• 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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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Narav » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:12 pm

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"I have witnessed more than one execution in my journeys. Quick is any man to remark on the savagery, the injustice, to raise a protest among his friends. But I wonder if, perhaps, they might not secretly be glad it isn't them dulling the Executioner's Axe. It's easy to talk of high ideals, I've met few who act on them." - Narav Tobelle, Except from 5th Journal.


Torchlight bred shadows in the hollows of her gaunt face. The prisoner, thin arms manacled together, stood just inside the Crown Jail. In here it was quieter, the jeers and murmurs of the crowd muted by the heavy oak and iron door. It was a blessing, at least, to not be standing out in the bitter Cylus frost waiting to be put to the flame. She had long, lustrous black hair, curled at the end like an afterthought. If not for the rigor of imprisonment, she might have actually been quite pretty. A line of faded silver trailed from a lip already scabbing over and vanished at the edge of her chin. No one had confessed to hitting her, but the black-blue bruise was already spreading across the right side of her jaw and up the side of her face. By its size, must have been a gauntlet at least, hard to moderate how hard you hit with something like that. Thomas had been a mistake, the brutalized scholar marched before the people in Vhalor had almost undone the Order before. Supposedly Lord Arbiter Caius had reprimanded Lord Inquisitor Kayled on his torturous practice before the execution and it was procedure to avoid unnecessary violence to the prisoner before they were tied to the pyre.

Narav had taken last shift with her, which was why he was here now, holding the chain. Behind him, Olbran, one of four hulking guards they kept in the Crown Jail, once again quietly spoke up. "It was not me wot did 'er like that." He didn't say it with any difference in inflection, probably only to break the still that had settled between them. Sarah kept her head bent low, penitent perhaps, or planning. Narav didn't gratify Olbran with a full response, only clearing his throat and stepping a little closer to the door. The wide hallway was enough for he and the prisoner to stand side by side with a Purifier behind and one ahead. Should she start to struggle, they would drag her out across the frozen courtyard and bind her to the pylon regardless. Personally, Narav doubted she would. He recognized her face, one he had seen for Cycles before pressing up against dirty iron bars. Hopelessness was a disease as potent as any plague. Just like the cold and the damp, it slithered into your mind eventually and devoured you from the inside.

She had almost escaped, so he'd heard, or at least Matthias had suggested it back at the barracks. After what happened in Vhalar, the former prisoner was surprised anyone had the stomach to defend the mages at all. Scores dead in the violence, a new Sessfiend, and only one dead mage to show for it. Had it not been for the threat the mages clearly represented, Kayled and Caius might have been discharged there and then. Ah...well, it wasn't his business what occurred above his head.

Two more Cycles of this before his sentence was served, properly commuted, two more Cycles fighting for the cause. Gingerly, Narav reached up to feel the rough lines of the scars Fridgar had left on his face. Beneath his fingers he remembered how he'd felt when the demon had clawed him, roaring, thrashing, like a wild animal. No, it wasn't that he disagreed with the mission. Magic was a kind of fascination, a terrible one that could grow in your bones and hollow you from the inside. Narav had seen first hand what sorcery had done to his world and time again he was convinced of its infinite hunger for destruction.

Violent urges flashed behind his eyes and he grit his teeth reflexively. He almost rapped Sarah on the back of the head, but paused and reconsidered. Yes, she was an Empath, but were these emotions really coming from her? The Plague Daughter's touch still swam in his veins and it was getting harder and harder to separate the urges from IT from his own, or the results of anything else. Prison had caved him in, made a cavern of his hope and filled it only with bitterness and rage. Under the black half-plate Narav burned to turn on the quivering girl and crush her head into the stone.

No.

Taking a deep breath, he held it and released. He could not forget his place, his responsibility. Only this position saved him from the rotting madness of the cell.

Two sharp retorts upon the wood and the first Purifier stepped forward to open the door of the Jail. Narav tugged the chain toward his chest, jerking Sara into a stumble. Unprepared, she tilted, falling against Narav. Instinctively he caught her, nausea gnawing at the pit of his stomach as he realized how light she was.

"Please," Her voice was small, so small it was almost devoured by the audience, "Please help me."

A knot tied taut in his stomach and Narav quickly pushed her back to her feet, almost savagely sending her stumbling forward again. In that half a moment, he'd remembered Edalene, her eyes pleading with him in the graveyard. Now she was just another face of the mage infestation in Rynmere, wanted, hunted, gone from this place hopefully. Narav bit his lower lip hard enough to draw blood, focusing on the pain rather than the shadow of shame pummeling against the back of his eyes. There could be no sympathizing with this, he could not allow himself to be taken in. Empathy was a magic of the mind and his own emotions would be twisted, turned back on him.

But were these hers or his, really?

The question went unanswered as they dragged the prisoner out before the assembled. Luckily, when constructing the pyre, the prisoners had the sense to build it close enough to the door to avoid having to muddle through the crowd. The outcry was immediate, rising from the protesters and drowned by the others. Here they were expecting some loathsome thing, some abominable specter. Sarah was a silver-blooded woman, scared, dark eyed and alone. She seemed so small and helpless flanked by the three guards and marched up toward the scaffolding. Narav could feel the judgement descend upon his shoulders, clawing at him, biting at his resolve.

"None of you know," He muttered to himself, "They're all nightmares." But did he believe it? The words felt hollow to him somehow and he regretted mumbling them as soon as Sarah stiffened, her shoulders drooping forward as whatever vestige of hope she had slipped from her grasp. Together they ascended the scaffolding steps. Even under the armor and padding, the chill managed to find him, his breath clouding the air against the leaping torches. She did not resist when he presented the key to her manacles, snapping them open and dropping them and the chain to the ground. The two other Purifiers stepped forward, each with a hand on one shoulder they guided her roughly to the pillar and wrapped the rope. Thrice the rope was wrapped, over her shoulders, to bind her arms against her side, and to bind her legs before they stepped back, finished with their work.

Sara looked out past the flames to the sea of faces watching with abject despair etched on her features. There was fear there, yes, the animal terror of being cornered, backed against a wall without even the means of defending herself...but more evident was the ravages of sorrow that had bowed her over. Tears glistened on wet cheeks as she sought a face, any face, any soul that would step forward to protest this slaughter. Even bound to the instrument of her doom, she sought a savior from the gathered.

Above and beyond, the armed soldiers of the Order prepared for just that.

"Please!" Her voice was louder now, but so thin, "Please, By the Seven, By the Twins, Please help me!"

"Gods," Narav muttered, staring up at her, "Die with some dignity." The guilt in his gut tightened and Narav drowned it in rage, turning away from her to face the crowd and take his place at the edge of the scaffolding, hand on his blade. Curse this manipulating bitch, trying to sink her fists in his mind and tug him to her will. Whether they were his emotions or not, Narav crushed them with a furious snarl, biting down again so hard on his lip that blood trickled down his cheek and dripped onto his black armor.

Damn the bleeding-heart fops protesting piteously toward the back. Damn the garlic eaters that muttered their disapproval and looked on in anger. Cowards and morons, the lot of them. None had a bone in their body for the bloody work of rescue, here, secure in their warm furs they were as culpable as any other who joined the pyre tonight. Let them murmur, let them talk.

Without conviction (even, hypocritically, if he lacked his own), they were beneath him.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Charlie Warrick » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:48 pm

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Shivers wracked Charlie's body, even through her warm woollen clothing. Here, on a roof overlooking the square, there was no shelter from the wind. Down in the square, though their feet touched slush and mud, the people watching the execution had the fortune of being sheltered from the bitter chill that Charlie was exposed to. Sighing, she brought her cloak even closer to her body, and briefly closed her eyes, centering herself. There was warmth in her body, still. She would focus on that.

Down there, she knew, her lover stood, resting on his cane with Gustauv close by for protection. Charlie had not wanted Oliver to come. Not to spare him the horror of the burning mage, but rather to spare his body. Though his wound had mostly healed, the cold Cylus air would do no good for his pain. Charlie knew from her own experiences of Pythera's blade that chill made the wound and joints ached, and her teeth clenched when she realised the pain Oliver was willingly putting himself in to be here for the people - and for Caius. Her eyes swept the crowd, but she could not make the black-haired Venoran out just yet. The torches that had been lit flickered, but did not cast a light on her love's face. Perhaps, when they lit the pyre, she would.

They had not asked the Skyriders to protect the crowd in Vhalar. Foolishly, they had underestimated the wily mages, and look what that had led to. Now, she knew, Charlie could expect to see every mage they caught go up in flames. She did not relish the brutal death, but to imprison a mage was foolish. Death, she knew, was the only way to keep Rynmerians safe from their corrupted souls. Mages could not be allowed to exist.

Still. From up here, Charlie could not figure out if there were mages in the crowd. She did not have a Traitor Stone. Instead, her gaze stayed fixed on the protestors across the square, and not just her eyes, but she was ready to string an arrow and loose it if they made even one wrong move. Growing pro-mage sentiment would be almost as dangerous as the mages themselves. After the massacre that Thomas Terrance and the Burnetts had wrought, Charlie and the other Skyriders had been told - shoot first. Ask questions later.

If it saved the innocents, it was worth it.

Caius began to speak, but she could not hear anything, not above the whistle of the icy wind on top of the building. Instead, Charlie kept her eyes on the protestors, every so often scanning for sudden movements among the crowd.

If necessary, she would kill to protect Rynmere. From mages and supporters alike.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Khymarah » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:31 am

Andaris
5 CYLUS 718 | CROWN JAIL - COURTYARD

People muttered and shuffled as Sinith made room for his ward, although they knew well enough to protest too much against the hand of the Duke. At the touch on her shoulder, the older woman glanced back at Tristan, worrying the ear of the stuffed toy with an almost reverent movement as she looked between him and Sinith. His words seemed to break her, a fresh flow of tears pouring from her face.

Know her? She’s the blood of my blood. The breath from my lungs...” Keening, she looked back as the guards moved forward, ominous as they dutifully followed the Lord Arbiter’s orders to move her back. The old woman swung her gaze back to them, shaking her head and pleading with them to let her stay.

“No, no you can’t. You can’t! She’s my daughter!” Her sorrow stricken eyes shifted with greys and greens as she looked directly up at Caius.

“She’s my daughter! Have mercy Lord! Have mercy please!” Her cries became louder as the men firmly pushed her back away from the front. One of the Moseke Knights glanced at Tristan with a nod of respect.

“Apologies, Your Grace.” He said curtly, acknowledging the Duke but clearly progressing with his orders. His green eyes shifted to Sinith and the two men he’d brought in. It was obvious that the soldiers were on edge, and so any resistance by anyone in the crowd would be met with swift action. They held their position, held the grieving woman back from the front.

Waiting. Watching.

Beside Amaryllis, the greying hooded man shook his head with a heavy sigh, never turning his piercing gaze on the blonde as he watched the Knights manhandle the older woman with a frown.

“An innocent in a child’s terrified tantrum, that’s who.” Victor said in a deep, rich voice that was laced with barely contained anger. He felt disgust and outrage, turning the brunt of his glare on the figurehead on the dais. Lord Caius Gawyne. The elder memorised his face, knew him by name. They all knew him, thanks to Valkyr’s personal escapades. It was a shame, in Victor’s opinion, that she hadn’t finished the damned job. Jaw clenched in fury, the older man stared at the platform.

Waiting. Watching.

“They can, and they will.” A young lower house noble standing beside Kayleigh muttered back, glancing her up and down with a sniff. As though the brunette had asked her to elaborate, the woman narrowed her eyes.

“You have heard about what happened last time, in Vhalar? Mages attacked the bystanders. Mages dragged undead beasts from Seven knows where. Mages wrought bloodshed of so many, just to save one. They all deserve to burn, every filthy last one of them.” Her lip curled slightly in unfiltered hatred, before she turned her eyes back to the men on the platform, eager to see the spectacle unfold.

Waiting. Watching.

Hart’s song followed him through the crowd, some turning to look at him as he moved, others merely too enthralled by the anticipation of the moment. The man that glanced his way seemed bothered by the song, as though disgusted by the prayer for a mage. He watched the young man turn away, spitting on the ground and muttering angrily before he took turned back to the dais.

Waiting. Watching.

Beside Oliver, Gustav frowned at the scene before them. He knew the Vhalar events, and he would have preferred to have the Venora noble stay in Novtrevé. It was however, his friend and Lord’s wish to be here for the Gawyne, and as ever he would be by the man’s side. The greying man looked at his friend, knowing him too well. He moved to speak, as though to give the dark haired noble some sort of comfort with his words. Instead, he merely nodded and turned back to face the front.

Waiting. Watching.

As Velaine and Nathaniel made their way through the crowd, spear in his grasp, it was under the wary eyes of the archers on the wall. A couple followed his movement through the crowd, on edge and anxious to see a spectator armed. The garrison Commander stood beside them, his face a dark scowl.

“Should we take him out Commander?” One of the young men asked with sincerity as he glanced up, the stories of the Vhalar event crisp in his mind making him almost trigger happy with the bow in hand. The more experienced Commander grunted and shook his head.

“No you bloody idiot. You’d start a Fates be Damned riot. Just...watch him.” With a short nod, the young man turned his eyes back to the nobleman whilst the Commander stroked his short dark beard as he observed the people below.

Waiting. Watching

“Bogs...” The guard muttered, tapping the rancid half-digested food off his boot as he waved to his counter parts to bring out the prisoner. As Caius took to the podium, the murmuring of the crowd hushed, all eyes turning on the Lord Arbiter. Some looked to him with expectation and determined allegiance to the King and his decree, others glared with hatred and anger, and some silently pleaded for the madness to end. The sea of faces stared at him as he began to speak, and when the door in the wall opened they almost turned as one.

Waiting. Watching.

“A fucking disaster.” The Skyrider beside Charlie growled, crossbow in hand and sparkling hazel eyes on the crowd. She was older, only by a few arcs, and her anger was almost tangible.

“It’s like they learned nothing last time. Large crowd, boxed into a one-escape enclosure? Fucking cattle to the slaughter, right? Right.” If she was looking for input from the Sergeant, the woman didn’t wait for it. Her crossbow moved to train on the entrance to the doorway and she pointed with her chin.

“There now look Sergeant, they’re bringing her out.” It was almost time, and all they could do now was look down on the gathering.

Waiting. Watching.

“Please help me.” Sarah whimpered in desperation to Narav, pleading with her swirling dark eyes as though by looking into them he would somehow change his mind. The shove drew a small help from the girl, before she caught herself as they exited the doorway. As soon as their feet hit the mud, the older woman in the crowd began to wail, struggling against the Knights that held her back. The young, frightened Empath looked up with wild eyes, her breathing rapid.

Da’oat?! Momma?! She cried out, her voice something like a lost child, pleading for the loving embrace of her mother. Immediately the raven haired girl dug her heels into the snowy mud, pushing back against Narav and screaming, struggling with all her might against the arms that held her fast.

“No, please! Stop please. Stop this! Stop this!” Sarah screamed at the crowd as the guards dragged her towards the scaffolding, their faces masks of duty. From the crowd, a slow noise began to rise as people began to talk. It started with one voice, above the mother and daughters wailing cries.

“She’s just a child!” A man’s voice called out angrily, as though shocked. Perhaps he had expected a devil in a man’s body, or a sesserfiend raging against its shackles. Not a pretty, scared, young girl.

“Kill her! Burn her bones!” Another voice called out, a woman’s voice harsh and bitter. She’d been a victim before, she knew the havoc those with magic could bring. Just because the witch wore a young girls face, didn’t make her any less evil. More voices joined the first two, either in support of the act or against it. The protestors at the gate cried out for her freedom, for mercy, but it was swallowed by the din of the crowd.

Burn! Burn! Burn! From within the throng, someone started a chant that began to pick up as more people joined in. It was overwhelming.

As they reached the platform, Narav’s words pierced the young woman’s struggles. She looked at him with fear, and something else. Hopelessness. Her fighting stopped, and her shoulders sagged as they took the stairs up to the stake. Raising her hands to allow the shackles to be removed, Sarah looked at Caius as the man strapped her to her execution and the First Sword handed him the now blazing torch. From the crowd, her mother wailed, imploring mercy.

“Take me! Take me instead please! My Sarah! My ly’oat!” She keened, pushing against the unyielding polished armour of the Moseke Knight before her.

Sarah looked over the crowd. The sea of strangers so eager for her death, the few who pleaded for mercy. Tears streamed from her eyes and she called out with a weak cry for help, only none would come. She knew it. They knew it. As Narav muttered at her again, the girl looked down at him with a suddenly golden gaze, her eyes burning as brightly as the flame Caius moved to light.

“See...” She hissed in panic, searching through the threads within the man before he turned away to clutch at the bold red strands of rage, snipping them with a clumsy sense of urgency and boldly trying to tie her own blackened hysterical fear to his.

Beneath her, as the Gawyne touched the torch to the pitched wood, flames burst into life to lick their way quickly around the base. Like a living animal they consumed the starter, crawling with burning fingers up around her dirty thin legs. Sarah’s golden gaze faltered, and she gasped in pain.

“Why?” She whined, looking away from Narav to Caius with a desperate gaze.

From the crowd, her mother’s cries rose above the cheers of those chanting.

The burning had begun.


Mod Notes
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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"What wouldn't you do with a chimera? They're like the Swiss Army knife of animals."
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Hart » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:14 pm

"Speaking in Rakahi"
"Speaking in Common"

They brought the mage out, a girl who was younger than Hart was, who was perhaps only twenty arcs of age. With her long dark hair and fragile, emaciated form the girl made him think of Jovy. A man had thrown up on the stage before reading out her crimes and Hart had shifted slightly, making his way towards the man as if to seek reason with him.

When the girl came out and the man read her name, Sarah Dj'pyrj, Bearer of Darkness, Hart raised his voice with the others who had begun to call out, a whip-crack of sound, "Hasta!" Stop! People turned to look at him and he began walking faster, ducking and weaving through the crowd. He was still trying not to touch them, his hands curled into the arms of his coat.

"Get out of my way," he muttered, and then began murmuring the song again, this time from the part called the entreating, the hymn louder and breathy in his sudden haste.

"Beseech ye Saints of Rynmere

Andaris
Venora
Warrick
Burhan
Krome
Gawyne
and Endor

On this hallowed trial

On this somber trial

By the Fates, blessed be"


The girl's mother was wailing as her daughter called out to her. "Da'oat! Momma?"

"My ly'oat!" My daughter!

"Hasta!" Hart called again, breaking in the midst of the song.

"Lord Andaris, Saint of Justice, who weighs sin and passes judgement

Lord Andaris, Esteemed Father of Rynmere, who delivers punishment and pardon as is right

Lord Andaris, Champion of Founders, who administers law and equality and teaches--"


"Hasta!"

"--Lord Andaris," he panted, "First King of our Kingdom, who grants his people second life"

The mother pushed against the knight who was holding her back, who was keeping her away from her daughter. Hart saw he would pass the two of them on his way towards the stage.

Behind them he caught a glimpse of a group of familiar faces, Tristan, Sintih, Argun, Aukey, and he faltered briefly. Tristan, he thought.

Burn! Burn! Burn! the crowd was chanting.

To the others, Sintih and the rest, he thought, Protect him.

Then he set his expression and began to move again.

Hart made his way forward, meeting some resistance, and keeping his hands away from anyone who might push back against him. His hood was yanked from his head and he thought they would hurt him if they could. He kept on. He reached the woman and her knight, who saw him coming and tried to step towards him. By the time he reached them in the thick of the crowd, the flames were growing high and the girl on the pyre had begun to gasp in pain. The mother's cries rose above the cheers of those chanting.

"No!" the mother was screaming, and the knight in the midst of the crowd was having trouble managing her. He was unable to both intercept Hart and stay with the woman at the same time. Unable to leave her for fear of what the crowd might do to her, he grabbed her by the elbows as she began fighting him in earnest. "No!" She battered useless hands against him, and he struggled to keep her safe from everyone and from herself.

"Ze ze ze ze!" she screamed at him, the screams turning from cries into whimpers. No no no no. A broken sob came from her chest and Hart, angry still, angry at the knight, angry at all of this, that the people were cheering as the woman's daughter was killed before her, reached out and touched her shoulder.

"Eja’yoama," he said in Rakahi. "Eja'yoama." I'm sorry.

The effect was immediate.

The woman's knees abruptly gave out.

The knight caught her from falling and the woman went almost limp against him. Her eyes widened, glimmering with bright color, her hands now clinging to the knight's armor, and then her gaze went dull and she sighed. "Ze ze ze ze," she whispered, then, "Nelo, nelo." Thank, thank. She reached out a hand towards Hart, fingers trembling.

He grasped her hand, squeezing, and let go though she tried to hold onto him. "Ze, ot djal, my ly'oat." No, please, my daughter. Reluctantly he took his hand from her. The crowd had gathered close.

"Stop!" the knight holding the woman told him, but Hart simply stepped past them, still determined to get to the stage.

A hand snatched him by the wrist.

"Let go!" Hart warned, pulling his arm back, but it was too late.

He turned in time to see the knight's hand fall away from him. The man's eyes rolled and he stumbled, trying to keep both him and the woman upright.

"Oh no," Hart said, and tried to help them as the crowd pressed in.

OOC: Hart used his MB ability Bliss to calm the woman. She will no longer be able to feel the pain nor fully experience the trauma of her daughter's burning. Rather, she will feel warm and safe. The knight, by touching Hart, also activated this power, though accidentally.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Nathaniel Endor » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:59 am

Before she was able to agree with him, before they were able to leave and put all of this well behind them before it had begun, Caius was speaking. Sara Dj'pyrj was being tied to the column as he spoke. She bore no resemblance to the witches of lore. Her nose was thin and bore no warts. Her skin was tight and unwrinkled, thick with life. Even her hair appeared to be soft and supple from the distance. In any sane man's mind, Sara appeared beautiful aside from the ratty clothes she wore. Her mother's screams jarred him back to realization. This girl had a mother, someone that cared deeply about her; someone that felt this was wrong from the bottom of her heart.

The screams only got louder as the torch tipped forward. Nate cast his gaze over the crowd. There were angry ones on the verge of rioting, shaking their fists at the witch and shrieking 'BURN' at the top of their lungs. Peaceful protestors howled their protests behind the guard lines, arguing to the malice of this event. Some, like himself, stood neutral. Nathaniel felt that it was wrong to have such a public, gruesome event. He had never really had an opinion on magic before the Crown decreed that it was bad. Before all of this, he believed that everything the crown did was with good reason; yet, this appearance of this particular woman strummed that resilience hard. His arm tightened instinctively around Velaine.

Maybe it was because the girl up there reminded him of his betrothed. The only giant difference was that Velaine was not a mage and Sarah was. If only he really knew all that went on behind the scenes.

The smoke was rising now but not nearly as high as it might if the temperatures were normal. Some of the ash was already beginning to float down before it even reached to a height above the walls. His gaze had been averted from the display long enough. As he was moving them back towards the pyre, he noted a man struggling with the guard and Sarah's mother. Hands reached out for her and the next display struck Nathaniel hard. Madame Dj'pyrj suddenly went quiet, her shrieks turning into inaudible lip movements from this distance. He could have blamed her exhaustion and grief, made a legitimate reason for all of this had the guard not succumbed to the same fate.

The iron clad man had reached forward and touched Hart only to fall backwards. Hart had done nothing it seemed except come into contact with the man. Nathaniel did not see a flash of steel suggesting a weapon. There were assassins that could have made subtle movements or accomplices in the shadows, but this was all to quick. Before he could truly assess the situation further, Nathaniel was pulling Velaine behind him and nudging her absentmindedly towards the exit. "Leave. Now!"

He did not have a save shot to throw his spear in Hart's direction. There were too many men and women standing their, shouting their glee or anger at the pyre. Eyes moved from Hart to the direction his path would take him: up the pyre steps to the burning victim. Beyond that, behind a curtain of smoke, was Caius. That was enough for him to react the way that he did. Nathaniel heard his own voice screaming, "MAGE! Caius! He is heading towards the pyre!"

...to you buddy! Asked after the fact, Nathaniel probably wouldn't even recall screaming at the top of his lungs and starting the domino effect that it had the potential of becoming. The lord was pushing himself through the crowd, continuing to sound the alarm as he attempted to get into a range where his spear would only be useful against Hart. The further he pushed towards Caius and Hart, the further he left Velaine.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Velaine Krome » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:21 am

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As they made their way deeper into the crowd, the young woman had felt the insistent call of the tangles around her. But with deep breath and a centering of her mind, Velaine had blocked most of them out. Crowds had became more and more unbearable for her and this was the biggest crowd she had ever been in.

Velaine shook her head at Nathaniel's offer to leave. "I'm fine. I'm the one who asked to come here." She eyed the spear in his hand, unable to shake off her wariness. She had seen the guarded looks the knights gave her betrothed. They were on edge and the Endor's gesture wasn't exactly reassuring.

"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."

This was no trial. This was an execution. The girl's crime was only one. Accepting the taint of magic he said. No mention of murder. No mention of stealing. No mention of torture. Of any sort of crime but having magic. Her mother screamed at the injustice while her daughter wailed with pain. People chanted for the girl to burn, eagerly and openly. Burn burn burn burn.

Suddenly an image of her own hand covered in fire surged forward in her mind. It had been the first time she played with the element. The flames had greeted her eagerly, dancing between her fingers.

Velaine was standing close enough that she knew the fire saw her, recognized her as what she was. It would listen to her, do what she wanted should she want to. Die down to a harmless flicker at her request and save this poor girl from a gruesome death. Velaine felt the call of the flames as it grew. It was living and breathing, growing around Sarah. Yet, there was nothing she could do. Nothing without exposing herself to the world.

Her stomach churned in the most unpleasant way and she felt the bile rising up her throat. For once, she was grateful that most of her ability to smell had been taken away from her by the magic. Someone nearby was coughing and retching. And then another. She could only imagine how dreadful the stench of roasting human flesh was.

It was too much. Way too much. With the guilt weighing heavily in her heart, the young woman turned away and buried her face in Nathaniel's chest. It was not nearly enough to block out the screaming. Even without looking, Velaine could feel the fire raising higher and higher.

While the chant didn't exactly die down, Velaine could feel the mood slowly turned more somber as people realized what they were cheering for. Perhaps this would serve as a reminder that what they're doing here was madness. It was cruel and needlessly so. She honestly didn't see any use for having a public burning other than to spread fear and panic across the land.

Turned away, she didn't even see what was going on in front of the pyre. All she knew was Nathaniel suddenly pulled her behind him, ordering her to leave.

"MAGE!"

Her focus instantly broke, that single word in her betrothed's voice as startling as a powerful slap. He was pointing at the man heading for the pyre, eyes trained at the blonde Gawyne who stood there. Her body went cold, even when she knew he wasn't referring to her. She didn't even catch the rest of his sentence before her own spark betrayed her. Colorful tangles exploded into her vision, each one bright and demanded for her attention. Her spark reached out to them hungrily, greedily. Fear. Anger. Worry. Excitement. Hatred. Fear. Fear. Fear. Fear.

Shite. She should have listened to Elrik and train herself to hold a meditative state.

Nathaniel's tangle was the one that was most vivid to her, his lingering touch strengthening their connection. His tangle glowed a dark orange, occasionally flashing yellow. But there was also another color that vyed for attention... A glimmering gold that reached towards her. It was bulkier than most of his other threads, wounded by with a pulsing anxiety and a steady protectiveness. Their connection broke before she could study him better.

A mere moment later, she realized her own betrothed had left her, surging forward through the tight press of bodies. Without thinking, Velaine tried to follow him. She didn't want to stand alone in this bloodthirsty crowd, who would happily tear her apart should they find out the truth about her. Between the suddenness of his disappearance and her spinning head, the female Krome stumbled and tripped.

A stranger's hands caught her, steadying her. She couldn't tell who it was or where she was exactly. A handful of people shifted their attention to her, while the rest were probably still fixated on the Endor who was barreling through the crowd toward the stage.

Velaine desperately scanned the crowd, not wanting to lose sight of him. She could see the mood of the crowd shifting, changing around him.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Kayleigh » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:45 am

At the shot of a remark from one so close to her Kayleigh's eyes fell upon some other woman, one slightly better dressed than the other common folk gathered here. The brunette's eyes were that of astonishment when she looked to the lowborn noble with complete disdain, no regard credited for the fact the locals here suffered some atrocious event back in Vhalar.

So mages had a staged a coup in an effort to save one of their own? Why was that one so important to them? More importantly... why weren't they being the ones to answer for this? No amount of bloodshed would make up for the suffering and hatred these people felt, but then burning innocent people based on the justification of being a mage... It wasn't fair. Was there even a trial to be held? Were there not laws or a means of authority to regulate these events? Currently she saw plenty of law enforcement within the square...

And they were all carrying out their duties willingly in this event.

"Bloodshed isn't going to resolve anything." She reiterated in her mind as she pushed herself through the crowd, at least just a little closer to the center where she could see the would be executed. A woman seemed to react loudly as a mere girl seemed to walk out in tow, towards the platform where her fiery stage had been set. Kayleigh's heart sank as she watched the scene unfold, the earnest pleas for mercy from the mother... the cries for help as the daughter watched her helplessly... Kayleigh had to choke down the bitterness that welled in her throat, a hard swallow made as she looked from the platform to everywhere else in the environment. Archers. They were trained on the crowd in case of suspicious activity, yet they had a whole mob to deal with if things went wrong.

There had been some who were against it but the majority here seemed in support, and a subject in particular caught Kayleigh's attention as he pushed his way forward. He'd sang to the crowd as though he intended to lift their spirits, to help calm the outraged mother as she sobbed dearly for her child. Did he intend to reach the child? What was his motive? Silently she followed after him to the best of her ability, her shoulders angled to help her weave through the crowd. The man touched the woman and she fell weak in her knees in doing so, the knight that held her up determined to stop him until he too seemed to fall limp. What just happened?! "MAGE! Caius! He is heading towards the pyre!" Someone shouted from further back in the crowd, already the people who were distracted with the soon burning pyre took notice of the event.

"Seven help us!" Kayleigh thought to herself in earnest as her eyes remained on the man she'd thought to tail, yet her hand didn't remain on her sword as she'd first intended before. This man couldn't be no mage! Everyone else had to be in a panic! That had to be the best logical reason to this, and there had to be some other explanation for the scene he just now caused. "He's no mage!" She called out with determination to approach him, however the damage was done and the people seemed to think otherwise. She'd reached the front of the line where the guard were at this point, her hood fallen from all the movements required to worm her way that far into the crowd.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Amaryllis » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:55 pm

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"An innocent?" Amaryllis' lips curled into a smirk, but still her eyes feigned the cast of a worried onlooker. No one is innocent in this world anymore. It was dangerous to be standing on the precipice of change; two sides of a momentous event were glaring each other down, and while there were no weapons visibly brandished-- yet, the energy that rippled between them could have tasted like ash and blood.

The wind around her picked up when she moved from the grey-hooded man she'd just spoken to, and as her gaze fell over the crowd, she caught view of a familiar face, now with small, but indistinguishable signs of age. After several years of leaving the crimson curtained rooms behind, Amaryllis hadn't the luxury of spending nights with nobles and commoners alike; learning what secrets they kept behind closed doors. The man she approached now had no secrets to tell on the days she had spent with him, but judging by the look on his face and the rose-tipped cane he held with a strongly gripped hand, something had changed.

"Well, if it isn't the Lord Venora." Amaryllis spoke quietly with a lilt to her words, her grey eyes studying his face. "Or should I not speak your name aloud, my lord?" She noted the way his cloak carefully hid his garb underneath, as though he was trying to hide from something. Internally, she shrugged. What interest was it to her what he did in his spare time?

"What brings you to watch the burning? Pity, morbid interest?" The half-breed's smile was dark as the cries and pleading of both mother and daughter fell on deaf ears; the nonchalance in her tone was more than apparent. But when a voice rose above the crowd shouting the warning of 'MAGE!', Amaryllis whirled, her gaze narrowing toward the sight of a man dressed in noble attire, barreling through the crowd.

The air snapped around her; she could feel the excitement of the breeze as it wove between bystanders, but Amaryllis did not yet raise a hand as others were pushed and shoved as the man holding what appeared to be a spear forced himself toward the stage. Fool. The half-breed's jaw clenched as she watched the panic drown the crowd like a tidal wave. A woman screamed, a man yelled, and soon the bystanders were no longer bystanders, but a field of frightened cattle.

Amaryllis was not foolish enough to expose herself with her magic now, so she remained where she was, despite the spark in her yearning to reach out to the elements, to incite that fire on the pyre to just burn a little brighter.... As her pale gray gaze fell on the empath's face, her fingers twitched.
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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Caius Gawyne » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:42 pm

This was the part of the job that Caius was determined should belong to someone else—he was meant to weigh and measure, to judge, to be a balance ... not to carry out the sentence. He was to be able to wake up tomorrow and convince some other noble to fund the Order of the Mantis' cause or to recruit some other stranger to their ranks. He was not made for this, not at all, and the Lord Arbiter bit his lip to ignore the shouting and the crying, the eager crowd and the pleas of the woman who was clearly no older than himself, caught between them as if in a vice—oh, he'd been here before, flames and all. He shuddered, unable to reach the tingling sensation between his shoulder blades at the memory.

This time, at least, the torch in his hands didn't dance and sway as if it were alive as it once had in the dungeons before he first saw the face of Professor Thomas that Fated night at the end of Vhalar. No, this girl was no Defier and the elements didn't bend to her spark-twisted will. No matter what had happened in Vhalar, the young Gawyne did not want her death on his conscience, and yet, here he was. He held the young woman's gaze, torch sputtering in his hand and shoulders square,

"May the Seven prove themselves more wise in the weighing of your choices than our King whom I serve." He whispered, sincere as he swallowed all the fear and anger, tucking the emotions away into dark places, desperate to wash his hands of Sarah's death with his words. He heard the chanting and the shouting, the roars of approval and the low mewls of sorrow, the protesting and the—

Singing? Was someone singing?

It was buried beneath the various noises of the crowd, some undercurrent of song that caught his attention because the lyrics he knew.

Lord Gawyne, Saint of Knowledge, who keeps safe the secrets of all our hearts,

Lord Gawyne, Wisest Father of Rynmere, who gave us direction and guidance through the Creed,

Lord Gawyne, Half a God, whose words enlighten the feet of mankind and inspire all the Kingdom—


Mage!

Caius!


The shout of a familiar voice shook him out of his briefly reverent reprieve. His name, Nathaniel Endor's voice, and the one word that did not need to echo through the crowded square except from his mouth on the podium. Wildly, he looked over the scene below him, seeing the older man and his spear pushing his way through the crowd before he looked down and saw what was unfolding where Sarah's mother had been standing. And now wasn't.

Fuck. Not again.

Caius' heart burned heatedly against the back of his throat, leaping from the molten cavity of his chest even as he turned, torch still in his hand, and once again scanned the crowds. Sarah's mother had collapsed, and next to her lay a Knight, two more Knights and a Purifier having already begun to shoulder the people back and to reach for the dark-haired man next to her. The crowds were pressing too close, the protesters shouting, and everyone was too fucking close, too eager to touch the man it seemed, too eager to stop the guards from grabbing him. Quickly, the northern noble looked up to the rooftops, looking for the eyes he knew, looking for Charlie Warrick. He held up his free hand in a firm stopping motion, a sign to refrain from filling the crowd with arrows,

"Stop! Hold fire! There's too many innocents." He shouted above the rising din of excitement, panic, and curiosity, his pulse deafening even as his knuckles whitened around the torch, hand shaking as he quickly moved to quell another disaster, images of snarling teeth and steaming bodies filling his thoughts like a tide he couldn't fight against, a rising Fury clawing at his better judgement. He wavered in silence for a trill, centering himself by reminding himself of his responsibilities. He would not succumb, not now, not here.

Fuck.

"Arrest him!" Caius' voice rang out to his men who'd restrained the dark-haired instigator.

Damn mages—would they be so bold as to do repeat their violence? This would not turn into Vhalar. It would sarding not. He had to hold it together. He had to keep everything from dissolving into fear and terror. No explosions rocked the square—praise Ziell—and Caius turned to toss his torch at the foot of the pyre, now-silver irises fixing on Sarah's panicked face,

"Fates have mercy."

On all of us.

Caius hissed those words like a string of curses instead of prayer, turning to rush down the stairs, all but leaping the last ones, and pushing his way toward the guards who had grabbed and restrained the dark-haired man, though the crowds were booing them and pelting them all with rocks,

"Narav—let's go. Get the crowd back! Further—" The young Gawyne was already drawing his saber, waving it toward the crowd to encourage them to back the fuck out of the way instead of surge forward in rebellion, "—Damn it. Someone go find me DuKette and get that one—him—inside. Get them all inside. Quickly. I will join you all shortly. Can I get more fucking Knights down here, please?"

Turning, he snatched the collar of the closest Purifier's cloak with a trembling hand and curled his fingers so tight into the ash-colored fabric that the older man gurgled in pained surprise. Pointing his saber into the crowd, he hissed in the man's ear in order to keep his promises to a friend, "Go find the Lord Endor—the one with the fucking spear—and tell him to quiet down before that well-meaning bastard starts a Fates-be-damned riot. But, call him Humphrey. Don't ask. He'll know it's from me."

"Lord Arbiter, ser." The Purifier wheezed and took off into the crowd.

"My Lord—" Another voice took its place, almost a whisper.

"What now?" Caius wanted to get to the dark-haired man before some heavy-handed knight drew blood, before the crowd got more of what they were hungry for, "Walk with me." He was already heading after where Hart and Sarah's mother and the Knight had been dragged away into the Jail. The

"The stones don't lie, my Lord."

"Seven help us—keep it quiet. No more arrests to-trial. Mark whoever you find. I won't let an execution fall apart this time. Hold it together until we can take them out safely. Not here. Not now." The Lord Arbiter made his judgement in the moment, aware that it was perhaps not what Elizabet or Kayled would choose. But they weren't the ones in his boots right now, and so he thought of the throng of people just out of the reach of his weapon, half expecting to see the burning orange irises of the Stranger meet his when he glanced back out on their faces, eager and wanting,

"No violence unless absolutely necessary. We can arrest any other suspects after there's nothing but ashes left of that pyre and our example to-trial."

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Side thread, Hart? I'm out to the Jail to deal with our singing, touching friend here. Have some feels, you sympathetic lot. The rest of you, have some feels, too. Now you can all sarding relate, whether you like it or not.

xoxo Caius


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[Crown Jail Courtyard] The Pyre Of The King

Postby Oliver Venora » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:04 am

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"Good trial, my La-" Oliver automatically began, turning to the blonde to greet her before realizing he didn't recognize her. The blonde hair, the slight frame... She was familiar, too familiar, and the Lord Venora wracked his brain to remember where they'd met. The tea house... It all made sense. She was a former colleague of Drusila's, and the moment he remembered, the moment he remembered her name. Amaryllis.

"Amaryllis... I could ask you the same thing, to be quite honest," the noble dodged slyly, looking from the corner of his eye. He had not been trying to hide his identity, not from any in the crowd or on the dais... Instead, the hood was to protect him from any potential threat from his sister. Something coiled in his chest, tighter than a wound spring, that told him that the knife in his side was not the last time he'd feel Pythera's... Valkyr's... Bite. He turned his head both ways as Gustauv's strong hand rested on the black hilt of a dagger tucked into his belt, hidden from Amaryllis' view but available should he need to use it.

"I am here to lend my support to the Lord Arbiter. He is here to carry out the letter of the law, and I, a true citizen of Rynmere and not a terrorist mage, am here to support that," Oliver explained, his shark-black eyes falling on the pretty blonde. He smiled lightly, but it was pained. The rose cut into his palm more as he startled, instantly recognizing Nathaniel's voice as it raised over the crowd. The Endors, proud and strong, stubborn and loud, were embodied in the powerful man that brandished his spear as he surged through the crowd. In the split trill he had, Oliver's eyes turned a pale grey and snapped to Caius, who was on the burning dais with the mage, Sarah.

"Fuck," slipped the word from Oliver, who held no shame in present company. The strange burst of air in their vicinity registered to him then, and wide eyes turned to the blonde. Still, though, having to choose between exposing an old acquaintance and saving the crowd from a tumult like Vhalar's, Oliver made the decision. Gustauv was already moving, lurching around the crowd to try and intercept Nathaniel. Oliver, though, moved the other way, slipping a soft hand into Amaryllis' to pull her along with him.

"Don't ask questions, we need to get out of the open. Last time, they had magical bombs, and we need to get to cover." He wasn't moving quickly, the rose-topped cane punishinh him for every limping step he took. A flash of fiery red hair caught his eye, and when Oliver turned to observe the man, the Rose of Venora was emblazoned on his chest. Relief flooded through the Lord, and he shouted out to him.

"Ser Jericho! Gustauv is in the thick of the crowd! See him to safety!" The knight nodded and bounded off, knightsword drawn and voice deep and commanding as he cleared a path towards Gustauv and Nathaniel.

Gustauv, curved daggers in each hand, weaved through the crowd like a dancer, coming to Nathaniel's side as the Ashcloaks appeared on his other side, guided toward him.

"Lord Endor, my Lord Venora humbly requests your presence. He is injured and needs someone to protect him from harm should the mages strike. He insists," Gustauv explained, sheathing a dagger to catch Nathaniel's arm. He jerked his head backwards, towards where Oliver was moving away, the pretty blonde courtesan in tow. Jericho's armour flashed in the flickering light of the pyre as it began to eat the bottom of the kindling, smouldering and igniting the smaller twigs to grow brighter. There in the small fire, the crowd was paused, a breath stuck in the throat of the world, scream incoming, stretched and stressed and waiting for the catalyst.

Hart's arrest.

The Lord Venora ducked behind a stack of hay bales, set for seating should they need some. Magma burned through his side as he crouched, and the man lost control of his cane. He fell into the dirt, face down, and the canesword clattered away. Amaryllis could see the open wounds on his right hand where the cane had been slicing him, raised scars still open and bleeding. Oliver mewled, the pain in his side blinding him and deafening the world around him for the moment.
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