stabsbooks: (pic#9997737)
Cassandra Pentaghast ([personal profile] stabsbooks) wrote in [community profile] faderift2016-02-24 07:18 pm

closed; a civil disagreement

WHO: Cassandra and Leliana, and later Cullen and Josephine
WHAT: Cassandra has some concerns to express to her fellow advisors.
WHEN: Beginning of Drakonis, immediately following Cassandra's interrogation of Galadriel.
WHERE: The War Room
NOTES: here it comes

Cassandra is still shaking with suppressed indignation and fury as she makes her way across the courtyard and through the Great Hall, heedless of the startled, curious looks she attracts. Those who find themselves in her path remove themselves from it quickly. She had said little over the sending crystals, merely telling the Inquisition's advisors in short, terse words to meet her in the War Room.

This is a disaster. How could she have been so blind? All those people, appearing from the rifts alongside the demons...and they had been taken in with hardly a pause. No one had questioned who they were or where they came from, much less what they could do, or what they would dare to do.

Maker, how could she have been so blind?

She arrives first and sits down to wait for the others, but all too soon she finds herself back on her feet, pacing impatiently. The soldiers appear a few moments later and confirm that Galadriel is secured in one of the fortress's cells. They lay the items they had confiscated on the table as they report; the elf's staff takes up the better part of the map, and beside it sits a strange, glowing glass. Cassandra dismisses the soldiers shortly, and they retreat from the room.

And then there is nothing to do but wait, to try to calm herself so that she can think. She longs to act, to confirm that no one else threatens the Inquisition as Galadriel does, but she can not act alone now. They are the Inquisition; she must at least tell the others. She has no doubt that they will all be as horrified as she is.
fightingale: (pic#9839082)

we could have had it all

[personal profile] fightingale 2016-02-25 04:45 am (UTC)(link)
The Nightingale moves with care and precision, descending the stairs when she receives notice of the need to meet, wondering what has Cassandra sounding so tense. Cassandra excels at bunt force, whether it be delivered by fist, word, or whatever her weapon of choice might be that day. There is no immediate cause for concern every time Cassandra sounds displeased, but this is the Inquisition, and every matter is becoming a source for concern, she suspects. Leliana almost finds herself longing for the days of the Fifth Blight, when everything had seemed so simple by comparison, when it had been anything but at the time.

"Cassandra," she starts, opening the doors and closing them behind her. She makes it her business to be here first. Sometimes the Left Hand and diffuse the ire of the Right. Sometimes there is more that people will say to a smaller audience, even (or especially) of their peers.

She does not need to say why she is here, though her sharp gaze catches on the staff and the glass, before flickering back to Cassandra. "Something has happened."

fightingale: pb! inquisition era. (i mean look at her hair)

[personal profile] fightingale 2016-02-25 06:14 am (UTC)(link)
We have been remiss in our duties, she says, and Leliana's jaw tightens, spine straightens and her shoulders ease back. It is a subtle, dangerous shift, just as the accusation is a dangerous one. Leliana has dreaded it for so long,the possibility, has interrogated it and there is something defiant in the tilt of her jaw.

"If this is regarding the Crows, I have taken every measure possible to ensure the event does not recur." Frost descends on her tone, voice very soft as she starts to move towards the War Table, gaze narrowing as she takes in the staff, and glass, and considers them more carefully.

"Who do these belong to?"
fightingale: pb! inquisition era. (seriously bruh)

[personal profile] fightingale 2016-02-25 12:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Barely a relief, that, when the tension still pulls taught between them, and Cassandra seems sharp as the knife's edge, and likely as willing to cut you open. (Leliana thought, sometimes, that the honour of killing was a fickle and subjective thing, though the fact remained that while blood stained both their hands, Cassandra's were painted with less shame than her own.)

"I know Galadriel," Leliana starts sharply, a frown already etched at the corner of her mouth. "She much respected by the Dalish here, stands as-- as a comfort to them, I suppose." Suspicion is starting to weave its way into her head, while all that makes it into her tone is caution. "A respectful woman. She was more respectful of the Chant of Light than a good many who find their origins here."

The next part comes more bluntly; "Why are they here, Cassandra?" Why were the belongings here and not with their rightful owner? She would flatter herself in claiming no anger survived into her tone, but she is angry. She is always angry, of late, or so it feels, even if she keeps the coals of it low.
fightingale: (pic#10010454)

[personal profile] fightingale 2016-02-25 10:31 pm (UTC)(link)
She has proved herself a threat to the people of Skyhold.

Tension is rising in her. Her wrists are rigid, each muscle scaling up her arms, across her shoulders and down her back, is slowly tightening.

"How so?"

Perhaps she speaks a little sharply, again, from her urgency. An important question, for it will dictate whether she is angry with herself for another shortcoming, another misstep, or whether her anger cuts into Cassandra, instead. All actions need a reaction, all anger needs an outlet, or it will leave her to a festering corruption, though in truth Leliana is quite sure she is being hollowed out, already. She must cut away so much to be more efficient, to be stronger, and anger can be as counterproductive as it is useful.

"On what basis do you deem her a threat?"
fightingale: (pic#10010450)

[personal profile] fightingale 2016-02-26 12:04 am (UTC)(link)
It follows, but Leliana cannot yet allow herself to ease. She cannot soothe her concerns so lightly, nor when she can feel Cassandra’s words, her very mood pressing upon those matters that are so essential to her. Freedom. To keep their people safe, of course - but if it is at the cost of seeing people wrongfully suffer? Imprisoned, detained, denied their freedom and their expression, what then? What manner of Inquisition would they be, what manner of power, if they were willing to strip people of their freedom?

And it is the matter of who Galadriel is, as well, that makes that prickle all the more. An elf, an icon to those who have lost so much. Oh, she is not like their Dalish here, but when so much knowledge of them is lost then what can they (and especially they, humans) claim of their difference? What possibilities and potential might Galadriel represent to them? Elf, mage, rifter. A symbol of three peoples who could suffer so easily at the hands of authority, and Cassandra had imprisoned her before Leliana had even known that she was under interrogation.

“You imprisoned her,” Leliana starts, very quiet and very calm, “for not speaking as you would like?”

Her smile is a vicious, dangerous thing, rich with disbelief. “You imprisoned a woman who had done no wrong against the Inquisition, one who might have leant her aid, had you approached her with a manner less akin to a warhammer?”

Leliana respects Cassandra in many things, but she does not admire her ability to hold her temper, to not take offence, and she cannot but wonder just what Galadriel said. Not something to merit this response, not if Cassandra had approached her with the respect she was due. “I cannot believe this. I cannot believe you.”

All that quietness is falling away, now, and the tightly controlled temper of the past few minutes is spilling forth, vicious.

"If you would imprison all who show defiance, then our entire Inquisition would be caged."
fightingale: (pic#9852520)

[personal profile] fightingale 2016-02-26 09:04 am (UTC)(link)
"Because mages and elves have suffered far more for far less," Leliana snarls back, "and because I saw you lash out at our own Herald when you did not understand her mark and she could not grant you satisfactory answers. Because your are guilty of the same small minded fear mongering and paranoia that infects all Thedas!"

Her temper has been unfurled, revealed for the vicious, bloody thing that it is, and she is leaning forward to meet the Seeker's gaze, as if she could tear her apart with it.

"What safety is that? When one is imprisoned for such a reason as this, it opens the doorway to many more receiving the same sentence in the same of 'safety.'" She has seen it before. She has breathed it. She has seen false accusations and innocents people suffering for it, and the Game has always demanded that you consider consequences. "If we are to imprison Galadriel for an act she has not committed, would you have us imprison Templars for their gift with a blade, for fear they might stab us in the back on the battlefield, simply because they are able? Perhaps all our rogues should be shackled, lest they cut our throats in our beds."

No. This will not be endured, and she will not back down. To do so would be to suggest that the only way to be safe was to jump at shadows and to assume motivations before a person ever had a chance to act.

"You cannot shackle someone for the simple risk they could present, nor for some imagined crime. The very root of this Inquisition was within wrongful violence and abuse of power against mages. Are we to condemn another group to take their place, now, by considering what could happen before it is done?"
Edited 2016-02-28 12:38 (UTC)
theproperglove: (aside; face it like a grown-up)

[personal profile] theproperglove 2016-02-29 09:54 am (UTC)(link)
There's to be a meeting soon, so in the meantime Josephine has busied herself with the latest correspondence that's made its way to her desk. Two or three more letters and she will head off to the war room. At least, that's what she tells herself before she hears the shouting. It is not unusual for Josephine to be able to hear the hustle and bustle of Skyhold from where she sits, and as a matter of fact, she's rather fond of it. But if she is not mistaken, that sounds like Cassandra. Josephine does not know Seeker Pentaghast quite as well as she would like (knows more of her, certainly), but she is at the very least well aware that Cassandra is the type of woman who can be easily swept up by her passion and ideology.

Curiosity now piqued, she listens for a few more moments, head tilted to one side, trying to get a sense of the situation. This is not some mere ordinary shouting. Cassandra sounds indignant. Furious.

Josephine gathers her belongings and gets to her feet. It is probably for the best to check on the Seeker, for the good of whoever is the source of her ire, at any rate.

She only intends to watch and listen at first, but when she crosses the threshold into the room to see Cassandra staring Leliana down, hands shaking, she knows that she cannot remain silent. Josephine's gaze flickers from Cassandra, to Leliana opposite her, then back to Cassandra. "What's going on here?" Face schooled as neutrally as possible, she leans against the door frame with her arms held out in front of her. It is not altogether odd for the two former Hands of the Divine to disagree... but Josephine can't help but feel that this is something greater than that. At least she is confident in Leliana's ability to stand up for herself.
Edited 2016-02-29 09:56 (UTC)
perseverances: (pic#9873511)

[personal profile] perseverances 2016-03-01 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
As usual, it seems like Cullen is always the latest to arrive. Which is often not uncommon, considering where he's chosen to make his office and how often he gets bogged down on reports. Today, it was business as usual, and when he finally makes his way down the stairs from the battlements he gets stopped no less than three times while on his way to the War Room. Clearly no one understood the meaning of urgent.

He's quick up the stairs and into the hall, whispers of shouting coming to his ears. He's not often one to listen to rumors, so they're taken with a grain of salt and he's off into the hallway that leads to the War Room.

He's usually greeted with a closed door and the rest of the ladies talking among themselves when he arrives, but this scene is something else entirely. The air is so thick with tension someone could cut it with a knife and he doesn't even know what's going on yet. "Apparently I've missed something," he says finally.
fightingale: (pic#10010454)

[personal profile] fightingale 2016-03-01 11:22 pm (UTC)(link)
She cannot help but be reminded of that day on the bridge, of Chancellor Roderick's criticisms of Cassandra. In that moment she had been struggling, but it was standing together with Cassandra, with Cullen and Josephine that strengthened her. On your head be the consequences, he had told Cassandra, and the Seeker's words now make the memories of that day echo painfully in her chest, slow, thudding and expanding outwards.

Leliana stands tall, as she always must.

There is no time to make a proper response to Cassandra or Josephine before their Commander is arriving, with that ever-so-slightly perplexed air, but their combined appearance spares Cassandra the full force of her viciousness. She pulls away from the fire crackling over her nerves, lets them cool and settle rather than fan them. She is the Spymaster, yes. She must collect clues and consider the repercussions, and this is not different.

"Apparently so, Cullen," Leliana replies, standing up tall and glancing to both he and Josephine briefly before continuing. "Seeker Pentaghast sees fit to imprison a woman who has committed no crimes, and contends that my concern for justice does not align with the safety of the Inquisition."

Her voice is cold, for all the fury layered into it. "She does not consider the potential impact this may have within our ranks. That imprisoning any person, let alone one who is elf, mage and stranger to this land when they have done no wrong, is in direct conflict with the freedoms and the need for change that is so important here. To imprison her could make any number of people feel threatened, and furthermore," the look she casts Cassandra now is most akin to a sneer, "She does not consider that we need their help in closing the rifts, not their resentment or their fear, as could well follow from such an event as this. It is she who is blinded, and by her own shortsightedness."

Especially if she thinks the Spymaster, the gatherer of information and of secrets, the girl that owed so much to Dorothea even before she was the Divine that Cassandra met, the Nightingale so easily chastened as that. She had failed so many. She had failed Wynne and she had failed Justinia and Evelyn, but she would not fail in this. Leliana has been playing the Game since long ago.
Edited 2016-03-01 23:24 (UTC)
theproperglove: (say; feel sparks of the friendly fire)

[personal profile] theproperglove 2016-03-03 12:12 am (UTC)(link)
The problem is that both of them have excellent points. Then again, that is always the issue when it comes to moments like this: people usually try to do what is right, or at least, what is necessary, but people are biased. Even though Josephine knows her own talents at diplomacy she knows she is not immune to this effect. It was Leliana who had invited her to the Inquisition, Leliana who had convinced her to come along by appealing to both her good nature and her thirst for challenge.

Sometimes, Josephine can't help but feel she falls short of the mark. She has to try, however, so she takes a deep breath and does her best to push her biases inside. A younger Josephine would have leapt to Leliana's defense without hesitation, but... in times like these, she plays a different role here. "Cassandra," she starts, using the woman's name mostly as an emotive appeal, "your care for us all is certainly appreciated. Few have done as much as you to ensure the safety of the Inquisition. However..." It is here that Josephine allows disappointment to carefully flavor her voice. She is not an imposing woman, she knows, certainly not the type to be capable of intimidating Seekers, but that does not stop her from straightening, drawing herself up to her full height before looking Cassandra straight in the eye.

"However, may I suggest it was perhaps unwise to act before consulting with the rest of us? I know you only did what you considered necessary, but Leliana has a point." Josephine inclines her head in the Spymaster's direction. "We are all supposed to be working together, and that means the mages and the templars, as well as the four of us." She throws Cullen a look over her shoulder. He hasn't said much yet but she is sure that the Commander has his own thoughts on the matter.

Josephine rolls her shoulders, a motion of resignation. "In any case, your actions can not be undone, so what we must think of now is what we can do going forward." She can feel her heart hammering in her chest as she considers her next words. When she had started speaking, she had done her very best to push her biases aside and consider the situation objectively. However, she has had to contain herself for far too long, and these have been frustrating, trying weeks. She should bite her tongue, but doesn't.

"All I can think of is this: the Inquisition was founded in part to be a stabilising force among all the uncertainty that exists in Thedas. How can we say we are pursuing that goal if we only contribute towards such uncertainty? And..." she lowers her gaze then, eyes dropping to her noteboard. "I cannot help but wonder what Evelyn would think, if she were here to see us fighting amongst ourselves like this."

Josephine can feel her face burn as soon as the words leave her mouth. Oh, how she hates drawing attention to herself. Half of her wants to shrivel against the wall, the other half wants to lift the lid off her carefully contained temper entirely. In the end, she takes a step back, so that Cullen's more in the room than she is. She can play it off like she's given him the floor to speak, but in all honesty: she needs a break to calm down.
Edited 2016-03-03 00:12 (UTC)
perseverances: (14_zps49930eec)

[personal profile] perseverances 2016-03-06 05:06 am (UTC)(link)
"How is her reasoning unwise?"

It's a simple question as Cullen enters the room fully with a thankful nod to Josephine. "Lady Cassandra has done what she thought was in the best interests of the Inquisition. I would have done no less in her position." And he's glad he wasn't. He's not sure how he would have reacted in her situation.

"If they - those with the shards - can open these rifts, who is to say that they will not do so again? Who is to say they will not rise up against the Inquisition should they decide to? To align themselves with Corypheus?" He thinks in broad worse-case scenarios, but he's trying to think of the bigger picture here. He sees where Josephine is coming from, that Cassandra may have acted a bit harshly when it came to such insubordination on the Rifter's part.

"I understand your concern, Leliana." He pauses, choosing his words carefully. "It looks... bad, for lack of a better word. But we cannot risk the rest of the Inquisition because one person has gotten their feelings hurt. The needs of this Inquisition outweigh one person."

His tone at the end is a bit sharper than he wants to admit, but the fact they are all questioning this is talk of concern. Josephine's mention of Trevelyan does not go unnoticed, and he has to bite his tongue before going on. "She would have wanted us to be reasonable."
fightingale: (pic#9852520)

I'M SORRY FOR MY SLOW and also for leliana being a jerk

[personal profile] fightingale 2016-03-08 02:36 am (UTC)(link)
A slight sneer curls the corner of her mouth, subtle and allowed to linger for barely a moment before Leliana brushes it aside. "The traditional response of Seekers and Templars, then? To act against others without considering what consequences might follow."

It is a low shot - too harsh, too cruel, and especially in the wake of Anders, but Leliana feels herself twisting, of late. She has been becoming something harsher even than the Left Hand needed to be. Acts of mercy feel wrong and warped, even as she is glad to have spared a live, to have stopped a man such as Anders as being painted as some hero for a cause, cut down by the Inquisition. She has her beliefs though, her faith, and she will hold onto those until the very last.

"We certainly do not give them much incentive to ally with us, if we are willing to lock them away. You complain that she did not swear loyalty, but what reason have we given them? And then, when word gets out of this - and it will, without doubt - how will people react, if not with trepidation? Is fear and desperation not what has driven so much conflict, and prompted backlash? What have they seen of Thedas most, if not the conflict between mages and templars in Skyhold itself and horror stories of what is done to people who do not fall in line? After the Conclave and Haven, Thedas must seem a grim and bloody place to be trapped, and then the one place they have turned to locks up a rifter who has committed no wrong beyond displeasing the Seeker?"

They could no better job of forcing people to look to other alternatives in their desperation, if word should get out, if more should be arrested under the same reasoning. She has seen for herself, and more than once, how quickly a single event can spiral into something bigger.

She shakes her head. "Do not misunderstand me. The safety of the Inquisition and Thedas remains my highest priority, but what are they if not made up of people? This is not a matter of feelings being hurt, Cullen. It is a matter of alienating a group whose aid we need to close the rifts, in the wake of Evelyn's death. We should be extending an olive branch, winning them over as allies so that we might better progress, not imprisoning them."
theproperglove: (Default)

[personal profile] theproperglove 2016-03-12 04:55 am (UTC)(link)
Josephine is still busy maintaining her composure when Cassandra rounds on her, so she remains tight-lipped and silent in the face of Cassandra's accusations. Of course the Seeker is going to be angry, and Josephine will not invalidate her emotions. Cassandra simply did what she thought must be done, as she always does, and here they are standing around questioning her decisions.

Maker have mercy, she really is not in the proper frame of mind to be dealing with this right now. She is still gathering her thoughts, trying to think of the best way to respond to everyone's concerns, when Cassandra directs her barb about imprisonment at Leliana and then, involuntarily, she feels her fingers clench more tightly around her clipboard. How dare she. If she were in less control of her emotions she may very well have thrown it at Cassandra, but she is not a child or even a young bard any longer. She has no right to be getting into physical tussles. Not to mention that Cassandra would certainly win.

In the end, her restrained frustration and anger result in the heavy exhalation of air through her nostrils. How can she remind everyone that the issues at hand are bigger than any one of them, bigger than them all, if she allows her feelings to get in the way of her diplomacy? She takes a step forward, and then looks at each of the other advisors in turn. Her brows are furrowed in a way that might on any other person be referred to as a 'glare'.

"I understand the risk is too great to allow Galadriel to wander freely. However, the way you talk about her is as though you have already judged her guilty."

Josephine turns her gaze to Cullen before she continues speaking. "You are right, Commander, that the needs of the Inquisition outweigh the needs of any one person within it. That, however, must include us."

Then, finally, she turns to look at their Spymaster, and finds herself feeling extraordinarily bashful. There was a time when she was much younger when she admired Leliana very much, and though that has not really changed, it is still unsettling, sometimes, to look at her friend and be able to see her flaws. "What is going to happen when the rest of the Inquisition discover that the very same people that founded it no longer get along? How can we stand up to the threats we face if we cannot prevent a united front to the world? Dislike each other as much as you please on a personal level, but as it stands, if we are unable to make decisions together, we have no hope in achieving our goals. The Inquisition will rot from the inside."

She lifts her chin then, feeling the exhilarating thrill of defiance that she has not allowed herself to indulge in for so long. "I came here to help resolve the unrest that threatens Thedas. I have no desire to contribute to it."
perseverances: (17_zpsd204c8f7)

[personal profile] perseverances 2016-03-13 10:18 pm (UTC)(link)
"We are going to disagree on different matters, plain and simple. And this happens to be one of them. The Inquisition will not rot if we disagree on this matter." He doesn't mean to snap at Josephine, but it comes out harsher than he would have normally liked. She makes valid points, but everyone has at this point.

Cullen's tried to keep calm up until this point, knowing that cooler heads prevail when it comes to arguments like these. They've had long arguments in the past, trying to come up with compromises when they do not want to agree on anything. They do not have the luxury to argue, to have long conversations when things need to be done. The Inquisition needs its leaders to effectively lead.

"If she has threatened the Inquisition, she threatens all of us. That means she is guilty. Cassandra did what she thought to be right in that time, and you cannot fault her for protecting the very thing that Evelyn gave her life for."
fightingale: (pic#10010453)

[personal profile] fightingale 2016-03-16 10:35 am (UTC)(link)
That both Cullen and Cassandra turn on Josephine with those tones make her hackles raise, and Leliana finds herself stepping forward. If not for how they were spaced in the room she would move to stand between the the others and Josephine. She does not have many friends, those that remain to her are precious, and for all that she would count Cullen and Cassandra in that number, in this moment they are the threat and Josephine is the one in need of shielding.

Some habits died hard, it seemed.

"Disagree seems an understatement," she comments, a little too sharp. "You are both determined to see her guilty." As though they would like nothing better, as though the backlash from Anders and their frustration is to be taken out on a woman who, so far as Leliana had been able to tell, was not vicious, who had treated their Chant of Light with more respect than people from this world might.

And Evelyn's name has been invoked enough times in this-- this discussion that it seemed to be treated as dirt, something to be bandied about so easily, so comfortably. "The Herald," Leliana starts, crisply, barely holding back a rawness that threatens to infect her tone, "did not give her life to see freedom and justice undermined. I know Galadriel. I cannot imagine that she would make a threat against the Inquisition unprovoked, and I would know what brought such an event to pass before we condemn her."
theproperglove: (glare; be kind to me or treat me mean)

[personal profile] theproperglove 2016-03-24 12:36 pm (UTC)(link)
They are going in circles, and Josephine's head is spinning from looking at Cullen to Leliana to Cassandra. The two women still at each other's throats. It seems that despite Josephine's best efforts, this is not going to be resolved today, and she might very well have to retreat back to her office to brainstorm all the potential ramifications Cassandra's actions have caused. She takes another breath to steady herself, to swallow down the tremor that threatens to slip into her voice.

She cannot remember the last time she has been so angry. They are behaving like children. Josephine allows the initial rush of rage to surge through her before displacing it.

Her personal emotions have no place when it comes to diplomacy.

When she does speak, her voice is calm, although quieter than her usual tones. "Has everyone said their piece?"