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

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Surfan spied a few avenues he could escape from if need be with the number of pirates slowly growing. With each one slain, two more took his place. It was getting incredibly dangerous to stay but Surfan spotted Rosemonde, fighting them off valiantly. She had saved his life and he must honor that even if that meant his. As much as he wanted to finish his quest, this was a greater threat that called for his action. Every fallen pirate meant one less person taken by their sabers.

Swiftly, Surfan climbed his way back down and into the tavern. He ran as fast as he could towards Rosemonde's fight. He arrived there with seconds to spare. The pirates saw this new threat and attacked Surfan. Four rushed him with sabers and hand axes drawn. Surfan brought his scimitars to the first two, slicing their guts in two swipes then he moved to the other two. He parried a saber thrust and responded with a thrust of his own at the pair. Surfan thrust his sword deep into the pair and drew it out before a bullet grazed his arm. Surfan fell back in pain towards Rosemonde.

"You saved my life, now its time for me to save yours." Surfan said.

'I can't help but wonder how large their boats are.' Reyes held in his sigh, he stopped relying on mist and just sort of skulked around, using alleys and such to avoid sight. Helped that a knight/tornado of bladed death was making her way down the street, with help from a fellow Crescent, and Renault. 4 against one of the largest crews he'd ever seen... They seemed to be winning.

Although, now at the docks, it was getting a bit harder to hide. Blood was drying nicely on his hands though, Reyes thought. Climbing became an option again, but dropkicks can only do so much to an army. He looked around, scrunching his nose. Smell usually didn't get to him, but ocean and death made a pretty awful one, and he could smell it all too well over his kaffe barrier. He found a man not much doing anything, but armed with two scimitars. Another fellow Crescent, at least he thought, from clothes. The bandages left a lot to the imagination, like gender and actual race.

Reyes decided to press his luck, sneaking around behind the action to get closer. If the man noticed or cared about the approach, he didn't show it. Perhaps it was because he had tucked away the knife, making Reyes no danger at all.

"Good evening, kinsman. Honor among thieves in act here? I'd like to see if I can get my stuff off my (hopefully intact) boat." Reyes grinned, hoping he wasn't about to be cut in half.

Another lunge made its way into an astonished pirate's heart as Renault continued his rampage through the docks. A swift kick to the man's gut soon followed, removed him from the sword, and with another deft step forward Renault brought both down on another hapless victim. Without another target in reach, he took a mental moment to appraise his situation. A woman was a few paces ahead of him, wielding a rapier, fighting alongside a Crescent dual-wielding in much the same way he was.

The woman - who he now surmised to be a Knight of The Rose and Cross now that he could see her up close - could certainly hold her own in melee. While her attacks lacked the sheer force of his own, that was made up for several times over with graceful footwork and blinding speed. And, true to her order's edicts, she was throwing herself into the thick of the fight with little regard to her safety.

Well, it would be rude to let a lady shoulder all of the risk on her own, wouldn't it?

Renault braced his arms to his front and charged, throwing himself into the forefront of the melee. Bowling directly into the crowd of enemies ganging up on the Crescent/Knight pair, he wordlessly slashed his swords out into an arc, catching several pirates as he did so.

El Paseo Largo

"Right you are El Vago! If we were to traverse the rooftops, we could make it across to the Universidad in double time." Garrett said as he played along act.

El Vago nodded in response before turning back to the scene below. Most of the people were now making their way up into the city now. A few made their own way toward the hills or the cathedrals in search of shelter while others had marshaled a meager defense of guards and swordsmen to slow the pirate assault. Strangely, the Inquisition - usually so quick to the defense were absent, but she didn't put much thought into it, instead reenforcing her belief they were cowards.

Before she could put much more thought into anything however, another cannon ball slammed into the square, destroying a building and killing more pirates than anything else. Still it was uncomfortably close. Returning to Garrett, she spoke again "You're right. We should hurry." then took off on the roof tops toward the university.

La Universidad de Arciniega

As the sight of the kidnapping set in, the university quickly began to worry at the safety of their position. If the Montaigne were behind or merely aiding the assault, the city was truly in dire straits. More immediately, even the university they thought a bastion proved remarkably inadequate in the face of Porte mages - Montaigne or pirate allegiance aside. Those of the common folk who were well enough began to look to their equally bewildered guards and leaders for support and found none. The wedding party itself was in an uproar, demanding for ANYONE to do something about their now missing bride. Slowly, a barely controlled panic began to settle over the crowd, fearing now not just for the lives of those unaccounted for but their own in their supposed sanctuary. An oppressive silence grew over the people, broken only by the dying gasps and moans of their fellow men and women and the distant sounds of cannons and fighting. It would only take a spark to set the brewing mod off.

This spark came when, acting with renewed vigor, the Inquisition exited the university on horse back to parts unknown. Seeing their defenders leaving, the crowd started to panic in earnest, much to their remaining defenders fear.

The Docks

The Pirates fell one by one. Where as a group they might have had victory, their disorganization failed to overcome the three fighters who opposed them. Slowly, their morale began to fail them - they couldn't collect their loot if they were dead after all - and soon, for every two that dropped, one ran. Yet, even as they fought, more seemed to pour from the docks as though their numbers were endless. Despite this, little by little, the three masters of war pushed them back, step by step.

That is, until Reyes acted.

[b]"Good evening, kinsman. Honor among thieves in act here? I'd like to see if I can get my stuff off my (hopefully intact) boat."[/b2] Reyes said, speaking with the bandaged man. The bandaged man turned to the unexpected "kinsman" and stared at him for a moment, clearly surprised to see a crescent in the city. Well, a Crescent besides the one fighting the pirates.

For a moment he stared at Reyes. He opened his mouth as if to speak, before reaching out with his hand and grabbing Reyes by the throat. Following through with the action, he pushed the crescent to the ground, the mans hand still at Reyes throat and drew one of his scimitars to just above his grasping hand below Reyes throat - a single action away from killing him where he lay.

As Reyes lay there, he could see the bandaged man a good deal better. as the bandages moved slightly, the burned skin beneath them became clear. The hand pressed to his throat was even more interesting for it had a warm metallic feel and was clearly bright red in color. After all his years, Reyes knew a Syrneth artifact when he saw one or - in this case - felt on crushing his wind pipe. The man's scimitars were sharpened to an edge too sharp to be naturally achievable. They too were blood-red, suggesting a similar origin as the hand. Speaking of which, the man seemed to be covered in Syrneth artifacts the likes of which some he knew and some he'd never seen.

"Drop your weapons-" the man called out in a raspy voice with no clear accent, likely a result of the whatever had burned him -"or I remove your friend's head". To emphasize the point, he pressed the sword closer; drawing blood from Reyes neck.

"Grrk"

Reyes quickly learned there was no love for ones other than his crew. Reyes was caught off guard by the sudden strangling, not helped by being pushed to the ground- knocking his head on the ground and causing a loud ringing in his ears in the process- and last but not least, getting a sword at his throat. This was about what he expected to happen, though the Syrneth artefact was certainly worth noting. Mechanical hand, that'd be helpful just in case.

Reyes did as he always did when in a situation where death was imminent: bug out. His distraction probably meant very little, but revealed a trump card. Reyes smiled as his body turned to mist, his clothing falling to the ground, along with a clang for the dagger. In his cloud form, he took a moment to look around, to find a decent place to hide.

As Reyes turned to smoke and started to make his escape, something odd happened; he felt a pain in his back. turning, he was able to determine the cause - the bandaged man's swords. apparently they could cut him, even in fog form.

After a long second the Crescent man chose to float over to the water, to the boats in fact. He slipped in through the cracks of the wood, returning to his normal, albeit naked form. Now, part two. His blanket of mist formed around him, his smell and the sounds of his footsteps dulled as his blanket seeped under the door. The boat was covered quickly, which was good. No one would see the clawed hunter coming. And he was certainly pissed enough to kill a boat crew, he thought, clutching his minor back wound.

As soon as matters seemed to settle, sound and fury took over the night again. Such a headache tried Erasmo's patience, not to mention the crowds' tenancy to panic. Panicking achieved nothing - why couldn't those people understand that? Running around like headless chickens would only make it easier for their enemies. As a servant of Theus, and - arguably more importantly - as one of the few calm people in the room, it was his duty to sort those lot out. 'Prophets, share your wisdom with me.' He prayed as he rose to his place on the stage and made for the pulpit. Such a shame a joyous occasion had been ruined, such a shame that the very pulpit that the bride and groom would stand next to and say their say would be appropriated, but it was the only thing the lowly priest-in-training could do. He was not a soldier, not a noble, not a guard or a commander, after all.

The pulpit would have to do. Erasmo approached in an almost dignified fashion, though his stride was marked by tinges of nervousness. But, on arrival, he rested his hands on the pulpit and stood tall. Erasmo had to be a pillar of support for the panicking people, he had to appear strong and steady and so not a trace of panic could be seen on his face, even with the headache. He took a deep breath and began his sermon, addressing the crowd like a kind teacher, "Fellows; I implore you to calm yourselves. If not for my sake but for yours. There has been enough disruption of the El Aņo Nuevo festivities, I am sure that good folk like yourselves did not want to add any more pandemonium to this already chaotic night. Tell me: what will you achieve by panicking? If you wish for help, or for the bride to be returned, help yourselves first and let at least a semblance of order be present in these halls!"

It wouldn't be wrong to say that Alec Reiss appreciated order. He liked knowing what was about to happen, planning accordingly, and then reaping the rewards that he would soon put to good use. Naturally, he couldn't stand his current situation. Given the undulations and commotion of the mass of bodies, he would have given up on finding Alejandro and Claire in this crowd had it not been so important. He met with the couple before everything went down, and he needed to check back with them in order to make sure the scribes would be safe. Not knowing these things drove him mad.

"Fellows; I implore you to calm yourselves."

Alec perked up and his head followed the voice. The pleas for calm originated from a blue-robed priest standing on the pulpit. The pulpit, what a wonderful idea. Our hero started to weave in and among the throng, occasionally kissing his rune necklace and invoking Kyndighet when he saw no navigable way.

"...and let at least a semblance of order be present in these halls!"

He finally made his way to the front and managed to size up the priest. All things considered, he made a valiant effort to stem the confusion and panic. Alec climbed a good way up the pulpit, allowing himself a good view from above the crowd.

"Greetings, father. I heard your speech; are people like you trained to be eloquent in the seminary?"

~Beatrice~

As Beatrice continued to shepherd the panicking bystanders, she glanced over at the University and saw as things began to grow more and more panicked. She started to turn away to see if anyone else was in need of aid, when she saw those in the Inquisition start to ride off on horseback, practically abandoning the University to the few guards still there, and the terrified locals.

At that point, she had enough. She turned to the University itself and strode to the front doors, not stopping until she reached Erasmo, who seemed to be doing his best to calm the people who sought refuge and safety there.

"Fellows; I implore you to calm yourselves. If not for my sake but for yours. There has been enough disruption of the El Aņo Nuevo festivities, I am sure that good folk like yourselves did not want to add any more pandemonium to this already chaotic night. Tell me: what will you achieve by panicking? If you wish for help, or for the bride to be returned, help yourselves first and let at least a semblance of order be present in these halls!".

At that, Beatrice decided to add to what Erasmo said. "Listen to Father Erasmo and calm down. Panicking only gets yourselves and others hurt, so settle down!", she called calmly, her voice carrying over the din of terror with little difficulty.

Once she turned to Erasmo himself, she noticed that a wiry man of undetermined ethnicity had come up to them, clearly looking over the priest before he spoke himself.

"Greetings, father. I heard your speech; are people like you trained to be eloquent in the seminary?".

"I would certainly think so. Erasmo, the Inquisition left, whats going on?", she said, directing her question to Erasmo in hushed tones only he could hear.

"Greetings, father. I heard your speech; are people like you trained to be eloquent in the seminary?"

Though the effects of the speech on yet to be seen, it did seem to have an effect on one individual. The priest-in-training cringed slightly as both Beatrice and the stranger referred to him as 'Father'. Had the red blood covered the black? For the most part, the stranger's mistake was probably a result of ignorance, but Beatrice knew. She also knew she didn't have the authority to ordinate Erasmo with words alone, or perhaps the Sorte Witch had seen it in her cards? Regardless, the priest-in-training replied to the compliment, his voice only loud enough for those nearby - including the stranger - to hear.

"The right words are as important as the right treatment; so yes, we are trained in the art of speeches and sermons." Erasmo said.

Afterwards, the priest-in-training gave the stranger a look over. He was lean, bespectacled, with blonde hair. An axe was clearly visible, but the stranger was clearly unarmoured. That just reminded Erasmo of the sheer amount of armed people in the festival crowd. Pickpockets or no pickpockets, that fact alone made him think that there was a plan behind the chaos, and that somebody really wanted to raid Altamira and possibly kidnap a bride or two. No wonder the crowd was panicking. Beatrice's hushed words only gave him more reason to empathize with the crowd's despair. And so he replied in the same hushed tone.

"Possibly to chase after that Porte sorcerer, or they have chosen to take the offensive. I do not know." He shrugged.

"You're right. We should hurry." Spoke "El Vago", but not long before another cannonball came crashing through into the square, tearing down another building and more lives along with it. At that moment, the masked man took off across the rooftops toward the Universidad, with Garrett following along close by with him acting as a sort of rear guard. Down below he could see hoards of people running for their lives as they traversed the city streets towards shelter; whilst others tried to form a defense.

The sounds of destruction tore through the night, turning the once peaceful celebrations and beautiful city into a hellish landscape.

"But why? For what purpose would someone seek to do this, especially on a night of nights such as this." Garrett asked himself as he dashed across the rooftops, avoiding chimneys of all shapes and sizes, and the occasional bullet that was lucky enough to get this far. With every step, he could see the Universidad getting closer, Garrett could vaguely make out a large group of people leaving the building in question, but the distance made it difficult to make out who.

A bandaged man approached the three of them with a hostage. Surfan noticed he was wearing Crescent garbs along with Syrrenth artifacts strewn all over his body. Even one of his blades was glowing a sinister red. But as he threatened them, the man vanished out of the bandaged man's reach. Surfan was taken back by the magic but he focused on the new threat. The bandaged man also looked to be a user of the same fighting style as Sufran is using.

"What else would you like to offer us?" Surfan taunted aloud in Crescent to the bandaged man. In case, Surfan readied himself he rushed out to attack them. He didn't act like the other pirates which meant he didn't fight like them too but if he attacked all three of them then maybe they could have a chance.

Another batch of pirates fell to Renault's blade. They were making progress down the docks, slowly yet surely, but their numbers seemed endless. A fatigue started to grip Renault's body - he'd not gotten much sleep on the way to the city, and he's been fighting almost non-stop since he left the tavern. He drew in a heavy breath, trying to steady his body.

'This isn't getting us anywhere. There's no way we can just brute-force our way to those ships... perhaps it's time for a bit of finesse.' Renault sheathed his swords and leaped to the side, landing behind a large pile of assorted crates and cargo. Drawing his musket, he clambered to the top of the pile, keeping his head low. He scanned the docks, looking for a suitable target, before a raspy voice caught his attention.

"Drop your weapons, or I remove your friend's head."

It belonged to what appeared to be a bandaged Crescent man, pinning down the mage from the tavern with a sword to the poor sod's throat. 'A hostage?' A smile worked its way to Renault's lips. He silently raised his musket, aiming it at the Crescent man's body. 'Go right ahead. I never miss, least of all when cowards like you stand still.'

Nevertheless, it would be best to wait until the man was otherwise caught off-guard to take the shot - never knew when Theus or whatever would decide to be a capricious bitch and gift the bastard with some reflexes, after all. Renault's opportunity came when the mage - Reyes, right? - vanished, a pale of mist marking where he used to be.

A deep breath to steady his heartbeat. Need to wait in between, they can upset his aim.

Beat.

Total concentration. The world washes out. No sound. No color. Only the target is in sight.

Beat.

Renault gently pulls the trigger, and a single shot rings out.

Rooftops

El Vago and Garrett quickly closed the distance between the tavern and the university. As they drew closer, the force leaving the building became clearer: they were inquisitors on horseback. Adrianna paused for a moment, debating whether she should continue in that direction, dressed as El Vago as she was. The decision was answered for her when the Inquisition saw her moving between rooftops, looked on in annoyance, then continued on their way without delay. "That's odd" she mumbled to herself. It wasn't like the inquisition to give up a chance to capture El Vago, even in the face of four ships worth of pirates.

The group of inquisitors was taking the long way around toward the docks by the looks of it, perhaps planning on striking the pirate ships directly, though why they would be doing this was a matter of some internal debate.

Eventually, the pair made it to the - now blessedly inquisition free - university. Adrianna took the opportunity to search for some figures of authority to get more information on what was going on before jumping down from the wall; rolling as she hit the ground into a standing position. It didn't take long for a number of dons to find her - likely eager to get the famous hero to help.

University

With the end of Erasmo's speech, the crowd seemed to calm for the time being. Many of the guards and dons gave quick, silent nods of praise to the father-to-be in thanks before settling back into their many roles in the emergency. After a few minutes, panic had been completely forestalled.

With it, the guards and dons began to organize a proper defense of the buildings, at least stopping the ordinary defenders. It was at this time that Alec spotted Alejandro y Soldano du Aldano through the crowds, apparently making his way toward a recently arrived person in a mask.

Docks

As the more of the pirates fell and even the bandaged mercenary's ploy failed, the remaining pirates decided to change tactics: bolting toward their boats and cutting their losses. The Bandaged man however remained, unwilling to give ground so easily. As one of the pirates rushed past him, the bandaged man grabbed skewered the man with his sword and jolted him in the line of fire of the rifleman. The shot itself slammed into the side of the now-dead pirate's face, passing through him with ease and covering the bandaged man in brain-matter. The bullet - its course changed by the unexpected pirate - still managed to scrap the side of the man's face, cutting away many of the bandages, revealing the burned and scared face beneath.

His use of the pirate now complete, the bandaged man made his move. He tossed the dead man aside, briefly considered his targets - oh how he wanted to fight the Yael user - before rushing toward the now separated sniper; intent on killing him before he got another shot off.

Ships

"Bring those cannons around lads! Lets show these Castillian dogs what the Brotherhood can do." a tall man with a cloak said, a sword in one hand and a pistol in the other. The man wore an ostentatious hat and bore a beard nearly halfway down his chest. The men around him, in turn, let loose a loud yell and pushed to their work.

A moment later, a bloody hole tore in the world and a Montaigne nobleman with an unconscious woman appeared on deck, a look of fatigue plain to see upon his face. He placed the woman upon the deck, taking a moment to grab a small object off of her, then began to speak. "Recall your men Captain." the man said quickly between raspy breaths; "My job is done."

The captain seemed to stare at the man for a moment, anger on his face, before calming and giving the order to retreat. The Montaigne man picked up the woman and headed below deck and out of view. All of this was plain to see, were you close enough to make it out like a certain Montaigne explorer or magically-empowered smuggler.

Rosemonde ignored the man who had hurt Reyes- if she had been less certain he would be perfectly okay, she would have gone beserk. But as it was, she had four pirates to fight all at once.
Then, a gunshot, and the pirates began to flee. She wasn't sure whether or not they were connected. She hadn't been looking.
The man in bandages, who attacked Reyes, had blocked the shot with a passing pirate. She would have to remember that move. Could be handy.

Then, he ignored her and Surfan, and charged the shooter.
"Nope," she said, stepping in front of him. "You're mine." She was in fine defensive form so far. Hopefully he'd expend his fury quickly so she could end it. Something told her that wasn't going to happen.

Her arm was beginning to hurt. She'd gotten two more cuts, but they were fairly minor. The one on her arm, though, was deeper than she'd first thought. Her left arm, holding her main gauche. The less important of her two armaments, if she had to choose one, but she'd be off her game if she couldn't use it well. Certainly not against someone with two swords.
She was beginning to sense her boldness might just catch up with her this time.

This I choose to do.

Renault released his stored breath with a whispered curse. The shot had rung true, but it was just his luck that he'd pick a target quick on the draw. It was no sooner that the bandaged man had thrown away his human shield that he charged his position full-tilt, brandishing his swords with menace. With an initiative that betrayed a practiced instinct, Renault slipped a bayonet onto the end of his rifle before leaping down to ground level to meet his assailant.

Just as he landed, however, the knight rushed to intercede, planting herself in between the bandaged man and himself. Renault could make out the faint sight of blood running down her left arm - combined with his exhausted stumble as he landed, and it was becoming clear neither of them were in much shape to do any extended fighting. Should he retreat...?

'No.'

Renault gritted his teeth as visions of seven men filled his mind. Good, brave men. Cut down in their prime by a cowardly snake. Men that deserved recognition for their deeds.

Men that deserved to be avenged.

'I've come too close to turn back now. Tonight, I take my first step towards earning their peace... or I join them.'

Renault held his rifle at the ready, remembering his training. 'While it might not be properly balanced like a normal melee weapon, rifles have one important advantage over a sword...' With a deft charge, Renault dashed to the bandaged man's side and lunged, only to immediately disengage as the swipe landed, outside the range of his sword's swing. 'They have reach. So long as my legs can keep moving and I keep my distance, he can't touch me.'

"The right words are as important as the right treatment; so yes, we are trained in the art of speeches and sermons."

"Well certainly I agree, just in my experience it seems that public speaking isn't taught across the board to folk such as you. But that's neither here nor there, I guess." Alec finally managed to spot the two, but he waited a bit before running after them and plotted a route there in his head, instead. When he felt ready, he left a few departing words with the man before jumping down and wading into the crowd.

"Anyways, nice to meet you, sir, but I've got places to be and people to meet. Thanks for your cooperation." Then Alec dropped down from the side of the pulpit and made his way to the Soldanos.

The crowd was easier to navigate this time, probably after the speech from the pulpit settled in. Alec had no trouble reaching Alejandro and Claire, but he held off for a minute to let them finish their conversation. Doing otherwise would certainly be rude.

~Beatrice~

Before Erasmo answered her, she had to marvel at the fact that the crowd took solace in what he said, and settled down surprisingly quickly. It reminded her to not underestimate the faith that others had in both Theus and his priests. While she wasn't exactly a believer herself, she could certainly appreciate the good works that the priests did, and the responsibility that they held.

"Possibly to chase after that Porte sorcerer, or they have chosen to take the offensive. I do not know.".

At that, she let loose a hollow half-laugh. "The Inquisition doing something smart and prudent for a change? That's rather unexpected.", she quipped, before glancing back at the tall, wiry newcomer.

"Well certainly I agree, just in my experience it seems that public speaking isn't taught across the board to folk such as you. But that's neither here nor there, I guess.".

With a small smile, she gestured to Erasmo. "Well, given their duties and responsibilities, I'm not sure calming panicked people is unheard of for them, though he certainly did a fine job of it.", she said.

"Well, given their duties and responsibilities, I'm not sure calming panicked people is unheard of for them, though he certainly did a fine job of it."

Erasmo breathed a small sigh of relief as he saw the crowd settle down. He then returned the nods, well, returned what he could as the guards and the dons quickly returned to their stations. Just like they and the wiry man had done, the priest-training stepped down from the pulpit; the actor had left the stage. Things seemed to settle down again, but how long would it be until the next storm would come along and rain down seeds of chaos and panic? Erasmo silently prayed to Theus, it was both a thanksgiving prayer and a petitional one. Nevertheless, while part of him wanted peace to return, another part of him desired to know who was behind the attack; Erasmo desired closure. Regardless, that desire had to be tempered with caution. He knew that much.

Regardless, the priest-in-training found that a sheepish smile had appeared on his face - probably a result of the barrage of compliments. "Enough has been said about my speech, lest the compliments become a speech themselves. But, thank you."

"Recall your men Captain."

The naked Crescent's ears couldn't help but perk up at this news, he'd contained his blanket to only arms length away from him. But he kept his fangs and claws... He hadn't run into anyone, and he allowed it to drop as he listened to the movement outside, on deck.

"My job is done."

'Good to know this wasn't senseless.' Reyes held in a sigh, it seemed they were beginning to retreat, he turned back into mistform to escape, to where they were taking the prisoner through the side of the boat. A wide arc allowed Reyes to see the cannons that ruined this once great city. What a waste... Reyes appeared once more below deck, in the dark his naked shape was all but invisible. He began sneaking towards the cells.

The battles below were no place for Yvonne; she knew a few tricks with a sword, but not enough to defend herself from numerous pirates. She would only get in the way of those who were actually trained for combat. For now she had the safety of the roofs, for now. Unfortunately it would not be long until someone spotted her. Well, with all the the commotion The Inquisition would be tied up else where, possibly literally, although now was not the time for trifling thought like those.

Yvonne decided that she may as well make use of her powers whilst the threat of being executed didn't dwell over her head. Quickly leaving cover, she threw an pin towards the boat, however she missed her mark and it landed with a plop nearby in the ocean.

Annoyed, she reached out with her mind to where the pin had landed and tore a portal open, closed her eyes and stepped threw. Even after using Porte for all these years, the in-between dimension always gave her chills. She had gotten used to the voices, she had gotten used to the atmosphere, but there was always an uncanny feeling that she could never place, like it was forever stuck on the tip of her tongue, that really got to her. However, the distance not being long meant the journey in between realms was a matter of seconds. Remembering to hold her breath she opened the portal back to her world open.

Yvonne broke the surface gasping for breath, turns out pins sink as fast as most other things that sink, nevertheless she quickly clambered up the side of the boat. Frustratingly none of the portholes were open, the pirates definitely weren't making things easy for her. Peeking over the side of the deck she saw a man with a conscience women in toe porte in and give an order to the captain:

"Recall your men Captain." He said breathlessly "My job is done."

They were retreating; all this to capture a woman? It didn't seem right to Yvonne. She knew she wasn't a hero, but she was already here, looking for loot and heroes get rewarded, maybe it was time to play hero for once. When she was sure no one was looking she threw another pin over onto the deck. The noise from the portal would draw the crew's attention, so she descended back into the ocean to open the portal.

After traversing the netherworld once again she arrived below decks...right in front of a group of pirates.

"I don't suppose any of you could tell me where the toilets are?" She asked putting her hands in the air.

The University

With the crowd now settled, the guards did their best to reinforce the defacto shelter. Fortunately, aside from the Montaigne mage, the pirates were keeping their distance from the university; which gave them plenty of time to reinforce their position. With the increased protection came a yet calmer crowd; despite the roar of cannons in the distance.

Of course, likewise with the increased security, came other problems. It wasn't long before a young blond Vendel man and an older Castillian - both dressed in their formal best and carrying guns and swords - burst from the central rooms of the university; intent on their own foolish actions. The older of the obviously noble men had an unmistakable fire in his eyes and seemed ready to kill anyone who got in his way. This wouldn't be so much of a problem were it not for the dozen or so people actively trying to prevent him from leaving. The Vendel man seemed more reluctant; apparently less used to his weapons and driven more by obligation than the elder man.

While this happened, El Vago was busy getting information from those in charge, trying not to draw the attention of anyone who might recognize her; thus far with some success. When this was done, many of the nobles broke away to return to the more pressing concerns of organizing a counter to the pirates or, in the case of many of them, hiding within the buildings.

Alejandro however remained; having spotted Alec waiting to speak with him. "Mr. Reiss; I trust you're well. I'm sorry if I must be brief; there is much to do. How can I help you?"

The Docks

The bandaged man wasn't in a particularly good mood. The job itself was going quite well, but the gunman had managed to elude him, a knight was between them, and "his" goal was just out of his reach. Fortuitously, the gunman was still reloading, his goal wasn't far, and the knight... well she wasn't much of a concern. Even beneath the bandages, it was clear the bandaged man was smiling.

The man moved into a guarded stance with one sword at the ready then tossed one of his blades into the air. The moment it left his hand, the bandaged man pulled a small object from his sleeve with his now free hand and tossed in Rose and Renault's direction. He then caught the blade, spun to face Surfan, and charged the Yael user. The moment he did, the small object - a strange red sphere cracked; releasing a bright flash of light and explosive sound.

The moment he reached Surfan, he swung his blades down, screaming "Die boy!"

Ship

As Reyes moved about the bottom deck, it quickly became clear the woman wasn't in any of the cells. While each of the cells had people within - whether disobedient pirates or captured Castillian's was not immediately clear. However, before he could move up to the next deck in search of more possible locations, he could hear a familiar voice two or three decks above speak. "I don't suppose any of you could tell me where the toilets are?"

The source of the voice of course had her own problems. Before her were a number of pirates, each looking slightly confused but more than well armed enough to pose a threat. Among them however was a particularly confused looking Montaigne man with distinctly red hands. He took one look at the fellow Porte mage, frowned, and took off further into the ship.

Whilst everyone was busy hounding El Vago for information regarding the situation in the city down below; Garrett was sitting back and listening to the conversations of the crowds around him, and it seemed as though no one was paying him much attention, despite the fact he was clearly well armed.

From what he could hear, mere minutes before they arrived, a man dressed in the guise of a Montaigne nobleman had kidnapped the bride and then escaped using Porte magic. Thinking over what had occurred, Garrett theorized that the kidnapping and the pirate attack had to be connected in someway.

"A distraction perhaps?" Garrett asked himself.

"A ludicrous idea, after all, so many witnesses here and given the coverage of this event, it would be hard to cover up. Although it could be something akin to a distraction. I shall have to think on this more once the panic is over. Regardless, Adrianna is quite possibly going to be distraught when hearing this; she did mention that she and the bride were friends earlier." He then added. Garrett was going to think over some more things, when a new commotion arose.

Appearing from one of the central rooms did two men appear, each armed. Fortunately a crowd of a dozen or so people appeared to be in their way. Garrett decided he'd investigate the matter as well.

As he approached, Garrett could see one was a Castille gentleman who was a few years older than he was; and with eyes filled with a burning passion, a passion to escape by any means necessary. Meanwhile the other appeared to be a younger gentleman, possibly from either Vendel or Ussura. He lacked the enthusiasm of his older compatriot, clutching his sword and pistol with less skill.

Garrett leaned back on a nearby column with his arms crossed and called out to the crowd.

"Break it up over there ladies and gents, its obvious these men are in a hurry to leave. Though given the situation outside, I'd highly advise against that notion."

The bandaged man seemed to be giving ground. Against two trained, armed assailants, it seemed even he couldn't hold his ground forever, with Renault's probing strikes refusing to let up. However, just as it seemed the pair were finally starting to gain an advantage, Theus decided to be a fickle bitch once more. With a flourish, the bandaged man threw one of his swords into the air, and in the same motion threw a crackling red orb from his sleeve.

Knowing it could only spell trouble, Renault dove low to the ground, pulling his cloak over his head to shield himself. A thundering crack emanated to his side, making his ears hum in protest, but he forced himself onward. The bandaged man charged to meet the other Crescent swordsman in melee. Renault followed in pursuit, bringing his rifle to the ready. If he thought a few cantrips and dirty tricks could win him a fight on their own, he was going to be sorely mistaken.

Charging to the bandaged man's side, Renault brought the butt of his rifle to bear, rushing in with all of his strength and weight, aiming squarely for the poor sod's chest.

Surfan watched as the bandaged man attacked the most obvious target which was the musketman who had joined their fight. He used a pirate to shield himself before charging the man but then the knight intervened. It seemed that the bandaged man had enough and chucked some sort of device into the air resulting in a blast of light and sound. But Surfan knew who would be the next target.

"Die boy!"

The bandaged man swung at him with both his swords downwards. Instinctively, Surfan brought his right leg around not in an attempt to kick the man but an attempt to dodge the attack using the new momentum to try and spin himself over the blades. He brought his other leg around and tilted himself back to avoid the swords. This was a maneuver Wassif taught Surfan. The hardest part was landing his short spin. Surfan landed on his left knee with some pain but enough time to bring up his swords to stop the bandaged man's own pair of swords from falling into him. There was a loud clash as the blades collided with each other. To Surfan's surprise, his blades held their own against his opponent for the time being at least. Surfan looked up into the man's eyes who seemed so familiar. He swore that he had seen those eyes somewhere.

"Who... are you?!" Surfan yelled as he tried to keep his blades up.

~Beatrice~

"Enough has been said about my speech, lest the compliments become a speech themselves. But, thank you.".

At that, at his awkward yet charming smile, she had to smirk, and patted him softly on the back. "Don't be so modest. Keeping a University full of panicking people calm is no small feat.", she told him easily.

Not long after she said that had she turned at the sound of bursting doors, and a pair of men had strode out from one of the central rooms. One was a young Vendel, the other an older Castillian, the latter clearly having blood in his eye, and was ready to use the weapons he had out if given a reason. Wrapping an arm around Erasmo's shoulders, she carefully steered them both out of the way of the two men, before glancing at the exit.

Possibly looking for the missing bride. She watched after them thoughtfully until an idea came to her, and she gave the priest-in-training a sidelong glance.

"Erasmo. I have an idea on how to find the missing bride. I need you to get the groom, and find us a nice, high point in the university, someplace private where I can see the whole city. In fact, if you can, bring me the brides father too. I have a feeling I can Sorte this out.", she said, before she let him go and started to rifle through her coat pocket for another cigarette.

She also had a feeling that the two men that had burst out earlier might become a problem, and she may need to think of a distraction. And a smoke would certainly help her concentrate.

"Don't be so modest. Keeping a University full of panicking people calm is no small feat."

There she went, doing the exact opposite of he said. Neither that nor the pat on the back, nor the entry of the Vendel and the Castillian, nor the gentle tug from Beatrice helped matters. Especially the gentle tug. It only served to make Erasmo feel more uncomfortable and it steered him away from the two that had burst of the central room. His curiosity urged him towards them and the newcomer who had called out to the crowd. But, of course, Beatrice had to intervene. His face shrunk down to a neutral expression with a shadow of a smile. The change wasn't born of malice, but of deep thought.

"Erasmo. I have an idea on how to find the missing bride. I need you to get the groom, and find us a nice, high point in the university, someplace private where I can see the whole city. In fact, if you can, bring me the brides father too. I have a feeling I can Sorte this out."

She glanced upon him and spoke her mind. While he was opposed to Sorcery and the likes, he couldn't help but see the benefits. The return of the bride could only be a good thing. However, Beatrice was asking him participate in her plan. That was the main problem. If she hadn't, he could simply watch. In either case, Erasmo couldn't oppose Beatrice with force. That was certain. Nevertheless, it was said that sometimes inaction is the worst option... He swallow, trying to force the fear and doubt down. 'Theus forgives... But will she?' Erasmo thought. However, he had made up his mind before that burning question had entered it.

"I will try my best." Erasmo calmly responded and broke off from her, to do as was told.

The priest-in-training already had an idea for the second objective - surely one of the bell towers of the La Trinidad Cathedral would do? As for finding the groom. Well, that was what he was trying to do. The future father-in-law of the bride could wait. After all, the Sorte Witch had requested the groom first, and so Erasmo would go after him first. The priest-in-training considered it a small blessing that he had visited the University beforehand, before the chaos started. At least he knew the face of the man he was looking for. However, before Erasmo could find him, he found El Vago. Erasmo chose to ask the guardian angel of Castille a simple question, as if he were any other man. Suprise and shook would just waste time.

"Pardon me, have you seen the groom anywhere?" Erasmo enquired.

"I don't suppose any of you could tell me where the toilets are?"

"... Yvonne?" Reyes looked around confused, above him it sounded like. He thought invading the ship had been his thing... how disappointing. A final look around the room told him that none were the maiden who had been captured earlier... who even was she, and why was he bothering with this? He shook his head, mindless heroics, that was all.

He looked around, no keys for the cells, he could come back anyways. Reyes shook his head as he leapt into the air, his body bursting into mist as he rose through the cracks above him. The mist swirled around their feet for a moment, an attempt to get as much time as he could buy for her, and because he realized he was about to bear all to a group of criminals.

The mist came to a stop near the back corner of the room, and Reyes form became that of human again. He leaned against the wall, and looked around at the room of well armed criminals.

"... Good evening. Toilets are a floor below, third room on the left of the stairwell. There are no extra pants though."

"Mr. Reiss; I trust you're well. I'm sorry if I must be brief; there is much to do. How can I help you?"

Alec didn't like Alejandro's tone. The reason was more about its ominousness than implied disrespect, but Alec still wanted to get moving. "I am fine, sir. I understand your hurry, but I need to find the scribes that are transcribing our transaction. If you tell me where they are, I can ensure their sec trust this exchange is of importance to the both of us."

"... Good evening. Toilets are a floor below, third room on the left of the stairwell. There are no extra pants though."

Reyes! A naked Reyes had appeared from the floor of the deck! What was he doing here? Did that mean she would have to split the reward with him? The naked Crescent was just standing there, nonchalant as anything surrounded by a group of pirates, most of which had drawn their attention to him. Unarmed he was no help, but he did have his trump card: his mist form, that he had already given away with his little act of heroics.

"Reyes, if you plan to stun them into giving up looking like maybe you should have gone to a camper looking boat" She drew her rapier and clubbed one of the flabbergasted pirates around the head with its hilt, "But it looks like they're falling for you already."

The University

"Break it up over there ladies and gents, its obvious these men are in a hurry to leave. Though given the situation outside, I'd highly advise against that notion." Garrett said, trying to free the armed and agitated men. The people trying to hold them back seemed less enthused by the idea than the two armed men however. "We cannot do that!" one of them yelled, before returning his attention to the two men. "All you're going to do is get yourselves killed. Aniya wouldn't have wanted that." he said, trying to calm them down.

The older Castillian responded in the way one might expect; by punching the speaker in the face. "She's not dead yet you dolt. I'm going to get her back and none of you will stop me." he said, though evidence suggested to the contrary. Despite his bravado, the man was clearly losing his struggle against the younger men and women around him.

The Vendel man proved a somewhat greater challenge to contain thanks to his youth, but his rage - if it existed - was much more contained. "If w- we act now; w- we can still rescue her." he said with more fear than calmness.

El Vago watched the exchange closely; and with no small degree of sadness. Aniya and her family were friends; seeing them in such dire straits was hardly a comfort. She didn't have much time for her thoughts however as another voice drew her from them. "Pardon me, have you seen the groom anywhere?". As she turned to the voice, she found a priest standing there. She hesitated for a moment, registering the question, before coming to her senses and answering. "Ah... yes. He's the Vendel man there." she said, indicating the armed men trying to leave. "Why do you ask?" she questioned; hopeful the priest would have more information on her missing friend.

Meanwhile, not far from the priest-in-training and the vigilante, said vigilante's father was in a conversation with a different Vesten man. "I am fine, sir. I understand your hurry, but I need to find the scribes that are transcribing our transaction. If you tell me where they are, I can ensure their sec trust this exchange is of importance to the both of us." Alec said, drawing Alejandro's ire. Couldn't he see there were more important matters than books to deal with? More then likely, the scribes had already abandoned their duties for the more important duty of helping bandage the wounded. Still, he said no such thing, deciding to remain curt for the time being. "I believe they are about; tending the injured. You'll understand that the translation has been delayed somewhat by recent events." he offered, a bit more coldly than he intended.

Deciding to offer something to the traveler if only to free himself to the more important duties of marshaling a defense he continued. "Their work will likely be in the scribe's chambers on the second floor of the main library if you wish to check their progress."

The Docks

"Who... are you?!" Surfan screamed at his attacker. The bandaged man seemed to almost smile at the question as he brought his blades around for another attack. He was about to speak when Renault slammed into into his side, knocking him from his battle with Surfan and to the ground not far away. The bandaged man cursed under his breath; he'd hoped the orb would buy him more time.

He felt his ribs give way under the force of the blow, but it was hardly a final stoke. Seeing the rifleman standing above him, the swordsman rolled to his feet and began to circle. It would only be a matter of time before the knight recovered and between her, Surfan, and the rifleman he stood little chance of winning the battle without aid. Resorting to his last option, the man pulled a small glass vial filled with red liquid from the folds of his clothes and drank it.

Immediately there after, he yelled out "This isn't over!" at the triplet of interlopers, and tore open a portal in the world; disappearing in a flurry of screams and blood.

Ship

As Yvonne struck the first blow, knocking one of the brigands from the fight, the others recovered and began their assault. Having seen both use magic in one way or another, the group divided itself evenly between the enemies with six pirates on the Porte mage and another seven on the naked crescent man. Those who were near their enemy drew their rapiers for the first strike while those further away drew their pistols.

At the same time, the smallest of the pirates, who couldn't have been much older than twelve, took off toward the top deck for reinforcements while the Montaigne nobleman rounded a corner out of sight - deeper into the vessel. At the same moment, from outside the ship, the sounds of battle suddenly manifest; though their source is unclear.

Reyes chuckled at Yvonne's remark, looking at the brigands. One down... altogether too many left. He sighed, the only reason to bother fighting was for the Porte users sake, and her magic was quantifiably evi. Still, what kind of dashing hero would Reyes be if he let her to fight a crew by herself? Well, he'd be like everyone in his profession, but she managed to make him laugh. When the seven descended on him (he got one more, he noticed, they must have had a problem with his floppy bits), he threw up his mist, a blanket that covered up half of their little room. He quickly rolled to the side, and slinked his way out of the way of flailing blades and loose shots.

One man, he noticed, was flailing particularly hard. He smirked as he approached, ducking under a swing and lifting his pistol from his belt. Quickly he threw it behind him, bursting into mistform as he chased after it, regaining human shape gripping the barrel. He landed with a grunt, turning the pistol on Yvonne's side, shooting a man close to him in the gut.

"Do you happen to have an escape plan, my dear?"

Surfan got up from his crouch post haste as the bandaged man tore open a portal. Surfan dashed towards the man as fast as he could with his swords at his side. When he was within reach, Surfan brought both blades to bear with one coming from the left and the other from the right. Surfan wanted to leave an impression on the man before he could escape and potentially kill the man that had tried to do the same to him. Surfan feared the bandaged man would come back due to the wounds this group had given him. Surfan wanted to make sure the man would not return.

"We cannot do that!" One of the crowd yelled back at Garrett, a man judging by the voice. "All you're going to do is get yourselves killed. Aniya wouldn't have wanted that." He then added, trying to calm the pair down; Aniya must have been the name of the bride.

The Castillian gentleman in a way that was to be expected in such tense situations, he punched the man in the face, knocking him to the floor. "She's not dead yet you dolt. I'm going to get her back and none of you will stop me." Said the man, though given the display in front of him, it was more said than done.

The younger man soon piped up, and he proved to be a bit more of a challenge than his older associate. "If w- we act now; w- we can still rescue her." He said with more fear than confidence in his voice. Garrett raised a smile to this display.

"Whilst I admire your show of courage and heroism in the face of uncertainty Seņors, don't you think that the mage who kidnapped Aniya will be expecting a counter attack? Also, it is rather coincidental that the bride be taken during an attack by pirates; it is likely the two are working together, with the pirates providing a distraction."

"Given the number of pirates that were out there last I checked, I don't fancy your chances of survival if it's just you two going."

"Ah... yes. He's the Vendel man there. Why do you ask?"

El Vago seemed to be watching the conversation between the Vendel man, the Castillian and the tanned newcomer with some interest, judging from the delay. Erasmo wondered why the infamous figure was here. More specifically, why El Vago was just standing there and not trying to pull of a daring rescue of the kidnapped bride. An imposter perhaps? Now that was a thought, as Erasmo himself had been tempted to take up the mask once, but it would have been an ill-fit. The one he had chosen suited his needs much more than the Vagabond's. Regardless, the curiosity between the two was mutual. It really was a shame that Erasmo didn't have time to stand around and chat. As a consequence, the answer he gave was somewhat vague.

"Thank you for your assistance." He said, "As for your question, I am just trying to help."

With that, he walked away from the masked figure and into a heated conversation. At least the tanned man, who Eramso assumed to be another Castillian, was stalling the exit of the agitated pair. If what he was saying was true, that the pirates and the kidnapper were working together... Well, that made it even more important for Erasmo to get his point across quickly. It would be impolite to interrupt, or to barge in. But the situation called for it. Besides, he was doing the bidding of a witch! There were far more important things to worry about; manners were the lest of his concerns. Erasmo did his best to conceal his haste with a stroll, almost as if his arrival was perfectly natural. Yes, a priest is always there when needed, no matter what, right?

"Excuse me, sirs." Erasmo said, and turned to the Vendel man, "I believe you are the groom - my condolences. However, I am not simply here to express my sympathy, but to help as well. Now, if you would follow me..."

Renault could hear a sickening crack as the butt of his rifle connected with the bandaged man's chest - no doubt his ribs giving out. He was hurtled back from the blow, gasping for breath. It was only a moment of weakness, however, before he deftly sprang to his feet and began to circle back around to a more tactical position. 'Fast and tough? I draw the best marks, don't I?'

As the man ran, Renault could see him produce a vial from the folds of his sleeves. He drank it in a single swig, moving further back to retreat from the onslaught the trio were piling on. "This isn't over!" he cried, just as he tore open a Porte gate and prepared to step through. 'No! He may be the only person that could explain what all this was meant to accomplish!' The Crescent man seemed to have similar plans, as he charged the bandaged man. Following suit, Renault readied his rifle once more, this time aiming the rifle's stock at the man's head.

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