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Fire, Splinters, and Dead Horses

A chaotic chariot race hosted by Archduke-Consort Talen Velenosa and Archduke-Widower Niccolo Velenosa will take place in Reflection Square, shattering any peace in the idyllic park for a few hours, where competitors, chariots and horses race around the track to the finish line. Expect fire, splinters and a dead horse or two (look, these things happen) if things get nasty. 1st place wins 50,000 silver, 2nd place takes 25,000 and 3rd place takes 10,000 silver. The only venue where front row seats at the worst seats in house.


June 2, 2018, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Niccolo Talen


Grazia Pasquale Lucita Juliana Sabella Jaenelle Eleyna Barric(RIP) Cambria Waldemai Carissa Terese Felicia Harper Ariella Gianna Karadoc Gareth



Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Reflection Square

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


I decided to participate in Talen and Niccolo' chariot race. I found it to be quite entertaining and the excitement of the race outweighed the dangers. Though to be fair, I didnt break any bones or burn to death in the fires so perhaps I didn't take full advantage of everything. Next time!


I've attended many a chariot race in my life but none quite like what I witnessed in the recent exhibition in this city. I think Princess Sabella won it by encouraging her mount with pure charm, rather than the whip or inspired trickery. Not a tactic that I suspect would've been seen on the tracks on Lenosia or Setarco, but most entertaining to watch. The courage displayed by all who took the course was also inspiring. It was a fine, fiery piece of home, celebrated in Arx.

Within the Reflection Square there is a track, and there are pens, and there are horses. More importantly, there are chariots. Carved from lumber, fitted with wheels, and set with steel poles to roll those circular momentum-gathering creations are said chariots. Talen is seated, lounging lazily on a panel bench, waiting for his company. There might be an embellished gesture or two, indicating he expects to see THUNDEr, and SPLINTERs, and FIRE, and DEAD HORSES. Maybe.

Stefano, a studious man arrives, following Carissa.

6 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting arrive, following Jaenelle.

Tyce the gruff and disapproving arrives, following Juliana.

2 Armed Confessors, Gia the peregrine falcon, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards, Rary the Lycene beauty arrive, following Grazia.

Coral, a dour formal thrall arrives, following Karadoc.

Coral, a dour formal thrall leaves, following Karadoc.

Felicia took her time ambling over from the Gauntlet, earlier, but well, yes. Chariots! Chariots? Chariots!! The redheaded knight is practically drooling at the sheer thought. So pretty. Much horseflesh. The grin on her face is practically incandescent as she goes to check out the chargers and their chariots with the squirming delight usually reserved for young children than King's knights within bowshot of thirty.

Romina, a silent Mirrorguard agent, 2 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Niccolo.

Coral, a dour formal thrall arrives, following Karadoc.

Waldemai sits right up front, despite the dire threats of splashing mud and/or blood. Or perhaps because of them. "Yay! Race time!" Must have been in the ale again.

Pasquale is here for the races, walking in step with Carissa. He is not drooling, but there's a bright intensity about his dark eyes. The promise of the races is an exciting one. He attempts to find a place to watch that won't be too close to the front.

Lucita nods to her assistant. "No, I did not forget, horses and some kind of race. Don't hurry me, we'll be on time." She gives a smile and looks around at some who have assembled already. Once there, she spots Felicia. "Dame! Dame Felicia. I got that glass you spoke to me about, brought it back with me from my last trip to Saikland. When this is over, maybe you will have time to take a look at it. Just not now. I'm interested in seeing the race!"

Carissa moves with her cousin, looking around with curiosity. "Would you believe I've never actually seen a chariot race?" she says to Pasquale, brightly. "I'm not looking forward to injury or death, naturally, but I do like exciting things."

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Valor, a small brown and white corgi puppy, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard, Gianna arrive, following Sabella.

3 Armed Confessors, Confessor Dunn, 1 Grayson Guardsmen, Confessor Wick, Confessor John, Sabella arrive, following Gareth.

The Archduchess arrives to bear witness to the spectacle to come. She casts her pale blue gaze over the crowd, looking a bit more touched by the sun that usual, before she wanders to the bench that Talen currently occupies. She glances out over the track and then at him, "Is this too close to avoid splinters to the face?"

Jaenelle moves from the Velenosa estate towards where the track has been set up for the race. She quickly finds where Talen and Eleyna are, and moves in their direction. The softest of whispers are given to the Archduchess as she glances over the woman and then towards Talen.

Felicia raises a hand in acknowledgment of Lucita, stepping away from the chariots with a broad grin,"Sure thing, and personally... I'm hoping to compete, though I tore open my stitches at the Gauntlet and should probably sit it out I just... yes." her cheeks flush briefly as she looks down at the ground,"How have you been?"

Grazia has come to see the races, quite interested in being able to see from far enough back. She also looks for somewhere comfortable to sit. Espying the Archduchess, she moves in her direction and offers a curtsey. "Is it safer over here, perchance?" she wonders.

Niccolo arrived just as the event is about to begin. The former archduke is astride a horse, looking regal, with the satisfied expression of a man about to witness destruction. Romina takes the Velenosa's horse as he dismounts and makes his way to the judge's booth. "Do we have a decent field then?"

Harper slips in, following the rest of the people as they wander in. She pauses to look around the area before making a beeline towards an out of the way spot on a bench where she can get a good view. She tosses a wave and a grin over towards Talen and Eleyna if they see her.

Pasquale makes a soft "Hmmm" sound in reply to Carissa. "The spectacle is always most visceral, if you're into that sort of thing. The accidents can get quite nasty, of course. They aren't always free of death or injury. Perhaps everyone will be deft and fortunate today." Or perhaps not, but he's willing to hope. "Just stay clear of the front rows. Those can get a bit...uncomfortable if something crashes in the vicinity."

Lucita says, "Better. I can breath now and seems instead of bruised ribs from active twins, I have bruised legs from working to get back in shape. That course is tough!" She gives a little smile and her gaze slides from spot to spot as she watches those gathering, the vehicles and the horses. "Wonder who all is planning to compete.""

Eleyna offers Jaenelle a smile and a few murmurs words before she returns the greeting offers by Grazia. "I have no idea. I'm not so worried about the blood, but I would rather not catch splinters to the face nor a stray wheel." She catches Harper's wave and returns one of her own before she glances at the seating, frowning, "I'm not really sure if any place is 'safe' here. These things tend to get... messy."

Karadoc, yawning, slinks in like a mangy stray cat that someone's tried very, very hard to make look respectable. He meanders through the crowd, humming to himself, until he is able to secure a seat beside his Baroness-Regent. Slouching in, he snaps off a casual salute, muttering. "My lady Lucita." A bare look around, "All. Looking forward to the bloodshed or the chance of losing an eye? I have already decided upon an eyepatch and a catchy nickname.."

Entering the square, Gareth Grayson is arm in arm with his cousin Sabella. His other hand leaning heavily on his griffin headed cane. Every now and then along the way they had to take a brief break, but eventually they get there, Gianna arriving with them. His staff clacking loudly against the stone as they travel forward.

Carissa nods at Pasquale. "I hope we can sit a bit farther back, then. I wouldn't want to ruin my gown," she murmurs, before settling in as far back as she can find two seats.

Juliana wanders into the square, more because she was in the area and the commotion of gathered nobles draws her to see what is going on. Cloak pulled tight around her, cause cold is evil, the Pravus stops to let her attention wander around the square, placing faces she knows.

"Let's hope that this is far enough back that we can both see the action as well as avoid any shrapnel," Grazia notes to Eleyna, though she seems uncharacteristically uncertain. "If you do not mind if I join you."

Jaenelle dips her head and smiles at whatever Eleyna responds back with, staying beside her new sister in law after. "I am half tempted to play, I am short enough that I can duck should anything come towards my head at least. It would also give Ettore another thing to chastise me for." This seems like the winning arguement as to why she would enter the race herself.

Gianna follows Sabella and Gareth, with them, but not one of them. Not a Grayson, not a noble. She waited patiently at each stop. She's carrying a rosewood lyre, but she probably isn't here to play. Lyres don't make good accompaniment to chariot races.

"Me, if I can." Felicia advises Lucita with a laugh,"I can't say I know how difficult it is to try and bounce back from childbearing, though. I imagine it's not easy. But the work is worth it, in the end?" she opines.

Lucita speaks to Karadoc with a teasing note in her voice, "For someone else, yes, not for yourself. Imagine the eyestrain of all the reports to read with just one eye." She then nudges Doc in the ribs discetely. "I could always poke you in the eye just a little, for you to see what is like for a day or two before you take the eyepatch and nickname route."

"The truth is that the best seats to see all the action are the most dangerous. Come, let's make my brother fret himself in a tantrum. Duchess Grazia, you are more than welcome to join us. I'll even let you use me as cover if we see a wheel flying toward us." Eleyna loops her arm with Jaenelle's and begins to move to the front rows, surprisingly empty, as she beckons for Grazia to join them if she chooses.

"The booth here provides the best viewpoint while also generally avoiding debris." Niccolo assures Eleyna. He glances to Talen, "Shall we call for competitors then?"

Lucita nods to Felicia and murmurs. "Worth every bit of it, my little ones were." She spots others she knows in the gathering and raises a hand to give them a little wave.

Talen says, "Let's. Father, you may do the honours, call those who want to be in on the race. We've the chariots, the horses, and welcome any others have brought."

"...should the crowd start getting out of hand, Gianna, do you know any soft lullabies you might play to calm them down?" Sabella is asking with a grin, looking over to make sure Gareth is doing all right. "Or if Prince Gareth gets too overwhelmed from the excitement. Surely the Hall of Questions is never this intense, right?"

"I'm just going to hope for a lack of wheels," Grazia replies dryly to Eleyna, but she does follow along after the Archduchess and Jaenelle.

Harper looks over and grins at Juliana as she enters, giving her a friendly wave. She gets a strange look on her face as she realizes she is sitting on the front row of benches. With a slight shrug she just relaxes and watches the horses and chariots as they prepare.

Talen rises, looking to his father a moment, before he calls out. The younger Archduke, active rather than retired, bellows out over the square. The rules become known, or the lack thereof,

Three rounds of +checks!OOC: +check [command, charm, composure] + [ride, animal ken, empathy] at 15 - ride your horse. This is the default.

Then each round, an option to supplement through skill and talent, or trickery:

+check [command, charm, composure] + [ride, animal ken, empathy] at 30 - ride it harder!

If you want to try something non-standard, +check [strength, dexterity, stamina] + [any wpn, athletics, survival] at 30 - want to throw a spear in the wheels, outlast our opponents, or try something else daring? If you choose trickery, You'll the follow up with another check,

+check luck at 15

Culatello, deft bos'n of the Red Bargain, Serrano, doughty Quartermaster of the Red Bargain arrive, following Ariella.

Pasquale settles with a sweep of the dark silks he wears next to Carissa. Safe from flying chariot parts at this distance. Probably. He hopes. "The last race like this I saw was in Setarco. Must've been a good five years ago. It wasn't entirely free of destruction, but was a fine day nonetheless. Fear not, Lady Carissa, I think we're far enough back to avoid unfortunate stains."

"Gods, Lucita, you're just going to ruin all of my excellent plans." Karadoc grumps, shaking his head so that hair falls into his face. It creates a very dramatic curtain to fake brooding behind. Then, with a gusty sigh, he flicks the hair from his face and pats down his overcoat pockets for the important things: booze and snacks. I'll manage it, yeah."

Talen rises, looking to his father a moment, before he calls out. The younger Archduke, active rather than retired, bellows out over the square. The rules become known, or the lack thereof,

Three rounds of +checks!OOC: +check [command, charm, composure] + [ride, animal ken, empathy] at 15 - ride your horse. This is the default.

Then each round, an option to supplement through skill and talent, or trickery:

+check [command, charm, composure] + [ride, animal ken, empathy] at 30 - ride it harder!

If you want to try something non-standard, +check [strength, dexterity, stamina] + [any wpn, athletics, survival] at 30 - want to throw a spear in the wheels, outlast our opponents, or try something else daring? If you choose trickery, you'll the follow up with another check.

If you rolled trickery in this round, you'll roll a +check luck at 15 to make sure it doesn't go 'badly'.

Those at the front row? Good luck. We'll call on you as we roll. If anyone wants to be there, we'll ask a roll from you. Excitement awaits.

Arriving in the usual fashion, Barric takes a look around the crowd that is gathering for these races! "I wonder if they plan to put up any walls so that when they wreck nobody dies..." He muses thoughtfully and then starts to meander through the crowd looking for people he knows. It's a big crowd. It takes a while. Finally though he ends up stopping near to Lucita though he had smiled and greeted quite a few people on the way.

Carissa smiles to Pasquale with a hint of nervousness, now, her eyes large. "This sounds scary, now. Ah, well," she mutters more to herself than anyone else. "I'm here, I might as well stay."

"Now that you have the rules, who has the talent and the courage? Or the wiles.." Niccolo steps up beside Talen, his voice booming out over the field. "Who intends to compete!? Ready your chariots and announce yourself!"

"Also, if you want to compete, I'll be sure to share every dangerous detail and cheer for you from the front row," Eleyna assures Jaenelle as she settles onto one of the benches and motions Grazia to sit next to her. "It's more likely we'll just be spraywed in blood instead, to be fair."

Felicia grins and nods for Lucita, saluting Karadoc briefly before sliding to her feet and rubbing her hands together eagerly. Must be serious business, that long red hair of hers is getting wound up and pinned to the top of her head as she gleefully goes to pick herself out a chariot and steed,"I'll compete!" she calls out to Niccolo.

"You need only say the word, Your Highness," Gianna tells Sabella in a mild tone, with a smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes. She adjusts her grip on her rosewood lyre, keeping it tucked against her body in the press of people.

Talen drops House Velenosa fealty benches.

Talen drops House Thrax fealty benches.

Talen drops House Valardin fealty benches.

Gareth has joined the House Valardin fealty benches.

Gianna has joined the House Valardin fealty benches.

Lucita is seated beside Karadoc. She bows from where she sits. "Prince Barric, we got here early and found a good spot to sit and watch. Want to help me think of creative eyepatches for Lord Karadoc?

Cambria has joined the House Velenosa fealty benches.

An arm is looped within Eleyna's as Jaenelle escorts her sister in law down towards the front. There is a slight hesitation before she considers it and grins. "I think I will. It should be fun and not all that dangerous." Because it will be, and Mydas isnt here to stop his newly made bride from putting herself into danger. She reaches up to kiss Eleyna's cheek, "cheer loudly!"

Lucita has joined the House Velenosa fealty benches.

Pasquale has joined the House Velenosa fealty benches.

"I'm sure if the servants can't get the blood out, I didn't really like the dress in the first place," Grazia replies nonchalantly to Eleyna as she sits down beside her on the bench. "Good luck, Princess Jaenelle. Try to enjoy yourself, hmm?"

Waldemai is still sitting in the front row, regardless of the threat of danger. "Ale!" he calls. "Bring a pail up here so I can get warmed up for the race!"

Carissa has joined the House Velenosa fealty benches.

Cambria arrives from Tor Plaza, and makes a swift beeline for the bench seating. It would appear that the Marquessa of House Mazetti was a fan of chariot racing. Or blood sport. Perhaps both!

Somewhere during the preparations, a few hoops are lit, their oily rings being made fiery rings. A promise of fire, the chariots of the splinters, while the horses-- well, they're still horses. Alive, breathing, and some even panicked likely.

Harper eyes Eleyna with raised eyebrows at the mention of the danger, craning around to grin at her as they approach the front bench. Rubbing the back of her neck, she looks around again as if debating moving, then stays firmly planted as the others sit down on the bench too. "Aww well, at least it won't be boring."

Carissa swallows. "I didn't realize the fire was literal," she says, too loudly, staring at the hoops of flame with big eyes.

Barric has joined the House Velenosa fealty benches.

"Hrm." After a few decent swigs of apricot brandy, a few handfuls of cracked peanuts that are likely laced with something that can be blamed on his poor-decision making -- Karadoc rises from the bench -- tips a nod toward Lucita with a smirk, and he heads down to check out the charioteer preparations. That's when he mutters, "Ah, yeah, I'm in.

Barric smiles up at Lucita and Karadoc, offering a polite bow of his head, "Well as I don't see a House Grayson bench section." He smiles wryly, "I guess I shall have to do a Grayson invasion of Velenosa space." And then he jumps up onto some benches to make his way up towards Lucita and Karadoc. "I come, in peace!" He calls out and then settles in next to Lucita opposite Karadoc.

After watching Jaenelle join in, Eleyna hesitates a moment and then flashes a sly grin to Grazia, "Just to make it interesting, I think I'll join in as well. It's been awhile since I had a chance to ride!" With that, the Archduchess makes for the pens to inspect the horses on offer.

Talen says, "Eleyna, WHY."

The competitors begin to gather, Talen leans into his father's seat almost to share something amusedly, before he looks back to the track. The flame lit rings, the chariots and their horses, the drivers; they seem to keep him entertained.

"Oh, let her do what she wants," Grazia replies to Talen, rolling her eyes before primly resuming her seat. If the Archduchess wants to race, by all means.

"Because she wants to" calls our Jaenelle, giving Talen a look. "So just watch from up there!"

Sabella lets Gareth and Gianna get ahead of her. Very ahead of her. Then she sidesteps over to where the drivers are getting ready, looking both pleased with herself and utterly horrified. "This is fine." She says, watching the fire.

"If she dies I don't even care," Talen lies outrageously.

Lucita chuckles softly and watches Karadoc move down toward the place contestants are gathering. "No breaking the writing hand and arm, Doc."

"Because I do what I want," Eleyna replies swiftly after her defenders and flashes Talen a bright, almost sickeningly sweet smile.

Gianna frowns for a moment, looking to Gareth as they settle into seats. She was expecting a Sabella buffer, but there she is, next to Gareth. Where did Sabella go? Gianna arches an eyebrow, glancing sidelong at the Inquisitor.

Harper looks over and rolls her eyes at Talen at the blantant lie.

Felicia is suddenly joined by Princesses and Archduchesses and flushes a couple of shades of red before she grins at Eleyna and Jaenelle and the others joining the line-up,"Well, at least hopefully this shall be a good, clean race."

Gareth doesn't frown. He just stares. Eyes flicking around before finally affixing on Sabella approaching the chariots. "There she is." The Inquisitor states flatly to Gianna.

"Fine, let's begin. The only rule is that you reach the finish line. If you die, it's not on us, we've been told that insurance is completely off the cards," Talen calls with a look to his father for confirmation.

"If I lose a hand, Lu-ci-tah, I will learn to balance the ledgers by writing with my feet. I am certain that holding a quill within my toes couldn't be that difficult," Karadoc adds in an indolent murmur toward his Baroness-Regent, and he returns a heavy-lidded gaze toward the horses. Until Felicia speaks up, and he glances aside, "It'll be good, Dame. It's not likely to be clean."

"Last call for competitors! It is your chance for glory - the Grand Duchess herself is competing!" Niccolo belts out for a final time. He pauses for a beat, nodding to Talen before continuing if no one else chimes in....

"Oh," remarks Gianna to Gareth. "So she is." There's a long pause. "People will be terribly upset if she dies," she finally says, blinking.

Realizing what is going on, Juliana sighs and takes a seat somewhere.. because lets face it, someone is going to need a healer before this is over with.

Ariella basically walks out of Domus Igniseri into a race track. "Well. This is new." She skirts the edge of things and looks for someone she knows. Her sister is way over there, Lucita gets a wave, but much closer is Gianna, so Ariella swaggers over and sits down. "Are horses going to die? I will be okay with that. I hate horses. Do they have plans for the leather afterward?"

Juliana has joined the House Velenosa fealty benches.

"Dame Felicia" Jaenelle greets out cheerfully. "How are you?" She says this while her horse is picked and her chariot hitched. "We must get together soon, I am supposed to meet with the King soon, so hopefully you can be there to protect us. Or him. Im sure he'll be fine from ink spills though" she grins.

Sabella gives Felicia a nervous smile, "I hope so? I've never done this before. I, ah, hope it goes better than the physical trials at your event did! For me. And that this isn't a repeat of Lord Niklas with his horse." She eyes the horses and gives them a smile. "Hi, horsey! Want to win a race?"

Grazia has joined the House Velenosa fealty benches.

Gianna inclines her head to Ariella. "Captain Igniseri," she greets. "Or do you prefer Lady Ariella? I'm not sure what's done with injured horses. I'm not sure anyone's thought that far ahead." Her tone is very dry. "How much does a horse cost?" She rests her lyre on her lap, smoothing the skirt of her red dress.

Three rounds, each a set of checks:

+check [command, charm, composure] + [ride, animal ken, empathy] at 15 - ride your horse.

Each round also, an option to supplement through skill and talent, or also trickery:

+check [command, charm, composure] + [ride, animal ken, empathy] at 30 - ride it harder!

+check [strength, dexterity, stamina] + [any wpn, athletics, survival] at 30 - want to throw a spear in the wheels, outlast our opponents, or try something else daring?

If you roll trickery, you must also roll +check luck at 15 or your roll is not counted.

Lucita laughs at Karadoc and then waves toward her sister, shaking her head a little as she joins another instead. She goes mostly quiet to listen to instructions and watch the lineup of the racers.

Harper has joined the House Velenosa fealty benches.

Felicia dips her head to Jaenelle,"Just got back from the north and nursing a wound, so if you're going to throw spears at me..." she glances aside to Karadoc,"Aim for the right, at least." she gives a wolfish kind of grin before prowling towards her chosen pair,"I don't know... those ink stains can be nasty depending on where they are. But of course, I live to serve. Even if, right now... if you'll forgive me, there shall be quarter given on the field!"

Once her chariot and horse are selected, Eleyna supervises the hitching herself with a careful eye. Once everything seems in order, the Archduchess holds her skirts to the side and mounts the chariot. She wraps the reins in her hands and tugs a few times, gently, testing the horse's responsiveness to the bit. She grins at Karadoc as he responds to Felicia and offers a few words of her own, "Best of luck. I hope Talen and Niccolo arranged for a healer at least..."

"I would very much appreciate it if no one throws anything at me!" Sabella comments hopefully as she steps up and then gingerly picks up the reigns. "I am probably just going to run into a wall as it is. Hopefully not one that's on fire."

Felicia checked composure + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.

Karadoc watches as only someone who marginally cares might watch, reaching out a handful of peanuts toward one particular flightly horse. Eyes rolling, ears flicking back -- the beast is all shades of 'fuck no, man.' This only makes him chuckle, and he mounts the chariot once the thing's properly hitched up.

"Captain Igniseri. Though just Ariella is fine," replies Ariella perhaps just a touch tartly. "And horses cost a fucking fortune, so this should be a good show." When she sees Sabella out there she glances sidelong at Gareth. "I feel like you should do something about this."

As her horse is finished its preperation, Jaenelle climbs into the chariot and takes the reins. She clicks her tongue to lead the animal towards the line as she waits for the race to begin. Her hand reaches out to stroke the horse, "you are the prettiest horse ever." Flattery gets you everywhere.

Eleyna checked command + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 17 higher.

Sabella checked charm + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

"Best of luck to all of you." Felicia offers them all, similarly testing her steed and the sturdiness of the chariot before coming up to the line with a too broad a grin, green eyes focused on the track. Riding? That she enjoys, and from the way the knight braces herself in the chariot she's definitely not concerned about employing any trickery in favor of just trying to push the horse and chariot as hard as they will go.

Karadoc checked charm + animal ken at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Waldemai shouts, "Annnnnnddd...They're off!" He commits the horrible crime of splashing ale around.

Sabella checked charm + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 49 higher.

Jaenelle checked command + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.

Jaenelle checked charm + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 18 lower.

Felicia checked command + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 4 lower.

While Jaenelle's horse starts off well through the first third of the race, it does not seem to appreciaite the distraction given by his rider. That soothing conversation that she started before the race and continued, telling the horse how good it is and how it is clearly the very best horse ever does not sit well with the animal and he slows dramatically in an attempt to perhaps shut her up. Jaenelle gets the hint...this time, and slaps the reins as the only sort of communication now.

Karadoc checked charm + animal ken at difficulty 30, rolling 4 lower.

Eleyna checked command + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.

As the race gets started, Eleyna doesn't immediately start whipping and forcing her horse into a frenzy. Instead, she starts off slow, getting the horse used to how she handles the reins and the expectations. As she notices some other chariot rattle past her, the Archduchess grins and snaps the reins, laughing wildly as she encourages the horse to pick up speed and gain some ground.

Gianna's brows arch; there's a glance from Ariella to Gareth, and then back to Ariella. "How would the Inquisitor put a stop to this?" she inquires. "I"m not sure chariot races are in that jurisdiction. I could be wrong, however. In any case... the Princess seems to be doing... well?"

Karadoc starts off decent, until he loosens the reigns and attempts to give the horse its head, and the creature veers off -- attempting to throw off the unwanted nobleman driving the chariot behind it. He curses soundly, and watches as Sabella surges forward in the lead. Watching others match or pass, he cackles with delight. "Come on, Dogfood, move your ass!"

As the race starts Sabella takes a deep breath, grips the reigns with white knuckled hands, and then lets it out. "All right. We can do this. We can do this, Horsey! I don't really want to use these on you, so I'm gonna trust you to know what you're doing and only pull if I need to." And then--and then the chariot leaps forward and she holds on for dear life with both hands, "IT'S BETTER THAN A BOAT!" She calls out to Horsey and then shifts her feet to lean forward and cracks a smile, "Wooooooo! Stay away from the fire, Horsey! You are the best horse!"

"Stay away from the fire!" Talen leaps up to call to the riders, as they move, plying their tricks as they may. The grounds are a chaotic sight, and he leans forward, turning to look at his further to murmur an amused statement.

Waldemai calls, "Faster! Faster!"

Lucita says, "Go, Doc, you can do it!""

Niccolo leans foward against the railing of the booth as the race begins. "They are off!" Watching with a keen eye, he arches a brow: "A clean race so far - I am sure that will change if the Princess continues to build her lead." As the chariots thunder past, the flames roar up into the sky.

Ariella grimaces at Gianna's doubtful commentary. Without looking away from the potential horse carnage she says, "He's her cousin. He's an authority figure. I donno." She leans forward as the race is on, eyebrows raising at Sabella's early lead. Still, she shakes her head and says to the bard, "I've only known the princess for a week, but at no point did I get the impression she was going to be much for throwing spears or ramming."

Harper cranes to watch the race, half standing, as she lets out a loud shout of encouragement at Eleyna, "C'mon Archduchess, you got this!"

Waldemai has a big swig of ale. "Go on, race like you mean it!"

Felicia's intent on running a clean race, letting the horse have its head and get a feel for the situation before picking up the pace. She's not too worried about where she is in the field, perhaps her side is bothering her or the horse isn't as good because the knight's definitely not leading the pack.

"If they start throwing shit, it's probably to get ahead, and that's good right?" Talen asks of Niccolo before he hunkers down, looks at the field, and props his chin on his forearms. "Let's see how they do on the next third of the track. This next leg should be interesting."

Karadoc checked charm + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

Eleyna checked command + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.

Sabella checked charm + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.

Jaenelle has rolled a critical success!
Jaenelle checked command + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Karadoc checked charm + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.

Eleyna checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 6 lower.

Eleyna checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

Sabella checked charm + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.

Felicia checked command + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

Felicia has rolled a critical success!
Felicia checked command + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.

Carissa has left the House Velenosa fealty benches.

Jaenelle checked command + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 12 higher.

There is a saying that cheaters never prosper and, as the Archduchess makes an attempt to toss a dagger into the wheels of Sabella's chariot, that old proverb is exemplified. She not only misses but it takes everything she can to maintain control of her own chariot as the horse, upset by the change in balance by Eleyna throwing, veers wildly to the side, straight for some of the fire that is lighting up the track so well.

Gianna nods, watching the course. "I didn't get that impression, either," she tells Ariella. She glances over at the Captain, then notes, "Oh, I like your boots. Where did you get them?" They are very nice boots.

There's a lot of dust and gravel being kicked up and Sabella's eyes are watering, but this is kind of ridiculously exciting and so she calls out, "Is this what Reese and Lou always feel like?!" She gives the reigns a little tug to keep the chariot away from some fire as it flies around the track in the lead. "My dress is getting sooooooo diiiiiiiiiiirtyyyyyyyyyyy!"

Waldemai cheers Eleyna. "There! That's the sort of racing we need to see more of!"

Dogmeat, the poor seal brown horse, has really had enough of Karadoc's shit. With a toss of its head that causes Karadoc to lose his grasp on reins, the chariot rumbles off the course, taking the turn far too wide so that it skirts a billowing gout of flame. Wood chars, hair singes -- and now Karadoc's eyes are super wide. Way to lose his high. "Fuck - fuck - fuuuuuck."

There is no sweet talking her horse this time as Jaenelle leans into the railing, the only thing keeping her from falling out and beneath the deadly legs and wheels of her ride. Her commanding nature isnt loud, there is no screaming at the horse, there is no yelling or anything beyond her focused glance and click of the leather straps against the horse's flank as the reins are held in one hand and the small whip is snapped in the air.

"All in all, it's looking pretty clean, even though I saw my wife just try to fling a dagger at those wheels. My hopes is that I never taught her that move," Talen says, drawling lowly, as he watches as it plonks off the bars and into the dirt. As the competitors make their way to the finish line with Sabella surging ahead, he hisses, "Think we need to modify these rules somewhat? Yeah, yeah."

In the midst of it all with the rumble of hooves and wheels along the outskirts of the track, if there is even such Terese emerges towards the field. She moves with a quiet grace as azure eyes slide over the various carts that careen around. One gloved hand folds a missive in her hand only to pause in mid air to tuck it away as a sudden swivel of her head brings her gaze around to Eleyna on the tracks. Soft stray tendrils loosen in the whip of her head and gaze as she muses, "Oh all the.."

There is a collective gasp from the crowd as a dagger is tossed by the Velenosa at the Grayson, and the gasp surges to a roar as Eleyna dashes toward the flames. Niccolo is there with the crowd - leaning in toward the track, he elbows Talen. "Needs to work on her aim."

"Came with the pants," says Ariella brightly. Man. Those pants. Isn't she cold? "I got them from Kenemir Leather ages ago. They're good and sturdy, but I think I'm going to replace them. I have an idea for a better suit." She surges to her feet as Sabella dodges disaster, disaster that backfired badly. "FUCK YEAH! GO PRINCESS!"

Harper cuts her eyes over to look at Waldemai with a big grin, before turning back to watch the race. She lets out a loud, "Yeah! Good try!" as Eleyna throws the dagger, then holds her breath as the chariot heads straight towards the fire.

Felicia is just concentrating on trying to keep her own horse in line, although she is hardly a stranger to riding, something about the combination mustn't be working because she's definitely struggling in a field to which she's quite good at, most of the time. Not concerning herself with thrown objects from other competitors but rather on, as she said at the start, running a good, clean race of her own.

Ariella is overheard praising Sabella for: Holy shit!

Gianna nods to Ariella, though that's probably lost in the commotion of standing up and cheering for Sabella. Gianna doesn't get up, but she does lean forward with an amused little smirk curling the corners of her lips up.

As the third and final leg approaches, some shady looking mirror guards suddenly appear and kick several barrels out into the middle of the track. Niccolo managed to look surprised: "This will show their abilities."

Sitting very quietly and very still, Gareth has his eyes following Sabella as she gains a considerable lead.

Karadoc checked charm + animal ken at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.

Sabella checked command + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 56 higher.

Waldemai laughs as the barrels go rolling out onto the track. Yes, he's that drunk. "Whoa, look at that! That's putting the fox in the hen house!"

Felicia checked command + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

Eleyna checked command + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

Karadoc checked charm + animal ken at difficulty 30, rolling 15 lower.

Eleyna checked command + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 3 higher.

Karadoc checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.

Sabella checked command + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 58 higher.

Eleyna checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.

Felicia checked command + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 11 lower.

Eleyna has to lean her weight into steering her chariot away from the fire. She kind of succeeds. Only the chariot is on fire. But the horse is fine! So, in a chariot on fire on one side, the Archduchess decides to try to use that momentum to swing her flaming chariot into one of her competitors. It doesn't matter which one at this point. It's not like she can aim this thing.

Sabella checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.

Jaenelle checked command + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.

Jaenelle checked command + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 3 higher.

Felicia checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

Jaenelle checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

Ariella reaches over Gianna to slap Gareth on the shoulder. "Why aren't more people cheering on some of the best fucking horse racing any of us have ever seen? Did you know your cousin was an equestrian genius?!" She pumps her fists in the so and whistle loud enough that the person in front of her will still be hearing it tomorrow.

Ever so slowly looking over at Ariella, Gareth stares for a long moment at the Igniseri woman with that impassive wasteland of a face and then simply looks back to the race. "Please don't do that again."

Jules sits quietly focused fully on the race and very little else as the antics ensue. Leaning forward with her elbows braced on her knees, only thing that really matters is that she doesn't have to drag any of them off to Lianne's lab.

Sabella's eyes are huge and bright as she sees the finish line and she's beaming. If she noticed Eleyna tried to brutally murder her chariot in the middle of the race she does not let on. But judging from the way she has her gaze locked ahead, paying attention to the track rather than what's around her, it is probably not surprising that she missed it. Thankfully they are going SO FAST that most of the barrels don't roll into their way until they're well past! There is that one barrel though that she has to pull on the reigns hard and it bounces off the right wheel, jostling her hard into the side, but not slowing them down. "Ow." She grimaces, but keeps a tight hold of the reigns and calling out to Horsey, "All the carrots! If you don't like carrots, apples! Do you want a pie?! Horse, I will get you a Whisper if you want one to brush you tonight!" She promises.

Waldemai is convulsed with laughter as the chariots get tangled up in the barrels. He spills more ale.

"Go, go, go," Talen calls repeatedly as he watches the course, of trickery and of social maneuvering? until there's someone at the end. It's not really clear who's won until the end, there's a rush of sand, and a rush of wheels, and rush of hooves. Then, as Sabella crosses the line he looks to Niccolo and asks, "Did she just win? God damn, we need more barrels." Then, he nudges his father and says, "PPrincess Sabella Grayson crosses the line -first-."

Gianna leans away as Ariella's hand and arm near her. She blinks when said hand lands on Gareth, and for a moment, she is very, very still. Waiting. It seems to be okay, though, and she relaxes again. "I'm very impressed," she tells Ariella. "She even avoided the barrels. I just don't... cheer." She can applaud, however, and she raises her hands to do just that.

Lucita's eyes widen as she watches the laps and the progress of the race, cheering for first one and then the other. "Oh, how exciting!"

Pasquale gets on his feet as the race winds around to its conclusion. His contenance isn't really one given to exuberant displays, but he does clap and cheer forcefully for the first racers to cross the finish line. More or less intact and not on fire.

The fire? The barrels? Eleyna not doing so well with the attempted murder of Sabella? Perhaps all of these things cause Jaenelle to lose focus. Her hold on the reins losen and her eyes widen as her horse gets too close to one of them, the wood grazed by the powerful animal way to closely that the barrel splinters. She said she would duck, so duck she does! Jaenelle drops beneath the edge of the chariot, losing sight of the finish line as the wood goes flying towards her head. "Dont tell Ettore!" she screams out, though she is giggling as she says it, her cheeks flushed red.

Pasquale has left the House Velenosa fealty benches.

Romina, a silent Mirrorguard agent, 2 House Velenosa Guards leave, following Niccolo.

Romina, a silent Mirrorguard agent, 2 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Niccolo.

Gianna is overheard praising Sabella for: A chariot racing triumph!

So the whole 'steer the flaming chariot in competitors' did not go precisely as planned. Probably because -someone- decided to throw barrels onto the track. It would have worked perfectly, if not for that. Unlike the Grayson Princess, Eleyna does not cross the finish line. Instead, the chariot wobbles as the Archduchess tries to steer it one way and then steer it the other to avoid a barrel. The thing tips slightly, knocking Eleyna off balance, and she spills out of the damned thing, into the dirty. The horse and chariot might eventually cross the finish line sans rider.

As a dagger goes flying for Sabella, Barric surges to his feet, "If you're going to try and murder a Grayson you have to do better than that!" He calls out angrily, shaking a fist at the air. Then he is whistling and cheering for his Cousin, clapping loudly with a piercing whistle.

Waldemai cheers, "Hail the champion! Hail Princess Sabella!"

The fire. The barrels. The piercing scream of a horse that's run into both at a futile breakneck pace. All expected really. The wood cracks beneath the stamping hooves and splinters fly, and Karadoc releases his hold entirely on the reins in order to drop behind the ledge of his own chariot. This likely knocks him around, and he escapes -- leaving the chariot and charging horse to crash where they may.

"And Dame Felicia second, and Princess Jaenelle third!" Niccolo nods once to Talen as he announces the last of the top three. His announcement is perhaps lost in a flurry as the Grand Duchess tumbles into the dirt and servants flurry to assist Eleyna out of the path of the other chariots.

Pasquale lingers to watch the finals of the race, applauding the entertaining carnage, but eventually he slips away the way he came.

Sometime later, the words, "Dame Felicia Harrow is second!" come from Talen. With a glance to his father, he then leans back a moment, before he up over the bannister again. He laughs, then he nods. "Princess Jaenelle Velenosa is third."

Sabella lets the horse go a little further, letting it slow down at its own pace. "YOU ARE AMAZING!" She jumps out of the chariot once it has slowed and moves over, still holding the reigns, to hug the horse. She does instantly regret it because that horse is sweaty and dirty and, "Oh, that was the worst idea, but you made it great!" She turns to the crowd, beaming at Gareth and then Barric, "DID YOU SEE THAT?!" She calls out, gesturing at the flaming track with the barrels, "I NEVER WANT TO DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT AGAIN!"

Grazia is overheard praising Eleyna for: A most vicious competitor!

Karadoc is overheard praising Sabella.

Servants head down to present pouches to the winners, while Talen stands up, and claps accordingly. "Well done, contestants. Perhaps next time we'll introduce more spikes and fire!"

Barrels? Flaming barrels? Felicia wasn't expecting there to be barrels, clearly, and given that the horse and chariot are not one's familiar to her, it's all she can do in order to try and get past the barrels, coming across the line at a much slower trot as she twists to look back at the carnage of the field with some concern. Once the chariot is drawn up and the horse handed over to its handler she elects to start doing a head and body count, just to make sure that everyone survived. Well now.

Sabella is overheard praising Felicia for: Wonderful race!

Sabella is overheard praising Eleyna for: What treachery? Great competitor!

Cambria claps lazily from where she sits, though she appears unable, or just unwilling, to muster anything more than that. There is a faintly amused smile upon her features, however, most especially at the last utterance from Talen.

Sabella is overheard praising Jaenelle for: Third winner!

Terese is overheard praising Sabella for: Best race and commentary I've seen yet

Sabella is overheard praising Karadoc for: Good effort!

Eleyna hobbles off to the side with the help of servants, streaked with dirt and holding onto her ribs. "I wasn't trying to throw the dagger at her. Just at the wheels," she mutters in belated irritation as spits sand out of her mouth.

Gareth is overheard praising Sabella for: Adequate performance.

Lucita is overheard praising Sabella for: Race well won.

Terese is overheard praising Eleyna for: Everything she does leaves a blazing trail

Jaenelle's horse comes to a stop and she stands, smoothing down her dress as if it was nothing. When someone hands her a pouch of money, she grins and turns her attention towards Talen, "I got it back, at least?" She beams brightly.

Sabella is overheard praising Talen for: That was so dangerous!

Lucita says, "That was such fun to watch, but dangerous, too. Am glad everyone is alright!"

Niccolo is overheard praising Talen for: A great event!

"Father, thank you for running this with me. Next time," Talen replies, before he hops off the booth, and goes running for the dagger-slinger. On the way he calls to Jaenelle, "A little bit of the prize money maybe!"

Terese is overheard praising Felicia for: A fine competitor

"Mostly," Karadoc rubs his sleeve off on his cheek, prowling back toward the benches with a hitch in his breath and a hop in his step. "Good, clean family fun."

Juliana stands once the Archduchess is helped free, crossing towards her to stop close as she eyes Eleyna. "Congratulations, you lived." the Pravus arches a brow with a smirk. "How about you let me take a look and make sure you haven't done anything serious, your Grace?"

In typical Lycene fashion, a little bloodshed never ruins a party! Crews quickly work to clear the track, and trays of booze follow shortly thereafter. "Please enjoy yourselves and toast the winners!" Niccolo announces as he steps down from the judges booth.

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