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Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: The king gazed around the room, taking notice of each and every individual present. He had called a meeting with a select number of his trusted rebellion members to discuss the upcoming difficulties they would face. The great witch Kiri had told him about - as well as, of course, Ragnarok - plagued upon his mind. He needed to ascertain that all people here knew how best to handle these trials.

He also, admittedly, could use some assistance in coming up with strategy. Everything had to be solid; they could take no risks anywhere.

"I believe everyone is present now," the king said, standing before them and gazing into everyone’s eyes one by one. "Very well then. I shall begin.

"We have multiple upcoming challenges we must brace ourselves for in the next month. The first is an enormous witch, Walpurgisnacht, which Kiri predicts will come toward our camp. I believe she called it a "force of nature," saying it would be best if we could evacuate. However, this is impossible given the short notice we have, as well as the gathering armies of Ragnarok roaming just beyond our fortress walls.

"This means we must prepare to combat it. To outlive it where we stand. Bunkers and shelters for those who are not fighting are a must. Kiri says more witch hunters will come in to help us. But we must outline a full plan to prepare.

"Does anyone have an questions, any ideas, any additions to how we might face this first challenge?

Grey Bergman: Grey sat in her chair taking in everything King Haddock said about Ragnorak and the “force of nature” Kiri mentioned. She stroked her chin trying to think of something…anything, especially for those who would need to be evacuated. Finally, something came to mind. She stood up and turned to King Haddock. 

"Sir, if I may, when Stonegit gave us that two-day limit a while back, Seasick and I had a plan to evacuate only those not able to fight while everyone else stayed," she said. "It could be dangerous for the evacuees to stay here, so I was thinking that, possibly, we put up some hidden shelters a few miles outside the camp grounds. That way, they can stay safe when this witch comes. It would take some time, yes, but…probably not as much as evacuating an entire rebellion."

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock nodded. “Those would be good measures to take. We must be careful to make sure that the evacuees can leave the fortress for even a few miles safely, and that Orskaf and Odin’s soldiers do not follow them. Would you and Seasick still take charge of this endeavor?”

Sayaka: "If I may, King Haddock?"

A spritely young woman marched in, dressed in light leathers with a white traveling cape.  Two swords rested at her hips, and she had a determined look to match her short blue hair.

"I guess that’s you, right?" she said after a moment.  Then she grinned and bowed.  "Sorry for the delay.  I’m Sayaka, leader of the Blue regiment of Kiri’s Witch Hunters.  We just arrived.  Varric and Gaius are taking care of the rest of the troops.  Pleasure to meet ya all!" she waved.

Then she let her face drop into seriousness.  

"Couldn’t help but here you on the evacuees.  I agree for now, except that we don’t know exactly where the witch will show up," she spoke.  "If you’re going to take noncombatants anywhere, get them out of the danger zone and defensible locations.  We’ve been stocking up at the witch hunter fortress for a while, so we can offer that place as a safe location for now until we can get everyone further away."

Seasick: Seasick listened in on the meeting, unsure of what she could possibly say or do that would somehow help the rebellion.

Evacuation.

Thinking back to when she and Furious had evacuated many of the rebels with the help of Grey and the others, it had gone quite smoothly, perhaps it would work a second time.

"As Grey mentioned, the evacuation during the three day limit went rather smoothly. I can get plenty of rebels out of the camp and into one of your fortresses, just as long as you show us the way."

Sayaka: Sayaka beamed at her.  “Sure can do!  We got dragons in the Eikon regiment - whenever Gaius gets here I’ll talk to him, and he can get a few people to help show you how to get to the fortress.  Tall stern looking guy.  Blond.  Usually wears tons of armor.”

She glanced around at everyone.  Then she smiled.  “Don’t worry.  We’re here to help.  We’ll do everything we can to get everyone ready for Walpurgisnacht.  Just tell us what you need.”

Grey Bergman: Grey smiled at the witch hunter. “And we greatly appreciate it, Sayaka. Thank you,” she said. Then the Lady had another idea. “If it’s at all possible, we might want to evacuate the noncombatants within the next day or two…under the cover of night. My dragon is a Night Fury, and it would be too dark to see Furious flying. Orskaf would never see us. If you can tell your comrades to be ready by then, that would be great.”

Sayaka: Sayaka nodded, grinning.  “Sounds good!  You guys have stables right?  I’ll get Gaius to pop his dragons and their riders over there after dusk.”

She glanced back around at the group, then held her chin in thought.  “Hmm… anything else?  My regiment brought cannons with us.  They work great against regular witches.  It’s kind of awesome.”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "We should station those cannons at strategic locations," the king said. "The fortress has a lot of heights you can take advantage of. And yes, we have stables." He paused. "What other weapons and people do you have?"

Sayaka: Sayaka held up her hand and counted off fingers.  

"Hmm… mages, dragons, footsoldiers, former mercenaries… some from this Rebellion, might I add," she said pointedly.  "Every person and dragon has been trained and has plenty of experience fighting witches.  We each can carry our own weight.  Weapon-wise, we have those cannons, harpoon-type cannons, handheld explosives with blackpowder, several potion mixes that do different things but let a normal person burn or freeze or melt away whatever they’re thrown at, handheld launchers that can throw those potion mixes or the handheld explosives, these things the mages came up with that uses these crystals to make magical barriers, you can fit like ten people behind them… then your regular artillery from troops.  Everything’s been tested against regular witches and works well.  Blue Regiment specializes in weapons work," she winked.

Greg Ericson: Suddenly a commotion was heard from outside and eventually Greg appeared at the door. The guards crossed their spear type weapons barring him entrance. “Out of my way.” He said irritatedly. He attempted to move past them, but his attempts were thwarted as the guards remained firm. He shouted to the king. “What’s this I hear about a witch?”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock stood at once. “Greg!” he exclaimed. “What are you doing?”

Greg Ericson: "I have come," Greg said irritatedly, pushing past the guards. "For information. I cannot fight what I know nothing about. So I ask again… What is this I hear about a witch?"

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "You couldn’t have asked us or alerted your coming beforehand?" the king asked, tetchy.

Greg Ericson: Greg frowned, “I only just heard of it now, and even so it was a rumor at best. You have been very closed mouth towards your subjects Haddock. I’m surprised anyone knows anything around here.”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "This is new information which I have not had the time yet to disseminate," the king rebuked Greg. "It would do you well to give me the benefit of the doubt rather than go against regulations, screaming accusations, barging into a place you were not invited."

Greg Ericson: Greg had grown frustrated with the king. All he wanted at this moment was to help but Haddock was so infuriating he wasn’t even able to get simple information. “You know what fine. Forget you. I just wanted to help. But if you don’t want it don’t expect it. Ever.” With that he walked out with his right hand outstretched and only his middle finger extended.

Grey Bergman: Grey stared in absolute shock as she watched her adoptive little brother leave. She quickly glared and stood up from her seat walking right over to him. “Greg Ericson,” she said pulling his arm down roughly getting him to look at her, “you do NOT ever treat King Haddock like that! You had no right to come here uninvited! You knew I was here! You could’ve asked me when I met up with you guys, you…idiot!”

Greg Ericson: Greg gently removed Grey hand from his arm and said calmly. “I just don’t care anymore Grey.”

Grey Bergman: "That doesn’t matter," Grey said crossing her arms. "You will man up right now and apologize to him…right…now…"

Greg Ericson: "No. I won’t." Greg said and started for the door again.

Seasick: "Okay, that’s enough Greg." Seasick finally spoke. She understood being frustrated with Haddock but this was ridiculous.

"Look, Haddock summoned a few of us to discuss what we were to do about Ragnarok, as well as the witches. We have plans established already, everything is under control. There is no need to get upset at him, for once. 

She paused and then continued, “As Grey said, she was going to tell you, as we all were going to tell everyone in the rebellion. I know you’re upset and frustrated with Haddock, believe me, I am too, but rudely confronting him and not giving him a chance to explain is not the best way to go about this. Just calm down, and let him explain.”

Greg Ericson: Greg was not in the mood for reprimanding, or speeches, and he definitely wasn’t in the mood to hear Haddock speak. So he ignored Seasick’s words and left the room to go blow off steam.

Grey Bergman: Grey exhaled as she pinched the bridge of her nose. She wasn’t sure if she was embarrassed or angry or whatever…but she definitely knew Greg was going to get one…HUGE…earful. He was already treading on thin ice with King Haddock to begin with, and she had hoped that with her promotion she could do something to fix it. So far…that wasn’t turning out well. He was already out the door, so…there was not much to do except get back to the meeting. She turned back to the King and the other rebels and walked back over. She sighed as she looked at Haddock. “Sir…I’m…” she said only to get interrupted. 

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "We will deal with Greg later," the king said. "This meeting is not for childish uninvited guests, but strategies for war. I suggest we all continue our discussion on how to fight the witch. Or, if we have finished discussing measures there, we speak of Orskaf, Odin, and Ragnarok."

Grey Bergman: Grey nodded realizing that the King was right. Greg wasn’t the reason they were all gathered here. They were here to prepare for the biggest fight of their lives, and that was exactly what they were going to do. Greg would have to wait. “Yes, sir,” she said. “If I recall correctly, we had finished discussing how to take care of the noncombatants. Based on what Sayaka said about weapons and such, I was thinking that we could assign groups to a specific weapon. For example, those who have dragons could probably use things like the potions and the explosives with those handheld launchers to attack from the air. The regular artillery troops stay on the ground, and then we have people to the canons surround the fortress and the camp grounds.”

Sayaka: Sayaka nodded.  “That’s a good plan.  It’s good to make sure everything is well placed and can be moved at moment’s notice - we’re looking at a pretty huge witch, from what Kiri said,” she mused.  “Might be pretty good against anything else, honestly.”

Bree Ostberg: Bree opened the door of the meeting room, curious as always, and looking for an explanation. Many of the faces were familiar, such as Grey’s, though there were a few she had not ever seen before. Immediately a couple heads turned at the door’s noise, and Bree was left standing, thinking of what she was going to do.

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: With an exasperated sigh, Haddock groaned, “Would people quit just walking in and interrupting us?”

Bree Ostberg: Bree stepped back at bit when the King spoke, but kept standing straight.

"I can assure you that I will be the last, though with words such as witches and Ragnarok floating around, one can only wonder what’s exactly is going to happen." She looked right at him. "Unfortunately for this meeting, I’m not one to stand around and wait. So what’s the plan?"

Grey Bergman: Grey sighed in exasperation. It was clear that Bree had spoken to Greg just now. She slowly stood up. “Listen, Bree, I appreciate your dedication,” she said calmly, “but this is a private meeting. You can’t come here uninvited. I will be more than happy to sit you down and explain everything after it’s over. How does that sound?”

Bree Ostberg: She sighed, knowing that Grey probably had the best decision, but she wanted to know now none the less. Seeing as she was gone for so long beforehand, Bree felt as though she was missing something. Something important.

But since she had just made a bit of a fool of herself - at least in her own mind - Bree didn’t want to just give up.

"Alright, I understand that the meeting was arranged ‘invitation only’ but can I at least have some sort of explanation as to why? Or even just a confirmation that there currently is a plan?”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Thank you for asking," Haddock said. He was trying very much not to throw a fit from all the interruptions. At least she was respectful… MUCH unlike Greg.

"We are formulating that plan even now," Haddock assured her. "If you would like to be involved in the strategizing now, we will welcome your input."

Bree Ostberg: Bree smiled. “So long as I am invited, I will help.”

Greg Ericson: Greg ducked into the room, and yelled, “EAT PIE FISHY!” and promptly threw an apple pie at the king’s face. He then ran as quickly as he could to get away from the room.

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "That’s it! This meeting is adjourned!" Haddock screeched, then CHARGED full speed out of the room after Greg in full pursuit.

Grey Bergman: "King Haddock, wait!" Grey said standing up and running after the King. "Sorry, everyone, meeting not adjourned! Stay here! We’ll be back!" she shouted over her shoulder as she ran out the room. 

Greg Ericson: Greg heard Haddock adjourn the meeting so he quickened his pace. Once he felt he was far enough away he turned to see a pie covered Haddock charging after him… The person not the fish. Anyways seeing this he picked up the pace while yelling, “Fish out of water, fish out of water!”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "We’ll see who’s the fish once I gut you!" Haddock screeched. He tried to throw off pie from him as she bolted after Greg, gaining on him.

Grey Bergman: "GUYS!" she shouted chasing after her authoritative figure and adoptive little brother. "PLEASE! STOP! We can work this out!"

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock at this point reached Greg and threw himself forward. He grabbed Greg’s legs and TACKLED him straight to the floor.

Greg Ericson: Greg tried to kick Haddock’s foot off his leg but his grip was that of iron. “Ah, let go of me, stupid fish pie.”

Grey Bergman: While thankful they finally stopped running, Grey glared and finally ran over to the King and Greg, prying the King off Greg’s legs. “Alright, enough!” she said. “Do I have to separate you two like children?”

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: At the same time, Stonegit ran over and helped Haddock off the floor, gently letting his hands rest on his shoulders, keeping him away from Greg. He gave Greg a bit of an odd look, it wasn’t anger, it was understanding. Never the less, it was still a look of frustration due to Greg making his job that much harder. “Go cool off… please.” he said evenly to Greg.

Greg Ericson: Greg took a deep breath and nodded. After that he calmly walked away. Once he was out of earshot he said, “Well that did wonders for blowing off some steam.” He said smiling.

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "He shouldn’t just be walking away from this," Haddock grumbled, though he let Stonegit keep his hands on his shoulder, and he did not pursue Greg again. He simply glowered as the man walked off.

Grey Bergman: Grey took a deep breath as she rubbed her temples trying to stop the headache from coming. She wanted to run after Greg and pound him herself, but that was only going to make things worse. “I have no idea what I’m going to do with him,” she said aloud avoiding eye contact with Haddock and Stonegit keeping her eyes on Greg’s departing figure.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit bit his lip, wracking his mind to find a solution, and then turned to Grey. “Have Blunt talk to him,” he said, and then faced Haddock, seeing his King’s expression. “I know that sounds like a horrible idea, but I think it may help.”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Ummmmm….. how…?" the king asked, baffled.

He’s on better terms with Blunt now than before, isn’t he?

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Blunt is…daft…" Stonegit said. "And he doesn’t like you, he can relate to Greg. But! He is also…mellowed…sort of…recently." Stonegit cleared his throat. "Either way, I’m sure he’ll find a way for Greg to vent these frustration without doing er…" he reached up, attempting to clean Haddock’s face. "Stuff like this."

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Fine! Whatever!" Haddock shoved Stonegit’s hand aside before he could clean off the pie. "If it works, it works. Send Blunt in. Just don’t let Greg get around to me or I’ll - I’ll…"

Haddock had begun storming off, but the he looked to Stonegit. Something… uncertainty? …flickered across his face. “I’ll talk to you later in private,” Haddock said, and then left.

Grey Bergman: As soon as she was sure King Haddock was gone, Grey sighed for the millionth time that day putting her face in her hand. “Okay, it’s official,” she said. “I am going to pound Greg Ericson.” She finally turned to Stonegit. “You really think talking to Blunt will work?”

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Yeah…" Stonegit said. "If Blunt knows that this is me asking a favor, he’ll help, if he doesn’t…and makes this worse." he winced. "Which is entirely conceivable, then I’ll hit him with a wooden bowl…again."

Grey Bergman: Grey couldn’t help but chuckle. “Well, if he gives you any trouble, come find me,” she said. “Maybe I can straighten them both out. Why don’t you go find Blunt and Greg? Hopefully, His Majesty will blow off steam himself and come back to the meeting.”

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Oh no," Stonegit said calmly. "No I have to stay with Haddock, no matter how hot under the collar he is, but I will have a message sent." with that he smiled at Grey as he walked away. "I’ll talk with you some other time, and Grey…I’m glad you’re second in command now."

Grey Bergman: Grey smiled as she remembered the last conversation she had with Stonegit, which seemed like an eternity ago. She could tell now that this really was the true Stonegit she met that night the King was nearly assassinated. “Thank you, Stonegit,” she said. “That really means a lot coming from you.” Just as he was about to turn around. “Stonegit, one more thing.” She quickly pulled him to her wrapping her arms around him hugging him tightly.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit blinked a few times, and then he willed himself to hug back. Painful memories of loosing Blue and Jackson flashed in his mind and he let go, stepping back with a small smile. “Thanks,” he said quietly, and then jogged off.”

Grey Bergman: "You’re welcome," she said quietly, "and welcome back, Stonegit." Realizing that she had a room full of people still waiting for her and Haddock to return, she finally went back to the meeting room. Perhaps, she could take over until Haddock returned. She walked back into the meeting room. "Sorry about that, guys. King Haddock should be back soon. In the meantime, we should go ahead and start talking about preparations for Ragnorak."

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