The Last Goodnight
July 19, 2019, 9:44 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Palazzo di Iriscal - Courtyard Garden
Comments and Log
The day is perfect. It's been that way pretty much all day. It's a day where things just seem to go *right*. The air is warm, the sun is hot, the breeze is just cool enough to keep one from sweating. The flowers are all in bloom and their scent drenches the Velenosa ward with warm a warm, sensual fragrance. Even the house servants all seem to be in an exceptionally good mood, everyone is smiling, bird are singing, and tonight? Tonight is the night that the family is gathering for a dinner cruise around the bay.
Everyone is asked to arrive at the docks after midday, the ship is called the Swallowtail, a lovely little luxury craft, all polished teak and bright blue sails. The crew is carrying the various essentials on board, crates of food and wine, comfortable chairs, a long polished table is being carefully placed on the deck. The Captain, a man by the name of Eresos, is standing near the wheel, a crew member by his side. They are not speaking, and the Captain has a bit of frown, but as his guests are spotted, his frown turns into a faint smile.
Cornelius, the crested iguana have been dismissed.
It isn't quite a procession but Sabine has a habit of making it seem one, anywhere she goes. Glittering and gauzy in aeterna and gold, tall, and just visibly pregnant with the county's new heir, she has taken the lead-- where else would she be? Long-legged strides are reined to a reasonable pace, thankfully. This is a stroll, an opportunity to venture out with family, so those she cares for may easily keep up. And, once ship-side, she pauses to survey the plank, the crew, the captain gazing back at them. Like him, a smile tugs faintly at her lips. This, apparently, will do.
"How pretty it is. Is pretty a compliment allowed by sailors?" She knows their superstitions well. "Shall we, my loves?"
Count-Consort Karadoc, newly returned from his lady-wife's lands of Iriscal, is dressed in rather nondescript finery - offering his arm to Sabine so that they might walk up the walkway to the ship as a pair. With the Countess far outshining him, he seems content with this, with just the faintest quirk of a self-satisfied smirk gracing his lips, "Unless you want to continue marching ahead as a general, my lady?"
What makes the usually irrepressibly bubbly Nurie even happier? When everyone /else/ is happy too, of course! And so she is nearly floating on air as she walks with Sabine, relaxed and at ease but attentive to her lady--though every now and then her gaze drifts towards the table and crates being loaded onto the docks, she isn't in a hurry to get out and inspect them just yet. She stops when Sabine does, respectfully just a few steps behind the Countess, Consort, and Heir, though her dark eyes move to the Captain then, and she whispers softly, "I think we're supposed to ask permission to come aboard first! At least that's what I heard from a sailor once, but he was rather into his cups!"
Cosimo emerged from the gloom of his room twice in one month now, and the sudden intake of vitamin D was making him less crabbier than usual. He is -still- dressed in all black, though, and should really invest in a different color one of these days. The lanky Tessere joins his family at the docks as requested, following behind the couple as they board. He dips his head to the Captain in a mild greeting. "Everything is in order, I hope?" He turns to the far brighter members of the family, particularly Nurie. "We -could- turn back around and be proper passengers, I suppose."
Cosimo checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 7 lower.
The captain looks to the guests as they arrive and murmurs something to the deckhand beside him. The Captain appears to be a man of mid-age, late thirties or early forties. He moves to greet them as they come aboard, offering a bow to the Countess and her husband first. "Welcome aboard the Swallowtail, My Lady. My Lord," He bows to Karadoc as well. The deckhand with him does not bow, though he is very very quiet.
"I make an inspiring general. Fortune favours the bold," says Sabine, as she presses Karadoc's wrist with light fingertips-- clear signal to proceed forward, the invasion accomplished by /both/. Halfway up, she angles her chin higher, a shift of posture which serves to both acknowledge the captain and broadcast her intention to claim ownership of his ship through presence alone. Asking permission is for lesser beings. Her answer, quietly spoken, still carries without much effort. "Tessere greets the Swallowtail, and thanks you for the welcome, Captain. We look forward to seeing the skill of your crew in close quarters. May I present my brother, Lord Cosimo, and our half-sister, Messere Nurie."
Karadoc's mood brightens slightly and his expression turns toward the sly, taking a nonchalant - edging on the nearly bored - as he takes a look around the deck of the ship. "Seems nice enough, doesn't it? Although, lacking in immediate refreshment." Yes, yes he has his priorities WELL in check, doesn't he? Although, it might be said with tongue throughly in cheek as he seems keen to play escort to Sabine still. Least until the Countess starts to get all ... Countessy... that gives him his cue to step away and seek wine.
Nurie offers a curtsy to the Captain from behind the rest of the party--she can, after all, offer her respect without breaking protocol. Her gaze moves to the deckhand then, and his reaction, and then back to the Captain. She rises, a little slowly, though her lips are still curled into a pleasant and bright smile, there's more curiousity creeping into her gaze. "Thank you for having us aboard, Captain Eresos," she offers to him gently, though otherwise she seems content to settle on the periphery of the party, and perhaps it's only natural that her gaze should move to where the table is being set up and the other comforts to be offered.
Nurie checked perception + empathy at difficulty 25, rolling 10 higher.
Cosimo makes a non-committal sound when the introductions start. He properly bows to the Captain, as well, but his stare soon drifts to the exceptionally quiet deckhand. It is more studious than suspicious - perhaps the fellow simply wasn't the social sort. He could certainly relate. He then turns away, in search of the nearest comfy seat so he could properly enjoy the seabreeze. "It has been quite a long time since we've been on a boat together," he notes. He peers up at the blue sky overhead. "Good weather..."
The Deckhand beside the captain is a woman in her late twenties. She's sporting a number of scars -- several on her bare forearms, one that runs along the line of her jaw. Her clothing is tight enough not to get in the way as she moves about the deck, her hair dark and pulled back in a knot. The Captain bows again and gestures to the table, "We can provide drinks, my lord, right away. The food will be rady, or at least the first courses will be ready in about ten minutes. We are going to be pushing off here any minute. Please, feel free to get comfortable and we will be out on the seas in just a few minutes.
"Do bring me a glass too, my lord." She knows where he's off to! Of course she does. It is possible that, when in intimate family settings, Sabine might turn the Countess-y mien down somewhat. But that would also mean tweaking her dear husband's nose less often. Close inspection will show her smile tucks ever so slightly deeper to one side, when Karadoc searches for wine with which to fortify himself. "Do you want to see that all's in order, dearest? Or will you bide awhile and enjoy the day with me? Cosimo has the right of it. It's been some time since we've been out together." The hand she'd used to take Karadoc's support is now slipped through Nurie's arm. It is time to /sit/. Particularly once things start bobbing about as boats have a habit of doing.
"Certainly, my lady-wife. Merely, ah, checking to see that all is well and good and properly stocked -- ah-ha! Here we go! Nurie, do sit down, and keep Sabine settled." Karadoc swans off to go searching for and uncovering a bottle of a very good vintage in one hand and a questionable job of juggling glasses in the other hand. Drinks are poured out with a languid grace before he drops himself into a comfortable place to sit and sprawl.
Nurie's gaze lingers on the deckhand, with more than a touch of empathy perhaps. As the Captain engages with Karadoc and Sabine, Nurie moves closer to the other sailor smiling brightly. "Have you served with the Captain very long, Messere?" she asks her, quietly perhaps instinctively not wanting to bother the highest ranked person of the crew, and turning towards someone closer to her station instead. "Is the Swallowtail usually given to pleasant ventures such as this? Or do you do other things as well?" But then Sabine is looping her arm through hers, and she turns to smile towards her sister. "Let's get you comfortably settled, my lady," she tells Sabine with protective warmth. "I'll try to keep the fussing to a minimum." Her nose crinkles a bit, teasingly. "An you're right, it's been a very long time." Karadoc's words have her bowing her head in respect again. "As it pleases you as well, my lord," she tells him.
If the scars present on the deckhand bothers him any, Cosimo makes no outward indication of it. Nurie's curiosity in another sailor draws his interest next, and he quietly eavesdrops from the lounge area the rest of the family may inevitably be drawn to. Per usual, he is perfectly fine with watching everyone else tend to his older sister's comfort while he watches with mild amusement. "How have the rest of you been?" He asks, tone neutral. Small talk attempt.
The female deckhand seems determined to keep within earshot of the captain, though as Nurie approaches, there is a look towards the young seamstress. The scarred woman looks to Nurie and there is a hint of a scowl that doesn't fully form. "Uh, yeah. Pleasure craft, you know. Little trips for all the silks and the like." There is a relief when Nurie focuses on Sabine again. The deckhand moves to the Captain's side and murmurs something quietly in his ear. There is a nod from the Captain and he bows. "Forgive me, I am needed at the wheel. We ah, will be heading out of the harbor here in just a few minutes. Please be seated and enjoy the cruise." He geestures to the table and turns to head back to the top deck, that deckhand still glued to his side.
Karadoc might have gotten a hold of the first bottle, but soon enough crew are scrambling to do everything they can for their guests. There is a highly soliticious attitude by the majority of the crew, though a few of them are more disaffected. Their attitudes easier to spot due to the rest of the crew's eagerness to please.
Keep Sabine /settled/. The Count-Consort earns himself an arch look for his chosen phrasing... from and while Sabine does indeed get settled. Score one for Karadoc, in their domestic war. She claims a padded couch instead of a chair, tipped sideways with legs curled loosely along the bench. One elbow is crooked beneath in support. Her other arm extends to take the glass being offered. "I think my lord-husband was hinting he requires more fussing," she says mildly to Nurie. The interplay between captain and sailors, or sailors and sailors? She pays it little mind. Instead, Cosimo's attempt at being social earns him the dubious honour of a toast. "It might come as a shock," dry humour here as she makes answer to him, "but I'm pregnant and you can soon step down as heir."
He notices - he doesn't notice. "No, no. I need require no further fussing. Only, perhaps, a bit of brandy to follow the wine." After a long sip from his own glass, one dark eyebrow sketches in a high arc, passingly curious. It doesn't last too long. The small talk attempt from his scholarly brother-in-law has Karadoc snorting out an amused, "Better now. It is a lovely day, isn't it? Alll clear skies and calm waters should make it a pleasant outing." With another light huff of laughter, "Cosimo will exhale that held breath /after/ you've given birth to the sprog, Sabine." So paternal, this one.
Nurie settles Sabine in her seat, making sure there's enough shade for pale and delicate skin to not burn in the sun, even if a few things have to be adjusted just so, and she's not shy about doing it. It allows her to rise on tiptoes to touch a kiss to Cosimo's cheek, with protective warmth to him as well. "I have been well," she tells him. "But I've not seen you hardly at all, dear one. What have you been keeping yourself busy with?" There's something that snaps sharply in her softer manner when she sees Sabine reach for the glass, and if allowed she will seek permission to take it from her sister's hand silently, to take a small sip first, cradling the wineglass while she waits several heartbeats before offering it back in a very precise manner. Karadoc's last comment earns a little furrow of her brow. Maybe that's why her lord-brother-by-marriage was /not/ offered a cheek kiss.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Karadoc before departing.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + athletics(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 4 lower.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + athletics(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 0 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + athletics(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 24 higher.
Sabine checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 47 higher. Sabine rolled a critical!
Karadoc checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.
Nurie checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 10 higher.
Cosimo checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 1 lower.
Cosimo tries. Occasionally. And he's observant enough to know how others start conversations, even if he doesn't see people often. A crease falls between his brows, but he nods to Sabine when she makes her announcement. "I am pleased to hear your lord-husband has managed to accomplish one of his many duties, and I no longer have to worry about... well..." He leaves the implication unspoken. He smiles faintly when Nurie leans in to peck his cheek. "Books," he answers her question nonchalantly. "I -did- attend the lecture at the Archive. It was more amusing than illuminating, but still interesting."
The Swallowtail pulls away from the dock, and begins making her way out into the bay. The sun is starting its descent towards the horizon, but the day still has plenty of light left, the air still pleasantly warm. Those crewmen begin circling taking drink orders, some with little trays that carry small bites of delightful food. Figs stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in smoked bacon. Hot peppers stuffed with soft cheese and a small dollop of preserves. Most of the crew easily manage the deck while carrying bottles or trays, though one of the more reserved of the crew gets downright surly as they move against the motion of the deck and their tray goes flying with a clatter. Another of the servers almost stumbles, but catches themselves at the last minute. The unfortunate crewman who lost his tray lets out a grumbled curse, as his tray of warm, soft cheeses on crustini with a ring of Setarco peppers go flying, the majority splattering onto Cossimo, but in the most peculiar way, one falls perfectly onto Sabine's hand as if placed there by an invisible hand.
"Sprog is a terrible word and you're a terrible person for saying it," says Sabine as she willingly gives up her glass for Nurie's tasting. It's in the moment between sip and its return that the accident happens-- and the gods show their favour of the Countess. The hand she holds outstretched and ready for it finds, instead, a treat placed there. Her composure is demonstrated through the ever so elegant way she lifts her eyebrows... and then turns a sibling's look of superiority onto the less fortunate Cosimo. "Amusing /and/ interesting," she sums up this moment too.
"Look, my darling wife, the gods have bequeathed you a tidbit for your trouble." Karadoc leans aside to pluck a deconstructed crustini from Cosimo's (once) all black clothing. "You've got piebald. Honestly, you very much ought to consider some aeterna to break up all of that umbra -- it would be quite striking as the spatter of cheese proves it to be." He pops the bite of food into his mouth, eyes closing with a hum and he chews slowly to savor it. "It's a perfectly fine word that I've used for everyone else's children, my lady, and it shouldn't deter me from using it to describe the fruit of --" well, he tamps the rest down with another sip, smirking against the lip of the glass.
"I heard a little of that one," Nurie sighs. "I was able to go to the other one. It was quite interesting. You can get corrupted if you lick a demon, or at least that's what the Emissary said." Well, more or less that's what she said. "Nobody seems to know if you can get corrupted just for /hugging/ one. Not that it would be a good idea to do so and you really shouldn't, probably." Nurie bites her lower lip ever so slightly. And then her little brother is pelted with cheese and peppers! "Oh dear!" she gasps, rising to her feet so that she can take a napkin and start helping him blot the worst of it away, or try to. Or at least pluck most of the offending peppers from his hair. It's a little fussy. Apparently when big little brothers do manages to come out of their rooms, they get fussed over as well. And it lets her glare at Karadoc from over Cosimo's shoulders. At least her nostrils don't flare this time. Much.
Cosimo gets suddenly showered with cheese, crostini, and peppers. He attempts to recoil the second before it all unfolds, in an attempt to spare his outfit, but he isn't quick enough. He scowls, but his fondness for dark clothing has its benefits: the stains won't show, overmuch. An exasperated sigh flutters from his lips as he dusts the food off his front and leggings... and Karadoc apparently helps himself. The trajectory of the wayward food turns to his direction. "I don't need to look like a snowball," he replies to Karadoc's recommendation. When Nurie moves to assist him with getting the food out of his clothes, he gives her another smile - this one more reassuring. "It's fine, Nurie, relax. I've had worse." He -might- be a little concerned that she isn't doing the relax part.
While the bulk of the crewmen all rush forward to try and help, apologizing for the accident, the man responsible is just glowering, while another two snicker at him, clearly making fun of his momentary clumsiness. It is, thankfully, the only issue for the time being, the ship sailing deeply into the bay as the sun continues to set. It's easy to forget the incident, especially as the trays continue to arrive growing more and more elaborate. Those three crewmen aren't seen again, or at least not serving, instead lingering on the periphery of the deck.
Celebration for her superiority is found by nibbling on the morsel that found its way into her hand. Sabine takes no issue with the accident-- it /is/ funny, and the deck does shift, after all. She has no great experience with sailors' steadiness once things get moving. "I could picture Cosimo licking a demon," she muses, quietly irreverent. "You as well, lord-husband, come to think of it. Especially if they come brandy flavoured. We'd best pray they don't think to bait us that way. Nurie, my love, come sit, please. Look at the way the sky is painted... wouldn't that make a beautiful cloak?" Pure distraction, this, but not without a kernel of truth. She looks there herself, as she samples the delectables on offer and does a fine job of modeling how to relax without losing one's dignified edge.
"Mmhm, only if they had a flavor. Say, for example, they tasted of Setarco Fire -- I'd say yes, I'd most assuredly lick a demon." Karadoc murmurs, idling as he watches Nurie fussing over Cosimo, before he rolls his shoulders and glances skyward. Squinting. "Red skies at night, sailors delight? Is that the saying? Never made a single drop of sense, that."
"What kind of worse," Nurie wants to know from Cosimo, suspiciously. And while she herself of course is no fumblefingers when it comes to serving when necessary, perhaps she doesn't think it too out of the ordinary that sailors forced to do the same might make a spectacle now and then. When Sabine bids her sit, she does, at the Countess' side, so she can taste each thing at lesat a little that seems appealing, before passing it on. Before long she too is slipping into relaxation, though hers takes the form of closing her eyes now and then to enjoy the shift of the breeze over her skin, and inhaling the salt air, as well as watching the colors change over the horizon as the dusk kisses away the day. It's the horizon that entrances her. "The seam could be where the sea meets the sky," she observes, "No one would think of it as a reflection, unless they turned it sideways..."
Sabine checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 16 lower.
Nurie checked perception + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.
Karadoc checked perception + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.
Cosimo checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 2 higher.
Cosimo blinks owlishly at Sabine. "Perhaps if it disguised itself as frosting..." Not a fan of licking people or beings in general, this one. He squints mildly at Nurie, at her question. "The only the non-dangerous messes, dear sister." The contrast in the behavior between the servants does not go wholly unnoticed by him, though he relaxes when he notices the stumblers are slowly weeded out and put elswhere on the ship. "I don't think everyone here is used to serving on this particular ship," he muses outloud, before pausing to admire the view above himself.
Nurie checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked luck(2) at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.
"Let's pray no demons are listening, to know how best to tempt my best and beloved from their piety." It's rare that Sabine laughs but, wooed by family time, she allows herself that much. What's passed to her by Nurie, she eats-- her appetite /so/ much better these days-- points to direct Nurie's attention to a passing pod of dolphins, and, once, there's a small, private smile aimed at Karadoc, when she suspects no one else to be looking.
"Were we supposed to be onboard this little Monarch --" Swallowtail, Karadoc "-- on open waters, hmm? Not that I'm going to complain about that. The weather's just too divine, do you feel that breeze?" Karadoc slits his eyes with a feline sort of pleasure, turning his face up toward the salt air, and he draws in a loud. Obnoxious. Breath in. "Smells like -- ocean. Like ocean and questions. However. The important one is this: how did I drain this so quickly? Damn it all, this glass is empty. Would someone be a peach and pass that bottle toward me again? I am in need of a refill." He opens on lazy blue eye, wiggling his fingers in a gimme,gimme motion.
Reigna GM Roll checked luck(2) at difficulty 10, rolling 2 higher.
It's perhaps during one of those times that she closes her eyes again to enjoy the breeze against her skin that something makes Nurie's eyes open with a flutter. She stands up slowy, moving away from the table to flag down one of the passing servers. "More water, please, messere?" she asks quietly. It's an opportunity to look more carefully out at the water on one side, and then the other, and when she returns, much of her effervescent cheer has dimmed, though she keeps a cheerful smile on her face, it doesn't light her eyes as usual. "Beloved..." she says quietly, only just more loudly than a soft murmur to Sabine, though Cosimo and Karadoc are close enough to hear as well, and she includes them in her gaze. "Beloved, we're moving towards the open ocean. South. Away from the coast." Her voice is calm, but quiet. "Was that part of the cruise?"
Reigna GM Roll checked composure(2) at difficulty 20, rolling 12 lower.
A passing crewman overhears and gets a look on their face that is clearly close to panic. "Oh! We, uh...." At the mention of Sabine's 'dolphins', there is a nod, "Yes! We're heading into deeper water. We heard there was a pod of... dol-uh-dolphins and maybe even a whale!" Their voice is higher pitched than normal and they are trying and failing to surrepticiously look back at the Captain.
Sabine checked perception + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 30 higher.
Karadoc checked perception + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 40 higher.
Cosimo checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 14 higher.
Nurie checked perception + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.
It is tempting to get lost in the ambience, but when he frowns when his attention drifts back to his immediate surroundings. The shore was looking alarmingly distant, and Cosimo was aware of the planned itinerary. Something changed. "Excuse me," he politely says as he gets to his feet, doing an efficient job masking his growing concern. He retreats from the group, to get a closer look at what was moving in the water.
Sabine is untroubled, at first. The talk of breezes sees her turning her face into that wind, letting her eyes close. Briefly, briefly. "You must pace yourself, lord-husband. We can't drain the casks not even halfway through the cruise," she murmurs. Not a tremor in her voice, even with Nurie's murmur. But, following a short and assessing glance at the other woman, she shifts on the couch. Slippered feet touch deck and a hand is extended for Nurie to support as she rises. "Step aside," she tells the crewman, intent on proceeding away from the place of comfort, towards the deck where the captain lurks. Command comes so easily. "We have questions, Captain Eresos."
"Bah," he counters, but only mildly. Flicking his eyes open as the tension creeps into his lazy sprawl, until his jaw clenches with an unpleasant grinding of molars. "What's going on now, eh?" Karadoc hasn't moved yet, but he seems prepared to if it's truly needed.
Nurie's response is immediate--as Sabine rises so does she, in such timing it almost seems choreographed, despite the fact that Nurie's gaze rests on the nearby crewmembers rather that at her sister. Her hand guides Sabine gently, but she stays close--and this time not behind, her gaze lowered slightly so she can keep an eye on things sidelong, though her dark eyes find Karadoc once, and where Cosimo is is noted as well.
Cosimo leans over the railing ever so slightly. When he retreats back, his expression is stony... and a few shades paler than it normally is. "Dolphins," he deadpans, clearly unconvinced, at no one in particular. He looks to the deck where the Captain resides, but Sabine is already approaching to begin -that- interrogation. "Swimming back is not an option," he intones in their direction.
Reigna GM Roll checked composure(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 10 lower.
As Sabine calls to the captain, Eresos blanches he looks to the deckhand beside him. The dynamic there is suddenly very clear. The captain answers to this woman, not the other way around. She hisses something at him and marches off to the back of the deck -- or that's her intent. Eresos moves to the stairs that lead to the main deck. "Ah... yes, my Lady? Is something amiss?"
Sabine checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.
Sabine checked command + intimidation at difficulty 20, rolling 53 higher.
Karadoc checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 5 higher. Karadoc rolled a critical!
Nurie checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 32 higher. Nurie rolled a critical!
Cosimo checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 2 lower.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) at difficulty 10, rolling 5 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) at difficulty 10, rolling 21 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) at difficulty 10, rolling 8 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) at difficulty 10, rolling 6 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked composure(3) at difficulty 53, rolling 39 lower.
"More things amiss than could be counted on my fingers," says Sabine without missing a beat. Her hand tenses inside of Nurie's. Jade eyes bore into the captain-- then flick aside, marking the "deckhand's" retreating back. All signs of repose are now shaken off-- she stands taller, seems larger, and the pleasant roll of her tone takes on firm note, akin to the cool marble she's often compared to. "Who is she? Why are we heading for open water? Why is swimming not an option? Or, to save time, instead of answering you may turn the ship back towards the harbour. Now."
Sabine's demeanor, tone and look are the definition of withering and Eresos pales. He pulls the hat off his head, his curly auburn hair balding on top as his hands grip and clench along the brim of the hat. "Uh... Uh." He looks to the retreating back of the scarred woman and then back to Sabine, "Well, my lady, we're not that far off course, and er, well, uh..." He's gibbering, literally, unable to look the lycene Countess in the eyes.
Something in Nurie's demeanor shifts as well. She doesn't remove her hand from Sabine's nor does she step away, but those who know her well--and even those who don't--her posture is different and so is her expression. Protective, energy coiled like a serpent rearing up to strike, even though her eyes are wide and more than a little scared, as if her heart was beating ferociously.
Those less than optimal servers are still on the periphery, but the one who actually lost control of his tray, he hunches his shoulders, glancing towards the double doors leading to the captain's cabin, he starts off in that direction. "Noonan," This is warningly said by one of the women who had been teasing him earlier. "Shut it Grey. It's over."
Eresos, looks around and cries out, "They've got my boy! I'm sorry! I --" He siezes up, words cut off as a blade appears, sticking out the upper left quadrant of his chest. He looks at the bloody blade for a second before he lurches forward, kicked off the blade as the scarred deckhand is revealed behind him as he crumples and slides down the stairs. "Well. This is a bit early, but still. Everyone, if you do not want to be horrifically maimed, I suggest you return to your seats and just wait until we reach the rendezvous point."
Karadoc is hauling himself to a stand, steadying himself for a moment, trying to find his sea legs (secret time: he doesn't have any.) Swaying a little bit, he reaches his hands out to either side of his body for balance. Absent-mindedly reaching for that empty wine bottle for want of something (anything, really) to wield as a weapon, because there's something in Nurie's look that suggests arming himself may be an excellent idea. He isn't martial by any means, no, but it's better than nothing at all. "Ah, yes --" he murmurs "-- good times, great memories." He squints at the terrible server that's headed for the doors down below and tries to pitch that bottle.
Karadoc checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.
That bottle goes flying, and misses Noonan by a fair amount. It does, however, hit the window in one of those doors, sending shards of glass all over the deck in front of the cabin. There is a squeak from inside the cabin, and through the now broken window, a young boy of about ten can be seen inside, tied up.
Sabine checked command + intimidation at difficulty 35, rolling 23 higher.
Boy. Sorry. Blood. The blood makes the greatest impact, a spray of it slung over Sabine's face. Even she must flinch for that, the heat and the wet. She rocks back half a step but doesn't take her eyes from the scarred woman. One word stands out: rendezvous. Rendezvous implies several notable things. Things which mean that the countess /advances/ on the murderess with the knife. Her only hint of self-preservation is the hand she curls over her belly, where /her/ child rests. "Turn the ship back to the harbour," she repeats, the command cracking in the air like a whip as glass shatters behind her, "and I /won't/ have you put to death."
Cosi's eyes begin to dart around, to the crew - then to the furnishings on the deck. It seems like he's trying to come up with a contingency plan in case it all hits the fan. He stops when he sees Karadoc reach for the wine bottle, obviously not in an attempt to get himself another drink. "Don't you idiot--" Too late, it's sailing, but fortunately his brother-in-law has terrible aim. "We're in the middle of shark-infested waters and none of us can fight," he seethes back at Karadoc. He seems to be aware of the distinct disadvantage on their side.
Strea reacts like a cat sprayed with water by Sabine's unexpected advance. The strength of the Countess' demand has the shorter crewman hunching, her chin ducking eyes narrowing. If she *were* a cat, her ears would be flat back. Her lips pull back to bare her teeth, her nose and lip curling in a scowl, "Sit. Back. Down. And I *won't* carve designs into your pretty face." There is a hint of a waver to that threat, and the fact that no forward advance is made. The woman is pissed, but she's not advancing just yet. She darts a look at Nurie, spreading that hateful look to the sister.
Nurie remains Sabine's shadow, moving with her as she advances, though the delicate lady's maid is quiet as a mouse. She makes no attempt to hide the fact though that her gaze roams the entire environment, as if waiting for and trying to anticipate someone reaching out or striking out at Sabine, though she keeps Cosimo in her gaze too, he's too far away and she knows it, and it shows in her silent distress and determination. At Strea's snarl, though, the serpent ready to strike returns, her dark eyes lighting with adrenaline.
Noonan jumps when that bottle smashes through the window, and the barefooted mercenary shoots a dirty look at Karadoc, "Oh, okay, that was a mistake. You don't all settle down I'mma grab that kid, pull him out here and make him watch as I finish off his pa!"
The woman next to him, Grey, draws a short dagger and looks at the family as if trying to size up who to target. She licks her lips, looking briefly over her shoulder towards the horizon. "Sun's setting. They are gonna be waiting for us!"
Eresos bleeds onto the deck, a hand gripping his impaled shoulder. He's alive, but clearly in shock. "Davio... please, save my boy... don't let them hurt him."
"Did that scarred up lady REALLY just try to step up to you, my lady-wife? Gods, how foolish --" Karadoc clips himself short with a short, harsh bark of laughter as he spies the captain's kid through the shattered window past Noonan. "Ignore the ill mannered fellow that doesn't know how to handle a tray, kiddo. We've got you." Referring to himself as the we, it seems, because Karadoc's set and determined to get the boy safe from the mercenary once he (thinks) he hears the captain words. It's a terribly impulsive decision to rush Noonan when he does.
Karadoc checked strength + athletics at difficulty 10, rolling 2 lower.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + dodge(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 17 higher.
Noonan was *not* expecting the charge, at all. Still, he attempts to dodge and he manages to do so, but to do so he charges through the broken glass with his bare feet. There is a growling snarl as he cuts himself and Grey snickers.
Up on the top deck, Strea looks between Sabine and Nurie and hisses, "Enough of this! You're supposed to be *alive* when we deliver you!" She attempts to dart backwards, towards the navigation wheel. "We can't be late."
Sabine checked command + manipulation at difficulty 25, rolling 35 higher.
Things are happening behind her, on the deck below. Sabine can't spare a thought for it. What calculations she has time for, focus for, she performs quickly and then her voice lifts again. Trained from birth for this, it takes no effort at all for her command to carry. "A full pardon to any member of the crew who was coerced to this, who sees my family and your captain's boy safely back to shore! Those who fight for us, /with/ us, I will see you safe and your own families guarded for /life/. Those who /continue/ this farce, you will lose your eyes first, so you cannot see what punishment comes next to you!"
It is difficult logic to argue with. The ripple effect begins, salt-calloused hands reaching for anything available to them-- paring knives, bottles, trays-- to arm themselves against these villains. How many crewmembers are there? Of the innocent sort? Sabine doesn't look to see. She is staring her serpent's stare at Strea. "You," she says, "will be first."
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) at difficulty 10, rolling 17 higher.
"No we -don't-," Cosimo warns Karadoc sharply, but to no avail. He isn't quick enough nor close enough to stop the charge. The negotiations between Sabine and the ringleaders seem to be failing, in spite of the Countess's intimidating mien, and he opens his mouth, to warn her, but stops when she speaks to the rest of the crew, and her words seem to convince -them- at least. He decides to now wield a wine bottle himself, just in case, you know.
Nurie moves as well, along with the good members of the crew, her hand slipping free of her sister's only to reach up with both to slide the two steel hairpins from her dark hair, drawing in a practiced breath and turning them just so in her hands, as if preparing to wield them. Is it a bluff? Maybe, maybe not. Her dark eyes focus on the scarred woman intently though, her stance shifting ever so slightly as if to be ready for anything.
Nurie wields threads of silver spiderweb hairpins topped with gleaming gray pearls.
There is a bit of chaos that happens next -- the crew arming themselves puts Grey and Noonan on edge. Noonan draws a mean looking knife, slashing it out back and forth as if to ward off any crewmember that thinks about coming after him. Grey is of a similar mind, drawing a second knife and looking at the crewmembers warily. Eresos is gasping, "Take up arms crew! Fight back! Do not let them take the Lady!" At the same time, there is a shout from inside the captain's cabin, "Papa? WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY PAPA?!" The child comes barreling out of the cabin looking around wildly. He catches sight of his father, bleeding on the deck and howls, throwing himself at Noonan, and right into the path of that slashing blade.
"Yes /we/ do, Davio." With a look chanced over his shoulder, Karadoc squints, and the edge of his lips twitch with amusement. He turns back to address Noonan, noting those bared feet sliced up by the shattered pieces of glass. His footing must be terrible. Poor guy. Next time, boots. Considerately, his tone of voice pitches low and lazy: "See that -- see what's happening there? That's the crew coming to our side, ser, and soon you'll either be stepping aside to let me free that kid -- or, ah, you won't." Lower still, with his lips curling over his teeth as he grins at Noonan -- and then the kid comes tearing through and he reacts in order to pull Davio away from the brandished knife, curling himself around the smaller figure. "Oh, fuck!"
That nervy man, the one who couldn't keep ahold of his tray, he stabs outward, frightened by the oncoming figure, assuming the worst. When he sees it is the child, it is too late, the hate in the man's eyes twists, his momentum too great. But then, there is Karadoc's body between the blade and the child. The blade plunges into Karadoc's unprotected body, the thin blade sliding too easily between the Count's ribs, the tip piercing the man's heart. Noonan's fingers go numb and he releases the blade, leaving it buried in Karadoc's chest. "Uh... gods."
It is the blow to Karadoc that breaks the stillness. The crew rushes forward, piling up on Grey, more charging up to the topdeck and dogpiling Strea. There are shouts, growls and cries from the mercenaries buried under the flailing, enraged crew.
Over the fracas, Sabine's voice lifts clarion bright. "Line them up against the rail! Get them up, restrain them and line them up against the rail! Someone get the wheel, and look to your captain!" She pivots and in that turn, the steel of her composure slips-- suddenly she's breathing rapidly, and both hands now go to her belly, cradling it, as she navigates the stairs to the lower deck. Towards the cries and curses heard just a second ago. Surely it's only the swaying of the ship which makes her stride unsteady.
With her pins wielded, there's a quiet calm that descends on Nurie, her focus on Strea. And then to /anyone/ that ventures too close to Sabine in those moments, at least until all the others are swarmed, and she can straighten, her breath becoming just a litte more shaky. She doesn't even try to put the pins back in her hair, but tucks them into her pocket, following on Sabine's heels, and looking around frantically for Cosimo and Karadoc.
It's a sharp pain, like getting punched, but then -- you know -- it feels sharp. Punches normally aren't this sharp. There's a tingling and Karadoc's aware that there's the hilt of a knife sticking out of his chest which makes him snort, amused. Endlessly amused by these circumstances. He uncurls from around the kid, Davio, brushing him off and ensuring himself that the boy's unharmed. Aware of all the action of the crew rushing forward to claim the ship back. He nods, muttering, "That was fun, wasn't it? Someone will see to your pa. I -- need to sit down. Have a drink, I think." He just kind of sags to sit wherever. "Should have brought my haze along."
Cosimo is relieved Karadoc's sheer physical incompetence has thus far prevented him from getting seriously injured or chucked off the boat, but that changes with almost dizzying quickness. He hears the boy, first, and whirls around just to watch the kid burst through the door - and right into the middle of the scuffle. "No, st-!" His sense of self-preservation falters and he starts towards the child, but Karadoc is far closer after his failed charge, and he openly gapes when the blade meets purchase in Karadoc's chest cavity instead. Then the -real- fight commences, but Cosimo doesn't join the fray. He rushes over to Karadoc, instead, and crouches next to him to inspect the knife sticking out of his chest. Too deep. "Oh for the love of..."
No haze-- what terrible Lycenes they are, to have none immediately at hand. But when Sabine spies Karadoc falling into his slump, the knife in his chest, she cries, "Nurie, brandy!" Her rushing does her breathing no favours but she arrives at Karadoc's other side, knelt down opposite of Cosimo. One hand finds the stricken man's cheek, to help support his head. Not a caress. Practical support, truly. "Just rest. Cosimo will see you better," is said /before/ she looks at her brother, to gauge his reaction.
The crew make quick work of the mercenaries, four in total, they are quickly rounded up, pressed against the rail and their hands are tied. Noonan is muttering under his breath, pale, panicked. He keeps looking to Karadoc and gets more and more upset. The little boy is wide eyed, kneeling next to his father, but staring at Karadoc. "M'okay papa, the man saved me. He saved me. Papa? Papa? Are you asleep?"
There's a rush of activity, but slipping into servant mode is a comfortable way to shake off the nerves that are trying to assert themselves. Nurie stops shivering, moving out to where they'd all be dining not too long before, to find the requested brandy and small glass and then bringing it, offering it to Sabine. She can't seem to bring herself to look at the captured mercenary, but the little boy's voice is an immediate draw. "He's been hurt, my darling, let's let him rest for a moment while we find more people to help. What a brave boy you are. Could you go and find the first mate and bring him here? We'll watch over your papa for a few minutes. Could you do that?"
"Nah." With a huff, "Murder is less interesting than dragonfire," Karadoc lowers his head, tilting his cheek into Sabine's truly supportive palm for practical purposes, offering Cosimo -- then Sabine, and possibly Nurie -- a faint lopsided smile. "Or a glass shark." Brandy's forgotten. He relaxes, and his shoulders soften and slouch. "Don't worry about it."
Cosimo swings his eyes across, to Sabine, looking conflicted on how to deliver the diagnosis. He swallows, then speaks. "It's... it's in too deep. If I remove it, he'll bleed out." More quickly than he already was, that is. He sets his jaw, gaze softening. "I'm sorry, Sabine." With a deep, defeated sigh he leaves Karadoc and his sister and stands to investigate the Captain's far less lethal injuries. "He'll... he'll be alright," he assures Davio, a slight tremor in his voice. He carefully removes -that- knife.
Cosimo checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.
But the glass of brandy, it's right here, being guided to lips that haven't /quite/ lost that lazy rake's smile. It takes Sabine a moment to recognize they won't shape themselves to the glass. That the Count-Consort of Iriscal's final words were /don't worry about it/. That Cosimo has left Karadoc's side to see to someone else. It takes a long moment. Then, she sets down the brandy, and rolls carefully upright, pillar-straight. Dry eyed. "Nurie," is soft, the tone she uses when she's about to bestow some grand enterprise on her sister. "See the man who did this pushed overboard for the sharks. Tell the other three, the first one who tells me everything will live, the others will be executed. Slowly. Then gag them and have them thrown in the hold."
A pause. A breath. Then, louder, "/Where/ is the first mate?" There's a course to plot back to land, after all.
When the knife is pulled, there is a flow of thick, deep red blood. With each beat of Karadoc's heart it sruges outward, pooling on the deck beneath him. The sun slips just under the horizon, leaving streaks of bloody red, orange, pink and violet in the sky. It is quite likely the most beautiful sunset in the last several years, the vault of the sky deepening, the first hints of silver stars glimmering through the wispy clouds. There is a sudden stillness, the waves seem to stop, the ship is utterly still as if the whole of the world is holding its breath. The quality of light shifts, the golden hue of day dimming to a cooler hue. A waft of air, the last breeze of the day caresses Karadoc's body, warm as the breath of Mangata as his heart gives its final beat, the scent of the ocean, of Sabine's perfume filling his nostrils as the stars grow brighter in the darkening sky.
Back to list