Chapter 12

Radovin was leading them on a long and varied trek through the sewers. Obviously, there was once an older system of sewers that now is mostly in ruin however some of it seemed to be connected to the more recently built portion. The final leg of the journey brought the group up several sets of ladders and into a massive junction area.

“Keep your weapons loose,” Radovin sneered. “I don’t trust the Knives much more than the legates of the Bluff.”

Walking through the junction Devin noticed many different sewer pipes feeding into the area. Streams of sludge, the stench of a whole city made it hard to breath. But somehow, somewhere, a slight reprieve of air from the Sea of Pelluria made its way to them, giving them just enough to keep their morning food down.

Most of the pipes that feed into and out of this place are covered with grates. Part way into the large hall, Khurran noted a damaged grate on the left, leaving the man-sized pipe partially exposed but it was only in passing and he really thought nothing of it. Large stone columns spanned from floor to ceiling at twenty foot intervals making it feel like the grand hall of all sewers. The ceiling reached up into the blackness where they could only hope some unknown substance wouldn’t fall unexpectedly.

Up ahead the group saw a strange green glow and several human outlines. It seemed this is where the meeting was to take place.

To their interest, Dunath stood waiting with several guards.

Dunath started in with Radovin right away, “Well, time to eat some crow? We are scum and not to be bothered with unless we have something important? Is that how it is?”

Radovin glared at Dunath, surveyed the area and spat. “This is not my choice, I am only their guide,” Radovin pointed at the rest of the group. “They are here because they need a favor.”

Dunath peers through the green glow and as the recognition came to him he nodded in respect to all of you. “I told you I owe you debt, you saved my life and if there is a way that I can repay it I will. What is it you seek?”

Devin stepped forward “We are seeking passage through Hearthome, to the place where a legate named Sarn lives. We ask that the avenging knives allow us access to this area.”

“And why do you seek this legate?” Dunath seemed curious.

“That is our business and ours alone,” Devin remembered what the Rat King had told him. Do not let them know about the ring. Only when you get the ring should you seek audience with the Blade.

“Fair enough friend,” Dunath seemed apprehensive with the lack of information but he was not going to push further. “I cannot make any promises but I will take your request to the Blade …”

A cloaked figure emerges from the shadows and lowers its hood before Dunath finished. You have seen this woman before, the one from the boat that you took from Durin’s cove ….

“Anandra! What are you doing! You should not be here,” Dunath stated with surprise and annoyance in his voice.

“I am doing what I was asked to do Dunath. I know this group, I have talked to them before and it seems you have also had their acquaintance as well. They have managed to be in a lot of places in a small amount of time. They are the kind of people we need,” she said coolly.

Nezrin moved closer to Devin, “I do not like the feel of this, what do you suppose is going on?”

“I do not know, but we will wait this out. Keep your eyes sharp, I do not want another surprise,” Devin glanced over at Khurran. He could tell the Sarcosan was already peering into the darkness making sure there were not other surprises waiting in the shadows.

“I know,” Dunath continued with Anandra, “I suggested they join our cause but this one,” Dunath points at Radovin, “was less than sympathetic to the Avenging Knives.”

“Enough! We are not here to swell the ranks of the Knives, we are here to negotiate safe passage through the city” Radovin stated angrily.

Anandra ignored Radovin’s shouts “Join me and you’ll get safe passage,” she offered directly to Devin.

“Do not listen to her my friends. They look for martyrs and sacrifices not thinking of what it does to the common man and the resistance of Baden’s Bluff,” Radovin protested.

Rumble, CLANG, rumble, clang, CLANG.

Anandra began to look around nervously, but she maintained focus.

“Those who die, do so willingly and for a great cause. Our attack reaps rewards that you cannot fathom. You and your kind are weak,” Dunath responded to Radovin.

Anandra, for some reason, looked at Nezrin with cold, hard eyes, “I say again … join me and you will have safe passage to this legate you seek. Meet me in the market two days from now.”

Radovin began shouting over Anandra and placed his hand on his sword, “This negotiation is OVER!”

Now a clear Rumble, Rumble, CLANG seems to be reverberating everywhere. A couple seconds pass when something sounded from the ducts above. As Sharra looked up something was falling … SPLAT! A body, full of crossbow bolts splashes between you and the Avenging knives.

Dunath started with surprise, “What the? Orc bolts! A raid! We’ve been found! Quickly, we must get out of here!”

Anandra was still intently staring at Nezrin, “You know what you must do.” She then quickly steps into the shadows and melts into the darkness.

Radovin shouted angrily, “This will be the death of you and us, you brought the shadow down upon us! This is your doing!”

Turning to Devin, Radovin shouted over the sounds of battle now coming closer “Follow me, we must go back the way we came.”

The sound of swords being unsheathed and commands barked could be heard as Dunath and his group were soon lost to the darkness.

The next few moments were a great blur. Just as you headed back the way you came, the orcs and goblins seemed to come from everywhere. Several of the orcs fell quickly under a hail of arrows from Sharra and Devin. Nezrin moved in close looking to help Radovin and soon his fists were crushing ribs and opening weak spots … which Khurran quickly took advantage of.

Khurran helped out Sharra after an orc charged her. It was already wounded by an arrow and it did not take long for the Sarcosan to duck behind a pillar and get behind the orc for the finishing blow. He could see Nezrin now in a great melee, Radovin next to him. Together they were trying to fight 4 orcs. Devin was closing to help. As Khurran got closer he saw Radovin deftly kill one orc with piercing shot through its unprotected throat. Nezrin was whirling and landed a couple shots on the orcs but they, in turn, were flanking Nezrin. Just as Khurran arrived to get in a kill on one of the orcs he could see that Nezrin was wounded.

The battle raged around them and it looked as if the orcs were coming from the way they came now. Shouts and screams could be heard behing them as well. It seemed as if the sewers were one great echoing battlefield.

Radovin shouted and pointed “There! Get in there!”

Khurran could see the grate to one of the sewer tunnels that was partially pulled away from the wall. He remembered seeing that earlier.

Nezrin moved quickly to the grate, Khurran quickly followed somehow crouching and soon found himself sliding downwards and managing to keep his feet. Sharra came next but was not so lucky and slipped onto her back. Devin tried to help Radovin but he pushed him away and quickly told Devin to get in the pipe just as a vardatch crashed above his head burying itself into the stone column. Radovin crouched and nearly split the orcs leg in two at the knee.

Devin also slipped as he entered the pipe, there was no way to slow himself down. He could see Nezrin inside the pipe holding onto the grate and telling Radovin to get in.

Nezrin could see the orc coming, he tried to slam forward with grate but the weight of the orc was too much. The orc tried to grab Nezrin through the grate but instead the orc knocked Nezrin back with great force, burying the grate back into the stone and Nezrin was soon sliding backwards very quickly. He called to Radovin but as the sounds of battle faded Nezrin knew that Radovin would not survive. There were just too many of them.

Chapter 12

The Edge of Twilight Naszir