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Under Siege  Matthew Evets
 Aug 28, 2002 03:47 PDT 
The scrambling to get everyone back inside the Inn continued as the
skeletal beasts loomed closer. Kmelion and the Mattwolf stood by the
door, herding people through. By them, a young guardsman, barely past
boyhood raised his crossbow, the bolt point wobbling as he quaked in
fear.

"Watch where yer aimin' boy!", The Mattwolf growled, one clawed hand
clamping on the bottom of the crossbow's haft. "Them gas bags're under
pressure, see? Ya rupture one o' them an this whole field gets
gassed!"
Eyeing the field, the Mattwolf tilted the crossbow. "Now shoot!"
The guardsman oblidged, and the bolt sailed out to smash into a
skullbat that had been swooping towards a healer that had lagged behind
with a wounded soldier.
"Nice shot!", Kmelion called over the din. "MY turn!"
Drawing her power around her, she fired off a beam of white-hot energy
that smashed into a line of slithering tentacles that had been reaching
for a downed pallet. The writihing, slimy things blazed into crisps.
"Whew!" She sagged a bit, not used to using so much energy after so
long.
It was close, and more than one person didn't make it in, but at last
the Inn door slammed shut, the thick wooden bar slamming home to lock
the door.
Still technically in charge of the group, Arvanna set up a command
center in the common room near the bar. Scouts on the second floor
reported that Darylia's undead had retreated to just beyond bow range
and were settling in. "Looks like were besieged, Mistress.", Azreal
purred from atop her shoulder.
"Yes, and it doesn't make any sense."
"What do you mean?"
"Why set up a siege here? Not is this one of the best magically
defended and well stocked places on the map, but Semberholme has been
alerted to our situation! By morning armored cavalry and spell support
will be here. So why mobilize so much force to besiege a place for a
single day?"
Azreal had no answer for that.
Meanwhile, Zena had bullied a servant into helping her drag a giant
mead keg up from behind the bar to the fireplace where Eagleman and the
Sage were stretched out on a table.
Little Sasha had been looking around frantically, trying to stare at
everything at once. All her life she'd herd stories of this place and
now here she finally was, surrounded by the heroes of Hyrathos. She
slid out of her seat near the hearth as Zena approached.
"What are you going to do with that, miss Zena?"
Zena replied by drawing her sword and slicing the top off the keg and
dunking her unconscious husband's head in it!
Sasha gasped and rushed forward. "What are you doing Miss Zena? He'll
drown!"
Zena gritted her teeth, straining to hold her husband's heavy weight.
"If I spoon it into him it'll..uhn...circulate through his whole body.
This way it...urgh...goes right to his messed up, stupid head!".
Despite the strain she was under, she amnaged a wry grin. "Sides,
drowning in mead...would be the way...ugh...he'd wanna ....go!"
Sasha sat down heavily. Frankly, this was all a bit much for a mere
farmgirl, and she was feeling a little bit feverish.

=====
" You're like a coat hanger with meat hanging off it!"
---Triple H, to Conan O'Brien

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