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Carnifex's Own: Spellunking for Templars

After the visit of "Sir" Volgan from the Oathlands with a summons for the Dominus to send aid to his village to recover the body of, or if the abandoned myth is to be believed return to life, the man they call the First Carnifex - Sir Godrin Valardin. This request, made in the name of the last Carnifex of the line, Galdar, by a council of villgers included within it an ask of Godsworn to open up the sealed cave where Sir Godrin left on his final victory in their crusade, and where their legend says he waits.

The Faith has sent Godsworn and allowed a party to travel up to their village, who have spent a little time with the tribe, but now they are being asked - won't they go to the Cave of Godrin, open it and bring back the First Carnifex to lead his people against the heretics and save them?

OOC: This is a follow up scene from last weekend's PRP Demands from Unexpected Quarters, and from Saturday's scene Meeting the Tribe. This will be the event that goes into the cave to try to recover the body. I'm going to try and take as many as I can, but please, if you plan on coming, do drop me (Preston) a @mail. If numbers get toooo big I might have to work out a way to handle that or as a last resort pair it down.

Date

Nov. 24, 2019, 2 p.m.

Hosted By

Preston

GM'd By

Preston

Participants

Teagan Evaristo Reese Tatienne Amari Rosalind Marian Tesha

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - The Telmarch - Carnifex's Own Village

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Evaristo gets Mockingbird's Song, Evaristo's Lute, Tempest Seas, black scaled leather cuirass with spider pattern, shadowy arm wraps, leather scale ridged helmet with face protection, stygian claw clutching a white coral earring, a stygian ring with subtle swirling silver inlays, thin stygian bracelet with white coral, thin stygian bracelet with amethysts, scaled shadowmeld gauntlets, A smooth natural suede belt with a square black buckle, a black leather swordbelt with a silver anchor buckle, black form-fitting breeches and a black leather coat with silver anchor buttons from a hybrid between a bandolier and a satchel in the colors of a mockingbird's wings.

The next morning, the baggage wagons from Arx having caught up, the gaggle going down into the caves - or up into the caves. Or perhaps just along the caves. They aren't really clear. - gathers. Volgan and the guard have lined up in their old armour close to the tattered path, seemingly eager to see. Sundrin and the rest of the council have gathered too, along with the young Carnifex "I...." the boy breaks into a coughing fit, his face still gaunt "I bless this endeavour and command the unsealing of Godrin's Cave, so he may be roused from his slumber and return to us. So it shall be done."



Sundrin whispers some words to the Godsworn who has come up with the baggage, a Templar by the name of Sir Halrick. Halrick nods and hrms "In the name of the Gods, in the name of the triads, and by command of the Faith, we seek Godrin. By my right as a Godsworn, I demand entry. By my oaths as a Godsworn, I attest to those who travel with me. Gods, hear our prayers and grant us access so that which was lost may be found." Harlick looks pretty dubious about this. As one does when someone promises many silver a week for working in your home, or that you could lose many pounds without visiting the training centre. After a moment he turns, clearly rather annoyed at the lack of movement, and the first syllable of his reprimand leaves his lips...



***CRACK*** The sound of rock moving against rock after long rest echoes against the walls of the valley. Sand and dirt, turned to mortar with the rain, cracks and collapses to dust. The rock slowly rolls away from the hole. Though, it does roll down hill not up. So. Maybe there is just a lever, yes?

While Teagan may have preferred to visit the village (particularly to have met Volgan's mother), she had been held up in other ways and ends up with this vanguard instead. The woman is in armor that fits, but not quite right in some places. It's actually a bit short here and there. The joys of being as tall as she is. Still, she's armed and armored, bow and quiver on her person. Her hair is bound back in a braid that has been tucked up and pinned against her head to keep it out of the way. She watches the Godsworn as he speaks and seems just as dubious about whether or not the words will work and so, her eyebrows rise when the rock does move. She takes a half-step forward, eyes on the entrance.

Evaristo is late, but that's not especially unusual - he had important things to do in Arx before he could join in on this adventure. He's come along on a wagon and looks quite rested and happy as he joins in with the others, staring at the cave wall or door like he expects it to open just by him staring at it, despite the obvious need for special prayer. When it DOES open, he jumps back and eyes widen. "What an amazing, uh...thing," he says and looks quite eager to head inside.

Reese arrives with the others while adorned in her pink and with her blade at her hip. The princess looks ready to fight if needed. Reese looks respectful as the gods are spoken of. "May Gloria be with us." She says but only after Sir Halrick has finished. She then watches as the cave is open opened, looking impressed. "Amazing.." She says echoing Evaristo. "Do you all want me to take point?" She asks

Marian checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 25, rolling 10 lower.

Tatienne readjusting her leathers and overall being relatively quiet. She's an explorer more than a soldier, knows how to handle herself in a scrap; but isn't exactly 'legendary hero' material; and she knows it, but Reese is, she knows it; and so she's chosen to stand near the pinkest of princesses.

With the baggage came Amari's armor, so she's dispensed with the comfortable finery of silk and aeterna for full plate of rubicund finished to a rosy gold. Barf the giant bog dog is with her as well, held at heel with a leather leash attached to a studded leather collar with a title stitched to it that reads 'MOST DETERMINED'. He growls worriedly as the stone cracks and grates, if only because Amari jumps a little at the suddenness of it. A glance goes to each face in the assembled party, gauging reactions, then she releases a soft laugh that born more of relief than humor. At Reese's question, she gives a nod, "If you'd care to, Princess Reese. Princess Marian?"

The tall redhead arrives with the others, dressed in her black leathers. Longbow swung over her back, Rosalind blinks as the cave open,"Oh wow!" She grins and but is quick to appear more respectful as the Godsworn speaks.

Marian rides up to the caves, keeping an eye out for her people as they move along. She doesn't talk much along the way, preferring to keep all her attention on her surroundings. When they arrived at the cave, she dismounts and moves to a respectful distance so the ritual can be done. After the words are spoken there is a moment, in the space where nothing happens, when something happens to Marian. It's as if her vicious green eyes start boiling with murderous rage. The frown on her face can only be described as murderious. She closes her eyes, hiding the fire that burns within taking a deep breath as peace comes back over and by the time the rock starts to roll it's as if nothing happened.

Tesha doesn't make much small talk and the next day she's dressed in leathers and pants to do this cave exploration. She waits patiently and silently with the group. Her hair being pulled back from her face shows the scar at her temple, but, she doesn't seem to mind. She gives a look to the others and there's a nod to the others when points are talked on. She doesn't offer given what happened the last time she did.

Reese looks ot Tatienne as she steps near, giving her a gentle smile. She then looks to Amari with a nod. Her attention is drawn to Marian and Reese looks her over with some concern. "Okay, no fighters in the center." She says and gets ready to step inside the cave.


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The battered forces of Houses Grimhall and Pravus return to Arvum after months deeply entrenched in the Saffron Chains in the pursuit of slave rings and destroying massive operations dedicated to binding human beings into servitude to Eurusi-affiliated slavers. Rumor has it that despite the first great victories, the host soon found itself engaged in battle with the strange forces of the Saffron Chains, and whatever happened then seems to have marked the soldiers of both Houses.



The crusade led by Iron Kraken of Pravus, and supported by Duke Valdemar Grimhall, Lord Edward Grimhall and Sparte was certainly successful, even if the Saffron Chains left their mark. As they return home, reports state there was little cheering from the troops despite the roaring applause from crowds, thousands of now-freed men and women of the Chains disembarking with them, all souls saved from slavery by the selfless act from the Peers of the Compact.



This is something neither the nobles leading the mission, their armies or the ones they have freed are likely to forget anytime soon, but the Peerage seems excited for what they have done.
**********************************************************************


As the others prepare to enter, Sundrin lifts an eyebrow "Maybe this was not a terrible idea to invite them." He admits to Aarla, the JournalKeeper standing beside him. Sir Volgan and his people keep a guard at the outsides of the path, but it seems the adventurers are on their own. Sir Harlick lets out a harumph "That was surprising..." Sundrin nods in agreement "Yes, amazing how Faith can reward. But. While your ah....warriors? Friends?...wake Godrin, we should discuss I suppose the issue of potential rejoining. And the disagreements we have had with the changes in the Faith and how accomodating we can be, yes?"



The cave itself sits open and inviting. One of Volgan's guards did bravely throw a torch to the entrance - and you can see that just inside the entranceway is a narrow walkway that goes deeper into the cave. You could perhaps get two abreast.

Marian gives a look to Reese to let her know that she's fine. She looks at the group and suggests, "Perhaps Princess Reese and I should take the front so if something happens down there we'll be the first ones on the line." Whatever was bothering her earlier seems to have died down, "I'd also feel better if the folks behind us were the ones carrying the torches, light our way in case there were protections left so Sir Godrin would not be disturbed."

"All I ask," Teagan says to those stepping up to take the lead, "is to keep your ears open in case-" she nods towards Amari, the other archer she knows, "we call for you to duck." No need to be potentially putting an arrow in an ally, right? But the Blackram woman has no qualms with someone else taking the lead; none whatsoever. She, in fact, spends a moment checking her bow and looks as if she may be willing to act as a rearguard.

Evaristo is bedecked with the finest armor and he's got two swords and a dagger but he seems a bit undecisive if he counts in with warriors or not, but seeing as the cave tunnel only allows two and two it seems it doesn't matter that much - he will choose a spot somewhere in the middle if allowed. He looks restless and starts shuffling towards it, but then Sundrin talks about /politics/. Immediately, he slouches and waits and tries not to look TOO bored while shamelessly eaves dropping.

Reese looks to Marian, nodding to her. "That sounds good to me, Princess Warchief." She says softly, moving to stand near the other warrior princess.

When Reese and Marian sort out the order, roughly, Amari gives a nod and decides a plan for herself. "Barf and I will be behind you both. He might alert to something we can't easily sense. I'll fall back to guard with Lady Blackram should anything attack." Teagen gets another nod and then with a breath to prepare herself, she draws steps forward with a click of her tongue that rouses Barf into a matching tromp along.

There's..nothing to climb or anything, but the Ravenseye scout can be pretty damn quiet. "Why would you yell duck,"clearly joking as she prepares her own bow Rosalind makes her way to the back with Conall and listens. Closely.

Reese checked perception + survival at difficulty 35, rolling 3 higher.

Tatienne takes up position near the middle, preparing to move forward. She ignores the topic of rejoining entirely, that's between them and the people who actually have a say in the compact.

Tesha figures she's going to be near the middle, so the Telmar takes up her position and follows the person in front of her while she keeps her hand on her dagger. Because we never know what could happen in a cave.

Marian checked perception + survival at difficulty 35, rolling 37 higher.

Marian wields Ursa Major, a tribal diamondplate bow.

"That sounds good. " Reese says to Amari. "Someone should watch our back too." She says softly. She thent ries to focus on the cave ahead of them.

Marian takes out her bow, grabbing an arrow as she notches it, "I'll take anything long range, you protect us front and center..." Marian tells Reese who's by her side as they start to move towards the front of the cave, "If we're attacked, I can drop down on my knee to give the archers in the back a chance to shoot."

Evaristo walks up behind in third row or so, following the two warrior princesses without talking much. Usually quite babbly, at least he seems content to let others take charge and not be a nuisance. Still, he does draw one of the swords now to hold it just in case. He gives the skull trinket a kiss and then tucks it in under the cuirass.

Evaristo wields Tempest Seas.

As the group enter the cave it smells like, well, cave. Dampness is there, suggesting there is some water flowing. The air is not too stale, but certainly stagnant. The rock walls have various plants growing on them, Marian manages to avoid a rather nasty moss that makes you itch like crazy, and is able to point it out to the others. Reese spies a loose bit of rock as the left wall gives way to an open ravine, and narrowly avoids stepping on it. After a short distance, this ravine opens up - who knwos how long the mountain stream has been eating its way down this mountain, but it's certainly left a mark, and the path you are now on winds its way along a precipace.



And that presents its first problem. There are still metal pins hammered into the rock, but the rope bridge they held is long ago rotted and disappeared. You do have rope and other survival gear. On the other side there seems to be an old doorway, the door again gone but the perfect square cannot be natural.

Teagan wields Winters Light, a fearless heart of the Cloudspine diamondplate bow.

Rosalind wields Raven's Final Whisper, a longbow.

Reese gasps as she almost steps into the ravine. She makes sure to mark it out to everyone, pointing toward it. "Be careful there." She says, her words curt and even softly says. She is likely in scouting mode. She then studies the ravine, seemingly thoughtful. "This might be a dangerous crossing."

Marian checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 90 higher. Marian rolled a critical!

Amari follows behind Marian and Reese, avoiding itchy moss and stopping when the princesses at the head of the group halt. She holds a hand up and passes the bad news back to the next few in line so nobody starts panicking or getting antsy in the dark. "Agreed." She says of Reese's observation once she's inched forward to peer at the ravine ahead.

The upside to being at the back of the group is you don't run into the dangerous things. You get warned about them. Sure, you might have to rescue people later, but at the time being: so long as those at the front have a keen eye? Teagan gets to play it safe and just watch their backs. And considering that they should just be going to wake some dude up, well. It's easy going. That is, at least, until they reach the ravine and she stops, turning to try to look ahead. "What's going on?"

Marian stares out into the darkness, studying the otherside to see where they bows might need to make purchase. She looks at the other archers in the group, "There's a wooden door frame on the other side that we'll have to shoot. It's not an easy shot but seems to be the safest way to anchor the ropes." She motions to the cliff, "We could also repel down and then up to get to the door but if we have to get out of here in a hurry, it would possibly put us at a bad position if we go that rope." She looks a the rest to see what they think, "I'd prefer the first option."

Reese looks to Marian, listening to her words with closet attention and then nodding in response. "Sounds good, I trust your judgement, Princess Marian."

Evaristo checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 10 lower.

"Why'd they stick their carni....something person down here, anyway? This seems abysmally boring, this place," Evaristo notes, avoiding moss and falling into crevices from the guidance of the two in front. He stops and squints across, then looks up and down both. He nods at Marian and smiles brightly at her, agreeing.

Marian pauses and then adds, "We can't go for the walls because they're stone and the arrows would break off of them.

Teagan glances to Amari, then to the door. "Take the first shot? I think you'd have a better chance than I would." Considering who she's been going to for training!

Rosalind looks at the doorframe and the other archers about,"I think it can be made. What about the rest of you?"agreeing with Marian.

Tatienne takes a very careful look around, but sticks to her spot. Trusting others will be able to do their thing.

Tesha steps to the side when people start to pull out bows and talk of who is shooting first. She trusts people. But she didn't want an arrow in her backside.

"I'm entirely overdressed for climbing ropes. Let's at least attempt the first option." Amari pipes in with her opinion, before glancing back to Teagan and nodding. "How about you try the shot, Princess Marian? That way we don't have to rearrange ourselves so much."

Marian gives a solemn nod when Amari suggests she takes the shot, and then pulls back the bow with intense concentration. She finds that doorframe, the one that she saw before and then releases the shot trying to anchor the rope enough to give them a way to get across.

Marian checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 25 higher.

There is a <<<thuck>>> noise of metal into wood as the arrow finds its target. Marian's rope is now attached to the other side and she can take up its slack and attach it to the metal pins on your side of the ravine.

Amari checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 9 higher.

Evaristo lets out a very low whistle in admiration of that shot, leaning out to look at the arrow and the rope.

<<Ker-snick>> as the second arrow thuds into the frame. Yes, this seems solid, and it gives the people the ability to cross the ravine, with one rope up high to hold on to, one low to walk along. The sideways shuffle.

Reese looks impressed as Marian and Amari take their shots. "Oh, wow." She murmurs softly. She then adds a moment later. "This can totally work." She says hopefully.

Marian salutes Amari for her fine shot, "Looks good." She makes sure that her rope is secured. Then tells folks, "We should probably go one at a time. Princess Reese, why don't you go first. Then I'll go after. Let's test it out on the more heavily armored." She looks at the others, "We'll go over in order that we marched down here in."

Evaristo raises a hand. "Or let someone light go over first and secure the ropes," he suggests. "THough I'm sure it's fine!" He smiles brightly and doesn't seem THAT worried, but... it's not an unreasonable suggestion.

For all that she knows that they were solid shots, there is still some wariness in the eventual rope-bridge that's made. Teagan eyes it. She eyes the other end. "I really hope," she says suddenly, "that door isn't rotting at all."

As Marian is taking the first shot, Amari quietly prepares another arrow and rope and slips forward with her smaller compound bow. "I'll put another lower." She says, and with a smooth draw and release, that's exactly what she does. The end of the rope she then ties off on another of the metal rods, and she steps back again into the file. "Sounds good." Then as a quieter aside to her dog, "Sorry, Barf. You'll have to stay here. We wont' be long."

Evaristo checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.

Reese looks over to Marian, nodding. "I can go first and then help people over struggling at the end." She says although it is unlikely she is the lightest here. She tries to look very brave and sure about this all.

Rosalind is quite impressed at the shots as she goes to step forward,"How long since that thing was walked on?"

Reese checked composure + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.

"Either or," Evaristo adds, "whomever crosses first can attach the ropes to the metal pins on the other side for the rope bridge. They're still there, and probably more secure than arrows in wood."

Tatienne crosses when it's her turn to do so, taking care not to look down while she does so.

"Good shooting." Tesha states to those that did. Then, when it's her turn to cross she does so as carefully as possible.

The cavern is just as, well, caverny from this side. The pins all hold and the rope bridge is secure. An easy way to return. The faint burble of water is there, the breathing, and the occasional <<Squeek>> in the distances as cave life does what cave live does.

Reese shuffles over the rope and tries to be available to help anyone with the crossing. She also checks to make sure the ropes are secure once she is over. She then once again takes point, likely along with Marian. "That was clever." She says soft to the other princess. She then looks over the area, trying to keep an alert watch.

When it's her turn to cross, Teagan slings her bow back in place to have both hands free and tests the rope first before making her way over. Once her feet are on solid ground again she looks -much- more at ease than before. She brushes her hands against her legs, takes hold of her bow again, and settles back into position at the rear... with a glance down into that ravine. It can't really be helped. At least she didn't look -during- the crossing.

"Barf, guard." Amari commands in a gentle tone of voice after she's swiftly divested herself of some of her armor. She stacks helmet and some of the less necessary leg and arm pieces at his feet to lighten up for the crossing. Off she goes then, shuffling across the ropes carefully, but never stopping. Stopping midway would be bad. She goes until there's solid stone beneath her and that's where she takes a breath of relief and shakes off her nerves. She sticks there and helps the next over with the last step before moving off.

Evaristo is one of the last to cross but not because he is particularly worried, more because it just turns out that way really. He scurries across like it is child's play, showing a certain practice with such things. "That was fun!" he exclaims though quietly, grinning bright and happy. Like he's so far just enjoying this. He doesn't have a lot of common sense.

Marian crosses carefully, feeling more secure once Reese puts the ropes in the pins on the other side. She goes about it carefully, securing her bow on her back till she's across and then pulling it out again once she's safely on the other side. She nods in appreciation at Reese's words, "Yes, it's good we brought the ropes along." She looks around and sees if there's any objections, "I think we should reform our line order, keeping Princess Reese and I in the front."

Tesha checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 35, rolling 10 lower.

Rosalind checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 35, rolling 12 lower.

Evaristo checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 35, rolling 18 lower.

Teagan checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 35, rolling 36 higher. Teagan rolled a critical!

Tatienne checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 35, rolling 23 lower.

Amari checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 35, rolling 4 higher.

Marian checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 35, rolling 4 higher.

Reese checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 35, rolling 21 lower.

Marian checked perception + animal ken at difficulty 40, rolling 7 lower.

Teagan checked perception + animal ken at difficulty 30, rolling 16 lower.

"Same order then." Amari confirms, but then she gets very, very quiet and still. "Rats?" She guesses after a moment of straining her ears, then at the thought of that, she brings her hands together for a murmured prayer, "Lord of the Deep Woods, please dissuade your rat babies from pouring out of the walls in a furry stream about our ankles. We are your humble servants, and though we have no ill will towards rats, it would make for a more pleasant occasion should rats and people in this instance not meet in the dark. Thank you." Then she listens again.

Amari checked perception + animal ken at difficulty 40, rolling 3 lower.

Marian tenses up as they're starting to get back in their formation. She murmurs softly under her breath, "Rats..." Confirming what Amari just said and looks around to see if she can spy where they are but it's nothing, "No signs..." She frowns at Reese as if to tell her that it's not good.

Evaristo hears the sounds but... he has no clue. He looks at Amari with a bit of bafflement, but admits; "Yes please, no rat army. I once fought a ratcipede though, that was worse. Gigantic rat with like a hundred legs! Mind, that one didn't squeak much." He takes up position behind the others again, sword once more drawn.

Looking up, down, even around her feet, Teagan looks... confused after a moment. She even crouches down, bow held off to her side. "Huh," the woman says. "No, not rats," the Blackram woman says to Amari and Marian. "Oathlander Cave Vole." She sounds... very certain of that, in fact. "And it's the sound they make when in distress." She straightens, tilting her head and shaking it slightly. "I can't tell where it's coming from though."

Reese sighs at the mention of rats and she even looks worried. She then looks over to Teagan, seemingly confused. "Cave vole.." She echos like that is a new animal to her. She sucks in a soft breath and looks over the cave, trying to listen for where the sound might be coming from and trying to look for what directions the cave goes in.

Reese also continues onwards!

Straining her ears, Rosalind hears--nothing. She trusts the others though, being extra cautious,"Rat army. Nice..."

Reese checked perception + survival at difficulty 35, rolling 32 higher.

Marian checked perception + survival at difficulty 35, rolling 42 higher.

Tesha keeps up with the group and tries to make sure she's not blocking anyone on their trek further into the cavern. She was making sure to keep an eye out for anything weird.

Marian shakes her head at the mention of cave vole as if she's not sure what it is. She looks to Teagan for explanation as they start to move forward, deeper in the cave. She turns back around and continues if no one is alarmed by this new creature.

Amari is relieved by Teagan's clarification on the potential rat situation. Voles she can deal with, even if they're in distress. She doesn't pray they don't meet, but there's a wide eyed look at Evaristo as if the Keaton lady is somewhat second hand traumatized by his story. "I had to sneak through a pitch black tunnel once.. and it filled with a tide of rats and- that was enough, thank you." Breathe. Calm. Better. She treads onward after the princesses, quieting again so she's not distracted or distracting anyone with nervous chatter.

Teagan checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 1 lower.

Amari checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 1 lower.

Reese checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.

Rosalind checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 3 lower.

Evaristo checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 3 lower.

Tatienne checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 0 higher.

"Wooah," Evaristo tells Amari and stares at her with wide eyes. "That does not sound very fun," he agrees wholeheartedly, rating experiences on a basis of 'fun' to 'terribly boring' on his own internal scale. He slinks after the others, trying to keep quiet while listening and staying alert.

Marian checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.

Tesha checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.

Tatienne gulps slightly, looking back. "I think they may have locked the cave behind us."

Tesha turns to look toward the opening, "I...well. I'm pretty sure they closed the cave." she frowns deeply. "Should one of us head back?" she poses to the group. She could!

"It's a cave vole," Teagan tries to explain to the others, giving a helpless sort of shrug. She holds up her hands, etching a rather small size. "They're... rodents, but little, cute. Live in caves. There's a lot of them in the caves in the mountains in the Cloudspine. I would catch them growing up." At the mention that the cave was closed up behind them, she frowns and looks back. There's a squaring of her shoulders. "I don't think going back will make a difference. We should see this through."

Reese sucks in a soft breath and then she looks over to Tatienne at her words, looking stunned for a moment. "That is not good news." She says and then looks over to Tesha as well. "I think we should stay together, finish this and deal with the closed cave afterwards but I am open to other thoughts and ideas too on this." She says looking between those gathered here. She then nods to Teagan, clearly agreeing with her.

As the group move into the next section of the passageway, it is obviously hewn stone rather than naturally cut - or was. The centuries have meant water has found ways in and crags opened. That squeeking is still present. Squeek squeek, but the water sounds recede. The tunnel becomes very...well. Hum drum. Even boring. You even become certain that the moss you passed was just like the moss you passed a few moments ago, it's all the same. Small cracks open above the passageway, getting bigger and at one point you discover the rusted iron remains of what were once barrels in a storage nook - this cave comes with storage nooks. It can only increase its re-sale value.



That boring dull treck into the cave gets spoilt however by a large furry creature flying from the ceiling into the faces of Reese and Marian, who are thankfully fast enough to spot this coming and turn - just getting damp vole fur brushing their skin. Mm. Musty. About the size of a small-ish badger, these voles seem quite angry and a few more drop from other cracks in the ceiling. Oh dear. Lunch.

Marian checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 28 higher.

Amari checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 3 higher.

Marian agrees with Teagan and Reese, "We can handle the matter of them sealing us in once we've gotten done what we've set up to do." She gives a half smile to the group, "If Sir Godrin is with us, I'm sure they'll want to open it." She swears under her breath as something flies at her face. Her green eyes flare up blazing as she tightens her hand on the bow. She warns the group, "Don't let them bite you...there's something /wrong/ about them."

Reese stops short when she notices the fallen vole, the warrior pale cheeked and concerned. She reaches for her blade, drawing the weapon. Reese doesn't start stabbing the voles though. "Things are off here." She says, stating the likely odvious. "Those moles might be sick or tainted or something tainted might be near."

Reese then looks over to Marian. "Yeah, good call, don't let them bite you." She echoes in agreement.

"It was not." Amari feels she must confirm about the absence of fun in the rat tunnel situation she experienced. That's all she says about it though, until Tatienne and Tesha are claiming the cave exit is now locked. "I don't think we have much of a choice but to press on. It's possible it shut on its own, or they've shut us in. Why? Are we meant to be a sacrifice? Do they fear something besides us escaping, and hope we'll deal with it and then they'll let us out?" Theories and motives she starts to posit, until VOLES. That causes her a sharp intake of breath, but she stays firm, saying incredulously, "These are voles?!"

Reese checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 7 higher.

Rosalind blinks at the voles,"Who said these were cute?"scrunching her nose. These are not cute!" And Rosa loves all animals!

Evaristo checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 19 higher.

Tesha gives a look to the direction the others are going and she suddenly has a flashback to when she was trapped in a Knights of the Swarm ruin. And she takes a step back to not let the voles get at her. Because she didn't want bit. "If they don't let us out my ghost will send a strongly worded missive from the after life." she breathes out.

Rosalind checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 9 higher.

Tesha checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 1 higher.

Amari checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 1 lower.

Marian checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 1 lower.

Teagan checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 3 higher.

"Hey, they wanted us to come out with their carnibox, so they probably just boarded it up temporarily," Evaristo reminds the others, then freezes as GIANT RAT is falling down right on top of them more or less. He jumps backwards in alarm. "AHH! What the, you said they were small," he tells Teagan.

Tatienne checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.

Amari checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 13 higher.

Reese checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 23 higher.

"Uh." Teagan takes a step back from one of the voles that drops from the ceiling, clutching her bow. She tries to dance back just a little further. "These aren't Oathland Cave Voles," she tells the others in a slightly incrasingly worried voice. "At least not normal ones. They're the size of -mice- not... not this!" But she's already grabbing up an arrow because these are not the beloved cave voles of her youth!

Rosalind checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 6 higher.

Tesha wields gold-edge roses oathlands steel knife.

Tatienne wields alaricite hairpins with the scales of fortune and liberty.

Teagan checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 1 lower.

Teagan checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 11 lower.

Amari checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 71 higher. Amari rolled a critical!

Marian wields Second Chance - A Diamondplate Bastard Sword.

Tatienne checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 3 higher.

Tesha checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 20 lower.

Evaristo checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 3 higher.

Marian checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 34 higher.

Tesha checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 18 lower.

Marian realizes that she can't easily get a shot off at these vole with a bow so she spends this time switching out weapons for her sword while she tries to avoid getting bit by these tainted creatures.

18 inflicted and Tesha is harmed for serious damage.

11 inflicted and Tesha is harmed for moderate damage.

11 inflicted and Teagan is harmed for moderate damage.

Amari checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 20 higher.

Tesha's been swarmed by bugs before. Now she's being swarmed by voles. Those damn adorable things. "Get. OFF!" the Telmar woman hisses as she swings at one with her knife, but, that doesn't do anything. "Oh this is going to be bad..." she murmurs.

The voles scurry at ankles, trying to scratch and burrow at the knee joints as they get up on their rear legs. Tesha and Teagan both find the sharp scrabbling claws breaking through the armour into that soft part at the back of the knee. Marian thankfully manages to flick the beast off, while Amari reacts so quickly she kicks the vole, sending it flying into a torch hend by Tatienne. Oh no. The vole is now smoldering. FLaming vole runs around and around and around and off into the darkness. Squeeking. A lot. And smelling a lot like a combo of wet dog, singed arm hair and a bad pot roast.



Another of the beasts receives strikes from Amari and Reese, scurrying away from Marian's shins only to be struck with an arrow by Rosalind. The little fellow is still alive, just barely, when Tatienne's small blade deals it the final blow. Just two little voles are left. Tearing at Teagan and Tesha's legs. Om nom nom. Oathlander.

Teagan checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 9 lower.

Reese checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 30 higher.

Evaristo knows at least HOW to use his sword even if he's not quite on par with the real warriors here. In a pinch, he'll do his best and doesn't shy away from trying to stick a sword into one of the badger-sized voles and at least cutting it... bit like a paper cut, really. They show no interest in gnawing at him though, cause he's usually lucky like that.

Rosalind checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 23 higher.

9 inflicted and Teagan is harmed for moderate damage.

Even without being told these voles are wrong sized and just wrong generally, Amari doesn't want to touch or be touched by any of the furry shadows as they drop from the ceiling, squeaking and angry. When one barrels straight at her between Reese and Marian, she boots it out of reflex, straight into Tatienne's torch flame. After that, she neatly spins aside and in the same motion has her sword out of its sheathe in a flash of glimmering diamondplate. Wildly Inappropriate's edge catches flesh and fur of another Vole, and the momentum of the blow sends the vole up into the air. The Norwood training kicks in completely and so on the tidy, fluid downstroke, she knocks it straight back down, where Tatienne puts the final stroke in.

Evaristo checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.

Amari checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 6 higher.

Marian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 20 higher.

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

Reese looks over to Teagan and Teesha with grim concern as they are attacked by the voles. Seeing such only seems to encourage her to attack and she tries to take a swip at the one near Teagan. She gives that barrel a glance and Amari, a brief grin that is quick to fade.

Tatienne checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 16 lower.

Unfortunately, a vole (the wrong kind of vole, oh no!) gets a solid bite of Teagan and her arrow goes off, hitting one of the walls with no effect to anyone or anything. Could have been worse! It might have hit Evaristo in the butt. But the woman stumbles a step and turns, trying to shake the vole off: she's unsuccessful and instead just tries -- hopefully -- to get in position where someone else can help her. "Fuck but these things have some teeth on them!"

Tesha checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 19 lower.

8 inflicted and Tesha is harmed for moderate damage.

Tatienne does her bit to fight. While hardly an expert combatant, she's got good armour and gear, and the alaricite she'd been wearing in her hair before ends up skewering a giant vole. She pushes it off and tries against another.

Evaristo manages to pin one of the voles attacking Teagan with his blade through its tail, draging it off its victim. Reese pierces the beast in the side, opening a rent that would make a veterinarian quite concerned (and wealthy) before Evaristo puts the twisted abomination of a vole out of its misery, pulling the blade free of its tail and into its head. That vole, no matter its unusual size or its exciting distress call that Teagan was so expert in, will not be worrying anyone again.



The solitary remaining vole is doing his best to burrow into the safe and warm confines of Tesha's knee. Unfortunately its dream of a warm new home and food stash is dashed as it is knocked sideways by an arrow from Rosalind. It is back on its feet, the arrow stuck into its side but broken, and about ready to charge only to find the twin blades of Marian and Amari, and its poor little furry unusually large body cannot take any more and it collapses. It squeeks its last, a pining squeek that lingers, before it passes on.



But look, just in time to see your victory in a small room ahead, it is Sir Halrick, the Templar. Standing infront of a door. Perhaps he has come to help you out?

"Maybe we should set them on fire! They didn't like that!" EVaristo calls out and sticks the sword between Tesha's legs somehow and manages to poke a hole into one of the voles - he's definitely not doing a lot of damage, but every little bit helps, right? "UH... though that might set US on fire too, so maybe not!"

Holy voles! Rosalind hurries and knocks her bow, releasing an arrow. Getting one one of the rodents in the process.

Evaristo apparently every litlte bit DOES help cause Evaristo kills one.

Reese is standing there with her vole stained sword. She gives Sir Halrick a curt nod. The princess then looks to Evaristo. "Oh, no fires in caves." She murmurs.

Tatienne checked perception + medicine at difficulty 30, rolling 10 lower.

Tesha takes another stab at a vole and then kicks at it, "Listen here you little..." but the next meaty chunk that's taken out of her leg makes her hiss out the last words. The red head moves away from the fuzzy demons. Leaving them to their bloody feast.

Rosalind checked perception + medicine at difficulty 30, rolling 3 lower.

Teagan checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 30, rolling 14 lower.

Reese checked perception + medicine at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Evaristo checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.

Marian checked perception + medicine at difficulty 30, rolling 2 lower.

Tesha checked perception + medicine at difficulty 30, rolling 17 lower.

Marian gives a pause as she looks at him, trying to guage what is going on. She down her sword, "Are you okay?"

Leaning into the wall for a moment, Teagan gives a nod of appreciation to Evaristo and Reese both as she leans down to press a hand to her leg. "Thank you," she tells them. Should be enough to stop the bleeding one assumes. Hopes. She shifts her grip on her bow, looking ahead to the Templar. "Sir Halrick. Did you make it through before they closed the cave? Why did they close it?"

"No wonder they didn't want to go down here themselves and get their precious Carrion-ex," Evaristo says, kicking one of the vole corpses. Though there's something half speculative as he eyes the animal and he crouches to peek at its fur. Or hide. "Everyone alright to continue?" he asks and straightens up, looking at the others with a much more grim expression. He then startles, as he too sees the templar and squints at him.

Answers are not very forthcoming from Sir Halrick. No. Not forthcoming at all. In fact the only reaction he has as people step in is to slowly collapse forward into the little room at the end of the corridor and into a heap on the ground. Helpfully he doesn't yell out in pain. Worryingly he doesn't yell out in pain.

Tesha leans against the wall and looks down to her legs. She then gives a nod to Evaristo, "Yes. Let's continu..." she stops her sentence as she watches Sir Halrick fall forward into a heap. "Well...that's not a good sign." she frowns at that.

Though he does reveal an intricately carved silver door that he was standing in front of. It's very nice, with lots of sigils of the Faith marked in it. Thirteen sided shapes. Thirteen pointed stars. And polished to almost a mirror - in fact if it wasn't for the tarnish of age, you are certain it would be like a mirror.

Rosalind hurries over, light on her feet. Kneeling in her feet, she scand him,"I'm not you know a healer but he does look pale. Im pretty sure that's not normal."

Marian is less concerned about the door. She moves to the man that just collapsed to see if he's still alive. She looks over his body to see if there are any obvious wounds, "M'lady, I'm not sure what's going on here..." If he doesn't resist, she tries to turn him over.

Tatienne watches the door. "Huh, would you look at that. Thirteen, not nine." She says so as to distract herself from the reality of the possibly dead man.

"Hey.. I don't know about you all, but someone falling down in front of a mirror door with symbols on it, it's not a good sign. I think," Evaristo notes and makes sure to NOT look at the door directly as he approaches cautiously and on guard. Though the door itself likely needs opening, so he does try to look at the edges, or glance if there's a keyhole or something.

Amari takes a moment to catch her breath, looking to Marian with an expression that reads 'yikes'. Those were some big voles. The party doesn't stop so she can reflect though, not with the Templar making a surprise appearance as he does. Collapsing into the scene rather dramatically. "Are you dead?" She straight forwardly asks, because she's not an amazing physician like her Marquessa, Reigna is. Not at all. "Is everyone alright? Everyone has all their fingers and toes?"

Marian looks im over, "He's dead...his throat has been cut but there's no blood." She looks around the door to see if there are any traps or anything that could have taken his life."

Not being at all medically inclined herself, Teagan does make her way towards the door. She's curious enough about that. It looks mostly... well, what one might expect. She's limping a bit, too. There's a glance over it. "This door is probably as old as the village," she says. "Maybe built around the same time?"

Rosalind is sitting right on the ground, checking him over. Noticing the..is his throat open?! "Um--Im no expert, but I'm pretty sure with a wound like that, he should be bleeding..."

Rosalind checked intellect + occult at difficulty 20, rolling 23 higher.

"Alright," Evaristo says and keeps scanning the door, letting those that know anything about people and their bodies do their part as he pokes at the door itself, getting more bold. "This door isn't locked. Hey... I think this leads to something up in the village, how else did this templar get in here ahead of us? I think we're being played here."

Tesha gives a bit of a wrinkle of her nose, "That's not a good thing." she shakes her head. "So, do we also need a godsworn to open the door?" she asks. She doesn't move for the moment, mainly because she's trying to not leave a blood trail. "Oh..." she trails off.

Marian pushes back from the body and then motions to Evaristo, "Don't open that door..." Her green eyes blaze again as her face becomes a mask of rage that threatens to bubble over. It's a fraction of a second but it's a stark contrast to the normal calm leader that Marian has modeled herself to be, "There's something there...tainted like the vole but worse."

Reese is still here with the other, looking pale-cheeked and troubled. She peeks her grip on her sword. The princess then looks over to Marian. "Or we could and fight whatever is behind the door?" She says, but she doesn't sound fully sure of that idea and is not rushing forward to open the door or anything.

"Well," Amari begins thoughtfully, once she's satisfied that everyone still has their digits and the worst case of the deads is the Templar alone, "They did mention people going missing mysteriously. Perhaps whatever's behind the door is the culprit. Maybe it drinks blood, and is a demon." She's not sure which is worse, by her tone. Maybe equally bad.

Rosalind examined the body more,"Some cults drain blood from their victims, they try to work magic with it." She explains more,"The Faith holds this to be the worse and it is banned." Rosa looks at the body and the environment, her eyes looking up,"The lacking of blood and the faint traces in his stubble, the blood may have went up. He was cut and hung upside down to drain."

Teagan is already near the door, examining it. Or maybe just so she doesn't have to go as far with her leg as it is. So when Evaristo nudges it, she's near enough to see. And, well... Scholars and their curiosity. She just sort of reaches out to push a bit further. Gotta know what's on the other side, right? There's a glance to the man and a shrug.

"I say we open it and we kill whatever is in there," Evaristo says and he now folds his hands over the hilt of his sword and presses it against his chest. "Death, Queen of Endings and Mother of Beginnings," he starts praying quietly, "help us rid the world of the darkness and keep us safe." A simple enough prayer before he looks up, seeing Teagan pushing it... he just grins, a bit ferally, and raises his sword to be ready.

"What if the Carnifex is the thing behind the door?" Tesha poses the question to the group.

Marian softly tells the group, "If you open this...you'll want to get out of my view...behind me." She gives Reese a grim look as if her fellow warrior princess knows something about Marian that perhaps the others don't. She tells Tesha softly, "If Carnifex is behind that door, no savior is waiting to rise."

"Let's not be hasty and default to killing unless it's clearly a monster or hostile." Tatienne suggests, "Just in case there's someone good behind it, like that Carnivox fellow."

With the door pushed, it swings open on its hinges and it reveals a room that probably few of you have seen the like of. Every single surface is mirrored. The walls are covered in them. The floor is polished silver tiles. The ceiling the same. And in the centre is a pedastal, carved with symbols of the Faith, but...different some how. Mixed in with it are other symbols, twisted forms of the sigils of the Gods. Atop this pedastal is a slab, long enough to hold a human male. Which is helpfully what it holds.



The form of Sir Godrin Valardin, First Carnifex of the the tribe. His arms are folded across his chest, under a shield bearing the symbols of House Valardin and of the Faith. His armour is pristeen, as though forged yesterday. Steel plate intricately covered in gold leaf. And also on his chest is a war pick, a russet redwood or similar handle going up into a carefully strapped and connected iron work. It has a spike on its top for jabbing, another on its back for piercing chops, and on the reverse a solid hammer with the three circles of the faith in relief.



"No no no no. Too soon. Too soon. I don't /need/ you..." Comes the strange almost bird-like chittering "Well. Maybe...mmm..maybe that one. Yes. Probably power...yes..." At one end of the room, Sundrin stands, jabbing a finger towards Evaristo. In his arms is a large bowl full of, well. Let's just hope it is a really dark tomato soup. Maybe. Or blood. Yeah. It's blood. Damn it.

Marian checked willpower at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

Tatienne checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

Rosalind checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.

"Blood magic." Amari winces, as Rosalind voices her thoughts on the matter of the templar's death. Tesha's theory is then considered, just as everyone else's input is. She bites her lip as she thinks it over, sword still in hand and if she gleans an answer, it goes unsaid as the door swings open and the truth revealed. In an expulsion of breath, she says, "Oh, that figures."

Rosalind is considering the dead man and the Soundrin holding the bowl of blood. She scrunches her nose and turns to gag,"Ewwww...I told you guys! Then you opened the door."

Tesha checked perception + theology at difficulty 25, rolling 25 higher.

Tatienne checked perception + theology at difficulty 25, rolling 8 lower.

Marian checked perception + theology at difficulty 25, rolling 6 higher.

Amari checked perception + theology at difficulty 25, rolling 3 lower.

Rosalind checked perception + theology at difficulty 25, rolling 1 lower.

Teagan checked perception + theology at difficulty 25, rolling 1 lower.

Reese has her sword in hand as she steps into the room and sucks in one of her sharp breaths. Her cheeks are pale and her blue eyes are somber. She looks over to Marian to check in withhow she is doing. She looks between the others gathered here. "Cease your actions . I am Princess Princess Reese of the Templars and warriors loyal to the fath are here with me."

Reese checked perception + theology at difficulty 25, rolling 3 higher.

"Just as long as we're all on the same page, if their Savior is tainted they might have drawn us in to see if we could..." Tesha stops as she looks at what the open door shows them. "Kill them all. Maybe that's what they wanted." the woman looks at the scene in front of them. "What in the name of the Gods is going on here?" she looks to Sundrin.

Evaristo checked perception + theology at difficulty 25, rolling 4 lower.

Tatienne stares at the man. "Fiend." She states calmly but without hiding her hostility, grasping a tight hold on her hairpins, clearly not opposed to using them in a human being in this scenario.

Pushing open the door, Teagan had only meant to do so a nudge... but then the room begins to come into view and she finds herself pushing it all the way so the others can see and she just leans on it as she stares within. It's not the mirrors that bother her. Not the man on the slab. It's Sundrin. She stares at him and when he points to Evaristo, she lifts her bow to point it directly at him, letting the others speak.

Marian isn't looking at Reese anymore, her total focus is with the man that holds blood. Her green eyes are blazing in the presence of taint, her mouth is in a grimace as if she's in pain. She breathes deeply and lets it out, her words are soft but carry, "How long Sundrin? How long have you worn those robes and taken life?"

Evaristo gapes a bit cause he didn't expect THAT. He never expects cultists but it always is, isn't it? "What, me?!" he says indignantly and shifts aside to uh, move more behind Marian and Reese. Despite his eagerness earlier to swoop in and kill whatever was in there, he's now chosing the option of talking.

Tesha checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

"Do you take souvenirs from all that pass through here?" Tesha points to the robes. "The scholars robes, the Knights of the Library. What game are you playing at here?" she growls out as she tries to keep herself from sliding down the wall. Mad, probably a little, but between that and blood loss the woman doesn't have the time for her usually cheery diploacy.

Reese notices Evaristo shifting behind them and tries to take a protective stance, getting ready to defend if he is attacked.

Rosalind mumbles with a frown,"Well I didn't -want- to be right,"already getting her bow ready.

"What is going on? Going on? What has always been going on!" Sundrin chitters, his head shaking. He places the bowl down on a mirrored table, but very carefully. No, that's precious that is. Yes yes. "You idiots, you /fools/ have been fighting this war for how long? How long? Yes? How long? How many died? The Abyss. You so fear it. Like children fear the dark." Sundrin clicks his tongue "No no. Don't you see? Deals can be done. Arrangements made. Marach was wrong. Yes. You cannot treat with it, accomodate it. No no. You have to /control/ it. But. Control. How to control. Need power, yes? So much research. Generations of it."



Sundrin snickers to himself, before he lets out a slow sigh "You are as foolish as Godrin all those years ago. He came here to kill my ancestors. His holy mission sent by that coward Alor. He came in here alone, thinking his faith would shield him, because he knew the power of the Abyss, and of our mirror vault. Do you see your hero? Call to him. Rise him up." Sundrin yells now "GODRIN. PEOPLE ARE HERE TO SEE YOU!" And the Carnifex does not stir, at all. Largely because, as others approach they realise he is strangely preserved mummy of sorts, decayed with no moisture "Hundreds of years we have worked. Taken what we needed from his idiot descendents. But. You fools started this war with the Abyss again. Had to work faster. And blood so much weaker after all this time. Needed /fresh/ you see. Godsworn. Devoted to Gods. Blood? More powerful."

"What is going on? Going on? What has always been going on!" Sundrin chitters, his head shaking. He places the bowl down on a mirrored table, but very carefully. No, that's precious that is. Yes yes. "You idiots, you /fools/ have been fighting this war for how long? How long? Yes? How long? How many died? The Abyss. You so fear it. Like children fear the dark." Sundrin clicks his tongue "No no. Don't you see? Deals can be done. Arrangements made. Marach was wrong. Yes. You cannot treat with it, accomodate it. No no. You have to /control/ it. But. Control. How to control. Need power, yes? So much research. Generations of it."



Sundrin snickers to himself, before he lets out a slow sigh "You are as foolish as Godrin all those years ago. He came here to kill my ancestors. His holy mission sent by that coward Alor. He came in here alone, thinking his faith would shield him, because he knew the power of the Abyss, and of our mirror vault. Do you see your hero? Call to him. Rise him up." Sundrin yells now "GODRIN. PEOPLE ARE HERE TO SEE YOU!" And the Carnifex does not stir, at all. Largely because, as others approach they realise he is strangely preserved mummy of sorts, decayed with no moisture "Hundreds of years we have worked. Taken what we needed from his idiot descendents. But. You fools started this war with the Abyss again. Had to work faster. And blood so much weaker after all this time. Needed /fresh/ you see. Godsworn. Devoted to Gods. Blood? More powerful."

Amari checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 11 higher.

Rosalind checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 14 higher.

Tatienne has heard enough. "You cannot accommodate the abyss. You can only reject it or fall to it, I fear you have done the latter." She walks in with her hairpins, clearly intending to stab the cultist with sharp alaricite.

And all the while, as Sundrin is monologuing Amari trades bow for sword, nocks and with a determined look, steps into a spot where she has a clear avenue between herself and the cultist. In an instant she's drawn and released with her swift little horsebow, her arrow singing straight and true - directly at the bowl of blood in his hands.

The bowl of blood goes clattering to the ground, spilling nice red blood all over the mirror and eliciting a piercing screech from the man.

Reese's breathing is slightly elevated and her cheeks are pale. She has an expression that is somber and grim. The princess has her blade lifted. "We cannot stand for Godsworn being bleed. And we do not tolerate the abyss. I give you a chance to surrender yourself to us and be judged by the faith so they might decide upon the best course."

Teagan checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.

Evaristo checked intellect + occult at difficulty 25, rolling 11 lower.

Tatienne diverts her course when she hears Marian whisper, kneeling down with the torch in her other hand to set the blood on fire; or try to anyway.

There's a very pale look that comes over Teagan. This is not just a grim scene, it's a... well, bloody is given, right? She stares from Sundrin to Godric to Sundrin. "What has..." She struggles to even get the words out. She just lowers her bow, pressing her back to the door to keep holding it open. "Is... this... why they came to the city? In the hopes of luring Godsworn?" She looks to the others, brow furrowed.

"Shut up, shut up SHUT UP" Sundrin yells as he desperately tries to save as much of the blood as he can, scouping it in his hands, trying not to get it on his robes. "Oh, the council? No, they thought Godrin would come and save them from the evil other tribes taking their people. Did you see my little nephew? So weak. So stupid. It is easy to place words in his ears, to take a little of his blood time after time. And the council? Send to you for help thinking it will save them. When it just gets me my Godsworn. WHICH YOU ARE WASTING." He keeps trying to save that precious precious blood "They think they /won/, that is what makes it so funny. They think Godrin is some hero. He was a /failure/. As Marach was a failure. As the Scholars, as everyone failed. That is why my ancestors left before the siege. To die nobly for an ideal? That is for sheep."

Evaristo checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 38 higher.

Evaristo checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.

Reese listens to Sundrin's words, the Prince making a soft sound that suggests she is quite upset. "I take it your are not surrendering them?" She says and lifts her silvery pink blade, taking a step toward him.

Evaristo isn't going to wait around for this Sundrin to have a chance to step down - he's suddenly making a dash for the mummified Godrin, shifting his sword to his left hand and stretching the other one out to... reach for the warpick on the dead man's chest... there's a little cracking sound as the hand that holds the pick also follows along and it flaps about as he swings the pick into the evil priest's head. "The Cornipox says BUGGER OFF!" he shouts.

Rosalind has already had her bow nocked and aimed at Sundrin but Evaristo is charging. And there's a warpick,"I thought this was supposed to be a quiet journey---"

Tesha mutters a few strained words in an unknown language, but when the man is most assuredly not giving up to be taken in the woman slides back against the wall, letting the warriors go forward to do whatever it is they are going to do. She stares at the blood on the floor, wondering how many Godsworn he'd murdered before.

Amari readies another arrow, but gives a nod to indicate that she's not meaning to take any further action as she watches Reese and Marian. She'll follow their lead, blood bowl thing aside. Evaristo making a dash for the mummy and swinging the grabbed pick with a shout, well, that does illicit a very raised eyebrow. "Um. I thought we might drag him out so they could hear the truth from his own mouth, but I suppose that works just as well."

Marian doesn't allow Evaristo to take this cultist on his own. Marian moves as he does with her diamonplate sword. She will join the attack to at least buffer any backlash to the him.

And Teagan will just hold the door. Because she's not really in any shape to be running or doing other dashing heroics. She does keep a close eye on Sundrin, however.

Tatienne checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 17 higher.

Evaristo checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 10 higher.

He done bashed me on the noggin! Sundrin is not happy about that. Not happy at all. He screams in rage - the sound seems to echo in the chamber, and you could almost swear the mirrors ripped like a wave in water out from him. Godrin is clearly shocked, or finding this all hillarious, because his head falls off his body in its helmet and rolls to Amari's feet to stare up at her. Perhaps after several hundred years he is ready to date again? Or he is just a mumified head in a helmet.



Sundrin meanwhile is trying to scrabble at Tatienne and Evaristo as they get close, as his hands brush from their limbs, unable to find purchase, the two feel a chill but no lasting effect from the brief touches.

Rosalind checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 16 higher.

Marian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.

Evaristo checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 20 higher.

There's a gasp of surprise from Evaristo and he looks momentarily much paler. "He's doing something!" he shouts, whatever that means, "don't let him touch you!" He weaves and whirls around and sends the pick swinging again, the hand spraying dust and bits of old mummified skin around as he does - now chosing the much more lethal sharp side of the pick.

Amari checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.

Tatienne seems to be unsure whether she dodged out of luck or the man's lack of skill, but she doesn't care. She tosses a flask of oil on the blood in front of her, and then applies the torch to set the blood on fire. "I know now why you fear me, Sundrin. It's not because I'm a pagan, it's because my people have been enemies of the Abyss for longer than your petty cult has existed."

Teagan checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 2 lower.

Teagan checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 7 lower.

Rosalind stands at a distance, longbow aimed. She waits until there is a gap and then--she releases her arrow, watching it hit its mark in Sundrin's chest.

Reese has her sword lifted, but she has yet to attack Sundrin. Instead she looks tensed up and wary. She tries to be ready to guard anyone who is attack.

Marian continues to bear down on the cultist, trying to slice him with her sword. She doesn't seem to care as much about her own safety. Her first concern is neutralizing this corrupted man.

Sundrin staggers as he is struck by arrows, and Marian and Evaristo both hit him - Marian's slash to his side revealing a light chain shirt underneath and Evaristo's hit burying the pick in Sundrin's leg, causing him to scream in pain. That pained screech only worsens as Amari's arrow joins Rosalind's. But worse, Tatienne sets fire to blood. Not only does he scream in loss, but whatever link he has to it causes his right hand to blister and burst as though cooking from the inside. Essentially, he may need a healer. Or seven. But. He reaches out to try and rest his good hand on Evaristo, the one who has hurt him the most. And who has perhaps delicious blood "Power" Sundrin croaks.



Worryingly, Teagan's arrow strikes a mirrored surface. Which cracks. and threatens to break into shards.

Amari is not going to pass up on a good old fashioned cultist murder, it would seem. As Godrin's head rolls up on her she gives him a solemn nod and stop his progress with the pad of her foot. "Sorry." She murmurs to him before like Rosalind, she waits for her moment and takes a shot when she's sure she's not going to wing any of those already in close, swinging and dodging Sundrin. "SHUT HIS MOUTH!" She yells out to those close enough to do it.

Reese checked strength + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 56 higher. Reese rolled a critical!

Reese checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.

5 inflicted and Reese is harmed for minor damage.

Marian screams as the mirrored surface shatters. She drops her sword and falls down to her knees and starts praying, pressing the ring of Gild against the broken opening. Her entire focus is not on what's here in the room. Her green eyes are blazing with an inner fire that almost seems like it might bleed out of her.

Whoops. Teagan's shot goes wide. Trying to not hit anyone in melee makes things tricky and thankfully, she -doesn't- put an arrow in anyone's ass, but she does land one in a mirror. It starts to shatter. That's no good. She also can't really -do- anything about it right now and while Marian does: that's someone less protected. The woman tries to brace herself better on her good leg, biting her lip as she watches for an opening: lifting the bow once again to hopefully -not- miss this time. Pain is distracting, after all.

Teagan checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 25, rolling 9 higher.

Evaristo checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 21 higher.

Amari checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 25, rolling 15 higher.

Reese darts toward Sundrin when he attempts to touch Evaristo, shoving the man aside with a great deal of strength and training. She is easily able to intercept. The princess makes a sound though as they come in comtact, the sound of maybe pain or fear. She then looks over to the mirror, shuddering. "Abyss grying to get in through that cracked mirror. Touching him is like touching something rotten and life draining." She says to the others.

Marian checked willpower + theology at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.

Reese checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 11 higher.

Teagan checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 9 higher.

Rosalind checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.

Amari checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.

Tatienne checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 40 higher. Tatienne rolled a critical!

Marian checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 11 higher.

Tesha checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 1 higher.

Evaristo checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 3 higher.

Tatienne looks at the damage inflicted upon the cultist by the burning of the blood and seems relatively shocked, she stumbles backwards and glances to Marian with a bit of fear.

Without Reese to cover for hijm, literally, Evaristo would've been touched - so she literally takes the blow for him. He gapes, gives the princess a thankful smile and then swings the pick high and down, putting what power he can into that blow. "May Death have mercy on your soul!" he calls out with his own power, the power of conviction and faith in his Godess.

Amari was very serious about shutting Sundrin up, that much is certain, given how she takes careful aim at his face and waits for her moment. When it comes, she doesn't hesitate, and the loosed arrow zips mouthward in a gap that presents itself in the flailing storm of arms and picks and swords and torches.

The cracked mirror seems to dull under Marian's hands, though even though she is certain she didn't touch the edges too badly, glass cuts do appear on her hand. A brief lived momento of that. Sundrin however is doing a lot worse. He is stabbed. Shot. Shot again. Stabbed. Hacked. Teagan's arrow thuds into his chest, Amari's hits him in his cheek, the arrowhead sinking deep, just in time for Evaristo's warpick (complete with former Templar hand attachment) to sink into Sundrin's brain. As that happens, a little pulse of...well, one might almost call it a breeze pushes out from Sundrin. And behind his little table, a small door to a passageway swings a little on its hinges. Ah. So /that/ is how he got down here.

Marian doesn't care that her hands are bleeding, she keeps them there and continues to speak the words of her Faith. Her voice softens as she continues those words in a clear steady voice. The death of Sundrin is far from her mind now as she pours her love for Gild into the mirror before her.

Reese looks to Marian with a touch of lingering subtle concern. She then looks toward the door and the others here. "This might be hard to explain to them."

5 inflicted and Marian is harmed for minor damage.

Amari checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 20, rolling 30 higher.

Marian is overheard praising Preston.



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