| Dramatis Personae
Alireza, Amadei, Anais, Ashira, Avery, Billy, Blanche, Brielle, Butters, Caroline, Cerise, Chastity, Dorothy, Elmo, Grace, Isa, Kouri, Jaci, Jazz, Leander, Lex, Lyd, Misty, Nemo, Owen, Reagan, Rhys, Ryan, Tock, Wendell, with Kerfuffle, Panda, Ruckus, Brouhaha, Hullabaloo and Bedlam as ST -- NPCs May Tennyson NPC, Richard Horne NPC, The Widow NPC, Britta Sorenson NPC, Henrik Wagner NPC, March Tennyson NPC, April Tennyson NPC, Sheldon Bixby NPC, John Wickham NPC, Simon Michaels NPC
26 March, 2016
Spring is crowned at the lighthouse, but an unexpected guest shows up.
Even at the crowning, it is not safe enough to go the hedge lacking in personal defenses, and the princely figure of Ali is no different. His tunic and robes seem to have metallic threads spun through it strengthening the impressive hedgespun cloth to stop more deadly blows, a quiver hangs at one hip and a curved blade hangs at the other. A bow is draped across his shoulders, though his magic carpet does its best to state floating nearby him in its pretendy hanging state. It does seem to be a much fatter roll though, as a dufflebag is being held at the center of it. Looking around at the Lighthouses decor with a slight smile, it does not seem to reach his eyes which hold some worry.
Kouri would normally enter in a grand and luxurious fashion. But there is a time and a place for such things, and the already crowded scene of the crowning is surely already becoming a raucous din quickly. The elegant satyr discreetly joins Avery and Wendell at their table with a smile.
Cerise and Reagan arrive together, the latter in a very sharp suit, of course. Cerise is dressed.. oddly. On the one hand? The dress is lovely. It's a deep wine red, of that simple yet elegant cut that can fit into almost any situation, accessorized with low-key but pretty jewelry. On the other? She's paired it with a reinforced leather duster, one that looks to have been somewhat hastily repaired around the left hip region, and has both a rapier and a dagger belted on. It's like... formal meets prepared for possible maggoty incursion.
The Ensorcelled witch remains at Reagan's side, attentive and evidently alert, ice blue eyes scanning the area. If she's still feeling any disquiet over the previous night, it doesn't show. Save that she seems tense. For once, though... no broomstick. And the lack seems to have her eyeing the floor dubiously.
Looking up at Kouri, Avery smiles warmly and leans over to offer a cheek kiss before looking back to Wendell, then around the madness in the lighthouse. Surely the crowning will be safe with so many people present.
The saddest Abernathy - or rather, the Abernathy that's Winter - makes his way into the lighthouse for the Crowning. Billy is dressed in a long coat with the sleeves pushed back slightly and pinned back to give his hands and arms a bit more mobility. The coat looks similar to a Navy great coat. He's dressed in a pair of black slacks and a black dress shirt, with a weathered, beaten-up rapier hanging from his belt on his right side. The rapier looks like something that might have come from a British naval officer in the Golden Age of Piracy, and is pretty clearly a Token of some sort. The black of his clothing and eyes creates a sort of starry night tableau as he observes the place. He reaches an ink-stained hand up to brush against his beard, as a constellation swirls in his eyes into something akin to a spiral galaxy, falling into thought. He eventually makes his way to a table and drops down into a seat, adjusting his rapier so it doesn't scrape up the floor when he sits down.
Brielle is not dressed as she usually would be for Crowning. The Baroness is dressed in black and standing currently. She's too paranoid to sit. Not when there's weird shit going on and attacks. The Shadowsoul flicks her black gaze from one Lost to the next as she keeps an eye on things. Her bow is resting against her shoulder and there's arrows at her hip. Just in case.
Chastity arrives alone, save a golden dove perched on her shoulder. She carries a well-worn bible in hands clasped in front of her, and she whispers under her breath. She pauses once she's inside, looking around at those gathering, offering a friendly, bland smile to anyone who meets her eye. After a moment she takes a seat, brow furrowed as she settles back, looking like she might just fall asleep waiting for the proceedings to begin.
Ashira was just following the crowds! The poor little grif has no idea what's going on for the day but when there is as many people coming to the lighthouse as there seems to be coming... it's time to get your tailfeathers moving and get over there! So, dressed in a nice, though not weather approriate, sundress she comes hopping in, looking around. This many people makes her curious! And nervous. So she hops her way quickly over to a table and sits, ducking down to watch peoples.
As has been a near constant these days, Tock is dressed a bit like a pirate: tricorn hat perched atop her tied-back cornsilk hair, long Hedgespun pirate coat in fawns and russets with golden fastenings, flowing russet shirt to match, trousers, tall boots. A silver woven metal bracelet circles one wrist and a leather strap secures her locket with a stylised alternating current symbol on its front at her throat. What very much resembles a bat wing is hooked to one ear. Plenty of deep pockets and pouches provide hiding places for supplies, in addition to a pack on her back. A glint of electric blue shimmers over her skin and what appears to be a steampunk raygun is holstered at her hip. She also carries a quiver of arrows and has her odd compound bow that looks like it was half grown of vines and half built of clockwork on hand. The clockwork girl seems like she has been burning her candle at both ends for days, though the blessing of Spring healing abilities is keeping her going better than she might be otherwise. Between the Spring Hollow catastrophe, the fall of Valhalla, and her all-too-needed duties with the Knights of Ophois these days, there has not been an amazing amount of time for rest. She prowls about the Lighthouse like an anxious wildcat, ready to leap into action when (there is not even an 'if' in her mind any longer) something bad starts to happen. She wanders by Ali's table when he arrives. "Please be ready to get your fancy rear end out of here quickly if things go pear-shaped," she says to her Motley-mate softly. That's like a greeting, right? Her tone is full of concern, which is also visible in her crystal-like eyes.
Blanche isn't far beyond Reagan and Cerise, slinking in all quiet, with sunglasses on. Yes, she's wearing sunglasses inside, so sue her. A quick glance around has her brow furrowing slightly, then she heads around the edge of the place, moving toward those of her family. Cerise gets a faint smile, though she doesn't sit down, more just hangs out near them, lightly touching one of her pockets, one that seems overly full. And is wiggling.
Rhys is sitting for the moment, with his usual long-sleeved T-shirt and cargo pants on, his metal armour and kinfe equipped, and his backpack next to him.There's also a look of worry on his face, and he's very fidgety, as he's tinkering and fiddling with his knife occasionally, scanning around the rest of the time.
Flanking Elmo with a lady on either side, one of those ladies is, nonetheless, not so ladylike. "Come oooon, if we don't hurry, we won't get a seat!" Nemo pulls at one of Elmo's arms, looking up at Isa around the man's back with a 'make him move!' tilt of her head before siiiiighing an exasperated breath and darting toward an empty table against the wall to claim it. Or, more accurately, to claim its vicinity, seeing as she doesn't SIT at the thing. "I claim thee in the name of...um. Us!" The little sparkbug's antennae twitch away a zzt of electricity before she spins in place, more than a trace of unease in bright blue eyes as she flick flick flicks looks from one face to the next, categorising who is here. Those she knows garner brief nods and, in some cases, small smiles.
Jaci enters with caution between other entrants. She is dressed elegantly in her style of three ratty coats, ratty knit hat, ratty knit gloves that didn't start out fingerless but ended up that way. This is all the haute couture among absolutely nobody, but her player doesn't have much to say besides 'here is Jacqueline, smelly but smiley homeless woman'. Padding out the pose some more, when her cautious looking-about spies Nemo, she makes a happy little noise in the back of her throat and goes to stand right behind her. "Hello, Nemo, you look different. Hello, Elmo, you don't." There are no seats at the table so she stands there, hovering, smiling, and everyone there at Table #6 gets the treatment of dirt, rotten seaweed, and baked sweat.
"I got the sub on standby," says Owen to Tock. The head of the now-gone Valhalla is not messing around tonight - he looks like he has a week plus beard on him and his 'combat' face on - no smiling or joking. He secures the helmet to his Diver armor, leaving the face plate up. He has a pack on his back - medical gear, no doubt, and pouches and holsters adorn the arm. He's kitted out the wazoo tonight - the carbine is strapped to the pack, oddly enough, ready to be tugged free. The pistol is there, of course, and the fighting sticks - and a Pelican hard case near Ali's feet, securing Bertha, in case she's needed. Instead, across his chest he has a 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun, with shooting competition-style shotshell reload holders on his hips and lower thigh. He offers both Tock and Ali a fist bump before he'll once again prowl the perimeter to try to check it, murmuring to Summer court people here and there. He's been busy the last several hours, trying to scour the joint and secure it - which is a losing proposition, it may be! Still, he's doing it. Out of his backpack sticks two horn like items; the Hedge radio that he saved from Valhalla. He has an earbud on, as does Tock and others that have requested it.
Ryan arrived well before the crowning was set to begin, puttering around the kitchen and checking that the Lighthouse's hob staff have everything arranged properly for the crowning. The drudge looks much the same as ever, and is dressed in very normal clothing -- burgundy button-down shirt, gray slacks, brown walking shoes. The only odd bit of wardrobe is the triple loop of thick vine that's coiled around his waist, like a makeshift belt. That looks unnaturally alive and rather thorny. As the crowd begins to trickle in, Ryan returns to the main hall and starts to wander through, offering a distracted smile to anyone who looks his way, but clearly searching for someone. It's the floating carpet that catches his eye, and the wizened changed course to make his way towards Alireza. But Tock arrives by the man's side before Ryan does, and so the drudge hangs back a few steps, hovering.
Isa rolls her eyes and is in no where near the hurry Nemo is. She waves to Reagan and Cerise, and waits for Elmo to sit before she slides in a chair on the opposite side of him as his 'fiance'. She is hyper alert today, looking around over the crowd. "I hope you're ready for anything Nemo."
Grace is there, with Dorothy. The Wizened wearing her finest hedgespun, her beaten-brass gown, and while she looks about and takes in the views, she does seem mostly occupied with keeping an eye on her motleymate and friend, giving an occasional wave here and there.
Recent events for the Freehold of Sentinel Rock have not been particularly auspicious... which is to say that things have been violent and terrifying in large part, followed by disturbing and grotesque in equal measure. Many changelings have been seriously injured; some have even lost their lives. But, for everything there is a season and perhaps with Winter's melting into Spring, the freehold will recover from its recent horror, heal its wounds, and grow anew.
The security of the lighthouse appears to be significantly heightened, but there's still an overwhelming feeling of dread that permeates the chamber as more and more of the Lost filter in and assemble together in their chosen cliques of courtiers and motleymates.
The Widow, who has served as Winter's regent for as long as anyone can recall, sits upon the stage wearing an unreadably stoic expression flanked by the exceptionally tall Henrick Wagner, her Second, appearing to be clad in the same mood.
Nodding at Tock's words, Ali's smile grows somewhat brighter. "Of course, of course. I am sure everything will go terribly rather quickly. But sometimes we must make appearances, if only for the sake of the general appeasement of the populace." He offers smiles and glances as others move past and take their own seats. "I plan to be in the air and out of here at the first bit of bloodshed after all," his gaze passes over the exits as if keeping them mapped in mind as he accepts the fist bump from Owen. "The carpet can only carry four, so whomever I can evacuate with me, I shall." His gaze moves to those up upon the stage every now and then, itching somewhat for things to come about.
Lex heads in with Leander by his side, the Winter Darkling boys heading for a table straight off. He is dressed a bit unusually, though in tight black skinny jeans and ankle-high pradas he has a rather large jacket on, dwarfing his slight frame which apparently is hiding some sort of body armour. After experiencing the fall of his hollow, he is ready for anything tonight. After finding a seat next to his friend, he offers him a reassuring smile and prepares for Court and what might lie ahead.
Cerise lifts one hand to waggle her fingers at Blanche as she and her devilishly handsome companion make their way to a table. The table with a majority of her family at it. Even if they don't know that's what they are. Elmo is, in fact, stared at a bit oddly, just for a second, but then she's looking around again, settling with one hand on her rapier. Seriously, one noise too loud and she's liable to whip the thing out, by the look of her. Okay, so maybe she -is- a bit traumatized. A bit.
Ashira gives a little wave of a wink to Tock from where she's sitting, ducking down to make herself smaller against the massive group at the lighthouse. She eyes the lady on stage... well that just gives her shivers! So she shoots people she knows shy little smiles and amuses herself by humming softly, some wandering little tune.
The Summer Monarch, Britta Sorenson, stalks in like a thunderstorm flanked by her little basilisk buddy and Iron Adjutant, Sheldon Bixby. They share wary glances as they see the sheer number of people assembled. Britta shakes her head with a dour expression. Sheldon gives a cheeky, reptilian smile and shrugs a little. They share a friendly fistbump and steel themselves, moving over to stand with the largest throng of Summers.
Britta leans over and whispers something to the Adjutant and he gives a nod before cruising around to inspect the assembled guards that flank the assembly area.
"I do not know if I favour the idea of the open seas considering what research has turned up on likely culprits for this mess," Tock replies to Owen, brows lowered in concern. There is a lot of concern to go around. Right up there with worry and paranoia. She gives Ali a nod at his set plans for hasty retreat. Her head tilts a few degrees off-centre, regarding Ryan's approach-not-approach. He gets a nod as well...smiles are not forthcoming much these days...and she waves him closer.
Looking askance at the floor, Nemo's wings twitch with a chitinous scritch and she eases a hip up onto a chair, then one knee, then, sliding up farther, weight braced on her hands against the tabletop, she ooooozes her way ever so subtly (not) onto the table itself. No feet on the ground for this bug.
The little inventor gives Isa a slightly grumpy look and points out, "I almost got eaten by giant fucking maggots AND a bony tentacle monster with terrible halitosis. Do you THINK I'm gonna be relaxed?" She might have said more, but the arrival of Jaci and, more to the point, the mention of her differences, distracts the bug. Self-conscious, an emotion she wears oddly, Nemo reaches back to touch a wing and nibbles at her lower lip. "Um. Yeah. Hi, Jaci." The tiny Summer swings her feet, watching the others enter in.
Walking behind Owen, Abraham hasn't yet sent his coat to be mended, good old fashioned black duct tape holding the spots that recently received too much affection at Valhalla together. He has the frown on his face of someone waiting to see what will go wrong next, eyes taking in the various exits.
Owen backslaps a few Summers, and then moves to place himself ... not next to Britta and her adjutant, no, but trying to provide some covering fire. He's shifting his weight, left and right, right hand on the pistol grip for the shotgun, the stock nestled into his shoulder and aimed downwards. His left hand is on the forestock, fingers tap tap tapping in time to some song in his head. After a moment his hand reaches up and he slaps down the helmet visor.
Isa rubs her neck, "Yeah I almost got shot by acid arrows the other night so... anything. Be prepared for anything." She takes another deep breath, looks around once more. "I really don't like to be shot at I've learned recently Nemo."
Looking over, Avery waves to Owen and Abraham quickly. Her eyebrows shoot up seeing Abe's battered coat, and she files away questions for later. Looking to Kouri she points out Abe and Owen. "My family is here."
Jaci rests her hands at her sides then leans over to whisper in Nemo's ear. Poor Nemo. On the one hand, whisper whisper whisper. On the other, Nemo has to stand Jaci being that much closer for that moment. "You look good," she whispers. She stands straight again and pats Nemo's shoulder comfortingly, squeezing once.
Lyd walks in somewhat belated and alone, mohawk floppy and unstyled - a mess just like the rest of her monochromatic attire. Sucking her teeth, empty silver eyes scan the room before settling on leaning against a wall somewhere. Her eyes and attention are kept solely on the Widow and/or other Winters.
Dorothy was there. She didn't wear Hedgespun, and she was sat with Grace. For once, the little Beast looked subdued - her lips, gums, even her teeth, red and raw where they weren't blackened. It was all ... clean, just very sore, painful. She wore the marks of pain openly, even proudly. And she leaned on Grace, eyes half closed
Somewhere in the room, likely lurking almost uncomfortably close to Reagan and/or Cerise, stands a slightly soggy Caroline. She's clad in a pale, shapeless dress that looks to be about seventy years out of style, but she's paired it with an old leather jacket in a way that is not in the least fashionable or attractive, but might perhaps serve some other purpose.
Reagan finds a seat next to Cerise, a new cane in his retinue of canes having lost the previous one. A gentle smile is granted to the Ensorcelled by his side, looking out amongst the crowd as he makes a rather subdued and quiet entrance despite that damn suit that looks absolutely fantastic on him. Leaning to Cerise he whispers, "When I requested you take these to the tailors, did you have the seat of them adjusted? Feels tight.". Ah, never good enough but damn do those slacks show off that rump.
Blanche gives Cerise a faint smile, and Nemo a long look, but she's content to stand off to the side and do her best to blend into the background. If no one pays attention to you, no one can cause trouble for you...right?
Billy glances over in Lex's direction as he notes the other Onyx Courtier. He gives him a slight nod, then turns in his chair to view the rest of the assembled Lost of Fallcoast. His gaze falls on each for the span of a heartbeat, like he's taking a headcount. He holds up a hand to his family, waving to Blanche, Nemo, and the rest. Following that, he notices Lyd's entrance and offers her a slight half-smile, gesturing toward his table. He turns back to keep his eyes on the Widow.
Jazz lurks somewhere near the Abernathy-centric table, by Blanche, Reagan, Cerise and Nemo. She doesn't sit, just lurks, like a runty, stalking ball of seething attitude. Those who know of the Retainer can tell she already has it in - blood trickles from the corners of her mouth and sprouts in little bloodflowers on thee grouund where it lands.
Ryan hangs back, a carefree smile affixed to his face, only watching as Ali, Owen, and Tock converse. But once the clockwork woman waves him closer, the wizened scoots forward with a bob of his head. "Hello! Sorry. I didn't want to interrupt. It's only that I'm uhhh ... in the market for something, so to speak?" He looks pointedly to Ali as he says this. "Not that it's something that has to be discussed right now, but ... recent events have added a umm ... certain sense of urgency?"
Leander looks tired and nervous, but he's come prepared. Knives! Knives everywhere. Poking out of boots and bag and belt Leander is not about to be caught off his guard today. As he sits down beside Lex a nod is dipped to Billy before he glances about the room and murmurs "Like, wow, this is a lot"
Rhys gets up from his table, slings his backpack on his shoulders, and goes to find a place on the wall to lean on, still tinkering with his knife.
There are Abernathies Cerise knows fairly well, and there are Abernathies that she only sort of knows by sight. The thing is. These days, all Abernathies are of a vital interest to her, whether or not they know -why-. Cerise looks up at Caroline and wiggles her fingers. Then to Jazz. To Isa. Billy.. is too far away, and gets missed in the crowd.
She looks up at Reagan, arches an eyebrow, and murmurs, "...I don't think alterations were made, perhaps they shrunk. Or we need to cut back on your dessert intake." Was that a jibe? Perhaps not. It's certinly delivered in a mild tone, half-distracted in fact. She keeps looking at the floor. "They look good on you, though, regardless."
With Owen off up front, Tock keeps to the back and the crowds that may need protecting, healing, or evacuating if one is to apply pattern recognition to recent events and extrapolate therefrom. She tries to give Ryan a little smile, just an uptick at one corner of her lips. "No interruption. Everything is a bit urgent just now," she admits.
And May? She's already here. Of /course/ the Spring Regent is already here. She's /been/ here. Nor is she alone. Her siblings, March and April are there as well, hovering near their sister. They're quiet and sort of in the background, but May? She's all bright smiles and happiness. It's about to be Spring, and she is READY for it. She's dressed in her finest, she's at her most friendly, and just being the Springiest Spring she can be.
Lyd quirks a pierced brow way on up but waves absently to Billy, Leander and the other familiar faces. For the most part the Wizend seems all business, her fingers hooked one behind the belt buckle and the other near her holster holding the .45.
Nemo does, indeed, hold her breath when Jaci gets closer, nodding to the filthy seagull with an edgy smile and glancing over at Isa a moment later. "You look alright. Someone heal you up and all?" The sparkbug looks the human woman up and down, then narrows her eyes when she notices Jazz lurking nearby. "Jazz! Hey. Um." Brief silence. "Please don't eat me." Overhearing brief snippets of conversation here and there amidst the crowd noise, the little woman does a double-take at Cerise's words to Reagan and, yes, she does, indeed, hop up to her feet on the table so she can stare at his ass. Curious, not lustful. Shoo, dirty minds!
"There are a lot of folks here," Billy says softly to Leander as the other Winter drops down into a seat. He dips his head back to the fellow, and mentions, "The last time I saw this many of us in one place was back in Phoenix. There were about fifty Lost all told there back then - this was, oh, two-thousand-seven, I think. Anyway, we all collected together in the Hedge and then some Loyalists attacked us and killed about four of the Courtiers. They were Spring, if I recall," he pauses, thinking. As he falls into thought, his eyes go back into that weird, hypnotic, galactic swirl. "Yeah, Spring. We managed to get the Loyalists taken care of, but ever since then, large groups of Lost all together make me nervous. I've been counting exits," he informs Leander. After that rambling spiel, it seems that Billy's finished. He starts, and then says, "Oh! I'm Billy. Or William. Though I usually go by Robert around humans, and have this ID I had made in New York that has that information on it. I don't have it with me, since I didn't figure it'd be important, but anyway: Squire Billy Abernathy. Nice to meet you. Though technically I haven't, since I don't know your name. But nice to meet you in advance."
Wendell trudges in stomping around with his bearhide armor. As always that giant bear skull pauldron seems to stare at the onlookers like it had a mind of it's own. He slings his favorite weapon over his shoulder, a large blade, a couple feet long like a weapon some kind of fictional barbarian would use, resembling an oversized meatcleaver which in recent weeks had been fashioned into a type of falcion. Wendell stuck stickers all over it. Colorful ones of little cupcakes and ice creams and other food items. These stickers were awash in blood. As as his armor which still had a couple marks in it. His fuzz is just as white and fluffy as ever even if he looked a little unhappy. As he enters the ogre gives off a mantle of sweetness and spring rain, even after all that fighting. Wendell sits down at a table and sniffs around with the food using his big ursine nose. He sits near Misty and a couple other people he knows. He gives those gathered a little wave but says nothing.
Isa shakes her head, "I didn't get hit, just a lot of near misses," She tells Nemo before she looks again over those who come to speak to the spark bug. "I wish I had a weapon." She mutters.
Jaci stands there, stinking up Table #6 with a smile, looking hopeful and calm and probably a little ignorant but her Monarch is putting on a brave face and so will she.
Cerise reaches to her belt, unsheaths her dagger, examines it for a moment, then reverses it and leans across the table to offer it, hilt first, towards Isa. Without actually saying a word about it. Well. It's not a -big- weapon, but it is, at least, something. And rather pretty, too, the thing is ornate and possibly used ceremonially at times.
Lex smiles at Billy, "Hey, it's nice to meet you too, though I really wish it was different circumstances. We'll have to do this again sometime. Maybe over vodka." He smirks at Leander over that and offers his hand to Billy, "I'm Lex by the way. And that's a good idea to count exits. A really good idea. I'm starting to feel a little sketch myself."
Isa smiles to Cerise and takes the extra dagger with a greatful nod, leaning down to slip it into her boot. "Thank you."
Grace gives Dorothy a little squeeze, whispering to the Beast, and offers Wendell a small wave of greeting.
"I don't eat family," Jazz mutter to Nemo with a smirk, a flash of the rusted, nasty old retainer in her mouth serving as bloody punctuation. It fits poorly and digs into her gumline like barbed wire. "Get married fast," she adds as a friendly suggestion. She's probably joking. Right? Cerise gets a return nod of her head, then the pint-sized cannibal goes back to lurking and glowering, like a family pitbull on watch.
Britta finds a seat up towards the front, casting furtive glances towards The Widow. She heaves a deep breath and sits close to the outgoing Monarch. She glances over at Sheldon and catches his eye, lifting a hand and flashing a handsign.
Sheldon stops at the entrance and shakes his head towards Britta. He then continues making his rounds, whispering furtively to the guards as he goes.
Sighing and leaning back with some impatience, Alireza's attention tracks along the various contenders. It would certainly be more enjoyable with the imminent threat of death and doom, but such is the hedge. "I should hire more security for the island," he murmurs more to himself than anything else.
Leander glances to Billy when the other guy gets talking, and listens, and then listens...he sort of runs on but Leander listens patiently, his head quirking to one side until he's quite finished. "Err, like, yeah, totally" Leander nods, his cheeks lifting in what must pass for a smile amongst mouthless types. "Leander" he offers, not bothering with titles, the no mouth is sort of the giveaway. "Like, we can hope right? Maybe they'll, like, take the weekend off, or something" he offers as a rather weak joke.
Billy reaches over and shakes Lex's hand. "Lex! Like Alex or something like that? I used to know someone named Alex, a long while back. He was a nice guy," confirms the Squire, "vodka would be great. Assuming we get out of this alive. I mean, it doesn't exactly take a degree in rocket science to notice that there's been multiple attacks on multiple Hollows throughout the area, and now here we are - one of our most important days. We may need to get people out quickly if something goes awry. I think that's probably a good idea." He looks back to Leander and nods. "Well, we can hope. It's doubtful. I mean, look around, right?" He glances over at the Widow, then over at the other Lost assembled. "I'd call it luck if something doesn't happen, and I'm not really very good with luck. And - Leander, yes. Now we've met officially! It's genuinely an honor to meet you, sir. I've always respected your knighthood. Unfortunately, I have this condition where I can't stop talking once I get going, so I'm probably better off where I am." He laughs. Suddenly, he quiets down, and notes, "But really, I'm quite serious."
Owen shifts his weight and leans over to listen as Sheldon is whispering. He grunts and his shoulders seem to gird themselves. He regrips the shotgun and rolls his neck and shoulders, putting himself near the front of the grouping, but to the side - where he can get to the sitting royalty quickly. He begins to scan, left, front, right, left, front, right. Tock has the back half, after all.
Hearing Isa, Nemo nods, antennae briefly flattening nearer her scalp. The little bug is light, but she still shakes the table somewhat as she starts to sit, pauses, then adjusts position to make sure she isn't squashing wings. As an afterthought, she wriggles up onto her knees, glancing down toward the dagger trade with a brief smile for Cerise. From that height it's easier to scope out the various crowns. Screw social conventions. She makes no effort to keep her voice down. "Wonder when it'll happen... Wasn't, uh," she twists in place to look at the other Abernathys, not-quite-Abernathys and Jaci at her table, explaining, "Wasn't around for the last one."
Wendell waves over to Dorothy and Grace but doesn't seem to be as talkative. He exchanges a few short words with those at the table but otherwise seems preoccupied with the event and finding food. He slumps over at his table, his chin resting on his arms. He gives a little wave to Owen and the Summers by him as well.
Richard Horne is here, his mood solemn. His hollow has fallen recently and that is Not Good(tm). He's growly, grumbly and generally on-edge. Flanked by Simon and Wickham, he stalks over towards May. The former is talking, talking, talking, chattering in the Beast's ear while John is dealing with the fall of the hollow the only way he knows how: he's high. He's definitely here at the crowning in an altered state. Approaching the Springest Spring, Richard silences his companions with a heavy wave of his hand and then touches May's hip. Hey there.
How did Lyd show up right behind Billy? Quiet little short thing! Blast! She nods in agreement to Leander and Billy, murmuring to them. "I am here for her and her alone. I don't do social all too well." She sniffs, wiping her nose with a blackened hand before moving to just do that - the Gremlin moves to stand not too far from the Widow, guarding as Knights tend to do but far enough to be unobtrusive unless duty calls.
Ali comes out of his thoughts and looks to wizened. "Hrm, so you wished for something?" He gestures to a nearby seat. "Perhaps now is not the perfect time, but if it is a simple thing you can speak it. Identities? Drugs? High explosives? Or something more interesting?" He seems amused by it as he tilts his head to Ryan.
Ryan gives a nervous laugh at Alireza's list, but he is quick to take the offered seat and lean in closer to the Spring Finder and lower his voice.
Abraham gives a small nod towards Avery, though that is the only sign he has paid attention to anyone else here really. He continues to case the place, hanging back near the entrance so he can shoot glances outside.
Chastity sits off to the side, watching everyone arrive with quiet reflection. Each person given a long, hard stare before she moves on to the next. She seems content to remain in the background for now, perhaps too uptight to truly enjoy a good Spring crowning.
Amadei arrives and, amidst the general tintamarre and loath to add to it, looks for a place to sit.
Brielle notices that there's a lot of people heading in and there's a bit of a frown, this was just going to go badly. Leave it to her to worry on everything. She gives a look over the place as it fills up and then she goes back to waiting on the wall and keeping alert for things to go south.
Nemo keeps to her table, still kneeling atop it like some punky Tinkerbell. Yes, there is glitter. No, she is not made of children's laughter. Point in fact, she looks quite serious as she twists to answer her tablemates.
Rhys decides to move to another wall-space, putting his knife back in it's sheath and walking past people, nodding and waving as he goes by. He finds ra spot, and nods to Brielle, who he's now a few spaces away from. He pulls out his knife again, and starts tinkering with it.
Jaci's bright smile fades a little and she finds a way to squeeze Nemo's shoulder again without getting in the way of the bug's wings.
Dorothy lets out a little sigh and wince, curling close to Grace once more as she waits. The sheer amount of people makes her uneasy, as she flits her eeys between them and the conflicting desires and wants. She shivers, and waits, moving as little as possible
Tock remains guarding the back half of the room and its crowd, continuing to gain skill at the game of Terribly, Terribly Alert. Weapons ready, armour ready, healing Contracts ready. There might be a bit more buzz about her electric aura than usual.
Wendell grins widely. "Yay!" Wendell tosses the three power bars given to him by Avery into his large mouth and chews them noisely. "I hope some of them were s'more or somethin' good like peanut butter. None of that yucky raisin stuff. Don't mind this kinda thing....in moderation.
Avery laughs and covers her smile with a hand glancing back to Abraham and gesturing to the table in a silent invitation before glancing at clan Abernathy.
Blinking when a tall, VERY pale stranger approaches the table, Nemo stares briefly at Amadei, listens to what he says, and reaches up to pat at Jaci's hand in response to the shoulder-squeezing. She keeps her voice down, but doesn't look totally sanguine about the Fairest's arrival.
Owen lifts a hand to the folks that are waving - Avery, and a nod and a smile behind his visor to Wendell. Otherwise his eyes take in the crowd and the monarchs, shifting his position a bit every minute or so, always near the front or so of the crowd, to one side. Otherwise, he's silent.
There is a mounting tension to be felt as the Wyrd begins to shift the Seasonal Crown from the white-haired head of the silent Widow to the violet lock of wisteria that May Tennyson wears in lieu of hair. The cold, crisp wind of Winter blows around the room, sending one last shiver down the spines of the assembly before turning into something sweetly-scented and warm in a way that only Spring breezes can be.
For her part, the Winter regent looks almost relieved to be free of the Crown's weight, especially in the wake of so much chaos as having ensued during her most recent reign. She even briefly falters, bowing her bare head for a few moments, before righting herself and turning toward her stoic Second. Henrick minds The Widow well and while the pair don't speak, he does lend her the support of a large hand that comes close to touching her shoulder before withdrawing, whereby he shifts his attempt to the Onyx Courtiers who have placed themselves close to the former Queen. "We'll be going," he says to them while The Widow finds her feet.
While there is still unease, there is also puzzlement, and after a quick search of the rest of the room, bright eyes lingering briefly upon the other Summers present, Nemo twists again to eye Amadei and Jazz with a dubious, but not unfriendly air before commenting too quietly to easily be overheard. At the changing of the seasons, she tenses, watching the Winters and the Springs.
Cerise examines the new arrival closely, tensely, then relaxes and murmurs something before looking around again, worriedly. However, upon noticing the shift in the crown, and the shift in the air, her gaze snaps to the changing of the monarch, and she watches, fascination seeming to briefly trump tension. Her head cants, watching the crown move from The Widow to May.
Jaci lets out a breath, a sigh, a happy sigh, brown eyes soft and her head tilting to one side. The moment has come and passed and Spring has sprung. "Woo!" she whoops, applauding loudly before she realizes that she's practically if not completely alone. She slows, lowering her hands, then stops altogether. She manages to look both relieved and embarrassed.
Dorothy smiles to the outgoing Winters, bowing her head respectfully - even if the smile means she winces in pain from the acid burns to her mouth - and then she looks to May with a wistful curiosity. And another deep nod, before falling still once more
May was already a smiling, happy thing, standing beside Richard, with her siblings behind her. Then the crown appears on her head and her chin lifts proudly while her smile brightens. Oh yeah, it's good to be queen. She turns toward Richard, stepping closer to him. Okay, so she steps right up against him. She's Spring, okay? And she leans up to kiss him, leaning into him and lingering over the kiss. A celebratory kiss because hey, she's queen again. And how else is the Spring Queen supposed to start off her reign?
Shivering at the blow of winter air, once the spring breeze moves through Avery looks to May as well. She's smiling, and tense. Hopefully it all goes well. The last thing they need is a rough start to spring. She reaches over and takes Kouri's hand in hers.
Tock does, indeed, shiver at that chill wind that precedes the kinder spring breeze. Being made of mostly metal does not make one friends with the cold. A muscle in her jaw tenses visibly as the Crown passes. If there is a dramatic time for things to happen, this is one of those...just tense and waiting.
Elmo has totally been here the whole time with Isa and Nemo, Honest! Grim stoicface grouchy Elemental.
Grace brings her hands together, clapping politely for the Spring Monarch.
Holding a hand to pause the conversation he was having with Ryan, Ali glances towards the new queen with a grin and some small bits of exultation. Raising from his seat, he bows his head to her in honor of the new lady before he returns to his seat.
Lyd takes her cues from the Widow and Henrick first, a subtle nod and bowing of the Gremlin's head as she shifts her posture and stops leaning back against the wall. The crown has been passed on, getting a small two claps from the gutterpunk before her whole attention is on her Onyx Court betters again.
Richard Horne lets go of his worry and grumbly-anxiety for a moment as the crown goes to May, looking over at her with a smile. The seasons change and winter gives way to spring -- it is a time for renewal and fresh starts. Perhaps all that the Freehold has had to deal with recently is behind them now? One can only hope.
When the Spring Queen leans in to kiss him, he draws her in. Hand on her face, a black talon traces along the line of her jaw and he whispers something to her -- likely words of encouragement or congratulations. Maybe he is complimenting her ass. Column A, column B. He returns the kiss and starts to pull back.
Rhys's gaze also turns to the change from Winter to Spring, takes a long sigh and smiles briefly. Then he goes back to scanning and tinkering with his knife.
Reagan has been quiet and watching the proceedings. Golden eyes shifting over those he knows before landing on those he does not. Leaning in to his table as his eyes remain on the proceedings. "Shut. Up." he tells the entire table, not bothering to look at anyone in particular but apparently really focused on the entire Crowning taking place.
Britta watches the changing of crowns with a somewhat dour look. She does share a look of relief at the Widow, her long time ally, is relieved on the burden in these troubled times. She glances around the front of the hollow, making sure the guards are well in hand. She claps distractedly, brief, but there.
Sheldon drifts towards the back and claps politely, making sure there is a clear line of escape for the outgoing Regent and her Second.
Chastity considers, then claps politely for the newly crowned monarch, face pinching up in poorly concealed disapproval of the Queen's way of celebrating. This official business done, she stands and moves toward the wall near the door with the other highly cauious Lost. She's ready...to flee, probably, but maybe help, if anything goes sour from this point on.
Billy falls into silence after uttering something short in response to Leander, his eyes drifting toward the Widow. He bows his head toward her and takes a moment of silence before moving to take a drag from his cigarette. His eyes trail over to look at the Spring Queen; he watches her and Richard but doesn't clap. Instead, he remains silent, his spare hand drumming against the hilt of his rapier softly.
Brielle looks up to her head, nah, not happening. But a girl could hope for the fancy hat! She gives a bit of a clap for May though. There's no movement of the Shadowsoul from her spot and she starts watching the crowd that has gathered. Making sure no ones about to burst into flames or anything. That would suck.
"Yay!" Wendell claps a bunch as he continues looking around for something to munch on. He sniffs around the place hoping some kind of foods will be presented. Hopefully ones that will be worthy of Spring. Those large black eyes glance around like he's expecting something.
Owen does bow his head, low, to the new queen - and can't quite clap; not and hold the weapon. He does gesture to some Summers, to make sure the outgoing regent and second are escorted out and have some guards around.
Kouri stands up, clearing a delicate throat. The satyr may be known to a few here, but not all. "Friends!" that gentle, melodic voice sounds out. "Spring has arrived. It is time to cast away the fear and paranoia of winter. Our new Queen, won't you lead us in celebration? In bringing the season of desire to full bloom?" A bright smile scans the room at all the tense faces still remaining. "I offer my own assistance in this regard, of course..."
"Hurrah," Ryan says, cheering very quietly. For all that he does look and sound quite pleased. Spring has come, finally. There's a grin for their new Queen and the Autumn regeant, and then Ryan turns back to his table.
Cerise gives a sharp look towards Reagan, a question in her eyes, then turns and stares fixedly at the Spring Monarch and the Autumn Monarch. And, for a moment, on the Widow, departing so quickly.
Leander is, for the most part, quiet, not really engaging in much of the conversation at the table. He watches fairly attentively as things proceed, eyes flitting about the place as he fidgets somewhat nervously in his seat. He's not getting his hopes up yet, but so far so good, right?
Nemo very visibly flicks Reagan the birdy, but doesn't comment, attention only halfway on the tablemates. Most of her focus is on the other Summers in the room, the shadows, the windows, the exiting Winters.
May laughs softly at whatever sweet nothings Richard whispered to her. She leans back and smiles up at the Autumn Regent for a moment, and that smile? It's got a tinge of something Not Good. Very Not Good. And then, as her first act as Spring Queen? It isn't to start happy fun times. It isn't to make a proclamation. It's to take half a step back, whisper something, and STAB Richard. She doesn't savor it though, but yanks that knife out immediately and slices upward with it, somehow cutting through one of Richard's antlers, neatly severing it from his head, so it falls to the floor, making entirely too much of a clatter when it hits.
Isa gasps sharply at the sudden and in expected violence, her hand reaches down to scoop the dagger from her boot. Is this how this normally goes down? She has never been to a spring crowning, but the enscorcelled gets the feeling that no it's not.
Jaci takes a step back and holds her breath. She watches, sharply alert, but doesn't act. No, this is above her pay-grade.
Blinking, Ali raises up from his seat his body already reacting at least to let him be able to move a lot more faster if necessary. Tilting his head glancing between May and Richard, he seems to be appraising the situation. "Unexpected act as the new queen..."
Nemo jerks, half-rising from where she kneels atop her table, and may very well end up thwacking Isa with a half-opening wing. Jaci was psychic and stepped away. Smart seagull. "What the _fuck_?" Eloquent as always.
Chastity gasps and rubs her eyes, as if trying to make sure she really saw what just happened. She then clenches her grip around her bible, and begins to whisper prayers under her breathe, though it's hard to tell whether it's for Richard, the Queen or those who have just witnessed the murder.
Billy stands up to his feet immediately as that knife is jabbed into Richard. He looks down at Leander and Lex, then around the room. He says something in Winter Cant. His fingers stop drumming on his rapier and, instead, his hand wraps around it. He stares at the new Queen, shifting his weight to get away from the table and moving to place his body between her and his fellow Courtiers.
Hand goes to gun in an instant and Lyd is ready for a quick draw, stepping close to the Widow and Henrick and keeping those pupil-less eyes of hers darting about, given how her head darts this way and that. A mouth swathed in shadow utters Mourning Cant, audible only to those of the Onyx Court as she awaits an immediate direction if it comes. Winter was on its way out and she fully intends on sticking close to the Widow no matter the cost.
Cerise half-rises to her feet, her hand already half-pulling her rapier free before she stops herself. Perhaps her own thoughts are on par with Isa's... she's never been to one ofthese before. Maybe it's traditional for an incoming monarch to stab her opposite number like that. But, well. She's sworn to an Autumn, and that's the Autumn leader bleeding and half-dehornicated up there. Blue eyes flick around, assessing, a little wild.
Anna is quick to move toward her glaive but she hasn't pulled it down from her back yet. She's facing what is going on and staring with wide, solemn eyes. There are no words to be spoken for this nor is there anything that she seems prepared to do about this situation. So she watches without making her thoughts clear.
Staring at the Queen, Avery looks up to Kouri and tugs the satyr back down. Her eyes travel over to the door and she looks to the others at her table. "Wendell, consider helping get the monarchs out, just in case." She suggests to her table mate.
Tock's bow raises at this sudden motion, but...what does one /do/ with such a thing at such a time. Her crystal-like eyes dart back and forth between May and Richard. One of them is disguised? Mind controlled? Knew something the rest of them didn't know? Something worse? And which one? She spares glances to the crowd to ensure there is nothing like a panicked stampede getting ready to form, her muscles going taut, just ready to make...some move but not knowing which.
Ryan's chat at his table is again interrupted by outside events, as the collective gasp in the room registers on the wizened. He may have missed the Queen stabbing Richard Horne, but Ryan is quick to catch up when he sees the knife in May's hand, and the blood. "Did she ...?" Still as a stone, he sits there in shock.
Abraham presses himself against the nearest wall as things get violent, tearing his attention off the exchange to again look outside.
Dorothy freezes - her lips pulling up in a frightened smile, damaged teeth on display, blinking furiously and looking to Grace for advice, direction
Grace isn't very good at keeping her emotions hidden - she clutches onto Dorothy and gasps in shock, frozen, looking from one to the other, and then looking to see what the courts and the people seem to be doing. Awaiting explanation.
Wendell claps again. "Well gee, hope uhhhh." Wendell gasps and looks over at what just happened. "Aw crap what's going on?" He squints his eyes. "Am....am I gonna have to kill the lighthouse too?" He glances at Avery. "Okay uh....you think the Monarchs should come with me then?" Wendell stands up from his table and draws his massive sword.
Jazz goes utterly still, the way a cat does before it pounces, coiled and ready. She watches, of all people, Reagan for reaction.
Richard reaches down, gets in a little ass-grab in on the tail end of that kiss. He gives May a bit of a wink, a rogue-ish 'we'll continue this later' smile as he starts to turn away. And then? Then the bitch stabs him. SHE STABS HIM. He bellows out a roar that is at once angry, wounded and betrayed. What it isn't? Surprised. Their relationship has always been .. complicated.
Gripping his body where she stabbed her, blood pours from between his taloned-fingers and his staggers down to one knee. He growls at her, incapable of putting his rage into words just yet as chaos explodes around him. Simon and Wickham start to move forward but they are close enough to help him immediately. "Fucking..." Eye-twitch. Rage. Grrr. Pain. Hurt.
Kouri puts a hand on Avery's shoulder, staring at the unfolding chaos and carnage. The pretty thing looks to Avery with a hard to read expression. "If anything happens, my love, run. Flee and be safe." Richard's wounds are considered, and Kouri stays standing at the ready, though near the table.
"Is someone going to fucking fo something?" comes from Isa, who while aware that she is on the perphery of this community just also saw that spring bitch stab her king.
Amadei remarks to Jazz, sadly, "I think this is beyond the fuzzy handcuff stage."
Brielle blinks once, "Well...that was unexpected." she whispers as she looks to the other Monarchs. What /does/ one do in this moment. She blinks at the bleeding Autumn Regent and then back to May. Umm. Maybe she was going to explain just exactly why she stabbed the off again on again lover?
Leander rises smoothly to his feet, a knife in each hand appearing as if from nowhere as he does so. He murmurs something to the others at his table and his eyes shoot nervously about the room, ready for anything.
Britta rises at the glint of steel and the Summer regent is slipping a gauntlet onto her hand. It crackles with the stormy lightning that courses through her body. She stares horrified at what May has done and is left speechless for a moment. Finally her voice booms out, "What have you -done-, May?"
Sheldon stops cold as he sees the Spring and Autumn fallout. He goes slackjawed, giving a slow reptilian blink. Then the highschool gym teacher says with utmost delicacy, "Fuck! What the fuck! May!"
"Get ready folks - get ready, let the bosses handle it," Owen calls from his armor, not doing anything stupid like pointing his weapon at May - although he is angling himself a bit to try to get a wide angle at the room.
Elmo watches, blinking slowly, his left eye starting to glow with amber light. He stands, but does not move, eyes narrowing.
Blanche cocks her head from her spot on the periphery, and she glances to her family, brow furrowing slightly, then to the Regents, easing further back toward the wall.
Isa is on her feet already as well, a dagger held firmly in one hand as she watches, growing increasingly.... furious rather than scared. Bonus for any summers that are close by.
Billy remains at the edge of the table. He's also scanning the room, looking for any other potential trouble. He calls out to the Widow and Lyd: "Does the moon fall below distant hills before dawn?" This is likely the Cant, again. This really isn't the time to be zen, after all. He looks to Leander and nods slowly, then fans away from the table, backpedaling toward another table of Lost.
Rhys looks up, sees the stabbing, and gets up from off the wall, knife also in hand, looking around briefly.
Ali remains standing as he watches, though he glances towards Owen and Tock to key him in perhaps better.
Lex stands with Leander and Billy, knife out and ready. He watches the Widow and Lyd, seeing that is taken care of and then looks to see where they can help most should it come to that.
There's a sharp, shrill noise that falls from Caroline's lips as she watched her regent get gutted by that horrible Spring bitch in front of erryone! "HARLOT!" It's almost more than the Water-dweller can stand as she begins to hectically try to shove, climb, or crawl through the packed crowd in a futile attempt to lend Richard some manner of aid.
From outside the Lighthouse there is a low bellowing that is hard to hear immediately until it starts to fill the ears. Turning into a crescendo of piping noise, massive trumpets sounding off in the distance. The very term trumpet used lightly, it sounds more like a horn straight from the bowels of Hell to mark the arrival of something dark and wicked.
Those who know their Local Gentry, those who have studied it, those who may of been Captured by it? That is the telltale sign that the Jack O'the Green is near. Very... very near.
Another sounding of the trumpet, closer now in a matter of mere seconds.
May doesn't seem bothered by Richard's words, or even Caroline's shouted 'harlot'. She just continues to smile, all too pleased with herself. When she hears the sound from outside? Her smile only grows bigger. "Hear that, lover?" she asks of the Autumn Regent, her head turning toward the sound, looking entirely too pleased by what it heralds.
The sound of horns ring out and Richard's eyes widen, a thousand terrible memories flooding his senses. He knows this hunter. He knows this hunter too horribly well and he knows what this all means now. The hand clutching his bloody wound curls into a fist, fingers digging into his own flesh as a shaking rage consumes the Hunterheart. His other hand reaches for his antler, the one May severed from his head and now lies on the ground nearby.
When the Spring Queen turns to the trumpets, he moves swiftly to his feet, grabbing her by the throat and driving his bony weapon into her gut. Pushing up and deep, he gets his face inches from hers and snarls. "I loved you, you know.." he rasps through gritted teeth.
May's eyes widen, not because she recognizes the horn, but because she now has an /antler/ stuck in her. She gasps and her gaze slides back to Richard, her free hand moving to her stomach because, hey, that shit HURTS. "Richard," she gasps, face going pale. Her joy at being queen again, at hearing those horns, has faded. Sure, he got stabbed, but it looks like May? Is hurt bad. Very bad.
Wendell looks around confused and conflicted. He lets out a little groan like someone who is stalling on a decision, looking to the others for direction. "Um, what's....what's going on? Who do I hit? The person who called the queen a whore? The queen? Errrr..." Wendell looks around but he's still got the blade out. "Dunno what's happenin' but I don't wanna go back."
Looking up sharply at the sound of the horns, Avery trembles and slides under her table. The glowing woman knows those horns and the horror of watching May gutted on the day the crown changed to spring doesn't shake her nearly as much as the prospect of seeing Him again. "Kouri...it's Him." She whispers and tucks herself into a ball to make room for others in her hiding place.
Abraham looks over to Owen for direction. This is clearly a time to do something, so he expects the local soldier boy to take charge.
"Evacuate. Now." Grace orders Wendell. "We leave. We get as many people as possible -out of here-" She grabs Dorothy and moves - for the nearest door to the world of mankind that doesn't seem to be swarming with Loyalists and/or Gentry.
Owen starts as Richard moves, and his head turns at the sounds, "Alright. I want two warriors through the Hedge gate, NOW!" he calls. "Make sure the area is secure. Summers, get people organized and to the Hedge gate. Ali, grab my case if you don't mind. Get a move on people, we do not want to be here when that thing gets here! Move move move!"
Britta hears the sound of the horns and the baying of the hounds and she pales. She curses, unmistakable harsh words as it becomes clear what's happening. She shouts in her thunderous voice, "Shel! Get these people out of here! Get them out!" She starts to shove people towards the exit.
Sheldon does as he is instructed and starts to herd people out, giving motivational gym teacher shoves and shouts.
Amadei had actually taken a half-step forward, for whatever reason, but the horns check him, and instead he turns toward Jazz. "Not /ours/, but not good," he says quietly.
Jaci remains where she is until the remaining non-trators can figure out what's going on. Who is not a traitor is no longer clear to her. Above. Her. Pay-Grade!
Cerise has -read- about the Gentry, a bit. She's heard about them. But it's one thing to read that this one Keeper is announced by an incoming horn, and another to hear a horn and understand, way down on the instinctual level, just how -bad- things are. Most of the Lost probably do have that response. Cerise? Not so much. She's staring at the drama going on up at the front as horns ring out, and she finishes drawing her rapier, stepping in a little and turning to put her back to Reagan's. She's confused. She's freaked out. But she's not as freaked out as she ought to be. Not a good time to be mortal, this. Still. "Isa, you should get close to our Uncle and stay there."
Kouri watches as chaos begins. "The Hedge," he murmurs, looking up to the upper part of the lighthouse rather than the ground floor exit. "If...if we are to flee, it should be in the direction those horns are not coming from, of course." He clings tight to Avery, holding her close, looking around.
"Alright everyone! Unless you happen to be made of violence, I suggest getting out of the Hedge!" Ali is not in fact made of violence, and gives a whistle to the carpet to get out of dodge. "Can do Owen, consider it stolen." He gives him a reassuring smile and nods to Tock, a worried expression on his lips. He does however grab what shit he is supposed to and makes his way towards the exit in a rapid and pretending to be calm manner.
"Gentry," Jazz snarls at the sound of the horn. Fuck the Monarchs playing the world's deadliest version of the Young and the Restless, THAT shit comes later. To her family andd Amadei, she says, "If you can't fight, get the fuck behind me. Now."
Lyd's head instantly tilts in the direction of the horns, mourning cant spilling from her lips to the other Winter ears only, "Widow. Out. Now. Sticking close. MOVE!" The last syllable is loud, and while all of those outside of the Winter Court may not understand it at ALL, its intonation is chilling enough and echoed visibly in the frost that webs across the Gremlin's blackened fingers as the .45 is pulled from its holster. Nice or not, Lyd pushes the Widow towards the door and looks full intent on staying in that door frame to bodily block anyone from following after her and the Widow.
Anna has her glaive down from her back now but she isn't doing anything in particualr except winding her way through the peoplestampeding about so thast she can plant herself firmly beside Owen, of all people. She is't a Summer. She isn't running. The little Dusk Court fae is eyeing Owen thoughtfully- and then wandering onward and toward Brielle. "I suppose it is truly best to be going elsewhere. I'm somehow disinclined." That is really it. The question is if Anais will do anything productive..
Ryan looks hopefully towards the Spring Queen, waiting for the punchline. This is a joke, right? And then he shudders at the sound of the trumpet -- no knowledge of the Gentry is needed to know it is a sound he'd very much prefer not to hear. And May's reaction to the horn call, not to mention Richard impaling her with the broken antler, puts a damper on the drudge's hopes. "Uhh ..." Ryan hesitates, watching the shouting confusion that breaks out among the gathered Lost. Quickly, the drudge darts underneath his table, out of the way of the impending stampede.
"Son of a bitch." Misty exclaims, "Kouri, Avery, c'mon." She says, "We have to get you guys out of here before things hit the fan even harder." She exclaims, lookingabout here and there as she looks to see just witch way the evacuation is going.
Chastity remains just where she is for the moment, staring at the two former (?) lovers stabbing at each other, mouthing her prayers as she watches the two like a tennis match. The sound of horns barely seems to register, but the dove on her shoulder starts flapping and pecking at her ear until she pays attention. "Hmm? Ah," she looks around for the nearest exit, seeming immobilized in the face of the chaos and all the potential actions that could be taken.
Owen adds a few seconds later, "I want a few volunteers to stick around until everyone is out. If you're volunteering, come over here. If it comes to that, to protect the others, we're going to die probably. Decide quick. Everyone else, move. Do NOT stick around here unless you plan on dying tonight!" A short smile to Sheldon and Britta, "Ma'am, sir, it's been a pleasure. Don't worry, I'm not suiciding by Keeper tonight." He raises his voice again. "People! Move. Just move. To the Gate. C'mon now!"
Kouri nods, moving to follow Misty's direction, clinging to Avery. "Wendell, darling, stay with us. Your strength will be needed." The delicate thing looks as people begin splitting into panicked, terrified little fractions, and there's a mild frown. This is not Beautiful to the satyr.
Isa looks at Cerise and it's a brief look and it's almost sad. But then she picks up her knife, steps around Elmo, and Nemo and heads at a run over to the Autumn king sorta weaving between people in the fray as she tries to cut the shortest route between herself and the Autumn monarch.
Tock's healing compulsion has been screaming since the first blow was struck. In the chaos, she cannot hold it off any longer. Her mantle raises in a scent of Spring rain and she sends a massively powerful surge of healing to Autumn's regent. May's siblings will help her up there, right? Right. Powerful healers behind her. Tock takes a moment to snap to, back to her duties evacuating people. "Calmly and slowly to the exit!" she echoes the others, ready to cover the escape.
Leander tries to appear very calm given the circumstances as he speaks to Billy and Lex in mourning cant "Time to go, like now" although the blades in his hands shake just the tiniest bit, he's pretty frightened, but can you blame him? His eyes flick about, seeking the nearest likely exit.
"I should stay, I'm Di-kang, I could help." Avery murmurs, looking at Kouri. "I know what's coming." She points out and looks from Kouri to Misty. She doesn't seem willing to budge from the safety of under the table. "I should help Owen." She looks to her cousin then around for Abraham quickly.
Richard hates May right now. But he still loves her. It's complicated. He continues to push the antler up into her, the makeshift weapon doing untold damage as he does so. He continues to bleed, something about his wound having a stronger effect than expected. "What was on that blade?" he asks, his strength beginning to fail. The Hunterheart starts to sink down to the ground, taking May with him.
Chaos is exploding around him. Simon is in a mad panic -- his keeper is coming! Does he get out? Does he go to Richard? WHAT DOES HE DO? Wickham just stand there still, stoned out of his skull and looking absolutely stunned at what is going on.
Billy heads over to Owen and gestures toward Leander and Lex. "Get everyone out who you can. I'll stick here and make sure everyone gets out okay. I'll be fine, and I'll meet you when I meet you. What's important is to make sure everyone's safe," he looks up at the display on stage, then back toward the doors. He's trying to remain as calm as he can; he also hasn't pulled his Token blade yet.
Wendell shrugs. "Well....I'm supposed to protect springs and you is a spring I guess....okay. You seem to kinda know what you're doing" Wendell shrugs. "Better than nothin'. Let's head somewhere else." Wendell sniffs in the direction of the monarchs. "Eh...I guess their stuff doesn't matter so much. Let's figure out how to keep everyone safe if the bad stuff is headed this way."
Kouri frowns at Avery. "He is come to get you. Staying is foolish for anyone. Who is to stand their ground here against Them? There is no chance. We must flee."
Lex is right behind Leander. "Let's go." Quiet resolution. He looks over to Billy, who seems hell bent on staying till the last man out. "OK Billy, be careful." And he proceeds to follow Leander out the nearest exit.
May doesn't resist being pulled down with Richard. "Poison," she whispers weakly. Honesty while she's dying, perhaps? Or guilt? She doesn't look as happy as she did five minutes ago, anyway. "You /stabbed/ me," she says accusingly. Yes, she's hurt, she stabbed him first, but she's blaming /him/.
Rhys hears the horns over everything else, and he rushes over to Owen. "iI'm in".
Brielle's mantle flares to life. And it's appearance comes forth as a Spring storm. She was pissed at all of this. The stabbing. The Betrayal. Most of all the betrayal. "Well, I've never debated doing anything as crazy as this till today." she shakes her head. "Everyone, please get out of here. I'll try to gather up the hobs and get them out as well." she tells them.
Abraham seems to get the memo that it is evac time loud and clear. He hesitates a moment, looking to the grisly scene between Richard and May before muttering a curse and making his way through the croud over towards them. "I've got two hands good for nothing else right now, so I'll carry the wounded." Then Richard slumps while he is still making his way there. "I can't carry them both, anyone else got two hands to spare?!"
Caroline's push to put herself closer to the stage upon which Richard has been attacked is abruptly halted by the crush of changelings making mad dashes to the exit and those shoving their way toward the stage. "No, no, no," she murmurs in an increasingly agitated tone, though nothing near the volume of her earlier outburst. Still, she tries. She isn't interested in any false heroism, however; her focus is fixed on Autumn's injured regent.
Blanche is /not/ sticking around while Shit Goes Down. She doesn't say goodbye to anyone, doesn't make a big deal about it, she just moves toward the exit as quietly as possible.
Jazz is only sticking around until the last of her family gets out. She stays by them, putting herself in front of them like a good little cannibal.
Amadei says to Jazz, "I'm a healer, I shouldn't be running when they're bleeding out." Even though he does absolutely not look thrilled about staying. He looks over to Tock.
Chastity springs to action at Abraham's words, heading toward him and the stabbied monarchs, "I'm not very strong, but I can help."
"Isa!" Cerise yells that out in frustration as the other Ensorcelled girl turns and starts off -into- danger. "God damn it!" Of course, she proves herself no better the next moment. Rapier in hand, Cerise darts off into the crowd, too, in pursuit of Isa.
Isa skids to a hault near Richard and literally kicks May away and takes several rapid breaths before she reaches down and grabs Richard by one arm literally hauling the big man up across his shoulder. Oh this is going to hurt tomorrow. "Okay big guy you're going to have to suck down my fear right now because I need you to not fucking die and I can't carry you far.
"Roger," says Owen to Billy, a slap on the back from the big man. "Folks! Billy's in charge of the necessary stay behind. We only need a few people back. Everyone else, with me. I want this room emptied in sixty seconds! C'mon, we'll talk on the other side. Someone go with Brielle, get the Hobs out. If we can get them to safety, the more the better. Two healers on the wounded, we don't need six or eight! Two healers, two people to carry them!" Lower, to Billy, "Only as long as you need. Don't go fulfilling your prophecy tonight, ok bro? Just until we're gone, then you bail." Then he starts heading to the door, trying to usher people out. If need be, he's picking people up and pushing.
Poison. Fucking poison. "That is some dirty, unhanded shit. Even for you," Richard growls, giving the antler a savage twist before letting it go. Tock's healing makes his wound better but it does nothing for the poison seeping into his veins -- that will have to be dealt with at some point. Grabbing the foul Spring Queen's face in his talons, he gives her one last kiss. You know. For old time's sake.
This is about the time Isa shows up and kicks the bloody Flower away and the Autumn Beast looks at the mortal with a wild look in his eye. For a moment, for a hot second, it looks like he might maul /her/ -- he was having a MOMENT. But he realizes she is trying to help him. Okay. Hunterheart obeys. Hunterheart sucks on the fear. Halp.
Ali gives one glance back towards Owen, Tock and the others staying behind. "Luck to you, be well and return." He turns back towards the Trod gate and leaves behind the hedge for more pleasant worlds.
Isa looks like she might just maul Richard back she's so pumped up with adreniline at the moment. She keeps hauling the Autumn king the fuck away from May and everythone else. "Elmo is gonna be so fucking mad at me for this," she rumbles under her breath.
Jaci stands back and waits. "Nemo," she urges. "Elmo. This isn't ... this ... go. Just ... go!" She looks ready to go, but is waiting. For what? For this.
Amadei heads for Tock, calling, "I'll help you heal!" after gently squeezing Jazz's shoulder. To the runt, he says, "Don't stay for my foolish ass, all right? I'd be heartbroken if something happened to you."
Anyone looking to Tock for guidance gets a firm direction toward the exit. "Quickly and calmly! Everyone out! The best help you can be is calmly elsewhere! Help any fallen along the way, but please continue to leave." She is keeping an eye out for anyone going down in need of healing or assistance, any signs of attack on the fleeing crowd.
Cerise skids to a stop when Isa bodily picks up the king, staring at the girl who she knows to be her cousin.. even though Isa herself doesn't know the same. "Holy -shit-, Isa." Then, shaking herself, the sword-wielding mortal flanks Isa, rapier out, as a sort of... bodyguard. So. The Autumn monarch is getting carried out by one cute human girl, and bodyguarded by another. Both rather small. It's.. good to be king? Even if he doesn't have the crown. And has been poisoned. And.. okay, maybe it isn't so good.
Nemo squeaks when Isa runs across the room, blurting, "Isa! What--oh, fuck." Darting a look toward Jazz, the little bug snaps, "I'll try to get them back--" and goes very still, surprise and confusion widening already subtly too-large eyes at the sight of Isa hauling Richard over her shoulder like some bloody sack of Autumnal potatoes. "...Haven't seen that before." The sparkbug growls under her breath a moment later, which not only isn't fearsome, but is, regrettably, on the cute end of frustrated sounds, flicks a look toward Elmo and adds, "I'm dragging your niece out by her hair if I have to. We're leaving."
Suiting word to deed, the little bug takes advantage of her size and eels her way through the stampede. Near enough to hear the ensorcelled's remark, she agrees, "Amber eye alert. Here, give me a leg. Um. Hi, Richard. I'm Nemo, if, uh, you forgot. Sorry. This might hurt." The bug does her best to heft up some of the Autumn's weight, taking the back end because, well, short. After that? Getting the heck out of Dodge.
Chastity follows Butters toward Richard, reaching out to lay a hand on him to help him to the door, even as Tock's Springy contracts take hold. Her own glamour seeps out and toward the man, and after a moment she gasps and looks like she's going to vomit. Seeing that he seems to be all healed and able to get his own damn self out of the place, or at least has other, stronger people hauling him out? She turns, giving May a pitying glance before stumbling toward the exit, turning more and more pale as she goes. She's definitely not going to be much good now.
"We can't abandon the Queen" Dorothy insists to Grace as she's pulled along, whimpering in pain "We made a -promise-" The Truefriend says, insistant, even as she shifts down - sort of - to the size of a massive dog. Her bulk gives her weight - but she still follows Grace, whimpering as she goes
Jaci is not gentle. This is not the time for Gentle. "Doctor Elmo!" she snaps, grabbing the man by the shoulder. "Leave! Now!" What, does she think she's a Fairest?
Isa continues hauling the king towards the nearest exit, smiling greatfully to Nemo and Cerise. "Um Sparkbug do you happen to have any of those healing fruits any where because big guy and I are both going to need them very very soon." Because that cracking sound as she jogs along with the big guy, that's the ensorcelled's bones and ligements tearing.
It isn't just Isa and Cerise spiriting Richard away to safety, they have Caroline closing in on them with a quickness.
Jazz sees Blanche get out, and Isa and Cerise go balls-deep into The Shit, so sighs and goes after them and towards the Autumn Monarch they're aiding. "I'm /helping/ Elmo spank your asses if we survive this shit," she grumbles. Amadei gets a nod. "I'm on fucking evac duty, it seems. Yell if you need me."
Grace moves quickly with her motleymate, trying to make sure anyone injured gets out before her. "It's alright, the pledge was due for renewal." Grace murmurs to the Dog, though there's a grimace of pain as she glances over to where the Monarch lies. "I... Don't know if she is our Monarch anymore. I don't know why the Crown came to her head. Let's just get out and help those we can get out, once we're on the other side."
Kouri holds Avery's wrist, considering her. "You are gorgeous," the faun says, holding her hand. There's a pause. "If I fled, would you follow me? Or would you leave me once more?" A finger slowly traces over the back of her hand. The Fairest looks to Misty, eyes uncertain. "I do not understand what you wish to do by remaining here."
The lighthouse shakes, dust and small rocks start falling from the ceiling as something crashes into the lighthouse from outside in a low rolling boom, like a giant wave.
Crash! A hole opens up on the sea-facing wall, a round back object hits the ground, smacking one of Britta's retinue in the leg. Is that a fucking canon ball?! Yes it i-- er no! no it's not! It unrolls like and armadillo and a spider crab loved each other very much and made a baby, with flickering phosphorescent glowing on it's belly.
And then the doors from the hedge burst open. Another loud sound and the door is filled with IRON. Iron shields two meters tall push in and then spread to the side to let another pair of iron shields, that go to position in front of the first, again and again, creating and iron bound path for what comes in from behind... the shields are held by... changelings? A variety of grim faced beasts, all of them horned or antlered.
Cerise glances around wildly for one moment, trying to spot Reagan. But.. she can't. She's surrounded by family, and there is a poisoned king, and. And. She continues to move, flanking, rapier upraised and ready, and otherwise? Dodge is gotten the hell out of.
Leander dips his head in a small gesture of respect to Billy, whom he thinks is very brave to stay. Leander however, is not one to fight to the last when there is a chance to run, hide and regroup. His eyes dart in the direction of Lyd, who is covering the Widow's escape route, this seems a sensible plan and so Leander glances to Lex and jerks his head in that direction. "Tactical retreat" he murmurs in the cant, hoping the other boy follows his lead as he tears towards the door.
"C'mon, we have a duty to those leaving too, to protect them from anything else that may be attacking." Misty says, she's in no hurry to stay, gesturing for Kouri, and or Avery and company as she moves with a purpose to skedaddle!
Elmo is watching everything, like a creeper. STARE OBSERVE SO INTERESTING.
Yup. Lex tactical retreats. He's at the exit like a flash with Leander and they are out.
Jaci grabs Elmo and drags him along. She isn't strong but goddamn is she persistant.
Lyd has her gun drawn fully now, her finger poised over that trigger and all too ready to pull it if anyone gets too close to the Widow and her retreat. The cannonball makes its entrance and Lyd tightens her jaw, shouting to her other Winters in Mourning Cant, "GET THE FUCK OUT, THE WIDOW IS GONE, FUCKIN' FOLLOW. NOW! STAY CLOSE!" The shout is mostly directed at Leander and Lex, Billy too if he is of mind to leave. She will leave, though taking up the tail end at the last of the Winters as they head through the door. Her eyes search frantically for Henrick.
Amadei wavers toward May, and then sprints toward Tock. He's a healer, not a fighter.
Ashira bolts... yeah, this is way over her paygrade. She knows better than to stick around and so with a flip of white feathers she is out the door and into reality, followed by a dark shadow.
Jazz drags Reagan bodily - if he's still present - and accompanies Nemo, Cerise and Isa in getting Richard out. Fast.
None of you get paid.
Along with the last of the stay behinds - the only people left those that are willingly stay to die - Owen is planning on stepping out the Hedge gate with Tock and Billy.
The Widow is long gone. Her exit was availed by the likes of her Henrik Wagner, her Second, and a very loud Lyd. All the same, it seems that Winter's regent is in the clear, for now, but the same cannot be said for those who have chosen to remain behind while the horns of He Who Hunts become deafeningly loud and one of the lighthouse walls comes crashing down. The Farwalker who had been with The Widow turns to face the incoming onslaught of the Gentry with the grim resolve of a man who has perhaps already had his Fate foretold.
Tock is following Owen's lead. She will bodily push anyone who hasn't made for the door out in front of her as she tries to cover the exit. But exit it will be.
Rhys follows behind Owen and Tock, helping to cover the exit.
Richard is dragged out by a super-strong Isa. He doesn't really want to leave but he doesn't have much choice in the matter at this point. He does look back at May, looking at her crumpled, bloody form where he left her. His antler juts out from her gut, the Spring Queen a mess of gore and blood -- both her own and his. Is she still alive? Who knows. If she is, she is in the twilight moments of her life.
Simon runs up to Wickham, grabbing the dazed man by the arm. "We should /go/," he stresses, nodding a jittery head in the direction of the departing Richard. John just kind of nods numbly but doesn't move, too stunned to do anything but have a Keanu moment: "Whoa."
Brielle has hobs. Because they are people too! Sorta. The pissed off Spring is with the last wave. Because she wasn't staying and there's a bit of a look back to May before she does abandon the Monarch. The crown was still on the others head, but, this was her doing. Which didn't sit welll with the Shadowsoul. The blackness is spreading over the white of her skin as she ushers the hobs out behind the others, "Quickly now." she hisses like a mother goose.
"Just make sure that you're able to get out and don't come back through that door." Billy informs Owen. "I'll see you soon. I don't plan on fighting Gentry. I just need to make sure that - well, no one is left behind." Despite that, Billy still doesn't pull his weapon. Instead, he focuses his energy and his mantle swirls about him in a flurry of snow that collects and dissipates. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small pin with some thread on it, and then jabs his thumb with it. He drops the pin and then spreads his hands to the side, as though he's either unaware or showing no fear of danger. Following that, he opens his eyes. While there's a bit of fear there, his eyes swirl into angry red and purple nebulae. He keeps his head on a swivel to check for the others, making sure each one of them is out the door. He keeps his sword in its sheath at his side and blocks the entrance from the exit to where the others are fleeing. He says to the others, "Don't stay to fight. Stay to make sure we get everyone out, then get yourselves out. I'll be close behind you. Don't fight the Keeper - whatever you do, don't fight the Keeper. You'll be dead and that serves no one but your own idiocy." He's backing toward the door, away from those shields. "How many do we have left in the Hollow?" He calls out. The old Marine doesn't chance a look away from those shields. He's just flanking Owen and trying to make sure none of those iron-armed hobs get around them.
Wendell Nods to Misty. "Errr....okay.....if you're sure you don't wanna leave." He looks over at Tock and then the spring queen. "I'll do whatever I gotta. My sword is ready." He sighs deeply. "Once more my stickers will have blood all over them. And I spent soooo long decorating them."
Elmo is pulled and dragged, but he clearly doesn't want to go yet. The elemental is staring at the drama, like he was wishing he had popcorn. He resists being tugged away, and after a moment he looks to Jaci and says "Go! Watch Isa and Nemo." and then? Well, he's no longer really corporeal, he is shadow, slithering up the wall and more or less out of sight, lurking in the darkness. OoOoooOooOooooOoo.
Amadei followd near Tock and Owen, though he looks over his shoulder at May.
Jaci gets out while she can, now that she has nothing left to drag. Let's face it, it was because he couldn't stand to be touched by grime and grunge. Some wannabe doctors. She hustles over to the entorage rescuing the Autumn Reagant, but her concern is on the Spring Queen. She wants to help, she just ... can't.
Looking at all the destruction around, Avery looks to Kouri and breaks away long enough to tow Abraham with her. Lookign to Misty and Wendell, she nods. "Let's go. I don't like it, but if Owen is running it's not a bad idea we all evacuate too." She murmurs and looks back towards the changelings at the doors. Does she know any of them? The opposite of Elmo's shadows, Avery calls more light to her skin as she pushes the others out ahead of herself.
The Devil Abernathy, Reagan, stands to his feet after having watched all of this spill out. People screaming around him, running to the door as past Crowns are protected by their Court. Reagan just listens to the trumpets, scowling hard. The fact that his Crown had been stabbed and he in turn stabbed the recently Crowned Spring Monarch? Eh. He is entranced, his golden eyes wide and leering. The wall breaks, Jazz tugs him. He slaps her hands with a swift flash of his cane. "Tug me again and I will take both of your fucking hands. Go. Leave. Now." he growls. "CERISE!" he bellows out, looking for his witch. "Out!" he urges her to flee as the wall breaks and the antlered, armored army starts to move in. Another look to Jazz, "Go!" he bellows, pushing her. "Get the family to safety. Destroy anything that tries to stop you." he steps a few paces forward. "I have to witness this..." he whispers to himself, looking over to where he hears Lyd, staring at her for a moment before his fevered eyes look to what is coming through that broken wall.
Jack o'the Green is announced with a rolling, verdant carpet of thorns. The trumpets sound again, louder. His shadow is seen first and that shadow brings a layer of hoarfrost along the path that is laid before the cloven hooves that smash the thorns flat.
Eight feet, at least, not counting the impressive and majestic spread of antlers on top of his head. A bow the height of a basketball player is strapped on his back. Flanked on either size of him are massive Hellhounds that look to be made out of pure briar, leaking caustic acid from their thorny mouths that exude a putrid green smoke.
There is a moment of reprieve before everyone present. Every last soul feels the crushing horror of what they are looking at. The Jack o'the Green, with six eyes clustered in it's head like a spider, looks about and sees May. Pain crosses his face, pain that runs deep and parrallel to rage that he sounds out in a mournful wail of anguish and raw hatred. The roar so loud it hurts every ear present, shakes the very foundation of the Lighthouse. Every last stone trembles before he speaks, it sounds like a chorus of howling wolves, "RICHARD!" he bellows, pointing a taloned finger as he is dragged, stepping forward with a hoof that shatters the stone beneath it. Vines and thorns creep out along the area, up the walls that sprout purple and black flowers that open with a yellow mist that stinks of fresh blood and lilac.
"Wendell, I believe I still owe you a turkey." Anais finally speaks up, moving to join the hulking, fuzzy white ogre. She takes a deep brrath and hen slowly looks over he room at large. "Your intentions?" There really isn't much opportunity to say more. Not witt Jack o' the Green entering in a most grandiose way. So she is watching that with very wide eyes and clutching her glaive.
"Got it. Get Tock out of here safe. She can't leave until she's the last to leave." says Owen to Billy. He hovers near the gate itself, bellowing at Abe and Avery. "OUT OUT OUT OUT!" to Cerise, "OUT!" to Reagan, "ABERNATHY! There isn't shit to see but our death. You want to leave your Ensorceled alone? Get your ass to this goddamn gate RIGHT NOW! WENDELL! OUT! People get the fuck outta here!"
Reagan says go? Jazz snarls and goes.
Kouri hustles out with Avery, giving Owen a look of gratitude. When the keeper behind them bellows, Kouri squeezes Avery's wrist tight, staying beside her. Not looking back.
Ryan has not left, though this is far from obvious. After ducking under the table, the drudge goes still and silent, peering out at the chaos in the room with a distressed and vaguely ill expression. Inconspicuous even when he is not hiding under a table, his presence is not terribly noticeable now that he is. The crashing, booming, smashing, and the arrival of a phalanx of iron shields does not leave the wizened with any great wish to be more conspicuous either. So he holds very, very still. The arrival of an honest to god fucking Gentry? He probably couldn't move if he wanted to. Breathing might even be an issue.
Wendell takes that as his cue to leave. Owen would not tell him to leave unless he absolutely HAD to after all. "Okay springs, let's get outta here! We'll rebuild! And throw a party some other place. Like we always do." The fuzzy ogre says waving his arm. He starts to head out, following Avery and Kouri and the others. He gives Owen a little salute. "I ain't gonna fall fighting some Gnetry. Not today." He looks up at the figure and the fuzz on his back appears to stand up. "This is more than I can handle right now but...if worst comes to worse uh....I got an idea. It's not a good one but if it comes to that I can slow them down and strip away some of the worst of the magic." He says in a little whisper to those who would remain close to him.
This sort of scenario is why the Squires of the Broken Bough formed in the first place. Perhaps this is why he came home. Billy has no clue. All he can tell is that his fellow Lost are in grave danger, and he swore an oath. He nods to Owen and reaches over to brush Tock on the shoulder. "We'll go out at the same time - you and me - after everyone else. We can't save the Regents. There isn't anything we can do for them," he's doing his best not to look directly at the Other. "We can rebuild," he echoes Wendell. This time, the Winter Abernathy chances a look at the exit and, with a sweeping glance across the room, counts the number of Lost that remain. The Hedge Gate is looked at with some amount of longing, but he turns his attention back to the phalanx.
The gate can wait, at least for now. He swore an oath.
"It's Jack..." Avery breathes looking back over her shoulder as she's towed away. If the others are running she'll go with them but there's something irresistible about catching sight of that familiar terror that is Jack O'the Green. Then the shinning girl is gone with a glance to make sure the other Thorpes made it out too.
Now that everyone is gone but Reagan and Owen taps Billy on the shoulder, "I can't convince Reagan to leave," he tells the man. "Last out," he tells the two, "See you on the other side. He doesn't see Ryan - maybe that'll haunt him, in the future. He steps through the gate as the last of the non-last line Lost.
That hole in the wall? It doesn't get and wider, but it starts to fill with more of those oddly glowing crab-a-dillos. The skitter along the walls like spiders, and from out through that hole, one can see the seas of the hedge start to retreat a little, the water boiling, the beach becoming much much longer.
The shield bearing entourage circle around Cernnunos, forming a ring that covers the gentry from all sides with walls of iron. Even they wince and cringe at the rage of Cernnunos, twitching but holding firm, protecting their lord and master.
The rest of the Winters, sans Billy, had escaped well after the Widow. Lingering in the doorway, Lyd had been seeing them through until that dumb Abernasty Reagan decided to make eye contact with her and stay. Well, that whole hired gun thing they have going? Her being his bodyguard? She swears to herself, mostly at frustration at what she deems his stupidity before sneaking back, tailing the back of the room back towards Reagan to try and get him out.
Amadei curses under his breath and veers off, heading straight for Reagan. "Please," he says quietly to the other Fairest. "Come. Your family needs you. If anything happens to both you and Elmo, what will the rest of you Abernathy do? I doubt this is the last chance you'll ever get to see this."
Richard's gone, sure. But May? She's still laying there in the middle of the floor, the broken antler buried in her belly. There's no doubt she's dying, but she manages to lift a shaking hand and pull the antler free of her body, dropping it beside her. Her gaze looks over toward Cernnunos, that same trembling hand lifting at the gentry.
Her siblings, March and April, are huddled with the others, terrified at the appearance of the Gentry, shocked by the actions of their sister. But for now, they're quiet, just watching.
"Anyone who does not wish to die, get out now!" Tock finally calls out. If it is someone's own Desire to die, it is not her right to interfere with that wish. She makes a final circuit to help anyone who will take her up on the offer and follows after Owen.
"Do you have a plan for staying out here?" Anais is asking in a surprisingly conversational tone as Wendell retreats and she is left standing out with Billy. She backpedals toward the gate now, the glaive still in hand while she does. "That will do something useful, I mean." It looks like she is about to duck out as well. "Because otherwise- running..."
"You run," Billy says to Anais. "Do it now. I need to," he glances back at Lyd and Reagan. Fuck. Lyd's still here. "I need to get my cousin and my Court-mate out of here. Run, kid," he says to her. And then he backpedals toward Reagan and Lyd. "Guys, look," he says to them, "Reagan, right? I think I heard that a couple times. We're family, apparently. Probably cousins. I might be your uncle. Who knows. What I do know is that you should get out of here. Come with me. We'll see the others on the other side. There isn't anything we can do here other than end up dead or Taken again," he looks back to the circle of shields, then at Lyd and Reagan.
Amadei looks from Billy to Reagan, and then nods emphatically to latter. If he could be any more pale, he would.
Elmo is Autumn, he's not gonna miss this shit for the world. Scared? For sure, but he's just a shadow now, and this... this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to observe. To /learn/ about one of the Others! What's the threat of death compared to that?!
Blanche isn't much different from Elmo. Sure, she's not a shadow, but while she's gone outside, she's not /gone/ gone. But who's going to go outside and look /up/ to check? She's out of the way and that's what counts!
"Such power..." Reagan hisses out with his golden eyes wide. Is he scared? Oh shit yeah, he should of wore his brown pants but the Warlock seems intent to study all his eyes can devour. Desire to know more: rising. Watching how the carpet of thorns unfurl out for the massive Gentry. The sound of rage and anguish.. that... that makes him smile and it looks cruel despite Reagan himself wincing in pain for the sheer volume of it. Still, he seems satisfied, like Reagan would like nothing more than to see this thing cry.
"It... it knows pain.. sorrow.." he tells Lyd upon her approach to him. He tells her that as if this is some great revelation for him. Some hard earned knowledge. Then his attention is drawn to Amadei and his upper lip curls into a marked sneer. Looking him over like the Devil is considering slitting his belly and leaving him here to die. Then to Billy, "If you watch... it isn't after /us/. His legion has not moved from defensive positions...". A raise of his chin then, narrowing his eyes at Billy, then at Amadei.
"Come." he more tells Lyd when he glances to her again. Starting to make his way towards the exit, eyes still watching Jack o'the Green.
The monstrous Gentry makes a gesture with his hand and the cadre before him opens like a door. He kneels down with the sound of cannon fire erupting from outside. Starting to punch holes the size of beachballs in the walls of the lighthouse. Tears. Tears fall to the ground, causing small trees and fungus to rise up as he collects May in his arms. "... I swear that I will kill you and everything you love, Richard Horne.." the being hisses out, even though Richard has long since been evacuated.
With May in his arms, the Gentry turns and starts to walk out from the arch from which he had came through the wall. Pausing to look back over his shoulder, "... take the Marked." he rumbles before he starts to take his leave. Letting the wild and thorny blossoms linger in his wake amidst the crumbling destruction of the lighthouse. The 'cannonballs' that were fired into the area begin to uncurl to reveal crab-like armadillos that begin to climb the walls.
Amadei doesn't shrink from Reagan's glare; no wilting flower, he. "They're moving NOW. And so are we." Which he does!
Lyd holds out her blackened hand for Reagan's, the other still tight on her .45 - much good it would do her. The veins at her wrist glow a ruddy emerald, milky silver eyes echoing that light at the edges of where her pupils should be. "It knows pain, it knows sorrow, but it is not the sorrow I wish to reap." she says coldly, the air around her chill against newfound Spring. The frost that had webbed across her fingers is snaking down towards her wrists in tiny rivulets, poking against her skin but not quite breaking it. "We are going. Now." she agrees with him, gun raised in the general direction of that Gentry even if she wouldn't stand a chance in seven hells. Whatever fire burns in her, feeding off the fuel of her own misery and pollution, is aching to reach out and touch the sorrow here. It is easy to see her own hesitance to leave, her own hunger to bear witness.
"Not running. Get your kin out of hee then," Anna responds patiently to Billy while watching all of this play out as if in slow motion. She takes a deep breath and instead drops her eyes to the spear sheis clutching in her hands. "Probably better to hurry up. For all the good that it does. I don't- understand what is going on with them. The fact we've still all our limbs is a good sign however." Anna's brow furrow as she watches the spectacle of the Gentry stampeding through and retrieving May. It obviously has had an effect on her, even if she's being mellow. She is in shock. At least there is a lack of panic.
"Fine, fine. Sure, but those other things aren't probably as picky about who they're here for," Billy points out to Reagan. "Which - at this point - is more of a concern." Reagan's on the move before Billy finishes talking, which isn't exactly an uncommon theme for his life. He gestures for the gate to Lyd and says, in the Cant, "Make sure he gets out all right. I'll be right behind you, since now we've got megacrabs, which reminds me of a story, but I'll have to tell you about it later." The scars on his hand burn an ugly red in preparation for a potential fight, and a little bit of blood drips from the blade of his sword onto the floor. He switches back to a language that isn't code, calling to Anna: "Maybe, but I'd say our limbs aren't long for this world." He crosses the distance back toward her and says, "If you stab me with that spear, I'm going to be pissed," as he wraps a hand around her arm. "C'mon, we need to go."
"What about the other two?" asks Amadei, gesturing toward May's sisters, though he doesn't stop hustling for the exit.
Rhys is still here, knife drawn, lquietly observing everything transpiring before him.
Lyd silently nods to Billy, falling silent as she ushers Reagan out as well as being ushered out by him in return. Her gun never lowers as they go, always pointed in the direction of that Gentry and the traitor be-yotch.
More and more creepy sea crustacean armadillo balls start to crawl into the lighthouse, like an infestation now, pouring in and climbing the walls. Thier phosphorescent bellies shifting and roiling with some sort of liquid inside of them, sloshing about as they scatter up and up and into other rooms, ignoring anyone unless directly attacked. Outside the sea continues to retreat, and from a /great distance/ there is a quiet roaring sound that is starting to become an all encompassing hum...
The Entourage makes room for Cernnunos's departure, but they do not follow him, no. Instead they set tither eyes on two remaining Autumn Courtiers, Richers best friends, Simon and Wickham. The two meter tall solid iron shields held almost lightly in their off hands while they draw Iron blades and start to fan out in precise movements, trapping John and Simon in a half circle against the wall. There is brief violence, but wyrd magic and hedgespun are simply do nothing. They ignore everyone else.
The crown on May's head winks out.
The crown reappears. Twice. On the cowering twins March and April, clinging to each other, each of their heads suddenly growing a crown of fresh green leaves and antlers.
"No, I won't stab you. It's for them," Anna responds with a shake of her head. She'll allow herself to be pulled away though she does add, "Weren't you getting other people to leave. I did say I would follow..." She doesn't drag her heels too much at least. Anymore. So Anais follows Billy while continuing to stare at the ensuing chaos.
"They're out now. It's going to be all right," Billy says in a gentle tone to Anais. "And thank you for not stabbing me. I like having kidneys. And a liver. Assuming you'd go for the gut and not the head." He glances to Rhys and then says, "Help me with them," with a gesture toward March and April. "Both of them are our Monarchs now, we need to get them out while they're being ignored." Back to Anna as he pulls her along with him to the gate. "Straight through and keep walking," he says quietly.
"Come /on/," Simon says to Wickham, grabbing him forcibly by the sleeve and trying to stir his high-as-fuck pal into moving. John, though, he just looks on in horror. May with an antler in her gut. People running, screaming. Crab-a-dillos. Gentry. Fucking /gentry/. "She stabbed him, Simon," he says to the jittery Darkling in distant voice. "Did she really stab him? Fuuuuuuuuuuuck..."
And then the Loyalists come swarming in.
Simon, realizing that Wickham is pretty much useless right now, pulls out a pair of hedgespun blades in a desperate attempt to defend the pair of them. In the face of iron, though, they rot in his hands and his contracts blink into nothing. There's no escape. There's no way to flee this approaching doom. Simon -- he knows what is coming. He is being dragged back to Arcadia and one doesn't escape from Hell twice. The noise he makes, the scream that is ripped from his soul, is a sound that would chill most Changelings to the bone.
Wickham is just .. lost. He doesn't even know what is happening. Tender mercy, that.
Rhys turns to Billy, and nods. He tenses up, and silently moves towards the newly-crowned Monarchs, and whispers to them both "You both need to leave with me and Billy. NOW".
"I'd probably slash for the head and perhaps an arm and stab whatever I didn't cut off," Anais responds to Billy agreeably. "Forgive me if I stay close until we're all actually completely out. Someone had to see everything that just happened. We still have- trouble to deal with as well..." The spear is vaguely pointed toward the cluster of Loyalists. "Not to mention the strange crab spider things."
"Okay, kid. Then you can help me and the other guy with the monarchs. We'll have to do names later." Billy moves quickly up to the twins and leans down toward them. He looks back to Wickham and then at the gate. He can't help but feel pity for the dude. He just saw his best friends Taken back to Arcadia. He reaches a hand out and starts to pull March up to his feet. "We need to get out of here, sire. I'm Squire William Abernathy, of the Broken Bough. If you're not aware of us, it's my job to help protect this Freehold. And that's you and your sister now." He looks to Rhys and nods. If March is amenable to being pulled up, he tugs him to his feet.
Ryan has remained silent and unmoving as the scene unfolds. And while he can breathe again after the Other has left, the invasion of prehistoric crustaceans and the squadron of loyalists is still plenty of reason to stay right where he is. What finally causes the drudge to move? The odd way the ocean is receding. That causes him to blink and begin a very slow and cautious sidle to the edge of his hiding place. Ryan's eyes dart around the room, trying to gauge his chances of making a break for it unnoticed, until his gaze falls upon March and April -- and their crowns. Again the drudge goes still. Damnit. The fate of Simon and Wickham earns a sympathetic wince from Ryan, but there's nothing else he can do for them.
Somewhere above, something detonates. It's like an explosion meeting a SPLORT, a KER-SPLORT if you will Rocks start to fall.
March and April are kind of...startled...when they end up with the crowns. Yes, plural. They're both monarchs. They look up to Billy as he tries to pull March to his feet, then Rhys. And with that explosion? They look at each other. "We have to go," they say, almost in sync, while they hurry to their feet. They've been monarchs for all of two minutes. They don't plan on dying before they make it to at /least/ ten. So they start to run for the exit, with or without Rhys and Billy coming with them, but they're sticking close to one another.
Wendell stares at the twin queens and blinks a couple of times. "Well....I guess at least I got a liege again. Two lieges. Welp, hope....they can give me somethin' worth fightin' for. And hopefully we can get outta this. If we cna I've done my job okay I figure." He looks up. "Er....that's not good."
"Good, okay, let's get the fuck out of here. You, guy, c'mon. And," Billy pushes a hand through his hair, sweeping the white back and staining it briefly with ink and blood from his weeping martyr's wounds. "Goddamn it. Why won't people just leave?" Then he shouts at Ryan, and also at Wendell, "Hey! Wake the fuck up and get on the bounce. Through the Gate! Now! Or we leave without you! Jesus-cunt-fucking-Christ, this whole place is coming down!" He turns back to Anais, since she followed him, then starts to make for the exit. "No drowning or getting smashed by rocks!"
And outside? Probably with a very good view of the approaching tidal wave? Blanche is getting the hell out of dodge. No way is she hanging around for /that/.
Falling rocks? Impending tidal wave? Shouts to get out? The surviving Spring monarchs finally making a break for it? At least one of these finally registers on Ryan enough to convince him that moving is better than keeping still. Out darts the wizened as March and April pass by his hiding place, and he runs behind the duo towards the exit.
Rhys heeds Billy, and after helping the monarchs, he sprints towards the exit himself.
"I am pretty resilient as far as such things go," Anna assures Billy, following after him as things begin to fall. Her eyes widen as he looks upward, stepping lightly avoid the collapsing pieces of ceiling. She's nimble at least, and it seems the collapsing building is getting a more visceral and complete response than the stampede of loyalists and Gentry. She'll keep following Billy for now.
Well the Gentry is gone, and there are too few people left to assault the iron bound. The shadow that is Elmo, leaves.
"Glad to hear it. So then you won't mind if we end up falling down a mountain outside of the gate or something here in a minute, just, you know, knowing my luck." Billy is also fairly nimble - more than that, he can very quickly calculate things with perfect timing. He dodges out of the way of falling debris and then grabs Anais' arm and rushes the exit with her in tow, casting a glance behind him as he pulls her through along with him.
As people flee, there are more explosions from various places in the lighthouse, those crustacean armadillos are starting to detonate in phosphorescent explosions, small KASPLORTS individually, but they are starting to add up, more and more rocks falling, crumbling down.
In the distance, that tidal wave is growing, oddly contained, aiming straight for the lighthouse, and for the really keen eyed, they might see a figure looming above it, trident in hand, feminine and tentacular.
The Loyalists? They are leaving the building, Simon's screams of terror echoing through the room, filling the air with the horror of being taken, the horror that no one is attempting to save him... then... gone.