Parallax

Episode 15

Disarming Zombies

The party said their various goodbyes to Ciar's group: Sina said goodbye to Isya. Walter learned that Ciar hadn't realized Walter was pledging himself to Ciar's service and he gave permission for Walter to leave with the group, and just asked him to check in with the person in charge of the Moat Rebellion camp for him and let him know they're willing to meet up—he told Walter that Esben would know the location that Ciar's camp will be travelling to. Dru said farewell to his Nomad friends. After saying goodbye to (and expressing his interest in) Inok last session, Declan took this time to say a goodbye to Arka and, surprisingly, Grisha. Declan admitted that when he first heard the rumors of Grisha he had a bad opinion, but that Grisha has been nothing but helpful and caring to Declan and those he cares about. Grisha pointed out that all the rumors of his deeds are true, that he is still that person, and Declan said that sometimes they all had to be monsters (surprising Grisha and Soreza, who was nearby, both). Declan offered Grisha a hug and Grisha accepted. 

 

With their goodbyes out of the way, the party travels toward the place the Moat Rebellion Camp is supposed to be. They are laid up in a cave for a day as another hail and thunder storm passes through, and so it takes two and a half days to approach the place. They rein in out of sight of the camp when they spot smoke, and Esben and Sina try to scout ahead. 

 

Sina realizes someone is sneaking up on her, and she turns and pounces on her stalker, punching him in the face. They end up wrestling on the ground, with Sina trying to stab him before she is disarmed and kicked in the face, pinned to the ground with her own knife. Esben and a Nomad appear after this scuffle, and while the Nomad tries to attack Esben, Sina's attacker recognizes him. He gets off of Sina and stops the Nomad. Esben pokes some fun at Sina's opponent, commenting on his bloody nose. Amends and introductions are made, and the man is introduced as Cairbre, the Guild Master to an Assassins branch. He introduces the Nomad as Sashok. They are both a part of the Moat Rebellion group. 

 

Meanwhile, Declan, Dru and Walter had stayed behind with the horses and hear someone approaching. When the person is close enough he calls out to the group so he doesn't get attacked, and it is revealed to be Lir. When Lir finds out that the party sent scouts ahead he runs into the woods, telling the party to stay there. Dru, of course, follows at a leisurely pace. They come across the group in the woods and Cairbre says if they collect the rest of the party they'll lead them into the camp. Dru recognizes Cairbre as the one he stopped on the road a long time ago to deliver a message to Esben. 

 

The camp is trashed. There is a lot of blood spilled in the grass and four graves dug (one with blood poured on it), and a large dirt pit with the bodies of enemy soldiers burning in it. None of the party asks who died, but Dru does confirm with Lir that Rioghan is injured but okay. They are informed there was an attack two days ago, and that they believe a Nomad sold them out. Sashok gets upset when this is brought up, showing a lot of anger and some guilt.

 

After the party surveys the camp, they are brought to the place where it has been moved. Most of the people there are injured, and there are two medics and one Healer milling around camp tending to the people. There are also three captives, and Walter recognizes one of them as Isadore Lovett, a childhood fencing friend. Walter keeps his back to the captives so as not to be recognized yet.

 

Esben goes to speak to someone and Walter finds out from Cairbre that it is that person who is in charge. He and Sina wait until Esben is done talking to him. Dru finds Rioghan immediately and asks her what happened while Declan listens in nearby. As far as they can tell, a Nomad betrayed them—but everyone is shaky on the details because no one has heard of a Nomad ever going against the Tribe before. They cannot fathom a reason one would do so. Four members of the camp were also taken captive, including Rossi and another Assassin Guild Master.

 

After Dru gets information from Rioghan, Declan takes him aside to inform him that he suspects Sashok may be the traitor, due to his reaction at the previous camp site. Dru believes that the traitor was probably a part of Sashok's group, rather than Sashok himself, but told Declan he can continue to be suspicious if he feels Sashok may be the one. 

 

Once Esben is done speaking to the leader, introduced as Shad (another Assassin Guild Master), Walter does so. He makes sure Shad is filled in on everything and it appears Esben has filled him in. Walter also tells Shad that he knows the captive Isadore (Walter also told Shad and Cairbre that Isadore had to be a captain, though the captive had not declared himself so). Walter offers to question Isadore, and Shad agrees. 

 

The questioning does not go well. Isadore is convinced he cannot be allowed to live as he has seen the inner workings of the camp. Walter wonders why he was not blindfolded and the answer he gets is "we were busy". Isadore teases one of the onlookers, who is revealed to be the Captain of Garrison Teal, Damhnait Lund. Isadore admits that he isn't sure if the others would keep captives alive as he doesn't know the ones in charge of the enemy force. He refuses to give any other information. He then tells Walter that if he really wants to talk, he should send the others away and talked privately. 

 

Vanja and Bedelia (the others guarding the captives) move the two soldiers away and everyone gives Walter and Isadore space. Isadore asks Walter about his issues (since Walter gave hints that he was not pleased with his situation on the other side). Walter explains what happened with Moat and the refugees, and Isadore remains unconvinced that Moat was not working with Nomads as they've been charged. He also says that Garrison Gold (his garrison) was staying out of things until Teal joined the rebellion. Isadore also informs Walter that Silvain Battier was killed in battle, and Ashby Keswick is Captain of Garrison Green. Isadore says he is not a Captain because he didn't want the job and refused it. He gives Walter a tempting offer: set him and the other soldiers free and he can help Walter sort out this "treason" business. Walter is on the fence at the end of their conversation, but when he returns to Shad he mentions he could pretend to set Isadore free to travel with him and infiltrate the other side of the conflict. (He also offered to be traded along with the soldiers (making the trade for captives an even one-for-one), but Shad immediately shuts that down.)

 

Meanwhile, Dru is visiting with Lir and Rioghan and Esben, and invites Sina and Declan over to enjoy the fire with them. Declan has offered his services to the medics and been directed to an injured soldier named Berit who has a leg injury. As far as Declan can tell it will heal as long as she keeps the weight off of it. He joins Dru, Sina and Esben at the fireside after that. 

 

While the group is enjoying the fire, Dionisia comes out of the woods, with a Nomad joining her. As soon as one of the medics (the youngest of the camp, around 15) sees the Nomad, she begins to scream. Dionisia doesn't respond to the questions she's asked and the Nomad charges forward and stabs the screaming girl. While the group at this fire prepares to fight, two more people appear out of the woods by the other fire. The party soon realizes that the attacking allies are most likely zombies. They begin to fight, with the attackers showing no sign of feeling pain. 

 

During the fight, two more people sneak into the camp closer to the captives, and by the time Walter spots them the two guards have been shot and are down. As he watches, Damhnait is also shot with an arrow and falls to the ground. The other figure begins to untie Isadore, and Walter doesn't say anything—no one else seems to notice. 

 

Sashok runs from Walter's fire to the other, throwing himself at the Nomad and dragging them both to the ground where he starts to rip into him with daggers. "Granny", the other medic, has pulled the girl away and Bjarke had pulled Rioghan out of the way of combat as well, since she is still injured. During the fight, Rioghan noticed the captives being freed and moved to stop it. She was struck by an arrow as Dru turned as well, and Dru screamed for Lir as he charged the bowman. 

 

The captives escaped, and the bowman retreated last with his bow trained on Dru. Walter set himself up to intercept, knocking Dru to the ground and shielding his body with his own as Dru threw a dagger and leaped into an attack. The bowman shot but missed both Dru and Walter, and then he escaped while Walter held Dru down. Lir, meanwhile, went straight to Rioghan. 

 

As soon as he was let up, Dru ran for the horses. Sina and Declan met him there, and Esben rushed over to hold a hand up and stop Dru from chasing the enemy party. He didn't try to grab the reins, but he did tell Dru that he might get Sina and Declan killed rushing into what may be a trap, with no idea how many enemies were really out there. Dru decided not to give chase.

 

None of the people shot with arrows were moving, and the medics and Healer went to work immediately. In the middle of it, Dru leapt at Walter in a rage, trying to hit his collarbone with the hilt of a dagger. Walter blocked with his sword and managed to smash Dru's head with his pommel. The young medic then yelled at them to "get the fuck out of the way". Esben waded in and grabbed Dru from behind, dodging the blow Dru tried to land on him before he realized who was grabbing him. 

 

Esben dragged Dru away while Walter (with Declan) retreated across camp. Esben pulled out his own dagger and offered Dru a blood duel and take his grievances out on him, but Dru turned his back and walked away to sharpen his blades at the fire. Esben went to offer his aid to the medics, with whom the Assassins were comparing notes on poisons. 

 

While this was going on, Sina was comforting Sashok who had begun to vomit and sob after the Nomad's corpse stopped moving. He muttered that it was wrong for the Necromancers to raise the bodies of his people without express permission. Sina learned that a ritual would be performed and some blood given to show the Necromancer had a right to claim the body if needed. Sina also got the name of the Nomad who had betrayed the group: "Olezhka". The Nomad who had been turned into a zombie, Kolyan, had been a friend of Sashok—as had the traitor.

 

After calming, Dru made his way to Walter and Declan and fell on his knees, crying and apologizing. Sashok told Sina to go to him and she did, and both Declan and Sina put a hand on Dru's shoulders to comfort him. Walter just glared coldy at Dru and said “You’re welcome”.

 

Session ended, we’ll maybe find out if the fallen allies will live next week!

 

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