Clandestiny tore through the wood bark of the hut’s roof. She was invisible still, but you could feel the heat coming off of her forehead.
“What the (insert colorful yet unladylike metaphor) just happened! How the (insert colorful yet unladylike metaphor) did a simple snatch and grab turn into a royal cluster(insert colorful yet unladylike metaphor)!”
Ping nodded humbly, “Sho shorry! Forgifnesh, preash! It wuzsh’a dorf! Eee Crayshee!”
Clandestiny turned her heat onto the dwarf, “Holy (insert colorful yet unladylike metaphor), OX! You stupid (insert colorful yet unladylike metaphor)! What the (insert colorful yet unladylike metaphor) were you thinking! Please, oh PLEASE tell me you didn’t do it on purpose! Tell me that you aren’t that (insert colorful yet unladylike metaphor)-all stupid! Please tell me the spell simply ran out and you DIDN’T just pop into the largest group and start (insert colorful yet unladylike metaphor)ing swinging!”
Ox tucked his furrowed brow and grumbled, “Does this mean you aren’t going to heal me?”
“Wha… what the (insert colorful yet unladylike metaphor)?” Clandestiny gasped in utter shock, “Heal you? Is that… are you… you stupid (insert colorful yet unladylike metaphor)ing DWARF!”
Kelthak’s booming voice shook the hut, “ENOUGH!” For a moment, there was silence, then Kelthak continued, “Ping… watch the door!”
“Shoor ting!” Ping pulled a star from his pouch and peeked out the entrance.
“Clan… cool your engines and heal the Dwarf!”
Clandestiny grumbled but pulled out her wand obediently and went to work.
Kelthak turned to Ox, “And Delur… SLAP!” Ox rubbed his cheek and decided to keep his mouth shut about it.
“Ok… Now lets figure out how we’re going to salvage this mess!”
After Clandestiny had settled down and pulled out her wand of healing and Ping took a position at the door to watch for any activity, Kelthak addressed the troops. “All right… tactical appraisal. Where do we stand, where to we go?”
Ping joked from the doorway, “We up shit cwik. We going stwaight to Herrol!”
“All right,” Kelthak replied, “How about a more optimistic tactical appraisal?”
“We cover the dwarf in dead fish and have him run,” Clandestiny suggested as she emptied another charge from her wand of healing, “They’ll chase the dwarf and we can sneak out the back.”
“Dat not work,” Ping said a grin,“We got no fish!”
“Then we’ll paint the dwarf’s face white,” Clandestiny suggested again as she emptied another charge from her wand of healing, “We toss him out the hut, they’ll think he’s a travelling mime, and in their rage to destroy him we can sneak out the back.”
Ox grumbled but Ping giggled, “I rike you Crandeshiny! You make me raff!”
“Nobody is sacrificing the dwarf, and nobody is sneaking out the back!” Kelthak growled, “Now quit fooling around, people! We have a serious situation here and we need a serious game plan. Ox, what are your thoughts?”
“Ah think that since they ain’t assaulted us yet,” Ox surmised, “Then they’re doing the same thing we are – gathering their forces and contemplating a strategy.”
“Dey no contempwading anyting!” Ping decwared, “Dey taking oders fwom da Big Guy! He come out of hiwlside… ooh! He a big wizard?”
“Wizard?” Ox exclaimed.
Kelthak shook his head, “Lizard.”
“Das what I said!” Ping wepwied, “A big wizard! Wid a big speaw! He tewling udder wizards what ta do now. He berry angwy at dem!”
“Oh great!” Clandestiny whined as she emptied yet another charge from her wand of healing, “As if we didn’t have enough troubles right now!”
Kelthak ignored Clandestiny, “Can you see what they are doing now? How many of them are there?”
“Iss pwetty dawk,” Ping stwained to see, “But dey widing torshes now! Rotsa torshes! And mow wizards are coming fwom da udder huts! Der are eight wizards now, pwus da big wizard… Wait! He sending two uv da bigga wizards outside troo da tunnel. I ting dey going to bwock ouw escape! Oh, dis is bad!”
Kelthak nodded somberly to himself, “Hmm… torches you say… Consolidate forces, block escape routes, equip for a siege… next step is to attack in force to overwhelm the defenses. With troops in the back with torches we lose our advantage in the darkness. Won’t be long before this hut is up in flames. So what do we do now?”
“Counter attack!” Ox exclaimed, shaking his ax.
Kelthak shook his head, “There’s too many of them. They’ll surround us and cut us to pieces.”
“Then we fight back to back!” Ox shook his ax again.
“Or back to the wall,” Clandestiny added as she emptied another charge from her wand of healing, “We can position ourselves with our backs to the palisade – Ox in the middle, you two on the flanks and me in the back singing and healing with the wand.”
Kelthak grinned, “Fight it out, then?”
Clandestiny shrugged, “We could run, try to take out the the two lizards outside, but they’ll have a strong advantage in the deep water. We’re bound to lose somebody. Besides… if we run now they’re almost certain to kill the other hostages, which is the reason we came up here in the first place.”
“What if they don’t close in on us?” Kelthak asked, “What if they try to just pin us to the wall with Javelins?”
“We’ve got bows!” Clandestiny was putting her 20 Intelligence to work, “You’ve got your magic composite bow and I can give Ox my short bow. I will enchant your arrows with Flaming, and you can pick off the lizards carrying the torches and then use your darkvision advantage over the rest. They’ll HAVE to come after us!”
Ox smiled, “That’s pretty good, you got it all figured out, don’t you lass?”
“Except for the part where we all don’t cut to ribbons and served as dinner, you dumb dwarf!” Clandestiny snarled as she emptied even yet another charge from her wand of healing.
Kelthak nodded, it was a good plan… but he had some thoughts of his own, and he wanted to hear any ideas the others might have.
He looked to the others and asked, “What do the rest of you think?”