Happy Labor Day!
Today’s picture is from http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Thaig. I chose this because my first choice seems to better suit a later chapter.
Planning For the Future
“I apologize for Bartrand. He wouldn’t know an opportunity if it hit him square in the jaw.” Varric continued, with an added chuckle at the end.
“But you would?” Hawke asked, a bit apprehensively.
Varric feigned insult. “I would! What my brother doesn’t realize is that we need someone like you. He would never admit it, either – he’s too proud. I, however, am quite practical.”
“You’re part of Bartrand’s venture?” Carver asked.
“That’s right! The Deep Roads wouldn’t normally be my thing, but I can’t allow the head of our family to go down there alone. So as you might imagine, I have more than a passing interest in this expedition’s success.”
“What makes you so certain we can help?” Hawke continued, not entirely sure that this was happening but hoping to make a good, business-like impression. “You know nothing about us. Why would you stick your neck out for a complete stranger?”
“Oh, on the contrary – you’ve made quite the name for yourself over the last year.” Varric started pacing before them. “I’d rather take a chance on someone with your reputation than head into the Deep Roads unprepared. The Coterie has been squeezing smugglers out left and right, and the only group to survive owes it all to you two.” He stopped again and looked at them. “The name ‘Hawke’ is on many lips these days. Not bad for Fereldens fresh off the boat!”
Hawke turned to Carver. “Hear that? Owes it to both of us.”
“Yes, but it is you they speak most of, Messere.” Varric stated pointing at Hawke.
“That figures.” Carver grumbled.
“Your brother is certainly welcome to join us, by all means, but I’ll leave that in your hands.” Varric continued.
“Oh I’m going.” Carver said determinedly. “Without this expedition, we won’t last out the year.”
“There must be some way to persuade your brother to hire us on.” Hawke said to Varric.
“Thing is, we don’t need another hireling – we need a partner! Bartrand’s been tearing his beard out trying to fund this on his own, but he can’t do it. Invest in the expedition. Fifty sovereigns and he can’t refuse. Not with me there to vouch for you.”
“Your brother doesn’t seem like the sort who’s willing to split profits.” Carver said.
“My brother is many things, but he’s not stupid. Far better to share the profits than be trapped in a thaig with a thousand Darkspawn between you and the exit. Trust me, he’ll come around.”
“It sounds interesting – but if I had any gold, I wouldn’t need this job.” Hawke responded.
“You need to think big! There’s only a brief window after a Blight when the Deep Roads won’t be crawling with Darkspawn. The treasure you find down there could set you and your family up for life! I know everyone in this city worth knowing. I can help you find the jobs you need, and if you don’t need me for that … there’s always Bianca.” He said, pointing a thumb over his shoulder to the crossbow on his back.
“You named your crossbow?” Carver asked.
“And why not? She’s a beauty. Isn’t that right, sweetheart?”
“Come on,” Carver said to Hawke, “despite the eccentricity, the dwarf makes some sense. No offense. Look, you started this – and it’s a good idea. Certainly better then ending up in the Gallows.”
“We work together, you and I, and before you know it, you’ll have all the capital you need. And besides, we’d be your partners. I’m willing to give a little trust if you are. What do you say?” Varric stated confidently before adding the question when he saw Hawke’s expression.
“There might be nothing down there except Darkspawn and rubble. How can you be sure we’ll make a profit?” Hawke asked in return.
“Bartrand isn’t grasping at strings. He’s operating on some good information. Some of the Deep Roads are so old, even the dwarves have forgotten them. We just need to get down there, then Bartrand will lead the way. You and I will be there to handle problems.”
“You’re asking us to take a lot on faith.”
“You’re asking for a guarantee? I don’t know that I can give you one. Look … I know the Templars have been asking questions. How terrible would it be to get out of the city for a while? If this works out, you’ll be wealthy enough that the order won’t be able to touch you. You need the coin and I need your help. We need each other. I can’t make it sound better than that.”
“You have a deal.” Hawke said.
“Perfect!” Varric exclaimed. “Kirkwall’s crawling with work. You set aside some coin from every job, and you’ll have the money in no time!”
“Sure, easy.” Carver sassed. “But … maybe Aveline’s got some bounties out. She joined the city guard, right?”
“We should talk privately when you get the chance. In the Hanged Man, maybe – I’ll be there when I’m not with you.” Varric stated. “Now, let’s go see what trouble we can stir up.” He turned away from the brothers and looked out over their current position. “Ah, Hightown. Where the rich go to piss their money away. This really is the best place in Kirkwall.”