Chapter 12: In a Rush

Ken offers an expression somewhere between annoyance and disgruntlement. He was certain that it had been time to limber up his axe and sever some Gnoll heads. At the very least hauling these barrels up would require a skill that was more in his wheelhouse.

Scambling up he found a piece of ground that offered good traction and better footholds than what Marin had experienced. Grabbing hold of the second rope he dug in and
Strength Check:
Dice Roll:
1d20 1d20
d20 Results: 18
d20 Results: 19
pulled for all he was worth.

Rives tries his best to calm the horses, though they are obviously just shy of bolting.

The wet and bedraggled stable boy calls down to Alelip "Sir, I suggest you douse yourself in water if you are going to come with us. Don't want to go catching your clothes on fire."

Alelip nods his head, saying, "A good idea. Take the horses, if you can, into the middle of the keep. I'd like to have a running head start if we are evacuating." He then proceeds to dunk himself in the water trough.

Once he is sufficiently dripping, he heads out in search of Ken and Leo.

Rives proceeds to lead the horses as far from the gate as possible, while maintaining a straight run at the door. The longer the horses had to get up to speed, the better.

Betsy quickly unties the first barrel and starts it rolling out into the courtyard. Once it's got momentum, she's practically running to keep up with it.

Ken heaves up on the second rope, hardly needing any assistance or encouragement from Marin as he pulls hand-over-hand to bring the pitch-filled vessel up in a matter of moments. Marin rips off the hastily knotted rope and sets the barrel on its side, ready to be rolled to the gate.

The gate is filled with the cacophony of repeated blows as the other gnolls outside apply their makeshift battering ram. Even the extra material piled up by Leo and Ken is starting to give way. Leo looks a bit nervous, his eyes flicking back and forth between the gate and the barrel of pitch being rolled in his direction.

In the courtyard, the sound of battle becomes more muted as the fighting retreat staged by the men of the 7th moves to the upper levels of the staircase. More gnolls are reaching the tops of the walls, and a couple of them appear to have bows. The soaking-wet Rives gathers the horses in the center of the yard, where Alelip joins him after "freshening up" in the water trough.

Kenjin pulls himself from the hole in the ground and races back to the gate. At seeing Rives at center stage, soaking and herding horses, he looked about confused.

"Has the plan changed? I thought we were using the tunnels to escape?"

Regardless of the answer Kenjin knows his duty. With axe and shield in hand he joins Leo at the gate and waits for the inevitable breach. He didnt know what fate held in store for him this day but he did know what it held for the first gnoll that made it through the fire they would light. A quick death!

"THEY are escaping through the tunnel. WE are the distraction to give them a chance at getting into the tunnels without gnolls on their heels," the stable hand comments with giddy excitement... or is it sheer terror.

Alelip runs over to the gate and pulls at Leo, saying, "Come on, Leo. We're going to ride the horses out through the gnolls when the gate gives. We're going to light the pitch, as well, on our way out. I suggest you soak yourself quickly and go to Rives, who is standing in the middle of the keep."

Alelip then heads off quickly, or as quickly as he can given his more noticeable limp, towards the center of the keep to try and find Ken and Marin.

OOC: Ken is standing right next to Leo.

"Wait, what?" Kejin asked, incredulous. "Did you say distraction because it sounded more like bait."

Now the hulking boatman was mad...really mad! He didnt like the idea of acting as a distraction for Gnolls to chew on while the rest got away scott free. Looking to Leo, Ken grimaced. "Well, when I used to imagine my last moments before death I certainly didnt think I'd be looking at your ugly mug."

Running with the last barrel, Marin rolls it as fast as she can just after Kenjin, paling when she hears Rives words

"He's sacrificing us?" she asked turning, but getting no answer as Leo and Ken were aleardy soaking themselves. Taking a look at Betsy, she breathed deeply to containg the fear that had exploded in her

"Betsy, you better go and prepare yourself... you.. you'll be fine with the other men. I hope it is the God's will that.. that we see each other again... some time" her voice was cracking, so she just turned and ran to her comrades. Fighting hard to contain her shaking hands, she started soaking herself, and she grimaces when she notices the salty flavor of her tears mixed in the fresh water.

"Sir, the... the pitch is ready to be lighted. We've put the barrels one on each side of the doors..." she said reporting as she worked. "It should work fine..."

She didn't understood why now she was so afraid, when in the last battle she was just fine. "Maybe it is because now I'm waiting for it, before I didn't have the time to think about it" she thought. When she finished soaking herself, she looked long to Rives, who was trembling as a leaf. Leo who just stood there impassive, never afraid. Ken seemed to be trying to turn this a joke and that only made her sob silently, biting her cheek so they don't hear her. And the Corporal was also impassive, only his eyes showing his concern.

"If thye want us to die then... so it be. I hope one day you're proud of me"

"It has been an honor to serve under your wing, sir. Even if it was a short time" she said to the Corporal, her voice still cracking a bit, before going to the horses and grabing Rives' shoulder soflty "Let us ride... guide us, Rives"


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