Fable - Ask Terse Words

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Edric

The Warrior
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Vel Akaten
Eleanor

Edric leaned forward over the neck of his horse, the sound of thundering hooves echoing out from beneath and to the right.

They had been riding for nearly two days non-stop now, pushing the horses to near death. Only touches of magic and infusions of potions had kept the beasts going. It had been an utterly mad rush, hundreds of miles crossed in time that most would have considered impossible. Edric and his companion had ridden straight from Vel Anir to the very edges of the Aberresai Savannah.

The journey had not been an easy one. They'd avoided roads, cut far out of sight of towns and villages.

It had been a journey undertaken in haste, in stealth, and so quiet had reigned between the two of them.

Not that Edric minded that particular bit. On her best of days Eleanor had always been a bit of a...grump, and she was hardly what Edric would consider a conversational sparring partner. Though many of their peers would say the same of him. The two days had passed quickly, with only short stops for wolfed down meals and moments of relief.

"There!" Edric finally spoke, the first word that either of them had uttered in half a day. Fingers tightened on reigns, pulling taught as he slowed the gallop of horse. The great beast didn't hesitate, Anirian training drawing it to a full stop mere feet away from the edge of a cliff. Edric leaned back, patting the beasts neck, his gaze flickering down into the valley below.

There he saw what they had been sent for; Vel Akaten.

The city lay nestled into the side of a cliff, a great wall shielding it's only exposed flank. Yet that was not what caught Edric's gaze, no. It was the hundreds of bonfires flickering out around the metropolis' defenses that caught his eye. "Shit."

Edric breathed quietly. "We're too late."

His hand reached up, fingering the leather pouch on his belt that contained the letter they had been given. It had been meant for the Governor of Vel Akaten, a message of support, that an army was coming to help defend against the threat of the marching tribesman. A message that was now blocked.

Slowly Edric looked towards Eleanor.

"We should sneak in." Edric stated, his voice firm.
 

Eleanor

Red Dead Dreadkid
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Edric irritated Eleanor much like many of fellows, but as long as he wasn't complaining nonstop...she could stand him. He was actually one of the few people she liked, if she was being honest. He was blunt and did not give a shit what people thought about it or him. At least that is what he showed everyone, she had never seen the need to talk to him about anything outside of school business. He also never pushed her to talk and she appreciated that more than he could even know.

The last year had been extra hard for her between Zana abandoning and their new way of life, Ella did not want to be forced into idle chitchat like some of the prospects tried with her. She thought her resting bitch face was great, but others missed the hints.

Ella pulled the reigns of her horse and came to a quick stop next to Edric. Peering in the direction of Vel Akaten, she cursed at the same time he did. The fires that were blazing around the city meant that their job just got a little bit harder...and a little more exciting.

As exhausted as Ella was, she did not let it show. Instead, she nodded as a mischievous smirk crossed her lips. She had been far too stifled this last year and she was excited to not have a proctor watching her like a hawk.

"Yes, we should," her voice was equally firm as she tried to hide her excitement.

Edric
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Edric looked at Eleanor, a small smirk pulling at his lips. "Glad we agree."

Dorian or Davi would have argued, that weird Pirian girl would have shat herself at the very prospect. Suddenly he was very glad that it had been Eleanor sent alongside him. No arguments, not yet anyway.

His head tilted back towards the camp in front of them, gaze flickering over the distant walls. The Academy did not just teach one how to fight. They drilled tactics, strategy into your brain nothing else. Sometimes the classes had been worse than the beatings, at least until the Revolution. Now they both tended to be boring.

For a few moments Edric remained silent, and then he glanced back towards Eleanor.

"Ditch the horses." He began. "Sneak to the edge of camp, steal some clothes, then scale the wall?"

It all sounded so easy, but the Initiate knew that no plan survived for long.
 

Eleanor

Red Dead Dreadkid
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Ella pondered Edric's plan for a few moments. It sounded easy enough, but this wasn't the first mission she had been on so she knew full well that plans didn't like to go to plan. That was life and Ella loved the unknown of what was going to happen especially after everything had become to mundane lately.

"Straight forward, I like it," she said matter of factly. It was easier to adjust a simple plan when things went sideways. "Do we want to ditch the horses here or try to get closer first?"

She was trying to gauge their distance. There was a little room for them to get closer, but she wasn't sure the kind of scouts they had. She quickly withdrew her question, "nevermind, we ditch them here. Better to walk a little further versus possibly missing a scout."

Ella was already dismounting as she finished speaking. She absently stretched and tried to regain normal feeling to her extremities. Her body was sore from the non stop riding and she was actually glad to be out of the saddle for a bit.
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Edric pulled himself out of the saddle, landing gracefully on his feet before quickly turning and rooting through his saddlebags.

A moment passed before he pulled out the sealed scroll that they had been given, and then two sets of knives. Both were quickly stored, one in his pack and the other on the small of his back. He shifted, turning to Eleanor for a moment. "Should probably get rid of these."

He said, gesturing towards the Dreadlord sigil upon his shoulder.

Fingers dug into the fabric around the emblem, dragging the piece of metal free with a quick rip. The sound of tearing cloth echoes out, and then a moment later Edric threw the sigil onto the ground.

"We'll need a story for if we get caught." He said as he shouldered his pack, motioning for Eleanor to follow him down into the valley. "Siblings? Come to join the fight?"

It was a good a tale as any, though of course Edric failed to think about their stark difference in both complexion and hair color.
 
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Eleanor

Red Dead Dreadkid
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Ella had ridden with her knives already on her body. She did not like being caught unawares and unready for any fights. She sighed and followed Edric's lead by pulling off her own sigil. The last thing they needed if they got caught was to have any kind of identification on them.

"Edric, let's think about this for second," she spoke as she took situated her back and started after him. Once she was matching his stride, she finished. "We look nothing alike. Not even a tad similar to be half siblings. We could say we are together..." But even as the words left her mouth, she grimaced. She would be worse at lying about that than siblings.

"How bout we stick with friends who want to join the fight so we ran away?" She shrugged. Friends seemed like a safer option all around. They walked in silence for a few minutes. "I just need eye sight to get some clothes. No need to go into the tents if we do not need to." She was not sure how much he had ever paid attention to her magic.
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Edric looked over at Eleanor as she suggest that the two of them could be 'together'. His gaze flickered up and down her form for a moment, and he tried unsuccessfully to keep a grimace from his face.

I prefer blondes. He thought to himself, for once biting his tongue.

Eleanor was his partner on this, and the last thing he needed was for her to find a reason to stab him in the back. "Sure, friends. From Athey."

That was a small town just outside of Anirian lands. Once it had been a thriving trade city, though over the last few decades their prestige had waned. In no small part that was due to their refusal to deal with Anirian traders and merchants. Something the two Initiates had learned about in class back at the Academy.

Slowly the two of them walked down into the valley, the sounds of the enemy camp growing louder as Eleanor brought up the clothes.

He glanced at her for a moment, then nodded.

"Just down this ridge." Edric motioned towards a craggy outcropping, quickly following a bare path as the two of them crept forward.

Not long after the light of bonfires began to erupt through the underbrush, and soon after the two Initates found themselves staring at the enemy encampment.
 

Eleanor

Red Dead Dreadkid
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At least they both agreed that the prospect of even acting like they were together was a terrible idea. Eleanor nodded in agreement at the town they were supposedly from. She hoped they would not have to spin any tales, but they were prepared if it came to that.

Ella’s eyes studied the encampment as she calculated their entry and exit points. It seemed that the tribesmen had three or four tents around each bonfire with a few nearby that the light did not touch as much. They were probably used for supplies that did not need much heat or light. Those would be the ones that they needed to hit first.

Eleanor pointed towards one of the darker tents on the outskirts of the encampment. “Those tents are most likely supply tents. I can either try to go through the front or we can make a path through the back.” The latter left less room for any mistakes since a patrol would see the cut easily, however the former also meant they had more of a chance to be seen.

She peered over Edric to see what he thought of the plan.
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Edric considered for a moment, crouching besides Eleanor.

His gaze flickered through the encampment, watching the silhouettes of men walk around different bonfires. Most of them wore simple clothes, leathers, though he spotted a few with chainmail. He thought that odd, most tribesmen didn't like wearing heavy armor.

A frown touched his lips, but he pushed his thoughts towards the task at hand. "The back."

He said quietly.

"This army is big enough that even if they find it they'll likely think its just someone skimming." That made sense in this sort of scenario, and was a surprisingly apt thing for Edric to say. Most of the others thought him a blowhard fool. One who hardly paid attention to the details.

After a moment he glanced at Eleanor. "Give the word."

He told the other Initiate, this was her plan after all.
 
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Eleanor

Red Dead Dreadkid
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Eleanor nodded. She agreed, the back was the better way to go. She just wished they would actually have time to find clothes that would fit. That was not going to happen though. They were going to get what they got. Probably too big for Ella and too small for Edric.

Ella smiled at Edric's reason for there to be a cut in a tent. It made sense and eased her mind slightly. He was right. Honestly , she was never one of the apprentices who thought Edric was an idiot. He just saved up his moments of brilliance until the right time versus being one of the annoying know it all students.

"I am going to need you to cut the tent and hold it so I can get a little light in there." She was glad she would not have to go in without a light on her because with her luck, she would end up tripping over something. The light from outside would be enough for her to find what she needed. Edric had his orders and she tapped his shoulder to go. She would be a few seconds behind him so the tent would be ready for her.
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Back home Edric was known for bucking authority, pushing back, always trying to get the edge over Proctors and other students.

It was the reputation that clung to him. The one who didn't follow the rules, who would take punishment just to see what would come next. Yet he knew that this was no place for it. This mission was important, lives depended on them.

That was all that mattered.

He felt Eleanor tap him on the shoulder, and almost immediately he dashed forward. Some of the foliage around them seemed to wilt, life escaping them as Edric used them as fuel. He dashed across the small gap between the underbrush and the encampment, moving far faster than any human had a right to.

Within the span of a breath the Initiate was crouching besides the back of the tent. His head whirled left, then right. A knife slipped from the small of his back, and with one smooth stroke he cut through the cloth of the tent.

Half a second later he turned, motioning towards Eleanor.
 

Eleanor

Red Dead Dreadkid
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Eleanor watched Edric move lightning fast across the opening and to the tent. The glint of the steel caught her eye as she saw the slit form in the once whole fabric. She waited for her partner to turn and motion before she took off towards him.

Ella was not nearly as fast as his superhuman speed but she made it quick enough and she heard no alerts to their presence. As Edric held open the flap, she used the light to focus on the various boxes and stacks of supplies. A stack of something that looked like leather and cloth snagged her attention. She could only hope that it was what she needed.

Again, she was thankful for not having to go into the tent since there were piles of boxes between her and the pile she needed. She reached out with both of her hands towards the pile she needed. She did not need both hands to control the items, but it would make it easier to grab and go without having to resituate. The pile flew towards her almost as fast as Edric had moved earlier and she caught them against her chest.

She turned to Edric and nodded. She was not sure where he would want to change, but they could not stay here much longer. They maybe only had a few minutes before a patrol walked by.
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Edric looked around for a brief moment, then quickly motioned towards Eleanor.

He took some of the clothes that she had lifted from the tent, sizing out which he could wear before quickly passing the rest of the bundle back towards her.

Then without a second of hesitation Edric began to strip to his small clothes.

Modesty was for the students of Elbion. They were soldiers, not here to stare at each other like children. The heavy leather armor that he had been wearing was thrown to the floor, quickly followed by his shirt and then trousers. Stolen clothes replaced them, his head swiveling every few seconds to watch for oncoming guards.

Within just a few seconds his wardrobe was entirely replaced, the only thing remaining being the heavy leather belt with his blades and pouch. Into the latter he stuffed the scroll they had been given.

"Alright le-" Just as he spoke, a voice called out in the darkness behind one of the tents.

"Hey! Anyone there?"
 

Eleanor

Red Dead Dreadkid
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Eleanor found some clothes that would do for her. They were slightly large looking, but she did not have time to be picky right now. She could use her belt to cinch in what needed sizing down.

Like Edric, Ella did not hesitate before she started to strip down. Perhaps normal teenagers would get weird and giggly about any form of nudity but neither Edric nor Ella were normal teenagers. She did not even know how normal teenagers acted when she thought about it.

She pulled on the shirt and then the pants in quick succession. The belt was tightened around her waist and she looked at Edric again. They had both taken about the same amount of time and now they were ready for the next phase of their plan.

"Hey! Anyone there?"

Ella froze and looked at Edric with a smile and raised eyebrow. Her raised brow asked that simple question of try to get out of dodge or fight...
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Edric's eyes flickered up gaze meeting Eleanor's. There was a sternness in his eyes, a signal.

Something spiked through him. Not fear. Not terror. A rush. A thought. This was a chance to prove themselves, that they could show they were ready to be Dreadlords. He looked over to Eleanor, hoping that she would read him, hoping that she knew to stop the man from screaming with her magic.

"Ay-aye." Edric said, throwing sheepishness into his tone.

"We are..." Steps rang out in the dirt, and torch-light cast over the two Initiates as a man with a hand on his sword stepped into view. He wore chain-mail, strangely enough, and almost immediately looked Edric and Eleanor up and down.

"What the hell are you doing out here? You're supposed to be by the fires."​

A smile touched Edric's face. "Well you see...uhh...we were just..."

The Dreadlord gestured to Eleanor, as if in signal. Then suddenly darted forward. The knife flicked from the back of his belt in an instant, his steps sending him surging forward.

He just hoped Eleanor could gag the man before he screamed.
 

Eleanor

Red Dead Dreadkid
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Eleanor was already reaching for one of the discarded shirts with her magic by the time she saw Edric move. They may not have worked together one on one like this often, but they knew how to communicate effectively when it was required. Ella's hand was a blur as she threw the shirt at the man who had just opened his mouth to say something.

The two kids were too fast for him though, his surprise and chainmail slowing him down slightly. Ella used her power to shove the shirt into his mouth until it was stuck. She was pretty sure she had forced his jaw almost to the point of breaking. He would not be able to remove the shirt without some serious effort and Edric was already there to make sure that would not happen.
 
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Edric

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Edric's blade found purchase only seconds after Eleanor gagged the man.

The knife point stuck through the man's throat. It dragged quickly over his neck as Edric swung himself around and grasped the back of the man's head. A choked gurgle escaped the man, but within seconds of encountering the two Dreadlord Initiates he lay sprawling on the floor as little more than a corpse.

Blood seeped onto the ground, but Edric quickly grabbed his legs and began to drag him towards the bushes. "Good job."

Edric said quickly.

Eleanor had read his intent surprisingly well, and if they could pull that off for the rest of this mission they might even succeed. A few moments later the Initiate tucked away the other man's body, taking the sword from his belt and strapping it to his own hip.

"Make a b-line through the camp?" He asked Eleanor. "Or…"

A smile touched his lips. "...Overachieve a little bit?"

They were really only supposed to deliver the message, but why not have a little fun while they were here?
 
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Eleanor

Red Dead Dreadkid
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Eleanor felt some of the mans warm blood hit her cheek and she lips formed a wicked smile as she watched him hit the ground. Some blood had hit the left side of her liberated shirt as well. She quickly pulled the shirt off over her head, wiped her face, and grabbed the last shirt in the pile. It was the same size as the pervious one. She did all this as Edric drug the body to its new resting spot in the bushes.

Ella was tucking the clean shirt into her belt when he turned to her with the type of smile that promised mischief and misery. "I feel like we should behave, but I am really tired of all the behaving we have been forced to do this past year..." Her words lingered as she walked towards him. Some of the dead mans blood that she had missed was already starting to dry on her cheek.
 
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Edric

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A wicked grin spread across Edric's lips.

Over the last year things had changed so much. The Academy was a pallid reflection of what it had once been. The tests they were given were half of what they had once been. The missions they were sent on were so restrained.

The idea of getting to cut loose? The thought of finally being able to do what they had been trained to do?

It practically made him giddy. "You know."

He said with a smirk, taking a step forward.

"I may just be starting to like you, El." What a relief that he didn't have Dorian or Sable tagging along. They probably would have objected to all of this. Either a sneak attack wouldn't have enough honor to it or walking into the enemy camp would have been too dangerous. "Let's cause some mayhem."

The Initiate said with a smirk, stepping towards the camp with a plan already in his head.
 

Eleanor

Red Dead Dreadkid
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Eleanor's smile did not falter at all as Edric spoke. "You are growing on me too, Edric." She knew he was trouble, but she was so sick and tired of being held back that she was down to follow him into the chaos. She might be afraid of some sort of punishment when they got back to the Academy for deviating from the mission if it weren't for the fact that punishments were a joke now.

"I think this may be the start of a beautiful friendship." Ella bent down and took the dagger from the dead mans belt and stuck it in her own. She stood back up and started towards the camp after Edric. "What's the plan?"
 
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Edric

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One thing that had always been stressed back at the academy was the strategies of a siege. Vel Anir had always been state of a war, and during it's many campaigns the city expected it's Dreadlords to be more than simple soldiers.

They were weapons. Used to carve into the enemy and wipe away resistance. They were taught to kill, but more than that they were taught to disable and pick apart the enemy piece by piece. That was their role in war. To be more than the others. So where did one start with an army? An enemy made up of thousands?

Easy; the food.

"I was thinking we'd visit the main supply tent." He mused, his voice dropping as they passed some of the tents on the edge of the encampment. "Start a little fire."

He doubted that would end the siege. "Then we can make sure some of the officers don't wake up for morning duties."

Whoever was leading this army likely had protection. So it'd be better, smarter, to chisel away at the foundations rather than topple the entire statue.

As they walked the confidence in Edric was practically radiant. After a year of being held back, twelve months of suffering under new restrictions, he was finally in his element. This was where he belonged. This was what they should be doing all along. He felt right.

He felt good.
 

Eleanor

Red Dead Dreadkid
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Eleanor was completely down for Edric's plan. Fire and murder were definitely up there on her list of fun things to do. She was already giddy with anticipation and she could see the change in Edric as well. This was the shit that they had been trained for, beaten for, tortured for their entire lives. Dismantling an army - even just a little - versus simply delivering a message and returning home.

"I like the sound of both of those items. I am also down for spreading fire into the smaller supply tents on our way out."
Her smile was so genuine that she forgot she was capable of doing it. She had hated everything and everyone since the changes and Zana abandoning her so getting to let loose was what she needed to feel like her old self.

"The supply tent should be somewhere in the second ring of tents around the main fire. They never place the food too far from the leadership." Her eyes studied the area as if calculating their best way to go without raising any alarms. "I think if we go down that left path and come in from behind, I can grab some of the fire and bring it to the tent." By grab some of the fire, she meant she would grab something that was in the fire and bring it over but she figured that was obvious.
 
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Edric

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Edric nodded as Eleanor spoke.

The logistics of all of this was simple enough. Where to go, what to do. The trouble would be actually getting there. As they moved into the camp Edric began to pay close attention to their surroundings. The men surrounding the fires, those who walked between small cadres of tents.

"Sounds good." Edric said with a nod. The further they were from the tent when it went up in a blaze, the better it would be.

He frowned for a moment as they cut to the left, his eyes falling on a gaggle of guards standing in a large crowd. His eyes swept towards a pillar in the center of the group, lips thinning as he saw what was upon it. A man, dressed in an Anirian Guard uniform stood tied to a pole. His face was a bloody pulp, and most of his clothes had been torn by blades and cruel hands. Edric could feel the pulse of his life, but just barely.

For a moment stalled, biting his tongue. "Fucking savages."

He cursed under his breath.

"What'd you say?"

One of the men in the crowd turned around, his voice genuinely confused. As though he truly hadn't quite heard Edric.
 

Eleanor

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"The Anirians are fucking savages is what he said," Eleanor didn't miss a beat in answering the confused man that had addressed them. She shot a glare at Edric as her right hand went to the right side belt to start opening the pouch that held her twelve thin, razor sharp throwing knives.

A better idea formed in her head first. She caught sight of a torch just outside the ring of men and her hand shot out as fast as a striking snake. The torch was ripped from the ground and sent flying towards the man who had spoken. The torch hit him and a few seconds later, his thin cotton shirt had caught fire.

An angry smirk formed on Eleanor's face as she dropped the torch once she was satisfied with the flailing of the man sized flame. He was trying so hard to put himself out but instead he was spreading the fire to nearby men and even a tent.

She watched with narrow eyes as she grabbed another torch and repeated the process with another man who had tried unsuccessfully to flee the crowd.
 
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Edric

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"WITCH!"​

Edric's head turned almost immediately as the sound of someone's voice broke through the screams of men on fire. A man stood there, his finger up, pointed at Eleanor. His eyes were filled with rage, anger, and his mouth opened to shout a second time.

Before he had the opportunity Edric's hand balled into a fist.

The man's face seemed to contort into a silent scream, his eyes popping open as his skin grew taught and his whole body slumped to the ground. "Time to go."

Edric said as he gently grabbed Eleanor and pulled her to the left.

It seemed within the chaos that his companion had begun no one else had noticed her outstretched hand, something to be thankful for. He cast one glance over his shoulder, watching as the crowd surged in panic and began to spread it's chaos.

"Let's burn it all." He growled as he rushed forward. "WATER! QUICKLY! GET WATER! TO THE EXECUTION POST!"

Edric's voice joined the chorus of shouts, hopefully drawing people away from the supply tent and towards the flames Eleanor had already started.
 
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