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RP:Kill the Children First

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Part of the Saurian Onslaught Arc

Part of the The God of Undeath Arc

Summary: Gevurah updates Kas on her discovery regarding Alithyk Caluss, namely that he was created by Vakmatharas. Caluss wanted to turn the world undead, so Vakmatharas banished him. Kasyr and Gevurah wonder why Vakmatharas didn’t just kill Caluss? Another mystery to be solved, but to do so, Gevurah needs fulls access to the Temple of Vakmatharas in Trist’oth. She cannot at the moment thanks to the Razurath occupation of the city.

Gevurah and Kasyr plot on how best to ensure Gevurah’s death curse succeeds in killing every single last Razurath. It includes trapping and gassing Razurath children, and other macabre mania.

House D’Artes

Gevurah had assumed that the estate would be large enough to accomodate a vampire guest for a stay of indeterminate length (i.e. a revenant hobo on a teacher’s salary who seems cut off from his Vailkrinian wealth for practical, life-preserving reasons). However, Gevurah and Daath’s week-long silent feud has quickly outgrown even D’Artes stately expanse. No two rooms are far enough apart for their mutually repellant hate. It’s been this way ever since Daath undermined Gevurah in front of Kasyr. The good news is that the trio had places to be: Vailkrin for Daath, the Drow Village of Zaneerh for Gevurah, and the Mage’s Guild for Kasyr. Still, they had work to do, cryptic, arcano, bestial, demonic, martial, and theological questions to answer. Gevurah had come across one such answer and needed to share it immediately with one of her allies. Under different circumstances her first choice would have been Daath, but alas, he hasn’t apologized, and so it is her wifely duty to exclude him. The matron finds Kasyr instead. “Kas,” she says as she barges into his room while knocking, a little late, on his door frame (it’s not like vampires need to bathe, or change out of sweaty clothes, or go to the bathroom), “I found something.”

Kasyr has a habit of sending rooms into disarray. Sometimes, it's due to his penchant for being a disaster magnet, and the ensuing calamity of his battles leveling the surrounding area. (Though, it was not circumstances -nearly- so glorious that saw the Razurath toppling the humble home he'd been holding in Chartsend). However other times, it's simply a by-product of the swordsmans laissez faire attitude towards organisation - which is probably why Gevurah's footfalls are already threatened by some precariously stacked towers of books. Even if she doesn't impact into them, the breeze from the door is enough to send tomes collected from Xalious, The Black Library, D'artes own bookcases, and other sources tumbling in a rustle of pages. Kasyr is right at home in this mess as well, given he's currently sprawled in a half-clothed and disheveled mess on the bed, offhandedly wiping away at a patch of something red and sticky with the back of his hand, while he pores over a copy of Dark Land Deviants Vol 3. Suffice to say, he manages to at least look slightly sheepish about the circumstances, though that might partly be due to the scone that's currently nestled in his lap at the moment- which he deftly moves to cover by lowering the book as he addresses Gevurah, "In the vein of, A reason why it's suddenly a compelling idea to drop a murderous would be snake god on ourselves? An alternative, or something unrelated?" Kasyr's at least seemed to have calmed down a fair bit, if he's cracking wise.

Gevurah squints at the scone in the brief moment that it is in her dim line of sight. A liver, perhaps? While Gevurah is considerably neater than Kasyr, she doesn’t mind his mess (because she’ll never have to clean it). Unfamiliar with ‘Dark Land Deviants Vol 3’, the drowess assumes she walked in on Kasyr looking at spooky pornography. Her dark cheeks flush as she glances towards a pile of more respectable tomes from her own library. “Yes, something very compelling.” She listens for rustling from the bed that would signal to her that the pornography has been stowed away in an under-bed compartment, at which point she moves closer to the bloodsucker (scone sucker?) whom she has found remarkably easy to get along with, if only because he lacks the drow posturing that makes socializing with other drow nobles a nightmare. “I know where Caluss came from. Maybe.” She lifts a thin, weathered book before Kasyr’s face. The leather cover’s tenuous grasp on yellow pages looks as if it would slip at any moment. Inside, the ink has vanished from the pages. She speaks at length, excitedly, at a pace reserved only for theological and arcane study, “I found this mislabeled in the wrong archive in the history stacks at the Black Library in Vailkrin. It’s the journal of a High Priest of Vakmatharas, an elf, who claims that he saw in a vision that Vakmatharas created a son, the God of Undeath. He called him Olissyk Caluss. The name isn’t quite right, but close enough to be a variant spelling. In the vision, Caluss tries to turn every living thing undead, without the need to kill them first, just as I witnessed. Vakmatharas regretted his creation, and banished him to a prison…somewhere. The journal isn’t clear on where, but it couldn’t possibly be any of the conventional planes. Caluss would have escaped sooner, or at the very least detected by creatures from that plane.”

Kasyr isn't quite sure of what to make of Gevurah's reaction, but he's certainly not going to put it to waste- as he promptly picks the scone up from his lap, rustles his way across the bed, and then launches it towards his backpack, which lay open and propped against the wall. For a brief moment, it jostles as creatures within fight over the new addition to its depths, and then settles anew. Kasyr, for his part blissfully unaware of what his textbook is viewed as, his simply set it to one side, having instead reached over to his rolled up copy of "Putting Them In Their Place - A Master's Guide", so he has something to point with. Because, frankly, it's really not the best text on teaching, and the side tangents it goes on are a bit... "I mean, I'll take a maybe, over a lack of leads." For what it's worth, Gevurah has earned herself a captive audience, especially since the whole knowledge is power thing means that maybe he gets to keep the proverbial genie in it's bottle for a bit longer. Ideally, a -lot- longer. "So, he's ...plausibly a creation of Vakmatharas. ...Though, I find it interesting that he chose to banish Caluss, et not unmake him. " The Kensai lapses deeply into thought at this, tapping the rolled up set of papers against his leg as he does, " I wouldn't think him to be hindered by sympathy, considering his domain- so, perhaps . . . unable to? The only thing I could think of, would be if he'd been something more than an Ascendi, peut-etre invested with a portion of Vakmatharas himself. J'en sais pas." Still, despite Kasyr saying that, he still looks fundamentally perplexed. "That doesn't seem right either, however. Or at least, not the whole picture ... Did you discover more?"

Gevurah nods emphatically when Kasyr brings up the same question she had: why didn’t Vakmatharas unmake (aka kill) Caluss? She helps herself to a makeshift stool made of thick tomes and perches herself precariously on the short stack. “Unable to, or unwilling for a reason we cannot yet, ah, ...what’s the word?” Her grip of the common tongue is fluent but not native. She snaps a couple times to prompt Kasyr to finish her sentence for her. “Fathom,” she says at the same time as Kasyr. “This is all I found, but as you say, it is a lead. I will consult the oracle to commune with Vakmatharas myself. I’d prefer to hear it straight from the... bah.” She waves a hand dismissively at her own aborted expression. “The words escape...” She rubs her eyes, “Reading texts in Ancient Elven has really taxed my ability to speak this surface gibberish. As I was saying--Horse’s mouth!” she exclaims suddenly when it comes to her, looking relieved to get that off the tip of her tongue. She grins a little at Kasyr, a rare expression devoid of malice. “The surface expressions are a bit funny, I must admit. Horse’s mouth.” Her grin twists into a near laugh but she doesn’t quite get past a snort. “As I was saying, I need to commune with Vakmatharas, but I need the grand temple here in Trist’oth. I don’t have full access to it until the Razurath are gone. Has anyone in the mages’ club spoken to you about the plan to rid the city of the dinosaurs?”

Kasyr looks weirdly grateful, if only because he's been (rightfully) accused of obsessing over these kind of issues in past- due to the peculiar rogue gallery he's accrued over the years. That, and the linguistic lapse is honestly a fair bit familiar to the swordsman. Still, the Kensai does manage to avoid otherwise chirping up, at least until Gevurah inquires as to 'The Plan'. Considering the expression of curiosity, and the absent manner in which he brushes the corner of his mouth with his thumb- the answer could probably be divined, but he clarifies all the same, "There's an active strategy? I thought people were just murdering them, et occasionally acquiring prisoners of war, et quoi-ce-soit." Way to keep abreast of the situation, Kas. "I mean, I was somewhat expecting regional war strategies, but I didn't realize we were it, en fait. I'd have probably paid more attention." Probably. "So, er, what -es- the plane? Since, the whole communing with Vakmatharas, et getting divine insight onto our imminent twin apocalypses seems fairly relevant, all in all."

Gevurah purses her lips to murmur, “Getting my city back seems relevant too.” The Razurath occupation has been a stain on her record and ego, one that must be scrubbed clean with Razurath blood. “I’ve brewed up a Death Curse. Are you familiar? It’s a brew made through prayer and careful spellcraft to desecrate an area and make it uninhabitable. I’ve been brewing a curse that targets only the Razurath - a tricky thing. Vakmatharas likes to cast a wide net.” She grins darkly, this time full of malice but no less mirthful for it. “One of the guild apprentices, Quintessa, helped me. A student of yours, perhaps?” She continues without awaiting an answer because she actually doesn’t care much about the mage academy class enrollment registry. “It is targeted now to only kill lizards. But, a death curse that covers an entire city… The area is too large. The guild must sneak into the city, hold certain positions and boost the curse’s signal, amplify the area of effect, to cover all of Trist’oth. They’ll have to hold it for a while. The dinosaur children will die within minutes, but some of the hardier, and more protected, adults may last a half hour, maybe even forty-five minutes.” She shakes her head and blinks a couple times to push past her doubts about the probability of this plan’s success. “It’s too much time to be discovered. I’m not quite sure what to do about that yet. I can’t trust my own guards for this. Too many leaks.”

Kasyr is less familiar with the Death Curse than he ought to be, only having heard some hushed statements as to its destructive effectiveness, but having otherwise steered clear of it. That siad, he can't help but look especially thoughtful as she both explains it, and the more ..precise nature of her current endeavour. There's something altogether fearsome about the tactical implications of the endeavour, which has the swordsman scrutinizing Gevurah for a second time, "How long has it taken to prepare this, if I might ask. More importantly, however- is it simply going to leave you with a city full of corpses, or is it apt to annihilate the victims. If you are worried about leaks- I'd say potentially having a city full of undead assailants waiting to happen might necessitate some form of follow up." That bit of weirdly specific insight aside, the Kensai adds, "Would it be possible to start a riot, or some form of... political demonstration to provide a distraction. I'm unsure how long the Razurath have had time to pick up on the Nuance of your culture et the way things are done here, but something to focus their attention while things get underway could certainly help to buy some initial time. Es there anything else limiting how much time things take?"

Gevurah smirks smugly as Kasyr worries about the Razurath corpses being raised as undead. “No chance. That’s why the curse takes so long to kill. It is thorough. The corpses cannot be raised. The God of Death has the power to do that.” But he does not grant his disciples that power instantly because, well, their mortal bodies simply couldn’t handle it. “The curse took three days to brew,” she says simply. “Accelerating the spell would dampen its effectiveness. As for distractions… the arena is often home to big spectacle. It can hold half the city. But once the Razurath start noticing their brethren drop like flies, they’ll look for the source. If you could provide the distraction, or security… revenants are fast, right?” She grins full of malice once more.

Kasyr actually looks relieved as Gevurah explains the mechanisms in a bit more depth, as that more or less pre-emptively resolves one of the dilemmas that had been flickering through his thoughts. The mention of the Arena attended to another. All the same . . . " Historically, I'm not sure, though I imagine I may have contributed a fair amount to the folk lore. I should be able to move rapidly, as long as I know where to go. Instructing the individuals holding down a location to set off a signal of sorts . . . I think I'll need to scout the city to know where they'll be posted. That said, pre-emptively setting up a distraction might work best to buy time. Es there any targets of important to the Razurath? Nursery, ou food stores specific to them- ...things that would be essential for maintaining their hold on the city?" Kasyr is obviously quite committed to this whole, demoralizing the enemy and salting the earth route here. It's not even really all that personal right now, despite the house. They're just... sort of in the way to resolving a doomsday level event, therefore expediting their own extinction event. " Really, just anything that would be worthwhile enough to minimize the amount of groups that will be combing the city. If I can hit a location hard enough, they may even divert a fair amount of forces there." And the Kensai intends to be long gone, by that juncture.

Gevurah brightens at the mention of a nursery. “They are disturbingly attached to their young.” The priestess visibly shudders as she recalls the horrible nursing practice that the Razurath engage in. “There is a nursery at Andon d'Chath, the clock tower. Most of their residencies are around there, the civilian spouses and children too.” She eyes the way the Kensai relishes his presumed role in all this and warns, “Try to keep the clock tower in one piece. It -es- historically significant,” she mimics the way he stresses that particular verb in his native tongue. “So that’s the plan, then? Sneak in the mages, assign them their posts. You launch an attack on the nursery and civilian residencies. I’ll activate the death curse. I’d appreciate peripheral support from you as well. Specifically, regular sweeps of each mages’ station to ensure everything is going as planned. Daath and I will be too busy with the curse itself.” Her lips thin at the mention of her husband’s name. They should probably make up before enacting this plan. “I hear you’re something of a martial phenomenon. I do hope you live up to the hype.”

Kasyr 's reputation has followed him yet again. Though, Gevurah -is- entirely on the ball, since the very moment she'd said something about a clock tower, he'd been in the process of trying to mentally figure out how best to collapse it. The fact that she's so on point in her prediction actually manages to elicit a sheepish smirk from the Kensai, but he nods all the same, "Understood, en fait. Though, I am going to present a significant enough of a threat to rally their people. Still, I can work with that. As for monitoring the outposts, as long as communication can be set up between the attending mages, I'll be able to intervene if one is at risk of being overrun." Already the Kensai's trying to figure out the logistics of this endeavour. Something which he's actually in the process of quietly working out under his breath with all the details he's been provided asofar. "45 Minutes operation time. Young ought to be alive for maximum dismay et disarray, so clock tower within the first five? Not far enough to buy much time in travelling from the arena to the Clock Tower. So... how well they handle et adapt to fires? Between civilian residences catching flame, I'm hoping for 15 minutes, but peut-etre only 10 before they start sweeping to find the source of the curse with the bulk of their forces. ...I think that part hinges on how long it takes them to discover all the young are dead, so providing sufficient motivation to enter the clock tower, but impeding their travel seems important." Kasyr snaps his fingers abruptly, "Do you have any maps of the clock tower kicking around?"

Gevurah sucks her teeth as she tries to think of an effective communication tool for newbie mages. “Yes, I can provide that.” She nods at the timeline to confirm that the young will die from the curse within the first five minutes. “I can give you a lead time to sow disarray. You tell me when to launch the curse.” Maps? “Yes, come.” She leads Kasyr down a hall that ends in a wall that moves like jello and empties into a ballroom that’s more cobwebs than parties. Across the floor the drow and revenant go, into a side room for wait staff, down a flight of stairs that looks straight upon entry but spirals under foot. Somehow they’re in the family den that Kasyr has likely visited by now, but by no entrance he’s ever experienced before. Gevurah pulls a series of maps out from a shallow drawer in a desk and smooths flat a map of the eastern quadrant of the city where the clocktower and arena are located, as well as blueprints for the arena and clocktower. “What about releasing a noxious gas in the nursery and hiding the source of the leak? Send them on a goose chase. Oooh!” she coos excitedly, “You should seal the nursery and trap the children. Slow them down as they try to evacuate the children. You can simultaneously cause a, uh, ruckus, here.” She taps the arena.

Kasyr gets a grin that has been described as Chesire-like in past, at the mention of letting her know when it's time to kick things off. "I can -undoubtedly- find a way to alert you that things are underway." Once Gevurah starts moving, the Kensai falls in line, trying his best to take in the new pathways- despite how befuddling the estates architecture remains. It also should be noted that this is done in his disheveled and semi dressed state, since he's more or less stuck brainstorming lowkey atrocities, his scrolled up parchment now bunched up into his pocket. Still, he has something new to focus on once he's been presented the maps. Points that could be damaged to cut off access to segments of the building without damaging the whole are noted, but ultimately, the Kensai can't help but sigh, " I wonder, How...touchy are they about individuals going near to that area? Would scouting immediately become a fi- " And then Gevurah mentions the idea of trapping the children and Kasyr can't help but clap his hands together before gesturing them both towards the Matron, "Right? Until the obstacles clear, they can't be confirmed as alive or dead, which gives hope, et ensures they'll devote time et resources to it. " The mention of the arena has Kasyr falling a bit quieter, his tongue clicking once. "How likely es Leadership to lead the charge, ou to stay back et try to direct things. To take control of the situation? Splitting their forces -could- afford an opportunity to damage leadership et ensure that their actions are less co-ordinated, oui."

Gevurah shakes her head. “No. Leadership isn’t in the arena. They use the arena for processing slaves and housing supplies, but it is not their central command. The death curse will kill them all, so strategic strikes like taking out supplies aren’t quite as useful.” The way her hand moves over the map, and the way she speaks about strategy reveal her experience leading armies in war. She shrugs as if thinking better of their previous plan, then taps the clocktower and circles the surrounding residences again. “Ignore the arena and focus on the civilian sector and the nursery. It would be easier to keep an eye on them if they are focused on one spot. I would wager the leadership will focus on saving the young. Like I said, they are disturbingly a-a-attached.” She yawns into the back of her hand. “I need to retire. Some of us need sleep to survive,” she says with a sleepy grin. Get it? Cause Kas is a vampire? “I’ll see you in the morning. Try not to eat the staff for a midnight...” She draws a blank again. Her brain is exhausted. She paws a hand dismissively as if to say ‘eh, forget about it.’ She says goodbye to Kasyr with a look and sees herself out. From the hall he’ll hear her call back over her shoulder, “Snack! Midnight snack!”

Kasyr is in the process of withdrawing to his room, so he can mull over the plans, and perhaps combine due diligence and war planning- with teachable moments- but he's not so preoccupied that he can't spare a moment to tilt backwards, so he's looking towards Gevurah's direction, and place a hand over his heart in feigned hurt. "Bonne Soir. I won't avail myself of any appetizers, tonight, je vous promets."