The plan was set: Deaton would stealth up to the north wall, climb it, and snipe the guard in the northern platform and the one in the eastern platform. After seeing a quick spin of the searchlight as a signal Luc and Amarack would use spells to knock out the western and southern platform guards, and then enter the prison side of the compound, in search of the pair of roving guards. Once those guards were dead, Deaton could open the gates to the other side, and the three could find and eliminate Toor Grin’dar, the individual they believed would be the greatest threat.
Deaton crept up to the wall, feeling the weight of the moment on his shoulders a shudder went through his body. In that moment, he experienced doubt, doubt of the plan, doubt of his part, doubt… With a deep breath, holding it briefly, he exhaled and said to himself “For Cyre, and what we will be.” Steeling himself with renewed confidence he noticed his window of opportunity, and up his rope went. Deaton followed shortly after, and over to the ground on the other side. Taking stock of his surroundings, he prepared his bow for what was to come. Taking aim, he fired the first volley of a skirmish that would change the future of his beloved Cyre. For an exhilarating, breathtaking moment, he thought he may have missed the mark. But then his quarry dropped. Shouting triumph in his head, he quickly stealthed to the other side and aimed for the next Guard in the tower. Second shot, second kill! Sprinting, heart thumping in his ears, he made his way to the tower of the first guard killed. Another deep breath, he unlatched the light, and spun it around. Silently to himself he said “your turn to play your part my brothers.” Down the ladder he went, up against the wall, and stealthed toward the gate where he would wait.
Waiting on the South wall, Amarack saw the flash of light. Was that the signal? He wondered, but it must be, clutching his bow in his left hand, he stealthed back to get a good view of the guard. Surprising even himself with how quiet he was, he reminded himself to thank Luc and Deaton for teaching him the ways of moving silent. As he looked up at the tower, the guard came withing sight. The divine words began, hand glowing as the power of the Host flowed out and washed over the guard. For a split second, Amarack felt similar fears that Deaton had experienced mere seconds before. But then the guard slumped, and with almost a shout of excitement, Amarack moved forward stowing his bow, and throwing his rope up the wall.
At the West wall, Luc saw the quick flash of light, and knew it was time. Knowing the radius of his Sleep spell, Luc cast from the wall inward. Hearing the guard “What the…” then quick movements, then the sound of a crumpled sack. His faithful Mage Hand appeared and began working its way to the latch at an attempt to open the gate.
Amarack fumbled the throw with rope, and cursed himself for not being more dextrous. But again, he threw the rope, and again, it missed the top of the wall. Realizing his window of opportunity, and Hold Person spell was rapidly fleeting. He began sprinting to the West wall, coiling the rope as he ran, planning to come through the front gate, or climb Luc’s rope.
Luc became frustrated with the Mage Hand, realizing that the gate’s mechanism too complicated for the simple Cantrip. He recalled it, and had it loop the rope over the top of the wall. Luc made his ascent quickly, ticking the time off in his head. Dropping down on the platform, he crouched over the sleeping guard and pulled his dagger to finish the deed. Off in the Compound the two roaming guards called out “Well, what do ye think ye’re doing? Thinking to taking a nap?” The blood drained out of his face, and for a moment, thought he’d been caught. But his wit came to his rescue as he said “Just a leg cramp, you want to come up and masssage it for me?” Seconds crept by as Luc waited for the response, the guard grunted and mumbled something like “whatever…” and turned walking away. Luc knelt down and drew a line across the throat of the sleeping guard.
Seconds ticked off in Amarack’s head along with the thumping of his heart as his legs pumped furiosly to carry him to the gate. Would he fail his brothers? NO! He almost shouted as he increased his pace rounding the corner and seeing the rope still hanging over the wall.
Luc stood up to see the South guard tower, but did not see the tell tale signs of Shield Amarack felling the guard. Realizing the time had not passed for Amarack’s spell to have worn off, and knowing they had to get to the mid-gate anyway, Luc slid down the ladder and ran for all he was worth knowing full well he would run into the roving compound guards on the way.
Amarack came to the rope, and climbed for all he was worth. Dropping down onto the guard tower platform as lightly as he could, he surveyed Luc’s handiwork. Fear and doubt swirled in his head as he considered the possibilities. No Luc, was he captured, or worse killed? For a brief moment, he considered that he failed his compatriots. He looked out on the compound, but did not see a prison camp, but a battlefield. A battlefield strewn with the bodies of his countrymen, smoke trails winding their way up to the heavens, moaning of the dead and dying, and crows. Always the damned crows, pecking, munching, eating away at the flesh of the corpses. All was lost…
Luc careened around the corner skidding to a halt as he came upon the compound guards, surprise on both their faces and realization on the guards as they came around to the fact that they were being invaded. Luc’s hands began his sleep spell again, he could not afford this confrontation as the South tower was waiting and time was ticking, ticking, ticking…
Amarack closed his eyes, he bowed his head calling on the Host for strength. Like the warm arms of a loving parent, he felt the warm embrace that his deity was with him again, coupled with the confidence to endure. Opening his eyes, the prison camp was once again a prison camp, and no alarms had been sounded. “It’s working, he whispered” as he leaped down losing himself in the moment, and in his exhiliration he found his feet leading him to the first prisoner barrack.
All appeared to be according to plan, as Deaton hid behind the building. Thinking on the heroes they were, and the accolades that were surely to come as they strode into New Cyre with the PoW’s in tow. He was startled out of his dreaming revelry to the sound of movement, he prepared himself and moved to the next building, but realized his error when he tripped on a rock and hit the wall of the building the guard had just entered. Leaning up against the wall, he heard the shutter of the window flicker open, light flooding down on him for a second, then shutting once again. Hurried steps walking to the door, then running across the guard side compound. All Deaton could say was “Oh shit, I fucked up!”
Luc quickly came up the ladder to find the next guard laying quietly, staring at him. Recognition seemed to flash in his eyes as Luc’s dagger came out, and slid across his throat, breaking the spell and the guard would have gasped but only a rush of air came out his throat as warm blood came forth and coated the platform with a shiny sheen in the moonlight. Luc wiped his blade on the dead guards beret, stowed his dagger and slid down the ladder to finish the sleeping compound guards. Out came his dagger, with almost a snickety snack sound, he dispatched these two without a second thought. It was then all hell broke loose…
“Drop your cocks and grab your socks troops! Do ya hear the peel of that bell? Aye, that means the Hammer of Cyre has come to Thrane, for your vacation time is over! The Crown of Cyre awaits you in New Cyre, and we have come to liberate you! Now get up! GET UP! By the grace of the Host, you are meant to be freed!” Whines of “What the hell are you thinking?” came from the roused prisoners. One came through to Amarack “Who in the Nine Hells are you?” Amarack snapped to and responded “I am Shield Amarack, servant of the Host, first Shield of the Ninth Legion and protector of New Cyre. We don’t have time for introductions, so get your sorry asses out of bed, grab a weapon and get out on that parade ground before I really lose my temper!”
Captain Tavrak had awakened from his slumber to relieve himself. On his way to the privy, he noticed a figure creeping creeping around, and sounded the alarm. Realizing that their plan would likely collapse, Amarack had burst into one of the prison barracks and began barking Cyran training commands, hoping to reach deep into the psyches of his countrymen and shake them from their docile attitude as POWs. Luc sought to eliminate any other threats from guards on that side of the camp, and searched a building for any other men.
Deaton decided that opening the gates from the Thrane side of the camp and entering the prison side made the most sense, and in moments he’d reunited with Luc. Amarack continued his attempts to rally the stunned prisoners, a few of which followed his orders and opened the door to another barracks building.
Within minutes the Thranes had deployed on the prison side of the camp, seeking to both quell the possibility of a riot by prisoners and flank the attackers.
Tavrak gathered several of his guards on the east end of the barracks complex while he tried to take stock of what was happening. Meanwhile, Amarack moved to the second building and repeated his shouts to get moving, that liberation was at hand. Luc and Deaton cleared the prison service building of the last guards, who put up a stout fight, and then Luc ran headlong into Toor Grin’dar, who’d made his way into the fray.
Deaton and Amarack found themselves outside the middle barracks, squared off against Captain Tavrak and one his his lieutenants. A crowd of prisoners grew at their backs, some armed with broken chairs and table legs, and mostly stilled stunned by the sudden change of events. The two Cyran warriors stood toe-to-toe with the Thranes and fought, with Amarack being knocked unconscious by the Thrane’s greatsword. Deaton, not the frontline fighter, fell back and called on his countrymen to get involved. Luc dashed out of the structure and melted into the crowd of prisoners. It wasn’t the immediate memory of Amarack’s commands, or Deaton’s encouragement, however, that spurred the unarmored and under-armed crowd into action. The foul words of Tavrak, who was probably the harshest of the entire camp staff, pushed aside the last reservations against action. “Get back to your bunks you curs! The Flame has taken care of you, and you’ve got no home to go home to. Your fathers turned your Cyre, your home into a smoking hole!” he shouted, spitting venom, and fully unhinged with rage. Toor Grin’dar could be heard in the distance saying “Whoa, hold on, let’s just settle down…” but it was too late. The powder keg had been lit as the crowd rushed him, and pushed him back between two buildings, toward the Thrane side of the facility. Seeing an opening, Luc dragged Amarack out of harm’s way and bound his wounds.
Luc, meanwhile, had made his way around another building and was able to see what was happening: the surviving Thranes – probably 5 or 6 of them – were retreating to their side of the facility. He watched as Tavrak sprinted through the double sets of gates as they were closed and locked. The Thranes were safe for the moment and now had full access to whatever other resources – human and otherwise – they had on the other side of the camp. The palisade between the two sides was stout, and there was only one platform accessible on this side facing the Thranes. Luc, based on days of observation, knew that there were around 20 other Thranes over there – technicians, workers, and others. And while they weren’t soldiers, they could be armed. Who knew what weapons or other equipment they might have stored over there?
Rushing back to his comrades Luc stated his mind: “we need to go…” Ideas swirled through their minds as they tried to take stock of what was happening, what resources they had at hand, and what they ought to do. A Cyran healer – an adept of Dol Dorn – provided Amarack with enough divine healing to get him upright – and then the discussion ensued.
There were about 40-some prisoners from the northern and middle buildings milling about, some armed with makeshift weapons, a precious few equipped with arms taken from fallen Thranes, and most looking stunned. Oddly, it seemed that no one from the southernmost of the three POW barracks was outside. In fact, the doors were still closed. The camp was dark, sound was quickly dying down, and precious time was slipping away.
One POW stepped forward and introduced himself as Lt. Bakkar. “Grin’dar won’t take this sitting down,” he stated. “Where’s the rest of your force?” he then asked, a combination of exhilarated and surprised.
It’s 1:15am, Friday. It took you three a day and a half, with some sleep on the way, to get to the camp. You’ve got two days, and little time in addition, to make it to the rendezvous point, now with 40+ others. Time is important, am I’m going to keep track of it.