hand for good measure, and both table and Neassa’s chair went skidding backwards across the room on their two back legs with a nice coating of frost. Dimly, she was aware of the cat hissing and running for cover again, but she hadn’t knocked Neassa off course enough and the Silence clipped the top of her head from where she was still curled over herself on her chair.

‘Fucking hell,’ she groaned, shaking her head and fighting to stave it off, rubbing her shin at the same time. It wasn’t a full hit, thankfully, but it would still block her for a few seconds. Still. At least she’d got Neassa before the damn thing hit her. Even now, she could feel the numb, tingling sensation starting to fade – starting with her tongue, of all places.

Pulling a face at the feeling, it was only then that she looked about the room to assess where the Seeker was, and realised she’d driven the table into the wall, the whiskey bottle smashed on the floor, the cat was cowering under the desk, and half the room was glittering with frost. And they’d probably made enough noise to be heard in the Warden-Commander’s office.

Oops.

[OOC: I know. I think I'd just read or posted for the other thread, then read this one. So weird jumping between the two XD]



Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Oct 25 2015, 11:55 AM
Neassa breathed in sharply, mock astonishment as Cassie revealed she had refused the Warden’s initial offer to doom her to a lifetime of Deep Roads, Darkspawn and aligning herself with various degrees of degenerates. ”What, like you thought you were too good for them?” It sounded a lot like Cassie was boasting and in truth, the only thing Neassa envied was that diplomatic immunity. The perks were assured, whereas Neassa was left to depend on her colleague’s having their heads so far up their own arses that they wouldn’t notice her misdeeds.

If she could depend on one thing from them, it was that she would be long dead before they managed to dislodge themselves from...eh...themselves. ”That might be impressive,” Neassa conceded, rotating her glass in her hand. ”If it wasn’t for the fact that petty thieves, and worse, are considered prime Warden material just as easily.”

Her teasing tone was quickly replaced by something more serious as she leaned forward, cradling her tumbler in both hands. “I don’t want you thinking that every visit from me will include presents because that’s just not going to be the case Cassie,” unless she caught a cold and wanted to pass that along to the Warden, next time she darkened her doorway it would be empty handed. “And why does it have to be lyrium-addicted? Like I’m gonna share that with a dog…honestly.” She leaned back in her chair again, shaking her head at Cassie in judgement.

And she drank, deliberately at the moment Cassie brought up that other time Neassa had tried to kill her. That time in which she would have been successful if not for Darkspawn and a couple of innocent bystanders (and witnesses) in the form of Cair and Jorren. Cassie was so relentless in her need to remind Neassa of such things that the Seeker simply had to make a game of it to get by. Though she did note that neither Darkspawn nor witnesses were present at the moment...except for Cassie Killer, but she too could be dealt with, at a push.

“You’re so negative. What about all the good things I did that day? Hmm? What about those?” She struggled to think of them herself...at least the ones that directly involved Cassie’s wellbeing. “Like when that Ogre was charging and you were so slow I had to pull you out the way? Mmmhmm. You never mention that do you? But the traps! Oh, the traps! Never forget the traps.” She hadn’t so much as pulled Cassie away as just played the part of an immovable object meeting a stoppable force and gotten in the way, but it was all about perspective and Neassa’s, as ever, was designed to work in her favour. It made perfect sense to her to lie about something that hadn’t happened, because Cassie had gotten herself out of the way fine, than to mention the lyrium Neassa had given her as a goodwill gesture after the battle was long over. Because they had agreed back then that they would never again speak of it and Neassa wasn’t about to be the one to break that vow.

Which was rich considering her haphazard treatment of other, more pertinent vows...especially those involving the Seeker code of conduct and this whole intangible concept of honour her peers clung to.

The Seeker allowed a slow grin to possess her as Cassie became lost in Neassa’s babbling. There was something to be proud of in confusing Cassie, even if just for a moment. “Well it’s women’s work so maybe you should figure it out,” Neassa made a ‘hmmm,’ noise as she nursed her whisky, not even noticing how it was coming to influence her already.

What happened next...no really what happened next? Because Neassa tuned out between being sent halfway across the room and having her boots coated in ice and fused to the legs of the chair she was seated on.

The fact that she hadn’t been dethroned from her seat was a miracle in itself, honestly. Neassa was still holding her glass when the last of the ice ceased its crawl across the floor. Her eyes found Cassie’s across the devastation she had wrought and Neassa had to finish the contents of her glass before she reacted...or did anything else at all. She hadn’t realised her own lack of say over whether she moved or not until she wanted to get up and couldn’t. Neassa looked down at her legs, finding them covered in ice up to her knees. Most of her armour served its purpose, but there were gaps in between the knee and shin guards that had made it easy for the ice to creep through.

As cold as it was, it burned.

Oddly, in all the places it hadn’t reached. Like her back?

Wait.

Neassa broke out of her tunnel vision, the one in which she was at one end and Cassie was at the other hugging her battered shin pathetically, and her spatial awareness returned. She didn’t have to look over her shoulder to see that she was uncomfortably close to the fire, but it helped to pin point the source of the burning smell. Her cloak was catching fire and it was made of such cheap shit that it was doing so at a pace she really didn’t appreciate.

“Tell me where the fuck in the ‘being a good host handbook,’ it says to set them on fire? Is it page ten? Page twenty?” Her hands went to trying to yank herself free of the ice but when she felt no give, she inwardly started to panic. “Page, fucking doesn’t exist because it’s not a thing you should do to your guests?” Inwardly.

Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Nov 5 2015, 05:32 PM

‘Nope!’ Cassie said with equally mock cheer. ‘Not good enough – send me to the Wardens then, I’d have been dead in a week. Couldn’t fight properly, so I spent a year on combat training and making the other Templars twitchy. Pity you weren’t there,’ she mused. Getting permission to practice combat magic in front of Neassa, and Neassa not allowed to Silence her? That would have been a fun year.

Cassie lifted an interjectory finger. ‘Ah, not petty thieves. Professionals, yes. Assassins instead of thugs. We need everyone we can get, but we need them to be able to fight first. No point in getting some idiot off the street who doesn’t know the pommel from the tip of a sword. But I concede your point, we’re hardly the illustrious group of legends people make us out to be.’

Cassie pressed a dramatic hand to her chest as though hurt. ‘And here I thought you were starting to like me! Alas.’ Then she shrugged, chugging back another healthy swallow of whiskey. ‘First thing that came to mind. Would ‘rabid’ have been better?’

Cassie spluttered a laugh. What good things?’ She asked in an exaggerated tone, since she couldn’t directly mention that they had happened. Neassa and her bloody conditions and promises. Which she’d lost a button to, incidentally. No doubt Neassa would be pleased that the odd replacement she’d stitched on reminded her of that moment. Or maybe she wouldn’t – it was proof Neassa had a heart, after all. ‘If I recall,I jumped out of the way of the ogre, while you simply stood there imitating a welcoming statue.’ Cassie spread her arms out and assumed an exaggerated look of grumpiness to illustrate her point. ‘You were about as solid as a statue as well. I was black and blue along that side for a week; you’ll be pleased to know. It’s probably the most damage you’ve done to me – you can add that to your tally.’ They’d mentioned tallies and records earlier hadn’t they? She felt like she was referencing something. Cassie looked at her glass, thinking that this probably wasn’t a good idea but to hell with it. She’d already started. She refilled her glass without quite draining the last of her glass, deciding that while she was making bad decisions she may as well enjoy herself.

Cassie gave Neassa a flat stare. ‘If it’s women’s work, you shouldn’t have to ask me,’ she said, taking a smug sip of whiskey. She really shouldn’t be feeling that good about out-talking Neassa there, it was a pretty simple conclusion and dear Maker whiskey and Neassa was a terrible idea...

Whiskey, Neassa, magic and anti-magic was even worse. It took Cassie a few seconds to realise what had happened between the pain in her shin, the fuzz in her head and the deadened feeling of the Silence. Then she was scrambling to her feet and hurrying over, bypassing the ice she still couldn’t defrost and going straight to Neassa’s cloak. ‘Oh shut up!’ She snapped for the lack of anything more appropriate, roughly trying to find the clasps of the cloak, nervously eyeing the flames getting closer and closer. ‘Lift your chin up!’ She said, trying to pull the neck of the cloak around to the side so she could reach it to undo it. Neassa’s head was making it rather tricky, and the cloak catching on her armour didn’t help. ‘You just had to hit me with a Silence, didn’t you?’ She could have put the fire out in a second, but noooo, Neassa had to be a dick as usual.

Finally she managed to yank the clasp open and threw the whole cloak – or rather, the pathetic half that was left – into the fire to keep it away from Neassa. She was still uncomfortably close to the fire, but at least she wasn’t in immediate risk of being set alight until Cassie could unfreeze her legs. No doubt Neassa would abuse her for burning her cloak though. It was just what Neassa did.

Cassie glanced at the room again, stomach sinking. The rug was soaked with whiskey after all, since the glasses and bottle had gone sliding off the table and smashed on the floor. The table was still planted against the wall, skid marks iced onto the floor. Neassa was nearly sat in the fire, frozen to her chair and the ground.

The last thing Cassie needed right now was for a superior to walk in to see what all the noise was about.


Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Nov 6 2015, 03:03 PM

“Excuse me! Professionals. So damn good at their areas of expertise they got caught and had to rely on the Wardens to avoid the noose.” She’d drink to that. Well, she was just drinking because there was a glass of alcohol in her hand and spaces in between her talking. This was how she got drunk. Her hands didn’t know what to do with themselves if they weren’t murdering or injuring someone, they fixated on the only outlet they had. The glass of whisky. She should be careful though. At this rate she might find Cassie less than abhorrent. But she was probably going to die on this next mission anyway so...what was the harm?

At first, Neassa was deeply, deeply insulted when Cassie questioned the good in her. But then she clocked on to what the Warden was playing at. The Game The Game no one knew the rules to because Neassa made them up on the fly to fit whatever situation she found herself stuck in. Cassie’s rules would be different to someone else's rules. How did The Seeker possibly keep up? Few were given such leeway with her. Cassie really should feel special. Like a rare disease, she’d captured a part of Neassa’s twisted sense of appreciation. ”I had to dig my heels in to keep from falling into those traps and it’s just as well. You’re a lot heavier than you look.” She couldn’t be sure of that though, Neassa had already been encumbered enough with her armour and shield, let alone adding a mage to the weight she had to balance. ”But it does bring me some peace to know that it hurt you.” Neassa smiled sweetly, a most honest expression of joy. Black and blue. Good.

She merely raised the other woman her middle finger at her retort. Neassa was quite aware of her so called blunder. A woman she might be, but she was of the sort to make the mess rather than the kind to clean up afterwards.

”Just because I’m on fire doesn’t give you license to touch me with your witchy hands!” Neassa protested while Cassie put her filthy hands all over her brand new, fastly burning cloak. It became more like she was trying to choke her and Neassa couldn’t fathom how someone who had had no difficulty with getting her breastplate to crack open, was somehow fucking up the most basic of things. So what did she do? She pointedly put her chin down when Cassie told her to do the opposite. “If you’ll recall, hitting you with SIlence was the aim of the game!”

Since she was inebriated and just because of who she was as a person, Neassa hadn’t realised they were quite so loud as to draw attention. So when the door cracked open to the worried expression of two men she recognised as Cair and Jorren, Neassa was unprepared to greet them. They looked equally as unprepared for the sight they were beholden to. Neassa frozen to a chair placed inappropriately close to the open fire and Cassie trying to take off her clothes.

Well.

This was awkward.

She just gave an exasperated expression as if to say, ‘What is she like?’, which she somehow managed to convey with just her eyes and the shaking of her head. They looked between each other, eternally confused, and sort of...seeped back out into the hall without a word, as though they had never been in the first place.

After some more flailing, and despite Neassa’s lack of cooperation, The Seeker was soon free of her cloak. Apparently. She had to take it from the smell of the fire and Cassie’s look of relief, it’s not like she could see it. Cassie had stopped trying to strangle her, so she assumed the job was done. It removed the immediate problem but Neassa was still frozen to a chair half in the fire and nothing got hotter, faster, than metal.

”I think this constitutes as an attempted murder.” The prospect of having this to hang over Cassie like a black star of ‘you done fucked up,’ for future use was the only reason Neassa had made no attempt to help herself yet. ”You cold bitch.” She added in a monotone while she was the complete contrast of a cold bitch herself. Sometimes she hated full armour. This was one of those times. The ice was melting beneath the influence of the heat but it wasn’t going fast enough for her liking. Neassa herself was melting at a greater pace, for goodness sake. ”Why am I going to fuck off nowhere to get burned alive by a dragon when I can just do that here?”

She laughed, because she was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the feeling of being baked like some chicken breast folded neatly into some foil. Enough was enough. ”Do the reverse of what you did to defrost that turkey.” Neassa slapped Cassie. No really. She slapped her, whatever part of her she could reach easily enough.

Also with Cleanse to release her of her Silence and acquaint her with the Fade. She’d never used both spells in such succession before though...and never drunk either, so, the effects might be...unexpected. See? It wasn't just slapping for slapping's sake.

As they say, the lord giveth and the lord taketh away.


Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Nov 6 2015, 04:25 PM
‘Everyone makes mistakes,’ Cassie said cheerfully. ‘What matters is their skill.’ Mistakes like getting cocky when they’d gone a decade without getting caught. You get cocky, you get sloppy. That had been a fairly common story among their criminal recruits. Others were simply ex-soldiers who’d taken a fight too far and ended up at the Gallows for killing someone.

Cassie rolled her eyes, sitting back in her chair with one leg crossed over the other, idly bouncing her foot as she sipped her drink. ‘Well I’m no featherweight like I was in the Circle, killing darkspawn puts some muscle on you even when you try and stay out of the melee. Then there was the armour.’ Relatively light armour admittedly, all leather and cloth and chainmail. Cassie gave a knowing nod and a weary sigh. ‘Yes, I thought it might. Though given that the most successful you’ve ever been was an accident – self-inflicted, you could say – does say something about your general effectiveness at ‘inconveniencing’ me.’ Cassie spared two fingers from her tumbler to crook around the word, mirroring those of her free hand.

Cassie chuckled at the response, going one better and showing her index finger as well. That was their old-school methods of fighting – catching each other out at the slightest slips whenever they could. Truly, they had to get creative in the Circle when they couldn’t simply Silence or freeze each other on a whim.

‘Do you want to be set on fire, you idiot?!’ Cassie snapped, pausing in her scrabble for the clasp to smack Neassa over the back of the head out of sheer frustration when the Seeker lowered her chin. ‘What game?! All I saw was your insanity, as per fucking usual!’

Cassie remained oblivious to the two Wardens poking their heads in, too busy trying to wrangle Neassa’s cloak and swearing profusely at its owner. Finally she yanked the clasp open – she may well have simply broke it, she wasn’t sure – with a triumphant ‘ha!’ and tossed the whole thing aside to the flames. She hoped she’d half-throttled Neassa while she was at it, Maker knew the woman deserved it.

‘Oh, there’s going to be an actual murder in a minute,’ Cassie growled, scanning the room for something that might help. There was no water, only whiskey – and alcohol plus fire was a worse combination than her and Neassa and alcohol. ‘Would you have preferred me to hit you with a fireball instead?’ She asked as she grabbed a letter opener off the mantelpiece – what it was doing there Maker only knew – and considered chipping away at the ice with it. No doubt Neassa would yell bloody murder and claim it was an attempted stabbing, and it might well become an accidental one if she slipped. ‘That dragon had better eat you while you’re there Neassa, because I swear to the Maker, I might chop you up and serve you to the dogs if you show up here again.’

Then Neassa slapped her, and a combination of poor angle, aim and general carelessness due to haste meant that Neassa caught her right across the arse. ‘Fucking-!’ Cassie jumped, rounding on Neassa in disbelief. She glared down at her even as the Cleanse washed over her and her magic flooded back, trying to suppress the urge to smack the woman again. ‘Really? Was that really necessary?’ She demanded, before shooting Neassa a mutinous look and kneeling beside her, hands out over her frozen legs. ‘If you weren’t a Seeker and there was no chance of accidentally burning the Keep down as well, I’d leave you right here,’ she swore. The heavy heat haze soon had the water running in rivers from the greaves, the water evaporating before it hit the floor. It only took a few seconds to free her, though Cassie was sorely tempted to freeze her again once she was out of reach of the fire. Remembering what had started the whole thing, or almost, Cassie made sure she got out of kicking range before Neassa had regained full sensation in her legs and stood, arms folded, glowering.




Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Nov 6 2015, 06:22 PM
Everyone, including career criminals, could make mistakes that Cassie would allow them, but Neassa couldn’t. Why the woman put her on such a pedestal would remain a mystery for as long as The Seeker drew breath.

She only laughed, into the echoing walls of her glass when Cassie mentioned armour. They had different understandings of the word. What Cassie considered as such was merely a first layer to The Seeker. Armour for when the Armour was breached by the many thousands that hated her. “I’m glad you’re keeping track because I just count them as…” she thought of a word, a word that started with ‘f,’ and made her sick. So she disregarded it and replaced it with something more acceptable to her sensibilities. ”Practice.”

DId she just...did Cassie just hit her over the head? ”THAT KILLS BRAIN CELLS YOU KNOW?!” Neassa hissed, infuriated. She struggled enough as it was without inconsiderate Wardens slapping the sense out of her. ”There was a game, a casting game! Don’t start dismissing it because you lost!” Yeah she’d won. But at what cost? The cost of being frozen but also on fire...only Neassa could find herself in such a situation as this.

”Yes! A fireball would be over quickly. Ice lingers. Like you.” Neassa spat, accusatory but all too aware of the fact that she was seated and Cassie was looming above her. It would not stand. Just like Neassa couldn’t, physically, stand at this moment in time. Her eyes widened as The Warden flashed a knife in the firelight, Neassa glowered. What the fuck. What the actual...what was she doing. ”I am not a letter!” She shouted, almost panicked by the knife in her face. She blew at it. Like it was a candle, in an attempt to dissuade Cassie from her current train of thought. ”Don’t talk shit, you would have to get me comatose to be able to chop me up-” wait a minute.

Neassa froze, considered the dregs of whisky in her tumbler against her need for more...and well, suffice it to say, it didn’t match up. She drank down the remains of nothing, accepting the fate of possibly being comatose and then, subsequently, chopped to pieces. Thinking on it she realised, ”That’s pretty dark for you Cassie. Do you get evil when you get drunk?”

Oh no.

Oh Maker.

Smite her and send her straight to hell. Turn her into dust. Let the earth open up and swallow her whole. Let armageddon rain down and pummel her into pulp. Please. Let her be dead. Let a long subdued illness strike her down. Something. Anything. Please.

Please.

Cassie glared down and Neassa glared up at her, as though it was all her fault. She was confused. Immeasurably. What had even happened. How had the careless waving of her hand ended up in arse slapping? With the last person on the planet she wanted to...to...slap the arse of. This was it. This was how she died. Misunderstood and she-fuck. She’d just given the Warden her magic back. Fuck. Misunderstood and either burned alive via fire or lightning or an excruciating mix of the two. Such timing. Such terrible timing and circumstance. Why did The Maker curse her so? What had she done to deserve this (apart from everything)?

She couldn’t be seen to back down though. Despite her horror, Neassa hardened her stare and simply replied with a firm, ”Yes, entirely necessary.” The words burned her throat, like her hand felt as though she had handled magma, how it wasn’t turned black and ashen she’d never know. It wasn’t her place to question and even if it had been, Neassa couldn’t form the words without gagging. ”It got you motivated, didn’t it?” At the woman's threat of neglect Neassa grinned smugly, full of doubt. ”No you wouldn’t. You don’t have that in you.” Let someone burn alive? That was horrific. Neassa knew, she’d witnessed it. The fire hadn’t been her own, but that of a rage demon to overwhelm a weak mage...but still. The stench stuck with her.

Shortly, she could move her legs. An inch at first, grinding against the wall of ice slowly but surely...and then it was water and she could kick the shit out of that on any day. It was lucky for Cassie that she moved out of the way, the entire time she had been working on defrosting Neassa, The Seeker had been working on forcing her way to freedom. Her legs kicked out as soon as it was possible to do so and anything that got in the way would be destroyed.

She had hoped Cassie would have been dumb enough to stick around for a dead leg, but no such luck, the woman backed off. Neassa came to stand, if not just to put distance between herself and the heat of the fire that had sweat crawling down her spine. But also because she had been seated for so long and at Cassie’s mercy, it was not something she wished to repeat.”I can do that too. It just requires ropes.” Wait no, those were the last things she wanted to be saying right now, fresh from slapping some Warden arse. ”Chains.” That didn’t help. ”Chains and ropes.” Holy fuck. ”I mean, like, I could, in a combat situation in which it was necessary to detain the enemy and not in...another situation in which it was something else.” She wished there was more whisky in her tumbler, it would at least make it less obvious that she had just swigged some air straight from the glass.

”No thank you? For the magic? You are so rude. Do they just breed them that way in Tevinter? Incredible.” She displayed her empty glass in one hand, shaking it in Cassie’s face. ”For example.” And there wasn’t even any ice left to chuck in with it.

Cassie was doing this mage thing all wrong.


Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Nov 24 2015, 03:58 PM

‘Cock-ups?’ Cassie suggested innocently, while Neassa browsed for a word. She settled for a more diplomatic one, for some reason.

‘What brain cells? You haven’t got any!’ Cassie shot back, irate as she yanked at the cloak, less than gentle with Neassa’s neck. ‘Oh, I lost?! Who’s nearly sat in the fire needing me to save her?’ If Neassa wanted it to be a game, by all means. But from where Cassie was standing, she was the clear victor – though it seemed she was being punished rather than rewarded since the only prize was more Neassa.

Cassie glowered at her, brandishing the letter opener. ‘A fireball would also make you dead. Ice doesn’t. Usually.’ If she’d ever wanted the opportunity to ‘accidentally’ kill Neassa, here it was. It was such a good job their places weren’t reversed, really. Then Cassie really would have died several times over. She shot Neassa a withering look as she tried to blow out the letter opener, resisting the temptation to drive it into the block of ice around her knee. She tossed the blunt dagger aside to take the option away from herself, barely listening as Neassa stopped mid-sentence, no doubt struck by some new idiocy.

‘No. Only when I’m homicidal, which you are making me,’ she growled. She turned towards the fire, wondering if taking a lit stick from it and holding it close to the ice would hel-

Cassie leapt as something smacked her rear, and it was in mid-spin to face the chair that she realised Neassa had just slapped her arse. Neassa.

This had to be a mistake. Or a nightmare. The welcome wash of her magic went almost unnoticed as Cassie contemplated smacking Neassa’s head across the room. Just her head. With her magic back, Cassie was reasonably certain she could achieve a back-handed decapitation.

Then Neassa said that it was, in fact, necessary, and Cassie settled for cracking her over the head non-lethally, but with a harsh zap of lightning to make herself feel better. She followed it up with another dose of electricity when Neassa continued, because the woman just did not understand the phrase ‘digging yourself deeper’ without some negative reinforcement.

‘Don’t I?’ Cassie paused, taking her hands away for a long moment. The ice was still strong enough to hold for now, and the fire was hardly close enough to suddenly consume Neassa in an instant. A few more seconds of sweating wouldn’t hurt her. ‘You forget, Neassa, I spend my free time thinking up new, exciting and painful ways to kill darkspawn. Do you really think I’ve never roasted any alive?’ Not just burned, roasted. A slow kill. She usually reserved that for individuals that had particularly pissed her off. Since most darkspawn didn’t have hair to burn and stink, they mostly smelled like cooking meat until the fire reached the viscera. Then the smell got to you, but by then they were dead and Cassie could put the fire out before the stench got too bad.

It was with a slow and deliberate purpose that Cassie went back to melting Neassa free, just to drive home the point that she had all the control here. She moved clear before Neassa kicked her way free, and instead stood facing the woman down even though Neassa was taller than her when she was standing.

She felt her eyebrows crawling further and further towards her hairline as Neassa stuttered and stammered and once again proved her lack of grasp over the ‘digging yourself deeper’ concept. ‘I did not need to know what your very clear preferences are in the bedroom, Neassa,’ Cassie said bluntly, unwilling to let her get away cleanly with that fumble and hoping she choked on the non-existent whiskey in the empty tumbler.

‘If it wasn’t for you,’ Cassie seethed, taking a step forward and pointing, as if she’d like to prod Neassa to prove her point, ‘I wouldn’t have needed you to give me my magic back in the first place. So no, I’m not thanking you for giving me it back since you only did it for your own comfort and safety.’ She leaned back to avoid going cross-eyed at the glass Neassa shook in her face. She was tempted to snatch it from her and smash it over its user’s head.

‘If you want me to demonstrate how we treat guests like you in Tevinter, I’m quite happy to set you on fire for my own amusement,’ Cassie said sweetly, but through her teeth. The urge to do physical damage to Neassa was only growing the longer she stayed here.



Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Nov 25 2015, 03:15 PM
She would not dignify the cock ups with a response.

Neassa had several braincells. They stood proud and alone in a desolate wood of petrified brethren, thousands upon thousands wiped out by the bombardment of cranial trauma their host fell victim to so often.

And here was Cassie; pissing all over the courage of those soldiers that yet remained with her lack of recognition-NAY her impassioned belief that Neassa truly managed to function without even a scrap of grey matter firing on all cylinders and blasting electricity across the hemisphere. Or something. Neassa didn’t know much about brains, but being drunk (or in the process of such) made her think about things deeply and see things rose tinted. It was when she wrote her best worst letters, most of which never saw postage, hate mail and apologies and little ‘this made me think of you-isms,’ she thought better of come sobriety.

Need?” Neassa scoffed abruptly, she would admit to being in the fire...because they both knew that. Her cloak knew for certain. And her arse knew too, but she had never-” I didn’t ask you to save me!” She had just given the Warden that look. Neassa could have saved herself, if Cassie had just been so inclined to literally let her sweat. It may have taken longer, she most likely would have complained about it more violently, but she would have survived. Neassa had been in stickier situations. Combat situations. Stickier combat situations...she’d been in them.

The fact that Neassa’s little slip had horrified Cassie just as much was a small comfort to The Seeker. A comfort that was made even smaller still by the woman's retort. Neassa, stupidly, tried to duck the strike but forgot all about her predicament of suspended animation. She would have preferred just another run of the mill smack across the head but of course, Cassie was feeling frisky and Neassa couldn’t do anything to avoid it. All those years spent thinking Cassie was hell in human form resonated with the jerking, jumping, rattling shock the electricity sent through her. She had been right all along. She knew it. And all with her apparent lack of brain cells...she really was quite the specimen. Against all odds, Neassa managed to perform still.

She managed not to lash out a second time, which would have been more irreperably uncoordinated than the last. Not because she didn’t want to upset Cassie again, (or her own sensibilities) but because she was saving it for when she was free of her stasis.

”Talk about unnecessary.” Neassa prodded, through gritted (and still chattering) teeth. Electricity was harder to shed than ice. It jumped across her skin for days after, lunging for door handles or her sword and anything seemingly mundane just to spite her. It was the perfect element for Cassie to wield, when she thought about it. A spiteful, wicked and unpredictable force of nature. “I’m already frozen to a chair, halfway in an open fire...you’re spoiling me.” Really.

Neassa rolled her eyes as Cassie paused purposefully in her defrosting attempts, she begrudged the sheen of sweat beginning to build on the back of her neck but tried to act like she too had all the time in the world. In truth, most meats were done with roasting after an hour or so...or whatever. She had never cooked human. Cassie, on the other hand, had. Wasn’t that what Darkspawn were? Corrupted forms of humans, dwarves and whatever the fuck else? ”HA! You have to think about painful ways of killing things.” How sad. Neassa just pulled them out of thin air on any given day.

She really should be less argumentative, especially considering both her situation and position but it was impossible not to bite back, even when she had nothing of note worth to say. Neassa smiled slyly as Cassie began to push out magic once more in order to defrost her legs. Despite her talk and her subtle threats, she was still fixed on the task of releasing the Seeker from the shell of ice she had gripped her in. Neassa ignored the fact that she was at Cassie’s mercy, except she banked on Cassie actually having mercy in order to see herself freed. She knew two things for certain; Cassie wouldn’t let her burn alive and neither would she make the best use of this brief moment in time in which she had control.

People with such moral compassas rarely knew what to do with such things.

Cassie’s instinct was to undo it, Neassa argued a lot, as was her fault, but she did so while fully aware that it wouldn’t derail Cassie’s conscience. She loved when a plan came together...even when it was just her reliance on Cassie not being as much of a bag of dicks as she was...it was still a plan coming together.

And when she was free, when she stood, Cassie was there somehow staring up and staring her down. Neassa’s clumsy way with words overtook and even as she was speaking, she saw Cassie’s eyebrows do the thing and mirrored it. Often, The Seeker spoke absent much thought or consideration for context and this was one of the first times she realised that the latter was actually important.

Of course, Cassie didn’t let it slide.

She narrowed her eyes, internally screaming and chastising herself the whole time. ”Ugh. I don’t even have a bedroom, Cassie.” That was the best she could do, or the worst. She didn’t know. More accurately, it was her first thought but blurting out her first thoughts was why she was in this backtracking nightmare in the first place.

Somewhere along the lines she had managed to make Cassie angrier somehow. Neassa blinked in confusion as the woman stepped forward, spitting venom and pointing with that fickle finger of blame. Her mouth fell agape in shock and indignation. ”What so, I’m supposed to just sit here and take an undisclosed spell to the face without doing whatever I can to deal with it? Is that what I’m supposed to do?” She wished Cair and Jorren where here to back her up, because Cassie was just being unreasonable and that was Neassa’s job.

”Shut up.” Whatever Cassie said next was taken as a threat, or went completely unheard. Neassa was just making good on her repressed need to reprimand from several minutes ago when the woman had struck and zapped her. Neassa, having already once attempted to push Cassie over with one hand, used both in this second attempt. She was awkwardly holding her glass in one but she could still push and pull even with it to contend with. Her hope was that Cassie slipped on the ice she had created and bumped her stupid head.

She was already laughing...presuming she had been successful in her attempts to thwart Cassie. Marginally shorter than she, yet looming, full of vindication, spitting blame...she could do with being knocked off her perch.

Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Jan 17 2016, 05:24 PM
Cassie didn’t even bother glancing up that time. ‘We’ve already established this. You never ask for help. You leave it up to everyone around you to figure it out and do something about it themselves.’ Cassie couldn’t remember if that was one of those strange unspoken rules in their... she wouldn’t say relationship, seeing as they both would be happier without each other. Encounters worked better. So unspoken rule; or just something that had never come up. Neassa had certainly only referenced it when lyrium withdrawal and shock had started to kick in after the ogre fight, and only vaguely at that. Wait, no, she’d banned her from talking about it then. Oops. Or... no, no, she’d banned her from talking about the vial of lyrium she’d given her. That was fine then.

Why did she have a sinking feeling that the whiskey was kicking in?

That might have contributed a little to her shock-happy treatment of Neassa after the Seeker’s misaimed slap. She always got a little looser with her magic when she’d had a few... and Neassa tested her patience even when completely sober. It wasn’t any wonder she provoked the odd slip when they were both tipsy. ‘Oh no, that was completely necessary. Nothing better for the brain than a little stimulation, after all. It might help you think better of your terrible ideas the next time one pops into your head,’ Cassie said, almost managing to sound breezy despite her gritted teeth.

‘Only when I’ve ran out of the easy ideas. I’ve been doing this a while now, Neassa. I need to come up with new ones so I don’t get bored. After a few years, you need to put a bit of thought in so you don’t go for an old one again.’ Of course, in reality there was no time for lengthy considerations of what exact type of execution she felt like that day when there were darkspawn actively trying to kill her. Their discussions in their free time however could get very macabre, very quickly as they compared notes, techniques and bragging points. Her own musings on Force Magic alone would have terrified her back in the Imperium. There was so much scope there, if one had the imagination and skill for it. She had had moments where she wondered if what she did was any better than the blood magic she abstained from. But none of it counted against the darkspawn. As long as the result was a dead spawn at your feet and you preferably alive, then the Wardens were happy for you to experiment out on the field as long as it didn’t get you killed.

By the time the Seeker was free, she was beginning to wonder if it would count on Neassa. Putting her out of her suffering would be a mercy to everyone, after all, and she just kept making it worse-

Cassie groaned, one hand covering her eyes. ‘An exhibitionist as well. Wonderful. Yet another thing I did not need to know.’ Actually, that might have been her brain making it worse for once. Oh well. Neassa needed a break occasionally.

She was never going to drink with the woman again.

Cassie let out a shrill growl of frustration, hands clenching in front of her face as if she would dearly like to have them around Neassa’s neck. ‘A spell I used only because you kicked me! Then tried to Silence me for no good reason! Was I supposed to take that without doing anything about it?’ She could stick Neassa back in the fire. Fully this time. She could. No one could blame her. And if she got the fire hot enough she might be able to destroy the evidence... but that might damage the fireplace or set the room on fire, they weren’t equipped to deal with such strong flames...

She hated having a conscience sometimes. And common sense. Wait, no, then she’d be like Neassa. Bad idea. Terrible idea. Why had she opened that whiskey bottle?

That was the only reason why Neassa was able to knock her over, she told herself as she landed hard on her back. No ice needed, just the shove and her own poor stance and coordination. Not that Neassa was so much stronger than her or anything like that. Just the whiskey.

It was definitely the reason why Neassa’s laughing drove right through her skull and hijacked her usually excellent judgement. It was definitely why Cassie lunged up from the floor with a furious yell and dove at the Seeker in a full-body tackle with no small amount of Force Magic behind it.

In the sensible back of her mind that was still aware she would regret this all massively tomorrow, she was dimly aware that no matter what happened, this was going to hurt.

[OOC: Soooo... Cassie makes terrible decisions when tipsy/drunk and angry. It’s a good thing alcohol was likely restricted or banned in the Circle, because can you imagine these two doing this then? Also I have never been drunk but I have had gas and air, which is similar, right?? Basically I have no idea if I write drunk people well or not.]




Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Jan 19 2016, 02:37 PM
The joy she felt at successfully laying Cassie out was...without words. There were tears edging the corners of her eyes, she was laughing that much. It was getting hard to breathe and she suspected a coughing fit would be fast on the heels of her hysteria the very moment it faltered-

But it was quickly against her. The tears blurred her vision, she saw nothing of Cassie until Cassie was exactly all she could see, she was that close.

"Ooof!” Neassa was struck by what felt like a speeding wagon and she could sense magic at work, propelling Cassie far harder and faster than she would ever be able to achieve naturally.

The Seeker threw out her glass holding hand, keeping it aloft and pouring her balance and strength into making sure it stayed intact. With that priority set, everything else was forgotten, the whisky offering her only an ‘or,’ situation rather than an ‘and.’ She could save her whisky, save the cheap glassware...but she wouldn’t be allowed to also shuffle her feet and catch her balance.

These were the tough choices she had been specifically raised to Seeker in order to make.

If only she had realised her glass was empty...despite having waved it in Cassie’s face to infer a refill. Her brain had taken a leap, created another timeline in which Cassie had been gracious enough to do as was willed.

The ice was the reason why she didn’t end up back in the fire, her boots losing grip on the slippery surface almost instantly, but as Cassie had hit her at just such an angle, she ended up being knocked off her feet instead of sliding into a furnace. Her legs kicked out in front of her, almost assuring that she would be taking Cassie down with her. But as we have already established, that was the least of Neassa’s misplaced concerns.

Neassa even somehow forgot Cassie was there, her focus was that great. She forgot up until the moment she landed and took both their weight, plus the weight of her armour with her. There was a loud crack beneath her, a spider's web splintering through the ice at the point of impact.

She gave no thought to what Cassie planned to do once she had toppled her, never even thinking of the possible eye pokes or hair pulls that might be on the cards if she didn’t do something about it soon. Only the whisky, and she saw the amber liquid sitting pretty in its tumblr, held aloft by an arm that was rigid and unmoving while the rest of her had crumbled.

Neassa tried to smile but got a mouthful of Cassie’s hair instead and the choking began, interspersed with her trying to blow it out of her mouth.

That arm...that straight as a board arm of hers...it flailed and the whisky bubbled on a stormy sea that sent waves thrashing against the edges, up and over and-wait no...that was just a reflection from the candlelight.

At last, she clicked and as with most revelations, it came to her violently.

If she wasn’t already displeased, she was fuming by the time she focussed on Cassie and the woman swiftly became the source of her ire. "You midget ffffff-” she searched her vocabulary long and hard -"fuck,” and came up wanting.

"I will end you! She tossed the glass with exaggerated force and heard it smash somewhere across the room and now with both hands free, she could deal with her attacker more efficiently, starting with punting her off. Her wrath would be felt, it would be the knife in the heart she had meant to give Cassie back in the Circle, it would be brutal.

But she was drunk. And the floor was ice. Not the sort that made skin stick to it, but melting away steadily by the heat of the fire and that was slippery.

She moved to offload Cassie and everything went as expected in the rolling over part, but then...then everything went dark and Neassa had no idea why. Other than having her face in Cassie’s cleavage, all the candles were still alight-

Oh…

That's why it was dark.

Her hand had failed to find a grip on the ice beneath them and without it to bolster her up, there was only darkness for her but at least it was warm? No. That made it worse. So, so, soooooo much worse.

I’LL SHOW YOU A TERRIBLE DECISION! i’ve never been on gas and air, but yeah, i’d say it was the same from what you’ve written ;) and yes, i’m not just on board the ‘lets mortify the life out of neassa,’ train, i’m driving it.



Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Jan 21 2016, 01:55 PM
It was with a satisfying smack that Cassie cannoned into Neassa. Well, satisfying until her shoulder realised that meeting solid steel at high speed was unpleasant to say the least. She shoved the blazing pain to the back of her mind however as Neassa’s legs tangled with hers, bringing them both down. Cassie’s chin met Neassa’s breastplate with an audible thud and clack of her teeth, her neck screaming as it bent at an awkward angle.

Snarling, Cassie struggled to push up enough to use her hands, but the melting ice beneath her made her hands slip. She used her knees and back instead, levering herself up with less weight through her arms. But no sooner had she lifted herself clear, straddling Neassa’s legs and balanced well enough to start pummelling every inch of Neassa she could find did the Seeker fix her with a look of such fury and start screaming near-incoherently at her.

Then she flipped her over completely. Cassie yelled in wordless frustration and no small amount of pain as her back and head slammed into the icy floor, arms whipping out to try and break the fall and merely sliding out from under her. As such, it was a few seconds before she realised how... where Neassa had landed. And was failing to remove herself from.

‘You fucking-’ she didn’t get any further, her voice rising to a simple screech as a flush raced from her hairline down to the bust Neassa was nestled in. She lifted her elbow and drove it straight down into the top of the Seeker’s head. Her other hand swept up from below to seize Neassa’s neck, lifting her up by that with a little magical aid to remove her face from her cleavage. She brought her legs up, using her knees to help hold Neassa clear. That freed her left hand up to punch Neassa in the face.

That was one thing that had been drilled into her when she first joined. No Warden mage would rely solely on their magic – they’d know some basic hand-to-hand as well. That meant knowing how to throw a punch, preferably without breaking their hand. She would never have the sheer force behind it that Neassa would unless she used magic, and her current angle was terrible with her arm unable to draw back thanks to the floor, but Cassie had the technique down.

Using her bunched legs, Cassie kicked up and away, shoving with her arms as she did to throw Neassa away from her. Using her new freedom, Cassie sat up, twisting around to get her knees under herself so she could move if she needed to. Or try, anyway. The ice was still a problem, but Cassie had just enough sense left not to sheet fire across the floor to evaporate it. There was spilled whiskey somewhere, after all.



Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Jan 22 2016, 03:39 PM
Cassie said something but all Neassa could hear was a heartbeat. She was allowed no time to either dislodge herself or ask Cassie to repeat what she had just said. Not that she really felt like she needed to ask, the tone was telling enough as it was without the elbow that came crashing down on top of Neassa’s head moments later. She would have gotten around to getting up herself sometime after she recovered from the shock and trauma of it all but Cassie, as per usual, had other ideas

Again with the head hitting!

"What did I say about braincells?!” Enraged beyond belief that her warning had not been heeded. Neassa wished only that she had been struck harder, perhaps then she might have fallen unconscious and wouldn’t have to deal with any of this. What little whisky she had had did a good job of dulling the pain, either that or The Seeker was just so used to far worse that this was nothing beyond an irritation.

She scrambled to try and grab Cassie, more out of instinct than attack as she fell backwards again. "I’d remind you but I’ve had a head inj-” and then she got punched.

For the second time in less than five minutes, her back hit the floor but this time, Neassa wasn’t too busy romanticising an empty glass of whisky to understand how she had got there. She stared at the ceiling a moment, dazed and confused, one side of her face felt like it was on fire, she could already feel it starting to swell up where Cassie had punched her. There were few ways she could retort, one of which was apology but Neassa thought she was the one owed it at this point. Another, more characteristic way, would be to scramble across the slippery floor and make Cassie pay.

"Andraste’s tits, Cassie!” Poor choice of words, good job Neassa.

She lifted her head off the floor to try and spot her enemy but couldn’t see over the peak of her breastplate. With face throbbing and head pounding, Neassa angled herself to one side to be able to sit up, leaning directly in the shattered remains of her tumbler. She groaned, small lines of red already creeping up over the hand she had slammed into it. Was there no end to its betrayal?

Neassa must have been drunk, because she audibly whimpered when she touched the side of her face before finally fixing Cassie with a hard stare, testing her jaw to see that it was still connected.

"It’s not like I was trying to cop a feel. I slipped, on the ice you made!” She felt that was a really important point in this particular argument, anything to suggest that Cassie had somehow orchestrated the whole thing to go exactly this way would do, really. It was about two seconds later that she noticed Cassie was a different colour than usual and despite her slowly swelling cheek, she grinned like an idiot. "Are you….are you blushing?”

Further embarrassing Cassie by pointing out her embarrassment (which was probably down to anger) was better than any stray hits she might be able to get in in between being blasted by magic if she had decided on her usual violent approach. "I mean, technically you did it to me first,” she gestured to her breastplate. "If it wasn’t for this badboy...coulda’ been you-” not really though, Neassa was distinctly lacking in cleavage.

"You should think about that.” And Neassa should have left it at that, but she couldn’t. "While you go through your hot flush. It's ok. I'll wait.”

Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Feb 10 2016, 03:59 PM
Even through her haze of anger, Cassie heard Neassa’s ranting. ‘Your non-existant brain cells?’ Cassie growled, before driving her fist into Neassa’s face. There was a visceral satisfaction in a real punch that you just didn’t get from magic, she thought as she kicked Neassa away. It also hurt her hand a lot more than magic did. She’d have to ice it later; she’d split her knuckles open.

Even with embarrassment flushing her face, Cassie couldn’t bite back the retort as Neassa tried to see her over her own breastplate. ‘Andraste now, am I?’ she snapped, valiantly resisting the urge to set the Seeker alight to ease her own mortification and fury. She glared right back as Neassa finally righted herself, cutting her hand on the broken glass in the process. Served her right for throwing it in the first place.

Cassie was dimly aware that she was going to have to explain the state of the room at some point to somebody, but at that moment in time she was past caring.

She plastered on a simulation of a smile, but it was all teeth and frustration-wide eyes. ‘Yes, Neassa, ice I put there because you tried to Silence me for no good reason. If you hadn’t Silenced me, I wouldn’t have frozen half the room, and you wouldn’t have slipped and done... that. So this is entirely your fault,’ she said with exaggerated patience and the air of someone who had just presented an unbeatable argument. In her mind she had, and even if she hadn’t she was so used to talking rings around Neassa that it shouldn’t make a blind bit of difference. The whiskey may have been more influential on her thought processes than she was actually aware of.

Then Neassa’s gaze shifted slightly and she started to grin. Cassie narrowed her eyes at her, wondering where the Seeker’s mind was going now and if it was going to make the temptation to set her alight unbearable. Not quite, but getting close. ‘Thing is, you were in your armour Neassa, and I didn’t spend an age moving away.’ Scowling, Cassie was on the verge of picking Neassa up and flying her around the room – preferably while on fire – to hide the fact that she didn’t have a better come-back than that when the Seeker blathered on and she paused. Neassa had actually said something that might make sense. She pressed the back of her hand to her cheek. Hot, sweaty, the heat sweeping downward even though the anger was starting to fade back down to infuriated annoyance. Her pulse was jumping in her throat, even though the exertion hadn’t been that great. An actual hot flush. Wonderful.

Cassie’s eyes closed, as if asking for patience. Groaning, her tolerance and focus on Neassa abruptly diminishing in the face of this new inconvenience, Cassie clambered to her feet and headed for the closest chair, flopping into it. ‘For once, Neassa, you’re dead right,’ she grumbled, rubbing her forearm across her brow and grimacing when the fabric caught on dampness. She ran her hand over her face and the back of her neck, the faintest trail of frost helping soothe the sudden, unwelcome waves of heat. ‘My body has awful timing. I was just about to throw you through the window as well.’ The glass would have been the most painful part of that, given how they were on the ground floor, but it was the thought that counted. This – along with the actual darkspawn – was the downside of being a Warden, and a female Warden at that. 'I hope you can wait half an hour or more. These things are a bitch.'

[OOC: Sorry it's a bit short, muse has been low :/]


Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Apr 12 2016, 01:46 PM
Neassa wasn't one for screaming but something about Cassie rehashing the ice situation made her want to suddenly pick up the habit. Lucky for The Warden though, her speaking voice didn't have the pitch for it so she settled on a sound that was closer to a growl. “I'm getting real tired of your shit Cassie,” if only Silence could actually rob the woman of her voice, it would be perfect.

Her mood was on the upturn as Cassie's soured, even with the annoyingly tiny slithers of glass in her hand making her itch, seeing the woman so out of sorts was such a comfort. Neassa awkwardly got to her feet, the ice making it as difficult as possible for her. At the same time Cassie was sliding into a chair and looking defeated. She wheeled round on her heel, a grin set firmly in place as she made sense of the situation, bit by bit.

The Seeker found the room a fine temperature but took the opportunity to chuck a fresh log on the fire anyway...because she knew it wouldn't help. She stood by smirking as the flames gnawed away at the wood greedily, cast in a sinister orange glow. Neassa turned back to look at Cassie with a broad smile. She knew exactly what she was doing and hoped that Cassie did too.

In all her wisdom Neassa had concluded that Cassie couldn't possibly cast any vicious retorts her way while she was so indisposed. It would be irresponsible to practice magic while caught in the throes one of life's nasty surprises that only women got to enjoy. Neassa had already intended on dying long before she could join her sisters in such misery and confronted now with the state of Cassie, the Seeker was insistent on an early grave.

Not like she really had to put any effort in towards that. With her track record of incompetence it was already a miracle she still drew breath.

And this was how Cassie treated miracles?! With disdain and shoddy threats outdone only by even shoddier whisky.

Well then.

Neassa moved towards Cassie, a definite swagger to her now that she was back to having the upper hand. What was she up to now? Neassa came to lean on the back of the chair Cassie had collapsed in. “Looks like you could do with being the one thrown out the window.” Her tone was empty of intention, while the drumming of her fingers on the back of the wood spoke instead of a quiet unrest and it was the latter that Cassie should be concerned about.

Her lean intensified until she had the chair tilted at the extreme on it’s back legs, Warden and all. Throwing Cassie and the chair out the window wouldn’t be the most practical thing in the world.

She let it drop back down to all fours, huffing over her lost opportunity. It felt a lot like giving up and winners like Neassa just didn't do that. Had she given herself more time to not think properly about it, well...honestly, she probably would have went ahead and done the same thing anyway. What thing you ask? Having ruled out tossing the Warden out the window with the chair, The Seeker saw a clear solution and she came round to the left side of Cassie to see about solution-ising her problem.

First she came to kneel, appearing to contemplate something mysterious and endearing and possibly almsot looked apologetic over so many years of torment-nope. That was just the face she got when she was trying to estimate how heavy something was before she tried to lift it. In just a moment Cassie was unceremoniously thrown over her shoulder and would see the floor falling away from her as Neassa straightened up (with considerable effort because she forgot to factor in the weight of her armour). This made no sense, one day in the near future she would realise that...but now? In this very moment? The Seeker could see no other viable course of action other than inaction and that wasn't her speed.

“Here. Let. Me. Help. You.” Each word came with a step towards the window. Cassie was heavier than she looked, but Neassa was determined to help.

Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS May 5 2016, 01:21 PM
Cassie took the time to send a very deliberate glare in the Neassa’s direction, her elbow resting on the arm of the chair she’d sunk into. She dropped the wrist of her elevated arm so it was parallel with the floor, perpendicular to her forearm, and her forefinger was pointed directly at the fire. Without even looking, glowering at Neassa the whole while, Cassie doused the flames completely in a heap of rapidly melting snow. It took a few seconds to feel the effects, but soon the cool air from the rest of the room drifted around towards the fire, driving back the dying wall of heat.

As if by an afterthought, Cassie casually flicked her wrist so she was pointing at Neassa with a smirk. She wasn’t going to do anything, tempting as the thought was. She just wanted to wind her up as much as Neassa was driving her up the wall. Though if she got any smart ideas about another Silence, Cassie would cheerfully snap out another lightning bolt.

Cassie’s eyes narrowed as Neassa approached, far too cockily for her liking. That usually meant Neassa had a stupid idea in her head and was convinced of its success. She considered the wisdom in letting Neassa close enough to lean her chair back, but she could see the Seeker hadn’t sprung whatever trap she had in mind yet.

Instead Cassie let the chair fall back until even her toes left the floor, her arms loosely crossed. Just in case this went where she thought it was, she conjured up a similar force behind her that she’d used on the whiskey bottle. Even if Neassa let go and her weight was too far back, she wouldn’t fall. She raised an eyebrow at the drumming behind her ears. ‘That really isn’t necessary,’ she said flatly, hoping Neassa didn’t have any solid plans regarding her defenestration.

Neassa let the chair go, but for a long moment Cassie hung on the edge of the chair’s back legs, the seat unmoving in the air. Cassie idly crossed her legs in midair before allowing the chair to thud to the ground, perfectly composed the entire time. Well, as composed as she could be after the whiskey. Waste of mana? Yes, and she was starting to feel just a little tired now, but worth it.

It may have also been the reason why she relaxed after hearing Neassa’s sigh of disappointment and assumed any and all plans had been foiled, rather than just the one. She was soon side-eyeing the woman again, literally as Neassa came around to her left side. She had enough time to doubt the contrite expression on the Seeker’s face and say ‘What are you th-’ before Neassa swooped and seized her.

With an indignant, not remotely dignified yell, Cassie left her stomach in her chair while the rest of her rose, draped over Neassa’s shoulder. The room spun from the sudden flip and change in height, and the whiskey probably had something to do with how long the dizziness lasted. She was fairly sure she could taste it again at the back of her throat, but she would be damned if something as simple as a pauldron in the gut would make her throw up back Neassa Séverin’s back. Though that would likely convince her to drop her...

Into a pool of her own vomit. No thank you. She spent enough time cleaning up after the recruits who survived their Joining or who challenged the wrong person to a drinking contest.

‘ Neassa Séverin! Put! Me! DOWN!’ Cassie bellowed, trying to elbow the Seeker in the back of the head. Unfortunately she was hanging too far down her back and only hit the woman’s metal stop rib. As they approached the wall Cassie tried to use her legs to keep them both away from the window, but it was a lot harder to coordinate her limbs properly while she was hanging upside down. At least the window was closed. Hopefully Neassa wouldn’t be able to open the little catch single-handedly with her bulky gauntlets on. And Cassie was fairly sure she could kick her hand if she tried...


Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN May 20 2016, 06:48 PM
The fire may have been extinguished but the same could not be said for Neassa’s malice.

Cassie graciously denied her offer but Neassa was now invested. "Oh no, I insist.” It really wasn’t a bother to her. Not at all.

An open book she might be, written in blood and ranting about imagined injustices she had suffered beneath, but in that split second, even Cassie couldn’t read her. A split second was all The Seeker had needed to dethrone her, forcefully.

The would be Queen had made a sound of protest, it wasn’t sharp enough for Neassa to consider as something noteworthy, so she ignored it. To be honest, the outcome would have been much the same even if she had been taken in by the woman’s yell. The effort taken to lift the Warden from her chair was greater than any small consideration she might have for the other womans comfort that might be lingering in her drunken haze. If she’d hurt her, it wouldn’t be the first time. If she’d surprised her...again, it wouldn’t be the first time. Either way, a voice in her head told her she was winning. Its speech was slurred and stumbling into puddles of whisky, but she could still understand it.

Neassa laughed as Cassie made demands of her, somehow thinking that using her full name would result in a regression to obedience. It might have if it were anyone else, but with Neassa, it got nothing but a scoff and a dramatic dip of the shoulder as she pretended to consider putting the Warden down. If Cassie really thought about it though, she wouldn’t want that. Neassa would just drop her, and from this height, it would end in a couple of bruises at least.

Cassie’s elbow clanged against her armour and Neassa only laughed harder as she approached the closed window. It wasn’t until she reached it that she appreciated how difficult it was to handle Cassie while she was wriggling about like she was. She had known the woman wouldn’t go easily before she had even attempted this most impressive feat, but now, when she was faced with the problem directly, she wasn’t clear on how to solve it.

Instinct was something she depended on daily, it was the thing that saw her duck and dodge out of the way of spells and blades she only ever saw in her peripheral. It kept her whole.

She had loved her instincts, up until the moment she had slapped Cassie on the backside with her free hand.

Apparently, that same instinct was also very easily confused under the influence of anything that wasn’t the heat of battle and something that was far too irresponsibly responsive for her liking. Holy Maker Almighty let her remember nothing in the morning, even Neassa would pray to that.

A mix of horror, frustration and spiteful determination saw her put that same hand through the silver and blue stained glass of the window. It wasn’t as impressive as she had hoped, the window merely broke around her hand but failed to shatter and she realised she was dealing with some kind of heavy duty nightmare.

Not only was it possibly crafted by the Maker himself, but it existed only to show Neassa a reflection of herself in black of the night, rosy cheeked and stony faced after her most recently self inflicted trauma. Her eyes sharpened. Caught between wanting to throw Cassie out the window, and throwing herself out, Neassa paused.

She didn’t have the strength enough to hold Cassie and hate herself and to batter the sand out of that window, so she went instead to undo the catch holding it shut. Some might think she should have gone there in the first place, but they would be wrong.

Even the catch was making a joke out of her and it only took a split second of her infamous not thinking for her to shift Cassie until she had her perched on the ledge so that Neassa could instead use the two hands The Maker gave her (to doubly fuck up in life with) to open the window.

As if the hot flushing menopausal magic wielding Warden would sit pretty for her in the meantime.

Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Nov 8 2016, 02:53 PM
Cassie was certain the floor was swinging far more than Neassa’s gait warranted. This was the last time she drank alcohol in that woman’s presence, she vowed. Never, ever again.

For a whole second, she thought her complaints had actually made Neassa reconsider. As the floor approached by an inch or so, Cassie realised that, no, this was Neassa. This was a taunt. Still, she could try rolling sideways out of Neassa’s grasp. The floor wasn’t... that... far...

She really valued her skull too much to risk smashing it on the stone paving. Besides, her moment of indecision had cost her the chance of a minutely smaller fall to earth – Neassa straightened and resumed her march towards the window.

When they were close enough to the window for Neassa to stop, Cassie flailed her legs, hoping to find some purchase on the wall to help her push herself out of Neassa’s arm and down her back in a hopefully controlled fall to freedom.

Then there was a crunching, grinding sound. For a long heartbeat Cassie froze, wondering if she’d just put her foot through the window – but no, she could feel stonework against the soles of her boots. That left only one answer.

‘Neassa. Please tell me you did not just smash that window open.’ She did. She bloody did. The Warden-Commander was going to murder her.

Or better yet, he could murder Neassa. She was responsible, after all.

She was opening her mouth to say as much – with far more vitriol and By the Makers and what were you thinkings – when her world once again upended and her backside came into cold contact with the windowsill.

Cassie sat for all of a second, processing that Neassa had actually put her down. To open the window. By which she was accidentally crowding Cassie in against the damn thing, arms raised either side and above Cassie’s head to fiddle with the latch. Her heart was still beating quickly from her tie being suspended upside down, but the claustrophobia wasn’t helping.

Not that she’d ever had claustrophobia before, frequent forays into the Deep Roads and all.

Never mind that now unless you want to get thrown out of a window. Which... Neassa was struggling to open. And paying not the blindest bit of attention to her.

Oh, this was too easy. It had to be a trap, surely.

Cassie raised a finger level with Neassa’s armoured stomach – not her chest, not after the last little misunderstanding, glancing up at the Seeker’s face to look for any sign of a trick about to be turned on her. None.

Well then.

She jabbed her finger forward without actually touching the metal, a Force Push jetting along ahead of it. Compacted into such a small space, it would be sufficient to knock Neassa back as if a qunari had slammed a staff into her gut. She was being nice, really. She could have made it as if a dragon tail had smacked her across the room, but all she needed was enough space to get away from the stupid window.

Now, if Neassa actually managed to open it, Cassie might be tempted to manoeuvre the Seeker through the window herself, if her patience was tried enough. Which, this being Neassa, it would be. It was only a matter of time. She should have skipped the shove and gone straight to the defenestration. Pity.

To dissuade Neassa from any other smart ideas, Cassie stood and circled away from the window, coming to a stop somewhere between the doused fireplace and the door, waiting with her arms folded. ‘So tell me, how do you plan to pay for repairs to our stained glass window? I’m pretty sure that one dates back a couple of ages at least. Is a Seeker’s salary really that good?’ No way was Neassa lumping that one on her. Not a chance. She didn’t have the backing of the Chantry, and while she was sure her family could have afforded the repairs, it would have taken a sizable chunk of their fortunes. Not that that particular line of thinking helped, with her being a disowned criminal and all.



Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Dec 15 2017, 01:36 AM
She was either drunk or the window latch was a twelve piece puzzle with three of the pieces missing. It took her what felt like an age to get anywhere with it, all the while completely neglecting to consider the implications of a free and upright Cassie standing right there. It should really be more of a concern, sober Neassa would have noticed. Sober Neassa would be panicking internally about being in such close proximity to someone she wasn't actively murdering at the time. Drunk Neassa just wanted to open this damn window-

CLINK

A throaty chuckle punctuated her victory, if only she knew what lay in wait as she leaned forward to push the heavy window open. Still, forgetting all about the woman she had trapped in the small space between. Cassie was never trapped, merely waiting for the perfect moment to hasten her escape. Had she aimed at Neassa's chest, the woman might have noticed. But the stomach? That was way below her eyeline right now. Cassie didn't have to extend herself enough to actually jab her magic infused finger into The Seekers gut because the oblivious fool had already closed that gap pushing on the window.

What happened next was sheer calamity.

Neassa was blasted back and away from the mage but her hand had remained fixed to the window latch...and the little she had opened of it was violently sealed once again, the force of which was deafening. In the turmoil of her confused flight across the room, Neassa could hear the shattering of glass. The chair Cassie had previously occupied was there to catch The Seeker, but it was facing the wrong way. Life was about compromise and Neassa unwillingly made one as she flew over the back of the heavy piece of furniture and landed with her head on the seat and her legs over the top, her world upended.

It wasn't like her to forget there was a mage in her midst but this was all too much for her keep a handle on-

Wait a minute.

Neassa held up her hand in front of her face, finding the window latch still in her grasp. Fuck.

She managed an awkward backwards roll to get out of her current predicament, landing painfully on her knees. The wind and rain from outside sounded much closer than before. Neassa peeked up over the top of the chair, fearful of what she might see.

There was no longer a window. Its guts were strewn about the floor, painted shards reflecting blue light as the light caught them. She remembered Cassie, finally, after such a long period of neglect. The woman's concerns over repairs were rendered irrelevant.

Neassa stood up, leaning on the chair. ”Fixed it.” She gesticulated with the broken latch in her hand, dropping it moments after. Her voice lacked the usual stable cockiness, but the Warden had done a good job of knocking that out of her. ”S’fixed. S’fine…” she repeated gingerly, moving around the chair and retracing her steps back towards the window. Her boots crushed glass underfoot, grinding against the stonework as if to highlight how un-fixed the window was. Rain pelted her face as she neared the space where the window used to be. Neassa bit her lip in concentration, arms crossed. She stood silent for a prolonged moment before looking to Cassie. ”Can't even see the hole now.”

She had already done a pretty good job of fixing the window so far but she had an idea about how to stop the rain coming in like it was. Neassa reached for her back...for the cloak that was no longer hanging there. The memory of recent events came at her like another one of Cassie's force magic spells. “If only my rain shield wasn't in the fire, it would be perfect.” She hissed angrily at Cassie.

Her next action could be easily misconstrued. Neassa yanked a small dagger out of its scabbard on her belt. “You can't have much magic left in you…” Her words only added to the ambiguity of her actions as she seemingly approached the mage, walking around the glass on the floor. She shoulder nudged the woman just for the inconvenience of the whole situation (none of which was Neassa's fault). “You have two choices now, I put a bookcase in front of it. Or I put the shag rug over it. Which one...do...you...I can't think of a better way to say this so, which one do you want to get wet. Bookcase or rug."

She was one more mortifying situation away from asking Cassie to take her knife from her so the woman could lodge it in her heart.


Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Feb 2 2018, 10:52 AM

It was as if the silence in the aftermath of the shatter had invaded her body, rendering her as quiet. All Cassie could do was stare. At the gaping hole where the window used to be. At Neassa. At the glass on the floor, underfoot, spilled out almost across the length of the room.

Okay. Technically a mage should be able to fix this. They could repair old sections of the Deep Roads to stop darkspawn coming through, so this should be easy for someone that... wasn’t her. Lifting heavy boulders into place to block a cave entrance she could do, but reconstructing something? Beyond her. She wasn’t artistic or an architect.

Of course that meant letting someone know about this mess. And hoping they had such a mage in their ranks. They might have to piece the whole thing together first. Maker. That would take weeks. Months. They’d have to find every sliver...

Neassa drew her out of her stupor. Cassie gaped, then finally found her voice. ‘Oh, I can still see a hole. It fills the whole window frame, but it’s still a hole.’

‘Your rain...?’ Oh. Her cloak. Of course, what else would it be called in Neassa’s head? ‘I’ll give you a spare before you leave,’ Cassie offered grudgingly. Of everything Neassa had claimed to be owed to her; that was the one Cassie was willing to concede to her.

Her eyes narrowed at the drawn dagger, her stance shifting to side-on, reducing her target size. Lightning sang beneath her skin, ready to lance out. ‘And what does my mana have to do with anything?’ she asked.

Oh, Maker’s balls. Cassie sighed, shaking away the magic. ‘I’d say rug except we don’t have a way to make it stay up there. Bookcase will have to do,’ she grumbled. The books better not get damaged. ‘I don’t get what the dagger is for,’ she added, giving the implement a dubious look. It was Neassa. It had probably just been to freak her out. That or to cut the rug up, which just seemed to be adding insult to injury. A whole rug could be dried out and it would be back to normal.

Decision made, Cassie eyed up their potential rain-block. ‘My mana’s not so low that I can’t help shift that. If I can hold an ogre in place then a few pranks and spells won’t drain me dry.’ Besides, it’d be just her luck for Neassa to try moving the laden book case on her own and do her back in or pull a muscle, then spend the next few hours bitching at Cassie for it.


Posted by: NEASSA SÉVERIN Feb 26 2018, 11:59 PM
There was nothing quite like a smashed window to sober you up faster than your brain could realise. Or so Neassa imagined, she still felt the buzz of whisky fuelling her actions but she was used to dealing with disasters. That might be why she was so quick to offer solutions while Cassie stood and stared for a good moment, commenting on the vastness of this new hole. It wasn't that bad. Historically, worse things had definitely happened. But it wasn't ideal, Neassa would admit to that.

But that was all she'd admit to.

“What? This?” She flicked the knife in the air and caught it in her other hand, by the handle. And not by stabbing her palm on it, which had happened before...these kinds of pointless displays of ability took practice. “It's for holding up the rug-” she muttered as if it was the most obvious answer in the world. Did Cassie really think it was for her? “You didn't really think...I was gonna…,” she gestured the slitting of her own throat. “With this? Pffft. I think when it happens, and it will happen, I might just strangle you with my bare hands.” Watch the life drain out of her eyes and the breath leave her body. “More intimate.” Wait, what?

What? Backtrack, quick, fix it. “I meant intimidating. I'm drunk and those words sound the same ok.”

Neassa threw herself head first into yanking up the rug off the floor, rudely flipping Cassie Killer off one corner she had curled up on. It was heavier than she had expected, or she had used up most of her strength lugging Cassie over here.

In her drunken state she seemed to be more able to recognise tone and understood that the idea of using the bookcase was causing Cassie some concern. It was unlike her to be so considerate but it was known to happen, especially when she forgot which Neassa she was supposed to be playing at any given time. By the time she remembered she had already hoisted up the rug to cover the books, protecting them from any water damage as she used her dagger to fix the rug in place. It sagged at the sides but the main bulk of the bookcase was protected.

As Cassie went on about her mana reserves Neassa waved her off. “No, no, it's fine, how heavy can it-” Neassa slammed her shoulder against the side of the thing and it didn't budge. She made a ponderous sound in her throat then tried again, this time with far more determination. The book case groaned as it slid ever so slightly over the stone floor, nowhere near the kind of progress such effort should be rewarded with. “It's fine. I've got this.” Stubbornly, Neassa persevered. She changed her approach, two hands pushing against the side and all of her weight behind it. She was practically horizontal trying to coerce the thing to move from its roots. “I've got. This. Piece. Of. Shit. Book. Case.”

She did not have this. A couple more inches of progress and she flipped, Neassa pushed back from the thing and rounded on it like she was going to engage it in hand to hand combat. “Is this nailed down or something?!” Turned out she was just taking a breather before again changing her approach and pushing her back against it.

It slid a few more inches. “This might take a while, you should...sit... down.” It may stop raining by the time she got it into position.


Posted by: CASSIOPEIA SOPHRONIUS Jun 5 2018, 05:03 AM

At least the explanation for the dagger made sense. What followed really didn’t. Cassie’s eyebrows rose towards her hairline, her arms crossed as Neassa blundered. ‘Because I’d stay still long enough for you to throttle me. Intimate or not. Really.’ No, she was not going to let that slip go. If it was a slip. She was drunk. They both were. And Neassa wasn’t the most articulate of people at the best of times.

Still, it embarrassed her, so Cassie was keeping it.

She chose not to mention that the dagger would leave a groove in the book case, since Neassa was trying to help for once and no one was going to look at the top of a book case anyway. She watched in bemusement, a hand half-raised to help as Neassa laid siege to the all but immovable object, wondering how long it would take before she gave up.

Eternity, apparently.

With a sigh, Cassie pulled one of the chairs around, scooped up the cat and sat down with the grumbling cat on her lap. ‘Stand up a moment,’ she asked so that Neassa wouldn’t fall flat on her back in glass shards. She waved her free hand; the other occupied with scratching the cat’s ears to keep her quiet. With that easy motion she hauled the book case into place, only a frown of concentration showing the effort she was actually putting into it.

The noise dulled, changing quality as the rain began hitting solid wood rather than the stone floor. It would do for now.

Or... perhaps not. Running footsteps approached the door, which burst open.

Raphael. One of the other Senior Wardens, in his fifties. He came to a stop, one hand on the hilt of his sword, staring. At the shattered glass. The replaced book case. The water, whiskey and window latch on the floor. The sad remains of Neassa’s cloak in the fire. Neassa standing by the window. Cassie in the chair with a cat on her lap. A vein started to throb in his temple.

‘What. Happened. Here?’ he demanded.

The day had officially gone from terrible to worse.




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