Not THAT brilliant

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Michael James Watson
The next day is spent in practice as Vek helps her raise and lower the azcalan sigil. THe household is recovering from the disappearance of Coatl. He assistant takes over as House Mate pending Cihalas's approval.
IN the evening Vek suggests going back to the last place they went.

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah herself was planning that as well training with the Azcalan sigil. So together and with help would only be better.
Hearing the suggestion of Vek to return to the last place she nods and looks happy with the idea.
"Sounds like a great idea. Mom hasn't returned yet anyway we can spend some time outside."

Michael James Watson
"Now that we know the scene better we can dress better. Take some time today at it. Also, I'd like to check out some horses and get a look at the land outside the city. Nothing too magical. a few hours in the saddle ok with you or shall I go on my own?"

Amber Bronkhorst
"Hah that is very true. Dress to impress or dress to blend in? "
Alvah holds up two outfits striking a pose.
Nodding she says
"Oh yeah sounds smart and fun. Lets do that. We have time and wouldn't be bad to know a bit of the lay of the land. If you will have my company then yes.. if you want to be alone for a bit then i am just as happy to stay in the city. "
Alvah smiles genuinely to Vek and starts to undress to pick a new outfit.

Michael James Watson
"Company is good. We need to see how the people live. "

Amber Bronkhorst
Deciding on an outfit that she feels is right for the planned activities she twirls around before Vek.
"Whay do you think?"
She smiles
"Then i would love to join you on a ride out.. and i agree we should see outside the city. "
Alvah adds when she is dressed and ready to go....
"Would they wear ritualistic outfits you think? Tomorrow? Should have asked."
She then shrugs worrying about that when the morning has come.

Michael James Watson
Vek turns, looks to Alvah, "There is a way we can know what to expect tomorrow.. Cihalas said something about Zictala and Zentalas performing the rite hourly. I have a trump to my room here. Mandor is near by. You have a trump to the central location in Zictla in the Azcala deck. It shows a temple in sacrifice..There is another to Zunala, which is the capital of Zictla. We could trump to the Zictla card; see where it delivers us and what is happening there. WE can Trump to Zunala and make our way to the temple and see what we are in store for tomarrow at noon"

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah stops in het way she then turns to Vek smiling wide with a glistening look in her eyes.
"That sounds horribly dangerous, but in a way of preparing not bad.
Lets do it! "
She steps closer tk Vek and grins wide.
"I really like your way of thinking."

Michael James Watson
He says, "I come from Chaos; where bad ideas are a way of life. We both have a fully hung rack of spells and suitable weapons. You pick; Zictla or Zunala?"

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah looks at bith cards already having dug them out. She then smiles to Vek.
"Hm should've been half Chaosian then. Although Amberites can make bad ideas as well. But so far. Chaos is clearly more fun."
Alvah winks she then holds up Zunala and nods.
"If we are doing this with eye on preparing ourselves for tomorrow. Better to go there then."
She puts the other cards away and turns to Vek.

Michael James Watson
"The hall is rented, the orchestra engaged. Lets dance"

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah laughs she takes Vek his hand and focuses on the card that before had burned her or well seemed tk have burn her.
Now with the familiarity of the Azcalan Sigil she opens the trump careful to what she might see on the other side.

Michael James Watson
The trump opens to anally with a crowd beyond it under a night sky similar to the one of Cihalas's estate. Theres a heavy sense of blood in the air.
Stepping out they see streets lined with Azclana soldiers on the sides of the street, pushing the crowd forward. Their armor is leather and bronze, decked with feathers. Their weapons are black glass spears.
Vek steps into the crowd, pulling Alvah, getting to the center, far from the soldiers on either side.
As the crowd gets to the center there are dancers in the center, though Alvah sees they dance without joy, with fear.
On the pyramid top is a high priest, around him numerous lesser priests. He chants and sacrifices chickens every few minutes. Vek looks perplexed.

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah looks around with wide eyes. She makes sure she keeps a hand on Vek not wanting to lose him in the crowd.
Seeing the dancers it pains her to see. Remembering what the dancers had said at her mothers place. It must happen here on a more frequent scale.
Alvah stares up squinting to see well enough she stands close to Vek and whispers.
"This.... this is alot to take in. "
She tries to hold any judging sayings not knowing who might stand close to react to it
She then jerks her look up to Vek...
"Shit just thought of it... would they notice if someone from outside enters by trump?"

Michael James Watson
Vek, "I don't know. Trump has a very low power signature. Generally they get noticed if someone is looking. THere is a lot going on up there on the pyramid.. I doubt they expect foreign sorcerer."
Getting to a place Vek sees the soldiers counting people. Every 100th is pulled out of line and taken east to the behind the scenes area

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah nods
"Had to know. Heard others talk of feeling people entering their places. "
Alvah follows Vek to the spot. She cautiously looks around. Seeing the people being counted and picked out her stomach actually turns a bit realizing they are being picked out for sacrifice.
Looking up on the higher places Alvah tries to see if she finds familiar faces from the trumps. Or ofcourse Zentalas who she had seen in the flesh. Be it very short and without a heart.
"Are you keeping an eye out we are not being pushed to the guards?"

Michael James Watson
As the two move ahead a guard counting reaches in and grabs Vek by the shoulder. Vek looks to Alvah, shakes his head and goes with them peacefully.
The crowd pushes Alvah along into a great square.
SHe sees the priest perform a chicken sacrifice.
A woman beside her says, "I'm so sorry about your man.. Hopefully they won't pick him for the sacrifice. The queen's carriage just entered so it won't be long now"

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah tries and grab Vek she has a flash of panic. But seeing his headshake she inhales nods and moves along with the crowd.
Hearing the woman next to her she nods silently
"One can only hope."
She tries to keep her sarcasm and cynicism down but at times it is just hard especially if your new crush gets pulled away for possible heart removal...
Alvah looks around to see the queens carriage. She tries to move to a position where she can oversee a bit better then just seeing the backs of people.

Michael James Watson
She sees the Queen in Feathers walking up the stairs of the pyramid. There are no cheers, but a low bass humming, chanting comes almost unbidden.
Minutes pass as she reaches the top. 4 prisoners are brought from below, marched up the steps. At the top the Queen in Feathers looks them over, grabs one, pulls him over the alter and neatly cuts and withdraws his heart. Raising it its bursts into flames and leaves nothing behind. She brushes off her hands and walks down a central stair into the interior of the pyramid.
Time passes... An hour later a man in bright feathers walks up the stairs. He sees 4 different victims. picks one and sacrifices him. Dusting his hands he goes down the central stairs.
Soon after she feels a trump contact..

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah watches in amazement and slight worry seeing of she spots Vek between the people.
She is not worried to be recognized in a crowd so she just moves a bit to the side.
She assumes its Vek so just allows the trump contact.

Michael James Watson
Vek says, "Come to me"

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah nods and holds out her hand to Vek to step through.

Michael James Watson
Arriving in a tight long hallway, it looks designed to isolate people into singe file. Around the ground are a dozen Azcalan soldiers in various states of ripped apart dead.
"I got a chance to watch the sacrifice through a logrus lens before the second service. They stuck me with a drug that would render someone harmless and compliant enough to march up the stairs for sacrifice. It had no effect on me and the soldiers attempted to insist I go up the stairs. We should go if you have seen enough. "

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah looks around and looks at the bloody mess on the ground.
She lets out a soft chuckle and nods
"Yes lets go they are not done yet so we should be able to get away clean."
Looking at her feet she raises her eyebrow.
"Clean enough. Lets go you had a trump of our quarters right? Can't wait to hear your findings."

Michael James Watson
He opens the trump ,concentrates, and it bursts into flames.

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah turns to go with Vek but seeing the trump burning she looks shocked at Vek.
"That was not suppose to happen... right?"
Quickly she scans their surroundings. If there is someone there who did this or if this is a security measure in place.
Looking up at Vek.
Alvah inhales to remain calm she then quickly grabs her trump deck. Looking about making sure noone is there.
"Should i raise my sigil, chances are the trump didn't work since it is not powered from here."

Michael James Watson
"Yes, probably. I think it might be an automatic defense. Get your trump out to anyplace in Azcala, raise your sigil, and push power to keep the trump open. It if was an active defense we have seconds till someone we don't want to meet arrives."

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah nods already with her trump deck in hand she sifts quickly to a location trump holding it putting the rest of the deck away.
She then raises her sigil. Carefully but with a certain sense of urgency.
When the sigil is up she stands steardy and pushes power to the sigil while focusing on the trump card.
While focusing she speaks soft with her jaws clenched.
"No not ready for that family reunion yet."

Michael James Watson
The trump opens and Vek steps through quickly.
As Alvah steps through she sees at the end of the hall a man in battle armor of stone and feathers step in with the sigil of Zictla glowing before him. His sigil looks distinctly and noticeably different then the Azcala sigil.
He says loudly, "Avaxala! I knew you were hiding from me someplace!!"
As she steps through Vek taps her trump gate with a logrus tendril to slam it closed.
16 Zictalas.jpg

Amber Bronkhorst
Seeing Zictalas her eyes widen she just says a short but certain.
"Oh fuck.... Zictalas........"
When Vek is through Alvah jumps after him and turns to close the trump gate. Seeing the Logrus tendril from Vek doing it for her she releases all the tension in her muscles she had hold to fight or flee.
Quickly she turns to Vek,
“Are you okey? Did you get burned from the trump? Did Zictalas do something?”
She then steps back from Vek and looks a bit shocked.
“He has my trump as well probably… I think I should think of a lot of kittens and blenders. Or do you think he’ll leave it at this?”

Michael James Watson
"I think the defense was an active one and when i tore up his people he started coming to look in. Then sped up when i opened the trump. I don't think he is as concerned about angering Chaos. I could feel his malice. He is vastly stronger then me. I snapped your trump just to be sure. As for kittens and blenders, he might like that. How about reruns of the Waltons? "

Amber Bronkhorst
ALvah looks up at Vek although a slight panic is there, the amusement of the excitement is showing as well.
She starts to chuckle
"Guess we are a bit in over our heads. if he is stronger then you, and Zentalas might not be to pleased with me either seeing i helped taking one of her sons into protection. And she is strong to."
She then frowns confused.
"THe fuck is Waltons? But if i feel someone trying to contact me i'll let you know. Or he is going to play it through mom... or he is going to be there at the rites tomorrow... eeeh shit we should head back. If mom gets wind of this..."
She throws her arms in the air
"whyyyy why do i do this? "
She then looks up at Vek
"right right cause it seemed like a good idea at the time and it was informative... and really exciting and fun. Actually hanging with you makes me not long for the excitement of thieving... "

Michael James Watson
"You hang with me because you've discovered I can dance. He called Cihalas the minute the trump closed. Depend on it. Its questionable if we should go back.... However, we were not trespassing and you have a deck. There is a chance, face to face with him, you could just pull a Golly Uncle Zicty, I was just visiting the ritual..."

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah looks at Vek and bumps her elbow to his stomach softly and grins
"OH you are fishing for compliments i can start with that. How you are handsome, actually really sweet, alot of fun to be around, very talented in multple areas, very curious and your curiosity is infectious, which is a good thing . You bring the life to a normal boring situation. "
She gestures a vague hand gesture
"case in point where we are now. should i go on?"
She then takes her trumps and starts to sift through the cards to find her uncle Zictalas
"Yeah i still want to be able to show my face. i i don't accept consequences now this might not end up well. Better i just show my face say hi and.... ugh.. sorry.. i never say sorry... so i'll just exlpain and hope they won't have my head explode."
She takes the trump and looks at it before focusing on contact she says to Vek
"Best not to look in right away. when i need backup i'll signal you."
She then tries to contact her uncle Zictalas

Michael James Watson
He moves behind the trump, resting a hand on the wrist holding the card. In his other hand appears a pair of mandalay stones; Yellow and green
The contact comes immediately with a strong mental hand reaching through to touch Alvah. It looks at first like he is trying to decide to if he can dominate her. Vek's Mandalay stones aide Alvah's defense.
"Avaxala.....You have been a rumor for so long... and here you are. Cihalas has denied you existed for years. Xozla laughed it off. And now here you are...and with a demon of some kind...what kind of monster killed my soldiers? If you wanted to attend ceremonies you could have come to me, as would be proper.. Come now, I shall anoint you into the family and see to your placement on the lists. Cihalas has denied you."

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah looks at the stones with a raised eyebrow and curious look before moving her gaze back to the trump.
She stands ready to close it or throw a spell at Zictalas would he be to try anything... not that she could do much but she won't just lay down and get beaten.
She shrugs hearing Zictalas and smiles her sweetest smile she can muster at the moment.
"Hey, yeah, well not a rumor anymore then am I? And I would not call my friend a monster. But he is quite strong.”
She stands a bit more relaxed and looks at him straight with her determined look.
“I did not know of any protocol what would be expected of me, and I do admit that this situation was handled poorly on my side.
The story is this, mom invited me to the rites tomorrow at her place, she had also told me that you and Zentalas did the rites like on a regular basis, that if I wanted to observe we could have gone to you, but at that point I declined the offer.
My curiousity won at a later point and we wanted to go check it out. It was not our intention to kill the guards, i will admit that better decisions could have been made regarding that. But my friend got picked out and we kind of reacted on the fly. "
She pauses a moment then continues on a serious note.
"Thank you for the offer, but, like i said mom wants me to observe the rite tomorrow and from there we are going to look further how things go.
I do not want to deny my mother. I just wanted to make sure we could still see eye to eye.
I don't feel she has denied me anything.
She too did not know where i was, i just recently came here on my volition to learn more about the family, and the ways things go here. That is why tomorrow I will only observe and nothing else will happen."

Michael James Watson
He laughs, "A daughter of the blood pure, able to raise the sigil of glory? And you believed her when she said nothing would happen? That you will only observe? It must be the taint of Amber blood that makes you believe that.

Tonacat has seen you in dreams. He knows you live and now he will know you are here. Till then, your friend owes me lives and he will deliver them to me or I will take his. I smelled the rot of Chaos about the lives he wasted. Tell him a dozen live slaves fit for sacrifice and I shall not send the Cipactlix after him."
He pauses, "You look like Cihalas...And Untara...Have you spoken to Untara? Have you spoken to my son Alcona? "

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah looks a bit surprised by his reaction but tries to straighten herself right away, with a neutral look on her face.
Waiting for a moment to answer she then starts in a softer tone.
"Well... mom said that for now this was fine. She said nothing had to happen"

  • She frowns hearing hte 'till then' part. Shaking her head*

"Till then? till what? Is that a threat that Tonacat knows i'm here? And about the live slaves i'll tell him but i will not say yes or no for him. And a threat of something i do not know what they are doesn't carry as much weight to be honest. Not that i am not taking it seriuosly just... don't know the severity."

  • Alvah looks for a moment up to Vek and then quickly to Zictalas again. *

"Look, this all just could have gone better. And i won't apologize because.... i never do. I will admit my wrongdoing.
But i now have to think some things over and contact my mother. Cause if she lied to me as well then nothing is going to happen today or tomorrow and i'll be out of here as quick as i came here."

  • Rolling her shoulders she tries to move a bit to get her frustrations under control knowing full well she will do impulsive things when she gets angry.*

"Yes i've seen and talked to Untara ofcourse. And Alcona... *she adds a shrug* Spoken is a big word. i've seen him. "
She adds after that,
"Wait you didn't know about me, neither did Zentalas or Tonacat. as in never seen me. That leaves little others to effectively hide my Azcalan imprint."
Looking up at Vek she looks a bit questioning since it is now the question who hid her Azcalan inscription then.

Michael James Watson
"I knew of you. Taunts. Threats. "

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah raises an eyebrow at Zictalas a moment silence as she thinks.
"Alright well, like i said, i will talk to my mother. If the talk goes well we might see eachother again. "
A half pull of her shoulder in a shrug she then continues
"And if the talk doesn't go well, we won't see eachother again.
Then i'll be nothing more then a rumor again. And no taunts or threats.
Give my regards to Zentalas.
Hope she got better after the tower ordeal."
Alvah will then try to close the trump contact.

Michael James Watson
"No, its too late to hide from me."
The trump closes.
Vek says, "These people have some seriously twisted heads. That's coming from a Chaosian..."
Looking around he says ,"That trump must really have sent us to the suburbs."
Alvah looks around and the location the trump sent her is a large collection of buildings with thatched roofs. There are a lot of people around involved in corn. Shucking, cleaning, mashing. There are wagons full around. Nearby buildings are squat and round and seem to be corn storage.
Off in the distance are rolling hills with strong rivers in the gullies, covered with growing corn. along the rivers edges ae vegetable gardens and miles of them.
The smell of cornbread being made is heavy in the air.
The people are in various styles of simple dress but most are topless and barefoot.
At the same time Vek and Alvah see a group of men and woman. about 20, coming toward them in a hurry. They carry platters with cornbread, skewered meat, carrots, sweet roasted and coated jalapenos. Some carry large clay pots of liquid with glasses.
They stop 20 ' from the two, kneel and put their heads down, offering the platters.. At nearby buildings that the people came from, other people ae gathering. Alvah notice beyond the building a group of children being hurriedly moved as fa away from the trump site as possible.