The End of an Evening: The Masquerade (February 2017)

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Everything was going well. Despite the threats and the attempts on the lives of the attendees, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The evening had quieted, with many of the nobles having retired once more to their residences. Only a handful remained, conversing softly amongst themselves in the centre of the hall.

Then the entrance to the hall jerks open, door guard slamming into the wall and crumpling to the ground with a sickening lurch, sliding off the sword of the sudden intruder, a young man recognizable as the Crown Prince Rainer Masterson.

Having found out about the change of location, he strides into the room he yelling for the Marquis Xerxes and his aunt Victoria, the most prominent nobles to deride and denounce him. The Countess Gyverin steps forward, approaching the young man through those crowded around the doorway, ever anxious to forestall the shedding of blood even as her betrothed answers the Prince’s call by goading him on.

And that is the moment where it all went awry.

Jaxx appears behind Rainer, swinging with lethal intent; the young man barely dodging out of harm’s way. Others take advantage of the ensuing chaos and cut down several others who so loyally follow this Bandit King, just as a cadre of Sect thugs burst into the manor, seeking to overwhelm.

Their leader, a burly fellow with murder in his eye steps forward, stabbing the Countess roughly in the gut. She cries out as he and some of his other men drag her, Rainer, and the Senator Malavin with them back out of the estate and into the city streets - ordering the rest of his followers to step forward and finish the assembled nobles and adventurers.

Xerxes elbows his way through the throng, closely followed by Sarryn, Hamish, Eric and Nazrat. Upon exiting the estate, they are set upon by more members of the Sect, obviously placed to forestall any attempt at a rescue. Once the thugs were dealt with, the five continue their pursuit of the psychotic kidnapper.

All the while, the fighting continues in the ballroom; wave after wave of scrappy common fighters bursting into the room, just as intent as the last to tear these adventurers and nobles to shreds.

Where was their noble host now? This knight, Lord Manfred Blaukner, who had only hours ago touted protection for all those under his roof? Clearly taken his casual leave of the events, slipping out into the night.

Why had everyone been brought here in the first place - this small, neglected estate in the noble’s quarter? Was this, now, the attack that the palace had been threatened with? Or was there a threat at all? Could it all have been just an elaborate ruse, designed to manipulate the Breachers, half the Grand Council, and the nobles into an easier area from which to strike and eliminate?

But it had been under supposed Home Guard order that the venue had been changed, and under Home Guard escort that all had arrived...

Within a few minutes the floor of the ballroom is slick with blood, but the combatants continue to come. Eric staggers in, carrying the body of the Dark Elf senator. Quickly revived, there is little time for explanation as the two join the fighting.

Again, time passes; the flow of bodies begins to lessen. Xerxes, Sarryn, Hamish, and Nazrat enter the estate once more, stepping into the room just as the final assailant crumples on someone’s blade…

((Intended as a summary/conclusion to the event, or if a transition was needed into one's IBGA.))
Only those who attended event may post.


((OOC: Guess who's traumatized IT'S AISLING))

Aisling was unaware of all the complex political schemes that were playing out around her. Unaware the Crown Prince and the Countess were kidnapped, possibly dead, unaware that the Senator had been murdered, unaware even of whom was attacking whom, or why. The young Tari Nor numbly moved from body to body, person to person, answering every call for a healer she heard, once beautiful skirts now soaked in blood, not all of it belonging to the wounded she desperately forced magic into. The back of her dress was slashed open, revealing an angry, red wound that spanned her back, partially knitted together at the edges, only the barest care taken toward her own health before she'd started healing other people again.

She hadn't even paid attention to him. He was in a Homeguard uniform, and he was up, and her mind just registered him as "friend" as she rushed by, on her way towards Shin screaming desperately for a healer. Her partially healed wound throbbed with the memory of cold steel slicing into her back, flaying muscle, flesh from bone, sinking with a sickening crunch into her spine, cleaving it in two, nerves and bones and organs sliced and spilled, and she hadn't even had time to scream in agony, she'd dropped, she'd been- she'd been dead. The next thing she knew she was awake, she was breathing, lying in a pool of her own blood and guts with Scarlett, bless him, looking down at her with concern and fear in his eyes, hands red with blood, her blood, from where he'd desperately pressed Life into her corpse.

She hadn't even been able to thank him. After he helped her to her feet, he'd been off, insuring the "Homeguard" who had dealt the killing blow was incapacitated, then off to help everyone else. The world spun, from bloodloss or panic, Aisling could not tell, but she grimly called up green magic from her core, forcing it through her fingers, her hand acting as the conduit as she channeled it back into herself, knitting sinew and tissue back together, replenishing blood, just until she could see straight. Until she could move again. She wanted to- she didn't know what she wanted. To stop? Reflect, on this newfound discovery, this newfound mortality, macabre and horrifying as it was to a creature such as herself, to an immortal being? Aisling had always fancied herself more magic than flesh. Their kind lived forever, she had fully expected to live forever, it had been promised, when she was born, with these horns and ears and the magic of the earth humming all around her, calling to her as one would to their own flesh and blood. She had never been so hurt before. She had never been dead before. She was a Tari Nor. She wasn't supposed to die.

Aisling had always wondered how her friends did it. How they got right back up after she put them back together, again and again, and threw themselves back into battle, to fall, again and again, the cycle repeating itself. The forest child had always wondered why they kept getting back up, how they could stand up after being stabbed, bruised, beaten, delimbed, eviscerated, and just keep going, like the little windup toys her Grandfather had made for her when she was younger. Why they didn't simply collapse under the despair of it all. She answered that question for herself, when it happened to her.

The littlest Tari Nor did not stop, did not pause. Her frantic mind called for pause, but she shoved those thoughts into the back of her head, got up, and kept healing. And healing. And healing. Anyone who asked, anyone who was bleeding badly, she called up her powers from within herself and forced them out through her hands, shoved the magic through palms and fingertips, again and again, the most magic she'd ever used in her entire life, until her fingers felt raw with the power, as though someone had taken a knife and peeled back the skin to expose the tender nerves. Every push of green light from her body burned, as she burned, inside, and right out. Still Aisling continued, for people were still bleeding, people were still dying. She could not stop, not as long as she still had power within her to heal people.

After ages, the fighting, the screaming and dying lulled to a halt. It could have been hours, it could have been seconds, she did not know. Looking up from the latest person she had brought back, the child wiped her brow, smearing blood across her features. They mixed with her tears. She could taste the copper on her tongue. Looking down at her hands, her bloodsoaked hands, still glowing green with her magic, Aisling realized she was trembling. Slowly rising to her feet, the too-young Tari Nor wrapped her arms around herself in a gesture meant to comfort. One hand brushed the ragged edge of the deadly blow she'd received. Shuddering, she dropped her arms awkwardly to her sides once more, still shaking like a leaf.

Violet eyes blown wide, hands still glowing with magic she refused to release, Aisling looked around, for another body to heal, for a friendly face- anything. This quiet inaction was allowing her thoughts to creep in, and the weight of them made her feel as though she would crack in two.
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The short sword sank deeply into the woman that Siegart had seen grow from a frightened and possessed thrall into the Countess who now lorded Rookroost; the weight of the action took a few seconds to even register... Hadn't he been watching a happy exchange as the nobles began to leave?

Three seconds can be an eternity, even to someone with as many years as he had. In that time Siegart saw his friend stabbed in her most vulnerable area, his ex-ward nearly run through by a fellow Sanctum member and many of his friends rush out the door. Suddenly there was nothing but a disturbing quiet that fell over the manor as the people closest to the attack took in the events of what had happened.

For the next three seconds Siegart's thoughts darkened once more, memories of the vision that the Nightmare had burned into his brain came forth and for a moment all he could see was a pit filled with his friends corpses.

As he tried to snap back to the situation at hand time seemed to slow, he lazily began scanning for a healer to try and staunch the blood of the knife wound Gyverin had received before he realized in horror that she was nowhere to be seen. In her place was a sea of steel, blood and armor coming from the double doors of the entrance as what he could only imagine were members of the Sect began pouring into the same room that the Tari Nor had had his dinner hours before.

Still without enough time to process, a grim determination set upon him and his brow furrowed, his jaw tightened and he began to move towards the centre of the room amidst the tables, his sense of self preservation and experience in times of conflict steering his consciousness now.

He was running on mere instinct when he voiced his first incantation and engulfed a would-be combatant in the magical blaze of a Dragon's Breath. Turning he saw his apprentice, Zou facing off against three attackers with her back pinned to a wall. With a crackle his next spell was unleashed, magical vines held the man fast and confined to try and even the numbers, at the same time his apprentice sunk her dagger deep into the belly of another man, pulling it sideways and outward the mans innards spilled to the floor moments before his lifeless corpse landed on top of them.

"Zou, come closer to me." Siegart exclaimed, as he pulled his wand from where it sat inside his boot, levelling it at the third assailant he unleashed a volley of his own power channeled through the small piece of wood and seared the man enough to leave a smoking body that gave off a sickeningly cooked smell.

The Selunari made her way over to Siegart asking, "What should we do? I'm all but out of spells." with her bloody dagger still gripped in a white-knuckled hand.

His face still grim he spun once more, surveying the battle as he said without focusing on her, "See where we're needed, see where you can use your remaining spells to even odds, call for healers when you see ally's fall to blades."

Zou's response was a nod, though within moments she spied a doe-eyed and frayed Aisling who was covered in blood and seemed to be working at a maddening pace trying to keep her friends alive. "Aisling, come stand with us away from the fighting."

The three of them stood there, tossing out their power where it was most needed, helping those they could for what seemed like another eternity, the unending masses of the assailing force were driven and outnumbered the adventurers three to one.

Siegart couldn't help but think to himself, looking upon the cool and calculating look of his apprentice, and the emotionally frayed but determined look on Aisling's face, "And in the crucible of conflict, a friendship is born."

By the time the battle began to subside, there were so many bodies amongst the chairs and tables that it was hard to step anywhere without getting blood and viscera on footwear. Zou had survived, Aisling had survived. That was what was important.

Looking to the tables Siegart noticed that many of the tabards that hung to denote place settings for the guests of honor that had been there were stained, soaked and dripping with blood. Without warning the portly horned man began to chuckle, which turned into a dry and absurd laugh. Zou gave him a worried look and he responded by pointing to the tables with their blood soaked seat holders, "Don't you see? It's the perfect analogy."
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Victoria had been intent on the Bandit King, when the chaos erupted behind her, and more attackers spilled into the hall. Startled, I whirled around to see who this next group was, but there is a sea of bodies and I can’t see enough to make out any identifying marks on the attackers. In seconds Stig and Xamot are by my side, and moving the Shahbanou Mansouras and I away from the bulk of the fighting. Stig quickly talks to Thistle, the Dryad, who moves closer to us and suddenly a wall of magic surrounds the 3 of us. Recognizing a battle circle of power, I take the time to survey what is happening. The attackers are numerous and the fighting is heavy.

Stig moves off into the fray of battle, though Xamot stays near us, attacking anyone that comes too close. Thistle smiles to Yamina and I, saying “don’t worry the ritual to get rid of the evil dryad in me worked”. Yamina and I both take a step back, the Shahbanou raising her blade just in case. Evil Dryad? I do hope that the ritual did work, being trapped in a circle of power with an evil dryad would not be a good thing. I reflect that perhaps I should have listened to Wheatley and brought a blade of my own this night and I say as much to Yamina, who points out that my guards likely would have put me in a circle of power anyway as it is their job to keep me safe. She of course is right. We are soon distracted by the battle ragging, calling out warnings to those fighting when attackers sneak up from behind.

The battle ends, and for a few small moments, the silence is broken only by the sounds of heavy breathing and gasps of pain. Then the fighters, those brave men and women from the Breach, and the nobles who had fought as well, start talking to each other. Healers begin casting their healing magics on the wounded. I order Thistle to drop the circle, her healing skills are needed.

Xamot and Stig return to my side, they are both blood covered. They inform me that it was two groups, the Bandit King and the Sect, and in large forces. I walk around the room, not caring that blood is soaking my skirts, making sure everyone is being looked after that needs it, and thanking all those who fought for their bravery.

I check in with both the Shahbanou and the Lord Marshal, glad that they are both safe. The Senator has already departed after having his life restored, and I note that I must visit the Empress in person once I have some answers. I’m thankful that so many of the nobles had left early. The Countess missing is most concerning, and the Senator’s life restored, but this could have been much worse had more nobles been present.

Anger boils up inside, this whole evening reeks more and more of a trap. The so-called Knight, who calls himself Manny, surely is behind this, too much happened tonight for him to not be involved. If he is, then he will pay. I am mentally running through everything that happened tonight, my anger rising with each thought, though I am careful not to let too much show on my face, when Stig says we should leave. I refuse, not until I know everyone here is recovered enough to make it to their lodgings safely. I will not leave these good people alone in this “knights” house without noble protection should he decide to return before we all leave. He could kill them all and no one could do a thing about it, but if I am here, then he is less likely to do that. There might be questions from the adventurers as well, or someone who wants to talk to me, and I will stay and answer them to the best of my ability.
Xerxes, expression stoic and unreadable as he re-enters the ballroom, pauses for a moment as his eyes take in the scene before him.

His stoicism then breaks, and slams his knife into one of the many bodies littering the floor, stepping towards the nearest table to him, upending it with a guttural, angry roar, spilling its contents across the blood slicked timbers of the floor.

The Marquis returns to his knife and retrieves it, the look on his face one of frustration and anguish. He begins pacing, thoughts racing, trying to figure out a plan of action.


Sarryn following in behind Xerxes, pure anger on his face as he storms in looking for the nearest thing to destroy, which happens to be a chair nearby summoning power to his hand he destroys the chair. Pulling even more power into his hand he paces around looking for something anything to destroy or "question" to find where the Countess was taken.


Xamot sits quietly observing the crowd behind the Duchess and Sultana, cleaning his blade from the earlier attack of dire rats. The main doors fly open and a young man steps through shouting. Xamot doesn't bother to listen to his words. Instead he turns to the Duchess and Sultana asking them to move to a safer position within the hall.

Stepping between them and the doorway he looks to his fellow Northerner who has already moved Wheatley behind him. Xamot gives Stig a nod and he returns it. Xamot's focus goes back to the door where men are filing through attacking everyone within reach. They don't seem to have a specific target. Xamot holds fast and cuts down anyone who draws near.

Arlyne comes to him in a panic as she has no weapons to fight. Xamot calmly tells her to stay close and use her magic how ever she can. More and more men enter from very entrance. Xamot watches as his friends fight furiously around him. Screams of pain, magical incantations, and the clash of blades seem to blur into a white noise. His blood is boiling and he has to fight the urge within him to help his friends.

He turns to the Duchess with angst, asking her if she is alright. She informs him that she is safe inside some sort of magical barrier. He smiles and turns toward battle. He looks over the room to see where he is most needed. He makes his way to the center of the room.
He steps between a couple Breacher's to help them. The one to his left falls with a dreadful shriek. He looks down to find the young writer driven through the back. "How can this be?" He thinks to himself he had just cleared that area.

Xamot look behind him and parries a deadly blow. The Lieutenant stands grinning as he swings again. Blocking the attack and retorts a heavy blow. He steps back. Xamot circles to his left and feints drawing a strike he was ready for. Another blow lands and the Lieutenant tries to flee around a table. Xamot lands another, cutting through his clavicle and gets stuck in his sternum. The man falls to his knees and Xamot kicks him of his blade.

The man roles over against the wall choking on his blood and tries to speak, but can't make out the words. Xamot looks for a healer, he wants this man alive. Once found, the healer goes to work and brings him to consciousness.
He attacks and is put down again. Webbed to the floor and conscious, Xamot rests the tip of his blade on the mans chest asking who he works for. He spits blood in his face and replies. "Why would I tell you!"

Xamot wipes his face and notices a large wave coming from the two side entrances. Turning to his right, he heads toward the entrance in the back corner of the room. By now the room is filled with bodies, and yet they still come. "This was meant to be a massacre." He thinks to himself.

A fireball flies past his face. It wasn't meant for him but close enough. Another one comes crackling toward him. Xamot bats it down and takes a breath of concentration. Xamot's hand glows with the same power just used against him. He glares at the man who threw it and heads directly at him. The man backs into the doorway with a confused and fearful look on his face.

Xamot severs his spine with a thrust through his abdomen. The caster crumples to the floor, his once glowing hand now quivers uncontrollably and dims.
Xamot heads to check on the Duchess, and finds her still safely in the barrier.
He joins His friend at the entrance closet to the bar, we push them back. Some of the Breacher's give chase as the mages seal of the opening. He stayed behind the Duchess and helped clear the room of what's left of the attackers. The floor is thick with blood and gore. Bodies overlap bodies in multiple layers. He finds the Lieutenant dead against the wall behind the the nobles head table.

Xamot stops and scans the room carefully. He turns his attention to the main entrance as Xerxes storms through, clearly enraged with what has transpired here tonight.
Xamot sits to rest, picking off chunks of hair and bits of flesh from his blade.
He has time to think a moment, "Why was Xerxes alone, where is Anastasia!?"


Arlyne looks around the room as chaos erupts around her. Instinctively, she reaches for her sword, then curses to herself for not bringing it to this gathering.

Then she hears a woman's screaming. She turns beside her and sees Countess Gyverin clutching her stomach, crumpling forward in pain. She sees Xerxes reach to grab hold of the Countess, concern on his face then straight faced as he sees the blood coming from her wound. "We have to get you out of here", she hears him say as the sound of a scuffle ensues; just as Arlyne searches for a packet, the two (along with several others) have disappeared out the door. Arlyne searches for Xamot and moves around the crowd, being careful not slip on the slick blood that has now covered the floor and dodging any damage that comes her way. When she finally reached Xamot he advised her to just use her magic and keep the Duchess safe.

She sees Elachae and nods to her; Elachae then tosses her sword to Arlyne. She immediately moves to the corner of the room where the Duchess, Sultana & Thistle were standing. She asks if they are ok, and the Duchess informed her that they are ok and are in a Circle of Power.

There was a lull as the fight somewhat slowed down; Arlyne moves to the main door where she sees Jaxx in the shadows. Immediately, she positions herself to the other side of the door, anticipating for the next wave to come through. Just as she arrives, Jaxx quickly started his assault on the intruder, killing her quickly. Disappointed, Arlyne stomps her foot on the ground as if a child was having a tantrum. She turns and surveys the room, looking for more people to ..... kill.

She sees the second wave trying to come through the back, and runs to help her fellow comrades, her mind running wild with anger and confusion. "This is madness" She thinks, as she slices another intruder, blood spraying onto her face.

Total. Utter. Madness.


Like a lifeline, the voice of her bosom friend cut through the din. Wide, terrified eyes snapped immediately to the Selunari who had called her name, waking her up from the spell she was under, offering emotional sanctuary to the shaken Tari Nor child. Immediately, as though Zou held a rope attached to her and was pulling, Aisling scrambled over bodies toward the pair, her friends, slipping and tripping in the blood that soaked the lavishly carpeted floor. "Siegart. Zou." The teen gasped out, reaching for them, feeling something like okay again once her friends stood at her side. Taking comfort from the warmth radiating from their bodies, the warmth that told her that they were still alive, gloriously alive, she slipped a tiny hand into Zou's and rested her bloodsoaked head on Siegart's shoulder, taking his hand as well once the fighting had died and she allowed the magic to slip from her fingertips.

Flinching and subconsciously bringing magic to her hands once more (causing her friend's held hands to glow and tingle from the radiation) when Xerxes burst in and began upturning tables, the forest girl watched, strung taught like a bow as Sarryn followed him in and followed suit, blowing a chair into splinters with a blast of arcane power. Licking her dry, cracked lips and tasting the coppery blood that covered them, Aisling clung to the hands of her friends for dear life, leaning over to Siegart and whispering with a hoarse, raw voice: "What happened?" The Tari Nor still had no idea what had transpired just outside the banquet hall, having been far too busy healing, and, and... And being dead.

Reluctantly relinquishing the hands that had been, until now, the only things keeping her upright and sane, Aisling stumbled forward, hands glowing painfully with green as she prepared to force herself to do magic yet again. "Does... Does anyone require healing?" Her voice came out only in a whisper. Coughing to clear her throat (steadfastly ignoring the blood that came up out of her lungs with the action, remnants of the fatal blow that had most certainly pierced through at least one breathing apparatus), she tried again, this time louder, announcing her readiness to cure, though her hands still shook and her body still hurt all over. She would keep going until she dropped dead again, if that was what it took.

Glancing back at the pair, glad to see they were still close enough for her to reach out and touch if needed, the young Tari Nor felt a little better, knowing they had her back, both literally and figuratively. Siegart was still chuckling. She worried about that man, sometimes.
The Marquis' pacing stops, as the bodies of the attacking force begin to dissipate. He looks up at the small voice, glaring coldly at the young Tari-Nor.

"Yes, if they hadn't ******* taken her!" He snarls, breathing hard through his nose, mouth twisting in rage. "If she loses her life as result... I will kill that chaos-damned snake myself."

Xerxes' words drop away and he squeezes his eyes shut, as if to both block out the painful thought and contain himself in the presence of so many others. When they open again, he scans the room. Though he doesn't seem to find the face he's looking for, his gaze still lands on Xamot, eyes narrowing.

"I know you're not bound to her house, Northman, but she needed you. Don't think that I haven't noticed the way you've looked at her, and yet you stand at the Grand Duchess' side?" The Marquis looks past the barbarian to Victoria, laughing darkly. "Be careful, Your Grace; this one isn't as loyal as he seems."


Victoria’s eyes narrow at the Marquis, the way he has addressed her is bordering on insult. She can see his pain, worry and guilt however, so she lets that slide momentarily. Clearly, he isn’t in a proper frame of mind given the events of this evening.

She steps forward, putting herself physically between him and Xamot.

“Marquis, you are quite distressed, as is to be expected. But do not let your pain and worry lead you into saying something you may regret. I requested Home Guard escort this evening, which Xamot was assigned to provide. This tragedy is no more his fault than your own. No one here is to blame." Her eyes briefly land on Sarryn, knowing that he is as upset as the Marquis as his destruction of innocent furniture showed. Willing him to heed her words as well, no one here is to blame. Looking back to the Marquis she continues "This whole thing feels very much like a trap, orchestrated by whom yet we do not know. Though our so-called host is at the top of my list to suspect. I suggest that you direct your anger towards those who actually deserve it. We will find her, I will have my own people looking for her as well, so that she can be located quickly and returned to you.”

Her voice and demeanor are all calm, her words are clear and ring with authority.


Xerxes words hit him hard along with the sinking feeling of failure. Xamot's heart pounds and turns to rage. In one fluid motion he stands and smashes the table between the two. He steps through the debris and stands face to face with his accuser. Plunging his blade into the floor beside him. He doesn't notice the Duchess get up until she stands between them.
"You put blame where it does not belong! Loyalty has nothing to do with what happened to her My Lord!" He yells.
The Duchess interjects and Xamot paces behind her glaring at the Noble.
Once finished Xamot continues yelling at the noble.
"Where were you, where were you!? His blood covered hand points to both Xerxes and Sarryn.
"Did she not have protection? You parade her around in her fragile condition like a prize well earned. Yet you did not earn or deserve her and what's worse you take no responsibility for it?

Xamot chuckles mockingly. "You are nothing more than a a spoiled little peacock .....My Lord."
Xamot rips his sword from the floor and swings it over his shoulder. He steps beside the Duchess and speaks softly.
"Your Grace, when you are ready I will escort you home."


Walking over to Xerxes and placing a calming hand on his shoulder, he looks at Xamot. "We all tried to save her, but we failed and now we will save them both. We are all in a lot of shock and pain from what happened. And as for parading her around... have you ever tried to tell Anastasia what to do? She would have been here, either way." His hand grips a bit harder than intended on Xerxes shoulder as he tries to remain calm, though his voice was rising with each word.

Closing his eyes, lips razor thin, "I think it is time for us to leave Xerxes, and formulate a plan to save her and if we happen to find the prince along the way... well, we will see what happens to him." Turning and leaving for the door, Sarryn kicks aside what is left of the chair he previously destroyed.
Xerxes calms himself, though rage glitters in his eyes and he addresses Xamot.

"Hide behind her skirts then, coward."

He turns and leaves.
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Victoria puts a hand on Xamot's arm, both to calm and in gentle restraint. "Let it go. He doesn't mean what he says. Everyone's emotions are running high right now." Looking around the room at all those still here, she gives a small smile. "I think, perhaps, it is time for all of us to leave this place. Before more unwanted guests arrive. Thank you all for the lovely evening, the parts not disrupted by violence and treachery." Turning back to Xamot, and looking to Stig as well, she says "You may escort me home now."


Xamot snaps around at their words and begins laughing. "Coward? I am not the one who ran back to a party instead of chasing after her." He moves in front of the Duchess and looks at Sarryn. "I am not the one who follows a man who takes his woman and child and does nothing about it!" He turns back to Xerxes. "Of course you already knew that My Lord. "You speak of loyalty and cowardice. Maybe you should look to those closest to you. At least you know where I stand."
He turns to Sarryn with a solemn look apon his face. His voice lowers "None of us wanted this and I truly hope the child survives as well as her. But we can not fight among ourselves regardless of how we feel about each other. You have my sword should you need it.


Shock is ectched on Sarryn's face from Xamot's words, but then his eyes narrow at the Northerner. "Yes, I will need your help to save her. And it is Xerxes' child, Xamot, not mine. It has always been his."

"As for letting her marry... you have a lot to learn about human politics."

Dropping his head, Sarryn leaves and heads back to the Sanctum.


Zoe's feet slipped on the blood-soaked floor, toes curling to try to find purchase. So much was happening around her, it was taking time to process. She squeezed the hand in hers before it was released. Her breath was coming in quick shallow gasps as she scanned the room. Slowly she lowered her dagger, her gaze sweeping to her two friends. Eshdir. Eshdir but family. Not familia, but family still. She had not felt such a swelling in her breast as this since she had been on the valdenhold ship with the elves that had been her surrogate parents. She studied each of the two Tari Nor, convincing herself that the blood on them wasn't coming from them. She flinched at each new sound invading the heavy silence that had followed the slaughter.
Taking a deep breath, the woman smoothed her skirt, trying to ignore the stains on it. She had been hit at one point, felt a sudden rush of pain as she fell toward the floor, when she next woke it was with the strange numbness that came from magical healing and was soaked through with what she could only assume was her own blood. She did not wish to dwell too much on the thought and so set back to adjusting herself as much as was possible in the situation. She had been through much in her relatively short life (at least compared to the friends she usually held), and had seen bloodshed before, had been in fights before. However, this night had found her in the two largest battles she had ever witnessed. The healing left her skin numb but it could do nothing about her thoughts and those she decided to shove aside and deal with later.
The Sulunari took a deep breath and stepped a bit closed to Siegart, glancing again to Aisling. She desperately wanted to offer comfort to the both of them but could not find the words. Could only offer a wan smile.


Taking Zou's hand firmly in his grasp, Siegart gives it a firm squeeze as he faces bother her and Aisling before stating, "Come, we should go get cleaned off. No doubt there is going to be a lot of work to be done in the next few hours, we'll have work of our own besides the research we've already planned."

Steadying himself with his cane in one hand and Zou's hand in the other, the Tari Nor begins to make his way out of the manor hoping that he not slip... Another slip could easily shatter his withered leg at this point and he was hoping no one had figured that out.

So the three of them made their awkward way out, hand in hand in hand and covered in blood, fingers numb from the toll that so much power had taken on their bodies. Luckily their harrowing visage made sure that the trip back to the Arcane Sanctum was rather uneventful and safe from Sect and Bandit King inquiry on the streets.


The forest child flinched visibly at the Marquis' harsh dismissal. Fixing her violet eyes upon the man, she found the numb emptiness was rapidly replaced with rage, boiling in her gut, filling her to the brim as her bloody fists clenched and glowed. Her trembling, once a result of the complete helplessness and fear she felt, was now due to the unfamiliar and rare emotion festering inside her as she gazed at the Noble. How dare he? How dare he address her that way? How dare he speak that way to her friend, Xamot? How dare he sling tables and blame, like an overgrown child throwing a temper tantrum because he had been denied a sweet, destroying property and insulting people. Was this how so-called Nobles behaved? Aisling had never seen such a ridiculous, puffed-up, testosterone-fueled outburst, coming from a Noble, no less. Weren't they supposed to be leaders of a sort? Is this what humans looked up to and emulated? Was this display of "manliness" somehow supposed to help rescue the Countess? How... Ignoble.

She met his glare head-on, returning it with one of her own, refusing to look away, to bow as she had been taught to do, to show one inch of acquiescence to this brute of a man. She may be just a child herself, but she knew better than to behave as he was behaving. How her GranGran would have spanked her if she were to throw tables about! I obviously wasn't talking to him. If he's well enough to throw tables around, he probably doesn't require healing. Aisling about to tell him such, as well as give him a piece of her mind as to his childish behavior that would almost certainly result in her execution, when, fortunately, the Grand Duchess gracefully intervened.

The Tari Nor child kept her mouth shut as she observed the exchange, and, finding pretty much everything that needed saying had been said, felt the anger drain out of her like someone had poked a hole in her again. Now she was just empty again. Fortunately, Siegart called to her. He was right. It was time to go. All she wanted to do was get this blood off her and sleep. Taking Zou's free hand as the pair moved up to where she stood, Aisling followed her friends out, all linked up like a daisy chain. They were both headed to the Arcane Sanctum, and she was not, but at the moment, the exhausted child didn't care where she laid her head to rest, so long as it was soft. She followed her friends docilely to their abode.
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