The People's Tournament - Muddy City Run 1014
The Compact has the Tournament of Roses but the lowers and uppers of Arx has the People’s Tournament. Entry to the People’s Tournament is open only to the common born and the events held are the kind of activities that those not born with silk wrapped around them would be familiar with.
From delivering a wagon loaded down with goods around the lowers, with the fastest time and with accuracy, catching fish from the Gray River, running through the lowers as swiftly as possible and overcoming obstacles to a good bought of pugilism, the People’s Tournament lends more to the tastes and familiarity of the commons of Arx.
With cash prizes for the overall winners (Combined points from all events), crowns for the individual event winners and an abundance of alcohol and a gala at the end to celebrate, it’s an excellent time to be a commoner. It’s a chance to change your stars.
1st - 700,000 silver
2nd - 450,000 silver
3rd - 275,000 silver
People’s Choice - 325,000 Silver
OOC: These events are for commoners to participate in. Nobles are welcome to observe, cheer on even, but actual participation in the event is restricted to commoners only.
Participant List - https://tinyurl.com/MudRun1014Spreadsheet
Feb. 15, 2021, 6 p.m.
Arx - Lower Boroughs - Dockyard
Comments and Log
Samira checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.
Dergus, an intimidating bodyguard arrives, following Zyxthylum.
Samira checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 10 higher.
Samira checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 25, rolling 55 higher.
Dergus, an intimidating bodyguard leaves, following Zyxthylum.
Dergus, an intimidating bodyguard arrives, following Zyxthylum.
Samira checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 30 higher.
Samira checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 25, rolling 24 higher.
Zyxthylum checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 3 higher.
Zyxthylum checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 25, rolling 17 higher. Zyxthylum rolled a critical!
Zyxthylum checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 16 higher.
Zyxthylum checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.
Zyxthylum checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 25, rolling 3 lower.
Blue Caps arrives, following Orland.
The Rising Sun <RS> is now locked.
Arion checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 18 higher.
Arion checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 25, rolling 35 higher.
Arion checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 25, rolling 25 higher.
Arion checked charm + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 31 higher.
Arion checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 25, rolling 45 higher.
Giorgio puts fitted velvet trousers in a bag of used clothes.
Giorgio puts flowing velvet cloak in a bag of used clothes.
Giorgio puts velvet lined boots in a bag of used clothes.
Giorgio puts warm velvet gloves in a bag of used clothes.
Giorgio puts wide-brimmed velvet hat in a bag of used clothes.
Giorgio puts fitted velvet jacket in a bag of used clothes.
Giorgio puts long velvet scarf in a bag of used clothes.
The heats have been going all day, as with the Wagon Run. And per the name, it will be a great deal of clean up as once again, the city seizes for a day in the lowers as everyone competes. Throughout the lowers, uppers and into the market, there's been muddy people running. Clambering over obstacles and the odd person trying to sabotage others - thus earning themselves disqualification when it's caught.
Food and drink has been plenty as people help themselves. It 's a time when everyone can have full bellies when they might not otherwise have them. Whispers and Apprentices are running around, with a few choice Arcuri folk here and there, alongside other volunteers as well and the heats are recorded with meticulous care and times are written down as best as possible. It's a great deal of money at stake and accusations are inevitable, so best to keep things as accurate and transparent as possible.
At the Docks, there are boots for both refreshments and betting, as well as large tables set out - some with the catch from the previous challenge. At the central stage, the banners of the organizations and houses sponsoring fly high in the wind, blessed be those who are offsetting the cost. Anisha is up there, and at her command, the criers star calling; the next heat is soon to start and the criers are in full swing. "NEXT HEAT GET READY!" Which happens to be the last heat of the day as well.
Savio is here to seranade his brother, of course, as they get ready to race through the town.
"Run, run, Gio, run as fast as you can!
Heard you're quick for a fancy man
Run, run, Gio, run to the front of the race!
Move those feet or you won't place
Run, run, Gio, what are you gonna do
When you see me pulling way ahead of youuuu?"
What a blessing it is to be related to Savio.
The muddy city run is just that - and that means that Sydney is dressed for the occasion. Gone is the well-if-eclectically-dressed woman from the prior two events and in her place is one who only wears a single strap of leather that's worked through tightly braided auburn hair. Charitably, the rest of her wardrobe are smallclothes, made of unremarkable and low-quality scraps of linen. Pants cut short at the thigh, a shirt cut high at the stomach. Clothing meant for summer or for sleeping in, not for the frigid late-autumn.
"Hope you're all ready t'get your fancy clothes covered in mud and filth. Suffice t'say th'last time I ran this, I came out unsure of where the mud ended and the dung began. Jus' a friendly warning, of course."
She swings her head about to gaze over the assembled, jabbing her finger this way and that, "You! And you!" She's... bad with names. "You're all going to be /soaked/!"
The tall old man with snow-white hair has been wandering the crowds with a blue-gray kitten on his right shoulder and a black-white speckled kitten crouched into the multicolored knitted scarf wrapped around his neck and tied into a simple loop. When the call for the next heat is made he steps up to the starting area, as there's a collected sigh from those around that have seen the kittens trying to dart off with fish and other bits of food from the booths. It might also have to do with what happened at the wagon race, but the man is on his own two feet this time. What's the worst that can happen? He looks to the collected troop that have been competing in the rest of the events and gives each a little nod, or in Savio, Giogrio, Arion, and Zyxthylum's case, a small wink.
When the details of exactly what the 'mud run' was were explained to Giorgio and the fact that one actually would be getting muddy met his ears, the elder Pontelaeus had to think on exactly what to do regarding his wear. The luxury velvet attire he had debuted at the Bard's College concert simply would not do, so he had first returned to his caravel in the Jolly Harbor to change. Upon making it aboard, an idea had come to Giorgio that he simply could not resist.
And so it is that when Giorgio arrives to the start of the race, heralded by Savio's song for him, Giorgio is outfit in his brothers favorite attire. At least, the most favorite that had been left aboard the Starlit Fortune. Offering a smile toward Savio, Giorgio tips Savio's hat to its owner and says, "What a wonderful song. Thank you."
Samira is apparently taking this oh-so-seriously. She stands off to the side, rolling her shoulders and bouncing on the balls of her feet in a warm-up before the actual run. An attempt has been made to wrestle her hair into a braid so that the wild locks are out of her face and she has shed her top layers of clothing in order to avoid getting them mud-soaked. When Anisha announces the last heat, she moves toward the starting line with a bounce in her step, flashing a feral grin toward the other competitors.
Arion is here today, planning to compete. Perhaps as a joke of sorts he wears a flowing gown of pale pink silk, his slim waist pulled in further by a corset held by silver ribbons. His shoes while flat soled and sturdy match the dress and his long crimson hair is as beautifully brushed and styled as it always is, pulled into a single elegant braid that falls down his back. The youngest Harrow draws a few eyes as he smiles playfully moving to the starting point for the final heat. "I hope you all will enjoy seeing the ruin of this dress as much as I will. I picked it out just for this. I detest pink." He smiles brightly and winks, readying himself for the race. He spots the handsome figures of Savio and Giorgio, recognizing at least one of them and offering a warm smile that way, lifting a dainty hand to wave.
Orland was there in the crowd, somewhere comfortable to sit, on a riser or some such, that he could view the events of the day. Spotting the line up for the last heat, he whistles loudly and stands up on the seat, waving his feathered Bravuran hat for all those he knows competing! One man cheering army, yes he is!
Zyxthylum must have left most of things back at his shop, because he has arrived in not much more then under dress and a pair of burlap shorts. Without the billow of silks one can see his knobby limbs shaking as they struggle to simply keep him up. Despite the state of his body, he wears a wide grin and waves often to anyone that makes eye contact.
Sydney's pointed finger jabs in Arion's direction at the sound of his voice and at his striking fashion sense. "Wildly impractical. Completely absurd." She bats at her tightly braided hair, and offers a snickering grin in the Harrow's general direction, "...I'm impressed. And yes. I always appreciate seeing the ruins of a dress, no matter the occasion!"
She bounces upon the tips of her toes. She spies Samira across the way, and jabs her finger yet again. "Sami! Don't think you're gonna just scoot past out of sight!" To Svana, she throws a rather more genial wink. "Nor you, of course."
Sylvana really doesn't seem to have the biggest grasp on what's going on exactly but she gives an excited cheer anyway as Savio and Giorgio begin their runs. Leporidae represent! She energetically jumps up and down, her red hair flaring out behind her, leaves coming disentangled from her hair as she cheers. "Savio! Giorgio! You can do it!"
Samira happens to make eye contact with Zyxthylum and offers a return wave to the unfamiliar man. Arion's pink garb receives a moment's study. "If you abhor pink so much, maybe you'll find mud-splattered to be a grand improvement for it." Laughing, she points an accusatory finger toward Sydney. "That's the plan! If I see red hair ahead of me, I'll know I need to pick up the pace."
Anisha stands, looking to see that all are prepared, a bright smile on her face. "Oh, you look absolutely darling my dears!" She calls out - and gives a wiggle of her fingers to the people in the crowd she recognises as well, like Orland. "RUNNERS READY!" She cries, raising a piece of silk into the air - Giorgio and Arion not being the only ones unafraid to get fancy. And, with a smile, she waves, and lets it go, sending it fluttering. "GO!"
Lord Orland got popcorn from somewhere. Really. It's a little bag full of popped kernals and salted and warm butter. It's delightful. He shows up beside Sylvana after laying some bets for those competing, simply because she was cheering out for Savio and Giorgio. "I think Savio has an edge today, but, I don't know, Arion in that dress, he has a particular need to destroy it." He offers Sylvana popcorn. Orland was a frequent at the Palace Leporidae, offering to Sylvana, "I'm Lord Orland Amadeo. You may have heard Savio singing about me."
Zakhar checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.
Savio has noticed his brother raided his wardrobe, and tsks at Giorgio, chiding! Savio himself is just wearing a pair of trousers rolled up to the knee, and no shirt -- just a necklace and a snake tattoo over his left shoulder. The elder Pontelaeus has earned another ditty of course.
"Who's this clown here in my clothes
Thinks he can look down his nose?
What's this Gio, like I'm gonna cry
If you take my pants right through some sty?
Nothing doing! I'll only scoff --
Cause you can wear my style but ya can't pull it off."
Brow wag. "Seeeeyaaaa," he informs Giorgio, then blows a kiss to various people he knows here -- which is most of the contestants, and Sylvana and Orland in the stands. At the GO, he dashes forth!
Sylvana blinks and looks over at Orland, giving a cursory examination. "Oh you're Lord Orland! Good to finally meet you!" she takes the offered popcorn and easily pops it into her mouth as she looks back over the competition, watching the runners take off. "I don't know most of the people here, I'm afraid, I'm still getting my bearings. "We'll see how they all do, but so long as it's someone from Tremorous I think I'll be happy with a house victory," Sylvana chuckles. "Though... that is quite a dress!"
Savio is overheard praising Anisha.
Sydney's seemingly boundless energy erupts all at once when she hears 'go', and Sydney springs immediately into action - rather than finessing her way through the intricate collection of obstacles, Sydney all but charges straight ahead, shouldering her way through some of the obstacles that weigh less, leaping over the lower obstacles, and clambering up those that are above shoulder height, leaping, lunging, and generally looking like her entire strategy is 'Straight lines are good'.
Giorgio only smiles all the wider at Savio's continuing taunts in verse. Just before Anisha calls out for runners to be off, Giorgio says toward Savio, "Sing all you want. Just remember that whatever the end of this race looks like I have a comfortable, stylish set of attire awaiting me back on the ship. You only have so many things in your closet!" And then the race is on and Giorgio is weaving through the boxes set up as obstacles. He seems to know where he is going, but for whatever reason he doesn't seem to be trying to avoid bumping into things as he runs, rubbing up against everything muddy in his path, even as Savio pulls out ahead of him.
Zakhar ambles forwards taking his time through the streets, he doesn't have to contend with an evil tall stinking beast this time. And the kittens have leared to stay in the pouch or on his shoulders. He can hear both the laughs and cheers as the white-black speckled kitten decides that it needs to shift and completely fall off of the old man's shoulder. Hitting the mud.
Zakhar turns around to pick up the kitten and keeps going, keeping a good pace, stepping aside as others run past him. Some on the side watching the race might even hear him humming to himself as he now holds the very muddy kitten in his palm and keeps ambling along.
Samira appears amused by the banter overheard between Giorgio and Savio, but when Anisha announces the beginning of the race, her full focus turns to the course in front of her. She's off in a flash, barreling forward with little regard for the things (or people) in her path. She's not above throwing a few elbows or jumping over things when she needs to, but despite her best efforts, she finds herself lagging behind the fastest opponents.
Arion laughs softly at the comments about his dress. He smiles sweetly at Sydney. "Nothing worthwhile is easy my dear! This dress shall meet its ruin." Samira gets a look and a smile the crimson haired Harrow dippig his head in agreement and respect. Green eyes drift to Savio and the other man who is wearing his clothes. He stifles a giggle at Giorgio then darts off into the streets pink silks trailing as he makes a mad dash for it through the mud. That dress is doomed.
Not able to actually run, the emaciated creature begins with a slow hobble, his lanky limbs struggling to keep him upright in the mud. While one hand clutches his shorts to keep them up the other often dips to the mud to prevent and actual spill. It doesn't take long for a good third of his body to disappear in the filth and muck.
"Lord Orland. Here to cheer on our favourite contestants? Who is your friend?" Anisha asks, stepping up to Orland and Sylvana as the racers go off, sketching a curtsey to the woman. "Well met. I am the Softest Whisper Anisha, given the privilege of arranging this tourney. A pleasure. I hope you are enjoying? How did you come to meet Lord Orland?" She inquires, with a smile.
Lore and Svana know the way through the Lowers, and are quick to set off, though the Grayhope has better luck than the Artiglio - why might that be? And Savio's song is making it's presence felt, with the crowd singing along and adding to it - some even inventing new verses. Whatever the case, it makes sure that Giorgio is sped up - and given he's chasing Savio, that means Savio, somehow, is in the lead, barreling on through as best he is able. Sydney is neck and neck with Giorgio, and Samira is keeping pace with Lore, with Arion happily skipping through and muddying that dreadful pink dress. - which means that, keeping up the back at a comfortable pace is Zakhar and Zyxthylum. Z & Z, but certainly no ZZZ!
Savio must have got some pro tips from Orland on where to run, and his role in life as generalized agent of chaos means he's fine with getting splattered with every sort of mud and filth. Run run run! Will the need to breathe and focus stop the ditties drawn up to needle and annoy Giorgio? Absolutely it will not. Savio's brain does not need oxygen if he can use that oxygen for making a dumb song.
"Giorgioooo you think you got what it takes
To look real cute in second place?
Sorry to have your bubble burst --
You're looking at the man who's fiiiiiirrrst ~"
Zakhar checked perception + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 3 higher.
Orland nods his head to Sylvana, "Like wise. It's Lady Sylvana right? You've not long since arrived to Arx, if I'm not mistaken?" He is quite happy to share his popcorn, turning his head to note the kiss to the stands and his half naked partner sprinting off to a merriment of song, an affectionate sigh chasing that impish cad Savio, as well as a few kernals of popcorn. "Well I know most of the people in that heat. That woman there, is Samira Culler, she's the dark haired one, she's quick but somehow is at the back, there that one. She's not one to tell you differently. She's pretty straight forward with her thoughts. Now Arion Harrow, is of course the young man in the dress and corset, with his hair in a braid. He's just opened up a shop in town, called the Crimson Rose. I got a few gifts from Savio from his shop. Now Zakhar, the older fellow who just dropped a kitten by the looks... WHY are you running with kittens!! ..." he bellows, "Is my protege. He just got engaged to my other protege Lasha. He's obviously adoring of kittens and puzzles. He is also opening up a shop here soon, the Emporium of Curiosity." He moves on, pointing to Sydney, "That determined lady, I'm afraid I do not know. She looks eager to wind this. You know Savio and Giorgio. And ahhh, Zyxthylum, I call him Zy for short, is a very unique fellow. I think he's got a hard past, but he's anything but kind. He's also opened up a shop in the Pravus ward, called the Lair. He's into taxidermy, made this fox I wanted to buy, and a bear rug. I didn't have the cash at the time."
Then he looks to Anisha, "Hello! Yes, I'm back again. This is Lady Sylvana Leporidae." He laughs a little, "She's of the House Leporidae. I'm actually just coming to meet her acquaintance more officially today. Over popcorn. Your running an amazing event."
Giorgio is obviously not an athlete. What he lacks in physical prowess, he makes up for with a general knowledge of the city. He hears Savio out there taunting him somewhere in front as they come out of the crate maze and into the Lowers alleys. Ducking beneath a clothesline, Giorgio misses the pothole hidden by a pile of mud. Stepping into it, his toe hangs on the lip and down he goes. Giorgio belly flops in the mud and he slides through the mud, smearing filth all over him and snagging Savio's hat on the handle of a nearby cart. RRRRIIIPPP! The brim of Savio's hat now dangles down around Giorgio's neck and flops like some sort of wide necklace. "Savio! I think your hat is done for!" he calls out ahead of him as he runs on.
Zyxthylum becomes distracted by Zakhar's kittens and wiggles his fingers in their direction. He makes 'pss pss' noises and takes his time trying to catch up to the actual athletes. After he manages to pry himself away from the cats however he does make better time then one would suspect for this old wretch.
The competitive streak in the pugilist begins to manifest rather quickly, and Sydney calls ahead to Savio even as she's surging through a shin-deep slurry of mud and muck, "If you have time to sing a song, you have time to run faster!" Her nostrils flare in spite of herself. Hmph! The dockyard is one thing, but as they round the bend into the Lower Boroughs, Sydney clearly hits her stride. This is more her speed. Slick with mud or not, she's able to keep on her feet like a charging bull with fiery auburn hair trailing out behind her as she skirts past Giorgio, assuring him, "If I catch him, I'll throw a handful of mud his way, promise! So sorry about the hat, quite a shame!"
Out of the docks! Perfect! Onto... the lowers... Oh great. The old man watches as the kittens all leap from the pouches and his shoulder, for some fish, or the smell of fish, or well there they go off in that direction. Which of course leaves him looking to either go after them or to keep ambling along. He still has the muddy kitten in his hand and its currently looking upset that it doesn't get to chase off with the rest of the clowder. Enough that he's looking over at Zyxthylum with an accusational look. "Didja just...?" He sakes his head and keeps on moving forwards.
The wide grin Samira wears while running is likely due to both her eagerness to compete and her amusement at the impromptu songs Savio sings. This stretch into the Lowers should be her best area yet, as familiar as she is with these streets. Unfortunately a bit of uneven ground catches the toe of her boot and sends her sprawling. She hops hastily back to her feet, now entirely splattered with mud. "Too bad /I/ don't have a hideous dress to muddy," she announces to no one in particular.
"Yes that's right," Sylvana bobs her head to Orland with a beaming smile towards him. "Only properly arrived in here a few days ago? Been so busy with other arrangements, the marriage and so many other things. It's been such a different experience," Sylvana smiles over at him. "Have you and Savio known each other long?" she wonders as she observes the momentary affection as the race begins, and she listens to his explanations for each of the other racers, seemingly making a mental note. "I'll have to make a point to meet them all eventually!" she grins over at him, and she gives a cheer again for the racers.
The approach of Anisha gives her pause and she looks at her with a widened gaze. "Do I know you?" she wonders before she shakes her head. "Oh no, of course not! This is a wonderful event you're running and a pleasure to meet you. As he says I'm Sylvana Leporidae, formerly Chatreuxe-DeVirre of Brindleberry Wood."
Sydney quips back over her shoulder to Samira, "If you did, it'd make me glad to see it too, I'm quite sure!" Her inattention gets her almost-sliding in a puddle of mud she'd failed to notice, and cursing briefly under her breath, "Sharding mud!"
"The determined woman is Sydney the Waterfall, a known brawler, darling friend, and the people's champion of 1011," Anisha notes with a smile to Orland and Sylvana. "And honestly, I'm thrilled to have you - the crowds and the contestants make the event, I just make it happen," She points out, with a smile. "Still, with credit due to the late Master Josephine and to her family, I'm thrilled to have the privilege - and of course, none of these would be possible without sponsors - Like the dear old Count. He's poured a considerable amount of coin into this, matching and exceeding several great houses," She points out. She inclines her head to Sylvana. "Well met. Your Liege is my patron, as it so happens, and she's quite wonderful to have," She notes, with a bright little smile. Pausing, regarding her. "I don't know if - Oh! Chatreuxe-DeVirre? I was invited to a party there once. You must give my regards to the Baroness. I've become quite fond of the Brindleberry Wood."
As they move from the Docks to the Lowers, Savio's songs find much cheer, and the Crowd parts and guides him along the way, massively increasing his lead. Sydney barrels on through, passing Giorgio. At least the other Pontebro is still in earshot. Arion, skipping along, slips past Svana, Samira, and Lore - the Grayhope and Cullers welcome in the Lowers, and the Artiglio holding her own. Zyxthylum, too, has a certain amount of recognition here, and somehow, a bit of a fan club. While Zakhar still has kittens that are more of a priority than the race.
Giorgio runs on into the Uppers, and for now it actually seems like he is speeding up. "Excuse me, pardon me, thank you... Have you seen my brother? Trip him!" he calls out to the people spectating as he weaves in and out, trying to catch up to Savio. It would seem that the two Pontebros are mostly just concerned with beating one another. Savio's pants now have several new rips in them, his once long sleeved shirt is now some sort of muddy vest, and that poor hat.... it's just ruined.
Zakhar checked command + manipulation at difficulty 25, rolling 6 lower.
"I'll get into the habit of racing in dresses then. Y'know, for next time," Samira calls ahead jokingly to Sydney. She lifts a hand to brush mud from her cheek, the attempt only serving to smear it further across her face instead. "Hi, bye!" Calling this over her shoulder to a few familiar faces she might recognize in the Lowers, she follows the pack toward the Uppers, picking up her pace with a burst of speed despite the less familiar surroundings.
"Has it been just a few days arrived?" Orland hmms softly, "I thought it was longer. Well, I hope you find it easy enough to settle in." A brow lifts at the marriage, "Which marriage?" He did not get a memo on that, but that's likely because he's just meeting her for the first time! The question of how long Orland's known Savio has him tick out the months on his hand, "Five and a half months? But we haven't been together that whole time, friends first. We sort of didn't know the other one was into men until our friend Raven helped us clue in. At least helped me clue in." He looks toward the race, losing sight as the runners go down streets and whatnot they can't see from here, "You really should. There's such a unique cast of personalities. Nobility sniff at such people, but I think, these folks, they're more free than the rest of us to simply be who they are. Free in some ways, not in others though. Always a balance isn't there?"
Orland looks up to Anisha whom announces a name to the woman he couldn't place, "Oh she won the 1011 games?! Wow. Alright, wish I would've known that. Now I do. Thank you."
Right Ho! ... Oh. Oh... No... "Hallo Nob'es! 'ust headings..." Zakhar looks around to where the cats might have gone off to then looks back at the guard. Scratching his head for a moment, then looking at the guard he flashes a grin. "Didja evers see someone tryingsy te throw a cats at ye before, eh?" The guard looks at the old man and is about to ask him where exactly he thinks he's heading off to, then there's a kitten hissing at the two them. "Looksy! fonditjat dem!" With that he wanders off as the guards are trying to figure out what exactly just happened.
Passing through the Visitor's Gate well behind of Savio, the winding streets of the Lower Boroughs opening up before her into the expansive Upper Boroughs, its obstacles less narrowly placed. With a sliding skid, Sydney frees her boots of some excessive mud until the streaking slide comes to a stop, and with boots newly cleared of slipperiness, she is able to open up, charging ahead and closing some of the distance between herself and the frontrunner, even as others find success behind her. Also a motivating factor.
Rounding a corner from the visitors gate, Lasha seems to be heading in the direction of where something seems to be going on, slowing as he eyes the crowd through one eye and then spots his betrothed and Orland amongst the mass of people. He starts to trudge through the people in order to cross paths with Zakhar, slowing to kiss the grizzled Merc on the cheek if he can manage it. If not he at least waves before his other arm lifts to give Orland a gesture in greeting.
"Oh you know my mother?" Sylvana says cheerily. "The Baroness is my mother! I'll be sure to send her your regards, anybody she's seen fit to visit Brindleberry is sure to be in her highest esteem," Sylvana smiles, a flicker of a blink before she meets the Softest's gaze again. "And the Praefecta has been so accomidating to me since I've arrived, she would truly be a wonderful patron. I should perhaps look into finding a protege of my own but I am in no hurry, I need to find someone that can truly keep up with me in the forests," Sylvana gives a pleasant laugh. To Orland she nods. "Yes, only a few days but I have been getting my bearings and meeting as many people as I can, and I haven't gotten into trouble yet so I think Mother will be pleasantly surprised!" She gives a nod and chuckles. "Well that is the hardest part at times isn't it? You never want to assume until you're sure. Raven though? Dark haired woman? Nice hat?" she wonders with a considering nod. "I just met her earlier today, what a small world!"
Savio chances a look back at the competition to spot that Giorgio has utterly ruined his hat. It used to be quite a nice hat! GASP.
"Why you gotta treat me so unkind?!
You dope, that hat was hard to find!
My trousers, ripped, and such a mess
And now you've made my shirt a vest?
I'd kick your ass if we weren't blood
But for now I guess I'll settle for MUD!"
Might he be doing better and not let Sydney pass him if he was focused, instead of using part of his brain to repeatedly taunt Giorgio in rhyme? Y'know.... maybe.
Zyxthylum looks very confused but waves none the less to the people calling his name. At one point he tries to clear his vision with a muddy hand, his face, his hair, and yes, everything is now completely caked in mud and offal. His little shuffles cause him to slip in place for a bit before he can get going again.
3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, Torsney, an attentive high strung law clerk arrive, following Natasha.
"I think you were already together when we first met, Lord Orland," Anisha notes. "Or at least, that was the air I got." She gives a little wink to him. Then shakes her head. "No, she was the People's Choice in 1011. I believe she did her best, but didn't place overall in the top 3 or take any of the contest crowns." She squints - as the group is heading for the uppers, they are going to be WELL out of sight. "And now you know, Lord Orland. We improve ourselves and the world as best we are able, with every breath, mm?" She offers, as a wink. Glancing to Sylvana, she brightens. "Oh, indeed. Baroness Hope had me come for the ceremony - and then we brought Dame Leola, so she could appreciate the would - Paladin of Creation and all," She explains. "I don't recall meeting you on my visits there, but, well. You know how overwhelming the wood can be to an outsider, I'm sure." She taps at her lips. Considering. Exhaling. Glancing as runners come in to report who's passing where first.
As the group pass into the Noble's district, Savio is still comfortably ahead, but Sydney is gaining. Giorgio is being left behind, but, annoyingly, remains in earshot. Samira's burst of speed carries her past Arion again, while Svana effortlessly talks her way past the guards and hurries along. Lore is barely in sight of Zyxthylum as his efforts continue to pay off, and as Zakhar enters the Uppers after his mishap with the guards, he can see the corpse-man ambling in the distance.
It is as the race begins to enter the market that Giorgio begins to turn up the heat. These are his streets! He is a merchant! A Merchant Prince! And as such, he begins to speed up, calling out to people ahead of him to make a path for him and to close it up for Savio, intent on gaining on his little brother! Where Giorgio is concerned, this is a race between just the two brothers.
Zakhar checked strength + brawl at difficulty 20, rolling 6 higher.
Lasha watches Zakhar make his way past, and then he starts down the way towards Orland, giving a rumble even as his footsteps give an easy swagger approaching the nobleman. "Ya know that man's gonna 'ventually hurt himself 'gain and did I see a damned cat peekin' around here?" he wonders looking about for the pack of critters as if trying to piece together the whole mess grumbling, "I get back from market and the man's gotten himself in a tiff already."
Orland waves to the contestants as they run around, but he looks back to Sylvana, "Apologies, but I don't know your former ... house? Chatreuxe-DeVirre Brindleberry Wood...?" ACK Cat. Where did he come from? Probably part of Zak's kitten caboodle. NO really, it was a kitty belonging to Orland. It was probably with him all along. Or something. It now pounces up onto his lap and he gets all affectionate with it, handing Sylvana his popcorn to have and hold, if she'd like, otherwise it's scrunched between them as he kitty cuddles then lets it curl in his lap. DAWH. "Were you getting married?" He asks Sylvana again, though he nods, "Yes that's Raven. She's a very close friend of mine, when she's not throwing me over her ship railings." He grins, though deadpans, "It truly isn't." He tilts his head to Anisha, "Possibly. I've only been back to Arx since May. I met him in about August." He grins a bit, "I'm pretty smitten." For a moment he listens to Anisha, "Every day there's something that can be improved." Out of the blue he asks, "So what's a Paladin of Creation?"
Zyxthylum has slowed to an easy walk at this point. He is not a runner on a good day and judging by the limp, this isn't a good day. He steals a few splashes from a horse trough to help clear the mud from his good eye, hobbling along at his own pace.
Orland looks toward Lasha, "Hey. Come have a seat." He offers to Lasha, with a grin, "He's going to be Zak, as he's always been Zak. You can't change that but you can cheer him on for being the best Zak that we know him to be. He's trying to win, for you Lasha. Probably for money for the wedding or some fancy crowns. Imagine that?" He protectively holds Blue, "This is the kitty he gave me. You know what they say about herding cats." A note, "What tiff?"
The Market. The old man knows his way around the market... in theory. He's still ambling along. Most of the kittens have found their way back to following him. Though there's also a few that have taken to following Lasha now as well, mewing along after the much taller man. Zakhar looks over as the crowd follows along, grinning at Lasha and walks square into a stall.
"Excusses mees..Oh. Ha! Yer a cart!" And then he's pushing off of the cart apologizing to the man that was selling some fruit from said cart, and is also looking at the old man with a question to why would he apologzie to the cart?!
A look of pure determination gleams in Samira's eyes - or maybe they just look shiny compared to her mud-streaked face. She finds her mud-soaked boots slick, slipping and sliding as she runs although she attempts to maintain a consistent pace. "Let's gooooo," she yells. Self-encouragement, perhaps?
Savio is a merchant prince too, Giorgio! Technically. By birth. Truth is he is neither good at the trade and economics that make his family a financial powerhouse in the Chain, nor is he particularly princelike. But like Giorgio, Savio seems to be viewing this as a race between Pontebros and Pontebros alone. In the market area, there is of course, a new song to torment him.
"The Merchant Prince is a fancy boy
All the nobles watching him oh so coy!
Saying 'Giorgio, give us money, please!
We'd like to live a life of ease!
Give me more of those red bloodstones
Some malissite, some bejeweled combs!
Giorgio, bring us silver flutes!
Brocade silk and exotic fruits!'
Oh Merchant Prince, don't get distracted
I know these coins got you attracted
Keep on running quick as you might
Don't get so far behind that I'm not in sight!"
Lasha checks composure at normal. Lasha is successful.
Steady progress. Steady progress. Sydney lives and dies on the fact that while she's not knocking any doors off in any leg in particular, she sure as hell is keeping a steady pace. It's clear that this is where her physical training is kicking in. She chases after Savio. Rather than attempting to weave her way around the foot-traffic, Sydney crosses her arms in front of her, tucks her shoulders in and proceeds to shoulder her way through anyone who gets in her way as she calls out, "A madwoman covered in mud and dung, watch where you're shardin' goin' if you don't want to get just as covered with--" Someone unwisely gets in her way, and she shoulderchecks them down and they go toppling head over heels, "A-As I was /saying/!" For her part, she's not even phased by the contact, given she saw the impact coming. Rude.
He hears the mewing first and then he turns to find a small pack of kittens behind him and the large, very much not cat lover Lasha is stooping down to scoop the little terrors up into his arms and then shoving them into pockets or where he can fit then as he's wearing much too tight clothing to call it innocense. He turns then just in time to see Zakhar run into a cart, and that makes him smirk, and then there's Savio who's taunting Giorgio, and this salted, hard ass of a shav just says, "This a contest or a circus?" his tone amused. At the mention of coin though his tone switches and he's bellowing down the stretch, "Ya best run ya ass like it on fire beau, if ya don't we gonna have slop for the fiest and I'll be wearin' my best sack cloth. Put ya ass in gear like it been whipped by the kiss of fire and with the threat of damned shame!"
"Well, however long it has been, I can already tell you're great together," Sylvana smiles at Orland, her glance looking back over to Anisha. "Well either way it sounds very impressive, she looks like she's giving it her all out there too!" She grins lopsidedly over at Anisha, a tilt of her head towards the softest. "Ceremony? Which ceremony did she invite you to?" she wonders. "I was... absent for a lot of the recent affairs, I was unwell. Now that I'm healthy and whole again, I've decided to do more with my life than just cause trouble for my mother," she winks to Anisha. "I do know exactly how difficult the woods can be! I'll need to meet Dame Leola... Paladin of Creation you say?" she sounds intrigued, and her glance takes on a bit more of an intense thoughtfulness.
She perks up a bit when she's questioned about her house. "Chateruxe-DeVirre of Brindleberry Wood, yes. We're deep within the Grey Forest, very difficult to get to unless you have somebody to show you the way, very dangerous and very easy to get lost. Those that don't have a guide are never heard from again... it's quite sad and we hope to avoid unpleasantness!" she smiles over at him, bobbing her head. "And I'm already married! To Lady Nephele Leporidae. She doesn't get out much but she's a wonderful partner, I hope you get to meet her someday," Sylvana says brightly.
"Hello," Anisha offers brightly to Lasha. "Well met. I am the Softest Whisper Anisha, hostess of this little run. A pleasure - I believe Zakhar introduced us ever so briefly, at the Bravura Exlusive? Lasha, right?" She inquires, with a bow of the head. "I'm terribly sorry - I was frightfully busy that day," She explains.
Smirking and leaving the explanation of Chatreuxe-DeVirre and the Brindleberry Wood to Sylvana. "It's a lot," She confides, to Orland. "And back during the War of Silence, five people were chosen to represent the faith's four Triads, and the Reflection. Dame Leola was one of them, honouring creation, and faced Tolamar Brand in the Hall of Heroes," She explains. "If you seek out Lord Killian Ashford's journals, he wrote a very interesting summary of what they went through." She notes, idly. She picks up a flagon of mead from nearby, and takes a sip, nodding along with Sylvana.
Steady wins the race they say, and sure enough, about halfway through the Market, Sydney finally overtakes the bard, who's coasting on his song a lot and winning plenty of popularity from that. Giorgio, too, keeps gaining, though he's not overtaken his brother. Still, this is, as it were, his home court. Samira, Arion, Svana and Lore all maintain their respective positions as they hurry along, though Svana has almost caught up with the man in the no-longer-pink dress. Zyxthylum is not going to win this race, by any means, but he can see the back of Lore Artiglio - and Zakhar, distantly behind, can see the back of the decrepit one ahead.
Zakhar checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 25, rolling 0 higher.
Lasha looks down at Anisha. And it's a long look down as Lasha is well above six and a half foot tall, and is built more like a redrainer than anyone in the south, more over he's ebon and scarred and it makes the one eyed man look more terrorizing than friendly. That one eye remains on the whisper for the longest moment, sweeping up and down before he says, and it's delivered smoothly, "Ya wearin' enough stones and pretties to feed me and mine for a whole year, and all my clan besides yunno that ya gotta be anythin' but softest to be that kinda dressed up. Ya a whisper yassay now?" It's not even that he's trying to be rude, it's clearly that the casual display of wealth has him not only taken aback, but blinking before he's saying louder. "Run ya bleedin' ass off or I swear ya gonna wish it bleeds when we walk into the hall in nothin' but our skin cause ya too moon eyed to run and instead kissin' carts ya old damn wolf! I ain' made of money!" That unhelpful encouragement given again, he plops down next to Orland to watch the race saying, "...We gonna lose this kerfuffle for sure."
As everyone else picks up their feet and stampeeds to the finish line. Zakhar keeps his ambling pace. Stopping for a moment next to Lasha to whisper some words to the tall man, then patting lightly on his left cheek and psping at the kittens that are all now trying to climb out of Lasha's pockets towards the snow white haired one's shoulder and scarf. There's bit longer of a moment with the kittens then Zakhar is back on his way towards the finish line, simply waving as if he's in his very own parade to all in the crowds that are cheering others on.
Giorgio is joining on Savio. He can see him. Already he is formulating a plan in his mind for how to sabotage his brother, because let's face it. All is fair in this Grand Race of the Pontebros. Savio's poor clothes are hanging off of Giorgio by this point. He looks like a man that has survived for months in a very muddy jungle as all of Savio's attire hangs in tatters off of the 6'4 man as he lopes along, gaining on his brother. "Saaaaviiiioooo! I'm coming for you!" he yells out, decorum forgotten.
In the final sprint down toward the finish line, it looks clear that Sydney's burst of aggression seems to have cost her in terms of stamina. In spite of the cold temperature, she's worked up quite the sweat - which is difficult to clear from ones face without also smearing mud in ones eyes. Still, there's no time for lamentation. She finds herself startled to be in the lead, and a glance behind her makes it clear that she's in quite distinct danger of not /keeping/ it.
Particularly troubling is the way that Svana and Giorgio seem to be surging like bats (my they rest in peace) out of the abyss, and Sydney lifts those legs. Reaching, reaching... the end is in sight. Does she slip in mud? Yes. Does she go down and have to frantically pick herself up right near the finish line? Most certainly. But she is up and scrabbling and is first across the threshold, gasping for breath and looking about in disbelief. "Am I first? Am I? Really?" She gasps for breath, stooping to rest her hands on her knees, chest heaving as she gasps for breath. She turns about to watch as those who ended up mere lengths behind her start to skid in.
"It feels much longer than it has been," the Amadeo notes, "in a good way. My exposure to the Saffron alone has a been an amazing experience to share with him. He took me to a white sand beach, just outside of Pieros. Probably the best day of my life." He says with a quiet reflection. That's where he sort of goes off in a long zone out moment, an aloofness that is attached to some earnest moment of joy. Only when Anisha starts speaking, does he shake himself out of it. Orland turns to listens to Anisha with some obvious interest, "Killian Ashford... sounds familiar? I was a kid when all that happened, in the Lowers at the time too." By the youthfulness of his features, he was... and probably a young one at that. Orland nudges Lasha, "We'll find a way to make your dream wedding happen, Lasha. A win at this race or not."
Khadija, a most lovely voice of reason arrives, following Svana.
Ashe, the studious Stormward paralegal arrives, delivering a message to Zakhar before departing.
Samira finds herself placed firmly in the middle of the pack, knowing there's no chance at a win now. Still haphazardly sliding, she refuses to slow down, flailing as she makes her way toward the finish line. She won't be making the best showing, but she's clearly not willing to give up before the race is truly over.
Zyxthylum is fully winded. He sits down by the side of the race to drink from a little muddy flask that hangs from his neck on a cord. He still wears a big sloppy grin, happy just to come out and get dirty with people.
There is a look of pure horror as Zakhar not only slows, but stops, flirts, whispers, does suggestive things and Lasha looks like he's going to explode as people keep on going then he just gusts out the most dad of dad sighs. At least something the wolf says has him calming but he rests his head in his hands lamenting, "I'm marryin' a moon eyed idiot. And I can't help but wanna be just as abyss damned moon-eyed too..." he looks over to Orland, and says in a growl. "And if ya say a damn word about it, boy I'll put ya over my knee and Savio can watch how he's supposed to handle you." He's so, so, much bluster, but he smiles as the merc takes back off.
Orland checks composure at hard. Orland is successful.
"Now Lasha, I know you're a passionate man, but you can't be saying things like that, it'll simply ruin my reputation and you wouldn't want that to happen, would you?" Orland looks sweetly over at Lasha. His hand pats the other's shoulder, "You are moon-eyed. You show it like a cat who's had their tail stepped on, but at the end of the day, you'll be purring and warm in eachother's embrace. We'll find a way to get what you two need." Lasha is definitely getting a squeeze of a hand, something in his look implied.
"Killian Ashford..." Sylvana thinks a few moments, her eyes seeming to glaze over as she loses sight of everything around her for a few moments. "Sounds familiar yes... I should look into him! Try to see what these paladins are all about!" she offers brightly as her mood seems to pick up. She blinks and looks back at Lasha. "Oh you're Lasha? Lord Orland was just telling me about you... well mentioned you a while ago. Good to meet... you?" she blinks at him, seeming a bit off balance by his mannerisms but she doesn't seem too terribly bothered. "Softest Anisha, I must say it has been a pleasure meeting you here, hope to see you around some more... I feel like there's a lot about the city you can teach me!" she offers a bright smile. She turns her attention back to the race and cheers them on, it's a close race and she feels like they just might make it!
Savio is, somehow, apparently a lovely person who goes to white sand beaches to make memories with Orland in the Chain. It's hard to picture that at the moment from this person who is so mud-soaked his snake tattoo is hardly even still visible, hair all stringy and gross with muck, failing to hold off Sydney because he's too concerned with the sudden reappearance of Giorgio. How did he catch up so fast! Is it conceivable that he could WIN? "NO! Nooo no no no!" Savio laughs at him, and they're so close now that he can't actually make a song or he's definitely going to lose to Giorgio /and/ Sydney.
It couldn't be closer, but Savio manages to stay just one tiny step ahead of his older, taller brother, and he LAUGHS as he crosses the line, instantly just tumbling down into a face-up plop on the ground, breathing hard. Can't get any more dirty anyway. Did Giorgio escape a final song? Of course not.
"Oh no, what's this, no crown for you today
Maybe the true prize was the friends along the way?
I know it's hard to see first and second place denied
You're just not as good as me, but, y'know. YOU TRIED."
He cackles, but he's aware Giorgio is much closer now, and adds, "Don't hurt me!"
Anisha blinks, then inclines her head. "Soft Whispers, Harder Hearts. Those are the Words of Whisper House. And I serve as their Voice - thus, Softest Whisper." She explains, with a little chuckle. Apparently not offended or perceiving any rudeness. Exhaling, waiting for that last run of the group to return. She glances to Orland and shrugs. "He died, during the Gyre War. Sacrificing himself to save others," She explains. "But yes, he was the Paladin of Concepts. Quirking her lips, and inclining her head between the two. "A generous patron is a good help to make such things happen," She agrees, about the wedding. Chuckling at the bluster, and sketching a curtsey. "I'll have to be off, to greet the winner and declare things. But it was lovely meeting and talking to you all," She assures. "Lady Sylvana, I look forward to talking more - Lord Orland, always a pleasure. Messere Lasha - may your wedding be everything you ask for and more."
And with that, she steps back to the stage, getting the crown out, ready for the victor to come to her.Sydney comes into the Square to thunderous applause, and chants of "WATERFALL! WATERFALL! WATERFALL!". Not too far after, the Pontebros are neck and neck, and while there may be some argument in the future, Savio's foot is just a little quicker to land across the finish line. Svana is there, finally managing to outrun Arion, who's being carried to the finish line by exulting crowds, and Samira isn't far behind. Which leaves Zyxthylum and Zakhar, approaching the finish at a leisurely pace of their own.
"Well done, Sydney the Waterfall," Anisha declares bright and proud. "Well done ALL of you!" She cheers the runners on, the crowd on, and leans down to place the crown upon Sydney's brow. "Feast, and be merry, for I give to you the Muddy City Run Champion of 1014!"
The Rising Sun <RS> is now unlocked.
Anisha is overheard praising Faith of the pantheon.
Anisha is overheard praising Bard's college.
Anisha is overheard praising Crafters guild.
Anisha is overheard praising Whisper.
Anisha is overheard praising Grayson.
Anisha is overheard praising Redrain.
Anisha is overheard praising Thrax.
Anisha is overheard praising Amadeo.
Anisha is overheard praising Sydney: A worthy champion!
Anisha is overheard praising Savio: Seconds away!
Anisha is overheard praising Giorgio: Seconds away from second!
Anisha is overheard praising Svana: Still the pride of Grayhope!
Anisha is overheard praising Arion: A shame about the dress, but a thrill about the run!
Anisha is overheard praising Samira: A Culler worthy of the name!
Anisha is overheard praising Lore: Solid efforts!
Anisha is overheard praising Zyxthylum: Still making a showing!
Anisha is overheard praising Zakhar: Spirit, kittens, and a worthy contestant!
Zakhar is overheard praising Amadeo.
Lasha is overheard praising Anisha: She knows how to do a party. Real fancy folk, too.
Zakhar is overheard praising Lore.
Zakhar is overheard praising Anisha.
Lasha is overheard praising Amadeo.
Sydney takes a shuddering breath and lets it out slow. Rather than merely stoically raising a fist as though victory were assured, she's back and bouncing on the tips of her toes, a mud-covered mess of linen, pale skin, and with enough detritus in that fiery auburn mane of hers that it all but assures she'll have to soak for hours to rid herself of it. As Giorgio and Savio cross the finish line, she looks about ready to pounce on them both - but then Savio goes down. Sensing, perhaps, that it might make for an awkward hug to fling herself atop someone on the ground, she instead chooses the next target across, Svana, "I won a round! I actually /won a round!/" This is a first, dang it. And now Svana has a boisterous waterfall getting her /even muddier/. She turns and waves frantically at Anisha. Did she see!? Did she see!? Well, obviously, given she just gave the speech.
Zakhar is overheard praising Lasha: could have hit the guards but held his fists and blew me a kiss instead
Sydney is overheard praising Anisha.
Sydney is overheard praising Lore.
Sydney is overheard praising Zakhar.
Sydney is overheard praising Samira.
Sydney is overheard praising Svana.
Sydney is overheard praising Savio.
Sydney is overheard praising Zyxthylum.
Sydney is overheard praising Arion.
Sydney is overheard praising Giorgio.
Zakhar finally gets across the finish line and instead of stopping heads directly to one of the booths and orders a drink of rum to be mixed with wine, the booth owner simply stares at the old man. But there's silver involved and thus is producing the drink, handing it over to the man. Then Zakhar is pulling out a rag of old cheese and drops a few pieces into the drink. This gets a very odd look from the stall owner, shaking their head. With his drink in hand he heads back to Lasha.
Savio is overheard praising Sydney: A well deserved winner
Zyxthylum huffs and puffs as he makes it back to the tarting line. He is well behind the others, looking like he just crawled out of a swamp or something. He scrapes and claws, but he is going to need a dip in that creek.
Clowder of ten rowdy kittens leaves, following Zakhar.
Sydney takes The People's Tournament - People's Choice 1011 from Rugged Leather Backpack.
Savio has joined the a chocolate-pudding-filled barrel large enough for two men to sit in.
Orland has joined the a chocolate-pudding-filled barrel large enough for two men to sit in.
There's plenty of seafood. There's Bards from the College, playing. There's muddy folk all over, cheering and laughing and comparing stories, with Sydney wearing both her crown from years past and this year, as the fires and lanterns burn merrily, and people celebrate another day of feasts and merrymaking, of derring-do and outrageous runs. And so, into the night it goes, until all are full and probably at least somewhat inebriated.
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