Treachery in the Jungle

Sir Guido Orishnos

It appeared to Sir Guido as they rode through the dark Jungle lit by a torch carried by Miss Tuffa, that Marshal Morgana was showing him little trust. Since her men had just raided his half-brother’s Seraglio this was understandable. Doze Arran’s orders had been to guide her into dangerous places and delay her mission as much as possible. Unfortunately she had this other expert guide Dupuis Jean, whom she trusted more than himself. He did not think he could get away with disposing of Depuis Jean and it seemed that Morgana was unlikely to be easily led astray. It was a wasted effort to stay with her! If he went back admitting failure, Doze Arran was not going to thank him. What could he do? Rescue some of the prisoners? Take back one of the women on his horse? Morgana had set guards and they seemed to know their business. He thought about her. Morgana had had many adventures and was politically clever as well as being able with a magic sword. He thought over the bits of the Lay of Two Unicorns Morgana that he had heard. There was a tale of some of her deeds really being done by Bronwyn the Sektarar of Narchad or perhaps the other way around. It was known that they both wore shimmering purple silk gowns and were handy with a blade. Ahead lay the Tonoki meeting place at the Tregua Menhir. Its crag marked the boundary of three tribal areas and it was where they met for Toniki parleys. It was a place where Morgana’s overlarge menie could camp and would almost certainly head for. How if he told the three tribes that she was in fact the Sektarar in disguise raiding Oblivia? Her unicorns were really horses painted blue! Yes, that would get them to oppose her! But first he must convince Wizard Whyman the keeper of the Tonoki parleying place. If he could convince him, then he would do the work of convincing the Orivos, Kenturi and Satyri tribes to strike. Wizard Whyman had great magic powers, he could give Morgana big problems even without the tribes.

    Riding steadily he reached the Tregua Menhir by early afternoon and sought out Wizard Whyman in his cave.

 “Most wise wizard I bring dire tidings! Sektarar Bronwyn of Narchad is leading a raid into the jungle and is heading this way.  She is disguised as the heroine ‘Two Unicorns Morgana’ and has two horses painted blue to aid the deception. She has raided my half-brother Arran’s town Zarza Tanque and taken many captives and treasure. It may be that she comes here after your legendary staff?”

 “This is indeed worrying news Sir Guido Orishnos.” Said the Wizard giving him and unnerving stare. “Perhaps I should visit my niece at Fecha for a few days then, until the danger is past.”

 “Noble wizard surely it is your duty to lead the tribes to resist these raiders? At the very least to warn the tribes so that they can do so! Who knows what other damage these Chaotics can do?”

 “I shall call the tribes to tell them your tidings and to give them choice of fighting or fleeing.”

 “My bother Arran has sent messages to the Nizander, so there will be other forces moving for us. I think he will be wroth an you do nothing against the Narchadians!”

“I care little for the Nizander’s wishes but I will call the tribes and let them decide.”

He went out to climb the crag on which the Tregua Menhir stood. Then he smote it with his staff and commanded “Tregua Signum Dare!” and the stone gave out a high pitched wail. After a few minutes he said “That will be enough, Tregua Signum Cesa!” and the wailing stopped.

Within half an hour three leading representatives of the Orivos, Kenturi and Satyri tribes had arrived and stood below the menhir. Wizard Whyman spoke, “Noble denizens of Oblivia Sir Guido Orishnos here has brought dire tidings. Raiders, thought to be Narchadians led by their Sektarar Bronwyn. She, disguised as ‘Two Unicorns Morgana’ with blue painted horses, unprovoked attacked Zarza Tanque. From there they took many prisoners and treasure and are heading this way!’ Sektarar Bronwyn is a great magician, who knows what damage she could do to our creatures and jungle home? Sir Guido thinks that the Nizander would wish you to stop her, but what say you?”

Minoster Chieftain of the Kenturi spoke, “First how many are there of these raiders before we make a decision?”

Sir Guido answered “Their fighting strength is around a score including eight knights but they have camp followers including women as well. They have a four horsed wagon plus their prisoners.”

 “They have nymphs with them?” asked Pyn the satyr sprite representing the Satyri tribe.

 “Yes both of their own and with the prisoners taken from Zarza Tanque.”

 “Then we will fight to take some of them on the way whether or not these other do!”

 Minoster then said “You do what you may, we will face them here where we can charge. Most of our tribe came here because our places in the grass lands were burnt by the Narchadians. We will be glad to obtain some revenge!”

Onimus of the Orivos then said. “Since our fellows mean to fight, we will do our bit for the Nizander. We will set traps and ambushes on the track with the Satyri. Hopefully that wagon and few of their force will be left to fight the noble Kenturi!”   

So they dug traps and set ambushes on both the main elephant track and a narrower one to the north of it. Most of the Kenturi formed up at the Tonoki meeting place ready to charge any survivors of the invaders reaching it. Guido positioned himself in the centre of their line.                      

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