Valley of the Eternal Child: A Mother's Tears
March 15, 2020, 5 p.m.
Outside Arx - Lyceum near Saikland Greens - Saikland-Ostria Borderlands
Comments and Log
The evening is bleeding into night when the group is shown to their lodgings for the night. The house is set on the edge of the village, about a mile and a half from the path up to the summit of the pass. Given the presence of strangers, the guards are out in force, patroling the village, while a troop of four sentries are located up on the summit itself. There are a pair of guards posted outside the house to keep an eye on the 'Guests' for the evening.
Lucita watches the others for a long moment. "Might I suggest we sleep in shifts, get as much rest as we can. We'll probably need it." She however moves over to confer with Mirk in a low tone, a blank book and a quill and ink pulled from her pack. She jots notes down once in a while, humming a few bars along during the conversation. "Do you need anything special, anything one of us can do to help?"
"I'm not sure there's anything I can do except open myself up and see if the spirits can help," Mirk says, shaking his head at Lucita. "But remain here. I intend to promise them your intervention, and your presence might assist." With that said, he starts to gather his ritual supplies: Seed and stone and crystal, each one a story of somewhere he'd been or something he'd seen along the way. His hand goes to the charms on his beard, almost automatically, touching them for confidence - or reassurance.
Jules moves in closely towards the others and speaks more softly at this and says, "I could work to get them drunk perhaps? Sing a love song to Lady Alessia, perhaps. She comes out to listen perhaps?" He looks to her and considers, "Towards the end I say something about her green eyes, she huffs and leaves. I, in my sorrow, try to gather some to drink with me perhaps? Misery loves company and I can try to draw them to me? See if we can't leave them perhaps less desiring to get up if something should happen tomorrow?" He looks among the others for their opinions.
Nova gets out her hunting knife and makes carving motions to the air before her whilst she leans closer and whispers something to Mirk. After that, the Wolf Scout puts away her knife and looks up to Jules, "I can help you with that." She opens her cloak a bit more and shows all the tubes and vials on her belt.
Distractions and misdirections of a social (or chemical) nature are out of Ian's wheelhouse. WAY out of his wheelhouse. He doesn't show any opinion at all to Jules' plan other than a bewildered shrug. He's exploring the residence, looking for windows, checking hiding places (because you know, demons), and making a mental map of the interior. If there's roof access from inside, that'd also be good to know about.
Domonico thinks as he considers the house they are in, checking the points that it could be defended. "I will take first watch. Then... Ian? Rowenova? Alessia? Zoey, Mirk, Lucita. You three get rest." His eyes look to Jules. "You just don't get in the way."
Zoey keeps her bow near to where she beds down when she does go to rest. Best to leave this part of the plan to those who are more experienced.
Listening to Jules' plan, Alessia's amusement grows as he proceeds, not least when he mentions her own involvement. She turns to Domonico when he suggests she take fourth watch. "That's fine." She says easily.
While Mirk rummages through his supplies, he hands a leather cord to Rowenova, and wraps a sheet of parchment around it. "Good enough for now," he explains, nodding towards Flops. He seems to expect Rowenova to just have the bone without needing help. He nods his head to Domonico. "I'll need some time for rituals, but then I'll get rest," he assures the man.
Ian is in the back of the house, poking his cane up at the thatch roof. "This is a good way out, for someone who can do it quietly," he says. "We can put a hole in here, and the slope of the roof should hide it from anyone watching the front of the house."
Jules looks to Nova and gives a cheerful smile, "Excellent, how is that? And what do you need?" At Domonico's words, he gives a nod of his head to the man but does not even bother to reply, instead moving to be slightly out of his way. He waits in silence for some further instruction from anyone else present.
Lucita lets the military folks handle the military type details. She focuses on preparing what she wants to do. A short song of clarity of thought, one for the child, one for defending people are all written or reviewed as she figures out just 'what' she wants to accomplish, and the words to help her hold a focus on achieving that. Every once in a while she looks up at the others though there is a distracted look about her and her usual smile is gone, faded into a concerned expression. "I ...think can rest once have the rest of this worked out. I expect will need a fairly long song...as long as he has been stuck that way.
Nova yeahs back to Domonico (about the shifts) and then brings around her Messenger Bag in which there are Halfshav folios. She ends up tearing off a leather cover from the least important, and then she starts making a rudimentary collar for Flop from it, folded twice with their note inside it, the very tiniest of paper flaps able to be figured out if up close but also barely peeking from under the leather strap. She also gives him a dog bone, too, which is not something which has been alchemically 'flavored'. Probably, anyone back down the way from Saik (should Flop make it that far) would know that he never wears collars. She pats and pets him for a few moments before mixing together an alchemical agent for Jules from her belt vials and what was an empty bowl which was not used during the 'barely dinner' they recently had. After that, she offers out several vials to Jules. "These you can add to the alcoholic beverages. They will do what you said you wished them to do." Then, she goes back to loving up on Floppers. "I would appreciate a distraction for when Sir Flop takes his note, please."
Rowenova checked intellect + alchemy at difficulty 20, rolling 29 higher.
Domonico nods at Ian's suggestion before he looks to the others, "So. When are we attempting this... freeing of the child?"
Rowenova gets Special Dog Deploying Backpack from Messenger Bag.
"Tomorrow." Ian starts making a hole in the ceiling while he talks with Domonico, keeping his voice pitched low enough that Domonico will have to be fairly near to hear him. There are guards right outside, after all. "We're hoping to get a distraction from the soldiers at the base of the mountain so Baroness Saik won't have quite so many eyes on her." He looks to Nova and nods to what she whispers. "I think we can get the dog out this way. I'll climb up, and you can hand him up to me."
After passing off 3 vials to Jules, Nova gets up and rummages around in her backpack and gets out the leather harness which also has straps for a human, too. She shows Ian how it works, and she gives him her sinew rope, too.
Now that his role in the preparations is done, Mirk begins his rituals. It's not much to look at: Just a shaman kneeling on the floor, supplies scattered around him, murmuring prayers. "Seed and water, crystal and stone," he murmurs, touching each one as he does. "All pure, all parts of the natural world. We wish to restore this land to balance, to drive the defilers from it. But we require your help. We require assistance, support, perhaps even power. Spirits of winds to howl and conceal our movements. Spirits of storms to harry their people. Spirits of earth and tree and stone, all come together for one purpose." He touches the ritual supplies again. "But we do not ask without giving. No boon comes without price. We will free the child from his unnatural existence, end the sacrifice that defiles your land. This is our offering, and our gift."
Domonico stands and goes to Ian before whispering, "I'll climb up. You pass me the dog." He looks down at the other man's leg.
Jules quickly pours the three vials in the three different bottles of rum he has (since he has exactly three) and corks them back up nice and proper. He says to himself, "Rum is wrong." Giving the sound to remind him. He looks to Alessia and says, "Would you play the part then my lady?" He asks confirming it before he prepares to head out at the direction of the others.
Lucita says, "That table over there look sturdy enough to help reaching up there? Alessia and I can hold it stable maybe to help give a start of a boost up toward the rafters?"
Mirk checked mana + occult at difficulty 60, rolling 12 higher.
Mirk checked mana + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 30 higher.
"Well it depends when Master Jules wants to commence his plan." Alessia says to Lucita with a shrug, not yet approaching the table.
Jules looks to Alessia and says, "I can ramble a song for however long you need and draw to parts singing your praises more directly when you're ready. That perhaps will give you what time you need?"
Domonico nods to helping Ian and will help the Kennex up. "Very well. Let us make these preparations and then we can rest."
Lucita nods to Jules and Alessia as she says gently. "I wish you luck with it. And glad you though of something of a diversion, too. If Lord Domonico and Lady Zoey are busy keeping watch, I'll try to hold the table." She seems to expect Nova will be busy helping with the dog.
Nova helps as much as she can to get Ian and Flop up top with all the gear that they will need to do what they will do successfully.
Mirk has his eyes closed, lips moving in silent communion. There's a feeling of tension there, as if something isn't going entirely as he would like. "They're willing to fight. They're eager," he says to Lucita. "That's...rare. And dangerous. Once I call upon them to support us in battle, I cannot promise to have control of their rage. It won't be clean, and it won't be pretty."
"None of this is going to be clean or pretty," Ian says in a dry tone. He steps onto a chair and then hoists himself partly through the hole, with the intent of making sure the coast is clear before going any further.
Domonico stands close, ready to catch Ian if needed.
"I thought my role was to simply grow aggravated when you got my eye color wrong?" Alessia asks Jules, perplexed. "I don't have a plan for more than that, unfortunately."
Lucita steadies the table, bracing it with her hands and hip. Her glance slides toward Mirk and she frowns slightly. "That sounds... bad. I hope there is not something worse going on, something more than what we have observed that has angered them so. Still, under the circumstances...Thank them for us, Lord Mirk.
Jules nods to her and says, "I meant if you were needed by someone else. Yes, all you need to do is grow aggravated when I get the wrong eye colors. I'll wait to bellow the end till I see you there and know everything is good in here. That way, if something goes wrong I will just keep going." He gives her a weak smile.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + stealth(1) at difficulty 15, rolling 17 higher.
Jules checked charm + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.
Jules goes out, almost looking half sneaking, which will certainly draw the attention of the guards as he is not attmepting to look too discrete. He moves outside the window where he anticipates the soon arrival of Alessia. As he stands there, he claps over his head a few times to establish a beat. As it comes in time he chimes out, "The Hydra, the many headed hydra, I sing the beauty of but one." He claps his hand and starts to do a small dance, almost a jig. He continues his song for some little duration, mostly it's a rambling that may be allegorical but more likely is simply rambling that they will interpret allegocially. When he stumbles to find the words, he nearly howls out a melody. He continues along, clapping and dancing periodically and hopefully drawing in a larger crowd. As he draws towards the climax his words become less imagry
You curves like the hills, draw the eye to the peak
Your legs like the streams, flow yet never are dry
Your hair like the clouds, falls down like the rain
Your lips like the dew, find their place in the morn
Your eyes like the stars, are far greener than grass
Horribly lyrics? Absolutely! But hopefully his rhythm and tune is smack on. He's still dancing, clapping, and looking to see what response and reaction he receives from Alessia.
Reigna GM Roll checked perception(4) + survival(3) at difficulty 65, rolling 28 lower.
Alessia checked charm + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 10 higher.
"It isn't good," Mirk says, but he nods his head to Lucita and then returns to his prayers, offering thanks to the spirits and promising to call upon them when the moment comes, though there's still a sense of unease. Aegis senses the tension and stands guard over him. He settles in to rest, his piece in the preparations done.
The guards at the house, as well as those nearby on patrol are, to a one, utterly and completely distracted by the lyrical monstrosity that Jules performs. They stare at the man, agog, elbowing one another and snickering between themselves as they watch. None of them see Sir Flop as the hound deftly jumps from the corner of the roof to the ground and slinks from shadow to shadow, belly and tail low to the ground, stealth mode. The dog makes his way out of the village, keeping to the tall grass and shadows, following the road back up to the mountain pass.
Emerging outside as soon as she hears Jules sing, Alessia's demeanor seems to shift through many emotions, beginning with bewilderment. Then she looks oddly touched as he describes her various features. That is -until- he describes her eyes. She almost flares. "Gold as the sun." She snaps. "It's not that hard Jules." She rolls her eyes, before swivelling away from him.
Reigna GM Roll checked perception(4) + survival(3) at difficulty 47, rolling 17 lower.
Once the dog is gone, Ian makes at least a little bit of an effort to fix the hole so it's not immediately obvious that it's there.
After Flops has been sent out there, Nova almost climbed onto the table that Lucita had been supporting, but seeing Ian is covering the hole up, then the Wolf Scout pulls her knee off the table. She certainly seems to be fearful, maybe showing more than she might normally, her cobalt eyes quite worried. Though, she momentarily pets Aegis to help him feel better, also to tell him that she is here to help protect Mirk, too. He is not alone like Sir Flop is. Quietly, Nova softly whispers, "You can do this, you Good Boy."
Soon enough, Flop is well away from the village, and they only news those inside get is... none at all. Which, as the hours of the night pass can only be good, right? There is no hue or cry, no rousing alarm no accusations. Soon enough the dark of the night fades to the pearl gray of morning. The sun begins to rise, it is a new day. Flop has been going more than eight hours and by this time, has likely had time to reach the camp left at the second leg of the pass with enough time left over for the troops to be nearing the summit.
Jules' eyes grow large at the chastening from Alessia and he holds his hands up and says, "Gold as the sun!" He drops to his knees and shuffles a few shuffles forward and makes dramatic groans, "It's just poetry, I know your eyes!" He slips his shoulders and drops his head and shuffles way back towards his bag and flops down. He flings open the flap and pulls out a bottle, "Rum?!" He seems shocked, "That's her drink." He sets it down and then grabs the next bottle, "Another bottle?" He scrunches his face and does it a third time. He growls and reaches in again, "Mead." He says finally relieved, "I shall drink rum no more." He kicks the bottles lightly away and opens the bottle of mead and begins to drink from the bottle and begins to bemoan with anyone who might listen. He urges the rum away, never wishing to see another bottle and encouraging them to dispose of it in their own fashion with a sigh.
Golden is near Aegis, his litter-mate and keeping watch over the others. The fur around his neck is raised slightly, the dog's shoulder muscles tenser than the usual. Once Ian is done with covering up the hole, she slips over to rest a reassuring hand on the dog's head. She settles down to rest beside her dog. As the sun starts to rise she looks over at the others, stretching stiffly and clearing her throat. She glances toward Ian, Domonico and Alessia. "You will tell Lord Mirk and me when the best time to try this is?"
Domonico had done his watch then caught sleep, knowing that he is likely needing the rest while he can.
With the dawning of the next day, Ian's putting his armor back on and making sure Jules wears the steelsilk hood he gave him so he doesn't almost die this time. "Tell the guards outside that you want to see the shrine again," he says to Lucita. "And let me see the peace binding on all of your weapons."
Still awake, given she had the last watch before sunrise, Alessia enters the room with her glaive in hand.
Lucita nods to Ian and moves over toward him. Ember is in a sheath at her side and her belt bristles with various knives and daggers, a set of weapon grade hairpins nestle in her hair. She tires to smooth that up where not quite so much in disarray before anchoring them in easy reach. "Here they are. Some of them throw well, one or two do better when just gripped."
Nova gently pet Golden, too. She laid down near Lucita but got up to do their third watch before another shift of rest without much sleep: ceiling staring. Until the eventual dawn. Nova gets up and double checks that all her gear is being worn in its proper place. She also wears those diamondplate gauntlets, along with the matching stompers, too.
Ian checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 40, rolling 10 higher.
Domonico checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 40, rolling 6 lower.
Domonico puts a hurriedly done peaceknot on his xiphos, his mind obviously on other matters. His spear, Raptor's Reach remains unbound anyway. He is quite happy to draw the attention of others anyway as he carries it.
Mirk leaves his bow unstrung, though he keeps a string close at hand, and a quiver on his back closed for the moment. It's the closest he can come to peace-binding a bow, and he does even that grudgingly. His dagger is, of course, peace-bound. He's ready to move out. "I'm awaiting your signal," he says to the others. "Whenever we're ready to move."
Ian gives Mirk a quick, humorless smile. "I'm thinking that the signal's going to be pretty obvious."
Jules checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 40, rolling 13 higher.
Under her cloak, Nova has a knife at the back of her belt like a Lowers thug, which she will use to help people become 'unpeacebound' (but later on). It is with her own quiver closed and her own bow string left unstrung that looks to hopefully be peacebound enough.
Domonico wields Raptor's Reach, a rubicund-tipped cornel-shafted Dory spear.
When they wake that next morning, all three bottles has vanished, and the guards at the house are dozing.
Rowenova checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.
Alessia checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 39 higher.
Ian checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Zoey checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.
Lucita checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 40 higher. Lucita rolled a critical!
Jules checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.
Mirk checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 5 lower.
Following along with her 'peacebound' glaive sheathed to her back, Alessia smiles politely to the guards they pass, before murmuring quietly to Lucita.
Domonico checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 10 lower.
The trip to the Shrine does not take long, twenty minutes at the most. There seem to be few people out this morning, though there is a lot of activity in the fields. It is the guards that seem to be fewer and further between. As the group approaches the Shrine, there are a quartet of guards standing at attention, Mother Valesha in attendance, laying out the daily offerings.
On their way, Nova looks to see where any of the dogs might be and tries to do some pets here and some pets there. No treats. Not yet. But, maybe soon.
Lucita stays watchful, wary as she moves along toward the shrine. Her gaze lingers on what seem to be 'edgy' guards. She nods to Alessia in response to a whisper, her own voice a near whisper in return. "Yes, they do seem edgy."
Ian says something quietly to Zoey and Jules as they get near the shrine.
Jules checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 1 lower.
Jules has made his way in during the night, drinking less by far but drinking some to seal the deal. He's gone in and slept a pretty solid sleep and then when the time comes he's up and at 'em energetic and alert. Ready to follow along, he's got his finger thick tube of haze lit and a jar of open honey that it might appear he's eating from , but in fact he's not. Along the way, Jules seems to be gathering stones here and there that he stuffs where he can. He must be gathering for a rock collection? At one point, when Ian says something to him, he nods his head and seems shift directions towards a two story building where he makes his way with Zoey.
Lucita whispers toward the warriors in the group. Her tone is pitched to not carry to the villagers and priestess, for the ears of the group only. "We can see the statue and Valesha from here. Do you wish us to get closer or start singing here?"
When Zoey reaches the building she climbs easily to a second-story balcony and sits, observing from above.
"That's up to you," Ian murmurs to Lucita. "I don't know how close you need to be. We'll defend you wherever you need to stand." His tone has a level confidence that's a sharp contrast to the nervous energy fairly vibrating in the air.
Domonico is quite obviously being a 'guardian' of the group, bedecked as it is in his fine leathers, fireweave and warhelm, spear in hand. The more guards looking at him as opposed to Lucita... the better.
"It's your gift," Mirk says to Lucita. "You know your limits." That is all he has to say, it seems, keeping his hands on the pouches at his belt, prepared to resume his rituals when he needs to intervene. He's watching the guards warily, however.
Jules checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 10 lower.
Reigna GM Roll checked perception(4) + survival(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.
Lucita checked mana + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 120 higher. Lucita rolled a critical!
Lucita says, "My voice carries fairly well. I'll sing from here and walk closer as I sing. " And with that she begins:
Think sweet child how dull life would be
If you never saw the spring blooms of a tree
If your cheeks never felt cool kisses of snow
If you never saw vivid fall leaf colors glow.
Life can be hard when there are changes about
It helps us to grow and learn, there's no doubt.
Listen sweet child, please listen my dear
Changes are quite normal, not things to fear
It presents us all with many choices to make
Sights to be seen and risks we must take.
Change gives challenges, things to endure
That allows us to enjoy things we procure.
Some change we dislike, some change we treasure
Changes can force us to take our own measure
Frozen in time, the same thing every day
Never able to move, always having to stay
No a change of scene, or scent of sea air
No where you can go, no adventures to share.
Waken sweet child, cast your thoughts free
Welcome change amd the possibilities to be
Hardships overcome as you thought and planned
Give you pride and confidence to make a stand
Throw off temptations to just stay the same
Be strong and choose change in Lagoma's name.
Oh, sweet darling child, hear a parent's plea
There is joy in change to the adult you'll be
Joy you will find mastering tasks and skills
And excitement is there with change's thrills
Grow dear child, change helps you find the way
Caring hands'll guide you through out the day
Alessia wields Requiem - an ancient glaive with an iridescite handle.
By contrast to Domonico, Ian looks relaxed, really just a (suspiciously well armored) man with a cane standing casually between the guards and Lucita. He doesn't seem especially distracted, nor moved by the song.
After giving the dogs some pets, she stands up and moves along with Lucita, making sure to keep an eye on anyone who might seek to do harm unto her. Listening raptly to that impressive song, Nova almost feels a salty sting in her cobalt eyes, but she blinks away those welling tears and fully focuses.
It is the sound of Jules' falling back to the ground that first alerts the guards near the Shrine, and as they look over and see the group of visitors, they are not quite yet alarmed. They do gesture to Mother Valesha, who is getting up to her feet to greet the group when Lucita begins to sing. There is something in the Saik baroness' voice, a singular, crystalline clarity that slices through the golden light that bathes this valley, sending a rumble through the ground. The effect is as profound as it is immediate. Horror registers on Valesha's face as she feels that reality-shaking song, feels the air itself shimmer and vibrate, a tone being struck, like a crystal glass vibrating at its resonant frequency.
People begin to notice, children cover their ears and wail. One of the guards falls to his knees covering his ears as the columns of the Shrine begin to crack. Mother Valesha screams "SHUT HER UP!" And the other three guards begin to charge the group, two drawing their swords, the other readying a bow.
Alessia checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 5 higher.
Domonico checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 22 higher.
Mirk checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 2 lower.
Ian checked dexterity at difficulty 15, rolling 10 lower.
Jules checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 6 higher.
Zoey checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 31 higher.
Lucita checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 38 higher. Lucita rolled a critical!
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) at difficulty 10, rolling 27 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) at difficulty 10, rolling 23 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) at difficulty 10, rolling 20 higher.
Rowenova checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 25 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) at difficulty 10, rolling 22 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) at difficulty 10, rolling 23 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) at difficulty 10, rolling 7 higher.
Lucita checked mana + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 12 higher.
Lucita eyes the soldiers she can see and narrows her eyes slightly but continues to walk toward the statue, continuing to sing. When she reaches the end of her song, clearly one that is Lagoma themed and anti-stasis, she simply starts to repeat it, her voice gentle, caring, sincere.
10 inflicted and Lucita is harmed for minor damage.
Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 25, rolling 22 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + archery(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 45 higher.
As hostiles gather around the rest of her party, Zoey has her eye on danger unseen by the other. Two archers on nearby rooftops. She readies her bow, aims, and looses an arrow at the first of them. It sails silently through the air, embedding in the enemy's shoulder.
Lucita's eyes widen, one hand rises to her throat and her eyes dilate a little. As is typical she can sing what she would say mid song. In doing so she says. "Almost, I can... feel it, can almost but it... hurts me, resisting." And she resumes singing the song, color turning paler. An appealing glance toward Mirk, summons her courage and tries harder.
68 inflicted and Lucita is unharmed.
The archer drops to one knee and takes a shot at Lucita -- and it is a damned good shot too. The iron-headed arrow hit Lucita square in the center mass and if not for her armor, likely would have pierced her diaphragm. There is a curse and the archer draws another arrow, this one tipped in a paler metal as they take aim.
Rowenova checked dexterity + brawl at difficulty 25, rolling 36 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + brawl(5) at difficulty 30, rolling 41 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + medium wpn(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 30 higher.
Ian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 45, rolling 23 higher.
After being witness to what that half-kneeling archer just tried to do (and seems to be trying now), Rowenova deftly rushes them and carefully times each running stride until she ultimately lands quite firm on one foot and kicks up with the other one, sending kicking force up to that bow-and-arrow combo. Ferocious strength and her diamondplate footwear all help with the face kick (with the bow and arrow sandwiched in between for a few moments before those are fumbled aside by the disrupted archer). If she can mange it, though, the Northern scout will make haste for those fumbled weapons (bow and arrow) and potentially acquire them if she is fast enough to do so!
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + archery(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 19 higher.
60 inflicted and Domonico is unharmed.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + archery(4) at difficulty 45, rolling 6 lower.
As one of the swordsmen charges, Ian steps in the way. His alaricite sword sings as it comes free from his cane, and he parries as part of the draw. His alaricite sword meets well-crafted diamondplate, which maybe shouldn't come as a surprise at this point, but does, at least a little. With lightning rapidity, he pushes the swordsman back, reverses, and slides a neat slice through the other man's guard. The pale metal of his sword comes away lurid red with blood.
Domonico checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 56 higher.
Domonico doesn't hesitate as he sees the second sword wielding guard charging at Lucita. He hefts up Raptor's Reach in one hand, over his shoulder and in one, clear, practiced throw casts it with the cry of "MALVICI!" It sails through the air, striking the guard full in the chest and taking him off of his feet where he lays on the ground, dead.
Mother Valesha screams as she is tackled by Golden. The bloodhound growls, drool dribbling down their jowls, paws on her chest. The Priestess struggles, but is obviously frightened. "Stop! You are killing everyone! Stop! Why? Why are you killing us?! Fucking Compact slaughterers!"
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + archery(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 23 higher.
69 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.
The third bowman peeks out from around the crown of the house and takes a shot at Ian, but while it pierces the outerlayer of leather, the arrow stops well short of doing more than giving the Kennex lord a bruise.
Alessia checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 20 higher.
Mirk checked mana + occult at difficulty 10, rolling 57 higher.
Mirk GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + brawl(5) at difficulty 15, rolling 57 higher.
"You defiled the land. You corrupted everything you touch. This is not the natural order," Mirk shouts at Mother Valesha. Then he whistles once and, like an arrow loosed, Aegis is on the attack. The dog rushes for the nearest guard and launches himself at the man, latching onto him and beginning to maul the poor guard. Meanwhile, Mirk begins to whisper his own prayers, not so much as reaching for a weapon. His prayers speak of their promises being fulfilled, of the resistance that they face, of the need for spiritual aid to see it thorugh.
As soon as she hears the rumbling, Alessia anticipates the incoming attacks, brandishing her blade. She watches for the guard who attacks Lucita with a sword, though Ian thankfully parries it. When he catches the attention of a bowman on a rooftop, she speeds over to meet the marksman, gripping her weapon firmly.
As Mirk begins his ritual, the spirts begin to respond. There is a great roar of wind, things are sent flying, trees shake and shower the ground with their leaves. Flames in torches shoot up high, catching the thatch roofs on fire, spread by the howling wind. Between the wind and the flame, the Shrine's wicker roof is set ablaze, even as the sky rumbles with sudden thunder, jagged bolts of lightning crashing down, striking repeatedly, causing screams from the fields.
Fires are set and start to burn and Mother Valesha screams, hurling curses as her people die around her. And people are very clearly dying. A bolt of lightning strikes the archer on the ceiling, way too close to Alessia, throwing the Mazetti off the roof and nearly deafening everyone near in the shockwave. Aegis has killed the man Rowenova kicked, and yelps at the lightning strike. Golden barks back, but skitters off the Priestess, who is too dazed to get back on her feet. The fields are in flames, and there are several bodies laying in them, others are running, though the lightning continues to strike, taking one young girl in the back and driving her to the ground. A nearby home is full of screaming as the roof burns.
20 inflicted and Alessia is harmed for moderate damage.
20 inflicted and Ian is harmed for moderate damage.
20 inflicted and Mirk is harmed for moderate damage.
20 inflicted and Rowenova is harmed for moderate damage.
20 inflicted and Domonico is harmed for moderate damage.
20 inflicted and Jules is harmed for serious damage.
Lucita checked mana + performance at difficulty 50, rolling 30 higher.
Ian is knocked off his feet by the lightning strike, and half-crawls, half-scrambles, trying to get his feet under him and get to the child (who is still in a state of stasis when he starts his scramble) at the same time. He can't even hear the singing anymore, but he doesn't have to hear it to know that Lucita hasn't stopped.
Bloody Aegis utterly destroys the bow guard, for which Nova quietly thanks him as she stands up with a stolen bow and that likewise arrow with a pale tip. Apparently readying those for further use, she deftly strings the stolen bow with the stolen arrow then swings around, ready to go. Seeing no one who actually deserves being shot down, Nova instead pairs the bow and arrow into one gauntlet and rushes forth between the lightning strikes toward what is that burning house. She quickly grabs the front door which she rips off and shouts out to those inside, "IF I WERE YOU, I would rather go back to the Wheel by Lightning than by Fire!" to ultimately invite them to come out and face off with the natural forces rather than be burnt alive and suffer more.
One hand at her throat, one hand at her aching midriff, sweat beading her pale brow, Lucita draws breath and continues to sing, fighting the thing with the hold on the child... the cold thing holding the child lessens, grows smaller as she sings at it and the song seems to wear... or melt it away as the second repetition of the song ends. She drops to one knee finally, letting out a slow breath. One hand reaches out toward Ian as he falls near her but her gaze is locked on the fallen priestess and the child-statue. Finally she whispers. "Come to us, little one, come to us."
Of course Alessia didn't anticipate the spirits to respond quite like -that-. Her eyes widen when the force of the lightning blast hitting her (potential) kill before she could get to him, knocks her off her balance. She lands on the ground, still not releasing her weapon as she falls. She rolls back onto her feet with a wince to glance around, ensuring her companions are unharmed. She barely seems to take note of everything burning around her, her gaze locked on Lucita.
With that last bit of song, the pilars crack, hell is raining down on this valley and the final bit of golden light fades. Inside the shrine, swathed in smoke, comes a terrified little cry. "Momma?" The voice is dry, as if so very parched, and a confused, frightened child steps into a scene of horror and chaos.
From outside the village there comes the sound of familiar voices, "Baroness Saik? Lord Kennex? SHIT! Move!" a lightning bolt nearly takes them out but it is dodged at the last minute. It seems their backup has arrived.
Mirk checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.
Rowenova checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 9 higher.
Ian checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 0 higher.
Alessia checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 6 higher.
Domonico reaches the fallen guard and pulls Raptor's Reach from the dead man's chest. The Malvici Admiral looks around, ears still ringing from the shockwave. The fury that the spirits rain down is apocalyptic, at least for the occupants of the Valley.
Zoey checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.
Jules checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 3 lower.
Domonico checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.
Lucita checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.
Maybe they were all tainted people. Maybe they deserve to die, and they will, but Rowenova makes haste to keep opening houses and explain their situation, that they can go slow or go quick. They have a couple options. Only a couple.
25 inflicted and Jules is harmed for minor damage.
Ian is right there to sweep the confused child up, protecting him from lightning, flames, and falling debris with his own body as well as he can. "I've got you. It's going to be alright."
As Zoey watches, the whole world is seemingly engulfed in lightning and fire. She scrambles down from her perch as the sounds of terror and death fill the air around her. "Jules! Can you walk?" she asks when she finds herself beside him on her way to the others.
Jules has been smoking his haze, perhaps he got a little higher than he realized because he pretty much just stood there the entire time except for the shockwave and then second bolt of lightening. The spirits must not like that particular blend of haze. With the haze still barely hanging in his mouth, he sits back up and shakes his head. He looks horrible but he's got enough breath in him to allow him a puff. He looks up to Zoey and then to his legs. He moves around and says, "I think so!"
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