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Just a Little Spark

Things are getting a little intense in the markets of Arx.


May 16, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Hosted By


GM'd By



Mimi Rowenova Kieran Korka Azova Gaston Mirari Apollo Austen Kenna Nina Dimitri Sorrel Raymesin Revell Verity Hamish Philippe Appolonia Nurie Brigida Jourdain Aleksei Cassandra Kiera Zoey Liara Derovai Briseis Ingrid Modi Lou Bhandn Kalakh Eirene



Arx - Ward of the Compact - The City Center

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

1 Templar Knight guards, Sir Daniel the Beardless, a somewhat hapless Templar, Kevin, a jerk wolf spider with a really shitty attitude who totally sucks arrive, following Hamish.

Opia, a fat unblinking feline arrives, following Mirari.

Lyle, 2 Redrain Guards arrive, following Kieran.

A murmur goes through the daytime crowd of the City Center as one of the most notables of society arrives.

Rodrigo, the Surprisingly Large Flautist arrives, following Nina.

2 House Velenosa Guards, Sasha, a Velenosian Assistant, Pomegranate, the gentle fainting goat arrive, following Dimitri.

Siri, an attentive apprentice, Paris, a charming mercenary, 2 Keaton Huntsmen, Nomius, a deeply skeptical bloodhound arrive, following Apollo.

Nomius, a deeply skeptical bloodhound have been dismissed.

Siri, an attentive apprentice have been dismissed.

Lyle have been dismissed.

Pomegranate, the gentle fainting goat have been dismissed.

Orion, the surly healer's assistant, 2 Redoubt Buccaneers arrive, following Azova.

Mimi sits on a bench in the busy marketplace, doing sketches and studies of passersby. Surely nothing bad is going to happen.

A ways north from the city center is a stone cottage with a couple rooms which have been added on over time. The back yard has been freshly planted with brand new tiny plantings of Copper Poppies, Lodge Lilies, Limerance Libertia, plus whole host of alchemy/medicinal herbs, berry bushes, and veggie plants. Back there are the teetotalling gardeners who are gently watering such plants while the big windows to the Defense Lab are wide open with quaffing workers inside testing out various alchemies and new brews from the Whitehold Brews. Stepping out onto the front portch is a Northern lass in wolf furs as well as a soulful hound right beside her. From Honor Walk Central, they gaze south.

Chiara, 4 Seraceni pirates arrive, following Appolonia.

Onida, a boglands wolf-hound, Outi the Iron Hound, Gene Erique, Guardsman, 3 Iron Guardsmen, Tero the Iron Hound, Buckley arrive, following Jyri.

Onida, a boglands wolf-hound, Outi the Iron Hound, Gene Erique, Guardsman, 3 Iron Guardsmen, Tero the Iron Hound, Buckley leave, following Jyri.

Dom, an unassuming assistant, Saymore, the parrot that just won't stop arrive, following Austen.

Oaty, a white Oathlands Vanner arrives, following Philippe.

Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, 3 Thrax Guards, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog, 2 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Sorrel.

It started as an argument. There's been a lot of arguing going around lately in the markets of Arx. Whispers about who is getting supplies from who. Stern looks where there used to be mostly friendly rivalries. The presence of the Iron Guard has kept the tension to a simmer, but the threat to boil over remains ever present. Yet, this evening, as the day's traffic slows with the slow set of the sun, more of the stalls that ever are barely filled and, after a day with few shipments of goods, more than a few merchants are eyeing those that continue to strut in the market wearing silk with full stalls with more than a little ire.

It starts as a few heated words between one large group of merchants that have watched their profits dry up to nearly nothing with a much smaller group of merchants with better connections and deeper pockets to fund supply caravans to avoid needing to ship through the harbor. It ends with a thrown apple, a mushy brown thing that splatters beautifully over Master Paolo Fiorcinelli's, a merchant who hails from one of the most prosperous trading houses in the Lyceum, crushed velvet doublet. It's just a small trigger that, once the appalled Master Paolo wipes some of the rotten apple off his clothes and sends his guards to make an example out of whoever threw that apple, explodes into violence across the market as the simmering pot finally, after weeks of bubbling, boils over. The Iron Guard struggle to contain the chaos, but all over are shouts and throws objects and fists being thrown. A few daggers and swords gleam, but so far no one has drawn steel. Yet.

Princess Sally Acorn, an acorn toting red squirrel, Princess Muffin, the fluffiest white mountain dog arrive, following Kenna.

Kieran is making his way from the west, wearing his usual commoner's attire; though, his hair is dripping a bit, hinting that he just got done bathing at the Grotto. As he makes his way amongst the market stalls, he sees the vendors and guards throwing rotten goods, empty crates, and fists at one another, and the Prince just pauses and blinks. "Damn it. A food fight, and I /just/ got done bathing."

Korka was just here trying to get her usual deals, examining a piece of fabric that's bright orange and decorated with teal dragons blowing red flames, "Does this look like my style? Does this look like anyone's style? Who would ever think these two colors go tog--" and then things are breaking out into fists and angry words and she clicks her tongue, ducking a thrown apple and then getting caught in the shoulder with a bolt of fabric someone else swings, "Hey!"

Azova is worried, no doubt, about violence breaking out here as word reaches that it's happened at the docks and the market is tense. So while she is hear as both a Mercy and healer, she also has the robe marking her as a member of the Physicians guild over her arm as well; she is doing her best to make it clear that she is here to help keep peace, and heal any who might become injured. And it does seem, as the waft of rotten apple reaches her nose and the unmistakable sound of shouting is heard, that she has arrived just in time. But as she is neither a diplomat or a fighter, her steps take somewhere she can hopefully, safely wait until she is needed. And yes, the buccaneers that accompany here sure do look uncomfortable. They will definitely be asking Carita for a pay raise.

Having spent most of his time in the Blackram Fasthold, Gaston has not ventured out too much into the city of Arx except when moving to specific events that he feels he should attend due to relations with his House. Today, he has chosen to step out, especially with the rumblings from the denizens of the city. He was about to head northwest back towards the Fasthold when the explosion of violence occurs. Wearing leathers instead of a fancier attire, the only reason that Gaston may stand out in crowd would be his height and the sheathed blade secured across his back. Narrowing his eyes, the Blackram has a feeling that things will be escalating shortly and tries to make his way to the northwest, away from the mess.

Patience, a white-and-gold eagle, Diligence, a blood bay courser, Seraphine, an uncommonly cheerful assistant arrive, following Jourdain.

Mirari was strolling, yes in expensive silks, to the vendors with fewer wares than the others. "Hhmm, yes, the prices going down on Sanctum Lavender is pretty depressing, isn't it? You wouldn't think something from the Oathlands would be affected so badly but... I've had to drop the price of my-- Oh dear." She's somewhat out of the way of the first flying apple, but reflexively ducks nonetheless.

Mimi looks up, alarmed, at the outbreak of violence. She is stuck on her bench for now, her path out being blocked on all sides by the combatants. She hops behind the bench, using it as what cover she can.

One Apollo Oakwood, being on his way between this and that - this being the sort of meeting that explicitly has a dress code, and that being the sort where it's just implied - is very much in the wrong place at the wrong time. He's not even at the market to /purchase something/. He was leaning at a stall he frequents, chatting someone about a woman named Jakolina Hawise, so recently dead, asking if anyone knew where exactly she'd been in the Gray Forest. "She didn't talk to anyone in parti--" he starts, words slowing as he catches sail of apple from the corner of his eye, a lot of nothing meaning-wise except for the anger it draws. He straightens, gives a signal to the merchant he was chatting with to hold on, and steps away from the stall to watch ... just what in the hell is going on. After a moment, he adds to his list of watching-for: his guard, Paris. He can't be far off, right?

Austen is passing through from north to south, out for an idle amble in the city. The King's Own knight is neither armed nor armoured, dressed far too casually for a riot. He blinks at the sudden turning of the crowd, Austen starting to head in that direction with a frown, hand reaching for the comforting hilt of a sword that's not there.

From the North (literally and positionally), Rowenova grunts lowly then momentarily speaks with the teetotalling gardeners and bibacious assistants with the Defense Lab. Everybody shuffles inside, along with Sir Floppington (for extra protection), and locks up before Rowenova herself travels south, heading down to the city center.

Bibacious Assistants and Teetotalling Gardeners from the Defense Lab have been dismissed.

Sir Floppington the Soulful Hound have been dismissed.

It isn't too far from the city center to the Iron Guard Barracks, and thus ~news~. So Kenna comes rushing into the square, looking about as the chaos starts to ratchet up. She jumps herself up onto a box to scan the area and try to see if there are any Iron Guard officers about who might have a better idea of what is going on.

Nina often comes out to the market to source silks and brocade, though today she's fortunate to be wearing a dress of ironwool... as there's a bit of a ruckus picking up in the market. Nina sometimes travels with accompaniment, in the form of a large flute player who is in no way a formal bodyguard for the songstress. Usually he just plays flute in backup for her or carries her bags. But today she's more than glad to have even that. A bit of brocade she was about to buy is forgotten as she ducks behind a cart and tries to avoid any fruit being thrown her way. Seeing Kieran here, she waves to him for a second as she pokes her head out... then ducks again. "...Well, I've had to dodge tomatoes before."

Leporis, the silent handmaiden, 2 Rivenshari Clansman, Vel'quul'alim, a mirrormasked manservant arrive, following Joslyn.

Leporis, the silent handmaiden, 2 Rivenshari Clansman, Vel'quul'alim, a mirrormasked manservant leave, following Joslyn.

Dimitri happens to be browsing through the market, looking at a variety of fabrics, no doubt looking to make a purchase. When the shouting begins, followed by the throwing of rotten fruit, the Prince is quickly turning his attention over in the direction of Master Paolo, a brow lifting just a touch. His gaze then begins to shift towards the crowd and as tempers begin to flare even further, with fists and other objects now beginning to enter the fray, there's a little shake of his head. It was only a matter of time until this transpired and after a step to the side, to avoid being unintentionally pelted by fruit, he's lifting his voice so as to call out, "Well I'm certain that everyone is itching to make their point, this certainly isn't the most conducive way to go about it. Can't we all just calm ourselves for the moment."

Her casual conversation with a merchant interrupted by the sudden movements of her guards, Sorrel turns away from the woman with whom she was speaking to try to figure out what is going on. "A bad sign, this," she says to the merchant, frowning deeply.

Raymesin was just walking through the marketplace, heading back toward the Lowers from the opposite corner. The city's been tinder-dry for days - weeks - and sparks have led to several flames already; the knifeman's honed sense of danger is singing a warning, even before an apple gets thrown. Turning to look over the heads of the crowd, he checks for what's happening where - and then checks the other directions as well, just in case. He spots another set of taller-than-average eyes not too far away and drifts in Austen's direction, trying to stay away from the fighting.

1 Rivenshari Clansman, Lucky, the fishing cat, Patock, A clever Youth, Unnamed White Goat, Unnamed Chocolate Goat, Unnamed Golden Goat arrive, following Athaur.

1 Rivenshari Clansman, Lucky, the fishing cat, Patock, A clever Youth, Unnamed White Goat, Unnamed Chocolate Goat, Unnamed Golden Goat leave, following Athaur.

Revell was sneaking around the markets as she so often does when the fight breaks out. She's not wearing anything particularly expensive looking, but she is carrying a basket full of various fabrics - a little silk, a little umbra. So, it's perhaps no surprise that the young merchant quickly attempts to get to the edge of the commotion - rather than being stuck in the middle - to find a safer spot to hide.

When Rowenova arrives and gets a jist of what is going on, "We can fix your fancy shirt, no problem." says she to her fellow wearer of fancy doublets.

Verity Locke is a frequent sight passing through here on her way to and from her work in the Valardin ward, as well as on errands. Seeing her in Count Philippe Blanchard's company is hardly unusual either. It's for this reason that she finds herself (and her august liege) in the middle of a brewing melee. "My lord," she says, reaching out to touch his arm in an odd gesture of protectiveness for a fairly standard courtier in fairly standard dress relative to a famous knight. "I feel we should have a care, the mood is... sharp."

Apollo checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Rowenova checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.

Dimitri checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.

Philippe checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.

Hamish checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

Korka checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Azova checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.

Tyce the gruff and disapproving, 2 Scarlet Phoenix Guard, Argent, a silver hound, Granthwyn, an androgynous healer's apprentice, Starboard an excited Oakhaven bloodhound arrive, following Juliana.

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards, Oswald, the war pig, a lively Ostrian gelding, Daisy, the overly enthusiastic Keaton pygmy goat arrive, following Brigida.

Raymesin checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 0 higher.

Tyce the gruff and disapproving, 2 Scarlet Phoenix Guard, Argent, a silver hound, Granthwyn, an androgynous healer's apprentice, Starboard an excited Oakhaven bloodhound leave, following Juliana.

Appolonia checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 7 lower.

Sorrel checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

Verity checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 3 higher.

Mimi checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 5 higher.

Nina checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 4 higher.

Revell checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.

Kieran looks in the direction of the wave that he spies out of the corner of his eye amongst the ruckus. He makes his way towards Nina at the dge of the fighting and raises a copper eyebrow, "Who would dare throw tomatoes at you, Nina? They must have had terrible taste in music." He sighs then as the fighting continues and notes, "I wonder when the Iron Guard will get here. I'm not trained in fighting, and my personal guards, though Northerners and the strongest of all warriors, probably can't manage a whole mob..." He looks over at them and they frown at whatever idea the prince may be spinning.

Mirari checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 7 lower.

Kieran checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Nina checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Austen checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 9 higher.

Kenna checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.

Jourdain checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 8 lower.

1 Templar Initiates, 3 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Cassandra.

Hamish wasn't even here when it started. The shrines aren't at all a short walk, but when whispers of trouble broke out some wise person decided that someone needed to get a priest, like they need an exorcism or something. The shrine of the Queen of Endings isn't even the closest of the shrines, but it's the first one this somebody found and that's how Blessed Hamish Farmer, the Voice of Death, ended up running half a mile across the city. When he finally gets to the market he stops, bends over, sets his hands on his knees and breathes like someone who is dying. "I... hated... that... so much..."

Briseis checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 10 higher.

Count Philippe Blanchard has never been a wealthy noble. He is perhaps most notable for displaying what many nobles believe to be excessive thrift in favor of investments in boring, non-glamorous things like infrastructure. When he comes to the market, it is usually to buy something for his wife, but it has been harder to find anything to purchase under these condiitons. Still, going out to the market distracts him from other concerns. But then, a fight! And a large one at that. Philippe, an older gent, does not rush into the brawl, keeping his distance as he tries to assess the situation. Verity is well within her rights to be concerned. "Agreed," he says, as peril perhaps comes his way.

Brigida checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 4 higher.

Appolonia Seraceni, for her part, was contemplating a selection of somewhat battered squashes, having come back (ironically enough) from a trip to the whites and to make a substantial charitable disbursement. She did not dress down, though, which may prove to have been a mistake.

Gaston checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.

Nurie checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 8 higher. Nurie rolled a critical!

Kenna doesn't have much luck at finding an Iron Guard commander, but she does spy Austen. Jumping down from her box she'll shart shoving through the crowd, "Move aside! Iron Guard! There's nothing to see here!" as she moves towards Austen. "Sir Austen!" Calling out, "Tell me you're going to support the Guard in this please. I'll put you on the books for this."

Nurie has her shopping basket over one arm, and was making her way towards the vegetable and fruit stands of the market as the fighting breaks out. Her pace slows, and she looks towards the source, though she doesn't impede the entrance of the Iron Guard or official looking people, her brows furrow as she tries to spy any familiar faces amongst the restless and angry crowd, her gaze growing a little unfocused for a moment.

Keso, a totally legit assistant, Peanut, an oversized mountain dog arrive, following Aleksei.

Cassandra checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 17 higher. Cassandra rolled a critical!

Kiera checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Aleksei checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.

There's trouble and then there is trouble that draws the attention of Archlector Brigida who, at Aletta's panicked reports that she couldn't get any apples because there was a big fight in the market, had taken up her staff and commenced clomping her way towards the City Centre, muttering darkly under her breath and casting her thorny gaze at anyone foolish enough to impede her progress as her staff swept before her at shin height.

Austen looks over as first Raymesin and Kenna joins him over by where the crowds are starting to gather. "...Raymesin, I really don't think this is somewhere we want to be right now," he murmurs before his eyes pass to Kenna, a worried look settling on his brow. "Kenna? I'm unarmed and unarmoured.." he says, eyes flicking back to where that crowd is starting to get rowdy. "I can shout a lot but I don't think that's going to help..."

It is not so unusual these days to see Jourdain Wyrmguard in the company of Count Philippe Blanchard and Verity Locke either, though he is at a slight remove from the other two, having stopped a few minutes earlier to talk to Briseis about something, and allowed the count and his courtier to go on. The increasing tumult, however, has him looking around with some concern, starting to try to move through the crowds.

Another day, another totally uneventful visit to the market! Right? RIGHT?? Aleksei has just been making his way through, only to end up right in time for tempers to start simmering -- and then boiling over. It's a startling and scary thing to suddenly be a part of, and he's suddenly on high alert, his gaze shifting rapidly through the crowd -- and lands on a particular tailor first. "Nurie!" he says, trying to shoulder his way through to her. "Nurie, are you okay?"

"Oh, everyone has their off nights, and... sometimes people get drunk," Nina says, trying to laugh as Kieran tries to cheer her up... all while this is happening. "And... I don't know, shouldn't the guard be here? Do you have a plan?"

Cassandra was just passing through to go see family on the other side of the city when she walks into...this. She pauses, her trio of Templars taking up a defensive stance, surrounding the Legate. Making a frustrated sound, she pushes through the three of them, standing before the small group of armor. "I would see it." she utter, moving forward. For the time being, the Sword of the Faith doesn't move back or forward. What she does however is observe. "Gloria's was bound to happen eventually." she sighs, perhaps reading the unwritten and ignored writing on the wall.

Hamish looks up when Brigida passes, cool as a cucumber. "How?" He pushes himself back up and tries to look like the run across the city hasn't completely devastated him. It's tough to be middle aged and enormous. Fortunately black robes hide the sweat.

There is a lot of pent up frustration that comes to a head. One of Master Paolo's guards swings a gauntleted fist at the merchant that threw the apple and someone else steps from behind a stall with a stool to clock him across the back of the head. Guards are being called for and fists (as well are produce) are flying. As the crowd turns on itself, no one is spared. Much of the fighting seems to be center on market rivals, such as two fabric sellers that are currently fist fighting between their neighboring stalls. A few of the more wealthy merchants are trying to use their guards to lead them out of the thick of the fighting without much luck. In the heat of the moment, no one is paying much attention to whether the person they decide to throw a head of cabbage at is a member of the nobility or not. It might not even matter too much to some of them. Lord Jourdain Wyrmguard manages to catch one right against his shoulder. Prince Dimitri Velenosa and Prince Sorrel Thrax manage to barely avoid similar treatment when their guards move into to cover them, urging their charges toward a hasty exit. Lady Appolonia Saraceni catches the very edge of a swung crate against her shoulder, but her guards manage to deflect the worst of the blow and await orders as for how to deal with one who -dared- to swing the crate in the first place.

Poor Lord Gaston Blackram stands out in a crowd and so, when the fruits and veggies go flying, he finds himself rather in the way. The Iron Guard are trying to regain control, but unfortunately there are a lot more of the fighters than there are of them, but they seem immensely relieved to see Lady Kenna and await her orders. Aleksei almost becomes the recipient of a chair to the face, but the wielder recognizes him and backs off to find someone else to bash. Poor Mirari, one of the most successful of the merchant class in the city, becomes a target almost immediately. No one has drawn steel yet, but they are certainly headed that way if this continues.

Mimi is still pinned in, cowering behind a bench. She ducks a particularly ripe cabbage, trying to spot an escape route.

Octavian, a silken spaniel, an aid in Kennex livery, 2 Kennex corsairs arrive, following Zoey.

Kessen, a white-tailed eagle arrives, following Ezra.

Kessen, a white-tailed eagle leaves, following Ezra.

Dimitri checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 30, rolling 32 higher.

Apollo checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 25, rolling 52 higher.

Kenna checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 20 lower.

"I have a second weapon if you want it Austen," Kenna replies, continuing to push back on people as they crowd around. Raymesin gets a short nod from the Iron Guard woman as she realizes she ISN'T going to find someone else to take orders from. Welp. Big girl pants. "IRON GUARD!" She yells out, "Protect the merchants from one another! Tell the nobles to get out of here! No one is above the law here - if they resort to violence, tell them that they'll be spending the night in the Iron Jail, noble or not!" She's not very commanding guys.

Mirari checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 30 higher.

Nurie seems to have a least some sense of crowd survival, because she's doing her best to not get swallowed up by the surge, her attention snapping to something less than dreamy when actual attacks start happening. Aleksei's voice gives her something else to focus on, her dark eyes wide. Perhaps for the moment her muslin dress is camouflage. "Aleksei!" she cries back to him. "We need to get people out of here!" She points towards some of the other market bystanders who are about to get caught in the middle of noble guards, merchant guards, and enraged people. "Oh please, won't you help us?" she entreats some of the crowd that might seem to be deciding whether to join in the fighting and throwing, or who might be willing to help get some of the people taking shelter a path out--while still trying to make her way towards the champion, now.

Rowenova checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 30, rolling 21 lower.

Kieran checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.

Kieran chuckles to Nina and nods, "I understand now. Inebriation can make one do very stupid things." At her question of a plan, he shakes his head, "Nope. I never have a plan. I'm seeing how things pan out. It's not my Ward, so I really don't have much of a say in how things get run. I mean, I guess I could run to the bank real quick, take out as much silver as they will give me out of my account, and then come back to throw it in the streets. I suspect, though, that they'll just start fighting each other for the silver." As the veggies start flying, he sighs and looks to the fountain in the middle of the market. "Be right back!" Then he runs for the fountain as best as he can to try to get on it and shout to the crowd to get them to listen to them so he can attempt to calm them and get them to reconsider.

On her way to the Whitehold Trading Warehouses, Rowenova can be heard shouting about how wasteful it is to be throwing the produce that people could eat, except it barely registers to most folk out here who keep throwing anyway.

Mirari is getting pelted from pretty much all sides, and she lets out an indignant squack. "Augh! How dare you?!" She hollers indignantly at someone who pelts her with a tomato, "After I helped your mother out free of charge! You should be asham- ACK!" She gets another tomato straight in the face this time. "Oh, fuck this." She takes several steps, lifting her arms to protect her head as she stares ducking, weaving, and spinning out of the way of more rotten vegetables as she tries to make her way out of the crowd toward the southwest.

Mirari mutters, "Asshole, the lot ... ... After I spent all this ... trying to ... them! ... ..."

Korka checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 30 higher.

Gaston checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.

Dimitri is oblivious to the food that is hurtled in his direction and there's a momentary blink of surprise when one of his guards whisks him out of the way. Struggling against the grip of the guards, the Prince is giving a shake of his head, to indicate that his intention is not to leave. Instead, he's moving closer to the fabric stalls where he was browsing, to simply call out to the group that happens to be fighting there, "Please, calm yourselves. This is doing nothing to overcome the hardship that you're experiencing!" His gaze flits amongst those that have gathered in his immediate surroundings, "Think of how much harder it is going to be if your stalls and possessions are damaged. If the market is cordoned off. If people decide to stay away for fear of rising tempers. I understand that things are difficult, but there are better ways to deal with it then violence."

Heyyyy he popped his head out to see what was going on and to lay eyes on that charming guard of his - but Apollo Oakwood has no business being in the middle of an angry mob. And look who they're targeting! He glances down at himself and perhaps calculates that the writing is not so much on the wall, but on /him/ - and decides that perhaps this is not the place or time to be wearing star iron and bright purple seasilk. Especially if he'd like to not capture the violent imaginations of fighting folks. Wouldn't a good shadowy corner be nice just now? It /would/.

Austen checked perception + war at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher. Austen rolled a critical!

The attempt to head out of the City Center is a lost cause for Gaston as the crowd swell up in his path, caught up in the tension that is thicker than the city walls at this moment. He suddenly feel solid objects pelting him on his leather armor and as he turns to see who is throwing stuff at him, catches a tomato at the side of his head, painting his ear and cheek a juicy light red. Curling his hand into a fist, the Blackram takes in a deep breath before releasing it, holding onto his temper and instead tries to... yell at the troublemakers to calm down and disperse, "Stop this! Causing a riot will not solve your problems, settle down and go home before you get seriously hurt!"

Brigida checked command + intimidation at difficulty 30, rolling 21 higher.

Azova has remained largely unnoticed, for which she murmurs a quick prayer of gratitude, and keeps her eyes glued to the crowd so that she can watch and wait for either a sign she should duck. Or, the telltale flash of steel and blood that suggests she will have to earn her keep. So far, so good. Pelted fruit causes bruising of flesh and ego, but it isn't likely to kill anyone.

Austen's eyes sweep the crowds and the guard placements, the knight taking careful stock of it all before he looks back to Kenna. "I don't think me fighting is going to help much. But.. move that flank over there," he says urgently. "You'll catch that group of people before they head in that direction, look at the way the crowd's turning."

Aleksei checked charm + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 37 higher.

Nurie checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher. Nurie rolled a critical!

Nina checked charm + performance at difficulty 50, rolling 7 higher.

Raymesin checked command + intimidation at difficulty 30, rolling 11 higher.

Mimi checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 23 lower.

Sorrel checked mana + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 17 higher.

Kieran has joined the Benches by the Fountain.

Hamish checked strength + intimidation at difficulty 30, rolling 30 higher.

Verity checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 30, rolling 6 lower.

Raymesin nods to Austen, slipping across to join the knight. "Yer right, this really ain't somewhere we want ter be right now." He eyes Kenna, then elegantly and eloquently gestures the Guardswoman on into the fray before turning to look at said fray with bright anticipation. His teeth bare in a smile that has very little humour in it, and his gloved hands ball into fists. It's the hungry spark in his pale blue eyes, though, that might really make the difference.

A cabbage smacks Philippe's son in law Jourdain in the shoulder. Philippe has been hit by worse and nearly scoffs at the slapstick of it. The crate that is narrowly parried by Appolonia's guards gets his blood up. Appolonia isn't a knight and isn't made for that sort of punishment. "Order," he calls out. When that doesn't instantly work, Philippe does what he always does and just gets louder.

"ORDER! Come to ORDER!" the old count shouts. "You are angry and hungry, but this does not feed anyone! There are oaths, and laws, and a structure to our Compact! A structure that our enemies would test with this thrice-damned whirlpool! Are you yielding to them? Would you yield this quickly, with the harvest yet to come?"

"Hold, by the gods!" Philippe hollers. "We are a people of laws and oaths! We do not tear into each other at the first moment of stress!"

Thrax guards are trying to convince their charge to exit the marketplace, except that Sorrel seems almost loathe to do so. She does concede to walk slowly towards the northwest, in the vague direction of her fealty's district, but as she goes, she sings a song of Gild, projecting loudly as she goes.

A murmur goes through the daytime crowd of the City Center as one of the most notables of society arrives.

12 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.

Kiera has felt like being social all day. this might be the last such day in a bit as the relative newcomer to arx sees its darker side in the che Chaaos of the mob looking those trying to impose order on the situation to see how she might be of use

Cassandra checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 16 higher.

A crate is swung towards Appolonia, despite the leather-armed attempt to parry of Guido, one of her men-at-escort. The strike nonetheless has enough force to stagger a small woman such as she, and she ends up rattling against the squashes, turning round with eyes agog as she ingests the harsh truth that this is happening to HER! Oh, the indignity.

There is tension. Her mind whirls, not in confusion. She glances to Guido - Guido deprives the man of his weapon - Appolonia points towards the Iron Guard - and the assailant is shoved that way with enthusiasm, but only bare hands. The knot of pirates cluster closer round her, though Appolonia says from behind a wall of seamen, "Don't draw your blades -- ugh!" They sink back, a defensive posture with Appolonia pressed against a wall of sturdy stone(or brick, or... something at least).

Appolonia pulls herself up onto Guido's shoulders, which, from the man's expression, is not the first time this has happened. After some hesitance, and a glance at the crowd, she turns her head. "To Blanchard," she informs the pirates, who move to rally towards the man on the horse. ("Good evening, my lord," Appolonia says, though it is probably lost in the ambient noise of riot)

A murmur goes through the daytime crowd of the City Center as one of the most notables of society arrives.

12 Thrax Elite Guards, Lilybelle - The Claw of Arx, Scarf, a sinewy, serious, shiny-seeking otter arrive, following Victus.

Brigida passes Hamish and quickly snaps at him, "Stand up straight and do something useful." She doesn't pause however and the white robed Archlector heads towards the crowd, batting at any shins that come within staff reach and, with a voice that is loud, clear and filled with no small amount of annoyance calls out, "THAT IS ENOUGH! STOP IT THIS INSTANT AND- DON'T YOU *DARE* THROW THAT APPLE OR I WILL COME OVER THERE AND BOX YOUR EARS!"

The press of turbulent humanity on all sides gets to be too much for Mimi. Her hiding place is no longer safe. She makes a break for it, trying to squeeze through the crowd and get out of there.

12 Thrax Elite Guards, Lilybelle - The Claw of Arx, Scarf, a sinewy, serious, shiny-seeking otter leave, following Victus.

Zoey arrives from the same direction Sorrel is heading, her own pair of guards reluctant to let the curious Lady get close to what is happening.

Dimitri is oblivious to the food that is hurtled in his direction and there's a momentary blink of surprise when one of his guards whisks him out of the way. Struggling against the grip of the guards, the Prince is giving a shake of his head, to indicate that his intention is not to leave. Instead, he's moving closer to the fabric stalls where he was browsing, to simply call out to the group that happens to be fighting there, "Please, calm yourselves. This is doing nothing to overcome the hardship that you're experiencing!" His gaze flits amongst those that have gathered in his immediate surroundings, "Think of how much harder it is going to be if your stalls and possessions are damaged. If the market is cordoned off. If people decide to stay away for fear of rising tempers. I understand that things are difficult, but there are better ways to deal with it then violence."

Getting hit with another heavy roll of fabric sends Korka into the side of a market stall and nearly knocks the breath out of her. She takes that moment to climb up on the stall, holding onto one of the posts that holds up the canopy to look out into the crowd, squinting as she tries to identify the people that the merchants might actually listen to.

"Good luck!" cries Nina as Kieran rushes out into the mob. Then she squints... wondering first if his plan will work. Then... coming up with a plan of her own. She pulls out her lute with some determination. Then she rises from her spot, and ... for a second, shuts her eyes. She starts to play a few notes on her lute. In the middle of chaos, she stands like the eye of a storm making a little bubble of music. And in spite of all the noise and riot, she chooses to play a soothing song, a lullaby. "Hush, hush... o/~ into sweet slumber, into the the night's quiet arms..." She hears the song that Sorrel is picking up, and does her best of course not to clash with her tune, while making her own way.

"Fucking -- /fuck/." Aleksei is such a terrible Oathlands boy. "Hey!" He's just lifting a hand to try and duck that incoming chair, when apparently some reputation of being a decent sort saves him from a beating. So there's that, at least! He manages to make it to Nurie's side, reaching to set a hand on her arm as if to reassure himself of her safety, his expression strained. "Yeah," he agrees with her. "Gods, look at this," he mutters, and then he raises his voice to call out to those around them. "Please, help us get people away and to safety!" he says. "People are going to be hurt! Is that what you really want? Blood on your hands? These are all just /people/!"

"Thanks." Kenna says dryly to Raymesin, "Don't suppose there is a chance you'll just be a nice law abiding citizen and go find a place where there //isn't// violence happening to exist?" It's said with the air of someone who already knows the answer. Back to yelling at the guards. Austen gets a nod but it is probably too late. Mouth open, she's going to say it! Just, y'know. Things are probably gonna happen first.

"FRIENDS! COUNTRYMEN! LEND ME YOUR EARS!" Kieran shouts from the side wall of the fountain that he stands on, hoping to get people's attention. "Why are we fighting one another!? The enemies are without not within! Do not let a break in our resolve be their victory!" On and on he goes, doing his best to inspire the crowd to rally around the idea of not doing a whole lot of anything but normal business. Go team!

When a merchant standing near him is clocked with an empty wooden crate the two templars assigned to Blessed Hamish try to usher him toward Anywhere But Here, but he pulls away from them in dubious display of wisdom. He snaps up the crate and smashes it on the ground right in front of the smart guy who threw it, then roars, "WHAT ARE YOU FUCKING THINKING?" He stomps on the crate once, smashing any of the bits that weren't smashed during the original smashing. He points at some random people. "GO HOME!" Is there spittle? There's probably spittle. Sorry. It's some big time shouting.

Watching on for a long moment, watching things devolve, unfold and get worse by the moment, she strides forward. "Are you lost?" she shouts to those making the greatest noise. "You are angry, frustrated, and want to act. So you rip and tear at each other, and where will it get you? Tearing down the wall and slaying the person next to you will make you rich tomorrow." She sighs, but her voice still carries over the din. "And it will not feed to hole in your chest. The Gods wish better than this. We are their ideals made manifest. We need to live up better to them. There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities; it is against chaos and despair." She puts her hands together. "Please. Think before we act too rashly."

Verity sees Jourdain just in time to /also/ see her noble friend get assaulted by flying debris. The courtier clamps a hand over her mouth, eyes widening. She has little time to say anything to man considering that Philippe has begun bellowing in a most alarming way.

Verity reaches out as if to pull the older and larger man back, but there's little to be done by someone of his stature. Instead, she steps forward and tries to block off his flank the only way she knows how: waving her arms trying to negotiate. "Please, I know your anger -- but using it like this will bring brutality down upon us! There are better ways to put your rage to use to better our plight!"

This kind of rhetoric is probably better suited to the Lowers, which is the danger of being trapped between a tragic silkwalker, trapped between two worlds.

Kiera having been given a direct goal by nurie, she tries to look for a means of getting people to safety to aid that cause while staying out of the way of projectles

Either Liara picked a dreadful time to come shopping or got word of what was going on and came by - either way, she shows up towards the western edge of the market, though doesn't make to hurry in farther than the edge. Most of her bodyguard array themselves between the Grayson and the bulk of the throng.

Kieran shouts from nearby, "FRIENDS! COUNTRYMEN! LEND ME YOUR EARS!"

As Kieran shouts, something small and crawly with too many legs skitters over his shoulder, down one arm, and drops right to the ground, nevermind it being very far down.

A murmur goes through the daytime crowd of the City Center as one of the most notables of society arrives.

Emperor Fuzzbottoms, The Cinder Cat have been dismissed.

Jourdain manages to get back to Philippe and Verity right around the time a cabbage hits him square in the shoulder. Fortunately, he looks more bemused than hurt or upset by the vegetal assault, and seems to have no intention of actually responding in any way. Much less in kind. Philippe and Verity start yelling, hoping to calm down the crowd; Jourdain stays nearby, covering Philippe's other flank that isn't already covered by Verity, clearly intent to watch their backs while they're busy talking. "Father," he does say to Philippe, in a low warning. "This will grow beyond any reasonable control quite soon."

Leta, the student scholar, 3 Grimhall House Guards arrive, following Ingrid.

For all the sins one could accuse Briseis Morgan, vanity is not one of them. Possibly it is for that reason she is spared from that first cabbage pelting Jourdain next to her, which she answers with an undressed look of surprise, before her eyes dart back to the crowd. Ferocity darkens her expression. There is little hesitation that, just an instant later, she is right at Verity's side, assisting to form a Commoner Barricade to herd the outrage away from the Blanchard Count and Wyrmguard Lord alike. Tiny as she is, her well of outrage is immeasurable. "Check your actions immediately!"

The chaos only seems to grow as chaos tends to do. Kenna attempts to assemble the Iron Guard to take control, but her Iron Guard are scattered and each trying to deal with things bit by bit. Most don't even seem to hear her over the commotion. Nurie manages to appeal to some of those that haven't joined into the fracas yet to stay out of it. Mirari, being the clever woman that she is (and one would have to be to be as successful as she is) makes an exit without too much resistance. Some of the other merchants seem a touch afraid of her. Mimi, in attempting to do the same, isn't quite so lucky as a swinging crate catches her between the shoulders and sends her sprawling. Raymesin, being a rather intimidating fellow, seems to be able to ward off some of the more adventurous from doing much to him.

The more charming among the crowd, like Dimitri and Kieran seem to be calming down some of the less angry sorts who just joined the fighting because they are scared and worried and everyone else is doing it. Aleksei as well manages to talk down some of those closest to him. They might not disperse, but they definitely don't seem as inclined to smash anyone in the face just then. Philippe and Hamish manage much the same with louder words and, in Hamish's case, smashing a crate. The tension is still high, but the crowd seems to be calming save for a few. The other Godsworn, such as Brigida and Cassandra also help soothe some of the rage of the crowd.

The fighting, just as suddenly as it began, seems to be slowing as cooler heads and louder voices take command.

At least until the smell of smoke starts to fill the air as several market stalls go up in flames. Now, anger turns to panic as merchants fight to save their wares and shoppers decide that a good fist fight is not work all this and seek avenues of escape!

Ingrid has been wandering around for a bit today, and hearing the sounds of more and more anger and people, she seems to be going toward it and not away. The healer worries about what is going on and if anyone will need any help. She is on the outer edge right now, just trying to figure out what is going on.

Drysi, a young shaman apprentice, 2 Redrain Guards arrive, following Khanne.

Drysi, a young shaman apprentice, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Khanne.

Dimitri checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.

Maybe three or four small crawly things with too many legs skitter past one of the upturned market stalls.

Austen checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 5 lower.

Vern, 2 Keaton Huntsmen, Devo, an extraordinary Oakhaven bloodhound arrive, following Kael.

Vern, 2 Keaton Huntsmen, Devo, an extraordinary Oakhaven bloodhound leave, following Kael.

Kenna checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 5 lower.

Kieran checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.

Nurie checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 14 higher.

Nina checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 18 higher.

Kieran spots the smoke then fire from his vantage point on the wall of the fountain and points, "Fire!" He looks down at those next to the fountain and shouts orders at them, "All of you! Grab jugs, jars, cups, tankards, baskets, whatever! And fill them with water form the fountain, then take them in that direction to throw on the fire!" He points in the direction of the fire as he orders them. Then he puts his hands around his mouth to shout in the direction of the fire, "MAKE WAY FOR THE WATER LINE!"

Kieran shouts from nearby, "MAKE WAY FOR THE WATER LINE!"

Gaston checked strength + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.

Gaston checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 1 lower.

Kiera checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.

Philippe checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 24 higher.

Apollo checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.

Apollo checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.

As she, Aleksei, Kiera, and others attempt to turn at least some of the crowd to--not calm exactly, but perhaps towards more productive and protective means of expressing themselves to those in the market, Nurie continues to look for those nearby that need assistance. A hand up, or a point in the direction where the crowd thins and they can get away. She doesn't bother to hide the worry and fear in her expression--she's not suppressing it so much as pushing through it and hoping that others will be inspired to do the same. "Did you see what happened, to set it off, Aleksei?" She asks him, her voice tight. "I knew things were tense, but..." She sees the flames, and cries out in alarm, a fire a clothier and fabrics merchant's worst nightmare. She's torn, between helping right away, but after seeing the poor artist take a tumble, she moves with Aleksei to try and help get Mimi out of the worst of the now paniced trampling of the crowd. "Oh, Mistress Mimi, let's get you out of the way!"

Verity checked command + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 2 higher.

Verity checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 19 higher. Verity rolled a critical!

Jourdain checked command + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 82 higher. Jourdain rolled a critical!

Jourdain checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 1 lower.

At the urging of her guards when the stalls go up in flames, Zoey goes back the way she came, remaining out of harm's way.

Octavian, a silken spaniel, an aid in Kennex livery, 2 Kennex corsairs leave, following Zoey.

Mirari's eyes scan the market, her eyebrows drawn together. A frown is given and she looks over at the burning stalls. Her lips twisted in a frown of indecision for a moment, but then there's calls for 'make way for the water line', and so the dark haired woman whirls about and makes way.

Mimi checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 10, rolling 1 lower.

Opia, a fat unblinking feline leaves, following Mirari.

"Oh gods--" Just when it seemed like they were making progress, the scent of smoke is on the air, and Aleksei starts hearing the cries about FIRE. He glances at Nurie, then back out to the crowd, spotting Mimi among those who have fallen. "We have to get people out of here," he says, as if that's -- not what they've already been doing. He pushes through the crowd towards Mimi alongside Nurie, reaching to get close enough to give her a hand up. "C'mon, we've gotta get everybody out of here," he says over the noise of the crowd. And then he catches sight of something skittering along the ground amidst all of it, and his face blanches with a sudden realization. It's just in time to see his sister through the crowd, too. "Bri! Bri, get out of here!" he tries to call over to Briseis.

Austen reaches out to briefly clasp Raymesin's shoulder as the other man wards the crowd away from the pair, the knight looking worriedly at the chaos as things start to turn from angry to literally on fire. He starts forwards, trying to raise his voice to get people to help put the fires out, but no one seems to listen to him in the panic.

Azova inches away from Kieran and squints if she happens to be nearby him, or maybe just trying to count how many legs that thing that crawled down his arm had. What? Healers pay a lot of attention to detail okay? Speaking of, a sniff of the air brings the taste of smoke with it. And that's when the healer pales a little. "Shit, shit, shit." Without much thought to it, the young healer rips the silk of her physicians robe into strips large enough to be tied around the face and help with smoke. And, she starts handing them out, helping at least a few people get away safely. Orion, her assistant, gets one first so he can haul people away who are injured. But also, suddenly, "What the fuck is with the crawly things all of the sudden!? Is anyone else seeing this? No? Yes?" Maybe she is going to try and find where they're all coming from. Cause really.

Korka checked perception + investigation at difficulty 40, rolling 27 higher.

Willen arrives, following Lou.

Rowenova checked intellect + alchemy at difficulty 40, rolling 3 lower.

Raymesin grins that same toothy grin at Kenna, then steps between Austen and trouble and stays there, looking as though he'd absolutely love to see that trouble get within arm's reach. It could be that one reason no-one is listening to Austen is that no-one is willing to get close enough to Raymesin for them to hear what Austen is saying.

Dal, a jumpy and introverted bookworm arrives, following Bhandn.

Kieran continues standing on the fountain-side, directing those around him to grab things to fill and take them towards the fire. He leans a bit this way and that to try to keep an eye on the fire from where he stands, hoping someone there is able to properly direct the fire-fighting effort son that end, while he worries about the water and supply line. "Fill and go! Fill and go!" Slowly he can see the fire in one of the stalls start to quell and go out, leaving behind glowing embers and coals. He's so busy that he never notices the creepy crawly that climbed over him.

Kiera notes a clear path through the flames though a narrow one andurges the crows in that direction making sure that nurie and aleksei note the route while trying to holler for family and friends over ther the din "jourdain this way!"

"Well..." Modi had just arrived to make a few trades himself, though the raising smoke had drawn him in further. The rampant chaos running through the city center has him taking pause. Looking left to right at the people running, screaming, fists and dashes for water. "This is not ideal."

Nina knows music can soothe a crowd... but she has no songs that can put out a fire. In the face of a fire... she just runs, ducking as she goes and diving away from a stall as it bursts into flame. Her flute player, who is not a bodyguard, covers her back. She ducks and runs underneath flaming debris and gets to safe ground, away from the riot and fires, coughing up a bit of smoke. She checks to make sure her lute didn't catch fire! ... Looks like it's safe.

Nina puts Seven-Colored Dreams, a lute in Instrument carrying case.

Appolonia peers out on the chaos for a moment even as the tension begins to unwind... and then spike at the smell of smoke. 'Sweet Mangata we're all going to die!' says the least reliable guard. 'Panic! Panic!' The short one, wearing an orange-jeweled earring, slaps that guy in the mouth.

Appolonia dismounts from her high perch. "Get them going," Appolonia urges them. "Come on, grab a bucket!" Guards are, after all, not just for surrounding you and frowning as they absorb incoming crates.

Spotting barrels in an abandoned stall, Rowenova quickly approaches them. Punching off the top seals with her sturdy gloves, she opens up barrel #1, pulls out a couple vials from her alchemy belt before popping off cork tops along with pouring out the whole contents into the chemical vat before her. After, she picks up the big barrel and then suddenly sloshes it all out onto the burning materials!

Mimi tries to get up, but gets stepped on, shoved back to the ground. She looks up when Nurie calls her name, accepting the hands up from Aleksei and Nurie. "Thank you," she says, trying to catch her breath. She looks alarmed when she sees and smells the fire. Her desire to save her own ass is replaced by a desire to help, joining in the bucket brigade.

As the rioting crowd begins to calm, Gaston releases a sigh as the tension within him that was threatening to snap loosens, his right hand reaching up to try to rub the tomato smear off of the right side of his face, "At least it wasn't a rock..." He mumbles to no one in particular, trying to look on the bright side of things. Before he can start making his way northwest though, he smells smoke and sees fire, which many others see, causing a second panic. With a curse, the Blackram is quickly in motion and instead of fleeing to the northwest, he heads to the nearest stall that is aflame. Helping the merchant that is trying to save his own livelihood, Gaston grabs a bucket and fills it with water to help put the fire out. Working together with others, the stall is saved without too much lasting damage but unfortunate for the Blackram, he got too close to the fire at one point and the breeze pushed the fire in his direction for a moment. They licked at his hands and face, causing stinging burns before being put out.

Appolonia checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 27 lower.

"CRUSH CRUSH CRUSH THE BUGS," Sorrel sings, though she stands far enough back from the fire that she is not in the way of the bucket brigade, though she's looking for bugs to smash and encouraging others to crush any of them that they see. "SMASH THEM ALL TO PIECES! THEY ARE BAD, THEY ARE RUDE! THEY WILL BURN THINGS DOWN!"

Ingrid wants to go and help, but the fire is not something in her wheel house to help with. She signals her guards to help out, while she tries to help any of those in the crowd that would need help to move out from here. "This way, if you need help, take my hand!" The smoke gaining, she coughs some, trying to also ignore the bugs.

As the flames start to grow, Liara's guard captain mutters something urgently to the princess, who is still by the western edge of the market. After some brief back and forth, the Grayson turns to move back the way she came, though half her bodyguard stays behind -- they proceed farther into the market to asssist with the fire.

Azova squint again, this time over at Sorrel. "No shit?" Well, now she feels better! And she's going to stomp some bugs, thank you.

12 Grayson House Guards leaves, following Liara.

There was some business Lou needed to attend to after a meeting of folk at the Society of Explorers, and that business has brought her to the markets. However, she misses a step once she gets in sight of the burning marketplace, her eyes going wide. "What the. . . ." It's possible she hadn't quite heard the rumors just yet, as she'd been behind closed doors and Willen was busy with filing away explorer reports.

Hamish checked strength + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.

Kiera adds verbal directions to her pointing, calmly and clearly "Away from the stalls south then east. calmly and quickly. move. move

From her vantage point, Korka is one of the first to see the flames. But rather than do anything overly helpful like go get a bucket full of water, she hops down and does what so many others are doing--flees the area, stage right.

Bugs? Cassandra had been standing back from the crowd when the fire started. Far enough back that her eyes pick out something that just seems to stand odd and in contrast with the rest of the scene. She frowns, eyes tracking them. "Curious." she utters. And she's going to start to follow one of them. That is...until they start being stomped. Now there's a look of mild frustration.

Dimitri checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 30, rolling 31 higher.

After Nova sadly sees her big alchemy ideas are not helping one bit here, and might have actually worsened this particular piece, the next step is not to simply cry over spilled alchemy but to do something else. An empty barrel in her gloved hands, she dashes forth to the big fountain quickly fills it then makes haste to hopefully douse with JUST WATER (this time). If she can see creepy crawlies, she absolutely stomps them mid travel, too.

Hamish checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.

Revell is a lucky gal, at times. She's been hiding behind one of the overturned stalls, safe-ish. She watches in silence as the fight starts to calm, only to break into a panic, and she may even have joined the crowd in running the heck away from the markets, but then something with entirely too many legs slithers across her bare feet. The florist is fairly used to various crawlies, so her hand instinctively grasps at the creature before it can get out of her reach. She's about to inspect it when the source of the panic finally reaches her nose. Smoke. Nearby. Wide-eyed, she rises and starts backing away from the building fires. Nope, nope, nope. Gotta get out, now.

Phillipe gets towed back a few steps by Verity, who is acting in the interest of the household. The old man sometimes forgets his age and frailty and occasionally needs a reminder. Philippe, after a moment of startlement, accepts this as he is fundamentally a humble man.

But there is knightly pride, and the old man can't put all of that away for practicality's sake. "Gentlemen, put your lady by Jourdain, form up behind me," Philippe says to the pirates who come his way, nodding once to her. He is forming the head of the spear in front of Appolonia out of either wild bravado or supreme confidence. In this situation it is hard to tell those things apart.

Philippe looks over the crowd. Jourdain isn't wrong. The correctness of his statement is probably what is keeping the old man fixed in place. "Yes, son, I know," he mutters back at Jourdain. "It is why we must be here."

Philippe does not yield. The tide seems to ebb... but then there is smoke. Philippe immediately swaps to emergency response, focusing on crowd control. The old man focuses on the civilians, using his natural aura of command to try to direct the panic away from the crisis.

"Do not run! The flames will not chase you! Walk! WALK! In a line! Help those who are slower! Mind the children! When you are away, keep to the sides of the street!" Pirates race by behind him with buckets. "The water brigade needs that room!"

The commoners around him start to come to order. Philippe intermittently moves ahead to help people up and keep the flow of people away from the fire moving, but leaves charging in to the younger folks.

Verity instinctively forms a Commoner Barricade with Briseis due to their intense social link. She lacks Briseis' obvious anger aura, but every tiny angry cop requires a tall nice courtier for emotional counterbalance.

When the fires break out, Verity watches for a taken-aback moment until it leaps too aggressively and pins down some panicking citizens. The courtier gives Jourdain a wordless look, and then reaches out to try and take Briseis' shoulder. "Please -- protect Philippe. We will find you!"

Verity dashes off into the flames, shouting back: "Because your voice is VERY LOUD," before disappearing into the crowd. With surprising strength for such a demurely dressed woman, she pushes through the press of flesh to begin bodily pulling those trapped by the fire and panic. Her shouting seems enough to get people to comply as she directs them. Her true calling, surely.

When Apollo smells the smoke, that's it for his brilliant plan to avoid getting hurt in the conflict by... not being in the conflict. The conflict came to the market stalls. But with all that crashing and smashing and the way fire tends to destabilize things - oh no. He darts through the rows of market stalls, ducking his head in here, lifting this pile of canvas there - shoving aside a blockage again. He coughs into the elbow of that fine frockcoat of his, and then turns, and spots a wiggle under a heap of canvas and splintered wood. A brief wrestling match with bunched stall-cloth, and he scoops a hand under the elbow of a fallen youngmarketeer, hauls up. A gesticulation toward the path he took, blessedly clear of flames, and he flees the burning stalls with the kid. He didn't even singe his hair.

As much as Dimitri would like to help those that find themselves being assaulted, his skills lay entirely in trying to diffuse the situation with words. And as he and others seem to be getting the crowd to cool the rising tempers, he continues to call out, "Fighting amongst one another is going to get us no where." Then, there's the smell of smoke and his gaze plays about, only to settle upon the stalls that begin to burn. A shake of his head, a soft little sigh and then he's looking amongst those that gathered, "Quickly! If we work together, regardless of our differences, we can stem the rising flames and limit the damage! But we must set aside our anger and hate!" Through the use of a silver tongue, the Velenosian Prince manages to begin to calm the rising panic of those who spot the flames and with continued talk and encouragement, begins to help organize the people in order to fight the fires.

The Archlector, done glowering at the crowd, takes a step to the side to allow those attempting to fight the fires. No point her adding her voice to all those organising it. She leans on her staff and takes a deep breath, the elderly Archlector looking briefly rather weary as she looks at the ground before her. Then... "What the...?" she exclaims before her staff slams down and SQUISH! a many legged thing is reduced to paste by her and she glowers as she seems to recognises such things from before. "Petrichor Preserve Us."

Sir Bhandn was originally intending to pass through, and he's not alone. "Go on back. Lock the door." It's not quite a stern command given to the young man who's trailing behind him like a puppy with a book against his chest, but Bhandn doesn't miss the mark by much, and it doesn't take long before he's alone. He saw the smoke, and that meant fire, in a place where fire shouldn't be. Not exactly certain where to start, he keeps out of the way of people trying to escape the area, grey eyes working to try and spot at least one familiar face in the crowd who might have answers on where he is best used.

As the flames start to rise Hamish pushes his way through the crowd toward the burning stalls. Putting years of priestly experience to work, calling upon his banks of godly wisdom, he tries to lift a horse trough to throw water on the flames. He gets it up, but it's a little heavier than he expected and then a horse nudges him like, hey, bud? thats my water? and the two combine to cause him to dump horsey water out on himself. "Ugh." The nudgey horse whickers and Hamish gives it the finger. "Fuck you, horse."

=A few crawly things skitter out from under upturned crates. Some come down other streets, like little insect rioters. A few flood out from under the doors of Arx's bank. And then more. And then more. /And then more/. Several houses fortunate enough to be located near the city center suddenly begin leaking centipedes. They come inexplicably out of the fountain. Over the walls. And they bite. And that's about when the calming crowd really notices them, because a whole lot of them start screaming.

Kenna's too distracted now to keep talking to Raymesin and Austen. Instead she's pushing through the crowds trying really hard to yell at Iron Guards and give orders but they're so spread out she's not having much success.

The fires seem to be going out, leaving mostly a haze of thick smoke in the air. Most of the stalls are singed, a few are little more than burned out shells. No one has time to mourn for what is lost though. Because centipedes.

Appolonia checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 11 lower.

Kenna checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 2 lower.

Revell checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 16 lower.

Bhandn checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 13 lower.

Apollo checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 15 lower.

Austen checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 11 lower.

Rowenova checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 12 lower.

Modi checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 8 lower.

Aleksei checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 20 lower.

Raymesin checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 6 higher.

Verity checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 7 lower.

Jourdain checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 21 lower.

Philippe checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 1 lower.

Kieran checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 12 lower.

Hamish checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 10 lower.

Nurie checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 6 lower.

Brigida checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 19 higher.

Dimitri checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 4 higher.

Orders turn to screaming. This is awesome. Kenna's blade comes out and she starts sweeping it about.

Gaston checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 18 lower.

Briseis checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 12 lower.

Cassandra checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 2 lower.

Ingrid checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 5 higher.

Mimi checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 20 lower.

The skittering catches Nurie's eye as well, once they have Mimi up to her feet. "You're welcome," she says to the artist, politeness engrained in her even with the chaos around them, but it's along the ground where the skittering's going on that her distracted gaze remains. Rats or mice she could understand, once the fires broke out, but this is strange, especially with Sorrel's song now audible over the crowd. She lets go of Aleksei's arm for a moment, amazed. Between the flames and smoke, and just knowing that the market might truly burn, tears sting her eyes and dampen her cheeks. And then there's more and more and she sucks in a breath, both entranced and horrified all at once, but her instinct is to go still, as if somehow that will completely evade notice or protect her. But her eyes are wide, her face pale, and she trembles despite the heat.

Kiera checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 8 lower.

Nina checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 8 higher.

Centipedes on ground. Centipedes crawling up her legs. Centipedes on her arms. Centipedes BITE. Mimi lets out a bloodcurdling shriek.

Lou checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 11 lower.

Bugs. Bugs everywhere. Austen knows exactly what this means, his eyes going wide as he stares around him at all of the centipedes. He has no chill when it comes to these things, yelling wildly as he tries to stamp on as many as possible, running around in circles to do so.

Kieran is on the fountain shouting orders for the water brigade, when he starts seeing creepy crawlies swarming past his feet and over the edge of the fountainsaide. Nope! Nope, nope, nope! Too many centipedes! Time to go! The prince hops down and starts running back from where he originally came with his guards trailing him through the crowd, as every pushes and shoves. "Bugs," is all he says to anyone who asks.

"I was going to try and save one for study." Cassandra mutters, coming to a stop near Brigida. She looks at the fire, to the squished bugs. "I don't like the feeling of this. I-" her voice cuts off, suddenly looking at her hand, fingers then clenching together. "Something's coming." she utters lowly, then bugs just deciding to literally come out of the woodwork. The Legate takes a step back, not hiding the look of shock and horror on her face. "God's light..." she gasps out.

Azova checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 1 lower.

With the fire at the stall out, Gaston shakes his left hand that was licked by the flames as the pain slowly catches up to him, "Nnnnng, damn." He mumbles to himself, frustrated at his own clumsiness at getting close enough to the fire to get burned before going down to one knee and sinking both hands into the bucket of water. Left hand to soak and cool, the right hand to scoop the water to the side of his face that is not only tomato smeared but also slightly burnt as well. Being that low towards the ground, one of the invading centipedes finds an easy target and quickly crawls up Gaston, biting him on his arm causing the man to cry out in surprise, flailing his arm about to get the thing off, "Holy motherless goat, what...!"

At this point, Nova nopes out. Normally brave, she can only do so much before finally prioritizing a few things. And that is to run home and work out a repellant plan with her bibacious assistants and teetotaling gardeners.

Sorrel checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 9 lower.

Jourdain smiles, however briefly, at Philippe's answer. "I knew you would say that," he says, voice wry. He stays close to the Count and Appolonia, who has seemingly been absorbed into the Count's charge.

But a mote of surprise flickers in his blue eyes to find Briseis suddenly in front of him and Philippe, joining forces with Verity to form a Commoner Barricade. He starts to say something to her, and then recollection flickers in his eyes, and he doesn't. Especially when the fires suddenly break out. He trades that knowing look with Verity, as the fires whip the chaos back up into a frenzy.

"Stay close with the Count," he tells Appolonia and her pirate brigade. He turns, but before he leaves, he takes one of Briseis's hands. Reaching down, he unhooks a dagger from his belt, pressing it into her grasp. "Just in case," he says. "Look after them."

A moment later he is gone, weaving through the crowds to quell the fires and direct people to safety. Hearing his name, he turns to see Kiera indicating a safe path. "Kiera!" he calls back. "I see it. Keep moving." He takes his own advice, even as the flames lick at hands he had not thought to protect with gloves. The pain is worth the sight of the fires starting to die down, at least, but that relief is extremely short-lived because centipedes?? Jourdain doesn't actually notice them, busy as he is, until one practically falls on him, which causes him to recoil sharply and disappear into a nearby half-burnt storefront. He's... maybe okay.

Nina doesn't notice bugs at first, but she does hear the song. What's this Sorrel is singing about bugs? And then... oh, no, there are SO many bugs.

The proper thing for a maiden to do at the onslaught of insects, Nina thinks, would probably be to scream. Wouldn't it? But she finds herself morbidly fascinated by these creatures, watching them flood around. She slowly blinks at them, and when a few come near her, she reaches down and simply picks one of them up, to look closer. Could it be that she gives the little weird insect a smile? She does. They flood around more, and she stands with them in a strangely unworried sort of way.

Ingrid is trying to direct and help any children and older folks out when the bugs go on the attack! "Don't look at them, just keep moving!" She flicks them off and just pushes through all of it. It is not pleasant, any of it. "You can do it!"

A bug here, a centipede there, who cares? Not Revell, she's quite content holding onto the squirming little thing she'd caught a moment earlier. But then, there's another, and another, and another.. she stops, trembling knees pressed hard together, eyes wide and colour draining from her face. She just had to choose this day not to bother with shoes, didn't she? Thousands of tiny little feet crawling across her bare toes is -not- her idea of fun. She squeezes her eyes shut and just.. stands there. Like a living statue.

Nope, nope, nope and NOPE. Azova doesn't shriek, but she /does/ sob instead. A sob of shuddering disgust and frustration and fear as the centipedes just seem to explode out of everywhere and all the stomping and brushing them off of her as she tries, does not prevent her from getting bitten. "Augh, make it STOP!" *stomp stomp stomp*

As an Explorer, Lou is not afraid of bugs. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have a healthy respect for bugs, nor that she doesn't react to them when they are crawling all over her. She does what any near to normal person would do and starts smacking them off of her, as quickly as she can, looking quite disgusted that the bugs are all over the place. And, she might be smacking them a bit faster than she might a mosquito or a fly, and in that 'I hate you bug, get away from me' sort of way; an expression that clearly shows on her face. "Off of me you damnable things!" she calls out as she does it. Willen, for his part, is doing the same, and while there's a guard that Lou normally tells to stay to the shadows pulling her back out of the marketplace. He's not having any of it.

Apollo has expressed his feelings about spiders prior - which stops short of terror but does contain a grimace and a 'nah'. Centipedes? Not so much something he's contemplated, or at least he hasn't opined on them publicly. Perhaps that's because he prefers the medium of interpretive dance; along with his new friend from the market pile, Apollo starts with a jerk, and then makes a face, and then starts gesticulating in a most persuasive performance, flailing like they're /all over him/, and maybe they are, those are not dignified noises. If one were to translate his movements back into words, they might be: Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! No! Bugs! AHh! Or... you know, a series of exclanation points will also do. He would like to be /gone/ from here now, but when you have to /dance/ your way offstage, that's... uh. A big ask.

Maybe in all of the dancing he'll stomp some. Blech.

Dimitri's continuing to work on keeping the crowd calm, even as the flames are being dealt with. But then there are centipedes that begin to appear and they quickly begin to multiple as they come out of the woodwork. The Prince is giving a blink of surprise at the sight of the creatures, but he manages to keep his cool, even in the face of such creepy crawlers. Worried about panic surfacing back up and people going to be trampled, he's quickly raising his voice, "Keep calm and move away! Don't panic! Follow the people in front of you!"

Kiera is on her way to phillipe at jourdain's side intending to calmly lead others from the fire, what the insect invasion descends "what in vellichor's name. panic rising as bugs find purchase on her clothes. Smacking herself repeatedly as she follows her cousin to the storefront "get them off. get them!

Willen leaves, following Lou.

Philippe did not come to the market today expecting to see more than a few bugs. You get fresh produce, you deal with the occasional worm. He's fundamentally a gentleman farmer. As he tries to direct traffic away from the fire, centipedes erupt out of the fountain. One seems to fly across the courtyard to land on his head, crawling diagonally across his face.

For an instant, Philippe is lost in a horrible reverie of the Gyre War and the nightmares that he had to face as a younger man. The old man staggers back a step, a wave of primordial horror washing through him. It is only his training as a knight and his conviction as a man that keeps him from breaking ranks and fleeing.

Philippe slaps the centipede off his face. His eyes snap to the nearest unlit torch. He breaks away to grab it, and then to find the nearest source of flame -- even if it's a burning building -- to light the thing. His sword can't kill the insects fast enough, but fire sure can.

Raymesin, by contrast with Austen, seems to be keeping his cool - and stamping on centipedes, helping Austen in the process. He has big hands, and that - according to the principles of anatomy - means he has big boots. And big boots are perfect for centipede-stomping. There's a gleam of metal in his hand, but the blade is flat against his forearm rather than actively wielded just yet. "Queen's grace on us all, an' gods 'elp the lot of us."

Through the calamity, Briseis simultaneously spots her brother, Aleksei, fixing him with a matching look of undisguised alarm. Then she hears him, and despite everything, she locks down, her jaw getting that terribly familiar, stubborn slant. "Absolutely not!"

Her eyes catch some flicker of movement, but Briseis' attention does not chase it for long, and she turns her head to Verity's touch on her shoulder. Her eyes half-hood, and she answers with a brisk tip of her head. "I will guard him with my everything. Go to it." Her hand taken, her attention pivots over and up to Jourdain. She imparts him a weighty look, eyes wide, but says nothing. Ultimately, her hand tightens around the blade, resolved. And with that, the tiny but filial Briseis pulls her Inquisitor's badge from one linen pocket, necklacing it as a better deterrent against the riff raff.

Taking up a post at Count Blanchard's side, keeping an extra pair of eyes on Appolonia in particular (tinys stick together), she utters a foreboding: "What is... oh. Oh!"

And there is a sea of centipedes. Resolve and oath holds her to her spot, but Briseis is not taking it well, jerking and slapping at her body as those things crawl closer, turning errant circles and mindlessly kicking them away. Their painful bites show in every wince on her face.

Raymesin wields Elegant Shiv.

Verity pauses from her work manhandling men in need of handling. With sweat beading on the brow from both exertion and flame, but magnificently untouched by either fire or flailing, she pauses to survey her surroundings. It's around this time that she becomes aware of Sorrel's singing. She furrows her brow.

"What? Bugs?"

Verity is answered by a wave of centipedes. She takes a step backward, genuine alarm replacing on her typically beatific expression. She reaches out blindly to grab at Jourdain regardless of where Jourdain actually is.

"Blades out," she says, revulsion clear in her voice. "/Fucking out./"

Verity reaches up and pulls the horse-topped hairpin from her hair, revealing that the length of it is a clever blade and the horse a passable handle. Not even a wall of centipedes is going to stop her from trying to stab, shoulder-check, and lunge her way back to Philippe, Briseis, Appolonia, and Kiera. Her conservative dress, though only wool, at least provides a first barrier against the biting -- though her surprising nimbleness and bodily awareness serves her better.

Still flailing his arms to get the centipede off, Gaston unfortunately falls back onto his rear, his other hand moving up to brush or swipe the centipede on him away, no doubt drawing the attention of another who comes in for a bite. "Agh!" He cries out, more in fear of the number of centipedes around than in fear, just the scene not something he is used to or capable of handling with a stoic expression right now. His burns are ignored now, the last of his worries at this moment.

Verity wields a steel hairpin topped with a pair of rearing horses.

Fire alone would have been /just fine/, but a horde of centipedes, in Arx's market? Apparently it's more likely than Bhandn thinks, because he looks physically revolted as he catches sight of the sudden screaming... and the source of that screaming. "Oh ... sh--" The expletive doesn't make it out of his mouth as he starts flailing, because he's now suddenly busy with trying to debug himself too! Potentially getting singed is one thing, but becoming the new best friend of centipedes is QUITE ANOTHER in this moment in time. The swearing starts in earnest at that point: one cuss for one squish.

There's a very real chance that Hamish might get into a fist fight with this horse given the murder look he's giving it. But then there's basically a wave of awful crawling things pouring out of nearby buildings and panic takes the crowd. At first Hamish looks uncertain, like maybe they're just spiders and that's okay because spiders are the exact opposite of horses which is why they are cool and horses are terrible, but no it's definitely not spiders and also there are thousands of them and, "Fuck!" That's the sound of someone whose toe just got bit by a centipede. "Ow, shit, fuck!" Three more bites. Hamish grabs the horse trough and starts smashing it against the ground, but this manages to be both dubiously effective and also dangerous to all of the feet around him.

Some say the world will end in fire, or else in ice, but today another preview is emerged - centipedes! Appolonia stares at them and her face contorts as a scream threatens to bubble out of her throat, features growing contorted as her fingers raise up as if to scrape at her own face, her eyes flicking towards Jourdain as if he were a blessed preserver on these horrid seas.

So Appolonia does not scream. One of her piratical compatriots does, though. "KKIEEEEHHAAAAAAHHHHH!!!" shrieks the guy who got popped in the mouth, which leads him to get popped in the mouth again by one of his more dead-eyed colleagues. "Well, fuck," says Guido, shrinking nearer to the towering fortress that is Cob and stamping down with his boot.

"AGGH!! I GOT BIT!! I'm GONNA DIE!" shouts Mr. Soon To Be Fired as revolted stomping fills the immediate area. Two of the pirates draw steel, although it is not immediately useful against bugs that (WE HOPE) do not fly.

The suddenly still and quiet Nurie's dark gaze moves from one cluster and writhing mass of spilling over centipedes to the other, her gaze that of someone dazed. Her lips part slightly, as she draws in a breath, as if following a path with her eyes, but then her paleness turns to greenish-ashen hue, as she tries very hard to not retch. That's the only sound she makes, however, before she just crumples to the ground in an outright faint.

Verity checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.

Dimitri checked charm + empathy at difficulty 40, rolling 34 higher.

Brigida checked mana + theology at difficulty 30, rolling 20 higher.

Kenna flails and smashes to her heart's desire!! STOMP!

One of the few that doesn't seem to be freaking out, Dimitri is turning to those around him, speaking soothing words, offering the hint of a smile and assuring them that everything will be alright (forget the bugs!). It begins to work, too! Those that happen to be near him begin to calm, stemming the rise of panic in his immediate area.

Aleksei checked mana + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 30 higher.

Kieran starts feeling the bites from the damned bugs on his arms and legs, under his clothes, and he begins to flail a bit, trying to get the damned things off. His guards seem to be having a worse time of it, wearing armor and such. While flailing, he still manages to make his way towards the outer ring of market stalls, as he pushes through the crowd, laughing in a bit of a crazed manner.

Sorrel checked mana + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.

An entire pile of nope. Apollo can't with the bugs. Just... can't. And so he flees off into the streets, smacking and swiping at himself. Maybe, if he's very lucky, that kid he hauled from a stall will take a hint and go with him. They can, together, burn every stitch of clothing they wear! Maybe every piece they own. Luxury materials aren't <la mode> anymore, are they. Maybe burn a painting of a centipede, in effigy, too.

Paris, a charming mercenary, 2 Keaton Huntsmen leave, following Apollo.

Cassandra checked mana + theology at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.

"THE BUGS ARE VERY BAD! THEY ARE REALLY MAKING ME MAD!" Sorrel sings, though there's an edge to it as she swats at them and freaks out as they swarm at her, her guards swatting at them to try to get them off of her. "EVERYBODY GOTTA BE FREE! KILL THOSE AWFUL CENTIPEDES! THROW OFF THE SHACKLES OF SLAVERY! THE BUGS ARE A NASTY CURSE! CENTIPEDES ARE TOTALLY THE WORST!" She looks like she might cry, but she keeps singing. Wincing, she swats one off of Aleksei, too, as he comes over to aid her. She looks... unhappy.

Panic? Not Blessed Brigida. Not one jot. Her face sets as screams echo from others as they flee from the tide of vermin and others freeze in fear. She can't flee, she knows that so she steps forward between the oncoming wave and the person she has just seen fall defenceless, Nurie. She strides forward, calmly, her staff leading the way as her voice rises. Calm and collected and with nary a second thought she prays. A prayer to Petrichor, the King Stag, Lord of Nature asking for his protection as she holds her position, staff held in both hands before her, the only sign of worry the whitening of her knuckles as she grips it tight as she watches the oncoming tide.

Kiera glances to Dimitri, locking on his face . breathe. breathe. Slap. slap. "Get off me."

"Oh gods. Oh gods, oh gods, oh gods." It's like there's a weight freezing Aleksei to the ground as he stares at the bugs starting to crawl over every inch of the ground, and then on /him/, and on /everyone else/. His whole body trembles as he tries to manage the screaming panic inside of him, and he -- fails. He starts stomping and swiping down his body, and then his eyes find Sorrel in the crowd. "Sorrel!" he yells, shoving through. He's shaking, sweating, his face white, but he reaches her. He hasn't drawn his sword for this entire fiasco, but he pulls a utilitarian knife from his belt now, and he slices it across his palm, blood spilling, and then takes Sorrel's hand to clasp his to hers. He says something that almost sounds like "Take this," amid the roar of everything else, and then he seems to try very, very hard to focus. It is -- not easy.

Derovai GM Roll checked mana(10) + occult(20) at difficulty 30, rolling 135 higher.

It's not to say that Cassandra is the type run. Not her, but she does freeze for a good second, taken aback at the sight that she sees. And to say that she wasn't scared would be a lie, but the Legate won't run. She's the Sword of the Faith. Gritting and barring her teeth, she draws out Chivalry's Point, taking ahold of the sword in both hands she jams the point of the sword in a crack between two stones and taking a knee, keeping her hands wrapped around the handle of her blade. And she'll start to speak. But in any tongue that's commonly spoken aloud.

Mimi flails and shrieks, trying to shake the horrific insects off of her. They swarm, they bite, she is largely unsuccessful.

It's fine, this is fine, this is - whatever, this is totally not fine. Kenna's not being a distinguished member of the Iron Guard as she stomps and flails. This'll be the new dance next, the 'Pede Stomp.

It's like a wave. Brigida and Cassandra are steady rocks in a raging storm, the centipedes parting around them and anyone near them like a river. And then. The entire swarm that's filling the streets, crawling on people, the walls, the fountain...turns. Rises. Rolls. And just like a wave it crashes right on top of both Aleksei and Sorrel. Every single one of them.

100 inflicted and Sorrel is harmed for grievous damage.

100 inflicted and Aleksei is harmed for grievous damage.

50 inflicted and Brigida is harmed for grievous damage.

50 inflicted and Cassandra is harmed for severe damage.

Nina looks astonished as the bugs seem to pour on Sorrel and the others... though she is nowhere near the center at this point, having run far when the fires took hold. She has a few bugs crawling up her skirts... perhaps in spite of herself... and she takes the one in her hand and quietly puts it into the sack where she carries her lute. She hears Kieran laughing, and waves him down a bit, looking for a familiar face in all this crowd. "...We should run! They're not... going to stop, are they?"

Austen checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 14 lower.

Hamish checked strength + athletics at difficulty 40, rolling 3 lower.

Austen just *stares* as that wave of centipedes goes a-crashing down on Aleksei and Sorrel, his attention torn away briefly from his stomping by the movement. There's a beat, another, and the knight yells some more, charging towards the spot where the two were last seen, squishing at bugs as he goes.

Brigida doesn't waver in her prayers but there is a definite strain in the elder Archlector's voice as she grips her staff tightly, as it she would fall down without it. Despite the intense pain that is clear to any looking at her face she remains standing over Nurie, warding off the centipedes from her immediate surroundings.

It's a strange thing, being swarmed by bugs one moment, only for them to suddenly decide to leave him be and ... go elsewhere? There's a moment where Bhandn's mouth literally falls open as that unnatural swarm doubles down on its nature and does something even /more/ unnatural. Nothing seems to compute in his brain for a few seconds; he's completely flummoxed. Then it suddenly occurs to him that he should probably not just stand there marveling at how surreal that just was. Austen's yelling seems to rouse him, and soon enough Bhandn will be charging towards where Thrax princess and Morgan swordsman were.

Ingrid continues helping all the youngers she can, but at some point sees the wave over take some, and the pain caused. She looks around to see who else here is helping, if anyone is helping those injured.

Philippe manages to light a torch. He clutches it tightly as he looks back toward the insects, which are ... receding from him. For a moment, the flickering spark of hope appears. Perhaps they are being driven away by the light of Gloria. Perhaps this was another of his fugues, another bizarre episode caused by a dying brain...

... and the tide rises. Philippe is frozen as he stares as the insects rally onto themselves, a chitinous tide of inhuman malevolence rallying to some unseen will. He clutches the torch, the flame pathetic in the face of the multi-story horror, and can only watch as the wave crashes down upon Aleksei and Sorrel. The image of it will be burned into his mind until his dying day, joining the sights of madness and death he has seen on countless battlefields.

Nurie is not-quite-blissfully unaware of Aleksei and Sorrell getting whomped to within threads of their life, or the valiant Archlector Brigida in horrible pain and remaining upright only by sheer force of will. She is still grey-faced and unconscious, under the protection of Brigida.

There's honestly not much than can get Sorrel to be quiet, abyssal throat infections aside. The brunt of that blow, though, overwhelmed her. She's still got a fierce grip on Aleksei's hand, though they've almost certainly been flattened by the wave of bugs at this point. She's just trying to dig her way out of centipedes at this point, badly battered and somewhat confused, choking and angry and in quite a lot of pain.

Mimi checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.

From the burning in her hand to how tightly she grips her sword, buried into the ground and holding onto it like an anchor, Cassandra can barely look up, speaking in the foreign tongue the entire time, not stopping, not daring to pause until the wave to insects have subsided and passed. Only to look behind her and see that she nor Brigida were really the main targets. The pain is delicious, a kind of burning that she's never really felt. Her legs wobble but she stays upright, only barely able to stop herself from vomiting from the pain she feels. She coughs, gags, sputters. She growls, anger passing over her feature. The sound of howling words in a strange language. Like she's trying to build up to something, the words, or if they are words, spilling from her mouth, then thrusting her hand toward the miasma of insects, like she's trying to will them to be torn away and asunder from her.

Azova just seems to stare in horror for a long moment as the centi-wave crashes on those few people, head canting to the side as if she's listening for something. And once the wave has crested and fallen, her gaze focuses squarely on that part of the, uh, pile, that Sorrel and Aleksei are buried in. "There." she mutters, gritting her teeth to try and fight back the impulse to run in the opposite direction. Clutching her satchel of medicines tightly as if it will have some impact, steps are taken their way. She has a knife, and can help slice through insects if she needs to.

With surprising athleticism -- Chevalle farmgirls really are something! -- Verity fights her way back to Philippe and company. She is almost shivering with disgust as she kicks and slashes at any bug that gets near her.

"We should--"

Something in the air changes. Verity's words leave her in silence as she turns to stare at that great, towering mass of insect rising up like a single, terrible entity. She watches, unmoving, as it comes crashing down.

Moments pass. Her knuckles are white as she grips her hairpin-dagger. Then, shouting: "Pull her free!" the courtier goes sprinting back into the horror. The seething, writhing mass is too much to offer a clear path, but she cares not: with wild-eyed determination she tries to dig her way to the center, powered by some immense stamina that is not spoken of by her courtly dress.

Kieran is suddenly not swatting and pulling centipedes off of him as they get pulled off of him into a big...wave? of bugs moving straight for Aleksei and Sorrel. He looks then to Nina and blinks, "Uh..." It takes a moment for the shock of it all to wear off and to regain his faculties. "Ummm, I don't know. I've not seen this before." He looks back at Aleksei and Sorrel. "I mean...we should try to help them." He pauses, though, at the sight of all those bugs. "Uhhhh...anyone have a frying pan or really big boots I can use to squish them?" He shakes his head, then looks to his two guards and any Iron Guard or other guardly sorts and orders, "Alright! Let's go help the Princess and Aleksei! Pull them free of the bugs!"

Mimi finally gets her wits about her, spotting people engulfed by bugs. She dives in, trying to dig them out. "We're coming!" she yells. She spots Kieran having similar ideas -- she's glad it's actually a we.

There are few horrors more visceral than this one. Aleksei's hand is clasped tight with Sorrel's when that wave of bugs comes crashing down upon them, even if they buckle under the weight and enormity of it. There's a moment he just /screams/, deep and raw and entirely instinctive. He finds words as he tries to dig his and Sorrel's way out of the wave, but they are pure fury and panic and terror. "Fuck you! Fuck your master! Fuck Legion and fuck that piece of shit Orichalcum! /Fuck/ your /hive/ and /fuck/ your /fucking //chains//!" But in the end, the words are likely all muffled and buried by the swarm.

Kiera watches in horror as her cousin is burried under, as the others rush in to pull them free. she stands ready to provide medicinal aid should they successfully extricste the pair

And hot on Austen's heels is Raymesin, the Ulbran knifeman moving in the knight's wake and trying his level best to both help and defend him. Pure white metal gleams in Raymesin's fist for a few moments until it's covered in centipede ichor, the blade of his knife at odds with its utilitarian handle.

Dimitri hasn't fled the area like some others, but the Prince can not do much against a swarm of bugs. After all, it's not as if he can charm them and send them back from where they came. So, he simply works on keeping people calm as some work to take leave of the area, to ensure that no one gets trampled on the way out.

Jourdain manages to extricate himself from the half-burned wreck he fell into, regrouping with Verity near the others -- just in time to see a wave of insectoid malevolence come crashing down on Sorrel and Aleksei. His blue eyes widen slightly. For a moment he seems to consider something, wrestling internally with some question, before he shakes his head slightly, grits his jaw, and stays quiet. Nothing earlier could get him to draw his weapon, but this does; the diamondplate shivers free of its scabbard as the white-haired Wyrmguard goes rushing in, perhaps hoping cutting through will make some more progress than hands.

Some things override the simple terror of having painful, biting centipedes making welts on her body -- namely when Briseis turns, with awful luck, her pupils pinpointing in horror as she watches that monstrous wave drown her brother out of sight. "Aleksei!!" she cries out, no hesitation in the way she launches herself into the fray, moving with her reckless, mindless brand of fearlessness. She's not all that strong, and certainly not all that athletic, but there is a desperate ferocity in the way she stomps and sweeps into the crawling deluge of insects, adrenalized against how badly it should hurt. She comes up close to Bhandn, passing him a quick, terrified glance, joining his charge. She can hear Aleksei's screams, and answers it with silent, frantic digging on the other side, possibly shredding her hands in bites to shovel that suffocating mound away.

Well, if Austen is going to run in, and Raymesin at his heels... Welp. "GO IRON GUARDS!" If there are any less. This shiz is WAY above their general pay grade guys. And so she goes to attack with them.

Undulating is about the only way to describe how those uncountable numbers of insects settle on Sorrel and Aleksei. The two are not visible. They really might as well be underwater, but underwater would be much, much nicer. And then there are people there. People reaching, and digging. People being bit, people being swarmed, people plunging into that horrific mass after Sorrel and Aleksei. It's quite a strange thing, violence and anger turning to screaming and fear, turning to sudden, inexpliable determination to save two people. Some of those rioters, the ones that haven't run in terror, they join in too. It's another sort of mob, this time.

And then both Sorrel and Aleksei are dragged free by many hands. Many helping hands.

And the centipedes disperse. In a thousand different directions, to a thousand different places, they all go. They all crawl away. They all vanish. There's not really the sense of retreat about it. Simply a ceasing. The settling of a storm. Or the eye of one.

10 inflicted and Bhandn is harmed for minor damage.

10 inflicted and Verity is harmed for minor damage.

10 inflicted and Jourdain is harmed for minor damage.

10 inflicted and Briseis is harmed for moderate damage.

10 inflicted and Cassandra is harmed for moderate damage.

10 inflicted and Mimi is harmed for moderate damage.

10 inflicted and Kieran is harmed for moderate damage.

Kieran looks to Mimi and grins as he spots her moving to join him, his guards, and whoever else he managed to convince to join him as they run to try to pull Sorrel and Aleksei from the big bug cuddle puddle. As the two are pulled out and the swarm just scatters, the prince blinks again, looking about the street, before eyeing his hands and arms covered in bites and scratches. "I...think I am done for the day."

"FUCK YOU LEGION! FUCK YOU ORICHALCUM! FUCK YOU AND YOUR FUCKING CENTIPEDES!!!" The princess has found her voice again, now that she's not covered by centipedes, and it's not pretty. She's angry. Sorrel drags at Aleksei in an almost protective sort of way as their rescuers pull them free, coughing and gagging and furious.

The crowd seems to have rescuing the singer and her companion well in hand, so Hamish tries to get to Brigida's side. "Blessed!" Unfortunately between ankle deep arthropods and panicking civilians and his own profound unease with the situation when he makes it to her he's been enervated of the wherewithall to actually get her the hell out of there. "Someone help her!"

Appolonia stares in blind panic as the insects begin to roll and to boil and to rise up. No, she thinks in an abstract blind chatter in the back of the theater of the mind, they aren't insects, too many legs. There's so many of them, they're swarming them, they're going to eat them to the bone -

Appolonia's hands tighten hard enough to push her nails into the skin of her palm. Hard enough, narrowly, to break that skin. She breathes out through her teeth as others move. No, she thinks, Luca didn't DIE for me to STAND here and GIBBER. She pushes breath out, the plan forming in her mind. She swallows and says, quietly, "Oil - they have to get oil -"

She takes a deeper breath, rich with the hideous scent of chitinous life -- but something breaks, and the horrid Mind behind those creatures begin to fall away. As they carpet away, Appolonia chokes out a gurgle of a word and stamps passing vermin into mush, as she can:

She wants to repeat the cry, but she makes herself not do so, staring with lethal eyes at the dirtied cobbles instead.

"I... don't really know how I can help..." Nina seems terrified of the situation now, backing up and putting her back to a wall. If those insects could take out Sorrel like that... they'd do worse to her. She wonders if her lute would be of any use again... and then things... seem to start to wind down, and the bugs ... just cease. Nina lets out a shaking breath, and then breathes in once more, through her nose, out.


Anddddddd they are gone. Well. Alright. Kenna's sword drops to her side and she just looks... bewildered. "Healer." She pauses, right. HEaler.

Azova is right there as Sorrel and Aleksei are freed by the hands of many, her anxious gaze looking them both over as she tugs her surly healer's assistant alongside her. "Here, let me help. I'm a Mercy, I can heal you." she promises, pulling out bandages and ointment, and whatever else she needs to tend them there first. "Then we can get you to the House of Solace, yes? The most injured first, and then we can tend to the rest!" she calls out towards the crowd, hoping for something more orderly.

Verity begins slashing, but her hairpin-knife is not enough. With an inarticulate shout of frustration, she tosses it behind her and begins to viciously /dig/ with both arms. Her aggression, like all passions, comes with a cost. The vile beasts bite and writhe, and soon her woolen sleeves run red and black with blood and ichor.

Verity's shouting becomes almost rhythmic as she settles into a working beat. This /is/ work. It's pain and pushing through the pain. With every clutch of centipedes she knocks aside with a sweep of her arms, she pushes.

Until they find the center. Verity is one of the people dragging Sorrel out. She is forceful. "This would be a stupid place to die with all the things you have left to do," she hisses -- but, despite the harsh words, only now does the tension begins to leave her face.

And then it's all over, and there are people who can actually *heal* looking over Aleksei and Sorrel, and Austen steps back, coming back to his senses. "...fuck," comes the low growl. He turns then, looking over Kenna and Raymesin, worried. "You are both unharmed?" he checks. "I... I need to get this shit off me," he says, staring at the ichor on his hands. "Fuck." One last look to check Kenna's okay and he nods, striding off to the south.

Maikki, An Oversized White Hunting Dog, Taika, An Arctic Hare arrive, following Oili.

Verity runs ahead. Philippe's heart is grasped within an icy vice. The name that dies in his throat as he tries to call after Verity is not hers. Char-something, an observant person might be able to discern, but in the chaos who can say what is heard and what is imagined.

Philippe lowers his torch only slowly as the tide evaporates. He struggles to understand what he just saw. Philippe's conscious mind wants to try to dump all these memories immediately, leaving him numb and blank about the terror he just endured. But yet here he is, unbroken, having survived yet again. Old knights are the ones who do not rush in, Philippe learned long ago. And yet that comes with its own costs.

Philippe makes one foot move forward, and then another. He casts the torch into the fountain as he advances after Verity and most of the rest of his household, numbly following after Sorrel as she is dragged to relative safety.

Princess Sally Acorn, an acorn toting red squirrel arrives, delivering a message to Oili before departing.

1 Templar Initiates, 3 Templar Knight guards leave, following Cassandra.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Oili before departing.

Dom, an unassuming assistant, Saymore, the parrot that just won't stop leave, following Austen.

Kenna nods tersely to Austen when he asks if she's okay. "Yeah." Cleaning up is the last thing on her mind though. There's a lot to do right now, and so she's just going to roll up her arms and... do it. Sleep is optional tonight.

With the bugs dispersing as quickly as they game, Dimitri is breathing a sigh of relief. Unskilled in the ways of medicine, he makes a murmur to his guards and then dips a nod of his head to them, only to slip off, no doubt to find a healer or seven in order to send to the area.

Kiera comes forward , now that the horror is past. she only has some medical skill and cannot tend to the more greviously wound

Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes, Triage, The white dove of Mercy, 3 Valardin Knights, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Sophie.

Aleksei is dragged by so many hands from the horror of the swarming centipedes, inch by inch, until they're suddenly dispersing, and his hand still clings, locked tight, to Sorrel's. All that righteous fury is not gone, but the panic and terror threaten to overwhelm now that the immediate danger seems to be receding. And so he's not yelling or screaming anymore, but sobbing. It's raw and deep and wracks his whole body, which already looks horribly bruised and bitten. There are no words of thanks or gratitude to those who helped him and Sorrel. He can barely see them in those first moments.

Raymesin finishes helping get Aleksei and Sorrel clear, then glances around at the scene and the devastation and exhales. He wipes his knife clean on the sole of his boot - for a given value of clean - and then he too is heading off, vanishing towards the southwest.

Eirene had been on duty at the Saving Grace once she heard of the riots plaguing the city. But when a runner says there was wounded in the city square, the doctor reported right away. The Malvici trauma surgeon looks around at the literal bug carnage and tries to get an idea of what needs doing and who is around to do it, climbing up on a bench to get a view over the crowd.

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