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Successful start to the day...
Fri Jun 9, 2006 15:25 (XFF:

As Zander passed across the small, bubbling stream, he stopped drain the remaining water in his canister in three huge gulps. He refilled the canister with water from the stream. As he refastened the canister, he noticed how clear the water was, with no hint of a taint of soil or rock or any other debris that rivers and streams may pick up during their passage. He reasoned that it was one of the reasons why the Seanchan had made their semi-permanent-but soon to be permanent by the way things were going- camp in this particular valley in the mountains. It meant that when they were under attack then they would have a supply of fresh, untainted water with which to keep the troops fresh faced and healthy. Zander knew that the river did not pass through the camp itself, but it did meander gently, curving to within a few meters of the ditches surrounding the wooden ramparts that were in the beginning stages of their development. The Seanchan could have stockpiled an endless supply of water depending on how much storage space and storage devices the camp has as Zander was standing next to the stream at that moment. The thought of how long they could hold out when the ramparts were fully erected filled Zander with a sudden chill and he turned away towards the vantage point the had used to spy upon the camp the previous afternoon.

As Zander approached the gigantic trunk of a pine tree, a small smile crossed his face as he remembered the way in which he had reached his vantage point far up in the lower branches of the tree itself. The trunk was too large to climb, it being at least five of his arm’s length around. It was almost perfectly smooth also, which made it impossible to get a hand-hold upon which to climb it either. Zander had realised that it would be the best vantage point he would find within feasible walking distance from his ‘camp’. It was high enough to see the entire Seanchan camp from the lower branches, and the thick cover that was created by the foliage made it easy for Zander to peer out, but almost impossible for anyone in the encampment to see him, even if they were looking directly at him. He had stood around the trunk for a good hour the previous afternoon whilst he had tried to work out how he would reach the lower branches so that he could haul himself up to a decent watching position. Zander merely took a run up towards a tree that was about 3 paces beyond it. As he was getting within two paces of this tree, he jumped and landed one booted foot about 2 paces up the trunk. He then pushed with that foot and turned in mid-air to face the pine tree trunk, gaining height so that his foot rested at least 5 paces from the ground on the pine’s trunk. He carried on jumping like that until he could twist in mid-air and grab the bottom branch of the pine tree. The branch gave way slightly, protesting against his weight, but he was quickly grabbing the next branch, climbing up until he was in the comfortable position he was in the day before. He was now a good20 paces above the soft ground. He smiled once more.

I knew that those little stunts I put into my run may come in handy one day!
How the hell was you to know you would use then to climb a tree?

But Zander silenced the nay-saying voice with his smug success in ascending the tree. He gazed out through the tree foliage, gently being pricked by some of the more pointed pine needles, and onto the Seanchan encampment.

It lay within a valley, which protected it against assault in some ways just by its location. The North was only assault able via the path that wound through the mountains, eventually coming out on the other side of the mountain range. The path was narrow and couldn’t easily support many men across its diameter. The Road to the South was almost identical in its situation, except it was slightly larger. The West and East sides of the encampment were shrouded by forest. If you could get troops into the wood without being detected then you could maybe take the encampment, but other than that it was almost unassailable.

The Seanchan chose well. Accessible water, natural defences. They could cause trouble here for months until re-enforcements could arrive for them. Bloody bastards he thought to himself.

But his attention was drawn back to the encampment, as the movement began to commence once more for the day. Men and women were exiting their tents, their bedclothes dishevelled. Some already had their armour on, gleaming brightly in the morning sunlight. Others began to jog around the compound, preparing for the day ahead. And still others were entering what Zander assumed were the four mess halls in the camp, one for each section of tents that were the troops living quarters. His eyes roved across the entire encampment, darting here and there at the slight gleam on the armoured bodies of the few who had woken earlier than most. He saw no signs of the ten officer’s that were to be his ‘marks’, but what he did see chilled his bones even more. Everywhere he looked he saw order, of a kind. No matter what they were doing, the troops within the encampment moved without hesitation. They looked like a well oiled crossbow mechanism, fluid and purposeful in their movements. They had obviously been here for some time, longer than Zander had first thought.

If they’ve been here for that long, then the Black Tower must have known about it much sooner than yesterday. So why send us in now? When they are strong and already established? It just makes it harder for us! Chaos is what serves an assassin best when it comes to larger numbers! It paralyses the enemies response, but here we will surely be exposed and killed sooner that even I cynically thought! Damn you Lysander! You Light-blinded fool! Why wait? Why? he thought with a righteous hatred.

But his thoughts were dismantled instantly as he suddenly found exactly what he had been looking for among the order of the camp. A wave of chaos had started at the centre, near the central tent. But when Zander looked closer, he saw it was not chaos, it was simply the absence of movement as troops stopped to salute ten men who wore gilded armour far gaudier than their subordinates around them. They all acknowledged the salutes on their way to the tent, before disappearing within the folds of the entrance for whatever session they had gathered to commence upon.

  • Scouting the Situation...Soldier Zander Kilgas.., Fri Jun 9 13:40
    Night had fallen, and with it had come the various accusations that came with the ever-encroaching darkness. Taunting shadows jeered at him from their perches in the tree, akin to malevolent spirits, ... more
    • Successful start to the day... — Soldier Zander Kilgas, Fri Jun 9 15:25
      • A Startling Discovery...Soldier Zander Kilgas, Fri Jun 9 16:27
        Zander was torn between what he should do. He did not want to leave his camp site and enter the ant’s nest that was the Seanchan encampment as it would mean that he would not be able to get out until ... more
        • Infiltration...Soldier Zander Kilgas, Thu Jun 15 14:39
          Zander's still form held back in the shadows cast by the gently rustling leaves of an aged and gnarled sycamore. He gave no hint of his position away, his body rigid as a fortress wall. He had chosen ... more
          • Pin-pointing the Marks. A Reunion...Soldier Zander Kilgas, Fri Jun 16 09:06
            Zander made his way slowly but methodically down the beaten dirt road towards the central tent. He had regained much of his equilibrium since his less than convincing act to the Seanchan guard that... more
            • Like a Pack of Wolves...Soldier Zander Kilgas, Fri Jun 16 11:36
              Zander smiled at Jessica, but didn't deign to answer her immediately. If he tried to speak to her whilst he was sopping wet and freezing cold from his idiotic information gathering, then he would... more
              • Planning the Day Away...Soldier Zander Kilgas, Fri Jun 16 13:03
                Zander extricated his limbs from their inter-twined positions. Her carefully lifted his left arm and slid it slowly from under Jessica's neck, making sure not to wake her. Next he untangled their... more
                • Preperation...Soldier Zander Kilgas, Sat Jun 17 01:34
                  Zander walked the group through the Seanchan encampment inn a slow but methodical manner. He was determined to get the job done right and make it so that every single one of them got out of the... more
                  • The Calm Before the Storm...Soldier Zander Kilgas, Sun Jun 18 07:56
                    Zander was filled with a strange feeling of loneliness as soon as the entire little group had dispersed to prepare for the activities of the night. It started within the pit of his stomach and... more
                    • And So it Begins...Soldier Zander Kilgas, Sun Jun 18 11:43
                      Darkness had fallen quickly across the encampment, and fires had sprung up sporadically throughout the sea of tents within the boundary of ditches. As Zander took his final composed view of the... more
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