Chapter 41

The stone started to fall off of Dhavak and he quickly collapsed to the floor. He was alive, but his legs were crushed and his arm mangled.  He would be easy prey for the wyverns, if they made it to him.  Oren went over to Casapan and stood there debating if he should end Casapan’s misery.  He could feel the demands of the spirits in his staff for more bloodshed fighting with his own desire to stop it.  He pulled the dagger out from Casapan’s back and tossed it between his hands as the internal debate continued. 

The spirits hissed, “Casapan was who you have chased here and under his orders, there has been much pain for others.” 

“But I am not an executioner.  There are the priests who want him for what he has done.  Let the blood fall on their hands.”  Oren countered. 

“I have heard your thoughts and discussions about him and did he not succeed in breaking the bonds that were put on him?  Correct us if we are wrong, but he even tricked the young masters into freeing him,” the gravelly voice retorted. “You would let him live longer to trick yet more people with his power?”

Oren was quiet; he was starting to see their logic and it was starting to scare him.  “But is it my place to end his life, he no longer posing a threat?”

“He is only temporarily no threat because of the dagger in your hand” the spirit responded in a gravelly voice and then hissed, “You have no guarantee of how long this advantage will last.  End the menace.”

Before Oren could think further about what he was doing he was slitting Casapan’s throat.  A far quicker death than he deserved, but certainty in death was an end to the problem.

While this debate was going on, Martell ran to the back of one of the wyverns and dug her short sword in to the back of its head.  The other two did not notice as they were busy with Ba-shar.  One of them had Ba-shar’s blade in its mouth, trying to pull it away.  The other was snapping at him from the other side.

The wyvern was about to grab at Ba-shar’s side when it recoiled.  Martell had moved on to the second of the wyverns.  She had lost her short sword in the back of the first one and now had her longer sword in one hand and her knife in the other.

Ba-shar’s relief was short lived as the last wyvern snapped down on his forearm.  The crunch of bone could be heard across the room as the beast pulled back and blood flowed out.  It made several strange and awkward faces as its jaw cracked the bones in its mouth and worked the flesh into its belly.  Ba-shar was now on the floor screaming in pain.  The wyvern reeled back ready to strike down on Ba-shar.

Martell reached over with her knife striking at its exposed throat.  The young wyvern thrashed, wrenching her knife from her hand and causing a crack to resound from her breaking wrist.  Oren saw the look of pain etched in her face as her wrist now was disjointed by almost hundred and eighty degrees.  The wyvern fell back, gurgling as its own blood filled its throat.

Martell quickly made sure all the wyverns were dead, and then ran over to Ba-shar.  She rummaged through his backpack and found some cloth to wrap around where his hand and wrist used to be.  She tossed some salve onto the bandage and wrapped up the wound. 

Oren set down the staff and went over to Dhavak, who lay on the ground.  Unfortunately, he was too late to do anything.  Dhavak’s bones had been crushed and had cut him up internally.  He then went over to Nattan.  She was still breathing.  He debated briefly whether or not to allow her the same fate he had given to Casapan.  He rolled the dagger that had been used on Casapan in his hand deciding what to do. This time he did not hear the spirits and mercy prevailed in Oren’s thoughts and actions.

Oren searched her for any weapons or talismans she may have hidden on her and found none. Next, he bound her wrists behind her and gagged her mouth so she could not activate any talismans. Then he stood up, leaving her there on the floor. Oren went over to Martell and helped her set her own wrist properly and bind it to keep it in place.  Finally, the two helped Ba-shar to his feet and they stood quiet for a moment, taking it all in and mourning the passing of their companion.

“I think we can leave her for the army to get,” Martell spoke solemnly.  Let’s head back to camp.  There may be a healer that can assist Ba-shar and I.”

Oren went and collected Martell’s weapons for her.  He then came over to Ba-Shar to help support him as they made their way up the stairs.  It was a slow pace, but they eventually made it to back to the main room.  Outside, they could hear fighting in the courtyard. Oren set Ba-shar down on a bench and had Martell wait with him.  He was going to see what lay outside.

Looking out through a cracked door he saw a battle raging as several adult wyverns and scores of goblins were doing combat with the knights, not only in the courtyard but presumably also across the field outside the keep.  He quietly worked his way back over to the other two and explained the situation to them.

The three decided to take their chances sitting out of this fight.  They heard the cacophony of the battle outside grow and recede and though they were curious as to what events were transpiring, refrained from looking outside for an update.  From what they could tell, both sides were suffering from the fight. While they waited inside, Oren set up barricades to defend themselves from in case the battle did not favor their allies.  A couple tables were turned on their sides to serve as cover and they remained crouched down behind them as the ordeal progressed.

It was about half a day till the doors to the place were busted open letting in light and Tabia entered with Knight Commander Aarika, Gera the Silent and Knight Commander.  A few steps behind was Kala of Edostera along with several other knights in tow.  Tabia looked over and saw the three of them barricaded in a corner and ready for a fight.

“Ba-shar, is Casapan dead?”  Aarika asked.  She seemed almost indifferent to his state.  This could be attributed to the blood that was all over the group that had just entered.  There were several shields riddled with damage and a couple of the knights in the group looked about as well off as Martell.   Gera had a patch over one of his eyes, a casualty of the trek to the fort.

He forced himself up and at attention, “Yes commander, Oren slit Casapan’s throat himself.  Also, there is tied up below one Lady Nattan.  Dhavak died, we should have his body retrieved as well.”  He saluted again and sat.  Oren could hear the restrained grunts of pain.

“Excellent.  Kala, work with Attilio and round up the rest of these goblins and wyverns.  I will work on getting the Lady in proper chains and retrieve the bodies.” Kala departed.

“Martell, you and Oren have done a great favor to the priests.  Here is the key that Rowenn needs to enter the shrine.”  She handed them a key. “You will not need our guidance to get past the clouds.  The path down from here has never been the problem; it is headed up that they will confuse you.  Go straight down the path in the morning and it will seem almost intuitive on where to go.”

“Outside just watch your back.” Aarika said. “We have a path clear from here back to camp, but you never know who may lurk amongst the dead.  Ba-shar, you go with them as well.  You are no further good to our fight in here. Vocknuera will reward you for your service today.”

Back at the camp they slept for a while after consulting a healer.  In the morning, Oren and Martell bade farewell to Ba-shar and descended down meet up with Rowenn.  On their travels back to the Avo Temple, they relayed the tales of what transpired at Wind Gait. 

Rowenn was thankful that they had both made it through the ordeal.  Oren asked about what would happen with the Casapaten’s followers now that their priest was dead.  Rowenn explained the Kaddock Order will search out the next priest.  It is the Order’s job to carry on the practice if the priest is killed and there is no apprentice or heir apparent. 

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