(121-03-26) Black Days
Black Days
Summary: In which vengeance rides into Dorne.
Date: 03/26/2014
Related: All tagged plot:wickhams_nest

The Red Mountains live up to their name this day, as the sun sinks toward the horizon on a bloody endeavor. A full two dozen men and horses pick over an uneven and treacherous winding goat path through the rocky crags and gravel-strewn slopes which form a formidable natural barrier between the lands of the Reach and those of Dorne. Sometimes going afoot and leading their steeds by the bridle, at others clinging to saddle horns in a tenuous balancing act, this expedition of revenge is now enduring the dangers that make a raid such as the one they plan possible, if only for sheer audaciousness. An errant step or sudden fall threatens doom for man and beast alike.

Alys besides the previous trip to the massacre site, Alys hasn't spent that much time outside of Old Town for a while. Glad that her cousin has included her in htis though she rides steadily amongst the group, keeping quiet even though there seems to be no indication of others present. A glance or two to Viggo's squire to make sure the lad, another cousin, is doing alright, but mostly her attention is on the path, making sure her horse doesn't miss it's footing.

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered…they will fight their way across the land to the Dornish hold. The treachery of the Red Mountains is just the first, the winding path biting at their hooves and the drop all to imminent. "Irony would be if the murder party had ridden out only to plunge to their deaths from these paths," Viggo muses, hand steady on his horse as they slowly make their way up and in. His features are still paled with lack of sleep, although a dark determination has set in place. He glances towards his squire, marking his place, and misses his cousin's glances.

Staying quiet as he guides his own horse along the paths, Brynden looks around at the others every now and then. Expression a bit unreadable at the moment, he focuses his attention on the most important things for now. Such as not falling off anything.

The road to their bloody goal is both unfamiliar, and dangerous, which should be reason enough for Haywood to take extra care and perhaps not insist upon riding his steed through some of the dicier bits. Alas, pride and vanity happen to be among the heir's faults, and while he's preoccupied with laughing at his brother's quip, he guides his horse poorly. (He has been one for mastery of animals, including riding, which is unfortunate given his knighthood.) To his credit, Haywood does little more than grunt with surprise as his horse begins to falter, struggling to keep it and himself upright. It only takes a split second to realise he's about to fail, with likely disastrous results.

Kevyn has a few moments where it very much looks like he's going to plunge to his death. By some miracle, though, he recovers his horse's footing after a particularly chancy pass, and presses on. He wills himself to focus on the path rather than the others in his party, for his party.

Ser Laurent Tyrell — always surly, always sullen — rides with the group in a suit of dark chainmail with a matching coif. Neither his armor nor the caprison on either of his horses bears any arms, oddly enough for him. A longsword hangs at his side, and behind him a morning star alongside a steel shield of plain, dull gray. He has brought with him a handful of particularly villaionous-looking sellswords and a pair of Tyrell men-at-arms, all in dark leather armor, similarly unmarked.

The Thorn rides behind Haywood, and is the first to react when the Cockshaw heir's steed puts a foot wrong. He spurs his own horse, an ill-tempered black stallion, forward in a leap even as he slides off its back to reach for Haywood's charger. He catches it first with one hand tangled in the tack, then a second, grunting with inhuman effort as his feet, too, slide toward the edge. "I can't hold it," he growls, though he digs in his feet and slows its slide toward the precipice, deep furrows appearing in the earth from the heels of his boots. "Help…"

Anyone used to seeing Alys around Old Town would note that her heraldic pauldrons are missing for this little trip. So, infact, is the rest of her plate harness. For this trip it's darkened chain with a large tunic over the top to help kill any clinking. Sword on one hip, mace on the other her expression is on the grim side of neutral but mostly for now, focused.

"Dig your bloody heels in," Viggo urges Haywood, as Laurent manages a miraculous save. His joke is not so funny anymore. There isn't enough room on the path for him to cut back and join them, only to watch in horror.

Veins bulging in his neck, red in the face, Laurent does manage to slow the now nearly-panicking horse to a stop. Then, crouching low and loosing an almost inhuman roar, he manages a half-step backward. His eyes are blown wide and wild, his entire frame shuddering with the effort, but he refuses to give in. The stubborn bastard even wraps one hand in the horse's reins — so he'll be dragged over along with Haywood before he lets go.

Brynden has turned to watch Laurent, Haywood and the horses, grimacing momentarily as he sees the trouble they're facing. Trying to keep his own horse in place as he does, since losing control of the animal now would be rather bad.

Kevyn can do little but stop while Haywood struggles with his horse - and Laurent struggles with Haywood's horse in turn. He's having enough trouble steadying himself. He stifles a cry, watching in horror as well.

There's sheer determination in place of fear as Haywood tries to counterbalance and urge his horse in such a way that it does not lead to an untimely plunge of doom. Between himself and his saviour (and the credit does not belong with Haywood here), it seems the crisis is averted, but only just. The instinct to abandon the animal entirely is just barely quashed.

There's still a moment's work to be done, but once Haywood has control of the horse the worst is behind them. Laurent backs slowly away from the edge with horse and rider, panting, and doesn't let go until well after they're both safe. By that time his adrenaline is spent, and the hand in the reins is supporting him more than pulling the animal. He staggers back a half-step, dropping his hands to his knees as he catches his breath, but once he sees the column stalled he raises a hand in silent apology and turns back to his own horse. Rather than lifting himself into the saddle though he takes the reins and walks the beast, until the trail widens a bit and he feels safe in the saddle again — or until he has enough energy to mount up.

Together with Quillian, Abram is far out in front of the lengthy column, the pair of veteran outriders choosing the best path they can toward the evening's goal. Turning back at the commotion of the near-disaster, the Florent draws his sure-footed rounsey hastily back toward the column, bringing welcome word: "If the Thorns done yelling-" and also totally saving a Cockshaws life, "Round the next bend, there's a road. Nothing much, but it's well kept, and it's less than half a mile's dash from the township and tower of the Red Rookery. Have a taste of water and wait until full dark, it's the last chance for rest we're likely to have for awhile," he relates with a note of grim humor to the advice. A look to the west, and the Florent notes, "We've the range behind us and sun in their eyes. Anyone feeling especially nimble, and wanting to come steal a look at the target while there's light?"

"So, once this is done, I think I won''t leave my rooms for a few days, you know," Brynden remarks, a bit lightly, before he nods at Abram's words now. Not being the one that would like to steal that look, it would seem, since he goes quiet again now.

Haywood is breathless after the ordeal, and he's finally decided that walking the beast would be a good move. A hand is clapped on Laurent's shoulder, with thanks being conveyed through a meaningful gaze that lasts only a moment, and he's attempting to move on and put the whole thing behind everyone. His head lifts and he only hesitates a moment before speaking up. "Don't mind if I do." He's much better on his own feet, he swears.

"I'll follow you so we don't see you spill onto your ass after all this," Viggo says, giving his brother a fond (light) shove at the shoulder. It wouldn't do to send him falling down again.

One thing Alys has always been good at is looking at things in the dark and thus, when the offer of getting a look at the target is given she indicates that she's in and moves up with the others. Still keeping half an eye on Kevyn he moves her horse alongside his and mutters, "ready for this kid?"

Laurent shakes his head at the clap on his shoulder — no thanks are necessary. 'Forget it,' the gesture seems to say. What his mouth says, though, is, "Water, Boy. And take my horse." The words are for the nervous lad riding behind him, a boy in his middle teen years, Willem Fossoway. The squire slips from his own saddle and forward to pass Laurent a waterskin, then minds their four steeds while the Thorn accompanies the small party that goes ahead to have a look.

Kevyn breathes a sigh of relief when Haywood is pulled back from the literal brink. He gives his cousin an inclination of his head and slight, shaky smile. But he's wary of breaking his focus from the path ahead for too long, so he gets back to that. He peers off into the distance. "Town up ahead, 'round the tower up there." He points, helpfully, though they can all likely see that much themselves.

Up ahead and dismounted (thankfully hidden) is a man in black and greens. Nothing that stands out too much if one were to be looking through a Myrish viewing glass, he'd likely be nothing of concern. Hand is down on his sword, as he remains crouched in the brush, eyes squinting at the small township and tower. Chewing on his lip, and switching to the inside of his cheek, Ser Quillian Oakheart waits for the others to come up and catch up to his position in order to better view the town.

Moving up with the others now, Brynden looks momentary amused as he hears Kevyn's words, but he doesn't comment on it. Studying what he can see of the buildings now.

"It's a little more than that. Looks like there are guards mixed up in the crowds down there," Viggo judges, squinting in a way that works his mustache into a snarl of dark hair. He rocks back on his feet, sketching a glance back to the horses. The Cockshaws also brought a number of unmarked men courtesy of their father. They mingle with Laurent's lot, making sure none of the horses run off while the nobles gawk and scheme.

Laurent's steps are more and more steady as he makes his way to the patch of brush where the Blackrood squats. His own dark eyes are narrowed as he crouches between Quill and Abram to eye the tower and the surrounding town. At Viggo's estimation, he nods. "I make it… Four guards in the town," he says, though it's a question. "And two there at the base of the tower." He lifts a hand to point, needlessly.

Between soldiers of fortune, of Cockshaw, Tyrell, and Florent, the raiders are a formidable band. Abram nods along with the estimations, noting lightly under his breath, "Nice and simple, then. A quick hard dash ahorse to the tower, ride down anyonw in our path and hop inside before they know we're coming?"

"Put your hand down." Quillian susses before he is looking back to the town proper. "Seems the Four are keeping their way through the town. We time it right, we could ride in and secure the gate before they can come to their brother in arms aid. We'll need to break into the tower and kill our way to the top. Someone should try to make it to the top, lest someone makes it to the rookery and gets a fucking bird out." of course an Archer could be focused on that. Still. The blackrood shrugs briefly. "Six men, and who knows who is in the Tower?"

Alys rests alongide Viggo as she lets her eyes adjust to the landscape and then peer towards the settlement. Since others seem to be seeing more than her she keeps her mouth shut for now, listening to what they say and trying to pinpoint the additional details they give. Once the plan is mooted though he glances to Haywood to gauge his reaction.

Kevyn nods when Abram says 'Simple.' Not that he looks entirely convinced. He keeps close to Viggo, and keeps his hand close to his sword. Trying not to look too awkward about it. He does not really succeed.

"Those stairs will be a bastard," Laurent says grimly, shaking his head. He lets his hand fall back to the ground without a word at Quill's rebuke, and takes a moment to think on it. "I'll do it," he finally says, "Though you'll want someone behind just in case."

"One to the top, the rest of us take out whoever is inside there?" Brynden suggests, looking between the others for a few moments, before he nods a bit at Laurent's words, the Hightower unable to hold back a brief grin. "That's why they build the towers quite high. Wears out the attackers before they reach the top of it."

Haywood squints at the scene in the distance, nodding his agreement to the assessments and plan of attack. "Shouldn't be hard to choke the road. With the right vantage, I should be able to handle the rookery." If he's sure of his skills with a bow, it's not without good reason.

Abram asides to Laurent. "Of course the stairs will be a bastard, if it's a fortification worth half a shit, there will be murder holes looking down on us the whole way. If Ser Thorn wants to play with the birds, I won't stop him. Quill? See anything we've missed?"

"Tired?" Laurent chuckles at Brynden's lesson, shaking his head. "Men coming up stairs are easy to kill with a spear or a poleaxe. So listen for me — if I stop yelling, I'm dead, and there are men on the stairs."

"Aye and I'm sure that's what you said to your lady wife," Viggo quips, flashing Laurent a wry smile. "There'll be no dying for you, Ser." He shrugs his shoulders, leaving planning of war to those better capable and regards the town flatly.

Quillian is quiet for a moment as he stares on down to the township. Shaking his head, the Blackrood moves to stand up. "I think a couple of sellswords can back the Thorn. I'd like Ser Dondarion and the Royce to take a few of the sellswords-and one of the archers to block escape, there." he points across the road. "I think that will do to cover our asses should a messenger try and let out. We'll need all the time we can get to get back safety once we put it to the torch.

Abram cracks a sharp chuckle under his breath at Laurent's proviso. "Damnit, Thorn. I'm trying to be grim. Don't get my hopes up like that," he jests with a crooked smile. A glance back to Quill as the final instructions are given. "Let's to it, then," and the Florent is slipping back down the slope to re-mount his horse, checking the longsword at his saddle's left, and the long-hafted battleaxe slung to his saddle's right. His helm is lifted off the saddlehorn, and donned.

"If I do die," Laurent laughs, with a jocular shove to Abram, "Don't leave my body in that tower. Those bastards are sure to recognize this handsome face." He stands, and now, with battle looming, he grins — broad and genuine. It's not a pleasant sight, probably lucky he doesn't do it more often. It just doesn't seem to fit his face. He, too, makes his way back to the horses. He checks weapons before pulling himself into the saddle of that great, nameless black destrier and pulling on a low, round helmet with a noseguard.

There is no gallant horn, or proud battle cries as the raiders slatter onto the road and build from a walk to a canter and thence to a full gallop in descending on the unsuspecting town. The first warning the fighting men of House Blackmont have is the shrieks and screams of smallfolk who scatter in all directions before the oncoming knights. A moment of stark shock is the first greeting the Blackmont Armsmen in town have to give their attackers.

Taking her place amongst the group as they hit the road, Alys ride's at Viggo's shoulder, aiming for the same armsman as he does. Her sword is brought to bear in a swinging arch that connects with the man's chest with the ringing clang of metal on armour. Damn it. As the pair of Cockshaws singuarly fail to bring their man down she reins her hourse around for a second pass on the guy, not wanting to leave him alive behind to raise an alarm, or attack another of their party.

Laurent's destrier is sweating beneath its dark caparison as he spurs it through the town. The Thorn's broadsword lashes out as he passes a Blackmont guard, the weight of horse and rider behind the blade pressing it home through the man's armor to draw blood and stagger him backward.

Abram gives a shout of wordless indignance as Laurent's charger pulls ahead of him, setting spurs to his steed afresh and going to far as to strike at the same man the Thorn had struck at in an effort to catch up, giving but scant thought to defense.

Kevyn rides in with Viggo, not far from Alys, just trying to look straight ahead and swing his sword vaguely in the direction of the Dornishmen. His stroke whistles harmlessly over the head of his chosen foe, which isn't terribly good at instilling fear in the other man, probably. The squire keeps at it, though, trying to use his shield to do something resembling blocking.

Leading in at the long column, there's no cry or victory shout. Rather there's a curse as Kevyn misses his swipe and the man is alerted, and barely dances out of the way as Quillian follows through with his swing, down low. "Gods teeth." he mutters as he uses his steed to turn back, lest he leaves this man to close the gates. A few of the Sellswords and Tyrell men need to slip through, lest they find themselves locked in and truly fucked.

Although several of the Dornishfolk in the road are wounded- those struck by the charging Westerosi being flung bodily from their feet- much of the shock of the initial charge is spent as the cries of alarm, pain, and blood begin to rouse the attentions of those in the tower as the raiders seek to break through in haste.

Viggo misses as well as he and his cousins aim for the Dornishmen and both his and Alys' blades are left whistling in the air. Gritting his teeth, he reigns his horse in hard and turns to attack again.

Haywood's voice joins the others' as he rides on ahead, letting loose an arrow that strikes his target in the head. His inarticulate cry takes on a note of triumph, even though his enemy does not yet fall. He has every confidence that it won't take much now. And you can bet he'll be keeping score.

Brynden frowns as his attack doesn't quite succeed, but moves for another one, growling as he does now. Lifting his sword once more.

Laurent's second swing is a hard downward stroke once his momentum is stalled. He turns his destrier side-on to his opponent and hacks downward, but the blow glances off the man's shield, and the Dornishman still bars their path.

Such is the haste of the Westerosi in pressing past their foemen that several errant thrusts slip past defenses as the bloodied defenders draw a small measure of pain in turn, even as one falls with a scream, an arrow sprouting in scarlet from his neck. Ahead, the cries of alarm are echoed in the tower, and a pair of bowmen peek out through narrow windows at the melee below.

With Viggo taking one side of the Blackmont, Alys takes the other as they ride at the man once more. She's aiming for his sword arm but an unexpected attack from a peasant's cudgel means she ends up pulling her blow wide a little and impacting off the armour onhi hand instead. Her blade unblooded she cries out some distinctly un-ladylike words and turns her horse once more. Ignoring the peasant for now.

As blades clash, the Armsman catches an opening on Quillian as he swerves his horse about. The bite cutting through leather and mail underneath. With a curse the blackrood Hacks back only to catch the man in his recover. "Hack through em, lads!" comes the Blackrood's yell. As he tries to do just that. Well, it could be worse. He could be fighting Prospero Storm.

While missing himself, and his armor absorbing the enemy's attack, Brynden lets out a breath as he sees the arrows taking down the enemy. "Good shot!" he cals out, before he looks around, moving for the one Quillian seems to be locked in battle with, and trying to hack through the neck of that one now.

Abram has caught up to Laurent, that is the good news. The bad news being that his rounsey- so sure footed in the mountains- is starting and balking at the press of bodies in the street and the stench of spilled blood. A grunt as his armor takes a blow across the chest and he aims a vicious downward thrust at the damned Dornishman.

In their jaunty flanking maneuver, Viggo takes the other side of their deadly sandwich. Ducking under the wide swing of the Blankmont's blade set off by Alys's strke, he scores a sharp gouge to the man's hand. The fletching of an arrow catches his eye, greeted by the glorious sight of Haywood's arrow burrying itself in the bloody, burbling throat of a Blackmont. He crows in celebration of his brother's kill, swinging back around to make his own. "Again!"

There's always time to pump one's fist in the air when one has achieved a victory, and Haywood does just that after his second arrow lodges in the Blackmont guardsman's neck and he falls. "You had best keep up, brother!"

Kevyn ends up pushed a little away from Viggo, and tangling with the Blackmont man who's focused on Quillian. He does another one of those swings that hits only air, hacking and slashing but failing to connect. It's only when a dagger strikes near him - missing any flesh, thankfully - that he notices he's picked up the interest of one of the peasants. "We didn't come for you!" he shouts at the smallfolk man. Whether the peasant cares or not, given that they're riding into his home, the chances may not be good. But he gives shout-talking a try.

It is an ugly, slogging press when cavalry try to bodily wade through a tangle of humanity, but at last the living dam breaks, and there is a stretch of open road leading up to the tower door- the light from inside is thinning as men within begin to force it closed, covered by arrows from their fellows above.

"Why won't you die?!" Laurent shouts at the Blackmont guardsman as he stands in his stirrups to put his weight into a downward thrust that sees the point of his sword again through his opponent's chest armor, and draws from the man a strangled cry of pain.

Another blow comes in and Quill, deftly moves in order to see that his stronger armor takes the hit, before he returns the blow for savage blow, only to find the Armsman's scale holds up under pressure. There's a bit of a laugh there, before he is swinging his blade high overhead., but his turn to something close and off to the flank. "Squire, fucking kill that man-" It appears his attention has fallen to the small folk trying to gut the damned horse. If Kevyn won't cut him down, it seems Quillian will. Since they are all pressed in.

Perhaps there was too much celebration and not enough careful aim. Haywood's arrow sails wide of its target, and a deep frown settles into his feature. So much for whatever streak he'd been hoping to achieve. Ah, well, he'll just start over from scratch. And in the meantime, it seems Alys has bested her man (with Viggo's help, of course), and that deserves a hearty congratulations. "Well done, cousin!"

"No doubt he'd have gone down quicker if he hadn't been aiming at me," Viggo gripes companionably, turning his horse with a grin to his Lady Cousin. "Well done." Turning his horse, he moves to take up the man Kevyn left off with a bark at Quillian, "Bloody hell man. I'll help you."

"Son of a- WHORE!" Abram screams as his over-hasty dash to be the first into the tower brings the unwelcome reward of a swordpoint slipping between the plates at his side, giving a second teeth-gritting shout as the blade is pulled loose, drawing an unhealthy sluice of blood off with it. As the Tyrell knight spurs ahead, for once the Florent is in no rush to keep up.

Brynden growls as he once more seems to miss his target, but moves in once more, as quickly as he can. Sooner or later the tid must turn for him, right? Not speaking at all for the moment, just keeping on doing his part of the githy.

Perhaps the pair of them have the Blackmont overstretched and outflanked, perhaps it's jut not his day, but either way, Alys manages to get her sword through the armsman's guard and into his skull. It doesn't look too nasty a wound, but it's nasty enough it would seem as the man starts to topple. Grinning briefly to both Haywood and Viggo she eyes the fight a moment before spuring her horse towards another Blackmort, although this time not the same one as Viggo.

Kevyn does his best to focus on the man-at-arms before him, and maneuver his horse into a less stab-friendly position. He continues to hack-slash at the air, but at least he's not stopping his press. So that's something.

Once the advantage is gained, it quickly proves decisive for the Reachlords, as the crack in the Dornish will gives way to collapse. The bold Blackmont guardsman who had scored the bloody blow on Abram falls to the ground in more peices than he awoke between the blows of four foes. And with that, the fight turns to a flight. The peasantry flee as the tower door is burst open by the bulk of Laurent's courser, causing a start and shout of alarmn from those men within who had not had time to don armor.

Laurent leaves off the attack as a hole opens, ducking low over his horse's neck. "Keep up, Boy," he calls to his squire, but doesn't look at the nervous lad as he spurs his horse forward, drawing blood from the animal's flanks. The heavy horse thunders down the street, urged by a tug of the reins and its rider's shout toward the tower's closing door. Laurent's yell raises in pitch the closer he gets to the tower until the horse just squeezes through the gap. Then it's a cry of triumph as he and the destrier are inside the tower's lowest level, chaos in the small space.

With the Peasant hacked at, hopefully that will get him to edge off Kevyn and his steed. However a blade narrowly misses the Blackrood, which has him turning his focus back towards the Armsman, and there he swings hard, to return the favor, even after Ser Brynden has opened him up. Finish him and push to dismount outside the tower. And kill them inside. Quillian ho!

Alys can only ding her sword off her lastest armsman target's armour, but her cousin's arrow and the Hightower's sword seem to do the trick anyway and no sooner does she reach bring her horse round again then the man is falling. The peasant who's still making vaguely threatening motions with it's cudgel is ignored for now as she spots the mass descening on Kevyn's armsman and turns her horse to follow Laurent instead.

Kevyn actually connects with the Blackmont man that time. His sword clangs harmlessly off the man's armor, but it's a hit. He brings his arm up and back to try again, still doing it with more instinctive flailing than any kind of skill. He turns his head as the peasants flee, watching them go, and he can't help but look a touch relieved.

"About bloody time…" Brynden mutters to himself as his attack bites into the Blackmont man's neck. Getting his sword free again, he once more swings for the man, trying to go for the same place now.

Abram holds his right arm close to his side, guiding the horse more with knees than the nigh useless grip of his right hand, shifting the hilt of his longsword into the left, and spurring after one of the fleeing Dornishmen with a shout of mixed pain and bravado.

Victory comes again when yet another Blackmont falls due to their collective efforts. And as Haywood is about to turn his attention to the archers firing upon himself and the Thorn, he spots it. He doesn't call out the raven. He'd rather not distract his fellows from their current pursuits, but he does turn sharply and take aim at the avian.

The battle above and below continues to turn for the Reachlords. In the town, mayhem begins to spread, as panic grips the townsfolk. At the stairs, though his steed takes a dire injury at close quarters, Laurent has gained the next landing, and above- to the great shock of the Red Rookery's master of ravens, no sooner has his bird been released than it it nailed by one wing to the wooden shitters he had opened. There is a cry of shock and alarm as the flailing animal spooks the unseen retainer into stumbling back.

This time Quillian's blade connects, as the Blackmont Armsman tries to run, leaving the dying man there, for the Hightower to finish off-before he's turning his horse for the tower. A grimace made in the short jaunt over, before he is dismounting and moving to head into the tower shortly. Sword shaken free of blood as he goes marching.

Frowning as the armor blocks his attack, Brynden then sees the man go down, and dismounts, heading for the stairs as well now, moving a bit hurriedly.

Laurent slides off his horse, placing the creature's bulk between himself and his opponents. He screams as he takes the stairs two at a time, the shout reminding his comrades below that he is alive, and the stairs ostensibly safe. Only once does it break, at the landing, for a deep breath. And then the noise resumes, and he's charging up the stairs to come face to face with the master of ravens.

Kevyn finally gets past the guards at makes a runner for the tower itself. Sticking as close to Viggo and Alys as he can though, in the thick of things, it's hard to tell precisely where anyone else is at a given moment.

Haywood watches his arrow sail into the sky and hit his mark, a wide smile on his face. He will have new feathers to adorn his shoulders after this, count on it. Now, rather than head inside the tower with his fellows, he takes aim at the rival archer from below.

From the outside the tower of Red Rookery was a plain and rather squat stone monolith, but within, there is scarcely a scrap of stone to be seen. Every wall is hung with tapestries, ranging from the elegant to the ostentacious. Fine thick rugs- now drinking deep of blood as the battle climbs to the crenelations- soften the stone underfoot, and even the chairs of the humble guardsmen have cushions.

There's a look a man's face gets when he realizes life is coming close to it's end. For the longbowman caught off guard it flashes soon after Quillian's blade slides right between his ribs in a savage thrust. He had just gotten his dirk free, before the Blackrood's hand catches the wrist, and the longer blade is buried to the hilt in Dornish flesh. A twist, and with a push of his arm, the dead man is tossed down the stairs. Blood drips, and the knight looks up, as he continues up the stairs.

Laurent's cry of rage turns to a shout of victory as he reaches the top of the tower. He hardly even breaks stride, crossing the floor at a dead run. He's not fast, but there's a lot of momentum there. A large man, covered in armor. His sword clatters to the floor, and the shield hangs loose from his arm as his center of gravity lowers. There's murder in his eyes as his hands tangle into the dark robes of the Master of Ravens. Their bodies collide, and a panicked scream tears through the din of combat as the older man is forced through the window to plummet to his death on the street below.

Brynden continues making his way up the stairs, sword held at ready and shield in place to defend himself if someone attacks him. Gaze moving around at his surroundings, as he keeps on moving.

The road at the base of the tower is devolving into a scene of carnage, even before the shrill screams of the Master of Ravens come to a stomach-rolling splatter of an end. Within the tower's bottom floor, the slaughter is winding down as the fine and luxurious sandsilk of a Dornish bowman proves ill suited to resist the blades and bows of the brutal Reachlords.

Kevyn ducks an arrow that flies in his direction as he makes his way up the stairs, close behind Brynden. Under other circumstances he might stop to look about the Dornish tower, but he's fueled largely by adrenaline at the moment, so his thoughts mainly function on the order of 'keep going forward' and 'hack at that vaguely Dornish shape.'

The plummet of the Master of Ravens is an enjoyable one to observe, and Haywood pantomimes tipping his hat to Laurent. "Leave some for me!" he shouts, as if he hasn't already had quite his share of the action. He makes his way into the tower proper, hurrying to catch up to the others.

Laurent bends to snatch his sword up, giving it a small toss and catching it in the same hand. His left takes a frim grip on the shield as he crosses to the head of the stairs, to call back down to his comrades. "The stairs are clear!" And then there's crashing from the top level of the tower as he smashes aside a vase that somehow offended him, and he bellows, "Come out, damn you! If there's anyone left alive, face us!"

The hack catches the Bowman in the chest, just as the dirk skitters against leather encased plate. Quillian grunts, before he brings his sword around. The Dornishman drops his blade as he slides to his knees. Blood showing where the reach lord caught him. A sob thick in the young man's throat and Quillian hesitates for a moment.

"Please Ser…I-"

And without a thought Quillian brings the sword down that ends the bowman's life in a ragged scream. "-should've armed yourself with more than a fucking knife." the blackrood murmurs before he is ascending the stairs.

Resistance in the tower is all but spent, the last door unopened is one that all soldiers would guess to be the tower armory, barred shit from within. Surely enough the clatter of harness and babble of voices within would support that estimation. A few higher pitched voices within can also be picked out by the keen ear, even above the screams from the town outside.

Nodding as he hears the talk about the stairs being clear, Brynden keeps on hurrying up them, to get to that unopened door now. Muttering something under his breath as he continues moving up the steps.

Kevyn hears the scream, and makes it just in time to see Quillian cutting down the surrendering bowman. He pales, and stops in his tracks, frozen for a moment.

The call of all-clear is simultaneously heartening, but also disappointing. Haywood wasn't quite finish perforating men! But he'll take it for what it is, a victory in the making, and he lengthens his stride to take the stairs by twos.

A flick of his wrist and Quillian looks up towards Kevyn. His sword shaken once more as the Blackrood continues to ascend to join the remainder of the party there at the door to the armory. Once there, he wipes his long blade along the blacksleeve of his surcoat before he is looking towards the door-and there the voices can be slightly heard. But the screams outside are enough to keep words from being heard. A look is given towards Laurent before there's a motion to the door.

"Shall we knock?"

Abram staggers in the tower's badly abused door, blood drenched below the knees from the carnage outside, as well as leaving a trail of blood spots behind him. Right elbow still held close to his side, longsword dangling in his left hand, as the Florent casts an eye about the battlefield within, catching on one of the lit lanterns. "Well?" he calls upward, through a wince at the deeply drawn breath.

"Let's," Laurent says, with a savage grin at the Blackrood. "Open up, you whoresons," the Thorn of Highgarden bawls at the top of his lungs. "We've come to kill you!" The pommel of his sword bangs against the door. "My men are fucking your women in the street, while you're fucking each other in there!" Next it's his shoulder into the door, but it's solid wood, and barred. It will take a better effort than that.

Kevyn says nothing to Quillian, though his gaze remains long on the Blackrood. With a deep breath, followed by a swallow, he heads toward the door to join the others.

"Who are the blackguards and thieves that dare beset the Knight of the Red Rookery as common assassins in the night?" Comes the distinctly Dornish brand of scorn from inside the barred armory. "Know you lowborn curs, that I am Ryon Blackmont, Castellan and knight. Even now a hundred lances and a hundred bows descend upon you. This brazen act shall be your deaths!"

One more distinct snippet of the chatter from within are the words, "Where are the gauntlets- there, there!"

As Laurent bawls out and then slams his shoulder, there's a look back down to Abram. "Held up in the Armory." this shouted down to the other man, before he is looking up. "I'd offer them to surrender, for a quick death-though I guess being honest has it's merit." or so he japes. While Laurent shoulders the door, Quillian takes this time to inspect the wound at his chest with a sucking wince.

A pause and Quillian clears his throat, if only to spit blood away. "Ser Ryon." he replies. "You know who knocks. Please open." Whether or not that works or sends a chill then with those in the room.

"Shall I bring up my axe?" Abram calls up the stairs to Laurent. "Its a damned sight better for knocking than your shoulder."

Brynden shakes his head as he reaches the others now. "You are no real knight, Rymon Blackmont," he calls out as he hears the words from the inside. "If you were, you would not have let others go to their deaths for your cowardly hide!" Yes, the Hightower knight is a bit angry at the moment.

Quillian's words do effect a pause in the deprecations heaped upon the attackers from within. The next words are of a distinctly different character: "There are women within here. And children as well."

Kevyn strains to listen to whatever the reply is from the other side of that door, holding himself still for the moment, sword gripped so tight in his hands that his knuckles are strained white.

"You won't find knights out here, you bastard," Laurent rages, stalking back and forth behind Quill at the door, "Only justice, vengeance and death!" He's fuming, red-faced, still riding the high of the battle outside. "It's your axe or that pedestal," he calls to Abram, but grimaces when he sees the man. "Have my squire fetch it," he suggests, but then calls for the boy himself. "Willem! Where did you run off to, you little shit? Fetch that axe, and be quick about it!"

"Ser Ryon, as you know me. They will live." Quillian replies again. "We've come to repay a debt. A debt bought by Dornish blades. If you and any man willing to die comes out. Then I will see they live and your women are not raped." A look down to his sword before he is looking back towards Laurent, and one hand raises. "You know who is speaking to you, yes?" he adds once more.

A look is given to Kevyn for a moment, before he motions the boy to get closer to Viggo.

In short order, the Florent's longaxe is borne up the steps, a four foot haft of dark hardwood, with a wide, single-edged cutting head, blackened by oil and fire. Within the armory, the responses have ceased, but the clatter of harness and arms continues.

Quillian raises a brow as no response is forthcoming. With that in mind Quillian steps out of the way before motioning for Laurent or Willem to start hacking at the door to get it chopped down in short order. Given also the lack of protests, whatever doubts Quillian had about the raid-which were small are now, gone.

"I reckon they know you, then," Laurent says, shooting Quill an amused look. He sheathes his sword when he sees his squire laboring up the stairs with the axe, and snatches it out of his hands. "Do you mind?" He's sure to ask Abram's permission, his eyes travelling the length of the axe's cutting edge. Only then does he pass his shield to his squire with an admonishment. "Stay close now, Lad, and don't die on me." He tests the axe's weight and, at the nod from Quill, lays into the door.

Kevyn frowns at Quillian, but he does stick close to Viggo, balancing his shield awkwardly in his grip as the men work the door.

"Watch them hide behind their women," Haywood snarls derisively. "Bloody cowards." He's fuming, and pacing restlessly while Laurent moves to make work of the door.

"Just don't get all your gods-be-damned flower stink on it," Abram musters the wit to retort to Laurent's politeness, as the swift, destructive blows of the axe in the Tyrell's hands swiftly begin to break apart the timber at the door's hinges.

Even a man Laurent's size, and with the right tool for the job, takes a moment at this sort of work. Those inside have plenty of time to listen to the rhythm of his work and consider what's about to happen. A minute and more later, though, the door is hanging from one hinge. Laurent rears back at that and puts the heel of his boot against that hinge with all his weight behind it, and the door slams to the floor in a clatter of broken wood. His own shout comes on the heel of that awful sound of splintering wood and its impact on the stones, and he steps through the suddenly open space, axe in hand.

The last stand is a desperate one, as no sooner does the door come crashing down than the first blow is struck…

Kevyn is at Viggo's side as the door is broken, and the battle resumes. He tries not to think of whatever women and children might be inside, concentrating on the men-at-arms.

Laurent strides into the room in a red rage, intercepting Ser Ryon's waiting sword with an almost casual swat with the longaxe's haft. He brings its weight back around with a backhanded swing, but that's an awkward thing, and the Dornishman dances away just as easily. The Thorn balances the axe then, his hands separated on its length by a shoulder-width, the weapon held above his head. He's a tempting target that way, but the axe is a murderous thing, and with a good reach.

There is a woman's scream from the back of the armory as the Westerosi storm into the last redoubt in a hail of arrows and blades. Ser Ryon's squires are hardly boys, each looking near to the age of knighthood, though they do not live past the first push. Though still whole, Ser Ryon falters at the brutality of the push, and after an increasingly desperate swat of his elegantly curved greatsword knocks aside Laurent's blow, the Dornish knight raises his hands, and draws a breath to yield. Ser Viggo's swift thrust causes the words to catch in his throat, however, as a shocked look siezes the Castellan's last countenance, his head struck very nearly clean off the shoulders.

The armory is lines with ranks of spears, whole sheafs of arrows, and the tower's dazzling stock of gold and silver plate, complete with more than one jeweled chalice. Hauberks of glittering copper scales and plumes of peacock and pheasant ornament conical Dornish helms. And at the very back- cowering behind the chests of the tower's treasury, are a pair of Dornishwomen.

Laurent watches Ser Ryon's body slide free of Viggo's blade and to the floor, leaving the axe with no further targets. His own features are seemingly locked into a rictus grin as he steps around the corpse of the Dornish knight. He has no eye for the corpse, only for the two women cowering at the armory's rear. "Who are you," he grows at the pair of them, and then in the same tone, "Do we kill them?"

Haywood is quite pleased with himself, and would find putting an arrow directly through a man's eye to be exceptionally brag-worthy, but then his younger brother has to go and show him up with a rather incredible display of decapitation. He can't even be mad about it, he's just impressed. But he's brought out of that appreciation by Laurent's question. "No," he insists on both his and his brother's behalf. "They live."

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