Episode 42: Cooking rotation
Morning came. Isabelle woke, wincing as she stretched, and looked about. She was the last to wake: Aurora was explaining to Arthur that as long as she was a prisoner, she didn't have to be on the cooking rotation, and Ardon was showing off his cooking skills and not doing too poorly. Q was talking to Silent Thunder, who was actually talking back. Percy was watching Aurora with evident curiosity while Orlaith laughed at Ardon. The others were nowhere to be seen.
Now that there was more light and less distractions, Isabelle could see that Q's hair, which she had thought to be black, was actually a very, very dark brown. He was wearing a white tunic beneath his dust-stained cloak, and had on brown traveler's boots. He seemed to be in high spirits.
Breakfast was had, and Max returned with his boys. He briefed the assembled heroes. "Okay, here's what we know: The majority of Jong's troops are stretched out to the east of us. However, his best people are supposedly in some second task force that this lumber camp was supplying. They've been requisitioning enough supplies that they've got to be building something big, like a fort or siege weapons, but right now your guess is as good as mine. They've evidently been using some sort of gateway magic similar to the merchants at the village, so we can't track the supply trail, but at least that explains the presence of a class-A sorceress in the camp. Unfortunately, she's dead, so we can't ask her anything. Aurora was here to provide protection and oversight for the camp, not to deal with magical issues, so she doesn't know where the supplies were going.
"The only thing that we can do right now is help defend the line to the east and hope that our actions draw out some of the big guns on Black Jong's command staff. Q will go to the village and then do field rounds, One-eye's staying here to keep an eye on the army's west flank, and the triplets are already heading east. We'll be heading a bit north-east; Q says that Jong's army has made a rapid advance in that area since we left the village." He turned to Arthur. "Commander?"
Arthur nodded. "Pack up, everyone; it's time to move out."