Snippet #2648717

located in Thedas, a part of The Canticle of Fate, one of the many universes on RPG.


The Thedosian continent, from the jungles of Par Vollen in the north to the frigid Korcari Wilds in the south.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Romulus Character Portrait: Cyrus Avenarius
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My blade will serve the Inquisition, for now. That is my will.

Romulus stared at the note, and the elegantly formed words, for a long time. His domina's handwriting was soft, delicate, but her words were rarely so when speaking to those she believed she had authority over. And while she had no authority over the Inquisition, she had absolute authority over Romulus, and through her penmanship he could hear her voice, and knew there could be no disobeying.

It was relief, and at the same time, constricting yet further. He could stay, continue with this work he had discovered to be fulfilling, but the brief letter made it absolutely clear: the aid he provided to the Inquisition was not his own, but his domina's, for he was not his own man. By her will, he remained. And if she had requested he return home to Minrathous, then he would have slipped away in the night, without a word to anyone.

Night had fallen on another bloody day in the Hinterlands. Romulus was accustomed to killing at this point in his life. He did not think about the deed, not before, during, or after the doing of it. The kill, he reminded himself, was never his own. Every person that he struck down and silenced with his blade was felled by the long reach of the one that held his chain. With this much distance from her, though, it felt a bit different. It felt a bit like choosing. And Romulus did not know how he was supposed to feel about that.

A young bandit he'd killed earlier, on the road before making the rendevous with Estella's brother, he was barely a man, and an utter fool. He did not belong in a criminal life, and certainly not in a warzone. Romulus had no trouble finding his throat. Here in the darkness, from where he sat just north of the village, looking down on it, he thought to himself, and wondered if that boy's blood needed to be spilled. For the Inquisition's goals were not those of Chryseis Viridius. As Revered Mother Annika had more or less stated, the Inquisition's goals were what their leaders decided. And though he tried not to be one, Romulus found people looking to him, for nothing more than the mark on his hand.

He folded the little letter carefully and tucked it into a pocket, before draping his arms over his knees, and staring out at the sleeping refugee camp from under the shroud of his hood.

The footsteps that approached were soft from grace, but audible from sheer confidence. The walker made no secret of his presence; probably, he had seldom ever needed to. The steps came to a stop a few feet from Romulus’s left, but the one who’d made them remained standing. “The view is different from elevation, isn’t it?” He shifted, folding his arms behind him. “You see more, and that’s not always… convenient.”

Romulus turned his head upon hearing the steps, and after the man spoke, he determined him to be Cyrus. Inwardly, he cursed himself for not being prepared, while he hurried upright to his feet and removed his hood. His eyes, as habit dictated, fell towards Cyrus's feet, and Romulus clasped his hands together behind his back.

"Apologies, my lord. I did not know it was you." Romulus was well aware that Cyrus had disappointed a great many in the Magisterium, none more so than his own domina's noble father, a man Romulus had once belonged to. Still, Chryseis had always been fond of him, or at least interested in his power. There had even been whispers of a possible marriage, but Romulus had not cared to pry. He did not know if the interest was only on the Viridius side, and it hardly mattered anymore. The important thing was that Chryseis would not want Cyrus treated poorly by one of her slaves.

"These views are unfamiliar to me, my lord. I am not accustomed to these lands yet."

“Yes, that much is quite apparent.” Cyrus’s tone carried no little amusement, though of course Romulus couldn’t currently see his face to know if his expression conveyed the same. There was a moment in which nothing was said, though it was hard to say why, and then he continued.

“It has been a while since I last saw Chryseis, but it does not surprise me that she has an agent in the middle of all this. She always did tend to see further than most. Though something tells me even she could not have planned for your involvement to become so… central.”

"The error was mine," Romulus answered immediately, with a surprising level of certainty for one who had no memory of the events leading up to the explosion. "I was not to be detected at the Conclave, only to observe. I don't remember what drew me to the conflict. Est--" He paused, catching himself. "Lady Avenarius suffered the same selective loss of memory." Would he blame him for what happened to Estella? What was his opinion on what happened to Estella? These were questions that felt as though they could mean his life, were they asked in Tevinter. He supposed Cyrus could still have his head here if he chose. Chryseis would strongly disapprove, but that was about it.

"As for my domina, I expect she will utilize my position here, but I do not believe she will undermine the Inquisition. She does not oppose its goals."

Cyrus sighed, rather heavily, though the reason for it was unclear. He certainly seemed rather unconcerned by anything Romulus had said—indifferent might not even be a bad word for it, actually. “Some error.” He actually snorted there. “My sister survives an explosion that should have killed her, the two of you stabilize this Breach, and manage to find yourselves instrumental to the birth of a brand-new world power in the making. If that is in error, perhaps you should strive to make mistakes more often, Romulus.”

"I--" He did not know how to respond to that. The lack of memory made it difficult to tell if anything he did was by his own design, or if it was simply luck. The stabilization of the Breach... he'd been told he was dying, and had little choice but to help, or see his own head roll. And the Inquisition's birth... that was Leon's doing, the doing of a movement of people far more religious than he. He was an effective instrument in all of it, he knew that much. But none of it yet felt like his choice, his doing. Even if he found himself wanting to continue on this path. It was some other hand, always pushing him along.

"My lord, is there something I can assist you with?" He thought it perhaps dangerous to change the subject, to try to see if Cyrus came in search of anything more than conversation, but he was obviously uncomfortable. A task, some clearly laid out desire for him to fulfill, that would make things easier.

“Nothing you aren’t doing already.” The reply was flippant, but there was a certain hint of truth underneath it. “You could try to relax a little, but I suspect that would be asking too much. In any event, I’ll leave you to it.” He turned away, and his footsteps started to recede, before they paused, just for a moment.

“Do take in that view, though. It might be worth the inconvenience.” The steps continued, before fading entirely.