Abben fa’Don was a bitter man. He was not particularly smart, but he did have one talent: he could motivate other envious and bitter men. He had already done so, and the trap was ready to be sprung a day or three hence.
Leaving town by a different road than the caravan, fa’Don whipped his buggy’s horse into an angry gallop. It took him till noon the following day to reach the ambusher’s camp. His use of the horse wasted it, and the horse died as he slowed to allow the sentry to approach him.
There were more than a hundred of them, ex-soldiers, deserters, outlaws, destitute farmers, prostitutes and unemployable town riff-raff. All of them were after the quick score of what they thought was an under-guarded caravan, the looting of which was sanctioned by a priest because those in the caravan worshipped other gods.
Speaking with his captains, fa’Don told them of the idolatrous innkeeper and his strongbox. The box would go to the man who brought the innkeeper’s head to the priest. They would eat now and break camp that evening.
Tomorrow morning they would be in position to spring their ambush. The magician was already there. He and his assistants were laying the groundwork for a spell that, if it worked, would decree doom for all in the caravan. And if it didn’t work, its preparations and accompanying confusion should guarantee the slaughter of the caravan’s distracted guards.
to be continued