(1310-10-08) Convergence
Summary: The consequences of several dangerous dealings plague Castle Chavaise once more as past decisions made by several key players lead to a complicated picture and a disastrous confrontation. Lady Desarae Mereliot later finds herself stalked through her own family home by a figure bent on revenge as her Cassiline, Nicolas Guillard, desperately attempts to get back to her.
RL Date: October 25, 2018
Related: Everything in this page.
nicolas desarae armand_npc leonard_npc 

Castle Chavaise

Surrounded by a second ring of stone wall is the castle at the top of the hill, a pleasant but also impressive building with the banners of House Mereliot flapping lazily in the faint breeze, from spires as well as flagpoles planted upon the towers, overlooking the city of Beziers as well as the river Orb winding its way down towards the Mediterranean Sea and the harbor.

The main keep can be accessed from the courtyard, and it has a great hall, where walls are adorned with tapestries the castle is famous for. An audience chamber, a music room, kitchens and servant's quarters are to be found downstairs. Whereas the upper floor is where the private quarters of the Marquise's family can be found. There is a wing with rooms for guests and other nobility living at the castle. There is also a private library, the door of which is usually locked.

Outside, there is a garden with a small orchard, where apple trees in full bloom are adding a certain charm to the scenery.

It is approaching later in the evening, and Armand Morhban de Mereliot has yet to return from his meeting.

The dinner hour has come and gone, with the Lady Desarae having no choice but to dine by herself - or that would have been the case were it not for the kindness of the family steward and her cousin, Leonard de Mereliot, who set aside his plans for the evening to ensure that she would at least have an affable companion for her repast. He fills dinner with easy conversation and something about his manner implies a lightness of spirit - the man is in a good mood, and he takes the opportunity to try and turn her worries away from her Cassiline, presently languishing in the cells while patiently waiting for her lord father's interview, by giving her the good news that he intends to remarry, having been several years widowed, and that he has made an offer to a lady from House Delaunay.

It is, at the very least, some much-needed cheerful news for the family.

With the meal finished, there's nothing for it but to wait. A pair of the Marquisate's guards, at the order of Brother Guillame, her father's Cassiline, shadow her through the halls and keep a close watch on her, to the library, or the courtyard, wherever she may roam, but the hour grows even later. As Desarae enters her bedchambers, her maid, Francesca, gives her a deep curtsey. Her pale face is steeped in apology.

"I am very sorry, my lady," she says. "I have inquired as you have requested, but the Marquis has not returned yet. I will, however, be alert and inform you when he has arrived. Is there anything else you require from me in the meanwhile? A nightcap? It's quite cold, and it might help you sleep."

Can the hours pass any slower? One would be given to thinking not, were one a certain young Mereliot heiress. A person would be forgiven for thinking that the afternoon were a wasted one if Desarae's actions were to be disected and examined, for she'd not managed to settle to any one activity as she'd waited for the news of her father's return. The window seat in the library had offered her the best view of the tree-lined approach to Castle Chavaise, and armed with a book and a thick shawl about her shoulders, she'd curled into the oak-panelled recess and kept anxious vigil. It was fortunate, perhaps, that Leonard had offered her diversion in the form of companionship for her evening meal, for it had helped to pass another hour or two, and forced her, at least superficially, to apply her thoughts elsewhere. Her congratulations for his news that was so aptly timed to lift the mood of the day were genuine, and were no less heartfelt than the hug that was bestowed on him before she'd returned to the business of waiting for her father.

But the evening had slipped towards a later hour, and then a later one yet, and the change from her day clothes into her sleeping attire had been a reluctant one, at least on her part. She wears a winter-weight robe of deepest aubergine over her bleached white cotton nightgown, belted tight about her middle with sleeves that drip over her hands. She gives an absent nod to the offer of a nightcap. "Thank you, I think that I will." Her thoughts are elsewhere with the failure of her father to return, and with hair down and braided into one fat plait that falls over her shoulder she curls herself into the chair by the fire. Nicolas, she was sure by now, would already have formulated his own plans for escape from his cell, and it was simply a matter of waiting.

Francesca is happy to oblige her - a relatively young woman in Desarae's service, she, too, has been there alongside Florent when the events in Beziers occurred and is always happy to be of some use, especially when it comes to the young lady's relief and succor from the toils that she has already suffered. She moves at a brisk pace across the room, searching for the pot of mulled wine that she has had sent up in anticipation of her lady's needs, though she frowns when she sees the way the glasses are arranged on the ornate, dark oak desk containing various libations. Didn't she specifically tell the staff in the castle to leave them clean and face down? They'll collect dust within standing the way they are!

And sure enough, there is some.

Frowning, she upends one of the glasses and brushes away the silt, using a handkerchief to wipe out its interior as best she can before she pours hot, mulled wine into it. Taking a deep breath from the fragrance of grapes and spices, she moves over so she could hand the cup with both hands to the waiting Desarae. "Is there anything else, my lady?" Concerned eyes flicker over the former courtesan's pale features and green eyes. "Please take heart, your father will arrive soon, I'm sure."

Desarae accepts the glass of warm, mulled wine, and Francesca is offered a tired smile as she hugs it within the circumference of her hands. Dipping her head, she inhales the sweetly-spiced fragrance that's born on shifting curls of steam. "We used to drink this at the autumnal festivities, though I was never allowed a glass of it myself. Mama though, she used to let me have a sip or two from her own." She relives the past, emotions playing her face, and swirls the glass to allow more of its contents to escape its confines. A shake of her head. "No. I think I'll just sit by the fire for a bit before retiring, but you may go. Please do ensure that everyone's aware that I am to be roused the moment my father returns." A pause, her eyes lost in shadows when the lift to her maid. "And…" she hesitates, "Thank you Francesca. For everything." A touch of humility shows in her tone, her gaze a quiet thing where it rests on her maid. It might come as a surprise to some that she knows the young woman's name, and with a lift of her shoulders, she takes the first taste of her wine. She looks a lost and haunted creature where curled within the enormity of the chair that she's chosen, and with her maid dismissed she draws her robe more closely about herself to trap an insulating layer of warmth about herself. She'll ward off the eeriness of the shadows that are starting to gather within the corners of the room by occupying her thoughts with the potential arrival of her Cassiline, and another long sip is taken from her wine, followed by another and another, until the glassis drained.

Francesca blinks at the address of her name, and her cheeks flush with the pleasure of it. She dips the seated lady a curtsey once again. "I am as always at your service, my lady. I'll come fetch you as soon as your lord father has returned." And with that, she shuffles away, to close the doors behind her, and leave the young woman in the company of the roaring hearth, and the thoughts that plague her.




It is close to midnight when Armand finally returns to Castle Chavaise.

He barely acknowledges his staff when he enters the foyer, though upon sight of him, Francesca is already hurrying up the stairs in an effort to get to Lady Desarae's room, and makes a beeline to his study after having called for Leonard to attend him. While he waits for the Steward, he moves behind his desk and turns his mind to the correspondences he must write this evening, pieces of business that have surfaced from his meeting at the port city of Beziers. Guillame's tall shadow takes his place somewhere behind and to the side of his lord.

When Leonard arrives, he is wheeling the drink cart, where he proceeds to pour the Marquis his customary nightly digestif; years of service have made him a practiced hand in anticipating the needs of the people who make Castle Chavaise their home. The crystal glass is set carefully near the busy marquis, and pours a cup of wine, diluted with water, for the Cassiline attending him. Guillame gives Leonard an easy and somewhat relieved smile, taking the cup and drinking deeply from it.

"Have a seat, Leonard," Armand says, looking up at the steward, picking up his digestif and taking a sip. "We have much to discuss."

Leonard's tall, lean shadow moves dutifully to the chair he normally occupies when convening with Armand. He doesn't appear to notice the dark shape suddenly blocking the streams of moonlight filtering through the study's large windows. Guillame, however, does.

"GET DOWN!" the Cassiline brother cries, and with one, lightning fast movement, he is leaping sideways, tackling the Marquis out of his desk and onto the floor, shielding him with his body as glass explodes from without, sharp fragments cutting his cheek and scattering over the room's expensive carpet. But true to the demands of his calling, he is up on his feet in no time at all - just in time to find a dark shape slip through the shattered window and land on the ground across from him.

"Leonard, take him!"

Leonard's already moving, both arms on the Marquis in an attempt to right him up. The Cassiline's sword hisses from its scabbard as he moves to engage the enemy.

He can't see his face; a dark scarf is wound around the intruder's face, but his swarthy, dark complexion and equally dark eyes are visible from between the covering and the headscarf bound over his forehead, leaving gleaming, black curls spilling free from the top. The assassin is armed with a curved dagger, lean, easy form standing astride, knees bent, over the expensive carpet. He is an unknown, the man does not look familiar, but his coloring and features, whatever is visible upon him, clearly mark him as Bhodistani.

Armand's expression drains of color. "No!"

The assassin's eyes crinkle in the corners, the scarf on his face hiding a grim, humorless smile.


Guillame wastes no time. He takes a step forward, blade in hand, but it takes only just that one movement for alarm to register in his features and the rest of his senses, screaming over nerve endings and lurching over his stomach. He is not moving correctly. Something is wrong.

Meanwhile, unaware of what is happening in Armand's study, Francesca has finally reached the young lady's chambers, and quietly knocks on Desarae's door. "My lady?" she calls through the wood. "Are you abed?"

<FS3> Nicolas rolls Unarmed: Good Success. (3 4 4 7 7 2)

Something is wrong.

He doesn't know what it is, but an inexplicable cold feeling of dread washes down Nicolas Guillard's spine as he lifts his eyes from his evening meditations. The hour has grown late, and despite his presently trapped state in a dark and windowless part of Castle Chavaise, he is painfully aware of the hour - his memory will not allow him to forget how much time has passed since his hopefully temporary incarceration. He has not forgotten how many hours it has been since Desarae Mereliot braved these passages to pass him what is literally the key to his freedom.

He had intended to wait for the Marquis, to plead his case and make him see reason. In fact, he was relatively confident in his ability to do so.

He was certain that even if Armand had other business to attend to, Desarae would have attempted to convince her father to come see him by now. So what then is causing the delay?

…no. I can't wait any longer.

Perhaps it is instinct, intuition or both. Three years guarding the late duc de Chalasse have taught him not to ignore his senses, especially when they're making him uneasy. There is almost no reason to be apprehensive, from what he had gathered, ever since the massacre at Beziers, Leonard de Mereliot had made doubly sure that the security in the castle could rival any ducal palace, and even, perhaps, the Royal Palace in Elua, itself. But every part of him is screaming to move, if not just because he knows his ward, knows how determined she was to have him with her.

Retrieving the key from under his sleeve, he unlocks his cell, and makes a dead run from the confines of his prison and through the arched entryway. He ignores the sudden, surprised cries of his fellow inmates as loping strides take him swiftly up the higher reaches of the tower. He remembers the layout, the number of steps it took to get to the dungeons. He remembers there is always two Mereliot guards at the very top, armed with a sword, dagger and polearm each. He remembers there is only one way in, and one way out.

Violet eyes narrow in determination as he reaches the door.

Even unarmed, the two guards are not going to be a problem, especially if taken by surprise.

Insidious and persistant fingers of darkness pull at the edges of conscious thought. Desarae fights the overwhelming need to sleep, her eyes lidding heavily against the warmth of the fire and the languid weight that's creeping and settling within her limbs. Lashes blink, their darkness settling a moment longer against her cheeks than they had before.

There's a knocking in the fuzziness at the back of her skull. Urgent and insistent. No, not in her skull. The knocking is in the room, and growing louder as Francesca's voice pierces the fog of darkness and pulls Desarae back to lucidity. "My Lady! Your father has returned!"

Movements are slow and heavy as Desarae struggles against the weight of sleep that seems determined to claim her, and she pulls herself with effort from her chair. She's no real perception of the time that's passed in the interim between when Francesca had left her and now, and drawing the dark folds of her robe about her, she crosses the floor and opens the door. Where's Nicolas? Not here, it would seem, a quick scan of the suite beyond the door of her chamber affirming this even to her sleep-clouded thoughts. "Is he in his study?" Her words slur a little, thick and slow, and a hand lifts so that fingers might brush wisps of hair from her face as she fights hard against the overwhelming desire to sleep. "I must go to him." What must she expect of her father at so late an hour as this can only be imagined, and without even bothering to place slippers on her feet, she pads across the suite's outer room that leads out to the hallways and beyond.

Armand stares in disbelief as his Cassiline falls.

Blood stains the carpet when the gray-clad form clutches his bleeding throat, mouth flooded with crimson before his body collapses in a heap. The assassin turns to regard the Marquis and his Steward, wiping the curved blade on his sleeve and tucks it into the belt on his hips. There's a larger blade upon his side, which he draws with deliberate, almost taunting slowness. Dark fingers lift to pull his scarf off his face.

He is of average height and lean; the dark cloak swathed around his shoulders hide most of his traditional Bhodistani dress underneath. A surprisingly youthful, but hard face is halfway obscured by several days' growth on a sturdy jaw. His expression would have been handsome, were it not twisted with pure, unadulterated malice as he steps forward towards the pair. Armand draws his own sword, forever strapped to his hip ever since he received the letter that prompted him to bring his daughter home.

"Who are you?" he demands, lifting up the bared blade.

"My name is Syed," the assassin murmurs. "You dishonored my sister, and when she later exacted satisfaction for it, you captured and later had her ineptly executed by a young lady who, I understand, is your own daughter. You have much to answer for, Armand of House Morhban."

"Leonard," Armand grits through clenched teeth, taking a step forward. "Find my daughter and get her out of here."

Syed looks almost amused. His thumb absently strokes the blade he holds by the hilt. "I was told," he begins. "That you were never particularly talented in ingratiating yourself to those beneath you. As far as castles go, yours is a fortress. Are you not considering, even now, just how my comrades and I managed to breach its walls unnoticed?"

The Marquis pauses. Slowly, he turns to look at his Steward, and meets Leonard's stony, impassive eyes. His vision starts to swim.

"I tried, Armand," Leonard remarks softly, almost sadly. "But you've done too much damage to this family already. It seems that it must fall on me, now, to eradicate the problem from the root."

The Marquis' ashen face becomes all the moreso. The blade slips from nerveless fingers as the spiked digestif worms through his system. "You…" he whispers, staggering backwards. "The letter…"

"No," the Steward replies. "Not me, I'm afraid, but it did complicate my plans for you and Syed. I did not want Desarae brought back here…and despite my efforts to convince you otherwise, you sent for her anyway. It left me no choice but to ensure she had better protection, the best that the Cassiline Brotherhood had available, but you also, somehow, managed to thwart that by imprisoning him." Reaching out with gloved fingers, he grasps his lapels, pulling him close so he could look him right in the eye.

"You ruin…" The words hiss through Leonard's curled lips. "…everything you touch."

And with that, he shoves Armand's flagging body into the waiting point of Syed's sword.

Desarae's turning the corner in the hallway within which her father's study is situated, when she hears the shouts. Severely muffled by the heavy oaken door through which they filter, they're enough to halt her steps and impede her progress. Eyes startled, and though adrenaline courses through muscles and nerves, causing her heart to hammer and her breath to falter, her limbs remain heavy with an unnatural weight that's settled upon them. The shouting fades, a silence settling upon the corridor that's no longer witness to whatever's occurring behind that door.

She would feel him following her.

The moment the shouting ceases, the doors fly open, and heavy booted feet move out of its threshold, along with the sickening drag of a heavier body. Should Desarae dare look back, she would find her cousin Leonard, blood frothing from his mouth, gripping the ankle of his assailant with a rapidly weakening hand. His gurling near-death throes filter weakly through the halls as she takes flight.

"Stay…away…from her…"

She's already rounding the corner when Syed looks down dispassionately at Leonard and pulls his leg away, leaving him to bleed to death while slumped half-out of Armand's study. For now, she is spared the sight of the carnage within.

Panic hammers at Desarae's chest, the overwhelming need to remove herself from where she is pushing her back the way that she'd come. It's not to her room that she heads, however, her leaden feet taking her down flights of steps and to the lower levels of the castle. The need for her Cassiline coalesces as the one solid thought at the back of her skull, and her fingers slip into the pocket of her robe, closing around something she's come to bestow with some mystical power of its own. Her simir. Her simir. Down, down, down… She emerges from the tunnels that lead to where her father's men stand guard at the entrance to the cells, her robe fallen open to reveal the stark white of her nightgown and rendering her wraith-like in appearance. But there's something wrong with the way that she moves, and her legs are no longer her own, a numbness claiming them that sends her pitching forwards and onto her knees.

Every dizzying step she makes, growing heavier in increments, is echoed by whoever it is that is pursuing her. His shadow flits past distressingly empty hallways. Through her foggy senses, should she listen, there is a distant alarm ringing, followed by the clash of metal from a multitude of swordfights happening at once. Is the castle under attack? It sounds like it, but it seems like a dream - a nightmare that isn't her own as she attempts to find her way through torchlit hallways inundated by flickering shadows that move like ghosts, their twisted, dark fingers reaching out for her…

As she falls on her knees, body carrying the minute strains of something unnatural, she'd hear a familiar voice, shouted as both reassurance and warning.


A polearm whistles through the air, sailing above her head. Should she lift her green eyes, she'd find a member of the Marquisate guard charging for her…or is it? He has the uniform, the armaments, but his face is familiar, violet L'Envers eyes lit with determination…

…and rage.

The spearpoint stabs into the ground. It has forced the figure stalking her to avoid it by taking several steps to the side, and Nicolas doesn't stop moving. If nothing else, he seems to be running even faster, to take advantage of the opportunity and the surprise in which he has taken Desarae's would-be assassin. But the corridor leading to the prisoners' tower is cramped and drafty, and something is wrong with how his ward is moving. He remembers how she moves. He does not forget a thing. Not her face, her gestures. Not the width of the walkway leading to the main castle body, nor the height from which it stretches across the gardens and courtyards underneath.

Nor the tapestries bearing the Mereliot colors hanging from the side.

He cannot fight him here. He will not risk his ward.

But he can risk himself, and does so without hesitation.

And so, in front of Desarae's foggy eyes, she would be left watching as Nicolas leaps for her assailant…

…and launches them both off the walkway, sending them plummeting down into the trees and gardens below.

Shock forces Desarae to remain where she's fallen, and the scene plays out in a tableau of slow motion that will haunt her for years to come. She'll feel the weight of the polearm as whistles past, carving through the air above her head. Dark wisps of hair at the nape of neck rise together with the baby-fine ones on the backs of her arms, bile rising in her throat as the sound of her Cassiline's feet pound towards her. There's a vacuum of air as he rushes past and leaps for her assailant, and it all but sucks time to a halt to leave it hanging, suspended. There's a roar in her ears, and she watches as Nicolas and Syed collide.

"Nicolas!" With a strength renewed, she pulls herself to her feet and over to where they'd disappeared, panic in her eyes as she stares into the darkness of the gardens below.


Wind whistles past their faces in their long drop to the ground.

Nicolas' push of Desarae's would-be assailant leaves them in freefall for a few moments before the world rights itself back up again, fingers clawing for the heraldry and sashes that drape from the walkway's crenellations. Fabric rips and tears as his heavier body yanks and drags it down before he's forced to let go once he reaches the very end of the banner. His shoulder meets the first branch, feels it snap as physics and momentum hurtle him down to the ground, where all falling objects must end up. He loses track of Syed during, having been forced to let go of him during the initial descent.

The final bough cracks under his weight, and it is only the cushion of well-placed shrubbery that enables him to find grass and earth with only several bruises but with no broken bones. Pain explodes through his senses, but he finds his footing, lean form braced upwards in an attacker's stance immediately. His borrowed blade hisses from its scabbard, falling easily on his grip. Normally, he would give the other a chance, use his vambraces and daggers instead, but the way his shadow fell across Desarae's burns in his steel-trap memory and the fact that he had managed to get within breathing distance of her absolutely cannot be borne.

Overcast skies clear, for a moment, to let the harvest moon's light spill in splinters over the ruined greenery, violet eyes hunting for the body that he intends to kill - the threat he intends to eradicate. Shadows lengthen under their blue-white grasp, sharpening some details while leaving most obliterated in darkness. He says nothing, but his expression is eloquent enough in his very real desire to end this trouble once and for all.

Desarae's cry of her Cassiline's name follows the falling pair's descent to the gardens. It's the only part of her that does however, for she herself is left standing at the spot from which they'd fallen, leaning as far as she dares between the crenellations and over the parapet of the walkway's edge. The fluttering banners tease with glimpses of the gardens, and it's when the moon spills its light as the cloud cover breaks, that her heart catches in her throat at the sight of Nicolas, on his feet and alive. "Nicolas…" His name is a whisper in her mouth, and her fingers tighten about the wooden carving which has once more found its way into her hand.

The dark shadow was falling shortly after Nicolas own body followed, twigs cracking, thinner branches slowing the descent only marginally, until training received in lands so far away from their current location saves the assassin from grave damage taken, minimizing the impact as he rolls off over his shoulder and then stands on his feet. Dark eyes stare back at Nicolas in a face that shows a faint semblance to Naimah, family traits evident there. The curved dagger, still bloodied from its previous gruesome task, is turned in his hand, as he spits out, his gaze hardening in deeply felt hatred and contempt. "You'll be first, then. Fool.", Syed says, in heavily accented d'Angeline. A quick upwards flick of his stare towards Desarae standing up there, the outline of her silhouette against the light of the room. "Then. She." A cruel twist adds to his smile. And without further delay, he launches his attack at the Cassiline.

<COMBAT> Syed attacks Nicolas with Dagger but Nicolas DODGES!
<COMBAT> Nicolas attacks Syed with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Left Leg.

Amethystine L'Envers eyes narrow further, but he doesn't spare a glance towards where Desarae is perched - he doesn't have to, he remembers precisely where she is.

You'll be first, then.

"Should Cassiel favor me," Nicolas tells Syed, the blade crossed before him in an angle. "I'll be your last."

He doesn't know who this man is - he doesn't have the history Desarae's former Cassiline has with her family's troubles in Beziers, but at the very end of the day, it doesn't much matter. One way or another, between the two of them someone was going to die - and hopefully it will not be him. As Syed launches himself forward, his taller form manages to evade, whirling in those circular, clockwork steps and keeping him out of range of the man's dagger. Moonlight gleams off the flat of his borrowed sword as he takes the opening, slicing point and bladed edge down the outside of the man's left leg as he slips past. He finds his position again, blade stained by blood - underneath the light of the harvest moon, it looks black and viscous, slowly sliding down dangerous metal.

A low curse, uttered in Bhodistani, leaves Syed's lips as he gets to it, efficient and quick, with determination dictated by hatred. He is fast, but apparently not fast enough; or perhaps he misjudged the agility of Nicolas, who, contrary to Armand's Cassiline, is not under the influence of some sort of drug. The curved dagger might be shorter than the blade of Nicolas, but that does not keep Syed from attempting a daring manoeuver, diving right into the line of reach of the longer sword whilst attempting a stab to Nicolas chest, to make a quick end of him. But… apparently, his opponent evades, while the circling motion of the sword manages to nick Syed's thigh. "We shall see about that," the Bhodistani assassin responds grimly, as he reconsiders options and angles and possible openings in the Cassiline's tight defense.

<COMBAT> Syed attacks Nicolas with Dagger - Light wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Nicolas attacks Syed with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Eisheth has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Syed has been KO'd!

We shall see about that.

Nicolas nods, shifting his stance, the sword turning vertical in his grip and lifting his arms, watching as the Bhodistani assassin takes stock of his defenses. His features reflect nothing but the intent to make a quick end of it as the other man has, but it isn't long until the dark shadow he makes streaks across the grass, the point of his dagger curling forward.

Blood sprays outward when the side of his neck opens up, dangerously close to a major, life-giving vein, but he takes the opportunity despite the pain and the close call. As crimson blossoms over his pilfered uniform, he turns his body, cleaving his blade down to slice right into Syed's weapon arm and suddenly bulls forward by the shoulder, to ram him backwards in an attempt to knock him off balance.

He drops his more cautious stance once he's forced the opening wider, and moves like lightning, Azza's blood burning in his veins as he launches forward, both hands grasping the pommel of his sword to ram the full point of it through Syed's chest and out his back.

His gait is staggering, as blood loss makes the dark fabric of his trousers stick to his leg in the slowly increasing stickyness drenching the garment. It slows Syed as well. More than he would have liked. His dark eyes are on fire, however, as he focuses them on the d'Angeline who dared to step in his way. Vulnerable points are scanned quickly, by a mind trained to pay attention to those things. The neck singled out as a fitting target, to finish Nicolas off with a deadly cutting slice across his throat. But to get there… Either way, it is a risk worth taking.

Syed is silent now, focused in his silence, his body like a spring ready to be let loose. When he jumps forward, his aim is true, dagger spun in a circle as to confuse Nicolas for what part of him he is going for. When the blade cuts skin, that first spill of blood makes his dusky features curl in a triumphant grin. "Yes. Now you die…", the assasin whispers. Almost convinced that he got Nicolas bad enough to open the aorta, and with it an unstoppable flow of blood that will quickly drain the Cassiline from his life essence.

Alas, he missed that particular spot. The longer blade comes as a surprise, brought against him in a turn of the Cassiline's body, cutting through his arm and thus, lessening instantly the contact of the curved blade, when the dagger falls from Syed's hand, and the sudden warmth of his own blood spilling from the nasty cut of his arm makes him lose his balance. And the advantage he had thought he had had. The next thrust of the broadsword into his chest draws a gargling sound from his throat. Eyes widen. Freeze, as they lose focus. Caught in the stare of the dying, as Syed, brother of the witch Naimah meets his end, at the hands of Nicolas Guillard.

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