Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (37)
I expressed my concerns to Miyara and Hosei about the strategies of
The gate was very hard to attack, so that simply left assault from
the air. The guards had clearly only trained to defend the gate
and were simply not useful against a proper attack. Hosei
suggested dropping burning blankets that would stay on catapults and
not bounce, which was not a bad idea. On the other hand,
the orcs could simply fire many snotlings until one
of them runs into a corner, hides, and later lowers a rope.
Alternatively, they could
use the snotlings as a distraction to bring in mages who can fly.
Night approached. There were guards on the
towers, but the courtyard was not well lit. Fortunately we would
hear the catapults fire and so could be prepared,
Hosei went to talk to Scar to inform him of our
conclusions. There were just nine guards total including the
captain. We were surely doomed. They were not prepared or
willing to defend against an attack from the air.
Rabena sat down and studied her sogin roku.
I pointed out that there was one more person we had
not recruited. I resolved to visit Yazeran in his tomb.
It was now well into night. Jeison and Hosei
were on watch, walking around the courtyard. Hosei had prepared
many light pebbles and scattered them around, which would help the
barbarians see. There were two
guards at the portcullis and one on each tower. The monks had
mixed reactions -- some were helpful and could be set to watch the
catapults, while others had accepted their doom and were drinking.
One of the guards on the tower suddenly yelled that
there were no fires. Clearly this was so we could not see what
was going on in hte orcish encampments. Hosei threw down a pebble
to light up the scene a
little. All we could tell was that there were still orcs down
there. We discussed possibilities for attacking the catapults,
but came up with no new ideas. The mention of Carimera brought
Rabena's side, to help her study the new sogin roku. The two gems
them fairly close together provided a lot of light.
I went to visit Yazeran. Pireseri
went with me to let me in. I approached with due respect and
apologies while Pireseri watched me from the door. I moved
up to where Yazeran's
head would be to talk with him. The hawk was still a
statue. I ask him humbly to help us miserable and unworthy
travellers, as the monks and guards were not prepared and he was the
only suitable person who had not been recruited.
Goru burst in and shouted. Clearly the orcs
were attacking and Goru had freaked out, but I had more important
matters in hand. I said I could beg for his help, but that we
were working as hard as we could and could really use his help. I
apologized again profusely, and backed out respectfully.
Hosei had calmed Goru, and said something about a
vision that the fairy had about the orcs going through the
portcullis. The two of them went down, accompanied by Pireseri,
but knowing that they would be unlikely to get in without traitors I
went to the roof.
Traitors... I ran down to talk with Hosei at the
gate. Traitors need not be willing in the world of mages.
We needed to fix the gate so it could not be opened from the
inside. I told Hosei emphatically but he could not understand me
at first. Goru knew how to achieve what I wanted -- there was a
place where the
rope could be cut, and a ceremonial axe was even provided. Hosei
agreed but said we did not have authority to do it. I ran over
and did it myself. It was a good axe, sharpened over a century of
bored guard watches. The rope cut easily.
Hosei had tossed a light pebble onto the bridge,
about twenty feet out. There was no possibility of getting a ram
onto the bridge to break down the gate. This side of the gate a
foot tunnel was only two orcs wide, and so could be well
A room above looked down on the bridge, and oil and weapons could be
dropped on the orcs if they came in. I also suggested that we
should break the bridge.
Rabena quickly learned to connect with the sogin
roku. Apparently she had been a monk herself, and meditated until
she could understand it. The sogin roku was a powerful embodiment
of Air, and she learned some things the object could do. One
thing she had learned was that the unbearable glow of the crystals
together fades over time, and so eventually glow only at a level that
could be hidden in a pocket.
The orcs had no campfires tonight, but had on
night. They were clearly prepared to attack that night. I
took the second watch with the white fairy. At intervals Hosei
renewed his pebbles to bring light to the courtyard.
I looked down at the encampment. Most of it
was just there in the dark, quiet, but on closer examination there was
a small column winding its way slowly and thinly up the path in the
direction of the bridge. I immediately told Miyara. I added
that we should station the sogin roku pair in the room looking down on
the bridge. She thought that was a good idea, and praised me for
it -- quite unexpected. She added that since Goru's vision showed
the orcs coming through, that would happen despite our attempts, so the
girls needed to be able to be safe under those circumstances. I
said that once my watch was over, I would sleep in the tunnel.
Hosei had arranged a light arrow further along the bridge too, for
Eventually the shift changed again, and I went to
sleep in the tunnel.
Morning arrived with no incident overnight. We
went on to breakfast at the appointed time. Hosei questioned
Rabena about the sogin roku. She said that controlling it was
difficult, and blowing someone off the cliff accidentally would be
easy. She had destroyed all but two of the barrels of oil in the
overlook room in just such an incident. At least it looked like
she would use it and not just sit back and read while others fought.
Goru's vision had shown the orcs coming through the
gate during daylight, so once breakfast was done I planned to return to
the tunnel. First, however, since it was still dark, I went up to
look at the orc column. It had formed up at the top of the hill a
little outside the glow of the arrow. Some of them were looking
up at me. They did not appear to have any large equipment with
them, although it was a large crowd. I told Miyara what I'd seen
and went on down to my position. She said I could not fight a
whole army there, but with Yazeran's
architecture I could do just that.
When I got down there, Scar and two of the guards
were there waiting. I explained that I could hold the tunnel if
they just handle any that might slip by, but they seemed not to
As soon as it was light enough for the barbarians to
see the orcs across the bridge, the guards starting shouting. The
orcs shouted back. Next thing in barbarian etiquette is that they
would break down the door.