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LTTM: Cut Like Glass

A group of citizens tasked with helping Alarissa find that which can give her back what she's lost, venture forth to see about a meadow on Laurent lands that supposedly are host to a tree that bleeds. Of which the blood, supposedly heals all wounds. Is this truth? Tall tales told around the tavern?

ooc: This is part of an ongoing arc called Lost To Time and Memory. This is not open to public but is left public so other can read along if they like. There will be other opportunities for people to partake in the arc as they come up.


July 23, 2021, 7 p.m.

Hosted By


GM'd By



Amari Cristoph Denica Ilira Mabelle Malcolm Klaus



Outside Arx - Oathlands near Artshall - A sunlit meadow

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

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

The lands that encompass Laurent, whether it's land the belongs to them directly or held by vassals is vast. There's a lot of forest. THere's a lot of soldiers that pass through it and mercenaries or those who are just merchant guiding thier wares.

There's also lots of drunken ramblings and tales told when deep in cups. Whether this particular tale is true or not, it had taken some digging, some scouts sent out and eventually a very fortuitous side trip by one scout to actually find a potential place.

Little wonder it had never been discovered before, it was far deep into the lands with no path old or new to guide. But the scout had been wise enough on their journey back to leave markings and signs for the inevitable group that would be dispatched, to make it.

Which is how the group of women and one man all traversing on horseback through thick scrub and fairly dense forest, find their way. A few days camping overnight has brought them to where they think, or so the scout indicates, that the bramble and meadow are to be.

Not that anyone see's brambles. Or meadows. Just tree's. A lot of tree's. Sun barely filters through it's so dense and the closer you get, it's evident that going on horseback will be impossible and one will have to lead the horses through. But the weather has held, cool but held and the day is young. The end is in sight.

Mabelle has learned to tolerate the presence of a horse. Not that she learned how to ride it, mind you, but she has learned how to let it peacefully lead her without choking it with the reins, so she has that going for her. Always on the watch as she travels through the woods surrounding her home, she mutters back to Amari, vaguely, "I wish we had something to test, just in case".

Denica has experienced some difficulties with her horse, along on the way. Personality conflicts. The horse always wins. So when it's time to dismount, she is a bit relieved. So is the horse. They part ways amiably. The young Thrax is dressed from head-to-toe in armour. Except, it's not her armour. No, it looks like House armour, which means it doesn't quite fit. Denica is small, delicate, a slip of a thing, and the armour is baggy and she's had to roll up the ends. She looks like a kid in their parents clothes. This doesn't damper her mood, Denica is excited to be on an adventure. She's armed too, a bow is strapped to her back, a knife held at her hip. Fresh air gives her a little colour, to her otherwise pale face. As their near the area of dismount, her bon-vivant expression shifts to something more serious. No stranger to a little danger, Denica is alert, she watches everything, both with intent and curiosity. "Guess we will walk from here," she says wish a shrug as she hops down, the leather squeaks when she moves.

Klaus Thrax (formally Laurent) was completely at ease in his saddle. In fact it was as if the man had been born there and little throughout the trip from Arx had he needed to do more than make a "clucking" sound with his mouth or pressure with his thighs to even guild his war horse "Glory". Perched on his shoulders was Doreen, always on the look out for anything out there wanting to eat her. The rest of the humans be damned she was looking out for herself. Klaus made a sound at her and distracted her with more nuts. He then stretched, and in a voice with a teasing tone said, "We have not talked yet about my fee, cousin. I mean if word ever got out that I, near a new father, was lead out in a trek in the vast wilderness by a you and friends of yours, well my reputation would be at stake. I mean Coraline possessed a very large axe, and very soon will be small enough to use it again." Klaus is not exactly dressed for danger. He is dressed in hunting leathers, but does have his sword. Truth's Sting, at the ready, and one hand almost causally has been enar it for a little bit now. Just in case.

"Well, if you're not careful..." Amari replies to Mabelle, but she's mostly teasing. She's also much more comfortable on her great big dapple gray courser, Bandit. "This reminds me of home." She declares with a terse, soft laugh of amusement before she's swung a leg over and dismounted. In full plate, she clinks and rattles as she hits the ground and the weight of the armor resettles on her shoulders and hips. Hers is a casual air, as this sort of forest is familiar and comfortable to the Keaton. It's only occasionally that she stops to listen carefully, but mostly she watches Bandit's ears. He's got better hearing by far. Denica is emphatically seconded. "Definitely walking from her."

Mabelle begins to gratefully dismount her horse, looking back at Klaus, "Your fee is being allowed to bask in the glow of my presence, Cousins. Besides, I'm pretty sure she will write and thank me. Unless you are the one carrying the baby. You do look a bit more rounded these days", she squints at him. The reins, however, are handed to one of her guards, she cannot be expected to control the beast. A worried smile is flashed toward Amari, Ilira and Denica, as she looks at what's ahead.

Taking up the rear on a small silver mare, Ilira gages the path ahead and slips gracefully off the back of her mount onto a bed of dry leaves. She gently strokes the side of the horse's neck and leads her forth, reins clasped in one delicate fist. Her lips quirk in amusement at the little devil as she approaches her from behind, "Shall I escort your horse the rest of the way, then, Princess Devil?" The Whisper is garbed in colorful wools and rich leathers, her raven curls left down around her in a luxuriant tousle. The soft soles of her boots quiet every step, made for the shadows despite their beryl hue. She glances up toward the three cousins, observing their interaction with a warm, but silent eye. That eye shifts from them after a moment to the forest ahead, regarding the dense thicket with a thoughtful purse of her lips. "I can go on ahead and help clear the way for you all," she offers kindly.

Denica's cheeks flush a rare and momentary red, clearly the horse has gotten to her. She gives Ilira an appreciative smile when she offers to help with her horse. "Yes, I think that would be appreciated. Not only by me, but by the horse. I fight with my cat too, I cannot win, it seems," she says a little exasperated but in a good-natured way. Denica loves animals! Denica is adjusting the armour, trying to tug it into place as she looks at the bramble, and then at Ilira, "I can help you clear it, seems like a productive way to work out some of my aggressions," she winks at the Whisper. A look over at the rest of the group, to see if they are amiable to this plan. "Might as well work on clearing a path, maybe a couple folks watch the animals, while the rest of us work on the bush?," she suggests with a shrug, seeming easily going with what the group decides.

Klaus dismounts with such an easy grace it should be wrong for a man of his size being able to do so. He does not hobble Glory, there is no need. He took Doreen off of his shoulder and put her on the saddle horn with a finger and a very stern "Stay." Along with some nuts. He then turns and walks back to the group. "At least I know how to ride a horse. How is your backside cousin? Still sore? I am sure you could waddle and keep up." When people talk about how to proceed he does become more serious and stops trying to poke fun at his cousin and moves up to the front of the group. "I can help clear the way." He returns to Glory and gets out a woodcutters axe. It would not do to use a sword to clear the way. It was a good sword.

"You might get scratched to pieces in there, Illara. I seem to be wearing the most thorn proof garb of all of us, so..." Amari notices as she's given everyone a cursory looking over. There's a lot of leathers, and not much steel. "I'll bully a way through at the front for the first leg. It may open up again before long." Ever the optimist, she smiles and gamely plunges into the brambles. At first she treads through, flattening a path and then when she slows down, pulls a black steel axe from her belt. With it, she hacks through where the need arises but not indiscriminately. She's a very selective bramble destroyer, or she's pacing herself to not wear her arm out.

Mabelle checks perception and investigation at easy. Mabelle is spectacularly successful.

Amari checks perception and investigation at easy. Amari is successful.

Denica checks perception and investigation at easy. Denica is successful.

Klaus checks perception and survival at easy. Klaus is successful.

Ilira checks perception and survival at easy. Ilira is successful.

There's no sign of Shav's, if anything it's been pretty absent of those people. What few guards that came Thrax and Laurent, Keaton or Whisper, have been able to be somewhat relaxed. But the scrub is dense, it takes effort to go through and as they start to wade forward it's evident that the horses can't come with them and guards may have to remain behind with them. And within all that dense scrub, it is seen by Mabelle first, and then the others. Brambles, Just like the scout had said. And they only get thicker, the thorns more vicious and poking at armor or any bare skin.

Mabelle frowns a little at what she spots ahead, but still manages to responds to Klaus, "Not as sore as yours will be if you do not stop talking about mine". As the horses are left behind, Mabelle smoothes her gloves, "This is going to be painful", she sighs, looking at her dagger and mumbling, "I wish I brought a bigger knife". She's not going to be leading this operation.

Ilira gives a delicate shrug, standing back by Denica's side as the others volunteer. With a wink and a quicksilver smile to Amari, she says, "Good thing what we're looking for is potentially a panacea." Lips still quirked, she murmurs to Denica, "Seems your aggressions shall have to wait. . . . Unless..." Her gaze is forward, lingering on Amari as she hacks and slashes her way through the briars, and she sees the obstacle ahead. She glances down at her bare hands, then to Mabelle. "You had the right idea," she remarks, chuckling.

Denica shrugs as Amari decides to go for it, she looks back at the guards and the horses. A smile is given to Mabelle with her quick assessment of the situation. "This is going to be very painful," she murmurs, "if there is anything we can use as a shield, that might be advantageous, even if it's a large stick of sorts," she looks around.

Klaus looks at the brambles and actually started to wish he worn his armor. "Come visit the homeland again my cousin said, it will be fine she said, what could go wrong, she said. Whatever a healer charges me I am sending to you Cousin." Still his hunting attire does have thin leather gauntlets to provide some scant protection, but only scant at best as he looks for the best angle to start the clearing effort of the brambles.

It's hard to imagine shav lurking in the middle of this wicked tangle of thorns. The idea might not even occur to Amari as she hacks her way up to the looming wall of pain that stops her dead. Stuck for the moment, she glances over her shoulder at the others and throws up her hands. It didn't open up again. Quite the opposite. "This is entirely keeping with my luck, which is bad." A small sigh is sighed for dramatic effect before she reaches up to close her visor. With no fear of her face getting all scratched up after that, she lowers her head and pushes on with a renewed burst of axe swinging and bramble hacking. "ONWARD!"

She wasn't kidding about her luck though. A couple of yards in, her ankle is snagged up and she falls to her knees with a metallic clunk. Up before anyone can even ask if she's okay, she presses on even with a very obvious limp now slowing her down. She's probably fine. She didn't even swear when she fell. Onward!

Some people, are better suited to chunk through the brambles. Some poeple are better suited to walk through it too. As Amari, Mabelle and Denica manage to cleave through brambles with thier weapons, it falls with some effort. Ilira and Klaus don't care quite as well as well and riding leathers don't stand up well to the thick thorns with their sharp wicked tips.

By the time the group manages to get through the bramble, by the time that dark almost black gnarled branches give and the group spills out into the meadow and the sunlight that spills and envelopes them all, those not wearing armor are bleeding from small punctures and long scratches. Those in armor have a few very small ones. But they're through the brambles and into knee high grasses and wildflowers and beyond, beyond and scattered are immense pale brown twisted and gnarled tree's with low hanging branches and gree leaves. Flowers, birds, butterflies, nature thrives in here.

Ilira lifts one slim, pale hand to raise her hood and tugs on the silver aglets to tighten it around her face, protected relatively from the chin down. Glancing between herself, the brambles, and back, she flickers a sardonic smirk of knowing that flashes to concern as Amari falls. Moving swiftly forward, she follows the Keaton into the thicket and tries to maneuver her way between the already hacked portions. "Lady Keaton, are you--ah... Are you all right?" she asks, wincing as the thorns catch and scrape her through her wools. She glares at them like she would an enemy, tearing her way through despite the cuts and scratches that mar her hands and face.

Mabelle smiles back to Denica and Ilira, "One knows her home. Eventually. Nothing good ever came from walking in the woods". She follows Amari in, hacking and slashing as she informs Klaus, "I am a physician. I'll pay myself extra to sew your lips together", she smiles to her cousin as she keeps on her mission, calling after Amari, "Are you alright? Pace yourself".

Once they are finally out of the woods, quite literally, Mabelle grumbles at her scratches, hoping they will disappear, but looks back at the others, "If you need medical attention, come to me. You too Amari".

Denica trudges through, she is weaving, whacking and remains focused. Sure no one would be in there, but one never knows. Denica knows better than to take things for granted. When Amari falls, she notices right off the bat, and then blinks as the woman just hops along. "Careful," she says to her, knitting her brows together. Somewhat protected from the thorns, she still feels some of its rough ends. "Once we get out in the open, let's keep together, you never know who is watching or what might happen," she murmurs with some tension in her voice.

Klaus is sweating and bleeding, two things he does not like very much. He wipes at his brow as trickles of blood stain his leathers and run down his arms and such. He is panting slightly from the exertion of clearing a path. "You think I would let you near me? I'm a fool at times Cousin, but not an idiot. I am not letting you near me with a needle and thread."

"Quite, thank you. I'm just especially regretting at the moment the time I wrestled a bear and lost." Amari replies, muffled of course, behind the closed helm. On she goes. "Mind yourselves, these thorns are savage." She warns. When they all manage finally to hack a path through, she takes about four steps into the sunny meadow and promptly takes a knee, and then rolls out onto her back in the high grass. Stick a fork in her, she's done. If her chest wasn't rising and falling, she'd probably seem more dead than alive. Eventually she flips her visor up and says, breathily, "Just need a moment. Someone please tell me they've spotted a magic tree and there's no more brambles between it and us.."

Ignoring the blood that stains her leathers, Ilira steps out into the sun-dappled field and beams happily around at the flora and fauna that surrounds them, her expression an unsettling dichotomy to the streak of crimson trickling from a slice across her left cheek. Her smile fades. "Haven't quite pinned the tree, but there are no more brambles," she murmurs gently to Amari and casts a concerned eye down at her as she heaves for breath. Her attention flits to Mabelle, perhaps a little urgent. "I am fine, I'll let you attend these two," she gestures to Amari and Klaus with a faint smile. "I am going to... Scout." She looks off, eyes lingering on the plethora of trees throughout the meadow. Then she slips away, toward them.

Ilira checks perception and survival at easy. Ilira is successful.

Mabelle squints around the clearing, unsurprised at the presence of bees among the flowers. She smiles for a moment as she bends her knee next to Amari, "Let me take a look at that while the others are looking about. Princess Denica, are you quite alright?". She looks at Klaus then, her words about to come out and yet they do not. So her fingers work for her as settles Amari's knee.

Denica looks a little concerned with Amari's state, but she's not one to interfere, and trusts the woman is okay. Attention drifting to Mabelle, "oh I'm fine, just a little pin pricks, nothing serious, help the others and I'll...," she watches at Ilira walks off, "I'll keep an eye-out, somewhere between you and the others and Miss Whisper," she says, seeming ready to stand guard, watching their scout, while giving Mabelle some semblance of protection, while she tends to the wounded.

Klaus smirks and again tries for brevity to help cut the tension among the group. "Wrestle a bear, I would have liked to have seen that. Also I have finally made my cousin speechless. I win the bet with myself over if I could. Now if only there was brown nut ale to celebrate." Klaus does put down the wood axe and advances, his hand once more almost casually near his weapon. Just as a precaution mind you. His cousin might try to hit him with a stick or something.

Ilira glances behind her and notes Denica's position. Beckoning the princess with a dainty hand, she smiles at her to come join. Then, as she turns back, something seems to catch her eye. Approaching one of the wounded trees, she kneels at its base, moving with a fluid delicacy as to least disturb the flurry of butterflies hovering there. Her gaze is intent, head bowed as she studies a peculiarity upon the bark.

Amari pulls off her helmet and props herself up onto her elbows as Mabelle checks out her knee. She'll be okay, she's just splotchy cheeked from over exertion while wearing all that red steel and diamondplate. "It was a bit harrowing, I wouldn't recommend." She says lightly to Klaus' comment as she finally catches her breath. "I'm alright, I think. I just jarred my hip more than I should have when I fell. Have a look about for the tree! It must look suspicious somehow, right?"

Denica marches over to Ilira, she is light on her feet, but the leather is heavy and unfamiliar. It takes some skill to walk in those boots, Denica has little feet. She's no doubt balled up some socks to stick in the toes, she lacks her typical grace. The effort is there, and she meets with Ilira and her eyes scan the dead tree. A brow lifts at it, catching the movement of the butterflies, she cannot help but smile at such a perfect, if but brief moment. "See anything, Miss Whisper?," she speaks to Ilira with familiarity despite the formal address. Her eyes blink, trying to look at the tree itself, glancing up at the branches.

Mabelle ties a long piece of bandage around Amari's knee in attempts to settle hip or knee. Once that is done she gives her a hand to help her out while looking in the direction Ilira is going, "Found anything interesting?", she questions her. Once Amari is set on her feet, Mabelle's own walk in the directino of the bown tree.

The tree that's getting the attention from Denica, Ilira and Klaus is the closest one. The sap from where one presumes a bug bored in or some other damage has made it produce it to protect itself. Thick, glossy, it looks almost like blood. The blue and black butterflies that gather around it flutter wins slowly back and forth as they seem to suck from the liquid. The tree otherwise looks healthy and fine. All of them do. Birds flit in branches and there's even the sight of a few rabbits far off.

"No, look here, Princess." With an elegant hand, Ilira gestures Denica's eye to the wound in the trunk and the sap that flows from it--red sap. The butterflies seem to congregate around it, attracted by the hue, scent, or something else. One flutters past the tips of the Whisper's fingers as it alights. She looks up at Mabelle's approach. "The coloration, see?" Reaching out, softly, tentatively, she touches the crimson sap.

Klaus relaxes a bit. He is far more curious now as he walks towards another tree, looking for any sign this matched the writing he had read before the start of all this. He was then distracted by the butterflies and their near liquid like grace dance and weaving in the air. "Beautiful..." He says, as he reaches out to touch one.

Denica looks down at the sap, thick brows immediately lift and she studies it. "That looks like blood...," she mutters, she might even wonder if it's some strange tree blood. Who knows what she thinks, but her face looks a little concerned and contorted. Denica starts say, "Don't...," and probably 'touch it' but Ilira already has. As such, Denica watches for her reaction, bracing herself, but also curious, wondering if that is in fact what they are looking for, or a clue to it, somehow.

Mabelle checks intellect and alchemy at easy. Mabelle is successful.

Amari sits up to watch the others investigate the tree, and the glossy sap oozing out of it. She's in no immediate rush to join, but watches curiously as she absently tries to rub her sore leg through the rubicund plate. It's unsurprisingly ineffective. Realizing that, she frowns and contents herself with a blade of long grass that she chews on the end of like a country bumpkin while she observes.

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

The shock of it, and how unprepared he was for it broke through Klaus and caught him by surprise. So much so even his thin layer of tact and reserve as he blurted out. "Gloria's tits!" As he yanked his hand back and as he did, blood formed an arc in the air and he was pawing at his pouches for a linen kerchief. "Cousin! I changed my mind! Also stay away from the butterflies, their wings are sharper than razors!"

Mabelle approaches the tree eventually, leaning down. Using a stick she collects some of the sap, trying to avoid hurting butterflies she brings it up to the level of her eyes as it gets some sun. The sap is thick and red. Bringing it to her nose, Mabelle sniffs it, "Ohh, it almost smells like honey, but that would be absurd". She takes off one glove to touch the sap, roll it between her fingers which remain stained by it, "That's... odd", she points out, fingers begining to tingle as it is. Mabelle looks at Klaus then and rolls her eyes, "How did you survive to be older than me, is a mystery".

Ilira sucks in a sharp breath and withdraws her hand, fingers slick with a fresh wash of blood. Pressing her hurt hand to her chest, she stares at the butterfly, her dainty brow creased in thought. She looks up to the others. "The sap feels like sap. The butterfly feels like a razor blade." Lips pursed, she reaches out once more with a keen eye on the butterflies, and in a flicker of movement, avoids one as it wings past her outstretched fingers. Delicately, she presses her injured fingertips to the sap, testing for a long, silent moment. Then she withdraws her hand and stands up. "Should've known it wouldn't be that easy," she says cheerily, wiping her crimson-stained hand on her trousers. "The sap tingles some, but that's all. You feel it?" she asks Mabelle with an incline of her head to the Laurent's stained fingers.

Denica quirks her brows twice, in short order. Once at the mention of butterflies with wings like razorblades and she presses her lips together. Denica has a look of suspicion on her face, but doesn't elaborate. When Mabelle says it smells like honey, she isn't all that surprised, "doesn't everything around here smell like honey?," she asks with humour in her tone. It's short lived and she is taking a look at the sap, and then the fluttering little beauties of doom. "I mean... I suppose you would know if you put it on a cut, we all have enough of them," she says with a little shrug. "But you are right, I doubt it's that easy, few things are. It could however, mean we are in the right direction...," she says optimistically. Of course, there is the opposite argument, but Denica doesn't share that one.

Amari's eyes narrow as she tries to make sense of butterflies that attack. At first it seems she may be suspecting an elaborate and peculiar prank is happening, but that does look like real blood and their reactions genuine. She should know, she's a magistrate. The suspicion becomes worry and concern. The blade of grass she was chewing on is yanked from her mouth and flicked aside then, as she endeavors to stand and join the group. Well, safely back a few steps. She clearly doesn't want to be set upon by savage butterflies. "Does anyone know if you're supposed to apply the sap to the wound, or drink it?"

The thing about the butterflies is that they don't seem to be deliberately attacking... They just seems to do what butterflies do. Fly. Those done drinking the sap, or disturbed by the sap gathering by those who are doing the tried and true lick/touch methods of science, just flutter off to go find some other flower or toward others tree's to alight upon.

Mabelle wanders into the direction of Klaus, "What is with you people and putting things in your mouths. As if you never lived in the Lyceum or at least visited it". She lift his hand toward her, "Lets see", and if he lets her, she will apply some of the red tinged sap upon one of the scratches he got from the butterflies, at Denica's comment, the smallest one will do. "It does tingle", she confirms to Ilira, "Lets see what else it does. And no, not everything smells like honey here", she laughs.

Klaus swears silently to himself and ight even be hopping up and down a little. He resists the urge to suck on his finger. "It is normally because I am surrounded by metal, like I wish I was now. Never again, even if it is using the privy at the Thrax estate I am wearing armor." he looked over to the others. "The sotry I heard said they rubbed the sap over the wounds. They did not drink or ingest it." Then he cries out and goes. "What the fuck Cousin! I knew you hate me but why not use someone else as the canary in the mine!" His voice trails of for a moment. "Oh wow...this...this tingles, and now numb, and it is spreading. Oh this is better than brown nut ale...or sex..."

Mabelle drops Klaus' hand abruptly at his last comment and goes to hide behind Amari, watching the result.

Ilira lifts her hand to her nose for a curious sniff. "A little like honey," she muses. She lowers her hand to her side once more, scrunching her fingers into the wool. She does it again. And again, as if trying to clear a sensation. A flicker of something passes across her features. "Mabelle!" she cuts in sharply. "Don't..." But her warning is too late, the sap already smeared all across Klaus's fingertips. By now, the Whisper is tense, seen in the line of her shoulders and down her back. She shares a brief, desperate look with Denica, before her blue eyes glaze. She gazes off, awestruck by something unseen.

Denica is curious with all the experimenting going on, she watches intently as Mabelle applies the salve to Klaus. "We could have taken a vote, but I am sure we'd have come to the same conclusion and you'd be it," she offers to Klaus. As he compares the experience to sex and beer she raises her brow a little. "Maybe it's like... some euphoric drug, like Maiden's blush?," she says to Klaus's reaction. "People -think- their are healed, but they are just experiencing a little healing," she shrugs her shoulders a bit. Denica watches that desperate look that Ilira gives her, and she's immediately by the other woman's side, offering her an arm. It's um, a nice thing to do? She's concerned though, less so for Klaus, he seems to be having a good time.

Klaus is stumbling, jsut a little, as if he was indeed drunk, and how he manages to avoid the butterflies lends truth to the old saying "luck is the providence of drunks and fools" He holds his hand out and then points excitedly. "Its Doreen, look everyone its Doreen, and she is big, very big. Maybe eating the sap makes animals bigger! And smarter! I can hear her talk now, oh she wants to dance, come on everyone, it is time to dance with Doreen!"

Klaus is stumbling, jsut a little, as if he was indeed drunk, and how he manages to avoid the butterflies lends truth to the old saying "luck is the providence of drunks and fools" He holds his hand out and then points excitedly. "Its Doreen, look everyone its Doreen, and she is big, very big. Maybe eating the sap makes animals bigger! And smarter! I can hear her talk now, oh she wants to dance, come on everyone, it is time to dance with Doreen!"

Mabelle hikes her eyebrow when Ilira starts calling for her and gets quiet. She then compares between her and Klaus, looking a bit puzzled. She returns to her cousin, begrudingly and helps him lean against one of the trees, "Sit down cousin. This is why you do not put strange things in your mouth". She agrees with Denica, "But see, the soldier said it healed him. Wouldnt it dawn on him it didnt after he came out of his trip?"

There is clearly no Doreen there. Giant or otherwise.

If this is a scientific study, there needs to be a control group, and that includes Amari. She's not touched the sap, nor tickled the butterflies, and is in fact, still standing well back. What she does do is raise one eyebrow very high. It somehow goes higher still when Klaus begins encouraging everyone to dance with a big Doreen. This obviously confuses her, more than it compels her to kick up her heels. "Are Ilara and Klaus going to be alright? I want to be helpful but I don't know what to do for magic sap induced crazy."

Ilira's face lights with a joyous, blissful radiance, but something isn't right behind her eyes. She is aware, somewhere in there, and worried. Feeling Denica beside her, she clasps the woman's arm with her bloody hand and leans into her, but a fit of giggles overcomes her as she hears Klaus's declaration. "Squirrels can't dance," she slurs, grinning with unfocused eyes. "They never dance... Have you ever seen a a ball...? They--hahahahaha, they don't even hear music like we do." She sags against Denica, in throws.

Denica blinks a few times at Klaus as he talks about his giant horse. I mean she does look. Strange things are known to happen, after all. A look to Mabelle, "good point, I cannot imagine this will last forever, but I suppose we will see," she mutters shaking her head a little. "I mean, maybe the drug will help them see what we need to see?," she wonders out loud, she's guessing and throwing out ideas. Denica feels Ilira slack, and she shifts her weight to support the other woman. Denica isn't especially strong, she's so little, but she does her best to hold her friend up, while watching her react with a slight smirk. "I think I have an idea for my next painting," she mutters. Inspiration comes from all sorts of things!

Butterflies flit, birds swoop and fly, chitter to other birds, it's a lovely cool late fall day and nary a bit of bad weather in sight. Honestly, it's downright pastoral here. If it wasn't for the ring of brambles that they'll have to go back through to get to horses, guards and Doreen.

Mabelle quirks her lips to Denica, "I was going to say . Perhaps help her sit before she falls and hurts herself". Her eyes keep scanning the scene and she wonders, "Where -is- Doreen?", she looks about for the creature, "Or maybe... maybe we should get moving before its too dark?", she looks concerned now, "Dammit"

Klaus certainly did not giggle. He never giggles. He is not a giggler. Not at all.


He is spinning around and his voice is light and carefree. "She can too dance, and sing. The butterflies are making a crown about her head. She really is a queen, a majestic queen of the forest, and his is her realm. All of you should bow to Queen Doreen of the nasty butterflies!"

Ilira slumps against Denica, her delicate weight all that keeps them both from toppling as she dissolves with helpless laughter. She laughs and laughs and laughs until it turns pained, and she has to gasp for breath. Eyes closed, she sinks to the ground and lets gravity take her, falling back, back, back into the tall, soft grass. "Oh gods..." they hear her murmur. She lays amongst the tumbles of her dark hair where it pools upon the ground beneath her, hands splayed and the left ticking with an intermittent twitch. "Not... Not..healing," she manages, blinking open her eyes as though her lids are weighted. She stares up at the sky, in a stupor, inhaling unevenly in and out.

"I don't think they're in any shape to go back through the thorns." Amari quietly decides as she's just seen Klaus giggle-spinning, and he's currently talking about 'Queen Doreen'. Ilira she regards more speculatively. Maaaybe. Then the laughing begins. She shakes her head, diagnosing that case as also not safely ambulatory.

Mabelle frowns for a moment as she looks between Ilira and Klaus, "Well I dont know what to give them not to make it worse, I am not familiar with this thing". That being said, she came prepared and begins to use the stick to load some of the sap into vials for her lab, "Well we're not sleeping here".

This is creative gold. Denica can't help herself and while she is helping Ilira, "come... let's get you comfortable," she offers. Then she adds, "and you can tell me every, single detail.." she shameless but the muse strikes when it strikes, she merely follows. It's too late and Ilira goes down, Denica's eyes go wide, "Ilira!," she calls out, dropping to her knees, to try to help the other woman. "It's going to be okay," she tells her with no certainty at all. Denica overhears Amari and shakes her head, "no we can't risk they will run into the thorns, thinking they are cupcakes," she mutters and looks at Ilira, "come on, Miss Whisper, let's get you upright, yes?," she suggests, a little more insistent, now. Denica lets out a sigh, "no we aren't sleeping here, and if we run into trouble, they will be of no use. Maybe we should send one person to scout around, we are going to have to keep these two on a short leash, until we can figure it out."

Given that it's mid day, there's time to wait and see how long it will take for whatever the sap is, to wear off. However, if those in armor wished to cut a wider path through the brambles out so that these two can be guided out sooner, that's an option that might be available.

Klaus is continuing to spin and now seems to be singing off key some sort of made up song dealing with a whole family of sharks swimming in the oceans.

"Maybe it's not long lasting, and they'll be better well before dusk." Amari says, as if that sounds sensible enough for her. She does tip her head back, shade her eyes with her hand and try to guess at the time based on where the sun is hanging in the blue autumn sky above. She nods. "I'm just going to walk the outside of the meadow, to be sure there's nothing worse than butterflies lurking. Maybe there's another tree we missed."

"I... ...I...can do it," Ilira manages, slurring every word. She clasps Denica's hand desperately. "I'm... s...sorry," she murmurs, clearly trying to regulate her breathing. She inhales through her nose and exhales through parted lips, each breath shaky. Too far from the others to be heard, she mumbles something to the Thraxian, focusing on her with glazed eyes that threaten to close the longer they stay open. Then she braces herself on her injured hand, perhaps not realizing it, and attempts to sit up.

"Nothing to be sorry for dear," Denica says empathetically to Ilira, she holds the woman's hand. "Don't stand, let's just get you sitting up. "I'll help you," she confirms with her and seems to devote herself to that while Amari goes to look around. Denica offers her strength to the other woman, it's probably better than one might assume it is, Denica knows how to brace herself at least. "We'll sit up together," she says in a soothing voice. "Couple options she says to Mabelle," she starts to list them, "we split up, you take them back and I'll go forward. We try to bring them along with us, but we are going to have to keep a close eye. I'm not going back, not yet. I made a promise and I'll do whatever I can to see it through, but we can't let these two hurt themselves, we will have to come up with a better plan." Denica lets out a little sight, as she continues to try to support Ilira, "tell me what you feel," she says to her. This time it's not a matter of inspiration, but worry there could be some more negative effects from the sap. Denica mutters something to Ilira, in response to her mumbles.

Denica mutters, "... going to ... okay. I will ... ... that tries to hurt you. I promise."

Mabelle tries to contain the chaos that has erupted, probably blaming herself for some of it. She then looks around the sky and tells Amari, "Perhaps we should hack the way back? I dont know, we'll need to get a horse past it for these two. Do you have abigger weapon for me to wield?". She looks at Denica, "No no they cant come with us, can you stay hwere and guard them?"

Denica presses her lips together, she looks around and shakes her head. "I think we should stick together, on second though. I mean...," Denica doesn't go into the details, but she gives Mabelle a look that shows her concern. "We just have to, keep a close eye on them," she murmurs and looks around. "I only see the same kind of tree. Maybe get a sample, but we keep going forward and looking?," she suggests. "At least, until it's closer to dark."

Klaus sits down now and clears off a spot on the ground, breaking up pieces of a dead stick, some rocks, and leaves and arranges them about the ground. He then looks over to something he can see in front of him. "Your move, and no cheating like last time."

Ilira eases herself gingerly up on her bloodied hand and then takes her weight off it. Exhaling a slow, steadying breath, her mouth spreads slow as honey into a smile. She looks at Denica through dark, languid lashes and murmurs, dreamlike, "Better. It feels better. I think all the... sap rushed me at once, and..." She giggles again, lilting and silvery. "Hehee, hold my hand?" She grips the princess's hand, and in one swift, fluid hop, bounces to her feet with a little hum of exhilaration. Whatever immediate panic from the loss of control has "sapped" away, leaving her vibrant and afloat in her mind. Leaning lightly against Denica's side, she murmurs something else to her too low for anyone else in earshot.

"We can do that. I just want to be sure we didn't miss a really big, obvious, healing sap tree before we go." Amari calls back. Her search doesn't look as though it's going to take long. All the trees look to be of the same kind, and she's not testing the sap of each and every one, for obvious reasons. As she meanders her way around yet another of the trees, she declares, mostly to herself, "This doesn't make any sense." Then louder, "They're all get-you-weird sap trees, as far as I can tell."

Only weird sap trees. Clearly, that man telling tales to Klaus at the fire pit who put the sap on himself... hallucinated it being healing.

As Ilira is getting better and Klaus is playing tic-tac-toe with himself, Mabelle seems conflicted between Amari and Denica, "I took enough with me to check it out in my lab, if its useful, at least we have abundance. I do wonder though if it was placed here on purpose". And by placed she means planted. "Perhaps one of us will cut the shrubs and the other will stand watch, I dont mind either way".

Denica looks a little relieved as Ilira looks better, and she gives her her hand to hold while she stands up. A glance over at Klaus to make sure he is okay, but since he's just playing with himself, she doesn't interrupt. Denica listens to Ilira's whispers and returns her own to the woman, before looking back at Mabelle and Amari. "I can guard if you want, or cut. I don't really care," she says with a shrug of her shoulders, a bit of frustration in her voice. "I can help you test the sap too," she says, though professing now actual experience in it.

"Heyyyyy." Ilira calls dreamily out to the group at large, glancing down at her cut hand. She lifts her bloody fingers and splays them proudly, beaming. "My cuts are all gone! My wounds..are they gone? Did it work!" She grins, her eyelids drooping.

Klaus makes a gesture to Doreen. "I am not cheating! How can I be cheating! I know the rules and you don't!" Klaus is fine...ish.

Amari toodles back over to the group, just in time to observe Klaus getting heated over all the cheating and Ilira announcing that she's been healed. Her mouth opens, then slowly shuts again. She says nothing about it. It's Denica she turns to afterwards, considering, "You know Ilira much better than I do. So you watch, and I'll hack. She may need you... Mabelle, keep an eye on your cousin." She's going to take her axe and get chopping.

Mabelle grumbles hushedly at Amari, "Must I?", she stands watch over Klaus for a moment, keeping her distance.

Denica nods her head, and plans to stand guard while keeping a close eye on Amari. Denica glances down at the hand that Ilira thinks is healed and she sighs. "Have you ever heard of a tree like this around here Mabelle?," she asks the other woman. "How did they even get here?," Denica doesn't know, she has no idea how trees get where they are, wind? Squirrels. Doreen might know.

Klaus blinks long and hard, and then does it again, and a third time. His voice sounds more dazed than drugged right now, as if he were experiencing a very bad hangover. He was not, at least not quite. His head was fuzzy, but not thunder pounding, which is likely good for his cousin's continued health. "Where...where did Doreen go?"

Mabelle mentions to Denica sincerely, "We only have these lands for roughly 600 years. Plus this is the outskirts. I want to say some of the Sylv's since they are all about plants, but I wouldnt want to speak without knowing".

Ilira blinks her blue eyes, strangely crystalline for a moment as they focus on Amari. "You have mesmeric eyes," she murmurs, her gaze flickering away across the field and then back. "Just like the meadow... See?" Seeming to realize, she takes her weight off Denica with a playful little giggle and steadies herself on her own two feet, swaying as if briefly in a trance before she stabilizes. Her ear turns toward Mabelle as she hears the word,

Thorns, pesky brambles. They are no easier to get through this time other than there's already some cleared and so it's a lot easier to hack and break through them, Amari protected by her armor, and branches giving more easily since there's nothing on the other side to support them.

But soon enough, with enough effort, sweat and good old fashioned elbow grease, Amari's made things wider for everyone to get out without risking being scratched further.

Ilira blinks and stares around her like a startled owl for a moment. She runs a pale hand through her dark curls, detangling a few blades of grass from the silken mass.

Denica trudges back, this time with Ilira in tow, she keeps a close eye on her, making sure they don't get caught on the way out.

Mabelle begrudingly helps Klaus to his feet, "Lets go, pregnant man"

And so they go. A little bloody, a little sappy, far more sober now than some were. As the group heads out and back into the dense woods and past those equally dense and high brambles, they leave behind them that pastoral vast meadow. With the butterflies flitting, the birds singing and flowers waving in the knee high grasses. A very strange part of the Laurent lands and possibly a little insidious.

Ilira slips her languid hand into Denica's, glancing back only once to the flitting butterflies and bleeding trees. She shakes her head firmly, then faces straight forward the rest of the way back.

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