"Melody! Melody Valleroy!"
Kir called out to the young woman, "We require your aid in an important matter."
A young woman of unusual height at the fringes of a crowd, busy nervously discussing matters in hushed tones, turned towards the man calling her name. Melody brushed a strand of dark hair out of her bright blue eyes and smiled at the god-touched.
"Kir, you made it through the assault and the vampire attacks! I'm so relieved to see you. Whatever could I do for you?"
Melody asked while she approached the Mystic.
Melody was a young girl of approximately 16 years of age. Kir respected her judgment, which was remarkably good for one so young, as well as her conviction to her ideals. In some ways, she reminded Kir of the self of his youth. She was unusually tall if a bit homely, but she was one of those individuals whose inner beauty far outshone their outer beauty.
She also happened to be infatuated with the Mystic, but she was not old enough to realize how obvious her affections were or how uninterested Kir was.
Kir frowned at the girl before answering her, "Matters are dire. Asnir in his wisdom has suggested that we abandon Fort Reid; every night we delay brings us all closer to our doom. We have debated endlessly with those left in charge by Doc Reid's absence, but they are frustratingly unyielding. All of Reid's Rangers have been ordered to defend the fort, and none may leave their posts."
Kir shook his head, clearly frustrated by his inability to convince the ranger zealots to listen to reason. He continued, "No. They will not listen to us. However, we have been granted permission to leave with those too old to fight effectively or too young for even these..."
Kir sighed and closed his eyes.
Opening his eyes, Kir nodded as if decided upon a course of action, and told her his plan, "We have gathered all the people we could within the restrictions imposed upon us,"
he nodded towards the gathered crowd and continued, "We will begin convincing the civilians to leave with us to safety. We have permission to leave at daybreak. Asnir demands we all leave. Now, tonight."
Kir gave Melody a stern look before instructing her, "You, Melody, must retrieve your brother, Leveret. His dedication to Reid's Rangers is commendable if misplaced, but he will listen to you if you ask him to come. He will be needed. If there is trouble, we will guarantee his safe passage out of the fort by force of word or arms,"
Kir paused long enough to gauge the crowd before he finished instructing Melody, "Meanwhile, we will convince as many to follow us as is possible. Meet us at the gate within the half hour. Do not tarry, Melody Valleroy! A single second could cost any of us life or limb, and once the darkness is complete we must flee."
Melody knew better than to question Kir and sped off to find her brother while Kir Gloryspirit approached to address the crowd.
The crowd of children, the elderly and the infirm argued against every point Kir brought up. They believed too heavily in Doc Reid and his damnable rangers and would not listen to reason. Kir had no more time to spend upon the gathered people.
Kir slammed the butt of his staff into the ground with emphasis as he shouted above the crowd, impossibly loudly. As he raised his voice, Kir's eyes shone with a glow akin to the warm, orange glow of a campfire. A similar aura enveloped his body and cast light into the night.
Kir surveyed the crowd before closing his argument, "We are finished! Those who wish to live follow us, the girl Melody and her brother Leveret. Those who follow will likely live. This fort will be emptied of all life before the rise of the sun. You have five minutes to decide. Leave or die."
Melody returned to Kir with her brother just before the darkest hour of the night. Leverat seemed distraught by having to choose between her sister and the rangers, but he made the right choice in the end.
Besides the siblings, Kir had a dozen children not of age to enlist with the Rangers, five elderly citizens that volunteered to keep the kids in line, and one male Quick-Flex. The quick flex seemed to be a warrior of some sort but, interestingly, not a ranger.
Kir had the small group waiting at the gates for the right moment, but Leveret was impatient. He brashly questioned Kir, "Mystic. First, you force my sister to bring me into your group. Then you insist that we'll all die if we don't leave the fort. Now that we have agreed to leave, you have us wait! Why do we not leave?"
Kir stared hard at the boy in an attempt to cow him, but the youth insisted upon receiving answers. Shaking his head, Kir obliged, "We shall lead you to safety once Asnir allows it. For now, be silent and do not draw attention..."
Kir stopped speaking mid-sentence and a blank expression came across his face. Inside his head, Asnir spoke to Kir, "Leave, now, and head north with haste. Kir, help the weak, inspire the wary, and encourage the weary, but do not allow the pace slow or help will not arrive in time. Go!"
After Asnir's instructions, Kir ignored Leverat and addressed the group as a whole, "We leave, now! Have no fear, friends. By the grace of Asnir, we shall protect you all. We travel north. Move as quickly as you can, and do not slow! Help each other and do not fear; we are here with you. Now, go!"
The group set off with Kir in the lead, the siblings seeing to the group's needs, and the Quick Flex bringing up the rear.
Kir and the group make a good pace. The siblings help lighten the load greatly, and Kir draws upon the ley line to aid his charges when needed. The quick flex deters any vampire who gets a little too close.
There are hundreds of vampires on their tail, but the group manages to stay just out of reach. Everyone is exhausted and terrified of being caught, but they keep going. They have no choice but to keep faith in Kir and Asnir.
Just when the elderly and the children begin to lose strength, a zone ranger pulls over the hill and swerves to avoid the group!
Kir turns and plants his staff in the ground, ready to defend the civilians. He calls out to group as they pass him, "Help is here! Get to safety. We will buy you time."