33. Faleron – an abbey under siege

Faleron is a large complex of houses, chapels, a hospital and a famous library connected to a small fishing village on a windy and ragged peninsula. The fisherman’s village was situated by a natural harbour in a cove a little back from the abbey, and 3 türkmenish corsairs were now lying in the cove firing with their cannons onto the abbey, supporting the oncoming of their land troupes. The abbey was in chaos; those who could and would fight had taken up arms, while everyone else attempted fleeing via the harbour facing away from the cove.

Fiona let the Ienne cross forth and back a few times to get her bearings on the situation. There seemed to be no time to loose; Just as they arrived a large blast that deafened everyone around for a while and nearly tipped the Ienne over on her side; the enemy had blown their way through the main gate to the abbey. Six men were ordered to sail Fiona and her officers to the harbour, and were told to hold the boat until they returned. The Ienne was ordered to cross forth and back until the boat was coming back, so it would not be overflowed with refugees.

On shore they found a man who spoke ryendorian and he pointed out the library for them. The sections of the abbey were separated by tall walls. The best course seemed to be to climb the walls as all gateways and doors were filling up with desperate refugees. The good doctor turned out the be quite a poor climber, so while the others helped him up, Hawk and Fiona ran ahead along the top of the wall, until they reached a building with a door opening onto the wall. They broke down the door and found a laboratory of some kind; lots of dried herbs and glass tubes and stuff bubbling. Through the next door they found themselves threatened by a monk with a musket. They explained themselves to him, and he pointed out the library, adding that the ‘venuzian party’ went there a minute ago looking for ‘the prophecy’… Hawk and Fiona exchanged glances as they realized who the enemy they were up against were; not the oncoming türkmenish army, but some venuzians who they had themselves rescued from doom. The others caught up just then, and they started running towards the library. In stead of jumping down into the panicking crowds of people in the courtyard, they tossed a rope from the wall through the windows to the building with the library in it, and climbed over that way. Not unnoticed unfortunately; they were fired upon with arrows, while they crossed, and they answered back with their muskets, which they – once fired – left behind. They entered through the window to an observatory, went down the stairs to a locked door behind which the library was. Ernest deftly picked the lock. The library was a mess. There were large holes in the wall after cannonballs, and many of the bookcases had fallen over, spilling their precious cargo onto the floor. The doctor, I’m told, was devastated. All that knowledge… lost! Through one of the holes in the wall, Fiona could see the oncoming türkmenic army with berserk maurs in front. She called out for the others to hurry. The venuzian party might be the enemy, but the türkmenics path would not be pleasant to cross either… N’gote and Fiona, being the ones who couldn’t read, left the search party in order to protect the others from the maurs now coming up the stairs. Finally Ernest found the prophecy – a scroll kept in a hard case for protection. Leaving down the stairs was out of the question. Fiona and N’Gote had thrown tables and other heavy stuff down the stairs to delay the maurs’ onslaught, but they were still trying to find a way up. They climbed out the window onto the wall two stories lower. The doctor was slightly hurt climbing down, and was once again in agony with what he believed himself a mortal wound, so Fiona had to carry him away from the scene. The maurs and türkmenish reached the window just as Jean Luc as the last climbed out of it. When they could no longer reach him with their swords, they raced down the stairs and through the door opening out onto the same wall our friends were now fleeing by. Ernest had an interesting fight with an enemy using the body of another enemy as shield and the enemy sword as weapon. Finally they could all run along the wall, though Jean Luc was wounded on the way. Near the gates to the harbour they no longer had a choice about becoming a part of the refugees all massing in the courtyard. The wall ended and they had to climb down it and into the crowd. They took a shortcut through a side gate, and finally ran into the venuzian party: they were lying ready in ambush for them there! Fighting commenced. Fiona was furious that they even dared this and was rather more violent than usual towards them. Jean Luc berated her on that afterwards. Suddenly N’Gote turned on his friends and threw a large empty barrel at them. Hawk got badly hurt on that account; one of the venuzians used the distraction to wound him. Fortunately N’gote came to his senses soon enough, and realized he had been the victim of a magical selfstealer. Some magician was around, and now N’Gote wouldn’t rest until he had laid his hands on him. And soon enough he did… The magician was standing in the outskirts of the fight. And though he might have some powers as a magician, he didn’t stand much of a chance, once N’gote had grabbed him. All in all our friends ended up giving the venuzians some thrashing, and left them behind in their unconscious state for the türkmenish to deal with. N’gote brought the magician with him.

They fought their way through the terrified crowd and finally had to jump into the harbour, where the waiting crew picked them up. Other refugees tried to enter into the boat, but Fiona ordered them tossed overboard. The small boat could not hold many without sinking. When Ienne came to to pick them up, Fiona ordered ropes lowered over the sides however, and she tried to save as many of the people in the water as she could. The venuzian merchant was still holding back, so Fiona, N’gote, Jean Luc and Ernest took 20 men and sailed over to her, once they had locked the magician safely away. They boarded the ship, captured the captain and the magician, who was on board, and secured the officers and soldiers in irons. The crew was set to work in saving refugees. Fiona then searched through the captain’s cabin and confiscated the ship’s chest of gold.

When the cause seemed lost on shore, and the türkmenish started showing up on the harbour and firing on Ienne and the merchant ship, Fiona ordered the two ships to leave and set course for Venuzia to begin with.

Hawk was tended by Ernest, as the good doctor had found himself to terribly inflicted by his wounds (a small burn on the hand, a sprained knee and a bloody nose) that he had drunk himself from his senses. When a toss in the water hadn’t revived him much, they roled him into his hammock so he at least couldn’t do anyone any harm…

They looked through the magician’s papers and found introduction letters for four different names in four different languages.  Back on the Ienne N’gote interrogated the magician (who turned out to be merely an apprentice) and was told he had come to the abbey to find a document (the prophecy) for his master. The document should speak of four formulas which together would open the gate to the Other World. One of these formulas was held by a Kasmirez in Novastopol – the capital in Polianovo. The magician was to go there next to fetch the formula for his master. He couldn’t name his master; some magic was put upon him so he couldn’t betray him. But he spoke of him as a great man, one who could distort reality. His master’s intention was to open the Gate to the Other World – the magic land, where gods and magical creatures reside. Even Fiona, who believed in multiple gods, spirits and magic, wasn’t too keen on opening up into that world. There wasn’t much room for man in such a world…

Fiona talked to the captain of the venuzian ship and found out that he was not involved with the magician or his men; he had merely acted passenger  ship for them. Fiona talked him into sailing all the refugees to a safe harbour in Carvintia. She told him that the magician and his men had regrettably stolen the ship’s chest of gold, but she would pay his crew out of her own pocket, so that he would take no severe loss. Off course the money she paid him with was his own. She thought that though he was innocent of conspiring against her, he should at least pay for the stupidity of transporting a magician. The captain was quite pleased to get away with his ship and crew intact, and suffer no particular loss either, so he agreed.

In Carvintia Jean Luc sent an express messenger to his aunt and uncle in Ryendor City to meet them in Zorenstadt, which would be the logical place to make a stop before going on to Polianovo. Fiona wasn’t all that keen about the thought of Polianovo – she had heard it was a cold and dead place, and winter was approaching.

The story didn’t end here, but my writings do. I’m sorry. I never got to write about Fiona’s last battle against Goldemouthe, about how he almost killed her, but N’Gote saved her in the last minute. Other adventures have failed to meet paper too, and lies somewhere in a box of notes and nothing more. I might find them one day and finish Fiona’s story as played. Off course the story as such never ends…

Offentliggjort af Den tatoverede børnebibliotekar

Bibliofil rollespiller, Æventyrer, lystløgner, mor og zeppelinerstyrmand. Jeg har knytnæverne resolut plantet i siden og med en kappe, der blafrer i vinden

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