The March on Brenton

The March on Brenton
Summary: Prince Samwell’s group of Blue Guards returns to Brenton with the intention of ensuring that the bandits and those guards who were assisting him are routed from the fortress.
Date: 03/11/2013
Related: Anything related to preparations for the attack. Is continued in The Infiltration of Fort Brenton and regarding Gauvain's fate, in Battle for Brenton
Samwell Jaren Deidra Peronell Claire 

TP Room 2
The environs surrounding Fort Brenton - mountainous and woody.
Nov 03, 1329

Having broken their overnight camp at the base of the mountain early, the small party is now winding its way along the treacherous slopes of the mountain path that leads to Fort Brenton. There's only just space for two to ride abreast and Prince Samwell has done the gentlemanly thing of riding on the outside, sheltering the Lady Claire from the deep abyss below (much to his horse's displeasure). He's sent Sir Gauvain to ride ahead with the local guide and Sir Jaren to bring up the rear. "No accidents so far, I believe that's a good sign.", Samwell smiles at Claire, having to speak up to be heard over the wind.

In many ways, the feel of being on the road is becoming more and more familiar to Claire and her party - still small but well-provisioned this time between her maid, and two guards. One thing that hasn't changed is the chill. Securely bundled within the folds of the warm hooded cloak, the sights are familiar once more and she does remain accepting of the gallant gesture of settled to the inside of the mountain. Especially when seated side saddle. With a flickering glance to the horse displeased with the arrangement, she smiles politely to the prince with a nod that may or may not be muted by the hood settled atop her head. "That is good. What do you think will happen when we arrive," she asks loud enough, turing her face towards him so that the wind doesn't serve to cut off most of her words.

The horse whinnies, stomps, shakes his head and is generally restless as hell, making it hard even for an experienced rider like Samwell to remain calm. But he knows that soon they will be able to leave this scary part of the way behind. "I am not sure, Mylady.", Samwell admits, "According to my mother's missive, Sir Robard has already left, probably trying to wheedle his way out of things by blaming his men for all that happened. I am not sure how many of them are still hiding in the fortress, so we will have to proceed with caution. But don't worry.", he adds quickly, "We will make sure you will be safe in a tent and with people to protect you before we move in."

"I would ask that you at least furnish a couple of bows and arrows?" It's a query that finds the corners of Claire's lips twitching upwards before addressing the more immediate issues of men and the lack of one Sir Robard. With the turn of her head towards the more calmer mare that she rides astride, the horse does settle more to the inside with her companion doing anything other than being agreeable. "I am not entirely defenseless, Your Highness. But, I never had a doubt that your mean would not set up adequate protections. Still, the primary focus of this action is to settle matters with his men and the bandits, is it not?"

"Yes, of course, Mylady. But I will find it easier to focus on the bandits when I know I need not worry about you.", Samwell tells the lady with a smile, "I was not aware that you are an archer. Is there no end to your talents?" They are still riding side by side along the mountain path, though it'S starting to wind inwards, towards the meadowlands where they had first encountered the bandits on their previous outing.

Claire ruefully remarks, hand lifting to ensure that the hood of her cloak remains thusly set upon her head. For all that the wind does break past such defenses from time to time, "I am a far better healer than archer, I assure you. But, it does not hurt to have some ability to defend one's self." Said with a glimmer of amusement to her voice, it's not long before both hands are comfortably settled on the reins and her eyes glance towards the path ahead. "Then again, it is also one of the sociable skills that seems to do quite well being a Sollinger. We are known for that skill, but not as much as our seamanship of course."

"Oh yes, the seamanship.", Samwell remarks and smirks for a moment aobut something or other, adding: "The Navy that buys a kingdom." Then he quickly changes the subject. "There, we're finally on safe ground again!", he points as they reach the meadow. His horse thanks him with a happy little snort and seems to visibly relax as well. "Have you brought your bow, Mylady? These mountains make a convenient target range… mountain goats, eagles… or bandits."

Jaren and Gauvain have been busy over the course of the trip, moving back and forth along their column, shoring up formations, handling minor problems, and generally taking care of the day-to-day business of a military force on the move, to include keeping plenty of scouts deployed on their flanks and to their front. Of course, in this particular terrain, the scouts largely become moot. Still, this is the most nerve-wracking portion of the journey for Jaren, because if an enemy were to rain fire upon them from above…there's no place to go. Thankfully the steep cliffs make that extremely unlikely, but that doesn't stop Jaren from keeping a sharp eye on the rocks above as they ride.

Still, for all his concerns, he maintains his usual outward calm, riding along at the same leisurely pace as Samwell and Claire. At Claire's mention of the Sollinger's penchant for Archery, he notes: "I once watched a Sollinger crew pick off nearly the entire crew of a Corsair vessel before it could close to boarding range. Quite impressive."

Claire can't deny that she heard such a statement, even with her head turning in Samwell's direction to murmur softly. Wind or no wind, she's not trying to make anyone else privy to her words even with Jaren's entry into the conversation. "I never hear the kingdom complain." Though as quick as the Prince changes the conversation, she looks over one shoulder to acknowledge the knight with a friendly smile. "My guards brought theirs. It would suffice, if necessary against any sort of target I would imagine. However, I left my personal bow at home, not trusting it to travel overland. When we are back in Laketown, I might see what can be commissioned as no two bows are quite the same."

"I am sure we can find a bow for you… can't we, Sir Jaren?", Samwell turns to the man when he appears beside them. "It's about an hour's ride from here to the gates of Fort Brenton.", he then remarks thoughtfully, "Should we find a spot for our encampment and the lady here. We can rest for a while then ride up to the fort at nightfall, use the advantage of the approaching night."

"Yes, your highness, we have several spare bows, should the Lady wish one for her use." Sir Jaren replies to the Prince's question, studying the plateau before them in his normal impassive manner. "I'm still not sure what we might find once we arrive at the Fortress. If those men have the slightest bit of sense, they would have abandoned it and joined their bandit cohorts in the woods. They can't possibly hope to hold out against any determined force." Jaren shakes his head ever-so-slightly, "But if men always acted rationally, the world would be a very different place." Jaren looks around, moving his steed off to the side of the pathway so that the forces behind them can begin to pass by, "There is ample adequate space for a camp. I believe I recall a large clearing just a short distance ahead that should suit our purposes and be reasonably defensible should anyone try to strike at it."

Nudging the horse forward with one foot so that she can look around their immediate surroundings, Claire nods first to Jaren in thanks before looking back to Samwell. "This will give me time to check over the medical supplies. Am I to presume that this will be where the injured will be brought, should it be necessary? Or did you want me to accompany the group a bit closer to the fortress, Your Highness?"

"I rather worry that the bandits have come to the fortress.", Samwell tells Jaren, "After all it offers shelter and warmth, as well as supplies and a stable for their mounts. So I believe we should be prepared for bigger numbers." He follows Jaren's look towards the proposed encampment and nods, then looks towards Claire. "I believe Sir Jaren's spot would be perfect, as I don't want to expose you to danger. Though if you wish to come along further, I would not hinder you. Sometimes seconds decide between life and death."

"That is certainly another possibility, Highness, though I believe our captured bandits suggested there were but 10 more of their number remaining after the skirmish at Rykton." Sir Jaren replies to Samwell, "Though of course, they could have been misrepresenting their numbers." Jaren flicks the reins of his war horse, ambling it along towards the soon-to-be campsite. "Has it been confirmed that Sir Robard passed out of the mountains? It seems odd we did not meet him on the road between Estermarch and Brenton. Though I suppose if he moved in haste he could have arrived at Estermarch before we would have." He had a smaller party after all. "I cannot help but bear some small concern that he may be attempting to arrange an ambush for us." Jaren considers, "Though I suppose that depends on how the summons from Lord Lohstren was worded. He -did- seem eager to be away from this place."

"It would not be wise to accompany you. Not when I cannot say whether or not I will be a fair shot with one of the bows." It wouldn't be the same as her own personal weapon, even when all is considered. "And." Noted without a smile, but rather the seriousness of the situation. "It would distract from the primary reason for my presence," Claire answers by way of explaining her own reasoning on the matter as she gives the reins a gentle tug before directing her own horse at a slower, almost lazy pace. "Once we have a spot, my maid and I can start setting up."

Samwell nods to Jaren, though he seems to be distracted suddenly. "Sir Jaren, take the lady to safety!", he suddenly orders, tensing, "Look -!" The prince points towards an elevated spot in the mountains where three small dark dots are visible. And zzzzzzing! comes the first arrow - stabbing the ground only a few inches away from one of the soliders, whose spooked horse shies away nervously and thus sending a wave of nervy anticipation through the others.

The small group of bandits or rogue soldiers up above unleash a first volley of arrows onto the unsuspecting group. One arrow manages to hit Jaren's armor without doing much damage, while another arrow hits Claire's thick woollen cloak - which prevents the arrow from doing any actual harm. But the sounds and the impact is enough to spook the horses and make them break out of the line, trying to flee across the meadow. Samwell and Deidra have more luck and escape the arrows. "Withdraw!", Sam yells at the group, urging his horse on to gallop away, out of range of the arrows to safety. He'll wait until people have regained control over their horses again and reassembled somewhere, his eyes all the while on the mountains. "Fuck dammit!", he curses in a not very princely way, "Now they know we're coming!"

Jaren grits his teeth as he struggles to get his horse back under control, though in so doing, he actually rides further out to make sure Claire makes it back safely as well. When they finally get themselves back to the group, Jaren shakes his head, "They would have known we were coming in either case, Highness. We're not exactly a party that's easy to conceal." He may as well still be out on a pleasant afternoon stroll, from the calm and measured tone of his voice. "We may well find a difficult road to the Fortress." If they've prepared it ahead of time with ambushes and traps, that is. "Precious little cover unless we move further away from the Fortress towards the forest."

While she evades that arrow aimed at her more out of a reflex, Sir Deidra pulls the reins of her horse, keeping it under control, before she obeys the order of her superior, the prince. Kicking her steed's flanks she follows Samwell, making sure to keep up with him while her steely green eyes flit back over her shoulder for a moment to see if the others are following. "They obviously don't know who they are dealing with…" the Blue Guard mumbles through gritted teeth, despite the opposite quite obviously being the case.

The sound of arrows is enough to spook the horse but that's to say nothing of Claire, whose grip on the reins try to tighten to bring her own mare under control. Though, it's not without Jaren's help that she manages, looking towards him in thanks before looking towards the remainder of the group scattering and regrouping as well. Arrow in her cloak not being recognized or at least taken out, just yet. "I'm alright," she thinks to remark as an afterthought.

Once everyone has reassembled and calmed their horses, Samwell looks to Jaren: "Your drawings, Sir. Is there a way to access the fort from another direction?", he asks the man and while Jaren hopefully gets the drawings out, the prince turns to his Blue Guards. "Sir Deidra. Sir Peronell. Find a way to get up there - on foot, I would assume, and take out those archers. I believe there are four - and I know you can handle them. We cannot proceed this way until they're gone." He nods to them both, then offers a faint smile at Claire when she announces she is alright. But everyone's that lucky though - one man at arms got an arrow into his arm and is bleeding rather profusely from the wound, even though he's got that "Oh, just a little scratch" expression on his face. "Lady Claire -" Sam nods to the man, indicating that she's in charge of him.

Her gaze shifting from their surroundings to Samwell, Deidra inclines her head with a small smile of determination, before her steely eyes shift to her Blue Guard colleague next and she dismounts, patting her horse gently as she bows to the prince. "Certainly, your highness.", is her short reply before she darts off, hurrying into the direction from whence they came, altering it slightly to move through the shelter of the undergrowth and bushes. Not very silently perhaps, but swiftly, as her byname demands.

The Blue Slayer nods for the Prince and not wasting time for words she moves. Nell rests her hand on the pommel of her sword and quite ironic and excited smile dances on her lips. Finally, some action!

She is silent as always, swift and silent.

Jaren reaches to a couple of cases hanging from his saddle, withdrawing the original parchments he drew the maps on and offering them towards Samwell, before withdrawing one of the copies he had made for himself. He studies them intently a few moments, "It would be slow going, but the area to the North of the Fortress is largely untamed forest. That was where the remaining Bandits were said to be in hiding. We could take the road a short distance ahead and then break off to the west, into the woods. It will be slow going for the men if we take our full complement." He considers, "But we could divide our force. If we take some of our armsmen and archers, we will be able to move faster, and leave the remainder and the cavalry with Sir Gauvain, I believe we could time our attack to strike at both sides of the Fortress simultaneously. And it probably would take us roughly until nightfall to reach the north side through the forest if we depart within the next hour or so."

It wasn't Claire's idea to have her reasoning proven true so soon. Catching the nod from Samwell, it doesn't take long before she's moving back with a look for her maid turned assistant. Between the two of them and her guard, it's not long before they're dismounting with a look towards the injured knight. Just a scratch, huh? She doesn't look convinced, beckoning him closer to dismount for a proper look at the injury and the arrow's placement prior to its removal. Only, it's the guard who does the honors once it's clear that it's not going to cause any additional bleeding or complications.

Sir Deidra has never been called 'The Silent', that is for sure. And so she makes little effort to move without making any sound, her sword even leaving its scabbard with a hiss when she draws it while the female Blue Guard runs, jumping over an occasional bush and ducking under a low branch when it's necessary, hoping her swiftness will suffice to reduce the threat of any further arrows to a minimum. Closing in on their enemies from below, Sir Deidra singles her first opponent out, to attack him with a loud howl (yes, she is not the sneaky type), aiming to sever a head with a nice and clean cut.

Samwell watches Deidra and Peronell head off for a moment, the focuses on the plans that Jaren shows him. Presumably Gauvain is there as well to listen to their war council in surprising silence. "I agree, Sir Jaren, it will be best to divide our contingent. Sir Gauvain, you will take your men and lie in wait for a signal to enter the fortress from the main side. Also to make sure they won't try to escape that way - cut them down if they do.", he instructs, "But don't move until Deidra and Peronell have taken out the archers." Then he turns to Jaren to look at the route on the map again and nods. "Alright, let's be off." Finally he looks at Claire thoughtfully, then orders two more Blue Guards to stay by the healer's side and make sure she'll be safe. This won't be her only patient today.

Meanwhile, as the two Blue Guards clank their way up into the mountains, their noise does attract the archers and they are quick to fire off arrows to keep the pair at bay.

And the grin in Peronell's smile quickly fades, when that horrible armor betrays her. At first she even does not understand it. When she did not wear her armor, usually she was able to be unseen. Well, when the arrow runs incredibly close to her ear, taking a ew hair with itself, the Blue Slayer understands being not a ghost and jumps to hid behind the huge oak.

Jaren moves swiftly along with Gauvain to divide up their forces. Samwell's party ends up with about half the archers and half of the men-at-arms they have available, getting them into some semblance of an orderly body (made easier as they divide the men so that they stay with men they are accustomed to fighting alongside) before returning to Samwell's side a few minutes later, "The men are ready to move on your command, Highness." Sir Jaren informs Samwell.

Deidra dodges another arrow, her steely green eyes noticing it long before it can reach her. With a leap she lands in the midst of the bandits and faces the first blade coming at her in a not so friendly greeting. But she anticipated it of course, parrying it swiftly with her own sword. Using the momentum of her movement to her advantage she whirls around to attack the villain, aiming to cut him down from his shoulder to his waist in an enormous swing of her broadsword, but feels her weapon not really penetrating through his armor.

Samwell smiles when Jaren returns with the good news and nods. "Alright, let's move on then, Sir Jaren… will you lead the van? I will bring up the rear with my Blue Guards" (those not scrambling around a mountain right now). He waits until Jaren has put himself ahead of the group and meanwhile checks once more to see that Claire and her maid are safely guarded while they deal with the man's wound. It's not a big wound and the soldier is already shouting at Claire to hurry up so he can join up with Team Jaren again and not get left behind and called a coward.

When the gust of arrows ends, Peronell quickly runs out of the shelter of the oak. She grumples something about the stupid arrows under her nose and withdraws her sword, successfully countering the attack o one of these archers. She grins widely, mumbling something about, "The feast just starts…" Then she moves for counterattack.

Sir Jaren nods, lightly spurring his mount to send her galloping up to the front of the column, and giving the order to move out. He selects a mix of archers and armsmen and sends them to the front and flanks of the group, to keep an eye out for prospective ambushes while they're in the woods, and then the body begins to slip into the forest, disappearing under the concealment provided by that canopy. The going is slow, but thankfully the terrain isn't -too- terrible. It could be a swamp, after all.

The Blue Slayer's sword flashes in the air, slicing the air and just the air, because the hit is parried and moreover, what makes Nell cuss loudly, that little piece of something smelly, manages to send counterattack, which hits the armour of the Blue Guard. She cusses a few more times and her sword slice the air again.

Deidra's next aim is the legs of the poor bandit, as she swings her sword low from the side. However it is her that is too slow this time, his weapon moving downwards to parry her blow in time and even giving him the opportunity for a counter. "Damn it!", comes her displeased comment when she sees his strike hitting home and shoots the man a most irritated glare. "Damn you! You are dead!" Luckily the armor saves her from taking any severe injury.

Claire is accustomed to such words, given that the language around her does nothing to damage her feminine virtues. "Are you that intent on dying today, sir knight? You will sit still and let me properly dress that arm." Spoken once the arrow is removed, it doesn't take long for her to begin cleaning the wound and wrapping a clean bandage about the arm, mindful of supplies and not needing to expend so much so soon. Who knows what will happen for the rest of this routing? Experience has taught her well. Tying the bandage off with a turn to wipe her hands onto a nearby cloth provided for her doesn't keep the healer from giving the man a direct look that doesn't leave room for much response. "If I see you back in my care today, you will /not/ be leaving so quickly." With that threat, she will let the man go - with the brief lull enough time to begin setting up one tent in the efforts of being able to keep her things from the dust and wind. Small injuries are fine for the outdoors but she expects more serious incidents are likely.

Following a barely visible track through the forest, the group led by Sir Jaren finally spots the grey walls of the fortress looming behind the forest. Everything is eerily silent here, no birds singing in the trees, no wind rustling the leaves. Samwell looks towards the forbidding wall, then nudges his horse on to draw level with Jaren. "Now to find a door and get in without alerting the whole fortress to our presence.", the prince muses, "Or shall we try to scale the wall?" He looks rather doubtful.

The grumbly knight meanwhile lets Claire deal with his arm until he's bandaged, then he's off in a flash to catch up with the rest of the gang. Two men at arms are now left behind to look after Claire and her maid. "Shall we set up a tent, Mylady?", he asks her.

Up in the mountains, the fight rages on. Both Nell and Dei manage to bring one opponent down with swift attacks, which gives the other two men time to drop their bows, pull their swords and try to attack the two Blue Guards back.

There. The anger seems to have given her the determination she needed, probably. Discarding any maneuvers and feints, the Blue Guard manages to strike the bandit down with an angry howl. Noticing movement from the corner of her eye, her steely green gaze shifts to the next opponent. "Care to join him, you scoundrel?", she inquires coldly, one of her feet nudging against the man on the ground before her.

And this time the Blue Guard slice not just the air, but also that filthy enemy. She manages to bring the oponent down and can grin proudly once more. Then she turns to the another one, "Come here boy… Come here…" she ways for him, while fierly eyes sparkles a bit evilly.

Parrying his first attack with her blade, Deidra loses no time for a strike of her own, swinging her sword through the air above her head to bring it down in a blow that aims for the man's shoulder, while her sour gaze stays fixed on his face. The sour look almost fades into a slightly sweet smile when she sees her strike hitting home and the bandit hitting the ground.

The bandits are now down indeed, but they are still very much alive. One is even trying to stagger back to his feet to come at the Blue Guards from behind. Better to knock them all out for good.

While the Blue Slayer was taking care of one of the enemies, the second appeared quickly besides her and his sword hits Nell's armour. The Blue guard sways a bit, but manages to keep herself on foot and quickly she is ready attack again.

Jaren studies the walls as they come into view, eyes scanning for any sign of sentries on the higher levels. "There are doors on both sides of the Fortress, but they are sturdy. We did however, bring a few ladders with us…bringing the battering ram would not have been practical in the woods, so that remained with Sir Gauvain's party." He considers, "Though I suppose we could see if they left the door unlocked or open…however unlikely that may be." He assesses, "Odd, I don't see any sentries yet…"

"Yes. Quickly and just the one," Claire instructs the two men at arms who remained with her in addition to her own guard. "Janelle and I will get the supplies. I will need a fire should it get too dark and the others are still at the fortress. We need to find a position where the light will be concealed. That's the last thing we need to have happen."

Time for the dirty work. Deidra's gaze drops to the two bandits she took down who are both rolling around on the ground in agony. One stab for the first to relieve him of his labours, then another to finish the second off. Blood stains on her armor and face bearing witness to what she has just accomplished.

"You left a scratch. Nobody leaves a scratch on my armour!" roars Nell and her sword lets the blood of the oponent to get some fresh air. And quickly the second one aces the same destiny. Then The Blue Slayer stands proudly on the hill and looks around to see where her commander is.

The scruffy bandits stand no chance against the royal killer girls. Soon enough all four bandits lie in a bloodied heap. There's little to fleece them for, though now Claire can have her pick from four bows and a bunch of arrows, if they remember to take them downhill to the quickly made camp. Claire would also be able to show them towards the path that Sir Jaren and the Prince have taken so that they can catch up. Now with the entrance road towards the fortress cleared, Sir Gauvain's group can start moving as well.

By the fortress, Samwell still stares up the wall and sends out two scouts to try and find an open door… as unlikely as that is. "They don't expect us here.", he says hopefully, "Besides, if my Blue Guards have done their job right, nobody could run back to the fortress and alert the men to our coming."

There is a swift nod when Deidra's gaze meets that of her Blue Guard colleague. "They have been dealt with adequately. Now, let's follow our commander, Sir Peronell. Well done, by the way." Those last words uttered after a moment of hesitation, words of praise that might strike any who know Sir Deidra as slightly unusual. Leading the way back down the hill, the Blue Guard moves swiftly through the undergrowth until she reaches the camp - and Lady Claire Sollinger.

"Then once the scouts return, I'll lead a party to take the ladders and scale the walls, assuming they do not find an open door for us. We should not allow Sir Gauvain's party to face the full brunt of their strength for long. Once the initial party has secured the northern wall, we can bring the rest of our force inside via the ladders." Jaren suggests, sending a runner to tell some of the men to bring up the ladders and prepare themselves to attack the fortress.

Peronell nods for her commander, but before she follows her, the Blue Slayer comes near the each killed oponent and gathers their things. The girl lived somewhere in the woods all alone and… Well, she has a history, which tought her never to leave anything valuable just lieing there.

When she collects all things, Peronell goes the same way back to the camp and Lady Claire Sollinger.

In the span that the Prince's group has been gone, Claire has been working on setting up at least one tent with all the supplies that had been brought for this express purpose. It's a battlefield setting, in all appearances. Flowers and pretties have no place here. By the time they return, hopefully, the tent should be properly standing. Though the fire - her second request, has not been completed. But it is a start. A well working one, that finds the men at arms back to maintaining guard while her own two men are setting a crude, if rough circle of stones for a fire pit.

The scout soon comes back running to Jaren and Samwell. "Your Highness, Sir Jaren - there's a door!", the man gasps excitedly, "I believe we can break it down. It looks locked but everything has been quiet. It looks like it was used to lead into a garden, a garden that hasn't seen a rake or a spade for a very long time though." Samwell nods grimly. "Let's see if we can get through that door, Sir Jaren? You -", he turns back to the Blue Guards, "Stay here, stay alert. If we cannot get in through that door, you will scale the walls with Sir Jaren's men. Come!" He nods to Jaren and the scout, then dismounts and follows the scout through bushes and brambles towards the door. A heavy oak door, strengthened with iron, but looking rather decayed and crumbly.

Arriving at the camp, Deidra offers the required bow to the lady. Her green eyes flit from Claire to the camp and the preparations that are being made. "Where are the Prince and the others, my lady?", she inquires, raising a brow. "They've proceded to the Fort? Which way?" A short moment of hesitation, before she adds: "Sir Peronell and I are fine, those four archers… less so. Dead, actually." She casts her fellow Blue Guard a glance as she arrives shortly after her, before she turns her attention back on Claire. "Well?"

Jaren blinks at the Prince's commands, leaving the Blue Guard behind for the moment. He considers a protest, but…keeps it to himself. This is not his command, and if the Prince chooses to leave his guards behind…well, he'll just have to watch his back. So Sir Jaren dismounts and follows the scout and the prince, moving to examine the door a bit, "I guess we won't know until we try. Not really any way to do this quietly…" He makes sure his shield is securely strapped to his arm, and backs up several paces, to allow himself a running start at ramming that decayed door. Though of course, he doesn't move, instead looking towards Samwell for the signal to proceed.

Peronell puts the brought things in the camp and comes closer near sir Deidra. She does not speak, just listens.

Sam is totally not breaking that door down and risk dislocating a royal shoulder. So he waits and leaves it to Jaren.

"You did not come across him or his men on the way back here?" That's the first and foremost thought on Claire's mind as she steps out of the tent, hands already holding a cloth in expectation of injuries. Not a successful party of two women. "They proceeded along another path towards the fortress. Sir Jaren had his maps and…" Sure, she knows the 'where' but she really needs to remain where she is. Pressing her lips into a frown, she turns to hand the cloth to her maid before beckoning her to get the cloak. "I can show you the right direction. My guard will come with me to ensure that I return here safely."

"That would be kind of you, my lady." Deidra inclines her head to Claire's reply, acknowledging the lady's position as well as the help she is offering. "I assure you, no harm will come to you as long as you are in our company." They are the Blue Guard, after all! "Still, better take that guard with you. It's not that far, is it?" Her eyes wander over the camp, searching for her brown steed - and that of Sir Peronell.

Peronell stands not so far away from the commander. She keeps her hands crossed on abdomen. The fiery eyes are observing surrounding suspiciously.

Claire would show Deidra and Peronell the direction into which Samwell and Jaren have ridden - they'd probably catch up with them eventually since they aren't that far ahead. Sam is watching Jaren attack the door until it finally gives way - by then, the noise may have attracted some of the soldiers inside. "We're through!", Sam cheers and looks to the scout, "Run and tell the others to come this way! Quickly!" The scout nods and scoots off through the bushes to alert the Blue Guards and Sir Jaren's men. Meanwhile Sam helps Jaren to make the gap in the door bigger, tugging at wooden planks until they can climb through.

"Thank you, Sir Deidra." Spoken as the cloak is settled back about her shoulders, Claire busies herself with the cloak while approaching her own mare that the guard brings over. "It will not be long by horse," she says while moving to mount up, assisted by the guard before looking to Deidra. "There should be others - squires minding the Prince's mount and that of the other knights."

Jaren works quickly to pry away several of those rotted planks, at least until they reach the point where he can reach through and unlock or unbar the door, if possible…and if not, just keep tearing until they can pass through. Either way, once inside, Jaren draws his blade, eyes scanning the untended garden and ears alert for any sign of their enemy as he steps further inside…there should be a good-sized company of men following after soon, after all.

"You are welcome, my lady. And yes, we should go by horse then." Deidra has indeed spotted her steed standing there among the others, and she moves over to mount it as swiftly, reining it in beside Lady Claire soon after. "Off we go then?" A glance is shot towards Peronell who has been getting ready as well probably, and then the Blue Guards follow the Sollinger lady and will head for the Fortress, following the path she has pointed out to them. It is the Deputy Commander though that looks quite relieved when she spots her Commander before that door that has been luckily already been broken down. "Your highness. The villains have been dealt with.", she offers in greeting, swinging herself off the horse. "Everything under control here, I suppose?" Her green gaze follows Sir Jaren who has just disappeared inside of what lies behind that door.

Peronell jumps on her russet mare and follows commander. As usually, the Blue Guard does not speak at all. Just waits, when she will be able to show what she is worth, using her sword. After all, she is paid to fight, not speak.

The scout has raced back to alert the rest of the group, including Deidra and Peronell, that a breach in the wall has been found and tehy are to follow. The noise of shoulder versus door has actually alerted a guard inside the fortress who just happened to be in that remote corner of the fortress to take a dump in peace and he's quick to pull up his breeches, draw a short sword and attack Jaren - not knowing how many there may be behind!

Hearing sounds of fighting from behind the 'opened' door, Deidra bows to Samwell swiftly, muttering: "Guardians… Let me take care of this…" before she follows Jaren, her sword already drawn and ready to attack.

Jaren's shield comes up to deflect aside the attack that comes his way, and his body pivots, bringing his blade around to counterattack the fellow that just lashed out against him.

"Don't leave me outside of the party!" grumbles Peronell and jumps from her mare, moving after others. At least closer near the place, where all the action is.

Bob the Bandit seems surprised when he realizes that he is fighting a genuine knight and shouts out loudly for help. "Fuck, fuck, fuck! Where d'you come from?!", the man yells and lashes out blindly again with his sword at Jaren. Another man comes running, equally grizzled and dirty. "Fuck, what's the party?!" "Go, get help!", Bob orders, "Call them soldiers with their weapon -!" The other man might need stopping before he can raise the alarm. Bob meanwhile lashes at Jaren…

Deidra arrives just in time to hear Bob's yell and request to his comrade. She might not be the brightest knight, but bright enough to realize she has to interfere. "Stop.", is her simple advice to the other bandit as she moves to block his way, swinging her blade to ensure he will obey her command.

Jaren's not really the type that talks much during a fight, so the only answer "Bob the Bandit" gets is the clash of weapons as Jaren's blade comes up to turn his aside, his shield having been dropped from his arm from the force of the first attack against him, so he's taken a two-handed grip on his sword. Bob's weapon slides off his blade and harmlessly away, and Jaren again lashes out in a swift counterattack.

Once seeing Deidra and Peronelle caught up with the Prince's force, Claire and her guard make their way back to the camp. In many ways, with all due haste, while using the approaching darkness as their cover.

"Hrrmm," Deidra grumbles as she sees her attack being parried that easily, and moreover her opponent hitting her with his weapon until her armor saves her - again - from receiving a horrible injury. She whirls around, trying to surprise the bandit with a feint towards his head before actually aiming for his left side.

Peronell jumps near the one with the spear. She sends a wink to Jaren and her sword to that other guy's left side. "Taste this!" The Blue Slayer offers. But that thing is quick enough to remain not hurt. Peronell grins, "That's fun!"

For all their being drunk scum, the two bandits aren't that bad - after all, you don't get old in the woods if you don't have some fighting skills. Gnark is dealing with Deidra, while Bob finds himself up against Jaren and Peronell. "Am I drunk or are these really chicks?", Bob grumbles towards Gnark as he tries to keep his footing against both enemies.

Hmm, that tricky bandit managed to squeeze an attack in before her strike hit home, but she has managed to parry it none the less. Deidra feels she is getting the upper hand on the villain already, and now she needs to finish Gnark off swiftly. A strike towards his right arm should do the trick.

Jaren steps back a half step when Bob brings his own weapon around in a quick counter-attack following the knights last strike, but a half-moment later he's lunging forward again, bringing his blade around in a silver flash to once again strike towards Bob, trying to catch him off-guard now that he's facing two opponents.

Again, her attack is parried by the morning star, and Deidra's mien darkens again. "Impossible! Yield, you scum!", she mutters in a low but menacing voice, raising her sword to parry Gnark's next attempt.

The words from bob's lips make Peronell quite nervous. She hates, when someone mentiones her as a woman. She grew up called son! "This woman will be the last thing you will see!" She answers to that thing and tries to hit him but his is AGAIN quick enough to avoid her attack and leave a scratch on hers. She tries quickly to send another attack, but the same situation repeats. And she just cusses. Many times.

This time Deidra manages to parry the morningstar with her blade, alas, her counter is stopped by his armor. Her own next attack however, fails to connect and so the combat rages on, the suprise in those steely green eyes growing and growing…

…At the difficulty of overcoming this common scum. Deidra is a Blue Guard after all. And didn't she teach some veteran knights a lesson recently during a sparring match? But maybe… maybe the promise of certain death in those steely green eyes of hers makes some very reluctant to accept that fate.

The fight wages to and fro for a while, but in the end the two bandits are no match for two very annoyed Blue Guards and brave Sir Jaren. Gnark and Bob end their miserable little lives in the dirt of the overgrown little garden among the filth there and Prince Samwell heaves a sigh of relief. By now their whole little group has climbed through the broken door and they all wait anxiously to listen for sounds. No army is coming to meet them. "We've made it. Well done, all of you!", Samwell smiles at them. Not a smudge of dirt on the royal armor.

"If the rest of the fortress fights as desperately, this is going to be a very long night." Sir Jaren notes, frowning down at the body of Bob the Bandit, and moving to reclaim his shield, strapping it back firmly to his arm. "Hopefully Sir Gauvain is faring better…"

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