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The Bug Thief

There's something rotten at the Blackram Fasthold.

Date

Dec. 22, 2021, 9:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Panic Scraps

GM'd By

Panic Scraps

Participants

Thea Gael Mattheu Cesare Elora Raven Kiera Macda Ryhalt Denica Corban Sorrel Tesha Faye Liara Isidora Drake Mabelle Bridget

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Blackram Fasthold - Estate Grounds

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


The Bug Thief has started at Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Blackram Fasthold - Estate Grounds.

Thea was home, in Wyvernheart. Not far at all. So it doesn't really take her long to get to where the noise is. She halts when she sees all the bugs and well--we won't go into the hole. "Shite,"she cries out, her eyes large. "What the fuck---"

It isn't simply her guards, that the Blackheart leaves behind in the dust — Gael Crownsworn, too. He at the very back, on his stumbling and healing leg, desperately trying to catch up. His bated, empty 'Wait!'s reach no one's ears in the desperation of getting to the violence at hand, and so he arrives not simply late to Raven's 'idea', but already gassed out. His every taken breath a tumultuous process that catches at his chest, gags at his chest, and flows out flared nostrils in distressed, boarish rasps. He's stooping here, hands to his knees, unaware of it all. Just so he can breathe.

Mattheu had been sitting in a tree, and when the eruption of screaming began he climbed further up first to see some of the commotion at the neighbors. Then sliding down and coming to aide he nearly trips over a some of the broken ground as he finds himself on the heels of Raven. Bells singing out as he dashes closer, a blur of orange, red, and yellows with mix of deepened waters. He then swings the glaive from hip and taking it his hand to get a better view of what there is, or what is where. Watching wide eyed as the host overtakes the guards. Calling out to Thea, "Countess! Where am I needed?"

/Why/ is the Softest Whisper here? What a good question. He's here, regardless, perhaps having heard the screams nearby, and as Corban comes to an abrupt stop, he almost runs into the knight, stopping himself with one hand on the man's shoulder. "As much as it pains me to say so," he admits, "I think we don't have time right now to figure out what's going on. I hope you've got your bug-stomping boots on." Raising his voice, Cesare calls, "We're here to help! Raise a hand and we'll find you!"

Guards surrounding her and a very snarly looking dog at her side, Elora sprints into the area, an arrow notched just in case. Blueberry eyes swing around, looking for something or someone. Seeing some offical looking people, she heads in their direction. Corban's direction in specific. "Sir Corban? I have brought medicine and my kit." Her lips thin out at the bugs. Beside her, Due growls low and quiet, hackles raising and body hunkering slightly.

Raven calls over, "Sir Corban! Do you reckon there's any use in seeing where they're coming from to see if it can be disrupted or closed?"

Kiera rushes into the fastheld in something of a panic that increases exponentially as she surveys the horrific situatuation but he look of fr abject horror as she notices the unusual behavior of the insects behavior "what are they doing doing

Crying servants run from the front door, clinging to what they could grab. They hear the calls of fellow /humans/, and in their panic start running. The bugs do not stir from their path.

Macda approaches the grounds at a jog in order to survey the scene first. What? /Planning?/ Mac, your reputation! There are enough weapons visibly drawn that she loosens her own, looking around for who's shouting the loudest, or clearest, about where to point the fighty bits.

Macda wields a diamondplate fist on a stick.

Ryhalt trots over from the Westrock Commons for once not smiling as nothing that shakes the ground in the Ward can be good, but from the looks of things 'not good' isn't accurate enough description. "With me," he says to his guards, steadying them at the sight of the bugs and leads the way over to where the servants are panicking.

There is a rush to her steps and Denica is arriving on the scene with Faye, the two having come together. Eyes go wide immediately and she is no doubt thinking a variety of things all at once. Leaning in she murmurs something to her companion, "I think I will do best trying to get people to safety," she murmurs not prepared for combat, but keen to help the situation. "Try to bring some calm to the chaos," she says looking at the other woman to see what she chooses to do.

Cesare checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Cesare is successful.

Tesha checks command and diplomacy at normal. Tesha is successful.

Kiera checks perception and investigation at normal. Kiera is successful.

Ryhalt checks intellect and propaganda at normal. Ryhalt is successful.

What authority does Sir Corban Telmar have here? Absolutely none at all. But being the First Captain of the King's Own comes with a certain recognizability about him and so he does what First Captians do: He barks orders. "The bugs have a precise //target//!" calls out the knight. "So get the servants //out// of their path. Elora, set up a triage station for the wounded away from the path the bugs are taking. The rest of us, press towards the Fasthold to cut them off from ... wherever they are going!"

Denica checks charm and empathy at normal. Denica marginally fails.

Elora checks command and medicine at normal. Elora is successful.

Sorrel has followed Corban here, and she's looking to him when he starts shouting orders, and she nods. She moves towards the Fasthold, heading towards where he has recommended.

Corban checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Corban is successful.

Corban checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Corban is successful.

Gael checks dexterity and huge wpn at normal. Botch! Gael fails badly.

Sorrel checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Sorrel is successful.

Sorrel checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Sorrel is successful.

Raven checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Raven is successful.

Macda checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Macda is successful.

Raven checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Raven is successful.

Macda checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Macda is successful.

Gael checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Gael is successful.

Thea checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Thea is successful.

Thea checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Thea is successful.

Mattheu checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Mattheu is successful.

Thea gestures Mattheu to Corban, who Thea herself starts to hears and starts to prepare.

Mattheu checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Mattheu marginally fails.

Cesare isn't going to fool anyone into thinking he's leading anyone into combat. But he wades into the fray as the crying servants start to emerge with what is, perhaps, a distressing lack of fear. "Over here!" he calls, finding a path that is free of any bugs other than the kind which are easily squishable by foot. Two people make their way toward him - a disheveled maid, and a cook. Cesare puts them in front of himself, and together the three of them make their way back toward safety, where Elora is setting up a triage station, before Cesare turns back again, toward Insect Hell.

Tesha had definitely heard the ruckus and given she'd had armor delivered not too long ago it wasn't a short few moments to strap into Brigandine and rush out of the tower with her guards and dogs on her heels. Blackram wasn't that far and she wasn't really going to sit idly by with whatever was happening. The bugs make her stomach drop though as she remembers what happened at Greyhold, she unsheathes her sword even as she focuses on getting the servants into a semblance of calm. She uses her firm, but calming tone to help with guiding a small group away before she turns to head back into the unfolding madness.

Raven abandons her original plan and decides Corban's plan is a much better plan than her own and darts forward, stomping, the smaller ones as she goes and dispatched the bigger ones as she passes them.

On his way over Ryhalt notices the servants running directly towards the hole into the Cairn below. "You don't want to take a trip down there, it's safer through there." He rushes between the servants and the hole, ignoring the bugs as best he can, to guide and talk the servants from going that way and out towards the center of the city instead.

Faye arrives with Denica, having received a message that something strange was happening here. "Bugs. Why is it the bugs again?" she remarks to her Inquisition compatriot. A nod to Denica when the woman says she is going to try to get people to safety. "Stay safe. I'm going to poke around where these things are coming from. Maybe find a weakness there or whatever is controlling them." She will try to approach the area from the side, away from the line of moving bugs.

Faye checks perception and investigation at normal. Faye is successful.

Liara checks command and leadership at normal. Liara is successful.

Elora nods succinctly to Corban and darts off. Looking around she snags a passing servant and ropes her into helping set a field triage out of the way. It's not the prettiest thing in the world. It's not a safe place for surgery. But, it's adequate for the intended purpose. As servants run over with blood and terrified eyes, she inhales to brace herself. "Alright, you first. Let's see." She begins doing a series of quick assessments, sorting people into groups like Hospital-bound, Many Bandages, and Panic Attack. "Any other medics?" she calls loudly (and hopefully), eyes still on the suture she's performing.

Mattheu nods to Thea, doesn't listen to much of what is actually said and has a silly smirk on his lips as he runs towards the bugs on their singular path, slashing and spinning. A sea of burnt ember orange with hints of blue and greens, amongst a jingling cascade of bells all singing out as steel from end of staff slices and stabs through the bugs allowing the Rivenshari to charge further onwards.

Denica nods to Faye when the woman talks about poking around, "good idea," she murmurs. "Be safe," she says with a softer expression before she is headed towards a gaggle of screaming maids. "Don't Panic!," she says to them in a loud voice. It's not at all comforting. Nor can they hear her either. No one is listening. They are screaming too loud. Shrill screams that make Denica cringe a little. They just go on screaming, flailing and going in circles. The small princess is trying to get people's attention but it's chaos and she's just lost in the middle.

Gael, altogether exhausted prior to even arriving at the locale, is altogether caught off-guard once he's even able to summon the strength to stand upright. For when he does; when his being tithers upwards, striking his way is a singularly nimble, quick, and plunging little bug of nibbly-nibbling pincers. Its size is but a disguise, a trap to be assured by, and in his attempt to merely 'swat' it aside he's quite entirely flung into a forceful 180°, arm outstretched. He loses his balance, naturally, and goes tumbling to the ground, sword going out of reach. That same carapaced devil then comes plunging down for Gael's head, but screaming, he rolls afield and away.

2 Valardin Knights, Skiftfeather - an Elegant Snowy Owl arrive, following Isidora.

Kiera blinks "They're coming through the hole in the wa;; making a path for something but what?" At Corban's urging she makes certain she is out of the way of said path

Liara Grayson arrives to the Blackram estate at a brisk walk, armoured - a most unusual sight. Her lips press together into a thin line as the scene ahead comes into view. There's a moment of that, just silent, pensive watching of what's happening, and then she collects herself and draws her griffin-winged helmet on. "Just one object, Sir Corban?" she calls over after overhearing that.

Her gaze flits over towards the hole in the wall, then the front door, and she sets off towards the door, calling towards the people emerging, "Steady yourselves. Help is here. Give the creatures a berth and move to the gates!" A teary-eyed butler happens to move her way, and she graces him with a faint smile, despite everything, and a quieter, "You are safe. Move to the gates."

The 'but what?' seems to be the problem that sticks in Sir Corban's mind at the moment. But it is a question that can only . . . bug . . . him so much, for he presses ahead with the rest of the combatants that have come to repel the insect invaders, bringing his blade down on a human-sized one and sending it off, the alaracite blade snicker-snacking. "So it appears!" calls back Sir Corban as he presses towards the Fasthold, trying to pinpoint their goal.

As the forces arrive, the bugs still have their goal - the house, out of the house, keep the path clear. They are mindless, set to this one path. Until the swords start slashing and their bodies are broken. The screeches and chittering of the bugs fills the courtyard, sending already calmed servants into a rising panic, and they begin to retaliate, slashing and cutting and biting. They must not fail.

The fighting continues, and finally the reason for their path becomes clear - in the acid-burnt hole appears a man, dressed in black and holding something in his hand - a necklace? No. A bracelet, a beautiful black diamond glittering from the setting. He hisses to see the crowds gathering, and stuffs the necklace into his shirt. "To the hole! We have what we came for!" he commands, and with a spreading of his arms outward, he sends a gust of wind toward the fighters with a mighty screech that sounds not at all human. The burst of air passes through the bugs as if they cannot even feel it, but it hits the group, sending people flying back, falling, off-balance.

Cesare checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Cesare is successful.

Corban checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Corban is successful.

Elora checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Elora fails.

Liara checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Liara is successful.

Sorrel checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Botch! Sorrel fails badly.

Gael checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Gael is successful.

Faye checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Faye is successful.

Tesha checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Tesha is successful.

Ryhalt checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Ryhalt is successful.

Macda checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Macda is successful.

Mattheu checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Mattheu is successful.

Panic drops perfect golden bracelet with a black of diamond.

Raven checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Raven is successful.

Thea checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Thea is successful.

Panic gets perfect golden bracelet with a black of diamond.

"No!" gasps Cesare, his dark gaze drawn like a moth to a flame toward that gleaming gem. He reaches out, instinctively, toward it, startled but easily able to stay on his feet as the gust of wind passes over them.

Thea presses forward to the bugs. She's in agreement with Raven here..ew bugs. She takes a swing at the larger of the bugs, the human sized one. "Gods!"

If it was a little less chaotic, the sounds of those chasing bugs would be a good rhythm for a song. Clank, thud, slice, squish, crack, splort. Macda's mace drops in an arc to flatten one of the smaller skittering things before it can snack on a comrade's uncovered leg. Just in time for said comrade to stumble back against her as the wind pushes down the line. "Balls-- Steady on!"

Raven sings off key, "Iiiiif you thing the Traitor sucks turds, Stab some bugs! Oooooh, if you think the fucking traitor blows chunks, stomp some bugs! Ooooh if you really wanna tell 'em to suck it, you really gotta squish 'em! IF you really hate the fucker, kill some bugs!" grunting softly with a stomp of her boots or flick of her alaricite blade. Aaaand her song's knocked out of her though she keeps her balance and points her sword at the mystery man with a blink, "Oh, goood, something that bleeds properly."

Kiera checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Kiera marginally fails.

Hearing about trouble not far from home in the Valardin Ward, Isidora took only a moment to snatch up her medical bag before dashing off toward the trouble, two Valardin knights following her. She makes her way into the area, her eyes wide as she stares around at the panicked people and the... bugs. Clutching her satchel to her, she tries to assess the situation.

Denica checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Denica is successful.

As Elora straightens to move onto the next injured person, the wind catches her totally unawares. With a squawk, she tumbles over and rolls into the wall. It takes her a second to orient herself, but she's soon pushing back up to roll her shoulder. "Ow," she says under her breath before getting back to it.

Faye has no good weapon against a sea of bugs, but she manages to ready her crossbow, in case it comes to that. She can see there are a lot of bugs swarming from the hole they've dug up from the ground into a particular room in the house, though she cannot see what's there at this point. "Hey, anyone got fire handy?" she calls into the chaos. "If we can stop them from coming in, it'll be fewer we have to fight." At least, in theory. But whatever plan she might have been trying to put together is distracted by the man in black, dangling the necklace. Maybe it's too late for anything preventative. Then he sends out a ferocious gust of wind, and Faye hides her eyes behind the sleeve of her coat as it blows through.

Renard, a blue and gold macaw arrive, following Vitalis.

Mattheu checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Mattheu is successful.

Tesha wasn't expecting to be almost knocked over by the voice of someone, but here we are! She wobbles though she manages to keep herself mostly up and not completely bowled over. "These collecting bastards..." she hisses out with a grimace as she straightens.

Mattheu checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Mattheu is successful.

Raven checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Raven is successful.

Raven checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Raven is successful.

Ryhalt checks perception and investigation at normal. Ryhalt marginally fails.

Sorrel checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Sorrel is successful.

Sorrel checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Sorrel is successful.

Macda checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Macda is successful.

Macda checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Macda is successful.

Thea checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Thea is successful.

Thea checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Thea is marginally successful.

Elora checks perception and medicine at normal. Botch! Elora fails badly.

Isidora checks perception and medicine at normal. Isidora is successful.

Calluna, A Young Highhill Mastiff arrives, following Drake.

Liara checks command and leadership at normal. Liara is successful.

Kiera checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Kiera is successful.

Denica checks dexterity and stealth at normal. Denica is successful.

Kiera is transfixed at the sight of the bracelet and blown off her feet by the wind, her lift ankle twisted underneath as she goes down. She grits her teeth and tries to right herself and moves back

Corban checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Corban is successful.

Isidora checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Isidora is successful.

Corban checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Corban fails.

Thea checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Thea marginally fails.

Thea checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Thea is successful.

Raven checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Raven fails.

Raven checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Raven is successful.

The gust of wind finds Mattheu with a large grin on his face as he nearly leans into it, as bells jingle louder he slips back readjusting his footing, blade swinging around ready for another pass in attacks.

Ryhalt staggers forward from the blast from behind, taken by surprise. He manages to keep his feet but that's just set the panic up a notch or two for those he's trying to help. He glances over his shoulder to the voice and frowns. Clearly that was something that should not be allowed to happen. He looks around trying to find something to try to block the hole, but pauses, perhaps visibly because of the bugs, but something else has him alarmed. He shouts a warning to those nearby, "Something big's coming from below!"

Blue, a cantankerous western bluebird have been dismissed.

Drake wasn't too far behind the rest of his family, but there was a bit of a delay while he went and grabbed his sword and strapped on an armored vest. It seems like the kind of situation where he'd need both of those things. When he gets here now - it wasn't very far - it takes him a second to get his bearings in the chaos.

Tesha checks command and war at normal. Tesha is successful.

Cesare checks charm and empathy at normal. Cesare is successful.

3 Thrax Guards have been dismissed.

1 Thrax Elite Guards have been dismissed.

A nondescript man named Cato have been dismissed.

Raven looks around to see if there's anyone in immediate assistance before growling, "Let's get that shithead!" She charges forward and doesn't come anywhere close to menacing him as she closes the distance but at leans she remains nimble and fast making herself a rather elusive target.

Bugs, bugs everywhere. But Isidora's eyes are not on the bugs. Lifting an arm to shield her face as much as she can, she advances her way into the chaos, seeking out anyone who may be injured to assess where her skills may be most needed. She leans into the wind, her lips pressed into a grim line of determination, dark brown hair falling free of its chignon, clothing rippling about her. Her main goal is to get to the injured, and her knights will help them get to safety if possible so that she can treat them. She avoids getting into any combat if she can help it, focused on saving lives and minimizing injuries. A few injured servants are tended to, and a guard as well, wound quickly cleaned and bandaged. All the while, she is glancing around, to ensure nothing creepy crawly is trying to sneak up on her.

Due barks menacingly at the whipping winds, displeased when they knock his human into the wall. She keeps rubbing her head, eyes a bit watery. The triage shudders to a stop as she takes a few minutes to steady her hands. "Breathe. Breathe." Her eyes screw shut, and a touch to her head produces a hissing wince.

Kiera checks charm and empathy at normal. Kiera is successful.

Raven looks around to see if there's anyone in immediate assistance before growling, "Let's get that shithead!" She charges forward as she seeks to close the distance but at leans she remains nimble and fast making herself a rather elusive target. (Amended)

Denica decides that her skills are better suited elsewhere and the young woman is tugging up her snood and buttoning her coat. Denica is small and she is looking around, watching the chaos unfold as she is coming up with her plan. Eyeing the doors, the windows, Denica sees one left open and she is moving around the crowd of people, keeping to the shadows, the side lines, her eyes watching carefully and moving in plain sight, or rather, out of sight. Slipping into the house, she is clearly looking for something. Or she's just snoopy. When she gets into the house, she sees someone and she is crouching down in front of a servant in the corner. Her features soften as much as the Thrax can manage. "Hi, I'm Denica," she murmurs reaching out, "come let me help you," she whispers. "It's better to get everyone in one place..., it might not be safe in here. Can you tell me what you saw?," she asks the servant.

Liara wobbles a couple of steps at the gust of wind, but keeps herself upright. Frowning, her gaze tracks over to the hole in the wall and the man standing there, and then to Elora and Isidora and others attending to the wounded. She returns towards them, waving a gauntleted hand at the people who are still able to walk, her words imbued with a certain urgency following Ryhalt's warning, "Keep moving! Carry the wounded if they are able to be moved! Leave the estate! Keep moving!" Of course, not all are. The butler who had earlier spoken with her actually goes to help a wounded person, making for the estate's gate, the other hobbling along with the aid.

Cesare manages to tear his eyes away from the black-clad man as Corban, Thea, and Raven rush toward him. His mind might be half on that battle, still, but even half-present, comfort comes second-nature to him. He makes his way back over to Elora's triage station, and kneels among those who are firmly in the 'panic attack' category, since he can't do much for Many Many Many Bandages, Oh My God Does That Have Eggs In It?! or Holy Shit Get That Guy To a Hospital Yesterday. Soft voice, soft hands, slowing breaths, a little less shaky than they were a few minutes ago. And if he keeps glancing over his shoulder toward the battle? Well, that's understandable.

3 Pravus Honor Guard, Edmund, Paxton the Party Pigeon arrive, following Bridget.

2 Laurent trained guards, Cupcake, a cookie girl, 1 Laurent veteran guards arrive, following Mabelle.

Faye scans the area, looking beyond the running people and charging bugs. In the wreckage that the bugs have left, there are pieces of door and furniture that are splintered and look likely to burn. Hastily, she starts to assemble a bonfire not far from the hole where the bugs are swarming, then adding a nearby torch and an armload of hay from a spot where it looks like an animal was fed, or maybe just summer greenery was cleared.

Watching. Waiting, Thea carefully waits for the best opening before darting forward. Why WOULDN'T she go toward the man in black? Hurrying, Thea's blade raised, she takes her swipe, before jumping back as quick as she could. Making room for Raven and Corban and both. HOpefully she distracted the man enough.

Tesha looks after the man in black, but with herself still injured she's not sure that she can even hit him. Her heart might want feel she can, but her mind knows better. She decides to go with what she is good at and starts to find guards that aren't injured or those that look to be adrift and in need of orders, "Form up and protect those that you can!" she calls out to those that she can manage to find and motivate into the fight.

Faye checks strength and survival at normal. Faye is successful.

Kiera is litterally backing up one one one leg toward the triage area but is still trying to coax others to safety and medical help. "It will be alright. We're here to help you" As people file past, she gives smiles and nods as she endeavors to wrap her own ankle so she can assist with triage

Mabelle arrives to the area a little belated, looking up at the giant hole in the ground and the screaming people. She finds a few faces in the crowd and rushes toward Liara and Ryhalt, "What's going on? are you safe?"

The injured and the frightened are being well cared for by those who came to help, but their tears continue to flow as they are ushered off the grounds, or cared for by the field medics. Those left inside are being guided out by Denica's efforts. The bugs are retreating back down the hole, fighting only when they are attacked. And the man who came for the bracelet? His mission is near completion, and all he needs to do is make it back through that tunnel. The people of Arx have a different plan. When the trio rushes him, he growls out his respond to their efforts, sending a flash of air that cuts as sharply as a knife. "You cannot stop him," he spits out. "You cannot stop destiny." And then that rumbling that Ryhalt warned of begins again. The something bigger he cried out begins to crawl from the hole, jagged legs crawling and clawing at the dirt as the giant centipede emerges from the depths. Bloodstained antenna twitch and move as it rears its grotesque body from the hole. It swings outward, beady eyes searching for those who would dare come for its master. The mage grins toothily, and with a swish of his arms to clear the path, he runs for the hole, a host of bugs following in his wake. The giant centipede remains behind and swings its sutured rear at the fighters. The fire Faye builds springs to life, and a terrible hissing escapes from the ten foot tall beast.

Raven checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Raven is successful.

Raven checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Raven marginally fails.

Isidora checks composure at hard. Isidora is successful.

Drake checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Drake is successful.

Drake checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Drake is successful.

Mattheu checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Mattheu is successful.

Macda checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Critical Success! Macda is spectacularly successful.

Macda checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Macda marginally fails.

Mattheu checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Mattheu fails.

Liara happened to be trying to urge people out of the grounds as Mabelle arrives. Her head turns as the giant centipede emerges, and she utters in brief response, her jaw set briefly before she says so, "I was until a moment ago. Have you any elixir?" Then she reaches a hand up to draw her visor down to shield her face.

Eventually, Elora gathers herself. "I think I'm concussed," she murmurs to another healer. "Better not do any stitching." She turns back to the triage itself as more people show up to tend to the wounded and traumatized. Quietly, she begins moving behind the scenes of the station's machine, helping get the Hospital-Bound actually on their way to the hospital, or arranging for the Panic Attacks to find Cesare or Liara, making sure that someone is keeping bandages going. It's a potluck of tasks, but the Whitehawk is doing her damnedest in an attempt to keep it organized.

Ryhalt glances sideways to Mabelle as she comes, but it might be waste of breath for the mage's minion that he'd just warned about arrives. "The spilled my coffee." Maybe the real reason the Duke's here??? "They're after a black diamond. It's a mage. Safe...I think that just turned to a no."

Corban checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Corban is successful.

Corban checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Corban is successful.

Ryhalt wields Vindication.

Bridget wields The Claw of Mescino, an Antique Sword.

Ryhalt checks strength and huge wpn at hard. Ryhalt fails.

Cesare checks mana and performance at daunting. Cesare fails.

Ryhalt checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Ryhalt is successful.

Raven's lips peel from her teeth in an ill-tempered sneer, "Yeah? Watch me!" Desperate to get the fleeing man with the STUNNING peice of bling, she charges forward and drives her blade forward, snarling in frustration, "He's getting away!" single-minded in her pursuit and leaving herself vunerable to attack in her attempt to pursue.

Drake wields Icewind, a Diamondplate Longsword.

Mattheu spins back to attack, stopping only as the large centipede slips through the ground, then regaining his breath he leaps towards it swinging hard and fast. Making connection with steel upon the animal's shell, though is not fast enough to roll out of the way. Getting knocked backwards he stands back up with a brush to his shoulder, it hangs loosely for a moment before he looks to a nearby wall and slams his arm into it. Yelling a litany of something in Ravashari, he then sets back with a twist of his neck and charges back into the fight.

Mattheu says in Ravashari, "The wind is not /your/ friend tonight!""

Drake sees Thea running toward a man, though he doesn't see why, not at first. His powers of deduction lead him to believe that man might be an important ringleader of this situation, though, considering the amount of people taking an interest. But between him, and everyone, and the man -- is some kind of horrible giant insect, coming out of the hole in the ground. That's obviously, self-evidently, bad. Without any other thought, Drake rushes for it. There seems to be plenty of limbs to go around. He draws his blade forth and cuts with it in a single blow.

Faye has grabbed a thin, flat plank of wood and fans the fire a bit to give it more air. More chunks of wood, more hay and dried greenery. Then, belatedly, she remembers what's in her pocket. She pulls out a flask of whiskey (too good for this end, but one must make do) and pours it out on the fire, trying all this to get into a fast, raging bonfire. A blink at the giant bug thing protecting the man... she'll just make sure she keeps the fire between herself and it.

As the giant centipede rises from the tunnel, Cesare's hands ball into fists. He squeezes his eyes shut for a moment - prayer, perhaps - and then starts to...sing? Maybe he's making efforts to bolster morale - the song he sings is one which was sung by a spellsinger who fought the Traitor long ago. But unlike the Lianhan, this song doesn't carry the same power. Just a lovely voice, partially lost among all the chaos surrounding it.

Elora checks command and medicine at hard. Elora is successful.

Sir Corban rushes the bracelet-wielding mage, his blade swinging in hard, but his feet not quite as nimble as he once was before. But then with the giant centipede moving to cover the retreat, the First Captain brings up his blade, to attempt to fend it off and stop the retreat to the hole.

Isidora checks intellect and medicine at hard. Isidora marginally fails.

Tesha checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Tesha fails.

Denica checks charm and manipulation at hard. Denica fails.

Kiera checks intellect and medicine at hard. Kiera is successful.

Mabelle checks mana and occult at hard. Botch! Mabelle fails completely.

Isidora is a professional. She stares at the centipede for a moment, then quickly begins turning to usher the injured to safety. She conscripts a couple of the servants she tended to create makeshift stretchers to carry out those who can't walk, using anything that may be useful at hand. Spotting Elora's triage station, she starts directing the injured toward it, combining her efforts with those of the other physician. "I'll take over the stitching," she notes when she hears Elora mention she may be concussed and not up to it. Her hands might be shaking a bit. A bit! "Maybe someone else should do it," she says, glancing around toward the giant centipede in spite of herself.

Thea checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Thea marginally fails.

Thea checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Critical Success! Thea is spectacularly successful.

Ryhalt after he says no, he nods once to Mabelle then charges at the massive bug creature, stabbing at it with his ranseur. Not being a stellar fighter, he's probably hoping to be distraction while others get in the heavy blows. He keeps moving and jabbing from different places, trying to slash at legs, but not having any noticeable impact, but that doesn't stop him.

Liara checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Liara is successful.

Liara checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Botch! Liara fails badly.

Bridget checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Bridget marginally fails.

"It's alright," Elora says to Isidora, her sm. "I get it. We don't need pretty, but what if we just tack the skin on the worst together for transport, maybe? I'll keep you in thread." The animal trainer looks up at the centipede for one long moment. Very long, as if she's debating doing something... But then she blinks and clues back into reality. "Right. Thread."

Kiera gapes at the sight of the huge centipede and her loved ones changing it. At the sound of Mattheu's unintelligible cussing but clearly recognizeable voice, she nearly heads in that direction , but seeing him charge back in, she resolutely sets her teeth and refocuses on each injury in front of her

"It's alright," Elora says to Isidora, her smile distracted but still warm. "I get it. We don't need pretty, but what if we just tack the skin on the worst together for transport, maybe? I'll keep you in thread." The animal trainer looks up at the centipede for one long moment. Very long, as if she's debating doing something... But then she blinks and clues back into reality. "Right. Thread."

Bridget arrives valiantly on her noble steed, her frame eclipsed by a bulky, bulging set of heavy diamondplate armor, which must have been uncomfortable, judging at how she was still tugging at the fastenings, and trying to pull her the shiny gorget away from her throat. She was only distracted from her odd fidgeting when she spotted the odd, many legged creature in the middle of the estate grounds. She lifted the long-nosed visor of her helmet to reveal a confused expression. "What in goodness is going on here?"

Bridget's mount took that very moment to charge. Her helmet loudly clapping shut as she road through with a war-like 'eep.' She didn't even have time to draw her sword, waving wildly with a gauntlet while the blur of a creature went by. It was hard to say if she were trying to lance the creature with her fist or her face, as she basically bumped into the thing before letting her horse carry her away.

After the crash, Bridget finally had the mind to draw her blade.

Mabelle looks at Liara, "Oh I do have one!", she reaches into a little secure belt inside her bag and pulls out a little glass vial containing a weird coppery and dark liquid. Attempting to toss it into the hole, Mabelle accidentally shakes the vial and it explodes in her hands, throwing her off at least 40 feet, making her hit her head on some random object on the grounds.

Faye checks strength and survival at hard. Faye is successful.

The centipede screams, its terrible cry piercing the sky above as the weapons find their home. It lashes and bites, the pinchers from its mouth snapping, trying to connect with sweet flesh as it provides the distraction needed for its master to escape. The tail end whips, catching Liara with a near-deadly sweep. The highlord falls, but Macda is there to make certain that she will live to fight again. Each strike against the beast wins a shuddering yelp and a retaliation, some catching the jagged point of one of its many legs.

While the fighting ensues, the swarm of bugs still clash around, looking to fell their enemies and overwhelm them.

The mage is making his escape, one foot in the giant hole when Faye sweeps the torch of fire his way. She succeeds in stalling him, for a moment, but he is quick to lash out at her. A gust of air flashes, the fire sputtering out, and with a maniacal laugh, the man escapes down the hole, his own swarm with him clawing at the dirt to close it up after them. They've left their friends to die, it seems.



There's bugs. There's likely bug guts. And Thea is busy fighting it all, and covered. When the giant bug is in front of her, she looks up and grunts,"Why won't you fucking die,"she grunts and procedes to stab at it. Thea slices at it, before jumping back, tucking and rolling to avoid whatever was coming at her.

1 Iron Guardsmen have been dismissed.

Due, a large hunting dog have been dismissed.

2 Whitehawk Guards have been dismissed.

Fiona, a Whitehawk falconer have been dismissed.

Raven checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Raven is successful.

Raven checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Critical Success! Raven is spectacularly successful.

Thea checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Thea is successful.

Macda's head tips back to consider the monstrous bug -- bad idea! One of those many huge legs dings her in the cuirass and forces out a wheezed, "Piss!" The pugilist princess's free hand balls into a tight fist as she digs in for round two. Only that leg isn't aiming this time. It's swinging for Liara, and too quick for her to reach it!

"Raaahahhhhh!" Punishment is swift and merciless. Red steel and wild hair streak past the Highlord as a roaring Macda inserts herself /aggressively/ between Liara and centipede, diamondplate connecting against the creature's nearest leg with a C R U N C H.

Bridget checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Bridget is successful.

Corban checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Corban is successful.

Corban checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Corban is successful.

Bridget checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Bridget is successful.

Drake checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Drake is marginally successful.

Drake checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Drake is successful.

Ryhalt checks strength and huge wpn at hard. Ryhalt is successful.

Ryhalt checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Ryhalt is successful.

Mabelle checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Mabelle is successful.

Mattheu checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Mattheu marginally fails.

Thea checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Thea fails.

Mattheu checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Mattheu is successful.

Back on the grounds of the estate, Denica is trying to get people to do things. Denica is trying, for once, to bring order to a situation and not throw chaos around her. It goes poorly. Not only is no one listening. Denica shouting orders and trying to manipulate people into following her lead. It does not work. Perhaps having someone scream in your face, isn't the best way to approach things. Lesson Learnt! Denica is left red-faced and frustrated. "Why doesn't anyone listen to me?," she asks no one in particular. No one responds. Enough said.

When Denica had snuck into the building moments ago, she found what she thought were the last straggles. But no. Now that the creatures have disappeared from within, the remaining servants come tumbling out through the hole in the keep. Many are injured, held up by their friends and fellow servants. A few guards, bloodied and broken, limp out. They see the giant centipede, they panic. They try to run for the exit, but they trip, fall.

Faye checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Faye is successful.

Mabelle takes Apis, a cupridium parrying dagger from a fashionable hand bag.

Mabelle wields Apis, a cupridium parrying dagger.

Mabelle checks dexterity and small wpn at normal. Mabelle is successful.

Visor drawn down, Liara heads away from the gates and back towards the mass of bugs, such as remain on the surface. There's a look back over her shoulder to Mabelle, one of what might be alarm, were her face not covered, but she doesn't quite break her stride, drawing her sword free of its elaborate scabbard as she goes to set about the creatures.

Things don't go too great once Liara gets to the swarm - as she slashes at one of the creatures, which does its best to get its horrible centipedey mouth about her leg, the bigger creature lashes out at her, and she is sent sprawling with a clatter of metal, very much vulnerable, but then Macda, her sister, is there, smashing at the creature's leg, and Liara takes the moment of respite to find her feet again. She's winded, and bruised, but on her feet again.

Liara checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Critical Success! Liara is spectacularly successful.

Liara checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Liara marginally fails.

Tesha checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Tesha is successful.

When the mage manages to slip into the hole, Mabelle cries out, "No!", there's rage in her eyes and fear, unusual fear. Rising, the nimble Laurent moves with conviction but a lot of limping toward the gaping hole, trying to squish and hack at as many little ones she can get her hands on, or the metal heels of her boots while she stomps all around, "Fine. We will do this the hard way".

Cesare checks charm and empathy at hard. Cesare is successful.

Bridget gallops along swinging her old sword wildly at the mass of bugs. The swarm was less a target of opportunity, instead, they seemed to be the only targets she could find. She gave a lot of un-noble like mutterings and grunts, most which were lost in the vast echo of her long-nosed helm.

Drake takes another swing at the big centipede. He's a little more guarded than the previous attack, keeping on the defensive - it strikes but only clips. He's keeping a close eye on his family, but he trusts in their bravery as well. His eyes sparkle when he glances over and takes in Macda doing something recklessly brave. "Hold fast! We'll slay this creature if we band together!"

Scraps has called for a check of luck at normal.
Raven is successful.
TIE: Drake is successful. Mattheu is successful.
Corban is marginally successful.
Ryhalt marginally fails.
Thea fails.

Isidora checks charm and medicine at hard. Isidora is successful.

"The tunnels," Cesare says, to himself more than anyone else. But - as he looks around, in the direction the hole in the ground /was/ headed - he shakes his head, grimacing. "F--," he hisses, before composing himself once more and turning toward the mess of shaken, terrified, and bewildered servants who come pouring out of the keep. "This way," he calls. "This way! There's help here, we have medics!" Before turning to help said medics sort through the influx of patients, assessing those who are well enough to leave and banding them together in small groups to leave the area and head toward the City Center together.

Faye had collected a long piece of wood and was trying to shove the burning bonfire into the bug hole, on top of whatever bugs are down there. But then Bracelet Mage is dashing towards her to escape, and he sends a gust of wind at her and the fire, blowing it out like a candle. The guy escapes, the hole closing up behind him like it's a door or something. Faye manages to brace herself against the wind, but not the blow of her effort failing. "Ah, fuck," she says, falling to her knees around the ash and cinders. "If I'd just been a little faster."

Sleeves rolled up, lace ruffles stained with blood, Isidora returns Elora's smile briefly, and then nods, doing a pretty shoddy job of stitching wounds, but she does it. The sound of an explosion draws Isidora's head up as she's shakily stitching a wound together, her eyes widening as she sees Mabelle get tossed 40 feet and hit her head. "Lady Mabelle!" she cries. She also sees the injured people coming out of the house, and glances between tbem briefly. Seeing Mabelle get up, if limping, to head back into the fight, she breathes a sigh of relief, and focuses on the injured innocents. "Injured incoming! We'll need stretchers and splints, and more bandages." she calls to Elora, before snatching up her medical bag again. She'll do what she can to try to assess injuries, to see who needs the most immediate attention, and use her hopefully good, charming, gentle bedside manner to help get the people to head toward the triage station in an orderly fashion.

Tesha looks around to see where everyone is and what might be helped at the moment, most of the herding was handled and now there were just nauseating centipedes and now a gigantic one that just entered the field. She feels a spike of anxiety as she remembers how hard those things can bite, but instead of heading for the hills, she makes her way towards the hole in the side of the wall and starts to see about those that start to stagger out. She tries to help with picking up those that fall and reassure them that help is there.

Ryhalt must be in a violent mood today--spilled coffee does that to him!--for he continues to attack at the familiar. When the hole closes up he swears like only one who's been about sailors can do at the team loss, but he doesn't stop attacking the familiar. Clearly the panic can't stop while it still lives. Even through Mabelle exploding herself and the fire flying past to try to stop the diamond thief, he slashes at legs with his ranseur. It seemed the best way to slow it to him.

Mattheu gets back in and closer to slash and watch steel sing louder than the bells upon his clothing, then being knocked back again, his shoulder hangs at his side as glaive is tossed quickly to his other hand. Gripping hard to slip the weapon to a spot where the young lord can pull at his right arm where a deep cut lies. Muttering about right between the pieces of armor he wears and slipping a buckle to see where the cut slips further into his clothing and gambeson. Blood runs down the flaxen cloth as he pulls at the fabric ripping the sleeve off. Taking a knee to check what's left to the area before getting back to his feet with the same sleeve getting tied around his arm. "What's left of them?" He calls out to no one in particular, as he is cautious to raise his right arm, though continues to stab a few of the smaller bugs with end of his weapon upon the shortened staff.

Raven issues an infuriated growl as the man escapes, "Sonofa-ARGGGHHH!!!!!" the cry welling up from the depths of her soul where all the frustration and anxiety has been fermenting to make the craft brew that is Raven's murderous rage. She drives her Alarcite sword under it's carapace and digs but she spies it's undulation threatening others still fighting she grunts-driving the whole length of Blade in AND her elbow and reaming the creature from the inside out. Less to with effective combat and more to do with a breath-taking display of Raven's need of proper anger management.

There is a frustrated sound from Sir Corban as the mage with the bracelet manages to escape their net of swords and bodies trying to halt him, but he cannot focus on that for long. He must turn, then, and bring his sword about, to strike at the massive centipede and dodge its counter claws and fangs, keeping up the dance of battle.

Another creature sets upon Liara, a scything pincer making contact with her left vambrace, jolting her, before she counterattacks and lunges with Elvesbane, driving the point through the bug's skull. She keeps near to Macda now, and as the melee continues, her sword cleaves through another couple smaller bugs that draw close, with more confidence now as the swarm diminishes, and as others slay the larger beast.

As the last bug falls, its twitching corpse hissing and popping from the poisonous insides settling, the panic lessens. The crying fades, and the aftermath of the horrific theft settles in. The warriors are covered in blood and bug guts, those helping are covered in tears and dirt. A butler, one who has worked for the family for a long while, limps forward. "They weren't home. The family. They were on the road, and we felt the ground move, and heard the wall... and then they were in her room. They took something, and we couldn't stop them." He's shaking, and another servant steps up, offering a shoulder. "But the family, they are safe," he speaks this as if trying to salve his wounds with the knowledge, but no words will be enough to erase the site of the carcass bubbling in the courtyard.

Mattheu takes a small driftwood chest from a simple leather backpack.

Mattheu takes Daylight Dragon, a Westrock coffee infused liquor from a small driftwood chest.

Mattheu puts a small driftwood chest in a simple leather backpack.

Drake sighs in relief when he hears that the family is safe. That's a comfort. But there's still devestation here... the grounds, the guards. "Work for the healers then," he says, wiping blood off his sword before putting it away.

Mabelle calls toward Isidora, "I'm alright!", as her gown begins to formulate a blood stain somewhere around her back. She cannot see that though so for her, she's fine! After she does what she can with the little ones and the big one has suffered the rage of Raven, she looks up to check upon her Liara and Ryhalt, announcing to the Princess, "You picked up some skills", looking impressed before she begins limping toward the medical people to -help them-. Her fingers rake through her hair with look of anguish, taking out her kit from her bag and asking, "Who needs help?"

Raven's entire right side is covered in bug guts and her green eyes glimmer with that intense rage, her breath very and she looks around for more to destroy, nostrils flared. She then slowly comes out of her rage and frowns, noting those hurt and frightenedm and finally the mess all over herself and her blade, grimacing in disgust, "Oh, for fuck's sake!"

Macda the Meat Shield has Liara's back, except perhaps for a few moments where a sound not totally unlike her own recent battle cry drags her eyes up and over to Raven. Gritted teeth flash in an odd smile. Hey, she /knows/ that ick-spattered battlemaiden! Another thwomp-crack ends a foot-long bug and then there doesn't seem to be anything else moving in a threatening manner. Eyeing her sister up, she grunts a question, "All your important bits accounted for?"

Thea wipes the blood from herself, there's likely a smidge on her cheek. "Everyone alright,"she calls out,"looking for Drake too.

Ryhalt claps Raven on the back after she stops finishing the hacking job on the familiar. "Good job." With grim determination he moves over to one of the legs of the familiar and starts sawing at it with his ranseur. Trophy for his bravery today? Lack of coffee does bad things to ones brain? Who knows. To Mabelle he says, "I'm fine." Indeed he did look to be covered in debris from the various wind blasts, bug ichor and other people's blood, but had no wounds. His hands might or might not be starting to shake at this point, though. Not a coffee buzz wearing off.

Cesare is occupied with the wounded and traumatized as the last few bugs are slain, but once the butler steps forward, he nods to the man. "There is nothing more you can do here tonight," he says gently to the man. "There will be safe lodging provided for everyone. Ensure you're taken care of, and then, spend some time taking care of each other. These people will need a steadfast and familiar face in the days to come." Once those words are spoken, though, he's looking around - making eye contact with anyone who was present in the Valardin manor on a recent night. His expression is grim.

Tesha finds that there is an end to the battle at least. This one. But she had a feeling that other relics might be on a list to be stolen...but where would they strike next? It was frustrating. She helps one of the injured guards out of the rubble of the whole in the Blackram's wall and helps to hand him off to others that can help. She gives a look around to see where others might be getting tended to. She does catch sight of her cousin and offers a silent prayer of thanks that he's not been pincered to death.

Faye stands and dusts the ash from her leather and steelsilk, looking around at what remains in the courtyard. Her expression is less than pleased, but it softens as she spots Denica and walks over to her. "You all right? Need the healers or anything?"

Mabelle mentions aside to Cesare, "There are rooms in the Cider House if you need to find them lodging for the night".


**********************************************************************
As the dust settles, the Blackram Fasthold danger appears to have passed. Stories of giant bugs, of grotesquede centipedes, circulate through the streets. The Blackram family is uninjured, from all reports, and they will rebuild the wall that was breeched. Why the creatures appeared here, so boldly in the middle of the Valardin Ward, is unclear, but some whisper of piece of jewelry stolen with a mysterious black diamond set in its metal.
**********************************************************************


Denica breathes out slowly, trying to settle herself before she is moving through the crowd looking for those familiar faces she wants to check on. The smoke from the fire stings her eyes and her face is red from all the shouting. Scanning to see if anyone needs help, otherwise she is saddling up next to Faye to check on the other woman. "You okay?," she mutters and checks around the area, looking fine herself. "Rain check on that quiet coffee I guess?," she murmurs to her a bit exhausted but her humour still in tow.



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