Whoops, Nathan Got Kidnapped
July 19, 2020, 5 p.m.
Outside Arx - Brighthold - Wilderness - South of Brighthold
Comments and Log
When last we left our heroes, they'd successfully defended the camp from bandits only to find out that idio- INNOCENT CIVILIAN, Nathan, managed to get himself abducted when he rushed off in a big huff. Icelyn and Bhandn had given pursuit, tracking them against all odds to an abandoned roadway deep in the forest. Bree and Emily joined them after they finished things with the camp invaders (which including Jeffeth climbing trees like a metal encased gorilla and flinging them to the ground). They took to the horses, chasing them down the moonlit road until they arrived at an abandoned wooden fort secreted away among the trees. The gate was closed shut and now there's just a decision on what to do next?
OOC: Roll for this might be: Perception + survival at 30, perception + war at 30 or some other logic-y-planning-y roll of your choice, just describe what you're doing in the pose before you hit enter.
Bree checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 0 higher.
Icelyn checked perception + war at difficulty 30, rolling 11 higher.
Bhandn checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 11 higher.
The group has regrouped, which is good, because when Bree arrived first at the shut gate, her first and only plan was to rush it! She swings from the horse quite deftly and looks as if she might CHARGE straight at the wooden structure, relying on the strength of her arm to accomplish what she needs. That's foolish, however, and she's three steps forward before she reassess her own sense of justice. A groan, and she's turning to wait for her companions, to let their more strategically minded brains do some work. But she does offer a plan, of sorts, "We could just ram the gate. Cut down a tree, take it by force!"
Emily checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.
Now that she's finally made it here, spooked horse and loose saddle and all, Icelyn dismounts as quickly as she can and peers through the thin wall of trees remaining between them and the fort. "We need to find any other entrances first," she says. "If they have a back entry, they could have him away before we can even finish felling a tree. Or just kill him." Not unlikely. He's incredibly annoying.
Emily is not far behind Bree but she was not charging headlong - mostly because she's not all that good on horseback and she would likely have broken her neck. Dismounting gratefully she glances back at the other two as she leads her horse off to the side and narrows her eyes at the gate. "Icelyn is right, we need to find an alternative route if possible. If there is nothing then we need to figure a way directly through this." Buts he glances to Bhandn as well, not given to make the decision for the group.
Bhandn's inclination was to try and be quiet. (No chance of that in armor.) "Soon as we barge in they'll probably cut his throat," he replies a bit gruffly, to Bree's suggestion. "Need to know how many are left, first, and where they are. Probably being watched right now." Which is what he's peering about trying to do: keep an eye out for anyone who might happen to be creeping about at this hour. Not an easy task with just moonlight, but he tries.
Bree listens to the wisdom of her team, nodding quickly to Icelyn, Emily, and Bhandn in turn. "I know you are right," she gives them all credit, but for some reason she's looking around for a tree, still, brows lifting. "Do you think a vantage point might have us seeing over the walls?" she suggests. "Which of you wants to circle around to try to find an alternate entrance?" She pauses, looking back toward the gates. "Or we can just ask them what they want for him?" All these ideas offered, none sounding perfect to the woman who can wield a sword with confidence, but the strategic planning? Not so much.
The fort looms in front of them, though loom is being kind of generous. The building isn't in the greatest of shape, which they can tell from simply looking at it. But it's sturdy enough that there's no way Bree is going to take it alone by rushing at it with her horse, which she thankfully realizes before trying. Inside, there's the panicked shouts and conversation of people who did NOT expect a bunch of Knights of Solace to be right outside the den of their secret hide-out. They can make out the sounds of movement as well as torchlight as scurrying begins to happen.
Hesitating as she picks up a piece of the conversation Emily goes still instead of immediately scouting. "They are talking about killing him.." that is at least what she discerned and thus it quickens her movements. The ranger is quickly surveying the surrounding area and notes something, coming back to offer what she has found in a soft tone. "There is a lesser used trail through the woods, it seems like it could provide good cover and will allow us to move around without eyes constantly upon us."
As the scurrying begins inside, Icelyn tenses up, watching the gate with expectant eyes. "You're not wrong," Icelyn says to Bree. "Look there -" she points, "- and there. That wood looks like it's begun to rot. We can probably break through at those spots, or similar ones on the other side of there are any. But the guards will shoot us down before we get there." She glances at Emily. "We should take them out first. Then Bhandn and Bree can get across the open space to assault the wall."
Clop clop clop clop
Catching up to the group, the Grandmaster is astride Friend once more, dismounting as she slows to a halt. Without even bothering to tie her up, Jeffeth just hops off, the old mare is left to just wander and graze, this apparently is a normal thing. Reaching up, the big man removes the bull helmet as he looks over the fort in front of them, then to his knights present. There's a purse of his lips before he lets out a quiet grunt. "Ice, Emily. You two can be quiet, yes?" Jeffeth is then glancing over to Bhandn. "How are you at bullshitting?" The Grandmaster asks as he takes a few steps forward the other man.
The Bull helmet is slowly offered out to Bhandn. "Think you can keep them locked in negotiations long enough for us to get around?"
There was something Bree heard, enough to give her pause. "And they wanted the priest, not Nathan," she fills in the group, her brow furrowing. "What would they have wanted the priest for?" She listens to Icelyn's plan, nodding her head - but then the Grandmaster is there. There's a faint look of relief to Bree's features. He hoisted this leadership on her, but her skills were meant for brute force. He starts to offer instructions, and she listens for her name.. which never comes. She looks to the points in the wall where Icelyn indicated, starting to calculate just how much force she'd have to use to bring the wall down.
It's with a soft sound that Bhandn tries to call attention to himself. He's pointing at one of the watchtowers. "No movement there," his deep voice says softly. "Might be easier to get in through that side." He doesn't speak further, but his words are addressed to the Bree and then the Grandmaster when he arrives. The offer of the helm has Sir Bhandn momentarily taken aback, but some stray thought hits him and he's reaching for it while trying not to give away their position with laughing. No words, just a bit of nodding while suppressing some mirth at this time of all times, and Bhandn will swap out helms so the Grandmaster has /some/ protection covering his head.
"I will sneak with Icelyn and Emily to the side with the wooded path." Jeffeth murmurs to the group. "Emily and Icelyn will take down any who may see us as we approach. Once we get to the fort and get in." He isn't specifically clear about how they'll do that part. "Ice and Emily will fire as I make way for the gate immediately. Once it's open Bree and Bhandn will charge in on horseback to engage with their main force. Whatever that may be." A beat. "Until then, Bhandn and Bree will start up negotiations and do their very best to stall until we are in position. Bullshit, negotiate. Do whatever you have to, just keep them talking." He glances to the pair of them. "And hey if you actually manage to secure a deal, we won't even need to do our part." Jeffeth murmurs as the Bull helmet is handed off to Bhandn. "Grandmaster, Knight Lieutenant. Make sense to everyone, any questions or concerns?" Jeffeth asks with a little smile to the group as he is already preparing to sneak off.
Icelyn simply nods. Of course she can be quiet. That was her entire job back when. She peers at the watchtower Bhandn has noted, and lets out a quiet, pleased noise. "Good. We may not have to shoot anybody at all. Initially." Her head turns towards Bree and Bhandn. "If they do anything but talk, make noise. We'll break through to you." Yes, they probably already no that. But Icelyn is obviously nervey about a situation like this, more so than her general disposition on Solace work.
"I can make noise," Bree promises Icelyn with a grin, the whirlwind that is this butterfly knight rather good at making people notice her. "Good luck," she speaks the words to Icelyn, Emily, and finally to the Grandmaster. A fist to chest, a quick salute, and she turns to Bhandn. Her hand knocks his shoulder in encouragement, and she murmurs, "You and me. Remember, they wanted the priest, not Nathan. Whatever we have, we have that knowledge. I'll let you do the talking, unless you fumble and need my support." And then she's moving to her horse, grabbing the saddle, and swinging herself effortlessly up onto its back. This provides them some sense of authority, leverage, like they're really here to negotiate.
"Let's hope it doesn't come to blood," is all that Bhandn has to say back to Jeffeth as he regards the Bull's helm in his gauntleted hands. He stares at it for a moment, there in the darkness, then is raising it up slowly to secure it on his own head. He'll turn to regard Bree right after, let out a breath, and then move to reclaim his own saddle. "I'll need it, I think." Even in the saddle wearing that helm, his shoulders can be seen shifting, and his hands take some effort to be forced away from fidgeting with his new headwear.
There's a small bit of encouragement Bree gives Bhandn when she senses his uncertainty, and she leans in to whisper something to him.
The suggested plan gets a silent nod from Emily. Better to less telegraph their choices as she glances up and over at Icelyn as she offers the woman a smile. Her bow is pulled from her back ands he looks to the Grandmaster. "Whenever you are ready. Be careful," the last said to Bhandn and Bree that they are about to abandon. When they are out of sight she will nock her arrow into place. The main gate is given a long look for a moment but she will be quick to follow the other two.
Bhandn checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 7 lower.
Bhandn splutters just a little bit at what Bree has to say to him before he's quickly responding back to her.
Bree checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher. Bree rolled a critical!
Whatever Bhandn whispered, Bree somehow manages to stay on her horse. She even laughs. "Come on, Grandmaster," she says, nudging her horse forward to begin the plan.
And so! Jeffeth, Emily and Icelyn move down the path that will bring them aroun the fort's blind spot. It's a thankfully /quiet/ trip and there doesn't seem like there's anyone along the way to ambush them. Small miracles! The watch tower that they approach is indeed empty for whatever reason, probably shoddy leadership. These are a bunch of bandits who kidnapped someone they didn't really want and are living in a rotting fort in the woods. They find themselves now in the position of needing to see how to break in. There's no gate in the area, but the wall does look like it has a few vulnerable spots that they could exploit.
Meanwhile! At the front, Bree and Bhandn are about to put on the world's greatest show.
Bree checked charm + performance at difficulty 35, rolling 3 lower.
Bhandn checked command + intimidation at difficulty 35, rolling 10 lower.
As they come round the back of the fort, Icelyn keeps an eye o the wall - for guards patroling above, and for weak spots in the material. She points them out as they go along. "We can break through here. ... There. ... There." Why aren't we already breaking in, says her impatient stance and restless gaze.
Arriving at the weak spot of the fort, Emily keeps an active eye on their surroundings - just in case the bandits are smarter than they appear. She clears her throat and mmms. "Does anyone have rope? I could shoot an arrow up there with the rope attached. Could help us scale...if we make too much noise they will be drawn our way," she points out even as she steps forward to check the rotting wood and pushes against it to test how much it gives. She chews on the inside of her cheeks. "We can break through," she admits but does not look so certain.
At the back of the fort, Jeffeth is crouched down with his sneaky gal pals, sizing up the wall. Leaning into a tree, he listens to them both. "Let's give them time to talk." Jeffeth murmurs softly. "I don't want to bust through yet. I can scale that wall without a problem." He glances to the pair of them, furrowing his brow. "I could get you both up as well. Either from up there, or boosting you from the ground. I am /not/ as confident about being able to climb it quietly." His teeth dig at his lower lip. "How about this? We sneak up, I boost you both up, one after the other, you get up quietly and get ready to fire. Then I'll join. If I'm loud.. Well, you'll be ready to shoot." Jeffeth suggests.
As he and Bree approach the fort to put on their (gulp) show, Bhandn takes in a deep, steadying breath, trying to calm himself while still keeping his hands forcibly attached to the reins of his steed. Even now he can't stop himself from wanting to adjust that helm just a little bit, to say nothing of the fact that the rest of him is in rubicund in comparison to the alaricite. Yet, when he opens his mouth to project his words, he intends to do make quite a bit of noise, as he offers the following speech at full volume, to make it very clear from where it is coming (and also possibly distract from the strike team's intrusion):
"THOSE OF YOU WHO REMAIN ALIVE INSIDE. IF YOU SURRENDER THE YOUNG MAN PEACEFULLY, WE WILL NOT HARM YOU AND YOURS. WE OF THE SILVER ORDER GIVE YOU OUR PLEDGE THAT YOUR LIVES WILL NOT BE FORFEIT IF YOU COME OUT AND END THIS CONFLICT. IF WE MUST RECLAIM WHAT YOU HAVE TAKEN FROM OUR SACRED CHARGE, WE CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR SAFETY. I INVITE THOSE WHO WISH TO NEGOTIATE FOR THEIR WELL BEING TO COME FORTH."
"Is that what I sound like?" Jeffeth whispers quietly, looking to Emily and Icelyn just a touch of self-consciousness crossing his features.
Right about now Bree is wishing part of this plan just involved rushing the gate, sword drawn, ready to fight. That? That she can do. This pretending business is not up her alley at all. She hates lies, she hates pretense. She really dislikes those who kidnap others for their own gain. Several times she looks to the side to see Bhandn adjusting the helm, and she resist the urge to scold him. A little mantra plays through her brain - just don't say anything, just don't say anything, just don't - And then Bhandn is making his grand speech as the Grandmaster. She just LOOKS at him like he's been possessed by some strange spirit of the Grandmaster. And for SOME reason, she feels the need to add, "WE ONLY WANT THE BOY!" She's done her part. Good job, Bree.
At the back of the fort, as Bhandn's voice echoes faintly in the distance, Icelyn nods to Jeffeth's plan. Then she nods again to his question, straightfaced. "It's a job requirement," she murmurs.
%Icelyn answers which gives Emily a mere shrug of her shoulders in answer. Off the hook. She clears her throat. "All right well help boost us up then, we can see about getting clear shots of our friends from that vantage point."
A cluster of people start to show up in the two watch towers that face the front of the fort, they're all staring down at Bhandn and Bree. When Bhandn booms out his speech, there's a moment where they're all very quiet. One of them elbows the man next to him. "You said he was really tall! I could take him!" At which point furious arguing breaks out along the wall. "HE SCALED A TREE IN FULL ARMOR I SAW IT." More arguing. "You said he was in ALARICITE. That's clearly rubicund! Quinn, you need your fucking eyes checked." -- "WHY DOES HE HAVE THE HELMET THEN???? Answer that! What-- did he just GIVE IT to someone else??" While they're not intimidated by any means, they are massively distracted.
Bree calling out to them stops the in-fighting that's happening at the wall, "Well we DON'T want him!" Cue laughing. "WE WANT SILVER. Tell his family we want silver! Or uh," -- Arguing sounds. "WE'RE KILLING HIM."
"JUST GIVE THEM THE MONEY! THEY HAVE SWORDS! I'M TOO PRETTY TO DIE."
Icelyn checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.
Emily checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 41 higher.
Icelyn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.
Jeffeth checked strength + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 48 higher.
Jeffeth checked strength + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 57 higher.
Emily checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.
Jeffeth checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 46 higher.
Jeffeth checked strength + athletics at difficulty 35, rolling 28 higher.
The team of Jeffeth, Emily and Icelyn are able to get up and over the wall without falling and breaking any limbs or crumbling the not-so-hard wooden walls. What's on the other side is a walkway that runs the full inner perimeter of the fort, leading from tower to tower and eventually the pully system that lowers the gate. It's night and even with ample torchlight, there's still a lot of shadows where they are, which contributes to them not being immediately noticed. While the southwest tower remains unoccupied, the other three have one archer stationed in each. And there's a group of ten bandits along the front wall, facing Bhandn and Bree with an assortment of weapons at their disposal. Some are bows, but others are just poor looking swords. Nathan is hog-tied by the campfire. Someone is currently gagging him because they've.had.enough. Each wall has a ladder down from the walk way, in addition to exits down from the towers themselves.
Icelyn scrambles quietly up to the top of the wall and peers around, taking in the camp and its ragtag guard. Then she spots Nathan by the campfire, and looks at Jeffeth. Ensuring her movements are clear in the shadows she mouthes at him: 'I can get him'.
Bhandn checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.
While Bhandn might not be as tall or decked out as the Bull of Solace, he does aim to at least be of comparable stature. He doesn't call out any more veiled threats, but instead exchanges a glance with Bree while the bandits argue amongst themselves about what they're going to do. And then that one calls back about wanting silver, and there's a sigh from Bhandn's helmeted head as he shifts in the saddle. "IF HE DIES, YOU DIE. THERE WILL BE NO SANCTUARY GIVEN TO ANY OF YOU." He yells that to the air with as much of a judgmental tone as he can muster, but the man himself has frankly had his fill of bandits (to say nothing of the past thirty years), and his patience with their kind is fraying almost visibly. His hands are tight on the reins of his horse while he makes that particular statement.
The big man gives a small nod to Icelyn, gesturing for her to go ahead. Jeffeth glances to Emily, then looks up to the towers before nodding. Jeffeth raises his hand towards Icelyn, motioning for her to wait. He glances to Emily, waiting for her to eliminate that nearest tower guard before they push in.
Bree is by Grandmaster-Bhandn's side, and she nods him on in encouragement, her fingers tightening about the reins of her horse, the other hand moves slowly to the hilt of her sword, a casual resting there. She straightens at Bhandn's words, backing him up completely, but then she asks, "How much?" A cough, and louder, "HOW MUCH SILVER FOR HIS LIFE?" Her thighs tighten the tiniest bit as her horse begins to dance, the shouting starting to make the animal restless beneath her.
Emily checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 5 higher.
Silently an arrow is drawn as they take the moment to get a look around. The nearest archer to her and is likely to spot them first is centered upon. Emily nods to Jeffeth when he makes the motion for her to shoot. She draws back the string and steadies hesrelf, slowing her breath and then holding it before the dark fletching brushes her cheek as she releases and it goes flying true towards its target. She does not make a sound but will look to see if she begin moving that way. She upnods, as if to point her chin towards the one with Nathan.
"You can't get us! We're on the other side of the wall!" One of the men calls back. That's right, there's NO possible way that anyone could ever get them inside of their flimsy wooden fort that's falling apart. They can't hear Nathan anymore aside from him literally SCREAMING through the rag at the top of his lungs. "EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND SILVER!" Why not just a million at that point? They clearly think that Nathan's family is really rich. One of the archers in the watch tower facing them decides to get antsy and readies his bow. "They don't have that much silver on them! You said these people were reach, Dallah! But they're not at all!" A woman that's with them starts to furiously disagree and there's a lot of gesturing and disagreeing going on. Until the archer decides to fire a couple of quick shots off his bow at the pair of Bree and Bhandn. "YOU BETTER GET GOING ON THAT SILVER."
Bree checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 1 higher.
Bhandn checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 4 higher.
When the arrows come flying, the antsy behavior of Bree's horse actually pays off, as it senses the danger before she does! She ducks, a WHOOSH close to her head, the arrow thunking into the ground behind her. She turns on the horse, looking up to the walkway for the archer. "You'll get nothing if we're dead, except the force of the Knights of Solace on your backs!" She looks to Bhandn then, because she's running out of ways to stall them, and then a great idea strikes. "WE WILL GIVE YOU THE HELMET!" she shouts, hoping Jeffeth cannot hear her. "It is worth that, at least. Sell it, if you must, but just give us Nathan!"
Icelyn will have the opportunity to move down one of the ladders along the wall, though she'll now be in the open area of the fort, leaving her open. There's just the one man on Nathan, who seems distracted with relief that he doesn't have to hear him talk anymore, also his attention is shifted to the gate.
Emily sinks an arrow into the archer on the other back tower, leaving the back part of the fort in their hands. They can now move forward to the tower that has the pulley system (guarded by the archer shooting at Bhandn and Bree) or try and shoot at the man guarding Nathan to give Icelyn an entirely clean route of her own. So far, everyone is focused on the two knights out front and whether or not they should be shooting at them.
Jeffeth watches Icelyn carefully, nodding to her as she advances. She can handle herself. He moves to follow Emily, motioning with one hand for her to advance on the walkway towards the shooty-tower. "Get up there and take them out close. If you can do it quietly, good. You can then take out the other tower. I'll get the gate open at the bottom." Jeffeth whispers, giving Emily's shoulder a squeeze before moving at her back.
Icelyn checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 31 higher.
Icelyn checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 30, rolling 0 higher.
Emily checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 33 higher.
Wasting no time, Icelyn knocks her bow and looses an arrow at the man guarding Nathan. It's an easy shot: She has the high ground and he has no idea she's there. She has barely let the arrow fly before she slips down the stairs and sneaks across the camp, shifting from shadow to shadow while the bandits make a racket around her.
She crouches by Nathan and yanks her knife from her belt to cut his ropes. "Don't make a sound. Come with me." She doesn't, it must be admitted, take out the gag yet.
Giving Icelyn a look, Emily needs to move quickly when Jeffeth whispers to her. A nod is given and when she is given the go ahead with a squeeze to her shoulder she starts forward, pulling an arrow from her hip as they go. Setting it to her bow, she readies it when she gets within a good distance and stays low. Breath held the arrows is released once more and it sales with such accuracy that the archer is dropped immediately and without sound. There is far too much going on at the gate anyways for it to be immediately noticed as she moves forward and takes up a position with another arrow readied to cover Jeffeth.
It's a good thing that Icelyn doesn't take Nathan's gag out. He's a lot better this way. Because when his guard hits the ground? SCREAMING. Into the gag. Thankfully it's muffled and into the material so no one around the fort is actively paying attention. They're learning to tune him out. Much like Nathan's father.
Up along the walkway, Emily has cleared the path to the watch tower with the pulley! This means they'll be able to work the gate down, but it also puts them adjacent to a group of people who are 100% going to notice the gate MOVING at this point.
The helmeted head of Bhandn-as-Jeffeth turns momentarily to regard Bree when she announces giving it away. There's no audible reply from the man wearing it. He just keeps grinding his teeth from behind that bull helm and leans over slightly so as to "confer quietly" with Bree.
Maybe Jeffeth won't hear Bree, but he's definitely in a position to hear the guys on the wall. "The helmet??" As much discussion transpires, "OKAY! We'll take it! Throw it up to us! And then after we've looked at it, we'll let him go!" Cheers go out, "GIVE US THE HELMET, GIVE US THE HELMET."
Jeffeth looks over to Nathan and Icelyn. Hostage is safe-ish. Good. Ten people next to the pulley. Not as good. But at most they would be able to approach two at a time? Three? Jeffeth reaches up for Emily's shoulder once more. "Get the gate. I'll hold them for you." Jeffeth whispers. Finally his hammer is slung off his back for the first time this evening, being hefted into both hands, he gets ready to make for the gate, and get all none shall pass in front of the pulley.
Bree checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 35, rolling 58 higher.
Bree checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 35, rolling 10 higher.
Bree checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 10 higher.
The problem with being boosted up a wall is that, when your booster is otherwise occupied, getting down is harder. Especially with an untrained screaming civilian in tow. Icelyn has done it before. She isn't keen on doing it again.
As such, she grabs Nathan by the arm and tows him down into the shadow of the wall below Jeffeth. "Stay still," she murmurs. "If you leave my side here, they will have you again." Hopefully that is sufficient reason for him to stay put. She slings her bow off her back again and knocks another arrow. The enemy has the height advantage on her now. But she intends to shoot anybody who comes into range with a mind to attacking her friends outside or Emily and Jeffeth within.
Emily checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 5 higher.
Jeffeth checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 19 higher.
Jeffeth checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 14 higher.
Jeffeth checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 15 higher.
Jeffeth checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 12 higher.
Jeffeth checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 20 higher.
Jeffeth checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 19 higher.
When given the order to handle the gate, Emily's bow lowers slowly and she nods. But her arrow is thrust into the ground beside her when she gets near the pulley as her bow is set down beside her as well within her reach. SHe gives him a look to warn the movement is coming and then a nod. The gate begins its motion as she holds tightly to the rope.
Emily begins to work the system and the gate is lowering, which prompts several of the guys on the outer edge of the group to notice what's going on. The cries of alarm go out and several of them immediately rush into the guard tower, only to be slauthered. Meanwhile, the gate is going lower and lower until it's all the way down and the way is free for Bhandn and Bree to burst in and help secure the area.
Nathan has to stay wherever Icelyn puts him, because he can't walk or talk. She has the ability to take aim at one of the remaining seven guys on the wall, some of which are coming down to try and deal with incoming knights below.
Bhandn's little conference with Bree does nothing except solidify her plan. All it takes is the sound of the gate moving, a sound she KNOWS the bandits atop will be hearing, and she reaches over to grab the helmet from Bhandn's head. "Sorry!" she offers him a wide grin, and then she grabs the reins of her horse to ride toward the gate and toss up Jeffeth's helmet in some sort of noble sacrifice for the fate of Nathan! Will Jeffeth ever forgive her? Hopefully, because she doesn't stop riding, heels digging into the side of the mount and a loud, "Hyah!" called as she barrels straight for the fort.
The gate opens with Emily's help, just in time for her to squeeze through, and her skill atop the horse makes it possible for her to see the overhang of the ledge just inside the fort. She hoists herself up, a hand grasping the ledge as her horse continues on, leaving her hanging there, She pulls herself up and over to mount the ramparts where all the bad guys wait! She has eyes only for the one holding the Bull, and she draws Celestia from her sheath, leveling the alaricite blade at the man. "That belongs to the Grandmaster," is all she says before the sword finds its home through the man's chest. Sure, there are others up there with her, but she moves to scoop up the fallen helmet, and then turns to see Jeffeth fighting below. "Grandmaster!" she calls, tossing it to him and then turning to face whatever dangerous situation she's put herself in. This is much more her style than any of that talking out there, and a wild, familiar flare sparks in her eyes.
Icelyn checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 32 higher.
Icelyn checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 37 higher.
With Emily moving forward, Jeffeth darts forward to the chokepoint. Hammer hefted up, "Go ahead and give it to them." The large man calls out once Emily has already started to pull on the pulley. The massive frame of the fake Grandmaster occupies the doorway to the pulleyroom, holding his hammer out at the ready. When he is approached by the first three, Jeffeth maneuvers as if he is going to give up ground. Before darting forward, his hammer being used like a spear aimed at the stomach of the middle attacker. Jeffeth then readily puts his body in harms way by using it as a weapon.
His shoulder goes into the leftmost attacker, releasing his weapon to shove the soldier off the walkway he apparently liks throwing people off things today. The third attacker is able to get a hit deflecting off his alaricite breastplate which has the massive man looking down at the guard. His forehead cracks against the individuals face in a rather brutal headbutt which has blood spurting up on the Grandmasters face before he follows up with his hammer sweeping the legs of the third attacker. Then obviously, swings the hammer down at the person's back to finish it.
Looking up Jeffeth gets to watch his helmet be sacrificed and then retrieved by Bree's acrobatics and swashbuckling. A low impressed whistle is let out as he raises his hand to catch the Bull by the horns from Bree's toss. Now a few bandits left in between Bree and Jeffeth.
Jeffeth dons his helmet, letting his hammer swing down to his side. "We have the hostage. You have nothing. Surrender now, and be spared. Final warning." Jeffeth calls out as he starts to stroll towards those between him and Bree.
Icelyn Another bandit tumbles from the wall as Jeffeth skirmishes, brought down by Icelyn's arrow. She scans for more targets, frowning - but no one is in her line of vision right now. The angle is bad for an archer on the ground. So she looks at Nathan. "Get ready to run." If they surrender, then she and Nathan can walk peacefully out of here. If not, she intends to get Nathan out and then come back to defend her allies.
Jeffeth checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 43 higher.
Jeffeth checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 18 higher.
Bree checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 19 higher.
Bhandn checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 1 higher.
Bhandn checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 5 higher.
Emily checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 2 higher.
Emily checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 35, rolling 6 higher.
"I KNEW THAT WASN'T THE GRANDMASTER!" The guy who isn't Quinn starts to yell. It's something he's pieced together from the beginning and is now fully solidified when the actual Grandmaster starts mowing guys down and Bree shows up and calls someone else that's not Bhandn the Grandmaster. He could probably be a decent detective! But he's also the guy who caught the helmet, which means that Bree stabbed him. :( The fighting on the walk way is between Jeffeth, Emily, Bree, and the remaining two people that are trying to hold the wall. It's a lot of chaos and they don't really seem interested in listening to reason, which is likely why they're petty bandits. That leaves two that made it down below where one of them tries to PULL Bhandn from his horse. And the other is angling in the direction of Icelyn and Nathan. "RMRMMMMMMPF!!!!" he shouts through the gag. "HRMMRMMPFF."
The final watch tower turns out to have just a couple of more guys left in it, they decide to try and make their way out into the courtyard to escape. Which involves attacking the people there or stealing their horses.
Bree checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 19 higher.
Bree checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 40, rolling 18 higher.
Bhandn checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 45, rolling 29 higher.
Bhandn checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 40, rolling 2 lower.
Icelyn checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 16 higher.
Icelyn checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 40, rolling 22 higher.
Emily checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 77 higher. Emily rolled a critical!
Emily checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 40, rolling 31 higher.
Jeffeth checked strength + huge wpn at difficulty 45, rolling 37 higher.
Jeffeth checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 45, rolling 5 lower.
That guy's knife is probably stuck in your armor but maybe you're not bleeding? 20 inflicted and Bhandn is unharmed.
Suddenly, running is not an option anymore for Icelyn and Nathan. With one man and Bhandn between them and the exit, the other headed for Icelyn and, by the sound of it, more on the way, she rethinks quickly. With one hand, she readies her bow. The other unsheathes her knife and she passes it to Nathan. "Stay behind me. Stab anyone who isn't one of us." Hopefully he doesn't stab her, but she refuses to leave an unarmed civilian unarmed in the middle of a fight.
This done, she knocks her bow again and looses, catching the man coming for her just before he gets within her guard. Any closer and she is going to need the sabre tucked at her left hip. But that one, at least, goes down with an arrow in one eye.
There are worse places to be than to be stuck between Jeffeth and Bree, but maybe not when both of them are holding weapons covered in the blood of your friends? Bree watches as the Grandmaster speaks, nodding to his words, her fingers tightening still as she waits for them to magically obey. They don't, and so she ducks the wild swing of a bandit, spinning on the rampant and landing a solid elbow to his face to send him staggering back. And then Celestia finishes the job, brought high and slanted across the chest of the man who could have saved himself had he only listened. The fall of the body brings her one step closer to Jeffeth, and once he has felled his own, she turns to stand back to back with him, surveying the fort, looking for any hidden bandits or further dangers.
At this point, it's really a clean up situation. Though Bhandn does get a knife stuck into his armor somewhere. Which is exceptionally rude and is going to cost money to get out.
The fort's gate rises, Bree vaults off her horse into the rampart, and there is Bhandn in the dark wondering just what happened and whether he'd fallen asleep on duty. It lasts long enough for him to draw his own blade and meet the oncoming traffic by dismounting. That turns out to be a mistake, but he reacts in time to put armor in the way and that's how he has a knife sticking out of his left side. The weapon getting stuck is the primary reason why he ends up decapitating the man who attacked him. No show of finesse here, he simply shoves the man back and follows through with a savage slice of fine steel. And just like that, it's over for him. He cleans his blade off once he realizes the rest of the camp is being dismantled by force, and there's a sigh from the knight.
"We should at least bury them," is all he says, though without any real strength behind that deep voice.
With Nathan between her body and the corner walls, handily protected, Icelyn looks for any additional attackers with sharp, wary eyes. She only relaxes once she's sought, and found nothing, in every shadow of the camp.
"The only protection the merchants have are the caravan guards," she says to Bhandn, turning to look Nathan over for any physical injuries. "Some of us should go back with Nathan. The rest of us can dig a grave for these ..." Look, the camp is a wreck, and they were clearly too dumb to even manage being proper bandits. "... people."
The last fighter is tossed from the rampart as Jeffeth walks up to Bree. She tries to stand back to back with him but he keeps facing her, patting her shoulder. With things winding down, the wounded bandits are tended to as best they can, the group of knights divvy up, some returning to the camp while the others remain behind with the Godsworn among them, Bree and Jeffeth, attending funeral rites and burying them.
When they all eventually return to camp, the night is festive. Their charges protected without any on their side being hurt or dead. Except for Bhandn's armor kind of.
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