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Codex entry: A Missing Slave

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Codex text

In Tevinter, a slave is invisible, even though the entire empire rests on our backs. Our hands built the walls of Minrathous and carry its wealth along the crumbling roads. Scribes like myself take dictation and write letters that shift the balance of power. My daughter, Leonora, a kitchen slave, works night and day so Magister Delphine isn't troubled by a torn robe or a cold supper.

Normally, I meet Leonora about the kitchens. But it has been days since our paths crossed. No one has seen her.

I can't help but think of the old stories that cross the slave markets like lightning, how, centuries ago, the ancients built their cities with blood magic, raising the very towers and walls with terrible rituals using our lives as fuel. Thousands of slaves were sacrificed as we were forced onto the altars of the Old Gods. Magister Delphine's perfect, marble-faced mansion likely stands on the back of a hundred voiceless elves.

But that was a different time. Andraste's words against blood magic made the practice all but forbidden and shunned. Though we may be punished, few slaves are dragged to the altar or milked of blood without at least some reprimand.

Yet Leonora is missing, and Magister Delphine seems different. She carries an aura she never had before. And rumors fly that a bitter rival has been publicly humiliated in a duel of magic. Through my grief I fear, I know, that my Leonora's life was the price.

I ache to speak as an equal with Magister Delphine, to demand answers. But such an audience would be joke to her. No one sees a slave.

—Written in secret by slave scribe Solvarin Brann, 8:65 Blessed

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