Carpe Diem, Page 27

An obvious diversion is always the most efficient way to get someone’s attention. Once you set it off, speed will be of the essence, so you must plan out your actions carefully. Luckily, your vantage point on the ramparts offers you plenty of opportunity to do so.

You begin by scoping out your surroundings. To your upper left is the mansion, and behind it is the guard tower, its view blocked by the mansion, so you won’t have to worry about being seen as you walk along the ramparts. In front of you, at the far end, you can clearly see the granary and its sole guard. You contemplate the situation. How the grel could I draw the guard’s attention away?

As you keep on pondering a plan of approach, a piercing sound breaks your concentration. It’s a horse’s neigh, and it’s coming from just below you. You look down from the ramparts and spot a restless stallion tied to its post. This gives you an idea.

You rip off a part of your shirt and roll it up into a jumbled ball. Lighting the cloth on a nearby torch, you quickly toss the ball for the horse’s mane. The horse panics as the ball of fire hits it, stomping and throwing itself around, uttering shrill screams until it manages to get loose from the post.

It charges forward, alerting the guard in front of the granary. He narrowly manages to avoid getting tramped by the thing. A merry chase begins in the courtyard as he tries to bring the bucking stallion under control.

This is your time to strike, and speed is of the essence. You run to the other end of the rampart. An open window goes straight into the granary, and you climb through it. The drop on the other side is unexpected, but fortunately, you land on a pile of grain sacks at the bottom.  It’s nearly impossible to see anything now; the only thing you can make out is vague silhouettes. You notice something that looks oddly like a lantern, so you reach towards it, inspecting it by touch. Yup, this is definitely a lantern, you think, which you then attempt to light. After a few failed attempts, you finally manage to get the flint to create a spark, and with that — let there be light!

The room illuminates. What seems like an endless store of grain, corn, vegetables, and cured meats stretches in all directions. It’s a shame that you have to destroy all of this, but a mission is a mission. So you throw your lantern onto the same pile of sacks that you fell on, and the blaze rapidly develops. Mission accomplished.

You turn around and head towards the main door, grabbing the handle and pulling on it to get out… Nothing. The door is locked.

The realization sends tremors down your spine. You were so preoccupied with getting into the granary that you didn’t think of an escape plan! Panicked, you begin throwing your whole body against the door. Nothing. It won’t budge at all. You turn around and jog a few steps, after which you charge at the door and shoulder-check your way into it. Nothing again — except an aching shoulder.

How ironic that your adventures would end in a blaze of glory. It doesn’t seem so poetic once you’re a part of such an ending, though.

The End