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// This takes place the day that Ractrafiorez breaks the southern wall of Fort of Last Hope.

"What do you think?" Razeriem frowned as he passed the looking glass back to Hardragh.

Hardragh took a look, scanning the areas of the town visible from the small farmhouse they had moved up into to get a better look at what lay ahead.

"I can't see much, a few towns folk moving around. Wait, there they are. Looks like some Cult regulars walking around the town, probably a patrol. We could send in some of the peasant enlistments, they can probably blend better and maybe speak to a few of the locals and find out what numbers we have to deal with."

Razeriem took the eyeglass back and looked once again. Slowly a smile spread across his face.

Hardragh grinned, "Or maybe not."

Razeriem snapped the looking glass shut, "Nothing like a brisk attack against unknown odds."

The two men withdrew from the house to where their horses and a half a dozen guards waited for them. Razeriem spoke to three of them.

"Herrin, go back to Sergeant Alkis tell him to bring his peasant regulars marching up the main road straight towards Prim. Make as much noise as you can, wave the banners around, whatever it takes. But loud."

"Loyd, you ride over to Lieutenant Jarnon and get him to take the cavalry round to the southern side of the city into those trees over there and wait for my signal. Then he is to charge into the town from that side."

"Jayk, I want you to tell Corporal Hayden to break the remaining infantry into units of forty men and march them in formations across the fields towards Prim behind the peasant enlistments."

The three men saluted casually, since Razeriem was not the type for many of the typical military accoutrements.

"So what are we doing?" Hardragh asked.

Razeriem gave him a cheeky grin, "We? We're going to go and knock on the door."

Together, followed by the remaining four guards their small group allowed their horses to walk forward along the main road to the city. As they drew closer they could see small guard posts set at many of the street entrances to the city with figures moving about in them.

As they drew even closer, to within a hundred metres of the first guard post a loud din began to arise down the road further back. Razeriem glanced behind him to see the several hundred peasants of his thousand strong army marching in columns, banners held high, voices yelling at the top of their lungs. Furthern back spread out in ten groups and advancing across the fields and dishevelled farms in outlying Prim came his Nesar regular infantrymen. He also trusted that the small cavalry force was now moving into position amongst the trees.

The noise of the peasants stirred Prim into action. The few townsfolk on the streets fled into their homes and suddenly Drachs and Cult regulars began rushing around to take their positions to defend the large town. One man, a tall Drach stepped forward commanding them to stop about 30 metres from the Cult lines into the town.

"This is a city of Kuhl, you are not welcome here, turn your army around and leave or we will slaughter you all."

Razeriem stepped down from his horse and walked towards the man hands out to show he held no weapon. The Drach appeared confident in his own abilities and only told Raz to halt when he was several feet from him.

With a flourish Raz bowed to the man and gave him his most winning smile.

"My good man, I'm simply here to rescue many damsels in distress. I was well informed that you people might know where I can find some."

The Drach looked momentarily off guard then resumed his tough stance.
"My commands stand, you will not have this town. It belongs to Kuhl. leave or die."

"My good man, I'm afraid we can't do that." His voice took on a harder tone. "You see I will rescue those damsels with or without your help. I really dont care if you die here I'm sure by the time I finish with your men at least one of them will give me what I want."

"Why you.." The Drach drew a large blade and moved to strike Raz down then stumbled and glanced down in suprise as the tip of Raz's rapier, pushed through his boiled leather armour and penetrated his heart with deadly speed and accuracy.

The area exploded into movement as Hardragh shouted a warning then leapt off his own saddle to face a group of crossbowers levelling their bows at Razeriem. His voice burst forth and the entire group fell to the ground blood pouring from their eyes and ears, their nose and mouths. Each one of them dead.

One of Raz's guards suddenly sounded a loud horn and the attack began.

The peasants started to run towards the city, the infantry jogged in formations towards it as well. More and more drach soldiers converged on the western edge of the town to face the incoming Nesar soldiers and as they did so the Cavalry swept in from the south driving up the narrower southern road and overrunning the cult positions, trampling the soldiers into the ground with the hooves of their warhorses and driving towards the heart of the town.

Razeriem and Hardragh lashed out with magic, voice and blades as they cut their way through the forward defences of the Cult. It seemed that the Cult had left merely a holding force at the town, a handful of Drachs and a larger handful of general Kuhl soldiers. By the time the peasant army reached the entrance to the town they fell upon those wounded or had somehow managed to escape Hardragh and Raz's dramatic advance.

Soon the infantry hit the western edge of the town, groups of forty men and women advancing through every street, encountering fleeing Cult soldiers here and there and other pockets of resistance.

The Cavalry narrowed their columns into the town and pushed to wards the main square. Driving smaller elements of the Cult forces before them and crushing those who fell in the street.

Within an hour Hardragh and Razeriem stood in the centre square of the large town. The cavalry were arrayed around the southern edge of the courtyard and infantrymen stood guard over two hundred Kuhl soldiers who had surrendered while the peasant enlisted folk began going door to door to let the townsfolk know they were safe.

Soon after Razeriem met with the Mayor of the town and learn't the news that every women and girl child in the town had been taken north soon after the Cult had captured the town.

The only good news was that a dozen women and children had been able to be kept hidden during the occupation.

As their men secured each part of the city and hunted for any remaining cult soldiers Razeriem and Hardragh interrogated several of the prisoners before making plans for their next move.  (PM sent)

Hardragh looks for Razeriem when he has some spare time in between his responsibilities.

"You know, I vaguely recall a Nesarran demon hunter falling to the Cult, perhaps this Marnasan is the same one." He shows an amused smirk. "Reckon I don't envy your command. We have no idea what their timetable is on the transfer to either Tulam or Zolinar. But it seems to me that waiting for the other forces at the lake and making a slow march to Sundance, is akin to chasing a horseman on foot. Depends on whatever this 'processing' might involve perhaps."

He takes a moment to look north. "Not that the Kuhl Forest is any better mind you, though it might grant some cover. Ohh, and reckon we should take a look at the equipment of the Cult's forces we captured or killed? They've no use for it, so you might want to scavenge what we can."

"You're a barrel of fun you know that? I'm proud of us, we took a lightly defended town from the Cult.  It's a great start, and I am already formulating a plan.

Truth is, we better hope Cyn Chen shows up somewhere other than near us or we won't get a chance at freeing those slaves.  But no point worrying about that.  What i do have in mind however involves those uniforms from the captured prisoners.  Before we leave we are taking all the uniforms with us. They just might come in useful before this is done.

You have a better plan? If not I am going to march us up to Lake Tempest and set up camp.  Once that is done we are going to start sending scouts into southern Hilm and find out what the Cult has going on there.  Once we have an idea, we will send those scouts north to Sundance and see what is going on there.  We need to find out where the Cult armies are, what's going on in Sundance and where the slaves are exactly.  Once we do that, I'll come up with some madly brilliant plan that will bring us to the brink of disaster and give us a chance at the big coup.  *grins at Hardy* And you know that is exactly why you joined up with me.  You know I am crazy enough to try and you hope I'm dangerous enough to pull it off.  In any case, you know it'll be fun trying.

I'd like to find a way to try to get to those friendly forces in the forest and get them to join us.  Especially before those Corathites get to them.  But the slaves are the priority.  As for the  Fort Commander's time table  *raz grins again* we will see.

*During a break in conversation with Hardy, Raz orders his troops to prepare to march to Lake Tempest and to strip all the prisoners of their uniforms and take them with us.  Any servicable uniforms from the fallen and or storehouses in town.  Scouts are from this day to be given the option of taking a Cult uniform to wear at their discretion while on scout assignment.*

// 6 days after the recapture of Prim

True to their words Razeriem and Hardragh set out on the second day after recapturing Prim from the Cult leaving a handful of regular soldiers with a larger group of peasant infantry to watch the prisoners in Prim until soldiers from Holar were to arrive several days hence.

By evening of that day as the column of roughly 700 stopped and were making camp guards suddenly raced to Raz and Hardragh to tell them of a stranger at the edge of the camp.

Sensing the mens fear both Hardragh and Razeriem followed them to find a hulking brute of a man bearing a massive double headed axe and a surly temper. Hardargh grinned immediately and exchange greetings with the Half-Orc.

"Bout time you showed up, I'm afraid you've missed most of the fun but your just in time to dig the latrines for us."

Gork grunted in his usual fashion throwing a light travel pack at one of the guards near him watching him nervously.

"You's not loose that pack or you's lose you head." Then he regarded Hardragh. "From the stink me thought you already dug them." A slight change in his tone the only thing the guards noticed but to Hardagh is was the closest Gork often came in general conversation to making a joke.

Gork and Raz regarded each other for a few moments as if sizing each other up before Raz politely piped up.

"Lord Gork, just so you know right from the start, I'm in charge here."

Gork grunted, "We's see."

Raz's smile faded partially until he saw Hardragh grinning at him and decided to take Gorks comment as another joke.

That night was spent filling Gork in on what had happened at Miritrix and then Prim while Gork explained that he'd arrived late at Miritrix and followed Raz's trail to Prim then finally caught up to them as they had camped for the night.

The next two days were spent travelling overland from Prim to the little used road that wound around Tempest lake and which then headed north, eventually reaching Sundance.

Finally, on the sixth day after capturing Prim their small column arrived at the designated campsight near the lake where Miritrix Fort Commander Sir Polamic was to be waiting.

Sir Polamic was indeed in the camp having arrived a day before but he had had three skirmishes with Cult troops trying to reach the region. Small groups that had crossed the border from Kuhl along the Sun River  to engage the Nesar soldiers heading north.

Thus on the seventh day out of Prims capture, Sir Polamic, Razeriem, Hardragh and Gork sat down to work out their plans for the next stage of their mission. A full 200 miles still to be covered by the army to reach Sundance and the potentiality of Cult groups crossing from the Kuhl forest to engage them on their left flanks as they tried to cover 200 miles of dry ground that marked the edges of the Roughlands on the Hilm side and the rich lush forests of Kuhl on the Kuhl side of the border.

Partway through the meeting guards approached escorting yet another elf into their midst. Tralek bowed nonchalantly and grinned as he saw Raz's face in the group before he joined them ready and eager to participate in what was to come.

// Missing person found! Thanks...

*Upon meeting with G'ork, Raz's face darkens and his tone goes acidic.*


What side are you on this time Merc? The Cult gain your ire because they stole all the children before you could?

Don't like the competition?

*Raz turns his head partially, looking to a more than likely smirking Hardraugh.*

He is your responsibility, I'd rather gut him.

*Raz return's his full focus to an imposing G'ork for any response before pointedly turning his back to G'ork, returning to the main company and ordering them to continue to the Lake.*

//Providing they don't come to blows, Raz goes about readying the troops. Spending time amongst them (and away from G'ork.)  In meetings Raz can continues to be cold and chiding to G'ork (more than likely to G'ork's amusement.)  Some assumptions made for ease and time constraints, rewrite available.


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