The battle with the palace guard continues. At this point, Thomas has escorted Celeste into the protection of the hallway, while Merovic contends with the Ogre and Rafe holds the Elvin guard at bay.
Merovic continues to confound the Ogre, bouncing around acrobatically and just staying out of reach of the Ogres massive blade. As we rejoin the battle, Merovic springs off the Ogres tree-trunk sized thigh, back to the sandy wall, and back at the Ogres head, delivering a blow that knocks the Ogre’s helmet sideways on his head, obscuring his view.
The Elf guard half way up the stairs attempts to cut Rafe in two, but Rafe is quick and manages to avoid most of the blow, tacking a cut across the ribs. Meanwhile, the Ogre guard, frustrated now at his helmet, yanks it off and discards it before focusing again on Merovic.
Rafe attempts to gain an edge on the Elf guard by grabbing a hand full of sand and throwing it in the Elfs face. The elf catches the sand full in the face and cries out, blinded by the sand in his eyes.
Thomas realizes that the group may have to flee down the hall, and begins to look for a way to slow the guards pursuit. He sees that the hall is decorated with a number of flag poles that may be used either as makeshift weapons, or as help to block the hall or slow the guards. He looks to Celeste to get her to help gather the flags, but she is in a state of near panic. She has never seen, or dealt with things like this, and she is having trouble coping. Thomas speaks to her in a commanding tone, snapping her out of her panic and inspiring her to action as they begin to collect the flags along the hallway. Once gathered, they begin to lay out a trap for the guards
Merovic decides to use the Ogres massive but reckless swings to his advantage, and maneuvers himself between the Ogre and the Elf, taunting the Ogre. The Ogre plays into his hands, and as he again swings his massive sword, Merovic leaps out of the way, leaving the Elf guard in the path of the blade. The Ogre’ swing cuts the Elf guard in half.
As the Elf guard dies, he slumps against the stone wall. His form sloughs off black sand, revealing a body and equipment that has been dead and unused for hundreds of years.
Rafe, now free of the Elf guard, turns his attention to the Ogre. Calling forth his magic, he creates a block of force around the Ogre’s feet, pinning it in place. Merovic sees this and takes the opportunity to land a nasty blow on the Ogres foot, hobbleing it.
From the hallway, Thomas sees that the battle is still engaged. His battle lust, and his desire to aid his friends and vanquish the Ogre overcome his protectiveness of Celeste, and he grabs one of the spear-like flag poles and heaves it at the Ogre. But the brute sees it coming and deflects it with a swing of his arm.
Merovic realizes that the battle is pretty much won – that they can dispatch the Ogre at any time, and that the longer they delay the more reinforcements will show up. Rather than continue the fight, he decides to attempt to intimidate the Ogre into letting them pass. “We have strength and magic on our side, and we have beaten your band. You can die here on these steps, or you can surrender and live.”
The Ogre looks around at the devastation the group has caused and realizes that it is now 3 on 1, and reinforcements will not arrive soon enough. He looks with venom at Merovic and says “Very well, you have bested me.” The Ogre takes a knee, laying his sword on the steps beside him. Merovic is taken aback, suspicious that the guard would give in so easily. “That was too easy. Why did you give up?” The Ogre looks Merovic in the eyes and says “What lies inside is much, much worse, and you still have to try to leave.”
Concerned, but realizing they have the break they need, the group enters into the hallway, and into the Palace proper.