Modra was tough; he knew that his fate was already sealed, and he didn’t see any upside in playing along. But Leeloo and Tarque managed to convince him that his days, while numbered, could have varying degrees of pain.
The first thing he let slip was the name of Tusk, the Orcish commander outside Overlook’s walls. Soon after that the time and location of the next weapons drop was offered. Very soon after that the little dark one was unconscious.
They needed supplies to pull off the ruse they had in mind, but none were forthcoming at Modra’s warehouse, so a trade was made: Sarshan got the crook and the Happy Muggers got the wagon they needed, along with a handy little device for signaling the city when the deed was done. Now it was a simple matter of telling the generals that the signal meant to attack. To avoid D’cafnaet’d embarrassing them again, a well-placed sleep spell was engaged.
“What’s in the barrel?” The guard at the City Hall asked Tarque.
A wagon full of barrels, and each barrel full of ale-soaked cotton. Traps for the meeting place were set up the day before by Tortolla and Tarque, and set off the day before by a wandering orcish patrol.
Three days after the interrogation and it was time for the drop. Eight orcs were at the appointed location, and Vog was the one who stepped forward to ask who was in charge.
“I am,” Leeloo offered.
“A little girl?” Vog sneered.
“Indeed,” she said, standing. “And since you didn’t complete the last drop, we will be delivering this one straight to the camp.”
This idea went over like a belch in temple. “How will we know that you will not betray us? The last courier was found dead.”
“Our man gave him the map; your man ended up dead. Who failed here?” The orcs, not wanting to admit a mistake, stubbornly stood their ground. “Look, I am glad that this time there are eight of you; it makes it less likely that you will fall on your own swords like the last courier. But we will be taking the wagon; I do not care how many of your men die, but my men I care a great deal about.”
Seeing that he was not going to win this argument, Vog guided them forward. And he was relieved when he saw Terk manning the first guardhouse.
“What are you doing, bringing these filthy creatures into our camp?” Terk chided Vog. Vog smiled, “They insisted on coming themselves.” This was perfect; he could withstand a little berating–it was par for the course, really–and then blame everyone else if things went wrong. Vog watched with glee as Terk went through the conversation he had just had.
Leeloo kept her cool, “Your army needs these supplies; do you want to be the one who reports that you sent them away?” Now it was Terk’s turn to let someone else take the blame. He sent them over to the outer camp, where the Fire-elk clan had just set up after joining the horde so late in the game. They could deal with these annoying outsiders.
But as soon as they were safely away from the guardhouse, Tortolla flicked the reins high to spook the horses. At once they were racing away from Vog, whose eyes were filled with the realization that he was once again going to face the blame. Leeloo, D’cafnaet’d, and Tarque watched as the wagon lurched forward and mysteriously caught fire as Montiago waved his hands about. As the flames lept to a nearby tent Vog began to understand that he had been taken in, and as soon as the thought crossed his mind Roots of Stone brought him crashing to the ground.
Montiago reached out with a hand of arcane force to unpin the horses from the wagon, but a rut in the road threw a barrel into his head, and instead he found himself on the ground watching the smoking contraption rattle away from him. Tortolla spun his spear around and knocked the pin free before leaping away, but one horse whirled too close and was caught in the flames. A quiet prayer of thanks escaped the old man’s lips as he stood up again. As the rest gathered around him, he planted Sarshan’s signal into the ground and lit it. A huge ball of blinding light erupted out of the end and soared up into the sky, perfectly illuminating the five figures standing underneath it.
They ran. They ran directly for Tusk’s tent, dispatching orcs as they went. Eldritch Rain and bull rushes brought them down; Phantom Bolts and Haunting Spirits plowed through the guards. As the reached the inner complex of buildings they ducked inside a barn and blasted those who followed.
They all took a deep breath and prepared for the fight ahead.