Formendacil wrote:Down the road from Hemmerington to Allan's Hollow, the Fright Knight force was heading in their direction. In the woods to the west of Hemmerington, Captain Drazzuil and four men waited for Thomas Valt and his "war party" to leave the village.
Thomas and his companions, fourteen in total, waiting in the thicket off the road, waiting for the Fright Knights to come past them.
"Remember," said Thomas, "as soon as we get them to pursue us, we take to flight. I don't want to bring any dead bodies home."
The villagers nodded.
"Nock your arrows," said Thomas, "but wait on drawing your bows."
The boy was gone. Drazzuil allowed himself a moment of victory. The boy might only be a squire, but he the only warrior the village could muster- as well as a potential figure for the villagers to rally around, and with him out of the way, it should be as easy as going it, demanding the papers, and leaving.
As night closed in, Drazzuil and his four men quietly entered the village, making straight for the home of Healer Melkan, where the Healer, Merina, and William stonily sat waiting for Thomas and his warparty to return.
Drazzuil boldly walked up to Melkan's home, and flung the door open.
"Don't move, Fright Knight," came a voice from right beside him. "Or I'll gut your throat."
With a knife pricking his neck, Drazzuil turned slightly to see William Jorgenson standing almost beside him, knife to his throat.
"Now back off," said William. "Out of the house, out of the village!"
Drazzuil raised his hands, and started to back away, only to dive downwards as soon as he did, kicking at William's legs. William fell to the ground.
"I think we'd better be going," Melkan said to Merina.
"Take the papers," said Merina, "I'll hold them off."
"My dear girl, I don't think that's really going to be possible..."
But Melkan was interrupted as Drazzuil's four soldiers pushed their way in, and grabbed William, pulling him away from their captain.
"Shall we kill him?" asked one.
"No," said Drazzuil. "On the Lord's orders." He turned, and saw Merina and Melkan.
"Hand over Brakespear's papers."
"Never," said Merina, even as Melkan was about to agree. She held her brother's sword in her hand, having carried it since Iadoraz. Drazzuil laughed.
"A little slip of a woman like you would try and stop me?" he said, and drew his own blade. "This I'd like to see!"
"Knock his tyco studs off, Merina!" cried William. One of his guards cuffed him.
"Leave him be," said Drazzuil. "He'll be singing a different tune after this little wench is lying submissive and defeated on the floor."
"I'm ready anytime you are," said Merina, and advanced on him.
Lazily, Drazzuil crossed his blade against hers, noting with a bit of surprise that she knew what she was doing with a sword, even the force behind her blows seemed week. Merina more than adequately defended herself against him, and he began to speed things up, as she started to strike back at him.
Merina continued to block his blows, but the strength in her arms was weak, and she seemed to be tiring even more. She began to cough slightly.
Drazzuil backed off, seeing his opponent weaken.
"Ready to quit, wench?" he asked. Merina merely shook at her coughing gained in intensity and frequency. Her brother's sword slipping from her hand, she fell to the floor, coughing hard. Melkan started towards her, concerned.
"Stop!" ordered Drazzuil.
"She needs help!" said Melkan. "I don't care what you do to me!"
"Not you, her," said Drazzuil. "Take another step, and I'll slit her throat. Now hand over Brakespear's papers, and I'll be going."
Melkan gestured at a trunk by his armchair. "There. Take them."
"I'm glad to see that you are not entirely unreasonable," said Drazzuil. One of his soldiers fetched the trunk. "Now, I think I must be going. I'll leave this fool to your care as well."
At a gesture from Drazzuil, the Fright Knights shoved William away from them, and departed from the house. Drazzuil was the last to leave, chuckling softly.
"William," Melkan said immediately. "Find me Merina's Essence of Lipton tea- and quickly!"
On the floor, Merina was still coughing violently, even as Melkan tried to hold her still.