(Mila’s quarters, Havensbridge)
Two men marched with purpose. The larger man, taller by almost half a foot, glanced down at his companion. As they stopped, he nodded.
“This is the room,” he whispered as he loosened his short sword from its scabbard.
Suddenly, Mila’s eyes shot open.
She shook her head to cast off the last vestiges of her trance, and listened intently.
“I heard she single-handedly took on that giant Dragoon thing in Falcrest,” the voice in the hallway said shakily, “I don’t like this one bit.”
“It don’t matter what you like,” a second voice responded. “Boss says she’s overstayed her welcome.”
Mila heard the hinge of the door squeak, and the shadows showed the slow steady movement of the door.
In the mere seconds Mila had to take action it seemed a hundred strategies had hammered her mind. Should she attempt to hide? Flee? Fight back? Nothing was clear except the dagger she had managed to retrieve beneath her pillow as she listened to the conversation outside.
With the squeak of the hinge and the shadows growing larger in her room by the second, she quickly grabbed the pillow beside her and in one swift movement, used it to replace her body underneath the covers as she quietly fell to the floor, laying flat on her stomach.
Only with the sound of their footsteps would she crawl towards the edge of the bed in order to keep herself hidden but also get a better look at those sent to end her stay. Only dressed in a long shirt Walgrin had given her for comfort and her armor neatly piled in a chair close to the door, she knew that she only had one shot to take out one of the guards in order to flee the room.
Nadorhuanrim, she thought in her mind as she got as best of a look as she could without being seen. The only thing she could make out about their physique was that one was quite taller than the other. The short one was her passage out of there.
Gripping the dagger tightly she continued to crawl until they should have been able to see her. She would then jump to her feet quickly and attempt to attack the shorter guard from the front, aiming the dagger towards his throat, while her free hand attempted to grab for his sword.
The sound was just enough that the guard was able to reach up and bat the dagger away before it hit flesh. He took his gauntleted fist and drove it into Mila’s unguarded midsection.
Fist vs Mila - 0,-,-,+ = -1 + Forceful +3 = +2
Mila vs Fist: -,-,0,+ = -1 + Quick +2 = +1
Mila’s attention followed the dagger as it was batted carelessly away by the guard and in turn she was too late to avoid the hit to her stomach, taking it hard and forcing her backwards onto the ground.
Weaponless, without protection, and little else to do lest she catch more attention from other guards outside, she raises her right hand up to the guard who punched her as her left clutches her stomach in pain.
“Stop…stop!” She pleaded through struggled gasps of air from having it knocked out of her.
“Whatever he is paying you I will double it! Not only in gold but power! I have connections with both humans and elves…I can make you kings if you let me go…”
Her eyes flicked between both guards. Nothing but lies spewed from her tongue but she had known men long enough to know that gold and power was an irresistible offer.
“Please take my offer.”
Offer Vs Guards: -,0,+,+ = +1 + Clever +2 = +3
Tall Guard vs Offer: 0,-,0,+ = 0 + Clever +1 + Fiercely Loyal +2 = +3
Short Guard vs Offer: 0,-,-.+ = -1 + Clever +1 = 0
As the shorter guard reached down to grab at Mila’s nightdress as her offer met his ears. He stopped for a moment unsure how to proceed. Most just begged for their lives, but Mila’s offer had a sincerity to it that gave him pause.
“Just how much gold we talkin’ here?” he asked.
The taller one piped up from behind. “I don’t think I believe her Erron. The boss ain’t never been anything but good to us and don’t much like the idea of changin’ that. Besides, we could kill her and find whatever gold she’s got ourselves.”
“Maybe. But I like the idea of servin’ some fancy elf lord.”
“I don’t care about no stupid elf lord, I like the boss.”
“Yeah, well maybe I don’t like doin’ dirty work for the Viceroy no more.”
“You ain’t supposed to say his name, idiot,” the taller one exclaimed as he hit the shorter guard on the arm.
Mila rolled her eyes as the two bickered but saw an opportunity to escape.
She quietly shifted her body back and away from the two until her back was against the wall. She would use it as a crutch to get back on her feet, being sure to only move an inch at a time as not to draw attention yet.
Ignoring the pain in her abdomen as much as possible, she took a deep breath before taking a small step towards the shorter guard only to make her next step a leap at him.
Putting all of her weight into the launch against him, she hoped to knock him to the ground and catch both of them off guard long enough for her to disarm the shorter guard before the taller guard caught on to her plan.
Mila vs Shorty: +, -, -, - = -2 + arguing +2= 0 + Forceful +3 = +3
Short Guard vs Mila: 0,0,0,+ = +1 + Careful +2 = +3
The guard caught Mila’s movement out of the corner of his eye and braced for the impact just as Mila’s shoulder caught him in the chest. The taller guard pulled his sword from its scabbard and made his way toward Mila as the shorter guard gasped for breath.
Boost on Short Guard: Gasping for Air
Tall vs Mila 0,-,-,- = -3 Forceful +2 = -1
Mila Vs Shorty: 0, +, -, + = +1 + Boost +2 = +3 + Careful +1 = +4
Mila shifted her body until her back was to the shorter guard, bringing her elbow up from the impact point on his chest and slamming it into his nose. As she felt the warm blood from the fracture begin drip onto her arm, she pulled his sword from the scabbard and pulled him in front of her to act as a shield for the few moments he would remain standing.
As the shorter guard crumbled to the ground with a painful groan, Mila gave the other guard a small smirk.
“Now it’s a little more even.”
She let out a soft sigh as she considered the situation. Between the hit to her stomach and throwing her body weight to take out the shorter guard, she had little physical strength left. This guard was taller and heavy with armor. She would have to hope that her short height compared to him combined with the lack of heavy armor would make her light on her feet and give her some sort of advantage.
“I’ll give you a chance to walk away.” She huffed before raising the sword, ready to attack. “You would be wise to take it.”
Mila Vs. Tall guard: 0, -, +, - = +1 + Quick +2 = +3
Tall guard vs attack: 0,-,+,+ = +1 Quick +1 = +2
The guard momentarily considered running. The hesitation was enough for Mila to hit him in the temple with the flat of the blade, crumpling him to the floor.
Mila leaned against the wall and fell to her knees.
“Feuyaerea.” She huffed as she stared at the two passed out guards.
Her gaze shifted to her armor and she forced herself back to her feet, knowing that more would come if the guards didn’t report back.
She grabbed the neat pile but kept the sword she took in her right hand should the need to use it arise before she was in the clear.
Stepping over the guards she paused at the doorway and confirmed it was empty before making her way down the hall.
Her ears perked as she passed Walgrin’s quarters. She started to move on but stopped. He could be killed for association. Her chest heaved with a weary sigh before she brought her knuckles to his door and knocked gently.
“Walgrin, it’s Mila. Open up, quickly!”
Walgrin jolted awake with a groaned sigh, Stupid mortal flesh. He rolls onto his backside as he pushes off the bed to stand up and grabs his pants, “Aches and pains, sleep and dreams, I miss being awake at all hours and never tiring.” He gets to the door and opens it a crack to see who asking his attention at this hour, “Mila?” He blinks, “What’s going on?”
Mila pushes Walgrin back into his room and quickly follows, shutting and locking the door behind her.
“You didn’t hear any of it?” She questions with a look of confusion.
She pushes past him and throws her sword and armor onto the bed.
“That Viceroy pig sent some guards to eliminate me. Suppose I got under his skin.”
She groans in pain as she pulls the night shirt off and begins to put her armor on, gritting her teeth as she did.
“I managed to deal with them for the moment but I have no doubt more will be on the way soon.”
She turns back to him as she pulls on her tunic, letting him see the growing bruise on her abdomen.
“I’m leaving and I think you should, too.”
Walgrin is still shaking off the sleep from himself, but Mila’s words rouse his mind from his sleep addled state and he starts getting prepared himself, “Most of the government is murdered in a surprise assault, and we help them get settled from the chaos. Such a wonderful way of thanking us they have here.”
He sighs and quickly gets himself dressed and begins putting on his armor, “How many came after you? They must have been hoping to get us in our sleep.” He shakes his head, “Damnit, why now? Why at all?” He groans as he hefts his breastplate on and reaches for Cleft Reality.
“So where are we going? Unfortunately for me, this world isn’t mine. I’ve only just started to learn my way around this place.” He sighs, “Sorry, My problem, I suppose, but would you mind if I tagged along? Getting out of here would be easier with someone who knew where they might go. The gates or the docks are really my only thoughts at this point.” He shakes his head, “What a way to wake up.”
“Why? Because he couldn’t accept the truth. And I did kind of threaten him…” She mumbles as she finishes putting on her boots.
“Two came but I know he has more at his disposal.” She grabs the sword and moves back to the door when her ears twitch.
“Where to go? Shit, I have no idea. I’m new to this area.” She sighs putting her palm against her forehead.
“I doubt we would make it out on a boat alive. This chubby lord seems to have eyes where he needs them. Let’s make for the gates and try to get into the forest. We can figure out the rest then.” She says confidently as she unlocks the door and checks the hallway once more.
“Okay, looks clear. Let’s move. And can you come with me? What a silly question. I’d rather not fight in sleep wear in an unfair match again.” She gives him a faint smile before carefully stepping back into the hall.
The two stepped out into the hall, and after taking a moment to get her bearings, Mila led Wall down a corridor to a staircase. The staircase took the pair down to ground level, where they were able to leave the hold.
Havensbridge had a well laid out inner court, which made navigating out of the area relatively easy. The two slowed to a saunter, as to not attract any attention, and soon found themselves at the gates to the outer city.
Mila’s hand instinctively reached for her sword as the promagai’s form came into focus from the darkness.
“My guards informed me as to what happened. You are right to leave, the viceroy will no doubt hear your escape sooner than later. Wallgrin, I’ve given some thought as to how we can retrieve the galanti. Our scryers can tell that the orcs hold the galanti in the mountains near the Isktashi border. The town of Loren is on the coast, to the west. I can procure safe passage from Loren to Isktash.”
She held out a small coin sized piece of silver. “I’ve attuned this coin to the galanti, you’ll feel its pull in the direction of the stones. As you get closer it will get stronger.” She handed the coin to Wall. “I wish I had more time to give you guidance, but you must move. Be away from the city by dawn. I will do what I can from here. The viceroy has overstepped his bounds, but his deep pockets control the swords. If you can retrieve the galanti, the guilds power may be strong enough to overcome him.”
“I will have an agent of the guild contact you in Loren. Good travels, Wallgrin and tenna’ ento lye omenta, Mila.”
Mila relaxed upon seeing the familiar face and gave a silent nod to the escape plan. Her eyes drifted from the Promagi to Wallgrin as she handed him the coin.
“On my life, the galanti will be returned to it’s rightful home.” She said with no hesitance as her eyes moved back to meet the Promagi once more. “And I will be back. I have unfinished business here.”
She smirked slightly before crossing her right arm over her chest and laying her fist atop her heart as she bowed her head respectfully.
“Tenna’ san’.” She whispered in response. “Thank you for your help.”
Her eyes moved to Wallgrin with a small smile of relief. “Lle merna aut? It will be dawn sooner than I would like it to be.”