FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 3 Part 4b

FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 3 Part 4b

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Adwin stopped shovelling the stall he was standing in, set the shovel aside and took his gloves off. In the next stall over a young woman cleaned, the scrape of her shovel constant, the slapping sounds of muck a sloppy counter tempo.

Adwin gave him a scrutinizing look, “You want to do what?”

Sefla moved over to the entrance of the keep, watching the activity on the green and giving them a bit of space.

“Save Milla. Rescue any others that we can. Take the witch out if we get the chance.”

“Wouldn’t it be easier just to go in and kill the witch?”

“Neither one of us are Tipper.”

“No, but the last time we tried to do things all sneaky like I nearly died, you were captured and tortured, Tipper nearly died, Calathy was beat up, we started a small war and the Fingures have likely put a mark on our heads.”

“On the plus side we did more to protect folks from crime than all the warders, guards and councilmen had done in the past century. And we’ve got that nice stash of treasure we should be splitting up.”

“Ha, not until Tipper’s back.”

“We should do this sooner, we’ve no idea if she’s even coming at this point.”

“Hey, don’t say that.”


The scraping shovel stopped and a buff woman of Pwhanna descent stepped out of the neighbouring stall, Mokha thought she was angry or at least angry looking. There was a lot of pain in her eyes. “I think we should do what the man says.” She gave a nod to Adwin, “He has the right of it. I think it should have been done long ago.”

Sefla returned her attention to the conversation. The buff woman glanced at her and gave a nod.

Mokha, happy for the woman’s interest, asked, “You seem to know something of the situation.”

“I do.” She looked uninterested in elaborating.

“So, would you go with us?”

“Hey, I haven’t agreed to anything.” Adwin sounded indignant.

“Let’s assume we’ll do it your way?”

“Oh. Alright then.”

The young woman said, “Yes, I’ll go. I know a few others that will come with us.”


“When do we leave?”

“Dawn, day after tomorrow.”

“Second dawning, then.” She gave a nod, glanced towards Sefla with a tentative smile and went back to work.

Mokha said to his friend, “Let’s go do the hard part of this first.”

“What do you mean?”

“We should tell Andisal.”

“Right then. After you.”

Mokha took the stairs two at a time, Adwin followed at a more leisurely pace. When his head came above floor level Mokha politely asked, “Anyone home?”

“Just me.” Andisal said. She sat at her small table with her books spread out in front of her, “Come up.”

Adwin said, “Hello.”

Sefla trailed up last and moved over to stand near Mokha, giving Andisal a wave.

“Adwin.” Andisal acknowledged, but kept most of her focus on what she was reading.

Mokha said, “We thought you should know. Adwin and I are going to go try kill the mind-witch. Oh, and rescue Milla.”

Sefla said, “Me too.” Mokha nodded.

The older woman looked up at them, gazed intently for an overly long moment, then shrugged, “Fair enough. You are not beholden to me, and I assume Mokha knows what you’re getting into. I think Master Adwin here might be a liability to you though.”

Adwin was offended, “You’ve no call to say that, I’ve pulled my weight around here.”

“You have, and then some, friend. I meant no offence. The point remains you are easily influenced.”

“Am not.” Adwin protested. Andisal cocked her head to one side and regarded him critically.

“She’s mostly right Adwin.”

“Not you too?” He looked stricken.

Sefla started to say something, then stopped as Del came up the stairs. They all fell silent. “Oh, sorry, is this private?”

“No, love. Adwin was just getting a hold of himself.”

“Awesome, is everyone going to be around for lunch? I invited Gweth.”

Mokha and Sefla said, “Thank you.” While Adwin had started to say no, but Calathy, a couple moments behind Del, came upstairs saying, “She seems really nice. Oh, hi guys. What’s going on?”

“We’re going to go kill the mind-witch.”

“Oh. How are we going to do that?”

“Good question.” Andisal muttered. Del swept by and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek then climbed up the ladder one handed, a basket of spring vegetables crooked in her other arm.

Mokha answered, “I can likely mitigate the effect the sorceress has on people, maybe even stop her from being able to cast spells. There are also certain Aggedrah techniques that sharpen and focus the mind. At the very least I should remain uninfluenced.”

Andisal pointed out, rather critically, “That’s not a plan. That’s a couple abilities and some skills with too many maybes.”

Mokha looked to Adwin, who, rather begrudgingly provided a plan, “A small group of us will leave here two dawns from now, we’ll attempt to rendez-vous with the Omdin twins and hear what the latest situation is. If the Omdins will join us then we’ll proceed to Aramy, kill the witch and rescue the people. We’ll have two groups, one to infiltrate and the others with bows to cover a retreat or support a melee, should one occur.”

Andisal, pursed her lips and gave a nod, “Straightforward enough. What if you don’t meet the Omdins or they are unwilling to go with you?”

“Then we’ll have to scout the situation ourselves, and hope we’ve enough good archers who join us.”

“How will you insure Mokha gets in sight of the witch? What are you going to do about the locals or even the people with you, should they attack you?”

Adwin paused a moment, puzzling through the problem, “We will try to move in during the midday meal, preferably sneak up on her. If not, maybe ride up to TownHall or wherever she happens to be when we do this… I’m not sure about the second part, batons or staffs maybe?”

“Sure. Alright then. Lastly, what will you do if the situation appears too dangerous?”

“Withdraw. Wait until we can marshal more resources for the problem.”

“Good enough then. I appreciate the fact you two brought this to my attention. Now, the four of you can either go up and help Del or otherwise get out of my hair until the meal.”

Mokha went over and threw an arm around Adwin, “That was pretty good. Let’s go grab the loot. I need to get that book I was studying and there are other things that we can use.”

“Sure. Alright.”

Calathy gave the two of them a hug, then asked Sefla, “Want to help Del?”

“Sure.” They went to the ladder going up to the roof.

Adwin and he went downstairs, their volunteer had disappeared, and the horses were back in the stalls. They went to their wagon and dug the treasure chest out from under the other luggage.

“Where are we going to put this? After.”

“I was thinking of giving it to Lef, I figure he must have a spot it could be stashed.”

“Well, with any luck Tipper will be here in a day or two and be able to help us. At that point we should split the treasure up. Though I think we should take things that might help us in Aramy.”

“Ready? Lift.” They started towards Lef’s place.

“Do you know what the potions are?”

“For the most part. There were two unmarked ones that looked interesting.”

“Is it safe to use an enchanted item if we don’t know what it’s for?”

“Yes and no.”

“That’s not reassuring”

“Yeah, we should probably be selective. I mostly just really want to get that book I was reading. I really haven’t had time to study it recently, with teaching Sefla, she sucks up knowledge as fast as I can give it to her. She’s really impressive.”

“Yeah, she is.” There was a bit of a dreamy tone to Adwin’s agreement.

“We should take a break, this is heavier than I remember.”

“Ah, I added some liquid assets.”

“Oh. Stop here a moment.”

“Alright.” They set the chest on a large, flat topped rock at the edge of the green and watched as kids frolicked off towards the pond. More livestock was here than what he remembered from last year.

Though the day remained overcast and the clouds were heavy with the promise of rain, most folks were busy. The majority of them, working in two groups, were extending the earthworks eastward around the village. At this point Sharlok could still just march his army around the village and attack them where their defences had not been built up.

Adwin suggested, “I don’t think we should take too many people with us. The more we drag away, the slower the work here will go.”

“Yeah, besides, too many people will make sneaking around more difficult and I certainly can’t protect a large group.” Mokha rolled his shoulders out, “Alright, I’m good.”

Once again they took up the chest. Thankfully Lef’s place was not that far away.


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