actions meant more, and kept the enemy unaware until the last minute of your intentions. Jimmy Pookly, riding on the eastern side, spotted a movement, raising a clenched fist, the well known halt signal.
He circled slowly around to the back of where he thought he saw movements in the gully. Below him, he saw 10 men gathered ready to ride out, as the train was going past, at the lead was Morrtor, and his friend Patraig Connor, both known as vagabonds and ruffians, with no respect for law, other than what they could enforce by fear.
With a swift circling motion of his left hand, and pointing to the back of the gully, Jimmy had given the guard a quick and efficient signal: Half of you circle to the back, and the rest with me, flush them out and charge the gully.
With the train of people well out of sight, and the vagabonds, none the wiser.
Jimmy yelled: ‘To me, guard !’
Startled by the shout, the vagabonds tried to turn tail, in seeing the guardsmen from both directions, there gully, from which they were going to spring an attack, had now become a death trap, as swords, mace, and spears clashed, the clothes of the ordinary men, were no protection from the vicious slashing of the blades and barbs of the guard. Morrtor and a few got out of the fray, suffering cuts and bleeding, but the majority of the group of 35 or so, had been left for dead, laid where they died.
Going around the dead, Pookly and his men picked the group clean of weapons and clothing.
‘They won’t be needing it.’ he said.
As one young girl looked sadly at what he was doing.
‘The dead have no need of clothing, and with the rains due soon, you will be glad of some footwear, from a dead man or not.’ Jimmy told the young girl.
‘Looks like you have a new friend there, Jimmy.’ said his long time friend Josef Plumbly.
‘Certainly does, Joe.’
‘What’s yer name, little one ?’
‘Polly Marring, sir.’
‘Well, Polly, I am Jimmy Pookly, and you can call me, Jimmy.’
‘Where are you going, Jimmy ?’ Polly asked sheepishly.
‘Nearest city is Marienberg or Farrowborne, depending if we go by road or across the hills, but there is a little village we can stop at just before Farrowborne, called Elfenmere.’
,Looking back at what had been Mordhiem .all they could see was a blazing ruined city. The earth still shaking from the underground eruptions and the heat of the comet, still starting large fires, wherever they turned.
‘What happened ?’ she asked.
‘Most common view, held by the sisters and the people who whipped themselves for our sins, is that Mordhiem was so wickedly corrupt, Sigmar sent his comet to rid the world of us, and so we might learn to be better people for next time.’
‘What is your view then ?’
‘I am as god fearing a man, as any, but I just put it down to our bad luck, and nought else, young Polly.’
As the train of tired, sorrowed folks trudged along the road to Elfenmere, they came to a crossing, Polly stopped and looked at the road ahead.
‘You don’t want to being going there young girl.’
A gentle voice came from behind Polly.
‘Why not ?’
‘That road leads to Kerranmore, and only vagabonds goes there.’
‘What is in Kerranmore ?’
‘Was there, you mean.’
‘Can you explain to me please ?’
‘Years ago, it used to be a small port, didn’t have much trade, but was on the route from Marienberg to Mordhiem, then they decided it was quicker over the hills, so people stopped going, now it is just a den for vagabonds, and a small dock area.’
As Polly turned to see from where the kindly voice had come, all she caught was a glance of green as the person disappeared in the crowded road.
The group of lost souls slowly dragged their tired, aching bodies up the hill to Elfenmere.
‘Ok men, I want guards out on the roads, we should expect an attack before long.’
‘How do you know that, Jimmy ?’ Polly asked.
‘Since the crossroads, we have been followed.’
Polly looked around, and said:
‘Are you sure, I see nobody ?’
‘Sure as you are standing there, Polly. He is on the far side of the hills, just out of sight for now.’
‘One of Morttors’ men, you think ?’