Battle For Estroch Part 2.5
July 23, 2020, 8 p.m.
Outside Arx - Mourning Isles near Estroch - Estroch
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When we las left Sirius, he had called for the keeper of the castle and has been confronted with a Master Stockman - definitely of Oathlands blood and accent, he is not short but neither is he tall, his shoulders are rounded from the years and a life of plenty has left him with the roundness of a gut and the full face despite his age. His limbs are sturdy the strength of movement and work still lingering even if there may be a tremor from time to time. His skin is wrinkling especially around the eyes and his cheeks, the hued leathery brown from years of labor. His hair is bone white and only now beginning to thin, kept combed back in a slick styling. He's dressed in black silk with purple trim here and there, and while it's a simple outfit it is definitely a quality one.
"Yes, yes Master Stockman at your service, castellan of Seryn Castle, what seems to be the trouble?"
Soot-covered, listless and with a face whose qualities are, were, quartered by his little tiresome expedition into the vowels of the beast, Sirius' in no condition to meet such a gentleman. He himself is delighted to hear his accent, and smiles promptly; a wide and long smile, one bore of nostalgia and familiarity in his voice. This one didn't just sound like from home, he was home. This Castellan was Sanctum personified in his chub. "Master Stockman," breathes out Sirius, coughing. Dust spills out past his lips, like out a particularly neglected chimney. He wipes at his face, turns, then points at the cracked arch that leads down that crevice on the wall; "From out here came out the enemy. They must be underground, somewhere." His eyes narrow, possibilities crossing through the glimmer of his eyes; "Is there perhaps a sheltered jetty below, accessible only through some kind of narrow stone stair off of the back of the keep? Some kind of discreet system of pulleys or things to bring things up the rock face? Either way, the mercenaries are below us."
White eyebrows lift in surprise, uncovering his pale, icy blue eyes. "My my, no this is definitely news to me. Why don't you inform the army? We must meet them at once!" Master Stockman, however, trembles visibly. He's in decent enough health it seems, but it's obvious he's /old/. "I wasn't informed of such a passage way. And we're built on a solid foundation of rock. The closest sea you-" he coughs and sputters a bit, clears his throat and continues on. "-you must travel to the docks to get to. It's almost a mile off!" He lifs his shaking hands in a gesture of rather great distance. "How many of them are there, should I sound the bells?"
Sirius staggers forward, for while the man's old, he himself is young- young and equally trembling. He seeks to press a palm flat to the man's chest, to wring the cloth around his collar and hold him there, tightly, with an intense stare to his eyes. "You haven't yet sounded the bells?" He whispers, soft but breathlessly, like a shock that's far-off and away but encroaching; "You haven't?" He repeats, encompassed by a sudden wave of sobering trepidation that washes over him, straightening every hair in his body. A deep breath's taken, a meditative moment of silence, before Sirius let the man's poor tunic go and set some apologetic pats against his chest. "Go, go sound the alarm. Inform the Captain, that they must inform every officer, and I'll need a sortie of scrappy, experienced warriors to head down this tunnel here and flush out what's below. I'm not going."
Sirius checked command + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.
He's an old man and while not pathetic, when Sirius grabs his tunic like that he certainly seems so for a fleeting moment, his knees knocking together. "N-nn-no! Someone reported troops approaching from the East, not from underneath. No one could find them, we decided someone must have been mistaken or quick to make a snap judgement!" There's an awkward moment when everything begins to sink in and he, with trembling legs hobbles away. He's no moving fast but he sure is - huff puff - determined - huff puff. Wait, he's slowing down. Old age is catching up with him. But steady as he goes. "Guards! Guards!" He calls, waving his wrinkled old hands for attention.
Wait he's getting his second breath and starting to speed walk again!
What else is there to do, for the Prince, but to wait? There, at that very hole; at that precipice into the abyss where more dangers below there await. His blade's in hand, Culdrake, and he's rested for yet another possible wildman should they dare the distance. The Castellan's been warned, the troops roused, the possibility of inside sabotage and infiltration dispensed amongst leading officers -- now, beneath the din of activity in the keep, silent grows Sirius Valardin. His gaze seeks out the light through a crenelation of stone on the wall, looking off into the sunset distance. The sky is yellow, but dimming, like fading hope.
A dire presage, but it serves only to steel his grip around the handle of his blade bound by worn and creased leather.
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