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Whispers on the Wind: Justicar Flats

Clues point to Justicar Flats, a level field that has seen a number of battles as well as a fair number of trials, as a place of importance to the Butcher of Graybriar. Adventurers gather to investigate and see if they can recover one of the artifacts that bind the wraith to this world.

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Continuation of the Whispers on the Wind plot.

Date

Jan. 1, 2020, 5 p.m.

Hosted By

Reigna

GM'd By

Reigna

Participants

Cyril Merek Raymesin Dianna Marzio Ringvald Amund Miranda Thea Fairen Domonico

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Crownlands near Arx - The Field

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Merek gets a solid gold ring made in the likeness of Dragon from a backpack, made of black leather.

There have been a few reports of odd behavior and others have been examined by the Physicians who have been informed of the proper way to excise the haunted splinters of stygian that infect the hosts. Over the last few weeks, there have been a few other deaths, mysterious in origin that seem to follow the motivations of the Butcher of Graybriar, proving that while he has been weakened, he is still active, still moving towards his goals.

There are still three additional locations yet to be scouted: Justicar Flats, the Knight's Rest Inn, and the Stone Gallery. This group has gathered and set off for the Justicar Flats, a wide plain north of Arx, the sight of multiple battles and several large-scale executions. The fields are qquite flat, and even in the summer, the grass is somewhat sparse. Along the west side of the field, an ancient statue of the Sentinel, intentionally vague of feature and made more so by the passage of years and exposure to elements. As the group arrives at the field, they are greeted by a sickly wind, cold despite the heat of the sun.

Merek checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

Cyril could have sworn he had seen this very same imagery hanging off a wall in a painting before. Starring off into the distance he unbuttons his coat, reaching for a small journal to scribe into. Opening the journal, a crude pencil slips down to his hand. Pulling his gaze down to write.

Here at the beseech of a client's 2nd cousin, he met up with an expedition heading to the field. The ride here, he took on carriage and mostly kept to himself. Polite where politeness required it but otherwise, he is a quiet man with a journal.

Merek settles upon the war horse which he brought with him, Beauty is a nice gal, she pokes at everyone with her nose. He has on his black attire with the crimson scarf which he wears, shifting about while he moves along upon the horse, the weave covering his features a bit. He has a longsword in the back sheath he wears, while his thick stubble hasn't been trimmed really since he first came in with the team. He looks around a bit, while he takes a moment to take his book from the pack, then he places that back. He opens up a little vial which he drinks from also.

Raymesin isn't much of a horseman, but then what he's riding isn't much of a horse. It's big enough to take the overtall Harlequin, but it's a placid beast and has been quite happy to follow along with the rest of the group and occasionally pull up a mouthful of the verge to chew on. Raymesin himself is clad in almost all black, from his helm to his boots, and the skull pin proclaiming him a Harlequin is at the throat of the deep blue fur cloak he sports. He carries no swords, but the hilts of the daggers at his belt are well-worn, and he's looking around as they move.

Riding atop a steed borrowed from the Faith, Sister Dianna Godsworn manages fairly well, frowns as the group makes their way to Justicar Flats. She wears her borrowed leathers and a large, orange backpack, filled with various items - a borrowed lantern with Lagoma's Flame, thirteen bottles of holy water, two bottles of liquor, a vial of oil for meditation, the cat's head and spear from previous ventures, journals and a children's book, as well as the diamondplate glaive, upon her back, that Brother Felix Meadson gave her upon being Godsworn. "I'm not comfortable with the way this feels," she mentions aside to Thea, beside whom she rides. "This... this wind. It's worse than the lack of winds on the plateau, the first time," Dianna glances to Amund, "Wouldn't you say?"

She doesn't know some of those who accompany them this time, but she is glad to have her cousin, Marzio, and his new wife, Miranda, nearby - even if she keeps primarily to herself and to the others.

The ride north from Arx had been one taken in mostly silence on Marzio?s end. Riding his stallion alongside that of Miranda, the Mazetti General had donned his armor and taken up his weapon upon learning that his wife was soon to head back out in an effort to thwart this particular enemy. Marzio doesn?t know many within this particular group, but neither does he seek to introduce himself to anyone. Rather, he simply rides and keeps a close eye on the horizon until they reach their destination.

Dianna puts stygian cat skull phylactery in an orange backpack with two pockets.

Dianna puts the Butcher's stone in an orange backpack with two pockets.

Ringvald has a keen eye scanning this new environment, swaying on a common brown horse almost uncomfortably, certainly not used to the act but able enough to turn it, usually. Maybe. He was decked in hides as per usual, his thick fur cloak which had been a detriment in the city proved useful here, draped over broad shoulders decked with steel pauldrons, the only trace of armor on his lengthy form. He reaches up, stroking his dark hold beard as his dark blue eyes narrow in thought. He had been mostly quiet on this trip, once he had tried to write notes of his own, but quickly became uncomfortable riding without the support of his hands. "These are cold winds, yes," He interjects as Dianna speaks. "But up north it stings like needles against your skin. It is quite odd, but manageable."

"It's not a good wind. It is a cold breeze in the summer heat, this makes no sense, not this far from the sea." Amund remarks to Dianna as he glances about, hand resting against Moonlight's hilt as they get closer to the statue of the Sentinel. "Let's find what we came for, consecrate this land and leave. I don't like this."

For those who don't know, Miranda is a fairly quiet companion on her horse, keeping an eye out for trouble for the ever increasing size of their company. She seems to get distracted easily, for those who don't know her well, as her gaze drifts off into space, a faraway look that seems to come and go. She does talk when spoken to as she's not trying to be extremely quiet, she just is. Marzio and Thea get most of her attention. She's warm and friendly, good natured and humored.

Upon arriving on the Flats, however, her expression shifts a bit. More serious and a bit.. distracted again. She makes a face at the sickly wind and mutters, "Here we go." She then exhales, breathing through her mouth primarily. A hand moves a bit to her stomach a moment, over the diamondplate vest that's been recently repaired - thankfully! Then, she clears her throat and offers, loud enough for the party to hear, "The statue and.." She gestures to the area around the statue. ".. it's glowing blue." Said almost as if expected.

Riding comfortably alongside Dianna, Thea looks quickly back on Miranda. Yes, family stays close no matter their last name now. Thea is wearing better leather this time around, easy to move around in. She looks about, eyeing her medical satchel and her blade as well as she listens to the others quietly.

Merek checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 29 higher.

Slowly cantering on his steady, if placid, stallion, Fairen is dressed as warmly as he ought to be, but is he is not armed nor armored. The erudite Scholar is here to observe the phenomena that Sina told him about - and help gather information. Likely he'll hear from his wife later about the importance of armor. A pack of books and parchment has been secured on his mount. The Marquis peers through his glasses at the statue with a vague unease. "Yes. Let's go examine the statue." He remains close to Thea, as he knows the Malvici can stitch your face back on if necessary.

Cyril closes the journal, pinning the pencil inside as the others gathered around and spoke. Regarding them with a soft glance, he grimaces and nods with agreement at the eeriness of the place, "Places like this do. Thinnest points are what you call them." Cyril says, the first time his voice made a sound. He follows the others, walking with his cane now that his journal was put away inside his coat.

"No, it's not that," Dianna frowns, a worried look upon her face as she surveys the scene, in reply to Ringvald. "It's not the cold - though I don't like that much more than this. This, though... there's a familiar quality to it. Ugly, awful. Troubling, Lord Ringvald." Dianna nods to Amund, "Unnatural, as you say. Do you see anything, Sir Amund?"

Merek seems to content in that ride, not as bothered by the feeling like the others. But it's like an old friend, all he knows is the dark fight. He sings to himself, "I await thee, at the guide's light," he taps his fingers along the horse while he watches forward a bit.

Dianna takes stygian cat skull phylactery from an orange backpack with two pockets.

Dianna puts stygian cat skull phylactery in a pitch-black leather belt with stylized tooling.

Ringvald looks up at the mention that the statue is glowing, eyeing it with some intensity, curiosity, and overall wonder. Rarely had he been truly subjected to anything beyond the natural laws of the world. He opens his mouth as if he was going to say something, then shuts it again, thinking carefully. "If something gives you a feeling like that, you should trust it fully. Our bodies often know more than our minds, I don't know why a statue would glow."

Raymesin's right hand moves to touch the skull pin at his throat, then lowers to take up the reins again. "Lady bless and keep this place," the Lowers man murmurs, before dismounting with a thud. Apparently this is a good time to start leading his horse rather than riding it, just in case. Glowing statues are never a great start.

Dianna glances back to Miranda and nods, the deep frown on her features briefly leaving in exchange for a gentle smile, "I'm glad you're with us again." She turns her gaze to the statue and hesitates to dismount, first riding around it. Once bitten, twice shy - and this priestess didn't like the bites, that first go 'round.

Miranda looks over to Ringvald, "It's not a feeling, my Lord. It is truth. It is glowing a faint blue. It's the same as the island, the townhouse, the items I've seen and helped destroy. It's the Butcher's stamp, if you will." She draws in a breath, "And he dislikes it when we disturb his shrines that he has so meticulously desecrated." A smile to Dianna, "Me too. If we're lucky, I will only get tossed about a bit today and not dropped, hmm?"

"I see nothing." Amund states to Dianna as he draws his blade, making his way straight away to that statue, caution be damned, for now.

There is a steady drone, an insectoid buzz, but given the time of year it's not unexpected. Atill, it is one of the only things to break the gloomy silence of this place. Along the edges of the field are the remains of memorial plaques, broken statuary, markers to honor the dead that have fallen so far to disrepair as to be illegible. That droning is getting louder the closer they get to the statue. The precise location of the hives is not immediately discernable, however. The wind pools and eddies, seeming to creep like thick fog, despite the heat of the sun.

Marzio's gaze shifts to Dianna as the Godsworn woman offers her smile to Miranda, his eyes regarding her curiously for a moment before his eyes shift around to regard the statue that seems to be the focus at present. Considering for a moment, Marzio finally reaches back to pull the spear from his back.

"Good gods," Dianna smirks at Miranda. "Let's see if we can avoid his wrath, this go 'round. I dislike poppy milk /intensely/."

That familiar insectoid buzz comes again and Dianna reigns in her steed, drawing it away from the stone, "Oh /shit/. Move away, quickly. He's back, he's here. Gods above, they're back."

Marzio wields Stride's End, an alaricite spear.

Domonico moves up next to Miranda from his rearguard position to say clearly to Ringvald, "Listen to Miranda my friend regarding this case. She..." he trails off as he looks up at the sound of the droning, hand dropping to Warspite's hilt.

Sliding down from his horse carefully, Fairen adjusts his spectacles and takes a good look around. "Look at how smooth the ground is here. That's not normal, now is it?" He makes his way around, here and there, inspecting memorials and plaques worn away by time. Squatting down by a nearly effaced statue that has been partially crumbled away, the Marquis traces a fingertip along a circular symbol carved into the stone. "Curious, this. Does this look familiar to anyone?" The droning noise and the warning from Dianna, though, has him quickly scrambling over near Thea. "Lady Thea, always a pleasure."

Miranda wields Kindling, an alaricite curved sword.

Merek picks up a medium sized spear which he places upon the back along with his longsword while he takes a moment to maneuver from the horse, then he looks to the statue with consideration. He inhales, then he draws the spear while he spins the weapon, settling in to examine the statue, a gloved hand flipping a coin about along his fingers.

Merek gets Black Spear from a backpack, made of black leather.

Merek wields Black Spear.

Cyril pauses at a grave, peering down at them. His justicars idle worriedly, gazing forward at the group as Cyril delays for a moment and then continues on towards the glowing statues. The buzzing raises Cyril's eyes as he steps back, looking around.

When the others start drawing weapons, so too does Raymesin, pulling one of the blades he wears at his belt. He drops his horse's reins about something handy and pulls the other blade as well, moving up to join the fighters. Two daggers aren't a knightly way to go about things, but that's what the Harlequin has - one black with a blood-red edge, and one with the opalescent gleam of Alaricite.

Raymesin wields the bat's sting.

Miranda grins at Domonico, then looks to her husband a moment. Marzio is already pulling out his spear and she? She pulls out her alaricite sword and looks about a moment. Her gaze drifts to the statue, then above as well as around. Her eyes lose that focus again, concentration seems obvious on her face this time. She does whisper a moment towards Marzio, a gloved hand gripping the reigns of her horse.

Thea's hand is already on the Holt of her kopis,"Hello Marquis Fairen,"briefly amused. However she becomes ready as ready as the others.

Thea wields Skystrike, the finely crafted diamondplate kopis.

Did Dianna bring a scarf this time? You bet she did - one of her assistant's silk scarves with the tinkling brass medallions, which she withdraws from her backpack and wraps around her face such that only her eyes are visible from the turquoise silk. Miranda may recognize the silk as some that Dianna bought at the island where they last encountered the butcher, so fine and soft is it.

"Who's an archer, here? Is anyone an archer? I wonder if we can do this trick again..." Dianna glances around to the group and slips off of her horse, withdrawing the lantern with Lagoma's flame from the side of her horse. "We've encountered these before; put a wrap around your face, cover all your skin - and, please, be careful. It's not at all fun being stung by these tiny things."

With a sigh of someone who has experienced the unpleasant attack of these swarms on the flesh, Amund reaches into his bag for a vial of especially flammable oil. He pours it down the blade of his weapon before reaching for someone else's torch with the point of the blade, lighting it, pulling his scarf over the lower half of his face.

Reigna GM Roll checked mana(6) + intimidation(4) at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.

Merek checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 13 lower.

Cyril checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 3 lower.

Miranda checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 11 lower.

Raymesin checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

Dianna checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 15 lower.

Raymesin moves with alacrity when Dianna mentions covering the face; the black dagger gets sheathed again, and he pulls the blue sash from his waist to wrap about his head and neck. Everything else, fortunately, is already covered.

Ringvald checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 15 lower.

Miranda gets a thin linen bandana from A useful wide bag with gold trim and an amethyst clasp.

Domonico checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 6 higher.

When the first adventurer steps within fifteen or so feet of the statue, the droning buzz grows louder still, as the skies above darken. It is not sunset or twilight, the darkness is too swift for that, plus it's not time yet. This darkening is similar to a cloud passing overhead, and in a sense, that is what is happening. It's just not water vapor. It's insects. Great coils spiral out from behind the statue, clouding the sky as they rise to blot out the sun. The insects are not swarming to attack but the display they are putting on is especially ominious. As those tendril-lines of insects spiral ourward in weaving, dance-like motions, it seems as though their countless black, chitinous bodies will consume the whole of the sky, turning the bright summer's day into a horrifying night.

Thea checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 9 lower.

Marzio checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 3 higher.

Ringvald turns his head Domonico comes beside him to speak, at the moment silent still as he assesses the droning as well as the reactions of those getting ready to fight. Despite his stature, this man was not a fighter at all, though his face remains currently in its same indifferent state. "I see." He says simply, rather awkwardly dismounting his horse. He raises his head to look up at the statue, placing his hand on the dagger on his hip and starting to slowly pull it out, holding it to his side in a reverse-grip. "I'm not a warrior by any means, though I hope the historical findings are worth it." He mutters, staring up even as the dagger in his hand shakes, betraying the bodily feelings behind his actions. He reaches back, slowly lifting his hood up over his head.

Amund checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 11 lower.

Merek checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 4 lower.

Fairen checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 8 lower.

Miranda nods to Marzio at his reply to her. The noise of the bugs draws a shudder to her and she can't help but seem... unnerved by the buggy noise! A reminder, perhaps?

Thea twitches at the sound of the buzzing. Seriously, she looks over at her brother as her eyebrow lifts and mumbles,"That reminds me of that one time..."

"Daggers, weapons won't work with these bees; they're too small, too many, too fast. Unless... Amund, how much oil do you have? If there's enough, pass it 'round; we'll light it up. I. Gods... give me strength. I hate these bugs," Dianna murmurs after checking the group.

Marzio's eyes go upward at that buzzing sound, his brown furrowing beneath his diamondplate helm as he stares upward at what is causing this sudden darkening. Bringing his eyes back to the group, he notes how Miranda has stalled slightly and clears his throat before saying firmly to her and any nearby them, "Courage."

Merek checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 55, rolling 4 lower.

Domonico hmmms as he looks up at the threatening display of the insects, coolly appraising them. "Well... They seem to have outnumbered right now." A beat, "Rather than just try to burn them...start setting fires. The more smoke the better to disrupt them!"

Bugs. Cursed bugs. Cyril left the Mourning Lands, primarily to leave them behind and yet here they were being harrassed by them. He shouts over his shoulder to his men, reaching into his coat for a scarf to cover his face, "Cover yourself!"

20 inflicted and Merek is harmed for moderate damage.

"No, I only brought enough for myself." Amund replies, drawing in a deep breath as he spots that cloud of insects, a shiver running down his spine as he tries, but fails, to muster the mental reserve. Nevertheless, he narrows his gaze, readying his blade as he steps towards the cloud while whirling the sword. Not quite approaching, nor losing his ground. Simply trying to gain as much as he can.

Whirling it OVERHEAD that is.

Raymesin looks up at the spirals of insects, then looks around. His sash apparently makes quite a good veil, but it does lead to the slightly-bizarre spectacle of a ridge of black enamel poking out of a swathe of seasilk. He doesn't relinquish his grip on the knife. "You lot start torchin' stuff, I'll make sure nothin' nastier jumps us," he says, the Lowers accent strong.

Amund checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 36 higher.

Merek checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

Perhaps Marzio's words bolster Dianna too, for she kneels after patting the horse away and clears a space, setting the lantern with Lagoma's flame on it - and begins to pray aloud. "Lagoma, goddess, bless us, please - let these fires burn bright and give us all strength to do what we must, to burn these horrid bees..." The godsworn priestess grasps the lantern and lifts it over her head, "And give us light, burn your flame bright; Mangata, I beseech thee: Push this flame into these corrupted bees and burn them, take from them their corrupted life." Dianna continues praying, beseeching Mangata and Lagoma, focusing only on this task while others do as they will.

Miranda can be forgiven a bit of fear at the Butcher's antics, for those who know what she's endured. Still, her husband's single word causes her to nod. She might be watching the bugs with a good deal of trepidation, but she's no less determined. She looks to her husband, "Fighting upon horseback is your wheelhouse, my lord. I'm going aground." With that, she slides off her horse to walk and move more freely, leaving the steed to fend for itself for now. She steps away from the horses to turn her blade, warming her wrist, just in case.

Merek snaps his spear back in place while he looks to the display. His features covered, it is difficult to see any emotion besides his rage while he unsheaths his longsword to swing into the bugs. Then a few of them swarm him, while he backs up from the cuts that they bring to him. He moves back a little bit slowly while he does manage to hit a few of them. He watches, seeming to wait and look for something in it all.

10 inflicted and Amund is harmed for minor damage.

Merek checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.

Cyril remains back, observing in horror as they are overwhelmed. He raises his arms to protect his face after wrapping it under the scarf. With the others moving to fight, he presses forward and yells, "Do we destroy the statue?!"

Miranda checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.

Dianna checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 9 higher.

Marzio checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 14 higher.

Cyril checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 7 higher.

Fairen checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 13 higher.

Domonico checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 16 higher.

Amund checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 5 higher.

Thea checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 36 higher.

Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(6) at difficulty 10, rolling 38 higher.

Ringvald checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 9 higher.

Ringvald goes mostly on the defensive, not having oil to work with to assist leaves the dagger mostly useless. Instead, he covers his mouth with his free arm, covering himself in his cloak to leave only his armored arm exposed so openly as he dashes to the side, not wanting to bring those coming his way to others.

The swarm descends on him and Amund's sword whirls about -- the blade itself does nothing, but the heat and the fire brings down hundreds of insects as they char and die, crushed beneath his boots. But it marks him as a target as he defends himself, further killing more and more of those bugs, the smell of burned chitin and the buzz of the insects as they get past his guard and sting him not quite matched for the hiss of pain that he lets out, his strikes moving slower, in a more labored fashion. It's hard.

Raymesin checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 11 higher.

When that swarm of hideous insects appear and start to swirl about in the air, Fairen stares at them with fascination. A hand reaches for his journal to make notes in - but common sense and the will to survive kicks in. After greeting Thea, the Marquis ducks beneath his horse and wraps his cloak about himself as best as he is able, but his face is left intact. Quietly, he focuses his vision intently off to the side, whispering under his breath.

50 inflicted and Merek is unharmed.

50 inflicted and Amund is unharmed.

The bees continue their posturing, though several sections seem to break down from their main groups, forming mini-swarms, one each on those that have attacked them. However, given their armor and their primary coating of bees, the new ones don't make any progress through their armor. They are, however, starting to weigh down the two fighters. Each one weighing no more than a sigh, but there are hundreds, no, thousands of them gathering on Merek and Amund now.

Thea checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 25, rolling 18 higher.

Thea begins rummaging through her medical satchel, taking a few herbs. With skilled precision, she starts to--do something. Ha! You watch this!

Domonico checked command + war at difficulty 25, rolling 30 higher.

Domonico moves back a little, shifting his focus into that of a tactician, watching the movements of the Swarm and of the other combatants, calling out positions, warnings and orders to the others, keeping an eye on the overall situation so that others can take to their tasks easier.

Marzio offers a sharp nod of his head toward Miranda as she dismounts and makes to ready her blade. "Stay safe... Call if you get in a bind and I will attempt to make it back to you if at all possible," he says to her. As the others begin to attack the bees, Marzio's gaze narrows on the statue, or rather somewhere behind it. Kicking his heels into his horse's side, Marzio's horse gives a whinny and rears before galloping toward the statue and then around behind it. Once behind the statue, Marzio surveys the field quickly, considering what he has found before quickly slinging his spear back across his back and diving into his saddlebag.

Miranda checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 12 higher.

Cyril's gaze meet Marzio as he dashes across the field towards the statue, cursing at the distance and unable to help. Shouting to his men, he rallies them to retreat back to the carriage as with it, they could ride closer to the statue and help the Velenosian lord.

Remaining beneath his valiant steed, Fairen keeps his cloak wrapped around him. He takes a more meditative pose, sitting upon the ground and closing his eyes, whispering quietly into the air. In this state, he's clearly trusting that something will keep him from being stung to death, perhaps his horse or one of the warrior types.

10 inflicted and Miranda is harmed for minor damage.

A simple nod is given to Marzio before Miranda is running to the fallen and swarmed men. She pulls out her flask of holy water to pour, spray over the men, causing the holy water to sizzle over the bees as they drop off like rocks. Then, the vial is tucked away and her sword is sheathed.. What? Yes. Sheathed. Both hands come up to her throat to unclasp her cloak and it is swung off. Then she uses it to twirl and swing at the swarms to distract them from the men and keep them away from herself. Sort of like you'd expect of a matador, if such exist in Arx. Needless to say, while not the most precise, fascinating display, it's kind of impressive that the former Sword of Gemecitta has, apparently, OTHER skills to fall upon in a fight! Bees are flung from the men as her cloak flicks them away. "Sir Amund! Sir Merek! Get to your feet if you can!" she calls out while her cloak twirls through the air. It's like a fancy, shmancy dance and Dom's shouts of where the bees are, helps her move, feet gliding over the ground as she spins about. Of course, this has the adverse effect of a section of the swarm coming at her and surrounding her.

Merek checked strength + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.

Dianna checked mana + theology at difficulty 30, rolling 24 higher.

25 inflicted and Merek is harmed for moderate damage.

15 inflicted and Miranda is harmed for moderate damage.

15 inflicted and Amund is harmed for moderate damage.

Raymesin checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

5 inflicted and Raymesin is harmed for minor damage.

Merek was standing, and when Miranda moves through he looks to her, "I need to have the swarm next to me," he says, while he maneuvers back into the fray with the bugs. He then takes two vials from his pack while he's sliced into by them coming to him. He then lifts up both of them while he breaks them with gloved hands that spreads an oily liquid all through the midst of the middle of the swarm. It's clear to anyone watching that it's an alchemic mixture. Though because of that he's amidst a sea of them.

5 inflicted and Merek is harmed for minor damage.

Raymesin apparently had the same idea as Miranda, but it takes him a few more moments to get his cloak off and in a usable position. But when he does - well, it's a very big cloak, as befits a very tall Harlequin. It's rare for Raymesin to be cloak rather than dagger, but he seems capable enough with his cape, using the air currents it generates to knock the fuzzy flying foes a-fumble - and bring the edges of whatever Merek's using onto himself in the process.

Dianna takes Third Wall, an aged cask of Ostrian cherry brandy from an orange backpack with two pockets.

The former-Mazetti priestess has been bringing with her, on these past adventures, a half-cask of Ostrian brandy in her backpack, as it is her favorite. Tears streaming down her cheeks as she beseeches, Dianna withdraws the cask from her backpack. "Mangata, I beseech thee: This is my own, a cask of the finest Ostrian brandy from the home I love, where I was raised - the last I own of it, given by my only sister - and I return it to thee; I give it, willingly, to thee and to Lagoma, that you may take this holy fire that I alight with it, and carry it to those foul creatures that would harm us, that would halt our holy task. Lagoma, hold this holy flame steady, for I give to you myself: My life is yours; my wounds are yours - as you know my pain, my joy in this great change. I am Godsworn; I am yours - and with my life, I would protect not only the family of my birth, but those here with me and all humanity - and every god of the Thirteen. I beseech thee, Lagoma: Hold this fire steady and burn down these foul bees." With those words spoken, Dianna takes the spear end of her glaive, pierces the wooden cask, and - ripping from her scarf a thick shred of silk, stuffs it within, soaking it, then lights it with Lagoma's Flame. She stands, all other actions on this plane deeply distant from the priestess' mind, and hurls the lighted cask into the storm of bees, watching to see what - if any - effect her beseeching has on them.

Huddled beneath his horse, Fairen's intense concentration seems to bear some kind of fruit. His body suddenly jerks and rises from beneath the steed, a sharp laugh splitting the air. The Marquis' fingers stretch out towards the evil bees above, cloak dramatically flapping behind him. Eyes wide with maniacal glee behind his glasses, lips part to release an icy, dreadful cackle."WELCOME TO THE END, MY FEEBLE FRIENDS!"

Ringvald checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

10 inflicted and Ringvald is unharmed.

10 inflicted and Ringvald is harmed for moderate damage.

Cyril's gaze meets Marzio as he dashes across the field towards the statue, cursing at the distance and unable to help. Shouting to his men, he rallies them to retreat back to the carriage as with it, they could ride closer to the statue and help the Velenosian lord. As best as a crippled man with a cane could, he hurries back to his carriage.

Amund checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 49 higher.

Ringvald quickly assesses the situation, and sets off in somewhat of a sprint towards the light that Dianna had, unclasping the cloak on his shoulders as he moves like those before him. He pulls the cloak over the fire, setting the furs alight in a roaring blaze from the drying out of tanning it's hide. The flame spreads quickly as he turns, sending bright light across a determined face as he turns and pushes forward in front of the warriors, tackling as much of the swarm in this flaming net as he can and tossing it away to trap them beneath, his hands red and already blistering, his jaw clenched, but the cold wind a welcomed mercy for the moment.

It is a tough situation, to be set upon by thousands and thousands of bugs, weighing you down, making your movements almost impossible, until he finally manages to spot something that makes him rush into action.

Amund spots Dianna throwing that cask of brandy, and, with a nod to her, he goes into a running start, slicing up as it reaches its apogee to light it aflame and spread it on the bugs as they start buzzing and falling to the ground; for his part, to avoid getting caught in it, the knight drops down and slides past before going into a roll away from the quickly spreading bonfire that he just started, the fire on his sword subsided as it is suffocated by the dirt of the ground before the knight rises to his feet to watch the handiwork.

And, to be clear, it is a giant roaring inferno of clumps of bugs falling on the ground.

The cask thrown straight into the air where the bulk of the swarm still hovers angrily, ready to strike at something, suddenly holds, caught by a sudden gust of air and hovers, burning like a ball of fire. Suddenly, Amund's blade strikes the barrel and the cask EXPLODES with a resounding BOOM! Fire spreads across the swarm and charred bugs drop across the field, raining with a stench of charred flesh. Dianna falls to her knees, praises muffled by the sound of falling bugs.

There is chaos. Chaos and FIRE. And a very strangely acting Marquis. The bees are being annihilated, between multiple sources of fire -- notably the burning cask of flaming death, not to mention Lord Ringvald's unexpected flaming cloak run. Merek is in the center of the storm of bees, spraying vials of stinging irritatnt on the insects and unintentionally splashing his fellows at the same time. Contact with the liquid makes for burning splotches to break out on the skin the itch harsh enough to be painful. Hopefully none got into anyone's eyes. The bees are beside themselves, their pretty helix swirls are obliterated, and the droning buzz is thinner now. They fly up into the sky, trying to get out of reach of the poison and flames, though, as Fairen emerges from under his horse, they all shift into neat sections, coming to attention in front of him -- even if that means some burn and die. They are all clearly awaiting some sort of command from the Leary Lord.

Stretching out his arms with a dramatic flourish, fingers curl and a sneer of cold contempt twists Fairen's lips, his eyes glinting cruelly behind the lenses of his spectacles. "Go, my little servants! Sting them, rip them to shreds! Kill them all for daring to challenge me! They will all die with the name of the Butcher on their useless mortal lips!" The voice that howls out of the Marquis sounds utterly mad and thoroughly evil, as one would expect if one could command evil bees.

Still back behind the statue, Marzio pulls up from his saddlebag with torch in hand. Late to the fire party perhaps, he nonetheless strikes the end of the torch, resulting in a dazzling blaze in the dim light as he nudge his horse forward toward the back of the statue where he had discovered the hives of the corrupted bees. Do corrupted bees have corrupted Queens?

Thea has started mixing her herbs and a fire forms, emitting a calming smoke. But uh...Fairen has gone buzz shit crazy. Or rather...The Butcher took him over. Thea thinks anyway. "Marquis Fairen didnt worship things he shouldn't, right?"blowing the smoke from her flames.

Still back behind the statue, Marzio pulls up from his saddlebag with torch in hand. Late to the fire party perhaps, he nonetheless strikes the end of the torch, resulting in a dazzling blaze in the dim light as he nudge his horse forward toward the back of the statue where he had discovered the hives of the corrupted bees. Do corrupted bees have corrupted Queens? Who knows, but Marzio plunges his torch into the hive as deep as he can and then gallops his horse away.

The godsworn priestess' eyes narrow on Fairen - she's met The Butcher twice now, the last time having taken someone else's form. She rises, lifting a finger to point directly at Fairen. "I know you," she lowly speaks. "I know you, Baron Ruthas of Glenbriar - Let this man go, before I take you once again, straight from his body, and bind you to a horse."

"That's not about worship," Amund coughs, wheezes a little, as he looks at Fairen. "Throw holy water at him. I'm rather tired of that Butcher prancing around, gloating and causing trouble while he's losing the fight."

Raymesin turns to gape at the fire and the fury unleashed by Dianna and Amund, ducking almost reflexively; that lets him duck into... whatever it is that Merek's been using. Even through the seasilk, that stuff isn't friendly. And then his attention gets drawn over to Fairen's maniacal howling. "Oh, bollocking buggering /arse/."

Now that the bees are down and things are... well.. She's ducked and dove out of the way of the flames, dead bees, and other things going splat! And there's the Marquis, cackling at them. Oh, Fairen. Miranda turns to look at him and frowns, her expression turning serious and sad both. She frowns, and pulls her sword free and slips it into a flame, "Lagoma, Goddess, hear my plea. Bless my sword with your Fire." She pulls that vial of holy water out, dribbling what's left of it onto her sword. "Mangata! Goddess! Bless my sword with your cleaning waters!" Her voice holds firm as she pleads to the Goddesses. "Goddesses! Bless my sword that it might find what we need to thrust this absurd man out of the good Marquis!"

Miranda focuses, then, on the Marquis/Butcher.

The bees rise and begin swirling, assuming an attack posture once more before they boil out of their large swarm in an attempt to attack everyone. The Master said everyone. So... everyone is getting stung!

5 inflicted and Miranda is harmed for minor damage.

5 inflicted and Marzio is harmed for minor damage.

5 inflicted and Thea is harmed for minor damage.

5 inflicted and Domonico is harmed for minor damage.

5 inflicted and Merek is harmed for minor damage.

5 inflicted and Dianna is harmed for minor damage.

5 inflicted and Ringvald is harmed for minor damage.

5 inflicted and Amund is harmed for minor damage.

The bees TRY to get to Cyril, but he's in his carriage.

5 inflicted and Raymesin is harmed for minor damage.

Miranda mostly uses her cloak, once more upon her person to protect herself from the bees. A bandana protects her face, but those little buggers (pun intended) get into crevices and stuff. Her eyes lose focus and she stares at Fairen, "We need salt!" But she'll do it the way she can. "Domonico! Amund! Get him on the ground! I can see where the stygian is!"

Merek looks to those that are hit by the poison, even himself. From the look on his face he didn't mean for it to hit people, fortunately it is mostly caith nettle and irritant. Then Fairen speaks, and he looks to him with a blink at the Leary Lord in thought. He stalks then to the man while he makes sure his gloved hands are patted upon his waist. He was covered in a lot more than most. He then lifts up onto his horse, takes a moment to pick up his axe, then he begins to charge into the statue with axe and hands.

Domonico checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.

Merek puts Black Spear in a backpack, made of black leather.

"Miranda, NO!" Dianna cries out, noticing her intent. Swiftly, the priestess reaches into her pack, withdrawing a violently-sharded mirrormask, which she suddenly adorns; she grabs a dark vial and runs through the swarm that's left, making her way as fast as she can to Fairen.

"Miranda, NO!" Dianna cries out, noticing her intent. Swiftly, the priestess reaches into her pack, withdrawing a violently-sharded mirrormask, which she suddenly adorns; she grabs a dark vial and runs through the swarm that's left, making her way as fast as she can to Fairen.

Reigna GM Roll checked strength(3) + brawl(2) at difficulty 20, rolling 14 higher.

Dianna takes a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian from an orange backpack with two pockets.

Someone wearing a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian puts Third Wall, an aged cask of Ostrian cherry brandy in an orange backpack with two pockets.

Amund checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 18 higher.

Amund checked strength + brawl at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Miranda checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.

Merek checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.

Someone wearing a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 4 lower.

Domonico has been holding back in his position where he had been calling out orders and positions and so he was in a position behind Fairen. The Malvici explodes into movement and runs rapidly at the Marquis, his powerful limbs pumping to propel him through the insects towards Fairen and launching himself to take the crazy one down.

The sound of Dianna calling out Miranda's name in such a fashion certainly gathers Marzio's attention. The Mazetti Lord comes round from behind the statue where he had just set fire to the hives, eyes staring through the holes in his helmet to survey the field. Snapping his reigns, he drives his horse through the bees, ignoring their stings as best he can as he drives his horse toward Fairen.

Thea checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 6 higher.

Cyril shouts for his men to lead the carriage into the fray, clearing a way for the fire as they ride towards the glowing statue, "We have to try!" Cyril's voice erupt from inside as he argues with his men, "Maybe it is some sort of anchor." And so they ride forwards.

And as Merek swings his axe into the statue with absolute fury, an arm goes twirling off from it to slam at the base, calling then to the Butcher (and Fairen). "Broke your toy, you BASTARD!" He then makes a bit of space so Cyril doesn't charge him along with the statue. He then swings to weaken the base for the chargers.

Once Domonico takes care of bringing Fairen down, Amund outstretches the Marquis' left arm, piling on to the pinning of the Marquis. "This is not how I envisioned this going. Take control of yourself, Marquis Leary."

Somewhere around the chaos, Thea manages rush over and well..It's the most warrior like nor graceful, but she throws herself at an ankle. That ankle being Marquis Fairen's. And well, Thea puts all her weight on the man, holding him down. Basically planing herself right down like a large child.

Raymesin checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 16 higher.

Helping to keep Fairen/the Butcher down, after the men do, Miranda moves to straddle the man from behind. She eyes the man's back a moment, but then reaches over to turn his head so she has access to the man's right ear. "Thea! He's got some in his chest. You're going to need to heal him when we're done here." She looks to Dianna, "What? I'm not going to stab him, just take the stygian out. He cannot have the Leary Marquis." She focuses her gaze, which looks like she's looking through the marquis rather than at him, on that right here, to find the right place...

Someone wearing a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian checked command + theology at difficulty 35, rolling 7 higher.

Running as fast as she can, the Mirrormasked priestess darts towards Fairen when a dark swarm of bees rushes towards her. The former glaivedancer spins away, her training taking over immediately. THUD! THUD! THUD! Fairen is brought to the ground by Domonico, Amund and Miranda while Dianna follows up, dropping to the top of the group such that Fairen's (and The Butcher's) eyes must see themselves over and over and over again in the broken shards of mirrorsilver and holy stygian making up Dianna's Mirrormask. "Look at yourself! You cannot win, Baron! Fairen, you ARE IN THERE, take control; REMEMBER who you are," she orders the Marquis, firmly but peacefully. "LOOK. You have the strength to find yourself. LOOK... and stay. With me. With my voice." On and on Dianna speaks, her serenely-commanding voice resounding.

Seeing that Domonico, Amund, Miranda, and Thea seem to have the Marquis pinned down, Marzio reigns his horse around and gallops back around behind the statue. Pulling his spear from his back as he goes. Once he has returned to be able to see the charred remains of the beehives he burned, Marzio stabs his spear into the hives and begins to rake them to the ground where his horse tramples them in agitation.

Raymesin, seeing that there are plenty of people dealing with Fairen already, goes to help with the statue. He may not have as much muscle, or the heavy weapons, that some can muster - but he does have leverage on his side, and sheer bloody-mindedness. His blade takes a chunk out of the statue's hip with one quick blow of its strangely-shaped pommel.

As he's crashed down on by several people at once, there's a struggle being played out inside Fairen that is visible on his face which twitches and grimaces, eyes rolling back in his head. The Marquis weakly mumbles something, "...Vellichor...Lagoma...expel you." His body stops jerking and writhing beneath all piled atop him, instead submitting to it. Whispering, "He's assaulting me still, but I can feel his anger, and he fears for that statue." That's about all her can get out before he crumples a bit more into the dirt.

Impact! The Malvici crashes into Fairen, quite handily taking the Marquis down and then locking his hands onto the man, holding him down and as steady as he can. "Mangata aid us..." he growls through gritted teeth as he holds tight, the prayer beads he usually has wrapped around a hand pressing against the Marquis.

Cyril checked command + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

"Stay with us, Marquis. I will guide you through this - and Miranda will remove the stygian from your body. Stay with me, stay with my voice. Do not give in; there is nothing to fear - for our friends, our companions will destroy it. Stay with me," Dianna speaks to Fairen, her voice nearly echoing from within her helm of a Mirrormask.

"Stay with us, Marquis. I will guide you through this - and Miranda will remove the stygian from your body. Stay with me, stay with my voice. Do not give in; there is nothing to fear - for our friends, our companions will destroy it. Stay with me," Dianna speaks to Fairen, her voice nearly echoing from within her helm of a Mirrormask.

The large beasts that pulled the Astarrean lord's carriage assaults the field as one guard leans out one window and the other steers. They ride straight towards the statue, turning at last minutes with rope shooting to loop and grasp the statue. They were bringing this damn thing down.

Ringvald checked intellect + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 9 lower.

"Then I hope they fucking tear down that statue." Amund remarks, rising to his feet just in time to watch a carriage start charging down at the statue. He seems puzzled at that for a moment.

Ringvald Somewhat out of breath already, and fairly badly burnt looks to the statue, then to the marquis who was...Possessed? Once he'd come to terms with that, which hadn't taken too long, a swarm of more bees had come out, he raises his arms to protect his face, flinching as those badly burned hands are being stung alongside his exposed neck. His eyes narrow and he moves forward, approaching the situation. "I'm afraid all I know pertaining to such things is how to interrogate it, but it would hurt him to do so." He mutters between clenched teeth as he deals with the throbbing in his hands.

Miranda stares at Fairen's ear and she says, "Thea! I need you here." She then calls out, "Merek! Do you have any salt?" She adjusts her grip on her sword, the thing is glowing for all to see, blessed, and she is studying a spot. She doesn't delay, however, starting to say, "Lagoma and Mangata, bless my hand and guide my sword. Blessed with your fire and water, let it help me find what I seek." Then she makes a very careful cut, her hand low on the blade to better guide it. This sort of work should really be done with a dagger, damnit.

Thea is already at her feet, standing tall as she hurries to her cousin's side,"What do you need?"Nope. The youngest Malvici doesn't need to be asked twice.

Merek looks then to Cyril while he and his team barrel along. His eyes meet with the Melaeris' Lord a moment, while he begins to take a little bit of rope to tie onto the statue, then he ties a bit onto himself while he spins around upon the statue. Yes, he is using himself like a balance on it, then he tests the knot while he places his axe onto his belt. He will probably be flying with the statue, but it's a party at this point. He digs in with his heels so that the ropes will keep on the statue.

Miranda says to Thea, "Holy water, might have a drop in my vial. And salt if we got it. Also, healing him when it's done. When he screams, do NOT let him go until I give the all clear." Her tone brokes no arguement here.

Merek also swings a length of the main rope on him to Cyril himself for taking ahold of!

Dianna nearly hands over the vial in her hand - then hesitates, taking one with Mangata's sigil from her pack and hands it to Thea. "Here, use this."

The blood that pours from the cut is black and hisses, bubbling as it is exposed to the air, salt and holy water. It runs black for several long seconds before turning red once more. There is a voice all can hear, screaming in impotent rage as it is carried off on the breeze. "Curse you! Curse all of you!"

There is a resounding CRACK, as the statue snaps off its plinth, shattering and exposing the burned remains of those hives Marzio took out. Speaking of the hives, the bees follow the sound of that voice, rising up into the air like a glittery black blanket before they all fall dead out of the sky to turn the ground shiny and black. Within the broken statue is a coil of blood stained rope, still tied in a cunnine series of knots whose purpose was clearly as restraints. This is obviously the item hidden away here.

Miranda grimaces a bit as the blood is black and hissing. Ew. Still, the Mazetti Lady presses the tip of her blade into the cut, trying to get... something. She seems ever patient, ignoring everything else around her for the moment but her task at hand. The Butcher's cursing seems like music to her ears, really.

Domonico growls as he holds on tight, trusting the others to do what is needed to cure Fairen.

Thea reaches over to Dianna, accepting from from her,"Thank you." She hurries and gathers the other supplies for Miranda, blinking at Fairen and the black blood that comes hissing out. Weird.

Walking his horse forward, Marzio stabs down with his spear to hook the rope from the center of the statue on the end. Lifting it, he plucks the rope free from his weapon and then turns to drop it into his saddlebag before trotting his horse over to where the others are dealing with Fairen.

Unfazed by the curses, Dianna continues murmuring to Fairen, regardless of whether he is conscious or not. The voice, the bees rise up and move away, and still, the Priestess speaks and speaks, quiet murmurs of peace, reminding the Marquis of who he is, her voice calming gradually as Miranda works on Fairen's ear. Words of peace, tender words of kindness flow from beneath that Mirrormask, reminding him not to be afraid.

Cyril spins the carriage around, releasing the end of Merek's rope once the statue was down. Now facing them, Cyril commands his guard to bring him closer, hoping to inspect down, "What do we do with this?!" He shouts, reaching to grab the artifact if it was still there.

Letting out a deep sigh, Ringvald plops down as the main event comes to an end, laying back on the ground, arms outstretched. His body ached from stings, his hands swollen from blisters and broken skin. "I looked forward to studying a battlefield and seeking out an artifact from another culture." He admits breathlessly, staring up at the sky. "This is an odd place."

Fairen yelps out as his ear is slashed open and black blood pours out, bubbling and sizzling with salt and holy water. "He's gone! No longer here! Not in my brain anyways," the Marquis insists between rough breaths, glancing up at Dianna and Thea in what is clearly a plea to stop having his ear amputated.

Merek manages up that rope when it looks like all is finished so the whole statue doesn't seem to come with him. When Cyril has completed all of that nice epic task, he then looks about into the statue after Marzio takes the knots, to see if anything else is within it along with Cyril.

Miranda mms, "No stygian, just black goo." She pulls her sword back, "Thea?" She then gets -off- the Marquis. "Stay still, my Lord, Thea's a pro at this and we'll have your ear right as rain." She rocks back and up to her feet, leaving Thea the space she needs.

"The stygian must be removed, Marquis, or he will come back to you. Patience; be brave. Hold my hand, if you need, to bear the pain," Dianna soothingly speaks. "But, please don't break it? I rather like my hand," comes the typical, deflective tease.

Miranda adds to Dianna, "He's clear, Sister."

Nodding, Dianna pats Fairen's arm. "You did well; you were very brave," she says gently, then rises and removes her Mirrormask. "What was found?" Dianna turns her gaze to survey Marzio, Merek and the others. "I will need it for safekeeping - as it is not safe unless submerged in holy water. And I have a place... just for such things."

Raymesin gives the stump of the statue one last kick, then steps back and sheathes his blade. The black-clad Harlequin takes a few moments to have a good look around, just in case, then wanders over towards Ringvald. "Welcome ter Arx," he says drily, his Lowers accent almost thick enough to cut with a knife. "Nothin' ever seems to go quite how people think it should."

Dianna puts a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian in an orange backpack with two pockets.

Cyril shakes his head, looking up to Merek with a chuckle, "What the hell is all of this?

Cyril shakes his head, looking up to Merek with a chuckle, "What the hell is all of this?" He says as he catches his breath. Walking back to his own men, he pats them on the shoulder for the job well done before they help him up for him to sit in the carriage and gather himself.

After lying there to recover from the mental shock, being tackled and his ear cut and left to bleed, Fairen is more than happy to take Miranda's advice and lay there while Thea takes care of that whole ear thing. Dianna is given a weak smile in response, "Thank you Sister. I'll have a story for the Archscholar, that's certain."

Thea smiles at Fairen a bit as she starts gathering her supplies from her satchel. Yes, something for infection, needle, thread--Thea asses the wound and tells him,"It's a clean cut and you'll have a brave scar, Marquis,"getting to work.

Miranda grimaces a bit and says, "I am so going home to sit in a milk bath until the itching and swelling goes down." This is said to no one in particular. Then to Dianna, "Why aren't you destroying these items as you get them?"



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