[ Master Post ]
Title: Assing it Up: Three Years in Kirkwall
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Aveline ♀, Varric ♂
Rating: G- (L1 N0 S0 V0 D0)
Warnings: Varric uses words.
Notes: After the Chantry comes down, the Hawkes are left to help Kirkwall recover, but without one of their own. The circle needs a new First Enchanter; the city needs a viscount and a grand cleric; the bulk of the population needs help rebuilding and repairing the damage from decades of neglect. And Sebastian returns to Starkhaven, to plot his revenge.
The Kirkwall Gazette Brings You the Viscount Maybes
Anton Hawke, Lord Amell (Gazette fave!)
Anton Hawke, of the Kirkwall Amells, the man who filled in where the Chantry could not reach, has put himself forth for viscount! Lord Amell is widely known in certain circles for his intuitive grasp of political niceties and when to dispose of them. His ‘Sausage Party’, last season, was a timeless event that would have put even his grandfather’s grand balls to shame. Aside from heartily outdoing the last Amell scion, he seems to follow in Aristide’s footsteps with his outrageous events and nearly profligate generosity. Despite these obvious outward shows of nobility, the man’s closest friends include elves and mages — his own father having been one of the most famous apostates to escape the Gallows! Look to Lord Amell for financial stability, equal rights for all citizens, and an increase in festivities.
Next amid our horde of hopefuls for the position comes Merrill of the Sabrae clan, known for her unflinching defence of mage and elf rights. A Dalish scholar, she has been an inspiration for our elf community with her headstrong views and unflappable humour. Don’t let her petite frame fool you — she is full of ideas! Though she promises to be a source of change for her people, she wants to uplift all the people of Kirkwall, elves and humans, nobles and servants alike. Look to Merrill for strong morals and conviction and for the kind of changes Kirkwall needs!
Orana of Tevinter
Formerly a slave, this delightfully sweet elf has a variety of estate management skills she assures us will work just as well at the scale of a city. Her experience working with ill-tempered magisters has left her with little fear of angry mages, and a strong spine, when it comes to declining the poor plans of others. She’s literate and fluent in two languages, and has the ability to carry on a conversation and compose bid replies without writing what she’s discussing, which is a rare talent, even among Chantry clerks. Look to Messere Orana for strong leadership and management skills!
Comte Guillaume de Launcet
Comte de Launcet is, obviously enough, already the Comte of some Orlesian locale. While, in theory, this would bring with it years of leadership experience, the fact remains that he is the Comte of somewhere he does not even live, and besides that, he’s Orlesian. Why would an Orlesian nobleman flee to the Marches, if not to escape the aftereffects of his own poor governance? If chosen, will Viscount de Launcet do the same as Comte de Launcet and flee the city, to avoid governing in person? Look to Comte de Launcet for Orlesian weaselling and questionable devotion to his lands.
Kirkwall’s very own Guard-Captain has thrown her metaphorical hat into the ring — and possibly her sword too if she catches anyone trying to steal it! Kirkwall owes her safe streets to Aveline’s iron fist, and any poor fool who has been on the receiving end of her glare knows how formidable the Captain is*. In her first year as guardswoman, Aveline risked her career — and her life — to expose a conspiracy between then Guard-Captain Jeven and the Coterie, saving many lives in the process. Look to Guard-Captain Aveline for honesty and adherence to the law at all costs.
*editorial note: she is terrifying.
The proprietress of the Blooming Rose has decided she’d like to try her hand at governance. She already rules what could easily be a small township worth of prostitutes, and they might be the best source for information on her governing style. The Gazette has received some replies on the subject, but they’ve been largely unprintable, due to the indelicacy of their phrasing. It should be noted that Lusine is an equal opportunity employer, but she has a strong dislike for foreigners — particularly those from Ferelden — so her relations with other governments may be a bit rough. Look to Lusine for business sense and equal opportunities for all skilled workers.
There is a persistent rumour that Varric Tethras is a candidate. This is completely untrue. Please do not vote for Varric Tethras. As the man himself says, ‘What would I do with a whole city? I don’t need a city! I have half a Rivaini beet farm! It’s more than enough!’
"Now, I know this kind of thing isn’t real big in most places you’d get to, but the nobles have been overruled by the Seneschal, and all of you get to help pick the next viscount," Varric explained, sitting on the edge of the table. "We got any miners in here?"
A few hands went up.
"Good, good. Now, the miners are used to this whole voting thing. They’ve got a union where everybody gets together to decide if things are good or if they need to be different. And part of how they do that involves voting. Basically, all you have to do is pick the thing you like and take the rock they give you at the door and put it in the box that’s painted with the thing you want. After everybody puts their rock in, some people come in and count all the rocks, and then we know who the new viscount is. It’s pretty easy. We do it all the time in the Merchants Guild." Varric waved a hand dismissively. "And, yeah, sometimes the thing you want isn’t the thing that happens, but sometimes it is. It all depends on how many people want the same thing you do. And it doesn’t even matter if they’re important people, this time, because everybody gets the same kind of rocks. What you want is just as important as what some snooty prick with a thousand pieces of gold wants, and there’s more of you than there are of them. So, if you guys all go up there and vote, it’s not going to matter what the nobles want."
"What about you? Can we vote for you?" a tailor asked.
"Me? Nah, you can vote for the people with their pictures on the boxes. There’s six of them, from what I know. Some real fun people, too. Only two nobles — Lord Dog and some Orlesian ponce who can’t tell his ass from a doorframe." Varric laughed and thanked Edwina as she brought his drink. "I don’t want to be Viscount, anyway. Too much prettying up and bowing and handkerchiefs."
"Varric!" called a familiar voice from the door. The crowd around Varric shifted, parting around the shouter as she shoved her way towards him, cheeks the same red as her hair.
"Ah, and here’s one of our candidates now!" Varric cheerfully declared, dropping from his seat on the edge of the table to put the heavy piece of furniture in front of him.
"Oh, am I?" snapped Aveline, dropping a copy of the Gazette onto the table between them. "From the way you write, you’d think a she-dragon were running for viscount!"
"I don’t know what you could possibly mean, Guard-Captain," Varric said, free hand on his chest. "Whoever wrote that piece about you seemed to have nothing but the greatest respect — and a healthy amount of terror — for you. But, while you’re here, why don’t you tell your adoring fans about what you plan to do as viscount?" He patted the table. "Come on up so the nice people can see you."
Aveline froze like a deer, eyes round. "I…" She looked around, suddenly painfully aware of the number of eyes on them. "This is… not the time, Varric." She started edging back towards the door, the Gazette crumpled in her hand.
"You’re never going to win, if you keep on like that!" Varric remarked, over the top of his tankard. "Who’s going to bring order to our fair city, if you can’t even face your adoring public?"
"Oh, I’ll bring order to this city, but someone else is going to have to bring a happy smiling face to the public. My job is to protect these people, not entertain them." Aveline continued to edge toward the door.
"And there you’ve heard it from the candidate, herself! Protection, not entertainment," Varric announced to the group around him. "Not very personable, but very good at her job, and totally unafraid of mages or templars, from what I hear."
An urchin ran in as Aveline ducked out the door. "Message for Messere Varric," the girl announced, holding out a scrap of paper, obvious, in the very quality of it, to have come from somewhere in Hightown.
Varric slipped the girl a coin, as he read the message. "You tell Lord Dog I’ll come up and see him after I’ve finished with these people, here. He told me he could handle Hightown on his own! What’s a man like me going to do in a place like the Rose?" He shook his head. "The Gazette supports Lord Dog," he pointed out to the collected group. "Supposedly a very compelling choice, given the alternatives. But, I’ll read those to you and let you decide for yourselves."