Ellion did not volunteer for the task that Aemon had suggested. It was all for a different reason, perhaps it was the reason he wasn't known as the best warrior of this whole campaign. The others had made a mark. Being the grey man was not his speciality, given he was usually clad in the shiniest, prettiest plate and his golden-brown eyes and characteristic good looks would usually rumble anyone. But over the campaign, he had clearly deteriorated his appearance, found the chaos of conflict to be excellent to cover his tracks. The shiny plate armour, the suit of armour he so beloved had gone home two weeks ago, to be placed back on the rack it would have rarely gathered dust on in Highgarden. A simpler plate and mail was all he had, and it looked like something a hedge knight would have worn, affording less protection and probably the same amount of movement, but it would work. His hair was almost black with a smell of sea salt and....pirate smells, his face dirtied from merely the blood and cold of conflict. He did still look dashing, but more as a rogue, not as a pretty Knight of some kind. The group were good, and no doubt they could have needed an extra pair of hands to help join in raising hell.
Rather, Ellion had something different set for him, from what Aemon had asked. Going ahead onto the island was not an easy move, it was risky as hell, but something that would give him a position at least to do some overwatch. Particularly, the task of cutting off the beacons on the rocky island's clifftops would be a task that would need completion, and didn't need a squad of men. It just needed one good swordsman to kill the crews, and leave the posts unmanned. After all, the ships could not be noticed. And this one beacon, if lit, would be the end of the suprise. Ellion's duty was to get in and stop the beacon being lit, when the ships would be visible in the rainy mist. And they were coming, fast.
And so here he was, on a small dinghy, rowing into shore. He looked like a smuggler, dirty and decrepit, but he would at least keep his cover for long enough. The cliffs were imposing in the rainy afternoon, as he felt the boat bottom out. Clambering out, Ellion Tyrell knew that while he had come to here expecting glory, he knew it was duty he had to maintain. And it would be a way of buying his friends some time, at least, as he dragged the boat ashore. It was deathly quiet, perhaps this cove hadn't been considered, he thought to himself, as he dragged it towards the cavern across the beach. Dragging a large sack out of the boat, he threw it over his shoulder, wiping his chin as he headed towards the staircase on the side of the cliff, the site remarkably unguarded. It felt like it should have been, and perhaps it was. Ellion knew chances were, he was being watched. And that was exactly what he counted on.
A voice called out from the top of the staircase, a man's, "Who goes there? Let me see your hands." Ellion saw a leather-clad cutthroat step into view with a sword at his belt and a torch in hand. He had the hand on the hilt of his weapon but hadn't drawn it yet.
Ellion raised them appropriately, looking up at the cutthroat step into view, as he shook his head. This was stupid, but Ellion guessed he might as well try this. He was always one for new experiences. Given he hadn't really stuck with anything, this was something different, he thought to himself, as he walked up the stairs, sack still over his back.
"Bloody hell. I end up bringing lobster, and this is what I get? You know Aurane is hunting anything that goes in and out of his ports." Ellion looked up, a grin on his face.
"Name's Arran, of Weeeping Tower." He didn't need to give a surname, aware he was some mere commoner, or at least, appeared to be.
"Am I going to have to give you some lobster, bribe you, or kill you? Because to be honest, I'm kinda feeling like if I have to do all three, it's going to be a real inconvenience to both of us. The former two together...well, that just makes option three more charming to me, doesn't it?" Ellion cackled, his grin still coming through as he walked up the staircase, straight in front of the cutthroat.
The man pursed his lips, "Smuggler eh? How'd you hear about this meeting, s'possed to be a secret. But let's see what you got, I do like me some lobster." The man allowed Ellion to step to the top and came closer, looking into the bag with his torch held high, his hand still resting on the hilt of his sword.
"That's what I thought too. But people are really poor at keeping secrets these days. Can you keep one?" Ellion asked, as he drew the sack over, dropping it onto the floor. He opened it, and whilst it smelt of fish, it didn't reek so much.
"Have a look for yourself." Ellion let him take a peer, the rain spilling down the stony stairwell down to the beach.
The man smirked and said, "Aye, I can. Unless you get too much drink in me or put too many coins in my hand." He looked into the sack poking around to look for the reported lobster.
"Splendid. You'll be a good one to keep then." And with it, Ellion didn't go for his sword. No, he took the dagger at his hip, and shanked him low in the stomach, a dirty tactic but one that worked. The blade turned as he pushed upward, withdrawing it bloodily and messily. The man tried to scream as Ellion put his hand over his mouth, looking into his eyes.
"Seven Hells, you're one of those." Ellion added, as he slit his throat, his voice dying down completely as he did so. There was no honour in this. Ellion was normally a man who would have it, but right here and right now, the mission mattered. And cynically, he knew Garlan was right. That was the point.
Dragging his body to the stony bannister, he shoved him down the stairs, as his body lifelessly rolled down, like a ragdoll, off the staircase and into the sand with a quiet thud. Wiping the blood, he cursed, as he opened up the bag. Dragging out the lobster, he left it on the floor, using the sack to wipe away as much of the blood as he could. It wasn't pretty, but it had to be done, as he continued on his way.
The top of the staircase was an impressive vantage point indeed above the treeline, but Ellion knew he had to keep moving. After all, he was one of many guards, and it was a large staircase. Chances were, his body would be found quick. So Ellion had no time to sit around and wait. He had to get a move on, and from this point onward, get to work on the lighthouses. It would be an irritating effect, but it would buy Aemon and his group time. Time for him to figure out just how the fuck he was going to regroup, or find an overwatch to join them later on. Ellion had given it some thought, but at this point in time, was more concerned about survival.
The cliff was wooded, with several trees and quite a bit of undergrowth. In the distance, Ellion could see the improvised watch towers that the pirates had set up. One overlooked the ships in the bay and the bonfires on the beach below. Every now and then he could hear a duo of pirates walking by, not very attentively. Several archers could be seen on the tower, a massive pyre that was unlit in the middle. There was also a horn, and it was likely that one of the men had a spyglass, to watch for ships.
Ellion watched on, moving quietly through the undergrowth, observing the pirates and other cutthroat men that were lingering. observing. He had to consider his next move, knowing that if the horn was sounded, he was as good as dead. There were no archers to help, or anyone else. But there was few of them. Just enough to think they could take him. But few enough for Ellion to actually have. His talent with a blade wasn't cocky, but he knew that there was nobody remarkable. He merely had to have his mind about him, and needed to get this done.
Waiting in the hedges, he moved through the forest, picking a nice spot in which to hide. He heard the pair of pirates mumbling, as he tsked, the men turning. They walked over towards the hedge, the elevation just perfect and hiding Ellion very well. These were some seriously bored, hungry and underpaid men, Ellion thought to himself. And they were outside of the sight line of the archers. So if he was going to do this, now would be a good shot.
Ellion's skill with the dagger wasn't high, but he'd been bored on a ship. And understood the weighting of the small blade, playing with it. Ellion always took on board what others had said, especially Seran. Learning other weapons was a worthwhile function, and whilst he never saw himself a thrower of knives, it made sense to know how to use one. For this particular ask, he knew learning it would pay dividends. Perhaps it would be a skill he would keep, or not. He didn't know. This campaign had felt entirely different to anything he'd fought before, and taking this opportunity in it's own right felt like a rush, yet a part of the operation that someone or other would have to do. Waiting on the pirate to be in the right place, he stayed deathly quiet and still, before he gave a gentle but stern throw.
The blade flew into the first man's temple, as Ellion charged forward, aware he had to keep noise down even here. The noise of the blade entering the man's temple was silent, but his sword wouldn't be. So he had to pounce, and quickly. Ellion was fast on his feet, as he lept onto the other man from the hedge, pushing him onto the floor, as the pirate was quick. He punched Ellion hard, as he rolled him over, punching him hard in the face once more, before Ellion butted his head into the pirate's. Holding back his tongue, he took a hold of the man's throat, elbowing hard before dragging, panting a little as he felt the man kick out, punching, before lifelessly falling limp. This was not how he wanted that to happen.
But it was good enough, as Ellion had hidden the bodies, the rain washing the blood away fast, the forested watchpost now two men short. And that meant he had to be quicker again. The distant noise of dragons, and faraway thunder clattered, as he wiped the dirt and blood from his brow, feeling a warm trickle on his lip.
The pyre had been wet, but it was filled with napatha and oil, so it would burn like a bastard once lit. It would take one loose flame, and that was that. The archers would be difficult to kill, given they were likely fixed in place. The only alternative there was, Ellion mused, was to probably kill anyone else and run.
That was genuinely his best thought right there and then. It would have been helpful to bring a bowman along, but that would have made matters more difficult. And then he realised, there was something better.
Looking back at the bush, he saw the dead bodies, realising one of the men had, for purposes of keeping his head out of the wet, worn a full face helm. His plate looked simular, as Ellion knew this was even more retarded than his last idea. But it may have been the only way to make this work. The Scorpion King had used chaos as a weapon against the Loyalists, always unpredictable and unexpected. This was a chance to use the same weapon. If it seemed stupid, it was. But sometimes, stupid worked because these men were trained to look for an elite fighting force, dragons and the Royal Navy. Not a singularly ragged man with a sword and a terrible thought.
Ellion placed the helm over his head, shaking his head as he felt the disgust of wearing a dead man's attire. This was unbelievable. But he was going to do it. And this was going to be the only way it could work. He took the shield from the man's grasp, a rounded one-hander, and drew his sword, running out to the outpost, back on the main track, in full view. The archers turned, as he yelled.
"Shit, we have company!" Ellion yelled through the helm, as he ran towards the outpost, a couple of men coming out, swords drawn, looking on.
The man in the lead held out his hand and said, "What are you talking about? Where? We've seen nothing." He called up to the men on the towers and the archers shook their heads, not seeing anything in the horizon. For the moment, the loyalist ships were concealed. They began scanning the ocean and the cliff side, stringing their bows while the serjeant and his men approached, "What the hell are you on about?"
"They fucking dragged him into the wood...there's at least four of them, they're in the fucking wood! Shit....fuck! I can't do this!" Ellion yelled in terror, as he pointed over towards the dead body, looking like he was in shock. He trembled, as he knew now was a time to act. He headed towards one of the tents, a lit flame inside. This was going to be stupid, but right now, he favoured his odds, given the men weren't very monitoring of what he was doing. He looked more frightened and the threat seemed real. The fact there had been two of them, and only one came back...someone was worried. And Ellion knew that the pyre couldn't be lit, the horn couldn't be sounded, the archers couldn't fire on him, and he would need to try and not get killed. One of the men followed him, as he took the lit torch, turning behind.
"What the hell are you..." Ellion heard, the man dragging him by the shoulder, turning him around as Ellion kneed him in the gut, throwing him into the corner of the tent with a hard shove, into a wooden post. Torch in hand, he put the flame to it's innard material, the flame catching fast on the material. It was too fast to comprehend, because the other men were lookign the wrong way, but even as they did turn, it was not fast enough. Ellion was out of the large tent, and had lobbed the flaming stick at the watchtower, yelling. This was not exactly the best plan, it was insanity. But improvising could work. He almost liked it, he thought to himself, the man he had kicked was running out now, out of the burning wreck, stumbling, a little set alight. And the others had turned, as Ellion heard the archer dive out of the watchtower, scraping his way out, as the men turned their blades to the Reachman.
He dived out of the way, as one lashed out with a long swipe, as Ellion made an effort to go for the first man he could, the man carrying the horn. He tried to break out from the fighting, but Ellion did not let the other men impede him. He just moved around, and with a quick draw of his own blade, managed to block him out, forcing him into the fight. Another sword met his, as he kicked the second cutthroat, slamming his sword into the first man that he was tangled with, hornblower man. He recieved a hard knock as their swords collided, Ellion watching him kick out as Ellion missed and dragged his leg under him. Sword up to try and defend, Ellion gutted him in the gut, before withdrawing the sword and blocking another attack from his friend. Defending nicely, he let him attack and waste his energy, the third man, the Sergeant, trying to outflank him. But Ellion had no intention of giving up his advantage. And the other man didn't know Ellion was fast on his feet, taking the hit with his shield as he raked the other man in close, cutting him through the back with a hard stab, looking at the other man across.
"Just you and me then." Ellion added, as he saw hornblower man take the horn out, as the Tyrell ended him there and then, stabbing the blade into his throat, before turning the sword in his hand, grinning. This wasn't easy, but it was a hell of a laugh. Something about it felt....right. He had been a rogue all his time in Westeros. And never fully embraced it when he was paid to do it. But right now, any sense of what was normal in Westeros didn't matter here, where chaos was the order of the day.
"You're a shit fighter. No wonder you're on a fucking rainy hillside defending a pyre of flame." Ellion added, as he almost ate his words, watching the archer from the tower raise his bow, recovered enough to shoot, as Ellion realised what was about to happen. Shield up, the arrow landed straight at the top, as the Sergeant charged him, clearly attempting to take Ellion at the end of his fighting capacity. With a careful dodge, Ellion clashed, the archer preparing another arrow, as he let the Sergeant swing out again, this time waiting for his moment, letting him have one more go.
Then that was the end of that. Ellion let him have his fun. He hit back hard, the sword hand being knocked off in the wrong angle that the Sergeant would have wanted, as he charged forward, kneeing him hard and dragging him around. He kept the blade against his gut, looking to the archer as he held him by the neck.
"Drop the bow, or I'll fucking open him like a cake! Or do you not give a fuck about your commanding officer?" Ellion yelled, as he gently placed the sword blade against his stomach, as the man wriggled, Ellion kicking the man hard in the leg to quell him.
"There is no way you are good enough a shot from that range. Unless you're a fucking nutter. Drop it, and run the fuck away. You'll live to spend your gold that way."
The archer hesitated for several moments, obviously conflicted. But thieve's honor won out and he let an arrow fly, trying to get Ellion.
Ellion was quick witted, as he dragged the Sergeant back, he wouldn't be able to move him in time but he would be able to get him in the way, somewhat, as he brought him and the man to the floor, too slow to miss the arrow but fast enough to bring the man's body atop his when the arrow went in. And that was the exact effect, as the arrow went through the man's chest, piercing past his leather jerkin and gently grazing Ellion's armour on the other side, as he cursed, The body of the Sergeant limp, he let it slide down from his side, as he shook his head as he stood, and ran, shield raised. Oh, that prick asked for it now, as they ran through the wood.
The archer backed up, loosing arrow after arrow at Ellion and to little effect, at the lost moment trying to dodge to the side and loose an arrow at close range to Ellion's gut.
Ellion kept the circular shield held firm and low, the best he knew in defense against these weapons, as he felt it slam into the wood, breaching through almost into his arm as it went far beyond, the Tyrell feeling the shield almost entirely lose it's structure from the shot. It was good. But Ellion had closed the distance, and the man, whilst lighter, was clearly still taken aback from almost falling out of the tower. In a spate of something unpredictable, Ellion saw the man try to take for another arrow, but was greeted with a lobbed wooden shield, the round shield not thrown hard, but enough to knock him down for a moment, Ellion tsk'ing.
"You're probably the only decent soldier there. Shame you're a lot of trouble." Ellion mused, as he approached him, knowing he'd go for a shortsword, and keep him back. He had some training, Ellion considered, but that was why he had to act quicker, Ellion didn't swing his blade, but instead, used it to bring the archer's sword arm down with the flat side of the blade, kicking him onto the floor.
"My name is Ser Ellion Tyrell. I bet you didn't expect the Rose of Highgarden to do that for you. Any last requests?"
The pirate snarled and spit on him, "Fucking mainlander lapdog. My last request is you choke on my cock, you highborn twat."
Ellion shrugged, as he nodded.
"Choke on my cock. Alright. When a Dothraki horse rides through the eye of a needle, friend. I just wish it was that big too." Ellion only added, as he pushed the blade through his hand, the pirate yelping out, before he withdrew the sword. Stabbing it through his chest, he drove the sword in, with a little effort, given he was tired, before driving it out, and dropping onto his knees, sitting down.
"Fuck. That was....fun. That worked...somehow." Ellion said to himself, almost thinking aloud quielty, as he shook his head, standing again, looking down the hillside and into the distance.
"That really shouldn't have been....I'm the son of Willas Tyrell, not a fucking mercenary hire. You're a fucking Knight. Just get a fucking hold of yourself...it's done now." Ellion repeated, as he shook his head. He didn't bother with the bodies, not this time. He had to deal with that pyre. And he needed to get the fuck out of there. Where, he didn't know. The boat might have been comprimised, and the forest could be filled with even more men. So this part of the plan, he didn't know.
Dismantling the pyre wasn't too bad, and the fire on the tent and watchtower had mostly gone out, the smoke trail minimal given the wood and cloth didn't burn as vividly as the oil would have. Scattering the oil and the cauldron, he made haste to get out, Ellion Tyrell aware that he'd played his part in this. Now, he had to find an overwatch for the meeting, down the coast, and scatter like ashes on the wind. He'd made a bloody trail, but it had worked. And internally, every part of his Knighthood screamed. He knew that it was a trail that wouldn't be accounted to him, but in a small bit of flow, he had created his own little moment of chaos. He had proven himself to himself, perhaps to what Seran had even made him think about. And he had gotten the job done. But when this was all over, Ellion knew he had to have a good long think about what perhaps that made him.