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Author Topic: Ghosts of the Past  (Read 32481 times)

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Offline Evie

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #135 on: January 09, 2018, 10:36:18 am »
A sudden thought came to Aliset. There was something she'd heard once of something the Archbishop of Rhemuth (at the time still Duke of Cassan) had done in a moment of desperation during the last Mearan War.  He had used illusory magic to call up the appearance of a wall of flame between his forces and the Mearan separatists attacking them, to buy time for his men to get away.

((Dice roll 3 + 1, v#67gq3g947h.  Nooooo!!!!  *headdesk*))

Attempting to focus on the task, she waved her hand in a wide arc in the direction of their approaching foes, but alas, she was too anxious to summon up the illusory flames. It had been worth a try, but now they really could not delay their escape any longer. With Darcy securely mounted behind her now, they rode hell bent for leather towards the village up ahead, moderating their pace only enough to ensure Sir Washburn would be able to keep up.

((Hope that's OK, Jerusha. If Darcy would rather stubbornly remain with his horse, I can come back and rewrite that bit and risk Aliset valiantly dying by his side...LOL!))
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #136 on: January 09, 2018, 11:25:44 am »
Darcy Cameron hesitated for a moment, then quickly dismounted and tied the reins loosely to his saddle horn.  The horse he could do without, but there was something else he could not.

As quickly as possible, he untied his sea bag, reached inside to the secret pocket and withdrew the worn pouch on its leather cord.  He pulled the cord over his head and secured the pouch inside his shirt.

“Hurry!” Lady Aliset urged.  She waved her hand in a broad arc at the men behind them; her look of keen disappointment told Darcy that something had not gone as planned.  But what had?

With a little less precision than he would have liked, Darcy leaped onto her horse, barely settling himself behind her and forced to grab her waist to steady himself as she urged their mount into a gallop.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #137 on: January 09, 2018, 12:48:54 pm »
Two bays, too light and long legged for Mearean stock, looking more of the learner Torenthi breed galloped up the road chasing their query, who had gotten out of view after the last turn in the road. The two riders whooped with delight as the charged around the bend only to discover three horses ahead just moving out, one without a rider and one riding double.

“We have them” yelled the leader. He brought his loaded crossbow up into position, he fingered the safety latch. Noting his partner did the same. “I got the black horse rider, you get the back of the man riding double. Lord Oswald will pay us handsomely for this!” he yelled gleefully.

The path was clear, no obstructing trees, only the road was a bit uneven. Likely why the one horse ahead had injured himself.

The lead pursuer took his aim, careful to balance up on his heels, allowing his knees to take the jarring of rough road and his body to balance the crossbow at an even level.

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #138 on: January 09, 2018, 01:04:34 pm »
Washburn was low on the neck of his horse, a wave of dizziness passed him up as he pushed his horse into a gallop  along side the two riding double. He had seen the enemy come up from behind. His heart was racing, his spurs were jabbing his horse to move faster. Leaning so low, he was sure he was giving the pursuers the smallest target possible.  Then he heard it the twang of the crossbow.

((1d6 disadvantage roll for the pursuer aimed at Wash. rolled 6 Verification Number: 4tsnk12nwc A curse on  those Torenthi dice))

In an instant of anguish, a barb pierced chain-mail, breaches and skin, sinking deep into his right buttocks. Wash would have cried out if he had the energy left to do so. All he could manage was to hold tight to the horse’s neck with his left hand and stay in the saddle.  The war horse was well trained and took his wounded rider fast and furiously away from the danger.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 01:08:34 pm by Laurna »

Offline Evie

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #139 on: January 09, 2018, 01:51:11 pm »
As they rounded one last curve in the road, Aliset noted the village wall and gate just a short distance ahead.  The terrain around them was clearer now, the thicket on either side of the road cleared back to make it more difficult for outlaws to ambush unwary travelers, and the road this close to the village appeared to be better maintained.  Relieved that at least this village was scrupulous in its adherence to civic duties, she urged her mount towards the open gate. She thought she spied Father Columcil's mount just on the other side of the wall now, speaking to the gatekeeper with mounting urgency, if his wild gesticulation could be interpreted as such.

((1d6, rolled a 6 for the enemy. Bloody hell, it's a direct hit!  V#1nts8t9v9j.  Second test roll to see who or what he hit: 1-2=Darcy, 3-4=Aliset, 5-6=the horse.  1d6 roll result=4.  V#5vx1l2bhrx.  Given that Darcy is seated behind Aliset but the shot hit her instead of him, I'm guessing it had to have hit her shoulder.  Unless they shot from the side at a curve in the road, but chances are her arm would still be the most likely target at that angle.))

Just as it seemed they might make it to sanctuary with no further mishap, as they covered the final stretch of ground towards the open gates, Aliset felt a sharp pain pierce her left shoulder.  As the hooves of their horses thundered through the gates, she felt Master Darcy's strong arms tighten protectively around her waist, keeping her in the saddle as shouts behind them and the creak of hinges seemed to indicate that the  good priest had managed to convince the villagers to close the gates behind them. Or perhaps just seeing mounted riders in the distance with drawn weapons converging on their village had been enough to convince them.  Aliset did not know, and at the moment was not minded to ask, her full concentration just then needed to stay conscious and on horseback.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline Evie

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #140 on: January 09, 2018, 02:23:28 pm »
Grand Duke Valerian smiled in satisfaction as the scene many miles distant played out before him in the depths of his wine chalice.  His henchmen had managed to score several direct hits on their fleeing quarry, and now the four fugitives were holed up in a Mearan border village.  The fact that most of the villagers there were loyal to the pretender king Kelson due to their sense of injury at their treatment by the true heir to Meara and his forces a generation earlier caused a fleeting frown to mar his darkly handsome features, but if they offered his prey too much aid, they would be dealt with in due time.  For the moment, it mattered little to him that the village gates had been closed against his minions.  Lady Aliset and her companions were trapped, hardly in any shape to venture further towards Rhemuth until their injuries had been tended to, and that would allow him sufficient time to send reinforcements to wait outside all of the village gates until such time as they should emerge.  He could be patient.

He gave the man before him a contented smile.  "Your bride-to-be yet lives, Oswald, if you're still minded to have her. I'll have her back in your hands very soon."  His smile turned feral.  "As for the others, I have my own plans for them."
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #141 on: January 09, 2018, 02:52:50 pm »
Darcy Cameron thought they just might make it.  Were those the city walls ahead?  Lady Aliset was taller by several inches, so he moved slightly to the right to get a better view, unwittingly exposing her left shoulder….

He felt her tense with the shock of the bolt entering her shoulder.  He gripped her more firmly, reaching forward to take the reins as they flew though the gate.  He heard Sir Washburn’s horse beside him, but did not turn to look until he heard the gates close behind them.

Father Columcil was running toward them.  A man approached to hold Lady Aliset’s horse.
 
“Keep him steady so I can get my Lord safely down,” Darcy commanded, jarring her as little as he could as he slipped off the horse.  “Let go of the reins,” he said gently.  “I’ve got you, just let them go.”

Lady Aliset nodded slightly, fighting dizziness and pain. She let Master Darcy ease her down from the saddle, but managed a weak protest as he lifted her up into his arms.”

“Nay, my Lady.  This is my fault,” he said grimly, but low enough that no one else could hear.  “Father Columcil,” he said as the priest reached his side, “Lord Alister is injured, and I fear Sir Washburn has fared worse. We need your help.” 
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Evie

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #142 on: January 09, 2018, 03:12:49 pm »
((2d6 to see if Aliset maintains her brother's form and features.  3 + 1, V#7bprmhtc88.  Ah well, she should be easier for Darcy to lug around now!   ;D ))

As she slid from the saddle, Aliset's world went black. When she became conscious of her surrounding once more, she felt movement and a curious warmth at her side and back which turned out to be Master Darcy, carrying her through the crowded street towards some destination unknown. Something was impeding her vision, but she knew not what, and the pain in her shoulder made it difficult on her to focus.  It appeared to be...long, loose hair?  With a glance down at herself, she realized with some horror that she had shifted back into her own form.  What an odd impression she must be making on the villagers here, a woman dressed in a coarse brown habit, untidy braid replacing a polished tonsure!

She started to protest, to insist that she was well enough to walk, but another wave of faintness caused her to reconsider.  No, on second thought, there were worse places she could be at the moment, and she felt she could take Master Darcy not to take undue advantage of their situation.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline revanne

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #143 on: January 10, 2018, 11:24:34 am »
Columcil made to enter the gateway but was stopped by a man who looked both better armed and more ready to use them than was surely usual in such rural townships. He held up his hands in a placating gesture and was trying to think of what story he could tell when out of the corner of his eye he saw his companions brest the brow of the hill. Something was clearly wrong though at such a distance he could not see entirely what it was. One of the horses carried a double load and the other's rider - sweet merciful heavens! Surely he could not be dead. It had to be Sir Washburn by the gleam of his hair, clear even at this distance, and Columcil felt suddenly sick. His distraction was ended by the guard who spoke in manner which made clear the answers to his questions had better be good.

"You, with them, are ye?"

Columcil realised that nothing but at least some of the truth would save them; he could only pray that it would be enough. It would be terrible to escape from whoever was pursuing the Lady Aliset with such venom only to fall victim to the local townsfolk. He began an impassioned plea only to be stopped short by the guard.

"I dunna care what trouble you're in, you'll no come in here if you have owt to do with them cursed Mearan traitors. D'ye recognise our lord Kelson as your king or no."

Well at least he could give the right answer to that one. "Aye, we do, and one of our number, pray God he still lives, is the son of one of his greatest lords, Duke Alaric of Corwyn." At that the guard's face changed. Though Columcil could not know it he had been a small lad when the town had been sacked and all but destroyed by Ithel, and he remembered the king and his champion riding in to their rescue. He held by the loyalty he had sworn in his heart then, and most of the township held with him. Those who still held a torch for the old Mearan line did so quietly or, amongst the boldest, when they were in their cups.

"Come on through, and I'll shut the gate on any who's following ye. They'll no get in so easily" He suited his actions to his words, letting the heavy bar fall into place then added, "the best place for ye is the Nunnery up top of the town. I'll send a lad running up to say you're coming. They've an infirmary there and the good sisters are skilled in leechcraft. They'll do what they can for you. Though," he added morosely, looking towards Washburn, "'tis a healer you need for yon and there are none in these parts."

Columcil bit his lip to prevent himself from replying sharply; the man after all had spoken nothing but the truth. He saw that Darcy was lifting Lord Alister down from the saddle and gestured for him to go on up to the nunnery. "We're expected, thanks be to God, and they can care for you there. I'll see what I can do here." He sighed worriedly. His last attempt to heal had ended in failure, pray God and all His Saints that he would not fail now. Darcy looked anxiously at him but he repeated, "Go my son, your duty is plain, though spare me a prayer or two as you go."

Now he had to hope that the gatekeeper who had spoken so easily of healers was as comfortable with one in the flesh. Turning back to him he spoke urgently. "If you will help me, and if God wills I may be able to save him. Have you any skill in leechcraft yourself?"

The man looked at him curiously and clearly had a question on his lips, then looked back at the white faced bleeding figure spread-eagled across his horse's back and - thank God! - decided that explanations could wait. "I can draw out a weapon, Sir, or maybe 'tis Father, I should be calling you," he hazarded. Columcil nodded, but otherwise made no comment as to his identity ."Good. We'll need to lay him down first - do you have a bed in there?" He gestured towards the gatehouse and the other nodded.

"We'll slip him down over his horse's rump, and carry him flat - one on each side," So saying he slipped Washburn's feet out of his stirrups and with his hand on the horse's still heaving flank calmed the beast's fear and then gestured the other to support Washburn on the right while he carried his left leg and arm. Thankfully there was not far to go and the bed, though rough, was clean. Washburn moaned once then lay still, though his eyes watched them. Crossing himself, Columcil withdrew his precious prayer book from the breast of his habit, kissed it and once again prayed that the healing inheritance of his father and grandfather might run true in him.

"I'll try for his shoulder first, we'll have to push the barb through. Can you do that when I say? It would be good to have your name. " he added almost absently.

"Kieran, Father, and aye, just say the word." He hesitated. "I can cut the arrow out of his bum too, when you give the sign- it won't be the first time. Though it's usually from a hunter whose mate canna tell a human bum from a pig's backside."

Columcil breathed a prayer of gratitude for a practical helper and nodded. Kieran took out his dagger and held the blade in the fire to cleanse it then waited in silence.

Columcil prayed ((dice roll 5+1 +6 1c3kntnfxb - yay)) then setting aside his fear and exhaustion nodded at Kieran and slipped into the light trance which preceded healing. He extended his controls, and soothed away the pain though Washburn moaned again as the barb was withdrawn. The blood flowed freely as the arrow was pulled through but putting his hands firmly over the wound and his thumbs into the hole left by the barb Columcil felt the energy flow through him. There was briefly that odd sensation of another's hands atop his and he knew by that that he would succeed. The flesh closed and soon even the faint line of the scar would heal. Kieran glanced at him and receiving a slight nod dug around the barb embedded in Washburn's buttock. Columcil damped down as much pain as he could though he could feel Washburn trembling with the effort not to cry out. Finally the arrow was out and he could again allow healing power to flow through the wound.

Withdrawing from his trance he felt exhausted. He looked around for water to cleanse his bloodstained hands but Kieran was already handing him a leather bucket full of cold clean water and a rough rag for drying. "Thank you, my son," he managed. "You've worked with a healer before, I think but no matter now." He knelt by Washburn's head and said gently, "I can help you to sleep, son, if you will allow me that far past your shields." Washburn smiled up at him and as the priest put his hands to his forehead allowed his shields to roll back. Somehow this felt familar, but he was too tired to think about it now and his eyes closed in rest.

Columcil slipped to his knees and hands open in gratitude offered his thanks to God and His Saints. He must go up to the nunnery soon but he must rest a little first.



« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 11:34:56 am by revanne »
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #144 on: January 10, 2018, 12:49:43 pm »
 "Go my son, your duty is plain, though spare me a prayer or two as you go."

Darcy Cameron nodded and said a fervent, hasty prayer that Father Columcil would succeed and save Sir Washburn’s life.  He might have suggested the priest help Lady Aliset first, but one look at the knight’s ashen face convinced him that the priest had made the right call.  Darcy hoped sincerely that Father Columcil would have no need to administer the Last Rites. There was nothing more he could do here; his immediate duty was to get Lady Aliset safely to the Nunnery where her shoulder could be treated. 

Darcy walked quickly but carefully, trying not to jar the limp body he held in his arms.  The distance to the Nunnery was farther than he had hoped and uphill.  The day had cooled as evening approached, but he was breathing hard when he reached the entrance.  The gate was partly open when he reached it and was swung fully wide by the man who had preceded him to advise the nuns of their coming.

A nun of indeterminant years nodded to Darcy and said, “Follow me.”  She then averted her eyes and led him along the covered walk to the infirmary.

As he carried Lady Aliset through the door, he noted four simple cots arranged perpendicular to the far wall.  A nun came out from a small, adjoining room and motioned him to one of the cots.

“Place her here; lay her on her uninjured side.  Sister, help support her.”

Darcy eased Aliset as carefully onto the cot as he could, but she groaned softly as he moved the support of his arms away. The sister supported Aliset’s back as instructed, keeping her immobile as the infirmarian bent closer to examine the wound.

“You may go now,” she said.

  “But I can’t leave her!” Darcy began in protest. “I need to insure her safe….” He stopped at the sharp looks from the nuns.  “Oh, yes, of course.  I’ll be outside.”

The door closed firmly behind him as he left.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #145 on: January 10, 2018, 03:01:20 pm »
Hold on, hold on! Fingers in a vise grip on the destrier’s mane.  All his weight in his left sturrup tilting the saddle off kilter. Hold on, hold on!

Stone walls, oak gates, protection of a small town. A moment of relief shattered by the sight of a braid of brown hair falling over Master Darcy’s arm. He carried a woman in his arms, he carried her away from Washburn’s sight.  Heavens above was that Aliset? Pain! Failure!

Hands on his injuries, devastating at first, then soothing. Calming. He looked up then to see Columcil’s face, a face in trance, Healer’s trance. Wash had felt that feeling once before from his sister’s hand when as a child he had slipped on the tower steps after waiting so long in a rainstorm, waiting and watching for his father’s return. His father never returned. His sister Briony was in tears as she had healed his broken wrist. He only learned latter, why she had cried so hard.

He woke his heart racing, blinking hard in the dim light. A light of a candle somewhere on the far side flickered on the plain stone walls. He lay face down on a cot, his clothes gone, only a blanket of wool pulled up to his shoulders. He took inventory then. Left hand moving over the two spots where he had been sure he had been injured. His fingers touched whole skin. Amazing that. Than his fingers touched the one thing he still wore. A chain around his neck that held a family token. A good copy of the original Saint Camber Medallion which his father had always worn and was now a constant part of his brother’s attire. “Blessing to you Saint Camber,” he whispered knowing that in some way the saint had had a part of his healing.

He sat up then, bringing the wool over his lap. His movement woke the only other person in the room. A man lying on a palate near the door. The man sat up instantly concerned. “My lord, you should not be up. The Father said you should sleep until dawn.”

Washburn shook from lightheadedness. “I…” was all he said for a moment. “I can’t sleep, I have to know. What of my companions? I must go to them.” He started to stand, wrapping the blanket around his midriff. “Are those me things?” he reached for the table. He was weaker than he thought, he did not make it that far. As he stumbled, the guardsman rushing over to  balance him before he fell.

“There is no news yet from the nunnery, but you can count that the lady is in good hands. I will send a lad to find out more. Please rest, I promised the Father that I would care for you in his absence.”

Wash had little choice. He was healed, but he was still weak. Rest would take care of that by morning. Yet he was anxious for news.

Lady Aliset had been injured, of that he was certain. He sat back down on the bed, his elbows on his knees, his head resting on his hands. He casted out with his mind, searching for Aliset.  ((2d6 rolled 1&3 Verification Number: 67v70lcd91))
Damn! He could not reach her. What did that mean?

“Go now, please!” he bagged of the guard. “Find out how she fares.”

Offline Evie

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #146 on: January 10, 2018, 03:28:17 pm »
Aliset awakened from unconsciousness with a start, eyes frantically taking in the unfamiliar surroundings.  She relaxed slightly as she realized it appeared to be a convent infirmarium, but the absence of her familiar travel companions alarmed her.  How had she arrived here?  The last thing she remembered, she'd been riding through the village gate, her enemies in hot pursuit, and then the rest of the memory was shrouded in the building fog of pain that had clouded those final few moments she remembered between taking the crossbow bolt in her shoulder and arriving here.  Well, not completely shrouded.  She vaguely remembered slipping out of the saddle, half falling from her horse, her vision already beginning to fade around the edges as someone caught her up to prevent her from crumpling to the ground. Who had that been? Ah yes, it must have been Master Darcy!  Sir Washburn had been in no shape to lift her, and the priest had ridden on ahead.... Yes, she remembered now, he'd been with the gatekeeper.  So that meant Master Darcy had brought her here.  But where was he now?

She tried to stand, but the effort was too painful and brought on a wave of weakness that nearly caused her to pass out again.  Gingerly inspecting her shoulder, she saw the bolt had been removed and the injury had been washed and neatly bandaged. That was good, at least.  She wished she had her healing herbs with her, but they were still in her saddle bags, and at any rate, the infirmarian would doubtless have their own stock of potions to help her fight off infection and fever.  Her more pressing need now, it seemed, was to locate the rest of her fellowship.

((2d6, dice rolls 6 and 6...woohoo! V#z1j2bj7hmz))

Ah!  There was Master Darcy just outside her door, and somewhere nearby, though not yet so close, she thought she sensed the presence of Father Columcil.  At first she could not sense Sir Washburn at all, and a surge of sorrow coursed through her, fearing that he had succumbed to his injuries, but then, at the outer range of what she could sense with her flagging energy, she managed to brush up against his mind.  All alive, then!  With a relieved smile, she gave in to her overwhelming need for sleep.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #147 on: January 10, 2018, 09:22:52 pm »
Darcy Cameron awoke with a start, for a moment confused as to where he was.  Then he remembered. 

It had seemed a long time before the infirmarian opened the door and informed him that the bolt had been removed from Lady Aliset’s shoulder, and God willing, she would recover.  Darcy had thanked her, but his request to see Aliset had been denied.  He had not even been told she was resting; the nun had simply said, “No!”

She had motioned him toward the guest house, but Darcy had crossed his arms over his chest, leaned against the wall, and told her he would stay where he was.  She had not been pleased.  She instructed the sister who remained inside to make sure he did not enter, closed the door and strode resolutely down the corridor.

After a while, Darcy had removed his habit, folded it into a makeshift cushion for some comfort against the stone walkway, and sat down to wait.  He assumed Father Columcil would come when he could, hopefully with good news.

Darcy had drifted off to some much needed rest, though he kept a hand on the hilt of his sword.  It was now early evening, and the Nunnery bell began to toll the evening office.

One clear peal, then two, then clank.

Clank?

Darcy rose, stretched, and made his way to the small courtyard in front of the Nunnery’s church.  There was a bell tower, rather high for the simplicity of the church.  At its base stood one of the sisters, the end of a rope in one hand, and the rest piled around the hem of her habit.

The aged Nunnery steward came toward her.  “What’s happened, Sister?”

“It broke,” she replied, “I pulled and the rope broke.”

Another nun approached them; she did not hurry; her bearing clearly indicating one who is in charge.

“Reverend Mother,” the steward said after bowing with respect. Darcy followed suit.  “The rope has broken.”

“You can fix it?”

“I have no ladder that can reach.  I’ll have to go down to the town,” he replied.

Darcy stepped closer to the bell tower and examined the interior.  Along the far wall rope netting hung, reaching from the floor to the top of the tower.

“Reverend Mother,” Darcy said carefully.  “We need no ladder; there is rope to climb.  If your steward has rope long enough for the bell, I can carry it up.”

The Reverend Mother looked at him carefully.  “You can climb up that?”

“Aye, my Lady.  I’ve twelve years at sea.  I’ve climbed rigging more precarious than this.”

She studied him carefully, then nodded. 

The steward fetched a long enough rope to do the job.  Darcy tied one end around his waist, leaving both hands free to climb.  For a moment he thought to leave his sword behind, but thought better of it.
 
After a second assessment of the rope netting, Darcy began to climb.  The netting was old, so he tested each piece to ensure it would take his weight.  One section broke away, but he was able to grasp the one above and continue.  Once he reached the top, he untied the rope from his waist and secured it to the bell’s metal ring.  He tied good, strong sailor’s knots.  This rope would not break free.

He took a moment to view the town below, the walls and the surrounding hills.  It reminded him of stories his grandfather used to tell.  Stories of the fabled watch fires of Isles, skirmishes with invaders, tunnels under fortress walls.

Tunnels?  Many fortified manors in the rugged Isles had hidden tunnels to allow people to escape or supplies to be brought in under siege.  Could there be a tunnel under this town’s walls?

“Master?” called the sister from below.

“Coming!” Darcy called back, and carefully began his descent.  He found one other weak section on his way down, but carefully allowing himself to drop to the section below, descended safely.

“Your pardon, Reverend Mother,” he said.  “I have not enjoyed such a view for a long while and tarried too long.”  He expected a rebuke, but instead she smiled, thanked him, and led the nuns into the church.

Darcy hesitated for a moment, but decided that Lady Aliset would be safe within the Nunnery’s walls.  He needed to find Father Columcil and Sir Washburn, God willing the knight still lived.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #148 on: January 11, 2018, 05:04:10 am »
The compulsion was to sleep. Just to lay down and get a full night’s rest. Columcil compulsion was hard to counteract. The guard would be gone for some time. If Wash slept now would the man wake him when he returned with his news? Probably not. If Wash wanted to learn how his companions were doing, he needed to stay awake. With every passing minute of quiet, his head grew heavier and he his eyes were shutting for longer moments than they were staying open.

A church bell somewhere beyond the room he was in gave a clear ring. Wash listened, he had no idea what the time was. He would count the bells to help stay awake. A second ring. He waited, expected to count seven more.

***Clank!***  came the third sound.

“What was that?”

***silence***

“Khardasha!” Washburn called out. There was no sound that answered him. His mind raced. Why would the bells stop ringing. Only one answer came to him.  “An Attack! Damn!” Could it be, up at the convent where he had heard Aliset had been taken. He wasn’t there to protect her.

Energy surged where he had none a moment before, he threw the blanket off, stood and walked none to steadily to his things piled on the table. Most of his stuff was not there, he hoped it was all still on his saddle wherever his horse was. He pushed the chain mail aside, he could never get that on, not in a hurry. His riding leathers were here; a whole in one back side and stained with his blood. He stuffed one leg in, caught his balance on the table, and stepped into the second legging, pulling the leather trues up and tying off the waist. He found his monk’s shoes, which he had learned to despise in the last two days. At least they were easy to slip on. His tunic was too torn and blood soaked to ware. So he threw the monk’s robe over his head, grabbed his sword, gathered his courage, and left the guard’s room.

There were townsmen on the gate and  armed men on the walls. All seemed intent on what lay beyond, none paid any mind to those who moved about within. Their pursuers must be camped out there, just out of bow shoot.  Wash would have loved to test that theory; his archery distance was far greater than most could boost at. Just now, however, he had only one thing on his mind. Find Aliset and make certain she was protected.

Wash half ran from one building to the next always seeking the roads that went uphill. He was certain he could find the convent gate. It should have been somewhere off of this main street.  Or was that the main street. The stone buildings were so close that he could not tell. He was lost. He never got lost in Rhemuth or Coroth, but this little burg had him all turned around.  He head was spinning once more, he found himself moving as a drunkard moved. Huddling in to a shadowed corner, he passed a fatigue banishing spell. That helped. As his mind cleared he started to question his purpose. No one in town were screaming or panicking. There was no attack going on. In his exhaustion, he had made it all up. Aliset was protected by Darcy and Healed by Columcil. He needed to return to his own bed and rest up. 

Two men crossed the street he had just left. Two more followed them down to a one story building. All four went into the door looking both ways as they entered. They shut the door behind them. Wash was sure he saw the gleam of weapons under their cloaks.  Were they preparing for the Mearian separatist who sieged the town gates.  Perhaps he could help by telling them what they were up against. He stepped slowly down the street to the closed door. There were men's voices heard, mostly muffled. He stalled his knock on the door as he heard. “We can not get to her. Convent gates closed… she’s out of our reach.” Washburn's short hair raised at his neck. Who were these men. “ …that near dead one ... Keiran left him alone, we can take him while he sleeps, before Keiran returns.” There was a humph of agreement. Wash brought forth his sword. He would attack all four of them. On a better day he could. Just now... damn he couldn’t handle four. He knew his own limits. He could not protect Aliset if he was wounded again.

Ashamed of himself, he stepped away from the door. Just in time for the local Mearan separatists to reenter the streets. He marked their looks in the torch light. He watched them turn and go down hill. Even though his sword was in hand he could not beat them all. Feeling his cowardice deep within, he turned the opposite way, he went further up hill. Soon enough, he came to the Convent gates.  But just as they had said, the gates were locked tight. No one answered his knocks. The fatigue banishing spell wore off far too quickly.  Exhausted he turned to a space between the convent wall and a smaller building, sliding down to find some protection from the wind from the roof overhang. 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:32:24 pm by Laurna »

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #149 on: January 11, 2018, 10:00:53 am »
Darcy Cameron approached the closed gate of the Nunnery.  From the small gatehouse beside it, a man stepped forth.  Probably the gatekeeper, Darcy thought.  The torches that had been lit at the sides of the gate showed the man’s features clearly.

Unlike the old steward, this man was younger, only a few years older than he was, Darcy surmised as he approached him.  He was well built, possibly a formidable guard.

Darcy nodded in greeting.  “I need to step out for a bit.  I will return shortly.”

“Sorry,” the man said.  “No one leaves or enters tonight.  Reverend Mother gave strict orders.”

“I must check on the other of my wounded companions and make sure all is well.”

The man shook his head.  “I’ll not disobey her orders and loose my position,  so you can visit the town for a drink.”

Darcy bristled, arms bent and clenched fists on his hips.  He could probably take the man, but that would jeopardize any future help they might receive from the Nunnery.

“Besides,” the gatekeeper continued. “If I did let you out, I guarantee you won’t get back in this night.”

That would be a problem. He was not willing to leave Lady Aliset unguarded that long. Perhaps his idea to find the others had been a bit rash.  Even if there was a passage, and if someone would admit to it, and if they could convince someone to give them access, it would be full dark by the time they left.  There were advantages and disadvantages to leaving in the middle of the night.  And Lady Aliset had not yet been Healed by Father Columcil.  His plan would wait.

“Very well,” Darcy said.  “But there is a priest that may ask entrance.  The injured woman has need to see him.”

“I will have to ask the Reverend Mother’s permission.  It is up to her to decide.”

Did the man have a smirk on his face? 

“See to it you ask the question,” Darcy said, giving the man a dark look. 

Darcy returned to his post beside the infirmary door.  He had a clear view of the gate from there.  He would make sure the gatekeeper asked the question.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

 

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