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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2017, 6:49 pm 
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Duke

Joined: May 30th, 2015, 6:01 pm
Posts: 1321
Location: Michigan, USA
Eadric was enjoying a pleasant day in the monastery garden. The icy grip of winter had relented for a moment and Eadric was always one to take advantage of a false spring. There was a light feeling in the air, as even the normally bored knights at the gate seemed to relish in the sudden warmth. Out of the corner of his eye, Eadric noticed the guards stiffen, a sign that someone was coming to the gate. Eadric rose and prepared to greet the visitors.

It was a sizeable group coming up the steps to the monastery, far more than usually wandered in at any given time. Perhaps they are travelers, Eadric thought. They were certainly garbed for travel; each was wearing a bulky cloak. Such cloaks seemed out of place given the weather, but perhaps they were just as surprised by the warmth as Eadric was.

“Greetings, my friends!” Eadric bellowed, “Welcome to our monastery.”

There was no response from the men, and Eadric was overcome with a sudden feeling of dread. He saw the gleam of the sword as it emerged from the cloak of one of the men and was thrust into his stomach. He fell to the ground, hands grasping at his wound. As his vision clouded, he saw the guards crumple to the ground, blood pouring from their throats. He tried to call for help, but a savage blow from an axe cut it short.

---

Harlic had just finished off a mug of ale with a few of his fellow knights when he heard a bloodcurdling scream come from the yard.

“By all the spirits, what was that?” Harlic exclaimed, moving to look out the window. He saw at least a dozen strange men running through the yard, bloody swords in hand. His mug clattered to the floor.

“Bar the door! Now!” Harlic barked, sprinting to the door of the hall. Most of the other knights were stunned, but trusty Oswold ran to join him. The heavy wooden bar fell into place just as a shoulder bashed into the other side of the door.

“The windows too!” The other knights had finally come to their senses and quickly threw up the wooden tables of the hall against the windows. Shouts could be heard from the yard, but the knights were blind behind their barricades. Oswold went upstairs to a window and reported that the monastery was being overrun. More screams were heard echoing within the walls, but soon there was only silence.

A knock came on the door, and the knights drew what weapons they had. Only one had his sword at his side.

“Come out and you will not be harmed!” A voice called from beyond the door. Halric looked at his compatriots and shook his head.

“I very much doubt that!” Halric called back. He signaled for two of the knights to position the last remaining table in front of the door.

“You are outnumbered and your faithless brothers are dead! Surrender!” The voice called again, angry now.

“Go fuck yourself!” Harlic called in response. One of the knights laughed, albeit nervously. Halric’s insult was answered by the thud of an axe burying itself in the door.

“I will have this door bashed down. You will suffer greatly for this insult!” A few more thuds followed, but the heavy oaken door held firm.

“We will be here waiting!” Halric answered and laughed. More thuds, yet still the door held. It would take more than an axe to break it down.

---

Delon was watching his archers train in the yard when a breathless soldier ran up to him.

“Can I help you, soldier?” Delon asked curiously.

“The monastery has been taken. The guards have been killed.” The soldier gasped.

“Who? Where? How many?” Delon signaled for the man to follow him to the barracks.

“At least thirty men in cloaks. They killed the guards at the gate. I saw it all happen from my post.” The soldier answered, struggling to keep up with Delon’s pace.

“And they have taken the monastery, you said?”

“Aye. They have barricaded the gate too, from what I saw.” They had finally arrived at the barracks.

“Geras!” Delon called to one of his lieutenants, “I need you to rally your men at once. The monastery has been taken.” Geras answered with a puzzled look, but quickly sprinted off to the armory. Leaving the breathless soldier behind, Delon ran back to the archery range.

“With me! Now! Bring your bows!” The men were confused for a moment, but the seriousness of the command took hold quickly. They gathered themselves with haste, and soon Delon was leading a column of men to the monastery. From afar, he could see the monastery gate was being watched by at least a dozen men, crossbows aimed at the stairs. As Delon and his men drew near, bolts were loosed in their direction, forcing them to take cover. Some of the longbowmen answered with their own arrows, but none found their mark.

Geras was close behind them, forty men in tow. They quickly took up positions behind a nearby building.

“Geras, send some of your men to the forest. We shall need a ram.” Delon ordered, staring up at the gate.

---

“Is this all we have?” Harlic looked at the weapons assembled before him. Among the five knights, they had only four daggers, a broadsword, and a small hammer.

“Most of the weapons are in the armory in the central tower. This is all we could find.” Oswold answered.

“We will be massacred. We cannot fight our way out, not with this.” Harlic sat down in defeat, “They have half a dozen crossbows out there waiting for us. The second we open that door, they will turn us into pincushions. Our only hope lies in rescue.”

---

“Our archers have surrounded the monastery. No one shall escape.” Geras reported.

“Good. Now let us see what they want.” Delon signaled for a heavily armored soldier to step into the street, shield in one hand, white cloth in the other. For a moment it seemed as though the crossbowmen might let him reach the steps, but soon a salvo of bolts sent him scurrying back to cover.

“Or not.” Delon cursed, “The ram it is. Order the archers to fire on anyone on the walls. Keep their heads down.”

---

Harlic was sipping solemnly on a mug of ale when a coil of rope was thrown down on the table before him. He looked up to see a smiling Oswold.

“I have a plan.” Oswold exclaimed, taking a seat opposite Harlic.

“Go on.” Harlic sat up straight, curious.

“I have Cenfrith working on one of the windows on the second floor with that hammer we found. He said he should be able to break the mortar around it and remove the window without too much noise.” Oswold leaned forward, “I say we escape out the window and use this rope to rappel down the wall.”

“How will we make the parapet without being noticed by their sentries?” Harlic asked.

“It seems that archers have surrounded the monastery and are firing on anyone walking the walls. The enemy seems to have focused their number on defending the gate. If we are careful and move under the cover of darkness, we should face little resistance.” Oswold sat back in his chair, proud of his plan.

“Those archers could prove trouble for us, but it is a better plan than waiting to die in here.” Halric set aside his ale, “Inform the men.”

---

It had been an anxious wait for night to fall. Harlic was sure that someone would hear Cenfrith chiseling away at the window’s mortar. After what must have been a thousand delicate strokes, the window was loose enough to pull free. The knights watched with baited breath as Cenfrith slowly pulled the window free of its mooring. The men cheered under their breath as Cenfrith set it down carefully on floor. They fastened a makeshift rope to the frame of a bed and lowered it out the window. Cenfrith stuck his head out the window, making sure that they were out of sight of any sentries. Satisfied that no one was watching, Cenfrith crawled out of the window and began to climb down.

Once the knights had made the yard, they hugged the wall as they moved towards the stairs, hoping the shadows would conceal them. They arrived at the stairs unnoticed, and slowly worked their way up to the parapet. Cenfrith tied the rope around one of the crenellations and tossed it over the outside of the wall. He gave the rope a hard yank to make sure it would hold. Satisfied, he began to descend into the darkness.

---

“Wait for all of them to get on the rope.” Geras watched the men descend down the side of the wall. Geras’ eyes had adjusted to the darkness, but even then he could barely make out the gray figures.

“There are only five.” One of his archers pointed out, confused.

“If the fools wish to be captured, so be it. Draw your swords. We will take them at the bottom.”

---

Just as the last knight returned to solid ground, they were grabbed from the shadows and wrestled to the ground. Swords glinted in the moonlight, pointed at their throats.

“We surrender, we surrender.” Harlic whispered, still concerned about their escape being found out.

“Harlic?” Geras knelt down, recognizing his voice, “I thought you were all dead.” An arm was extended now in place of a sword.

“Most of us are. We lucky few barricaded ourselves in our quarters. If we had not found this rope, we might still be in there.” Harlic breathed a sigh of relief, then looked back at the monastery, “I am going to kill every one of those bastards.”

“And soon, I think,” Geras glanced up at the rope, “This is much better than a ram.”

---

Delon watched as a half dozen ropes dropped down from the parapet. His climbers had been quick, as they needed to be with dawn fast approaching. Delong signaled for his men to begin climbing, and soon the parapet was filled with soldiers. They moved quietly down the wall, taking up positions overlooking the yard. As more men clambered onto the parapet, Delon lead a group of them down to the base of the stairs. From his position, he could see the sentries huddled around a fire near the gate. He smiled and slowly unsheathed his sword. He raised it high above his head, signaling the archers to nock their arrows. He swung his sword forward, and a score of arrows flew past into the huddled sentries.

The cries of the sentries were drowned out by the shouts of Delon’s men as they emerged out of the darkness, weapons held high. One sentry tried to limp towards the tower, only to be cut down by a well placed slash from Delon’s sword. Delon hurried to the door of the tower, crashing through the door before it could be barred. He was faced with at least a score of groggy men reaching for their weapons. He ran through the nearest as he stood to fight, burying his sword in his chest. He slashed at another, his sword sliding ineffectively along the man’s mail. He dodged a cut at his head and hacked at his foe’s foot, slicing it clean off. The hall was filled with fighters from both sides now, and mayhem followed. Delon remembered a mace glancing off his shoulder at one point, but little else besides the blood. When at last the fight was over, twenty one of the enemy lay dead, along with three of Delon’s men. They had captured four of the attackers, who were now held at swordpoint.

“Make sure they are well guarded. And have their wounds tended to.” Delon pointed to the prisoners with his good arm, “The Guardian will want to speak with them.”

_________________
Guardian of Casadia
Master of the Slayers Guild
Minister of Hermertian History


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