Muamin al-Wyuli scowled slightly as she surveyed Salamandastron and its surrounding land from atop a dune. Salamandastron, she thought, her tail curling in annoyance.You will be the first stop on a long road. She glanced over her shoulder, and lessened her scowl slightly. Forty-some beases silently waited on the sand below. We'll try this diplomatically, she further mused.
"Sa'alim!" Muamin called back over her shoulder. Almost immediately, the wildcat was flanked by a ferret and a vixen.
"Milady, we are here," they replied in unison. Both of them knelt on the sandy dune.
"Neda, select four of your best swordbeasts," she commanded, voice calm and stern. "You and they shall accompany me to the mountain under the flag of parley. Sasha, you will remain here with the rest. Make camp, but keep out of sight."
Both of the attending beasts said, simultaneously, "Thy will be done." They cast sidelong glances at each other, scowling. Muramin knew of their fierce rivalry, and used it to push them to perform.
"Dismissed." Both attending beasts returned to the crew below. We are coming, Lord Badger. I hope you are willing to listen, for both our sakes.
Midday: the bright sun shone down through clear skies upon six beasts as they trudged towards the mountain fortress. Muramin headed the group, followed by a vixen and four other vermin-types. She had not ordered them to be disarmed; that would have been tantamount to suicide. However, they were careful to make no motion towards them. This was to be a peaceful encounter. As the drew ever nearer, it could have been long before someone raised alarm.