(1867-09-04) Squashing Insects
Squashing Insects
Summary: Vorian and Esyld deal with looters after the tornado
Date: September 04, 1867
Related: All Logs Concerning the Ostvor Tournament
Players:
Vorian  Esyld  

A Courtyard in Ostvor
Included in Set
September 04, 1867

It has been a hard, long, day for the men and women of House l'Saigner. A cynical person might wonder if they are not taking advantage of this tragedy to plump up their reputation a bit, but no one can deny that volunteers from the House have been seen at many of the rescue sights, digging tirelessly in the rapidly-diminishing hope of finding survivors.

That work has drawn to a close with the sinking sun. Vorian t'Maren has taken advantage of the lull to draw up a bucket of water from a well near one of the taverns, and give himself a bird-bath. He splashes water on his face repeatedly, using his once-pristine white shirt as a rag to scrape away the worst of the filth.

Not too far away, voices can be heard. Low murmurs, from what sounds like a relatively large group. But there's no lights, no torches or lanterns, and it sounds very much as though they're a group of people doing their best to be stealthy and not accomplishing it very well. Vorian ignores the noise for the nonce, sighing as he empties the last of the bucket over his head.

"You know, under other circumstances, I'd call that a dreadful waste of water." comes a familiar voice. Approaching the well at a sedate pace - compared to her usual brisk and rangy stride anyway - Esyld offers the young Lord a weary smile, unperturbed by his state despite her teasing. She herself is still clad in basic leathers, with that ever-present bastard sword slung across her back and her dark hair tousled and rakish, thanks to a ceaseless cloud of dust or dampening of sweat. With Corvin safe and sound and able to keep an eye on Alina, the mercenary has likewise been offering aid wherever it's needed. As the day has gone on, indeed, the celebratory air of finding survivors is lessened, a morose lull falling over the efforts of volunteers. Misery loves its company.. folks of all creeds have worked side by side with a common goal. But as their tireless work begins to yield more corpses than grateful victims, the subdued mood is taking its toll.

Is Esyld affected by such things? Of course. Could a stranger tell by her outward facade? Not a chance. There's no room for weeping damsels or precious princesses this late in the day. Only the truly stalwart are still going, when others have lost their stomachs… literally in some cases. It's a grisly business.

Drawing to a halt, the woman uncorks a waterskin and takes a few long draws, wiping her lips with the back of a hand before resettling her unholy gaze upon Vorian. It lingers only a moment, drawn with a thoughtful frown in the direction of murmured words. "..whose property is that?" she enquires, as if he might know. "Have they called for assistance?"

"Under other circumstances, I'd fill up a new bucket just to toss at you." And Vorian probably has done that, in the distant past. He grins as he shrugs back into his utterly-ruined shirt and glances in the direction of the voices. That grin slips a bit. He doesn't answer right away, instead strapping his sword-belt back on and loosening his weapon in its scabbard.

"I haven't heard workers in there all day," he says quietly. "Some southern family, but they left even before the ball. Property is — should be — empty. Except for whatever servants they left, of course." He looks over at Esyld for a moment, then offers her a slow, lopsided smile. "That didn't take long, did it? For the worms to come out of the wood."

Of course, there's no guarantee that it's looters. But it seems like a safe bet, given the state of things. "I think that, in the spirit of positive relations, we should go and make certain our Southern friends' property remains unmolested."

"You picked a fine time to have morals, all of a sudden." Loosing a heavy, long-suffering sigh and pushing her messy hair back from her brow, Esyld seems at first disinclined to care. Outside of the l'Saigners and paid work, her concern is hard to come by. But she's also unlikely to let Vorian go wandering blind into the unknown all by himself. Yes, much better they both go stumbling in the dark. "One might wonder why they'd leave any valuables unguarded.. but I imagine either they have good men, who are out somewhere lending a hand.. or they don't, and they've already fled with the finest silver." Rolling her shoulders and cracking her neck with a tilt of her head to one side, the woman apparently deigns to accompany.

"It never does take long. Everyone's all noble and self-sacrificing at the break of day.. by nightfall, most of them are fucking locusts." So says the grim, cynical voice of experience. "Come on then. Let's see if there are some insects need stamping on." She's exhausted. She's irritable. She's notably not sticking close to the Wraith Commander's side, though he's certainly been mucking in with the efforts in the city since he was freed from the temptation of a peaceful wine cellar. But if her mind's made up now, Vorian likely knows better than to even think of dissuading her.

A seemingly idle glance is cast about the darkening streets as the brunette moves away from the wall of the well, though it comes as little surprise that it's deserted.

"I've always had morals. Just, you know, not very well-defined ones." Vorian studies Esyld out of the corner of his eye as the pair approach the estate, and it's probable that he's noting the absense of a certain Wraith Commander. His smile widens just a touch, though perhaps that's at the thought of a chance to purge some of his own stress. It's been a long day, and combat is far simpler and less taxing than digging up dead bodies.

"You know, you're really too beautiful for such a cynical outlook," he continues. As they draw nearer, the voices can be heard moving in several directions. Apparently, they've decided to split up. Several loiter in the darkened courtyard, however. Snatches can be heard of their conversation.

"She was a real fighter…"

"…Real calm by the end."

"…When they stop wriggling, heh."

Vorian's smile vanishes. He draws his sword, the steel glinting dully in the moonlight. "I was going to say we just scare the buggers off."

There's a distinctly unladylike snort in return to the compliment - was it a compliment? - but other than this the woman is quiet. She always did have more talent for listening, while Vorian.. not so much. As they draw closer to the courtyard, quiet though not exactly sneaking, it's perfectly likely she's picked up on the gist of that conversation. Her often solemn countenance has a darker edge toit now, in the shadows, and those vibrant eyes reflect what little light there is to be found in an unnervingly feral gleam. It accompanies a disgusted curl of her upper lip.

Still. Ill-tempered she might be, but Esyld is pragmatic, too. Knights are all about their chivalry and self-righteousness. She's not a knight. "This isn't our city." she points out, in a tone devoid of emotion. Yes, she'd like to slit these bottom-dwellers from navel to nose. But what good is that if the good deed lands them both in the gaol? "There's also not much point scaring them off.. they'll just go elsewhere and start over." Quietly drawing her own enormous sword and gripping the long haft in both hands, she offers her companion a humorless smirk. "Subdue them, truss em up and leave em inside somewhere." Even her rougher accent betrays her slipping into the good old role of the common sellsword.

"Damnit. You got a point."

Vorian, likewise, is sounding more like his men than a knight. He doesn't like the options, that much is clear, but Esyld is thinking and Vorian, at least for a moment, was not. "Sounds like just three of 'em in the courtyard. Shouldn't be hard." He smiles at the woman, dark eyes meeting her strangely-vivid gaze.

A wiser man might try to plan, but there really isn't much call for subtlety in Vorian's world. He murmurs, "Let's get it done, then," and strolls into the darkened courtyard as though he owns it. The three men, standing around a ruined fountain, look up and over. They appear to be average citizens — a little dirtier, certainly — carrying cudgels and, in one case, a wood-axe. One man has an incipient dewlap. These are not hardened soldiers, merely opportunists. Somehow, that just makes it worse.

"Whozzat?"

"Vorian. You lads find anything nice?" The knight is still walking forward.

"I dunno any Vorian.."

And then, one of the others. "I do! He's a bloody knight. Rode in the lists!"

"Well," murmurs the t'Maren, "Y'found me out."

"Get'm, or he'll have us hung!"

And the three men approach, warily, none of them eager to be the first to attack.

"You ought to thank him, then." Following after the knight, Esyld emerges from the shadows with a malevolent smile that doesn't touch her eyes. "Be the first time any of you could call yourselves 'hung' in your entire, miserable, woefully short lives." This is not the sort of feeble woman that 'opportunists' would take advantage of. But that dooesn't mean she doesn't reserve a special, potent hatred for their kind, all the same. "Me, I reckon this household might have a place for a few new servants. Doesn't that sound better?" A brief pause, likely baffled on the opposing side. "Oh. Eunuchs, of course. Was that not clear?"

She lacks the presence of a full-fledged noble, of course. She wasn't in the lists. But she's smirking, clad in leather and wielding a hefty blade that she clearly knows how to use. So. Who's still got balls enough, for now?

Stepping out and away from Vorian in a vague arc, the better to divide the trio's attention, the ebon-maned woman regards the nearest man icily now, her muscular frame already settling into a waiting, predatory stance. "What's the matter, handsome? Ain't I your type?"


Opposed Roll — Looter1=One Hand Blunt Vs Esyld= Two Hand Blades
Net Result: DRAW

Opposed Roll — Looter2=One Hand Blunt Vs Esyld= Two Hand Blades
Net Result: DRAW

Opposed Roll — Looter2=One Hand Blunt Vs Esyld= Two Hand Blades
Net Result: DRAW

Opposed Roll — Looter3=One Hand Blunt Vs Vorian=One Hand Blades
Net Result: Vorian wins - Solid Victory

Opposed Roll — Looter4=One Hand Blunt Vs Vorian=One Hand Blades
Net Result: Vorian wins - Marginal Victory

Opposed Roll — Looter4=One Hand Blunt Vs Vorian=One Hand Blades
Net Result: Vorian wins - Crushing Victory

"I'm gonna enjoy fucking you, you blue-eyed freak," snarls the bandit Esyld is facing. "I'm gonna make y'scream. Show y'about how well I'm hung, bitch." And he feints an assault, clumsily. He would have left himself open to be smashed with the flat of Esyld's bastard sword — indeed, he nearly trips over himself — were it not for the man who, emerging from the shadows, lashes at her from the left with another cudgel.

It's the young woman's skill that saves her from a sharp knock. She steps backward, to get the two in view before her, and smacks the club aside without any apparent effort. The trio circle, each seeking an advantage.

Meanwhile, Vorian has the edge — he knows from the beginning that he's fighting two opponents. "Come on, lads." He lifts his left hand and beckons the pair forward. "You two best hope I beat you before Esyld gets t'you." And as the two men cautiously move forward, Vorian flits in between them with a sudden, explosive grace. He slaps one cudgel aside with his forearm, stiff-arming the man and throwing him off-balance. Almost simultaneously, something rather complicated happens with the axe-wielding fellow. Vorian's sword reverses itself, its pommel smashing into the man's forehead with a resounding crack.

Eyes rolling, the man slumps to the ground bonelessly.

Vorian pivots to face his remaining opponent, dark eyes glinting.


Opposed Roll — Esyld=Two Hand Blades Vs Looter1=One Hand Blunt
Net Result: Esyld wins - Solid Victory

Opposed Roll — Esyld=Two Hand Blades Vs Looter2=One Hand Blunt
Net Result: Esyld wins - Marginal Victory

Opposed Roll — Esyld=Two Hand Blades Vs Looter2=One Hand Blunt
Net Result: Esyld wins - Crushing Victory

Opposed Roll — Looter3=One Hand Blunt Vs Vorian=One Hand Blades
Net Result: Vorian wins - Marginal Victory

Opposed Roll — Looter3=One Hand Blunt Vs Vorian=One Hand Blades
Net Result: Vorian wins - Solid Victory

Opposed Roll — Looter3=One Hand Blunt Vs Vorian=One Hand Blades
Net Result: Vorian wins - Marginal Victory

Esyld's stalemate doesn't last long. She has the reach and, after those taunts, she has the anger — if she hadn't enough before. These two men have clearly never fought together. They get into one another's way as they step forward, rather than working in unison, and the dark-haired mercenary is not slow in taking advantage.

Like Vorian before her, she steps forward to meet the pair. But instead of the knight, with his more maneuverable blade, she moves to the side. Sweeping her bastard sword low, she smashes it into the first man's kneecap, and he topples with a scream.

Pivoting, she barely deflects a blow from his compatriot. But she does deflect it, and indeed, rips the man's cudgel clean from his hands. It's the work of a moment to swing hard, her whole weight behind the blow, and crush that ugly iron blade into his temple. The bandit drops like a sack of potatoes.

Meanwhile, Vorian is taking his time in dealing with the second of his opponents. His first thrust is parried, but it's obvious that he's — well, teasing the man. In the next instant, he brings the flat of his blade down hard across the man's wrists, causing him to drop the club. And stepping in, he manages to trip the man up and send him sprawling. His longsword comes down to the man's throat, tip pricking his adam's apple. The knight says nothing.

From the manse comes a clatter of metal as a few more men emerge, lugging sacks of loot. They stop dead at the sight.

Seeing as Esyld's felled opponents aren't likely to be going anywhere in a hurry, she rakes back her dark hair and settles her gaze upon those who appear from within the manse, bringing her sword up into a ready, warning stance. "Did we interrupt?" The hard smile she offers is in no way reassuring or apologetic. Flitting a glance to those heavy sacks, then back up to the foremost of the men, the mercenary quirks a brow. "I don't suppose you're bright enough to surrender when you ought to, are you." It's not really a question. But she grants them the benefit of the doubt, waiting where she stands.

You'd think the carnage of their accomplices would be reason enough to yield. But a cornered rat is still apt to squeal and bite.


Opposed Roll — Thug2=One Hand Blunt Vs Esyld=Two Hand Blades
Net Result: DRAW

Opposed Roll — Thug1=One Hand Blunt Vs Esyld=Two Hand Blades
Net Result: Esyld wins - Solid Victory

Opposed Roll — Thug3=One Hand Blunt Vs Esyld=Two Hand Blades
Net Result: DRAW

Opposed Roll — Thug4=One Hand Blunt Vs Vorian=One Hand Blades
Net Result: Vorian wins - Crushing Victory

Opposed Roll — Thug5=One Hand Blunt Vs Vorian=One Hand Blades
Net Result: Vorian wins - Marginal Victory

Opposed Roll — Thug5=One Hand Blunt Vs Vorian=One Hand Blades
Net Result: Vorian wins - Solid Victory

The bewildered men look at one another, and then at Esyld. And then at their crumpled companions. There's five of them now, as two more emerge to join the first cluster. Perhaps they've heard the screaming from the man with the shattered knee. From behind them, someone moans in the darkness. Perhaps the southerners did leave someone to guard the estate. One of the men grins slowly. "Your lover ain't gonna save you this time," he tells Esyld, incorrectly assuming that she would ever, in any lifetime, need saving. Incorrect on several points, really.

The men flood out of the doorway. They're more ambitious than their earlier counterparts, or perhaps more desperate, attacking in a swarm, three of them going for Esyld and the other two for Vorian. The young woman is forced to give ground — not to retreat, but to gain the room to use her blade. And use it she does, crunching the first man's nose flat and making a ruin of his lower face, dropping him to the muddy ground. That slows the other two considerably — they draw up just short of a second swing, barely avoiding a similar fate.

Meanwhile, Vorian is done playing. There's something about that moan that sets him into motion. For the first time, he does not use the flat of his blade. Stepping forward, he sweeps low and slashes, cutting the first opponent's achilles tendon in a single motion. As the man falls, Vorian straightens and stomps hard on his groin. But it's a distraction, and he very nearly ends up with a crushed skull. At the last moment, he ducks, and comes up with the pommel of his sword into the man's gut, driving the wind out of his lungs and staggering him backward.


Opposed Roll — Thug2=One Hand Blunt Vs Esyld=Two Hand Blades
Net Result: Esyld wins - Solid Victory

Opposed Roll — Thug3=One Hand Blunt Vs Esyld=Two Hand Blades
Net Result: DRAW

Opposed Roll — Thug3=One Hand Blunt Vs Esyld=Two Hand Blades
Net Result: Esyld wins - Marginal Victory

Opposed Roll — Thug5=One Hand Blunt Vs Vorian=One Hand Blades
Net Result: Vorian wins - Solid Victory

"You fuckin' bitch." The biggest of the men, seeing his friend fall, rushes forward again. His voice seems as much bewildered as it does enraged. He is large, in every sense. Strong muscles just beginning to run to fat, once-rocklike belly beginning to sag forward. He has arms like a blacksmith. And, in fact, that does appear to be what he's carrying — a blacksmith's hammer.

It doesn't do him any good.

Really, men should learn not to just swing overhand every time, but it always seems the strongest strike. It takes training to think of other attacks in a stressful situation. The big man does not have it. Esyld does. As his hammer comes up, the young woman flows forward as gracefully as a dancer. She doesn't bother with the sword, except to use its hilt as a brace for her knuckles, and smashes it right into his throat.

The big man stands stock-still, his face beginning to turn purple as he struggles to breath. He drops his hammer to clutch at his throat, turning away and doubling over, the fight completely gone out of him. And his final companion is really too easy. He doesn't even try to fight — he finally displays sense. He runs. Esyld drops him with a casual sweep to the back of his knees.

Vorian, meanwhile, doesn't allow his second opponent a chance to gain breath. He steps forward and, with a perfunctory blow to the back of the man's head, sends him sprawling. Looking over just as Esyld finishes with her men, he grins.

"Turns out you didn't need your lover t'save you after all," he remarks. "Shame. I'd love to look the hero someday."

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