Valley of the Eternal Child: Steelquill Interrogation
Nov. 10, 2019, 1:45 p.m.
Outside Arx - Lyceum near Iasu - Pavillion Gesoli
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This particular place was chosen due to the unique gated design of this pavillion that allows for the square to become a secure spot when the entrances are closed as they are now. Corvini guards are stationed at each of the four entrances, guarding the blocked gates to ensure no one inside gets out. Within the pavillion are all 18 of the captured Steelquill prisoners. They've had their weapons and cloaks removed, though they have been given blankets to use againt the mild chill in the air. They have huddled up together in a knot, though their leader, a tall woman in her late twenties or early thirties is standing, hands on hips, surveying the place.
The Corvini count makes his way into the pavilion, a nod given to the guards. Vladimir, the captain of the Count's personal guard flanks him on the right, Marius on the left. "I trust you have not been ill-treated?" he inquires of the their leader. "Spiced brandy for myself," he says, nodding to Marius, "And whatever she might like," he adds, nodding to the woman. "And, of course, whatever cousin dearest or Lord Malvici requires." Another nod has a small table being set up, braziers lit. General courtesies observed, though he does take his seat first.
There is an undeniable wariness in the eyes of the Steelquill leader and there is a lengthy pause before she says, "The same." in response to the request for beverages. She looks to Giulio and there is a tightness to her jaw. "We have been captured, our belongings taken. But we have not yet been beaten or killed or worse." She takes a seat after Giulio, looking to the other silks present, her gray eyes hard. "What are you going to do with us?"
Domonico enters after the Count, the Malvici looking over the Steelquills as he stands, hand on the hilt of his sword as he nods to the offer, "Spiced Brandy will be welcome Count. Thank you for letting me attend." He returns his gaze to the prisoners, those of a faction that he did not fight and therefore... survived the encounter.
Alessia's expression is inscrutable as she studies the leader of the group of prisoners. "Spiced brandy." She echoes her cousin and the Malvici. "Thank you, cousin." She turns to prisoners. "We're not as monstrous as those we capture, my dear."
Alessia checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 17 higher.
The Corvini count sips from both cups as they are brought over, giving one to the leader. The ritual is repeated for Domonico and Alessia. "That depends mostly on you. I am, as you know, Count Giulio Corvini. I would ask your name," he remarks. A dry twist follows as Alessia speaks. "Now now, cousin. There's little need towards such of the hour." Those eyes flit back to the chieftainess. Then, he looks the captain of his guard. "If you've had their cloaks searched, return them. Whether or not they get their arms back will depend on... much." His tone is calm, polite. Collected.
The ritual is observed and the woman's eyes narrow slightly. She accepts the cup, though her gaze hardens further, her body language becoming more defensive in the wake of Alessia's words. Her lips pull down at the corners and she lifts her brows, "Oh, so we are monsters are we?" Her gaze shifts back to Giulio and his protest only breeds a deeper suspicion in her eyes. "Is this some sort of act to prove how open minded you are, Count Giulio?"
Giulio checked composure + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.
Alessia checked composure + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.
"If only it was an act." Alessia says with narrowed eyes, practically bristling as her cousin chastises her. She goes silent as she waits for the count's next query.
Domonico accepts the drink and quietly observes the pair of them before focussing on the Steelquill leader, not attempting to intimidate but making it clear that he is present, armed and dangerous if needed.
"Merely a point of instruction, cousin," Giulio remarks, a bland smile on his lips as he addresses Alessia. "... and though I am, as you say, open-minded, I am also ruthless. I find waste... distasteful." Those eyes rest on the chieftain. "I would know your name. From there, we can move to answer my questions. From those answers, I shall be able to answer your question." It is all uttered with that same, bland politesse.
The drink is still untasted in the woman's hand and her jaw sets, a look of burgeoning dislike in her eyes as she stares at Alessia. Domonico is studied for a length of time as if the woman were oblivious to Giulio's words. Eventually she replies, "Reyserasera, First Quill of Seven." The drink is lifted to her lips and nearly drained before she sets the glass back down. "Ask your questions."
"Reyserasera," Giulio remarks, nodding once as he ignores the casual comment. He takes a sip from his brandy. "Let us start with the obvious question. Why are you raiding in these lands?" he asks, pondering her for a moment, his fingers cupping about the curve of his goblet. "I would also know something of the history of your people, but, for now, we shall do as we do."
"Murdering." Alessia interjects, her gaze locked onto Reyserasera. "Murdering in these lands."
Alessia checked composure + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 33 higher.
"First Quill of Seven." This is important enough to be repeated, and to Alessia's point she turns to pin the Mazetti with a hard stare, "You murder us all the time in these lands. Do not preach at me as if your hands were unstained." She looks back to Giulio and says, "We do not typically attack the Compact. Our focus is usually on defending our lands from the Scouzi and enduring the more intemperate tempers of the Mycondi. We have been at odds for generations. Until that stupid road."
Domonico raises a hand briefly and speaks in a tone accustomed to being heard. "Raiding. Murdering. These are terms which do not help this questioning. However it would also be worthwhile remembering that the forces of the Compact could have inflicted far greater injury on your Clan. As it was it was the Scouzi who suffered the consequences of their actions and those are no more. It would be to your benefit to cooperate and ensure that Steelquills endure... unlike the Scouzi who should not be a trouble to you from now on."
Domonico checked command + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.
"My apologies," Giulio offers easily, his head tilting in the First Quill's direction. A faint smile follows at Domonico's words, but he continues. "Go on. You seemed to be cooperating, which presupposes a change of some sort. I am curious as to that." It is that same polite, conversational tone.
"You're outlaws." Alessia says with a shrug, her lips curling upward. "And I've never personally done anything so monstrous as what we came across." That being said she leaves the questioning to her cousin.
Reigna glances to Domonico and there is a nod, a subtle acceptance there, a lean in as if accepting his assistance, open to the alliance. "Yes. Thank you." She looks to Giulio as he asks the next question and she is clearly unhappy. "There is a cost to fighting on two fronts. You lose people." There is a stiffness to her posture, a pretense that attempts and fails to fully hide a sense of loss there. "With the advent of the road, our territories began to overlap, what was originally infrequent encounters became... much more frequent. We suffered many losses. It was Braintree who suggested, when our numbers grew low enough that we work together."
"Indeed," Giulio says, nodding at the First Quill's words. "A smaller, more connected world is inherently a thing of conflict. The alliance makes sense under those criteria. You said /rarely/ fight with the Compact. And yet there was the affair at the landing. Pray tell, who suggested that first?" He nods to Marius. "The ledger, please." A large folio is extended the Corvini count, who opens it, looking at something on the page. It is closed and set at his right hand as he looks back to the chieftain.
The First Quill's arms cross over her chest and she looks away, chin tucked towards her right shoulder. Her chin has a thick scar along the curve of her jaw. "The Scouzi. It was required to keep them from taking our villages. They said that we were weak, and unless we agreed to help them take the Landing, they would take us instead." There is a deep seated anger bubbling within her, her jaw setting making that scar ripple.
Furrowing her brows at the leader's explanation, Alessia turns to Giulio before murmuring to him.
Domonico nods once, "Well... That may no longer be the situation after the Saik troops enacted revenge for the Scouzi's actions."
"Interesting," Giulio says, a faint smile resting on his lips as he ponders the words. A glance is shot to one of the other Steelquill (the one that carried a scrap of the map) before he looks back towards Reyseserana. "Oh, my map of the peninsula, if you would," he says to Marius, who sets a map in front of the Corvini count. One finger rests on a central point between the Mazetti, Corvini and Saik lands, on a particular cluster of mountains. "Does this particular place have any specific significance?" he asks, casually.
Alessia's words receive a briefly raised brow and he shakes his head slightly.
Reyserasera peers at the spot on the map and shakes her head. "Not particularly. It's mountain territory, that's a hard life there. No reason to go there." There is a shrug, the question clearly confusing to her. She looks back at Giulio as if trying to divine the reason for that question. It should be noted, however, that when the map comes out, the Steelquill Giulio looks at is suddenly a bit tense.
Jaws clenching as she studies the Steelquill, Alessia leans forward. "That doesn't seem... likely." She says, her voice cold. "Your eyes tell me otherwise."
Domonico checked intellect + war at difficulty 30, rolling 24 higher.
There is active dislike in the Steelquill's eyes as she looks back to Alessia, "Then your eyes are broken!" Reyserasera snaps, baring her teeth. "It is the top of a mountain, what benefit is to be found in rocky, barren soil, cold winds and caves? If I had an army capable of constructing a fortress, we would be safe, surely. Until we starved to death."
Domonico frowns and looks carefully at the map, eyes focussing on the mountain. "Hmm... a small tribe like yours wouldn't have the resources to build in that area... and support it as well. It would have to be a larger group with far more resources." He looks to the Steelquill, "Are there any with capacities for that?"
With a nod, Giulio says, "You may not know of it... but, I gather they do," he remarks, and points towards the rather tense looking Steelquill. One finger moves in a beckoning gesture, before he looks back to the First Quill. "Marius, the original if you would please?" And Marius sets the strips out, aligned in the appropriate order. Giulio's eyes never leave the First Quill's.
Alessia checked perception + empathy at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.
Giulio checked perception + empathy at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.
Domonico checked perception + empathy at difficulty 20, rolling 6 lower.
As the strips are brought out, Reyserasera peers at them and ten looks to Giulio, her brows lowered, "What is that?" There's some movement in the others in the pavillion, one young man scanning the walls, slipping into the knot of people.
Domonico rubs his chin as he observes silently.
"Care to step forward?" Alessia's eyes shift to the man who looks tense, her voice is smooth, her tone changing from the coldness with which she regarded the leader. Her body language, however, suggests she'd be willing to take him by force if need be. Her smile, however remains.
Alessia checked charm + seduction at difficulty 40, rolling 0 higher.
Reyserasera is momentarily confused both by Alessia's tone and then at the direction of her attention. "What?" She turns to look to see who the Mazetti is addressing, just in time to see the young man slip between another pair of people. Alessia's call out has him pausing there though, looking back over his shoulder and peering at Alessia. "Uh. No?" This is enough to have the First Quill looking somewhat skeptical. "Reybendis?" There is clear confusion on her face, "Why do you speak to him?"
"Because he was carrying this," Giulio says, tapping on one of the pieces of leather. "These two were taken off of Mycondi..." He points out two. "And this?" He runs his fingers along the last, "From a dead Scouzi." He looks to Alessia, nodding once, before looking back to Reyserasera. "Which, to a suspicious sort begs certain... questions."
When he pauses, Alessia senses an opening, wielding her dagger. "Please, I don't want to use force. If you come forward, then we'll take the fact that you're willing to aid us into account. It's the better of the two options, for both of us." Her tone is gentle, as she watches him.
Alessia wields Hydra's Fang, a rubicund dagger.
Alessia checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 30, rolling 44 higher.
Reyseraresera, turns in her chair to shoot a look at Reybendis, "Is this true?" There is a low curl of genuine anger in her voice. With Alessia's threat, Reybendis, at this point, makes a break for it, running towards the nearest wall, as if attempting to figure out how to scale it.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + athletics(2) at difficulty 45, rolling 31 lower.
Alessia checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 45, rolling 0 higher.
Domonico checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 45, rolling 4 higher.
Domonico wields Wavecutter, a high quality steel Xiphos.
Alessia wields Requiem - an ancient glaive with an iridescite handle.
With a burst of speed, Reybendis charges the wall, hands lifted as he jumps -- and instead of getting a grip on the top of the wall, he ends up, face-first against the wall, falling onto his back, hands over his face, blood running from his nose.
Domonico has launched himself into action as Reybendis attempts an escape, the Malvici's powerful body propelling him forward with ease, getting there...*just* before Alessia. A boot is placed on his chest, xiphos pointed at his throat and palm out towards Alessia, trying to make sure the deadly Glaivedancer isn't deadly here.
With little hesitation, Alessia chases after the man, though slows down drastically when it's clear he's not going anywhere. She sheathes her dagger and wield her glaive, holding it firmly in her gloved hands. When Domonico holds his palm up, there's a notable grimace, though it's gone just as quickly. She doesn't however, lower her glaive.
"Alive, please," Giulio says to the others, before he looks back to the First Quill. "This... does start to beg questions. I apologize for the discourtesy, but, I am going to have to have him searched for certain tattoos. From there... we shall see how matters go."
There is a set of Reyserasera's jaw and she does not stand up, looking away from the scene unfolding near the wall. Ooooh she is maaaaad. She does not look at Giulio, simply nodding her consent.
As for Reybendis, he lays on the ground, his lands lowering, blood running down his face as he looks up at the Xiphos pointed at his chest. His attention shifts to Alessia, clearly seeing her as the more dangerous person at the moment. He looks panicked.
"Thank you." A nod is given to Alessia and Domonico. "Any symbolic tattoos. Do set up a privacy screen. I've little desire to shame any," he adds, before looking back to Reyserasera. "More brandy?" he asks, looking to her empty goblet as he gestures for Marius to refill his.
"If you wish to observe, obviously that is your right," Giulio adds.
There is a nod from Reyserasera regarding the refill, "Disregard any Quill marks. He should have three on the front of his right shoulder. Those are rank insignia. Those are the only tattoos my people have."
Reybendis is trying to back up, his hands held up, his head shaking side to side, "This is unneccesarry. I have no others. First Quill please! You know me! You know I am simply concerned for our child..."
Reyserasera lifts her glass of brandy after it's been filled and sips from it, "Apparently I do not."
Domonico looks down at the blooded man and in a tone that brooks no dissent, "You. You will stand. Strip and turn. You will remain silent or Lady Alessia will take over."
Domonico checked command + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.
"I apologize, by the by if this is insulting, but, do you read Arvani?" Giulio asks of Reyserasera, one brow raised in question as he considers the woman. "I'm simply curious." His tone is quite matter of fact as he sips from his brandy.
With Reyserasera's apparent rejection, Reybendis slumps. He looks between Domonico and Alessia and up at the wall as if contemplating the odds of actually scaling it successfully. There is a huff of resignation, his eyes close and he nods. He attempts to get up, and follow the orders. He is angry, hurt and likely embarrassed as well. It's not a good day for him.
Reyserasera looks to Giulio and after a moment of stink eye, there is a nod. "I do, yes."
Still on guard, Alessia keeps her glaive pointed in the direction of the man, her sharp gaze -daring- him to attempt another escape. She waits for him to remove his clothing, to leave Domonico to do the inspection.
Domonico makes the examination of the naked man, his actions firm before he eventually pauses. "Here. Base of his skull under the hair. A circle with a ... stylised A within." He forces the man to dress again before dragging him over to show Giulio and his 'guest's.
Reybendis pulls his clothes back on, no longer putting up a fight. But there is something stoney within him, as if he were shutting down a bit. He is marched over to the table Reyserasera and Giulio are sitting at, his eyes are lowered, but his jaw is set. Reyserasera is not looking at him at all.
"Good," Giulio says, nodding to Reyserasera. "I will likely have you look at a few things." He glances to the mark, trying to see if he can place it. "Reybendis, is it? Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Count Giulio Corvini. Commander of the Mirrorguard." His smile thins slightly as he adds, "Formerly of the Inquisition. You have much to explain. I would recommend you do so..." There is a pause, before he adds, "Without prevarication. Answers will be found. All that is in question is what will be left when they are found." His tone is utterly mild mannered as he sips from his brandy. As if he were indifferent to the path to his goal.
Alessia turns slowly to Giulio at Domonico's words. "A?" She mouths, stepping away from the man now, sheathing her glaive to head back toward her cousin.
Reyserasera is studiously not looking at the man, focusing on the drink in her hand. Reybendis however, is looking absolutely resolved. "No. I will tell you nothing." So, he's picking the hard way.
Reigna GM Roll checked willpower(4) + leadership(4) at difficulty 50, rolling 0 higher.
Following the Battle of Last Oak, the already extraordinarily rare dragonweep becomes nearly non-existent on the market. The prices for it dramatically increase, and no one is quite sure why the supply for it has nearly dried up entirely.
"Hold him," Giulio says, rising in a whisper of steelsilk. Slowly, he circles the man, one corner of his mouth ticking up at the corners. "There is much to such a letter," he muses. "Names. Names are such important things." One finger traces the line of it with a brush of a nail. There is something calm, cool as he nods to Marius. "Before he is attended to, see that that is appropriately catalogued and compared with notes in the Archives and my library. This one is like to be intransigant. Have the corpse of the Scouzi that carried this checked for the same."
Then, looking to Alessia, he says, "I would recommend speaking with Marzio and having him do the same. I have my suspicions as to this, but... one must be thorough." He pays attention for the way the man reacts as he speaks, before nodding once. "Now... there are a variety of possibilities. Relationship to Thornweave through A'kioh and service to the Slaver." His lips quirk slightly as he ponders the man for a moment. His hand dropping away. "The Eater... given recent affairs. And then there is the nature of their actions." He looks to Alessia, "You've read the chapter on the Great Lies in the Introduction, yes?" One brow lofts.
"I did." Alessia says to her cousin with a nod. Her expression is wary. "A'Kioh?" She asks with furrowed brows. "The name is slipping from my mind."
"The king?!" Alessia asks with shock. "He lives?"
Domonico listens intently.
"King of the Sylv'alfar that fell to the Slaver. Part of the opening events of the War of Stolen Names," Giulio says. At Alessia's words, he shakes his heads. "I am uncertain. It is more about the symbolism. There is also a possibility that it ties through Gild's reflection." He ponders a moment longer. "There is also the betrayer and the betrayed, which would seem apropos."
"And... of course, one can also consider Aetheris, I suppose," Giulio ponders. "Though that would be more curious."
Alessia checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.
At the mention of Aetheris, Alessia's head tilts though she merely breathes. "Yes, it would be." She pauses. "My first thought was the Eater of course. But we know he's allied with Lord Elf-Man-- the Horned God." She elaborates. "We're calling him Lord Elf-man. I decided." She says to Giulio and Domonico. "Since Cambria feared his name may be marked."
The words Giulio speaks seems to mystify both of the Steelquill, though a few of the names seem to register. It is, eventually, his pride that does him in and Reybendis shakes his head, "You speak of devils and demons as if I would be party to any of that! The child is nothing like that! He is a source of good and benevolence!"
Domonico steps forward, "What child?"
Giulio has rolled 1 2-sided dice: 1
There is a burst of activity, and Reybendis charges Vladimir, the guard doesn't spook, just lifts his weapon and calmly bashes the man in the head. With his eyes rolling back in his head, Reybendis falls bonelessly to the ground.
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