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Osgiliath Campaign: Culverts of the City.

“It was a relief. There are more rangers in culverts than we expected. It looks like a sanitarium. It did not lack apothecaries, but lacked accommodations for all the injured. Some were missing limbs, some were covered in blood, some head bandages all over their heads. The scenery was disturbing and sad despite the happiness we experienced from discovering this sanctuary.”

Aelidan and Callen were the first ones to discover it. They were greeted warmly as saviors. But in reality there are also damned in the city. It is a miracle that orcs never discovered this part of the city. Or maybe they did, but did not have a chance to escape. After all, rangers is a tougher folk than ordinary humans are. Something immediately caught Aelidan’s eye. But he does not know what did.

“Who is the captain here? Or who is in command of sanctuary?’’

Mablung’s words came out harsher that supposed to. He was on nerves and just escaped the battle. There is some sympathy to that. Aelidan finally realized what was so interesting and suspicious about culverts. There is a breached pipe leading to a labyrinth of other pipes, which creates a culvert net. You can access any side of the city through them. He quickly pushed Callen on the side to show him the breach.

“What? The pipe? The darkness? I don’t get you. Get a tongue and start speaking normally.”

With a friendly tap on the shoulder, Callen walked off with a smirk. But Aelidan still couldn’t take his eyes off the pipe. If culverts lead to all the corners of the city – then it is also accessible from all corners of the city? This was now the main concern for the ranger. It is known that orcs are not the smartest creatures in this world. But, alongside with orcs, there are humankinds occupying the city. In addition, some of them are…superior over rangers. Elite of the Dark Lord. Those who once betrayed their loyalty for Dunedain to serve the dark lord. Descendants of the sunken island. They could find out about that. And consequences could be disastrous.

“I give orders here. This is not a in-battle stronghold. A simple hideout for those who were recovered from the battle. Who am I speaking to?’’

Faraduil spoke. The ranger approached Mablung with confidence, seeing no enemy in him. The whole interaction went peaceful. Mablung told Faraduil about current actions and plans on retaking the city, trying to comfort him with an idea of rescuing all the injured. Faraduil seemed to visibly brighten up at the news, gaining some hope for the future. Culverts were filled with moaning of those who were injured. Healers were working as hard as they could. And not all men among them. Faraduil pointed to Mablung at the chief apothecary at Osgiliath. Her name was Syko. More like what everyone called her. An alias given to her by rangers.

“We’ve got about fifteen casualties here. Six missing limbs, four left with head injuries. Three got wounded badly. One is blinded and one is unconscious. Presumably dazed. So our current state is…terrific.”

She spoke with calmness in her tone. Seemed like nothing really was terrific. But, suppose apothecaries were trained to be calm in such situations. Who needs a panicking healer? Mablung spoke to her for a few moments, thinking of what they can do now. Unfortuantely, he came out with a shake of his head and disappointment expressed in his eyes. Disappointment at himself. Meanwhile, Aelidan went to check on the culverts, followed by Haskel and Hardy. They both found interest in the labyrinth as well.

‘’You think we can get to the Dome of Start through that?’’

‘’Do not be a fool, Haskel. We do not even know if they lead to anywhere. Maybe there is a dead end?’’

‘’We have nothing to lose if we check. And we probably should notify Mablung before we do. He might find interest in that as well…’’

Aelidan agreed with both, standing by the entrance to a new chain of tunnels as Hardy and Huskel headed back to the captain. He sees something in the darkness. Something…dreadful. He sees eyes at the end of the tunnel. And they are watching him back.