Moving Targets

1629, Sea Season, Movement Week, Windsday


Nayale got lost on the way to Temple. They still need to get back to the inn. Session SA4.16.


Nayale looks at the food and for a moment, it looks as though she’ll refuse it. But, she takes some steadying breaths and then eats what was given to her.

Harmakt pokes her in the shoulder. “Try not to get lost this time.”

She swats his hand. Hard.

“Yeah, if you drop off this time, you don’t arrive at the walls in time for the fighting. S’serious stuff. I used to be the wayfinder for the group – I knew the roofs pretty well because I knew a Vingan’d helped me.”

As soon as she’s done eating, Harmakt is scrambling up a wall. He makes a poor choice of handholds, but after losing his grip and almost falling, he slows down to pick his path more carefully. That said, as soon as he reaches the flat surface of the roof, he’s off at a run.

Nayale growls at him when he starts, but resolutely follows, trusting that Berra is with them. She keeps pace easily on the climb up, but pauses to check her bearings before starting to run across the roof.

Berra throws herself at the wall, flailing her way up where there are hardly any handholds, and thus letting Nayale take the easier path. She does not bother stopping at the top, just sets off at a run.

This leaves the young woman having to chase. She does so, though the gap between her and the others widens over as the minutes pass.

Harmakt is confidently choosing his route across the rooftops, maintaining a demanding pace.

“Harmakt! That building’s on fire – find a new way!” Berra waits until he is committed, which gives Nayale a little time to catch up.

The young Humakti stumbles almost to a halt glancing back in momentary confusion, then, as if he finally understands the game, he redirects them onto the roof the building that butts up against their current one. It’s a bit close to what is supposedly a burning building, but if the fire was small, it would be safe enough for a swift-moving unit.

“Go go go, no slow!” Berra sprints past the ‘burn’ and calls, “Magicians to the left. Don’t get seen!”

Harmakt drops to a stealthy crouch, darting from point to point on the roof. While he’s probably used to doing this in the brush, he’s making it work. His sister, on the other hand, is still trailing. If there really were magicians, she’d make an easy target to pick off.

Berra scratches her armour, but her swords are fine. She half crawls, half slithers, for some of that stretch, and ends up in a hands-and-feet sprint that ends when she skids on a knee and smacks into a wall to slow down. That lets her rise and turn right, in Harmakt’s trail. “Magicians have stopped. Nayale, anything behind?”

Nayale shakes her head, then remembers to call out, “Clear!”

“Harmakt, what’s up front?” Berra waits until he is halfway up a wall to ask.

“The wall,” he yells back. “And a coupla big buildings with no signs of fire. Can’t see no magicians either.”

Someone pokes their head out of a window near Berra, looking horrified. “What in the name of Ty Kora Tek’s dark halls? Magicians?”

Berra pauses to breathe a moment. “Training Humakti – nothing to worry about,” she calls.

The shutters are slammed shut and Berra can hear the window bar being slammed into place.

Berra sighs, and jog-trots for a moment then goes back to a full run. “It’s an exposed roof,” she says to Harmakt as she gets up, “But we’re pretty far in. Let Nayale try that now?” She slows down enough to let Nayale join them.

Nayale manages to catch up at last, as she skips any pretence of hiding and just charges as fast as she can across the roof they’re on. “Someone was saying a lot of words that I’m sure were not pleasant,” she says. She is a little winded, but not struggling.

Berra speeds up too, her boots pounding across the roof. “It’s polite to stick to the edges if you’re loud,” she says, “But we’re training, so!”

If Nayale does not take the lead, Berra is going to lose her.

The younger woman pumps her legs, gaining momentum with each step. She manages to pass both Berra and her brother at last. As they reach the end of the roof, there’s a narrow alley between buildings and she launches herself across it, landing hard but without losing her footing.

Berra makes the same jump a moment later, cheering as she goes.

As Harmakt lands, he stumbles windmilling his way across the next several steps. It takes him too long to recover, meaning that Nayale is already nearing the edge of this roof by the time he spots her again.

Berra is keeping up, but not pulling ahead. She does remember to look around them, keeping an eye on her wards and her surroundings, but mostly she is dedicated to getting ahead fast. The swords crossed on her back are not slowing her down.

Nayale has slowed briefly to pick her path. The next jump is too big, as they’ve reached street wide enough for carts to pass. “Down, then back up,” she yells at Berra before sitting on the edge and twisting around to start her descent. She drops out of sight.

Berra grabs at the edge as she goes over, stopping herself just fast enough to drop into position. Her foot hits a window-ledge and she jumps about eight feet and lands already going forward. Harmakt is ignored as she sprints for the next wall.

Harmakt manages the transition from running to climbing much better than the jump. He closes the distance between them in time to track which path Nayale is scrambling up, so he follows her lead. For the most part, he’s surprisingly quiet as he goes, a trait Nayale does not share. He’s got the makings of a scout.

Berra is not quiet, despite being a scout. She is in nailed boots, and while they have enough grip for her, they definitely slam down. She is also yelping with glee from time to time.

The street is busy as Nayale bolts across it. People curse and swear as she darts around them yelling “sorry!” as she goes. There’s nearly a bad moment when she runs in front of a mule hauling a cart, but she dodges well enough and the animal stops moving abruptly. The merchant bellows something remarkably impolite, though whether it was at the Humakti or the mule is unclear.

Berra, naturally, goes over the cart, vaulting on, jumping the cargo, and dropping down on the other side. Nice steady platform.

Harmakt opts to pass behind it and hits the wall a bit behind Berra and his sister.

Berra gives a solid demonstration of how to run up a wall, but is not tall enough to get all the way, and has to climb the last bit. She throws herself up with unusual ferocity. She might be on the practice yard, and not merely out for a run.

That allows her to pass Nayale on the way up, but the young woman digs deeper and reclaims her lead once she reaches the roof. She is scanning the skyline and when her eyes pick out something in the distance, she changes direction again to cut diagonally across this roof.

Berra follows, but now she is running easily, just behind and keeping there as she recovers. This is her element, Movement.

As Nayale leads and the others keep pace, the buildings and streets get smaller. Although it was not the most direct route, it does not take much longer for the right alley and the right building to come into sight. Nayale lets out a breathless whoop of success.

Berra pushes faster then, getting just in front and then hanging in there. Just. Maybe.

Nayale trails a mere step behind the Wyter priest, while Harmakt is still a couple of body lengths behind.

Berra manages to keep that blistering pace for just long enough to hit the door of the inn with her hand, overshooting so that she has room to slow down.1A special then a pass on DEX, and a special on CON. And also, a wish to win.

Nayale reaches the door after Berra. As soon as her hand slaps it, she bends over, sucking wind. She’s going to cramp if she doesn’t open her chest up soon. Harmakt is a few paces behind. After he too slaps the door, he pats his sister on the back, hard. “Arms up,” he orders. “Don’t want you pukin’ on the Lady’s feet.”

Berra bounces on her feet, like she is ready to go again. “Good path-finding there,” she says. “Well done.”

Nayale, hands on her knees, manages to lift her head up to stare at Berra. “Thanks?” she manages. Her face is flushed and sweaty. Her breathing is coming in gasps and pants. She doesn’t look great, to be honest.

Harmakt’s comment about puking may not be unwarranted.

Berra looks down at her, and says, “Yeah, move more away from the doorway. You’re gonna be sick.”

“Am. Fine. Just. Winded.” Despite arguing, the young woman staggers away from the door, placing a hand on the wall to keep herself from falling on her face.

Berra shrugs, like that is fine with her. “Keep an eye on her?” she tells Harmakt. “I’m going to go get… oh, she only just ate, didn’t she? We had longer.”

Harmakt shrugs, but takes up a post behind his sister. “I’ll keep watch. She’ll be fine. She’s done worse.”

Nayale just keeps panting.

Berra wanders into the room to buy three beers and some salty snacks, and takes two of the beers and all of the snacks – which include brined vegetables – out to the younger Humakti.

“Have this, and be ready to head across town slower a bit later on.”

Nayale has mostly caught her breath now and the look of imminent illness has passed. She has survived the experience and even kept down her lunch. Harmakt accepts the offerings with his usual good humour.

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    A special then a pass on DEX, and a special on CON. And also, a wish to win.