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An Offering Of Hope [Closed]

Josephine Montilyet

Ambassador of the Inquisition
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
9
#1
((15 Guardian, 41 Dragon; Haven, Late Afternoon; Sati Adaar ))

Josephine moved along the dirt paths of Haven as swiftly as she dared. Eyes followed her progress, and too much haste would give rise to concern, which would give rise to rumors, which might give rise to panic. The Inquisition remained balanced upon a knife’s edge, and those who would grieve, were the fledgling movement to founder, were few. Revered Mother Giselle had sent word to Val Royeaux, hoping to persuade the surviving officials of the Chantry to grant an audience that would not end with Sati and whoever accompanied her in chains. No reply had yet been received.

But the Grand Clerics were undoubtedly paying attention, and the Herald’s accomplishments had been noteworthy. The warring mages and templars that had been wreaking havoc in Ferelden’s Hinterlands had been neutralized, the combatants either joining the Inquisition or being slain. The denizens of that area had been given food and blankets against the last few weeks of winter, most of the rifts in the area had been closed and the groups of bandits that had thought to capitalize on the chaos had been dealt with swiftly and with a finality that sent a clear message to any others who might be considering the same.

It had without doubt been a collective endeavor, but the one who had unwittingly become the face of the Inquisition had fulfilled her role better than any of them had dared hope a few short weeks ago. Sati Adaar was a courageous and skilled fighter, a gifted tactician and a surprisingly adept diplomat. She had been fearless when confronting the demons to close the rifts, utterly ruthless with the bandits preying upon the farmers and townsfolk, and while she offered mercy to the mages and templars who surrendered and swore fealty to the Inquisition, those who refused to stand down were treated as harshly as the bandits.

But she showed compassion, as well, responding to requests for even the most menial favors from the desperate folk that thronged the settlements, from coaxing a stubborn druffalo back to its pasture to picking herbs for a healer to returning a lost wedding ring to a grieving widow (after she had killed the templars who had murdered and robbed the poor woman’s husband). Even Cassandra had begun to thaw toward her, while Varric had dubbed her ‘Lucky’ (tongue firmly in cheek), and if Solas still seemed to view her more as a specimen for research, there was increasing respect in his demeanor.

But while she fought alongside them, she held herself apart the rest of the time, the hurt in her so palpable that it hurt Josephine to watch her, and the reports from their latest excursion …

She reached the simple hut that Sati had claimed as her own, glanced down at the missive that she carried. She had intended to give it to the Herald at the war table, but Cassandra had come alone, her mood grim, to report that Sati had gone to her quarters immediately upon returning.

She lifted her hand and knocked upon the door. “Your -” She glanced around, ensuring that no one was close enough to hear. “Sati? It is Josephine.” The Vashoth still treated her with a cautious formality, though the ambassador sometimes caught the violet eyes watching her, the expression in them unreadable. “May I come in?”
 

Sati Adaar

Prominent member
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
59
#2
Sati sat on the edge of her bed, a bowl of warm water and a pile of bandages to hand. The water was already bloodied and a few strips of fabric were balled by it, also reddened. Cassandra and Solas had both been vocal about her accepting healing - either from Solas or Adan - but she had quietly insisted on being able to tend to herself. Varric had restrained himself from comment, but even though he hadn't worn the worried expression of the other two on their return to Haven, Sati had sensed his concern as well. Slowly, meticulously, she began to apply an elfroot salve over her raw knuckles, holding back a hiss as she did so.

The Inquisition was beginning to get a reputation, and a reasonably positive one at that. Running all over the Hinterlands thrashing both mages and templars who had let themselves become so crazed with freedom that they didn't care who they hurt, assisting in every minor task that had presented itself, and sealing rifts, more positive whispers were beginning to ripple outwards. Not enough to quell the numerous dissenting voices in Orlais yet, but offers were starting to come in from people wanting to test the Inquisition's dedication to keeping order. So far they had risen to the challenge well.

Objectively, she should have been pleased. But it was hard to take pride when she felt herself frequently dancing along that razor's edge of control, which to fall over would render her as savage as the wild Tal-Vashoth both she and 'true' qunari despised. With each incidence of a person deciding to take advantage of the weak and the desperate, she had felt her anger growing. Even small, kind tasks, like retrieving a druffalo or searching for a missing woman on the road, backfired when demons erupted on the route or the young woman was found already dead. And all the while, there was no trace of any of the Valo-Kas.

Until today. Stumbling across an outpost of renegade templars, she had noticed that one of them had strewn himself about with necklaces of fangs and animal horns. No more insane than the next person, but during the fight she had recognised one twisting black spiral as being too big and unique in shape to belong to anybody other than a qunari. Or a vashoth. It was blunted at the end, having clearly been sawn off from the source.

By the end of that battle, Ruin had been on the ground, and she had been driving her fist into the dead man's face over and over until Cassandra had, at last, pulled her way. When she retrieved the horn it was obvious that the others had come to the same realisation as she had, and it had been in a quiet tone that Solas suggested they return to Haven and leave finding good points for the watchtowers to another day.

Sati was ashamed of herself. She hadn't completely lost her mind - she still had known friend from foe - but there was no sense in punching a dead man repeatedly. She knew it was born from her frustration of not knowing what had happened to her family, but all it had earned her was the wariness of her companions and painful hands. And she didn't know what to do with the horn. It lay on the desk for now, somehow sad and also obscene. Like having a severed limb lying there.

As she started to bandage her hands, there was a knock at the door. "Your-" Sati braced herself, trying to regain some equilibrium so she didn't shout at the hapless messenger. Then realised it wasn't necessary as they announced themselves. "Sati? It is Josephine." A pause. "May I come in?"

It was probably best that the ambassador didn't see her in this state, but at the same time Sati didn't want to sit alone brooding in her hut. Josephine, even when delivering bad news, tended to have an easing effect on her. "Yes." She cleared her throat hoarsely. "Come in."
 

Josephine Montilyet

Ambassador of the Inquisition
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
9
#3
Josephine would not have been surprised to be told to go away, or be greeted with silence, and she was prepared to press the matter. Instead, after a long moment, a gruff voice from within bade her to enter.

Turning the handle, she stepped into the tiny abode and could not quite suppress a gasp at the sight of the blood. “Maker’s breath, Sati!” Even though she knew that blood tended to appear more extensive than it actually was, the pink-tinged bowl of water, the bloody rags and the blood still oozing from the Herald’s knuckles made for a startling sight. Setting the missive aside on the desk, she crouched in front of the Vashoth, taking hold of one of the callused and bleeding hands and picking up a clean rag before catching herself.

“May I?” she asked belatedly, looking up apologetically into the bleak visage of the other woman. Cassandra had said that she had refused healing, magical or otherwise. “It would be easier than having to do it yourself.” Sati did not shy away from difficulty; at times, she seemed even to court it, but she generally did so by rejecting the assistance of those who would support her, if she would only permit it. She fulfilled her duty with a dedication that even Cassandra found commendable, but she plainly did not consider herself as one of them, as a true member of the Inquisition. And as she was increasingly becoming the organization’s most visible member, that needed to change somehow.

“What happened?” she asked cautiously after a bit. Cassandra had been vague on the details, saying that it would be better if Josephine heard it from Sati herself. All of them knew by now that the Vashoth found it discomfiting to be discussed in her absence. Leliana seldom let that deter her; the loss of Divine Justinia had left her Left Hand bleak and driven by the need to both find those responsible for her death and see her wishes carried out. Sensitivities and sentiment were of no concern to her, but Cassandra had developed a surprising degree of respect for the Herald that she had once been reluctant to accept.

Or perhaps not so surprising, given Sati’s performance these last few weeks.
 

Sati Adaar

Prominent member
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
59
#4
Sati had been bruised and bloodied numerous times over the course of her life. She wasn’t reckless, but the life of a mercenary made injury unavoidable, no matter how good you were. And she had seen many horrific wounds over the last few weeks - burns and jagged bite marks from demons, a man who had only just survived a savaging by wolves in the Hinterlands, and and some who had survived the explosion only to be left with barely anything clinging to their bones. Everybody in Haven had seen at least a few things better left to the realm of nightmares, so the horror in Josephine’s voice took Sati a bit off guard. Even the ambassador would have experienced worse.

Nonetheless, she gasped and then knelt before Sati, picking up a rag as she did so. Sati stared down at her, nonplussed until Josephine asked for permission. “It would be easier than having you do it yourself.”

Sati’s thoughts rebelled against having the ambassador bloody her hands over her, but it made sense. She finally gave sway to the argument for treatment, and stretched out her fingers so Josephine could tend to them better. “Thank you.”

She was steeled against the stinging in her flesh, but not quite so much against the sight of Josephine, with her head bent, carefully tending to the pulverised skin. Sati hastily rearranged her face when the ambassador looked up again, trying to appear stoic once more. It didn’t take much, especially when Josephine asked her question. “What happened?”

Sati glanced over at the dresser. “That’s a qunari horn.” She wouldn’t fuss with the semantics of Vashoth, Tal-Vashoth and qunari - Josephine would know. “One of the templars was wearing it on a rope around his neck, along with fangs and claws.” He’d obviously seen her people as animals for the hunt, and once the qunari was dead, thought nothing of claiming a trophy.

“I...thought it might belong to one of mine. The Valo-Kas. I lost control.” She would spare the ambassador the details; the crunching of bone beneath her hand, the hot blood pulsing from the remains of the man’s face, his agonised screams as he’d died from the brutal beating. He hadn’t deserved honour in his death, but she hadn’t acted with honour, either.

Her regret and the pain of mentioning the Valo-Kas caused a carefully constructed wall around her heart to crack. Breathing slowly and carefully didn’t help, and she took her hands from Josephine, pressing them against her face and hiding her eyes as she rested her elbows on her knees. One shaky breath was followed by another, even more ragged, and she balled her fists against her eyes, trying to force the tears back in.

It was so hard. Her parents who knew where, her mentor dead, and her adopted family either scattered or burnt to ash. She had borne the weight as best she could, even while many people were trying to kill her, but this had been too much. Even though she was certain it didn’t belong to one of her own, the thought of what they might have suffered even after surviving while she was being paraded around like some sort of figurehead was a lot to bear.
 
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