Their forces had indeed split between both stairwells, both Gerard and his Captain having their intuitions be rewarded by the clattering of swords and mail echoing up the leftward steps, a clanky herald to the stomping of feet and dull flickering glow of torchlight. Their intention was clear— pen the invading force between both ends of a crab's claw, and crush them much the same. With such an enclosed space to fight in, there simply did not exist room to meaningfully fend off a two-pronged attack. That fate was inevitable if they did not act against it.
Segremors, impetuous and intrepid Segremors, had other plans."You heard her, on me!"
Scant few seconds between now, with the Captain issuing directive, and contact with the enemy forces. Hopefully his plea, overstep or otherwise, reached the ears of those undecided above. The more that could quickly descend, the better their chances of quickly aiding their Paladin became. Tactically sound planning and the general understanding of such made it quite unlikely
But if nothing else, he was not unused to clearing a path from the front.
A trio of mercenaries, revealed by an orange glow, surged upwards towards the knights—
And just as they rounded the bend, a starved wolf fell upon them
He had the advantage of height, of gravity's inescapable pull downward adding to his momentum. While he did not have the element of surprise, his shout having alerted them to his presence on this path, neither did they— and he did have something nearly as useful. When one came down to brass tacks, it left the foe flustered and reactive much the same.Vor.
The first, bearer of a torch and crossbow, was met with a boot to the sternum, heel digging into the solar plexus and driving away wind from his lungs. He staggered back, desperately raising the weapon and loosing a shot— but his foot, rather than bracing itself and catching his weight, found only the void. The bolt sailed high above the knight's charcoal locks as the sellsword fell, crashing into the second man behind him, overzealous in his want to assist. The force slammed both into the wall, knocking the back of the second's head into the stone with a dull thud.
Gerard had been there. It had earned him a scar just above his jungular. It earned the mercenary a blade through his—
Steel flashed: No time for sympathy.
Their third was savvy. He did not get caught in the groaning pile of limbs and metal before him, instead swinging his arming sword in a high arc as Gerard entered the space. Unable to stop that selfsame momentum, the knight's longsword rose to intercept the cut before it split his brow in two. In the realm of action and reaction, getting caught out of position like this ensured that the perfect move was exceedingly difficult to make as opposed to the soonest impulse.
Seeing both hands occupied with blocking, his opponent reached for a dagger, sheathed on his belt. Quick and practiced, he did indeed rip the blade free— only for his jaw to snap as Gerard's steel pommel crashed into the point of his chin. In that same moment, the knight had roughly shucked his intercepted sword to the side, off the center line, and brought his own longsword, grip first, back in a strike almost more at home in staff fighting than swordplay. If there was a knightly name for it, Gerard didn't know.
But it did what it needed to.
The mercenary let out a pained cry, his jaw momentarily loose as he likely saw stars, and Gerard struck again, grip changed to that of a miner as he brought the sword down. By contrast to before, a spur-of-the-moment reaction; everyone, even a man such as he, knew what the hell a Mordhau
The third mercenary fell. He would never rise.
His blood pumped ever hotter as he continued downward, carving a path for the knights in his wake. That little girl was all on her own down there. There would be hell to pay if they were too late to save her from harm. This group had made their choice in holding her hostage. Craven fiends. Despicable wretches. With the Roses now raiding the compound, they had to assume the worst.
A fourth, midway down. His mace, flanged and perfect for cracking skulls with or without helmets, drew a dull orange arc as it reflected the light of the torch above, intent on painting the wall red with brain. Wrenching the entirety of his torso down, the Reonite threw his head out of its path, bathed in sparks and dust as it smashed into the stone next to his shoulder. Following the motion of its wielder's body, sword became spear as its point buried itself into the man's femur. Stepping downward, he regained his base and ripped upwards. A growing stain of crimson became a torrent.
They would need to outpace news of their arrival to give Vosahnn's sister a good shot at living to see the sun again. They had made good on their word enough to convince Tili that she had no choice but to assassinate a member of the Royal family. There was no reason to believe she had lied about the stipulation placed upon failure— to say nothing at all of going turncoat.
As Tyaethe had said, this was
a rescue mission. If he allowed them to get bogged down here, then all was for naught. Each second the knights were forced to engage these grunts was a direct threat to that Nem's life. That urgency weighed on them all. He forged on again, feeling the spiral seem to take forever
as bedlam echoed around him.
A heat rose in his chest. Familiar, now, and driven. The world around him sharpened, the sounds of metal clashing in the chamber ahead cleared. He could not leave one man that stood in their path alive. The knights at his back needed them dealt with, the girl that lied ahead all but had each of their blades to her neck. His comrades simply could not afford being checked in their assault.
It flowed through him in waves, bolstering his muscles and seeping into his breath. While not quite yet the tar colored-fury that had so taken him in previous battles, not yet, he knew its beginnings well. It seemed inescapable in battle, from the moment it had truly become his craft. When he fought, it awoke in him a rushing frenzy, a ferocity that lay beyond the realm of simple skill at arms.
And he knew that meant he could crash into those obstacles like thunder itself. In this moment, it could be a welcome strength.
Let it come, then. When they reached whatever foe Paladin Tyaethe was fighting, he vowed it would serve their cause. There were worse things in the world than spirited reinforcement, when trying to break through. That much, he was certain he could do— even in combative trance.Reon guide me.