(1867-10-04) Stephen's No Good Very Bad Day
Stephen's No Good Very Bad Day
Summary: After a lot of work and long planning, the final moves to round up and arrest the Abara are set into motion.
Date: 1867-10-04
Related: The Abara Plot concerning Tristan
Alesandro  Baral  Dixon  Emilia  Quentyn  Raelyn  Royce  Stephen  Thaddeus  Tristan  

Abara Manse - Seaguard - Rivana
See Scene


It's been a busy day in Seaguard. The morning started with some cafe and kicking in the doors of the homes of many Wardens and Magistrates across the duchy— a co-ordinated assault taking down a good third of the Warden's force.

Turns out they were on the take.

It's a mix of good Wardens, Huntresses, and Royal Lancers that had arrested the untrustworthy lawmen across the Archduchess's duchy. There will be more arrests later in other lands, but for now, they just needed to clear the way for the evening's business.

The true business for tonight… arresting the entirity of the Abara clan. Across Seaguard, outside of whorehouses, trade posts, and homes the Wardens, Lancers, and Huntresses prepare for their assaults.

Outside the main Abara home, Stephen Cassomir, nee Greycen, prepares with his crew the assault for the mainline Abara. If no other assault is successful, this one must be. Of course, with him is Prince Tristan Tracano, who had spear-headed this initiative, Viscountess Raelyn Cassomir, Mistress of the Hunt Emilia Cassomir, and three Royal Lancers: Lord Quentyn Bazan, Lord Dixon Rosendal, and Lord Royce Haldis… unlining how serious the crown is about arresting this Syndicate family and bringing them to justice.

Prince Tristan is sure to stay near Dixon, preferring that others go ahead and lead the charge into the Abara's home. There was no need for him to get his hands too dirty when there were others who were far more capable to do it. In one hand he carries his cane, ready to draw the sword hidden within if he has to. In his head he was already considering what may need to be done to help the Wardens replenish their numbers with more… trustworthy candidates and what could be done to prevent such corruption in the future. It would be a challenge.

Giving himself a little shake to bring his focus back to the present, he gives Stephen a small nod, indicating that the man has the lead and should begin things when he felt it was time.

Raelyn Cassomir stands, stoic, near her husband. She has a short bow with her, unlikely to need the distance in this setting. Also at her waist, sheathed, is a Sidhe Steel Blade, that which had been gifted to her by the Queen herself in lieu of Jaren having Winterthorne. She is no stranger to infiltration, danger, or storming well guarded keeps, having done much of that before taking the title of Huntress. Her eyes sweep over those with her, and she nods towards Emilia, confidence in her younger sister.

It has not been a pleasant day for Count Stephen Cassomir (nee Greycen), even if it's one he's long known was coming. He's spent the last few months orchestrating much of the days events from behind a desk in Roseguard Castle. Not his preferred method of doing things when it comes to investigations, but it made it more difficult for the Abara to see the net closing around them. The Wardens weren't entirely able to keep their activities secret, as they popped up all across Rivana in their gathering of information, but they were able to keep just how much information was gathered obfuscated, and the Abara had been expecting the prying, so it didn't seem out of sorts. Couple that with under-the-table information fed from the Morenos and ever-so-slightly from the Silva, and the much more complete picture of where the Abara's strongholds were came together.

But none of that changes that several people that Stephen once considered colleagues will be facing judgment alongside the Abara. It's going to be a wound that will take the Wardens a good bit of time to recover…but it was a necessary sacrifice. The corrupted Wardens would have warned their "benefactors" and this would all have been for naught. Now, he stands with Sir Royce Haldis and Sir Quentyn Bazan at his back, his wife and goodsister and a few extra Huntresses besides (by the leave of The Archduchess, of course). To say nothing of a fair-sized reserve of Greycen Troops should things get ugly.

Seeing the nod from Prince Tristan, Stephen bows slightly towards the Prince, his expression grim (and for once, even Quentyn doesn't seem to have any jokes, recognizing the gravity of the situation).

"Let's go. Fight if we have to, but we want prisoners." And with that, he begins to move towards the main entrance of House Abara's seat….

It had been an extensive campaign to root out the corruption, and one that would take awhile to fully take in with everything else upon her mind. But for the moment Emilia's mind was at the task at hand, supporting Stephen and ensuring this assault was successful. Her own shortbow was settled at her back, not likely needed for these close quarters but it was better to have it at hand then not. It was her secondary weapons that would be used primarly this day, knives and the short sword that was upon her belt. Her expression as stoic and unreadable as it ever was as she returned the nod to Raelyn. A glance to her Huntresses (sorry Raelyn, they are Emilia's now!) and an incline of her head to them. She knew they would aquite themselves well, no matter what came.

Hardly a keep, more of a manse with a wall and a gate. The Abara are commoners… wealthy commoners, but commoners still. They have guards, of course, soldato that keep rounds of the house. Sneaking in such a force isn't likely to occur, though the guards can be easily overwhelmed by the much more skilled nobles.

Stephen gestures, and a batch of the Greycen troops move forward with battering ram to make short work of the gate. Nobody here is of a mind to be polite about this. Another body of troops has surrounded the manse, keeping an eye for those that might try to escape, aided in that by the sharp eyes of more clean Wardens and a select few Huntresses. The main body though, bashes through the gate, and the Greycen troops quickly move into the intervening space between the wall and the manse, and while a couple or three of the Soldatos do try to go down fighting, they are quickly overwhelmed, and the bulk of them are subdued and bound, even as Stephen and his party continue towards the main doors of the Manse.

"Everyone gets rounded up. Servants. Guests. Everyone. Treat them all as potential assassins until we can determine otherwise." Stephen instructs, more to the other guards and Wardens that will be sweeping the house. Better safe than sorry. He turns then to his Goodsister, "Lady Emilia, I would like you to take the Huntresses and a few of our Wardens to start looking for hidden escape routes and secret rooms in the Manse itself. They're bound to have a few."

Thaddeus stands with the Greycen troops. Even though his brother is no longer a man of Seaguard, Thad will not begrudge him this. The man was better suited for Warden work than he ever was. His new portfolio was of little use here, save denying anyone escape by sea. As such, he was here, though. Full plate and poleaxe in case things got a bit messy. At the very worst, he provided an official Greycen presence, though he doubted any would question Stephen in this.

Flitting in once the gate is made short work of and aiding in taking down the guards at hand, sometimes quite litterally with a well placed arrow or knife to disable rather then kill where needed. Dark eyes keeping a look out for movement amongst the shadows, an ear out at times as well. She gives Stephen a quick nod,"Of aye, if they are to be of found, we will find of them." Already starting to move with the Huntresses and assigned Wardens to that end, and to be in place for those who might flee through such passages and appear outside the manse as the manse itself was taken.

As things begin, Tristan casually strolls to the rear of the lead group, Dixon at his side. The two murmur some words to one another as the gates get bashed in and men begin to head into the manse. "Knock knock." He mutters under his breath, heading towards the gate but keeping behind the ones leading the charge. Stepping over to Thaddeus, he nods. "There's nothing quite as invigorating as cleaning out a rats nest, wouldn't you agree?"

Raelyn remains near her husband, watching as his planning begins to move to full fruition, watching as bodies fall, and blades dance to the guards and Greycen troops. Her own hand lightly rests on the hilt of that sacred blade, ready to unsheathe it and sink it into any enemy flesh that might come too near. She does not appear eager to leave Stephen's side though, perhaps a bit protective of her husband. But then, if he doesn't have to worry about fighting, he can plan, and manuever without worry, too. Overhearing Tristan, she commends on the side, "I miss it," her tone dry, but not entirely kidding.

Members of the Abara Syndicate, family, servants, and soldato alike scatter as the law comes to bear on the manse. Doors are shut and barred from within. Several soldato gather and draw weapons at the base of the stairway, trying to bar enterance to the family quarters above.

Quentyn Bazan and Royce Haldis lower their visors as they move through the doorway of the Manse, and step forward with shields raised in front of Stephen and Raelyn and those that follow. Troops start to spread through the lesser-guarded portions of the house to find those trying to scatter. They're not yet overturning the whole place though. That can come later. They're focused on the people for now.

Stephen, for his part, focuses on the group that's moved to bar the stairway. He glances to Royce Haldis and nods. Marked Men aren't often the surrendering type. And so the black-clad Lancers move in quickly and set to work, but it's really not much of a contest when you place fully armed and armored knights against unprepared, unarmored folk with whatever weapon they could easily grab (which to be fair, is quite an arsenal in this manse, but that doesn't help the armor situation).

As the Lancers work, a few Greycen troops move in to support them. Stephen watches with arms crossed and that same stony expression on his face. Though he does speak after a moment, "Not rats. Snakes, I think."

Those who attempt to flee the manse are brought to ground by the Huntresses and Wardens that set out with Emilia, some more quickly than others. But each is treated as a potential assassin per Stephen's warning, and quickly bound and secured to be handed off to the troops that were soon fallowing in the wake to fully secure the perimiter around the manse. Emilia pointing out several places for them to keep an eye, before her group continues on. Which means entering the manse to continue their part of the mission. And it was not by something so conventional a method as walking through a door they enter, but through the windows. "Check of the walls as we of go," is Emilia's simple orders to them. And the entry it one that pays off in interesting ways. People always keep watch on the doors, not the windows so much. Some are caught by surprise and quickly subdued. People first, then seeking any indication of possible hidden room or passage by the highly perceptive scouts and invesitagtors before they move on.

"Take as many as you can alive," Raelyn calls to the troops. Perhaps they'd even been given such orders, but the Viscountess seems serious. She slides her hand off her weapon and picks out her short bow, plucking an arrow out from her quiver at her side and firing a shot into one 'snakes' knees as he tries to get too close to the nobles and take someone of importance with him, in desperation. She looks slightly more satisfied, then.

"Hmm, snakes. Yes, snakes could be apt, but then one has to wonder what we are to prey upon the snake." Tristan lifts a hand to scratch at his chin as he waits for word on the results of the raid. "I admit, I am quite pleased with all of this. These people have been a plague on Rivana for far too long and are finally coming to earn their due reward for spilling the blood of good Rivanans. Whatever else happens, you have my gratitude in planning all of this, well both of you do." He feels a small sense of excitement run through him at the thought of putting an end to the Abara.

The doors upstairs are mostly barred from within. The soldato fall easily to the Lancers due to their lack of armor, some dead, others injured and quickly bound and put with the other prisoners.

"Summer wolves eat snakes. Foxes, too." Stephen notes, almost absently as he moves to start ascending the now-cleared stairs. Finding the doors barred, he shakes his head and beckons for the smaller rams to be brought forward so they can be forced open. "I'll admit…this is going better than I'd anticipated." Though he doesn't have the feel of it going too smoothly, at least. "But we have to find Alesandro and Baral Abara before I'll start to feel like we've succeeded."

Thad follows the others win, flanked by his own guards. He realizes he may have made a mistake in bringing his poleaxe, but his right hand rests on his sword's hilt as he walks in. "Many things eat snakes, fortunately, these snakes should be dealt with quickly enough." He grumbles at the idea of prisoners, but it is a necessary discomfort.

Rooms are secured, rugs pulled up, odd hallow sounds in walls and floors checked, and shadows are listened to. In all a few secret cabinets are found with people hiding, and they are thusly routed out and secured. Not all easily, and it would be wrong to say all would actually survive to be bound with teh sturggles that come. But the Huntresses and Wardens do their task with the skill and reputation that expected of them. And as those barred doors to the main family quarters are being battered, Emilia and a few of the others are starting to appear at the back of the group, even if eyes and ears are still given to other hallways and rooms.

"Ah, well foxes seem appropriate should this continue to go as well as it seems to be going." Tristan nods, tossing a glance over at Dixon. "Hopefully we can give Her Majesty some good news a little later." He turns, eyes focusing on the manse. "Hrm. If either of Alesandro or Baral is here, it will be quite the victory." He comments, following along with Thad and Stephen.

"If they are here, my sister will ensure they do not escape," is Raelyn's vote of hard, sincere confidence as she responds to Tristan. And, by her measure, she seems to think such chances are good, a vote of confidence for Stephen's own cunning and calculations in handling these affairs. "If they are not, there will be few places in Rivana after this they will be able to take shelter in."

A couple of the doors are broken open, revealing little more than servants huddled in an attempt to hide. They are easily captured. A third door, however, reveals a sumptuous bedroom suite, and a trio of armed soldatos, who rush the door when it bursts open, trying to quickly overwhelm the guards who battered it down. Indeed a few of them do fall, whether wounded or mortally so, but they push forward, and when an opening presents itself, Royce Haldis slips in and swiftly cuts them down. But a fourth figure soon appears, a woman, both armed and armored, and actually putting the Royal Lancer back on his heels with the ferocity and skill of her attack. But then Quentyn Bazan is in beside Royce, and for all her skill, Baral Abara has nowhere to run…and even less desire to do so, given what she's defending. There's actually a cry of pain and frustration from her when Royce catches her with a vicious shield bash that sends her slamming against a wall, her weapon dropping from her hand. She struggles, but the two Lancers eventually manage to wrangle her to the ground and get her bound (albeit with a few more bashes along the way).

Further within, in the bedroom itself…lays an old man in a nightshirt, sitting on the edge of the bed, with a look of utter incomprehension on his heavily lined face. He's scarecrow-thin, his hair thinning, and as people begin to filter into the room, he shows no sign whatsoever that he understands what's going on.

Tristan slips into the suit, his pace leisurely and not in much of a hurry. There's a sense of some triumph inside of him as this all seems to be wrapping up. He pats Royce and Quentyn each on the shoulder, nodding appreciatively at their efforts to capture Baral. Leaning beside her, he gently pats her face with a hand. "No use in struggling, when you leave you will be bound up and heading for Sunsreach." He smiles at her and then stands, heading further into the room to eye the old man. "Ah, is this the vaunted Alesandro Abara? Or some other old codger? Either way it seems the years have been unkind to the poor bastard."

Emilia would much rather be a wolf then a fox, but it's not like she's going to quite voice that. Plus such thoughts cause unneeded distractions, and distractions were bad in the current situation. As more doors within the upper floor are busted open, she and her crew continue their sweeps through them, checking for potential hiding places obvious and secret alike after the servant-assassins are secured. A few of the Huntresses moving to take to the roof as the task is seen to quite thoroughly, and they were better suited to the particular task then the heavily armored Lancers and accompanying forces. So corner or shadow going unchecked.

Raelyn watches the Lancers take out the final members in the bedroom as she moves forward, her duty more to make sure that things are safe for herself, and most importantly for Stephen. She comments, on the heels of Tristan's words, "I would even wager they've been running it in his name for some time. It would not due for people to know he'd withered, so." She looks to Stephen, sidelong, watching him carefully. Curiously, even, now that things seem … settled.

Stephen studies the man a few moments, then shakes his head ever so slightly, though whether out of disgust or pity seems unclear. He seems about to speak, but the old man does first:

"Wil? My boy…I thought you'd left me. Your sister was very cross. Very cross." The old man wrings his hands, "But you're back now. Your mother will be so happy to see you." He…clearly seems to have mistaken Stephen for someone else…whom he doesn't even really physically resemble…and speaks of a wife that's been dead for many years.

"Alesandro Abara. By the authority invested in my by Alysande Tracano, Queen of Rivana, I hereby declare your lands and properties forfeit. You are hereby under arrest for the crimes of treason and murder, enacted by your family and those that serve it in your name." Stephen's tone is cold, but there's a small note of dissatisfaction to his features.

"Alysande? Alysande…now that one was always hard to kill. The Nameless died trying at Giorgio's Redoubt. I always wondered if he were the first or the last to fall. Never liked him. But I liked the other Nameless even less. But Zarine's a grown woman. She makes her own choices and doesn't listen to her father." He sounds more like a mildly amused grandfather than the head of a family of assassins, even when he IS talking about assassins.

Stephen frowns at his words, then gestures for some of the guards to see to bundling up the old man, "Get him out of here."

"What? Are we going somewhere?" Alesandro puts up no resistance, and it's unclear if he even could, given how weak and frail he is. "Do I need my good coat? Miri always has to remind me to button it…"

Turning away to face the others, Stephen takes in a deep breath, "There will be some that escaped. If not here, then on some of the other raids. We'll keep looking, but this should break them." He glances to where the now-gagged Baral is being hoisted away, "Alesandro has other children, they may have been caught in the other raids…but we'll need to be careful until we have a full accounting of the other locations we hit today."

Tristan frowns when the old man mentions the Nameless and failing in such a casual light. His frown deepens at the mention of Zarine. "Well, we have him and the other." He gestures to the other room where Baral is being held. "If others fall in the other raids we will have them all rounded up nicely in the dungeons of Sunsreach ready for justice to be delivered upon them." Putting his cane under one arm, he claps his hands together. "Come, we should all go have a celebratory drink. Good work has been accomplished this night and everyone involved should be proud of their efforts."

There are many that would agree with Prince Tristan's words. All told, only a handful of the Royal forces fell, and a great many Abara and their Soldatos and servants were captured, including their patriarch and his heir. Word will come of similar successes across much of Rivana in the days to come, and while there will indeed be stragglers and those few that have successfully gone to ground, there will be no question that the power of the Abara Syndicate in Rivana has been thoroughly broken. All in all…a laudable victory indeed, and a potent show of force from the Crown and its' allies. Many of the common folk, who have long sat closer to the Syndicates and in many ways been more aware of their doings than the nobles that rule them, will sleep far easier with the bloodthirsty assassins put away.

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