(1867-07-08) Consequences and Justice
Consequences and Justice
Summary: The plans come to a head, with Nia and Emilia facing off at last. And the consequences of it all playing out at last.
Date: 1867-07-08
Related: All the Logs Concerning the Huntress Discord with Emilia becoming the Mistress of the Hunt
Players:
Adrienne  Emilia  NPC  NPC  NPC  NPC  NPC  Devlin  Raelyn  Stephen  Lonar  

Forests of Ironhold - Ironhold - Rivana
See scene…
1867-07-08

The day had come, plans had been made…even if more by one side than the other. An added tension had built amongst the Huntresses as the day approached. There was always some energy before these training sessions, but there had been something more with this one. Perhaps because the Mistress of the Hunt was taking part, and there were those interested to see how she would fair. And there were also those who had taken note that her loudest critic was upon the other team, and there was interest to see just how that would end up. It was fair to say there were supporters on both sides. A thing that showed with the wagers being made, which team would win in the end, who would be ‘captured’ first and thus out first, but the majority of the wagers (even if being quietly made) were upon which would come out on top, Emilia or Nia.

The two teams had set out with the limited equipment allowed, the contest always meant to focus upon true skills rather than equipment. But both teams had set stashes of equipment in the days prior, for this was to be no round of training. Yet one team had something of an edge, they were aware the other was planning…and just what it was they were planning, but would that edge be enough?

There had been some confusion when the group had reached their stash for not everyone within Emilia's team had been told what was really a foot. If only to keep down the chance that Nia or one of her cohorts might get tipped off that their plot was found out. There had been a quick explanation given, even if it had not covered the full truth, perhaps understand. The groups had then split off with Pella and Hannah setting out to the areas where Nia's watcher were expected to setup. Each paired with another Huntress to help apprehend the two who would be inbound. Cathrynn had been dispatched to act as the decoy for the group that Piper was supposed to be leading.

Known to but a few, including Adrienne, was the contingency plan in play - Lonar. An extra set of eyes and ears in the forest to help round up any Huntresses that fell outside of the known plans of Nia and her group. Having set out earlier, he was not likely to be seen unless matters took a turn for the worst.

It had left Syrn, Adrienne and Emilia to make the final approach on the glade not far from the waterfall. For her part, Emilia had only taken up an additional knife that was now hidden within her leathers. To carry her bow would risk tipping off Nia and the others that came with her. "Of remember, keep to your spot hidden of away until there is no room to of question what their of intent is being. Is this of understood?" Emilia's gaze drifting between the two, even if it lingers a touch longer on Syrn.

Perhaps for good reason given the sour look that Syrn gives her. It was not that any of them particularly loved the plan and putting Emilia at risk. But the reasoning was understood. "Yes, I got it. I got it." The Huntress giving Emilia a last and mildly stern look,"But I won't stay back but a moment more than that." Before turning and lopping off into the woods to the spot she'd chosen to tuck away into and keep watch from.

—-

Adrienne has been rather quiet since they set out, the tension at what lies ahead of them evident in her composed manner, Cassomir stoicness for now keeping her focused on the task at hand. The freckled Cassomir nods, when Emilia addresses her and Syrn. "I shall be ready to come to your help," she assures quietly, her hand touching the pommel of her fine dagger of lightsilver, as if that alone could perhaps act as a luck charm in their risky undertaking. "And no way will I interfere, until they are upon you and attack to kill." Words that are uttered with a matter of factness to her tone, were it not for that faint tremble somewhere beneath that stoic Cassomir facade. "I trust you'll hold out long enough, until I am at your side to help you.", Adrienne adds then, before she looks to Syrn and nods, as the other Huntress moves off to take up her spot. "Promise me…", Adrienne's arms wrap about her touched cousin in a brief moment of concerned weakness. "Promise me, you won't make an easy kill for them."

Green eyes take on a hard expression, once Adrienne releases Emilia from her embrace. “I’ll see you in a bit.” And off she goes, climbing up a nearby tree she can use as look-out, whilst taking advantage of the cover the leaves, branches and twigs are offering. The Huntress blends in well, with her tunic and leggings of dark green, where she settles herself upon a stronger branch a little bit further up. Her gaze flits down, following Emilia.

—-

“I will of hold out, til then and of longer.” Emilia returning the quick embrace easily enough,”I promise, I will not be making it of easy for them. I am of Cassomir, we are not of easy to kill.” Releasing her cousin with a slight squeeze in an attempt to be reassuring,”In of a bit.” Emilia watching her cousin head off for a few moments before her dark eyes drift to where Syrn went to. Knowing where had settled well enough.

She eventually strides into her chosen position to await the traitors. A position that was out in the opening of the glade, near a pair of small boulders that could have been easily used to look over maps or the like. But that wouldn’t be needed today. It is there she waits, alone, remainings still in the way their training as taught them even if rarely in a position so out in the open.

Birdsong and the the shifting of leaves by the winds, the sounds of burbling waters from the not so distant waterfall are all that is heard for some time. Time passing as they await the expected, and perhaps inevitable arrival. The wait is not a short one, perhaps even long enough to cause thoughts to wonder if the plans had changed. Not long after such thoughts might consider creeping along, the birdsong is interrupted by a warning squawk, a shift in the sounds of the birds and general quieting of the birds occurs. Not soon after a trio of Huntresses appears upon the far edge of the glade; Nia flanked by Fiona and Joy.

Fiona shoots a look over to Joy a raised brow in question, one that is not asked. But wasn’t Cathrynn supposed to be with Emilia. Joy simply shrugs in return, it was afterall a small deviation and actually made things easier to her mind.

Nia takes little time in pulling up her bow, even as she strides further into the glade. All three were in their full gear, bows and knives. Joy having her short sword as well. Joy and Fiona fan out slightly in way to cut off any retreat Emilia might move to make in the end, unshouldering their bows, but not making to rise them to shoot as Nia had.

“It is time to put an end to this,” says Nia. “This mockery of the Huntresses. It was bad enough when you were allowed to wear the leathers. But to suffer you as our Mistress? It is to much.”

At the first of Nia’s words, Emilia had turned around to face the trio. Her expression ever stoic, no hint of surprise. “You are of right. It is time to put an end to of this.”

Nia sneered at Emilia’s words,”I am glad you agree.” Drawing the string of her bow as she sighted it in. “It is long overdue that someone put you down.”

The stoic look was not unexpected, but they had expected some sense of surprise. The words from Emilia had Joy and Fiona exchanging another set of looks. Joy looking slightly puzzled, was Emilia actually agreeing to her own death?

“You mistake of me…” Emilia started to say, but what else might have come was interrupted by a growl from Nia,”Enough of your prattling babble!” As she let the arrow fly.

If anything was to be said of Emilia, she was not slow. But even she could not outrun an arrow. A few quick step did however keep it from being the heart shot that Nia had meant for it to be. Instead catching her in the right shoulder and causing her to cry out. The strike caused Emilia to take a half step back, but she was soon running towards Nia herself….who was busy grabbing for another arrow.

Upon the arrow being fired, Syrn set into motion. A cry of her own sounding when Emilia was hit, but more rather the standard cry of a Huntress going into battle as she aimed to run down one of the others.

—-

<FS3> Adrienne rolls Perception: Great Success. (7 5 8 6 6 2 1 7 5 6 7 2 3 2 6)
<FS3> Adrienne rolls Climbing: Great Success. (1 5 4 7 8 4 7 7 1 2)
<FS3> Adrienne rolls Stealth: Good Success. (7 2 8 6 6 1 2 4 6 2 6 4 5)

Attentive. On edge. Her senses alerted as to note the slightest sign of the traitorous Huntresses, Adrienne sits hidden behind leaves and branches, green eyes darting here and there at the slightest movement. Apart from that, keeping perfectly still. She frowns when she sees the trio arrive somewhere below, leaning a touch forward as to catch the conversation, if it can be called such. And yet her posture tenses, as this Huntress waits for that sign, the last piece of evidence needed that the three were up to no good, intending murder! When that evidence comes, by way of the arrow that is fired at Emilia, Adrienne swings herself down from the tree, sliding even a bit along the trunk, where her hands take no damage thanks to the gloves she wears.

Her own bow and arrow Adrienne has left behind, apparently, knowing that she would have to intervene in hand to hand combat. The lightsilver blade flashes in the moment it is drawn from the scabbard, as the freckled Huntress moves through the undergrowth, more emphasis here on speed than stealth, even if she may be less noisy than those untrained. With the three traitors being more or less in the same spot, Adrienne's focus will be to stop Nia from readying another arrow. But if Emilia will be quicker, she will turn to Fiona and Joy instead, glaring at them, while she brings herself close enough to attack with her dagger, or at least threaten them. "Want to kill me as well..?", she dares them, cold anger flashing in usually so stoic Cassomir eyes, ready to attack should they not choose to give in at once.

—-

If there had been anything Emilia was surprised by it was just how quickly Nia had set into her. Not taking any time to gloat or give some long winded speech. Even Victor had liked to prattle on about his glorious future, and They..well They just never shut up. And They were mightily unhappy about the arrow currently lodged in Emilia’s shoulder, not that she was all too pleased about that herself.

The shout from Syrn had both Fiona and Joy pulling their attention from Emilia, surprise showing on both of their faces. But Fiona was quick to raise up her bow and fire off the arrow at the Huntress charging. A shot that goes high and wide. While Fiona starts to reach for another arrow, Joy draws her sword and starts for Syrn.

With Syrn having drawn both of their attention, Adrienne’s arrival had been beyond their notice. That is until her words hit them both, and causing Fiona to go,”Shit!” This was not how it was supposed to happen! The arrow is notched more out of habit and instinct, though her stance has her shifting towards Adrienne, indecision upon her face. “She was supposed to be alone.” Vocalizing the thought that keeps running through her head. And yet, that arrow is drawn and aimed at Adrienne.

Nia’s focus has been upon getting that next arrow notched and drawn, upon Emilia. A flickering glance towards Syrn but Nia seems to quickly dismiss her as she starts to re-draw her bow. The second arrow notched to fly, but Emilia has closed to much distance for it to be effective. Not that it seems to give Nia any pause as she still lets it fly.

<FS3> Emilia rolls Reaction+Reaction: Great Success. (5 2 1 2 4 8 8 7 4 8)

Knowing what was meant, and having the trust in those who had waited with her, Emilia’s eyes and attention are purely upon Nia. And when that second arrow is let loose, she zags to the side dodging it as it flies past her arm. With an added burst of energy, Emilia covers the last of the distance between her and Nia. Diving into Nia in the last few steps, taking her to the ground. A mixed look of surprise and anger on Nia’s face as Emilia crashes into her, the arrow in her shoulder not seeming to slow her down any.

—-

Adrienne has obviously the advantage of surprise on her side, even so, Fiona's arrow pointed right into her direction is bound to darken her mood even further. "Lower that bow at once," the freckled Cassomir growls. "Or shoot. I care little." Said as she runs at the Huntress, holding the dagger slightly angled in her grasp, ready to use it and draw blood if she must. Noting Joy is engaging in combat with Syrn, Adrienne tries to use her nimbleness to evade the shot if it indeed comes. Green eyes flick briefly to where Emilia tumbles to the ground with Nia below her, and Adrienne's gaze narrows briefly in relieved acknowledgement. Seems her touched cousin is able to look after herself just fine at the moment, even with one arrow taken. There is no time, however to linger on that thought. Adrienne leaps at Fiona - if not stopped - her left hand aiming to seize Fiona's holding the bow, to force her to drop the weapon, while bringing up the dagger to keep the other Huntress in check, in case she yields; and to encourage her to do so, if she does not.

<FS3> Adrienne rolls Reaction+Reaction: Good Success. (8 5 5 7 5 6 4 4 1 7)
<FS3> Adrienne rolls Hands: Good Success. (6 7 6 7 3 3 3 2 4 4 5)

—-

Having an arrow fired at her did little to better Syrn's mood, the Huntress growling as she leapt to met Joy headlong. She used her own bow as a stave to knock aside the thrusting attack from Joy. And sending the other off balance a few steps. It allowed Syrn the time needed to swing her bow around and clock Joy in the side with her bow. Joy swings her sword arm around blindly at Syrn, grazing along the leathers at the top of her thigh. And round the pair go, though Syrn seems to maintain an upper hand in being able to continue to throw Joy off step and out of balance. Syrn eventually knocking Joy down as her bow sweeps her legs, and a quick follow through that has the bow pressed in upon the downed Huntresses neck.

<FS3> Emilia rolls Hands: Good Success. (5 3 3 8 6 5 5 6 8 8)

With the successful takedown of Nia, Emilia does have the slight advantage in position. A thing that changes up when Nia gets over the initial shock and reaches up and gives the arrow an added push into Emilia's shoulder, working to use the pain to roll Emilia around and attempt to pin her. "You need to die. We would all just be better if you died!" The added jolt of pain did cause Emilia a cry of pain, but it didn't distract Emilia in the way Nia had hoped. The Cassomir using the momentum to simply keep the pair rolling till she was back atop, all the rolling causing more pain to Emilia's shoulder, especially when the shaft on the arrow catches and snaps. Nia tries to pull out her knife as they settle back around. But Emilia, using her good hand backhands Nia with a growl,"I am of not dying today. Not by your of hand!" Nia's head snaps to the side when Emilia's hand makes contact, stunning the Huntress briefly. But she is soon trying to reach again for her knife, only to find one at her neck and Emilia's dark eyes (which just may be slightly darker than normal at the moment) glaring down at her,"Don't even be thinking about of it."

Fingers slip and that arrow does fly at Adrienne, if she'd not dodged as nimbly as she had the arrow would have scored a solid hit, instead it only glances along her arm. With Adrienne leaping at her, Fiona takes a couple half steps backwards. She rises her bow to block but instead finds her hand being seized up and being quickly dropped thereafter. "It was all her idea, we just wanted to talk to her." Fiona soon starting to babble as her hands come up with Adrienne in close and that knife a more real threat. Not quite willing to try and kill the Cassomir before her.

—-

Adrienne stares at Fiona, when the other Huntress releases the arrow, the arrow that is aimed at her, the freckled Cassomir. She may have taunted and dared Fiona to shoot, but had she expected it? Not really. Huntress reflexes kick back into place in the moment she leaps at the traitorous Sister, ducking away at least enough to avoid a severe hit. The sharp point of the arrow manages to nick her, skittering along the small rift of the leather protector on her lower arm and actually drawing blood. Biting back a cry, Adrienne's hand closes about Fiona's wrist, squeezing it hard until the bow falls from her hand; while her dagger comes forth with a little too much momentum; what was intended as a threatening gesture becomes more, when the tip of the lightsilver blade touches against Fiona's neck, breaking through the skin marginally, before the usually so stoic Cassomir catches herself and her ire. Just in time, when Fiona starts to babble and lift her hands in a yielding gesture.

"I don't believe a word you say.", Adrienne states and spits out, saliva hitting the ground right beside the bow. "Traitor! You wanted to kill Emilia. You just tried to kill me!" She keeps the blade of her fine hunting dagger pointed at Fiona's neck, only mere inches away, close enough to finish Fiona off should she try anything. "Drop your other weapons," Adrienne commands flatly, after a moment.

—-

Joy struggles against the bow, kicking at Syrn as her hands try to get the bow off her throat. The few kicks that do make contact do not phase Syrn as she continues to keep the pressure on, cutting off the airway. The struggle continues for several moments before the lack of air becomes all too real for Joy and there is a weak signal of yielding given. Syrn relents after another moment, pulling her bow away. Joy is given no time to truly recover before Syrn is delivering a kick to her side,"Get up, traitorous bitch!" The bow delivering the occasional whack to 'encourage' Joy to hurry up about it. From the cold murderous look in Syrn's eyes, it was likely a good thing the standing order was to take the traitors alive, if possible.

Further struggle does seem to be on Nia's mind, still thinking she will prevail and that Emilia was weaker, or perhaps simply wouldn't dare follow through. But as she tries to upend Emilia off of her once more, Emilia proves Nia wrong as that knife presses into Nia's neck drawing blood and causing Nia's eyes to go quite wide. The traitor ceasing to try and escape in quick succession, utter disbelief and surprise in her eyes as her failure starts to sink in. A small trickle of blood running down Nia's neck, certainly far less than the Emilia has lost with the arrow in her shoulder. That pressure of the knife remaining for a time even after Nia has stilled. To the point that Nia may well be questioning her own continued existence. But eventually Emilia does relent on the pressure as she sets up some, the knife yet kept close to Nia's neck should she get the wise idea to struggle again. "As I was of saying, you were misunderstanding of me."

The pressure upon her wrist had Fiona crying out when that bow dropped. Another short cry of surprise and pain occurs when the knife breaks the skin and causing a few drops of blood to ooze out on her skin. It had suddenly become horridly real. And it was clear with the look that comes, that it had never crossed Fiona's mind that she might get injured, certainly not risk her own life in this venture. "We…just wanted to talk." Stammering out that lie..again. "I…I..didn't mean to. It just…slipped." Her hands having come up with the knife yet at her neck and feeling the wetness of the blood that was drawn. There is a few moment of uncertainty and hesitation at the command given, Fiona not wishing to risk a wrong move and end up with a slit throat! But slowly…very slowly…does she see her other weapons and kit dropped to the ground.

And upon the edges of the clearing the other parts of the team have appear with their tasking completed, given the Huntress from Nia's team each pair has flanked. How long they had been there, how much had been witnessed is not entirely certain. But from the wide eyes the two pair with Hannah and Pella have, long enough. The two that were captured have looks mixed with disbelief and a dawning realization.

"Bind them," comes the simple and cold command from Emilia where she yet sits atop Nia.

—-

"Wrong!", Adrienne contradicts. "You did not wish to talk…! Nia shot Emilia, and you two were fine with it, weren't you? This was about killing our Mistress of the Hunt, in a cowardly manner of three against one. Because…", and here the freckled Cassomir lowers her voice to a whisper, "you knew, deep inside that neither of you could handle Emilia in a one-on-one fight. Ironic, isn't it?" There is no mirth to be found, however, in the green stare of Adrienne Cassomir, as her eyes focus on Fiona for a moment, before they shift briefly to Joy - and then to Nia, who is caught beneath the Mistress of the Hunt. Her attention soon back on Fiona, and her lightsilver dagger is brought a touch nearer to the other's throat. "Ah…", Adrienne's mien brightens just a touch when she sees Fiona drop her weapons. Still, the freckled one keeps her dagger pointed towards Fiona, holding her in check. A faint nod of acknowledgement to Emilia's order, but this Cassomir will rather make sure the traitorous Huntress Sister in her care will not try anything, and only lower her dagger once Fiona has been neatly tied up.

—-

Fiona blinks,”You saw that? I…I..mean…we were just going to…talk.” Her words fading into a whisper, knowing what the truth was and that there was no way to hide it now. It had all gone wrong, but how? Her eyes dropped from that green glare of Adrienne’s not longer able to keep eye contact. Fiona holding her breath and her eyes flicking back up briefly when that dagger moves in closer for that moment. The traitor Huntress remaining silent now, even when her hands get yanked down and back to be bound behind her by one of those who had joined.

Syrn see’s to binding Joy as well, her hands also getting pulled behind her. Not a kindness for the trek back that is to come. Though the two scouts appear to have had their hands bound before them, least if they stumble they will be able to catch them, unlike the trio who had come to attack Emilia directly.

As Pella comes over to help with binding Nia, Emilia rises to her feet quite smoothly, after a small press of that knife to Nia’s throat in reminder to behave. A swift kick to the side is delivered along with an “Up,” from Emilia. Nia does blink in shock when she finally realizes Adrienne was one of the others who had been helping, likely assuming it was Syrn and Pella. Pella binds Nia’s hands, perhaps a touch to tight for comfort. As Nia still stares in disbelief, the side of her face red and showing indications of a future bruise where Emilia had backhanded her.

“How?” Is finally uttered from Nia, who is still trying to figure out just what happened.

The question does have Emilia’s gaze returning to Nia, dark eyes looking the traitor’s face over. “You were of blinded by of your stupidity, by your of hatred for what you do not of understand. I am of different, I cannot deny of that, but my mind is not of addled. I am not of blind nor of stupid. And I am Mistress of the Hunt. My Viscountess entrusted the of position to me for of a reason, perhaps you should have considered that before you of plotted against me, before you shot of me, before you of betrayed of not only of me, but of her and House Cassomir. “ Spinning on her heels forestalling any rebuttal Nia might have, which does seem to have Nia doing a little mouth gaping.

With her uninjured arm, Emilia does motions back home,”It is time to return. Standard of positions around the traitors, if any try to of run….shoot them.” Her dark eyes drifting over all the traitors, letting that sink in before moving to head out after all the weapons from the traitor Huntresses have been gathered. And after allowing a quick field bandage to be put around the arrow in her shoulder to stop up the bleeding, leaving the arrow for a proper healer to remove being within an hour of home.

A look given to Adrienne, and a nod. Moving to give a touch to her cousin’s arm as she move to lead them home. There would be much to talk about soon, but there was more yet that needed to be finished first.

—-
<And hour later>

—-

The appearance of the group of Huntresses causes a stir amongst those who were waiting to see how the competition turned out, for many reasons. Because it was a group that returned, not individuals as was usually the case, and it was a mixed group at that. The moment the bound hands were noticed, a a brief moment of silence fell at the shock, before a flurry of chatter returned. Speculation running rampant, especially as more details were noticed, the fact Emilia was injured the bloodied bandage upon her shoulder with a broken arrow shaft yet lodged within it, the growing bruise upon the side of Nias face, hints of blood on Fiona and Joy. The trio along with two others making up those who had their hands bound. Syrn and Pella, who bring up the rear, having to give those bound a little encouragement with their bows to move on out of the forest fully to be seen those who had gathered. Particularly as Raelyns presence was noticed, there was noticeable paling by least four of the five traitors.

As Emilia steps further out of the woods, she does seek out her sister amongst those gathered, knowing she would be present. A slight incline of her head is given to Raelyn and Stephen in turn, an acknowledgement to the presence of the Viscountess and Count. There was also a flicker of a strained smile for her sister to prove she was ok, even if slightly injured. After a nod to Adrienne who had been at her side when the group appeared, Emilia moved over to a stump and gracefully hopped up on to it. Leaving her cousin to keep watch over Nia and the other traitors for the moment. The movement along with the whistle that came a moment later helped to draw the attention of those gathered. Those dark eyes of Emilias sweeping over the group, waiting for the last few to quiet down before she might speak.

—-

Adrienne arrives with the other Huntresses, walking beside Emilia. And while there is a hint of relief in her usually so stoic features, her green eyes hardly ever leave the group of bound traitors. When the Mistress of the Hunt moves towards the stump, she stays with the others, keeping her hand on the pommel of her sheathed lightsilver dagger; and her gaze sweeps towards Fiona and Nia in particular, offering the two of them a menacing glare. A subtle threat not to try anything.

—-

If ever any of the commoners, or younger initiates to the Huntresses had ever wondered or speculated the sort of black look of hatred Raelyn must have looked upon the Thorns, or the vitriol she held in their hearts for them they might not have to look so any longer. The entire time that the Viscountess had been present, and socializing, waiting for the groups to return she had been … distracted. Distant. Polite. But slightly terse, short, her attention always drawn on the forest. Patience, as she'd told Stephen earlier, was never one of her better virtues.

When she spies Emilia's wound, if that henious look could be compounded, multiplied by the smallest measure, it is thus done so. Still, she does nod, in brief, to Emilia. The message that her sister is alright is recieved.

She steps, then, closer to Stephen. As if by his mere presence, her own desire to speak, to act, might be quelled. And the Viscountess, thus, is silent. And waits for her sister to speak.

—-

Stephen hasn't strayed far from Raelyn's side during the socializing, but sometimes circumstance does cause them to have to mingle separately. When Raelyn does move back near him, he glances towards her, giving her a nod, and his own expression goes stone cold upon seeing the state of things. A hand briefly touches her own, a silent, brief reassurance, but his attention falls fully on those bound huntresses, and icy blue eyes hold no hint of sympathy.

Needless to say, there's quite a bit of commotion in the crowds as they start to take in the sight of the returning Huntresses. This…doesn't seem to be what they were expecting, that's for sure. There's an immediate tension in the air, as more and more of them start to get an inkling as to what's up, but after a few moments it's the voice of Devlin Cassomir that barks over the crowd, "QUIET! Let them speak…."

And with that little bit of crowd-wrangling done, Devlin moves out of the crowd and over to stand near where Raelyn and Stephen are, not looking any happier than they do.

—-

There had been some whispering amongst the Huntresses to make note of Raelyns mood and distance. Some easily chalking it up to concern about her sister, namely her performance in the event. Several of the older Huntresses who knew Raelyn well enough gave greater thought to see the mood. But connections are quickly made by that group to see Emilia returned and the even darker turn in Raelyn.

A silent nod is given to Devlin as he gives that shout, a flicker of one of her smiles for him as well. There is a nod or two given to some of those gathered, to the golden haired man who steps out of the woods towards the back of the gathering. After everyone has quietened up, Emilia does speak, specifically to the Huntresses, "My Sisters of the Hunt, this past of months has brought much of change to us. We have lost of a Viscount but gained of a King, lost of our Mistress of the Hunt but gained of a Viscountess and in of turn came to have a new Mistress of Hunt." There is a slight pause before Emilia continues,"From of the start, I have heard of your concerns, carried upon whispers." Emilias gaze does drift over the group as she speaks, though the last does linger briefly upon Nia and the few bound with her. "I have worked to of ease some of them by giving chances for more to know of me, see of who I am. I have rotated those who travel with of me, and began of these exercises so my of skills and abilities might be seen in of action, and you might in of turn have chance to work with me."

"I knew it would not be of a quick of process, that it would take of time. But I had of hoped that as my sisters, that I would be of given the chance to of prove of myself, to show of why my…our Viscountess has placed faith such within me." Dark eyes sweep over the group lingering here or there,"I had of hoped for of the same of chance that had been of given to each of Mistress of the Hunt that has been of coming before of me. Some of you already knew of me, and supported of me, some of you have given of me this chance and continue to do of so, for that I am of grateful." Another pause comes,"And there have been of those not willing to give of me of a chance, that have not only clung to of their concerns and misconceptions but acted upon of them. Deciding they knew of better than our of Viscountess, they plotted of against me and have tried to kill of me." Her hands flutters up to her shoulder, the broken arrow…the blood there. A murmur of talking growing within the group as dots are connected and looks at sent to that bound group, and a few look down with an uneasy shift.

Once it dies back down, Emilia speaks again,"Such of division cannot of stand within our of sisterhood. It weakens of us, if we faced of today the threats that have been of faced in of the past of years," a slight pause coming allowing them to think back over all that had been faced before she continues,"we would of fail at that which we are of tasked to, the protection of Ironhold and our of people. To of act against a sister of the Hunt to such of an end goes against everything we of stand of for, against of the sisterhood. For of your actions," Emilia gaze settles upon Nia and her group,"as Mistress of the Hunt, I here of by strip the mantle of Huntress from each of you. When was the last time a Huntress had been striped of their title and position? And you are here of by turned over to the Viscountess of Ironhold for your crimes to be of reviewed and justice served as she may of decide to be fitting."

Such news sends a louder murmur through the group as comments and words are exchanged. Those who had escorted the group from the woods and had yet held watch over the small group of now ex-Huntresses, see the ties of the Huntress leathers cut as the traitors are striped symbolically of the symbol before being taken in custody by the few Ironguard who were present. Syrn yanking the leathers from Joy rather roughly in the process. And it is of course then that Nia does actually make an attempt to bolt, in spite of Adriennes nearness and that look given earlier.

—-

The freckled Cassomir Huntress has listened with an all stoic mien, while Emilia had held her speech; green eyes flickering as they shifted momentarily away from Nia, Joy and Fiona, to Raelyn and Stephen. A frown there briefly in her features, as if she could have prevented anything of this. She exhales when Devlin calls and steps forth, a small smile sneaking involuntarily onto her features. But then it is back to business. The verdict of the Mistress of the Hunt given, and Adrienne's attention shifts to the task at hand, keeping an eye on the traitors as their Huntress leathers are symbolically rendered useless. She keeps and eye on them. On Nia especially. So, when this Nia bolts… or tries to, Adrienne darts forward, rushing after this most devious of all Huntresses, using the momentum of her speed to lunge forward, catching Nia with both her arms as they fall to the ground. Maybe it is the anger, maybe the long time of knowing this day would come; or the fact, that Nia's hands are still bound and she can offer little in resistance. Adrienne gets the upper hand, and throws a punch at Nia, where she straddles her on the ground, then grips her firmly and pulls her to her feet, drawing her own blade now even as encouragement to play along, and holding it very encouragingly against the throat of the traitorous Huntress. There may be a moment of temptation to do more than that, but Adrienne refrains from such, escorting Nia back to the other Huntresses, before she personally sees to severing the straps of the leathers.

—-

There was a reason that Raelyn had come to this event without bow, arrow, or blade. Not that a single Huntress near her would deny her use of such weapons if she but asked, especially with things the way they are. Her own eyes narrow as Nia attempts to bolt, and there's not even a flicker of a smile on Raelyn's features as Adrienne dispenses with a little pain compliance justice.

Glancing back, momentarily at Stephen as if to remind herself of his presence, Raelyn steps forward then. She looks down at those whose hands are bound. "You sought to mend what you percieved as an error," she begins. To those that know her well, Huntress, family, and servant alike, there is strain in her voice. Strain, to not put the venom she feels in her words. To sound — noble. To a small extent, she is successfull. "You sought to make amends where you saw wrongdoing. You saw my sister as an unfit leader." She pauses, then, but her gaze does not waver. She only has eyes for those bound. Three, inespecial. "You found my judgement faulty. By questioning the appointment of Lady Emilia -Cassomir- to Mistress of the Hunt, you found fault with me. Instead of seeking discourse with me, instead of trusting the very woman whom you followed as the prior Mistress of the Hunt, you chose instead to seek the death of my sister. To show, by her death, she was inept. Unable. To prove her a failure, and me, erronous in my decision."

Raelyn pauses again, to let words settle. And to let these next words hammer the point home with the force of a sledgehammer. "You sought to kill Emilia Cassomir. My sister. My family. Of whom there are very few left." Pitiously, she stares at the three, "You have put a black note upon the prestigous ranks of the Huntress. We have never had, since inception of the Huntresses, to watch and hunt our own. But worse than that, you have committed treason. Treason against the land, and the family, whom you each took oaths to protect. Nia. Fiona. Joy." She calls the three main instigators out, by name. "You will each be hanged at midday, tomorrow. The evidence against your plotting is irrefutable." She looks to the other two. "Your sentences shall be decided soon enough. Until then, you shall see the other side of the prison and become more familiar with it."

—-

Huntresses have been stripped of that title in the past, but it has been rare. Only a handful of times across their history, but the precise records no longer exist, having burned with Ironhold Castle. Still, the Huntresses do not give out that title lightly, and their training and screening is…usually…quite rigorous for a reason. These are things Stephen Cassomir has either managed to dig up in the family's archives or gleaned just through observation. He nods briefly to Raelyn when she glances at him, and remains silent as Raelyn speaks. When she concludes, he looks to Devlin, who gives a curt nod, and bellows out:

"Guards forward! Get these traitors to their cells, and get Master Leoric out here to tend to the wounded."

And with that, several more Iron Guard make their presence known, having been in place for just such a command, and they move to escort the prisoners away, though they make no effort to dissuade any of the loyal Huntresses that might wish to see the task done alongside them.

Meanwhile, at the fringe of the crowd, a tall, blonde-haired and blue-eyed fellow appears at the fringes, briefly spotting Raelyn, and then Emilia in turn. "Lonar" gives each a subtle nod if they spot him, but doesn't seem inclined to get too close. Not surprising…crowds aren't his favorite thing.

—-

There is shock in the faces of the traitors, and in turn some of those amongst the other Huntresses as the order is given and the leathers are striped away. A cry escapes from Nia as Adrienne tackles her. Nia was on the verge of saying something, her mouth opening when Adrienne's punch lands, silencing her. The traitor and ex-Huntress semi-slack as she gets pulled up to her feet, staring at Adrienne in disbelief and shock. Reality setting in fully, finally. So it is a whimper that slips when the blade ends up at her throat, giving no further resistance as her leathers are stripped away.

As the Viscountess renders her verdict upon them, the three prime traitors all pale. This was not an end they ever forsaw, could have fathomed. The other two pale considerably with the verdict rendered, there is just a fraction of relief to not be hanged in a day. Unable to look any of the Ironguard in the face, let alone the handful of Huntresses that do see fit to 'help'. A few additional bruises just may show up on the group before they get to those cells.

Emilia's dark eyes had followed Nia's attempt to escape with a stoic coldness. A slight nod when Adrienne had apprehended her and seen the leathers striped away. Looking on stoically as her sister spoke, and delivered the sentence upon the traitors. Allowing her sisters words to sink in for them, and the others gathered as well. Watching as the Iron Guard escort the now condemmed away. Spying 'Lonar' as she looks back to the remaining Huntresses and other gatehred, she does give a faint nod towards him, unsurprised that he remains at the distance. Before she steps down from that stump, she does look to the remaining Huntresses,"Much has been of been revealed this of day, and it is much for you all to take in. Just remember together as of sisters, we remain of strong." There is a look given, that there will be more later, but for now…She needs a healer herself. Stepping down and moving towards Adrienne and the others of her family.

—-

When Raelyn gives her verdict, Adrienne listens with an unmoving mien, green eyes flashing briefly with approval and tightening as they come to linger on the traitorous three. Her own hand stays in place about Nia's upper arm, holding onto her firmly. Until Devlin calls forth the Iron Guard, and the prisoners are handed over to them. Adrienne's gaze flickering as it follows the five former sisters. But then it is on Emilia. The Touched Cassomir. Adrienne moves to meet her cousin to help her over to where she will await the healer. "You did fine," she assures. "I only wish it never had come to this." Admission offered with a grim smile. "Traitors… And they will die in less than a day." Referring to the three that had tried to kill Emilia. Adrienne falls silent then, focusing on the task of supporting Emilia should she need it.

—-

Raelyn, it seems, it not finished, just yet. "We do remain strong," she agrees, on the words of her sister. "And even in times of blackness, there is light. Three among our Huntresses proved true, proved valor, wisdom, loyalty, and cunning to expose these traitors for what they are. Therefore, a second precident shall be set, this day. One of honor. One of rememberance." Raelyn then nods to one of her own personal Huntress guards, Ashley. The Huntress steps forwards, moving to the escorting party. "While the Mistress of the Hunt has proven herself as capable this day as I ever was in my tenure, others, too, have proven their worth. And while that realm is no longer mine to dwell in, as Viscountess of Ironhold, it is within my purview to honor those as I see fit." Raelyn allows herself a smile, at this. Hard. Tight. But it's the other matter that still strains her. The smile is sincere. "The Zephyr is one of the greatest hunters in the lands. Fleet of wing. Discerning. Loyal. And, exceedingly dangerous to those it hunts. Adrienne. Pella. And, Syrn. Each of you have displayed these qualities, and ensured the life of my sister, and the sanctity of those that are, and would be, Huntresses of Ironhold. Therefore, I bestow upon you," she says, moving down to where Ashley is presently retreiving a small box at her side, "The Zephyr of Ironhold. Henceforth, it shall be given to any Huntress who, in dangerous times, displays what the best of us should aspire to."

Raelyn then moves to pin the 'medal', a dark grey patch, just below each of their Huntress stripes. And, to each, she says quietly, more to them than any other, "Thank you."

When she is finished, she steps back, and exhales. She looks back to Stephen. To Devlin. And then, to Emilia, to see if any of them have anything further to say. She, it would seem, has said - and done her peace. For now.

—-

A nod goes to Adrienne at the bit of reassurance,"Of thanking. And I do of wish that as well." Emilia's dark eyes following the progress made with the group being escorted away. She was glad it was over, but not that this had been needed. Knowing she yet had her work cut out for her. There were certain to those who still had their doubts about her. When Raelyn shows that she has more to say, Emilia does turn her attention to her sister. A bow of her head when Raelyn does declare that she, the Mistress of the Hunt, has proven herself this day. A mild tugging at the corner of her lips as Raelyn claims that right as Viscountess to honor those she see's fit to do so.

—-

Emilia inclines her head to each of the three Huntresses named, one of her patented smiles as that patch is pinned upon each in turn. The injured arm taking to resting across her stomach to relieve some of the weight on her shoulder and the throbing there. Done for now as well, but then she had spoken more than most had likely heard out of her in a single go for some time. Least publically. A incline of her head given to Raelyn. So proud, none one got an arrow through the eye!

—-

Stephen remains a step back from Raelyn as she moves to distribute the new tokens, remaining silent, but giving each Huntress a smile and a nod as Raelyn thanks them. It's really becoming the pattern, for Raelyn to take the lead and Stephen simply to quietly assist, though he does now occasionally handle routine matters largely on his own. This, however…is hardly routine.

Meanwhile, Devlin moves over to Emilia's side, mindful of her shoulder as he puts an arm around her, "Come on, sister…we need to get you to Master Leoric." His voice is laced with concern, but his smile is a touch wry along with encouraging.

—-

Adrienne looks up, surprised when she hears Raelyn's announcement. Even so, she stands beside Pella and Syrn, when the Viscountess of Ironhold bestows the medals upon them. "I did what I had to do.", the freckled Cassomir murmurs to her cousin, "nothing more. Emilia… did the bulk of it." And took an arrow. Still, this Cassomir straightens with a bit of pride when she is distinguished beside two so experienced Huntresses as Pella and Syrn. "Thank you…", murmured back towards Raelyn, a smile even given to Stephen. A faint smile. After all, the occasion wasn't that joyous.

—-

Emilia is hugged, briefly, gently. Then Adrienne, before Devlin, and finally Stephen's hand is taken. And squeezed, hard. "Ironhold is stronger than it was yesterday. And it shall continue to grow so, with all of your help," she tells those gathered. Then, she turns, and moves into the castle to be with her family. And, have some much needed wine.

—-

Emilia does give Devlin a faint turn of a smile when that arm goes around her. "Of course, brother. I am sure Master Leoric will have me of patched up in no of time." A gentle turn of reassurance given in return. That hug from Raelyn returned, before she does let Devlin see her along to the healer. Rest, and much needed wine. For certain!

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