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The Case of Giulio Corvini: Finale

With directions given by his brother Salvio, the intrepid investigators finally confront Orfeo in his sanctuary, keen to get vengeance for the deceased Count Giulio once and for all.

((OOC: Event open to any, even those who didn't attend previous prps. It is high risk, with combat and moderate supernatural elements. Erroneous location name - should be Orfeo's Sanctuary)).

Date

July 2, 2021, 6:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Alessia Smile

GM'd By

Smile

Participants

Sorrel Vitalis Raven Marzio Ian Savio

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Lyceum near Lenosia - Salvio's Sanctuary

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Shown the directions by one of the Lightseekers to Orfeo's Sanctuary in the wilderness near Lenosia, the guide doesn't seem inclined to cross a certain boundary. "This is as far as I'm willing to go. Salvio..." He doesn't finish his words, simply letting out a breath before backing away. "Good luck." He tells the intrepid explorers.

Vitalis can feel the eeriness of the forest, "Is there anything you can let us know to expect beyond...?" he winces, gesturing at the creepiness of the environs. Presumably the scout was once a Shadowspeaker - maybe he can prepare them? Vitalis, atop his horse - the very steady and uniquely stealthy - Rocker, tucks his chin and fans senses ahead.

Raven looks a bit lost. She was ordered to provide a blade for this hunt but she wasn't exactly briefed on the events that proceeded her arrival. The guide is given a mistrusting squint and scowl before she glances to the others and offers a shrug. Hand on her pommel she dismounts and prepares to go on foot.

Marzio rides easy in the saddle of his horse as the group follows along with the guide. At least until they reach the portion of wood where he turns chicken and doesn't want to make the trek any longer. As the guide bids his farewell, Marzio lifts a hand to touch two fingers to the visor of his helmet and then shifts from his saddle to the ground. "I reckon we're making the rest of the trip on foot?" he asks to the team, clearly looking for whoever their brave leader will be.

Taking in a deep breath and listening for a moment, to the sound of the wind, the sound of the wilderness, the sound of the world around her, Sorrel frowns for a moment before dismounting. "Thank you," she murmurs with sincerity to the guide, then walks over to Vitalis's horse, to stand by his side for when he's ready to dismount.

Ian heard that backup was needed in a potentially dangerous matter, and out of a sense of civic -- No, let's be real. He's that desperate for excuses to get out of Arx. Desperate enough that he's willing to tromp through the wilderness on his way to the gods only know what. He slides off of his (very patient) horse, and immediately crumples and has to pick himself back up again. It's not much of a start, but at least it's only up from here.

Savio is accompanying friends, Raven and Ian, whether they asked him to or not. He has a tendency to look over in surprise every time someone says SALVIO but hey, you would too. Horses are not really his thing, but he's managed well enough, and seems both grateful in a professional sort of way to his steed and eager to be distanced from it. "Forward, then?" he asks in that weird lilting accent that marks him so immediately as a Saffron prodigal. "Quietly so?"

Marzio checks perception and survival at hard. Marzio fails.

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

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

Savio checks perception and survival at hard. Savio marginally fails.

Vitalis checks perception and survival at hard. Vitalis fails.

Ian brushes some spare bits of leaf litter off his pants after that little post-dismount crumple while he scans first the ground, and then the trees. "Are we looking at some kind of bug-themed weirdness?" He asks of Vitalis and Sorrel, who he seems to have decided are the people who know what the heck they're all doing out here, with his voice pitched soft.

Vitalis can hear others dismounting, and the query from Marzio. His brow furrows, and he turns to where he'd last marked Sorrel. "Sorrel..." he doesn't need a hand dismounting, but if they're to go afoot, he'll need someone nearby. It does take attention to dismount and to put himself into order once afoot. Clasp snugged, whip at his hip neatly coiled, cane unlimbered. He is as prepared as he's going to get.

Sorrel checks perception and survival at hard. Sorrel fails.

Raven Moonsilver, as her usual want has taken to the air where she's in her element leaving her Mistress on the ground without having to mind her feathered companoon. She tilts her head and frowns, pace stopping as she becomes distracted. After a moment she issues a soft hiss and waves at the others, "Think they know we're coming. See a camp but looks like they ghosted it without packing up."

Sorrel puts Vitalis's hand against her arm, careful of him. "We need to be careful and quiet, but this is not a kill-all-the-things mission. We may or may not have allies inside," she points out softly, then nods to Raven. "And our potential allies may be endangered if we're careless."

"Who knows we are coming? The bugs? Oh... or ghosts!" Savio caught about 18% of what was being said. He is attempting not to make noise or get snagged on the foliage! Which is working, but he can't do that and also use his brain, sorry, it's like walking and chewing gum. Can't do that either. He did manage to hear Sorrel say not to kill /all/ the things and something about allies, however, and bobs his head in a nod.

Marzio looks to Savio and there is a one armed shrug from the Mazetti outfit in diamondplate. As the others begin to offer their own insights on what is going on, Marzio says nothing and instead lifts the alaricite spear from his shoulder and takes to looking toward the ground and area surrounding them for any sign of threat.

Vitalis adds, after Kennex's query, "Not likely. These Shadowspeakers," There you go, Savio, a name for the cultists, "are devoted to the Eater. I can't say what we'll face," he looks to where the he last marked the guide, hoping some there'll be some guidance, but continues, "At the height of powers, terrible summoned creatures. We should hope to the Gods that's not what we'll find." He nods at Sorrel's addition. "That too, there is hope yet, that even these are not beyond redemption. But-" he shakes his head, voice lowering at Raven's note, "-we will meet force with force, if it comes to it. A camp? Let's advance carefully."

There's a whisper from the trees as they continue their approach, albeit with caution. It sounds young, though no less ominous as it reaches out to them. "Turn back, all who oppose him. She broke her sacred oaths to the shadows and turned for the light. She has /doomed/ us. Turn back now. Don't you oppose the First Speaker."

Savio checks perception and investigation at hard. Savio fails.

Vitalis checks perception and empathy at hard. Vitalis is successful.

Sorrel checks perception and investigation at hard. Sorrel is successful.

Ian casts his gaze briefly to the sky with an expression that, just for a moment, is a slightly exasperated 'really?!' that doesn't seem to be pointed at any individual here with him on the ground. It's gone as fast as it came, and he's back to neutral when he glances at the compass in the head of his cane and re-engages with the conversation. "Either we're on the edge of a secret Laurent hideout, or the forest is buzzing more than it should be." Oh, then the forest is talking. So there's that.

Raven checks perception and investigation at hard. Raven is successful.

Ian checks perception and investigation at hard. Ian is marginally successful.

Marzio checks perception and investigation at hard. Marzio fails.

Raven's alaricite blade is slowly eased from it's scabbard and she stoops low, keeping herself low to the ground which is easier because she's short and wearing steelsilk not armor. She creates some small distance distance between her and the others but tries to stay in line of sight of them though she opines, "WE're not here to decide anything we're here to do a job. IT can buzz all it wants." a pause and a frown, "There's no way they've found a way to hide in the trees, righ?"

Savio raises his brows at Vitalis, as he drops important names and clues about what they're up against. Names serious enough to draw a shudder from Savio, as though the winter chill is already sinking into his little Saffron soul. As the whispering begins, ominous, he looks about but sees no sign of whisperers, cultists, camps, creatures.... "Well, that seems normal and good."

"Seriously. Go awaaaaaay." The voice continues as it seems that they're not planning to turn right back around. Yet the second attempt seems even more desperate. "Please turn /around/. See look at that nice path."

Marzio hears that whisper as they walk along and similar to Savio, he sees absolutely nothing. There is a faint chuckle from the Mazetti at the Islander's words and he shakes his head before whispering, "Perfectly normal..." When Raven brings up hiding in the trees, Marzio looks that way and searches the branches for anybody hanging out up there, but still sees nothing.

Vitalis checks command and empathy at normal. Vitalis is successful.

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

Vitalis turns his head towards Ian, "What kind of buzzing?" He wasn't expecting insects, but maybe dire alliances share. Vitalis turns sightless eyes towards the voice, expression easing, projecting calm. "We know who you serve. It's a cruel yoke. Come." He gestures at the ground before them, "We'll talk." Still, though, he's got ears pricked to the buzzing woods, sharp attention for what may be laying in wait.

"A path goes both ways, and there is no such thing as doom. If you fear that doom is your fate, let me assure you: we all make our own fates," Sorrel calls to the voice, the desperate voice, soft and convincing. "Let us help you make a better fate, a fate without that misery that currently binds you." She keeps Vitalis close, both so he is aware of her and she knows where the blind man is, and she sounds so soothing and gentle. "Let us help you find hope. Come, talk to us."

"I don't know," Ian says softly to Vitalis, "Buzzing is buzzing, isn't it?" It's not like he's a Laurent. "But I'm thinking it might be what you're thinking." He holds up a hand when Raven draws her sword. "It's alright. It's just the guy behind that tree over there." Then he motions Raven closer and speaks (mostly to her and Savio, who aren't trying to engage socially with the tree) in a whisper that you'd have to be close to him to hear: "Look, the buzzing worries me. The Eater and the Traitor have been in lock step lately, and that might be why I'm here. It would explain it." Another glance cast down at the compass in the head of his cane. "Keep an eye out. We might be dealing with more than shadows."

Raven's lips had pressed in a thin line and annoyance flooding her features. She had looked as if she was about to maybe scold or threaten a tree like a crazy person but Vitalis and Sorrel seem to have another tact in mind so she stays low to the ground and watchful while the others ply their trade. Ian is given a dubious eyeballing but she sheathes her blade. For now.

Perhaps it is the truth of their words or the inflection in their tone that seems to strike a chord with the figure in the trees since very soon a dark mop of hair peeks out from the branches with dark, wild eyes. He's young, possibly around nineteen/twenty. "Why won't you listen to me?" He genuinely seems worried for them, as he hisses. "I'm doing this /for/ you..." His voice trails off as he looks to the side. "Fuck. There's not much time. Leave. I beg you." He scrambles down the tree, before sliding down with a thump.

Trees in the Saffron have been known to be a bit hostile sometimes. Maybe that is why Savio declines to speak to this one? Either way, he seems content to let Vitalis and Sorrel take care of the social side of this arrangement, while like Raven, he attends to what Ian is saying. Grim tidings there, but a nod...

The tree resolves into a Person, and despite the warnings, Savio wonders of him, "How did you come to be up there looking for people to warn?"

Vitalis nods at Savio's question, he's curios too. He tips his head at the forest, still trying to hear the buzzing for himself. "It may not matter, Kennex. Nothing good, though." By the fear the young man registers. He turns attention back to the young man, "We don't have long... Do you mean the buzzing? What's coming for us?" He turns his head back towards the young man, he blinks, "Are you ... Carlos?"

"We're doing this for you," Sorrel says seriously and with utter sincerity to the young man. "You can't leave because you're terrified of them. You know that they'll hunt you down for having the audacity to try to choose a better life, to have hope that you could live without with demands of an inhumane master. You know they'll destroy you. So we need to stop that from happening. We need to stop the ones who would hurt you for choosing a different life." She smiles at the random tree dude gently. "Help us help you. We can change this path that you're on. Freedom of mind and body is worth it." She nods to Vitalis's question, watching the young man.

The young man looks up rapidly at the mention of Carlos, his brows furrowing suddenly. "No, he's my... brother. How-- how do you know him?" As to Savio's question, he squints but before he can respond, Sorrel's words seem to prompt his expression to melt into pure melancholy. "...How? I was supposed to... warn them of intrud... So many times I told people to go away and they didn't and I had to /warn/ them." He seems choked up at the thought, practically hyperventilating as he dwells on the horrors of his circumstances. "You want to fight them? Him? Orfeo... he's stronger than before."

Savio wonders, "If we don't leave, will you find yourself compelled to make our arrival and the particulars of our group known to them? To him?"

"What kind of strength is it that he has?" Marzio says to the young man, putting the butt of his spear down on the ground and leaning against it in a comfortable stance. "Help us by giving us the information that we need. How can we stop the ones that hurt you?"

Raven lifts her chin and studies the tree dude at length but leaves the talking to Sorrel and Vitalis. With the slight roll of a shoulder her nostrils flare and her verdant gaze casts up to make sure Moonsilver is still safely aloft and out of harm's way. She snorts and mutters under her breath, "Gruesome death if you learn that. Say this and explode like a pustule.All ye who enter are doomed...y'know at a certain point these threats cease to have the desired impact."

"I'm not convinced I //want// to fight him, but I suspect that Orfeo will give us no choice in the matter. I'm under the impression he's pretty zealous about the cause," Sorrel replies to the young man, her brows furrowing. "But it's not a //good// cause. It's a terrible cause. It's a cause that you're suffering for unwillingly. And I know that if you don't warn them, they'll take it out on you. But I also know that if you do warn them, your situation won't improve. Help us help you, Brother-of-Carlos. Take a chance on us. Take a chance on us winning."

"Compelled... no." The young man seems a little perplexed till it dawns on him. "No we were freed. Now he's just a bunch crows, it's not the same. But Orfeo says it is. Orfeo is bound. He says it's why he became an Adapt or umm..." He's at a loss for the word but his brows crease. "None of the others have that power." He adds to Marzio's point, something that seems to relax him just a little. "No they're all regular. Like me." He glances at Sorrel. "How? ...How will you do it? The bees alert us. And I, Ralf, sound the warning. To confirm." His eyes widen.

Ian looks over at Sorrel. "It's not like we're sneaking up on him if the bee thing is true. If we're announced, at least we won't have to wander around looking for him."

Marzio's brows lift at the mention of a bunch of crows, his eyes shifting toward Ian, Vitalis, Savio, Raven, and Sorrel. "That doesn't sound good," he says in a low voice, though he isn't inclined to elaborate. "So we're looking at one adept and the rest normal like Ralf here," he says. Looking back to Ralf, he says, "Can you encourage any of the others to aid us? Or at least not to aid the ones that hurt you while we see what we can find out?"

Raven turns on heel and begins to stride the opposite direction from where the conversation is happening, apparently deciding this dude may be a diversion or at least not useful. She pauses then to look back at Ian, "Oh, so we just wait for him to come to us? I hope he doesn't leave us waiting."

"If the warning doesn't sound, if they get no confirmation, they'll figure something happened to Ralf. Might go looking for him eventually. If he tells them he talked us into leaving, they'll know he's lying when we manage to find an alternate route in and jump Orfeo," Sorrel grumbles with a measure of annoyance, considering. She eyes Ralf. "There's an alternate route in, right?" she inquires with a bit of a rakish wink. "Orfeo's an Adept, which is fucking dangerous depending on his skill level. Not insurmountable, but it'll be an ugly fight. I'm not sure we shouldn't just tell Ralf to run. Give him a token and send him to safety as best we can." She sighs faintly. "But that won't save Carlos. It's complicated."

Trouble, the waddling raccoon arrives, delivering a message to Raven before departing.

"I don't know what his skill is. Though I see him feel ill sometimes. When he runs a little too much?" Ralf's brows shoot up at this as he considers this. "I think it might be that poison they've mentioned. I don't know much about it. Ev told me the master-- former master caused it. It's why she left." He looks so sad. "I wanted to go with her." Then shakes his head. "I won't leave Carlos. If I show you the alternate route... you /will/ kill Orfeo? You won't join him. A lot of people try to join and he sacrifices them on that stone and..." And his face pales.

"There is no chance that we would join him," Savio insists to Ralf. "Orfeo dies or we --" Well, Orfeo dies or they do. And probably they do. But that's so grim! And to say to a young person awkwardly holding hope in his hands like a bird that fell out of a nest. "-- or we kill him," Savio finishes, lamely. Gets the point across.

Marzio glances aside toward Savio at those rousing words and snorts before saying quietly in aside, "Smooth. Real smooth."

Ian just waits while Sorrel works out the approach; it's pretty clear from the profound calm, even serenity, that settles on his features that his mind is skipping ahead to what will come after.

Raven sighs in mild exasperation, "We didn't come here to die. We're doing the job we took on. That's killing him." Raven's at heart a simple creature at her heart. Even if the heart itself is complicated. She looks up again at Moonsilver then looks around, "Why's he taking so long to get here? You sure we shouldn't be beating the bushes?" she wonders to Ian.

Sorrel considers the idea that Orfeo occasionally visibly contends with the poison and nods firmly. "Ev is right. You'll see her soon. You show us the alternate route, then you go round up Carlos and anyone else you think will be on our side. You will be provided protection by the Archduchess. And Orfeo will return to the Wheel, hopefully freeing his soul from the clutches of your former master." She eyes Raven for a moment. "Ralf here is going to show us the alternate route to get to Orfeo. Why would you beat on bushes?"

Rafl gives Raven a quizzical look, before glancing toward the camp and backing toward the forest. "He /is/ coming. He said he'd wait five minutes. We have to go /now/." And kicking aside a few broken branches, he pulls up a secret trap door. "It's how I come here unnoticed." He admits with a grim look which speaks of his reluctance to both share it and his guilt for ever having been a part of this. "Quickly." He hisses before ushering them down, staring at the camp site where tiny specks grow larger. The denizens emerging. "This will get you right behind him."

Vitalis does a bit of a doubletake at 'is a bunch of crows,' mouth opening and closing. He tips his head sharply, as if easing his neck or tense shoulders. "An Adept." The tone is ... That's Bad. He swallows, and takes a deep breath. He nods, confirming Savio's statement, brow furrowed. He answers Raven's statement sharply, "That's *dealing* with him. Which likely includes killing him." Very likely, says his tone, but cracks of hope remain. "Evelyn told us about him." He tucks his chin, and quirks a smile at 'beating the bushes,' and gestures at Ralf, "Lead on."

Ian lays a hand on Raven's shoulder. His left hand, the one he lays on her shoulder, is wrapped in an articulated gauntlet of alaricite that's more like a heavy glove, giving his touch a little more weight. "She's never done anything like this before," he says to Sorrel. And then, without hesitating, he drops down into the hole made by lifting the trap door.

Marzio steps forward and drops down into the hole after Ian, holding his spear in a manner that should be save for the descent. Once he lands, wherever he lands, he moves out of the way so that those coming in behind him shouldn't get impaled inadvertently on the Alaricite spear.

Vitalis joins the others in climbing down, "If it's dark, I'll lead. Else, I'd like to be in the middle of the group."

Nothing bad could ever come from going down into a secret trap door, right? Savio was never burdened with an over-abundance of common sense, and the steelsilk-clad islander follows Ian and Marzio down into the hatch.

"Which part? The sneaking into an enemy base to kill an Adept sworn to a Herald of darkness? Because I've seen her use a sword and she manages just fine," Sorrel retorts to Ian, then winks at Raven. She moves to aid Vitalis, sticking with him to make sure that he's got as much access as possible.

Raven opts for silence, cheeks staining but head bobbing as she lets Ian take the lead and moves to follow, "I better not die in the dirt." she grumbles, ill at ease with this plan but following the others.

Ian picks himself up off the ground and brushes off his pants again. "The first one, unless there are some pretty big things she's never told me."

At the very least, sconces have been put in place, still on from Ralf's journey not too long before. However, they /are/ widely spaced so it definitely is prudent to watch their footing as they continue along the path. No one seems to follow them in as of yet, so that's good. Suddenly, Ralf's hand lifts in the dim light, stalling them as he glances upwards at another trapdoor. "Here." He whispers, clearly not confident that their voices will not carry. Silently he climbs up the tiny ladder to get to the surface, peeking his head before climbing up.

There's a shout from afar. "Ralf. Where the fuck have you been?" Followed by a response of. "I got lost?"

Marzio checks perception and survival at hard. Marzio fails.

Vitalis tenses, still in the tunnel, at that shout, listening.

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

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

Raven checks perception and survival at hard. Raven fails.

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

Savio follows along the tunnel with Ralf; since it's lit he's endeavored to keep Vitalis mid-pack as was the other man's request. Pausing to study the sounds from above as there are words and an answer, he relays to the others in the group, sotto voce, "Whoever Ralf is talking to sounds maybe ten feet away, or around that. I can't tell if there is anyone else to expect once going up, but our guide did say we'd come up 'right behind him.' It is a bit of a bottle-neck to get up there one at a time but I suppose we have no choice?"

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

"We owe it to Ralf to keep him alive!" Sorrel says to her allies in a tiny whisper, looking up. "Let's ambush Orfeo now."

Raven brings up the rear, half blind in the dark and if those infront of her stop suddenly she may bump into them and she trips over a root at least once, dusting herself off and regaining her feet. Her hand lifts her blade partially from it's scabbard, following the others.

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

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

Marzio checks dexterity and huge wpn at hard. Marzio is successful.

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

Vitalis checks dexterity and stealth at daunting. Vitalis fails.

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

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

Vitalis checks dexterity and dodge at daunting. Botch! Vitalis fails completely.

Vitalis checks luck at hard. Vitalis is successful.

It is absolute pandemonium when the warriors emerge from that hidey hole. One moment Carlos is looking at his brother as though he's genuinely concerned about brain damage, the next moment the men and women near that larger palanquin are unsheathing their blades to deal with the spinning weapons heading toward them. Ralf wisely ducks and rolls away, keeping away from the damage, while his brother takes out his sword to charge for Raven, managing to parry her attack, though her fails the counterstrike, her movements too fast for him.

The others aren't quite so lucky, each of the blades slashing at the targets, to heavily maim, if not kill them outright. Savio is given the chance to finish off one of his opponents, clutching a wound at his side on the floor, but one of the warriors is moving a little too swiftly, charging straight for Vitalis. "Did the Lightseekers send you insects?" He hisses with a laugh as he strikes at the Clement, dealing only a little damage, before he's distracted by that attack from Savio.

Savio wields Diplomacy, an elegant rapier.

Marzio wields Stride's End, an alaricite spear.

Vitalis checks mana at normal. Vitalis marginally fails.

Savio is a little better with jumping from one ship to another ship in a definitely-not-piracy type boarding action than he is popping out of a hole in the ground like an evil weasel. But he's made it work, fast to get out of the way of the others and fast to strike, a grievous wound to an enemy.... but more important than finishing that man off, a desperate attempt to save his own from the same fate. "Vitalis!" Savio calls in alarm as he tries to turn the blade a bit, away from his companion. There is of course that hissed, laughing question as well, but maybe its ominous effect was lost on this particular target. "What? No, no lightseekers sent us any insects."

"Carlos!" Sorrel calls to the man who looks like Ralf. "We're here to help you!" Meanwhile, she's pulled Anthem and is rushing Orfeo with a very intense look in her evergreen eyes, flanking him as Savio presses in and attempting to get to a point where she can shield Vitalis. And without warning, she bursts into an old battle hymn that really is more for marching cadence, but it's also intended to improve morale.

Marzio follows Ian and Savio up through the hole, navigating the ladder surprisingly well for a man in full diamondplate armor and carrying a long alaricite spear. When they make the floor above, Marzio whirls at the nearest enemy. His spear spins before him, dazzling his enemy who tries to ready their weapon, only to stop suddenly and lash out with the alaricite blade, impaling the fellow through his left lung causing him to fall away clutching and gasping for air. Once that enemy is down, Marzio turns and hearing the warning cry to Vitalis, Marzio charges the enemy baring down on him.

Ian doesn't draw the alaricite blade from out of his cane until he's in the middle of his strike, cutting in the middle of that draw, a vicious slash across his opponent's chest. Electric blue eyes, eerily focused in the middle of the pandemonium, pick out the scene in swift looks that pick out details, but the bulk of his attention is on his opponent. "Drop your weapon and run. I'm not here for you."

Raven is a little too eager to getting to slashing and recklessly swings before she's cleared the distance. She misses by a mile but she manages to pivot sharply out of the way of an attack with a soft grunt of effort with the sudden momentum, "Arrogant boogers." she seeths in frustration that may be channelled from elsewhere rather than anything earned by this adventure. She spins back around weapon up ready to to attack the foe she missed her first pass, "Listen to the smart man. Leave now with your life. You wouldn't be there if you knew what was in their manual for managing human servants. Trust me, leave now and make better choices."

Vitalis doesn't see it coming. He wouldn't. But he lives in a world of darkness and sometimes rude surprises. He reels from the blow, a cry escaping his lips at the strike that falls, feeling the malice of the too-fast man. He falls back abandoning his cane a hand clutched to his side. Curled over that wound, he grates. "We're here-" His hand drops to his side, the whip coiled there. "-because of Giulio." He grimaces, blood seeping through his fingers. With a movement that is quick and subtle, the whip leaps to hand, the end slithering over the ground, serpentine, a measure of calm settling over Vitalis when he does. Tip of the whip flicking like a serpents tongue, testing the area around him.

Sorrel's words are echoed in Ralf's plea, still lying on the ground, waiting for the fight to be over. "Carlos, please! I'm begging you. They can help us. It'll be better this time. We can see Ev again."

The name seems to cause Carlos to stop in his footsteps, though the grip on the handle of his sword doesn't stop. And then a hateful voice sounds through the air. Orfeo, of course. "You want to rejoin these band of fools? These... lesser creatures. You know what master says, Carlos." Her shifts away evading the attacks aimed at him, though he does seem to be weakening ever so slightly. "They. Are. Prey." He seems to only have disdain for those among him, not even sparing a glance at those on the floor. There's a menacing laugh when Vitalis speaks. "Oh, you blind fool." Emphasis on the word 'blind', Vitalis suddenly having the entirety of his attention. "He's dead. Like dear mother." Though his voice suggests she was far from dear to him. "Soon, poor weak Salvio. All who disobey and FORGET their vows."

Vitalis checks luck at normal. Vitalis is successful.

Savio checks luck at normal. Savio marginally fails.

Ian checks luck at normal. Ian is successful.

Raven checks luck at normal. Raven is successful.

Sorrel checks luck at normal. Sorrel marginally fails.

Marzio checks luck at normal. Critical Success! Marzio is spectacularly successful.

Vitalis checks dexterity and huge wpn at hard. Vitalis marginally fails.

Marzio checks dexterity and huge wpn at normal. Marzio is successful.

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

Raven checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Raven marginally fails.

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

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

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

Vitalis checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Vitalis fails.

Vitalis grimaces, pain of his wounds telling, his contribution to the fight... the drawing of focus. Still a whip is a weapon not for damage, but for just that: grabbing attention. The end flickers out, snapping in the air no where near, a reminder, but not one with any teeth. No teeth... save the Eaters.

Carlos glances from his brother, to the opponents he'd been all too ready to kill, and then finally to Orfeo. It seems the hateful words open the man's eyes a little and he shakes his head. "Ralf... run." He turns around to focus on the the Dark Adept who BRISTLES with fury. "You'd turn on me?! On us? I've shown you what I can get." He starts to cough at this, once again, the primum getting to him. "You could have been strong like me!" More coughing.

In between the coughing, his bff's betrayal and his attention resting on Vitalis yet again, he is unfortunately leaving himself open.

Unfortunately for him. Fortunate for everyone else.

"HEY!" Ian whips around and strikes at Orfeo while he's still reeling for the metaphorical stab in the back, first a bludgeoning hit to the head from the 'cane' part of his cane sword, which he holds in his gauntleted left hand, followed immediately by a slash from his actual sword. It's a strike, but also a bid to drag his attention away from Vitalis. And Carlos. "Attention over here. Prey is talking."

Raven growls in frustration and swings wildly! She wants to make something bleed SO BAD but the enemy is fast. She swings wide and misses. Again. But again she ducks low and springs back up, blade at the ready. She moves to provide Vitalis some cover-or at least the illusion of such.

Marzio charges in on Orfeo, the razor sharp tip of his alaricite spear leading. He jabs out at the enemy, trying to use the length of his weapon to help him get in a strike on the stronger opponent. All the while, he edges closer to Vitalis and once able attempts to put himself in a position between Orfeo and his blind cousin.

Savio has fought alongside (or against, in gentler circumstances) Ian and Raven before, and Sorrel as well, if perhaps in more limited capacity! He leans into the strength of his weapon, which is all speed and reach, relying on the rapier's role in creating small, fierce wounds to support the other fighters in their more dramatic attacks! It takes everyone's effort, after all, and he seems disinclined to try for any heroic spotlights.

Sorrel adjusts her position to move with Raven in an attempt to keep Vitalis from getting attacked further. "Your own master is poisoning you, you fool," she mutters to Orfeo, narrowing her eyes. "When you meet the Queen of Beginnings, may she free your soul of his taint." Her own sword glitters.

Vitalis checks willpower at hard. Vitalis is successful.

Vitalis isn't particularly helping the others help himself as Orfeo lands another blow. He cries out again, staggering. And... he'll fall back in earnest now. If Orfeo wants him, he'll have to come through the others. Grimacing he draws upright, pain obvious on his features. "May the Queen see you to a better life in the next." He gives his hand a twitch, the whip slithering in an arc around him, hissing through the grass. He is braced, listening intently, senses stretched towards their seething foe.

The attacks are coming too fast for even one such as Orfeo to evade, quick as he is, and for every strike he manages to parry and dodge, there's another thrown his way until he's kneeling on the floor panting. The rage doesn't seem to dissipate. "Insects. He said... Master you said they were insects. You ate the crows." It's basically incoherent, as he rests a hand on the gaping wound on his side, unable to focus on the dent on his head and the slashes to limbs. "The... the silver..." He suddenly rises, as though to make for his large tent, eyes wild. He has clearly lost his sanity at this point and attempts to get past them. Yet with his wounds, it's fruitless.

Raven remains defensively posed over Vitalis, sword at the ready. Her gaze anxious as she watches Savio and Ian tag-team the creature as it has it's rude revelation that humans are not always helpless as advertised.

"You are a story." Ian drops the shaft of his cane, freeing up his left hand just as Orfeo swings at him. With his hand wrapped in alaricite, he GRABS THE BLADE, just grabs it and jerks with a surprising amount of upper body strength, completely opening the Dark Adept's guard just in time for Savio's rapier to be free to do its thing, the thing that rapiers were absolutely designed to do. "And you're going to buy us all a lot of drinks."

Rapiers were designed not to slash, bludgeon, cut -- only to STAB. But in the right hands they do that pretty well. Savio looks to be already setting up the strike as soon as he can tell what Ian's doing with that gauntlet, and it's a one-two motion from each of them, a call and answer, as Orfeo's disrupted by Ian and Savio strikes toward the enemy's throat. STAB.

Vitalis checks willpower at hard. Vitalis fails.

There's the final gasps as Orfeo falls to his knees once again, still staring at that tent, as if the horror of Ian's final words is much, much worse than his impending doom. He doesn't even glance down at his wounds as she slumps onto the floor. Carlos merely squints at his former master, turns to the others and then he's running to check on Ralf. "The others haven't returned." Presumably they ran into the forces waiting for them in the forest.

While they are making the final blows against Orfee, Sorrel slips over towards Vitalis, sword still in hand, looking worried. "Vitalis, the Adept is down," she says worriedly.

Vitalis grimaces at the gutteral sounds and impacts, teeth bared against pain, ears sharp for blows he might need dodge. Woozy from the strikes, he sways on his feet and staggers to a knee. The clash of alaricite and blade, the whisper of a rapier driven home, sounds he hears - but it's not until he hears Sorrel that he slumps, swallows and goes to all fours, eyes closed.

Vitalis mutters, "Gods, Giulio. It's... ..."

As Ian and Savio tend to finishing off the adept, Marzio turns and looks to Vitalis as well. "Are you alright, cousin?" he asks of Vitalis, kneeling to check on the former Mazetti. After insuring that the man is alive and well, Marzio will join the rest with pilfering around the tent in search of valuable spoils.

Raven looks down and frowns, "Well. Infection don't get him he'll likely live I reckon. Anyone know how to bind wounds before we start carrying him? OH, get something for him to bite on. He looks like a screamer."

Ian uses the tip of his sword to stir the leaves for a moment, to locate the dropped shaft of his cane and then very, very carefully kneels to pick it up so his cane sword can, once he's wiped the blade off on a handkerchief, become a cane again. "Here, I can stop the bleeding until a real doctor can look at him."

It takes a moment, but Vitalis eventually shakes his head, "I've just been stabbed twice by an-" he winces at a stab of pain, "-Abyssal Adept." He makes no move to rise, "Ralf. Did Ralf run? Carlos." He swallows, "Can you speak with the others? Will they listen to you?" He sits back on his heels. A hand easing back to cradle his side, "How bad is it?" He'll submit to any ministrations anyone cares to offer...

Vitalis checks willpower at hard. Vitalis fails.

...cursing a blue streak the whole way.

The retreat of Savio's rapier blade back out Orfeo's throat is met with a pour of blood, pulsing only a moment with fading heartbeats before it isn't anymore. It wasn't a clean business and he's got blood all over himself, as well, pausing a moment to eye the adept in scrutiny before he's eventually satisfied the man isn't getting up again. Then he mops off his face with the crook of an elbow, cleans the rapier, sheathes it again. "You are a story," he remembers Ian, echoing the words, amused. "That was pretty good." He steps away to look for medicines that might help Vitalis..... or maybe he's just looking for fat stacks of MONEY? Who can say!

Ian kneels down to get a look at Vitalis' wounds. "This isn't too bad. It'll hurt like a bitch. Listen to whatever the person who sews you up tells you. Most doctors aren't people you want to piss off." He takes off the gauntlet, puts a flask of whiskey in the other man's hands, and goes about binding up his wounds with the rough touch of someone who doesn't appreciate that pain is not a thing that people generally like to experience. "Tit for tat. He called us prey. I figured if there was anything someone with that master didn't want to be, it'd be a story."



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