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Wednesday, January 13

Crisis in Freeport: Part 5 – Free Drak!

Beldin stood at the entrance to the Fortress of Justice, along with Commander Stern. With a barked command, the guards let them in.

Inside, two hundred and fifty citizens, mainly women and children, huddled together in the training area.

“Who’s in charge here?” demanded Commander Stern.

“I’m Sergeant Lassiter,” said a grizzled guardsman. With the death of Commissioner Williams at the hands of Price Rurbach, it had fallen to Lassiter to lead the Fortress until a suitable replacement could be found. “What’s the meaning of this?”

“You’ve got to let Drak go,” said Beldin. “Right now.”

“Are you mad? He’s a criminal!”

“He’s only guilty of wanting to be Sea Lord,” said Beldin. “And I can think of several other people who you should be arresting if that’s the case.”

“There are orcs on their way here,” said Stern more urgently. “And they’re going to storm these gates if we don’t do something.”

“Fine, fine,” said Lassiter. “But this is on your head.”

They jogged over to the Tombs, where only a solitary jailer and two guards were on watch.

“Open Drak’s cell,” snapped Lassiter. “We’re letting him out.”

“But sir!”

“Now, private!”

The guard complied. Drak Scarbelly hobbled out of his cell.

“Well, well, well, if tis’ not me old friend, Beldin Soulforge.” The orc pirate smiled with a mouthful of yellow teeth. “And what be th’ problem t’day?”

“Barbarians are attacking the city,” said Beldin.

Drak nodded. “So I heard. This all coulda been avoided if ye just gave me th’ sextant. Instead o’ trying to pass it off as evidence o’ that human brat’s lineage.”

“You’re not going to have a Freeport to rule over at this rate,” said Beldin.

“Give me th’ sextant, then.”

“I don’t have it,” said Beldin.

“Then I guess ye’ve got bigger problems.”

Beldin huffed. “If you don’t help us, humans AND orcs will die. All of us! This is Freeport’s last chance!”

Scarbelly looked him up and down with his good eye. “Then I’ll make ye a compromise. I want a guaranteed seat on th’ Council.”

“What?” said Lassiter. “You can’t possibly be considering…”

Beldin put one hand up. “We need to consider everything right now.”

“That’s madness,” said Stern. “From criminal to Councilman? The citizens of Freeport will never stand for it.”

“Citizens?” asked Drak. “There be a whole horde o’ them outside yer gates, and I don’t mean th’ barbarians. Treat th’ orcs like decent folk and ye’d be surprised what ye get back.” He turned back to Beldin. “Swear on Sarish and I’ll see what I can do.”

Beldin stroked his beard, deep in thought.

“Ye don’t exactly have a lot o’ time here,” said Drak impatiently. more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:51 AM


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