There's something darkly satisfying about watching very bad people die.
As you can guess, yesterday was interesting. The cycle of violence we'd hoped to incite the day before was getting off to a slow start. From our observations after the assault we staged, it became clear that most of the groups of marauders were more disciplined than we gave them credit for. Security tightened up, movement between the camps went from minimal to nonexistent, and the traders that passed between kept their distance.
Things were too tense for us to try anything obvious. Attacking a second camp would have been suicidal given how tightly wound the marauders were. So, we waited and watched. All. Day. Long.
Yesterday morning we finally grew weary with observing. No further attacks had materialized, so Mason decided to give our enemies a push. His actions were dangerous, but you have to remember that he used to do this kind of thing for a living.
Bearing a green bandanna, Mason went hunting. He made sure to attack only sentries that operated in pairs, let himself be seen while retreating after firing arrows. Mason swears it would be a lot easier just to pick them off slowly over time, that it's difficult to allow yourself to be seen without getting caught. I'm taking his word for it. He's the one doing it, not me.
When the reaction came from the camps Mason hit, he was ready. I don't know when he found the time to sneak into the other camps and steal their identifying items, but he was a fucking genius during the fights. When the other camps came together to attack the green bandanna crew (a stupid name, but it's not like I can call them 'The cobras', now is it?) Mason was there. He's like a ghost. A ghost that can kill you seven ways without breaking a sweat.
Several of the groups attacked the men in green, and Mason disrupted the whole thing, turned it into a free-for-all. One group wore red baseball caps. So was Mason when he slipped a knife into the ribs of a member of one of the allied groups. He danced around the battlefield, disappearing from one section once he'd played the part of betraying member of a group only to reappear in a different area shortly after as a member of another. All told it only took him about ten minutes to turn the rough union of men who thought they were being attacked by the greens into a bloody massacre.
Men retreated to safe areas, trying to figure out ways to either win or escape. They were scattered, confused, hurt. That was when my group hit them. Never anything obvious. We fired arrows at them from cover for the most part, or if a few of them clustered near the edge of the clearing and we were close enough, we'd slip in and kill them quietly. It took a long time, but the total number of dead left at the green camp was fifty-two.
The rest retreated. Three entire groups are dead, and none of the others that joined in the assault escaped without losses. None of them stayed behind to pillage the remains of the camp. They were too scared by the end, just wanting to escape.
We inventoried the wreckage. There are a lot of weapons from the fallen, among other items. The camp itself is a treasure trove of supplies, ammo, weapons...
And people. Locked safely away in a school bus that's had some seriously disturbing modifications made to it, we found six women and four men. Naked, many of them injured, all of them thin as rails, but gloriously alive.
That's another story altogether, one I'll tell tomorrow. For now, rest easy knowing we've got them with us, safe as we can make them, and most of them are willing to fight. With the haul we took from the green camp, I think accommodations can be made.
The only down side to the whole day is that we're pretty sure the surviving marauders know someone is out here. Once they grow enough spine to go back to the camp to scavenge, they'll be sure of it. We had to cut chains off the captives to get them free.
I'm sort of looking forward to what happens next.