Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Siege of the White Mountain; Vol. 2: Fields Running Red--Part 54

Sir Jerome Ere--Chashmallim now, he would have to remember that--had returned back to Joyeuse after a hard day’s travel, and after saying… something to the people in the Chapterhouse, he had gotten into his bedroom, and slumped down for a rest, still clothed.

Which, as he was wearing chain mail, meant that he awoke with shoulders screaming in agony. There was a pounding in his head, which after a moment, he realized was caused by someone knocking on the door. “Wha… what?” he said groggily, wincing as he rose. He unfastened his mail and let it fall to the floor, giving himself a mental kick for not doing this when he got back, while his sore muscles thanked him briefly before going back to howling in agony.

“Sir,” came the voice on the other side of the door, “You--you said to call you if something happened?”

Jerome gave his arms a stretch. “I did?”

“Yes,” answered the voice. “When you told us you were now in charge…”

Jerome nodded dully. Apparently he’d been more out of his senses than even going to bed in chain mail indicated. “Ahh…” He adjusted his cloak. “So… something happened?”

The nervous silence from the other side of the door was less than reassuring. “Yes… Yes… Sir E… Chashmallim. Something… is happening.”

Jerome adjusted his robe, and then stepped out. A short young blond Eremite with a rather square face stood there, looking quite nervous. “Ahh. And what is happening…?” He looked at the young man inquisitively.

“Squire Yacob Erelim,” said the Eremite, standing as tall as he could during the salute. “Sworn to the service of the Ho--”

Jerome nodded, and immediately regretted doing that. “Right. Right. Now… what is happening?”

“It… it…” Yacob turned and beckoned Jerome to follow him. He lead Jerome to a window, and gestured outside.

Jerome looked to see dozens of soldiers clad in the livery of the Oriflamme marching through the streets.

“They came at morning,” said Yacob. “We think… we think some snuck in as merchants, some came with the Count as his guard, and the rest… the rest were let in by the ones who got in.” He gulped. “They… they claim to be working in the name of… Prince Pellinore and the Regents.”

Jerome nodded. “How many are there?”

“Hundreds! Hundreds!” squeaked Yacob. “They--they’re marching everywhere, and the people are letting them, and cheering, and…”

“Understood.” Jerome turned around and started to return to his chamber.

Yacob watched his new commander, clearly baffled. “Sir?”

“There are, you say, hundreds of these men,” said Jerome, “While we are patrolling this city with dozens of us. That being so…” He gave a shrug, then winced. “I am going to try and get some more sleep.”

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