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PRP: A Nest of Many Things: Part 2

A recent survey of House Igniseri's lands showed that there was a mysterious nest of creatures somewhere on lands surrounding Granato. A fearsome team investigated, consisting of Luis, Jordan, Miranda, Faruq, Valdemar, and Vitalis. They were able to dispatch many of the creatures, remnants of the Gyre's forces and some of their large attack dogs, but at least one got away. House Igniseri wants to make sure there are no other creatures left on their land, especially not from the Gyre Forces. They are sending out another party to investigate the grotto where they were hiding, with hopes of making certain they are dispatched once and for all.

Date

Oct. 26, 2018, 9 p.m.

Hosted By

Quenia

GM'd By

Quenia

Participants

Ariella Cullen Faruq Luis Miranda Valdemar Vitalis

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Granato - Hidden Grotto on Igniseri Land

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


The Igniseri family has once more put out a call for help, and thus the intrepid adventurers find themselves back in the hidden grotto deep in Iginseri land. When they last met, one of the Gyre's pirate forces had gotten away, likely hiding himself within the warren of caves in this area. Possibly to meet up with friends. Luis has led the team back to the area they discovered last time. There are many cave openings with which to explore. It seems someone has gotten cozy in the area, for there are signs of human life once more in this particular area - likely the forsaken pirates are back at it again, making themselves at home. The trouble is, which cave are they in, and do they have any more of those guard dogs?

Cullen wields Heart of the Greenwood, a diamondplate longsword.

Vitalis wields Enigma.

Miranda wields Razz, a diamondplate scimitar.

Miranda takes a look about, looking for any signs of a cave entrance that is favored, where a often-beaten tread of a path may be recently created and used. You know, signs of traffic, life that is different from animal. Especially since most animals will likely avoid them.

Faruq studies the caves, and the area, and looks for differences from the last time they were here in order to maybe pick up some clues as to the nature of the new occupants. Two fingertips lift up to run along the brim of his hat as he does so. Attention shifting the area and over to Luis, Faruq asks: "I am loathe to say split up. There are an awful lot of caves. Maybe we can block some off so that we reduce the chances of them slipping around behind us?" He offers.

Cullen attempts to keep his armor clanking to a minimum, sword in hand. Not having been here previously, he nods to Luis and brings up the left flank. "Splitting up would be a fine way to die in an ambush. I concur on remaining intact and keeping our back guarded."

Enigma hisses over the stones and grass as Vitalis gives it a twitch, the length of it serpentine and slithering. With a flick of his wrist the whip leaps into his hands, like a living thing called to heel. Keen gray eyes study the caves, "As I recall, Lady Miranda, you're ghost-footed. Should we take a look? Quietly." He nods at the leftmost entrance and looks to her and the others. Intel.

Faruq checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.

Vitalis has rolled a critical success!
Vitalis checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 125 higher.

Miranda checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.

Cullen checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 27 higher.

Miranda looks over to Vitalis and smiles as he recalls her being ghost-footed. "Not me, my Lord." She nods to him, gesturing him to go ahead and check, "Go for it." She crouches down by some tracks and frowns, "Dog and humans here." She looks about, "Anyone see anything useful?"

Faruq is to busy looking for ways to try and block caves to notice anything else about the camp. Faruq has the attention span of a goldfish currently. A thoughtful look on his face as he considers the conundrum with his inconsiderable brain power.

"I'm far from light footed myself, but I've a decent eye for these kinds of things." Cullen creeps forward a bit, staring down the path and squatting to get a closer look before agreeing with Miranda. "Indeed, Lady Miranda. Dogs and humans, and the tracks are obscured after going down the center of the caves for awhile. And it seems to have seen quite a bit of traffic."

Vitalis nods at Miranda's direction and pads forward carefully, intent on the ground ahead, all of his considerable focus marshalled to reading the grotto. There's a story in the traces of habitation, tracks, use, purpose. It unfolds as if he could see the men and their hounds right before him... their repose, comaraderie, at meals, a scuffle, the traces of where a dog circled once, twice, thrice, and settled. He moves slowly through the area, keen eyes scanning, searching, reading... and finally. "There." He points at an area that they hadn't been before. "Not sure how many."

Totally representing Rubino-Zaffria and the gentler sex (cough cough), Miranda gets to be the token female of the trip! She looks after Vitalis and then looks to the others, "Faruq, Lord Cullen." She heads to where Vitalis is and looks where he points. "And where are they now, one must wonder. And how many. "Faruq, would you take point with Lord Vitalis of the eagle eye, please? Watch his back." She motions to Cullen, "We can pick up the rear, my Lord."

Faruq looks up from where he was studying... something! It was of great importance no doubt! Faruq's attention shifts to Miranda, and then Vitalis: "Sound will echo in the caves, so there is a good chance they will know we are coming. Especially if they have more of those beasts. We'll also need to bring a light with us into the darkness of the caves. Stealth... may not be much of an option but I will certainly watch Lord Vitalis back."

Luis checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.

Cullen nods his head at Miranda before dropping behind Vitalis, sword held in his grip. "Of course. I will try to be as quiet as possible, but alas, I'm in a lot of metal," he explains with a click of his tongue at Faruq at the mention of stealth not being much of an option. "Definitely better for me not to be on point...I need to invest in some leathers eventually."

Retruning from the bush that he had wandered off to relieve himself, is Luis, "Ah, you know that's the one thing I prefer leathers over steel on... It's rather ridiculous the amount of time one must deal with such things, and after that bout of true Lycene cooking. I'm surprised you didn't hear me from over there..." he tells them, but then hushes as he realizes they're being all stealthy like. He reaches for his sword to make sure that it is loose so that he can move with them. Following their gaze and looks to where they have seen the various shapes.

Luis checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 13 higher.

Miranda checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.

Faruq checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 2 higher.

Vitalis checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 33 higher.

Cullen checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.

Vitalis nods sharply at Miranda and gives a skeptical look at Faruq, who is tough, no doubt, but not... subtle. He huffs a bit of a laugh, sharp gray eyes slewing to Luis as he returns, "We did." A tight grin flashes and he slips into an easy contraposto slouch, slipping forward quietly, eyes sharp ahead and ears pricked for the faintest sounds, breaths long and slow to silence even the slip of life through mouth and nose.

Faruq is at least, moderately stealthy today. Subtle he is not. Usually. Following along after Vitalis, Faruq draws out a pair of throwing knives rather than any of his larger weapons. For the time being. Just in case. Following and walking in the same spaces as Vitalis, which is how Faruq is so quiet this time, the large southerner flips the knives around silently, keeping his hands occupied.

Miranda brings up the rear with Cullen, Razz her lovely diamondplate sword in hand. She is fairly quiet, though not as stealthy as Vitalis! Hopefully, the scouters can see well enough as once they are deeper, the lanterns will come out! She nods for Luis to take up a floater position, middle of the pack since the rest is covered it seems.

"Excellent work though," Luis replies, resting his hand upon Vitalis' shoulder a moment, especially after that hearing comment. A wink for the others, but then he's looking ahead. "Alright, so.. these the one's we're looking for, or are there more of the bastards camped somewhere within?" he asks, curious, but also deferring to those whom are likely far more skilled at tracking than him. A nod to Faruq and Miranda as well, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Despite his armor, Cullen's natural sneakiness from growing up hunting animals and people in the Greenwood seems to pay off here. Barely breathing and his grip tight on the hilt of his sword, pale eyes stare forward in the dark alongside Miranda and keeping a protective stare on Vitalis and Luis.

The party travels to the cave without incident, likely provided by the fact that they do not appear to make much noise - if any - on their way there. This means that if anyone is inside the cave, they have not yet been alerted to the presence of newcomers, nor have the dogs heard them just yet. The cave has an opening maw in the front, with natural growths that open into a path that goes inside. It is dark and smells dank, and also somewhat like wet dog. Lanterns will definitely be needed to see the way. The footing here seems stable.

The thing with lanterns and swords, is that it takes some time to use both in a concerted way, though Luis does pull out his thieve's lantern, giving a look around at the others as though challenging them to question why he may have one. Still he sets flint to tinder, tider to the wick within and closes the hood so that he's got a small focus of light in front of him, allowing him to hold up his arm and view the world through the mirrors around his wrist as he draws his sword and will be ready to move. "Unless someone knows exactly which way we should go... I hope you don't mind if I take point?" he asks of them, waiting for an answer.

Luis gets Ascension, a dark rapier from a black cloth wrap for a blade.

Luis wields Ascension, a dark rapier.

Miranda murmurs to Luis, "Just hold it up for Vitalis. He's tracking for us." If only Luis had listed TWO amongst their assets, then she could come up with something. But this... She has to settle for a regular lantern, and after it is lit, keeps it low to the ground, out of their eyes but able to still light the way in the back. She also holds it out to the side, so as not to give anyone sneaking up a direct line to killing her.

One eye closed against the sudden light, Vitalis crouches to light his lantern, keeping the baffles closed to shed light only where it's directed. Between the two of them, Luis and Vitalis, shed light enough for the more martial of their merry band. He shakes his head at the query, he doesn't know which way to go now and nods at Luis before moving aside. One of the nice things about a whip...? Reach. Enigma gleams in the low light. He gives a shake of his head to Miranda, murmuring low, "No need. I think we have all the advantage of surprise we're like to have." He nods to Luis, but looks to Miranda. This - in some way - has become her venture.

Cullen Eyes narrowing against the light, Cullen keeps his gaze upon the ground to pay attention to anything that may be below, his own time spent in the outdoors being put to use. One step in front of the other, staying behind the rest of the party with a protective stance, the Greenmarch lord seems loathe to let anyone stray too far from defense, especially given the shadowy nature of the caves.

Eyes narrowing against the light, Cullen keeps his gaze upon the ground to pay attention to anything that may be below, his own time spent in the outdoors being put to use. One step in front of the other, staying behind the rest of the party with a protective stance, the Greenmarch lord seems loathe to let anyone stray too far from defense, especially given the shadowy nature of the caves.

Faruq flips both daggers into an underhanded grip just in case. Peeking forwards into the gloom Faruq wrinkles his nose at the smell: "See this is why I'm a cat person. They keep themselves clean and don't smell like this." His deep rich voice is low so as to not carry to far. Switching both daggers into one hand, Faruq reaches up over his shoulder and loosens the double bladed sword on his back in it's sheath. Drawing the cover off the top blade Faruq looks back towards the others: "One way or another, this is likely to get messy. We should keep an eye out for a defensible position if we need to fall back."

"They also lick their own assholes, next time you think about how nice they are when they're licking at your face," Luis replies to Faruq's comment in a whisper, but then he nods, "Indeed, smart moves and while we're looking around... let's be sure to kill em all this time... I mean after a brief parley for peace of course..." he looks to the end of his sword, thinks a moment, "Yeah... should have named it Parley..." he muses and then grins, "Actually that's not a bad name for a blade..." but then he's serious again, focusing forward as he moves with Vitalis, "Well if I get stabbed, be sure to give em a what fore while I find my innards."

The path within the cave is wide enough for two by two, but not much bigger than that. The light reflects off the surface of the walls, which are shiny. The shine comes from the dampness found upon the walls. Due to the damp nature of the cave, footprints travel within it for a few steps before they disappear. After a small bit of travel the party comes to a fork - they can either go left or right. Both forks seem to open into bigger expanses of the cave.

Miranda just gives Vitalis a nod. If Luis wants point in his lands, he can have point. She glances about, making sure that, as the space narrows, there is room enough to fight. She staggers herself so that she and Cullen are not sharing wall space. She moves sideways, able to watch forward, but also look behind. She listens, carefully, over Luis' chatter and also looks about for any signs of being followed. Just in case.

Luis checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.

Vitalis checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.

Miranda checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 13 higher.

Faruq checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 13 lower.

Cullen checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.

"Cats are better." Whispering this quietly to Faruq, Cullen drops back slightly while listening to Luis' chatter, keeping silent himself with a glance at Miranda. After listening for a bit, his brows lift and a pale finger points off to the right, then holds that same digit up to his lips.

Vitalis gestures everyone to silence, the banter is fun, but they're at the sticking point now and the man's good humor has fled to fairer fields. He stiffens at sounds and tugs at his ear then points at the right chamber. He heard something that way. He makes a circle of his hand to include everyone.

...circle that includes everyone and then points down the lefthand passage. He is... at heart... an ambush predator when at all possible.

Miranda clears her throat lightly as two men point to the right. She nods and adds her own agreement with a nod of her head. To the right. Three to the right! Yes, three people can hear something to the right. Does the left chamber also lead into the right's larger chamber?

Faruq lets others make the decisions for the time being. There's no one to throw knives at or stick diamondplate blades into.



Yet.

Vitalis flares hands and looks at Miranda, deferring.

"Right does offer the strategical disadvantage to the attacker, but I'm always up for a challenge," Luis replies to the others, sighing and shifting his hands so that he's fighting with his blade in his left hand now as they move off to the right. A glance back to ensure they are all with them, and then he's not noticed anything that anyone else notices, so he'll go with it, for sport.

Grabbing Luis' tunic, to keep him from going anywhere, Miranda makes sure he's not moving, yet. She looks to Vitalis, makes sure she has his attention - tap to the shoulder if he's not looking her way still. With her fore and middle fingers, she gestures to his eyes, then points towards the left tunnel. She mouths the word: scout.

Faruq resists asking: 'What?!' really loudly to Miranda, but only just, just to break the tension. Looking back and forth between the decision makers he then asks, softly, "Why not both? Catch them on both sides if they are? I'd hate to go expecting a fight on the right, only to have the quiet sneaky ones shooting arrows into our backs."

Vitalis nods and sets off, handing his lantern to Miranda, before he slips away.

Vitalis checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.

As Vitalis slips off to do some recon, Cullen remains silent with blade in hand, tapping his finger against lips once more, but once Luis gets the hint from Miranda, he stops and remains at the ready, pale eyes reflecting some of the lantern light, fingernails digging into the hilt of his sword with a nervous bite of the lower lip.

Luis arches a brow as someone pulls on his armor, causing him to pause and turn to look at the woman a moment. There is an even longer pause as he waits for the explanation of quiet eyes and the mouting of a word to finish before Vitalis wanders off. "Well then, seems like you're looking for something in particular..." a look back to Cullen, and the Igniseri Lord gives a slight roll of his shoulder, slipping the large blade from hand to hand whilst keeping the point in one place. "I guess we'll see what he brings back with him."

"Just making sure we're not taken by surprise," Miranda murmurs, taking Vitalis' extra lantern. She waits patiently for Vitalis to return, eyeing the way they came carefully.

Vitalis pads back out from the passage, movement resolving into the Lycene lord's form. He gestures everyone close so his words will reach them alone, and murmurs, "There's a firepit. Empty cots. A passage," he gestures with his hand in a blade pointing away, deeper into the hillside, "that way." Away from the other room. "No passage from there and no sign of inhabitants. Deeper in...?" he shrugs, he can't say. Information delivered, he looks between Miranda and Luis.

Faruq mmms, "Might as well sweep around then?" He asks the others for their opinions: "I mean going into their teeth is an option."

Miranda nods to Vitalis and looks to Luis, "Your lands. You want to parlay or remove them?" She keeps her voice soft, very low so it won't carry. "Might be best to lure them out of there and to us."

"Indeed," Luis replies to Miranda, clearly weighing Vitalis' words as he looks from one to the other, "So you don't have much more deeper in? Well we're not needing to go deeper if they're not moving that way, and cots suggest a regular bedding place. So let's go find out where they went and we can return here later should we encounter not as much as we were hoping to," he offers, looking to the others for a moment, then gestures to Vitalis, "Seems like a good enough reason," a muse, a check of his wrist and the lantern moves a bit before he nods to the others, "Well you've got a better eye for things than I, so let's carry on, and you tell me if you see anything else," he adds, ready to go.

"But noises to the right, even though there doesn't appear to be anything leading that way?" Luis whispers, "let's go with what we know," he adds, pointing right, since they were eager to go that way firstly anyways.

The right chamber is definitely larger than two by two. In fact, the chamber could be said to be as big as a large living room area. There are cots for four people in this room, and a small camp table that's stacked with items of worth likely stolen from nearby residents. About halfway around the chamber, on the right, is another tunnel leading out of this room. Three of those cots are occupied by former members of the Gyre's party, pulled together in a circle, and there's at least one dog lying nearby on the floor. They appear to be holding a quiet conversation while the dog sits quietly nearby, looking somewhat on the alert even if his human counterparts are not.

Cullen creeps into the chamber behind Vitalis and Luis, near Miranda. Not having said anything during the debate, he simply nods in agreement with the Igniseri lord, prepared for trouble and likely some potential combat. Then there's a dog. His eyes squint. Of course there'd be a dog, it's never a guard cat.

Vitalis nods at Luis and looks to Miranda, opening his hand to take the lantern back from her. When they resolve to move right he slips along with them, the one that no one will see until it's too late. And with the help of the other less subtle members of the band, remaining unseen will be all the simpler.

Miranda follows along, still picking up the rear, but doing her best to enter quietly. And to be as 'unthreatening' as possible to the dog. Her sword is held ready to go and her lantern is also down. She follows the group around - and yes, she gives Vitalis his lantern back.

Guard cats would be much much worse. Guard cats would have to be very big. Like the big cats in the Menagerie. Cat's claws that size? No thank you! Faruq follows along as quietly as he can with knives at the ready. Why knives? Because they don't glean like the diamondplate on his back. Maybe he'll be able to keep up the stealthy nature of his approach. Maybe not. At the sight of dog, and 'people', Faruq looks over at Luis, taps his lips with the tip of his dagger then head tilts towards the people. Attention shifts from Luis to Miranda, and Cullen. A faint wry smile lightening his expression briefly. Attention shifts behind them to make sure they aren't being surrounded.

"Well this is them..." Luis whispers, but there's something in his tone that suggests a disappointment. He moves a little further along the wall of the room, but then steps out a little, a gesture to Vitalis towards the other exit in the room, as the man whom is a lot less stealthy does start to move forward again, perhaps to offer up a distraction.

Faruq checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 2 higher.

Miranda checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 7 higher.

Vitalis checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 23 higher.

Luis checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.

Cullen checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.

The men continue to quietly converse, not noticing the party entering the chamber. It seems they are unhappy with their current predicament, and want to get back to what's left of the remaining fleet. Unfortunately, they do not appear to have a way to get back to the isles, from their idle chatter. They switch back and forth between Arvani and Isles shav in their chatter, but the conversation is enough that others can catch on to what's being said. The dog, however, isn't as easily fooled. Smells trump sound for him, and smelling new people he looks over at them. He gives them a doggy smile, and then starts thumping his tail. Well trained, though he is, he stays in place and doesn't go to greet anyone.

Luis drops the point of his blade and leans on the pommel for a moment, letting the rest of the group fan out as it were, before he arches a brow, and then clears his throat rather loudly. "Well you see... you want to get back to the sea, and to a fleet that's not really existing so much as of late... and I'd really like you off my lands... so we're in a bit of a connundrum as it were..." he muses loudly, talking to the men and waiting for their reactions.

Sneakily, Cullen skulks into the cavern, along with the rest of the rather stealthy party. Dipping his head at Luis, a rough and strong hand tightens around the grip of his sword, a coldness in his eyes when they move a bit closer. And then the Igniseri lord speaks, so he simply holds his sword at the ready and waits.

Miranda does circle around so that they're getting surrounded! No escapees this time! Since Luis is making with the distraction, she heads closer to the passageway to block that exit.

The thump, thump, thump of the dog's tail only gets louder when people keep moving about. His tongue lolls about in that doggie smile of his and he looks like he really wants to go over and greet people. He even whimpers a bit and looks back over the people in the cots with his most piteous expression coupled with a doggie whine. The humans, of course, ignore him. That is, of course, until Luis speaks, and then there's the screeching of metal against rock in that high pitched way as the three men jump up. Of course they take their weapons in hand, but they take up defensive positions rather than look like they're going to attack anyone. They, of course, don't really know who their intruders are, but noting their state of preparedness it doesn't really matter. Since one of them talked, one of them talks back. We'll call him the tall one. "You give us passage out of here, back to the isles, we'll get off this land."

Parley is not Vitalis' turf. His lips press flat as he regards the men with hard eyes, watching the three of them at once with a trick of focus he learned from his father. His lip curls and he eases subtly into a ready stance, his targets chosen.

"So you can go plague my land?" Faruq asks with a bit of a laugh, then a wince, but he doesn't correct himself verbally. Just mentally. That's worse. The faltering smile returns though and he shoots an apologetic look at Luis.

"Well you see, there's all sorts of wrong with that. While you've been in here, the powers that be have been a shifting things... The Gyre's dead, the lands reclaimed, all sorts of things, truly. As such, sending you back there would likely just end up in you being killed, lest you got kin there, or something? Though it's likely they're not really around much either anymore..." Luis adds with a soft sigh, dramatically. "So there's you there and us here, and we're really tired of the whole robbing and pillaging and the like. These people deserve some time to relax and not have to worry about you, and well we dealt with the others of your group, and you're pretty much all that's left, so let's try a better answer, one that would make my life easier than just simply killing you here, burning your bodies with the cots, and taking the dog home with the lovely lady?" he adds.

Miranda checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.

With the skill at negotiation of a rock attached to a club, Cullen stands and stares at the pirates suspciously, sword raised menacingly. "Why aren't we killing them again, just out of curiosity?" Glancing over at Luis with a perplexed look, "They'll just go to rob and loot and kill more innocents. They've done nothing to deserve living." But, that appears to be all he'll say on the matter, nodding in agreement with Vitalis' more hostile stance.

Luis checked charm + leadership at difficulty 20, rolling 27 higher.

Miranda glances down the passageway a moment. She makes a slight face, then focuses on the trio. She glances to Faruq at his slip, then looks to Cullen as he speaks. For the moment, she is quiet, considering the people. "There's always joining the Compact. Bend the knee, swear fealty to your liege.." She trails off, "Stop thieving." Just some helpful advice, really.

The three men glance at each other, then back to Luis at his words. They lean in to each other, still keeping their weapons at the defensive, and whisper quietly amongst themselves - though this time it's fully in Islands shav. They seem to be having a small argument, though really they just look tired and worn down. The dog whimpers at them, and crawls closer to them, sensing some sort of distress within their argument. One looks sharply over at Miranda, then looks back to Luis, and then continues his conversation. Finally, after a few moments pass, something is decided - at least partially. "That even possible, what she said," the tall one asks, seeming to be the leader among the three. A distinct note from these guys from the others is they do not look to be tainted, and were perhaps not in the service of the Gyre for very long. The other two stay quiet and steadily watch those people who surround them.

"Oh it is. You bend the knee, you make the swearing and the like to my Marquessa, and what not. You beg for her forgiveness and then she figures out a way for you to deal with the guilt of the actions you carry. And you're going to feel guilt..." he nods, looking towards his other sword, and mumbles to himself, "That's another great name for a sword... a pairing, Guilt and Shame..." the Lycene lord looks back to the others, "Well now, seeing as you ain't harmed any of these wonderful folk who came here with me to help me deal with you, speaking of which, where's that one that ran off from us the last time... you here?" he asks, looking from man to man to attempt to recognize any sort of face.

So says Luis.

Miranda smiles sweetly, not sweetly, to the one who looks at her, but waits, patiently. She is quiet, really, just observing for now. It is Igniseri lands and she will support them however she can. "Also, if there are more of you here, we'd like to know where. May be that you're not the only ones interested in bending the knee, hmm?"

"Beats dying I'd think." Faruq murmurs conversationally. With the lack of the fighting though both knives get slid away into the sleeves of his coat. If he needs them later they will be right there: "Then again, I bet the people they helped kill and robbed likely would have liked not dying and being robbed too." The second bit is not said loud enough to carry to the maybe new citizens of the Compact, maybe soon to be dead Gyre followers.

"Evit?" the tall one asks, giving a faint shudder as he does. "Got himself killed about a week back. Or, rather, should say - we dealt with him. Couldn't stand his yammering on and on about the abyss, and how we ought to join it. We didn't sign up for that. We signed up for good pay. Lads here have families to care for. Kids. Didn't have much choice but to come here, what with how them fellas were." He flexes his muscles for show, "and their beasts. Had to do what they said." He glances back at the other two - who are adults, but younger adults, and they both nod. He looks back to those there. "We'll accept bending the knee, if that means we'll be protected from the likes of them again. And, if, ole' Rusty can come." With the sound of his name, the dog hops to his feet and goes over to the tall one, nuzzling his hand for attention. "Plus, we can tell you where they put some of their stash, if that'll help."

Luis nods his head slowly, "Alright, well then, do be a good bunch of men and surrender your blades, even the hidden ones here to my friends, and we'll have a nice little walk then. Once we're done our walk, we're going to have a little bit of a proper bit of justice and ceremony, then when that's over, we're going to take you with us for a proper welcome to the lands. Now then, why don't we get a move on so that we can call it an evening and have a proper warm meal and a bed and the like for tonight?" Luis asks of the others, waiting to see their responses and yet something in the Lycene's tone promises so much more. "And yes, that will help, and likely aid in many sorts of benevolent responses..." Luis replies, his lips tight, but he nods, having now given most of his word as it were, gesturing to the others, "So you tell us where that stash is, if there's any sorts of worries that we won't want to encounter, as tricks usually make one of us mad... but then we'll walk, and as you say, we've all got families... everyone's got families..." he muses.

That a dog, a normal one, has judged these men good company and seems well enough off, lends some weight to the potential that these men might be woven into the fabric of the Compact. He grunts and steps forward to accept those surrendered blades. He looks at the dog. 'Rusty.' He gives a nod and looks, expectantly, to the men, ears sharp for movements beyond the room they're in.

Hand sliding his sword back into its scabbard, Cullen keeps it upon the hilt before murmuring to Luis, "I imagine the Marquessa would appreciate that cache they've stored away. I suppose between that and some possibly useful subjects, that's good enough." Looking over at Miranda and Faruq for a bit, he rocks back and forth on his sabatons, keeping a close eye on the men who are supposed to be surrendering.

The men do drop their weapons, and reveal the location of the others. The caverns are safe to stay in for the evening, or the party can see about making arrangements in a local village. The stash is found, and there's about 10,000 silver worth of items among the goods that were stolen from the villages. The dog stays close by, and when given the opportunity goes to greet everyone as well, nudging the hands and the like for attention, tail wagging all the time!

Faruq eyes the dog: "So you're the reason for the wet dog smell." He rumbles, but with the giving up of the weapons Faruq now has no need to be all 'Rawr!' and such. He settles in beside Miranda, conversing with her in quiet words while things get arranged and organized: "I am all for not sleeping in wet dog cave of former abyssal yuckyness." Is his vote.

Luis nods his head as weapons are recovered. He'll sort those out later, but as for the men, they do get tied up, it's just a sort of thing. They've got the reparations of the villages to deal with. Though he will pull aside the others so that the men will not overhear, "Thank you for coming, and for helping in this matter. To restore peace and the safety to our lands is not something we take lightly. You have all aided us well and for that we are thankful. The villages will see restitution, but I do wish to thank you all for coming from your own lands to aid us. Should you have need of anything, please do not hesitate to ask me." With that Luis will leave them, off to inspect blades and find dinner, as they head to the village for the night, then do the big reveal the next day.

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

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

Miranda agrees with Faruq and says, "We can find a place outside the caves if you like." She smiles a bit at him, sheathing her weapon once the men are managed. "My Lord," she says to Luis, "Whatever you need, I will gladly help you with this." So that should he need or desire an extra hand, he has it. Easily, "I am happy to offer whatever aid you need."

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

"Sounds like a fine idea, Lord Igniseri," Cullen remarks before heading off with them all, prisoners and loot and whatall brought with. "Of course, any other aid that you or the Marquessa need, I shall be happy to assist with."



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