Long Way Down
Fun facts, midnight snacks
Most people that show up at the inn looking for the Warden come bearing a road-dusty traveling pack, arms and armor, and maybe a saddlebag worth of personal items and supplies. Molly rolled in with a handcart full of books, a backpack filled with a generous supply of paper, quills, and ink, and a fat black cat named Bubbles, who she handed to Carver before announcing she’d run out of food two days earlier and asking when they were having dinner.
You’ve almost never seen her when she wasn’t eating, reading, or taking notes, and usually she’s doing all three at once. Most of the time, it’s pretty impressive, like a choreographed dance of pens and turned pages and pieces of sliced ham. Once, she took a swig straight from her ink pot and spewed vibrant blue dots all over the table. She started laughing before anyone could make fun of her, and spent the next two days flashing a big blue grin at anyone who stopped to talk to her.
If you sit down next to her while she’s working – or at the same table, or the next table over – inevitably she’ll lean in your direction (not looking up from her book) and say “hey, did you know that-” and then proceed to tell you something that you didn’t know, that you probably never would have even thought to know, but that’s actually… really interesting? If Evangeline makes you go a little wide-eyed and nod-y as you struggle to follow along with what she’s saying, every tidbit Molly sends your way sounds like it came out of a book decidedly much more interesting than the one she’s probably actually reading. None of it strikes you as particularly useful information, but if you ask a prompting question, she’ll put down the book, beam at you, and tell you one of the best – or at least most energetic – stories you’ve ever heard.
All the books have stories, too – often more interesting than what’s written in them – that she’s happy to share if you ask. This one she saved from a fire, this one she lifted from a shitty tavern in Kirkwall, ooh, this one has been overdue to the University of Orlais for, like, six years now, and this one she bought from some guy she met on the Wounded Coast for a raw fish and three ounces of elfroot. By the time you’re ready to leave Antiva City, her book collection doesn’t fit in the hand cart anymore, but it’s not until you ask about it, and she answers with a wink, that you remember hearing rumors about the rash of burglaries in the noble district where absolutely nothing of value appeared to be stolen, but every single book in their libraries had been pulled off their shelves and left in neatly alphabetized piles on the floor.