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[NA-PC] House Varro [Imperial, Noble, Military, Heavy RP]

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Into the Dark
Chapter 2 Guild Arc, Part 2

A delayed shipment of goods leads the Varro loyalists to the village of Savo, only for the group to discover that their enemies are more cunning- and bloodthirsty- than they first realized.



Recap

Since the split of House Varro’s loyalties, Lord Belisarius Varro has reordered the loyalists’ priorities. He arranged for a shipment of runes, enchantments, and Aedra-fortified weapons to be delivered to the estate- only to have the goods never arrive. A small contingent of Varro loyalists were dispatched to the village of Savo to determine the cause of the holdup. Cynwrig the Farflung and Solarion Vorondaron led the party, advised by Savo native Hannibal Vahlren. Upon their arrival they were met by a single injured, terrified villager fleeing the inner confines of the village. Before they could get any answers from him- beyond a vague direction of where the Varro shipment was- the villager was killed with a single arrow through the eye, and the archer responsible fled from her hidden perch and deeper into the village.

Cynwrig sent Solarion and Kamaria Sabah to scout the village. Once inside they discovered the missing shipment- three carts packed to the brim with magical items, unattended, sitting outside of a long barn. The village was otherwise empty. As Kamaria hitched her stallion to one of the carts, the doors to the barn opened and out walked the traitors Janus Varro and Castro Vitellius, accompanied by a small contingent of undead. Solarion stayed to face off with the men while Kamaria escaped with the wagon of supplies back to the main group. She switched out her horse with another while Cynwrig and the others charged into the village to help their comrade.

They arrived in time to see Solarion’s back against a wall, and the large, imposing figure of Atilius Varro circling him on horseback. The two groups engaged, and Atilius attempted to talk the loyalists into joining him, the true heir, in deposing Belisarius.

Cynwrig answered by killing Atilius’ horse with an axe throw to the head, sending the mounted Imperial to the ground. A furious battle erupted. During the chaos, the screams of men, women, and children could be heard inside the sealed barn, which caught fire after a spooked horse knocked over a torch. Despite the persistent rescue efforts of Hannibal and Constanzo Vendicci, the villagers trapped inside all perished. Both sides sustained heavy wounds, including the loyalist’s healer Octavia Supulciana and mercenary Marcia Visellia- both nearly died from their wounds and were only saved with the help of Kamaria and Illia Andronicus. Janus Varro beset the field with horrifying spectres, and it was only after Cynwrig temporarily blinded Atilius with Reachman magic that the traitors began to retreat. They opened a portal and tried to take the remaining cart of enchantments with them. Marcia disabled the carthorse with the last of her energy and, to add insult to injury, an unseen archer in the surrounding cliffs shot a flaming arrow at the cart, which subsequently exploded. Atilius and his comrades retreated from whence they’d come, and for a small time it looked like the loyalists had won.

It was then that the undead form of Regulus Varro, one of Belisarius’ four slain brothers, appeared on the field. He rode an enormous undead bear and proceeded to raise the entire village of Savo in an army of undead; had Tiberius not kept them back with a wall of lightning, the group would have surely perished on the spot. It took the combined strength of the loyalists, however taxed it was, to defeat Regulus and keep themselves from joining his army. Just before they were set to slay the dead Varro, however, another portal opened, and a deep, chilling voice called him back. Regulus was gone, and although the group had managed to save two of the three carts of goods, the toll of life was incredibly high, and most of them were seriously injured.

The loyalists returned to the estate with more questions than answers. What was their foe capable of, truly? What horrors were they willing to commit to usurp Belisarius? And with the force of the daedra on their side, was there really any hope of winning?

- written by QueenVulture
Posted Nov 4, 18 · OP
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xxxx

In the wake of the terrible aftermath and destruction of the Village Savo, those loyal to House Varro have been preparing to strike back against their foes. Thanks to the capture of vital enchantments, runes, and glyphs, every able-bodied fighter in the House has been outfitted with armor and weapons warded to fend off destruction magick and deal incinerating blows to the undead. Emboldened and desperate,Belisarius leads the first decury to secure "the key" to stopping Lucius Varro's next move.


xxxx



Recap:

Contingents of House Varro and House Lyeis ventured north on a daring mission to rescue captured Varro prisoners and find the key to unlocking the tomb where the Aelianus staff is hid. After descending into a heavily fogged valley, a surprise attack ambushed the cavalry column. Belisarius commanded the soldiers to dismount and form a shieldwall. The discipline of the soldiers, coupled with the strength of the new weaponry and enchantments, proved to carry the day.

The combined force hacked through the undead lines. Belisarius stayed behind to keep the shieldwall held together, while a separate group led by Commander Anduin and Count Lyeis ventured into the camp where the prisoners were being held. They were joined by Kamaria Sabah, Solarion Vorondoran, Marcia Visellia, and other members of House Lyeis.

Here, the fighting was fierce, and desperate, and just when it seemed they would free the prisoners and escape, they found themselves face-to-face with Regulus Varro. To their horror, the dead began to rise from the mud all around them, bodies left there to rot from some horrible battle. They fought wildly, and in the chaos, Regulus Varro's head was cut from his body. The undead ceased their march, and all went quiet. The prisoners were freed and returned to the Varro Estate, where Marcia took the severed head of Regulus and impaled it on a stake beside the gates. A great victory had been won, and with Regulus dead, House Varro had the key they needed to take the offensive against Lucius Varro.

Posted Nov 16, 18 · OP · Last edited Nov 17, 18
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After securing the key to locating and unlocking an ancient Aeylid tomb, Belisarius leads a contingent into the heart of Aelianus lands in search of the ancient familial staff. Dark forces also seek to locate the staff, for whoever wields it can control every magicka-wielder of the Aelianus line—including those who are dead. The loyalists must locate the staff, and secure it, lest Lucius Varro capture it and deliver the final and fatal blow.


xxxx


With the key to the Aylied tomb secure and the location of the Aelianus staff now known thanks to the revelations of the recently freed Sevra Aelianus, the horse-lord led into the tomb a contingent that consisted of Sevra, Solarion Vorondoran, Rhilari Kingston, Kamaria Sabah, Marcia Visellia, Tacita Varro, Thomas Elessius, and Attrebus Vano.

They stumbled immediately upon the usurpers forces, who were being commanded by a familliar--and dead--face: Lenore Varro. Fighting ensued, however the Varro loyalists proved too strong for the defectors, and they retreated deeper into the tomb. When they came to a large Ayleid burial chamber, however, both loyalists and defectors alike found themselves faced with a third and more dangerous enemy, the Ayleid spirits tasked with guarding the tomb. The ceiling to the chamber slowly began to collapse, and inch-by-inch, that agonizing death came downward with intent on crushing the group. While Belisarius dueled Lenore, Rhilari defeated and captured the Varro defector known as Castro Vitellius. The Ayleid spirit offered to allow the group safe passage if they could answer a series of riddles. Only Sevra Aelianus could answer, and with the affirmation of others in the party, she was able to answer correctly, and stop the descent of the collapsing roof.

The Ayleid spirit finally relinquished the Aelianus staff, for the party to take, but Lenore Varro moved to take it first, and ran deeper into the tomb. The party pursued, blindly, until she was cornered. It was at that moment that Attrebus Vano revealed who he truly was by releasing his veil of illusion.

With his façade of Attrebus Vano dropped, the traitor Janus Varro revealed the betrayal, taking his place by the side of Lenore Varro; seeming rather confident that the staff was finally in his grasp. Tearing open a portal into the unknown, a contingent of Daedra and ravenous undead swarmed the loyalist, savagely fighting to claim the staff for their True Lord. The staff, however, had a mind of its own, and when it asked Lenore who the staff answered to, she gave the wrong answer. This proved to be a costly mistake. She said "The Varro" and she was incorrect, placing her under command of Belisarius immediately.

In a cruel twist of fate Lenore, found herself fighting against Janus and her daedric allies, plunging a dagger into the eye of Janus – nearly killing him in the process. Grievously wounded, enraged, and unable to compose himself, the mage reduced what remained of the woman’s vestige body to smoking cinders and blackened flesh – before retreating into the portal, sealing it shut with a thunderous impact.

The loyalists successfully captured the staff and prepared to escape the tomb, but not before Belisarius wrested from Lenore a small amulet she passed to him in her final death. Surrounded and pinned down by an overwhelming number of Daedra, however, the Ayleid spirit began to conjure a spell with a power not seen since the days before the Empire. A magicka blast ensued, and the party woke up--not in the tomb, but all the way back at the Varro stronghold. Victorious.

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Posted Nov 21, 18 · OP · Last edited Nov 21, 18
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After 2 months of closure, House Varro recruitment is now OPEN.

It will remain open Dec. 9 - Dec. 16. Please visit www.housevarro.enjin.com to apply. For questions, please PM me, or contact me on Discord at Belisarius#2034.
Posted Dec 9, 18 · OP · Last edited Dec 9, 18
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Bumping
Posted Dec 10, 18 · OP
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Just a supportive nudge for HV’s recruitment thread!

Until joining House Varro, I can honestly say I had never found a guild who strove to promote inclusive RP on an almost daily basis, mingling the various divisions of the house for stimulating collaboration. The leadership (who is made up of super friendly and inclusive players) also encourages individual character stories to be fused into the overall house story, which is already impressively detailed and becomes consequential to anyone who becomes a part of it.

And, it’s nice to be a part of a group who actually enjoys playing the game itself, alongside the enduring, high quality stories written in a laid-back environment. I’m truly happy with my decision to join House Varro.
Posted Dec 13, 18 · Last edited Dec 13, 18
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I have to say that my intermittent association with House Varro has always been a lot of fun and I am glad to see the gates of its estate in the Colovian Highlands open once more. Its GL has been, for years now, one of the most intelligent and quietly dark writers on these forums, his vision for his guild and its members and their own stories shaping that complex and often surprising narrative that he gives voice to so well. The Horse Lord's tapestry is one well worth being woven into. Try it and see.
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Posted Dec 13, 18
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Written by: Vaul

Seeking the comfort of a warm fire and camaraderie, a handful of House Varro’s soldiers instead found betrayal and bad choices. Marcia, Marcus and Valeria came upon a confused trio, Cyreas, Matthias and Flavia, as they attempted to attend to a bleeding Lady Varro. Tacita had sliced open her hand when she was surprised by a quick visit from a ghost, and clenched her wine glass too tightly. The crew set off for the healers’ tents to tend to the wound, and were ambushed by none other than Lord Lucius Varro and Janus Varro. The senior Varro taunted those present with the child Colovius, Belisarius’s child and heir to the Varro name. He demanded that a missive be sent to his youngest son, for Belisarius to meet him alone in the Imperial City, but Tacita had other plans. Offering herself in trade, she left with the pair and baby Colovius was placed in Marcia’s arms. But a grim truth became clear as the portal faded, and Janus, Lucius and Tacita disappeared; Baby Colovius was dead, animated only by his grandfather’s necromantic will for a short time, in a gruesome semblance of newborn life.

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Posted Dec 15, 18 · OP
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“The Apogee”
House Varro Guild Arc
Chapter 2 - Part 5 Recap


The Unwelcome Visitor

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Seeking the comfort of a warm fire and camaraderie, a handful of House Varro’s soldiers instead found betrayal and bad choices. Marcia, Marcus and Valeria came upon a confused trio, Cyreas, Matthias and Flavia, as they attempted to attend to a bleeding Lady Varro. Tacita had sliced open her hand when she was surprised by a quick visit from a ghost, and clenched her wine glass too tightly. The crew set off for the healers’ tents to tend to the wound, and were ambushed by none other than Lord Lucius Varro and Janus Varro. The senior Varro taunted those present with the child Colovius, Belisarius’s child and heir to the Varro name. He demanded that a missive be sent to his youngest son, for Belisarius to meet him alone in the Imperial City, but Tacita had other plans. Offering herself in trade, she left with the pair and baby Colovius was placed in Marcia’s arms. But a grim truth became clear as the portal faded, and Janus, Lucius and Tacita disappeared; Baby Colovius was dead, animated only by his grandfather’s necromantic will for a short time, in a gruesome semblance of newborn life. ~ [Recap written by Matthias Vulpin]

The Varros Sally Forth


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A call to arms echoed across the Varro lands. Lord Belisarius assembled a vanguard and rode out for the Imperial City to rescue Lady Varro and seek revenge for the murder of his heir. Not even halfway to their destination, the group was held up by a tree down across the thoroughfare – an ambush. As arrows rained from the sky, striking mounts and fighters alike, Marcia, Marcus, Ilia, and Flavia sought shelter in an old, abandoned farm. Their reprieve was short lived, as assassins emerged from the darkened corners and set upon the already injured. Belisarius and Sevra sought to pick off the assassins from the road, but when one bold archer set the barn aflame, the Horse Lord charged into the forest to ride them down. As a mix of poison gas and smoke filled the barn, those inside struggled not only to breathe, but to hold their own against the assassins, but the perseverance of House Varro was strong, and, though injured, they emerged victorious. The fighting ended when Belisarius, in a full on rage, pulled free the man that Sevra had become entangled with in a vicious brawl, and crushed in his head in a sickening display. Nursing their wounds, the group pressed onward, but were held up yet again when they came face to face with Janus Varro and his accomplice. The traitor’s silvered tongue urged the vanguard to turn against Belisarius, while his lady took aim and sent two poisoned arrows into the Horse Lord, his vital spots only spared by Marcia’s quick action. As Janus used magicka and collapsed the very ledge on which he stood, the group beat a hasty retreat to regroup, but not before Sevra loosed an arrow and struck the man. In the Varro Hunting Lodge, the men and women of Varro would tend to their wounds and plan their next move, while Belisarius Varro struggled to hold on to his life. With the poison rapidly ravaging his body, two agents of the House -- known only as Cerise Jhared -- undertook an urgent mission to find the antidote before it was too late. ~ [Recap written by Sevra Aelianus]


The Final Reckoning

The Xivkyn ‘Urobacht’ and his demise

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The location of Lucius Varro’s stronghold had been delivered to Belisarius in a delirious dream, and at the urgent cry of the horse-lord, the entire retinue of the House of Varro had made the arduous journey into the wartorn heartland of the former Empire. A two-pronged strategy had been decided upon: Atilius Varro stayed behind with Honoria Tadius, Valeria Varro, and the majority of the Bucellarius to create a diversion on the outskirts of the city. Here, the fighting was fierce as the Varros dismounted their horses and engaged in shieldwall combat with the undead legion raised by Lord Lucius Varro himself. Staying behind to garrison and guard the lands surrounding the Varro estate were allies from House Decentius and the Iron Riders.

With the majority of the enemy’s forces engaged outside the city, a small sortie dared to attack the location where Tacita Varro was held captive. The portal had been opened by the Baron Tiberius Aelianus, at great cost to his personal supply of magicka. Solarion Vorondaron led the bucellarius, which included Marcia Visellia as his second in command, Marcus Vitellius, Sevra Aelianus, Illia Andronics, Cyreas Vanrette, and Matthias Vulpin. Additionally, the informants Jhared and Cerise journeyed with the group, intent on learning the exact nature of the poison that plagued Belisarius.

The place they came upon was a dark and dreary ruin. The sky yawned black and heavy overhead, and before them lay a detritus of courtyard where the old beauty of the Empire had been bastardized by the machinations of Coldharbour evil. Grotesque rocks grew like tumors out of the once-beautiful marble, and a coldness clung to the air, and with it came a torrential rain that poured and poured and poured in angry, violent sheets.


Ahead of them rested the old remains of a cathedral, the windows blown out, the old marble columns of the divines fallen over or destroyed. Waiting for them in the courtyard, however, were servants of Molag Bal himself. Four Xivkyn warriors attacked them, led by a certain “Urobracht.” The fighting rendered several of the sortie injured. Cerise, Jhared, and Illia defeated Urobracht and stayed behind to treat the injured, while the rest moved on into the cathedral.

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The Necromancer’s Ritual ~ [Written by Janus Varro]

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Twelve men clad in black congregated around an altar – lead by a man garbed in the regalia of a worm cult priest. At their forefront the worm priest with silverline eyes headed them; his eyes were rolled into the back of his head as he stood entranced in a profane ritual of unknown, horrific magnitude. Magicka seeped from the palms of his hands down upon the altar. Their ancient, shriveled forms were hidden underneath low-drawn hoods. Paper-thin lips parting to whisper in an indecipherable tongue framed with malice. A woman of dark hair and small bronzed frame laid upon it.

The imprisoned Tacita Varro lay in a state of induced unconsciousness. Janus Varro placed a cold hand upon her face. The runes along the altar slowly began to singe and smoke, glowing quinacridone. Otherworldly tumors began to protrude from the ground around the altar. Janus and his thralls continued to pour power into the ritual – either unaware or unconcerned with the fight below. The Lord of Domination seemed to be listening and heeding the call of his followers. The altar began to burn and sizzle – the runes along the side scintillating in their radiance. The Varro would flash a dreadful smile at the remaining corpse-like bodies of his followers. “Serve your purpose.” He commanded with an upward flick of his hand. Two of the shriveled cultist clad in black would shriek, disintegrating into ash. Leaving behind their ragged black robes.
Dangling chains rattled all around them, as is if they were chimes; the protruding stalagmites grew only further in size – the corruption of Coldharbour coming tenuously close to Tacita. A growth of cold atramentous veins, thick and pulsating with an unknown, otherworldly substance of azure-hue growing from the ground, wrapping around Tacita’s wrists and ankles. The dome of the cathedral began to crack as the ground tremored. The power unleashed by Janus began to thin the barrier between Mundus and Oblivion. Spirits of the dead – the forlorn – and the sacrificed appeared from the void, their clustered phantasmal faces floated around the ritual site. Mouths opened as gaping maws wailing in agony as they sunk into the ground.

The sacrifice of his remaining disciples seemed to appease the Lord of Domination – and allowed his essence to begin to seep into this world. A shadowy form, ethereal and horned, a spiked tail protruding from its back; mouth, a ravenous maw of razor-sharp teeth, began to take shape. The shadow hungrily gazed upon Tacita – it could feel the lifeforce beating within her womb. But it could not take shape within this world just yet. Not without just a little more time. The ritual was almost upon its culmination. The dome of the cathedral would be torn asunder – blasted away into floating bits suspended in the air.



The Defeat of Lucius Varro


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Standing between House Varro and Tacita was Lord Lucius Proximus Varro, the vile necromancer returned from Oblivion. He faced them as a living lord in gilded steel. With his netherwordly staff, he struck them with ice shards and animated bones and he flung them onto sharpened iron hooks that dangled from chains in the ceiling. One by one they fell under his onslaught, while behind, the wicked ritual of Janus Varro neared its completion.

By the end, only two fighters of House Varro remained standing: Tiberius Aelianus and Marcus Vitellius. Marcus attacked with his sword while Tiberius used every last vestige of magicka he possessed in his being. They fought valiantly while the injured Marcia, Matthias, Cyreas, Solarion, and Sevra lay incapacitated on the deathly ground, bleeding and groping in the dark. Marcus struck Lucius in the gut, and the Necromancer fell to his knees. In one final throw of dark magicka, Lucius sought to consume the two men in a soul-eating darkness that spilled from his blackening mouth. But Tiberius stuck his hand in that gaping maw, and incierated him with a powerful ball of fire. Lucius Varro burned from the inside out, and fell to the ground a crumpled, smoking husk of defeat.

So close to completion… so… so close. But when Lucius finally fell, Janus felt a cord with the Schemer had been severed. The daedric runes upon the altar began to dim. The cruel chains of Coldharbour gripping the ceiling faltered. Without Lucius to aid in the ritual it was futile to continue, and he fled.The cathedral began to collapse, and so with old marble falling all around them, Tiberius and Marcus freed Tacita, while the rest of the Varros gathered the injured, and fled through a portal.


The Aftermath

In the aftermath of events, it became clear that Tacita would recover, and that her children in the womb would live. Lord Varro’s affliction of poison was halted, in part thanks to the discovery of two antidotes, the first being the potion secured by Flavia Aetia and Marcus Vitellius, which slowed the effects of the poison. This allowed Cerise and Jhared the time necessary to track down the origin of the Daedric poison, and secure a cure. Once Belisarius recovered, he reinstated his nephew Atilius into the house, and he instructed Solarion Vorondaron to institute a series of martial reforms to the military division. House Varro had lost so many in the conflict, it would never be the same again. Weak and vulnerable, they would enter a period of lengthy recovery.
Posted Jan 3, 19 · OP
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Damn. What a wild ride.
Posted Jan 4, 19
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