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The Reckoning: Nefer'Khat

A small group of heroes travel to the far land of Nefer'khat, seeking aid. As diplomatic missions go, this may have some surprises.


Jan. 23, 2024, 5 p.m.

Hosted By

Apostate Sen'azala

GM'd By



Lou Skaldia Caspian Sorrel Kenjay Cahal Vitalis Ilmia Tikva



Apostate's Dynamic GMing Room <OOC Room>

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

They don't really know what to expect. The boarding the embiggened Nightstar goes easily enough. And the skies from the Arx to the Oathlands are relatively clear, as Azazel's legions were firmly committed against Sanctum and Artshall. They fly high enough that the air is thin and they see the sometimes very distant demonic hordes milling about below them. They see ruins of what was once proud holdings, and they past Westrock Reach- completely destroyed. And then they are sailing into the Eventide Vast.

Day turns to night, and they fly under the stars, with a sea above and below, and find safe harbor on one of the isles Lou mapped out. In fact, they are far outside Arvum after taking flight again when they first see signs of the Reckoning, thousands of imps that have ravaged another isle that might have once been settled, but no longer. They fly in pursuit.

((It's not -too- hard for the Nightstar to outrace them. These are sailing checks at hard, with a victory point total of 10. People without sailing or leadership type skills might wanna give this one a pass.))

Caspian checks dexterity and sailing at hard. Critical Success! Caspian is spectacularly successful.

Lou checks command and sailing at hard. Lou is successful.

Tikva checks perception and survival at hard. Tikva is successful.

Vitalis checks command and survival at hard. Vitalis marginally fails.

Sorrel checks charm and leadership at hard. Sorrel marginally fails.

Sen'azala checks willpower and leadership at hard. Sen'azala marginally fails.

Who is acting as navigator in the Nightstar? Why Lou is! She looks like she has experience doing it too, even if she might be fumbling a little bit with the nobs, wheels, and controls. "It's not as fancy as the Mark IV, but she gets the job done," she's telling Caspian once more, for the hundredth thousandth time, as they work to outrun the imps. "Shift to the starboard side, then take a dip into the clouds!" she's calling out to the rest of the crew. She might navigate, but she's not driving the thing. "We can get away there, and come out on the other side," she offers as way of suggestion.

Sen'azala has flown before. Once. It did not end up being a pleasant memory, and, as she looks over the side, looks at the destruction, jaw tight, it's pretty clear this one isn't ranking past the previous one. Not yet, anyway. She's been quiet, content to let the people who actually know how this damn boat works handle things, and only occasionally pacing. For some reason she brought a small clock, though. It's only been out of her pack once, just enough for her to ensure it's got plenty of wrapping and padding to keep it safe. What she's doing with a clock is anyone's guess, and what she's doing with a broken one even weirder. It seems to be stuck on 11:35.

Now, the imps...the imps have her a bit more active. She braces against something solid and begins stringing her bow, just in case.

Skaldia doesn't know what possessed her to go on this crazy mission, and no one mentioned anything to her about flying ships! But she's here, clinging to whatever's handy, and refusing to look down. "I thought we were going the other way. I'm not even sure I knew there was another ocean." For someone who once rather loudly expressed she wanted to one day ride griffons, she sure does look scared of heights.

"Sing ho! for a brave and a gallant ship
And a fast and a favoring breeze
With a damned good crew and a captain too
To carry me over the seas
To carry me over the seas, me boys
To nefer'khat far away
I'm taking a trip on a big flying ship
Ten thousand miles away"

There was just the ting of panic to the man's voice as Caspian belted out a song as the ship hurtled through the air. Thanks to Lou and sorrel's information and help from everyone onboard, the flight was going surprisingly well! That was until the imps decided the flying ship made for good sport. As they beat their wings in pursuit, Caspian spoke softly to the ship as eh coaxed everything he could from her. "come on.. lets show them how we really fly." followed by a shout to the other, "Hold on! dont look down!"

This isn't Sorrel's first airship ride, but her efforts to help fly are not good. So instead she just joins in the singing of shanties. Islanders and shanties.

ACK. It's *faster*. Sen stumbles a bit, then shoots a sharp glance toward Lou. "Does it go faster if you *sing* at it?" she shouts over the rushing wind.

As a sailor, Kenjay makes a very good hatstand. And so he stands about, out of the way of the competent people who are actually doing things, and provides somewhere for his helm to sit. He acts as a lookout, too, but when it comes to sailing - or flying - he's much more decorative than useful. At the sight of the imps, though, he's loosening his shortswords, not that those are going to be of much assistance - and then comes the instruction to hold on and not look down, and Kenjay grips something stable and... looks down. Oops.

Cahal hurries to the rear of the ship so that he might stare out at the pursuing imps. His tension eases away as it becomes clear that they are probably going to outrun the pursuing creatures "Look! That one has four arms!"

This is ... a hell of a first flight. Vitalis watches the writhing dark below them, the band of pale roads and silver rivers cutting through the green and so much destruction. So much burnt or simply seething with darkness. When energy spikes on the ship - imps are in pursuit - he takes a moment to shake himself out of it and haul himself to the starboard, ballast as the Pathfinder called for.

"No," Lou is glancing in Sen'azala's direction from her seated spot at the map table. "It goes /faster/ because we're sailing on the winds, literally. Also, magic." She grins wide at the last part. She looks over at Caspian and says, "And if part of the ship is sentient, like Victus's, it might just like Caspian," she says a bit cryptically.

Somehow Lady Ilmia Leary has gotten onto this ship. The inquisitive Leary had to leave her post and her ward, but she had promised that she'd be back...and if she wasn't it was because she was very dead. She was not expecting the Nightstar to be that fast and she's clutching the quill that she carries in her coat as she is anxious. She's very much not a sailor nor a leader. She's an observer.

"Anything goes faster if you sing at it," Tikva carols, very loudly - always, always very loudly - but what she is doing is standing braced, clinging to ropes like she was a monkey in another life (this was not the case). What she's doing is tracking the wind, watching for clouds, for detritus, for natural variations in the air currents that could become an unexpected hazard to a ship in the air. The exhileration of the chase has infected her even though she is not driving (piloting), and she's got a dumb grin on her face, her grip on the ropes white-knuckled. No cackling, though. Yet.

Caspian gave a grin to Sen'azala and laughed, "Well, the ship has tossed me over board yet so at the very least i don't think it hurts!" he points to Tikva then and nods, "Ah see, like she said!"

Sen'azala says, "I've ridden plenty of horses in my life you are absolute *liars*!"

The imps do their best to pursue, but gradually are left in the Nightstar's wake, their shrill little cries becoming more and more distant, "SKREEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeee...". And then, it is several more stops upon islands and restoring the Nightstar, with evening camps on distant islands, as the weather turns to pleasant tropics and welcome ocean breezes, that invites one to forget how the world is ending. Just the sea and the stars above.

And then they are sailing to nefer'khat, and as it nears the evening, the stars in the skies grow bright with a special radiance, as if no place in the world entire nears the firmament quite like Nefer'khat.

The maps are ancient, not updated since the time of a prince that first sailed here, but they near the Primasen of the Wolf in the late dusk, as the last light vanishes.

As they come closer to where the map has marked the boundaries of the Primasen, a dozen ghostly outlines appear around the ship, spectral wolves, that move as a pack and show a path downward.

((Will do a round for poses, no rolls this time. Unless you wanna dive bomb the primasen idk your life))

It's clear the time spent gets to Sen - though at least she's not obsessively checking the broken clock, she only looks once or twice - but it's hard for even her to resist a certain level of wonder once the weather notably shifts, once its hours with the sea and the stars, and once the stars themselves get so much...more. By the time those wolves appear, she's at the railing as much as anyone else, looking and watching. "...Looks like we've found the right place," she says quietly. Maybe, *maybe*, just a tiny bit eagerly.

Cahal spends a lot of time on the journey singing, talking, telling jokes, and generally being jolly and enthusiastic about the sights. The stars in particular rouse murmurs of awe from the large man. As do the spectral wolves.

By this point, Lou has abandoned the map table. She wanders over to the side of the Nightstar and watches as the wolves guide them in. Maps aren't needed for this part of the journey, though of course she's made notes to update everything on their journey should they survive. "Do you see that Sen?" she asks, wonder in her voice as she takes in the spectral wolves, her eyes wide and bright and full of curiosity. She holds onto a rope so she doesn't fall overboard, buffeted a bit by the wind passing them by as she tries to lean over to get a better look. "What do you think we'll find down there?" she asks, the question going out to everyone.

Skaldia for the first couple days, Skaldia stays away from the railings. Libera, her hawk, is doing her best to keep up with the flying ship, but might be lagging behind a bit. The hawk is a small speck above when they fly, and finally catching up when they stop to rest and camp on those islands. Eventually, Skaldia loses her fear of the flying, and is standing at the rails, gazing out on the landscape far below, or the stars above. As they approach Nefer'khat, and the ghostly figures of wolves surround them, her eyes start to prick with moisture. But no, surely that's just the wind. "So beautiful!" she whispers. She lifts a hand to wipe at her eyes.

There's time enough for banter as they soar, and for nonsense, and Sen'azala definitely gets some nonsense from Tikva about singing to her horses, or whistling to them, or bringing a tamborine aboard -- but that's not important now. In the soft gloom of the new twilight, her face is open, her eyes wide, wonder writ plain across her freckled face, shining pure and clear as she watches the spectral shapes. Tikva swings down from the rope and gallops to Sen'azala's side, impelled by the thrill to stand together. "They're amazing!" she-- hisses? squeals? It's not a very dignified sound, anyways.

Caspian rubbed his eyes a few times to make sure the wolves he was seeing was not simply tiredness or some dust blown into his eye. but no, there they were. He looked to Sen, still holding the ship's wheel. "I would say that is a fair guess Sen'azala. That or neferkhat has some very odd wolves." he wet his lips and watched for a few moments. "Should we follow the path down then? seems what they are trying to show us yes?" He Stretched from where he stood to get an even better view of what was below them and the amazing sight the wolves laid out.

Ilmia makes her way to the railing of the ship to watch as they cross whatever border they did. The spectral wolves and the brighter stars are appreciated, but she doesn't dare take her hands off of the rail for fear that if they take a sudden dive she'll go over. She doesn't have secret wings so she's not wanting to try to learn how to plummet with style on this trip. Maybe another one.

Vitalis totally brought a lute, because why not? He's not exactly a player, but it's good enough for a sing-a-long-to-forget-the-apocalpyse and while away those too-long hours aboard. With the excellent singers aboard, he's more than capable accompaniment. Sea and stars and wind, standing at the prow with Pathfinder leaning over the rail. He grins at her enthusiasm and looks out himself at the pacing of spectral wolves around them, the unfolding land before. His eyes wide, half-grinning and awestruck.

"Yes," Sen says, immediately, with a side glance toward Tikva that can't quite hide a certain fond amusement, and then a remark back toward Lou, "Help, I hope, or the end of the world's just going to be very pretty for us."

Kenjay helps with the camp chores and with the entertaining as a decent singer himself, but there's a visible strain not too far beneath the surface - but as the stars grow brighter he relaxes, and when the spectral wolves appear he smiles. "Be welcome," he murmurs to them, and his own expression reflects wonder and joy. "I think it wise," he replies to Caspian, the Eurusi accent at the edges of his voice a little more apparent than usual. He too hangs on to the railing, but his eyes are on the wolves.

"I could think of worse places to die," Lou quips as she looks out over the land below. "I bet they sense you are kin," she tells Sen, then looks over at Tikva as she joins them, grinning at her once cousin. "I bet you'll have fodder for many new songs after this. Sorrel too." The latter is said with a glance back at Sorrel. Then she grows quiet, introspective. "I wonder what they'll make of us."

Caspian begins to take the ship down along the path laid out by the wolves. At Lou's comment he chuckled. "Friend, or dinner. either way this is going to be one memorable trip." he brushed a hand through his hair as the ship began to descend. "And i look forward to hearing those songs."

Vitalis' eyes go up, thinking himself of several worse places to die. He tongues his teeth and looks out ahead and down as Caspian steers them down. He gives a bark of a laugh and casts back over his shoulder to the helm, "Took the words right out of my mouth!" He makes a little more space for Ilmia, this is an embiggened ship, room for everyone!

"Were they expecting us, do you think?" Skaldia asks of Sen'azala. "They seem to be guiding us." She glances at Caspian, and gives a little laugh of her own. "I think if we were dinner, we'd already be eaten." She leans against the ropes now, unafraid of falling, and gazes at the spectral wolves. "Are they ghosts?" she wonders. She doesn't try to make contact with them in the way ghosts sometimes talk to Harrows. These aren't the ghosts of her people. It might go badly.

You know who else sings at horses? Sorrel. She looks cheerfully at the spectral wolves, because if this is the end, might as well enjoy the pretty parts of it. And she sings along with Tikva. They're often singing together.

And then they are sailing down. As they drift through the clouds following spectral wolves, it's a sea of lanterns and torchlight below them. The Primasen of the Wolf is vast, with thousands of homes and buildings in a sprawling city in light vegetation, extending far into the wilds. But they sail towards what looks like the very center of the city, with a pyramid and a great statue of a wolf that extends perhaps a thousand feet in the air, and a palace below it. The golden eyes of the statue glow in the spectral low light as the descend, seeming to follow their path, and then the Nightstar is hovering over the ground, in a landing cleared outside the palace.

There's a thousand Nefer'khati soldiers, mostly half-wolf shapeshifted, clad in battle armor and standing at attention outside the palace. Near where they land is a precession, with a woman in fine regalia and a wolf half-mask and crown, carrying a curved staff of office. An entourage is with her, a dozen different women finely dressed, all with fine clothing with motifs of the wolf, though unlike the soldiers, not a one is shape-shifted. They wait the arriving guests.

((Now this is difficult social checks for first impressions. Difficulty would be hard for lou, tikva, skaldia, ilmia, or sorrel. Difficulty is easy for Sen (she has aconite helping her). Difficulty for Kenjay, Caspian, Vitalis or Cahal would be daunting for any social check.))

Cahal checks charm and diplomacy at daunting. Cahal fails.

Tikva checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Tikva is successful.

Sorrel checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Sorrel fails.

Lou checks wits and propaganda at hard. Lou marginally fails.

Kenjay checks charm and etiquette at daunting. Kenjay is successful.

Sen'azala checks willpower and leadership at easy. Sen'azala is successful.

Caspian checks charm and propaganda at daunting. Caspian marginally fails.

Vitalis checks charm and empathy at daunting. Vitalis is successful.

Ilmia checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Ilmia is successful.

Caspian puts the ship down gently enough, and then moves to get the boarding ramp set up. He steps aside to let the others go first before falling in behind them and heading down the ramp. He can't stop looking every which way, the wonder on his face from seeing all of this and these people for the first time was clear. It likely made him look a bit like a tourist.. but how could one NOT be amazed. When eh saw the finally dressed women, he swept into a slightly overexaggerated bow, and was about to speak but decided better of it and let the other's break the ice.

Hour upon hour spent learning all about diplomacy, first impressions, greetings and similar deeds is forgotten as Cahal stares wide eyed around at the soldiers and women. He seems to realise he's being rude, smiles apologetically, and slips into a polite bow but by that time he's already getting a good number of irritated looks. He is at least wise enough not to compound on his error by speaking first.

Avid-eyed as they set down, Tikva tries to absorb as much as she can, watching the soldiers, the place, the palace. It's not always easy to tell, observing Tikva, how long she formally trained in diplomacy throughout her upbringing and her career -- especially now that she is untrammeled by rank or position and essentially accompanies Sen'azala as a random bard. But now, attentive to social cues, sure and certain, she sets herself as Sen'azala's escort, trying to infuse both confidence and warmth into her expression and her mien. Look! She's got an entourage too!

"Grandmother is," Sen says, to whether or not they're expected. And then they're going down, and...

At first it's wonder, yes, like the sea, and the stars, and the entirely unfamiliar plant life. A big city. A biiiig city. The further they go, the more her expression seems to shift from wonder to...something else. By the time they're approaching the pyramid, she's stepped a bit back from the railing. By the time they land, by the time they see all of those soldiers, the half masked woman, her entourage... Sen isn't standing near the edge of the boat at all, and those closest to her can definitely notice the shift in breathing. It's so *much*. It's enough to make one feel very, very small.

It gives Sen a moment more, at least. Then she steps forward, vaults easily over the railing, lands smoothly, and...tries very, very hard not to look as though she's quite so overwhelmed. There are wolf people. *Wolf* people. Shapeshifted. She clearly did not expect that.

Lou exits the ship once Caspian gives the command to lower the gangplang. She's walking close to Sen'azala, but her gaze is shifting every which way, her jaw dropped in a total look of awe as she takes in everything. "This place looks amazing!!" she calls out, practically exuding being the consummate explorer. So engrossed is she in trying to take in everything at once, she very nearly trips into one of the nearby people of Wolf's territory. She only just barely stops short, standing on her tiptoes and backtracking a bit. "Sorry, so sorry. Sorry." She holds up her empty hands and backpedals a bit to a somewhat safer distance, drawing closer to Sen'azala, her cheeks coloring a very, very bright red.

Not being a leader nor a diplomat, Skaldia hangs back a bit as everyone else disembarks. She does lift her arm though for Libera to join her, and the hawk settles on her forearm as they disembark from the Nightstar. She looks around curiously, clearly out of her depth. But she'll give a respectful inclination of her head toward the waiting dignitaries of Nefer'khat, and keep her Lowers mouth shut for the time being.

Ilmia has seen vast cities and impressive things in visions, but this is one of those that is going to top the list. She pushes down the nervousness when they land and she isn't the first one off of the Nightstar, definitely not her style. She makes sure to deliver a practiced curtsey. First impressions sometimes set the tone and she was skilled with them. Hopefully she wouldn't fall over and make a fool of herself. There is a look given to Lou and she gives her a dip of her head. She was doing fine!

Vitalis is in awe, mananging - only just - to keep his mouth from gaping open. There's too much to look at, too much to see. The music of the city beyond, its sounds and scents, its sights. The people arrayed before them, wolf shifters, armored and fearsome. *Adalyn and the kids will never believe this.* He falls in at Sen'azala's side, drawing up on her right, keeping pace just behind Sen.

Kenjay pulls himself together as the ship lands, and by the time the gangplank is out he's revealing little to nothing of his thoughts and his feelings, all that tucked neatly beneath a diplomat's air. With his helm tucked under his arm at a precise angle and the man himself at a precise position in relation to Sen'azala, he steps off the ship to offer the woman with the curved staff a low and fluid bow in the Eurusi fashion. It's the sort of precision fit for a royal palace and due to a ruling person, offered without hesitation or demur, and it ends with his hand over his heart.

Sorrel promptly walks into the back of Lou, because she's too awed to do much of anything but stare. It's all so cool and then she's stumbling into the Wolf people in a diplomatic faux pas. "Sorry. So sorry. This is all very new, and it's amazing," she mumbles.

Lou seems to be firmly holding her ground when Sorrel bumps into her, at the very least. However, her cheeks color a bit more red when Sorrel bumps into her and then into the wolf person after she rebounds.

The highly decorated woman with the half-wolf mask and the crown looks to her fellows, and another woman with night black hair and sharp features speaks low to her for a moment, before stepping forward. She speaks in extremely heavily accented Arvani common, difficult to follow, "We welcome the travelers from the lands far to the East. Your coming was foretold by the Great Mother. The Grand Regent of the Wolf, Her Eminence Salthra al'Rakasha wishes to extend greetings to you all, and particularly the woman of distant blood to the extinguished House Venandi, whose line extends to the Great Mother herself. Grand Regent Salthra welcomes the Scion, her advisors..." the woman speaking holds a hand out, recognizing Lou, Sorrel, Skaldia, Ilmia, and Tikva. "... and her consorts." And then a nod is given towards Kenjay, Cahal, Caspian, and Vitalis. "I am High Advisor Elia al'Rakasha, and you honor us with your presence."

Most of the women look on the group with neutral expressions. One woman, hulking and huge, a foot taller than most and a massive greatsword slung across her back, looks at them all coldly, her lip curling in contempt at Cahal before snorting dismissively at Sen'azala.

((Can do social checks again if you wish, same difficulty tiers as before))

Tikva checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Tikva fails.

Skaldia checks willpower and diplomacy at hard. Critical Success! Skaldia is spectacularly successful.

Sorrel checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Sorrel is successful.

Kenjay checks charm and etiquette at daunting. Botch! Kenjay fails completely.

Vitalis checks charm and empathy at daunting. Vitalis is successful.

Lou checks wits and leadership at hard. Lou is successful.

Cahal checks charm and empathy at daunting. Cahal marginally fails.

Sen'azala checks willpower and leadership at easy. Sen'azala is successful.

Caspian checks charm and propaganda at daunting. Botch! Caspian fails completely.

Ilmia checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Ilmia marginally fails.

At the mention of 'consorts', Kenjay goes absolutely white, tension just rolling off him in waves. His mouth opens but no sound comes out; it closes, then opens again, and there's sort of tiny whimper that emerges from the knight.

Vitalis watches the gathered assemblage closely, trying to discern among them who is who, their temperament towards one another and Sen'azala, her advisors, and ... consorts? He draws up under the graze of scrutiny. This definitely wasn't in the mission briefing. He inhales, nice and slow, exhales, nice and slow, eyes forward, watching with his periphery.

Tikva is a trained diplomat, but she is also other things. Like a dork. She is about to speak, and her tongue stutters behind her teeth on a snort. She bites her lip and what has come out of her mouth is, "The Prima could surely /take/ consorts if she wanted but I don't think this is the selection I'd propose, really." Then she realizes that this was not her inside voice, and in fact are words that she spoke out loud, and she covers her mouth with both hands and holds her breath, which is also not-- terribly diplomatic.

Ah. Consorts. Thats how it is huh. Cahal takes a step behind and to the right of Skaldia with the full intent of just sort of looking supportive and pretty. It might even have worked if not for the fact he reaches out to clasp a hand around Kenjay's elbow and drag him back too.

Caspian is waiting quietly and doing his best to be good really. he folded his hands behind his back and simply stood there listening as introductions were made. He offered a smile and a small bow yet again as the woman began listing off the titles of the Grand Regent of the wolf. A small grin tugged at his lips then as he pondered how interesting it was that so many people seemed to care so much about Titles. Everyone seemed to have them, everyone seemed to love them. As welcome was given then to the group and he and the others labeled Consorts he blinked a few times and then offered a smile. "oh ah.. you see im actually the helmsman and got us here. not a consort, sorry. just.. yeah. carry on. sorry." oh yes.. smoooth as butter....

Ilmia's a little worried when there is talk of consorts and things, she falters a little. Matriarchlal society? Hell yeah. She does give a look to the men though and sees Kenjay going white. Oh dear. For the moment she is a stranger in a strange land and she does not know enough to speak in any authorities.

As the High Advisor Elia al'Rakasha refers to the men as 'consorts', Skaldia flicks a quick glance toward their male companions on this journey, and watches as Kenjay's face goes white. She can see it happening, and her survival instincts kick in over any kind of real knowledge of how to talk to these people. Before one of them en can really blow it for them all, Skaldia steps in front of them and offers a deeper bow toward the High Advisor. "Your Excellency," she says, somehow managing to sound almost noble. After all, she is descended from a King. "Please excuse the ill manners of the Prima Sen'azala's... uh... companions. They are unfamiliar with your customs," she says, with a little glance over her shoulder, and a narrowing of her eyes at Kenjay, and the other males present. She looks back to the High Advisor. "Pray forgive them if they cause offense." Despite her bow, from which she straightens now, she meets the High Advisor's gaze steadily, willing herself to not look away. She stands firm.

Sen'azala squints just a tiny, tiny, *tiny* bit at 'distant blood', and then tries very much not to do that at 'consort'. She's had her moment to settle, though, and for now, that seems to be enough. She lifts her chin slightly, breathes in. When she speaks, however, it's not in Arvani at all; it's Khati tradespeak. "I am Sen Who Stands Alone, leader and last of House Venandi," is there a bit of emphasis there? There...might be. "Thank you for your welcome, High Advisor." Switching back to Arvani, she glances behind her, then nod slightly at Skaldia. "Things on Arvum are...not going well right now," she adds, as if it's an explanation. "They've been under a lot of stress."

Lou seems to be waiting, to take her cues from Sen'azala this time, since she almost literally blundered into someone last time. Once Sen'azala makes her own introduction, Lou will make hers, "I am Princess Lou Grayson of House Grayson." The introduction is short and sweet and she offers one of her signature warm smiles to go with it. "Thank you for allowing us to land and to speak with you today. Please accept this gift for your Regent from my homeland. It's but a small token." She holds out a a ring of iridescite with a duskstone and a dawnstone and passes it to the first Wolf-type person she sees to be passed along to the Regent, not deigning to inch closer unless she's allowed to otherwise do so. She glances over at the guys a moment when they are referred to as consorts, seemingly confused, but she shrugs off her confusion.

Lou drops a ring of iridescite with a duskstone and a dawnstone.

Lou gets a ring of iridescite with a duskstone and a dawnstone.

The High Advisor Elia translates Tikva's words, and there's small polite round of chuckles from the delegation, with the Grand Regent smiling sharply, though the hulking woman just snorts in contempt. At the word 'prima', which needs no translation, the smile fades immediately from the Grand Regent, and there's some quick discussion. The hulking woman moves towards the Grand Regent's side and whispers something that sounds about as far from friendly as they are currently from Arx, and pointedly stabs a finger in Sen'azala's direction. The Grand Regent holds up a staying hand and thumps her staff once on the ground, with their entire delegation falling silent, and the thousand soldiers immediately all snapping to attention in perfect precision. The Grand Regent says something quietly to the High Advisor, who steps forward to claim the gift from Lou and hand it back to the Regent with a translation, before Elia translates the delegation to them. "While the position of Prima is certainly not recognized, as the Grand Regency has ruled over the Primasen for the past thousand years since House Venandi abandoned it, we bid welcome none the less. You are invited to speak upon your reasons for visiting, as the Grand Mother merely said you were coming. And that is all, as is her way."

((Can do social checks again, as Aconite still briefs Sen, who's in it to win it))

Tikva checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Tikva fails.

Sorrel checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Critical Success! Sorrel is spectacularly successful.

Sen'azala checks willpower and leadership at easy. Sen'azala marginally fails.

Lou checks wits and leadership at hard. Lou fails.

Vitalis checks charm and empathy at daunting. Vitalis fails.

Skaldia checks willpower and diplomacy at hard. Skaldia marginally fails.

Ilmia checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Ilmia is successful.

Skaldia colors as she realizes she might have made a little faux pas in calling Sen Prima. For now, she falls silent again, and stays in front of the boys, because she's keeping them safe now. Hopefully. She lets Sen'azala do all the talking from here on out, or people more skilled at such things. At least they are still welcome, for the moment. She glances at Kenjay, Vitalis and Cahal, pressing her lips together worriedly. Libera, her hawk, moves up to her shoulder, and sort of hunches down, eyeing the Khati warily with big amber eyes.

"Oh, no, I didn't even think about not saying Prima," Tikva says. Which is another thing she should not have said with not her inside voice.

Vitalis checks composure at hard. Vitalis marginally fails.

Sorrel looks to Tikva and offers helpfully, "I mean, no reason she couldn't take as many consorts as she wanted, right? But at least this crew is willing to be helpful. And comes with an airship." She offers a charming smile to the wolfkin, then offers by way of introduction, "I'm Princess Sorrel Thrax, and this is my dearest friend Tikva Greyguard. We certainly appreciate your hospitality, and we're looking forward to discussing the current situation with you. Though we have no claims to wolf blood, we stand firmly with Prima Sen'azala without whom the world might now be bound to Slavery and Destiny." She glances up to the sky to see if the moon might be visible, then looks back to the High Advisor and the Regent with a nod.

"Let us tell you our tales," Sorrel says, motioning to their party. "Both of what we have done and what we need to do. Know that none of us would be here if we had to do any of this alone. We are stronger with allies, and we humbly hope that you will consider our words with open minds and strong courage, for this is not a tale for the faint hearted."

Kenjay takes a few moments to breathe, and pulls himself back together. That done, he uses a skill he's perfected in the past as a guard in two different palaces; he becomes furniture. Just a decorative statue, easily ignored.

Lou drops butterfly hairpins with blue stones.

Cahal offers Skaldia a hopefully reassuring smile when she looks back at them.

Vitalis's expression flickers, the scars on it too, and he presses back a bit, behind the protection that Skaldia is offering, a lick of heat going up the back of his neck. Whatever it was he expected journeying to Nefer'khat... it was not this. He keeps his eyes forward, lips pressed flat.

Caspian was not the smartest man around, and in truth should REALLY have picked up on some very obvious clues and hints BEFORE he opened his mouth. But, he could be taught, it was one of his best traits. If a consort was what they needed him to be, then so be it. Stand there look reassuring and say nothing so as not to make it harder. he could that! He looked to the others as they approached and made introductions, giving a smile and a hopefully re-assuring nod. if it came a time for him to talk, they were well and truly in trouble.

Lou seems to suddenly realize what she's just about to give away and then her eyes widen and she quickly pushes it deep into the recesses of her backpack, plucking through her backpack and pulling something else out instead. It's of a different material, star iron, and no less beautiful, and still has some kind of fashion use. The butterfly hairpins. She hands that over just as the High Advisor comes to get it, pointedly not looking at Sen'azala at what she /almost/ did, her cheeks flaring redder than ever. Yeaaaaaah. That could have gone better.

Ah. This, this Sen is far more familiar with. She watches that exchange, the shift in mood, her gaze flicks to the soldiers drawing to attention. Her eyes narrow very faintly. There's no immediate response from her, and while her expression is otherwise unreadable, it's likely that she's considering something. But then Sor'rel gives her the opening. "I'm afraid there is quite a lot to explain, and not a comfortable amount of time to explain it. Grandmother," is there a space there? Probably a translation error, "sent me a message," there's a gesture that includes Lou, and Tikva, "Deer, and Nightingale to them. Bear to another who was with us. There were others, all of them animal Primordia, all gathered. Are you aware of what's happened to Cardia? The Dune Kingdoms? The Undying Empire? Are you aware of why?"

Ilmia's standing with a stiff spine as people talk, her hands folded primly in front of her. If she's an advisor she is a damn quiet one! She keeps giving looks to the gentlemen with them, making sure that they are alright. But her eyes go back to those in charge that are speaking as she does not want to be rude.

There's more discussion among the diplomatic delegation, as the Grand Regent carefully considers their words, glancing sharply at Sen with a dubious expression once Elia translates. She speaks softly to Elia who translates and declares to them all, "The Grand Regent has declared that that we shall hear your stories. And..." Elia nods to Sen'azala, "Your message and any proposal shall be delivered before the Great Council of the Wolf, that rules with the Regent at its head. We are somewhat aware of the chaos in other lands, but Nefer'khat is untouched, save recent attacks by the Primsasen of the Hawk, that objects to some new settlements near their lands. But you shall have the opportunity to speak, and be fed, and be welcomed at guests. You may follow." And then with another slam of the staff by the Regent, the thousand soldiers turn as one and march back to their barracks, while the Regent's delegation starts to walk inside the palace, with Elia gesturing for them to follow.

Inside, the palace is remarkable. The wealth of the Primasen is proudly displayed, and it is enough to possibly make decorators of the Palace in Arx more than a little insecure. They walk through welcome rooms and a ballroom, then come to a gigantic room that serves both as a feast room, with extravagant Khati fare already served on plates, and a place of meeting for their ruling council. There's a hundred precisely, counting the Regent and her delegation. Among the ruling council, there's ninety seven women, mostly older, quite a few with silver hair, and many serious expressions and signs of wealth among them, and three extraordinarily attractive younger men scattered about the seats. Their makeup game is on point, and they are simply flawless, though noticably shorter and most seem to be spending their time laughing at the jokes of what looks like women who are the center of ruling groups, with others hanging on their words.

There's a number of door guards that salute with their glaives, and then they are escorted to a table near the center, where they can address the entire council. The Grand Regent slowly makes her way to a central seat around the large horseshoe-shaped room, facing down at their table. She slams her staff once, and there's a glimmer of light, magic, and now when she speaks it is in perfect Arvani. Maybe. The sound is off. It could well be everything is now being magically translated, as there's something like an echo of a wolf's how whenever she speaks. "Sit. Eat. Then speak as to your purpose, and then we shall see the honored guests of the Great Mother off."

((Aand this will be social checks for anyone pitching, same difficulty as before))

Lou checks wits and propaganda at hard. Lou is successful.

Skaldia checks willpower and diplomacy at hard. Skaldia marginally fails.

Sen'azala checks willpower and leadership at easy. Sen'azala is successful.

Ilmia checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Ilmia marginally fails.

Sorrel checks charm and performance at normal. Critical Success! Sorrel is inhumanly successful in a way that defies expectations.

Tikva checks charm and performance at hard. Critical Success! Tikva is spectacularly successful.

Caspian q!

Sen'azala follows after as they're lead, her pace just enough to keep up, but not enough to seem particularly hurried. Her nostrils twitch repeatedly as they proceed, taking in scents that her more human companions might miss, and she listens carefully. She looks, certainly, how could she *not*, but she's just as careful not to gawk. It's so big. Despairingly so. It feels as though she were perfectly molded not to fit into any spot here whatsoever, let alone that table. But she goes. She sits straight. She steeples her fingers in front of her scarred face, and she regards each and every one of the council members carefully. Then she smiles. No...not a smile. Just a very, very faint version of that expression of hers, the not-a-smile with the very tips of her canines. It's brief. "I am very sorry to tell you," and the you encompasses them all, it seems, "that Nefer'khat will not remain untouched by this for long. But, I'm not the bards." Bards? She brought those. She brought those indeed. There's a tip of her chin toward them, and a very quick, private look to Tikva and Sorrel that can be best read as 'make this good please'.

Tikva takes Amanita, a secunda balalaika from torso-belted instrument case inlaid with a dark red Eternal Flame.

Kenjay continues as furniture, doing his level best to blend into the background as something between a consort and a guard-of-honour. It's not the first time he's done this, by the way he seems to know his way around the role, but whether it'll be the last is another question entirely.

Skaldia turns toward Sorrel as she speaks, and she looks vaguely relieved that at least someone here is able to talk some sense. The auburn-haired huntress turns her attention back to the High Advisor, Regent, and all the other Khati present. She follows along with all the rest, keeping herself between the Khati and the men, because she really doesn't want them to get hurt or dragged away in chains, or whatever happens to uppity 'consorts'. She'll sit when invited to do so, and she'll eat whatever is put in front of her. She does look at her hawk companion as she hears that there is some issue with troubles with Primasen of the Hawk. She furrows her brow a bit, but for now, she keeps quiet, holding her words in reserve. Though she does introduce herself.

"My name is Skaldia Harrow," she says. "I am no one in particular special. I didn't get any special visions like these others. But my sister and I, well... we have a thing where we can sometimes hear the voices of ghosts. She's got it better than me... my sister, that is," the Harrow says, fumbling her words a bit. "I hear birds probably more than ghosts." She lifts a hand to brush her fingers over Libera's feathers briefly. "Sometimes," she amends. "It's not very realiable." She clears her throat and stumbles over her words. She's lost some of her steam. It's definitely intimidating for someone who grew up in the Lowers to force herself to talk to important people like this. But she presses on anyway, willfully, stubbornly. "Anyway," you're probably best off hearing the story from those who can tell it better than me. I am here I suppose just to talk on behalf of the people of Arvum, whom my family has sworn to protect - be their voice if you will. Many will die, their stories will end, and the Dream too. So I'm here, willing to help. However I can. Everyone's lives depend on everyone working together. Even yours, if you'll forgive me," she says, then trails off, but her gaze remains firm and stubborn, meeting eyes, features resolute. Yeah, probably time for the more skilled diplomats to start in now.

Caspian followed along quietly, though his head was going all around as he took in all they saw. The sheer amount of wealth on display was enough to stagger anyone lowborn, and he was no exception. he barely contained a whistle escaping as he moved, doing his best to offer smiles and a cheery demeanor to any that looked at him. When they sat down at the table, and the grand regent began speaking that perfect yet wolf-tinged arvani, it was clear to anyone who knew him that caspian wanted to speak. oh how he wanted to tell of all the chaos that was rushing toward them. buuuut.. he bit his tongue, staying quiet until it seemed the others had exhausted their means. and right now.. right now stories were being woven that painted the room with the colors of their words. All caspian could do was give a warm, encouraging smile to those who spoke, a small fist shake under the table as they spoke words that surely would have stirred even the stones.

No one told Tikva not to provide accompaniment to herself while telling tales. "Humbly," she begins, standing from her seat at the glorious feasting table. The long neck of her old, familiar instrument is slender under her fingertips as she plucks the first few notes across the strings, lifting her gaze to meet Sorrel's gaze. Clearly, this is going to be done in synchrony, even if it is not in unison. "We come as supplicants while very existence stands in peril and the song I sing today--" She's not singing. Rhymes wouldn't translate well, she doesn't speak the language. But there's a rhythm to her words, an earnestness, almost a chant but free and clear and pitched to project, clarion and sure. Her voice is strong with belief. "--is the same as the one Nightingale sang to me in a dream. I knew I had to walk with my dear friend Sen'azala to beg aid from you. The darkness that would consume the world with a million slavering mouths wreaks havoc on us first, but it is not a darkness that will end with us alone. In freedom, in hope, in need, we beg you to stand with us, to defend the Dream, and ensure that together we will all have a future. Hunt with us. Destroy the darkness. Please."

This time when Lou tells her story, it's for the people of Wolf's domain and not Wolf herself. So, given the amount of time they have, or don't have, she condenses it a bit. "I am Princess Lou Grayson," she tells them. "Although if given a preference, I choose to be known as Pathfinder Lou Grayson, of the Society of Explorers. I am a wife and a mother. I'm known as the Tenacious Griffon in my lands because of how I fought to reclaim my city, which had been ravaged by the one known as Orichalcum, from his monsters and alamgamations so our people might have their home again. I have worked hard and fought hard so others may keep their homes and worked with those who were once considered foe sot hat we might all survive." There's a pause, "But when we thought we were finally safe, finally able to breathe, we discovered that. . . " And then Sen'azala's speaking and she nods her head in Sen's direction at what she says, ". . . that one of the horrors of the world we thought contained had escaped and only grown larger, bigger, and the worst of anything we've ever seen before. And," a pause, "he seeks to destroy the entire world, and everything in it, everywhere, all over. Even here. So, we've come seeking help, as it was indicated by the largest gathering Primorida that ever ways in probably forever, for they /all/ came to visit us in spirit form," she motions to Sen'azala, Tikva, and herself, "That the only chance we have, for anyone to survive at all, is if we maybe work together." She takes a breath then and slowly lets it out, settling down in a seat at the feasting table only then.

Frowns at something, then after Lou speaks, she speaks up again. "Oh! I forgot to mention the most important thing. About the ghosts, I mean. They said that Azazel is trapped in Arvum for the /moment/ but intends to use a portal to the Shining Lands, and eat the Wheel of Life and Rebirth." She nods. "Sorry, forgot to add that part." She quiets down again then, looking embarassed that she forgot why she brought up ghosts to begin with.

Vitalis, despite frustration at the awkward circumstances, is awestruck by the surroundings. He tries to keep a stony face, but it ends up more gassy than resolute. When he hasn't gone a bit wide-eyed at the halls and tapestries and... wow, that's not a familiar smell but it smells *good.* His stomach rumbles and it occurs to him that he hasn't eaten much but rations in the last however long. Flying ship drawback... no fishing! He studies the room and its denizens and frowns marginally, studying the consorts attending the luminaries of the hall. When Skaldia concludes her song, he nods, for Tikva he applauds and smiles. His makeup isn't on point, but he'll be a good audience dammit. He listens to Lou, as he has many times before, intent and attentive. He sneaks a glance at the other men. Is this working?

Although she's been invited to sit and eat, Sorrel merely walks over to the table to get herself something to drink before she starts spinning her tale. Their tale. She nods to Sen'azala with a confident smile, then motions to Tikva so that the two can begin doing the things they are best at: namely, being bards together.

When Sorrel begins, it is with a sweeping bow so as to almost emphasize the grandiosity of her tale. If she is awed by the hall, she makes no sign of it, just smiling with that confident bard's smile. And when she starts, she starts at the beginning: the First Reckoning.

Long ago, Sorrel says, as she launches into a tale that the wolfkin might be very familiar with, Raksha'hasa came to Arvum to fight Legion. Her tale is moving, and she speaks passionately about the fallen Venandi, lost in the War of Stolen Names, lost to the Horned God. There is a cadence to her words that's soft and smooth and easy to listen to, and the tale skips forward in time once more, to learning the Long Song of the Venandi -- or what of it humans can learn to sing. She talks of their sacrifices, of hers and Tikva's and others not present as well. A nightingale who gave up her voice to sing the one song. She tells of the end of the Horned God, of breaking his protection when his kin called the Kindly Voices.

And Sorrel speaks of Sen'azala's choice to free the world. Then she explains how what the others have said fits into that, how this choice to destroy Orichalcum allowed Azazel to escape and start eating things.

Ilmia's time to speak finds the woman trying to ponder out what to say and for once, she's a bit speechless. "I came here because visions of what might be have plagued me. If we don't act, the world will be destroyed." she states plainly. She doesn't embellish or sing. Because she can't! "The truth is, Arvum will not survive if we do not plead for help from great ones." she admits.

Although Cahal clearly enjoys the beautiful building, and the promised food, its Sorrel's song that leaves him truly in awe. For a moment his hands itch to clap and show his appreciation but the circumstances quiet it.

There's definitely a stir at the bards. The council for their part does listen attentively to all of the Arvani to mixed degrees, though the bards have rapt attentin. When Sorrel finishes the retelling of the choice of House Venandi, there's some cheers and applause in the room, and some of the council comes to their feet in approval. There's a few shouts from the enthusiastic about traveling to Arvum. The mention of primordia, however, has a mixed reaction, with quite a few members of the council murmuring among themselves or getting into small whispered arguments, while the hulking woman from earlier openly scoffs. The Grand Regent looks very carefully neutral, though it seems the council is heavily leaning in the Arvani's direction after the bards spoke.

The Grand Regent addresses Sen directly, "What would the... 'Prima'... suggest? The Claw of the East..." the Grand Regent nods towards the hulking woman, "... suggests it would be unwise for our legions to travel outside of the Primasen while matters with the Primasen of the Hawk are unresolved, and despite the wonderful tales of your bards..." There's a nod towards Tikva and Sorrel, "... you'll forgive me, but we do just have your word, do we not? Tell me, Prima Sen'azala..." And it is noticeable, that there's not an accent around the title this time, not quite, "... what precisely do you propose we do?"

Sen'azala checks willpower and leadership at easy. Sen'azala is successful.

Lou checks wits and propaganda at hard. Lou fails.

Skaldia checks willpower and diplomacy at hard. Skaldia is successful.

Ilmia checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Ilmia fails.

Skaldia narrows her eyes a bit as this issue with the Primasen of the Hawk keeps coming up. She looks to her hawk companion, and whispers softly to the bird. Then she looks to the Regent. "What is the issue with the Primasen of the Hawk, if I may ask?" she inquires. "Is it something we could assist with?" The hawk-whisper is asking.

Sorrel checks charm and performance at normal. Sorrel is successful.

Vitalis decides to eat while the eating is good and tucks into his meal, darting looks to and fro as dishes come and go. "Kenjay, pass me that- um," he blinks, he's not sure what it is, "That in the blue bowl, mmh?" He flashes a grin, "Thanks."

Lou might be a little bit more nervous than usual when all of their scrutiny comes on them. She knocks things on the table around a bit, making such a clatter. There her cheeks go again, all read. "Honestly, why Liara ever made me a Voice for Grayson, I wonder sometimes," she mutters somewhat at the table, which is probably loud enough to travel to the surrounding tables. Although, she does add a bit more loudly, "Were there a way I could show you my memory of Deer speaking to me and showing me the vision of Eurus in disarray, I would do so heartily." There might be a way, but not one that Lou could ever conceive.

Sorrel understands her audience, to a degree. She's moved in the circles of royalty and nobility her whole life, and she's been friends with Sen'azala for quite some time as well. For some definition of friends, given the prickly prima's disposition. "You do have only our words, for it is difficult to provide proof of these things. But we will submit to any questions you like, bare our souls as it were, to demonstrate our sincerity. What we ask is not easy or trivial. It is not a light decision, and it is a cruel reality that we must ask for your aid on faith," she says with a small but genuine smile.

Kenjay quietly passes Vitalis the blue bowl; he's mostly focused on the bards, and on the audience's reaction to them. And on not drawing any attention, himself.

Cahal nods in support of Sorrel's statement.

"I assume," she says, evenly, "that the Primasen of the Wolf has access to a large and varied number of clocks, and I would be curious if they read the same, but Arvum has very, very few. This one," she looks down at it, and then back, "is from the Castle of Yesterday, a stronghold that was once under the care of a woman named Copper of the Metallic Order, whom I also assume needs no actual introductions. It stopped at 11:30 days ago. It ticks on, a minute at a time, every little while, but otherwise remains stopped. Every clock there is the same. Of the few I've been able to find with such short notice on Arvum, theirs also, the same. You want proof; I understand. You want security; I understand. But Arvum is *dying*. Azazel will bleed it dry, but once he has, he will enter the Thinnest Point, and once he does, he will devour the Wheel. He will devour the dead. He will come here, he will come to the Undying Empire, he will come to Cardia, he will come to every land and he will eat us all." She breathes. "Unfortunately, what is needed is far more difficult than simply asking for soldiers. The message that Grandmother brought me, in the place where I have called to her many times, when I looked into her eyes again..." She pauses. "I saw the fate of every living thing written on a mirror. I saw the moon die again, as we killed it, and the mirror shattered into infinite possibilities. I looked, and looked, and in every shard I saw death. I saw the Eater devour the world. I saw everyone I know dying. I saw him smile, and smile." Her golden eyes narrow, though not at the council it would seem. "Then she showed me one possibility. In it, we fought at Arx again, but the Primordia were there to defend the city. Many of them. In it, I saw a Nefer'khati elite guard, I saw myself, and", oh she knows this one will be the roughest, "I saw Wolf, standing at the Thinnest Point to defend it. This was her message to me." She puts a hand on the clock, and shakes her head. "...But no one without a connection to Arvum may enter without being devoured. This is why she sent me the message, rather than coming herself. The only way around this, is if there is a bond made with the soul of someone who *can* enter Arvum."

Caspian is taking the opportunity to study the many faces gathered round the table. So much to see, so much to learn. While it was better he stay silent, he could still enjoy that fact that he was here. he was in the Primasen of wolf! As the case was made for aird, the dangers they all faced laid bare and the story told, he nodded along, memories flashing back of the many events. but then the question was given.. what would sen propose. he turned to looked at Sen, head cocked as he awaited her answer.

Sen'azala again watches the interplay between the council, and her attention settles, for a moment, rather thoroughly on the woman identified as the Claw of the East, before she looks toward the regent. Then the woman stands. She sets her pack on her chair - not very regal, that old thing - and from it she takes the tightly wrapped object, carefully removes the wrappings, and sets the clock down on the table, face toward the council. 11:35.

"I assume," she says, evenly, "that the Primasen of the Wolf has access to a large and varied number of clocks, and I would be curious if they read the same, but Arvum has very, very few. This one," she looks down at it, and then back, "is from the Castle of Yesterday, a stronghold that was once under the care of a woman named Copper of the Metallic Order, whom I also assume needs no actual introductions. It stopped at 11:30 days ago. It ticks on, a minute at a time, every little while, but otherwise remains stopped. Every clock there is the same. Of the few I've been able to find with such short notice on Arvum, theirs also, the same. You want proof; I understand. You want security; I understand. But Arvum is *dying*. Azazel will bleed it dry, but once he has, he will enter the Thinnest Point, and once he does, he will devour the Wheel. He will devour the dead. He will come here, he will come to the Undying Empire, he will come to Cardia, he will come to every land and he will eat us all." She breathes. "Unfortunately, what is needed is far more difficult than simply asking for soldiers. The message that Grandmother brought me, in the place where I have called to her many times, when I looked into her eyes again..." She pauses. "I saw the fate of every living thing written on a mirror. I saw the moon die again, as we killed it, and the mirror shattered into infinite possibilities. I looked, and looked, and in every shard I saw death. I saw the Eater devour the world. I saw everyone I know dying. I saw him smile, and smile." Her golden eyes narrow, though not at the council it would seem. "Then she showed me one possibility. In it, we fought at Arx again, but the Primordia were there to defend the city. Many of them. In it, I saw a Nefer'khati elite guard, I saw myself, and", oh she knows this one will be the roughest, "I saw Wolf, standing at the Thinnest Point to defend it. This was her message to me." She puts a hand on the clock, and shakes her head. "...But no one without a connection to Arvum may enter without being devoured. This is why she sent me the message, rather than coming herself. The only way around this, is if there is a bond made with the soul of someone who *can* enter Arvum."

Skaldia tilts her head slightly and looks to the Khati. "You say you are not affected by these things. And yet," she says, gesturing, "the Primasen of the Hawk, and the Primasen of the Wolf, are both affected. The earthquake that causes the dispute between your people - it is a result of the death of the Horned God. The land changes, even here. And this is why your people are at war with the Primasen of the Hawk." She meets the gaze of the Khati stubbornly. "How long do you think it will be before Azazel is no longer bound to Arvum? Before he enters the Thinnest Point? The trouble with the Primasen of the Hawk is the same as the trouble you face. Both are a result of the same event. There is no time for arguing over territory. Everyone's territory is at stake."

"Worse yet, Azazel has eaten the Archfiend of Secrets, the Archfiend of slavery, and the Herald known as Ruin. He grows stronger. Skald, the God of Choice, has given up his powers to Vellichor, to help give a counter to how powerful Azazel is growing." Lou calls from the sidelines, backing up the things Sen has said, and also giving additional detail.

Vitalis's chewing slows at Sen'azala's tale. There are a lot of new pieces of information in that story. His chewing resumes regular speed and he reaches for a glass to wash down what was once delicious and is now dust. He closes his eyes and bows his head, jaws clenching. He exhales and stirs again, passing the blue bowl back, watching, as he ever does, in periphery, feeling the shape and moods and tempers of those around.

The council room is a buzz with conversation, and encouragingly there's more speaking in agreement and some in alarm as they look at the clock, confirmation by the shock on the many women's faces that speaks that they certainly do have clocks, and they are behaving in the same way. There's more talk, and the Grand Regent speaks quietly to the Claw of the East and the High Advisor Elia, and it looks as if the Grand Regent is about to speak when there's a sound of the door opening and all conversation stops.

There's soft footpads as a single wolf, perhaps slightly larger than most, stalks into the room, moving past stunned guards to move towards the table of the guests. One could hear a pin drop at the silence, as the wolf slowly walks forward, and stares at the Grand Regent. The older woman pales, giving a nod then speaks to the council while gesturing with her staff towards the guests, "They speak true. The Great Mother confirms it. It is a threat to us all, and so I propose a vote to permit our legions to move to support the Arvani in their battle, and we shall treat with the Hawk, and the Great Mother herself suggests she bind to..."

"Absolutely FUCKING not." There's the sound of a sword hitting stone, as the hulking Claw of the East is up from her chair and moving down to the floor, her great sword grating against stone, "Have you all lost your fucking minds? If we allow one of these children, these weak blooded foreigners to bind with the Great Mother, we place her at risk. If they die, -she- dies. We would be lost forever. Do they LOOK like anyone strong enough to bind with the mother? No, no, NO!" The council erupts into arguments, and even the Grand Regent slamming her staff repeatedly for calm doesn't quite get it as the Claw of East shouts, "By ancient rite, I call for ANY of these foreigners to prove they are worthy, that they could survive this bond. By claw or sword." There's silence then as the Wolf's golden eyes look on silently, and the Grand Regent clears her throat, "The Warmaster of the Primasen issues a formal challenge to duel, as is her right by law."

((Social rolls here at hard but yeah, if anyone accepts, going to be moving to combat checks.))

Vitalis takes the napkin from his lap, dabs his mouth, and pushes back from the table. He smoothes hands down his front and tugs the end of his coat firm. He looks at Sen'azala, expression flat.

Caspian perks up! Now this was something he was actually good at! a small grin spread over his face and his hands began to flex into fists to get blood flowing. "Well, its good to know some traditions truly are universal." he looked to Sen as he slid his chair out slightly with a smirk, "this consort is more than ready to rise to this occasion."

Kenjay too looks to Sen'azala, one eyebrow lifting as his hand goes to his helm - and then he's looking to Caspian with a nod.

Ilmia checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Ilmia is successful.

Skaldia checks composure at hard. Skaldia fails.

One minute, everything is all talking, and that's fine by Skaldia. But when the Claw of the East starts shouting and challenging people, Skaldia kind of stares at the woman for a moment, before swallowing hard. She looks to Sen, because that's a safe place to look, hopefully. She's clearly following the Prima's lead in this case, and carefully keeps her hands away from any weapons. Libera's wings flutter a moment, then settle again. The hawk peers around with amber eyes, clearly nervous in the den of wolves.

Sen does not look stunned. Surprised, perhaps, as she certainly didn't expect Wolf's direct confirmation - at least, not right now - but when she turns to watch her enter, to watch her approach, there's a softening in her expression that she has not displayed her entire time since arriving, her entire time since they set out on their journey, and, truly, her entire time that most of them have known her. When she says 'grandmother', it's there, right in her face now, that she *means* it. She means it in the way that a woman who has never known family by blood means it, in the way that a woman who believes her family by adoption is dead and gone might mean it. She holds that look as the Claw of the East speaks, as she throws down her challenge. Then she looks back, she turns around, and her golden eyes *glitter* with violence. "If you would rather spill my blood than save the world, if you would deny Grandmother her choice, if you would *doom* us all with *fear*, then win or lose, there is only *one fucking thing* that I can say to that." And then she *snarls*, and she's no longer human shaped. "*I* *Accept*." She bares her teeth and lunges at the far larger woman.

Sorrel checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Sorrel is successful.

Ilmia rises from her seat when challenges start getting thrown around and she raises her hand in a non-threatening way, "We came here in peace, hopefully we will not leave here in pieces." she states. She doesn't move backwards, she stays right where she is. She doesn't even go for Blood Eagle. She then hears the snarling and sees Sen go lunging after the challenge thrower.

"Well shit." Ilmia whispers under her breath.

Skaldia checks willpower and diplomacy at hard. Skaldia fails.

Tikva checks charm and performance at normal. Tikva is successful.

Tikva does what she feels a bard must in this situation. She starts playing a martial theme.

"Everyone's going to die if the Primordia doesn't come to Arvum. You're all lost forever if you go that way," Sorrel points out with a roll of her eyes. "Trying to kill Sen'Azala isn't productive. But you know, whatever. She likes this sort of thing. She understands how to deal with disrespect. Because this is disrespect. I hope she tears your throat out, bitch."

Skaldia tries to say something, but it just comes out as a mumble toward Caspian and the boys, "That didn't go super well then, did it?" She looks to the Claw of the East and says, "I'd rather not escalate tensions further between hawks and wolves." She's clearly considering herself one with the hawks these days, even if she doesn't have wings. She moves out of the way then, putting a table between herself and the potential wolf fighters, and keeps Libera out of the way too.

Sen'azala checks dexterity and medium wpn at easy. Sen'azala is successful.

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

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

Lou goes very, very still when the Wolf comes into the dining room and approaches their table. She grows even more still when the leaders' table starts talking all at once. Then, her eyes narrow when the Claw of the East issues her challenge. She watches how things play out so, so very carefully, but she also looks to see if there's more than just Wolf there, or if it's only just Wolf. She glances to the door, then back to the people in the room, looking for any marked changes. "I came to prove myself," she says after a moment. "If it's to you and not the other Primasen or Primordia, then so be it."

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

Vitalis checks dexterity and huge wpn at normal. Critical Success! Vitalis is spectacularly successful.

Skaldia keeps an eye out for any other potential threats while the combatants begin to square off.

Sen'azala is fast and she's *angry* and, quite frankly, she has not had an outlet since Azazel began sweeping Arvum. Besides, however the odds might be, however much her heart might (must) be pounding right now, this is far more her arena than any gilded palace and any amount of careful words or heroic speeches. She's violence, and her teeth are sharp when they sink in.

Tikva checks charm and performance at hard. Botch! Tikva fails completely.

Sorrel checks charm and performance at hard. Sorrel is successful.

Kenjay rises when Sen'azala snarls, his helm lifted onto his head in the same movement; a moment later he's blurring into motion, his twin shortswords pulled from their sheaths and in his hands. All in scarlet and white, the former gladiator proves that he's lost none of his edge with any of his choices by vaulting over the table in the Prima's wake and joining the battle.

Caspian is primed, a coiled spring just waiting to be released. As soon as Sen launches toward the Claw of the East and their course is set, he breaks into a laugh. Daggers flash out and he dashes after Sen. "you are going to get knocked out by a CONSORT!" This was combat, this was where he was at home. The dance, the show, the thrill of it. The chain daggers whistled in the air as he swung them in a wicked ark as he closed distance, slashing toward her even as he closed. He yanked them back to his hands as he reached her, slipping past her to try and press her from all sides as the others closed on her!

[MAGIC] Vitalis falls back from Sen'azala when she transforms, the power and presence of her rage unleashed a palpable thing, like heat against his skin. He plants a hand on the table and springs over it, letting Defiance from its stays, hissing over the ground as it plays out, an eye-charm dagger in hand. He surges forward in Sen'azala's wake, circling wide, cracks of his whip reporting in the high hall, as he reads the alignment of the Claw's aura, her gear and finds *just* the place to strike. It doesn't occur to him in the moment to think about how that happened. He just *knows* where to hit.

In this moment, climactic and intense, Tikva strums up a chord, filling her lungs like she's about to do something epic, and-- the third string snaps. The breath spills out of her all in one puff of wasted air. She looks down at her instrument in horror.

Lou has fought with many of the people joining the fray. She studies the battle for a moment, getting the measure of things, and then joins them. She slips into the spaces they are not and she wields her alaricite sword as though she's used it time and time again. She waits until there is a moment no other is in her way and then she moves in to make her mark, slicing toward the Claw's side and moving back, so that another can work their way in. She's fully cognizant of the Claw's potential power, having seen Sen'azala train in the past and maybe working with her at times to make sure she knows just how to /stay/ out of the way when needed. She fights smart, not wrecklessly.

There's the massive clash of steel. For a woman that damned huge, no one has a right to move with the speed she does. As she runs forward, chairs go flying and a desk is knocked out of the way, as the greatsword comes crashing down only to be deflected. The woman is fast, and terrifyingly capable, most certainly a powerful adept with the inhuman speed and strength she is moving from, but they are keeping pace, she gets minor wounds and her blade doesn't yet find anyone.

((Doing luck checks.))

Apostate has called for a check of luck at easy.
Critical Success! Hellfrog is inhumanly successful in a way that defies expectations.
Sorrel is successful.
Smile is successful.
TIE: Lou is successful. Skaldia is successful.
TIE: Caspian is successful. Ilmia is successful. Tikva is successful.
TIE: Sen'azala is successful. Kenjay is successful.
Vitalis marginally fails.

Vitalis checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Vitalis is successful.

There's certainly surprise in her expression. Truthfully, she she looks like she was expecting Sen to be already dead. It's something she looks to want to remedy.

((16 victory points, can do all checks at easy this round, thanks to Sorrel))

Sen'azala checks willpower and leadership at easy. Sen'azala marginally fails.

Caspian checks dexterity and small wpn at easy. Caspian is successful.

Kenjay checks dexterity and medium wpn at easy. Kenjay is successful.

Lou checks dexterity and medium wpn at easy. Lou is successful.

Vitalis checks dexterity and huge wpn at easy. Vitalis is successful.

Ilmia checks charm and diplomacy at easy. Critical Success! Ilmia is inhumanly successful in a way that defies expectations.

Tikva checks charm and diplomacy at easy. Tikva is successful.

[MAGIC] All the world's a song for Sorrel. It always has been. She's spent her whole life singing. Happy songs, sad songs. Songs of celebration. Songs of hope. Songs of history and wonder. But she's never sang for an audience like this, and she can feel it. She can see it. She smiles more broadly all of a sudden, and there's a certain rush around her. And her song is all the more inspiring.

Sen'azala has had some experience in this, at least, though not nearly as much as she needs. She does not, however, have experience in using magic while she's already fighting as a Wolf. She attempts it. For just a moment, there's a flicker of white and black around her claws, a fade in her eyes, and a sense of painful chill in the air - but whatever was happening fails her, and in the moment, the distraction takes her past her target and skidding across the floor. She doesn't lose her footing. Mostly.

Lou does not break out with the magical anything just yet. Instead, Lou keeps doing what she's doing. She dances around with the group, weaving in and out as necessary, keeping close watch on the Claw of the East and her companions. Once more, she steps into a spot, careful of everyone else she's with so as not to get in their way, and attempts a slash at the Claw's leg. It hits with a solid thunk, but she's uncertain if the Claw is taking any sort of damage of if it just goes skidding off of armor or skin. She moves out of the way once more so that Caspian, Vitalis, or any of the others joining in might get their attack of opportunity.

Kenjay, meanwhile, has had experience of fighting with a motley band of allies against something bigger than them all. He knows when it's his turn to strike and when it's his turn to defend, and how to capitalise on the acts of the others. His blades dance with him, extensions of his will, used for offence or defence and switching without a moment's notice. In a billow of red silks and white tabard, he too puts on a show while he's fighting in front of an audience; it's reflexive, that dance of speed and skill, the showmanship in the heat of combat.

\ [Magic] Caspian was still grinning from ear to ear as Vitalis evaded the blow she sent toward him with ease. "Hm.. Claw of the East is an awfully Impressive title for someone who can't hit a consort. Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge." He dragged his blades against each other, and his fists suddenly were enveloped by a flickering white flame. The flame licked down his weapons, sheathing them in its heatless embrace as he charged. He seemed to grow more serous for a moment, "To many people, fuck EVERYTONE, will be lost because of your obstinance! so sit DOWN!" his blades sliced into her as he twisted past again, slicing low to keep her off balance. Then he was dancing back with a grin once more.

"You want to talk about STRENGTH." Tikva is so loud she nearly shouts the word. Her balalaika thrust back into its instrument case, she smiles brilliant and wild as she stands straight, her hands athwart her hips. "This woman, who you would not call Prima? She walked into our city a stranger. Alone. Defied expectation, rank, convention, common sense whatever. Look at her now. You challenge her? I've never yet seen her back down -- but consider what you ask. Show you her strength? This woman, my friend, took her song back from a thief and ripped out his throat with her teeth. Across centuries she is Venandi. You want her to show you her strength? You best be prepared to /feel it/!"

Skaldia stays clear, not getting involved in the fight if she can help it. She didn't come here to fight. She came here to talk sense. She narrows her eyes as she watches the situation unfold, arms folded in front of her. Being non-magical herself, she doesn't really have anything to offer here except silent encouragement for her friends.

Vitalis fades from a blow from the Claw of the East, the wind of its passage fluttering his hair, eyes widening marginally at just how close that was. He recovers his balance and feels the movement of the others, again in periphery, Lou darts in, then Sen'azala, Kenjay, and Caspian's taunt. THERE. He slips forward and drives his dagger into a gap. The back of his neck is hot and prickling, adrenaline singing under his skin, as he fades again, back and out of range - maybe.

Tikva puts Amanita, a secunda balalaika in torso-belted instrument case inlaid with a dark red Eternal Flame.

Ilmia is...rather brave in the moment. Like she's not in her own body as her eyes snap to the Claw. She steps towards where all of the blades and claws are flying, but she seems to stay well out of the line of getting bashed in herself. "This is a time where we need to stop..." she reaches out to put her hand on the Claw's arm while she's in mid swing. "You're expending energies on fighting us when you can be fighting for your people to survive. I know that is what you care so much about." she tells her.

And the Claw yeilds. Whatever Ilmia worked. Thankfully because if not she'd be smooshed.

"Enough." The battered Claw of the East keeps her feet, though she is clearly in a great deal of pain, swinging her greatsword again and finding only air at the lunging Sen'azala. The Warmaster looks towards Ilmia and then screams, "ENOUGH! I YIELD." And her sword is buried into the ground. There's clear relief in most of the Council, with perhaps just a few of the Primasen of the Wolf that look with a mild disappointment that suggests they would have vastly preferred Sen tear her throat out. Can't have everything. ((Round 2, 56 victory points, 50 was enough for a yield))

There's a number of animals in the chamber that had gone unnoticed, but not now. The wolf sitting in the center is not alone. A bear, a deer, a cat, a hawk, a nightingale, an eagle, a rat. Others. Just watching, their ancient eyes on them all.

The Grand Regent speaks, "Our armies shall go with you, Sen'azala. As for the Great Mothers, if you sway them, we shall not gainsay you." And then the primordia look expectantly at the Arvani.

Kenjay checks charm and propaganda at normal. Kenjay is successful.

Sen'azala checks willpower and leadership at normal. Sen'azala is successful.

Skaldia checks willpower and agriculture at normal. Skaldia is successful.

Caspian checks charm and propaganda at normal. Caspian is successful.

Lou checks wits and propaganda at normal. Lou is successful.

Vitalis checks perception and survival at normal. Vitalis is successful.

Tikva checks charm and performance at normal. Tikva is successful.

Lou lowers her sword once the call for battle is over and the Claw seems convinced. She flashes the others a small nod of approval, then turns to regard the many, many animals who've come to watch them, to see if they are worthy. She stands there, breathing, watching them back for some time, and then steps forward.

Lou's voice is certain and strong as she speaks, saying the things that she hopes will sway one of the creatures before her. "I'm called the Tenacious Griffon back home because I do everything I must to see a job through and to protect my people. I would humbly request that should any of you find me worthy, that you might consider my candidacy for a bond. Should you do so, I will do my best to protect both the people of Arvum and your people. I would pledge myself to your service and one the battle in Arvum is complete, and we have managed to save the world, I am willing to give up my family, sacrificing what time I'd have left with my husband and my children, and return with you to Nefer'khat to live out my days, doing whatever you asked of me in return. This is a sacrifice I make willingly and freely." Then she stands there, waiting, to see what sort of response she might get, letting out a small breath of air as she does.

Sorrel checks charm and performance at normal. Sorrel is successful.

Sen'azala stops the moment the Warmaster yields, with one hand raised, clawed fingers curled for another strike. That hand remains there for just a breath longer, and then she lowers the hand, and swipes blood from her muzzle. Not her blood. She looks, briefly, just a little surprised at the realization. Then she looks, and sees the other primordia. Watching. Waiting. Her white fur recedes, black hair returning, muzzle shortening, as she slides smoothly back to human shape. There's a look for the Warmaster - a firm nod, in fact - and then she takes a few steps toward the Primordia. No, very clearly, toward Wolf. The woman eases into a crouch, and looks into Wolf's eyes. "Grandmother?" she asks her, quiet, if still audible. "...Is there any way to do this that's less dangerous for you? I don't--" Because there's an *ache*. Much quieter, "...I'm still just me."

[MAGIC] Tikva closes her eyes for a moment, marshaling her inner self, and then opens them. She is focused irrevocably on the nightingale, because Nightingale sent her a vision and it seems like it would be unconscionably rude to reach for a bond with anyone else first. She hums and sings a weave, warming and warping the air around her subtly with the soft, wordless notes of a song that offers the headstrong passion of a young spellingser, and the defense of the world, and an answer to millions of ravening mouths - an answer to the horrifying vision Nightingale sent her. "Together," is how her song is shaped. "We sing, we rise, we soar. Please."

When the Warmaster yields, Kenjay immediately steps back, his shortswords going away before he lifts his helm off his head. He offers the Warmaster another fluid Eurusi-style bow, before bowing to the Grand Regent; that done, he looks to the Great Mothers. "I am a warrior of Arvum, who survived the pits and arenas of the Dune Kingdoms," he says, focusing on Bear. "I was born a prince, and spent thirty years as a slave. I was the Scarlet Storm, champion of the arena of Skal'daja. I returned to Arvum and I was given my freedom, my title restored; I became a Champion of the Guild, and prospered, lending my aid to the children of my cousins and the people of the Dune Kingdoms who had fled to Arvum in despair. But then I chose a new path for myself, and became a Knight of the King's Own, giving up title and position to live in honour. My life is spent in service to others, but it is a service that I have chosen. And now I offer to serve you, Great Mothers, for as long as is needed or required. For the sake of the world, I pledge my soul to bond with yours, that we might work together to bring an end to the Eater and more dawns to the world. I am Sir Kenjay Redrain, son of the House whose emblem is the bear. Child of the frozen north, warrior of the dunes, who understands that he begs a gift more precious than life itself. I have come to petition for aid for the world, if you will have me."

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

When they are given permission to try to bond with the primordia, Skaldia inclines her head reverently. Then she turns and focuses her attention, closing her eyes for a moment. She lowers to one knee. She lays down her bow and quiver. "I am Skaldia Harrow, Disciple of Petrichor. I thought I wanted to be Godsworn, but I really feel a lot closer to the land, and to nature," she says, speaking to the various primordia present. She bows her head. "I've read a lot about druids, and one of the things about Druids is that they understand nature. I have made it my life's work, to understand the world, the Dream, the way the land and skies compliment one another. Druids understand the nature of Dominion. Hawk's dominion is the skies, and the Aeries. Wolf's dominion is that of land and forest. The hawk mates for life. The wolf does as well. I feel, if Hawk and Wolf work together, both will be stronger for it." She bows her head then. "If Hawk is here, I would bond with Hawk."

Caspian stops as soon as the Warmaster says she yields. His blades vanish into their sheathes. he smiled a genuine smile to the Warmaster, and then bowed to her. "Well fought, Claw of the East. It was an honor. thank you." he looked to the other Primordia than as the Regent spoke. "I am Caspian Wild. I am child of thralls, born into chains. I was freed, claimed my life, and made it my own. I am a warrior, a bard, an adventurer.. and long to always see what is over that horizon. I have charged headlong into overwhelming odds, i have risked it all for the chance of victory and i have known success and failure. Never have i let my failures stop me." he Wet his lips, "I offer myself to you, to bind myself to you so that together we can protect this world and everything we hold dear in it. I cannot promise i will hold back, but i will promise that we will be together in the thick of it, fighting where best we can make a difference. And when this is done, i shall return you here to your home, or take you anywhere that is within my power. I pledge myself to you, to bond our souls till the deed is done, and so long as you demand it, and let us stand defiant against the one who would see our memories devoured." He looks for the Phoenix, eyes flickering among the crowd, though he spoke to them all. "Death will not claim us, not while we fight."

As soon as it began, the fight is over. Vitalis falls back, breathing hard, though it was brief - the stakes, stakes as high as the fate of the world bring a different sort of exhaustion. He studies the Claw of the East, glad that he hadn't had to face such a foe alone. That none of them had. They are none of them alone, though, no. Isn't that what Symonesse had granted him that day when she restored his sight. He nods, to himself, to Sen, to the others, to the Warmaster. He licks his lips and thinks, all the roads ahead, all the horizons, all the paths he might tread. He scratches at his jaw, nails whickering in his beard. "I am... hungry." He looks to rat, and nods at the table. "Join me? We can talk and eat at the same time."

Whatever Sen sees in those eyes, her own turn a little watery, though there are no tears. "Together then," she says, still quiet, as if she were answering something only she could hear. "First and Last, Grandmother." The tips of her teeth show. "We *hunt*."

There are so many creatures that sing, not just songbirds, and Sorrel gravitates to one of these: Frog. She holds out her hands to pick up the frog, to let it hop into her cupped hands, and then she kisses it gently on the nose. She looks happy.

Lou continues to look out over the gathered Primordia a moment and then her eyes lock on one of them. There's a deep knowing in her expression and she bows her head over in Deer's direction; the Primordia that had shown her the vision of Eurus. "Adventure Awaits," she tells Deer, her expression solemn.

This is not the first time that Tikva has felt someone else in her soul. But this is wholly different, and her eyes shine with wonder, a glimmer of unspent tears, as Nightingale meets her gaze. She smiles and whispers, "/Yes/."

Kenjay meets Bear's gaze, and he drops to one knee before her. "I am yours," he murmurs, his smile full of wonder and joy, his hand lifting to rest over his heart. And if there's water trickling from his eyes, he doesn't seem to have noticed.

Skaldia smiles softly, looking at the hawk. She meets the hawk's gaze, and then she bows her head. Tears trickle down her cheeks. "I was never alone," she whispers. "You were always with me." Big fat teardrops drip onto the ground at her feet.

Ilmia choice paralysis mode. All animals are here. Even some of the more mythical kinds! Then there is a look around the room. A bit of a sheepish look for a moment as she brings her hands together and she looks much like a child, "Unicorn?" she asks quietly. Her olive eyes find what she is looking for and she heads in that direction very quietly and offers out a hand in silent question and a gaze full of hope.

Caspian stares into the depths of the Bird's eyes, a smile spreading over his face. "Will you fly with me? Will you stand with me against the darkness and laugh?" his breath hitched as he felt the connection grow and the souls bond together. "We are going to do such great things..." a grin then broke over his face "Ever race a flying ship?"

Caspian could not stop grinning at the Phoenix, the fiery bird likely going to have to get used the oaf.

Vitalis tilts his head and ...smiles at rat. "Yeah?" Yeah. He keeps on going to the table. He is still pretty dang hungry. "I am going to enjoy showing you Arx."

One last big Arxpedition for everyone.

They make their choices, and the primordia, the eldest spirits of the world, are content. The ancient great spirits with them have made their choice, and they know the risks. Should their mortals fall, they will go into the endless dark above without regret. Long ago, they touched mortals, and created Nefer'khat from that bond. And so again, traveling among mortals one final time, they would see that world survive.

And they do not travel back alone. It will take time for the forces of Nefer'khat to arrive, not by airship, but come they will. The greatest of spirits may be blocked from soul bond, but for the regular Khati, they can pass into Arvum to fight, and fight they will. The Wolves are coming to Arx, and others may perhaps follow.

And so they are going to return, to face the Reckoning. To face Azazel. But not alone.

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