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Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
243
#1
((Guardian, 9:41; at sea between Jader and Val Royeaux))

‘Herald of Andraste’ was a grand-sounding title, and at first glance, its bearer was no less impressive, from her height to her broad shoulders to her horns, which, while not as large as Gideon’s, were still formidable. But if Sati Adaar believed all of the breathless rumors being spread about her, whether the Maker’s chosen or a heretic leading the gullible astray, she gave no hint of it.

Quiet and serious, she largely kept her mouth shut and her eyes open as the dark haired Nevarran woman attempted to renegotiate the bargain that Celeste had struck with Varric, evidently operating on the assumption that they should be donating their services to aid the noble cause of the Inquisition. Which was all well and good, except that paying jobs were few and far between these days, and she never knew when she was going to have to take on a boatload of terrified people to get them away from demons and keep them fed until she could drop them off somewhere safe. And it wasn’t as though she were gouging them on the price; passage for four on a voyage that barely took sunrise to sunset and shaved better than a week off the journey overland wasn’t going to break anybody’s budget, but it still took a bit of haggling before a fee was agreed on and the Herald, Varric, Cassandra Sodding Pentaghast and a bald elven apostate with odd taste in fashion accessories boarded and they cast off.

The elf - Solas, as he had solemnly introduced himself (Varric called him Chuckles)- almost immediately vanished into one of the two cabins they had paid for. Princess Grumpy-ass strode the deck scowling, while Varric stationed himself in the galley, as far from the ocean as he could get. Celeste had resigned herself to a long day’s sail when Sati had upchucked half an hour under way, but there had been no recurrences, and she kept to the rail, her pensive gaze on the horizon and her hands holding only slightly more tightly than normal to the wood.

“Been at sea often?” Celeste asked as she approached. The seas were good and the winds favorable; she’d turned the helm over to Dax once they were at sea. Gideon hung back; coiling rope in the shade of the fo’c’sle. He’d taken Varric’s warnings against flirting to heart, but he was curious, and Celeste couldn’t blame him. She could count the number of female Tal-Vashoth she’d seen on one hand with fingers left over, and never up close. And none of the others had sported a glowing green … whatever on one hand.
 

Sati Adaar

Prominent member
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
47
#2
Sati was not fond of the sea. She could appreciate it from an aesthetic point of view, and sunset or sunrise dancing off the waves against a pale pink backdrop was always appealing. She also liked the sense of space, something somebody of her size rarely found in the city. What was harder to deal with was how it wouldn’t stop sodding moving.

It was the same reason she rarely drank; she didn’t like that sensation of the perception of her surroundings being off. Every step she took either landed too hard or too light and caused her to stumble, and her recently filled stomach had disagreed with the perpetual motion strongly enough that it wasn’t long after they left for her to empty it out again.

Thankfully that had been the only sign of internal rebellion so far, but sweat still beaded slightly on her forehead and the dizziness was enough that she only felt secure holding tightly to the side. Watching the dip of the waves didn’t really help, but being holed up below decks would be worse. Instead she kept her eyes on the horizon, where the sea barely seemed to be moving at all, gaze unwavering until the captain, a handsome woman with a shock of blonde hair barely held back by a bandana, came over.

“Been at sea often?”

Sati shook her head. “Not especially. I’ve had occasion to travel once or twice, but found it – disagreed with me.” She offered a wry smile. “I seem to be getting better, though. I am not quite the same shade as my hand.”

People’s reactions to the scar ran a wide gamut. Some ran shrieking. Some wanted to poke it. Some seemed almost hypnotised. The overwhelming reaction was some form of fear, but from what she’d gathered about Celeste, the woman didn’t scare easily.

Other than the obvious care the crew had for the ship and the good price the captain had offered, Sati’s eye had been caught by the fact that there was another qunari on board. Rare enough to see another of her kind, let alone one as a sailor, and evidently trusted by the others he worked with. Sati inclined her head towards him. “What’s his story?”
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
243
#3
She hadn’t fully acclimated yet; sweat still dampened her forehead and temples, and her features had that tightness that Celeste had seen in plenty of passengers, but she wasn’t making a big fuss of it, or trying to hide it.

“Not especially,” she replied to the query about her oceangoing experience. “I’ve had occasion to travel once or twice, but found it – disagreed with me.” Her lips quirked into a rueful moue. “I seem to be getting better, though. I am not quite the same shade as my hand.”

“Some people do acclimate,” Celeste agreed, “and I’ve had some poor bastards heaving their guts from casting off to tying up, so count yourself lucky.” And that’s all it was: luck. No way to tell who was going to be susceptible to seasickness, or how badly. The big and brawny could be felled by it while the skinny and frail were just fine, and vise versa. “Our healer has a draught that does a pretty good job of settling stomachs. Tastes like shit, though, so I don’t recommend it unless you can’t stop feeding the fish.” The formulation was similar to the hangover remedy that Brannigan was alternately cursed and blessed for.

The violet eyes left the horizon and she tipped her head in the direction of the first mate. “What’s his story?”

“Gideon?” Celeste followed her gaze as Gid responded to the scrutiny with a polite nod. “He’s Tal-Vashoth. My husband and his father pulled him out of the ocean in the Ventosus Straits after a shipwreck when he was fourteen. He’s been on the Wicked Grace ever since.” Anything else was Gideon’s to tell, if he chose.

“What’s your story?” she asked, since that particular door had been opened. “I’m guessing you didn’t just wake up one morning with an urge to knock religion in southern Thedas on its collective ass.” If she had, she had succeeded splendidly; either way, the holy prigs were having conniptions, which Celeste approved of on general principle.
 

Sati Adaar

Prominent member
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
Posts
47
#4
As uncomfortable as she was right now, Sati felt lucky not to be one of the poor folk whose guts churned from the moment they stepped on the gangplank to the moment they disembarked. Mild discomfort was where she was at, now that her breakfast was no longer in her stomach to jump around in time with the waves. Hopefully the sweating would alleviate with time too. Fortunately she was not without options. “Our healer has a draught that does a pretty good job of settling stomachs. Tastes like shit, though, so I don’t recommend it unless you can’t stop feeding the fish.”

She managed a smile, although it felt a little forced. “I seem to be all right for now. But I will take your recommendation if I take a turn for the worse.”

Sati had long ago worked out that the best way to deal with pain or discomfort, once the initial cause had been addressed, was distraction. Fortunately, there was plenty aboard the Wicked Grace to offer in that way. From the captain who presumably had a story to back up each scar to the wide range of people serving aboard it, to the other qunari – or not-qunari – quietly making himself useful in the background. Sati, wary of potential confrontation, asked about him first.

His name was the first tell that he’d shed any link to the Qun. Sati’s parents had chosen her name from a human book, but it was sufficiently qunari-ish that not many people were surprised by it. ‘Gideon’ was as human a name as one could get. “He’s Tal-Vashosh. My husband and his father pulled him out of the ocean in the Ventosus Straits after a shipwreck when he was fourteen. He’s been on the Wicked Grace ever since.”

Some of the tension in Sati’s shoulders had relaxed during the short tale. It was not unheard of for qunari to go undercover as Tal-Vashoth, although they tended to prefer to make the viddathari do the dirty work for them. She doubted Gideon had planned back as far as that, though. “A reliable sort to have at your back in a battle, I’d warrant.”

A fair exchange was demanded; Celeste wanted to know about her. “I’m guessing you didn’t just wake up one morning with an urge to knock religion in southern Thedas on its collective ass.”

A small smile curled the corner of Sati’s mouth. “No, that urge has been fairly consistent since I was aware of what the Chantry actually was.” She leaned a little less heavily on the rail; while her story of how she had come to her current place was not a fun one to tell, the distraction was working.

“I was part of a mercenary company hired to serve as general muscle at the Conclave. Apparently our patron didn’t trust either the mages or templars to behave themselves.” Officially, they had been employed by the Divine, although naturally it had been an under-under-under cleric of some description who had hired them. “My next memory after running a patrol or two was waking up in a prison cell, with this on my hand,” she held out her palm for Celeste to see – “and being accused of blowing everybody up. Everyone wanted to execute me for a while, then they found out I could close rifts, and then only a lot of people wanted to execute me.”

She closed her fist.

“I could have run, a few times, or refused to have anything to do with it, but I think that would have made me fairly unpopular.” This accompanied by a faint, sardonic smile. “And my code of honour would not have allowed it, anyway. This world is already hard enough work for most people without throwing demons into the mix.”
 
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