And even though our love is doomed
And even though we're all messed up
You're the only thing worth fighting for
You're the only thing worth dying for
-Even Though Our Love Is Doomed, Garbage-
Part of the Through The Looking-Glass: Return To Wonderland Arc
Part of the Magic, Madness, and Mayhem Arc
Summary: Khitti and Brand finally get married! The ceremony went wonderfully (except the part where Dominic chicken'd up Brand's vows) and the reception... not so much.
Volcanic Menagerie, Rynvale
Today was a day that seemed like it was never going to come. Too many times had ill things befallen the couple; too many times it seemed like they were to be torn from one another. Khitti had almost considered to cancel it entirely, after Brand had recently been rescued. She eventually relented, of course--she hadn’t actually wanted to postpone the wedding again, but Brand’s wellbeing was more important!--and the event prepared for. Autumn had come to Rynvale, yet the beach remained untouched by the cold as usual, the volcanic activity in the area ensuring that even the sea air remained warm enough for the wedding. Two small black tents were positioned at one end of a several foot long dark red carpet, while the small altar Lanara had erected for the ritual was at the other end, and a few chairs lay in between for those that wished to sit, that were not Khitti, Brand, or Lanara. Not much had been placed in the way of decorations--the majority of it was at the orchard for the reception--but there were a few things: five-foot-tall torches had been placed on both sides of the red carpet, lit with both Khitti and Brand’s fire magic, the orange and purple flames alternating down the line; autumn-colored floral arrangements of dried firelilies, chrysanthemums, and roses were carefully intertwined with thin branches of birch and willow and left to drape over the back of the chairs and were fixed to the front of the altar, as well as wrapped around the entirety of a bronze arch that hovered over the altar and the area where the bride, groom, and officiate were to stand; and finally, it wouldn’t be Halloween without a few jack-o-lanterns. The sounds of giggling emerged from behind Brand’s tent, as well as some spidery blurbing, both coming from Khitti’s “firstborn” spider-child Francis (the cow-sized white huntsman spider BARELY fit behind the tent) and her firstborn human child, Dominic, the latter wearing a nice little suit with a chicken-patterned bowtie and chicken cufflinks.
Lanara stands at the forefront of the location where Khitti and Brand were to exchange their vows, with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. One of her best friends was getting married and her excitement was palpable as being asked to officiate their ceremony was the highest honor a witch could receive. Lana wears an off-the-shoulder moss green dress which ends at her knees, and a pair of tan heels that add an inch to her height. The magic silencing ankle monitor had been removed, prior to the ceremony, and Lanara is grateful for this, so that she can amplify the blessing she’s to bestow on the happy couple. Her makeup is minimal, her hair falls straight and is pinned away from her face with a tan headband, and she’s void of any jewelry, save for the pentacle about her neck. She looks elegant, yet professional, and she holds a mithril woven cord in her grasp, which would be used during the ceremony. As all the guests arrive and find their places, Lana gives a slow nod to the bards to begin playing the music, and the wedding procession follows.
Brand could hardly believe this day was really happening. There was the obvious, of course -- he hadn’t previously thought himself the marrying type -- but there was also the fact that he wasn’t still trapped in the Shadow Plane somewhere, imagining all this. What had Khitti said? Weeks? Yes, it had been weeks between when Brand had been taken prisoner and when Khitti had freed him, but the timespan felt more like years to him. He still wondered from time to time if he could trust his senses, or if the treant who’d enchanted him might have power over him even here in Lithrydel. The thought “don’t believe anything that seems too good to be true” still passed through his head, a reminder. It was almost a relief, then, when he lunched on chicken wings and spilled some of the sauce on his nice new shirt. If today was all an illusion, he doubted that sort of inconvenience would have happened at all. He’d just have to make sure his tuxedo jacket stayed buttoned to hide the stain, he supposed… and with that thought, suddenly, it was time. His cue sounded, and he walked nervously down the aisle. Too late to get nerves now. Dozla was there at the end already, smirking, like she knew about the giant lump of anxiety in his throat. Well, that was more or less the behavior he expected from the best mate -- already subtly teasing him on his wedding day.
Khitti needed a shot of whiskey and she needed one right now. But, she fought that need as best as she could--there’d be plenty of alcohol at the reception. And despite the fact that she was marrying Captain Brand, King of Whiskey, it really wouldn’t do to have the bride smelling like she just sauntered her way to the beach from the Broken Barrel. “Meri, I’m gonna freak out.” Of course, this was also the tent for Meri to change into her outfit, and so she got to deal with her sister’s anxiety front and center. “What if this Brand is also an imposter and the real Brand that hated marriage and kids and love died while I was dead.” That would be her luck, after all. It ended up being less question and more statement, as Khitti’d started to convince herself of this. All during her massive panic attack, the Sound of Sirens took their cue from Lanara and began playing an instrumental version of ‘Lovesong’, a piece Khitti had wrote for Brand while she was looking for The Cure (her vampire cure, that is). There was much flailing of limbs--while being as careful as possible not to mess up her hair!--and then quite suddenly it seemed like all of Khitti’s worries went away. Spoilers: they didn’t. She’s just good at hiding it when she -really- needed too. “Okay. I’m ready.” Spoilers #2: she wasn’t ready. But, whenever it was time for Meri to head out before her, Khitti made a last second check in the mirror before heading out onto the carpet as well.
Khitti || Crystal beads in dark red, dark orange, and black accented the black mermaid-style dress that adorned Khitti’s form and sparkled in the light. The beads clung to the black applique lace along the hem of the long sheer tulle skirt, as well as covering the lace on nearly the entire top-half of the gown from the knee up. The dress as a whole was snugly fit, lacking a corset, with a v-cut front and a deep v-cut in the back. It was certainly the most formal outfit Khitti’s ever wore in her life--and the most expensive--but she was smart enough to pair it with a comfortable pair of black boots. Because frak those stiletto heels most women wear for their wedding. Frak them to all seven hells. There will be no broken ankles today, damn it. Hands adorned with lace elbow-high gloves held a bouquet of orange firelilies and a few red roses, made to match the crown of firelilies and willow branches that sat atop her head. Matte black lipstick, a thick catseye/smokey eyeshadow combination, and a fishtail braid completed the look, causing Khitti to look very much like a goth princess (maybe the goth princess should try to takeover Vailkrin while it’s in a state of chaos? She definitely blends in there). Somehow, some way, Khitti managed to get down the carpet without falling on her face. Surely, she deserves some sort of award for this. This is not very comforting to her however because her face is as red as a tomato because oh god people are staring at her. There’s not even very many people but they’re staring and Brand’s staring and oh god make it stop.
Meri :: Khitti had given Meri pretty free reign on what to wear to the wedding and, for a woman who does not have much to do with fashion, the blonde has actually put a lot of thought into what she might wear. At first she considers wearing what she intends to wear to tonight's dinner, but if you're not supposed to wear a white dress to a wedding out of respect for the bride...? Meri has decided to avoid wearing a black dress all together, as this is Khitti's choice of color for walking down the aisle tonight. Which got Meri thinking, does she even want to wear a dress? Sure, she is a bridesmaid? But Khitti -did- give her the freedom to choose...and bad luck does follow this couple around. Maybe wearing a dress was just a sure fire way of getting it destroyed? Meri has lost a number of nice outfits to the fact that actually opted to follow the dress code...and then parties go south.Like when everyone tried to party on a boat in Cenril? So Meri has opted to go the opposite direction. It is acceptable for warriors to attend such events in their armor and even bring weapons, so that is the route that Meri goes. The blonde is not always inclined to bring out her entire armor setup, often times she just picks and chooses pieces. Look, armor is not easy to get on and to take off. The blonde takes the time today. Every piece of her armor is adorned for this occasion. Her chest piece is composed of blackened leather, dark mithril sleeves shield and cover her upper arms while bracers composed of the same material as her chest piece protects her hands and forearms. Around her waist is a dark mithril wrap that ends just above the knee. It -almost- gives off the vibe that Meri is in a skirt, except it is clear she is wearing black pants of a thick fabric beneath said wrap. Her beat up combat style boots have been traded out for some heavier duty armored boots. All in all, Meri looks like she is ready to go into battle, even her hair is pulled back and secured in a series of braids. Honestly, all Meri would need to do is smudge a bit of black on her face and she would look like a battle ready viking woman. She has not done this, though. All armor and weaponry is cleaned and polished, same with the gal wearing the armor. Bridesmaid. Shieldmaiden. What's the difference. Fleur is here too! At some point Meri is kind enough to pass her daughter off toward Talyara. It seems the witch is stuck with kid duty for the duration of the ceremony. At least she is a cute looking kid. One who is dressed up as a "flower girl" for this whole affair today, living up to her name and putting a cute spin on a wedding idea for Halloween. Mostly doing okay in the behavior area. For now.
Talyara was elated to receive an invitation to Khitti and Brand's wedding and sent a return note immediately letting the happy couple know that she would be in attendance. The witch hadn't been to Rynvale since she first came to Lithrydel, but she was eager to return for this joyous occasion. Life had been riddled with so much darkness so any chance she got to celebrate love and happiness, she was one hundred percent committed. Not only was she ecstatic to celebrate the union of Khitti and Brand but she was also excited to watch her sister perform the ceremony, and she wanted to ensure that her attire was respective to witchy traditions. Pink was the color of love so she chose a dress in a dusty rose hue. The hemline of her tulle skirt fell just above her knee while the bodice was comprised of lace appliques. The shapes were made up of leaves, flowers, and vines, some dipping down into the skirt itself. The center of each flower is adorned with a small pink pearl, the gem representing not only femininity, but the opening of one's heart to another. The straps of the dress fell off her shoulders, accentuating the witch's collarbones, while the back was laced up like a corset. Despite the terrain of the outdoors ceremony, Taly opts to wear heels in the same color as her dress. Her normally unruly hair had been tamed in messy side bun, secured behind her left tapered ear, with a few curly pieces framing her face. The witch had even crafted a hair comb made of roses and pearls which was placed right above the knot in her tresses. Finding herself a vacant chair, Taly sits on the edge of her seat, practically radiating excitement, as her green gaze takes in the ambiance of the ceremony space, appreciating the autumnal touches that remind her so much of her home of Kelvar. What a beautiful day to celebrate a beautiful couple. It seems fitting that Fleur is passed off to her--hadn’t she always been in charge of corralling the children back in her home village? She’s a cute flower girl and Taly sits the little girl in her lap. If she were to catch her sister’s eye, Talyara would offer her a smile and a wave before turning to watch Brand walk down the aisle followed by his bride, looking fierce and beautiful in her black ensemble.
Lanara softly clears her throat, as tears brim in her eyes when she sees Khitti in the black dress and walking down the aisle. She looks STUNNING, and for a moment it seems that everyone sharply inhales to take in the magnificence of the gothic princess. The redhead was dear to her heart, and although she only met Brand today, she could see the love the bride held for the groom. Making sure her voice is loud enough for all gathered to hear, Lana begins, “Friends and Family, we are gathered here today to celebrate the undeniable love between Khitti and Brand, as they are joined together in the sanctity of marriage.” She raises the shimmering rope for all to see, “Woven into this cord, imbued with the power of the God and Goddess, is the hope for Khitti and Brand’s life together. With the fashioning of this knot, I will tie all their desires, dreams, happiness, and love into their lives for all eternity. By this cord, they must abide these vows, until death do them part!” She lowers the cord and looks at Khitti and Brand, her tone friendly, yet holding a note of seriousness, “You two will be bound by commitment and fear, sadness and joy, hardship and victory, anger and reconciliation, all of which brings strength to this union. If you both desire to continue, you may say your own personal vows to one another, before we proceed with the tying of your hands.” Lanara glances at Brand, as it was customary that the groom declare his sentiments before the bride.
Brand fumbled around in his pocket for a moment before finding the paper on which he’d recorded his vows. He’d folded it up tightly in his earlier nervousness, and it took him quite a while to open it fully. He took a breath, ready to read what was on the page -- and stopped suddenly short. He couldn’t read it. He couldn’t read -any- of it. Where once there had been a few carefully composed sentences, perfectly balancing his love of Khitti with his need to not be -completely- super-sappy in front of all these people, there was now… chickens. Lots and lots of chickens, scribbled in crayon all over the page. The handiwork of their poultry-loving son, no doubt. Brand turned bright red and stammered for a bit, realizing he’d have to improvise. On the bright side, at least this was further proof he wasn’t imagining today… “Uhhhhh. Apparently all of my vows have been turned into chickens.” Thanks a lot, Dominic. “I, uh… I vow to always respect you, and protect you, and… and be really bad with words when it counts.” Yep. “But I’ll make up for it! With… awesomeness! And… eating all the food you cook even when you frak it up… and, uh… making really bad jokes, and...” Brand gave up. There was no salvaging this. He hoped the pair of finger guns he aimed at his bride-to-be would make up for his lack of eloquence, somehow… ah! Wait! Lightbulb moment! He knew how to end this rambling monologue: “And, uh, I vow to be as good to you as I was terrible at this speech?” Bam. Stuck the landing.
Meri tries to keep her mouth closed in light of Brand's speech. It's really hard. She's shocked, impressed with how bad this is....! Then again, this is Brand...and emotional sentiments well...They just don't mix? Plus he's had a rough time lately. So he gets a tempered response from the blonde...Meri is going to stand there and give Brand looks like...you goob. You're just a goob.
Talyara is absolutely charmed by Brand's vows. She appreciates the improvisation in light of the chicken artwork and she grins over the head of Fleur. "He did well don't you think?" the witch whispers to the babe in her lap.
Khitti || Vows? Vows. Voooowwwwwwsssss. That thing. That thing she was supposed to write. She -did- do this thing, of course. But where she’d put it? Oh right, she was a genius and had the tailor put pockets in this dress. Because of course she would. Look, all dresses need pockets. Anyway. Brand said his own vows first and… Khitti’s fear of Brand still being some sort of Not!Brand returned. The Brand she’d first met was so different from this one now. She hadn’t been able to decide on how to write this thing. Should it be funny? Should it be sappy and probably give Brand hives? Should she be so serious that it might actually kill her? No, no. Khitti wrote some amalgamation of all three. Because of course she would. Despite the fact that she could go on nonstop about dark magic or the Shadow Plane or anything else she might’ve studied since she got to Lithrydel and actually had access to the libraries there, this was a difficult task for Khitti. That whole thing with her vows was blown entirely out of the goddamn water because of chickens and an awkward Brand. Oh Cyris. Help her. Help her now. She tried so hard not to laugh at Brand and his Brand-ness and when he was finished, she started her own masterpiece. Except… Khitti pulled out her own vows from her pocket and tore the entire paper up, letting chaos ensue. “I hated you, in the beginning. And you hated me. You didn’t have to stick around, but you did. I punched you in the face a lot because you deserved it, but somehow you’ve made it to where I don’t feel the need to do that at all anymore. It’s weird, but I’ve gotten used to it. You might’ve changed, but you changed me too. You helped me to literally live again. You make me a better person--sort of.” She couldn’t help but smirk then. Khitti’s had to say it a lot lately, but she really isn’t that great of a person, -really-. “So… I vow no more right hooks to face, because it’s far too pretty for me to screw up anymore. And… no more leaving you alone. Because that’s happened twice now because of me and I’m never going to let it happen again. And I vow to beat the frak out of anyone that tries to take you from me. And I’ll light their house on fire.” A matter-of-fact nod was given afterward, signaling that she was done. Sorry, folks. If you wanted sappy wedding vows, this was not the ceremony to come to.
Lanara has to choke back a chuckle at Dominic’s love for the chickens they had adopted from the sanctuary, and hopes Khitti won’t be –too- upset that they made it into the vows! The burning down of a harlot’s home is rather heartwarming, as redheads were known for having a jealous streak! As their declarations of love conclude, Lana lifts her hand to wipe a rogue tear from her cheek and glances at Meri and Talyara, assuming they were overcome with emotion, as well. Witnessing such romantic notions, up close and personal, was such a heartwarming experience and she’s bursting with joy for the two that stand ready to exchange their vows. “I bid you both to gaze into each other’s eyes and hold hands…” She waits for the couple to grasp palms, and she rests a hand upon each of their shoulders to give her blessing, “I call upon the cardinal directions to support this ceremony! Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North, South, East, and West that this bond shall always be happy and successful. I call upon the Lord and Lady to bear witness to this joining and exchange of vows, as once they are spoken, they cannot be undone. I call upon Mother Nature and all that is magical to imbue the blessing from my palms into the bodies of those that wish to be joined for all time.” Brand and Khitti would each feel a gentle hum upon their shoulders, before Lanara lowers her hands and readies the cord to perform the official handfasting ceremony. “I will ask you both a series of questions and you will answer with your hearts, as I bind your hands together.” Lana waits a moment and adjusts their hands in the position that would work best, before she asks the first of the questions, hoping they both would reply ‘yes’ to each in turn. “Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?”
Talyara has to quickly cover her mouth and stifle a giggle when Khitti confesses to not only hating Brand upon their first meeting, but having to knock him around a bit. Like Brand's awkward vows, Khitti's directness and honesty are endearing and the witch is thinking this is the best wedding ceremony she's ever witnessed.
Brand said, "Yes."
Khitti said, "Yes!"
Meri has been witness to some of that hate at points, she can vouch for many parts of Khitti's vows but this is not the time and the place for Meri to share any stories about Khitti being mad at Brand....
Lanara drapes the cord over their joined hands, “And so the first binding is made… Will you share each other’s dreams and do all in your power to make them come true?”
Brand said, “Yes.”
Khitti said, "Yes."
Lanara drapes the cord around their hands, “And so the second binding is made… Will you be faithful to your partner for life?”
Brand said, "Yes!"
Khitti said, "Yes."
Lanara makes a small knot in the cord, “And so the third binding is made… Will you stand by each other in sickness and in health, in poverty and in wealth, and in times of joy and sorrow?”
Brand said, "Yes."
Khitti said, "Nope. Sorry. *pause for dramatic effect* Just kidding! Yes."
Lanara makes another small knot, “And so the fourth binding is made… Will you share in laughter and always be one another’s best friend?”
Talyara 's eyes begin to brim with tears as the more traditional, witchy vows are being said and the cord tied around her hands. "This is it!" she whispers to Fleur, bouncing her slightly as she sniffles. "Doesn't your Aunt Khitti look beautiful?"
Brand said, "Of course."
Khitti said, "Yes!"
Meri :: Fleur does not fully comprehend what is going on right now, she's just not quite old enough. But she does understand the question that Talyara was asking, and the witch's distraction comes at at good time. She was just starting to get fidgety. Anyway, Fleur nods enthusiastically, Khitti is definitely pretty!
Lanara makes a third knot, “And so the fifth binding is made… “Will you promise to strengthen your bond and to never break the honor of this binding?”
Brand said, "Yes."
Khitti said, "Yes."
Lanara smiles and makes the final knot, “And so the sixth binding is made…” The couple’s hands are tightly bound and the witch speaks again to conclude the handfasting ceremony, “The knots of this binding are not held by this cord, but by the vows you both have exchanged. The promises made today and the ties that bound have greatly strengthened your union; they will cross the years and lives of each soul’s growth.” After a moment, Lanara would gently remove the cord and place it into a keepsake box that the couple could bring home with them after the ceremony. The rings are brought forth, and Lana dips each of them in blessed moon water, before extending her palm, “The circle has always been used to symbolize eternity… The ring, like the circle, is a reminder of the never ending love that Brand and Khitti have for one another. They represent the promises that you’ve willingly exchanged with the universe bearing witness to your unity. May you exchange them now, and wear them every day in good health.”
Khitti remembered her vows. She remembered to have people set up for the reception. She remembered literally everything… Except the rings. Where did she put it? Who did she hand them too? Did she actually give them to anyone? Oh boy. Panic sets in, much like it had for Brand when he realized his paper had been Dominic’d up. Dominic. Dominic? OH! RIGHT! She can’t quite run to where Dominic and Francis had been playing so she does the next best thing. “FRANCIS! Come here, boy!” Loud excited blurbles came from behind Brand’s tent again and suddenly a massive spider was heading down the aisle with a Dominic--in all his chicken-y glory--on his back! “Who’s a good boy?! Is it you?!” Francis promptly wiggled that spider butt of his. He was the best boy today. The best boy always. Khitti reached into the inner pocket of Dominic’s jacket and retrieved the rings, then spun back around and pretended like nothing happened whatsoever. There was no massive huntsman spider galloping down the red carpet. Nope. She handed over what was to be her ring to Brand, keeping his so that she could put it on his hand when it was time.
Brand lifted the ring for a moment, watching it catch the light, before lowering it and slipping it carefully onto Khitti's finger. "Hope I got the right one." The finger, that is.
Talyara freezes and blinks. Was...was that just a giant spider that came down the aisle? Yes? No? Maybe? She's going to pretend that the answer is no. There was absolutely no giant spider with a Dominic companion acting as ring bearers. Nope.
Brand gave Khitti 1 Tungsten Fire Ruby Ring.
Khitti gave 1 Tungsten Fire Ruby Band to Brand.
Meri :: As soon as the actual ceremony concludes, Meri moves over to Talyara to collect Fleur from the witch. Meri does not cling to her daughter, instead she lets the little flower girl toddle around the area....and it is of course her chicken-boy cousin that she is most interested in interacting with right now. Meri was in much the same boat as Talyara, she is not a fan of the spider-doggo. She's not a fan of spiders. See, one time in Vailkrin...ahem. Anyway. Meri empathizes with the witch, but Francis was here and there was not much to be done about it. Fleur certainly did not seem to mind. "He's a very smart spider apparently," she comments to Talyara.
Lanara isn’t all that surprised to see a giant spider marching down the aisle, with the adorable ring bearer upon its back. She did have a soft spot for animals, and were this –her- wedding she’d likely have it at an actual zoo! Also… She’s totally going to plot when Fleur and Dominic are of age and play the role of matchmaker! The witch smiles and takes a step back from the couple, “Khitti and Brand… You have expressed your love to one another through the promises you’ve just made. You’re no longer simple partners or best friends, as I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may seal this union with a kiss!” Lana excitedly applauds and announces to all, “Friends and Family, it is my pleasure to present to you Mr. and Mrs. Herzegler!!!”
Brand cheers and sweeps Khitti backwards into a long kiss.
Talyara hands over Fleur who was an excellent wedding companion and was super well behaved (aside from a little bit of fidgeting but that's entirely understandable!). "I mean, he seems very intelligent," she agrees with a weary glance back down the aisle.
Talyara lets out a raucous whoop and cheer when Lanara declares Khitti and Brand married and the groom sweeps his bride into a kiss to seal the deal!
Meri also cheers! Then there is Fleur who is wondering why Taly and Meri are suddenly deciding to cheer. The toddler joins in, but in her own childish way, she howls like the mini-wolf she is.
Khitti totally kissed Brand back. Like, a lot. It was hard not to make out with him in front of everyone. Sorry, Dominic, you’ll get scarred for life sooner or later. But, no. She does not do this thing. What Khitti does do is point towards Brand’s ship that’s docked nearby and proclaimed, “To the reception! So we can all get moderately drunk and eat cheesecake ‘til we pass out.”
The Orchard, Rynvale
The reception was an entirely different monster to decorate (get it? Monster? Because it’s Halloween? Haha). Where the ceremony’s decorations were tasteful and everything you’d expect at the wedding, the orchard where the reception was held was not. Actual spiderwebbing had been draped around everywhere with Francis’ help, the silvery string sparkling in the sunlight--everything had been set up like a Halloween party because… well… it was one! Inside the greenhouse food and drinks had been set up, varying from things like a cauldron full of green fruit punch to “poisoned” candy apples and a haunted gingerbread house and even red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that looked like a vampire bit into it (it even had cherry blood filling that oozed out of the bite marks!). There was definitely a booze table--because it would not be a KhittiBrand wedding without it--and the real food was being dealt with by people from Khitti’s bakery, while Khitti, Brand, and Co. all had fun with the snacks and games and dancing. The Sound of Sirens had gotten here before everyone else, of course, and had things set up by time everyone from the wedding showed up--traveling as a band was so much easier when you’re using a portal system. Near the area set up for dancing was a basket of various masquerade masks to make things feel more like a party! And last but not least, a table was set up with the cake! It was a two-tiered cheesecake, one a few inches above the other on a cake stand. On the very top, and drenched in strawberry glaze, were two anatomically correct hearts (made of regular cake!); the glaze dripped down from one tier to the other, as if the hearts had literally been ripped out of someone’s chest and plopped down onto the cheesecake. Next to it was an odd looking black candle. It looked like something that’d been left on a shelf for way too long, had a little bit of dust on it, and yet… here it was. At a wedding.
Khitti had considered changing her clothes on the ship, but you know, she really hasn’t wore anything even close to this in a long time. Francis assisted his mother instead, scuttling along behind her with the train of her dress in the paws of his front-most legs. Once she was on land again though, she took off towards the mask basket, plucking out one that looked like a black cat, whiskers and all. “So I had been reading some things, before I asked Lanara to officiate for us, and I read about unity candles. So, I went out to find one and wouldn’t you know it? All they had was this one.” Khitti shrugged nonchalantly. A candle was a just a candle after all. “So, since… you know… Brand and I like setting things on fire--” They do. They really do. “--we thought that lighting it would be a good way to start the party off!” Whenever Brand was ready, Khitti’d conjure up a small bit of her shadowfire, lighting the wick when he did.
Brand created a great big ball of fire, entirely too large for the candle they were about to light. He made a show of almost throwing it at the candle, before "reluctantly" shrinking it down to a more appropriate size and blasting it off alongside Khitti's flame. The candle sparked, and a black flame sprung forth from the wick. Wait... black? Brand had never seen -black- fire before. How odd. After watching it for a moment, Brand shrugged, grabbed the first mask he saw (tiger mask!) and made a beeline for the cheesecake. Sure, he'd have to wait for Khitti so they could cut the cake together, but that wasn't the point. The point was... making a race out of a thing that did not need to be a race. Because Brand needed cheesecake, and Brand needed it NOW.
Meri :: There they were, at the reception of a wedding that was long overdue. Fleur was overjoyed by the decoration choices her Auntie has made and wanted to see EVERYTHING. Which made Meri feel slightly overwhelmed, it was fun trying to keep up with a kid, right? Honestly, in most cases it would not be an issue..but Fleur was of the age where looking involved touching and whatever is touched by a toddler? Well any parent knows they usually either a. break it or b. make a mess out of it. At least this is what happens when parents are not attentive. So Meri spends the first few minutes chasing Fleur around who wants to look (and touch) all the cool things. Like Aunt Khitti's two tiered cheesecake, that was the literal first thing that steal Fleur's attention. Must put hand in cake before it is cut, yes? Obviously. Thankfully the candle was near the cake that Fleur was all excite about (Brand and Fleur clearly have something in common), so Meri was not missing out on this unity candle lighting.
Talyara excitedly follows the wedding guests towards a familiar place that she hadn't been to in years. Once upon a time, Taly worked in this very orchard, lived near the greenhouse, too! It was very nostalgic and she takes a moment to stand in the entrance and admire not only the Halloween decorations, but the memories of her first weeks in Lithrydel. Samhain is her favorite holiday so of course she approves of the ambiance! The witch spends a few minutes looking through the basket of masks and eventually settles on some type of bird one with beautiful plumage and a pronounced beak. She grins as Fleur toddles by excitedly with Meri in tow, making sure she doesn't destroy anything in the process. After affixing the mask over her eyes, Taly eyes the bar table and immediately sidles up to it to examine the offerings.
Lanara needed the boat ride to collect her thoughts, refresh her makeup, and comb her long locks which were slightly frizzing from the humidity of the volcanoes. Stepping into the orchard she greets Talyara with a tight hug, “You look beautiful, as always! How are you doing, Sister?” After exchanging pleasantries, she leans in, conspiratorially, “How did I handle the ceremony? I was so nervous up there, and I kept tearing up when they exchanged vows! Is my mascara running?” Once she’s absolutely certain that her makeup is flawless, she gives Taly a peck on the cheek and leaves her side to greet Meri and Fleur. Knowing better than to pull the armored psion into a hug, Lana smiles at her friend and hands a daisy to the little girl, “You look so pretty, Fleur! And you love lovely in your armor, Meri. The wedding was beautiful!” The witch cannot stop smiling as she’s truly elated to have witnessed Brand and Khitti’s union, so as they are lighting the candle in unison, she turns and applauds, “Congratulations!!!” The candle is black… Unlike the traditional white… Yet, the theme at the reception is Halloween, so she tries to brush it off as the couple merely being festive. Was that a black flame?! It’s spooky to see, so she yells another cheer, and heads towards the gift table, where she places a large pouch of gold and a small gift box. Inside the box is a note, along with a glowing stone that has been perfectly broken in half, so that the line shines from the middle to guide ones way. A note reads, ‘Khitti and Brand! Congratulations on your marriage! Never go to bed angry, hold hands often, and when you want to renew your vows you know how to reach me! In times of darkness. (Or the Shadow Plane!) may each of you use your stone to guide your way back to each other. All my love, Lana.’ Next, the witch approaches the masks and picks one of a glittering butterfly, which she holds against her face with a delighted squeal.
Khitti || Despite the fact that a good portion of Rynvale had a tropical-like climate, a sudden chilly breeze blew through the area. It rustled the trees branches, apples were tossed from the limbs, and leaves were left to flutter about until they found a home on the ground. Everyone started to go about their business--or chasing their children around because toddlers are insane--and Khitti followed after Brand who seriously could not control himself when strawberry cheesecake was around. She’d let him cut the cake and take the first bite before she stuffed some of her own into her face. Everything’s fine--until suddenly it wasn’t. The music kept playing and the workers from Khitti’s bakery brought out dinner (which was kept hot under enchanted metal lids until people were ready to eat). But, something felt off. The wind had stopped. There were no birds flying overhead, as would be expected with a place so near to the beach. Hell, there wasn’t even any birds or squirrels in the trees. There had been but now… ? No, it was fine. Totally fine. The redhead went back to stuffing her face, this time with one of the hearts on top. Khitti literally took off her gloves, tossed them aside, picked up a heart and nonchalantly started chomping into it (sometimes Khitti’s more primal tendencies from being a vampire flares up now and again). It couldn’t be heard well above the din of the music, but there was cackling in the air, and the faint scent of death and decaying plant matter getting ever so closer to the reception.
Brand is oblivious to anything that isn't cheesecake. And Khitti, of course. She's the one thing he'll readily admit to liking more than cheesecake. And so it is that his cheeks are stuffed full and there's "blood" icing dribbling down his chin when the change in the wind becomes impossible to ignore. "Whuff ih vhat?" he asks around his mouthful of cake, and points to a distant tree. No... not a tree, but the shambling creatures ahead of it. Three figures, tinted a sickly-looking red, are proceeding in lockstep towards the reception. Each of them is wearing a colorful set of witch-like robes... but unlike Lanara and Talyara, they don't look like they're here to have a good time an' harm none.
Meri :: Perhaps most could not hear that faint cackling in the air over the music, but both Fleur and Meri pick up on it. Well. To an extent. Maybe Meri is just hearing things that are not there, as she cannot fully make out what the sound is. Heck, it could even be related to some of the decor that Khitti put up? The scent of death and decaying plant matter becomes increasingly more obvious to Meri, but the still relatively young werewolf is not completely in tune with her senses. She has to stand there and put considerable thought into if this scent is part of the decor, or something else. It might be hard to do with a toddler, except that Fleur is also puzzling over the same mysteries. Werewolves. Meri is just about to say something like 'Hey guys?' but Brand comes up with a much more charming way to alert the guests to their problem. See, this is why Meri came dressed as she did. With a bit of a sigh and a roll of her eyes, guess who is left to protect her child during this? Talyara. She's instructed to run away, leave the area, ideally bringing Fleur with her if things get to hairy. Meri needs to go out there and meet that trio, who probably have no good intentions, fully prepared to stab them in the face once they have displayed that they have no good intentions...the warrior is drawing her pointy-stabby thing while she marches out to meet these mystery guests.
Talyara gives Lanara a tight embrace when they meet at the reception and she smooths a stray lock of hair behind her sister's slightly tapered ear. "-You- look beautiful," she counters with a giggle before ensuring and promising Lana her makeup looks perfect and there's not an eyelash out of place! As to the ceremony, "you did amazingly, Lana! It was perfect! If I ever get married I don't know whether to have you as a maid of honor or the officiant!" After a few more minutes of chatter they separate and Taly selects a glass of some amber liquor. Soon she is trailing after her sister to the gift table and places her own parcel on the table. There was a pouch of gold as well as a polished pink quartz crystal cut in the shape of a heart. A bit of parchment had been slipped into the ribbon around the box and her elegant script was etched in purple ink. "Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs.! Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness. All my love, Talyara". As the wind blows a chill runs down the witch's spine and she shivers. Perhaps she should have brought a sweater? After a few minutes something tugs at her intuition and she turns to spy the creepy witch-type figures. Her green eyes widen and she immediate scans the crowd for Lanara and makes a beeline towards her sister. She finds her way intercepted by Meri who is passing off Fleur once more, the psion ready to jump into action and act as protector. She's not a mother herself but those maternal instincts are going to kick in and the witch scoops up the toddler in her arms, balances her on her hip, and continues on her way to Lanara.
Lanara is bouncing around to the beat of the music, occasionally batting her long lashes at Gorey Taelyr, because even as an undead he was still pretty sexy. A piece of glitter from the mask falls into her eye and she begins to blink rapidly, helplessly trying to remove the gritty substance while wearing a butterfly face covering. She’s trying to play it cool, otherwise she may not be included in any more weddings, and so she tries to poke her pointer finger through the hole and into her eye, but her nail ends up scratching her eye. She’s cursing now, and spastically jerking in a circle as her head twitches in agony and her right eye tears, considerably. The witch used to be a diva on the dance floor, but now she’s looks more like a damsel in optical distress, stumbling over her two left feet. At least she stopped making eyes at Gorey, or trying to engage Francis into joining her in some eight legged two-stepping. The smell of decay hits her nostrils and for a moment Lana assumes it’s some sort of egg and asparagus dish, as the island was known for having some unique dishes. “Wh-?” Having another –moment- as she nearly stumbles into one of the banquet tables, Lana flails and tries to remove her mask, when her hand accidentally smacks Talyara upside the head. “Hey! Watch it!” Mask removed, Lana rounds on her sister and her eyes grow wide as she realizes she nearly smacked Fleur, “Careful! You’re holding a baby!” Fleur giggles at Taly getting backhanded, but it’s not long before the two sisters and Meri’s child are glancing at the evil trio that’s making their way towards the reception. “I take it they weren’t invited?” Dark hues narrow on the robed figures and Lana walks closer to Brand and Khitti, motioning for her sister to take the kids and spider and get to safety. The monitor was off, if she needed to use her magic, so be it.
Khitti || Francis let out a spidery hiss as the creatures approached, carrying Dominic elsewhere, somewhere near Lanara--he seemed to be able to sense that Lanara had an affinity with animals, and then he went on to Talyara when he was motioned to. The hiss and the Meri walking away, sword in hand, alerted the Khitti much more than Brand’s stuffed-face-questioning. A slew of Dhavislaavian, Catalian (cause she learned a bit from Brand and Lionel), and Common curses left Khitti’s mouth as she stormed off towards where her sister had gone. “Hey! Who the hell do you think you are? You’re not invited. It’s a private party for a rea--” The closer the undead got, the more she could see the pulsing red vines that had snaked themselves in and out of their chest cavity and various other places where they’d rotted away. “Meri. Meri, stop!”
Khitti || “The Shadow Plane sends its regards,” said the eldest of the three, her red hair just barely covering up a spot on her head where she was very much missing a part of her skull. The same sort of pulsing vines that covered them popped up out of the ground, grabbing Khitti’s arms, legs, and even her waist, pulling her down to the ground. No no no no no. This was not happening again! Thorns sprouted from the eldest’ vines, seeking to turn Khitti into a talking pincushion. The blonde of the trio darted away from her sisters, heading in Talyara and the children’s direction. And finally, the brunette sought to tangle (literally) with Meri, seeking to ensnare her in vines like Khitti, though the brunette’s were covered in spores.
Brand || How dare these people interrupt cheesecake time. Didn't they understand that cheesecake time is sacred? Well, it's a good thing these witches are clearly up to no good, because Brand was inclined to light them on fire regardless. And he'd start with the redhead, turning her crimson hair into crimson flame. Paws off the new wife! Er... vines! Vines off the wife! Luckily, this wasn't the part of the day where Brand was expected to make a speech, because between the cheesecake mouthful and the Khitti-saving, he really did not have words.
Meri :: No, sorry, Khitti. You are too late. Meri already pushed the start button, you see? She was already in motion, already off, there was no 'off' switch to Meri at this point in the game. Well, okay that is not really true. Sometimes she actually has the sense to stop and listen to what someone might be trying to convey, but in this moment she does not have the chance. The trio of dead, or undead, witches unleashes their plan of attack before Meri really has a chance to respond to Khitti one way or another. They each have their targets, and while Meri is particularly concerned with the direction the blonde ghoul has taken off to, she is forced to deal with the brunette of the bunch. Mention of these creatures being from the Shadow Plane is enough to strike at Meri's nerves, it was hard to not completely freeze up and shut down in the face of battle. But doing so would mean that she would be entangled in those red vines, and Meri was sure she did not want that. Not if they were from the Shadow Planes. There was one course of action as far as the blonde was concerned: fight. As is customarily the case with her sword, it was sent ablaze the moment that it was drawn from it's scabbard. It's not magic that fuels Meri's weapon, just basic mechanics. The sword was coated with a resin that sparked into flames as it was withdrawn from the metal scabbard, due to the friction. And so the psion would hack away at the vines, trying to fight her way closer to the brunette. The psionically inclined warrior would use every trick in her book to try and make quick work of this wicked witch, from using her telekinesis to hinder the vines, to fancy footwork, to some mad-stabbing skills. The goal was to try and eliminate the brunette so that she could very quickly turn to Lanara and Talyara and assist with the blonde. She just wanted to skewer the brunette so that she could decapitate the blonde? Was that so much to ask? They were quite rude and started this mess after all...Khitti and Brand? Well Meri knew well enough that they could take care of themselves, she was more concerned about her dang daughter. Quote Ms. Lovato.
Talyara has some experience with her sister's spastic ways but the way she was twitching on the dance floor and bobbing her head like she had water in her ear, the younger witch is momentarily concerned that Lanara is having some type of fit or perhaps a seizure. She tries to approach her with caution but with a violent spin, Talyara is given a smack up the side of her head. "Ow!" she yells, cupping her ear just as Lana is yelling at -her- to watch it. Taly wrinkles her nose at a giggling Fleur before securing the toddler more tightly against her hip. "You watch it! You're the one flailing around on the dance floor! This is like Yule Ball all over again when you and that lunatic were waltzing through Hildegarde's blood!" She watches as Khitti stomps off towards Meri just as Francis, the "pretend" giant spider and Dominic come towards her. Both arms wrap around Fleur protectively as she turns towards the wedding crashers, eyes widening as Khitti seems to be overtaken by the redheaded being's creepy vines. She hears mention of the Shadow Plane and anxiety bubbles up inside the witch. She had been there once and it left a lasting and traumatizing impression. Talyara barely has time to process this when the blonde creature darts towards her and her first instinct is to protect the kids. She throws up her left hand and shouts a string of words that are neither sylvan nor common and a burst of shimmering, golden light materializes between her, the children, the spider, and the would be assailant. If Lanara didn't leave her side, she would also be protected by Taly's magical shield. "Stay close to me!" she shouts at her sister and Francis, hoping the spider understands what she's talking about. Hopefully, everyone listens and they press closely to one another thus making her aura-shield more effective by covering a larger space. Slowly, while keeping up the protective barrier, the witch and begins to back away from the attack, eyes darting over her shoulder to find a more secure and safe location.
Lanara comes to a brief halt when Khitti yells at Meri to ‘stop’ and not to approach the figures. Perhaps, they were disgruntled over not being invited, and weren’t truly bad guys? The Sound of Sirens was undead, so it’s likely that the newlyweds were friends with others that were not so lively. They’re disgusting looking and the hair on the back of Lana’s neck rises, as she can sense the darkness emanating from their forms. The mention of the Shadow Plane has the witch casting a sidelong glance at Brand, who was just –rescued- from that hellish place, and she hopes they aren’t here to drag him back. “This is a –formal- affair! Those crimson rags are so last season! And like the lady said, you three beastly broads weren’t invited!” Hands on hips, eye still tearing and bloodshot, she looks as if she just came back from war, yet she’s fully prepared to head there if it means protecting those she holds dear. Khitti is grabbed by those vicious vines and Lana takes a step towards her, hands outstretched as she tries to grab onto her friend. This was her wedding day! Couldn’t these freaks let them have –one- day without chaos?! It’s out of the corner of her unscratched eye that Lana sees the blonde figure making a beeline for her sister and the children, and the witch growls and gives chase. Seeing that Talyara has a shield spell in place, she has no qualms about taking the offense, “As above, so below, to the sun is where I’ll go! Fire and fury, aide me I plead! Burn and maim, where darkness doth breed!” Lana storms towards the blonde who is trying to break through Taly’s barrier, as streaks of gold shoot from her fingertips and coil around the figure, engulfing her in a molten hug that threatens to burn her to ash. Fueled with the power of the sun, the witch focuses on her magic, a faint smile on her lips. It’s the first time she’s used it in nearly a year, and it feels so good. Would it kill this wretched woman? Save Taly, Francis, Fleur, and Dominic? She’s certain it will, as light often defeats darkness.
Khitti || Oh that redhead witch’s hair went up like a match in dry grass. Banshee-like shrieking filled the air as she, somewhat comically, tried to put her hair out. The vines gave a bit of slack and Khitti managed to pull herself out of it. “Goddamn it. This was a nice goddamn dress and I’ll never have another like it.” What does that even mean, Khitti? It means, readers, that Khitti’s haphazardly tearing off the tulle skirt, leaving her with a knee-length little black dress to be able to move around in. Unfortunately for Khitti’s band, they all scurried their way towards the greenhouse to hide--they are undead, after all, and the majority of the people at the party were wielding fire. A lot of fire. And more joined it as Khitti conjured up her shadowflames, pelting more at the redheaded witch before shadowstepping behind her. “Do you know what I do to bitches from the Shadow Plane that try to ruin my day?” Pause. “I rip their hearts out.” It’s true. She’s done it. Once. Sorry not sorry, Amarrah. Khitti’s right hand easily pierced through the back of witch, aiming to grab her heart. And Khitti did, she really did grab her heart. Except… it was very much connected to all the vines that enveloped the witch and she couldn’t remove it by force. And eventually, she even let out a yelp once she realized more vines were crawling OUT OF THE HEART and tried to get a hold of her again.
Khitti || Meanwhile, Meri’s fury is unmatched and she dealt with the spore witch quickly. Except, the spore witch exploded. Thankfully for Meri, however, those spores wouldn’t affect her much because of her lycanthropy. Maybe she got a little sleepy as she went after the blonde witch? A little woozy? Who knows. The blonde witch couldn’t care less about the psion though. Oh no, she wanted those children. Even the spider could be of use. A spider and child stew would be nice, yes? “Come here, little ones…” And then she started singing. What the hell. Dominic, in all of his Dominic-ness… is actually okay with this “pretty lady” singing to him. His mommy sings to him too, so this was alright, right? The singing was interrupted by Lanara’s quick thinking and flame spell, and the lack of the nice melody made Dominic not so happy. Loud toddler wailing ensued and this prompted Francis to leave the kid next to Talyara and lunge at the blonde witch, assisting Lanara. There’s lots of spider-shrieking and generally not good eating sounds coming from him, as well as a bit of venom spewed here at there. Gross.
Brand ever so helpfully runs up behind Khitti and adds his strength to hers, Would this even work? Well, if nothing else, at least they'll be vine-entangled together. And it does seem that it will end that way for a moment, until Brand decides to add some more fire to the mix. Out comes the witch's heart with a wet, sickening PLOP! and with the force of its release, Brand goes tumbling backwards with Khitti tumbling on top of him, and gross tainted-witch-ooze splattering on top of the both of them as the creature explodes in defeat. Well... at least the sauce stain from earlier would have good company, now? He's heard of "Trash the Dress" sessions, but this is ridiculous.
Meri was unharmed for the most part, though she definitely was feeling a bit sleepy. Meri returns to collect her daughter. "Thank you, to the both of you," she says to Lanara and Talyara. It's not that Meri was not concerned about the situation, that she did not have questions for Khitti...on the opposite side of the very same coin, Meri very admittedly wanted little to do with the Shadow Planes after being stuck there as long as she was. Brand probably understands, but he likely has less choice than Meri. "It is a shame that we had to cut this party short...Were I not here with Fleur? I would say let's hitch the bodies into the ocean and party on...but...I think the kiddo has had enough excitement for one night so we will be going." A beat. "It was a beautiful wedding..." The after party just needed help. I mean...a witch literally exploded while in rather close proximity to her. A second witch did the same with KhittiBrand. Meri was done being social, she wanted to go home and bath. For the second dang time today. And maybe try and find a nap in somewhere amongst all those. Maybe on the way home she'd rent a carriage? Fleur willing she could convince the toddler to nap with her.
Talyara is sort of concerned about Lanara using her magic--she knows her sister hasn't used it in quite some time and she is secretly wondering if there's going to be some misfiring going on. But the blonde undead witch begins to sing and Dominic seems to like it. "Let's play a game!" she says to the pair of children, trying to keep her voice semi-calm and not shrill. "Whoever can cover their ears the longest gets a present!" Would they listen? Would they care? The witch doesn't know, she just doesn't want them to be lured into the blonde wench's magic. However, Talyara needn't worry about Lanara for her sun magic takes hold and Francis leaves the protection of the shield charm to join the fray. "Shhh, it's okay Dominic," Taly coos to the waling child while trying to simultaneously keep her hold on Fleur AND maintain the golden protective barrier. The young boy's tie catches Taly's green eye and she wiggles her fingers, manipulating a bit of her protective magic so that a part of the golden shimmer detaches and, after swirling in midair for a moment, shapes itself into a chicken which begins to bob around Dominic. Hopefully, it would distract him from his crying. Looking up Taly realizes that all these hags seem to have been disposed of and Meri is heading in their direction. Quickly, the witch dispels her shield magic (save for the little chicken as she didn't want to upset Dominic further) so that the psion can collect Fleur. "Did I just become the best babysitter ever?" She asks to no one in particular, a half smirk on her lips, clearly trying to insert some ebullience into the otherwise tense moment.
Lanara firmly holds her footing in the good witch versus bad witch showdown, the sparks nearly igniting her own fingertips as they steadily deliver stream after stream of light magic at the robed woman that dares to try and coax the children. Dominic’s cries are heard, Meri is seen in her peripheral, and she can swear she hears the squishing sound of an organ being squashed coming from Khitti’s general direction. Still… Lanara isn’t deterred from her stance on taking down the blonde, and she wouldn’t lower her hands or slow her magic, until she was nothing more than rubble. Francis is spewing spider toxin all over the place, but thankfully it adds to the effect of the flames, making the corrosive burns scatter at a faster speed. It’s strange that doing something honorable is bringing Lana agony, but it’s a pivotal moment for the witch, and tears are flowing down her cheeks as rapidly as droplets in a rainstorm. She was fighting to prove her innocence, as she was wrongfully accused of misusing her magic… And she was –still- an innocent, putting an end to the ‘evil’ she was compared to, in the eyes of society. It’s painful and freeing, insulting and comforting, and above all confusing. Thankfully, all the silent crying rids her scratched eye of the glitter and she’s able to see her target more clearly. The target has been terminated, as it clearly had enough of being endlessly fried and poisoned, so it chose to explode in defeat. A few charred shreds of the late season robe remain, along with the random spit piles of Francis’ venom, and Talyara feels it’s safe enough to expel the protective shield. Lanara lowers her arms and looks around the area, taking a deep breath, as she sways slightly. It had been taxing using magic, especially after having been silenced for so long, and she’s in dire need of a stiff drink and a nap. Meri collects Fleur and prepares to leave, not that anyone can blame her, and Lana seems to have trouble finding words as she merely gives them a nod. “Taly… Let’s head back to Sage, okay?” She waits for confirmation, before she heads over to Brand and Khitti and gives them each a quick parting hug, “Thank you both… You guys look great, even covered in gore. I’ll catch up with you later in the week, Khitti… Congratulations on your wedding! Now, go enjoy your wedding night and put this behind you both, at least for tonight!” She winks, trying to add some levity to the situation, before she collects her sister and they head back to the safety of the cottage for the evening.
Khitti muttered something to Brand about she was supposed to be on top of him -later-. Sheesh. And now she was very much going to need a bath. And a tailor to fix that dress. And a lot of alcohol. Meri decided it was time to head home, and while Khitti would be sad to see her go, she understood. Kids were literally the worst sometimes. That and she knew that the witches and Meri had their own little get-together that night anyway. She’d give her sister and niece hugs at arms length because she’s covered in gross undead ooze before letting them head elsewhere. When it was certain that all three witches were dead, Khitti just sighed, “I think I’m getting too old for this.” She’s not been human again for too long, but things were definitely starting to catch up with her. After making sure that Lanara and Talyara and Dominic were fine, she’d offer an apology. “Sorry… I know exactly who sent them. And I should’ve known things were not going to end well.” She really should have. And then it’s made known that the witches (the not-undead ones because they’re now really dead) needed to leave as well. She’d nod to both of them, and see them off, and then grabbed up Dominic before rejoining Brand in whatever he’s decided to do now that the bad things were dead and he could return to his beloved cheesecake. “One more vow,” she said,” no more parties. Unless they’re on the ship and everything is on lockdown.” Oi.