Csaky and I, after winning our way over the dead body of an Orcish guard / citizen, make our way over the outer wall of the palace.
You’d think Avenger would pause longer over this crisis of conscience, but give the equanimity with which Avenger dealt with, you know, every single other killing in this series, I think he’s going to be okay.
- Csaky points out a hippogriff symbol, as carved into one of the bricks;
- She states (presumably with the accompanying implications) that only someone from our purportedly mutual lineage can open the ‘secret stairway’
- My hand, when placed on the brick, opens the hatchway, and we observe the resulting passage.
- Each stair of the revealed staircase contains a symbol indicate of my god and my background.
Aside : Right about now is when Csaky should make some suitably humiliating admission that I was completely right (about my identity), and that she was totally in the wrong to doubt me. No such luck, apart from a generic statement that “I will help you any way I can, cousin.”
Gee, thanks. Typical of younger family member, amirite??
Having let Csaky off lightly for the crime of doubting the Overlord of Irsmuncast, she now avoids further comment and leads the way ahead of me down the mysterious staircase.
At the base of the staircase, Csaky purportedly picks the lock of the main door at the bottom, but there are no obvious prisoners behind the door.
Aside : Why I would have expected Dore (or anyone else) to be kept ‘prisoner’ right behind the secret door is mystifying, but let me just confirm that he wasn’t there (No duh).
Csaky and I exchange a meaningful glance (get your mind out of the gutter – she’s my cousin) and we ponder which of the two apparent choices we should select. We can either:
- Move through the servants’ quarters to an apparent secret entrance on the ground floor; or
- Move through a route normally reserved for foreign emissaries towards a secret stairwell on a ‘higher’ floor.
Well, my normal preference would be to move through a path that was less frequently travelled. You would therefore think that a passage for foreign officials would be more appropriate than the servants’ quarters. Therefore, that’s the way we go.
Csaky (please FSM, don’t make me type that too many more times) and I sneak up a marble staircase, adorned with ceremonial suits of armour. We then ‘creep’ through a carpeted drawing-room with various tapestries depicting other cities and historic events. While the two of us gossip about past events, we hear the approach of guards. Csaky (without, I might mention, referring to me) hurries towards the window with her rope / grappling hook combo. I can either follow her or hide behind a nearby suit of armour.
Since jumping our the window defeats the whole purpose of, you know, penetrating the palace, I decide that discretion is the better part of valour and hide my muscled form behind a proximate suit of armour.
A patrol of shieldmaidens spots me almost immediately, doubtless because of my piercing green eyes, which are impossible to hide in the background of the room. A cry goes up of ‘Imposter’! and various soldiers subdue me, costing me (in the resulting struggle) 5 points of Endurance in their clumsiness.
After a suitable period of biding my time (doubtless made more tolerable by singing excerpts from Les Miserables and reciting passages from Hamlet) Csaky makes her late but welcome appearance at my cell door, freeing me from this indignity.
After exchanging pithy comments, we decide to use the alternate route through the servants’ quarters.
And I leave you at this point, due to family guests who are starting to look askance at me as I type energetically away at the computer.
Stats : Endurance : 17, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5