Participants:

Thistle_icon.gif Anders_icon.gif Taril_icon.gif

Scene Title He Followed Me Home
Synopsis Taril finds a lost Qunari.
Location Lowtown, Darktown, Clinic
Date January 11, 2016
Watch For It's all very confusing
Logger Taril

A small mountain of a man moves through lowtown, he leans on a thick stave and shows his newness to the area by trying to wave away the stench of the smells erupting from darktown and the clouds of foundry smoke.

Well HELLOO there bighorn. But what's this? He looks new? Oh come on, you can't think Taril is going to resist this. I mean, he's going to TRY but that never really works out. So, as if he was meant to do so in the first place, he falls in step with this new Qunari. "So… new to the smell? It works better if you just … no, wait. Nothing kills that. You should probably stay out of it." Sage wisdom.

Thistle looks down at the elf for a moment, "Save yourself the trouble and me the slit in my purse, it is empty." He gives a snort, hwoarks and spits to the side away from the elf. "Or is this a friendlier sort of slum than those I've walked through before?" The Qunari's accent is thick, but more caused by his size than by any trace of Qunlat. "If it is you can have my apology after you buy me, and pay for, a drink of my choosing from an establishment of my choosing."

Taril laughs. "Creators, you think I'm a cutpurse? I'm Dalish." Pause. "Ok, fair enough. I'm not that kind of Dalish." He glances around Lowtown and laughs. "Friendly? This place? I suppose if your idea of friendly is 'hungry predator waiting to eat my face but hasn't yet', then this is the place. ..and I may not let you choose the place, because I'm not drinking anything from Darktown or Hightown." Man, screw those places. "Hey, you're not one of those other hornheads, are you? Because you actually say more than …" Than 'bring me the elf'? "…any of them."

Thistle looks down at Taril, "I'm not that kind of Qunari." Was he mimicing Taril, possibly, but something the elf says registers and the big fellow draws to a stop and turns slowly from side to side looking around, "This isn't Darktown?"

Taril puts on a laugh. "Ha. Ha." But then there's that question and he's really going to laugh. Not enough, but that's a funny question. "This? Creators no. This is a flower filled meadow compared to Darktown. Darktown is that way," he informs, pointing in the direction "More dead bodies, cutpurses, poison, maniacs, did I mention the dead bodies?" BUT WAIT. "You're not with them?" Ohboy. "I didn't know you could be not with them. Isn't there a rule or… Oh wait, are you one of those tal … tal… Oh whatever they call themselves." He's heard the word once, folks. Give him a break.

Thistle looks in the direction indicated for Darktaown and visibly flinches, "I thought that the sewer…" He muses, then turns his attention towards the laughing Taril guaging the sincerity of his words then back to what really seems more sewer than living space. "I do not know what they call themselves, I call myself I, me or myself. If someone else wants my attention I suggest they call me Thistle, as it is what I answer to." He starts walking towards the entry pointed, "Do you know a man named Anders? I am told he can be found in Darktown."

Taril shrugs. "Fair enough. …and that IS the sewer. It's also Darktown, and it's full of the desperate and the dead." Pause. "I know where you can find him. Can you tell me why you want to find him? I could help you if you're not going to cause trouble." He considers the name and then nods. "Taril."

Thistle says, "We share a common enemy, Anders and I, and I've been told to consult with him about it. Any trouble I cause would be more for our enemies than for him." He draws a bit nearer the entrance indicated and the sides of his nose attempt to escape by crawling upwards to hide in his eyebrows, only to be foiled by the tethers of skin binding them to the bridge. He coughs and spits again, "I may have urges to set fire to his home, but that is only out of some sence of decency."

Taril shrugs. "Alright, I'll help you get there. If you're lying I'll just have to kill you. I hope you're not lying. You'd take a LOT of arrows. I might not even get you down before you killed me." Which he says SO DAMN CASUALLY. "Just breath slow. You'll get used to it after a while. …or the inside of your nose dies. I haven't figured out which. I can still smell flowers, so maybe it's just a little of both. No setting fire to the place. It's well ventilated and people need it."

Thistle looks over at Taril, "If I'm lying you have my permission to try, little archer, but I'll make special effort to kill you before my ruse is revealed so you will not be disappointed in having trusted me enough to lead me…into a sewer." He snorts again and spits, "As for your flowers, anything that doesn't smell like this must smell like a flower after you leave."

Taril shrugs. "I've lead people into worse places." He heads through the arch that leads into Darktown proper. "Stay out of the clouds of fog. They'll kill you." He laughs as he walks the downward slope. "Probably. Lowtown has its own stink. I think the only ones here who actually breath fresh air are in Hightown and I don't know why anyone would want to go there."

Thistle leaves, heading towards the Darktown

Thistle plods down into the tunnels, with no escape his face eventually surrendors and adopts a stoic expression. He glances over at Taril as they continue down and says, "Yes, I can see where your Lowtown is idylic by comparison." He taps the ground ahead of him with his staff and steps around the deeper piles of…stuff. "There is a brisk trade in footwear in these parts, isn't there?"

"So, is your vision bad? Not that I'm trying to pry but you tap that staff of yours like you're either trying to find your way or afraid the ground is going to give out. …I mean, that's also a pretty good thing to worry about down here, but this tunnel is pretty safe." Taril steps around the ickiness as if he's used to it. "Pretty much. Even if it's just sandals woven from straw, it's better than walking barefoot." He glances down at his own feet. "For some of us. I'd fall on my face in shoes."

Thistle looks down at the ground, then at his staff, then at the ground then he brays out a laugh, "Hah." He whacks the ground a few more times with the staff, "Places that smell this bad, I'm used to finding things that want to bite off toes. Spent some times in a swamp that smelled almost this bad, learned the habit and never want to unlearn it. You do what you have to to survive, even if it makes you look a little weak-eyed." He gives the ground another whack, "Surprised you don't have the same habbit with your toes out to encourage rats to take a taste."

"Anything that has any meat on it has already been hunted and eaten by the people who live down here. They got the cats and dogs first because they were competition. The only reason the bodies last long enough to be carted out is because no one wants to risk being poisoned by a poisoned corpse." Taril nods toward one of the tunnels branching off. "We're going there. Besides, we Dalish have other ways of keeping things from trying to take bites out of us. At least my clan does. We live out in the open, you have to know how to do it. No offense meant. We've just been doing it for generations."

Thistle nods, "No offense taken, most people just, you know, hit the things that want to take a bite out of them with a stick." He taps the staff down a few times, "Deters biters better than hoping they don't like the taste of our flesh." He takes a few steps, "Though this does explain why everyone tells me the Dalish are bitter."

Taril laughs. Not that short laugh that indicates he's mildly amused, but a real 'that was damn funny' laugh. "Maybe that's the reason we don't have to worry about being eaten. It's not a testament of our character, it's literally our flavor." He shakes his head, still grinning. "I'm not that kind of Dalish. I'm interested in the past but I'm not chasing after a lost empire. …I'm also not interested in getting the humans' Maker to pay attention to them again." He nods toward a set of doors. "There. If the lantern's lit then it's alright to go in. Off and… well, everyone deserves their privacy and sleep."

Thistle chuckles at the play on words then looks up at the latern, "Do they?" He muses for a little while, "What a charitable outlook you have, Taril, but I'd risk rousing his wrath even if the light was out. His dwelling place doesn't encourage multiple visits." He walks up and gives the door frame a quick thump with a meaty fist then tries the door.

There will shortly be a rapping on the doorframe, then the door will be tried and if unlocked opened by a large Qunari, with a Taril in tow.

Taril shrugs. "I guess if you don't mind him defending himself against a surprise intruder," he warns. "I don't know about charitable. I wouldn't wake up a sleeping bear because I don't want to have my face or other body parts chewed off. That's not charity." Still, he's going to stick around to make sure this is all on the level before he leaves. Because why waste the opportunity to shoot at another Qunari, maybe?

Thistle taps his staff on the ground outside a few times to knock off the filth before going in, "Bears are good eating." The Qunari is quite big and that staff is bound in with the sort of iron ends that imply it is more a thwacking aid than a walking aid, the number of people who don't consider doing what he asks a fabulous idea are fairly few and far between. "He might not be pleased to see me, but I don't think I'll be a complete surprise to him."

"Only if they don't eat you first," is Taril's reply and he steps to the side of the clinic to unsling his bow and work at one of the ties of the string as if tightening it. All very casual. "Well, if he takes offense, remember I'm on his side. I really hope you're not here to cause trouble. I kind of like you." Because of course he does.

Thistle nods, "Of course, of course. Could you take a step to the left, if he comes from that direction…" He points a thumb over his shoulder, "…I can brain you on the backswing." He leans on his staff watching Taril. "You know, you'd probably be better off with knife. You'd have to get out the doorway to be out of my reach in here." He looks up, "Unless you're really good at climbing." The qunari doesn't seem in a rush to announce himself, letting the bantering threats alert those in the building to their pressence.

The lantern is lit, which means the door is open. Thankfully, however, it has been a slow day, otherwise the presence of an enormous Tal-Vashoth in the clinic might have caused people besides Anders to have a heart attack. The knocking jerks his attention from the text he'd been poring over - it's unusual because most people in Darktown just… come in - but the sense of Taint as soon as he actually pays attention to his surroundings is what brings him forward armed with a… spear. Because that makes sense. Mage, spear, obviously a match made in heaven. When it's not Darkspawn but a very, very large Qunari taking up space in his foyer, Anders' already pale skin goes a ghostly white. Nevertheless, he sets his jaw and shifts his weight onto the balls of his feet, holding that spear like he actually knows what he's doing with it. "Taril," he grounds out. "Is there any particular reason you've brought a killer to a place of healing?" He can still feel the oily crawl of the Taint nearby. It makes him twitchy.

"He said he was looking for you," Taril shrugs, taking out his knife and working at a the wrapped end as if digging out a bit of debris. "He was gonna find you anyway, so I figured I should be here for it. Plus, he was asking people he didn't know. Like me. That's bad, right? I did tell him that I'd probably try to kill him if he caused trouble, but do you see how big he is? His name's Thistle, by the way." He glances over at Thistle. "Please don't make me fight you. You're the first person who hasn't been too uncomfortable to make a joke about the Dalish to me."

Thistle remains leaning on his staff, the threat of his presence reasonably constrained. He looks over to Taril first, "We probably won't need to fight right now. I've heard reasonably good things about him, so I expect he'll sort it out in a few moments. You'll want to lean a bit to the side, it'll sink in more quickly once he realizes we're more or less alone." He looks over at Anders, "Let me know when you figure it out, then let me know if you want more proof."

"Wonderful." The Taint alone could be anything - especially in this backwater shithole of a city - but the combination of Taint and looking for him can only mean one thing. "Sidona has a sick sense of humor." It's an assumption, but Amaranthine's Warden Commander is just sadistic enough to send a Qunari Warden to hunt down a mage Warden. "Also has anyone ever told you that you give a terrible first impression? I mean sure, some of my closest friends have turned 'condescending ass' into an artform, but usually they hold it back until at least after 'how do you do'." Notably, he has not lowered his spear. "What do you want with me, Warden?"

Taril makes a 'wow, heavy' face and then looks between the two. "So… is this going to go all 'spell explody, arrow to the face, guts everywhere' or should I just let you two have this out in private? I mean, I don't want to go if you're going to need someone, buuut… I don't want to overhear anything that would make the situation awkward." Pause. "More awkward than it already is, because have I mentioned that the awkward level in here is pretty fucking high?"

Thistle shrugs, plates of armor lift, then plates of armor fall, "To most I'm a gigantic horned monster in armor, if the worst I come across is a condescending ass I think I'm doing pretty well, don't you?" He looks over at Taril and laughs, "If he's greeting me as a Warden in front of you then you don't need to go on my account, and I didn't bring my axe so it'd be head-splitting, not gut-spilling, but I don't really need to do that. I'm just here to make Anders aware that I'm in the area and see if there is anything he needs." He turns to look over at Anders, "By the way, your first impression was a bit…threatening, maybe a little less spear next time?"

The look Anders shoots Taril is one of long-suffering and 'can you believe this' and 'why me???' all somehow rolled into one betrayed expression. "Why is it that people get angry at me for responding to scary things in my own Maker-damned clinic?" He doesn't sound angry, just like this is a longstanding argument that Thistle has the poor fortune of coming in on the tail end of. "First a Templar and now a Qunari. Goodness, I cannot possibly imagine why someone like me might respond to either of those things as though they are threats." Sarcasm game on point, but he sighs and waves Taril off. "Go on, then. I'll be fine." Wardens are universally Tal-Vashoth - at least the last he'd heard - so there wasn't so much to worry about as if it had been otherwise. "Are you one of the ones being reassigned to Adie's unit?" he asks Thistle, moving his spear to rest upright where he can lean on it.

See that expression, Anders? SEE IT? Congratulations, you've made Taril- OF ALL PEOPLE- feel guilty. No. Really. Congratulations. "The only reason I lead him here is because I didn't want someone that couldn't be trusted doing it." So he's going to head off with a wave. Except, he'll look over at Thistle. "Maybe tone down the condescension a little. You'll make friends faster." Now he's leaving.

Thistle laughs, "Awww, you made the Taril feel bad…we'll see about trading drinks sometime soon, Taril. You fill my cup, I'll fill yours." He looks over at Anders, "I suspect it is more of an experiment than an assignment. If…Adie is it? Feels I'll be worth the trouble of explaining, I'll be told to stay. I've done this interview a few times…at least I get to see the world." He matches long standing suffering with long standing suffering, "Though I hope I didn't give you too much of a startle. If anyone dependable looking was about I would have sent word ahead, but the closest I found was an entertaining barefoot Dalish fellow…oh, you're still here…" He mocks a blush, "…in any case, by the time I realized that people actually lived down here, I had run out of patience for pleasantries like formal announcements."

Anders has seen a lot of different emotions flit across Taril's face. Guilt has never before been one of them. "No," he sighs again, this time running his free hand down the side of his face. "I know. I know. I'm just not great with surprises." He watches his friend leave and returns his focus up (and isn't that a weird feeling) to Thistle's explanation. "It is Adie, though my advice would be to start with "ma'am". Adeline Vael's a good leader and a better friend, but she'll knock you on your ass if you start to get fresh." And that's his good deed for the day taken care of. "I think any explaining that needs doing will be worth it if it nets us an extra set of hands. We've got to go down into the Roads fairly soon and so far it's only three of us. Four isn't much better, but it's better all the same."

Thistle nods, "Not bad advice." He looks around, "So…what are you doing down here? I've never felt anything as …wrong… as the taint, but the smells of this place come close, why hasn't someone built a pyre and started it burning until there was nothing left here but stone and soot." He looks around, "I understand it isn't good to press the old treaties too hard, but still…this seams frugal beyond reason."

Anders can't help bristling a little at the question. "Because the highborn don't care and the refugees have nowhere else to go." It isn't much, but it's his and his work matters. And then it clicks and Anders barks out a laugh. "The Wardens aren't staying here. Maker, no. They're bunking up at the Hanged Man. This is my endeavor, not theirs."

Thistle looks up towards the ceiling, "You're staying here, there is a warden here, I…don't really understand the distinction you're making." He looks back down towards Anders, "How is it that you're a warden, this is your endeavor, but this isn't a warden's endeavor?"

Anders shrugs. "It is a Warden's endeavor, I suppose, but it is not a Warden endeavor." It's not a really big distinction when he says it that way, but he doesn't know quite how to explain the vast gap between the two that exists in his mind. "I wasn't assigned here, the way you were. I was at Amaranthine." Which had burned to the ground. "I report to Adeline, but my relationship to the actual fuss of Warden business is… unique."

Thistle looks around, "The actual fuss of Warden business…" He snorts then brays a laugh, "Your problem with me being condescending was that I stepped on your schtick, wasn't it?" He taps his staff against the floor, "Look, we've got to do what it takes to survive, what I'm hearing you have here, is a bunch of people that need an out. What you and Adeline have going is your business, but if there are just four of us heading down the roads and you've got friends like that Taril fellow who thinks he's good with a bow, and I'm sure there are a few around who think they're good with knives, might want to think about making the fuss of Warden business and your business meet up." He shrugs, "We don't pay well, the food sucks and the portions are too small, but compared to this…" He looks towards the door outside, "Taking them on a trip to the roads would be doing them a favor."

"No, my problem was that you talked about me like I was a thing or an animal to someone else in the room, like you knew me and if they just waited long enough they'd see the wild mage do a neat little trick," Anders spits, hackles well and truly raised. "I had enough of that in the Circle, the nice thing about being a Warden is that I don't have to pretend I didn't notice." But when Thistle suggests taking non-Wardens with them, Anders outright laughs. "Yeah, you suggest that to Adie and see how far you get." He shakes his head. "Our job is to protect them, not stick them on the front lines."

Thistle nods, "Yeah, yeah…that is kind of rude. I mean, talking about someone to someone else in the room, that must rank right up there with calling someone a killer to their face, I mean, can you imagine what it would be like to accuse someone of being a killer to someone else in the room…someone who did that would be…wow, I don't know what kind of person would do that…" He shifts his weight a little, rocking from heels to toes of his feet as he sways with his staff watching Anders.

Anders catches on to the sarcasm quickly and just looks up at the face of his strange visitor with a deadpan 'Really?' expression. "You walked into a place of healing with a weapon. 'Killer' is not a very big leap to make." He shrugs. "Also you walked in with the idiot who shot the Arishok. The chances of everything being on the up and up were not great." He loves Taril, really, but the boy is going to give him grey hair.

Thistle snorts another braying laugh, "Yes, strange that someone would carry a weapon in Darktown, though I didn't know I was jesting with an assassin." He turns to look out the door again, "I suppose I should have taken his threats more seriously…whatever the reason, the greeting was hardly courteous, but we've both survived so I'll consider it a wash. As for my other thought, I think I must have had very different instruction in our ways. As I understood our history our ranks have never been so great as to fight the blight on our lonesome. We inspire and prepare those around us for battle, remain vigilint against the coming of the darkspawn, we use what tools we must." He shrugs, "If you do not see these people as tools, then I wonder what you see them as."

"It was just a flesh wound." And more's the pity in Anders' not-so-humble opinion. And for a moment he looks like he might even argue this 'wash' business, but Thistle goes back to his idea and Anders just gapes. "Tools?" he demands, something shrill crawling its way up into his voice. "They're not tools." His eyes narrow and his jaw clenches and the grip on his staff becomes white-knuckled with rage. "They're fucking people is what they are and if this was a Blight I might concede your point, but we don't drag civilians to the Deep Roads. They can't feel them coming, they'd be sitting ducks!"

Thistle says "Yeah, see…thing about people, I mean, when I call them people at least, it means you give them a choice and let them make it." He points a thumb towards the door, "See, when my future looked like that, I did whatever I had to to get out of it. Now if this was a blight, the choices would be pretty damn dire, but right now. Lug a few packs, cook a few meals, put their faith in that four wardens plus whatever martial skills they've got will see them through a trip. Trade that for a handful of coins, a full belly, and they might make that choice. You, you're making that choice for them." He shrugs, "Different way of thinking, I guess. Now I don't know why we're going to the deep roads this time, if we're just doing a patrol of if we think there is something nasty in particular we're going to find. Maybe you know, maybe that's why you're making the decision for them."

If possible, Anders looks even less impressed. "You just called them tools. That kind of cuts out any room you might have otherwise had to talk about choices," he replies flatly. But Anders can tell this is going to be one of those conversations that goes in circles and he has not had nearly enough sleep for this. "Where did Taril find you? The Hanged Man?" Because what he does and doesn't know isn't his place to say. That's up to Adeline and he knows better than to step on those toes.

Thistle chuckles, "I didn't, but you don't look like you're in the mood for that fine a point. He found me in Lowtown, which I thought was Darktown, because I couldn't imagine somewhere ranker than Lowtown until I was led down here. My instructions were to keep my arrival low key, and the suggested way to do that was to seek you out first. The gossip around here is less official sounding."

That does make Anders scowl. Semantics. "You know, I'm starting to think you having to be 'worth the trouble' isn't so much about you being Tal-Vashoth as it is about you being an enormous pain in the ass," he huffs, sounding mostly exasperated and just a tiny bit amused - but spins the spear up and slides it down into its strap-holster across his back. "Come on, then. I'll take you to the Hanged Man. It's where the Wardens are staying. You can cool your heels there until Adie decides what she's going to do with you."

Thistle holds up a finger, "Vashoth, the Tal…it means something that doesn't really apply to me. Not something I'd worry about normally but with Qunari about, better to say the right one. As for the rest, I got bored just walking around and thumping people on the head with my hammer, this is a lot more fun." He moves over to the open door.

"Vashoth, then." Anders doesn't really get the distinction, but he's aggravated enough to just accept it. If it bothers him enough later, he's got a decent source on Qunlat to ask. "More fun than causing cranial injuries with a large, blunt instrument. Something for the references, that," he grumbles, side-stepping the (frankly ridiculously enormous) Warden and leading the way back out into Darktown.

Thistle chuckles and ducks to get out the door, as he walks he taps the ground in front of himself with the staff. "You'd rather I had more fun with the hammer? You're an odd sort of healer…though I guess it would keep you in business."

Anders makes a left out of the clinic, swinging wide so he can fall into step beside Thistle. Well. Sort of step. More like one-and-a-half-for-every-one, but close enough. "That's not what I - " There's a slight pause and he regards the Vashoth sidelong. "You do that on purpose, don't you?"

Thistle snorts, starts to laugh, then his nose informs him in no uncertain terms snorting this air will not happen on its watch and he sneezes violently. "Faugh…I can taste and chew this stench." He shakes his head a few times then says, "Yes, I do. It shortens the amount of time it take me to figure out who is worth talking to. "

The laugh tugs at Anders' mouth entirely against his will, but the violent sneeze startles laughter from him, too. "Yeah," he comiserates, "it's awful at first. You get used to it, though." He pauses, considering, then continues. "Or else enough of your nose dies that it doesn't matter anymore. Either way." Problem solved. As for Thistle's admission, it has the healer rolling his eyes. "Adie's either going to eat you alive or marry you."


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