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Cosanastre faced certain destruction. Well, not entirely, but Arch Mason Baert considered the great empire to be on the rain slick precipice of destruction, which was equally alarming. Whilst the Champions of the King’s Feast struggled with the necrotic beast, a coup was in the works. How many times had Baert warned the High Mason not to trust that half-breed. Regardless of his history, Richter Grievous still bore Renovatian blood. And allies or no, Renovatians (or any foreigner for that matter) could never truly feel the Crystal’s light within them. It was only a matter of time before Grievous betrayed them—the filthy mercenary. Many within the faith questioned the High Mason's decision in placing an outsider in such a favored position.Then again, Ocelot Royce was not a typical High Mason, hence his survival of the attempted coup. Baert was not present to witness Grievous’ attempt on the High Masons life, but it reports indicated that the First Sword cut his way through entire contingent of Poor Sons, a team of Justicar Inquisitors and a RioT First Class operative just to reach his target. How the High Mason and his guests managed to survive eluded him, but rumor held that Ocelot himself rammed a blade into Grievous' chest and that the Heretic vanished in a cloud of smoke. With his whereabouts unknown, Richter Grievous became a severe liability for all of Cosanastre. The Order of the Valiant Sky still served them under the direction of their Vice-Commander and the Minister of War, Vortian Cross. Could they be trusted? After his run in with Grievous, the High Mason locked himself in his throne room to commune with the Crystal and never returned. Baert himself tried lifting the alchemic sigils that barred entry, but it proved a fool's errand. There was no reason to believe the High Mason dead, given that the barriers held firm Ocelot was likely alive. The Masons, however, were bereft of a High Mason and the Daius Syndicate was absent its High King. Protocol dictated that Ocelot's heir take control in the event of his death, but the High Mason was in perfect health and within the Cathedral...the Masons...Baert...none of them possessed the legal authority to supplant Ocelot's position without risking excommunication. The entire debacle turned the Arch Mason's stomach. So it was that Baert stared down Viktus Gallin. Several long moments passed before Baert finally spoke, feeling his own gaze waver beneath the youth's intense glare. "As I said earlier, Lord Gallin, The Church cannot support your actions, but we will not condemn them." The youth said nothing, prompting Baert to continue after a pregnant pause. "The failure of the Regents to respond to your summons is not considered actionable by the clergy." "The High Mason would have their heads on spikes for failing to rally when called." Baert bit back the desire to remind young Gallin that he was not the High Mason and continued. "I do not disagree, but We have no legal authority to revoke Regencies. Even upon failure to pay their tax, a Regent cannot be removed without the High Mason's express consent." "You speak for the Church in Lot's absence, yes?" Viktus asked with some vehemence. "I do." The arch mason said, giving a nod of his head. "I can only command the Military in matters of public and national safety. In this case, control of the Military reverts to the High Marshall--the Heretic Grievous, and in his absence the Minister of War, Vortian Cross--who cannot be reached at this moment. Thus, we cannot authorize the Poor Sons or the Justicar to assist you. Perhaps the Daius Syndicate..." Viktus cut this suggestion short with a scoff. "Daius is no more prepared for Lot's absence than you people are. Nobody is willing to initiate proceedings as long as the possibility remains that he is alive." "He is alive, my prince." Baert insisted. "I know," Viktus snapped. "However, in his absence I should be named Regent of Cosanastre, at least in the interim. Once Lot returns from prayer I'll return to my post at Kageroth Academy, but this is mine by right. Ocelot named me his heir, he charged me with protecting Cosanastre in his absence...I believe Ocelot knew something like this was going to happen." Baert sniffed and sighed. This was going nowhere, but perhaps there existed a happy middle ground that solved two problems at once. Perhaps not quite killing two birds with one stone, but certainly taking them out of the sky for a while. "Your Grace, why not utilize the Order of the Valiant Sky. They are contracted to the Imperial Family, not through the Church or the Daius." Viktus pondered this for a moment. "They'd have the equipment I need, if nothing else." The broad youth steepled his fingers beneath the bridge of his brow and sighed. "Very well, if the Church will not sanction this endeavor then I must undertake it of my own accord."
What a disgusting, revolting, colorful display. There it was, just sitting peacefully in the southwestern part of Cosanastre (the very first city founded, just for your information), glittering like a well polished crystal and singing it's siren's song: the Cathedral. Ah yes, today the bells tolled, beckoning different sorts of worshippers to its freely dusted halls and oiled pews. Today these worshippers find themselves praying to the gods of green and gold; the reverent prayers whispering through the the beating heart of the Cathedral. Serge bunting decorated the outside of the Cathedral turned gambling hall, enticing anyone and everyone to come inside and enjoy the raucous going on. Matching the exuberant decorations, guests were dressed in peacock colors; several of them, all on one body. The women wore reds, purples and greens. There were checks, stripes, brocades, appliques, and lush embroidery. The men matched the women, if anything, they were far more decorated than their counterparts. Clearly they are all extremely excited for The King’s Feast, an event that has recently been reinstated by the ever illustrious, gracious Ocelot Royce, the High Mason and ruler of Alterion. Inside, trestle table after trestle table bowed underneath the sheer weight of food stuffs. There was a roast boar stuffed with rabbits that were stuffed with partridges - sans trees, unfortunately. Pies of every type covered the white tablecloths. The free-flowing wine, ale, beer, and metheglin added to the already high spirits of the guests. One one table was a large white swan, baked and dressed and then reassembled so that it looked almost alive, every feather repositioned perfectly. It didn’t stick out though, because in the most centered table full of all sorts of seafaring creatures is a ginormous tank with a mermaid swimming inside. A Nymerian, to be more specific. Her dark hair was braided with beads and shells and crystals, akin to the black-blue sky sparkling with polished stars; her tail looked like the expanse of a early morning sky with oranges, reds, blues melting together; from waist up she wore nothing, representing the normal Nymerian wear, showing the lace-like tattoo beneath her breasts. The tattoo on her right arm shimmered with her panic, causing the shapes to appear as if they were moving with each swish of her tail as she swam from one end of the tank to the other. She was one of the many prizes offered for the day's events, and to win her you must be betting on either a group, individual, or a monster itself. All those betting will be put into a drawing to receive the Nymerian, no matter their losses or winnings. In the center of the grouping of tables was an open area. Here jesters danced and sang, people conversed, acrobats cavorted; the noise was tremendous, filling the Cathedral to the brim. And outside is absolutely no better! Anyone who can’t fit inside, found themselves a seat just about anywhere that was safe, mostly the rooftops and a few even made their homes in alleyways (out of harm's way of course). Because these sorts of events always bring out everyone's competitive streak, various household games like poker, go-fish, and whatever else kind of games gamblers contrive in the moment, are scattered around for anyone to join in. The heavier hitters were at their chosen tables with handhelds scattered around them; faces of the competitors and the monsters they're working against flicker across illuminated screens. All are welcome to place bets on either the monster hunters or the monsters, just to add some fun into the whole ordeal. Disgusting, colorful display of celebration and the day has only begun. How to bet: Easy! Everyone put your bets down in your posts and I'll keep track of everything. Anything that has monetary value (weapons, armor, jewelry, monsters of your own, etc.) you can use to bet, so have fun with this! Also reasonable, pleaasse. Once there is a list of items gathered from all people betting, I'll use a randomizer to select who gets what item to make it all fair. So Group A is for Participant AB but group B is against them and are for the monsters; Participant AB wins, so group Bs bets are given to Group A. Games: I don't care if you guys want to play a drunk, drug induced game of hide and seek, have fun! I will be introducing a version of Truth or Dare but with drinking, using a system where I think of a number 1-6, the participants pick a number, and the loser has to drink and then pick Truth or Dare. The dare obviously can't be hella disruptive but I want people to have fun with this and put their characters in awkward positions.