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Solas: It is an unusual thing, seeing a Qunari mage roam freely.                      

Saara: I am no longer Qunari.  I am Tal-Vashoth now.                                       

Solas: What you are is free to live your life as you will.                                       

Saara: Do not presume to tell what I am, basra.

 Solas: That word you spoke earlier.  What does it mean?                                 

Saara: It is an insult in Qunlat, used for those who are not of the Qun.  It means “thing”.

Solas: Ah.                                                                                                           

Saara: My apologies.  I did not guard myself against my anger and I spoke out of turn against you.

Solas: I took no offense.                                                                                     

Saara: I did not expect you would.  Nevertheless my apology stands.

Solas: You are not like other Qunari or Tal-Vashoth I have known, Saara.         

Saara: You have met many?                                                                               

Solas: You have no apparent interest in conversion, as many of the Qun do. Yet neither are you governed by rage, as many Tal-Vashoth are.

Saara: There is insulting simplicity in your assumptions.                                     

Solas: Is there more to the Qun than ‘insulting simplicity’?                                 

Saara: It seems you are more interested in conversion than I, bas saarebas.   

Solas: More Qunlat?                                                                                           

Saara: There is no malice in these words.  I speak only what you are.               

Solas: Do not presume to tell me what I am, Tal-Vashoth.

Solas: You are skilled in the arts of magic, Saara.  Far more so than many other mages I have met.

Saara: That is no blessing.

Solas: Why is it not?  Because the Qun has taught you thus?  Because you were indoctrinated from birth to believe you were a lesser being simply because you had magic?

Saara: Parshaara!  Enough! I will not speak of this with you.

Solas: Saara.                                                                                                     

Saara: I would wish you not speak with me.  Your words provoke only anger, and there is nothing constructive in anger.

Solas: Why not?  It proves you are an individual; it is a personal response to something in the world that is entirely your own.

Saara: You speak yet again of the Qun.  I ask that you cease, as you do not know of what you speak.

Solas:  I know exactly of what I speak.  Why do you insist on defending that which actively oppresses any who seek to live as an individual?  That from which you yourself have fled!?

Saara: The Qun has shaped me.  As your world has, you.  To deny it would be to deny myself.  I have no wish to live an illusory life.

Solas: You do not deny that it oppresses?

Saara: It is a tool.  As with any other, it can be used to harm or to help.

Saara: The words you speak have the sound of one who is cultured and well-mannered.  Yet their meaning is blunt, and your intent is to make them sharp. Why is this?

Solas: Why the sudden curiosity?  I was under the impression you did not wish to speak with me.

Saara: There is no chaos in the world, only complexity./  Knowledge of the complex is wisdom.”  You are complexity, bas saarebas.  Your knowledge of magic and the world is at odds with your emotional response to the Qun.  I would know why, if you would speak.

Solas: I cannot respect a system of society which seeks to oppress the minds of those who live under it.  The Qun seeks to tear that which is most intimate and personal – the mind – away from those who follow.  And so it comes to be that those who follow lose themselves.  There is nothing honorable or good in that.

Saara: You speak of the ones who use the Qun, not of the Qun itself.  But of them your words ring true, and I cannot disagree.  It is why I left.

Solas: You mentioned in our last discussion that you left the Qun for a reason, Saara.

Saara: The Qun I still hold with me; Par Vollen I left for a reason.  A reason that is not yours to know.  Leave it be, bas saarebas.

Solas: You are a member of Leliana’s network of agents, are you not?

Saara: I am.

Solas: Does it not make your fellows uncomfortable?  To be working so closely with a Tal-Vashoth mage?

Saara: I have my basvaarad, my keeper.  Additionally I am kept as something of a specialist.  I am allowed to operate away from most others, and so they should have no need to fear me.  Besides, I have proven my worth and loyalty to them.

Solas: And I am glad for you that you have.

Solas: Saara, I have often heard you refer to several of your comrades as ‘kadan’. I assume it is a term of endearment?

Saara: It is.  Its literal translation is ‘where the heart lies’, though it can refer to many things.  Qunlat rests upon metaphors that allow for such differences in interpretation.  As an example, I have always interpreted ‘kadan’ to mean ‘one who centers’.

Solas: Fascinating.  So it can refer to any loved one, no matter the context?

Saara: Yes.  I assume your language has similar terms?

Solas: It does.  The closest term to your ‘kadan’ would be ‘vhenan’, which means ‘heart’ or ‘home’. Although I believe it is more exclusively used in romantic scenarios than ‘kadan’ might be.

Saara: Vhenan…  It has a soft cadence, like music.  Would you teach me more of your Elven words, Solas?

Solas: I would be honored, Saara.

Saara: (speaks in halting but determined Elvish)

Solas: You are picking this up very quickly!  I admit, I’m surprised.

Saara: Many of the viddathari I knew in Par Vollen were elves. I could not ask them to teach me, so instead I listened.  It seems my observations were not useless.

Solas: Viddathari?

Saara: Converts to the Qun.  Many have come from Tevinter or Seheron to escape the slavery of the bas.

Solas: Ah.  And they spoke to you?

Saara: They spoke around me.  Saarebas do not speak and are not spoken to, unless by a superior or their arvaarad.

Solas: In that case, it was their loss.

Saara: I hadn’t thought you given to empty flattery.

Solas: Hardly empty.

Solas: Saara, would you consider teaching me some of your Qunlat?

Saara: You wish to learn?

Solas: Of course.  You sound surprised.

Saara: I did not think that anything of the Qunari would hold any value for you.

Solas: And why not?  You and I do not see eye to eye on everything, Saara—

Saara: Most things.

Solas: But that does not mean I am closed-minded.  I cannot speak to the Qun, but your language certainly holds its own beauty.  And, I admit, I’m curious about the metaphorical nature of Qunlat.  Would you indulge me?

Saara: If you are certain, then it would be my honor.

Solas: Thank you.