Oct 22, 2021 6:33 AM
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"So, uh." She looks mildly confused. "What do friends do? I don't think I've had those. Less you count the assholes back at the alienage, but they were assholes."

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"I don't have very many friends either. But you can borrow my books if you want." There is a shelf of them above her bed.

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"Ooh. Magic books? Ancient forbidden magic maybe?"

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"No. They're things I brought with me when I came here, not magic at all. Stories and stuff. I like them. The ancient forbidden magic is in the libraries, and if I try to sneak you those then neither of us will be allowed anywhere near them."

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"Stories. Huh. Might like those too, I guess. The way you said that about the ancient forbidden magic makes me think there's some other option there that doesn't involve us being forbidden."

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"They don't let me read about the really forbidden magic, but they let me read some things most people aren't supposed to," she says. "Because I'm running out of things people are supposed to and I'm a good student and I don't scare anybody."

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"...I scare a lot of people. It's kind of a thing. Could you tell me about some of the slightly forbidden magic?"

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"I might. Most of it isn't that interesting. But it might get interesting later."

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"Ech. Should've guessed anything interesting would be properly forbidden. It's just, I'm already the best fire mage in the damn circle, and I've got entropy magic and the rest of primal pretty well locked down, and I'm even working on the other practical magic because at least it isn't boring and I can learn to make locusts eat my enemies' flesh, but all they want to teach me is how to be a terrified little bunny. And if it was just passing their stupid fucking tests I could lie well enough to do that, but- I can't turn myself into that all the time, or even just enough of the time that they can't tell I'm faking it. And- ugh." She flumphs backwards onto Metella's bed in a huff.

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"I probably can't teach you how to pretend not to be angry," says Metella. "I might not even be able to teach you how not to get angry. I think it's just how I am. But if you can learn it, it's really good to know."

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Zann sighs. "If you can help at all, it'd be better than nothing. Which is what the Chantry fucks have to offer." She adopts a pious voice. "Oh, Sazann, just remember that the Maker would be terribly disappointed in you for feeling emotions! Andraste wants you to shove your anger up your ass and never have any fun ever! You don't want to disappoint our precious fucking Maker, do you?"

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Metella giggles.

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Zann raises her eyebrows. "Can it be? Someone who doesn't have her head shoved up Andraste's righteous skirts? Pinch me, I'm dreaming."

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"I like a lot of the stories about Andraste, but I think some of the things the Chantry teaches are silly."

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"Amazing. You are a much more worthwhile kid than I would have dared to dream of. How d'you feel about the Templars?"

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"The Templars are useful for stopping blood mages and abominations, but if they didn't go around treating almost everybody like we might be about to start messing with blood magic any minute, there might be fewer blood mages and abominations to deal with."

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Zann cackles. "Exactly! Kid, you get to rule by my side when I take over Ferelden. This is a promise."

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"Can I be First Enchanter of a much better-run version of the Circle? I'd like that."

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"Hell yes. I'll be the warrior-mage-queen who crushes our enemies, you'll be the learned archmage of the Circle. Hell, you can turn it into a different shape if you want. We're the dream team."

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"Okay."

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