Better and a lot easier as well.
Oh and don't worry - I haven't forgotten Leanna. I'm just working out how to get her back in again.
Gregory, Aylix and their charges stopped at the perimeter of the camp as they were challenged by the tired looking militia.
"Gregory Chrace, High Father of the Church of Crowa." Greg's voice was loud and commanding as he announced himself, his tone telling the guards to move out of the way even if his words didn't.
Aylix sighed at the Crowan and held aloft a very worn mercenaries guild permit. "Captain Aylix Goth, Mercia Militia."
The militiaman leading the group shook his head wearily as his men checked the credentials of those the pair were protecting. "Apolgies gents, but I'm sure you can understand why we need to ask."
Aylix nodded appreciatively fishing out his hipflask and offering it to the harrassed man. "I don't envy you at all leuitenant." he smiled as the man took a hard slug of the offered whiskey, offering it in turn to his men. "What's your name?"
"Jase Ferguson, one of the original Netherthong militia, Captain." Jase said with a salute.
"At ease Jase." Aylix smiled. "What's the situation."
"Most of the refugees have found camps, a lot has been scraped together quickly. Most of the tents are rough blankets held up with sticks. There was a bit of a rackus when they started making the village itself within the pallisade for the merchants and the nobles but that was quickly quelled when stocks of tents and food supplies were shared around a bit. The locals weren't happy but..." he shrugged helplessly. "What can you do when a city has to evacuate? You make do."
"Yeah you do." Aylix agreed with a grim nod. "And you're all doing well." he took the, much emptier, flask back from the men and stowed it away, quickly replacing it with half a bottle of whiskey. "Here, share this amongst yourselves and any other men on duty. Don't be greedy - it's fortifying - not their to get you pissed." Leuitenant Ferguson saluted again. "Where is best for new refugees to head?"
Jase nodded to one of the larger tents to the southwest. "There. Food tent and a rough infirmary - physicians volunteering their skills an' all. They're trying to do a register of everyone that's escaped too but that's been difficult, what with everyone movin' so much and the undead attacks."
"Undead?" Gregory cut in quickly.
"Aye, so I hear. Over on the other side of Netherthong to the west. Beaten back now, but it didn't half cause a stir."
Gregory started out to the west as if wanting to rush that way immediately but Aylix called him back to focus. "Gregory, later. We see these back and safe first. Thank you Leuitenant. I'll see if I can find you later." the miltia group headed off as Aylix, picking up Lucy who was looking shakey on her feet, started to walk towards the large tents, working their way through the mess of tents and camps.
Eliana held up a hand and bade the group to stop. It was obvious why, some twenty feet away, the other side of a cluster of bushes there was the obvious moan of zombies and the chatter of skeletons. They surveyed the scene; an obviously long forgotten crypt, choked by creeping vines and smoothered with moss sat, squat and imposing in a small clearing. It had obviously at some point been part of a graveyard or similar and crumbling tombstones poked out from the undergrowth in places where it was lowest. The area was teeming with undead; zombies milled around aimlessly as skeletal guards patrolled - their movements jerky and stiff. In one part of the graveyard furthest from the group humanoid figures fought over body parts from several bodies they had ripped apart, one was larger and more yellowed than the others, swatting them away easily when they got too close. At the entrance to the crypt stood a skeleton taller than the rest and better armoured in what was obviously once very fine armour but was now rusting and worn, over the top of it all was a green and black tabard with the emblem of a griffon on the front of it. The knight stood with both hands on a bastard sword, point down in the dirt - its dead eyes surveying the graveyard.
Even as they watched the knight stood aside for two pale men striding out of the crypt, arguing amongst themselves.
"The Lord will not be ready before the Kryganites do their final ritual in the south, we need to move against them tonight! Under the moon when we are most powerful."
The second snarled, baring wicked looking fangs. "Fool, the numbers they can bring against us may cost either or both of us dearly - why risk the army now at a chance of victory when we can await the Lord's arrival and ensure its certainty."
The first vampire growled. "Yet if we let them complete their ritual, it may wipe out us all before we have time to act. Surely death hasn't affected your memory that badly, the amount of holy power the mortal described would have us as dust quicker than it takes for a dwarf to snatch an offered coin."
From their vantage point, Grundown narrowed his eyes at the analogy.
"Then what would you suggest?" The second scoffed.
The first Vampire grinned wickedly and drew his sword. Even in the afternoon sun it seemed to be bathed in a dark shadow and necromantic energy pulsed around it quite obviously. "I think this should find its way to the camp tonight. No great loss to the army and a whole mass of chaos within the camp..."
The second took a long look at the blade, his own grin widening to match his companions. "Let darkness take them all." he laughed, asu the two turned and started to walk back inside the crypt.
Crow exchanged a look with the rest of the group and silently they moved a safe distance from the crypt.
"What do ye think that was?" Grundown hissed.
Crow shook his head, obviously concerned. "I don't know... but..." his eyes narrowed. "Whatever it was seemed to scream out in pain like a soul tortured."
Addy glanced between the three, obviously shaken. "Come on, while we still have light - let's find the heretic camp."
The four set off south, away from the undead; from behind them a pair of red eyes watched them from the bushes which slowly faded as the group made their escape.