Beau Bergeron was trying to swim with all his might. This can’t be it, he thought, I’ve come too far!. Unbeknownst to him, his crossbowmen who had fallen in with him had already drowned. Their fate had been sealed the moment they put on their equipment and put on their armor, the weight dragging them into the mud of the river. The mud that would be their graves.
Beau was spared merely because he dressed light. An old assassin’s habit that just so happened he never wore anything that hindered his movement. But even that was not enough to fully escape the river, as he struggled to get his leg free — free of the net his ankle found itself tangled in.
In attempting to jar himself from its clutches, he felt himself only be pulled tighter. The net wasn’t made of any rope he’d ever felt. It was almost like thin twine, but had the strength of the strongest rope aboard the vessels of Beau’s home.
And that rope was pulling him up and out. Hauling him up like the catch of the day. Gasping for air in the humid sun outside the storm that had been dogging them all along this journey, Beau instinctively reached for the knife in his boot.
“AARARRH!” he screamed, feeling the bite into his wrist and with a flourish he slashed the dagger straight through the Brownie’s throat as he slung it off his hand.
“Looks like this catch bites back lads!” The chorus of laughter from the Brownies was joined by a whoop as they attempted to swarm him, but Beau was ready with a boot to the face of one, and a slash to the ribs of another.
This particular lot clearly weren’t warriors, but they certainly didn’t lack in enthusiasm. Each blow came with a new round of insults to his person or character, but nothing could stop the blood-fueled assassin. Each Brownie he killed was a faceless enemy to him.
Fishing hooks and knives punctured his skin, and scars would form from the various wounds he incurred. None of it mattered to him, and as the last of the Brownie fishermen who ambushed him lay under his boot, the smaller body covered in the blood of his comrades, Beau held a knife to his throat.
“How do I get to the army garrison at Teur?” Bergeron asked very plainly, though the knife was held firmly in place.
The thing just raised an eyebrow at him inquisitively. “What the hell are you on about!?” the thing answered defiantly. Beau simply pushed the knife in tighter, drawing a small amount of blood. “WHAT?! Can’t follow a bleedin’ river!? How much of a loser are you!?” and with that the Brownie bit down hard on the assassin’s hand, and Beau responded by slicing clean through cursing the whelp as he did so.
Beau rose, the net no longer being held taut, he was able to loose his other boot from it and looked down the river. Drenched, bloodied, injured, and lost, he decided the quest for his own army was a fruitless one. Part of being a strategist is knowing when to quit, and he looked behind him at the trail.
The one piece of information he was sure of was that he’d been pulled to the same shoreline he’d left from, and he figured that if he hoofed it up that trail quickly there might be another way to get to the castle. And with an army at that.
Haug Handslayer’s men were to storm the castle as part of the three pronged attack on the keep. Thimble was now intimately aware of his status as an enemy, but Handslayer’s men probably wouldn’t know the difference between himself and any other humans (or “eormen” as the locals called them) in his employ.
Tired as he was, he couldn’t manage much more than a hard march, but he managed just the same.
If Beau couldn’t command an army, he’d join one.
On the Boat to Teur
Cutwing narrowed his eyes at the servant of Jeneyeru. His master hadn’t come back up, and neither had his comrades. Cutwing simply nodded at his remaining accomplice. The latter was subordinate to Cutwing and began the process of hauling the struggling Y’lanna aboard.
On board La Danse Calinda
Captain Jean Lafitte III rolled another cigarette as the brothers went over the plan in front of him. Striking a match on the table and lighting up, he nodded in Tayliana’s direction when her name came up and she nodded in return. In his head, as he blew a small smoke ring, he could picture the shadows and storm surrounding his ship.
A thousand botched takeovers and bloody battles came to mind and how they could’ve been avoided had he only had someone of that power aboard to take them down.
His reverie was broken by Peino’s warning of civilians, and Lafitte nodded once more. “I can’t promise no casualties in that regard, but I will instruct my men to be on the lookout,” Lafitte responded. However, he did not wait for a reply. He intended to heed the Prince’s advice and ready his men. “Mr. Ogges, gather the men!” Ogges nodded and left the room, quickly followed by Lafitte himself.
The wind and rain whipping his coat around him, Captain Lafitte took one last drag off of his quickly drenching cigarette before tossing it to the storm. “Brothers!” Lafitte called out, to which his crew gave a cheer.
“Brothers,” he said again, more calmly this time, “I call you such for this is a battle having more meaning to this world-OUR-World, than our normal pirating fare.” Lafitte chose his words carefully. Rumors abounded that he wasn’t actually from this world, but nobody knew the whole truth.
“This battle is for the fate of our brothers, sisters, everyone!” The men seemed less sure of these statements, some cheered, others grumbled. “Not that loot won’t be for the taking of course,” Lafitte said with a wink which was greeted with laughs and cheers abound. Likely the brothers wouldn’t appreciate that one, but he couldn’t deny his men any incentive in that regard. They were pirates after all.
“Now, we will be dropping landing parties at certain locations along the Keep…” and Lafitte entered into the niceties of the Brothers’ plans, enunciating as loud as he could amidst the growing winds and thunder.
“Lastly, there will be one thing different on this mission: We will be doing our best to avoid any civilian casualties,” Lafitte finished, though this was met with more grumbling. “Of course that won’t mean you shouldn’t gut anyone threatening you, but this request comes directly from the Prince of the Grand Navigators.”
And with that, Lafitte held up his hands, “Prepare messieurs!”