Sevenwinters, Arim and Hjorvarth stepped into Cedar’s Rest’s only tavern, a nameless building with a peaked gray roof and several patrons milling about inside. Bits of conversation wafted from huddled groups of farmers and craftsmen regarding the day’s events. Fear was evident from the looks on their faces and all eyed the three strangers as they entered the tavern’s warm central room. Near the back a counter ran nearly the length of the building and a man with short blonde hair and a pleasant smile busily tended to a group of farmers raising their mugs for more ale. Behind him, two serving girls carried plates of warm meat, potatoes, stew, carrots and bread to hungry mouths.
“Okay, so we’re here,” said Hjorvarth. “Now what? Where’s this Patrick fellow anyway?”
Sevenwinters scanned the crowd and picked out a man sitting alone, eating a haunch of meat and washing it down with a large goblet of something frothy. When the man’s eyes met Sevenwinters, he hastily wiped the froth from his mouth and waved him over, a large smile growing across his face.
Sevenwinters pointed the man out. Arim was quick to catch on. “Looks like he’s right over there. Come on.”
As the three comrades started forward, the blonde gentleman behind the bar shouted, “Excuse me sirs. We don’t allow weapons inside on persons. Please kindly leave them bonded to the peace peg if you would.” He gestured to a rack of pegs located just by the entrance to the tavern. The three exchanged a brief glance and then complied, Hjorvarth being the last and most reluctant of the bunch. The blonde haired man nodded friendly and resumed his duties with his customers.
As the party neared the solitary man at his table, the patron stood up and spread his arms wide in greeting. “Welcome friends,” he said with a large smile and a twinkle in his eye, “welcome indeed. It is a fortunate day for Cedar’s Rest that men of such courage are here today. Please, sit and share a meal with me. I’ve been expecting you.”
As Arim sat, he shot the man his own dashing smile and said, “Many thanks friend. But who might we owe this honor to?”
“Patrick’s my name,” said the man as he resumed sitting, “and my table is yours today friends.” Patrick hastily called the barmaids and ordered drinks for his three guests and made a fuss of dishing up food and seeing that everyone was situated. As soon as food hit the table in front of Sevenwinters, he began voraciously devouring it. Hjorvarth shrugged and tucked in to his plate the same. Only Arim delayed from the feast, more intent on conversation than food it would seem. And their host had plenty of that to go around as well.
“As I have said already, you are most welcome here friends. But I wish to know more about you. For example, your names.” Patrick looked first to Sevenwinters, deferring to his age and possible rank within the group. Sevenwinters paused long enough to tell him his name before diving right back in to eating. He had not had such food for seven long years and he would be damned if he would miss the opportunity now.
Next came Hjorvarth’s introduction. Patrick smiled a secret smile when the big man spoke, confirming his suspicion that the warrior from the northern frostlands. If his red hair and pale skin hadn’t given it away, Hjorvarth’s accent surely did.
Lastly, came Arim. Patrick noted the Citadel bracers on Arim’s arms and commented, “It is an honor to meet one of the sorcerers of the Citadel, Arim. This village owes you and your order many great debts.” Arim wondered briefly if Patrick was referring to the Citadel’s role in the Age of Sorrows, when Corval was constantly invaded by the Storm Knights and Geldain Ramuk’s Gray Armies, or if he meant today and the assistance both he and the elf Malinorian offered Cedar’s Rest. While Arim engaged in small talk with their host, his mind wandered to the whereabouts of the elf. He hadn’t followed them that he noticed Where had he gone?
It was then that Malinorian entered the tavern. His keen eyes picked out the group of three comrades that he had been introduced with upon meeting Tess just moments before. However, a voice in his head whispered for him to observe, to linger back and not be seen…not just yet. Moving with grace only the Elves possessed, Malinorian took a seat across from the party and kept his hood up, lest his fine Elven ears give him away. A barmaid came by asking if he needed anything, but he politely waved her away and listened to what was being said.
Patrick took another bite of his potatoes and washed it down with more ale before continuing. “It is good we have met friends. Your assistance today meant a lot to these people, and to friends of mine as well. I take it,” he said looking at Sevenwinters, “that you are familiar with the recent troubles inflicted by the baron of these parts.”
“We are now,” said Arim lightheartedly, but with a sting to it that conveyed he considered what had happened today to be nothing of a joking manner.
Patrick nodded. “Indeed. Baron Alfred Logren has lost his way and the suffering and pain he causes the people of his barony is inexcusable. Today was just a small taste of the butchery and villainy that the man possesses. I can tell you all that I have seen with my own eyes much more destruction that what was caused today over the last few months.
“Logren is a tyrant, a madman bent on bringing his people to his heel by crushing their skulls and breaking their backs. Those he does not extort, he kidnaps to work in his keep or kills. The old…women…children…none are spared his lash.”
Patrick paused, a sincere look of sadness in his eyes. “Too many have been taken. Too much has been lost. There is more blood in the Corvalian fields than there are blades of green grass these days.”
Sevenwinters looked up from his second plate of food and his eyes grew hard. “The Baron will pay dearly for what he has done. I know firsthand what his reign of terror has caused. He will not escape judgment.”
Hjorvarth let out an encouraging cheer and banged his empty mug down on the table. “I did not come to fight men in such a way, but after seeing what has happened, I will not stop until this mad dog is put down!”
Patrick smiled briefly. “Well said Master Hjorvarth. Well said indeed.” His eyes moved to Arim. “It seems like your friends here are set on seeing right replace the wrong of this village, nay…this barony. What of you?”
“Friends of mine have been affected as well. I want to help, if I can.”
Patrick’s smile widened and his face shone with pleasure. “Excellent. Then perhaps I have a way you all can aid just as you have said you would.” Leaning forward conspiratorially, Patrick beckoned their ears closer.
“I have information about a rebellion that has begun to form in these parts. The people grow tired of false imprisonments, of the senseless killings, of the kidnapping and pain that Logren has brought to their families and friends. I represent a group that assists in this rebellion. My role is to act as a kind of scout and recruiter for their cause. From what I have seen today, you three bear the marks of those I would ask to join their cause. Interested?”
Arim rubbed the day’s growth of stubble on his chin and wondered to himself what profit might lie in wait under the Baron’s keep. He had meant what he had said; he wanted to help Simon avenge his son’s death and his wife’s capture. If he could maybe bring her back…that would be something. But he also wouldn’t deny the desire to make a little something for his efforts.
“This Logren, what resources does he have at his disposal?” asked Arim as he pondered Patrick’s offer.
“Many,” said the recruiter, “He has many men, but also enough wealth from his stolen tributes to feed, clothe and outfit them. It will be dangerous but the price of freedom is always dangerous.”
Arim had his answer. The baron had wealth and that meant profit. He could do a good thing for his friend and still make a cut. Hjorvarth beat him to the punch.
“I shall stand with this group. Just point me in the right direction and let me at that bastard!”
Patrick chuckled and held his hands up for peace. Several nearby patrons had looked up at the large man’s outburst. Eyes returned to their own plates when Patrick reassured the gathered patrons that there was nothing wrong.
“This is excellent news Master Hjorvarth. I knew we could count on you.”
“Count me in too,” managed Arim, shooting Hjorvarth a wry look. Patrick clasped Arim’s hand and then turned to Sevenwinters. The old warrior was busy mopping up the last of his gravy with a hunk of bread. Sevenwinters raised his head and nodded his acceptance of the offer as well.
“Though it saddens me that this rebellion is necessary and that so much travesty has occurred here today, I am glad I stopped in these parts this week. To have met such brave souls willing to lend a hand to their unknown countrymen…well, it does my heart proud.”
The feast concluded, Patrick rose in a smooth motion. The rest of the group could see he was lithe and fit for travel. “Where are you going?” asked Arim.
“I have things to attend to in town. There are others I wish to seek out as well, to see if they possess as noble and generous hearts as yours. Please meet me back here in this tavern tonight at the seventh torch. We can discuss the details of your assistance to the rebellion at that time.”
“Much luck,” cried Hjorvarth as Patrick made his way out the door, “and thanks for the food.”
The wind had picked up and a chill rain began to fall as Patrick left the tavern. Neither the muddy ground not the biting cold could hamper his spirits. After what he had just done, he was sure to receive accommodation from his superiors and put a further thorn in Baron Logren’s campaign.
Hood up against the rain and chill, Patrick hurried away to his next meeting. A sudden shiver danced up his spine and he had the strangest feeling that he was being followed. Turning to allay his fears, he came face to face with a dark-haired Elf dressed in deep red robes. The dim light of the fading day cast shadows over the Elf’s features, making him appear to be swathed in a mask of roving shade.
Before Patrick could summon his signature smile and affable manner, the Elf spoke.
“Tell me, is it true that Fort Gorwin holds an enchantress under the Baron’s orders.”
“Excuse me?” said Patrick, completely caught unaware. “What did you say?”
“You heard me the first time,” said the Elf, his eyes focused on Patrick’s. “Is it true?”
Patrick was shocked that the Elf knew this. Such information, he had been told, was private and known only to a select few. Rumors had obviously been started. He would have to remember that for next time.
“Yes, it is true,” he said. The rain suddenly lashed around the two in quick torrent and then subsided to a normal drizzle once more. The Elf merely nodded and then said, “And the men you spoke with just now, back in the tavern. Is Fort Gorwin your next target?”
Patrick saw an opportunity rising and reached for it.
“Yes, it is.” He was telling the truth. That was the target for tonight’s discussion. Although how this strange Elf knew anything about it was beyond him.
“Then I will see you at the seventh torch Patrick.” The Elf tuned to leave, but
Patrick shouted out, “Wait…what is your name?”
Without a backwards glance, the Elf replied. “Malinorian of the Tower Nethmari.”
Patrick rolled the name around in his brain as he hurried on his way. Malinorian. Had he heard of that name before? No, he decided, he had not. But he was pretty sure it would be a name many would be hearing about in the days to come. That Elf had something special about him, something…unique. As long as he was fighting for them, Patrick mused as he entered another house - that was all that mattered at the moment.
The day sped across the sky and before long the torches marking the evening hours were burning across the village of Cedar’s Rest. As the seventh torch was lit, Sevenwinters, Hjorvarth, Arim and Malinorian all entered and took up seats in the tavern. The place was empty save for the blonde gentlemen and a single couple seated in the back by a roaring fire. The barkeep waved as the four comrades entered and offered them a seat. No mention to discarding weapons this time.
“Here to take old Patrick up on his offer, are ya?” The barkeep’s tone was friendly and matter of fact. He didn’t wait for an answer; none was needed. If they were here the answer was evident already. “It’s good that you are doing this for those of us who cannot fight.”
Malinorian and Arim questioned the barkeep for a bit about Patrick’s character. Who was he? Where did he come from? How long had he been coming here recruiting for this rebellion? The barkeep answered all he could but it was apparent that he knew little of the man named Patrick other than he was considered as a friend in these parts and had only ever helped Tess Brickworth and her regency through his efforts.
A chill wind announced the presence of Patrick as he hustled through the door. The evening hour had grown late in short time and darkness clung outside the tavern walls. Patrick brushed some dew form his overcoat and came in. In no time flat her was speaking to those gathered, which included a dark-skinned bald man and his red-haired female companion. The man seemed fit to be a warrior and the woman looked like some kind of wood scout from her attire. Patrick introduced them as Samson and Izumi respectively.
“Well then, let’s get down to business. You all know that I am recruiting for the rebellion to stop the madness Baron Logren has wrought on these lands. Tonight I hope we can strike back a blow that will show Logren that we are not sheep being led to the slaughter, but rams that will fight back to protect what is ours.”
Pausing to look around the room, he let that sink in and then continued. The air smelled vaguely of vinegar and wood smoke and Hjorvarth coughed once into this beard.
“Nearby there is a fort that the baron uses for staging attacks such as the one that occurred today. This place, known as Fort Gorwin, is not heavily guarded or manned. The baron is overconfident. He does not consider us to be that much of a threat. It is to Fort Gorwin that he has taken the prisoners from today’s raid. The mission before all of you is this: infiltrate the fort and recover the prisoners.”
Not a sound was made in the tavern. The candles that were lit flickered briefly from a draft somewhere. Patrick took this as a good sign.
“Since I have heard no objections I will assume you are all in?” Heads nodded and voices rose in assent. Patrick smiled his charismatic smile and clapped his hands.
“Good, good. This is exactly what we need. Men and women of strength and spirit.”
He paused for a moment and then continued again. “There is one other thing. The fort is run by a man named Trendon Vie. Commander Vie is a ruthless soldier in the baron’s service and one that should not be taken lightly. As many of you might be aware, the hierarchy of command amongst the solider class in Corval’s baronies is extreme to say the least. If Commander Vie were to fall in the battle, well his men would lose their fighting spirit and succumb to surrender until a new leader was placed before them. Such a blow would be of great service to the rebellion.”
At this Arim spoke. “How many does this Trendon command?”
“Roughly thirty men reside in Fort Gorwin and Commander Vie presides over them all. And my information sources have told me that more new recruits are being sent to the fort tomorrow afternoon,” answered Patrick. This brought some conversation amongst the two groups gathered.
“I thought you said the place wasn't heavily guarded! How are we to infiltrate and subdue so many?” asked Samson.
“It is the mouse that finds his way into the keep of men and feeds off his food stores,” answered Patrick. “Find a hole and get inside. From there you can take any tactic you wish. Just remember, the mission involves freeing innocent lives. These are not soldiers you are being sent to retrieve…”
Sevenwinters interrupted, finishing Patrick’s thought with a backwards glance at Samson. “…no, they’re innocent folk who can’t fight for themselves. We’ll find a way in, rest assured of that.”
Patrick swallowed hard at Sevenwinters’s tone. The man had taken on a brooding look at Patrick felt uneasy around the swordsman all of a sudden. He laughed nervously and nodded his head before taking a pull from a nearby mug of tea.
“There is one other piece of information I should give you. Held within Fort Gorwin is a prisoner named Emiline. You will be able to tell her by her presence alone, but look for a woman in her prime with auburn hair and eyes the color of tawny heather. My superiors wish very much to speak with this woman, so if you find her, please ensure that she make her way back here to Cedar’s Rest. I will be passing through in another few days again and will question her.”
“What importance does this woman have?” asked Hjorvarth as he sipped on his own drink. “Why call her out especially?”
Before Patrick could answer, Malinorian’s cool voice sounded. “She’s the Citadel Sorceress, isn’t she?”
All eyes turned from the Elf to Patrick. Patrick shrugged nonchalantly. “It’s true, she’s a sorceress, but I never said anything about being one of the Citadel.”
“A renegade?” Arim’s voice was tinged with disbelief. His brow furrowed and he shared a surprised look with Malinorian. “Such a thing would not be…good…for our order of magi. Renegades are not tolerated. She will have to be subjected to our laws.”
Patrick held up a placating hand immediately. “Hold on! I didn’t say she was a renegade, whatever that means. I just said I wasn’t sure if she was Citadel.”
“That means the same thing,” said Malinorian, anger showing in his voice.
“Well you will just have to find out for yourself,” countered Patrick, his annoyance showing at last. “The rebellion cares nothing for her crimes against magic. That is for you to handle master Elf. However, we do care for the information she has regarding Logren and his keep.”
“And why is that?” said Izumi, finally adding her voice to the assembly.
“Because my dear,” said Patrick, “she used to be a mistress to the baron and may possess valuable intel on his habits, keep and such things.”
“Sounds like an extra challenge,” said Hjorvarth, nodding his shaggy head. “It’ll be that much more interesting.”
“Well then I suggest you all get your rest. I have arranged for horses and a cart to be given to you in the morning to speed your journey. Also, I have procured uniforms of the baron’s guards in case you wish to use subterfuge to enter the fort. Lastly, I have arranged for a group of men who are sympathetic to our cause to join you in a horseshoe-shaped valley just to the west of the fort. You can find it by flowing this map.”
Patrick laid out a decent map of the area on the table and showed where they should travel to reach the fort and the reinforcements. He then answered any questions the group had before turning to leave.
“Good luck to you all.”
And with that, he was gone…a shadow lost to the darkness of night outside the tavern once more.
The six souls spent a few minutes longer down in the tavern before heading off to sleep. Tomorrow would be a long and adventurous day. Rest would be needed and so all of them retired for the evening. All except Arim.
The call of the road, the lure of the fort’s possible treasures, the promise of excitement…all of these were too much for the young adventuring sorcerer. After the others left, he grabbed the pack Patrick had prepared and dashed off into the night. He followed the full silvery light of Ailor, the shinning moon, over looping tracks and shadowed glens until hours later he came upon the fort itself. A two-storied wall of solid stone ringed the rectangular keep. Along its wall were torches and guards who patrolled its perimeter. Only one gate led access to the fort’s interior, where Arim spied two buildings. A single three-story tower with a pointed roof was situated at the southeastern end of the fort.
Not wasting a single moment, Arim uncoiled some rope he had brought and began to scale the outer wall, timing his movements between the guard’s patrol paths. As he successfully gained the summit, he crouched in the shadows of the wall’s walk and waited. When he was sure he hadn’t been seen, he descended the other side in stealth and hid behind one of the larger buildings. Quickly, he undressed and threw on the guard’s disguise he had taken with him. Then, slipping around to the front of the building, he peered in and noticed that he had stumbled across the barracks. What luck!
Without a moment to lose, he scurried into the barracks, threw his traveling bag under an empty cot, and pretended to go to sleep. With Patrick’s story of new recruits being sent to Fort Gorwin in the morning, he hoped he could just slip by unnoticed and maybe blend into the crowd. What he didn’t plan for was the heaviness of his eyes and the fatigue that hit his body as he finally laid down to rest. Before long, he was snoring soundly, a lone ram in wolves’ clothing amidst the enemy’s camp.
Morning came and with it the realization that Arim was gone. Hjorvarth and Sevenwinters went about getting the cart ready and the horses hitched while Malinorian pondered the sudden disappearance of his brother sorcerer. Before long, the group, along with Samson and Izumi, set off for Fort Gorwin. The day was surprisingly warm for a Corvalian spring and little rain assaulted their journey. Along the way, they spied a farm that had seen the devastation wrought by the baron’s men. Sevenwinters offered to help the people, but their fear of outsiders and pride at their own loss hindered his attempt at assistance. Resigned, Sevenwinters and the group went on their own way, leaving the family to suffer through their own grief and loss alone. Hjorvarth’s grip tightened on his axe and even Malinorian’s cool demeanor was flushed at the sight of the farmers’ shame.
By noon, the group had reached the valley Patrick told them about but no sign of the reinforcements could be found.
“That bastard lied to us,” shouted Samson, anger etched onto his face.
“I would keep your voice down if I were you. The wind in these parts carries sounds quite a ways.” Samson and Hjorvarth spun, each with a weapon in hand, to the sound of the new voice. They watched in amazement as part of the grassy hill around them detached itself and moved as it if had a life of its own. Suddenly other mounds of grass and plants began to move. Malinorian narrowed his eyes and smiled when he figured it out.
“Very clever,” said the Elf to the moving grass. “A perfect disguise in such a place.” He pointed out that the “moving sods of earth” were actually men camouflaged with bits of the green terrain to blend in with their environment. Sevenwinters and Izumi approached the closest of the disguised men. He extended a hand in friendship and announced himself as Alaster.
“These are my men. We’re archers from Willowheart. Patrick told us about you. Pleased to meet you.”
The rest of the day was spent discussing tactics and points of attack. It was decided that Sevenwinters, Hjorvarth and Samson would pose as guards returning to the fort in the baron’s service. Malinorian would be their “captive” they found in a recent raid. Izumi and Alaster and his men would stay behind and launch an attack of flaming arrows upon the fort at Sevenwinters’s signal as dusk fell. The hope was the it would seem as if there many more rebels attacking the fort than there actually were. Alaster would spread his men out and use the cover of darkness to conceal their smaller force. With the distraction underway, the group infiltrating the fort would make haste to find and free as many of the prisoners as they could. If they happened upon Commander Vie, so be it.
Little did the group know that the day had been spent with chores and various tasks performed by Arim posing as one of the guards inside the fort. After being roused early for duty, Arim (going under a fake name) reported to the Quartermaster and Sergeant, a man named Ar’rham with a patch over one eye and a temper to match a fierce winter storm. He toiled for the day scraping out roof gutters of clogged leaves, guarding the larder near the kitchen (where he stumbled across a hidden treasure of silver, jade and an ornate miniature dirk in the pantry’s floorboards) and finally was sent to man the front watch at the wall above the main gate. It was here that Arim would end up seeing his comrades from the day before marching up a lonely road as darkness began to overtake the day once more.
As Sevenwinters, Hjorvarth, Samson and Malinorian approached the gate, guards at the top of the wall hailed them with calls of warning. However, when the guards saw that they all wore the uniform of the baron’s men (all save Malinorian of course) they readily opened the gate after bantering a few words with Sevenwinters. Inside the party found the place teeming with guards. Making their way straight for the main hall, Hjorvarth pushed Malinorian to further their ruse of escorting a prisoner to the cells.
“Watch it northerner,” whispered Malinorian through clenched teeth.
“Sorry,” muttered the big man as they passed through the arches leading into the fort’s main hall. Inside Sergeant Ar’rham and several armed guards were conversing over a series of documents and maps splayed out on a table. Out of the corner of his eye Sevenwinters saw Arim dressed as a guard walk past them and into the hall, heading for a series of stairs on the right hand side of the building’s interior. Arim chanced a quick glance at Sevenwinters and nodded as if to say “I’ll wait for your signal.”
Sevenwinters wasn’t sure he trusted the boy, but Arim hadn’t betrayed him yet. He may have run off to get here first for his own reasons, but until Arim showed his intentions to be false, Sevenwinters would give him the benefit of the doubt.
Sergeant Ar’rham looked up from his papers with his good eye and barked out an order to his attendant before heading over to see what all the fuss was about in his hall.
“Who in the hells are you and why have you brought this ‘glow worm’ into my hall?” The sergeant used the derogatory term some men had invented for Elves. It came from their ability to shed light when they wished and was also a play off the term “shining folk” that referred to their Faerie parentage.
“We found him in our last raid,” said Sevenwinters reciting his practiced line. “He’s a sorcerer and we were told to being him to the cell blocks.”
“Who gave this order?” asked Ar’rham, his eyes squinting at the Elf before him.
The answer never came as just then a flurry of flaming arrows arced through the night sky and fell upon the buildings and interior of the fort’s grounds. The cries of “Attack!” and the following alarm bells sounded quickly over the grounds. Ar’rham barked out orders and suddenly guards were running everywhere; some to put out fires, others to man the eastern walls where the attack had spawned from, and still others to gather up comrades in other parts of the fort.
The timing of the attack by Alaster and Izumi had been perfect. Sevenwinters had told them to start the attack only after they were inside the main building and night had fallen. Without wasting a second, Hjorvarth lashed out and attacked Ar’rham, while Samson laid into one of the guards to his right. Sevenwinters likewise attacked a nearby guard and Malinorian summoned tendrils of black fog to strike fear into the hearts of two more men.
The battle was on.
Guards flooded the room and the shouts of panic became the cries of battle. Blood flew and sword and sorcery joined the fray. Hjorvarth, Sevenwinters and Samson each held their own amidst the growing tide of the baron’s men. Malinorian used his magic to damage and terrorize those nearby, giving his fighting comrades the edge they needed to defeat so many. Amidst the fighting, Arim managed to even wound a few with bolts of blue magic that flew unerringly to strike both Sergeant Ar’rham and his attendant men nearby.
Sevenwinters looked up from the fighting after laying another guard to rest permanently. Nearby, out in the courtyard beyond the main hall, he saw two men in robes hurrying to join in his fight. They wore strange straps and belts over their chests and waists stocked with vials of some type of liquid. Although he couldn’t tell what the contents of the bottles were, he could read the intentions of the men in the way they grabbed a vial each and made as if to throw it at him and his friends.
Moving as quickly as he could, he used his shield to ram into one of the men, sending both him and the robed figure sprawling on the ground. In the last possible second, he closed his eyes and buried his face into his chest. An explosion of thunder and bright light lit up the courtyard and Sevenwinters could feel the vibrations thrum through his body as the several of the vials cracked open. A cry of pain and surprise from the other robed figure told Sevenwinters his tactic had succeeded. When he regained his feet, it was child’s play to end the writhing man’s life.
Back inside, Hjorvarth managed to finally land a critical blow on Ar’rham’s left side. Following up in his companion’s wake, Samson slashed the sergeant’s back while Malinorian’s fire erupted from afar and engulfed the hapless man in writhing tongues of flame. Ar’rham fell to the flow, a lifeless husk.
Arim cast his own spells and sent more guards tumbling into enchanted sleep as Hjorvarth and Samson quickly set upon the last two men standing. Seeing the situation well in hand, Arim watched as Sevenwinters rejoined the fray and shut the double doors leading into the room. Then, Arim spun on his heel and headed back down the set of stairs, turning to face a door to his left. He knew if he traveled to his right, he would find a series of cells, ten on each side of a long stone passageway. He had located the prisoners before and now it was just a matter of how to free them to safety. But first things first: the door in front of him now was locked and there was only one reason to lock a door. Treasure.
Grabbing at his tools, Arim made quick work of the lock and found himself within a private study. A desk adorned with papers and writing quills sat in one corner. A bookshelf filled with ledgers lined a wall. A thorough search of the room revealed a little coin and papers detailing the supply trains, recruit schedule and plans of Fort Gorwin. Arim smiled as he pocketed both the money and the papers. The rebellion could certainly use the intel. Taking the steps three at a time, he came back up to reunite with his new friends and tell them of his discovery: he had found the prisoners.
Now to find this Emiline woman and a way out.
To be continued...