Red Riders of the Realms
Another Sergeant Kilrad Adventure - Part III
Helgrid rushed in. Kilrad was also rushing in, followed by six amateur villagers all with swords drawn. Knowing that the fray would conceal his shot, Vincenzo finally loosed his crossbow at the goblin Helgrid had just missed. The shot grazed the goblin’s neck but did not do much damage. Thorinwald, though driven to the ground by two vicious blows, scrambled to pick up his sword just as Helgrid charged in letting fly a wild swing of his longsword. The swing caught the nicked goblin square in its shoulders, knocking its scimitar out of its hands and also knocking it to the ground.
Vincenzo reloaded his crossbow and aimed just as the one goblin still standing chopped down with its scimitar at Thorinwald. He saw the blade connect with Thorinwald’s outstretched arm and sever it from his body. Helgrid saw this too and he screamed almost as loudly as Thorinwald at the damage done by the blow. Vincenzo fired and his shot cleanly hit the standing goblin in the chest while Helgrid, in a blood rage lunged at the goblin driving his sword deep into its stomach.
Helgrid and Thorinwald were at least thirty feet away from Vincenzo. Vincenzo began reloading his crossbow as he stood, about to rush to join them, when the drow came into sight. They were advancing casually toward Helgrid who appeared to have gone mad, wildly hacking at each of the wounded goblins in turn. Thorinwald was still screaming on the ground, clutching at his wounded arm. Kilrad finally saw the drow too and stopped charging, even though some of the villagers didn’t. He began shouting. Shouting at Helgrid and Thorinwald to come away, shouting at the villagers to stop. But the drow were almost upon Helgrid who, in his fury, didn’t notice.
Vincenzo realized that he had been dazed by the events. He couldn’t save Helgrid or Thorinwald. He shook himself to regain his senses and sprinted towards Kilrad, shouting that they all needed to run. Kilrad was stunned by what he saw too but Vincenzo’s shouts stirred him to grab the villager nearest him and begin dragging him back to the steps in the cavern wall. Two more villagers had already stopped their charge when they saw the drows’ flashing swords striking at both Helgrid and Thorinwald. They turned and ran with Kilrad. However, the other three villagers, not realizing the difference between war cries and shouts to flee, or the difference between scroungey goblins and lethal drow, had continued running into the fray.
Vincenzo wanted to turn and see their fate. He wanted to turn and aid his fellows. But he knew he had to make the steps or he would die, they all would die if they tried to stay and fight. Kilrad, the villagers, and Vincenzo all made it to the steps at the same time but Kilrad pushed Vincenzo into the lead. He rushed up the cavern wall, all the time hearing screams of pain coming from the cavern floor. By the time he reached the dais, the screams had stopped and he quickly looked down to see that the drow had turned to pursue Vincenzo and the remaining party. As he turned to hurry back up through the passage he yelled at the rest to speed up. He knew the drow would most likely catch them. Even if he and Kilrad made the entrance, they had little chance after that if the drow pursued them the entire way.
He continued running up the passage, the sounds of Kilrad and the others were slowly falling behind him. Vincenzo saw the glow of torchlight up ahead, coming from the wall where the natural cavern had split from the main passage. He screamed for Tomas to run but there was no response. As he passed the natural cave he saw only a torch sputtering on the ground just inside of it. He hoped it meant that Tomas and the other villager had headed back to the entrance. But he couldn’t afford to stop and investigate. He continued to run. As he made it to the deadfall trigger there was just enough natural light for him to see it had been reset. He hurdled it and yelled a warning to the others over his shoulder. He made it another twenty five yards before one of the men tripped the deadfall and the ceiling rained down on him.
Continued in Another Sergeant Kilrad Adventure Part IV