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The Reckoning: Arx Day 2 - Sovereign Bridge

Absolutely furious by his failures in the initial attacks of Arx, Azazel tries something dangerous. Dangerous by the standards of a near omniscient dark god, that is.


Jan. 28, 2024, 8:15 p.m.

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GM'd By



Sabella Raja Sen'azala Alistair Narcissa Jael Geralt Victus Calandra Seia Avary Anisha Romulius Keely Godric Liara Celeste Jan Ilmia Fortunato Lisebet Vayne Quintin Gabriel Caspian Isolde Ember Maharet Denica Aconite Apollo Titania Aleksei Desma Volcica Kael Lianne Samira Skaldia Valdemar Onyx Roran Sapphire Gibson



Arx - Ward of the Crown - Sovereign Bridge

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Geralt wields Shardscourge, an alaricite two-handed axual.

Desma wields Raptor's Revenge, the exquisite wings of Magnotta diamondplate bow.

Samira wields ever-bloody small rubicund blade.

Evan, a veritable mountain of an Arakkoan have been dismissed.

Maharet gets Harthall leather gloves, Harthall leather boots, Harthall leather cloak, Harthall leather hood, Harthall leather bracers and Harthall armoured pants from a heavy cloth bag with drawstring top - Harthall armor.

Opia, a fat unblinking feline arrives, delivering a message to Ember before departing.

Opia, a fat unblinking feline arrives, delivering a message to Ember before departing.

Maharet wields diamondplate stitching awl with goldenwood handle.

Romulius wields Threnody, an alaricite longsword.

Maharet puts Harthall leather boots in a heavy cloth bag with drawstring top - Harthall armor.

Guy, a hunting kestrel arrives, delivering a message to Roran before departing.

After the defeat earlier in the day and previous day, Azazel's forces withdrew to the beaches and coastline outside Arx. From a distance, it looks like a giant-sized mirror is being propped up on the beaches by a number of exceptionally tall giants, with several hundred shards around it performing blood sacrifices. A minute later, on the tense but otherwise untouched Sovrereign Bridge, a noble named Lord Derek Shavsbane trips while holding a mirror, and begins bleeding from his eyes. As a Mercy of Lagoma rushes over to help the man, he screams out, "But I was promised! I was PROMISED by Azazel!" And then drops the mirror onto the ground while falling over himself. The man body suddenly collapses downward with a crunching of bones, as if a great force was grinding him from above, and his blood washes over the mirror but just keeps expanding on the ground. A large span of the bridge is covered in reflective blood, and then on the bridge, thousands of shards start to move forward through the mirror, and crawl out on Sovereign Bridge.

There's a war scream of massive horned and winged demons with claymores flying out, huge hulking demons that immediately begin to slaughter the Iron Guard stationed on the bridge. Demons are pouring through.

Wild, spontaneous applause and cheering erupt from the daytime traffic on Sovereign Bridge as they recognize one of Arvani society's luminaries.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Isolde before departing.

The bridge is a scene of chaos, with the forces of Arx stumbling to react to the sudden surge of forces in their midst. In the previous battles, there was some warning, some time to prepare. Not so much this time. It's a scramble to get the forces there before the civilians are slaughtered, and to attempt to hold Azazel's ground troops on the bridge, before they can pour into the Ward of the Crown or the Compact and spread throughout the city. Forces are rushing in, but it's a mad house melee with sides difficult to establish.

((No morale pre-battle round this time, and difficulty of this fight. Will start in the fight, so fails/botches here will result in damage. Difficulty is at hard after modifiers. Note magic in rolls))

Sabella checks charm and propaganda at hard. Sabella is successful.

Liara checks command and leadership at hard. Liara is successful.

Avary checks composure and intimidation at hard. Avary marginally fails.

Narcissa checks intellect and riddles at hard. Narcissa is successful.

Victus checks strength and huge wpn at hard. Victus is successful.

Godric checks intellect and medicine at hard. Godric is successful.

Anisha checks charm and manipulation at hard. Anisha is successful.

Ember checks dexterity and huge wpn at hard. Ember fails.

Quintin checks intellect and war at hard. Quintin is successful.

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

Jael checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Jael marginally fails.

Aconite checks charm and seduction at hard. Critical Success! Aconite is spectacularly successful.

Vayne checks perception and occult at hard. Vayne is successful.

Denica checks charm and empathy at hard. Denica fails.

Jan checks command and war at hard. Jan is successful.

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

Skaldia checks dexterity and ride at hard. Skaldia fails.

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

Calandra checks charm and performance at hard. Calandra marginally fails.

Geralt checks willpower and huge wpn at hard. Geralt is successful.

Celeste checks command and war at hard. Celeste is successful.

Fortunato checks wits and artwork at hard. Fortunato is successful.

Isolde checks charm and occult at easy. Isolde is successful.

Raja checks command and intimidation at hard. Raja is successful.

Volcica checks mana and occult at hard. Volcica is successful.

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

Seia checks composure and performance at hard. Seia is successful.

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

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

Desma checks dexterity and archery at hard. Desma is successful.

Alistair checks strength and medium wpn at hard. Alistair marginally fails.

Apollo checks dexterity and tanning at normal. Apollo is successful.

Keely checks charm and empathy at hard. Keely is successful.

Titania checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Botch! Titania fails completely.

Lianne checks intellect and occult at easy. Lianne is successful.

Gabriel checks command and war at hard. Gabriel is successful.

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

Maharet checks composure and diplomacy at hard. Maharet marginally fails.

Roran checks command and theology at hard. Critical Success! Roran is spectacularly successful.

Samira checks perception and occult at hard. Samira is successful.

Valdemar checks command and war at hard. Valdemar fails.

Raja checks dexterity and small wpn at hard. Raja is successful.

[MAGIC 1] Sabella arrives in formation with Keely and Liara on their Griffins, having raced to the bridge to defeat this latest scheme of Azazel's. "Find a way to destroy the reflective surface! Keep them from coming through!" She does her part with Mary-Ellen (the griffin), swooping in so the princess can release a blast of blunt force from her hands that knocks several demons tumbling off the bridge. Her expression hardens as it happens, not allowing herself to feel guilty for the violence.

As the forces assemble upon the bridge, Raja is amongst their forces, side by side with The Peregrin. Raja's leathers have been /mostly/ cleaned, but there are still bits of seaweed and vicera from the day's earlier battle within the deeper recesses of her armor. As far as Raja, she has cleaned up quite a bit too. A nice hot bath can do WONDERS for an achy, blood-covered soul. From her belt, she pulls a flask free, opening it and wincing at the smell of it's contents. "Care for some?" She offers to the tall Elven woman with enormous skeletal wings. "Moonshine. I think it is strong enough to melt iron." She takes a deep pull from the flask before giving an offering to The Peregrin. After the offering is given to the elven woman, she calls out to Romulius, "Your Highness! You care for a lift of spirits before we proceed with the round two of the ass kicking?" Oh yes, she offers him the flask of paint melting booze as well. With that done.. Raja's blade is in hand again. "Let's do this." With a feral yell, she charges in, side by side with The Peregrin, a wile blood-thirsty look in her eye!

[Magic 1] Speed. Speed is Sen's ally in the moment. Speed, and the ability to hear things at a distance no ordinary human could hope to. She comes at a full run, already in her Wolf shape, only avoiding collisions by sheer ability. There's little time to stop and *digest* what she's seeing on the bridge, but there's a moment there where she slows. Where her ears fold back. And then her breath frosts from between her teeth, and she lunges at the nearest shards. Black and white flame follow in her wake like wisps of movement themselves, briefly lighting against every other enemy around her, the air dropping to below freezing in the immediate aftermath.

It is appropriate that Alistair finds himself once more upon Sovereign Bridge as the many crossroads of the world come to focus upon it. Last time he was here, and not simply passing over, there was demons, and fires, and the worst Master of Questions in the history of the Inquisition. Considering who Shreve served, this entire event is another continuation of that years old battle. When word filters to the House of Questions that demons now crawl upon the Sovereign Bridge, Alistair gathers every nearby Confessor and Inquisitor and heads towards the apex of Arx. Blades drawn. Crossbows loaded. Whatever magic they have coming to bear. At his feet bounds an odd creature that some would confuse for a dog. Upon his shoulder is a lizard of fire. He leads by example, charging in with an alacrite blade raised high, badger teeth chomping low, and a lizard cooking what remains.

[MAGIC 1] Five imps fly in a circle around Narcissa. Each of the winged demons wears a white tabard with a black rose on it, and each has a miniature spear in its scaly hands. It is with this escort that she arrives along with Vayne, Celeste, and Seia. The four take up position on the bridge right as it starts on the end near the Crown Ward. She sees the demons and and immediately begins murmuring under her breath. In heartbeats, some of the demons begin to turn to works of frozen art, their forms caught mid-motion as the creatures are encased in ice.

Jael was here talking with some members of the Iron Guard who she knows in Arx, after having very recently arrived with Laurent's forces. She's in armor, because she's in a city at war, but she was definitely not expecting to have to fight, today. She's caught off guard as the woman she was talking to is tackled by something horrible and eaten, and winds up backpedaling, eyes wide, while she clumsily draws her sword.

[Magic ROUND 1: Frozen Rage] The moment that Geralt heard that demons had appeared in Arx, on the Sovereign Bridge, he was so fast in putting on his armor, grabbing Shardscourge and rushing, a gleeful kind of look on his face by the time he arrives. He doesn't bother waiting for any kind of organized defense or attack, and he drives straight into the fray, the Baron De Lire exploding with a aura of ice that not only cover his body, but his weapon as well. With one massive leap, he careens across the bridge, howling with utter delight. "YOU ALL ARE FUCKED NOW!" The first demon doesn't even have an opportunity to reaction, as it's cleaved down the middle by the axe half of his axual. "MORE. GIVE ME MORE."

[MAGIC 1] The last time Thrax royalty held a sword on the Sovereign Bridge, it was the tyrant King Darius who battled day and night with the Sword of the Faith. Barathrum, the greatsword forged by Dame Ida, is neither Crusader nor Vowbreaker. But it's raised high above Prince Victus' head anyway. Not for ambition, but in the struggle against pure evil. Looking over his shoulder, Victus' near black eyes find Sapphire once more, with a faint hint of a smirk. An unspoken message - once more into the breach, eh? With a war cry, Victus is charging into the chaotic melee. The edge of his blade shimmers, the metal seeming to flow like great waves crashing over alaricite. He leaps, spins, and brings it down into the fray, whirling a bloody mess of the shards around him. Tears in our wake.

Calandra, the nightengale Whisper, shows up on the bridge when she realizes this attack is happening. She is adorned in mixed matched armor and some with emblems that don't match her style, suggesting it was quickly borrowed. Battles are scary and the lovely Whisper is not used to be on the front line and is not battle trained, but she is here! She tries to help, but her first reaction is one of fear and panic, her breathing elevated and her cheeks pale. She fails to sing or do anything just yet.

[MAGIC - 1] Seia breaks from her group and moves to a safe position where she can angle herself to see only demons and none of the defenders. Beating a dream that hangs from her neck, the Cardian picks out a war beat. She draws in a deep breath, and when it gets let out, sound of a most primal nature comes out, fierce and deadly. Struck demons are turned to ash as the destructive, sonic wave vibrates through them and brings more power than a simple sound should.

Like a living statue made to countenance the wind, Avary stands still and easy against the view of the coming onslaught crawling out of the mirror and flying in the sky. Sure, it's terrifying. But her ivory face doesn't tick or frown. It's like she's facing an inevitability, and it makes little sense to flinch from it. She is just very still. Her blade in her hand hangs gently at her side as if it were an after thought. Maybe the horde will just take one look at this Godsworn and run. (Probably won't.) But it's nice to know she's here, and that helps others also face down the enemy - right? But then, all too suddenly they are smashing into the defenders and she does shake a bit, and steps back several paces and the clashes begin quickly. Clearly, she was not as prepared as she thought herself to be!

[Magic 1 - The Truth Hurts] Really, Anisha /was/ preparing for a nice evening of relaxation, headed from her home to Whisper House. Now, however, she's glad to still be prepared, and while she may've given an arm to one Lady Desma Magnotta, she's now letting go of the Lycene noble. "We beat them back once," She offers up. "We can do so again." She exhales, and draws her rapier - using the glinting alaricite to weave complex patterns in the air, tracing sigils and roses in darkening smoke that unerrantly seeks out targets - shards, primarily - to burn into and consume their primum, draining and hollowing the creatures.

Valdemar checks 'permanent wound save' at hard. Botch! Valdemar fails completely.

Valdemar has suffered a permanent wound!

"Come on lads!" Romulius brandished Threnody, the alaricite blade, and he slashed through the enemy soldier in his way. He turns to Raja with a laugh. "Don't mind if I do!" he accepts the flask, taking a deep swig. "Let's fucking get them." he hands it back after a brief coughing fit. "FUCK THEM UP! IN OUR WAKE!!" Romulius charges into the fight, blade raised and hungry for blood!

Ember checks 'permanent wound save' at hard. Ember is successful.

Despite the terrible damage, Ember does not take a permanent wound.

SKREE! A large griffin with gold and white fur and feathers comes into view, bearing Kael and Keely Keaton on its back. Once they near the bridge, the majestic creature spirals to the ground to allow the Marquis to dismount, then launches itself back into the air with a huge gust of air, knocking a clump of shards back several feet. As they rise, a blast of prismatic light bursts from the Marquessa, wounding any demons that happen to be near, compensation-sized weapon or not.

As chaos erupts around him, Godric watches in horror as the Mercy of Lagoma rushes over to help a fallen man, only to witness his sudden demise. Godric's gaze flickers to the reflective surface, now slick with blood. Godric's voice cuts through the chaos like a whip cracking through the air. "Well, well, well," he calls out to the medics and Mercies nearby, his tone dripping with sarcasm. "Seems our dear Azazel couldn't resist poking his horned head into our affairs once again. Can't say I'm surprised. The bastards got a real knack for ruining a perfectly good day." Godric's eyes narrow as he surveys the carnage unfolding around them. A disdainful glance at the demonic horde swarming onto Sovereign Bridge. "Right, listen up, you lot," he barks, his voice cutting through the chaos. "We've got ourselves a bit of a mess here, courtesy of our not-so-friendly eater." Muttering to himself, "Should have used more poison when we had the chance." Godric's gaze sweeps over the scene before him, a scowl etched deep into his weathered features. "Grab your bandages and whatever else you've got lying around. It's gonna be a bloody night."

[MAGIC - 1st use] Liara was down in the Lower Boroughs giving orders to such of the fleet as was intact, and directing parts of the host of the Crownlands to new positions, when everything started off on Sovereign Bridge. Not too far, as the griffin flies. Further, for her soldiers. Before climbing back onto said griffin, she gives an order, "Everyone to the bridge." There is power in her words, confidence, hope, and the soldiers are quick to get into motion. Then, the griffin soars upwards, carrying Liara up after Sabella and Keely.

[Magic 1] With her cabal taking up their positions, Celeste draws her sword and rushes into join the offensive. She's quick, she's deadly, she dances among the demons with an alaricite blade in hand and sends many of them back to the Abyss, or to the neverland where demons wake no more. The blonde general, without an army, begins wading deeper into the enemy, leaving bodies in her wake.

Jan has her sword out but is busy trying to direct a handful of armsmen to stand their ground and face their sudden and unexpected foe, her attention divided between trying to make sure there's bodies between the foe and the bridge and actually doing something about those foes.

[Magic - Failed] Ilmia's entrance to the battle is on the back of a big ass unicorn that looks pretty upset. Upset about the demons trying to kill everyone, not Ilmia being on its back. It DOES make sure that she is deposited safely on the ground where she can do her magic and it can...go impale people on its horn because that is what one does when they have a horn!

[Magic 1] Fortunato has been restless. It's been battle, battle, battle. But the reason he's at the bridge may be as simple as 'his brother lives across it', as simple as 'his House is across it'. And here we are. He curses. He doesn't have his staff with him, what good does it do anyway? He has his golden brush. He raises his hands, he spins light - and he spins light into illusion, creating civilians where there are none, fogging retreat and panic. May people who have no business fighting be able to /run/.

[MAGIC 1]: Lisebet has no griffon, but was out and about when all hell started breaking loose. Much to the dismay of her retainers, she took off running towards the ruckus instead of away. She's just about athletic enough that she's not out of breath as she arrives. Eyes widening as she spies the trouble incoming, she takes a deep breath, concentrating, and she feels the magic that is right there at the tip of her fingers. It's still there, which is awe inspiring to her and she then nods her head once. Here we go. She looks out at the nearest attacking monster thing. "Hey you," she calls out, "Wouldn't you rather just not?" There's the frisson of the magic, she feels it, and then a wave of it slides out towards the nearest attacking things, hopefully slowing down their attacks.

[MAGIC 1] Arriving with his new cabal, Vayne looks around at the chaos breaking out on the bridge. He steps just outside the radius of Narcissa's imp brigade and begins picking his targets. Speaking slowly but steadily, Vayne points to one particularly big and ugly demon. Black flames start to lick at its feet and climb its body, growing into an inferno that burns away the creature.

Quintin had heard there was an attack on the bridge. Running to the sight as he gathers other archers once they find their spots he's quick to tell those around him to start firing as the horde comes. A look in his eyes as he remains focused on what the task calls for. "Get the fucking bastard!"

Sir Gabriel Bisland is accompanying a small patrol of the Iron Guard within the Ward of the Crown to the south when the attack suddenly begins to unfold upon the Sovereign Bridge. Decades of battlefields works in the favor of the King's Own knight when he begins to issue instructions to the Iron Guard, deftly falling into some semblance of a command role. In this case it's simple experience taking over and making use of the King's Own legendary status to coax Compact's defenders into action. "We move forward and hold the bridge!" He calls out to the Iron Guard patrol that he accompanies, but his voice carries to those around as well. Clear, loud, and cutting through the sudden roars and din of battle. He gestures to a pair of the Iron Guard and tasks them with something as important as fighting, "You two get back to the palace, quickly. Request reinforcements from the garrison there at my request! This chokepoint is *vital*!"

A pair of quick nods are exchanged and then Gabriel's turning back to the bridge, those already rushing to defend it, and clutching his blade forged of diamondplate he begins to join the charge to the north.

[magic] Caspian was thankfully nearby when the shouting Burst up around the bridge. He began to rush towards it, his mind reaching out the Fire b is rd who was resting after the last battle. The Phoenix was faster than him. It screamed toward the bridge, carving a bloody path through the demons with talon and flames even as Caspian made it the bridge. Taking stock he charged towards the mirror portal, heatless flame forming around his weapons. "Drive them back into the portal! Shatter the mirror!"

[MAGIC 1] Much like the battle in Velenosa, Isolde begins by manifesting her demon-friend, a hordeling, from mist to start attacking her foes. The creature seems to know very well how to combat the entities -like him-. She shouts directions at the creature in a strange tongue as it slashes demons in convenient spots, felling them.

It should surprise no one that the Crimson Countess, Ember Redreef, is in the center of the front lines. She fights with a borderline suicidal aggression, hacking and slashing with her onyx-decorated alaricite scythe, her body covered entirely in shadowmeld. It's as the monsters of the horde hack and slash BACK at Ember that shadowmeld is rent and torn, and crimson skin is exposed beneath. Along with the tail. And the horns. There's no hiding it now: Ember Redreef is no longer strictly human. She shows no shame, no embarrassment -- she's too focused on fighting back.

Standing at the back of the crowd, Maharet sees only the shards of mirror and tries to make a run for them, anything to get them over the side of the bridge, but the sight of the hordes face to face overwhelm her actions and she stops dead in her tracks, trying to backpedal as quickly as she can. If the shards are destroyed when the demons pour through she thinks no more of them, but if they remain she will turn to find someone to scream to in the middle of the chaos.

Alit with a mosaic of colour, Denica is sparkles with every hue of the rainbow. She shares a couple specks of colour with the two men she walks with Dressed in a dark great coat adorned with a riotous tangle of tentacles. There's determination in her blue eyes, what's more there is Hope. The Mourning Isles princess shines her Joy. Denica turns to murmur some last minute fond words to Valdemar. There's also a masked man with Denica. He has the same black hair, and blue eyes that the princess has, but where hers are warm and gentle, his are cold and cruel. Dressed in head to toe plate mail, the man is missing a hand. There are so many of Denica's friends here and it inspires her. But then she becomes a storm of emotions, choking up freezing as a result. Denica goes to speak rather than do what she came here to do and fight. And that means there's a rush of demons coming towards them and that's when the masked man steps in to assist the small woman.

[Aconite][Magic x1 - Suggestion] Aco can see the bridge but she's a bit farther back. Holding the rear close enough to the Whisper House should she need to go there. With her again the great Serpent spirit and a small white rabbit. Aco pulls strings from her distance to turn a shard that was getting in too close to Titania.

[MAGIC 1 - Flay there] Apollo comes at a crisp clip, his blade already out. He -was- walking through the city with Lianne and Samira and the smooth-faced lad that's been following him around a lot lately, explaining what he saw earlier in the Lowers, but... now? He's not saying -anything-. He sees shards? He starts in with his particularly gross brand of attack magic before they've even made the bridge, knowing there's little time to waste. They're /inside the walls/. A shout, a slash-slash-slash, and shards shed their skin. He whirls, establishing where people are, once he's done that. Having people he cares about so much to keep track of here is a whole new deal.

Apollo says in Abyssal, "A fool and their skin are soon parted!"

Titania was making her way to meet up with Desma after the fight for the lowers, spotting she and Anisha she trots over to them. "Hey, I.." but then she stops and looks over as the man falls over on himself and then the bridge starts to get swarmed, "Mangata." she says softly pulling her sword ready to attack the shard that was getting close, but then Aconite helps and her blue eyes fall on her nodding a thanks. "Desma." she says be safe." she tells her cousin.

[MAGIC 1] From one home to -- well, /near/ to another; just across the Bridge is the Crown Ward, where Aleksei ended up after all the rest. And now he's here, the golden tattoo across his back somehow blazing through his dark leathers: the three wolves, chains crushing in their jaws. He steps into the fray, sword glinting in the light, ready to dance.

[Magic 1 Attack- Hail of Doom] Desma gasps at the sudden explosion of shards swarming the bridge and she instinctively draws her bow, nocking an arrow as she steps between Anisha and Titania and the huge swarm of demon things approaching. She draws her bow, a solitary arrow and she realises how futile one would be. She picks a target and lets the arrow loose. Suddenly, to everyone's surprise and expecially Desma's that one arrow suddenly multiplies into a dozen, a score, two score, more! A massive swarm of arrows crashes into the front ranks of the oncoming horde.

"What the FUCK did I just do!!"

[Magic - 1st] A dark shape flies up from below the bridge, looking a whole lot like a giant mouse with big leathery wings. Clinging to it's back is one (1) Volcica, and she's pointing up at the hordes in the sky. "Ice, we fight again! Coat the bridge under their feet!" Meanwhile? Volcica and Bat swoop and dive into the flying demons.

[Magic: 1] Though he has solid ground beneath him, Kael is absolutely looking green at the gills. In fact, for anyone has taken that rare sea voyage with him, he looks just like he does when he's seasick. Thankfully he manages to refrain from becoming sick and is instead focusing on clutching his blade, drawing Dawn's Promise, and leaping into the fray. The strikes that he makes, they form patterns, symbols, and the more that form the more that his blade glows with a reddish hue. The cleaner that he slices through his demonic foes.

405[MAGIC 1 - Offensive] How quickly a walk turns into a fight when the city is under siege. Like when one sees a mirror of such concerning size off in the distance. Undeniably cause for profound concern. Gods, yes, /fine/ she can run very nearly keep up with her husband and their companions. She hardly has time to orient herself, to get a true feel for what's happening before she sees fit to plant her feet and turn her attention skyward, to the airborn demons, both hands thrust up in front of her to unleash a torrent of terrible black fire upon the abyssal beasts, burning through both flesh and hope as she looks on with grief. They could have been fighting on the right side, but no. Instead, they end here.

[MAGIC] With the enemy looming, Samira has taken to wearing her secondhand leathers wherever she goes. When her walk with Lianne and Apollo is interrupted by the chaos on the bridge, she swiftly switches to battle mode, a scowl of concentration on her face. She lifts a hand and, with a flick of her wrist, begins to plant the seeds of discord and betrayal. Enemy forces who were originally aiming for Arx defenders now begin to turn their attacks upon each other, creating momentary confusion amongst a group of Azazel's troops.

Skaldia hears of the attack on Sovereign Bridge, and she runs to meet the threat, taking her bow with her. She's been ready, in case there is a need for her again. She tries to fly like she did the day before, but before she can lift off the ground, she is targeted by the shards. One of them grapples her, and drags her do the ground beneath the horde of shardlings crawling over the bridge. She cries out in shock, clutching her bow and trying to beat them off physically as she lies on her back, stunned and helpless.

Alistair might be a bit distracted. Ember and her bright red self gets a bit of a scowl. And then his dear wife is summoning Hordelings! Magic all around. Terrible magic. Terrible calls from the abyss to fight the abyss. Alistair has THOUGHTS. He has CONCERNS. He also tries to parry a claymore and guard against a claymore, causing his stand to crater part of the stone at the end of the bridge before Thomas can sweep the demon's feet and they press forward. Alistair is going to have a lot of Questions after all of this is done. [Magic Hater]

Valdemar walks alongside Denica, sharing brief words with her before reaching the fight, and at the head of a column of Grimhall troops. Or at least they're /supposed/ to be a column. In spite of his shouted commands urging the importance of the discipline they've learned over the years, the Grim Legionnaires are caught up in the chaos of the scene, leading to their Duke leaving himself open where he thought someone had his flank covered. Of course a nearby demon can't overlook that sort of temptation, and his claws rend the Islander's flesh deeply, leaving a bloody wound down his side.

A floating wraithlike figure wearing a mirrormask takes shape next to Lianne as she burns away demons in the sky with terrible black fire. He nods at her approvingly, "Excellent form." He makes a dismissive gesture, and another demon swooping towards her explodes into black dust. "You never fail to impress, my former apprentice."

[Magic 1: Burning Hand] Roran lives in the crown ward in a modest little townhouse and often makes his way back and forth to tend to the matters religious. The city is in a state of siege and war so the man's hair is braided and pulled back and has taken to wearing armor sent to him by Preston in the last day. Pink steelsilk peeps out from beneath his lagoman robes as the man hurries forth to the bridge. There's an emotion often not seen on the mans face. Anger. The normally peaceful man scans the bridge even as lips move and hands come out in preparation. His gaze settles on one person, Skaldia and their impending fate of being dragged beneath the shards. He throws out one hand as the words finish on his lips and a massive flaming hand is there with Skaldia, swatting, lighting those shards around her on fire, squeezing and squashing them to buy her the time she needs to get back on her feet.

The demons keep pouring out through the mirror, though some of the horde of shards slip and slide at the ground covered in ice and slide riiiiight off of Sovereign Bridge. More than a few Iron Guard wave a fond farewell at them as they fall. But the torrent is unending, and all too many of the foes are flying.

((Luck round of enemy attacks inc, Mirrorborn buddy of Denica took a hit last round))

Apostate has called for a check of luck at daunting.
Skaldia fails.
Volcica fails.
TIE: Aconite fails. Sen'azala fails. Caspian fails.

Apostate has called for a check of luck at hard.
Denica is successful.
Apollo is successful.
Victus fails.
Botch! Lianne fails completely.
Botch! Raja fails completely.

Apostate has called for a check of luck at normal.
TIE: Critical Success! Titania is spectacularly successful. Critical Success! Kael is spectacularly successful.
Geralt is successful.
Avary is successful.
TIE: Narcissa is successful. Ember is successful. Calandra is successful. Anisha is successful. Sabella is successful.
Desma is successful.
TIE: Fortunato is successful. Valdemar is successful.
Jan is successful.
TIE: Liara is successful. Quintin is successful.
TIE: Seia is successful. Maharet is successful.
Keely marginally fails.
TIE: Vayne marginally fails. Jael marginally fails. Samira marginally fails.
Celeste marginally fails.
TIE: Ilmia fails. Roran fails.

Maharet checks luck at normal. Maharet is successful.

Aleksei checks luck at normal. Aleksei is successful.

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

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

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

Isolde checks luck at normal. Isolde marginally fails.

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

Keely checks charm and empathy at easy. Keely is successful.

Skaldia checks dexterity and ride at easy. Skaldia marginally fails.

Isolde checks charm and occult at easy. Isolde is successful.

Sen'azala checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Sen'azala is successful.

Aconite checks charm and seduction at easy. Aconite is successful.

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

Vayne checks dexterity at easy. Critical Success! Vayne is spectacularly successful.

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

Samira checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Critical Success! Samira is inhumanly successful in a way that defies expectations.

Celeste checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Celeste marginally fails.

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

Apparently setting demons on fire with black flames will get you noticed. One of the demons lumbers from the blood pool and begins to take a run at Vayne. The Legate spots him in time and dives to the side, rolling back up to his feet and making it all look super cool. Super. Cool. He looks around while brushing off his jacket, glad to see that some of the defenders have already engaged the demon that had come after him.

Lisebet checks luck at normal. Lisebet fails.

[Magic 2] Keely is very new to griffin-riding, and as she and Alicanto zoom into the sky, she realizes too late that they are flying right for a demon. She squints, covering her face with her arms and turning her head in terror, and at the last moment a bright and colorful bubble forms around her, causing her foe to bounce harmlessly off. Whew.

"Lord Onyx," Lianne greets with warmth... and a greater volume than usual despite his nearness. It's loud here. Very loud. And sufficiently chaotic that she misses the cleverer shards who've picked the wraith and his former apprentice out of the crowd and began charging their way.

There's a demon coming right for Denica but at the last minute the masked man intercepts. He is hit hard, a claw ripping across his plate mail, tearing metal. Blue eyes go wide as Denica watches this happen and for a moment, she breathes out with relief. She escapes. "Thanks Do...," she can't even finish the words. Her mouth drops as she watches another set of claws rip into Valdemar. Denica is dodging the onslaught of attacks and reaches a hand to check on Valdemar. Moving closer to him as she keeps an eye out for both men, as they bleed. There's little to be done at this point, only that now the princess focus her emotions and draws from her determination to rage against the enemy.

Skaldia just cannot get into the air. Even with Roran's help, she's still scratched a bit by the time she manages to scramble away from the swarm of shards. She clutches her bow tightly, not wanting to lose that, but she definitely doesn't end up flying. Again. She does give Roran a nod of thanks as she runs by him, trying to find herself a better vantage to get into the air, where she needs to be. "Hawk! Let's not fail Arx now! We've got to make it! He can't get to the Thinnest Point! Stay with me!" she cries, clinging to the warmth and the embrace of Hawk. She ducks around a building, and takes a moment to catch her breath, breathing hard after she just barely manages to escape getting mauled.

Jael has her sword in her hand, now. She scrambles back as the demon that just tore into her friend turns its attention to her. There is blood on her armor. There is blood on her face. It is /her friend's blood/. Her eyes begin to burn and her jaw tenses. They're not going to like her when she's angry. And she is getting angry.

Alistair pauses as he sees the most evil bastard around praising Lianne. Ok maybe not the most evil. So many Questions in the future. So many files. So many reports. His attention snaps back as he orders a cadre of Confessors to loose a fusiliade of crossbow bolts into a particular ornery demon that is about to chomp on Lisbet. Magic. Bah. Cold steel. Well maintained crossbows. Thats all the High Inquisitor needs. For the moment.

[Magic 2] Sen certainly heard Azazel screaming at the Lowers, telling his forces to focus on the 'insects' with help. Even so, the sudden assault by several of those flying demons comes faster than she might have expected. Swords come down, there's the feeling of a *twist* in the air, and she vanishes in the dodge. It's quick enough to be an eye-blink, she's visible even as she finishes, just *slightly* out of the way as their swords hit the stone of the bridge instead.

There's a gale of wind that soars right by Victus. Oh, no, wait a minute -- that was a whole claymore. Widened eyes compliment the sudden jerk of his body out of the way, though the surprise only lasts a fleeting moment. Whichever beast had swung at him recklessly chops once more, but he's ready this time around. A step to the side and terrifying fiend is stumbling toward the edge of the bridge. Victus backpedals. Friend and foe are easy to mix up in this brawl - imps, fractals, black flames. It takes him a moment to pick out the right shade of Abyss to swing at before he's back into the fray.

Jan gets her ducks, or soldiers in a row and wades forward to tip the spear as it were "You shall not pass you taint-sniffing rat-fondler! TURN BACK and never return!"

Aconiteis dexterous and slips silently farther back as snake returns to coil waiting for the next strike. She seems to duck the group od flying demonsthat had targeted her and found another spot to work from, using unsuspecting smaller demons as fodder to swarm and redirect ger attackers.

Godric steps back, his expression darkening as he watches the winged creatures unleash torrents of fire upon the bridge. Godric breathes in deeply, the air thick with smoke and the stench of burning flesh. His gaze remains fixed on the unfolding devastation, his jaw clenched tight "Hold!" Godric's voice booms above the roar of the flames, cutting through the chaos with commanding authority. "Stay your ground! Hold from charging into the flames!" he bellows. "We won't accomplish anything by rushing headlong into certain death," he continues, his voice resolute. "We need to be strategic, calculated. Find cover, regroup, and wait for an opening to grab the injuried. Grab them quick and get them off that bridge!"

[MAGIC 2 - Do You Know Who I Am?] It's in the midst of her little creature tearing apart a beholder with extended claws that Isolde notices a winged demon with a claymore attempt to attack her. She widens her eyes in fear but knows she has to act quickly. Her form seems to change ever so slightly as the amethyst in the center of her circlet shines even brighter and her eyes turn completely black. Despite the subtlety of the changes it does make the creature falter and lower its weapons as well as others that attempt to attack her in that current moment.

[Dodge] It's a good thing that Bat is quick! Volcica and the Primordia swoop under the attacks aimed at them, fluttering to the side.

When Quintin sees that Lisebet might be in trouble he begins to move himself and his men in that direction but Alistair has taken care of the issue. Any demons approaching the small group Quintin is in gets a volley of arrows for their trouble. Not saying anything but he does look annoyed that this keeps happening.

Sapphire reminds Victus, "I'm on your side!" Well. Sometimes. Sometimes, she's elsewhere.

[magic 2] Caspian kicks a demon's corpae away as he spun his chain blades in a wide arc. The flaming blades sliced through demons with ease, but for each one Alain another two appeared. The Phoenix dives towards the mirror, blazing bright and brighter before a burst of fire erupted from the Phoenix and engulfed another wave of demons.

Ember slaughters her way through a cluster of monsters. Never mind that she looks like a rather fearsome monster, herself. The bestial howl she utters through sharpened fangs doesn't really help matters.

[MAGIC ROUND 2 - Tempest's Scream] In the midst of battle, Geralt finds joy. He finds happiness. He finds everything he has ever wanted to be. And all he can do is laugh as he carves up a shard here, a demon there. "MORE!" the barbarian's rage speaks through him, his hands spinning the axual, the maul head pointing forward this time. "GIVE ME MORE!" Raising the weapon over his head, he slams the weapon onto the ground. The rumble that follows, as jagged and viscous ice spikes jut up around the stone bridge surface in V shape spreading outward from him. These spikes take multiple members of the horde by surprise, spearing them in various places, if not outright splitting them in two. "I LOVE THIS!" the Baron bellows with glee.

[Magic - Chivalry Is Not Dead] Ilmia's gotten much more in tune with the flow of what is going on. The Leary Lady is quick about summoning the hulking White Knight to her left and the Black Knight to right. She directs them to go hack and slash things and that is what they do, because a Lady asked!

Fortunato turns his head in all the chaos. (He's not /quite/ as flashy as Ember with her tail, but a close look reveals him too lantern-glassy and bright to be quite human himself.) He looks at Lianne, at Samira, at Apollo -- at Onyx. "Ah. Well. Here we are, aren't we. What a mess!"

"Yes thank you, appreciate that!" Victus really does. He's just not showing it very well.

The battle is an exceptionally confused melee, with the Compact and Azazel's forces intermixed on the bridge, as ogres keep picking up Iron Guard and just flinging them off the bridge, while most of the different nobles forces begin arriving to charge up from the Ward of the Compact. Several huge squares of transparent jelly emerge from the mirror-gate and begin to roll steadily over infantry, who immediately melt away into skeletons as the cubes pass over them.

((Round 2: Victory Points 366. Offensive rolls still at hard.))

Lisebet's magic seems to have got someone's attention, distracting her at the same time. "don't you just want to not ... not ... not ... " And as the ornery demon comes her way, she backsteps, tripping back and landing on her butt. She cringes, totally expecting to get smashed. Totally. Only then there's crossbolt bolts sticking out of the demon that was about so smash her. She rolls, as it folls over and scrambles to her feet again, turning around to be ready to fight. This might be the first time her armour has gotten all mucked up. A grimace, and she wipes her hands clean. "Let's try this again."

"The shards! Destroy them, throw them over!" Maharet yells as loudly as possible to be heard, though whether she is or not she tries to duck under and through the fighting. At times crawling if she must, intent on stopping as many as she can from coming through before it is all overrun.

Ember checks mana and occult at hard. Ember fails.

Denica checks mana and artwork at hard. Denica is successful.

[MAGIC #1 Aegis of the Azure] When the battle starts underway, things start to get rough, as she slays demons she hacks her way through them making her way near Raja and hopes that Desma follows her! When things get hary and one of the shard starts to advance on raga the Paladin's voice echos' NO!" and a blue shimer starts to spread over Raja to protect her from damage, it moves like water.

Isolde checks charm and occult at easy. Isolde is successful.

Aconite checks charm and seduction at hard. Aconite is successful.

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

Victus checks strength and huge wpn at hard. Victus is successful.

Maharet checks charm and propaganda at hard. Maharet is successful.

Narcissa checks intellect and riddles at hard. Botch! Narcissa fails completely.

Aleksei checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Aleksei marginally fails.

Samira checks perception and occult at hard. Samira is successful.

Apollo checks dexterity and tanning at normal. Apollo is successful.

Roran checks command and theology at hard. Roran is successful.

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

Gabriel checks command and medium wpn at hard. Gabriel is successful.

Raja checks dexterity and small wpn at hard. Raja fails.

Sabella checks charm and propaganda at hard. Sabella is successful.

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

Calandra checks charm and performance at hard. Calandra marginally fails.

Vayne checks perception and occult at hard. Vayne is successful.

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

Fortunato checks wits and artwork at hard. Fortunato fails.

Lianne checks intellect and occult at easy. Lianne is successful.

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

Geralt checks willpower and huge wpn at hard. Geralt marginally fails.

Quintin checks perception and war at hard. Quintin is successful.

Keely checks charm and empathy at hard. Keely is successful.

Seia checks composure and performance at hard. Seia fails.

Liara checks command and leadership at hard. Liara is successful.

Alistair checks wits and occult at hard. Alistair is successful.

Skaldia checks dexterity and archery at hard. Skaldia is successful.

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

Ilmia checks charm and occult at hard. Ilmia fails.

Avary checks composure and intimidation at hard. Avary fails.

Volcica checks mana and occult at hard. Volcica is successful.

Valdemar checks command and war at hard. Valdemar is successful.

Godric checks intellect and medicine at hard. Godric is successful.

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

Anisha checks charm and manipulation at hard. Critical Success! Anisha is spectacularly successful.

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

Desma checks dexterity and archery at hard. Desma is marginally successful.

Celeste checks command and war at hard. Celeste is successful.

This battle is different than the one they just had by the docks. There is limited range to get away and avoid these beasts. There is blood and ice. Raja is more used to being able to use terrain to her benefit, but it just isn't that way here, on the bridge. Even with a bodyguard like the Peregrin at her side, Raja is quickly overwhelmed! One creature after the next is torn asunder, but they just keep coming! The sheer numbers overwhelm her, separating her from the winged woman's side! "Fuck! Aaa.." Raja is fighting for her life, just barely able to keep the blows deflected when Titania makes her way into the fray! Demons skitter about and the Elven woman with Skeletal wings jumps in, deflecting abyssal shards right over the bridge, shouting curses as s he does so!

[magic 2] Caspian kicks a demon's corpae away as he spun his chain blades in a wide arc. The flaming blades sliced through demons with ease, but for each one Alain another two appeared. The Phoenix dives towards the mirror, blazing bright and brighter before a burst of fire erupted from the Phoenix and engulfed another wave of demons.

Jael is shaking with rage when she launches her attack at the Thing that just killed her friend, but she's still (mostly) in control. She drives her sword in hard, with a snarl, and bears the demon down to the street.

Calandra is still deeply frightened and has yet to calm down enough to act. She parts her lips to sing, but only note that comes out is a scream, soft and probably not that loudly heard over the sound of battle. She is freaking out.

Alistair takes a step back, allowing Thomas the unfettered freedom to simply wade into the hordes of demons to to swipe, claw, bite, and chomp. While his familiar does his work, Alistair guides the Confessors, Inquisitors, Guard, and other warriors in which demons to strike and when, using years of knowledge glean from truths and rumors, and the occasional true fight with these vile creatures. He rumbles and barks commands with only a word or two, the man more growl then speech.

[MAGIC 2] As more Abyssal horrors emerge from the portal, Sabella continues to blast as many of the demons off the briedge to plummet to their deaths below. The griffin soars out past the reach of the claymores and hovers briefly so that the princess can observe what is happening. Her eyes widen as the jelly cubes appear.

[Magic 2 - Failed] Ilmia's feeling a lot more overwhelmed than at the Castle. That felt easier compared to this. "Do we need to try to get rid of the mirror?!" she calls to no one in particular. She's also still having trouble trying to get her magic to cooperate.

[Magic #1 - Fail] Ember stops hacking and slashing long enough to start to chant something in an elven language -- but then turns sharply to look at something that's not there(?) and yell at it. Perhaps she's finally gone completely insane, instead of just passively insane like she's always been.

[MAGIC 2] Vayne points an accusatory finger at one of the attackers. He calls out to purge the wicked, his voice booming. Something else comes in quieter, the exact words buried under the din of the battle. Black flames swirl up from the ground and burn a demon alive.

[MAGIC #2] Samira sneaks a sidelong glance toward Lord Onyx as he greets Lianne, offering a quick bow of her head. Her gaze slides back toward the in-fighting she has caused between oncoming forces, but she fails to see a shard's incoming attack until the last moment. She roars her defiance and manages to duck nimbly out of the way. "A mess, indeed," she calls to Fortunato as she turns and raises a hand to her would-be attacker, who abruptly whirls upon a fellow shard.

Narcissa checks 'death save' at normal. Narcissa is successful.

Narcissa remains alive, but close to death.

Narcissa is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Narcissa checks 'permanent wound save' at hard. Narcissa fails.

Narcissa has suffered a serious wound!

Ember says in Rex'alfar, "I see you there, leering, Velenden Aetheris! Step in and help, you dirty voyeur, or so help me, I don't /care/ if I'm your widow, I will--"

Avary checks 'permanent wound save' at hard. Avary fails.

Avary has suffered a serious wound!

Avary checks 'unconsciousness save' at normal. Avary is successful.

Avary remains capable of fighting.

Seia checks 'permanent wound save' at hard. Seia marginally fails.

Seia checks 'unconsciousness save' at normal. Seia marginally fails.

Seia is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

[Magic 2 - Another flaming hand] Roran nods to Skaldia as she runs past him. "Blessed be the flame!" He calls to her even as the act of saving her from harm finds him on the receiving end of attention from things he doesn't really want attention from. The shards move for him and just as swiftly as Skaldia moved, Rorans moving too. The creatures come up empty as he moves swiftly in a swirl of white silks with the faiths sigil upon them and all that riot of pink steelsilk beneath. "Hup, nope, not today." He gives a yell and is scrabbling over detritus to some relative safety. Where he can turn around and give a repeat performance of that large flaming hand to take care of the handful of shards or demons closest to him. "Blessed be the eternal flame, our Lady of Chance." Coronal fingers close around and squeeze the life out of shards. "Ever may she guide us true". Squish. Squish. Squeeze. Burn. Oh the burning.

Quintin has found a spot that seems to have worked in his favor. He remains where he is at as he lets more arrows fall towards the demons that keep coming and look to have the intention of not stopping anytime soon. Glancing over at Lisebet to make sure she's steady and holding her ground. Ping. Ping. Ping.

Jan checks 'permanent wound save' at hard. Jan fails.

Jan has suffered a serious wound!

[MAGIC 2] Victus stomps closer to the gate, figuring the source may just as easily become a funnel for the demonic forces to step right into the grinder. He's maybe three steps closer when those jelly *things* are rippling their way over a hill of bodies, which are quickly eaten away to bone. "Oh. Fuck that off." The Prince cuts a 180 turn and charges back into his original position. He builds up enough momentum to *slam* into one unfortunate demon just as it readies itself, bracing his hands against its form to push it across the bridge! Barathrum glimmers again, pulling more horrors into the vortex it creates. The effect is an immediate success - leaving several demons tumbling right off the edge of the bridge, to a different abyss down below.

Still making her desperate scramble for the shards that remain on the bridge, Maharet dives under legs while screaming (sweetly mind you) for them to be thrown over into the waters below.

[Magic 1 - Art is War] There is so much emotion, but that is where inspiration comes from. Denica whispers something to Valdemar, and after a small exchange, tears stream down her cheeks. But she lights up, like the sun and suddenly there's sparkles everywhere. Every colour that Denica can imagine, each one forming a picture, drawing a conclusion. Art reveals. It tells a story. Denica paints the world the way she sees it. The truth hurts. Art should be uncomfortable. It should evoke a response and Denica rages with her art. She defies everything, and the colours go to war with her. The princess looks at the Masked Man with icy blue eyes and she says to him, "this is how we make a better world."

[Magic 2 - The Truth Hurts] Anisha is moving - it seems that whatever offensive, Primum-draining magics she is pulling out have /some/ range, but not a lot, and she shoots a little smile to Desma. "You are making your Truth known, darling," She assures her - then, with the new foes coming close, she furrows her brow. Studies them for a moment, her eyes flickering fiery, reptilian-slit pupils becoming black as onyx, and twice as reflective. But only for a breath. She darts in, dipping under Ember's scythe, and reaches out with a hand to the large jelly-like thing that reaches for her. For a moment, her hand is swallowed, and it looks like Anisha might follow suit, having made a fatal mistake... And then the entire jelly-square implodes, suckled into itself and dissipating in a gush of goo and mirror-like shards that dissipate into dust.

"Countess," She offers, with some strain in her voice.

"...It's been a while."

"RAJA!" Romulius calls for his battle brethren when she is quickly overwhelmed, quickly slashing through his enemy to get to her. A shard swings at him and misses wide, allowing him to twirl his blade and slice clean down the spine, gripping the body by the neck and throwing the shard at another! As he runs though, she's saved by Titania, a smile on his face. That moment of distraction nearly has his head taken off, moving out of the way and stabbing a demon through the heart. "Victus! Let's form a choke point! We have to flood them to our spear points."

[MAGIC 2 (Failed)] The crush of all of it is...a lot. Even with Aleksei's instincts, it's absolute chaos on the bridge. He's spending just as much time navigating through friends as he is foes, and for a brief window, his sword doesn't find any purchase at all.

[Magic 3 - Utility: Call the Raven] Sen leaps back again, getting herself momentarily free, and putting at least a few feet between her and the demonic forces on the bridge. She exhales, carefully this time, then flings her arms wide, her palms first turned back. There's the rustle of feathers, the caw of birds, and then she sweeps both arms forward and there are ravens. Dozens, and dozens of ravens, swooping past her, diving from the sky, angling toward the ogres and the larger demons. There's no hope for them to do any *real* damage...but that doesn't stop eye pecking, or attempting to throw the things off balance just enough to slip. They're easily killed - and vanish into black smoke - but there are a *lot* of them all of a sudden.

Narcissa goes to make her next spellcast. She gathers her breath, starts to murmur dread words, and never gets so far as finishing her cast. Instead, a demon with a claymore comes up, cuts through her imps like they were nothing (they *are* just imps) and smacks her in the head with the sword. Down goes the Fidante, crumpling.

[MAGIC 2] This moment of recognition in the chaos is probably not why Fortunato completely fails to generate additional effective illusions. It's chaos. Soldiers skeletonized, soldiers tossed off the bridge, this is a terrible place to fight. Instead of his misdirections, his illusions show up as a jagged aura around him, raw chaos. He looks at Samira, he's about to answer, and then a heavy blow strikes him in the back. There's light /everywhere/ as he staggers, its form somewhere between spark and liquid.

[Magic - 2nd - Raising Dead] Up in the sky, Volcica watches as the demons pour out, and as those jellies ooze, and.. Well. She begins to speak. She chants, she prays. She calls and commands the dead to rise in a strange, whispering voice that drops from the air like stones-- down to the ground, the bridge, where the dead lay-- and where their souls might linger.

Ember stops yelling in Rex'alfar at nothing(?) and stops when she sees Anisha, who has just saved her from a grim fate. She's speechless for a moment, then dips her horned head in a deep nod of acknowledgement. Then she looks back toward whatever she's been yelling at and adds one more thing.

[MAGIC 2] The Adept Show continues. Celeste wades into the demons and continues to slice through them. Her sword is a living thing, lashing out quickly, getting through defenses and dropping some of the tougher-looking opponents. When she kicks one, it flies off the bridge from the force, not to mention the sound fo bone crunching.

Ember says in Rex'alfar, "See? The fucking /Whisper/ is doing more in the fight than you. You're going to let your wife be slaughtered, then?"

Volcica says in Deathwhisper, "Rise, and fight against the Eater. Protect Arx, protect my allies, and the Allies of Death. Protect her city, and *destroy* the minions of the Eater."

Godric's voice rises above the tumult with urgency. "Move! Send the medics in!" he commands, his tone ringing out clear and resolute despite the din of battle. He gestures frantically towards the bridge, where the wounded lie amidst the inferno, their cries drowned out by the roar of flames. As jelly creatures roll along, leaving nothing but skeletal remains in their wake, Godric's jaw clenches with grim determination. "Get them out of there!" he shouts, his voice hoarse with emotion. The sight of the creatures' deadly advance only spurs him on, igniting a fierce determination to save as many lives as possible. Directing the medics and volunteers to brave the flames and retrieve the wounded. "We can't leave them behind," he growls, his eyes blazing with intensity. "Every life matters. Now move!"

[Magic 3] And just as quickly as that bubble forms around Keely and Alicanto, it explodes outward, harming any enemies within range and giving them a moment to breathe. "Higher, Alicanto!" the Marquessa encourages her griffin friend, and the pair soar high into the sky for a better vantage of what is occurring below.

[Magic 1] The pain of his injury seeming to focus him, Valdemar points with his sword at the ground beneath the feet of the demons nearest to him and Denica as he mutters something unpleasant-sounding. The earth beneath the demon that wounded him erupts in a spray of fiery rocks that pelt the enemy, causing it to shriek in pain. Upon seeing that burst from the ground, he then looks around for the nearest concentration of Arvani forces, indicating to the Thrax Princess, and his troops, to follow him in that direction, shouting, "We need to get into formation! We're playing /their/ game until we do!"

A mixture of the King's Own and Iron Guard rush onto the bridge. Blades rise and fall, cleaving through one abyssal creature or the next. They push together and that cohesion is reinforced by the roar of Sir Gabriel, "Forward together, fight together! Do not break ranks!" Their fighting journey carries them along the Sovereign Bridge, avoiding blows from fore and ally alike, and delivering their own. They push like a spear into the thickest of the fighting that they may reach and eventually find themselves standing both among and over a pair overwhelmed. "Hold and stand!" Gabriel roars out like the Lion of Pridehall that he is and there he makes his stand for the moment. His keen blade skewers, severs, and slashes. One foe after another fallen as he calls out to both Raja and Titania, trying to create a space for the pair alongside the other Silver Swords and Iron Guard. Their enemy keeps coming and their blades keep working. For now.

[MAGIC - 2nd use] Liara's griffin passes low over the bridge, sending a demon flying off towards the river far below, and then she veers away, and the griffin, apparently an ever-obliging being, soars into the air, and she gains ground fast, seeking to spot Crownlands soldiers moving through the city. "Move with haste! The forward companies will move at double time! We must hold the horde," she calls down to them, and again, her words are infused with power. The soldiers break into a jog, hastening towards the bridge. She turns the griffin, moving back towards the fighting again.

[MAGIC ROUND 3- Failed] Still raging, still having a grand old time, Geralt was going to try and throw his axual throw the air to try and cleave an ogre's leg off. But this doesn't go very well as ogre decides to kick him into the side of the bridge. While thankfully the armor absorbs the blow, it does take Geralt off his feet and sprawling across the bridge. Shaking his head, he spits on the ground. "Fuck." he's lose his Rage state. "Well, that'll fuck me up, for sure."

Jan takes a running leap and swings up at the air! Damned winged demons "Get down here you turd-smoking taint raisin!!" she doesn't let a little thing like range stop her from trying to poke some demons with her glinting gale-And is swiftly struck down and sent spinning back and slammed into the ground with force. She is up in a flash with a grimace "Going to have to do better than that queef-weasel!"

[MAGIC 3 - DEMON FREN CHARGE] Having just avoided being nommed on, Isolde regathers her nerve to continue to direct the Hordeling. She starts to use black mist to pin point targets for her friend. That doesn't stop her continuing to shout out whether to frighten her enemies or to pysche herself up is unclear. Both? Let's go with both.

Skaldia gives up on magic for now, and just shoots the darn shards. She steps out from behind that building, raising her bow, and starts shooting arrows into the oncoming demons. She doesn't have the advantage of flight at the moment, but she needs to keep focused for now on keeping them back. She shoots, draws another arrow from her quiver, knocks, shoots again, draws. She's slowly backing up as she does so, a more controlled ranged attack. Eventually she finds a spot where she can at least leap up on something, and shoot from a little more height.

Kael continues to strike true with his blade, his sword arm as strong as ever. There is a moment, however, that movement in the skies catches his attention. It's one of the griffin riders, her movements. Kael's jaw sets. He strikes more fiercely at his next foe, grit and determination driving him forward. Keely might be at in the skies, but he is evidently going to tread after her to be close beneath. Spoiler: he'll never quite be positioned right.


Titania continues to hack into the enemy, she nods her head to Romulius and to Raja as she stays close with Desma as she continues to hack away. "Back to back if we must!" she calls to Desma and Raja.

Ilmia says in Rex'alfar, "Is everything okay over there?!"

[Magic 2] Lisebet is good right now, Quintin. She catches sight of he fellow Ashford and flashes a grin his way. "I have a spare bow if you need it, Quintin!" she calls to him. Then her attention back to the fight, trying to find something to do. There's a big troll that she focuses on, trying to get it to stop fighting, just long enough ... But there are jelly creatures and that Lisebet think a bit differently. "Bite this, you creatures," she murmurs. The words echo, but she tries to put a glimmering green shield out there, trying to defend against the jelly creatures.

Calandra is standing there crying and panicking. She stares tearfully at winged demons!

Ember says in Rex'alfar, "The ghost of my husband is being /extremely fucking irritating/, Lady Ilmia."

[MAGIC 2 - Flay there, except angrier about it] Apollo is not a target. He hasn't /been/ a target, neither he nor his fresh-faced friend, decidedly more business casual than he is at the moment. He probably just skinned the only shards that were even close to looking his way. He's actually still striding forward, looking like he's going to ready /another/ strike when he sees Fortunato... and shards, running right past, angling for his wife and Onyx. There could be a whole lotta bad ways that goes - but there's no strike; he doesn't know what happened. So he trains his eyes on the shards that didn't manage to land a blow on Lianne. That spell he had locked and loaded, he's throwing it right at those shards, rendering them a pile of flesh and neatly separated skin. These tanning skills are on the newer side.

[Magic 2 - Attack- Hail of Doom] Desma was still in a bit of shock at the sudden one woman volley of arrows she just launched. There was no time to ponder what just happened and she drew another arrow from her quiver, nocking it and drawing. The melee is crazy and she is suddenly concerned about friendly fire. She picks a different target, a huge ogre stomping along the bridge and looses at it. The beast is peppered with dozens of arrows from the one shot.

"YES!" she exclaims in joy.

Volcica says in Rex'alfar, "..He can fight, or I can shove him along, if you'd like.""

[MAGIC 2 - Offensive] Things one probably needn't do while still a bit unsettled after being heroically saved from a very direct incoming assault from abyssal beasts--mental note made to send a thank you later--may include blowing kisses across the battlefield, but Lianne sends one Fortunato's way all the same. Joy should be found where one can. Perhaps especially amid chaos. With her attention thus lowered toward the frey on the bridge, she catches a familiar voice shouting creative profanities and aims the next bout of coldfire toward the fiends near Jan, defending her sister. With terrible, unsettling violence. Though... maybe not nearly as unsettling as what her husband's up to.

Ilmia says in Rex'alfar, "Saverio if you can hear me stop annoying Ember!"

Ember says in Rex'alfar, "/Thank you/, Lady Volcica, but perhaps we should just let him watch his /wife/ be overrun by monsters so he can understand the /consequences/ of being an /asshole/--"

Lisebet says in Halcyon, "I knew I should have learned more languages."

Ilmia says in Rex'alfar, "I'd say ask him about that damn quill he delivered to me ages ago, but we don't have that much time and there are Azazel imps to smash!"

Ember says in Rex'alfar, "Damn it, Velenden, I didn't mind you /screwing/ other women, but /delivering them quills/--?!"

Ilmia says in Rex'alfar, ", there was not any of that!"

All the Rex'Alfar being spoken draws Sapphire's attention, and she appears next to Ember, squinting. "Your accent is terrible," she pronounces, in flawless common. And then she catches a lance, and eyes up at the place it came from.

Ember says in Rex'alfar, "Well, then you missed out."

Sen'azala says in Everwinter shav, "Would you all shut the fuck up and kill the cube...goop?"

Ember gives Sapphire a look that says 'I know.' It's only a touch regretful.

"What the fuck are you all on about, I didn't even know those phonetics existed." Victus huffs before scuttling to Romulius' side at the Deputy Warlord's call. Choke point, go!

Ilmia says in Rex'alfar, "I probably did. Back to the fight!"

The goop is definitely not intimidated by cross chatter. In fact, it seems to be drawn to sound. Which was unfortunate for a particularly loud and boistrous guardsman. RIP Guardsman Frank, you were a real one. Some of the demons emerging now are breathing fire, which really doesn't seem directed anywhere in particular, just random, but an awful lot of flying things are trying to kill everyone attached to a primordia.((Luck inc))

Apostate has called for a check of luck at daunting.
Volcica is successful.
Aconite fails.
Skaldia fails.
Sen'azala fails.
Caspian fails.

Apostate has called for a check of luck at hard.
Denica is successful.
Victus is successful.
Apollo marginally fails.
Lianne fails.
Raja fails.

Apostate has called for a check of luck at normal.
Critical Success! Lisebet is spectacularly successful.
Aleksei is successful.
TIE: Anisha is successful. Quintin is successful. Samira is successful.
TIE: Roran is successful. Maharet is successful.
TIE: Keely is successful. Fortunato is successful.
TIE: Geralt is successful. Desma is successful. Alistair is successful. Titania is successful.
Sabella is successful.
TIE: Ember is successful. Jan is successful.
TIE: Vayne is successful. Isolde is successful.
TIE: Seia marginally fails. Avary marginally fails.
Kael marginally fails.
Ilmia fails.
TIE: Celeste fails. Narcissa fails. Jael fails. Liara fails.
TIE: Botch! Valdemar fails completely. Botch! Calandra fails completely.

Lianne checks intellect and occult at easy. Lianne is successful.

Aconite checks charm and seduction at easy. Aconite is successful.

Liara checks command and leadership at easy. Liara is spectacularly successful.

Sen'azala checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Sen'azala is successful.

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

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

Kael checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Botch! Kael fails badly.

Gabriel checks luck at normal. Gabriel is successful.

Avary checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Avary marginally fails.

Skaldia checks dexterity and ride at easy. Skaldia is successful.

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

Ilmia checks charm and occult at easy. Ilmia is successful.

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

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

Lianne checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Lianne fails.

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

Skaldia checks dexterity and ride at normal. Skaldia is successful.

Sen'azala checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Sen'azala is successful.

Avary checks composure and intimidation at easy. Avary is successful.

Jael is in the process of picking herself up when something flying skims over her head, missing her by inches. And... right. That's done it. Her grip on her sword tightens, and rage flares in her eyes. "Oh /no/ you /don't/!"

[Magic 1 - Shadow Step] The skeletal-winged elven woman looks to Raja and utters, "You should watch your back better." It's true. Raja tries, but there were so many of them! Her nose crinkles at the comment, but there is no time for any sort of quirky quips. There is a GELATINOUS CUBE to be dealt with! It rumbles, rolls, flips closer and Raja's eyes goes wider. "The /fuck/ is /that/" Raja blurts out. It goes to flip towards her and her eyes go wider. "Move out the way!" She says to those around her so they aren't acid eaten by the thing. A swirl of shadow swirls about her feet and up over her form and the cube flops right through the shadow to where Raja /used/ to be standing! Raja reappears, stepping out of Ember's shadow nearby.

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

Maharet checks charm and propaganda at hard. Botch! Maharet fails completely.

[MAGIC 1 - Defensive - Ride the Wind] Finally, Skaldia is in a position where she can take to the air, and she does so at first opportunity. Wings sprout from her back, and tail feathers. Her hands grow talons at the fingertips, and there's a fierce quality to eyes that go suddenly amber. "Ahh, there you are, Hawk!" she says, as she dodges a flying fiend that is targeting her. She flits up and up, over the height of the rooftops, and knocks an arrow to her bow, ready to go on the offensive. Those who see her might notice a slight golden glimmer of a hawk around her as she soars above on spread wings.

There is a quick nod to Lisebet from Quintin to show he heard her say she has an extra bow and he's back in it. "These little fuckers." Maybe not to polite for an Ashford but the assault was brutal earlier and now. Again, he and his men try to stop the demons in their tracks with their arrows. Why stop a good thing?

[Magic 4 - sacc] Shit, shit, here they come again. Sen leaps to the side, once more vanishing in the movement, once more reappearing as she touches the ground again, then twisting at a sword thrust, ducking beneath another. She's there, but for the moment, she's very hard to poke, and when she finishes, she has a strip of alaricite in hand that is quickly turning black and crumbling to dust.

Calandra checks 'permanent wound save' at hard. Calandra is successful.

Despite the terrible damage, Calandra does not take a permanent wound.

Calandra checks 'unconsciousness save' at hard. Calandra is successful.

Calandra remains capable of fighting.

Jan spies Seia and sees her fall and not get up, "Petrichor's untamed bush!" she growls and ignoring her own blood staining the ground in her wake she lurches forward and sheathes her sword and grabs Seia and slings the woman over her good shoulder and scrambles back behind the main lines "I have a downed soldier!" trying to ease Seia to the ground in relative safety it's unceremonious but she is safely delivered.

Avary has been seemingly still throughout the whole battle, but actually moving slowly across the bridge. At some point she gets run through by a demon, her abdomen bleeding profusely as she is knocked back. For a moment, it seemed like she would be a goner. But she eventually gets back up and keeps drifting forward. Another shard charges straight forward but slows to a stop when it encounters her and seems to think better of it and goes around her instead. Avary walking forward, that blade loosely held at her side. (3rd Magic use - defensive)

Fortunato shakes himself. The light coalescing around him variably splatters or evaporates. He seems -- dizzy. He raises his hand to sort of -- acknowledge Lianne's blown kiss in the mess. Then he prepares. Centers himself. Chaos chaos chaos.

[Aconite][Magic x4 - Dawnweave] Aco tries to keep up with the chaos for only a moment. Then she returns to focusing on what's happening around her. Anything fast or strong enough to be caught in the Radiant's spell. She tries to ignore the snippets of banter. It is not easy and the Radiant is distracted. But just in time she scuttles just out of the way as something gloopy sizzles at her feet and she turns those demons to cloose to her onto one another with a whisper.

While Denica paints with colour and empathy, the masked man is hard and decisive with his actions. The princess turns to Valdemar and when he asks her to follow and she stands next to him as he orders formations. Wrapping herself in rainbows, Denica is just vibrating, trying to navigate the chaos. The pain, the suffering, it overwhelms her. But, it fuels her art. Still tangled up in the colours, she lets them guide her, moving in and out of the onslaught.

Getting up to his feet, Geralt has be able to channel his Rage yet again, but seeing Narcissa go down seem to prioritize his concerns. Taking his axual back into his hands, he makes a minor battle over to the fallen Fidante lady. "Not dying today, eh? Still got an end of the world to see." With his free arm, he scoops her up, bounding back to Arx side of the bridge and relative(somewhat) safety.

[Cantrip - I know you can hear me] Lisebet's got that shield out there, but she can't hold it as there's another attack her way. She goes tumbling over in a panic, ending up near Valdemar, but not getting hit. "Look out," she calls, her voice pitched so that for sure Valdemar can hear her. "Duck left!" She takes her own advice, managing to not get hit by arrows, pikes or any thrown rocks.

Godric's expression twists into a scowl as he waves a few medics over to him with a curt gesture. "Oi, you lot! Quit dawdling and get over here!" he barks, his voice laced with salty impatience. He points a finger towards the chaos, where two figures lie amidst the carnage. "Lady Jan and Lady Seia! Get both of them here now!" he commands, his tone brusque and commanding. "And make it quick, before I decide to do it myself!" As the medics hurry off to carry out his orders, Godric's jaw tightens with frustration. The last thing he needs is more delays in the midst of this madness. With a muttered curse under his breath, he watches anxiously as they scramble to retrieve the wounded, his salty demeanor a testament to the mounting pressure weighing heavily upon him.

Aside from the goos and fire demons, more strange creatures are boiling up from the mirror. A 16 headed hydra, which seems excessive, and a what looks like a gigantic mosquito with a 100 foot wingspan begins to emerge before it is immediately eaten by a spider roughly the size of Sovereign Bridge hanging on underneath it. A few thousand more shards spill through along with other shock troops.((Round 3, 620 points, checks still at hard.))

[MAGIC - 3rd use] Flame spews towards Liara and her griffin, and towards Kael Keaton too, but she spots it just in time, and then she focuses inwards, and the fire simply dissipates on contact with them both - no harm done. She exhales a sharp breath, and the griffin soars higher again so she can take a view of the battle.

Calandra is clinging to the rails of the bridge and crying. This is not a good way to fight demons and it is certainly not a good way to survive them. The lovely whisper in her mix matched armor is still in tears when a winged demon catches sight of her and swoops in for the kill. She is stuck with burtal force against her right side, a blow that would kill most and stumbles, letting go of the railing and falling to the ground. At least she didn't fall off the bridge, but on the bridge, there is that. She lays in on the ground, with blood seeping out from her side. Somehow the Whisper is still alive and still awake.

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

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

Sabella checks charm and propaganda at hard. Critical Success! Sabella is spectacularly successful.

Keely checks charm and empathy at hard. Keely is successful.

Ember checks mana and occult at hard. Ember is successful.

Aconite checks charm and seduction at hard. Aconite is successful.

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

Liara checks command and leadership at hard. Liara is successful.

Geralt checks willpower and huge wpn at hard. Geralt is successful.

Victus checks strength and huge wpn at hard. Victus is successful.

Denica checks mana and artwork at hard. Denica marginally fails.

Skaldia checks dexterity and archery at hard. Skaldia marginally fails.

Fortunato checks wits and artwork at hard. Fortunato is successful.

Godric checks intellect and medicine at hard. Godric is successful.

Vayne checks perception and occult at hard. Vayne is successful.

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

Apollo checks dexterity and tanning at normal. Apollo is successful.

Calandra checks charm and performance at hard. Calandra marginally fails.

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

Raja checks dexterity and small wpn at hard. Raja is successful.

Anisha checks charm and manipulation at hard. Critical Success! Anisha is spectacularly successful.

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

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

Celeste checks command and war at hard. Celeste is successful.

Samira checks perception and occult at hard. Samira marginally fails.

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

Gabriel checks command and medium wpn at hard. Botch! Gabriel fails completely.

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

Titania checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Botch! Titania fails completely.

Valdemar checks command and war at hard. Valdemar is successful.

Desma checks dexterity and archery at hard. Critical Success! Desma is spectacularly successful.

Volcica checks mana and occult at hard. Volcica is successful.

Quintin checks intellect and war at hard. Quintin is successful.

Avary checks composure and intimidation at hard. Avary is successful.

Lianne checks intellect and occult at easy. Lianne marginally fails.

Roran checks command and theology at hard. Roran fails.

Jan grunts and drops Seia by Godric's feet "Patience you constipated booger eager, trying to keep my arm from falling off. Impatient geezer." she pauses and with a medic's eye of her own "Oh, that's not bleeding as bad as I thought." she turns and trots back out towards the front "I'm coming for you noxious turd blossoms!" her sword is freed from it's sheathe and swung "DIE TURD-BLOSSOMS!"

Lianne gets a hefty parrying dagger with a mirrored pommel from a white Oakhide bag with a subtle design.

Maharet checks charm and propaganda at hard. Maharet is successful.

Alistair once more pulls out his blade and charges forward with a few lumbering heavy Confessors. Real thugs. Ex-Thraxian reaver and knights who know how to chew. He paints the bridge with demon blood and yells out to Thomas as the badger wades his way into a thick group of hordelings. "Thomas you are getting greedy." The High Inquisitor barks out. But he does not seem worried. He trusts in the beast and knows he can take a beating. Indeed, Thomas is singing as the creatures swarm him. "Tooo laaa roo laaa rooo!" can be heard in some ancient dialect. "Just like mine tunnels!"

Romulius checks dexterity and huge wpn at hard. Romulius fails.

[MAGIC 3] Dazzling lights and colors galore. Victus has to shield his eyes at times, lest he be dazzled mid-fight. As the sheens pass over his form, he's able to stand to his full height once more. "Our city." He spits a mist of saltwater at the encroaching horde, a small act of defiance against the raging flames. "Silver's gift. This bridge, these walls, you are not welcome here. You WILL know fear." His gauntlets run the length of his sword, and the twisting waves seem to come alive as they're swept over. For the third time, the enemy's of the Compact are drawn into the maw of his strike and rent in half, and a crescent shaped smattering of blood plumes around him. When the tides settle, all of that bluster seems to have evaporated, as Victus' eyes are drawn to the gargantuan spider that *devours* a titan of blood-sucking annoyances. As he stands frozen, he swallows, and immediately starts to hack and cough. The burn of saltwater down his throat is enough for him to momentarily forget what horror is under the bridge.

[Magic 5 - sacc] Sen shivers a little, and gives her head a single shake. But she's pulling another strip of alaricite, and as that one crumbles, she's already lunging. Forward, forward, forward - it's the hydra she's after, and in the last leap there's a moment where there appears to be two of her, splitting apart at the head, the second ephemeral, and when she lands there's Wolf and werewolf both, tearing furiously into the thing's hide in hopes of keeping it from fully emerging from the mirror.

[MAGIC 1 - FURYBORN RAGE] A howl of pure rage rips itself out of Jael's mouth, a scream that seems to somehow involve body and soul and emotions and all of the things in between or beyond. She whips around, a lot faster than she was moving before, and her sword slices deep into the flyer that thought it'd try to take a pot shot at her on the way by. It winds up crashing to the ground at her feet, both its wings severed, and then she's on top of it and smashing its head on the stone. A couple of other demons think to try and pile on top of her, and it goes about as well for them when she sights them and hacks away with her sword, too fast for them to 'ohshitsorry' and backpedal away, although there was an attempt. "WHERE do you think you are GOING?!" The demon smashed into paste forgotten behind her, she mercilessly cuts the many, many legs off of this new one, leaving it twitching on the ground. "You SIT your ass DOWN!"

[MAGIC 3 - The Cruel Commander's Armor] Apollo /still/ isn't a target. Not really. He becomes /kind of/ a target when things start spewing FIRE INDISCRIMIATELY, which is not a target at all, it's just /at risk/. He ducks the gout of flame, watches it make mirages between himself and Lianne, Samira, Onyx - hisses, "/Piss./" He's gonna be up on his feet and running as soon as the way is clear. He wipes sweat and soot and blood from his face (oh is he gonna need several baths later or what) and turns, looking for incoming threats. Finds, instead, the sight of Avary, walking as if in a fugue across the bridge. "Fuck is she doing," he breathes, and flips his knife over in hand, describes a shape around her with the hilt. Oh, what pretty armor she wears! The sort of gilded, jeweled thing that vain commanders wear when they leave their armies in stock leathers. It is shiny, though, and that's confidence boosting. Right? Not... jealousy?

Calandra parts her lips. She tries to sing, but only a pained whimper escapes.

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

[magic 3] Caspian slipped under a wild swing of a demon, knife splitting the thing into a shower of gore. The flaming blades burned with brilliant light as the champion dashed through the horde of demons that tried to claw him down, the lashing blows of his flaming chains cutting down shards. Phoenix dove in, flames combusting the demons as it let out a shrieking cry of defiance.

[Magic 4] "Liara--" Keely is calling out to give Liara a heads up about the fire blasting her way, and then, "KAEL!!" because he is being targeted as well. But then the fire is just gone, and she and Alicanto stop short in their barreling toward the ground. For the flame has simply gone. With a small shake of her head and a glance around, she swoops down much more quietly to give her husband a once-over, then up to peer at her sister on the way by. Maybe she's losing it.

(and then Keely uses her light magic)

Continuing her screams of the shards and now on her hands and knees between most of the fighting, Maharet struggles to the fragments that are still left and waits for the shimmering sight of a head, weapon, or foot before she heaves it over the sides of the bridge. She wants them to die falling at least, not landing somewhere safe just to regroup again.

Sometimes, Quintin doesn't know if he's coming or going when there seems to be no relief. One of his men get the bow that Lisebet told him about. He strings it. Pulls an arrow out of his pack and goes at it again. He's been so focused on the fight he's not aware of who's falling around him. He will have to hear of things later. Right now there are demons to shoot.

Skaldia sees the sixteen-headed hydra rise up out of that mirror, and she kind of just stares at it in shock. It's definitely enough to throw off her aim as she tries to shoot at it. She misses, and knocks another arrow as she lands on a rooftop, the wings disappearing once again. She tries to refocus, but she also tries to get a good look at what's actually going on here, from her higher vantage. She sends Libera up to scout for her.

"No. You'll go no further." Romulius lets his hands grip the hilt of his blade, the alaricite steep glowing against the onslaught of darkness. "How many years? How many years did this dark messiah prepare for this? Damned shame he's /still/ not ready!" Romulius mocks Azazel, evading a blow but tripping over a body. "Hells!" and he gets back up, slicing a larger beast across the chest but strikes naught but armor!

[Magic - 3rd - Raising Dead, Directing Ice] Bat swoops down, and Volcica keeps chanting-- pausing only a moment to call to the Primordia of Ice. "Freeze the Cubes!" She points with her spear at the jells gelatinous blobs that are rolling over the bridge. Then? Back to chanting, calling the dead to rise and fight.

[MAGIC 3 - Defensive (effective) & 4 (sacrifice) Offensive (ineffective)] Fire incoming, Lianne calls upon a different magic, tears welling in her eyes as she stares the demons down, the weight of the Songless Crown atop her head heavy. And potent. Their flames sputter, naught but cold, damp sorrow left where their capacity to burn had been. If only she had the awareness to pivot from one spell to another. That'll take time, practice, and this surely counts. When she goes to fling her coldfire at those same targets... well, all that comes out is dust. Nethicite dust. Oops?

[MAGIC 4 - w sac] Avary keeps moving forward. Shards and demons avoiding her on either side. She walks straight with steely-eyed determination and is simply being avoided entirely. Some enemies would rather jump off the bridge than look at her, even.

[Magic (4, sacrifice given] Ilmia's gotten much more in tune with the flow of what is going on and after that dang demon tries to take her out she is reminded that she needs her head completely in this. The Leary Lady is quick about summoning the hulking White Knight to her left and the Black Knight to right. She directs them to go hack and slash things and that is what they do, because a Lady asked!

[Magic - 2] As Valdemar is ducking and weaving his way through the chaos of the battle, leading Denica, her masked friend, and his men toward the largest concentration of Compact troops he could see, he listens to Lisebet's commands without thinking about it, saving him from the jaws of some demon with a really ugly maw. Inclining his head in her direction, he waits until his men are mostly in position before shouting at his men, "Keep me covered this time!" He then shuts his eyes for a short time and they seem to twitch behind his eyelids, putting his trust in his men in spite of their earlier mistakes. When he opens them again, he begins directing the Grim Legionnaires to shore up defenses where they might not have seemed weak to the naked eye, but that were ready to collapse, and to pull injured Arvani to whatever resembles safety.

The stand among those fallen, but not dead takes a turn. The blades of the King's Own and Iron Guard mixed unit continue to weave their own patterns or, in most cases, outright abandoned swordsmanship in favor of simply hacking and hacking and hacking at their enemies. The roaring commands of Sir Gabriel Bisland of the King's Own are abruptly ended when one of the ogres upon the bridge reaches out. Massive fingers encompass Sir Gabriel and begin to lift him up, up, and up. The diamondplate sword that he wields pinned at his side, Gabriel is unable to defend himself. He's forced to watch as the ogre lifts head first toward its maw. He struggles against the hold of the ogre, gritting his teeth and spatting his defiance at the monstrosity to no avail. He can't get loose of the thing's powerful squeeze.

[Magic #2 - Ice Knife] After her lengthy derail arguing in Rex'alfar with a ghost, Ember speaks more Rex -- but this time, it serves a more productive end, as with a flick of her hand, a shard of ice flies through the air and punctures a monster's head like a shot from a ballista. She looks to the ghost that only she can see and sneers.

[Magic 2 - Shadow Blur] Raja is so lucky to have friends. She knows it. She is grateful to have good people around her like Titania, Gabriel, Romulius, Calandra, and Naisha. She is not strong enough to protect everyone, so she does the next best thing. She summons the shadows to grant her ease of movement and proceeds to hasten her swings, becoming a blur of shadow as she strikes at enemies that surround her. A feral yell comes from her, deep within her soul. There is anger. There is a bit of frustration. Yet, there is gratification as flesh and bits are torn asunder by her wicked blade carved from the fang of a shard serpent.

[Magic 3 - The Truth Hurts] If Anisha has any understanding of what is going down in Rex'alfar around her, she wisely keeps her mouth shut. Giving a little bob of her head to Ember, and moving towards the poor Calandra, who's /clearly/ overwhelmed. Also, getting slightly further away from the monstrosities of weirdness that follow the massive hydra. There's a thing that looks like it might be a beholder, if a beholder had tongues instead of eyes, and it's painfully close to Roran, so when Anisha slips by the good Archlector, she makes sure to stab the thing in the main tongue and... Make that, too, suckle itself inwards and half-implode, all dead.

"Calandra, come," She cries. "We have to get you out of here."

At least Desma seems to be handling matters well.
Not to mention the impressive displays from a number of others.

[MAGIC - Final Gift] Having waded into the middle of the bridge, Celeste finds herself uncomfortably close to the Hydra. She draws her blade across her palm spills some of her own blood. Abyssal speech slips from her tongue in a rhythmic chant, and Things Happen.

Across the sky, a hundred black portals, rends in space, open up. Dark purple tentacles, scaled and full of suction cups, lance down like they were in a hurry to escape some imprisonment. The tentacles begin to wrap around demons here and there. Some from the beach get picked up. Some from the bridge get picked up.

Hundreds, perhaps a thousand demons find themselves being torn in half, drawn and quartered, and other gruesome things by the Sky Tentacles. Blood and viscera rains down across the bridge and onto the river banks below.

It's pure carnage, leaving evrything slick. More than one bath will be needed to clean this out of the hair.

Celeste grips her blade tighter, cutting deeper into her hand. More blood runs out, as if the world needed more blood. A massive portal opens and bigger tentacles come out, grabbing what of the hydra hasn't been destroyed and ripping it to shreds, leaving so much calamari in its place.

But big magic requires a Big Price. Celeste is grabbed up. As the tentacles all retreat through their portals at the same time, they take the blonde general with them. Unlike previous times this has happened, she does not reappear.

[Magic: 2] Kael races after those griffins, and to be fair amidst the chaos he may have started to actually move beneath the wrong griffin. He looks up to refocus and right then is when he sees the fire incoming. He steels himself, grimacing, and undoubtedly is in midst of a prayer when it... does not hit. He looks up somewhat mystified and catches sight of Liara. "Thank you!" he calls as the Highlord ascends. How earnest can one sound in the midst of chaos? Very. He readies his blade anew, slicing a particular rote pattern in the sky, and as it pulses with light he intercepts his next enemy. Beneath his breath he whispers words, near a chant.

Celeste has died.

[MAGIC 3] Vayne continues to do his thing. He moves around, ducking behind some of the burlier defenders, and looks over their shoulders from a safe distance. When some monster or another is getting too close, he murmurs, pointing, setting another demon on fire. Then the sky turns black with portals and tentacles come down, ripping demons apart. He stares, barely remembering to shield himself from the viscera raining down.

[MAGIC 3] The pause off the bridge allowed Sabella to see clearly how terrible the flow of demons is, and she casts a look over her shoulder in the direction of the beach. But when she looks back at the bridge, her gaze finds Gabriel. Without a second thought, the princess spurs Mary-Ellen forward to viciously claw at the ogre. "Sir Gabriel!" Once the ogre releases him, a blast of air sweeps the ogre off the bridge so the King's Own knight can recover.

[Magic 2 - You Can't Handle the Truth] Art is powerful, because it is truth. It doesn't try to state with words, it shows the world how it is. It shows people as who they are. That is what Denica's art it. Her magic too. And so the small Thrax, wraps herself with a fierce rainbow, the colours spray and splatter. Keeping especially close to Valdemar in the chaos, Denica watches the near hit that almost comes and witnesses the quick actions Lisebet takes. There's an appreciative look and a few coloured sparkles glitter for her. Then Denica is throwing that truth back at the enemy. She fights with the very serious icy eyed Masked Man, together their use their collective strength. Their actions, their consequences, their failures, their fears, she paints it all.

[MAGIC 3] Samira grimaces, posture tense for the hit Lianne nearly sustained, for the sparks of light that emanated from Fortunato caught in her peripheral vision. She inhales a sharp breath, lifts her hand again... and is immediately distracted by the sight of all the strange and enormous creatures emerging from the mirror. She curses under her breath, eyes wide. "Just adding everything to the mix, huh?" she mutters. Her lack of focus clearly affects the efficacy of her magic: a few incoming troops look to be on the verge of a full-on fight between one another, but when Sam's focus wavers, their sights immediately return to the Arx defenders.

[MAGIC - 4th use - alaricite sacrificed] Liara's griffins wings beat and it gains altitude once more, and she comes into shouting distance of Keely, from where she points downwards, "Keely! The woman at the edge of the bridge, Calandra Whisper, the singer. She needs help." Then with a word from Liara, the griffin soars off over the Ward of the Compact once again, and Liara scans for the progress of the soldiers. There's a traffic jam of people on the road, and so she redirects a column along a sideway, calling to them, "Turn left. Make haste. Sovereign Bridge is hard-pressed." They follow the order promptly, and there's no hesitation among them about hurrying towards further danger.

It's only after this that she looks back to what is happening, her eyes widening as she takes in the many portals opening. She doesn't see that Celeste did it, but registering that the tentacles are tearing apart demons, Liara exhales a faint sound, relieved.

[MAGIC 3] Fortunato gathers his light. No more misdirection. It's hard to /see/ for all the shards, the demons, the shock-troops, the hydras, the departees and departees of the mirror. His bright, viciously edged line snaps forward, it arcs, it -- Fortunato is aghast at the portals, the reaching tentacles. He's in awe of them. His lash seems to continue half without him.

Godric lets out a frustrated sigh, his patience wearing thin as he watches Jan set Seia down at his feet. "Get her out of the way," he instructs sharply, gesturing for someone to assist Seia while he focuses his attention on Jan. His eyes narrow with a sardonic grin, his expression darkening with annoyance at her threat. "We can sew your arm back on," Godric remarks casually, his words tinged with a hint of dark humor. "Know a few that would admire such an arm as a weapon to beat another with." Turning his gaze back to Jan, Godric's features harden into a stern glare. "Imagine talking to your parents-" he begins in retort, his voice dripping with sarcasm. Godric's sarcasm fades away as his attention is captured by the sight of the sixteen-headed hydra climbing onto the bridge. For a moment, he's frozen in place, his mind struggling to process the surreal scene unfolding before him. But then instinct kicks in, and he grabs Jan, pulling her away from the fray with urgency.

The display is enough to even put Alistair on the back foot. The High Inquisitor watches with his typical scowl and dour face as the tentacles sweep the bridge of demons. The display of something horrible and eldritch. The swarm of creatures that have covered Thomas are plucked one after the other, the honey badger holding onto one and being lifted up by the terrible magic before he drops back down and craters part of the bridge. He gives a terrible snuffle and snarl, before he too looks up with bestial eyes and watches the horrible display of power.

Calandra is crying, whimpering and bleeding as she watches the death of Celeste.

[MAGIC 4, sacrifice given] Isolde knows the magic use is getting to her but she came with preparation. Rejuvenated after draining her alaricite, Isolde starts sending her Hordeling after more targets. The demon is just as rejuvenated, stronger even, extending his arms and twisting around to take many down at once. Like a helicopter... if those existed Noting that Alistair's familiar is being swarmed by creatures. Before she can redirect her demon, she sees what her cousin is doing. "...Celeste." She begins, boggled and momentarily distracted by the tentacles that emerge. She tears up when it dawns on her what has happened... which quickly turns to heightened rage.

Tentacles, tentacles everywhere. Roran's hand comes up to shade his eyes and move swiftly out of the way lest a tentacle take him along with the demon that was about to lunch on Roran. "Gods be at your back" Probably not the gods doing the tentacles...

The shock of the tentacles definitely pauses in the attack, a brief moment of surprise broken by a warcry of a badger echoed by the primordia above, and then more demons surge on.

((Luck round inc. For clarification, daunting from botch, hard from fail, normal for marginal fail))

[Magic 3] Lisebet has had about enough, and she raises her voice along with her hand, pointing over at the nearest gelatinous goo. Her eyes glow a bit green, instead of blue, as she sends green disks flying at it. Not icky green, but a pure jade green. fist sized disks mostly like her shield that go smashing at something big mean and ugly. Of course, then there's the crazy tentacles everywhere, picking up demons, and Lisebet's eyes widen as she stares. There will be time to absorb this later. For now, though, the fight must go on. Quintin's archer gets the bow from her, and she sends it back his way. "Tentacles - are - Wait, they're on our side?"

Apostate has called for a check of luck at daunting.
Volcica is successful.
Skaldia fails.
Aconite fails.
Sen'azala fails.
Botch! Caspian fails completely.

Apostate has called for a check of luck at hard.
TIE: Victus marginally fails. Apollo marginally fails.
TIE: Denica fails. Lianne fails.
Raja fails.

Apostate has called for a check of luck at normal.
Critical Success! Liara is spectacularly successful.
TIE: Fortunato is successful. Jan is successful.
TIE: Ilmia is successful. Seia is successful.
Aleksei is successful.
TIE: Calandra is successful. Quintin is successful. Desma is successful.
TIE: Valdemar is successful. Geralt is successful. Kael is successful. Samira is successful.
Lisebet is successful.
Anisha is marginally successful.
TIE: Ember marginally fails. Isolde marginally fails. Jael marginally fails. Alistair marginally fails.
TIE: Vayne marginally fails. Keely marginally fails. Titania marginally fails. Maharet marginally fails.
Narcissa fails.
TIE: Sabella fails. Roran fails.
Botch! Avary fails completely.

Jael checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Botch! Jael fails completely.

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

Vayne checks dexterity at normal. Vayne marginally fails.

Apollo checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Apollo marginally fails.

Skaldia checks dexterity and ride at normal. Skaldia is successful.

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

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

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

Aconite checks charm and seduction at hard. Aconite is successful.

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

Isolde checks charm and occult at easy. Isolde is spectacularly successful.

Keely checks charm and empathy at easy. Keely is successful.

Sabella checks charm and propaganda at easy. Sabella is spectacularly successful.

Gabriel checks luck at normal. Gabriel marginally fails.

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

Maharet checks charm and propaganda at hard. Maharet is successful.

Titania checks dexterity at normal. Titania fails.

Gabriel checks command and leadership at normal. Gabriel is successful.

Roran checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Roran fails.

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

[Magic 3- Shadow Step] The skies open up and the tentacles come down. Raja's eyes go wide as a look of shock is upon her face. At first, she is unsure if the tentacles are friend or foe, but then she sees how the tentacles are only going for the demons. The hydra is torn to shreds and the parts rain down, a chunk of meat even landing atop Raja's hooded noggin. "Ffuuuckk.." She whispers out. The slime and gore slides down her hood with a slurpy sound. Then.. Celeste is gone. Raja did not know Celeste, but the heaviness of what she has witnessed is not lost on her. Due to the display and allowing herself to get momentarily lost in her emotions, Raja is nearly run through with a wicked, jagged blade! She snaps back into the moment right in time to summon the shadows, dissapearing, then emerging from Romulius's shadow this time.

[Magic 5 - Alaricite] "Alicanto... ALICANTO WAIT--" Even if Keely hadn't heard Liara, Alicanto did, and needs no further word than that of the Grayson Highlord to fly his rider over to the injured Calandra, diving into a roll to turn easily. The Marquessa buries her face in the creature's feathery mane, holding on tight and placing another brilliant prismatic bubble around them just in case, unknowingly averting a bit of danger on their path. Unfortunately, that also diverts them from the woman bleeding and whimpering on the ground. Hold on Calandra!

[Magic 6 - sacc] Sen and Wolf tear furiously at the hydra, until suddenly there is no more hydra, and there are tentacles and portals *everywhere*. Sen hits the bridge hard, though seemingly unharmed, but her fur is bristling and her eyes are very, very wide. She snarls at nothing, digs her claws into the stone, and visibly tries to wrestle her unaimed fury back under control. Back, back. It's Wolf that shoulder checks the oncoming shard away from her, because she's a little *distracted*.

[MAGIC 4 - item to Apostate] As Sabella and Mary-Ellen soar away from Gabriel, the princess sees Jael struggling. She concentrates carefully, and the Laurent lady finds herself enclosed with Sabella and the griffin within a golden light palace that looks like Grayhold.

Liara is really covering a lot of ground - air? - as she tries to direct soldiers more quickly up towards Sovereign Bridge. As she soars back towards it, she spots demons starting to converge on Avary as the Archlector advances, and the griffin dives, its talons sending a few tumbling, and Liara herself slashes down with Elvesbane. Then before retaliation can come, the griffin gains height again, and Avary is safe, for a moment.

[Magic 3 - Attack- Hail of Doom] Desma is drawing and firing, individual arrows at individual targets, keeping her distance from the enemy where she can, dodging where she can and... when one got too close, delivering an alaricite helmed headbutt. She checks arrow, seeing the horde reeling from the tentacles but about to reach Titania and shouts "TITANIA GET DOWN!" and launches another arrow... that splits into HUNDREDS of arrows that drop dozens of the foes.

Jan kicks Godrick "Let me go, old man!" her tone loud and sharp as the crack of a whip. She looks up and her eyes wide "What in all the ever-living taint-berries is THAT?!" She ducks quickly and shakes off Godric to move forward to face this foe.

Throwing sick ice knives is cool and all, but it does make Ember a stationary target when she does it. She just barely manages to scramble out of the way of a flying thing that probably wants to peck her eyes out. Her beautiful glowing yellow eyes!

Lianne checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Botch! Lianne fails completely.

Thomas is very annoyed that these foul creatures of the abyss don't charge him. Lots of snuffing. Lots of snarling. "You pansy pajama wearing!" Chomp. "Little livered." Snarl. "Red eyed snargflops." Hiss. "COWARDS." The beast shouts out in the middle of the bridge as he tries to grab demons running by him for others. Alistair is swarmed by several hordelings and goes to work chopping at them to keep them at bay before Confessors can sweep forward to bring the fightto the forces of the Abyss.

Avary pauses, stop short and gasps as she's about to be overrun. But, she is saved by a griffin! She looks up and gives it, and Liara a grateful look. A ... a smile, even! She looks back forward, takes a deep breath, and keeps walking.

Still crawling, still frantically picking up what shards she can with her bleeding hands, Maharet keeps up her work in between the legs of the hordes fighting, keeping up her screams for those fighting to press on, rallying when there is any sign of falter.

[MAGIC - Defensive - Ride the Wind] From her vantage, it's really quite shocking when those portals open up, and start sucking demons into them. She leaps up after a moment, wings appearing once more, and then she circles around, dodging portals and demons alike, even as they target her. Eventually, she sees Calandra crying on the battlefield, and the hawk girl flies around and lands next to the fallen Whisper. "Come with me," she whispers, and she'll do her best to try to whisk the injured and crying woman away to safety while the demons are briefly distracted by the portals. (Pulling Calandra to safety somewhere.)

Tentacles from the sky, a portent of death in the Mourning Sea. What Victus observes however is an absolute massacre of the demonic forces. Pieces of their warriors soaring over the edges of the bridge and falling onto its paved stones. He lets out a low whistle. First time he's had the pleasure of seeing a tentacled menace on their side of the field. As one of beasts swing wildly, Victus still has the wherewithal to duck and dodge out of the way. Though only just.

[(Belated) MAGIC 3 (fail)]Something about the particular crush on the bridge doesn't give Aleksei as much room to maneuver. He manages to stay out of harm's way, but he's also not managing to kill /quite/ as many demons as he'd hoped. Sad day, honestly.

Titania checks 'permanent wound save' at hard. Botch! Titania fails completely.

Titania has suffered a permanent wound!

Titania checks 'unconsciousness save' at normal. Titania is marginally successful.

Titania remains capable of fighting.

Roran checks 'permanent wound save' at hard. Roran marginally fails.

Roran checks 'unconsciousness save' at hard. Roran fails.

Roran is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

The griffin sweeps in as the fetid breath of the ogre reaches Sir Gabriel's face. He bares his teeth in answer, still trying in vain to wiggle his arm free that he may jam a long, hard shaft of diamondplate straight into the ogre's mouth hole. Claws rake and the ogre roars out, releasing Gabriel in a bid to protect its face. That same roar grows all the more distant as the ogre is blown over the bridge by the powerful beat of Mary-Ellen's wings. Through a sea of screams and shouts, fire and smoke, blood and even a massive spider that suddenly appears, and tentacles that claim a soul or several; Gabriel falls. He clatters to the bridge with the sound of his rubicund rattling and ringing, though to the credit of the former Duke and regent of the Crown: he never releases his sword.

Sensing vulnerability more foes rush forward, seeking to drag Gabriel into their midst and finish him. A shouted command sends his small squad of knights rushing forward to push back the threat in order to buy himself time to recover.

Jael was really on a roll there for a moment, but Celeste's moment of sacrifice stops her in her tracks. So different from what happened at Artshall, and yet... at its core, it's close enough to the same thing that she can't look away. Tears, angry tears of loss and impotent rage, well in her eyes, and she's not even paying attention as the demons she was engaging bring their friends to the party. It's Sabella and the protective light of those wings that snaps her back to herself again, and makes her realize how close she came to joining her cousin in the Shining Lands.

"Agh!" Romulius manages to overpower a demon, slicing it across the throat when the tentacles emerge and tear so many of those beasts apart, without mercy without leave. For a moment, the fighting pauses and even Romulius is forced to witness Celeste's confidence. "May you live forever." he stares his approval for the hero who gave her life for the safety of the city and her comrades. Then the fight is back on and Raja emerges from his shadow! "Thrre you are. I was about to start looking for you." he looks around. "HER SACRIFICE WILL NOT BE IN VAIN! So say we all!"

Lisebet takes a moment though, sidestepping and careful to not slip on the goop that is all over the place. She has a moment where nothing is attacking her, and rubs at her head, before she grimaces. Bad move, her hands are not the cleanest, even if her head is starting to hurt. "We can do this," she calls out loudly. "For Arx! For the Compact!" The diplomat in her feels that there's reason to call out encouragement with all che carnage and chaos going on.

Lianne holds the mirrored hilt of the heavy parrying dagger Cassius gave to her on their very first excursion together in 1005 as Celeste's sacrifice draws all the attention. "One of ours," she murmurs with a note of quiet pride to her former mentor, though Onyx surely already knows. The last of the dagger turns to dust, gone in a breeze across the bridge into a gelatinous cube who doesn't notice it at all as impossibly thin hollows of hopelessness weave through it. Good thing, too. She wouldn't be able to bear both the cube's attention and the sad, sad demons a little bit pissed off that their fire faltered. It's back, now that she's not focusing on their failure. Shit.

Roran's having a harder time, more in the thick of things than he had wanted to be and not usually the one on the battlefield. The tentacles, the noise of battle, screams from people dying and the water below has him not seeing the winged demon that comes careening for the Archlector. It tears through the silk and into the armor, grabbing and tossing the holy man who ends up landing near Jan. Tossed like a rag doll, the braids sprawled on the ground, the Archlector of Lagoma is out for the count and bleeding.

Quintin has made it his duty to stay close to Lisebit and looks to the others that may be surrounding them. "You heard her! Let's goooo!" Ping, Ping, Ping. Goes his arrows.

Stepping through the chaos, it takes coordination not to get hit. There's a moment where the princess nearly finds herself at the wrong end of a demon. Yet, she puts her trust in those around her, and she manages her way. The Masked Man is fiercely protective of the colourful princess, even if he offers critiques on her palette choices. Denica keeps close in step with Valdemar as the man commands his troops, her attention entirely consumed by creativity. Denica is in a world of images and shades and hues, trying to make sense of it all, as Azazel's demons continue to attack relentlessly.

[Magic 5 - DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!] Just as one cousin falls, another is in imminent danger. It's unlikely that Isolde has noted the masked figure that has been Lianne's shadow this whole time but when she sees her about to become swarmed, she rushes over without a second thought. Her eyes are engulfed in black, the amethyst gemstone glows and for a second it seems that her ears get slightly pointed. The ripply effect indicates that it's not entire -natural- but for whatever reason, once she reaches Lianne, the attacking creatures seem unable to strike effectively or in some cases, at all. Her voice rises as she addresses them and the effect is chilling.

Titania heard Desma yell to get down, she moves to get down and then she feels the searing pain of claws sinking into her she lets out a scream, as she gasps out her hand world is spinning for the moment as the pain aches through her. She shakes it off she has too, she will handle whatever is wronf after! she has to get through this she grits her teeth and gets back into it.

The clearing by the tentacles and sacrifice of a living fragment of the Will of Baalphrigor definitely rattles the demons, with a noticeable pause on Sovereign Bridge before the demonic horde resumes their assault. Most of what is coming through the mirror now is not humanoid, sending bigger and bigger monstrous foes through to try to sweep defenders off the bridge and into the chasm below. ((Round 4: Victory Points 1220))

Romulius checks dexterity and huge wpn at hard. Romulius fails.

Anisha checks mana at easy. Anisha is successful.

Victus checks strength and huge wpn at hard. Victus is successful.

Caspian checks dexterity and small wpn at hard. Caspian is marginally successful.

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

Isolde says in Abyssal, "Who do you think you are? Have you /no/ respect?""

Keely checks charm and empathy at hard. Keely is successful.

Anisha checks charm and manipulation at hard. Anisha is successful.

Liara checks command and leadership at hard. Liara is successful.

Kael checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Botch! Kael fails completely.

Valdemar checks command and war at hard. Valdemar is successful.

Denica checks mana and artwork at hard. Denica is successful.

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

Gabriel checks command and medium wpn at hard. Gabriel is successful.

Jael checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Jael marginally fails.

Skaldia checks dexterity and archery at hard. Skaldia is successful.

Geralt checks willpower and huge wpn at hard. Botch! Geralt fails completely.

Ember checks strength and huge wpn at hard. Ember marginally fails.

[magic 4 + 5] Caspian was getting swarmed, the demons attempting to strike him down in order to strike at the Phoenix. There was a shimmer, and then a image of Caspian in flame appeared outside the swarm, and suddenly he was there. No longer surrounded he launched his assault back into the foes, his weapons still blazing with the flaming light!

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

Aconite checks charm and seduction at hard. Aconite marginally fails.

Aleksei checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Aleksei marginally fails.

Fortunato checks wits and artwork at hard. Fortunato marginally fails.

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

Ilmia checks charm and occult at hard. Ilmia fails.

Apollo checks dexterity and tanning at normal. Apollo is successful.

Lianne checks intellect and occult at easy. Lianne is successful.

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

Isolde checks charm and occult at easy. Isolde is successful.

Volcica checks mana and occult at hard. Volcica is successful.

Raja checks dexterity and small wpn at hard. Raja marginally fails.

Apollo takes a jewelers janus hammer from it's complicated.

Flying demons and even the sacrifice of a fragment of the Will of Baalphrigor did not rattle Onyx, when the skies opened and tentacles consumed thousands of demons. But seeing Isolde look like that most assuredly does. The mirrormask just stares at her, "I did not know you would be here, your majesty. Welcome."

Maharet checks command and propaganda at hard. Maharet marginally fails.

[Magic 4 - Mana At Easy - The Truth Hurts] \\
It is, perhaps, a testament to how popular the Whispers are that Anisha doesn't even make it to Calandra before griffins surround the former Culler, eager to take her away, to safety. That's good, because Celeste's sacrifice did in fact stop her on her heels, staring. She's good at stoic, but not that good.

But, alright - there's more going down and the battle's yet to be won - and more and more people are dropping.

"So say we all," She agrees with Romulius' roar, and squares her shoulders. The energies inside of her that she's been absorbing do not feel that great, so - time to use them. As Roran goes down her head whips to the winged demon, and she rushes into it. Once more, she whispers a painful truth to it, as she pushes her blade into it, and feasts on its essence through rivulets of smokey shadow as the creature collapses.

Of course, this does take most, if not /all/ of her attention, and there's frankly a lot going on.

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

A murmur goes through the daytime crowd on the bridge as many crane their necks to see one of the more famous members of Arx society arrive.

Jan grimaces "Gloria's gams, this is insane!" she bellows, sheathing her sword and quickly slips her arm under his and unceremoniously drags him back to where she left Seia, there there's many soldiers and ideally cover for those laying prone to await medical attention.

Samira checks perception and occult at hard. Samira is successful.

Maharet checks composure and propaganda at hard. Maharet is successful.

Lianne says in Abyssal, "Thank you, cousin. You are remarkable."

Godric checks intellect and medicine at hard. Godric is successful.

Desma wields Warspite, an alaricite xiphos.

The moment of sacrifice, the unhappy memories, all of these things have rattled Jael out of her rage. She picks herself up and rejoins the fray, but not with the fire that she exhibited before.

Quintin checks intellect and war at hard. Quintin fails.

Vayne checks perception and occult at hard. Vayne fails.

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

[Magic 5 Sac to Apos] Ilmia's starting to flag, but she's packed with enough Alaricite to sacrifice for the magic she's fueling. The Unicorn primordia is still stamping out things as Ilmia tries to find her groove again. It is not very easy with all of the chaos around.

[MAGIC 4 - steelsilk sacrificed] Fortunato is just -- losing the thrust of the battle. He is, in truth, not a fighter at all. Once, long long ago, he was, but the mess, the clash of terrible creatures, his increasing inability to see anything but darkness, is making it difficult to target either light or illusion. He defaults to the latter. What if he should slice a friend with light? But his illusions are just flickers, insubstantial, neither convincing nor confusing. He burns away a square of steelsilk against the palm of his hand. "Think," he tells himself. He /wills/ himself.

[Magic 6 - Alaricite] Someone else seemed to have gotten Calandra, so Keely and her griffin launch themselves back into the air. At this point, she is looking a bit green about the gills from all the sudden changes in direction, but there is no time to be sick right now. She aims a blast of light at the wing of one of the airborne demons, sending it crashing back to the ground to take out a cluster of its compatriots.

[Magic 3 - Buffet] Skaldia drags Calandra a little distance away, hoping it is enough to help her get out of danger, but it is clearly not enough as the horde of demons just keeps coming. With a cry of frustration - she can't save everyone - she can't! - she flies up again, one leg bent, the other hanging with toe pointed to the ground, and flaps her wings, creating a strong gust of wind, aided by Hawk. "Let's push them back, Hawk!" the huntress pants, out of breath, and sweat beading her brow. With a cry of rage, she sprouts sharp quills from her skin, which are then hammered into the demons as well with the force of the gust of winds. She shoots arrows at the same time, one after another, aiming and hitting, aiming and hitting. "Go back to the Abyss!" she yells angrily.

Godric's muttered curse is lost amidst the chaos as Jan breaks free, her defiance met with his exasperated frustration. He watches with a grimace as the situation escalates, the sudden appearance of the Archlector adding another layer of complexity to an already volatile situation. "Insolent child," Godric mutters under his breath, his tone laced with irritation. But before he can intervene further, the medics rush forward, their hands reaching out to pull the Archlector from the fray. Godric curses again, his jaw clenched tight as he watches the scene unfold. There's a flicker of concern in his eyes, buried beneath layers of resignation and weariness. Despite his salty demeanor, he knows the gravity of the situation all too well, and the implications of what may come next weigh heavily upon him. With a grim determination, he moves to assist the medics, his actions swift and purposeful as he helps to ensure the safety of the Archlector amidst the chaos.

[MAGIC - Flay there: maximum flayage] Apollo should know better than to stare. But look. Of all the shit he has seen? /Sky tentacles/ are not on the list. If there was a memo, he missed it. Are those on their side? It seems like someone would have mentioned! He lifts a shaky blade up toward them, missing the much more terrestrial threats. Sort of. He gets clipped on a shoulder, but that's a piddly thing that doesn't even rate. He aims at the big stuff. Angry. Furious! Shouts in some fell tongue, slashing the air. Dozens down, between him and his fellow tanner who, you know, is probably more experienced than his youthful face suggests.

Apollo says in Abyssal, "Fools and their skins are soon parted!"

[MAGIC 4 - alaricite sacrifice] "Ahhh..." The power within is running on fumes. Victus clutches at his chest, the fatigue setting in after so many dashes through the enemy. Yet it was no time to surrender now. He digs into his coat, pulling out a chunk of alaricite and holding it aloft. "Let's go." The piece crumples to dust, and his sword shines again. Leap, pull, *cleave*. The High Lord is splattered with the monster's blood, but still he presses on. "Forcing two bathes in one day. Inefficient. Hrk-" Saltwater dribbles from the corner of his mouth. At least he's starting to get used to it.

[Magic - 3] The tentacles coming from the portals in the sky gives Valdemar pause, and he breathes a sigh of relief when he notices that they are attacking the demons rather than the Arvani. Briefly glancing in Denica's direction and seeing that she remains safe for the moment, he swings his sword in a sweeping arc not at a particular enemy, but once again at the ground beneath them. And as before, fiery rocks burst out of the ground to strike at the demons they face, leaving the ground churned up in their wake.

[MAGIC 6] The relief at her cousin's safety is short lived as Isolde is addressed by the masked figure. She looks surprised at being referred to in that manner before something dawns on her. "Oh gods." She says blinking quickly before her attention returns to the battle at hand. "T-thank you." Is all she can /truly/ say at this point. She looks apologetic for just a little moment but now isn't the time, so the hordeling is summoned yet again and more demons and shards need to be torn to shreds.

The Ashford Archer that would be Quintin got a little cocky with his bow and arrow that suddenly he finds himself falling and slipping in the goo. Falling flat to the ground with his hand still wrapped around his bow and arrow as he tells his men, "Watch out for the Duchess!" Yes, he's talking about Lisebet.

Here and there Maharet can find time in between focusing on tossing the shards to slice an Achilles on an enemy (if they're still cool to be called that?) Trying. Trying so hard to at least stem the flow so that the fighters can keep the massive amounts of enemy at bay. She is filthy, covered in bruises from being kicked and stepped on, but she doesn't stop her crawl or her mission, her golden eyes focused.

Romulius finds his throat grabbed by one of the demons, kneeing it in the rib cage and pushing it off, blade raised, he misses the swing, but he backs up to get his distance. "Gods, he's fucking determined today.." he shakes his head, entering his deep stance and trying to keep the enemy at bay, he swings his blade, metal crashing against metal.

Ember is trying to power her way through a seemingly never-ending sea of imps, goblins, bullywugs, mimics impersonating fallen soldiers, nothics, thayan apprentices, demonic archers, other goblins, giant rats, wyrmlings, mephits, abyssal bandits, lycanthropes, gray oozes, spies, flying snakes, animated objects, harpies, grimlocks, zombies, thunder lizards, skeletons, dire wolves, kobolds, blights, carrion crawlers, sahuagi, ghouls, gnolls, small orcs, scarecrows, lizardfolk, even more dire wolves, multiple kobolds inside one big set of armor, nilbogs, ankhegs, cult fanatics, gibbering mouthers, meenlocks, demilichs, flameskulls, intellect devourers, will-o-the-wisps, imps that smell like, vargouilles, stirges, killmoulises, and the list just goes on forever. The point is that it's an impossible tide to try and push through, and try as Ember might, she's just not making any headway.

[Magic 7 - sacc] Sen drags herself to her full senses, though she's panting now, ears slicked, shoulders a little drooped. Her eyes narrow, she casts a look over the bridge turned battlefield, and then with a wheezy sort of snarl she slips another piece of alaricite from her pack, watches it blacken, and then flings it in Kael's direction. Mid-flight it changes. There's only one raven, this time, but only one is enough to distract the blow.

Jan growls "I was the Kennex General and now Sword of Nilzanza, I can handle myself. Keep your hands to yourself until I'm unconscious or need a hand treating myself." she checks to make sure the unconscious are breathing and not at risk of imminent death and then turns back around to head right back out into the fray.

Avary has finally reached her destination on the bridge: the mirror. Bleeding from her abdomen, she has managed to venture there in more or less a straight line.

Huge shout-out to Liara and Apollo for the helping hand that let her come this far.

She finally lifts her sword, A Blade That Never Dulls, "Justice tempers power...." and falls to her knees as she stabs it right into the center of the mirror, smashing it to fragments. To be immediately dog piled upon by the shards that just a moment ago were avoiding her entirely. To be just a moment later erupted back by an explosion of mythic porportions - shard guts and bits and parts and gore and goo everywhere. When the boom clears Avary, and that damned mirror, are gone.

Sabella looks over the bridge again with frustrated tears springing to her eyes. She leans in to speak with Mary-Ellen, and the griffin gives a solemn nod. As the great avian turns toward the beach, the princess reaches into her bag and pulls out a cutesy little tiara to place upon her head. Some may recognize it, if they see it. "I love you all," she whispers into the wind as the griffin takes off as fast as she can. The pair are a blur across the sky, streaking over the city such that few on the ground may even recognize what - who - is overhead. Then? There is a great and terrible shattering as Sabella and Mary-Ellen smash through the mirror on the beach, causing a terrible explosion that kills thousands of demons in the area - ending their lives and Azazel's ability to send more demons that way.

Sabella drops a commemorative heart tiara.

Avary has died.

Sabella has died.

[Magic 4 1 - Art is War - Sacrifice] There is inspiration in everything and so Denica draws from it. It lights her up, and she's glittering with all the colours. It makes her glow and she's using her palette knife to blend them in the empty space in front of her. It's less about contact and more about conception. All the ideas, all the feels, the emotions, everything she's ever known and felt, it comes through in those moments. Denica draws from the beautiful faces she sees around her and she is enraged by the cruelty of the enemy. That is the story she paints, wielding it like a weapon. The Masked Man fights alongside Denica, like someone who has seen everything and still experiencing everything. There's the occasional glance back at Valdemar, also checking to see if he's okay, meeting his gaze briefly in the middle of battle.

[MAGIC #3 - Abyssal Vortex] Titania praying verbally as she continues to fight, the prayer to Mangata helps her keep from focusing on her wounds for the moment. She starts to glow a blue as she starts to gather the shards in front of her in a swirling vortex of water, trapping enemies in a watery maelstrom, dealing damage.

Raja is trying to hold her ground, but the forces just keep coming! The skeletal winged woman next to her also fights with great ferocity. Naisha throws demons over the bridge, runs others through, tears others in half with her clawed hands. Though Naisha continues to fight with much vigor, Raja is obviously tiring in spite of her spit and vigor! She makes no progress against the enemies, barely keeping them at bay as they press their assault.

[MAGIC 5 - Offensive (sacrifice)] Lianne murmurs to Onyx, "This seems an increasingly disadvantageous position," before setting to motion, trying to find a spot where they aren't liable to be attacked from, oh, /all/ sides. It's difficult. Still, an attempt is made. It's in that movement that she catches Avary's fall, the mirror stabbed... and unleashes a torrent of coldfire at the shards who pile upon the archlector, to hell with finding a better defensive position. Maybe, /maybe/ she's yet alive under there.

[Magic 4: sacrifice count 1] There is too much coming in, and Lisebet makes a snap decision. She pulls up a hand and a jade green glowing shield comes up around her and hopefully those near her, moving to cover Quintin with all speed. Then there's mirrors smashing, and Lisebet's eyes go wide. She falls to her knees, barely keeping that shield of protection. "Oh my gods," is her whisper.

Alistair raises an arm to shield his eyes from the sudden detonation of both mirrors in a tandem strike to cut of Azazel's latest plan. The High Inquisitor rumbles, peering from under his sleeve to watch the smoke clear from Avary's sacrifice. "Do not let up! CLEAR THE BRIDGE OF THESE DEMONS." he bellows and starts charging forward into what remains of the abyssal forces.

"No. Gods. I--" Fortunato is broken from his overwhelmed uncertainty as mirror and mirror shatters, to holy blade and terrifying dive. To fall and fall. He places his heart on his chest. "As -- as Arx stands. We will remember."

Apollo can tear the skin off things all day (apparently), but keeping people in it... that's another trick altogether. One he maybe actually likes a little better.

Trouble is, they get a say in it, too.

He didn't know what Avary was doing when he dressed her all in fancy, cruel gilded armor. Demon skin and a body fall to earth just in time for him to see, and for just a second his face can't decide if he's angry or hurt. He just stops a second. And then it settles, tipping over to grief as quickly as the mirror shatters.

With the destruction of the mirrors, the assault stops. The remaining demonic forces are swept from Sovereign Bridge in short order. The losses were heavy, mostly from the initial surprise of the assault, but the forces weren't able to reach into the Ward of the Compact or Ward of the Crown. With the sacrifices that have been made, with the blood shed, they have held.

The sun sets on the second day of Azazel's assault.

Arx is still here.

"RAGE ON, GO YOU ABSOLUTE BADASSES YEAAAAAAH." Geralt roars even after he gets absolutely walloped by an ogre's mallet, slowly trying to get back up to his feet again. Seeing the mirrors shatter, all he can do is raise his fist into the air. "YOU WILL FOREVER BE LEGENDS. GLORY TO YOUR NAMES!"

Once again into the fray, Sir Gabriel is back on his feet and surging forward. Alongside whatever swords, spears, and shields that he can muster into his charge further into the bridge. Foes fall before their advance and they do their level best to lead with valor as the King's Own must. "Push them back to their gateway!" he cries out over the din of battle, trying to rally others to push for the reflective surface which permits the continued assault on the bridge. He is jostled and bumped about amid the chaos of battle, yet Sir Gabriel continues to push ahead at whatever pace he and those around him can muster. A glance to the skies shows Princess Liara soaring overhead and Gabriel cries out at the sight, "Do not relent! Our enemies will not! For the Crown, for the Compact!"

Then great sacrifices from their Compact are made, which results in Duke Gabriel's steps slowing. He blinks once or twice in obvious disbelief. If it weren't for his decades of experience, it's possible the Knight of the Compact may have become too distracted with those losses. Instead he chooses to earn the sacrifices as he begins to march forward again, the diamondplate blade in his grasp flicking and slashing in his push forward.

Liara's griffin had soared high into the air once again, and from there, she sees Sabella starting to dive. She calls out, though her voice may be lost on the din, "Sabella!" She urges her own griffin forward, but her cousin is far, far ahead, and Liara's eyes widen as she watches. The *boom* behind her yanks her attention back around, as Avary stabs the mirror, but once again, the Princess of Bastion is looking towards the beach.

Then, Sabella destroys that mirror, and Liara's breath catches. She blanches, then utters a word to her griffin, which swoops back to the bridge. It gives her a moment to squeeze her eyes shut, tears welling.

Keely turns just in time to see Sabella streaking toward the ground, and tries to scream, but her voice finds itself stuck tight in her throat. Before anything can be done, her beloved cousin crashes headlong into the cursed mirror, and saves them all. Alicanto's voice joins the aftermath of the explosion, an anguished scream tearing across the sky in mourning for his sister Mary-Ellen. Neither can do anything but hover in the air, stunned with the crushing grief brought on by what was just witnessed. Eventually, the pair must float to the ground, with Keely's light dimming and Alicanto's movements lethargic. Together they search for Kael, to retreat to safety and find a moment to mourn.

Skaldia sees Sabella and Avary from her vantage, and she realizes what is happening. "Oh no!" she cries, but it's too late. It's done. The mirrors are shattered, and the Princess and the Archlector are gone, like that. But so are thousands upon thousands of demons, and even she is blown back a bit by the shockweave, demon goo and glubber spraying all over her. She comes to land on a rooftop, shaken, but wiping goo out of her face to assess the damage. Tears stream down her face, mingling with the goo. After a moment, she pulls herself together, and rises up again to help the others finish off any remaining demons. The bridge holds. Arx holds. For another day.

Sen'azala is exhausted, and in the moment, the only thing she can do is watch. Realize. Stare. Next to her, Wolf draws up, watching as well, before the Primordia tips her nose to the sky and lets out a lone howl. It rises. Falls. And in the distance, in the forests where nothing has been allowed to survive, howls can be heard to rise as well. Rise and fall, rise and fall. The symphony is short, but it leaves echoes in the wind, and when it finishes, Wolf has vanished from sight once more.

Jael is left on her knees at the end of another battle, all of the fire taken out of her by Sabella's sacrifice. She picks herself up after a moment and looks over the edge of the bridge, down to the beach. And then she just... withdraws. She doesn't have physical wounds that need nursing, but the emotional ones? Those, right now, are crippling.

Does Ember process the noble and beautiful sacrifices of Sabella and Avary? It's hard to tell. Probably not in the moment, as she's a howling, braying monster of a woman -- literally, as her shadowmeld armor hangs off of her in broken scraps, revealing the body of a red-skinned, white-haired tiefling, whose glowing eyes are subsumed in a haze of black until such time as there are no shard-beasts left to kill. By that time, Ember is spent, and she slumps to the ground in a daze, kneeling, holding herself even half upright by clutching her huge scythe, tail twitching behind her. "Hnnnnnnn."

Godric's scowl deepens as he works feverishly on the wounded Archlector, his hands moving with practiced precision despite the chaos unfolding around him. He barely has time to register Jan's reckless charge back into the fray before a blinding explosion lights up the beaches outside, the shockwave rattling overhead. Cursing under his breath, Godric shields his eyes from the bright light, his focus momentarily disrupted. But he quickly shakes off the distraction, turning back to throw himself over Roran, shielding the unconscious man from any further harm. His grizzled features are etched with determination as he works to ensure the safety of those under his care.

Victus thrusts an arm across his face, shielding what he can of himself from the explosive end. Shards of the mirrors dashed into the air, along with their demon compatriots they'd carried through. It's a scene that leaves him stunned, and not a moment sooner, the rest of his energy drains away. He stumbles to the edge of the bridge, where a section of rail was still intact. First leaning on it, and then not bothering to stand any longer as he slides down into a sit. At last, he lets himself drop his sword. Another victory. Another day survived.

Once more, with the sea of enemies pressing down upon him, Kael can see his downfall coming. That hard blow about to land. Yet, midst prayer, there is movement, there is that raven that soars and diverts that strike. This time it is all the more confusing and chaotic. Kael turns around, whirling. He sees Sen'azala there and his lips part, confusion writ upon his face. He's on the cusp of calling out - either a question or voice of gratitude - when the mirror shatters. His words are silenced and the lump in his throat grows heavy. He sees Keely but this time there is no run, he walks toward her, slow and steady, to embrace her.

Jan scans the battle field, sees no more prone and then kneels "Besides, if you're not a total ass-pimple maybe I'll help you triage and treat these meatsacks."

It's getting too close for bow work so she slings her bow and from her waist draws two xiphos. Her blade Patience and her cousins Warspite flash out and she wades in, stabbing and slashing. It's not enough though and she is about to be overwhelmed when the mirrors shatter. She is shocked, staring in awe before she rallies with the rest. "MAGNOTTA!" dhe cries as she helps drive the beasts from the Bridge.

Titania turns to watch as Avary goes down and then Sebella, "NO!" she cries out as she watches, her wounds over taking her as she falls to her knees and gasps, tears falling down her cheeks. Pink steaks from the blood that is on her face, she can't think right now.

Maharet puts Harthall leather gloves in a heavy cloth bag with drawstring top - Harthall armor.

Maharet puts Harthall leather cloak in a heavy cloth bag with drawstring top - Harthall armor.

Maharet puts Harthall leather hood in a heavy cloth bag with drawstring top - Harthall armor.

Maharet puts Harthall leather bracers in a heavy cloth bag with drawstring top - Harthall armor.

Maharet puts Harthall armoured pants in a heavy cloth bag with drawstring top - Harthall armor.

And then it's done. There's no saving those who've fallen. Lianne angles a fleeting look back at Onyx, but her grief is already apparent. Not wholly hers, no, but felt deeply all the same. She rushes to Apollo's side and takes one of his hands in both of hers. Nothing said, just presence, assurance that they're both yet standing, despite the day's weighty losses. Soon enough, she'll be looking for others among the crowd, too. Sister, cousin, friends. But for now, she's here for him.

Narcissa wakes up.

Seia wakes up.

Anisha looks up from her destruction of the creature that went after Roran, just in time to see first Avary, and then Sabella blow up the mirrors. She moves with smoke and shard, cutting with Mirror's Edge and bringing her magics to bear again, exhausting herself to fulfill the call. To ensure that her and hers are safe; that the Whispers rise, even if battered, bruised and bleeding. Focusing more on defense than offense, this time.

"It's not over," She murmurs.

"But we bloodied his nose, I think."

Any smile she wears has a melancholy sadness to it; her gaze slightly distant. Looking over to the Crimson Countess raging in the distance.

"Curious," She murmurs. "Countess Ember - you owe me a story, I think."

Godric's lips curl into a sarcastic smirk as he meets Jan's gaze, his eyes gleaming with a hint of amusement despite the tension in the air. "Well, aren't you just a ray of sunshine in this cesspool of despair," he retorts, his tone dripping with saltiness. "But I'll have you know, I've been managing just fine without your gracious assistance, thank you very much." He pauses for a moment, letting the words hang in the air before adding, "But if you feel so inclined to grace us with your expertise, by all means, be my guest. Just try not to trip over your own inflated ego on your way to 'save the day'." With a dismissive wave of his hand, he turns back to his work, the sarcasm lingering in the air like a bitter aftertaste.

[MAGIC #4: sacrifice 1] Samira draws her alaricite blade, hand tightening fondly around the hilt before sacrificing the beloved weapon. Her breath catches in her throat as the explosion rattles the bridge, the mirror shattering, a result of those brave last acts. Alistair's bellow brings her back to herself and she turns, a wordless yell upon her lips as she narrows her focus upon the the forces still on the bridge. A victory, but at such a high cost. When there is nothing left to target, she swallows hard and turns, seeking familiar faces among the crowd, desperate to ensure their safety.

Roran wakes up.

Ember remains kneeling, exhausted, but looks up to face Anisha. "I drank the Blood of Leviathan," she says. "That's the story." Then her head dips back down, forehead resting against her scythe. "Gods below, I'm hungry."

After the mirror shatters and the creatures are unable to replenish in their battle, Raja simply stands there in complete silence. Her gaze stares at the shattered mirror and the carnage around her. She turns around to take stock in who is around her, looking for certain faces to ensure they are okay. From face to face, her dark eyes drift until she spies Calandra. "Calandra!" The bloodied blade is set into it's sheathe as she races over to the woman's side. "Hey.. Man, Acacia's gonna kick my ass you got hurt."

"Avary!!" Aleksei sees her, sees her charging into the thick of everything. Sees her lifting that sword and smashing the mirror. And he sees the swarm of demons that descend upon her -- until he sees nothing at all of her. The battle comes to an end, and he is left standing there, shoulders sagging, staring at the place on the bridge where the mirror -- and Avary -- were. He lifts a hand to scrub across his face, but only leaves it more bloodied.

"Whh-" Keely tries to speak to Kael as he nears, her voice cracking before she can even begin. After clearing her throat, she tries again with a faint, "We should s-see if... there is a-anything left to... t-t-to..." She can't continue. She can't speak at all anymore as she slides from Alicanto's back into her husband's embrace and simply loses her senses to grief.

Calandra is out of the way a bit having been dragged off to safety by Skaldia. She is well bleeding, whimpering in pain and crying. She is far too wounded to do things lke stand up. She is lucky she can still breath.

Ilmia freezes when the mirror is destroyed and she sees Avary and Sabella's sacrifices. The Leary woman lets her shoulders slump and there is a moment she looks like she might sit in the very spot she's standing and cry, but she can't. She gives a look up to the Unicorn and gives a half-hearted smile to it, "I'm still fighting." she tells it. And she would until she couldn't draw breath.

"Gave him a black fucking eye is what we did." Geralt comments to Anisha, shaking off the last shards of ice from his body, his frozen rage now finally coming to a simmer after being literally knocked out of it. "Lick our wounds today. Remember the legends. Not fallen. More than heroes. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. And those today that gave more of themselves? They'll be remembered forever as long as this bridge stands."

Skaldia rises up after a moment, then flies back over to where she left Calandra. She assesses the bleeding Whisper, then glances around. "Help!" she cries. "We need a medic! Badly!" She drops to her knees, dropping her bow, and does her best to help staunch Calandra's wounds until someone more skilled can get there. She applies pressure, and looks to the Whisper. "Hang on!"

That was very unexpected. One moment Isolde is frantically trying to direct her demon at the numerous vicious entities that surround them all. Then she hears a CRASH. It takes a little bit of time for her eyes to truly adjust to what she's seeing. "It's... gone. They destroyed it." She's saying this to herself as the last of her magic-juice fades and the hordeling with it. The enemy forces have been swept away and it's only then that she truly feels the exhaustion. "...Alistair." She looks around for her husband. "Alistair!" She manoeuvres around the mass of bodies quickly, wanting to make sure he's okay.

Jan grunts, "Make a deal, help me staunch the bloodflow in my limp wing here and I'll be your third hand." acknowledging a one handed medic is next to useless. She looks over at those who are beyond treatment with a small frown.

Sen'azala staggers to her feet. No grace here. A moment later she's slowly sliding back to human. The white fur recedes last, but for just a moment, a lingering, too-long moment, several looks of her black hair stubbornly remain white.

Sen swipes a hand across her face, then looks over the bridge. Aleksei. Aleksei is making noise, so she goes in...*that* direction. "You okay?" she asks. As if anyone is okay right now.

Desma goes to help Titania, offering an arm for the other Magnotta, her eyes sweeping around to find Anisha too, breathing a sigh of relief as she sees she is alive. "Come on Titania, let's find a healer."

Everything just stops and the colours hold still, stuck in place and Denica watches as the mirrors shatter. The sacrifice that Sabella and Avary make. It hits her with full force and the princess is almost numb by the empathy she feels. It's over. The moment is surreal to Denica and she hasn't quite processed everything that's happened. It's still raw on her paint splattered skin. Paint stained fingers still alight with little flecks of colourful light. A little breathless, a hand reaches for Valdemar's and then she looks back over her shoulder at the Masked Man. "Another day closer.," Denica whispers as she tries to stumble through the onslaught of emotions.

Fortunato looks at Skaldia. He looks down at his hands. He tries, "I'm not much of a medic. But if anything will help, I suppose I'm -- anything." A steady stream of light is drip-drifting from the back of his clothes.

Alistair stands there near the center, sweeping his gaze across the many slain demons and the defenders of the bridge. There is no out pouring of emotion from the man, despite the sacrifices. He is far focused on the moment and the future, and already those sacrifices are the brutal past. His gaze sweeps towards someone calling his name, seeing Isolde push through the mass of defenders. He opens an arm to embrace her, sheathing his sword as he does so. The man is unharmed, only painted with the signs of battle. He rumbles to her, not voicing the /many/ questions he might have about her new 'friend'. Thats for another time.

Lisebet looks around, and calls out, "Get the wounded back to medics. Let's take care of our people." She looks over to Quintin, checking to make sure that he's good. And then, tired though she is, she gets to her feet, and starts helping as she can to move wounded to safety, to help with clean up and whatever else needs doing. She stops though, every so often, staring where the mirrors were, and eventually she whispers, unaware she is mimicking Fortunato's words. "As Arx stands, we remember." One hand reaches to touch very lightly the copper brooch she still wears. "We /will/ remember."

Kael has enough strength to catch his wife when she slides down from the griffin, his hold a fierce thing. As if he was worried that if he dared let go that she would slip away from him somehow. As if this moment, this terrible moment, had to last forever. "It will be proper," he assures Keely, his voice quiet. "One way or another, it shall be."

The gateways shattered and Gabriel's movements draw to a halt. As the fighting begins to subside with the slaying of the last of Azazel's minions, the former Duke and current knight comes to a halt. He breathes heavily and he moves to the edge of the bridge, peering out toward the coast. He watches where Mary-Ellen and Princess Sabella had flown. His jaw works about for a moment and he blinks a few times, rubbing at his face before he clears his throat. He works to compose himself and with a nod he steps back. "Back to the palace, we may need to request additional reinforcements in case they make another incursion," he speaks up to those who he'd been patrolling with when everything went topsy-turvy.

Raja glances up to Titania as she moves past. "Wait! Lady Titania." She rises up from Calandra's side and makes her way closer to the other woman. "Thank you. I know it was chaotic in the midst of the fight, but thank you. If you ever need anything from me, all you have to do is ask."

Skaldia looks at the glowing light dripping off Fortunato, her eyes widening, and then she nods at him. She looks to Calandra. "Do you think you can do anything for her?" she asks Fortunato. She takes the injured woman's hand in hers. "It will be alright. I won't leave you," she says. "I'm Skaldia. What's your name?" she tries to keep Calandra distracted with pleasantries while hoping that something can be done.


Romulius calls out in victory and after a minute, he seems to stumble backwards, sitting on a few demon corpses, slowly exhaling.

Quintin missed what happened because he took a small nap. The noise of the aftermath woke him up and he struggles for a moment to get back up. Looking around as he sees what the damage is as he puts away his bow and arrow. He begins to round his men up to help with the clean up. He has no words. He's just angry and it smolders on him.

Valdemar takes Denica's offered hand. "Yes, another day closer. To what, it is still hard to say. But we're not making it easy for them, at least," he remarks as adrenaline fades and the pain of his wound catches up with him. He doesn't fall, but is definitely walking with a limp after cleaning and sheathing his sword.

Titania tries to stand up but she is having a hard time, she shakes her head, "Sebella." she whispers as she breaths deeply, she just wants to lay down and curl up, her pink rimmed eyes look to Raja nodding her head to the woman, "Thank you." she says in a soft voice. She looks to Desma, "I don't know if I can walk at the moment."

Fortunato checks 'recovery treatment' at hard. Fortunato is successful.

They're all of them bathed in blood. Human blood, demon blood, does it really matter? Apollo is no different; he's on his feet, never left them. He only looks fallen. No, sunken. He only stops staring when there are hands on his, and he swallows, and shoves his blade back in its sheath. Lianne can have both hands; his have no use for Malice, just now. But he doesn't quite look at her. His eyes keep catching on the wounded. Where did his friend get off to? He might be off collecting hides. It's fine. "We should," he whispers, then blinks tears away. "See to the wounded." Since he's not. And then he looks at her, lips pressing. Heartbroken, but when is there ever time to just be heartbroken?

That griffin simply circles above the bridge, for a time, then Liara, having composed herself - barely - murmurs a word, and the griffin begins to descend, until finally she lands on the bridge. The Princess of Bastion overhears Gabriel, and she suggests, "Sir Gabriel. Besides reinforcements, it may be prudent at this juncture to raise barricades at entrances to the Ward of the Crown." That, though, is the limit of what she has to say, and she gazes along the bridge, taking it in for a long moment.

With a decisive wave of his hand, Godric commands the medics towards the bridge, his voice cutting through the chaos with authority. "Go!" he orders, his tone leaving no room for hesitation. He watches as they scramble to obey, their urgency matched only by the gravity of the situation unfolding before them. Turning his attention back to the area surrounding him, Godric's gaze falls upon the gelatinous cube slowly melting away, its translucent form dissolving into a puddle of goo. "Well, isn't that just charming," he mutters under his breath, his tone dripping with sarcasm as he surveys the aftermath.

"Calandra Whisper. She's with us," Anisha offers to Fortunato and Skaldia, as she moves closer to the pair. Exhaling, glancing over to Apollo and Lianne, raising her rapier in salute.

"Whisper House is closer, but she might need the House of Solace." She notes. "It's been a while since I practiced any form of medicine, admittedly."

Jan calls over the chaos and the crowd to assure her Duke and Duchess "I'm alive! Tell Pasquale I'm...mostly ok!"

"I--" Aleksei starts to say. He falls quiet a long moment, before he finally turns his gaze away from the bridge to look at Sen now. "People just keep dying," he says simply. Like he can't find any further words than that.

Ember pushes up to her feet, and gathers up her scythe. It's then that she spots Denica wandering through the fight. She walks over to the Thraxian Princess and drapes an arm over her. Half protectively, half using her as a human crutch. "Princess Denica," Ember says, covered in blood, "I insist that you put yourself less at risk in the future. Help me home."

"Half of all stories," Onyx speaks softly, kindly to Lianne. He then floats over towards Fortunato, staring at him with his mirrormask for a long moment. "Thank you. You are kinder, in this life. Heroes are not always kind. But you are."

Calandra is helped by Fortunato, likely was stopped from bleeding to death as he attends hr wounds. She still is in bad shape and still wounded though. The whisper is awake though and breathing. "Thank you.." She says to Fortunato, Anisha and Skaldia.

"Your advice is wise and appreciated, Your Grace," Gabriel calls up to Liara as she resides above the battlefield. He tilts his head back that he may address her, even if he must call out to do so. "I will make the necessary requests and if that doesn't work, then the necessary demands," the former Duke of House Bisland answers. He offers a bow of his head before he sets off and toward the necessary tasks.

Sapphire is still for once, standing with a foot on a mound of some twisted flesh (whose? who knows), staring at Onyx with something between bafflement and uncertainty on most of her face.

Desma gets Titania's arm over her shoulder, helping the Paladin walk. "Oh no. You aren't dying on me yet. You're family and I am not losing more of my family."

Fortunato crouches next to Calandra, and draws some clean (we hope) pieces of cloth from his bag. He staunches blood. His hands are much steadier than he expects, as he makes the blood-staunching rather more stable. Cloth bound and kept still. A bandage in truth. "Calandra. Whisper. I am Fortunato, also of the Whispers. You'll be all right." To Skaldia. "Thank you for watching her." To Anisha, "It's good to see you again, Anisha. I've managed a little of this in my time. Used to -- gods, am I still part of the temple of Lagoma?" He seems unsure. And then his attention drifts up up, bright-eyed, to Onyx. "You're rather kinder this time, too," he says, a little unsteady. (A tiny bit hysterical?)

For a moment, one, Sen's expression fails her, and there's a glimpse of something best described as 'near devastated'. Then it's gone, and she's nodding. "Yeah." Beat. "Yeah." She looks again over the bridge, then closes her eyes. "...Lou." The word 'fuck' isn't uttered, but clearly doesn't have to be.

Skaldia looks to Anisha, and then to the figure that floats up to Fortunato. She swallows hard at the mirrormask, and then she looks back to Calandra as Fortunato somehow helps her to stop bleeding at least. She releases a sigh of relief, and smiles to Calandra. "We'll get you to the house of Solace, or the Saving Grace," she says with a nod to Anisha. Her wings disappear, and she's once again just a normal woman. She nods to Fortunato and smiles. "Thank you for helping her," she says, rising to her feet. She'll help make sure Calandra gets taken to where she needs to go for more recovery time.

Titania leaves, following Desma.

An Unremarkable Associate arrives, delivering a message to Raja before departing.

Apollo mentions tending to the wounded just in time for Lianne to look back and catch the exchange between Fortunato and Onyx, the tears welling in her eyes now for an entirely different reason. Not for all that's lost, but for that moment of acknowledgment, recognition, warmth. She doesn't quite manage to stifle her tiny, grateful sob.

It is a very long time that Keely stands there, tears splashing onto Kael's armor, amid all the bustle of people looking for allies and loved ones, getting the injured to safety, and so on. The two of them-- the three of them, counting Alicanto-- are simply still, for who knows how long. Eventually, eventually they look up to see some of Grayson's soldiers near the mirror and, presuming that they have the recovery of what ever is left of Sabella in hand, the trio retreat, to find rest, to regroup, to try to make it through another night of unspeakable losses.

Kael leaves, following Keely.

Samira gazes numbly around the aftermath, a growing feeling of fear clawing at her until she sets eyes upon those she seeks. Apollo, Lianne - whole and upright. The emotion there is impossible not to note and her features twist into a quietly aching expression for the losses that will surely be heavily felt, the grief left in its wake. She begins to move toward them, pausing on the way to intercept Raja, tugging her into a hug.

Calandra sucks in a soft breath and then another. She nods to Fortunato. The girl is much calmer now, but seems to be in shock. She nods again. She seems surprised that she lives. Her cheeks are pale with blood lose and lingering nervous fear. She reaches out and tries to weakly squeeze Anisha's hand.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Calandra before departing.

An Unremarkable Associate arrives, delivering a message to Calandra before departing.

Gibson walks in jauntily, stops dead when he sees Sapphire, and slooooooowly starts to inch away.

A sigh escapes her and Denica holds Valdemar's hand and offering part of her weight to him as she watches the adrenaline fade. "I'm not sure either, but we'll just keep screwing up their plans." The Masked Man is pretty injured too, and she offers the spare arm to him, if he needs it. Even if she can't quite look the man in the eyes. Then Ember comes along too and drapes an arm, though despite Denica's dainty nature she seems strong enough to help all the Islanders back to the Thrax Ward. With that she's looking to see if Victus is okay, eyes scanning the battle field. Though as an aside she says to Ember, "I'm always exactly where I need to be."

"Some things are unchanged. He never despaired. Never yielded. The world would be quite different if he had. You will not either, we suspect." The voice is soft and kind. "Even if the heavens fall." And the wraith bows in respect to Fortunato before fading from view.

Alistair watches over the shoulder of his wife as the wraith fades away. He makes a face. Like - I'll arrest you... somehow... or something. For some reason. Bah.

Ember isn't putting that much of her weight on Denica. She replies to the Princess, "I'm entirely too starving to respond to that in any polite way."

Raja moved from Calandra since the Whispers are tending to her. She had pulled a messenger boy to the side to send him off to send off an update. She turns around just as Samira yoinks her into a hug! "Ooof!" She grunts, then without any sort of shame or care about looking 'soft', Raja wraps both arms around Samira and squeezes tightly.

"Yeah," Aleksei agrees quietly with Sen'azala. "Ainsley went yesterday." And now his breath drags in deeper. Harder. "He cut a head from a Herald. We killed a Herald together. And now he's gone." He doesn't have time for this. He drags his arm across his face next, trying to scrub it, but everything is /bloody/. There's nothing that the war doesn't touch.

Victus pulls himself up with great effort. Two battles in one day is more than enough to take all the wind from his sails, and it's only the second day. He plucks up his sword and shuffles his way toward Denica and co. He's still coated in blood, so there won't be any aggressive back-patting or shoulder-smacking involved. When he comes to a halt he just lets out a long, tired sigh. "You did good." He tells his cosuin, before moving onto Ember. Or... what looks like Ember, underneath that sinister veneer. "You never stop fucking shocking me, you know that?"

"No," Fortunato says. His voice barely carries in response to Onyx. "I will not yield." His smile is just a suggestion, the faintest mark in his indistinct face. "Thanks for -- being here," he says as the wraith fades. He bows his head deep, then stands. The light dripping from his back is beginning to ebb.

"Hello, again, Fortunato. It's been some time," Anisha offers quietly, to Fortunato. And a nod of thanks to the winged - then dewinged woman. Dropping to a knee, to clutch at Calandra's hand as arrangements are made, glancing idly to witness the Mirrormasked-man and the woman staring at him, but deciding that, at the moment, well - there's better things to worry about.

Giving a little nod to Raja as she moves away, then gives Calandra a smile. "We lived. That's the first step. Now, you just need to get better, mm? Else who's going to replace Aconite as Radiant when the time comes?"

"Oh, grow up," Ember grouses at Victus. "Your Grace."

Jan finds someplace to sit, adrenaline wearing off and the obvious grievous nature of the wound taking it's toll on her. After a moment she pushes back to her feet and shuffles towards Lianne and Apollo "Are you two alright, my lord, my lady?"

Ember does break away from Denica for a moment to say something in a softer tone to Victus.

Sen'azala's eyes open, if not quite entirely, and she looks back to him. No help here, she's *also* covered in blood and ick, but she appears to be getting disturbingly used to that. There's a long moment where she looks...lost, her fingers working at her sides, and anyone watching her can practically see the gears grinding away, as if working out what the actual human response is, here. She appears to come to the conclusion that it's the most awkward hug ever imagined. She sort of...half initiates it.

Ember then pats Victus on the shoulder with a taloned hand as if to say 'good talk' and returns to the Denica Crew.

The Masked Man, with his icy blue eyes stands next to Denica and no doubt just glares at everyone that approaches. Denica's eyes light up when she sees Victus and she looks relieved to see that he's okay. The comment makes her bright up a bight a bit and she says to him, "so did you," she says sincerely. Then looks at Ember, using her shoulder to give the woman any support she needs, she is content to see they are all okay.

"You see," Gabriel comments to those Iron Guard that he accompanies in their walk back to the palace, "everyone will say that alaricite, steelsilk, and all of those fancy armors are the best for you. Rubicund? The blood basically just makes it look sharper. Remember that". The post-battle smalltalk continues as the Knight of the Compact continues on offering advice to those he marches with, "The problem is that it's more likely to be your own. Spring for the best you can get, I guess". Everyone copes in their own way.

Ember mutters, "... called ... the ... ... Hunger to ... the Isles. I ... know ... ... of the domains were spared the monsters' ravages, but... enough ... Your ... to evacuate made that much ... ... Hunger ... ... ... which it was /meant/ to ..."

Apollo takes a breath, eyes turning the way Lianne's are enough to see that exchange. However significant - however glad it could make him - it can't eclipse how heavy he feels. He squeezes Lianne's hand, gives Samira an acknowledging look... and then lets go Lianne's hand. Moves to trudge along the bridge for no real good reason at all. Onceuponatime, there'd have been a risk he'd loot bodies. Not anymore. But maybe he needs to see. Unearth Avary from the pile, unless someone has. See what's left.

Calandra gently holds onto Anisha's hand even as she listens to her words. She makes this soft sound in response to what she said. Her breathing comes in gentle gasps. Her wounds are bandaged, they are to her right side. While hurt, the bleeding has been stopped.

Lianne is overheard praising Isolde: Literal life-saver. Beautiful and fierce.

Once they start moving Calandra, Anisha goes with, with another set of grateful glances and nods all around.

Jan is overheard praising Isolde.

Jan is overheard praising Godric.

In another moment, Aleksei might startle at Sen'azala initiating a hug with him, even an awkward half-thing. But now, he just draws an arm about her. It's firm, but not exactly an Aleksei hug at its best. But maybe it's all he can manage right now.

Victus' head cranes down like grinding stones, closer to where Ember had just touched his shoulder. Perhaps expecting literal embers to be left behind. He's nowhere near sure of how to feel about their brief exchange, and he certainly has no mental capacity to spare for it *now* of all times. It's made only that much more difficult when his gaze raises to look at the masked figure beside Denica. No. Too much to handle right now, this is getting the mother of all pins put in it. "Thanks. Both of you- all three of you. You killed well." A beat. "Warriors. I'm proud that I get to spend the final days fighting alongside this." He glances across the bridge at Sapphire, gesturing in her vague direction with the hilt of Barathrum. "Even that."

Jan is overheard praising Sen'azala.

Jan is overheard praising Aleksei.

Jan is overheard praising Alistair.

Jan is overheard praising Geralt.

Sapphire salutes with the hilt of a wicked and impossible-looking dagger, from where she stands. She doesn't seem offended.

"You should speak with more respect toward the Herald of Veil," Ember says, because of course Ember would say that. "Lest one night her whims' tides turn against you." She's not even threatening Victus, just saying it like 'hey, maybe DON'T stick your hand in the rottweiler's mouth?'

Lianne might, for a moment, worry after Apollo, but there'll be time for that later. For now, her gaze flits from one hug to another, friends finding what little comfort they can in the wake of tragedy that hardly feels like victory just yet. Tears yet falling, she makes her way to Fortunato, stepping over... gods... demon innards do move strangely, even after the demon's dead. No matter. Nearing the luminous man, she offers a hand, asks, "Are you alright?" Did she catch light leaking from somewhere?

Sen'azala doesn't seem to mind (but then, she's not exactly a hug expert). "Sorry," she mutters. No, she's not going to explain why she's apologizing. She just keeps her arm around him for as long as it seems to work. There's a long, long silence from her, and then she says, "...The sun will come back again."

Victus snorts, gesturing toward the First Assassin again. "We're soul-bonded. Mutual annoyance is expected." Maybe even welcome, although he's not going to say it out loud. Just with the hint of his smirk. "Should've seen us at the beach. We had choreography."

Sapphire looks like she might say something, and then her head snaps up. "GIBSON! Get back here!"

Ember offers Victus a gallows-humor smile. She's too exhausted for much else. Too hungry. "Enjoy it, then. If nothing else, it will keep your life lively."

Denica is still raw with emotion, little flecks of colour still crackle and pop from the princess. When they hit the ground, they are paint, pooling at her feet as she comes down from that magic high. Watching the exchange between Ember and Victus, she can only imagine, or maybe she has a good idea. Turning to the Masked Man, who she probably owes her life she looks into those cold eyes with her warm ones, "a better world is possible. I believe that," Denica speaks with conviction and then all the emotion hits her all at once. Tears fill blue eyes and the tears just stream down her face. Tragedy and Joy, they mark her face and she cries bold and proud.

Vern arrives, delivering a message to Sen'azala before departing.

Fortunato removes his gloves, exposing bright and bright-veined hands. As if to check they're still, like, working, before he looks over to Lianne. He takes her hand in his. Another kind of confirmation, sure. Touch to touch. He still sounds a little unsteady. "I've never been hit that hard before." Three beats. "This life. But I'm okay. It's all -- gods. They were magnificent." Can he even cry anymore? He seems like he might want to. "I didn't know any of them but in passing, but-- they were magnificent. Are you all right? It was quite a press. A terrible press."

Jan calls, "Duchess Lianne! My lady! Are you alright?" Fortunato is given a bow of her head, her good arm lifted up to hold pressure.

Thomas the Faithful, the Silver Honey Badger leaves, following Alistair.

Upholding her tough Culler reputation does not seem to be Samira's highest priority these days. She hugs Raja tightly, holding on just a bit longer than necessary before releasing her sister with a murmured remark. Her eyes catch on Apollo's path along the bridge, follow his movements for a moment. She shuffles her feet as though tempted to go after him -- but no. She understands that some things need time. She turns instead toward Lianne and Fortunato, moving in that direction, her concerned expression mirroring Jan's question.

"Thank you for protecting the Princess," Ember says to Denica's Masked Stranger. Her tail thrashes behind her. "Now let's go find somewhere that has a meal or I'm about to bite into raw Beholder corpse."

Victus' reaches out for just a moment, before remembering the blood that stains his hands. It would be such an ugly shade on the rest of those pretty colors. Instead, he just dips his chin and offers Denica some quiet words of affirmation. "When we destroy every last one of Azazel's forces, we rebuild the Isles. Better than what it was." He steps back, and offers an upnod for the devilish Ember. That's probably gonna be a longer conversation later, provided they survive. "I'd head back to the ward. Precious little time for rest before *it* tries again." With that, he starts stumbling his way down the bridge. First to a bathtub.

"...Yeah." The sunshine hasn't returned to Aleksei yet, and maybe it will get darker still before the dawn. But he looks to who he still has, his gaze finding familiar faces still standing amid the crowd. He slips out of the hug to step up closer to Lianne and Fortunato. His gaze tracks across both of them, just -- reassuring himself. They're still there.

Sen'azala grimaces. "Something about Tuesdays and Wednesdays," she says, possibly more to herself than Aleksei. Once he's slipped free of the sort of embrace, she follows after, looking very, very tired, but still on her feet. Fortunato is given a careful looking over, and then Lianne.

All day long. He's fought and flayed and then picked up the pieces, oh, there's a workshop stacked high with terrible skins. But the cleanup, here, is just pulling some of the shards off, unearthing a body no longer clad in golden armor. Pulling back his cowl, pulling a handkerchief from somewhere in all that grim armor he's wearing. A misspent urge to tidy what can't be mended, but spent all the same. Maybe the best thing he can do is what he knows how to.

"Let's find you a really big, fantastic feast," Denica says to Ember, giving the woman a smile, she looks at Ember like she's the way the artist always saw her, anyhow. Then she looks at Victus with fondness, familial loyalty. "Yes. We will build it better, inside and out," the princess says to her cousin appreciating the gesture and him. Offering Victus a few colourful sparkles and they dance around him so to keep company on the way home.

Lianne squeezes Fortunato's hand as soon as it's offered. With her, uh. Right hand. An important distinction. There may yet be a faint hint of grey dust around one finger on her left, where she'd spent a treasured ring, gifted from her former patron, to set more of the horde aflame. "I missed it," she admits with a thread of concern, a mental note made; she /definitely/ needs to work on her combat awareness, come to terms with the chaos. She starts to answer his question only to hear Jan calling, to look and see both her and Samira approaching, that concern so plain. "I'm fine. Greatly thanks to Isolde. Did you see her?" Oh, she's impressed. Might be a few more mental notes being made... but she might be distracted, too, catching other looks. A small, grateul smile, flanked by tear-stained cheeks, is turned toward Alkesei and Sen'azala.

Fortunato waggles his free hand, two-fingered, at Jan and Samira. At Sen'azala and Aleksei. And, aside-if-general, "I am delighted that Ember and Denica appear to be friends," he says, sudden and fond. To Lianne, "It was -- a crush. A mess. I'm glad Apollo was here with you. And Isolde? It's been an age since we spoke."

Jan shakes her head "I did not, my lady, I did not see her among those who needed to be dragged to safety or among the fallen so I assume she must be fine. I can messenger you once I arrive to the hospital should I see her there. A clean hanky is offered to Lianne along with a soft apology when she leaves her own blood on it, "Sorry." She dips her chin to Samira "How is Raja?" she asks of Samira. She blinks and looks around "Is Apollo here? Is he alright?"

Vern arrives, delivering a message to Sen'azala before departing.

"You're all right," Aleksei says to Fortunato and Lianne. It could be a question, but it's more like -- him reassuring himself. They're there. They're okay. He tries to force a smile that doesn't quite come. This fight hurt more. The losses starting to weigh harder across those shoulders.

Catching the sound of her name, Denica sees Fortunato and wiggles paint-stained fingers at him. And Aleksei too. Looking happy to see they are there and okay. Then Denica offers the Masked Man a little colourful sparkle that doesn't want to fade out from her.

Ember looks over too, but just seems like her usual unfriendly Ember self.

Lianne looks toward Ember--so fanastically easy to spot--and Denica with a slightly brighter smile, but her focus falls swiftly back to Jan. "She's fine," she clarifies. "Last I saw her, at least. She saved my life." Spotting her husband tending and tidying what he can proves trickier, a shake of her head in answer. "He's... alright." Not a lie. He's physically fine. Nothing Jan needs to tend. Lianne will help him with all the sorts of not alright he is later, best as she can. Her hold on Fortunato's and tightens. "Still standing," she murmurs to Aleksei, already opting to mind her wording.

Relief floods Samira's expression, no attempt made to conceal any bit of what she's feeling. "Isolde?" She seems to be filing the name away for later use. "I'm going to have to send her something in thanks." To Fortunato, she tips her head. "I'm so glad to see you here after the Lowers -- and this." Jan's question is met with a reassuring look, relief evident in her voice as she offers, "I just saw Raja. She's fine." As for the matter of Apollo? Samira seems uncertain quite how to field that one, but luckily Lianne manages that answer.

Sen'azala steps up alongside Aleksei, and murmurs, though it seems generally directed between the three, "You know where to find me." Pause. "...I need to check the clocks. Then sleep. Then Lou. Somewhere in, um," she rubs at her eyes, "that order."

Jan nods once and mumbles, "Alright. My lords. My lady. I am going to the hospital before I pass out. I won't be home tonight, please let Pasquale know." like she hasn't already sent someone to go tell him. She bows and then turns to toddle off exhaustedly.

Fortunato waggles a wave to Denica and, in futility!, Ember. His fingers are bright and bright. His other hand squeezes Lianne's in turn, and retains that squeeze. Like an anchor. He looks up, skyward. He says, "I'm all right, Aleksei. But I think we're all going to bear hauntings from this." Lianne's mention of Apollo has Fortunato's face appearing to -- crease with concern. "Thousand kinds of hauntings. But that means we're alive." He glances between Samira and Sen'azala. And back to Samira. "I don't -- know how long this will go. I'd only been thinking about the Thinnest Point. And we're doing /well/. With awful, heroic costs. Much better than I could have dreamed. But it won't end it. End him."

Lianne nods to Sen'azala at her plans. Not really much personal concern of hers, but undeniably a fine lead to follow. "I ought to collect my husband and see him safely home." The worry which crosses her features follows a little latter, attached to Fortunato's note of how well Arx is faring. She murmurs quite quietly, "Let's not draw attention, mm? I don't like the math." Half of all stories, Onyx said. The odds, if that's true, are not good at all. With that, she lifts his held hand, presses a kiss to that brilliant glass, then slips free that she might draw Samira into a hug with a soft-spoken note that, "You should stay in the tower. We'll make you a room." Not just an invitation, she finishes it with, "Please," before she withdraws, the request so earnestly set upon her features.

Aleksei just nods to the varied responses of the others. Still standing, good. Check the clocks, good. Thousand kinds of hauntings...not good, but the reality. He's quiet a long moment, and then he says, "Going to rest while I can," before heading off.

Apollo /is/ alright. And he's not even alone. The people on the bridge - nearer where the mirror was - funny. They cleared back when he approached, but once he's cleaned up what he can, they seem to take some kind of cue, and come in to bear the fallen form away. He might murmur a word or two of instruction, but no more, and they were already working on it before that. Off to the Harlequins, probably. Something like that. Something appropriate. He'd know. He returns, offers only glances of acknowledgement to the others. "I need to go home. Get out of this armor." That's it. Just home and out of the armor, that's the whole list.

Sen'azala watches Aleksei go. Watches Lianne go. Fortunato's still here, for the moment, so she shifts her attention fully to him. The woman looks like she's going to say something, but whatever it is, it dies before making it out of her. Instead, her shoulders hunch a bit, she gives him a nod, and then she starts away.

"You're right. Best not to speak of any of it. Only makes it more fragile." The crease in Fortunato's face remains. He curls his hand in at Lianne's kiss. He bows over it. He nods to Apollo. He withdraws. If not without a last glance askance at Sen'azala.

Wild, spontaneous applause and cheering erupt from the daytime traffic on Sovereign Bridge as they recognize one of Arvani society's luminaries.

Samira nods, her solemn gaze fixed upon Fortunato. "And those successes - and the countless losses that occurred in order to make them happen - none of it will mean anything if we don't finish this." A somber thought, even moreso when paired with Lianne's words. She steps into Lianne's hug, arms circling around her mentor. Her wordless reaction to the offer of a place to stay might be enough to foretell her response, that hug tightening subtly, her expression suggesting gratitude and immediate acceptance, an eagerness to remain close in these final days of things unfolding. "Yes. Yeah, of course I will. Thank you."

1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

A murmur goes through the daytime crowd on the bridge as many crane their necks to see one of the more famous members of Arx society arrive.

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