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The Law of House Dali

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Goldjest Jewelers Questions Fashion Mogul

Fear for Fashion!

Avarice Presses Prescott’s Buttons

Headlines of the fashion mogul Avarice Goldjest revolved around Tormo in the wake of his recent sequestering. Critics said he was a pompous snot who deserved to get arrested; adoring fans rebutted that Tormo’s archaic laws be amended. The fact of the matter was, Avarice had been put behind bars for delivering unto heir to Tormo’s eldership, Daniel Prescott, what some might consider a “wicked burn.” Tormo was a village outside of Dougton which, adversely to losing many of its people and almost all of its infrastructure about a year ago, resulted in a present swell of both populace and federal attention. New judges and greater numbers of law enforcement were positioned, and the rinky dink town became a bustling village. Matters of fashion and social welfare were more commonplace now than a year ago, when Tormo didn’t have any news of its own that didn’t pass by word of mouth. That was why a member of the Goldcourt family and his entourage had found himself there.

Avarice and his posse of chokered, pleated, padded, belted, and checkered compadres made their way to Tormo in order to advertise a new line of jewelry to the incoming noble classes aimed at seating themselves atop the blooming village. Avarice, proprietor of Goldjest Jewelers, a line of gaudy jewelry with multicolored diamonds of multifaceted, gold-encrusted proportions, had found himself in a quite unfavorable round of discussion with the leading noble son of the area, Daniel Prescott. One round of ‘your mother’ jokes later, and Avarice found himself behind bars. His friends, absconding to the House of Dali, came to the house attorney for his assistance flapping papers bearing those headlines.

Belos raised his hand, palm down, and Avarice’s friends fell silent.

“News travels faster than the feet of drunkards,” said the eldritch voice of Belos, smiling so that the orange face paint on his cheeks cracked around his wrinkles. He stood from a chair fashioned out of plush hides and rounded  his desk. On it was a mysteriously accurate globe of Valucre, some curled pieces of paper, and small sticks of bone used for writing.

Belos swirled a wooden bowl in his hand. Its innards were composed of gizzard, the eye of a rodent, and a brown broth. Examining its contents for a minute, he placed it on the corner of his desk and left the flap of his tabernacle. His volunteers had just made themselves known in the bowl, so Belos approached each one and asked them to help procure the fashionista.

Now the group stood before three elderly men in Tormo. All around them was the hussle and bustle of a village rebuilding itself. Scaffolds of wood and rope swivelled stacks of wooden planks this way and that; people led livestock from one pasture to another; paper bearing blueprints and contracts unfurled here and unfolded there. Meanwhile, the Torman lawmen before them wore a garb unlike either Rosindarians or Terrans ever had; some kind of black judicial robes except covered in yellow splash-pattern stains. The center judge, presumably the leader, was smattered in noticeably greener stains. This judge, the middle one, spoke with Belos in exasperation.

“Your brozer, he cannot speak vith such free lips. Language is ze opus of civilization, and visout kind language one cannot be allowed to walk free!”

Another of the three judges looked at Evienne, noticeable distaste flashing across his face.

“Zis one even stinks of ze Goldcourt cockiness. You can tell in zeir jawline that they are family. Why do you come, to make fun of our dress?”

“Or perhaps our mother!?” said the third with by-far the highest degree of indignation. Belos stepped back and adjusted the leather straps around his biceps, grinning in admiration of their customs. He looked at the trio who had joined him to insure that there were no intentions to further disturb Prescott's court.

“Well,” said Belos, with unending can-do in his tone of voice, “I propose we do a trial to secure his freedom!”

“Zis is fair,” said the primary judge. “Our custom is zat, while we do trial, Avaraeeze must battle for his life in ze ring or be defended by a representative. Daniel Prescott will not attend the trial, as he is too ”

“Totally fair!” said Belos, eyes scanning frantically back and forth in the way quick thinkers’ eyes do. Then the azteccian Belos turned, pulling the group around him into a small huddle. His golden headdress, instead of making him look snide, bespoke of a different era and location. His mystery, and the utility behind the reason augmentation artifact on his head, shrouded his pride.

“Alright family, we need to split into 3 groups. One of us has to represent and protect Avarice in the arena. One will have to represent and protect Avarice in court. The third must go and protect the Avarice that has offended Daniel Prescott. The third must go to the home of Elder Prescott and see what Avarice has done and if we can sooth the hurt he has imparted.”

“Any takers?”

 

Edited by amenities

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HFphBCv.png Evienne felt hopelessly embarrassed by her dear cousin’s actions; but, she had to admit, a little part of her was also entertained.

 Avarice Goldjest had not only gotten himself incarcerated whilst on some ridiculous quest to squander his Father’s fortune, but made a complete scene out of it. Even his friends who bemoaned what they claim to be ‘the wrongful’ arrest of their companion for a small slight- was done in such dramatic fashion that Evienne wanted to simultaneously slap them senseless and laugh.

 Avarice was one of the far, far more ‘fashionably’ conscious  members of the Goldcourt branch of the family, Goldjest traded in jewels. Particularly, fond of corinthian Pearls. As such, Avarice was far more fastidious in his clothes, even more so than Evienne herself. He, and his friends, often wore the old style of the Tyrant King with pride, though recently he did start trying to make an effort to placate Evienne’s demands for simple silhouettes.

And to think I just send him a new Terran suit.

She concluded that some time in captivity would improve her cousin’s temperament. 

 Perhaps, then, it was fate that the man he had so offended shared the same last name as the Head of the Goldcourt branch. Needless to say, Prescot Goldcourt was amused, while the offended party was decidedly not. That being said, Prescot had been far more amused  at the onslaught of Aurelius Sunchaser on his Daughter, but, still he found enjoyment in the treatment of his dear nephew.

“Any publicity is good publicity” He often claimed, fingers stroking pale goatee over a slew of dishes at breakfast.  


 And, so, she decided it would be best for her to accompany the family attorney, Bellos Titansinger, and two more of her cousins to save the fallen member from any further embarrassment. Especially for the business. Despite having to leave Leizhen to deliver her correspondences.

Mrs. Sedley's shop was just beginning to take off- as well as a little letter to Dahlia Chamelis.

 I've grown too fond of that little tea house. Still, the missives were already written- they need only be delivered to their recipients. It, she supposed would be a quick trip, in and out of Tormo. No more than a week or two. Get Avarice and get out.

 It was, however, fast becoming apparent that Evienne herself shared some of her cousin’s opinions in the face of the dignitaries of the town. 

 Just what were those godawful splatters? It looked like a mixture of puke and piss. For the meeting, Evienne had decided to dress as simply as she could- a brilliant white muslin, with as little of her skin bared as possible, her only adornment being freshwater pearls: picked out in her dress and in her braid- it brought out the gold in her hair and the silver of her eyes. Simple, pure, lustrous and virtuous. Things, she had hoped would win the Tormons over to her side.

Certainly should’ve dressed like a peacock to have blended in.

 It took her a moment to school her expression into anything that passed as neutral. Her Dali cousins, she hoped fared better than her in the face of such atrocious apparel. She peeked, almost meekly at the faces of Moontraveller, and then at the blind Spidervalley girl.

 Oh, how I wish I could be blind! She cringed at her thought, it was a horrible thing to have even thought of.

 Evienne had pursed her lips, brows furrowed- letting her smile drop from her face since the moment they left Dali Manor; and immediately she was called out for it. 

“Zis one even stinks of ze Goldcourt cockiness. You can tell in zeir jawline that they are family. Why do you come, to make fun of our dress?” A judge blubbered, and Evienne’s smile returned, it even seemed to have grown a fraction wider. Beguiling, as she squarely engaged the whale of a human with pale eyes.

“Oh, no! Sir, we Goldcourts seek to smooth ruffled feathers. Your dress is your culture, and, I respect it as such!.” She declared with an inclination of her head, hands folded, fingernails just slightly digging into her dress. Don’t stare at the piss stains. 

Don’t stare at the piss stains.

Do not for the sake of the Gods stare at the piss stains!

Belos, the family litigator, with the grace of the gods she called for; spoke with such vigor that attention is taken away from his outlandish appearance, even more in contrast with the puke and piss splattered judges- she was saved. 

Atleast, with Titansinger, his appearance served a very particular purpose. He wore artifacts and paint of the a pantheon, this goes beyond just fad or trend. 

“Alright family, we need to split into 3 groups. One of us has to represent and protect Avarice in the arena. One will have to represent and protect Avarice in court. The third must go and protect the Avarice that has offended Daniel Prescott. The third must go to the home of Elder Prescott and see what Avarice has done and if we can sooth the hurt he has imparted. Any takers?”

“I’ll go see what the damage is.” She volunteered quickly, hand shooting up- immediately, she her cheeks suffused with color, embarrassed. “I’m a Goldcourt, I should take responsibility for our dear, sweet cousin.”

She cleared her throat, clearly, slightly uncomfortable. “I’ve my Father’s permission to persuade Prescott to release Avarice, but…” Icy eyes darted to the three judges, worrying at a pearl studded onto her dress. “Would they allow us to meet them? And, what if we succeed, is Avarice just scott free?”

“He’s so insufferable, can we just leave him to rot?” She was only just half joking.

Edited by LikelyMissFortune

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  Vesper Moontraveler felt that the quickest way to secure their wayward cousin was not to listen to the bleating of three old men, but to brush them aside like bags of twigs, kick open the prison cell, and drag Avarice out by the tip of his irksome nose. However, language was ze opus of civilization, and so the Lieutenant must abide while Belos engaged them in conversation. 

  She did so with an expression of stoic blankness—the knife-like Moontraveler eyes sheathed, the Sea Witch’s sharp taunting grin lingered below the set lines of her lips. Masks were nobility’s armor and she wore hers like a lazily concealed threat. She swept her hand through the short strands of her sun-bleached hair and allowed her hand to rest upon the hilt of her saber at her hip like an absentminded lover reaching for his lady’s delicate fingertips.  

  “Why do you come, to make fun of our dress?” 

  A questioning glance was offered towards Evie, for no doubt the Lady Goldcourt could have delivered an enlightening thread of insults veiled in silk, but the poor girl seemed too stunned by slapdash stains splattered across the judges’ robes. One then brought up a concern regarding their mothers.   

  A shark like smile swam to the surface, combatted only by a sense of duty that dictated a need for proper decorum and Belos’s quick examination of the group. It was, admittedly, not the best tactic to inform these men on the nature of precisely what she could offer for the mothers of Tormo. She settled with an arched brow and a flick of imaginary dust off the golden epaulet adorning her right shoulder.  Whether a Dali was clothed in lady’s couture, religious dress, or the carefully tailored garb of a seafaring captain, a Dali carried themselves with an upright grace. 

“Our custom is zat, while we do trial, Avaraeeze must battle for his life in ze ring or be defended by a representative. Daniel Prescott will not attend the trial, as he is too.” 

  No wonder it was Vesper’s face that Belos had seen in that primordial sludge of an esoteric soup; any clever negotiations were better expressed with her blade than her tongue in comparison to her other relatives. Settling into Titansinger’s family huddle with her hand resting softly on Merida’s shoulder, she let out an amused snort at Evie’s interjection.  

  “Even the mold of a prison cell would grow weary of our sweet cousin’s company. There are only so many insults fungi can bear. If memory serves faithfully, Cousin Avey’s bark was more intimidating than his bite. I can defend him in the ring.” The grin was unleashed. It served as a silent spirited laugh, an unspoken blood challenge. “Would one of you be so kind as to watch over my coat?” 

  The garment in question, dyed a rich maroon and spun from a light wool, was slid from her shoulders and passed to its volunteer guardian. Beneath it, her white linen shirt was casually tucked into a pair of high waisted sable trousers. Her boots skimmed towards her knees, built for practicality and comfort.  

  Vesper stepped towards the three men that oversaw Cousin Avey’s fate and offered them a dip of a bow before introducing herself.  

  “I’m Lieutenant Moontraveler of House Dali,” she said, ”and I will battle alongside Avarice. Could you tell me more of this trial by combat? What are the rules and expectations?”

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This was all very exciting to the young girl, who had never really left Dali Manor before now. When her Aunt came to her with this journey, she immediately agreed, stealing away in the night so her Governess wouldn't try to tag along. This all stemmed from the fact that a cousin of hers had gotten himself into trouble, but then again, when isn't there a cousin in trouble nowadays? 

Being in court was a whole new thing to her, she wasn't sure how she was supposed to look, or how she was supposed to dress, but surely it wouldn't seem strange that a gaggle of women came to Avarice's defense. Her Aunt, Vesper Moontraveler made sense, she was strong and smart, and she could definitely be of use. Evie Goldcourt surely had some skills that could be of use, she seemed like quite the diplomat, and she seemed to be quite the conversationalist. 

As she stood beside her family in the courtroom, she had to try her damnedest to not make any sort of face as the smell of puke and piss assaulted her in the nostrils. It was relentless. She put her hand to her nose, trying to snuff it out. She shifted uncomfortably, and fought to urge to grab her Aunt's hand, but this was the time to act as an adult. This was time to prove she should be here. 

“Why do you come, to make fun of our dress?” 

The question seemed strange, but then again, it really shouldn't. She couldn't see what they were wearing, but the silhouettes she could see were absolutely atrocious. Frills and pouffy sleeves, seemed a bit out of touch, and then add that with the smell of rancid piss, she could see why her cousin might have offended them. 

Our custom is zat, while we do trial, Avaraeeze must battle for his life in ze ring or be defended by a representative. Daniel Prescott will not attend the trial, as he is too.” 

Fight, or be represented? Which one would they choose? Surely Vesper would be vying for a fight, her aunt wouldn't pass up the opportunity to spill blood, true to the Dali name indeed. She however, knew little of politics, so being a representative wouldn't be in her cousin's favor. When her Aunt spoke, she took her coat in her arms gently, careful not to crease the fabric. Her Aunt was the one who had helped her dress this morning. She was told the dress's colour was a deep navy blue, long sleeved and it exposed her shoulders. The could feel patters embroidered into the fabric, but she was not sure what the patterns were. She looked to Belos, and she thought about what her role would be. 

"I can represent our Cousin in Court." Merida said, her grip on the coat tightening. 

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While the Dalis seemed to be on the receiving end of a harsh and unfair lambasting by the Tormo judges, it was almost fitting after the comments Avarice had made to them. Personally, Belos could summon to mind more than a few blistering possibilities he’d heard issue from the young Goldjest. Nobody needed to hear the things Avarice had said about Prescott’s mother. Or his father, for that matter. All anyone needed to know was that it was really, really mean.

“Beauteous,” he said to the eagerness of his dear compatriots with a beaming smile which, again, cracked his face paint. A flake or two fluttered from his cheeks, but the paint on his head was almost moist with the sweat that gathered under the midday sun. Belos’ shirtless body clanged with a gold breastplate for augmentations of the heart. His auburn head was crowned with a light ring of gold for augmentations of the mind.

“Evienne you will go to Prescott’s estate and see what we can do to smooth the wrinkles between our clans.” The judges watched as Belos delegated to the willing, impressed by the judiciousness and readiness of the Dali members. “Vesper, since we have the luck of a representative in the arena, Avarice will be afforded the ability to be present at his trial. You will head to the Tormo arena and meet the undertaker, who will serve as Tormo’s champion and your opponent.”

“This leads me to dear, sweet Merida.”  Belos’ grandfatherly voice settled upon the victim of a transmutation kerfuffle, his white teeth shining in the daylight. “We will stand between Avarice and imprisonment in the court. I rely on you as I do my hands and feet, Merida.”

“Break!” he said, clapping his hands loudly and gently taking Merida by the arm to begin their third of duty.

The judges quipped at Belos’ readiness as he turned to address them. “We will lead you to the courthouse,” they said to Belos and Merida.

“No no! We can find our own way. Trial starts when the sun iiiissss,” Belos shielded his eyes with one hand, tentatively picking out a spot in the sky before jabbing his finger at it. “There! See you men later, come Merida! Let us plan the trial of the century.”

After walking off in their own direction for a while, Belos suddenly turned to Merida.

“Merida, Merida,” he said, giddily bouncing on his toes. “I have told a lie. We are not planning the trial of the century. We are planning the breakout of the century.”

Nearby was a caravan of guards. So it appeared that Belos had not been walking aimlessly with Merida, but to the exact entourage that was presently transporting Avarice from the arena to the courthouse, given that he now had a champion in Vesper. They were as of yet far from the group, so Belos took advantage of this moment to tell Merida a thing or two. As he spoke, he dolled out a small sum of gold to a shepherd and took a sheep.

“You are a great transmuter. But this will make you even greater,” he said, removing a ring from his pinky and slipping it on her thumb. The ring was warm, imbued with power. Merida would feel magical wealth springing through her body as she donned the ring.  “I will distract the guards up ahead after leading you to the handcuffed Avarice. While I distract them, you must transmute this sheep into Avarice and Avarice into the sheep! After that, we will leave with the Avarice disguised as a sheep, and the guard will proceed to take this sheep to the courthouse, where we will do legal battle for its freedom!”

Belos seemed highly amused by this plan. So highly amused, he was still laughing as he approached the guards guiding Merida gently by the arm.

“Excuse me—hahaha—, broad fellows! Your shoulders are as imposing as the yellow paint splattered all over you. Your clothing is— heehoohahaha— beautiful.”

The guards’ attention settled on Belos and they encircled him with their arms folded as Belos gently pushed Merida outside their circle to be nearer Avarice unguarded.

“Hey, do I know you guys from somewhere?” asked the unthoughtful Avarice of his family members loudly, to which Belos piped up even louder in an attempt to keep the guards’ attention.

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The Prescotts, Evie hoped, would be slightly more open to a civil parley than these judges were. But, from the universally arid comments their family shot at Avarice, the true extent of the particular Goldjests’ penchant for debauchery settled its hefty weight upon her. This would be no easy feat.

“Let’s hope it’s all worth it,” She whispered, adolescently petulant.

It seemed Avarice was hell bent on making her life difficult. Surely, if it weren't for him she could be in Andelusia overseeing the

Despite the amusement her family offered her in the form of Vesper’s infectious confidence, Bellos’ paternal smiles and flaking face paint and the endearingly plucky Merida, there was a growing unease at the prospect of meeting the scorned party.

Still, she was Evienne Goldcourt, and the unease was tamped down harder than the concept of mainstream aesthetics was by the citizens of tormo. Soft smiles were extended to first, the retreating backs of Merida and Belos, and then, to Vesper.

“Good luck out there, it doesn’t look like you’ll have any need for it,” She sniped, pointedly glancing in the direction of the toad-like judges, “but, best of luck anyway.”

She motioned behind her, summoning Clementine, the maid that was to replace dear Leizhen on this trip. Evienne had found the taller, blonder woman competent in Hell’s Gate; and, thus had officially become a travelling maid of sorts. 

“Lead me to the Prescott household, announce me and then go question around for this particular… style that they have here.” It was always best to research anomalies.

Clementine simply nodded, and motioned her away from the humdrum of court and prison and towards the center of the bustling- bumbling town. And so, Evie sashayed away, eliciting bewildered looks from the strange residents of Tormo.

The Prescott’s town house was, just as she had imagined it would be; far too pretentious, gaudy and impractical. The stone structure mimicked styles that were better fit for a castle or a stronghold rather than the ‘humble and gracious’ house of Tormo’s elder.

 She wrinkled her nose at it in distaste, finding it ever more hideous each passing second.

Clementine had announced her arrival in advance, and, there was a footman awaiting her at the doorway, ostentatiously dressed in a costume that used peacock feathers and cod pieces. That, was enough to make Evie want to run away- but the garish contrast of the ridiculously colorful outfit with the footman’s dour expression amused her enough to lend a touch of earnesty to her smile.

“Ze young master has been vaiting for you… Goldcourt.” The curl of his lip couldn’t quite disguise exactly what he thought of Evie’s presence, so she adopted a trick from Leizhen.


A look of absolute distraught, smile drooping, lips parted- a hand raised to her chest.

 “Oh, dear! I hope I haven’t left him for long- I came here as fast as I could when I heard about what my cousin has done.” Then, she proffered him a piteous glance through her eyelashes, “Do you suppose he’s terribly offended?”

The footman seemed to thaw slightly under her barrage; his upper lip, at least, stopped looking like an unrolled scroll, though he ignored her questions. “Follow me.”

And so, she whisked away- one step behind the foot man, taking in the mix of furniture from curling tables the kaleidoscope of paintings that occupied every inch of the walls, made even worse by the colorful outfits of the staff. Peacocks for men and pink and blue splatters for the women; it was a testament to Evie’s poise that she didn’t let her nervous smile drop in the face of such atrocious apparel.

Still, soon they reached what seemed to be a drawing room, and the footman spared her a withering look, slightly warmer than earlier. “Ze Lady Goldcourt.” At least, she noted with a simpering little smile, that he had called her by her proper title.

Stepping forward into the room, Evie almost toppled over at the sight of Daniel Prescott. Truly, he could perhaps have been considered attractive, if it weren’t for they very interesting suit he had on. The silhouette was almost lady like with cross gartered multi colored hose, poufy doublet and a cod piece he had jutting out from the cartoonish figure.

Now, she understood Avarice’s actions.

She understood it too well. Evie was suddenly very concerned for herself.

Evienne hid her grimace with a swift nod of her head, daintily lifting her skirts. “You must be Daniel Prescott, my name is Evienne Goldcourt,” She touched the pearls at her collar, tears clinging to her lashes- her ploy once more in use. “A-and, I’m so sorry about what my dear Cousin has said, Sir.”
 

Edited by LikelyMissFortune

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  “They call their champion the Undertaker?” Vesper matched Belos’s beaming smile with a sardonic variation of her own. “Is my opponent armed with a shovel?”

  While the village of Tormo offered little evidence of the money needed for capable mercenaries nor the culture required for strutting native warriors, it was possible that these paint stained judges managed to cajole an experienced pugilist into posing as their champion. Not likely, but possible.

  Evienne’s well wishes were accepted with a nod. “Show them silk, Goldie. Twist their words with sweetness and let them choke. I think you know the dance well enough, hm?”

  Her parting words, lightened by a throaty chuckle, settled in the dust kicked up by their heels as the Dalis left for their respective destinations. The judges refrained from offering to escort the Dali champion to the arena. Instead, the duty was left to a stringy boy on the cusp of adolescence that had been summoned with a curt clap of their hands and a grunt. Whether through personal taste or the constraints of poverty, no splattered robes or hand me down doublet disrupted his form. He was dressed refreshingly sensible, spare the hideous splash of contrasting colors he wore in the form of a knitted scarf, and he regarded Vesper with Tormo’s collective distaste for the Dali family.

  He led her through the village center, a place marked with gnarled tree sporting gashes in its ashen bark. One would have to forgive Vesper as her attention wandered from a solemn memorial of the atrocities committed upon Tormo, if only because the stall that captured her focus offered both green cabbages and custom codpieces. For what reason were they sold together? she wondered, momentarily forgetting the boy’s reproachful scowl until he stated flatly, “The Undertaker is going to kill you.”

  “Oh,” Vesper said. “Is that why they’re called the Undertaker?”

  “You’re going to die,” the boy replied, still maintaining a state of pragmatic apathy. It was as if he informed Vesper that the sky was blue on sunny days. There was no use arguing, for it was a simple fact accepted by everyone except the sadly misinformed. The lieutenant accepted his assertion with a one shouldered shrug. “I’ll let you pick out my coffin, kid.”

  Although Vesper Moontraveler had given the nature of her death considerable thought---often until any morbid ideation tiptoed over the edge to obsession---it never occurred to her that an arena fight with someone named “the Undertaker” would be her ticket off of this mortal plane.

  Tormo’s arena was less of a sporting colosseum and more of massive pit ringed by benches and a giant wooden fence. Construction appeared far from ancient, prompting the question as to if this was a gruesome souvenir from the Legion’s takeover or a recent demand for entertainment that deviated from putting codpieces on cabbages and racing them down a hill. Whatever the reason, one thing became clear: the crowd did not like Avarice’s Champion.

  As she stepped through the felled logs that served as the arena’s east gate, the group of spectators that had already claimed their places on the benches broke out into a jeering buzz. Insults were lobbed like rotten fruits. Vesper found her face compared to both a starving coyote and the wrong end of a horse. Her bloodline was suggested to suffer from a lack of genetic diversity via rampant inbreeding. Even her blade was, at one point, called a “stupid swishy poke poke stick.”

  The west gate opened and a hush fell over the crowd.

  Across the distance of the arena, the Undertaker was underwhelming. He was neither tall nor short and was in possession of a face that one’s mind found impossible to recall in its entirety. There were mud brown eyes, eerily empty upon closer inspection, that one forgot as soon as one remembered the slight hook of his nose or the rather weak chin hidden beneath a layer of shadowy stubble. He walked quietly to his designated place in the center of the arena, his hunting leathers rustling like a whisper, and offered Vesper a shallow bow.

  The bow was returned, and her Dali-born dangersense began to ring klaxon bells in her veins. Instinct urged her to take caution, to find an exit, to leave behind this man radiating a sense of wrongness and his vacant eyes. She shifted her weight, grounding herself so that the urge to run off like a skittish horse and its wrong end was swallowed by a sense of steely resolve. With a hand upon the hilt of her sword, Vesper waited for the order to begin.

Edited by KittyvonCupcake

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As the assignments were handed out, Merida realized she would be alone with Belos, whom was a pleasant and upbeat man, it was just strange for her to be with someone she wasn't accustomed too. The added stress of having never been to court before also weighed on her. Would she even be a good representative for her cousin? What if she got him imprisoned for the rest of his life? She'd then be known as the Dali who Imprisoned her own family, and no one would come to her for projects or to visit. The worst case scenario's ran through her head, and sweat beaded at her forehead as she worried. 

“We will stand between Avarice and imprisonment in the court. I rely on you as I do my hands and feet, Merida.”

'Oh gods.' Merida thought as her arm was gently taken by the older man, and she prayed he couldn't sense her nervousness. She didn't hear him as he spoke to the Judge's, her head was spinning. How could she play this off? They started walking, and she shook her thoughts away, and turned her head to listen more intently as Belos repeated her name, not really to get her attention, but rather to start explaining his scheme. She wasn't aware there was a scheme, but apparently she was to hold a large part in this plan. 

“I have told a lie. We are not planning the trial of the century. We are planning the breakout of the century.”

Her face paled. A breakout? She's never broken the law, not the one that mattered. She broke rules all the time at home, especially when her Aunt was involved, but nothing involving the law. "A breakout? How?" She asked him, but he already had this all planned out. She crinkled her nose as she smelt rotten hay and feces, they had to be near livestock of some sort. She's never liked the smell of livestock, which was odd because she primarily worked with livestock and cash crops. He must have purchased one, for she heard the clinking of gold, and the quite dialog of exchange. He spoke to her again, and she felt something warm slip onto her thumb. She felt the warm, tingly feel of power seep into her body, and she shivered slightly as she tried to become comfortable with the feeling. 

She wanted to say something, but knew it was pointless to do so, Belos was so intent on it being this way, and when she thought about it, it would be hilarious, but only after they succeeded.  She could feel men circling around them, and she wanted to say something, but he was already speaking to the parade of guards, who possibly thought Belos was a drunkard. As he gently pushed her out of the circle, she couldn't help but stumble, but she didn't attract any attention. She grabbed the rope holding the sheep, and she slipped away from the circle of men, and ignored the smell of ale and piss that seemed to coat them. She held her hand out, making sure she didn't bump into anything on her way over to the tall man who was indeed Avarice, her cousin. 

"Don't say anything, and give me your hand." She said softly. Whilst juggling the rope in her other hand, she dug around in one of the super nifty pockets of her dress, and brought out a piece of chalk. She ever so carefully drew a circle on the leg of his pants, placing the runes in the right places. She could already feel power surging through her hands as she focused on the sheep, and on her cousin's hand. She would act as the conduit between the two, so that their forms could pass through her, and on the other side of herself respectfully. Hopefully this wouldn't wear her out too badly. 

 

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“Don’t,” came the sharp first word from the effeminate shadow as Evienne apologized. 

"Don't even worrryyyy about it girrrl,"

Evie would find that the flamboyantly dressed Prescott nobleman didn’t look that incensed at all. In fact, when he turned his subtly contoured face toward her it was with a smile. His heels clicked on the tile as he made his way to her.

From a recess in the wall emerged a slim butler carrying a tray. The tray donned two steaming cups of tea.

“Fancy a spot of tea?” asked Prescott.

If and when Evie took the tea, she would see that its consistency didn’t look quite right. The way it sloshed in the cup as he offered it to her looked a little.. Murky.

Meanwhile, Vesper and the Undertaker drew nearer and nearer.

“Ladies and gentleman gather round! Tonight’s entertainment features the champion of a man who wronged a Prescott nobleman!” Unsurprisingly to Vesper, nobody had ever collected the outsider's name. Perhaps to Vesper’s surprise, the crowd chuckled at the mention of Prescott. “This champion will face none other than the Undertaker!”

The subtle bow, the resisted urge, the clang of a rusty cowbell, and the Undertaker lunged forward. He carried a shortsword that he unsheathed and extended for Vesper’s ribcage with unnatural quickness. His brown eyes never shifted an inch, pressing further the notion that something was not right about the Undertaker as he lunged. His form, from his right leg extended backward to his left sword-arm extending forward, created a perfect line from the ground to Vesper’s chest as he dashed for her. The Undertaker seemed less versed in words than in combat, but that still gave him a lot of potential for words. Vesper would have to work for Avarice’s atonement.

House Dali presently worked its magic on three different points around Tormo. The last point of this savvy triangle was composed of Belos and Merida. Merida, with new power flowing through her and the reassuring Belos at her side, had it right. They were indeed committing a crime in one culture by releasing Avarice prematurely. What Merida was not as sure of as Belos, however, was that they would successfully free Avarice anyway.

“What are you doing?” Avarice said to Merida as she approached with the sheep at first. He caught her cue though, taking her hand as she blocked out the smell of livestock and the filth of the guards. The sheep, with as confused an expression as Avarice, subtly glowed as Belos distracted the guards. One of them began to look as Merida focused on the transition, but Belos clapped a hearty hand on his shoulder and issued a booming laugh at one of his dad jokes, handily redirecting the guard’s attention.

Merida would find that switching the appearance of Avarice and the sheep was made immensely easier by the artifact Belos had given her, but it was indeed taxing. She would find herself still able to stand, but slightly out of breath, as the sheep took on a quite intelligent sheen in its eye and Avarice became as dumb as a rock. He immediately went to drop on all-fours after Merida did her magic. The guards whipped around.

“Hey!” One of the three guards said, reaching for Merida.

Instead of grabbing her though, he smacked Avarice’s hand out of hers.

“No touching people, prisoner!” the guard yelled at Avarice.

That was when one of the other guards looked at Merida. He sized her up, perhaps seeing her state of fatigue from the spell. He hadn’t made any connection between her and the transmutation yet, but he was slightly suspicious.

“Hey, you. What’s up, why are you so worn out?”

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