Valley of the Eternal Child: Mists of Morning
This is part of an ongoing plot for the Saik, Mazetti and Corvini Houses. If you want to participate, please speak to one of the Heads of House to join!
Nov. 3, 2019, 1 p.m.
Outside Arx - Lyceum near Saikland Greens - Saikland-Ostria Borderlands
Comments and Log
The trip by boat is indeed much faster than by land, and, considering the time of year and the weather, far, far more comfortable. Rather than slogging along the great road by horse, wagon and carriage, passing through countless territories, open plains, forests and marshes, there is instead the gentle rocking of the ship. Hugging the coast means avoiding more troublesome weather, making the week long journey almost pleasant. The wind is sharp and cold, and there was one particularly bitter rain storm that pelted the deck with gellid sleet. The Lycene winters are far more mild, but the temperatures on the water can be quite chilly. As the ship sails up the Lycene Split, towards Saikland Greens, the temperature gets a bit colder, enough so that by the time they dock there is a light dusting of frost and snow on the ground, the wind has a bite, but beyond that, things are better than in Arx. Being as prepared as this expedition is, there are a group of horses, a wagon and a pair of carriages all waiting for the lords and ladies of Arx to arrive.
The journey by ship had been easy enough by most accounts... save for the habitual sounds of heaving that comes from a certain Mazetti Lord gripping the railing and puking his guts out over the back of ship. Sea sickness had plagued Marzio Mazetti at varying intervals throughout the journey to the Saikland Greens, during which the Mazetti lord had taken departure from the group to throw up away from the other travelers. Quite considerate of him, were he not such a very loud puker. Finally as the ship makes landfall, Marzio is one of the first to bound down the gangplank toward the horses where he lets out a thankful few words skyward.
"Secure the lines on the port side! Prepare the boarding planks for resupply and disembarking." Domonico barks out instructions as he guides the ship into dock after a surprisingly easy winter voyage. Even the storm was anticipated and prepared for so it didn't cause unnecessary fuss. The Malvici Admiral has kept to his own devices, focussing on his ship and crew and getting the passengers to Saikland Green. Now there, he oversees the crew proceedings for now.
"Negative, woman." Theron grumbles as they start to emerge from their cabin. "That was training." Grumble. Mutter. Grumble. Whatever conversation they were having, it is clear Braith is winning. In the meantime, Theron has finally chosen to test his new scaled armor in proper combat it seems. He precedes Braith, who is actually in armor as well. "Just. Please tell me you're not going to use the lute?" The Sword of Ostria clearly has doubts upon his wife's martial abilities. "And no barbarian style, uh I mean Northerner, charging in like a madwoman? Or you know, trying to corner a bear all by yourself again?" Theron flashes the most exaggerated wide smartassed smile he can at her as they emerge. He looks to Marzio with some measure of sympathy. "Honestly cousin, I swear the capital makes us forget some of our roots. Do you need a waterskin?" A glance over at the barking Domonico and he comments to Braith. "I understood only some of those words, though."
Vitalis is no stranger to the deck of a ship, excelling chiefly at being Out Of The Way of Folks Who Know Their Business. And joining the musicians aboard in the long hours pent up to play and sing and pass the passage. Apart from those moments of gathering, he keeps largely to himself - thoughtful, watchful, and upwind of Marzio. He murmurs thanks to the crew and tucks his chin at their captain, as he disembarks on Marzio's heels. He is quick to get off of the ship, not to flee it, but to be out front, scanning. Horses. Carriages. Drivers. The surrounding landscape, winter gray and snow. The Saikland Greens, for the moment, are not particularly.
Lucita leaving behind her feminine garments and frills, Lucita disembarks and with practiced efficiency, checks over the preparations for which Saikland Greens was responsible. A few words with those awaiting are given and she eyes the carriage for a moment but instead of ascending into it, she leaves that for the others to enjoy and finds her way to a mount she has used before, Misty, a dapple gray. The horse is not made for speed, but for endurance and handling varied terrain. "Thank you for the swift and safe voyage here, Lord Domonico. The wagon has tents, provisions, its driver is also a cook who served us well during the expeditions dealing with the Blackened Glass, and the grooms to handle the mounts are experienced too.
Vasile Corvini's first cousin would be far better suited for such trips across the ocean, but he can manage. The General of House Corvini has brought a small contingent with himself, no more than a half dozen individuals. Other than silks, he wears a suit of brigandine over his torso, which might not make for adequate protection in a front line battle, but he is here as an envoy. That being said, he has a weapon, just as the others do, and likely has the skills to use it in a fight as well.
"Training? Is that what you called that? I don't think you train your aspirants like that," Braith quips back at Theron, the two looking to have been having a small 'discussion'. She tucks a dark curl back away from her face as the rest is wound up atop her head with a length of silk and pins. The cold air does not seem to bother her one bit even as it stirs the fur of her cloak as the open air greets her. The lute upon her back is questioned but in her hand is a long bow, "Of course not, the Lady Fiora lent me her bow for his trip. I plan to put my lessens to the test," she admits softly and then narrows her gaze. "I am sorry, bears are never cornered," she grumble back at him. Domonico is given a nod as they leave the ship and a wince is given to Marzio before she digs out a ginger hard candy to walk over an offer it. "It will help the taste but also settle your stomach."
Lady Zoey, Voice of Kennex, would never love sailing the way the men of the family she married into did, but she still enjoys the gentle rock of the ship and the sounds of the ocean at night. Even in this warmer clime she keeps her cloak pulled tightly about her whenever she is on deck.
Upon overhearing Braith's comment about a borrowed bow Zoey asks her, "How long have you been taking lessons?"
When Theron offers up the water skin, Marzio lifts a hand to wave it away with a faint smile before reaching that same hand out to pat the back of the horse he has chosen. "No... thank you for the offer though," Marzio says with perhaps a little less strength in his voice than usual. "I will be fine now that I am on ground that doesn't rock constantly beneath me," he says before turning eyes on Braith and snorting at her offered candy. He does take that, though, just in case the queasy feeling were to plague him now that they are off of the ship. Slipping his foot into the stirrup, he heaves himself up onto the back of his horse before turning his eyes toward Vitalis. "Do you know how far we will be traveling, cousin?"
Lucita gives Braith's lute an admiring glance then reaches down to run a finger over the strings of her mandolin. "Perhaps when we camp tonight we can see if we know the same songs." There is a faint rasp as the cold stiffens the flared legs of her split skirt armor. "Have there been any reports from the area between Ostria and Saikland? A week at sea, perhaps there is something new?"
Domonico nods to those acknowledging him as he finishes briefing the crew of their instructions of what to do while he is gone and he rejoins Lucita, making the transition from sea to shore with seemingly little difficulty. He pauses and kisses the prayer beads and murmurs something out to sea before he says to Lucita. "Good. That cook made the expedition far more pleasant."
Handling the expedition better than her cousin seems to, Alessia seems fairly placid in demeanour if quiet, and a little tired. She furrows her brow as she disembarks, sidling up to Vitalis, perhaps hoping to catch whatever he does.
Vitalis likewise mounts up, looking off to the horizon, eyes briefly vague as that uncertain calculus tumbles. He guages sky, horses, company. "Two hours. Maybe a bit more depending on snowfall." He glances at Marzio, assessing, and judges the man improved with a horse under him, attention slewing to Lucita and then the drivers. He presses heels to his mount and urges it forward, addressing those arrayed to meet them, "What news inland, Messeres? We've been asail for a week."
A quirked smile is offered to Marzio when he takes the hard candy from her. Braith nods to him and winks before she turns about with her bow in hand. "Oh, less than a month with Lady Kaia," she replies to Zoey easily enough. Though it is Lucita who earns a smile. "I would be glad to and if not, then we can learn from each other." Though at the question of news, Braith has little to add and steps up towards the wagon so she can haul herself up into it. The air is nice, the weather fair and Braith would rather be out in it than in a carriage. As for a horse? Let someone else steer. She will reach down to help anyone else up with an open hand and firm grip.
Zoey smiles at Braith. "My sister is indeed a better teacher than I am. Perhaps when we return to Arx the three of us can have a friendly competition on an archery range."
There is a small contingent, three strong, the leader appearing to be a silk and fur clad woman. Her bronze skin is weathered, her gray eyes steely without trying. There are scars that run along her jaw line, another that scores her brow and cheekbone, relics of battles past. Her blonde hair is silver streaked, a tell of her age and a life lived in battle. "Skirmishes have been frequent all along the border. We heard of a village, Osprey's Tower, hit on the Ostrian side. Decimated the populace. We've heard that the surviving shavs have holed up there, using it as a base of operations to strike from. The market town we're making for -- Thessaly's Landing is just on the other side of the border. They were hit hard, the docks destroyed. S'why you didn't land there. It's not far from here though."
"Understood." Theron replies to Marzio and tucks away the water. A glance aside to Braith. "I took it easy on you. /You/ got cocky and fancy. This is not my fault, well partially it is. I should be a better instructor I suppose. I just do not understand why you will not dodge." This sounds like an rehashed conversation. Winking at his wife, he glances towards Lucita. "That is a good thought, surely someone wold have sent word in theory." He glances at the wagon. "I may as well ride up front on that. I can hop off if need, and in the meantime work on Allegiance." He looks towards Zoey and her offer. "Just do not stand near the target. She likes to zing things passed ones ears." There's clearly a story there, once again Braith gets his most insufferable smartass smile. At the briefing the smile has been replaced by a scowl upon learning of a decimated populace. "I assume they are just hanging on at Thessaly's at this point?"
As Marzio listens to the report from the three strong contingent, frowning as he listens to the information regarding Osprey's Tower the Mazetti lord grinds his teeth. His eyes flit around toward the others before he murmurs in a low voice, "Sounds like we had best get a move on then, doesn't it?"
"How many men do they have at Osprey's Tower and how easily can they reinforce Thessaly's Landing?" Vasile asks after receiving the briefing, surveying the environments afterwards. "Is it plains, or high ground?"
Domonico has a horse provided but apart from staying in the saddle and moving along with the group, listening carefully to the reports with a frown, going deep in thought as he concentrates and plans.
Lucita listens with concern to the report given. "Thank you. It sounds as if there is a definite situation we'll have to handle together since they are preying on both our territories despite all that land which lays between us. They must be so familiar with the territory they move faster than we can. But perhaps we can have it mapped and so that will not be a problem in the future." She
Mounting her horse as her cousins do, Alessia trots behind them at a steady pace, seeming perfectly at ease with the mode of travel, her lips curling upwards at the banter, her weapon sheathed to her saddle and her cat (yes, cat) trailing behind. "Gods I don't remember, how many was it again?" She defers to Theron at the Corvini's query, her brows furrowing.
At the question from Alessia Theron turns towards Marzio. "The General likely has the more updated legion numbers, but I think it was only one or two actual Guardians, the rest were Hydra Legion, correct."
Braith nods to Zoey, "Surely though you two will both out do me," she says. That friendly tone fades as she glares after Theron but the sniping and quipping between them is lost when more serious matters are spoken of. She quiets and listens, settled in and leaning forward in her seat on the wagon so that her lute does not scrape the side where she sits.
"How open are they to talks?" Zoey asks. "Peaceful solutions are always ideal."
Vitalis's brow, given to furrowing, furrows further, he looks to Antea and to Lucita - deferring - reins creaking in his hand as his fingers curl tightly. He shrugs shoulders deep in the fur mantle of his cloak, lips pressed flat. The banter falling like flurry snow. Breath clouds away in white plumes. "Do we know if these are the same Shav'arvani attacking? Or different clans?" He presses his mount forward, "And can we speak as we ride?"
Braith clears her throat. "Yes, we should move closer but there are a couple of us that might be able to scout ahead once we are close enough. We can get an idea of what we face that way and come back to plan on what to do and how to approach to make certain we should do." She glances among them but looks ready to get on the way, leaving her cloak open as her cheeks grow rosier with their exposure to the chill air.
Domonico pulls the fireweave shemagh around his face to shield it from the cold as he listens. "Troops available at your disposal right now?" The question goes to the Mazettis and Lucita.
"Our estimates put their numbers at about forty." This from the leader, her eyes darkening. "I'm Captain Tess. I've got about twenty stationed in Thessaly's Landing. We've repelled two more attacks since the first." She mounts her own horse and looks to the others, "As for whatever citizenry is left at the Tower... I couldn't say. I imagine if there are survivors... they wish they weren't." She looks around to the group assembled and says, "We can ride as soon as you are all ready."
"Presumably not at all, given what they've wrought." Alessia says to Zoey, her expression dour, before she shifts her gaze to Vitalis. "My apologies, dear cousin." She says, a tough sardonic, spurring her horse forward.
"I do not mind riding ahead with Vitalis and the others, if that is what need happen," Marzio says with a nod of his head toward Vitalis as well as including Theron in the gesture, though he of course defers to whoever is in command of this expedition. "As for the men left standing at Osprey's Tower, I have not heard the updated numbers as of yet, but I would imagine that any surviving soldiers are working to protect the survivors as they flee to neighboring villages." His eyes track toward Domonico and then he says, "The II Hydra Legion is strong. But I have not issued orders for the whole legion to mobilize...." He considers for a moment longer before he says, "We can send word for Ostrian horsemen to join us but it will take time." He offers a nod then toward Tess before he urges, "Let's get a move on."
Lucita makes a soft 'hmmm', then looks back to the woman, Capt. Tess with the battle experience giving the report. "There were originally said to be three groups, two spatting with each other and a third one whose name we do not know, joining in. I'd have to dig through my notes to find the names of the two we do know. Can you provide any more details?" She gives Dpmonico a grateful nod. My army is not large but some of them are following along close enough to lend aid if needed, a mix of types but a few more archers and cavalry to guard our backs.
"We should still try," Zoey says to Alessia. "There is no sense on causing more bloodshed if it isn't necessary."
There is a clearing of the throat, and the Sword of Ostria sounds slightly resigned. "My Wife is a damn good and trust worthy scout. Let her go ahead." He looks to the others. "The woman can sneak up on an angry bear." He looks to the Captain. "Honestly, it sounds like dimplomacy has already failed. Delay results in more blood."
"I'm not one to grant mercy to monsters." Alessia says to Zoey, a touch grim. "Not unless my Marquessa bid it, but she hasn't so." Her brows furrow, nodding at Theron's words. "As my cousin says, no delay. We'll deal with them as deserved."
As they all talk about riding on ahead, Braith rubs her face and then tucks her black curls back behind her ear. Theron gets a look from her, a smirk playing at the corner of her mouth as he says she can sneak up on a bear. "Not wrong," she rumbles out with a sigh. "I can scout ahead, yes. One thing I can do for this group is go unseen." She wets her lips, feeling them chap beneath it.
Lucita says, "There is one group in the Tower? But two other groups involved or have they all banded together? Diplomacy may work with one or two of the groups if the ones who have ravaged the towns are beyond reach of a peaceful resolution." She looks again toward Capt Tess."
"I will second and third those sentiments," Marzio says firmly in support of Alessia and Theron. "We must deal with this threat swiftly and now. These men have wrought enough evil to make this debate moot, in my opinion. Let's finish it now."
Domonico already looks like he is thinking carefully and making plans as he takes the information into account. "Scouts would be ideal at the moment. We cannot afford to blunder into an ambush." He considers Captain Tess's report and nods, "Twenty at the Landing. That is workable." He hmmms, "Diplomacy may still be possible. Like Baroness Lucita says, they may not be unified. But those who have killed the citizens. They will be dealt with."
With all the talk of dimplomacy and scouting, Theron looks from party member to party member and then finally to Braith. He leans down to give her a quick kiss. Deciding action initially over words. "Go forth and work your magic."
Vitalis glances at Alessia, puzzlement flickering. His horse dances, picking up its rider's bristling energy. "They'll know we're coming," he says, looking from Alessia, to Lucita, to Zoey. "I'm inclined to agree with my cousins, Kennex. Our vassals are slaughtered. Or wish they were dead. In this moment, the only parley they've earned is hooves and steel." He looks to Antea, Marzio, the martially inclined among them, then to Captain Tess. "They'll know this, too." And now he looks to Theron at his quip, and then Braith, "Good. Then we can go together." To the warlords among them, "What do you want to know?" His horse dances again, his own impatience leaking.
"Thank you, Admiral," Zoey says with a nod to Domonico. "I'm not saying that we forgive those who commit atrocities, only that we find a way to minimize the damage going forward. Let's not let our judgement be clouded by thoughts of revenge."
"Godspeed." Alessi says to her cousins as they prepare to scout ahead of the group, before inching her horse closer to the Mazettis that will remain. "There will be bloodshed regardless. This way we can ensure it's less of our own." She says with curled lips. "Besides, it's /justice./"
"I warned some of my soldiers to meet us on the road to bolster our numbers, I hope you do not mind." Vasile remarks to the Mazetti contingent. "It's a small number, as I didn't know what kind of threat we'll be facing, but these reinforcements will help."
Marzio offers a nod of thanks toward Vasile before he looks toward Vitalis and says, "Agreed." Turning toward Captain Tess, he says, "I have three hundred and fifty mounted soldiers ready to meet us to end this threat. The time for diplomacy is gone. Let's end this."
So they are going now. Braith rises up into that kiss when Theron grants her it and then climbs off the wagon. Leary at first she hesitates and them moves up beside Vitalis. A brow arches and up she extends her hand as her other braces her upon the flank of the horse. With a few hops and finally a jump and pull upon his hand she is launched onto the horse behind him. "Ready." she says and glances back at Theron. "Promise not sneak up on any bears. But I will whistle if I need you." She winks. at him and puts an arm around Vitalis as she readies for them to head off ahead.
Lucita nods to Mazetti group. "I do not say stay your hand from murderers and torturers. I just remember the original reports mentioned three groups fighting amid themselves. It is possible those murderers were also attacking the other Abandoned groups, preying on them. We don't know yet. I know a firm stance must be taken to protect your people, just as I would take a firm one to protect mine.
Tess nods to Lucita and replies, "Yes my lady. We have gotten a bit more information since my last missive. There have always been a cluster of tribes in this area that keep more or less to themselves. They fight with one another from time to time, but it wasn't until the Great Road that things began getting out of control. The Steelquill and Mycondi tribes are the ones we dealt with most often, in Thessaly's Landing. There were rare raids, nothing my men and I couldn't handle. In fact it was mostly running them off from trying to do business in the market. But then another tribe came in from the southwest, we had never dealt with them before. Not exactly sure what set the whole furor off," Tess shakes her head, the spill of silver blonde hair shimmering in the weak winter sun. "But the peace ended abruptly, and all three tribes went to war against each other."
"Then clearly we need to speak to the other tribes about them," says Zoey, holding her head high. "This Southwest tribe was the catalyst, and we may have allies within the other tribes to help us fight them back."
Domonico nods, "Should we head to the Landing first? Secure that and find out more before moving on to either the Tower or to move against the Abandoned?"
"Bears also should mean bad things in general my love." He looks to the scouts. "It pains me to suggest this, but I think the Tower is less our priority right now. I understand they are Ostrians, but if it was decimated, and the Landing is barely holding on? Then it is our duty to help the living first. Numbers, defenses, survivors. However, you may wish to confer with the Marshal and General for any more specifics, but we should delay no longer." Theron turns towards the rest of the group fixing each with his stare. "Thessaly's Landing should be the goal first, we can argue philosophies later!"
"Well, that *was* the case, my lady." Tess replies, glancing to Zoey. There is an assessment done, swift and hard in the Captain's eyes as she seems to take Zoey's measure. "The Steelquill were always more social than the Mycondi. Those bastards -- pardon my language -- were never particularly stable. They have this tea they brew from a mushroom colony on their land. Makes them, well. Unpredictable is an understatement. Sometimes they are amiable if nonsensical. Sometimes they sounds more like stories of Northern barbarians." A glance is cast to Braith, "No offense, my lady." There's a cough, "Never know what side of that group you'll get." A look is cast to Theron and Domonico. "We're heading for the Landing. We'll be there in --" There is a pause as her horse rears back, her focus sharply focused on the road ahead.
Alessia checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.
Vitalis checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.
Braith checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 17 higher.
Zoey checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.
Theron checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.
Vitalis looks briefly surprised when Braith seeks a hand up, but Vitalis offers it down, cloak swept clear to furnish a seat. His lips quirk and he looks dark-eyed at Theron, humor curdling when he sees the Sword there. Resplendent. "What are the clans' sigils and blazes, Captain Tess? Do you have anyone to scout with us who knows them?" His horse turns a circle in place, snorting, and he draws up to the captain. "We can leave sign of parley if you wish." There is a whole language among scouts. "But it is the same as offering Guest Right." He nods at Theron, lips still pressed flat, "The Tower is stone. I grieve for the dead, and fear for the living, but we *know* the Baroness' people are in need. We'll meet you at Thessal-" he pauses, head tilted.
Lucita checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.
Marzio checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.
Vasile checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.
Domonico checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.
Tess' arm goes up in the universal signal for stop. Up ahead, along the road there is a moving smudge. The sound is like dry thunder, faint, but growing louder. Rhythmic, four-count beat that sends the ground underfoot to vibrating. Horses. A LOT of horses. Tess and her men draw forward, creating a barrier between the oncoming tide and the lords and ladies behind them. It is not until the first few figures become apparent, the colors blue, white and gold that Tess relaxes, looking over her shoulder to peer at the Mazetti contingent. "Someone order some cavalry?"
The comments about northern barbarians earns a smirk and a sharp glint in her eye. "Ahhh yes, we were that once. Long ago..though I think we all had our moments in time." Braith settles in then, watching the others still debate where they are goin as she mmms and murmurs. "I feel like this could be a week long debate." It is meant to be humorous and something shared with Vitalis as theystand Ready together and as they continue, tightens her grip on her cousin because really she's exactly adept atop a horse. She adjusts herself and then goes still as the Mazetti cavalry approach, a smile pulling at her lips when she sees the colors.
"Oh, it's fine, she's been refined spending a month in our ranks." Alessia says, turning to Braith, a wry smile on her lips before her head whips around gazing ahead as Tess makes the stop signal. She squints before seeing the riders wearing Mazetti colors, before offering Marzio a smile.
Marzio stills. He has heard that sound before of that slow rolling thunder. Once the Ostrian forces come into sharper focus, Marzio flicks the reigns if his horse to draw him up even with Tess, lifting a hand in sharp salute to his men as they draw nearer. Glancing aside toward Tess, Marzio offers her a grim smile before he says, "Get us within striking distance of these men who have killed our vassals and are plaguing the Saiklands. We can accept prisoners for information, and deal with those others too foolish to submit."
Zoey leans close to Baroness Saik and speaks softly to her.
"There's a fine sight." Vitalis offers, of the Ostrian cavalry, tension coiled briefly settling to its normal median levels. "As I was saying. We'll make a sweep and meet you at Thessaly's Point. Captain Tess, if you've a scout or scouts to send with us, we'd appreciate it, else - what we need is information. We'll see you when we have it." And with that, Vitalis urges his horse forward, Lord of Mazetti saluting the cavalry as he and Braith ride past.
Domonico thinks as he looks over the cavalry and nods in approval, the Malvici remaining silent for now but making new plans already to include them.
Lucita defers the military matters to those with the military background and rides along quietly, listening to them planning and assessing. "your troops before us and mine guarding our rear but close at hand if needed.
At the tail end of the cavalry, quick marching in armor of black, white and gold, are a squad, twenty strong, of Corvini guardsmen. An equal mix of infantry and archers. They salute Vasile, and move into position, ready to continue the march.
Tess looks to Vitalis and the hundreds of horse and inclines her head. "As my lord says. Thessaly's Landing is two miles north, along the Split. You cannot miss it. The Tower is four miles due west. There is a border stone mid-way there." Tess' arm move in the directions as she gives them. She eyes the rest of the group and lifts her voice, "Those heading directly for the Landing, follow me. If we trot, we can make it there in fifteen minutes along the road."
"Ravens! In position! Shieldwall!" Vasile calls out, riding out to meet his contingent of troops and lead them directly. Soon enough the troops rally with the cavalry contingent that was set aside for this.
Marzio considers Lucita's suggestion for a moment before dipping his head and riding out toward his men. "Ostrian Riders!" he bellows out loudly. "Take the forward position! Keep your eyes peeled for ambush forces!" he yells to the three hundred strong forces.
Lucita watches the cavalry and soldiers approaching, so many outnumbering her army, but then Ostria should be expected to have more, such a larger holding. "If other abandoned see such large groups, working together, it should help with any tribes considering trouble in the future." And she nods to Marzio, going quiet again as they continue to ride along.
Being in command of literally nobody, Alessia simply spurs her horse forward to follow Tess.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + stealth(4) at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.
Vitalis checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 45, rolling 57 higher. Vitalis rolled a critical!
Braith checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.
Tess signals to a fourth member of her team -- wait, fourth? Weren't there only three? Apparently not. A slender figure slips over towards Braith and gives the lady a chin up. "'Lo. M'Dave." 'Dave' is of average height, eyes somewhere between blue, gray or light brown (How??), his hair defies a named color, and can only be described as 'hair'. He chews on a stalk of winter grass. "Y'all ready to head inta t'Landin?"
When they get close enough, Braith taps Vitalis and slides far more easily from the saddle than she did getting up. She lands in a crouch in the leathers that are just a tad big on her but they still work. A glance up at the seeker and she inclines her head before she looks to 'Dave'. "Braith," she counters with a nod of her head, "Ready to go." She glances ahead and means to follow on foot with him, allowing Vitalis to ride the rest of the way forward so she might had the advantage of quick light foot work.
Vitalis checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 52 higher.
Braith checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.
"Good man," Vitalis rumbles, brows rising sharply at the 'appearance' of a fourth member of Captain Tess' crew. He'll ease Braith's descent and with a flick of his arm re-settle cloak over his mount's haunches. "Vitalis," he nods, collecting reins makes his horse dance, "I'll head widershins around, leave sign if I see any." And with that, Vitalis is off, eyes sharp ahead, ears pricked for aught amiss.
With Braith and Dave on foot, Vitalis on his steed, they approach the remnants of the market town. Smoke rises from buildings that are freshly charred, and each of those approaching are able to find places to hide as they approach. The central square seems to be the congregation point, a cluster of fur-clad bodies, raising bottles up to the sky. There is a wizzened old man perched on a wooden throne, holding a steaming bowl in his hands, as several leather-clad warriors wait in line to sip from it. There is a third group in the back, their cloaked pierced with hundreds of quills -- some of metal, some from porcupines. The three distinct groups seem to be slowly intermingling, though in each instance there are outliers, those unwilling to mingle. All in all, there appears to be about 90 to 100 fighters within the square. As for the villagers, there are twenty visible, bound and huddled together near one of the fires. Some of the unburnt buildings have smoke coming from the chimneys. At least six are occupied. Near the burned out docks, there are a number of warehouses, most have doors that are agape, though one is still locked tightly, a cluster of quill-cloaked figured standing watch nearby.
Alessia wields Requiem - an ancient glaive with an iridescite handle.
Marzio wields Elegant Diamondplate Trident.
When they get near enough, what she sees does not look heartening. "Too many are ...meshing together? Accepting each other...there is no way to truly turn this in my opinion, no?" she glances to Dave then, having gone on foot beside him as they have taken up a position to watch from afar. It is the villagers however that have her focus and she moves herself slightly to the side to get a better look. She makes a motion at Dave. "When the cavalry approaches, I will stay here. I am going to head in and free them....but we need to let them know...the others." She glances behind in the direction of the incoming forces. "That we are likely to fight."
Vitalis nods at Braith's assessment and, under cover, rides back to swiftly inform Lucita, deferentially - they're her people - of the situation. Captives. Dead. Mingled clans. He verbally sketches the town and where Braith and (potentially) Dave, and he will wait to free the villagers, letting the martially minded figure out where to best attack for offense and distraction. The information delivered, he returns to his post with Braith, dismounting.
"M'kay, yup, that's a right trouble sight right there, yup." Dave shakes his head from his crouched position next to Braith. "Them there Mycondi are belly to belly wit them Scouzi. Weasel-folk we call 'em. Don't look like much, but they bite fierce. Dig tunnels. Gods titties, f'give my language, they bad folk." Dave shakes his head. "Aight. I'mma run back to C'pn, tell 'em what's what. You good here?" Dave looks Braith over and nods, "Yeah, you good. Hide better'n a leatherback in murk water." That... is a good thing? In a blink, Dave slinks away as if he'd never been there.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + stealth(4) at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.
Vitalis checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 45, rolling 112 higher. Vitalis rolled a critical!
Vitalis checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 45, rolling 18 higher.
While Vitalis beats him back, delivering the message of what awaits them in the Landing, Dave remains with the main forces as they set up the plan. He provides a sketch in the snow of the main targets and lay of the land. Tess studies the information and looks to those gathered. "Alright, we've got three-hundred and fifty Mazetti horse, twenty Corvini soldiers, one hundred Saik infantry, my twenty rangers and ourselves." She looks around the group, "We have the central square with one hundred mix of Scouzi and Mycondi. From what Dave says they're takin' their afternoon tea. Lord Domonico is commanding the Saik troops, Lord Marzio the horse and Lord Vasile the ravens. What is the plan?"
"How wide are the passageways to the central square?" Vasile asks while he listens to the situation report, considering things quietly.
Braith's gaze starts to glaze a little before her brows furrow. "Right..yes...hiding. I can do this," the Mazetti remarks, watching Dave take off with a curious glance. She hunkers down and chooses not to move for sake of less visibility. It is her turn to wait by herself at the front, feeling the nerves start to work through her as she watches with care, determining if there are any guards or patterns to the way they move so when they get a chance to retrieve the villagers it will be with utmost efficiency. Only when Vitalis returns and joins her beneath cover that Braith even moves. Then it is just her lips and a slight turn of her head. "Now we wait...you have been hunting yes? It is about patience. I do so hate patience but a necessary skill.." she hisses out, covering her lips with her cloak so that the misting of her breath is not seen.
Domonico rubs his chin, "The horse give us the capability to outflank and surround the village without too much trouble. However, they are unlikely to be as useful in fighting amongst the buildings." He rubs his chin, "A show of strength on our part may actually severely demoralised them. Spread the horse out and make them visible. Let the Abandoned see they are outnumbered and by horse. That may be enough to cow or at least fracture them."
Lucita says, "Maybe... maybe I can distract them from the captives enough to get them free while you are moving in position." She speaks to the military fellas around. "I'd at least like to try.""
It is Dave who answers Vasile, words mumbled a bit as he resumes chomping on that stalk of winter grass, "Town's built like a drunk in the road y'kennit? S'sprawl." Dave removes the grass from between his teeth and spits, pointing to his diagram. "This here roadway's wide enough f'two wagons loaded down for some silk's drinkin' party, beggin' y'pardon. I mean overflowin'. I'd say four horse, easy. There's a circle 'round the square --" He snorts at his own words and shakes his head, "Allaway goes by the inns, the Ol' Three Dog Tavern 'n down there to the docks. Gotta have a road from docks to drink else y'doin it wrong y'kennit?"
"So we can get to the docks with the cavalry and charge down that road into the square, while the footsoldiers fill up the streets." Vasile comments, nodding affirmatively to Dave. "Might be a good way to start with the infantry so they are tied up and their rear-guard is smashed in. I'll leave it for the Mazetti and the Saik to decide, but that's one of the approaches."
Vitalis tucks back in at the village, ghosting past Dave with a nod of mutual appreciation, handing the horse off to Dave as they pass. Back a the village, he is hunkering low with Braith, watching the prickly shav move back and forth. Likewise studying the ebb and flow of men and women, awarenesses, patrols, politics of them at their apparent ease. Studying windows, doors, means of entry and egress. All the while waiting. At mention of patience, he nods, likewise buffering his breath to keep plumes from giving them away.
Marzio listens to the report back from the scouts and then looks toward Vasile and Domonico thoughtfully. Finally he clears his throat and nods his head toward Dominico. "I was thinking much the same. The docks are destroyed and they have no ships to escape on. My men will surround the villiage and ensure that they have no means of escape and that they know as much. I will go with my forces to fight alongside them. We will tighten the noose around them, and hopefully distract them from Braith as she frees the villagers." He looks toward Dave then and says, "What are the odds that these men that dig tunnels will have had enough time to dig traps for my men?" And then toward the group at large, "I think our goal should be to cut off the men from the one on the throne. He should be our primary prisoner."
A glance is given to Lucita and Alessia furrows her brow. "Then I'll go with you."
After a quick whispered exchange with Lucita, Zoey nods. "All right then. I'll have my bow ready in case it's needed on your way back."
Zoey wields Intricately forged ancient steel recurve bow.
Dave rubs at his chin, dirty fingernails scraping at the nearly invisible stubble on his cheek. "Wulp, the older on the throne is Mycondi Chief, Braintree, I think it is. Weird folk them Mycondi. Seriously. Had a cousin decided to go to one o'their parties... boy was never right in the head since. Kept talking about mouth colors and the smell of numbers." Dave shakes his head. "Anyway, Braintree, he's their wiseman. Y'take him, you take the heart o' the tribe."
Lucita nods to Alessia. "Alright. Lets keep it small. They are making enough noise to cover just the three of us on the back street and alley. Want us away from the captives... so the others can free them... and where we can use the alley Dave spoke of to get away while the main force gets in position. That sound a workable plan?
Tess looks amused as she looks at Dave and just asks, "Harrison, right? Dumb shit." She grows serious as she looks to the others, at Lucita, her liege first, "I'll send a pair of soliders to give you extra guard, but not enough to make you too noticeable. We agreed then? Let's ride!" Provided there is agreement, the time has come, orderes are issued and the fight is on.
Domonico thinks and taps his chin, "We may be able to intimidate them into surrendering. Or panicking at least. My recommendation would be to use the Saik infantry to advance on the village. Corvini troops as a reserve to move in to reinforce areas. Mazetti horse surround and move in. Also Baroness Lucita I *cannot* agree to you risking your life like that but... you have authority here. Be safe."
Alessia checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 8 higher.
Listening to Dave, Marzio looks to Theron and says, "Then I say we take their heart. We take Braintree alive. All of the rest are cut down if they stand between us and our goal."
Lucita checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 11 higher.
Marzio checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.
Vasile checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 13 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) at difficulty 10, rolling 11 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) at difficulty 10, rolling 15 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) at difficulty 10, rolling 20 higher.
Domonico checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 14 higher.
Zoey checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 1 higher.
Theron checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 15 higher.
Braith checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 25 higher.
Vitalis checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 11 higher.
Vasile checked command + war at difficulty 15, rolling 29 higher.
Domonico checked command + war at difficulty 15, rolling 55 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked perception(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked perception(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.
Reigna GM Roll checked perception(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 2 higher.
Marzio checked command + war at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
Marzio moves to the front of the column of Mazetti Cavalry, his own horse dancing with its front legs as it senses the tension coiling within its rider. Looking to his men, he gives them a hard gaze before relaying his orders to surround the villiage. Let no man flee. Cut down any man that stands between you and taking the chief prisoner, Braintree, alive. No doubt there are stirring words, that end with Marzio pulling his own trident from his back and lifting it skyward in a fierce battle cry that will likely leave him hoarse on the way back to Arx.
Digging his spurs into his horse, Marzio leads the charge, the column of Mazetti soldiers thundering across the distance that separates them from the village until that column splits and moves around the town.
Vasile's troops line into mixed infantry, though a shield wall is formed, one which breaks when archers steps between ranks to loose arrows, then retreat back into the safety of the Raven's shields. Ever one to lead at the front, even if his troops are strictly reserve, there is an opening volley of arrows as soon as it appears that battle will be joined. Crowbeak is drawn and held aloft.
The normally quiet and serious Domonico heads towards the hundred strong Saik, joining them and given their Sergeants a very quick briefing. "Form ranks. Spears and shields. Support your brothers in arms. Remember your training. Watch the flanks and be prepared. Our allies in Mazetti and Corvini are with us and the Baroness Regent is here to witness you." He hefts his rubicund spear high and points towards the town. "Soldiers of Saikland. Advance!" The formation is tight, moving together in near perfect lockstep.
Domonico wields Raptor's Reach, a rubicund-tipped cornel-shafted Dory spear.
Vitalis has a bad feeling... something settled uneasy between his shoulderblades. Silent and watchful, waiting for the appearance of his allies. All attention fixed in, he turns his attention, briefly, out. West.
Theron wields Allegiance.
Vasile wields Crowbeak, a stately sword with a polished sheen.
Lucita checked mana + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 32 higher.
Lucita dismounts and on foot, staying back out of sight and away from where the captives are, finds a spot near the Three Dog Tavern. Her intent to give others time to free captives. She stays in shadows so none can see her armor and projects her voice so it is more difficult to tell quite where she is. Carefully she decides what to do... no faith, sea chanties, romantic, or lofty songs will do, no epics or metallic based ones. Shav villages, the larger ones have taverns and singers and thus... she chooses and sings in Lycene Shav, a dialect in which she is well practiced. Darling Dilly was delightful
A robust Three Dog Tavern maid
But her scowls would frightful
When her tips were underpaid
Oh, Dilly, me Darling Dilly
Won't you come smile for me
Oh, Dilly, me Darling Dilly
Come and sit upon my knee
Rogueish glances cast her way
Winks and whistles she'd ignore
As Dilly would wind her way
Cross the crowded Tavern floor
No pinches and rovin' hands
If you value fingers unbroke
Dilly's stern warning stands
Truer words were never spoke.
Darling Dilly had long black hair
And brown eyes with a saucy glint
But good tips were seldom there
Cause most men had got a splint.
Though it is a saucy song, it has something different to it, something with a mystical beauty, something that pulls attention even more so than the thunder of hoofs and steel. The words echo on the wind, carrying throughout the square and demand attention.
Dismounting, hands gripping her glaive, Alessia accompanies Lucita, eyes warily scanning their surroundings. Once Lucita begins to sing, there's no surprise in the glaivedancer's mien, simply relief, as if soothed by the words. Though she's no less prepared.
The market square is filled with raccous voices raises in discordant songs, a melange of different tunes sung in voices that are not harmonious. The Scouzi are drinking bottles looted from tavern, inn and homes, their energy seething. The line of Mycondi has grown much shorter, only a few children left to take their blessing from Braintree upon his throne. The toothless old man has green ink spread over his face in an abstract pattern, his heavily pierced earlobes brushing his naked shoulders as he laughs. The Steelquill look.. tense. Some of joined the Mycondi and a couple are attempting to integrate with the Scouzi, but by and large they are keeping to themselves.
The ground begins to shake and the Scouzi pause, looking around, brows lowered, but uncertain as to what is happening. The Steelquill contingent are intent, there is an argument brewing between what appears to be hte Chieftan and another woman that is getting more and more heated. It is Braintree that stands up, looking out towards the outskirts -- but then it is the voice, Lucita's voice that steals his attention, and the elder's wrinkled face breaks into the widest of smiles, "Bluesong! Sing my children! It is the bluesong!" Everywhere, the Mycondi fall to their knees and lift their voices -- their horrible, horrible voices, to sing. About thirty different songs. All in different keys and in complete cacophony. But they seems to be happy?
Braith checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 99 higher. Braith rolled a critical!
Reigna GM Roll checked command(4) + leadership(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 19 higher.
The thundering of the cavalry is a thing to behold on the receiving end. Braith turns her head sa the combined troops start forward and its then that she glances to Vitalis and is off then. Keeping low she hurries forward and wide so that those Shav's answering the oncoming southern soldiers and knights will be met by them and not her. No. Braith is not taking chances but she is watching with care, her hand on a tiny dagger on her belt as she uses all the cover she can that the mild winter provides in the south.
As they get near she looks to Vitalis and makes a motion. Her finger goes to her neck just in case they encounter anyone and she lifts her knife to make a cutting motion as if at bonds. That is all she does before she is like some shadow that steals without a second though across the distance. The first villager she comes to is given a shhhhing sound as she works at the bons and motions them out to stay where they are and low. "we will make an escape together once everyone is free."
The rumbling of the ground, the approach of the horse and infantry soldiers is enough to get the leader of the Scouzi onto his feet. "THEY ATTACK! TO ME YOU DOGS! TO ME!" The command that rings in the man's voice is enough to get the attention of most of his men, and the Scouzi huddle up in a defensive circle, "To the bolt hole!" They start to move as a unit, thirty strong, away from the others, heading for a partially burned out house.
Most of the Mycondi are on their knees, enraptured by the song. A quartet of them, however, are searching for the source of the song. "Do you see it Pablo? The notes are green and taste like... purple." The leatherclad man next to the speaker shakes his head, "You're wrong, Hilda... it's blue and smells like rain. Like... like.. cherry rain!"
Domonico checked command + war at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked command(4) + war(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.
Vasile checked command + war at difficulty 15, rolling 49 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked command(4) + war(5) at difficulty 25, rolling 22 higher.
Domonico directs the Saiks towards the Scouzi huddled troops, the larger amount of Saik troops following the Malvici's barked orders. He may be an Admiral but he can fight and lead men on foot with considerable success.
"For Saik!" "For Vengence!" "Malvici!" The various cries from the Saik troops as they clash with the Scouzi defensive circle is brutal. Saik troops begin to envelop the Scouzi, spears stabbing into flesh and forcing the Abandoned to fight (and die) or surrender.
Marzio checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 26 higher.
Marzio checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.
The General of the Raven Army is a decisive leader. Noticing that the Steelquill are perhaps disorganized and unprepared for this onslaught, and caught in disarray by the surprise strike, the Corvini circles his sword and points them towards their target; the brunette that leads his quarry has the obedience of her soldiers, and it shows when, at first, Corvini soldiers get injured in the combat.
But the mixed infantry does brutal damage, the arrows piercing those reinforced cloaks before swordsmen dispatch them, and soon enough the Steelquill are violently pushed back by Corvini infantrymen; before the dust is settled, one third of the enemy contingent is cut down, and Vasile reassembles his troops so that they might attack like a wave once again.
Lucita lets her song come to a close once the captives are free and the battles start. She slips down the alley and back toward the wagon, glancing from time to time to make sure Zoey and Alessia are with her. "A sad situation when there did not seem an opportunity to work some diplomacy amid them and stabilize the area but we can't have them attacking the towns either.
The Mazetti Cavalry encircles the town as ordered, and then begins their march further inside of the city as ordered. They fill the streets and tighten their ranks to insure that none can escape the town without first overwhelming the substantial forces aligned against them.
Once Marzio is certain that his men are in place and have the perimeter secured, Marzio sets his own steed into a gallop, weaving through the sprawl of streets that create a tangled avenue in to where Braintree's men are tripping balls and singing their hearts out. Marzio leans low over his horse, pulling his steed left and right as he weaves through the kneeling, singing people that stand between him and their leader. Once he reaches the men, he jerks back on the reigns of his horse, the beast rearing and working its hooves dangerously close to where Braintree stands swaying and singing before stamping down just before the man. Marzio immediately leans forward, leveling that diamondplate trident down to press to the old man's throat before yelling, "Tell your men to surrender!" A command bellowed out to those nearby, "Kneel and surrender!"
Vitalis checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.
Vitalis shrugs against the chills Lucita's voice gives and tenses as the soldiers crash into the village. He ghosts along with Braith, trailing after her, likewise undoing the bonds on villagers, urging them to calm - the cavalry has literally arrived. Too late for some, though. He is grim-faced as he surveys the area, burnt houses, bodies. He works quickly and quietly and with a low word to Braith as chaos errupts, he begins hustling villagers away.
Alessia checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 56 higher.
Keeping vigilant as Lucita heads to the wagon with Zoey, Alessia notices a few Mycondi heading their way, and doesn't hesitate before charging to meet them, iridescent glaive held firmly in her hands.
Reigna GM Roll checked command(4) + war(5) at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.
Lucita steps into a position to defend Zoey yet let her free to use her bow. She has a dagger at her side and wields it, ready to face any who approach too closely.
Lucita wields Ember Reckoning, a rubicund dagger.
Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.
Zoey lefts her ancient steel bow and takes aim at one of the four following Lucita. She chooses her target and lets it fly. The arrow easily finds its mark: Hilda, of the Cherry Rain. With a wet sound it pierces her throat, and Zoey prepares for her next shot.
Giulio checked command + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.
While not at home on the battlefield, Giulio has some small degree of understanding of leading men and will serve to lead a small unit of the Corvin forces, following beneath Vasile's banner. He will lead his men along in a flanking action to hit the Steelquill from the rear. Thankfully, his men are veterans in some degree and are more ept then their commander in the art of murdering people that are trying to murder you. Three more bodies fall as a result of this.
It is a controlled chaos that reigns in the market town of Thessaly's Landing. A steady stream of captured villagers are running for freedom under the auspices of Braith and Vitalis. Lucita has fallen back as the quartet of Mycondi, still jabbering about the colors and scents of the musical notes. Well, they were, until the iridescent blur of Alessia's glaive cuts a fatal wound into one of them as they approached Lucita. Moments after, Zoey's arrows catch Hilda's throat, turning her words into gurgles as she falls to her knees. "Hilda!" This is Pablo, a quaver to his voice as he sees his comrade fall. "Elio!" This for the one that falls to Alesia's glaive.
The Scouzi are engaged in a losing fight with Domonico's forces, their numbers being whittled away as they make a run for their base, a partially burned out home. The Mycondi are still in a trance, most of them on their knees, swaying as their voices are raised in a cacophony of songs. The Steelquill are putting up a fight, but flanked between Corvini forces and clearly outmatched. Meanhile Marzio has approached Braintree and is trying to lead him away.
Lucita watches those approaching. "Wait." She calls out first in regular language then in Lycene Shav. "You surrender? We have questions."
As Vitalis takes the lead to continue the flow of villagers to safety, Braith keeps to untying, gaining a few others to help her. She glances at the near end of the group and lets out a breath. "Thank the spirits.." she murmurs and gives a blessing to the wind. The kiss blown is lost in the flurry of her movements. Ones that keep her down the line to the very last one. It is only then she will move to follow the last of them out, hoping to cover their tracks as she nocks and arrow in preparation to fire should they be found out.
Theron checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.
Priorities shift in battles. A fleeing foe does not mean a beaten foe, time to prevent a regrouping. Theron steps down from the wagon, Allegiance already in hand. Several strides forwards and he whistles for attention. Right before he slide steps to whirl Allegiance about take off a Scouzi's legs at the knees without hesitation.
Marzio is not so much attempting to drag Braintree from the center of the village so much as he is insuring that the old man has no way of fleeing him. Once he is sure that the man is not going to attempt anything foolish, he turns and lifts a hand, signaling for the Ostrian forces to come and join him. That thunder of hooves sounds, vibrating through the ground likely as the cavalry forces move in to the town and surround the kneeling Mycondi. Once the noise has quieted enough to allow him to be heard, Marzio calls out, "Men! I want all of these shavs bound and tied to one another. We are taking all of the Mycondi prisoner. They are to be marched directly to Ostria where Marquessa Cambria and Marquis Hadrian can question them regarding our fallen town! If any resist, kill them!" Then he dismounts to see to binding Braintree himself.
Domonico checked perception + war at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.
Domonico checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.
Vasile checked command + war at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.
Giulio checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 51 higher.
On the crude battlefield of flesh and steel, Giulio is still a neophyte. But on the field that is the hearts of men? There, he bears significantly more skill. "Throw down your arms and you will be granted quarter," he utters, sharply. "I am Count Giulio Corvini, Commander of the Mirrorguard and servant to the Archduchess-Regent. If you know of me, you know of my reputation. That I am no monster. That I am fair and that I am just. Should you surrender peacefully, you shall be granted humane terms." His tone is warm, but well-pitched. He leaves the opposite part of his likely reputation unspoken.
As Giulio speaks, his right hand will rise and clench, signalling a halt, should there be sign of response to such a bellow.
Domonico leads the Saik troops in pursuit of the fleeing Scouzi before he notices some of the Abandoned preparing a... pit trap! "Pit! Go around!" he shouts, managing to redirect the vengeance hungry Saik troops. Domonico, on the other hand, doesn't stop and the Malvici launches himself across the pit, four men wide, to continue pursuit, Raptor's Reach darting out to strike at the Scouzi with lethal precision.
Vasile's next move is simply to box the Steelquill in, making sure they know they are pincered and their lives would be spent in vain if they were to continue fighting.
The Mycondi are all so very confused as they are rounded up, but apparently today's tea is the peaceful kind, for they are all quickly tied to one another, the general emotion being confusion. Braintree is holding Marzio's hand and proclaiming him 'Son', very loudly, or at least until Dave arrives with a gag which he gingerly ties onto the old man. "Gods bleeding ears that was a wracket." The man grunts and disappears back into the crowd. The Scouzi leader hisses when the trap fails to trick the Saik soliders, and as the troops part to flank the Scouzi, Domonico sails over the pit, his blade striking the leader deeply in the chest.
Pablo and Merta the two Mycondi near Lucita hold up their arms, wailing in grief.
The leader of the Steelquill spits and shouts out a sentence in Lycene Shav, her people going still, dropping their weapons as they surrender.
Grimacing as her companions grant the rest surrender, Alessia lowers her glaive still dripping with the Shavs' blood, shimmering different colors in the light. She heads over to Giulio, though doesn't interrupt as he addresses the rest.
Lucita looks a little relieved that more do not have to die before her eyes. "They have surrendered. Will someone take charge of them please and see to those who are injured, that is if they are not already dead?
Alessia checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 30, rolling 70 higher.
"You won't regret that decision." Alessia adds, seeing their enemies surrendering. A brilliant smile on her features, perhaps a bit unsettling given the blood still wet on her blade.
Lucita turns back to Zoey, sliding an arm around her after sheathing her dagger. "I'm not sure I'd have the courage to return to Arx if anything bad happened to you here. Your family would be less than happy. But if any had come after you, they would have had to come through me first.... at least that is what was trying to do. Thanks to you and Lady Alessia for the help back there.
Domonico had bore the Scouzi leader to the floor, the rubicund tip of Raptor's Reach embedded in the man's chest. The Malvici looks up at the rest of the Scouzi, his eyes cold as the Saik troops fall upon them. None are spared as they suffer vengeance at the the hands of those harmed by their actions. Domonico's gaze falls to the dying leader at his feet, blood pouring from his mouth and the Malvici twists the spear before yanking it out and grimly standing there as the massacre is completed.
"All honor to those that lead," Giulio offers, a bow of his head to the Steelquill leader. "Will you share drink and food? We should speak as those of our duties must." His tone is warm and polite. There is no arrogance in it. Merely a statement of fact.
Zoey shaking a little from the residual adrenaline, Zoey puts her bow away tries to relax under Lucita's arm. "I'm sure they would be angrier with me for wanting to come in the first place," she tells the Baroness.
Vasile is satisfied with the outcome, and as people stand down, the Corvini soldiers take care of their wounded men. Vasile speaks to his lieutenant quietly, contemplative.
Perhaps it is the sight of the death befalling the Scouzi people, but the leader of the Steelquill swallows tightly, nodding her head to Giulio. "Honor to your leaders." The words are hollow with a tinge of fear and she says, "We will not harm anyone here, you have the word of Ryah." There is a murmur among her people, one in the back, nursing a wound looks a little frightened, eyes darting back and forth, but she is young and wounded and is not going anywhere.
Lucita checks on Alessia then heads toward Domonico next, walking along with the others. An eye is cast over her group of soldiers, checking for injuries, conditions of their mounts and how they are handling their first coordinated military action. "They did well for you, Lord Domonico, yes? Thank you for leading them." And to Giulio she gives an approving nod. It is clear she is trying to function as part of a team with the other houses.
The market town is quieter in the wake of the battle, in the hours to come, the remaining villagers come out of hiding from their basements, from within the boarded up warehouse and from the woods. Praises are given to the heroes that came to their aid, and food and shelter is shared with the lords and ladies of Arx. The village elder, Ralthyra, is especially grateful to the Baroness for coming to the aid of such a small market town. The prisoners are kept secure, and the hostages are prepared to be taken to Arx for questioning in the coming days.
Giulio checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 32 higher.
Alessia checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.
Lucita says, "When things settle down, please have the military make a sweep through the surrounding area, make sure no pockets of trouble remain. I think that would reassure those in the town and those of our houses also."
Domonico nods to Lucita as he looks over the Saik's examining the fallen, making sure they are dead. "Yes Baroness. They did. I'm quite impressed by how well they performed "
Drifting back toward the corpse of the man she had killed, Alessia offers Lucita a faint smile before crouching and retrieving a leather scrap on him she had noticed a little earlier. She heads back toward Giulio with a curious expression. "Look at these lines." She shows her cousin, for his take.
Giulio checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 36 higher.
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