Page 179: Bump In The Night
Bump In The Night
Summary: An Ironborn sneak attack seeks to open the gates.
Date: 11/01/289
Related Logs: Various
Anais Belle Evangeline Hardwicke Ingryd Jacsen Kell Liliana Muirenn Nares Patrek Raffton 
Four Eagles Tower — Terrick's Roost
A keep and curtain wall.
11 January, 289 A.L.

With the diminished Ironborn presence in the occupied Roost below Four Eagles Tower, the raucous noise at nights has been similarly diminished over recent days. The second watch of the night had changed perhaps two hours ago, putting the time into the early morning hours. Two guards huddle at the closed gates, under thick cloaks to ward off the late night chill. Three more patrol the walls, huddling close to a brazier for warmth in between their rounds.

At this hour, even with the Captain of the Guard routinely attempting to overwork himself, Hardwicke can be found in his chambers quite asleep. How sad that his rest is likely about to be interrupted.

Raffton is one of those guards up on the walls, bundled into his cloak as he wanders the walls, opening and closing cold-stiffened fingers around the hilt of his sword and shifts his arm around in the strap of his shield, trying to tug his hood up a little closer against the brisk breeze.

The siege is slowly getting to Kell as he is beginning to really feel cooped in and trapped behind the walls, the daily routines and stress of hostiles surrounding the walls of the Roost grinding down the knight's patience. Unable to sleep for long hours, the Hedge Knight is actually awake at this hour. After putting on the usual boiled leather and ringmail armor, he had left the warmth of the Keep to check on Horse in the stables, trying to settle his restlessness so that he may eventually be able to return to sleep inside.

Having slept while he could during the day, Nares is now fully awake and ready to go. He knows the plan, those around him know the plan and there's nothing more to do but enact it. Only time will tell if it's a good plan or suicide. Sometimes it's so hard to tell the difference between the two before hand. He's armed, armoured and now just waiting for those who have to do their bit before he can do his.

Belle Beckett has been working quite late in the hall, these nights, rather than claiming a spot beside the Captain in bed — perhaps to give the Lady of the Tower somewhat less cause for complaint. So the hour finds her tending the embers in the hearths, checking in on the wounded and sick, feching water, administering medicines. She has just relieved a desperately frazzled mother of a colicky babe, giving the poor young woman, nearly a child herself, a chance to rest. She walks wide circles in the huge, shadowy chamber, rocking and shushing the infant.

Despite the hour, Jacsen Terrick can be found in the throne room. He's not having a conversation, nor does he stand over maps of the countryside and plot moves that they cannot yet make, he's not even drinking his wine anymore. No, he's quite slumped over the table, exhausting taking its toll on the Young Lord.

Once she is fairly certain the most recent patrol has passed the little patch of shadow where Ingryd has set up shop, she very carefully begins the swing of that claw back and forth. Once. Twice. Thrice! And up it goes! Hopefully across the rail of wall and into stone beneath, the hit mostly muffled by the rags wrapped around the hook. She listens close above, barely breathing as she tries to see if she's been noticed or not before beginning her soft, fast climb. Sometimes, being tiny really pays off!

Anais rarely sleeps anymore, at least for more than an hour or two at a go. So it isn't unusual to find her awake in the wee hours of the morning, wandering the halls. Especially given her husband's absence in their chambers. She peeks quietly into the throne room, a faint smile touching one corner of her lips when she recognizes his slumped form. "And you wonder why you wake up sore," she sighs, slipping through the few other sleeping forms toward his side to set a hand gently to his shoulder. "Jacsen," she murmurs.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Ingryd=Stealth Vs Raffton=Alertness
< Ingryd: Great Success Raffton: Good Success
< Net Result: Ingryd wins - Solid Victory

High on the walls, there's been little sleep, for the Camden Lady. Rather, there's been long hours spent sitting the wall, following always Jerold's instructions of course, bow kept close in hand, eyes focused, more often than not, on the place where the great blaze once marked the location of Oak Hall. Tonight, no different than any other, it seems, as Liliana settles against the cool stone of an unoccupied alcove.

Nares keeps his back to the outside wall as Ingryd makes her throw and starts to climb. He holds his breath for a moment or two but still can't hear anything untoward from above so he gestures to the other Tawney with him to send the man up, following himself shortly enough. No point hanging around really, this needs to be quick and quiet.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Liliana=Alertness Vs Climber=Stealth
< Liliana: Great Success Climber: Good Success
< Net Result: Liliana wins - Solid Victory

Jacsen stirs at his wife's touch, his expression sleepy. "Did I…" he looks around, and sees a few others in similar states before raking a hand through his hair and giving Anais a sleepy smile. "Everything okay?"

Hardwicke turns over in bed and snores. How undignified.

"You mean aside from the siege?" Anais smiles faintly to Jacsen, moving a wine glass away from him pre-emptively. "Yes. Everything's fine. Except that if you stay here much longer, you'll be lucky to hobble in the morning." She moves closer, half-sitting on the edge of the table and offering a hand to her husband. "Why don't you come to bed, hmm?"

Ingryd slips over top of the wall in shadows, immediately dropping low, barely a brush of boots on stone and her head ducking into the shadow of the wall's height. She leans close against it, pressed and silent, but immediately beginning to half crawl, half tip toe towards the stairs that would lead to the gatehouse. All the while, she's using her size to her advantage, staying low and out of sight, lithely muscled frame working like some of gymnast or dancer as she crawls through the shadows.

It's difficult, adjusting one's eyes from distance to proximity. And even with the relative silence surrounding the roost, since the destruction of the catapults, and the mass departure of so many of the Ironborn, it's still a moment, before Liliana's attentions turn to the keep, and more specifically, the wall. Not for the first time, that inate direction sense allows her to hone in on the sound's source, the woman kneeling up to get a better look. Terrick colours, but where no Terrick ought to be. Slow, careful movements, as she approaches the closest guard, nudging him to gain his attention and direct his eyes the three scaling the wall. "Sound the alarm." Even now, she's moving to try to keep eyeline on the 'guardsman' bow at the ready.

Belle drops an absent kiss on the babe's forehead, singing softly. The child snuffles and whimpers, getting ready to roll into another spectacular, purple-faced wail. "Oh, no," croons Belle. "Shh shh shh, sweeting. Let's see if we can't find something to settle your poor tummy…" Gentle bouncing the infant and patting its back, she goes to the ersatz kitchen where the medicines are, finding a tincture of chamomile and mint for the little one to suck from her fingertip.

Finishing looking after Horse and giving him a few pats before leaving the Stables, Kell rubs his hands together and is planning on returning back inside to the Keep though part of him does want to go see how the guards are doing tonight. He knows that night time guard duty, especially the graveyard shift, can be very monotonous so anything to break up the boredom would do the men good.

Raffton continues on along the wall, gaze alert, watchful, but still directed along the battlement ahead of him, and out across the fields below. That well-timed approach has left the actual movement in his wake, and as Ingryd slips over the wall's top, he hears nothing and carries on with his patrol, oblivious.

<FS3> Raffton rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Across the castle from where Raffton huddles against the chill, Liliana approaches a guard, and whispers 'sound the alarm'. The Terrick guardsman returns, "The alarm? What is amiss, Lady?" The lack of screaming and agitation appears to have reduced his own degree of desperation. It is not until directed to the rope and grapnel, that he does so in as direct and swift a manner as he can. "Climbers! To arms, to arms!"

Jacsen cranes his neck about, a satisfying pop sounding as he stretches. "I need to get out of this breastplate," he groans, taking his wife's hand easily enough. "Sorry. We were telling stories, and…" He shrugs, and reaches for his cane once he's standing up. "Come on. Get me out of this gear and maybe I can still catch a few hours decent rest…"

"Upstairs," Anais suggests, smile crooked. "As long as you've been wearing it, I'd really rather not smell it the whole way." She softens the words with a kiss to his cheek, slipping her arm in his on the side away from the cane. "Are the men holding up all right?" she asks as she starts toward the door. "Stories sounds promising."

Third and last man up from the team that seems to have so far given Raffton the slip, Nares carefully hauls himself over the top of the battlements. Crouching down in the shadows he asses the situation quickly, wincing as it seems the Orkwood team has been spotted before they could even top the wall. Still, it should take the defenders attention away frm them, at least for the immediate future. Leaning to his second man he mutters quietly, "get to where you can cover us, but don't give us away justyet. If they're focusing on the others then thats our chance to slip through." That said, he turns to move off after Ingryd.

Bows are better served on the walls, and well does Liliana recall her Lord's instruction. Perhaps it works to her credit. The Lady never does the same stupid thing twice. But she is still on the wall, just trying to pace the climbers, using what handholds she can, to get her down a bit closer, either to keep watch, or to get her into position to get a shot off, but, for the time being, the town and the lands beyond are forgotten. Only the walls hold her attention.

Ingryd continues silently moving along the wall, as low and pressured to it as she can be. It's not a natural human way to move, but after so many years of climbing rigging Ingryd has learned to move in rather inhumane ways. Silently, she draws a dagger up and out of the side of her boot, readying to protect herself if she must, but she's not ready to strike yet. She lingers in the shadows at the edge of the stairs, listening close.

Well, it seems like the decision of rest or keeping the night guards company is out of Kell's hands once the guard's cry goes out about Reavers on the walls. It would of course be a very poor joke if it was one but at a time like this, the Hedge Knight knows this is a very serious alarm. Right hand going to his left hip, the clear ring of his Longsword clearing the scabbard can be heard while his other reaches to his back for his shield. Only… he left his shield inside since he wasn't expecting to be outside in the cold for long. "Fuck me running…" He curses to himself under his breath as he begins to jog over towards the alarm, eyes looking up to see if any other guards along their assigned positions have seen anything in particular.

Some noise catches Raffton's ear and he turns, and spots Ingryd, or rather, spots a child-sized Terrick guardsman crawling along the wall. "Oi!" he calls, stepping that way, hand on his sword hilt, "What're you pla—" and then he spots Nares and the other, and the call goes up from across the wall, and for a second he just stares. Then, he animates once again, drawing his sword and heading towards them, shouting, "They're over the wall! Ironborn on the north-east battlements! Sound the alarm!"

"It's something," Jacsen admits to his wife in the throne room, yet ignorant of the attempt unfolding in the nearby courtyard. "Just trying to keep spirits up. Easier without catapults raining pieces of the Sept down on us," he assures his wife. He seems steady on his feet, now that he has blinked most of the sleep away. "Shall we?"

There goes the steathy option. Drawing his sword, Nares starts for Raffton, working on the principal that if he can distract the guardsman then maybe he'll forget about Ingryd for long enough for her to get towards the gate. He's assuming the crossbowman has the brains to start shooting. His attention though is on his target as he moves to quickly close the gap between them and launch an attack.
Imp pages: he's got a room?

"Let's," Anais agrees, moving toward the entrance hall arm in arm with her sleepy husband. The guard left at the doorway falls in behind them, looking a little on the sleepy side himself. As they make their way toward the stairs, though, the noise from outside starts to trickle into the hall. Stilling, Anais presses her hand a little more firmly to Jacsen's arm as the color drains from her face. They can't hear /what's/ being shouted…just that there's shouting. And that's probably not good.

The little woman lets Nares past, truly hoping that he can distract Raffton enough to give her time to get down the stairs. Though she's still got her blade out, Ingryd remains back in the shadows, waiting to see how this plays out before fully revealing herself.

Now there is another call going up on the other side of the ramparts as it seems to be a multi-pronged attack and Kell slows his steps, hesitating, not sure where to go and who to help. Eyes sweeping from one part of the walls to then to the other, the Hedge Knight surveys the Courtyard itself, eyes going to where the main gate is to make sure that there is no attack at the front as well. The only thing missing is someone running to the Hall itself to sound the alarm and Kell knows that he had just volunteered himself and begins to run as fast as his feet would carry his armored body.

The saying it is darkest before dawn is an old one…and while true, 2am is also quite dark. Muirenn, followed by one of her maids, carries her chamber candle and book back to her room from the library. So worried…insomnia has begun to plague the teenager. She pauses a moment at the faint shout that filters through one of the narrow windows. With a sigh she tells her maid "take the book back and meet me in the grand hall. I should see what is happening. passing the book and candle to her maid she waits a moment until her eyes adjust and begins to carefully feel her way down the rest of the hall and down the stairs.

<FS3> Liliana rolls Alertness: Good Success.

"Go. See that the guards are roused, and then my Lord Father," Jacsen tells his wife as he looks back down the entrance hall and towards the doors. "It must be the Ironmen." His expression is a grim one, breaking only long enough for him to kiss his wife before he turns from her and begins down the hall, leaning on his cane with every step.

Raffton grits his teeth at Nares turns for him, sword and shield up and ready. He doesn't make the first move, glancing past Nares to Ingryd and then back to his opponent. "Climb back down now, Asvald," he says to his fellow Ironborn, "Take your life and go. This isn't going to end well for any of you if you stay."

Anais nods to Jacsen, turning to take off for the nearest guard. "Raise the alarm!" she calls to the man near the entrance. "And for the Warrior's sake, find out what's going on," she adds before hurrying down the hall toward where the off-duty men are gathered, her guard jogging behind her.

Liliana has been having a terrible time keeping track of the climbers on the wall. So much movement. Especially when flashes of movement catch her eye again, and she just stops dead, sighting on one of the assailants. Now that she's not moving, she has the breath and focus to call the alarm. No passing it along to someone slower this time. Liliana's clear voice, not nearly so deep and booming as a man's might be, but high and piercing when she has need, rings down from the wall, "Raiders! Raiders on the road to the gate! Protect the gate!"

There were two men who followed Ingryd up the rope. As Nares gains the battlements and draws blade to hand, a third climber grasps the stone crenelation to haul himself up onto the battlements, leaving the guardsman to Asvald, in favor of starting after Ingryd.

<COMBAT> Guard 02 passes.
<COMBAT> Climber 01 passes.
<COMBAT> Raider 01 passes.
<COMBAT> Climber 02 passes.
<COMBAT> Raffton attacks Nares with Sword & Shield but Nares DODGES!
<COMBAT> Nares attacks Raffton with Broadsword but Raffton DODGES!
<COMBAT> Liliana attacks Climber 01 with Hunting Bow - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Ingryd passes.
<COMBAT> Guard 01 passes.

<COMBAT> Climber 01 has been KO'd!

Belle pales as suddenly, everywhere, there's shouting. She turns quickly and hands the child in her arms to whatever lady or maid is handy. "Somebody rouse the Captain!" she cries, dashing out into the courtyard, unlacing her bodice so she can reach her knives as she goes.

Climbing a rope up a sheer stone wall is hardly the position a man would wish to be in when fired upon by an archer a mere ten feet away. Although Liliana's arrow does not kill the man, it does cause his grip to be loosed, and the climber plummets toward the ground with an uneven scream.

Thump, thump, thump, each of Kell's steps pound into the dirt as he gets closer and closer to the doors to the Hall. Before he reaches the main doors though, the Hedge Knight looks up to the source of the female voice shouting down from the wall, wondering why there is a woman up there. But the words of warning it carries is even more frightening as it seems like the Raiders have chosen to storm the castle tonight. With another muttered curse, Kell knows what he will have to do after giving a warning to the interior of the Hall.
And that is what Kell does as he reaches the large wooden doors of the Hall, pushing it open with force before bellowing at the top of his lungs, "Reavers on the walls and at the gates! Alarm! Reavers on the walls and at the gates!" Then with the shout finished, the Hedge Knight turns to the Courtyard again and runs towards the stone stairway that leads to the battlements where the woman's voice is coming though his eyes do look towards the main gate to see if there is anything askew with the guards there.

As the initial crossing of blades begins, and Raffton is somewhat distracted, Ingryd is taking her chance. She still stays quite low, body as close to the ground as possible, as she slips down the stairs like some snaking shadow. Down and down, to the gate house. If she's lucky, she'll have the chance of silence to sneak up on one of the guards, at least. Her plan? A blade across his throat. Death silent and small, in the form of a half child.

Ingryd might favor stealth, even now, but the climber who had followered her up is not so slow or subtle as alarms are raised. Broadsword singing to hand, he charges past the girl in Terrick regalia to swing swiftly at one of the gatehouse guards.

The alarm has been sounded, but the battle, it seems has only begun. A child of the forest she might be, born of a peaceful House, but there is nothing peaceful in the expression on Liliana's face. Only that grim determination and an expression rarely seen on the woman's face. Hatred. The first and closest climber is sighted. Hard to miss from ten feet away. And it is a blessing of the gods that her shot does not miss, because leathers are not much better protection than silks. But that hardly seems to be her thought, as she attempts to target the second climber. So nice of him to charge out into the open like that.

Below Liliana, the second and third climbers begin scrambling back down the rope, to get within safe dropping distance of the ground outside the walls.

More muffled shouts at the edges of hearing give the Mallister maiden pause. She stops on the stairs, a hand curling against the cold stone. A myriad of emotions forms a cold lump in the pit of her stomach. Gathering her resolve she finishes making her way to the hall. She reaches the hall as Kell bursts in to deliver his warning. Jaw tightening she commandeers her maid who made better time on the stairs with her light. "Bring your sister and the Septa. Wake the Measter. I fear his skills will be needed"

Belle darts through the chaos of men shouting and running — it doesn't take a Maester to discern the intent of this ploy. They went for the gate once, they'll do it again, and so Belle goes to help defend it, slipping into the shadows there and going very, very still.

As calls go up and word begins to spread, the sounds of raised voices and rushing feet draw a sleeping Patrek Mallister awake. He pushes up from his bed, blinking drowsily before his mind fully registers what his ears are hearing. But once the sounds begin to get paired with words like 'running' and 'shouting', the lad pushes out of his blankets, tugging on clothing and leather jerkin and grabbing his sword before darting out the bedroom door and down the stairs. "What is it?" he calls as he runs. "What's happened?"

An alarm! Hardwicke does not sleep well at the best of times, and the siege has been a period of remarkably light sleeping, primed for just such an occurrence: he hears the shout, doubtless receives word from someone on Belle's insistence, and wakes with a start. He moves with a fluid efficiency to begin dressing and arming himself.

Jacsen slips out into the courtyard, still leaning on his cane, his eyes surveying the chaos that is starting to unfold. He reaches to his left side and loosens the sword he's grown accustomed to having on his hip once again, standing still as Kell blows past him and back out into the courtyard proper. Knowing his limits, the Young Lord does not go running off after anyone, instead holding at the top of the steps up to the tower's entrance, trying to keep a keen eye on the raiders trying to infiltrate them.

Needless to say, this is not quite how the Ironborn had planned this unfolding. Still, there's a chance for the gate so Nares plays his part, that of 'great big distraction'. "You should have taken my offer," he retorts to Raffton, "still can if you like. Just give me your sword and help us open the gates." That said, he does edge backwards ever so slightly, no point in pushing away from the rope after all, that just gets him further away from backup, oh, and potential escape. The cry from the falling Orkwood on the other side of the gatehouse does not inspire him with confidence, but he's going to try and give Ingryd and her new best mate as much time as he can.

Once the alarm has sounded, Anais turns to her guard, arching a brow at the man. He grimaces, but he hands over the bow and quiver he carries. He also takes hold of the lady's arm right after the slips the quiver over her shoulder. "From inside the keep," he says firmly, catching her gaze and holding it until he earns a reluctant nod. And once more, Anais takes up a position at the doors into the keep proper, her guard a half-step in front of her.

"What offer?" Raffton replies to Nares, "A post at an oar, if I'm lucky? My— I was left to die once. At least these people here gave me a life. More than I'd expect from you or the prince of Pyke." He glances at the rope, past towards the gate, and takes another step towards Nares, though again he doesn't strike first, more defending, pressing for ground and position than trying to wound the man.

"we must keep from meeting like this Anais" Muirenn quips to her friend with forced cheerfulness. It is a bit easier this go round, the healers area is more established and everything. The call has gone out and the braziers lit for water and tonics as well as to sterilize chirgeonry tools. For now till the Maester arrives, Muirenn oversees the hurried preparations.

With one guardsman down, and the others dropping out of sight on the outside of the wall, Lili breaks into a full sprint, doing her level best to get to the wall where she can see the gate. "Clear those hooks!" The ropes are still on the walls, aren't they?

<COMBAT> Raider 01 attacks Guard 02 with Broadsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Guard 02 passes.
<COMBAT> Guard 01 passes.
<COMBAT> Climber 02 passes.
<COMBAT> Raffton attacks Nares with Sword & Shield - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Nares attacks Raffton with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Liliana passes.
<COMBAT> Kell passes.
<COMBAT> Ingryd attacks Guard 01 with Dagger - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Belle passes.

<COMBAT> Raffton has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raffton spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Anais's lips quirk at Muirenn's words, but her eyes are scanning the courtyard for unfamiliar targets. Darkness is a challenge, but where farsightedness is hell on needlework, it's far more efficient for archery. "Derek, I appreciate the cover, but I can't shoot through you," she notes to the guard by her, who snorts and moves approximately six inches further to the side. Her voice shakes, but her hands don't as she seeks out a target.

"Seat at an oar?" Nares laughs, "kid you could get a longboat of your own for shit like this. Lots of spoils to be won in war, just got to be brave enough to take 'em." As his blade hits home he adds, "that's going to hurt lad, but you can make it stop at that. I'd rather thave you back with us than standing as an enermy, but I will put you down if you make me." The crack to his head makes him wince slightly but thats all the effect it seems to have. "So, what do you say?"

Before the first guard near the gate reeeally knows what's going on, there's a tiny little monkey of a woman -on- him. No, literally, on him. Ingryd's crept up from behind and then just -lept-, clinging one strong arm around his front to hold on tight, and her other arm tries to stab her dagger at his throat, hoping to cut vital areas and have him down fast. His struggles, however, mean her knive glances off the side of his chest. She draws blood, but nothing signifcant. Dammit. She clings on for dear life and tries again.

With little time to arm himself to the full extent of battle, Hardwicke exits his chambers dressed in leathers, with a longsword at one hip and a dagger at the other. He rushes down the corridor towards the courtyard, shouting commands in a booming voice for any unawakened guards to take arms.

Running in full sprint, Kell changes his priority from the walls that the feminine warning came from and goes to the main gates as he sees that the guards are now under attack from Ironborn Raiders. "Back to the sea, you filthy Ironborn!" Is the venemous shout that comes from the Hedge Knight as he grips his Longsword with both hands due to him being forgetful and leaving his shield inside the Halls. Once he reaches the gates, Kell goes to assist the guard that is engaging one of the Raiders, his blade raised up high before swinging down harshly, attempting to slice off the Reaver's sword arm in one blow. The monkey girl is ignored for the time being since she is literally on the guard and any attempt to cut her may end up cutting the guard too, plus, she is a girl and he is a Knight, that is a no-no.
p nares=You need to re-enter your attack after ko'ing your target.
You paged Nares with 'You need to re-enter your attack after ko'ing your target.'

Raffton swings the flat of his blade to ring against Nares' helmet, but takes a shot to bruised ribs for his trouble, and ends up staggering back, steadying himself against the wall. Breath knocked out of him, he doesn't reply to Nares right away, gasping for breath behind his shield, listening to the reaver's offer. He is slow to respond, either with words or with another attempt at a strike.

Knife in hand, Belle steps out of the gatehouse shadows and up behind the diminutive attacker harrying the guard. She takes a soft breath, as though recalling a prayer, and reaches 'round to draw the blade across the invader's throat.

Taking a moment to pin up her sleeves and pull on a large apron, Muirenn mutters "perhaps some of this material will be salvageable at the end of this" With a sigh she grins to herself, "Well there is nothing to it girls." she murmers to the maids. "We are all more prepared this time and my confidence in the Terrick men at arms and the knights has not waned." Gesturing she continues "bring the bandages to the front and the rags for the cleansings" Helpless is not a feeling that Muirenn likes and it doesnt seem to grow easier with time.

There's a squire with a longsword running not much behind Hardwicke. If Patrek is still unclear as to what's occurring, it's clear enough that something is, something that should not be. So, he's making a dash for the doors that lead out into the courtyard, to offer his own arm to the fight.

As the combat grows desperate within the gatehouse shouts and a solid impact strike against the outer timber gates of Four Eagles Tower. A battering ram, smashing into the outer gate. Should the portcullis be raised, half a hundred Ironborn would flood the courtyard within moments. Keen eyes might catch another few grapnels being thrown for purchase at the battlements from without.

Except there's no one who can clear the ropes alone. They're solid and well placed. And as much as Lili might wish to get to the guard house, leaving the raiders two entry points to the keep is just bad. And so, the girl skids to a halt, lungs burning, leg burning, pain flooding her from injuries barely healed, but she tries to work one of the hooks free.

<COMBAT> Raider 01 attacks Guard 02 with Broadsword but Guard 02 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Guard 02 attacks Raider 01 with Sword & Shield but Raider 01 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Climber 03 passes.
<COMBAT> Guard 01 tries to subdue Ingryd but fails.
<COMBAT> Climber 02 passes.
<COMBAT> Raffton passes.
<COMBAT> Nares attacks Raffton with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Liliana tries to dislodge Climber 02 but fails.
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Raider 01 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Ingryd attacks Guard 01 with Dagger - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Belle attacks Ingryd with Dagger - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Anais passes.

<COMBAT> Ingryd has been KO'd!

Although the shuddering impact of a ram upon the outer timber gate crashes ominously to the ears of those within, the chaotic melee that consumes the gatehouse goes toward the defenders' favor.

Atop the walls, Liliana's muscle is insufficient to dislodge the grapnel, and the hiss of a short blade being drawn by a climber reaches the woman;s ear.

There's too much motion on the ground for Anais to pick out in the dark. The battlements, on the other hand, are nicely silhouetted against the sky and the stars. And is less blocked by her ever-helpful guard, for that matter. Standing still in the cover of the doorways to the keep itself, she draws a deep breath, aiming for one of the figures up on the wall - Nares, not that she can recognize him as anything other than not-Terrick.

Damnit! Tug and tug as she might, with no one to help her, Liliana's unable to dislodge the hook. But the sound of the drawn weapon reaches her, in time to warn her that the climber is closer than she might like. And now, there's nothing for it. Time to run, as hard and as fast as her body will allow her, to get clear of the ironborn breeching the walls. And to hopefully put some of the guards on the walls between them and herself.

It's quick, for Belle keeps her blades sharp, and is silent as the shadows in which she hid. Preoccupied with the guard, the Ironborn girl offers an unarmored throat up to the quick flash of the handmaid's knife. There's silver, then blood, ichor black in the moonlight. It probably stings a little, but not for long.

As his blade his true again, this time without a reply, Nares can't help but smile. While he would genuinely prefer to bring the lad back into the fold, if he's gone too native then there really is no choice. That and he likes fighting. The ups of the climb, the down of being stopped, the up of seemignly winning this battle and the crashing of the ram. There really is nothing like it and his blood is pumping. "These riverlanders aren't worth dying for," he says, voice starting to reflect the sheer joy of battle he's feeling, "you offered me my life, now I offer you yours, give it up. You are better than them, you are an Ironman."

It is a rare opportunity that the Lady Evangeline is dressed in anything that is less than proper, though these early hours see her as such. She has only just made it from her bedroom, a dressing gown clutched in white knuckles to keep it closed as she flings herself to the arch of the door to the Roost. "Anais," is the first thing she says, seeing her gooddaughter in the shifting shadows. "How many of them are there?" So abruptly and rudely awoken, her eyes show a brush of bruising under them, sleepless, and her face shows its age in every forming wrinkle.

Well, come to prove herself, Ingryd did some damage to her intended target, but she also has come to find she's still just a child. Not strong enough to defend her back, not quick enough or attentive enough to realize she's being attacked. A brief, strangled gasp comes from the Ironborn that was on one of the gate guards, and in a flood of blood across pale features, blonde dreadlocks and the leather jerkin of the Terrick's, Ingryd Saltford collapses back to the stones of the gatehouse and down. She may not be dead, but she's not moving. Blood flows too damn fast.

Kell's longsword strikes true but misses the Reaver's arm and instead bashes into the mail of the Ironborn, leaving a mess of the armor but no injuries except for maybe future bruising. As the monkey girl raider is skillfully taken out by Belle the Cat, the Hedge Knight focuses on the remaining enemy who is heavily outnumbered at the gates. Instead of wasting his breath and asking the Islander to surrender, Kell presses the attack and swings with both hands again.

Jacsen remains at the top of the steps leading to the doors of of the tower, blade at the ready should it be required of him.

It's not clear what's happening on the walls, but the scuffle near the gatehouse, and the sound of the battering ram, draw Patrek in that direction. By the time he approaches, however, there's little enough for him to do. "Mistress Beckett. We meet at the gatehouse again." He glances from the wounded guard to the small figure collapsed on the ground and bleeding out. His eyes widen as he realizes, "…a girl?"

Finally making his way out into the courtyard, Hardwicke's gaze — or ears, perhaps, considering the shadows — quickly takes in what he can in the darkened light. When Patrek makes for the gatehouse, he catches the shadowed silhouettes atop the wall and rushes to make for the stairs.

Again, the ram thunders against the timber gate, while the fight for the portcullis within continues. Atop the walls, as Liliana flees, another handful of Ironborn climbers run along the battlements to join the struggle, even as Armsmen and knights begin rushing out of the Terrick keep, in varying stages of armor.

"An assassin," says Belle, looking somewhat blankly at the bleeding girl. "I — had a moment," she admits softly, blood dripping from the knife held limp at her side. "Then I thought what would have happened if she'd opened the gate — and how little she would have cared for our slaughter, down to the smallest babe." She kneels, whispering to the dead/dying/bleeding girl, "Stranger pass you by, girl, and the Drowned One gnaw on your bones."

The Mallister maiden moves towards Evangeline, "a mug of tea my lady? It is all ready." There are raiders knocking at the door but tea is a panacea for all…and it hurts none to offer.

Raffton is one of those shadowed silhouettes atop the walls, the one currently not moving as Nares hits him in the chest once against. Stricken once more, it's another moment before he lifts his sword again and, shield pushed in front of him, rushes suddenly forward to try to knock Nares down.

"An…" Patrek swallows as he stares down at the girl on the stones. If the Ironborn he fell in darkness and battle has not haunted him, this image, this may be the one to change what the word 'war' means in his thoughts. He drags his gaze away from the sight, peering through the portcullis as the ram thunders again.

<COMBAT> Guard 02 attacks Raider 01 with Sword & Shield - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raider 01 attacks Kell with Broadsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Guard 01 tries to subdue but fails.
<COMBAT> Climber 03 passes.
<COMBAT> Climber 02 passes.
<COMBAT> Raffton tries to subdue Nares but fails.
<COMBAT> Nares attacks Raffton with Broadsword - ARMOR on Left Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Liliana passes.
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Raider 01 with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Belle tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Anais attacks Nares with Hunting Bow and MISSES!

Ingryd is, indeed, quite a sight. She can't be twenty. Hells, at her size, she barely looks 15. Girlish features, long blonde dreadlocks of hair, it seems impossible that she should be here, but there is no doubt of the dagger that has fallen out of her hand, a mere few inches from her fingertips. She continues to heavily bleed out into the stones, her hair soaking up her own blood like a mop of dirty cold.

Liliana is running for her life, well, as best one can when there's nwhere really to run except along the wall. But she's nearly to the keep, when she turns back, far enough away that she's out of reach for a few seconds, but still close enough that she can take one last shot before she runs to safety. Gods grant her good aim.

Anais is all ready to release that arrow. She's aiming, her breath is drawn, and as she starts to release…Evangeline speaks at her elbow and she nearly jumps out of her skin, sending the arrow flying over the walls. "Stranger take-" She starts to curse, then looks to see who spoke her name and flushes quickly, drawing another arrow and trying to center herself again and /definitely/ looking away. "At least two now?" she answers. "It's hard to tell, my lady. But there are about to be more if we don't get more men on the walls and at the gate." She aims again, drawing back and trying to focus. Focus. Focus.

As men begin to flood out to take to the defense of the Roost, Jacsen begins to issue instructions, directing men as to the points that seem to need them most. He stays back, as is wise given his state, but his eyes have remained keen and watched as the battle continued forward.

"I will take the wall myself if I have to," Evangeline says in sharp answer to Anais's analysis, her threat rather diminished by the fact that she still is in her dressing robe. Her fingers flick in a dismissive, tense gesture to the offer of tea, something biting as she forgets politeness in answering, "This is not a time for tea." Instead, she watches as her son directs the men, gaze taking in all.

Despiting having superior numbers at the gate, it seems like the defenders there are now not doing as well as Kell joins the guards being on the injured list. The Reaver strikes first as the Broadsword cuts in and slices through his ringmail armor, leaving a nasty gash across his chest, resulting in the Hedge Knight's swing missing. A grimace of hot pain is felt but Kell fights on as he grits his teeth, falling back a step but then re-engaging the Ironborn, knowing the more time he buys, more guards will be joining the fight. The gate must hold.

Scratch that: with the more threatening activity sounding at the gate, Hardwicke turns to make his way there to join Kell in the attack. His recognition of Belle is only pained for the briefest of moments before he snaps, "Get /back/," on his way past to engage.

Maybe Raffton's rush was a little slow, maybe Nares is just in the zone and saw it coming, either way, the Ironborn seems to take no ill effect from it, although it does through off his own blow, reducing it to a mere glancing hit. The arrow is off course enough that he doesn't notice it, his attention instead still on his countryman in front of him. "Thats the spirit," he declares as he swings his blade again, "now just take that anger, that drive, and turn it against your captors. They imprison you now just as surely as they did before. Be free, taste the salt air again. Come home."

Mild is the response to the derisive comment as Muirenn replies "As you wish." She possesses no real fighting skill so goes back to doing what she is capable of and what will soon be needed. She murmers instructions for similar procedures to be followed this time around to keep the children occupied by making bandages. The herbs and medicinals are checked and double checked in a tense display of nerves.

Back? Belle can do that. She steps back a pace as Hardwicke rushes to engage the enemy, flipping her knife over in her hand one, twice, before throwing it straight for an Ironborn throat.

Raffton fails to topple Nares, though he manages to avoid getting sliced again, at least, or stuck with the arrow that whistles past them. He growls in the back of his throat as Nares swings at him again, and continues to try to coax him to switch sides, making another tackling run at the reaver.

<COMBAT> Climber 03 attacks Guard 02 with Bludgeon - Critical wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Guard 01 attacks Climber 02 with Sword & Shield - Serious wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Climber 02 attacks Liliana with Bludgeon - Light wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Raider 01 attacks Kell with Broadsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Guard 02 attacks Raider 01 with Sword & Shield but Raider 01 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raffton tries to subdue Nares but fails.
<COMBAT> Nares attacks Raffton with Broadsword - Serious wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Liliana attacks Climber 02 with Hunting Bow - Light wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Raider 01 with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Raider 01 with Greatsword - Critical wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Belle attacks Climber 03 with Thrown Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Anais attacks Nares with Hunting Bow and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raffton has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raffton spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Joining the fray, Hardwicke has no hesitation in his attack: when he sees Kell struggling with a raider, he joins with a slice to the Ironborn's neck that is only kept from more fatal damage by the protection of armor. Smooth and efficient, he swings again.

Anais releases her breath along with the arrow, but the struggle on the ramparts is too active, and once again she misses, muttering a curse under her breath. "We need more light," she says, half to herself and half to Evangeline. The young woman is nothing if not persistent, though. Once more she draws an arrow and aims, stubbornly trying to hit the man on Raffton.

"You know," Nares growls, as he pulls his sword out of Raffton's mid-section again, "sometimes I think people just aren't listening to me." The light may not be great but he felt that blow hit solidly and figures that there's can't be much fight left in his opponant. He does however, notice the arrive that wizzes past him and curses quite vocally as he ducks a little, purely out of reflex. Still, it misses, as does Raffton's fresh lunge. He steps back again, keeping a mental note in his mind where the rope he climbed is, incase he needs to get out of the way of reinforcements and invites the younferman to try again, ready to swing at him again when the opportunity presents itself.

Belle curses as her knife misses the mark, clattering aside. She reaches into her bodice with a flourish. "Don't worry, boys — there's more where that came from," she mutters, producing another blade and throwing in the same motion.

The Hedge Knight is struck again but this time he is able to twist away at the last second so instead of a nasty wound being delt, it's only a grazing wound that pierces his ringmail, drawing some blood but a minor cut. Kell is also able to steel himself to return the blow, delivering a strike back at the Reaver's chest before Hardwicke steps in to assist, giving the Raider a mortal wound to the neck. Instead of teaming on to the bleeding Ironborn, Kell steps back to let the Captain finish off the other man and he moves to engage another Ironborn that was attacking Liliana who has chosen to stay and fight. "C'mon Salty Sardine, come at me!" He growls at the Islander with a pained grin and moves in to clash sword to mace.

Give a lady something to do, and she will use all eight impressive points of her administrative skills to get it done. Evangeline is nothing if not efficient as she finds the nearest servants that haven't hidden at the raised alarms to direct them about lighting up the whole of the courtyard. "And find more weapons," she adds, sharply.

Liliana is still running hell for leather as they say, distancing herself from the wall, on her way to the keep. She manages, as she stops, shoot and scoot, don't you know, to get a shot off at one of the climbers, before she stops, close enough to the keep to duck inside, far enough from the invaders to be out of their reach. And it's the next shot that she takes.

Raffton does indeed get hit solidly, leather jerkin not doing much to protect against Nares' blade. This time his grunt is most definitely one of pain, and he staggers once again, almost dropping to one knee, propped up on shield edge and swordpoint. He breathes loudly through his nose, and pushes to his feet once more, lifting his blade to give up this obviously-futile tackling thing and try stabbing Nares instead, or at least parrying any blow sent his way.

Another heavy impact on the gates, and the timber beams and panels of the outer gate begin to crack and splinter. Hardwicke's blow takes one of the reavers at the joining of neck and shoulder, striking deeply enough that the Captain of the Guard must pry it loose of the ironborn's body to strike again. A bloody pass of arms continues to play out.

<COMBAT> Raider 01 passes.
<COMBAT> Climber 03 attacks Hardwicke with Bludgeon but Hardwicke DODGES!
<COMBAT> Imp passes.
<COMBAT> Guard 02 passes.
<COMBAT> Guard 01 attacks Climber 02 with Sword & Shield - Serious wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Climber 02 attacks Kell with Bludgeon but Kell DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raffton attacks Nares with Sword & Shield - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Patrek attacks Climber 03 with Greatsword - Serious wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Nares attacks Raffton with Broadsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Liliana attacks Climber 02 with Hunting Bow - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Climber 02 with Greatsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Raider 01 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Belle attacks Climber 03 with Thrown Knife - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Belle's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Anais attacks Nares with Hunting Bow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Nares has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Nares spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Despite ripping his sword from the raider's neck and leaving him bleeding, Hardwicke's next blow falls frustratingly unhelpful on armor. He is silent as he fights, his focus held entirely by the combat.

"Three!" Belle counts aloud as she pulls another knife and throws in seamless motion.

As close as she is to the doors of the keep, it's impossible for Liliana not to make out two things. First, the presence of Jacsen not far from her, directing the defenses of the keep, and the arrow shooting out nearly at the level of her shoulder, aimed not towards her or her target, but up. The line is followed, and it's the fallen Terrick guard she focuses on…and the figure attempting to cut him down. Another arrow nocked, as she takes aim.

"I hit him!" Anais should probably not jump and squeal in gleeful surprise. It really takes something out of the badass quotient of shooting people. That's more or less the look she gets from her guard, at least. "Well, I did," she notes with a flush, drawing an arrow and scanning the walls and the courtyard to choose another target.

At last, the teeth jarring impacts of the ram crack the crossbeam of the outer gate, sending a shower of splinters rattling against the iron of the portcullis. Another of the invaders is struck to the ground, lending another body's worth of blood to slicking the stones at the gate.

The young lord Mallister strikes out at one of the ironmen trying to get at the gate. Perhaps still a bit unsettled by the dead girl on the stones, the boy's blade swings not for a vital organ, but a leg. It sinks deep into the mark, Patrek's jaw set in determination.

"Has anyone heated up tar or oil? We need them away from the walls immediately," Evangeline grits between teeth as her gate splinters, her gaze skittering to find a servant with a brief gesture. She turns, steps taking her in a retreat as she gathers her dressing gown about herself. It is only retreat in that she's going to find anything she can to hurl at the Ironborn and anyone willing to man the battlements to throw it at them.

The smashing open of the wooden main gates has Kell looking up with slight panic after he had impaled his sword past the ringmail of the Ironborn as the Terrick Guard at his side has stabbed the invader in the gut. However, the Iron Portcullis looks strong so the Hedge Knight turns back to the reaver that is more or less dying. Pulling his sword back, Kell raises a boot and pushes the dying Reaver to the ground before cleaning down again, intent on ending the Ironborn's life.

It has oft been said that you won't really see a battle, but you'll hear it. In this instance, that saying is particularly true for Nares. He doesn't see the commotion at the gate, but he can hear it, he doesn't see the battering ram, but he can hear it's impacts against the gate finally taking their toll. He doesn't see him freshly healed ribs rebreak under the impact from Raffton's blow, but he hears the crack all right. He feels it too, followed in quick succession by the sharp, stinging pain of the arrow. Staggering backwards a pace he does his bes tto process the chaos around him. Breathing hurts, quite a lot, he's been picked out by archers and can't get through the melee to the portcullis controls. Out of sheer frustration he vents loudly, "Shit!" Something in the rational part of his brain takes over though and forcibly asscerts itself in his head. He's done what he can, Raffton is about as fucked up as he is and he can do no further good in the state he's currently in. Part of his mind is still screaming that it smacks of cowardice, but the part thats in control takes a far more practical view as he lifts the sword to give Raffton a brief salute, before darting to cover the few paces between him and the rope.

This time, Raffton gets the better of Nares, at least briefly. The invader's sword glances off his chest, the scratch barely felt over the pain of wounds previously inflicted. His own sword strikes true, this time, even through maile, and the arrow that snicks into the reaver seconds afterwards helps. Still he is hardly brought down, and Raffton presses what little advantage he might have gained, striking again. Or at least raising his sword to strike again. When Nares backpedals, and salutes, he starts briefly after, but for whatever reason, he stops, lowering his blade again and letting the other man escape.

<COMBAT> Raider 01 passes.
<COMBAT> Climber 02 passes.
<COMBAT> Guard 02 passes.
<COMBAT> Patrek passes.
<COMBAT> Guard 01 attacks Climber 02 with Sword & Shield - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Climber 03 attacks Hardwicke with Bludgeon - Serious wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raffton passes.
<COMBAT> Patrek attacks Climber 03 with Greatsword - Light wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Nares passes.
<COMBAT> Liliana attacks Nares with Hunting Bow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Climber 02 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Raider 01 with Greatsword - Light wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Belle attacks Climber 03 with Thrown Knife - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Anais attacks Raider 01 with Hunting Bow and MISSES!

"Four!" snarls Belle, whipping another blade at the Ironborn who struck Hardwicke. "DIE!"

Once again, Anais' arrow misses, but once again she doesn't hesitate to draw another arrow. "We need archers on the walls," she calls over her shoulder, into the keep where the smallfolk are, mumbling under her breath afterwards, for the sake of the guard at her side. "Who aren't me. Because it's not safe."

Raffton slumps a little as Nares vanishes over the wall and no other opponent immediately appears. He leans against the wall, folding an arm across bleeding abdomen, and peeks carefully over before beginning to saw at the rope just below the grapnel. He's not working very quickly, though, Nares, so don't worry too much.

At least the Terrick guard isn't being attacked anymore, but…neither is he now chasing after the ironborn being allowed to run towards the rope and escape. This is simply not the way things should be progressing. And so, rather than slipping inside, Liliana turns her attention to the last of the ironborn within the keep, her voice low and angry, in Jacsen's direction, "It seems we have another traitor in our midst."

The ironborn battering ram delivers the coup de grace to the abused timber gate, but in place of the looked-for open path to Four Eagles keep, the Ironborn face the still-lowered portcullis, and a gory scene within. The Terrick guardsmen rishing to the walls have deterred the Ironborn climbers, and- after a moment's measurement- with the sneak attack failed, the Raiders do not appear willing to attempt storming a castle stirred to life.

Patrek swings again, though the raider is more interested in Hardwicke. This time, his sword only manages a mild cut to the arm, though the boy starts back when another dagger flies into the ironborn he's striking.

"Take them alive," comes the call of the Young Lord of the Roost as he watches the scene unfold before them, his steps awkward as he makes his way down the tower's front steps and towards the aftermath of the battle proper. "If they survive," Jacsen says to the men likely still filled with bloodlust, "We might take something useful from them."

Nares does not stick around to exchange pleasantries but instead gets himself over the lip of the wall as quickly as he can manage. Just in the nick off time too it appears as another arrow whistles past, right where he had just been. The descent is painful to say the least, but he manages it before Raffton's cutting can have any discernable effect. Once his feet hit the floor though his priority is clear, get across the green and out of arrow range of the walls. It's as he's part way across that he thinks to do at least something about the arrow lodged near his ribs, he knows enough to not pull it out, but breaking off the haft at will mean there's less of it protrudind. Making it to the relative safety of the townside he glances down to access the best course of action and notices the fletching, Banefort colours, and has to laughs. Well, he would laugh were it not for the intense pain that produces. He does break the shaft though, and then grabs hold of a passing Tawny to help him find a chiurgeon.

Liliana does not lower her bow, not all of the way, but she does move to join Jacsen, hardly as worthy a guard as he deserves, but she's hardly going to let him wander alone, even with all of the guards milling through the courtyard. Especially not with only the portcullis between him and the ironborn, "That guard there, Jace. He allowed one of the ironborn to escape."

Another slice to the raider's neck bloodies Hardwicke's sword, and when the Ironborn falls, a final sweep of the blade looses his head from his body entire. The Captain stumbles back as he takes a blow to his off arm (again?), though the climber is subdued and Jacsen is giving orders before he can retaliate. Glancing at the other bleeding Ironborn, he says, "If they survive long enough."

Belle frowns darkly, beginning to tremble very faintly. She gives herself a firm shake and marches out among the fallen, bleeding enemy, bracing her foot on the chest of one and retrieving one of her knives from his arm.

Raffton spends a while sawing at the rope, but it's not easy with a broadsword, especially when heavily wounded. Eventually he whittles it down enough that it probably wouldn't hold if someone tried to climb back up, and then it is time to slide down to sit on the walkway, back to a crenel, holding the worst of his injuries shut as best he can.

Continued immediately in The Battle Ebbs