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The Thirteenth Day of the Vigil for Beloved Orazio

For thirteen days and nights, we shall - in honor of Beloved Orazio - pray, stand vigil and speak truth, under the watch of the Faceless Watcher, to whom our Dominus's heart was first and strongest called. Priest and disciple, and any of the Faithful who join us, shall spell each other for this time. We shall drink cool water and eat simply, ask hard questions and speak their answers with only the judgment of the Sentinel and not each other. At the conclusion of those thirteen days, we shall march through the city and beyond the walls in a mourner's parade for services at the Memorial Park that Beloved Orazio built, where he will be interred and his life celebrated.

Date

Nov. 20, 2020, 3 p.m.

Hosted By

Aureth Avary

Participants

Rane Aleksei Evaristo Thea Natasha Caprice Elloise Sina Reigna Korka Eirene Sen'azala Vicarin Medeia Alessia Wylla Merek Branwen Narcissa Mercedes Hamish Martino Lucita Naka Saoirse Azova Romulius Kiera Porter Kaia Preston Rowenova Rinel Herja Brigida Zoey

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Eastern Approach - Path Outside the Walls - Memorial Park of Arx

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log


Sebastian, an adorable gray and white tabby, Jacinthe, Arindais, a dour-looking Scholar, 3 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Sina.

Fortescue, a snooty and disinterested Lycene coxcomb have been dismissed.

The Moore baron made his way to the Shrine with prompt punctuality and found a place well enough behind most of the gathered and far enough anyway that his hand, still bandaged and bound in a sling, might not be jostled or bumped. If he normally appeared stoic, today, and right now, he was positively austere in his manner and pose.

Micana, an efficient assistant, 1 Saik Guard arrive, following Lucita.

Lucita arrives, following Vicarin.

Aleksei steps into the shrine, hat in hand -- literally -- and turning it slowly between his fingers. There is almost a quiet awkwardness to him there, possibly conscious of the fact that he wrote an excessively long and emotive train-of-thought journal about the recently departed. Rather than find himself a seat, he hangs near the back of the shrine, slowly turning and turning that hat in hand just for -- something to do. He draws in a slow, deep breath.

Dreya, an older woman in Velenosan livery, 2 House Velenosa Guards, Ailfryd, a tall, thin man with a haugty air arrive, following Saoirse.

Evaristo is standing somewhere in the back, trying not to draw attention to himself. For once.

It's not every day that the putatively excommunicated Acting Dominus (or Dominus-Regent, depending on who you ask) hosts a ceremony in honor of his own assassinated predecessor. But for the last thirteen days, priests and disciples have been in and out of the Shrine of the Sentinel, offering prayers, kneeling in silence, or making small offerings throughout a candlelit vigil.
Aureth is here now, kneeling before the shrine in white robes. He has not managed to be here every hour, but has managed to at least spend a little time praying here on each of the days of the vigil. Stealing time from a Dominus's schedule, it turns out, is not easy. But making time for a little truth, a little earnest worship, a little pure sincerity: it is worth it, isn't it.
As the hour approaches for the march to the temple beyond the walls, Aureth grows in awareness of the number of people who are filtering in for the comparative spectacle, but he does not immediately rise or turn to face the congregation. He is waiting; kneeling; praying.

Thea looks over at Medeia and smiles a moment. "Working on it,"before sliding to make room for Martino and Kaia.

Somewhere to the back, and slightly towards the left wing of the Shrine of the Sentinel, is a tall, slender figure garbed in a hooded cloak and a sharply elegant but understated umbra gown stitched with white gold embroidery to give it the appearance of scales from one shoulder, twisting into the form of a certain house's familiar sea serpent, curling along the left side of her chest and braiding down the narrow taper of her waist and flare of her hip. The shadows cast by Natasha Thrax's cowl silhouettes a face as if cast from marble, silent and almost completely still as she waits for the vigil to start, though any slant of perceptive eyes would catch hints of serpentine tension keeping her shoulders faintly stiff; it could simply be the somberness and sobriety of a solemn moment, but the true cause is difficult to discern.

She is not unaccompanied, however; despite her height, she's managed to find someone *much* taller than she is to act as a partner, or guard, in these proceedings when the towering form of Lord Romulius Blackshore lingers by her elbow.

Caprice is an early arrival, respectfully quiet and opting against pre-service socializing. Instead, finding a seat, the woman joins the ranks of those observing (albeit without the benefit of uniform or weaponry).

The small black-clad form that is Elloise bustles into the shrine and surveys those gathered in the shrine. There's a knot of Harlequins and a knot of Inquisitors to choose from, and thus she settles herself midway between the two with her black-lace gloved hands clasped neatly before her. Despite a atillness of body, her gray eyes dart around the shrine, taking everything in.

Sina arrives for the vigil, accompanied by three Templars. She advances further into the Shrine, while her protectors move off to places where they can keep an eye on things.

Reigna guides Merry over towards Aleksei and moves to take a seat beside him. "Hello, Aleksei." Reigna's voice is low, soft. "This is my dearest friend, Merrygold. Merry, this is Aleksei." The young blonde seems to be an amplification of Reigna, a source of intense, concerned warmth. She radiates a benevolence and kindness. "It is good to meet you, Aleksei." This from the earnest young woman.

Korka looks over and up at Mercedes, a small smile tugging on the corner of her lips, "I suppose it was. But if you can't laugh at a funeral, what can you laugh at?"

Nevermore, the sulking raven, 3 Fidante House Guards arrive, following Narcissa.

Eirene speaks quietly to the bench of Malvici and Saik family who have come to pay respects. Her black leathers are sober for the occasion if they weren't what she already wore. Peace-bonds in Saik colors are kept close around her weapons.

Aureth checks composure and performance at hard. Aureth is marginally successful.

It may be a little warm for wool, but if that's so, the wearer doesn't appear to be paying attention to it. A woman slips in behind several others, quiet, and heads toward the back of those that are gathered. It's a popular spot.

Vicarin enters the shrine, cutting a formidable figure (probably) in full armor as he escorts Baroness Lucita Saik, ever vigilant and watchful, his long sable hair gently waving about in the slight breeze that might enter through the door.

Medeia has been sitting on a bench for a while, clad in black and talking with those around her quietly. She is flanked by a Southport contingent of Thea, Eirene, Martino, and Kaia. Her eyes are rimmed red, but as more and more people come in, a faint smile brightens her expression. There is some comfort taken in knowing so many would come for her uncle.

Fairly unadorned (for her) for the occasion, Alessia drifts into the shrine, an uncommon sight within. She has a dour expression, in keeping with the mood, though manages the faintest of smiles to familiar figures as she makes her way to a bench.

Kevin, a jerk wolf spider with a really shitty attitude who totally sucks arrives, delivering a message to Evaristo before departing.

Wylla walks in and spots someone she knows, moving silently until she's at Caprice's side, squeezing the woman's shoulder and smiling at her gently.

Merek makes a way into the place wearing his usual casual dark attire.

A cloaked northern shaman lingers among those in the back, remaining standing and leaning on her staff as she watches the proceedings carefully and silently. Her eyes catch on Lord Vicarin for a moment before resuming scanning the crowd.

Narcissa entered at some point, dressed in her own black leathers -sans any weapon at her hip. Three guards remain close to her side though to alleviate such concerns, dressed in the livery of Fidante. A quiet, respectful nod is given to familiar faces but the Voice remains quiet for the most part.

Korka watches Kevin crawling across the floor to Evaristo, then looks over to Hamish with a gesture that clearly says, 'he's right there!'

Mercedes has been present for a moment or two and she doesn't look particularly sad or the opposite. She seems to be reflecting on the statue at the head of the shrine. Silent, observant. Korka's commentary pulls her attention back toward the woman and there is a faint cant to her head and a quiet sound in her high throat before she retains her silent study of mourners and those in company-of-mourners.

Hamish steps into the shrine that has become all too familiar recently. Rather than joining the crowd he stays to the back, arms folded, expression tight.

Martino's sits upright, his right fingertips drawing over Lady Kaia Malvici's left wrist. Inhaling in slightly, his sharp greens flickering to some as they enter. A crinkling in the corners, the marks of the Lord Martino's age drawing up in the corners' of his face with each faint smile.

Vicarin seems to notice the northern shaman, a nod sent Branwen's way.

Lucita comes into the shrine, hand resting on her cousin's arm. She spots so very many she knows it is hard to address them all individually, thus she simply lifts a hand and gives a discrete little wave. "I've been in and out of here since it happened, praying, meditating." She walks toward the bench at which another of the family sits pausing along the way to whisper to one or two. Her color is a shade paler than usual and she looks somewhat worried, fatigued but otherwise alright.

Toward the back, Lord Naka Laurent is among a small crowd of similarly shiftless disciples, caught between reverence and the spectacle of the moment, with a big dash of anxiety for the short term future thrown in. He, perhaps, smiles a bit more than most of them, but still manages a thin veneer of stoicism.

Reigna's attention is briefly caught by the arrival and movement of Nirai, tracking the cloaked woman's motion with slightly widened eyes. She lifts a hand as if to wave, but catches herself, just watching the other woman for a moment before clearing her throat. The woman beside her, however, has no such hesitance, waving enthusiastically towards Nirai though before she calls out, Reigna murmurs something to her and Merry ends up not calling out.

Caprice welcomes the company, her smile for Wylla undimmed and perhaps a little stark in contrast to the overall mood within the shrine. Some murmured words are offered to the Archlector before her attention drifts back to the growing crowd.

Aleksei offers a small, faint smile to Reigna, and then Merrygold with her. He offers a simple nod to Reigna, and then his smile warms a bit as if to echo back the feelings radiating from Merry. "Nice to meet you, Merrygold," he says. He is not, perhaps, at his most effusive, but the circumstances are what they are. "Did you know the Dominus?" he asks instead, his voice gentle.

Saoirse's gaze roves the room for a moment. When she spots Lucita and Vicarin, the princess seems to pause, glance quickly at Eirene, and then look back at Lucita. After a second, Saoirse moves toward the Baroness and the Lord. With a lowered voice, she says, "I'm so glad to see you're on the mend and well enough to pay respects."

Branwen offers a stiff nod in response to Vicarin, clinging to her staff as she remains in the back, watching and listening to the conversations around the shrine.

Narcissa shifts her golden eyes to woman in heavy wool, narrowing her gaze once in curiosity before nodding once, attention shifting back to the front.

Aureth rises. He shifts the folds of cloth around himself, standing very still in his white robes. He projects with force, filling the sanctuary with his voice as best he can despite the fact that he faces the altar with his back to the congregation. He booms out: "SENTINEL," he says. "WATCHER OF ALL," and his voice is loud enough to overtake the murmurs of people finding their places or speaking quietly amongst themselves among the congregation.
"Guardian of truth and God of Justice. The Faithful stand with me before your altar and we pray. The soul of our Beloved Orazio returned to the Queen of Endings to be placed as She will, but the lessons he taught us remain alive in our hearts. We pray to you for truth, for certainty in the face of uncertainty, and for justice. Justice for the cruel murder of our Beloved, taken from us by doers of evil. Justice for the senseless massacre of our Church, whose bones stand ashen, stained by the crime of those blasphemers who tried to steal the gods from the Faithful. Guide us, O Sentinel, for our fallen Dominus. For truth. For justice. Let those who hunt the criminals who would deny you see clearly, plainly, as you see. Let those among the Faithful who remain true to the true Faith and the true gods benefit from your truth, your power, your strength, your wisdom. Let all our prayers be heard, and all our hearts rise towards you, and know the truth."

"Oh, no. But my mother knew him. Well, she sort of knew everyone, but she spoke of him. And Reigna liked him a lot, so if Reigna liked him then I am sure I would have liked him too. She talks about you a lot, Reigna I mean, not my mother, my mother died." That sentence has Merry's brightness dimming, a glum look crossing her mobile features. She is about to continue, but the Aureth speaks and she quiets.

Nirai does appear to notice Merrygold's enthusiastic waving, as she shifts her course toward Reigna. It's unhurried, mostly, and requires weaving in and out amongst a whole lot of attendees. When she does reach the young woman, however, she reaches out to catch at her wrist, and murmurs something low.

Lucita's lips tighten and she glances toward Saoirse, listens respectfully to what Aureth says then lowers her voice to reply to Saoirse.

Evaristo almost jumps at the booming voice and his jaw drops a bit. He shifts around as if he's a little nervous or uncomfortable, moving a bit closer to Hamish.

Korka falls silent as Aureth starts talking, standing there beside Mercedes to listen. And every so often take a slow bite of her apple which does not so much as soften the sound as drag it out a little bit.

Nirai pats Merrygold's arm, before briefly pinching at the bridge of her nose. She looks frontward though, listening.

Closing his eyes, Martino's sharp greens shield away behind lids as he listens to Aureth's voice. His brow furrowing in slightly, the Malvici Lord's lips twisting inwards before a faint nod follows.

As people continued to filter in, Medeia raised a hand in silent acknowledgement to Narcissa, Hamish, and Evaristo, before beckoning Lucita and VIcarin to join her and the Malvicis (plus Eirene). As Aureth booms at the front, she watches him speak, rapt, nodding occasionally.

Azova has a hand clasped around the pendant of Lagoma that hangs around her neck, head bowed while Aureth speaks. And when inevitably a tear tracks down her face, there's a quick swipe of it away before she looks back up at the impassive and neutral face of judgement towering over them.

Eirene is handed a note by Planchet, her attendant, right before the pronouncements begin. It makes her glance at Lucita as well before she tucks it away and focuses front to Aureth.

Lucita has joined the a long stone and wooden bench.

Narcissa offers Medeia a kind, slowly blooming smile before whispering something to the Saik.

Thea blinks a little at Aureth, more like the voice behind it. But she straighten, listening.

"Did she? I--" But Aleksei is also interrupted from continuing his quiet conversation by the start of the formalities, and his attention turns to Aureth as well. There's something earnest and a bit complicated about his expression, an unsurprising sobriety. And he, like everyone else, listens.

In the small grouping of disciples and scholars, huddled together, like a school of fish, for protection, Naka looks up towards the statue of the Sentinel. Several others of the small group seem to unconsciously choose to do the same.

For his part, Romulius's typical dour attire seems to finally match the sobriety of the moment at hand. His gaze remains fixed towards Aureth and the ceremony proper, stern countenance unwavering as the Acting Dominus speaks.

Kiera stands respectfully, despite not knowing the dominus, pesonally, this is an important moment, though she seems genuinely torn by the wish to bow her head in prayer and the impulse to note everything and everyone in the room

Elloise too eventually opts for the comfort of her fellow diciples' presence, fidget-stepping closer to the Harlequins, though she freezes whenever Aureth speaks.

Branwen turns her attention from the crowd to Aureth as the Acting Dominus begins, but her eyes soon return to the crowd like a raven surveying the forest floor from her perch, even if her perch in this case is simply the back of the gathering.

Mercedes lifts her chin as the voice rises and attention is drawn to Aureth. Like the others present she heeds every word, it's difficult not to, but hers is a sturdy and resolute demeanor.

For a long moment after Aureth completes speaking, he is quiet. He waits until the entire chapel descends in a hush. He waits, standing before the altar. Then he turns. "Each of us," he says, "will join the procession and march together beyond the walls of the city, to the Memorial Park. The grave awaits us. Before you join the march as we leave here together, I ask this boon of each of you. Speak a truth from your heart. To your neighbor; to the sanctuary; to the chapel. The Sentinel sees all and knows all your truths, but to speak them is holy unto the Watcher, and will be a service to justice. I do not ask for the deepest secret of your heart, nor the heaviest truth that weighs your shoulders. Even a small gift of truth will be an offering that befits this moment. But speak, be not silent, and tell no falsehoods. I ask it of you on behalf of the Church, and behalf of the love that I bear my friend, who was the Dominus."

Perhaps seeing that Lucita is in good company for now, Vicarin steps away for the moment but not too far should he be needed. His path brings him near Branwen to whom his dips his chin and says something in a hushed tone so as to not disturb the proceedings.

Hamish remains standing where he is, offering slight nods of acknowledgment when Harlequins begin to gather. For a funeral attendee he looks less sad than angry. Though when Aureth calls on his boom some of the tension leaves Hamish's expression. A bit.

Branwen turns her eyes towards Vicarin as he approaches. She dips her head as she listens to what he has to say, then pauses for a moment, looking over the gathering once more before she replies in a similarly hushed tone.

Azova looks around her as the boon is called, and turns in the direction of the Dominus Regent and the statue of the Sentinel. "Forgiveness does not come easily to me." A swift and simple truth that is spoken aloud as requested. And then, she steps in towards the crowd so that she can join the procession when it begins.

The request from Aureth finally elicits a break from Romulius's stare, the man turning towards Natasha at his side, a dip of his head and a hushed conversation following.

Nirai's shoulders hunch ever so slightly at the request, though it's brief. Up, and then down, nearly a shrug, but not quite. She says something to those nearest in a low voice.

Saoirse speaks ...louder than everyone else, apparently. "My marriage began as a big lark to annoy our houses."

Narcissa speaks her truth softly, gifting the requested boon to the Sentinel alone.

As others along his bench gather up, Martino's upon his feet before holding his head down low. The faint clink of heavy necklace upon waistcoat following his moves as he murmurs hush at the prompt to share a truth.

Martino mutters, "It ... my turn to ... the ..."

Eirene stands, shoulders squared. She speaks in a rough voice and says, clearly, "I did not think I would find happiness as a wife and mother. But I have. And while I have some regrets," she says honestly, "I am glad of my choice." When she sits, she murmurs something to Lucita.

Aureth nods to Azova in approval as she makes of her truth so firm and public a thing. Then he begins to walk forward towards the procession slowly forming up. Saoirse's pronouncement brings a smile to his lips despite himself. Some truths are funnier than others. He smooths his hand over his lips, and then speaks again, himself, even as others are beginning to speak their truths at varying volume. "Faithful, my truth is this," he adds, quieter, more earnest, making eye contact with this or that random member of the congregation. He bows, then, and straightens, and says: "I am one man. Not a nobleman. A priest, sworn. A father, a brother, a friend. I am not a perfect man. I have not always even been a humble man. But whatever else I am, I remain a man of faith, and I will do my utmost in service for the gods, for the Faithful, and for the Church."

Lucita murmurs her truth to those with whom she sits though from her expression, there is a large degree of worry involved in it.

Porter, who has been quietly waiting in the background, finally pushes off the wall as the confessions begin. He doesn't appear to have arrived with anyone today, so he speaks his simple truth quietly outloud to anyone around. "I push through everything in my life with an optimistic outlook even if I feel absolutely miserable. I hope if I keep working at it, what wasn't the truth, will turn into it."

Naka takes several moments to think. Others in the small group whisper truths to each other. Naka's is only barely more audible outside that grouping as he says, "I don't always know what the truth is, and knowing is important to me. I certainly don't know how to say what I think is truth without sounding like a boorish simpleton."

Listening, quietly letting others around her speak their truths, Medeia chews on her bottom lip. But whatever truth she has to share is between her and the Sentinel this day, as it is breathed out nearly silently.

"My soul's not entirely my own anymore," Korka says out loud with the same enthusiasm as one might use when ordering a mug of ale in a tavern. Then she takes another bite of her apple.

Rane cleared his throat and spoke up without meeting anyone in the eye. "I've allowed fear to rule my thoughts this past week. My lack of faith in Gloria and--The Sentinel--is my greatest shame."

Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards, Direhorn Jeffers, a barded Templar wargoat arrive, following Preston.

Korka's truth gets a look from Hamish, anger gone from his expression, leaving something that speaks of a bone deep exhaustion. Unfolding his arms he flexes his fingers and says, "My hands are awash in blood and it seems unlikely that will ever change."

Thea takes a deep breath, finally admitting. "I care--more than I allow myself show. Whether it be of those Ive treated, death..Indifference is just easier to show."

Elloise steps out of the crowd, though she's still not particularly noticeable all in black and a good bit shorter than most of those standing around her. But she looks up to the concealed face of the Sentinel earnestly and blurts out, "I like books more than people. I mean, I like people. Generally. I just like books more. I'm sorry." She curtsies to the statue and melts back into the crowd.

Kaia had, all along, been seated next to her husband by one of the benches. Listening quietly. The request from Aureth to speak a truth bringing her to lower her gaze and let out in a soft murmur. "I am afraid to lose myself."

"Every funeral makes me uncomfortable, and I'm a Harlequin, devoted to Death herself. But I try. I've gotten better at grief counceling," Evaristo says, not exactly shouting it out but his voice carries. "I love Death. She tends to all our souls."

Reigna considers her words before speaking them in a somber tone, "I am not what I thought I was going to be. I am more and less and always growing, never enough for the moment at hand." There is a little sigh, as if a weight was leaving her with this truth spoken.

Avary says, "I worry that I don't speak the Sentinel's message as I should." says Avary in a cold voice. "I worry that people want an easy or simple answer why terrible things happen to good people, something that's easy so they can blame it conveniently, do something quickly and then feel like justice is done. That the anger in their hearts shouting for revenge will blind them and others on what the Sentinel's justice is. I worry that the wars ahead will have the common people suffer once more with the brunt of decisions because some might believe the ends justify the means. That people will die, horribly. That instead of justice, we lash out to have an eye for an eye which simply blinds us all. That vengeance will beget vengeance. I worry that we forget the Sentinel brings with Their fidelity with Lagoma, a healing to mend what was done. I worry that we won't acknowledge our own actions and decisions which have furthered injustice, even if it meant we conveniently looked away or stayed silent." The icy stare she gives as she looks around is weighty. "We will need to learn and ensure that while heretics like Ivan Aquilegia, Alaric the Shade and Waldo Antidominus bind themselves with evil, that we will need to forgive and help heal the wounds we will cause to those who are wrapped up in the storm of lies that evil has brought on so many in the Isles. The Sentinel's justice is to destroy the wicked, but also defend the innocent. I worry in our haste we will in the desire for righteousness, be blind to our choices that will harm or think the ends will justify the means. We so often judge ourselves based on our intentions, and everyone else on their actions. I worry we think the Sentinel is for others. But the Sentinel knows all.""

"I fear I don't serve the Sentinel as well as I should." Alessia says with a rueful smile. "But I'd like to improve."

Mercedes studies the faceless, hard intensity of the Sentinel. She listens, as keenly as she's able, to the truths that pour forth and are audible enough to catch notice. She takes in a breath and exhales. A look aside to Korka. Just a sidelong one. Finally she speaks up, "I often wonder if it wasn't my duty, would I care to save the lives that I have, and I ask myself; am I making anything right, or am I simply keeping something afloat? The truth is -- the work is what I care about, more than the results."

Kiera looks over at Naka as he speaks with curiosity of one looking at a stranger and a nod of agreement before she speaks "I seek truth, but also peace and tolerance and strive to continue despite my fear

Aleksei listens to the many and varied truths expressed by those gathered, a faint smile touching his lips. It fades into thoughtfulness as he seems to consider his own. And then he says, "I still worry that I'll never quite stop being a screw-up."

Nirai seems content to stay quiet, after whatever she said to those nearby. She doesn't though. Eventually she says, in a voice that doesn't really carry, "I've been in love." It's serious, but there's a twinge of ruefulness in the words.

Sina prays along silently as Aureth speaks prayers, and then she lifts her head and glances around as people begin speaking their truths. She is silent for a time, before she finally speaks a truth as well. "I made a terrible mistake, and it continues to haunt me. But I plan to make it right. I promised him that I would." She goes back to being silent then, peering down at her feet, lingering near one of the walls not far from the door.

Hamish leans over to Evaristo and murmurs, "An aquilegia is a kind of flower." Just in case the First Harlequin of Endings was about to ask. How helpful!

Different truths are filling the sanctuary, overlapping each other. Some are bigger truths than others. In group prayers or hymns, voices become a resounding thrum, words becoming one strong chorus, but this is more chaotic. Spoken word, not song. Yet there remains a commonality to it, in the ring of conviction, in the fractured vulnerability of confession, a sussuration of certainty as people make admissions - to themselves, to their friends, to the Faceless Watcher, to the air.
Aureth takes up his position as the procession forms beneath the statue. What the Sentinel makes of the gift of all these admissions, confessions, and certainties, he does not presume to say. But the priests form up a line, and urge the parishioners to join. Along each side of the procession, disciples and priests hold lanterns or elevate candles to mark the edges of what will become their march. "This is an unlikely parade of truthtellers, of congregants, but one that shares a common thread of love. We are the faithful. We yearn for justice, and we mourn for our Dominus. Walk with me, together, in a union of all these disparate voices, and we will walk to the grave where the human remains of Beloved Orazio will be laid to rest."

Preston steps into the Shrine, the Templar in his full armour and with others of his order - it seems given recent events there is little chance taken in this. A nod is given towards Aureth at the front, letting him know the route has been checked and Templars posted. Otherwise Preston stays quiet and waits to follow Aureth and the congregation.

Eirene has left the a long stone and wooden bench.

Martino has left the a long stone and wooden bench.

Kaia has left the a long stone and wooden bench.

Jasper, a treasure hunting gyrfalcon, Renato, an overconfident attendant, Bastien, a strapping Malvici escort leave, following Kaia.

an immaculately dressed assistant named Johannes, a slightly embarrassed courier called Guido, Cosimo de'Malvici, the Southport banker, Kaia leave, following Martino.

Thea has left the a long stone and wooden bench.

Rocco, the rascally assistant leaves, following Thea.

Martino, Thea leave, following Eirene.

Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards, Direhorn Jeffers, a barded Templar wargoat leave, following Preston.

Orion, a healer's surly Assistant, 2 Redoubt Buccaneers leave, following Azova.

2 Keaton Huntsmen, Oaken, an Oakhaven bloodhound, 1 Healer Guardian, Merrygold, a human with many feelings leave, following Reigna.

1 Templar Knight guards leaves, following Avary.

Nevermore, the sulking raven, 3 Fidante House Guards leave, following Narcissa.

Keso, a totally legit assistant leaves, following Aleksei.

Medeia has left the a long stone and wooden bench.

1 Saik Guard, 2 Eswynd shieldbearers, an Eswynd warrior named Erik or Alric leave, following Medeia.

Alena Sparks, unamused first mate, Midnight Sea, an Ostrian gelding leave, following Evaristo.

Sirra, a very quiet maid, an indeterminate number of cats, 3 House Mazetti Guardians leave, following Alessia.

Sebastian, an adorable gray and white tabby, Jacinthe, Arindais, a dour-looking Scholar, 3 Templar Knight guards leave, following Sina.

3 Templar Knight guards, Sir Daniel the Beardless, a somewhat hapless Templar, 1 Harlequin jongleur leave, following Hamish.

Lucita has left the a long stone and wooden bench.

Micana, an efficient assistant, 1 Saik Guard leave, following Lucita.

1 Harlequin jongleur leaves, following Korka.

Greguin, an organized priest, 7 Templar Knight guards, Binky, an asshole crow, 1 Knight of the Temple, Eirene, Preston, Azova, Reigna, Avary, Porter, Nirai, Caprice, Narcissa, Aleksei, Medeia, Naka, Evaristo, Elloise, Branwen, Merek, Alessia, Mercedes, Romulius, Rane, Sina, Hamish, Lucita, Kiera, Korka leave, following Aureth.

Dreya, an older woman in Velenosan livery, 2 House Velenosa Guards, Ailfryd, a tall, thin man with a haugty air leave, following Saoirse.

The solemn procession begins, lit by candle and lantern, beneath the statue of the Faceless Watcher in the Sanctum of Dignity, and follows a ponderous path through the streets of the city. It picks up more people as it goes - some who were late to the ceremony, some who didn't intend to come at all but were drawn by the sheer mass of people, and some of these who aren't even sure what's happening, especially as the march curves through the upper boroughs and out through the gate. The Templars have cleared the route and stand watch as they go. A few priests are singing a canticle as they march, and as they go, more and more of the congregation pick it up. The sound grows with the march of congregation's feet. The pace is slow but steady, and it's hard to miss all of the nobles in their finery and the knights in their armor and the priests with their lanterns and the children in their confused excitement.
All together, all separate, they march, and Aureth and his templars and his knight of the temple lead the way. The gates open to spill them out onto the soft grass beyond the gate, and onward they all go.

3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, Cremona, an attentive high strung law clerk arrive, following Natasha.

Merek follows along with the procession while he will be a bit content.

Sina follows along with the procession, carrying a lantern and singing along with the canticles. She was briefly speaking with Lucita, but now her attention is focused once more upon the procession, while her Templars remain close at hand, ready for any signs of trouble. The Archscholar is solemn, but her voice joins clearly and on key with the other singers.

Evaristo might not feel comfortable at a funeral but this is different. Walking with everyone in this march to the memorial park, he plays on his lute as accompaniment to the hymns and uses his bard's voice as harmony in the background to the songs, once he's picked out the melody.

Eirene pulls a flask out on the walk and takes a swig. "Back when we were in the army together, during the war," she says to the Saik/Malvici grouping, "Razi lost a bet once and has to sing all five verses of Nellie the Mermaid. He wasn't always a stoic... he just got damn good at being one. Until he wasn't. Then he had that twinkle in his eye." She'd rather tell stories than sing.

Reigna follows the procession, looking between Aleksei and Merry as they converse. She does join in now and again, but she mostly keeps quiet for the time being.

Naka Laurent is definitely dressed in his finery, which, in his case, consists of robes that sort of match in color rather than piles of cloth that are in no way the same style, material or color. It's such a big win that it makes him pretty much unnoticeable and hides his 'victory' from all present. The actual procession goes relatively well for him and he in no way sets fire to any part of Arx.

Though a templar she may be, Alessia's decided today was her 'off-day' and walks among the rest of the procession, close to Thea as they walk across the city to the memorial park. She murmurs quietly in the woman's ear once they reach their destination.

Jasper, a treasure hunting gyrfalcon, Renato, an overconfident attendant, Bastien, a strapping Malvici escort leave, following Kaia.

Martino's laughing hush at Eirene's story as he steps easily with her pace. Flickering his lips into a faint smirk, Martino's chin dips, "Oh when we are next able to visit Southport, proper, together we shall have to see if there are any who will do so again for Orazio." Following along with the group and the procession.

Nirai mostly follows a step behind Reigna, though every now and then she draws level with the other woman. No singing from this one, she doesn't even hum. She does, however, seem to be keeping a careful eye on their surroundings, particularly once the procession has passed through the city gates.

Lucita walks along with Eirene and Sina, apparently having lost Vicarin somewhere in the crowd of people. Her expression is somber but she lifts her voice to join the priests in singing any of the canticles that she knows. She nods to Sina, completely in agreement with what she says but otherwise remains quiet till she finally says to Eirene after listening to her story. "He used to have an occasional meal with me at the Ambassador or Queen's Rest. Introduced me to that little pouch of spices he used to carry with him, adding a pinch to some of the wines he favored. He always gave good council, advice." She cuts her words short then and lowers her gaze.

Branwen follows the procession towards the rear, using her staff as a walking stick and listening to the unfamiliar canticle. Her stiff posture seems to relax once the procession exits the city, her eyes cast longingly towards the forest, though she follows the procession the remainder of the way to the destination, at which she takes up a position towards the back again to continue watching the goings-on.

Greguin, an organized priest have been dismissed.

7 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Binky, an asshole crow have been dismissed.

1 Knight of the Temple have been dismissed.

1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Narcissa stands close to her guards and the back of the procession. Somewhere along the way she had laid claim to a lantern, keeping her attentions on it rather than any conversation - though she can be heard to hum softly when a melody is found in Evaristo's lute.

Kiera holds her own place quietly as the group processes taking in the sights and sounds of the others

As the procession moves along, Korka makes her way away from her fellow Inquisitor and over towards the Archlector of Death, murmuring something to him.

Medeia walks through the city with her family - Saik, Malvici, Riven alike - and listens to the singing, watches the city pass, the people join. "Look to the living," she murmurs, for any who might here, the words seeming like something she is repeating as a reminder. Eirene's story draws a faint smile. But the black-clad Harlequin seems content to simply /be/ where she is, surrounded by who she is, at the moment.

Thea walks quietly along with the group, next to her aunt. She only pauses a moment to speak to Alessia a moment.

Leaning slightly from Lady Kaia to Lady Medeia, the Lord Martino murmurs hush to her, "Oh Delight of Saik... sorry I had not said how lovely the clothing was earlier. Good set of fashion there." Crinkling his sharp greens to her, Martino straightens himself before lifting his chin as the procession, mmming at Lucita's story with a faint nod as the little Malvici/Saik gang gaggle together.

At some point during the procession, Mercedes lowers her head and makes her way from the crowd.

Though he stays at the back, Preston has brought his own lamp - an oil lamp etched with the sigil of the Templars. A flame burns away inside and he holds it up on the walk, quietly progressing along "For the first time since I was a young child, the Rectory will be without Orazio." Preston observes to his guard, looking across the small gaggle of people "We will need to station more people to the Late Knights. Waldo is not above likely killing a Dominus to abuse his memory, I doubt he is above stealing his corpse either."

Hamish shakes his head at Korka's question and leans over to respond, looking just a bit sad as he does.

"You know," Eirene continues, musing, "I think it was the war which drove him to devote to Sentinel. That fight was anything but just, it was built on a lie, and there was guilty unpunished," she adds soberly. So soberly she takes an even longer drink to fight it.

"That's most wars," Nirai says, low, but audible this time.

Rane followed near the back of the procession and listened to the words of the gathered, spoken in both reverence and catharsis. Silence, an easy and familiar companion, settled over him once more while he stood among the congregants.

"It wasn't the war," Aleksei says, simple and quiet.

Along the march the park, Porter has walked along with the others. He lights the way with other priests, though eventually he drifts back into the crowd and finds himself somewhere near Azova. Who he'll occasional murmur something to while they go.

Eirene answers Nirai, "This one was worse," she says with a scowl to the hooded woman. Aleksei's observation is met with a hum of thought. "I suppose you're right, but it was surprising at the time. Hindsight is always best. He had his mind made up rather early I guess. We were a generation apart, so I wasn't like his best buddy littlemsister tag along...

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Medeia before departing.

"Mmm... well isn't /that/ a thought Eirene. Isn't. That. A.... thought." Mmming low at her voice, Martino's lips tug downwards as he considers privately on Eirene's words. Exhaling slight as he mentions flippantly in reply to Eirene, "Visit soon, did something."

Azova is a companionable walker, having kept an eye out on those walking nearby during the procession. She's always willing to exchange some conversation with Porter though, keeping her voice low so as not to disturb those singing hymns or telling stories.

Reigna looks between Eirene, Nirai and Aleksei, just listening for now. Though Merry says something softly to Aleksei that has Reigna blinking wide-eyed at her.

Evaristo smiles at Narcissa as she too picks up the song to enhance the hymn without overpowering it. At the park, he meanders about to look at the graves while waiting for everyone to gather up.

Nirai's lips visibly pinch, but she offers no verbal argument or rebuttal, and it fades soon enough.

Korka gives Hamish a bit of a surprised look, then reaches out to take his hand, silently standing beside him.

Narcissa offers Evaristo a ghost of a smile, lips quirking briefly as their gazes meet in passing. Her own melody fades as his drifts further into the graves.

Hearing Aleksei's voice, Medeia looks over at the man, her eyes focusing on his face for the first time since... Since. THe petite Harlequin drift close, one hand coming up in a fleeting gesture of connection to rest her fingertips on the man's upper arm - acknowledgement, if nothing else - before clasping her hands in front of her. She looks up at him with an expression that is almost thankful, and then moves back to the cluster of family and friends.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Narcissa before departing.

Aleksei is blinking at Merry after something she's said, glancing between her and Reigna a moment, before he offers a crooked smile. "Thank you, I think." He doesn't catch Medeia's approach until her fingertips are nearly on his arm, but his gaze shifts swiftly over to her. It takes him a moment to fully recognize her, as if perhaps he didn't quite /see/ her that day. And then his features soften a bit. Gentling. And, before she's gone, he says, "Hey."

Glancing about the park, Alessia's eyes lock on the Carnifex and a soft smile appears on her lips. She makes her approach, not saying a word until she's close enough to talk quietly.

They arrive at the Memorial Park, marching along the reliefs to the gods wrought from dark iron around the fencing, and reach the gates. Aureth crosses the threshold through Death's gate, facing Lagoma's, as the Late Knights swing open the iron gates to the broadest. Templars are posted at Lagoma's gate, waiting to open the gates of renewal and lead the processional back into the city when all is finished.
The temple at the center of the park draws the eye, standing in grave magnificence over the mausoleums to each of the Great Houses.

The coffin stands upon a stone plinth, with columns of marble to either side, and the capstone has been etched and decorated in gold and silver in the age old symbol of three rings of the Faith. Birds twitter in the open air and the spring breeze whispers through them all, scented in fresh earth and bruised grass.
"Faithful," Aureth calls, as the procession approaches the gravesite. "We gather here as mourners in a Memorial Park, built by Beloved Orazio. We are here today to gather together in his honor, to speak our memories of the man, and pay respects to the Dominus that was. We have prayed for justice and we will seek it. We have offered truth and we have embraced it. But now it is time to bury our dead with love, with grace, and with faith. I will say a few words, and then I will ask any who wish to speak in memoriam to stand forth and speak."

Aureth has joined the line.

Preston has joined the line.

Evaristo has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Preston has joined the line.

Merek has joined the line.

Sir Floppington the Soulful Hound arrives, following Rowenova.

Evaristo focuses on Aureth once more as the gathering has come together and it's time for the actual funeral. He slings his lute back onto his back and shifts on his feet, trying -but failing - to stand entirely still.

From the shadows, Nova and Flop step forth to be a backdrop with the entourage which follows behind Lucita. She briefly mentions something to her before glancing up toward the proceedings.

Medeia has joined the line.

Lucita stands quietly to the side, watching as others join the line and largely remaining silent save for a brief low spoken comment once in a while.

Aleksei has joined the line.

Rinel has joined the line.

As people begin to situate themselves around the benches, Aureth waits awhile beside the coffin and the tomb, a faint crease deepening his brow. He waits, until something akin to quiet settles back over the general somber murmur of funeralgoers settling in. Then he says: "I struggled for awhile trying to write anything worthy of him until a poet spoke to me of the difference between remembering a man and remembering an icon. Over the past few years, I have prayed for the dead many times, and each life is unique, and special, and important. Some of the eulogies I've done have been for people who have been uniquely important to me personally, and who have made a profound impact on my life. But this man is profoundly important to all of us and to the Church. His tenure as Dominus was relatively brief, in the annals of history. But his legacy will have permanent impact.
Dominus Orazio took over from Dominus Aldwin at a time when history was a crucible. The Faith had already changed, when Beloved Aldwin welcomed the Triad of the Lost into the Pantheon, but its holy traditions have continued in strength and purpose, and few could have approached this interconnecting puzzle with more common sense, resourcefulness, dedication, and respect than the man we lay to rest today.
I hope to hear today from people whose lives he touched, because he reshaped my life. I hope to hear today from people who will remember him as a man, because he was my friend and mentor. But most of all, I hope to hear today from everyone who will embrace his legacy, and live on to honor him in their lives, because I hope to, and I can imagine his frown, should I not."
At this, Aureth smiles, and bows his head.

Turn in line: Preston

Reigna has joined the line.

Despite wearing the robes (sorta? He's all black and purple where most of the Godsworn go for white and gold) Hamish hangs back with Korka and does not go to enter the line. When Aureth speaks he gives the slightest nod and as the man finishes Hamish follows with a smile. He leans over to Korka and murmurs, "I knew he knew what to say."

Nirai seems to be engaged in some sort of quiet discussion between the trio of Aleksei, Reigna, and Merrygold, but as the eulogy begins, she stops that, and turns her attention toward the coffin. A faint exhale makes its way out through her teeth.

3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, Cremona, an attentive high strung law clerk leave, following Natasha.

"When I was young a man from the Lyceum came to my home. There he joined the household I had grown up in, he joined us for meals and he would speak. Those who raised me would look with stern judging faces at this new man, suspicion I suppose of one who was different." Preston says as he steps forward to the front to speak, his voice in that forced measure that public speeches often are, trying to mask emotion with earnest delivery "Perhaps in part it was because they understood the brilliant that hid in his eyes. That he would go far. And he did. Blessed, Father and Most Holy. What perhaps what surprised me was how that man's story and mine would become entwined." Preston pauses, taking a breath "That place was of course the Rectory, and that man was Orazio Saik. After the rise of Most Holy Aldwin, it was Orazio that pointed me towards the then-Blessed Aleksei and then-Blessed Aureth. He felt, I think, that my guardians gone I might now be tempered. In truth, I think he always enjoyed that I proved him wrong."

"What he did give me was an appreciation for the lost Gods, to adapt and bring them in. What he gave me were lessons and advice, in victory and in loss. He would listen when I was troubled, and he would correct me when I erred." Looking to the coffin, Preston gives a sad smile "He strengthened my faith, as he strengthened our Faith. And he leaves us better than he found us. I have nothing to give him, for he has all - whether he has returned to the wheel, or perhaps earned his place in Elysium. Yet he has still much to give us in example. He never avoided what was necessary because it was difficult. He never forgot the importance of the Faith and its unity. And he recognised the threats, including the Eurusi, that know that is our strength and seek to tear it down. And his last legacy is for those that killed him and sought to attack the Faith. And it is poetic in its justice. For they removed the only person on Arvum who would have ever stood between me and them, who would have counseled the restraining of the zeal of the Orthodoxy. They claim tradition, well, Most Holy Orazio, let me do you this one last service, let me show them what the weight of a thousand years and more of tradition feels like as it breaks down upon them." Preston's hand clenches and he turns, touching a hand to the edge of the coffin before he walks away slowly "The Faith endures, blessed with the memory of Orazio Saik, Most Holy of the Faith, Voice of the Gods, Seraph of Arx. And my friend."

Painbow, a militant pygmy goat arrives, delivering a message to Naka before departing.

If Aureth has any private opinion upon the Carnifex of the Faith promising to rain down a thousand years of retribution upon Orazio's murderers, he displays nothing but the gravity of a nod to him, his hands folding behind him as he gestures the next speaker forward.

Turn in line: Merek

Merek steps forward a bit, while he seems to think about what to say. "I knew the Dominus before he was the Dominus, not as well as many, but he was always well meaning and wanted the best for people. He would always try to work with you before doing anything else," he notes, then he nods. "That's all, I don't have a lot of words. Just glad to have known him when I did, all of that." Then back to the place he was at.

Aureth's hands tighten somewhat behind him as his pale gaze rests upon the coffin. He is quiet for a moment, watching it, his lips pressed together. Then he almost seems to come back to himself, starting with the slight turn of his body in a pivot on his heel. He nods, again, and gestures the next speaker forward.

Turn in line: Medeia

Medeia moves forward, turning to address the crowd. She silent and still, her posture poised and expression mostly neutral in that moment as she attempts to capture and hold onto the grace the event deserves. Her warm hazel eyes drift over the assembled, a slight nod or faint smile to many as she sees them. She clears her throat gently, and then her velvety alto carries clearly. "Fr those who do not know me, I am Harlequin Medeia Saik, niece of Orazio. On behalf of the Saik family, allow me to extend our deepest gratitude to all of you for being here, for mourning with us. We are proud to have been the font from which Beloved Orazio sprang. Your love for him fills our hearts in this difficult time."

There's a quick glance to Aureth before she continues. "But today, I'd like to remember him as Uncle Razi. The man who gifted me a palm-sized brass scale for a birthday when I was a child - I hated that gift," The admission brings a wry smile to her face, "To remind me to seek balance. The man who had this way of listening to whatever rambling question I might have about the gods and answering in a way that didn't make me feel like I was wasting his time." Her words start to waver there, that composure she held tightly slipping. So she wraps it up. "I could not be here before you, a Disciple of Death, if not for my uncle's leadership in the Faith. Others among us today would not be here if not for the work he did, the understanding he had. I only hope he left us knowing what an impact he had."

Aureth listens with solemn-eyed thoughtfulness as Medeia tells of her childhood memory. His brow creases a little, and there's a delay after she's finished, but at length, he nods, clears his throat, and gestures to the next person to come forward.

Turn in line: Aleksei

Aleksei shifts from his position, swallowing a bit as he weaves forward through the crowd. He stops near the front, finger rifling restlessly through his hair. And then he says, "I've said a lot of words already." He pauses, almost as if that's all he's going to end up saying. "He deserved better than he got. His whole life. And better than he thought he deserved. I regularly drove him nuts, but I also made him laugh, and it always felt like an accomplishment." A beat. "I'm glad I got to stand as his Champion that one time. I'm glad I won that one." His lips draw into a soft smile. "Nobody in the world had higher expectations for Orazio Saik than he did. He didn't think he deserved the people who loved him best. But he did." And then he ducks his head and steps back.

Aureth's glance follows Aleksei as he steps back, away from the coffin. His smile lifts his mouth at the corners, faintly, but here, too, he nods; and gestures to the next person to come forward.

Turn in line: Rinel

Orion, a healer's surly Assistant have been dismissed.

2 Redoubt Buccaneers have been dismissed.

"He was wrong. About many things." Rinel's tone is bitter as she staggers, limping, toward the coffin. She looks wan and so very, very tired. Practicioners of medicine have been in high demand as of late. She looks down at the coffin. "We fought," she says, and sighs deeply before continuing, "so very many times. And agreed, in secret, on a thing I shall take to my grave. And now he is gone, and a commoner speaks of his purported mistakes before heroes and nobles alike."

She leans heavily on Reminder. She is practically swaying with fatigue. "My opinions are dust. Disregard them. I will speak a single truth. A foolish commoner defied the Church and Gods alike, and when the Church and Gods alike spat her out for her sins, a man who had given up wealth and nobility alike for the service of the Gods still lent her his ear." Rinel reaches out a scarred, slender hand and gently rests her fingertips on the coffin. "I thought I knew so much. And now I know... I do not know the truth of our Gods. I do not know the ways of priests or kings. I know only that a man who had no need of me showed me pity." She closes her eyes and retracts her hand. "I hated our Gods. That is my truth. I hated you all. The Dominus Orazio broke my hatred with patience alone. And so the rest is dust."

And with that, Rinel Tern limps back into the crowd.

Greguin, an organized priest have been dismissed.

7 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Binky, an asshole crow have been dismissed.

1 Knight of the Temple have been dismissed.

Greguin, an organized priest have been dismissed.

7 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Binky, an asshole crow have been dismissed.

1 Knight of the Temple have been dismissed.

Near the back of the gathering, out of the way of the other mourners, a woman in a blue cloak watches everyone who speaks with sharp, ocean-blue eyes. As Aleksei offers his own words, something he says sees her raising a gloved hand to her chest and pressing against it, as if trying to soothe an ache that takes root there. Moments later, that same gloved hand lifts to her eyes and gently presses against each.

Rowenova has joined the line.

Aureth's silence after Rinel speaks seems to continue longer than some of the others. He rubs at his lips and beard in the pass of his hand, and the soft puff of a breath slowly trickles out of him. He bows his head, closes his eyes, and then straightens. Throat working in a swallow, he gestures to the next person in line, with a deep rue written into his expression.

Reigna watches Rinel with a gentle frown, concern furrowing her brow. She is next, however, and so after a touch to Merry's shoulder, Reigna steps forward, towards the coffin. The silence stretches for a while as Reigna composes herself, tries to find the words. "One of my first encounters with Beloved Orazio was the night that Tessa Moore brought him to Keaton Hall for dinner. I was *so* excited. A chance to host the Legate Orazio Saik in my home! I was all of... nineteen at the time?" Reigna looks around, her smile soft, "Tessa, of course, being Tessa, flirted with him, time and again inching towards impropriety, and yet, through it all, Orazio was polite, genteel and never outwardly took offense. I was *dying*, of course." Reigna pauses, her lips curved up into a fond grin, "Over the years I grew close to him. And when he was chosen as Dominus... well, I could think of none other more deserving. The man had legendary patience afterall. A kind word or a stern eye when guidance was needed. He was just... *right* in a way that felt natural. He evoked the sort of authority that I associate with the gods, so it was fitting, I thought, that he was their Voice." She goes quiet for a moment and then takes another breath. "The second to last time I saw him, he invited me to the Rectory after the incident in the House of Solace. He invited me over and got me very, very, very drunk." She laughs again, softly, shaking her head, "He always knew what a soul needed in the moment. He was a father to us all in many ways. Guiding, counseling, teaching. He made me smile. He made me feel safe. I miss him." She leans in to rest her hand on his coffin for a long moment and then turns to walk away.

Aureth smiles faintly again, ruefully. He inclines his head to Reigna, watching as she retreats, and then lowers his hands once more to their clasp behind him, nodding to the next speaker.

"As some of you know, I like to learn and go to all of the events around Arx. One evening, I gathered together a whole bunch of us Northerners, and then headed over to the Shrine of Lagoma for Archlector Roran's open house." Then, "Little did I know those moments would be the last time that Dominus Orazio and I would ever meet, but I still remember that day very clearly, and how kind he was in his greeting to me and encourage me in my quest for knowledge concerning the Faith of the Pantheon. That night, after I returned home, Lagoma and Limerance, both, blessed me and mine, too." A soft smile, and then Rowenova further notes. "Before that, I also remember he always wrote back, even when it was about simple things like wanting to pick up prayer books. Although I dislike being vague, he also helped connect me to people I needed when there was something that I felt that I needed to go and to do, too. Although we were not close, I still remember all the light and kindness that the late Dominus gave to me. Honestly, I never heard a bad thing about him. Here to honor him and the family from whence he came, I will be here by the side of my patron's House. If anyone needs anything, just let me know." Then, she heads back to be a backdrop to the Saik folks like she was before.

Nirai shifts a little in place as Reigna speaks, moving her weight from one foot to the other. It passes. She turns her head then, as if sweeping her gaze across the mourners, before looking back toward the coffin.

Reigna looks across the gathered mourners, her gaze lingering on the woman in the blue cloak. Her study continues even after she stops at Nirai's side and leans in to murmur quietly to the other woman.

Aureth checks charm and performance at normal. Aureth is successful.

Branwen straightens as the final woman in the line speaks of being a Northerner and watches her curiously as she makes her way back to the Saik folks, at which point her eyes return to the coffin. She remains standing silently and observing the ceremony. Despite the blankness with which she had begun following the procession, a faint sorrow touches her features after hearing everything said of the late Dominus.

Nirai's response to Reigna's murmur is a faint shake of her head.

When Rowenova finishes speaking and returns to sit with the rest of the Saiks, Aureth's gaze pans over the group, looking for any other last minute volunteers to leap up before he closes matters. Then he steps forward, and says: "I'll never forget him," simply. He gestures, then, and the Late Knights in full armor and helm come forward to lower the coffin into the tomb, and then to cover it, with ceremony and then stillness.
"Grief is always for the mourner, for what we have lost. We mourn today for the man that was, and as we look ahead to what is become, we know that the soul of the man we love and the Dominus we respect went safely to the Queen of Endings. As we lower his mortal remains into the ground, we stand together in solidarity one another for the grief we share, and we look ahead to days to come. We pray thanks to Death for her grace, and we pray to Lagoma for the changes yet to come, as we prayed to the Sentinel for justice."
As the coffin is covered in the slide of stone, Aureth begins to sing the Triad of Concepts' Canticle of Dusk. It is sung daily at 7 PM by the priests following the bell of the Cathedral - though at the moment, the bell has been silent, fallen still since the Faithful have lost access to its ringing toll in the belfry.
He begins to walk, stepping down from the plinth, turning with his escort falling in behind him. More priests and disciples pick up in the singing of the canticle after the first couple of words - unwarned that Aureth was doing this, but it is a familiar enough ritual, spreading among the congregation as the Acting Dominus takes those first steps towards Lagoma's Gate, and the procession's route back toward the city.

As the crowd begins to follow the new Dominus toward Lagoma's Gate, the woman in blue moves in the opposite direction and approaches the stone that now covers the coffin. She murmurs a few soft words, a wry smile on her face, before she sets a small sea shell that has been painstakingly carved with a tiny flower on top of the stone slab. The woman lingers there for a moment, just staring at the stone before she quietly says, "Good-bye, old friend." She turns to walk away from the crowd, tugging her cloak a little more tightly around her.

"Yes, you are," Nirai tells Reigna, quietly, if not quite quietly enough. She turns her head to regard the woman in blue, watching, but she has no comment. As the procession begins to leave, she makes no movement toward joining it. It was a one way trip outside the gates for her, apparently.

Nevermore, the sulking raven have been dismissed.

3 Fidante House Guards have been dismissed.

Evaristo lingers on at the end of the procession, turning to walk backwards to watch the woman in the blue cloak with some curiosity as she lays down the sea shell. He smiles at her, the mix of mischief and joy that he can't suppress even on a funeral, before he turns to walk slowly after the others.

Medeia listen as others speak after her. Once Aureth begins to walk away, she rises, but is stopped by the sight of the woman in the blue cloak. Curiously, she hangs back to watch her as she moves away. Medeia's steps carry her toward the woman, "Wait!" She calls out, hoping to catch her.

Rane stood by in still, solitary watch, almost militarstic in nature with his bound hand still loose in the sling around his neck. Those dark eyes swept the gathered and while he didn't show it, the gaze attempted to penetrated beneath the blue cloak.

Reigna pauses to briefly embrace Nirai before they go their separate ways. The woman in the blue cloak steals her attention as she says her goodbyes and Reigna, should she catch the cloaked woman's eyes, offers her a nod and smile. When Medeia calls out to the woman in the cloak, Reigna's steps slow and stop. Curious.

Rinel is sitting on a bench. She doesn't move with the procession. It's obvious she's spent, emotionally and physically both. Her eyes dart to the mysterious woman, but she simply shakes her head and returns her gaze to the tomb. "You deserved better," she rasps, and then she lets the tears fall from her eyes.

The woman doesn't stop when Medeia calls out for her. In fact, it becomes very difficult to track where she's gone once she moves into the crowd that still lingers.

Nirai seems to be caught off guard by Reigna's hug, if only a little. She recovers quickly, and pats the other woman on the shoulders several times. "I'm going to be pissed if you sail off and die," she warns Reigna. She says something quieter to Merrygold.

Evaristo has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Alena Sparks, unamused first mate, Midnight Sea, an Ostrian gelding leave, following Evaristo.

3 Templar Knight guards, Sir Daniel the Beardless, a somewhat hapless Templar, 1 Harlequin jongleur leave, following Hamish.

Steps faltering, Medeia stops, lips pressing thin as she scans the crowd. She shakes her head, having lost sight of the woman and moves back toward the stone and looks at the seashell as if memorizing it. Then she drifts back to stand near Lucita, eyes skimming the crowd again.

It's hard to see under that hood, but Nirai might actually flash the two women a brief grin. "Not yet. I've made promises." That said, she turns and makes her way swiftly and quietly toward the park gate.

Preston nods to a few of Templars present, their dark cloaks clasped with wheel badges marking them as Last Knights. A few of the others Templars who have lined the route come to guard the area and Preston turns to head away back to the city "From Sorrow to Responsibility, and all that." Preston admits to Balian as they set about on their course

Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards, Direhorn Jeffers, a barded Templar wargoat leave, following Preston.

When Medeia returns by Lucita, Nova offers her a hug if she might want one.

Greguin, an organized priest have been dismissed.

7 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Binky, an asshole crow have been dismissed.

1 Knight of the Temple have been dismissed.

Reigna takes her leave, looping an arm through Merry's arm and walking slowly away.

Vicarin steps closer to where Medeia, Rowenova and Lucita are, nods at Rowenova once in greeting and then speaks in a lowered voice.

Sina is here, silent throughout all of the speeches given about Oraizio. But she listens, holding her lantern, her expression solemn and troubled. Eventually, she turns to go, handing her lantern off to another priest. She drifts away silently without speaking.

Sebastian, an adorable gray and white tabby, Jacinthe, Arindais, a dour-looking Scholar, 3 Templar Knight guards leave, following Sina.

1 Harlequin jongleur have been dismissed.

Nova gives a nod to Vicarin, welcoming him and then speaking quietly in reply.

Medeia lets Rowenova hug her and replies quietly to Vicarin.

1 Saik Guard, 2 Eswynd shieldbearers, an Eswynd warrior named Erik or Alric leave, following Medeia.

Orion, a healer's surly Assistant, 2 Redoubt Buccaneers leave, following Azova.

Nevermore, the sulking raven, 3 Fidante House Guards leave, following Narcissa.

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Brigida.

Rinel is sitting slumped on a bench near a tomb with a beautiful seashell resting atop it. She's been crying. She looks like shit. Off to the side, Rowenova, Vicarin, and Medeia are speaking quietly amongst themselves.

From her inner cloak, Rowenova gets out one of her many kerchiefs, this one a paisley purple with white threading. She steps closer to Rinel over there, and then she offers out the crying cloth. Sir Floppington moves to see Rinel, too.

Brigida enters the area, her disciples hanging back and her staff leading the way as always. The venerable Archlector surveys everything for several long moments before slowly making her way over towards the slumped Rinel and nudges her protege's toe with the bottom of her staff as Rowenova and Sir Floppington conesover too. "Rinel. You look terrible." Brigida is to the point as always.

Rinel takes the kerchief with a hand that betrays a slight tremor. "Hello, Nova," she croaks, as she dabs her eyes and face. "Sir Floppington." Her foot is nudged, and she looks up. "Penite--ah, no, forgive me. It's Archlector again, is it not?" The mistake appears honest. Rinel appears on the verge of collapse. "I'm sorry. There have been so many injured, still, and burns... they do not heal kindly." The theologian sways slightly on the bench, but she manages to point Reminder at the tomb. "He's there, if you want to pay your respects. The seashell was a gift from someone important, I think."

Branwen, seeing some of the mourners have returned to the city, finally approaches Vicarin and the group around him. "Although I did not know the Dominus, he was clearly a wise and kind man. I'm the poorer for not having known him," she directs to Vicarin, casting a glance towards Rowenova and Rinel near the tomb.

Sir Floppington stretches his forepaws as he bows his front before Brigida before standing up and then sitting down beside Rinel, right there with those soulful eyes looking concerned for her. Nova also bows Brigida's way before popping up to her full height once more and then looking to Rinel. "Hello." says she ever so softly before looking back to Branwen with a nod her way, too.

Brigida bobs her head to Rinel's words, "Yes I am reinstated again as Archlector. Done my penance as unpleasant as it was." Rowenova gets a nod and the hound gets a pat on the head. She looks in the direction of the tomb and clucks her tongue. "No. I don't think I will today. I have known Orazio for... a long long time. There are a lot of memories I need to work through of myself and he." She gives the tomb a stare and mutters something to herself.

Octavian, a silken spaniel, Ruslana, an aide in Kennex livery, 2 Kennex corsairs arrive, following Zoey.

Brigida mutters, "There ... go dying and leaving me ... You are all doing ... best to ... ... lonely aren't you?""

Rinel looks at Brigida with undisguised sorrow in her eyes. "I'm sorry, Blessed," she says. She sighs deeply. "He listened to me. Even after the Gods would not."

The event has been going on for a while, but it seems Lady Zoey Kennex has been waiting for the crowds to thin out a little. She walks slowly, favoring her right leg as she does. Ruslana, her aide, walks on her left side to keep people from jostling her left arm, which is immobilized by a sling.

Sir Flop gives the wrist of the Archlector of Petrichor a kind nudge with his grey-fur-fringed nose before he sets his chin on the bench by Rinel there. Meanwhile, Nova seems to be quiet and taking it all in right now, doing so without saying much. She does lift a greeting to Zoey's arrival, though, and curiously regards her fellow Norther: Branwen, too.

Branwen catches Nova's look and moves from Vicarin's group to her, giving her a simple, somber nod and leaning more heavily than usual on her staff. She looks as if searching for something to say but, finding nothing, remains silent, instead simply standing with head respectfully lowered before the tomb.

Sir Floppington the Soulful Hound have been dismissed.

Octavian, a silken spaniel have been dismissed.

Ruslana, an aide in Kennex livery have been dismissed.

2 Kennex corsairs have been dismissed.

Sirra, a very quiet maid have been dismissed.

an indeterminate number of cats have been dismissed.

3 House Mazetti Guardians have been dismissed.

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor have been dismissed.

Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor have been dismissed.

1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Micana, an efficient assistant have been dismissed.

1 Saik Guard have been dismissed.

Brigida hmmphs quietly to herself before nudging Rinel's toe again with her staff. "Don't be sorry Rinel. You didn't kill him." Her mood darkens, "I'm not just going to stand around and let them get away with this. Especially Waldo. I am going to make that snivelling worm pay." There is a few long moments with her face looking like thunder before looks back at Rowenova, Rinel and Floppington before a warm smile appears, "Cry by all means but don't let it take command of you."

Branwen catches Nova's look and moves from Vicarin's group to her, giving her a simple, somber nod and leaning more heavily than usual on her staff. She looks as if searching for something to say but, finding nothing, remains silent, instead simply standing with head respectfully lowered before the tomb.

Zoey returns Rowenova's wave before slowly making her way to that group as well, her aid falling in step beside her. "You have many allies in that endeavor, Blessed," she tells Brigida with a nod.

Rinel smiles softly. "It will pass. I'm acquainted with grief by this point, Blessed. To be honest... it is more than the Dominus for which I grieve. There is a terrible darkness ahead of us. The Cathedral... the Church... it can be rebuilt, but there will be such sorrow. And your rage, and the Carnifex's..." She sighs, and inclines her head to Branwen as the shaman approaches. "Goodwoman."

When she looks back at Brigida, a thin and joyless smile is on her face. "I know that rage, too. I do not think I have it in me to muster it up once more. But Fire is destruction as well as cleansing, and a fire unchecked can grow beyond boundaries very quickly."

Knowing vengance well, Nova sagely nods after hearing out Brigida. "Who is this Waldo person? I must have missed something." Her poise and posture welcomes Branwen and Zoey to the circle of conversation here. She understands having moments where words are hard to find, and so she gives a rueful smile to Branwen's silence as well as one of her kerchiefs of blue with purple thread. For Zoey, she says. "Really glad you are getting out and about again." before going quiet, too.

Brigida twists her mouth in a smile, "Oh this is not rage Good Rinel. Not at all. Maybe... resolved would be a better term." Her thumb rubs over the knotted staff as she looks to Rowenova, "Waldo? Former Seraph of Sungreet. I upbriaided him from his position with Ailith's authority but now he has falsely claimed the position of Dominus. He's going to suffer for his presumption and heresy."

"And ally to the traitor Helianthus, who deserves the worst punishment Thrax can devise," Zoey adds, gracefully collapsing to a seat. She nods to Rowenova and tells her, "Lady Eirene said walking on it will keep the leg from growing weak while it heals. It felt right to come visit here."

Branwen inclines her head to Rinel in response and receives Nova's kerchief gratefully, dabbing her eyes. "Bloodshed for a title..." she murmurs. "And the blood of such a good man... though I do not know the disputes among the Faith, I would consider it my honor to offer my healing aid to any who may need it in service to bringing his killer to justice."

"The Lady Eirene is right," Rinel says, somewhat rueful, as she taps her own bad leg with her shin. "Allow me to be the perennial example of what not to do in that regard." She sighs. "And in many others. Hello, Lady Kennex." She looks at Reminder. "There was a time when the idea of crusades appealed to me. Now they are simply a horror that must be borne. But yes. This heretic..." She shakes her head. "One who must resort to blades against the Church has conceded the failure of his words."

After Brigida and Zoey explain, Nova ohs softly. She looks off to the tomb and then glances back to the others, especially Branwen, "That is good of you: thank you." Then, after an appreciative smile, she pans her cobalt blues to where Rinel is, hearing out her words.

"It was more than just the church they targeted that night," Zoey says darkly, reaching up to gingerly touch her left shoulder.

Rinel says, "Yes. And it will be more than the Church that suffers in the months and years to come. My condolences, Lady Kennex."

Branwen nods in agreement with Rinel, then a moment later dips a slight bow to those present. "I will leave you to mourn. I must tend to Lilith. But please, don't hesitate to reach out if I can be of any aid."

Brigida stirs from her contemplation and the murmurs something to herself seriously before she gives Rinel a pat on the shoulder, "Let me know if you need anything Rinel. I'm going back home for a while."

Rinel inclines her head. "If it pleases you, Blessed, I should like to visit with you soon. At your convenience."

Brigida nods her head, "Of course Rinel. Mourn for now and then we will talk soon."

After spacing out, Nova turns back to the group as she gives Sir Flop a pet on his handsome noggin. "I should probably go, as well. I need to go hug my man."

Rowenova says, "Lady Zoey, wanna walk back to town together?"

Zoey dips her head to the departing Archlector, then turns to Rowenova. "If you do not mind me leaning on you for support, then certainly."

Nova moves to over an arm to wrap around Zoey, if she wishes, "Of course, and could even carry you, too. That might seem less dignified, though."

Rinel chuckles dryly. "Let her walk. Though do not overstrain yourself, my lady. Exuberance can damage healing as easily as laziness."

Zoey chuckles to Nova, then nods to Rinel. "Thank you, Miss Tern. I will try to keep that in mind."

Nova gives a wave to the others then moves to walk with Zoey, not in any hurry, and Sir Flop gives Rinel one last nosing before he departs with them, too.

Octavian, a silken spaniel, Ruslana, an aide in Kennex livery, 2 Kennex corsairs leave, following Zoey.

Sir Floppington the Soulful Hound, Zoey leave, following Rowenova.

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Brigida.



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