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Blood Ravens - Life and Death

In a mysterious place in the borderlands of the Duchy of Stormwall, Ian, Brianna and Rysen will meet their fate. Only gods know if help will reach them in time.

[OOC: This PRP is high risk! The GM has been asked to strictly follow the logic of the story, which may result in the death of PCs.]

Date

March 27, 2020, 11 p.m.

Hosted By

Rysen Anisha

GM'd By

Anisha

Participants

Brianna Ian Arcadia(RIP) Arik Dianna Aethan Jules Juliana Alecstazi

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Northlands near Stormwall - Shadowtop

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Dianna puts Bottle of 100 Proof Alcohol in an orange backpack with two pockets.

Alecstazi wields a steel axe with engraved serpent.

Alecstazi wields Abide, a rubicund glaive with serpentine engravings.

Alecstazi wields a cunning sword cane with an alaricite handle in the shape of a horse.

A storm is brewing in the Northlands.

Part of that, certainly, is the encampment on Shadow Top - huge gathering of nomadic and semi-nomadic Abandoned who have gathered under the banner of the White Raven - one of several, if the scouting reports are accurate. Still, there are troop movements in the plains and woods below, and the camp has sent out the majority of their warriors. There will be battle, but it will not necessarily be tonight.

Instead, a small group of would-be heroes have made their way to the base of Shadow-Top Mountain, and far above are the captured Lord Rysen Crovane, Lady Brianna Halfshav, and Lord Ian Kennex. They are alive. For now.

There's been thunder and slate-grey skies all day, and tonight, the heavens are opening up, letting out a mixture of cold rains in massive drops, alongside the occasional pelting hailstorm. No fist-sized pebbles yet, mind.

Atop Shadow-Top, Rysen, Brianna and Ian have been chained to the same post, near a tent and four Abandoned who're seeking shelter, occasionally throwing jeers and more physical insults at them. The fever has set in.

At the base of the mountain, our group is deciding on their approach - the Stonewater Chieftain insisted there were many passages up Shadow-Top, not all of them obvious.

Jules drops a lovely set of stained oak wood and crimson brocade chaise lounge couches.

Ian has joined the a lovely set of stained oak wood and crimson brocade chaise lounge couches.

Anisha has joined the a lovely set of stained oak wood and crimson brocade chaise lounge couches.

Rysen has joined the a lovely set of stained oak wood and crimson brocade chaise lounge couches.

Arik has a heavy saddle bag slung over one of his shoulders looking almost like a shav himself if it were for a really just spectacular cloak. It's nice, little colorful but in the rain perhaps not as bright as it otherwise would have been. There is a heavy sigh as the droplets begin to fall though, breath visible in the northern air. "I brought along the climbing equipment Row got on loan from the society of explorers if we have to scale this in the rain... Does anyone have any reports on hidden paths to the plateau?" he asks in a low rumble of a voice looking to the left, then the right and taking in the would-be rescue party.

Brianna has joined the a lovely set of stained oak wood and crimson brocade chaise lounge couches.

Arcadia steps beside Arik and looks over at the plateau, her eyes tracing the cracks and paths in the area, clearly trying to calculate a safe route up. "It looks like there is little in way of sneaking up. Maybe a distraction? Start a fire somewhere?" She squints at the distance, "I could try shooting one of the Shavs but I don't think that route will be helpful."

Rysen checked willpower + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 10 higher.

Alecstazi remains on his horse for a long time, his eyes glaring up at the top of the plateau as if it has personally insulted him. After a time he dismounts and moves towards Arik, grunting a bit. "I can talk to the man, if no one else has." There is a steel to Alec's voice, the man has been damned silent the whole time here and each word seems grudgingly spoken.

Accompanied by five Templars and - perhaps unthinkingly - an actual white raven, Sister Dianna Godsworn is dressed not at all in shav-like clothing. Her mirrorsilver armor was nearly all created for warmer climes, but at least the newest piece has been lined in soft arctic fox fur and the Lycene woman finds herself warm enough. She carries with her a pack filled with various items, and her trusted Templar from Arx, Oscarr, carries with him two lanterns lit with Lagoma's Flame. The Mirrormask rides upon her steed between her guards, but close enough to chat quietly with Alec. "Maybe let's not draw their attention quite yet," Dianna gently advises Arcadia as she dismounts.

Jules has his backpack on and, somewhat oddly, has a sword at his hip. His eyes dart about here and there as he keeps more closely towards the sides of shadowtop. He does not offer comment on what method to take on handling the approach at this point but simply stands, looking perhaps slightly ludicrous in his gear but at present, not seeming overly bothered by it.

The rain pelts Rysen, and the water falls freely through his dark hair over his face. His eyes are sunken, and his body shakes. bruises cover his half naked body amid the network of older scars, but the fresh cuts filled with snow and dirt bleed freely. Something Brianna says, brings something less than a smile to his face - but an attempt at something other than a grimace which he has worn for days.

Like Ian, he controls his breathing, muttering a low prayer to Lagoma, for which he is given a new cut by the shav with a topnot. Rysen grits his teeth in agony, but refuses to cry out.

Juliana looks....miserable. Her dark hair braided and over a shoulder, in leathers that look to have been well worn and salt stained, on her back a pack... it bumps out the cloak she thrown over the lot. There are weapons too which might actually surprise some, a rapier that rest against her slim hip and she manuvers around easily as if perhaps she has more experience wearing it that most would suspect. In truth, she looks much more like her Thrax mother than Pravus father. Somewhere, the Lady Igniseri has found enough cold weather gear to not be in any danger but she just looks miserable. Period. Not that she has said a word about it. Not even a groan as the cold wet started to fall and she studied rise before them and listened to the others working on ideas.

"We can send one of the Templars back on a horse to ask the camp to create a distraction with a foray or fire arrows if we need one. It would be better than causing it ourselves, they can still retreat to the encampment line." Arik points out to Arcadia and then watches the others beginning to dismount. "I think scaling it will be best, unless anyone isn't confident they can quickly find an easier path in this rain." the water beginning to dampened the leather clad man... Beards are great until they get all wet and pointy, not he may look like a slightly menancing shav at a distance.

Dianna checked perception + survival at difficulty 40, rolling 27 lower.

Alecstazi nods sharply to Arik's words, "Quick is good. I'd like to get up there. Be nice if I didn't get an arrow to the face though. A distraction to get eyes off our route would be nice." The Prince is focused on the top of the plateau, "I need to be up there. I need to know she is ok."

Arcadia follows Arik for now. "I doubt their shaman will be happy to see us, so I doubt talking will work." She considers Dianna's raven, "Though, they may listen if the raven is with us." She helps Arik to start readying the gear. "Did everyone get Nova's report? About the speed and how they may not die if covered in blood and holding a relic?"

The priestess nods to Arik as well, "Agreed. And the Templars are yours to command; I just need a few with me... hopefully." She nods next to Arcadia's comment, "I thought the same, as well - which is why I brought Rosalba along. And Nova sent me the report, yes; spoke with me before we left, as well." She lifts her gaze upward but can see extremely little, rain simply pelting her eyes continually. "Who's the best climber? I know I'm not."

Juliana pushes her hood off her head, eyes narrowing to look up the hill as she bites into her lip. "I can not say that climbing mountains is something I ever did in Setarco." her voice soft, a slight chatter of her teeth making it less than steady. Not that she objects, she just pulls the cloak closer. "I don't have an issue with trying. I can't help from down here."

Jules nods to Arcadia, still remaining silent but pulling out a half used roll of haze from a side pocket of his backpack and stuffs it in his mouth where he lightly gnaws on it. He turns now to Dianna, pulls the haze out and says, "I'm fairly decent at climbing." He puts the haze back in and gnaws lightly with a nervous energy, "I assume I could get up there."

Arcadia gives an easy little shrug. "I'm a good climber. Been hiding up trees since I was three." She looks up and checks with the group before moving forward. "Want me up and to send some ropes down?"

Arik slides the bag off his shoulder and with Arcadia's help begins handing out what look like spikes and rope. The specifics of the climbing equipment aren't important what matters is they seem rather handy. "Okay Alec take the lead, Marquessa, Jules and... You." he is looking right at Juliana then evidently not great with name. "Templars and I'll come up the back." then to one of the Templars, "Go to the encampment, find Scout Rowenova or Lord Mirk Halfshav. Tell them to cause a diversion as soon as they can. We'll hopefully be up the pleatu by the time you get there." and somewhat curtly to the Templar foregoing any Sir, Godsworn, but then he is in the rain in winter so...

Arik checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 14 higher.

Arcadia checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 5 higher.

Jules checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 20 higher.

Alecstazi checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 19 higher.

Juliana checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 7 higher.

Dianna checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 21 higher.

Alecstazi nods curtly to Arik's plan and moves forward. He slips the harness on with a minimum of fuss, though he does have it slightly wrong, pausing as this is pointed out. He nods his thanks, adjusts it, and eyes the cliff with a determined glare. "I'm coming Bri." This is muttered almost under his breath, the anger in him a vibrating thing.

The Explorer's Society provide some of the finest equipment for spelunking - or in this case, ascending - in Arvum. Thanks to Arik's quick thinking, the group manages to enact a rope-line, and with very careful hammer blows to put little spikes into stone, they manage a safe passage to a ledge about halfway up. The climbing _should_ get easier from here - but they also spot the light of a few sentries overlooking the mountainside. Between comfort and night-vision, it looks like at least one guard post has gone for the heat of a small and sheltered fire.

Arik checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.

Jules checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 14 lower.

Dianna checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 14 lower.

Arcadia checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.

Juliana checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 6 lower.

"I'm not staying here, and neither are you," Dianna glances to her remaining four Templars before murmuring to the white bird on her arm. "I know you don't like the rain any more than I, but make yourself scarce for a bit." She waits, looking to Arik and the others, then climbs up - doing fairly well, and much better than she'd though she would. That equipment must be quite good.

However, one of the younger Templars has gotten stuck down below and wiggles the rope under her feet. "I thought you could climb better than I," she softly speaks as Rosalba flits away into the distance. "I'll be back," she promises the others, "Unless someone would like to help me, too?"

Juliana arches a brow at the "you" her blue eyes shifting back to Arik, narrowing. "Juliana. Lady Igniseri if you prefer. Person that is going to make sure all the blood stays in peoples bodies if it comes to that." her tone soft but a steel core even if there is a little bit of teeth chattering at the end of it. Before she moves to her place in order and starts to climb behind the others, her attention on just not falling off the damn mountian.

Alecstazi checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 10 lower.

Arcadia pauses and looks around the grounds. It's moment like this the young scout trains for. She points out to the west. "Look. A switchback. With that diversion, we could get up there without being spotted." She looks to Alecstazi and Arik got confirmation. "Wish me to move ahead?"

Jules rolls the bit of haze between his teeth, his eyes glancing here and there. There's not anyone really that he's directing his attention to at present, just making his way along and up. As he gets there, he looks at a hole and squints down it's dark depths. He's momentarily distracted by it then returns his gaze about. At Arcadia's words, he takes a more focused look at the switchback she's pointed out and gives a mildly cheerfuly 'mmm' and glances back up to the guards.

Alecstazi begins the climb and he moves with a fair amount of skill, his pace neither too fast or too slow, steady, determined. He does pause as he peers at a little crevice in the wall, muttering, "What in Aion would make this cliff its home?" He keeps his voice low. No sense in giving away their position.

*mmm* Arik eloquently replies to Juliana waiting for her to go up before beginning the climb himself. He gets up to the ledge halfway up the side of the plateau and glances back down before muttering, "No delays. If they're stuck down there they're not in danger." then he's squinting up to the ridgeline until Arcadia speaks and then glances at Alecstazi for a moment. "No scouting this time Marquessa, I think I can lead us up the wall itself. The switchback might be watched... but the climb is harder." then he looks to the Templars who made it up the wall. Addressing Dianna in a low rumble of a voice, "Can they make the climb or do we need to take the switchback?"

Juliana pauses watching Jules for a moment then glances towards those behind her as if she expects someone to give her a poke. "Ummm... I think one of your men might need a hand." nodding towards the Templars, before she turns her attention back towards the /wall/ they are talking about, biting deep into her lip but keeping her opinions out of it.

"Here, it's not that frightening," Dianna calmly speaks. "Just keep looking up to the others, and climb. You're surely strong enough, as I can see. ...Do you want me to follow, or perhaps... just... watch my derriere as I climb and I'm sure you'll focus well enough," she advises the Templar with a charming smile. "C'mon then. Very well, let's go..." The Templar - somehow and suddenly focused - makes his way up and stands beside Dianna with a shy smile. "Good, very good," the priestess praises the young man and shakes her head at Arik. "He just looked down and was afraid."

Dianna adds gently to Arik, who is - by nature of adventure - nearly family to her heart. "I'm not sure if the Templars can make it, but I'm rather certain I prefer the switchback. If... we can all agree?"

"Switchback it is, it's a difficult climb." Arik decides as he nods to the others evidently deferring to the Templar's abilities and waiting for that group nod.

Jules glances over towards Arik and asks, "Would you want to split, I might be able to head up the wall if you all can create the distraction, it might lure the guards away. I'm not much of a fighter but I might be able to sneak in if they're near by. Free them perhaps?" He goes back to lightly gnawing on the haze again.

Arcadia pulls her bow from her back and begins to lightfootedly travel up the switchback. She pauses now and again, waiting and listening for any signs of life. Her voice low,she suggests "Keep your weapons close. Just in case." She does look at Jules and his haze chewing and instead listens to Arik and Alecstazi for their instructions.

Arcadia wields a diamondplate longbow with wilds and mammoth designs.

Juliana wields Diamond Thistle.

"Light and stars, I'll have to talk to Preston about this," Dianna softly complains to Oscarr, her Arxian Templar. "I thought you all were trained for more than simply fighting." She removes her mirrorsilver glaive from her back and takes a vial of oil from her pack, smearing the shimmering blade such that it no longer reflects so easily. She and the four templars follow Arik and her cousin without too much distance, though she glances over to Juliana with mild questioning. "Do you fight, my lady?"

Alecstazi grits his teeth and looks at Arik, then looks at the wall. "I want to keep climbing. I need to get up there, man. Brianna is up there." There is a flare of his nostrils as he catches the scent of haze and his eyes narrow as he sees one of his compatriots smoking it. There is a swift step, a haul back and slap with a gauntlet'd hand. "Get that out of your mouth. The *last* thing we need is some addle-brained addict giving us away." The words are hissed from between his teeth.

Dianna wields a diamondplate glaive set with mirrorsilver and sapphires.

Juliana doesn't nod, she doesn't do anything but pause as they are talking, adjusting the weight of her pack on her back. Hood lifted again and the rain wiped away from her eyes with the back of her glove. Producing a small deadly little knife, over the rapier on her hip, Juliana glances back to Dianna. "I can if I need to. I am not a champion, but I have survived two wars."

"They're going to be guarded, possibly in the center of the camp. Noble prisoners are rarely left unattended if you sneak through but have a half-dozen shavs to deal with you might just be gutted. Lets get closer so we can ensure the guards keeping them are the ones we're distracting instead of sentries." Arik says to Jules after only a few moments of consideration, giving the man a quick pat on the shoulder and then to Alecstazi. "Look at them Alec, most of them aren't trained soldiers. Come with us on the switchback, it won't be long until the camp starts the diversion and we can cut through the distracted shavs."

Arik checked charm + leadership at difficulty 60, rolling 9 lower.

Jules takes the blow and the haze goes flying out. He lifts his hand up to his jaw and lightly rubs at it, "Quite right, your highness. I had a purpose for that being here ... I expect all shall be quite all right without it" He gives a weak smile on his face, even as the red mark forms, "It's the nature of tensions right now, I'll try to be more aware to not set you off." He attempts to give the man a reassuring smile. He looks to Arik and nods his head, "Of course, I have full faith in your guidance, only a thought." He then reaches around to pat and make sure his backpack is on tightly.

Alecstazi is strung tighter than a lute string, and he nods slowly, jaw set, eyes full of ice-hued fire. When Arik pats his shoulder, there is a flex and the man thinks. He looks at the group with a deepening frown, but in the end, there is a curt nod. "I hear you. But if we get up there and she's dead..." The threat is left unspoken, the man is clearly beyond rational, though he's trying to cling to the traces of it.

Arcadia checked perception + survival at difficulty 35, rolling 1 lower.

Noting her cousin's mood, Dianna breaks free of the Templars and steps ahead to speak to Alec. "Alec," she softly says, looking up into his eyes. "We have to keep together. We have to be smart about this - and I know you're clever enough... but, we have three to save. Yes?"

A bitter wind howls in the high-rise, and the rain briefly goes horizontal. It's not a pleasant feeling, and it cuts to the bone. In the camp, there's swift movements as there's a call - not a hue and cry, and they're not speaking any of the Shav dialects, just common Arvani. Apparently something's happening to the east.

Juliana finally looks at Alecstazi, straightening against the driving rain, her blue eyes meet his fully. "I promise you, if she is a live when we get there, I will keep her that way. But I am not a climber my Lord, I am a physcian and a Pravus one at that. This is not territory I am used too. But get me there... get me there and I will make sure they live to get back down."

Arcadia is going to cling at any chance to get Alecstazi to do the rational thing. From her advantage she points a little ahead. "Look. A lean too." Taking command briefly from Arik, she suggests "Why doesn't Jules come set up a guard post while we keep moving up?l She looks at the two men with a hopeful look, but she begins to pick her way up to the leeway.

Juliana checked composure + diplomacy at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.

"Leaving him on the side of the mountain isn't going to help free the prisoners." Arik observes as he begins to moves up the leeway after the Stahlben Marquessa. "If you want to stay behind by all means, but..." on the side of a plateau in the rain with a howling chill of a wind cutting to the bone, Arik trails off and continues onward.

Alecstazi checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 2 lower.

Alecstazi stares at Juliana, his blue eyes staring into hers. There is a swallow and a curt nod. "Alright. Alright." The man clenches his fists and looks at Jules (Fabron) for a long moment. This is the part where one might apologize. But the Thrax Prince doesn't say the words, there's just a minute dip of his chin. The wind cuts through the stern look, making the Prince visibly shiver.

With consensus reached by the group, they ascend the switchback path. It zigs here and zags there and narrows to the point where it's a tricky matter for even one person to pass, but with a little care and careful steps, the group slowly makes their way towards the lean-to formation of stones. As it turns out, it's mostly a lean-to for their side of approach, and more of a cliff-face at the side facing the camp - but it does make for an excellent vantage spot to take in the camp, dotted with campfires and tents, home to maybe a couple hundred of Abandonded. Or more.

Arik checked wits + investigation at difficulty 40, rolling 9 lower.

Dianna checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 40, rolling 5 lower.

Jules checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 48 higher. Jules rolled a critical!

Alecstazi checked wits + war at difficulty 40, rolling 4 higher.

Juliana checked intellect + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 11 higher.

Arcadia checked intellect + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 21 higher.

Juliana pats Alecstazi's shoulder before she moves on following. After all she might be Pravus, but she tends to like the Thrax side of her family more. Once they get to the top to crouch behind the stones however, Jules is a bit on the pale side and shivering to the point that it can be seen just by looking at her.

"Do you need a coat, my lady?" Dianna asks Juliana as she makes her way up and notes the woman shivering. "I have an extra." The priestess removes her pack and takes out a thick, golden-colored bear-fur coat and offers it to Juliana. "It will keep you warm enough, though I'd suggest you put your cloak over the top, to keep yourself warmer still. No sense in losing you to this dreadful weather."

Dianna takes a glistening, furry, golden-blonde bear fur coat from an orange backpack with two pockets.

Jules gives a smile to Dianna and says, "Quite right Sister Dianna. We're all together." He states, not bothering to discuss the other points at present and staying with the others as they ascend. He does take the opportunity to continue scanning around and moving as silently as he can, which is fairly quiet. As they're gestured to halt, he halts and when they're motioned to continue, he does so. He scans over the surroundings. He undoes some of his straps and positions them slightly more out of the way. It's still securely on him but using fewer straps to do so, continuing to be silent as he can and making certain he doesn't lose his backpack in the process.

While Arik and Dianna quietly confer on the potential contents of a nearby tent clearly used for storage of some sort, Alecstazi quickly confirms the troop numbers - the camp is divided into several general areas - The west seems to hold mostly-empty tents for living, and closest to the cliff-space, some sort of storage tent (which has drawn Dianna and Arik's attention). Alecstrazi spots two guards by the tent, occasionally making haphazard patrols of the living space. It's erratic though, no doubt in part because of the wind. The North side of the plateau has a pen, this one under constant guard by another two Abandoned, built for maybe a score of people, but with only four or so left - it's hard to make up if they are Abandoned or Compact from this distance, but it's clear they are prisoners. To the east, there's some hubbub - maybe forty or so Abandoned, twenty of which are clearly engaged in some sort of ritualistic practice, coating their weapons and bodies in blood, which is brought from a central altar where another four Abandoned hunch around the priestess calling out prayers.

And to the south, watched over by four Abandoned hunkered down in a tent, is a wooden pillar with chains, which holds three familiar faces.

Jules, meanwhile, spots Rysen's sword in the hand of one of the Abandoned guarding them, and beyond his general scanning of the camp figures out the purposes easily (though, admittedly, he is not quite as certain on the troop numbers). A bit of calculation would imply that the four Shav'arvani near Rysen, Brianna and Ian are also keeping guard over their things. How handy!

Meanwhile, Juliana and Arcadia have a chilling realisation - there's a continual rite of human sacrifice going on here, with the blood from it being brought to the warriors on the eastern end of the plateau. And Arcadia, especially, remembers the White Raven Speaker from the fiasco she and Colette experienced when her three friends ended up captured.

"I think that is the tent they're being held in." Arik suggests definitively to Dianna while examining the storage tent. He begins to nod to himself all but assured as he makes a few hand gestures indicating the north side of the camp where they're doing the rite covering themselves in blood. "Probably their goats for the winter, they might starve if we leave them up here long enough." Brilliant.

Ian checked perception + survival at difficulty 40, rolling 56 higher. Ian rolled a critical!

Arcadia swears under her breath as she watches the ritual. She points out the speaker to those around her. "She's the one that called the Shavs, and look. They're coating themselves in blood. It won't be long until they're almost undefeatable." She doesn't mention the human sacrifice. No need to unhinge Alecstazi completely.

"I don't know about that," Dianna quietly muses to Arik. "It looks like something else is there - perhaps it's the children, or the godsworn tutors I heard about." She glances over to Arcadia with a grimace and mutters, "Light and stars... it's not... it's not likely to be goats, Arik. Perhaps it's their food, but... not... simply goats. I'm sure." The matter at hand is generally confusing, troubled as she is for friends and companions, all.

Juliana looks up at Dianna and gives her a small smile "Sister, unless you have a Setarco beach in that pack, I am going to be cold." not that she turns down the coat or the help getitng it over the leathers and under the fireweave. Looking back she draws silent however as she realizes what she is looking at, her hand moving to clench the arm of Dianna since she is the one close at the moment. Not that she says anything for the moment, talking over each other will just get them caught and Arcadia seems to understand what Juliana does.. what she does do though is turn her attention towards the captives, studying them silently.

"Brianna." Alec sees the trio of captives and his body leans that way like an iron filing towards a lodestone. He makes himself still and looks the camp over. "A small number of us can move to the captives. Let them out. Get out of here."

"HEY!" Ian's been near silent since his capture, at least as far as the shavs are concerned, so it might be a shock to hear his voice at a bellow. "YOU! Snub nose. The fuck was wrong with your kin that your 'white crow' let a lone man fighting next to a cripple take them down?"

Jules looks one once, but twice over the camp and particularly towards the guards. After confirming, he says to Arik, "Lord Arik, that man has Lord Rysen's sword." He makes a general gesture and says, "Those four guards that way ... they're watching over the captive's things." He squints further and says, "I don't know if we want to move to free their stuff but if we do, that would seem to be where it is." He looks to Arcadia and asks, "Do they speak shav or our tongue?" He takes a long and deep breath in and out then back towards the captives' area.

Ian's comment gets a squat and heavily (ritually) scarred Abandoned to rise from his position in the opening of the tent nearest the prisoner pole. "What did you say about my kin?!" He bellows back, raising Rysen's sword in a threatening motion and taking two steps towards the Kennex. "You only have to be alive, Islander! I can cut off that useless leg of yours and feed it to you!"

"Died like cowards," says Rysen, after Ian's words. He spits blood in the direction of the top-knotted shav, as a slow, smug smile spreads across his lips.

"Cousin." Juliana whispers after a moment, getting Alec to look at her blue meeting blue as she smiles softly and nods. "She looks to be okay. Not good but we have time to plan." then Ian yells and Juliana groans as her eyes close, but there is a small smile that pulls at her lips. "Ian knows we are here."

Juliana's grip is insistent enough to draw Dianna's attention to where she's looking and the tone of Alec's voice draws her attention back - and then, there is Ian's voice nearby. "Light...!" she mutters, looking back to the ritual with grave concern, conflicted as she turns her eyes again, back to Ian and Rysen.

Oh, hey. Shit talking. Even concussed and feverish, Brianna can shit-talk. "And your mother's off getting fucked by a bear. At least your new brothers will be less ugly than you are."

Arcadia groans softly at Ian and Rysen's taunts. "And they think I have a death wish." She still has her bow in hand, just in case that Shav does go to cut off Ian's leg. Her eyes trained only only the Shav, she does respond. "I spoke to her in shav. But, I think she spoke Arvani. I can't remember."

Arik turns when Alecstazi speaks and seems at first unconvinced but the intensity of the Prince of the Mourning Isles seems to convince him. Then Jules is pointing things out and the wet House Sword wipes icy rain from his face, readjusting his bandana to try and keep some of the downpour from his eyes. The sound of the argument coming across to them confirm the location as well. "We can split this up... Alec and I will go with Lady Juliana to get the nobles... Marquessa, Jules, and the Templars can try and check the other pen or look into the goat sacrifice. Assuming the Godsworn are not willing to leave behind other prisoners?" he looks to Dianna for confirmation as he lays out a way forward.

"Take our friends out first - that's why we're here," Dianna advises Arik with an immediately response. "I'll come back again with more; we can't... we can't save them all, not with just we few."

"You'd have to unchain me, first," Ian sneers to the shav. He's been chained with his knees drawn up to his chest, his hands behind him, and another chain around his neck. "You don't have the balls," he snarls. "You know the white raven's a pile of bullshit and blood magic. It won't protect you from me."

The jeers from the trio of prisoners has the quartet of angry Abandoned moving - and to Arcadia, at least, the slight jittery feel to it - like having to blink heavily, with a sort of stop-motion effect where in to short a moment they move too far, too jerky - and clustering around the trio. So far they seem content to urge their squat fellow on, and the distraction is working, drawing curious glances from a few of the ones to the east and the pair to the west, nearest the rescue party.

Top-knot lets out a bellowing laugh. "Maybe I'll cut your legs of in small enough slices to be sure you can swallow it, eh, Kraken-kin? Tell me, is it your mother or your father that is an octopus?" And with that, there's agony, as the man squats down, and brings that blade to Ian's poor leg, following up on his threat by cutting off a sizeable chunk of flesh from his ankle. "I will feed this to you to shut you up, Kneeling man."

Jules looks to Arik and nods his head, "All right my lord. I'd rather planned to go there but" He pauses and glances to his clothes, "If someone's going to get the nobles, I actually wore the steelsilk I have to give to them. If you'll give me a moment, I'll take them off and change into my leathers that are in my backpack."

"For one of you to give to them." Jules ammends.

Juliana looks to Arik and Alecstazi "He is going to get himself killed if we don't hurry. Do you have a way to get rid of the chains?

Torturous slicing of flesh 30 inflicted and Ian is harmed for moderate damage.

Juliana looks to Arik and Alecstazi "He is going to get himself killed if we don't hurry. Do you have a way to get rid of the chains? Because it's not going to be fast if we get over there and can't get them loose." looking to Ian as he is sliced again and grimmacing. "Damn Kennex." even so the name has a certain ring of respect and even love when she says it.

Ian doesn't react. At all. He doesn't flinch. Not even the slightest tensing of his body against the pain. He can't feel anything below his knees, but maybe the shavs haven't figured that out yet, in which case the way he just stares the man down might be unsettling. "You think there's anything you can do to me that hasn't already been done?" The question is almost -- almost -- polite.

Dianna checked composure + empathy at difficulty 35, rolling 37 higher.

With great effort and great pain, Brianna shifts her weight to the side, trying to kick the man slicing Ian's leg. "Fucking coward," she snarls.

Anisha has joined the line.

Arik doesn't look at commoners it seems because when Jules mentions he's going to change out of steelsilk the Sword of Whitehold goes *huh?*. In the icy rain he squints at Jules in what light they have to work with and points out, "If the Templars are willing to focus on the nobles we'll go together. All of you will free them, make sure they can move... Alec and I will make sure you aren't attacked. Marquessa, you'll setup and if anyone spots us hopefully feather them before they can raise an alarm." and as if that's as good as it's going to get he adjusts his cloak and looks for a path down to the camp.

Rysen has joined the line.

Ian has joined the line.

Arik has joined the line.

Arcadia tightens her hand on her bow and it's taking all her resolve to not shoot the one that's slicing Ian's leg off. Instead, she somehow maintains her position. Her arrow still docked. "They're moving too fast. Did you see it? They've been ritualized and I bet they will have some way of not dying immediately." She glances at the others. "If you can all get around, I can shoot and draw them up here while you grab them. Think it's possible?"

Arcadia has joined the line.

Juliana has joined the line.

Dianna has joined the line.

Alecstazi has joined the line.

Brianna has joined the line.

Gods know how she does it, but Dianna manages to watch the cutting from Ian's flesh and somehow... she fucking understands his mind. Hates him for it, in that bloody moment, but understands. She doesn't weep, she doesn't flush, she doesn't flinch or grimace, goddamn you, Ian. She gets it, shifts her glaive into her hands and readies herself. Because she's likely going to kill someone for that.

Jules has joined the line.

The situation is dire - a flash of lightning strikes nearby and the thunder rolls immediately, momentarily blanketing sound. While the warband to the east seem to have lost interest in the southern prisoners, and the northern guards are picking out another person from the pit, to guide towards the central altar, the Western Guards - the one at the storage tent - are still fascinated by the shouting and threats coming from the south. This, then, is the perfect moment to put a plan in action, whether they follow Arik's suggestion or Arcadia's.

Dianna's templars are already moving - two to stick close to the switchback path, two readying their bows and arrows to potentially back up Arcadia.

Turn in line: Anisha

Turn in line: Rysen

Rysen checked dexterity + brawl at difficulty 10, rolling 33 higher.

Jules is quickly changed, best anyways that someone else has the clothing in case he falls. The speed he does it would seem to indicate that he's practiced it quite a bit. He takes the throwing dagger in his hand and reaches down to stuff a few rocks in his pockets and glances around slowly as he prepares for the orders that are to follow.

As Ian asks the shav his question with his unnerving calm, Rysen's legs, though chained together, blast forward into the man's crotch. The look on Rysen's face is neutral, like an animal reacting on pure instinct, and the force of the kick to the vital area lands heavily sending the shav sprawling backward, while Rysen's rubicund sword, adorned with shamanic motifs of fire - a gift from Lord Mirk Halfshav - clatters to the wet, stony ground.

Turn in line: Ian

Ian checked dexterity + brawl at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Rysen gets a rubicund arming sword with a design of flickering flames from a reinforced canvas shoulder bag with drawstring cords.

Rysen drops a rubicund arming sword with a design of flickering flames.

Arik wields Frostfang the Sword of House Halfshav.

Almost like he knew what Rysen was going to do, Ian's moving in perfect tandem with him, so that when the blows come, they come as close together as a one-two punch. Ian smashes his head into the fragile bones and cartilage of the shav's face, causing his nose to explode with blood and leaving him laying on his back in the dirt. His face spattered with blood and his electric blue eyes serene, Ian's starting to look like a chained monster.

Turn in line: Arik

Arik might be a bit more composed than Alecstazi but when a fight begins to breakout at the tent the Halfshav has Frostfang in hand. "Marquessa... Anyone who sees us." and he's off! Running in the rain and evidently entrusting some arrows will silence anyone who spots the mottle dressed man with a flair of red tailing him in the rain.

Turn in line: Arcadia

Arcadia lifts her bow and plants her feet. She shouts to the others who are running down. "Make sure if they have any jewels on them to knock them off before you try to kill them. Go!" She watches Arik's back a moment, but already has her arrow ready for the two guards for when they spot the dramatic Halfshav.

Turn in line: Juliana

Arcadia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 20, rolling 34 higher.

Juliana is hunkered down watching as the Halfshav Lord makes a run for it. She is not a fighter but she knows that those three are sitting ducks once fighting starts. Looking back over her shoulder at the others points at the supply tent. "Maybe someone should set fire to that thing. Come on Cousin this is where you get me too her." then suddenly the Lady Igniseri nee Pravus, does what Ian would yell for later. She takes off running straight behind Arik.

Alecstazi wields Abide, a rubicund glaive with serpentine engravings.

Turn in line: Dianna

Dianna checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 48 higher.

There is only one reason Dianna is here, despite what anyone may think - three, actually, chained to a single pole. The glaivedancer falls back to her training, knows her target /is/ that pole - for their freedom is what matters first, since she's perfectly aware of their strong wills - and fighting abilities. Dianna rushes forward, intending to break the chains with a strike of her diamondplate glaive - and whipping her glaive at any-damned-one in her way.

And, so it happens that a shav comes rushing after Arik and Juliana. The glaivedancer barely pauses in her run to spin and meet the shav's throat, not bothering to revel as the head falls to the ground a split second before the body thuds behind her.

Turn in line: Alecstazi

Alecstazi checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 31 higher.

At the last minute, Alec stows his cane and takes up his glaive. Moving just behind Dianna, despite his being of Thrax, his movements, his style bears a very distant resemblance to Dianna's, as if he had been taught a varation of the same style she uses. He is a man on a singular mission, and that mission is Brianna. He drives towards her direction, veering out only long enough to sweep his glaive out in a steady strike that causes the guard to crumple to the ground before he has time to cry out.

Turn in line: Brianna

Brianna does not hesitate - between the rescue party rushing in and Rysen and Ian's one-two combo, she's kick to sweep out her leg, getting her revenge on the tall lanky woman that tortured her earlier. Though she winces with the pain of the sudden movement, the lady Halfshav gets the pleasure of hearing her captor let out a startled yell before mashing face-first into the captivity pole, staggering backwards before stumbling over her own legs and flailing into the tent.

Turn in line: Jules

Jules watches as Arik immediately takes off and he knows what he needs to do. He takes his ponytail out and messes his hair up. It's horribly wrong but he's at least attempting to look half like a wild shav. He shivers. He takes his dagger in hand and waits another half second then starts hunch over and run along the outskirts of the tents and towards where the captives are being held and towards the tent nearby. He may not be able to be so stealthy with the speed he's going but there is hopefully enough distractions. Tears are starting to roll down his face as he draws closer, he throws the dagger towards the foot of one of the guards with a grimace.

Jules checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 45, rolling 3 higher.

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + melee(5) at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.

Arik checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 58, rolling 48 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked mana(5) + occult(5) at difficulty 30, rolling 32 higher.

Everything pretty much happens at once, a cacophony of action and sounds muted by the heavy rain and winds. While Arik and Juliana rush forward, the Shav'arvani and their strange movement suddenly have more foes than just the bound nobles to think of, as proven when Dianna and Alec cleave their way through the western guards. Jules has pin-point accuracy with his dagger, and it goes through the foot of one of two upright guards next to the prisoner pole, who cries out. The muscular shav is leaning down to pull out that dagger, exposing them to an arrow from Arcadia which plunges in near their collarbone. They raise a shaved head and cry out in agony, and to the five closest companions, it might be an optical illusion but the heat that visibly rises from the injured abandoned's body seems to have a slight crimson tinge to it. A cry of alarm goes up, as the last of the Shav'arvani picks up a wicked-looking axe, shaped like a corvid's beak, and goes for Arik, though the swing goes wide against the agile Halfshav Sword. Meanwhile, the cry has caught the attention of the Speaker and her guards, and when she looks to where the Arrow comes from, she gives out a virulent hiss audible in a sibilant tone that reaches further than it should.

"YOU!" She cries out, at Arcadia, then begins chanting, dragging the sacrifice to her altar, impaling them on spikes short enough to merely draw blood, she dips down, and brings a blunted club against the sacrifice's leg, smashing it.

Surely it's coincidence that about then, Arcadia feels an agonizing jolt of pine blossom out from her ankle, making it hard for her to keep her balance, and filling her with a nausea and slightly feverish feeling, as though she's got an infected wound in her leg.

Infected leg, broken bone. 64 inflicted and Arcadia is harmed for severe damage.

Turn in line: Rysen

Rysen checked dexterity + brawl at difficulty 30, rolling 36 higher.

Watching the battle unfold all around him, Rysen strains against the chains that bind him to the pole and hold fast his legs. Watching as Dianna, Arik and Alecstazi race towards them, and noticing Jules' blade sink into a shav's foot, Rysen springs into a crouching position and hurls his body sideways to smash both feet into the shav's head, sending him splattering onto the surface of the wet plateau. The strain of making the attack causes Rysen to immediately start gagging from the chain still wrapped around his neck.

Turn in line: Ian

Arcadia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 26 higher.

Ian checked strength + legerdemain at difficulty 30, rolling 11 lower.

Bloodied fingers and broken chains. 11 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.

Bloodied fingers and broken chains. 11 inflicted and Ian is harmed for minor damage.

When Rysen puts the strain on his chain, Ian makes a scramble towards the tensed chain and smashes it with the rock he's been palming. The rock shatters instead of the chain, and Ian inhales a hiss as shards of stone embed in his palm, but says through gritted teeth: "I've almost got it, Rysen."

Turn in line: Arik

Arik checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 27 higher.

Arik checked wits + occult at difficulty 25, rolling 19 lower.

Arik feints to the left, moves to the right and completely evades the shavs blade as he brings Frostfang up in a slash either to open the man's throat or take off his head. Not the most accurate of killing blows as it leaves him alive but those silvery grey eyes squint up at the necklace he wears, raven skulls, very relic like.

Turn in line: Arcadia

Whatever cry of pain Arcadia shouts out is drowned out by the wind and rain. She stumbles and pales, her eyes getting that glassy look that a fevered patient has. By sheer determination, the little Marquessa grits her teeth and aims an arrow at the Speaker. Everything in her is focused on just her. The arrow is released and plunges into the speakers shoulder and Arcadia falls back, panting with the pain in her leg.

Turn in line: Juliana

The fight with Arik breaks out in front of her, Juliana doges around the the outside and around, her eyes are locked on Ian.. that is her target and that is where the Igniseri ends up as fast can, sliding to her knees at his side. No words, she simply pushes the little blade in her hand into one of his before she is darting past him, dragging off the cloak and tossing it at Rysen.

Turn in line: Dianna

Dianna checked strength + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 25 higher.

The pole splinters and cracks, falling over and forcing at least one of the guards to leap out of the way. Rysen's chains shatters, and he's free. Ian and Brianna are not quite in that situation, but they can move a lot more freely with their chains only _loosely_ around them.

Turn in line: Alecstazi

Alecstazi checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 32 higher.

Rushing in, Dianna heads for her target: The pole. With a leaping spin, the Godsworn glaivedancer heaves her glaive at the pole with a heavy grunt, splintering the pole and cracking the chains that bind Rysen there.

For a big man in armor, Alec moves with a surprising grace. The glaive he holds is an extension of his arms, his balance is good and he keeps a low center of gravity. He positions himself to flank the man in battle with Arik, partially because that keeps him close to Brianna, and also because... well. Arik. Alec swings his glaive like a dance partner, aiming for the man's lower back and any gaps in his armor.

Turn in line: Brianna

Wounded, unarmed, and still partially fettered with chains, Brianna does her best to not be a liability in this battle. Well, not totally unarmed. With her good arm, she takes a section of the chain and tries to trip up the man fighting Arik and Alec. The look on her face is distant, as if she's not entirely sure this is all actually happening.

Turn in line: Jules

Brianna checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.

Jules considers the battle, and with the tent abandonded, moves along inside on a quiet step - finding the personal possessions of Ian, Rysen, and Brianna piled up haphazardly in the back, while there's a glowing bonfire in the middle with sleeping skins laid out in a concentric circle, and a few backpacks and other possessions. But hey, weapons and armour for all!

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha GM Roll checked mana(5) + occult(5) at difficulty 50, rolling 6 higher.

18 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

18 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.

18 inflicted and Arik is unharmed.

18 inflicted and Arcadia is unharmed.

18 inflicted and Juliana is unharmed.

18 inflicted and Dianna is unharmed.

18 inflicted and Alecstazi is unharmed.

18 inflicted and Brianna is harmed for moderate damage.

18 inflicted and Jules is unharmed.

18 inflicted and Rysen is harmed for moderate damage.

18 inflicted and Ian is harmed for moderate damage.

18 inflicted and Arik is harmed for moderate damage.

18 inflicted and Arcadia is harmed for moderate damage.

18 inflicted and Juliana is harmed for moderate damage.

18 inflicted and Dianna is harmed for moderate damage.

18 inflicted and Alecstazi is harmed for moderate damage.

18 inflicted and Jules is harmed for serious damage.

Ian checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 7, rolling 84 higher.

Ian remains capable of fighting.

Anisha GM Roll checked str(5) + brawl(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 9 higher.

18 inflicted and Rysen is harmed for moderate damage.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + small wpn(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 33 higher.

33 inflicted and Brianna is harmed for moderate damage.

Anisha GM Roll checked str(5) + melee(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 3 lower.

"Nature hungers, nature hunts. Man will cover in fear! Run oh, compact, from my words! You have no dominion here!" The White Raven Speaker cries out, using her club with the obsidian shards to rake across the back of the sacrifice before her, whose blood seeps into the altar and spills in dark, almost black rivulets down the many runs in the black stone stucture, spilling out and staining the snow on the ground. As it does so, the crimson mist, barely visible as heat-waves of the bodies of the jerky-moving abandoned, begins to rise from the ground as a whole. And it becomes a whole lot harder to focus on them, as breath grows short and bodies grow sluggish with a bone-deep ache. Though the shriek of fury and pain as her little ritual is followed by a disrespectful arrow to the thigh is probably a satisfying conclusion

Alec gives his foe a nasty cut across the back, and he stumbles right into Brianna's chain-strike, which causes him to cry out as he sprawls onto his front in the muddied and bloodied snow.
The Shav'Arvani seem invigorated by the mist, drawing it in and howling their praise to the White Raven. "For her blood-stained wings!" Cries the Top-knotted one, agonized. And in lieu of having a sword anymore, he swings his fist at Rysen's face, landing a nasty uppercut that makes the Crovane lord literally bite his tongue. The one so savagely brutalised by Brianna and Jules draws Jules' knife, and gives the unarmoured and unarmed halfshav a nasty cut across the belly - and she can immediately feel her blood mingle with that of the Shav'arvani, feel how the flesh heats and the infection spreads. Or maybe that's just her imagination.

The Lanky One has picked up a spear and charges at Alec and Arik, sweeping out but failing to connect - then again, maybe driving them away from her compatriot with the pick-axe was the point.

Turn in line: Rysen

When Ian tell Rysen he's nearly broken the chains a wild look passes over the Crovane swordsman's face - a look of hope, the he might see his wife again, and hold his son in his arms.

When the Lady of Granato sweeps past him with a pyreweave cloak, he throws it over his shoulders. Then Dianna sunders the wooden post, and Rysen literally shouts with joy. Leaping to his feet as his chains fall slack, Rysen slides a boot under his sword and effortlessly glides it to his hand. He coughs violently when the mist reaches his lungs, and the uppercut rocks him backward, but he turns quickly to Ian and throws Juliana's cloak over the Sword of Stormward's shoulders. Handing Ian the rubicund sword and keeling to let him grab hold of his shoulders, Rysen supports his legs and rises with Ian in a piggy back carry, looking to run toward the path behind Alecstazi and Arik.

Rysen gets a rubicund arming sword with a design of flickering flames.

Ian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 47 higher. Ian rolled a critical!

The way that Ian's legs sag like dead weight once they're no longer bound tight against his chest says a lot about how much use they'll be, going forward. He looks like he's having trouble focusing, with a fever spiking higher and higher from the way he's still shaking. But he has a sword in his hands, now, and the change that comes over him with the familiar weight of the blade at his disposal is visible. The fever has ceased to matter, and the blood loss, and the pain. It's casual, the way that he sweeps it around, cutting behind the knee of the knife-footed shav and just... cuts their leg off. Then he gives Rysen Juliana dagger and grabs on. "This is not running," he grunts as he's picked up, having forgotten that he never did get Rysen to agree to just run.

Juliana wields Red Tooth, a rubicund dagger.

Turn in line: Ian

Turn in line: Arik

Alecstazi checked wits + war at difficulty 40, rolling 9 lower.

Arik checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 28 higher.

"Listen you fucking blood dr-" Arik begins to say as he reaches out to try and grab the shav by the top of his top knot from atop Brianna only to be caught off guard by a gal with a spear rushing him. One two three steps back, sword coming up and Alecstazi is offering up a distraction the moment her eyes are off Frostfang's tip Arik is plunging it for her stomach. "I hope Crovane salts the mountain side after this." Arik hisses as the shamans chanting hasn't left him unaffected , the rain drenched man looking only slightly less rangy than these blood drenched shavs.

Turn in line: Arcadia

Arcadia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 50, rolling 57 higher. Arcadia rolled a critical!

Jules... err Juliana, doesn't stop as the boys get up, she is at Brianna in a flash ripping off Dianna

Arcadia stumbles and gasps as that spell takes hold. The sheer stubborness of her entire being is keeping her from collapsing. Spotting the vials of blood around the speakers neck and waist, she drags her bow back and offers a brief prayer to the sky "Petrichor. I hope that my arrow is true and saves the lives of those in this wretched forest. Let me help them find their safety." A moment of peace passes her face as the arrow is released and strikes the speakers largest bauble. The glass explodes and the blood inside it spills and coats the speaker in blood. Arcadia opens her owlish blue eyes and makes eye contact with the speaker.

Turn in line: Juliana

Jules... err Juliana, doesn't stop as the boys get up, she is at Brianna in a flash ripping off Dianna's coat and handing it to the lady as she starts pulling away chains to help her to her feet. All the while talking, loudly. "Ian you die before I can get to you and I am going to find a way to drag you off the wheel and stuff you in a body that gets sea-sick at the smell of table salt!" Juliana sjoves her rapier into Brianna's hands. "I hope you know how to use that... I promised that big lug of a cousin of mine that I would get you out of here. So don't make me a liar" at which point she pulls her own remaining blade, the rubicund dagger and starts moving them back the way she had come.

Turn in line: Dianna

Dianna checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.

Brianna wields Seam Ripper, a slender rapier with bejeweled hilt.

Two Templars next to Arcadia have been letting loose arrow after arrow until Arcadia falls backwards in pain. Alarmed, one attempts to help her to safety -- but the Marquessa's will for shooting is enough to have him stammer backwards and take up his own shooting again. Until, that is, the strange, crimson mist comes rolling in, causing the pair to stammer, cough and choke.

Oscarr, Dianna's Arxian-assigned Templar guard, is meanwhile startled by the mist, as well, coughing and squinting, at his Templar brothers and Arcadia, but alarmed enough to rush forward to find Dianna.

Farther inward, the priestess gags as the crimson mist rises, attempting to take hold. Far more important is her friends' safety; Dianna glimpses Rysen as he rises, notes with brief placidness as Ian dismembers the shav's leg and focuses, at last, upon Brianna - who is currently being tended to by Juliana. The only choice, at this point, is protecting those who are left; the glaivedancer rushes out and catches up with the Rysen/Ian combo, wielding her spinning glaive like a shield wall to fend off the coming swarm of enemies who head towards them.

Turn in line: Alecstazi

"And THEN they stuck it in her EAR." Alec's voice roars, his intent to distract the spear-wielding woman clear -- and successful! So what if a little bit of his traditionalist soul delights in a moment of savage misogyny? It's for a good cause. Right? Right? When he sees Arik land his blow there is a savagry present in Alec's face that is rarely seen in the genteel prince.

Turn in line: Brianna

Brianna is battered but far from broken - and with a proper weapon, she takes a moment to slash open the throat of the Shav'arvani she tripped with her chain - not that it stops him. He grasps at his throat and gags, interrupted from his half-rising - then looks at her with hatred in his eyes and pushes upwards to raise his pick-shaped axe at her.

Turn in line: Jules

Jules takes a moment and looks around at all the chaos here. He shakes his head and reaches into his side pocket of his backpack and pulls out a roll of haze and then shakes his head, "Is it Lord Arik? Only other time I can think of I've seen it go this ... crazy. In the name of ....well I can't think of any of the gods." He shakes his head and then looks around, "Don't have a light, better go get one." He's still muttering to himself as he heads back into the tent to light up out of the rain and then seems to remember there's stuff in here. He fills up a backpack that he slings over his shoulder and walks back out somewhat casually but a slightly shaky hand, continuing to puff on the haze and muttering still on his way out, "is doing a lot and was then. Either way, last time ... maybe?" He looks around to survey the chaos to see if there is anything he actually can do.

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 2 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 40 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 39 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(5) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked str(5) + huge wpn(5) at difficulty 30, rolling 43 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked str(5) + melee(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 38 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked str(5) + brawl(5) at difficulty 55, rolling 3 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked mana(5) + occult(5) at difficulty 25, rolling 33 higher.

9 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

38 inflicted and Brianna is harmed for moderate damage.

Brianna checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 22, rolling 36 higher.

Brianna remains capable of fighting.

86 inflicted and Alecstazi is harmed for severe damage.

A rain of arrows comes, from the eastern end as the shav'arvani there have laid down their bloodied weapons and picked up their bows - firing at the far hill with the other ranged people. Though Arcadia is covered and defended by the Templars, their shields guarding her, even as both of the pair that stuck on the hill get struck down and collapse, between that and the deadly mist.

Of the four guards around the altar, two move in their weird, rapid-burst steps towards the hill, covering amazing distance and starting a climb, howling in anger. The other two draw blades and rush towards the battle at the prisoner's tent. The woman Arik gutted smiles, sinister, blood gushing from between her lip as she pushes herself deeper onto his blade. "Let's die, then, Kneeler. I know what waits for me on the other side," Her spear jabbing - though apparently, Alec is the one who's earned her wrath, as she pushes the sickly-smelling spear coated in blood and other less hygienic things at his belly in turn. The one who's been heading for Rysen is successfully fended off by Dianna, only landing a weak blow at Rysen's shoulder before she nearly takes his hand off. Meanwhile the one who stumbled over Brianna's chain is now doing his level best to make _her_ pay. After all, imagine what she could do with a rapier!

And then it happens. Arcadia's arrow bursts a bulbous vial of blood, and goes through it and into the White Raven Speaker's chest. Her eyes go glassy. She blinks, and stumbles backwards as blood gushes down her chest. Then, in a series of explosions, the other twelve vials draped on her frame burst outward, one by one, blackened and brackish blood spraying, coating her and the altar and the woman. She staggers to her knees, her voice a weak whisper - and yet devastatingly clear. "You fool. What have you DONE." She mutters, coughing blood. "By my life, I end you. By my blood, I call to yours. May it boil. May you be visited by every plague. May you burn in his name! May you die for your trespass! This is OUR PLACE!" She hisses... And then, without much fanfare, she slumps atop her latest victim.

The effect is immediate. As the bulbs burst, the various Shav'arvani - the ones guarding her, until recently, the ones fighting the rescue team and the prisoners alike, and the ones with their bows killing templars -they all howl out in agony, and collapse to their knees, the mist seemingly thickening for a moment. Then, Arcadia feels her blood boil, indeed, a fever like one she's never felt before. She can feel her body revolting, feel the pus bubble from the wound in her leg, spread into boils across her body. Feel her lungs restrict and her muscles weaken. Feel her eyes water and he vision go dim. She is dying. She is dead. She will die, now, as her organs are failing one by one.
The Shav'Arvani are recovering, slowly. But Arcadia's sacrifice have bought the rescue team and their targets some valuable time.

132 inflicted and Arcadia is harmed for grievous damage.

Arcadia checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 113, rolling 29 higher. Arcadia rolled a critical!

Arcadia remains capable of fighting.

Turn in line: Rysen

As Ian sweeps off the leg of the Abandoned tormentor. Rysen glances towards Brianna as she moves towards Alecstazi and Arik. Then he sprints at full speed, carrying Ian on his back, as Dianna falls in behind them, trusting the Kennex lord and the glaivedancer to cut down anyone that may impede their course. Bleeding from the cruel, torturous cuts of the Abandoned, and breathing heavily, even amid the miasmic air, he pushes the limits of his body with all speed, as water splashes from his foot-falls.

Reaching Arcadia's position and hearing her prayer, Rysen glances over his shoulder to see her arrow burst the speaker's talisman, covering her in blood. "Cady!" shouts Rysen in relief, between ragged breaths. "Let's go!" Then he hears the Speaker's words, and Arcadia's leg burst with pus and boils rise on her skin. "Cady!!" he screams and his eyes widen with horror at her injuries. "Come on! Follow me now!" he says, adjusting his hold on Ian's legs, and sucking in air. There is a wild, desperate look in Rysen's eye as he turns toward Dianna. "Please get her down the mountain," he rasps, as his voice all but leaves him. He hesitates a moment to make sure Arcadia follows.

Turn in line: Ian

Ian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 44 higher.

Ian isn't doing a great job of telling friend from foe right now; he's resorted to separating threats from not-threats by reading their intentions in the way they move. His well-honed instinct for combat is, if anything, put into a sharper focus by the near delirium, though, so as long as none of his friends make a threatening move towards him or Rysen, they shouldn't have anything to worry about. (Dianna should probably stay out of the range of his blade, just to be safe.) "I was looking forward to being oldest," he says to Rysen, like it's a perfectly sensible thing for him to be saying. "You'll probably find a way to hog it again."

Turn in line: Arik

Arik checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 20 higher.

Arik furrows his brow as the bloody mouthed spearwoman keeps talking and even stabs out at Alecstazi. The Halfshav Lord grunts then clenches his jaw and with one hand grabbing her shoulder the other pulls Frostfang halfway out only to shove it back up into her ribs. Does he pierce her heart, does she still have lungs... Arik doesn't care as he pushes her off his blade obviously presuming she is just dead. "Dirty fucking Blood magic." he hisses before turning to Alecstazi just to ensure the Prince is breathing... Probably. "Oi..." then Arik is approaching the hostile shav atop Brianna.

Turn in line: Arcadia

A scream echoes around the camp as Arcadia falls. Her body writhes and is wracked in pain as her skin explodes and pus oozes from her broken skin. A broken sob comes from her before Rysen is before her. She blinks. Her blue owlish eyes glassy with tears. "Ry!" Even with the pain the relief he is free and there is evident. It seems enough to pull her from the pain for a moment. Long enough to gasp. "You need to finish them. They feel like this too. Kill them all. Now." She grits her teeth and pulls herself up and hugs Rysen. A real hard hug. She knows it's likely the last thing she'll ever do. She whispers something to Rysen, before the pain is too much and she screams, falling again at his feet and shouting "Go!"

Turn in line: Juliana

Juliana checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.

Juliana has her rubicund dagger in one hand the other still on Brianna's arm as she is trying the get them out of there. As the shav swings at her patient!! There is a growl from Jules the dagger swinging towards him only to be parried by the pick-axe and causing a slur of vocabulary that one would not expect from a Lady of Pravus..... but then, she is half Thrax.

Watching the spectacle of Arcadia being killed from the inside-out by blood magic elicits a deep, grimacing frown from Dianna - and it's likely best she has not yet seen the state of her first cousin, Alecstazi. "Rysen," she winces, "We have to go. We have to go /now/. We have to get you home...!"

Quickly, Dianna searches the area, orders the remaining pair of Templars, her voice filled with emotion but stern, "Take them. Safely. /Now/." She glances to Ian's eyes and simply tells him, "I have to go. My cousin's down there." She shifts and runs back towards the tent where Arik, Alecstazi, Brianna and Juliana are heading from.

Turn in line: Dianna

Dianna checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.

It's the shav with the pick-axe that Dianna strikes with her glaive, the mirrorsilver-and-diamondplate slicking into his side as she passes. It's almost careless, the way she strikes and moves on, making her way to those friends and rescuers remaining.

Turn in line: Alecstazi

Alecstazi checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 19 higher.

Alecstazi is in terrible shape. He's looking rough. And yet -- and yet he stays up, driven by the need to defend the woman behind him. The man with the pick-axe draws near enough for Alec to lash out with his glaive. The blade digs deep into flesh and with a pained grunt, Alec twists it, rending flesh with a curl of his lip. "Stay. Down."

Turn in line: Brianna

Brianna gives a ragged and worn but grateful smile to Alec and Arik and Juliana. Getting to her feet, giving a nod back to the hill. "We are leaving." She declares. "Before they get over... Whatever this is. Move, move, move." There's a half-hearted stab at Top-Knot, who seems to not sense the prick to his chest in his agony.

Turn in line: Jules

Jules is taking the opportunity to swing by and pick up his dagger from earlier since it's there and visible. He snuffs out the lit end of his haze on the ground and stuffs it in his pocket. All this happens in an instance as he then scurries onward back with the others. His eyes shifting about as he closes the distance with Rysen and Ian. He's staying well clear of Ian's wand waving techniques though. As he's moving he pulls out rocks steadily from his pocket and prepares to throw towards eyes.

Turn in line: Anisha

99 inflicted and Arcadia is harmed for grievous damage.

Arcadia checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 200, rolling 101 lower.

Arcadia checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 140, rolling 79 lower.

Arcadia is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Arcadia has died.

She could not hold on forever. Arcadia feels her heart slow, grow, erratic. Feels the agony of her limbs becoming unfeeling. The snow suddenly so utterly cold. When did the snow go so cold? Why is the sky growing so dark. There were stars just a moment ago.

And in the background, a dozen, a score angry howls cry out, for the White Raven and for Vengeance, the cacophonous cawing of a parliament set on becoming a Murder.

Turn in line: Rysen

Just like Arcadia's screams came from nowhere, her silence is the same. Her eyes grow glassy and duller by the second. Her head turns to Rysen, but it's as if she's looking past him now. Her mouth moves, but no words come out, though if looking closely she is mouthing, "I'm sorry."

Once those words are out, her eyes go blank. Her body relaxes and the world is dark for her.

A hug isn't exactly a threatening gesture, but it's pretty close. Ian stops himself from cutting Arcadia's last words short by running her through then and there, but it's a near thing. Dizzy and confused, it takes him a minute to put together what's going on. "Take her," he says to Rysen (who he has now remembered is Rysen). "I'll catch another ride out of here. She came here for you. You take her." It's too late, but he doesn't know that. He has only a tenuous grip on who she even is.

"No," says Rysen to Ian. "I'm the middle. Locke's..." The leg that took the arrow days ago wobbles, and Rysen turns, bleary-eyed. "Come on, Cady," he says, and then she hugs him. He kneels as she collapses, letting Ian slide off his back to the ground, while Rysen holds Arcadia. She whispers something to him, and he nods. "I promise," he says. "But you have to get up," he says, cradling her head, and gritting his teeth. "Get up, Cady!" He says, as tears fill his eyes.

When Dianna tells Rysen to go, he nods. "Yes," he says, turning again to Arcadia. He just can't let her go. As the curse takes its effect. Ian speaks to him. And there's a great burst of sound - so loud he can't hear anything else. It's not until Ian shakes him that he realizes it's the sound of his own voice screaming. He picks up Arcadia, holding her fiercely to his body, standing beside Ian until either Dianna or a templar can help help him.

Turn in line: Ian

Turn in line: Arik

Arik waits for Brianna to get up on her feet, the way is clear for the moment so as they beginning to move for the ridge. A scream is heard, maybe more than one and Arik is looking from left to right for any particularly suicidal or quick to recover shavs that might be trying to stop them in their escape. As long as Brianna is on the move so is Arik, up the cliff, towards the path more often than not letting Juliana, Alecstazi and Brianna take the lead when the path narrows.

Turn in line: Arcadia

Turn in line: Juliana

Since Brianna was up and fighting, and the way was clear, Juliana moves with all due haste, already her quick glances assessing the damage of the party, the only thing that stops her is that yell... it stops her cold for a breath, her face going pale as they hit the trail and follow the others down.

It's Oscarr who moves to take Arcadia's body from Rysen and the other Templar that moves, tenuously, to pick up Ian. "I'm ...not gonna hurt you," the wary Templar says to the wounded (but scary) Kennex, glancing to Rysen for some kind of moral support. If he feels comfortable enough that Ian won't stab him, the Templar moves in, relieves Ian of the sword and scoops up the broken man. If Ian fights? That Templar won't go near enough to be struck.

Dianna, meanwhile, is fretting - and doing her very best to focus her fear into guarding those yet left. Deliberately, she refrains from looking at the gory wound in her cousin's belly, but she will offer support for Alec to lean on her, if he chooses. Otherwise? She's taking up the role of Guardian of Arik, Brianna, Juliana, Alecstazi and Jules, fretting over them like a mama duck over her line of ducklings until they're safe.

Turn in line: Dianna

Turn in line: Alecstazi

Alecstazi checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 19 lower.

Apparently an injured Alecstazi is an ornery Alecstazi. He is spiteful enough to lash out with his glaive at Top Knot, missing by a country mile. He lags behind the others, limping as he covers the the retreat.

Turn in line: Brianna

Brianna grits her teeth - and freezes, seeing Arcadia and Rysen, the templars and Ian. Quietly, she moves on, with her family and her friends, before the abyssal Shav can overtake them again.

Turn in line: Jules

Jules is moving with only a slightly erratic pattern, footsteps leaving traces in the snow. He pauses, seeing Ian and the templar - opens his mouth to say something, then spots Cady and Rysen and their templar too... And thinks better of it. Making sure that Rysen is moving along down the path.

Turn in line: Anisha

It's a battered group that stumbles down the path - and there's almost an argument about who goes last, to fend off the Shav - but thankfully, the cries and scrabbling of the guards has them slipping down quickly. Dianna and Alec fight side by side against one of the forward scouts, and Ian deliriously knocks one off the side of the mountain with a careless swipe of his borrowed blade. Rysen and one of Dianna's Templars carries Arcadia, and Juliana tends to the living as best she can as they move down. Thankfully, it's a quicker - and easier - descent than ascent. And when they reach the place they came up, they can mount their horses, and ride - out-pacing the fevered Shav'arvani on the Winter Plains.

They are safe, for now.

But is Stormwall?



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