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 What I've Decided, Zevran~
NOLANI MAHARIEL
 Posted: Apr 11 2018, 03:51 PM
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42 posts
38 years
Warrior




She decided she hated it here. Just as much if not the last time she had been here.

The last time she'd been to the Cadesh Thaig, it had been crawling with darkspawn and she'd had a golem at her back for protection. Now this Creator-damned Thaig was filled with some funny talking dwarves, who snubbed their noses at her. No one knew her. No one knew about Wardens. No one liked her pointy ears either. She'd decided these dwarves could go punch a nug.

Nolani lacked sense of direction here, and it had been a hassle to procure a map. Even more of a hassle to decipher the weird squiggles and arguing with the other couple of wardens on how to pronounce street names, vendor names, shop names, and anything with a name. Asking for directions herself was nearly fucking impossible. If it weren't for their dwarven counterpart, they would not have gotten very far.

"Ya know what I've decided, lethallin?" she said to Zevran. She glanced at him from beneath her cowl. "That this is some fucking bullshit. Just... all of it." They were well into their first week in the Thaig, and had figured out the way to Orzammar. The only reason they hadn't left yet was some of their equipment, including Nolani's armor, had been damaged in the Deep Roads while fighting the darkspawn (She'd decided those darkspawn could go fuck themselves). They also still needed rations and other traveling essentials. When just five of them had been swallowed by the spattering green light, they had been reduced to what they had been carrying. The currency they carried wasn't suitable for these dwarves of Cadesh Thaig.

"I've also decided," she admitted, "I'd much rather be in Antiva. There’s more sunshine and skin there."

Nolani paused outside a door, squinting at the letters on her paper and the matching letters upon the estate. "This is it. I think," she said, handing the paper to Zevran. While the other three attempted other odd jobs, Zevran had pointed out a their more lucrative option: accepting open assassination contracts.

So, that's what they were about to do. This was their second one in three days. She had a third map in her pocket to take them to the last person. Nolani shoved her thumbs into her sword belt as she regarded the estate. It was blocky, like most of the buildings around here, and Nolani thought she could say something along the lines of ‘looks like good stone’, but she hadn’t the faintest fucking clue what constituted ‘good stone’.

“Sooooooo… get help?” she offered, jokingly. She looked at Zevran. This was his area of expertise after all. “Although they said the person’s an unsympathetic bastard, so I don’t think that’ll work.”



ZEVRAN ARAINAI
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ZEVRAN ARAINAI
 Posted: Apr 13 2018, 07:37 PM
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becca
10 posts
38 years
Rogue


Zevran always believed himself skilled in getting out of tricky situations, but his current situation was proving to be less than solvable. Cadash Thaig is not how he remembered it, and so far their days had been spent attempting to make the best of a horrible (and to be quite honest, a puzzling) situation.

There are few things that Zevran considered himself an expert in, but making sense of any of this is not it.

What he can do, however, is make sure they survive long enough to perhaps make sense of the chaos. Survival he knew from the very early age of seven when he'd been tossed into that small room with a dozen or so other children; survival was being one of the few to eventually make it out of that room. So far they're traversed their way without much blunder, but they still found themselves in uncharted territory. Zevran had urged subtly, especially upon their first welcome to the Thaig. For Zevran it was easy. He was used to stalking and learning from the shadows, but for his Warden, she was less content.

Still, it was good to know that some things did not change. A knife was a knife no matter where you were, and there were always people willing to pay you if you stuck that knife in the right person.

Zevran can only hum in response to Nolani's comment. There was no denying his displeasure at everything this past week. Outwardly, he just smiles with too many teeth, barely visible beneath the hood and crow masked fixed to it pulled low. "You'll hear no argument from me, my dear."

Ah, Antiva. He will always miss Antiva, a part of him always claiming the country as his own, no matter how tough it had been to him in his youth. "I still say we take another trip there as soon as we reach the surface," Zevran says, shrugging one shoulder nonchalantly. Getting there is the issue. They had to reach Orzammar before they can even consider the surface, and to get to Orzammar, they needed coin. Which is where a knife came in.

They were working quickly. Zevran takes the offered slip of paper and double checks. It appears the right place, Zevran thinks, taking in the estate. He hums again. He sees two means of entry already: the dwarves lacked what properly constituted as windows, but there was a door just barely visible at the side that might work to their advantage. Zevran did enjoy the challenge. "Shall we let ourselves in first, then?" He motions for Nolani to follow and walks, keeping a watchful eye for any unwanted attention, headed right for the side door. "Try to remember, keep low and your head down."


NOLANI MAHARIEL
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NOLANI MAHARIEL
 Posted: Apr 14 2018, 12:16 PM
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SQUEE
42 posts
38 years
Warrior




The surface. Nolani missed being able to tell time, and she would be grateful for the sun again. For trees and soil, instead of rock, pebbles, and more rock. For a proper meal, with game because if she had to eat another mushroom, she was maiming someone for the rest of their earth-bound lives. To hear crickets chirping instead of worrying over the slithering sound in the dark.

Antiva wasn't even high on her list of preferred places to be, but it was favorable with Zevran, who was a patriot in his heart. Beneath her hood, her lips quirked into a half-smile. Her last visit to Antiva had submerged her in Zevran's life, which was steeped with bristling assassins, sneaky blades, horrendous wine, and one or two boot shopping sprees.

She would have liked to have seen the Dalish in those regions. Most Antivans had described them as savage. Her own vallaslin had triggered a regular number of anxiety among native Antivans who'd lived their all their life. Perhaps they should take a trip; finish up tidying any of Zevran's business and exploring what elven and warden sites could be there.

They walked the estate premise. She assumed Zevran wanted something other than a front door entrance, and Nolani wasn't exactly opposed. Finding the secondary door took little effort.

"That depends, Zev," she laughed, lightly, and smirked at his back. She walked purposefully, although it was arguable if Nolani walked any other way. "Is it locked? Rather not stand around while ya fidget with the tumblers." A pair milling around a side door might bring attention, and any inspection of their race would draw an unfavorable reaction. Nolani hated the idea of killing outside their assignment. At least maybe their target had done something to deserve it, whereas a passerby with a heart of gold and a need to protect her neighbor would die nobly and without purpose. As much as the Cadash dwarves' racism aggravated Nolani, they had not insulted her worse than what she'd heard before, and their distinctive language did much to dull the barbed words.

Much to her surprise, the door was not locked. Shrugging, Nolani wasn't going to question the security of their target; she wanted the whole business out of the way. After a moment, she detected the smell of smoke and herbs - either a witch's cauldron or a kitchen, and far more likely the latter. "I'll follow you," she said, voice low. At least she would try.


ZEVRAN ARAINAI
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ZEVRAN ARAINAI
 Posted: May 20 2018, 04:31 PM
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becca
10 posts
38 years
Rogue



Zevran huffs. While prepared to spend a few minutes playing with dwarven craftsmanship (it was just different enough from man-made locks to prove a challenge - one that often left Zevran cursing under his breath after five minutes even if he was successful), a quick test of the handle has the door swinging open. He expects it to creak, but the hinges are well oiled, and their entrance remains quiet. "I suppose we're lucky these dwarves do not think to lock their side entrances." A servant's entrance? Even so, it seemed foolish to leave it unlocked like this, where anyone could come and go as they pleased without hindrance. Zevran hesitates - paranoia prickling at the back of his neck - but pushes forward, taking his own advice to heart.

Stay low. Keep quiet. Eyes open.

There was much he admired about his Warden - Nolani was passionate and a fierce warrior and a wonder to watch while in the thick of battle. Still, there were times when discretion was necessary, and he'd done his best to teach her thus; it was marginally successful and more often left Zevran either wincing or fighting back amusement.

He barely acknowledges her low suggestion to take the lead, sinking down low and steadying himself with a hand against the wall as he goes. The home was not dark, but the candlelight was not yet bright enough to cast their shadows far up the wall or down the corridor. The smell of herbs and smoke suggested they were close enough to the kitchens, and Zevran finds himself thinking - once again, as he had with the previous job - that he would have loved more time to scout and watch. Time was of the essence and thus time was against them.

This job appeared as all other jobs before it: get in, handle the target in whatever manner the client deemed fit, get out, and Zevran at least finds comfort in that.

There's another factor, however, that re-sparks his paranoia, sends it skittering down his spine. He throws a hand up to signal for Nolani to stop. "Braska," he whispers. He draws the dagger from his hip. Ahead, several guards with helms stand at the ready, but what drew Zevran's attention is a dwarf in fine clothing, the finely embroidered jacket doing nothing to hide the weapon at his side. Zevran bit back another curse. Stealth was out of the picture if they were expected - unless they found another way around, to where they weren't expected.


NOLANI MAHARIEL
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NOLANI MAHARIEL
 Posted: May 27 2018, 11:31 AM
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SQUEE
42 posts
38 years
Warrior




Nolani was primarily good at two things and marginally good at some things. She was an apex warrior for her race and age. Being synchronized with the heartbeat of battle was one of her favorite feelings. The thrill was triggered whether she was crossing swords or in a fighting ring. The second thing she was good at was commanding confidently, which she'd learned to do over the last decade.

She was marginally good at writing in common. She was marginally good at acting semi-decent at diplomatic events (as long as she could mostly keep her mouth shut). She was marginally okay with a bow and controlling animals and making friends.

She was an abysmal sneak. The worst part of it was there seemed to be a disconnect between her feet, her surroundings, and her brain. Zevran had tried, Creators bless him, to teach her some when she was Antiva. He was unsuccessful for two reasons: she was unsuited and she was generally unwilling. She had been twenty-odd years as a heavy-footed, warrior groomed woman that attempting to understand "stepping softly" gave her a bloody headache.

She'd dressed lightly, in comparison to how she usually did. Only her well-worn leathers and her shortsword pair. She did her very best to wash down the leather to alleviate the sweat-soaked perfume, but as she ducked her chin close, Nolani could pick up that old, foul scent. For a long time, it had only somewhat bothered her. In more recent years, she was more aggressive about combating the smell for Zevran's sake.

Nolani waited a long minute as Zevran went ahead. He probably didn't need her here. Scratch that, she knew he didn't need her help. Nevertheless, she insisted because Creators forbid these unfriendly dwarves attempted something on him. She was also abysmally impatient and waiting in their room at the inn would have made her twitchy.

"Andruil help me," she pleaded under her breath as she slipped in the door. Quiet, she managed to ease the door mechanism back into place. Step one. Spotting Zevran, she waited for him to sneak ahead to the next room before following, doing her best with this whole "step softly" bullshit and giving any and all objects the widest berth she could afford.

At each turn, she waited until Zevran moved up again before following, giving him the largest lead. Except after one corner, his hand went up. Waiting, Nolani gripped the hilt of her shortsword as she watched Zevran reach for his dagger. This was anxiety inducing, and not thrilling in the least. He was too far to talk to. He would either make his way to her, or go ahead, and she was comfortable with him making that decision.

The couple of turns behind her, she heard a gaggle of voices and someone closing a door. In a house made of stone, the sound carried. It seemed loud to her but it was more than likely nothing more than normal volume for persons familiar with the household and going about their work.

No going back that way. Biting her lip, Nolani looked toward Zevran - her discomfort about her situation apparent in her expression.


ZEVRAN ARAINAI
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