The Diary of Kevlar Steele

So that didn't go so well...

Author: Kevlar

Date: Tue, 28th May 2013

We spent a couple of days preparing for this Condor Crags mission. At the time it looked so foolhardy - such a dangerous thing to do, to be dangling from rope above a Giant Condor nest, trying to steal some of the eggs while the Giant Condors try to pull bits out of your head from above...

Still, at 5000 coins per egg, we considered that the risks would be worth it.

Azyet managed to get us some really good rope. Top quality stuff, really thin light and strong - just what we thought we'd need. Stelios went down to the docks and sourced us some ship rope too - we wanted plenty of dangling gear, so we might have overdone that a bit. And then we needed a mule to carry it for us, as it was really heavy. And some new tents, and food. And water-skins. And something to carry eggs in while they're being winched down a cliff face. And a winch.

Eventually we set out and headed for the stone tower. That was the nice easy bit of the journey.

We spent a night in a clearing in the wilderness and the Dukes man used smoke signal to raise the attention of the guide he'd hired, who soon turned up too. We stashed some food here (this was to be our base camp for the mission) and in the morning, we struck out for the crags.

The going was slow. The terrain here is all over the place, one minute you're hidden in a gulley where you're a sitting duck to any ambush, then next you're up on the next ridge in plain site for miles around.

It was in the afternoon when we first spotted the Bru tracks. Hoof prints - going in a similar direction to us at first before they veered off. We thought we'd escaped them by being both stealthy and careful. How wrong we were. We didn't get to the crags, the delays we suffered when trying to keep a low profile meant that we had to find somewhere to camp. The place we selected we thought was quite a decent, good to defend. It didn't stop us getting attacked in the night, though.

It came during my watch. The Bru drove a pack of hyenas at the camp to act as a diversion. I woke the others and we prepared to defend the camp. I faced them on one side with Azyet and our guide, while Stelios (who I'd been on watch with) guarded the other with the Dukes former bodyguard and head man. We ended up facing the hyenas - these weren't really up for it - while on the other side, the Bru hit Stelios. At first we didn't know what was happening, but they'd incapacitated Stelios, and grabbed the Dukes man. His bodyguard gave chase, and while I tried the same I was held up by a rearguard. I went through these pretty quickly - but I was hit by some magic that left me rolling on the floor sneezing.

I wasn't down for long, but it was enough for the Dukes man to be carried away into the darkness, out of my sight. There was no way I could track that in the dark and make any difference. It was too late.

We regrouped at the camp, quickly discussing what our real options were. Then we heard the torture. The screams of agony away in the dark. The bodyguard was being slowly and painfully dealt with - and there was nothing we could do. We would struggle to find and assault the Bru in the dark like this, and there was little we would be able to do to save the prisoners. The mission was over, so we spent an hour picking up the best of the equipment, and leaving the camp site where it was. We wanted the Bru to miss our departure, to think that we were still there until we'd got far away. We broke camp an hour or so before dawn and were well away with no pursuers.

It was interesting that, as we'd been disturbed in the middle of the night, we still had most of the personal equipment of our employers. In particular we had an iron sword and suit of armour, which actually fits me very nicely, although it's a little heavy. Despite our employers coming to a sticky end, we've not done too badly out of this mission.

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