Sarah called for York once the skins were filled with antidote. He jumped down from the attic and took a sip from one.
“Perfect,” he smiled as he gathered up all but one of the flasks. “Three sips is all anyone needs to reverse the effect of the drug.”
“YORK!” Sarah shouted as he was about to leave. He turned back to look at her. “Phoenix wants the fortress opened up to the raiding forces at dusk.”
“As you command,” he bowed and slipped through the door.
Before Harriet could bolt it closed again Sharon appeared. She was smattered with blood and was followed by a very nervous looking couple. As Harriet closed and bolted the door Sharon picked up the hem of her skirt and rung it out.
“Damn Nigiri is going to flood us out.” Sharon looked around the group. “We’re missing one.”
“I’m here,” Tralee stated as she clambered down from the attic.
Sarah held out a hand for the girl. Almost absently Tralee took it and Sarah gave it a squeeze. Looking into the girl’s face Sarah could see it was stained with tears and she sympathized with the woman.
“Good.” Sharon picked up the last wine skin before turning to Sarah. “Now, you weren’t expecting us all to sneak out the front door, were you?”
“No,” Sarah straightened up. “Phoenix is bringing a boat around to the back, so we just have to get everyone to the second floor of the keep.”
“Good,” Sharon nodded, “that makes things easier, though given the fog and the chaos either method would work. Do we know when the boat is to arrive?”
“Phoenix said they’d be here by dusk.”
Sharon grunted. “Not much time till that now. You get this lot up there and I’ll go fetch the rest.”
“The rest?” Sarah asked, nearly standing up, but Sharon was already out the door. Uh, Jason? she sent her thoughts out.
Yes Sarah? came his puzzled reply.
I’ve got ten here for a boat ride and Sharon went to fetch some more so, uh...
Her thought trailed off as Jason chuckled. Apparently, the Gods must have known for the only other lake worthy boat was barely big enough to rescue one. Just be sure you are all there by dusk. Lynn is losing her control of the weather and there are some fierce storms ready to blow over us.
“Right,” Sarah spoke as she rose from her seat. Gingerly she tested her injured leg and smiled. The Gods Nectar was still working. She hoped it would last until she got on that boat. “Okay so,” she looked at all the people who were now facing her. “We’re to get to that garden that overlooks the lake by dusk. Are any of you up for trying to get there yourself?”
“Where is it?” The man that Sharon brought in spoke up.
He stood, arms around the woman he’d come in with. She held one of the girls and the boy; a family reunited. Sarah smiled.
“Go in through the kitchen door and head up the stairs. Turn right and go to the very end of the hall, there should be a door to the outside. I presume the inner courtyard is out there. Phoenix’s boat should arrive at dusk.”
“We’ll freeze while we wait!” the woman exclaimed.
“There are plenty of blankets and the like in the rooms on the second floor,” Harriet stated. “Grab some of them.”
A loud knock on the door startled them and Sarah strode to it.