|When Ironborn Fight|
|Summary:||What Kate and Nares are doing during the attack|
|Related Logs:||Concurrent with Among the Pines and Nettles|
|Kathryna's Chamber then Courtyard, Terrick's Roost|
|But mostly the Courtyard|
|December 29, 288|
From inside Four Eagles tower, the hours between late night and early morning pass slowly. All is quiet, dark and tense. As light begins to filter across the sky, and the changing of the guard takes places. It is impossible to tell when the Ironborn longhips came into sight, or whether they managed landfall before being noticed, all that one can tell from inside the walls is the precise moment the Terricks realize their Roost is under attack. From the town below come the first sounds, followed by a runner shouting "Alarm! Alarm! To arms! To arms!" Shrieks and cries from without are rivalled by shouts and rushing bootsteps from within as the knights and men of House Terrick rouse themselves to face the unexpected foe.
It seems that years of raiding have been good practice for Nares in the art of sleeping in his mail. He'd managed a good couple of hours but was awake long enough before the alarm started to sound. Pushing himself to his feet from where he'd forced himself to sit and thus not pace, he welcomes the old familar feeling of an adrenalin dump and turns to Kate. "I think that's our cue."
Kathryna has not slept. It might be foolish, considering the day that is ahead of them, but adrenaline has been pumping through her since she tied Gethin along the road and went to remove the mallets from all the signals. The thought of actually sleeping was a distant, impossible thing. She's sat up, against the window, listening for the smallest sound of attack or alarm, fully in her mail which is hidden beneath a large cloak meant to conceal that she's armoured for war. Then it comes. The alarm, Nares moving from his resting position. She nods curtly to him and pulls herself up to her feet. "Lead the way, old man…" She mutters as they head for that bit of the courtyard, though he's got sharper eyes than her right now. It'll take a few seconds for her own adrenaline to overcome exhaustion.
Hobnailed boots scrape on stone steps as Guardsmen freshly on duty begin climbing the ramparts, while their unfortunate fellows are chased fresh from their beds after the night shift. Several of the household squires are dashing for the stables, preparing the warhorses of their masters for a sally. Of the knights themselves, there is yet little sign, as the process of arming is a lengthy one. the first few smallfolk, terrified and many weeping have begun to rush into the courtyard from without, clutching small children or whatever valuables were within quick reach when the raid began.
Nares, also in a heavy cloak to obscure his mail and go someway to muting it, remains crouched in their little nook, still almost as a statue. He watches what he can of the goings on but for now, until the first wave of Terricks is out of he gate, his main aim is to remain undetected. He can feel the bloodlust rising and there really is nothing he wants to do more than to start wading into the fight, but for now he steels himself to wait. There's a plan, no point ruining it by being a fool.
Kathryna tucks herself back against the wall, one small hand reaching out for his arm, even as she can feel the tension in him to go forward. They have a plan. It's a good one. It's a chance to survive. As they tuck back, as a stow away would in the tiniest back corner of a cargo hold, Kate remains pressed against the wall, behind his larger frame. Her fingertips shift down his arm to take his hand for just a few of those galloping heartbeats. They just had to wait. The right time would become clear. There is too much risk in speaking words, but his fingertips are giving a tight, loyal squeeze.
There are shouts- from where it cannot quite be pinpointed- for those men ready to accompany a charge into town, while those not yet ready follow as soon as they are able. From the town come no sounds of battle, rather these are the sounds of a raid. Screams and warcries, but no clash of shields, to collective roar of men in formation. As the first band of Terrick men shout aside the building trickle of fleeing peasanty and rush out the gate, the chaos in the courtyard is steadily building. The waiting takes iron nerve, as ever more of the Terrick castle is roused to action. Minutes tick by, slowly slowly.
Nares can almost visualise what’s going on below the keep. He knows the town enough now, and has had enough experience. That is his life, right there, he can hear it being played out and damn it he wants to be there. Still, Kate's squeeze keeps his mind on the task at hand. The pent up adrenaline causes him to shudder slightly as the first charge make it out the gate. It's probably not enough yet to break cover. Damned Riverborn, can't they be fucking organised and prepared just this sodding once? He lowers his head slightly, concentrating on keeping his breathing under control, waiting.
Kathryna whispers, very faintly below her breath. "One more charge. There's too many knights left inside…" It's a statement that would be lost in wind and chaos if she wasn't practically hiding pressed against his back, but his ears are the only ones that need hear it. She keeps hold of his hand, possibly the last real human contact either of them will ever have, as she waits for just a few more lagging men at arms and knights to escape.
There are dozens of panicked peasants continuing to fill the courtyard as more of the Terrick men join the fray. If they had been expecting a lightning raid, by the sound of it they are surprised, as the press of battle- with invocation to the Westerosi Warrior god rivalling cries to the Drowned God to receive his sons as the clash of warriors slowly begins to push closer to the front gate.
It is a matter of time before the filling courtyard required that someone notice the calm and quiet pair in bulky cloaks. There is no panicked shout of new alarm, although the steady movement away from the two will inevitably be noticed by the Guards before long.
Noticing the way the crowds are moving away from them, Nares figures it's only a matter of moments before the Guards notice. Better to use what fraction of surprise they have left. Giving Kate's hand the briefest of squeezes he pushes himself forward and into a run towards the gate. He doffs his cloak with his left arm while his right goes for his sword. Armed and unencumbered by anything other than his armour he heads for the further of the two guards on the gate, leaving the closer one for Kate.
Kathryna lets his hand go, but she slips along the wall even as his far bigger form is getting noticed. She's good at hiding. She's small, slim and pale in hair and face as her cloak is dark. She remains downward bent, moving fast with the worried crowd, using her gender as the last nail in the coffin of her being looked over. Just in towards the gate house like another lowly peasant woman. She'll just duck off to the side and, if possible, try to come up behind one of the guards and slit his throat before he knows she's really there. Or, at least, that is the plan.
Nares' rush toward the further of the two guards raises a quick epithet of "Shit!" from the nearer who is taken aback enough that it is a long instant before he can manage a thrust after the big man. Importantly, he has turned away from Kate in order to follow the Ironborn's rush.
Both guards are in for a pair of ruse surprises. The first is that Nares is not conveniently skewered by their spears, the mail beneath his cloak protecting him much better than the ugly wound to the collar that Nares gives in return. Kathryna's sneak attack is partially foiled by bad luck as she draws the eye of the man who her blade had mildly scored. The other guard staggers backward, dropping his shield and fumbling for his sword in one hand, while pressing to his bleeding neck with the other.
And that, Ladies, Gentlemen, Peasants and Barbarians, is why Nares takes such care over his armour. There's bugger all he can do to dodge the incoming blows, but the mail stops the cutting edge and the jack goes someway at least to softening the impacts themselves. Trusting Kate to deal with her guard, he presses his own attack, hoping to catch the man before he has time to truly get to grip with his sword. The plan is simple, put him out of the fight as quickly as possible then rinse and repeat until the gate is delt with.
The advantage to being a small, short slip of a warrior girl? Sneaking up on your enemies! The disadvantage? Those enemies being a foot and change taller than you, and your sword just simply not able to well reach without being utterly obvious or unwieldy! So, while Kate easily gets the jump on her intended victim, her blade only manages to score the man's hand who has reached up to block at the last moment. She curses, but continues with her attack, doing her best to slice him through the throat in THIS action. There is no time to waist with clashing blades.
The pained cry of one guard is loud, while the others is a slow wheeze, as Kathryna's blow as the man turns about catches him just below the ear. While life has not yet fled the man, he stumbles and slumps back against the stone wall, clutching at the spurting wound with horror in his eyes. Screams from the peasantry who continue to stream past mingle with renewed shouts of alarm from other guards still within the castle.
Nares smiles as he blade comes away wet again. The blood is singing in his veins again and even the impact of the guard's sword against his mail doesn't slow him down. He keeps pressing his attack given the man in front of him hasn't had the decency to die yet, nor pass out from blood loss. This time though he goes for a bread sweep, aiming to get as much momentum behind the blow as he can.
Kathryna wastes no time in giving a killing blow. He'll bleed out soon enough. She just dashes over for the lowering mechanism, right where she knows it to be, and drops to her knees. She trusts the Captain at her back to do his job and hold off the other swords while she completes the task they came here to do. Small leather pack open, she jerks out the spike and shoves it into the lowest of gears before viciously slamming it into place with a mallet. A second spike spills on the floor next to it. Apparently, she's not going to let this go without a thorough job. But for these seconds, the first spike is shoved deeper into the heavy metal of the gear. Deeper and deeper, clangs of the mallet echoing through the chaos of the fight.
There is this much to be said for the Rivermen: they are stubborn. Nares' crippled opponent makes no effort to defend himself, intent on merely taking his tormentor down along with him, landing a heavy blow that slams into Nares' mailed torso, before taking a gutwound that at long last slays the wounded guardsman.
Nares takes a staggered step back with the force of that impact and lets out quite a forceful, "FUCK-ing hell!," as he turns to face the courtyard again to anticipate the next attack while Kate does the magic. The movement was painful and by the crunching noise he figures there's at least two ribs not exactly where they should be anymore. He has the benefit of enough adrenalin to float an island though, so he makes ready to beat the living crap out of the latest oncoming guard.
Once Kate feels fairly certain that she's got the first spike in, she picks up the second and puts it at the exact opposite side of the first, where the OTHER side of the gear enters the wall, so it's fucked on both sides of movement and pried tightly into the wall itself. She slams the mallet down once, twice, thrice, shoving metal against metal, wedging it in so tight that hopefully a giant couldn't remove it. Hopefully. "Almost there, old man…" She growls out over the final slamming.
Nares could tell as soon as he make his attack on the advancing Guard that wasn't going to be one of his best ever. It's wide of where he was aiming but does make contact with the man's hand. Surprisingly though it seems to startled the oncomming Terrick enough that he drops his sword and starts to back away. Maybe it has something to do with his dead mates? He seems to get swallowed up by the crowd that’s pressing away from the gate though and so the Ironborn takes the opportunity to offer a mutter prayer of thanks to the Drowned God and takes a few steadying breaths..Not too deep though, that hurts like fuck. Drawing back a pace so as not to get too far away from Kate he keeps facing the courtyard, trusting she'll let him know when it's time to break and run.
That final slam comes and then that is it. Kate pulls herself to her feet, heavy mallet shoved back in her bag and sword in her hand once more. She tugs the hood of her cloak across her head in attempts to conceal her identity again, "Go, go!" She shouts to him, the sabotage done. Now it's just time to get the hell out of there and hope they survive. She gives his chest a momentary, worried, flickering look but there will be time to patch wounds later. Now, they just had to escape. She scans the crowd, looking for the easiest route out.