'This is getting bad...' Aoife thought to herself as she noticed that Thorun's blood rage had taken his mind. Even if she could clear a path... would Thorun take it?
Still, she had to try, pressing the attack against the thin line that held Daire and Ruadhán away from them, Aoife swung both her blades.
Attack 1: 1d20 + 6 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (18) + 6 + 1 - 2 = 23
Damage 1: 1d6 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 2 + 1 = 5
Attack 2: 1d20 + 6 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (13) + 6 + 1 - 2 = 18
Damage 2: 1d6 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 2 + 1 = 9
AC is an 18 with those strikes now.
|Amergin the Wise|
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 211d6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 81d6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 61d6 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 191d6 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 141d6 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 181d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 121d6 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Seeing their companions overwhelmed by the tide of angry Derrymen, Ruadhan and Daire charge into the fray. Daire swings wide but his presence inspires courage to the heroes of Largay who fight with renewed vigour. Ruadhan strikes true, his blade cutting deep into the belly of his enemy who falls to the ground instantly. Further galvanized by Daire’s words, Thorun decapitates another. And swinging her swords with graceful ease, Aoife wounds yet another who falters before continuing his attack…
Five remain. But the warriors of Derry are like the sea and two more come to take the place of the fallen… MacLochlain’s guards continue their furious attack!
Aoife is facing three warriors and takes 3 hp damage. She is now at -21 hp.
Thorun is facing two warriors and takes 9 hp damage. He is now at -44 hp.
Ruadhan is facing one warrior and takes 7 hp damage.
Daire is facing one warrior and takes no damage.
You may all act!
Join me...join me... Thorun gives a gurgling sound, half laugh and half chocking on blood. "Join me..." he says ominously as he takes the decapitated head, throwing it into the face of a soldier as he cuts down another.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (12) + 14 = 26
Attack: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (20) + 13 = 33
Damage: 1d12 + 16 ⇒ (5) + 16 = 21
Confirm: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (3) + 13 = 16
Crit Damage: 2d12 + 32 ⇒ (7, 6) + 32 = 45
Intimidating some soldier that's uninjured towards the side of the army, and attacking a soldier that's towards the side of freedom. Also I really hope their AC 16 is or below because I can't even imagine the gore from such overkill.
|Amergin the Wise|
Move action: Deft Maneuvers
1d20 + 6 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 6 + 2 + 1 = 26
Seeing things going poorly, and Thorun losing his mind to battle, Aoife takes a chance. She knew it was likely at least one of them would die... so she made a choice who it would be.
Placing one of her blades in between her teeth by the handle, Aoife grabbed Thorun. 'Forgive me...' She thought before she, in a surprising feat of strength, launched the barbarian ten feet towards their allies on the other side.
Then she looked to Ruadhán and Daire, offering them a goodbye smile as she returned her blade to her hand. "Run!!" She called out to her friends. "Take Thorun, and run!" She begged them "God willing, I'll be at your heels." She promised. "If not... protect the boys. Tell them how sorry I am that I didn't get to see them grow up... and tell Fintan, tell him his sister loves him. That he will make a great king one day."
She was on barrowed time she figured. The wound from the guard's blade was aching something fierce now, and the clothes she had so nicely been given where stained yet again with blood. 'How funny...' She thought 'I didn't want to drowned the Isle in blood yet... here I stand covered in it...'
Finally she looked to those who still surrounded her. Though instead of a warning or threat she simply spoke a soft common prayer to God.
Aoife, don't be a martyr. You are wounded and I am good at this bit! Run!
Stepping up into the space of the warrior he just killed and next to Aoife, Ruadhán uses his shield to protect her as best he can, whilst attacking the warrior next to him, to widen the gap.
Attack Sword: 1d20 + 4 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (3) + 4 + 1 - 1 = 7
Dmg Sword: 1d6 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 3 + 1 = 7
Attack Shield: 1d20 + 4 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (9) + 4 + 1 - 1 = 13
Dmg Shield: 1d4 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 3 + 1 = 7
But the warrior's defences hold.
That is a lot of 3s!
Using Shield bearer trait to give Aoife +2AC. Using Combat expertise to get AC to 17(via feat tax rules, if we aren't using it yet, back to 16).
I assumed I could 5ft step forward next to Aoife, but if not then drop the second attack.
Daire steps back towards Thorun and says in a voice that only the huge man can hear:
"Aoife will not leave until you do. LEAVE."
I dare not risk trying to sway him with ensorcelment, so words will have to do.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (20) + 14 = 34
To Ruadhan and Aoife, he calls:
"Get out of there now!"
Inspire courage on just Ruadhan and Aoife
|Amergin the Wise|
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 241d6 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 91d6 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 231d6 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 81d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 151d6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 111d6 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Despite his severe wounds and the continued assault of the Derrymen, Thorun remains in the melee, swinging his axe brutally and bloodily, cutting down one enemy after another.
Aoife realizes that Thorun is blinded by his battle frenzy and will not leave the battle unless... Hoping to save her friend, she ceases her attack, grabs Thorun by the vest, and, in a feat of strength motivated by desperation, launches him a safe distance away.
Thorun finds himself out of the melee and, hearing Daire's reassuring and compelling voice in the far distance as if in a dream, he is lucid for long enough to get his bearing and see his companions fighting for their lives.
Ruadhan swings his sword wide and slams his shield into his opponent, but does little to turn the tide... King Nial's guards, thinking the battle won, strike hard. Daire and Ruadhan are lucky, but Aoife is cut twice.
Aoife takes 12 hp and is now at -33. She is facing three opponents.
Ruadhan takes no damage and is facing two opponents.
Daire takes no damage and is facing one opponent.
You may all act!
How did I...Aoife! Thorun straitens up, his eyes focusing. He looks at Daire and nods. "Raaaahhhh!" He cuts at one of the soldiers that is blocking Aoife's escape. "Aoife! Come on!"
Attack: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (17) + 13 = 30
Damage: 1d12 + 15 ⇒ (8) + 15 = 23
Thorun will wait for Aoife and help her rip free, then run with her.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (1) + 14 = 15
|Amergin the Wise|
"Aoife, just run, I've got this.
Ruadhán slashes his sword at one opponent, before leaping under Thorun's hand to punch out with his shield at the other. Desperately trying to hold a channel open for Aoife to escape.
Attack Sword: 1d20 + 4 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (20) + 4 + 1 - 1 = 24
Damage: 1d6 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 3 + 1 = 6
Attack Shield: 1d20 + 4 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (17) + 4 + 1 - 1 = 21
Dmg: 1d4 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 3 + 1 = 8
Crit confirmation: 1d20 + 4 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (7) + 4 + 1 - 1 = 11
Crit dmg: 1d6 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 3 + 1 = 10
His slash lands nastily, cutting the warrior's face, before he is gone landing a solid blow to his other opponent's exposed leg with the spikes of his shield.
Continuing Combat Expertise for AC 17
Daire strikes at the warrior in front of him, crying out:
"Clear the way!"
Inspire courage on all
Short Sword: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 5 + 1 = 13
Damage: 1d6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 + 1 = 4
Aoife, placing her blade hilt in teeth once more as she needed a free hand once again. Reaching out she grasped Thorun's wrist and pull herself out the the area she had just thrown the man from. Her heart couldn't help but be warmed by the fact those she cared for chose to remain at her side.
I'll use a withdraw action if I can, meaning you don't incur an AoO when moving out of the first area of threatened space. If I cannot, use the roll below to try and get out without getting hurt.
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
|Amergin the Wise|
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 121d6 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 211d6 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 171d6 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 71d6 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 231d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Thorun strikes another down and reaches out to Aoife who just seconds ago pushed him out of harm’s way. She wants to sacrifice herself but he’ll have nothing of it, and neither will the others. While striking at another of King Nial’s guards with sword and shield, Ruadhan urges her the move out. Daire swings wide but remains steadfastly in the melee – his presence, as always, bolsters their courage.
Faltering, Aoife takes Thorun’s hand and withdraws to stand behind him and the others. Ruadhan and Daire face the remaining four guards with sharp swords… The rush in, certain to avenge the death of their king. Ruadhan groans as he is cut twice. Daire suffers a hard hit, the enemy’s sword cutting deep into his leg. Horns blow in the distance and, now that they have had time to organize, countless Derrymen are rushing forth, pushing their obvious advantage and eager to draw blood in retaliation for the severe blow that was felt today.
Soon, there will be no way out…
Ruadhan takes 11 hp damage and is now at -18 hp. He is facing three opponents.
Daire takes 7 hp damage. He is facing two opponents.
Yeahhh...doing the math on carrying capacity, as long as Aoife weighs less than 250 lbs. this should work. Nobody is trapped anymore, right? If that's the case:
Thorun hauls Aoife away from the battle, up into the air and over his shoulder. "OUT!" He roars at the others as he turns and rips up the sod.
While under a medium load Thorun still has a movespeed of 30, so he should be able to keep up with the others just fine. LETS GET OUTTA HERE BOYZ
Saving his breath for flight, Daire immediately turns and flees!
Withdraw and RUN AWAY
With a nod as Daire breaks from combat and in the knowledge that Thorun was escaping behind him, Ruadhán disengages and follows the group. Aware of the heavy wounds that Aoife and Thorun are carrying, Ruadhán positions himself between the group and the greatest threat.
"Wha-Hey!!! Aoife begins to protest as Thorun lifts her up onto her shoulder. However she stops when she notices everyone else is bolting out of here. "Alright fine..." She sighed.
Though she did look to the other side of the battle, Thorun had gone there first to clear a way out for Eoghan and his men at the beginning of this fight... she could only hope they had taken it then as she scanned the area for his group.
|Amergin the Wise|
As you are all withdrawing, roll 1d4-1 to determine the number of AoO you incur.
Aoife need not roll as she is occupying the same space as Thorun. Thorun, in addition to the roll above, roll 1d2 for each of the AoO to ascertain who is hit.
If you wish to position yourself to take another character's AoO, roll 1d4-1;1d3-1;1d2-1. These rolls will allow me to ascertain the result without having to resort to multiple posts.
AoOs: 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
Thorun or Aoife: 1d2 ⇒ 1
Thorun will not take anybody else's AoOs.
AOO: 1d4 ⇒ 2
Daire will handle himself, dodging from multiple strokes and stabs.
AOO: 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
AOO: 1d3 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
AOO: 1d2 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Wasn't quite sure what you meant, but I am guessing this means I didn't manage to intercept any!
|Amergin the Wise|
Animal Handling: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
AoO: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 161d6 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
AoO: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 151d6 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
AoO: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 231d6 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
AoO: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 171d6 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
The heroes of Largay run for their lives, withdrawing back toward the safety of the hills as the army of Derry begins to surround them. Seeing them rushing his way, Caelan mounts his horse and attempts to lead the team into the battlefield. But the horses are nervous and won't easily be led into the fray. As the heroes of Largay suffer the cuts of angry Derrymen, safety seem suddenly very far away...
Aoife suffers no damage and remains at -33 hp.
Thorun suffers 6 hp damage and is now at -50 hp.
Daire suffers 8 hp damage and is now at -15 hp.
Ruadhan suffers 8 hp damage and is now at -26 hp.
As surely as it took you more than a single move to engage, it will take you two moves to reach your horses! Again, roll 1d4-1 to determine the number of AoO that you incur.
Then, if you wish to attempt to take AoO for another character, roll 1d4-1;1d3-1;1d2-1 to ascertain how many AoO you can intercept.
1d4 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2
1d2 ⇒ 21d2 ⇒ 2
Thorun will attempt to take one of those hits.
1d4 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 01d3 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 11d2 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
|Amergin the Wise|
Yes, with those rolls it would be Aoife getting hit twice. Thorun will try to intercept one of them.
|Amergin the Wise|
Right, well let's see what the shield can do!
AOO: 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Protect Aoife: 1d3 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Protect Daire: 1d2 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Takes none, intercepts none! Is that right?
Ruadhán skirts the outskirts of the group, trying to intercept the warrior's, but it is soon clear they care less for him and more for the 2 responsible for their King's death and time their opportunities to avoid Ruadhán's protection.
|Amergin the Wise|
AOO: 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
Daire feels that he's getting off lightly, and tries to distract the assailants of Aoife.
Will attempt to draw away 1 aoo
1d4 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 01d3 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 01d2 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
|Amergin the Wise|
AoO: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 61d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
AoO: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 241d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
confirm critical: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
AoO: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 231d6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Rebuke death: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
The heroes continue to run towards the horses who are decidedly spooked by the chaos and Caelan's vain attempt to lead the mounts towards his allies. Thorun, still carrying Aoife, reaches the horses first and, for a moment, there is hope that they may yet all survive this suicidal mission against all odds. They are bloodied and battered, but they are alive!
Ruadhan and Daire arrive as Thorun sets Aoife down... and they all watch with despair as she falls to the ground like a bloody rag doll.
Their hearts sink. The army of Derry is fast surrounding them, and there is no time to tend to Aoife's wounds, no time to save her.
Then she appears like an angel walking through the battlefield, and they remember that God is – and has always been – on their side. Recognizing the hand of God in the saintly woman, the Derrymen allow Sister Cobhlaith to pass. She catches Aoife as she reaches the ground and whispers a prayer in her ear.
Aoife catches her breath, once more returned from the dead. As she looks up, she sees the Derrymen surround them, and horsemen charging towards them with their spears high. The heroes of Largay ready their weapons, ready to die for a just cause but not without a fight...
"Hold your spear!" a rider commands another who is leading the furious charge against those responsible for the murder of King Nial MacLochlain. "STOP!"
Surprisingly, the Derrymen hold their attack. Riding behind the man who just saved their lives, they recognize O’Clery – the man who shared his bread with them near the shores of Kilbarron.
Aoife takes 14 hp damage, is healed 5 hp, and is now at 0 hp total.
Daire takes 3 hp damage and is now at -18 hp.
Let's take a pause, and let me see if Sister Cobhlaith is back with us. In the meantime, to be discussed in the Discussion thread or on Discord!
|Amergin the Wise|
"They've killed MacLochlain and Donegal!" the furious warrior who was leading the charge bellows. "They must die!"
"It is done, and they have proven their valour," the commanding man answers simply. O'Clery whispers in his ear and he continues: "I have heard of these heroes and their deeds. They will fetch a fair ransom. In the meantime, let us tend to our wounded and to the dead. Today was a dark day for the Derrymen."
"Take their weapons. Bind them. They are not to be harmed," the man commands before turning away, certain that, with MacLochlain and Donegal dead, his orders will be obeyed.
O'Clery himself rides up to the heroes of Largay. He looks down at Aoife with sad eyes. "Will she survive?" His sadness turns to wonder when he sees Sister Cobhlaith pray to God and, with her words and her able hands, heal her companion's wounds.
Cure moderate wounds: 2d8 + 4 ⇒ (4, 8) + 4 = 16
"You will be treated honourably," he assures them when his liege's men come to take their weapons and bind their hands.
Do you submit or do you fight?
"You..?" Aoife muttered as she opened her eyes to see O'Clery. With held from Sister Cobhlaith she slowly got up and handed the throwing axes and daggers she had to the closet of his men. "I know I've no right to ask..." Aoife huffed out as she stood as tall as her wounds would allow. "But will you allow Sister Cobhlaith to leave? She's done nothing, she wasn't among us when brought your kings low, it was only when we came to the horses that she intervened and even then only because I was so wounded. She has nothing to do with this war and if you wish to ransom us back, then she'd be the best to send back."
Presenting her wrists so they could bind them, Aoife seemed calm. Honestly to her this was a rather good turn out. She may not be properly ransomed, but the others would and if she didn't cause any trouble they might even listen to her request.
"Give them your weapons." She told her group. "Our mission is done, no reason to die now if there is a way to live through this."
As the soldiers close in around them Thorun growls and paces in circles, trying to push forward but being kept at bay by the reach of the spears. As emotions calm down he starts shaking his head, going back and forth before staggering like a drunk and falling to a knee, axe burying itself in the dirt beside him.
Bloody hell. What did you do.
Thorun looks up, weary eyes scanning the soldiers around him. "Oh. Well f!@*." He starts coughing, stopping when he manages to spit out a globule of blood onto the grass. He takes a long look at his axe, then the others, then sighs. He steps away from his fallen axe, going and sitting down next to the others. When Aoife says the mission is done he gives a grunt. "Aye, that's something. Who ended up getting him?"
"The others got Donegal, though I think you had a hand in that as well, and you along with myself ended MacLochlain." Aoife answered. "Oh and I threw you from the battle. Cleared a good distance too, won't lie I'm a bit impressed with myself for that." She went on to say. "It's good to have you back my friend." Aoife smiled to Thorun.
Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Daire mutters to his friends as the argument goes on past them.
"Ri Tuaithe O'Donnell leads our salvation, and O'Clery has his ear. It does not hurt us that O'Donnell did not love his leige Donegal..."
When O'Clery rides up, Daire begins to visibly remove his weapons as he speaks, and smiles.
"A fine evening to be out for a ride eh, O'Clery?" , he quips before his countenance grows more serious.
"You have my thanks and I will go quietly. I do recommend that you allow the good Sister to depart. A trusted voice to bring whatever words you wish to whomever you wish."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (11) + 14 = 25
He places his weapons and shows his wrists. A wry smile still lingers on his face.
Sorry, tough couple of days
Know Local: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Know Local: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
"You are probably right, but King O'Doherty there doesn't seem so happy about it!"
Seeing the others submitting their weapons, Ruadhán resigns himself to their situation and begins to divest himself of his weapons and shield. As the adrenaline wears off, the throbbing of his cuts and lesser wounds begin to throw and he begins to feel his age.
|Amergin the Wise|
While the derrymen glower at the heroes of Largay who single-handedly put an end to the war by killing three kings, O'Clery agrees to take Sister Cobhlaith under his wing. He leads her away to safety while Thorun, Daire, Ruadhan, and Aoife are put in chains.
The army sets camp atop the hill and fast riders are sent West – certainly to negotiate terms. The prisoners wait... Rarely, if ever, have they felt so powerless to decide their fate. Even Aoife cannot but find her shackles insufferable. And yet, suffer they must. Thankfully, despite an evident desire to make them pay for their dastardly deeds, the derrymen leave them alone. But they are offered no comfort whatsoever when night falls and it begins to rain. They spend the night in the mud, wet and shivering.
In the morning, the sun offers little comfort. The prisoners are told nothing, and their requests and queries are met only with ridicule and contempt. The heroes of Largay must endure and pray.
"They'll never pay!" they overhear one of their jailers chuckling in the morning. "I wouldn't mind sticking my knife into the slave girl!" the other jests, looking down at Aoife.
Riders return mid-morning, and by noon the army is on the march. The derrymen and their prisoners head back East across the mountains, and then South along the coast to Derry. As soon as they arrive, the prisoners are shoved into a damp cellar. The sturdy door is locked behind them, and it takes a moment for their eyes to adjust to the darkness. They can barely make out the slumped form of a man who moans unintelligibly upon seeing them…
”Padraic?” Aoife soon recognizes her friend. He is thin, beaten, and worn. His clothes are soiled and torn. But that’s not the worst of it, she soon realizes. They cut off his tongue!
"I'd be careful if I was you." Aoife retored as she slowly looked up to the one looking down upon her. "This slave girl is more likely to stab you with your own knife." She held up her hands to show the chains. "Even in chains like these."
Intimidate: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
"So you should first ask yourself, is trying worth it?" Aoife asked. After that though Aoife was almost deathly quiet. She wondered how long it would take for the other to be ransomed, and if she'd every get to see them again... no one had to tell her that there was no chance for her. A bastard daughter and a slave? No one would pay for that.
She uad resigned herself to a fate of death.... before Padraic. Seeing him, the state he was in, what they had done to him... a fire of rage lit up within Aoife. The wolf under the surface growled through her veins. She pulled her friend close to her to offer what little warmth she could. "Padraic." She whispered softly. "I'm sorry... this is my fault... I should have made us leave sooner I should have just gone..." She apologized. "Forgive me my friend."
Thorun goes through the motions, not seeming content but not upset at their circumstances. Mostly just like a fish swimming with the rest of the school, not deviation from expectations. Even at the threats to his comrades Thorun doesn't even muster up a shrug. Men to be feared don't talk. They act. He doesn't even bother looking over at them. And they've seen me in action. They know not to try their luck. He puts a hand on Aoife as her hackles raise, shaking his head.
As they're dumped into a cellar, Thorun looks on Padraic and for the first time feels something in his gut. F#+$. The bastards.
K Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
During the cold, wet night, Daire shivers. And prays - in an unique manner.
Lord, if I cannot have freedom, let me have forgiveness. I did well today, surely?
In the cells, Daire looks morose. He certainly feels the weight of his chains, and the damp from the night threatens his bones.
"We would need a body-price for ourselves - our treasures taken in lieu most likely - but also a surety, an honour-price for the *lordly* lives we took. In total, it could be a score and a hundred cattle - a price I do not see being paid easily."
Likely not at all., he thinks glumly.
And then he realises the state, and identity, of their fellow prisoner.
"Padraic? Padraic!? Holy Mother of God, the bastards took his tongue!"
|Amergin the Wise|
Padraic tries in vain to express himself through insistent moans and desperate pantomimes, then gives up. His eyes plead with them… To understand somehow how and why he came to be here? To end his life? It is heartbreaking to see such a proud man now broken and condemned to a fate many would claim worse than death. A man who is not whole is not a man.
Days and nights pass in the cold, dark, damp cellar. They are given stale bread and clear broth, dirty water, and little else. The stench of their feces is at first disgusting, but later barely noticeable anymore when the Derrymen begin to use the door to the underground cellar as a urinal. Their requests for an audience and their pleas are ignored entirely by laughing guards. This is no way to treat prisoners, but who will listen?
Ten days later, without forewarning, they are led out of their makeshift cell and taken to the river to bathe. The heroes of Largay are stripped and told to wash under the watchful eyes of a good number of soldiers. They aren’t taking any chances. They are handed clean clothes – tunics and trousers for the men, and a smock and surcoat for Aoife – and then they are escorted to the king’s hall.
There, sitting on the throne, is Nial MacLochlain, Murtagh’s second son – a mere boy. His brother Conchobar stands behind him. Young Conchobar looks sickly and it is plain to see that, while he survived thanks to Sister Cobhlaith’s skill and prayers, the poison left him unfit to rule. There is great sadness in his eyes when he gazes upon the heroes of Largay to whom he and his brothers owe so much.
In the hall, all the kings of Tír Eoghain have assembled – Donegal, O’Doherty, Ferguson, Ua Duibhdhiorma, and many others. Likely, they have assembled to pay homage and allegiance to their new king. And, towering above them all, is Fintan of Largay with Sister Cobhlaith at his side. The giant of a man is relieved when he finds his companions alive. The sight of Aoife brings tears to his eyes. And when he sees Padraic, he sobs. He takes his childhood friend in his arms. ”I am so sorry,” he whispers.
”Let’s go home,” Fintan says simply. He leads them out without another word. Outside, it seems all the warriors of the region have come together. Countless animals are slaughtered to feed so many men who rejoice that the war in Inishowen ended quickly and with relatively little bloodshed. Mead is offered, but Fintan has no mind to share in the festivities, and nor do the men of Largay who accompanied him to Derry and now are eager to return home.
Just outside Derry, they are met by warriors carrying a large chest. They offer their king’s apologies and the chest as reparation and proof of gratitude. Fintan simply nods and his men load the chest onto a cart.
They ride off and stop only after they have gone some distance South. Then only does Fintan address them all: ”I am glad you are alive. It is good that you helped the MacLochlain boys reclaim their birthright.” He sighs. The young lord seems ever so tired – aged and worn by recent events.
”I tried to convince the lords of Inishowen to pay the honour-price given that you were fighting to advance their cause,” Sister Cobhlaith explains. ”And Conchobar tried as well. But his kinsmen no longer saw him as fit to rule. The battle was won and they refused to ruin themselves to save the lives of a fer midboth, a poor bóaire, a Dane and a slave. They sent for Nial and I travelled South. When Fintan heard what happened… You are his kinsmen. He paid the honour-price.”
Over a hundred heads of cattle… The McGovern of Largay are ruined.
Thorun goes through his imprisonment, playing the part of a captive animal. Eats, sleeps, s!~#s, and minding his own business. At the taunts and jibes from their jailers, there is no bristling or even glares. For all they know Thorun is deaf, unable to even hear the comments. But underneath it there is a cold understanding; this animal will not rattle his cage, but if somebody wants to step inside, all bets are off.
When their dark imprisonment begins to see its end as they are led to the light, Thorun closes his eyes for several minutes at the glaring harshness of the sun. Something I'm glad to see every day turned against me. His stomach growls loudly in protest, a bit of bile dripping from the corner of his lip. The starvation was hard on his companions, but Thorun is a big man with a big appetite. He glances at the packs on the soldiers that he's sure contain rations, and at some of the rocks skewed on the river. No. No! Thorun shakes his head, biting his lip so hard it draws blood. Your stomach isn't an excuse to get everybody killed.
Thorun doesn't understand what happened, but their freedom had been bought. All at once Thorun collapses against the wall, pupils dilated as their imprisonment ends. He doesn't know how much longer he would have lasted, or if he should have fought before he was starving. But the other would not come to him, he felt none of the coals of anger while he lay wasting in the prison. Useless s+##ter. He gives a dark chuckle, speaking up with horse voice. "Food."
As they travel after the festivities, Thorun chews from his pack of bottomless rations, seeming content to do nothing but eat the last few hours. But as the truth of the situation is revealed to him he stares in surprise, then tosses a bone down to the ground. "Should have let us die." He takes another bite, although it tastes like sand now.
Daire is dumbfounded.
They...paid it!? It will be the ruin of Largay, surely!
He thinks quickly. If the McGovern can survive this loss without soon being overthrown, whether there are any means, fair or foul, to make loss the loss. Or at least enough for the McGoverns and Largay to survive.
And if not, then whom might be best suited to take over from the McGovern, and how best to aid them to avoid Largay blood being spilled.
Knowledge History: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Knowledge Nobility: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26
Knowledge Religion: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Being thrown into a dark cell, finding a dear friend mutilated, and being stripped of one of her only two belongings took a toll on Aoife. Likely even more than the hunger and poor conditions they had been left in. They would have taken everything had Aoife not taken a risk. The item she had worn on a leather strip around her neck was a golden ring. Not something a slave if anyone should have save nobles. Before they could take her dearest possession Aoife swallowed the ring. She'd not allow it to fall into their hands... the cloak she could, no would, find again but the ring... if it was gone she knew she'd never see it again.
Through the rest of the time she just tried to take care of Padraic the best she could. Getting him to eat and drink what little he could. By the time their stay in the cell comes to an end Aoife had lost a fair deal of weight. She hardly ate a thing while there and it showed when she had to bathe herself and dress. The clothes didn't fit well, nor hid the fact she had lost weight. Yet the fire in her eyes never went out.
When they are brought before the room of Kings Aoife let a long sigh out. She was glad to see Conchobar and Nial alive, angered to see the rest of the Kings, and overjoyed to see Fintan. She truly believed she'd never see her brother again. "Brother..." She breathed out as tears built up in her eyes. When all he said was that they where going home, his little sister nodded and headed out. though before they left the hall Aoife stopped in the door way and looked back to the group that had gather. Her thin frame from hunger and ill fitting clothes made the grim like smile on her lips unnerving. She seemed to be memorizing each face of the Kings, those she fought against, those she had fought with and betrayed her, and those who had been as kind as they could. Though she never looked at the Brothers on the throne. Then she mouths the words "I'll see you all in hell." but no sound came with them.
When the men came to give the chest and apologize she simply shook her head and said not a word. There would be no point after all. She was really silent till Fintan spoke to them. It was then she embraced her brother. "I never thought I'd see you again..." She told him. "How where you able to do this? Your mother would have never allow it!"
|Amergin the Wise|
"She was away, visiting her kinsmen," Fintan answers simply with an attempt at a smile. "She never would have agreed, but it was the right thing to do. She must be furious."
He turns to Thorun. "Perhaps I should have let you die. But my honour and the loyalty of the warriors who fight for me has no price."
Daire, thinner, embraces Fintan.
"Fintan, Fintan. It is too much, Fintan."
And then more softly:
"You must look ahead, Fintan. I cannot bear to think of you losing even more. Do not abandon hope of the votes of the Lords of Largay! Though you will need strong alliance to win them back. The O'Reilly of Cavan, or the O'Rourke of Breifne perhaps have daughters ready!"
"That is more in the future Daire." Aoife said with a shake of her head. "We need a way to survive the Queen's wrath first." She explained with a sigh as she took a seat. "Fintan might get a scolding but the rest of us are in for some hard times... and I need to become practically invisible. If I don't she'll have my head."
After a few moment she just let out a long sigh. "Thank you brother... for coming to save me. You shouldn't have needed to... I'm sorry I caused such trouble for you." Aoife told him. "And now I'm nothing but a hinderance."
"Well, we can do what worked for me the last time there was hot water - get out of it and be forgotten for a while."
"That works well for you Daire but I'm still a slave, even with Fintan trying to back me she'd have me hunted down as a runaway." Aoife told him. "You don't know this woman... she's a monster who hides behind a mask of woman. She's only done two good things in this world! One is dead, the other stands right there." She said as she pointed to Fintan.
"Honestly if it was up to me she'd dead already, but I love my brother. Thus so long as he calls her mother she is safe from me." Aoife told him. "It will likely mean my life... but I'm okay with that if it keeps Fintan happy."
After a few moments Aoife just shook her head. "I... well it doesn't matter anymore." She said as she looked to the ground. "What we've done doesn't matter, who we are doesn't matter. In the end, the only thing that seems to matter are those who call themselves King.... and war begins again and blood covers the ground again... I killed to protect boys I saw as my own, to ensure as little blood shed as possible.... and in doing so I've ruined my family. Those whose men are alive right now because of us, who sit upon thrones because of us... were where they when we sat in a cell wasting away?" Aoife asked bitterly.