Inouv 39, 228: Festival of Lights

Festival of Lights
Summary: The religious tradition of sacrafice takes place. Headed by the Queen
OOC Date: 28/12/2013
Aldren Shepard Ray Bella Laetitia Faerinia Aidan 
A big field with lots of fires burning
IC date of RP

Cold and dark. Two words that easily define the atmosphere, not just the weather but the feel as well. The crowd is a mix of folks, a very large mix. Most seem happy enough but there are surely those with scowls about their nasty mugs as Inouv weaves in and out of their minds. But, there are those who take comfort in the festival as would be noted by the flame swallowers and other forms of entertainment that plague the grounds. Dancing and juggling and prancing and haggling are in abundance here half way through this religious activity. Half way, the traditional time for the sacrafices. Some say to Theodor to make sure time does not falter and the sun returns. There are others still that would insist it is to Inouv to appease him with mortal souls for oblivion. Despite each individuals personal beliefs it is an intergal part of the society and as the pyres are loaded with wood the crowd swells near the area where these atrocious activites will take place.

There is a large platform near the area where the three stakes are being raised and this is saved for /honoured guests/ of the tradition. Among the master of laws and the royal magistrate are a dozen or so priests and priestesses. One for each god along with the high priest and a few others that find it prudent to be there. Nobles are present as well. Mostly ones who seek good favor for their house in the belief that publically taking part will be seen by the gods. And then there are others. Most notably the Queen and Count Aldren. They stand near each other sharing soft words. The bright smile on Laetitiea's face betrays her anxiousness and the fire that burns in Aldren's eyes far outweighs any of the hundreds of fires that are randomly lit across the land.

"NO! NO!" Screams the first man as he is tied to the stake. "They forced me to take par-" A swift mailed fist from one of the mens subduers quiets him while the other two are now being tied. The second begins his own protests but they are quickly snuffed out as a rag is shoved in his mouth. The third man, however, seems to accept his fate though and goes with pride.

The most distinguished of these holy man now raises his hands and a quiet hushes the crowd. He will go on at some length in his sacred toungue. All manner of damnation spoke off before he ends in the humble prayers and requests of his precious eight. The man surely knows how to work a crowd as the only one making any noise now is that first cowardly capturer of The Count's sister as he uugggs and oooooffs with his teeth shattered mouth. Traditionally this is a task that will be carried out by the mans victims or even a priest of Inouv himself. But strange murmurings take place in the crowd as the man lights the first torch and hands it to the queen. Bowing and back peddaling now to leave her majesty with the instrument of destruction. Aldren for his part looks quite pleased and a wry grin is given to those mens whose fate is now entwined with the underworld.

The crowd is starting to scream for justice now and this may be the darkest it has been in Darfield in some time. The smallfolk are practically pushing each otehr to the ground now as shouts ring up in the air. "Burn them!" Some shout, "Long live the queen!" Come so others. "Death to the foreign scum" Is also a popular one. Still, Aldren remains quiet with a happy hatred in his eyes while he looks to the Queen now.

Ray is escorting the young Bella on his arm, holding position near the back. If there were a time he would be considered 'guarding' Bella, it would be now. He holds her, firmly on the edge of the fervor, watching.

Other notable figures in the crowd, to the side of the nobles, would be the Duke of Lakeshire, with his niece Lady Faerinia and other members of the House, all wearing silver and black to some extent to state their presence for the Gods in this day of nights. Aidan stands impassively, hands held behind him 'at ease', a pensive look in his eye that drifts over the cheering mob and back toward the stacks of wood which will see the men into harsh throes of oblivion. The Kincaids are never short of spectating, especially when the master of laws has judged the proceedings. The whole process moves the Kincaids in attendance. "I want to know what you see," he says in a quiet tone to Faerinia, as the torches are lit and the pleads of the guilty muffled.

Lord Shepard Kerrigan's face is stony and impassive as he watches the pyres being built and the men being secured for their impending execution. His eyes do not betray Aldren's happy hatred, but neither do they show any signs of regret for what is to come. Many things in life are unpleasant but necessary. Having been let through the cordon of Rioga Knights here to protect the Queen on Count Aldren's recognizance and having made his proper courtesies, he stands on the opposite side of the man from the Queen, simply watching the proceedings in silence for the time being, eyes intent upon each man as they are secured. He shows no reaction to the calls for blood, either, though certainly he hears them, all the while pointedly -not- listening to the conversation between Her Majesty and His Excellency, at least unless or until he is drawn into that conversation.

On his arm, in the loosest sense of the word, because Bella is hard to restrain to doing anything the normal way. She bounces up ahead, then stops to look at something, so that he is at her side again, but it all seems to work out. Only when she notices the general hush of the people other than the occasional shouts and the man up front protesting, does she cease her movement and look with confusion upon the scene. She tiptoes to see over the shoulder of the person in front of her, noticing the ones restrained. "Mister Raymond?" Her voice sounds tentative, hesitant for the first time. "Why're they up there?'

There is a soft cry, muffled in a draping sleeve when the fire begins to burn. Mutliple deaths have passed under the scrutiny of those smoke coloured glasses, cumbersome and now her benefactor in disguising to an extent the terror quietly vibrating her bodily frame, diverted from the Count towards the men and her head turns sharply to regard the spaces between the second and third men bound, transfixed. Lips move, to answer numbly her uncle. "Death and darkness, Uncle. It follows the flame." Before she can rally herself to a more fitting reply. "That…I mean to say, to glimpse what can be wrought with fire is not entirely…to my taste."

Aidan is thoughtful in his stance of fortitude, his eyes flicking only once toward his niece as she answers him, feeling the quake of her terror as if she had been brushed up against him. The numb answer that comes has his eyes scrutinizing the Count first, then the Queen, and perhaps any other man up on the dias to whom backs the pyre display, from man of gods to knights of Rioga. "Is it just those who touch the flames or to whom the flames will touch, I wonder?" he asks in response to Faerinia, offering a quiet look of encouragement, "No, neither is it mine. The sword and sea, as we say." He turns and puts a hand on her shoulder, calling her attention to him, nodding to her in that unspoken way to say chin up, present well, and look on to the benefactors of consequence.

Anxiousness indeed - the Queen is dressed up fully, in a gorgeous breasticle baring gown that shows off her creamy white flesh of just the upper portions of her ladies, the rest squished in dark royal purple lined with silvery fur of a beautiful fox that has now gone off to a better place, most notably around the girls. The collar sweeps up high behind her, cresting with that lovely fur, which also lines the long sleeves that drape down over her hands, and at the bottom of the dress. A tight bodice snugs up under her ladies, along her rib cage, snugging in her tummy which is still recovering from the last childbirth. There is additional embroidery on the front of the bodice, a griffon, the same that her husband has taken to wearing. Upon her brow she wears a magnificent crown, her hair having been left down, curled and braided neatly, shining in the sunlight and the fire of the torch she's handed.
Said torch is taken with utmost seriousness, the Queen stepping forwards, lofting up the torch to speak —
"My dearest people, all of you. Every single one of you. None may touch us. None may come upon our lands and touch MY PEOPLE. None of you. Let this be a lesson to those who believe that they have the power to do so-" A turn of her body, gown shifting about her, the Queen striding towards the pyres, her eyes on the one fellow she's going to set the flame to first, "- That when they make the CHOICE to harm ANY in MY LANDS, My HUSBAND KINGS lands, that we will respond swiftly, and with the mercy to allow them death, rather than the treatment THEIR lands would allow in it's stead."
Of course, being burned alive is tortuous, but …you know. Lets not split hairs. Her voice rings out strong and firmly, carrying out easily across the crowd as she turns back to her people. Her free hand, gloved in soft gloved, will touch upon her chest which rises and falls quickly, adrenaline, "You all reside in my heart, I will protect you all, always." And with that said she will tip that torch to the side elegantly, touching the flame down to the pyre to set it aflame, her chin rising up as she steps back to hold out the torch to Aldren, the Queens face stony, jaw tight, as she watches the flames rise up hungrily.

Faerinia straightens up, the feel of her entire flesh quaking to still a little as her kin supports her with the merest touch. That does not halt the intensity of the crimson eyes that watch the searing fire lick, blistering skin and devouring the soft contents inside. A moment later she collapses, in the most dignified kneeling on heavy skirts, weighted down by the water spreading its cold fingers through the flimsy cloth. Pale and clutching herself, unable to look away. A single name spoken through clenched teeth.


The Count remains standing tall as he listens to the queen. A nod of approval here and there at certain words. A brief nod to Shepard is given at some point. Not a happy one but one of duty. And the satisfaction in seeing justice carried out. When she lights the first one the mans screams turn from pleading to agony and any near would smell the flesh as it melts. When she makes way to offer him the torch there is a brief hesitation. /If/ he had any second thoughts, (a very big if) her majesty handing him the torch surely extinguishes them. The muffled mans mouth makes all manner of noises as the bottom is lit and when the rag in his mouth begins to burn his noises become screams. Sickening screams of redemption and pain. The Count is not moved though and when he stands back he does not even notice the priestly image of one who serves Inouv creep up behind him and take the torch. Setting the third man on fire gives a strange nad odd yellow glow to the illumination being sent up into the air now and eery would barely describe the scene as more than one person notices. Allmost simultaneously with the Albinos collapse comes a cold wind that feeds the flames as they lick the sky. that once screaming mob is now all hushes as the screams fade from existence and the stink swallows the air.

Bella continues looking on, until the Queen speaks. "You mean.. she's killing them?" She turns away and buries her face against the baker, trembling. "I don't wanna see, I don't wanna be here.." She breaks away from him and runs, runs, runs as fast as she can out of the area, unwilling to see, or hear, or smell the fires and what they burn.

"Indeed…" Aidan does not keep his niece from collapsing, the roar of the crowd as the Queen puts the torch to the flame is enough for him to know of what his niece speaks of. The Oblivion comes for those on the pyre, the chains of fire to rend their souls eternally ablaze, he is sure of it. And who else on the day of nights. He stands resolute, face turned toward the flicker of flame, toward the rippling sounds of approval for the Queen's promise to those against her House and her reign. Then the hush falls after the third man is set ablaze, the cold wind snapping under his cloak as the stench mottles the air.

Ray watches the Queens speech with a smile, and nod, watching the lighting, then looks to Bella as she gets it, although burning people at the stake isn't that hard to work through, mentally. It's the screams. As Bella bolts, he tilts his head and sweeps after her. There's usually an amount of people doing that. and this year he's one of them. After her in pursuit.

There is no satisfaction in the gaze of the Kincaid as she lifts her head, wintry breeze ruffling the silver threaded sleeves and braids as it caresses her cheek. From her skirts falls a dark object, faint gleam on its surface. Onyx, clasped to with trembling fingers stained with the mottled ink of a scholar, marking the ragged nails.

Shepard returns Aldren's nod, watching as his Count sets the second man alight. He remains motionless, waiting for Aldren to make his way back after the lighting is done. When that cold wind gusts, his dark red cloak of fine Greenshire wool rustles, and he shivers in spite of himself, despite the heavy cloak and the great deal of insulating clothing he's wearing. He doesn't cover his nose at the stink. He doesn't look like he's going to be ill. He got all that out of his system the first time he watched bodies burn, many years ago. So he simply keeps watching as the men are sacrificed to the God for which these dark days are named, not taking his eyes from the spectacle.

Laetitia will continue to stand there, and there is no doubt in her mind she will need a bath with plenty, plenty, plenty of oils and salts to get this stench out, and this dress …will get burned. Hands are folded against her abdomen lightly, chin still up, her gaze never wavering from those burning pyres, the Queen will stand there until their screams stop and they simply fall forwards in death. And she will do so for however long it takes, and may even stick around longer, mainly so she can, with her guards, move through the crowds of people to reach out to them, soothe them, cradle young babies, kiss those same babies to give them her blessing. Touch young children's heads and murmur words of praise and encouragement to them, all of those sort of things, touching elderly hands, just the sort of thing people need to feel revived, full of hope, as the bodies smolder upon the stage. Until she is moving off with her guards, to her carriage, which will take her back to the castle so that she can commence the burning and sink down into a luxurious bath. To sip wine and ..feel satisfied. Justice has indeed been served. Especially when she asks that the ashes get sent in boxes back home.

Slowly the Count backs up now. Taking residence between the Queen and the Knight of house Kerrigan. His eyes remained fixed on the spectacle ass the flames grow much higher than natural. The cold wind seems to subside and any truly perecptive folks would actually notice an increase in tempature. That cold snap turning to a warm breeze. The flames now begin to die and the sky clears up. Any wisps of clouds gone and the air lending a almost soothing nature despite the smell. He turns each way to look at LAe and Shep and looking back at the smoldering death he says, "Someone besides me must be pleased." The words ominous despite the atmosphere drastically changing.

Aidan does not move out to greet the Queen as she sees to the commoner's hopes and the revival of, instead he watches more carefully the two men on stage that had been most resolute through the process. Finally, as if he had seen enough of the Count and his Lords getting their vengence, he turns a look down to Faerinia, offering her a hand to help her up, "Come. We have seen to this long enough."

"We have…" Faerinia covers her unmasked eyes, spectacles clutched tight in a fist after she has been granted the warm, alive hand of Aidan. Sluggish to rise, soaked fabric clinging in wadded folds to her legs. Ironing herself of all outward expression, she displays an almost dignified retreat with a stately carriage. To those her patients, her actions would seem disjointed to them. Their impassive physician, acting like a housebred lady.

Long distance to Faerinia: Aldren was all about watching and stuff till the queen recommend he be part. Hopefully this gains him favor with one of these bastard gods! Pry just piss them off though, haha

The lesson has been outlined for all those to see in thick billowing licks of black smoke, rising high to be ensnared by the clutches of darkness, and cleared away by the incoming hint of warmth. Aidan notes the change in temperature, with a hint of a look upward. His gaze only sinks back down as he supports Faerinia to get to her feet, noticing the soaked fabric, though for now saying naught. Once to her feet, he starts to escort her back to their own carriage, because it is such a long way to ride to the manor house, his cloak with the silver lily of Kincaid billowing behind him. Perhaps he will be noticed here in support of the Count, as the crowd makes way for their passage, keeping his niece on his arm as if to display her proudly.

Shepard nods to Aldren, and while no smile accompanies the words in the midst of this solemn administration of justice, his words might almost be seen as some small reflection of his usual wry humor, "Better pleased than not." As the last of the men's screams fall completely silent, he looks to Aldren, his gaze finally assuming a questioning mien rather than the solemn and sober impassivity of the last several minutes, "Watching 'til the sooty finish, or shall we go raise a toast to justice properly rendered?" -That's- the Shepard Aldren knows.

Aldren for his part is mezmerised by all that goes on around him. From the change in tempature to the odd glow that surrounds the pyres. Shepards words do snap him from it after a moment though and he says, "Yes. Let us leave this place." He shakes his head as if to rid something from it before he frowns.

Round the stone is turned, between restless fingers lined deep in the wet skirt from view. One look granted to the stakes and the two nobles, shoulders hitching with what might be a moan on her lips. Feather soft and drowned out by the general hububb made by all with him. Faerinia viciously twists the drenched waistline material, before the night closes on, greasy coils high above the sky like blackened vines, strangling the air. Fast dispersed by the bracing winter winds.

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