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Battle For Estroch 2.5.2

We join our intrepid hero, Sirius, as he holds down the castle of Elune.


July 24, 2020, 5:30 p.m.

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Outside Arx - Mourning Isles near Estroch - Estroch

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

When we las left Sirius, he had called for the keeper of the castle and has been confronted with a Master Stockman - definitely of Oathlands blood and accent, he is not short but neither is he tall, his shoulders are rounded from the years and a life of plenty has left him with the roundness of a gut and the full face despite his age. His limbs are sturdy the strength of movement and work still lingering even if there may be a tremor from time to time. His skin is wrinkling especially around the eyes and his cheeks, the hued leathery brown from years of labor. His hair is bone white and only now beginning to thin, kept combed back in a slick styling. He's dressed in black silk with purple trim here and there, and while it's a simple outfit it is definitely a quality one.

"Yes, yes Master Stockman at your service, castellan of Seryn Castle, what seems to be the trouble?"

Soot-covered, listless and with a face whose qualities are, were, quartered by his little tiresome expedition into the vowels of the beast, Sirius' in no condition to meet such a gentleman. He himself is delighted to hear his accent, and smiles promptly; a wide and long smile, one bore of nostalgia and familiarity in his voice. This one didn't just sound like from home, he was home. This Castellan was Sanctum personified in his chub. "Master Stockman," breathes out Sirius, coughing. Dust spills out past his lips, like out a particularly neglected chimney. He wipes at his face, turns, then points at the cracked arch that leads down that crevice on the wall; "From out here came out the enemy. They must be underground, somewhere." His eyes narrow, possibilities crossing through the glimmer of his eyes; "Is there perhaps a sheltered jetty below, accessible only through some kind of narrow stone stair off of the back of the keep? Some kind of discreet system of pulleys or things to bring things up the rock face? Either way, the mercenaries are below us."

White eyebrows lift in surprise, uncovering his pale, icy blue eyes. "My my, no this is definitely news to me. Why don't you inform the army? We must meet them at once!" Master Stockman, however, trembles visibly. He's in decent enough health it seems, but it's obvious he's /old/. "I wasn't informed of such a passage way. And we're built on a solid foundation of rock. The closest sea you-" he coughs and sputters a bit, clears his throat and continues on. "-you must travel to the docks to get to. It's almost a mile off!" He lifs his shaking hands in a gesture of rather great distance. "How many of them are there, should I sound the bells?"

Sirius staggers forward, for while the man's old, he himself is young- young and equally trembling. He seeks to press a palm flat to the man's chest, to wring the cloth around his collar and hold him there, tightly, with an intense stare to his eyes. "You haven't yet sounded the bells?" He whispers, soft but breathlessly, like a shock that's far-off and away but encroaching; "You haven't?" He repeats, encompassed by a sudden wave of sobering trepidation that washes over him, straightening every hair in his body. A deep breath's taken, a meditative moment of silence, before Sirius let the man's poor tunic go and set some apologetic pats against his chest. "Go, go sound the alarm. Inform the Captain, that they must inform every officer, and I'll need a sortie of scrappy, experienced warriors to head down this tunnel here and flush out what's below. I'm not going."

Sirius checked command + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

He's an old man and while not pathetic, when Sirius grabs his tunic like that he certainly seems so for a fleeting moment, his knees knocking together. "N-nn-no! Someone reported troops approaching from the East, not from underneath. No one could find them, we decided someone must have been mistaken or quick to make a snap judgement!" There's an awkward moment when everything begins to sink in and he, with trembling legs hobbles away. He's no moving fast but he sure is - huff puff - determined - huff puff. Wait, he's slowing down. Old age is catching up with him. But steady as he goes. "Guards! Guards!" He calls, waving his wrinkled old hands for attention.

Wait he's getting his second breath and starting to speed walk again!

What else is there to do, for the Prince, but to wait? There, at that very hole; at that precipice into the abyss where more dangers below there await. His blade's in hand, Culdrake, and he's rested for yet another possible wildman should they dare the distance. The Castellan's been warned, the troops roused, the possibility of inside sabotage and infiltration dispensed amongst leading officers -- now, beneath the din of activity in the keep, silent grows Sirius Valardin. His gaze seeks out the light through a crenelation of stone on the wall, looking off into the sunset distance. The sky is yellow, but dimming, like fading hope.

A dire presage, but it serves only to steel his grip around the handle of his blade bound by worn and creased leather.

Sirius checked perception at difficulty 10, rolling 6 higher.

Being the one 'guarding' the little door, he can hear it first. Baying. Howling. Cries and panting of dogs - or maybe wolves - echoing through the tunnel, the sounds of their nails rasping against the stone ground beginning to get closer.

And closer.

They are on the hunt.

Above him, it seems Master Stockman has came through and the sound of a bell rings out over the city, rousing the alarm and shouting begins ouside of the castle. He hears the trellis of the front gate slammed shut with a metal-against-stone CLANG and the clicking of chains.

From his small reverie is Sirius stolen, his senses the primer that push him away from this get-away to the pains of being a man, and back into the world. The real world. And few worlds would get as real as his, when his eyes turn down and center their contracting focus upon the doorslit. He takes several steps away from the opening, but not enough as to give way for the hallway in case something comes sprinting out.

With etiquette and calm ritual, he begins unbuckling the burdensome weight of his sword-belt. The buckle comes off, the leather stringing's loosened, its grip gives around his belt-line. It droops, tips down his waist, and soon comes entirely undone to the ground. Next comes his cloak's pin, which he flicks off with an index finger and drops to the ground under a clatter of light metals and chimeric furs.

Free of burdensome apparel, the Prince slides back a foot and pushes himself in an elegantly poised stance reminiscent of one Princess Sorrel, only that he's not quite as taut and refined as she. In his gaze lies worry, but hardened to its adversity. In silence, he awaits the lurching composition of otherworldly death scraping up to reach him through the tunnel, prepared. "More blood to soak the soil, feeding the evil therein."

He prepares for the invasion of the canine kind with his sword, held out before him and has only a few seconds to prepare himself wherein several soldiers around him have realized what is happening too and begin to run to his aid, standing behind him and drawing their weapons.

It seemed like an eternity, how the dogs were running blind in the darkness, possibly relying only on their scent for the hunt.

It was only a few moments though, in reality where time wasn't dialated by surging adrenaline and then.. growing louder and louder - the burst forth from the square, black maw like they had been vomited up from the depths of the Abyss.

Rangy, stringy coats on lean dogs. Some of them you can tell were /hungry/ and had been so for a long time with wild eyes and slobbering jowls.

Here they found their quarry. Possibly their dinner -- and they act as a pack, fanning out and facing Sirius and the soldiers behind him. In total, he is staring down six of them.

Sirius checked command + leadership at difficulty 20, rolling 27 higher.

Sirius checked strength + brawl at difficulty 20, rolling 35 higher.

Dogs. True monsters from that tenuously thin wall that crosses into the Abyss he had expected, but it is dogs instead; animals, instead. Starved, haggard, crossing out into the light of the world after being forced into the tunnels by their uncaring masters. "Wait," he says, as files of warriors move around him. "Wait, wait--it is, can you hear them? They're canines," the Prince explains, just as the leader of the bunch, a mutt of uncanny size and berth, crosses through that black threshold.

His jowls hang, his teeth are bare, and starving drool drips from them. "Capture them!" Shouts the Prince, who needs but a beating pause before he belatedly, but importantly, adds; "Alive! The kennel master's short on friends!" And just like that, Sirius forsakes all safety of self and pulls off his coat upon sheathing his blade, holding it before him like a makeshift net of sorts. With it, he lunges forward alongside his party, and attempts to clasp the back of the gnarly beast's neck and commence a struggle in hopes of seizing him under the coat as to restrain its mouth shut until what energy is left in it leaves.

Iseulet GM Roll checked strength(3) + brawl(2) at difficulty 18, rolling 15 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked strength(3) + brawl(2) at difficulty 18, rolling 7 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked strength(3) + brawl(2) at difficulty 18, rolling 33 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked strength(3) + brawl(2) at difficulty 18, rolling 1 lower.

Iseulet GM Roll checked strength(3) + brawl(2) at difficulty 18, rolling 4 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked strength(3) + brawl(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked strength(3) + brawl(2) at difficulty 20, rolling 13 higher.

The first dog, the leader of the pack, is Sirius' and he flings his coat over it, that canine snarls and bites ferociously at the coat - and here a skirmish occurs, a wrestle, a tussle. The other five have to contend with two guards a piece and working together, they might have had a slightly easier time of it. Four dogs are subdued, but one particularly hungry one fights off his would be attackers and turns on them - biting into his arm and with a sickening snap, breaks it. He screams and there's blood gushing - flowing - from the laceration but here, in this moment there is enough of a distraction for the other guard to contain the feral beast.

In the end, only one serious injury and all six dogs have been wrestled to the ground.

At this moment, however, when the dogs quiet and find themselves in submission, though still BRISTLING Sirius hears it.

The crescendo of cacophonous screams - war cries flooding the town outside of the castle and the beginning of the clanging of blades and the twangs of loosing arrows.

Sirius checked willpower at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.

Like some kind of mollusc, Sirius wraps around the massive dog and begins spinning, tossing, throwing around on the floor with it between his arms. Tufts of gangrenous, leperous hair drop into the Prince's mouth, he who quickly spits them out and screams in the desperation of their fighting as they struggle against one another. Finally able to pin the mutt to the floor with knees around his body and each hand clasping his neck to the ground, he looks around to notice the one guard - the one casualty - with eyes made wide.

"It was for a good cause, they're just hungry," he tells him, taking in a deep breath with bruised, but invigorating pain. "Half of you, keep these contained and ferry them to the cells. The rest--" Sirius' gaze moves off to the din of battle, and only does he stand when two more soldiers move to surrogate his position in keeping the exhausted dog down. "--come with me! The courtyard's in peril!"

When he runs to the battle now, it is without the hesitation previously shown. His face hardens with ferocity, and he pushes on to the task end with fire coursing through his veins.

Sirius finds several guards coming in to relieve him of the dog and several more to help the other guards with their captives. He is left to his mission - a journey to the courtyard, that he finds with several squadrons of soldiers on reserve for if the castle is breeched - but it's quiet. Above, though he hears a voice shouting down an update to him from a better vantage point. "Highness! They're flooding the city from every direction!" He turns back to view the city. "They have torches - they intend on burning us down!"

To Sirius' left he sees a set of stairs heading up to the ramparts where his news agent is perched with the archers, squatting between turrets and taking aim and fire at a frenzied pace.

As Sirius steps out from the inside hallway of stone, he had expected a fresh breath of air, but instead it is that familiar brimstone that seeps into one's sinuses and the back of the throat in one painful lurch. His eyes squint hard at the distance, watching indeed from atop a crenelation the city and the surrounding soldiers. "How did they land on the island?! They must've used that--that, damnable crossing, like I said! I knew we should've made the cordon!" Curses Sirius, just before his attention's pulled upwards to the sentinel high above.

"Are the denizens all inside the castle?! Do not open the gate- we gave the notice long ago, if they're not inside, Gloria abide them!" The Prince replies, his voice loud and cutting through the open space like a knife through a darkening field now that the Sun's leaving them, letting the firmament be painted instead with the redness of flame and smoke and, soon? Blood.

"Hold! Hold your fire!" Sirius calls out, having noticed the madness of their free-firing without discipline or tact. As he reaches the higher ramparts, he gazes down at the encroaching files of mercenaries and declares; "On my mark!" With an arm held up in the air; "Stand!" He demands of the company of marksmen, ensuring they're all rigidly stood from beneath the cowering of their barricades before continuing; "Nock!" Then he waits, and waits, as they arrange their vows; "NOCK!" He shouts louder still, awakening in his loud, battlefield voice those still in the stupor of war, frozen in fear.

"Draw!" He adds next, more directly and dire his voice as silhouettes begin taking shape and making sense to the focus of his eyes coming upon the Keep. "LOOSE!" He clamors at last, ducking below the stone railing. As the quartermaster comes running across the courtyard in indirect panic, he borrows the chance to yell; "Take one brigade on the reserve and have them fill up buckets of water! They're looking to burn the stables and the food storages! Hurry now!"

Sirius checked perception + war at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.

The man that'd updated him looks wide eyed and sallow with panic. "I don't even know where they're coming from /on/ the island!" He practically squeaks, beads of swea souring on his brow. "No the citizens aren't inside the castle!" Because no one knew of the passage, no one had known of the tunnel or -- well literally anything about the depths of the island at all.

At his new vantage point he can see the little glowing orbs of fire chaotically dancing in the streets and he can already smell a wood smoke hitting his nostrils. But when his voice rings out through the din of battle, all the archers hold their fire. When he orders them to nock, they all nock. When he calls them to draw, they all draw... And when he calls for them to fire, every single one rains their arrows from above. It's certain that maybe some citizens were harmed in this, but Sirius can see several torches fall to the ground. He can hear the dogs snapping and growling - some yelping now.

The sentinal at his side takes the order to the brigade below personally and begins arranging for this to come to fruition.

But now, it's time for him to defend the castle. Now is the decisive moment for him. He has both the Grim Legion and the Seryn Army ready to command.

Sirius checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 7 lower.

When the news hit this Prince of the Oathlands that the streets, the buildings, the city - however sparsely - is still populated, it is to him and his senses as if the world grows still and soundless for what feels like a hundred years lapsed in that very second. Everything is curtained below a film of unimportance, and his white, soulless eyes gaze off down into the moor of houses and tents and things.

"We can't leave them to die," he breathes out, looking around and within the safety of the castle. "We can't," the Prince decides, then turns, facing the officer in command of the archers themselves; "Continue as I've instructed here, but hold fire once the portcullis rises. I'll be sallying out, and I don't want arrows on the men's back. Then, give us covering fire, I do not want us surrounded so easily when we're out there!" The Oathlander marches downstairs, down and into the courtyard. He passes orders around -- the Prince intends to march out onto the streets and save as many of the citizens as is possible on a guarded march to the keep, before returning. Horses, horses- he finds himself one, some gelding of stern stock and enough height from which to swing his blade. A woman at arms offers to suit him in armor, but; "There's no time," and he adjusts his legs around the saddle and stirrups as is necessary.

"Raise it on my command!" He declares, but only after he's arranged a worthy sortie of Legionnaires around him, while arranging a wedge of mounted warriors all around him that, at his behest, shall act as his bulwark and huscarls. "OPEN THE GATE!" Sirius screams, and like an echo, various sentries bellow his command, until the chains of the portcullis' gears begin stirring, and the metallic bars rise. And rise. And 'ere, the Sun dies,

And Sirius Valardin gallops out into that breach of swords and shields and splinters, for better or worse.

When the portcullis rises and he's freed, the rain of arrows ceases to let him and his Legionnaires pour forth into the streets of Elune. It's not long until he's off the plateau and in the thick of it. It's chaos. It's fire and brimstone. Battles are by their very nature, hell, and here he's found himself in the Abyss. In the Reflection of Elune - when he arrived, an idyllic city of fanasy wedged between a sapphire blue sea and an emerald forest, amethyst clusters of homes and now in the smoke and din of battle all the colors have left, desaturaed, the world almost void of all color but the colors of war and steel and fire and blood.

It isn't too far until he falls into the thick of it, in the town market, where the majority of the fighting has commenced - the wild, feral enemy is coming from the front and many, many alley ways are thick with Seryn and Grim forces. To his surprise, the cobblestone streets are still fairly clear of bodies and the ones not in the thick of the fight are putting together blockades at either side to defend this space.

Sirius checked perception + war at difficulty 20, rolling 16 higher.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 25, rolling 20 higher.

What Sirius sees on his ride out? It could be worse. For every three to four of Grim or Seryn troops he counts, he counts another wolf or one of the mercenaries. It also seems like the majority of the mercenaries have one dog with them. These seem to be very well trained dogs, unlike the half starved ones they loosed in the castle.

Atop a palomino whose furs are darkened under that screen of fog that seems to have taken the place of breeze and wind over the township, Sirius arrives amidst a coterie of mounted warriors, and much behind him is the marching warband of warriors mismatched with Grim and Seryn liveries, respectively. It is madness, here, at the center of it all, but within this vortex of mayhem is where he thrives and gathers his wits as violently quick and fulminantly as how he now pulls at his horse's reins, halting its brisk gallop at the very center of the plaza.

"Reinforce those barricades!" He quickly commands the battalion behind him, the shine of Culdrake striking out across the air where he now points acting as the arrow that, beneath the shine of flames, shimmers across the glow of its Alaricite. "We cannot be overrun, not while there's people in these houses!" As another maniple of warriors comes to him for orders, rather than fling himself not the battle, Sirius sees to them; "Get in those houses, get as many of the women, children and aged out into the plaza so they can go up into the keep proper! Escort them! Quickly now, quickly! HASTEN!"

The Prince leaps off of his horse, and moves towards one of the barricades, where he joins shoulder-to-shoulder the various soldiers in hand in piling wood and discarded furniture up and onto those vast, long blockades.

He gives the order and a group splits off to begin getting the civilians from the heart of the battle to the castle in one piece. He doesn't see much of this, as they filter through the alleys and away from the city center and toward the more residential areas surrounding it. He also helps with the barricades - several hundred purpleheart trees have been felled and sharpened just for the occasion.

This is when several generals approach him with news of their quarters. It's the same everywhere. They are running about whooping and hollering, letting their dogs attack whoever they run across and alighting buildings. They are mostly armed with knives, daggers, and the occasional sword and try to avoid any direct combat with the friendly soldiers. They have absolutely no structure to it.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 20, rolling 36 higher.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 20, rolling 39 higher.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 20, rolling 77 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked command(3) + war(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 24 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked command(3) + war(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked command(3) + war(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked command(3) + war(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 20 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked command(3) + war(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.

The streets are a mess. Arrows come in sporadic episodes all around Sirius, bouncing from their flint-tips off of the ground and sliding jarringly towards the center, where they pile amidst the boots of archers line in circle about the fountain, delivering their own surplus of arrows back to the less disciplined mercenaries. To find Sirius amidst the madness of civilians and workers; militia and soldiers, it is hard. The generals must shout his name plenty, scream, and by the time he's clasped by the shoulder and pulled from the array piling up against his barricade his face's covered in a heap of black, as if ink, ingrained to his face.

"They're not here to take the keep," Sirius says, realizing; "They're here to kill the people. To kill, bring mayhem, make this place uninhabitable- they're tools! These damnable, squalid tribesmen- they're tools!" The Prince shouts in a harsh fit, pointing derisively off to the distance of flames and tribalistic shouts. "Pass on the orders, we will save as many as we can. Preserve infrastructure as is possible- do not pursue them for any cause other than to recapture lost ground and make sure civilians are brought back. I'll hold the plaza. Push as one," then, he pauses, reaches in, and clasps the General by a shoulder; "Fear is the guardian of hate!" He reminds him, loud and clear, like a hot spear through a cold heart.

His generals run off carrying his orders abroad to their squadrons across the city and Sirius' sudden very correct realization about their motives. Understanding the motives, it seems, is essential to predicting the ebb and flow of war.

Time passes. Sirius helps hold the plaza and around him as he continues on he can see snippets of his orders being carried out. Guards escorting civilians back to the keep, buckets of water being distributed to the burning homes. The injured being directed to the plaza for care from the Mercy's station that's sprung up there.

And the battle rages. Almost an hour passes, but as he predicted, the enemy forces don't seen too inerested in attacking the plaza for the moment past rustling a few jimmies here and there. It's chaos - like watching the waves of a stormy sea crash into rocks, fall back and crash again. An exercise in futility.

Now, the numbers are steadily trickling in from all quarters from the generals he sent out and Sirius has a brief moment to adust his plans and freshen up his orders. Two moderate victories and two major victories, but they keep attacking - the battle is quickly approaching its climax and the moment at which all fates are decided.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 20, rolling 32 higher.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 20, rolling 27 higher.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 20, rolling 63 higher.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 20, rolling 35 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked command(3) + war(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked command(3) + war(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked command(3) + war(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked command(3) + war(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 42 higher.

As the majority of the city's denizens begin flooding towards the keep from the plaza itself, Sirius breathes out a sigh of relief. Almost as if he's been holding air in his lungs for the past few hours since he's sallied out. Only after confirming that's the majority of what's salvageable from the populace, does Sirius rise up and mounts atop his formerly sequestered horse in order to ride up to the fountain itself, taking from its arch of marble the untouched wooden pole hosting the colors of the city; A crescent moon in front of a purple starburst on a field of pitch, and in the winds of flames upon which it now undulates it is almost at home.

"General, take your men and take command of the plaza. Tell the rest to hold tight in their districts, that I'll be leading a foray through the biggest barricade as to break this damnable stalemate, it should bring them relief. Should you hear of my death, retreat to the keep." Sirius says, a declaration made loud enough so that the various onlooking officers, captains and sergeants surrounding them begging for orders in their eyes hear, and listen.

He gallops now to the center, and as orders pass between the various chains of command that arrange each platoon, a quick charge of infantrymen, pikemen and archers perform a battalion's line out for him. "March!" He commands, and with the city's flag he aims for the widest road; the trader's road, the path with the widest street that opens out into the city proper. Sirius himself is at the fore, with mounted warriors flanking him abreast and behind.

As he rides out with his banner and squadron, there begins a change in the hymn of battle that thrums in his ears. It almost grows distant. The tide of the battle is beginningto shift away from the city center and toward the sea before him. The howling and snarling and hooting and crying of the enemies drops off very sharply and he's told by a running battlefield messenger from the second quadrant, that the enemy is falling back there. Not that they have given up and are running with their tails betwixt their legs, but more like they are fighting as they make an escape. Though there have been a few casualties on their side and many more injuries, the enemy forces seem to be down tremendously. They need to know what to do - must they chase them into the sea and off the island, or do they cut them off and cut them down? (Or possibly arrest them).

The messenger, but a paige is winded and red cheeked and his red hair is sooty, his fingers burned and blistered.

As the paige comes blaring and screaming through destroyed stalls and debris, the company of archers behind the squad all take subsequent aim; "Hold your fire!" Calls out the Prince, "He has our colors." Quickly, Sirius dismounts and lands across the scorched ground, tracing towards the Paige to meet him half-way. Beside the Prince are a series of officers and onlooking soldiers as the conversation's held. "Catch your breath," the Oathlander firmly instructs, holding the young boy by the shoulder stiff in case he's feeling like flopping over.

Once the news arrives, many amongst his squad - no, all of them - cheer and happily throw their arms in the air, perhaps under the assumption that they'd simply see them off of the isle. Sirius' expression, however, doesn't soften; he's not smiling, no, and once his warriors take notice to the grim quality of his veneer, they understand before the order itself's even given. "Captains, instruct the soldiers: we'll adopt a forced march. We'll be cutting them off, arresting those who surrender and killing any who refuse our mercy. We'll race them to their ships, to their freighters; we'll race them there and refuse them the chance to fight us another day! Hurry now! HURRY!"

Sirius foots after his horse with speed, leaping more-so than climbing onto it by how quick he is, and quickly guides it by the reins down the road at doubled pace.

The paige, probably on only the cusp of manhood does indeed use Sirius as a leaning post regardless of the social disparity. There are times when you are just all together too exhausted to care. He delivers his news and his knees wobble and the weight of his burden released, he finds so is his strength and he sits down, just there, allowing the army to walk around him. He might have even curled up into a ball to recover.

Sirius pushes forward toward the north eastern docks where the mercenaries are attempting to flee with their dogs - but there are no enemy ships here. All of them look to be merchantile and not martial in the least.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 20, rolling 19 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked command(3) + war(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 20, rolling 61 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked command(3) + war(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 8 higher.

Sirius checked command + war at difficulty 20, rolling 35 higher.

And forward they march, anger and hatred in their hearts and hands. Each weapon an instrument to act out such vengeful and rotten thoughts, for each and every soldier that there forms the line of Sirius' vanguard has lost someone, something, to the Abandoned, and now comes the night of retribution. Out into the docks they strike, torches and rocks and arrows being flung from one side to the other. The gelding Sirius rides finds an arrow on its neck, and so the Prince's thrown off of his mount as it ran at full speed, sending him off into a pile of crates and empty cargo and coiled ropes.

The Grim Legion takes the fleeing soldiers by bloody surprise, and an open melee that heavily favours Seryn commences in a quick start of bloodletting all around. At the center of the battle, Sirius Valardin. His focus' all over the place -- all he hears are screams of pain, all he smells but the fecal scent of death deep in his nose, and the air... the air tastes of iron.

Awakening from his reverie all-a-sudden by a crude sword being swung at his face, he lifts Culdrake and parries it with its alaricite edge before it succeeds in cleaving his face in half. A death avoided by inches. Sirius swings away the sword, gains space, and eyes his enemy; an Abandoned savage, with a dog at his heels. A houndmaster, with blade in one hand and the dog's rope that holds it by the neck coiled around the other.

The man, hopefully it was a man, is shorn of hair and scarred. Not much past the age of 35 he wears enough scars on his face and hands for twenty men twice his age. He's practically frothing at the mouth, his eyes wild and lit by a nearby fire that lights the docks, the crackling drowning out most of the fighting going on around him save for in his direct vicinity. He chuckles, seeing an unarmored Prince in he middle of the frey and drops the rope, utering a single command heard only by the dog. And the dog launches itself at Sirius, going for his throat, bone white teeth flashing in the light.

Iseulet GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + brawl(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.

Sirius checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 48, rolling 7 higher.

The feeling of being cornered washes over Sirius almost immediately when he finds that behind him there's nothing but wood and in front of him, a crazed soul holding onto an indoctrinated pup whose angers he's borrowed altogether from his owner. No amount of sympathy for the little beast would keep Sirius from preserving his life, so when it inevitably comes charging at him, he swings Culdrake in a violent arch and slices the wind itself, before the blunt inside of the blade slaps the dog on the side and sends it flying to the side with a smack violent enough to crack a rib or two. "Now it's just you, you honorless cur," taunts Sirius, holding the sword's end towards the frenzied mercenary in the grip of each hand, hard around its leather-bound handle.

Without warning, he lunges at him.

Sirius checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 33 higher.

Iseulet GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + dodge(2) at difficulty 53, rolling 21 lower.

Maybe the sellsword is in shock at just how easily the dog is swatted out of the air by the gangly Prince, or maybe it was Sirius' swift recovery with such a blade as that - but with the arc of the downswing, he attempts to move but it's too little, too late. The sword slices through him like a hot knife through butter, splitting his skull and since he stepped sideways, severs his face from his head. There's blood. Sirius is hit with the spray but the white cobblestone underneath might very likely be stained forever with the river that's forming long before the body even has time to hit the ground with an emphatic thud.

Then, there is silence. Only the sound of fires being pu out - splashing and hissing and crackling as his men around him stop and look around them in a field of bodies and their parts strewn about like a strange and rather macabre jigsaw puzzle.

The battle had been won.

As the vanquished Abandoned's held aloft by Culdrake being embedded into his skull, his body lurches forward, and his hands grasp onto Sirius' shirt for dear life. Then, the weight of his body drags him down, like unseen hands pulling at him from the ankles and forcing him to the floor towards death. He curses the Oathlander, words so ethereal and breathless they already sound as if from a different plane of existence, and so it is that he dies, his craggy palms imprinted in blood against Sirius' shirt.

Culdrake's then lifted with a crunch out from his head, the blade one's pristine length sullied by strands of innards, blood and viscera. He wipes it as he can against the more loose portion of cloth on his bottom hem, and parades the battlefield in silence.

It is through his sword that the soldiers have come to know who he is, here at the end of all things. The come to him for orders, logistics, coordination- his orders are precise, specific, but exhausted. "Ferry the wounded," "Look for survivors," "Send out parties into the nearby woods and hamlets to make sure no resistance remains or survivors that may've ran for safety in the wilderness."

But he's tired. Too tired. Atop a coiled pyramid of ropes, Sirius there sits. He gazes off into the distance, watching the night claim dominion of the surrounding land and bathe the isle in a darkness kept at bay by the luminous clouds of torches and lanterns that begin their advent out across Elune's many alcoves and balconies once more. The city was theirs.

For now.

And there, Sirius finds a temporary peace under the stars, watching the smoke clear to give way to a sparkling night sky. Around him are footsteps - some lazy some hurried. Most are putting out fires and accounting for civilians as best as they can, clearing out the dead and getting the injured to the mercies. Several squadrons are sent out to neighboring villages as he ordered and soon, dawn begins to break, lightening the sky and the world just enough for Sirius to see the waers of Izarra Bay stained red with blood and revealing to him a chunk of the Grim Fleet riding toward him at the docks to the west, and Domonico's caravel leading another chunk of the Grim Fleet headed by Domonico's Tempest from the northeast. They are trailing some ships he doesn't recognize and many of the boats look a little bent out of shape. It looks like they have both seen battle.

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