Title: The Landsmeet of the Free Marches
Description: (Semi-open to all: see plot dev thread)
Yarik - March 20, 2011 01:38 AM (GMT)
A tense mood hung in the air about the Viscount's keep as nobles, warriors, and various figures of import gathered together in convention of the Free Marches' only real system of national governance: the Landsmeet. A delegation from each city-state that wished a voice was admitted to the event, alongside even the most minor nobles who cared to attend. The guard filtered out the riff-raff, but even without the unwashed masses, the assorted delegates and onlookers were nearly too many to fit in the connected squares beneath the Keep and the chantry, which was still but a fraction as glorious as it had been before the uprising, and no longer rose above the Viscount's Keep.
Various banners in clashing colors were draped across every wall, and hung in the air on massive poles carried by servants of noble houses, and at least 3 bands of musicians played outside the cordoned-off area, hoping to garner some coin from the noble, though the combined music in the air would have sounded terrible if it could even have been heard above the noise of the crowd they were trying to entertain. And still, more and more were let in, until they were crowded up the lower steps of the Viscount's keep, blocking access to the podium there so that a new one had to be hastily erected just in front of the gatehouse.
When the appointed time for beginning had been reached and the delegations from Starkhaven and Tantervale confirmed to be present, the Viscount appeared from within the keep alongside a squad of royal guards from the Viscount's noble house, a policy begun after the murder of Lord Viscount Marlowe Dumar during the Qunari attack.
The Viscount gave a short, distracted speech to the landsmeet about the importance of peace and stability that seemed to be less about the content of it than as a political posture: the Viscount intended to remain neutral in the coming conflict, supposing it came, and sought not to enforce the will of the chantry or the freedom of mages, but to keep order in the city.
As the viscount stepped down and the delegation from Starkhaven scrambled to select a speaker, the music began again, and the more intelligent members of the crowd settled in for the long affair ahead of them.
Mystic - March 20, 2011 08:18 AM (GMT)
The air was thick with the hum of a hundred excited voices. Deep male baritones and high feminine sopranos warred against each other for dominance of the day's tone. Laughter bounced around the crowded square, flitting from one corner to another like a startled bird. Music provided a low, thrumming rhythm to the discordant affair, as if directing the voices in pitch and speed to match the anxiousness everyone felt. The snippets of melody that broke through the cacopheny of voices were vaguely familiar, but too distorted by overlapping noises to be truly understood. The songs flitted through the mind like a taste caught briefly on the tip of the tongue and then, like so many things, they vanished again.
It was a beautiful day despite the stinking press of too many aggitated bodies. Or perhaps because of it. The people that crowded into the sqaure were not the drably dressed patrons of lowtown and darktown. These were the elite of Kirkwall; the nobles and lords and wealthy merchants. Their money was displayed boastfully on their persons, ranging from sun-catching golds to violets as deep as coming night. Each lord sought to outdo his neighbour in terms of gaudiness, and the women were far worse. Though the day was mild, some looked as if they were ready to wilt under their layers of fashionable accessories. But oh were they gorgeous.
Over the chaos and laughter presided the grand Keep of Kirkwall. It's high white walls looked unmarred by age, stretching towards the sky like steadfast sentinels. The stairs the fronted the Keep were oddly lacking in the usual golden adornments of beaten slaves. Where the statues had gone was a mystery, but many seemed happy for their loss. Kirkwall had long ago ceased being a holding of the Tevinters and now, for a second time in it's long history, it had been freed from slavery.
Myradal Audil was an unassuming stranger awash in the tide of the important and the powerful. Her long, dark crimson cloak blended in with the collidascope of colours parading about the square, but she lacked the accessories that would mark her as a person of importance. No gold flashed from her throat or silver from her waist. No bells jingled from her simple, toe-touching gown, nor would any jewels be seen beneath the tight huddle of her cloak. Her only accompaniment, held firm in a slender hand that had been paled from years of captivity, was a long and simply made staff of faux gold.
The young woman slipped through the crowd like a mouse through a wind-blown field. She moved only when the way was clear, and then as quickly as possible without disturbing those around her. The presence of her staff yeilded some aid, marking out her next step before she took it, yet her progress towards the podium was still slow.
Myradal stopped only once on her journey across the square. Her head turned towards the gaping hole that had once been the Chantry and stared at the charred remains for several long, silent seconds. The world could rage around that holy spot, another Chantry could rise in its place, but nothing would touch it ever again. That part of the town had been marked forever by the actions of one man. A smile tugged at her lips, fed by a faint feeling of triumph as she imagined how that day must have progressed. If she accomplished nothing in her own journey through Kirkwall that day, at least she'd had the chance to see where it all began.
A man already half drunk on the day's events jostled her from behind. Myradal felt her moment of pride snap as easily as fragile glass and looked over her shoulder to see the man already stumbling away after his friends. She shrugged off his rudeness and ducked her head beneath her cowl once more. She had more important things to do than arguing with the common lordlings of Kirkwall. More important even than musing on a destroyed Chantry.
The young, robed woman arrived at the base of the podium just as the Starkhaven representatives were called to speak. It would be a long, long while before she got to have her say. Though she had practiced the words a hundred times and emboldened herself by thinking of the people (her people) she wanted to help, she could not avoid a slow, nagging chill spreading out from the pit of her stomach. There were a lot of people here. A lot of influential people. What was decided at this landsmeet would determine the fates for hundreds, perhaps thousands, throughout the Free Marches.
What she had to say might end her fate on that very same podium. It would be a grand risk to take for one who had spent so many years in comfortable captivity.
Dirty - March 21, 2011 08:28 AM (GMT)
Itís true; Prince Demetri Alexander Nikolas Rhys Windsor of Montismmard holds no true power in the Free Marches or even Kirkwall for that matter. However because he is in fact a prince of the great Orlaisian Empire and second cousin of the Empress, his invitation to gatherings such as these comes without hesitation. Influence is something he does have a great deal of in Kirkwall because of not only his title but his immense wealth as well. Itís something that he uses to his advantage to obtain what he wants within the city. Usually that involves a specific woman or likewise attractive object and not invitations to political meetings. Heís always found such things terribly boring. Obviously though, now isnít one of those times. Now is one of the times he is glad to receive such invitations because his attendance allows him to hear firsthand about policy that affects him as an apostate. It also gives him an opportunity to potentially affect it.
The Young Prince can be found near the podium and Myradal Audil. At either side of him stand two large men who while well-dressed donít compare to the fashionable Demetri. He is by far the best dressed male in the room. His outfit is made out of silk materials and colored by deep purples, dark reds, and black. Oddly enough thereís no woman at his side as is typical with him. The reason for this, while not obvious, is that he wants no distractions. And in his opinion women are the biggest distractions. Speaking of which, while he waits on the speaker from Starkhaven, he distracts himself by idly tapping his cane against the ground. It appears to be made out of metal and has a stunning sculptor of a wolfís head on the top of it where his hand resides. Itís purely for fashion purposes. He is, for better or worse, perfect!
Lyrin MalChance - March 22, 2011 02:07 AM (GMT)
Within the crowd of the most important people in the Free Marches, a young girl stood surrounded, by both her escort and countless merchants looking to make a bit of profit. Lyrin was quite surprised when the invitation from the Viscount came, more so when it came by method of a dozen armed guards. She had chosen the fanciest dress she owned, but looking around her she noted how out of place she looked.
"Madam MalChance, I assure you that the Qunari cheese will make a large profit in the free marches. All you have to do is supply me with twenty sovereigns and I can quadruple your investment over three months, guaranteed!" A young nobleman insisted, elbowing a young woman who was trying to get passed.
"Unfortunately I can see no profit in Qunari cheeses that would benefit my organization. So sorry, could you please move? I was supposed to come discuss how the merchants under my organization will handle the Qunari situation." She told the young man, finding he was being a bit too formal with her.
"No, you see it is in your best interests too-" The young man made an almost heroic effort to continue trying to sell her, but was silenced when one of her enforces grabbed him by his collar and lifted him to eye level.
"The Boss says she ain't interested in what yer selling, you shit head. Now back off or you won't be waking up in the mornin!" He shouted, pushing him away and causing him to run off.
"Um, there was no need to go that far." he gestured causing the guard to stiffen and hang his head slightly. "Yer right boss, we don't want any trouble with the high town trash. You are just trying to do your duty to your country in your own way! What a great boss we have!" He pumped his fist for a few seconds, causing the other thugs guarding her to let out a brief cry of joy.
She smiled, already used to how excitable and easily confused they were and continued walking, stopping to broker some deals in the spice trade, she had a feeling it was going some where, and then sitting under the shade of a tree looking at the podium.
"How exciting" She muttered, one of her guards handing her a canteen full of water for her to sip while she waited.
Yarik - March 23, 2011 05:56 AM (GMT)
The Starkhaven speaker reflected his delegation's interests by speaking almost unendingly about the various trade agreements between his home city and Kirkwall, and was stopped many times by the group from Tantervale, who outrageously protested against nearly every proposal brought up by the Starkhaven representatives. The new propositions were finally ceased when the Tantervale delegates threatened to refuse negotiations, which would have lead to the Landsmeet being even further stalled. In the end, the old trade agreements were simply renewed, which were fair enough that neither of the three cities seemed to gain much of an advantage over the others through them.
The less important of business now out of the way, it was Rathim's turn to speak. He had not originally been invited; the Viscount had extended his invitation to the Grand Cleric in the hopes that the Chantry would not send a Templar to be its voice. Evidently, the Grand Cleric hadn't understood, or simply disagreed, for the Knight-Commander now stood next to the podium, standing awkwardly. He wasn't a man of the people. The only speeches he gave were to new recruits who made stupid mistakes, and this situation called for a deal more tact than that one.
When the Tantervale delegation had finished their business on the podium and the crowd had settled down after they returned to their places, Rathim climbed the stairs and took the stage, thick drops of sweat forming about his bald head as he weathered the direct force of the midday sun. He had chosen not to wear his helmet for this occasion, though he still wasn't sure if that had been a good idea; he felt vulnerable wearing only his Chantry robe and the sword at his side, but appearing before the Landsmeet in his full set of armor seemed like it would draw more ire than support, and the Chantry was in dire need of the latter.
"For more than a century, the Chantry towered over this city," Rathim began, despite some noise still coming from the crowd. He prayed it would dissipate as he went on, "A symbol of the Maker's watchful gaze, and his protection. 2 years ago, that ceased to be, due to perhaps the greatest sin of our time. That it was committed by an apostate makes the rest of us no more vindicated for our own sins, but it should serve as a reminder.
"For what was that day but an example of the Chantry's highest held law? 'Magic must serve man, not rule over him'. One apostate let magic rule him, and now all of Thedas suffers. This is how it always has been, and how it always will be. Magic is a powerful and corruptive force. No mage can weather the constant temptations of blood magic and creatures of the fade forever. It is a rare few who never succumb to such foulness, and those few are ever the fewer in times of conflict. None but the noblest of souls can resist the power in these.
"The apostates believe they fight for their freedom, but how long would it be before their 'freedom' required our oppression? The magisters did not take the crown of Tevinter by leaps, but steps. And so will it be in Kirkwall, and every city in Thedas, should the power of mages go unchecked.
"To those who would remain neutral in this conflict, I urge you, harbor no apostate, nor aid him, nor benefit him by allowing his presence to go unreported to the Chantry. This is a fight that will be lost by inches, but so can it be won again. And to those who would defy the will of the Maker, I pray He show you the way."
His speech done, Rathim stepped down from the podium, unaware if he had truly reached the audience, who took his movement as their cue to continue to shout at each other. Only time would tell; for now, Rathim was content to sink into the crowd, where he joined a small group of Chanters whom he recognized. The next speakers were those of the largest minor cities who had bothered to make their way to Kirkwall, and Rathim was content to ignore them and their fevered attempts to seize some sliver of power for themselves or their city. Still, he kept an ear open, for a Landsmeet never passed without a surprise or two.
Mystic - March 23, 2011 09:07 AM (GMT)
A tightness gripped Myradal's chest the moment the Knight-Commander took the podium. She had been living outside of the city for the past two years, ever since the Kirkwall Circle had fallen to pieces in the initial uprising, but that did not make her a simpleton. She knew the sight of the balding man with or without his armor, as she knew the face of the Viscount and a handful of the more influential people of the city.
Such things had been of interest to her even before she came to Kirkwall. The nobles and merchants played with politics as if it were a game. One in which no one was injured and all the little pieces could be packed away neatly after they had had their fun. They were too important to see the impact their squabbles had on the lesser denizens of the lands they ruled. The farmers who went without food for a winter to pay their tithes or the soldiers turned to mercenaries just to feel the weight of coin in their pockets. Such power the nobles wielded with their words and so many had no grasp of what they wrought.
And they said mages were a danger. Fools.
As the Knight-Commander's speech began to drone over the constant murmur of the crowd, Myradal felt the tension in her chest turn into an iron cage that threatened to squeeze her heart. She felt the heat of indignation fill her cheeks and even the shadow of her cowl could not temper its burn. Her fingers turned into white-knuckled claws wrapped so tightly around her staff that her long nails pressed into the palms of her hands. The pain was refreshing, keeping her just centered enough that she did not burst onto the podium and start something she knew she would regret.
She had a plan. She needed to stick to the plan lest this Landsmeet turn into a panicked frenzy. It could so very easily end in just such a mess if she lost her temper or tried to rip respect from the crowd by force. Or if she tried to set the few remaining wisps of hair on the Knight-Commander's head aflame as she was imagining. No, she needed to focus. Calm her thoughts, clear her mind, and wait for her opportunity. That was how the battle was won. That was the only way mages would ever know freedom.
The Knight-Commander was stepping down from the podium. A band of small city lords was quickly making their way to fill the empty place he left and make their bids for more money or power.
Now there was an evil that should be more carefully monitored, the bitter mage thought to herself. Money caused more sins to be wrought in the world than anything she had witnessed with magic. No mage killed another over a particularly fancy spell the other could do, but money drove men to murder out of jealousy faster than a lyrium starved templar catching a whiff of dust. These lords were only reinforcing her ill views of the world with their cooing to the Viscount and sweetly worded pleas. She sat through each long winded speech, knowing that the moment the last of the stepped down, it would be her turn. Whether Kirkwall was prepared or not.
Finally... Finally the lords were done. They filed down the steps in orderly precision, bloated on their own egos and fond views of the future. None of them noticed the red-robed figure slipping up the steps behind them. Not even the announcer had a chance to arrange his stack of hastily scrawled pages before she stood at the forefront of the podium.
Myradal took a moment to take in the view of the crowd milling about below her. They looked like brightly coloured insects swarming over a log, all abuzz with excitement. The activity was calmer the closer they came to the stage and, by the time Myradal's eyes and swept over the confused face of the announcer, she realized that more than a dozen people had already focused their attention on her. Well... there was no getting out of it now.
With slow, graceful movements, the mage raised her hands to her hood and drew it back from her head. A tumble of long, blonde hair spilled out around her shoulders, disshevelled from the long hours of concealment and the heat of the day. The moment the hood was released, a cool breeze picked up the wispy strands stuck to her neck and tossed them aside. She would have made an impressive sight standing tall and proud before the assorted noble houses... had the look on her face not been one of barely concealed terror.
She had been calm up until that point. Secure in the knowledge that she was doing something important. Yet the removal of her concealing hood had lifted some unseen barrier that had been shielding her from her own fears. Everyone was looking at her. The Knight-Commander would be looking at her. The man who could legally and without recrimination kill her where she stood just for being what she was. Suddenly the risk she was taking had become very, very real.
Speak! something urged from deep inside her. The voice resounded through her mind, jolting her out of her momentary paralysis. She needed to say something quickly, before the announcer had recovered himself enough to ascend the steps and ask her to get down. If he reached her and uttered those words, she would obey.
Just as she had always obeyed.
"I am a mage." The words leapt from her throat without warning, startling in their strength. The moment she'd thought of being cowed again, her fury and determination had returned. They controlled her voice while her mind struggled to catch up with the situation. "But you have no reason to fear me. I call fire to my hand, but I have no desire to use it against another living being. I know of the lure of blood magic..." Myradal paused, her eyes sliding across the crowd to find the Knight-Commander's balding head. She felt her strength retruning with each new word. "But I have never succumbed to its taint. Nor would I ever want to.
"Once upon a time, I was just like you. I had a mother and father who loved me. I had friends and a future and a home. Until one day a templar arrived and told me that I could not have those simple pleasures because of the way I was born! The way the Maker made me!" The young woman's voice rose to a crescendo as the long years of hate and resentment came boiling out in her words. Her eyes moved over the crowd, willing them to look at her, daring them to turn away. And though the wind stirred her robes, she remained perfectly still; an immobile statue planted atop the podium. "All of you know exactly what I speak of too. How many of you have lost siblings? Parents? Friends? Children to the so-called protection of the templars? I am here today to tell you that what they have forced on us all these years is NOT protection! It is not for your safety or our own! It is imprisonment and we have had enough!
"What you fear is not mages. It is Blood! Magic!" Myradal paused, letting the words sink in. She needed to hurry now. Someone would react to her words sooner or later, and she needed to be finished in the event that it was sooner. "The blood magic they force innocent mages to in order to protect themselves! It is the demons that wander the fade that you fear. The same demons that could tempt any one of you! That is what the Chantry fails to tell you! We face these things every day of our training! We know what to expect, but we are not the only ones who are susceptible! But that does not mean that all of us fall prey to it either!" Again her eyes found the Knight-Commander, assessing his reaction even as the words continued to pour from her lips. "Those of us who have found freedom know to reject blood magic the twisted sorcery that it is. We should not be punished for those few who have been driven to such extremes by these templars!
"Whether you like it or not, Kirkwall, mages exist. We have always existed and we will continue to exist long after your cities have crumbled and your descendants have grown old. We are always going to need training and protection but what we do not need is the cruelty of the templars!" Myradal took a deep breath and noticed that the rage that had been roiling around in her chest had calmed somewhat. It was good to know all she needed to do was shout at a few hundred people and possibly get herself killed.
"All we ask for is our freedom. The chance to be with our families and walk the streets without fear. The chance to teach our young that magic is a thing to be respected and controlled, and not allowed to run rampant. When we are free, we can be healers and defenders for you. We will use our gift as it was intended to be used, instead of ignorantly shut away. We can help you. But first you must help us. I stand before you as one voice of many. Please... end this war. Grant us our freedom and you will see that you have nothing to fear from us."
The words trickled to an end. Myradal was sure she'd had other points to make, but she'd run out of words to say them with. It was for the best, she thought as she stood transfixed by the gawking crowd. No doubt she'd shocked the sense out of a good number of those preening dandies, leaving them deaf to all she'd said anyway. Well aside from I'm a mage and blood magic. Now she waited for the inevitable explosion.
Yarik - March 26, 2011 03:44 AM (GMT)
The words Myradal spoke caught Rathim's ear mid-sentence, and his own speech with the Chanters trickled to a stop.
...you have no reason to fear me. I call fire to my hand, but I have no desire to use it against another living being...
He turned, his mouth left slightly open in shock. Surely it was some jest; some noble's idiot son in a dress and a silly hat, a walking stick at his side, threatening to use his magic to overcook all the food in the city. But no; it was a woman, and she didn't like she was kidding. Some of the templar had looks of recognition on their faces; from their whispers, Rathim discerned that she had been a member of the Circle before the uprising. A shame that she couldn't simply appreciate her freedom; but now she had made herself a target.
The Templars with Rathim moved to apprehend her, but he stopped them. This was a Landsmeet- there wasn't supposed to be violence, and Rathim knew it would come to that if his men went anywhere near the podium. Not to mention, if they skewered her in front of everyone, it wouldn't do much for the sympathy of the people, which was a fairly important aspect in the Templar's strategy for finding apostates.
It angered the Knight-Commander that he could do nothing, but more than that, he felt as if the Viscount had betrayed the Chantry. He plead neutrality in the conflict, and yet he had aided them in allowing one to speak to the Landsmeet. Perhaps he had even protected her- mages couldn't easily travel through Kirkwall unmolested. He would have to investigate later. If he truly had sheltered an apostate, and it could be proven, it would be... what exactly would happen, Rathim didn't know. Likely the Divine would have something to say about it, something that could lead to further turmoil.
Whether you like it or not, Kirkwall, mages exist. We have always existed and..
"Follow her. She must have somewhere to stay, here in the city or just outside it. Don't do anything else- just follow her, find out where she's staying," Rathim told the templars, who were similarly lightly equipped. With any luck, they wouldn't find themselves regretting not wearing any armor. Rathim had wasted enough time, however. He could interrupt the Myradal's speech and object, but it wouldn't change anything, and he needed to tell the Captains to be on their guard. If the mages had grown brash enough to send someone to speak in front of the Landsmeet, they might try some kind of attack. After the incident with Tammel a week before, Rathim wasn't looking to take any chances.
Lyrin MalChance - March 27, 2011 03:16 AM (GMT)
Lyrin watched as the mage took the stand. She listened to the speech and added a few "Ohs" and "My, mys" to her listening group. After the speech's conclusion she indicated for her enforcers to lean in.
"Follow that girl, give her a place to hide and some money to take care of herself. We can not let the Templars take away a potential business associate.... Ask her if she would like to sell flowers." She indicated, nodding to the group.
After watching her men leave through some back alleys, hoping to cut off the templar and get the girl. Hopefully they would catch up to her before the templars, hopefully they would not be foolish enough to attack the HQ of The Twilight Rose... and even if they did, it would not matter.
She calmly rose and made her way to the podium, her guards taking position in front of her and doing their job of looking mean and seeming tough. She smoothed a few wrinkles out of her dress, thinking idly how even her most fashionable dress made her seem like nothing more than a common woman, and began speaking.
"First, allow me to say how very happy I am to have been invited to this meeting, even though the invitation came in a rather... curious way. I am happy to inform you all that Twilight Rose Incorporated has further expanded our trade of spice, quality weapons, luxury items, and much more. We will continue expanding our business and I hope you will continue purchasing from us. In any conflict we will, of course, remain right by the side of our valued customers." She told them, letting the unheard threats sink in, and the implied meaning of the words to be sink in as well./
"Luxury items" gold, jewels, hookers, slaves, what ever the rich wanted and could afford. They weren't just hired muscle, they were a business venture. She spent a brief moment enjoying the sight of the pretty dresses the noble women were wearing until a subtle cough from the guard captain snapped her out of her trance and she made her way off the podium.
Dirty - March 28, 2011 02:00 AM (GMT)
Prince Demetri immediately silences the female companion heís managed to already add to his entourage. He took note of the next speaker as she made her way before the assembly. Something about her caught his eye. What it was he wasnít certain of, at first. However early into her speech heís met with the knowledge of exactly what caught his eye. Sheís an apostate and a bold one at that. Unlike him she operates in the open or at least in the open for an apostate. HowÖreckless.
The young prince listens and watches the apostate before them all closely. It isnít because he finds what she has to say interesting. Itís what he would expect from someone in her ridiculous position. Truthfully itís just because heís amazed by her presence. Is she suicidal? Has her life on the run been so terrible? These questions and many, many more roam through his beautiful skull as he continues to stare at her with his dark, soulless gaze.
With his interest at its peak Demetri begins to consider ways of sedating it. Itís obvious to him that he must meet this woman; speak with herÖbut how? Thatís the question that plagues his mind until another woman steps up to speak. His attention flashes towards her momentarily then drifts off elsewhere. It isnít until another moment passes him that he realizes who she is and how she may help him.
With the plan quickly devised Demetri returns his attention to the waiting woman at his side. He returns to their previous conversation and holds it for the time being. He has no interest in what Lyrin is selling. He already knows what he wants from her and intends on getting it as soon as he can speak to her in a more private fashion.
Mystic - March 28, 2011 06:37 AM (GMT)
There was no explosion of noise and motion as Myradal had predicted. No people running in the streets, no panic, not even a crying child. Some small, petulant part of her brain was disappointed at the utter lack of response. Another, wiser part reminded her that dumbfounded shock was just as good, if not better, than panic in the streets. However she had best get down from the podium and stop making such a tantalizing target of herself if she had any hope of seeing how her speech had impacted the crowd in the future.
Someone else was already ascending the steps to the podium by the time Myradal had wrapped her mind around the fact that she was still alive and not being borne down on by a legion of templars. The woman said nothing to her, but it was clear that she wanted her turn to speak. With the sharp, sudden movements of a startled deer, Myradal glanced briefly at the young wealthy woman before darting down the steps and trying to lose herself in the crowd.
That task was easier said that done. As Myradal pulled her large, crimson cowl over her head, she realized how very distinctive it looked in the sea of sparkling dresses and gaudy accessories. She was red from head to toe, uninterrupted and unmarred. Her cloak billowed out like slow, lazy flames from the pillar of fire that was her dress. Even her staff seemed like a shot of brilliant golden light as it tapped out a quick pace at her side. Without realizing it, Myradal had turned herself into a beacon of attention before she'd ever stepped foot on the podium. Now, wherever she looked, eyes followed her every movement.
A tightness closed in on Myradal's chest, restricting her breath to short, frightened gasps. The more she looked around, the more stares she saw. The more stares she saw, the more enemies she felt were watching her every step. She needed to get out of there and quickly.
The apostate in red hadn't really thought beyond what to say on the podium. All her careful plans and meticulously chosen words and timing had been around how to get up there to begin with. Now it was over and her mind was a blank. She was alone, as she had wanted to be lest she endanger anyone else. She had no particular home to return to on the off chance that a templar arrived there first and headed her off. She had no friends in which to confide, once again fearing what would happen if they were brought into her mess.
Not that she had many friends to begin with.
At least not many left alive these days.
Myradal turned towards the southern end of the square and began wending her way through the crowd as quickly as she could without drawing even more attention to herself. All she could think of was how much she wanted to be away from the press of bodies and the droning noise. Not once did she suspect that she was leaving the square with several interested parties in persuit.
Lyrin MalChance - April 3, 2011 10:10 PM (GMT)
The Apostate woman was correct in that several groups were following her, one of them, jogging down the street with pride and strength were the templars. Strong, noble, bright, and with uniforms that made them easy to spot from probably the other side of Thedas. Within the back alleys, and street corners, from the shadows of hightown which held more subtly, a smaller, quicker group was making their way to intercept. The two enforcers rant through the alleyways and buildings, using their agility to their advantage as the rounded a corner where they caught sight of the red mage.
They watched her push herself through the bodies, and struggle to breathe as she made her way through the crowds, through the stink of sweat and flesh that seemed to pulse and writhe around her. The Templars would have more difficulty making their way through that mess, they noted.
As she made her way out of the crowd, the two men intercepted her, pushing a coin pouch into her and and quickly relaying a message. "To the twilight rose, a flower shop in dark town. You will be safe there." They told her hastily, making their way to the crowds and shouting for the templars to go in other directions, using the classic misdirection two man con.