Well. Now I have had my second surprise since coming to Nemora. A while back I had this strange dream about these five people killing some big black cat. I would have chalked it up to the amount I had to drink at the party the night before, but anytime I thought of that dream I could clearly remember each of their faces. Then today, the captain of the guard ask me to go with a squad of his men to act as early warning for them should anything come at this bridge they were to guard. Hopefully that early warning wouldn’t be my dying screams. The assignment itself seemed to be a waste of the skills of such an exceptional individual as myself, but thats neither here nor there, we were talking about the dream people.
There I was sitting, hidden on a ridge near the bridge, when in the distance I see a party approaching. From that distance I could tell it was two of the cat people, five humans, and what looked like an ogre. Leaving my hiding place, I boogied back to the lieutenant in charge of the squad. When the group crested the ridge and crossed the bridge was when I got my shock; The two cat people and the three women were the people from my dream. Was the dream a dire warning or a tiding of good things to come. Only one way to find out. I decided then that they were obviously one Wangai short of a full deck, so to help these poor souls I would accompany them on their journey.
Bad news came fast though. First the cat folk were what I called “Old World Cats” still licking their wounds over some ancient defeat the ancient Wangai handed them. Oh well, I don’t much care about history, but if they get cranky, I’m sure I can handle whatever they would try. The second bit of bad news was that this group had had a run in with the one Wangai in the entire city-state that was a criminal and as such they were immediately suspicious of me. Great now picking their brains is going to be that much harder.
Well I rode back with them to town and tried to loosens things up with some conversation. Well let me tell you, that didn’t go well. Anyone tell you human women like compliments must be deep in their drink. Tell the one wearing armor she has nice legs and before you know it your trying not to fall out of your saddle because she cracked you upside the head. Head is still spinning. On the bright side, when they got back to town and met with the mayor I got a gist of what they had been up to. Looks like this Fire Elioud and Gargun thing is more serious than I thought. After they finished talking they started scattering and I got the feeling they were not interested in the least me going with them. Now worries, I’ll just get up a little early and meet them on the road, they’ll realize their mistake when the see me sitting there and beg me to come with them. Heck they already said where they were going, so they must secretly want me to tag along. First, I had to meet a friend and pass on what I had learned.
The next day I headed down the road a ways and kicked back to enjoy a quick smoke. No sooner had I finished than the group rounds the bend. By the look of it they already knew I was there. Cat people and their noses. I keep telling myself I should quit, but whats life without its little vices. Hopping on my trusty stallion without getting bit in the process, we set out at a swift pace to make Fort Mosca Pass before nightfall. If anyone tells you that riding ponies are gentle, they lie. They’re very mean spirited little monsters and seem to think their going to take payment in a chunk of your flesh.
Upon arrival at the fortress we saw a large camp of the Gargun camped in front of the fortress and in the nearby pass. After a quick conference amongst themselves one of the women began talking some strange language and waving her hands around, and I kid you not, turned into an eagle! Larani strike me down if I’m lying. Then the third woman begins doing something similar and weapons start glowing and other sorts of strangeness. Remind me definitely to never complement those two, they wont hit me over the head, they’d turn me into a newt or something equally unpleasant. Well of the first flies and we’re left sitting there, the women glaring at me when I try to strike up a conversation and the furry ones making jokes about the sports they like to play… using a Wangai as the ball. No love for a poor downtrodden adventurer these days, it’s a sad world we live in. As the cats were enjoying a graphic description of Wangai hide and seek, the eagle lady comes back gives a description of the camp and the fact that they seem to be trying to dam a creek for some reason. Well we realize there’s no way to approach the fortress directly and the magic ones start talking about mountainside ledges and magic stuff. Being the quick thinking, as well as handsome Wangai that I am, I decided I would head for the camp and see what I could learn and maybe I could cause a rucuss that would give them a chance to get in.
Leaving the group to their deliberations I quietly made my way towards the camp, coming to the dammed creek first. It seemed that a boulder had been placed in the creek, work of the Fire Elioud?, and the Gargun were haphazardly throwing logs, rocks, and anything else they could to build it up. It seemed that the creek went underground closer to the fortress and reemerged on the other side. Guess someone was looking for a quick way around the fortress. Not able to do anything about it, I continued further up to the camp. That was almost the end of yours truly right there. I’m being my normal clandestine self, and BAM, I run into a Gargun about to piss on the bush I was crawling out of. Well thanks to my lightning fast reflexes I manage to put my knife in his liver before he knew what hit him. Surprisingly he didn’t go down, anyone who tells you a Gargun aint tough is lying and you tell them I said that. Thankfully this particullar specimen was too busy choking on my knife to make much noise and my next blow laid him out. Rolling him into the bush I had a stroke of brilliance. Pull off the tunic, put the helmet on at an appropriately rakish tilt and ta-da! Pint sized Gargun.
Appropriately disguised, and now probably the handsomest Gargun on Nyonia, I made my way into the camp proper, more specifically to the twenty foot wall that had seemed to be a recent addition. Going to the backside of the wall I found the Fire Elioud, and the purpose of the wall became immediately clear. From the tree nearby I had found to climb, I could see on the far side of the pass more Gargun making large piles of boulders, and on the enourmous table the giants were standing around a rough map marking out distances. It seemed the Elioud were to be artillery in the upcoming battle and the wall was to give them cover from the fortress. Let me tell you, I didn’t like the way the odds of the battle were heading. Leaving the tree I found a nearby tent that belonged to one of the giants and went in to see if the was anything in there that would help in the upcoming battle. I would like to say it was as easy as walking to their camp table and rifling through the documents I found but when your all of three feet tall and the table is made to sit someone fifteen feet tall, getting to those documents practically involved climbing a mountain. And do you know what I found when I got up there? Parchment the size of a bed written in gobbledy gook that I didn’t understand a word of. No worries though, Momma Vortigern gifted yours truly with a picture perfect memory, and I made sure I would find someone in the fortress who could decipher it.
Deciding it was probably time to head back, I looked for a way to spice things up around here and give me an easier time to escape. Whats that I see? Pens filled with various animals used as food for the army, and some of them quite large and distressed? They’re making this too easy. Weakening the pens in strategically chosen places I went to the back side and started a small fire. Getting out of the way, I sat back and watched. what happened couldn’t have been more perfect if I had planned it myself. Wait, I did plan it! Terrified of the fire the animals broke loose and stampeded through the camp and thanks to the lay out of the pass pushed the army closer to the fortress. The soldiers were kind enough to greet their visitors with some well placed arrow fire thinning the ranks some. The fun came to an end when out of the sky a wyvern brought the stampede to a halt. That is an impressive beast let me tell you. Ruccus accomplished I made my way to the fortress and climbed the wall. You would think they would make a fortress harder to get into, but I guess for your average, not quite as handsome and nimble, mere mortal it is. Reaching the top I find my erstwhile companions had already gotten into the fortress. Here I am risking life and limb to bring them important intelligence and in the process thin the ranks by half at least, and here they are kicked back in the comforts of this fine fortification safe and sound. You would think they would at least thank me for all my hard work but what do they do? The women glare and the fluffy ones look like their trying to decide how high I would bounce if dropped from the top of this wall. Before they could give it anymore thought, the gates on the opposite side of the fortress let in a company of cavalry led by some soldier who they seem familiar with but the name I cant remember at the moment. Whatever it was, I went to find someone in charge and tell them what I had found. Those Elioud would have to be dealt with or this battle was going to be bloody and short.