The team walked through the thick jungle. Fear and Rexis heard a sound behind them. Looking behind them, they saw Bruno walking along oblivious of the shambling mound of leaves and branches following 20 feet behind. The shambling mound had its pistol drawn and aimed at Bruno. The figure shouted “Freeze! Drop your weapons!” Rexis quickly fired an arrow at the figure, knocking him out. Under the camouflage, he was wearing an air brigade special-ops uniform. He was also carrying a flintlock pistol and a lionheart rifle (springfield rifle). His wallet introduced him as . The team bound and attempted to wake him. Fear donned the camouflage gear. Ruck finally caught up to the group. When he awoke, he glared at the team. As tail end Charlie, the team was quite disappointed in his tardiness.
Rexis asked Midas “Tell us why you were following us.”
Midas just glared at him.
Bruno demanded “Tell us or you won’t get ay icecream!”
Midas spat back “I’ve seen what happens when one of your kind catches us.”
Fear said, confused, “We’ve never caught one of you before!”
Rexis added “We’ve shown no malice to your type before.”
Midas continued “I’ve seen the remains. Out by the river.”
Rexis asked “What river?”
Midas pondered “Wait, who are you? You’re not with his lot, are you? Only a moron wanders around in these wastes without… What are you, civilians?”
Fear replied “Kind of. We’re were looking for some mine.”
“Yeah, that’s it!”
“So you are with him!”
Rexis asked “Who is ‘him’?”
“Gah! Aren’t you with the Beast King’s lot?”
“There’s a beast king? What is the beast king?”
“No one knows what he is. The wildfolk of these parts have been giving us trouble. Nothing we can’t handle, until recently. They’re getting organised and striking with military precision.”
“I am the best archer and hunter in all these lands. Bring me someone we can talk to. We’lll deal with this, for a fee.”
“No but we can be.”
“Who do you work for?”
“You, if you pay us.”
“If you’re telling the truth, you’ve gone about this in the worst possible way. I doubt very much that you’ll survive what’s about to happen.”
Bruno saw a glint in the jungle behind him. He grabbed Rexis and Ruck and pulled them down. A shot rang out. Midas was lying on the ground, still bound. Another shot rang out from a different direction. The shot flew closely over Bruno’s head. An attack dog raced up and went for Rexis’ arm. Rexis rolled out of the way and kicked at the dog. Ruck stuck an elbow in the hostage’s throat and threw a knife into the dog. Bruno snuck through the forest towards the sound of the first shot. Rexis pointed his two guns at Midas and the dog. He called out “Call this off! We want to negotiate!”
Midas responded “That won’t work. They think you’re beastmen.”
“But we’re wearing clothes.”
“There are criminals and convicts among them.”
“We’re not criminals.”
“Yet you’re holding one of their men hostage.”
“You shot first.”
Midas threw Ruck aside and scrambled away from the team. Rexis didn’t fire. A second dog ran up and latched onto Fear’s leg. Fear shook off the dog and singed it with his flame gun. Another shot came from a third direction. The bullet rustled the trees.
Ruck get up and threw a knife in anger at Midas. Midas shouted out “Don’t shoot! They’re…” before the knife passed through his neck. Bruno snuck up on the shooter who was busy reloading his rifle. Bruno stabbed him in the shoulder. The shooter fell to the ground, screaming, holding his shoulder. Bruno forcefully said “I suggest you call off the rest of your men. We’re not surrounded.” He started reaching into his utility belt. He slowly drew a cylinder covered in brown paper. He twisted the bottom and a flare shot into the sky. He blew a silent whistle and the dogs ran off towards him. He shouted for the men to call off the attack. Rexis and Fear took cover behind trees, weapons drawn, waiting to see what happened next.
The other shooters circled the area and came to the injured shooter.
“What is this who are you? Where’s Midas.”
“We’re treasure hunters. We’re off to the ruins. We’ve heard there’s items of value there.”
“There’s nothing there but trouble.”
“As there is with most treasure. We’re not beastmen. We’re from Arktooth.”
“No you’re not.”
“Okay, I’m originally from ”/campaign/wyrmfell/wikis/aquilon" class=“wiki-page-link”> Aquilon. I’ve found all the treasure there."
“If you’re telling the truth, drop your weapons and come with us.”
Bruno put the tip of his sword in the sheath. “Lower your guns. Let do this together.”
The shooters lowered their guns. One attended to their comrade’s bleeding shoulder. Rexis attended to Midas’ heavily bleeding wound. Rexis panicked, but finally managed to stabilise Midas. Bruno and the shooters, still with their hands on their weapons, walked back down the hill to the rest of the team. Bruno introduced himself. The lead soldier introduced himself as. Edmonds motions to Ruck and Rexis to carry Midas. Ruck, very begrudgingly helped, but longed to throw more daggers.
Edmonds led the group through the jungle. Late in the day, the group came to a small camouflaged camp at the base of a ridge. Inside the shelter was a couple of chests and strange apparatus. Fear examined the apparatus intently. A soldier told him to keep his distance. Fear did so, and continued to study the apparatus. Crates were scattered about, being used as various surfaces. On one sat a map of the area with notes scribbled about, stuck to the crate with a knife. In the camp were two other soldiers in similar uniforms. One was a captain. The wounded soldiers were laid in makeshift bunks. Ruck offered to help, but Bruno talked him out of it. The captain approached the team.
He demanded “You’re going to tell me what you doing here and you’re going to tell me now.”
Bruno told him the story. “Well, as you can see, I have a bum leg. It’s from a previous treasure hunt that didn’t go so well. We visited a magical doctor. He told us of mineral found in the mines that can assist with healing.”
“Well you can forget about it. The ruins are occupied by the beast people. I can’t let you interfere with our operation.”
“You’re two men down. We’re clearly capable of looking after ourselves. It appears we have joint goals.”
“Until Midas regains consciousness we can’t ask him what really happened.”
Rexis piped in “Had we wanted to kill you we could have. It could have been worse. We can help you with this operation.”
“I suppose I can’t trust you to cover our back. I can trust you to be.”
Rexis “We’ll progress ahead of you.”
“Oh, you’ll be progressing ahead of us. We’ll be able to tell if you’re double crossing us.”
He motioned for the team to come inside the tent, around the map. The map showed a river leading from north to south into a lake. The river split into three streams along its route, cutting several canyons, 50 feet deep, through the landscape. Edmonds explained the only section that was not vertical was at the south end of the island, near the lake. The ruins were at the north end of the island.
Edmonds told the team “Scope out the ruins. See if you can find what you need to find. Bring back whatever intel you can on the camp. If they catch you, disavow all knowledge of us.”
Bruno asked “Add what will we be paid for carrying out this mission for you?”
Edmonds replied gruffly “You’re getting your magical stone. How about, you won’t be charged?”
Bruno raised an eyebrow.
Edmonds added “…and you’ll get this bag of gold.”
As the team left and ventured into the jungle, they all saw yet another sniper hiding in the trees.