We carefully waded through the forest until we came across a soldier waiting at the top of a hill, his horse tied to a nearby tree. If he had spotted us, he hadn’t let on. Piper had identified the armor as Campthaharian, so we were at least on the right track. It wasn’t the man that we were looking for, but he probably knew our target. Piper and I agreed that we should continue to try to be stealthy in our approach, but the man soon saw through my feeble attempt at sneakery. He quickly untied his horse, and began riding off as fast as his horse could muster. It was unfortunate for him, that I’m a fair bit faster than your average horse, and caught up with him quickly. He tried to swing at me as I closed the distance, but it was no use. He wasn’t that strong. I did hear him shout “Die Anathema scum!” shortly before I knocked him out. It looks as though our reputation precedes us.
By the time Piper had caught up, I had tied the soldier’s horse to a nearby tree. I wasn’t sure if there were any more soldiers nearby, but I figured having a riderless horse running around probably wouldn’t attract the attention we were looking for.
Peering down at the unconscious soldier, Piper suggested that he might have been waiting for the person we were looking for. I wasn’t entirely convinced, seeing as how our target had been ahead of us. Still, Piper was quick to assume the form of the soldier, just in case. I don’t know if I am ever going to get used to Piper’s shape shifting. His abilities and my own are at odds more often than not. While he lurks and sneaks, I stand proud, ready to accept any challenge thrown at me. Piper has often suggested that my methods are foolish, yet here I still stand. I know that there is wisdom in Piper’s methods though. He has managed to survive for untold years as a Solar, despite the best efforts of the men we have been chasing. Regardless of this, I have resigned myself to the roll of a hero, and hero’s don’t lurk in the shadows. Still, there is nothing wrong with associating with one who does, especially if good can come from it.
We waited into the dead of night on the top of that hill, hoping to find some sort of clue to where the man we were chasing might be, but it didn’t look like anyone was coming. Eventually the wind shifted, and with it, Piper’s mood. Piper could tell that the man we were looking for had already moved on.
Descending Fire 9
Shifting back to the more familiar form of Obi, Piper lead the way while I carried the unconscious soldier. I wasn’t exactly sure of what to do with him, but leaving him there by himself wouldn’t do any good. He would either wake up and make his way to his allies, or some wild animal would get him. Neither of those options were particularly appealing, so I continued to carry him with us.
It wasn’t long before we spotted some more soldiers at the top of an embankment. We could hear the movements of what we could only assume was some sort of a camp. Piper had me hold my ground while he scouted ahead. And so, I sat there and waited. It seemed to be a common trend on this adventure with Piper. As I eyed my surroundings, I thought about training a bit while I waited. There were a few boulders that I could get a few good reps off of, but that would undoubtedly make too much noise. I should have at least brought a book.
When Piper returned, he was able to confirm our suspicions; an entire enemy camp laid before us on the other side of the hill. This was going to be fun. I began moving towards the camp, but Piper was quick to stop me. “We should go back and get Broken walls and the others!” he suggested. I disagreed of course. The sooner we dealt with the camp, the better. If Prasad had information on us, I would sooner prevent any force from attacking Champoor. Better to deal with it here and now.
Eventually, Piper relented, and agreed that now was the best option. He suggested I wait behind as he he drug the camp, putting the soldiers to sleep so that we could deal with them easier. I’ll admit, I was not a fan of this option. I would sooner face the entire encampment by myself than drug them, but this was not about me. This was about the safety of Champoor and the others. If even one of these soldiers got away, it could have serious consequences. I agreed to Piper’s plan. Hopefully a few of them would at least be able to put up a struggle. Still, I couldn’t help but feel left out as Piper left me alone once again.
When Piper returned, we could hear Chaoxi’s voice on the wind, saying that they had lost our trail somewhere on the road. It would be a while before Piper’s drugs took effect, so we agreed to part ways for a short time. Piper would return to the road and find Broken Walls and Chaoxi, and I would remain here and observe the camp.
While I waited, I didn’t see much. I wanted to, but that’s just not how it worked out. I was relieved when I saw Broken Walls and Chaoxi trudging through the brush. Finally, I might be able to do something aside for “Wait for Piper”.
Piper had explained to them what he done, drugging the breakfast of the encampment so as to render them unconscious. Broken Walls and Chaoxi were quick to agree to wait until sunrise before making our move.
When the hour approached, we carefully made our way into the camp. I was finally getting a little excited. Surely someone had managed to resist Piper’s toxins, and anyone who could resist them would no doubt be fun to trade blows with.
As we entered the camp, I was hugely disappointed. Piper was unfortunately very proficient with his method. Not one soldier was standing. With each tent we checked, my groans got noticeably louder. I swear I saw Piper snickering at one point. He must have loved this.
It must have been after the fourth or fifth tent I searched, when the blonde haired man from the tavern came out of his tent. From the look of him, he had just woke up. When he turned and saw me, he quickly turned to run, but he did not get far before I knocked him out with a single blow. So much for him being a challenge.
As we waited for the camp to wake from their stupor, Broken walls bound everyone in shackles he whipped up using the various weapons found on site. Hopefully this was all of them.
When our target, the blonde man from the tavern woke up, Broken Walls was ready to question him.
By the time he was done, we had learned that more soldiers, along with some DragonBloods, would be showing up over the next few days to prepare an attack on all of the Solars of Rising Sun House, plus Chaoxi and Piper.
They were going to planning to ambush us at the Gala, where we would have no doubt been at a huge disadvantage. To think that Prasad would be willing to attack en mass where there would be innocent people sickened me. Clearly these people needed to be taught a lesson.
What that lesson was, took a bit of discussion within the group, but eventually, we agreed to prepare an ambush of our own at this very camp. Chaoxi and I agreed to stay, while Broken walls and Piper gathered more of Rising Sun House’s forces.