Mar. 3rd, 2015

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 Bull had reports long before he sent Krem out to invite the Inquisitor to meet. They told him the Inquisitor was a Dalish elf mage straight from the woods, feral and dangerous. He expected glowering, halla's and a big stick. He knew there'd be tattoos and possibly paranoia, maybe a lightening bolt or two from the back row while the Chantry warriors did all the talking and fighting. 

The elf wasn't hard to pick out in the party that came over the hill, it was either an elf or a *child*. Possibly both. There was no stick, but the bow was nearly as big as its wielder. Bull tried not to be disappointing. 

The Inquisitor's party saw the Vint's at the same time the Iron Bull's scout sent up a warning, about two heartbeats after an arrow was loosed he thought back later. The arrow hit the Inquisitor, shattered, and time seemed to slow to a crawl. There were words, words that rang clear through the space behind Bull's ears but made no sense to his brain because the Inquisitor was breathing fire. His companions didn't even bother to attack, letting the tiny body teleport right into the fray on ship, blood and fire erupting all around, swords and arrows breaking on armor made of air and light that glittered rainbows

Iron Bull adjusted his pants and decided the Chargers were fucking *cheap* if they had to be to get in the same legion as that. 

A Vint exploded with another sharp crack of untranslatable sound. Bull took in a deep breath and smelled thick ozone, wet copper and the specific pungency of violently emptied bowels. The Inquisitor looked around, glaring at the corpses like he was expecting them to put up more resistance. Like he *wanted* more, an arrow clenched tight in one hand, the other flickering with green fire. 

The Iron Bull had been hoping for an attack, a quick and simple way to show off and impress the Inquisitor into taking them in. The storm that had followed them had been promisingly dramatic for atmosphere. The skies however had suspiciously cleared less than a candle mark ago, and now the first opportunity to display their skills, was swept aside by a single elf who didn't even wait to join their ranks to begin a massacre. 

"He doesn't look comfortable on the water, does he?" Stitches asked quietly, watching as they all were, the elf casually stabbing faces the way they'd be slitting throats. Willing some blood back up to his brain, The Bull found himself nodding thoughtfully. 

"Dalish. Wagons and trails, not water."

"Let's hope he doesn't fall over then, or can swim."

"So, you're with the Inquisition. These are the Chargers. We're expensive, but we're worth it, and I think your Inquisition can afford it." The elf stared up at him, face practically carved from stone. Bull found himself a seat, so the guy didn't have to break his neck just to talk. "You've met Krem, my lieutenant." The Iron Bull tried again, gesturing to the Tevinter before sending him off to care for the men. "So you know we're good at what we do."

The elf continued watching him, flexing his clawed toes into the sand and stretching up onto the balls of his feet once. 

"Uh, you *do* speak basic..."

"How much?"

Apparently the guy just took a bit to string the words together. Alright, The Bull had worked with worse.  "Oh, nothing for you personally, your ambassador, Josephine, we'll talk with her and get it set up, the gold will take care of itself. But you won't just be getting us, you'll be getting me. You need a bodyguard. You need someone to watch your back, against Tevinters, Darkspawn, Dragons? The bigger the better. You need an ass kicked The Iron Bull is ready." 

Toes wiggled again. Bull cataloged them as a tell, and also cute, watching the guy think it over. He wore a fur cloak, thick and mottled brown with a hood currently pulled back. His clothes were all leather, raw edged and unfinished, like whoever made them couldn't be bothered to do more than pull the material off the scraping racks and cut some holes for lacings. No decorations, no dye, no clan marks on the dark copper skin. Even his hair was brown, slightly curly and shoved behind pointed ears, the same shade as the hull planks shattered along the shore actually. 

"You move together like a trained unit, impressive reputation to."

"Like I said, we're expensive, but worth it. There is one other thing though, might piss you off, ever heard of the Ben-Hassrath?" Bull didn't expect so. 

"No." The elf's voice was calm, listening, but also low and rough, almost a whisper. Bull had excellent hearing, but he made a note to watch for people who might need things repeated, firmly. Fresh out of the woods, probably on his own for years, Bull could see where the communication issues came from. Unfortunately the only thing for it would be practice, and possibly an interpreter others were too afraid *not* to hear.

"They're a Qunari sect; enforcers, rogue hunters, spies... We're spies. My people want me in close to the Inquisition, they don't like the rift any more than anyone else. I'll report back to them your progress, the work that's being done, and share the reports I get in return." Honesty might cost Bull the position, dishonesty would probably cost him his life later on when it was discovered. You didn't explode people with your voice if you were the forgiving type. 

"...Qunari." he rolled the word around, as if testing the tip of an arrow. "What would you tell them?" 

'Nothing about your failure to swim.' Iron Bull thought to himself. "Nothing that would slow you down or compromise you. They're afraid they may need to invade in order to save the world, I'll tell them you've got it in hand." 'At least until you don't, but I'm sure if anyone does, it's the guy with teeth like a shark.'

Stitches had a thing for Dalish girls, so Bull knew most of the variances. There was a sharpness, an angularity to the face and shoulders that went past Dalish. He wasn't any less easy on the eyes, but it was a different, more raw ease. Short and thin, under the layers Bull bet the guy was whipcord. Something built and bred to vanish in the dense woods, then put an arrow through your neck while you were still wondering if it was unnaturally quiet. The large eyes that watched everything were even brown, if you were an unpoetic soul. Closer to amber or dark honey, a brown that glittered with gold. The Bull set aside a few fleeting thoughts about chocolate and leather straps for later contemplation. 

"You give your letters to Josephine before you send them, and if your people decide to invade, you give me a chance to personally demonstrate why that's a bad idea. If you agree, you're mine." There was no particular inflection or emphasis on those last two lines, but The Iron Bull had commanded enough men, had taken enough lovers to their preferred limits, to feel the sheer weight behind the words. He couldn't tell, not from such a short and distant introduction, if the elf knew exactly what he was demanding, but The Bull's gut twisted enough to say that he did. His gut had been wrong before. Did he hope it was now or not?

"Whatever you say Boss. Krem! Get the men together, they can celebrate off duty, the Chargers have just been employed!"


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