The struggle continues upon the scaffold. The crowd, surprised by the turn of events mill and call. Some are angry about the death of Jaehanna and cry for blood — any blood. Others recognize Ixanti's heritage — the Daardenrian are well regarded in the western lands. Someone even calls out 'Little Feather,' a name that would be largely unknown outside of Ixanti's home.
Lyria cuts the ties binding Ixanti's hands and it's on. Hoerik, Lyria's current employer (former? SOME GUARD), disappears. As does the mysterious smoke conjuring Atreyu. Lilia springs into action (from underneath the gallows) and trips the trap door so Ixanti can fall through and escape. A rogue's gotta rogue. Ixanti grapples with a guard for his truncheon and wins handily. The guard tumbles off of the scaffolding, recovers, and beats feet away, limping. Is he fleeing? Or going to report? A little column A, a little column B.
Ixanti is having none of the escaping business. Signaling to Lyria, the young dragonborn unleashes her breath weapon. This is telegraphed by a deep inhalation and the guards — acutely aware that this was a possibilty — more or less fall all over themselves to get off of the platform. Two are seared in and out by the cloud of poisonous gas that Ixanti exhales. Knowing that she cannot breathe again soon, the guards now do what they could not before and form up into a phalanx just as the paladin and cleric charge them, ferocious. This phalanx proves convenient for Lyria, who procedes to knock them down one by one by one. GRRRR! The guards had trouble landing blows. Is their training that bad or were they merely fighting to a draw until reinforcements arrive? (Column A, Column B…)
Lyria and Ixanti battle fiercely (Quote of the game… Lyria: GRRR!!! Ixanti: You are a … strange little girl.) One of the remaining two guards decides that discretion is the better part of valor and flees. His fellow guardsman, standing strong, notes the lack of an ally and breaks, chasing after him. The shame… a murderer has slipped through their fingers! Ixanti makes for the river behind the scaffolding and dives in. Lyria gives chase and they carry on a 'conversation' shouted across the river before meeting on the bridge where Lyria gives the young dragonborn a mace.
Lilia, retreating from direct conflict, chases after the guardsman and braces him. It should be noted that STR 9 Lilia totally overpowers the guard. Lilia means business! Sadly, the guard doesn't know anything and she turns him loose so that she can follow him. He runs to the guard station and drums up reinforcements. Wanting to get more information about this strange affair — Lilia is in a unique position to know that Ixanti is innocent — she hustles into the Red Gremlin a tavern near the guard station, to get the word on the street. Word on the street is a recounting of the murder site which grows more and more gruesome in the retelling, taking on sinister proportions. Lilia saw the scene of the murder herself — she discovered it — but there weren't any of those… ritual elements… were there? It's all a bit of a blur…
Next time: (Spoiler Alert) Fugitives!