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What's In A Name? [Complete]

Aveline Vallen

Guard Captain of Kirkwall
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
45
#21
The commiserating over times now gone was both welcome and woke a longing in her that she knew would never quite going away. She did miss them, missed what crazy things they had done and seen. But most of all she missed all the time she had with them. Her guardsmen were good people, but she was not as close to them as she was her former companions. No, she kept them at a distance for a reason, considering she was their superior.

The conversation turned to focus on the money lender Edwin had implicated and the list of strange names in his books. Varric confirmed what she had been told, and now she had double the reason to pursue the lead.

Consider it confirmed,” Varric said without humor. “You wouldn’t happen to know where your informant is?

That questions should have been an easy no, if not for the fact the man himself strode into the room as if he had been waiting for the perfect moment to arrive. He looked better than he had the last time she had seen him. But that was to be expected, as he hadn’t been languishing in a cell for three days this time around.

"Sorry to interrupt, but this sounds like a subject I may know something about." Her jaw set, and she knew she shouldn’t be as annoyed at his arrival as she was. "Captain. I was very distraught that you weren't available to see me off, but I understand how busy things can get."

Good to know I don’t need to worry about introductions, but I’d go easy on the smartassery, kid. She’s got a mean right hook.” She couldn’t help the smirk that colored one corner of her mouth as Varric spoke. He turned to her giving her an apologetic shrug, “I tried to teach him manners, but it didn’t stick.

Oh, I’m sure they stuck just fine, Varric.” She said as her gaze moved back to Edwin. “He just chooses not to use those lessons. Isn’t that right, Edwin?

It was uncomfortable being in a situation like this, and thankfully the barmaid she had flagged earlier showed up with her ordered ale. She took a sip before regarding the new addition to their little meeting.

I should have guessed you were one of Varric’s with that mouth of yours.” She shook her head, that slight smile still firmly on her lips. She turned back to Varric, “I have some ideas on how to get more information, but if you have anything else to add, I’d be grateful. For now, I’ll be looking into who exactly Behrendt is working for.
 
Posts
65
#22
He couldn't have timed that entrance any better if he'd tried. Varric's question was the perfect lead-in, and he made the most of the moment to... be a bit of a fool, honestly. Such was the way of things.

“Good to know I don’t need to worry about introductions, but I’d go easy on the smartassery, kid. She’s got a mean right hook.” Edwin didn't doubt that in the slightest. “I tried to teach him manners, but it didn’t stick.”

Aveline was quick to play off of Varric's remark, responding before he could get a word in edgewise. “Oh, I’m sure they stuck just fine, Varric. He just chooses not to use those lessons. Isn’t that right, Edwin?”

"Not at all. You should have seen me before Varric intervened. No better than a mangy, slobbering cur of a man. It was a mess, really."

Even as he spoke, the ridiculous words coming easy to him after so many years of practice, Edwin was analyzing this new information. Varric and the Guard Captain were acquaintances. Given her rigid sense of honor and duty, he suspected they'd met before she took up her post in the Guard. More than that, their rapport suggested not just an acquaintance, but a friendship.

“I should have guessed you were one of Varric’s with that mouth of yours.” He took it as a good sign that she was still smiling. Just a little. That would perhaps change very, very soon though, if he obeyed that incessant itch to say what was on his mind.

"I'm flattered that you've spent so much time thinking about my mouth, Captain." Ah. There it was. The thing that was most likely to land him back in a cell.

“I have some ideas on how to get more information, but if you have anything else to add, I’d be grateful. For now, I’ll be looking into who exactly Behrendt is working for.”

His own gaze flicked to Varric. He needed to make amends. Varric had risked his reputation for Edwin's sake years ago, and he wasn't entirely sure that gamble had paid off on the dwarf's part. Even if it had, spending quality time with the Captain of the Guard wasn't a good look for one of Varric's contacts. It made everything Edwin was connected with look far more susceptible to the strict boundaries of the law.

And considering the work he was involved in, that wasn't a good thing.

A bit of good will could go a long way. It would also give him a chance to stall before he had to utter anything resembling an actual apology for being stupid enough to get himself caught.

"When I was... observing Behrendt, I noticed he received some rather curious visitors. People who really had no business being in a money-lender's office. Lowtown roughs, mostly. I assumed they were involved somehow, but I was never able to get a good feel for how."

There was a good chance Varric knew more, or at least knew how to secure that information. Even if he didn't, the information was freely given. Not pried out of him this time with the looming threat of prolonged incarceration or the promise of freedom.
 

Varric Tethras

Bullshitter Emeritus
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
100
#23
While Aveline definitely didn't seem to be expecting Coins to come strolling in, she took it in stride … hanging around with Hawke tended to equip one for the unexpected.

“Oh, I’m sure they stuck just fine, Varric,” she responded to his quip, giving the kid a pointed look. “He just chooses not to use those lessons. Isn’t that right, Edwin?”

"Not at all,” Coins responded urbanely. “You should have seen me before Varric intervened. No better than a mangy, slobbering cur of a man. It was a mess, really."

“The stuff of tragedies,” Varric agreed. “I almost wrote a book about it, but no one would have believed me.” Not exactly true. A scion of Hightown, betrayed to certain death by his family, only to turn to a life of crime in revenge? It would be a best seller, but it would have to wait until publication wouldn't yank the rug out from under Coins' plans.

“I should have guessed you were one of Varric’s with that mouth of yours,” Aveline remarked with a bemused smile.

“Not to mention his suave charm?” Varric suggested.

"I'm flattered that you've spent so much time thinking about my mouth, Captain,” Coins smirked.

Or not. Mama Bear was quite capable of defending her own delicate sensibilities, but there was a point to be made. “For the record, Coins, the lady has saved my ass more times than I can conveniently count,” he informed his protege in a level voice. “And you know how high I can count.” For quite a while, they'd played a delightful little game called 'Count The Crappy Counterfeit Coins' until he'd finally gotten the knack of the tin to lead ratio.

“I have some ideas on how to get more information,” Aveline told them, “but if you have anything else to add, I’d be grateful. For now, I’ll be looking into who exactly Behrendt is working for.”

Coins glanced at him, his cocky assurance slipping just a bit, and Varric wondered what else he might have said to Aveline while he was locked up. Couldn't have been too inappropriate, as he was still in possession of all his teeth, but had he been the one to suggest that the Guard Captain visit Varric? Given that he didn't know they were friends, that wasn't exactly an innocuous move, and might explain what they were both doing here.

"When I was... observing Behrendt, I noticed he received some rather curious visitors,” Coins said at last. “People who really had no business being in a money-lender's office. Lowtown roughs, mostly. I assumed they were involved somehow, but I was never able to get a good feel for how."

“Enforcers,” Varric grunted, taking a drink of ale and swirling it a bit to wash the bad taste out of his mouth. “They provide security, break legs on folks who are slow on payments, arrange flowers … that sort of thing. Behrendt isn't a small fish,” he warned Aveline, his expression as serious as it got. “You're not looking for who he's working for; it's who he's working with. And they won't be as charming as Coins, here.”
 

Aveline Vallen

Guard Captain of Kirkwall
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
45
#24
"Not at all. You should have seen me before Varric intervened. No better than a mangy, slobbering cur of a man. It was a mess, really." Edwin’s wit hadn’t lessened since his freedom was gained, and she rolled her eyes just a little. It was not at the point of infuriating yet, so she let it be for now.

The stuff of tragedies,” She gave Varric a look when he corroborated the tall tale.. “I almost wrote a book about it, but no one would have believed me.

And then of course Varric had to go add in something about Edwin’s charm, which she already had experience with. Apparently that was Edwin’s cue to perform, "I'm flattered that you've spent so much time thinking about my mouth, Captain.

She brought a hand to her face, sighing, “Maker take me…

Varric seemed intent on steering the conversation towards her better traits instead of encouraging Edwin’s less than stellar ones, “For the record, Coins, the lady has saved my ass more times than I can conveniently count. And you know how high I can count.

Aveline looked up and then between the two of them, and a realization hit her, “Coins? Dare I ask how he got such a nickname. And I’m affronted that he had one well before I did Varric!

It was a mild tease, and she hoped Varric could discern her faked outrage. They had put the matter of her own nickname to bed already, after all. And she didn’t want to cause more of a stir, there was business to attend to after all, and she laid it out for Varric, though Edwin already knew.

"When I was... observing Behrendt, I noticed he received some rather curious visitors. People who really had no business being in a money-lender's office. Lowtown roughs, mostly. I assumed they were involved somehow, but I was never able to get a good feel for how." That was a bit more information than he had given her in the cell, but it matched well with the previous information he had given. Varric had his own observations to add as well.

Enforcers,” He looked particularly affronted as he spoke of Behrendt. She wondered if there was some competition with his own ventures to be found there. “They provide security, break legs on folks who are slow on payments, arrange flowers … that sort of thing. Behrendt isn't a small fish. You're not looking for who he's working for; it's who he's working with. And they won't be as charming as Coins, here.

No, she suspected they wouldn’t be. Which also made her wonder once more why Edwin had targeted Carlton. It had put him in Behrendt’s target, and ended up with him in her jail. Which, as luck would have it, was the first real lead she had ever gotten on Behrendt. “So, I need to find a small fish first. Get some information, find out what things he has his fingers in and who he is working with that connect with these names, and likely more names Edwin here wasn’t at liberty to see.

She paused, hand on her chin, face obviously in thought, “Any rumblings with the Carta and him? Though, he seems the type to have Coterie connections. If either is the case, this will end up being rather dangerous. Going to have to make sure, do some casing, possible grab and tag.

Most of what she was saying was just her musing out loud, though the question could have been directed at Varric. Either organization was dangerous, and she didn’t think a man like Behrendt, for all the information she had received about him, would ally himself with some new organization popping up in Kirkwall.
 
Posts
65
#25
“For the record, Coins, the lady has saved my ass more times than I can conveniently count. And you know how high I can count.” Varric's voice was level. It was easy enough to read his words as a warning.

Perhaps if he hadn't known the dwarf for five years now, Edwin might have assumed this protective instinct was both sudden and unique to the Guard Captain. He knew better, and he also knew well enough when to rein himself in.

"I imagine I've yet to breach the limit, so that is indeed some feat."

Aveline--having responded as predictably as could be expected to his previous remark--looked between the two of them. “Coins? Dare I ask how he got such a nickname. And I’m affronted that he had one well before I did Varric!”

"You should really keep a list somewhere," he said to the dwarf. "It would save us all some trouble."

Talk turned to far less pleasant things than nicknames, and for once Edwin felt compelled to give some of his close-held information freely. It was the least he could do, really.

“Enforcers,” Varric said with some distaste. “They provide security, break legs on folks who are slow on payments, arrange flowers … that sort of thing. Behrendt isn't a small fish. You're not looking for who he's working for; it's who he's working with. And they won't be as charming as Coins, here.”

"To be fair, that's not a burden I would place on anyone's shoulders."

“So, I need to find a small fish first. Get some information, find out what things he has his fingers in and who he is working with that connect with these names, and likely more names Edwin here wasn’t at liberty to see," Aveline said, already chasing down this lead. “Any rumblings with the Carta and him? Though, he seems the type to have Coterie connections. If either is the case, this will end up being rather dangerous. Going to have to make sure, do some casing, possible grab and tag.”

His lips quirked upward at the language she used, but he kept his thoughts to himself for once. The idea that Behrendt had connections to the Coterie was not a surprising one, but she was correct. She'd need solid proof of that fact to pursue an investigation.

It would be a pain. He was sure she'd insist on obtaining that proof in mostly legal ways, despite her affiliation with Varric. It was rather a good thing he'd already provided what he was going to provide on this front.

"Well, I wish you the best of luck with that, Captain. I'd very much like to see Behrendt and his ilk get their comeuppance, but alas..." He had matters of his own to attend to.
 

Varric Tethras

Bullshitter Emeritus
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
100
#26
Coins took the warning in stride, but he recognized it for what it was. "I imagine I've yet to breach the limit,” he remarked wryly in regards to Varric's counting abilities, “so that is indeed some feat."

“Coins?” Aveline echoed curiously. “Dare I ask how he got such a nickname. And I’m affronted that he had one well before I did Varric!”

“To be fair, I've known him longer,” Varric told her, then couldn't resist adding, “and you've never done anything boneheaded enough to inspire one on the spot.” And that was all that he was going to say on the subject, lest he give Aveline more information on Edwin's illegal activities than she already knew … though it wouldn't take a genius to decipher the significance of his choice.

"You should really keep a list somewhere," Edwin remarked. "It would save us all some trouble."

“I do keep a list,” Varric told him, one finger tapping his temple. “And keeping it there saves everybody a lot of trouble.” The nicknames were more than his own mental shorthand; the aliases kept the casual – or not so casual - listener from identifying just who he was associating with.

Opening banter done, the conversation turned back to Behrendt, and Coins had some new information to offer, none of which was surprising or good. Behrendt wasn't a low level stooge, and he was far from helpless.

“So, I need to find a small fish first,” Aveline mused. “Get some information, find out what things he has his fingers in and who he is working with that connect with these names, and likely more names Edwin here wasn’t at liberty to see.” She looked to Varric. “Any rumblings with the Carta and him? Though, he seems the type to have Coterie connections. If either is the case, this will end up being rather dangerous. Going to have to make sure, do some casing, possible grab and tag.”

“He's not Carta,” Varric said decisively, “which pretty much leaves Coterie. Between the two of them, they don't leave a lot of room for independent operators, especially since the Carta expanded operations here after they got throttled out of Orzammar.”

"Well, I wish you the best of luck with that, Captain,” Edwin announced breezily. “I'd very much like to see Behrendt and his ilk get their comeuppance, but alas..."

Varric shook his head. “Not so fast, Coins. You opened this can of worms … or are you going to tell me that you didn't drop by to volunteer?” He in all likelihood had not, actually, but now that he had come to Aveline's attention, the more useful Coins could be to her in collaring the more serious criminal elements in Kirkwall, the more likely she would be to overlook lesser transgressions. Unless Coins was planning on going straight … and Varric knew that wouldn't be happening just yet.
 

Aveline Vallen

Guard Captain of Kirkwall
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
45
#27
The banter between all three of them seemed to flow easily enough, Edwin teasing her, Varric teasing Edwin, and she in turn teasing Varric. It was an interesting dynamic, and though Edwin’s tone would have made her grouse in any other situation, she actually found a bit of humor in it all.

It was good to have levity, for it made the more serious discussion that followed less of a downturn. She spent a moment musing out loud on her possibilities. Varric interjected first, “He's not Carta. which pretty much leaves Coterie. Between the two of them, they don't leave a lot of room for independent operators, especially since the Carta expanded operations here after they got throttled out of Orzammar.

She’d thank the Maker later that it wasn’t Carta. Not that they were no better or worse than the Coterie, but there were often times she felt the dwarves were more desperate than the Coterie counterparts. Which at times could make them more dangerous. She gave Varric a nod, and was about to speak again before Edwin spoke up again, "Well, I wish you the best of luck with that, Captain. I'd very much like to see Behrendt and his ilk get their comeuppance, but alas..."

She expression turned a bit sour. It shouldn’t have. She shouldn’t expect more from the young man, truly. He’d given a lot that could very well be tied back to him if things gone awry. No this was dangerous, Aveline and her guards would handle it. Or so she thought.

Not so fast, Coins. You opened this can of worms … or are you going to tell me that you didn't drop by to volunteer?” The look she gave Varric wasn’t exactly one of protest, but it certainly wasn’t quite acceptance either.

Do not put all the fault on his shoulders, Varric. He did use it to bargain for his sentence,” She said as her gaze turned back to Edwin, “But if he has more information to offer, I’ll gladly take it.”
 
Posts
65
#28
Edwin wouldn't describe his conscience as "clear" where this matter was concerned, but it was unburdened to the point where he felt comfortable leaving the Captain to her do-gooding. He'd already started for the door, intent on getting back to his own affairs, when Varric spoke.

“Not so fast, Coins. You opened this can of worms … or are you going to tell me that you didn't drop by to volunteer?”

His hand was extended, reaching for the door. He let it drop slowly and gave Varric a look. If the dwarf thought he was going to goad Edwin into handing over more information than he already had... oh no. Not happening. His expression slid into a carefree smirk that masked his annoyance.

“Do not put all the fault on his shoulders, Varric. He did use it to bargain for his sentence." She turned to look at him, and he canted his head slightly. “But if he has more information to offer, I’ll gladly take it.”

"Varric's known me long enough to know I don't 'volunteer.' Not unless there's something in it for me. And as you've kindly pointed out, Captain," he gestured to Aveline, "I already have my freedom."

He could walk away from this. Both would think less of him, but that hardly mattered. He hadn't come back to Kirkwall to be liked or even respected. He'd come back for a very specific purpose.

But then... there was some overlap. If Behrendt was involved in Coterie dealings--if those names of long-dead families spoke of direct ties--then perhaps there was more here for him to use to his advantage. It was possible his father was stupid enough to invest in such a scheme. If not him, then Sterling, certainly.

Even without that, Edwin could later use whatever information he gained as blackmail. He didn't even have to obstruct the Captain's case to do it. He could just step aside and let the man be apprehended when the time came.

Either way, it was better than starting fresh. "However... I suppose I do have a personal interest in seeing this through. I have nothing of use to you right now, but find Behdrendt's go-between and I can get information to ensure he talks."
 

Varric Tethras

Bullshitter Emeritus
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
100
#29
Varric's timing was, as usual, impeccable. Coins froze, his hand nearly touching the handle on the door, then shot a pointed glance toward the dwarf before assuming a 'what-me-mind?' face as he turned back to the table.

“Do not put all the fault on his shoulders, Varric,” Aveline, ever the Mama Bear, chided him. “He did use it to bargain for his sentence." Before he could accuse her of going soft – not that he was that stupid, mind you – her green eyes shifted to Coins, “But if he has more information to offer, I’ll gladly take it.”

"Varric's known me long enough to know I don't 'volunteer.'” Edwin countered with a studied insouciance. “Not unless there's something in it for me. And as you've kindly pointed out, Captain, I already have my freedom."

Varric snorted. “And when Behrendt figures out that you're the one who ratted him out?” he inquired pointedly. “Because if you don't think that the Coterie knows exactly who is arrested and who is released from jail, you're not thinking.” He looked to Aveline. “Unless you kept him segregated the whole time,” he said, knowing that was almost certainly not the case. Kirkwall's jails weren't set up to make that an easy thing to do. Not that he'd spent a great deal of time in them, mind you, but a writer had to have a good eye for details like that.

His eyes returned to Coins. “You painted a target on your back the moment you said his name out loud,” he warned the younger man, not bothering to point out the other side of that coin to Aveline: she'd pushed him into doing it. “Your best bet for surviving at this point is to take him and his network down as fast as possible.” It was Aveline's best bet, too. The criminal elements of Kirkwall had gotten comfortable with Jeven's bribability; the new, straight-arrow captain had been an unwelcome surprise, and there were undoubtedly more than a few who would prefer to make her tenure as short as possible … including Jeven.

Edwin had come a fair way from the impulsive kid who'd tried passing badly made fake silvers in the markets, and he'd never been stupid, even if he occasionally suffered from tunnel vision. "However... I suppose I do have a personal interest in seeing this through,” he reasoned. “I have nothing of use to you right now, but find Behdrendt's go-between and I can get information to ensure he talks."

“Get me some descriptions to go with these aliases,” Varric put in, nodding toward the list of ersatz nobility, “and I can probably get you some real names.”
 

Aveline Vallen

Guard Captain of Kirkwall
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
45
#30
Edwin was already at the door, ready to open and step through, but he turned to look at them both after she commented that she would take any more information he might have. Second thoughts, maybe? Or just annoyed at Varric pushing him and he needed to get a final word in.

"Varric's known me long enough to know I don't 'volunteer.' Not unless there's something in it for me. And as you've kindly pointed out, Captain," one of his hands gestured towards her, "I already have my freedom."

That’s the way of most things for people, Edwin. We all do things to benefit our needs, whether they are selfish or altruistic,” she shrugged, turning to Varric who had given a snort.

And when Behrendt figures out that you're the one who ratted him out?” Not from her, but she was sure there were some people out there -- if not Behrendt himself -- who could connect this time intervention into his affairs with Edwin’s stay in her jail. “Because if you don't think that the Coterie knows exactly who is arrested and who is released from jail, you're not thinking. Unless you kept him segregated the whole time.

He had his own cell, but he was certainly not isolated,” she said to Varric, though her eyes moved to Edwin. There was only so much she could do to weed out people who would pass along information from her operations, especially in the jailhouse. Her guardsman who worked the streets were her most reliable, but many of the people still working in the jail were appointments she hadn’t made.

You painted a target on your back the moment you said his name out loud,” the weight of the warning he gave the young man was not lost on Aveline, “Your best bet for surviving at this point is to take him and his network down as fast as possible.

Edwin seemed to have had reconsidered his options, "However... I suppose I do have a personal interest in seeing this through. I have nothing of use to you right now, but find Behdrendt's go-between and I can get information to ensure he talks."

That was helpful. And it would be even more helpful if Edwin was with her when she captured the man. No time for him to sit and think of lies that would sound like truth, “For that I’d need you to be there when I pick him up. Can’t give the man time to concoct a story, can we?

A brow as she said it, as if she were seeking how committed he was to the endeavor. Varric piped up again at that point, “Get me some descriptions to go with these aliases, and I can probably get you some real names.

That’s a task that will need to come after talking to the go between. I may have to get one of my undercover guards working on it,” Dangerous it may be, but the more information they could get that would definitively incriminate Behrendt the more likely they were to find information to pull down the entire cell involved.

She looked back at Edwin expectantly, fully expecting him to rescind his offer to help if it meant being more hands on.
 
Posts
65
#31
Varric’s immediate challenge to his indifference was enough to make the wheels turn in Edwin’s paranoid mind. The dwarf had a point. Behrendt was a great arse, but he wasn’t a fool. At best he would have a few days before all of this was linked back to him, and that was assuming no one in the Kirkwall jail was playing both sides. The Guard Captain might have been obnoxiously honest enough not to sell him out, but he couldn’t say the same thing when it came to her guards.

Even if they didn’t decide to line their purses with Coterie coin, he’d dragged himself into this out of his desire to see Behrendt’s greasy head shoved into the stocks. And to keep his own decidedly less greasy head--and the rest of him--as far away from them as possible.

It was inconvenient and dangerous and, most importantly, it was going to keep him from doing the things he actually needed to be doing. But Edwin could admit if Aveline wasn’t as fair-minded as she was, he would likely still be rotting in jail due to his own idiocy. And if Varric didn’t have some kind of complex when it came to helping those like himself, he would almost certainly be dead.

So he agreed to assist. One more act of a man who no longer possessed a conscience, but still a rather keen survival instinct. Naturally, the Guard Captain had to make this more difficult than it needed to be.

“For that I’d need you to be there when I pick him up. Can’t give the man time to concoct a story, can we?”

“No we cannot,” he said with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “Though really, Captain. If you wanted to spend more time with me, you could have just said so.”

Varric, presumably not wanting to indulge his nonsense, just added to the offer he’d made. “Get me some descriptions to go with these aliases, and I can probably get you some real names.”

That was likely something Edwin was well-equipped to handle, as well, but he certainly wasn’t going to volunteer himself for the job. The less he was involved in all of this, the better.

“That’s a task that will need to come after talking to the go between,” Aveline remarked. “I may have to get one of my undercover guards working on it.”

It was settled then. They had a plan, Maker help them, and a series of steps to take next. He could get back to worrying about his own life and the people who’d so gleefully tried to end it. Except for the fact that the Guard Captain was looking at him in a manner that suggested she expected him to squirm out of the obligation.

Well. He’d just have to prove her wrong. At least about this.

“Name a time and a place, Captain, and I’m all yours.” He flashed her a grin, then dipped his head in acknowledgment of Varric. “Varric will make sure I get the information I need. For now, I’d like to continue making the most of my freedom, if you don’t mind.”

So saying, Edwin slipped out of the room before he could be made to answer for--or volunteer his particular brand of skills toward--anything else.
 

Varric Tethras

Bullshitter Emeritus
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
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Posts
100
#32
Coins wasn't the civic-minded type, but he was possessed of a strong sense of self preservation, and he quickly saw the logic in Varric's argument: having given up Behrendt's name, his best chance at survival lay in helping Aveline finish the job as quickly as possible. He suggested reeling in one of the smaller fish and applying some heat.

“For that I’d need you to be there when I pick him up,” Aveline pointed out. “Can’t give the man time to concoct a story, can we?”

“No we cannot,” Coins agreed flatly, mouth curled in a humorless smirk. “Though really, Captain. If you wanted to spend more time with me, you could have just said so.”

Silently Varric adjusted the mental odds of Aveline knocking Coins on his ass from four to one up to three to one. Aloud, he offered his help putting real names to the list of aliases; names could be changed a lot more easily than looks.

“That’s a task that will need to come after talking to the go between,” she replied. “I may have to get one of my undercover guards working on it.”

“Sounds like a job for Brennokovic,” Varric joked, though in point of fact, this likely would inspire a subplot in the new book.

“Name a time and a place, Captain, and I’m all yours,”
Coins told her with a more genuine smile and a nod to the dwarf. “Varric will make sure I get the information I need. For now, I’d like to continue making the most of my freedom, if you don’t mind.” He slid out the door with the grace of an alley cat, clearly intent on avoiding any further commitments.

“He takes a bit of getting used to,” Varric remarked, downing the last of the ale, “but he's a good kid. He just got dealt a shitty hand.” That was as much as Mama Bear would be getting on the subject from him. Anything else would have to come from Edwin.
 

Aveline Vallen

Guard Captain of Kirkwall
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
45
#33
No we cannot,” Edwin said cordially, though it was obvious that he didn't quite like the whole idea. “Though really, Captain. If you wanted to spend more time with me, you could have just said so.

There was that damn teasing again. It must be ingrained in him, as much as she had tried to put him off of it when he was her prisoner, here he was still doing it. She just rolled her eyes rather than respond to it.

Sounds like a job for Brennokovic,” Varric interjected when she mentioned an undercover guard. She cut him a look that was both amused and frustrated.

Name a time and a place, Captain, and I’m all yours.” There was something about this young man that infuriated and perplexed her, and it likely had to do with that damned grin he always wore. “Varric will make sure I get the information I need. For now, I’d like to continue making the most of my freedom, if you don’t mind.

He exited after that, and she let out a breath looking over to Varric, “He takes a bit of getting used to, but he's a good kid. He just got dealt a shitty hand.

"Lots of people in Kirkwall who have been dealt a shitty hand, including us. If I thought him one of the bad ones, he'd still be in my jail right now." She rubbed a hand over her chin, worried about the whole thing. "I don't want him getting hurt. I'll do my best to keep him out of the line of fire, Varric."

It was a promise to the dwarf and herself, really. She did her best to keep people out of harms way, even when they put themselves there voluntarily. "He could tone down that attitude though. I can handle that from you and the rest of the gang, but I'm not sure I'm ready to let someone else who likes to tease me into my life right now."

That last bit was said with a bit of humor. She wasn't a complete killjoy after all. "Thank you for your help in this. It'd be nice to take down at least some of the worst criminals in the city for once, instead of those just trying to survive."
 

Varric Tethras

Bullshitter Emeritus
Canon Character
Post DAI Timeline
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
100
#34
"Lots of people in Kirkwall who have been dealt a shitty hand, including us,” Aveline observed after Coins had departed. “If I thought him one of the bad ones, he'd still be in my jail right now." She rubbed at her jaw, worry creasing her brow. "I don't want him getting hurt. I'll do my best to keep him out of the line of fire, Varric."

“I'll keep an eye out, too.” On her, as well as him. Behrendt was dangerous, and once he figured out that the guard-captain couldn't be bought or intimidated, elimination would be the next step.

"He could tone down that attitude though,” she grumbled. “I can handle that from you and the rest of the gang, but I'm not sure I'm ready to let someone else who likes to tease me into my life right now."

“The attitude he had when I got to him,” Varric replied, a bit of a smirk playing at his mouth as he added, “I just helped him perfect it.” Smartassery and sarcasm were as close as guys like he and Coins got to suits of armor.

"Thank you for your help in this,” Aveline told him. “It'd be nice to take down at least some of the worst criminals in the city for once, instead of those just trying to survive."

“Kirkwall's my home, too,” he replied with an easy shrug. “A bit of crime here and there keeps things from getting dull, but bastards like Behrendt give crooks a bad name. Just be careful.”

After the door had closed behind her, Varric pulled out the sheet of parchment that he'd concealed, his eyes scanning the lines written there. Rolling it up, he held it over the flame of the candle, watching as it burned to ash and crumbled onto the table.
 
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