21 Awakening 508
Mõrvar Ulrich and Rilka remain on the northeast tower of the keep wall. Quickly, each dons a soldier’s overlay while Mõrvar prepares a ruse with his magic and his own guile. Using a spell, he transports a torch east, and then north from the tower while shouting that the intruders are heading north. In the meantime both Mõrvar and Rilka spot torches heading her way down the keep wall. They hear a shout to head toward the north and north-east towers, that the intruders are escaping. The ruse has worked—all too well. Soldiers are beginning to gather at Rilka and Mõrvar’s tower!
In the meantime, Surm Ulrich and Savaric find themselves in a lighted corner of the keep facing soldiers as they emerge from their barracks. Savaric dispatches one as Surm attempts to put out the torch with his cold magic. The torch sputters and Savaric fights on as more soldiers begin to emerge from the barracks. Surm summons a fire beetle to assist Savaric. Savaric fights on. Finally Surm manages to put out the torch, throwing the corner into darkness. Then he casts a Ghost Sound to give the impression that they have run around the corner of the barracks. Finally, he casts a whisper on the wind toward Mõrvar and Rilka to tell them that they need help below.
By this time, Rilka and Mõrvar have descended from the tower and the eluded the gathering soldiers at the wall. All four sneak carefully across the courtyard as soldiers gather from both ends of the barracks and make their way northeast at the command of a voice that rings across the keep. The soldiers are commanded to enact “Drill A”. Keeping to shadows as much as possible, the band hug the wall of the keep proper, making their way west toward the gates. As they make their way, they hear the shout of “who goes there?” from one of the soldiers on the wall. Mõrvar manages to bluff his way past, saying that he is “checking the perimeter”. The man on the wall corrects him with disgust, telling him that he is either to gather at the front of the keep or at the northeast tower. Mõrvar assures him that he will do just that and the band continues to sneak across the darkened courtyard.
Finally the party arrives at the northwest tower of the keep proper. Gazing around the corner, they see more torches and soldiers gathering at the keep’s gate. Rilka climbs the tower and sets up a grapple and rope for the others to climb—but not without nearly falling in the process. The others scramble up the rope onto the roof of the keep. Here they see walkways emerging from each of the four keep towers and a wood beam/tile roof. At Surm’s suggestion, the party makes their way to the center of the roof and starts removing tiles. Finally, they come to the wooden planks of the roof. Surm attempts to remove a plank, using the grapple to pry it loose. He does so—but also jars the gathered tiles as well. Gazing into the keep, the party sees soldiers beginning to gather at the tops of the stairways near their entry point through the roof. They have been detected.
Soldiers begin to emerge from the towers. The party runs into the nearest tower as the other soldiers arrive right behind them. They bar the door shut as they run down the stairs of the tower.
Once they reach the bottom of the stairs, they can either exit the tower via a door or continue down a set of stairs. They bar the door and head further down. Finally they are met with a locked door. Using the grapple as a pry bar, they manage to pop the locked door open. Moving on, they find another locked door. Prying this one open as well they find themselves in a small dungeon comprised of three empty cells and no other way out. With no other options, they make their way back up the stairs of the tower.
As they pass the first barred door at ground level, they can see that soldiers are attempting to hack through it with an axe. They can also hear a man identifying himself as Lord Quain assuring them that they “may find mercy if they surrender themselves. Otherwise, they will surely find nothing but death.” They continue up the stairs to emerge again on the roof.
This time they are met with a retinue of archers and spear-men. Rilka fights her way through one side while Savaric fights his way through the other. The tide of the battle turns against, even with Surm and Mõrvar casting spells to assist their friends. Surm is forced to used the healing wand that he had purchased in Sarra the previous day to keep Rilka in fighting shape. He runs back and forth between Rilka and Savaric, keeping both the warriors alive as they finally turn the tide of battle back to their favor. Rilka and Savaric eliminate the archers and spear men, leaving the roof momentarily empty—but only momentarily…