The preparations took days. There were agents to contact, plans to review, revise, or reject, provisions to gather, weapons and skills to sharpen, and a host of other tasks to improve their chances of success. The three friends were hardly left out of this work—their parts would be just as vital to the attack as any others’. And when they were not training or discussing plans, the village always need another pair of strong arms (or a huge griffon) for the more ordinary tasks of life so that others could prepare for the battle ahead.
The basics of the plan were simple—their agents in the pirate base would stash some weapons near the slave pens, then watch for a day when most of the pirates were gone on a raid but at least one seaworthy ship was still in port. Then they would signal the others. That night they would attack from without, while those inside would open the slave pens and distribute what weapons they had brought among the slaves, who would then fight from within.
They did not think they could destroy the pirate base entirely, which surprised Almonihah and Garkhen. Rather, they hoped that the chaos would be sufficient for the half-dragons and Zakhin’Dakh to get to a ship with a number of former slaves and depart before all of the pirates awakened and armed themselves.
Waiting for the right day took longer even than the preparations, leaving much time to debate the finer points of the plan and argue back and forth over small details. But finally the signal came. The rest of the day was spent gathering all they had prepared and stealthily moving through the jungle towards the pirate base (Zakhin’Dakh stayed some distance away, in a clearing he could take off from).
Once night was fully fallen, Almonihah and a couple dozen elven archers, keen-eyed even in the dim light of a crescent moon, came to the edge of the jungle around the pirates’ stockade. No watch-fires burned, for the pirate sentries had learned they only made targets easier to see while ruining their own night vision. But still they could be made out, a handful of dark shapes slowly moving about, only partly obscured behind their fortifications.
The archers quietly nocked arrows. Two or three aimed at each sentry. Then they drew back their bowstrings…
I apologize for missing a week last week and then having a short post today. My weekends have been full of activities with friends and family, as have many of my weekday evenings.