Monday, 29 December 2014

Scent: Part 31

The flames raged for hours and combined with the volleys from the defenders, managed to drive the raiders back out of range of the missiles. With the morning light came the opportunity to assess the state of both forces properly. The defenders had taken casualties, mainly to the keeps own guards. They had lost seventeen men on the wall. Sanya's troops had fared better, their thick armour deflecting most of the arrows launched at them and only six of them had fallen. The raiders had not done so well. The hide and leather armour no match for the bolts and arrows of the defenders. Goren estimated that four hundred men lay dead or dying at the foot of the keep. The keep itself was standing as stoically as it ever had but the success of driving the horde back had came at a cost. The moat lapped up against the footings of the keep and when it had been set alight the flames had done more than kill and drive away the attackers. The drawbridge had also been damaged by the fire and had been weakened considerably by the flames. Ingerham leaned out of the battlements to try and inspect the state of the door, it was charred black and he surmised it was only the recent addition of the struts to the inside of the door that was allowing it to stay intact. The news didn't bode well for the defenders. A sustained attack against the door would see it shatter under the raiders hammers and axes. The wood that they had piled in the moat was still there. The uppermost pieces were burnt black but where the flames had met the water the wood under the surface  lay unaffected. The raiders would not have to lay much more to make it possible to get across. 

Sanya had pulled Reven aside, 'Have you ever ridden Fang?' she asked, a determined look on her face. 'No, Mistress', Reven replied a little confused. 'You're going to', she said and hurried him to the backside of the keep. Fang was already following by the time they reached the battlements furthest from the keep's entrance. Guards were patrolling, keeping an eye out for any new signs of an attack. Some of the raiders had been seen skirting around the outside of the keep probably looking for an easier way in but there were eyes everywhere and they had soon given up and returned to their kin at the front of the keep. Sanya quickly outlined what she wanted to happen. Reven and Fang would be lowered into the moat and they would make there way away from the keep in the hope that the remaining scouts would see them. Reven was to instruct the scouts to ride to the nearest village and get word to The Order. She made it quite clear that she didn't expect to survive the assault and that the raiders needed to be stopped at all costs. 'We will hold them here as long as possible', she said. 'Once you have delivered my message try and get back to Vardenfell. Keep yourself safe'. She motioned to some troops who moved to tie rope around Reven and his hound. As soon as they had done it Sanya wished them luck and gave Fang a kindly pat before turning and leaving them. Reven and were lowered into the water and Reven immediately sunk. The weight of his armour dragging him down, the rope went taught as the men on the battlements pulled him back up but he only needed their help momentarily. Fang paddled past him and he held on to the war hounds thick fur and hitched a lift to the bank. Once there they shook themselves out and Reven gingerly hopped on to Fang's back. The armour that covered it had a slight indentation behind Fang's shoulders and that's where Reven sat. 'Slowly at first' he whispered into the dogs ear and then pointed to a knot of tree's off to the left, 'As good a place as any to start looking' he said and they trotted off in search of the scouts.


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