Kenjin held his ground, watching as the flaming guantlet they had set by the doors began to smoke and catch fire. He watched the rest of the keeps guardians retreating, being mindful of the Gnolls that were beginning to take their place along the walls. If this was to work it would be a miracle...and require great timing.
He waited for the last of the guards to retreat past him towards the entrance to the caverns and then, and only then, did he begin to fallback, covering their retreat. "Steady men, nobody rush. That fall will kill you as easily as any of these dogheads will."
Leo gives Marin a fierce hug and then sends her back to the squad. "We will meet again, sister," he says with determination as he resumes hustling the last of the men down the shaft. As soon as everyone is inside the refectory, he grimly shuts the doors, and Marin can clearly hear the heavy bracing beam set against the backs of the wooden portals. Moments later, there is the scrape of stone on stone--the hidden entrance being closed up once again.
Caedmon puts away his bow and switches to the sword, nodding to Ken as the two take up position to hold off the gnolls at the bottom of the stairs. The hyena-headed beasts appear to be moving cautiously, alert for traps and tricks, and it is another twenty or thirty seconds before the first of them descends fully, battle axe at the ready. He hoots a warning to his fellows and starts to advance on the guarded door.
Meanwhile, the booming noise of battering ram on gate continues, and the distressed wood starts to split open. The brackets holding the bracing beam are already loose in the wall, and it is clear to Alelip and the remaining defenders that the whole thing will give way in moments. The cloud of smoke above the burning pitch and oiled debris thickens ominously, and orange-red flames are licking upwards toward the already sooted archway. The scene resembles something out of a nightmare--a nightmare about to become real.