My Fathers Shoes (Complete)

((OOC 4th Draconis 9:35 Dragon with  ))

The Vigils mess hall was empty, which was unusual because Warden Appetite's meant this place was the one place you would find a warden.  Lessa herself was sat in the corner on her own, which was not a usual occurrence, the young warden usually had someone sitting with her or talking with her, but since her returned a couple days ago she had been quiet, not her usual self and she had shunned most company. Lessa had stopped off in Denerim, spoke to the Revered Mother once more and told her what the Left Hand had told her, but even with that name being dropped, Vanessa had not been any more helpful or forthcoming with what she knew, and Lessa now suspected she knew more than she had let on in the beginning. So, the question was, how to approach the one templar in the Wardens who might be able to help her. 

Sighing heavily she reached up and took the necklace from her neck and held it in her hand. "Something to do with Templars," she had said, Lessa wasn't sure what Leliana had meant, she just saw a pretty obsidian stone in a gold surround, then something caught her eye. Tipping the stone a little more she saw it, the flaming sword motif. Angling her head a little she took in the symbol, Leliana was correct, it was beautiful, whomever had given this to her father, had done so for a reason, maybe he gave it to Camilla to sell, to pay for a service to get rid of her?...no stop that, she chided herself Start thinking like that you'll go mad. 

Whatever the reason was, she had it now, and now she had to work out how to approach the most unapproachable Warden in the Vigil, who was also a former Templar, but fact still remained, unapproachable. "Who are you?" she muttered "and why did you not want a daughter to follow in your footsteps?" There was no saying that he was alive either, everyone had heard what happened at the tower during the Blight, either way it would be nice to have a history before she debated wether she went to Kirkwall or not. 
The chill brought on by his lyrium withdrawal was the hardest symptom with which to cope. Today, be it the murky sea-mist which drifted through the air or the infinite number of draughts which blew through the Keep, Henri-Julien could not warm himself sufficiently. Short of wrapping a thick blanket around his shoulders and hunkering dangerously close to a fire, he was unsure how he was supposed to chase the chill away.

So here he was, in the dining hall, hoping that a hot meal might work wonders. Fortunately, the room itself was empty save for the warrior... what was her name?... Lessa, that was it. His memory was also affected by his withdrawal but Henri-Julien reasoned that he neither required nor cared for the name of any other Grey Warden save the Commander. And Theirin, but that was mainly so he could sneer disdainfully whenever the other man said or did something worthy of censure. Yes, were those two names the only ones his straining memory recalled, he would be satisfied.

Passing by her table, Henri-Julien overheard Lessa speaking to herself. And he was the one who supposed to be courting madness? "Who are you?" she enquired of some pendant. "And why did you not want a daughter to follow in your footsteps?"

Sighing loudly, Henri-Julien abruptly stopped, turning to face the young woman. He wanted to eat his hot meal in peace, not listen to strange ramblings from across the hall. "I doubt very much this is what the dwarves mean when they say 'daughter of the stone'," he griped, gesturing the to the pendant. "Do you honestly expect it to answer back?"
"I doubt very much this is what the dwarves mean when they say 'daughter of the stone', Do you honestly expect it to answer back?"

Well there was the reason not many, except maybe the elf or the Commander spoke to this pompous Mardi arsed git, maybe Alistair too but then Alistair spoke to most people, and he was actually more interesting to listen to, unlike this plonker who had all the personality of a nugs fart.  Any other day she might have just ignored him, but not today, he didnt get to insult her because he didn't know the first rules of being polite. This of course caused her to reassess some things too. 

"When i want your fooking opinion Templar, i will ask for it, whoever or whatever has put you in a foul mood take it someplace else before i cut off bits of you that you might one day need, although i can't think right now who would want them

Lessa rubbed her brow and remembered that she was supposed to ask him about this, but he had intruded on her company without bye or leave and been utterly rude and unnecessarily so come to think of it but she was in no mood to play this game with him. If he wanted to strut around like he owned the place then that was his affair, it certainly wasn't hers, but that didn't give him the right to speak to her like she was a simpleton. 

Closing her fist around her necklace she sat back and looked Henri Julien or whatever poncy double barrelled name he had, in the eyes. "According to the Left Hand of the Divine i should talk to a templar about my necklace, maybe i should go find Alistair, because as stupid as he looks, he at least has the manners to be approachable." She picked her mug up "and as far as i can see that makes him a damn sight better a Templar then you.

Lessa hadn't asked for anything so cutting but she certainly wasn't going to take his crap, if he was having a bad day then he needed to  take it elsewhere or take it out on a few darkspawn. 

"Don't you have a Harvester to kill or something?

Lessa did not appreciate his accurate observation. Something which was not a problem so long as she took both herself and her unappreciation and departed from the dining hall.

"When i want your fooking opinion Templar, i will ask for it, whoever or whatever has put you in a foul mood take it someplace else before i cut off bits of you that you might one day need, although i can't think right now who would want them."

Henri-Julien rolled his eyes, turning to resume his walk to where the meals were served from the kitchens. But he was stopped by yet another barrage of insults that he neither cared for nor was affected by. 

"According to the Left Hand of the Divine i should talk to a templar about my necklace, maybe i should go find Alistair, because as stupid as he looks, he at least has the manners to be approachable." Lifting her mug, she took a sip. "And as far as i can see that makes him a damn sight better a Templar then you."

There was a lot of name dropping from someone who had told him to leave her alone. And the easy swipe that Alistair, who, lest anyone need reminded, had not undertaken his vigil and therefore had never become a Templar, was somehow more informed than him was laughable. Or it would be if Henri-Julien was not already suffering from his withdrawal. Of course, that wouldn't be something Alistair, the damn sight better Templar, would actually know anything about since he was, as Henri-Julien believed he had already pointed out numerous times, not a Templar.

"Don't you have a Harvester to kill or something?" was her final parting shot.

He ignored her. Something which, apparently, she was incapable of doing towards him. Instead, he collected his desired plateful of hot food and, since sitting near the fire would put him within speaking distance of Lessa, Henri-Julien resigned himself to the very far corner of the hall, his back turned to her. Since neither of them had any interest in the other's company, they could each pretend that they sat alone in the vast hall.
Well that just about ended that avenue didn't it? Lessa shook her head, the man was incorrigible, he expected people to just vacate when he wanted the place to himself, he didn't own the Vigil, and he certainly didn't dictate who ate where, if he didn't want any company well, there were other places he could find for his own company, the Vigil was not exactly a small complex. 

Still, that comment about the Harvester was uncalled for. Even if he deserved the other remarks, he didn't deserve that. and the Warden Commander had been less than forthcoming about where they came from or what that thing actually was. Wardens and thier secrets, to the void with it; but she owed Henri an apology. Wether she wanted to or not.  Heaving a sigh, she got up and made her way over. "My apologies Ser Julien-Burrows," She stood behind him "The last comment i made was unwarranted and uncalled for, i know what a, unsettling thing that was." The rest of her comments she did not apologise for, he had started it after all. She took her necklace and lay it on the table "If you know to whom at the circle i might enquire as to who owned this then i would appreciate it. If you have no idea than i will make enquiries elsewhere." Best not say Alistair again, it seems the former Templar really didn't like that comparison. 

If the worst came to the worst she could always write her mother, but Lessa was not even sure she wanted to go down that route just yet. she wasn't even sure she wanted to meet her, and she sure as shit needed balanced humours before even going to Kirkwall. the place was a sack of cats at the best of times,


Unfortunately, Henri-Julien's efforts to pretend that he was alone were short-lived. Rather, within a short span of time, Lessa relocated herself within his vicintiy, advancing from behind.

"My apologies Ser Julien-Burrows." She moved into his line of sight across the table. He eyed her over the top of his spoon, never breaking in his steady consumption of the hot stew. "The last comment i made was unwarranted and uncalled for, i know what a, unsettling thing that was." It had been a cheap shot but not one from which Henri-Julien was mortally wounded. He noted that she did not apologise for her other remarks, but he really did not care enough to pursue the matter. What was to be gained by arguing with someone who thought Theirin was a Templar? Clearly, he would be better off arguing with the thick wood of the table.

Reaching forward, Lessa lay the necklace on the table in front of him. "If you know to whom at the circle i might enquire as to who owned this then i would appreciate it. If you have no idea than i will make enquiries elsewhere."

While Henri-Julien made no effort to stop the roll of his eyes, he nevertheless picked up the necklace. Not only that but he did so with care. He was not one for wilful damage of another's property.

Even under the toll of his withdrawal, he recognised the value of the stone, etched with the insignia of the Templar Order. In his surprise, his expression softened and he looked at Lessa with genuine curiosity, his features revealing a handsome young man as opposed to just a bad-tempered one.

"Where did you get this?" he asked in wonderment. "Whoever owned this did something remarkable. It's given to Templars who perform an exceptional duty."

He paused, rising from his chair to carry the necklace across to the fire place, using the brighter light to study the item more closely. "It's something unique to Ferelden," he went on. "Actually, I don't even think it's something which is awarded outside of Kinloch Hold." He angled the stone so the etching caught the flickering light of the flames. "See? It reflects the flames of Our Lady herself." Glancing up, Henri-Julien refocused on Lessa. "There will be records in Kinloch Hold about who has received one of these, but there's no way of knowing precisely which one this is. However, given they're rare, you can probably narrow it down to two or three individuals."
Lessa was known for her patience but when the other warden rolled his eyes it took all of said patience not to sock him one. She had not apologised for her other remarks, because in her opinion he deserved it.  She did however arch an eyebrow when he, somewhat reverently picked up her necklace. 


"Where did you get this? Whoever owned this did something remarkable. It's given to Templars who perform an exceptional duty."

Lessa's hand groped blindly for the back of a chair at those words and she found herself sitting down in a daze. Her father did something exceptional? what could he have done that got that kind of recognition? 

"It's something unique to Ferelden, Actually, I don't even think it's something which is awarded outside of Kinloch Hold."

Lessa watched in dumbstruck silence as Henri got up and went to the fire place to study it better in the glow of the flames. She watched as he angled the stone so the etching caught the flickering light of the flames. "See? It reflects the flames of Our Lady herself." Henri-Julien refocused on her now . "There will be records in Kinloch Hold about who has received one of these, but there's no way of knowing precisely which one this is. However, given they're rare, you can probably narrow it down to two or three individuals."

Lessa was still looking like she might faint and it took a moment for her to come out of her daze. "It belongs to my father," She quietly said "Or so i am told, I never knew my parents i was abandoned in a shack outside of Dragons Peaks lands, on the Kings Road."  Looking up she briefly told Henri what Leliana had said to her and sat back in her seat "I suppose i should go to Kinloch Hold, if nothing else then return it to the Order if my father is dead." She thought that might be the better thing to do. Such a thing, she could never do it the justice it served if what Henri had said was anything to go by, "Or return it to my father if he is alive, something like this belongs to the Templar who wore it.

There were advantages to being a Grey Warden, she could come and go as she pleased, and she had no duties lined up for a week or two that needed her immediate attention, a jaunt into the deep roads was on the cards and she was trying to put that off as much as was humanly possible. She got that she had to work down there, but up until she had joined the Wardens Lessa had never felt the claustrophobia that the deep gave one. She took her pendant back and, perhaps with a little more reverence than she normally did put it around her neck. 

"Thankyou, Henri," She softly said and the softening of his features caused a similar reaction in hers, when Lessa didn't have her stone face on she was actually a stunningly beautiful young woman. "Perhaps you would care to come with me? I'd understand if you would rather not." She had no idea what caused him to be joined to the order and she was not someone who pried into others business, and for a Templar to leave The Order in such a manner, it could not have been pleasant "whatever you decide, thankyou for this, something remarkable...wow. " She tipped the stone into the light to see the symbol "Maybe i should have become a Templar when i had the chance." She almost whispered 

Apparently all of this had been an utter shock to the other Warden. She looked much like Henri-Julien imagined most recruits did when the full consequences of the Joining were explained to them.

"It belongs to my father." She finally found her voice, noticeably less harsh than when she had been throwing her insults at him. Just as well given the continued thump of his headache. "Or so i am told, I never knew my parents i was abandoned in a shack outside of Dragons Peaks lands, on the Kings Road." Despite having only spoken with Lessa a few times, Henri-Julien could empathise with the decision. He kept his mouth shut about it though.

Glancing up, almost as though she had heard his thoughts, Lessa outlined what the Left Hand of the Divine had relayed to her. It was amazing how that woman flitted from place to place, almost seeming to materialise without warning. How and why she saw fit to maintain a friendship with Theirin, whose heavy-trod heel could rouse a sleeping golem, was a constant source of puzzlement to Henri-Julien.

"I suppose i should go to Kinloch Hold," Lessa mused, sitting back in her chair. "If nothing else then return it to the Order if my father is dead. Or return it to my father if he is alive, something like this belongs to the Templar who wore it."

Henri-Julien shrugged, setting the necklace back down in front of her. "There are no rules about what a Templar may do with any recognition of their service. If it was given to you, it is yours. There would be no expectation that you return it."

Whether or not she paid any attention to his words, Lessa took up the necklace and fastened around her neck once more. "Thank you, Henri." Funny, she looked almost tolerable when her face was not scrunched up, hissing and spitting like a cat. "Perhaps you would care to come with me? I'd understand if you would rather not."

No, he would very much rather not, but this presented two opportunities. One, to do something in service to the Templars, albeit somewhat convoluted, and two, to perhaps source some additional lyrium to better manage his dwindling supplies. 

"Whatever you decide," she went on, mistaking his silence for reluctance. As if Henri-Julien had ever shied away from speaking his mind. No, he was just slower in his thoughts than usual, was all. "Thank you for this, something remarkable...wow." She examined the stone with fresh eyes, tipping it this way and that to catch the light. "Maybe i should have become a Templar when i had the chance," she added, almost to herself.

How Henri-Julien did not invoke a crumbling of his eye sockets from the eye-roll he made was a mystery in itself. Oh yes, almost everyone believed they could have become a Templar, yet none of them truly understood that they had already failed. Templars were not created from mere flights of fancy during childhood; they were forged from steely determination amongst the youngest of ages. But naturally, assume that the one missed opportunity was the sole reason for not becoming a Templar. Anything to ease the stark reality of a person's crippling mediocrity.

"A person's deeds are their own." He spoke flatly but not overly harshly. "Take pride in your father's actions, but don't mistake them for your own. That," he nodded again to the necklace, "is recognition of something that could not be anticipated nor replicated."

He sat back down to his stew, focusing on the meal rather than his unwanted companion who had apparently decided she was remaining at his table. "I'll come with you. I know a more direct route across the Bannorn; we won't have to follow the North Road. Best to take horses." He made no mention of his personal reasons for accompanying her, but did not think she would not anticipate as much. He did not have a reputation for doing things out of the goodness of his heart, after all. "We can leave tomorrow morning if you like."
"I'll come with you. I know a more direct route across the Bannorn; we won't have to follow the North Road. Best to take horses. We can leave tomorrow morning if you like."

Well that was surprising, She had not really expected him to agree as Henri was not known for doing anything out of the goodness of his heart. Still to have him accompany her would make it easier to approach the Templars. She nodded at his suggestion and left him to his own company, it was after all what he wanted in the first place. 

Next Day. 


Lessa patted her horses neck and reaching into her pack she took an apple. cut it in half and gave one to Henri's horse as they rode and the other half to her horse. These poor beasts had to carry men and women in full plate armour for maker knew how long, only right they have a treat along the way. Lessa glanced at the morning sky and removed her helm so better to take the spring sun on her face. The ride had been in silence which suited her just fine and she was a little annoyed at herself for even thinking anything romantic about Henri-Julien Burrows. It had been a schoolgirl flight of fancy briefly nothing more nothing less and it made her sick to the stomach thinking about it. She took another couple of apples and offered him one, the gardener at the Keep had given her some apples for her journey. She bit into hers and chewed thoughtfully. 

Lessa had heard how the Circle at Kinloch Hold was annulled by the Hero Of Fereldan. That news had rumbled across Fereldan like a storm and she had heard on occassions that the Mages were not so keen on such a man being held up as a hero. Of course no one outside the Templar Order knew why such things were kept between the Chantry and the Order. Still the young raven haired woman had a curious streak. 

"How long was it before the Circle became a functioning circle once more?" She asked. Lessa was not in th know of such things but some of the mages at the Vigil refused to go to Kinloch Hold, she thought it was to stop the Templars grabbing them. but everyone knew once a mage became a Warden they could do nothing about it. No matter how much it irked them. Then Julia. one of the Mages conscripted after the Blight said that the circle danced with the souls of the dead. Lessa had no idea what it meant and she was not about to go looking to find out. "Does it really still dance with the souls of the dead?


With the horses keeping a good pace, Lessa saw fit to reward them with half an apple each. The flick of their ears as they chomped on their treat was proof enough of their appreciation. Reaching into her saddle bag once more, Lessa withdrew yet another two apples and offered one to Henri-Julien, throwing it to him across the small gap between their horses as the creatures moved abreast of one another.

"How long was it before the Circle became a functioning circle once more?" She paused before adding, "Does it really still dance with the souls of the dead?"

Until that question, the pair had spent much of the day in near silence, something which had pleased Henri-Julien greatly. His withdrawal symptoms were more manageable in the early parts of the day but became harder to bear as the hours wore on. Right now, however, he was able to tolerate the various drains on his faculties. A fact which meant he felt somewhat obliged to answer Lessa's questions. 

"Of course not," he snapped, irritated to even have to respond to such an inane enquiry. "Do you really think Templars would tolerate spirits dancing through one of their strongholds?" Of course, Henri-Julien had no first-hand knowledge; he had already been Joined to the Grey Wardens and was travelling across Orlais at the time that Aedan Cousland was leading the purge within Kinloch Hold. He had no reason to visit on any occasion since then.

"But," he drew in a breath, trying to harness his impatience. He had, after all, agreed to accompany Lessa. It was somewhat expected that he make some effort to be civil with her. "It will have taken considerable time to cleanse the Circle. Even though the Templars fought at the Battle of Denerim, I imagine there was still much to be done in Kinloch Hold." All of which was a round-about answer revealing that Henri-Julien did not, in fact, know the precise date at which the Circle could be declared fully functioning again. Not that he would admit as much.

Deciding that if Lessa was intent on conversing, Henri-Julien would be the one to determine the topic, he pressed on. "I don't know what reception you expect at Kinloch Hold. It is not somewhere that welcomes visitors, for good reason." He thought over what other misconceptions someone might have when visiting a Circle. "If you are permitted entry, and that is in no way guaranteed, it is likely that you will be restricted in where you go and whom you speak with. You will also have an escort at all times." He stopped, drawing in a breath against a sudden spasm of pain in his temples. "They will not admit you on mere whim or through sentimentality; you must be prepared in your explanation."
"Of course not, Do you really think Templars would tolerate spirits dancing through one of their strongholds?" Henri Julien snapped.

Makers balls she had only asked, Andrastes tits this guy had a nuclear response for everything. What she wanted to do was tell him to frak off back to the Vigil, instead she fixed her hazel eyes ahead and said nothing. Saying anything would most likely result in nothing. The guy worked hard at keeping people away. except maybe Velanna. hell those two worked together more than most.  She did not know and did not care really it was the Dwarfs whim most of the time so that was thier business not hers. 

"But,"It will have taken considerable time to cleanse the Circle. Even though the Templars fought at the Battle of Denerim, I imagine there was still much to be done in Kinloch Hold."

Lessa supposed that anyone clearing up the mess Aedan Cousland made of that place would have certainly had much to do. When she had heard the tales of the heroes adventures, that part actually stuck in her throat. If she understood it correctly from questions she had asked Brother Bernard to annul a circle it meant kill everyone in it. She wasn't sure if it was the same with the children that studied there too.

"I suppose the brave hero killed the children there too less they escaped and become abominations" She didn't bother disguising  the disgust at the thought of such an action from her voice. Still his next question actually surprised her, had she not been sitting firmly in her horses saddle she might well have fallen off the horse in shock.

"I don't know what reception you expect at Kinloch Hold. It is not somewhere that welcomes visitors, for good reason. If you are permitted entry, and that is in no way guaranteed, it is likely that you will be restricted in where you go and whom you speak with. You will also have an escort at all times." He stopped, drawing in a breath that sounded like he was in pain of some description  "They will not admit you on mere whim or through sentimentality; you must be prepared in your explanation."

Lessa ran her gaze over him, a little concerned, she might have asked him if he needed to rest but she wasn't too sure it that was going to met with a short sharp no or something. 

"I actually haven't given it a lot of thought." She admitted "I was hoping something would come to me on the road and I've been playing many questions and scenarios over in my head since you told me about the locket." She saw a small stream and clicking her tongue guided her horse towards the water "The horses need a drink and you look like you could use some. rest."  She dismounted and led her horse to th stream letting the reigns fall as it bowed its head to drink. She took a brush from the saddlebag and began to brush some of the dust from the road from her mounts mane and body.  "I'll just be happy to know who he is or was, not expecting to meet him"  She arched an eyebrow "are you alright?
 
"I actually haven't given it a lot of thought. I was hoping something would come to me on the road and I've been playing many questions and scenarios over in my head since you told me about the locket."

Henri-Julien made no effort to obscure the roll of his eyes, though he was swiftly reprimanded for his sour attitude by the stabbing pain of his headache as a result of the movement. He let loose another smothered groan, scrunching his eyes shut against the wave of nausea. Really, though, who in the name of the Maker set off to a Circle on the mere hope that they would be able to speak with someone? Apparently this woman.

Clicking her tongue, Lessa coaxed the horses over to a nearby stream. "The horses need a drink and you look like you could use some rest."

Henri-Julien gritted his teeth, irritated that his illness had been noted, but did not protest. Instead, when Lessa dismounted, he did the same, granting his horse the freedom to drink and graze for a short while. Lessa opted to brush out some of the dust from her horse's coat.

"I'll just be happy to know who he is or was, not expecting to meet him." Raising an eyebrow, she looked directly at him. "Are you alright?"

"Aside from the considerable duration of travel without any guarantee of success," Henri-Julien snapped, "I am well, thank you." He was not but he was never going to admit that to Lessa. 

He moved to the water and refilled his waterskin up-stream from the horses. "We must rehearse what you will say. Access to Kinloch Keep is by boat only. If your explanation is not sufficient, you will never even set foot upon the island itself." He straightened, taking a sip of the cool fresh water. It eased a little of his headache but not any other symptom of this withdrawal. "Tell me of the main questions and scenarios you have considered. We should address each one so that you are sufficiently prepared."
"We must rehearse what you will say. Access to Kinloch Keep is by boat only. If your explanation is not sufficient, you will never even set foot upon the island itself. Tell me of the main questions and scenarios you have considered. We should address each one so that you are sufficiently prepared."

Lessa stopped grooming her horse for a moment and glanced at Henri before continuing getting the dust out of her rides coat. "Well last i knew the Grey Warden Conscription still holds true and we do need a couple more mages." She set the brush into her saddle and stroked the horses neck then left it to graze "and the Warden Commander does like to remind us that we need more recruits. Personally taking a mage from the tower is not my idea of fun but if it means i get to find out about my father, or who is reputed to be my father, then i'll do what the pint sized boss man expects.

Admittedly it wasn't the best plan but it was the only one she could think of right now. She could suggest a templar companion for Henri but she suspected that wouldn't be a very good thing to joke about. She went and sat on the grass and drew her knees up under her chin. Lessa wasn't even sure if it would work, everyone knew the Templar Knight Commander grew tired and weary of the Grey Wardens right of conscription, but they had that right, more so since the Queen granted them Amaranthine at the end of the Blight. Still, it did not make them popular, most of that flow of popularity had long since waned.

"Only way i can us getting across the lake."





His observation prompted a pause in Lessa's brushing down of the horse, clearly startled by the suggestion of forward-planning. Were Henri-Julien's temples not already pulsing, he knew that a headache would already be on the way. Why must he always be surrounded by incompetents? 

"Well last i knew the Grey Warden Conscription still holds true and we do need a couple more mages." Lessa stepped back from the horse. "And the Warden Commander does like to remind us that we need more recruits. Personally taking a mage from the tower is not my idea of fun but if it means i get to find out about my father, or who is reputed to be my father, then i'll do what the pint sized boss man expects."

Henri-Julien pinched the bridge of his nose, exhaling loudly. "No," he snapped, putting an end to any discussion of conscription. "We will not be doing that." It was madness. Aside from his own opinions about mages and the Grey Wardens, it was entirely irresponsible to put an individual through the Joining simply as a means of gaining access to the Circle. He would permit Lessa to try anything of the sort.

Sensing that she was on a hiding to nothing, Lessa sat down nearby, drawing her knees to her chest. "Only way i can us getting across the lake," she replied. Clearly the Maker had not saw fit to bless the woman with any type of imagination. And he was supposed to be the narrow-minded lyrium-addled Templar. Suddenly, for the briefest of moments, Theirin's company seemed actually preferable.

Shuddering slightly at the thought, Henri-Julien shook it off. No, he refused to exist in a world where he actually yearned for the company of that man. No, he would ensure Lessa's travel across Lake Calenhad, even if he had to row the bloody boat himself.

"Fortunate, then, that I agreed to accompany you," Henri-Julien snapped. He hefted a long-suffering sigh, rolling his eyes. "I will gain us entry by stating that I require assistance with searching for an apostate." Pursing his lips, his gaze drew distant as he considered the possible issues which may arise. He would not reveal the likelihood - though he could not prove it - that a number of phylacteries had been destroyed in Kinloch Hold; ones that, for whatever reason, had not been sent to Denerim for safe-keeping. He suspected that the Circle was very mindful of this fact, perhaps even tot he point of being defensive. It was something he could play on.

"We can state that the apostate is claiming to be a Grey Warden, hence your company," he went on. "That should gain us access to the Circle and at least a Knight-Captain. They should have sufficient authority to either answer your question or approve further investigation." He cast her a hard look. "No conscription under any circumstances. Give me your word now or continue on alone."
"Fortunate, then, that I agreed to accompany you," Henri-Julien snapped.  "I will gain us entry by stating that I require assistance with searching for an apostate"

Lessa glanced over from her horse, catching the eye roll, did that man never say or do anything without being haughty and smug. She, perhaps wisely for the moment choosing to bite her tongue. She had learnt that you didn't contradict the man, it just made his insufferable smugness even more unbearable. Honestly the man couldn't let up not for one moment. 


"We can state that the apostate is claiming to be a Grey Warden, hence your company," he went on. "That should gain us access to the Circle and at least a Knight-Captain. They should have sufficient authority to either answer your question or approve further investigation." He cast her a hard look. "No conscription under any circumstances. Give me your word now or continue on alone."

Lessa stopped what she was doing and lent on her saddle for a moment, well it was a good plan, better than what she had come up with at any rate, it didn't mean that the Warden Commander wouldnt be disappointed that there were no conscripts to be coming his way, but to be honest she never felt good about conscription, she didn't even want to be a grey warden but the Maker it seemed had other ideas. Looking at the sky she decided enough was enough and putting her grooming brush away she swung herself up into her saddle. 

"
Better lead on then" She told him "Before you decide to change your mind regardless of wether i give my word or not." 

Oh she knew he did not want to be here, and he was more irritable than he usually was. Lessa did wonder if he wouldnt be better going to Denerim or Soldiers Peak, but then she came to the thought that anyone and everyone irritated Henri Julien Burrows so it wouldn't really matter. 

"
And for the record i would never have actually used the conscription thing. I don't even want to be a Grey Warden, i wont conscript anyone unless they are tainted and ..." and at this she pulled a face "of use to the order." 

Not that she expected him to have an opinion on that either way, nor did she expect and answer but knowing what he was like she threw over her shoulder that her word was given. It was only when they approached Lake Calenhad that she spoke again "
You are actually a handsome chap Burrows, when you are not scowling, so lets get this done, i might or might not find out about my father and we can go our separate ways again,