It was a back and forth battle as combatants struggled to gain a foothold, the bloody fight encompassing the first and second floor of the ancient tower. The company was split into three parties — Arthur and Byron, Edmund and Billet, and once Sir Garrett returned, it was he and Killian.
Many were wounded as the bodies of the Hightowers began to pile up. Eventually, Edmund climbed to the Tower roof, while the Hightowers retreated to the third floor due to the combined assault of Arthur, Edmund, and Billet, but, when the Hightowers returned in force, an arrant torch thrown by Byron was ignited by fuel oil and the tower went up in flames quickly.
On the roof, Edmund had discovered what he believed to be their target — a cask intricately chained and locked — but when the tower became inflamed, the Hightowers stormed the roof, led by Sir Graves, the invader’s commanding officer.
Graves offered a truce that Edmund accepted. The Hightowers’ rogue had no more luck than Stewart in picking the locks, so they hoisted the chest and lowered it from the burning building, while everyone else scaled down the side, just ahead of the inferno.
Meanwhile, Arthur and Killian had tried to escape the conflagration through the first floor, but the ceiling collapsed, cutting off their exit. Luckily Togo, Billet, and Sir Garrett made it out through the secret tunnel before being burned alive by the fallen debris.
With Byron’s aid, Arthur and Killian made it back to the second floor, being hauled up to the stone parapet. There they saw the Hightowers escape with the chest, but when the rogue’s eyes caught Killians, she screamed out his name and he fled over the side, Arthur and Byron following after.
Edmund made a play for the chest, grappling with Sir Graves second-in-command and tossing him over the side, but the rogue escaped, lowering herself over the parapet whist standing on the treasure. Edmund scaled over the side, carefully making his way down with whatever handholds he could muster, moving toward his escaping friends so they could stand together.
They were not going to let their prize get away, regardless of any truce.
The rogue reached the ground with the chest, the corpses of Hightower guards in her wake, with Sir Graves lowering himself closely behind.
Billet, seeing the rogue, raced toward her from the tower corral and the two fell into a long embrace even as Graves advanced on them.
What secret does the perplexingly locked chest hold? Who is the mysterious rogue locked in an embrace with their swashbuckling compatriot, and what is her connection to Killian Denwar?
Inquiring minds want to know.
to be continued