Problems With Squirrels
OOC NOTES: This event may be resolved in a number of different ways but could also include combat, depending on how the players decide to handle this situation. Please come prepared.
Nov. 17, 2023, 8 p.m.
Outside Arx - Reveillon - Farmsteads of Reveillon
Comments and Log
The rumors of giant squirrels plaguing the countryside has had the people of Reveillon looking to potential heroes that can get them out of this mess. They do not particularly care how, just to have it handled so the rest of their winter stores of nuts are not ruined before they can either go to sale or be consumed amongst themselves. They are relieved when people start to show up from all parts of Arvum, ready to answer the call and, perhaps, also a bit surprised to see so many people coming out of the woodwork, so to speak, ready to answer the call of aid. They were not expecting this, it seems, even in light of magic and monsters being so recently revealed. All the same, they are happy SOMEONE is available to do what needs doing, and so they quickly explain the latest rumors of where the squirrels can be found and send the people on their way.
It's early afternoon when people start arriving, in whatever mode of transportation they desire, at the latest rumored location. It's a small farmstead several miles away from Reveillon itself. There's a house and several farming related outbuildings. This particular farm also seems to have an orchard of walnut, chestnut and acorn trees, which is used to feed both people and animals alike; pigs are often fattened up on acorns.
When they arrive upon the scene, there seems to already be something of a ruckus running amuck. Loud chittering can be heard in a particularly large barn used to store food. That sound is followed by the pinging and plunking of things striking wood and metal alike, along with several loud screeches. As they walk closer, there's a terribly, loud screech and a squirrel shaped head goes crashing through the roof, making a large gaping hole, before it disappears back into the building itself. That head is as large as the tallest working draft horse that can be found in Arvum. There's more of a ruckus inside of the building, as things fall, crash, and get knocked around. At least one door to the barn is open, but it's dark inside and hard to see what else might be moving around.
Ugh the Shadowwoods. Mabelle is already cringing when her cart takes her deeper inside and even more so when she is forced to walk the rest of the way. When they reach the farmstead, she notices the selection of trees and attempts not to laugh, instead, she twitches her lips and murmurs, "Well that makes sense". Her eyes dart toward the barn that's being smashed by whatever creature is inside, but her weapon is not drawn. Instead, she slantes her eyes at Amari, her travelling companion and asks, "Seriously?"
"Mmm." Kastelon briefly tips back his hat as he's watching that head come through the roof of the barn, the consideration of it for some moments. "You don't see something like that every day." Though his head turns to look at the others, before he offers more of his sage wisdom. "I think it's larger than we were told." A beat, as he turns his head to consider the grove nearby. "How many do we think there are?"
Not expecting a full party of heroes? Amari. She rides up on a dapple grey horse decked in the black, green and white colors of House Redire. Flanking is a pair of tough looking prodigals, the kind with tattoos the proper Oathlanders look seriously askance at. Thankfully, they too have tunics in the house colors.
Upon spying the crowd, and hearing the chittering, she swings horse and self between everyone and the barn. A slender hand is lifted, and she speaks up, "Greetings. I assume you've heard of the squirrel. Normally this sort of thing doesn't travel far beyond our borders. I'm Baroness Amari Redire, if we've not been introduced. I'd ask, first and foremost, that you don't rush in there and try to kill the squirrel." She pauses there, makes eye contact with all and sundry if she can, to make sure everyone heard that part. "It's not a demon squirrel. Consider it a... blessing of Petrichor. If worst comes to worst, I prefer it be shoo'd off into the woods."
"How could a squirrel possibly even GET that big,"Thea asks to no one in particular,"barely seeing the head appear. "Can't we just give it nuts and send it on it's way?" Because---that would be easier said than done.
Acacia, a red-headed lass from the Lower quarter or Arx wearing a warm winter cloak and fitted dark armor, hangs back. Pursing purses her lips pensively, she notes the scene before her unfolding and thoughtfully sucks her teeth for a moment. "Should have brought a bigger wagon," she muses dryly to no one in particular.
Princess Renata Pravus steps from a carriage with large cloak wrapped around her as she shivers against the cold, having come to see what efforts might be offered in aid. Unable to do much in means of chasing a squirrel out of a barn and interested in how large this fluffy beast might be. Only to have heard stories of the animals, how's she to know that this is not how big they just are and the Oathlanders have left with downplaying their stories in how they would leave nuts out at times. Watching the large head poke from the barn, she's left with a gasp and hands to her mouth. "It's so fluffy!" Looking to the others, "If there's a way to not harm him? Her? It? Yes, we should keep it alive. It's probably just scared."
The Andalashari are best known for their dealings with horses. Squirrrels the size of horses, however? Well, that remains to be seen. Having heard of this interesting phenomenon, Vashtalyn Andalashari has made her way out here to this remote farmland, to see if there is anything she can do to help. The bard and merchant is mounted on her very own Andalashari mare when she arrives, and dismounts easily as she approaches the farm. Seeing others gathered about, she takes the horse by the reins and leads it in the direction of the gathering of people. Her long black hair is gathered into a simple intricate braid down her back, and she is dressed warmly for the winter in shades of burgundy and evergreen, the garments stylishly crafted of good quality seatouched wool, skirts divided for riding. A matching burgundy wool hat is pulled down over her ears, and gloves protect her fingers from the cold. Not much there, however, to protect her from physical damage if it comes to that. She's a lover, not a fighter, and it shows.
When she hears the screetching and chittering, Vashtalyn looks over toward the source, and her eyes get big and around. She stares for a moment at the squirrel head that pops out of the barn and back in, and then gives herself a shake. "They weren't kidding," she mutters under her breath. She leads her horse off a safe distance away, and wraps the reins loosely around a tree branch, so that the horse can get away if it really wants to or needs to. Then she turns and trudges her way through the snow over toward the group of people. "Hello! Can I be of any help here?" she offers, her voice pleasant. She peers toward the barn again, and tucks her gloved hands into her sleeves, cheeks already blushed from the cold. She looks to Amari as the woman starts talking about Petrichor and blessings and such, and the Andalashari nods. "I have some skill with calming wild animals," she offers, though she seems uncertain. "No experience with calming extra large squirrels, however."
Giant Squirrels? Well, it not like Prince Romulius Thrax had much else to do. He was adorned in his armor, shining like diamondplate and dimmed only by his fur cloak around the shoulders and pieces of leather around his chest. As the group approaches the farmstead, Romulius tilts his head. "Well...that's something." He crosses his arms over his chest, his eydes drifting to Amari. "Petrichor will be honored, if it's possible. Though we must also be prepared to strike the creatures down if they are more hostile than cowardly." He turns his eyes towards Lucita. "Hm. Agreed." He turns his attention to Vashtalyn. "Perhaps it's worth the effort if you attempt your work."
Raja moves along with the others, moving at a casual pace. She takes in the sites and smells and sounds of the area around her. "This isn't such a bad place.." Her words trail off as the sounds from the barn can be heard and there is a GIANT squirrel head! She pulls up short and just blinks at the sight. "Uh.. " Her lips turn into a frown. "That is a big squirrel." Yay Captain Obvious! "Umm. So, that is not natural.."
Theo is no warrior. He's better at staying quiet and watching the whole scene. That is exactly what he does. He offers no advice but is watching the people to see who wishes to be diplomatic and who wants to go in quickly and be rid of this creature. Having heard the baroness and her wish he's nodding in case she sees him doing that. That would be Amari otherwise he stays silent and at the ready for whatever the group decides to do.
Adalyn rides up on her horse stopping near Amari when she spots her, she is dressed in her leathers but she also does not dismount. She moves her horse closer to Amari and Mabelle looking to the bar then to the Baroness, "I, I believe I maybe at a loss for words my dear Baroness." she looks to Amari with a smiles then she looks over those who showed up. The head coming out then going back in has her blink. "Yeah, this is going to be interesting."
Caspian grinned at raja and then looked too the squirrel. " makes you wonder if there is a tree that has appropriately sized acorns, or if it scurries away with.. .I don't know..cows in it's mouth or something"
"Cousin." Kastelon turns his eye to Amari in the wake of her words. "We should probably first get the... squirrel," Said with as straight a face as ever, clearly, "out of the barn. Before there's more damage, or it riles itself up further and poses danger to us." And a glance around, a nod to Acacia and Raja at noticing them as well, before he lets a breath free. "They're not cows, but they should be harmless enough." Caspian's words get a brief, if faintly sour, look.
When House Riven arrives, it's in the company of the Baroness who rules these lands and the Prodigals with her. (Frankly, it would be fairly easy to mistake Thesarin for one of the Redire Prodigals, save for the fact that Mia and her husband both have guards in Riven livery with them, and the heron crests on the their armor identifies them as the head of their house.) Although she's certainly seen Reveillon before, Mia has NOT seen a squirrel the size of a draft horse. When its head comes poking through the roof, hers jerks back and she blinks several times, startled. "I'd also be concerned about, ahhh....," she trails off, still blinking, before looking to Amari and Kastelon. "Keeping the homesteaders calm. Or as calm as can be expected, considering." Considering giant squirrels, she means. The vague handwave should be enough to communicate that.
Something dances in Aacia's expression at Raja's observation and she holds back a grin of amusement. "Glad you're seeing what I'm seeing. I just hope we're not nuts for deciding to help with that thing," the curvy Culler smirks aside to the smaller redhead before casting a rueful upnod Kastelon Keaton's way. Letting out a breath, she takes her time assessing things. "Anyone or anything inside with it?" she asks to any locals who might be listening. "Do they run in packs?"
Mabelle folds her arms and her lips twitch here and there at the commentary, especially Raja claiming this is not natural, "So does anyone have a rope?"
Vashtalyn checks perception and animal ken at hard. Vashtalyn fails.
Caspian looks to acacia and shrugs then looks to mabelle. " we will need a lot of rope if it knocked the roof off so easily." he scratched the back of his neck ,' never hunted squirrels before, but I can try and get some light in there so we can know exactly what we are dealing with"
Thea twitches her lips a little. Can't believing this is even a conversation. She asks anyway,"Is it very violent? What exactly do we know right now?"4
"It's not entirely unusual," Amari admits, after a glance over her shoulder at the barn and the gigantic squirrel that's peeking out. Just another day in Reveillon, apparently. She hardly seems the least bit frazzled. Amused maybe, as there's a smile that keeps breaking out while she's attempting her very best I Am A Serious Baroness routine.
Nodding to Romulius, she continues: "For the honor of Petrichor and the relief this poor farmer here, let's get this squirrel out of the barn before it brings it down on itself. If you're spooky, go around the back and make a clatter. Everyone else, make an opening so he can flee out the front here. Then we can improvise from there."
As more familiar faces arrive, there's some relief in Amari's eyes and greetings. "Cousin." to Kastelon, "Oh so glad to see you Adalyn! What are you planning with a rope, Mabelle? Squirrel wrangling, Caspian?" Mia is nodded to, "Excellent idea. Where is the homesteader? Hello!? I hope no one's in the barn... Let's make sure. Once it's out, anyone who speaks fluent squirrel, and can calm it down." Yes, that was a good idea. Calm the squirrel.
Raja frowns a little bit. "My experience with /giant/ creatures has been negative. Except for Benny." she looks to those around her, "You guys know Benny the Beaver, right? Amazing creature. But it's tame." She looks back to the barn. "I am at a loss for what to do with that thing. My question is.. are there more than one?"
"So what's the plan here? Catch or kill? I don't suppose anyone want to dress up like a plump and tasty looking, over-sided chestnut and run off through the fields?" Acacia grins, her suggestion clearly glib. "Anyone? Anyone? Volunteers?" To Raja she asks a squint, "Benny?"
As the people react to their first sight of a squirrel, the ruckus continues inside. From the sounds of it there's a lot of chittering going on, which seems to suggest that maybe there's more than one squirrel. Vashtalyn attempts to get a closer look, to perhaps discern the situation better, and for her efforts she gets a face full of squirrel tail as a rather large, fluffy tail comes shooting out of the open door for a moment, swashes things around, and disappears inside. That's a lot of fur!
Vashtalyn moves toward the barn carefully as Amari starts giving directions, and she squints into the barn, but shakes her head. "I can't tell what's wrong from here, specifically. It is making a lot of noise, though, isn't it?" she says. Then, a giant, fluffy squirrel tail plants itself in her face, and she gives a little squeal and backs away. Spitting a few squirrel hairs out of her mouth. "Well, now, that wasn't very nice, Mr. or Mrs. Squirrel!" she sing-songs.
Vashtalyn also gets out of the way, for the big squirrel-herding.
Mabelle looks at Amari now, "You cannot set that thingy free like that. The Shadowwood is horrific enough without huge creatures ruining the balance of nature. Cute as it might, Artshall is right on the other side of this forest. So...", and then a fluffy tail comes out of the barn, "So we need more than one rope and maybe put it in a local menagerie".
Raja checks perception and survival at normal. Raja is successful.
Caspian looks to acacia and grins " well if you got a costume I'm game"
Adalyn smiles at Amari she leans over to give her a quick hug an then looks to Mabelle, "We will need something more then Rope, it would most likely drag most of us if we tried to rope it." the image of them all hanging on while the giant Squirrel has her smirking for some reason. She watches Vashtalyn and covers her mouth, her green eyes twinkle.
Kastelon looks a hint dubious about the idea of scaring it out, as he gives the barn the eye (see what he did there?) and the tumult inside. "A giant nut would be not a bad idea," muses he. And a breath. "Though it is the question of if one would do it. If there is more than one in there..." His voice trails off. "I think we need more feed brought to draw them out. It works with other game."
Mabelle perks belatedly, "We can sedate it!"
"Ohh, sweet, trusting man, you do not know what you are saying," Acacia laughs as she replies to Caspian. "I'd pay good silver to see that," she grins.
Caspian beams at acacia "I have never met a truly idiotic plan that didn't have a nut of good idea in it! and i've never found a plan so stupid i won't try!"
Thea snorts at Caspian when he mentions a costume to Acacia. Glancing to Mabelle, she then asks,"Do you have enough of any sort of sedative to knock that thing thing out?" Which then begs the question,"How would you even feed it to them? I think I heard more than one in there...'
Once she recovers a bit, Vashtalyn speaks up again, on behalf of the squirrels, even though she got a face full of squirrel-tail. "Please don't scare it," she pleads. "I think that would only make it worse. Now, I'm not really a squirrel expert, but I do know I've seen them chitter a lot, and scold a lot, when they see a cat nearby. Maybe there's a huge cat in there?" she guesses as she backs away a little further.
Renata is simply left to stare at the large fluffy tail that slips from door and knock Vashtalyn back. Listening to the others in their discussion of what might or might not work. Trying to speak up to the others and towards Vashtalyn as she listens to the sing-song answering to the squirrel. "Would... Would a song help in luring it out maybe?" The princess almost raising her hand to try and get the attention of the others, "I can't promise anything, though maybe a lulling song might help?"
"Whatever we might want to do, we may want to do it quickly." Romulius advises the group as the Squirrel(s) inside the barn continue their chittering and ruckus. He turns his eyes towards Renata. "Perhaps." He looks towards mabelle. "Do you have any medicinal herbs or concoctions on hand to do the trick?" He questions her, but since they are on the side of not killing the squirrels at the moment, Romulius's blade remains on his back. "We could make a lot of noise very quickly, try and make ourselves a larger predator. Scare them off."
Vashtalyn brightens as she looks to Renata, and nods. "I can sing with you," she offers.
Raja is quiet a moment, assessing the situation. "This is just nuts." She says, a hint of a smirk on her features. She steps a little closer to the barn, but not so much as to approach the squirrels, but to assess something else. "This makes me wonder where they came from." She examines the ground outside, looking for any sort of evidence telling where they came from." She steps away from the group and makes her way around the barn. "Hey. Seems like they come in from the East!" She says. "There is even a trail of nuts.." She picks up one and proceeds to crack it open.
Thea checks dexterity and stealth at hard. Thea fails.
Kastelon checks charm and animal ken at hard. Kastelon is successful.
Thesarin is riding out alongside Mia, clad in rubicund armor and wolfskin cloaks, looking indeed much like one of the local shavs, his face grimly set, the very picture in bearing and manner of a man who has never heard the words 'giant' and 'squirrels' said together in that order and certainly not one who's had cause to use them many times even today. (Maybe avoiding just that is the reason he was so taciturn for the ride.) At the sight of the thing, the Prodigal Marquis simply... blinks. And stares. And blinks again. He pulls up alongside Mia, letting the others talk about running around dressed as a nut before rumbling out "...have we got a notion that there's an option 'sides rushing in to scare 'em and hunting them down?"
Amari winces as Vashtalyn is fluffy tailed, watches in a moment of trepidation and when she isn't struck down and killed, relief. "Careful there!" She calls out, while her gaze swings over the crowd and her ears perk to all the talk going around. Mabelle is given a head shake, "It's not for a menagerie, but if you want to make it sleepy by feeding it nuts soaked in a concoction you have handy, that may work. If there are nuts." At Thesarin's comment, she gestures to Renata and Vashtalyn, "We have singing to calm it. Then luring it out with nuts. I suppose that's a good start. We'll scare them out if that doesn't help."
"You're pea-canning my interest, man. I'm willing to try if you are," Acacia notes back to Caspian with a flash of a grin. "Maybe let's try knocking the wee bugger out first? If that doesn't work, then we can get you all dressed for the party. Even if we catch it, I still ee want to see you running down the wayside dressed as an oversided nut. It will be the stuff of legend. You can't make that stuff up."
While the other are discussing what to do about scaring the squirrel or squirrels free... the Keaton huntsman moves. Quietly, slowly, as if stalking prey in the forest, the gentle creeping with that thick cloak of his around him. His hands move to collect some acorns as he's going along, before...
For a large man, bearlike indeed, he makes a reasonably good facsimile of the chittering of a squirrel himself, as he's putting down a pile of the nuts, a good distance from the door, before he's slinking a few feet back and putting down some more....
Mabelle glances between Thea and Romulius, "I have a vial of Frosthope with me. Four drops makes a huge man fall asleep for hours, what do you think a whole vial would do to a horse?", she's asking, she never tried. "He already has nuts, you cannot lure them with nuts, what else do they eat?", she asks Amari while scanning the nearby trees. "I dont care where you put it, we cannot let him roam free in the shadowwood unless you find a way to tame it".
Mabelle further questions Amari, "How is this a blessing?"
"It might be possible to lure the thing...," Mia pauses here, before adding a decided 's' onto the end. Things? Plural? Is there more than one? There might be more than one. "To lure them out with food. Generally speaking, I've never yet met an animal that wasn't motivated by food, unless hunger was overwhelmed by fear." Then again, it's mostly well-trained hawks, hounds, and hunting that Mia deals with, so really, her opinion might best be taken with a grain of salt. But oh! Look! Kastelon is already at work setting out a trail.
Raja makes her way back to Mabelle. Overhearing the plan to make the buggers go to sleep, she mentions, "Might also be wise to see where they are coming from. There is a trail heading back east." She says to the woman, "There could be more that way.. or perhaps find the source of what is making them so.. large.."
Romulius turns his attention to Raja as she finds a trail of nuts. "Huh. What do you think drove them here? Lack of food, perhaps?" He questions. "Or looking for a place to hole up for the winter?" A little more likely, by the feel of it. He turns his eyes towards Thesarin. "We are open to suggestion." He informs him, his eyes turning then to Mabelle with a sile forming on his face. "I imagine it should at least make it drowsy enough that it can be moved or guided elsewhere. If there are many of them...we might need you to perform your alchemy quickly or hope one can follow the other." Back to Raja. "Agreed."
While everyone is discussing what exactly to do, Thea decides to step over to the barn to see exactly what is going on. She inches closer, trying to peer inside, but is instead----met with a pelting of nuts. Her face, her sides. The Countess swats at her face, running for cover. "Bring a shield, whatever you do,"she calls over.
Caspian checks dexterity and performance at normal. Caspian is successful.
Mabelle checks intellect and alchemy at normal. Mabelle is successful.
Amari looks somewhat reluctant to admit, "This is just how Petrichor shows me his blessings. I assure you they won't be a problem to Artshall. They're not really a terrible problem now. I can reimburse the farmer for his acorns, and the door, and even the barn if it falls down. It would be a small price to pay..." With people all beginning to do things in earnest, she frets a bit. There's a clenching and unclenching of her gloved hands on her reigns and a bit of tension in her posture. There's a lot going on that could go wrong. She looks to Adalyn a moment, making her eyes go big, then takes a deep calming breath.
"ALRIGHT! Someone with soft feet, take a look inside and see what's going on in the barn. Some of you collect nuts as an offering to lure them out. Some of you sing songs of squirrel calming. Mabelle, Frosthope some nuts. Caspian, ready a rope or several, should we be required to wrangle the squirrels. Everyone else, make sure there's an avenue clear, should the squirrels want to flee out the front door. We'll save the scaring for if this doesn't work."
Did someone ask if there were nuts? Why YES. THERE ARE NUTS! SO MANY NUTS. Countess Thea Wyvernheart figures this out in an attempt to stealthily sneak up to the barn where the squirrels are to get a better look. A giant squirrel gets smashed against the wall and one of the planks comes plopping off the wall, showing a bug-eyed squirrel face being smashed against the wall. In the next instant, that bug-eyed squirrel drops to the ground, but another comes peering around the corner and starts throwing nuts in Thea's direction. Her little attempt to sneak did not quite work the way she expected as she is hailed with nuts. Pink, plunk, BWANG they go against whatever armor she has, as she's luckily far enough away not to get hurt by the nuts, just yet. But clearly, the shells are hard and they make noise. Something pulls that particular giant squirrel back into the building; possibly the squirrel that had been pinned against the wall. There's definitely angry chattering within.
That's when Kastelon comes walking up to the barn, making noises of a squirrel himself. This causes a stilling within the barn, like all the animals within have stopped to listen. A nose sticks out the door and starts sniffing the air inquisitively. In the background, it sounds like something is scrambling to gather things together. And then....
Something zooms past the nose and suddenly one of the giant squirrels has made its way out of the barn after Caspian went in the back and started waving things around, making noise, attempting to scare things out of the barn. This is when they get the first real visible confirmation of a full giant squirrel. It stands the height of Arvum's tallest draft horse, which is pretty big! It stops short, immediately starts scolding the people outside the barn and pelting them with acorns, large walnuts, and chestnuts in an angry fashion.
Raja checks composure at hard. Raja is successful.
Mabelle checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Botch! Mabelle fails completely.
Renata checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Critical Success! Renata is spectacularly successful.
Romulius checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Romulius is successful.
Kastelon checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Kastelon is successful.
Thea checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Thea is successful.
Amari checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Amari is successful.
Raja checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Raja is successful.
Caspian checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Caspian is successful.
Theo checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Critical Success! Theo is spectacularly successful.
Adalyn checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Adalyn is successful.
Mia checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Mia is successful.
Renata checks mana and performance at daunting. Renata marginally fails.
Acacia checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Acacia is successful.
Vashtalyn checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Vashtalyn is successful.
Caspian looks round and picks up a lantern, striking it to life with a flint. He looks to the other's, "i'll see if i can coax it outside so we can see more clearly what is next. Might also give us a moment to see whats inside." He turns and begins to hoof it around the barn, coming up to the back of the building and moving to find the second smaller door. Of course there isn't.. but there is a window! he holds up the lantern so he can peer inside, and then begins to bang the wall, waving the lantern and making a general ruckus!
Renata beams brightly when Vashtayln offers to help in a song to calm the squirrel down. "It's a stretch though I've got a lullaby that might? work...?" Renata doesn't sound too convinced herself though is willing to make a try of it, anything that prevents this all heading into a direction towards possible bloodshed where she already has a shiver. Or maybe that's the cold which is getting to her. Either way she nods to Vashtayln after listening to Amari. Taking a deep breath and about to let out a soft hum when nuts are being thrown from the barn. Staring at the large squirrel as it scolds her and the others, she's frozen in her spot. Barely able to find her voice with a hum. It's a nervous laugh which creeps through her attempts, breaking the hum then finding it again.
Chaos! Things have turned to utter chaos! As it often does in weird giant rodent situations. Raja just sort of steps back and blinks. Then nuts are just flying EVERYWHERE! Okay, this is amusing. So very amusing! Raja's eyes twinkle and it looks as if she is about to just crack up LAUGHING! However, she manages to just barely hold it together. As a handful of walnuts come hurling her direction, Raja simply sidesteps the flying nuts as they go past. "I should have brought snacks to watch this." She smirks. With so many people doing so many things, she just steps back further from the angry nut-chucking squirrel of fluffy doom.
Acacia, hands dropping to liberate a couple of the wicked looking blades she is wearing, lingers back and watches. "You think we upset it?" she calls out from the peanut gallery. "I still like my idea better," she notes, dodging a walnut or two, to Raja who seems to have lost her mind with laughing.
Vashtalyn checks mana and performance at daunting. Vashtalyn fails.
Theo was minding his own business. How rude when the nut barrage happens. He moves swiftly and is able to be in the clear. In seeing Mabelle down he grabs her hand and tells her, "Here, use me as a shield. These creatures are vicious!" He will also try to find a place for the both to shelter until the squirrels decide to behave and whatever else their team might be doing.
It's probably a good thing that Kastelon has that fabulous hat of his, because it is helping to keep him from getting nuts pelted into his good eye. "I think that upsetting them is counterproductive to what we're after," comes that low voice, droll as always, though a hint of a sigh lingers in the sound of it. A glance back to Acacia, with a call in answer of his own. "Have you such a thing, this costume?" It's rhetorical, perhaps, before he nods, and is backing up slowly, lest he frighten them more.
Amari checks command and leadership at normal. Critical Success! Amari is spectacularly successful.
Well that was fast! Romulius's eyes widen a little bit as the Giant Squirrel emerges from the barn, whistling sharply as nuts are being thrown everywhere in their direction, moving his head and using his feet ot move out of the way of the terrifying offense! "You know-" Romulius chuckles. "If we stored these we could really help feed the homeless." Romulius chuckles a bit, being snarky with the party before he looks at Acacia. "We'll see what we can manage." He remarks, then Renata. "You can always try!"
Thesarin checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Thesarin is successful.
Thea wasn't kidding. She starts running as she pelted with nuts. But then Raja is laughing, in turn causing Thea to laugh. "I told you guys,"she calls out, darting everywhere.
There are nuts flying from the barn. Nuts, really big nuts, flying. Mabelle tries to dodge them while attempting to put frosthope into nuts and honey onto nuts. The plan is so simple. She will walk into the barn and stick the nuts to the squirrels. "I'm going to make the nuts sticky and they will have to lick it, at least!", solid plan Mabelle. Solid. Nothing can go wrong, like being stompped on.
Mabelle checks mana and performance at daunting. Mabelle fails.
A hail of nuts should have been something everyone here should have been prepared for. Amari was clearly expecting /something/ because as the nuts fly, she leans in her saddle first to one side and then the other. The speeding hard shelled projectiles whiz harmlessly by, and she looks only minor ruffled. She has at least a hair out of place now. Then the singing doesn't seem to be going well, and Caspian is shaking the barn down, and an old saying of Duke Cristoph's comes to mind: "This is fine."
Raising her voice, the young baroness issues a sharp directive, "We're calming the squirrels with calmness. Everyone, let's all sing together. If you don't know the words, just hum the tune with us. If you just caught a nut, add it to the pile Kastelon started. This is a Petrichor prayer. ALL TOGETHER NOW."
And sing the song of squirrel calming to help Renata and Vashtalyn.
Adalyn checks charm and manipulation at hard. Adalyn fails.
Mabelle checks charm and manipulation at hard. Mabelle is successful.
That. That right there. Something that Romulius has said caught Mia's attention, just as she was about to be pelted with a very hard chestnut. Fortunately, her distracted only lasts a second, not quite long enough to result in her getting beaned in the head by something hard. "Wait. It's still winter." Squirrels store there food for... "Are they *caching* in the barn, or trying to?," she asks, lifting her voice to call out towards someone in or near the barn. "Are they defending their food?"
Adalyn is there to help Amari nodding her head to the Baroness, she clears her throat and puts her serious face on. But then there is a dire squirrel starts to scolding them, she blinks looking at the large animal.."Gods.." she says softy but then there are nuts! All the buts being pelted at them.."Hey, Hey! Stop that!" she calls to the squirrel trying to hit her with nuts! "Your not going alone." Adalyn slips from her horse and moves to go with her.
Acacia is trying very hard not to laugh. Raja is NOT helping with that. Coughing quietly, she shakes her head and winks Romulius' way. Turning back, she shoots Kastelon a grin. "Maybe. Anyone here know anything about sewing or crafting? Though, with the size of that thing, we might get Caspian killed," she offers more practically. "But if he's game..."
Mabelle checks mana and occult at daunting. Mabelle fails.
Kastelon checks charm and animal ken at hard. Kastelon fails.
Caspian cocks his head to the side as he hears singing, "are we really trying to sing them to sleep?" he sighed, trying to peer into the barn to make sure he could get a good idea of what was in there. But.. never let it be said that he didn't enjoy a good song. With a voice pitched 4 octaves too high so sound extra squirrely, he belted out "
Kastelon checks luck at normal. Botch! Kastelon fails completely.
Amari checks luck at normal. Amari is successful.
Mabelle checks luck at normal. Mabelle is successful.
Caspian checks luck at normal. Caspian is successful.
Acacia checks luck at normal. Acacia is successful.
Vashtalyn checks luck at normal. Vashtalyn is successful.
Adalyn checks luck at normal. Adalyn is successful.
Thea checks luck at normal. Thea is successful.
Theo checks luck at normal. Theo marginally fails.
Raja checks luck at normal. Raja is successful.
Mia checks luck at normal. Botch! Mia fails completely.
Renata checks luck at normal. Renata is successful.
Thesarin checks luck at normal. Thesarin is successful.
Romulius checks luck at normal. Romulius is successful.
Whatever Theo was going to do next after attempting to rescue Mabelle he is suddenly tired. So very tired. He doesn't drop to the ground to sleep but whoever is around him can tell the prince of Velenosa is fighting so hard to stay awake. His head starts to droop and he's jerking himself awake. He is suppose to be singing and has no energy to do that either. Its a whole dance. Jerk head. Startle awake. Repeat.
Renata's song is slowly building from a hum to finding words as she tries her best not to laugh through it. Looking around to the others that are seeking to join in, trying to gain more confidene in the words as they flow from her lips. Nuts flying around her, somehow she's not hit by any of them.
"Hush now, little squirrel, close your weary eyes,"
"The moonlight's a blanket, painting peaceful skies."
"Rest your paws, let go of the day,"
"In the calm of the night, let your worries sway."
"Hush-a-bye, my walnut pie, in your cozy shell so high,"
"Pecan dreams and almond sighs, under the starry nutty skies."
"Snuggle tight, don't you pine, let the acorn moonlight shine,"
"In this forest lullaby, where pecans dance and hazels sigh."
"Hush-a-bye, my hazel pie, let the pistachio breeze go by,"
"Sleepy almonds in the sky, whispering a lullaby."
"Chestnut whispers, pecan hums, let the walnut cradle strum,"
"In this nutty symphony, where dreams are gathered, one by one."
"Hush-a-bye, my chestnut pie,"
"let the almond zephyrs sigh,"
"Pecan serenades on high, as the walnut cradle rocks nigh."
"Dream of macadamia seas, in a land of sweet nut teas,"
"In this nutty lullaby, where the squirrel dreams at ease."
Whatever it was that Mia was pondering over with squirrels and their winter caches, she is very, very distracted by the start of a chorus of.... squirrel-singing? Her expression is an entirely reasonable one, at least at first. Her brow furrows. She looks confused. Very confused. First, giant squirrels. And now they're dealing with giant squirrels (and potentially mass property damage) with squirrel songs. What? Wait, what? Except... then her eyes beging to drift closed. Her confused blinking becomes longer, and longer, and longer, until her eyes finally close. She slumps forward like a sack of potatoes, asleep while still astride in her saddle. One of the liveried Riven guards rides a few paces forward, trying to gently nudge her back into coherence. Or at least consciousness, because seriously, who falls asleep in the middle of something like this?! "Marquessa." A gentle shake. "Marquessa??" It was a long ride and she was up early, okay?!
Baroness Amari is able to expertly lead the group of well-doers into organizing somewhat. She starts singing with Renata and Vashtalyn in an attempt to calm the squirrels down. What happens, however, is something very, very strange. Kastelon and Mia find themselves suddenly very, very tired and curl up to go to sleep. Theo, on the other hand, is also finding it very hard to stay awake, and although he doesn't go to sleep he comes very close to it several times, often startling himself awake. The giant squirrel yelling at them does not seem to be very calm, unfortunately.
Meanwhile, Mabelle is slathering honey on some nuts and trying to shove them on the giant squirrel that has emerged in an attempt to get it to eat them. She successfully manages to slather the nuts onto its fur and make them stick, causing the squirrel to start. It looks at Mabelle. It looks at the nuts. It looks at Mabelle then starts chasing itself in circles to get to the nuts on its fur until it realizes that the nuts are actually stuck to it. No one said squirrels were super smart. It sniffs the honey coated nuts and tries to pluck them off. Frustrated, it starts licking at them until finally it just has to take a bite. It doesn't take long for that particular giant squirrel to go down for the count, as it haphazardly falls over into a sound sleep. It just barely misses Adalyn as she attempts to try and get this particular squirrel to stop pelting people with nuts.
Meanwhile, there's more banging and crashing in the barn as there still seems to be more than one giant squirrel still inside the building. There's also a call from within. "Help! Help!" it sounds like an older woman might be trapped within. "Och, damn you with those nuts! I'll make a stew out of you yet if I get my way! OUCH. HELP!"
Kastelon is nothing if not determined. That it worked once, the trying to coax the squirrels out, he continues tirelessly to do it again, to draw them out. The piling of those nuts and...
The motions slow. He settles slightly forward. A yawn that stretches his jaw, and then a roll onto one side, before the Keaton huntsman is all but tumbling onto his side, motionless for the moment. Save for the rise and fall of his chest.
He's not dead yet.
Mia checks willpower at normal. Mia is successful.
Kastelon checks willpower at normal. Kastelon is successful.
Theo checks willpower at easy. Botch! Theo fails badly.
Caspian cocks his head to the side as he hears singing, "are we really trying to sing them to sleep?" he sighed, trying to peer into the barn to make sure he could get a good idea of what was in there. But.. never let it be said that he didn't enjoy a good song. With a voice pitched 4 octaves too high so sound extra squirrely, he belted out and joined in a song!
"Acorns, acorns, falling from the sky,
Watch your head, don't let them pass you by.
Squirrels laughing in the treetop glee,
A nutty world, just you and me.
So get those acorns, dont stay inside.
Go scamper out, find a new place to hide!"
Caspian's singing was cut short as the cries of help came from inside. He didn't wait, grasping the lantern in his teeth and shimmying up through the windows and dropping into the back of the barn, searching for the source of the cries.
Vashtalyn had also opened her mouth to start singing some song, but she sees an acorn come sailing for her head, and she is able to dodge it, but it does distract her from singing. As Acacia asks about sewing or crafting, Vashtalyn glances over. "Um... I do?" she offers. All she heard was tailor or crafter, not the context!
She waits while Renata sings her song, tilting her head slightly, a smile quirking at the corner of her mouth. She nods to the Princess appreciatively. She gathers herself then, and draws a breath, nodding to Amari. She then starts to sing a song she heard. Being a Bard, she has access to a number of them, and probably knows the one Amari is talking about. This one seems most appropriate. Whether it does any good remains to be seen.
"Mountains reign majestic, their diamond summits gleam pale.
The wind sings with the wolves, dear pilgrim listen.
Their bones rest deep in the world, the sky scrapes on their crowns.
Petrichor's strength lays in them, dear pilgrim listen.
She pauses, eyeing the squirrels, to see if they continue to pelt people with nuts, or if her song is having any effect. Then she continues with the next verse:
Dark forests stretch, like blankets they roll.
Their arms uplifted in prayer, dear pilgrim listen.
Their treasures and help they give, to any and all.
Petrichor's friends do speak, dear pilgrim listen."
When she sees that the song doesn't seem to have any effect on the squirrels, and /people/ are falling asleep, she sort of falters and stares at Mia and Mabelle, and then Theo. Her song trails off, and she starts to look alarmed at the cries for help as well.
Mabelle is apparently caught in a staring contest with a very confused squirrel. When she realizes however he is about to drop she skaddales out of there, right back to where the group is. "One DOWN!" She seems proud of herself. Until she sees half the group on the floor taking a nap, "I'm sorry, are we done and no one alarmed me? What did you do?", she looks at Amari, "Can I go have tea now?". She is a little bloody, however, the adrenaline of confusing squirrels makes it escape her.
Theo was doing so good with that whole waking up falling asleep dance. Not so good now. Because suddenly with more singing going on it causes Theo to just crash out on the ground regardless if he's getting hit with nuts, or squirrels or his team is looking at him funny.
Oh gods. Raja's eyes just go WIDE as she watches the shenanigans that play out. There are people that SANG THEMSELVES TO SLEEP, and then there is Mabelle sticking honey coated nuts on a squirrel.. and then the squirrel is spinning in circles! This is entirely too much! Raja just begins to laugh and GUFFAW! She needed this level of laughter it seems. However, as the cries for help come from inside the barn, Raja manages to straighten out. "Time to go crack a few nuts.." She smirks at those near her. Then she moves, following Caspian inside the barn.
A blink, a shift, and Kastelon's opening his eye again. It's almost nonchalant how he presses his palms back to the ground and is pushing himself back upwards so that he can get back to the attempt at squirrel herding. "I think," he can be heard to call out from where he's working, "you're all fortunate that I'm not singing. I've a voice to curdle milk." Of which he would know.
Mabelle hands Raja another one of those honey coated nuts before she steps into the barn, "Here, stick this to his leg or something", she leans against a tree realizing she's actually really bleeding, "I need to rest a moment".
Acacia is simply watching now, quietly bewildered at what is happening. Shaking her head, she turns and goes and nods to Vashtalyn, "Good." Now, it's back to the wagon to dig out a medium sized barrel, a bucket and a bit leather bag. "If we're going to do this, I'm getting this costume ready," she confides to Raja and then stops.
As Kastelon goes down, her face turns into a frown. The supplies are cast aside and she calls out to Raja to help. "Oi! Raja," she barks and tosses her head toward Kastelon napping, and promptly starts to head out to rouse and/or drag him to a safer place. Sleeping on the job. The NERVE! BUUUUUUUUUUUUT, he gets up and so the Red Culler retreats. "When you're done there, come see me," Acacia calls out.
Fortunately for Mia, the guard shaking her actually manages to rouse before she does something like fall right out of her saddle, boots stuck and the stirrups and all. She jerks her head up, staring at him bleary-eyed. Then she blinks and continues staring at her surroundings, though this time it's with a different soft of confusion. The flat of her palms rub furiously against her eyes but... no, no, the giant squirrel chasing itself is definitely still there and she is definitely not dreaming all of this. Unfortunately. "One day I'm going to visit Reveillon and nothing remotely odd will happen. One day," she mutters to herself. Today is apparently not that day.
Adalyn looks to Mabelle and then hears the voice calling for help, she looks to Amari and moves to look for a window or something she can break in to see where the voice is coming from with in the building. She has a serious look on her face now that someone maybe in danger.
As Acacia starts talking about costumes, Vashtalyn glances between the woman, and the sound of screams from the barn, and Mabelle's instructions to stick honey-covered nuts to things. She looks utterly bewildered by all the chaos, but she follows Acacia. "Um... costume? What are you talking about?" she asks. "How is a costume going to help here?" She glances over her shoulder at the chaos, bitting her bottom lip. She's given up on singing for now.
"Might be so, someday. But..." Thesarin drops off the words to his wife at the sound of screaming, and gives a big, deep sigh in and out. He dismounts and starts to hurry toward the barn and the shouting woman, looking for the safest entrance. "Hoy! Inside! Where's the way out?"
"Well, as you can see things are not normal. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if I'm having a weird dream," Acacia begins to Vashtalyn as she hands her the bucket and brown leather bags. "So, I've decide that if this is how it's gonna go. I'm making a nut suit for Caspian. Cuz it can't get any stranger. You in?" But then there is the scream and the redhead frown. "Feck," she grudges and turns to look at the barn. "That's not good."
"Mabelle, yes. Thank you." Amari sounds more than genuinely thankful. With a turn she addresses one of her men, "See if the farmer is home, and ask if they might put on a kettle for us. Some of us are clearly a bit tuckered out from all the exertion." She's polite enough to not name names. Hearing the old woman's voice from within the barn has her utterly done. She sighs internally. With Adalyn on the move she gives her a sign to encourage her to join Thesarin in seeing what is happening in the barn, then plainly just wonders at the scene unfolding. "Good singing everyone. Those were wonderful. Maybe not very effective, but lovely." She compliments cheerfully, as if this isn't all chaos. Nope. Just another fine day in Reveillon.
Adalyn checks perception and survival at normal. Critical Success! Adalyn is spectacularly successful.
Mabelle stares at Amari, albeit she's a tad pained, "I was... joking, we're in the middle of something here", she points at the barn, the second quirrel, the screaming woman. No pressure though.
Vashtalyn stares at Acacia, then lets out a short little laugh. "I'm sorry, what? Now's really not the time for making costumes," she says, seeming dubious about whether or not such a thing could even work. Well, what have they got to lose? "Alright," she says with a huff, and she actually does help Acacia with the silly nut costume!
Caspian checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Caspian is successful.
Renata pauses in her singing to look around to the others. Watching a few look sleepy and is quick to stop singing. Only to stare at the squirrel with nuts honeyed to its fur while it runs around in circles chasing itself. The princess is very quiet as she tries to take a step back from where she's been stuck. Still unsure if she's safer anywhere else.
Adalyn nods to Amari and looks over to Thesarin and motions him over to a entrance that she found, its a human sized door. Once she has gotten his attention she opens it to slip inside, this is going to be fun. Its all going to be fine, its all fine!
Kastelon checks charm and animal ken at hard. Kastelon fails.
Vashtalyn checks mana and sewing at daunting. Vashtalyn is successful.
Raja checks dexterity and brawl at hard. Raja is successful.
Raja checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Raja is successful.
Thea is having a hard time over here, really. She's been watching with not a straight face. As the others go and enter the barn, she watches for a moment. Waiting for more nuts to come shooting out.
"Make me a nut, Vashtalyn. Just make me a nut," Acacia says exaspertedly and starts to stalk off towards the sound. "Caspain. Don't die. We need you to wear the costume."
Mabelle looks bewildered at Acacia and Caspian, "If you want to be eaten to death, I think you can just come up to him. I'm sure he wont his knickers in a nut over what shape you are".
At least the song is quite nice. Romulus is currently observing, staying back and staying on his feet in case he has to keep moving. The giant squirrel has managed to somewhat look...less aggressive? It's chasing itself in cricles, and the princesses's singing has been enrapturing, though Romulus keeps a majority of his focus on the squirrel. He notices a few of them are getting kinda sleepy... "Good job." He tells Renata, his eyes shifting to Amari, nodding softly in regards to her affirmation of the teamwork. "...I would pay good money to see Caspian in a costume like that." Though he does start to approach the squirrel, slowly reaching for his sword /just/ in case. But otherwise, keeping a hand out. Trying to be friendly helps?
In order to do her best work, Vashtalyn has to be in the Zone. She steps far away from the chaos, and settles onto a fallen log with her sewing. She bends to her work, her focus intent as she starts sewing stuff together to make some sort of nut costume. She's shaking her head the whole time at the utter ridiculousness of it, but she at least is trying to do something! She hums softly as she works, and soon she is very intently focusing on that nut costume, to the exclusion of everything else around her. Her gaze turns inward, as she focuses her thoughts and intent on it.
As Raja rushes past Mabelle to assist the poor woman in distress, she reaches out to snatch the handful of sticky honey nuts from Mabelle and then rushes into the barn. Of course, she is greeted by a hail of nuts and furry insolence. The Culler woman is quick on her feet and moves about, chasing down the rascally rodent. "Stay still!" She is heard yelling from inside the barn. "Unf.. ugh.. Yes!" She manages to get the nuts stuck on the squirrel.. Not going to say where.
"You got a better idea? And he volunteered. He's fast and hard-headed. He'll be fiiiiine," Acacia points out as she drops into a light lope to see if she can find a way into the barn and, you know, actually help.
Tea is never a joke to Amari. She doesn't rescind the order, so her footman strolls off to the farmhouse proper to see about putting the water on. The baroness, meanwhile? She closes her eyes, presses her hands together and has a silent moment to herself. Maybe it was the costume. Maybe that put her over. Maybe she's trying not to laugh in a very unladylike manner. Again, Duke Laurent's words spill out of her like a calming mantra: "This is fine."
Acacia checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Acacia is successful.
Thea checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Thea is successful.
Adalyn checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Adalyn is successful.
Lacking a better idea, Kastelon is abandoning that clearly failed effort to coax the squirrels forth, and gets up off all fours, moving towards the barn with all haste, and as little noise as possible.
Kastelon checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Kastelon is successful.
Thesarin moves over toward Adalyn and the door, listening in for sounds of the woman inside. "...we're going in, ain't we?
Thesarin moves over toward Adalyn and the door, listening in for sounds of the woman inside. "...we're going in, ain't we?" The tone of his voice is, more than anything, resigned, and maybe a little bit tired, as he looks back over toward... whatever's going on with the costuming. And then he does, as he says, go in.
Thesarin checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Thesarin marginally fails.
Mabelle lifts her finger, "You know what, tea sounds good", she is being carefully escorted toward the farmer's house for medical care.
Caspian checks strength and athletics at hard. Caspian is successful.
Mia checks mana and occult at daunting. Mia is successful.
While everyone else is working on going into the barn, or finding ways into the barn, Vashtalyn and Acacia start working on a costume. They'd had most of the pieces done already, it seems, and so it doesn't take long to stitch out the rest. Vashtalyn manages to add so many flushes and flourishes, that the costume actually looks like the tastiest nut that anyone has ever managed to see. Why, there might even have the nuttiest smell to it that ever was! Which is rather strange for something made of material to have.
Meanwhile, several people attempt to enter the barn. Caspian goes climbing up to one of the higher parts of the barn to get inside; the roof is likely a lovely spot to drop down from, given that there's a squirrel made hole there already, but there's a halfway point from an open window he can get into that's a touch less dangerous. Adalyn finds a back door and goes inside. She's easily followed by Acacia, Thea, Kastelon, and Thesarin, however Thesarin gets knocked around a bit as a squirrel comes running by him, tail lashing out at the last moment as it chases another giant squirrel and angrily screeches at it for its nuts.
Then, from out of the blue, Raja comes running in with sticky nuts on her hand and TAGS one of the running squirrels with them. She's able to dodge out of the way just in time as this one becomes just as confused by the sticky concoction as the first. Like the first it starts chasing the nuts attached to its body, knocking things this way and that from within the barn. A loud clatter is heard going off into an antechamber of the barn, and you hear the older woman make a moaning sound. Whatever the squirrel knocked that way may have hit her! However, in its confusion it's pretty easy to go ahead and check it out.
That squirrel doesn't quite catch the nuts attached to it yet when from above Caspian drops down and hops onto the back of the 2nd squirrel. That one freaks out just as much as the other and makes a beeline for the door, it's body shaking, and bucking, and twisting, and wrangling to try and dislodge Caspian from it. It bursts into the middle of the people still outside, with Caspian holding on for deer life!!
Theo checks willpower at easy. Theo is successful.
That squirrel that Caspian is riding? Well, it's also making a straight beeline for Vashtalyn and that ever tasty smelling costume, all the while trying to dislodge Caspian. It's got greedy eyes for that tasty morsel!
It seems this prince took a little nap during all the chaos. As soon as Theo wakes up his deep blue eyes widen because is that a giant squirrel running towards him? "Oh heck naw!" He is heard as he tries to scramble and run out of the way. He isn't even sure what is going on anymore because all he knows there's a rodent on his tail.
Caspian checks dexterity and ride at hard. Caspian fails.
It takes time, but Vashtalyn has learned to finish work quickly when needed. She has a lot of different clientele with very demanding tastes, after all! Once she's finished the costume, she stands up with it, and examines her handywork. Then she looks toward the barn as the squirrel bursts out. She has moved pretty far away by now, so she has a little time to react. When she sees the squirrel is heading toward HER, she quickly slips the costume on her own self, and then she turns and starts to run away. She doesn't care where... just away! It even has a cute little acorn hat made from the bucket Acacia provided. The glossy brown material is molded neatly around the wood from the barrel provided as a base, and it is large enough for a person to climb into from the bottom, leaving a hole for the legs. Vashtalyn jams the hat onto her head over her other hat as she run run runs away, glancing over her shoulder occasionally to see if the squirrels are following her.
"This can't be good." Kastelon's voice is droll, but there's that consideration of how Caspian's doing his derring do, and... a turn of his head to consider Vashtalyn and the costume. "Outside!" He shouts, as if it's second nature. "Go for the door and get them outside!"
"Caspian! Stop riding the enemy!" Acacia calls out. It's too chaotic and loud to bother even try to be stealthy once Raja and Caspian pop out. Not to mention Thesarin's being bounced about like a conker on a string. If by some grace of the god, she is able to see the squirrel caspian is riding heading towards Vashtalyn and the costume she will yell, "NOT YET! He's not wearing the costume yet! Vashtalyn, look out!"
Renata checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Renata is successful.
Vashtalyn checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Vashtalyn is successful.
Adalyn looks back to see those who followed her and and gets a glimpse of Thesarin gets knocked around, she frowns but then that moan from the older woman concerns her and she heads in the direction of where she is. She is not worried for herself but for the older woman who maybe hurt..."Try and get them out! "
Kastelon checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Botch! Kastelon fails completely.
Slowly, slowly, Mia lets out a very long exhale. Her eyes begin to drift closed once more. Is she falling asleep AGAIN? No, no she can't be, because a moment later, she slides down off of her horse, her booted feet hitting the earth with a thud. But she does sound more than a little tired -- exhausted, really -- as she murmurs, "Lord Petrichor, we thank you for your gifts here upon House Redire, its lands, and all of Arvum. I pray that you guard this homestead and its orchards, and allow it to remain plentiful and productive for those who tend it by bringing peace to us here, and guiding these creatures to an appropriate den where they, too, will remain safe and well fed...," she continues, wincing as she watches Thesarin get lashed and and Capsian mountin-- her tone shifts. Lord Petrichor, grant her the serenity to accept the chaos before her, the patience to tame what chaos she can... this is fine. Everything is fine. Her eyes turn skyward. Then soilward. Petrichor, please hear this prayer. Please. Maybe? Her voice cracks. "Calm their fears and...," she's trying not to laugh. Or sigh. It's hard to tell.
Caspian launches off the upper floor, landing on the back of the squirrel and burying his hands into the fur! had he really thought about what he was going to do once he was up there? not at all. but if it got the squirrel away from the person inside the barn it would be enough. Caspian was not the BEST at riding at the best of times, despite Aconite's many lessons. So riding a massive squirrel was truly a challenge. Then he spied Vash! The squirrel was careening toward her and he blanched. "oh no you dont!!" He grabbed the squirrel's neck, digging in with his heels and thighs and tried to turn the squirrel aside! he threw his weight one way, and the squirrel jerked the another.. leaving caspian floating, surprised and mountless in the air for a moment before he want crashing into the dirt. he rolled in the dust, sputtering and grunting as he scrambled back up. "Rope! toss me the rope!"
Raja dives out of the way of the nut-craven rodent and scrambles towards where the woman has been located. "Let's get her out!" She says to Adalyn. "Come on." She works to make sure the woman is free of any debris and assist in getting her out of the barn.
Thesarin is bowled over by the massive skittering giant squirrels fighting and flailing over nuts, slipping and landing hard with a clatter of arms and armor around him. Adalyn is moving to check on the woman who'd needed help, Thesarin takes a moment to... stay on the ground. Thinking over some of the decisions that brought him to this point. And then sighs, and begins, if somewhat tenderly, to pull himself up and onto his two feet.
Amari turns in her saddle to regard Mia, even as the squirrel bursts out of the barn with Caspian clinging to it and all kinds of commotion is happening within that she's not entirely privy to. Her brows go up, and then they go down, along with her expression. A silent question of sorts is posed from the young, inexperienced baroness to the more mature marquessa. It might be 'is this what leadership is?', 'does it get better?', or simply, 'help?'. She finally just nods in appreciation for the prayer given and adds a quiet, "Petrichor bless us, in this, our day of need." A glance is spared for the chaos, as she is nominally 'supervising', but she issues no orders just a gentle admonishment to, "Please be careful!"
Renata was making her way away from the chaos of the giant squirrels only she doesn't know which way to go. Stuck with having watched a few almost fall asleep, Theo taking a nap just over there, and now another squirrel with with Caspian riding upon its back is charging for her. Well, not her directly, but she's in the way and is looking to very much not be in the way as quickly as possible. Calling to him as she seeks where to go that is out of the way, "Champion Wild! You be nice to that large fluffy beast!"
Caspian looks to Renata as he grabs a rope and rushes back toward the squirrel. "be nice to it?! its three times my size! It could squash me with narry a thought! it it..." he sighs. "I'll be GENTLE i promise"
After a time, Vashtalyn tosses off the hat, letting it fall to the ground, and then she shimmies the costume up over her head, and tosses it aside as well. She keeps running away, gathering her skirts and hiking them up to her knees. She glances over her shoulder, to see if the squirrel is going for her, or for the discarded nut costume.
Adalyn moves with Raja to the woman, nodding her head. Seeing if anything fell on her, if so Adalyn with carefully remove it and pick her up much like you would a child holding the woman to her chest, "Marquis Riven, are you okay?" she calls over, "Do you need aid in getting out?"
Theo isn't sure what he's suppose to do exactly. Eyes wide as he watches the after math of what must have gone down while he was sleeping. He moves to wherever there may be another helping hand needed.
Caspian checks strength and athletics at hard. Caspian marginally fails.
"Fine. I'm fine." Thesarin rises to his feet, shaking his head with another sigh. "Is she hurt?" he asks, looking toward the bystander Adalyn's picked up.
Back in the barn, not knowing what the result of the escaped squirrel, with second, now walnut-speckled, squirrel chasing itself in dizzying circles, Acacia moves to help the old woman out to safely, if she can. If others are moving towards that task, she'll simply move back to see if Thesarin is rising again. "Get up, man! You get ground to butter. Kick him in the nuts! I mean back! No! Wait! Maybe it will exhaust himself."
Kastelon checks 'permanent wound save' at hard. Kastelon is successful.
Despite the terrible damage, Kastelon does not take a permanent wound.
Kastelon checks 'unconsciousness save' at easy. Kastelon is successful.
Kastelon remains capable of fighting.
Caspian grits his teeth and runs toward the squirrel, rope whirling as he charges. " Come on then you big fluff ball! look at me! we can be friends, just... LET ME RIDE YOU!!" he launches himself toward the squirrel, trying to loop the rope round the creature as he soars through the air toward it. He.. was not anywhere near as majestic as he wanted to be, and instead of clearing the animal and getting behind it, he thumps directly into the side of the squirrel, face burying into the furry beast as arms and legs flail a moment before getting rebounded harshly and tumbling along the ground.
Some attempts at daring-do are just not what they're cracked up to be.
In the midst of all the tumult in the barn, with Caspian trying to prove that he's a tough nut, Kastelon's clearly one of those people who is of a nature to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In this case, shell we say, he's unfortunately in the way while the rampaging squirrel is on its hair-raising adventure, which ends up with him getting the tail end of things, and tossed off to one side unceremoniously, all but into the wall....nut.
Those within the barn are able to find the older woman and get her to relative safety. The squirrel in there wants the nuts but doesn't seem to take advantage of the nuts, so just keeps chasing itself round and round and round and round, so leaves them be. It's just too confused about sticky nuts in fur. As for the woman, she has some minor scratches and bruises and a deep gash in her left leg. Anyone with healing skills will be able to heal that up just fine.
Caspian's squirrel goes chasing after Vashtalyn when she runs, barreling through the group of people there to get to her since she had donned that oh so tasty nut costume. It's just too delicious not to chase! Kastelon, however, gets barreled right over as the squirrel goes chasing after her, having come back out of the barn. He's a bit worse for wear having been run over by giant sized squirrel, but seems to be alive.
When Vashtalyn ditches the costume, the squirrel chases after the costume itself, taking it up within its hands, smelling the tasty delight. It goes to try to eat the giant, tasty smelling nut, wrapping its tail around it in a loving, hungry, fashion, but when it bites into the cloth material, it lets out a screech of outrage and turns its dark, beady eyes on Vashtalyn, looking quite, quite angry. It starts to stalk her then.
And, it's just in that moment that Mia finishes a prayer she'd been sending to Petrichor when that giant squirrel suddenly isn't so giant any more; it's suddenly an angry, chittering squirrel of normal squirrel size. The squirrel chasing its tail inside the barn is also normal sized once more. However, the squirrel that was put to sleep earlier by Mabelle by the Frosthoped nuts still remains in giant sized form, quietly sleeping things off as it hasn't been causing any manner of ruckus during the rest of this time. Now, what are they going to do with this giant sleeping squirrel?
Vashtalyn is panting hard, after all that running. She looked like she was about to approach the distracted squirrel, but when it starts stalking her, she backs away. Then she blinks as it goes back to being a normal size, and still panting, she stares at the squirrel as it chitters angrily at her. She crouches down in the snow, and says something to it in a language not Arvani.
Vashtalyn says in Ravashari, "I'm sorry, little one. I was only trying to help."
Vashtalyn checks charm and animal ken at normal. Vashtalyn is successful.
Adalyn looks over, "She has a wound on her leg, but she is not badly hurt." she moves for the door back out to bring the woman with her. She comes back out the door holding the older woman, seeing that they now have two very small squirrels and one very large one. She puts the woman down near Amari and then looks to the big sleeping nut collector. "What do we do with you." she moves up closer to gently touch the creatures soft fur.
Well, then. Everything's been satisfactorily resolved, as far as the baroness seems concerned. With a little clap of Amari's hands, she stands up in her stirrups, and calls out with sharp, but not impolite authority, "That's more than enough of that then. If all's well in the barn, let's see to everyone's cuts and bruises. You're all welcome to dinner, as we were hosting the Rivens, so there will be plenty of food and drink. I hope you'll accept that as fair recompense for your 'help' here. As for the squirrels, I'd very much appreciate you leave them be now. House Redire will see to their care and comfort from here on." When Adalyn appears with the old lady, she gives her a look and a small smile when she sees neither are too badly hurt. "Tea is probably about ready as well. Anyone need the attention of a physician?"
Elderly woman safe and away and taken care of. The squirrel in the barn returned to normal size, Acacia strolls out looking rather baffled by all this, her grin quickly fades as she notices Kastelon downed and she breaks into a run and skitters down at his side. Worry paints the redheads face. "Lord Kastelon?!! What the feck happened?" she cries looking up sharply to find someone who seems to know their way around medicine.
"Aye! Over here!" Acacia beckons to Amari.
A groan, but before Kastelon is answering Acacia, there's that patting around to look for his fabulous hat before setting it - as dignified as he can - atop his head. "I think I got the short end of the stick, as it were," he grunts as he's moving to a sitting position. And then another sound. "I think it's safer on your ship. Or on mine, honestly." And in the wake of Acacia's shout for Amari, he too is waving to his cousin. "Don't tell Kael," he says dryly. Because he -knows- that's going to happen too.
As two of the large creatures that have been terrorizing Reveillon return to their normal squirrel size, Mia lets an extremely large breath, one she'd apparently been half-holding this entire time. "Thank you, Lord Petrichor, for your grace," she murmurs, the words followed by a slow, slow shake of her head. And then as if she understood Amari's silent question, she simply says, "Yes." Yes, this is leadership. Or maybe yes, she needs tea. "Thought it normally doesn't involve rodents of unusual size." Either way, she tucks one booted foot into her stirrup and heaves herself back up into her saddle. Unless there is another crisis, or unless she's the one left to tend the wounded, she's quite content to go back to the keep. Where hopefully the cellar mice aren't abnormally sized, either.
Renata stands with her back to the barn watching the squirrels shrink back to their regular size, all except the one sleeping where she turns to then see the woman with Adalyn and in a moment closes her eyes with a shallow breath. Holding her stomach as she opens her eyes trying to not look at the elderly woman, the ground looks a good spot to stare at. Just standing middle of the madness staring at the ground.
Caspian spits out some fur and looks around, seeing the mighty beast being brought down, and the other being.. not so mighty anymore. He rubs at his head and then hops up, trying to take stock of the situation. "Is everyone alright?" his eyes dart round, checking on Vashtalyn and renata and the others he had seen get attacked. "Wait where is.." Acacia's cry from inside the barn. he rushes in, spying Kastelon and his eys going wide. "Lord Kastelon! are you alright? shall i get a stretcher!?"
Theo moves over to where Renata is when it seems everyone else is alright for the time being. He asks her, "Can I get you some tea? You look like you need it." Not hovering in her space but close by if she wants to take up on the offer.
"I'm fine." No, he's not, but Kastelon is insisting on it anyway. "I'm breathing, yes?" Yes.
Thesarin makes his way out of the barn, one hand on his head as he takes in the sight of the one sleeping giant squirrel, looking between the assembled and eventually resting his focus on Mia and Amari. "So... it's sorted, is it?"
"No you're not," Acacia advises with a stern look. "Some one check this man out. If he dies, I'll make you wear the nut suit and wake that giant fluffy arsed rat up." Is she serious. Hard to tell. She is worried about Kastelon, though.
Adalyn looks to Amari, "The elderly woman should be fine, I think Lord Kastelon needs help Baroness." she pats the sleeping animal and gives Kastelon a look, "You need to get looked over Lord Kastelon." she breaths deeply looking between all those here, her eyes look back to Amari, "It has been a while since I have visited." she smiles, looking to Thesarin, "Marquis Riven, you should get a check over as well."
"Petrichor was listening," Mia replies to her husband's question. Her dark eyes peer down at him from where she sits astride her horse. "Is anyone bleeding?," she asks, by which she primarily means is HE bleeding, though the bandages and the needle she carries will work perfectly well on anyone else that might be wounded, too. "I thought I saw someone get trampled, but I couldn't tell who."
Caspian looks to Acacia as Kastelon is seen to, "you actually made the nut suit? i thought you were joking! gods.. now im almost sad i didn't get to wear it." he grins then, "it was a better plan than what i had that for certain!"
"I didn't. She did," Acacia replies to Caspian, though her attention is overseeing that Kastelon gets the best of help or....
Adalyn moves back to her horse and climbs back up onto it, her eyes fall on Amari. All is dealt with and she has questions for her friend. "I will join you Baroness."
"Oh, cousin. This always seems to happen. Let's get you all looked over, at the castle, by the nice warm hearth." Amari suggests, and she means Kastelon especially, as she gives him the concerned cousin look very pointedly. To her other guard, she issues a quick order, asking he ride back and bring the rest of the horses and men up, so that they might collect anyone unable to walk and well, there is that big sleeping squirrel yet to transported elsewhere. To the old woman, she says, "Goodwoman, I apologize for the trouble. You'll be reimbursed for your damages in full, and your barn will be swiftly repaired. Please call on me at the castle when you're recovered, and in the meantime I'll detail some watchmen here, on the chance there's more squirrels." To the rest, she smiles, "Follow me, won't you? It's getting late, and the Shadowood is full of dangers."
Vashtalyn looks to Caspian and squints. "You didn't see the giant nut costume running in front of you while on the back of the squirrel?" she asks with a soft laugh. "Well, I guess not, if you were too busy getting thrown. I hope you're okay?" she asks, stepping over to him, and away from the angry now-little squirrel. She glances around, and sees that Kastelon was injured, and grimaces a little. She eyes the big sleeping squirrel then, but keeps her distance. "Well, I think that everything seems to be well in hand." She moves over to the discarded costume, and picks it up, looking to Acacia and Caspian. "You know... we could keep this," she says with a grin. "We could tell the tale, in a play, maybe!" Her eyes light up in amusement.
A sigh from Kastelon when Amari's giving him that look, before there's a look to Acacia as well. "The real issue," he says, his expression that perfect mask that hides any hint of his seriousness, "is that next time, it's the question of if we need fight one horse-sized squirrel or a hundred squirrel-sized horses. Yes?" No. There's that grunt, though, and he's moving to get himself to his feet at least, since being on the ground lacks dignity.
"I'm fine," Thesarin rumbles out. He's not, but it's nothing terrible, at least. Maybe a bit of bleeding where he'd hit his head on the ground. "But I'd do well of a fire, and perhaps a drink. Or several."
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