Rufina went white, Aneka was an accomplished warrior, one of the best Ruffina had ever seen, although she hadn’t seen that many but Valeria was – well Valeria was slightly insane, she carried 4 razor sharp knives and could fillet a fish or a man just as easily, she had a far away look in her eye, the left one, the right looked straight into your soul and pierced you through and through, worse than the knives.
Ruffina decided it was probably best to keep quiet and with a slightly strangled sound in her throat, she said “When and where”.
They are on their way back to Sakura Tu’s Black Tower and you will intercept them at the village of Grook, a backward hameau in a backward country. Aneka has chosen the warriors to accompany you, but understand this Ruffina Grey Eye – you are my apprentice, you carry my name and the name of Thanda the Grim carries power and death to my enemies, you will not let me down.
Well there’s no pressure for Rufina, a quick snatch and grab and then run like hell, that should work OK.
Yukio was going to be the biggest threat, well maybe not the biggest threat but Rufina had to best her or Thanda was not going to be pleased and that would be unpleasant. So Yukio has to be neutralised and degraded which would reflect badly on Sakura Tu, which would reflect well on Thanda, which would reflect well on Rufina. OK got that.
Gormy Gilbert, is one of them but he's not the worlds brightest star, or even the hamlets.
Oh it doesn’t help at all.
James the peasant nearest to the Demon runs into the cabin and hides. A couple of other peasants see it and run away screaming.
The sound of screaming attracts Eku, Temko and his dog who emerge from the open shed and see the Demon. It turns towards them and roars.
She sees the Fire Demon and has in her repertoire of spells a Bind Demon spell which is most fortuitous, she casts the spell, there is a faint crackling sound, a slight smell of sulphur and the spell is successful.
The two girls make their way back to Rufina and they discuss the Demon and how will it affect them.
Aneka, is the best warrior but also the only one with a ranged weapon, a crossbow, so she will stay in the street and provide back up where needed most.
The rest of the best fighters will burst into the hut containing Nic’s daughter and overpower the Demon and Yukio, rescuing the captive and make their way out of the hamlet north before anyone is awake to stop them.
You can maybe see one or two flaws in this plan but I do like to keep them simple.
Using an insight test it turned out Aneka with the crossbow was most alert and activated first, Nic second and Constantinus third. Well he had just woken up and was sleepy.
Aneka is a crack shot and even though it was dark and she was surprised by her target appearing unexpectedly she managed to hit him and he went down OOF.
Rufina cast her best spell, an Elemental Bolt of Power through the window, there was a Phuuttt and she felt a strong tingling sensation in her right hand that went up her right arm and into the left side of her brain and made her eyes water.
In the back of her mind she could hear Thanda’s cold grim voice from the dark days of her early training. Why she couldn’t use Lucifer’s matches like everyone else when she had to light the fire she could never fathom. No she had to do it with a spell – a spell that felt just like this one, sluggish and damp. The same tingle followed by the same pain and same watery eyes.
They had the advantage of numbers and would be able to fight 3 against 1 and deal with it more easily.
That is until Valeria the fearless warrior ran away. Her bowels turned to water and her legs into pumping pistons that propelled her so far and so fast that she was taken completely by surprise.
Fight or Flight and her legs had decided they knew what was best.
Aneka is still reloading her crossbow and reflecting this is not going as well as she'd hoped.
In the mean time Valeria has recovered command of her legs and has stopped running. She is standing off to the left preparing to return and aid her fellows. Maybe not as quickly as they would like.
In the background Eku who has a rubbish attack but a brilliant defence is attacking. With some almost miraculous dice rolls he has pushed back Tina and Nic this leaves the doorway cleared and enables two of his fellow kidnappers to step out and help.
Valeria has recovered her nerve and is moving back towards the hut just at the moment that Yukio came to the door and sees her. Yukio also has learned the Elemental Bolt of Power spell and she casts it straight at Valeria, who takes the full force of it and drops to the ground OOF.
This is not going to go down well with Thanda the Grim.
Akira the Bard moves from behind the door and attacks Yukio who has time to cast a Wall of Safety spell. Unfortunately for her this fails and Akira stabs her with the pointy end of her sword and Yukio falls to the floor.
There’s been a lot of falling to the floor so far.
Tina in the background has finally defeated her opponent and he is rolling on the ground groaning. If you were being kicked in the head you would be groaning as well.
Out of camera, Aneka has defeated Budi and Tina and Eku are having a ding dong battle. However when they both step back for a rest he realizes he’s on his own all his comrades are either dead of hors de combat, so when they call on him to put up his sword he agrees without too much reflection.
This ends the fighting and our heroines pick up their wounded and along with the rescued prisoners they make their way back to Thanda The Grim, who may or may not consider this a victory worthy of some renown.
C'est la Guerre.
Well this was Rufina's first mission, not too successful will they be able to put enough of a gloss on the story or will she have to spend another 6 months as a Natterjack Toad.
Well if you are still here - thanks for reading.