Sextus Tiberius Valentinianus

When even the gods can't save you

66 posts in this topic

Autumn 1.png

Date.png21th August, 952

Location.pngMinrathous, Shade's Compound

Characters.pngMarcella, Sextus

Players.png@Claire, @Darth Phillious

Requirements.png1x1

Links.pngWhen in public

Autumn Divider 1.png

 

 

He could hear something like a soft whisper in the room. No, not a whisper. Someone was speaking. Slowly. Someone was... was calling his name. Someone was calling his name. Lazily, he tried to open his eyes but they shut again. He tried and he tried and he tried until he finally did so. His vision was blurred at first and he felt a hand touching him. "Who is this?" he asked, not seeing clearly. There was so much red. He tried to focus. Slowly, the picture was becoming more clear. Slowly, he could make out the eyes, nose, the soft lips and skin and the vibrant red hair.

"Marcella?" he asked in a defeated voice. And almost immediately. "What happened?"

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Squeezing his hand as he came around Marcella moved forward onto the edge of the bed, having been sitting in the chair while he slept. When he had come around enough to recognise her she told him what she could.

"I may be your apprentice but they don't tell me much." She reminded him. "After you fell backup arrived and we captured her and later Morgana too." Quietly they had taken them both, they did not want the snatching of the two women to alert other cultists. Marcella did not tell him exactly how things had ended, but not out of humility. Rather, she thought he might be angry because she had stormed into the room and started the fight that got him injured.

"How are you feeling now?" She asked. "Are you still in pain?"

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"Nothing I can't handle". He reassured her. Though he was quite angry he had missed vivianna 's and Morgana 's face he was glad that they were captured.  "are they waiting me for the interrogation?" he wanted to be there and he'd be very disappointed if he had already missed it. 

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Placing a hand on his chest she shook her head and repeated, "I am Manus Umbrae, Sextus, you know they would have told me nothing." She felt a little useless now, but she genuinely had nothing else that she could do. Gently she suggested he stay in the bed by pushing at his chest a little.

"You've had intensive healing, I do not think you are in any state to interrogate."

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"of course and I can interrogate"  he protested and tried to prove it by getting up. The pain hot him though, so he stopped. What was that sword?

"dammit"  he cursed, "things should have turned differently. Anyway, what did you find exactly when I the mansion. You never told me" he was curious of any proof there was.

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That was something she could tell him, so she eased him back onto the bed (under the ruse of getting comfortable herself) and grinned from ear to ear. She spoke with alacrity, clearly enjoying revealing to him what she had discovered. In the process she of course told him of Marcus and his disobedience, and she hoped he did not admonish her for chasing him.

"When I woke up I went to you..." And that was that.

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"Vittoria must really punish her son for that. I do hope you mentioned that in your report" for if she hadn't he would. Marcus had crossed the line this time. As for their findings,  he could not be more than happy. They had captured two cultists. Two!

"good job marcella. You really were brilliant"he honestly siad

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"He left me to suffocate in a heretic altar..." Marcella replied drily. "I did indeed include every action in my report, as did Tatiana I understand." She smirked as she looked at him, for she felt no sympathy for Marcus at all.

"You remind me often that my failures impact you. Hopefully any successes do to." Truthfully it was the least she could do after being so disobedient.

"I am sorry for charging in as I did. I was worried that you might have been in a... vulnerable position." Marcella looked away at that moment, looking towards the floor.

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"it would have helped if you hadn't"  he said honestly, "but the truth is she was on to me"and out of a thirsty servant no less." I had poisoned my wine" he confessed, "so we d never have to do something I did not want to. A servant tried my wine apparently in the kitchen.... She knew not who I was of course, but she was on to something.."

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"Why did you poison your wine? That seems like a risk when she was clearly quite willing to open her legs for you." It was confusing for Marcella, but not because he was avoiding doing something he would have preferred not to, but because he put his own preference above being incognito. That did not seem like something he would normally do.

"It was not as if she was unattractive..." Marcella muttered.

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"it 'd be a reason to come back if you failed.and if you succeeded there would be no reason to come back. So it wasn't a risk"of course the servant had not realized it was poison but Vivianna was a smart woman and could connect the pieces. 

"it all worked out perfectly in the end" he smiled.

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"Except for your back being slashed with a magical flaming sword, of course?" She quipped, and winked at him. Out of curiosity and very much in such a tone she asked, "Was the pain worse than Incursio?" Then she added quickly, "Is there any pain worse then Incursio?"

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"no, it wasn't" but the sword was magical and the wound it had inflicted it had infected him and paralyzed him sooner than most weapons.  also, she was dealing a different kind of magic.  Toth magic.

"her fire was something different than anything else I have experienced" and this was disturbimg.

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"I read a report regarding the magister Lepidus... Was he not cursed with Toth's magic?" How he had been "healed" was a mystery to Marcella, but perhaps Sextus did? Concerned about the wound she asked if she could inspect it. "I know I am no healer..." She muttered, "But I want to see what she did to you..."

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Truth be told, he had not seen it himself. "Take a look, yes. And tell me how it is too" for he was curious to know just what the cultist had inflicted upon him with her vile heretic magic.

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The young Shade dared not touch it, she in fact removed everything covering the wound, including the poultices the healers had applied. That they could not heal him fully with magic was a worry, they had spirit healers available to them and even they had not been able to manage it! Marcella studied the burn, a long slash from his right shoulder blade all the way down to his left hip. The burn seemed to glow a little, as if there was fire in the wound.

"I have never seen any curse like it..." She muttered. "How badly does it hurt?" It looked like he must be in agony.

"The wound glows as with fire, and it is healed only to the point of the skin is not exposed to infection, but it is close to being fully open." It was a partly healed gash with burn marks fanning out, to the point where it sort of looked like flames.

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He knew what that meant. After all he had read Cassius ' report as well. The pain was great, and he could very well feel the burn on its entire back.

"I'vehad worse" he reassured her though in truth the pain was great.  What was helping him endure was his training with incursio.  He had always favored withstanding the spell's effects than battling them and that was why he was speaking and acting fine, at this moment. Any one else might just have died out of pain.

"I shall have a talk with Cassius though.  I need to heal it."

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"Shall I help you back to your quarters?" She asked, figuring he would be able to walk with support. It also seemed that the Infirmary had done all it could for him. "I can move in shadows while we walk, if you want?" Marcella knew how much Sextus hated appearing weak and she thought she understood that now. Half the battle was won if people looked at you and believed you impervious.

Still sitting close to him Marcella touched his hand and said, "I thought you were gone when you fell." It was difficult to admit, especially since she had been the one to rush in. "I am sorry for starting that fight." In truth she knew that part of the reason she'd jumped in was because she wanted her own mission ended. As it was there were no firm ties to Caius, though they were now certain that he was indeed a cultist, likely a Tothite.

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"you should not have done that" he reminded her.  "it would probably have turned out better" he raised his eyebrow at her, "but...Since the mission was supposed h a success,  I can't really reprimand you for it" even if his back was cut to the point of no healing. 

"and no.  When I will return to my quarters, I will do so myself. I have to get used to this pain. However temporary it might be".or he hoped to be... At least

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"Then you should rest." She told him, and she decided to leave her mistakes behind her - learning from them but not overly dwelling upon them. Getting up from the bed she headed towards the door. Looking over her shoulder she asked, "Is there anything I can do for you?" Marcella would have remained but she was feeling a little clingy and that was not like her. She'd established he was as well as he could be and now she should return to her duties. Though her duties were to serve under Sextus, if he had further instructions she wanted to know of them now.

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Sextus stopped her before she left. "study the suspect list. We may find yet more" and after that he dismissed her.  It was ready to stand up after all.

Mustering all the strength he had, Sextus his himself in the shadows and tried to focus on withstanding the pain. Slowly, ever so slowly,he began the long journey to his chambers. 

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When checking on Sextus a couple of days later she found herself standing outside of his chambers. Since his injury she had been back to Caius to try and find something useful in his house, but she found nothing. Always nothing. So she sighed and knocked on his door, coming to report her failure but also to see if the new poultices that the healers had put on were working. She hoped they were, she hated him being in so much pain all of the time...

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Sextus had spent most of his days trying to get used to the pain. It was always there, it lingered, it followed him in everything he did. Yet, Festus was helping him with that... Casting even more incursios on him to the point that the invasion pain was greater than the cut on his back. It almost looked like Festus felt happy that this curse had been infliced upon his apprentice.

Apart from training to withstand the pain, Sextus was doing all the research he could about it. How had Cassius managed to heal? There was nothing, no mention, not even the tiniest hint. The Shade was fully aware that sooner or later he'd have to go meet with the disgusted Magister. He could no longer avoid it. The good news amidst this darkness was that the Domini had deemed it was his right to question or end Vivianna, as far for Morgana, the three of them had made her their responsibility. Sextus smiled at that thought for no good future awaited the heretic.

On the knock on his door, he said "come in" though his eyes were still at all the papers before him, papers about the old gods, their powers. Their curses...

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When she saw in deep in his research she felt bad for disturbing him and because of that she lingered in the doorway, keeping the door open for a swift exit. Since he was up and doing things she did not need to check his wound, she was not his nurse! So instead Marcella gave a quick review of her... lack of finding anything.

"At every opportunity I searched, but there was nothing." They both knew she referred to Caius house and she knew Sextus both knew how she would have managed to get time to do a search. Unlike Vivienna, Caius was a long term target so he had to be nurtured not deceived with puking potions.

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"I bet there is a hidden chamber inside that mansion too" he said, inviting her in. "Are you sure there is nothing resembling a passage, just like the one you discovered at Morgana's house? Which reminds me..." had there been word for Morgana's disappearance? The Shades had covered it all but Sextus did not know what the Domini did with the letters. He'd bet they'd encourage her sending them with supervision, so she could not raise alert but the Domini had devices of their own and their mouths were shut about the particular matter. Even to Sextus. The man who was to succeed after them.

"Has he changed lately? I'm wondering about his behavior since we caught Morgana" he added, his dark eyes meeting hers. He seemed perfectly fine. The pain was there though, in the background. Always gnawing at him.

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