Chapter 6: Imperial Blood
The Hunter sat down on a hard wooden chair within his jail cell and reflected upon his failures on the streets above. He stared down at a loaf of stale bread and a block of mouldy cheese as the melancholoy sounds of jail shackles continued to echo the Castle Dour Dungeon. The dullness of prison life soon set in and the occasionally bite of bread did little to uplift his sadness.
The Hunter of Blunders soon realised he must escape. For a person who has relied on vast expanses of land for most of their life, the restricted and uncomfortable jail cell was horrific. As days past by, the Hunter began watching a prison guard wearing standard Imperial uniform, intending to remember his patrol routes.
He started planning his escape in his cell, searching every corner and every container for anything that could aid him in his escape. A few rotten apples and several small pots of salt found in nearby sacks only frustrated the Hunter further. However, his determination to search was soon rewarded, discovering a vital lockpick hidden beneath a basket.
The Hunter had now noticed the patrol route that the Guard would take, consistently circling the central base of the dungeon and peaking into every jail cell. The prison guard stopped and looked upon the Hunter’s cell with a deep sense of suspicion when the clutter he had found in his cell littered the stone floor.
The Hunter was soon relieved to discover that his escape would not involve leaving through his prison cell gate when he accidentally discovered an unstable section of wall when searching some nearby sacks.
He waited for a lull in the prison guard’s monotonous patrol before investigating the stonewall further, coming to the conclusion that it would fall if enough force was applied. Eager to take advantage of the Guard’s supposed absence, the Hunter released a powerful fist straight into the wall, breaking it and revealing a hidden pathway.
The Hunter ran with haste, desperately hoping that this pathway would leave to a quick and easy escape route. There was a sense of urgency and panic as the stonewall crashing to the ground released a loud blast of sound, no doubt alerting the prison guard. The Prison Guard was quick to prove the Hunter’s worries when he entered the jail cell. Bow-drawn and ready for combat, the Hunter had become the hunted.
Further along the narrow pathway, a fortunate gap in another section of the Dungeon walls gave the Hunter access to his belongings that were confiscated when he was originally arrested. The lockpick that he had discovered proved its worth when it was successfully used to open the chest.
While the Hunter was busy gathering all his gear, the Prison Guard had discovered him. He silently lowered his bow and unsheathed his Imperial sword. He then slowly walked forward towards the Hunter, stepping on a patch of hay that delivered enough sound for the Hunter to be alerted.
The Hunter quickly snatched his fine sword from the chest and delivered a swift swipe of the blade in the Guard’s direction, saving himself from the Prison Guard’s intended silent finishing move. The Hunter and the Guard were now on equal terms as a sword battle ensued within the hidden pathway.
The Hunter appeared to be winning the battle, delivering several critical strikes on the Guard that left several deep wounds on his lower body. Before the Hunter could deliver the final blow, another guard suddenly appeared to support his struggling comrade.
The Hunter realised that he would have to keep moving, otherwise he would have the entire Imperial Legion to fight in his escape.
After sprinting down the hallway in an attempt to create some distance between the two parties, the Hunter noticed that the two guards were still pursuing him and there was little hope of evading them for much longer.
He turned around and faced the two guards, this time delivering a crucial swipe on the second one, slowing them down and giving the Hunter a bigger chance to escape.
The loss of blood soon overwhelmed the first guard. A blank look in his eyes was constant as he fell to his knees and crashed to the ground. Meanwhile, the other guard continued to pursue the Hunter down a small set of stairs
The end of the hidden pathway was discovered at the bottom of the stairs. A ladder leading to the streets of Solitude stood beside him. The Hunter realised that he wouldn’t be able to climb the ladder without an arrow being shot into back so he made a final standard against his pursuer.
A short battle followed with both men almost exhausted. Fortunately, the Hunter was successful in the tense melee, stabbing his enemy and pushing his bleeding corpse on a wooden bench beside the ladder.
The Hunter sheathed his blood stained blade and climbed the ladder to the surface just outside Castle Dour. He was greeted by a clear night sky but still had to evade the guards on the Solitude streets before he could rest and get a true sense of freedom.
He took out his hood to make his blood soaked prison rags less obvious and jumped down to the street below to begin his final challenge of the night.
Fortunately, the streets were relatively empty due to the time of the day but the Hunter soon spotted the guard who had put him in the depths of Castle Dour. The Hunter was eager to get some revenge for his capture but the risk was too high. He evaded the guard and made way to a small passage down to Solitude docks.
The Hunter was free and back in the favoured wilderness.However, He now had the blood of the Imperial Legion on his hands and decided it would be probably best to leave the Haarfingar hold.