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The Grand Opera of Stormwall

The Bard's College is traveling to the Aerie Theater in Stormwall to present the largest opera in the history of the duchy. Word spreads throughout Arx and the Northlands that the legendary singer and founder of the Bard's College, Gianna Whisper along with the Bladesong, Princess Sorrel Thrax will be preforming an operatic rendering of the Battle of Stormwall. Rumor is that genius playwright Prince Niklas Grayson has written the lyrics and spared no expense to ensure the set, costumes and all other elements of the performance will be unlike anything the Northlands has ever seen.

[OOC: this is a PRP, but it is open to everyone, and we hope you will come and cheer on your favorite performers, hiss the villains, model the finest fashions and participate in whatever surprises might be in store at this legendary event!]

Date

Nov. 26, 2019, 9 p.m.

Hosted By

Rysen Niklas

GM'd By

Rysen

Participants

Erik Ian Rukhnis Lenne Catalana Esme Zoey Orrin Alecstazi Jules Delilah Scythia Monique Mikani Mirella Gianna Brianna Sorrel Evonleigh Sabella Vanora Sanya Mirk

Organizations

Bard's College Crovane

Location

Outside Arx - Stormwall - The Aerie Theater

Largesse Level

Legendary

Comments and Log


The Aerie Theater is bustling the evening of the grand opera. The pit is packed with people from all of the common walks of life: farmers, tailors, cobblers, soldiers and mariners from Stormwall as well as the Morning Isles and the Crownlands. Lesser nobles from Stormwall and its vassals in the Storm March and Stormheart fill out the galleries, many of whom have brought sizable retinues. A good number of wealthy folk from Whitehold, Bonespire, and Farhaven have also made the journey, as well as many from further south, no doubt making good use of the Great Road to enjoy a scenic trip to the Crovane lands, now that frigid winter has past.



Throughout the theater, staff is on hand to hand out drinks and refreshments, ranging from Lycene chocolate to honeybuns favored by House Halfshav. "I 'erd Gianna Whisper kissed an air spirit, an' that's how she got such a wonderful voice," says an elderly fellow. "Ain't true, Urkther. I 'erd her parents made her sing octaves one 'undred times a day. That's why I makes my Arlly sing so much," replies a young woman in the pit. "They say Princess Sabella herself will grace the stage," says a well dressed noble woman to her handmaid in the upper gallery, sitting not far from Lord Ian Kennex. "I wonder what Princess Sorrel will be wearing," says her mother, who has herself worn her finest brocade gown of purple and black.



In all, there is a palpable energy in the theater and all seem eager to see what Prince Niklas and the Bard's College will present. Lord Rysen stands near the entrance of the theater, dressed in his fur-trimmed military-style long coat, greeting many of the guests of honor as they enter.

Jules has joined the left box of engraved blackwood.

Jules has left the left box of engraved blackwood.

Jules has joined the left box of engraved blackwood.

Erik files into a seat in the upper gallery, Esme's arm linked with his and their heads ducked close together in a near-constant stream of almost noiseless whispers, attention drifting about between exchanges with a curious air to his expression.

Erik has joined the upper gallery.

Ian is here. He's even here wearing somewhat nice clothing. He doesn't look like he's expecting an enjoyable experience. The one demand he made is a seat next to the aisle, so that's where he's sitting, keeping his cane out of the way so nobody trips on it.

Rukhnis has been hovering about in her usual shadowy way not too far from Rysen himself, close enough to be on hand for anything he might need, but not so close as to intrude on his greetings. She's still and quiet enough and just apart enough that probably no one notices her much, and Rysen himself may have forgotten she's there. She does offer a respectful bow as Lenne comes in on Jules's arm, but that's about the extent of the motion she makes.

Lenne seems more than happy to have Jules' arm to cling to, as she enters. The theatrical swagger makes for fine camoflauge for her as she gets accustomed to the milling crowds. Seeing things to bustling in Stormwall is both terrifyingly foreign, and so wonderful that she has to fight back the urge to tear up. "Not bad, considering things were in cinders only a few years ago," she says so Jules with no small note of pride, before he leans in to whisper to her. She laughs softly, covering her lips before she answers in kind.

Esme has joined the upper gallery.

Catalana has somehow been coerced into coming along to the opera. She must really love her cousin to be here even after he called her a great blue whale. Thankfully her height and natural grace helps hide the waddle and swollen troll like appearance. She gives a warm smile to the other Kennexs and those she passes. "I hear this is going to be better than Niklas's last play."

Delilah has joined the right box of engraved blackwood.

Esme saunters in that feline Fidante manner that comes from the Torean Lady. Esme has purchase of Erik's arm as she walks in a graceful and regal manner. The dress is clinging in all the right ways, but then she looks around and gives a soft squeal of happiness. It kills the effect. "Oh Erik, look at it. Would you just look at it?" She is swept up to the seats and makes sure to kiss Catalana's cheek in passing; as soon as she's able. Then more low chit-chat.

Before taking the stage Niklas does what a good playwright does and visits each of the actors in turn, giving them one of his trademark inspirational talks. ("This is a work of genius, so don't fuck it up.") Then, when people start to arrive, he heads out to the front of house to schmooze, shaking hands with cobblers and blacksmiths and lords and ladies alike. To one person, "Oh, I've only been to Stormwall once before. It's recovered beautifully. You should be proud of the work done here." Then to another, "Well, I generally don't do commissions these days, but when Lord Rysen told me what he intended there was no way I didn't want to be a part of it." And, gesturing around the room, "The theater is truly a work of art."

Zoey is, of course, sitting next to Ian, engaged in people watching while waiting for the show to start. "I'm excited for it," she tells Catalana. "And I've heard fantastic things about the cast as well."

Orrin and Scythia needed nothing more than invitation to come to Stormwall - an invitation, a ship, and apparently a nursemaid for their young child, behind at their lodgings. A lovely way to spend a night out, and Orrin seems happy and bright, hand lightly on Scythia's back, speaking with her quietly. After a brief query, he sweeps his cloak off, drapes it neatly about her shoulders, and proceeds to go find a place to sit with her.

Alecstazi spies his protege arriving and gets to his feet, waving to Scythia and her husband in greeting, motioning to his box in invitation.

"I hope that's not a threat," says Rysen to Catalana, smiling optimistically, as he stands beside Rukhnis, and nods to his sister and Jules as they enter. Rysen bows to Esme and Erik as they enter, his eyes trailing for a moment after her seasilk gown. Glancing around, Rysen grins to see Ian and Zoey in the gallery, and says softly to Rukhnis, "Lady Zoey is a miracle worker to get Lord Ian all the way up here for an opera." The Crovane lord laughs warmly when he sees, if not hears over the crowd, the words of Niklas, and his gestures to the seriously amazing setwork the prince commissioned for the evening.

Mirella has joined the right box of engraved blackwood.

Jules' cheeks blush a bit at Lenne's reply and he says, "Of course, of course." With a shake of his head, he finds seats as close to Mikani as he's able to manage without encroaching on her. He gestures Lenne in first and waits to give a glance over the theater and follows in behind her, "I've never been here before. I'm so glad to see how wonderfully recovered it is. I should imagine anyone here can be quite proud of their homeland." He dips a bow to Rysen as he makes his own brief greeting but does not interrupt his business. He once again leans in to whisper to Lenne.

Sooner one is seated, perhaps the better. Delilah negotiates the crowd like a fish come to water, the fact not to be understated by the fact she all but wears a sliver of the ocean in its more tranquil state, or a swatch of a river becalmed with deeper currents at play. The inevitable task of assessing steps and finding a box becomes a task demanding at least a degree of her usual adventuring skills, put to a far more beautiful venue than the typical bog-standard ruin. Blackwood shadows serve better for someone with admittedly autumnal colouration, the coppery brightness of her braids hardly retiring there. So it stands she finds her safe-keeping there.

Scythia's all smiles as she is escorted, ensuring that she focuses on Orrin in a way that implies he is the most charming, most handsome, intelligent man that there is. Is that genuine or courtier's training? It is so difficult to tell, but the press of her lips to his shoulders appears to be so very fond. When she spies Alecstazi's wave to them, her fingers press to her husband's arm and she indicates the Prince.

There's a low chuckle and a roll of eyes from Erik, responding to Esme's squealed remark with "There are enough 'it's that it might be difficult to narrow the scope down a measure, Esme. Though it is all rather exciting, isn't it?" There's a broad, easy smile and a dip of his head in acknowledgement in the direction of the nearby Kennexes after a similar gesture to Rysen, and a waggle of a wave after one down below toward the stage and presumably his sister.

Orrin has joined the right box of engraved blackwood.

Scythia has joined the right box of engraved blackwood.

Ian does, indeed, look like a miracle worker would have been necessary to get him here. He has the attitude of someone digging in to endure an unpleasant experience. He nods to people he recognizes whenever they pass.

Rukhnis snorts softly in response to Rysen's comment on Ian, looking as if she's not inclined to disagree. But she seems pleased to see his and other familiar faces there, and more pleased still to see such a crowd in general. In fact, as she glances around, first at the theatre packed with its audience, then sidelong back at Rysen again, her eyes have a rather warmer look than usual to them. Dare one even go so far as to say that she looks almost.. proud? Surely not. Probably just a trick of the light.

Esme speaks to Catalana, but waves her hand wide and warmly to Sanya. Not one care given.

Lady Monique has found her way to a box at the behest of Lord Rysen Crovane, the Minx of the Marches looking as sinful as she always does, with the look of pure enjoyment as she settles in to her seat and fixes her regard upon the stunning stage. There are waves given to those she knows, who she can see in the adjoining boxes.

Mikani is escorted to the theatre by a man in Crovane livery. Uncharacteristically she is in dark green and wool. She smiles at Rysen before murmuring something to him. Her fingers brush his arm before she heads in to get her seat. Mika smiles at Jules. "I have to confess I haven't been to Stormwall much ... but this is beautiful. I am quite excited to see what we are about to see." Mikani smiles and waves over to the other box at Scythia and Orrin.

Lenne pats Jules on the arm. "I'll be right back to save you from the perils. Promise. Don't have too much fun without me." She heads in a direct line toward Rysen, at perhaps too quick a pace to be entirely proper. But there's no way she's going to come all this way just to miss him before he gets to things. She dusts at her dress with some small self-consciousness along the way. She comes to a stop in front of the knight, and reaches out to tug at the lapel of his coat. "You look very noble and knightly," the young woman says. "I'm sure you'll do us all proud tonight. But, if you don't, you're out of the family for sure." She gives a small smile up at him. When she speaks again, her voice is husky with emotion. "Hello big brother. A very long time, no see. You're taller. And much less injured than the last time I saw you."

Catalana murmurs just a little too loudly to Esme "She called me fat." She realizes how loud she said that before lowering her voice.

There is a gleam in the young lord's eyes to see flower-adorned duchess of Graypeak, along with Prince Alecstazi and the Count and Countess of Pearlspire in the upper box. A slight flush rises to Rysen's cheeck when Mikani passes him, and he touches her shoulder as she steps away toward the other box. Catching some gesture from Zoey, Rysen grins, and mouths something like, "thank you," before he laughs at Lenne's remarks. "Thanks, Lenne... I think," he mutters, but he is clearly happy to have his sister in the audiance for the performance. "It'll be good to have you down with us in the city too - and, just for the record, I've always been noble and knightly. ...haven't I?" With that, Rysen walks with his sister and Rukhnis towards the box where Mikani and Monique have taken their seats.

Rysen has joined the left box of engraved blackwood.

Mirella is probably here, dressed in a gown of simple but elegant brocade in shades of red-violet. Around her neck, a glinting delicate chain of star iron with a teardrop-shaped pendant of duskstone. I say 'probably here' because she's keeping herself as inconspicuous as possible despite the rich refinement of her attire. She all but slides like a shadow into a booth of dark wood, smoothing down her skirts. That's a book-belt she's wearing too, with a cute velvet-bound journal suspended from it. It rests against her hip until she's sitting down, at which point she places it on her lap and taps the fingertips of one hand silently across the cover. The fingers of the other hand pat at the back of her hair, making sure its still bound securely up in braids and plumes. She nods to the others sitting nearby, polite but distracted.

Lenne has joined the left box of engraved blackwood.

Jules gives a warm laugh to Lenne as she departs with her promise and gives a bow to her before he turns his attention to Mikani and he beams at the woman. He leans over towards her and says, "I am as well. I was speaking with Mistress Ruhknis as she seemed to be looking forward to it having heard some of Lord Rysen's work so I am certain we're in for a treat!" His face tells the story that he is fully convinced, "Can I do anything to make you more comfortable while we wait?"

Esme gasps in the most audible way. Her eyes are dancing and full of merriment. "She didn't?!" Esme's free hand slides to her heart to that, as if completely shocked. "You should challenge her for that. Have her apologize." Though her head tips to listen to conversation at her seats and then a smile towards Erik. There is always soft conversation between those two when they are near each other.

Once Niklas has made the rounds, giving firm handshakes, bows and/or backslaps as appropriate to the various gathered Crovanes present, then moving on to the Halfshavs and other northern peers, before working his way south. Just because it's partly his lavish event doesn't mean it's not a chance to be seen attending a lavish event. When it's a veritable who's who, it's best to leave no doubt who's who. Once he's done his part, he makes his way back up to the stage where he takes the stairs two at a time. "Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot tell you how pleased I am to be here tonight. This work has taken up the better part of the last half-year and I am glad to be able to share it with each and every one of you, here in this beautiful place. When Lord Rysen first approached me I was immediately inspired, writing an act and a half about Sir Erec Redhill before remembering that he's an Oathlands hero and scrapping the whole thing, leading to a brief period of malaise and then followed by more inspiration and finally the work you will see here tonight. I am profoundly thankful to our leads, without whose participation in performing the work at all stages I'd probably still be writing and humming to myself." He glances behind him at the curtain, then says, "Well, no one came here hoping to hear a long speech tonight, so I'll abdicate the stage to our performers with just a quick word to thank our hosts." Niklas produces a small sheet of paper, squints at it and reads off in extremely bad Northern shav, << Sometimes sing banana Tuesday. >> He gives a firm nod, bows to the audience and makes his way off stage.

Rysen laughs loudly at Niklas's speech, as does a good bit of the audience, and a variety of cheers and curses are hurled toward the stage in Northlands shav.

Sometimes sing banana Tuesday. It's time. The curtain rises, swooping away to reveal the stage. And there stands Gianna, resplendent in lavender and? are those epiphanites? She begins to sing, and from the Nightingale's song, her character is revealed to be some kind of healer, a protector of Stormwall. Gianna is not a very good actress, but she is a phenomenal singer, and that's what carries her here. Operas have a lot more singing than they do spoken lines, if any. Gianna is an ethereal figure, all light and warmth. She sets the stage, so to speak, for the show. There is word, a whisper on the wind, of a Herald coming to Stormwall. The healer is worried about her city and sings of the brave warriors she hopes will protect Stormwall.

Brianna manages not to laugh at Niklas' 'speech', but it's a near thing. She looks across the theater at Rysen, shaking a finger at him, grinning.

Gianna checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.

Sorrel checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.

Evonleigh checked composure + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 47 higher.

Vanora checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 62 higher.

Sabella checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.

Sanya checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 44 higher.

Rysen shrugs innocently at Brianna from across the theater with a grin, and turns to stage as the curtain rises. When Gianna moves to its center, like the rest of Stormwall, he is awed by her fashion and entranced by her voice.

Dressed somewhat androgynously in soft rainbows, Sorrel comes dancing on the stage, and despite the fact that she's got a gorgeous soprano, she seems to be some sort of Hero(ine), on the same team, at least, as Gianna's character, the Healer. Her song is exquisite, as if Niklas wrote it for her, and she goes dancing deftly around Gianna as she sings, almost worshipping the Healer and talking up her good qualities in her song. Her sword glitters at her side, and she finishes her number with a sweeping bow to Gianna (and the audience) wherein she doffs briefly the pile of feathers that vaguely resembles a hat.

When the word gets to the young and untested warrior character played by Evonleigh, she immediately springs to action in a comical rush and bumble of motion to get clad in her armor and find all of her weapons, strapping them in the wrong places once, twice, three times, before finally getting it all on right. Unlike Gianna, she's primarily an actress and doesn't consider herself a singer, but her alto is rich and deep in tone, earnest and sweet in timbre, as she sings of the dangers coming and the worry she won't have what it takes to succeed in the fight.

While the other two sing, Princess Sabella enters the stage behind them, stalking in the shadows of the curtain and interacting with a few of the other actors on stage, pointing and otherwise giving off a sinister air. When the two hero's introductory song ends, she twirls to the front of the stage and her song is mostly mocking the two of them, trying to draw them out and antagonizing them as her song focuses on making fun of theirs, all of the notes counter to the ones they just sang. When she can't get a rise out of them, she gestures for those minions of hers to start influencing the people around town instead, the climax of her song indicating that if she can't get to them directly, she knows how to draw them out in the end by focusing on those they seek to protect!

A minion follows the stalking Herald onto the stage, dressed in a costume to compliment Princess Sabella's. Once she steps into the spotlight after the princess, it is Duchess Vanora Grimhall who can be recognized playing the part. Her soft soprano rises with the notes Sabella sings, and once the Herald gestures at her to start influencing the populace, she has a brief solo that is intended to move the audience, the notes melancholy at first but building towards something greater, service to her Herald.

Following behind Sabella, matching the herald's ominous air, Sanya adds her voice to the mockery. Her voice, though lovely, inflecting derision for the heroes. She twirls away when she's ordered to start influencing others, her song turning to something more enthralling.

Jules gives a rapid repeated nod of his head to Rysen and says, "So glad to be invited, I wouldn't miss it for the world." But he then hushes and scuttles off in search of that pillow. His flair for movement is altered into one of muted and restrained action.

When Sabella, Vanora and Sanya come on stage, there is a collective gasp from the audience - some of which were undoubtedly in the battle of Stormwall, and a huge cheer goes up for Evonleigh, Sorrel and Gianna. "The gods and spirits for Stormwall," shouts a drunken commoner in the pit, and the cheers rise to a deafening level, silenced only by the rising voices of the operatic singers.

Tensions rise, with songs of rebellion fomented by the Herald building up to threaten the heroes' songs. The songs rise in fervor until there is an erruption of violence. Stage violence! Blades are retrieved from clever places in costumes, and duels break out! It's a complicated dance. Gianna, as the healer, sings of worry and bringing hope and healing as she flits about the stage, comforting one person after another.

As the Hero, Sorrel boldly confronts Team Evil with her sword. And her sword choreography is quite spot-on. She's very smooth and disciplined, even with her costume blade, which glitters in the lighting. She sings boldly of pushing back those who would do harm to people, and several times puts herself bodily in Vanora, Sanya, and Sabella's way so that she can counter their evil ways. Her dances are complicated and fast, and she's as much a dancer as she is a singer tonight.

Brianna cheers for the fancy bladework!

Rysen is overheard praising Sorrel: Taught me everything I know about swordplay.

The warrior, Evonleigh, rushes into battle, first still comically earnest and awkward as she runs into a pillar, but that spins her around right into the fray where she performs a complex choreographed sword fight with the minions. Her song, composed of quick staccato half steps matches the deft footwork, and her voice rises in volume to mirror the rising confidence of her fight and her sword.

Jules is overheard praising Sorrel: He's swinging the pointy thing!

While the fight on stage is breaking out, throughout the audience more performers appear! Dressed all in black, and begin to move with eerie but graceful movements through the boxes and galleries. While they don't touch anyone, they loom menacingly as if threatening the audience as the music grows even louder and more powerful! On the stage Sabella has risen up on a set of stairs, voice building as the music does, menacing as she watches the movements of Gianna's heroic healer going about trying to undo the chaos she's set in motion and Sorrel putting herself in harm's way again and again. She doesn't seem to have a blade, reaching out to press a palm against the foreheads of those that dare to engage Vanora and Sanya, who then crumble to the ground. However, most of her time appears to be acting as a conductor for those moving around in the audience and on the stage, gesturing here and there to ensure that the fight ranges all over and so no one can escape!

Vanora is both a loyal minion and beautifully on pitch, leading a chorus to Sabella's song that rises in volume as voices join in from all around the theater. She approaches Sorrel bravely, with her fake stage weapon brandished in a threatening yet not at all tactically correct manner. Still, she puts her heart and soul into the performance, and does her best to make her song and her expression as menacing as possible. Delicate dance steps bring her closer to the hero, as other minions begin to crowd the stage.

The crowd is absolutely entranced by the performance and more than one member of the galleries spills her drink when a costumed actor leaps and twirls with ghastly motions in time with the rising orchestral music and the dueling voices of Gianna, Sorrel and Evonleigh - against Sabella, Vanora, and Sanya.

Surrounding Sorrel with her companions, Sanya voice is full of malice as the chorus begins.

Esme is overheard praising Sanya.

Esme is overheard praising Sabella.

Mirella checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 32 higher.

Esme is overheard praising Gianna.

Esme is overheard praising Sorrel.

Esme is overheard praising Vanora.

Mikani is overheard praising Sorrel.

Esme is overheard praising Evonleigh.

Mikani is overheard praising Niklas.

Mikani is overheard praising Sabella.

Esme is overheard praising Niklas.

Mikani is overheard praising Gianna.

Orrin is overheard praising Niklas.

Mikani is overheard praising Vanora.

Mikani is overheard praising Sanya.

Orrin is overheard praising Gianna.

Orrin is overheard praising Sorrel.

Orrin is overheard praising Evonleigh.

Orrin is overheard praising Sabella.

Orrin is overheard praising Vanora.

Orrin is overheard praising Sanya.

Orrin is overheard praising Rysen.

Erik is overheard praising Sanya.

Erik is overheard praising Vanora.

Erik is overheard praising Sorrel.

Erik is overheard praising Gianna.

Erik is overheard praising Niklas.

Erik is overheard praising Evonleigh.

Mikani is overheard praising Evonleigh.

Mirella is overheard praising Bard's college.

Mirella is overheard praising Crovane.

Sabella checked charm + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 18 higher.

Jules is overheard praising Gianna.

Jules is overheard praising Sorrel.

Jules is overheard praising Vanora.

Mikani is overheard praising Crovane.

Sorrel checked charm + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 37 higher.

Jules is overheard praising Evonleigh.

Jules is overheard praising Sabella.

Orrin is overheard praising Bard's college.

Delilah winces when Evonleigh crashes towards a pillar, the discordant movements bringing her hand to her lips. Perhaps she might stifle a smile, though the flashing glimmers of her eyes speak wholly to delight. The clash and movements of the battle she follows reasonably well, though people hopping out of the woodwork might warrant a look away from the activity on the stage. Say boo? Her smirk is a cheeky response to that.

Ian looked like he might have been getting into it a little bit for a moment there, but then the fighting started, and that seems to have broken his suspension of disbelief into a thousand little pieces. He spends the fight scenes either annoyed, frustrated, amused, or outright facepalming. Probably at some point in his life, someone tried to explain stage fighting to him, but whoever that was, he either didn't listen to them, or didn't understand. He's sitting in an aisle seat, but goes un-molested by the people in black running around messing with the audience. This might have something to do with the warning look and slight shake of his head that he gave to one of them.

It's the final faceoff between the Hero and the Herald. Glittering sword is held overhead, and Sorrel sings an incredibly moving song about her Dream and how she will see the World a better place, unaffected by the evil machinations of the Herald! First she takes out the minion Sanya with a lot more sword choreography than is strictly necessary, cutting her down to fall at her mistress's feet. Then she turns on Vanora, again with elaborate choreography and a particularly high kick that turns into a twirl which is meant to knock out that minion onto the stage. And this finally culminates in her stabbing at Sabella, the Herald, in a crescendo of perfect song. But when she withdraws her sword, the Herald does not fall! What will the Hero do now?

There is a LOUD SHRIEK that comes from the upper gallery. The reason is a happy Devotion. It appears that she was leaning over to talk to Erik when one of those 'shadow' actors came into her view. It caused Esme's voice to raise into a shriek of shock and surprise. Then an embarrassed look around at the crowd as she goes to burrow into Erik's side and not look at anyone directly in the eyes. It could have happened to anyone. A light comment from her to her poor, poor escort.

After a twitching wince and perhaps the popping of an eardrum, Erik's arm drapes gingerly around Esme's shoulders and he offers a consoling pat of his hand against her arm, head ducking low toward hers to mumble somethingwith an expression that suggests he's attempting reassurance. For either the embarrassment, the shock, or both.

Catalana recoils from Esme's direction as she shrieks. Her hands covering her ears until it subsides.

As Sorrel's hero defeats her two main minions, Sabella's Herald gets increasingly angry and violent, her dance steps more of a stomp than something delicate, her arm movements harsh and menacing as it becomes very clear that she's not going to be able to get close enough to Sorrel to kill her without risking that sword of hers. As Sorrel sings her song she provides counterpoint about how the only way to avoid nightmares is to never dream and that they invite things like her into their world. She spreads out her arms when Sorrel stabs her, as if it was all by invitation and as the sword draws back Sabella reaches out to grab Sorrel's wrist, spinning her around and into her arms in an embrace, dipping her down even as the Herald drops to her knees. She flourishes out the hand that's not cradling Sorrel and then presses the heel of her palm down onto the heroine's forehead, tipping her head back to show that she's now one of the fallen.



Sabella then looks out into the audience and her voice is chilling, the song a twisted dirge, about how looks can be deceiving and who can say who wins and who loses a battle. Even as she slumps down, laying Sorrel almost tenderly on the ground, she concludes with a threat that's sung so sweetly it's nearly enticing, "As you are here, so will we be. Waiting. Watching. Always." And then it seems the wound Sorrel gave her did in fact strike true, for she pitches forward over Sorrel and lies still on the stage.

Above in the left box, cloaked performers move through, and three come to stand beside Rysen. Suddenly the Crovane lord leaps to his feet and falls with one of them over the edge of the box to pit below, nearly landing on a number of audience members. He does not rise, but the figure who fell with does, staggering a little.

120 inflicted and Rysen is harmed for grievous damage.

Rysen has left the left box of engraved blackwood.

Ian is already on his feet by the time Rysen falls, and headed for the railing. That aisle seat is starting to look like it was a good idea.

Esme comes to her feet as well and glances around to try to figure out if it's part of the act or not, but Rysen isn't getting up.

Mirella has remained silent for most of the production, riveted by glorious spectacle and song. However, even before Rysen goes down, she's standing from her seat and holding her skirt in her lap, dashing lightly over to the left box with but a word to the others at the box. As she races forward she pulls a diamondplate hairpin from her updone raven tresses.

Whatever is happening in the audience is difficult to notice from the stage what with the bright lighting and the loud music and the challenging choreography. At least Vanora doesn't notice any of it yet, instead she is still participating in the stage battle, the one that the minions of the Herald are now losing, as those who fought at Sorrel's side are now fighting even harder, inspired by her tragic fall.

As she's struck by the heroine's blade, Sanya collapses onto the ground with an exaggeration to match the blow, falling at Sabella's feet with a final apologetic look at her mistress.

Mikani wields Rhapsody's Requiem Diamond Plate Ingi Axes.

Monique gets metallic edged rose oathlands steel dagger from the secret places on Monique's body where weapons hide.

Rukhnis's eyes track the three performers as they come through the box, but she clearly suspects no great mischief -- until it's too late. As the swords flash and Rysen cries out Mika's name, Rukhnis lets out a gasp, but she's far too late also to do anything to prevent the Crovane lord's toppling out of the box. Never mind that. She's on her feet and out of the box and pushing her way down to where Rysen is in the blink of her eye, elbowing and jabbing and -- there might even have been a well-placed kick in there -- as she darts the long way around with amazing speed to reach Rysen's side in the pit.

Mirella wields a quillpen with a violet-dyed feather encased within a diamondplate hairpin.

Monique checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 23 higher.

Evonleigh checked charm + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 6 higher.

Catalana murmurs to those around her, staring down at the unmoving figure she asks, "Was that meant to happen?"

There's no pause, no hesitation. Ian gets to the railing, swings over it, and drops, landing right next to some poor person who's probably still in shock, steadying himself on their chair to keep on his feet. He lashes out with his cane, a solid blow clearly intended to disable rather than kill.

Ian has left the upper gallery.

Brianna jumps to her feet when Rysen is seemingly... attacked? "Fuck me, why didn't I come armed?" she grumbles, taking a defensive stance in case someone tries to come into their box.

Orrin's too caught up in the performance to see Rysen go over; surely he hears the sound, though, and when Mirella gets up and rushes to the other box he glances that way, sees Ian going for the railing. Grips Scythia's hand a moment and glances back to her, slipping up to his feet. He looks like he might regret coming in unarmed, too, but - not so much hairpin guy.

Mirella checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 29 higher.

Mikani screams to Rysen as he falls from the box before she pulls her small axes from somewhere and turns on the other two in her box. "Oh ... you are so going to pay for that." She growls before attacking. "IS there a doctor down there? Get to my husband?!" She works to fight her way down there.

Focused on the show, the dance, the lyrics, Evonleigh doesn't notice at first that there is something awry out in the stands. She continues to dance and fight, vowing to get her revenge on every last one in a song full of minor notes depicting anger and angst. But of cours ehalfway through she notices people getting up out of their seats and she looks that way, a widee-eyed glance to her fellow performers and then to Niklas -- do they keep going and finish the show, or...?

Brianna shouts from nearby, "Stop fucking singing! A man is hurt!"

Erik hefts to his feet as commotion begins to break out in earnest, but as some are reaching for weapons and melee unleashes he begins scanning the crowds instead, brow furrowing and trying to process the chaos from the elevated position

Zoey stands from her seat and takes hold of Catalana's arm, clearly meaning to leave and find somewhere secure to shelter in place until order is restored.

Erik checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.

Mirella checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 16 higher.

Catalana remains where she is, still staring down "It has to be part of the show. Right?" She looks to Ian for confirmation.

It's one thing to be watching a performance and be rapt, but it's another thing to lose yourself entirely. Monique hasn't quite hit that point and so when people start falling from the balcony, there's already a dagger in her hand, and only seconds later, it's flying end-over-end to bury itself in the throat of someone who has just appeared on the balcony.

Brianna wields grand sentinel trees washed in coral-edged sunset oathlands steel dagger.

There is in fact a doctor down there, now. Gods only know how Rukhnis /did/ manage to get there so quickly, though the yells of pain and anger in her wake certainly seem to be a good clue. Giving the assailant entirely up to Ian's tender mercies, Rukhnis quickly draws a blade and cuts Rysen's clothing free from around the blade lodged in her back, her own face grey but determined.

When there is that cry, Scythia is absolutely not advancing to fallen man or otherwise. She just leans a bit further in against Orrin and glances - well, to where her guards are absolutely not. Guardless this eve, she nonetheless steadies herself and looks about. You know, to run if she needs to.

Alecstazi pushes up to his feet, shifting his cloak as he offers a cane to Brianna. "Here. I brought it because... well." He motions to whatever is happening below.

Esme studies the area for a few moments but she turns to look towards Catalana and Zoey, "You should probably both get somewhere safe and stay there." A look is given to their mid-sections. She's not quick to rush into the chaos, as she watches to see who is moving and what exactly is going on. Her hands slides to her own sword though.

Brianna wields a cunning sword cane with an alaricite handle in the shape of a horse.

Evonleigh wields Wings of Whitehawk elegant diamondplate recurve bow.

Gianna checked charm + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 27 higher.

When Evonleigh turns to look at him Niklas just gestures that OF COURSE the show will go on. His work isn't about to be upstaged by some damned MURDER. Brianna's shout gets a look, like, damn it, non-theater people, what the hell?

Sabella isn't sure what's going on but she does know that you never break character! So even though people are shouting, she remains dead weight on Sorrel up on the stage and likely will until someone gives her a stage direction to maybe get up. Sorry, Sorrel.

Perhaps all this ruckus is part of the opera. But perhaps not! Either way, Rysen's on the deck, and Mirella's inclined to take that a little bit seriously. Features stony and determined, she hoists her skirts up with one hand, just enough that she can climb on the back of the box in front of her and then launch herself over the edge with feline reflexes. Her hairpin is in the other hand, and as she falls she twists her arm to *stab* the razor-sharp diamondplate blade right into the shoulder of the assailant Ian is currently tackling. It might not be enough to kill, but by the Gods, they probably won't be moving anywhere too fast after that kind of injury.

Gianna has just swept to the stage and fallen to her knees (carefully) at Sorrel's side to shove Sabella out of the way and draw the other woman to her bosom to sing a mournful song. Then Rysen topples and there's shouting and yelling and, for a moment, there's a flicker of annoyance on her face. Like, did this just upstage her? What the hell, this is the finale. It was a very nice song, before it trails off while people scurry over to Rysen and bring out the blades, and it continues to be a very lovely song because yes, the show will go on. It's very dramatic. Too bad no one's really paying attention.

"I hoped this would never come in handy," Brianna frowns, unsheathing the sword cane's blade, holding the solid wood sheath in her offhand as a parry or just a nasty bludgeon. She kicks off her fashionable-yet-impractical heels and runs off in a direction indicated by Duchess Delilah -- out of the box and toward the figure moving toward the gallery.

Jules is starting to shift from very interested to concerned to a bit worried as the crowds get more and more involved but he leans over towards Lenne and whispers something while holding onto her hand tightly...

Orrin collects Scythia up, wraps an arm around her back, murmurs something. They might not be leaving, but they are certainly leaving this /box/, together; if people come through, he won't see her tossed into the audience like that.

Zoey spots something and releases Catalana's arm, looking at a group of actors nearby with the same focus she gives her archery targets.

Despite Rysen's fall, it seems the crowd is paying attention to the tragic death of Sorrel, the fall of Sabella and her minions, and the final victory of the forces of Stormwall, movingly closed with the song of Gianna. They audience applauds wildly while a few people look confused as a Mirella and Ian stand over Rysen and one of the actors.

Mikani's cry is her second wake-up call. Doctor. Yes. Rukhnis is there, which is a start, but this isn't four years ago, and Lenne isn't a child helpless in a castle while everyone dies around her and everything burns. The girl bats away Jules' hand and props a leg up against the edge of the box, struggling with the unfamiliar knot of the peace bond on the dagger strapped to her leg for far, far too long before she can free it, and dash down in the direction where the Rukhnis went. "Jules, this isn't part of the fun," she calls behind her as she leaves the box, at all speed. She isn't nearly so quick to push through the crowds as the deft woman is. She doesn't have the same lithe grace, and she's rather more cautious about any shadowy figures, but she does stumble her way there, following to her knees and Rysen and Rukhnis' side, gathering the clothing she tears away, seemingly just waiting for any instruction, and expecting to have to put pressure near the wound. She's a Mercy's Aid, not a Mercy. She mostly just follows orders when something serious happens.

Lenne wields A Slender Dagger.

The fracas on the stage remains a pitched ending to attract attention, and isn't there some kind of expectation for flowers cast on the stage? Delilah may wear a few of them in her hair, bright cornflower-blue, but not nearly sufficient to toss to all the performers. Now, then, is the perfect time to dart off through the shadowy recesses of the box and trigger the arrangements to be made. Inquiries of protocol in low tones melt away while much more interesting activities happen over -there-. Nothing to be gained by watching the Duchess of Graypeak, really.

Ian checked strength + brawl at difficulty 15, rolling 46 higher.

Likewise, Sanya may be a little aware something is amiss, but she too remains on the floor, intent not to ruin the performance to quench her curiosity.

The man Ian is trying to pull off of Rysen had twisted around and it was looking for a minute like Ian was going to get stabbed, but then the man jerks and Ian's able to force the knife out of his hands and force him onto the ground. After a moment, he gets up. Whatever hold he had the guy in seems to have put him to sleep. The blood loss from the stab wound probably helped.

Alecstazi wields a steel axe with engraved serpent.

"Go to the north, he said, show them all a little culture, he said, no one will get murdered during the premiere, he said," grumbles Niklas to himself as he runs up backstage, hisses to his performers from the wings to get the hell out of the way, then yanks on the rope to drop the curtain as soon as the last note of Gianna's big finish is done. Does she get cut off a bit? Just a tiny little bit? Maybe!

Bandages, moss, a bit of sponge, all of these come out as Rukhnis wrestles her healer's kit off her shoulder and rolls out her bundle of medical implements. As Lenne arrives, the Eurusi woman seems to take her assistance for granted, shoving a cloth-wrapped sponge at the woman and telling her tersely, "Hold this to the wound. I will need to draw the blade out, and you will need to staunch the blood as best you can."

Zoey points at one of the robed figures and cries out. "Stop him! He's one of them!"

Evonleigh, during Gianna's song, slowly slides her play sword into its sheath to take her bow into her hands, nocking an arrow into place -- perhaps in case anyone decides to storm the stage. But then the curtain is down, and she doesn't have to pretend anymore. "Hopefully it wasn't a critique on our performance," she murmurs in a light deadpan, but her eyes belie the casualness of the quip. She's worried, for Rysen, and afraid. She heads for the exit to get to the front of the house and find out more of what's going on.

Monique crosses over to retrieve her dagger and probably end up with a cleaning bill for all the blood that froths forth. Wiping it, she resheathes and casts an eye around, just in time to catch the big finale of stage. Is it uncouth to applaud?

Once the curtain is down, Sabella is up on her feet and reaching down to help Gianna and Sorrel up if they need it, "Amazing performances! That was legendary! Also, what is happening out there? Nik! Did someone say something about someone getting stabbed?! Was that part of the improv?"

The robbed figure looks around desperately, now that the show has ended, and Zoey has pointed him out. He bolts for the stage, pushing through the audience in the pit.

Rising from the floor, Sanya glances around with furrowed brows, before turning to Vanora to see if she notices anything amiss.

Catalana notices Zoey and adds to her shouts and tries to draw attention to the robbed figure.

Evonleigh checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 1 higher.

Mirk rises to his feet, as at last his assistant arrives. Rurik is bearing a curve piece of wood and a bowstring. As he strings it, the curve becomes far more pronounced, more recognizable in the shape of the bow, though he slings it over his shoulder, seemingly well aware of the dangers of shooting a bow in the middle of a crowded operahouse.

Sanya checked mana + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 39 higher.

Vanora checked mana + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 58 higher.

Ian finds his cane and picks himself up with the help of it and a now empty seat that was previously occupied by someone who has fled for their lives and left behind only the slight odor of pee. It's clear Rysen's in better hands than his, and he's scanning the crowd when he hears Zoey shout. He curses under his breath and starts for the stage as fast as he can, but 'as fast as he can' is a really fast walk.

Brianna checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.

Gianna does take up Sabella's offer of aid. She hauls herself up to her feet and hoists up her floofy skirts to reveal a sheath with a blade settled into it along the outside of her thigh. It's a sudden reveal of a lot of leg. "That, as far as I know, was NOT planned," she says, almost hissing the words. Also, she shoots Niklas a glare, because that curtain DID cut her off just the tiniest bit.

Mirk wields Snowfall, a composite recurve bow in flame maple and rubicund.

Jules' eyes go to stunned and he blinks a moment then looks around at the chaos and something clicks that the show is not going on (well, not around them anyways.) He draws to look to Rysen and he whimpers out when he sees him, "Not my lord." His voice going weak as he starts to black outhere and there.

Gianna wields Nightingale's Song.

Is it uncouth to point out the problem with a slender finger extended, the occasional blithe smile with flat, dark eyes? Delilah winnows through a crowd rather well, for anyone lingering too long undoubtedly gets a four syllable word reminding them to move, with all the quiet concern needed to cut a path. She isn't one to speak loudly, but her beelining is enough to get her to a railing. "Evonleigh! Pin him down if you have to!"

Brianna runs down, leaping over railings in her seasilk gown, chasing the last assassin as he goes through the crowd.

"Someone in one of the booths got killed, I think. Someone told me that's how people show their appreciation for art up here?" Niklas shrugs, like, northerners, whatcha gonna do? "Anyway, you all did a fantastic job. You should be very proud of yourselves." Niklas glances toward the closed curtain, eyes narrowing. "Gods, but they're making a damnable racket out there. Why can't they just clap like normal people?"

Mirella stands up as well as might as be expected from of someone wearing a fancy dress, and of someone who just hopped over an opera box. That is to say... actually quite quickly and neatly. She's nimble. She looks to Ian, nodding once before she tilts her head and looks down upon the poor fellow they just brutalised. The hairpin is still embedded in his shoulder. Her hands reach down to the book against her hip, flipping it open and pulling a small, slender stiletto blade from within. This, too, is diamondplate, glittering in whatever light shines down upon it. Zoey and Catalana's shouts draw her attention then, and the diminutive Lycene narrows her eyes in that direction. She runs ahead of ian, clearing a path for him through the crowds if she must with careful jostles of her elbow. Ugh, panicking people.

Evonleigh pops out from behind the curtain just as the robed figure is storming the stage. Her eyes widen and she swiftly lifts her bow to send off the arrow toward the man. It's a little close range for a ranged weapon, but it's the weapon she has in her hands (and the only weapon she knows, despite her prowess with a wooden sword in choreographied dance.)

Perhaps in an effort to slow the man down on spotting him trying to get away, Sanya sings a song with all the passion she can muster to weaken him.

Mikani checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 38 higher.

Mirella gets a wickedly sharp Lycene stiletto dagger from a steel-and-silver chain belt with a small black velvet-bound book suspended from it.

Sorrel wields Resonant Edge, a lightly curved diamondplate saber.

Mirella wields a wickedly sharp Lycene stiletto dagger.

Vanora catches Sanya's eye behind the curtain and to her cousin-in-law's searching look she responds with a tiny nod towards the opening on stage. The audience hasn't exactly been filling the opera house with applause or demands for encores, but the Duchess of Grimhall pretends that they have, and her posture implies that she and Sanya will indulge them. The encore has nothing to do with the opera that just finished, instead one voice chases another with an improvised dirge about failed efforts at assassination and how such criminals usually die unmourned and unremembered. It's pointed and aimed at the remaining 'extra' who panics in the aisles.

Esme lofts a brow at the singing and the stabbing. Her eyes slide to the women next to her and then towards Erik. "It looks as if they have this handled, but we should probably be sure that well.. they stay safe." They being the women.

Lenne could not be more glad to have orders barked at her. It's a distraction from how much her hands are shaking. She sets her dagger beside her on the floor, by her leg, and shifts her position to be ready to apply the needed pressure. "When Ryzen gets better, I'm going to kill him," she hisses. More to keep herself occupied than anything. It doesn't slow her hands from taking a position right by the knife in her brother's back, ready to press down with all of her weight when Rukhnis does what she has to do. "I see the lout for the first time in YEARS, and he gets himself stabbed." She nods to Rukhnis. "I'm ready," she says before biting down on her lip hard enough that it nearly bleeds. This is so, so much harder than helping strangers in some clinic.

Sorrel checked mana + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.

Sorrel is up next to Sabella in just a moment. And then she's pulling out her real sword and pushing her way through the curtains to take a premature bow. "BRING THE HOUSE LIGHTS UP!" she calls to the stage manager. And then she's singing again. No real explanation as to why.

As the audience parts, from the panicked burst of the assassin, Evonleigh's arrow sprouts in his abdomen, causing him to grunt in pain. As Sanya and Vanora's voices rise together, the audience, in the pit and the galleries gasp at the beauty and force of it - and, oddly, the fleeing assassin, slumps to the ground, as, at Sorrel's command, ushers rush to light the house lamps.

Niklas watches as Evonleigh feathers someone in the audience, then says to Sabella, "Did she have that bow the whole time?" He looks back out and shakes his head. "That's just unprofessional. Remind me to have a word with her later."

Sorrel charges out, and Gianna scowls and hauls ass after her, skirts tugged up enough to let her run. The pointy shoes, which will no doubt be seen all over Stormwall and further still after this performance, also do not help. She raises her voice as well, thrusting her arm out toward Rysen in a rather dramatic and maybe... maybe a little too dramatic manner.

Gianna checked mana + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 49 higher. Gianna rolled a critical!

Erik watches the maelstrom of chaos below for a few moments longer before dipping a nod in affirmation to Esme and sidling in the direction of Zoey and Catalana. "Better safe than sorry here.."

Sabella does not charge out, instead heading over to Niklas and staying well back from whatever's happening out front. She's no fighter! "...what is even going on out there?"

"It's a whole lot of people singing off script, that's what it is," says Niklas. "Honestly, why do I even bother?"

Mikani moves quickly like water and throws with deadly aim one of her axes at the closest assassin. She growls with a feral quality before she yanks the blade back with a strong force. "No one touches my family." She glares at the next assassin.

"That's for upstaging us," says Evonleigh, her deadpan again so flippant but the worry still mars the expression of her face as she looks around to see if the danger has passed. Turning to Niklas, she laughs. "I had the sword and the bow. My character is a multifaceted warrior!" But more seriously, her storm-blue eyes seek Rysen's form where he's being ministered to by the medics, then turns to the fallen form of the man. "Is there a dungeon to throw this person into?"

Monique applauds heartily, a big, wide smile cracking her lips. "Easily the /best/ performance I've /ever/ been to!" the Minx of the Marches enthuses, as she bends to inspect the pockets and places of the assassin she killed.

As Lenne shifts herself into the dictated position of readiness, Rukhnis quickly checks Rysen's eyes, mouth, and pulse, giving a small shake of her head. Despite the motion she seems very faintly relieved by whatever she sees there, but however that may be, the task ahead is hardly one that is pleasant, easy, or safe. Setting her mouth in a line of grim determination, she draws in a breath and slowly eases the blade out of Rysen's back, tossing it swiftly aside once it's free, as if merely touching the weapon were a thing of the greatest distaste. And then it's down to controlling the flow of the blood. There's a lot of blood. The physician whispers something softly under her breath as she works, cleaning and packing the wound as best as possible, and then getting out needle and sinew from her kit.

Orrin collects a few frantically departing sorts on the way out with Scythia, taking care to look before he walks them all out into anything worse.

Esme wields Kindness, a diamondplate longsword.

Erik wields Codex of Tactical Erudition, a snakeskin bound book with diamondplate spine.

The fleeing would-be assassin is already well and truly down by the time Ian hauls himself up to the stage (probably a little behind Mirella) and makes sure said would-be assassin is not armed, and is not going to be able to get up and run away. "Damn it, my scarf would be useful right now," he mutters, lacking a means of tying the man up.

Brianna manages to haul herself up on the stage just as the assassin falls over. She catches her breath, sheathing the blade of the sword cane and looking up at her people in the box. She waves.

Sanya doesn't stop singing, following Vanora's lead until she's certain that the man is not about to rise once again. Catching a breath, she glances around the room, taking in the commotion. "Who was hurt?" She asks with a worried frown, to anyone close by.

The assassin's collapse does not quite halt Delilah from pushing her way through towards him. Chairs or the occasional panicked person in the audience don't hide her, though she veers in closer to Mikani. Soft words are infinitely bound to follow, though she might have to say them at blade-edge so as not to startle the noblewoman. "Will House Crovane give me permission to take that one," she points at the fallen man halted most recently, "into custody? I want him alive."

Orrin has left the right box of engraved blackwood.

Esme nods towards Erik as she moves over closer to Catalana. Kindness comes out and into her hand as it seems that Erik and her might be moving away from each other and sort of taking up sides by the other two women with them. She doesn't drop into the hustle and bustle though.

Catalana stays where she's been told to stay. Feeling a touch helpless, she does remove a shoe and throws it down at the robbed figure. Unfortunately her throwing is worse than her sword arm and the slipper falls pathetically down to the floor.

When Orrin is collecting those departing, Scythia is there at his side. She might offer a wry word or two to this or that individual, but this really is not the time and the place. Still, Seliki out.

Scythia has left the right box of engraved blackwood.

Rysen's breathing seems to have stabilized. Most of the crowed is awed to have heard so many talented singers and so much action. That a number of nobles have weapons out is puzzling, but everyone is generally excited as they move to the door. The guards glance towards Mikani, Delilah and Lenne. "Should we unbar the doors, m'Ladies?"

"It's handled now," says Zoey, returning to her seat. "I'll wait here." She shoots a glare at Erik, but says nothing in response to whatever it was he said.

Ian knocks a dagger away from the fallen man. "Is there any rope back there?" He asks Evonleigh, outing himself as someone who has never been backstage before. "I don't know how long before this guy wakes up."

Mikani growls as she is about to let her other axe go free. She grinds her teeth as she itches to not release her blade. Her eyes turn black as she nods slightly to Delilah. Rysen would want him alive. The family would want to know what happened. "Yes ... take him into custody." Mika says her voice full of emotion. "Let those with tickets leave ... we will look into the robed ones." Mika says collecting herself. Her eyes move over to Delilah, "Do you have this? May I go and check on Rysen?"

Mirk heads towards where Rysen had fallen, though he makes sure to remain out of striking range, more for the feelings of the guards who might be nervous about unfamiliar persons approaching their ward right now, than out of his own caution. "Will he be all right, Ruhknis, my lady?" He asks towards Rukhnis and Lenne. "Is there anything I can do to help?" That last is more for Delilah, it seems.

Erik sighs, lifting a free hand in appeasing surrender to Zoey.

Niklas steps back out onto the stage and addresses the confused crowd. "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attendance! That was an opera! Now for the traditional organized exit of the building, where there may be snacks waiting outside. If you have any further questions about opera or the theater in general, do feel free to send Duchess Fianna a letter and she will see to it that it goes to the right people." He gestures toward the exits, looking at the guards significantly.

Lenne chose to wear white, of course. So the blood welling up from Rysen's back soaks into her sleeves and soaks into her skirt at the knees almost immediately. In the dim lights, the scarlet looks far more black than it otherwise would. But she does what she's told. While Rukhnis gathers supplies, she's pressing with as much force as a rather waifish nineteen year old woman can manage. She's positively brutal about it, too. Light pressure has no business anywhere need a deep, gushing wound. But as soon as Rukhnis comes back in to pack and sew the wound, she moves just far enough out of the way to allow her. It's just like any other patient. When the guard speaks in her direction, she barely looks up. Just enough to confirm that the theater isn't on fire. She couldn't care one damn bit if the doors are unbarred or not. Someone else can deal with that, until the house physician is done saving her brother.

Without much left to do, Mirella comes to a halt and places her dagger back into the book. With a *click* the little tome is locked, and then allowed to fall against the Lycene's brocade-covered hip once again. And speaking of that brocade? Mirella peers down at her skirt only to notice a few flecks of blood scittered across the fabric. She swears under her breath, something very Lycene, and then lifts her hands in the air in a surrendering fashion. This dress did not come cheap! irella sighs nd steps out of the way, sending a concerned and furrow-browed look over to Rysen and those that surround him.

Catalana glances to Erik and nods satisfiedly, "Well. I felt a foot behind. It was the least I could do."

"Of course, hold on," Evonleigh tells Ian, heading back behind the curtain where there are props and other miscellany aplenty. She comes back a moment later with some cords. Hopefully they weren't to anything too important, to hand them to Ian. Only now does she begin to shake a little, having had too much adrenaline from both singing and the unexpected drama to really take in the danger they were in. "Is he going to be okay?" she murmurs over in the direction of Lenne, her expression worried and posture tense.

Gianna finishes her reprisal of the song she sang to heal in the opera. Surely that was planned, right? Nevermind the blade in her other hand. That's down at her side, where only the very perceptive would notice it. There's elation on her face as she sings, pours everything and more into it. Then she seems very, very tired, reaching out to snatch at Sorrel's arm to slump on her patron.

Pulling one of her slender hairpins from her melange of braids, Delilah drops to one knee beside the last of the questionable attackers laid low. "Rope to bind him with would be a start, please," she asks of Mikani while examining the man rather thoroughly. Any efforts to squirm away might end up with a sharp, barbed length of rubicund buried in the flesh, something of a last result. "Lady Mikani, please confirm with Mistress Rukhnis that your husband is well. I can manage this much, yes. The Confessors are outside, and I can reach the rest locally." A glance up to Mirk as he approaches, and she speaks very softly indeed in his direction, narrowed eyes remaining flat on the figure.

Whatever has been happening in the rest of the theatre has passed by unnoticed by Rukhnis. Even the altercation with the would-be assassin himself has hardly made her bat an eyelash. She's far too absorbed with the literal life-and-death work of keeping Rysen from bleeding to death on the floor and monitoring him for any signs that the sword has struck some vital point that's too much even for the Crovane lord's physique to bear. So it's several moments that pass before Mirk's words even appear to penetrate the physician's consciousness, and when they do, she keeps stitching, pulling the horrible wound closed with her needle and thread, occasionally directing Lenne's hand to apply a bandage or a clean sponge in one spot or another. "Sayyid Mirk," she says distantly. "I believe all will be well, in time." Stitch, pull, wipe, stitch.

Monique checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 15, rolling 49 higher.

Monique straightens from the body at her feet and there's definitely nothing to see here. Her hands are in plain sight the whole time, and she casually turns her attention back to the stage.

Having stayed well away from all the to-do and not realizing it's Rysen out there, Sabella stays backstage to help supervise some of the set breakdown and then likely leaves via a side door when rumors of actual assassins and not people pretending to be assassins finally reaches back there.

Brianna climbs down from the stage, casting a worried look to Rysen, but staying out of the way and letting the healers work. She makes her way back up to the box barefoot.

Sabella has left the the stage.

Alecstazi has left the right box of engraved blackwood.

Mirk leans over Rysen, careful to remain out of Rukhnis and Lenne's way, and whispers a quiet prayer to the spirits for his health. Then, at some comment from Delilah, he nods once and heads over to the second would-be assassin, checking that the man is still unconscious, and attempting to usher anyone from the crowd out of easy reach from him. "On behalf of the Inquisition," he says. "They wish to take custody of him immediately."

Ian ties up the first man, and draws a blade out of his cane just enough to use it to slice the rope, then, when he's sure Delilah has his tied-up ass well in hand, takes the rest of the rope and moves on to the next. He's managed to get blood on his nice clothes. This is what comes of making him dress up.

Monique is overheard praising Rysen.

Mikani nods softly to Delilah and moves to Rysen's side. She let's Ruhknis and Lenne work as she kneels beside her husband and just takes Rysen's hand to let him know she's there. Her dark eyes stay on Rysen's face as the other two work.

Rysen squeezes Mikani's hand after Mirk's prayer, and his eyes open slightly and he tries to speak, but, his eyes soon close again.

Lenne laughs with the shaky sort of manner that screams of someone being on the edge of tears. "Every time there's a battle in Stormwall, Rysen ends up almost dead. He doesn't have to be there. It doesn't even have to be a real fight, but somehow he finds a way." She leans back away from her brother, brushing an escaped lock of hair from her face, and leaving a smear of blood on her cheek. "Who would want to kill Rysen? Father was right all those years about Arx."

Slowly waking up, triggered by some unknown force, Jules' head seems to wobble a bit and rests it on his head and lets out several ragid breaths and says, "I say! I don't think I much care for the opera." He looks around, "Is Lord Rysen all right?" His words bleeding with concern but not directed to anyone in particular.

Vanora has left the the stage.

Delilah stays clear of Rysen, though she gives several anxious looks in his direction to assure all is going there. On the other hand, she can tie a knot with the ease of someone with considerable practice. Give her a rope or a length silk, she makes short work of redoubling any bonds along with Ian, speaking quietly as she does so. "Thank you. I appreciate all this. Throwing the rest of them in a cart may be the easiest part." Her sharp expression softens a degree as she glances askance to Rukhnis, and asks, "Is he stable? I hope to keep these two," a nod to the fallen men now hers to babysit, "alive for the nonce. You have my thanks for your rapid intervention."

"So glad you're here," Evonleigh says breathlessly to her sister, reaching to squeeze Delilah's shoulder. She looks a little pale. To Ian, she adds, "Don't let this become an excuse not to go to the theater more often. I know you hated every minute of it, but culture is good for you." She smiles wanly, before she heads for the exit.

Niklas shows up on the floor where everyone is chatting away. To Lenne he says, "Is Rysen dead?" He paid a fortune for this, so the last thing he needs is for the whole thing to be overshadowed by his parter's dramatic death. "I mean, rather, is he okay? Or will he be okay?" He looks around, "I'm sure he's fine. These things happen. No opening night goes as well as one might hope."

Ian snorts. "If I get to beat someone up at the end, I might come back."

Mikani doesn't answer Lenne nor Jules. She just holds Rysen's hand and murmurs to him in an exotic language before reaching up to stroke his brow.

Monique has left the left box of engraved blackwood.

Zoey carefully makes her way down from the upper gallery to Ian's side.

Zoey has left the upper gallery.

Evonleigh has left the the stage.

By the time Rukhnis's and Lenne's ministrations are wrapped up, so is Rysen's entire torso, with extra padding of honey-infused moss packed tight against the wound itself. To Lenne's remark Rukhnis replies acidly, "Every time there is anything at all, Lord Rysen ends up almost dead." But however harsh her tone might manage to be, her touch is nothing but gentle, and as Rysen tries to speak she places her fingertips softly over his mouth, saying much more quietly, "Hush. There will be time for that later." To everyone's inquiries she merely nods her assurance of Rysen's ultimate recovery.

Mikani says in Marin'alfar, "You better live ... I can't do this without you."

Erik joins Esme as everyone begins filing out in safety, quiet exchanges rippling almost as soon as they're within arm's reach of each other and they make their way toward an exit.

Catalana mutters to Erik and Esme while looking to Rysen, "I need to find my shoe before we go." Yep. She's recruiting them to help..

Having left the stage, Sanya makes the long journey to where her brother stands before tugging on his arm. "What exactly happened?" She asks him.

Erik nods to Catalana with an idle smile, veering off for the article in question.

Erik checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.

As Delilah moves close enough to speak quietly to her, Rukhnis grunts at her and gives a small nod. She gives Rysen one long, final look, then stands a little stiffly as she moves off to tend to the wounds of his attackers. Odds are they won't be half as thankful for her saving their lives as well.

Something catches Zoey's ear and she looks toward the left box. She pauses for a moment before resuming her path to Ian. "Are you still needed here?"

Esme checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.

Catalana waddles alongside Esme with a now limp.

Esme lowers her brows for a moment and goes down to look for it. She steps on Catalana's shoe as she looks for it. Nothing to see here.

Nope. Not where Catalana threw/lobbed/generally directed it. Oh, there it is. Right under Esme's feet.

A number of Crovane guards come to the sides of Lenne and Mikani with a wood and leather stretcher. "With your permission, we will take him back to the keep." The rest of the audience continues to file out of the theater, having experienced something they will not soon - or perhaps ever - forget.

Jules continues to sit in his seat lest he fall over somewhere else and cause a scene. He does keep his eyes on the family though, mindful in his own unique way.

Mikani nods to the Crovane guards as she stands with some help from her guards. "Yes. Make sure he is comfortable." She says softly watching him like a hawk before she prepares herself to leave with him.

The mention of Rysen getting stretcher'd signals that it's time for Mirella to skulk away. Gracefully of course, with a bit of gentle skirt-swishing -- but skulking all the same. She is a quality skulker. And so she's off! Off to get a really, really strong drink. She'll check in with the Crovane's later, probably!

Catalana thankfully receives her shoe from Erik and slips it back on her foot before moving to the exit. "Next time Zoey suggests a nice night at the opera, it's going to be a no."

Erik looses a lilting double-whistle in Esme's direction, then ticks a nod and points an index in the direction of the missing shoe before ambling over and dropping into a crouch to pluck it up, swipe it down, and finally pass the footwear over to Catalana.

Catalana is overheard praising Erik: The real hero of my night!

Mirella is overheard praising Rysen: I hope he doesn't die.

Esme eyes Catalana's cheering of Erik. "/I/ had a sword. He just had a sword book thing.."

Lenne looks up at the guards with the stretcher rather blankly for a moment, until she sorts herself out enough to nod her head. "Rukhnis does very good work. He should be fine to move. Just be very careful not to strain the stitches on his back." She eases herself up to her feet, reaching for her knife. It's blooded, but not through any action besides wallowing in a pool of blood. She lifts it with a scrape against the floor. She won't be of much help in moving Rysen. He's much heavier than she is. Better to leave it to the guards. But for now she's at a loss. What does one do after an assassination? Should she be trying to help her brother's killers, like Rukhnis?

Catalana smooches Esme's cheek fondly, "Yes. But that is now your job. You are the one who wished to be honorary sisters. Just like it's my job to glare at him for not wanting to give you babies."

Erik beams a chipper smile to Esme. "And /I/ didn't almost murder her shoe."

Ian returns to Zoey's side once he's sure there's not going to be more chaos due to assassins getting back up like a bunch of horror movie villains. "I'm going to see about getting rooms here for us. I don't want to leave yet."

Lenne is overheard praising Rukhnis.

Zoey nods to Ian. "It's a long journey home anyway."

Esme brushes her fingers through her hair. "I'm sure he'd give me babies. Maybe." She eyes Erik for a moment. Then she wraps Catalana up in a large hug. "Fiiiiiine. It's forgiven, but I really should be getting back to a place to slumber. Stabbings and singings make one tired."

"Our best to House Crovane," Mirk says with a bow towards Mikani and Lenne both. "I wiould like to speak to Lord Rysen, once he is well, but for now merely know that you have my prayers, and the prayers of House Halfshav. But as this seems to be under control, I will not bother you further."

Catalana agrees with Esme, "I am heading home. Gods only knows what Wash has been up too." She gives a tiny puff of annoyance before hugging her friend once more "Stay safe." And out she slips.

Catalana has left the upper gallery.

Guess who doesn't get to be comfortable: assassins.



It's not like there is any room at the Crovane Inn for would-be murderers of the ducal family. Luckily for all involved, the Inquisition always has a light on and a chamber for someone. The chamber may even include a floor and roof. Walls are an optional thing, naturally. Or so the rumours probably fly as Lilah rises, twisting her hair around into a rope tucked beneath a strap of her dress. She instead is bound to wait for her confessor to come in with at least two other guards, those more than happy to sling bodies over their shoulders in deadman's lifts if Rukhnis gives them the okay.



"We will keep Duchess Fianna informed of our findings, and give our thanks to the cooperation of House Crovane and Mistress Rukhnis. Swift thinking and action will be recalled in my report," Lilah adds. It's bound to be long.

Zoey gets 2 books from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.

Mikani nods her head to Mirk. "I will let him know and keep you up to date on his progress." Mikani says with a grim expression before she turns her head back to look at her husband. "Prayers are appreciated."

Rukhnis's touch is significantly less tender as she staunches, cleans, and bandages the wounds of the two men who would have seen Rysen dead, but that doesn't mean it isn't still smooth and efficient, nor unkind. Her ministrations are simply remote and clinical, but no one could possibly object to them or fault their efficacy. As the guards come in to collect the men Rukhnis finishes her work and gives a small nod, turning away and seeming to dismiss them so utterly that the assailants might as well no longer occupy the same sphere of existence as herself.

Erik makes his way out. Somewhere. Somehow. Probably with someone. And thankfully, his battle-book survives another wielding without its pages being re-inked.. in blood.

Jules turns his eyes to look over at Rikhnis, watching her work her wonders on the assassins and says to himself, "I think I like her." The words are exclusively spoken to himself but are not quiet. He looks around and slowly gets to his feet to prepare to step out for a bit of fresh air.

Esme is probably the someone. Probably not the somewhere. Or the somehow. But could really be the someone. She didn't have to kill anyone with kindness, so it was a good event.

Erik has left the upper gallery.

Esme has left the upper gallery.



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