Participants:

Dante_icon.gif Sebastian_icon.gif

Scene Title A Confession of Princes
Synopsis Dante comes in to pray, and seeks the guidance of a Brother.
Location The Chantry
Date 12 Kingsway Dragon 9:31
Watch For Bonding, in the strangest way possible.
Logger Dante

The Chantry was as it's norm, the usual coming and goings of those who followed and practiced the faith, perhaps a few who were curious about it, and all sorts between. Sebastian was among those dressed in robes who served the Chantry, standing unobtrusively to the side. His hands were folded in the purple and crimson sleeves of the Chantry robe, his head at a slight tilt down, his eyes downcast and in a haze that suggested he was far away as one of the chanters up front was singing a soft hymn, those followers within range bowing their heads with prayer.

There is one man who has been here… Actually most of the day. Which is, perhaps, a little odd. His clothes are fine, if not a little over the top. Silk and embroidery of roses, dark hair left long and wavy. Gloved, doeskin pants, boots that hugged his calves. It's decent enough, but if he took off the coat, if he unlaced the top of his shirt, it would be… Honestly, he's a hair's breadth away from looking like a whore. Because he is one, but Dante isn't trying to advertise that right now. No, he's just praying, as he has been doing most of the day, and as chance befell, is doing so rather near the hymn singing Brother. He follows along with the Chant, but for those who listen, the voice that comes from him is soft and lyrical, the Chant, but in Antivan.

Who is Bash to judge what someone is or isn't? Really he probably hasn't even seen the man too close, or if he had, he had given him an introspective once over before moving on to other things throughout the day, not to interfere unless he was first approached. As the hymn winds down, he does hear the Antivan chant, which draws his eyes up and back to the other man shortly. Sebastian looks toward the Chanter who takes the moment to say one last prayer before the woman is moving aside to allow prayer to happen in silence or civilians to approach the Sisters and Brothers scattered throughout.

As the final prayers are said, Dante takes a deep breath, his own Chant ending. And there's a moment, there, where he stares up into the face of the statue of Andraste, where there is reverence, and sadness, and fear, and so much regret. It's moving, for a moment, enough that he shivers with it, before closing his eyes and sitting down on the nearest pew, swallowing hard.

Sebastian watched the reaction of the Antivan when the Chant came to an end, brow lifting as he noticed the reflection of emotions that played over the young man's face. There's a moment he was hesitant to go over and disturb the thoughts of the man in need of prayer, but the other part of him, the one groomed for the Chantry takes him step by step over toward the pew where the fellow had taken a seat. "The Maker smiles on you serah," his head tilts, as he nods to the seat next to the man, taking it even if not invited, "Is there words that you need to speak of, to release what troubles you?"

It does not seem that Dante minds the company. There's even a very small smile offered the Brother. "I do not know." He says then, quiet but not shy, Antivan accent obvious and thick "Perhaps? I thought maybe prayer might help but I think it has only given me time to reflect on my bringing my own trouble." There's a small frown then, and Dante look away, back to the statue. "How does the Maker judge those who simply do what they must to survive?"

Sebastian settles his hands in his lap, fingers laced loosely as he leans back to look up toward the image of Andraste, the cold smile she always wears, the heart of stone she presents. The response that he does in turn gain from the man beside him carries the Starkhaven's chin back toward him, "What we do, influences the world around us, that cannot be helped, but, what we do, can be. So if what you are doing calls upon you a consequence that you reckon as not one in which you desire to come by, then you should change what caused it in the first place. The Maker has guided you here, perhaps, to hear such words." Although the Sisters were supposed to give religious advice, sometimes a brother could in circumstances such as these. "I do not believe he will judge us fully, until we all turn back to him, for in our failing we lost his gaze," he looks down a bit, pensive, "We have our whole lives to make amends for the sins we bear. Surviving in this world in which we miss his eye, well, I do not think he will begrudge too harshly, but it is what we brought upon ourselves, isn't it?" He leans back with a soft sound in his chest, "You may wish to confess, for that is a start down the road to healing from it, what ever it is, you believe you have done in the name of preserving your life."

Dante listens quietly, taking in the advice and taking a deep breath. "They are not, for the most part, things that I can change. Things, mostly, that I have done from which there is no coming back." Dante says on a small sigh, though he doesn't actually sound terribly self deprecating. "You are likely right, though, confession is likely the next step."

"I did not say you could, only that going forward, you may try…" Sebastian glances over at Dante, "There is nothing of which you have done that you cannot come back from, not while you still have air in your lungs. Only then, can you not come back." He is not a touchy feely guy, ever. Not even with his cousin, blame his father, his mother, and brothers. Blame them all, but, something else prompted him to show compassion and that came at the cost of being touchy feely, so, a hand eased up to touch Dante's shoulder, "It is difficult, to acknowledge what things you have done, but the sooner you face them, the sooner you can heal from them. Would you like a Sister to hear your confessions? Most do take with them but Brothers can hear the words as well."

As it turns out, Dante is actually not terribly touchy-feely himself either. Sure, he plays at it, but in truth, he's always been the kind for distance, except when engaged in the art of seduction. And he's not trying that, not with a Brother, he has more reverence than that. Nevertheless, the hand on his shoulder eases him some. "Whichever is easiest," He says, "I am not opposed to you, or a Brother in general, but if you have other tasks to see to, that is understandable." He is not here to be a burden, and that is something he has been entirely too much in his life.

The gesture was finalized when the hand seemed to ease the other man enough and that is when it was taken back again, rested in his own lap, allowing the distances to become respectful once more. He wouldn't guess that Dante's art was seduction and even if he did, he would not encourage such things. "I do not believe it is about the ease in which is it to be done, for nothing of confession can be easy. However, I came to sit with you for a reason, a compelling one that perhaps, the Light itself, guided me to you among those who are here. So," the Starkhaven burr makes him sound much like the Prince he is, but here, more divine, as if he would go north, he could be more than what he was here. Either way, he looks about, then offers, "There are private rooms in which we may enter for such things, unless you would like to do so, under the gaze of Andraste. It is your choice."

That nobility in Sebastian's voice pulls a different posture from Dante. Something that is more familiar to him, more comfortable, though for all the world it probably would not look more comfortable at all. Because it's the posture of a noble, straight and well poised, the kind of thing you earn growing up in it, not something that can be put on easily. Especially not when it comes with relaxation. The mask is slipping away, and that's likely the best possible thing for him at the moment. Dante nods. "Thank you, Brother." He says, then, even his accent less thick, voice more measured and refined, "I do not think the things I have to say would be best for the open air." A private room, it is.

Sebastian marks the change of posture, fleetingly. People did all sorts of things under the Light of Andraste. As the decision is aired that such words could not be said where many could hear, the exiled Prince rises with the too, the grace that comes from being bred into an aristocratic family. "Follow me please, Serah," he murmurs, giving no names and taking none. This was not about how a man was called but who he was underneath the name, what he had done and what he had kept in his soul. Slipping out of the pews, Sebastian's gait is not languid but it is not brisk, more mild and even, as he guides the sinner toward one of the small rooms in which gives privacy to confessions. Unlike our world, it is merely a room with a smaller dais in which to pray, but nothing will hide those who come to confess from the face of a Sister or Brother. All things must be witnessed and heard, so that they could properly see the confession through it's course. The door has a latch which can be flipped from within, to occupy the room and keep unwanted guests out, a measure that Sebastian takes, once the other man has entered. There are cushions on the floor and a small bench besides. Sebastian moves to the dais which holds a smaller statue of Andraste and lights the candles around her, fire flickering against the bronze, making her look just as alive as the taller version outside. Once this is complete, Sebastian turns with his arms extended out, "You shall not be left to wander the drifting roads of the Fade, For there is no darkness, nor death either, in the Maker's Light, And nothing that He has wrought shall be lost." He makes a gesture to symbolize the prayer for the Maker's Light before he offers to Dante, "You may speak and unburden yourself, for Andraste will listen and hear you."

Dante follows, quiet and graceful. There's no protest, no hesitation. Even as Sebastian leads the way into the room, Dante is not one to linger on standing. But he's from Antiva, and kneeling is the custom there. So upon one of the cushions, he kneels, hands folded in his lap, looking down, but not quite so much as to appear ashamed. "Back home, I had the world in my hands." He admits then, "And I forsook my family's wishes to marry a woman that I loved, in secret, and have a son by her. And when my family, who had tried to betroth me to another, learned of what I had done… They gave me two choices." He takes a deep breath then, closing his eyes. "I could tell my family my wife's name… And in the Antivan fashion, I would be rid of her. Or I could leave Antiva, and the life I had known. I chose the latter. And I came here, and since then…" He shifts slightly. "My family sent me with no means, and such time as I have come to Kirkwall, I have been… I have turned to prostitution and theft."

Sebastian's hands come back to his middle to clasp there loosely, sleeves folding over them as he watches passively as Dante follows the custom of Antiva, to kneel when making confession and prayer. The Brother remains composed during the beginning of the confession. He has heard worse, he knows worse, though the story was not unbelievable to him. Love pushed people to choices they wouldn't otherwise make, not that he would know, but he had been told as much once by his Grandfather and perhaps by the teachings of the Chantry. Love was foreign to him, so perhaps there, he could not empathize. It was the latter, that seemed to catch his breath a little, as if finally putting the pieces together as to why the man acted the way he did, why he was dressed so. "Many have been forced into such paths because of the Blight, for Kirkwall is only so big and can only hold so many and there have been more who came than perhaps the city can handle." He moves forward a step, his mouth about to open to say more before he nods with a solemn incline, to encourage the man further.

These things, they had not been easy to say. They had all been what he had planned on confessing. But now that he is here, more comes to mind and he takes a deep breath. "I am, as is the way in Antiva, trained as an Assassin. I have lost count of the lives I have taken. Only a few months ago, I did so again. In the defense of someone in my place of business, but it happened nevertheless." And he's just speaking. Why he keeps talking, honestly, Dante couldn't say. "I do not come to pray as often as I should." A pause, "Every moment that I have spent here in Kirkwall, until I came to the Chantry today, has been a performance and a lie." And he stops then. What he felt the need to say having been said.

Assassin. That rings in his ears like a thousand bells tolling, his stomach twists in knots and a fire rekindles, burning deeply. Assassins… And yet, on the outside, his composure remained in place. He was cold and steel, but the forge burned deep and hot. For now, cold and steel. Cold and steel. His eyes remained on the man, as if hearing the words for the Maker, wondering perhaps if the Maker would feel his body churn and writhe such as Sebastian does now, at hearing such confessions. But he stood, solid, those blue eyes brightening with each word added… perhaps a verse rings true… Blessed are they who stand before The corrupt and the wicked and do not falter…. He did not falter. He merely looked upon the man before him, the vile wretch with blood stained hands. "If you live a lie then you will suffer for it, as long as you live it." His hands unfold, drop to his sides, "For are you happy while you give performance? And why must you give it? What lies do you tell?"

This watching, Dante can feel it. But he doesn't shy further under it. Just swallows again, throat visibly working at the task. "Yes, and no." He answers, as true and honest as he is able. "It is… Not wholly unpleasant, but it is not natural either." He pauses then, figuring to answer both questions with the same answer, and constructing how to do so. "The lie that I tell is the performance I put on for the work that I do. The… Layabout, foppish Antivan with little care and a love for naught but coin. Extravagance to the point gaudiness, luxury to be purchased. But I am not that. I was the eldest son of a Prince of Antiva. I was his heir, and though I have always been flirtatious, this…" He glances down at his own arms, the gaudy embroidery thereupon, "This is not true."

That… the admission that the man before him was a Prince of Antiva, or was, by the story he told it… has Sebastian speechless. How his life could have ended the same, if not for the Chantry. How he could be on the street whoring and killing. But wasn't he as well, performing? Acting? It was a thought that makes his stomach churn and the colour leave his face. The consequence of staying in the Chantry was before his very eyes. The Maker has sent him message, surely. He turns his face away, faltering now, barely, enough that his exhaled breath can be seen as deep for his quivers his bottom lip. "The world that sees a Blight welcomes the chaos to see Princes fall…" a quote likely from some relic, but he turns back, with an almost haunted look in his eyes, "And where is your wife and child now? Do they live? Do you support them with your …unnatural ways?"

In Antiva, Princes were so different than what they were in Starkhaven, but nevertheless, the comparison is… It can be made. There's a deep, steadying breath then, and the smallest tremble in his shoulders. Honestly, anyone not raised with courtly graces would likely miss it. "If they live, they are in Antiva." He begins, and this is more difficult than anything he has said up to now, "My son, I never met. And I know the assassin lines in Antiva. I know that if I send word or money to them, it will be found. It will be traced, they will be found, and my mother…" He moves then, pinching the bridge of his nose, "If they are found, I do not think they will live."

And Sebastian was. His eyes spot the tremble that many would miss. Two Exiled Princes, one turned thief, the other turned Brother. He saw the similarities but there were hard lines that made their stories different. Still, a fellow Prince could empathize with the loss of everything one had when the world was embraced in the palm of one's hand. Sebastian closes his eyes, almost hearing the roar of the crowd in the stadium of Starkhaven as he became the Champion, their Champion. As his eyes open, his breath is heavier. "Can you… could another possibly do it for you? To look for them? I know what it is to lose your family, Andraste would betoken a Light upon you to bring aid to your wife and child…" He looks a little distraught, around the corners of his eyes, there was strain, some of the cold cracking like great hulking sheets of ice dropping into the ocean. Then with a shake of his head, he straightens his form, "With neither blade nor shield, Andraste gave herself up, To her enemies. And Maferath bound his wife's hands, And delivered her to the Archon to be put to death…" He smiles a little at that, by little, it is merely a quirk of a corner of his mouth, the words coming out of him now with ease, as he regained himself, "Unlike Maferath, you did not bind your wife to deliver her enemies. The Maker and Andraste both, will surely shine on you and forgive you of your sins. Take care not to repeat them, for there are other ways to make a living than by selling yourself. Work for the Chantry, perhaps, for there are times posted on our boards work that we cannot leave to do. The coin will not match a Prince's taste, but it will be an honest earning."

"Perhaps." Dante says, looking up finally, hearing this change in Sebastian before he sees it. "After enough time, when my family has stopped looking." He shakes his head, then, and swallows again. There's a look he gives to Sebastian then, one that is curious but not outright prying. He can see that cracking of the ice shelf, but for now, he does not comment upon it. "I will think on what you have said, Brother. But I must be honest, I make no promises. This has… Served me well, and the people that I work for would likely not take kindly to my trying to leave." Because sitting here, he would not lie to Sebastian, though he may well do so at some other time. "Have you other council for me? I believe I have said what I have need to."

"Take heart that you have a family left to look," Sebastian regards the curious gaze that finds him, "Though it sounds as if they would kill to position you, I imagine by doing so, they may view it as an act of caring for your well being. Find it in you to forgive them. It may take a …" oh Sebastian, can you preach what you cannot practice, he does try, "…years, perhaps your whole life… but forgiving and forgiving yourself for the choices you made, will help." He moves forward then, putting his hand on Dante's shoulder, the other has moved to fish something out of a pocket hidden away underneath all those robes. When it comes forward, it is a gold piece. He offers it to the other Exiled Prince, "You could leave, if you wanted. I could help you. We could always use another exiled Prince in our numbers," he alludes with a press of that coin into the other's palm, having moved to snatch Dante's hand to press it there, "Take this and use it as you can, to take time to yourself, to pay your debts, whatever it is that keeps you chained. And come see me again, should you need assistance. In any way." He steps back then, to give the other space, with a final clap to the shoulder, finalizing with a prayer verse, "I shall not be left to wander the drifting roads of the Fade, For there is no darkness, nor death either, in the Maker's Light, And nothing that He has wrought shall be lost… Go in peace, serah."

Well, this… This is not at all what Dante expected. He doesn't pull away from Sebastian's touch. He doesn't refuse the coin. You didn't refuse coin in Antiva. "I…" His look to Sebastian is… "Anoth-" He stops himself before he asks. "Very well, Brother. Thank you for your time." Oh so many questions, and none of them good for asking. Not when he had just met this man. But, perhaps, some day. So he curls his hand around that sovereign, and when he is given leave, Dante turns for the door, with much more to think about than he thought he would leave the Chantry with.


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