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Interlude - Eleventh day of the siege

Started by Eclecticon, Jul 31, 2021, 11:13 PM

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Eclecticon

Arbogast does not rightly know whether it is night or day, such is the lack of difference inside Sweartmereseld.  The fire is banked to last as long as possible with the timbers of the hut he shared once with Bandobras, now shivered and broken after the last goblin incursion.  From the shadows about the hall come sobs from those who shelter within, some of pain from wounds, some from hunger, some simply from exhaustion.  In the dimness, the Fire-watcher cannot put names to the voices.  Lafwyne and Cyffa lie curled against him, forming a tight little knot at the base of a sleeping nook.  Lafwyne is silent, though he knows by her breathing she wakes still.  Cyffa sniffles in what may be her sleep. 

The goblins have not tried the palisade this day, but even through the stout walls of the hall, the folk can hear their raucous song.  Verse after awful verse it has continued for nigh an hour, taunting and demeaning the defenders.  Each time the creatures' discordant throats return to the same chorus:

  No spoils will we claim but the flesh of man
  As ever we have since the dark began
  We'll catch 'em, skewer 'em, roast 'em whole
  And pass 'round the meat on a sharpened pole 
  The young and the old, we'll tear 'em down
  Limb from limb and toes to crown
  Such a feast they won't believe...
  When we get home to Goblin-Town!


Behind him, Arbogast hears a new sound.  A cry, so faint that at first he is not certain that it is not some waking dream, from the box bed on which his head rests.  Turning as much as he can without disturbing his daughters, he seeks Lindwine, who he had thought already a-slumber.  Her eyes are indeed shut, but tightly.  Her face is contorted with the effort of holding in the pain she feels.  Desperately, hoping to give some consolation that he does not feel himself, he seeks her hand.  She resists him, and when at last he overcomes her reluctance he finds her hand slick with warm blood.  Lindwine convulses once, biting down on her own arm to keep silent. 

"Idunn!" the Fire-watcher hisses into the half-light, trying to gain attention and stay quiet at the same time.  "A healer!  Please!" 

He does not know if Idunn, or any other, still wakes.  He cannot now recall when he last saw her sleep. 

"Help!  Anyone, please!" 

Somewhere, the voice of Ramnulf the fisher, whose hand was split to the wrist by a goblin's knife, cries out as he wakes in pain, and the voiceless shuffling of bone-weary healers answers. 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
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