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Whispers on the Wind: Traitor's Home

There is a house in the Uppers that has been neglected for the last few weeks. Near the spot where the geese fell from the sky, it has become "That" house. The one that people slide their gazes past. The one that folk just instinctively avoid crossing in front of. The one that inspires whispers between children and dares to knock on the door. It's time to find out what is going on behind that dark red door.

Date

Nov. 30, 2019, 2 p.m.

Hosted By

Reigna

GM'd By

Reigna

Participants

Domonico Mirk Miranda Thorn Delilah Merek

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Crownlands near Arx - The Field

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 1 Inquisition Confessors, Pearl, a Maelstrom Forest Cat, 1 Graypeak Aerie Warden, 1 Bisland pride guards, 1 Bisland pride guards arrive, following Delilah.

Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 1 Inquisition Confessors, Pearl, a Maelstrom Forest Cat, 1 Graypeak Aerie Warden, 1 Bisland pride guards, 1 Bisland pride guards leave, following Delilah.

Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 1 Inquisition Confessors, Pearl, a Maelstrom Forest Cat, 1 Graypeak Aerie Warden, 1 Bisland pride guards, 1 Bisland pride guards arrive, following Delilah.

Spring has come, and with it the mounds of snow have melted away and warm Spring sunshine fills this neighborhood with light. But where there is light, there are shadows, and the biggest congregation of shadows are over by a two storey townhouse. It is no smaller than the rest of the townhomes it shares space with, and yet the building next door's shadow seems to have entirely enveloped the place. People moving along the street tend to unconsciously cross away, before walking in front of the house. It is set back a bit furher from the road, perhaps that is the reason for the shadow. Either way, it stands there, alone, isolated, despite being flanked by nearly identical buildings.

Domonico has been stood there across the street from the house for quite some time now, arms crossed as he watches the house carefully, waiting for his cousin to arrive.

Mirk arrives at Traders' Home, dressed in his traveling leathers, a bow slung over his shoulder, Aegis at his side. He comes to a halt in front of the townhouse, but he gives it some space and doesn't set so much as a foot on that property yet. Instead, he waits, and draws a deep breath and exhales slowly through his nose, his eyes closed. There's something almost meditative about it, as if steadying himself. He opens his eyes a moment later, and glances towards the street.

Miranda has not been looking forward to coming to the Townhouse again. The Return. It's been a dreaded thing, but she has been determined to see this through, now that Brenlin is whole once more. She comes up behind Domonico, then moves to his side, adjusting her hood over her head. She's armored and hands him her sheathed Razz, "You need this." It's not a question. She eyes the house a moment, then lets her gaze lose focus, as one might just lower an arm. Sort of a conscious thing as she studies the house. The House (tm).

Thorn stops near the Malvici duke, a satchel slung across her shoulder. Bow strung on the other. She nods to Mirk with a grim sort of seriousness.

Nothing like a dubious building to bring out the neighbourhood... well, they're not a watch, exactly. Nor are they even the Iron Guard, who by rights ought to have quarantined said building. A message to send to her cousin later. On the other hand, Delilah represents that other dreaded Crown institution, doing absolutely nothing to announce its presence in her person. The confessor who follows her around with the worst job has been sent ahead a half-block, the longest he is willing to permit while still keeping her in crossbow range. For all the world, the duchess resembles someone out shopping on an unnaturally nice day considering the city was buried in snow not so long ago. A shopping trip that involves a bow, at the very least, making her a fine addition to the archery trio with Mirk and Thorn. She follows the shaman a few steps behind, murmuring something soft to him.

Merek has taken his time to put on his dark leather armor, while he places the weapon of his upon the hip. He then begins to make his way with a cloak pulled about him to the house, noticing that people are there. The sigil of the Iron Guard has been placed upon the shirt as a badge, while he looks to the team a bit, "Ah, what are we doing today?" he asks, lifting his brow at all the people.

Domonico takes Razz as Miranda hands him the diamondplate sabre and has a feel for the weight, noticing the similarities between it and Riptide. He hmms softly and nods to Miranda before he looks at the others she has gathered. "Bows might not be as useful in close quarters," he says before waiting on Miranda, his face grim.

Now that their group has assembled, Mirk nods his head once. "Lanterns lit, eyes open. If anything seems amiss, warn us," he instructs the others. "Is everyone ready to proceed inside?" At Merek's question he shoots a glance in Delilah's direction, as if to say, The Ball is in your court. She's the one with the official authority, after all.

Thornsatch

Thorn shifts her satchel such that she has better access to her blade if needed and looks to the others silently, waiting for someone to take the lead it seems.

Her honey-brown eyes remain unfocused, looking at, or through, the townhouse from ground to rooftop and down again. "It's glowing blue still." She frowns a bit. Really, you can practically sense it out here anyways, so it might be obvious. But now she's said it aloud. "Up near the chimney and I can see it through the windows." She leaves Merek's question to... Ah. Delilah. Yes, follow Mirk and Delilah's lead, that's what she's doing. "I'm as ready as I'll ever be." She holds her lantern in one hand and pulls Kindling from its sheathe with the other.

Miranda wields Kindling, an alaricite curved sword.

Various occupants of this neighborhood are starting to react to the group of armed nobles gathered in front of one of the houses. A crowd is starting to form and some are whispering back and forth as speculation as to the reason for such an overt show of force is on display.

Lilah carries a lantern, or she does once Scribble hands it over to her. The petite metal object bears hooded panels, the better to conceal the light of the eternal flame kindled within. A much smaller contribution from the altar-fire of Lagoma, it emits a nearly cheery presence up close, unless someone has a dread fear of burning objects. Gentle gloved fingers wrap around the handle, and she adjusts it. "Alas, Lord Domonico, if it comes down to me using blades like you do, we are in a very pretty pickle indeed," she muses with a buoyant cheer. "Sir Merek, probably wise that we do a quick survey of the periphery to make sure there are no surprises anywhere. Dead insects in particular, or living ones, which have been commonplace elsewhere. Lady Miranda, if at any point, you notice movement tracking us, please let us know." She inclines her head and gazes back at the crowd, and then delivers that absolutely /beaming/ smile at Mirk. "Lord Mirk, if you would like to give them a reason to stand well back for the dullest of reasons, be my guest. Otherwise we're here to proclaim this is business of the Scholars and Iron Guard, looking for a will over disputed territory. Mustn't let anyone in when there might have been hard feelings."

Merek looks then to Delilah, and seems to understand it is some kind of 'important' business. The knight nods a bit, while he looks to the people gathering, lifting a hand a bit, while he looks to Mirk, nodding to him. "Make your words, I'll make sure that I look sufficiently like I'm here to... Back it up." He does take a look at the place as a whole. Back to duty as the Gold Order. He takes a ring to place it on.

Merek gets a solid gold ring made in the likeness of Dragon from a backpack, made of black leather.

Miranda nods her head a moment to Delilah, switching that unfocused gaze to the area, in general about them. More like she's on watch, really. "Of course, my Lady," she says simply to Delilah. Her eyes move about, lifting upwards as well as down, trees, rooftops, all of it gets looked at.

Miranda gets her guards to help Delilah and Merek hold the gathering crowd back, Brenlin as well. Might as well put her people to work. They ain't going inside.

Delilah checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 60 higher.

Mirk nods his head in Delilah's direction, and turns to address the crowd. "Please remain outside and well clear of the building. There is nothing amiss here. A will has been contested, and the Scholars," he gestures to Delilah, "And Iron Guard," he gestures to Merek, "are here to make sure that there will be no trouble or dispute as we uncover the appropriate records and sort out who owns this property." His voice carries, easily, though he adds in an aside, quieter and not intended to carry, "There's a haunting. Now let's proceed, shall we?" Before the crowd can have time to ask questions or grow more curious, he turns and heads towards the front doors of the townhouse, beckoning for the others to follow.

Domonico nods once at Delilah's words before he steps next to Miranda, hand on the hilt of Razz as he stays close to her, covering her flank.

Mirk checked command + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.

Mirk's words send ripples through the crowd as many of them immediately lose interest. About ninety percept wander off in the subsequent minutes, though one or two make rumbles about 'Nobles showing off their finery'. A few linger, mostly the grubbiest faces, though there are a few who continue to quietly stare.

Adjusting the fall of her leather coat around her, Lilah carries that lantern carefully as she approaches the house. It means moving in a graceful arc around the building, purposeful, every inch radiating the sense of a Scholar out to do architectural things like admire the building style -- so very early eleventh century! -- and mention discreetly to Domonico and Miranda, "See, the foundation seems to be quite intact. They have house-pride in this part of the city." Cue a smile. The young woman kneels for a moment, looking at a few specks on the grounds. Husks, just as there tend to be in urban areas since the foundation of such things ever. One has to wonder how Cardians or Eurusi deal with bugs. Either way, she gestures. "Mind the wasp nest up there. Is there any good way to deal with that so early into the spring? Are they even awake?"

Merek checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher. Merek rolled a critical!

Miranda continues to 'eye' the place, but moves forward to join MIrk. There's awareness of Domonico at her side, guarding her back, but nothing out loud is said or acknowledged. For her part, Miranda doesn't engage in the conversations about her, just listens and takes cues for the moment. A glances to Delilah, another over Merek, before she looks back to the townhouse, watching it as one might a predator that was hungry and ready to pounce.

Merek looks to the crowd, with a nod, and next nods to something Delilah offers to him. He pulls his cloak about him, then he pulls the hood up while he shifts the chain which he wears about the collar, a chainlink belt waistchain upon the hips, next to the belt he uses to carry his weapon. He takes up a little personal lantern which is black in color, while he begins to mix a few powders within it. Then he places a hand to turn the device on the lantern, bringing up light. It's clear it is the sparklegas lantern, famed reconstruction of the lamps of Arx!

Thorn doesn't even try and influence the people, as she tends to be easily over looked already. The red head instead falls instep behind Lilah and Miranda, heading closer to the house, alert for any strangeness or potential threats.

The Malvici nods at Delilah's words, half listening to her while he focuses on looking for physical dangers. His body is tense as he follows Miranda, glancing up at the wasps nest. "Hmm... I cannot say right now.'

"I suppose wearing fireweave is a little much," Mirk comments in a dry tone, though he glances sidelong at Domonico and Delilah, clearly keeping tabs on the conversations going on around him. He holds a hand out for a moment, as if uncertain, before finally he goes to open the door and walk inside. Each step forwards is tentative, as if expecting something to go wrong at any moment.

"Scarcely. It's for those moments we need to terrorize people by igniting you?" Delilah curls her fingers loosely around the Lagoman lantern, and she gazes up at the house. "As you would. Someone take this and burn out the nest, as a precaution, if you can think of a way to do it safely? I fear it's not particularly my expertise." An encouraging flicker of a smile is there, even as she continues to take stock of the hosue in shadow. "After that, well. If the target is probably hidden up there, towards the roof, then we ought to look at entry. Back, as it's likely to be quieter?"

Miranda follows Mirk in, her eyes taking in the room as they do, still unfocused as she 'sees' what others can't. Her sword is held down, but secure in her hand, the lantern is at her side, the light turned a bit so it's not aiming at anything in the room just yet. It's an easy flick of the wrist to turn it, use it, however. If need be, Brenlin will take care of the wasp's nest that has the Shepherd Duchess so concerned. It's the least he can do.

Thorn says a few quiet words to Delilah and Mirk and then holds out a hand to Delilah for the Lantern, "I'll do it, though you should step back in case they swarm."

Domonico follows Miranda in, one hand ready to draw Razz, the other resting at his belt. "Fireweave is part of my armour nowadays Lord Mirk. Tough and lightweight."

Merek nods a bit to the others, while he shifts the scarf which he wears about him, then he thinks about it. "Alright, are we in any specific formation?" he asks, curiously. Then he's making a way to follow with the team also!

Nallah, a buff-looking tortie cat with green eyes, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants, Sirra, a very quiet maid arrive, following Alessia.

Nallah, a buff-looking tortie cat with green eyes, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants, Sirra, a very quiet maid leave, following Alessia.

More than content to hang back from taking point on the door, Delilah gestures gracefully. "I am not the military expert here. I yield to the greater knowledge. Otherwise it stands to trying the door or kicking it open, one way or the other." She continues to skim a look over the building, fingers sliding over the bracelet locked around her wrist.

Delilah takes a dark blue doeskin cuff set with mirrors from Twilight messenger bag awash in stars.

As Mirk opens the front door, the wood gives a low creak of protest. The air that wafts out is cold, cold enough that the musty smell is blunted by the frigid temperature. Inside, it is dark, the shadows deep, concealing all details of what is inside. The sunlight that slants through the front door illuminates motes of dust in the air into flakes of gold that hover in the air. It is quiet inside, very quiet. Murky and dim. The foyer is about ten feet by eight feet, a staircase along the left wall that leads up to the second storey loft. There are windows, but they are all filthy, letting in little to no light at all. To the right is a parlor area, various covered furniture rendered featureless in the gloom. A hallway leads deeper into the home, the air funky and old smelling.

"No," Mirk says simply, not even looking over his shoulder at Merek. "Whatever you think is best." The door opens for him, though he glances down at his hand for a moment. "Look around. I'm not sure what we're searching for, specifically. Some sign of why the Butcher is here, of all places. But don't wander too far from the group, and err on the side of warning us if something seems off." He gestures for Miranda to proceed with her lantern, and then pulls the gloves off his hand. He touches the wall, thoughtfully, and then peers towards the hall and the parlor.

"And be careful about touching anything. There's a presence here, it's seeped into the house," Mirk adds, almost as an afterthought.

Tamorin, a bubbly Whisper apprentice, Evensong, a twittering songbird arrive, following Anisha.

Tamorin, a bubbly Whisper apprentice, Evensong, a twittering songbird leave, following Anisha.

Delilah checked mana + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 53 higher.

Mirk checked mana + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.

Miranda enters the main room and lets her gaze drift over the walls and windows, the staircase, into the open hallway and doorways to other rooms. She grimaces and makes a .. noise of disgust, "Gods, it's thick in here." It's softly spoken, probably to herself, though it's audible enough to hear. She moves as if something might touch her, that 'ick' factor. She also came prepped for cold, bundled up in cloak and coat! She lifts her lantern up, aiming it up in the direction ahead of her for no other reason than she's facing that way, to the stairs at the end of the room. "Yes, please, touch nothing. It's... -everywhere-." Ugh. She does tilt her head a bit, as if listening for something, a sniff, too. Perhaps one of her senses might clue her in..

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards, Oswald, the war pig, a lively Ostrian gelding arrive, following Brigida.

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards, Oswald, the war pig, a lively Ostrian gelding leave, following Brigida.

Merek looks around a bit, he then looks to Miranda, "Is it?" he asks. He can't tell, but he takes the woman pretty seriously, and avoids touching anything while he lifts up a lantern to peek about at the place. He wiggles his nose in thought, "Of the many things I've fought, yet to fight a ghost, time to add to my story."

Domonico half draws Razz from it's sheath, eyes sweeping the area carefully, trying to get a sense of... whatever it is Miranda is feeling. It is to no avail however so he quietly kisses the prayer beads he carries and murmurs a small prayer to Mangata.

The beams of light from Merek's lantern appear weaker than they should be, as if the shadows were eating away at the illumination, making it dimmer. The light from the Lagoma lanterns, however, seem to slice through the darkness, an almost audible sizzle in the air. The light shines on various objects, broken knick knacks, overturned tables, broken chairs.

Delilah checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 24 higher.

Merek checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 27 higher.

Thorn checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 17 higher.

Mirk checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 12 higher.

Miranda checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 21 higher.

The second lantern adds a glowing sheen behind Merek and Miranda. Lilah falls in behind Mirk, angled closer in so those with a better talent with blades can step in as need be. "Fighting and ghosts make for strange bedfellows," murmurs the young woman, reaching up to touch the halo of pins and flowers holding her braids together. "Ah, such pain here." She angles the lamp where she can, enabling others to see without being blinded, careful to let the light flood over the broken furnishings. "Do you have any sense here of victims, speak up. Otherwise, I mean to leave things undisturbed."

Thorn exhales softly and then moves after Mirk and Delilah, her hands pulled in to ensure they don't come into contact with anything in the place unintentionally.

Domonico checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 26 higher.

Thorn's head tilts towards Delilah, intending to say something to her when she tenses and puts a hand on the other woman's arm. "We're not alone," she breaths.

Mirk frowns, a look of unease on his face as he removes his hand from the wall. "There's a spirit here, I can feel it, but it's...unnatural. That's..." He searches for the words for a moment, and then only shakes his head. "Wrong. It shouldn't exist. Spirits are nature, but this one isn't." He leans in to peer at some of the knick knacks, but heads towards one of the walls, leaning in close to examine something on it, though without touching anything.

Merek looks to the lantern, and pouts a bit. "It actually works for once, and ghosts want to eat the light." He sighs, then he leans upon his knees, rear in air while he peeks at the floor. "Ah, of course. It's always spattered... Something, blood, in these places." He wiggles his nose, then he inhales the scent of the place. "Can you feel the miasma, we'll all probably need to drink a lot of water after all this." He does look to Thorn, "I... I thought we knew that already, unless you mean that something is like, about to try something?" He looks around a bit, drawing his Nightsong with a glove while he places the lantern upon the hip. He points to the stairs, "Blood leads up the stairs."

Merek wields Torean Nightsong.

Thorn wields crystal wintertide snows delicate blade.

Domonico snaps his fingers together to get attention before he points down the hallway towards a door, silent and closed. "That door just closed by itself," he whispers quickly before drawing Razz and keeping it close.

Miranda lifts a hand and points towards a door down the hall. "That door, it was lit up a moment ago. Bright blue." Hearing what others see and hear? She takes it all in. Yea, unnatural spirit. A glance to Dom, "Same door maybe?"

The duchess' star-shocked eyes flit among the shattered belongings, the loft with its vaulted heights overhead. Her lithe body shifts, poised for movement, weight balanced between her feet and the heel of her boot pressed down against the ground to resist the intangible tug. When Thorn's hand rests on her arm, she nearly jumps, looking back with night-blasted pupils drowning out summer-sky blue irises, loose hair falling around her face. "That way," she says, slowly extending a finger. "Through the door." Lagoma's lantern burns bright, glimmering playing off the fragments of glass at her wrist and the crystalline star at her throat. "I have my doubts whether this is wise to follow. I can feel it." A sharp look to Domonico at a closed door. Back ot the others. "Well, darlings, down the hall to the door and see what we were meant to see, or play at different games? Because, we will be good visitors for now as long as our host feels like being so, no?"

Thorn slips her blade from her belt. "No, there is something here, here." Her weight rolls lightly onto the balls of her feet, and she moves towards the parlour on the right, quietly as as she can, peering into the corners and towards the furniture carefully.

It seems Miranda and Dom are pointing to the same door down the hallway.

The door Delilah points to is the very same door.

Miranda keeps her lantern in front of her and moves down the hallway, since it's not too far from the group. "Let's see who is at home, shall we?"

Domonico nods once at Miranda's question before he focuses on the door, grip tightening on the hilt of the diamondplate sabre. He takes a deep breath before he reaches into his belt pouch and withdraws a small vial/bottle and has a swig of it before stowing it back in the pouch.

Miranda checked perception at difficulty 25, rolling 9 higher.

Thorn checked perception at difficulty 25, rolling 11 lower.

Merek checked perception at difficulty 25, rolling 9 lower.

Mirk checked perception at difficulty 25, rolling 15 lower.

Delilah checked perception at difficulty 25, rolling 1 higher.

Domonico checked perception at difficulty 25, rolling 6 higher.

"Remain within the light of Lagoma's lantern," Mirk warns Thorn. "I'm not sure whether it provides any protection, but..." He traces something in the air for a moment, and then turns his head to peer about himself. "It seems our signs begin to converge. How certain are you of the presence in the parlor, Thorn?"

Miranda glances behind them at the front door, rather abruptly at frowns. "Well, shit." Says the lady who rarely swears! She glances up at Domonico, then to the door. "It's locked." Apparently.. one problem at a time.

Thorn stops at the edge of the circle of light and crouches down slowly, squinting as she tries to peer across the room at the furniture there, and under it.

Domonico's head snaps around as his eyes flick from side to side before he sees the door drift shut behind them and grimaces a little in annoyance. "Hmmph!" is all that comes from the Malvici as he responds to Miranda, his eyes resuming his sweep.

"Locked in," Lilah confirms in a soft undertone, the lantern's other doors snapped open to offer a proper ring of protection. "Salt as we need it, Lord Mirk. Thorn, what are you seeing down there?" The tilt and slant of her bracelet throws back fractured images, painting the walls and the ceiling with crackling flame-light. A check now and then is surely wise.

There is a clicking, skittering sound and as Thorn crouches down, a large black rat comes bursting out from under the furniture and leaps right at her face, claws extended and gnashy teeth gnashing.

Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + brawl(2) at difficulty 10, rolling 28 higher.

Thorn checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.

6 inflicted and Thorn is harmed for minor damage.

"Our enemy doesn't want us to have access to it. I suggest we break the door down, then," Mirk suggests, raising his voice slightly so that it carries into the hallway, lingering still near the entrance to the hallway. He turns, reaching for his bow at the sound of a rat skittering out, and hesitates. A bow isn't going to help deal with a...rabid rat?

Miranda looks over at Thorn and frowns. "The Butcher's begun. I'm done being nice." See? She'd totally respect the spirits but, the attack is on. So. She eyes the door in front of her. "It's on you bastard," she mutters and lifts a foot to give the door a real good, hard kick open.

Thorn does not scream, instead she grabs the rat and shoves it off of her face with a growl, blood running down her cheek. "Damn it."

Merek checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 1 lower.

Ender, a Silver Gyrfalcon, Ursa, 2 Redrain Guards arrive, following Marian.

Ender, a Silver Gyrfalcon, Ursa, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Marian.

When Thorn tosses the rat from her face, Merek swings his blade towards the creature, though he only manages to cleave into the wood of the floor. When he lifts the weapon up, looks like the tailtip of the rat wiggles off from it. "That's right, bastard! You stay away from here!"

Since it's unnecessary for Delilah to suggest someone break down the door, Delilah retreats back towards it in Miranda's shadow. The bobbing Lagoma-light encircles her and Mirk, painting sacred shelter for those who need it. "We have other ways out. Let's go. Vermin and bugs are not our friends, at the moment."

Domonico follows after Miranda, not saying a word, body tense and ready to react as he protects her flank.

Miranda checked strength + athletics at difficulty 40, rolling 17 higher.

Thorn rolls out of the way and up to her feet, her free hand lifted to wipe the blood from her cheek. "Thank you Merek. Ugh... Lets go on. I am sorry I didn't realize it was just a rat."

With the deft application of bootheel to door, Miranda's strike is more than enough to split the door around the knob. It only takes a little shove to completely separate the wood from the latch mechanism. The door opens up on a flight of ancient stone stairs, given the amount of dust stirred up by the movement of the door, and the thick cobwebs that crisscross the way, these stairs haven't been used in... decades.

Miranda checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Mirk checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

Thorn checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Domonico checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Merek checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 7 lower.

Delilah checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Thorn mms to Delilah and nods, glancing towards the stairs. "Hopefully that's just more rats."

Miranda looks into the cobweb-coated room, her eyes losing that focus this group will quickly become used to - if they're not already. She glances down at the stairs, following them with her eyes. Kindling is raised so it's alarcite tip can be used to cut the closest cobwebs away and, perhaps, see how it fares against the 'blue' stuff she sees. Her lamp is also raised, aimed into the room to shed some light on things.

Miranda glances back up and behind her. "Something upstairs." She looks back to the stairs, "But we saw something go in here."

"I don't know if you feel the same way, but I tend to view descending into enclosed spaces without immediate access points, save a cellar, to be a tad unwise. Lord Domonico, Sir Merek, will either of you please stab anything that comes bounding out while I do this?" Lilah adjusts her position, lantern slung over her wrist, and the mirrors on the cuff used to shift and turn for a view down the stairs. "Please don't proceed down there quite yet. I want a sense of whether there might be any pitfalls. Never have I quite wanted a broom more than now. Or a ball of fire we can send bouncing down there." She looks back at Merek with a slight arched eyebrow. "Last resort, no?"

Delilah checked perception + investigation at difficulty 40, rolling 9 lower.

Mirk peers at where the rat leaped out of, for a moment, as if expecting to see something. But it's only for a moment, and then he turns, ready to follow after the others and catch up to Miranda and the others. "We do have two lanterns, if we wished to split up, but I'm in favor of going downstairs. Miranda, if you would lead, since you're the most skilled among us at the arts of violence," he suggests. "I'll follow."

Domonico stays close to Miranda, Razz at the ready. There is a slight sound, almost like a scoff, from Mirk's words in regards to why Miranda should lead. A moment and he shakes his head once, smiling wryly to himself at his ego.

Miranda is overheard praising Mirk: Brave soul. He inadvertently insulted Domonico without meaning to. *giggle* Do it again, please?

Miranda is overheard praising Domonico: Manage to keep his ego in check. Bravo!

Domonico checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.

Miranda can't help the grin that suddenly appears on her face at Mirk's words. She bows her head to him. "We can come back up after we see what's so interesting below that this room was locked." She elbows Dom lightly, then says, "As for the others, stay within the lanterns' light and stay with us. We'll go up after if we need to." She then proceeds in, counting on the rest to follow as they will. She uses her sword to cut the cobwebs away and the light to shine the way.

Thorn nods and heads towards the stairs as well, "I'll go too... just be careful."

Merek looks then to Delilah and nods a bit, "I can," he offers, with a little shift of the hip in thought, poising his weapon while he settles up in forward guard to protect the team.

The stairway is dank, the air gets colder the further they go down. There are about a hundred stairs, the construction fairly even, with the occasional cracks. The cobwebs are thick and tend to get everywhere, in hair on faces, on hands. It's gross. When the stairs end, the end at a hallway that looms forward in the dark leading off to the west. The Lagoma lanterns are dim here, as if it takes all of their power to stay alive. The create little circles of warmth, though everyone's breath puffs silver.

Cobwebs don't bother Miranda, though once they reach the bottom, she takes a moment to wipe her blade clean of the webs. That's important. Hey, she's been covered in blood and ichor and all sorts of fun stuff. Cobwebs? Pshaw. Ain't nothing but sticky. Then the lantern is lifted and the sword held, point down. She holds the lantern just a little ahead, lowered so her arm doesn't ache from its weight. She moves towards the hallway, giving others a moment or two for cobweb cleaning and a quick 'look' ok her part.

When Merek comes with the others to the place, and feels the cool air, he shivers a bit while he places both gloved hands together, sword tucked while he begins to offer supplication, "Lagoma, we ask for your light in this darkness, we ask in these places you be with us, we ask that the Queen offer us guidance. We come to protect and to defend, to change and to bring a new dawn." He then takes a moment to incline in respect, then he swings the sword about back into hand also.

Thorn says, "skirts at the back of the group, staying in the light but on the edge of it. Quiet, very quiet now she lets the others keep their attention on what's ahead while focusing mostly on the path behind them."

Thorn skirts at the back of the group, staying in the light but on the edge of it. Quiet, very quiet now she lets the others keep their attention on what's ahead while focusing mostly on the path behind them.

Domonico breathes in and out through his nose as he follows his cousin, eyes narrow as he focuses.

Mirk remains composed, despite the cobwebs, though he stops for a moment at the bottom of the stairs to brush them away from his face and skin. He examines the walls at his walks forward, reaching for his pouch, one filled with shamanistic supplies. But he follows along, urging Miranda forwards with a gesture of one hand. "The Butcher's presence. This place might even be the origin of the corruption here," he says quietly, though it's clear from his tone that he's more thinking out loud than confident and knowledgeable on that particular note.

"One way to find out," Lilah murmurs in echo of Mirk's statement. She pulls a scarf up around her face slightly, lending a measure of protection against the collar of her coat. Nose wrinkled a bit, she uses the back of her hand to wipe the webbing away. No, she does not like this particularly much, but you have braids as prolific as hers, that means a lot of maintenance combing, washing, and re-braiding. The murmured words she speaks to the lantern-light probably include another marked statement of faith, the prayer beads on her wrist clicking perhaps. She scoops her hand lightly into a pouch, testing the salt, and handing a small pouch of it to Thorn. "In case you need it. It may work, it may not."

Miranda acts a bit like someone who is -swimming- through things. You know, it's easy to walk along the beach on the shore, then you go in a bit deeper and suddenly, each step is work. She moves as if wading through something. Something thick, though her movements don't really, precisely slow. "There's.. something here." Said as if she were trying to talk or breathe around something thick and heavy. To Merek's prayer? "Lagoma, Goddess of health and change, hear our prayer and guide us. Amen." Her own touch, said with feeling. She's no Faithful, but she believes. Once everyone's had a chance to take a moment, she proceeds so that the party is ever pressing forward, into the hall going to the west. The lantern light is forward, but she's ready with her alaricite sword too.

Thorn smiles lightly to Delilah in thanks as she takes the salt from her, "Thank you my lady." She slips the pouch up one of her sleeves to keep her hands free for weapons and defence for the mean time. "Hopefully we don't need it."

The path continues, the glow of the lanterns shining a little brighter -- or maybe the dark is just that much darker. The circles remain, keeping them within the light as they walk down what seems to be an endless tunnel. After what feels like an hour of walking in a straight line, at a slight decline, they can see a widening up ahead. The hallway turns into a small cavern. The walls and ceiling are all rock, the same stone they have been surrounded by this whole time. There are several tables with various implements, beakers and glass jars, filled with unmarked substances. A stone table that is black with a tar-like substance. In the corner is a desk and chair, a number of texts left on the surface of it.

Merek checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

Domonico touches nothing, taking slow, measured steps that a seasoned combatant would recognise as moving from one combat stance to another. His breathing through his nose is slow and measured as his eyes sweep the room.

Thorn pauses lookng around the place, her brow lifting a bit, "Not what I was expecting...." She breaks off from her place at the back to move to the desk, looking at the books curiously, and using the tip of her blade to flip one opened to see what it is about.

Merek offers a little swallow while he makes a face, then he takes a moment to pull his scarf upon his features, while he looks about a bit. He makes his way forward a bit with his sword up with a look to the texts. He then takes a book from his cloak which is lined in a platinum-tone paint. He then tucks that back away while he takes a moment to pick up a book with a gloved hand. If they're flicking it about with swords, well, a glove will probably also be just as nice.

The chamber -- if it can be called that -- brings Delilah to a halt. "Do you recognize anything in those, Merek?" She isn't the first in line to go dig about, but she holds back several steps, glancing around her for the sake of care. "Do not touch whatever that ichor is, unless it doesn't radiate absolute evil or the possibility of being gore and blood amassed over the past few years."

"I was in a place once, like this. Only the experiments we saw, men and women, fused into Abyssal creatures. I saw the diagrams, I know how he did it, this place just... Brings back memories from that," Merek mentions, while he begins to open the book to read.

Mirk walks through the room, his gaze on the implements of experimentation. "Lady Delilah?" He says, indicating the desk with one hand. "That is your area of expertise. I leave you and Merek to reviewing them." He comes to a halt in front of the stone table, holding one hand near the tar-like substance, without touching it. Then, on a whim, he pulls a small handful of salt from his pouch and scatters it over the table. "Spirits, give me strength. Perhaps, if we sanctify this place, we could weaken the Butcher. Cut him off from one of the sources of his power. Or at least prevent its corruption from spreading..."

A slow turn is taken as Miranda enters the cavern and takes it all in. The stone table, the ... substance on it, the tables with jars and beakers. The books. "Just don't touch anything to bare skin." She lets folks move about, not hindering their curiosity, but staying alert for nasties. "Lots of that blue stuff here." She looks to Mirk, "I have some holy water if you need it."

Thorn frowns and pulls her own gloves on before she picks up one of the books with care, opening it very carefully to the ribbon marked page.

As Miranda turns slowly, Domonico steps in time with her, his back to hers as they circle around, before she gives the instructions and he remains close to her, watching and waiting.

Thorn checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

"We might need it. I think, between you, me, possibly Mistress Thorn and Sir Merek, we might come up with a possible cleansing ritual. It might be a temporary measure, but with the flames of Lagoma, the water of Mangata, the light of the Dreamer, it might be enough." Delilah says that soft, slant as it is. She plucks one of her hairsticks free in the event she needs to read it. "Can you tell me the contents of the book, please?" This to either Thorn or Merek, for it behooves her to presumably gain their impression first.

Thorn pales a shade as she reads the book, a green touch coming to her skin. "He believed if he consumed the..." swollow, "Flesh of the last born of the blood lines that were favored of the gods he could steal their favor." She closes the page, and reaches up to unwind her scarf from around her neck, to wrap around the book and gingerly slips it into her bag for later study.

Merek looks then to Thorn while she places the book away, "Can I take a look at that?" he asks, while the one he picked up seems to be falling to pieces. That's placed back, he waits for her answer.

Thorn grimices and mutters to herself, "Why is it always cannibals?" She pauses book part way in her bag and shifts to offer it to Merek, "Just be mindful of the binding, I believe this was a journal."

Miranda makes a face, "Flesh of the last born?" Yea, that's never good. "Should you be taking those?" Forgive her. She's no scholar. "I mean, all we need is for some other idiot to get the idea that there's some good ideas in there.. y'know?"

Domonico wrinkles his nose in disgust at the information coming from the book.

Merek looks along the book a moment, examining it with a scholar's gentle hand while he scans each page in succession. He then takes a moment to shift it back into position while he places it back in the satchel. "I would suggest that the Scholars be handed ownership of the book to be cleansed before it's... Perused, but it is up to you all," still it's given back to Thorn all the same.

"Yes," the knight offers, then he's looking back to the team, "I think we can work something up. My take is that a lot of those considered 'god-touched' were taken here to... Well, as she said. Which means this place is steeped in the sacrifices of the gods chosen people. That has probably attracted entities."

Lilah stoops to scoop something up in a cloth handkerchief embroidered with a hawk on one side, a starburst on the other. "Yes, because the information will end up behind the Censorum's grasp or the Inquisition's handling. Given the scope of the crimes done in the past and again perhaps now..." She shakes her head slightly, and stands. "Regrettably I have certain responsibilities, though it behooves me to allow certain experts to study its contents." Oh, the joys of all those ranks. She wraps and folds up the cloth, knotting it loosely to avoid any contact, even if she's wearing gloves. "Mirk, can I entrust this to you? I have no idea yet what it might be. In case you wish to take a look, there is a second exit over here. It looks as though the stone collapsed. Whether it deliberately was so or accidental, I do not know. We may well be in the tunnels under the city, and if so, they can lead just about anywhere." A caution given as she steps back, expression drawn and wan.

Merek checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 16 higher. Merek rolled a critical!

"That book would be best for the Censor Librorum, I think, once we are sure it contains no more insight that would help to stop the Butcher," Mirk suggests, shooting a glance over at Thorn. "They have experience in dealing with dangerous knowledge." With that, he turns to the others. "There are pieces to a puzzle here, waiting to be solved. The pieces must be burned clean - in the flame of Lagoma, I would suspect. I don't know what they'll be, but...That is the direction that the spirits guide." He holds a hand out to Delilah to accept the bundle of cloth, nodding his head once. "I think it may even be one of the pieces of the puzzle. But I'm not sure, not yet."

"Any chance we might attempt a cleansing outright?" Lilah asks.

Miranda is here, primarily, as muscle. Her and Dom. Let the scholars and folk peruse the items and glean what they need. She keeps her attention on the room itself, ready for something nasty, anything really, to come at them. It all seems... too easy. After all, they were locked in. Ahem. "This is your wheelhouse, my Lord Mirk, Duchess. You tell us what you need. I have the holy water and flame." She nods, "A cleansing seems like the best thing to do right now."

Thorn nods to Merek, "Oh I intend to." She wraps up the book again with care such that it will not be loose in her bag and looks around the place. "In the past when I have encountered similiar..." She sighs regretfully, "Situations to this, fire has been the only thing that could remove the taint from the place."

Domonico nods once at Miranda's words but continues scanning the room, keeping his attention to matters he can deal with.

"That'd take the work of people truly faithful, and I'd suggest you don't set flame without knowing what we're doing." Merek inhales, looking like he's a sheer force of willpower which is trying his best to mask his emotion. He does look about a bit. He does take a moment to watch the silver air from the cool. He then makes a way to one of the tools used, while he places a hand to it, closing his eyes.

Mirk pales, once he accepts the vial from Delilah, but keeps hold of it. His knuckles turn white. "I think that if we find the pieces and burn them clean, it could be enough to cleanse this place," Mirk says, nodding his head to Delilah. "We need to find the pieces to the puzzle of this place. They are here: I am confident of that. Now the question is how to find them, and how to recognize them once we do. The book might be one. The vial might be another. What else?"

Thorn is careful, even with her gloves on not to touch anything unnecessarily. She starts to make a slow circle of the perimeter of the room, grey eyes taking in everything slowly.

Carefully, Miranda moves to the collapsed wall to peer inside. Can a way be seen out? Is it full of blue haze to her 'sight'? Or is it clear? For the moment, she's letting the others have their few minutes to gather what they can, find the clues.

Merek checked willpower at difficulty 25, rolling 7 lower.

Miranda checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.

"Look for a knife of some kind, or a blade, I would think. There might also be something marked by the Abyss, one of the Dark Reflections in particular." Guidance is all she can give while she circles the room, aiding in further discovery. Lilah halts for a moment, then turns. Right back to Mirk again.

Merek begins moving away from the tool which he had examined, perhaps with his casual study of the place. He then places a hand upon the nearest person to balance upon. This person chosen is Delilah, then to Thorn while he maneuvers a glove to rub along upon his face a bit. He inhales, then he closes his eyes a bit.

Thorn freezes and looks over Merek with a frown, "Are you alright?"

"Lady Miranda, let me see the flame, if you would?" Mirk asks with deceptive calm, now that others have begun their investigations. He heads over towards her, his hand shaking around the vial, more unnerved the longer he maintains hold of it.

Miranda turns from the wall, then begins to look about the room again. She stares a bit at the various items. "Ok, there's a pulse in that kerchief. Whatever you're holding, I can see it pulsing. She looks to Thorn and ... "The book is pulsing..." She looks back to Merek and the knife he's holding, "That is pulsing." She points to the knife. Then to the table near Mirk, "Something in that is pulsing." She moves to Mirk, handing him the lantern. Her eyes are on the table, moving around it as if to see what could be pulsing or how to get at it.

Without wasting much time, Delilah opens the lantern of Lagoma. She holds it out immediately to Merek. "Put the knife in here. Burn it. Let the flame singe it, and it probably wouldn't hurt for you to use any of the holy water while we do it, Miranda. Extra precaution, maybe nothing more necessary." Why not add a salt circle around the lantern? She can easily do that, at least for the table. "The ichor on the table is an affront to the gods. I have to imagine that needs to be scorched. Could something lie underneath it perhaps?"

Mirk accepts the lantern from Delilah, sets it on the floor, and carefully unwraps the vial. He casts salt in each of the four cardinal directions, and then pours it over the flame, a drop at a time, burning it. Making a small ritual of the burning, and watching the flame, waiting for some kind of reaction, perhaps, ready to stop at a moment's notice should it not be...positive.

Merek looks around a bit, then it's back to Miranda, and sighs when she speaks, then he takes up the knife which he was looking into. He wraps glove along about it. "I'm fine, just don't like thinking about what people did in this place," he says. He then lifts up a voice to the gods while he fights to place the knife into the lantern. "Lagoma, hear the prayer of those who still believe. We come in the name of the gods to cleanse the deeds upon your chosen. What was commited upon them, let us make it right. Queen, let their souls find peace upon the Wheel, and may all the blood slaked upon be turned into a bile, that the darkness might taste the medicine of their creation!" He offers up eyes to the ceiling while he speaks a prayer, which he means fully.

Miranda watches both Merek and Mirk, now, as each seems to be burning or cleansing something. She moves to offer Merek the vial of holy water, "Place the blade in here and invoke Mangata's name." She still keeps an eye on both men for now.

Thorn gives Merek a knowing look and nods. "Indeed. It is better to focus on erasing it than what is here now." She looks over to black stained slab, "I have some whiskey we could pour on here and ignight."

"Miranda, there's something to this table. I cannot figure what, but look at it. It has shapes that seem to root down there. Could there be a reservoir beneath it? You or Lord Domonico might need to move it. There's no way I will be strong enough to do it." Lilah offers up the warning evening as she holds out the lantern, and she falls back into a softly murmured mantra -- one of Lucita's prayers to Lagoma, exchanged and counterpointed by her song to Mangata. Alas, just spoken; no one needs to hear her sing.

Merek takes up the heated blade from the flame, then he places that into the holy water. "Mangata, may the cleansing waters, like the purification of wine, bring about changes to this, may like the wind you carry away this darkness upon the waves." Then he stands up while he looks to the table, "Before you take that off, I would... Steel yourself, I don't know what's in there, but it can't be anything we're going to say 'wonderful' about."

Miranda checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.

Thorn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.

Miranda nods to Merek's warning. Yea, she's got that already. She goes to the table to study it a moment, see how best to lift or move it. With help, this should be a piece of cake, right? Her sword is, for the moment sheathed so she can have both hands free, especially since Mirk has her lantern and Merek as her holy water. She's still wearing her prayer beads!

Domonico checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 28 higher.

Mirk pours the vial over the flame with increasing confidence, though he's careful to pace it so that he doesn't overwhelm or extinguish the flame. He'll continue until he empties every drop, if needed, and then shatter the vial and pass the pieces through the flame so that no liquid remains clinging to the inside.

Merek gets Smith Hammer from a backpack, made of black leather.

Domonico moves to assist, corded muscles at play as he braces himself to shift the table.

Mirk checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 7 lower.

Merek checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 3 lower.

Delilah checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.

Merek puts Smith Hammer in a backpack, made of black leather.

When the blade is placed into Lagoma's flame, the ground beneath their feet begins to rumble, the loud churning sound like a dull earthen roar. The stone shimmies and shakes underfoot, even as a remarkably foul, noxious odor rises on the smoke coming from the heated blade. Miranda, Domonico and Thorn all manage to brace themselves to make it through the rumbling. Mirk, Merek and Delilah do not. Merek's shoulder hits one edge of the table, while Mirk's leg is smashed into by a falling stone. Delilah gets the worst of it, the desk sliding into the small of her back.

10 inflicted and Mirk is harmed for moderate damage.

4 inflicted and Merek is harmed for minor damage.

13 inflicted and Delilah is harmed for moderate damage.

Thorn is light on her feet that way and she shifts her balance reflexively, a soft curse leaves her though seeing the scholars fair not so well. She doesn't move immediately, looking around the space to make sure there don't seem to be any immenant risks created by the stones falling. "Everyone alright?"

While Merek works with the blade, he finds that he's thrown back so that his shoulder is cut upon the table. He looks to the smoke from the knife, while he begins unsheath his dplate, the weapon swinging into the knife in an attempt to break it up when it's been heated and treated with the holy water!

Of /course/ the roof wants to fall in or the ground reach up and munch them like a giant mouth. The persistent snarl of pain from Delilah isn't particularly happy: whitening under the gilded hue of her complexion, she answers the table sneak attack by shoving it back and trying to wiggle her way out from the damn thing or climb the wall to avoid being pinned down. If Domonico can help yank her out, she uses whatever assistance possible, face a mask of obvious discomfort. Hello, this is not fun. It hurts; no amount of silk, pyreweave, and leather is going to change that. Being distracted elsewhere is not advantageous there, but she can worry about limping out afterwards. Or bouncing sideways and resting against the wall, assessing any bruising or worse damage. A protective curl is almost called for. Back, back away thank you very much. Fingers slide against the small of her spine to assure nothing is quite broken into.

Miranda moves her legs to keep herself steady, going with the motion of the rocking before it stops and she's able to see how some are... not so good. She frowns a bit, "Well, this is getting serious." Calm, but quippy. Must be good. When it's too serious, Mir gets silent. She focuses on the task of 'not dying' (insert dramatic music here). For the moment, she moves to check on Mirk, sending Thorn to, "Chek on Merek, see if you can help him." A nod to Dom, "Check on Delilah." Then she moves near to Mirk and looks him over, "You okay?" Might be useless, but it's what you say, right?

Thorn nods to Miranda, taking a few quick strides over to Merek. She reaches for his arm. "We may need to take that out of here to destroy it. Where the earth itself is less likely to destroy us."

Mirk checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 0 higher.

Mirk lets out a cry of pain, when the falling stone smashes into his leg, and drops to a knee. He rises with effort, favoring one leg, and says, "I'll be fine. I've had worse." Despite the words, he sounds pained, and he barely puts any weight on his injured leg. He checks his hand, and the floor, insuring that none of the vial spilled, and then nods his head to Miranda. "Once I'm done, take the flame. Use it on all of the pieces. I think they're the pieces to the puzzle of how the Butcher rose. How another might fall into his footsteps. That's not spiritual revelation, that's a guess." He shakes his head, and then goes to pour the contents over the flame, murmuring a quiet prayer to the spirits as he does.

Merek's blade begins to slow while he shifts the weapon to its flat at Thorn's words as well as the hand upon his arm. He then looks to her, "It's probably best we don't take it from this place, but I can wait until everyone's back in the fight." He lifts up the longsword along his shoulder. "I think Mirk is right, about his guess. Book, theorize... The knife, appliance of skill, I think it is a symbolic relevance."

Domonico is assisting Delilah.

Thorn withdraws her hand and nods, "Indeed. Let us just ensure we're stable first... everyone mindful of falling rocks in case the earth moves again?"

Delilah still looks fairly pained, but she can endure. "Why don't we take the pieces we can carry into the hallway and burn them there? Perhaps faster if we're not upsetting an altar-table where the God-touched were sacrificed."

The air begins to stir, though there is no source for the wind that is begining to swirl, dust stirring, spiralling into a faintly visible cyclone. Unbound hair is starting to whip around and blow, as the wind incresaes and a voice begins to form. "Insects! You DARE invade my hoooooome?!"

Thorn checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.

Miranda chuckles, "Better to do it down here where only -we- get hurt. If we move it up and out, that could cause more issues." She makes sure Mirk can get up, "Once we get out of here, we can get you all healers. But for now.." She looks about and eyes the book Thorn has, "It should be burned." It's not a request. She eyes the altar again, God-touched. "God-touched?" she asks, "I was called that once." She makes a face, "Frankly, maybe it needs purifying." She shakes her head, getting distracted by the various things they could do. "If this room is closed up, we could make a small fire from the lagoma flames, dump it all there, then hightail it up the stairs and out again." Of course, that's a long... run. "Insects?" She frowns and looks up and tries to find where the voice might be coming from. "Is that the best insult you have? insects?"

Thorn's head jerks up at the disembodied voice fills the space, "WHAT THE FUCK?!" She sputters.

Merek checked willpower at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Domonico's head snaps up at the voice, his raptor cloak fluttering in the wind as he shifts his footing and his eyes search for a target.

Mirk checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Merek moves protectively in front of Thorn, then the longsword lifts up from shoulder while he holds that with both hands, pointing forward. "Butcher, we come in the name of the gods to purify you and your unholy place!" He then poises the weapon, dplate striking into the air, "Gods, we ask you to grant us the power to take on this presence! Lagoma, let your light act as a shield!" he exclaims, moving back into the light of the lantern, "Into the light of the lantern!" His hair billows about as does his cloak and scarf with proper dramatic fashion all messy.

As the thick contents of the vial hit the fire of Lagoma's flame, there is a louder, more incensed roar from the wind, the violence of it growing, motes of dust stinging eyes. The lantern's light are wavering, growing overwhelmed by the cold cycloning winds. "GET OUT OF MY HOME! CEASE YOUR MEDDLING LEST YOU BE NEXT UPON MY KNIFE!"

Mirk hesitates, for a split second, at the sound of the voice, and then pours the rest of the vial over the flame all at once, less cautious in his fear. "Ruthas of Glenbriar," he announces, raising his voice. "This is no longer yours. You abandoned all claim to it at the moment of your death." He shatters the vial against the floor, stepping on several of the pieces. "Burn all of the pieces. We don't have the time to do this careful. Do it." He pushes the lantern into Miranda's hands.

Miranda yawns. She.. yawns. Seriously, she's been in shardhavens. Last time this jackass kicked her out of his house. Now? Now she just yawns in the face of his bravado! "Come out and make us." She takes the lantern, given to her by Mirk. Her Kindling is back out, "Come face us, butcher." Not with a capital B either. She moves to knock that table over, too. Screw this nicety!

Thorn forces herself to take a breath and get her wits about her, "I've changed my mind. Break the thing, burn it." She pulls the scarf wrapped book out of her satchel and moves over to the nearest of the two lanterns and ignite the book.

Miranda checked strength + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 16 higher.

"Burn it," Lilah says flatly. The rising current of her voice sings a sharp note among the disorder. "The Crownlands struck you down once. It will be glad to do it again, Ruthas. The Queen is waiting and She knows your name. Your voice in the shadow cannot halt Her from taking you back to the Wheel."

Merek spins around with his diamondplate longsword, swinging that around to come upon the flame-touched and holy water dowsed knife. He places all of his power into the maneuver while it meets possibly weakened metal, if that doesn't work he will swing the blade again, and again, and again touched as it is next to the flame to heat it up.

Mirk reaches into his pouch, says, "Thorn? This is what we prepared for." He pulls out the implements of a ritual: stone and salt and feathers, anything he might need. "Ruthas of Glenbriar, this is not your place. Return to the Wheel, and rest. There is nothing for you in this world. Not any longer." He recites prayers to the spirits, closing his eyes, despite the wounds, despite everything, focused more on the presence of spirit than on anything else.

"YOU WILL ALL DIE FOR DESICRATING MY SANCTUM! YOU THINK YOU CAN STOP ME!? I WILL RISE! I WILL END YOU ALL!" The voice is almost defeaningly loud, but as the knife is snapped, as the vial's contents bubble and blacken, as the book begins to burn, that roar turns to a pained shriek and the speed of the wind diminishes.

Domonico checked strength + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 23 higher.

Miranda huhns and crouches down to use her cloak and gloved hands to swipe up something. from beneath the table. "Here we go. Is this you... what's his name? Ruthas?" She stands and holds it where she can see the shriveled and purple black oval-shaped thing. "Let's burn this." She turns and sets her lantern down and attempts to drop the oval into the flame, "Lagoma, hear me. Let your flames ignite this ... thing... and purify it. Heal its soul."

Thorn nods to Mirk, making sure the book is good and burning before she lets it out of her grasp. Her hand shifts and two pouches fall from her sleeve, one the salt that Delilah gave her and another small one and a thin vial. "Ruthas of Glenbriar, this place is no longer yours. The earth and the stones reject you...." Her voice shakes a bit but she keeps it loud.

Mirk checked mana + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 51 higher.

Thorn checked mana + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

Domonico moves in tandem with Miranda to assist her in shifting the table, gripping the hilt of Razz tightly, knowing that there is little he can do right now except guard the others as they challenge Ruthas.

Merek checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 35, rolling 9 higher.

Thorn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 35, rolling 5 lower.

Delilah is no shaman, but her faith is nearly as strong as one can have without being Godsworn. She raises her voice against the howl, a vibrant note of near laughter. "The Wheel calls, Ruthas. The Queen hears your name and knows your sins, for I have spoke your crimes at Her altar and prayed for all those lives you stole. Lagoma waits and the pendulum swings, for the Queen of Endings calls you back."

Mirk checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 35, rolling 12 lower.

Miranda checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 35, rolling 26 higher.

As the knife is broken into pieces, Merek then lifts up his weapon to swing into the other pieces. Then he lifts up his ring while he swings a fist into the floor. "The Light That Guides, The Flame That Cleanses!" He then begins to throw the remaining places into the flame of the lantern while he lifts up his voice, "Lagoma, in cleansing flame we ask you to purify this darkness, we ask you to drive him back, I offer from myself freely, take what you need to empower us against this being. Ruthas, in the name of the gods, I claim this place sanctified! Get back to the Wheel, whatever being you are!"

Domonico checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 35, rolling 41 higher.

The object that Miranda grabs and places in the lantern causes it to smoke, releasing a thick, greasy, meaty stench that conincides with another furious roar that briefly drowns out Mirk and Thorn's words. The ground starts to shake -- it starts to -- but whatever Mirk and Thorn are doing seems to negate the worst of the damage. The ground quakes, it shakes, and yet it does little more than make Mirk's wounded knee buckle, sending him briefly off balance, though Miranda is there to help him. Thorn almost trips, but regains her footing swiftly, as Domonico appears at just the right moment, to offer a stablizing hand. And the voice, that shrieking roar starts to dim, the air stops its violent churning slowly. Eventually the wind stops, the lanterns have burned the objects to ash, though their light is less bright, less warm. Much more... ordinary, as if whatever was inside them that made them divine has been burned away as well.

Thorn shakes out the contents of one of the pouches into her gloved palm, ashes and earth mixed together, she tosses it into the air and around the space then stomps a foot on the cavaran floor, growing more comfortable (if that can be a word used in a situation such as this), her posture collecting into a more dominant, this is mine, quality. Well until she almost falls on her rear but Domonic is there to save the day.

Miranda shudders with disgust and a strong "EWWWWWW" factor as she realizes, belatedly, what she'd been holding!!!! Then the ground quakes, everyone's rolling with the ground, and she's grabbing for Mirk by his arm in a warrior's grasp so he won't get too worse off than he is. She lets her gaze lose focus once more and look around the place, checking to see if anything has improved. And look! The place hasn't yet fallen down around them. Yet.

Domonico supports Thorn with one outstretched arm, locking it firmly in place for her to hold as he remains sure footed. Obviously years spent on rolling decks at sea has prepared him well for this kind of unstable footing. So one arm there for Thorn, the other holding Razz ready to strike anything... that can be hit that is.

"It's fading. The glow is lessening. That's working." Miranda speaks it clearly, nodding a moment. "Are all items burned or burning?"

Thorn mms and smiles to Dom, "I think it's gone." She turns to look across the space at Mirk, "It worked."

Mirk sets a hand on Miranda's shoulder, leaning his weight against it, and grimaces in pain. He's a little pale, and there's blood on his leg from the impact earlier. "I don't feel anything here, any longer," he informs the others. "None of the Butcher's unnatural presence. But it isn't wise to remain here. Such wounds leave a scar, and I suspect that this place will never be what it once was, before his foul touch."

Merek looks back while he keeps with his position, then he watches with a nod when it's all finished. He sighs a bit, while he lifts up with pull of his cloak to look to the place as a whole. He leans back on a wall, idly throwing whatever he can find into the flame, "Yes, though I think the flame's are used up. We managed it." He looks to his sparklegas lantern and shakes at it, to see if the thing will work, or if the thing will just decide to be silly today.

Miranda nods, "I think we ought to get out of here, give the presence a chance to go away. We've got wounded and I think this is all we can do for now. I'm sure Thea will come heal any and all of you if you like. Or whomever you'd like to heal you." Ample healers after all.

The air is still, thick with all the stirred up dust. The remaining books are all pulp and torn leather. The various tools and experiments are all broken and the place just feels... old. Lost and forgotten. As they gather their things and begin the long, long walk back down the hall and up the stairs to the house. When they arrive back in the house, the bodies of two very, very dead people are found slumped on the floor at the foot of the stairs, their torsos carved open, organs long since removed. When they go to leave the house, a whisper is carried on a faint gust of wind. "You may have won the day... but not the war."

Domonico swallows at long last, the mouthful of liquid going down well and he speaks finally. "Well. That was unsettling."



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