(1874-08-18) Vir Sidus Games
Vir Sidus Games
Summary: Darius hosts his version of Imperial Games in Paras.
Date: August 18th 2018
Related: {$related}
NPCs: none
Players:
Darius  Salys  Myrana  Sylas  Jasmina  Alia  Susanna  

============<* Coliseum *>============
This is a recent construction, the structures fresh and the design itself seems to differ from the old Aequorian style of the city of Paras. The ovular structure encompasses a flat field, much like a tournament field, however lacking the central bars for jousting. The wide expanse certainly ensuring that the spectacles held within are given ample room to move freely. At one end of the oval shaped structure, a raised dais looms over the tiered seating that surrounds the field, while at the opposite end, a large and secure gate gives entry to the other structures built beyond that end, the noises of various animals can be heard from within. Either side, flanked by the raised dais and the gated entry, the tiered seating allows for many a spectator to watch the proceedings, all shaded by sand coloured awnings held aloft by wooden cranes and ropes.
(1874-08-18)

Your log text goes here!

Paras. Once a city in the Kingdom of Aequor, but now a city protected by the Empire of Vir Sidus. The damage from the conquering Qatanex and the liberation by the Imperials is almost non existant. On the approach several earthwork fortifications are manned by troops of the empire, and the walls of the city itself are manned by these same men with banners of the Empire fluttering in the breeze. People have flocked to the city at the invitation of the games, and airships have traveled night and day for a week to ferry all the people there.

Just inside the city a colloseum has been built, and the stands are filled with spectators. Today is for the first of the games, for the important and those who can afford the seats. Three more sets of games are planned that are more affordable for the other citizens of Imperial Paras. Men walk among the stands taking bets for the race. Then, the cheers begin as the three charriots are led out onto the field. The Princeps stands and holds hos arms wide indiciating the cheering should die down. Once it has, an air sorcerer makes motions and Darius' voice can be heard over the whole colloseum. "WELCOME! Welcome to the First games held in over 500 years here in the Colonial territories! We shall begin with a traditional Imperial Race of Charriots. Three teams, Red, Blue and Green shall battle for Imperial Honors!" The men raise their hands in the charriots and people cheer. "NOW! Take up your reigns! LET THE RACE BEGIN!"

At Darius' words the three charioteers take off. Blue takes an early lead ….

Salys Therin merrily strides in with her brother, plopping herself down next to Darius’ box giving him a wink as she fluffs the skirts of her black velvet gown. She picks at a fuzz that sits itself in one of the myriad of red embroidered roses that dot her slender frame. There's a ruby comb sitting in her lovely hair, holding one side up in a delicate swoosh. "Oh," she says loud enough for the provincials in the box to hear, "I cannot wait until we put the prisoners against each other so they can fight bloodily to the death," she looks to Sylas and grins, noting that the common folk below are getting the same rumor and not enjoying what they hear. They look visibly uncomfortable and a certain sense of satisfaction settles on Salys' mein.

Then Darius speaks and the small folk settle down, gone is their worry over prisoners fighting each other. "Aww, well that was short lived," Salys sighed, pushing her hair over her shoulder to settle on her back. "I think I'll bet on red, a piece of gold will you take it, brother?" Her green eyes settle on Sylas briefly while she awaits his acceptance.

Sylas is seated but a seat from his sister Salys, a space between them looking so empty and truly, is it any wonder? Clad in white and crimson edged toga, Sylas smiles a sort of predatory smile that a lion would likely reserve for some measure of prey, a faint glint of teeth and then the calm, for a grape is soon popped between his lips and the fruit is chewed and savoured. With a glance to Salys, Sylas smikrs a touch lopsidedly, "Finally, bringing culture to the heathens of this blighted backwater, I almost feel at home. If not for the insect bites, and the lingering smell."

Out in the stands, a rumour persists that those nobles who have refused to kowtow to Imperial rule are to be used in a glorious production detailing the recent defeat of the Qatunax, and apparent shaming of Aequor, during the storming and heroic capture of Keep Candeo by the Imperial forces. The Aequorians are said to be daubed in cow's blood, while their tongues have been removed to ensure a more suitable foreign babbling, and each is adorned with feathers and bright cloth to play the nefarious Qatunax… to the death. Literally so!

"Oh dearest sister, truly. The Blues will win. I shall take your bet and I shall weep as I take your gold. I shall weep tears of salty joy, and I shall catch them upon that very gold piece and watch them glisten for a good while." Sylas all but replies as darius speaks to the hoi polloi.

Alia, having only recently returned to Imperial lands, settles into a seat, hands arranging her skirts just so. The dress she had selected for the event was dark in tone, as her clothing often was, a deep blue this time, rather than her usual black and greys. She'd even arranged for one slightly more in keeping with the imperial style, and her hair was gathered up into a decorous, rather than utilitarian style, pinned up high on her head by a pair of jeweled hair pins. She wore little to no other adornments, and carried with her no accouterments save for a fan of Aequorian craft, which she had laid onto the seat beside her, reserving it for someone, it would seem, who had not yet arrived.

Alia turned her head, looking over towards Darius has he rose to make his announcement, setting the stage for the first of th entertainments selected for the day. Rumours had been rife since word of the games had been sent out, including such rumours as would lead one to believe that the Princepts intended to pit prisoners, either Qatunax or traitors to the realm, turncoats who had abandoned their duty to a menagerie of some of the feircest beasts in the lands. Ice bears, and all, so the whispers went. Man-eaters.

It has been rumored that the event the event being held is not meant for entertainment but rather as punishment for those who have angered the Princeps with the least fortunate of them being those who will not live to see another day. The rumor even goes as far as to hint that those from The West were invited to the games so that they may be shown just what happens when someone gets on the Empire's bad side.

As for the al'Mordran, they've ignored such blabbering for what it is, simply rumors and nonsense. The Archduchess is sitting somewhere towards the back of the viewing box, her guards, maids and food taster close by as always, ready to serve her as needed.

When Darius makes with his announcement she gives polite applause as well as a smile, it given from over her shoulder so she can see him as she does.

'Go to Paras. Now.'

Myrana D'Armaz steps into the box, holding in her slim white hands a little slip of gold parchement that she has twisted up and fiddles with unconsciously like a woman wringing the neck of a newt. Heavy gold tasselure taps at her cheeks as she turns her head, skirts murmuring about her legs and her thick snowy hair hanging loose down her back in soft waves, only partially plaited and drawn back by a heavy comb.

The parchement is her invitation. She probably doesn't realize that she's been mangling it absentmindedly.

Pausing a moment as she rises into the box, she can't help but look down into the belly of the… what did they call it? Colliseum? A breeze plays at the hair about her face and riffles at her clothes, and her hands tighten with murderous intensity for a silent moment around that poor mangled note.

"Ah, I wish you were here with me, Ramius," she murmurs into the breeze, just under her breath. There are Chariots being wheeled out. She turns her head, and with the others listens to Darius' opening of the games. Her blue eyes are thoughtful on him, and guarded.

"The smell is something we're just going to have to deal with. At least our rooms smell lovely, you're welcome for that by the way," Salys smiles brightly at her brother as he takes her bet. "Oh… of course you would, but I think a few of those riders out there are quite… motivated." She chuckles lightly, stealing one of Sylas's grape bunches and pooling them in her lap. A white haired lady draws the Therin woman's attention, her brows bounce up and a sweet smile spreads on her face. "Excuse me," she says in the course common tongue, "would you like to sit with us?" Salys pats the seat while looking at Myrana.

Darius sits back in his chair, a mockery of a throne he found in one of the books he read from a library here in Paras. He leans on one arm and says idly to a servant. "Find out which one Pompey bet on. Then place a bid on one of the others for me. I'll see you rewarded if you can make Pompey's choice loose." He smiles slightly.

The Chariots thunder along the course, pulled by two horses the Chariots are sleek and fast. The Red Chariot begins to catch up to Blue, and green urges his mounts to higher speeds. As they thunder on the track, servants suddenly rush out to the edges and hang javelins form posts. As Green passes, he reaches up to grab one, catching it and pulling it to him. In one smooth motion he tosses the javelin at the Red Chariot, the projectile missing. It slams into the sand ahead of red, who reaches out and snags it. Blue slams the body of his chariot into Reds, causing him to drop the javelin which falls ans breaks under the wheels of green.

The crowd cheers.

It is with a certain glance towards the platinum haired Myrana, that Sylas follows Salys' gaze, and indeed the smile is mirrored instantly. Gently patting the seat between him and Salys, Sylas tilts his head slightly and smiles a touch lopsidedly, "Oh do sit with us." The common tongue used with apparent ease as he lounges, paying little heed to the stolen grape and merely tossing one of his own into his own mouth, "Oh dooo sit with usssss!" A sibilant roll of the S's drifts easily, between grape smushing between teeth, "You are most welcome." As to Salys' comment about the riders, Sylas huffs faintly, if perhaps a touch theatrically as he lounges idly within his seat, grinning like some idle feline as he watches the games continue, "Blue… is the colour…" The words softly spoken beneath his breath as the crowds cheer.

Susanna arrived just in time, a little late since she had slept in longer than she had intended. She had been entertaining a party in an nearby tavern the night before, run into an old stranger, and heard plenty of rumors about the events of the games. One of them stuck out to her as she was overhearing a group of more intellectual-looking and frankly stuffy old folks off in a corner. They said that one of the games the Imperials were going to set up could very possibly be a game of human chess—meaning all the pieces (knights, pawns, kings, queens) will be represented by different gladiator in representative garb, and two master chess players will decide the moves across the board. If one piece wanted to capture another they would have to fight for it, adding another dimension of strategy to the game.

Susanna didn't find the idea of watching people wrestle and fight themselves bloody as enjoyable, exactly, but Alia had invited her and it seemed to kind an offer to refuse. She came in her best dress: the silvery blue one with the puffy sleeves. This time she actually wore some simply, delicate jewelry with the gown and with her hair pinned up and her posture poised just so, she could actually pass for some kind of nobility if no one paid too much attention. And, judging by her strong build and the gnarled scar on her right shoulder that her bodice's wide neckline revealed, possibly a knight of some kind. Amazing what the right trappings can make of a person.

And so Susanna sneaks into her seat next to Alia, whispering to her friend, "Am I very late?"

Jasmina is watching the event with vague interest, the race being different than what she's used to seeing at tournies common to The West. The one thing she can not help but to notice is the potential for injury or death of the horses, it enough to make her frown slightly. It does dampen the general mood of the games for her but she doesn't let on to her displeasure. From time to time she looks around, her curiosity about the Imperials getting the better of her, plus she also looks at Darius from time to time, perhaps when a cheer from his box can be heard.

Myrana jerks her eyes away from Darius up in his high seat, cheeks flushing as she realized she was staring for a good second or two at the Princeps. Who just spoke to her? Her eyes fall on Salys and that patting hand and for a very naked moment its clear she didn't expect to be invited to just, come SIT there. Can it be that simple?

She clears her throat in genuine embarrassment and says "Th-Thank you." Oh, they're both smiling at her. Oh. Ohhhh dear.

Myrana brushes her skirts out of the way and deposits herself there. Between two strangers and just a little ways from the Princeps. Not being able to SEE the Fire Sorcerer sitting within reaching distance does not make the little Armaz much happier.

"Chariots," she says. "How does the driver keep from being thrown in a crash?"

Alia followed the chariot race with obvious interest, though she seemed less interested in the battle between the riders to win the race than she did the mechanics of actually watching the way in which they rode. Chariots were, after all, not that common in the west as they might once have been. That did not, however, stop her from placing her own bet, on green, but it seemed an idle thing, made as almost an afterthought, rather than a calculated decision. Alia reached down and over, as she caught sight of Susanna's familiar figure, retrieving her fan from the seat, allowing Susanna to take it, the fan returned to her lap, her hands folding nearly over it. "No, not at all, they've only just begun the first event."

Her hand is moved to make way for the d'Armaz lady, taking a grape she pops it into her mouth and sighs, "The grapes here are like ash in my mouth," she says in imperial to Sylas still maintaining that smile of hers. Her green eyes settle briefly on the riders as the red chariot is narrowly missed by the javelin and then jolts to the side as blue hits him, Salys tosses a grape at her brother. "Your rider mocks me, brother," she says in the common tongue. A smile that's warm and inviting reaches Salys' eyes as Myrana takes a seat. "Oh no, dear, one simply must rest on their ability to steer the chariot. For certainly a rider cannot control what others do," she says to the platinum haired woman.

And with the platinum haired, hovering, Myrana so settled between both him and his sister, Sylas leans in towards Myrana and smiles, "Sweet succulent ash my dear sister, they taste all the better with each moment that my chosen team shows yours for the lumbering fools they are." All spoken in Imperial until he flits easily back to the Common tongue for all that follows. The smile broadens as Salys' grape pings off his brow, a warm laugh slipping easily from his lips as he returns fire, pinging a grape across Myrana and back towards his sister, "Your rider would likely be dismounted by a grape, let alone a javelin…" A gentle nudge of Myrana, and a gesture towards the thundering chariots idly follows, "…now, watch my dear little platinum-haired friend, watch my sister's chosen chariot crash and violently so. It will be most amusing." And ping, another grape flits before Myrana's vision, before a bowl is offered up to the flanked Aequorian, "Grape?"

Jasmina signals to her food taster, a discrete gesture that very few besides him should pick up on. After a few moments a platter bearing meats, cheese and fruit is brought to her as is a glass of wine, all safe for the Archduchess' consumption. She idly eats from the offered selection, sipping occasionally from her wine. The glass gets set down just as a cry of dismay is given by her, her voice familiar enough that maybe those who know her well will be made aware of her presence.

Myrana sort of… shrinks down into herself ever ever so slightly, like a snail trying a frenchfry. Something is happening over her head. Why, oh WHY didn't she pay any attention whatsoever to her horrible Imperial tutor? She casts her gaze up at the clouds sailing, unbeknowst to them but knowst to everybody here, from nice friendly Aequor and into Imperial territory. Her eyes clear; oh that's why. Kentaire speaks Imperial, and the Kentairish tutor was an asshole who she had thrown into some bushes by Sam for talking about young Prince Whatshisname too damn much.

Something keeps touching the soft fluff of her bangs where strands of hair are flitted this way and that by the breeze. It is like having antennae; she doesn't look to either side; someone is LEANING OVER HER to talk to THE PERSON ON THE OTHER SIDE. This is a thing that happens sometimes in Gendiel, where her husband's men sometimes forget she's extant thanks to line-of-sight.

Myrana steams slightly in her soft rose kirtle. Just, roiling, internally, till the sensation of touch receedes from her too-too-sensitive person.

WAIT. Are they… throwing things? Don't look. Diplomacy. Where is Jasmina? Where is… oh, of course Ludovic wouldn't come. Her cheeks colour again as she considers what he'd think of her for attending this ridiculousness and her hands gather a little bunch of linen between them, miserably. But… the Queen…

"AH!" She jumps, startled, as a nudge jostles her out of her thoughts. "Oh! Pardon me," she clears her throat quickly. Maybe there was a bee. That's plausible.

"Javelins?" She takes a grape. "Thank you. I'm afraid I wasn't really prepared- Oh! Do they usually crash then? Isn't that, er…"

THERE'S JASMINA. Myrana focuses her gaze on the back of Jasmina's head, willing the other woman to get an itch, or a creepy feeling, or a premonition, ANYTHING, that will cause her to look over and exchange emotional support with her.

"You could only dream brother," she says in common, sticking to the tongue of the guests around her. "He chose blue, I chose red. Now, those red riders have very much to win for so I expect them to give a valiant effort." To Myrana she also offers her vine of grapes with a raised brow as a grape lands in her lap. She picks it up and another grape flits before Myrana's view in her brother's direction. The red rider does, indeed, get smashed against the inner wall of the ovular track but manages to stay the course and return a rather valiant push back into the blue team, as if in reply to Myrana's question and the small folk crowd "Ooohhhs" at the sight. A smile flits across Salys' face as she watches Myrana get uncomfortable. "Javelins, those long pokey looking things? They're meant to get tangled up in the spokes of other riders. So, indeed, they're meant to crash."

Susanna nods at Alia's response, marvelling at the chariots for yet another reason entirely. "So fast," she says. "You'd almost think they're flying." She speaks in the 'proper' accent she learned at the Courtesan Academy, more so she won't draw unwanted attention than anything. Then someone goes to her and asks about placing bets, which makes her pause for a moment. "Er, I'll, er. Blue," she finally decides, and offers the man two lone copper coins. A meager amount, but she is religiously frugal, isn't a betting person, and too nervous to refuse him.

As Jasmina yells, her attentions seem to become more focused on the occupants of the box she's sitting in than the actual race. There's the archduchess, here in the same box as the—princeps! Princeps Darius! Oh my. Looking around, some more she finds herself staring a bit at the very pale-haired young woman who looks vaguely familiar, sitting between a pair of what can only be siblings. They're throwing grapes around like children. And the poor woman between them looks very uncomfortable. She leans over to Alia and asks, "Do you know who they are?" nodding her head in the direction of Myrana and the Twins.

"Oh do have a grape." Sylas offers further, that little fruit slowly 'zooming' in towards Myrana's lips, "They aren't as good as a Valescan grape, but they shall suffice, and taste all the sweeter as my dear sister hands me a gold coin." Another grape from Salys? Sylas smirks and shifts to dodge the flitting fruit as he delivers his own to their honoured guest. Though Salys' missile ricochets off his shoulder, vanishing somewhere. Perhaps it feeds on of the poorer folk, that would indeed be a fine act of charity.

. And boop.

. Boop.

. Boop goes the fruit.

. "Open wide." Sylas murmurs warmly, lounging like a cat beside Myrana as he 'boops' the grape against her lips.

. Boop.

. "Oh if we're fortunate, the red team will be thrown and crushed beneath the chariot as it flips.", Boop.

It's rather like bugs boring into the back of one's skull, isn't it? The piercing look almost making it feel like a needle's poking you in the head? That's how it feels like to Jasmina who first blinks and tries to ignore it, initially assuming it's one of the twins trying to get to her. Curiosity does get the better of her, however, and she slowly shifts, head turning as she pivots in her seat, so she can look for the source of the annoyance.

Imagine her surprise when she meets gazes with Mryana, Jasmina's reaction a startled blink. Brow creasing as she narrows her eyes at her, she tries to figure out what is going on, ignoring the way Sylas is doing at the same time.

There's a bit of constraint that's shown by Salys as Sylas shoves a grape in Myrana's face, ever briefly it looks like she's trying not to laugh. "Oh! You'll be handing me the coin as I leave to go offer payment for winning, Sylas." She smiles at Myrana, before exclaiming loudly. "Oh brother, don't you think she has just the loveliest hair!" She takes a lock in her hands and twirls it idly. "And soft too! You must share with me your secrets, the air hair has ravished my locks," Salys will ignore any uncomfortable vibes Myrana puts off, turning away from her guest as she goes to watch the race.

The green rider does catch up, but not close enough to do anything about the red and blue teams locked in a jostling race to see who can wreck the other first.

The chariots scream around another corner, this time Blue, in the lead grabs a javelin. He twists slightly to toss the projectile at green. The head of the weapon slams into the body of the chariot. Red shakes a fist, but then reaches and pulls the javelin free to throw it back at blue. The projectile sails and slams into the wheel spokes. The javelin explodes in splinters and the wheel shatters, suddenly vaulting the body of the chariot into the air and sending the driver flying. This causes the horses to tumble in a plume fo dusty sand. Red and Green veer to go around each side of the crashed chariot.

The crowd goes wild.

Alia's attention, though mostly focused on the race taking place below them, shifts to the box, generally, and to Susanna specifically. There is something to be said for proper training in decorum, as well as a natural inclination to put the other woman at ease in what must be a very unusual situation. Clearly, Alia seems intent on doing what she can to help Susanna enjoy the even, a smile curling her lips at the sound of her 'courtly' accent, rather than her usual galenthian one. "I have rarely had cause to see better riders, and in such an enclosed space, it is rather a wonder, isn't it?" At the other woman's question, she glances over towards the trio indicated, "The two dark-haired pair are Therins, Salys and Sylas, both members of Darius' retinue. The woman between is the Duchess Myrana D'Armaz, heir to House D'Armaz. Their lands lie not far north of County d'Korbina." She might ahve gone on, if not for the sound of splitering wood which cause her eyes to dart back towards the race and the crashed chariot with its blue pennant.

Myrana meets Jasmina's eyes and tries in her heart of hearts to spontaneously develop telepathy. 'This asshole tried to woo you', that look says, if one ascribes to the rather Aequoran form of Fuedalism (that the behavior of your vassals is your own fault). 'Let us murder everyone here,' it goes on. 'Nobody has to know'.

But she doesn't say anything, because a fraction of a second later, her constipated thinking-very-hard-and-squinting expression is broken up by a boop! A grape! She blinks, startled, and sputtering opens her mouth to say something. "I really can-*"

The grape enters enemy territory. Myrana is almost the same colour as her kirtle.

She eats it, because spitting it out is entirely unladylike, even for her. And seems to be trying very hard to figure out what the fuck is happening to her and how to even respond.

In fact she is entirely incapable of stopping a crawl of hungry static from spreading up her spine and shivering over her whole body like a snap of air pressure and likely stinging any fingers on her at that unfortunate moment. Maybe Salys, as she twirls her hair about.

But it is timed so marvelously with the terrible crash below that even she does not seem to have noticed the undesirable flicker of magic in her uncomfortable state, and so wound-up and tense that she actually gets to her feet like a bolt of lightning has gone through her and pushed her her feet, covering her mouth and looking down into the belly of the coliseum in horror.

Susanna stares up at the twins with unrestrained disbelief. Part of Darius' retinue? While to her the princeps seems perfectly leaderly and charismatic in his way, these two with the antics they are putting this poor woman through seem nothing more than silly and childish. She thought the Imperials chose their people based on merit, but since the surname "Therin" is used, she supposes Vir Sidus must not actually be that different.

And then the crash as the chariot she betted on is smashed to splinters. Susanna's eyes are wide, blinking. "Is the rider alright?!" The question bursts out of her a little louder than she wanted.

Oh how Sylas' dreams of salty tear encrusted coin end so brutally. Yet with Myrana's accepting of the grape after a series of boops, her sudden rise and the look of horror is regarded with a certain mild curiosity, though he does spare a glance to the crash site, for with the Blue team crashing out so remarkably, Sylas merely waves a distracted hand towards the carnage and exhales as if such deaths are little concern to him, "Well let us hope the…" Could he be about to claim the other team as his own, if only to thwart his sister. Oh no. His eyes brighten and his smirk widens, "I do so hope the Red team wins, may they be /everso/ victorious dear sister." Oh no. He did worse! He jinxed them! And to Myrana, who is almost blocking the view, Sylas pelts the back of her head with a grape, "I could move slightly, but I'm comfortable. Do sit down!" His free hand pats the chair once more, just as the other pelts the back of Myrana's head with a second grape. Rear-Boop!

The crash startles Jasmina who is suddenly facing forward, she too coming to her feet suddenly. While many are cheering she finds herself unable to even utter a squeak. Eyes wide in horror, she clutches a hand at her chest, her other held before her mouth, fingers pressed to her lips.

Salys lets out a large "Woop" and tosses a wry grin at her brother as his team goes tumbling into the dirt. The screams of the horses are ignored, the only thing for her right now is the reactions of her brother and those around her to the violence of the games. Though she does catch Alia looking at her and the captain of the keep is given an over exaggerated finger waggle and a sickeningly sweet smile.

Salys' hand snaps back away from Myrana's hair and a large and decidedly wicked smile spreads across her face as she eyes her brother intensely. Her offending hand settles neatly in her lap and plucks out another grape. "Oh, I think we upset her," Salys says nonchelontely in imperial, popping the grape into her mouth and pointing at the race, "I just got a bit of a… hmm… shock? Yes, that," she completes, chewing up her grape she washes it down with a glass of wine. "You blighted bastard!" Salys belts out in common, "you couldn't leave my team alone could you!" She tosses a handful of grapes in his direction. "Oh yes, do sit I'm Salys Therin, that there is my brother Sylas," she waves dismissively to her brother before turning back to the race.

Where are the men with the stretcher for the driver and knives for the horses? Myrana trembles, but… lowers her hands and sits, after brushing grapes out of her seat. Her back is still straight, and the brief tremor that went through her is gone. But she watches the charioteer and the horses more than the race now, and looks at the doors set into the walls of the arena. Someone will come out to get them. The Chariots and horses are not expendible in wartime, and having them left on the track to threaten the other two teams seems unlikely. There is no need to panic.

She takes a breath, and calms herself by turning the little lightsilver bell at her throat about in her fingers, listening to the tiny sound of the silver ball inside clinking against the inner chamber.

"Thank you for inviting me to sit with you," she says to them politely. Calm again. "Is there water here?"

Susanna looks to Jasmina sympathetically, hands clasped tightly in her lap. She looks out at the chariot and the the rider and the horse again, wondering as Myrana does when people will come out to help. Perhaps they won't until after the race? Seems strange, since they're long gone by now. Then shouting from behind as a few grapes hit the back of her head and land in her seat and Susanna goes rigid, appalled. Slowly her head turns to the princeps with another little glance to the Therin twins again. Doesn't he mind at all how foolishly they're behaving?

As Alia's eyes caught Salys', she offered the woman a polite nod of her head, before her attention lifted away, returning to the field where the chariot had still not been dealt with. For all of the violence of the crash, she did not seem, well, either concerned or alarmed by the damage to man or beast. Callous, well…even in the books that mentioned such games, there was no lack of mention of their violence. "Not green," comes the idle comment, before she looks back to Susanna, "That we will have to see. I would imagine they will be taken from the arena floor. If it is possible to do so." It's still too dusty and riotous with the other two chariots racing to know the rider or their horses' eventual fate.

Salys looks to the sky, gauging the time of day. As Myrana sits down she leans into Darius and whispers into his ear. She brushes her fingers on his arm and settles back in to her seat to watch the races, giving Sylas a solemn nod before devoting her attentions to the race. "You're most welcome," Salys says politely to Myrana, knowing without even looking that her brother has ordered refreshments from the nearby servants.

It is with a faint bristling that Sylas finds those wrathful grapes pinging off of him in all directions, though the idle smile barely shifts as he settles once more, a grape or two caught within the folds of his toga. A grin briefly directed at Salys, as if taking full on ownership of being a 'Blighted Bastard'. In Imperial, Sylas does however pause to regard Salys' words, "The provincials are so easily upset, I would pay it little heed… I would perhaps avoid the latter however." A glance is given Myrana, and Sylas again slips into easy Common, "Water? There's wine. You Colonials ensure there's ample water within your wine, so I would offer a glass of this red we found… practically water when all is said and done. However… I suppose we can fulfill your wish, as a guest of the Therins." And Sylas idly claps his hands for an attendent to step forward, "Water for our guest." His own wine swirled, and within but a few moments, Myrana is soon blessed with the gift of water. Sylas however sips his blighted Aequorian wine, "Come on Red. Red for the win." His eyes fixed upon Salys, "Do you cheer for red our platinum friend? We all cheer for red surely!"

Red and Green remain. They thunder down a straight away and both of them grab javelins at the same time. Neck and neck the two thunder next to each other, and slash and stab with the throwing weapons using them as spears. They turn a corner, still keeping right next to each other. They come to the other straight away, each one not able to pull ahead from the other, or find an advantage.

Darius smiles as blue goes flying. He gestures with two fingers and men rush out to pull the man off the track before he finds himself run over by the surviving and battling chariots. He looks to the colonials watching their reaction. The colonial peasants are of course loving it. The lower citizenry of any society enjoys this sort of thing. It's the higher ups that have the problems.

The man is dragged away leaving a bloody smear in the sand in his wake. Alive or dead, nobody can tell from this distance. He is cleared just as Red and Green thunder past.

"Is it required?" Myrana's tongue lashes out, but with furious dryness. Then she realizes it, and relents, sinking her back into the seat as it to chastise herself to diplomacy. To gather herself a little she rakes her fingers back through her hair and away from her face, setting her jewelry to jingle and clatter.

"I believe Green will win," she asserts, almost savagely. If she must sit here on her Queen's wishes, she will do her best. Taking a sip of the water, she hopes it will quell her stomach and quench her temper, which is pushing at her ribs. Pride wins out: "You have not tasted our juniper wine. Darius Firebrand himself planted those trees, or so the stone there claims."

"You're a bastard," Salys hrumphs and settles into her seat further. She does look interested in the conversation about the juniper wine. "We would like to try this wine, wouldn't we brother?" Thought the race is given a bit more heed. "Ride you feckless arseholes!" Salys, entirely unladylike, shouts out towards the arena. "It is not required to bet, but it does make the games more fun!"

"Are they all so lacking in fun?" Pops out of Myra's mouth.

"Always," Salys swiftly retorts, "especially when they don't have much else to look forward to."

"Oh how delightful! And yes! You absolutely must send us a few bottles." Sylas demands warmly, an idle wave given to some delightfully Galenthian? Well. Wenchly sort down amidst the common folk. Most likely Galenthian. Yup. Galenthian. Though the lingering smirk and cat-like gaze soon flits from wench to race, "Too true. Too true." A glance given Salys, as he too gazes skywards for but a moment. The smile widening some, "I would wager we're the high point of any day, would you not agree?" He asks of Myrana, that feline-esque smirk remaining.

The horses thunder and the chariots creek. The two men stabbing and slashing and ramming their chariots into each other. Each one trying to gain the upper hand of the other. Red slashes and it catches green on the arm. Blood swells there but instead of being slowed, Green merely thrusts his javelin at red's throat. The weapon connects and red lets go of his reigns, grabbing at his throat. He tumbles off the chariot and the horses come to a stop as green holds his arms wide for the crowd who are cheering. All the while red kicks and thrashes on the sand, crimson blood flowing between his fingers.

A medico rushes out with a vial in his hand and pauses looking up to Darius. The Princeps holds out a thumb level and looks with a raised eyebrow to the crowd who begin to shout if the man should live or die.

Myrana is failing in her duty. She can feel it. Tavi waggles a finger from under a pile of spectral hussies at her and wonders if she's really qualified for her position, working for the Queen. She tells him, in this land of imagination, to eat it.

Myra's knuckles are bloodless in her lap.

As the medico looks up at Darius, and Darius lingers, WAITING for something (though who knows what this barbarian is waiting for?), she takes a moment and closes her eyes. Gathering herself, and her resolve. Again.

"I'm sure you would have me in stitches," she replies to Sylas, as if nothing at all were wrong.

Well, she tried.

"Die," Salys says with humor to Darius who sits with thumb aloft at her side. The Red rider flails on the ground, "The bastard lost and I had bet for him to win," a smirk settles on her features and stays there, eyeing out to the crowd to see what their consensus would be. To be sure there was a lot of shouting going on for and against death. "Oh yes," she says absently to Myrana, "do send us a bottle or two, we're entirely bereft of good wine here."

Susanna nods at Alia's reply, relaxing in her seat a little as people go out to assist the crashed chariot. The conversation going on behind her continues to be annoying, and she quietly commends Myrana's resolve to bet on green.

Her attention is again jerked fully into the fray below her as the javelin connects with him. Her body tenses again, this time in horror as the poor man collapses with blood everywhere…though happily there seems to be a healer coming to help him. She starts to relax again when to her confusion he looks up at their box. He can only be looking to one person, and her head swivels to Darius. She still isn't sure of what is happening until the shouts of the crowd hit her ears and Salys says that word, directly behind her, to condemn him. "Wh-what?" she breathes out, looking to Alia for some kind of explanation.

Alia's attention remained on the field of battle, as it were, watching as the blue rider was dragged off, the move perfectly timed to avoid the other two chariots still racing around the field. She leaned forward, just the smallest amount, her hands still lightly folded around the fan she had brought with her. What attention she offered the spectators in the stands was limited, the end clearly in sight for the race itself. The attack, the strike and counter strike as the two final combatants jockey for the winning slot. She leans back, settling into her seat, seeing the green rider, the chariot on whom she bet coming out the victor. And then there was nothing but the wait to see Darius' decision. At the sound of Susanna's question, Alia finally look, briefly, away from the field, "The victor had been decided, it is the Princeps' choice now, whether the red should live or die. He may choose to follow the will of the crowd or make the choice wholly his own."

Sylas grins at Myrana oh so brightly, "Oh wouldn't we just!" Oblivious? Most likely utterly uncaring! But even so, a grape pings off the side of Myrana's head all the same. PING! As to the fate of the man, Sylas smirks and counters his sister, "I do believe he should live, why the man tried his best, and failed. It would be churlish to see him die." The words over pronounced and slowly so as he grins all cat-like at his sister, full of mischief and devilment as he allows his gaze to flit back to Myrana, "What say you? Death? Or life, a glorious chance to fail my sister once more at a future date?" Though there's no denying the brief turmoil, amused as it seems to be, "Oh sister! I can't argue your logic. Death! Death! Death!" The final three words chanted lazily, almost as if he hardly cared as to the life hanging in the balance. And to those so witnessing the box, Sylas turns his own thumb upside down to help a few of the commoners along with their chanting. They do love a good chant! And they seem to grasp the whole thumb down angle! Clever commoners!

This is ridiculous, a ridiculous idea. Put to death a citizen of your own empire, simply because they lost a fight in a game? At least, they called them games. This wasn't what Susanna usually associated with the word. Her breath is quick, and she's scared, but a life is hanging in the balance. She's in same box as the princeps, surely he can know her own vote. She stands and turns to him. "Let him live."

"You're a right shit and you know it, Sylas," Salys chuckles, finishing of the grapes in her lap awaiting Darius' decision.

"I would let him live," Myrana murmurs, pensive. "But if it is to return to… this. I would think it kinder to kill him."

Darius nods once, shrugs a shoulder and turns the thumb downward. The Medico nods and stands up, leaving the man to die in the sands. Blood squirts between his fingers and he kicks in the sand as he chokes on all of the blood. Finally with one last kick and an arch of his back the man ceases to draw breath and slumps into the now muddy by his own blood sands. The Crowd cheers dramatically as the Chariot of Green rolls past the Princeps who claps for the man's well fought victory.

Once again Darius' words are brought to all here. "People of Paras! Though not all races are blood, this one needed to be special due to the circumstances of it being the first here in over 500 years! However, despite this intoxicating excitement we are not finished yet! No!" He gestures with a hand and a dozen men stumble out a gate before it is closed. They are each armed with a net and a trident, have a helmet and a bracers and a leather vest. They look uncertain as to their weapons before the Princeps speaks again. "Behold people of Paras! Let me paint a story. Brave adventurers head to the unexplored regions of fabled Ryalta," becuase to the Empire Ryalta IS a fable. "There, they walk through the jungles, and are beset by the creatures themselves!"

At this proclamation another gate is open and a group of lions, five strong stride in. "Clearly! They must defend themselves, or becoe food and lost forver in this harsh, unexplored land!"

The Lions waste no time and surge forward, leaping on one confused man and ripping into his chest with savage claws while biting at the neck. The man's screams are heard only a moment before the crowd cheers again.

Salys smiles brightly as that thumb turns down, though the smile is somewhat wicked. The lions beset upon the men, however, get a small gleeful clap from the Therin woman. "Oh, isn't this fun! I was wondering what was down there in the pits." A cup of wine is swiped from the nearest servants platter and sipped at. "I'm making no bets this time brother, as you seem to want to foil me anyhow," Salys gives Sylas a sour look. "What of your customs and games?" Salys says to Myrana before turning her gaze back to the arena.

"Lions. I do love the lions." Sylas murmurs as he leans forward for once, taking but a moment to eye those graceful and beautiful beasts, "And foil you? Never! Besides, we both got what we wanted. That man's death." Sylas responds as he watches the mauling of the soon silenced man with apparent glee if the crooked smile is anything to go by. His gaze fixed upon the spectacle, the prowling beasts, and the fearful men within the arena.

Susanna only has a second to ponder Myrana's opinion before Darius announces his decision and her blood goes cold. She looks down at the man below, at the blood and the pain. The problem isn't that Susanna is unused to seeing such a horrific thingrather the opposite. The shouts of the crowd seem louder in her ears, the colors of the scene seem to desaturate into a harsh winter landscape, and she's trembling. She sits back in her seat with hands clutched over her ears, mouth working at repeated words, unvoiced. Then the lion roars, the man torn apart, the noise of the crowd, and it's far too muchshe shrieks: "NOOOO!"

Alis, quite unlike the woman she sat beside, gave no reaction to the Princeps' decision, nor to the sight of the man bleeding out his life onto the sands. She does, once again, look towards Darius as he announces the next event, before her eyes turn to the doors opening to disgorge their seemingly unsuspecting fighters. "This will…" Whatever else she might have said cuts off as Susanna screams beside her, and Alia returns her attention to the woman. "Susanna, I think, perhaps, this is not the sort of sport that you should be watching." She lifts her eyes, tipping her head to call over two of the closest servants, who make their way through the seated, ignoring the looks and frowns sent their way, "I believe a place of rest and quiet might do her good." She looks from the servants to Susanna, "Go with them, Susanna, they will find somewhere more comfortable for you. I will find you when I can."

There are places in Four Corners where, forgotten by city planners and accessible only if one knows the way, men gather to bet on things like this. Dry cisterns where an alligator has been trapped, and a man might go down and try his luck against the beast. Pits that one stands atop at an edge with the barest railing, to watch fighters tear each other apart while copper coins drop by accident down on their heads. Dogfights, they're called, when its two men, and an inventive punishment when you've deeply upset your Capofamiglia.

Samuel, her cousin-by-marriage and one of her two must trusted attendants, came from one. Adriono plucked him out of it after he saw Sam pick up his opponent and hurl him bodily out of the pit, knocking down the petty blackmailer who had been keeping him there.

Myrana is shocked into silence. She doesn't attend those things in Four Corners, and none of her personal guard quite dare to do so either, considering Sam. But it is a part of life in that City.

"…I have never seen a lion before," she murmurs, when she finally can.

Sylas for his part rises with a certain feline grace, "If you'll excuse me for a moment or two. And I choose the lions." A gentle bow is offered Myrana, and a wink his dear sister. With a bunch of grapes in one hand, and a bottle of wine in the other, Sylas slinks from his seat and vanishes from view, slipping away easily and no doubt finding that delightfully bouncy Galenthian, they always seem to have decent information amongst the commonfolk! Being as popular as they are.

"Oh, I have," Salys says to Myrana's seeming wonderment, "very graceful, they stalk their prey when they're given the ability to. In Vir Sidus our colosseum is very large and they can make the landscape a veritable forest if they so wish it. There the games are much more interesting." Salys nods at Sylas and waves him off. "Go on with yourself," she giggles and turns to Myrana. "We've had many a type of animal, even wild boars which is a lot more entertaining than you think. Sometimes it's not people against animals but animals against each other."

One of the horrible twins rises up and leaves. She bids Sylas good-bye politely, but automatically. Her eyes remain on the arena below as she tries to quell her horror. "Those men are frightened." A pause. "S..Salys," she guesses at which was which, honestly, for she has been utterly off-balance and overwhelmed since she sat down. "They look like they've no idea what to do. Aren't they fighters?"

Susanna doesn't seem responsive to anything Alia tells her, rather looking toward the man who was ripped apart by lions and, oddly, trying to go to him. Servants have to hold her back as she sobs in her regular Fallow Lands accent, "Davy, Davy, I'm so sorry, Davy…." But eventually she's overpowered and taken away.

Down below in the sands men and women struggle to survive against an onslaught of beasts. The five lions circle, and occasioanaly leap while the explorers stab with tridents and try to entrap with nets. There is screaming, roaring, growling, and pleading. Blood sprays the sand as a lion leaps again, this time it grabs a woman by the head in it's powerful jaws and shakes, the snap can be heard all the way in the sands. It crunches down crushing the head and spraying blood. A couple of explorers stab the lion with the trident, holding it in place as a third spears it in the neck killing it. This however leaves the three open as one of the lions leaps in just as they kill, savage claws ripping into two men, while it bites a man's leg and drags him off to the other lions. His screams fill the colloseum as blood sprays.

Her gaze slides over to Darius only briefly at the question Myrana poses. "To be completely honest, I am unsure, lady." Salys shrugs. "It would not be unusual to have prisoners fight for freedom. It matters not if they're fighters in that case, though if this is the same situation, I do not know." The crunching of skull illicits a slight curl of her lip, what could only be read as disgust on the Therin woman's lips.

Myrana finally looks away, overcome by horror. She covers her face and tries to collect herself without being terribly obvious about it, even as she's shaking in her seat. This is at last too much for even the Armaz.

Alia's look to the servants who come over is pointed. This isn't the place for Susanna anymore, though, if it ever was, well, that's a thought for another day. She watches the servants lifting Susanna bodily from her seat, restraining her as they work to lead her off, the others in the seat before the aisle having to get up to make way, none too happily. Finally, once she other woman has disappeared, Alia returns to the new contest, setting her fan back into the seat which is, once again, vacant. She's missed most of the excitement, such as it is, but she does manage a bet, this time on the explorers. An unlikely victory, but the least likely victories are often the most satisfying.

It doesn't take long. The lions are simply too much and eventually they overcome the explorers. Sheer strength of mass and savage hunter instincts. As the last one is brought low, his shrieks as he is eaten alive filling the air, Darius speaks again. "And finally, the main event." He gestures and men coax the lions back into their cates. Some bringing limbs with them. Other men come in. Two to be precise. A very large warrior in feathered armor and holding obsidian axes. The other wears Lorrica but has two gladius'. They stare at each other. "A savage Qatanex warchief has been captured and brought for your entertainment. Can he fight against the Legion's Sword Master Marcus Aranius?"

At his name Aranius raises his twin blades and turns in place. The crowd goes crazy. "Savage vs Civilization. BEGIN!"

The two men chanrge, each trying to kill another with a series of savage and rabid strikes and parries. The crowd cheering and going crazy.

Myrana's hands drop away from her face and she looks down into the arena like she's been slapped, eyes wide and surprised. She's still pale, but she watches this with sharp attention, unable to look away. "His name is Aranius?"

A moment is spared for Myrana, "That bit of savagery is finally over, lady," Slays turns back to the main event. "Perhaps this one would be more to your favor? Marcus?" she says as she hears the woman's question, "Yes, that's his last name. He is our sword master and that Qatanex man is a war chief so they're more evenly matched."

Alia watches the battle, well, not truly a battle, but more of a rout, as the lions take down the explorers. Alas, this second contest was not also a win for her, but there is still more sport to come. And certainly whatever she lost in the bet will be returned to her when she collects her first winnings. She does watch the bodies cleared and the lions returned to their cages. The sight of the final combatants seems to renew her interest, the woman once again leaning forward in her seat, a hand offering her own bet in favour of the swordmaster.

Myrana was weeping, but it was silent, and till she brushes at her eyes with her fingers, perhaps not entirely obvious to anyone even a few seats away. But she's drawn now, and pale enough that her eyes are all but black and the colour of her dress seems to do more for her complexion than blood does. Determination keeps her here even as other Aequorans got up and left during the other games.

"There's nothing worth looking at in a match of mice against lions," she says, faintly. "I am glad now that my husband did not come."

"Animals against untrained people were never my favorite matches either, lady," Salys offers politely. "Though this fight, it is a choice. A duel of sorts. And Marcus is quite good," she thinks about that for a moment before adding, "I suppose he would have to be with the position he holds."

The two warrior clash in the bloodied sands. Weapons blurring as they slash and hack at each other. The sounds of the weapons colliding echo through the colloseum. The crowd cheers and throw insults and advice all at the same time. The two warriors however appear only focused on each other. Aranius dances back, slams both blades into the sand and flicks bloodied sand in the savage's face. He stumbles back and then Aranius is on him. Slashing the man's upper arms which causes the Qatanex to drop his axes. Aranius crosses the blades and place them to the man's neck. He looks back to Darius.

Darius stands and holds his thumb level again.

"Oh, this one is an easy choice. Death!" She shouts out over her shoulder to Darius, and a "Well done, Marcus!" Is shouted down to the sword master as she claps merrily, hands held high in the air. "Don't you think that was well done, lady?" She looks over to Myrana and smiles.

More of Alia's weight settles onto her knees, her forearms resting there as she watches the combat, eyes occasionally skimming the seats below, taking in the sight of both the noble and the common spectators to the combat. Her lips twist, as she sees the sand, flung up from the ground and into the eyes of the Qatunax, the expression a dark thing on her face, lifting only once she hears the shouts of the crowd rise into a tumult, as Darius once again calls for the will of the crowd.

"He is an excellent swordsman," says Myrana, still looking slightly faint. Like Susanna, she should not have come. A little bloodlessly, she claps as well, though its clear this has all taken a lot out of the little Armaz. Paras has become something unfamiliar.

Darius nods and then turns the thumb, once again giving the order for death. The Swordsman brings the blades together severing the man's head in a fountain of blood. The body topples over pumping blood into the sand once more. The Crowd loves it and cheers. Somebody starts to chant: "VIR! SIDUS!" and it takes over the vast majority of the crowd. "Darius bows and holds his hands high. He speaks calmly to Myrana. "Duchess." He still waves to the people chanting. "Bring this to your King and Queen, and the Arch Duchess as well. This is the strength of the Empire. We will not be defeated. We are in a bad spot, but we are taking it back. They can work with us, or against us but ~ " he gestures to the body giving feeble pumps of blood into the sand. "We all run out of blood sometime Your Grace." He smiles wickedly at her and leaves the seating area followed by servants.

Darius' smile falls on a cool glass surface. Myrana doesn't look at him when he speaks to her, not wanting to show him her face just at that moment. Instead, she studies the arena below, and thinks.

Alia turned away from the spectacle as soon as the Qatunax's head was separated from his body. Darius was seated above them, true, but for his voice to carry down to where they were all seated, well, it would not be difficult to pick his words up, even above the roar of the crows drifting up from the sands. Her eyes found Darius first, watching him rise from his seat and then towards the Duchess seated not far from where she was herself. Her expression was placid, as she gave the blonde woman some consideration, but with Darius' own departure, she rose. Not to follow him, but to find the masters of coin who would be holding her winnings. Two won bets out of three. Not a bad day's wages.

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