t doesn’t take the rebels long to calm themselves.Commander Markus makes damn sure of that. The haphazard rebel base badly needs fortification, the healing supplies are laughable and their intelligence gathering system is rudimentary at best. There is far too much work to be done to fight amongst themselves.
And so, they begin. The toil isn’t that of grand adventurers from a bard’s tale. Rather, it is the back-breaking labor needed to get things done. The companions all dedicate themselves to the necessary work with a fervor. And as troops are trained and walls are raised and locations are scouted, the pretend rebellion begins to coalesce itself into a reality.
New faces join old. Newcomers Ark and Grunur are joined by other faces that stand out in the rebel crowd: Subaru Takashi and her faithful Kenta, an old friend of the mysterious sniper; Tumult Osari, a paladin sworn to a lawless cause; Alexandra Stotch,a healer of considerable skill, somehow linked to the mysterious battle-mage Veor; and Brannoch (“Bran”) Alden, a long-ago acquaintance of the Lady Elana Savain, whose past – and current – mysteries and powers reveal a far more complicated woman than her title suggests.
Together, alongside dozens more, the rebellion grows.
Archers are trained at the skillful hand of Tumult; infantry clumsily learn to wield blades like warriors under the gaze of Subaru. Healing potions are blended, mixed and remixed by Alexandra alone…only she appeared to have the gentle touch and skill to get the concoctions just right, as Grunur had painfully been forced to admit when face-to-potion with his own ineptitude. Instead, the dwarf had thrown himself into the fortifications of the base alongside his old friend Caithas (whenever the half-elf wasn’t too busy scouting barracks, towers and other locations that Markus seemed interested in). The nobles used their words, their wits and their titles to aid the cause; gravitas, especially around green kids (as some of the rebel recruits surely were), cannot be overemphasized.
They all worked for different reasons. Some let them be known loud and drunkenly clear, like the half-elf (somewhere between “fun” and “Jules” lay his reply); some, like the spellflare Elana and the Maxentius-hunting Ark, kept their cards far closer to the chest. Some were born to lead, as Jules Amour was finding out; some were just born to fight, as the powerfully-built Bran has known all his life.
And together, they crafted a chance.
Not a good chance, mind…but a chance.
A chance to face down the residing loyalists on their own turf. A chance to rise up in their own held-down city. A chance to cry out for freedom with blade and bow.
A chance to fight.
And so they did.
They rose up when Markus gathered them. They craned closer to hear the plan, silently praying to whatever gods or goddesses they still held dear. They learned that, with the base’s fortifications as strong as they were going to get, it was time to move out. Time to strike at the locations scouted during the preparations (at this, Caithas grinned dumbly and proudly, nudging Grunur with an elbow). Time to send small bands against the surrounding towers to cut off communication; time to send the bulk of the troops to the enemy barracks to rout them where they stood.
It was time for the war to begin.