The Hunter's Companions Ch. 14bySinisterSpiders©
The sun rose over Silvermoon City as it woke from its slumber. The merchants had begun preparing their stalls and already there were eager shoppers spreading through the clean streets to get first pick of the best wares. The sounds and sights of the rousing morning was enough to conceal Kalendras and his guild mates as they milled about the city. They had all converged, some in armor and others in plain clothes, around the town square, attending to mundane business with various merchants. None of them were, of course, but they had to pretend to be in order to avoid suspicion. Aegon Sharpsword has parted ways with them in the dark before the dawn, claiming that he had to go and prepare his troops. Over an hour and a half had passed and now they were just waiting for Aegon to return before they could set their plan into motion.
Kalendras did not manage to get a wink of sleep the previous night. His entire consciousness had been plagued by visions of his friends being killed in their daring attempt to rescue Belcarm and Livinia. At one stage he had become completely and utterly distracted by the horrible thought that perhaps even Belcarm or Livinia would die in the attempt. He had no idea of what sort of condition the paladin would be in when they found him, he just had to hope that he would be strong enough to protect himself or fight if need be. The most disturbing part about that particular thought was that he actually felt some sort of preemptive sense of loss when he pictured the prissy elf slaughtered by the enemy. It wasn't just the fact that Livinia would mourn his loss either. However confusing, it was something that Kalendras did not want to dwell on.
The biggest problem was that once he had managed to put thoughts of his friends (Belcarm grudgingly included) dying horribly out of his mind the thought that they would be too late to rescue Livinia haunted him and he found himself tense and unable to think of anything else. Surely, though, Mitrae and Rioden would have better sense than to kill her? The reasons they had to snatch her had nothing to do with wanting to kill her; a live bride was worth infinitely more than a dead one. Whenever his thought had become too grim to bear he had pushed his anger and despair aside and imagined holding Livinia safe in his arms.
Kalendras sighed and shook out his feathers impatiently. Luckily for him, he didn't have to engage in the pointless bartering or conversations that the others had to. The fact that Mitrae's turn-cloak Guardians would be on high alert for him meant that he had no choice but to remain in flight form while they waited. It suited him just fine though, as it meant that he was free to flutter about as he pleased, he could even remain in the one spot and eavesdrop on the guardians. Right now two of them were having a rather amusing conversation about some of prostitutes they had picked up at one of the shadier inns that had turned out to be very pretty males rather than average looking females. If he was in his natural form he would have had some joke to make about it, so it was lucky his still had feathers and a beak.
The low chatter of the two Guardian's by him muffled the sound at first, but when he felt the ground vibrating he turned to see Aegon leading a long column of Guardians through the streets. The people of Silvermoon City stopped what they were doing and turned to watch the glimmering snake of well-armored bodies winding its way through the picturesque streets. Kalendras's heart beat faster, not liking such a blatant show of rebellion, but Aegon had insisted. If it were up to Kalendras they would have just broken into the jail at the dawn change of guard and then infiltrated the Warlock's Guild straight after. It was Livinia's Aunt Caristra's letter that had inspired this bold plan; she had secured the information they needed to clear Deanna Sunspeaker's name and provided the leverage they needed to free both Belcarm and Livinia. The only problem was that they wanted it done now, and if they had to wait for the diplomats and legal system to work in their favor it would take too long. So Aegon had decided that while a quarter of his guard went to arrest Goldentongue, the rest would be used to force his Son's freedom.
The Guardian's at the door of the jail gave each other nervous looks when Aegon and his men approached. Aegon has said last night that the loyalty of these two was in dispute, but judging by the matching looks of shock on their faces, they would most likely step aside for their brothers and sisters; political allegiances be damned. When Aegon was five feet away from them they both jumped aside and opened the doors, letting their leader pass through. Before entering the prison, though, Aegon turned to the force he had gathered.
"The Third Legion is to remain outside the doors and ensure that no one, and I mean no one is allowed to enter without my permission. The rest of you are to follow me."
Kalendras launched himself and took flight before diving through the open doors. His razor sharp talons skited across the marble as he struggled to come to a halt, and then the next instant he had transformed back into his normal self. He watched as the remaining Guardians and his disguised Guild Members were led into the large foyer of the prison.
"Legion Two, secure this room. Anybody providing resistance are to be apprehended, but you are to use non-lethal force."
A group soldiers sluiced off from the main party and begun to check the many entrances and exits of the main hall.
"You can't just come in here and-" One of the guards who was seated at the front desk, who had previously been wearing a look of stunned silence, started to argue.
"Apprehend him!" Aegon ordered, and two of the Second Legionnaires complied with his order and had the desk officer in their possession before he could raise another cry of protest. Kalendras couldn't help but grin at the Master of Sword's efficiency. He knew it was completely delusional, but he hoped that the rest of the plan would go just as smoothly.
Kalendras followed Aegon, his Guild mates all looking just as pleased with the progress as he was. The cavernous halls of the prison's administration level echoed with the sound of marching boots and the constant thunder was becoming deafening.
When they reached the gate before the stairs that led to the subterranean cells, Aegon was stopped by the two guards at the door.
"State your business," One of the sentries said, crossing his spear over his body and barring entrance.
"Move aside,"Aegon order curtly, his voice dripping with malice.
"On whose orders?" The second sentry snorted, Aegon's razor green eyes cut into him with distaste.
"I am the Master of Sword," Aegon said warningly. "Move aside or you will be apprehended for failure to comply with a direct command." The two sentries didn't even bother to contain their smirks.
"We have other orders," The first said defiantly.
"I am the Master of Sword and I am in control of the Guardians. Deathwing take your other orders. Guardians, apprehend these men."
Kalendras thought that it spoke of at least some measure of good sense when the two Guardians went without a fight. While Aegon had warned against lethal force, Kalendras was reasonably sure that near-lethal force would not be as frowned upon. When Aegon gave the two rebels a smug disdainful look Kalendras couldn't help but think of Belcarm. After spending time with both the father and the son they were almost indistinguishable from the other. The only real difference that Kalendras could see was that Belcarm wanted his woman. Kalendras sighed as they moved forward through the now open gates. Both he and Belcarm had turned up that morning at the Orgrimmar portal. Both turned up knowing that the other might also be there. With gruff snort Kalendras told himself that he would have to get used to the idea of sharing Livinia, because he sure as hell was not giving her up.
As they descended into the bowels of the Silvermoon City Jail Kalendras couldn't help but wonder how deep down this tomb went. They descended at least seven flights of stairs, meeting very little resistance from the guardians at each level's gate, before they came to a halt at the bottom of the winding spiral staircase. Aegon had left one legion halfway down the staircase and told them to be on guard for people going up and down. The remaining legion of Guardians and the guild members were all threaded around the steps of the lower level, cramped tightly by the stone structure. Kalendras was lucky to be at the front of the column with Aegon, knowing that anyone more than four rows back would have no idea of what was transpiring on this final landing.
"Halt!" A female Guardian said, holding her hand up to her commander. "State your business." Her voice was soft but stern and not completely unpleasant.
"My son has been apprehended on false accusations and I am here to release him," Aegon told her, her and the male Guardian beside her looked at each other skeptically.
"The charges are valid, your son is to be tried tomorrow at midday. Belcarm Sharpsword is to remain in custody until his innocence is proven," The female said matter-of-factly, giving Aegon a contemptuous look. "And that Tauren there," She added nodding at Kalendras "is also wanted for high treason. You'd best hand him over before you are arrested for assisting a fugitive."
"The charges against both Belcarm and Kalendras have been cleared. Release my son or you will be held for failing to comply with a direct order." Aegon countered.
"We don't take orders from the likes of you," The male sneered and his voice made Kalendras's eyes widen in recognition. This was Liam Swiftspell, nephew to Mitrae Swiftspell, and son of the man who was in direct competition with Aegon for the position of Master of Sword. Clearly the man thought that the newly-made Sharpsword name was beneath his own. Kalendras's upper lip curled in distaste.
Before Aegon cold finish the command the two Guardians tensed and then collapsed to the ground, their eyes unfocused and their bodies slack.
"Apprehend them?... Check!" Kalendras laughed as Sierra's voice rung through the dark corridors cheerily. Aegon turned to award the paladin with an appreciative smile.
"Thanks." Aegon's eyes twinkling with amusement, before he took a key off his belt and slid it into the lock. With a dull clunk and a near inaudible squeak the door to the lowest level of the Silvermoon City Jail swung open.
The sounds of weapons clashing and grunts of exertion woke Belcarm from a fitful nap. His heart rate accelerated and his blood turned red hot with adrenalin. He got to his feet far too quickly and pain lanced through every part of his body. He was acutely aware of the raging erection that he had, and the pain in his balls that was the remnants of the Succubus's attention. He cursed under his breath but then gritted his teeth and limped to the small barred window in the door of his cell.
As much as he tried, he could not see what was going on in the corridor beyond. Instead of returning him to his original cell, Rioden had him escorted deep into the bowels of the prison. The lowest level of the prison was built for most sinister or hardened criminals of the city and was therefore nothing short of labyrinthine. That meant that unless the battle was happening right in front of his cell door he would not be able to see it. However, the marble hallways were terrible at muffling sounds, and if he wasn't mistaken the battle was coming closer.
While he waited he paced the room like a caged cat. It was infuriating to be left, quite literally, in the dark. A hundred thoughts ran through his mind, but the one that stood out the most was the feeble hope that the sounds were the metallic clangs that would give him his freedom. However, he wasn't sure how any band of adventures that Kalendras could gather at such short notice would be able to make it so far into the city prison.
Either way he wished the battle would hurry up. The sooner he freed them the sooner he could rescue Livinia. Just the thought of her alone was enough to fill him with shame. He had failed her when she needed him the most. He hadn't been strong enough to resist the Succubi's lure. Instead, his weakness had caused Livinia to sacrifice herself and her dignity. Even though he planned to rescue her, he was dreading reuniting with her; how could he face her when he clearly didn't deserve her? Belcarm shivered as his mind ran through the horrible night he just endured. He realised that the pain in his groin paled in comparison to the pain of his failure. When he got out he would seek vengeance. He would make sure that Rioden and the Succubus paid dearly.
The sounds of the battle died down, and there were only a few indecipherable shouts every now and again. When he finally heard footsteps making their way down his hall he took a step back and clenched and released his hands in anticipation. Belcarm shivered as his mind ran through the horrible night he just endured.
The heavy metal door slid open with a loud clank, light flooded into the room and Belcarm's face broke into a relieved grin.
"Took you long enough, Druid," Belcarm said gruffly, nodding at the hulking Tauren now standing in the door way of his cell. He had never been happier to see anyone before save Livinia.
"While you sat here looking pretty?" Kalendras shot back, Belcarm's laughter rang through the cell and the effort made his bruised ribs ache like hell. Kalendras crossed the room and put out his hand.
"I have to say that this is honestly the first time I have ever been pleased to see you," Belcarm said, taking Kal's massive hand and giving it a firm shake. "Have you got Liv?" He asked. Kalendras didn't need to answer, the flash of anger in Kal's earthy brown eyes told him all he needed to know. "In that case we'd better stop the chatter and get a move on."
"We don't know where Livinia is." He heard his father's voice say warily, as the older elf walked into the room, cleaning some blood of his sword. Belcarm frowned and nodded at his father slowly.
"That's fine. I should be able to lead us there."
"How?" Kalendras's disbelief was painfully obvious.
Belcarm frowned again and looked at Kalendras.
"Last night they came and got me... they took me to her..." Kalendras looked surprised, and he opened his mouth to ask more questions. Belcarm gritted his teeth as red hot anger flooded through him; he didn't want to continue on with the story. What they had been forced to do was bad enough, sharing it with other people would only make the shame of it worse. Especially sharing it with Kalendras; he didn't want to hear what the Tauren would have to say about his failure.
"Is she okay?" Kalendras's voice was a soft growl, and Belcarm could hear the danger in his tone.
"I should be able to lead you to her." Belcarm spoke through gritted teeth, ignoring the questioning look the Tauren gave him. His father merely nodded grimly.
Milent Goldtongue sighed contentedly as his hands crept across the toasty warm bed to find their prize. His fingers danced across the soft sheets, under the blankets, and onto...
His eyes fluttered open and he was met by the bright light of mid morning burning through the room. He blinked a couple of times before he sat up and looked around the room. The sudden light was dazzling, and a terrible contrast to the fantastic dream he'd just had. Luckily, the dream had come with some sense of relief. The beautiful woman he had been playing with had been able to finish him before the end of the dream.
There was a loud knock on his chamber door and Milent swore under his breath. He slipped out of bed, tearing the sheet off mattress and wrapping it around his waist to protect himself from the chill of the cavernous room. He hissed through his teeth as the silky fabric brushed against the tip of his eager erection. Apparently the dream lady hadn't quite satisfied him. He really would need to rectify that situation. But first, he needed to get rid of whoever was at the door.
It was his manservant flanked by two Silvermoon City Guardians.
"Jacque- what is it?" Milent asked, feeling the blood draining out of his manhood, taking his enthusiasm for his planned morning activities along with it.
"I am sorry, Sir, but they insisted; they said they had found some concerning evidence that-" But before the servant could continue he was pushed aside the Guardians.
"Milent Goldentongue?" The foremost officer barked.
"In the skin... Quite literaly," Milent drawled, looking at the brown-haired elf. Lowborn- it was obvious in the way he held himself.
"You are under arrest for High Treason. You are required to come with us to the prison where you are to await trial for your crimes."
"What? This is ridiculous! I have committed no treason! Get out of my house!" Milent spluttered, gesturing wildly toward the door, momentarily forgetting that his hands were required to hold the sheet on him. The rich fabric slithered to the ground.
"In the skin indeed," Sniggered the other officer.
"How dare you!"
"You will need to come with us." The first was able to gracefully subdue his amusement, but Milent crossed his arms over his chest.
"You need evidence before you can arrest me for such a serious crime."
As soon as he saw the non-descript leather satchel with the letters 'B.E.' embossed on it, his heart dropped to his feet. He couldn't keep the look of shock off his face. No one should have been able to find those documents. The only person with enough ability to break through the enchantments needed to access those documents was Mitrae Swiftspell, and he was the one who had help put them there.
The name was caught on the tip of Milent's tongue as he was dragged from his house in all of his natural glory. As the eyes of shocked aristocrats and merchants watched on he couldn't help but grin. If he was going down he was going to take that Swiftspell bastard with him.
Caristra watched from under a heavy brown cloak as Milent was dragged from his house by the Silvermoon City Guardians. It was a pity really; she had actually enjoyed his company the previous evening.
Never mind though, the first part of her plan was now set in motion. If Aegon had acted swiftly and well, her niece would soon be released. Now, though, all she could do was wait.
The climb back to the surface was much less eventful than the descent had been. At least in battle terms. However, Kalendras found his mind racing as he followed the limping Belcarm up to the foyer of the prison. He had tried to ask after Livinia another couple of times but had gotten no better response than "She's fine". Judging by Belcarm's tone she was anything but.
When they reached the entrance hall again, the second and first legions of the Silvermoon City Guardians had everything under control. Aegon called them all together and told them that Belcarm could lead the way to Livinia. As Belcarm had been blindfolded when he was led to where they were holding Livinia, he only had a vague idea of where they would be going. From the sound of the directions Belcarm had given, they were most likely keeping her in the Warlock Guild Headquarters, or in that general area of Silvermoon City. If they were in the Warlock Guild they would need all of the fighters they could get, as they would have little chance being able to infiltrate it as easily as the prison. With any luck Caristra's plan would have come to fruition and the Warlock's guild would be too busy trying to discover why their leader had been arrested to pay too much attention to an inspection of their quarters.
It seemed as though Kalendras was not the only one that was concerned about the Paladin. When the other guild members had seen him they had been extremely loud and welcoming, but instead of returning their eager greetings with any sort of enthusiasm he merely grunted a thanks and insisted that they move on. When they had found the room where they kept the prisoner's belongings they had not been surprised to find that most of Belcarm's items were missing. So as they left he had nothing more than armor borrowed from another prisoner's locker and a weapon that Sierra had loaned him.