Up to part 15 of Misery in Middale as it's decided to call itself in my mind.
I'm worried the quality is slipping... a lot. There seems to be a lot of dialogue and not a lot else. =/
Gregory sat on one of the cots in the Sons of Tralda hideout, flicking through the book they had taken from the Seraklanite, his lip curled with detest as he read over the prayers and the scribblings of the man, all in the name of the God of Lies and Deceit. There was no concept of time down in the sewers, but something told him that it was some time in the morning, it had to be. Since the bombshell that someone related to Leanna could be involved Gregory had been all for leaving straight away, but it had taken everyone present to remind him what a stupid idea it would be to go traipsing around the sewers in the middle of the night, on next to no sleep. Aylix, having found another bottle of whiskey had consumed half of that bottle before passing out on a cot, having to be roused several times so his snores didn't keep everyone awake.
Sitting here though, with nothing to do but read the heretical scribblings of someone that the entire town of Mercia had - at one point - trusted with their very safety though, was driving him mad.
He glanced over at Robin, curled up in one corner of the room - several times throughout the night she had whimpered in anguish in her sleep. Bill had said one of the physicians had given her something to help her sleep, which was how they had managed to get her quiet so quickly.
He couldn't help but think of his brother, and what he would have done had he been here. There was no way Crow would have let Aylix question the man like he had and the Crowan felt like he had let a part of himself down by allowing it.
A couple of hours later, most of the room was on its feet, gathered around the table and wondering what to do.
"I have to get to Netherthong and warn everyone about the ritual." Gregory stated, his arms folded in front of him, sitting straight on the bench.
"We need someone to go to Netherthong anyway if that's where everyone has headed, we're going to need some supplies down here and I have some friends that I need to contact." Bill nodded. "Plus, everyone that's not going to stay here and help needs to be evacuated too."
"I can head back with them, just as an escort, and then I'm coming back here. The Gods know, it's been a while since I did anything useful with myself, time I did something useful here."
Gregory looked at Aylix with something close to respect for few seconds, before the plans continued, and the evacuees made to ready their escape.
Morning found Leanna and Lahsaa sat atop an out of the way rise that overlooked most of Netherthong offering a breathtaking view of the village and the wooden palisade walls, surrounded by hundreds of tents and other shelters that had been erected since the exodus away from Netherthong had begun.
"It's a good job it's so warm..." Lahsaa said softly, tracing the rows of tents, spying more people constantly streaming down from the north, guards patrolling the area. "These people would freeze otherwise."
"You're not like most of the merchants I heard talking in there last night you know." Leanna said softly, looking up at him briefly "Most of them were more worried about how long this would keep them away from their business, or how it would affect profits... You care more about everyone else down there."
"I'm relatively lucky in life. While my father might not be a model parent, he has still provided a lot for us... I have what I have because of chance of birth while most of the people down there.. Well... they were born to people with not as much. That isn't their fault. Most of them might not want help with their day to day lives because they are proud people, but that doesn't mean we should make it harder. Especially at a time like this."
Leanna had crept closer, and startled Lahsaa by resting her head on his shoulder. "Too many people are cuthroat and out for themselves." she said softly. "Don't lose that caring and trustworthiness, more people should have those qualities." she said softly, her hand gently stroking up and down his arm.
He smiled shyly, fighting the urge to shake with nerves, though that was soon lost as he spotted something down in the surrounding camps below. "Hey... down there... it looks like something is happening." he frowned.
Down on one side of the camp, out of the trees, figures slowly closed the gap between the camp and the treeline. Militiamen were mustering to meet them as others ran away from them. Screams echoed up to the rise and Lahsaa pulled away from Leanna carefully and stood for a better look.
"I... think something's attacking the camp. We should get down there, to see what's going on - see if we can help." he said, glancing back at her urgently.
"What are we going to do?" she protested as he pulled her to her feet.
"Anything! Just come on!" he had broken into a run, tearing off down the hill.
"Seraklan..." she muttered, nearly inaudibly before chasing after him.
Grundown was awoken by the smell of frying meat, and despite the waking up outside on the grass, woke up in good spirits because of it. He sat up, glancing around to see a woman sat nearby, piles of rations next to her with an eager crowd of hungry people around her as she cooked strips of bacon in a pan over a large fire. "By the Great Bearded Seven, that's the first thing everyone should smell in a morning." he growled happily as Eliana stirred beside him.
"You're not going to have me agreeing on many things with you, Grun, but that is definitely one of them." she yawned, stretching her aching limbs and rubbing at her leg.
"How's the leg?" Grundown asked, stretching his limbs.
"I think I could probably hobble on it... I managed to find a doctor around last night and she looked it over, gave me some of the physicians drugs and it feels a lot better. She reckons as long as I take it easy, it should be fine by later today or tomorrow."
"Good enough, gives us the next couple of days to find the goblin lover." the dwarf growled, as they joined the queue for the bacon.
Several minutes later, a mere two or three places away from the front, a scream went up from some distance away round the camp. The companions exchanged a look with each other, willing the queue to move faster as more screams went out and people started to streak through their area, shouting about attackers. The woman cooking the meat, shook her head at the rest of the people queueing and quickly dragged her pan away, trying to find some kind of shelter.
Grundown was not impressed and howled with frustration. "Come on Elf! When I find the bastard who interrupted my breakfast I'm going to tear their bloody face of!" he grabbed his weapons, and stormed off into the flow of the people running away. Eliana sighed, her stomach growling as she collected her own weapons and made off after him as best as she could.
"I thought you might be hungry." Addy's voice stirred Crow fully out of sleeping, aided and abetted by the smell of cooked meat, as she dangled a large bread roll full of it over his head. With a groan, Crow pushed himself up, holding his head where it had been cut open yesterday.
"The best bed service a man could hope for I think." he smiled, gratefully taking the food as she sat herself next to him. "Thank you."
Addy beamed at him, "Well, if it gets a smile like that out of you, I'll have t' make sure I wake you up like this more of'en, I think. How'd y'sleep?"
Crow choked on a mouthful of bacon and bread as he tried to answer to quickly, and spent a minute of so hurriedly trying to swallow it so he could answer, amidst the giggles from the Traldan.
"Despite all that's happened in the city, I went to bed in a really good mood for some reason."
She raised her eyebrows. "Oh?"
"Yes, I am not sure what it was, but, there was a definite smile on my face as I fell asleep." their grins seemed to match and their eyes met briefly, only to then concentrate on their breakfast.
"I was serious last night you know." she blurted out a couple of minutes after the food had disappeared. "I want to come and track this thing with you. Stop it before it's too late."
"I don't think I could stop you, even if I wanted to. And, truth be told, I'd be grateful for the help." Crow bowed his head respectfully. "I'd be more than happy for your help. But..."
A scream cut him off, and he turned around with a frown as more screams filled the air and people started to flee away from the woods nearby.
Crow let out a groan and stood, pulling on his armour hurriedly. Addy followed his gaze and her hand went to her holy symbol, clasping it tightly in both hands and whispering Tralda's name over and over.
In the distance, by the woods, skeletons poured from the cover of the treeline, at their front a larger, more powerful and better armoured skeleton seemed to command them and even from this distance Addy could make out the tabard blazed across its chest. "Is that...?"
Crow nodded grimly, hefting his mace. "I'm afraid so. A death knight. Created by twisting the soul of a Black Knight."