RP:Belles and Balls

From HollowWiki

Part of the What You Leave Behind Arc

Part of the The End's Not Near Arc

This is a Bard's Guild RP.

Summary: Brennia and Nicolau complete a rescue mission when Brennia is reunited with Professor Lanara while Thamalys, Emilia and some hilarious NPCs conduct a fantastic distraction.

OOC Note: These events are running simultaneously until the very end.


Chamber of the Raan

Upon entering this most majestic of chambers, one can immediately take notice of several large seats upon a raised platform, situated at back of the room. These chairs, wrought in fine stone -- white marble or ivory, gilded with shimmering gold -- and laced with hints of silver, perhaps platinum, hint that this place is most definitely frequented by ruling powers of sorts. A level lies beneath these two seats, to each side of the stairway, allowing room for more seating places; not as fine as the topmost seats, but elegant all the same. Another level gives way to yet more seating of the same finely crafted nature, small wings of gold embellished upon the white carved stone. The aforementioned stairway leads upward to the highest chairs, carpeted in the finest of fabrics and though this chamber is obviously in use, not a torn thread nor sign of wear shows upon the dark carmine material.

Lionel || As the distraction team sneaks inside the immaculate Chamber of the Raan via its unassuming western hall, even their own reflections on the pristine emerald-patterned marble floor threaten to reveal their presence to the enemy. Far above, the ornate opal railings of several higher levels are occasionally leaned-on by patrolling avians and -- alarmingly -- battle-ready orcs loyal to Kahran. The orcs’ audible snarls play at open odds with the regal austerity of their surroundings. The wide hallways and massive central alcove of this most sacred place are all decorated with purposeful pride to give a feeling of avian nobility. It’s too bad all the outward-conveyed pride in the world could not save them from subjugation by dark forces within their ranks. Up ahead some thirty-odd meters, past numerous thick gold-sheeted columns which stretch all the way to the building’s distant painted glass ceiling, avians float just a few scant inches above the marble floor, patrolling the route. They are dressed in steel plate and boiled leather jerkins, and they carry metal rods with cruel hooks on each end. The distraction team has not had an easy time getting here. Arrivals and departures at occupied Schezerade are closely-monitored; doubtless this would have been more difficult without Thamalys’ intimate knowledge of the city. The streets outside the Chamber of the Raan are walked dutifully by orcs and blubbery, hideous amphibian slaadi. As the conquered native bird-folk are put to chains and forced to toil desperately to aid in the construction of barracks for additional battalions and wicked shrines for the perverse and genocidal rituals of Kahran’s wraithen commanders, the wraiths themselves survey the zone, their telepathic magics helping to suss out any willful malcontents and put them to the scythe immediately.

Lionel || But the team has made it past all that, reaching the Chamber of the Raan in high hopes of doing something, anything, that will give Brennia’s crew the chance they need to rescue innocent lives from the bardic-college-turned-nightmare-castle further into Schezerade. Now, Thamalys, Emilia, and three Alliance soldiers named Tilly, Anthony and Rekha stand in close proximity to one-another within the western hall. Tilly shakes her head, letting her gorgeous red locks of hair fall in bundles below her shoulders. Anthony, a man of forty-some years with short-cropped blond hair and a permanent scowl, is as agitated as any human war recruit in one of the hearts of Kahran’s majesty. And Rekha, dark-skinned with matching eyes that assess her surroundings, is the first to speak up. “If there is anything in the city that can sufficiently divert avian attention, it will be here,” she whispers. “Lionel’s orders were clear: you know this place, Thamalys, so we’ll follow your lead.” Tilly bites her lip awkwardly and scurries out of visibility range of the upper levels’ railing just as a pair of orcs glance down from on-high. Anthony and Rekha are only seconds later in the retreat, and, hopefully, Thamalys and Emilia will either hide or otherwise incapacitate the foes before they’re spotted. Regardless of how the situation is handled, Tilly will follow Rekha’s whisper with one of her own. “The Chamber of the Raan has warning bells, doesn’t it? Big, big bells. We’re talking massive,” she giggles oafishly, “and maybe that’ll do the trick? But I’m just thinking out loud here, ser,” Tilly straightens up in an over-the-top, amateurish manner, bowing subserviently to Thamalys. Anthony gaggles and blanches at her. He’s silent, but his face says, ‘we’re doomed.’

Emilia had yet to venture out beyond the comfort of her greenhouse in Frostmaw since the loss of her right hand, which presently sat perched on her right shoulder. The severed had shared a elemental magic connection with the Healer allowing it to still function after being removed so long as it remained within a general distance of the icy woman, beyond that point it would cease to move. Long white curls were pulled back into two long braids falling to skim just above the ground instead of dragging along as a trip hazard. Emi was clumsy enough. The Healer’s normal attire consisting of a upper form fitting white spring gown was accompanied today with satchel over one shoulder hanging down between thigh and waist of the little lady. One would assume this bag to be filled with supplies needed for the chosen profession of the female, yet watching it closely it seemed to wiggle and shake every now and then. Whatever was filling the bag appeared to keep it overly stuffed. Standing alongside Thamalys, the three others whose names Emi would never remember later, and her own hand the Genasi leaned back against the wall out of sight as onlookers stared down from above. This had been no easy task in getting into the city, but the present chilly fog outside creeping over the city was an aide indeed. A skillful combination of the Blue’s flames mixed with the chill of the icy woman while traveling gave the distraction team a small cover to work with while giving the rescue team a future aide in movements farther into the city. Once the fog started it just continued to spread over the city. If only they could use that inside the Chamber of Raan safely. Listening to the whispers as the bag at her side wiggled again and Em lightly patted the bag as if to still it. Looking at the pair of three it gave Emi an idea, “I think that if the three of you can manage to make way to the bells and ring them to turn the city on us Thamalys and I can go in the other direction with ice and fire to get you a clear path. Thamalys...if you pretend to be one of the scouts you could begin an attack at me with fire and I can backfire with ice in return?” All hushed whispers to keep from being heard by the mass amounts of troops guarding the city.

Thamalys dared not to abandon the cold comfort of the marbly wall, against which the whole of the Blue was literally spread upon. So much effort already went into reaching such a privileged position within the very core of the Flying City - frankly, the Avian would have bet some stupid move from one of the three of the Alliance would have betrayed their intrusion by that stage, but that occurrence still did not materialise itself. Yet, that is. Clad in an awfully long robe, darkest than the pitch black of a moonless night, the Spellblade stood utterly still, barefooted as per usual, the only colour within his shapes the silvery gleams reverberating from those wings - albeit neatly furled - as well as from the cumbersome amount of embroideries (un)evenly distributed across said robe, ancient threads of stars and root. The Gossamer Halberd could not possibly accompany the five of them on that dire evening - instead, the Healer opted for a couple of long daggers, which anyone else but an Avian would have probably labeled as swords instead, neatly laced around a leathery belt running across his tattooed shoulders. Thus, all the players have been gathered, and all the cards eventually rested on the table - time for the magnificent, long-pondered plan of Genasi and Avian to be elegantly executed. If only such a plan existed. Perfectly in line with the very nature of those two beings, in fact, the inspiration from the marvellous chaos that was bound to decorate the quiet of the Chamber took form within a mere two sentences of the Wintry Lady. For a split second, the eyes of the Blue widened in (mild, or not so very mild after all…) surprise before the Winged Beast, without to much of a nod of agreement, literally burst into a feathery angel of perfectly pretended rage. “How - dare - you…” screamed the Avian on top of his lungs, positioning himself right in the very middle of the emerald space, wings unfolded in a huge silvery curtain bound to get - anyone’s - attention, a bony finger pointed squarely in the direction of the Ice One, only a few steps away, the face of the Spellblade distorted in a horrible grin dripping outrage by the minute. “How dare you enter this very Chamber, you wingless filthy creature? You shall pay dearly for your insolence! Brothers, to me!” went the Blue, waving his hands meanwhile, massive gushes of blue flames already pouring from thin air, growing from the floor, engulfing the shape of the Avian himself. A proper wall of burning destruction, which - amongst other things - should have managed to give the three soldier the shelter they needed to try and make their way toward the bells.

Lionel || Tilly tries very, very hard not to glance overlong at Emilia’s rustling bag. She’s only somewhat successful. Tilly, however, is utterly incapable of preventing her pretty green eyes from widening in shock at the hand quite literally hanging out atop the Genasi’s shoulder. There are some things Tilly can contain; for everything else there’s autonomic deer-in-lantern-lights fascination. Young and impressionable, she does her best to remind herself that Emilia has already proven herself invaluable on the team’s way into the Chamber. Whatever’s in her satchel -- and, indeed, whatever the reason she has an appendage affixed to her person -- there’s bound to be a reason for it. Anthony, however, is far less considerate. “What’s with the hand?” he murmurs. Rekha ribs Anthony to behave, shooting him a brief glare but maintaining her focus on the mission environs. She draws her bow and nocks an arrow, nodding to Emilia’s plan. The orcs overhead grumble weak noises and continue down their course, knocking over a pair of ivory vases worth more than a year’s meals at the small village from which they were abducted and mind-wiped into troops for the cause.

Lionel || The noise causes Tilly’s face to turn as pale as Anthony’s, but she swallows and regains her resolve. “You’ve got it, chief. Well, chiefs. You’re both chiefs in my book.” She smiles the realm’s most forced smile and takes three steps forward to lead the way for Anthony and Rekha… when, quite suddenly, Thamalys erupts into a tempest. “Oh my gods above,” Tilly blurts, panic pushing her into a sprint. Thankfully, the other two Alliance soldiers are just as fast or faster; Rekha takes the lead, and they lunge down the most shadowy spaces they can find, careful of the sounds of their footsteps, as the steel-plated avians up ahead come bolting to Thamalys’ beck and call. “Your insolence, yeah!” One of the avians has latched on to the spell blade’s battle cry so thoroughly as to become an echo of the man’s falsehood. “Your insolence -- you’re going to pay!” Clearly, this fellow hardly has a brain of his own. The avians raise their hooked rods and make ready to surround Emilia like vultures to a spotted rat. Meanwhile, Tilly’s crew locates the bells, and Rekha looses an arrow upon the head of a lone orc. Tilly climbs over the orc’s corpse too politely, wincing, and Anthony sends a volt of magical lightning at a second orc shortly before she spots them, zapping the orc down to the marble floor in a thump. “Just gotta ring the bell,” Tilly says. “How hard can that be?” She meanders over to the colossal embellished bells, reaching for a rope, and throws her strength into sounding it off like a gong. It’s so loud that it almost knocks them all aside right then and there. “Well” Tilly can barely hear herself say, “that happened.”

Emilia as if on perfect cue let out a most high pitched shriek, one that sounded of ice shattering, echoed throughout the hall the moment that Thamalys finished pointing her out in the middle of enemy territory. A most perfected look of shock plastered on that freckle dusted face as the ear shattering sound left her lips to go along with the play about to happen within the Chamber. It was enough to stagger and stun some of the oncoming patrol for a moment. Beyond the wings of the avian the Genasi just barely caught sight of one such orge falling over the ledge of the upper level crashing into the level below with a most loud thud mixed with the crumbling of chairs. The flames reflected in those icy eyes of the Genasi as she turned her sights back upon the one who dared to out her, a wingless creature, in a city prided on their wings. Lifted her hands, well erm hand and stump, the Genasi left forth a gust of icy wind that blasted in the direction of the robed avian. It was a whirlwind mixing with the flames rising around the man, spinning and twisting between the opposing, yet actually not, sides. Emilia facing Thamalys along with his fellow avians sporting hooked rods all aimed at her with a miniature tornado made of fire and ice forming in the gap between herself and them. Little spikes of ice flying out of the spinning mass along with small bursts of blue flame balls. No words left the lips of the Healer, what was she supposed to say that could be heard over the roaring wind in the Chamber. The small woman herself was sliding backwards little by little as the winds continued to pick up. Righty, the black-ice hand, leapt from her shoulder crawling along the floor like a spider went charging at the patrols daring to sneak up on the Genasi from behind. Nails like spikes of ice impaling into the exposed face as it sprung from the floor, obscuring vision with the most unexpected of attacks. Who expects a hand to just appear? Emilia has her own attention focused on controlling the ever growing collision of two elements ready to burst into chaos at any moment while she waited to hear that bell ring, if those three ever managed to...alas the bell tolled and Emi dropped her hands letting the elemental fire-icenado burst out like an explosion in the middle of the Chamber of Raan.

Thamalys was fairly pleased with the overall effect of his stunt - but for the fact that having all those Avians answering his violent call without so much of a hesitation brought some sadness into that euphoric mix indeed. The bell tolled - for whom? The entire City most likely, as the bang managed to even displace the flight of some of the winged troopers, who found themselves swaying into the piping hot air. But that, that was nothing if compared to what happened the moment fire and ice came together. The Blue had only a brief moment when, within the swirling vortex of pointy crystal needles and liquid merry flames, he managed to connect his gaze with the Ice Genasi in front of him. The monumental effort the two were splashing into that ordeal was still not enough to wipe out completely a smile that looked exquisitely childish on them both. Just a fraction of a second, though, then the Chamber as whole would have been shaken from its ground to its very top, emerald slates emerging from the floor, entire columns shattered into pieces. The confusion was beyond description. Those Avians that were still in the air would have been shoved onto what remained of the walls - the orcs would have probably limited themselves to yell like wounded dogs. The Winged beast did not care. Letting both of his hands eventually resting on his sides, he would have dashed along the line where his fire met her ice, dangerously threading upon all sort of hurdles, trying to circumvent the roaring epicentre of that ruin to reach the Wintry Lady. An especially old, clever traitor eventually sniffed the whole thing out. “You…” only managed to utter, though, before the two blades of the Blue separated the head of that trooper from the rest of him. Avian blood, by his own hands, into the Chamber. “By the Wind…” found himself pleading the Spellblade, now running toward the Wintry Lady at double the speed, blades already sweated once more. “Those three - we cannot let them behind!” shouted on top of everything the Avian once he managed to reach the Genasi, frantically pointed toward the bells.

Lionel || [Chamber of the Raan: The Avians] The avian patrol is fighting a battle on more fronts than they’d expected. Two of the men swing their rods in a batting motion toward the hand, spinning their lithe bodies into twists to avoid the brunt of the hand’s own destruction. One of them is not quick enough and takes icy nails to their cheek and jaw and nose. Yelping in pain, he collapses, dropping his weapon and clawing at his own face as it melts away in cold death. The survivor of the hand’s fury hardly has time to count her blessings. She -- and the rest of her peers -- are tossed like ragdolls into the air, where even their wings can do little and less to steady them. Orcs come tumbling down and snapping gruesomely from above. The whole place seems to have erupted in a blazing blizzard of ignominy. A full squadron of avians from the uppermost level of this sacred space come diving down with their hooked rods held forward, seeking to impale Emilia in the fashion that a skilled fisherman might barb a great big trout in the open seas, but their trajectory is blasted off-kilter by the wind and debris of a crumbling hall, and three of them are impaled by their own rods while four more are covered in marble and stone and gold and bronze, crushed into pulp and sinew.

Lionel || [Chamber of the Raan: The Alliance] “This is ridiculous,” Anthony rasps, sliding across the floor as the walls come corkscrewing in on the three Alliance soldiers. “This is so far above my paygrade,” he complains, casting a small spell of gust to reposition the walls just perilous meters from crushing them all. “Shut -up,-” Rekha hisses, firing another arrow at an orc as the trio begin to race wayward of the too-loud bells and retreat back from whence they came. But a hideous creature, skeletal and robed, draws its scythe and wails noises in an ancient tongue. It is a wraith, and it emanates evil with its every step, and each of these steps seems unfazed by the destruction left in Thamalys’ and Emilia’s wake. A black vortex of pure darkness billows off the wraith’s bony fingertip and roars toward Tilly, who, contrary to her flighty nature, bravely stands in front of her companions and suffers a rib-shattering toss onto the floor for it. “Tilly!” Anthony shrieks and lifts her up, but the wraith moves forth at uncanny speed and swings the serrated scythe in an arc. If Thamalys and Emilia don’t hurry, these three will be done for…

Emilia would have were it not for the metal coating her bones beneath icy flesh been blown out of the Chamber hall at the moment the elements collided into an explosion. Instead, her small body was slammed by sheer gusting force into the wall behind her as upper level marble came crashing down littering the ground with a terrible mess. Surely, with that ground shake and the incaving of the Chamber the city would be on high alert and turning its forces toward them now. Closest to the blast of ice and fire the icy woman looked almost like a porcupine with the shards of ice sticking out of her flesh, parts of which had been burnt by the outward embers of fire. Lucky for the tiny lady the air-driving squad had been knocked off course, saving her from being skerwed with to death. With a grunt of a groan after having the wind knocked out of her the Genasi pushed off the wall behind her just in time for the sounds of more cracking echod in her ears. Preparing for the worst the Genasi covered her arms over her face while darting away from the wall toward the sounds of the Blue, barefeet suffering from the debris on the ground. As Emi lowered her hands to see the head rolling along a odd-squeak like shriek let loose from that bag of hers before the flap flew open and from inside the once rocking bag a small winged beast emerged. It was a cross between something bird like and horse like in the most tiny of forms, a baby hippogriff. The heat from the explosion was enough for the mysterious egg to hatch. It was a wobbling flight path, but the creature took flight leading the way of the Blue and the Healer toward where the bell tolled. In a mad dash the short legs of the Genasi worked double time to keep up with the long strides of the avian before her. In the midst of the chaos that dark hand of hers had taken to climbing along one of the disheveled braids of the Genasi to sitting atop her head, perched and ready to claw another face. Reaching the trio was not easy making way over crumbled ruins of Chamber and dead bodies, but as she arrived there was darkness in the air, Em could taste it in her mouth. All this darkness in the city felt so familiar to her, like that which her former husband leaked, made her skin tingle and something inside her twist to life. A mental fight for the icy one now as she focused on task of getting the trio, the hippogriff, and the Blue out alive as well as the rescue crew. Raising her hand the Genasi allowed a gust of winter cold blast to emit forth at the creature of darkness with hopes of knocking it off course.

Thamalys had only very little time to marvel at the little-winged-horse who just came to life properly - immediately showing what sort of breed he was by carving his way toward the endangered Alliance trio. No point for the Blue to try and fly upstairs - too many debris, not enough space, and such a massive target for whoever meant harm. At that stage, quite a few, apparently. As such, the Spellblade would have just followed the Wintry Lady up the crumbling stairs, winding their way toward the bell. Deadly streaks of something halfway between blue flames and metallic snow still drifted into the air, disrupting even the keen sight of the Avians. Once upstair, the Winged Beast realised too late what sort of threat the trio of younglings were trying to deal with. A patch of darkness ahead, the rims of some ancient robes floating mid-air, and all around that awful roar, filling the Chamber whole. Absentmindedly, the Avian noticed a lot of crimson staining his own robe - was it is own? No time to tell, as the Icy One summoned some more winter upon the old spectre, managing to displace it from the line of sight separating the duo from the trio. “Now!” shouted the Blue, plainly pointing downstairs in the hope those Alliance’s soldiers would have managed to overcome the fear of that deadly thing to run toward an only slightly safer ground. The wraith hissed, an ominous sound, one of a creature perfectly in control again - and ready to deliver. The ghostly shadow would have moved toward Genasi and Avian alike, but by then two blades would have shined in the hands of the latter, painting elegant arcs into the air - just before smashing into the evil in front of them, the black steel would have come to life, the entirety of the blades glimmering in blue flames. Not enough to dismantle a wraith, granted, but those foes never used to like fire after all. With a monstrous shriek, the spectre backtracked a tad bit, the flaming blades turning into ashes already. There was only one option left. “Run!” went the Blue without any trace of shame, actually picking up the Genasi while madly descending the stairs, hopefully the trio ahead of him already.

Lionel || [The Chamber of the Raan] The wraith swirls around to face the Genasi, contempt plain in its pale, glowing blue eyes. The scythe takes Emilia’s wintry chill, slashing through it like butter, but her magic still forces the wraith to recoil. Its slender torso hits what’s left of a table and it hisses, seethes, and launches itself toward Emilia in a maddening dash, scythe held upright. The deathly muscles in the thing’s forearms tense as it raises the scythe high and slices through the air with intent to cleave through Emilia. Wraiths are wicked creatures with unnatural resilience and superhuman perception, but anger one to a boiling point and it’s as open for surprise attacks as any common brigand. It should never have turned its back on Rekha’s flame-kissed arrow; Anthony, hoisting the moaning Tilly up into his arms, was ever-so-gracious to light a flame on that arrow’s tip, and Rekha, hard features softening to wink, pulls back on her bow and watches the arrow soar. “You did good,” Anthony tells Tilly in warm confidence, to the scene of the back of a wraith’s cloak catching flame and confounding the fell creature. It squeals accordingly when avian and Genasi blue-fire blades reach it, compounding heat into multicolored inferno. It roars into the fray once more, all hellish glints and vengeance, as the Alliance soldiers rejoin their partners and blitz out from the crumbling structure and… into a city under siege. Renne’s soldiers are everywhere on the far end of Schezerade, and two sizable battalions headed by the woman herself are advancing from the bardic college in the distraction team’s precise direction. It won’t be long until they’re spotted, and what savvy tricks will Thamalys have ready that can possibly prepare them for hundreds of trained killers? Whatever these five are going to do, they’d better do it now. “Cute bird,” Tilly groans at Emilia’s hippogriff, trying so damned hard not to think about their collective pending doom.

Emilia holds out her hand allowing the oncoming wave of wind to keep pushing forth toward the monster going at the trio of the Alliance while ushering with her hand for the three to get their runnings shoes moving down the stairs. The little flying hippogriff baby circled the room before soaring back down the stairs leading the troops the best it could along the path most safe for them to travel. Emi is bleeding from the feet where debris is impaled in her bare feet, random puncture wounds from the previous ice spikes, and lucky she cannot feel the places where her flesh has suffered third degree burns, yet she is still managing to put up a fight, a bit windless. Without warning she has been tossed over the shoulder of the avian as if she was nothing but a sack of potatoes facing the incoming figure of the darkness. A deep inhale as Emilia watched the arrow hit the creature catching its cloak on fire making a distraction for the distraction team to bolt outside into the streets of the city once more. The fog was still clinging low to the ground from earlier making it hard for both the good and the bad guys to see, but it was starting to thin itself out. A small whisper to Thamalys, “I think I have enough energy in me for one last major gust of wind if we can last until the signal. That should be able to knock them back enough for you to take flight….” In this moment she would wait, letting the Alliance and Thamalys take the fight while she ready her hand and stump for one last moment of winter to sweep through the city streets all the while praying to see that signal.

Thamalys kept running, barely making sense of the way too many shapes clouding his vision. At one point Tilly groaned a noise that meant pain, but the three of them were moving steadily still. Beyond them, the wraith chased, definitely irritated by the very fact those pesky victims would not immediately yield to their death - how fascinating. The descent of that odd party continued, the Wintry Lady brandished in the same fashion of a frosty crossbow, piercing whatever dared to threat what could have easily been labeled as a desperate attempt to flee. A turn approached, a good opportunity for the Blue to gaze upon their pursuer. “Would you - die - already?” growled the Winged Beast, summoning a magnificent replica of the actual hippogriff hovering all around the escapees - only ten times bigger, and wholly made of splendid blue fire. Even the undead had to halt for a good while, fairly bewildered about the mere thought of dealing with such flaming hurdle. Such a display took some toll on the Spellblade, though, his already pale complexion now turning into a sick shade of sapphire, the ink covering most of his skin writhing desperately. Dodging massive pieces of stone and some more orcs, the five intruders eventually made it out of the Chamber… into another frying pan. An impressive display, the one led by Renne, lines and lines of steeled soldiers ready to skewer the Alliance one by one - a part of the Blue felt even flattered. The Icy One comment did not go amiss, though: “what? The five of us? By the Wind, I will need you to make a real effort there… very well, we shall wait.” And with that, he called to himself the three soldiers, forming a spiky, desperate cluster ready to be slaughtered by the advancing, metallic tide. “To those of you with wings! Shame on you, bastards! Shame!” he would have spat the Blue addressing the way too many traitors in those polished ranks. That much he had left - that, and the hope that the Genasi had in her enough magic still to pull them out all from something that smelled like death already.

Lionel | Tilly’s shattered rib sends surges of pain through her chest and abdomen. She spits blood and nearly faints at the sight of it. Tilly has never been great with blood. “There’s, like, a legion of troops getting ready to kill us, isn’t there, Anthony?” Anthony grimaces and waves his free hand about. “I don’t know if I’d call it a legion, per se, but then, I’ve never made it a point to understand military jargon, Tilly.” Emilia’s chilly fog enshrouds them and they join Rekha in heeding Thamalys’ call, huddling together as much for warmth as for momentary safety. “I have,” Rekha confirms. “It’s a legion.” Her voice is as grim as the rest of her. She readies another arrow and nocks it, squinting so that she has a clean line for one of the avian traitors Thamalys is so livid over. She doesn’t shoot, but if this is their end, she will be ready for it. If she’s going to die, she’ll die helping to set the world straight. “Wow,” Tilly admires her, green eyes fluttering even as further blood drops bubble on her lips. “You’re, like, a badass.”

Lionel || Renne’s blade is blood red. What a fool, the shackled avian whose corpse falls in a slump by her iron boots, to think he could take advantage of the chaos to make a getaway. He’d slammed his chains over the porcelain of a shimmering fountain over and over again, barely overheard for all the sound and fury of Schezerade on high alert. But when the First and Third Battalions rounded a corner, they spotted him, and Renne set him dead to rights. The fountain goes red like some Vailkrinite conversation piece. The army marches on. Renne does not deposit her sword; anger burns in her baleful gaze and she frowns, trying to discern what seems like a small group of interlopers outside the Chamber of the Raan. The avians chatter incessantly above; the damned peacocks, she thinks to herself. “Five bogeys,” one of the avians reports. “So much hail and fog and haze; cannot determine identity. Permission to fire?” Renne shrugs indifferently mid-march. “Odds are, they’re Alliance scum, and so what if they aren’t? Fire.” All at once, the avians let loose their arrows like hail. Thamalys, Emilia, Tilly, Anthony and Rekha are not struck by the majority of the arrows, for Thamalys’ protective measures and the obscurities between the two groups, still several city blocks away, has all come in handy. But the proverbial hourglass is almost up, and they’ll want to dodge and make a break for it with or without that signal…


DeVere College of Bardic Arts

The DeVere College of Bardic Arts was more castle than campus even when the melodic singing of its students and faculty filled pristine marble halls. Almost overnight it was overhauled dramatically, transforming from a shining beacon for troubadours into Orra’s dark headquarters through which he serves his dark master, Kahran. A strong bridge made of pure glass leads the way from the gardens to the south to the massive structure, and whereas flowers once lined the bridge’s rails, they’ve been replaced with green candles which burn a greener flame. At night, similar candles are lit upon every sill of the castle, lending the area an eerie, ethereal glow. Heavy iron and steel plating has replaced what was once gold and platinum accents on the outer walls. The metals converge upon tungsten grooves and shingles, which blanket the space in-between windows and which covers the roof against aerial strikes from vengeful avians loyal to the principles of freedom and light. The corpse of one such man rots on a spike at the topmost tower, collecting flies as it decomposes. Yet the castle’s entryway is a pleasant blend of copper and diamond tones, rich and plush with velvet cushions and sprawling mahogany dining tables. It’s a wide expanse of expensive revelry hosted by a number of well-dressed servants in service of Schezerade’s new regent: General Orra himself. Every luxury among the avian people has been afforded here -- no expense spared, no matter the toils of the enslaved population outside the castle’s gates.

Further inward, however, the real goals of the extensive remodeling are revealed. The castle teems with life, but all of it is malevolent or indoctrinated by evil minds. A plentiful armory and blacksmithing forge roars with flames and fills with gear for Kahran’s war. A massive barracks connects to the eastern perimeter, where hundreds of orcs, trolls, slaadi, drow, naga, overseer wraiths and even affiliated avians slumber and train and await orders to scour the surface world below. They roam the castle’s halls freely, and some among the tortured captives and remaining political staff of Schezerade’s fallen republic have been known to disappear at any time, in any place. Obsidian stone has reinforced the walkways throughout the anterior half of the former college and vile and vulgar messages have been written in stains upon the stone by the victims of wraithen ritual and whim.

Brennia took her friend ‘Nicolau’ up on their offer for aid to rescue the rest of her students and a couple healers from the secret corridor of the college. Anticipation and adrenaline swim through the blood in her veins as she awaits their queue to sneak into the college as Nicolau and her crouch down together in the jubilant garden. Dressed all in black and soft leather boots, her wings hidden by the enchanted tattoo on her back and her daggers strapped to her side's, but a small crossbow secured on her back for more long range attacks. Heavy lidded teal colored eyes slowly take on the deplorable sight that used to be her home mere months ago. Black warrant decorates her face as she slips a perfume bottle into Nicolau’s hand and leans in to whisper to him to ‘spray some on, it will help mask our scent.’ Once he does he will realize it stinks like the creatures that now occupy the floating city and she gives an apologetic smile to him, but spritzs herself as well. She goes back to taking the sights and maybe a scowl tugs at the corner of her lips, or was it a homesick sadness. Once the bells go off Brennia looks over her shoulder at Nicolau, “let’s get them out to the garden and I’ll fly them down to Xalious one by one,” they into the vacant, or mostly vacant, campus and head up to the second story within the main hall. She can’t even look at the heap that used to be her beautiful concert piano which is now used for tinder and once they come upon an unassuming spot in the wall it seems to emanate magically, but once she takes out a musical note shaped key a lock is revealed and she slipped it in. The door is revealed just as a large orc makes for Brennia and Nicolau, but with a swift pulling to the Rogue she pushed him into the secret hall and shot the orc in the eye. She took the pitch pipe from her pocket and blew a note which would be only heard by bard students or guild members, slowly the doors in the private corridor opens and heads peak out to see Brennia. “We’ve not got much time… Ready?” They start to gather, newly healed and ready to be rescued.

Reginae || Nicolau didn’t think the call to aid would come so quickly. He’d planned to spend more time charting his own turbulent waters, but the rogue promised assistance and here he was, wholeheartedly assisting. His usual black garb befits his part today as he crouches near Brennia, occupying the space behind her that her wings would normally fill in. The ensemble is complete with greasy, slicked back hair in the same tones. A bold choice for his unusually tan skin tone. He’s about to whisper some reassurance but...the scale of this place. The echoes of what it used to be are so finely blotted out by the ‘finery’ that it stinks of decay. Reflexively, the naga in disguise turns the bottle over in gloved hands and sniffs the exterior. And what a stink it was. With a grimace, the humanoid male spritzed the salt saturated scent into his leathers and exposed skin. The back of his throat tickles, he suppresses the urge to vomit and squeezes Brennia’s shoulder in a silent show of support. He doesn’t waste any time trying to disagree with her. Brennia is a women with a plan, he likes that about her. So he nods, rushes with her, dual daggers in hand as she expertly commands the situation. The orc looks just as surprised before it howls in pain. “Born Ready.” He calls before they delve into their rescue mission.

Lionel || [Bardic College] “Kahran is less interested in taxation procedures than you seem to realize,” General Renne sneers. She’s dressed in full steel. The gash where her left ear used to be continually distracts the avian delegate but he tries in vain to conceal his grim interest. The woman seems on the point of bursting at a moment’s notice. Rumor has it she was present for a major defeat recently in the mysterious Shadow Plane None in Schezerade have dared to ask for confirmation. Renne doesn’t sit at the gorgeous enamel table, but rather, she stands, lording over it and eyeing the bureaucrats menacingly. Her claymore is a third of the way out from its sheath. “You will redouble your efforts,” she growls lowly, “or one among you shall not be available to attend the next progress report.” Loud gulps almost reverberate through the room. Renne makes ready to depart in unveiled disgust when a loud bell chimes throughout the city. “The Chamber of the Raan?” One of the delegates gasps. “What could be happening?” Their incessant chatter, useless and impractical, nearly causes Renne to make good on her threat ahead of schedule. Her big, gaunt face goes red as a tomato as Renne rushes out from the meeting room and into the college’s northeasterly abode. “On me!” She shouts the words and malevolent wraiths slither out from the shadows, their throats echoing a shrill noise that conveys through the campus like a secondary alarm to join the chiming bells. It’s enough to send a veritable horde of orcs, drow, and Vermilion’s avians out from wherever they be, weapons and armor at the ready. Even some of Jaize’s Schezerade-stationed naga appear, carrying themselves with finer self-importance than the men and women in their ranks of other races, which they do not seem to view as equals. Renne and her bustling entourage -- hundreds strong -- pass through the main gates and down the long bridge, too far from the Smyth and her companion’s clever hiding place to realize their presence. They make for the Chamber of the Raan, or help secure the city. The DeVere College of Bardic Arts, now Kahran and Vermilion’s through and through, is left with a skeleton crew of guardsmen.

Lanara slowly walks down the hallway, the soles of her leather boots gently press upon the floor, in hopes that her near silent footfalls won’t alarm any of the evil beings that lurk in the college. A wraith turns the corner up ahead, and pauses, inspecting the long corridor for any inconsistencies. The elf steps into a cleaning closet, closes the door softly behind her, and holds her breath. She presses her body against the door, stands on her toes, and tries to peek through the narrow slits in the door, silently praying that she wouldn’t be discovered. She had been as quiet as possible, she had camouflaged herself in solid black attire, and thus far, she had been successful in not raising any suspicions of the beings that now inhabited her workplace. However, she couldn’t mask her scent, though the lemon scent of the cleaning supplies, hopefully, would ease the wraith’s demonic mind. The second’s tick by and she hesitates, her fingertips coiling around the door handle, when a chorus of loud bells being rung is heard. The wraith shrieks and flees in the opposite direction, likely off to find why an alarm had been sounded, and that’s when Lana heaves a sigh of relief and exits the closet. Her steps are hurried now, as the tolling of the bell seems to have provided a sufficient distraction, and moments later she slips her hand into her pants pocket and withdraws a key in the shape of a musical note. The wall seems to shimmer as the key is produced, and she slips inside as the door is revealed, only for her steps to bring her to a row of lockers on the far side of the room. Her hues are drawn to a leather sofa and she grabs a pair of enchanted pointe shoes, necessary for ballet. The woman stops to catch the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. Scaling the outer wall, up to the third floor, had exhausted the little witch, and she pauses to rubs her palms which are dotted with blisters from the burn of the rope. As she’s momentarily tending to her injured hands, an orc steps from the next room and charges, his grubby hand coiling around her throat as she’s roughly thrown against the wall. Lana grunts as she makes contact with the wall, pain surging through her form, as she crumbles to the floor in a ball. Weakly lifting her head, she plucks a dagger from her boot, but Brennia and Nicolau enter in the nick of time, and the bolt of the crossbow snuffs the life from the green-skinned assailant. “Thank the Goddess. That was a close one… What’s going on? I heard this place was under attack… I... I didn’t imagine it would be like this, though.” Feeling dizzy, she rubs the back of her head and looks at the two that had saved her life, though her vision is a little blurry. “I’m Professor Lanara.”

Brennia didn’t even realize the orc she had shot was attacking her professor, but is even happier she did. She shoved Lanara into the secret corridor after Nicolau, closed the door behind them and looks at the elven woman, “tiny dancer,” she wraps her arms around Lanara’s shoulders in a tight embrace which lasted at least five seconds. She whispers, ‘you looked stunning at the Valentines Ball’ she wished she could have told her then. Brennia breaks the hug with a half smirk before she hands the crossbow over to Nicolau, “you’ve used one of these before?” She was telling everyone to line up, some of them are so happy to see her that they run up and give the wingless avian a hug, which she allows, “we need to be quick,” she started walking down the line of survivors, “I have to glide all of you down to safety. On the ground there will be five different carriages marked for the different holds you wish to travel, any without a home to go back to will get into the carriage labeled for the headquarters.” Her voice sounded assuring and strong and only got stronger when she noticed everyone sporting the small ⚜️ pins on the collars of their shirts… This touched her, “I want to thank all of you for staying strong. I know it wasn’t easy.” A warm smile given to them as she sprays them down so they cannot be tracked and tosses the bottle to Lanara if she wishes to also not be tracked down and hunted by the army of Kahran. Once everyone was ready to abandon this used-to-be-home-turned-nightmare she approaches Nicolau, “I will lead them out and to the gardens, I need you to bring up the rear and get everyones back. Yeah?” She motioned to the elfess, “Lanara, with me,” once the woman is up front with Brennia she asks, “I’m glad I ran into you. Once I get the last person down to Xalious and come back for you and Nicolau,” she point to the handsome rogue human, “I need some way to give a signal to the ones causing a distraction to get to safely and the mission is complete, do you have a way to help with that?” Any trouble they would encounter on their way off campus is surely handled with the utmost expertise by Nicolau.

Reginae || Nicolau pauses when Larana calls out. Brennia hugs the teacher and Nicolau keeps an eye on the room at large before the crossbow is thrust in his face. His eyes go wide and a smirk haunts his lips as he takes it. “Think I have a good handle on how it works, yeah.” The weapon is waggled, a nod is offered to Lanara - Hello there, fancy meeting you, sort of thing. He stands back while she speaks to the group. His lackadaisical nature faded when Brennia turned to him again. His smile is earnest, reassuring. “I’ll rip ‘em all to shreds.” He promises as they start to move. The air is chaotic - thick with blood already spilt, too much of this scent and more to come on all fronts. Two orcs amble down an adjacent pathway, catching sight of the escapees and bellowing. Nicolau separates from the rear without looking back. Brennia’s known this wasn’t desertion but necessity. His greased hair remains in place as his silent rogue leathers dig into a nearby column, to gain air with impossible physics. There’s something to be said for being a shapeshifter. A sharp whistle fills the space, barely falling on the ears of the orcs as one turns to the sound while the other follows the group. The rogue grits his teeth and leaps off the surface he’d climbed, twin daggers in hand, to claw down the orcs back like an enraged feline slides down expensive curtains. The sharpened blades cut clean lines against tough hide, the wound hissing like a chorus of cockroaches as it oozes not only blood but poison. The second orc, still ahead, makes no move to assist it’s brethren and starts to gain on the tail end - a female student trips in panic, her cream wings fluttering as she stumbles against the uneven floor. Before the first orc’s body can drop lifeless at the other end of the hall, Nicolau pushes her out of the way. His breathing is quick, labored but not broken. Only one of his two daggers remains in hand. The other has already been lodged in the second orc’s neck. The bumbling creatures eyes bulge with realization while Nicolau offers a snarky grin and kicks it’s forehead to propel it backwards. A lot more strength in the man than meets the eyes. The student finds her feet, her wings speckled with blood, and runs off to catch back up with the group just as Nicolau locks eyes with the wraith Lanara’d lost earlier. Hazel shifts to Azurite, and without another word, he retrieves his other dagger and darts forward to meet it’s ragged, skeletal form.

Lionel || The Streets of Schezerade Renne is surrounded by idiots. These orcs would rebel if they could think to do so, and these avians and naga are too full of themselves for her liking. “Spread out,” she barks an order, her claymore reflecting the fiery light of the faraway shambling Chamber of the Raan in a cool metal mirror. “First Battalion, Third Battalion, on me!” The woman scorned marches straight ahead toward the Chamber, her silvery cape flapping in the aerial city’s great winds behind her, and orcs howl in happy-go-lucky blood frenzy whilst avians fly in orderly fashion and naga meander around the perimeter to guard the flank. Petrified imprisoned citizens dare not stare. Their course takes them down the city’s main causeway, and their avians, keen-eyed and hawking with bows at the ready, will spot the departing distraction team at the Chamber of the Raan soon if they don’t move like they mean it and find a way to escape. The other battalions travel at haste through Schezerade’s recently-impoverished alleyways, tearing open homes and ripping babes from their parents’ arms to force their compliance in this search. Schezerade is alive with fear.

Lionel || [Bardic College] A drow knocks on the door of Lanara’s cleaning closet.. “Hey,” the drow says with a sigh. “I know you’re in there, Etrena, but I’ll let you keep your pride. I saw the door swing shut on my way down the hall just now, but…” She stammers and shakes her dark head, irritated. “Look, I know things were fraught between us last night, but you shouldn’t have to hide. You and me are two of the only drow in the army who still have minds of our own, you know? So many of us are as shallow and complacent as those big stinking orcs. We shared an intimate moment last night but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be friends. I was supposed to report to that dullstone General Renne today but I’m not gonna do that because I just want to spend today with you. Ugh.” The drow rolls her eyes. “This is so stupid. Stay in there for all I care. I -won’t- care! And I won’t return your comb, either! You’re such a drama matron, Etrena! I can’t -stand- you, and I certainly don’t -love- you!” The wraith that almost spotted Lanara hisses impatiently and the drow outside the closet door taps her booted feet in a huff and scampers away, leaving the wraith nearer to the door until the alarms ring, distracting it and allowing the elf to reach her destination unencumbered. The wraith clicks its decomposing lips together in a trill, swinging its scythe into life. A pallid blue flame coats the blade. Death is the order of the day; these feckless fools will pay dearly for whatever this transgression has proven to be. Along its way through the campus, no fewer than three innocent lives are sliced and dismembered as ritual whilst it stalks the halls. Renne may have led the bulk of her army outside, but if anyone should think to trespass here, this wraith will slaughter them wholesale. Each kill it earns only emboldens the blue blaze, until the scythe itself is barely visible, and it seems as if the wraith is carrying a magical torch simultaneously hot and cold enough to melt flesh into puddles of gore. “Terash’kagh,” the wraith says to Nicolau, chuckling darkly. This being dares to lunge with a knife? The wraith twists its grip on its weapon’s hilt, sending blue fire in a swivel toward Nicolau. All-the-while, it vanishes into thin air, reappearing behind him with the scythe raised for a torso-wide sweep.

Lanara is helped up by the duo, and finds that she’s shoved into a secret corridor, and randomly hugged by the female. Thankfully, her smarts are coming back to her as the confusion from being hurled at a wall fades, and she returns the hug. As those two fateful words reach her tapered ears, she pulls back, and looks into the teal eyes of her heroine and everything suddenly clicks. Tears well in her eyes, and she shakes her head, as she once more clings to the form of Brennia Smyth. “I don’t know how any of this is even possible, but I missed you so much!” The embrace lasts rather long, considering they’re in grave danger, but it also ends too soon as several students come up to embrace the headmistress. One or two even pull Lana in for a hug, and she realizes then and there that during the attack on the school, some didn’t have the chance to escape. Had she known sooner, she would likely have tried to help in some way. But she’s here now, and as she’s asked to provide a distraction, she gives a nod. “Yes. I can help with that! Hm… Would balls of fire work? I can make them a decent size, and they will certainly be noticeable.” She quirks a brow as Nicolau swiftly takes out a few that mean to be barriers, and rescues another student. The man was nifty in a situation like this, she’d give him that! As they all converse about their plans, and Brennia tells the students which carriages to get into, she turns from them and recalls a spell that had been committed to memory. Seconds later, a glowing orb sits atop her palm, seemingly harmless. Though appearances would be deceiving, once she adds the element of fire to the spell.

Brennia gets out to the gardens off campus and tells Nicolau, “hold any off while I get them down to safety.” She was impressed by him and smirks slightly his direction. Now she was addressing Lanara “once I get everyone down there you will send that great ball of fire that way,” she points in a north west direction where the chamber is. During Brennia’s back and forth from Schezerade to Xalious she saw to wraiths heading their way and about to attack Nicolau. She stomps over in a sort of ‘not today, Satan!’ manner and lets out a long horrid note from the depths of her own soul. Now, what this does is nothing to those around her, they may not even hear the pitch, but it’s frequency is that of what makes up the wraith and what it should do is banish it… At least for now. She goes back to flying each survivor down until Nicolau and Lanara were left, “fire away, professor.” A step toward Nicolau so he could drop his guard and she places a hand on his shoulder, “go on.” She motioned to the ledge that descends down to Xalious, “thank you.” A smile before she walks over to Lanara, “let’s go.” She holds out her hand to the dancer and would pull her in close, wrap her arms around her and glide her down to safety as well. Down on the ground she keeps a defensive lookout for the friends which provided the distraction, worry sinks in the pit of her stomach while everyone gets situated in the carriages. She looks to Nicolau and Lanara as some of the carriages pull off, “will you two wait with me?” It was less of a physically defensive thing and more of Brennia slowly letting those walls down once more, asking friends to stay by her side.

Reginae || Nicolau did not remember signing up to fight unholy wraiths. Sure, the idea of saving some helpless kids and taking down evil forces had been appealing on the outside but this dude was practically a bonfire of spite and mayhem. His first dagger misses, connecting with what -should- have been decrepit bone and rags. The blue fire twists in his direction, he drops the first dagger and moves out of it’s direct path. A thin thread of fabric has been unwoven from his ebony sleeve and it simultaneously burned before it’s coated in ice. His second knife is drawn, hilt hot in his opposite hand, as it swung wide - blade backwards, to dig into where the wraith’s back -had- been. Just a second ago, in fact. “Teriyaki what now…?” he mutters, scrambling along the floor in a panic as the beast spectre reappears with shish kabob intentions. Again, the flame sinks hungrily against his shirt, it’s own razor claws of mingled ice and fire weaving into the fibers of his skin once the fine barrier of black dissolves in it’s wake. The smell of burning hair overwhelms the evil stank they’d sprayed on and his grunt of discomfort undoubtedly inspires celebration in the twisted Wraith’s mind. Cutlery to a ballista fight, as the saying goes. He’s about to mutter his prayers to Aramoth - Sorry about that whole...not taking more enemies to the great battlefield in the sky or the depths of that big ol’ ocean paradise of an afterlife when Brennia’s shriek startles him. His knees melt out from underneath him and he (as gracefully as possible, considering) slumps flat into the dirt. The wraith appears dispelled but he’s not about to sit around and wait for any loot to drop. “Gogogogogogog-” He ushers her back to the where Lanara is waiting and gives her a half wincing, half cocky smirk. “Heya.” A beat. “Ladies first!” He waits for Brennia to snuggle Lanara up all cozy, has a thought, reminds himself to come back to that thought later and shrugs tense shoulders until avian -like wings sprout from his shoulder blades. They match his eyes - hazel and dreamy. Avian ladies would swoon, surely if this wasn’t a dire situation. They meet on the ground, his shirt torn to hell and back now. Being a guy was so much harder on clothes. She asks them to stay and he doesn’t hesitate to agree, eyes skyward. “Until the end.” He promises.

Lanara holds the perfume bottle in her free hand and spritzes the top of her head, chest, torso, thighs, and boots, thinking that would be sufficient enough to mask her scent. She wrinkles her nose as the odor of the wraiths mingles with her lavender scented body wash, before it fully consumes the scent of the witch. Obediently, she follows after Brennia and Nicolau, as the students are ushered through the corridors and into the nearby garden. Her gaze flicks to Brennia as the first student is readied to take the flight to safety, and she swirls the orb in her hand, remaining alert and fully aware of their surroundings. The campus had always felt like a home to her, a place where one could come and go without judgment. A place of learning and teaching. Filled with friendship, family, love, and laughter. And now it seemed that every last ounce of light had been covered by the enveloping darkness of Kahran. Chocolate hues brim with tears, as she shakes her head, and watches Bren land and lift the next student for take-off. This continues until every last student has been flown to safety, and chose which carriage they would be seated in, before being driven off to a much safer location. The two women lock eyes, and being granted permission, Lana turns away and centers her gaze upon the golden glowing orb. “Fire, fire, come to me. Engulf this orb, and fly so free! As you soar, feed the flame. If one should interfere, then maim. Divide yourself into three. As I speak it, so mote it be!” Extending her arm, the orb glows a faint blue, then a faint orange, and finally, a fiery red, as it floats a foot above her hand. It slowly rises in the air, and once it’s about ten feet above Lana’s head, it bursts into a large ball of fire. The menacing fireball soars upwards, only to splice into three massively destructive spheres’s, which burn with an incomparable might, as they soar northwest. The others would surely see the glow in the sky, and if they missed the first, they’d spy one of the others, as the trio continues to swirl, picking up speed and strength as the ascent continues. Any wraith’s that may meet her magical spheres would be consumed with flames, and likely annihilated. The shriek reaches her ears, and she winces, though Brennia and Nicolau seem to have everything under control, and as the stranger treats her to an unexpected act of chivalry, she half-smiles, and is gently lifted into Brennia’s arms. As they glide through the air, swoop dramatically, and she’s deposited safely on the ground. The role of professor kicks in as she helps to usher the students into their designated carriages, and as they begin to drive off, she stands with the two heroes. Her eyes meet Brennia’s, and she takes her hand, giving it a gentle squeeze, as the trio wait for those that had worked to distract to join their force. “Of course I’ll wait. I’ve only just found you again. You aren’t losing me that easily!”

Emilia let out a sigh of relief as the fireballs finally emerged into sight, at last the signal! Just in time too! “Climb on all and Cover your ears!” the Genasi yelled at not only Thamalys, but the trio alongside them before sucking in a lungful of air. As Em was inhaling air the trio stared at them most oddly before following instructions and boarding onto the back of the avian in some fashion or another trying to figure out the best way in which to all fit on the Blue. It was then an glass shattering howling echo left the open mouth of the Genasi along with a most impressive gust of winter-blizzard wind shoving the oncoming forces backwards away from them. The strength of the wind could easily compete with a natural hurricane wind only much chillier. It would give Thamalys a clear path to launch himself off the ground into the air or a good running start, whichever he pleased most. This blast would be the last big magic effect the Genasi had in her for the night, leaving her down to minor tricks of less wintery magic. Black hand perched on her head firing off little spikes of ice at incoming flight bound troops getting too close. Worn and numb to pain Em would not notice until sometime later that one of the arrows let loose on the little group had whipped its way back at them through the wind and impaled itself into her side between her ribs barely missing her organs and sticking through to poke Tham’s flesh since the winged man had yet to let the little woman set foot on the ground.

Thamalys , having said what he had to, pulled the four of them against him in one gigantic embrace. “Still…” was the only justification for that move, before the wings of the Avian arched into the mist to form a monumental, silvery shield, against which no arrow could have won. An uncomfortable shelter, doomed to be torn by Renne’s minions soon enough. A few bolts found the metal already - time to take action. Thus, the Spellblade raise once more, hinting a single step forward, facing the full extent of the little army clustered in front of himself and those other few who made it alive out of the Chamber - for now. Straight as a blade, his eyes wondered on the shiny throng, the sheer weight of his disgust hovering upon them like a deathly sickness. Suddenly, the Blue kneeled, to which the traitors immediately responded with a diverse array of sneers and insults. Not all of them, though. A few of the older ones must have picked up what was about to happen next. “Let the idiots chuckle… now, quick, do as Emilia told you! No questions, no screaming, and for the love of the Wind, let go of your weapons and everything else you can. Quick!” ordered the Avian, in one fluid motion unfurling his wings. The moment that silvery display become evident, sneers and insults transformed into alarmed warnings and enraged curses. The Spellblade would have smiled, were if not for the tiny detail that leaving the ground with four creatures - however tiny some of them were - on his back was an impossibility. The weight of them already dragged him to the ground, his eyes nailed on the soil, the shouts and yells of the soldiers closing in - he could feel the evil aura of the wraith getting closer once more, as well. “Emi…” he sort of pleaded, before the cold tempest summoned by the Ice Ganasi blasted them all. The impact was enough to make everyone around to recoil - everyone but the Winged Beast, who took full advantage of such a masterfully crafted aid, breaking into a painful, slow run up which culminated with the swooping a phenomenal amount of air, down and up, with two movements only of those wings. A single step off the ground, and the weight of the four would have won already - were if not for the unnatural blizzard supporting the Avian, pushing him and his precious load up into the air. By the time they cleared the battalions below, the blazing display conjured by Lanara would have not ceased in might nor strength - much as a lighthouse, the fizzy flames guided the Blue through the murky air. Too tired to smile, he spent the last of his strength to climb the wind as high as he could, before letting gravity take over. Only then, he realised not one, but two of Renne’s arrows did actually find some flesh, squarely stuck into his shoulder. He could not care less. Down they went, circling like a careful bird of pray. He could make up some features he thought he recognised. Brennia? Perhaps, plus somebody else he had no will left to interrogate himself about. The ground came the them all, and after that, a blissful darkness sealed the day for the Blue.

Brennia saw them coming and started to half smile again. Once she got the sight of Emilia and Thamalys with the arrows stuck in them, “quick, get in, the lot of you,” she motions for them to get into the last carriage which was enchanted to be larger on the inside than it appeared to be, it looked more like living train caboose on the inside and had plenty of space. Brennia would work on getting the arrows out of Emi and Thamalys without causing any further damage and then begin stitching them up so they would heal properly, if they would allow it. Making her way to Nikolau she would sit next to him and start assessing any cuts or wounds he may have had, “you were brilliant out there,” but he already knew that. As soon as she gets Nicolau on the mend she made her way to Lanara and dotes on her like a worried mother, “how’s your head feel?” She checks for signs of a concussion before making sure nothing else was injured on the professor, but that was Brennia, always putting others first. They rode of to the house of Ara, then to wherever Lanara needed to be and finally Nicolau, so Brennia stayed in the carriage until she knew they were all safe and sound.