Tainted Victory – Chapter 2, Part 1 (Page-a-Day)

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Chapter 2: The Plan

The team of adventurers returned to the house Hugh staked his claim to first. The originally spacious house for three, or four was now crowded to bursting with the presence of seven fully armed and fit heroes. The storm above struck them hard. It rattled and shook the windows. The two newcomers introduced themselves to the group once everyone got as comfortable as possible. The red haired woman said her name was Claudia Newsmith. “I hail from the far west,” her accent was thick. She brought out her knives, and a bank of arrows and a crossbow. Each arrow had an engraving in them. “I am no magus, but I have learned ways to use.” She gestured to the runes along the items. “Anyway, that is what I can offer.”

“She is a brutal one in a fight!” the barbarian said. He rested his curved axe along his shoulders. “I come from the north. Name is Goblet. Like the cup.” He made a drinking motion with his free hand.

“Why did your parents give you that name?” Hugh asked.

Goblet shrugged. “I never asked.” He heaved the axe into his free hand. “It also hasn’t stopped me from beheading the Frost Tigerians.”

“You ever go up against a dragon?” Raisor asked.

“I tracked a dragon once?” Colt said.

“Oh really? What was that like?”

“He did it with its poop, not interesting. We have other factors we need to cover,” Evelyn said. She stepped in front of Colt. 

“Ehh. It is storming harder out than ever before,” Olivier, the elderly mage, said. “That magic has cursed us to endure the rain. We have nowhere to go. Let him take his time and regale us.” He rested his back against his chair, and his hands along his staff. 

“No,” Evelyn said. “I am the one who has actually been in the castle. I am in charge here.”

“Ha, a woman in charge,” Siguard said in a huff. “I have the most battlefield experience here. I am the one who should be in charge. 

“I’m going to ignore the woman hatred just to say I have experience in this location. That trumps your battlefield work,” Evelyn said. 

“Oh sweet hell,” Raisor said. “All this bickering and debating will get us nowhere.” He took a breath. “This is why I usually work alone.”

    “I agree with Raisor,” said Hugh. “Not so about the working alone. If we all try to attack the dragon on our own, with our own tactics and ideas we will be played for fools and most likely all die.” He rested his hand on the map of the castle. “I can work on sick and injured people. I cannot work on dead people, and I cannot slay a dragon myself. We will get lost among the weeds and corpses if she tried to do this alone.” He ran his fingers through his facial hair and thought. “Evelyn has the most knowledge about the castle, let her go over a general infiltration strategy. Once we have something we can build on it further.” 

    “Sounds quite fair,” Olivier said. He emphasized it with a tap of his staff. 

Evelyn waved her hand palm up, sarcastically. Siguard just ignored it.

“So, what is the best way to break into the castle?” Hugh said. 

Evelyn cleared her throat and took a position in the middle of the group. “The castle is built off from the main entrance. Once we go through the front gate, next door is massive and leads right into the throne room. The door will probably take those two,” she pointed to Goblet and Siguard. “The throne room is massive, and probably the only place the dragon could fit. It is the central hub to the rest of the castle.” She drew a circle in the middle of the castle with arrows going off on either direction. “The castle is three levels high, with the throne room being the center on all levels.” She then drew a square around the circle. It ran over some of the arrowed lines to make it hard to read. “There are walkways connecting the two sides of the castle. One in the front and another in the rear.”

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