House of Tramino - Nightmare
[OOC: Part 2 of the House of Tramino PRP.]
Feb. 7, 2020, 11 p.m.
Outside Arx - Ischia - Tramino Estate
Comments and Log
Pietro rises from his seat after Dianna and Paolo leave to pray at the Shrine of Limerance. The boy, dressed in black, fixes his green eyes on the corpulent, sweating Osvaldo. Without looking away from the servant, Pietro says, "Please pardon me, guests. I must punish Osvaldo for this unsightly prank." Osvaldo then yelps, almost as if struck. He cringes and quickly leaves the dinning room. Pietro stalks after him with a quick step, disappearing through a pair of doors.
Other servants quickly clear the offending plate. Ernesto forces a smile. "Please eat. I assure you, the food is of the highest quality, as is the wine." He gestures to the salads on the table, while the other servants lift the lids from platters of fish, crab and large bowls of Ischian pasta. Red wine is also brought to the table and offered to each in turn. The smell of the food is delicious.
To the untrained eye, Eirene is being picky. To those who know better, she's poison-tasting the food before eating. Lycene habits and all. The salt-and-pepper haired woman is being cautious after the pig's head at the feast.
Eirene checked perception + medicine at difficulty 25, rolling 19 higher.
Mabelle glances toward Eirene for a moment, trying her best to hide her uneasy inward setting. She tries to maintain her smile as the fork plays along the salad, not really rising from the plate. Appetite, after that pig's head is.. non existant. Plus she's full on pastries.
Walking with Paolo to the shrine, Dianna mildly asks, "Has he always been like this, your brother? Such a terrible liar?" She glances to check Paolo's expression and reminds him gently, "I'm Lycene, too; raised in Ostria. I don't criticize it - the lying. Just the poor attempts at it."
Eirene gives a slight nod of 'all clear' to the others and eats a bit more robustly. Not as hungry as one should be after their journey thanks to the incident, but she's clearly not concerned after her taste-testing.
Ian casually picks a stray maggot off his plate. He's used to shipboard life, which involves a great deal of picking weevils out of his food, and picking out maggots isn't so much different. Especially since he's unlikely to have the experience of accidentally missing one. Even so, he's not especially interested in the salad. Although that might have more to do with not liking salad.
Paolo glances at Dianna as the pair pass out onto the back patio, walking toward the shrine. He is silent for a moment, until a fit of coughing causes him to stop in his tracks. "He... has changed," replies the boy in a soft voice, and continues towards the large statue of Limerance standing in the Tramino garden.
Dianna checked perception + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.
Between the incident with the pig head and the fact that she actually *has been* drugged by spiked wine at a Lycene wedding, Zoey is hesitant to start eating. At Eirene's signal though, she picks up her fork and starts eating as well.
For her part, Appolonia picks at the food, seeming unresponsive for the moment. Maybe it was the shock of the pig? No, she's inspecting the food before taking the occasional, careful bite. Her thoughts are not far from those of Eirene - and she only takes a bite at all after Eirene's little nod.
Resting a hand upon Paolo's back as he starts to cough, Dianna gently speaks, "It's alright, take it easy; breathe. We don't need to hurry." She listens as he speaks, her expression one of deep concern and empathy. "I have a twin, too - as I told your brother. Not identical, as you are. But... she's my dearest friend. And I would know - better than any other - if something had changed of him... if. She had ...fallen darkward," the priestess carefully expresses. "When did things change with Pietro?"
To those who eat, the food seems to be of high quality, and provides tastes unique to the volcanic soil and tropic environment of Ischia. The servants are happy to offer more servings to their quests, and keep the glasses full of wine or clear water. On the whole, the staff seems completely unperturbed by the bizarre incident which has so lately come to pass.
Dianna checked charm + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.
While Ian doesn't gorge himself, he also doesn't wait for Eirene's okay (just for there to be food that's not salad and for him to be sure there are no more maggots hanging around on his plate). He's either shockingly naive or relying on his superhuman liver. He also doesn't say much. Still trying not to embarrass his wife, as if that's even possible, comparatively. A maggoty pig's head is hard to top.
Dio GM Roll checked stamina(1) at difficulty 30, rolling 29 lower.
Mabelle squints for a moment at the calm of the servants, and helplessly questions one of them as they approach to fill her water glass, "Are those practical jokes a common occurance?"
Paolo looks into Dianna's eyes. Tears well in his mossy green eyes, and his face seems particularly pale in the moonlight. "It was after he visited Setarco. He..." The boy then doubles over in a fit of coughing, and falls on his hands and knees. Blood pours fourth from his mouth, and his whole body shudders in the attempt to take in a breath. His eyes flash to Dianna in panic. He is suffocating.
Eirene motions to Ernesto, asking him to come over. "Has anything like this ever happened before? Is... Osvaldo the kind of person to pull a nasty prank like this?" She asks in a quiet tone, nodding agreement to Mabelle's question. Great minds alike and all.
Immediately, Dianna cries out as loudly as she can, "EIRENE, MABELLE! I NEED A MEDIC, NOW!! Meanwhile, she'll try her hand with what meager skills she has to attempt to help him.
Appolonia checked mana + occult at difficulty 50, rolling 17 higher.
Dianna's voice, though faint from the distance, can be heard in the dinning room. Ernesto starts, and quickly - or, as quickly as his aged body will allow him to move - makes his way from the dinning room toward the shrine in the garden.
Dianna checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 30, rolling 2 lower.
While Ian gets to his feet the moment the cry goes out, it takes him a moment longer to use his cane and the table to push himself up. And, of course, he's not going to be doing any running. This probably puts him a bit behind the pack.
Mabelle loves having the excuse to foresake pretending to eat and puts her napkin on the table, excuses herself politely before charging after Earnesto toward the garden where Paolo is on the floor. She carefully turns him over to face down, in hopes to help whatever is in his throat to dislodge until Eirene gets there.
Zoey nearly drops the fork when the cry goes out, but hangs back. The medics are needed, not her, so she stays near Ian.
Ian checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 32 higher.
Appolonia gets up too - but it may be peculiar to see that she hesitates. She perhaps sees Ernesto but she finds what she wants and grabs it off the table, along with a glass of water.
And as she walks she says, "Oh sweet heaven," to herself, somewhere around halfway there. When she comes into the room, her eyes seem to light up and she immediately dumps the contents of the salt cellar into the glass of water. She swirls it with her finger and mutters something to it, staring intently. She pushes forwards - possibly rudely - and then raises her salt-wetted index finger to write an inverted V on the forehead of Paolo, then another dip into the water, at which point she pours the highly saline fluid out over the boy's bloody mouth. Not INTO it - like she's washing his face.
Eirene does, indeed, book it. No room for polite farewells here. She stands so quickly her chair nearly topples over as she pushes out of it. The medic runs towards the gardens on Mabelle's heels. "What happened," she calls even before get gets there.
Zoey checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.
"I don't know what's wrong with you," Dianna quietly murmurs, gazing into the eyes of the panicking boy. "But, breathe calmly - or try to. I'm going to pray for you. I'm a priestess, Paolo." Dianna kneels, resting her hand upon the boy's back and lifts her voice to Lagoma. "Our Lady of Change. There is a change here that is quite unnatural, and this boy needs your help. Spare his life, bless him to help us understand what has come of him - and his twin brother."
Eirene checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.
When Appolonia applies the salt to the boys forehead, and pours the fluid over his mouth - along with the prayers of Dianna, Paolo takes in a shuddering breath. Blood streams from his nose, pouring onto the ground.
Appolonia's mannerisms spark a thought with the Lycene priestess. She rifles through her backpack and withdraws a small bottle marked "Lagoma" - a bottle of holy water blessed in the Shrine to Lagoma. "Drink this," Dianna advises Paolo, as soon as his mouth is cleared.
Ian checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 3 lower.
Zoey checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 36 higher.
The boy's blood gets on Appolonia's nice silk top, which she seems to accept as the cost of doing business. She smooths Paolo's hair and tells him, softly, "It's alright. It will be right, dear. Listen to her - I'm so terribly sorry that this came to you..."
Eirene rolls Paolo onto his side and cradles him, letting the blood flow downward as opposed to back into his lungs. "Lagoma's firey ass," she curses. She glances up at Appolonia and cautions her, "Slowly. We don't want him to choke..." She looks at the pale boy and adds, "Some way to treat your guests, getting blood on their clothes," she jokes grimly.
Gently tilting Paolo's head back, she drips some of the holy water into Paolo's nose, then carefully pours it in his mouth. "Here... Careful..." Dianna murmurs, watching his expressions closely.
While the other dinner guests run off to help -- or at least see what's wrong -- with Paolo, Zoey and Ian go off on their own, back in the direction of the stairs. Zoey moves behind them, Ian at her side, until she is behind the main staircase facing a locked door. "I feel a draft here," she tells him as she reaches for the handle.
Mabelle rises quietly as the three women look after the boy, wiping the blood off her shadowmeld top, which gladly does not seem to be very absorbent. She tilts her head at the salty water and observes the boy without saying much, but her eyebrow is quirked to express that something seems off to her.
Eirene's skill in medicine is evident, as the cleared airway allows Paolo deeper, more consistent breaths. Appolonia's words seem to calm him, and he reaches a hand to take hers, saying in a voice hardly above a whisper, "Thank you."
When Dianna applies the holy water to Paolo's mouth, his eyes widen, and he seems invigorated. After a moment, he closes his eyes, and his body relaxes and his breathing seems to grow more even. Ernesto finally makes his way over to the boy's side. "Thank the gods," he says, with a look of fearful concern. "Come, young master. Let us get you upstairs to bed." To Eirene and Mabelle he asks, "Will you help me get him upstairs where he can take his medicine?"
"There is to be no more medicine," Dianna advises Ernesto, glancing to Eirene for backup from the stronger-willed woman. "He'll drink the holy water that I give him. And that's all the medicine the boy will need."
Ian checked strength + athletics at difficulty 50, rolling 31 higher.
Ernesto glances at Dianna, but offers no argument.
"Give me the medicine, actually," Appolonia says, slowly raising her gaze to try to lock eyes with Ernesto. Blood glistens on her shirt. "All of it, if you don't mind. I'm sure, of course, that you will understand that I am concerned for the boy's health. Perhaps," she continues, with an increasing flatness, "an error was made, in its compounding."
Ernesto bows to the Lady of Ischia. "As you wish, My Lady," he says, wrapping his arm around Paolo to help him to his feet.
Ian puts an ear to the door and listens for a moment. "Okay, step back." He reverses his cane, using the hard end (not the pommel, which is glass) to serve as a channel for all of the force he can push through with his powerful upper body. The door splinters around the lock, and Ian eases it open. "Alright. I'll go down first. Stay close."
Eirene nods with Appolonia instead of backing Dianna's faith-based cure. "No medicine until we can be assured it's actually helping. Some tinctures close up the airways... or can be poisoned with ground glass. In fact, coughing blood is a symptom of that kind of poisoning," she says with some authority on that topic and a fierce scowl.
Mabelle stands behind Paolo in support as Ernesto lifts him from the ground and she mentions to Appolonia, "I can help you look into that if you like, I'm an apothecary and then some", she offers her a non commitial smile.
Zoey does as Ian says, never letting him get more than a couple steps ahead of her as she follows him through the wreckage that was until very recently a door.
The previously locked door opens after Ian shatters the lock. A set of stone steps leading down are faintly visible, but where they lead is dark as pitch.
"Where are Ian and Zoey?" Dianna asks her group.
Ian looks back. "Zoey. Run and get candles from the table."
Appolonia does not move far away from Paolo as they move. She watches Ernesto, which he may not like, but, well, see all that blood on her top. She leans partway over and answers Mabelle very quietly: "(good. i know almost nothing of drugs.)"
A beat passes. She answers Dianna in the same tone. ("i don't know. not dead i hope. they have their new son to think of")
Mabelle mumbles in response to Appolonia, "Daughter"
Zoey nods to Ian and does precisely that; she runs. She runs back to the dining room, grabs two lit candles, and makes her way back as quick as she can without accidentally extinguishing the flames.
"Gods-above," Dianna murmurs after Appolonia's and Mabelle's reminder, "and I'm bloody with them." Then, to no one in particular she murmurs, "Someone make sure that we're not /all three/ at the same bloody place when we die."
Once they have actual light, they'll go down. Ian uses his cane to tap and test the stairs, not in a particular hurry to tumble down the gods only know how far.
Zoey's candles illuminate the steps passing down in a spiraling manner. A cold draft brings a chill to Ian's face from below.
Mabelle arches her eyebrow at Dianna and offers her a confident smile, "I do not intend to die". She turns her sparkly ring around her finger and walks with Ernesto upstairs so her and Appolonia can look at that drug.
Eirene helps the old man bring the boy upstairs, grumbling as she goes. "Come on, let's tuck him in with some pillows so we can prop him up so he won't drown on it."
("after that botch up I should be sure not to see her right now.") Appolonia says to Mabelle. And so she stays with the young Tramino lord, even as the blood on her top tends towards drying.
As Not-Quite-Godparent to the Kennex children, Dianna breaks off to find Ian and Zoey. Her glaive is drawn from her back - where she has left it, all through that supposed dinner. "I'm not dying, either; but..." Dianna nearly swears - and probably does, under her breath as she goes off to find the Kennexes.
Paolo is weaker than usual, but with support, manages to make it to his chambers. Ernesto turns to Eirene and Mabelle. "Thank you, Ladies," he says, breathing heavily, and mopping his brow. Paolo lies down on the bed without removing the coverlets or sheets. He closes his eyes. "I must rest," is all he can manage to say, before falling asleep. Ernesto offers Appolonia a dark vial. "This is what he has been taking, My Lady."
Mabelle makes the assumption Eirene is all over the pillow situation, she walks closer to Appolonia to get a closer look at that vial, "Can I see it?", she inquires, hoping to sniff or even feel it
Eirene fluffs the pillows so the child can get some sleep. She leaves him and joins the others, murmuring to Mabelle and Appolonia, "Is there anything we can do to ward him, cut away what's attacking him? It's more than just physical, there's a magical component at work here too." She keeps her voice low to not alarm Ernesto.
Mabelle checked intellect + alchemy at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.
The vial is dutifully handed to Mabelle. Appolonia murmurs to Eirene, "Well, I think I broke what was on him *then*, but there is the question of where it goes *next*. I'm not sure I can do that again. Especially if it's something more than..." She trails off, in thought.
Mabelle raises the vial to her nose and begins to wiggle it under, sniffing. She wrinkles her nose instantly, "Garlic. Goodness. Though healthy". She continues sniffing and pressing some upon her fingertip to her tongue, "Oregano.. I want to say mandrake but that is not what gives it its color". She curves her palm and tilts the vial to spill some reddish liquid onto it. Staring at it, sniffing it again, she rounds her eyes a bit, "Blood. This is blood".
Appolonia checked mana + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 50 higher.
A troubled look passes over Ernesto's face at Mabelle's words. "Surely it is some mistake, My Lady... Pietro had it made especially for Paolo in Setarco."
Eirene checked mana + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 50 higher.
Mabelle narrows her eyes a moment at Ernesto, "Are you questioning my judgement? "
Mabelle checked composure + intimidation at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.
Ernesto flinches from the commanding presence of Mabelle Laurent. "Never, My Lady," he says, bowing low. When he looks up, his expression is that of a man almost mad with fear.
"My dear lady," Appolonia says to Eirene as she moves to one side of Paolo's bed - "Could I trouble you to cup your hands? I'm sure you will understand what I mean when I say that this poor salt water will do the /air/ in here a world of good." She then raises her voice. "Oh sister? Dear sister? We could use your help!" This is probably very weird to Paolo but he's going to have to get used to it. It'll be a great story for later.
Eirene is muttering and searching through a mental catalogue of ways to protect the young lordling but she breaks off to comment to Ernesto, "You said this all started when Pietro got back from Setarco." Her eyes flutter upward in irriation. "What's got you so afraid, that he'll haul you off too like Osvaldo was?" She stops as Appolonia askes her help and nods, knowing the intent behind this. Her hands form a little cup to contain the blessed water.
Ian checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 8 higher.
Mabelle uses the momentum to get closer to Ernesto. She lets Eirene question him and smiles to him in a very unsettling way, "Are you scared of Pietro? You should be scared of her", she nods her chin toward Eieren, hoping her proximity to the man will make him blurb while the other women work their ma.. faith.
Perhaps it dawns on Dianna that the bloody (insert swear words) Kennexes might be alright on their own. Because she's turned around, sheathed the glaive and steps back into the bedroom where Paolo is resting. (Or, perhaps she remembered that she's /not/ just a glaivedancer anymore and is a Godsworn priestess with duties to the Faith.) Then again... There's Appolonia's voice, just as Dianna is entering. "Yes, certainly," Dianna replies, calm suddenly overtaking her. (Gods, if people thought she was mercurial as a Mazetti, just look at what the new surname has done to her...!)
Dianna rounds the bed and steps to Paolo, taking yet another bottle from her backpack - this is marked with a wolf's head - the sigil of Skald, of course. A second bottle is drawn, as well, with a shield for the Sentinel. Three bottles, now, rest on the bedside table, and Dianna opens each with a prayer to each of the three deities, impressing upon them Pietro's inability to choose the changes that are happening to him through this injustice done to him.
Ernesto opens his mouth, but all that escapes it is a wine. He slowly backs away from Eirene and Mabelle, and then flies from the room towards the servants quarters, leaving the women alone with Paolo, breathing shallowly on the bed.
Dianna checked mana + theology at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Zoey checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 19 higher.
Ian quickly moves through the dungeon to make sure there are no freaky murder children or abyss dogs or demons or MMA zombies hanging around. He pauses when he sees the corpse, and gives it a good, long look. Nope, not getting up. "Well, we probably found the tutor," he says, his level voice reflecting bone dry gallows humor. He returns to the prison cell, checks it, and then repeats what he did upstairs, hefting his cane and smashing hard near the lock several times to force the door. He doesn't really do subtle.
Eirene folds her arms over her chest. "Am I really that scary," she asks with a snort. But she falls quiet to watch the prayerful ritual take place, mentally taking notes.
Mabelle eyes the door and notes to the ladies, "I dont like him, I'll be right back", and the sparkly overdressed woman leaves the room after the servant. She shouts through the door as she leaves toward Eirene, "YES"
"To those with something to hide," Appolonia says - she watches Mabelle depart - and exhales with force. She does not speak further, perhaps to let DIanna's voice echo, unchallenged.
As Ian sweeps the room, Zoey looks around as well, and after a moment she crouches down. "Ian?" she says his name to draw his attention to what she found: a passage. It's nearly imperceptible, leading northward, and so low that the only way through would be to crawl.
Dio GM Roll checked dex(1) at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.
Mabelle checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Ernesto is moving as swiftly as his old legs can carry him, which is slower than Ian with his cane. He reaches the door of his chamber and fumbles with the keys, before Mabelle catches up to him.
Dianna's prayers bring deeper, fuller breaths to the sleeping Paolo, and a strange sense of serenity fills the room.
While Dianna prays, Eirene looks around Paolo's room for anything suspicious. Symbols etched under the bed, bags of foul smelling herbs, secret passageways...
Eirene checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.
Mabelle glides toward the door in her chic pair of heels, resting her hand on the doorknob and gives Ernesto a creepy look, "Whinning wont get you out of this one. Tell me what you know". Not taking the empathy way as it proved useless. Fear is to be fought with more fear.
Having confirmed that they've done what they came here to do and found the missing scholar, Ian proceeds to inflict more damage on their hosts' architecture, smashing another door around the lock until he can get it open. And then he bursts in like the hero he is and, uh... Nope, he has no idea what to do now. "... Hey," he says.
Ernesto gazes at Mabelle with his dark eyes. "It is better not to ask," he says. "Pietro knows. He always knows."
"Ian!" Zoey repeats, urgency rising in her voice. She shines her candle int the entrance of the passage.
Mabelle pushes Ernesto harder as her crystalline eyes turn darker, "I know too, I'm a witch, tell me, or your fate will resemble your less scary master's". She still smiles though, which is confusing. And disturbing. And makes you think she is a witch.
Mabelle checked command + intimidation at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.
Slowly, Osvaldo turns his face towards Ian. He is smiling, and giggles slightly, though now where his eyes had previously been, are only bloody pits.
"I think it's time to find the twin," Dianna quietly says, turning from the resting boy and gathering up the now-stoppered bottles of holy water before replacing them in her backpack. She glances to Appolonia and Eirene, curious as to what they might be doing.
Dio GM Roll checked willpower(4) at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.
There's a moment where Ian freezes, confronted with, uh, that, but with Zoey's voice calling urgently to him. But it's only a moment, because he neither knows, nor particularly cares about this guy, and Zoey's his wife. So he nopes right out of there and moves towards the direction Zoey shouted from.
"Our presence here will do little... I wish we could deter some kind of assassin of more conventional means, but - you're right, sister," Appolonia says, looking up to Dianna. "He is as safe as we can make him for now. We must find that boy."
Eirene is satisfied the room is absent of any sort of maleficence that might linger. "We should let him sleep," she agrees. "And go find the Kennex's too. They've been gone a while. Pietro's been corrupted by something, or someone. I think he's feeding off the primum in his brother but you can never be a hundred perecent certain with these things."
Though absolutely terrified of Mabelle, Ernesto does not speak for a time. Either he is too frightened to utter a word, or he has kept himself in ignorance for his own safety. His lip quivers and he says, "Please, please leave me in peace." He manages to turn the key in the door, and unless he is physically stopped, he makes his way into his room and closes the door in a panic.
Mabelle grumbles to herself, "I need to work on my death stare", as she makes her way back to the group of women down the hall, informing Eirene, "You need to help me with my death stare".
Soon Mercedes and Sergius arrive in Paolo's room, and say to those who remain. "We would like to give Master Paolo some privacy. May we show you to your rooms?"
Eirene mutters, "I have a death ..."
"No," Appolonia tells them both, "you may not. If anything befalls the young master, I will expect a full accounting." And with that she trails off, still moderately bloodied, after Mabelle and Eirene!
"I'm fairly certain I'm going to /stay/," Dianna frowns at the pair of servants, withdrawing her glaive and faintly smiling. "Just to make sure he sleeps well - if you don't mind leaving? I'm quite sure your master will be quite safe with me." If the pair don't leave rather immediately with the Godsworn's authority - as it is - Dianna will call for Eirene to come bully the pair away.
Zoey looks back toward Ian to show him the passage she now kneels beside, and that's when she spots the mutilated serpent. She gasps, "Oh gods!"
Ian swears under his breath when he sees the passage that has to be crawled into. "Move away from there," he tells Zoey. "This isn't like the thing with the tapestries. There aren't just some would-be thieves through there."
The servants glance at each other when Dianna moves her glaive and speaks with authority. "As you wish, Sister," says Mercedes, and the tend to the fire, and set the sheets properly around the fragile body of Paolo.
"My thanks to you both," Dianna replies to Mercedes, watching them hawkishly. She glances to Eirene and softly exhales, "Gods be with you. And send... someone fast for me, if you find you need my help."
Zoey rises to her feet again, brushing dirt off her gown with one hand while holding her candle in the other. She cannot help but stare at the poor eyeless man in the cell. "We should get Cousin Mabelle or Eirene," she says.
Ian moves Zoey away from the passage, but to a place where she can't see Osvaldo. "Stay here. You don't have to look at him. I'm just going to talk to him for a minute, and then we'll go up."
Eirene cackles dryly at Mabelle. "You'd have killed the poor sod," she says. But her amused tone dries up quickly as she nods to Dianna. "Something tells me we should grab the kid and the old man and get them both far away before we find out what's causing this. If it's Pietro or something -affecting- Pietro."
Frustrated as she is to be so far away from the Kennexes, Dianna resigns herself to guard duty of Paolo for the evening. She'll stand or sit in a nearby chair with the door cracked widely so she can see if anyone - or anything - makes its way within.
Dianna checked stamina + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 0 higher.
Mabelle lifts her shoulders to Eirene, "Legitimate means and such", she grins and exhales, "We might have better luck finding him in the morning when things are less ... dark". She considers for a moment and asks Eirene, "What to bunk together? You can teach me to stare", she further tempts her, "I have cookies"
Appolonia stays near to Eirene and Mabelle, as best she can. At some point she fishes out the gauzy sea-silk top of no particular design qualities that, frankly, is probably a nighty, but she didn't pack a bunch of changes of clothing and now the best one is coated in Paolo's blood! That's a souvenier, at least. "We could take them back to Arx with us," she opines to Eirene. "But on the other hand, perhaps this would mean no more concealment of what they are doing here."
Ian leaves Zoey close by (but not looking at the eyeless giggler) and moves into the cell. "Ozvaldo." There's probably no point to this, but he'll figure that out eventually.
It's not easy, and this is bloody boring. Dianna was trained to be a glaivedancer - in the heat of action, /up FRONT/ and protecting, not this... idle... waiting. And persistent waiting. She walks, stands, sits; and the later it gets, the harder it is to remain awake - but, somehow, the priestess manages to keep awake, jolting to awareness almost as soon as her eyes drift closed.
Zoey finds herself tucked around a corner where she can hear Ian and Ozvaldo, but not see the poor blinded man. She closes her eyes and leans against the cold stone of the wall.
"We keep shifts, keep one person awake on watch. Someone checks on Paolo and Dianna before their shift ends and they get to sleep" Eirene says to Appolonia and Mabelle, starting to issue orders out of habit. "And Ian and Zoey if they're still alive," she says grimly. "Let's find them first and get shifts set up." She stops by her room to grab her umbra overcoat and slings it back on, rearranging her belts and swords over it.
Osvaldo stops giggling. He bolts upright. "Sir," he says to Ian with a solemn expression. "I - he he he," he giggles. Spittle flows down his chin. "I didn't even do it!" he shrieks. "It wasn't me!" He rushes towards the Sword of Stormward, attempting to grab him by his vest.
Dio GM Roll checked dex(2) + brawl(1) at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.
Ian checked dexterity + brawl at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.
"Shifts? This isn't - oh, watches, yes," Appolonia says to Eirene, nodding along. "Yes, wise of you..."
Mabelle slips into her room a moment to get some packets and shove them into her bag. Some people have swords, she needs food. And she then reports back to Eirene, wearing the same gown of shadowmeld and Umbra she wore before with stariron around her neck.
A combination of effective use of his cane and an understanding of how people move is enough for Ian to very gently keep Osvaldo from grabbing him. He's not actually all that worried about being spat, bled, or slimed on. He's been in a bilge. This is not a bilge. "I know." He keeps his voice level, the slow cadence of it even. "It was because Lady Dianna was wearing mirrors. You shouldn't have taken the blame for that."
Osvaldo, who most certainly cannot see, nods and whimpers. "Yes," he says softly. "He fears her." Suddenly, Osvaldo screams, and arches his back violently. A choking sound comes from his throat, and then he slumps to the ground.
"What happened?" Zoey comes around the corner where Ian had left her when she hears the agonized cry.
"Shit." Ian goes down to his knees as the man slumps. "Get Eirene. And don't slip on the blasted stairs."
Ian checked perception + medicine at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.
Zoey leaves one candle at the base of the stairs before picking up her skirt and scrambling back up the stairs. "Eirene! Eirene!"
Dio GM Roll checked mana(5) + occult(5) at difficulty 50, rolling 22 higher.
Ian tips his candle, dripping wax on the floor so he can set the candle in said wax and be sure it's not going to fall over. By the flickering light, he lays the blind man out. "Alright. I know you're here." He says to... the unconscious man? The candle? The zombie scholar that's about to jump him?
As Ian check on the unconscious man, a large block of stone somehow breaks lose from the decaying ceiling above him. The heavy stone falls directly onto the Kennex lord, and a hail of dirt follow, snuffing out the candle, and leaving the dungeon in total darkness.
75 inflicted and Ian is harmed for minor damage.
Eirene hears her name being called frantically. She calls back towards Zoey's voice, "Yeah, I'm coming!" She motions to Apple and Belle, "One of you stay with Dianna. Other come with." She leaves it up to them to decide who does what and takes off.
Well, that steelsilk jacket lining paid off, at least? The force of the stone pretty well bounces off Ian's back, briefly knocking the wind out of him. But then it's dark. Ian very swiftly scrambles back, putting his back to the wall. There's the singing of alaricite as he draws his blade. "I don't have to be able to see you to know that you're here," he says, his voice dead level.
Ian checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 17 higher.
Mabelle runs behind Eirene apparently and mumbles to herself, "Next time wear bloody slippers"
Well, that steelsilk jacket lining paid off, at least? The force of the stone pretty well bounces off Ian's back, briefly knocking the wind out of him. But then it's dark. And Ian's pretty well pinned in place. "I don't have to see you to know that you're here," he says, much more breathlessly than as posed before, because of the giant rock. Which he is going to try to heave off of himself without damaging too many internal organs in the process.
Ian checked strength + athletics at difficulty 60, rolling 0 higher.
Zoey gets to the top of the stairs, through the ruined door. "Eirene? Where are you?"
Ian braces against the rock, talking through gritted teeth as he strains against it. "You say that. But my brothers. Would disagree." THUD! Rattle rattle (that's the stone settling on stone). NOW he scrambles to put his back to a wall, but slower, because he's probably pretty out of breath. He uses the wall to pull himself to his feet, and then draws his sword.
"Right here, I'm right here," Eirene reassures Zoey as she clambors down the main stairs. "What's the situation?" She pauses a beat before asking, "Is Ian alright?" She already digging through her beltpurse for her medical supplies.
Mabelle glides down behind Eirene, "Zoey! What's wrong?", she runs down the stairs under Eirene and follows the two women.
"Osvaldo... his eyes gouged out..." Zoey pants as she catches her breath. "Then I heard something heavy fall. ... Ian's still down there!" She hands her candle to Eirene.
Meanwhile, Dianna is going stir crazy in Paolo's room, literally buffing every single one of her mirrorsilver discs - including those lovely shells upon her bodacious breasts.
The light of Eirene's candle revels a stone dungeon, along the sides of which are many cells. Eirene, Belle and Zoey move deeper inside, to see Ian standing there, bleeding from a wound to his head, and covered in dirt and silt. Osvaldo's corpse has been crushed by massive blocks of stone.
Ian sheathes his sword as the light approaches. "Eirene. Don't let Zoey see this."
Eirene moves forward to block Zoey's view of the crushed corpse, blood and gore splattered on the floor and hands Belle the candle. She motions for Ian to get out of there before she'll see to his head. But she does check on the scholar to see what can be learned once Ian points his corpse out to her.
"Scholar's in there," Ian points Eirene towards the corpse (after poking his head in to make sure it's staying dead like it belongs). "Zoey found a passage over this way. We figured probably better to leave it be." He looks back at Eirene, and lowers his voice.
Mabelle checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 51 higher.
"Ian, what's happened?" comes Zoey's voice from out of view. "I heard something fall."
Ian exchanges a few words with Eirene, and then goes to rejoin Zoey, brushing himself off as he does.
Mabelle moves not too far from Eirene to look at the corpse. Its rather hard with one candle to heal and same candle to inspect. She turns him a moment and frowns helplessly, "Its the tutor alright, godsworn robes". She shifts his robes a bit but not in a disrespectful way, "Someone bound him and then bled him several times, he's filled with cuts, and only then did they kill him. Twisted people", she opines.
Eirene checked intellect + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.
Eirene shakes her head. "Bled him dry for the blood magic. Slowly. Drained him as long as they could get it out." She grimaces before looking at Ian and Zoey. "We're bunking in the same rooms, and setting watches. Sound good?" She starts back out of the tunnels. "And we'll remove any heavy objects from high places first."
Mabelle peeks at Eirene, "Do you think his blood was in the vial?", she throws it out there as she travels back to one of the room once they are done caring for Ian, resting until her Paolo shift begins. Resting.. sitting on a couch because she is not lying down in a bed in this strange house.
Ian nods to Eirene. "I'm not so beat up I can't stay up all night. I've done night watches before."
Ian checked stamina + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 135 higher. Ian rolled a critical!
The priestess doesn't like this, not one bit - when she hears tell that Zoey had called for Eirene. She'll stay awake until she gets the whole news from the group and will begrudgingly... hate Ian forever for his ridiculous stamina. ...And might have a word with Zoey, too.
Zoey nods in response to Eirene's plan.
Ian sits himself down in a chair, draws his coat around him, and in circumstances not so different to the hundreds of nights he's sat alone on the deck of a ship all night, he keeps watch.
The party remains in Paolo's chambers. For another hour, the footsteps of servants can be heard, putting out the lights in the hallway. Then silence. A deep, unnatural silence. Several hours pass, and those without shifts to watch fall into a profound sleep, though Ian and Dianna remain awake, as the think crescent moon rides through the night sky.
Paolo rests peacefully, but in the later watches of the night, while Appolonia, Mabelle and Zoey sleep, Ian, Dianna and Eriene become aware of a the sound of a whispering voice, though what it might convey can never quite be heard.
Ian's eyes move constantly, taking in the few details that can be made out in the candlelit room, and the few details that can be made out on the moonlit grounds. He shows no signs of fatigue, or even boredom as the minutes pile on minutes and then become hours... Until the whispering starts. "Fuck," Ian says under his breath. "Not again."
It's probably a contest for Dianna. She's known Ian a LONG time. ...But a voice whispers through the halls and Dianna's eyes flick towards the door.
Dio GM Roll checked mana(5) + occult(5) at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.
Eirene's spent her watch with her blue eyes shifting around the room. Mostly she's been monitoring the poor breathing of the sick lord. As the whispering starts she pulls her alaricite scalpel out and clutches it tightly in her hand.
Ian pushes to his feet with one last quick look at the grounds. "Eirene, make sure they're okay." Probably the sleeping people? "This is like what I heard down in the dark."
There comes a light creeking sound that seems to move outside the hall, coming closer and closer to the door of Paolo's room. The handle of the door that Ian has braced, turns slowly.
Zoey sleeps still fully dressed, her hairpin clutched in her hand.
Swiftly, Dianna stands, looking into the polished mirrorsilver of her glaive's blade for any signs of demons. With the opposite end, the priestess gently nudges the sleeping women with a quiet, "Zo. Mabelle. Appolonia. Wake up."
Ian shifts his grip on his cane and draws from within a couple of inches of pale alaricite, no more. He waits patiently, watching the door. "Will that protection you put on the kid guard you too?" He asks in a low tone.
Dianna wields a diamondplate glaive set with mirrorsilver and sapphires.
"zsknhgkhd" Appolonia says. That might be Eurusi. She opens her eyes. She blinks once. She looks at Ian. She shrugs one shoulder, but she also adjusts the full-finger ring she hadn't taken off.
Appolonia wields a blackened silver full-finger ring.
As soon as Dianna speaks, the glass windows of the chamber chatter, casting fragments through the air.
Eirene checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 5 lower.
Appolonia checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 4 lower.
Ian checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 26 higher.
Mabelle stirs somewhat, looking groggily at Dianna, "What?", she notices everyone stirring and rises from the chair grumpily. She's a lady, but she needs a beauty sleep
Mabelle checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.
"Guard me? Gods, no. I'm only kept safe if the gods will it, Ian," Dianna murmurs quietly.
Dianna checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 6 lower.
Zoey checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.
Zoey wields a pair of wavetossed dawnstone hairpins.
10 inflicted and Eirene is unharmed.
10 inflicted and Appolonia is unharmed.
Zoey stirs awake at Dianna's voice and sits up.
Eirene wields a small thin scalpel with an alaricite blade.
10 inflicted and Dianna is unharmed.
Eirene holds up her arm to protect her face as the glass shatters. It bounces harmlessly off her overcoat and steelsilk bodice; there's a reason she rarely goes anywhere without either of them.
Ian checked willpower at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.
Sure as steelsilk is magical, when the glass shatters - largely upon her, as she's closest to the window - Dianna's barely-covered body remains unscathed. (Did anyone see how that actually worked? I'm sure that the netting on that halter top was flicking around Dianna, dusting off glass particles like tiny brooms before they could even mar her gorgeous skin. Thank the gods... and the Cardians, too? Well, Dianna's a generous heart....)
As glass flies through the room, sending shards into the walls and furniture, amazingly, Paolo is not affected.
Ian whips around as the glass shatters and draws his sword. But of course, there's nobody there. He looks irritated, maybe even angry, and says something low under his breath.
Mabelle might have been unharmed but she was grumpy and now she is pissed, "Enough with this nonsense, come out, you coward!". Very unlikely outburst for the lady, someone feed her.
"Come out, Pietro..." Dianna purrs. "I know you're there and you want to talk to me. Now, don't be a child about this; you do so love to behave like a man," the sultry priestess goads.
Dio GM Roll checked mana(5) + occult(5) at difficulty 50, rolling 11 higher.
"KYAAAAAAAA!!!" Appolonia says (shouts really) as glass flies over her. She raises her hands to ward it off and -
Fortunately she was on the far side of the bed, so the glass does not cut her, having lost most of its oomph by the time it bounces off her nighty.
"Don't call to him," Ian says, reining anger under control. It doesn't seem to be directed at anyone present. "He's here. None of you want his attention."
Zoey gets on her feet and moves away from the window, brandishing her hairpins with the awkwardness of someone who has probably never even seen a knife fight, much less been in one.
A hiss passes through the room at Dianna's words. "Give him to me!" comes the unnatural voice.
Barely finishing the sentence, Mabelle's feet leave the ground and she begins to levitate. Her hands move toward her throat as she chokes, unable to ask for assistance, panicking and turning all red.
"Come be a grown up, darling boy. And we'll have a conversation. I don't know why you're playing such /silly/ games. Didn't they teach you better in Setarco? I know a Marquis who would just... /bury/ you in his ability to treat a woman properly... and here, you've got... so many." Dianna maintains her inviting tone, "Come. Speak to me like an adult."
"Belle!" Zoey starts to move toward her cousin.
Dianna's tone makes Appolonia glance at her with some anxiety. She slowly gets out of her seat, fists clenching lightly as she visibly, at least, strives to overcome fear. She doesn't look a lot at Mabelle, perhaps not wanting to see--
The door of the chamber bursts asunder in an instant. Pietro stands in the hall. He drops a shrived eye, and holds another, still dripping blood in his hands. "GIVE HIM TO ME!!" he roars. Paolo, who up to this point had been sleeping, stirs and sits up. "Pietro," he says softly.
"Now, if you don't behave, you know I'm going to have to call upon the gods," Dianna warns mildly, turning her gaze to Pietro. "Drop Lady Mabelle now, before I have to get involved. This is your last warning, Pietro," she lofts an eyebrow at the horrid twin.
Mabelle's legs are wiggling in the air, getting crimson now.
5 inflicted and Mabelle is harmed for minor damage.
Eirene moves to stand between the bed and the pair of twins. "Pietro, he's been poisoning your life-essence. He's not the same brother you knew." She clenches her hand around the handle of her weapon. "If you can, you have to fight back. Up here." She taps her head and then her heart. "And here." She pauses and shouts, "Let her go, asshole," glaring at the bloody one.
"You should listen to them," Appolonia says, not quite looking at Pietro.
"I swore an oath to Limerance that I would protect him," says Paolo to Eirene. "Pietro, why do you seek this path?" Paolo rises from his bed and takes a step toward his twin. "Fool!"screams Pietro. "What has Limerance /ever/ done for our family!? Did all your visions save our mother and father!?"
Ian gives Mabelle a long look, and then puts himself between the bloody brother and the brother in bed. He can't really keep an eye on both of them, but he's gonna notice if those covers shift like someone's getting up fast. Aside from make sure neither twin attacks the other, he just waits and casts the occasional look at Mabelle.
It won't take long for Dianna to cant her head, amber eyes fixed upon Pietro. She reaches into her half-slung backpack and grabs the first bottle of holy water - this one, with Mangata's sigil upon it. Dianna drops her glaive (thus disarming herself of weapons) and uncorks the bottle, stepping to Zoey. "Zo, give her this, quickly," the priestess directs, then reaches into her backpack for another bottle. This one happens to be the same - with the shield of the Sentinel upon it. Dianna moves towards Pietro - and halts a few steps from him as she listens to the twins' argument.
Mabelle feels as if some unseen force is holding her by the neck, she passes out but remains in the air. However, Paolo's words seems to have made an impact and she lowers a bit, feet touching her ground, but still help up by some pressure on her throat.
Dio GM Roll checked mana(5) + occult(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 17 higher.
Ian checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 50, rolling 24 lower.
Appolonia checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 40, rolling 19 higher.
Dianna checked charm + seduction at difficulty 40, rolling 13 higher.
Zoey takes the bottle from Dianna as she moves to Mabelle, intent on pouring the holy water down her cousin's throat if need be.
Ian WAS standing there being in the way. He hears something that has him starting to move, but not fast enough. A hole opens under him, and he falls into the dark.
40 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.
5 inflicted and Ian is harmed for minor damage.
"Pietro," Appolonia says: "Consider this."
"You have hurt your brother, with the arts you have. You might hurt us. Your arts have limits; I know of them. I have seen those with similar ones. Your home faces the sea. You could not withstand a ship of our corsairs; nor, if it came to that, artillery. If you step off of this path, there are ways... better ones. But to walk them, remember the Eurusi proverb."
"When you have found you have dug a well that is dry... the first thing to do... is stop digging." As Appolonia says this, Ian has impeccable timing.
"Now, Pietro," Dianna moves a step closer to the violent young man, her amber gaze soft and voice sweet as honeybutter. "You know better than this, darling. Your brother loves you. You don't want to hurt him, do you? Particularly when he's trying to save you? There are so many of us who wish to care for you - as I do, of course. Now, will you kindly stop harming my friends - and your brother, dear?"
Eirene rushes towards the hole to see where Ian ended up. The others are talking to the twins and there's not much persuasion she can do. Maybe bark commands at them, but her attention is elsewhere.
From below, there is a breaking of furniture, and an 'oof' sort of a noise. Let's all be grateful that Ian has a lot of experience falling down.
And then, a moment later: "... for fuck's sake."
Pietro's eyes move from Appolonia to Dianna. His lip twitches. He is distracted and the remaining eye he held in his hand shrivels. "You... you don't understand. I can change our family's curse. /I/ have the will to keep Paolo from pain!" A strange maniac gleam shines in the green eyes of Pietro.
Dio GM Roll checked willpower(4) at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
"My darling, you don't... and you're not helping him; your harming. What did you do to yourself, Pietro?" Dianna soothingly asks, her face filled with genuine concern. Dianna's gaze flicks to the floor, "Ahh, there you are. I've been wondering how long it would be before I'd see one of you. Are you going to go back home politely, or will I have to call your father?" Clearly, Dianna is talking to something on the floor - and not to Pietro.
Zoey upends the bottle of holy water into her unconscious cousin's mouth. Once emptied she turns again, only to realize that Ian is gone.
"Change it?" Appolonia asks. "Not dispel?"
Eirene sees Ian isn't dead and looks up, shouting at Pietro, "Blood magic is the cheapest dirtiest way to achieve anything. It's the coward's way. The weakling's way." She looks back at Paolo and gestures to the madman. "Look at him. That's not the brother you swore to protect. He's sold himself to the Reflections."
Paolo takes a step closer to Pietro. "Please brother. Let me keep my oath."
"To the Abyss with your oath!" screams Pietro, and suddenly he looks around as if startled. "N... no! I will handle this!" he shouts.
Mabelle regains conciousness just as the hold on her releases. She stumbles forward to the sound of screaming, and glances around the room, touching her neck helplessly, "Where's Ian?", she also sees eyeballs squished and wrinkles her nose
"There's a demon here," Dianna mentions to the room idly, her gaze trailing... something unseen upon the floor. "No, you won't deal with this, Pietro," Dianna's tone changes only slightly, "I will. Please, step away, so you aren't hurt as well." Tehom's priestess draws from her sack two items now: A dark bottle and a ...sharded, terrifying mirrormask. She removes her helm and replaces it, rather swiftly, with the mask and warns the demon, "You don't have as long to get your tiny black ass back to Tehom before I put you there, myself."
Dianna takes a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian from an orange backpack with two pockets.
"Eirene!" Ian calls up through the hole from the library. "I can catch the kid if you need to get him out."
Someone wearing a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian puts a featureless helm covered in mirrorsilver and stygian in an orange backpack with two pockets.
Appolonia seems both startled and impressed at this turn of events in Dianna. She holds her peace for the moment, otherwise, and tells Pietro quietly, "Sometimes the bravest thing to do is to accept that others can stand."
Eirene arches her eyebrows at the mask of stygian. And news of a demon. "He's okay, Mabelle," she reassures her. She glances down the hole and nods, "Got it," she calls to Ian, followed by "Di, how can I help," she asks the Godsworn.
Mabelle calls toward Ian, "I think we should keep him here, his presence weakens Pietro", she glances at the ground, pursing her lips in silence.
Paolo touches Pietro. Tears stream down his face. "Lady Eirene is right. And you are not a coward. You have a gift, as I do. Don't let them take you from me." Pietro's expression changes. He looks startled, and then he grits his teeth and screams. "Kkkkilll meee..." he manages to say, and seems to try to move toward the whole through which Ian fell, but seems somehow restrained by some kind of force over all his muscles.
Ian is in the process of unbuttoning his coat, with a view towards taking it off.
"You see it?" Dianna asks Eirene, clearly trailing the demon and pointing her mirrorsilver glaive in the direction - such that anyone who looks into her mirrored blade can easily see a slithering black... something. Well, not Ian, he's downstairs... doing something.
Suddenly the entire House of Tramino shakes, and the ceiling cracks, sending huge beams of wood down into the room.
Appolonia checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 1 lower.
Ian checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 19 higher.
Zoey checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 15 higher.
Someone wearing a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 7 lower.
Dio GM Roll checked luck(2) at difficulty 10, rolling 3 lower.
Mabelle checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 0 higher.
Eirene checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 14 higher.
30 inflicted and Appolonia is harmed for serious damage.
30 inflicted and Someone wearing a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian is unharmed.
One of the splintering beams falls on Paolo, and smashes into the back of his head, sending him toppling through the pit in the floor.
As the beams crash, Ian is lucky to have whipped his coat off a moment before and turned it inside out, so that the steelsilk lining shows. He's going to try to catch the falling kid using his coat, hoping the protective property of the steelsilk will dampen the fall.
Eirene holds up her hand as she tracks the demon, watching it in her mirrored vulture ring. "Yep, got the fucker..." None of the falling beams land near her, luckily. For a change. She looks over at the pit in the floor. Well, Ian said he'd catch the kid...
Ian checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.
Mabelle tilts her mirrorsilver tiara after she removes it, trails the demon on the floor. "I dont suppose stomping on it will help", she makes a tired joke.
Wow, but that haltertop, yeah?? Pretty amazingly magical, swooping up to catch that beam and dump it away from Dianna? Good thing that lady's not at ALL embarrassed of showing a little... or a lot of skin. She's worried about Paolo, though the demon is her greatest concern. Quickly, Dianna splashes the holy water (from Tehom's shrine, of course) upon the dark blob and plunges the tip of her glaive into... wherever it is. An incantation to Tehom begins, murmured at first, then continued louder, onward - that then breaks into a beseeching to each of the gods, concluding with Aion, to send the demon back to the Abyss, where it belongs.
Someone wearing a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 19 higher.
Dio GM Roll checked dex(5) at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Another portion of the beam comes down and rips a bloody gash into Appolonia's shoulder. She goes white and staggers - clutching at it, her cunning and desperate plan to try and shiv Pietro if it came to that falling aside as blood wells up. She stares at Pietro, sucking in a deep breath and saying, "You --" But Dianna is an agile figure, a quick one, and she hurls the water forwards. Appolonia ends up with her backside against the recently abandoned bed, and she raises her bloody hand to bring her pendant up, perhaps to better try and spot the demon...
Dio GM Roll checked mana(5) + occult(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 2 higher.
Ian envelops Paolo as he falls, easily able to keep his feet while bearing such a slight weight. He takes the boy away from the hole, away from the direct path of mirrors, and after laying him on the floor, kneels beside him. He's done THIS once before tonight, but there's no giant stones overhead this time. "Hey. Stay with me. It's alright." His voice is dead level, his eyes profoundly calm, even serene. "Look at me. It's going to be alright." While the thing he usually does well happens overhead, he just tries to keep the child with him, like he's a downed and dying soldier.
Zoey gets a masculine silver mirror ring with beveled edges from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
When Dianna strikes with her glaive, the floor under Pietro begins to crack, just as it had under Ian. But Paolo, below in Ian's arms, has an oddly dreamy look as he gazes upward. The boy raises his hand and some power seems to leave his body. "Of course I am willing. I made an oath and he is my brother," he says, and closes his eyes. The floor cracks no further and Pietro slumps to the ground before Dianna and Appolonia.
Zoey angles her little mirror ring to try and find this dark blob of demon on the floor as the house seems to be collapsing around her, but it occurs to her that she is not sure what she'll do if she even finds it.
Mabelle rushes toward Appolonia as she planks on her bed and fusses over her while the others deal with the demon, "Are you alright? Let me see that?", she begins to clean the blood with some gentle cloth to try and find the injury.
Eirene mutters, "Ah, shit." It's almost as if she can see the energies flowing from one twin to the other or can intuit what's happening. She slowly goes to check on Pietro, suspicious for the moment of what might be really going on. She edges around where the glaive struck.
"I'm glad to see you're recovering quickly," Appolonia says - not resisting the treatment, but asking Mabelle, "Are you well?" A creaking sound makes her add, "I am not sure that..." creak, creak "That we should remain here long."
Ian lets out a slow sigh. "Do what you have to do. I get it." He looks overhead, at the ceiling. "I'd do the same."
Eirene checked mana + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.
Someone wearing a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian checked mana + theology at difficulty 15, rolling 46 higher.
Zoey checked intellect + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
From somewhere deep within its foundations, the entire House of Tramino begins to shake violently. Above, the sicle-shaped moon casts its ghastly light on the fainted Pietro, all the way down to the figure of Paolo in the arms of Lord Ian. The walls crack, the floor begins to crumble. The shouts of the servants fill the air from down the hall.
"Still trying to escape," Dianna murmurs, her glaive smoothly drifting to point over the floor. "Very well, then." The Godsworn kneels, holding the glaive upright before her, focusing internally for a moment before she begins another prayer. She runs the gamut of the thirteen - in order of the Triads: Mangata, Petrichor, Lagoma; Vellichor, Gloria, Jayus; Limerance Sentinel, Gild; Skald, Death, Aion - and lastly, Dianna requests of Tehom to take back to the Abyss this black breath of a demon that remains.
The Malvici woman shudders a little at something she senses. "Everyone. Out. Now." Eirene starts to bark orders. "This place is imploding on itself. We need to get clear. Can you feel it? Something just went BOOM" she asks the other women.
Zoey nods in agreement with Eirene and looks around for the most convenient way to escape.
Mabelle helps Appolonia up, "I did not hear a boom but I am not getting buried here. Zoey, can you help Pietro?"
"Alright kid," Ian says. "It's time to go." He has a lot less distance to carry Paolo, which is good, because he's also going to be a lot slower, taking as much care as he takes not to fall.
"I certainly can't carry him, but - I can strive to open the doors ahead of you all, I suppose," Appolonia says, looking upwards. "Ah... Tramino, what have you come to..."
A huge fissure opens in the second floor beneath the feet of Appolonia, and the entire second floor seems in eminent danger of collapse.
Ian checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Appolonia checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.
Zoey bends down to pick up Pietro, draping one arm over her shoulders to lessen the burden on her arms. She knows there is now way she'll be able to carry him out the window, so she makes for the stairs.
Zoey checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.
Someone wearing a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian checked composure + theology at difficulty 30, rolling 32 higher.
Eirene checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.
Mabelle checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.
Dianna ... is probably a little crazy. Or extraordinarily focused. She doesn't move from her spot upon the floor where she continues her beseeching, starting from the top again and making her way through, reminding the gods of the people she was sworn - by oath to them - to protect. She's making good on that promise, too: The priestess will, apparently, give her life in an attempt to hold this house together - with the help of the gods.
Eirene checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.
5 inflicted and Mabelle is unharmed.
Eirene manages to grab Appolonia's silky shirt sleeve and hauls her away from the cracking floorboards before she can tumble down to the sitting room below. "No you don't," she growls. "Come on!"
Trying to support Appolonia, Mabelle loses her own footing and slips over the cracked floor as she tries to make it to the stairs, with debris crashing all over her.
Appolonia responds to this with a plaintive cry that is sort of, but not quite, an apology. It isn't like she was expecting THIS on this journey. It's all the Abyss's fault -- perhaps.
The second floor manages to hold, due to Dianna's prayers. She continues to pray, continues her beseechings - because that's just who Dianna is. Nothing and no one will stop her from returning this demon to the Abyss - so her incantations continue, over and over again.
Ian takes Paolo (still wrapped in his coat) well out of the range of falling debris and finally lets himself kneel in the dirt before his legs give out under the slight added weight. He watches the door, his eyes intent.
Zoey manages to carry/drag Pietro down the stairs without falling down them, moving as quickly as she can out of the house and into the courtyard.
Eirene helps the wounded Apple out of the house, shaking her head at Dianne but knowing better than to interrupt a ritual banishing. It could get really ugly then.
Attempting well.. not to die, Mabelle begins to crawl out of the debris, or try to pulling herself toward Dianna, "You ruined my dress", she groans at the demon, "I'll end you", priorities
The priestess may - or may not - hear Mabelle; but she continues onward and onward, the ritual rather peacefully meditative - except for the sounds of the house crumbling around her. On and on, Dianna chants, over and over again....
With a great and horrific sound - the crashing of wood and stone, from its foundation to its roof, the entire House of Tramino seems to crumble before the eyes of those outside. In a brief span, a could of smoke and dust rises into the air, and only a ruined wreck remains of what had once been one of Ischia's finest houses. The servants - those who made it out, as Ernesto is nowhere to be found - are standing in stupefied amazement. Dianna and Mabelle, however, did not seem to make it outside.
Zoey looks around at those who made it out, then back at the house. "Belle? Belle!"
Ian starts to relax when he sees people trickle out. "Where's --" And then the house falls. Ian turns as the dust rolls towards him, shielding Paolo from it with his body.
Softly, a coughing sound is heard - from where might be the second story. As the dust begins to settle, glinting light can be seen from the same place. "...Mabelle? Are you alright?" It's clearly Dianna's voice - though softened and somewhat tired.
As the dust begins to settle, it is clear to Ian that Paolo breathes no longer, and his essence has departed the Dream for the Shinning Lands. Pietro though, breathes shallowly, but the servants of the House give him a wide berth, and none will consent to go near him.
A vigorious cough his heard from a single pillar standing, two story high. Burried under debris the keen eye can see a glint of sparkle from Mabelle's tiara, or maybe her 10 other jewels on her, as she clings to the stone like her life, well, depends on it. She can hear Zoey, and mutters, "Help", doubtful it is heard though. She cannot speak so she just taps Dianna's leg once
Eirene shields her mouth with her coat sleeve, as dust kicks into the air. "Did they--" Yeah, there they are. "Hold on, we'll dig you out." She turns to the Tramino servants and points. "You, go. Get them out. Carefully." Yes, she's bossing around someone elses's servants.
With a flick of her head - unlikely to be seen very well, Dianna softly sighs, "Good." She lifts her voice slightly and asks - very dryly, "Can someone bring a ladder, please?" The pair - very oddly, as will be seen when the dust settles more - are yet on a pillar still standing... quite safely on the second floor.
The commands of Lady Eirene Malvici are not ignored in what is still the Lyceum, and the servants quickly move to assist in clearing the debris surrounding Mabelle and Dianna.
Appolonia's injury, though kind of bloody, is not immediately life threatening, and she is able to look with meditative gloom upon the faces of the two boys, even as other people go to do actual physical actions.
Ian looks down at the boy in his arms, and then lays him a little off to the side, finally unwrapping him from his coat, which he turns right side out again. "I hope the next turn's a little easier," he says. Then he uses his cane to lever back to his feet and puts his coat on.
A make shift ladder of sorts is formed - or ramp, really - of the sturdiest objects that can be moved to each the unbelievable area of the second floor that remains standing. The servants manage to clear away enough debris to create enough space for Dianna and Mabelle to get free, though they remained covered in dirt and dust - save for the gleaming jewels of Mabelle's tiara.
As gently as she can, Zoey lays Pietro down on the ground. She doesn't know much about medicine, but she can tell his breathing isn't normal.
Ian checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.
"Do you think you can jump... Mabelle?" The priestess considers Mabelle's shoes and hums thoughtfully, "Mmn, let's not do that." But the ramp is raised and Dianna will ensure that Mabelle is on it before she is.
Mabelle is apparently being collected by a burly servant and helps her down the ramp, limping due to injury or a single heel broken. Who knows? . She looks GREAT for someone who just had a building collapse at her and she coughs all the way back toward Zoey, all dusty, messy, bruised and scratched, murmuring something to her cousin, in hoarse voice.
Eirene looks around and sighs. "The old man didn't make it, did he?" Dianna, Mabelle, Appolonia, Zoey, Ian... all alive and bit dusty or banged up but all in one piece. She notes that one boy is dead, gave his life up... and the other is unconscious. She looks at Ian, eyebrows raised, and waits to hear what he thinks.
Ian moves from the dead brother to the nearly dead one. He surveys the situation expertly and then does what he does in literally every medical emergency ever. Out comes the flask. He pours just the tiniest bit of whiskey in the cap, enough to wet Pietro's lips. "He could probably use some water."
Mirrormasks are amazing too - especially the ones somewhat like helms - which Dianna removes from her head, at last, before moving to the ramp. The priestess inspects the stygian and subtly frowns. "Trini's not going to like me much, for this," she murmurs. "Nor Hilja, either." At last, after depositing her mask into her backpack, the broken-in priestess climbs down the ramp and makes her way to her friends.
Dianna puts a jarring mirrormask formed of broken shards of stygian in an orange backpack with two pockets.
Mabelle frowns at the children on the floor. Then at the ruins of the house - "Is it just me, or.. you know, we did not really help. The boys are dead, the servants are homeless. How depressing. I want to go back to Arx and bathe for a year". She glances at Ian, wondering if he as a flask.
While Ian tends the boy, Zoey goes to her excavated cousin and wraps her arms around her cousin.
Eirene wordlessly hands Mabelle her own flask since Ian's is being used for medical purposes.
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