Participants:

Valentin_icon.gif Ashalle_icon.gif

Scene Title From On High
Synopsis An interesting meeting in the library.
Location Circle of Magi Library
Date 19 Solace 9:31 Dragon
Watch For High, high perches.
Logger Valentin

The library is a good and quiet place. It's comfortable, it's inviting, it's a lot more like home than the mages' rooms are, that's for sure. So it's little surprise that just about everyone makes their way into the library at least once a day. And today, with how it rained out in the city last night, is a little bit cooler for it. Thus it is that as the afternoon sun paints the room golden, Valentin is not out escaping the heat by the fountain, but instead taking company with the books. Not that the Enchanter is reading, mind you. Oh no. No, he is doing something all together more surprising.

That is, of course, if one notices him. Which, not many seem to. The bookshelves, you see, wrought of fine wood, are very tall, on account of the vaulted ceilings. Ladders allow access to the highest shelves. And, it seems, if one is willing to climb a little, to the tops of the shelves. Few people have reason to look up that high, however. And so the dark haired Enchanter goes mostly unnoticed from his perch way up high. Feet hanging over the front of the bookshelf, he just sits.

Given to reading herself, when she can, Ashalle is just entering the library now. She steps into the stacks, humming softly, her staff *tak-takking* as she wanders through the reams of books. She's careful not to linger near the ladders, looking up to make sure no one's about to drop on her. It seems a rather compulsive behavior, as she checks each one.
And so it is that she notices someone sitting on top of one of the bookshelves. She doesn't call up to him, but she can't help giggling, and quickly covers her mouth. There's no hiding the delighted twinkling of those bright blue-green eyes, though.

People come and go in the library, movement isn't exactly something that catches Valentin's attention. No, he's just going to sit on the top of his shelf, and merrily go about his life. He's done this as long as he can remember. Heights were always his friend. Made him a decent sailor, back in those days. The giggling, though, that's not a usual sound in the library. Especially not from directly below him. Tilting his head toward the sound, the Enchanter smirks. It's charming, though there may be too much distance to appreciate it. His hair, riotous with curls, falls forward to cover much of his face. He does not seem to mind. "Have you found one of the more entertaining books or am I missing something?" The Enchanter says, and with the quiet of the library, it's fairly easy to hear. And by the way his inflection is put on the word 'entertaining' he likely means something more akin to 'racy.' Leave it to the Rivaini.

Naturally, Ashalle's hands are empty of books; she'd had no time to find one to her liking. The question only prompts more giggles. "Were you looking for privacy?" she asks, careful to keep her voice down. Privacy, after all, is at a premium in these halls. "For such an entertaining book, perhaps?" Her own accent is Fereldan, and her hair left long and unbound, curtaining her face. But she's looking up, so the silky locks are derelict in their duty of keeping her distinctly Elven ears covered.

"Oh no." Valentin says with a barked laugh that is likely louder than he means it. "No, just curious is all. The library only has so much value to me outside of other people's amusement." Besides, if he wanted privacy, he'd hole himself up in his room. He doesn't have to share one, being an Enchanter. It's odd, perhaps, how it does not seem as though he has moved from that initial dip of his head down toward her.

That laugh is indeed loud; Ashalle quickly peeks around the corner of the shelf to make sure no one's coming, like a naughty child just shy of the jam jar. Finding no one, she sighs softly in relief and looks up again. "Why are you so still?" she has to ask. "There's plenty of room up there. I don't think falling is a true concern. But I guess I should see for myself." And, pausing to kilt up the skirts of her robes into her belt, she finds a ladder and begins making her way up, nimble as any City Elf.

"Oh, I'm not worried about falling. I was a sailor, that would be a terrible embarassment. Old Captain Valentin can't sit on a shelf that's staying still nowadays. G - Maker, can you imagine?" Valentin says with another laugh, this one even louder than the first. He's not great at this 'sanctity of silence' thing. "You are welcome to see for yourself if you like, the climb over the last few shelves isn't the easiest thing in these robes, and I'm terrible at catching." That comes along with another sharply barked laugh as though it is some grand joke. Strangely, however, it does not seem as though his eyes track her as she moves to the ladder.

"Ah, I see. I've always heard sailors had the most incredible balance," Ashalle says with a smile, reaching the top of the ladder. She has to stop for a moment to make sure of the way to where he is, and that's when she notices he's not looking at her. "Are you watching for someone, Captain?" she asks, without the least hint of disrespect.

"That we do." Valentin answers brightly, though as she's closer now, he's a little quieter about it. He's not wholly disrespectful. Up this high, it's a little dizzying. The vaulted ceilings are no joke, and the shelves have been built right up to their bend. This fall could kill someone. That question, though, makes him bark another laugh. "Oh, that would be rich." He says by way of answer.

Cognizant of just /how/ high the shelves are, Ashalle takes some care clambering up on top of the one serving as Valentin's perch. She's not as quick as he no doubt was, but she manages the ascent with credible speed.
She's not so busy that she misses the remark, though. "Rich… there is something I'm missing, isn't there?" she says, finally coming to rest beside him.

"Oh, likely. Plenty of people do, though, don't worry." Valentin says, sounding more amused than anything. Up close, the smirk on full lips and shadowed jaw is much more obviously charming. As is the mischievous little glint in pale, mint green eyes. Not that he looks at her, even still, though he does stop tilting down as though he is looking at someone below. It seems, however, that he is also not offering an explanation.

Ashalle gives the Captain a good look over, frowning thoughtfully. At last, the answer hits her. "Oh! I'm terribly sorry. I should've realized it from the first," she says, sheepishly apologetic.

Again, Valentin laughs. "Oh yes, you should have noticed from twenty feet below and having never met me in your life, and with the fact that most blind men don't go climbing bookshelves." He says, shaking his head. "Let's not be silly, now."

"I suppose you're right. But I do feel terribly thick, not realizing sooner," Ashalle replies. "You were cluing me in for a while, after all. I suppose I should blame the climbing. Since I got here, I'm used to everyone looking at me."

"Want to know a secret?" Valentin says in a stage whisper. He does not wait for an answer. "I enjoy people taking awhile to figure it out. Makes them all off kilter. Highly amusing." A nod, as though that is somehow not and assholeish thing to say. Even though it definitely is. "Though… I do have to ask. Since I know why people stare at me, it's the dashing good looks," See that cheeky grin? He's kidding… Sort of, "But why do they stare at you?"

"So I noticed," Ashalle says in dry amusement. She's not so blind she'd miss /that/, no pun intended. Let the man have his fun.
And then he asks /that/ question…
Well, /she/ brought it up. But she can't keep from sighing. "Well, I could say that it's because I'm the prettiest thing on two feet, but I'd be lying. It's because of why I'm here, and not back home in Ferelden: I'm supposed to have seduced a Templar. Which was news to me, and him." She shrugs.

And then it is Valentin's turn to shrug. "And I'm not back home in Rivain." A pause. "Sadly." That word holds weight, but he doesn't let it linger. "Basically no one here is actually from here. They should get over you quickly. And, if it's any consolation," He says with another cheeky grin, "I got transferred for breaking a Knight Lieutenant's nose."

"I know exactly how you feel," Ashalle replies, sympathetic, reaching up and squeezing his shoulder gently. "Same feeling, different land. But they can't get bored with me soon enough. I'm tired of feeling like the star attraction in a medicine show."
She blinks at that admission, gasping as if scandalized. "Did he deserve it?" she has to ask. Templars are not her favorite people right now.

The sudden, unexpected touch makes the Enchanter jump a little. He settles quickly, however. "Eh, you've got two Rivaini, and another Ferelden around. It shouldn't take too long." Then, he nods. "Yes, he did."

"Then I don't blame you a bit. I wanted to kick one in the shin when he told me why I was being shipped off like a barrel of fish heads," Ashalle replies, giggling softly at that jump. "Do you mean Katerina? I've met her. She seems nice."

"I do." Valentin answers simply, "And she seems to be, yes. I cannot say I know her well, though." He clears his throat. His hand comes to the back of his neck at that giggle, and he shifts slightly uncomfortably, rolling his shoulder to remove her hand.

Ashalle doesn't put it back, sensing his discomfort with the gesture. "I've only just met her myself. But she's a City Elf, like me, and that does help. I've felt a bit less homesick since we met. Just being able to /talk/ to someone… like now, I mean."

"Where were you before Kirkwall?" Valentin asks. Seems he's not going to linger on his discomfort, for his hand falls away from his neck. Sliding back from the edge of the bookshelf, Valentin puts his back to the wall, and folds his legs under him. The shelves are deep, made for holding large books, or two rows of them, when need be.

"The Jainen Circle, originally," Ashalle replies, scooting back a little so as to stay within easy speaking distance. "Before that, Denerim. It's been a long road, and not a pleasant one." She looks to him again. "What of yourself, Captain? You must have traveled a long road as well, to end up here."

Valentin nods, and then laughs. "You don't have to call me Captain, you know. I don't have a ship anymore." He says, though he mostly sounds amused. "I'm from Dairsmuid, originally, and the Circle there. But I ran off, stole one of my father's ships. Made a life at sea, port to port. Until my crew up and left me at Ostwick." He says, shaking his head, "Bloody traitors. But after that… It was a whirlwind. All over the Free Marches. Used to write these pamphlets…" He laughs quietly, "Eventually, in Starkhaven, I got caught. Dragged to the Circle there. Then Ansberg, Antiva, two weeks in Ostwick, Cumberland, Montsimmard, eventually Val Royeaux, now here. Longest was Val Royeaux. Was there five years."

"No, but I meant it out of respect," Ashalle says simply. "If you'd rather, I can just call you Valentin." She falls silent, listening.

Shrugging, the Enchanter fold his hands in his lap. "You can call me what you like. Except Enchanter. Don't call me that. Captain might make the Templars a little jumpy, though." The grin says he doesn't care.

The Elfwoman chuckles warmly. "Valentin, then. We can't have the Templars jumping at shadows and strange lights, after all," she says, bemused. "Especially me. They were just about ready to take my head off my shoulders as it was before the trip." That slight tremor in her voice says she's not entirely comfortable with that thought.

"Oh, trust me, I know that feeling." Valentin says, "I manage to make one of them angry enough to hit me at least once a week. I try and make a point of it." A pause. "Though, I've toned it down, here. This place is more dangerous than I'm comfortable with trying to get away with that over."

"It does seem very… /oppressive/," Ashalle observes. "If I thought most of the Templars back in Jainen had no sense of humor, most of the bunch here make them look like festival tumblers. I hope they're not /all/ like that, but I've yet to meet any who aren't, so far."

"Lieutenant Garou's a good man. Sometimes serious, but a good man." Valentin says, his tone warm, "I knew him back in Val Royeaux. He brought me a Lionette when he was transferred here, and let me put a bracelet on him that makes noise, so I know it's him when he's approaching. Knight Captain Wulff seems sweet, though I do not know her well. I don't well know any of the others. They aren't always forthcoming in their names."

"Lieutenant Garou… Knight Captain Wulff. I'll remember those names," Ashalle promises. "Though I do wonder what they'll think of /me/, considering how I came to be here. I suppose I can do nothing but meet them and find out."

"Well, Lieutenant Garou, anyway, he won't have a problem. Val Royeaux… Is full of people sleeping together. Not that they admit to it, mind, but it's true." Valentin says, "As for Captain Wulff, I don't know. But she's Ferelden as well, so there might at least be that bridge. I believe her and Katerina get along well enough, anyway."

"I'd always heard that about Val Royeaux, but to hear it from someone who's been there, that's something else," Ashalle says, stifling giggles. "It sounds like he's interesting to know. And it can't hurt to meet Knight-Captain Wulff. One way or the other, at least I'd know for sure."
She shifts positions, preparing to climb back down. "I'd better get back down before I'm missed. It was good to meet you, Captain Valentin," she says. "Please find me, if ever you need someone to talk to."

"Good luck on the climb down." Valentin says with a smile. He settles back to his quiet thinking, about all manner of things. Or maybe nothing.


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