In the Dead of Night (Extension of Vermin)
The camp was restless as it always is the night before a battle. Restless bodies sitting around a fire. Some beasts' minds were filled with excitement of the battle to come while still others' were filled with the terror of suspense.
Ragtag groups of vermin sat idly around their fires. Some had assortments of martens, ferrets, rats, and other common vermin but the monitor lizards of Hyrasrax sat hermit like away from all of the others. Disliking even the company of their own kind, they sat singularly around personal fires.
Some of the other vermin had expressed distress at the sight of so many fires in the camps but Hyrasrax was not about to revoke his lizards' rights to a fire. A cold monitor lizard might be slow, but is all the more dangerous. Monitor lizard were very distrustful of others. They rarely make any sort of permanent company and never mated for life. As such, Hyrasrax sat by a fire of his own. His personal guard being the only beast sharing it for the time being.
Hyrasrax was sure that the metal monster or the desert wildcat would visit him sometime in the night but that would be later. Right now, was waiting for someone.
It was almost fully through the second watch when Hyrasrax felt the sand slight beneath him. He smiled slightly and rasped into the darkness,
"You must be getting rusty Jong-Jor, I could feel you coming this time."
An unidentifiable presence across from the fire, hidden in the night's long shadows, snickered. "I have no need to keep quiet o' spiky one. Hares that run at top speed do not feel the presence of sand shifting any more than the fish feel a campfire's warmth. The fall of the mountain hares will be swift and bloody."
Hyrasrax smiled his half evil grin. "Very well. About those murder pits."
"They will be no problem. The hares are digging them as we speak. They tire themselves with them, but no sooner have they be buried then I've moved it. They will never find their murder-pits again until they are falling in them. I have a few surprises to add to the dark sands before the battle." The shape in the darkness shifted, "Someone comes." Jong-Jor said, "I must go. It is time that I prepare myself for the battle to come. But first…"
"Yes Jong-Jor," Hyrasrax interrupted, "You are free to loot as you wish. You have the approval of all vermin leaders."
There was a short his of approval from the shadow before it seemed to vanish into the sand.
This time, Hyrasrax felt no shifting of sand.
A last message to Hyrasrax that Jong-Jor was not getting rusty.
Muramin al-Wyuli frowned slightly as she drew towards Hyrasrax's fire. She disliked the lack of discipline that the other beasts, those not under her direct thumb, were showing, but the feline had decided that it was not in her place to correct them. Their positions in the upcomming siege were not going to be so reliant on hiding numbers and stealth as hers would. Still, it did seem to hurt their task in her mind.
"He truly does know how to move about the sands, does he not?" she asked, making sure that she did not draw unduly near prior to speaking. More than one beast had lost an ear from exactly that. "Sadly, too few understand that all senses must be used; not merely one's eyes or ears." She chuckled softly, and drew into the firelight. "Forsooth, I pray that he remains down-wind, or he may lose some of the element of suprise he values so highly."
The wildcat sighed softly and took seat upon the sand. She looked towards where she figured Jong-Jor had departed, wagered he had yet to truly depart, and decided to hold her tongue on a manner of topics. Still, she would pass on the readiness of her own forces. "As far as myself, my Janissaries are camping as near as the mountain as possible, but along the water. I will be journeying to them shortly. Our task will be most difficult, for we will not have any ability to retreat; we accomplish our goal or we die." She looked up towards the sky. "We are, however, fortunate that the moon has taken leave of the sky. The darkness will cover their eyes, and the roar of the ocean will cover their ears. We need only worry of the wind, though it presently blows towards the sea." Her tail twitched slightly in agitation behind her. "I trust your preparations are complete, or as near to such as possible?"
Hyrasrax grinned at the wild cat and responded to her question without hesitation.
"Of course." He said, and then glanced in the direction that Muramin had looked and chuckled. "He is no longer here." he rasped, "He will also not need to worry about the winds any more than a mole needs to underground." He looked back at the cat and continued. "Yes he can move the sands, but more importantly, the sands can move him."
He grinned slightly then procuring a vial of wine from a nearby chest, explained. "Jong-Jor is a mercenary." He said pouring wine for both beasts. "He lived in the sand southwards of here. He too is a creature of the desert, but lives far more strangely than either of us."
He picked up a pawful of sand and let it filter through his claws for a moment before continuing. "Jong-Jor used to be quite normal, but seasons of battle have changed him into a wild creature." He smiled at Muramin, "Not like your lady is wild but more in the way that crows are. He has nothing but a single purpose in life. Kill. Money helps him to do that and so he continues to work for the highest bidder. He is a lizard like me and my brethren, but very few ever see him unless its too late."
Changing the subject he continued. "I do not believe that a night attack will be wise." He said.
Nearby, Rolvog walked into the camp and looked around. A gaurd stood on a rock at the outer edge of the site. He stepped over to him, avoiding fires and sleeping bodies. The moniter turned in sudden suprise, but upon seeing Rolvog he turned very wary and pulled away asking what Rolvog wanted.
"Where are the cat and your leader? Wyuli isn't at her own encampment."
The lizard pulled farther away in fearful discomfort at the Entrok's close presence, slightly scared by his size and manor. Nevertheless, he pointed to the fire out to one side of all the others, speaking in his husky, hissing voice.
"Over there, discussing things of war perhaps, but they keep to themselves."
Without a reply, Rol walked away, leaving the sentry in some relief. The metal monster wondered over to the fire and into the conversation. He was in his typical, curt mood.
"Al-wyuali, I would like to speak to you a moment." As an after though he turned to Hyrasrax too. "I wish to ask you something as well."
-ooc- Lets just say that monitor lizards aren't scared like that OK? I'm not upset or anything but you are saying things about my army that I might not like. Be careful, OK?
Muramin al-Wyuli nodded quietly. "No, our three assaults must be coordinated. A failure of any one of us will doom the entirety of the operation." She looked at the offered wine, and frowned. Alcohol was not something she chose to indulge in during the few hours before a battle. Then again, she chose not to indulge any time after a battle; it did not suit her nerves to drink something that would dull her senses.
Muramin noted the approach of Rolvog, and moved to greet him, though his speaking first quieted her. She withheld the reaction to wince at the butchering of her tribe's name. Still, she understood that a metal jowl would make it more than difficult to muster the grace needed for it. She decided to pay it little head. "How may I be of assistance, 'friend' Rolvog?" she inquired, noting his typical tone.
-ooc- "Butchering of her tribe name." "Metal jowl."
LOL! I love it. Nicely done Cyber!
-bic- When Muramin did not take the offered drink, Hyrasrax extended the goblet of wine to the new comer and waited for him to speak.
-ooc- "Al-wyuali" was actully a typo, but I think That I'll pretend he said it on purpose.
-bic- Rolvog shook his head at the offered drink and turned to Muramin. "My Master has a request of payment for our assistance. He asks a half a metric ton of pure gold or, in subsitute, the equiulant in other vauables. The two of you may share the cost and pay together if you want. My employer finds that this should be fairly simple to pay with the Badger's gold you will recieve from taking over this mountain. He requests this as payment for our help in this matter. If you accept than I will proceed to report on the development of our position on the battlefield."
-2ooc- A half of a metric ton of gold is a lot, but in real life it would be realatively fair (or maybe even less than fair) considering their assistance. My brother saw all of this a suggested it so it would make more sense on your side.
(( Hehe, I figured it was a simple typo, but that was more amusing to me than to just point it out. ^__^ ))
Muramin al-Wyuli thought for a moment, then frowned. "Your lines of communication are quite expeditious, Rolvog," she noted with a hint of suspicion. It lead her to inquire, "Where, again, did you say your 'employer' was?" She could not recall where he said, or if he had even said. Still, it took multiple hours between runners from her soldiers and the main camp here. Naturally, they were attempting to keep quiet and unobserved.
Rolvog shook his head. "He wishes to keep his location less than public. most of Mossflower doesn't even know he exists. He wishes it to stay that way."
"He still awaits your answer however. Will you pay?"
The travel between his master and himself really didn't take six hours. The distance could be covered by a fast runner within two hours and thus was how they acheived their communications. The reason that the marck took six hours involved the size of the army he was bringing through.
Rolvog didn't want her to know that however.
"I sent a runner near eight hours ago to check for additional instructions."
Hyrasrax was outraged. "We have never before this moment spoken of us paying anyone. You dare to come in here and insist on a payment that we cannot guarantee?" Hyrasrax stood right in front of Rolvog and let his anger boil over without restraint. "We have no way of knowing how much gold in in that mountain. To go into debt on an assumption is in no way wise, fool. Tell your master that this lizard works on percentages not numbers. If he takes a third, he may get more than he asked for. But if there is no gold, then neither me nor the cat have to worry about unpaid debts. You are in no position to make demands."
Hyrasrax sat back down after a moment and drank the unaccepted goblet of wine. There wasn't any poison in it. No doubt the others feared assassination, but if he did decide to do so, it wouldn't come in the form of traceable poison.
Rolvog shrugged. "I was only stateing what he told me. Complain to him if you must. I will tell him what you have said and it maybe that he will reconsider, but don't count on it."
"I do not intend on indenturing myself to a creature who is foolish enough to demand set amounts. If your service comes at so high a price, do not expect this lizard to ask for it."
"He merely requested that amount. He has a pretty good idea of how much there is in there." Rolvog replied. "He has spies inside of Salamandastron that allow him to know things that other creatures do not.
"One thing is that there is a wildcat within the mountain, offering to help them in this battle."
"Wildcat huh?" Asked Hyrasrax, "Wildcat's no problem. No offense meant." he added to Muramin.
Rolvog shrugged. "The spies have been useful in the past. The beasts inside the mountain don't appear to have made any plans yet, but then again, our beasts just might not have heard anything about them."
"I will send the message of your request about payment. I will see what I can do to influence a change in my employer's decision."
With that he signaled a rat out of hiding nearby and whispered into his ear. The rat nodded and ran to tell the runners the info that he had been told to relay to the 'Master' or 'Employer' as Rolvog called him.
After this the Entrok turned back to the wildcat and the monitor. "Do you wish that we take inventory on our equipment and resorces or should we begin planning the attack?"
"I count resources by the number of strong backs. Not sticks and shovels." Hyrasrax said
Rolvog sneered at Hyrasrax. "Then you're a fool." ((-ooc- it's Rolvog, not me saying that))
He turned to Muramin. "I have a great many long-range siege weapons including catapults, scorpions, greek fire and trebechés to throw it with. I also have brought with me 350 armed and trained soldiers. They aren't just wearing rags either. They all wear light armor and are armed to the teeth with good quality weapons. I brought, also, 35 workers and 10 war strategists to help with planning for the battles.
"Do you believe that this is sufficient?"
-ooc- Does this qualify as God-Moding. I think people would notice a horde that large. Where do you get the people?
-ooc- That is part of the story-arc. They reside at partly at Castle Marl and partly in an underground cave. They used to use only the cave, but as they grew they upgraded to Catsle Marl. That happened would have happened just a year or so ago.
They also moved in a way that they would not be seen. I think that Cyber knows what I am reffering to by that.
If you want to know mare about what is happeneing than just review some of what I have posted. If you really want to than you should be able to peice a lot of it together.