Skip to main content.


I should have made an event for it already, whoops.


Nov. 10, 2021, 12:26 p.m.

Hosted By


GM'd By

Herja Smile


Eirene Mathis Ivy Breccan Ian Fortunato Raymesin Preston Brigid Thea Giada Camilla Baldessare Deva Corban Bianca Mabelle Evaristo Roran Avary Jasher Aleksei Herja Pasquale Macario Kiera Oswyn Medeia Smile Odin Watcher



Arx - Ward of the Compact - Sanctum of Nature

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

AHHH VINES has started at Arx - Ward of the Compact - Sanctum of Nature.

Eirene takes Fortunato's hand in hers, gloved as they are, and she turns his hand over gently in hers. "It's not spreading - on him anyhow. I think it's just a side effect of the... magic," she says, the word met with a scowl.

Mathis squeezes his eyes shut, tilts his head up, and pokes a finger out to touch the vines. He's expecting something to happen, obviously, but also bracing for pain, as if he has experience with this sort of thing. Petrichor don't fail us now.

"Not spreading, Archlector, but resistant to any attempts to get rid of them..." Ivy remarks towards Mathis before frowning as he keeps getting closer. Preston's arrival has her reiterating, "They aren't spreading, just covering Lagoma's shrine." She keeps her gaze on him and offers, "Perhaps clearing space around the shrine might be a good idea? More accidents would not be a great thing..."

Brigid checks mana and occult at daunting. Brigid is successful.

"I don't plan on shooting the vines. Just .. anything else that may come out from them, or .. " Breccan grunts out a bit weakly to Ivy. "Just trying to stay prepared for anything." He lets out a noisy swallow. "I suppose digging them up by the roots won't help either." He says to Ivy as he glances to her, then over to Brigid and Eirene.

Ian's attention shifts to Mathis when someone ELSE goes to poke the evil vines. With a last worried look at Eirene, he edges in the Archlector's direction.

Ian gets a sleek black pair of scale patterned Cardian snakeskin gloves from Oiled leather bag.

Ian also put on a pair of heavy leather gloves at some point, because why wouldn't you.

Nara, an enthusiastic young sailor arrives, delivering a message to Preston before departing.

"I really, /really/ was not expecting it to do that," Fortunato says toward Eirene. "Glad it's not spreading. Thanks for taking a look. Feel better. In my heart, anyway. Still hurts."

"'Old that thought," says Raymesin to Ian, Eirene and Fortunato; he leaves the trio behind, the tall man moving towards Mathis just in case.

Ian is already edging towards Mathis, having spotted someone ELSE preparing to poke the evil vines, because he and Raymesin are apparently the vine extraction team now.

"The Abyssal magic is not yet finished, or has tainted the place. It blankets the place with its strench." Preston observes, but he nods at the report "I was more concerned with spreading away from the Shrine, but yes, that is good." He smiles and gently lifts the brass lantern clear and hands it to Balian to take care of "We needn't worry too much about that." Preston stays a good distance from the shrine though and has little interest in approaching close to it "Are any trapped within?"

Eirene looks up from Fortunato as Mathis steps forward. Eyebrows arch as she waits to see, stepping back a little to give a bit more space should something new happen.

"I think that perhaps we shouldn't be too hasty with our responses. Much of you are unequipped to deal with this without incredible danger." Wil says with a raised voice, looking around at the growing crowd with concerned. "I don't want you hurt." She looks at the shrine. "No intermediate mage could keep up magic like this without tiring." She says, to anyone near her.

Like the others, Ivy's attention large seems to be focused on what might be happening to Mathis now that he's touched the vines.

Mathis checks stamina at normal. Mathis is successful.

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant, Strawberry Pupcake, the Graypeak Mountain Dog arrive, following Thea.

Fortunato seems to be considering something. He looks up at the sky. "I wonder if the brush was trying to -- gods, I don't know." He looks back down. He raises his non-petrified hand. "It was worth trying. I imagine any attempt on the vines /will/ be hazardous." He looks to Preston and his lantern. He studies the flame with slightly unfocused eyes.

1 Knight of the Temple, Trouble, the waddling raccoon, 1 Templar Knight guards, Luzio, the burly Mirrormask arrive, following Giada.

Mathis sways. It's alarming, for a guy who's almost six and a half feet tall to be swaying like that. He stumbles back from the shrine, his face losing all color as the blood drains from it. His dogs run around him in a frantic circle, but somehow he manages to stay on his feet. "I've felt this before," he manages to say thinly. Then, "I need to sit down." He does just that, heavily, on the ground.

Brigid checks composure at hard. Brigid marginally fails.

As he slips the arrow back into his satchel, Breccan looks over to Mathis adn makes his way towards him. "Sit down." He says as he unhooks a flask of water from his belt that he brought along for his trek to the shrine. He offers it to him. "What is it?" He asks him cautiously.

There is a glance towards Sister Wil, sable head nodding as Brigid takes a step forward closer towards the vines, "Then we'll need to find who is keeping this up because they couldn't be far." An inhale of breath is taken as the Moore adjusts stance, hands extending as if she were trying to push something back or tame this unruly mass. For a moment, there is a shudder as possibly, maybe they were going to give. But, within a few seconds there is a hiss of a sound past gritted teeth and slipping between armor on left arm is a thin rivulet of blood. "I'm not strong enough." Is voice aloud to no one and anyone, features twist into a rare form of agitation.

As promised to Eirene, Thea eventually makes her way to the shrine. "So uh--did you figure anything out yet,"she asks, looking around the large crowd that's taken place.

Nyx arrives, following Camilla.

"Or perhaps it's not an intermediate mage at all." Wil suggests, backing away as she watches people start to have startling effects to this. "This is unsafe. Please I implore you all." She looks absolutely horrified as she glances around her before walking toward Preston and murmuring something quietly.

And when Mathis sways, the even-taller Raymesin is there to help catch him and get him further away from the vines. "Further out, Blessed," the Lowers Man says, helping Mathis a seat on the ground somewhat further away from the vines than he was when he started. And then he's looking towards Preston. "'Ey, Carnifex. There ain't no screamin'?"

When Giada arrives, the Archlector has a Physician's pack at the ready. Eyes land on Wil and Preston, and she walks in their direction. "More fun times, I see," she says somewhat flatly as she eyes the thorns. "Anyone need bandaging?"

When he realizes Brigid is headed towards the vines as well, Ian lingers near her, letting Raymesin take care of Mathis. He doesn't do anything to interfere, but as soon as it's clear that the attempt is over and she's bleeding now, he gently but firmly urges her back. "I sent a messenger to look for Archlector Roran," he says, as he does so. Then focusing on Brigid: "Are you hurt?" She's bleeding, so that's a pretty stupid question, probably, but he asks it anyway.

Preston for a moment Preston observes the lantern he has placed in Balian's hands and the flickering of its flame. His brows furrow as he gives a resigned huff of his breath, reaching to take the helmet Balian had held. Preston then lifts his head, that warm smile forced back as he looks to Balian and nods "Take the lantern to the Compound, and return it to its place so it might rest. Nothing spreads and what works here, and dangerous. And tell the Serjeant to muster a company of knights to keep the area secure, mm?" Preston slides the helmet over his head, leaving its cheek guards unlatched and the visor up. Slowly he pulls a blade at his side from its scabbard, and holds it for a moment near his ear before he lowers it to rest. It is then he hmphs "The Abyss does not always move with sound. Nor does horror always come with warning, Raymesin."

Eirene watches Mathis. Watches Brigid. She then looks torn as to which patient she ought to inquire to first. "Is it anything I can help with," she asks, directing a look at both. "I doubt there is, but I must ask." Her eyes track quickly to Wil again as the woman issues caution. "It's abyssal," she says as Thea walks up. "Highly powerful. We ain't talkin' your usual shit it seems..."

"Think none of us are strong enough," Fortunato says, returning his good hand to the wrist of his frozen one. "At least not alone." His eyes sharpen as he glances from Brigid to Mathis. "Hope our failures are informative."

"Blancbier," Mathis says, to whoever was asking him questions. "The grove outside Blancbier. The blight. It was like this." He's sweating now, tendrils of hair sticking to his forehead. He accepts the water from Breccan and chugs it. "But I can't do anything about it, not like I did then. Petrichor's not with me today. Or if he is, he can't touch it."

Preston wields Crusader, Blade of the Templars.

Coming up to the periphery of the folks gathered investigating, Camilla keeps a wary eye on what is going on. Is she just here to spectate out of curiousity? Perhaps. She lingers a good distance from the vines, perhaps not seeing any means by which she may contribute.

Letting him keep the flask, Breccan isn't urgent to take it back. He gives Mathis a squeeze of the shoulder. "Blight." He repeats softly, then gives a shake of his head. When someone calls out Brigid's concern, he whips his head over towards his friend, then draws his eyes towards the blood. "Briggy!" He uses his childhood nickname for her. "Hey, hey you're bleeding." He says as he quickly moves towards her. "What happened? Doctor.." He calls over to Eirene with concern in his eyes.

Thea hears Wil and thins her lips. She then looks at Eirene. Sorta asking her silently while she glances at her gloved hands. "I assume people already have a guess about who..."

"Would Sundraw work,"Thea asks meanwhile, waiting for her answer.

"Doubt it will spread, long as nobody else mouths off in the Whites," Ian says, probably to Preston, while his actual attention, and focus, are on Brigid. He backs off enough to let Breccan take care of her, though, since they seem close.

Ivy shakes her head, letting out a breath and moving through the crowd to try and get closer towards Mathis. Waiting for him to be guided somewhere safer and crouching near him, "Petrichor is likely pulled in many directions right now, Archlector. These vines, this blight, poisons, taint... it has to be taking its toll. He may simply not be able to hear your voice amongst a chorus just now." She offers a faint smile and a peppermint tab to put under his tongue. "Perhaps concentrated prayer from many voices might do better to gain his attention?"

There is a moment where nothing passes in a slip through senses as if Brigid is focusing once more but shakes head, a wry smile is flashed towards Ian, "I'll be alright but thank you." A glance towards Fortunato, head canting, "It appears so but at least we tried." There is a pause as her childhood nickname is thrown out for the abyss to claim, "It's alright, Breccan. This is nothing."

"Other than stationing knights, Grandmaster, how else would you like to proceed?" The Knight of Solace asks, Brigid moving already to wield Canon.

Brigid wields Canon, a diamondplate two-handed sword with rubicund cross-guard and pommel.

3 House Velenosa Guards arrives, following Baldessare.

Ian gives Brigid a pat on the shoulder and steps away. He heard Thea ask about sundraw, and is eyeing her now, like he's waiting to see if he's going to have to grab her, too. "It sounds, from what everyone's said, like he decided to answer the Archlector's threat personally."

Ivy checks perception and occult at hard. Ivy fails.

"I don't know," is Eirene's honest reply to Thea. "I don't think this is the kind of thing you, me, or it can help." She nods as Brigid advises she needs no help and steps aside to give everyone space as she looks over everything. Studying it.

There is a look of worry upon Breccan's face as he continues to eye the blood on Brigid's arm. "The strongest of warriors needs help also." He says to her softly as he gives a glance toward Eirene, then back to his friend. He takes in a deep breath, then lets it out slowly when she draws her sword. "It's not 'nothing'." He mutters as he takes a few steps back to give her some space.

Arriving onto the scene at a pace that could be called a controlled trot, Baldessare quickly looks around assessing the situation, concern upon his face. His eyes scan the assembled crowd to see who has taken command of the situation, his jaw already clenched in concern and a steadfast preparation to assist.

1 Knight of the Temple, Trouble, the waddling raccoon, 1 Templar Knight guards, Luzio, the burly Mirrormask leave, following Giada.

1 Knight of the Temple, Trouble, the waddling raccoon, 1 Templar Knight guards, Luzio, the burly Mirrormask arrive, following Giada.

Mathis just sort of grunts. All the energy's been sapped right out of him. He's just sitting heavily on the ground, kind of blankly staring into space, as the bustle continues around him. Not harmed, really, but also not in a state to try and do anything else.

Archimedes, the Grim Face of Owlish Judgement, Sir Alren, Scholar Duran, a perpetually put-upon assistant, 5 Templar Knight guards, Clementine arrive, following Bianca.

Reedy, a King's Own aide, Bianca arrive, following Corban.

Raymesin checks the state of Mathis, and decides to stay with the man just in case. If nothing else, having an overtall knifeman standing next to you will often help stop people tripping over you.

"The person you speak of is still a Blessed of the Faith, Lord Ian, and whatever one may think of his words the Seraph of Sanctum would remind us that the manner in which he undertakes his observances of his duty to Vellichor remain above consideration by children, mm?" Preston answers to the nobleman though he keeps his focus on the shrine "To ask a God to act against this Imagine the mountain, its power is immense. Now imagine the butterfly, its power small, tiny. And yet. You ask the mountain to fall on the butterfly while it is in flight? It will struggle. It must be at rest. I think similar lessons are at play here." As Brigid comes closer though, Preston seems about to answer but then he closes his eye and his hand goes to his face, his fingers pressing against those parts of his forehead not covered in metal "Mmmf. As I thought. Lady Calyana...Dame?" he straightens, coming back to his senses "We are looking for a woman. Flowing blonde hair, a beauty. With, ah. Particular ears. And I think none of us are ready for that fight. Unless we keep a paladin hidden."

Electing to do something as opposed to nothing, Camilla makes her way up towards Mathis. "Come, let us move back," she says, trying to urge him away, concern in her voice. "Let others tackle this while you gather your wits about you."

Deva lingers near Fortunato, nodding grimly to the man as he speaks of his hand. "We'll get you another assistant in the meantime," she mutters to the artist. A hand drifts to the base of her throat, fingers tapping slowly over leather. She stares on for a beat or two, considering something, but snaps her gaze away and starts to reach for some notepaper from her satchel instead.

Ian gives Preston a flat look. "Sorry. You're right. These vines are clearly here for some other reason." His flat, heavily accented voice is hard to read well enough to separate sincerity from sarcasm.

Giada's eyes trail over the crowd; she flips her pack shut and slings it over her back. This time, her glance lands on the vines and lingers, something calculating and coldly logical in the expression.

After giving Mathis a quick examination to make sure there's nothing life-threatening happening, Ivy rises up to her feet, then actually has to glance UP to look at Raymesin. "Hm. Not often I have to do this outside the family homestead. Ivy Blackram," she offers a gloved hand towards him before glnacing back to the vines. Focusins on them for a long moment. There's no compulsion or anything 'other' about her focus, she just seems to be trying to wrack her brain for anything she might be able to interpret about the vines. FInally, she blinks, shakes her head, then looks back to Raymesin, "Not my wheelhouse, I'm afraid. Thank you for keeping watch over the Archlector."

Sir Corban Telmar enters the Sanctum of Nature, the Legate of Creation, Bianca Wyrmguard. On his arm. Not as if he is escorting her to a ball, mind you, but he has clearly taken up a position of protection near her, as he does in his usual day job, despite not wearing the shining diamondplate armor of the Crown as he usually does. "Well," he remarks to the Legate as he comes in. "It appears others have also come to have a look."

2 Laurent trained guards, Cupcake, a cookie girl, 1 Laurent veteran guards arrive, following Mabelle.

Fortunato glances at Preston. "I hope we don't need to prepare for a couple more years to kill the mage responsible. At least, not if anyone is in there." He makes a soft noise in the back of his throat and says, "Ah, ah, we are at the beginning of too many journeys." He glances to Deva and sighs. "I suppose I can try to paint with my right hand instead, but it /does/ hurt. Concentrating's going to be difficult." He keeps looking back to his glittering hand.

Thea reaches in her satchel, reaching some supplies. Sundraw is usually always on hand. She hears Eirene and well..nods. "Right. I'll just stick to the Sundraw then,"and starts to apply that to the vines, keeling her gloves on. Ian doesn't have to tie her up today!

Edging through the crowd, Baldessare tries to make his way into the forefront of the situation. Having not really discerned anyone in command, he tries to gravitate to the next best thing, seeking out the assemblage of the Faith confronting the aberation. He moves over to their periphery, hand falling to his sword almost reflexively, as he continues to cast eyes for something productive to do.

There is a glance to Preston, resting a hand loosely on his shoulder as his hand flies up towards his face, it falls away swiftly once he speaks, "Do you know how close she is? I understand we may not be ready for the fight and are you aware who the paladin is? If so, we may avoid this discovery." Is offered before glancing at Ian with an acknowledging nod of head, "It could be untimely, the Archlector's challenge which I take no issue with personally, and this sudden onslaught." Offering perhaps to keep whatever tension lowered.

Ian eyes Thea anyway, moving closer just in case.

Eirene puts her hand to her head as she closes her eyes, a grimace caught on her features. She doesn't seem to register what Thea says to her.

Raymesin, standing next to Mathis, nods to Ivy as he's addressed. "Raymesin," the Lowers man says, apparently not noticing the hand in favour of mostly keeping an eye on the vines. "Ain't my wheel'ouse either. All I'm doin' is fishin' out folks as get too close." And then his weight is shifting, his eyes on Thea just in case.

Arriving under the protection of the First Captain of the King's Own, the Legate takes a moment to survey the scene with a very real and grave concern. "Ah, Blessed Gods, spare us this folly." Bianca turns to Corban, her silvery eyes full of apprehension. "Have you ever seen anything like this, Sir Corban? Wisdom on how it might be dealt with?" She casts that gaze about, finding Preston in the tumult. "Let's speak with Sir Preston. He will surely know more about what has happened."

As he listens to Preston speak, Breccan feels like a duck out of water at the moment. As he shifts his bow against his arm, he glancens to Brigid again, then sneaks a look towards Ivy and Eirene as to gauge their expressions. His attention slowly pulls towards Thea. ".. Should we keep touching them?"

Mabelle is standing quite at a distance, at the back. Looking, studying, viewing people's attempts. She is already harmed, no need to be furthermore. Watching does not harm though, does it?

Mathis rises to his feet eventually with a groan, putting the heel of his hand to his head as if to quell a significant ache. "Mother Bianca," he says. "It felt like the blighted grove I dealt with in Blancbier. But unlike that, I couldn't cleanse this. I'm not strong enough." He exhales. "I think I need to go lie down for a while."

Giada checks mana and occult at daunting. Critical Success! Giada is spectacularly successful.

Eirene mutters something about vines and bugs, her blue eyes slowly opening and she looks like she has a mother of a headache. "Blesseds... I gotta talk," she says as she looks to the Godsworn. "It's not -- it's not what we think." Then she sees Thea and calls out, "Don't."

Having moved to Mathis' side earlier, Camilla offers an arm to the man. "I would be happy to get you help wherever you need to go." She looks at the vines and then back to him. "I think you need to be away from here."

Deva tilts her head toward Fortunato, "I think some journeys are partway through, a bit, but-- yes. Much to do. I don't think I could concentrate with a shiny hand either." She casts a meaningful look toward Bianca as the woman arrives with Corban, tilting her head in greeting but with an expression that indicates there is more she would put to words.

"Whatever this is, Fortunato, it will be done. There is no-one where who can stop this I do not think - not without great harm to others. A fight with the one who leads the Su'tavi is not one to have in the middle of a city filled with innocents. The only choice would be to give her a thing they want more than this message to chase." Preston answers to the artist, though his eyes are drifting around the crowd near the shrines "She would need to be close, I would have thought. Could she be inside?" Preston's lips twist into a pensive look just as he sees Bianca coming across "Mm. Dame Brigid? One thing, could you organise some of the others, check the trees of the sanctum for sign of illness or decay. Any that seem corrupted or darkened."

At the arrival of Bianca, Baldessare has spotted what he sought - someone of authority. He makes his way over towards her position, careful to avoid any of the others gathered out of curiousity or desire to aid, and takes up a position near to her. Ready to jump into action at her slightest suggestion.

"I suspect a Sylv'alfar mage won't need to be in a city for a working. It's how dangerous this type of stuff is. It can hit you from anywhere." Wil can't help but say, her eyes frantic as she stares at the building. "The practitioner wouldn't even need to be here."

"I was going to talk to you about playing bait. How much bait can you play? I don't think the Traitor scarce knows who I am. Gods, I hate seeing the shrine like this." Fortunato seems a bit scattered, running words into each other. He looks at Eirene for her attempt to grab the godsworn, clearly curious about /what/ the thing might be, and then he looking at Deva to speak low-voiced.


Giada's eyes narrow. "It's not a plant," she mutters to those near her. Her voice is low, but it's not a whisper by any chance. "Those are bugs pretending to be plants."

"Smart man. Glad you and Lord Ian are here to help with that," Ivy nods towards Raymesin before glancing aside as Mathis rises up to speak to Bianca. She falls quiet and just listens for a time, trying to gather the pieces of the puzzle together.

There is a perk from Breccan as he hears Giada. He looks to the vines, then back to her. He looks alarmed as he rubs the back of his neck. There is a low curse hissing under his breath before he looks back to Ivy and Brigid. "The vines are not .. plants? It's an illusion? A new type of bug?"

"Why is it always /bugs,/" Mathis complains. He waves a hand at Camilla. "I'm fine, I'm fine. I didn't pass out, I didn't lose my breakfast, I just -" he sucks in a breath. "Should think twice before touching plants that are actually bugs pretending to be plants."

"I figure cheesin' off Lagoma while standin' in Lagoma's own shrine... ain't smart," says Raymesin drily. He's poised, ready to catch Thea, when the news spreading around the area reaches his ear. "'Ang on, what's pretendin' ter be what?"

"It will be done." There is a step back taken, glancing around at the mass of people before pausing to glance at Giada, "Well that makes a bit more sense." Is rumbled, Brigid adjusting the blade in her hand, "Alright, who wants to go look around for some sickened trees?" A glance at Breccan who she knows is a master gardener, roaming over a few who might have a better understanding of grossly corrupted flora.

Eirene points at Giada as the woman murmurs the fact of the matter. "That," she says flatly. "It's a million insects, not a plant at all." She looks to Bianca and Brigid and offers a faint smile. "That's why it can keep regrowing and regenerating." She turns to Preston, "so the usual Blight counters and cures may not work at all."

Mabelle mutters something under her breath when Giada mentions the plants are actually bugs in desguise and moves over toward Thea.

"I have seen something like it before," says Corban, to Bianca, as he walks alongside of her, noting Eirene's presence. "During the time of the Thornweave. But." Then the senior healer speaks. "The tools that were used to counter that may not, in fact, be able to do so." That is not great. He joins her in moving towards the Templar.

"Hm. I was able to wreck them briefly," Fortunato says, still with that slightly scattered mien. "I could try again, but I think it would -- it would be good if I wasn't trying alone. Anyone especially good at murdering powerful insects? Anyone -- aligned to chain-breaking?"

"I've experience with sick trees if you'd like," Ivy makes the offer to Brigid before turning a smile towards Breccan. "Maybe not so much as Master Breccan. But some."

Giada's eyes swing to Fortunato. "Let's not try that," she says bluntly.

Bianca's first concern is clearly Mathis. She reaches out to place a gentling hand on his shoulder. "Be safe, Archlector Mathis, and may the Gods see to your swift recovery. I suspect we will have need of you, if an undertaking of communion must be had." Her bone-white head finds Deva in the crowd, as if by magic, catching that glance. There's a tilt of her chin, inclined. To Baldessare, the Priestess gives a look of gratitude, nothing his placement alongside herself and Corban. "Have we tried fire?" she offers to Preston, and the general crowd.

"I think that's generally adviseable, yes," remarks Camilla, casting a glance over to the bugs masquerading as plants, and reflexively shivers. She looks Mathis over quickly, and lingers near him, ready to swoop in if he changes his mind, or his situation changes for him. Otherwise, she just sort of hovers, watching everything going on around her.

Ian, near Thea, hears Giada pronounce the plants to be bugs, and immediately moves to pull her back. But of course she's already doing the thing she's doing, which probably makes him too late to interfere. And his player doesn't want to interfere even if he's not.

1 Templar Knight guards arrives, following Avary.

Thea really was going to just use the Sundraw. But not being a plant, it doesn't work. Taking the one glove off, she slow touches it. And cries, unable to remove her hand away. It's like she's frozen as she stares at her hand, eyes wide,"The bugs! So many bugs,"she cries out. Thea kneels there for what seems like ages before she manages to wrench her hand away, face pale.

Giada says, "Chain-breaking is wildly complicated and involves a great deal of skill and power. None of those things are at our fingertips."

As his name is called over, Breccan straightens up once more, turning his attention towards Brigid and Ivy. "Of course I volunteer. I am always ready." He assures with a firm voice once he gets over his initial shock of this new discovery. "Let me know what type of bugs if you find out." He calls over to the others. "Perhaps a potent pesticide is what we could utilize. A strong one."

"I have not seen any use of fire, Legate," offers Baldessare. "But bring me a torch and I can see what may happen. I have just recently arrived and am still fresh, not impacted yet by the withering of its touch."

Ivy leans in towards Breccan and murmurs, "Ten silver says its centipedes."

1 Templar Knight guards, a playful black tortie kitten arrive, following Roran.

Deva exchanges a few low words with Fortunato, with the occasional glance spared outward, but it's Giada's words that snap her back into the moment. "F--" Her lips snap shut and she clenches her fingers at her sides, tense. Posture stiffening, she closes her eyes for a moment and steadies herself with a deep breath. "No fire has been attempted yet that I've seen," she responds, nodding to both Bianca and Baldessare.

"Undoubtedly they are." Breccan says as he rubs a hand along the scar upon his arm. "I do not want to be bit by one again."

Fortunato clears his throat. He looks to Giada. He says, "My apologies. I do not mean a literal ritual of chain-breaking, which indeed would not be in anyone's power. I mean -- freedom. I'm looking for counters to Legion."

3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Jasher.

Preston lifts an eyebrow at Wil's information "Really? How novel and intensely frightening. So. We..." and then everyone talks about the bugs and Preston's eyes close again and he presses his gauntleted finger against the orbit of his eye. After a couple of moments he lets out a breath he didn't even know he was holding "Mmf. Oh. That's wonderful. No no. Legion already existed, so. It wouldn't be /creating/. It would be opening? Allowing? Mm." He murmers to himself before his eyes open and he shakes his head a little "Ah. Mm. I don't have many answers. But. Those things are riddled with the Abyss. Given the description, they are perhaps an outcropping of Legion itself." His eyes slip to Fortunato "I am a Paladin of very little power, Fortunato. I can appear large, but my true power is devotion."

Ian is too late to interfere with Thea actually touching the "plant", but he's NOT too late to pull her back once she's touched the plant and frozen in place. Which he now does, before ages of kneeling are allowed to pass.

"Alright, I have Ivy and Breccan. If anyone else has any proclivity to join us? We'll be roaming around the grounds." A glance towards Roran as he arrives, a hand lifted in greeting, "I'm glad you're here, Archlector Roran." A nod of head is given in kind before Brigid signals for the other two to follow - they have trees to inspect!

Alena Sparks, unamused first mate, Silk, the Seafaring Spider arrive, following Evaristo.

And when Thea touches the 'vines', Raymesin is right there with Ian to try and pull her free and away from them. And then he's shouting, "Anyone else tries ter touch th'fuckin' things, I'm gonna leave yer to it!"

Mabelle concurs with Fortunato, "Anything symbolizing freedom would help with cutting them off, indeed".

"It's like one of those sticky fly traps," Ian mutters. "Which I guess is ironic, considering."

Mathis grunts at the word 'centipedes' like a man who has spent far too much time answering questions about centipedes. He's still pale, and goes green around the gills at the mention. "Eugh. So we need some disciples of the First Choice, or something like that?"

Bianca inclines her head. "If they are insects of the kind that I suspect, then we have seen this before and they react very negatively to fire. A great deal of fire. Though I worry for the surroundings," the Priestess of the Faith says, glancing around to acertain what sort of collaterol damage might be had. "Is there any way to construct a makeshift fire break around the temple? I'm afraid I've no knowledge of such tactics."

Giada ahs and nods at Fortunato. "Less dangerous, yep." Tehom's Archlector tucks her hands in the pockets of her longcoat, looking a bit tired after all that bug-staring. She's listening quietly to something before making an equally inaudible reply.

Eirene puts her hand over her eyes and and rubs at them. "Okay. Headache. I'll be lying down in my office if anyone needs me for anything. I think we have a lamp lit by Lagoma's flame burning there in the Grace if that would help...

Fortunato raises his petrified hand (with the brush). "I was, uh, hoping that I might be able to produce a bit more fire and a bit less crystal, but it's been an -- odd year for me," he says, with that soft scatter of a mien. "I think fire is definitely, /definitely/ worth trying. And I'm glad to see you," he says toward Roran.

Giada says, "Lagoma's temple gets razed every year for the new growth. The acolytes and His Silent Reflections are well versed in managing that process."

Frowning as he studies the scene, Baldessare shakes his head at Bianca's question. "I tend to agree. The buildings are too close, and this swarm is too vast. Most assuredly, if they were to be set ablaze they would spread well beyond our ability to restrain." He narrows his gaze at the 'vines' for a moment. "If they are truly a multitude of insects, even a few errantly flying away could bring disaster to the entire city if they were to fall and combust other buildings. The conflagration could endanger the entire city."

Evaristo strolls in to the area, coat fluttering, eyes alert and intrigued when seeing the crowd - and the vines. He's eating a cinnamon roll, and pauses to brush some crumbs off his chest while looking around at who is here and not. He sidles up towards Ivy and murmurs something to her.

Thea's hand is fine. There's no bugs. No wounds. But it doesn't stop her from asking a bit terrifiedly,"My hand? How much did they eat!"

Wil seems struck and is silent, widened eyes, staring ahead. She turns to the other Faithful. "I think we should create a perimeter."

Giada looks over at Roran. "Actually, initiating a raze wouldn't be a bad idea, Blessed. What do you think? I can send some Reflections over."

Deciding that propriety can take a back seat to safety, Camilla moves to place an arm around Mathis as she sees him pale further, there to support him if need be.

There's one cat, and then another. A kitten there. Quite a few appear here and there and then what could be recognised as Roran comes walking down the road but it'd be no sin to not recognise him. There's significant pain etched on his face, no bliss whenever he scratches this way or that. Indeed that scratching has him bleeding a bit! Seeing the vines covering the shrine as he can't help but give a little moan in pain, he says "Alright, alright. I got the message." scratching like he's got a problem. "Lagoma's flame....please."

Evaristo mutters, "So, this is ... ... cause of the ..."

Ian had to get pretty close to the ground to pull back a kneeling Thea, and it's questionable if he drops to his knees specifically to look at her hand, or just because now he can't get up again. But this does give him the chance to get a good look at Thea's hand. He turns it over in his, the thick leather gloves surprisingly gentle for all that they reduce manual dexterity. "You're alright. Everything's here."

"A perimeter?" Mathis asks. He summons the strength to PUNCH Roran in the shoulder, hard. "You dipshit, what were you thinking? Sister Wil, just show us where to do it. Gods do I have a headache."

The token Mirrormask doesn't even try to hide the snerk when Mathis whollops Roran.

Eirene nods a bleary thanks to Ian as she heads southward to the hospital.

Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome leave, following Eirene.

Mabelle rounds her lips momentarily at Mathis' comment to Roran and the only sound coming out is "Ooooo"

As he watches Roran approach, Breccan glances to those who act out towards him. He presses his lips together firmly, then gives a glance towards Brigid with a nod of his head to signal that he is ready. "I can even assist with a fire break if necessary." He says in a low rumble in his voice, then reshoulders his bow as he makes his way towards the Dame.

Bianca checks command and leadership at normal. Bianca is successful.

"Keep Mother Bianca from the cats." Preston asks of Corban as he sees Blessed Roran enter with his little clowder. At Mathis and Roran thwapping, Preston can only cough "Blessed. Perhaps your, ah, spirited discussion on the merits of particular theological discourse might be better reserved for within the rectory at another time?"

Evaristo takes another bite off his cinnamon bun and nods at Ivy. He glances over at Roran and seems intrigued and alarmed - and then he suddenly turns green and pale in the face and coughs out the mouthful of cinnamon bun on the ground. "What the..." he breathes and desperately pulls the sleeves of his arms up.

Avary slows from her brisk jaunt, emerging from the Sanctum of Reflection. She weaves and steps around various people in the throng to eventually get to a vantage point where she can lay her eyes on the blight covering the shrine. Her features are placid as her eyes widen slightly, taking in every inch of the vines and foliage growth. She's silent as she studies it.

Roran's words don't cause the vines to shift in any way, they stay put. A vine almost seems to snake toward him but any attempt to cut it may stave off that threat.

Camilla jumps back a bit, surprised by the level of violence displayed by the faith. She cases a gaze towards Giada, deciding perhaps best to simply follow that one's lead.

Fortunato looks, suddenly, over to Evaristo. He swings his petrified hand in that direction. "Gods, are you okay!"

"Ev? Ev, what is it?" Ivy, by virtue of being right there, looks at Evaristo's arms.

Keso, a totally legit assistant, Peanut, an oversized mountain dog arrive, following Aleksei.

Giada's eyes land on Evaristo. "Someone get him back," she says simply. "His condition is likely being exacerbated right now."

"Get him back," Ian calls to Fortunato. Clearly part of why he's on his knees IS because he's going to have trouble getting back up again, not that he's ever been able to jump to his feet. "He can't be near this." He makes an effort, with the help of his cane.

Giada points at Ian.

Raymesin pats Thea's shoulder, his eyes staying focused on the vines. He offers Ian his arm to lean on, too.

"Aaaahhhhh!" Evaristo moans, and he stumbles backwards, getting some more distance to the shrine and the vines - which seems like most are doing anyway. "No! Yes! I don't know," he says. "I think, uh... It's hurting quite a lot, but yes, what Archlector Giada says! I didn't think this would happen! Bloody nuisance." He grits his teeth and shuffles back even further, looking around desperately. "Is she HERE?!"

Bianca turns to Baldessare and those who have grouped around her. "A perimeter is what is needed and any who can lend a hand to the endeavor will be in my prayers. Whatever you can find, whatever you can secure, but let us see it done and done swiftly. Those who have experience with such things," she spies several nodding, "will lead the groups. One on each side, with my deepest gratitude. But stay safe. Don't stray close to the vines." And she watches with worry as they depart to enact her commands.

Nothing more needs to be said. Ivy leans down, puts a shoulder to Evaristo's stomach, and hoists him up to carry him out of the area.

There's a brief look at Ian and Raymesin. Thea nods , though the fear is still evident on her face. "Bugs...Fucking bugs." Realizing Ian is still down, Thea gets up so she can gently help him up as well.

Roran gets bopped really good by Mathis. "I know...I know. I'm not known to sit back while good..oh gods, it burns and itches." he can't finish his train of thinking as he has to scratch. Scritch scritch! "A lesson here. If I've a scratch to itch..." he scratches again. "Don't roll in thorns."

"They're bugs, Messere," Giada explains to Evaristo. "That's why it's affecting you. I'd go get some distance."

Ian grabs Raymesin's hand and gratefully lets the taller man haul him to his feet; he steadies his balance with a hand on Thea's shoulder. "Thanks." All set up and ready for the next person who decides to poke the Evil!

Evaristo is thrown over Ivy's shoulder. "... well this is new," he says and looks delighted amidst all the pain. He waves to Giada and nods, and then sort of slumps and tries not to think of the pain.

"We're going towards the hospital. Archlector, if you need those wounds looked at, just come by and we'll get you fixed up," And with that, Ivy carries Evaristo out and away from the shrine.

"I -- I don't think that mage is here," Fortunato says toward Evaristo, but his voice is scattered and full of doubt. "I don't know. I don't--" And then Roran is itching. He looks at the Archlector and toward the trailing vine. He looks down at his hand, which is still made of crystal and still clutched around a golden paintbrush. None of this is good for cutting things.

"I wish I had brought the horses," mutters Baldessare, but he nods to Bianca. "As you command." He turns quickly, gathering up some of the other eager onlookers and beginning to bark out orders to them. "Find barrels from the alleyways, anything you can find, bring it here to establish a blockade." He starts pointing fingers in various directions, inspiring movement in some of the idle witnesses, and then once a suitably sized mob leaps into action, he himself heads to a nearby cart to pull it closer to the scene.

Jasher strolls into the area with purpose, but slows to a halt upon noting the gathering of people hovering around the growth barring entry to the shrine. He takes up a position just outside the gathering of individuals with his arms crossed, and eyes shifting between speakers as they pipe up. Roran's arrival to the scene momentarily results in his expression souring, but he does not add to the dog-piling. When Mother Bianca orders people to form a perimeter, he wordlessly starts forward with the intent to assist in that endeavor.

Alena Sparks, unamused first mate, Silk, the Seafaring Spider leave, following Evaristo.

Treb, a restless direhorn, Rascal, a large striped skunk, Dash, a Kite of the Cloudspine, a feral Bastion kitten, Evaristo leave, following Ivy.

3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards leave, following Jasher.

Mathis gives Preston a look, like, gods above help us all, but then starts helping Roran scratch, which probably isn't really helping at all. "You see my potato dog yet?" he asks, leading Roran in one direction to the side of a shrine and starting to scavenge some fallen branches from the nearby grove of Petrichor to build a makeshift fence with. Indeed, he has a silly, small potato-shaped dog among his entourage, distinctly in contrast to the other two. "We're gonna have to put ointment all over you, you're bleeding."

Giada motions Luzio over to her side as Camilla approaches. "Luzio, run to the Shrine. I want ten of the Silent Reflections to come and reinforce the Templars' perimetre. They'll help keep the Faithful from lingering."

3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Jasher.

Oh boy! There are...things. Aleksei seems to be making his way to the shrine from a southernly direction, his brow furrowed with a deepening concern -- and no small amount of frustration -- as he finally gets into view. "Fucking /fuck/," he mutters under his breath. "Fucking vain over-sensitive--" It's Fortunato that he hones in on eventually, striding up to him to reach for his shoulder -- and then startle a bit as he sees his hand. "What the /fuck/, Fort!"

"Need me to get the onlookers out of here?" Camilla offers quicky to Giada, her eyes scanning out to the crowd of citizenry gathered up with nought to contribute but bodies in the way.

With the perimeter being established, Mother Bianca turns her attention to the next feasible step. "Which flame to use?" she looks to Deva, to Preston. "Lagoma's or just normal fire? I have only seen normal fire used against these creatures and so I know it works. But, would Lagoma's flame pack an extra punch? Could we use both?"

Fortunato waves at Aleksei with his good hand. "Hi, Aleksei! I was trying to -- disperse these vines, which are apparently bugs. They disintegrated into crystal for a fine and wonderful second and then recovered and my hand got fucked." He raises his not-so-good hand. "The Faith's trying to organize a fire. /I/ was trying to do a fire. But, well. Ah."

Thea still looks a bit out of sorts. "I'll--go and--make sure,"before heading out.

Mabelle mentions to Bianca and Giada both, "I will get back to the mansion and send ten Laurent guards over here", she says and walks away.

Giada nods. "Thank you, Lady Laurent."

2 Laurent trained guards, Cupcake, a cookie girl, 1 Laurent veteran guards leave, following Mabelle.

"Oh! Of /course/ Orichalcum was there. Was the Lady always working for him? And still there, they are all still there, no? But then, how does a soul escape?" Preston queries of no-one in particular as he rubs at his eye a little more. As he stops and he looks around, Preston shakes his head "There is too much for people. I think we might wish to, well. Leave. The nature of the Faith is sacrifice - but knowing what is lost can be again. A shrine falls to corruption, but the Abyss can never endure. We will always be there in the end." At the query from Bianca, Preston just gestures to the newly arrived Aleksei and Fortunato "I would suggest asking the former Paladin of some power, rather than a Paladin of little power, Mother. Those who seem most forlorn are often those most beloved."

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant, Strawberry Pupcake, the Graypeak Mountain Dog leave, following Thea.

Baldessare is moving about the frenetic nature of a man possessed, shouting at the various people who have chosen to help. With the aid of a few he rolls a large cart up the street, to contribute to the blockade. All the while pointing out other pieces of debris or material that can be used, sending folks scurrying in pursuit of them.

Roran is trying to fumble with wood with Mathis but it's much help as he's scratching every second, when a super creepy vine is seen sort of going his direction. He takes a few steps backwards, as it's quite unnerving.

Giada's eyes warm as she looks to Camilla. "I think we're alright for now, Fifth Reflection Camilla. I think we all need to fall back a bit now, let the fire be started and managed by those accustomed to burning Lagoma's shrine. We can re-evaluate after that."

Once on his feet again, courtesy of Raymesin and Thea, Ian looks around like someone taking stock of the situation in a 'right, what's next?' sort of way, and spies the vine that's stealthily creeping towards Roran, and the Archlector stumbling away from it. "Damn it." He shifts his cane in his hands, holding it, now, more like a sword in its scabbard, and draws a beautiful alaricite sword from within it. He mutters something under his breath and attempts to slice into the vine before it can grab Roran.

"I feel like Lagoma's would be great, yeah," Deva nods to Bianca, snapping out of some distracted thought. As Aleksei nears Fortunato (as well as herself by proximity) she claps him on the shoulder in greeting. "It was a really great effort, and look how shiny he is now. Positive spin."

Avary turns away from the vines and walks calmly toward Roran. "Hello Archlector," she greets coolly but honestly it's nothing out of the ordinary for her.

3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards leave, following Jasher.

Camilla nods quickly at Giada's instruction. "Of course." She lingers nearby, in case any other orders come forth. Her eyes remain on a swivel, attention to the chaos that is unfolding around.

"It's always fucking /bugs/," Aleksei grouches. He glances over at Bianca, particularly when Preston gestures in his direction, his brows sweeping up. "Ah -- well, theoretically, I think that /divine/ fire would be apt to fight /abyssal/ corruption, although obviously nothing's -- guaranteed. We could--" He pauses, face thoughtful. "I mean, fire also risks burning down the entire shrine. But. We /could/ try to make a sacrifice as well. There are offerings in Skald's shrine, given over the years. We never started a tradition of burning the offerings annually like Jayus's shrine does, but -- there might be some power in /intent/, if nothing else. They were offered as a celebration or gratitude of freedom, and these vines are -- clearly the Herald of Slavery having a tantrum. It might be a certain amount of counter?" Not that he sounds super sure about it. But there's not really room to be super sure about anything like this.

Raymesin, meanwhile, puts himself between Ian and the bulk of the vines. His gloves are tucked in his belt and blades are glittering in his fists, now, but he himself is staying calm.

Roran says something over to Avary and Mathis in between the groans and the itching.

Bianca nods her bone white head to Deva and her silver eyes find Aleksei at Preston's prompting. "The more knowledge, the better. The shrine offered up as sacrifice, burned away by Lagoma's flame. Who will stand with me in offering the sacrifice?"

Bianca looks at Roran pointedly.

"He is definitely throwing a tantrum. I can't fix it." Wil says with a shake of the head, looking defeated before turning to Aleksei. "I don't want you risking yourself..." She studies him. "I told them. It's old. The mage who did this is old, too old."

"I think that I'm -- in a transitional place," Fortunato says, with that scattered, pained unease. "But, Aleksei, I think your offerings added to the fire might aid in the frisson. I don't know." He studies Wil now. "Wait," he says. "I'm sorry, I misunderstood you. The creator of these /insects/ is the ancient practitioner?"

Giada says, "The shrine of Lagoma is burned every year, I thought. For the new growth. There's proceedures in place that will make this easy to manage, and the labourers of the Faith are used to them."

"/To be clear/, I did not mean offering the /shrine/ as sacrifice. I meant retrieving the offerings in Skald's shrine to burn in the flame," Aleksei clarifies. "Freedom versus Slavery." He looks to Wil, blinking with an utter lack of recognition. "Hello!"

Ian checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Ian is successful.

Giada says, "Ahhhhhhhhh"

Giada says, "Gotcha."

"Do not confuse the outcome for the reason, Aleksei." Preston warmly chides the former priest, still rubbing at his head before he shakes and blinks "Mm. Much better. But yes. It isthe Herald having a fit, at the instigation of the Lady and Oricalcum. This is familiar enough magic, not just an act of the Herald alone. She is part but not, controlling things, and answering to Orichalcum and his plans, not to the natural desires of the many. She steers them, as he does." Preston does put his sword away though as it becomes clear it isn't going to end up with a large series of owlbears or wereants or whatever other nonsense might occur tumbling out of the shrine wanting a fight "I think I might need to sit down though. And think. And maybe read."

"I kind of liked the idea of seeing the shrine burn..." murmurs Camilla in a quiet voice, a little bit of levity in an otherwise insane situation.

"I think it will end up being both," Bianca asides to Aleksei with dry humor. "There is merit in both."

"Either him or something who has lived near as long. I don't know." Wil looks toward Aleksei and offers a wave back. "Hello." She doesn't seem inclined to explain herself. "It's older than my time." A statement that perhaps only those around her would hear .

"Makes sense to me," Deva nods to Aleksei, and allows some sudden smile. "I almost don't think he'd care, but. Yeah." To Bianca, she nods crisply, hands folded. "Aye." She seems to be throwing in her support, however that ends up being.

Avary listens calmly to Roran's plight but perhaps eyes his incessant scratching with something like wariness and takes a step back. "The shrine is your charge, Blessed Roran. What would you like to do about it?"

Preston adds from behind Bianca "Both? Both is good." before he goes to find a little spot to sit down and think.

As Ian attacks the fine that is slithering toward Roran, he does manages to sever it, with the severed in almost immediately withering into something dry and decayed. Yet, in a matter of moments, the vine seems to regrow and restore itself once more, as if it were never cut. Thankfully, it does seem to slither back into place with the other vines rather than continue to reach for Roran.

As Preston steps back, Giada watches him move. After a moment, she shakes her head and murmurs something likely only heard by those near her.

Squinting at Roran, Mathis nods in response to whatever is said quietly to him. "Right," he says. "That's weird, Roran. Well, you're the one with the power to - you've got to do it. I already tried doing my bit and it didn't work even a little."

Roran says something quietly over to Avary and Mathis, there's a tear on his blistering rash covered face as every word shared is hurting. Bianca though calls for him, and he takes a few pieces of wood over but constantly he scratches and itches.

Ian eyes the mass of slithering bug-vines warily for a moment, waiting to see if it's going to make another try for anyone, and as long as it doesn't, he looks over to the gathering of faith people it was headed for. "Look, I don't want to be bossing anyone around, but could you make plans maybe... twenty feet that way? Or at the hospital? I think the Archlector's getting worse."

Giada does, however, move towards the severed husk of a vine and carefully scoops up some in a handkerchief. If anyone looks at her, she meets the gaze and says "I collect bugs." Then she walks back to Wil and Camilla.

Wil heads over to Preston, looking anxious as she looks between the Shrine and him. Murmuring something quietly. Almost pleading.

Having helped to orchestrate the construction of a makeshift barricade, Baldesarre makes his way back over towards Bianca. His clothing is a mess, a tear in his shirt from where it caught on some wood, and dirt streaks his face and hair. "That is the best I think that we could do, Legate," he offers, waving a hand behind him.

Alberico, the Malespero aide, Louis, a Malespero Armsman, Mar, the Magpie arrive, following Pasquale.

Raymesin, closer to the bulk of the vines than Ian, nudges the Kennex away from the vines too so he can back off as well.

Camilla chuckles softly at Giada, nodding to something said. She glances down at the handkerchief and shivers just a bit, but seems otherwise amused.

Winter, A Highhill Puppy, Angeline arrive, following Kiera.

Bianca's smile for Baldessare is heart warming, briefly banishing the worry that etches itself across her brow. "Thank you. It is more than I could have hoped for in such a dire moment. Your name, my lord? For I will speak of your heroic efforts in my prayers."

"Prince Baldessare Velenosa," he replies, offering Bianca a formal salute. "I am happy just to have helped the cause, but always appreciate prayers from one of such standing as yourself."

Preston lets out a long sigh and pushes himself up and bows his head in the direction of Bianca and Aleksei "I'll go and ensure the area is at least sealed away and no-one tries to interfere more. Good luck, Mother. Aleksei." How then looks towards the Shrine again and hrms "Do make sure to find out where the bugs came from. How Legion travelled?" And then he, at Wil's urging, begins to head back to somewhere a little calmer.

Balian, a Templar squire, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Preston.

At the suggestion of a burn, Corban's eyes widen slightly. "Well," he remarks as he looks around. "I wonder if we might establish fire breaks. I would worry that any coordinated burn might spread to the other buildings and shrines."

Aleksei's brow creases as he looks from Fortunato to Wil, and then from Wil to Preston. And then back to Bianca. "If you're going to attempt a burn, I can fetch the offerings from Skald's shrine. I don't think it would /hurt/, at the very least, and it might help. But just -- let me know." And he also looks to Roran at this, a more worried furrow to his brow.

Ian lets Raymesin herd him back. He's headed for Giada, anyway. He touches her shoulder, and speaks to her in a low, solemn voice.

Bianca tilts her chin deeply to Aleksei. "If you would? I would appreciate that deeply. It is a wisely thought plan."

Giada's eyes land on the hand on her shoulder, brows lifting a bit, but she listens to Ian and nods. "Yep." It's a simple enough response, but she heads over to Roran to murmur something in response.

Mathis checks dexterity at normal. Mathis is successful.

Pasquale enters the area at much the same time as Macario and pauses near the outskirts to take a measure of what is actually happening, what the threats are, and if he shall be observer or actor in this event. To Macario he simply says. "Well this is interesting." He doesn't look as if he's about to draw his sword and leap into action but he does look intrigued as the others start setting things on fire.

Treb, a restless direhorn, Rascal, a large striped skunk, Dash, a Kite of the Cloudspine, a feral Bastion kitten arrive, following Ivy.

Raymesin continues to lurk, doing so between the people who're actually doing something and the vines. There's a glance at the Godsworn and then a nod for Ian and Baldessare.

The lawyer of the Malespero household arrives along with Pasquale. Macario is ready with a flask in his hand and a swig of whisky, his dark gaze eying the threat up ahead. "Huh," he says. It's not a good huh, or a brave huh, or a scared huh. Just a huh. "I mean, when I woke-up this morning, I didn't think this would be something I'd see," he says plainly, waving about his flask. There are definitely enough people ahead of him that he doesn't feel there is an immediate threat, but moment by moment his concern grows over what he's seeing.

Keso, a totally legit assistant, Peanut, an oversized mountain dog leave, following Aleksei.

Kiera comes back to the scene "I read the white " she says quietly. "What about the mixture used in clearing Granato and Acorn Hill. also, risky but slightly more controlled"

Keso, a totally legit assistant, Peanut, an oversized mountain dog arrive, following Aleksei.

Deva's whole outfit is fire themed, and she has a tattoo of it on top of it all that wraps aruond her wrist, so -of course- she's in for this burn-it-all plan. Nodding to Fortunato and Aleksei, she steps aside to give herself some space to get a torch going. Always prepared.

Ivy returns to the Sanctum, wiping off her hands with a wet cloth and tucking it into its own little pouch before trying to get back into what's going on.

When it becomes clear that the Faith attempts to combat the bug-vines aren't over, Ian, who was just starting to sheathe his sword back into his cane, decides against it, and keeps a wary eye on the mass of not-vines and not-thorns.

Aleksei drops A wooden toy mountain dog, a whittled whalebone with Shamanic rune carvings, Round Grimhall Shield, a transcendental tricorn hat of many colors, a delightful little flower forged of steel, The Lesson of Grim Eye, a basket of weaponized pastries, a tiny bee of frosted glass, Prayerboat to Skald, A Silk's Book of Etiquette When Working with Crafters, Ornate Wooden Box, Stacked stones painted in blue woad ink, a simple copper ring with an inscription, A Grim Alliance - A Fictional Romance by Savessa Sortelli, a simple golden ring boasting a large cabochon sapphire, a bone pipe etched with shamanistic motifs, A dragonweep-adorned, broken-winged butterfly choker of mirrorsilver, a small wolf made of folded paper, explorer's backpack with bedroll.

Aleksei takes A wooden toy mountain dog.

Herja takes Food and Refreshments Tent, Apple Bobbing Competition, Dance Pavilion, fancy wooden benches, Food Stalls, a whittled whalebone with Shamanic rune carvings, Round Grimhall Shield, a transcendental tricorn hat of many colors, a delightful little flower forged of steel, The Lesson of Grim Eye, a basket of weaponized pastries, a tiny bee of frosted glass, Prayerboat to Skald, A Silk's Book of Etiquette When Working with Crafters, Ornate Wooden Box, Stacked stones painted in blue woad ink, a simple copper ring with an inscription, A Grim Alliance - A Fictional Romance by Savessa Sortelli, a simple golden ring boasting a large cabochon sapphire, a bone pipe etched with shamanistic motifs, A dragonweep-adorned, broken-winged butterfly choker of mirrorsilver, a small wolf made of folded paper and explorer's backpack with bedroll.

Roran pulls a kitten out of a pocket in his robe, setting it down on the ground but far out, he itches and scratches. Licking his lips, he looks at the creepy ass vines wanting him, the vines that choke Lagoma's shrine. "Mother Bianca, Lagoma isn't here to fix problems I create, but I hope she'll answer and burn away this filth."

Camilla lingers near Giada, alternating eyes betwen her and the impending conflagration. She stands ready to act or react, as the case may be, but otherwise doing nothing.

Deva checks dexterity at normal. Deva is successful.

"Try and keep an eye on who is here Macario" Pasquale says to Macario. "Who leaves, who comes, who stays and anything that seems strange. I'm not going to get directly involved but it wouldn't hurt to make sure nothing else surprises them."

Fortunato clears his throat and stands back. With one good hand and his off-hand, he seems unwilling to try tossing flame shit at the bugs.

A cadre of Silent Reflections file into the Sanctum, taking up positions with their one hands and missing tongues to keep any pain in the ass passersby away from the impending destruction. Giada motions to two of them to split off and help the firestarters.

Baldessare stands with his hand on his sword, ready to leap into action if this goes wrong. And from the expression on his face, it is clear that he expects this to go wrong.

Bianca glances aside to Roran at his words, smiling sadly. "I will pray it is so and if it is not I think you will have done your penance many times over in trying." She watches as the fires begin, starting to pray.

Mathis has lit a branch from the torch Deva started, and he tosses it onto the miasma of bug-vines with an aim that thankfully does not err in its aim. Then he lifts one of the offerings that has been...offered - and tosses it as well without even looking at what it is.

Kiera hms "Are they people inside?" she asks trying to get a sense of the urgency that presents itself

"Sensible." Macario's reply to Pasquale is quick. "Here I thought you'd bravely make a leap of faith at that," he raises that flask again. Despite his casual demeanour, he does have the dark gaze of an investigator. "Oh good, refreshments. Arx is so sensible. The people, that is. That. That doesn't seem sensible at all." He keeps staring at the vines briefly. "Things been good, brother? How's Lady Sunaia doing?"

Giada says, "They're all out now."

Noticing the kitten gamboling about, Ivy approaches and plucks it up to tuck into a pocket across from the pocket her own kitten pokes out of. She looks to Roran and murmurs, "Blessed, I have your kitten... we'll stay well back so you can focus." And so saying, Ivy moves back towards the others, collecting up any other stay animals that may be lingering too close.

Pasquale checks mana and occult at daunting. Pasquale is successful.

Avary looks back at the shrine, like she just realized it was still covered in overgrowth. She looks back to Roran and nods, giving a whisper in return before stepping away from the man and meting into the perimeter being formed.

Giada's hands slip back into her pockets as she stays by Roran. Instead of focusing on the shrine or bugs, she's watching the other Archlector. She takes in his colouring, his movements, his visible pain, anything that would allow her to monitor his condition. Despite the woman's usual casual demeanour, there's an obvious tenseness as she remains ready to spring into action.

Raymesin, meanwhile, stands next to Ian with weapons drawn. He's just the second thug from the left.

Oswyn comes trotting into the grove, clad in leathers - because this kind of gardening is Serious Business and you can get cut up real bad - and squints over at the Shrine to Lagoma and... whatever is going on. With the vines. Which are not vines? The Archscholar trots about, squinting for signs of the other members of the Faith.

It does take a few minutes, but nothing that terribly long. Presumably there are also disciples and Templars about to help with the transport of the offerings from the Shrine of the First Choice. They are...eclectic, to say the least: A shield. A delightfully ridiculous tricorn hat. A tiny flower forged of steel. A choker of actual mirrorsilver adorned with /dragonweep/.

Aleksei actually looks a bit -- mournful? -- when everything's gathered to use as offerings -- and, in truth, fuel -- for the cleansing fire planned. But it's a wistful sort of mourning. "Some of these were offered years ago. During the earliest days after the shrine was constructed. I can't say why each individual offering was made, but I can tell you that those I know who have made offerings have done so out of gratitude, or celebration, or acknowledgment, or just -- thoughtfulness. All to freedom and choice. All for the god who stands in opposition to those who did this." And he inclines his chin to the sight at the shrine before him. He looks back over to Bianca, chin lifting with a certain steady steel. And then he smiles. "I'm not Godsworn anymore, Bianca, but I'll do whatever I can."

Ian, the first thug from the left, holds his sword in something between just holding it and a really lazy guard. It's sorta up, point dipping. He's watching now with skepticism on his face and a profound serenity in his intense blue eyes.

Avary checks mana and theology at daunting. Critical Success! Avary is spectacularly successful.

Roran checks mana and theology at daunting. Roran is successful.

Oswyn checks mana and theology at daunting. Oswyn is successful.

Aleksei checks mana and theology at daunting. Aleksei fails.

Fortunato seems both startled and proud to see Aleksei step up with the invokers. He shifts toward him, as if to offer support via his presence.

Bianca spies OSwyn's arrival and looks relieved. "We are about to burn the vines and invoke Lagoma in a blaze of glorious fire. Would you join us?" And to Aleksei, her own smile in reflection of his. "We stand together, regardless." Her voice is grave, but with a deep note of hope in complement to his steel resolve.

Bianca checks mana and theology at daunting. Bianca fails.

"With my mighty sword arm and unending endurance?" Pasquale replies to Macario rather dryly. "I think I'll just watch." He turns his eyes back to the vines and for a few moments is distracted enough that he doesn't even hear Macario's questions. He sways on his feet for a moment, takes a half step to secure it, and then blinks at Macario "Sorry. You said something?"

Mathis checks mana and theology at daunting. Mathis is successful.

Corban checks command and leadership at normal. Corban marginally fails.

Oswyn reaches up and closes his hand around the simple pendant he wears, the one with the symbol of the faith. He nods to Bianca, coming to stand nearby and closing his eyes.

Baldessare stands at the ready, prepared for whatever is about to happen. Or hopefully prepared. He casts one last gaze at the makeshift firebreak he constructed with the aid of several Arx citizens looking to contribute, and then back towards the Shrine. He tightens his hand on his sword, clenching his jaw. Waiting for...whatever is going to happen to happen.

Macario is quick to offer Pasquale an hand on his arm to steady him. "Well, you are the brave brother," he notes. It might not be true, Macario's hard to read on this, but he notes. "Oh right, you're also the smarter brother." He looks over to assess Pasquale, and concludes that he might not even be at a safe distance this far out. He takes a swig. "You alright there?"

Kiera seees that Roran is in distress and moves towards him as others are able to put more active efforts toward the situation, hoping the only skills she may be able to lend will be unnecessary

Bianca checks 'permanent wound save' at hard. Bianca is successful.

Despite the terrible damage, Bianca does not take a permanent wound.

Bianca checks 'unconsciousness save' at normal. Bianca is successful.

Bianca remains capable of fighting.

As Aleksei gathers items from the Shrine of the First Choice and brings them over, they seem the perfect arsenal for lighting the Lagoma's shrine on fire. Deva is literally one of the first in line to start chucking flaming toys at the building and vines and, like the archer she is, her shots strike true. Mathis isn't far behind and manages to successfully do so as well. After seeing Deva and Mathis start them off, others in the crowd begin to help and also chuck burning items at the building. Like you do. Little fires seem to catch here and there. As those of the Faith currently and formerly begin to invoke Lagoma to make those fires grow, the very air of the Sanctum seems to fill with heat. The fires grow. Avary stands there, vibrant in her Faith. With her every breath the fire grows exponentially. It even seems to burn away some of the vines... Oswyn and Roran hold strong, in support. Aleksei drops to his knees within moments. The fire isn't outside him, it is inside. Agony. Barely breaths after that, Bianca falls as well, also screaming in pain.

Yet, the temple -does- burn, filling the air with heat and smoke. Even the vines begin to smolder and burn, slowly, slowly, withering away into black ash...

When Roran manages to stay standing, Giada's eyes snap to Kiera. "Lady Kiera, with me," she says simply, yanking her healers kit back around as she rushes to Bianca first. "This is going to be beyond us, but we need to stabilize as best we can. Mother Bianca? Can you hear me?" She sinks to her knees beside the legate, reaching her hand out to grasp a wrist for a pulse check.

Baldessare darts forward as he spies Bianca falling, moving swiftly to try to catch her before she hits the ground. Prepared for many possible eventualities, including this one.

"I never thought I'd -actually- burn this city," Deva realizes aloud as she flings what was surely an interesting read of a romance novel at the shrine. That, and the other items that follow, are picked up with care as she eyes them all before setting them ablaze with her torch. She alternates between throwing and using her torch to help light other things on fire, with a solemn nod for Mathis. "Oh, shit-- Aleksei? Bianca?" Her arm falters, and she snaps to look to make sure they're taken care of.

"What?" Pasquale asks Macario a bit blankly before realising that he is talking about his near-stagger. "Oh. It always hurts." His words are still distracted. "I'm fine." he watches the flaming toys sail into the building. "Hard to believe they actually risked burning the shrine."

Ian catches the sight of Aleksei and Bianca going down, but they're well back from the vines and the bugs and the flames at the moment, and there are doctors here, and he isn't one of those, so he stays out of the way. His eyes move fast as the shrine burns, watching it, the space around it. "I can't run," he says to Raymesin and Baldessare, his voice calm and confident with the ease of someone used to being in command. "If any flaming bugs fly off, you'll have to chase them."

Oswyn's eyes open again. The Archscholar squints at the flames, but as he beholds them rising ever higher, his eyes widen. "Oh," he says softly, still holding his pendant. He smiles in wonderment and awe, though the smile fades as he registers the fallen Aleksei and Bianca. "Shit."

When the pelting of the shrine begins with the fire ... things ... and Mother Bianca goes to join the other priests (and ex-priest), Sir Corban begins to try to round up the lookie-loos of Iron Guards and disciples. "Let's make a fire break!" he shouts out. "Move anything back from the shrine that can catch fire! Come on! Move it //back//." He moves to lead in the efforts, but, the truth is, people are pretty entranced by the fire and freaked out by the vines. It is not the most orderly process.

Raymesin's pale eyes flicker to Ian at that announcement. "Love you too," he grumbles, then sighs. "Guy like me goes runnin' through the streets, folks jump ter conclusions."

Mathis's eyes remain on Roran as the shrine catches fire, his hand landing on the Archlector of Lagoma's shoulder to lend support. As the Legate and Aleksei collapse, however, he turns to assist - seeing that Bianca's already being cared for, he kneels beside Aleksei, trying to grip one of the man's hands. "Focus on me," he urges. "You're gonna be all right." Maybe not, but that's not helpful in the moment.

Ivy rushes forward, towards ALeksei and Bianca, "I'm a doctor! Please, let me through!" She hurries towards them to offer whatever aid she is able.

Bianca has felt this pain before. Not that long ago. She drops like a stone next to Aleksei and, no warrior, screams with the pain of the fire inside. No hero, tears stream down her cheeks as she tries ineffectually, weakly to claw at the flames inside of her.

Macario just watches everything in awe. There's no chance to even move from his spot. Instead he nods at what Pasquale says. He does take a quick look behind him. "Damn," he whispers. "There are healers here, at least. I just..." he's mostly speechless.

"The Shrine of Lagoma's full of evil vines and on fire," Ian says to Raymesin with wry humor only just audible in his thickly accented voice. "You're at the very most the second biggest worry people are going to have."

Wil leaves in distress.

For his part, Baldesarre tries to hold Bianca's arms down as the physicians descend, finding the best use of his talents at the moment keeping her from doing any damage to herself with her flailing hands. He looks up to accept any guidance offered from the physicians, should it run counter to "hold her down".

Pasquale gently nudges Macario. "Why don't you go help Sir Corban, Raymesin and Lord Ian control the fire and crowds?" he gestures towards them. "I'm sure your help would be invaluable."

"Alright," Raymesin remarks to Ian, without looking away from the shrine. "When th'Iron Guard take me in for runnin' away from somethin', you get ter explain."

"Prince Baldessare, if you could hold the Mother's hands for me?" Giada asks the man beside her. It's a request, but she's in full Physician mode and pulling a vial out of her pack. The yanks out the cork, reaching for Bianca's mouth. "Open up. Need you to swallow this, Mother. It will help with the pain." It seems to be a tea of some sort, likely the one that is so prevalent at the hospital.

Avary commits herself to the invoking and it seems to pay off in a way even she would not entirely expect. Once the words are done being chanted she watches with some awe at the flames and looks down at herself, hand at her chest...Devout as she is, she's never experienced /that/.

The calls for Mercies pulls Avary out of that little meditation and she looks at the shrine. She looks at Bianca, then Aleksei and her sense of clarity returns. She looks at Roran with an impassive gaze, aloof. Her parting words come crisp and clear. "We'll discuss this later, Blessed Roran." Then she fully turns away and heads back toward the Sanctum of Reflection.

It starts with one but soon is followed by many as objects with meaning are cast to the shrine and offered to the flame. Roran's obsidian and starlight eyes reflect the growing flames as they rise higher and hotter, his angular red face in pain as each word to Lagoma is uttered. It's a beautiful burning shrine as things are turning to ash, but when Bianca falls his attention wavers to her. "I'm so sorry, Bianca." She's in good hands with healers, and as the fire grows, he moves to keep the fire on the shrine, ignoring if there's creepy fire vines. The goal is to focus the flames, he's encouraging them to get hotter. A dark silhouette against the brightly red, yellow and orange flames that he's close to.

Ivy drops to her knees to start checking over Aleksei and Bianca, hesitant to give them anything until she's certain it will help them. Instead looking to ascertain if she even CAN do anything to help them other than 'make them comfortable'.

Nodding quickly in assent to Giada's instruction, Baldessare holds Bianca's hands firmly at the wrists, not hard enough to injure and with enough flexibility to give her some slight motion, while allowing the healer to do her work. His face is filled with concern her the Legate.

Standing and watching the fires burn, the smoldering reflects in Camilla's dark eyes. She does not run to attend to any of the fallen, or participate in the hurling of the flame. As Giada dashes off to support Bianca, she slowly takes a few steps back, watching the entire scene unfold quietly.

Bianca tries to swallow the liquid Giada pours past her lips and some of it goes down, most certainly, and some of it is choked on as the Legate of Creation gasps for breath against the consuming pain. Baldessare is easily able to hold her arms, and though she struggles, it's weak against his strength.

Ah, hoisted on his own petard. Aleksei should have known better, really. He falls to his knees -- hard on stone, not the gentle way someone might drop when they're still in control of their body -- as a scream rips through him just as much as that fire does. His shoulders curl in, his arms wrapping about his middle, as if he could somehow claw it all out of him. Everything is pure instinct in that moment, when seeing through that sort of pain is impossible. When Mathis kneels beside him, reaching for his hand, Aleksei can barely focus on him, despite Mathis's attempts. He gasps, desperate for air, his whole body shaking.

Oswyn squints between Bianca and Aleksei, trying to determine if he should try to help them and who to help if so. He bites his bottom lip, looking over to Avary with eyebrows raised in query.

"Glad to do it." Now there really is a hint of humor in Ian's voice as he talks with Raymesin, a slight relaxing, perhaps, as it becomes clear that the city isn't in immediate danger of burning down. Maybe even very carefully compartmentalized relief? "What's a title worth if I can't throw my weight around from time to time?" There ARE two people still screaming in agony in the background, so this is probably not the best time to break into banter, but he's doing it anyway.

A normal fire would take hours to burn the Shrine away, but this is Lagoma's fire and it devours the building as if it were a starving thing. Most of the building is gone in a matter of minutes, that fire burning hot and true despite the fact that it loses fuel by the moment. The vines burn and nearly seem to burn away as well... and yet. Just as quickly as the fire is burning, the vines are reforming. Growing and burning, growing and burning. It is a war taking place right before their eyes, the ability of the Faith's invokers against whatever foul magic this is. It seems as though it could go either way. The fire starts to falter, though, and, with a quickness that is horrifying, those wicked vines grow back, right back into the shape of the now ruined and burned out building.

Fortunato checks composure at hard. Fortunato fails.

Pasquale checks composure at hard. Pasquale is successful.

Mathis checks composure at hard. Mathis fails.

Raymesin checks composure at hard. Raymesin is successful.

Corban checks composure at hard. Critical Success! Corban is spectacularly successful.

Ivy checks composure at hard. Ivy is successful.

Macario checks composure at hard. Macario is successful.

Ian checks composure at hard. Botch! Ian fails completely.

Oswyn checks composure at hard. Oswyn is successful.

Baldessare checks composure at hard. Baldessare is successful.

Aleksei checks composure at hard. Aleksei marginally fails.

Bianca checks composure at hard. Botch! Bianca fails completely.

Camilla checks composure at hard. Camilla is successful.

Fortunato crouches behind and just to the side of Aleksei, his crystal-hand-and-paintbrush thunking against the stone. "Aleksei. Aleksei! Gods." He moves up alongside his friend, his forehead furrowed (and for a split second, he seems to literally flicker). This flicker occurs again as the vines struggle. Regrow. His attention is caught. And as the regrowth continues, Fortunato gets to his feet. "NO. FUCK YOU. This will not fucking stand. I will not /stand/ for this, Traitor."

Kiera checks composure at hard. Kiera marginally fails.

Camilla arches an eyebrow as time rewinds itself, and the fire unburns, and the building is right back to where it was. She purses her lips in thought. "That does not seem good." she murmurs to herself.

Mathis is trying so hard to be a proper priest. He's seen weird shit, after all. Two-headed calves, half-formed lamb fetuses, bizarre slimy tree blight. But something about the unnatural way the vines are just re-growing has really got to him. He's still trying to clasp Aleksei's hand as the growth shapes itself into the form of the temple again - but the sight of that? It makes him drop Aleksei's hand entirely and do what any smart survivalist would do: Run the hell away.

Roran checks composure at hard. Botch! Roran fails completely.

Oswyn looks between Avary and Roran. "It's reforming, isn't it?" he asks, raising his voice to be heard over the crackle of fire. "Should we... try again?"

Raymesin smiles ever so slightly as the vines are devoured by flames - and that smile is wiped away a few moments later when the vines regrow. He mutters something under his breath that sounds like a long string of four-letter words, whether they have four letters or not. It's quite impressive, given that he isn't repeating any words - and a testament to just how many languages can be heard in the Lowers.

Nope! Nope, nope, nope. That's enough Abyss-ing for Ian, today, and those vines growing back look a HELL of a lot like the ones that grew over Whisper House. He has enough instinct to sheathe his sword back into his cane as he backs off, but not enough instinct to actually use the cane, or remember that one of his legs has a stab wound in it. He trips over something on the ground (or maybe over nothing) and hits the ground hard, then pulls back further. "Don't. Keep. Fucking. Poking. It!" There may be a LOT of pent out trauma coming out just now.

Baldessare is far too focused on keeping Bianca still for the healers to notice any regrowth. He hears the murmurs around him, but stays on task for the present time.

Corban pauses in the attempts to set up a fire break, and watches, dispassionately, as the vines form up in the shape of the now decimated-by-fire shrine to Lagoma. His eyes fall on the woman he escorted to the place, Bianca, and her writhing in pain. He takes stock of the situation. "Well. That didn't work."

Klavdiya, who is definitely a handmaiden and not a reaver, Fluffy, a wild nanny-cat, 2 Eswynd shieldbearers, Loryk, a cocky but amiable reaver, Butterpup, a Graypeak Mountain Dog arrive, following Medeia.

Kiera grits her teeth, tears running down her cheeks as she watches the ultimately failed assault against the vines but as the tears fall, she wips them friously determined to b aid those that have fallen and moves toward alexei

Macario is about to act at Pasquale's urging, and then it gets worse. Much worse. He stares wide-eyed. He jogs over to the group organizing the escape and injured and whatnot, and starts doing that thing that people do, and that's find where you're needed and direct more panicked people away from less panicked people. Because uh, that's all you can do now. Oh, and he slips the flask into his pocket.

Oswyn holds his hand out, still looking at Avary and Roran. "Wait. Maybe this would be better with, with a... a ritual? And more faithful?"

Ivy has been exposed to increasingly strange and distressing sights... and has the benefit of being a combat medic on top of that. Trained by the Mercies, hardened by the horrors, she doesn't let the growth of the vines get to her. Not now. Perhaps later she will scream or cry or hugs her knees to her chest in the dark. But right now, there are hurt people, people that need help. People that ARE freaked out and in need to help. So Ivy keeps her head down and focuses on Aleksei and Bianca. On trying to keep them still and trying to talk them down. She looks to Baldessare, "Perhaps this would be a good time to get these two to the Saving Grace. I cannot guarantee we can heal them, but we can keep them safe and comfortable and try to do what we can for them..."

Medeia had heard there would be need for medics, and was headed for the hospital - fully forgetting that she would need to go through the affected area to get there. She pauses in shock as she sees the mayhem around her.

Camilla starts to slowly back away. Her eyes still rest upon the regrowing vines, and there is no look of terror on her face, but common sense seems to dictate that lingering is ill-advised. She glances over toward Giada, seeing her tending to Bianca, and quickly looks around to see if there truly is anything else for her to do.

2 Prodigal reavers arrives, following Odin.

Pasquale is rather fascinated by this dissolution of bugs into bugs and back into vines again. He almost looks as if he might continue to merely watch but instead moves forward to where the priests are talking about trying again. "There are a million more insects waiting to take over from the ones you already burnt Archlectors." he looks to the shrine. "Fewer now perhaps but I have no doubt that there are more than you can tackle before your endurance goes. Perhaps a solution aimed at the bugs rather than the vines would be more appropriate? Something alchemical perhaps?" he nods to Oswyn. "Or at least something planned and organised."

Deva checks composure at hard. Deva fails.

Baldessare looks up at Ivy and nods slowly. "I think that would be for the best." He looks for confirmation from the others attending to Bianca, waiting for their signal, prepared to hoist her up and carry her if needed to the Saving Grace.

Whatever liquid that Giada pours down her throat allows Bianca *just* enough coherence to watch in horror as the vines, once burned away in the triumph of the Faith, begin to reform. And her own Faith is shaken, in that moment. It puts the Legate of Creation into something similar to catatonia, mute save for the tears that roll ceaselessly down her albino cheeks.

The torch in Deva's hand starts to fizzle out, and at first all she can do is stand and stare. And then the shattering sort of grief kicks in. One hand clutches at her necklace while the other drops the last of her flame to the ground so she can put it out with her boot. Then her face flares a vivid shade of red while tears well in her eyes, and she briskly turns away to find somewhere to throw up in her sudden onset of panic.

Fortunato continues to howl and swear for another moment, "You keep hurting, killing, and everyone I care about ends up /clawed/ by your fucking petty--" For a second, it seems like he's going to lunge, but either fear or common sense keeps him from approaching, and the longer he keeps howling, the more it looks like fear. He drops back next to Aleksei. His weight is there at least.

Just enough information processes for Medeia to hear Ivy's familiar voice and to recognize a need for help getting people to the hospital. she rushes over to her fellow medic's side to help as she is able.

Odin arrives here in this Sanctum, armored and covered in multiple weapons just in case. He notices the mixed reactions of everyone in this place, processes in his mind already going. "What in the hells is going on here?' He questions to himself as he starts to move to join people if they need the help.

On the ground, a fair distance away, Ian's eyes are closed and he's rocking slightly. Visible on his normally inscrutable face is a battle between reason, trying to reassert itself, and something deeper and more primal, trying not to get stuffed back in an Isles box with the rest of his feelings.

Sensing that the chaos has started to die down and it is settling into a status quo, Camilla turns away from the vines, scanning the crowd slowly. Looking perhaps for familiar faces as she makes her way back from the periphery of the Shrine.

The flames are starting to die off and the look of reviled horror on Roran's face is permanently etched as the shrine is replaced with new vine and the screams from Bianca and Aleksei touch his heart, Lagoma's archlector loses all composure as anger fills him up as his barbed tongue cuts his mouth. He ignores whatever flames are still there and runs IN the burning and vine-choked shrine. His body in pain, his voice cracking as he shouts "No!"

Oswyn reaches out to grip Roran's upper arm. "We'll try again," he tells the Archlector. "It worked, for a bit. We'll try again, more prepared." Hopefully the attempt to touch the other man doesn't cause Roran pain. If so, oops!

Hard to avoid a crowd. Harder to avoid a *screaming* crowd. A red haired woman arrives from the direction of the Great Cathedral, her features already set into a frown that only gets deeper when she catches sight of whatever. the hell. is going on. Watcher stops in her tracks, and for a moment she simply stares.

"Shit." Odin says as he notices Roran start to run towards the fire. "Spirits!" He calls out in a curse as he suddeny starts sprinting towards the man, trying to stop him from running into the burning shrine.

"Archlector, don't! I'm sorry!" Fortunato shouts after Roran, without moving. He stays next to Aleksei, boneless.

Deva is trying to compose herself a bit away from the group, and is mostly failing. A hand swipes over her mess of hair, and she looks up just in time to see Watcher arrive and stare. There is a grim nod to the other woman that screams 'busted' before she looks out toward the crowd with bleary eyes. They widen only as Roran attempts to race for... well. What's left.

Seeing that many people, all much closer to Roran are already giving chase, Baldesarre maintains his attention on Bianca, awaiting confirmation if she should be carried to the Saving Grace.

Sir Corban takes stock of the situation and then makes his way over towards the fallen Legate, pushing his way through the crowd around her, to try to push to the front. "Do you need help moving her?" asks the knight, as he looks at the healers there. He is strong. He can move things.

Medeia gives a nod to Baldessare. "Your Highness," She offers the quiet greeting before looking over Bianca. Her attention flickers to Roran, but there is nothing she can do.

*** Kiera has called for an opposing check with Roran. ***
Kiera checks dexterity and athletics at easy. Kiera is successful.
Roran checks dexterity and athletics at easy. Roran is successful.
*** Roran is the winner. ***

*** Raymesin has called for an opposing check with Roran. ***
Raymesin checks dexterity and athletics at easy. Raymesin is successful.
Roran checks dexterity and athletics at easy. Roran is successful.
*** Raymesin is the winner. ***

Watcher seems to either spot Deva at more or less the same time, or the nod in her direction snags her attention. There's a moment of hesitation there, and then she moves over toward the other woman, eyes narrowing in an expression that's not angry so much as entirely, impossibly incredulous. "...The hell is going on?"

*** Odin has called for an opposing check with Roran. ***
Odin checks dexterity and athletics at easy. Odin is successful.
Roran checks dexterity and athletics at easy. Roran marginally fails.
*** Odin is the winner. ***

Ivy remains crouched between Aleksei and Bianca, tyring to alternately keep them as quier and still as possible. Using wet clothes to try and keep their temperatures down, as if that will help at all against the internal fire.

Baldessare regards Corban and shakes his head. "I have the Legate, but there are many others who require help. Thank you." He scoops up Bianca, and looks to the healers for further guidance on where to bring her. His gaze drifts over to Roran's attempted sacrifice, and the chaos ensueing, and looks down, muttering. "This is truly a dark day."

*** Oswyn has called for an opposing check with Roran. ***
Oswyn checks dexterity and athletics at easy. Critical Success! Oswyn is spectacularly successful.
Roran checks dexterity and athletics at easy. Roran is successful.
*** Oswyn is the winner. ***

"Well," Deva starts to tell Watcher, red-faced and queasy and with wide and horrified eyes. Although she -starts- to speak, it takes her another few seconds to actually explain. "Vines. As you can see. Ah. Tried a few things. There was a paintbrush that crystalized them but then-- came back," she nods toward Fortunato, he of the glinting hand. "So then it was agreed to try to, ah, burn it away with fire fueled by Lagoma--" and this time she waves toward the religious leaders like Bianca and Roran. There's also a nod toward the torch under her boot, and so much guilt weighs her shoulders down. "Obviously didn't go as we hoped," she croaks. "So now I don't-- fuck," is all she concludes, cheeks puffed with frustration.

The great bit about being between the Faithful and the shrine is that when an Archlector makes a break for the shrine, you're *right there* to stick a foot out and make yourself really inconvenient.

And sticking a foot out is precisely what Raymesin does.

1 Knight of the Temple have been dismissed.

Trouble, the waddling raccoon have been dismissed.

1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Luzio, the burly Mirrormask have been dismissed.

The horned vines are entirely regrown, as vibrantly green and horrifyingly pointy as ever. They're healthy but the same cannot be said for the building beneath them. The structure burned and blackened from their efforts to destroy the vines. One can only imagine how the interior would appear.

It's the path outside that starts to become increasingly unsettling. The thorny vines snake around and start shifting to form letters. In the end, to those with the vantage to read, it says: "Is this Lagoma's flame?"

Kiera runs screaming, rather reflexuively but is neither fast or strong enough to impedede the crazed archlector

Oswyn scrabbles at Roran's arm with one hand; the other Archlector wrests free and Oswyn, who normally has no instinct for this sort of thing, flings himself at Roran in a flying tackle. The Archscholar slams into Roran; they land heavily on the ground. WHUMP.

Watcher glances sharply toward Fortunato when Deva mentions him, her attention lingering for a moment before she looks back to Deva. "You," she says, in a raspy not-whisper, "are all. *Insane*." The words don't come out as judgmental as they might, but then the vines are moving, and she scrambles back several steps in open alarm. "...I swear, I swear, if any of you try to fucking lick them..."

Paradoxically, it's the moving of the vines, the spelling of letters, that gets Ian under control. More weirdness was apparently all he needed to stuff that moment horror right back into the box where it usually lives. He takes a slow breath, then another, using the even breathing of someone who's calm and collected to actually bring himself back to that state. "They did everything BUT lick them," he says, probably to Watcher, his voice back to its flat and toneless state.

Even Ivy has to admit... communication from the vines is, "Well that's new." She blinks at the writing on the ground and cants her head, "Is... does this mean someone is -listening-??"

Fortunato watches the Archlector get tackled and manages to be relieved enough to notice his surroundings. And the Watcher. "And who the fuck are you?" Fortunato snaps at the Watcher in return, although it's more of a tense-cornered snap, a reaction more than an attack.

"Look, it's worked before," Deva mutters to Watcher, with some sort of pointed look that snaps back to the shrine. "Terrible times call for terrible responses sometimes. They don't always work. But sometimes..." A sharp breath is exhaled, and her arms fold. Her expression softens as she looks back to Fortunato and drifts into a moment of silence. It's interrupted by the movement of vines, and both hands lift to clasp her head in a frustrated gesture.

"Let us get the injured to the Saving Grace," murmurs Corban, softly. "Perhaps Lagoma's Mercies will have a better day today than Lagoma's shrine." It is a sort of dark humor, it seems, and one that clouds him as he gazes at the vines.

Bianca, still completely incoherent, doesn't protest being lifted by anyone. There's too much pain, too much anguish and the Legate has shut down, curled in on herself.

Roran is brilliantly hindered and stopped from getting into the shrine as it transforms, but when it does transform into that twisted beautifully green thorny warning, the pain simply magnifies with Roran and he passes out.

Odin, moving quickly, amanges to help stop Roran from running into the fire, with help from Oswyn and Raymesin, taking the Archlector to the ground as Odin sits up and notices the appearance of the shrine. "Well I'll be." He rises to his feet. "Come on, lets get these people to the healers. We can work out what the fuck just happened later."

Ivy nods to Corban, then looks to Baldessare, "Saving Grace hospital is two blocks south. Can you start in that direction and I'll see if I can talk Master Aleksei and Archlector Roran into joining us there?" TUrning to Medeia, she offers a wry smile and murmurs, "Evaristo may still be there to assist, but someone will want to let Eirene know too, she's in the office I think."

Pasquale takes the opportunity now that things have carved to take a slow walk around the shrine and consider all those magnificent unnerving vines from every angle. When he is done he simply breaks away and heads home.

Oswyn is lying on top of Roran. "Who is communicating with what?" he asks, still pinning Roran down. At least until he figures out the man's passed out. Oswyn winces and eases off.

Baldessare nods to Ivy. “As you say.” Cradling Bianca, Baldessare heads as directed towards the hospital.

Watcher looks sharply back to Fortunato, eyes narrowing again. She starts to say something, but whatever runs through her head doesn't come out her mouth, and she moves a few more steps back, more thoroughly distancing herself from the word spelling vines. A breath. Two. Ian gets a look that's not surprised, even if it's still rather alarmed. "Right," she says quietly, though not to anyone in particular. Then she moves to help with any wounded, though she decidedly doesn't move any closer to the building than she absolutely has to.

Kiera grits her teeth at letterinf mindful enough to kep the anger burning in her chest-mostly a quiet "Damn you" slips out from between her lips as she moves to asses Roran's state

Alberico, the Malespero aide, Louis, a Malespero Armsman, Mar, the Magpie leave, following Pasquale.

Archimedes, the Grim Face of Owlish Judgement, Sir Alren, Scholar Duran, a perpetually put-upon assistant, 5 Templar Knight guards, Clementine leave, following Bianca.

3 House Velenosa Guards, Bianca leave, following Baldessare.

Reedy, a King's Own aide leaves, following Corban.

Raymesin exhales, looking down at the people who're on the ground and offering a hand up to anyone who wants one. "Well, that didn't work."

Treb, a restless direhorn, Rascal, a large striped skunk, Dash, a Kite of the Cloudspine, a feral Bastion kitten, a playful black tortie kitten leave, following Ivy.

Ian eventually collects himself and goes off to drink the Ebb and Flow out of its supply of alcohol.

Klavdiya, who is definitely a handmaiden and not a reaver, Fluffy, a wild nanny-cat, 2 Eswynd shieldbearers, Loryk, a cocky but amiable reaver, Butterpup, a Graypeak Mountain Dog leave, following Medeia.

Fortunato inexplicably checks the top button on his shirt, unsecuring and then securing it tight, before he moves to stand, still watching the Watcher and Deva past her. "Can't just sit and wait on an incursion. A -- violation. I'm so tired of it. So tired of him and his." His stung, roused terror isn't abating so much as flattening. He also starts to move away from the words.

Oswyn could use a hand up. "Thanks," he tells Raymesin. "I don't know if I could have gotten him if you and the... I'm not sure who that is, actually." He offers a smile to Odin, even as he squints. "They're very tall and very redheaded."

"Me too. Me too." Lost in her own grim thoughts, Deva returns only enough to listen to Fortunato and agree darkly. She approaches just long enough to squeeze his arm (not the crystalized one) before she drifts away.

Avalanche, a fluffy mountain pup, Jasper, an unflappable scoundrel, 2 Redrain Guards, 1 Redrain Veteran Guards leave, following Deva.

"Of course you can't," Watcher mutters. There's something of a twitch at her shoulders, and she crosses her arms over her chest - the gesture isn't the sort one does when they're feeling irritable, or looking to scold, but rather when a sudden chill wind picks up and they're trying not to shiver - before inhaling slowly. Deeply. Deva's departure is considered, and then, "...Are you...?" Pointed look at Fortunato's hand.

Kiera sighs "We should get Archlector's wounds seen to. The physical ones first. I've come so close to saying what he said several times you know.

Fortunato takes a deep breath. He takes another step back from the viney words, then studies Watcher with that fearful tension. He raises his crystal hand. "Doctor says this'll heal, odd as it is. I'll be fine." Three beats. "Hope Aleksei and the Legate will be, too. And Lagoma. And the city. And the world. You know."

And poor Aleksei -- presumably gets dragged off to get medical attention. And all of that.

Keso, a totally legit assistant, Peanut, an oversized mountain dog leave, following Aleksei.

Roran gets taken off to his home to rest.

Back to list