Screams at Midnight

Having satisfied himself that Kuzma, Stellios and Matvey remained attentive to their watches, Hasan returned to the main hall. There, he found Miklos engaged in a rambling lecture on goblin psychology and the merits of an elaborate trap. “Miklos, that knock on the head may be a bit worse than it looks. The door is open. We need not hold ourselves out as bait to trap them at this point. We’ll be lucky if we can hold them out. We cannot leave the tower now, at nighttime we’ll be cut to pieces. ‘Til then,” he handed the mage a wet rag and a generous slice of dark bread, “I suggest you find some rest.”

Though his stomach ached for food, Stephan found himself compelled to search for a solution. But he hungrily devoured an apple and pull of bread someone handed him.

“Pyotr, in the seller, is there not a second, deeper cavity for the tubers and such? Could it not serve as a hiding place? At least for some of the women and children?”

“To be sure, Stephan. But we risk entombing them. I’ve no doubt that these goblins will seek the very depths of this place and with their ability to smell…..I don’t think we can hide. If we could hide someone, it would have to be behind much earth and stone. And that’s why I fear entombing someone. Even if the gobs leave, they may not be able to free themselves.”

Stephan’s lips pressed hard together. “What of a sturdy line? We could arrow it from the tower and slide to safety in the river or near the boats.”

Pyotr shook his head. “It’s good to think out loud, brother, but again, I don’t think we could get everyone safely down such a line even if we could secure it in place.”

He turned to look out at the black night, gloomily lit by moon and goblin fire. Smoke wafted through the windhole. “The burning here has been large. It must be visible for leagues. Surely my good neighbors, the VanKyn or Thominsin will rally to our rescue. I’d do as much for them.”

“Noble Hasan,” Miklos called after the elf, “I’d take more than a stone to adle my brains I hope. But I fear you have misinterpreted my idea. I was going to suggest that the most capable of us lay a trail to mislead the goblins into believing we have left whilst they were unattentive. They assume they can walk in unopposed. We entrap them and we’ll suggest they surrender or butcher the lot of them.”

“Whether or not they all come in, dividing their numbers is to our advantage as well. The best form of defense is attack is it not Feldard?”

Feldard glanced over to the mage considering. “Have you a means to hide the unfortunate person you’d have make this false trail? If you didn’t notice… our leaving the hall was met with a hail of stones.. The goblins have have us surrounded, and with the barn and palisade burnt down can easily spot us when we leave the building. Unless you have learned of some magic to hide one of us or know of another with the skills our departed Nicolai possessed, then I would say your plan is less than well thought out. But yes, the best defense is an unexpected attack.”

Maruc nodded to Feldard. He was feeling sore and tired so he took the time to pray to his deity for healing them clambered up to the battlements and tried to enjoy the fresh air filled with Goblin voices…

“Miklos, I have every confidence in your plan,” replied the elf. “And I expect we will execute it just as you say. But I don’t think we need an elaborate feint, be it a trail, or treasure, or fallen warriors. Let us just fight the best we are able, knowing that when they penetrate our now thin barrier, the fight will continue. Because I agree with your main point. We will fight better inside the main hall than simply shooting arrows from above. And until that fight is joined, I will watch from above. My main fear is that, if we all fight in this Hall, we will lose vision of what happens beyond it. So I will stay above, even if the melee begins. I will try to let Feldard know if I see others coming, and what archers we have will try to slow them down.”

With that, Hasan went to the armoury and pulled out two full quivers of arrows and brought them up to the battlements above. As he looked around he saw various equipment in addition to the bows. 2 short bows, 2 longbows, a battle axe, a couple small shields, a longsword, numerous spears, a mace and a dwarf-sized suit of plate mail.

He then went down the bedroom below, and tried to read his spellbook once again. He hoped to memorize web.

Feldard took the opportunity to grab a bite to eat himself and then let Maruc know that he was going to rest for a couple of hours. “Wake me to relieve your watch if the goblins haven’t attempted an attack by then.” Soon enough the resonating snore competed with the goblins chanting.

Maruc attended to his wounds, as the most injured member of the party, and then took up watch from the battlements.

His helmet on his knee. Head bowed. Hands massaging his temples, Stephan executed an arresting sigh. “You are right, Miklos. We must act. Your plan is all we have for the moment. But I would see the innocents off to Halav’s glory by my own hand rather than fall yet living into the hands of Gobs!”

Standing, his helm clanging to the flagstones, “Can you smell them out there! By Hav’ they stink. They must be shatting and pissing in the flames! I would see all their heads cleaved to the ground! The foul beasts!”

Clearly, Stephan had succumbed to fatigue and worry. He showed the classic signs of a warrior about to face his doom. But then he settled himself, stooping to retrieve his helm and tucking it in the crook of his arm against his armor. A strange calm washed over his countenance.

“We shall stand under the guiding hand of Halav! These fell creatures shall pay a dear price for their venture.”

The minutes passed slowly, except for the slumbering dwarf. At an hour before midnight, the goblins once again halted their tribal noises, but after a few minutes of ominous silence passed, they resumed. Perhaps, it was just a feint to see what the defenders would do, or just a move to keep them on edge. Or something else, there was no way of knowing. It was very unnerving.

As the time approached midnight, the sound of screaming came from the woods east of the clearing. The spotters turned their eyes to the woods, and they caught a glimpse of a human-sized figure in a yellow dress being dragged through the woods by goblins.

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31 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

31 responses to “Screams at Midnight

  1. Maruc: +7hp
    Hasan: memorizes Web
    Miklos: may memorize 1 additional spell (chanting, etc. is distracting)

    Note: The door is still basically open, correct? So that should the goblins attack again they will be lured inside?

    Maruc: 10xp+5xp
    Miklos: 10xp+5xp
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp
    Hasan: 10xp+10xp+10xp
    Stephan: 10xp+10xp

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 17,550/24000
    Miklos: 17,625/20000
    Feldard: 17,665/34000
    Hasan: 16,975/32000
    Stephan: 16,465/32000

  2. Feldard

    (I thought in my previous post Feldard had attempted to make a makeshift door out of a table.. but not sure if that was used or not)

  3. Feldard

    (just checked – the door fixing got forgotten about when it was raining rocks.. sorry he would have attempted that before heading to sleep. Goblins are not very intelligent usually but even they would be suspicious of a trap if efforts weren’t made to block the door. Just Feldards impression)

  4. Feldard

    The different pitch of the screams woke the dwarf and he was soon on the tower watching with the others. “It would seem your neighbors may be dealing with troubles of their own,” Feldard commented “We cannot rely on them to come to our aid.”

    Feldard looked to Hasan. “How near must you be to finish her swiftly with your arrows?”

    At the incredulous looks of the others Feldard shoots back, “Would you rather she suffer at their hands for days? A swift death would be a mercy.”

    “Yes, I know its a ploy to get us to attack,” Feldard continued, “but as long as we are aware that its a ploy, half the surprise is lost.”

    “Its either that or we raise Miklos’ plan of an ambush one level higher and offer to surrender to them in exchange for the life of the woman. They might fall for that.” suggested the dwarf. “Make up your minds quick. We have no time left.”

  5. ok, makeshift table door is up.

  6. Stephan

    “Pyotr!”, Stephan hissed. “Do you know the woman?” He looked around at the others of the household. “Can any of you make out who this woman is? Might she be from the ferry landing or some neighbor holding?”

    He fitted his helm back on his head and adjusted his scabbard.

    “I agree, Feldard. They seek to lure us out. Was the pause them planning the deceit? Or perhaps some new Gob clan has arrived? Or perhaps whatever hand is bringing these wretches together has arrived to take command….”

  7. Hasan

    I’ve taken the liberty to integrate a few posts and throwing in a few words from Maruc and Miklos to add some flow. Hasan is ready to go nuts. I’ll leave to you all to save him, or the folks in the tower, but he is casting his lot with the prisoner.

    **********

    The different pitch of the screams woke the dwarf and he was soon on the tower watching with the others. “It would seem your neighbors may be dealing with troubles of their own,” Feldard commented “We cannot rely on them to come to our aid.”
    “Pyotr!”, Stephan hissed. “Do you know the woman?” He looked around at the others of the household. “Can any of you make out who this woman is? Might she be from the ferry landing or some neighbor holding?”

    Some answer from Pyotr.
    Regardless of answer …
    Feldard looked to Hasan. “How near must you be to finish her swiftly with your arrows?”
    At the incredulous looks of the others Feldard shoots back, “Would you rather she suffer at their hands for days? A swift death would be a mercy.”
    “Nay, Feldard,” snarled Maruc, uncharacteristic anger in the cleric’s voice. “We must save her. It is our duty to any innocent.”
    Miklos looked wryly at his friend and laughed, bitterly, “My friends, while we have been plotting a trap, the goblins have done us one better. Of course, it could not be a more obvious ruse, but such are the limitations of their race.”
    Stephan fitted his helm back on his head and adjusted his scabbard. “I agree, Miklos. They seek to lure us out. Was the pause them planning the deceit? Or perhaps some new Gob clan has arrived? Or perhaps whatever hand is bringing these wretches together has arrived to take command….”
    “Yes, I know it’s a ploy to get us to attack,” Feldard continued, “but as long as we are aware that it’s a ploy, half the surprise is lost.”
    “I agree, Feldard, it’s no surprise anymore,” interjected Hasan, who was becoming more animated with each spoken word. He had grabbed a buckler from the armory and had already drawn his sword. “Come now, let’s go. We must get her. I was a prisoner myself, not long ago. We cannot let her fall to the same fate.”
    “Its either that or we raise Miklos’ plan of an ambush one level higher and offer to surrender to them in exchange for the life of the woman. They might fall for that.” suggested the dwarf. “Make up your minds quick. We have no time left.”
    “Come on, now, we cannot let them get her away,” shouted the nearly stricken elf. He turned and began to push and heave at the recently reconstructed door leading from the main hall, with sword still bared and eyes blazing with zeal.

  8. “‘Tis surely a trap,” said Pyotr. “They mean to lure us out to slaughter!”

    Darya, sobbing and upset, interjected. “Katarina has a yellow dress! What if they’ve attacked the Cherkass ‘stead as well? We have to do something!”

    Pyotr tried to comfort his wife. “Darya, we cannot risk it. I do not believe that is Kat out there.”

    “But you can’t be sure!” she said, still shaken.

  9. Feldard

    The dwarf felt a similar burning zeal to slaughter the goblins as the elf but reason won. “Hasan, hold your steel for but a moment. You are the stealthiest of us. Could you shimmy down our escape rope unseen if we provided a diversion – such as offering to surrender? Then you could sneak around, retrieve the girl, whilst we set up an ambush for those coming to take over the hall and tower?”

  10. Feldard

    (Feldard’s plan – wave the white flag and shout out their surrender.. while Hasan sneaks out the back.. toss out the extra weapons from the armoury while keeping their true weapons hiding from sight until the last possible moment – giving Hasan time to sneak around. When the fighting begins at the hall.. Hasan should have the distraction he needs to retrieve the woman.) (not the best of plans but then I’m no dwarf – LOL)

  11. Hasan

    “Yes, yes, let’s do that. But Feldard, you cannot stay here. From what I know of Goblins and there hatred of Dwarvenkind, your mere presence will enrage them to attack, even over the flag of truce. Come with me,” said Hasan. “Maruc, your Halav can bless us with silent travel, can he not? Cast that power on this arrow here,” Hasan proferred one, “that our way may be speedy. After we are a bit closer, I think I could could introduce some confusion among the goblins if I shot this in their midst.”

  12. Hasan

    Use this one —
    **********
    “Yes, yes, let’s do that. But Feldard, you cannot stay here. From what I know of Goblins and there hatred of Dwarvenkind, your mere presence will enrage them to attack, even over the flag of truce. Come with me,” said Hasan. “Maruc, your Halav can bless us with silent travel, can he not? Cast that power on this arrow here,” Hasan proferred one, “so that we need not sacrifice speed for silence as we travel. And afterward, when we are a bit closer, I think I could could introduce some confusion among the goblins if I shot this in their midst.”

  13. miklosdostevar

    Miklos has prepared another sleep spell

    “I will sow confusion amongst them with magic.” Miklos drew himself up. “I shall await Hasan as he sneaks toward the captive from an oblique direction. The silence spell would be more usefully employed to aid your attempts to seek, Hasan, rather than to promote discord. When you are a few paces away I shall release another sleep enchantment amongst the goblins holding the captive. You can then easily secure the captive and carry her back to the tower. Meanwhile we launch our ‘surrender’ trap. It is an excellent plan. Well done everyone. Let us persue it with the conviction of success!”

  14. Maruc

    “Hasan. The shroud of Halav lasts but a few minutes so be swift in your sortie. I shall await you here. Tie her body to the rope and I will haul her up. I shall keep my eye on you should you need to change your plan at the last minute.”

    Maruc followed the elf up the tower with Miklos following. “Give him five minutes Miklos, from the tower.”

    The mage placed a supportive hand on Hasan’s shoulder. “Good luck my friend.” He nodded to Maruc. “Five minutes.”

    Maruc continued up behind the elf. Crossing the battlement he offered the secured escape rope to him. “Halav will be watching you. But more importantly Miklos and I will be watching you.”

    Calling on Halav’s power Maruc enchanted the proffered arrow and returned it to Hasan. Then watched as the elf lithely scaled down the rope…

  15. Stephan

    “And I of course will assist with the ropes.” Stephan started rigging a harness of sorts to fit around even a passed out person.

    “Hasan,” he paused, eyes fixed on the elf, not sure if he should offer advice, “She’s a human. She may take some fright at seeing you in the dark amongst the goblins. Use the Sukiskyn name. It is well known and respecting in these parts. Tell her you’re from the Sukiskyn. That Pyotr sent you. She’ll probably be fine but…..”. The fighter grimaced, eyes now wavering to the floor.

    “I wish we had a means to ensure she was calm.” He looked up again at Hasan, eyebrows rising in forced cheer.

    “I’m sure she’ll be fine. You’ll be her hero.”

    He genuflected Havlav. “His speed to you, noble Hasan!” And he too watch him easily navigate the rope to the base of the tower.

  16. Feldard

    (LOL you just don’t want Hasan to be alone in the midst of a goblin army – don’t blame ya.. okay.. lets see if a dwarf can do stealthy..)

    Feldard nodded his agreement. He would go with the elf to rescue the woman. This was a better plan. Who would believe a dwarf surrendering anyways?!

  17. Maruc

    LOL I doubt she’ll take fright I’m guessing she’ll be asleep along with her captors!

    In a silence 15’R…no body can hear you scream.

  18. A few things:

    1. The goblins have a clear view of the tower, and from the locations of the fires, they appear to be on all sides .

    2. You mentioned a diversion, but in the postings, I don’t see one, and it appears that Hasan has started to climb out of the tower before any diversion is created?

    3. The figure in the yellow dress was seen only briefly, although the screaming is continuing from the eastern woods.

    4. Miklos would require the goblins to be out in the open, in the clearing, in order to cast a sleep spell.

  19. Feldard

    (the diversion is supposed to be Stephan calling out his Surrender – waving the white flag and such and didn’t realize that the goblins were to the south west as well..hmmm)

  20. ok, I’ll wait to see what Doug posts for Stephan to do re:the diversion

  21. Stephan

    [OOC: ‘ang on there, mates! I may not have been reading closely enough but I’m pretty sure Stephan was NOT the one to go out waving the flag. We’re moving pretty fast. If we didn’t get a very good…okay I’ll jump into character…]

    As Hasan alights at the base of the tower, Stephan seems to have an epiphany. “We didn’t get a very good look at that woman. And we agreed they’re trying to lure us out. That pause in the drumming and chanting just before the ‘woman’ appeared just had to be them putting together their little plan. It may be they’ve dressed up one of their own who can scream like a human.

    “A cold feeling is washing over me. I fear we’re falling for it.” He wasn’t sure if Hasan, already on the ground, could hear his words but he dare not speak too loudly.

    “Alright!”

    Without warning, Stephan rushed down the tower to exit with a white flag. Grabbing an apron, he held it up as a crude flag and tried to go out the barricaded door. The nails and such holding the door slowed him. Grabbing at one of the nailed cross boards, he pulled, freeing just enough space for him to exit.

    “Nail it shut after me. If need be, I’ll run back to that windhole and leap to make the distance up to it.”

    He secretly hoped that helping hands would be ready in case he couldn’t make the scramble easily back through the windhole.

    With a final nod and genuflect to Havlav. The fighter stepped through the opening and raised the flag.

    “Acklak!” He called out in the only word he knew of goblinese.

    “Enough! We are done and will give you all the treasure inside if you but let us pass!”

    As he called out, he held the apron high over his head between his arms. And he walked resolutely toward the burned out ruins of the barn.

  22. Feldard

    (tee hee.. sorry.. I sort of volunteered you Stephan .. as you’re the only PC that is related to the Sukiskyn family)

  23. miklosdostevar

    DM: note conserning the door:
    From Miklos’s post in “Look Out”
    …Miklos shuffled greatfully behind the profered shield. “I think we are spotted Stephan, secrecy is out of the question. These goblins have gone up in my estimation! Not only is it night time but that has got to be over 30 yards to the treeline through the cover of the ruin.” They gained the door a moment later and Miklos slid the bar into place and busied himself hammering it closed again. “It is clear they can see well in darkness.” he continued, “It seems the retreat was some sort of feint.”

  24. miklosdostevar

    OK
    1. The goblins have a clear view of the tower, and from the locations of the fires, they appear to be on all sides .
    If this is the case the goblins infravision will be useless and the top of the tower will at night be no harder to sneak down as the base of the tower to be sneaked around. Unless the DM can confirm that the fires are so large that they are effectively lighting up the tower. But I certainly wouldn’t want be standing next to a series of fires that large! Also it would make the goblins very easy to shoot. And the woman in the yellow dress would b a lot easier to spot.
    2. You mentioned a diversion, but in the postings, I don’t see one, and it appears that Hasan has started to climb out of the tower before any diversion is created?
    I was rather assuming that Feldard, Hasan, Stephan and/or various members of the Sukiskyn clan would be creating the diversion. But subsequent posts have changed this.
    3. The figure in the yellow dress was seen only briefly, although the screaming is continuing from the eastern woods.

    4. Miklos would require the goblins to be out in the open, in the clearing, in order to cast a sleep spell.
    This makes a significant difference to any plan involving ranged magic and one raider. This will need to be reevaluated

    In order to try and get some cohesion to this post I’m going to try and assemble it in to some sort of order!

    The different pitch of the screams woke the dwarf and he soon joined Maruc on the roof.
    “It coming from over there!” pointed the priest squinting into the gloom. “I thought I saw a woman, I can’t be sure though, but thats definitely a womans scream.”
    “It would seem our neighbors may be dealing with troubles of their own,” Feldard commented dryly. “We cannot rely on them to come to our aid now.”
    Feldard looked round as Hasan joined them. “How near must you be to finish her swiftly with your arrows?”
    At the incredulous looks of the others Feldard shot back, “Would you rather she suffer at their hands for days? A swift death would be a mercy.”
    “Dwarf mercy maybe.” replied Hasan darkly.
    The priest struggled to keep the edge from his voice “Feldard. Not while I draw breath will I allow the death of an innocent. Lets face it, they are only Goblins, I say let us bring Halav’s justice upon them!”
    A slow hand-clap coming from the mage interrupted his flow, Miklos had reached the battlement. “And how do you propose to do that?” he glanced momentarily over the parapet. “I can make nothing out over the glare of the fires and it seems the goblins have learned not to gather together in convenient groups for me to enchant.”
    “Yes, I know its a ploy to get us to attack.” Feldard continued ignoring Maruc’s tone, “But as long as we are aware that its a ploy, half the surprise is lost. Its either that small mercy or we offer to surrender to them in exchange for the life of the woman. They might fall for that.” suggested the dwarf as the other clan members joined them. “Make up your minds quick. We have no time left”
    “‘Tis surely a trap,” agreed Pyotr. “They mean to lure us out to slaughter!”
    “Pyotr!”, Stephan hissed to his brother as they scanned the woods. “Do you know the woman?” He looked around at the others of the household. “Can any of you make out who this woman is? Might she be from the ferry landing or some neighbor holding?”
    Darya, sobbing and upset, interjected. “Katarina has a yellow dress! What if they’ve attacked the Cherkass ‘stead as well? We have to do something!”
    Pyotr returned and tried to comfort his wife. “Darya, we cannot risk it. I do not believe that is Kat out there.”
    “But you can’t be sure!” she said, still shaken.
    Stephan fitted his helm back on his head and adjusted his scabbard. “Aye, they seek to lure us out. But it beggars the questions, was the pause them planning the deceit? Or perhaps some new Gob clan has arrived? Or perhaps whatever hand is bringing these wretches together has arrived to take command?”
    “I agree, Feldard, it’s no surprise anymore,” added Hasan, who was becoming more animated with each spoken word. He spun for the stairwell and had already drawn his sword. “Come now, let’s go. We must get her. I was a prisoner myself, not long ago. We cannot let her fall to the same fate!” urged the nearly stricken elf. He vanished into the darkness with sword still bared and eyes blazing with zeal.
    The dwarf seized him with a grip of iron.
    Feldard had also felt a similar burning zeal to slaughter the goblins as the elf but reason won. “Hasan, hold your steel for but a moment!” the barked. “Listen a moment. You are the stealthiest of us. Could you shimmy down our escape rope unseen if we provided a diversion – such as offering to surrender? Then you could sneak around, retrieve the girl, whilst we set up an ambush for those coming to take over the hall and tower?”
    “So spake the dwarf advising against the laying of false trails!” whispered Miklos well out of earshot.
    “Yes, yes, let’s do that. But Feldard, you cannot stay here. From what I know of Goblins and there hatred of Dwarvenkind, your mere presence will enrage them to attack, even over the flag of truce. Come with me,” said Hasan. “Maruc, can your Halav aid us?”
    “My Halav?” the priest said somewhat taken aback, but he overlooked the comment. “Mighty Halav, Incarnate on His Ducal Throne might deign to aid us! With his blessing I can enshroud you in a aura of silence, or an item in your possession.”
    Cast that power on this arrow here,” Hasan proffered one, “that our way may be speedy. After we are a bit closer, I think I could could introduce some confusion among the goblins if I shot this in their midst.”
    Miklos came over “Once you are free of the woodland I can enchant any Goblins on your tail and,” he turned to the other householders, “we can put up a reasonable missile defense as well. But are we going to pursue the idea of a diversion based on their trap? I assume thats what you meant?”
    “Now listen before you descend. You cannot all hope to swiftly climb the rope under a rain of sling stones when you return. You must run around to the Hall door where Maruc can let you in. I can watch your backs from the tower.”
    As Hasan alights at the base of the tower, Stephan seems to have an epiphany. “We didn’t get a very good look at that woman. And we agreed they’re trying to lure us out. That pause in the drumming and chanting just before the ‘woman’ appeared just had to be them putting together their little plan. It may be they’ve dressed up one of their own who can scream like a human.”
    “A cold feeling is washing over me. I fear we’re falling for it.” He wasn’t sure if either Feldard or Hasan, already on the ground, could hear his words but he dare not speak too loudly.
    “Alright!”
    Without warning, Stephan rushed down the tower to exit with a white apron, he he’d liberated from the kitchen held it up as a crude flag and tried to go out the barricaded door. He met Maruc at the door.
    “Nail it shut after me. If need be, I’ll run back to that windhole and leap to make the distance up to it.”
    He secretly hoped that helping hands would be ready in case he couldn’t make the scramble easily back through the windhole.
    With a final nod and genuflect to Halav. The fighter stepped through the opening and raised the flag.
    “Acklak!” He called out in the only word he knew of goblinese.
    “Enough! We are done and will give you all the treasure inside if you but let us pass!”
    As he called out, he held the apron high over his head between his arms. And he walked resolutely toward the burned out ruins of the barn.

  25. miklosdostevar

    Or something like that…

  26. miklosdostevar

    Miklos will prepare his remaining sleep spell from the 2nd floor of the tower in readiness for the return of the sortie.

  27. Maruc

    Maruc will cast his Silnce 15’R spell on the arrow at the last possible moment before the sortie descends the tower then he will go back down the Tower to let Stephan back in.

  28. Stephan

    Stephan felt like the last man on Mystara as he stood alone in the compound; the burned out ruins framing the surroundings. He muttered the Havlav Prayer of Guidance. And then of Protection.

  29. To clarify on the door, there was no door to bar shut. Just a bunch of loose timbers stuck on hinges. So, in its place there is a table nailed in to the wall.

  30. Another question, are you guys nailing the door shut as Stephan requests, or leaving the opening to lure them inside as you guys had discussed previously?

  31. Stephan

    [OOC: Oh….if it was obvious that we were opening the door and leaving it to “invite” them in, then Stephan does not ask them to nail it shut. He was just being heroic and self-sacrificing.]

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