• Event • [Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

A mage is made an example of, for the public of Rynmere.

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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• Event • [Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Khymarah » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:53 am

Andaris
5 CYLUS 718 | CROWN JAIL - COURTYARD

The night air was bitterly cold, painfully so. Snow was falling, less heavily than it had been the trial prior, but still enough to leave a downy blanket on the heads and shoulders of those caught in it. With no moonlight to speak of thanks to thick cloud cover, the perpetual night of the trial seemed even darker than before, slushy puddles of icy mud covering the cobblestone streets of Andaris in the wake of the hastily shovelled snow. Everything seemed empty, hushed, as though the populace were all walking on eggshells. Those that were left in the city at least. Most had made their way up to the Crown, nobles and commoners alike, to see the public execution of a mage under King Cassander’s decree.

The jail courtyard was a sodden affair, mud and slurry clinging to boots and clothing alike, many a dress hem soiled for the spectacle. People milled in the square, surrounded by high stone walls where smatterings of Purifiers were placed with bows in hand, their points trained on the crowd with watchful eyes. Those in the square would find themselves shoulder to shoulder, noble to commoner, there was no differences here. Everyone was a spectator to the sentence, no matter their creed or status. At the head of the audience, there were both Second Swords of the Mantis and Moseke Knights positioned to control the crowd, shields and swords in hand and dressed in full armour. The blackened metalwork of the Second Swords was a bleak contrast to the bright and polished Moseke Knights, something about their appearance more ominous and foreboding.

A few yards beyond the Knights was the platform, a wood and stone structure built by the very men that resided in the prison cells. It was raised, allowing all to see the bundles of pitch-covered wood that was piled around the stake jutting up to the sky like some sick proud effigy. On the platform stood a unit of First Swords, their hard eyes on the crowd and the only public entrance and exit from the prison. The metal gate had been drawn up, allowing people to enter for the punishment, like some gaping maw welcoming it’s unsuspecting dinner. At the entrance of the jail, where people were coming through even still, a group of hooded protesters stood holding signs scrawled either with the words of the Seven, or names of people who had been taken on the accusation of magic use.

“Turn away from this cruelty, show your kindness! This is wrong, madness. Friends, family, lovers, teachers...we’ve all known a mage sometime in our lives. Not all mages are bad, no one deserves this!” One of the sign holders was saying to anyone who walked past, shaking her sign in heartfelt passion.

“Stand up for your peers! Stand up to this facade! Please!” She called out again, her peers around her muttering in agreeance.




“It’s a good trial.” The guard standing beside Caius murmured, his breath steaming from him in a thick plume, keen eyes sweeping across the crowd that had gathered in the courtyard as he stood with hands clasped behind his back on the platform. Beside them both, facing the audience was a podium, containing a scroll listing the crimes of the one they waited in the snow and the dark for, and the punishment. Resting with it, an unlit torch, ready to burn at a moments notice. A braizer burned brightly beside the podium, hissing and popping as the snow melted into the flames.

“A good trial indeed.” He muttered again, training his eyes on the far wall, towards a wooden door currently closed, currently guarded by two ashcloaked Knights. Beyond that door, their criminal waited, thinking their last thoughts. Did they regret the choice to let the Spark in? Did they fear death, or were they bravely meeting their end as a martyr to the cause?

“I heard they burn the mage alive.” A woman whispered in hushed tones to her partner, standing amongst the crowd of people as they watched and waited, snow settling in their hair or on their cloaks. Her partner, a middle aged barkeep from the midtown huffed softly, tucking his fingers under his armpits.

“Sod off. That’s just for show you silly woman. They’ll bring ‘em out and probably kill ‘em first. Chop the head or strangle or something. No one’s burning anyone alive. The Empress would never allow somethin’ that awful.” The woman shook her head.

“It’s true! I heard from old Patty from the bakery! Burned alive!” He waved the woman off, shoving his way through to get closer to the front, as morbidly curious to see the prisoner and punishment as everyone else. Through the crowd, more whispers were being uttered, quietly for fear of retribution lest one of the King’s Ashcloak’s overheard. At the centre of the throng, a hooded figure took in the scene, his old eyes scanning the guards and his aged ears listening to the crowds bantering. To some he would have once been known as Victor, to those in Andaris he was merely Benjamin Stone, and elder and former Skyrider. The grey haired man pulled his cloak closer, warding off the cold and perhaps the atmosphere of the gathering. Around him, Benjamin listened to the rumours about the prisoner.

An evil powerful mage, a man, or so they said...

A woman driven to the end of her tether, wicked and wanton with sin, or that’s what I heard...

A beastly being, neither man nor woman, warped by the magic they wielded on the innocent lives they took, or that’s the word on the street...


At the head of the crowd, an older woman wept openly, her greying hair loose around her tear streaked face. In her hand she clutched a small child’s toy, a stuffed bear. It appeared old, well loved, and seemed to be the woman’s only comfort.

The bits wore by, as they waited till as many of the city had arrived, pressed into the square or lingering outside the gate on tip toe to see what they could see from afar. On the snow fell, blanketing the people and the mud alike. Finally, the man turned his gaze on Lord Caius Gawyne with a small nod.

“At your command, my Lord.”

It was time.


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Welcome all to the first event of the new arc in Ryn! Rules are as follows:
  • One post per round.
  • I will be posting again in four days, and every fourth day after that.
  • If you miss a round, you won’t be written out, but you must get minimum 3 posts or 1500 words per standard posting rules to get your skills/knowledges.

Have fun. This is a mage burning after all....
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Tristan Venora » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:16 am

“This isn’t right, and this isn’t fair“, Tristan whispered to his bodyguard Sintih in so low a tone that it was unlikely that anybody else would be able to hear him and wrapped his royal blue brocade coat more tightly around his body to ward off the cold - with little effect. It seemed to have invaded every fibre of his being as well as his very soul. Whenever he looked at the platform that had been erected in the courtyard, he had the feeling that he would never get warm again. “Somebody should do something. I was almost raped by a mage once, and I don’t hate them all. I just want her to die.”

He was about to rush to Cassander’s palace and try and talk some sense into his friend before it was too late, but as he took a look around to judge his chances, he realized that the courtyard was so tightly packed that he would never get out in time, and he didn’t have what it took to confront the guards head-on and free the mage that was going to die as well as all the other, probably innocent prisoners in their dungeon. He was weak. He should have learned to fight, he should have made some sort of bomb with alchemy, but instead he had wasted his time with sculptures and ridiculous plays …

He had always thought that Cassander was a genuinely good person. The king had been so happy for him when Zanik had marked him, he loved the puppy that he had given to him, and they had drunk wine together. He had always thought that he was simply young and inexperienced and that he had been listening to the wrong people, but this here was plain evil. He didn’t know how Cassander could have thought that setting mages on fire would be a good idea!

Magic had been legal in Rynmere just the arc before. It had been taught there once upon a time, and now people were expected to watch their friends, their colleagues as well as their loved ones burn. It didn’t make any sense to him, and it was beyond cruel!

“I doubt that the prisoner is a beastly being”, he murmured bitterly and turned his head away. He couldn’t bear the sight of the platform any longer even though the prisoner had not yet been brought forward. He wanted to scream at them and tell them to stop the madness because there was already too much sadness and violence in this world, but then he realized that such would probably only end with him being thrown into prison, being accused of treason and losing his duchy. He wouldn’t be able to help anybody if he lost his duchy.

“I shouldn’t have come here”, he said.

In front of him an older woman was crying and desperately clutching a stuffed bear. A lot of people looked sad that trial, but there was something about her in particular that touched his heart, and thus the young duke put a hand on her shoulder in order to comfort her and so that she would turn around and asked, “Do you know the prisoner, ma’am?”
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Amaryllis » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:25 pm

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The frigid chill of the dark air never bothered a woman with a stone heart. At least that was what many of the insipid women she came across loved to spew among themselves. The idea that nothing and no one could penetrate her prickly defenses only further contributed to her engimatic air, and so Amaryllis let the rumours slide. Ice and snow was as much a friend to her as the air that she breathed but it was the voices of the wind she heard as they jostled her long platinum tresses and swept up the hem of her cloak.

The air is just full of electricity isn't it? The corner of her lips twitched into a smirk, as she gazed up at the passing breeze and the tumbling snowflakes it carried along.

The actress pulled the garment tighter around her shoulders, adjusting the way her wings were curled tight against her body, though exposed to the air as they were through the slits in the cloak, they were hardly affected by the biting chill thanks to the layers of pale, downy feathers that covered their frame. Finding space, however, with appendages like hers, proved difficult when the throng of people waded into the open courtyard where the execution was to take place. The energy of the crowd seemed to build as the minutes dragged on, and the body heat of every person that stood present turned the ground into a crunchy slush that stuck to the heels of her boots.

The clamor of the protesters rose above the general chatter of the populace. Amaryllis' gaze settled on their faces as she stood near the edge of the swelling crowd. Their voices sang of devotion and mercy, and yet they held no sway over her moral judgement. The half-breed preferred the silent chimes of her incorporeal companions, and it was with them that she felt a sense of thrumming excitement and flashes of sharp, gusts of wind.

"Who is it that is burning, exactly?" The half-breed asked one of the people beside her. To her dismay, she was wholly unaware who was being accused of being a mage. Normally, she'd have taken time to investigate; questioning people that knew the accused, and deduced the reason why they were apprehended in the first place. This was only to ensure that she, herself, could avoid detection and suspicion under the public eye, and to scrutinize others by their habits and tendencies as well, in order to make note of who among her peers dabbled in the arcane.

It was nothing personal, after all.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Sintih » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:40 pm

odding, Sin elbowed the person next to him to create more space for him and the Duke in the crowd. It wasn't right nor fair and Sin was glad to hear that coming from the Duke himself, despite it being whispered quietly. He shifted as someone bumped into his back, keeping himself from being pushed into the Duke too much. Keeping his balance, Sin pushed back. There was some grumbling behind him but some shifting and elbowing later, Sin and Tristan had a space carved out for them in the crowd that allowed the Duke at least some of the space he should have been provided with. Scenarios like these were among the worst case ones Sin could come up with.

Suddenly the crowd behind them seemed to ease off and there was a large space between them and the people behind them. Glancing back, Sin stared right into the smiling face of Aukey, flanked by the wild haired Argun. It would have been silly to come to such an event with only Sin as protection. Before they had even sat foot on Andarian soil, Sin had known exactly how this would come to pass and he was both happy and worried to see he had been exactly right. The crowd was on edge, the protesters at the gate were ready to resist, the guards were ready to bring down the hand of the law and whatever soldiers were on duty were all heavily armed and looking for trouble. And none of that accounted for whatever the magic users might be coming up with.

With the two bodyguards, the cold Cylus wind pushed through their little space and people all around him, the Duke included, were pulling their cloaks tighter around them. Then the short reprieve created by the arrival of the two heavily armored soldiers ended as the crowd pushed back in, domino effects from somewhere else in the crowd were people were pushing other people. The wind got cut off and people were pushed together once more near the front of the event. Sin wasn't quite sure why Tristan had wanted to be so close to the action but he didn't question him, not this trial.

Sin leaned forward a little as the Duke spoke and he nodded, keeping most of his thoughts and feelings to himself. "Somebody won't do anything, ser. The crowd is afraid so not one individual is going to go against that." He nodded again. There was a short break in their quiet conversation while people around them were buzzing with all sorts of ridiculous rumours. It seemed the Duke had picked up on some of them as he brought one in question. "Of course not, ser. Whoever they are, they're most likely just another person, someone who happens to have magical abilities." Sin wasn't sure why he was talking more freely than normally. Being in this huge crowd should have made him the exact opposite. Instead, he allowed the Duke to see that Sin had no problem with magic users in general. More like the Duke, Sin just disliked the ones who used magic for evil.

In that respect magic was nothing more or less than a blade or a bow. People used them for good things while others used to rob, steal and kill. Of course, the child on the throne would never make those things illegal. Sin sighed. Because some child got scared one time, an entire nation was being pushed into chaos. Father... This is too much, is it not? I understand chaos is part of life and I'm willing to accept that but this... You probably don't understand what I'm trying to say, do you? Sin shook his head at nobody in particular when the Duke moved forward, addressing a woman in front of him. Sin motioned over his shoulder to the other two guards before shifting up a little. Aukey and Argun pushed up so they were on each side of the Duke, making sure he had the space he needed for a comfortable conversation, as comfortable as one could get in the current situation. Sin kept his position between the Duke and the majority of the crowd. This was going to be a difficult trial.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Kayleigh » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:31 am

She'd heard the rumors of there being an event, a sort of reckoning for somebody that had been branded a mage and determined to perish for it. Kayleigh however did not for an instant like it, considering she had friends that were also 'mages' or had magical talents at their disposal. She knew them to be quite good people actually, and wouldn't dream of anybody ever wanting them to be executed for having something as part if their being. Though she didn't quite understand the antics of magic herself, she believed there to be no true ill will when the term mage came to be involved. Except here...

Mages were a bit of a enigma and somehow that puzzled her, some felt that they were people and didn't deserve the pyre or ax. Pretty much the same sense of acknowledgement Kay liked to have, yet the others who believed otherwise merely did so out of fear or even spite against the unknown. They didn't understand the nature of magic, fully, and therefore judged it on a principle based from a few bad experiences no less. Kayleigh had marched here with the full intent to rebel, to stand up and make some sort of scene against the event entirely somehow. If these people were like any other then...

"They can be persuaded otherwise." She forced her self to believe this as she drew closer to the group of people clustered before the platform, her hooded cloak draped over her form as she kept her saber close at her side. Kayleigh had worn her wintry outfit to keep warm, alongside a cloak she'd purchased the other trial. While she didn't have any real gear to stage or mount a rescue, she didn't plan to just stand quietly and observe either. She didn't plan to need it but with events like this... By the Seven she hoped she wouldn't need it. Already people both highborn and lowborn were talking of the supposed mage, their words somehow sickening to hear as she kept her eyes low to the ground.

These people... they didn't know how mages were. They couldn't if they really believed this woman to be some kind of monster. Was she really twisted and disfigured by the practice of her talent? Kayleigh had no real way of knowing...

And she also had no real incentive to step in either, somehow she realized this after she put herself amidst these people. They didn't understand... how could they?... She overheard a noble speaking to his bodyguard of the situation, evidently the people weren't going to do a thing about this. They would rather just let their fear take over, and let someone who is likely just an innocent person burn at the stake just like that. So what would happen next? Another person cries mage, then another burning takes place that same day? She practically scoffed as her teeth felt on edge, the gloves on her hands grew tighter as she clenched her fists bitterly.

"They can't do this." She muttered under her breath as white clouds of moisture heavily parted from her lips.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Hart » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:26 pm

"Speaking in Rakahi"
"Speaking in Common"

Snow fell from the sky like the ash that would fall from the pyre, and Hart took note of what he was doing.

He took note of what all of them were doing.

They were all doing nothing.

Rows of guards lined the walls, pointing arrows down upon the crowd, and the guardians of the land were willing to turn their blades upon their own people. Just as they were willing to turn the flame upon the mage.

And what was the difference? Hart wondered.

He looked around him and saw the eagerness and dread and anticipation upon the people's faces. Listened, and heard the wailing of a woman in the distance, and the cries of the protesters muffled by the hoods that would protect them from their king.

There were many people here, more than he'd thought would come. And many people were still coming through the awful gates, cramming in so there was little room to breathe. The air felt thick and somehow heavy despite its wintry crispness. Still more people were making their way forward, trying to get closer to the front where a person would be burned alive for them tied to a stake upon a stage.

As Hart stepped carefully through the crowd, he tried not to come into contact with anyone as if the mere touch of some of these people might burn him, or perhaps it was the other way around. His own hood was up. He wished he had gloves.

He felt vaguely sick. He was angry.

We all of us contain the flames.

"Lady Venora,"

he muttered under his breath, and his breathing was slow and measured to match the pace of the lyrics, even before he turned muttered words to the slow, imploring sound of the hymn he recited,

"Saint of Steadfastness, who does not abandon those who are fallen"

Hart took another slow breath.

The muted hum of his voice maintained a sullen softness, just barely loud enough that others next to him might overhear what he whispered, as if in prayer.

"Lady Venora, Beloved Mother of Nations, who abides both the living and dead"

He saw a small girl in the crowd, settled on her father's shoulders, a girl no older than seven. When he saw her face her expression was naive and excited and expectant, and he didn't know if she would be frightened by the death she would witness or if she would cheer.

Low and beseeching he continued the recitation,

"Lady Venora, most Devoted of Founders, who casts aside ill loyalty and teaches

Lady Venora, First Queen of our Kingdom, who honors all on this parting day"


The song was a death rite he remembered from the time of the civil war, one of a set of seven sung over graves, and when the last of the lyrics were finished he began, once again, to hum it, just as softly as before.

Upon the second verse he caught an odd look from one of his neighbors, bitter and almost ashamed. As Hart leveled his gaze at the man he bowed his head and turned his eyes away.

You could do something about this, Hart thought at him. You all could. I could.

He continued his humming and made his way slowly through the packed-in crowd towards the stage.

OOC: Sorry for the delay in posting, haven't been feeling so well the last couple of days.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Oliver Venora » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:55 am

3 Cylus 718

He remembered the burning Vhalar. He remembered Ser Wine's debacle and the mage attack on the execution, the rescue of Theodore Thomas Terrence. He saw, first hand, the dangers of the magics in the world, and he watched as zombies and men who wielded the elements like he wielded his sword subvert the law of the Kingdom. He saw them steal the trial from the law-abiding citizens of Rynmere, and the destruction they'd left in their wake by unleashing that... monster... into the streets. Oliver had no doubt that magic was evil, putrescent in its power, corrupting and embarrassing. In Vhalar, he could run.

This time, he could not.

He would take no chances. Gustauv remained close, both men wearing non-descript black cloaks to cover their fine clothing. Oliver left his hood down, which may not have been the best idea for anonymity since the success of his gala, but he kept his gaze lowered as he and Gustauv made their slow way to a viewing spot. Oliver's heavy reliance on the sharp-petaled rose-topped canesword meant that the pace was grueling, each step sending a wave of blazing agony through his side. Still, though, the noble would not succumb. One monster before another, that was all.

He could feel the blood on his palm, sweating down into the porous stone, his sacrifice to the vengeance he'd sword. He and Gustauv approached a place of openness, unhindered by many bodies, and took up their posts. Oliver was there, in plain view of Caius should he be the one commanding the trial, yet close enough to escape into the open should another Sessfiend be unleashed. He would take no chances, but he was there to show Caius that the spirit of Rynmere was not cowering in fear after the sloppy rescue attempt at the rogue mage, Thomas Terrence. He wanted to show that it was rising up to meet the foe head on, even if it meant putting the very people of the kingdom into a situation like the last.

Rynmere would not be bullied by these blasphemers, it would not succumb to fear and terror. They would not be beaten back by those who would usurp the powers of the world and use them for nefarious purposes. The mages, they needed to see that, even if it was the last thing they ever saw. There was no place for their brand of barbarism in the Kingdom, not anymore. Their profane existence was no longer welcome or tolerated on the lands protected by the eyes of the Seven, and Rynmere would not take their garish displays of power lying down.

The mages would pay for the tragedies they caused, the families they ripped apart by unleashing their beast and their powers. The citizens of Rynmere would show them that they were stronger than the roiling earth or the consuming fire. They, each and every one of them, was the beating heart of the Kingdom, and they would not be paralyzed by an inferno and an undead bear. Gripping the rose tightly, his palm bleeding its petals red, Oliver knew exactly how powerful vengeance was.

These mages stood no chance. Not this time. Not after the last.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Velaine Krome » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:31 am

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“You don’t have to accompany me, you know,” Velaine said for the fourth time ever since they left Drakengard for Andaris. It was not the best weather to travel in, but she insisted of making her way here. Once the female Krome had heard of what was going to transpire in the capital, she knew she had to see it. Even if she would not like what she saw. “Are you sure you want to see this?”

Nathaniel stood behind with his strong arms around her, protecting her from the cold weather and the press of bodies around them. While he was the one holding her, Velaine couldn’t help but be a bit worried about his presence here. The Endor hadn’t reacted to deaths very well before – but that might also be limited to the people he had worked with. Something in her gut told her that this would be a gruesome event.

Admittedly, his presence around her calmed her frayed nerves a bit. Perhaps it was morbid of her to watch this so-called trial. It was a terrible fate to be made into something public. A fate she might suffer one trial if she made even the smallest of mistakes. Velaine knew the risks when she decided to return to Rynmere, but she hadn’t quite imagine it would escalate in such a way.

To go as far as burning people alive to satiate their fear was madness. They claim to protect Rynmere, yet they hunted down its own people. As if executing someone with fire, to let their screams and their suffering become entertainment for the masses was justice. People that probably had nothing to do with what happened in Vhalar. The Lady Krome had never ended someone’s life, yet she knew they would not hesitate to end hers.

The thought made her sink back against the Endor a bit more. She wondered if Nathaniel would turn on her and offer her to the king should he ever find out.

She surveyed the crowd around them carefully. A mixed group of nobles, commoners, and visitors alike. The sheer number of the spectators was astonishing. A playwright would have sold his soul to get an audience like this. Most look grim, but others looked excited. Every little insignificant information spread through the crowd like wildfire – it didn’t even matter if it was true or false.

Velaine recognized a Gawyne’s face, standing beside the Ashcloaks on the platform. To think that a studious man like him had the stomach to lead this injustice… It was another reminder to keep her guard up. There was no one to trust. Glancing up, the she-wolf eyed Nathaniel. He hadn’t said much about what he thought of these executions. What if he supported this? Caius was a dear friend of his.

She decided she would need to bait the answers out of him. “How can your friend be supporting this?” Her voice was kept low, wary of the ears surrounding them.

As she waited, Velaine Krome shivered in her betrothed’s embrace, and it had nothing to do with the cold.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Nathaniel Endor » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:53 am

They had made it to Drakengard the trial before only to end back up in a cramped, moving box the following morning to make it to Andaris. When Velaine had stated she was going to this whole witch-burning affair, Nathaniel recalled feeling the blood drain from his face. There were so many questions that he had for her. Why was she interested in seeing such a morbid display of law? Did it not make her feel a little less human? What about the risks? Instead, he had stared at her before responding that he would come. There, her concern budded and the frequent questioning about his sureness to embark on this journey with her. Nathaniel was never sure when it came to her, so what was watching a person burn to solidify his resolve further?

It made his stomach flip.

“Are you sure you want to see this?”

For the fourth time, he did not respond. He walked solemnly next to her, dropping the butt of his spear into the mush of earth as they walked, using it as a walking stick. It also kept his mind busy as he focused on the thush sound it made in the watery snowmelt. A Moseke Knight tried to stop him from entering with the spear, but he proudly claimed his allegiance to House Endor and the Crown. When questioned further, Nathaniel honestly remind the knight why he was armed. There was always a possibility that the other side would attempt to make a scene to save one of their own mages.

“Turn away from this cruelty, show your kindness! This is wrong, madness. Friends, family, lovers, teachers...we’ve all known a mage sometime in our lives. Not all mages are bad, no one deserves this!”

Nathaniel did not look at the protester. Of course, he disagreed. He had never known a mage in his life. His mother and father were both wholesome and hardworking nobles. Maderson could be overwhelming and sometimes carry the visage of the devil, but most mother's had that ability. His cousin, Alice, was sweet and polite. Aside from her historical transgressions, Nathaniel did not believe for one moment that she had that taint upon her. Velaine, with her pride and stunning eyes would never betray him with secrets like that. Besides, if she were a mage, he believed he would have seen something strange about her already. He wrapped an arm around her, casting a gaze over the crowd as if he could see mages coming.

From the stories he had heard, he recalled witches and wizards wearing pointy hats and garish colors. He doubted a mage would be that stupid and would attempt to blend in; however, they could not hide their marks that easily. Crooked noses, ugly faces, warts everywhere with thin skin. That's what they looked like right? Then, he focused on the whispers. It seemed that the Crown had full intent on burning this criminal alive. He had heard the pleas before the headsman killed a victim. Nathaniel expected this to be something different entirely.

Velaine's words brought his gaze to the podium where he caught his best buddy standing there, stricken with duty. Nathaniel's stomach dropped another peg or two as his thoughts reached out to his 'brother'. The way she emphasized the 'your' in her question should have alerted him, but he was hollow to emotion. He had to be, or this whole affair would eat him from the inside out. "We nobles have our duties to the Crown. I am sure Caius has no love for this event; someone has to do it."

As she snuggled into his embrace, he only tightened it further with his one arm securely around her shoulders. The other placed the spear just a little bit closer to her and in front of him. It would allow him to swing the butt up and out without hitting his cloak. One had to be prepared in an event like this. "We can leave now Velaine. We do not have to watch this..."
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Caius Gawyne » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:06 pm

"A good trial my ass."

Caius whispered fervently to the Purifier next to him, nausea clawing through him, bile stinging the back of his throat. His words were too much and the Lord Arbiter turned, curling fingers into the ash-colored cloak of the other man, not able to lean away as swiftly as he'd hoped, the steaming remains of whatever the northern noble prodded at for breakfast now decorating the metal curves of the guard's boots. There, in front of all of Andaris who had gathered, the Lord Arbiter let his nervousness become an obvious mess. Without apology, he quickly wiped his face with the back of a shaking hand, sneering as he attempted to regain what little composure he could possibly have left.

There were no good trials for this kind of death.

"New recruit, are you? You must've fucking missed the first one." Sharp blue eyes darkened and the young Gawyne wavered on his feet, heart racing with a terror he couldn't even put properly into words. Bodies crawled back into his mind's eye, alive again like the undead bear, eyes like the burning embers of that lustful Stranger staring into his disgusting soul. Swallowing it all, shoving it down into the furnace that was the cavity of his chest, Caius looked one more time out into the crowd and saw far too many familiar faces for his comfort—Oliver and Nathaniel, Velaine and Tristan, and so many others. He'd begged Darcyanna to stay home, practically ordered his wife to stay away from this horrifying scene, from witnessing the work shoved into his ink-stained hands that fateful night over a season ago. So many faces, expectant and curious—by the Seven, didn't they know what happened last time? Hadn't they heard of the failure and the horror?

Where had these people been that last day of Vhalar?

He heard the protesters, irises darkening to the color of a storm at sea as he regarded them, his chest tightening and his stomach threatening more bile. The northern noble adjusted his cloak instead and ran trembling fingers through his ever unkempt hair before setting his hand to rest on the hilt of his saber, a breeze rippling through the square so frigid that he watched the crowds flinch and shudder.

By Ziell's peaceful mercy, he did not feel it.

He was doing the right thing. The King had made the right choice. This was the way things had to be done.

Even now, Caius wasn't sure if he believed that, but peace had to be paid for at any cost. This was the price of the moment. And it was cruel.

"Tell the archers to keep an eye on the crowd. And hold that fucking line of protesters. Someone move that unfortunate girl's mother further back—Seven have mercy on her for just a few trills." He hissed, a nervous energy surging like melted lead in his veins, "I don't want even a bit of to-trial to resemble Vhalar."

"Yes, my Lord Arbiter." The unfortunate Purifier replied quietly, making hand motions before he turned and waved for the young woman, Sarah Dj'pyrj, barely younger than Caius himself, be brought forth toward the pyre and bound.

Without waiting, the young Gawyne stepped up to the podium and curled shaking fingers against the wood, not even needing to glance down at the parchment that had been pinned down to it against the wind. He'd read it so many times that his aching heart already knew the words, but it took a moment for him to find his voice. Clearing his stinging throat, Caius ignored the warmth of tears that stung the edges of his eyes and squared his shoulders, gaze lingering first on Nathaniel and then on Oliver as he spoke, unable to look at any of the other faces in the crowd, desperate for the comfort of friends, of the men he called brothers when not in public view, swimming in a sea of strangers and drowning in terrified memories of the last burning of a mage in public view.

Resentful that the Lord Inquisitor was again traveling, that this trial the reading of crimes fell to him, that he was left to hold himself together as well as be the public face of the Law for everyone to see, Caius summoned from the heated depths of his reborn existence the betrayal and terror, the horror that magic wrought in front of his very eyes. He thought of Aeodan, who'd warned him to look away. He thought of Syora, who promised She'd be watching.

Bogs.

To what end?

"People of Andaris, loyal subjects of our esteemed King Cassander, to-trial on this fifth trial of Cylus, of the seven hundred and eighteenth arc, I bring before you a traitor to the crown, a traitor to us all, Sara Dj'pyrj. Don't let her external innocence fool you, good people, for she has willingly accepted into her existence the taint of magic, a consuming force that mortals may pretend to control but ultimately cannot. Vhalar taught us that, and to-trial we are here under the watchful gaze of our Sacred Seven, to keep the bountiful Kingdom of Rynmere safe from their treachery."

Caius could hardly hear his own voice over the terrified rush of his pulse, and as he finished speaking and stepped away from the podium, unconcerned whether it was to applause or catcalls of disapproval, uncaring whether people trusted or hated him, the Lord Arbiter turned and glanced at the young woman one more time, a private trill of apology for a cause he was still so unsure of passing between them before he nodded to the First Sword closest to the torch, trembling hand once again curling into the hilt of his saber though it provided him no comfort.

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