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 BURNING OUT [c], liviana
VARRIC TETHRAS
 Posted: Apr 18 2018, 11:00 AM
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Quinn
16 posts
41 years
Rogue


Lying low.

That was his big plan? That was how he was going to get them all back to Haven? Lying low?

He had been keeping a low profile in Cadash Thaig, making nice with House Cadash while pretending to be an Orzammar trader (House Cadash weren’t exactly the brightest torch in the darkness, being little more than swords for hire, afterall). Varric had explored most of the city, ventured out into the Deep Roads a few times, and learned more about dwarves during the past few days than he ever wanted to. He was a surface dweller, for Maker’s sake. He wasn’t cut out for life down here. There was no sun, no moon…not to mention most of the women looked like his cousin Vidar.

Maker’s tits, Varric had no idea what they were going to do.

He wasn’t even sure there was anything they could do. Was he supposed to just accept that they were stuck here? Varric wasn’t sure that he would be able to do that… How was he supposed to pass the time? He hated it down here…but maybe he could just re-write Hard in Hightown and sell it to the locals again.

No. There had to be something they could do. What would Hawke do? He thought, as he walked through the dust-covered streets. Probably something stupid. Damn, he missed him.

The only thing that eased the pain of the unknown was the ale. Apparently, House Cadash was good at three things: the Proving, throwing around coin, and making ale. The small inn at the corner was the best he’d found. As he walked inside, Varric scanned the room, as was his habit. There was someone new here today.

The dwarf lifted the hood of the cloak he had purchased — dark, drab, and dull just like most of the people in this forsaken dirt town — to see her more clearly. There was something about the woman across the room that piqued his interest. Maybe it was the fact that she didn’t look like Cousin Vidar. Tall, slender, looked like she could kick his ass….

Maybe she was like him…like Carver and Anders. Maybe she was from…well, not here.

Varric took the seat next to her. “I’ll have whatever she’s having,” the barkeep looked a little unsure and he sighed. “I’ll…have….what….she….is….” but the man behind the bar was already pouring a mug of warm ale and sliding it in front of him. “Cheers,” He said, clicking it against the strange woman’s. “…to an adventure in time.” He muttered the last part, curious if his suspicions were correct.

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LIVIANA AURELIUS
 Posted: Apr 18 2018, 11:20 AM
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Liviana never thought she'd ever miss Minrathous, but here she was drinking piss-poor ale and wishing she had a nice bottle of wine. It could be worse she supposed. At least they had stopped sneering at her when she came in. A couple years of fighting darkspawn and living to tell about it seemed to loosen people up a bit. Honestly, it wasn't so bad here. She'd gained a few friends, had a few flings that she hadn't seen coming, and even knocked heads with a few proven champions. It was a nice change of pace from the looming death that resided in the tunnels beneath.

Bringing her cup to her lips, Liviana paused, feeling the hair on the nape of her neck stand on end. Someone was watching her. Dark eyes fluttered to the side, scanning the crowd while pretending to be absorbed in her drink. She wanted to say oh, it's a dwarf, but that seemed a little redundant. There were few humans here, and the ones that were here made up the mercenary groups that had found work here, and even fewer elves. She lowered the cup as the dwarf sat next to her, running her tongue over her lower lip.

While he was just a dwarf, something seemed different about him. Liviana almost had to choke the groan that threatened to spill past her lips when he spoke. Oh good, he was one of those. How many of them had she met now? Four? She had stopped counting. It gave her a headache trying to understand them, and she did try. Curse her bleeding heart and her inability to just walk past someone in need. At least he seemed to be able to hold his own fairly well. Probably because he was a dwarf.

Liviana turned her attention back to her drink, praying to the gods that he didn't try and strike up a conversation with her. Because then she would have to answer and it would start a whole new headache for her. Maybe she could pretend she didn't speak common at all. How many people here knew Tevene? Not many. It was a thought...
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VARRIC TETHRAS
 Posted: Apr 18 2018, 11:50 AM
Quote
Quinn
16 posts
41 years
Rogue


Maybe she hadn’t heard him…though, it seemed unlikely, given how close they were and how very little people there were in the Inn this afternoon. Varric stared blankly for a few seconds, wondering if he misjudged the situation. But of course, that would be so entirely unlike him. No, he knew that she had to be like him. Stuck in time — perhaps they were even star-crossed lovers. Maybe she had come from a few years his future and they were destined to meet in this…fine-ish establishment.

Then again, maybe he was just prone to romanticizing his situations.

They were stuck in the bloody past — no idea how to get home — and the only thing he could think about was star-crossed lovers? Maker, he was out of practice.

Varric’s brow furrowed slightly as he took a deep swig of the ale, trying to take the edge off. The more he thought about being stranded, the worse off he got.

He was getting too old for this. A year ago, he had thought about calling it quits and retiring. Now, it seemed like it was too late. The little writer’s cottage he had picked out in Orlais probably wasn’t even built yet.

It’s not like you’ve never been in precarious situations before, he reminded himself.

But this one was different. He had Junior who was…well, Maker only knew what was wrong with him. Anders was in a battle royale with Justice, Hawke was missing in action…they weren’t good odds. They never were.

He turned slightly, took another drink of his ale, set down his mug, and gave the woman next to him a lopsided smile. “It’s nice to see there are still humans around. For a second, I was beginning to think I would be surrounded with dwarves for the rest of my life…” He said. The barkeep seemed to give a grunt and Varric held up his other hand. “No offense, Tugrin.” His words seemed to placate the man, but Varric wasn’t sure how much common he actually spoke and how much of it was intonation and facial expression.

“Varric Tethras, at your service.” He introduced, holding out his hand to the woman. “Surface dwarf. Trader.” Lost in time and space.

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LIVIANA AURELIUS
 Posted: Apr 18 2018, 12:57 PM
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And he was talking. Liviana internally sighed, raising her cup to drain the rest of its contents. She placed her cup back on the bar, raising her finger to get another cup full. For a moment she attempted to figure out how to best get out of this situation. Her first idea about Tevene seemed like the best bet, and yet it made her moral compass shatter into a million pieces. Why couldn't she be like the rest of the Tevinter Imperium and just not give a damn? Because she wasn't that lucky it seemed.

"There are a few humans," Liviana spoke, getting the gist of what he was saying. "Although most are on the surface and not below." She wondered briefly where he would say he was from. Would it be the same as the other's she had heard? Or some new place? Although, she was beginning to think that maybe there was something to their stories. Too many people saying the same thing began to cause doubt that they were all crazy.

"Varric," she repeated, his name rolling off her tongue with a strong Tevinter accent. At least she was beginning to pick up on names, that part was easy. She had to think for a moment, to ponder through what else he had said until it made sense in her head.

"I am, Liviana. Mercenary." She paused, tilting her head and rolling her eyes up to the ceiling as she thought of the rest of his words. Surface dwarf. Odd but not unheard of. "Tevinter."

She had gotten the gist that Tevinter wasn't much liked by these new people. Maybe that would be enough to make him leave her alone? By the Gods, she was behaving poorly. It wasn't this man's fault that she was having a hard time figuring things out. It wasn't anyone's really. Liviana shook her head, her braid falling over her shoulder, and then she smiled at him.

"It is nice to meet you."

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VARRIC TETHRAS
 Posted: Apr 18 2018, 01:54 PM
Quote
Quinn
16 posts
41 years
Rogue


Varric knew almost immediately that his hopes had been unfounded. She wasn’t from their time…she was another human perfectly at home in Cadash Thaig.

It was the same thing he had run into when he went to talk to House Cadash — they were speaking the same language but it was as if there were pieces of it missing. Time had warped the language. Hell…that gave Varric no faith whatsoever that his books would even be relevant come the next turn of the Age.

Thankfully, he found it easy enough to navigate through her words. Maybe he had his author days on his side — he had torn through books on books, learning as much as he could about the common language during his youth. He couldn’t remember how many times Bertrand had teased him for reading. Well, Bart, old brother, old pal, look who’s an accomplished author and who’s buried six feet closer to Orzammar.

He had been on the surface for all his life so the constant surrounding by dwarves was unsettling, sometimes. Maybe that was the reason he preferred the company of humans and elves. “Yeah, who would want to be in a shit hole like this,” Varric muttered, taking the last gulp of what was left in his cup. She seemed nice enough and Varric wasn’t one to censor himself…though perhaps he should have been, considering he knew so little about the culture down here.

She repeated his name and Varric nodded. Pronunciation was a little iffy, but it would do. She must be foreign. Tevinter, that would do it. Varric’s ears perked up slightly. “Mercinary, huh? Sword for hire?” He looked around her, trying to catch a glimpse of a great sword or axe. Maybe she was just what he needed. He could go for a rousing round of kill the darkspawn (that weren’t Carver). “It’s nice to meet you, Liviana.” Varric shook his head, he didn’t have any money to hire her to go out into the Deep Roads and murder everything that came their way. Maker…since when was he so desperate to hire companions?!

But Bianca was itching for use…and Varric was restless. Maybe she was headed out sometime soon. “What sort of work do you get around here?”

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LIVIANA AURELIUS
 Posted: Apr 18 2018, 02:43 PM
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Liviana couldn't help the snort of amusement, and she rested her chin in her hand as she regarded him with a less forceful and truly genuine smile. "Yes, it is a shit hole."

Although considering the rest of the thaig, the city was by far the best place to be. It's walls were constantly guarded, and darkspawn rarely made it past the guards stationed outside. You could almost believe that they were winning if you stayed behind the walls and ignored the suffering outside. Not just in the people, but in the very land around them. The earth was turning black with their corruption and yet there was no end in sight.

"Currently our job is," Liviana paused, trying to come up with the simplest way of saying this. At least they had ground works to build on. Similar words that if listened carefully could be put together. It still wasn't easy, but it was something. "We patrol the outside tunnels, away from the walls. If the thaig falls to the darkspawn, all will surely be lost."

It was something she didn't want to think about. Liviana lowered her hand to take hold of her cup, taking a large mouthful of the liquid inside. She'd seen many men and women fall, of all races, to the tainted corruption that the darkspawn spread. It wasn't something that she took lightly. She had the gods blessing to not have been infected yet.

"It is a difficult job, but one that is needed. And it gains some respect...if you live long enough. The...sickness...it spreads quickly." It made her skin crawl just thinking about it, but it also made her angry. She was born into this war. She had never known anything outside of the darkspawn threat. She was raised to fight, only to be shipped off still a girl to throw her life away fighting an unbeatable threat. It was a miracle to have lived this long.

"And of course we get the odd bodyguard job sometimes, when the fools wish to venture into the deeproads in search of lost treasure."
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VARRIC TETHRAS
 Posted: Apr 18 2018, 04:30 PM
Quote
Quinn
16 posts
41 years
Rogue


Varric could tell that he was winning her over. He was always one to solicit an audience, he knew how to please a crowd. It was in the way that they looked at him — sometimes with pity, but more often than not with interest. Who was this dwarf who spoke exactly what he was thinking? How was he not locked up in a jail cell somewhere? It earned him their attention…but it was his stories that earned him their respect.

Unfortunately, they didn’t have time for stories just yet.

Varric was keeping a low profile and starting a book club in the middle of this inn wasn’t exactly on the menu. Unfortunately for her.

He leaned back slightly, resting his back against the chair and motioning to the innkeeper that he was in need of another mug of ale. As the man refilled it, Varric reflected on what she said. So she was out hunting the Darkspawn. There was a possibility that he could tag along, kill a few, see if he ran into anyone familiar….her next words jarred him. More than he wanted to admit.

Before he knew it, the words were falling from his lips like a waterfall. “The sickness…yeah, I had a…brother…” Varric paused, unsure of what would be translatable. Carver’s situation was hard to explain. Carver was hard to explain. He had been separated from Junior and Blondie in the Deep Roads and he hadn’t heard anything since. Varric was keeping his ear close to the ground, eyes open, looking for any signs of his family.

“Deep Roads…” he repeated, “Any chance you’ve seen a…well a blonde he’s about this tall —“ Varric reached up a few feet above himself. “Real nice jacket…and a…well Junior’s a…” He never had trouble with his words. Then again, one of his best friends had never been in a situation like this. Carver was family — he was like a little brother to Varric. “I’m looking for some friends. We got separated in the Deep Roads.” He explained, reaching up to run a hand through the hair that had pulled itself from his usual ponytail.

“Any chance you and your band have seen some wandering fools on the outskirts?” He didn’t want to think what would happen if they didn’t make it out. He didn’t want to think what he would feel…or what he would tell Hawke. He needed a sign. Anything.

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LIVIANA AURELIUS
 Posted: Apr 18 2018, 05:32 PM
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This dwarf she liked. He wasn't as haughty as the others. The way he spoke was still different but it was becoming easier to understand. Liviana tucked her hand under her chin, letting her dark eyes trail over him. She supposed he wasn't bad to look at either. Not what she typically thought of when she thought of a dwarf. As if on cue a drunken fight broke out behind her, the dwarves screaming at each other with every insult known to them, mostly about their mothers. Liviana sighed, rubbing her hand over her forehead.

She noticed the change in Varric's tone, and she looked up once more, lips curving into a frown. Had he losed someone to the sickness? She was sympathetic, she had lost many a friend to this foe. Either by the sickness they carried or the teeth as the ripped into flesh and the steal of their weapons. Liviana kept things compartmentalized. She couldn't allow herself to grieve when the heat of battle still waged around her.

As he described his friends, Liviana frowned. She had met a few people in the deeproads, some beyond saving and some lucky enough to be saved. None of them resembled the ones he was speaking of. She felt bad not being able to give him any information. She shook her head after a moment.

"No...I am sorry. However, if I find them...I will let you know."
Perhaps it was something she should not have promised. What if she found only a deformed corpse, or a monster no longer human? Liviana dropped her gaze to the crossbow he carried. It was a fine looking weapon. Expertly made and signs of use. Pursing her lips, she times her head.

"Or...perhaps...you could come with? We will be leaving in two days. If your friends are out there...it is possible we will find them." Not likely, but possible. Either way, it couldn't hurt for him to have hope.

"If You can handle it, of course," her lips curved into a grin, a sign of a playful jest. "We usually stay out for a week or two."
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VARRIC TETHRAS
 Posted: Apr 18 2018, 05:49 PM
Quote
Quinn
16 posts
41 years
Rogue


For a moment, he thought she was going to say more — he thought he was going to say more. Maybe he would spin her a tale of the heroes of Kirkwall. Maybe she’d care to hear about the time that he’d been kidnapped by a religious zealot or the time he fought the Arishok. Alright, that one was Hawke… Varric opened his mouth to elude to his heroics when he heard the sound of a chair smashing in the corner and various insults he assumed were vicious (though his Dwarvish was severely lacking). He turned sharply, his eyes on the fight between two dwarves who happened to be fighting over a woman who — he could not have written this better if he tried — looked exactly like his cousin Vidar. Varric rolled his eyes, but it seemed the fleeting moment was lost.

He shouldn’t have let his emotions get the best of him. Even in that fleeting second, imagining the loss of Carver and Anders, he had felt vulnerable. And feeling vulnerable in an unfamiliar place was what got people killed. He had to be strong — they were capable…they would get themselves out. Plus, Anders had said that Carver was helping them blend in. Hell, maybe they just coasted right on through and they were somewhere in town.

Somehow, he doubted it.

Varric raised one eyebrow. “Thanks,” He said, raising his mug to her and taking a sip. The idea of traveling with the mercenaries seemed…intriguing. It had been quite some time since he he had travelled with a band…not since Hawke and Kirkwall. After that, he preferred to keep his adventuring parties few and far between…when he could help it.

“Handle it? Me? Braids, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Bianca and I go way back. We’ve been deeper into these Roads than…” Varric’s fingers moved over the oak wood of Bianca, pausing at the metal trigger and recalling a beautiful arrow between the eyes of a few of his foes. “Well, you get the picture.”

Liviana was offering him a chance to get back out there…explore and look for Carver and Anders without fear of being taken by a swarm of Darkspawn. There was safety in numbers. And even more safety with her, it seemed. As Varric looked up to answer her banter, he realized that she was smiling. Braids had a pretty smile — the kind that he would write about for years to come — the kind that seemed to creep slowly across her face. It was unexpected, but not unwelcome. To think he had thought her prickly in the beginning. “So I’ll meet you here in two days time?”

He threw a few of his coins onto the table and pushed himself off of his chair, pulling the cloak up and hiding the crossbow on his back. “Don’t be late, Braids. Two days. You, me, and the hell I call the Deep Roads,” He winked, giving her a strange sort of salute before he pushed the door to the inn open and walked out into the dusty air of Cadash. He had a meeting with House Cadash that afternoon…it would do him well to not be late.

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