"Holy crap! Hurry up Larn, they're on the move!"

I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard the roar rip through the floor below me. The whole structure seemed to shake with the force of it, and I did not like it. Now I was in trouble - real trouble. I heard a commotion on the stairs, drunken shouting mixed with curses as our attackers stumbled over one another, their shadows dancing on the walls like hyperactive imps. I whimpered and clutched my sword tighter. This was going to get messy, and I had no desire to die a second time. I hadn't enjoyed it much the first time, and had no wish to repeat the experience.

"Get your butts out here now!" I shrieked, voice high with panic. "I'm not holding this lot off on my own - gah!"

Before the last words were even out of my mouth, the first of the would-be-murderers lurched into view. Three more followed him, a larger group just behind them. All were armed with meat cleavers, large sticks, one man even carried a scythe. I dodged their attacks, dancing and twisting out of their reach, swearing under my breath. More and more men poured up the stairs until there was a group of ten or more grouped on the landing. I managed to knock two off their feet, but soon I was set upon by a group of five. I never stood a chance.

With a blood curdling howl, one of the men leapt forward and tried to grab my wrist. I swung my sword, trying to fend him off, but another of his companions took advantage of my distraction and knocked my legs out from under me. My screams of pain must have finally got their attention, for at that moment Larn and Sarin burst out of the door. Larn roared and swung his great axe around his head, knocking one man to the ground with one fell swoop. Sarin wielded an enormous bow, sending three arrows flying into the fray in quick succession before using the heavy stave to blugeon a man who dared get too close to her.

Kicking one of my assailants in the face, I tried to scramble free of the fray. However, a booted foot slammed down on my hand, kicking my sword from my grasp. A hand grabbed a hank of my hair and yanked me to my knees. I looked up to find myself staring into a face that had clearly seen better days, even before the bruises. Pig-Face leered down at me, a wicked looking knife gleaming in his hand.

"Time for some payback." he growled.

He raised the knife, clearly intending to tear my throat out then and there. I twisted away just in time and the knife flickered past me, leaving nothing but a thin line of red as it grazed the edge of my neck. Pig-Face snarled and kicked me in the chest, knocking the wind out of me. He raised the knife again, but something slammed into his side and sent him toppling backwards into the rest of his companions. I barely had time to grab my sword before I was attacked again. Still on my knees, I managed to fend him off long enough to get back to my feet. Sarin and Larn were still in the fray, wreaking havoc with axe and bow alike. Jared stood protectively beside Elorie in the doorway, rather uselessly considering he could barely stand. I beat my opponent off, knocking him to the ground and kicking him in the head for good measure. My chest throbbed but I knew I had to help the others.

So much for a restful night.

The End

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