7th Sea: the Fragments of Theus (Game Thread - Closed, Started)

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The Guild of San Marcos

"Good duel, sir." Surfan said in his most courteous voice. "May I help you up?" he finished, offering his hand. Paretti took the opportunity to spit in the man's palm before pushing himself to his feet. The crowd instantly booed the action, but Paretti didn't seem to care. He made his way off the stage and through the crowds before disappearing into the streets.

Several fights later, and Safan had the Soldano blade in his hands and the dubious title of "El Aņo Nuevo Champion". With the fighting over, the crowds quickly cleared, save a pair of men by the exit; the same men from before his first fight. This time however, they quite obviously had pistols in their hands and didn't seem quite as inviting.

Docks

With three of the press-gangers now dealing with Garrett, Adrianna pressed her advantage, striking at the first of the pirates with three slashes in quick progression. He managed to stop the first two , but the third cut through his parrying and knocked him off the dock - very much unconscious. The sole remaining brute on Adrianna proved a bit more potent than expected, parrying her blade well and even making a few lunges in the process. Adrianna was forced to give some ground, pushing her closer to the end of a dock.

Meanwhile, the two remaining on Garrett quickly retreated; trying to get into position to flank him. one of them fired off his pistol in an attempt to deal with the interloper quickly.

Universidad de Arciniega

"Is a Lord Eckart von Hoch present? I wish to speak with him." the priest asked, earning a strange gaze from the servant. "I don't believe there's an Eisen Lord in attendance Father..." the man said, thinking it over. "Still; you're welcome to go inside and check if you like." he finished, standing aside for the priest-to-be.

The wedding itself was filled with people dancing and drinking fine wine. Unlike outside, the even seemed much more tame. there was a small band of musicians playing off to one side and an impressively large area dedicated to wedding gifts - to be expected when the bride-to-be was the daughter of one of the most powerful people in Altamira and the groom was the nephew of a powerful Vendel Leaguer.

The bride and groom appeared to be entertained by two completely different groups at the moment, neither of which had an Eisen man in attendance. Similarly, there were no obvious Eisen nobles elsewhere, though several of the serving staff appeared of Eisen descent. Most everyone seemed in high spirits, save a Vendel woman sitting outside, staring at the coast.

"I thought a priest had to take certain vows once he had taken the cloth. Maybe they're not so pious as they'd have us believe."

"Love trumps knighthood vows, I assume it can beat a priests. This one isn't a priest, though. Probably." Reyes shrugged, being hunted by a group doesn't mean you're familiar with it's many different ranks. Or maybe it should. Eh, they all bled the same if they tried to attack a relatively innocent smuggler with a badass guard.

"That kind of defeats the purpose of it being 'private'... Though, if you're buying... I suppose."

"See? Even invasion of privacy can be excused for the right amount of money." Reyes grinned, and tried not to chuckle as the two defended their love and drink.

"Priest-in-training, actually, though a firm believer in Theus. Though, I'm pretty sure he has no intention of actually drinking."

"Excuse me, but priests can marry. They also have pressing matters to attend to. Do not worry, I will return shortly."

"Good-bye, priest-in-training, I hardly knew ye." Reyes gave a wave of the hand, slightly thankful that he could drink without a religious figure around. It was easier that way. Should probably find Rose at some point in the future too, and find a place to take the horse and sleep before they had to hit the road again.

"Well, you can find us in that tavern over there! So, about those drinks."

"Sounds good to me. I am Reyes, glad to meet you all." Reyes sat up and gave a small bow to the group, noting the humble response from the marksman. The last time Reyes shot a musket, he nearly took one of his crewmen's head off. He got off the horse, for now, tying it down on a nearby post. He'd come back for it.... probably, it really depended on the number of drinks he'd get.

"I don't believe there's an Eisen Lord in attendance Father..."

His spirits sank as he heard those words, alongside that title. He didn't deserve to be called that! Though, it could be chalked down to politeness. Erasmo felt rather awkward and abstained from correcting the error and thought on the servant's words. Von Hoch was the type to flaunt his wealth and a wedding like this would be the perfect opportunity. But he wasn't at the wedding! The long and tiring journey had been useless! No, he was jumping to conclusions. Maybe the man was somewhere else in the city? Regardless, enjoying the festival a little more wouldn't hurt. Still, the fact that Lord Eckart had missed the social event of the season told the priest-in-training that something was up. Erasmo disguised his disappointment with a stroke of his hair.

"Still; you're welcome to go inside and check if you like."

He stopped midway as the servant spoke those words and leapt into action. He scanned the crowd, 'No, no, no, no, no, no. No. NO!' There wasn't anyone of Eisen descent apart from some of the servants. But, he simply couldn't assume that they knew where Lord Eckart was. That was like asking his parents about the Merchant Princes, they didn't particularly know anything apart from what they needed to know - names and tithes. Nevertheless, did he have to chase every lead? The solemn answer was yes. To be honest, Erasmo would rather return to the docks, but if he simply walked away, well... That would mean breaking his word. Erasmo slowly walked over to one of the Eisen servants, hoping that he wasn't drawing too much attention.

"Know of a Lord Eckart von Hoch?" Erasmo asked rather casually.

~Beatrice~

"Lead the way. My name is Renault, by the way.".

With a slightly wider smile, Beatrice held out a hand. "Beatrice Fausti. A pleasure.", she told him, before she prickled at what the horse thief said.

"See? Even invasion of privacy can be excused for the right amount of money.".

"Excuse me? What exactly are you implying?", she asked, her warm demeanor quickly becoming very cold, while her smile was clearly strained at the edges.

She was starting to wonder if she was going to regret letting him join them, even if he was going to foot the bill for drinks. Though, the girl that seemed to be his partner had yet to say anything. So, maybe it wouldn't be quite as bad as he let on. Still, with any luck, they wouldn't mind the fact that they had a Sorte Witch in their midst, since she doubted she'd be able to talk to the 'mercenary' properly without their company.

The horse thief finally introduced himself once he dismounted, and started to tie it to a nearby post. Probably so he would be able to reclaim it later. He had balls, she told herself, had to give him that. She just had to resist kicking them if he made another offhand remark like he had earlier.

"Excuse me? What exactly are you implying?"

"That private drinking just became slightly less so, is what I meant. I know a girl who'd kill me if I meant anything else." Reyes tried to hold in his laughter, settling on a slightly wider grin. Serious topic, kind of. It was really just his life on the line here, though he had no idea if she was truly dangerous.

Chances were, probably.

"Please, don't mistake my intentions for anything but conversation and company. Life on a boat gets dull, and you all look like you've got interesting stories to tell." He bowed like a gentleman, shrinking his grin back to his usual wry smile, letting her lead on.

Rosemonde had returned to San Marcos, having been unsuccessful in finding Reyes, just in time for the last fight. The Cathay wasn't a bad fighter, she decided as he was awarded the blade. Lacking in imagination, maybe, but he got the job done. She waited around to congratulate him, and to apologize for stepping into his business unnecessarily earlier.

However, before she got the chance, she spotted the two brutes from earlier, this time with pistols. Cowards. Even two on one they didn't feel safe. They were loitering near the exit, obviously intending to make a move once the area was clear. She would have to throw a wrench into that plan.

She joined the last few stragglers out of the area, keeping her head down, thanking Theus for having made her short. She began her litany. This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do. Her father's words. They had been his comfort when he was forced to order men into battle during the war with Eisen. Ever since she was a young girl, they had been her comfort as well, whenever she was unsure of the path before her.

By the time Rosemonde finished her mental recitation, she was near the exit, just a few steps away from the men. She was the last person in the area except for the Cathay and the two men. They hadn't seemed to have spotted her yet, behind all of the remaining stragglers as she was. Unlucky them.
She drew her rapier, and stepped up to the man on her right, and placed the tip against his throat, her arm crooked to thrust at the slightest provocation. She smiled grimly.
"You know, I did warn you," she said with a small sigh. "Tell your friend to drop his pistol and maybe you both walk away intact." Her eyes bored into his, unflinching. Though, staring upwards into his eyes was rather less intimidating, unflinching or not. Being short was rather a mixed bag, she decided.

As the fighting on the docks raged on, the two remaining press-ganger that Garrett was up against had pulled back a bit, for what reason he wasn't sure, no doubt it wouldn't be good. Meanwhile with Adrianna, she had cut down one, and rendered another unconscious, knocking him into the dock.

Then suddenly, Garrett could hear the sound of a flintlock being fired, and rolled to the floor, the bullet missing him just barely; though it did make a hole in the left sleeve of his coat, he'd have to mend that later. As Garrett went to stand up, he caught sight of the other ganger making a charge for him, and so quickly fired his pistol, hitting the shoulder which made for an easier target, and sending the ganger to the ground, unconscious for the time being.

Garrett didn't get much time for a break however, as the first ganger attacked him with a wild vertical swing, missing him by half an inch, but managed to cut a few hairs off; Garrett soon blocked the next two attacks, causing their swords to lock.

"I must say ganger, your certainly more competent than others of your kind that I've met; but it is never nice to do that to a woman." Garrett said as he trying pushing to break the lock, to which the ganger replied with smirk.

"Heh, why should I care if they's a man or a woman, I got a job to do, and I'll do it by any means necessary. I'll admit, she is a pretty little thing; once we're done with you, think we'll have some fun with her."

"No you won't." Garrett said coldly. He then kicked the man in the left shin, breaking the lock, and proceeded to give two precision cut across the chest, spilling a fair bit of the ganger's blood as he lay dead on the street. With a quick flick of his swords, Garrett had removed the blood from them, though he would clean them later.

Garrett saw that the final ganger that Adrianna had to contend with was pushing her closer towards the dock's edge. He approached the man from behind, and placed the tip of his Soldano sword to the man's back.

"Drop. Your. Sword." He said, a slight hint of coldness in his voice.

Surfan wiped the man's spit off of his hands, saddened by the man's choice but there were still fights to be had. And fights Surfan did win. After several fights, he was awarded with the Seldano sword. He held it in his hands, feeling its weight and balance. It was a weapon suited for another style of fighting than his but them it struck him. He wondered if he could learn another fighting style while he had the sword. The sword was excellent but it was still Castillian and Wassif was killed with one. He put the sword and sheath on his back but before he could leave he spotted the same men he saw from before. They stood at the entrance, visibly armed and no doubt looking for trouble. Before he could do anything, the same woman from earlier approached them and pointed a rapier at one of their throats.

"There's no need for violence, my friends." Surfan said, keeping his hands at his side and close to his swords. "Leave now and you can keep your lives for another day."

"Excuse me, but priests can marry," He countered, and then turned his face slightly in Beatrice's direction, ."They also have pressing matters to attend to. Do not worry, I will return shortly."

And with that the holier-than-though priest marched of leaving the party of misfits to revel the night away without him, she imagined that his quick escape act was to hide a blush that was coming to fruition, perhaps he didn't want to admit that he might be in love in front of a group of mismatched strangers. A shame really, maybe once they had become inebriated enough he might have started taking confession, or started making confessions, the stories some 'holy-men' had could be quite enlightening.

Beatrice turned to the others and smiled. "So, about those drinks." she prompted.

"I'll join," She replied, "And I'm Yvonne, Yvonne Descoteaux"

Once she had introduced herself she dismounted, the owner would find it eventually she just didn't feel like giving such an easy find away just so soon and there was always the chance of a reward. Her purse was starting to run a bit dry after the days jubilations. She hitched the horse on a near by but slightly hidden post.

"Lead the way" She said as she returned.

~Beatrice~

Despite the grin on Reyes face, it seemed that the inflection in her voice was enough to at least get part of the point across.

"That private drinking just became slightly less so, is what I meant. I know a girl who'd kill me if I meant anything else.".

She simply quirked a brow, then slowly nodded as she relaxed.

"Please, don't mistake my intentions for anything but conversation and company. Life on a boat gets dull, and you all look like you've got interesting stories to tell.".

At that, she suppressed a quick chortle. "You have no idea.", she said, confident that he wouldn't, not for some time at any rate.

After all, as far as she was concerned, he was just another horse thief, and one she had no reason to trust her secrets to. Not any of real importance, at least. As for his partner, she didn't know her either. On the other hand, while she didn't know Renault, he piqued her curiosity enough to make her interested in taking a small risk.

Besides, it seemed he already figured out what she was, so it wasn't as if she was giving that away now.

When the other horse thief dismounted, she introduced herself, prompting another nod from Beatrice.

"I'll join. And I'm Yvonne, Yvonne Descoteaux.".

Then, as she did as Reyes did, and tied the horse to a post, Beatrice had to sigh, and shake her head. Well, if she had anything to say about it, those horses would go back to who owned them, and that would be that. Setting that aside, she turned and led the way to the tavern she pointed out earlier, and simply swaggered in and smiled.

She made an automatic beeline to the bar itself, and after catching the barkeeps attention, leaned against the counter and jerked a thumb to Reyes.

"Do you have a private table we could sit at? My friend there is going to be paying, so be sure to bring out the good stuff.", she said, giving the bartender a charming smile and a sly wink.

"You have no idea."

'Tonight will be filled with almost getting castrated.' Reyes nodded, and chuckled lightly. Good to see she had a sense of humor. And probably a touchy past with prostitution, but he'd choose not to ask about that one. Regardless, less murder-ish look was a welcome sight. He watched as his previous companion tied her horse down, much like he did, and rejoined them offering her name.

"I'll join. And I'm Yvonne, Yvonne Descoteaux."

"That would be your name then." Reyes said, more to himself, following behind Beatrice to the tavern. Not high class, nor too poor. Reyes couldn't imagine the revenue they'd gotten earlier that night, but some would probably go towards renovations; the bar fight started around here after all. Reyes offered a smile towards the barkeep as Beatrice did the same, telling him who was going to pick up the check.

"Do you have a private table we could sit at? My friend there is going to be paying, so be sure to bring out the good stuff."

Reyes just offered a friendly wave, letting the sleeve drop a bit so he could take his hidden coin purse out. Precautions were always a good idea.

The University

"Know of a Lord Eckart von Hoch?" the priest asked one of the Eisen Servants. She stared at the priest for a moment before speaking up in a thick Eisen Accent. "I know of a Lord von Hoch." she said, looking inquisitive. "He's a lord from Wishe right?" she continued trying to help the guest however possible but unsure what to say. The lord wasn't here and, to her knowledge, hadn't even been invited: few Eisens were these days.

Guild of San Marcos

"There's no need for violence, my friends. Leave now and you can keep your lives for another day." Safan said.

As he said it, another voice rang into the room, thick with Vodacce accent; the same voice as the man who'd advised Safan before. As he spoke, Rosemonde could feel the cold pressure of the business end of a pistol pressed into the back of her neck. "We did warn you" he said, almost dismissively. "But no; you couldn't just take the offer. Now we have to keep our word and work during a festival."

With that, Paretti reentered the guild hall - sword in one hand and a pistol in the other - and said "I believe I'd like a rematch." before firing his pistol at the Crescent swordsman's head.

Dock

"Drop. Your. Sword." Garrett said, coldness in his voice.

The final pirate, weighed his options for a moment and said "done" before letting go of the blade "no amount of Guilders is worth dying over."

Adrianna, for her part, breathed a small sigh of relief and spoke up. "Thank you Senor... Ramirez?" she said with greater volume and presence than she had outside the guild, only just registering her savior. She quickly followed it up with a confused look continued. "How... Why are you at the docks?" she said, still not sure what was going on.

Tavern

"Do you have a private table we could sit at? My friend there is going to be paying, so be sure to bring out the good stuff."

The Tavernkeep looked up at the small group. At first he was going to say they had no table for them with all the festivities until he saw the group itself. Clearly international and some were a good deal more wealthy than the common folk - especially the Vodacce looking woman who carried herself like someone used to nobility. Sensing a business opportunity, he quickly spoke up "Just a moment Senorita." then called over one of the servants.

A few brief words, some running, and a minute later and the servant returned nodding. "Please, follow Diana." he said, pointing at the servant. The Servant led them upstairs and to a small room. It was clear the room had only just become a serving location since it lacked the wear and tare of the tavern's main floor, but it was private and set up properly.

The Servant - hoping to keep her job - quickly asked what everyone wanted and took off to give privacy and get them their orders.

"He's a lord from Wishe right?"

Erasmo sighed, this was getting him nowhere. If the Eisen Lord was here, the servant would have directed the priest-to-be to him. At least it He quickly replied, "Yes. Very good." With that, he made a hasty exit and walked back to the tavern in low spirits. He had been wandering for far too long, and if he kept this up, he would miss his chance. Wishe... It seemed that Erasmo had to return to that place once again. But for now, he would enjoy the festival and the company of those misfits. Erasmo entered the tavern and wiped his brow, no doubt aware that he was somewhat late. The bartender would probably know where the group had disappeared to and so the priest-in-training asked the man. It was obvious he was unsure about how to go about it.

"Excuse me... have you seen a group led by a woman of Voddace of a sly nature?" Erasmo asked.

Rosemonde considered her options for a split second. Stand still, and probably be executed anyways. No thank you.
Move. Depends on how fast he is with that trigger. I'll pass.
Or attack. We have a winner.
She sidestepped and quickly spun, bringing her pommel upwards, slamming it into the gunman's face. There was a satisfying crack as his cheekbone gave way.
"You could have walked away. He beat your master fair and square. But no, had to try and attack him." She ignored his response. Something unprintable, to be sure.
She heard the pistol shot, but had no time to look up. She was surrounded, and all three of them had pistols. The Cathay would be alright. She hoped.
"Three on one? This hardly seems fair. Tell you what-" she jabbed with her rapier, skewering the wrist of the man who'd snuck up on her. "-I'll wait here, and you three go find more friends."
The other two were beginning to try and aim at her, stupidly. She turned and lunged, putting her sword in the throat of the man on the right, then drew back, and jabbed into his upper leg, severing an artery. He stumbled to the ground, holding his new holes.

One down, one mostly helpless, and one to go. She turned, drawing her main gauche. The two remaining men were attempting to draw their swords.
"You know, I actually halfway admire you lot. You must have known you couldn't possibly kill a Knight of the Rose and Cross. But you tried anyways. I respect that." She stepped back, away from both of them, and allowed them to draw their swords. It was their turn to ignore her, apparently, as they simply started towards her.
The man whose wrist she'd skewered had to use his off-hand, and so his first swing was very clumsy. She stepped away from it, then lunged in and put her sword in his heart. He dropped, just as the other man was about to swing. She parried his strike, and slashed at his neck. He actually managed to avoid it, and instead she gave him a good gash across the cheek.
"Hey, you look like me now."
"BIT-" he started to shout. She put her rapier into his open mouth, and out the back of his throat. He gurgled, then went down.
"I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that." She scowled at his corpse, wiped the blood off her sword onto his clothes, then turned to see what was going on between the Vodacce and the Cathay.

"I believe I'd like a rematch."

Surfan moved to the side as fast as he could, trying to move out of the bullet's path. He felt the sharp, burning projectile graze his cheek. The graze alone sent his head snapping to the side in pain but Surfan turned his head back towards Paretti and charged forward before the man could have a chance at reloading. He raised his swords and swung his left blade low and right blade high. Surfan would not hesitate to end this man's life now that he threatened his. Anger coursed through his veins.

The last press-ganger stood in silence for a moment, with a sword pressed into his back, before finally relinquishing his blade to the floor and replying with a simple "Done." followed by "...no amount of Guilders is worth dying over." To this Garrett smiled, still with sword in hand in case the man tried anything.

"Good man, you've made a wise decision this day. Now, hand over the keys to those chains, and I'll let you be on your way." Garrett said with his free hand stretched out. Realizing that he'd be dead if he didn't comply, the ganger took the keys out of his pocket, and tossed them over to Garrett, who caught them.

"Wouldn't it be easier to just kill me?" The pirate asked, his hands in a surrender pose.

"True, it would be a hell of a lot easier; but, given that it is the New Year's celebrations, and a chance for a fresh start, I've decided to be a bit more honorable tonight. If it had been any other day, I probably would have knocked you unconscious, and let the city guard deal with you in whatever manner they deem appropriate. Now, off you go, before I change my mind." And with that, the ganger soon walked off down the street, leaving it just Adrianna, Garrett, and those bound in chains. It was at this moment that Adrianna finally spoke up.

"Thank you Senor... Ramirez?" Adrianna said with a surprised voice, much louder than she was earlier. She then followed it up with a look of confusion. "How... Why are you at the docks?" Garrett sheathed his swords, his hand still holding the keys.

"Me? Well to be honest, the fights at the Guild Hall weren't as interesting as I imagined; sure, they were entertaining, but when one of the fighters kills their opponent rather than simply drawing blood, it wasn't the fight I was expecting. Plus the Guild Hall was getting a bit stuffy for my tastes regarding such am event. So, I decided to get some fresh air, and perhaps find a little excitement, and it seems I found it in spades. But I think that the better question is, are you alright Seņorita du Riche, they didn't hurt you in anyway?" Garrett asked in a concerned voice.

~Beatrice~

She could tell that the barkeep was about to turn them away when he finally took a good look at them. With their various nationalities, and the fact that some of them looked like monied individuals, clearly changed his mind as he told them to wait just a moment. Within a few minutes, a servant girl by the name of Diana had come up to them, and led them upstairs and off to one side to a small, private room, which suited Beatrice fine.

When they all sat at the plain table in the middle of the room, Diana asked what they wanted, and Beatrice smiled.

"I'd like your best whiskey, if you don't mind. Oh, and if a priest ends up coming into the tavern, one from Vodacce, could you send him up?", she asked, politely.

As soon as everyone else told her what they wanted, Diana left, and Beatrice made a note to make sure she got a few extra coins from her at the very least. Then, she promptly leaned back in her chair and reached into her coat, pulling out both her matches and one of her hand-rolled cigarettes.

"I hope you three don't mind if I smoke. While I could probably give up drinking if I wanted, giving up smoking would be much, much harder.", she said, before placing the cigarette in her teeth and striking the match.

Once it was lit, she took a long drag as she quickly put the match out, tossing it in the small ashtray that was conveniently in the middle of the table. She sighed softly as she blew out a line of smoke, turning her head so that she didn't end up choking any of her new acquaintances, then smiled at them.

"So, I suppose I should introduce myself. I am Beatrice Fausti, Grand Sorte Witch from Vodacce. Hopefully you don't have a problem with me having magic.", she added, her smile widening just slightly, almost in a dare.

And away the group went, led by a young barmaid (Or servant, whichever term was preferred), to a table upstairs. Plain, but private, Reyes thought. All took their seats, and Reyes was left to think about tips and prices. He was the only one who'd have to, after all...

"I'll take whiskey, don't care if it's the best." Reyes said, not the biggest drinker. Rose was though. Probably not his fault, hopefully at least. He spared a thought wondering what she was doing, but concluded it probably involved swords and blood and drinking. Maybe all three? Regardless, someone not her was dead, of that all could be sure.

"So, I suppose I should introduce myself. I am Beatrice Fausti, Grant Sorte Witch from Vodacce. Hopefully you don't have a problem with me having magic."

Reyes shifted in his seat after hearing that, and if one was paying attention it was the first time his smile cocmpletely dropped. Wildly illegal magic being brought up wasn't new, it was just... that kind of magic. Rose would hit him if he gave away any secrets, but knowing stuff like that and being unable to do anything always killed him so much inside.

"Are we giving away our magical abilities? I practice the 'forgotten' art of Duman'kir. In case any of you were still curious about earlier mists." Reyes put on a smile that didn't quite touch his eyes, "But, out of curiosity, how do you use your magic? I've always found myself wondering what it would be like to hold that power."

~Beatrice~

As soon as she introduced herself, she saw the grin on Reyes face drop, causing one of her eyebrows to wing up as she took another drag from her cigarette. She had a feeling that, for him, not smiling and hesitating to speak was rare. But, after a moment, he finally replied.

"Are we giving away our magical abilities? I practice the 'forgotten' art of Duman'kir. In case any of you were still curious about earlier mists. But, out of curiosity, how do you use your magic? I've always found myself wondering what it would be like to hold that power.".

He smiled again after that, but it was clear it wasn't genuine. With a small snort, her own smile widened a little more.

"I can't say, its a trade secret. And I also can't say that I've heard of Duman'kir, but you did say it was 'forgotten'.", she said, waving her free hand dismissively.

Then she turned to Renault.

"Now, as for you, I think it's fair to say that you aren't a mercenary, particularly after that rather impressive display with the horses. I'm pretty sure a real mercenary wouldn't do that without a chance of being paid for it. So, who are you exactly?", she asked.

Guild of San Marcos

As Safan rushed forward, Paretti made to block the blades, but not with his sword. The blade coming from above was deflected using the now empty pistol while the blade from below was stopped by a well placed boot as close to the hilt of the blade as possible. The actions weren't without their consequences however; he heard the barrel of the gun dent inward and felt the pain in his foot where the edge broke through his boot. Both his pistol and foot would need a break when the fight was over. Fortunately, if he had his way he wouldn't have to wait long.

With both of Safan's blades temporarily incapacitated, he thrust forward with his own sword, aiming for a killing stroke to the heart.

Tavern

"Excuse me... have you seen a group led by a woman of Voddace of a sly nature?"

The barmaid looked confused for a moment before smiling and pointing toward the stairs "They said you'd be coming. They're upstairs in the first room on the left Father." she said than continued to get the requested drinks. She stopped for a moment and returned to the priest. "Would you like anything to eat or drink Father?"

After getting her answer, she continued and gathered all the drinks for their important guests and returned to the private room to deliver them.

Docks

"...But I think that the better question is, are you alright Seņorita du Riche, they didn't hurt you in anyway? Garrett said.

Adrianna shook her head saying "I'll be fine Seņor; thank you." Truth told, the only injury she'd taken was to her pride - she should have been able to deal with all of them with ease. Shaking her head free of the thoughts, she turned to the swordsman and continued. "I hope you're also unharmed." she said, spotting the tear in his clothes from the bullet. She didn't see any blood, but hat didn't mean it wasn't there.

Feeling that a simple thank you was insufficient, Adrianna quickly thought over how she could properly thank the man for stepping in when he wasn't obligated and could have been hurt. Her mind went back to the characters from the book he appeared to be from, but dismissed the thoughts. They were both pure fantasy an far to embarrassing options. Instead, she decided on what any proper Castillian would offer. "Can I buy you a drink?"

"I'll be fine Seņor; thank you." Adrianna said after shaking her head, and then noticed the tear in Garrett's coat. "I hope you're also unharmed." Garrett soon looked at the hole again, trying to see if the bullet had actually hit him, and after not finding any signs of pain, or rather blood, soon turned back to Adrianna.

"It appears that I am unharmed, though this isn't the first time I've come close to taking a bullet, and no doubt it won't be the last." Then for a little while there was silence, no words passed, apart from the occasional mumbles from the folks in chains, which reminded the mercenary to free them in a bit.

"Can I buy you a drink?" Adrianna asked suddenly, bringing the peace to a close.

"I could certainly go for one after that scuffle, fighting can make anyone thirsty. But first, let me free these men from their suffering." He then went over to the group of four bound men, with keys in hand; the looks on their face appeared to be one of delight as their mumbles got louder.

"Alright lads, settle down and you'll be out of these shortly." Garrett said as he turned the key in each of the locks, as a satisfying click was heard. First was the manacles around the hands, soon as these came off, the men immediately took the gags out of their mouths, and one of them, a Highlander it seemed spoke first.

"Ah thank ya laddie, didn't know what was gonna happen if them pirates took us aboard, and if you hadn't arrived."

"No doubt a fate worse than death my good man." The other captives all gave their own measures of appreciation, and soon they all headed off in search of a nearby tavern to forget the terrible event. Undecided on what to do with the keys, Garrett returned them to his pocket, dusted himself down, and headed back to Adrianna.

"Now that the business is taken care of, let's go have a nice drink together. May I?" Garrett asked as he offered an arm.

Paretti blocked Surfan's attacks but not without denting his gun along with hurting his foot. Paretti surged forward, sword aiming to the heart. Surfan stepped sideways making the sword cutting through his vest and leaving a horizontal cut on his chest. It pained him a great deal but at least he wasn't dead. With Paretti closer, Surfan stamped on Paretti's own injured foot and delivered put forth an uppercut with his right hand using the hilt of the sword for extra damage. He needed the fight to end quickly if he wanted to survive.

The barmaid led them to a private room, plain and scantly furnished, but it did give them privacy from the revelers downstairs. The barmaid asked them what they wanted to drink, Reyes was paying and Yvonne had to have a little petty revenge for him leaving her behind.

"I'll have the most expensive wine you have, preferably a red and bring the bottle." She replied, grinning at Reyes.

Both the Vodacce and Reyes had ordered whisky, something you had to have a taste for and build up a resistence to, something Yvonne lacked, she would be out after a couple of shots. Anyone, wine was much more easier on the palette.

"So, I suppose I should introduce myself. I am Beatrice Fausti, Grand Sorte Witch from Vodacce. Hopefully you don't have a problem with me having magic." she added, her smile widening just slightly, almost in a dare.

Was she the one that had found order within pandemonium earlier? Reyes shifted in his seat, did he not like the thought of drinking with a practitioner of such illegal and ambiguous magic? She smirked as she imaged the look on his face when she revealed her magic.

"Are we giving away our magical abilities? I practice the 'forgotten' art of Duman'kir. In case any of you were still curious about earlier mists." Reyes put on a smile that didn't quite touch his eyes.

"Gone but not forgotten," She quickly chimmed in, "If we are having a little magic show and tell, I'm a Porte mage, I would show it off like the two off you have already, but I think that would put us all off our drinks." She said with a wink.

The tavern the group filed into was typical Castillian fare: loud, rowdy, packed with lots of fancy decorations, and, if the expressions of the patrons getting their tabs were any indication, horribly overpriced. At least Renault wasn't the one footing the bill, at least not this time around. The barman gave them a look-over and herded them into a room on the upper floor, leaving with a satisfied expression. Clearly he was expecting quite a payday from this encounter, and if Renault had his way, he was right.

After ordering a bottle of whiskey for himself, he sat back and let the other members of the group introduce themselves. The Crescent man was a mage, apparently, and mages in forgotten magics tended to be looked on with little love by the Inquisition. He'd have to keep an eye on this one - Renault got the impression he was liable to swipe anything not nailed down, given the chance, let alone the trouble he could cause with the Church.

The woman he came with introduced herself as a Porte mage. He didn't doubt her hesitation to use her magic - Porte was unpleasant business. While it made covert movement easy, the... voices... could be hard to forget. He couldn't tell if she was a noble or not, as she wasn't speaking their native language, but the accent wasn't hard to place - she was definitely from one of the cities. Aside from that, she carried a rapier, and a porte mage would almost certainly have another weapon hidden somewhere distant.

What interested him the most, however, was the Fate Witch. After she confirmed his suspicions(not that it was hard to guess if you were paying attention), she seemed to reciprocate his interest with a rather biting question. "Now, as for you, I think it's fair to say that you aren't a mercenary, particularly after that rather impressive display with the horses. I'm pretty sure a real mercenary wouldn't do that without a chance of being paid for it. So, who are you exactly?"

"Now, see, I resent that remark. I've told nothing but the truth." He gave a bit of a nervous chuckle and took a swig of his wine, trying to make himself seem harmless. Most people would likely take his next statement the wrong way. "Even if I did omit a few inconvenient details. Assassins are technically a form of mercenary, no?"

~Beatrice~

Before Renault could reply, Yvonne piped up herself, revealing the fact that there were three mage's in that room alone, a prize that any Inquisition party would most definitely kill for.

"Gone but not forgotten. If we are having a little magic show and tell, I'm a Porte mage, I would show it off like the two off you have already, but I think that would put us all off our drinks.".

Then she winked, making the Sorte Witch chuckle softly. Porte was far more familiar to her than Duman'kir, and though the act of tearing bleeding, screaming portals didn't have much appeal to her, she could definitely see the practicality of it. Still, Porte had a darker reputation than her own school of magic as far as she knew. Still, she was from Vodacce, so that may just be a matter of perspective, she mused.

After that, Renault finally gave her an answer to her inquiry.

"Now, see, I resent that remark. I've told nothing but the truth. Even if I did omit a few inconvenient details. Assassins are technically a form of mercenary, no?".

At that, Beatrice simply gave an easy shrug.

"I suppose, though I imagine a lot of assassins would beg to differ. So, what brings you to Altamira, and so heavily armed at that, Renault? In fact, what brings you here, Reyes, Yvonne?", she asked, directing the last to the other two in their group.

"I can't say, its a trade secret. And I also can't say that I've heard of Duman'kir, but you did say it was 'forgotten'."

'Somebody say it...'

"Gone but not forgotten. If we are having a little magic show and tell, I'm a Porte mage, I would show it off like the two off you have already, but I think that would put us all off our drinks."

'There's the joke. And a horrifying new detail.' Reyes held in his sigh. Porte and Sorte, both fun to say, both hunted by the Inquisition, and both having the same problem. Why couldn't he meet a guy who used Glamour? At this rate he'd run into someone with Infuego magic to complete the set of despicable.

"Now, see, I resent that remark. I've told nothing but the truth. Even if I did omit a few inconvenient details. Assassins are technically a form of mercenary, no?"

"A tad less honest, but a lot more useful. Still, I can respect the profession." Reyes said, his smile returning and his mind turning to acceptance.

"I suppose, though I imagine a lot of assassins would beg to differ. So, what brings you to Altamira, and so heavily armed at that, Renault? In fact, what brings you here, Reyes, Yvonne?"

"Hm? Ah, simply my job. Delivered my goods, now I'm off to restock. Then on to Eisen with my lovely assistant, dodging Inquisition along the way. Fun, really." Reyes said, almost entirely back to his normal jovial and enigmatic self.

"Now, see, I resent that remark. I've told nothing but the truth." He gave a bit of a nervous chuckle and took a swig of his wine, trying to make himself seem harmless. Most people would likely take his next statement the wrong way. "Even if I did omit a few inconvenient details. Assassins are technically a form of mercenary, no?"

"Yes, but even mercenaries have a sordid sense of honor, could you say the same monsieur?" She quipped back.

"I suppose, though I imagine a lot of assassins would beg to differ. So, what brings you to Altamira, and so heavily armed at that, Renault? In fact, what brings you here, Reyes, Yvonne?" She asked, directing the last to the other two in their group.

"The celebrations of course! Who would want to miss El Aņo Nuevo. A superb opportunity to meet old friends and make some new ones," She replied to Beatrice, "And you Madame Witch? What brings you here?" She asked after taking a sip of her wine.

"They said you'd be coming. They're upstairs in the first room on the left Father... Would you like anything to eat or drink Father?"

Erasmo got his answered and answered in turn, "Thank you, although there is no need for that title, thank you for the consideration." He stumbled out of saying yet another thank you to the servant girl as he made his way to upstairs, to the first room on the left as the girl had told him. The room was full of conversation and the priest-in-training cringed at the thought of barging in. Then again, he would have to do that in order to make his presence known. Erasmo steeled himself; he would barge in the most graceful and courteous way possible, if there was such a thing.

Erasmo let himself in, but not without introducing himself, "Good evening, I have returned. To those that do not know, I am Erasmo. I'm afraid you all will have to introduce yourselves once more, save Signorina Fausti."

~Beatrice~

Beatrice glanced over at Reyes as he responded to her question before the others.

"Hm? Ah, simply my job. Delivered my goods, now I'm off to restock. Then on to Eisen with my lovely assistant, dodging Inquisition along the way. Fun, really.".

Well, that certainly wasn't suspect at all, she thought blandly. Still, it could simply make him a merchant of some kind, so she shouldn't jump to any conclusions. As it was, her expression didn't waver in the slightest, and she nodded in mild interest before turning to Yvonne as she answered herself.

"The celebrations of course! Who would want to miss El Aņo Nuevo. A superb opportunity to meet old friends and make some new ones. And you Madame Witch? What brings you here?".

At that, she had to laugh, but before she could say, the door to the room opened and Erasmo promptly stepped inside and introduced himself. With a wide smile, she nodded and motioned for him to sit down.

"Erasmo! There you are. Come, sit, drink something! This here is Reyes, Yvonne, and Renault.", she said, gesturing to each with her free hand while she held her cigarette in the other.

As the priest-in-training sat, she turned back to Yvonne.

"As for why I'm here, I've been traveling Theah for some time now. Seeing the sights, eating and drinking the local fare, and of course, living as well as I can while I do.", she added with a light laugh.

Then she looked over at Erasmo and took a quick inhale of smoke from her cigarette.

"So, what about you Erasmo? Renault? What brings you two to the city?", she inquired as she exhaled a perfect ring of smoke to one side.

Docks

"Now that the business is taken care of, let's go have a nice drink together. May I?" Garrett asked as he offered an arm.

Adrianna slipped her blades back into the folds of her dress and took the hand; mostly to be polite. "Thank you Seņor" she said, before leading the way back toward El Paseo Largo. "I know of a good tavern around." she continued, clarifying the statement.

It didn't take long to reach the tavern; even with the crowds. Most of the crowds were now busy making there way toward balconies where they could get a better view of the fireworks; something Adrianna as part of the wedding party, didn't need to worry about. Besides, they still had some time before the fireworks would begin.

The tavern was, in a word, busy. More than a hundred people seemed to be jammed into the tiny space, yet there seemed to be more than enough alcohol to keep the place occupied for the next week; much less the rest of the night. Upon entering, the barkeep seemed to notice her instantly. It wasn't a rare occurrence by any means for a person to recognize her - her family was fairly important in the area after all - but the fact he seemed overjoyed (and more than a little prepared) was jarring.

A quick word to a barmaid (which sent her running up the stairs) and he was over to them. "Senorita du Riche; what a pleasure to see you. I'll have a table set up for you in just a moment" he said, before returning to the crowd. Less than a minute later, the Barmaid returned and guided them upstairs and to the seconds room on the left. She took their drink requests and left in a hurry - apparently the people in the first room on the left required more drink soon.

Guild of San Marcos

The uppercut sent Paretti reeling, knocking the swordsman from his feet. With the blow, he lost his grip on his pistol which flew across the room in a different direction. When it was over, Paretti lay on his back near the entrance; mere inches from the Knight of the Rose and Cross who'd ruined nearly everything. Seeing his knocked out allies, he quickly reached out to grab one of their pistols and point it at the Knight; intending to get at least a little vengeance.

Tavern

Aside from the sounds of another set of guests being set up upstairs and the general rabble of the crowd outside their window, the room's only sound was the conversation. At least, that was true until a knock came at the door "Do you want anything else." Diana called in.

Rosemonde quickly, almost contemptuously, kicked the pistol out of his hand, then stomped on his wrist, which snapped with a dull pop. The man gasped in pain, but Rosemonde simply ground her boot into his wrist, before wordlessly plunging her main gauche into his eye. She sighed lightly. So much needless death.

She turned to the Cathay. "Well, I'm parched. Wanna go get drunk?" she said with a rueful grin before noticing his cuts. "Hmph. Looks like he got you. We might ought to find you a doctor, first, I suppose... Anyways, I'm Rosemonde Baudin, a Knight of the Order of the Rose and Cross. A pleasure to meet you, even under these, er. Circumstances." She stepped forward, away from the corpses, and bowed.

Surfan watched as the knight killed the man with a quick strike. A person like that was used to killing, Surfan predicted. When it was finally over he walked over to her with a hand on his chest to try and stop some of the bleeding although the wound on his face had already bled down to his neck. He wiped some of the blood on his face using his turban. Its red color only darkened as he blotted the blood away. Even in his bloodied state, Surfan bowed to the woman after she had bowed to him.

"Surfan Adulin. Thank you for your assistance." Surfan said then flinching in pain as he got up. It might have been a bad idea, but it was custom for him to do so not only that but the woman had also bowed so he had to show his respect. "A doctor would be nice. Do you know the way, madam?"

"Erasmo! There you are. Come, sit, drink something! This here is Reyes, Yvonne, and Renault."

He had hoped for each individual introduce themselves with an... individual introduction, however, Beatrice stopped that from happening. Erasmo gave a nod to each of the strangers as he sat down and poured himself some wine. A little cough escaped his mouth - the room stank of tobacco and alcohol. The priest-in-training tried to loosen up, but found that he couldn't. After all, he was sitting next to a Sorte Witch, two horse-thieves and the man with a musket. Not exactly the type of characters a priest - ordained or not - should be associating themselves with. But it was El Aņo Nuevo! He should be relaxing or at least enjoying the festivities. Erasmo took a sip out of his cup and tried to unwind. Afterwards, he went about answering Beatrice's question - why did she even ask? The answer itself was painfully obvious: El Aņo Nuevo!

"For the festivities, of course," Eramos responded, "And just a little errand, but that has been taken care of."

"Thank you Seņor." Spoke Adrianna after she slipped her swords within her dress, Garrett had to admit, he did find that a little odd; perhaps there was some secret compartments sewn into the lining of the dress. But thinking about that could wait for now, as the lady soon took Garrett's hand. "I know of a good tavern around."

They didn't have to walk long, and they soon arrived at a busy and crowded tavern, at guess there had to be at least a hundred people crammed into a space that looked fit to hold roughly half that number. Upon entering however, the barkeep somehow managed to notice them amongst the crowd, the man looked positively overjoyed, maybe him and Adrianna were acquaintances of a sort Garrett thought to himself as the man had a word with one of the serving girls, before heading over.

"Senorita du Riche; what a pleasure to see you. I'll have a table set up for you in just a moment." The barkeep said before once more becoming one with the crowd. Roughly a minute later, the barmaid from before and guided the couple upstairs. From next door, Garrett could hear the sounds of conversation, it sounded as though there were four to five people in there, a mixture of men and women; though the ruckus from downstairs made it difficult to decipher what they were talking about.

Once inside the room, the barmaid took their drinks orders, to which it was a bottle of rum that the two would share between them. After the barmaid left, it gave Garrett the chance to look around. From what he could gather, this place was a hastily converted room, possibly a bedroom given the design of the furniture. If he was to hazard a guess, the staff at this place wasn't expecting such a high volume of customers; then again, places like this were always full on El Aņo Nuevo.

Garrett then took the opportunity to look out the windows, and was rather surprised at the view, as it was overlooking one of the largest squares in the whole of Altamira. From up there, he could see large crowds gathering, all in anticipation for the fireworks.

"I must admit Adrianna, the barkeep, he certainly gave us one of the best views in town. With an almost clear sky, perfect view to watch the fireworks." Garrett said as he continued to look out the window, before taking a seat at the table.

"So, where did you learn to fight, cause those were some pretty impressive moves back there."

"A doctor would be nice. Do you know the way, madam?" the man, who identified himself as Surfan Adulin, said. She thought for a moment.
"No, I don't know of any. I would imagine if they're anywhere, they'd be in el Paseo Largo. From what I heard, there was something of a riot there earlier. A bar fight got out of hand, or the like. Come on, then, surely there'll be one around."

She led him towards el Paseo Largo, him carrying his new sword while clutching his new cuts. They asked around for a doctor, but didn't seem to get anywhere. A few people said they'd seen a priest carrying a wounded man somewhere, but didn't know where he'd taken the man, or where he could be found. Surfan was bleeding pretty heavily at this point, and they were beginning to attract some strange glances. She stopped, and turned to him, beginning to despair.
"I don't know, Surfan Adulin. This is the only place I can really think to find one. There's normally one in the guildhall, but he was drunk last time I saw him. Merde... And all this walking can't be helping.." she looked up to the sky, beginning to despair. The city was growing quieter- time for the fireworks, she supposed.
She let out a hiss between her teeth. She wondered if he would die if they didn't find a doctor. Maybe.
She looked around, now. A tavern. A drink would be nice, but we need a doctor first. She sighed.

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