Participants:

Jovan_icon.gif Varric_icon.gif

Scene Title Gift Basket
Synopsis A merc and a merchant meet in a bar
Location The Hanged Man
Date Justinian 12, 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Information Gift Basket
Logger Varric

Varric is in the midst of finishing a story. A crowd of people gather around, apparently enjoying every bit of the tale the Dwarf is spinning. "Well, what could he do? He ran up the street wearing nothing but a sword and a smile all the way back to the barracks. I hear he was given some sort of medal after that. First man in the guard to subdue a group of bandits with nothing but the clothes on his back. …and ass." With that, and a bout of laughter the crowd disburses and he's left with his ale and a rather satisfied expression.

Part of the crowd, but not quite. Jovan's been listening from a bit more of a distance to the story that Varric is drawing people in with. Sounds like the kind of hijinks that every good soldier tries to witness at least once in their career. And as the others disperse, he ambles closer with a slightly bemused smirk on his face. "You like to tell tales. Heard any other good ones lately?" There's usually a grain of truth in them, and it serves a mercenary well to keep up on the town's gossip.

Varric gestures toward the room. "Oh, I hear a lot of things here and there. Hang around the Hanged Man long enough and you'll hear a lot. If it's good, you'll hear it from me. If it's really good… well, that's all a matter of circumstance." He's not sending the man on his way, which he indicates by gesturing toward the empty chair at his table. "The real question is, what have you heard?"

Jovan folds himself into the empty chair at Varric's table, stretching himself out as the tall tend to do without thinking. One elbow rests on the table and the other arm just hangs loosely in his lap. Relaxed. "That tends to be my brother's job." He gestures around the room by making a circle with one finger. "Listening for the stories. I just pick out the ones that interest me. Thought I might venture out this time, see whether the tension really has been ratcheting up." As an afterthought, his name is offered. "Jovan Marcius."

"Varric Tethris," he returns before gesturing for the serving girl. She doesn't even need to approach the table, everyone knows what that means when it comes from Varric. "So tell me, Shorty. What is a charming fellow like you doing this far from Tevinter? Not magey enough for the ladies?" Of course there's no malice in his tone. It's all just friendly conversation. "Tension? The poor don't have much choice. The Qunari make them nervous, but I imagine it's the Chantry and the Viscount that's shitting themselves over the situation. It'll all blow up sooner or later. Always does."

"Sometimes a man finds his best interests are served elsewhere." Jovan replies, simply, laughter brimming in his eyes even if it doesn't make it past his lips. "Shorty. Hadrian will get a kick out of that." He doesn't seem to mind the question, but his answer was deliberately vague. Instead, he listens to what Varric has to say about the poor, The Qunari, and the rest.

"The Chantry. Sure, they'd rather have their mages turned into quiescent slaves instead of barely contained weapons. Can see why they would be nervous. And the Viscount." The poor always have reason to be nervous, so he doesn't comment on that one, save for a slight tic in his jaw and a nod. "And they're contained in a district in Lowtown right now. The Qunari. Well, I use the term loosely. They aren't exactly contained now, are they."

"So it's not the lack of female attention," Varric comments. "Shorty, the only ones who contain the Qunari are other Qunari. They've been taking in wretched defectors at a steady rate and that makes everyone a little nervous. Now the guy who carts the bodies out of Lowtown could be one of them. And up there? It could be that servant they slapped for being slow. But this is Kirkwall, it's always something. Personally, I'd be a lot more comfortable if they were causing trouble every day. As it is, they just sit in their own little district waiting for … well, something."

Jovan just has that expression. The one that wonders if Varric really thinks he has a problem attracting female attention. It's why he doesn't bother answering that either. Bu what he does do? Sigh at mention of all the defectors. "Yeah. I get it." His fingertips tap lightly on the table, expression thuughtful. "You know of anyone trying to do something about it, yet?" Hey, this shit's bad for business. He could stick behind that as an excuse.

Varric chuckles at that lack of a response. "Well, if anyone's doing anything about it, they're doing it wrong. The Chantry's been reminding people that anyone but them is wrong, I'm sure the Viscount's got his skirts in a twist trying to find a way to get folks to go quietly back to being poor and starving. There may be a few people here and there who have their own ideas. There's always gonna be poor, Shorty. No matter where you are, someone's gonna be suffering. Apparently the Qun promises that they'll at least be fed."

"I grew up in Qarinus. Believe me, I know there are always going to be poor people. But I have this… thing." Jovan explains. "Where I don't like people being taken advantage of because of it. Bothers me, gets under my skin. We both know those asshole oxmen are going to use them as nothing but spies and cannon fodder. Fucking Viscount, can't even open a soup kitchen to keep them fed so they don't defect." He just shakes his head. "I know, Tevinter's not much better." He's just going to forestall that argument ahead of time. "Well. Maybe we can stem the tide a little while we wait to see what they're up to."

Varric tips his head back to think. "Qarinus, eh? Well well…" There's no reason given for that response, but then the ale arrives for Jovan and the dwarf takes on a thoughtful expression. "You know, there's a woman here in Lowtown that runs a pretty good intake for money to help the refugees here. The blight might be done, but that doesn't improve their lot. I suppose I could swing a little more coin her way to get her to expand her scope. Don't think I'm some sort great community supporter. This is where I do all my business. I can't let the Qun ruin it. Where would I live?" Of COURSE he cares, but there's no reason to let that be common knowledge. "Shorty, every place has issues. Ours just happens to be horned."

Jovan lifts the mug of ale to his lips with a satisfied grunt at the back of his throat. "This is where we do business. It's bad for business when people are nervous." See? He gets it, buddy. Don't worry. Nobody would openly call him a bleeding heart either. "Could be that some of those refugees would make decent mercenaries. We're picky, mind. But." Shrug. "Qarinus is a big place. You know a few others from the area?"

"Shorty, Thedas is a big place. I have friends everywhere." Which is a Varric answer, if not an actual answer. "Mostly women, some men. It's the chest hair. That's what I'm made of, chest hair and charm. What I want to know is, with all the competition, why would a merc band out of Tevinter set up here in Kirkwall? That can't have made you many friends."

"Chest hair and charm." Jovan repeats that, mostly for himself because he is compelled to lift an eyebrow about it. "We didn't have many friends to start with." So why bother with needing them now. "We're damn good at what we do. That we happen to be from Tevinter just means we have a different perspective on some things. The friends we do make? They're worth keeping around." So basically, he doesn't care much about making friends.

Varric chuckles. "Fair enough, Shorty. Fair enough. I happen to have family in Qarinus. I don't have anything against you just because you're from Tevinter. Who knows? We might even be friends by the time this whole situation plays out. I'm a fun guy. People like to be my friend. So let's start off right, shall we? If I hear anything that I think might pertain to you, I'll pass it along. Call it my gift basket. Everyone loves those things, right?"

"Those things usually have fruit, cheese, and crackers in them." Jovan comments, on gift baskets. "But I get the gist. What kind of information you looking for in return, then?" He doesn't like to owe people. He seems friendly enough, honest. He also waves a hand about Tevinter judgement. "I didn't think you would. There's some topics that just do better when left alone." For him, Qarinus happens to be one of them.

Varric seems to consider the question and then grins. "I think you'll know it if you have it. I'm a merchant, remember? At least I have to play the part now and then. Family obligations. If you hear a good story, just bring it to me. I have to keep the patrons entertained, after all. This IS my home." It's a Dwarven dream. Living in a bar.

It makes Jovan a little twitchy, but he nods curtly and gulps back the rest of his ale in one go. "I'll do that." he promises, pushing out from his chair so he can stand. "I'll see you 'round, Varric. And, I'll make sure you get some entertaining stories." Yep, he'll make shit up about Hadrian if he has to. It could be fun. His grin when he saunters back out the door is a dangerous one.


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