Chapter Sixty-One: War Room "Where else would a war take place?" As soon as the gate was shut, Lotho was kneeling over Shayliss's face. HIs expression was neutral, emotionless, as he looked over her body. Those eyes saw more than it seemed and she could practically see his mind writing down notes.
Chapter Sixty: Gate "They must not pass!" The courtyard smelled worse than it looked. Burning orge met with various other smells to create a wall of odor that Shayliss only thought possible in barn fires. While Sandpoint was not quite farmland, she had lived near the stables long enough to get an idea of what that kind of situation would smell like.
Chapter Fifty-Nine: Fort Rannick "The fort may be broken, but it still stands. We just have to take it back." The fort had been severely damaged in the ogre's attack on it. A gigantic hole was smashed in the south wall, debris piled all over the area ignored for about a month. The towers were unoccupied and various walls of the multi-story fort itself were bashed in. Shadows crossed through these walls, shown by the candles and torches lighting the rooms. But the worst of what could be seen was in the courtyard.
Chapter Fifty-Eight: The Black Arrows "It is black for a reason. When we are called in, the target will never see what hit them. We are the night. We are the shadows. We are Death." Shayliss heard footsteps coming closer as she coiled her grappling hook back into its loop. There were stains on its claws but otherwise it was undamaged. Those enhancements she had the mage weave into the rope were working flawlessly. Not even a loose strand poked out of the braid.
Chapter Fifty-Seven: Ogres "These giant beasts are aggressive. It is unknown where they came from or why they attack settlements, but many who face them never return to tell the tale." Horse hooves pounded the slightly damp dirt as the four riders raced toward the east. Fort Rannick was to the east and slightly north of town so they were heading for the fighting at the southeast first. Once that problem was taken care of they would move to the fort. The sounds of combat met them before the sight of it. Metal thunked against wood, growls both human and monstrous mixed together in a horrible symphony and the thrum of bowstrings being plucked.
Chapter Fifty-Six: Turtleback "Nothing is as it seems." Compared to Magnimar, Turtleback Ferry was peaceful. Men and women walked up and down the roads of the small town and conversations buzzed quietly. Water could be heard splashing against land as well as the bells of the ferry. It would have been a lovely place to live in. Yet, as the three heroes and Shayliss made their way through the crowds, they could feel some kind of dark and suffocating energy around the town. It was intangible, yet unmistakeable. There was something walking among, or even in, the citizens of Turtleback.
Chapter Fifty-Four: The Lord-Mayor "Politicians have arrived. Bow before them or step out of the way." By the time Shayliss had returned to Sandpoint, the Lord-Mayor's wagon was at the gate. The driver of the wagon was having a discussion with the guards while the driving horse stamped anxiously. It looked like it was an uncomfortable discussion too. The driver was worried and the guards held themselves in a way that screamed placation. Shayliss stopped far enough away so that she could listen in.
Chapter Fifty-Two: Tension "The rope is frayed. It will soon break." Standpoint was still in mourning. The deaths of the past few days was still evident as when Valtyra, still furious beyond all limits, rode up to the front gate, no one waiting save for Shayliss. Her red hair was a complete mess, though, and the white cloth dress she wore was covered in spots of dirt. Yet, that face of hers pulled up in a great big smile when she saw the half-elf approaching.