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Failure or Fortune?

Tutlumund October 1, 2011 User blog:Tutlumund

Sirs, it is, I believe, a sign of the strange times we find ourselves in that I stand before you to report my failure. My task, as you know, was the removal of Lord Jean de Renault of Val Royeaux for failing to continue supporting out dealings in Orlais.

Traveling as a scout with a merchant's guard, I arrived in Val Royeaux unhindered and quickly made contact with my local associates, a small but skilled group of bards. They quickly gathered information on de Renault and his estate and I began making my plans.

The news of the destruction of Kirkwall's Chantry, the Champion's actions in the Gallows, and the maddened fall of Knight-Commander Meredith reached Val Royeaux before my plans could be completed. Try to imagine the reaction this news caused in the center of both Chantry and Templar power. The city fell into chaos. The Order was outraged and began calling for a campaign against the Circles, going so far as to bring nobles to the White Spire so they could "pledge their support before the Knight-Vigilant."

I saw the way things were headed and attempted to quickly finish my business. Taking advantage of the turmoil, I disguised myself as a templar initiate and waited until de Renault was brought before the Knight-Vigilant. He was part of the third group brought in but unlike so many others, he was by no means being forced. I discovered he has two sons in the Order, the elder a Knight-Captain, and both were present at his audience.

His speech was short but it taught me two things. First, his zealous faith in the purpose of the Order which runs deep enough for him to imply his ongoing support should they call for the Rite of Annulment to be carried out throughout Thedas. The second was how he used the money he gained though our dealings. He has become the dominant supplier of lyrium the the Order in Val Royeaux and had personally funded an expansion of their barracks and training facilities.

For his prior and ongoing support, the Knight-Vigilant assigned de Renault a contingent of templars to protect both he and his business. De Renault was given three days to get his affairs settled so he could lead an expedition to find new lyrium sources in the Deep Roads.

The next night, I slipped into his estate from the sewers and made my way to his study undetected, expecting de Renault to be up hastily finishing his business, but it was empty. I discovered notes from his templar sons informing him of the Order's interest in his business expansion days before he was called before the Knight-Vigilant. Having already been prepared, he had left that evening with his templar contingent and a small group of Grey Warden guides.

I set out at once to overtake them but they entered the Deep Roads before I could catch them. Even with the Darkspawn being less abundant after the Fifth Blight, I didn't dare to enter the Deep Roads alone. I returned to Kirkwall with the force of templars sent to suppress the mage uprising.

It is my belief that we now have other options regarding de Renault. Should the Coterie still wish him eliminated, I have arranged for my bard contacts to dispose of him upon his return and word from me; or, should we wish to apply some leverage and resume our dealings with him, I believe they would be willing to aid us for a small percentage. I would suggest we make use of this opportunity given the rising threat of an all-out war between the mages and templars. Given how de Renault has made himself indispensable to the Order, I wouldn't even be surprised if he had a hand in the events that led to the disappearance of the Champion. The decision is in your hands.

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