To my Coterie Superiors,

Before I explain the events that transpired into my failure, let me thank you for being so open minded about the situation. If I was in the Antivan Crows, you would have abandoned me or worse, hunted me down by now. That outcome would benefit neither of us. For this chance of explaining myself, I thank you.

This assassination was like any other task I took for the Coterie. I assume this noble named Alain did something against us, so he had to be dealt with. If only it was that simple. My partner and I, like usual, bashed in on the noble's relaxing afternoon after gathering some dirt. Where he was, what the security was like, the bare minimum. Me and Old Bub preferred our missions like that, kept them interesting and fresh. You know me and Bub were the best of friends, two tits in a bosom. We always tackled contracts together. Even some of the Coterie started calling us inseparable.

Anyway, Alain's estate was just outside of Kirkwall, on the other side of Sundermount. The guards, looking like they wanted to be Orlesian Chevaliers, were poorly trained, most of them sleeping while standing up. Old Bub and I scaled the walls and broke into the mock throne room via the roof with ease. I could already tell this Alain was power hungry. The fake gold encrusting and regal trimming on just about everything spelled that out as plainly as a dwarf is short. The noble was sitting on his “throne” looking straight at us, with that smug look Orlesians have stuck on their faces. Already I was disgusted by the guy. I unsheathed my trusty dagger and sword, pointing my blade at him. “I can make this quick and painless,” I began, Old Bub walking up beside me, “Or not. You decide.”

Before he could answer, my body suddenly seized up. I couldn't move. My eyes darted around, then I finally noticed the glyph under my feet. Old Bub, grinning with his old and slightly rotten teeth, walked around in front of me. He stroked his white beard, the thing he usually did to his victims when he felt a little torturous before killing them. “It's been a good run, Nil,” Bub remarked, Alain standing up and stopping beside the elder mage. “But all good things come to an end. Even the Coterie can't stand up to this,” I barely remember him saying, gesturing to some odd looking artifact in Alain's hands.

I didn't get a good look at it. I only saw it in my peripheral, my eyes wanting to stare a dagger or two through Bub's flabby old neck. And I, Nil Andrews of the Coterie Assassins, did just that! Like diving into an all-female orgy, I broke out of the paralysis glyph, straight at him with both of my blades raised. Alain fell back in reaction, Bub whipping out his staff just in time to block my red steel. I press on him hard, my rage fueling my otherwise usually calm demeanor. Did I ever mention there's nothing I hate more than traitors?

Me and the old bastard duke it out, Bub being a lot more challenging than expected. I know he was a Force Mage and he threw me around a few times, but I knew he was holding back all these years. He let out all the stops, even paralyzing me with blood magic this time, not a glyph. He had never used blood magic. I somehow managed with my endurance and agility, Old Bub slowly chipping away at me. I knew I wouldn't last much longer.

Suddenly, doors flew open and Templars in shining armor stormed in. Unfortunately I was not a damsel in distress, so these guys coming in made a bad situation worse. Old Bub seemed as surprised as I was. He traded angry words with Alain, the noble betraying Bub now from what I gathered. I relished their words and the moment to catch my breath. The old mage shot a bolt of something at the noble, specifically the artifact he held. The Templars were then upon us.

Back to back, we fight off the surrounding Templars in a silent and brief alliance. They go down pretty fast in a wave of carnage, then half of them turn around at a light coming from Alain. An inhuman shriek comes from him, my few glances in his direction indicating he was an apostate, since he was now an abomination. Me and Bub are soon back fighting each other as the few Templars now focused on the abomination.

Running away to love another day, I jog through the mansion, but not before taunting Bub. He falls for it and pursues. The first step I took into the dining room, a crushing wave slams me down to the ground. The floor itself crumbles and I fall into darkness. Luckily, dirt on the basement floor greet me, though with a few bruises. I quickly scan the area, noticing a pile of shiny objects. To my temporary delight, I had landed not just in Alain's basement but in his treasury! I hastily grab a few jewels and stuff them in my pockets as I run further into the darkened basement, knowing Bub was dropping down right behind me.

Even in the dark I see blood bubbling from his palms, relying on his own to power his spells. He was no longer playing around. I peek my head out of the cover of a pillar and blow a raspberry. Falling for my bait once again, another gravitational grip squeeze around the pillar. I predicted this and moved onto the next pillar for cover. I nearly tripped as I repeated this process, blood floating in the air from his spells. I hear the floor above me creak from the lack of support. As I run to the final pillar, I throw an explosive, throwing Bub off rhythm. The old and traitorous mage gasps and looks up as the floor and dining room arrangements fall down on him.

Bub coughs inside his barrier spell, the arcane energy protecting him from the collapse. His pale skin is running with cold sweat, expending too much of his own blood. He disables the barrier. I reach around and grab the hairs on his chin. Bub yelps in both shock and pain at me yanking his beard up as I slit his throat. I do it slowly, as to savor the moment. After making sure enough blood has drained out to ensure his death, I frantically search through his belongings. I skim some of his notes then find the ones relating to his plans with Alain and sneaking their way into the Coterie.

I flee from the scene until I reach the foot of Sundermount, reading the notes more thoroughly. Do you remember that group of blood mages in Kirkwall that were looking to possess some Templars and destroy the Gallows from within? The Champion thwarted their plans even before he was named Champion. Guess Old Bub found the notes to those plans while snooping through Darktown. He and this Alain fella were planning on doing something similar, only with the Coterie. I don't know why you wanted to take out Alain, but I can assume this far eclipses our initial concerns with him.

Whatever this artifact was, it was definitely trouble. As evidence by your letter to me, Alain the Orlesian lived through his fight with the Templars while I fought Old Bub. Not only that, but has somehow managed to suppress his demons. Not only is he an apostate, but a strong one that is, or at least was, poised to using us to his own ends. With this letter is Bub's lucky qunari horn that he would let no one but himself touch, the notes and letters between him and Alain and a few precious jewels. I hope the latter compensates for the lost time I have caused for us, the Coterie.

And that my merciful superiors is the story. Old Bub not only betrayed us but wanted to destroy our very organization from the inside. Alain still has the Tevinter artifact and can be a threat with it to anyone, especially us. Please accept the jewels I helped myself to as part of my apology, the other part doing any contracts without payment to my person. I would also love to track Alain down again and kill him myself. It's like leaving love making halfway through, I just can't bare to have it... unfinished.

If you wish to contact me, I'll be in my usual hole in Darktown, the one with the secret entrance into the Blooming Rose. I await my next assignment... And if you would so kindly come in through the Darktown entrance instead of the Blooming Rose one this time... Well, if you feel like teasing me with the thought of a lovely lady visiting me on her own, then go ahead.

Your loyal assassin,

Nil Andrews

[Along with the letter is a sack of items. The contents include a curved qunari horn, a few papers and some jewels, easily worth a few sovereigns.]