Ser Aaron Hawthorne and his elven squire Vaea arrive in Kirkwall to attend the ceremony for the appointment of the new Viscount, Varric Tethras, and convey King Alistair's congratulations. Varric personally welcomes them when their ship arrives and accompanies them to their inn, the best in Hightown. Varric greets Ser Aaron as the teller of the best stories on the other side of the Waking Sea, while Ser Aaron praises Vaea's skills as a squire.
While Ser Aaron settles at the bar of the inn, Vaea goes to prepare his room. However, she quickly leaves the inn to go to The Hanged Man, where a former templar serving Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard, Ser Nevin Faramore, is waiting for her. He wishes to hire her skills as a thief to steal a box containing bribes from the Gallows. He has the key to unlock the box and proposes to split the profits with Vaea once she retrieves it.
Vaea quickly accomplishes her task, stealing the box unnoticed by the guards patrolling the Gallows. She returns to Hightown, where Varric is waiting for her. He hints that he knows she is more than an ordinary servant, and offers to escort her back to the party to check on Ser Aaron, who is telling the story of how Vaea became his squire.
Ser Aaron defended the City elves of the arling of Edgehall from Arl Gell Landon's destruction of their Vhenadahl. Gell had had their Tree cut down and burned in front of them after the elves protested their treatment by the Arl, and after a Dalish clan offered a sapling for a new tree had it confiscated. A city elf tried to steal the sapling back; the Dalish threatened to attack. Aaron forced the Arl and the Dalish to stand down and ensured the tree was returned to the Edgehall alienage. King Alistair ordered the sapling not to be touched, to protect it. The elves there threw him a feast and so impressed him with their kindness and generosity that he took Vaea on as a squire in the hopes her successes would be shared with her people.Vaea doesn't stay at the party very long. She goes back to the Hanged Man, steals the key from Ser Nevin, and gives the money to a grateful elf in the alienage. She plans to go back to the inn, wake Ser Aaron and leave as fast as possible. However, on her way back from the alienage, she is confronted by Charter, who warns her that stealing from templars is against the law, but lying to the Inquisition is worse.