Adeline_icon.gif Adair_icon.gif Maura_icon.gif

Scene Title What It Takes To Become A Warden
Synopsis Maura and Adair seek out the Wardens.
Location Varric's Suite at the Hanged Man
Date June 18, 2016
Watch For Reasons for Wardening
Logger Adair

Stepping through the door is like stepping into an entirely different building, one built entirely for the use of dwarves. A low, long table takes up a good portion of the floor near a large fireplace and is set with bowls and mugs as well as different foods depending on the time of day. One wall sports a line of casks while various pieces of furniture offer seating, storage, and a place to display. One room serves as the sleeping chamber for the occupant while two other rooms have been turned into guest sleeping- if one's guests are a small army.

Adeline has… Things to do. Deep Roads expeditions don't plan themselves. Sitting with Sterling on her shoulder, the Senior Warden is, surprisingly, not in the blue and silver of the Wardens. No, today, she's in a rich, Vael red. The white chalice of her family's crest is embroidered on her bodice, focal and well made. Papers are spread over her cot as she stares at them. Letters, damaged.

Having been this way before, Maura's led the much improved former templar across the floor of the bar, up the stairs, and to the door that she remembers belonging to Adeline and her makeshift office. But she'll leave it up to Adair to knock since he's the one that will be speaking for himself this time. It helps that he can actually talk now, obviously. And walk. That's important too.

Adair can walk, talk, not drool… there was that brief bout of gas- THANKS ANDERS- but he's better now. So yeah, he'll knock. He'll even wait patiently to be let in. "You're certain about this? Because I don't think you can just stop being one if you change your mind."

"Enter." Adeline calls to the knock, not looking up from her papers. It seems she is quite intent.

"The only thing I'm sure of, is that all of our options kind of suck right now." Maura points out promptly. "And that if you're doing it, so am I." Sure, there are some other options. Some definitely worse, and some possibly worse. None of them truly what they want. It's the permission to enter that prompts her to shutter her expression though, and nod towards the door so that Adair enters first.

Adair has to do everything first. Seriously. He should protest this shit, right? Of course he should. So he's going to go right ahead and walk through the door, holding it open for Maura and closing it once she's inside. "Ok, not what I expected to find behind the door." He needs to work on his filters, ok? "If we're interrupting, I can give you the short version."

Adeline looks up as they enter, recognizing Maura, and eyes flicking to the man with her. "Ah." She says, smiling somberly, "No, no. Please, come in. I was wondering if I would see you." Indicating one of the empty cots to sit upon, the Senior Warden gathers up the papers and sets them aside.

"What did you expect to find?" Maura should know better then to ask, but she does it anyway. "No, no. don't even answer that. I'm afraid of what you'll say." She's regained her sense abruptly, obviously. "I've already told the Senior Warden the situation. Though I suspect she would like to hear it from your perspective rather then mine." She'll sit, not altogether comfortably, on the edge of the cot when it's gestured to. Reluctant to say more, the mage just quiets and waits to see what happens.

Adair opens his mouth to answer, but then he's denied. Come ON. That was some funny stuff! "I think I'll stand. It saves time walking if you say no," he explains. "Maura's told you what's going on. I sent her here when our circle was no longer safe from the blight. I stayed behind to do what I could to protect those I could and survived- I bet you can imagine my surprise. Maura couldn't come back and they wouldn't believe that she was dead so I took her phylactery and came here. I tried to get off the lyrium but…" He shrugs. "You know how well that went. I'd try it again if I thought I'd live through it, but apparently I didn't try stopping soon enough, so here I am. I'm not just here because of the lyrium. I mean, no one wants to die, but we all go. I can't go back to the Order and I've heard things about what's going on. That doesn't mean I can't fulfill at least the important vows somewhere else."

"Yes, thank you for bringing him in." The Senior Warden offers to Maura. "Sit, lad." Adeline says, "I am not denying you out of hand and this conversation is never quick and easy." Her tone says she's brooking no argument as she stares up at the rogue Templar. She waits. She will wait, always, for someone to sit before continuing one with that need to be said.

There's an unguarded moment of pride in Maura's expression when Adair answers. But she ducks her head when he's ordered to sit… probably so that her flare of amusement doesn't show up. She didn't warn him about this aspect of Adeline's personality. "You should know that I would still request to join the Wardens alongside him. We do this together." is reiterated, an she pats the spot beside her for the man. Seriously. The two women have already had a test of wills. She knows how stubborn the other is.

Adair finally sits, but it's with a gesture toward Maura. "You heard the woman." Hey, he does not argue with women. Much. "She'd never let me forget it if I did this without her anyway." Look, Maura. He's cute, remember?

Adeline considers them both for a long moment. "I hear you." She says, "And thus, if one of you is not a suitable fit for the Wardens, I will deny you both." She shifts, facing them then. "But I will be honest with you, both joining the Wardens will not guarantee you will remain together."

"Please explain." Maura prompts, when Adeline tells them that both joining the Wardens doesn't guarantee they'll remain together. In the meantime, she elbows Adair. Not too hard, mind. Just enough to remind him that she CAN hear him. HELLO.

Adair is innocent. LOOK AT THAT INNOCENT FACE. "She'll still be safe from the Circle, no one would be hunting her." Did he mention he'd thought of that whole not being kept together thing? He'll take his ass kicking later. "And we'd still have a chance, which is more than either the Circle or the Order is going to give us."

Shaking her head, the Senior Warden sighs. "I am afraid, Maura, there will be much in this conversation that I cannot explain to you. In the simplest, you could be assigned to completely different parts of Thedas. In the more complicated, I cannot tell you, but you deserved to know that much." Turning her attention back to Adair, she nods, and considers him another long moment. "It is a chance, that is true… A chance of more time. Not a guarantee." She says, folding her hands in her lap, her noble birth showing through for a moment, her expression very, very serious. "Thus, do I pose to you my first question. What are the Grey Wardens to you?"

Maura does, indeed, look over at Adair with THE look. He knows the one. The one that says he's in big trouble Mister. Obviously, she doesn't like that idea very much and she hitches in a deep breath before nodding. Assuming that they are both required to answer the question and not just going-to-get-his-ass-kicked templar man, Maura tilts her head a little. To consider her answer before responding. "The first, and last line of defense against the Darkspawn. They go where others will not, take the risks that others can or will not, and protect Thedas from the Blight at all cost."

Adair saw that look! See that smile? He's trying to charm his way out of the ass kicking. "Look, when I joined the Order, I took vows and I meant them. …I meant most of them and the rest I meant less when I met Maura," he clarifies. "Don't get me wrong, I was raised in an orphanage. That was my way out." At least he has his serious face on now. "I promised to protect those in my charge and defend those who couldn't defend themselves. I won't lie, I've been an immature shit all my life, but I meant those words. I've fought darkspawn and I watched friends die. I helped burn their bodies. If I can keep anyone else from having to do that again, I'm going to do it. That's the chance they represent for me. So don't think I'm some selfless hero or anything. I have some pretty selfish reasons."

Adeline turns her gaze to Maura as she answers, listening intently. There is nothing else on her mind, no thing more important in all this world, than the answers that the two of them are giving her. To Maura, she nods, before her gaze turns to Adair. Her expression during his answer is a strange thing. At first calm and serious, there is then a twitch in one of her eyes, but right at the end there… There is a glimmer of… Something. The ghost of a smile, tugging at the corners of her mouth. "Every person who joins the Wardens has a reason." She begins, on to her next thought. "And for almost every person, that reason can be summed up in one word. It's not always the same word, but it is one… Maybe two. The reason you don't want to admit. The reason that makes you dislike yourself. What is your reason?" Asked, again, of both of them.

Maura is doing the inner-facepalm. Dude, you're not supposed to admit that shit out loud in front of the Warden lady. "To hide." Kind of one word, but technically two. It takes a moment to force it out, but it's there all of the same. "To hide that I let myself run away from the Circle. To hide from the circle. To hide Adair from the Order. To hide from all of the consequences that all of those decisions will have. It is not the only reason, but it is certainly the reason I dislike myself the most for." Now she'll fidet. And she was doing SO WELL with the not-anxiety thing. But now that's gone and she's back to the brain going in 80 directions at once and all of them bad.

Adair shakes his head. "I don't know what you want me to say. I could read you the list that makes me dislike myself. I wasn't able to see those things coming, I couldn't get more out before it happened. … we didn't get the mages in our circle ready to fight before it was too late and I went along with it. I sent Maura here to fend for herself in this place. I couldn't find my brother before Amaranthine.." He shakes his head. "I'm a failure. I've failed everyone who ever trusted me. If that's not what you want to hear, then I guess I fail your test, too."

Adeline once again nods to Maura, and then turns her attention to Adair. "Breathe, Ser," Adeline says, a serious but almost maternal tone, "It often takes a few tries. I am not asking you why you dislike yourself… I am asking you why you are choosing the Wardens. The reason you wouldn't want to say. The emotion, most often, is what it comes down." She pauses, "For example, for me… It was pride." She does not elaborate.

Maura tucks her hand around the crook of Adair's arm to give reassurance. And to take it whether she realizes it or not. Not a peep escapes her lips now though.

Adair laughs. "Yeah, I don't have much of that left. Maybe fear. That I'm going to die without really having made up for all of it. That's the monster that scares me." See, getting a guy to admit being afraid isn't easy (for him), so it'll take a while for him to be ok with that. "You think I'd be here if I wasn't afraid I'd just die from the shakes in some hovel in darktown without ever having kept my promises? There are other ways to get lyrium."

The Senior Warden nods. "If it eases you at all, fear is the most common answer that I receive." Adeline explains, another ghost of a smile offered to the Templar. "Let me, then, take a moment to explain why I ask." She says, shifting to stand. To a corner of the room she stalks, taking her bird from her shoulder and placing him there where he belongs. Turning back to them, Adeline leans against the wall. "There is no glory in this. This is not about being the heroic defenders of Thedas. There is no glamour. It is dark, it is terrifying, and it is terrible. It is a fate I would not wish upon my worst enemy. You, more like than not, will be forgotten. You will be another body in the great war we fight, and likely little more. But it is a chance, and it is something that must be done."

"I don't believe either of us are out for any glory." Maura murmurs, leaning fully against her rogue templar now. "We want the chance to be together without fearing the Order or the Circle one day dragging us back. If that means dying together, doing what must be done, then so be it. Without the Circle, my abilities must be hidden or used sparingly if at all. They should be used for *something*, no matter how dark and terrifying it is. Either way, we'd be forgotten. And everybody meets the Maker at some point." So it may as well be because they were foing something useful.

"If being just another body on the ground bothered me, I would have gotten on that ship with Maura. I'm from a chantry orphanage, there's only one person left that would notice if I died. I mean, unless I died and fell on someone living. They'd notice." Oh come ON, Adair has no choice. He's 12. "But this gives us a chance. It's more than we were being given before. We have no chance if they hang me and make her tranquil. I've heard it's all the rage here in Kirkwall."

There is a long, silent moment, then. The Senior Warden just watches them, sharply blue eyes intent, almost uncomfortable. Eventually, she speaks again. "Then, I must ask," She says, "How doggedly are you hunted?"

"My phylactery is destroyed. So, even though they may suspect I'm alive.. they have no way to track me right now. So, not very doggedly. Not unless they've put together why and how Adair left." That might make things markedly more dogged. P.S. That was Maura that said that.

Adair shrugs. "Well, they haven't come after me yet. I'm sure that if I was discovered here it wouldn't take them long to have me up a rope here. That may be because we were still recovering from the blight when I left."

"And one last…" Adeline says, "If I tell you no, what will you do?" This, it seems, is the most serious of her questions yet. As the look she gives them is a shade more intense than previously.

"Hope that the Tevinter Mercenary group is hiring, and that they miraculously have access to refined lyrium. Or, pray to the Maker that lyrium withdrawl won't outright kill Adair or turn him into a drooling vegetable." Maura replies, honestly. "I'm sorry honey, but drooling vegetable is not a good look for you." She pats his knee lightly. He can probaly consider that the payback for her earlier commentary she promised (with a look) to make him regret.

Adair shrugs. "We've heard there are mercenaries out of Tevinter that have a pretty good reputation. It's never bad to have a Templar in your ranks. It's not my first choice, but it's there. If that falls through… I put on a name and do my best with the Order here. I may get myself killed, but at least someone would have stood up for the mages in the gallows." WHO puts people in a place called the gallows, anyway? "Come on, tell me I wouldn't be a cute drooling vegetable. With a bib and all?"

Taking a deep breath, Adeline looks about the room they are in. The cots. So many unfilled. So few had been available to spare for this… "Know that the Wardens are not like the Order… They're not like the Circle. You can run, but there is no escaping what we do. If you change your mind, there is nothing that can be done." Adeline looks them both over again, considering, "And with the nature of both of your situations…" She pushes away from the wall, "I am invoking the Right of Conscription upon you both, and I pray that some day you will forgive me."

"I understand." What more is there to be said? It seems a somber enough moment that continued levity would be uncalled for. "We've sought this from you, not the other way around, Senior Warden. There is nothing to forgive." Maura might be tempted to change her mind about that later. But, hey. She sounds pretty sincere!

Adair looks over at Maura with that 'well, here we go' expression. "Escaping the Order doesn't mean I changed my mind." He sighs. "So, you have my thanks."

"Do not thank me." Adeline says, shaking her head. "And I imagine that you will change your mind about that someday." She says that last statement to Maura specifically. "You will report back here tomorrow. For now, enjoy an evening without my orders weighing upon you."

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