RP:Gualon Gates: End of the Siege
Part of the Siege of Gualon Arc
Terra had been given stern orders not to leave this building and so she did not. Instead the window ledge was borrowed and that was where she remained despite the comings and goings of anyone else present.
Shishi was outside the building, checking perimeters and doing other such things the vampire figured must be done while hiding out in a place such as this. His somewhat dirtied, white shirt is missing the left sleeve as it has been moved to be wrapped around the arrow wound at the back of his leg. The white cloth is stained red, but beneath it the hole burrowed by the arrow head is likely all but healed. Until he reaches the window Terra is seated on the ledge of the vampire’s eyes are their accursed shade of glowing crimson, at which point they slowly fade back to their usual oceanic shade of Blue. From the outside looking in, Shishi speaks to Terra, "There's nothing out here, I think... I might have seen a snake though."
Terra sulked and pressed a hand to the glass. Why was he outside yet she was not? One leg was pulled up to recline next to her and that cold knee was pressed against even the glass. "Snakes bite." She shrugged slightly at that statement and then glanced away. Small talk really wasn't her forte when hiding out from war-hungry beasts.
Tristram wasn't inside the building either. He was to the south, sitting in the charred shell of his house, and penning a note for a scribe who stood nervously by. He did all his correspondence inside his study, and he'd be damned if he was going to stop now. The note was sent off without a seal, and the dragon breathed a sigh of relief to have gotten it in the first place. To the courier, he instructed quietly, "Stick to the backroads. Trust the orphans. If you hear anything about a baseball bat, you hide, immediately. Don't hesitate, just hide, and stay hidden until you hear that it's been found." The courier nodded and set off on a brisk walk down the alleyway beside the dragon's former estate. An urchin appeared and bummed a smoke from the dragon who had left one sitting on what was left off an expensive porcelain teacup. Tristram offered the kid a ride on his shoulders, and they trekked back to the parsonage together.
Shishi wouldn't have listened to stern orders even if they were given to him, -that- was why he was outside and she wasn't. Cheeks puff out and hands find pockets as the empath looks away and Blue looks down at his feet to check for anything that would bite at his ankles. "Well there's nothing to do out here." he said, perhaps an attempt to lighten her envy that he had gotten to 'play' outside, "I'm comin' back in." and with that he made the short trip back around the building to the entrance. One he's inside, the assassin makes his way to the empath, eying her with a somewhat flat expression, "You can tell me what the plan is at least, yah? It can't just be to keep letting that Dragon attack the city..."
Terra felt restless and moved every few seconds. It was something simple, brushing hair, jiggling foot, nibbling on bottom lip. She turned and watched him vanish around the corner and delighted in the small noise that popping bones provided. Blue's approach and the question that followed would only earn another shrug. "Still fuzzy on that. Mahri has a fleet of dragons... I think it's something related to the Cabal." There were still some memories that remained vague and fuzzy between the trip to the Pool and a run-in with a centipede. "I feel like there's good news today. Like we have something to celebrate. Maybe he died."
Tristram heard a muffled, "Ow, c'mon man,” from above, and realized he hadn't ducked when he entered the building. A bark of laughter came easily, naturally, and he swung the bruised orphan down and settled him on his feet. "Oops. Cigarette?" The kid blew a smoke ring in his face, grinned, and disappeared down the aisle and into the parsonage. They were probably play poker or craps or Russian roulette in there; he didn't want to know - or he did, and he was jealous. Soon, he joined Terra and Shishi, and resisted his urge to pull her into him protectively, or display some other dominant gesture. So he just stood there, and pulled a cigarette from behind his ear, a lighter from inside his freshly bandaged abdomen - the only place he could store it with some degree of safety from imminent theft, considering the stockpile of cigarettes circulating throughout Gualon like it was fresh made bread, or actual clean water. "It is a fleet of dragons. A fleet, mate. And he won't be able to use illusion. Dragons know another dragon. Always."
Shishi swayed a bit, smiling to himself at the thoughts and images he envisioned thanks to her answer; mention of The Cabal, as always, would lighten his spirits regardless of what the leader had subjected Orange and Yellow to recently. Mahri leading a horde of dragons was something to smirk about as well. Finally, while kicking at some dust collecting on the floor, the vampire imagines the Dragon's death and lets out a sigh, "That would be something... Then we could go home-..." He twitched after saying that last word. He mustn't give away his secret just yet. He eyes the elf looking for a reaction as he says, "Err... Or probably rebuilding to do first... before going back." in a somewhat sulky tone." Tristram's entrance earns the dragon a slightly narrowed glance of momentarily flickering, purplish eyes. When the dragon joins the vampiric duo, Blue just nods once at what he says, "I'm sure they can. That'll be useful, at least."
Terra glared at Tristram. He had been outside and it was obvious. So now that mood of hers seemed to be spoiled even more as both legs curled closer to chest, chin rested between the dip found there as she peered up at both of them. Throat was cleared before words were eventually formed even if she scowled. "There's lots of rebuilding to be done. I burnt down an entire house for goodness sake." The mention is meant to stab at aforementioned abodes former owner because he had went outside, something she had not done yet. "Where did you go?" Now she would try and stretch her legs because frankly the window seat is not all that comfortable and she is tired. ".. Have you two ever been introduced?"
Tristram offered a cigarette to Shishi, because it felt rude of him not to. "I'm not sure. You know how awful my memory is." And how awkward this was. He forced a diplomatic smile - something perfected during his long years as a politician. "I just went to write some notes. In my house. What's left of it. Which is really no more than a stool, one door, and half a staircase .... There's a lot of rebuilding to be done. I've put out an all-call for supplies. Gualon is not without her allies. After the meeting with Helich, we will begin. We'll start with the orphanage." One of the kids hollered from somewhere within the church, "Upgrades!"
Shishi wrinkled his nose and bit at the inside of his lip slightly, "I feel like we've burnt things down before without having to fix them after." He ends his short campaign to leave this city with her sooner than later at that. The offered smoke is eyed for a moment or two before it's accepted as he says, "Not properly introduced, I guess." before putting the cigarette between his lips and shrugging slightly, "Light?" He blinks once or twice and raises a brow, "You meeting with him? The Dragon, I mean?" Terra watched and noted. This was all done in silence. There was nothing that she had wanted to say and the situation felt tense. All barriers are put into place and the female looked ... well, guarded. Once the conversation had failed to keep her entertained she turned back towards the window again and kept to herself. Smoking was a past-time that had yet to be understood so she did not indulge. "We're going to talk to him. Reason with. Once he sees that he can't win he'll leave and be done with it. Right?" A glance towards Trist then to confirm that her thoughts on the idea were along the same vein.
Tristram handed the vampire his lighter and leaned against the chapel wall. "That's the general idea. He'll leave here, anyway. I'm not particularly concerned with what he does after, as long as it's out of my city." He thought of the correspondence he had just received, and replied to. "Unless he's after something I'm allied with. Then there is obligation, of course." He smiled apologetically to Shishi. "She's forced me into letting her come. I was definitely opposed, for the record."
Shishi accepted the lighter, letting the politician drop it into an upturned hand. After an attempt or three at lighting the cigarette he hands the device back to Tristram and exhales a breath of smoke into the chapel air. Blue furrowed his brow a bit and frowned towards his wife, "You're going to meet with him too?" -Of course she intended to- he probably thought to himself, "You'll be alright? With your... ahh...?" he asked, waving a hand up near his head trying to imply her and Helich's empathetic abilities. A light sigh and nod are sent towards Tristram, knowingly acknowledging the empath's stubbornness, "Aye... He's agreed to stay out of this city before, hasn't he? I would be surprised if this was just a trap..." Arms fold after the smoke is taken away from his lips and held delicately in one hand, "I'll be going as well. Of course." It wasn't a question, the vampire showing off some of that stubbornness he's absorbed form his wife.
Terra was being talked about as though she was not there, close enough to touch or kick or claw if it came down to that. Which was the point she was near. In effort to avoid that the subject would be changed because there are a few things she remained unaware of. "Alliance? Who are we allied with?" Use of word 'we' is casual because this felt as much her battle as it did his though there's no denying who had stronger ties, higher motivations. But then she is even more confused because sign language was one of the many never learned especially when it consisted of vague motions near the head. "I'll be fine. He'll be fine. You'll be fine." Obviously the question was not entirely understood but it was answered to the best of her knowledge. "I don't think I like either of you anymore."
Tristram yelled at the kids in the parsonage to keep it down, because he could hear them from within the supposed sanctity of the chapel. "Sorry. Cabin fever. What? Oh. I'm arranging it. He can't turn it into a trap if I'm running the show." He briefly wondered if the dragon could, but one black knew another, and Helich had already shown his hand, his weakness. It was Terra. The saurian didn't try to persuade Shishi not to come, though Helich never seemed to react well in his presence - probably because on paper, Terra belonged to the vampire. They had a written vow. The dragon's stare shifted out the window, and he blew a plume of smoke into the colored glass depicting the exorcism of evil from the surrounding land. He ignored the alliance question in favor of commenting on her sudden declaration. "Too bad, because you're stuck here with us until we meet with Helich. Of course, unless you'd just like leave altogether and be done with it. You're not a prisoner here. Unless I press charges for burning down my house ..." The cigarette between his lips bobbed as he grinned crookedly.
Shishi idly poked at his top right fang with the tip of his tongue, as if testing its sharpness, "I'm not worried about me... Or him, really." a quick look is sent towards Tristram as if to dare him to say the feeling wasn't mutual. The cigarette found his lips again. "Ehh~?" he made the noise while smirking, the cigarette held gently between teeth as he leaned forward toward his wife, teasingly within her reach now, "Aye... We wouldn't be talking about you if you weren't so determined go, Darling." The word 'stubborn' is thoughtfully replaced with 'determined' as he maintains his smirk. Blue eyes avert their gaze to the side for a second as he thinks aloud, "Hm... Or maybe we still would be..."
Terra did not seem to be afraid of the threat and merely gestured to Tristram's wrist which was still bound since their attempts to break the binds had been interrupted. There were plenty of distractions to be found in Gualon. Pleased that the point had been made in silence she made no other movement aside from an upturned nose at mention of determined. Oddly, she felt like that word was merely acting as a substitute to the word he had preferred. "I think I will... go out, I mean. Just to the gardens?" There's a hopeful look to be offered then as she dared either to deny her of that. You shook his arm and chuckled dryly. "Well, since our last attempt ended in-" he stopped and pursed his lips. "Since it took us so long to do the other one ... I just haven't gotten around to it." A beat. "Oh, and if I recall, someone told one of the patrols I've been hiding out in the smithy? Interesting, since that's where all the crap is we need to get it off." His cigarette was extinguished carefully and tucked back behind his ear. The lighter found it place between the folds of bandages spun around his torso. It was his last one. He couldn't help but follow Terra's line of sight toward the gardens. They sounded lovely. Fresh air sounded lovely. She should go with her husband. "Sure," he found himself saying, "I'll go with you. Just in case you decide to go and get yourself captured again, or tell anybody where we're hiding out." Sound reasoning, in his mind.
Shishi rubbed at his bare shoulder as he straightened his back again glancing at Tristram out of the corner of his eye. The vampire wasn't about to be left here alone with the orphans, "I'll go with my wife." he said to the dragon, "The children will probably prefer if you stay here with them... Try and get another cigarette from you... Besides..." He paused, offering Terra hand and help off the windowsill, "...you haven't such a good record with keeping her from being captured if recent memory serves correct... We won't let anyone know where you're hiding." Shishi said to you, "And you've gotten to spend the most time out of this church, after all."
Terra frowned at the reasoning and simply sighed. "I wasn't asking for company." After being surrounded all day by people, by the temptation that they carried, she craved solitary. This was not going to happen so she huffed once more and pushed away from the window with the wall as support. "I'm going out to kill something. I'll be back tomorrow." With that she'll head for the window that provided an escape before.
Tristram did his best to restrain from glaring at his vampire counterpart. "No. The kids are fine. Probably blaspheming or having an orgy or something. They're fine." His voice was even as he added, "And seems to me you haven't got a better record than myself, and I'm guessing rescues might give me a few added bonus points." He moved toward the door. It didn't matter if she was going to go murder his favorite tyke in his favorite spot in the garden, the vampire wasn't winning this one, and Terra wasn't going off alone.
Shishi dropped his cigarette and stomped the smoke out with the bottom of a muddied shoe. The vampire snapped, "If you call using my wife as a shield from that Dragon while you run away a rescue then you can keep your -points-." The last word is spat out with some disgust as his irises flash crimson and remain glowing that color. Without his treasured scarf the shadowy voices in his head quickly get the better of him. With the empath headed for a window and the dragon headed for the door Blue shouts, "Stop!" to both, one of them, or perhaps just the black cries for violence in his mind. Strange tears are forced form his eyes that evaporate immediately and float upwards as an ominous red vapor. A patch of darkness twitches and springs to life in front of the door, in front of Tristram, three waving tentacles of shadow that match the dragon's current height and block his intended exit, "Stop." he says again, fainter, and likely intended for Terra although no chaotic shadows are given the privilege of movement to block the empath.
An urchin ducked inside and whispered something to the dragon, causing his lips to dip downward. To Shishi, he directed, "Fine. You take her. I've got a meeting." He would totally rub it in too, if she didn't see him exiting to have his tete a tete with the other dragon. Tristram stopped, because he had nowhere else to go. He spun slowly on heel. "Move this," he gestured behind him, "... out of my way." Tristram said, "And I'm not exactly -using- your wife." He snorted, and let the implication rest after an added, "...unless that's what makes you able to sleep at night."
Terra tried her best to tune the both of them out. There was no interest in being involved in the conversation since they were already referring to her ...situations as bonus points. Was it a game? To one? To both? Now that everyone seemed to have a frown she hiked one leg over the sill and was prepared to push off and out until she's commanded to do otherwise. Twice. Both eyes roll upwards and she worked herself back in the window. She's tired, hungry, and mostly miserable in the church when the weather had been so nice this afternoon. "I really don't like either of you." And she's mostly sulking which leaned towards rage when Tristram's sly remark is heard. "Really, Trist? Can we fight some other night?"
Shishi shut his eyes for a second, -Kill him now.- -You don't need to go with her.- -You can be rid of this right now.- "Ter!" he called out as he turned and darted towards the window that was her interned exit. The shadows blocking Tristram's way dissolved into delicate looking, vaporous, black particles that floated back down to the ground where they belonged. Following Terra out, likely against her will, the assassin didn't hear what Tristram said last over the horrid shouts in his mind, luckily for the dragon, probably. His irises were still crimson, but at least that strange red mist had dissipated. Shishi stopped at the window when Terra moved back inside, eying her unhappily as she spoke to the dragon.
Tristram tossed over his shoulder as he stepped over the dissipating mist, "I'm going to meet with the dragon. But feel free to go frolic in the gardens all you want." And with that, he was gone, and stalking toward the city gates.
Helich appears from the south.
Tristram had been summoned to the gates when one of the urchins had informed him that Helich had returned to the immediate area. He crept along back alleys and stayed out of view until he reached the battered-but-intact city gates. His stride was purposeful and direct as he approached the gates and stood resolutely between them, bellowing, "Helich! Show yourself!" A withering stare was sent toward an orc which began to pace toward him, and it made the thing stop in its tracks. Tristram shouted, "Helich!"
Helich appears and such. Full dragon form, very much so...Helich. "Yes Tristram?" he seemed rather lax for someone who's army had nearly completely vacated the city.
Tristram wasn't in dragon form, but he was very much in Tristram form, full of pride and bravado, and now a certain cockiness. "I've come to deliver terms for your immediate surrender of the city back into my hands, as its rightful ruler." He knew he sounded slightly ridiculous - and he loved it.
Helich is rather nonchalant. As nonchalant as a massive dragon can be, considering, "You want the city back?" He was ready to say 'go for it'....but maybe he could get something out of this, "What are your terms?"
Tristram said to Helich, "I've come into possession of a rather powerful ally. Actually, more than one. I have an Eyrie, Helich. Now, you might think, I'll just trick them as well, with my fancy illusions ... but I think what you have to keep in mind here is that you cannot trick a dragon into believing in the presence of another dragon, no matter how strong your illusions may be. To a dragon, there is real, and there is nothing. I am fully prepared to end your life with my new compatriots. I wanted to engage in some friendly turnabout, except I gave my word to your hopeless love that I wouldn't torture you. So here is my offer. Leave with your army. Do not seek quarter in Gualon, and do not come back. If you attack a city Gualon is allied with, the Eyrie attacks. If you touch a citizen of Gualon, the Eyrie attacks. You may keep your greenskins. I have no use for the simple-minded traitors now. Do you accept the terms? My friends are less than a whistle away. Oh, and if you kill me, your life will be forfeit in an instant, and I do not think the empath will mind your extended torture should this circumstance arise. Maybe she would even do it herself."
Helich said, "Oh my." Helich looks about. Helich looks at the lack of an army. Helich said to you, "You, the death of your peoples and your orphans, were just a stepping stone for me Darkeheart. Take pleasure in the fact that your weak heart and will has caused many deaths." Helich tenses his body, preparing to...leave.
Tristram said to Helich, "And you can go f--- yourself. Your destruction is breathing down the back of your neck. I am the only one that can save you now. Accept the terms. I want to hear you accept the terms. I want to hear you surrender." Tristram flicked a cigarette away and arched an arrogant brow.
Tristram said, "Say it."
Helich said to you, "You are much too confident with this second wind. A dangerous thing you're toying with. We could be back in the city within a day. They are so loyal to me at this point they would gladly burn their homes down, this city. I surrender to no one."
Tristram moved his fingers to his mouth to whistle. He could say he was provoked.
Helich fled, or was at least attempting to.
Tristram said to Helich, "You will not be able to breach her gates with a horde of dragons burning down your troops. All of them. And I would not think twice about destroying my former allies, my residents, my traitors. You have no other choice." Tristram said to Helich, "My city, for your life."
Helich said to you, "I will. In exchange for you not attempting to hinder or interfere in my plans." Tristram said to Helich, "I agree. But I want to hear you say it. Say it." Tristram lowered his hand and looked smug. Eitrin appears from the south. Eitrin lurks and such.
Helich said to you, "What is it you want to hear me say? You may have your city back? I am granting it to you Darkeheart. Do not act like a snide smug child of a wealthy merchant."
Helich seems to be just as arrogant as Tristram. Just not as cocky.
Tristram said to Helich, "I want to hear you surrender. The only thing preventing me from asking more - from doing more - is my word to the vampire."
Helich sighs. Helich said to you, "Why does she care?" Helich is an insecure jerkface. Tristram said to Helich, "I can't answer that. I can't understand it myself. I would very much like to hurt you a great deal." Tristram isn't.
Helich :: Yeah. Trist is just a feckin' jerkface. Helich said to Tristram, "I could say the same about you. And too think, all of this could have been avoided if you'd just accepted an allegiance with Solaris. All the dead - and those still living. The children, the trauma of this event."
Helich shook his head. He was a jerkface, regardless of insecurity. Mayhap he was trying to dodge the subject of admitting surrender.
Eitrin sneaks into the area and watches the two jerkface bigwigs argue.
Tristram folded his arms across his torso, still bandaged, but healed a great deal, thanks to the capable staff at the Gualon clinic. He pulled a cigarette from behind his ear and stuck it in the corner of his mouth, would have offered the other dragon one if he thought the saurian could smoke it in his current form. "I'm running out of bloody patience, Helich."
Tristram said to Helich, "Casualties of war. The living will keep living. The dead will not." He lit the smoke. "Say it. I won't ask again."
Helich said to Tristram, "How many of these 'Eyrie' do you...command....dear Darkeheart?" Helich had an unreadable face in his current form. Dragon.
Eitrin trots up to the two jerkfaces and promptly taps Tristram's arm. The black dragon would have to look down on the Duergar, simply because he's only four foot tall. "I could be usin' one'a 'dos," he says, stabbing a finger in the cigarette's direction. "If I be spyin' on you two, I might as well be enjoyin' a smoke while I do it."
Helich glares at Eitrin instantly. He recognized the breed - had spoken with one recently.
Tristram said to Helich, "Enough to whoop your ass twice over. And in war, former promises of avoidance of torture no longer apply. Personally, I think your torture should be forcing you to see how much she cares for me. How it will never be you. But perhaps you still have a chance to obtain her mercy ... maybe even her favor. Say it. Or die now."
Eitrin frowns, his hand still outstretched. "Where be my smoke?"
Tristram jumped - he couldn't help it really. "Chrissakes man. Yeah, sure ... here," he fumbled around a bit in his pocket and handed the duergar a slightly crumpled generic cigarette, not the hand-rolled exotic variety he had not been in possession of for days now. The lighter was passed on as well, but Tristram would keep an eye on it. The orphans had been stealing his, and he was down to his last one. Tristram said, "Here be your bloody smoke."
Helich :: Death be damned - the Duegar was a subject in a burning book, the male probably had no idea how close to the edges of death he was teetering. Two dragons arguing. The final group of departing greenskins had paused to watch the argument out of stupid curiosity - the black barked an order. "Kill the short one." Tristram would either have to move, or hope he wasn't accidentally stabbed. "You seem to think I harbor feelings of romance toward her Darkeheart. Are you blind and stupid? You cannot hold her over my head." He could, really, she was one of the few who made him...feel...things...awkward as that sounds, "Fine. You. I surrender. Move aside so I may kill this man." Course, by now the greenskins were eighty feet away, weapons drawn, charging with a shout. The sleeping citizens within the gates - they were quite...asleep, for the most part.
Tristram positioned himself in front of the duergar. "I believe this fellow can claim sanctuary inside our gates if he so wishes. Then, he would be my personal guest." He wouldn't keep the duergar from fighting if he so wished it, however. Meanwhile, he had turned toward Gualon and shouted to the lurking urchins, who took up the call until it reached the four corners of the city. Tristram shouted, "Helich has surrendered! Gualon is saved!"
Eitrin takes the cigarette and places it between his lips. He carefully lights the smoke, hands Tristram his lighter, and steps a safe distance away from the two. "Carry on den," he calls out as he walks off.
Helich shouted: "Halt!" They were still far enough away from the city - they were nowhere near inside it. He needed every orc, goblin, and ogre he had if what he intended was to occur. "Depart with the rest. Go. Now." To Tristram however, that same barking voice was used - "Quaint of you!" He shouted, loud enough for the citizens within to hear, "That you would hide behind your walls and call your citizens to fight, to protect a man whose name you do not even know!"
Helich is watching Eitrin closely - just waiting for him to step outside the gates of the city. To prove a point of course. Eitrin makes mental notes to himself, a few are spoken aloud. "Big smelly dragon: bad. Fella wid crappy smokes: Not as bad."
Tristram said to Helich, "I'm standing right in front of you. I'm not hiding. I'm escorting you out. And if this man comes inside the gates, he is a guest of Gualon, a place you may no longer enter. No one has to fight at all. Except my sky friends. It's ironic, really. Solaris asks you to gather the dragons, and I, who defy his wishes, gather a horde of dragons for my own purposes. Ironic. It tastes like a very sweet victory."
Helich is really starting to get pissed off. Like really, really pissed off - typically he could ignore the black's jabs at him. This eve was something completely different. He'd managed to crawl under his very fecking skin and was twisting away. To the degree that he doesn't respond, walks out of the gates, and begins the slow trek to catch up with his departing greenskins. Slow for a dragon at least.
Eitrin considers poking a toe outside the city line. Sadly, he has business within Gualon and thusly can't waste the time it would take to do such. Eitrin looks up at the supposed city leader. "Yeh be havin' a name 'er should I jus' call ya tight wad?" Obviously, the Duergar is no fool; his cigarette is nowhere near the quality of the one in Tristram's mouth.
Tristram saw Helich off, and stood between the open city gates for some time. Eventually he turned to the duegar and offered a diplomatic smile, and blew a stream of smoke out the side of his mouth. "Welcome to Gualon, mate. If you bring trouble, I'm going to have you killed on the spot. But if you are here to help, many welcomes and many returns!" He was a bit strained. Tristram didn't have a hand-rolled one either. He was out as well. And orphans were still stealing what little supply of generic ones he had left. "I have a name. Tristram Darkeheart, at your potential service."