Bell Tower

In Port Gertrude there is a bell tower atop the town hall. It is a remnant from the original walled settlement that the city grew from. Its original purpose was a watchtower to see off in all direction what approached, whether by land or sea. Still a good vantage point to look down on the port, its function has been replaced by other structures better positioned and regularly staffed.

In its days as a watchtower it was a wooden structure reinforced with iron plates at the top. The structure now part of the town hall was built or stone. The iron from the walls had been melted down and used to cast the bell that rested in the tower. There was no need for a regular attendant for the bell up so high as a rope now ran down to the ground for ringing.

It was from up here Jaspert saw the havoc that happened in Port Gertrude. He saw the men from the foreign merchants pour off the ships and into the streets as some insidious plan unfolded. They took to butchering several bystanders and the few unaware town guard they came across. As the town sensed what was going on a panic set in as doors became barred and screams were let out.

When his senses finally came to him, Jaspert reached over and pushed on the bell to release the din he had expected already to have been sounded. It took all his strength to move it. He was not ready for the weight of the instrument to push back on him and he was thrown against the wall of the tower as it let its voice be heard. He was slightly dazed when he saw Cerridwen run past him, though he knew not who she was. Jaspert would recall the mischievous grin on her fleeting face for years to come.

When he regained his composure and looked over the wall, he saw the town guard had organized a counter push. Equally armed and under manned they were holding the enemy out of about half the city from what he could tell. He saw the lighthouse on one of the hills had fallen to the sailors. They were now erecting barricades in parts of the city while continuing to fight in others.

This battle would carry on for several hours as Jsspert cowered in the tower. He contemplated fleeing the town but was worried he would be trampled by the mobs of others doing the same thing. The corsairs were making a slow progress through the city but if nothing changed they were on track to control it by this evening. He fretted more as the guard was being routed from their early advances.

He looked back to Saj-graf to see if their forces had been mobilized to aid the port. He smiled in delight to see there was movement coming. But when the banners became more visible to him they were not that of the Saj-graf. They were gray and purple, a mercenary group, but under whose coin he pondered. Then a second group appeared to approach, this time down the main road from Saj-Graf. This time he recognized the banners as the city’s colors. He observed the approach longer till a rider from the two groups went out and met, riding alongside each other as they approached Port Gertrude. Jaspert felt a small bit of relief as a messenger broke from the Saj-graf forces at top speed, riding to the port.

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