Escape!

In which a cell is opened, and a fugitive takes flight

Officers’ Barracks

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This is the barracks belonging to the officers of the Army and Navy of Archenland. While it is smaller the the other barracks, the items here are of a higher quality. As well as bunks and lockers, there are also several desks, covered in maps and journals.
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You can go: Naval Barracks <S>, Army Barracks <N>

There’s a sound of raised voices in the barracks outside.  With a rapid knock, Haft and another man burst into the Officer’s Barracks.  “Sir,” says the other guard, “disturbance in the dungeons.  I found the guard unconscious.”

Garian looks up from paperwork, calling out “Enter” from habit. At the proclamation Garian stands, frowning. “What?”

Garian sounds cross.

Haft turns to the other guard.  “Unconscious?  Was he sick?  Have you fetched Adrian?”

The guard, a young recruit, shakes his head.  “No.  I-I told Sir Colin…”

Garian barks, “Get the healer. Guardsman, with me.”

Garian says, “If the man’s sick we need to make sure he’s attended to.”

The younger man salutes and runs off.  Haft falls into step behind Garian.

Garian crosses around the desk, looking displeased. He mutters, “What now…”

Army Barracks

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You stand in the barracks belonging to the Army of Archenland. Here is where the men reside when not on campaign. There are many bunks along the walls and at the foot of each bunk is a foot locker. The barracks is neat and tidy. Arrow slot windows facing out allow for defense and provide light. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Officers’ Barracks <S>, North Gate Tower <E>, Northern Stairwell <W>

Haft arrives, following Garian.

Haft asks, “Another poisoning, do you think?”

Garian frown deepens, “Let us hope not.” As they enter the barracks he calls out, “Perth, put the men on alert. We have a man down in the dungeons. If another man’s been poisoned we’ll have to contact the knights about questioning the kitchen staff.”

Garian looks to Haft, “However it cannot be ruled out.”

Haft looks worried.  “There’s only a handful of reasons to poison a guard, Captain.  If it wasn’t a personal target…”  He gives Garian a meaningful look.

Perth does as he is told.

Garian frowns and says, “Then let us make haste.”

Northern Stairwell

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You stand in a small tower room, really nothing more than an intersection of stairs and doorways. To the south is a door leading to the curtain stair. The stair continues upward inside this tower to a trap door above. To the north is a door to the Off Duty Mess, and to the east is the Army Barracks.

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You can go: Armory <W>, Army Barracks <E>, Off-Duty Mess <N>, Trapdoor Opening <U>, Inner Ward <D>

Haft nods, increasing his pace.

Garian quickens his step as they enter the hall and hit the stairs for the ward.

Inner Ward of Anvard

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You stand in the Inner Ward of Anvard. The ground is hard-packed earth, and it is open to the sky above. Wonderful aromas come wafting out from the Kitchen to the south, near the well. Huge, impressive, intricately carved doors lead to the Great Hall. Staff hurry about, in and out of their quarters, serving the Great Hall and the Council Chamber. A quieter corridor to the northeast leads to the library and schoolroom. Noble lords and ladies also pass through, walking towards their quarters seeing to other business. A guarded gatehouse to the east stands between the inner and outer wards. Two stairways line the curtain wall, climbing to the upper reaches of the castle.

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You can go: Council Chamber <N>, Northeast Hallway <NE>, Inner Gatehouse <E>, Kitchen <S>, Great Hall <SW>, Staff Quarters <W>, Infirmary <NW>, Southern Stairwell <US>, Northern Stairwell <UN>

Dalia comes walking toward you from the inner gatehouse.

Garian enters the Ward at a quick pace with Guardsman Haft. They appear to be heading for the Servant’s quarters.

Haft’s face bears a grim expression.

Dalia comes racing out the kitchen breathing hard, she sees Haft and Garian and races up to them panting. “Colin… Lanisen.. Darius…. The Servants hall. They’re all in the Servants Hall.”

Garian stops short when he sees Dalia and his displeasure grows as Dalia explains the situation. “/What/?” Despite his anger, his voice is level and he maintains a cool composure.

Haft’s eyes widen.  He instinctively moves to draw his sword.

The Sword seems to be a decent weight for you.

Garian withdraws his own blade and sighs, “This is shaping to be quite an evening. Miss Dalia, please continue to the barracks and have Perth mobilize the guard. Then see to it you find a place of safety.”

Dalia nods, “Yes Sir.”

Garian says to Haft, “Come!”

Haft follows Garian.

Servant’s Hall

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You stand in the warm and busy servants’ hall. Most of the floor is taken up by long trestle tables and benches. Candles in sconces on the wall light the room with a friendly glow. At the back of the hall, a staircase leads down into the storeroom. The only other object of note is a large wood and leather chair, where the head cook often rests between meals. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Kitchen <W>, Storeroom <D>

Lanisen stands near the steps to the storeroom with a dagger in his left hand, watchful.

Colin stands at Lanisen’s side, a dagger also in his hand. He is faced to the door, having just ordered someone to do something as they disappear through the door before he turns back to face the stairs leading to the storeroom.

Either realizing his error or hearing the two talking, or perhaps both – Darius comes /FLYING/ out of the opening, looking to shoot past the two.

Lanisen takes a step to the side, attempting to get himself into Darius’s path and block with his body.

Colin flinches at the movement bolting from the staircase and on instinct raises his knife.

Garian enters the Servant’s Hall at a swift pace, sword already drawn.

Haft is two steps behind him, blade also in hand.

Darius’s eyes catch the flicker of movement behind the two he is nearly ontop of and in that split second he attempts to wheel around, falling over and onto his knees as he does so. Grabbing the first edge of the stair, he scrambles and dives down the stairs.

Lanisen makes a grab for Darius’s shirt when he wheels near enough, trying to slow him down or at least throw him off balance.

Colin, out of fear for accidentally hurting his squire, keeps his knife out of play as he grabs for Darius’s arm, attempting to kick at his legs though everything happens so fast it likely doesn’t do much good.

Garian makes good time across the room, watching Darius’s change of plans.

Haft stays slightly back, in case the man should change direction and break through somehow.

Darius feels the slow just as he is about to dive, letting out a loud grunt and /shoving/ off the ground. Attempting to pull out of Lanisen’s grip and tumble his way down the stairs.

Lanisen tries to maintain his grip a little too long and staggers, windmilling at the top of the steps.

Darius walks down the stairs into the storeroom.

Colin grabs for Lanisen to steady him, ready to bolt down the stairs himself.

Lanisen backs quickly away once he has his balance back.

Garian slows and pauses by Colin’s side. “Sir.”

“Wait,” Haft advises.  “Slow down.  There’s nowhere for him to go.  We can wait for reinforcements.  We’ve got the time.”

Colin looks around at the men and nods his agreement, though concern fills his face. “It’s a store room…likely there will be some way he can arm himself.”

Garian says, “What do you advise as our plan of attack Sir?”

Lanisen keeps quiet and out of the way, his eyes fixed on the steps.

Colin replies, “Gather more men. Bring them in here, position them in the ward. If he manages to get past /all/ of us I want those precautions in place. Spread the word. Servants and ladies are to lock themselves in their rooms as a precaution. Send guards to the outer gates: no one leaves this castle until he is back in custody.”

Colin adds, with a slight barking tone, “Find Lord Peridan and get him here.”

Garian bows. “Yes sir.” He turns on his heel and swiftly moves for the door, allowing Haft to remain behind.

Garian stops Haft from walking with him.

Garian walks into the kitchen.

Haft looks to Colin.  “Do we know what happened?  I heard the man on duty was unconscious.”

Colin shakes his head. “I have no idea. I never made it as far as the cells. The guard who alerted me found me in the nobles quarters and as I was going down the stairs, Darius ran out of the dungeon.”

Lanisen keeps watching the steps. His face is very pale, but set.

Colin’s gaze darts to the stairs, his eyes flashing. “Are we sure there isn’t another way out of there?”

Haft asks, “None that I know of…you think he’s malicious enough to destroy the winter stores?”

Colin scowls at the stairs in response.

Lanisen flinches back a step at the noise, but calls out in an urgent voice, “He’s makin’ a barrier, sir!”

Colin draws a breath and runs a hand through his hair. “Where are those /men/?!” As he says this, Guardsman Reuel enters with a handful of men.

Haft lets out a breath.

A number of sacks of salt have already been put at the entrance. He loud grunt and /thud/ can be heard as a barrel of floud is tipped onto its side and rolled in front of the entrance.

Colin looks at the group of men. “Bring me a bow.”

Peridan jogs into the room, his face grim and jaw clenched.

Colin watches one of his fellow knights as he brings a shortbow and a few arrows. Colin places the arrow on the string and steps to the edge of the stairs, drawing the arrow taut and holding. “Darius!” He bellows. “You’ve no chance of escape. Give yourself up or I’ll put an arrow in you.”

Haft makes a face.  “I suppose it would be ignoble /not/ to warn him, he mutters.”

Darius darts away from the barrel of flour. Another grunt and thud is heard as he rolls a barrel of suger in place next the flour. Seeing the arrow pointed at him, he dives left and out of sight.

Lanisen watches, his eyes flickering over the barrier Darius has constructed.

Colin doesn’t flinch, every inch of him commanding and braced to do what he must. “I tell you, surrender.”

Peridan strides to were his cousin is. His eyes blaze as his most commanding voice booms, “Darius. Surrender /now/!”

Lanisen skitters back immediately to give Peridan room. He presses against the wall to keep out of the way.

This is to whomever might hear a shout. Darius roars from below. “I will speak only to Commander Peridan! If not, I will take /EVERY/ single arrow in this castle before I surrender!”

Colin’s reply is simple. “It’ll only take one.”

Colin draws the arrow tighter. “Drop everything, hands in the air where I can see them!” He commands.

Peridan draws his sword and sets the tip down on the stairs. His eyes blaze, “Do it. Now.”

Haft watches, tense and alert.

Lanisen is rigid and motionless, watching Darius rather like a rabbit watches a snake. He adjusts his grip on the dagger.

Colin’s eyes narrow at Darius’s defiance of him and deference to Peridan. “Up the stairs.” He barks. “Slowly.”

Peridan barks, “Are you armed?”

Colin waits for Darius to reach the top of the stairs.

Darius comes walking up the stairs from the storeroom.

Peridan moves the sword casually in his hand.

Colin remains where he is, ready to loose the arrow if Darius pulls anything. “Guards!” He commands. “Take him. Chain him and take him back to his cell.”

Darius lowers the sharp piece of wood to an unthreatening angle.

Darius sets a piece of wood down.

Lanisen stays perfectly still, not looking away from Darius.

Peridan does not take his eyes off of him, “Who?”

Darius glares daggers at Peridan, not moving a muscle. “Third time, Commander. ” his voice is low and eyes flashing.

Haft and Reuel approach Darius.

Peridan repeats the question, “Who?

Sir Lyon moves with Haft and Reuel, prepared to back them in case Darius gives any struggle.

Haft sheathes his sword in order to free his hands to seize the man.

Darius never takes his eyes off Peridan. “Lanisen’s ruddy sister.”

Colin does not move. The only change in him is the blood draining from his face and his lips tightening together into a thin line.

Haft moves to grip Darius’ left arm while Reuel takes the right.

Lanisen’s mouth opens slightly, and his face flickers with incomprehension. He shakes his head a little in confused denial.

Lanisen mumbles “… … … just saw her, she … … riding, … an … ago, she’s … even–“”, to Colin.

Peridan closes his eyes, looking almost pained for a brief second. When he opens his eyes, they are hard and a bit distant. He turns to a guard, “Alert Captain Garian. Check the stables for a missing horse. I fear Miss Cassandra has already run. I want her arrested.”

Once the guards have a hold of Darius, Colin lowers his bow. Turning to another of the knights, he begins to give orders, then looks at Peridan with horror. “What?”

Haft’s eyes widen as understanding catches up, but he maintains his grip.

Darius doesn’t resist the grip, his mouth clamping shut.

Lanisen shakes his head again, fear and horror in his face. “He’s not, he’s, he’s lyin’ she ain’t even– she’s not in the castle, she was goin’ riding, I /saw/ her! Sir–” He turns to Colin in appeal.

Colin shakes his head, stunned. He orders the guards, “Two guards stationed outside his cell from now on at all times. Take him away.” At Lanisen’s pleas, he looks at his squire with pain in his eyes. “When you find Cass, bring her to me.” he says.

Colin puts a hand on Lanisen’s arm.

Colin mumbles “… … … lying… … get this sorted.”, to Lanisen.

Darius snorts, following the guard’s lead.

Peridan strides from the room, not looking behind him. He looks like the weight of the world is crashing down on his shoulders.

Lanisen looks a little relieved, but not very. He gives Colin a searching look and nods.

Colin watches them take away his foe and climbs down the steps a ways and snatches up the piece of wood that the man had.

Lanisen watches the room empty, not moving from his place.

Colin comes back up the stairs, the wood in his hand. He looks to Lanisen and quietly moves to his side, saying something.

Colin mumbles “… … … … for what … …”, to Lanisen.

Lanisen swallows and shifts. He glances at Colin with eyes gone dark with fear. “I need to find Cass,” he says, and begins for the door.

Colin moves with him, staying by his side.

Inner Ward of Anvard

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You stand in the Inner Ward of Anvard. The ground is hard-packed earth, and it is open to the sky above. Wonderful aromas come wafting out from the Kitchen to the south, near the well. Huge, impressive, intricately carved doors lead to the Great Hall. Staff hurry about, in and out of their quarters, serving the Great Hall and the Council Chamber. A quieter corridor to the northeast leads to the library and schoolroom. Noble lords and ladies also pass through, walking towards their quarters seeing to other business. A guarded gatehouse to the east stands between the inner and outer wards. Two stairways line the curtain wall, climbing to the upper reaches of the castle. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Council Chamber <N>, Northeast Hallway <NE>, Inner Gatehouse <E>, Kitchen <S>, Great Hall <SW>, Staff Quarters <W>, Infirmary <NW>, Southern Stairwell <US>, Northern Stairwell <UN>

Peridan nods at Lord Dar before turning to see Colin and Lanisen. Again, he looks briefly pained before steeling his face again. He motions to Lord Dar, “Sir, let us depart. Hopefully, she could not have gotten far.”

Dar says, his tone unyielding as he addresses Lanisen, “Your sister has already lied to me. It appears that she has fled under circumstances which are at best, suspicious. If she is innocent, then the best way for you to assist her is to tell Sir Colin everything you know and assist us in finding her. If she is not, then again, the truth will be her best ally. Think on it–” He turns to Peridan. “Very well. We ride at once.”

Colin steps between Lanisen and Lord Dar. “You are needed elsewhere, Sir. Please. We will discuss this later.” His eyes plead with the man, growing relieved when he turns to Peridan.

Peridan nods once. He pauses before glancing down at his arm. He yanks the sling off, letting out a small grimace of pain as his wrist isn’t completely healed. He begins to stride towards the stable.

Lanisen quails, shaking his head in a slight pleading motion, at a complete loss. He swallows and looks at Colin again.

Colin motions for Lanisen to follow him and they split off from the group preparing for a manhunt.

Colin mumbles something incomprehensible to Lanisen.

Lanisen does so as quickly as his bad leg will permit him, breaking into an uneven jog.

Colin matches him uneven step for uneven step.

Garian gives some orders to Perth and summons his men to aid in the man–or in this case, woman–hunt.

Haft emerges from the staff quarters, heading toward Garian.

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