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FEPlanet Community
[IRP] Power Begets Power - Printable Version

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RE: Power Begets Power - Lavi - 04-11-2020

Cecily blinked in surprise as Orica revealed herself, but kept quiet about the revelation. She had believed the lady of Tania dead since it seemed that no one had heard of her whereabouts since the purge of nobles across Lycia. In stark contrast to Shad, Cecily seemed a little cold about the whole affair. Orica and Cecily knew each other personally; so why did Orica feel the need to hide her identity? Did their friendship mean that little to Orica? Or perhaps there is something else forcing Orica to hide beneath the mask of Goldhardt?

"Who cares right now?!" Satsume's voice stirred Cecily from her thoughts.

She watched as Satsume stepped in between herself and Orica and their eyes met. His annoyance was plain to see, but there was something else in his gaze the bothered Cecily. She would have naturally expected him to not care at all, as his voice would have suggested, but his eyes told a different story. He knew something she did not. Did he know Orica of Tania? Or worse: did he suspect that Goldhardt was Orica without telling her?

"There will be plenty of time to catch up on things along the way," Satsume was saying.

"Yes, plenty," she agreed, keeping her focus locked on Satsume.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Typically, Cecily would sit within the wagon, where she would rest easy, but that space was taken up by the Pheraean merchandise that would be key to giving them access to the castle town. Once within, it would take some reconnoitering to determine how to best proceed. Being from the Lausian noble family, Cecily is aware of the escape routes out of the castle, but they do not lend themselves as good methods of sneaking inside.

She leaned over as Satsume caught up to her wagon, armed with questions. Fair questions, but ones that she had no good answer for.

"I can assure you that there will be plenty of guards to whet an appetite for blood. We should not worry too much about Laus's contingent of assassins: they have been largely depleted in Bern. But it is hard to say how many guards retain staunchly loyal to the marquess," she told him.

The noblewoman leaned back in her seat to contemplate the second question, pressing her lips against a curled finger. Trained soldiers is a commodity that no ruler would dare throw out, so it seemed unlikely that the army ranks would be purged to consolidate loyalty.

"My personal guard would be the most likely candidates to convince," Cecily said, returning her attention to Satsume. "Convincing Captain Serge should bring the guard in line with us. Beyond that, any who refuse to yield should be cut down. I will not have you haphazardly risking your life for the lives of men who swore an oath to the marquessate."

She realized her words seemed harsh, but everyone should treasure their own lives just as much as they treasure others. There is no point in taking unnecessary risks, especially when there is a gross disparity in manpower.

"We can determine the finer details of locating Captain Serge once we get past the checkpoint," she finished. "But first, there is 'catching up' to do."

She turned her attention to where Orica was trailing behind the wagon, waving to get her attention. "Orica! Come over here!"

When the lady of Tania manages to pull up alongside her, Cecily gave her a mock stern face, mimicking the elder maidservant who served the two back in Tania. "You have a lot of explaining to do, young lady. What happened to you?"

Back in the day, Cecily would visit Tania on the way to meet with Bernese ambassadors, which helped ease the burden of the journey. The visits also helped relations between Laus and Tania. Politically, it was a win-win, but Cecily genuinely enjoyed her time with Orica then. Those were simpler times.


RE: Power Begets Power - Cevian - 04-13-2020

”It is not surprising that many people assumed I was dead. By all reason I should be.” Orica replies to Shad. Before she could explain further, Satsume interrupted her reveal to say that they should get going. She sighed. ”Indeed. As much as I want to explain myself, there are a few things I wish to do before we leave. The most important is getting out of this gaudy excuse for armor and into something more functional.”

With a respectful nod, she left to go get to that. Lita followed along behind her, still pouting a bit and not wanting to stick around to get badgered with questions while Orica was busy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The wind across Orica's face was a welcomed returning feeling as she rode alongside their group. It was good to have a bit of time to think as well, given what had happened. Her thoughts were pushed to the side as Cecily called out to her. The time to talk was at hand. Waving to make sure Shad joined them, given that he was curious to, she didn't want to have to explain herself more times than was necessary, she rode up alongside the carriage.

”In the interest of casting off any secrets, given that Lita has done a wonderful job of obfuscating them, I will now tell you exactly what has happened as briefly as possible.”

Taking a deep breath, she began, ”Some time ago I met Satsume and Shad in a village in Pherae. It was a happenstance meeting when we were all caught up in a fight with some Bandits. Afterwhich Satsume and I traveled to Tania where we eventually parted ways. Displeased with the fact that my family had been... disposed of, I ended up attempting to retake it myself. That did not end well for me. I was left for dead in the mountains near the border with Bern but I somehow managed to cling onto life. Uncertain what to do I eventually happened upon the new Black Fang there, as they were hiding in the mountains.”

Taking another, slower, deep breath, she continued. ”Despite clinging to life I felt as if I should no longer have it, given how utterly defeated I was. My only choice would be to keep trying to retake Tania until I either succeeded or my grip on life finally broke. Their leader stopped me, He dueled me. If I won, I would have gone on and would probably be dead by now. If he won, he was to kill me but instead of doing so he gave me a chance to try to find a new life leaving who I was 'dead.' That led me to being assigned to Lita for training and I suspect punishment, with the rule I was not allowed to let anyone know who I was. Satsume managed to figure it out without any errors on my part. We asked him to keep it to himself until we at least got word on what to do given that my secret was revealed but it could not be blamed on me. I was 'let go' as you will from the Black Fang regardless. That should bring us all up to speed.”


RE: Power Begets Power - Swift_Assassin - 04-15-2020

Shad was a little rattled by Satsume's outburst. Yeah, they have a mission to do, but what was a couple of minutes anyway? Something seemed off. Shad, Paige, and Kalin took separate paths to Pharae, but Shad never found out where Satsume, Orica, and Neil went off too after fighting Glass. With the way Neil was acting, he probably went off on his own, but did Satsume and Orica travel together? It was possible, but Shad had no proof to it. Considering his behavior though...


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Shad sat rather quietly in the wagon. There was a bit of friction between him and Cecily, which made it awkward and sometimes a little uncomfortable to talk with her. Toss in the lingering thoughts about Orica and the whole Black Fang association with Lita, any interactions with her or Lita probably wouldn't help mend any bridges right now. He spent the time cracking his knuckles and other joints. It would've been annoying to hear, but over the sounds of the wagon, it probably wasn't noticed. He turned to look at Cecily, who was talking to Satsume about...something. He wasn't paying attention. Only a few minutes later, when she called over Orica, was Shad's attention grabbed. Orica even flagged him over to listen in.

Upon hearing Orica's story, he knew where she was coming from. She was a dark mirror of his own life. One where he was forced to seize what was his by himself. He was fortunate that men loyal to his father and those repelled enough by Faustus were at his side when the time came. Then he realized, Cecily's life was yet another life that was possible to him. One with a stable family structure and a consistent education. It was something to think about, anyway.

Shad considered speaking up, but now wasn't the time. Though Cecily seemed rather cold to her reveal, when she called Orica over, it had a sense of familiarity in it. The Lycian lords tried to be close-knit unit, at least, that was what Wolfram had told him, in regards to the early lives of Lord Hector and Lord Eliwood. They must have known each other far longer than anyone here knew anyone else. So he'll indulge her and let her catch up.


RE: Power Begets Power - WyvernSlayer - 05-17-2020

Satsume lowered his head and blinked in understanding.  Orica's story went more or less how he suspected it had.  Cecily sat quietly beneath her umbrella, absorbing Orica's tale with an expression that seemed to flash between immersion and consternation.  But each mention of Satsume’s name brought with it an icy glare.  Satsume simply shrugged as Orica finished her tale.  While he was certain Cecily planned on peeling him like an onion once they were in private, he had too much else to worry about in the immediate future.

Just then, the wagon driver in the lead shouted, “We’re approaching the castle town!”

That seemed to jolt everyone to attention.  Satsume walked up alongside Orica’s steed.  “We’re happy to have your strength with us again, milady.  What do you say to one more tandem?”  He met Orica’s hard gaze with his own.  A smirk crept across his face.  “I promise I won’t get in the way this time.”  She hesitated for a moment, then nodded.

“Okay,” said Satsume, facing the rest of the group.  “Let’s do this thing.  The three of you need to go with the wagon to the checkpoint.”  He paused on Cecily.  “Milady… you must guide them to the castle entrance, but discretion is critical.  I will go to the barracks and use my, uh… credentials… to make sure they won’t be a problem.”  He walked around to the other side of the wagon and got the attention of the driver.

“We need you to distract the checkpoint guards long enough for them to slip past.  Can we count on you?”

“Aye.  Lord Elbert told us to assist you in any way we can,” the driver nodded.

“Good.  Now, if you all would excuse me for a few minutes…” Satsume gave one last glance to Cecily and winked.  “I have some business to attend to.  I’ll see you all on the other side.”  He nodded to the wagon driver and saw them off in the direction of the caravan checkpoint, before heading around to the main gate of the castle town.


RE: Power Begets Power - Lavi - 05-18-2020

The fact that Satsume withheld information from Cecily did not please her one bit. She made sure to give him an icy eye, away from the gazes of the others, before returning her attention to Orica's story. As much as she would like to scold Satsume, which honestly was in-part to make herself feel better about completely missing the signs that Goldhardt was actually her friend Orica, the driver's announcement that they were approaching the castle meant that everything had become a secondary concern.

“Milady… you must guide them to the castle entrance, but discretion is critical.  I will go to the barracks and use my, uh… credentials… to make sure they won’t be a problem,” Satsume was saying.

"We will be waiting for you," Cecily replied to Satsume. "If you can find Captain Serge, what you carry will be enough proof to convince him. But only if you deem him safe enough to take the risk."

Cecily watched as Satsume galloped off, putting into action the plan that the two devised.

This is it: she was returning home. From the looks of it, it will be a bloody return, but a return nevertheless. She retreated into the confines of her wagon and got to work. The guards would certainly be asking the driver for information, including his credentials. Usually, he would be able to enter the castletown by simply showing that he was here on behalf of Marquess Pherae, but Cecily suspected there would still be an inspection in order to confirm the driver's information. With banditry on the rise, extra precautions would be taken to prevent the kind of surprise attack that Cecily and Satsume wanted to do. However, no one would expect that so few people such as themselves would be capable of assaulting the castle under normal circumstances.

Pulling her cloak's hood over her head, Cecily sat down next to Shad. She would not even dream of doing this under normal circumstances, either, but her plan left no room for pride.

"I will only say this once, so listen carefully. And don't create a scene before we even reach the gates," Cecily explained. "I need you to pretend that you are my husband."

She looked into his eyes to make sure that Shad is paying attention. "I need you to kiss me the moment the guards check our wagon; people tend to avert their eyes from displays of intimacy. If you don't, we would have to subdue them."

Cecily was not done there. "And I swear, if you ever try using this as leverage in the future, you will wish your mother never conceived you."

She could hear an order for the caravan halt by the two guards flanking the gate entrance.

"Who are they?" she heard one of the guards ask the driver, likely referring to Orica and Lita.

"They're my escort. Marquess Pherae couldn't offer his knights, so he hired mercenaries for us," the driver replied.

"Identification, please," the same guard said.

She could see the outline of the second guard approaching the two on horseback, probably to question them himself, as the first continued his questioning. Eventually the first guard, as she suspected returned the driver's pendant and walked towards the back of the wagon. It is clear he intended to look inside their wagon.

"Now," she whispered.

Taking both sides of Shad's face in her hands, she leaned in to kiss him right on the lips. It was more of a love bite than anything, but it should keep the guard's attention off of her as he scanned the insides. The moment probably lasted several seconds, but it seemed like it took eternity before she heard the flutter of fabric as the wagon's drapes were return over the rear.

"Are they gone?" Cecily asked quietly, too uncertain to turn her eyes towards the opening.


RE: Power Begets Power - Swift_Assassin - 06-02-2020

Shad was only partially paying attention as the group progressed towards their destination. He tried not to eavesdrop on Cecily and Orica and didn't want to further harm any relationship towards Cecily by talking with Lita. So he didn't notice that Satsume went off without them and only snapped out of it when Cecily sat next to him. When she began speaking to him, it was a curious thing. Then the husband line dropped. He turned towards her, getting out a small "Wha-" before she cut him off and continued. This plan seemed similar to one he had experienced before meeting her. Although that one was more convoluted, he wasn't clued in on it, and it ultimately backfired. "We-" Cut off again. Now he has a threat against his well-being if he was to blackmail her.

"Uh-" Once more, before Shad can interject anything into the conversation, the guards were already at the wagon. Shit, Shad thought. No way out of this, huh? When she leaned in to kiss him, he reciprocated and placed an arm around her back. He didn't quite know how to go about this platonic kiss that was meant to look real. He pulled away and looked over towards the opening. "I think we're good."

He looked away from Cecily to avoid her seeing how flush he had gotten. "If I ever tried that, Cass would probably kill me. I'm content with our current working relationship. No need to bring this up again," Shad replied, finally able to get a word in. This was certainly different than acting as Wolfram's crippled assistant to get into Pharae's castle library. This was a much better experience, definitely less degrading, but this may be worse for his health in the long run.


RE: Power Begets Power - Cevian - 08-18-2020

Orica had gotten what she needed to say before they got where they were going but they didn't have enough time to discuss things further before the needed to get the plan rolling. Cecily would probably talk her ears off whenever they got the time about everything that had happened. Satsume walked over see about taking Orica's horse and her off to his side of the plan. Nodding a bit she thought for a moment. ”I'm certain the issue wouldn't be you slowing me down at this point but it's common sense that a horse will go faster with once one rider, regardless of how heavily armored they are. I could move to the caravan but my armor would slow it down as well...”

Turning back she yells to Lita who was still skirting around the group from their earlier conversation. ”Lita, let Satsume take your horse so he can get to where he needs to go.”

”Well, someone is wasting no time commanding others around now that she has her voice back.” Lita quipped back with a smirk.

Unamused, Orica just glared at her until the other woman relented.

”Fine, you wore me down. I will accept sitting in the shade instead of having to sit on the back of this horse.” Lita moved up and swapped positions with Satsume before slipping onto the caravan, sitting away form Cecily and Shad. ”I need to give the lovebirds their room though,” she quipped again before they had to quiet for the gate.

Both Orica and Lita stayed silent unless they needed to talk during the actual encounter. Best not to draw attention to themselves and ruin the whole thing.


RE: Power Begets Power - WyvernSlayer - 12-23-2020

Satsume took a deep breath.  The horse snorted in response, seemingly snapping him back to attention.  Here we go.  Satsume finished tying the horse to the pole near the entrance to the garrison.  Two uniformed sentries approached him as turned around.

"Please state your business, sir!" one of the sentries said authoritatively.

Satsume puffed up his chest and faked an air of urgency.  "I must speak with Captain Serge, there has been a situation."  He pointed down at the dagger's hilt.  "Please show me to him, it is very urgent."

One of the sentries peered at Satsume's belt, then looked to his compatriot and nodded.  "We will fetch him at once!"  Satsume remained where he was.  One of the sentries ducked into the garrison, returning a moment later with a tall, well-built man sporting a rugged beard and a gleaming captain’s cuirass.

“And you are?” he huffed.

“Seram Hall,” Satsume replied hastily, grabbing the dagger and holding it such that the dent in the lion’s head pommel was obscured.  “We have confirmation that the pretender to the Lausian marquessate waits in the northeast, with a moderate siege force.”

Serge seemed to do a double take at the dagger, but Satsume quickly set it back in his belt.  “The marquess has sent me to request that you send all available detachments to intercept them.”

“Hmm.”  Serge raised an eyebrow.  “And which pretender would this be?”

“Cecilia Laus, sir.  She has not only proven, um… resistant to our attempts to remove her…” Satsume gestured with his hand to find the right words for his lie.  “She’s managed to collect a modest amount of sympathy from abroad.  We think she may be in league with Bern.”

Serge huffed.  “And he thinks this demands our entire contingent?”

Better play it safe here, Satsume thought.  “N-no, of course not!  A few shall go with me to the castle and add ourselves to the defenses there.”  Satsume held his hands up.  “As a precaution, of course.  I’m sure the girl and her cadre is no match for you.  Um… Captain.”

Serge’s expression seemed to relent.  “I see.”  He pointed to the two sentries.  “You two go with Mr. Hall and report to Marquess Laus immediately.”  He turned back to Satsume.  “How far are they?”

“Not even half a day’s ride.  We must hurry, Captain – before long they will be within sight of the town, and I’d like not to panic the citizens.”

Serge nodded and ducked into the tent.  As Satsume began to hear the sounds of orders being issued, he turned his attention to the two soldiers.  “Well, gentlemen?  Let us make for the castle.”  With the two of them leading the way, he headed back to rendezvous with Cecily and the group.  He had precious little time to think of a way to discreetly deal with the two louts he felt forced to bring with him.


RE: Power Begets Power - Lavi - 01-09-2021

Cecily gave Lita a leery eye as she quipped about their unromantic moment. She was not below stooping out of necessity, but mockery is one thing that she has little patience for.

"Do not speak of it again," she warned Lita.

It did not take long for the wagon came to a stop. The driver knocked an "all clear" signal before he dismounted. Cecily waited a moment before she too stepped down from the wagon while raising the hood of her cloak to hide her features.

They were well within the castletown; they were virtually within the markets, judging by how loud the crowds were. It is a start, though there is still the problem of getting into the castle itself. Satsume is likely to be on his way there by now, though it is not as though they could simply walk down the drawbridge and through the front gate. As much as she would loath letting even former Black Fang agents know about it, the only way to get inside was through one of the castles many secret passageways.

One such route would have been used by messengers the case that Castle Laus was sieged. It would otherwise would not see general use. Guards were likely to be within the area, but even they would be oblivious to the messenger path.

"Follow me," she told the others. "And keep the knowledge of the path I am taking us private. Only those closest to the marquessate are even aware of the existence of this passageway."

Rather than towards the castle itself, Cecily guided them towards the markets. On a normal day, hundreds of merchants would come and go, making inns extremely common in the town. Ensuring that they evade the occasional patrol meant to ward off thieves and common scoundrels, the party would eventually find themselves at the Courteous Crown.

It was an inn best described as being for modest folk: not the sort that wealthier merchants would stay at, but at least better than living in squalor. Essentially, it was the right kind of inn to evade the cursory gaze.

The innkeeper looked up the moment they entered. Cecily, again taking the lead, went straight to his desk.

"We will not be booking a room. You may imagine what we are actually here for," she whispered to him, raising her hood just enough for the man to see her face.

The man grew visibly pale. He knew, but not what to do with the wanted Lady of Laus.

"As long as you look the other way, we shall not trouble you further," Cecily continued.

He nodded slowly, clearly anxious about the whole ordeal. Cecily knew he would not be able to send a message to the castle any faster than they would be able to break in through the secret passage, so the question of his loyalty never truly bothered her. If he did try to alert the guards... well, she will deal with him later.

Cecily guided the rest to the stairs down into the cellar, where an enormous wine barrel opened to reveal the passageway. The tunnel is not lit, but there were plenty of torches that could be used to guide the way.

It would take some time for them to walk all the way to the end, but it will place them close to the servants' quarters once they come out. From there, it will become a matter hunting down the Marquess of Laus.

To put an end to everything that forced Cecily out of her own home.


RE: Power Begets Power - Swift_Assassin - 03-31-2021

Shad buried his face in his hands at that 'lovebirds' comment. He wanted to die at that moment. How was the more refined Cecily able to jump to that idea with no hesitation or embarrassment? You have a stronger will than I, Shad thought. He kept quiet at the comment and just waited for the signal.

When they disembarked, Shad produced a helm, belonging to the fallen knight Brutus, and put it on his head. It didn't fit right and didn't have the coif coming down on the sides, but anything to help reduce him standing out. Anything to make him look like a mercenary or something. When Cecily led them to the passage, Shad actually tried to keep note of everything. Orica lost her castle. Who's to say they won't have to fight to reclaim this one down the road? Shad could only really follow. They really didn't have time to waste, they had to meet up with Satsume and proceed with the plan.


RE: Power Begets Power - WyvernSlayer - 04-02-2021

Satsume felt like he had a good handle on bluffing his credentials by the time he made it past the castle gate.  Amusingly enough, he felt as though having the unexpected entourage was helpful in getting inside.  And to think I would have ended up just as blind and dumb, had I stayed with the regiment, he thought.  His boots finally found the castle interior, clacking on the marble floor and threatening to beat his similarly noisy armor in a shouting match.

Right... now to find Cecily.  Straining to remember what she had told him about the castle's layout, he blinked a few times and stood still.  One of the garrison soldiers spoke up.

"Sir, shall we present ourselves to the master at arms?"

"No, wait..." Satsume held up his hand to silence him.  Right, then around the corner, down the stairwell...

"Is something the matter?" asked the other soldier.

"Something... something isn't right," he lied.  He took a couple of pensive steps in the direction of the first hallway on the right, holding his hand up to communicate silence to the soldiers.  He peered down the hall.  A maid was just rounding the corner, leading to where Cecily said the servants' quarters were.  Okay, here we go... let's try not to screw this up.

"There!" he shouted.  "That man in the cloak!  Grab him!"  Without hesitation, he started sprinting down the hallway as fast as his armor would let him.  He was able to get several long strides ahead before he heard the two soldiers start chasing him.  He needed to maintain as much of a head-start on them as possible!  As he thundered toward the corner of the hallway, he rounded his route and leaned hard to the left, trying to avoid hammering into the wall and killing his momentum.  As he rounded the corner, he captured the slightest glimpse of the maid disappearing into a side room.

The noise from Satsume's charge must have echoed down the hallway, because she immediately popped her head back out to see Satsume barreling toward her.

"Move!  Move!" he yelled.

*Gasp!*  The young woman hastily slammed the door shut.

Okay, she said fifth door on the left... Satsume took another wide route and came up against the door.  He gritted his teeth and braced!

SLAM!  Satsume powered through the door and swung it wide open, stumbling into a simple bedroom with a few bits of shelving and a privacy screen in the back corner. He reached for his spear and held it, collapsed, across his body.  The footsteps of the two soldiers behind him grew closer.

"Here!" he called.  "They're here!"

As the two soldiers sprang into the room, swords drawn, Satsume lifted up his weapon and snapped it up to full length, right in front of his sternum.  With almost comical timing, the soldiers caught the shaft of his spear right in the throat, abruptly stopping them and sending them to the stone floor with a couple of resonating clatters and muted thumps.  Breathing heavily from his sprint, Satsume kicked the swords out of reach.  "I... really need to quit smoking...!" he huffed aloud.  He put his spear away and started to close the door to the room.

"Is everything alright over there?" called a voice from the hallway.  "I heard a crash.  You okay?"

"It's fine!" Satsume called back from behind the door.  "Just uh... moving an armoire!"  He shut the door and took a sigh of relief.  Then he set about removing the sheets from the bed to bind the soldiers.


As Satsume was setting about cutting pieces of cloth to make impromptu rope, he heard a shuffling noise from behind the privacy screen.  His head snapped up in the direction of the noise.  It sounded like a... scratching or crumbling sound?  Good timing, he thought to himself, as he watched Cecily push the screen aside from the other direction.

"And here I thought people went behind those things to disrobe," he quipped, as the remainder of the group filed in behind her.


RE: Power Begets Power - Lavi - 05-15-2021

"They do, though I would prefer you keep your fantasies to yourself," Cecily quipped as she stepped aside for the others to come through from the trap door that led to the passage they just took. Once everyone had come through, she closed the door and replaced the rug that covered it.

"I see you were followed," she observed as Satsume fashioned his rope.

She stepped over to take a look at the unconscious soldier, but Cecily could not recognize his face. Although she trusted Satsume to do a reasonable job of bonding and gagging him, the soldier could still potentially create a commotion and raise the alarm before the party could locate the marquess. As she pondered this conundrum, a knock sounded at the door.

"Umm, sir. If you need help with an armoire, I can arrange proper assistance. The marquess doesn't like unnecessary commotion," the maid from before said.

Cecily immediately recognized the maid's voice. When she lived here, Cecily would sometimes be served her meals by her. Though she was not one of Cecily's maidservants, the two had an amicable relationship. What was her name again? Cecily stepped to the door, furrowing her brow as she racked her brains for the name. Thankfully, it finally surfaced.

"Violet," Cecily said softly as she turned the door knob.

With the other hand, the noble pressed a finger to her lips as she revealed herself to the maid. Violet was unsurprisingly shocked, but kept her composure quickly. Cecily turned her finger from pursing her lips to gesturing the maid to come inside, to which Violet did.

"Can you tell us where the Marquess and my cousin are?" she asked the maid.

Violet, flustered by the turn of events, hesitated for a moment before giving a bow of apology. "My apologies, the marquess is in his quarters, but I am not certain of Lord Lucian's whereabouts. I can have our staff locate him if you would like."

"Please do, though I am certain he remains as impulsive as ever," Cecily nodded.

She turned to Shad and the others. "Our time is limited, so I recommend we divide ourselves in order to capture them both before the castle forces return. Satsume and I will be heading straight for the marquess while the rest of you go with Violet to find Lucian. He is unlikely to cooperate peacefully, so you may use whatever means necessary to prevent him from escaping. We cannot allow either to flee."

"In case the worst comes to pass, I am grateful to all of you for your willingness to come this far," Cecily pressed a hand over her heart as she spoke. "And I will ensure that once I take the throne, each of you will be honored and compensated for your contributions here. Now go!"

As the others worked out their plan for Lucian, Cecily turned back to Satsume. "I would imagine that Marquess Hannes is not wont to comply either. Are you ready to get to work?"


RE: Power Begets Power - Lavi - 10-02-2021

Satsume gave nod and a look of conviction.  "Let's do this."

Cecilia walked over to the room's bookshelf, where a collection of various works were kept to make the room more homely. Cecily scanned her finger across the various bindings before selecting a seemingly boring volume: one titled "The Market Economies, Explained." Turning the pages, she nodded as she found what she was looking for. This is one of the tomes that she had disguised within the castle, inscribed with the incantations for Elthunder. The group was ready to depart, when there was a knock on the door again.

"Milady, it is Violet," the maid reintroduced herself back into the room. "It appears Lord Lucian is on his way to the main hall to meet with the marquess."

The corners of Cecily's lips curled into a smile. "Thank you. It seems splitting up is unnecessary, after all."

"We must move quickly, though. There are plenty of ways for them to escape the main hall if we are spotted too soon," she added, for the rest's benefit. "Follow me."

Cecily gestured for Violet to check the hallways for them. Once the coast is clear, Cecily led the group into the halls to take the quickest path to the main hall. It was only a matter of minutes before a guard spotted them.

"Stop! Where is your escort?!" the guard called after them as he made his way towards them.

"The lady of the house needs no escort!" Cecily snapped back at him.

The guard froze, stunned by recognition of her voice. Cecily picked up her pace as the group's guide to the main hall. Behind them, the guard eventually recovered from his stupor. "She's here! Lady Cecilia is here!"

Their group would make it to the entrance of the main hall as the clanging of metal of stonework alerted them to the approach of the castle guard. The Lausian guard that intercepted them carried a plethora of weapons, though primarily lances, which they raised against the group to fight. A heavy armored knight was the first to take initiative, raising his axe in his charge, but Cecily immediately struck him down with a bolt of her magical tome. The knight toppled to the floor as the others recoiled from the anima magic.

"Do what you need to. We cannot afford to waste time with this rabble," Cecily told the others.

If any of the guards were killed, Cecily would accept their loss; if the marquess and his son opted to escape, then all of this would have been for nothing. Soon, the castle garrison that was warded away by Satsume's ploy will return. Time is not on their side.


RE: Power Begets Power - Swift_Assassin - 12-27-2021

Shad was unsure about this. Cecily was considering the Lausian guard expendable. These are the same men that would have to defend Laus when they install her as the reigning lord. But on the other hand, this isn't the same situation as he had. Shad was always the legitimate heir to Daren and Faustus was the usurper. In this cause, Cecily is the usurper. He doesn't even know if these men would be loyal to Cecily even if they spared all of them. That's why it was important that the Marquess and his son both die tonight. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This feels hypocritical of me.

Shad had to ignore his doubts. There was a fight to be had. Shad drew the schiavona and charged. A Lausian soldier thrust his lance at Shad. Shad deflected the lance with his left arm, covered in his new armor. He then leaped and stabbed into the soldier as he landed. But the soldier had turned away from the thrust. The soldier threw a punch, hitting Shad in the face, creating some distance. The soldier dropped the lance and drew a sword, as they were too close for him to use his spear. He swung at Shad who parried who blocked the blade and punched the soldier with the basket hilt of his sword. He followed up with a kick before thrusting into a gap in his armor. He retracted the sword, but the soldier was still standing. The soldier came in swinging, but Shad had parried and thrust the sword into his jaw. The soldier dropped, but in doing so pulled the sword right out of his hand. Shad thought to act fast. He reached for a clasp on his waist and grabbed his fire tome. He turned towards the other guards and shot a fireball at the nearest soldier.


RE: Power Begets Power - WyvernSlayer - 01-06-2022

Cecily's pace quickened as the group moved toward the main hall.  Satsume - still a bit winded from his sprint earlier - was huffing to keep up.  "Not so fast!" he whispered.


But it was too late.  A guard had finally spotted her as they crossed the penultimate hallway.


"Stop! Where is your escort?!" came an approaching voice.  Cecily didn't even look in the direction of the question.


"The lady of the house needs no escort!" she retorted, and continued walking.

Satsume couldn't tell if this was a jab at himself, but quickly shelved that thought as they approached the source of the inquiry.  Cecily, meanwhile, continued on.


"She's here!" cried the guard as Satsume approached.  "Lady Cecilia is here!"

"Yes!" said Satsume, placing a hand on the guard's shoulder from behind while he brought the business end of his spear - collapsed - against the small of his back.  "And she was lying about an escort, by the way."

The hair on the guard's neck stood on end, and he gulped. "Y-you..."


Satsume motioned his allies ahead of him with a flick of his head.  "Now how about you take that sword off your belt and hand it over, nice and slow?" he said to his captive, giving him a short poke with the spearhead.  The guard winced.

"Okay, okay!  Easy..."  As the sounds of combat began to ring out from the main hall, Satsume's captive slowly reached down with one hand and began undoing the straps that connected the scabbard to his belt.  As the last one came undone, Satsume hastily snatched it away and slammed it over the guard's head - knocking him out.  Without looking back, he charged into the fray.

...just in time to be nearly blinded by a blast of magic!  "Whoa!" he yelled reflexively, shielding his face.  When his vision cleared, he saw Cecily standing before a fallen Lausian knight, with a tome in her hand.  Lightning buzzed and crackled at her fingertips.

"Seize them!" cried a voice from behind.  Before Satsume could fully piece together the situation, Shad and Orica engaged with some of the advancing knights.  Satsume raced forward, trying to reach Cecily before the enemy could surround her.  As she prepared to strike at another foe, he threw his stolen sword to the ground and snapped his weapon out to combat length and reached out to parry an incoming spearpoint as it approached the back of Cecily's neck.

Just in time, he thought.  Heaving a breath, he shuffled his feet into a protective stance, back-to-back with his sworn lady.

"Why do you need me when you throw lightning better than Ray?" he quipped over his shoulder.

"Hush."

"Right, right..." Satsume's head darted left and right, trying to pick out a tell from the approaching knights.  "Got any ideas?" he whispered.  Many wore face shields, so the eyes were a tough read.  Just then, he noticed a twitch from the arm of one of the lance-wielding foes.  That one, then, he decided.

"Break through.  Find Lucian," Cecily said simply.  Satsume muttered an acknowledgement.  And then, finally, the foe he had anticipated started to move in.

"Down!" Satsume cried.  As several lances came down to pin the two of them, he slid his hands down to the base of his weapon and swung it like a bat, up over his head.  His arms would probably have toppled Cecily over, had she not quickly reacted to his warning and crouched low, well underneath his sweeping riposte.  Several spearpoints and wooden shafts impacted on his weapon, as well as his forearms.  Satsume shoved upwards as he completed the spinning block, then quickly crouched low and made himself as small as his armor would let him.

Over his shoulder, he heard a hurried chant, and a blast of lightning hurtled over him like a shoulder cannon, slamming into the foe in front of him and knocking him backwards several feet, howling in pain.  Satsume bristled as the spell passed dangerously close to his ear, but he couldn't help cracking a grin at their success.

"Go!  Go!" he yelled, and burst out of his crouch, charging forward with his weapon out as they attempted to clear the encirclement.


RE: Power Begets Power - Lavi - 01-29-2022

Their innate trust in each other brought a level of comfort as Cecily fought the guards who opposed them. If they were not wearing their helmets, she might have recognized some of them. But she cannot let her personal feelings get in the way of the ultimate objective. They needed to prevent the marquess and Lucian from escaping.

They should be on their way to one of the castle’s escape routes already, given the time that they have spent so far. They needed to break the encirclement now. It seemed that Satsume had the same idea, urging them to move as Cecily blasted another soldier away.

She followed as Satsume charged, keeping her tome pressed close to her chest as Satsume engaged the guards blocking their path.

“Cover me for a moment,” she told him curtly.

She didn’t have time to explain, given that she needed to utter the incantations of Elthunder clearly for its maximum effect. The magic crackled in the air as she traced the circle before her, aiming it at the door to the throne room beyond them. Cecily, focused entirely on her incantation, could not see what was happening around her, but she trusted that Satsume and the others would keep her safe.

“Elthunder!” she commanded.

The empowered bolt of energy struck the throne room doors, blasting them wide open. She could make out Lucian’s fur-lined cloak as he moved out of sight behind the adorned Lausian throne. The marquess is likely with him.

‘Do not tarry!’ would have been what Cecily wanted to say, but she needed her voice for other things still. Instead, she drew upon the galdrar, singing a quick song of reinvigoration to help her companions break through and give chase. If Lucian is still the kind of person she remembered, he would be waiting somewhere to ambush them.


RE: Power Begets Power - Swift_Assassin - 01-24-2023

Shad rushed and retrieved his sword and engaged in combat with another of Laus's guards. It wasn't as difficult as the first. Dodge the oncoming thrust, get in close, stab in the throat. It was a bit of luck to land such a critical hit early, but it was more than enough. Shad heard wood shatter as Cecily blew the doors open to the throne room. Shad felt a burst of energy all of the sudden, no doubt thanks to her galdrar. So, recklessly, he charged into the throne room, ahead of the others. Before he could even see who was in the chamber, four arrows had struck him. One deflected off his left pauldron, one pierced his right shoulder, one in his gut, and the last got stuck in his chest plate, right near his heart. "Thank Elimine for this armor."

Before a second volley hit him, he rolled out of the way, causing a bit more pain as the arrows in his shoulder and stomach both broke in the roll. He found a pillar to hide behind. He sheathed his sword and pulled out the fire time once more and launched a fireball haphazardly towards the archers. "Archers! Look out!" He yelled to others.