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 sharp and double-edged, ida, tbd, 9:41, val royeaux
played by birthe
gmt +1    mature content? Yes    Offline
           
GMage
A33
Apleasure
P104 posts
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There was a Templar in one of his rooms, and for whatever reason, this fact didn't worry Cassian. Perhaps it was the fact that for the time being, the poor woman was so deep in the throes of lyrium withdrawal that she was unlikely to spot a blood mage even if they performed human sacrifice right in front of her, or perhaps it was the glowing opportunity that emanated from the woman. Perhaps it was a bit of both.

Or perhaps, true to himself, Cassian simply delighted in the opportunity to toy with another person again, after so long of playing good and finding himself on the lower end of the Thedan power pole, which honestly sounded like it should be much more fun than it actually was.

It was that guest that currently had him striding through the corridors of his... No, strike that, Dragomir's home, matted silver mask in place, clad from top to toe in the darkest silks and velvet imaginable, inlaid with patterns precise and delicate, yet only visible when the light hit him just so, carrying a silver tray in his hands. On it lay one of the most sought-after materials in Thedas, especially in these uprooted times, when the only thing that still functioned as surely and predictably as before was the black market -- the selfsame market Cassian had utilized to acquire the stuff. Lyrium, sitting peacefully in a vial, next to the instruments required to inject it into yearning veins.

Dragomir's guest was in the throes of lyrium withdrawal, and Dragomir's guest had expressed a desire to kick the habit altogether. It was unfortunate for Dragomir's guest, then, that Cassian had use for a functional Templar, not one that limped along with nothing but a warrior's skills with the blade to make her useful. Battling Tevene mages, even those from the lower classes, was...trying, to say the least. Battling Tevene blood mages of the kind his mother tended to employ to oversee the transport of her valuable products? That was a nightmare. What his merry band of highwaymen needed was a Templar to give them an edge. Or rather, a former Templar with the skills to cripple even the most powerful mage in a moment.

They were vile creatures, no doubt, but useful. Like anyone Cassian brought into his inner circle, as it happened.

He reached the door behind which she dwelt, no doubt tossing and turning in a bed drenched with cold sweat. He'd left her there all night, listening to her distant pained moans, and knew that she'd be ripe now -- at the height of withdrawal, within that area where all addicts were at their most impressionable -- even if they did have the will of an ox coupled with a mule, like this one. She was no weak-willed damsel, but had she been that, Cassian would have no use for her. For every positive, an equal negative. That was what life was, in the end. Simple economics.

Though the knock he administered to her door was a gentleman's knock, considerate and mild, it was steely knuckle against wood, an efficient rap. It was Dragomir, the way Cassian had sculpted him from his own bones, made malleable by defeat and heartache; gentle and kind, yet sharp as a double-edged sword. Then he waited, as Dragomir would wait and as Cassian would not, until he was invited to come in. Then he entered, straight-backed as a plank and striding like a military commander. He was the image of rigidity, of stern traditionalism and unforgiving efficiency -- everything Cassian was not.

"I hope I did not wake you," he started, all rolling R's and bastardized Nevarran with Orlesian interference, without a trace of regret in his voice. All matter-of-factly and direct, as Dragomir always was. He closed the door behind him and took meticulous care in setting the tray gently down on the dresser close to the door. It would sing to her, wouldn't it, where it stood in its container, glowing like a blue moon? Good. That's what he was counting on.

"I understand the pain is worse than when you arrived." He stood, straight-backed and at a gentlemanly distance from her, with his hands behind his back, like a black streak through the room. "It would seem... you are suffering."
played by OOC Account
Mountain (-7)    mature content? Yes    Offline
           
GCharades
AMillion
ATemplar
P26 posts
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Wolves circled predatorily just beyond the amorphous edges of her dreams. The scene her mind’s eye projected for her had nothing to do with wolves. She would be in the center of a busy Kirkwall market, escorting a Tranquil, and a chilling howl would echo around her. Dream to dream, they followed. And when her dreams were black, Ida saw yellow eyes and glowing white fangs. Uneasiness settled in her bones, and those eyes winked as they turned away from her, only to look back again. A sense of exclusion entered her consciousness, followed by the presence of danger. Ida tightened her hands.

The raps startled her into action. Before her vision cleared of haunting pairs of eyes, her feet had smacked the ground, a sweat dampened sheet twisting down her legs. Her hand shot for her spear. Fingers nudged the spear, pushing it, and it clattered loudly to the ground. Jumping out of her skin for the second time, Ida cursed, self-deprecating name-calling woven with “fuck” and “Maker’s hairy arse”. Disentangling from the magically gripping sheets in a few uncoordinated hops, Ida fell, quite literally, against the chair her clothes were tossed over. Still dirty. They’ll have to do. She kicked the last bit of sheet from her foot with a final curse.

With a few more hops, she donned her trousers. What time was it? Popping her head through the neck of her oversized shirt, Ida squinted at the streak of sunlight peeping between the curtains. She couldn’t tell. Tightening the shirt laces and stepping toward the door, her knee buckled and she caught herself on the chair.

“For Maker’s sake, you have to work,” she chastised the knee and the accompanying muscles. Sucking air through her nose, Ida found her balance and reached the door.

Then she noticed it. That soft little song, whispering just out of hearing. Lyrium.

It sat on a tray, held by her kind host. Her top teeth sunk into her lip to prevent an uncouth curse from escaping. This was the last thing she needed. After a pleasantry, Idahril swung the door open further to invite Drogomir inside.

“I hope I did not wake you.”

“Aye? Well… It’s all right.” Ida used both hands to push her hair behind her ears. She went to the window and pulled the curtain to allow in more light. Before facing Drogomir again, she rubbed at the corner of her eyes with a forefinger and thumb. “It was probably time.” She swayed, so she put a hand against the window’s frame for stability.

“I understand the pain is worse than when you arrived.”

Was it so obvious? Perhaps it was. Even now, strands of her short hair stuck to the spaces around her ears and the back of her neck. A dry laugh brewed from her, unbidden. “The way of things, it seems.”

The song was distracting, tearing her attention in two, like the wolf’s howl in her dreams. Hadn’t she told Drogomir she was trying to avoid lyrium? Had she? Or was she hoping she had, being confronted with the substance she desired, willing or no?

“It would seem… you are suffering.”

“Aye. Perhaps a bit.” Ida stood on her own two feet now, and hugged herself, hands clasping elbows. “Just… the way of things…” She shrugged. “I’m sure I mentioned to ye I was ex-Templar? The title comes with consequences.” Like running out of the lyrium stolen from friends. Feeling powerless. Alone. Severed. Gripping hunger and throbbing headaches. Inconsistent body temperature.

Resolved with a bit of preparation and a couple of gulps. A few steps away.

Coughing politely, Ida jerked her chin toward the dresser. “I didn’t ask. Neither do I want to know where it came from. And I have no way of paying for it. I appreciate your hospitality but that’s… a wee bit much.”

CASSIAN ALLECTIUS

played by birthe
gmt +1    mature content? Yes    Offline
           
GMage
A33
Apleasure
P104 posts
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He smiled, though it hardly mattered behind that layer of silver that covered the entirety of his face. Still, the gesture was an important one, enough to bring that apologetic smile to his eyes, which more than rivalled the matted silver in striking brightness, if not surpassed it.

"Forgive me," he answered, his tone genuine, and began to walk with calm steps to stand by the window, by her side, and look out on the world below. There were not many people traversing the cobbled streets below; it was with great consideration that he had chosen this location for his Val Royeaux home. Close enough to the city's centre to be in short distance from anyone who mattered, but far enough from the hustle and bustle to be in relative peace, safe from most of the prying eyes that might see too much in a careless moment. It was one of the few things Cassian and Dragomir had in common; they both liked to control how they were seen.

"I am afraid my time as a wanderer has left me... unpractised in the ways of tact." How contrite he sounded as those words were all but dragged from his lips, with every syllable forced into being, as though to admit his wrongs, to hold them in his hands and inspect them, was to suffer unimaginable pain.

A shift in pace was called for, a merrier tone, though it seemed far from jovial with Dragomir's rigid inflections. "Though there are those who would claim I am genetically indisposed of any claim to be personable, as the rest of my family was." Another smile hidden behind silver, eyes meeting hers as they danced with frugal amusement. A jab on his noble ties, a reminder of his status as lone survivor and social pariah both, disguised as simple humility.

Poor Dragomir Joachim, outlived by all those he loved, remembered only in cruel whispers by their peers.
Poor Dragomir Joachim, outcast by the very society that birthed him, left to roam as a commoner.
But brave Dragomir Joachim, so modest and devoid of pretension, a paragon of his kind.

He enjoyed this act, thrived in it, far more than he had anticipated. Cassian was a pariah too, after all, but for far less noble reasons than the ill-esteemed Margrave of Perendale, last of his name. But hadn't they both wandered, unwelcome in their home, though the reasons differed? Hadn't they both ached for what was missing, and found nothing but disappointment in their lengthy search? In every way that mattered, it seemed to him he was Dragomir Joachim, and Dragomir was him.

"Please," he continued, and turned to face her, standing so taut he might have been poised to split at the seams of his perfectly tailored garb, prudent as it may be, "Allow me to explain myself." He gestured to the chairs nearby with a gloved hand. "May I?"


played by OOC Account
Mountain (-7)    mature content? Yes    Offline
           
GCharades
AMillion
ATemplar
P26 posts
permalinkQuote
“Forgive you?” Ida repeated. Brows knitted over large gray eyes. Had she missed something? “What? I mean… I’m confused,” she concluded lamely.

Drogomir approached the window with a certain, cool and still assurance. For that moment, Ida envied the man’s ability to walk straightforward with full cooperation of his body. Meanwhile, her knee joint wobbled under pressure and she pressed her shoulder to the window pane, trying to behave as if she were looking out the window with him. Not that there was much to look at.

Ida snorted in soft amusement at his mention of tact. Like she was a great demonstration of diplomacy. He wouldn’t know particular details, but Ida knew she could begin a fabulous tavern fight with two words spoken directly from her mind.

The way Drogomir spoke was particularly frustrating for her. It sounded like a riddle to her, and her tired, fuzzy mind had to turn over his words while ignoring the lyrium’s siren song. Haunting, beautiful, and promising clarity. An edge. Sustainment and strength.

I could fight the wolves with it.

Her gaze flickered back to Drogomir as he said “please”, and his movements distracted from the whispering tickling her ear. He presented the chairs, silently requesting she sit and allow him to explain… explain what? Had she missed something?

“Aye.” Her answer was definitive. Please explain everything because I was not paying attention. Moving off the wall, she glared at the lyrium tray, as if to scare it into shutting up, before sitting. Willfully, she vowed to ignore it and urgently encouraged her mind to be attentive to Drogomir.

Maker, his attire was immaculate. And she… well, these traveler’s clothes were filthy and she silently apologized to the clean upholstery for having to endure the grime. He was the most gracious host, offering her to sit on his chairs when she likely looked like she belonged sitting with a pack of muddy dogs. Looking at Drogomir, though, Ida was certain she never had and never would appear that elegantly composed.

“This explanation,” she said, “Has something to do with your lyrium offer?”



CASSIAN ALLECTIUS
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