Uncharted Forest, Rally Point Alpha
Tyrier grabbed Altied's shotgun and bandolier while distributing Altied's remaining 6.5 mm magazines to the rest of team and started to field strip the weapon down and clean it. Everyone took turns doing sentry duty while the team rested, ate, maintained their weapons and gear and waited for the sun to set and darkness to come.
The team cast a barrier of Nondetection and both physically and magically removed all traces of their passing. As they hid and rested in the trees, Orc patrols passed by them several times, searching for any traces of their whereabouts. The only time they nearly got found was when a couple of giant Wind Wolves appeared with Orc riders strapped on top their backs, the wolves sniffed around the trees where they had hidden but couldn't find any scent and left shortly after, causing the whole team who were aiming their weapons at the wolves all the time to relax.
Firing off another short micro burst message to the UAV drone circling over the forest, and after receiving the return message from Command. Tyrier whispered to the gathered team, who huddled together. "Alright, we are going back in. Command reports that the undead are still active. This means there is a high chance of an anchor for the undead to spawn. This time keep using Minor Invisibility, I want no one to get found out."
The team nodded and started their preparations, once the Invisibility spells were cast, they stealthily climbed down the trees and split off towards their objectives, leaving behind Squad One to watch their backs.
The return trip back towards the Orc encampment was slower this time around, as Orcs patrols trampled all over the forest despite it being dark, and the light of the twin waxing crescent moons barely cast enough light through the thick forest canopy. The noisy Orcs holding burning torches wandered around in unpredictable routes, poking and shaking at the undergrowth as if expecting something to pop out.
Despite the noise and lights cast by the patrols, the sheer numbers of Orcs wandering around made progression slow as they had to stop and time their movements and try to avoid having an Orc walk into them. Luckily they did not encounter any of the Wind Wolves in the area. making their infiltration easier.
Tyrier and Squad Three reached the outer edge of the Orc camp, just barely past midnight. Looking at the hive of activity in the camp, it will appear that the Orcs were not all sleeping, countless numbers of undead could be seen gathering at an area on the other side of the camp. Doth tapped Tyrier's shoulder, pointing to the mass of undead. "Over there?" He whispered.
Tyrier adjusted his night vision goggles to maximum zoom, looking at the bright green scenery of the camp with undead crowding around a couple of large tents. A few shadowy figures stood at the head of the undead crowd, waving and gesturing around.
"Looks like the remaining shamans are trying to take back control of the dead," Tyrier whispered back. "Tavel, you stay back with the M3, provide overwatch if shit happens. Doth, on me." Tyrier recast the Minor Invisibility spell again, ignoring the waves of giddiness washing over him.
After verifying the spell is functioning, they hugged the edge of the camp, staying within the shadows as much as possible before venturing into the open, using the shambling dead as cover from the Orc sentries. Ignoring the rot and decay of the dead, Tyrier gripped a half rotten Empire soldier from the back, his fingers sinking into the leathery and shrunken skin, holding onto the shoulder bones. He lifted the confused undead and used it as a shield, advancing closer and closer to the front of the crowd.
Doth at his rear, had placed his left hand firmly on Tyrier's shoulder and followed behind their makeshift cover. With the Minor Invisibility spell over them, their bodies outline visibly blurred and semi-transparent, they managed to blend in among the dead easily as the dead did not show any signs of aggression.
Finally reaching as close as they could get to the tents of the shamans, Tyrier ditched their cover and they both crouched, fast crawling among the legs of the dead, squeezing through the bodies and using a spot of shadow cast by a burning brazier, they both rapidly crossed the open area and into the cover of the tents.
"Squad Two, We are in position," Tyrier whispered into the comms.
Three hours ago,
After splitting off with Tyrier and Squad Three, Hitsu and Loke headed straight for their objective, skirting past the countless numbers of Orcs wandering around with burning torches. As they closed into their objective site, the number of undead wandering around became thicker, some of the Orcs entertained themselves by poking or beating the undead, guffawing along all the way.
Surprisingly, the undead ignored them, and they managed to reach the site of the mass grave, where hundreds of dead stood in mindless rows. "I think there is no one controlling them at all," Hitsu whispered to Loke who nodded. "See anything living?"
Loke glanced carefully around in his night vision goggles, shaking his head after a while. "No, looks like only the dead are here."
"Alright, I search this side, you search the other," Hitsu said, pointing out the areas to be searched.
Loke nodded again and cautiously stepped out to the open, his huge M3 strapped on his back while his M2 Magespitter held at the ready. Hitsu also advanced out, his M2 up and ready, a bright green beam emitting out from his laser sights as he looked through his night vision. He slowly sweeps left and right among the dead, making sure that they were dormant before stopping to cast a spell.
A couple magic circles appeared from his hand as Hitsu whispered the chant for Detect Magic, and as the spell completes, several fireflies like lights appeared and floated around, before orientating their direction and flew away from Hitsu,
But Hitsu cursed, as the fireflies heading into all points of the compass. "Damn, there is too much magic interference here!" Some of the fireflies landed on the corpses, others on the trees or even the ground.
Hitsu looked over at where Loke was, who was also casting a Detect Magic spell, but to no use. Loke shooked his head at Hitsu who waved back and turned his attention back to his surroundings. "Now, how do we find the anchor?" He hissed in frustration.
As they looked up and down the entire area, the dead suddenly started moaning and shambled off away from the grave site. Both Hitsu and Loke looked at each other in surprise, wondering where are they moving off. "What's happening?" The two of them quickly scrambled into cover, hiding behind a pile of dead wood, watching the undead shuffled off.
"I think someone had taken control of them?" Loke guessed, "They look like they are heading to the Orc camp."
"Damn! We need to warn Tyrier!" Hitsu whispered urgently, "Claymore Actual, this is Squad Two, do you copy over?" He spoke into his comms, trying to contact Tyrier.
"It's not getting through!" Hitsu cursed as he tried to contact with Tyrier and Squad Three for the fourth time. "What do we do now?"
"We continue to search for the anchor, I am sure they can handle themselves," Loke said seriously, he gestured to the emptied field, "They are gone, its easier to search the site now."
"Do we even know what to look for?" Hitsu asked, as he lifted his head up and peered around the clearing, making sure no hostiles are around.
"The dead are gone, we should be able to use Detect Magic now," Loke pointed out.
"Oh yeah, I totally forgot about that," Hitsu grinned sheepishly. "I cast it then."
Not long several specks of lights flickered around the field, clustering around a point in the middle, were several burrows could be seen under the effects of the night vision goggles. "We got something here!"
They slowly approached the location where the magical specks landed, all the while keeping an eye around their surroundings. "Still looks fresh," Loke rubbed the disturbed soil, "Seems like something is buried here while everything else was dug up."
"Cover me," Hitsu said as he detached a foldable entrenching tool from his back, flipping out a spade and gripping the D-handle and started to digging and shoving dirt away. Loke retreated back to find some cover by jumping down into a convenient looking trench dug out by the buried dead. He braced his M2 against the wet loose soil and kept watch as Hitsu dug away.
After about 40 minutes of digging, Hitsu cried out, "Found something!" And he carried the item he found, dropping into the same grave where Loke was camping. "Here," He tossed it to Loke while he removed his helmet and wiped off the sweat.
"What the fark is this?" Loke held the dirt crusted pouch up, turning it left and right. "Something moved in it!" He dropped the bag hurriedly and tensed up, aiming his M2 at the pouch on the floor.
"You felt that too?" Hitsu asked as he swallowed a mouthful of water. "I thought it was my hands trembling from digging too much or something." He capped his water bottle and return it to its place at the back of his harness. "Salt and burn it?"
"Shouldn't we report to Tyrier that we found the damn thing?" Loke said, his eyes not leaving the pulsing pouch on the floor. "Are we sure its the anchor?"
"Tried, can't get through still," Hitsu removed a small can of purified salt and bottle of flammable fluid. "Only way to find out if its the anchor or not." He smiled, "Go on, open it."
"Wha-What?" Loke's eyes went wide, "You kidding right?"
"Hehehe, come on, I need to salt it and burn it," Hitsu grinned.
"I salt it and burn it then, you open!" Loke reached out for his own set of salt and fuel. "You open it!"
"Hahaha I didn't tag you for someone so timid," Hitsu teased as he kept his salt and fuel. He pulled out his sword bayonet, crouched next to the beating pouch, and looked up at Loke. "Ready?"
Nodding, Loke stood over Hitsu, each hand holding a can of salt and flammable fluid. Hitsu reached down and quickly slit open the pouch and shook out the contents onto the floor. "Aww, what the fark!"
A blackish crimson heart, still beating unnaturally, flopped with a sick slap on the grave floor, looking like some sort of abomination slug. Loke quickly dumped the whole can of salt, burying the heart in a small mountain, and poured the whole bottle of flammable oil into the mix. Hitsu deftly flicked a flint lighter, sending sparks flying and igniting the whole mixture.
"Seriously? A whole can of salt?" Hitsu stood up as the unholy object burst into flames. "You know you can feed a whole family of four for weeks with that amount?"
"Take no chances!" Loke defended himself as he breathed out a sigh of relief, watching the blacken heart slowly cook, the congealed fats popping and hissing in the fire. "Think it's the anchor?"
Hitsu nodded, "Well I think that's obvious." He looked out of the grave and blinked his eyes, trying to readjust them back to the darkness. "Let's go, find a high ground and see if we can contact Tyrier."
"Yeah, let's go," Loke cast a last look at the dying flames, the heart no longer recognizable.
Uncharted Forest, Orc camp, Shaman tents
"Shit, we can't get through to the Squad Two," Tyrier whispered to the rest. "I think there is too much magic interference in the air here."
"Now what?" Doth asked, "We continue or what?"
Tyrier considered his tactical options, they are currently in the middle of an entire Orc camp and surrounded by not only by the Orcs but an army of undead too. If they get discovered, there will be almost no chances of escape.
Yet if they complete the mission, the siege against the Pass will weaken significantly and lessened the chances of an enemy breakthrough.
"Fark it, let's just burn the camps down," Tyrier made his decision, "Douse the tents with all the oil and set up all the reminding claymores we have left."
Doth and Tavel nodded, grinning evilly. They quickly poured the oil onto the hides material of the tents and placing some of the experimental explosive shotgun shells next to the tents. Tyrier planted his stores of claymores, each team member carried four. He purposely faced two of the claymores directly facing the tents, and the remaining two at the most likely venues of approaches.
He unrolled the spools of fuses and laid them next to the patches of oil, making use of the fire later to act as a timer for the claymores. "Ready?" He asked the rest who nodded. "Get to cover," And he crept out to where he last saw a brazier burning.
Seeing no one looking at his direction, he dropped the remaining spool of det cord into the fire, and quickly sprint away to where the rest of his men went. The spool of det cord, suddenly burst into flames, causing the brazier to flare brightly, kicking up sparks and showers of embers into the night sky, and a tiny flame raced down the trailing cord, charging towards the pool of oil at the back of the tents.