Gathering Intelligence

Ch’Truta exited Islana’s tent and began to walk toward the center of camp. He stopped in his tracks as the thought occurred to Ch’Truta that if someone was to come against Islana’s leadership, they wouldn’t do so in the midst of the camp, so close to her presence. No, they would do so on the outskirts of the camp.

So, Ch’Truta went to the outer edges of the horde. He began a circuitous route about them, staying on the outer edge. Most were eating and drinking, as it was near dinner time.

As he neared completing the circle, Ch’Truta spotted a group of men gathered about a fire, roasting some meat. They suspiciously eyed the shaman. Figuring it was because he was new to the horde, Ch’Truta introduced himself.

“I am Ch’Truta,” he stated, “I arrived along with the Bloodletters to join the March of the Horde.”

“Ah!” one of them spoke up. “The Bloodletters! Now there’s a group of warriors!” The man held out a hand in greeting. “I am Bannor!”

“Yes,” Ch’Truta agreed, “we shall be a welcomed addition to your ranks. And greetings to you Bannor, and to all with you!”

“The Bloodletters should be leading the horde,” the Bannor bravely insisted.

“Why do you say that,” Ch’Truta inquired.

“This small one we follow,” Bannor bravely spoke, “she is no warrior! She speaks as if she has the wisdom of someone ancient. She is a mere youth.”

“Have you spoken with her privately?” Ch’Truta probed. Clearly, this man did not have the guidance of the spirits. He spoke with a mere man’s knowledge.

“What good is this small one when we go against a mighty foe?” Bannor’s words were becoming bitter. “The Bloodletters should be leading us!”

“If you feel that way,” Ch’Truta pushed, “why have you not confronted the ‘small one’ yourself?”

The man went silent.

“Ah!” Ch’Truta observed. “You fear the ‘small one.’ Certainly a warrior as yourself need not fear a child, as you say.”

The other men looked from Ch’Truta to stare at Bannor. Had he been trying to urge them to do what he feared to do?

“I fear no man!” Bannor shamelessly spoke.

“The ‘small one’ is not a man,” Ch’Truta observed.

Bannor looked back at the others, then gathered his weapons with a huff. He walked to his tent in disgust.

Ch’Truta took a roundabout way back to Islana to hide the fact he was reporting directly to her. Bannor May be a threat for which to keep an eye out.

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