"Come here, Vince," Ollie said, patting his leg. The mabari, who had been sniffing at the baseboards rather urgently, perked his ears and trotted over to him promptly. "Good job! Who's my good boy?" Ollie scratched behind the dog's ears and Vince groaned appreciatively. This wasn't the first time Ollie had taken the dog with him to a safe house, but it was the first time he wasn't completely nervous about it. Vince was a quick-learner and didn't stray too far from Ollie anyway.
Hopefully whoever they were meeting wasn't afraid of dogs. He hadn't thought of that.
Ollie wasn't sure who he was supposed to be meeting today. The note said it would be someone else he might know from the Circle. That didn't really narrow it down much. The only other mage he'd recognized so far had been Anders, and he hadn't seen him since Noa had left for the mountains. He hoped that he would know the person, though. Even though he had been glad to leave the Circle, part of him missed it in some ways.
"Just promise me you won't start barking when they come in, alright?" Ollie said to Vince, giving him a soft pat on the head.
Another day, another meeting in a Collective safehouse that was fraught with danger. Jowan tried not to look jumpy or suspicious as he made his way down the street. He never knew how well he succeeded at that. So far no guards had dragged him off, so he supposed he did well enough.
He tried not to look over his shoulder compulsively, his eyes peeled for the glint of sunlight on templar armor. Jowan ran a nervous hand over his hair, the many patchwork corners of his glove catching on some of the strands. At least his hair was clean today. That was never a guarantee.
He didn’t lurk outside the safehouse for very long. As much as he preferred scoping the place out before going inside, it only invited more folks to see what he was up to. Quickly, Jowan opened the door and scuttled inside, resetting the warding glyphs with a well-practiced motion.
Then he jumped. “Maker’s breath!” He didn’t even catch a glimpse of his contact. There was a mabari crammed in there. Big, big dogs that usually weren’t seen outside the fancy noble neighborhoods. Was it going to bite him? Or bark at him, or do whatever else it was that giant dogs got up to? Jowan wasn’t used to animals any larger than rats or the occasional small cat. “Good boy,” he said nervously. Wait, they always said that mabari could understand people, right? “Or girl,” he added hastily. “Or… you know, whatever you want to be.”
Post by Oliver Lucas on Feb 13, 2017 19:26:13 GMT -5
The door opened and a man scurried inside, resetting the glyphs when he shut the door. Another mage, then. He turned and jumped when he saw Vince. "Maker's breath!" The mabari pup cocked his head to the side, his little nub of a tail twitching. "Good boy," the man said. "Or girl. Or... you know, whatever you want to be."
"It's alright," Ollie said. "Vince here won't hurt you, will you boy?" Vince responded by flopping his tongue out of his mouth and snorting. Ollie looked back up to the other mage and gave an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking when I brought him, I just..." he trailed off as a wave of recognition hit him. He did know this one. "Jowan?" Ollie raised his eyebrows. "Is that you?"
The dog was really more of a puppy, and it cocked its head curiously at Jowan. What did that mean? Did that mean it was about to attack?
"It's alright,” a man’s voice said. Jowan looked away from the dog to see a man with a curly mop of hair obscuring part of his face. "Vince here won't hurt you, will you boy?” The dog responded by snorting, which made Jowan twitch.
"I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking when I brought him, I just..." the man paused and trailed away. "Jowan? Is that you?"
Maker, those words were more terrifying than the dog. He felt his heart drop into his stomach: it was never a good thing when someone recognized him for who he really was. He debated turning and running away, but he glanced at the man again first. “O-Oliver, right?” Jowan said. He remembered the mage vaguely from the tower. Shit. Did Oliver know about the whole… blood magic episode? Surely everyone from the Circle knew.
Jowan hoped his career with the Collective wasn’t about to crash to an end. “Good to see you out and about. Not in the Circle and all,” he said warily.
Post by Oliver Lucas on Feb 19, 2017 19:29:44 GMT -5
Jowan glanced up at him, definitely more nervous than he had been a moment before. “O-Oliver, right?” Jowan said.
"Yeah! Oliver," Ollie nodded, probably happier to see Jowan than was necessary. They hadn't really known each other well, other than having a few courses together. Then Ollie had passed his Harrowing and didn't spend much time with the apprentices. Jowan had been held back and there had been whispers about him. Whatever came of that, Ollie didn't know. He'd been assigned out of the Tower and soon found himself an apostate.
“Good to see you out and about. Not in the Circle and all,” Jowan said warily.
Ollie scratched the back of his neck. "I know, it's a little strange." He looked at Jowan. "My templar died when I was being moved from the Circle and I just sort of, walked away. I didn't figure they'd believe me if I showed back up all alone." It sounded so ridiculous even now, talking about it. Oliver Lucas, the accidental apostate. "How did you end up here?"
Oliver seemed genuinely pleased to see him, which was weird. People were never pleased to see Jowan, whether they knew him or not. "Yeah! Oliver," he confirmed.
Jowan commented awkwardly on how good it was to see a fellow mage out of the Circle.
"I know, it's a little strange. My templar died when I was being moved from the Circle and I just sort of, walked away. I didn't figure they'd believe me if I showed back up all alone."
Right, right, Oliver had left the Circle for legitimate purposes. He’d become one of the Circle’s star healers, generally the only kind that ever got let out intentionally. Jowan had given up any hopes of that once he realized he was a mediocre mage at best, save when it came to the usage of blood.
"How did you end up here?"
Jowan wanted to laugh hysterically until he curled up on the floor and choked to death. What if he actually told the truth? ‘I attacked the templars with blood magic and terrified the girl I wanted to run away with, then I fought some more templars, then Loghain Mac Tir bribed me into poisoning an arl, which I failed at the way I fail at everything, then his wife tortured me, then the Hero of Ferelden let me out and told me to get lost.’
He scratched the back of his neck. “Ah, um, well, you know, the war and everything. Everything got pretty chaotic in the Circle, with the uprising and the Blight and all that. It wasn’t so hard to slip out with so many people dead.” He shrugged his thin shoulders. That sounded believable enough, right? So many mages and templars had died—after Jowan had escaped the Circle, once he was already in the process of failing at both tutoring Connor Guerrin and poisoning Arl Eamon.
Post by Oliver Lucas on Mar 4, 2017 14:08:26 GMT -5
Jowan scratched the back of his neck, jittery and wide-eyed. “Ah, um, well, you know, the war and everything. Everything got pretty chaotic in the Circle, with the uprising and the Blight and all that. It wasn’t so hard to slip out with so many people dead.”
The other man shrugged.
Ollie had only heard small bits and pieces in passing about what had happened at the Tower. No one ever said exactly what had happened, but he figured that it was worse than what the rumors said. "I haven't been in Denerim long. I try not to stay in one place too long." He liked Denerim, though. Of course, he'd liked it in Honnleath, too. For a time. The thought of having to pick up and leave again was scary. "Sorry, I didn't really expect to see someone familiar. From the Circle, I mean." Vince let out a loud groan and dropped his bulky frame to the floor as Ollie dug through his pack. "I have a letter for you."
"I haven't been in Denerim long. I try not to stay in one place too long."
“That’s smart of you,” Jowan said. “I bounced around a lot during the Blight but not so much since then.” Which probably wasn’t smart of him, but no one had ever accused Jowan of being smart. Besides, where else would he go? He had picked up a couple of skills during the Blight to keep himself alive, but he wasn’t prepared to live in the wilderness. That was usually required to get from city to city.
"Sorry, I didn't really expect to see someone familiar. From the Circle, I mean."
“Ha, yeah, you never know where we’ll turn up,” Jowan said with a nervous laugh. Oliver didn’t seem to have heard anything about him. At least, he wasn’t reacting as though he was in the presence of a wanted maleficar.
The dog flopped to the floor with a huff, and Jowan tried not to twitch.
"I have a letter for you."
“That’s great,” Jowan said lamely. “Is there a job involved?” As much as they terrified him, he liked doing jobs for the Collective. They were steps on his path to atonement. He glanced at the dog again. "Er, if you don't mind my asking, how'd you get a mabari?"
Post by Oliver Lucas on Mar 8, 2017 9:55:30 GMT -5
“Ha, yeah, you never know where we’ll turn up,” Jowan laughed nervously to Ollie's comment about seeing people from the Circle.
Ollie tried to diffuse the situation he'd put them in by pulling the letter for Jowan out of his pack. Vince had dropped to the floor with a huff.
"That's great. Is there a job involved?" Jowan asked.
"Yes," Ollie nodded, handing the letter over to the other mage. "Just a simple drop, I think. Well, as simple as anything like this can be."
Jowan looked down at Vince. "Er, if you don't mind my asking, how'd you get a mabari?"
"I know, it's weird, right?" Ollie shrugged. "I saw this notice out in the market, about someone who wanted to find a home for this mabari puppy and I got all excited and ran all the way home and wrote this letter and," he paused to take a breath. "So, this man came to see me and Vince and I got on pretty well. So, now I have a mabari." He grinned, looking down at the dog. "I've never had a dog before. He's really smart. And apparently he doesn't like templars, so we have that in common." Ollie had yet to see Vince's reaction to templars in person, but he wasn't all that interested in getting close enough to one to see it happen.
Oliver handed over the letter. "Yes. Just a simple drop, I think. Well, as simple as anything like this can be."
Maker knew that was true. Even drop sites weren’t entirely safe places. The possibility of betrayal and ambush lay behind every Collective job, but it came with the territory. He opened the letter and scanned it over quickly. It did seem easy enough, and he felt some of the tension in his chest ease with relief. To his shame, he was always relieved when a Collective job promised to be simple.
He asked Oliver where the mabari had come from. Known for their intelligence and capabilities in battle—and the fact that they weren’t cheap—they were most commonly seen at the sides of the nobility. "I know, it's weird, right?" Oliver shrugged. "I saw this notice out in the market, about someone who wanted to find a home for this mabari puppy and I got all excited and ran all the way home and wrote this letter and,” he paused for breath. “So, this man came to see me and Vince and I got on pretty well. So, now I have a mabari." He looked down at the dog, and Jowan did the same, noting with some relief that the dog appeared to be comfortably settled and perhaps about to take a nap.
"I've never had a dog before. He's really smart. And apparently he doesn't like templars, so we have that in common."
“So they are smart after all,” Jowan commented wryly without really thinking about it. He cast the dog another quick glance to see if it felt offended by the comment. “I’ve never had a dog either. Or any kind of animal. Not that I recall anyway. My parents might have kept a mouser, but that could have been a stray that just hung around. I don’t really know. It doesn’t matter; I’m pretty sure animals don’t like me much.” No one liked Jowan much, honestly, so that wasn’t saying very much.
Post by Oliver Lucas on Mar 15, 2017 20:19:12 GMT -5
"So they are smart after all," Jowan said wryly to Ollie's comment about the templars. The other man glanced at Vince. “I’ve never had a dog either. Or any kind of animal. Not that I recall anyway. My parents might have kept a mouser, but that could have been a stray that just hung around. I don’t really know. It doesn’t matter; I’m pretty sure animals don’t like me much.”
Ollie nodded. He didn't remember much of his life before the templars took him away. There were some things that never went away, though. Helping is mother in the kitchen, his father teaching him to read and mark the ledgers, the scent of the flowers in the garden.
But he could barely remember their faces anymore. They were just shadows that haunted him in his dreams.
"My parents might have gotten one after the templars came for me. Or maybe they had another baby." Ollie shrugged. It was too dangerous to go back to Gwaren and find out what happened to his parents. It was unlikely that they'd welcome him with open arms. "Doesn't matter, does it?", he let out a little, bitter laugh. Nothing would have changed for him if his parents had sent letters or tried to visit. He looked at Jowan after a moment, his head tilted slightly to the side. "Do you ever miss the Tower?" he asked dumbly. He did, sometimes.
"My parents might have gotten one after the templars came for me. Or maybe they had another baby,” Oliver said with a shrug.
Huh, Jowan hadn’t thought of that. He briefly considered the possibility of a sibling running around Ferelden but quickly dismissed it. He knew his own birth had been very rough on his mother, and in his memories of her she had always been somewhat sickly. He suspected they had tried again after him to no success, but with only very foggy memories of long-ago crying behind closed doors to go on, he couldn’t be sure.
“Doesn't matter, does it?” Oliver said with a bitter laugh.
Well, if a person had a sibling they didn’t know about, there was always the possibility of running into that sibling and maybe even sleeping with that sibling, and that would be a nightmare. Jowan was quiet as he thought about that horrifying possibility. He made a note to avoid any lanky folks with beaky noses and stringy black hair, which was all he could do. And realistically, no one was sleeping with him anyway, so this was really a silly line of thought to get overly caught up in.
"Do you ever miss the Tower?" Oliver asked.
“What?” Jowan asked, his mind still mulling over accidentally sleeping with a sibling. Then his brain caught up with the conversation. “Oh. Uh. Hmm.” That was a difficult question to answer. Life certainly hadn’t been great for him since leaving the Circle, and as much as he’d complained about it while he was there, he’d had regular meals and baths and basic comforts. Plus he’d had Lily, and Solona, and that was two more people who had ever cared about him in life before or since. “I guess I do when I think about it.” After his escape, he’d been desperate to somehow undo it all, leaping on Loghain’s impossible promise to make his transgressions go away. “Things weren’t so bad for me there most of the time. I had friends and all. I couldn’t stay, though. Didn’t have a choice.” They were going to make him Tranquil.
Post by Oliver Lucas on Mar 20, 2017 7:54:14 GMT -5
"What?" Jowan said when Ollie asked if he missed the Tower. "Oh. Uh. Hmm. I guess I do when I think about it. Things weren’t so bad for me there most of the time. I had friends and all. I couldn’t stay, though. Didn’t have a choice.”
Oliver nodded. He had generally kept his head down and done what he needed to do, and he didn't have it nearly as bad as some of the other mages did. But he'd never been okay with how the templars kept them locked away. He'd never done anything wrong, except having magic.
"That's why I didn't go back. I couldn't." Ollie had been sure that if he'd gone back without a templar escorting him, they wouldn't have been the most understanding. "It's harder out here than I thought it would be. I've done alright, but... it's just hard." It was a silly thing to say. Of course it was hard. He could control his magic well enough, but he still always had to be careful. There was always the chance that someone would recognize him.
Oliver nodded. "That's why I didn't go back. I couldn't."
“Yeah, they’re not exactly understanding of… unusual situations,” Jowan said. His own situation had been unusual, but that was pretty much entirely Jowan’s doing. “They’d rather kill you or make you Tranquil than listen to you,” he said, a note of anger touching his voice—one of the only emotions he had displayed besides panic and fear in a long time. If someone at the Circle had just understood him, how hard it was to be so poor with magic and yet locked away because of it. He had been held back from his Harrowing for years. No one had ever tried to talk to him or help him. Were they truly so surprised that he had turned to blood magic?
"It's harder out here than I thought it would be. I've done alright, but... it's just hard." Jowan recognized the tiredness in Oliver’s voice: a kind of existential exhaustion that nearly every mage he had ever met had. It was unending for them, especially apostates. There was constant danger, whether sleeping or awake.
“I thought it would be easy if I left the Circle. I wanted to get a little farm, start a family, and never do magic again,” Jowan admitted. He and Lily could have been happy that way. Jowan didn’t consider the fact that he had no idea how to farm and probably couldn’t tell a pack animal from the plow it was supposed to pull. “That didn’t work out. Obviously.”
Post by Oliver Lucas on Mar 22, 2017 15:21:21 GMT -5
“I thought it would be easy if I left the Circle. I wanted to get a little farm, start a family, and never do magic again,” Jowan admitted. “That didn’t work out. Obviously.”
"I suppose if it was that easy, we probably wouldn't have been locked in a Tower for most of our lives." Ollie thought that it would be easy not to do magic, too. But even though he'd learned to control it, it was still a part of him. "A family would be nice. If I could find someone who didn't care that I was an apostate." He supposed he could have kept that to himself, given what had happened in Honnleath. But he was sure it would come out eventually, if he ever met someone again. "Maybe I should try to get to Tevinter. They like mages there, right?" he laughed, mostly joking. He knew enough about Tevinter to know that wasn't the best idea.
Cyn: No posts this weekend, sorry! It's D&D crunch time and I've gotta write half a campaign by noon tomorrow or I'm so very screwed
Sept 9, 2017 20:49:59 GMT -5
JWhitey: Is anyone around?
Sept 10, 2017 1:11:36 GMT -5
Innes Cameron: Hello, JWhitey! If you need to speak to someone, PM one of the Staff directly (if you haven't already!) ;D
Sept 10, 2017 4:39:25 GMT -5
JWhiteyGames: Hello! And thanks! I did. I was just looking to see if anyone was on in general. After reading the guidelines and peeking a bit more though, I realized the box isn't used the same as before.
Sept 10, 2017 13:58:14 GMT -5
ann: *peeks head in* So, returning rp'er to the dragon age universe. I was wondering who of the staff one should poke about character concept? Just to run it by and get and oki.
Sept 17, 2017 11:35:05 GMT -5
Innes Cameron: Welcome to WV, ann! Feel free to PM any of us about a character concept and we'll get back to you shortly. If we need to consult with the other Staff about the idea first, we'll let you know ;D
Sept 17, 2017 14:01:09 GMT -5
Marius Whitby: If you're looking at a templar character, hit me up!
Sept 17, 2017 20:28:15 GMT -5
ann: I was originally but given the current state of timeline I went with a slightly different route^^ will keep it in mind, Marius!
Sept 18, 2017 12:00:52 GMT -5
Cyan: Wow I'm surprised this site is still active. Good job people.
Sept 19, 2017 20:49:59 GMT -5
Cyn: Don't thank us, thank Kahrin Quirke Ainsley, she's the one running around here putting out fires and fixing up hull breaches with duct tape.
Sept 19, 2017 21:52:11 GMT -5
hanamene: New to the game! Just wanted to say hello whilst I build my char profile. Any updates to the game's world state I ought to know about? In addition to the OOC info threads, I mean - i.e. active/major story-lines to consider. PM me for the latter.
Sept 20, 2017 12:07:39 GMT -5
Leliana: Welcome to WV, hanamene! If you check out the various links beneath 'Site Links' on the left hand side, that will give you all the information you need to know! If you have specific queries, however, please contact a member of staff.
Sept 20, 2017 12:55:22 GMT -5