The Rebel Heretic Archivist of Skyhold

Part 2, Chapter 5 of Daughters of Andraste

Hullo and yes I know that was way too long a hiatus. Ugh. Way too long.

As part of my hiatus, I took time to go back and make corrections and adjustments on earlier chapters (fixing grammar, re-writing Ch 10 in iambic pentameter for Solas’ POV (Buffs nails on shirt. Yeah, I’m a little proud of that one.)) It’s entirely possible that I introduced new errors in doing this, so if you spot a typo, shoot me a line and I’ll get it in the next prod.

Also!: I debated whether to insert the NSFW chibi chapter ‘The Lion’s Loft’. It technically goes before Chapter 3, but it didn’t seem to fit the flow. Besides, I have some similarly-themed smut coming soon (er, yeah….), so blah blah blah, etc. I decided to leave ‘Lion’s Loft’ in the bonus chapters. But stay tuned, because there’s more NSFW stuff on the way.

But for now, this is a letters chapter! Yay!

Oh and NOTE: Elvish translation follows at the bottom of the page.

Thank you so much for reading, you guys. It’s nice to be back.

To Inquisitor Katerina and Ambassador Josephine and Leliana and Com nder Cullen:

When Corypheus attacked Haven we lost all official records of the Inquisition. We lost more important things of course but our records were important too.

This is bad I think. It is never good when history is lost to history. Future generations will not know what the Inquisition was like. They may judge us unfairly on the rumors of others. I have also been thinking about rumors and how they

We should write a history of the Inquisition as we make progress in our tasks. Or we should compile a history from our reports and logs and notes and things like that. I propose we begin at once.

– Cassandra

What a marvelous idea, Lady Cassandra!

Would you be willing to oversee such a project? Normally, I would undertake such a task, but right now I have a mountain of correspondence on my desk. Most of it regards the shipment of rations and resources to Skyhold.

Food takes precedence over record-keeping, as I’m sure you’d agree.

– Josephine

I am terrible at writing and organizing writing. I am only saying that someone should do this. Perhaps Cullen or Leliana or Katerina.

– Cassandra

Allow me to point out that Kate the Inquisitor has her hands full. Leliana has every bird to the wind, and my first job is to make certain that we still have an army standing at the end of the week.

Ask Varric to write for you. Or ask Dorian or Solas. Last I saw, they were all poking about the bookshelves in the central tower. For the record, I wish that Skyhold’s previous inhabitants had thought to put protective wards on the larder as well as the library. I value books of course, but you try explaining to the soldiers why we have tomes aplenty and yet no decent food.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be overseeing the construction of our new war camp. Kate The Inquisitor said she has plans to deal with the weather down by the lake. I have no idea what she has in mind, but I hope it works. The conditions outside of the keep have proven inhospitable, even by Ferelden standards.

– Cullen

Please excuse me, Cullen. I’m running a little late. I need to track down my friend, Coll. She’s the one with the spell I need.

And no Cassandra, I can’t take on the archivist job. Under other circumstances, it would be a perfect fit. But with the Heralding thing and the mark and the rifts and the Inquisitor work…

Well, I’m sure you understand.

– Kate

Cassie,

Cassandra

Lady Seeker

This is Robert

My name is Robert Trevelyan. Well, you know that, but

I hear you’re looking for an archivist. I’d be terrible at that, but do you know what I’d excel at? Any job that lets me spend time with you

Cassandra, I know we got off to a rocky start but

I was thinking perhaps if I gave myself a formal letter of introduction

I’m curious. How does one go about courting a Seeker? Is there an application process? Because I was thinking

So Cassie

(This paper was crumpled up and thrown into a wastebin.)

Katerina,

If you will not be our historian, I will look for someone else.

Not your cousin though. Even if he did ask me, which he has not.

– Cassandra

Don’t look at me, Cassandra. I, a historian? The very idea is laughable.

Don’t bother asking Solas, either. He can’t be bothered with history newer than a thousand years ago. Varric went off to hide the moment he heard you were on the warpath.

Or is it the archivpath?

– Dorian

NOTICE:

We need an archivist for the Inquisition.

Duties:

Keep records on Skyhold or compile records of Skyhold.

Secondary duties:

Organize the library.

DEER LAYDEE COSONDRAW

I CUD BEE A ARKIVIST FAR YOU. I AM VEREE GOOD AT KEPENG REKORDS AND I LIK LIEBERRYS.

YOR FRIND, MORRIS

Don’t worry, Cassandra, Dorian… everyone. I won’t let Morris near the library.

I’ve given him a distraction an occupation as Skyhold’s quartermaster. Please don’t point out to him that this job is a repeat of the requisitions officers out in the field. The post makes him feel useful. He can count shelves all day and keep a record of supplies it works out well for everyone.

Just watch your step in the storeroom. Morris’ organizational system is somewhat haphazard.

– Cullen

Re: the Newly Announced Position of Archivist.

I, Ambrosius Flavius Grist, hereby apply for the position of Archivist. I have extensive experience, as I’m sure my attached recommendations will demonstrate. I expect to hear back from you within the day.

Ambrosius Flavius Grist
First Enchanter of Starkhaven
Order of Earthquakers, Founder and Grandmaster

So there I was: sortin’ out the books in the library, not botherin’ no one. And then some eejit up and dropped a sheaf o’ papers on me head. So o’ course, I took the liberty of lookin’ ‘em over an’ markin’ up all the grammatical errors. A heap o’ red ink it took, too. Letters look like the floor of a blood mage coven now.

What writin’ wasn’t ramblin’ was plagiarized - taken right from the Orzammar Business Manual, if I’m not mistaken (which, o’ course, I never am.) An’ these letters o’ recommendation were forged for sure. Shoddy work, too. Looks like the hen-scratch of the Tantervale coterie - worst screevers in the business. First Enchanter Gregoire were left-handed and wrote his g’s with a loopy at the end. An’ Enchanter Harfin died in 38 Dragon, so’s I don’t know how the old bird could be givin’ out references without maleficarum involved.

Jess thought I’d point that out.

– Coll

Wait then. Are you shems hirin’ fer a librarian? ‘Cause ain’t I already sortin’ out yer library without pay nor nothing?

I had teh step in, yeh see, on account of the Vint, Dorian. He were makin’ a mess of the shelvin’, usin’ his north-style catalogin’. But don’t yeh worry none, ‘cause I set him straight. His Imperial numberin’ will leave yeh confused as a horny nug in a rabbit warren. Yeh’ve got to use the Genetivi Decimal System, else you’ll never find nothin’.

An’ this place needs some work on it, mark me words. Yeh’ve got books what were left by ancient elves and books what were left by enchanters an’ even a stack o’ Avvar pornography from the looks of it. I’m assumin’ on that last one, as the women in the pictures are covered in furs and the men are all showin’ their diddies.

– Coll

Yeh know what? Yeh talked me inta it. I’ll be yer archivist.

Now I know what yer thinkin’: wasn’t Coll fer teh join the Chargers? Well I was, only they never right asked me (This is me glarin’ at you, Krem. So help me I am.) Afore that, I was workin’ in yer infirmary, only they don’t need me anymore. All yer wounded soldiers either healed up or they went under. Also, I’ve no bedside manner to speak of.

So there I was with nothing teh do, an’ someone mentioned that Solas was up in the library. Me first thought was “How’d that gowl get hisself a library?” an’ then I thought, “I want meself a library, too!” Only it turns out that Solas be paintin’ yer walls without askin’. So I started shelvin’ yer books without askin’. I’m sure I don’t need to point out which of us is the more useful elf.

But sure, I’ll settle in and be yer archivist. Yeh don’ have to ask twice. I like it here fine. Exceptin’ that Solas is a stone’s throw away. And’ yer Sister Nightengale done hung raven cages overhead. Makin’ a rookery of the library? Tis daft, it is. Birds are gonna shite all over the books.

Suppose that means they’ll shite all over Solas, too.

Nevermind then. The birds aren’t so bad.

Alright then! That’s settled. And don’t yeh worry about an application none. Kate kin vouch fer me. I worked as underlibrarian at the Ostwick Circle fer… oh, how long was it, Kate? Eight years or so? I woulda been head librarian iffin’ the First Enchanter hadn’t been such a nepotistic arselick. I’ve got recommendations somewhere. But seein’ as how I’m the best person for the job, there’s really no need to interview me, now is there? ‘Course not.

Alright then. I’m yer Archivist!

Send me some reports an’ I’ll copy ‘em off onta vellum with my patented scribe-spell (keeps the original handwritin’ and everythin’). Then I’ll bind it all up pretty for yeh in a book. The Chargers can testify: I’m good at bindin’. Breasts or books or bandits that need killin’.

Leave it to me, and I’ll get it done.

– Coll

or should I say:

Colleen Lavellan
The Rebel Heretic Archivist of Skyhold
(whatcha think, Kate? Don’t that title look fine by me name?!)

I do not care who does this job so long as it gets done and it is not me.

– Cassandra

Grand then! Ta, Seeker. Always knew yeh had a head on yeh that’s as fine as yer tail.

I’ll be expectin’ me pay at the end o’ the month.

Colleen Lavellan
The Rebel Heretic Archivist of Skyhold

Lady Trevelyan,

Not only has Cassandra exempted herself from joining us at the war table each morning, but now she has filled the archivist position without holding an interview or checking letters of reference or anything! I do not wish to impugn your friend Coll’s reputation, but this is very irregular.

Sadly, I cannot deal with the situation right now. I am absolutely swamped. This trade deal with Lord Bennolt must take precedence, or we won’t have food for our soldiers. (I believe I may be able to blackmail him into giving me a cartload of chickens. It is a touch ruthless of me, but imagine it! Eggs for breakfast! Do you know how expensive chickens are this time of year?) Then I must look into the matter of the kitchen staff. I have heard that the cook struck one of the maids, so if that is true, then I must fire the cook and hire another…

No, no. I’ll delegate that hire, I think.

What I am trying to say is that I do not want to set a precedence were people just take jobs within the Inquisition. But if you can confirm your friend’s suitability, I’m sure it will be alright. I will schedule a time to review Coll’s performance next week.

Or maybe next month. Maker, I’m so busy!

– Josephine

Inquisitor,

You must allow your friend to continue her work in the library. The arguments wafting up to me from below are so entertaining! Between Coll and Solas’ bon mots, I am reminded of the court at Val Royeaux. Librarians have such eloquent insults, and the elvish curses are especially enlightening. Please do not deprive me and my scouts of our favorite source of entertainment.

Also, you may inform Coll that she needn’t worry about my ravens. They are properly house-enchanted, and only defecate as they fly over Cullen’s tower.

– Leliana

Is that why there’s a buildup of raven leavings on my windows? Can’t you make them hold it until they’re out over the Frostbacks?

– Cullen

Maker, you move quickly Coll.

But yes, I’ll endorse you as archivist. I know you’ll do a good job, and there’s no one I trust more when it comes to books. As for being our historian… That ought to be interesting. I imagine you’ll be more of a ‘keep the notes’ sort than a Brother ‘been there, done that’ Genetivi.

Oh, before I forget, thank you for teaching me those Dalish wards. I used them around the war camp like you recommended, and it really worked! The ground is bare and warm under the tents, even as the wind comes ripping off of the frozen lake at gale forces. I worried that the camp was still too chilly, but Cullen assured me that it’s best if the soldiers are not overheated. Something about how hot temperatures and warriors and close quarters don’t mix.

And you know, I think I may have impressed Cullen by doing something so useful. Not that this was why I did it, of course. I was worried about the soldiers.

But now I’m exhausted from that spellcasting. I’m going to go nap in my tent (or try to - those builders are so noisy!). Please wake me up so I don’t miss supper. I want to hear all about your first day as archivist.

– Kate

Thank you for the endorsement, Kate-lass.

However, I regret to inform yeh that yer report on the lake camp weren’t composed in Starkhaven Style. I’ll give yeh a pass today, but next time, use the right formatting or you’ll be writin’ it out again. No exception for Inquisitors. Ta.

Colleen Lavellan
The Rebel Heretic Archivist of Skyhold

Kate. You’ve unleashed a monster.

Coll’s put me to work like I’m a damn first-year quaestor at university. How Solas got out of shelving duty, I don’t know.

– Dorian

Git back teh work, Vint-boy. We’s got a bank of shelvin’ teh fix.

As fer Solas, I don’t want to deal with him that rawny git interferrin’ with me system. ‘Sides, ain’t he too busy mankin’ up the walls teh pay attention to anyone?

Colleen Lavellan
The Rebel Heretic Archivist of Skyhold

Ma banal las halamshir mar vhen, Coll.
Min arla vallas dea sulevem
Sul las elvhen. Ahnsul sul’ema ma
el enansal ris gara enaste?

Las halamshir elvhen, me arse! Abelas, da uth’masa. I didn’t realize this was yer library.

Oh, right. ‘Cause it ain’t. This here is my library.

An’ since it’s my library, I’m gonna follow the Code of Archivists. Don’t know it, yeh poxy git? I’ve lend yeh a copy. It says yeh don’t Chantry-cut books none - not on what’s in ‘em, an’ not on whom yeh give ‘em to.

So ancient elves left some books lying around? Well then, they can’t complain that I’m lendin’ ‘em to shems, now can they? And don’t you complain none, neither. It’s secretive attitudes like yours and the Dalish and the feckin’ Circles is what’s killin’ the world.

Wanna know my thinkin? If yeh want to hop on eejits, yeh start by gettin’ yer weapons in order. And yer best weapons is always books.

Ma tel’eolasa em, Solas-son. I may’ve spent the past decade behind walls, boyo, but I won’t let my mind be stuck in ‘em.

Colleen Lavellan
The Rebel Heretic Archivist of Skyhold

Ar’m abelas, Coll. Ma dirtha gonun.
It is rare to see Dalish reason thus.
Ar inana itha thu ma adara.

Sure, sure. I’ll be keepin’ an eye on ye as well, edhis ava.

Colleen Lavellan
The Rebel Heretic Archivist of Skyhold

Surely you mean sa ehn ava edhis?
A pity you use your fine mouth to curse.
Accents as pleasing as yours are quite rare.
Ar nuven mar dirtha, ma lethallan,
de la’var ina’lan’ehn la’var ma av.

Coll, I must have missed you at dinner. I was told you were ‘sulking’ in the library. I suppose Dorian meant to say ‘shelving?’

I’ll see you at breakfast and save you some tea - if you can call that stuff ‘tea.’

Maker, I hope we get something to eat other than apple-gruel soon. These rations are dreadful.

– Kate

Alright then. Startin’ off this archival book all official-like (opinions of self-righteous wankers be bolloxed):

Here be The Histories of Skyhold
Compiled by Colleen Lavellan
The Rebel Heretic Archivist of Skyhold
(hereafter just ‘Archivist of Skyhold, ‘cause it’s simpler)
Begun 9th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon

DEER COLL HERE IS A REEPOWRT FOR U:

MORRIS IS KEPENG REKERDS ON SUPLIES GUSS LIKE COLL IS KEPENG REKERD ON BOOKS. HE IS IN THE SKIEHULD KEP SUPLIE RUM WERKING FUR SER COLON AND SER RIELIN AND SER PRETTY MAGE INKWISITER KAYT. IF U NEED GUD SUPLIES COM SEE MORRIS. THANK YOU.

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 9th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Well, that ain’t Starkhaven style or even half-legible, but I’ll take it. Grand work, Morris. Yer first in the records book.

Welcome to history, boyo.

Colleen Lavellan
Archivist of Skyhold

TANK U COLL I WAS VEREE NERVIS ABOWT RITING FUR U.

YOR FRIND, MORRIS

I have no idea what Starkhaven style is, much less how to execute it. But I shall endeavor, in my own humble, Tevinter fashion, to stumble through a report - if only to get Coll off of my back. Let me report then, that the library proves to be the most chaotic place in Skyhold. There are birds flying in and out of the windows at all hours, Solas paints straight through the night, and Colleen guards the books like a dragon guards treasure.

Thus, I found myself a well-stuffed chair and made myself comfortable among the stacks. I am told that this chair was intended for Commander Cullen’s office, but surely he doesn’t need it. The man never sits down.

Now if you don’t mind, I shall get back to my research on Corypheus. That is a far more important task than relocating the collected works of Divine Ethelina. Wouldn’t you agree, Coll?

Dorian Pavus
Altus of House Pavus, etc. etc.

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 9th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Fine, fine. Do yer researchin’. I’ll go track me down some more reports.

Colleen Lavellan
Archivist of Skyhold

NOTICE:

All important persons of the Inquisition must submit reports to Colleen Lavellan any time somethin’ real important-like happens. Reports are teh be written in Starkhaven Style.

An’ get ‘em writ right, or so help me I’ll track yeh down and set fire to yer pubic hair.

Colleen Lavellan
Archivist of Skyhold

Commander Cullen,

I’ve been threatened by a tattooed elf that if I don’t give her a report now and again, she will - and I quote - ‘burn my dick.’

Does she have the authority to threaten officers like that, ser?

– Capt. Rylen

I’m sure that was just a Coll-ism. Copy out a report for her of anything that you’d mark critical, but not confidential.

Thank you, Rylen. Pass the message along.

– Cullen

Seeker’s Report:

I think I made a mistake when I made Coll our archivist. I suppose I cannot take it back.

Now that we have a history book I will go to Haven and try to recover our old records. I plan to use the secret passage to enter the Chantry and salvage what I can. This is assuming that the tunnel did not cave in and that the Red Templars are not prowling the ruins but still I will take a team of soldiers with me and we will search the ruins. I will also bring mages with me to help move the snow and we will be careful of course.

– Cassandra

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 9th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

I’ve got twelve volunteers itching to go with you, Lady Cassandra. Let us know if you find anything useful. Take a healer or two, just in case you find any survivors. (Unlikely, but one may hope).

– Cullen

I’ll join you Cassie

Lady Cassandra,

I would be most happy to join your trek trip adventure?? expedition.

I have little experience working with recovery efforts

or snow

or working with a team

or tunnels. Other than, well, you know

I’m at your disposal.

– Robert Trevelyan

That will not be necessary, Robert Lord Trevelyan messere. I already have a full crew. And you are not an official member of the Inquisition.

However you should be able to find something to do in my absence. I just spoke to a young woman named Nellie down at the stables. She said that she once ‘worked’ with you for a few nights in Gwaren. She indicated that she would like to ‘work’ with you again.

Apply to her for a job. I have no use for soldiers who begin missions without any intention of finishing them.

– Cassandra

I damn well plan to finish anything I start with you

Cassandra, you can rest assured that I fully intend

Would it help if I told you that I don’t even remember anyone named ‘Nellie’? Probably not.

(This paper was crumpled up and thrown into a wastebin.)

Alright Kate, you have to help me.

I tried your strategy of ‘giving Cassandra some space.’ Terrible idea, that. In my absence, she ran afoul of rumors. Some of them are even true.

Now Cassandra thinks I’m some sort of cad.

And I guess I am. Or I was. Not that I intended to be. But then, it wasn’t like I meant anything by it. Women didn’t exactly look at me and think, “Ah yes. Lord Trevelyan’s scapegrace nephew. That’s the fellow I want to settle down with.” I was only a bit of fun to them, so why not enjoy it? Best I could hope for, right? At least that’s how I used to think.

But apparently, such thinking deeply offends Cassandra. Cole told me that the gossip began on the same night that Haven was attacked. According to Cole, the whispers began when I was unconscious. Hardly fair, that. I can just imagine it: there I was, lying on a sickbed in that little camp in the mountains. And there was Cassandra, sitting beside me in the healers’ tent. And then, right outside of the tent, some healer or refugee or somebody started whispering about me. Cole said… Well, you know Cole. What he said was nearly incomprehensible, but the gist of it was that Cassandra overheard something very bad. I don’t know if she heard about that business with the templar and the dwarf, or if she heard about my summer holidays last year, or…

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Whatever she overheard, Cassandra now believes that I’m only interested in her for sex.

Well, I am interested in her for sex. But not just sex. At least, I don’t think so. I mean, if that’s all she wanted, I suppose I wouldn’t mind. Too much. But I hope she wants more than that. Because she is rather wonderful, you know?

Ah! You see? I can’t even think straight. I’ve completely lost my footing with her. I keep trying to talk to her, but then I see her and I get all tongue-tied. I’ve tried writing letters, and that’s no good either. And damn it all, what am I supposed to say to her? “Yes, I slept with a lot of women, but in my defense, it was completely meaningless?” Or how about “But if I slept with you, I’m sure it would be different.” I can’t say that! It sounds like something from one of those awful romance novels that you like so much, Kate. It’s fine in fiction, but no sensible person would believe it.

The thing is, I keep thinking that for a moment there, Cassandra actually liked me. Me, you know? And not just ‘that Trevelyan fellow’ with the deep pockets and the wicked reputation. That would have been a first, eh?

But now she hates me. Or won’t talk to me, which might as well be the same thing.

It’s hopeless.

– Robert

Robert, it isn’t hopeless. You always tell me not to resort to dramatics, so don’t you start.

First of all, you can take comfort in knowing that Cassandra did like you. Or does like you. Or may like you. At least I think she does. Or might.

The point is, there’s a reason Cassandra isn’t speaking to you and it’s not you. Well it is you, I suppose, as the rumors are partly of your own making. But you know what I mean. She’s upset by the stories, don’t you see? She can’t tell if you’re serious about her or not. And frankly, Robert, you’d better get that sorted out in your own mind before you try your hand at pursuing her. I don’t think Cassandra would take kindly to being jilted. If you’re not completely certain about her, I would advise leaving her alone.

But if you are set on her, then don’t worry so much. You attracted her attention once. You can do it again. Just act like yourself.

Act like yourself when you’re around me, I mean. Not like yourself when you’re around your idiot friends or those horrible aristocratic ladies you flirt with or…

Perhaps that’s not the best advice.

Just be patient, Robert. You arrived at Skyhold in such a bold way, you were bound to cause a scene. Right now, you’re new and interesting and the soldiers would rather whisper about you and Cassandra than talk about Corypheus. In a month or so, they’ll move on to gossiping about someone else. All they need is a new romance to occupy them.

I’ll see if I can’t combat the rumors a little bit. I can’t outright deny the stories, but if I give the tales some context, it might help.

Though really Robert, you did bring this on yourself

I did try to warn you that your taste in women would come back to haunt you

I’ll see what I can do.

– Kate

Hey, Ostwick.

I heard this crazy story about how you once seduced a Grand Cleric in a confessional booth during the Summerday Mass. They say the singing of the choir couldn’t quite drown out her final aria. Guess you go for the mature, self-righteous type?

Look, I know it’s not my business, but I thought you might want to know that there was a betting book down in the barracks and folks were wagering how long it’d take you to seduce the Seeker.

Then Cassandra heard about it.

She didn’t say anything. She just took the book and ripped it up into little pieces. The remains of it are stabbed to her practice dummy. You should probably stay out of her way for now. Friendly tip from a friendly dwarf.

– Varric

P.S. - You owe me for that last hand of Wicked Grace. You lost those sovereigns fair and square.

Forget about context, Kate.

I’m doomed.

– Robert

Kate,

Inquisitor,

I never did thank you for your assistance in setting up those wards down in the war camp. The soldiers are most grateful to sleep on warm ground. I’m sure they’d prefer to sleep on warm cots, but one thing at a time, yes? For now, they are able to return to their training. We’ll have them back in the field in no time.

Now that’s done, I was wondering if I could talk to you regarding another matter. I have a private concern

Now that you are Inquisitor, it is probably best that I inform you of a situation

Of course you know that templars take lyrium

Like most templars, I used to take lyrium. But unlike most templars

May I meet with you at your earliest convenience? After lunch, perhaps?

– Cullen

Cullen,

I would love to meet with you

I would be happy to discuss anything whatever you wish

Of course you may meet with me. This afternoon will not work, however, as Josephine wanted me to be present for a hiring decision. Something about an arcanist, I believe.

Join me for dinner?

We could meet at dinnertime, perhaps?

– Kate

Kate,

Inquisitor,

I have an evening meeting with my officers, I’m afraid. Once that is done, I must finish a report for your friend, Coll. She threatened me with bodily harm asked that I set an example and submit a report for her histories.

Perhaps we can meet some other time? I have been thinking a great deal about how to explain

The matter is not easy to discuss

I will be inspecting the work on the roads tomorrow, and will miss the war table meeting.

– Cullen

Oh, that’s right. I wish I could go with you

I’ll see you later, then?

Best of luck.

– Kate

Ser Cullen,

I saw you working on some reports after the officers’ meeting. You know, I could write out your reports for you, ser. It wouldn’t be any trouble to spend more time with you get notes from you take that off your hands, ser.

– Ser Cpl. Ruvena of Kirkwall

No need for that, Ruvena. You’ve already taken on Keran’s old duties (Maker rest him). I’m not about to waste an officer on minor secretarial work. We need you training recruits.

– Cullen

P.S. - I forgot to mention that you’ve been promoted to lieutenant. You’ll be reporting to Capt. Barris from now on. He’s down at the war camp with your new roster.

But ser, I’d rather

Are you sure you don’t need me to

Yes, ser. Thank you, ser.

– Ser Lt. Ruvena of Kirkwall

Commander’s Report
10th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon
by Ser Cullen Stanton Rutherford

The following soldiers were promoted to the rank of lieutenant:
Corporal Vale
Corporal Ruvena

The following soldiers were promoted to the rank of captain:
Ser Byrony Gann
Ser Delren Barris
Lieutenant Lysette

The following projects were begun:
Paving the existing southern road
Building a new road down the western ridge

The follow projects were completed:
Tents pitched in lower war camp
Warming wards set in lower war camp (thanks to Kate Inquisitor Trevelyan for her efforts)

The following projects are required:
Inventory all weaponry
Requisition supplies to build new weaponry
Begin reconstruction of courtyard smithy
Begin reconstruction of the gate house
Construct gardens on the north side of keep
Set warming wards on gardens on the north side of the keep
Begin construction of chicken coops (Josephine is working on the delivery of said chickens)
Hire a new cook (why is this under my jurisdiction, Josephine? Wouldn’t it make sense to have someone else take point on this?)
Repair the stables
Repair the drawbridge
Repair the Inquisitor’s Quarters (high priority, Kate the Inquisitor can’t be expected to live in a tent in the courtyard indefinitely)
Begin repairs on the Great Hall
Repair the hallway leading to the war room (lowest priority)

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 10th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

THANK YOU CULLEN. At least some feckin’ body knows how to file a report right. Guess bein’ uptight is good fer somethin’.

Yeh all see this? This is Starkhaven style reportin’ done like it should be. Get writin’, people!

Colleen Lavellan
Archivist of Skyhold

You know what ought to be your highest priority Cullen? A tavern. That’s what we need. A TAVERN. The building in the courtyard used to be one. You can tell ‘cause of the beer stains on the floor and the piss stains on the wall out back. Let’s make that priority NUMBER ONE. Would be great for morale.

– The Iron Bull

Building a tavern is not our first priority, Bull. We have a whole host of other things to deal with, not the least of which is food production. I don’t want our soldiers drinking on an empty stomach.

– Cullen

That’s where you’re wrong, commander. We need bacon and beer.

Okay then, putting this in the official record: ALL IN FAVOR OF REBUILDING THE TAVERN FIRST, SIGN HERE!!
The Iron Bull
Krem
Varric
Dorian!
Madame Vivienne de Fer
Robert (do it.)
Kate (Apologies Cullen, but I think this is a good idea.)
Josephine (Agreed. Our Ferelden visitors want one especially.)
Leliana
Scout Charter
Scout Pellane
Scout Harding (yay! beer!)
Corporal Lietenant Vale
Capt. Barris
Capt. Lysette
Captain Rylen (Please, ser. We need this.)
Harrit
Flissa (but I don’t want to serve drinks no more)
Blackwall
MORRRIS THE REKWISITION OFFISER
Sera Sera Sera Sera Sera BEEEEEEES!

(The list continues on for two pages.)

AAAAAH! Bull, yeh done fecked me record! I oughta erase this, only Sera used Denerim ink an’ that never comes outta nothin’.

Well, bollocks. Might as well add me own name to the list:
Coll (een Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold - and FECK YOU BULL for using my books for this divvy list o’ yours)

Commander’s Report
11th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon
by Ser Cullen Stanton Rutherford

The following projects were begun:
Construction of a tavern, to the delay of ALL OTHER building projects

The following projects were completed:
Hiring a new cook (And I don’t want to hear any complaints about the food. If you don’t like the cook, grouse to Josephine.)
Hiring of bartender (Flissa wasn’t available, so I gave the job to a sarcastic dwarf that I found in the courtyard. Next time, let the hiring of non-military personnel fall to someone else.)

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 11th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

YEAH! TAVERN!

Oh, hey, commander. Got one more non-military hire for you. We need an entertainer for the tavern. Used to have a bard down at Haven. Her music was kinda slow, but it made for good atmosphere.

Anyone got a line on that singer-chick from Haven? Did she survive or was she fried up by the dragon?

– The Iron Bull

Maryden’s fine, chief. I made sure she –

Yeah, she’s fine.

– Krem

Oh Krem checked in on her alright.

(He’s got a crush on her)

– Stitches

Shut it, you.

– Krem

Coll, please stay calm. I’m in the middle of a war meeting and I can’t leave just yet. Give me a half hour and I’ll slip out.

In the meantime, it’s okay. So Krem likes the minstrel. That doesn’t mean you don’t still have a chance. And no, I don’t think serenading him would be a good idea. I know you can sing, but that might strike him as odd. Though I do recall reading a story about how Leliana seduced the Hero of Ferelden by singing Dalish ballads. Maybe I’m remembering that wrong.

Nevermind, forget I said anything. Just take a few deep breaths, and I’ll be over to the library as soon as I can. Cullen wanted to talk with me after the meeting, but I’ll beg out and–

Oh dear. I have to stop writing and send this with the messenger. Leliana is giving me the evil eye from across the war table. I think she can read my writing upside down.

– Kate

9th Firstfall (I think? or is it the 10th already?)

Robert’s report for Coll.

Trevelyan’s report

Blast, I don’t know Starkhaven style. Format. Whatever. But here’s what I’m thinking:

Seeing as how Cassie Cassandra a certain person won’t speak to me, I’ve decided to make myself useful. Cole and I are going to follow up on an idea I had.

Oh and Katie, can I borrow fifteen sovereigns?

– Robert

(Report was recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 11th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Robbie-lad, I knows yeh only have eyes fer the Seeker’s pert arse, but I done posted the formatting guide right by the library door. Look alive, boyo.

Mythal help me, no one reads nothin’ these days.

Kate, don’t worry about the coin. I stole it from yer tent while you were in yer meetin’ with the builders and sent yer cousin off with it. By the way, you ever gonna submit a report fer me, or are you too Inquisitorial these days to do writin’ work?

Colleen Lavellan
Archivist of Skyhold

I’m swamped in meetings, Coll. And as my friends keep asking me for romantic advice, I end up writing more letters than reports. But if you can get me an hour free, and I’ll happily write anything you want in whatever format you wish.

– Kate

Spymaster’s Report
11th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon
by Leliana (aka, Sister Nightengale):

Messages sent to scouts:
Confidential

Messages received from scouts:
Confidential

Missions begun:
Confidential

Missions terminated:
Confidential

Missions completed:
Confidential, to be declassified in six months time

What is this shite, Nightengale? Yeh too good to write reports fer me, is that it?

Colleen Lavellan
Archivist of Skyhold

Just following protocol, Coll. Unless you’d like to exempt me and my staff from your requirements? Or perhaps you’d like to come have a chat with me about your own oddly obscure personal history?

– Leliana

Nah, we’re good. Carry on.

– Coll

(Sister Nightengale’s report was recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 11th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Iron Bull’s Report (Just a quick note. Don’t know this Starkhaven shit and I don’t care to.)

Now that we’ve got builders workin’ on the tavern, the only thing left to do is wait for the grand opening party. In the meantime, I’ve got the Chargers pitching in where they can.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be checking out Commander Cullen’s ASS.

– The Iron Bull

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 12th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Bull, was it entirely necessary to phrase it that way? Now I have to explain your note to those visiting Orlesian nobles, and they’re giggly enough as it is.

– Kate

Attention everyone:

Allow me to clarify that “ASS” is shorthand for “Abomination Safety Squads.” This is the name that Bull came up with for the the formerly unnamed mage/non-mage joint soldier/spellcasting units tasked with countering blood magic and demons. I can only assume that the name was Bull’s idea of a joke.

I repeat: ASS does not refer to my ass my bottom to any actual person’s body parts.

Allow me to further clarify that “ASS” is NOT an official title. I voted for “Anti-Magic Units,” but Kate the Inquisitor pointed out that “anti-magic” might offend our mage allies. We have not yet decided upon an appropriate name, but we shall do so first thing tomorrow morning.

Kate Inquisitor, let’s confer on my ASS.

I mean…

You know what I mean.

– Cullen

Ah ha ha!! This is why I signed on for the jobby of archivist right here, folks!

Let it go on the record that the Inquisitor was readin’ the commander’s letter over dinner, an’ she snorted so hard that a pea came out of her nose.

IT’S ALL IN THE HISTORY NOW, ASHA’DHAREN!

Colleen Lavellan
Archivist of Skyhold

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 12th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

I’m not certain that nasally-projected peas are of interest to anyone other than you, Coll.

– Kate

Oh, I don’t know. I imagine Theodosian history would be a great deal more colorful if we recorded all the times that great leaders launched vegetables out of their facial orifices.

– Dorian

Duchess, I can attest that people love weird little details about the famous and the powerful. This is why The Tale of the Champion sold so well.

– Varric

First Varric, I’m not famous nor powerful. Secondly, the weird little details of my life are not nearly as interesting as those of Hawke’s.

– Kate

Give it time, Duchess. Give it time.

– Varric

Notice from the Office of Commander Cullen:

As of this morning, the formerly unnamed mage/non-mage joint soldier/spellcasting units have been named “Dispelling Squads.” Please desist from using any other title to refer to them.

Understood, ser. No more ASS, ser.

– Ser Lt. Ruvena of Kirkwall

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, ser, but ASS is here to stay.

Thing is, “Dispelling Squads” will never catch on. The soldiers have already trained their ASSes and named themselves. There’s a “Bad ASS” unit and a “Kick ASS” unit, the “Bitch ASS” unit (that one’s all females) and a couple of hefty dwarves and a qunari mage formed the “Skinny ASS” unit (as a joke, of course.)

Now they’re talking about getting their names embroidered on jackets and robes. You’d think it would be an insult, but somehow, it’s not. The squads have these rivalries going on - nicknaming each other the “Stinky ASS” and “Scrawny ASS” and such. Juvenile as teenage trainees, ser, but you know how that sort of thing builds camaraderie. It’s all in good fun. I have a whole bunch of promising recruits who want to apply for the new “Sexy ASS” unit.

Might require a bit of explaining to our allies, but I don’t see how we can stop it now that it’s started. And isn’t it fitting that the templars’ old job is now being done by the ASS end of the Inquisition?

(Sorry ser. I couldn’t resist.)

– Capt. Rylen

Bad ASS Squad Leader Rion reporting in.

All ASS units have been training for the following scenarios:
Demon attacks
Elemental demon attacks
Blood magic summonings
Blood magic ritual circles
Blood magic abominations and summonings and ritual circles
Blood mage mind infiltration (shudder)
And of course: Fade rift drills (aka, hold the rift until the Inquisitor arrives and try not to piss yourself)

Next week, we’re going to offer a training for any interested mages and/or soldiers. We’re calling it “Bloodmagic is Shit. How not to Get Dead: A Lesson from Your Local Bad ASS”

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 13th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Maker save me from the jokes of camp-bound soldiers.

– Cullen

Let them have their fun. I imagine the more we protest, the more jokes we’ll see.

By the way, did you want to join me for that seminar? We could go together and

That training sounds interesting. I think I’ll attend. Would you like to join me?

Will I see you there?

– Kate

If you’re going, I might

It does sound interesting, but I don’t have the time. I have a long list of requisitions to see to now that our smithy is up and running.

Are you planning to inform Fiona that her mages have joined our ASSes, or shall I?

Wait. I didn’t mean it like that. You see how difficult this ASS thing is going to be?

– Cullen

I’ll tell Fiona. I have a meeting with her tomorrow, right after the morning war meeting.

– Kate

Ah, I see. That is unfortunate, because I had hoped

I was planning to catch you after the morning war meeting and speak to you about

If you have time, could I borrow you for a meeting as well? I need to speak to you privately about my lyrium addiction my recovery efforts that matter I mentioned earlier.

– Cullen

I’d love to meet with you privately

Of course I’ll make time for you

Certainly, Cullen. I’ll check in with you as soon as I finish with Fiona.

– Kate

Grand Enchantress’ Report
14th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon
by Fiona:

As of today, the Free Mage Alliance signed a treaty with the Inquisition. We shall set up our base of operations in the northwestern tower of Skyhold keep. We will hold a ground-breaking ceremony on the morrow and begin modifications and wardings thereafter.

In memoriam of those we lost prior to this date, I, Grand Enchanter Fiona, submit to the Inquisition a list of all 407 known mages that were lost in the fighting with the templars, the fighting at the Conclave, the fighting in the Hinterlands, and the fighting at Corypheus’ battle upon Haven.

(A list of names follows.)

I further submit to the Inquisition a compiled list of all 118 surviving members of the Free Mage Alliance. Together, we represent thirteen former Circles and eleven guilds of Magi.

(A list of names follows.)

As you can see, some of our free mages have already joined the Inquisitor’s ASS. Mages of advanced years have taken on light support duties within Skyhold keep. Children and apprentices shall continue schooling and our best instructors will teach the children of Skyhold - both mage and non-mage children alike. Any free mages interesting in fighting are to submit an application to Commander Cullen. Any mages wishing to refrain from combat will be given employment in the Inquisition as support staff. All appointments must be approved by Grand Enchanter Fiona.

The enchanters of the alliance will meet next month to draft a statement On the Proper Use and Study of Magic. All proposals will be submitted to the Inquisitor for approval. Until this task is completed, the Free Mages will continue to follow Chantry-approved practices regarding spells and summonings, as put forth in the Nevarran Accord. Let it be noted that the Free Mages do not believe that folk magics are inherently evil, but until such time as a proper consensus can be reached, we will continue to operate by standards known to all Circle-trained mages.

Grand Enchanter Fiona will set up her offices in the Inquisition library, at the permission of Colleen Lavellan, Rebel Heretic Archivist of Skyhold.

We thank the Inquisition again for its generosity, and look forward to our future together.

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 14th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Proper report, that. Dunno how Fifi managed to write out that list o’ the dead. I could scarce bear ta copy it inta the book. And no, those ain’t tear-stains on the pages, those are just…

Feck.

– Coll

I agree. It doesn’t seem right. All those names…

I added Enchanter Lydia of Ostwick to the list. It was the least I could do.

I must admit that I’m not thrilled with the idea of the enchanters conferring on the practices of folk magic (read: blood magic. That’s what this is really about.) I can only imagine the arguments that committee will get into. Vivienne was fit to be tied when she read that part of the report. Cullen just made a face: that one where his eyes go glassy and a muscle clenches in his jaw.

But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

– Kate

Oh, come off it Kate. Yer not gonna turn prissy about a bit of experimentin’ are yeh? Not after all the research what we’ve done.

– Coll

Researching along the edges of magical theory is one thing. But blood magic takes that fine line and smears gore all over it. But as I said, we’ll deal with that later.

Speaking of magic, I need to get back to practicing. What with all these meetings, I’ve scarcely had time to train with Bull, much less sleep. Other than those warming wards, I haven’t cast a single spell since Haven. I almost miss being out in the field.

Hm, I’m going to regret saying that the moment I set foot out of Skyhold, aren’t I?

– Kate

Sure you are. Gonna put it on record just so I can rub yer face in it when you do.

– Coll

First Enchantress’ Report
14th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon
by Vivienne, Madame de Fer, formerly of the Montsimmard Circle and presently of the Inquisition:

I may not be the “grand” enchanter, nor do I have any say in the lax magical standards of other mages. All the same, I have decided to help the Inquisition where I can.

To that end, I persuaded Leliana to lend me a raven, and sent a letter to some of my dearest friends: Jean-Laveau and Joan-Marie of Val Royeaux. Young, talented, and hungry for recognition, they are, without a doubt, the most underrated tailors in all of Orlais. I presented the Inquisition to them as a chance to land their first large-scale tailoring commission, and they have accepted us, thank Andraste. (As I said, they are very young and very hungry, otherwise they would never have agreed to travel to this wild place.)

I will notify you all the moment they arrive. We must begin work at once if we are to look presentable at Halamshiral.

– Vivienne

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 14th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Tailors? Is this really necessary? You do realize that we won’t be able to meet with Empress Celene until spring?

Frankly, the whole Halamshiral situation is baffling to me. Sending word to the empress that her life is in danger ought to merit more of a reply than “Ah yes, thank you. Now wait in line and meet me at my open-door party in four months.”

And Orlesian peace-talks? Now there is the oxymoron of the age.

– Cullen

Commander darling, I know that Fereldens are allergic to the Grand Game, but please consider that we have only 4 months to prepare for the ball. In the world of fashion, this is an overnight rush job. Jean and Joan would never consider it, except for the fact that they are utterly penniless.

– Vivienne

Yes, because we couldn’t possibly save the empress in anything less that the height of fashion.

– Cullen

Naturally, darling. So glad to see you understand.

– Vivienne

I caught your sarcasm, Cullen. I think Vivienne chose to ignore it.

By the way, I’m so sorry that I missed our meeting. By the time I had finished with Fiona, you had left for the war camp and…

It doesn’t matter. I’ve cleared my evening schedule. I’ll come find you and we can slip off

Shall we meet after dinner?

– Kate

Kate

Inquisitor,

That would be wonderful

That will do nicely.

I want you to know that this meeting

I probably should warn you that this conversation might leave you wondering about my fitness

I will see you then.

– Cullen

Kate,

Inquisitor,

No sooner had I replied than something came up that requires my attention.

I’ll meet with you tomorrow, perhaps?

– Cullen

Commander Cullen:

You just missed Lady Trevelyan. She went to inspect the food shipment.

But I have wonderful news! Tell your soldiers that we’ll have eggs and bacon for breakfast tomorrow. That ought to raise everyone’s spirits. Now if we can just get some Antivan coffee…

– Josephine

Lieutenant’s Report
14th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon By Capt. Lysette

Just returned from recovery mission to Old Haven. Submitting a report at the request of Lady Cassandra (who did not want to write one):

Village quiet and buried. No chance of finding survivors until spring. Tunnel into the basement of Chantry still intact. Chantry also intact - mostly. Nave roof was half collapsed, and you could hear the snow groaning overhead. Thank the Maker for the mages that came with us. They held up the ceiling while we worked.

Lady Cassandra said to leave the relics. Instead, we salvaged Ambassador Josephine’s old records and whatever books we could find. We delivered four crates of archival material to Colleen Lavellen as of this afternoon.

I’m glad the mission was a success, but frankly, I would recommend that no one go back to Haven for a long time. It was depressing, really.

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 14th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Oh sweet Mythal’s gleamin’ knockers! Sure but Cassandra done landed on me a heapin’ load of completely DISORGANIZED SHITE what needs filin’ and shelvin’. This is right hatchet, this is!

Dorian, get yerself outta yer comfy chair! Kate, break out the party hats!

We’ve got catalogin’ to do!

Colleen Lavellan
Archivist of Skyhold

Colleen,

I absolutely will not spend my evening…

Well, what the Void. Why not? It’s not like I have any place better to be. This is why we need a tavern.

– Dorian

P.S. - I still maintain that you southerners are barbarians.

‘Course we are. But we’re fun barbarians.

– Coll

Coll, I’m sorry, but I can’t play assistant librarian tonight. I have a meeting with Cullen.

– Kate

Nah yeh don’t. Didn’t you see that message from him? I heard one of his corporals got inta a fight with a mage. Flare up of old templar tempers, I guess. The commander’s sortin’ out the eejits and won’t be done ‘till late. Said he’d meet you tomorrow mornin’ after yer war meetin’.

Lucky you, yer free fer the night! An’ I’ll even let you off the hook for writin’ me a report this month - iffin’ yeh help me now. So come shelve already.

– Coll

Cullen,

I’m sorry to hear about the mess with the templar conflict among the soldiers.

Do you need me to help? I’m sure you have it well in hand, but let me know if I can be of assistance. Otherwise, I’ll see you tomorrow.

– Kate

Cullen,

I waited on you for nearly a hour after the war meeting

I guess you forgot

Did you sleep in or

I suppose we missed one another yet again. I can’t wait in the war room any longer, as I have a full schedule for the day. It seems all the pilgrims have found us at last.

They must have heard we have bacon.

I’ve given my agenda to Josephine, should you wish to track me down. If today doesn’t work out, I have a free hour tomorrow at noon.

– Kate

Kate,

Inquisitor,

I cannot believe that I overslept

Maker, you must think me completely

I had the worst headache last night. Seeing that former templar half-mad from a lyrium overdose

I am sorry I missed you. Can we reschedule for some other time?

Tomorrow at noon won’t work for me, however. I have a shield-wall demonstration to attend. Perhaps after dinner?

– Cullen

Not after dinner, I’m afraid. I’ve got a meeting with the cleaning staff. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that you never miss meetings with the people doing the dirty work.

Tuesday at 11?

– Kate

You have a meeting with the Nevarran cleric then.

– Cullen

Oh, right.

Maker, this week has been wild. Maybe next week will work better, when everything has settled down?

– Kate

I would rather not wait a week

I suppose is this my own fault for not telling you earlier

I suppose I could explain this by letter

I’m sure we’ll work something out.

– Cullen

Commander’s Report
15th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon
by Ser Cullen Stanton Rutherford:

Soldiers added to the Inquisition ranks:
Belinda Darrow
Thornton of Ansburg
Pala of the Silent Sisters
Hall (just ‘Hall’ apparently)

Soldier added to the Dispell Squads to the ASS (fine. I’ll use ASS):
Cillian Ralaferin
Zither of Orlais

Commander’s personal notes:
Morning training regimen resumed
Repair request made (Will someone please fix the hole in the roof of my personal quarters?)
Meetings with officers scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday evenings
Still trying to schedule meeting with Kate the Inquisitor regarding lyrium personal matter

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 15th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

So are we using ASS after all, ser? Just want to be on this clear, ser.

– Lt. Ser Ruvena of Kirkwall

Yes. I suppose we are.

– Cullen

From the desk of Grand Enchanter Fiona:

We, the Free Mage Alliance, request an invitation to the grand opening of the Skyhold Tavern, scheduled for the end of the week. We are aware that rumors abound regarding drunken mages, but they are (mostly) inaccurate. We plan to have a buddy-system in place and all underage mages will remain in the tower (under supervision, of course).

As compensation for the invitation, we will provide a fireworks show, given by our enchanter-level pyromancers. We mages are not keen on providing entertainment under normal circumstances, but in exchange for use of the tavern, we will make an exception.

– Fiona

‘Course you guys are invited! Aren’t they, boss? Would be shit if they weren’t.

– The Iron Bull

Of course you’re invited Fiona - you and all the mages. I assumed – But of course I should have extended a formal invitation.

Yes, everyone in the Inquisition is invited. We might have to figure out shifts so that everyone can fit into the tavern, but no one will be left out.

– Kate

The tavern grand opening? That’s at the end of this week?

Lady Trevelyan, you might have reminded me! I forgot to order the wine! And the ale!

Maker help me, I hate being unprepared for parties.

– Josephine

Relax Ruffles. I already sent out orders for ale and wine and even a bit of qunari whiskey. See, the dwarf is not entirely without his uses.

– Varric

Oh thank you, Varric. I shall have to send you a gift when I am not buried under a mountain of applications for internships.

– Josephine

Just make sure my mail gets straight into my hands without Cassandra hearing about it, and we’re square.

– Varric

Ser Cullen,

Do you really want mages attending the tavern opening, ser? It’s upsetting dangerous enough that they are staying in the keep itself, but if they are at a public gathering and alchohol is involved, ser…

Perhaps some of the former templars ought to be present, ser? I could exchange my shift down here in the camp in order to guard the keep? You and I could keep an eye on things together Could get drinks together We could pull a shift together, ser. Just like old times.

Ser Lt. Ruvena

That won’t be necessary, lieutenant. I hear your concerns, but the mages are our allies. We cannot deny them the liberties we would extend to any other soldier.

Besides, Kate The Inquisitor will be there, and all of her personal bodyguards as well. I’ve no doubt she’ll keep things in order.

– Cullen

P.S. - Before I forget, please be sure to get me that list of the guard rotation for the camp. I need it as soon as possible. Thank you, lieutenant.

For the Maker’s sake, how obvious do I need to be?

Are you ever going to pick up on these hints, ser?

Of course, ser. I’ll send you the list at once.

Ser Lt. Ruvena

(Guard roster follows.)

Kate

Inquisitor,

Can I meet with you? I still have that lyrium problem personal matter I need to discuss.

I know you probably don’t have much time

I very much do not wish to presume

I have a free hour this afternoon. Will that do?

– Cullen

Cullen,

I think our plan to meet is cursed or something. Not really cursed, but still.

I can’t meet now. Sienna Dennet just arrived down here at the stables. The clever girl threw open the paddock gates when the red templars were advancing on Haven, and a number of our horses managed to escape into the hills. Sienna and her father spent the past week rounding them up.

Miracle of miracles, my dear Flame survived. Your horse, I am sorry to say, was, um… Sienna has picked out a new horse for you. You should come see him. He’s a beauty. In fact, would you like to come riding with me?

I’m not sure if you remember our earlier conversation about horses, but I’d still love to teach you how to ride… Oh wait. Maker, that sounds

I don’t suppose you’ve thought about taking time to learn to ride? We could have our meeting and take a scouting tour all at once?

– Kate

Kate

Inquisitor,

I’d love to learn riding if you’re the one to teach me. Or wait, I didn’t mean

I have no idea how to ride a horse and the idea of learning while talking about lyrium

Of course learning to ride is an important priority, and I thank you for the offer. But I have little time for pleasure self-improvement. Instead, I will meet with you when I can keep my feet on the ground some other time.

– Cullen

I guess that’s a no on the riding?

Certainly. I’ll see you tomorrow at the war table, I suppose.

– Kate

Kate, I jess saw yeh standin’ there by the stables, starin’ off inta space. Lass, yer done jaded. Go take a nap already. Let someone else figure it out for an afternoon.

– Coll

Thank you Coll, but I can’t. I have that meeting with the cleaning staff that I need to get to.

And I wasn’t staring into space, I was just looking up at Cullen’s tower and

I’d better hurry.

– Kate

Report from the Desk of Valery, elf of Denerim, Head of Housekeeping for the Inquisition:

Met with the Inquisitor today. An honor, of course. The castle’s a big place, and we’re proud to serve in it. Been in places a whole lot nastier, I can tell you that.

Was pleased to tell the Inquisitor that we’d gotten her a proper room set up. Commander Cullen had told us that was our first priority. The builders cleared the debris from the upper room of the northwest Great Hall tower, and we decided that would make a find Inquisitorial suite. We started in with mopping and dusting, washed up some rugs and got together all the usable furniture from around the castle. It isn’t as pretty as we’d like, but it will work for now. Stairs up are still a sight, but we’ll clear that later.

We also informed the Inquisitor that her roommate moved in yesterday. The archivist elf asked for a bookshelf and a potions set. I got her a bookshelf, but I draw the line at potions. Those jars fall over and you won’t never get the smell out of the tapestries. I told Mistress Coll she could go to the undercroft for that kind of thing.

We hope the Inquisitor and her roommate will be very happy in their new rooms. Now we’re on to the Great Hall. I’m sure the Inquisitor will love what I have planned for the curtains.

– Valery

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 15th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

So, Coll…

You might have told me that we had a room, or that you’d moved into it. At least I’ll know where to find you if you aren’t in the library.

But a word about this bed you ordered for me… Can we cancel this order? I mean, what is this, exactly? From the requisition brochure, it looks like a sleigh being dragged out of the wall by a pair of golden qunari. Are these statues supposed to be guardians? Are they warding off bad luck? Is it a display of strength? If this is qunari art, then I don’t get it.

Can we please order something more - I don’t know… normal? I suppose you’ll take the double bed they’ve got up there and I’ll sleep on the couch?

– Kate

Of course the qunari bed were a joke! Can you imagine? Some lover comin’ up to visit ye and they sees yeh flanked by two gilded hornheads? Would kill the mood right off.

Or maybe fire it up somethin’ kinky? Yeh never know with some.

‘Course it’s not like I’m teh have a lover soon, given that Krem’s gone off for that bard lass. Bollocks, that’s what that is.

Still, in case I makes a comeback, let’s have our signal worked out. I’s got to be able to warn you not to come inta the room if I gets a ride. Me old stockin’-on-the-doorknob trick oughta do. As for you, yer signal teh me can be… Well, you never did bring anyone home, now did yeh? So whatever. Leave me a note or somethin’.

Oh, and don’t you take the couch none, Kate-lass. You get the bed, and I’m teh have a nice mattress delivered to that lofty area above - yeh know, the space yeh can climb up to from the ladder in the closet? (Folks what designed this place were mad Kate - pure dead loony.) I likes it up there on account of someone painted the wall Dalish-style. Gonna place me bed beneath it and have teh sweetest dreams.

Speakin’ on Dalish-style, I put in an order fer new windows. Don’t like that chancy Inquisition eye lookin’ at me from the stained glass. I want teh see a nice halla or somethin’ shinin’ at me in the mornin’.

Oh, this’ll be grand, Kate! Best rooms we ever had! They’re huge, so I knew you wouldn’t mind me movin’ in with ye. And someone cleans ‘em for us. And no templars walkin’ by at all hours! And we’ll be gettin’ a hot bath now and again. And there’s no templars to stand guard whiles yeh bathe! This is the life, lass! Aside from that Corypheus problem and all.

– Coll

Lady Trevelyan,

A letter arrived for me today. It was a reply to the letter I sent to your mother. I recall that you were reluctant to apply to your family for monetary aid and I now understand why. This letter is somewhat inappropriate annoying to me so I can only imagine highly personal.

Would you like to submit a copy to the Inquisition archives? Or would you prefer to burn this? I support you either way. For what it’s worth, my family is also very difficult.

– Josephine

(A letter follows in a flowing hand.)


Dearest Lady Montilyet,

I received your letter asking about Financial Assistance for your Most Holy Cause. I am, of course, Honored to Aid You. I am So Pleased to hear that my daughter is of use to the Chantry At Last!

As a Mother, it broke my heart to know that my daughter would be Forever Afflicted with the Maker’s Curse. Yet it seems that her Burden may yet be A Salvation To Many. Praise Be to Our Maker that He Uses the Diseased among us to Render Health Unto the Masses!

We Joyously Bestow unto the Inquisition the following sum and lands, and profits from these lands. They are a Second Dowry for our daughter. The First Such Dowry was gifted unto the Chantry when they Took Her For Their Own, as a Man might take a Bride. And now, as you, The Inquisition, take her into A Second Marriage, so also we gift unto you a Second Bride Price. Take this money Of Us - and take you our daughter as well - that the Maker may do Great Works through her for All the Maker’s People.

Yours in Faith,
Lady Evelyn Trevelyan
Bann of Ostwick
Daughter of Our Beloved Andraste

Oh for the love of

Thank you for sending this to me, Josephine. I must admit that in my head, I am making that noise Cassandra makes when she is angry. You know the one.

You’d think that after all these years, my mother wouldn’t be able to get to me

It’s the stupid capital letters all over the place that drive me

When do we grow up enough so that these things don’t wound

You know what? It’s fine. I’ll submit it to the records myself.

It hurts, but it’s history.

– Kate

(Lady Trevelyan’s letter was recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 15th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Kate.)

Shit, Duchess. This could have come from my mom. Mage or not, I guess shame-turned-blame-the-kid is universal.

Hey, let me cheer you up. I hear the tavern will be done in a day or two. We can go get drunk and you can lose a few sovereigns to me at Wicked Grace. It’ll be fun.

– Varric

Ah, I see Varric beat me to a comforting letter. Let it me known that I had the idea first, but I was delayed by your friend Coll. She sends her regards, and tells me to remind you that ‘yer mum’s a sad wagon.’

Her words, not mine, but I’m sure I second the sentiment.

I also second Varric’s invitation to go drinking. The end of the week can’t come soon enough. Colleen won’t let me bring wine into the library.

– Dorian

THIS IS SER MORRIS REPOWRT. I HAV BOWZ AND SORDS AND SHEELDZ AND STUF IN THE REKWISISUNS RUM IF ANYONE WANTS SUM. COME GIT IT.

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 16th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Notice from the Office of Commander Cullen:

All weapons orders must be submitted through the central requisitions office and approved by by Lieutenant Ruvena.

Also, everyone who got a weapon from Quartermaster Morris, please return it at once.

Just saw the commander’s notice. Need help sorting all those weapons out, lieutenant? I’ve got an hour free.

– Capt. Barris

Maker yes. I don’t know what Morris was thinking when he…

I never know what Morris is thinking. Hurry, will you?

– Lt. Ruvena

On my way.

Oh, and while I’m thinking of it, I notice that you aren’t on guard duty the night that the tavern is opening. Would you like to come get drinks with me and Robert Trevelyan? I owe him a pint. I’d be happy to buy you one as well.

– Capt. Barris

Is that a propostion?

Are you trying to ask me on a date?

I’m flattered, captain, but I’m actually interested in

Um, sure. Thanks. I’ll see you there.

– Lt. Ruvena

Ha! You’ll never guess what I…

Er, report from Robert. Or something. I still don’t understand how this is Starkhaven styling supposed to work. But guess what?

I FOUND A LEAD ON RED LYRIUM.

There. Got your attention, didn’t I?

So here’s what we did: Cole and I headed east into Ferelden and landed in a little village named Sulcher. We went to the local pub and did some reconnoitering, or whatever you people call it. I bought some pints (thanks for the coin, Katie), and Cole went invisible and babbled about what was in everyone’s heads. Didn’t take too long to ferret out a lead. Smugglers aren’t the brightest torches in the castle, after all.

Seems that since the Chantry put a lockdown on regular lyrium, the demand for the red stuff has gone through the roof. Turns out that someone is selling red lyrium out of an abandoned villa in the Green Tombs. Or no. The Green Graves?

Ah, Cole is reminding me that it’s the Emerald Graves.

So there you are: there’s a red-lyrium smuggling operation in the Emerald Graves and I found out about it. Cole helped, of course. Actually, he did most of the work, but it was my idea.

Also! Let it be known that I did not get snockered, and I did not sleep up with anyone while I was in Ferelden. I’d like that on the record, thank you very much.

Look, I want to follow up on this lead. I know some people think I’m pretty useless, but I have skills. I know how smugglers operate, and I know how to get people talking. Let me join up as a soldier or scout or whatever, and I’ll track down your lyrium for you. My days as scoundrel may yet prove useful, eh?

– Robert

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 16th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Well done, Lord Trevelyan!

You want a job? You’ve just earned one. Come see me and I’ll set you up as one of my scouts. We’ll swear you in and give you a dossier on everything we know about the Emerald Graves. Admittedly, it isn’t much. We weren’t even looking in that direction.

Of course, if you’d told me about this plan of yours, you might have saved me the trouble of having you followed. But considering that you lost your shadow, I’m even more impressed. I like your initiative, but follow protocol next time or you’ll have me to answer to.

– Leliana

Ha! Claimed by the Nightengale! Did you see that, Katie? (More to the point, did Cassandra see??)

– Robert

Um, Cassandra did see, and she didn’t look too happy about it.

Robert, are you sure about this? Smugglers? Leliana’s scouts? You’ll have to learn that code of theirs. They write everything in cypher.

– Kate

That sounds like fun! Don’t you worry, Katie. I know what I’m doing.

No, actually I don’t. But do you know what you’re doing? Does anyone know what they’re doing around here? I didn’t think so. So let me help. And if I find Freddy and knife him in the back, that will be very healing to me and all that.

– Robert

Alright then. But make sure you get yourself some proper armor before you go. And pack some warm socks. Honestly, I would feel a lot better if you went with a small team, not by yourself.

(I know, I know. But once an older cousin, always an older cousin. I worry about you.)

– Kate

And I you. Make sure that whatever mission they send you on, you take a lot of bodyguards and elfroot potions. But enough of that. I hear the tavern is nearly done. If a certain Seeker won’t join me on opening night, will you, cousin?

Maker, it occurs to me that you’ve never been in a real tavern before. Not during business hours, that is. We’ll have to remedy that.

– Robert

P.S. - I saw the letter from Aunt Evie in the log book. Maker, your mother is something else. Be glad you were born a mage, Katie. Otherwise you’d have ended at finishing school like your older sisters and you’d be worthless to everyone.

Boss, you’ve never been in a tavern? Shit, we gotta fix that. Tavern opens night after next. Be there or be…sober. (shudder)

– The Iron Bull

Leliana,

I want to know what mission you have given to Robert Trevelyan. He is a very impulsive person and I worry that he may get himself into trouble. Perhaps I should accompany him.

– Cassandra

I’m sorry, Cassandra. Information regarding Scout Trevelyan’s assignment is classified.

You are welcome, of course, to ask Robert about it. If he deems it critical to the success of his mission to bring you along, he will do so. As his bodyguard, perhaps.

– Leliana

Leliana, what fire spell did yeh put up the Seeker’s arse? She came blazin’ through the library like a nettled nug. Wouldn’t even listen teh me as I told her thanks fer finding me these crates of books. They’re such a mess I still haven’t finished with ‘em. Seein’ as how I don’t offer me thanks much, I don’t like me compliments fallin’ on deaf ears.

Colleen Lavellan
Archivist of Skyhold

First Enchantress’ Report
17th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon
by Vivienne, Madame de Fer, formerly of the Montsimmard Circle and presently of the Inquisition:

Jean-Leveau and Joan-Marie arrived today. The Inquisitor greeted them at the gate - in Orlesian, too, which made a good impression. It nearly made up for the fact that young Morris had mistakenly used their intended guest room to store cheese in. But we sorted that out and our dear tailors are ready to begin fittings in the morning.

I must admit that I am not at all pleased with Jean and Joan’s initial drawings for the Halamshiral finery. It simply will not do to put us all in red cavalry uniforms. They must have sketched these concepts with someone like Cullen in mind. The commander is the only person who would look well in this type of outfit. Perhaps it would suit Cassandra. It certainly would not suit me. I will have to work with them, I see. Jean and Joan are talented, but Maker are they young.

As for the Inquisitor’s armor, that must be dealt with immediately. Kate, what kinds of animal hides have we got on hand? And don’t say ‘nugskin,’ if you please. I know it’s practical, but we ought to use the pelt of some fearsome creature. How else can we demonstrate your power without uttering a word?

If only you could take down a dragon, darling. That would be marvelous. In fact, I’ll talk to Jean-Laveau about a design for a dragon-skin coat at once.

– Vivienne

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 17th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

A dragon? Seriously? Are you suggesting that I wear my kills like some sort of walking trophy room?

– Kate

Of course, darling. What else is a wardrobe but a catalog of one’s sartorial assassinations? – items one sighted, hunted, and owned?

– Vivienne

Alright then. Added to my to do list: slay a dragon.

– Kate

YAAS!!!!

Take me with you boss. Please????

– The Iron Bull

Kate,

Inquisitor,

I hope you were joking about dragon hunting. Not that I doubt you could pull it off if given the right team and the right strategy, but we’ve got a few more important things on our schedule right now.

For example, I was hoping I could discuss that personal matter with you? The one we can never get around to discussing?

Not that it’s personal personal, just something I need to explain.

If you have the time, of course.

– Cullen

I was being sarcastic about the dragon, Cullen. If I do get around to dragon slaying, it won’t be any time soon. I’ve told Vivienne she’ll have to make do with the great bear hides that we collected in the Hinterlands.

And yes, of course, I’d be happy to meet with you. I’m sorry this concern of yours keeps getting delayed. Maybe you can stop by during my fitting tomorrow and we can talk in the smithy? I’m sure Jean and Joan won’t mind. Much.

– Kate

So you’re saying there’s no dragon slaying? Damn it, boss.

Well fine then. In that case, I’m comin’ to your armor fitting. I don’t want Viv putting you in lace and cut-outs and molded metal boob plates with nipples and shit. At that point, you might as well go qun-style. Only wearing antaam-sar into battle takes decades of training, and you don’t have the time to learn how.

– The Iron Bull

Cut outs? Molded metal boob…?

Perhaps I should come to this fitting, too. To offer my profession opinion, of course.

– Cullen

First Enchantress’ Report
18th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon
by Vivienne, Madame de Fer, formerly of the Montsimmard Circle and presently of the Inquisition:

We had our fitting with the Inquisitor today, and it was…

Well, it was interesting to say the least.

I escorted Kate to the undercroft, and managed to snag her cousin, Robert, along the way. The blacksmith, Harritt, joined us, along with a cheerful little dwarf who spent most of her time blowing things up in the corner of the smithy. Iron Bull and Cullen were waiting for us as well, much to my surprise.

I at first doubted the wisdom of having Bull there. Yet the qunari provided more contributions than I would have thought possible for a person who wears so little clothing himself. Cullen also proved a boon. Given his Ferelden heritage and his attire of choice, I did not expect him to have much interest in costume design. Jean and Joan begged me to let them redesign Cullen’s armor, but I told them that he would never hear of it. It’s probably a good thing that our dear commander does not speak Orlesian, or he might have been offended at the language they used to describe his furry mantle. Or he might have been embarrassed at the observations they made about his physique. Jean-Leaveau, in particular, was quite taken by our commander. No doubt, he’ll soon be writing home to extol the virtues of the Inquisition and the attractions of ‘le commandant de l’ours.’

(I assume that Cullen does not speak Orlesian, but this may not be the case. The tips of his ears were very pink throughout the fitting. Then again, it gets quite hot by the forge.)

Kate’s cousin did not join us for very long. Robert had absolutely no patience for the fittings and fled the room as soon as he was able. But with his looks, we didn’t have much work to do. For Robert, we decided upon a “knights of old” sort of look: a red silk tunic and a white leather vest. His armor is a slightly more complex version of his day clothes: a cream-colored coat with crimson accents. I wonder what the ladies of Skyhold will make of it? At least one woman approved. Joan-Marie was half in love with ‘le beau coquin’ by the time Robert escaped.

Now Kate presented quite a challenge - and such a delightful challenge it was! I could practically see the wheels turning in Jean’s and Joan’s minds. Such a sweet girl! Such classic features! But what an unassuming manner! Kate’s face is far too friendly for jeweled headdresses or black leather spikes. But neither could we simply place her in the armor of a foot-soldier. She would be drowned in finery, but would disappear in common clothes. She must be impressive, but not overwhelmed; striking, but never severe. In short, she is the most challenging client of all: a woman who cannot wear trends, but whose beauty would clearly shine if only placed in the right setting.

Jean and Joan saw this at once. They knew, as I did, that if they could dress Kate well, the entire fashion world would fall at their feet. (I encouraged this belief as much as I was able, for it means that Jean and Joan will work for free at present, and bill us later.)

It took us hours to complete a prototype of Kate’s armor, but it has been done. I attached a sketch below, and I am most pleased with the result. (As for Kate’s Halamshiral finery, we will continue work on that in the months ahead. It must be a costume to go down in fashion history! - but more of that later).

For Kate’s armor, we began with an autumnal palette. I found her a new pair of close-fitting leather trousers - ones that did not have odd embellishments about the thighs (A most unfortunate trend. I hope it ends soon.) Kate changed into this while the gentlemen politely averted their eyes, and then donned a sleeveless silk shift. We tucked the shift into her trousers, and the resulting silhouette was quite pleasing to the eye. Cullen and Iron Bull approved of the look, I noticed. Iron Bull growled, while the poor commander was rendered speechless. I’m not certain the Inquisitor is aware of just how tight those trousers are against her backside. Then again, a hint of sex appeal never goes amiss.

Jean and Joan then handed Kate a velveteen tunic in a lovely shade of wine-brown. The velveteen added the perfect touch, for it hints at nobility, but avoids the pretension of richer fabrics: nobility on walkabout, if you will. (On Robert, luxe fabrics are second nature. On Kate, they look ridiculous.) Kate tucked the tunic into her trousers (we didn’t want to lose the marvelous lines!) and over this she wore a brown leather vest. This vest was of Harrit’s making, and it was filled with reinforced panels and secret pockets and I don’t know what else. I insisted on providing Kate with a green silk neck-scarf to soften the overall look. Not only is such an accessory practical in the field, but the color matches the Inquisitor’s eyes. Leather gloves and over-the-knee boots completed the ensemble.

All this served as Kate’s in-camp kit. Over this, we added more combat-ready armor. Now, I at first made the mistake of trying to put Kate into a long, trailing coat. Iron Bull pointed out that Kate is rather clumsy and would trip herself with every step. Poor Kate looked a bit embarrassed by this accusation, but she agreed that it was true. Next, we put her in short coat and wound a length of silk around her middle. It’s a popular fashion in Nevarra, and it worked very well for Robert. But alas! The Inquisitor looked as though we’d trussed her up like a Frostfall goose. It was not a good look, and neither was the multi-tiered, furred collar that Harritt affixed to her neck. Cullen may be able to balance a hulking, hairy shoulder, but Kate just looked as though she’d gotten lost in a dire bear’s throat.

It was Cullen, of all people, who lighted upon a solution. In his very Ferelden way, he said, “Less is more, perhaps?” and he began handing Kate pieces of platemail to try on over her traveling clothes. I must confess, I had my doubts, but Maker, it worked. Who would have thought?

We began with a breastplate - just a beaten metal cuirass. We then added a skirt of sorts. Harritt called it a ‘fauld,’ I believe. It has interlocking metal plates set over large strips of leather. At first I thought it made Kate look as though she had been buckled into an ironclad banana peel. But as Cullen pointed out, it will protect her legs. We then added shoulder guards, which are excellent at conveying power. Iron Bull and I both wanted tall, imposing pauldrons, emblazoned with the symbol of the Inquisition. Kate and Cullen opted for something a bit shorter. In this, the Inquisitor and commander outvoted the enchanter and the bodyguard. But in the end, we completed our work and Kate looked…

Well, it wasn’t what I’d envisioned for her when I started. But I must confess, it turned out better than I’d hoped. Different, perhaps, but better.

The design, you see, was constructed entirely of layers. As Kate is a complex little person, the layered attire suited her very well. She looked like herself in all that armor, but with this heavy mantle of power placed upon her. I think it was Cullen who remarked, “I can’t decide if I want follow her into battle or protect her.”

Dear Kate was clearly unused to all this attention, for she was blushing the entire time.

The one remaining difficulty is that the Inquisitor found it very difficult to move in her new gear. We will need to make some further modifications so that she can fight while wearing it. Harritt proposed using materials other than iron and bear hide - some lighter leather and silverite, as well as making the buckles and straps better suited to Kate’s frame. The mad dwarf in the corner suggested a few enchantments to help with the weight and Iron Bull and Cullen discussed a series of drills to help Kate get used to the bulk. I suggested that Kate add one piece at a time until she is used to wearing the whole of her uniform. Harritt says he will have the modified armor completed in a few days, and I must say that we got a great deal done in one morning - even if Kate and Cullen had to delay that meeting they had planned.

And do you know? Kate said the sweetest thing to me as we finished. She said: “Thank you, Vivienne. I could not imagine surviving this experience without you.”

She is a dear, truly. And I must say, I am positively thrilled when I think that the Inquisitor will go riding into the world in a design that I helped to fashion. Power is as power does, and few people recognize the role that fashion plays in expressing what words can never convey. Kate now looks the part of Inquisitor, and people will soon believe that she belongs in that role.

Maker willing, she’ll come to believe it herself.

Ah, look how long this report got! I’d better finish up, and then put in an order for a new pair of boots. My previous pair got damaged in the battle at Haven. Bull asked me why I fight in high heels, and I told him, “Because I can darling!”

Really, sometimes I think only the Nightengale and I understand these things.

– Vivienne

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 18th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

To whom it may concern (namely, Colleen Lavellan, the so-called Archivist of the Inquisition):

I am Ambrosius, First Enchanter of the Circle of Starkhaven.

I hereby CHALLENGE you to an ARCHIVIST DUEL. I see you in your UNEARNED POSITION of archivist. By the rules established by Calien d’Evaliste himself, I invoke the rights of mage combat, and I will SHELVE YOU TO THE DEATH!

Or rather, I will shelve a crate of books faster than you and thus prove my right to cataloging duties.

Come then! Let’s settle this once and for all, Colleen of NOWHERE and NO ONE.

Ambrosius Flavius Grist
First Enchanter of Starkhaven
Order of Earthquakers, Founder and Grandmaster

Ha ha! Rumble in the library! Bring wine and… No. I’m being told no food in the library.

Ah well. Bring yourselves and prepare for entertainment!

– Dorian

Now this I gotta see.

– Varric

Wait. What is going on?

Cullen, I’m so sorry to cancel our evening meeting, but it looks like Coll is up to something.

Up to something again, I should say.

Meet me after?

– Kate

Rylen, cancel my evening meeting. I need to go to the library to referee a battle.

– Cullen

That’s not the strangest thing you’ve ever said to me, ser, but it’s close.

Does this battle involve reading Portia Plume novels, by any chance? Will you need back up, ser?

– Capt. Rylen

You’re getting latrine duty for that one, Rylen. Mark my words.

– Cullen

Why is everyone running for the library? Is it on fire?

– Cassandra

Not yet, but it may be soon.

– Dorian

Report from Robert (because I lost a bet with Varric. Never bet against Coll, that’s the lesson here):

Well that was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. A pair of mages, with a big crate of books - unmarked, uncatalogued - and a length of empty shelving. The mages made marks in the books and added little bits of tape to the bindings. Then they put the books on the shelves and that…

That was the whole battle. For an hour.

No one spoke. It soon became obvious that Coll was the better librarian of the two. First of all, she cast spells with both hands - one to make a pen write for her, and the other hand waving about, sending books flying this way and that. She looked like Sister Nightengale, only with a flock of papers about her head instead of ravens.

At the end of an hour, Coll had filled two banks of shelving and her magical ledger was perfectly in order. The other fellow had ink all over his fingers and was curled up in the fetal position, sobbing. I never knew archival work was so cutthroat. Here Katie was worried about me working for the scouts. She ought to be more worried about the things that go on in her own library.

Speaking of the scouts, this will be my last report for a while. I leave for the Emerald Graves day after tomorrow. I have just one day left to pack my bags and catch the grand opening of the tavern. Then I set out for my first official job with the Inquisition. Not that anyone will miss me.

If Cassandra anyone is reading this, wish me luck.

– Robert

(Recorded in the Inquisition Archives on the 18th of Firstfall, 9:41 Dragon by Colleen Lavellan, Archivist of Skyhold.)

Announcement from the desk of Ambrosius Flavius Underlibrarian Ambry:

I have been defeated by Mistress Colleen Lavellan and hereby renounce all designs upon her position or upon the library generally. As set forth in the codes of Library Challenges, I am hereby Coll’s servant, until such a time as she releases me from service, or the library is in perfect order (which will never happen) or I die.

Maker help me.

That’s RIGHT yeh little… Ach, yer such a shtate it’s hard to hate yeh. Jess make yerself useful and stay out of me way. But this is my library, yeh all got that? I WON THE LIBRARY.

Colleen Lavellan
THE SUPREME RULER OF THE LIBRARY
AND THE MOST BRILLANT EVER HERETIC ARCHIVIST OF FECKIN’ SKYHOLD!!!

(See that, Solas? This IS my library.)

A enasalin, Colleen Lavellan.
Nuva ver nehn in mar vallas arla.

Were yeh bein’ sarcastic, Solas-son? Or were you actually

Are you tryin’ teh take the piss o’ me? ‘Cause I ain’t fallin’ fer

Ma serannas, Solas. I guess.

(This paper was crumpled up and thrown into a wastebin.)

Kate

Inquisitor,

Your friend Coll is quite the librarian. Or the warrior. I’m not sure what to make of that display. It was unlike any oddity I’ve seen before. I certainly hope tomorrow’s grand opening at the tavern is not so contentious. If we mix librarians and alcohol, the results might flatten Skyhold.

By the way, I really must insist upon speaking to you about that personal matter I mentioned. Two weeks has been a very long time to mull over this meeting and what I should say

I should not take much of your time. Can we please meet as soon as possible? Privately, if you please.

– Cullen

Oh my goodness. I am so sorry, Cullen. These past few weeks have been…

No. No more excuses. What about after the war meeting tomorrow? We can stay behind after Leliana and Josephine leave.

– Kate

That sounds perfect. Thank you.

– Cullen

So, hey, Duchess. Inquisitor. Whatever.

I probably should say ‘Inquisitor,’ since you’ll probably want to inquisit this lead I’ve got and…

Okay look, I don’t want Cassandra to hear about this, but I’m onto something big. I got a letter today - a letter I was waiting on, actually - and it says we need to get to Crestwood, stat.

You see, I found out that… Aw, shit. I’ll just show you the letter. Maybe we can talk about it after your war table meeting tomorrow? Right now, I need to see Leliana about buying one of her pet birds. Bet she’s gonna charge me a premium, too.

Meet me tomorrow and please don’t let Cassandra hear about this. I’ll see you later.

– Varric

(Letter follows.)


Varric

Tethras

Kirkwall Avenger,

I’m trying for all that cloak-and-dagger stuff you love so much in your novels books writings. This is Hawke The Champion Kirkwall’s Nuisance Ser Freckles. I got your message. Plucky said she’ll get this reply to you in about a week - so long as the storms don’t blow her off track. I ought to be in Crestwood the meeting place by then. I may have company, but in the interest of being hush-hush, I won’t say who. (Wink, wink.)

I’m still pretty annoyed at you for going off to Haven the free mage refuge that party without me. But if you let me keep this messenger bird as a pet, all is forgiven. I’ve gotten attached to her. Bring her along when you come find me.

Fondly,
Hawke
Ser Freckles

Cullen,

No sooner did I write to you than Varric wrote to me and… Well, if I understood him right, he and I have a lot to discuss tomorrow.

But you take precedence, as you’ve been waiting longer. I’ll see you after the war meeting, and we’ll make sure we aren’t interrupted this time.

We can even bar the door, if necessary.

– Kate

Oh.

I’m sure barring the door won’t be required. That might make people think

But yes, thank you for meeting me.

I will see you tomorrow.

– Cullen

For funsies, here is an approximate translation of Coll & Solas’ elvish snarking (thanks to the various DAI Elvish Language geeks who have complied this stuff into lists and translators and what have you. You guys rock!):

Solas, first exchange:
You do nothing to further our people, Coll.
Why do you share/offer up this library (Lit. ‘writing house’)
of our people to the humans?
Do you hope to to gain their favor
?

Coll:
I do our people no credit, me arse! Sorry, you eternal ass (Lit. ‘buttocks with no end’ - Coll’s elvish is deliberately “creative”)… then:

You don’t know me, Solas-son. I may’ve spent the past decade behind walls, boyo, but I won’t let my mind be stuck in ‘em.

Solas:
I apologize, Coll. You speak rightly.
It is rare to see Dalish reason thus.
I look forward to observing your progress (Lit: I will watch how you pierce.)

Coll:
Sure, sure. I’ll be keepin’ an eye on ye as well, penis eat (sic).

Solas:
Surely you mean one who eats penis?
A pity you use your fine mouth to curse.
Accents as pleasing as yours are quite rare.
I wish your speech, my kin,
was as beautiful as your tongue/lips.

Coll doesn’t reply to that.

Coll later says:
IT’S ALL IN THE HISTORY NOW, BITCHES! (Lit. female dogs)

Then, after the library duel, Solas says:
A victory, Colleen Lavellan.
May you take joy in your library.

Coll thinks about thanking him (ma serannas) but can’t bring herself to do so.

(And duuuuude, don’t ask me what’s up with those two elves - I’m not sure myself anymore… Cheers!)