RP A Wreath of Whispers


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below the dredge of tawny wreath
a knower rests, on soul he feasts
and every little gimmer whispers
"fear what lies beneath!"

the grim jaw beckons, glooming gloats
to take a prophet in its throat
and in the gloaming bids them boast
"fear what lies beneath!"

a world worn wracked at warly brink
And bid all that is earthly - sink
Not even brackish water slinks
To that which lies beneath!

So have your blood, and bear your blades
And cull the cutthroat kin like knaves
And in your violence, miss the danger
Of what lies beneath!


Ah - what a predicament you've found yourself in. A prison wagon, one of a pair, each resting in the middle of a camp of Firebrands. You know them from the burn marks etched into their arms, from the flaming poker stitched into their flag - to them, in their words, a symbol of their steadfast sense of duty, their burning conviction in loyalty to the crown.

To the common folk of Aldren, though - a mixed bag. Many freedoms come with being the personal company of the Chancellor of Briermouth, and freedoms are wont to be taken advantage of. Aldren was in a tense state, a seemingly inevitable return to war looming on the horizon, and the fear gave the mercenaries of the kingdom reach beyond the normal. Highway robberies, unlawful arrests, and - in your unfortunate cases - a drastic increase in capital punishment.

You are to be hanged, of course. You can see the nearly-finished gallows from here, and the camp captain made well sure to let you know your imprisonment was only a temporary arrangement. They needed the carts to catch more thieves, murderers, and, most importantly, traitors.

~The First Cart~


You were arrested for seemingly no reason at all. Caught in the street by a Firebrand patrol, you were deftly accused of espionage and treason, and promptly forced in chains. You were put in your chosen cart to, in your captor's words, "keep you from mingling with your filth." Did your goddess forsake you, despite your good deeds? Or has your past finally come back to haunt you?


You know well why you were arrested, but are you sober yet enough to care? Already, you can feel the starting symptoms of withdrawal - the pounding headache, the aching joints, the sense of weakness without your power's rush. The good news is, you can smell the scent of crystals on the strange, tattered individual chained across the way from you.


You were turned on in Downriver by kin - not of blood, but of upbringing. Can you truly blame them, knowing how hard the streets can be? Perhaps you can. After all, you were only stealing to survive. It's a hard life that close to the Shear, and everyone does what they can to get by day by day. Still, none of that matters when the law comes down on your head.


The dead one. It talks to you, even here, whispers in your head. It knows what's become of you, but it doesn't fear. You, who have embraced the after. Do they really think they can kill you with a simple rope? Ah - a storm is coming. A - a storm is coming. The water trickles through the cracks, down, down, down, turning muddy and black - but even it can't reach the bottom. Even it fears the dark.

~The Second Cart~


Oh, you know why they arrested you, and it was far from fair. Not because you crossed the Firebrands, no. You can still see the man who brought you in from here - he has a glazed look in his eye, and rarely talks to his fellow mercenaries. Sometimes, when he stares your way, he smiles. Not the smile of a man seeing a captive. The smile of a loving punishment well-earned. Won't you come home now, dear? it seems to say.


You really fucked this, didn't you? It isn't easy, being a spy on the brink of war. Being caught is twice painful. Once, for torture and execution is certain, and once again for the fuel you add to the fires. The Firebrands who took you in had already beaten you bloody, trying to find out what you know - and now they leave you here, shackled in a cart, ready to face your death. Was it worth it?

Remus and Wydryn.

Birds of a feather fight together, and they go down together too. They'd tried to recruit you - Remus, specifically, if that little detail matters. They didn't take kindly when you told them no. They really didn't take kindly when you punched one of them square in the jaw. In the ensuing fight, you thrashed them silly - trained soldiers of the strongest company in Aldren, reduced to tears and muttered curses - and for one of them, unconsciousness. Still, you didn't kill them. A mistake, perhaps, considering they came back not an hour later with a dozen men backup to put you two in shackles.
No one was beating him, when he came to. That meant it wasn't the worst return to wakefulness he'd ever had. He cracked one eye open, just a tiny slit, enough to check that no one was looking at him too closely. With that determined, the second eye followed, bloodshot and hating the sun, yet still too addled to remember how to squint.

The eyes looked around, shiftily, like one of those night creatures. Not the elegant ones. Possums. The ones that you only thought might be dead, and then they bit your face off.

He was in a cage. It wasn't the first time for that, either, although - had it been the third? Couldn't remember, couldn't remember. Did he want to be in a cage? He supposed that depended on what was inside and what was outside. Inside... he was inside. Not a good start.

His head ached, the temples pounding, and he tried to remember how to move his... thing on his arm. To rub it. Hand? Hand. He had hands, still? The eyes darted down. Yes. There they were. Still attached? He raised one, in wonder. Was that really his? The whole thing?

It seemed to be.

He flailed it outward, encountering the bar of the cart, grabbing onto it and pulling himself unsteadily to his feet, peering through the bars. There were people there, the sort with weapons on them. His kind of people.

Well, probably not, but he did have a healthy appreciation for weapons, or for things that could be used as weapons. He had- he had- no, they must have taken that away. What had it been, anyway?

Well, it didn't matter. He'd find another one. He watched the people with the weapons, unsteady on his feet. He had to - had to -


Yes. He must have been in that cart some time. His other hand moved down - he had two of them, both of them, that was good - and fiddled with the fastening on his trousers, aiming through the bars and releasing a stream.

Maybe he could hit the campfire? He aimed a little higher.

No. A shame.

There was something else he needed. He ground his teeth together; sometimes there were little bits stuck in them. His tongue explored the crevices of his molars. Nothing. Just teeth.

Maybe it was good that he still had those.

He did up his pants again and turned to the interior. That one, that one across the way. They had it. They did, didn't they? He could, could, could-

Better not, yet. Not yet. Soon, he promised himself, soon. It was too... too soon. But they had it and he-

It's not worth getting angry over.

Oh. Right. That was the voice. It sounded like someone else. He didn't remember who. But he knew she was import- import-

What was the word?


Something like that. She was right, too. He'd get angry later. When the time was right. Not yet. Not now. Not while he didn't remember. Couldn't remember. Name. What was her name?

What was his name?

He cleared his throat, then spat the resultant mess onto the ground, his eyes piercing the person opposite in a way that didn't even see them, just something they might have, might do, they might do. "You- you, you. Got. Any-"


That was him. Right. Not time for that. Not yet. Soon.

"-Any. Tea."
The figure sitting across from Gyre had been masked when they'd brought her aboard, but the blank wooden oval she'd been wearing over her face had been confiscated, and the dark blue scarf yanked down. The face beneath it was, at a glance, beautiful. Its skin was flawless, its lashes long and dark, its nose small and delicate, its mouth, well... unobtrusive, at least. Even her mop of dark hair was incongruously clean and healthy. One might have thought her an especially unfortunate noblewoman, were it not for her wardrobe–tangled, torn cloth in long, filthy layers; a bedraggled hood; and of course that old, rank scarf. Ragged, dirty, and oddly perfect.

This first impression did not hold up well under close examination.

Her eyes were shut. They would have given the game away immediately, otherwise. But even without them, there were signs. There was something inelastic about the way her face moved. The way it stretched in places and compressed in others; the subtle shifting of features that should have been fixed in place; the mouth and nose which did not move; the chest that did not rise or fall. The longer one looked, the more uncanny the figure became. The conclusion was inescapable--that there was nothing beneath the surface of its skin. No muscle, no bone, maybe no tissue at all. The skin was changing itself--pulling itself into new configurations, as the figure shifted in its sleep. This was no woman--it was a thing, wearing a woman's shape. A creature of bile and spoiled magic. A puppet. A–

A prophet. She knew that was what she was. That was what she’d been made to be. Not what she’d been born to be, perhaps but the person she’d been born to be wasn’t he. That person had died in the fall. Or in the bit that came after it. The endless tunnel; the mouth; the eelwormcatfish god. The roots, and the things that lived in the roots, dripping and rising and falling–and an endless river of crystal, clear as clay, flowing up the slopes of an inverted mountain. And beneath it all, a warning–fear what lies beneath. The world of light above the river did not understand. She had to make them. If she was a prophet, then that was to be her prophecy.

And in the water, there was a face that she saw, which she knew to be her God, the beast of water and earth and magic and absence. Its face was not wise, or kind, or foolish, or malicious, but utterly inhuman–teeth, and rubbery skin, and bright blue crystals in place of eyes; root-whiskers and bright silt-frills. Eelwormcatfish. And it said to her–


Tea? Well, if it was offering–

Oh. This was an intrusion.

”No, thank you,” she mumbled. She opened her eyes, and knew them to be bright blue crystals–gifts from her god, to show unto others the truth of her divinity. Which, well, if she was being completely honest, they’d turned out to be a bit of a hindrance. People ate crystals, up here. Or used them for magic. And they didn’t like the spelldrought very much. The way the man across from her was staring–oh. She’d spoken too quietly. Or possibly not at all. Maybe she should try that again.

”No, thank you,” she croaked, a little louder. “No use for tea. Is this another dream?”
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As far as executions went, this was by far the largest function that Wyrdryn been a part of. Two carts-- two cages-- and only a single stage. Would all eight of them fit up there without collapsing the wood, he wondered; perhaps they'd take them four at a time, but that would be quite the wait, wouldn't it, to cut the first group down and rig ropes for the second. Such a method also seemed a bit unfair to the group that went before the other. But, ah-- it could be that it was better to get it out of the way, as to not be the poor sod waiting to get his neck broken.

Dreadful business, executions. In all his years, Wyrdryn had always been an observer to these sorts of things, never a participant-- and today was a simple confirmation that it was about as unpleasant to participate as it was to observe. The cages were comfortable enough, at least, and he'd sprawled both feet onto the bench opposite his own, hood pulled back to reveal a tied-back nest of black hair. His cloth was still drawn over his nose and mouth, however, which kept most of his identity from view-- and, at the very least, his outfit had remained unperturbed. They had taken his whips, though. It appeared that the dozen or so men that had arrested them were thoroughly unamused by his skills with them.

"You know, brother," Wyrdryn began, glancing over to Remus with a slight realization, "I'm beginning to think they're serious about hanging us."
The Firebrands could have made their current seating arrangement a little more comfortable. Amity stared down at her wrists. The shackles she was so generously given were big and filthy, digging and scratching into her skin. Flecks of rust dotted her hands. Being in this position was highly unfamiliar to Amity. Her former privileged life never saw her in such dire circumstances.

Images of the Firebrands taking her played over and over again. The humiliation of being dragged away in front of people came flooding back, as did the sting of betrayal.

Betrayal? That's interesting.

Amity didn't know for certain who turned her in. It could have been anyone to point her out, to falsely accuse her of criminal activity. Maybe it was her assumption that Eldath would save her from something as dreadful as her current plight. Amity possessed many suspicions as to why she felt "betrayal" above all things, but the fear and hope that waged war in her heart encompassed everything. Surely if Eldath hadn't done anything yet, salvation was still to come!

Still, the gallows loomed close by. A simple, common death. This side of it she had never known, but Amity remembered clearly of those who had faced execution under the command of her parents. Sometimes, if the accused was lucky, their neck was broken, and their death was fast. It was the ones where they struggled that Amity remembered the most.

So Amity clutched her necklace and whispered a quiet prayer to Eldath, closing her eyes to the grisly view of the gallows. "Eldath, Lady of the Waters. I know you can hear me! I changed my ways and vowed to do nothing but serve you. I have acted in good nature and faith. Please spare us, your faithful servant and these other souls, from a wrongful death. I know you are powerful and kind, Eldath. So please bestow your kindness on us."

When she finished her prayer Amity looked up at the others in the cart. She had never been in the presence of criminals before. They looked worse for wear. How, she wondered, did they all end up together? Could they be in awful situations similar to her own?

One of the others stirred awake, looking over himself as he came to. She watched him from the corner of her eye. The man turned and...is...is he urinating? The sour stench hit Amity's nose and she pinched it to block the smell. When the urinating man finished, he spoke of tea.

Tea. Her lips yearned for something so comforting. Amity brushed some of her hair past her eyes, threading it behind her ear with a slender finger. "Tea would be very nice right now," she murmured, highly doubting that they would get such a luxury.

Amity further interjected herself into the conversation. A kind, hopeful smile presented itself. "I wish this was some awful dream. But don't worry you guys! I asked Eldath to help us. She has been kind to me before, and I know that she will help again!"
Lana had been betrayed, betrayed by someone she thought of as a friend. That hurt. That really fucking hurt. All over a few coins, too. Couldn’t get much lower than that, could it?

The young woman crossed her legs at the knees, shifting in her seat. Their current prison wasn’t very comfortable. The Firebrands had been particularly rough when they had arrested her, and it showed. Maybe if she hadn’t tried to run, she wouldn’t have scrapes all along her arms, and a gash across her cheek from where her face had hit the ground. The gash only served to highlight her too-tight cheekbones on her thin face, her eyes a little too large, and her mouth pulled up in a smirk despite the situation.

She looked a little worse for wear, her clothing rough-hewn and almost threadbare, an assortment of pieces that didn’t quite fit her or go together– obviously stolen. Her short hair wasn’t terribly dirty, but it definitely wasn’t the cleanest it had ever been, and her skin had a fine layer of dusty dirt on it that made her fair skin seem darker than it was. A good bath, and a few meals, and the woman would have almost been considered pretty.


There was a kind of attitude about her, an energy that was offputting. She seemed like the kind to make snide remarks and steal your coin pouch when you walked past her. That was, of course, entirely accurate. And it was that attitude, that way her expression spoke of someone who was full of sarcasm and maybe even spite, it was that that kept her from being pretty.

She had been silently watching the others the entire time they had been in the cage, but now, she snorted. “Hate to tell you this, but that’s not gonna help us at all. We’re off to our deaths. This is the end for all of us. You’d do better accepting that than you would be praying to a god who likely can’t hear you.”

She leaned back into the bars of their prison and smiled, looking at the Firebrands. “maybe if we ask them real nicely, they’ll give us some tea as our last supper. What do you guys think?”
Wasn’t it just like a mother to smother the life out of you?

It was always a false choice with Mother and this was no different. Oh if she gave the word to that mercenary Liliane had no doubt she’d find her way out of this cage, and if she didn’t she had a short stop with a broken neck in her future. And that was the real beauty of the whole thing wasn’t it? No matter what Mother gets what she wants. If she swallowed her pride then Liliane had no doubt she’d find herself back out of this cage, in chains, getting herself frogmarched all the way back to the swamp by that grinning fool. And if she didn’t? Well what would change other than the mercenary having a body to carry instead?

All roads lead back to home.

The name of the game was spotting whatever it was Mother didn’t foresee before her trip up the gallows, but it was hard to see what exactly she had. No way out of the cage, even if there was that would have been a grand old way to get herself stuck by a sword. Anything about the gallows themselves? Onlookers? A miracle splitting the sky on high perhaps? Nothing of use, but that mercenary was still smiling Mother’s smile at her, but there was nothing else there for her. The others in the cart? Well, it was doubtful they’d still be in the cart if they had a plan in the works.

What a wholly miserable state of affairs.

“Maybe they’ll string us up outside the gates[/b].” Liliane siad, resting her head against the bars of the cage. “Fine enough day for it, I suppose.
No tea. No... tea. That one, that one, she had - the other thing. Wasn't time for the other thing. None of these people made any sense. Or any tea. That was the real shame. Not making sense was, was, was.

Yes. That's what it was.

One of them said something about being off to their death. That was a shame for them. Real shame. Gyre wasn't off to his. He'd never died before, wasn't going to start now. He squinted through the bars again. In the far distance, someone was putting up on of those hanging people places. They had a name. Lots of things had names. People had names.

He had a name. Had forgotten it for a bit, but he had it again, and that was all right. Pity for whatever sorry bastards they were going to be hanging, though. Just wasn't their day.

Was it his day? He didn't know yet. Depended on the woman. The one with the, with the, with the, eyes. She had eyes. Seemed to be the only part of her that was real, the rest of her was, was, was, writhing.

That was probably just the drugs. Seemed about right. One of the other ones was saying something about help. Well. Whoever it was better get here pretty fast, because Gyre was pretty tired of this place. Bars and chains and no, no, no-

Couldn't have that. Not yet.

-No tea.

"I could, could... could kill for some tea," he stated.

Seemed like a good idea, that one, that did.
Was it worth it?

A sharp grin crossed the tiefling's broken lips, bloodied fangs revealed themselves. They'd all tried to break him and they'd all failed - just like before. Hawke had heard the call of the hangman before and slipped the noose, today would be no different if luck found him.

Never trust a thief who's never been caught, Eo. Her words still rung true, even now as he looked out with one good eye at the gallows being built for him and the other unfortunates he'd been chained with. The tiefling was surprised to see the Firebrands had the patience for such a task, especially for a spy like him. Then again, the sight of a tiefling strung up on suspicious of espionage would do wonders for sympathy for the war effort.

His eye shifted to his cart-mates (the other was still swollen shut), whether he liked it or not he'd have to rely on them to spring loose. A pair of human brothers - or maybe just an expression of trust, either way they seemed loyal to one another. The woman in the cell seemed odd, and while she initially appeared mundane, there was something about her that Hawke could not place.

"I'm sure our corpses will look lovely backed by the sunrise - a real statement piece," the tiefling replied. She seemed suitably nonchalant about the prospect of a hanging. "What did they catch you on? Wait - let me guess," he gave her a quick glancing inspection. "You're innocent!"
In response to his brother’s words, a low grunt emanated from the larger man sitting beside Wyrdryn. It was a thoroughly unamused noise from a man who did not find the same humor his brother found regarding their current situation. He would have imagined that not many would have, but considering the reactions of his fellow prisoners, he realized he was mistaken.

”They are serious.” He spoke in a low, accented voice. As he did, he massaged the top of his hands which had lengths of scraped off skin. The result of striking studded armor and metal helmets. The action didn’t seem to cause him any discomfort however as his focus was drawn over to the gallows that lay in the distance.

He still didn’t get it: why people made shows of death. The whole thing seemed like such a waste of effort when the same effect could be done with nothing more than the slash of a blade. Though most would feel some semblance of relief that they were being given more time alive, Remus couldn’t help but be angered at the idea of being made a spectacle for people to see. All because he defended himself from a band of drunken soldiers in a bar.

It was enraging.

A sharp exhale left his bloodied nose as he looked away from the gallows and turned his attention to the other two in the wagon. Considering the circumstances, there was little else to do but listen in on whatever the others were saying. Not like they were being quiet about it.
"Not a dream, hmm? That's nice. I'd rather not dream about another hanging." The prophet didn't like to lie to herself about things like that, which meant the girl probably wasn't a figment of her imagination. And if this wasn't a dream, it would also explain why the girl was invoking a god. Her dreaming mind probably wouldn't have done that.

The prophet squirmed in her seat, trying to force herself up to a standing position without pulling anything out of alignment. It was awkward, what with the way she was chained to the bars of the cage, but she managed to at least get a decent look out above the driver's head at their destination.

Yep. That sure was a gallows. Not particularly well-made, though. And not quite finished, yet, either.

"Bit of a rush-job, hmm? What do you think that's about?"

Oh--the others had started chatting again while she'd been mumbling. About murder, this time. And meals. She settled back down in her seat.

"Won't be my last supper," she mumbled. "You can't eat supper when you haven't eaten breakfast. Or lunch." That had sounded very profound in her head. Maybe she should have left it there. She raised her voice a smidge. "Which god did you say belonged to you, miss? Eldath? Has It been speaking to you at all, lately?"
Faint thunder rumbled in the distance in time for the conclusion of Amity's prayer. Perhaps a sign, or perhaps coincidence. The sky had been dreadfully dark all morning, and large roiling clouds hung overhead as the wind rose and fell between the distant trees. There was, however, a sense of unease in the camp, a storm of its own. Whispers between guards. Mutters.

One Firebrand passed the first wagon, slamming the heel of his sword against the bars.

"Ya a fuckin' pig? Pissin' on tha ground?" he jeered at Gyre. "Drop your trousers again and I'll send ya ta tha gallows a eunich!"

Another rumble. Louder.


In the mind of the dead one, a voice whispered.

He will swim in the mud.


The blank-eyed man approached the second wagon, a large grin on his face. He didn't speak at first - he only watched as the four captives inside bickered, running his finger along the hilt of his dagger. Once there was a lull, he spoke, voice a low, thin rasp.

"None of you are innocent." He lifted a finger towards Liliane. "She squealed when we caught her. Told us all your sins."

The fingers tightened around the base of the dagger.

"Tried to sell you for her own hide. But - our offer still stands, girl. No one loves you here."

Another rumble. Louder. Louder.
"He'll swim in the mud," the dead one said, grimacing apologetically. She hadn't the foggiest idea what that meant, but she was meant to be a prophet; that meant passing on the words of her god.

"Suppose that means he'll be turning into a mudskipper?" She had to raise her voice for that one. The guards deserved to hear it, too. And what kind of prophet spoke quietly when she was pontificating?

"Or do you think it's meant to be metaphorical? A storm's coming, you know--It told me that earlier, while I was sleeping; that's why I wanted to know--and the rainwater'll be creeping down through the rocks into the place that lies beneath." When she'd first tried preaching, she'd gone for a more solemn and careful aspect. That hadn't really worked. Natural was better. That way, the people who wouldn't listen to begin with didn't take you seriously, and the people who might be interested knew who you were. She took another moment to squirm in her seat, trying to get a better look at all the people around the cart.

"Do you think we're meant to go down with the rain, then? Ooooh, or--hey, friend,"
and she turned back to the Piss Man, "do you think we'll be struck by lightning? Never had that happen before; I've always been curious. Oh! Or maybe that man's about to have his throat cut?" She gestured at the Very Threatening Firebrand. "People sort of look like they're trying to swim when they're in their death spasms, don't they? And It spoke up just as he was finishing that threat! Could just be a coincidence, mind..."
Ah, so it was going to be that way, was it mother?

It was exciting, in its own sort of way, to realize that her mother had figured out another way to kill her with so little on hand to do so. Through the bars Liliane returned the guard’s vacant gaze with a roll of her own. What more could she do at this point — her mother that is — it seemed she had it all well and truly plotted out. She frowned at that rolling rumble. Just what she needed, a noose around her neck and wet clothes. Maybe the officials would call it off for the day?

Not so innocent, me.” Liliane said, looking back at her cage mates. No one had taken a swing at her yet, it seemed. No reason to go taking mother’s offer yet, if that was the case, what a boon for her pride that was. “Made the mistake of crossing the one pulling his strings” She said, with a tilt of her head towards the sellsword.

Perhaps not the truth in full, but it wasn’t a lie, so she could feel good about that. Liliane squirmed forward on the bench a tad, putting a few inches of distance between herself and the bars.
Gyre, was his name, his name, still had his name, yes. Good. He looked at the girl, the stranger, stranger thing, she was... was... "You, you, you're... a fuckin' nutter."

He wasn't upset, no, no. Not that word, not that one. Other one, the other - the good one, with the little, little, little magic creatures. There was a story about them, someone, someone had read it to him. Not him. Couldn't read. Someone else had read it, about the little, little, imps. That was what they were. Word was like that. Imp-something.

Impressed. That was it. Strange girl was a fuckin' nutter and he was, was, impressed. Took a lot to impress him, he thought, he liked to think. No, no, he didn't like to think, hated thinking, too many, too much, wasn't any good at it. Was just a phrase. Didn't mean - didn't mean what it meant. Meant something else instead.

He liked her. Fuckin' weirdo.

"Not, not, not throat cut. Not likely," he told her, watching the man walk to the other cart, watching to see, see, if he stepped in the puddle. Would be funny. Good laugh, good to laugh, when you were in a, in a, in a box. It was either laugh or the other thing and could that one do the other thing? Hadn't got, hadn't got, hadn't got eyes.

Why'd he know the man wasn't getting his throat cut? There was a, a, reason. Had to be a reason. Gyre probed through his thoughts - didn't like them, didn't like having them. Too many of them and none of them had any tea. Or the, the, other thing. Wasn't time for the other thing. He could kill for some, some, some. Not time. No throat cutting. Why?


"Haven't got a knife."
As if summoned by his words, the blank eyed man approached their wagon - toying with his dagger while he watched them. His voice was raspy and low, befitting his words and station.

Rumbling in the distance, Hawke smiled.

The knave's words were pointed at the odd girl. Secrets were so sweet when they weren't yours - weren't they? Hawke looked in the man's dead eyes and tried to imagine what the grey matter between his ears looked like. He focused his malice and fear and self-hatred, visualizing a spike of pain in his mind. It stung for but a moment, then he sought to drive it into the man's brain.

"You dare lecture us on innocence? The weight of your sins would crush the gallows if you joined us at the hangman's roost." His words brought the psychic spell to fruition - hopefully the man's mind lacked the sharpness to defend himself.

- Hawke casts Mind Sliver.
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Amity adjusted herself so that she was now sitting with her knees to the side and smoothing over her filthy skirt. Upon hearing the other woman's flippant views toward Eldath, the young tiefling woman's jaw dropped momentarily in fleeting shock. How could anyone be so abrasive about someone as giving as Eldath? But it wasn't the first time anyone had been pessimistic toward her views. Amity's lip creased with thought. "Eldath always helps us in her own time," she stated matter-of-factly.

This was proven to her time and time again, and this time would be no different. Amity was as sure of this as she was convinced the sky was blue.

It pleased Amity when one of her fellow prisoners piped in with an inquiry about Eldath. This time she gave a smile -- a true, warming smile -- and quickly swept her hands over her top. An appealing presence always helped her seem more accessible when speaking to others about Eldath. At least, in her mind it did. She clasped her hands together excitedly.

"Yes! Eldath is the Lady of Waters and goddess of peace. My Lady is quiet and contemplative, so I do not directly hear from her often. But I can feel her presence shielding and guiding me when I need her the most. All I need to do is ask. And you can as well! She is most giving."

She gives pause, startling as one of the Firebrands rattled the bars of the cage with the butt of his sword. Was it necessary, truly, to cause such a stir? The sharpness of his voice grated her ears. Admittedly, Amity barely even understood what he said with the thickness of his comparatively lowly accent. Thunder rumbled threateningly in the distance. Though her attempts to remain positive were mostly working, knowing that rain may soon come dampened Amity's spirits. She hadn't the slightest thing to cover herself with when the rain did come...

The Eldath inquirer tuned Amity back into the present with threats of throat-cutting. The urinating man joined in with the jeering of the guard, pointing out that, with no knife, the possibility of slicing one's throat was less than likely. It didn't sit well with the cleric of peace.

"Perhaps we should not threaten the big scary guard, who I might add is armed. Our current predicament will see that this does not end well for us if we provoke our captors!"
"Well, obviously we wouldn't be the ones slitting his throat," the prophet continued, reproachfully. "I haven't got a knife either! And I'm sure the Very Threatening Firebrand doesn't feel threatened by us, large and well-armed as he is."

The prophet glanced between the other occupants of the cart and the guard. Hm. Maybe that wasn't strictly true.

"Okay--well--maybe he's a little frightened by the Piss Man; he's also quite large. But not by you or me, Ms. God-Botherer." She nodded, a silly grin plastered on her face. "No, I just meant that something else might cut his throat. An assassin sent by your god, maybe, or a bit of shrapnel from an explosion. Or--ooh, what if I get struck by lightning, and that overloads my crystals, somehow, and then I explode, and the shrapnel from that cuts his throat? Then all of my predictions would be right! Wouldn't that be neat? Hey, if that happens, and one of you survives it, you have to go tell a priest somewhere about it; I bet they'd love that."
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The guard's glower deepened, and he drew his sword, slamming the handle again - harder - against the bars of the cage.

"Shut tha fuck up in there! Ya won't be so ink-tongued when yer neck's wrung tight!" he growled. "Sides -"

He leaned in, within arms length of the bars.

"We get ta choose if we drop ya high or low. High's a mercy. Neck cracks. Low, yer dancin' fer minutes."

He grinned a nasty grin.


The blank-faced man jolted, then stared into the cart for a few long moments - a thin trickle of blood dribbling out from one of his nostrils. Wheeling on Hawke, he tilted his head.

"Oh, now that's curious."

Another rumble of thunder, louder, louder. Overhead, the clouds gathered, roiled, waited. A pause - and the first drops of rain began to fall from the sky. The blank-faced man's attention wandered upwards.

"Curiouser still. I think - I'll be watching this."

And then he toppled over, body still.


Plat. Plat. Plat plat plat platplatplat -

The rain went from dribble to torrent in seconds. Throughout the camp, guards began to shout, moving supplies and equipment to cover. The air tensed, flexed, wriggled - and then a crack, as a bolt of brilliant white light streaked down from the sky, erupting in the center of the Firebrands camp. Sparks and fire flew, men screamed.

The guard outside of the first cart turned, still leaning against the bars, eyes widening slightly.

"Tha fuck -"
First Cart - Gyre Corr​

The others were talking about, about, about, threats. Good thing to think about. Good to, to, to know. When there was one. Had to know who to, who to, who to... hit. Was someone threatening them? That man with the, with the, walking by. He was threatening. Was by the other cart now, hard to, hard to reach. Gyre curled a fist, judging, judging, distance. And that fucker. Judging that fucker.

Fucker fell over. Gyre looked down at his fist. Hadn't thought he could reach. Must have been... must have been better than he thought. Good. Good for him. Good for everyone. Everyone except, except... must have been someone. Well, fuck whoever it was anyway. Girl across the way was talkin' about some Pissman. Gyre wondered when he was gonna get here, could be, could be... maybe he'd have... have... something, had to be, there was, was, something.

There was a crack, and lightning split the sky, starting a fire. "Didn't... didn't do that." He'd done other things. Killed that guard, hadn't he? Fell right over. Not the, the, the, lightning. Couldn't do that. Could he do that? He peered through the bars, up at the, the, the... sky things. No. Couldn't do that. Not without any, any, any-


Maybe if he had some.

"Hm." He let go of the bars again. They'd be, be, be - busy. With the fire. Fires were good for, good for - keeping people busy. His boot scuffed at the floor. Still had boots? Usually the fuckers took the boots. First thing to steal. He'd stole boots before, before, before - before the other thing. Gyre crouched down. Floor was smooth, not metal. Made of, of, of, wood.

He drew his arm back, and punched his fist down, hard as he could. Gotta get, get, get-

Out. Save the-



Unarmed Strike, 4 bludgeoning