­Knight to E-5

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Entry 3384 11/05/12 22:41
Diana cursed under her breath. While she contemplated what to do next, the opportunity to reenter the tent was lost. Although the canvas was thick, it did little to mask the man's voice or his level of intoxication. For a brief moment, the girl considered rushing into the tent, sword drawn, but such a brash approach was clearly futile.

She knelt on one knee weighing her options. In a moment of decision, the girl quickly moved along the small corridor separating a row of tents. Breaking out onto the street again, she briskly moved backtracking through a series of turns already engraved in her memory. The small fire that the pair had passed earlier remained vacant.

Cursing herself for leaving her shears with Alexios, she tore a thick strip of fabric off her cloak, rather than quietly slicing it. With a haste only associated with grasping hot objects, she plucked a dull ember from the fire and wrapped it in the canvas. Taking an alternate path, she returned to the area near Arjun's quarters. This time however, she entered a tent several plots down on rear adjacent row.

Diana quickly grabbed all the loose cloth available and loosely crumpled it in the corner closest to Arjun. She took the now smoking ember from its canvas binding and placed it in the pile. With a few slow and deep breaths, small flames began to lick the cloth. Soon, the fire spread and caught the tent's side a blaze. With that, Diana exited.

Navigating north, Diana headed for a location between Alexios and the direction of the valley's exit. The girl positioned herself near loose grouping of soldiers and busied herself with items in her satchel. For the time being, her icy glare warded off any of the more inquisitive soldiers.
 
Entry 3385 20/05/12 10:22
From nearby, one would be able to see the gentle, soft wisp of smoke drifting up, unhindered by wind, into the overcast skies above. Though the smoke was barely visible, some soldiers passing the tent smelt the smoke. Alexios could hear them yell about getting water. He heard bustling and stomping. Fear seeped into his veins. What if he couldn't escape the tent and it caught on fire? Quickly he calmed himself and listened to Arjun. He was silent. He leant against the wardrobe and heard metal scratch it. He looked down. The shears. 

"What was that?"
Alexios froze. There was a pause and then he heard Arjun shift. 
"Who's there?" 
In a sudden panic, he got out the shears and sliced a hole in the tent. He heard the ring of metal as Arjun drew his sword and pushed his chair back as he stood. The prince pushed his way through the hole and stumbled into the small space between the tents. By now the pillar of smoke had vanished and the camp began to swarm with activity. Alexios heard some men enter Arjun's tent but he didn't turn to check whether he was being followed. He ran around behind the tent and traced the edge of the cliff, trying to stay out of sight. He peered down each alley between tents, looking for Diana but fearing he may not find her before the soldiers do.
 
Entry 3386 (03/06/12 21:30) 03/06/12 21:20
When the shouting began, Diana mirrored nearby soldier's reactions and quickly rose to her feet. As she felt suspicious eyes begin to fall upon her, a set of soldiers rushed by carrying buckets of water. One of the younger men, if you could even call someone so young a man, stumbled and spilled half a bucket's worth of water at her feet. Surprising herself, Diana growled, "Careless hound!"  She snatched the bucket from the young soldier's hands. "Go back and fetch another before we watch the entire camp burn!" Her voice carried more agitation than she had intended, but the distraction seemed to have worked as the other soldiers stifled laughter. Breaking into a brisk jog, she pursued the other men with a half empty bucket in hand.

Although it would have been easy to catch up to other soldiers, the girl allowed herself to fall farther behind, until she was able to slip off onto a less populated path. Forcing a calm over herself, she walked slowly, identifying landmarks while trying to gather her bearings. As she approached a junction in the path, Arjun and two soldiers briskly walked past her. It took all her will power to not drop the bucket at her feet and run.
 
Entry 3387 04/07/12 09:15
Though their leader was drunk, the rest of the camp was rather efficient and the fire was quickly destroyed before it could destroy anything. Alexios peered down row after row of tents. Every time he saw soldiers run past, he flinched, but none of them seemed to notice him. He crouched low as he neared the corner of the tents. The land rose slightly and there was a scramble of dead shrubs under a large dead tree. He crawled up to the shrubs and knelt behind them. Slowly he glanced across the camp before him. Most of the soldiers were heading towards the main tent. He could see down the main path of the whole camp and he could see Arjun with his hundred billion bodyguards. Sir Arjun stormed to a group of men below what remained of the smoke. He spoke with some men and there were some violent verbal exchanges that Alexios could almost hear. Then Arjun struck one of the men on the cheek and yelled some commands at those behind him. Some of the men immediately ran off to other corners of the camp. It looked like the paladin of the camp -- through drunk -- had enough sense to suspect arsen. 

Alexios turned his attention to the rest of the camp, carefully watching each soldier and taking a few moments to determine whether it was his female companion. 
"How does she walk?" he muttered to himself, frustrated at his inability to tell her apart from the soldiers. "Where are you...?" Then he wondered, if she started the fire, it was to serve as a distraction, which meant that she would be looking for him. He lifted his gaze to the other corners of the valley, looking at dead shrubs, jagged rocks, cliff faces, and boulders for signs of her. He briefly considered trying to make some sort of signal for her, but then reconsidered; it would be too risky. Then he saw a lone soldier halfway across the camp towards the edge, walking low behind some tents. Panic rushed through him as he saw a group of soldiers stalking the lone soldier a few tents away. [1]
 
Entry 3389 (04/07/12 17:51) 04/07/12 17:44
The girl's panic began rapidly eroding through her composure. A quarter of an hour had slipped passed since Diana had last seen Alexios, and she began to wonder if the young prince was even still in the camp. With the size of this outpost, it seemed unlikely she would be able to find him without attracting more attention herself. Given few options, she cursed under her breath and began moving to rendezvous with Cyrus. She hoped Alexios had done the same.

As she turned towards northward, she caught a glimpse of the same patrol that had been behind her a few minutes earlier. The shepherd's heart pounded within her chest. For too long she had set a slow pace, and these men were now gaining on her. If she chose to run now, no doubt the entire camp would be at her heels within moments. Cold sweat tickled her neck.

Just before her pursuers made the turn northward, Diana darted into a tent. Withdrawing her sword, she slashed a wide hole in the tent's back. As she slipped out the rear, she cut another wide gash in the back of the next tent. A soldier inside was startled awake, but Diana was already outside before full consciousness had returned to him. Re-sheathing her blade, she set a quick pace making her way towards the encampment's edge.

Although this path was empty, loud voices of disagreement began disturbing the camp behind her. The sounds of waking soldiers clamored within tents all around her. If they pursued her, she would need to divert them from Cyrus and the children. Diana hoped it would not come to that.
 
Entry 3392 14/08/12 04:32
Alexios watched keenly and worriedly as the lone soldier evaded soldier after soldier. Now confident it was her, he went to make a move back to the camp but then his target vanished from sight, entering a tent. He paused and watched. What was she doing? Then she emerged again and he sighed loudly. He carefully moved to what looked like an old avalanche with plenty of large stones to hide behind. As he slid down the slope he tried to keep his eyes on the target, but as he got nearer to the valley floor he found it eventually impossible to see over the tents. He tried to line himself up with the alley that she was walking down, and he moved to a low crouch behind a boulder. Glancing out, he tried to wave at her without attracting attention to himself.
 
Entry 3393 08/09/12 16:24
A gust of wind pulled at her garb as her boots pounded the rutted path. Motion to her side sent her hand to the pommel of her sword, but the panic turned to relief in an instant when she recognized the prince perched behind a slab of stone. Once more the shepherd glanced ever her shoulder looking for anyone in pursuit. When she found no unfriendly faces, Diana casually stepped off the path and joined the boy.

Passing the prince, she squatted and massaged her ankles. "I see you managed an escape. We must leave this place at once. If we follow this path, we should find Cyrus within minutes," the girl stated in a hushed tone.
 
Entry 3396 04/12/12 15:03
Alexios said nothing as they walked. The sounds of the camp were eventually swallowed by the stillness of the mountains. They took as many turns as possible, slowing down as they drew away from the danger zone. It eventually came to be that they checked every space surrounding the path in search for Cyrus or the children, or any of the others, for that matter. Alexios sat on a boulder. 
"It could take any number of days to find any of my men, or Cyrus." He planted his face in his grubby hands. "What of the map you found? We should take a closer look at it. It will give us a better idea of this area, if nothing else." [1][2]
 
Latest Post Entry 3399 01/01/13 17:10
Using a flat portion of the boulder, Diana rolled out the map.  After some inspection she pointed to a collection of jagged lines. "We're here, southwest of the Jevithem camp." With her finger, she traced along the road, "Trelinia under Sir Leonard and Leotyne under Sir Carey are to the northwest, here." Gesturing to the foliage behind them, she continued, "If we cross through this forest and scaled a few cliffs we'll find the Karithians to the southwest."

"However, I think our best chance of finding Cyrus is to move here." The girl circled a blank area to the southeast with her finger. "There's an abandoned mill and a few empty homes there. Although Cyrus wouldn't have known that, it's the most reasonable place to retreat, given the terrain and a desire to avoid the road."

Diana stepped back and hooked a thumb into her belt. She ran her fingers through her hair with a sigh. "It's also the best option we have of not being seen - even if it's not directly towards friendly soldiers."
 
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