He fell back into a sitting position and sighed. There was only one creature alive capable of this particular flavour of carnage. Suddenly he heard Galliwigs voice calling out. “Barna? Are you back?” Barna couldn’t muster any reaction to this but to fall on his back and laugh. As long as their priest had survived, they would all be fine.
The whole process took about ten minutes, enough time for Barna to drag three more bodies to the door of the miniature hut. Barna heard a sudden deep breath of air from inside, interrupted by a thud, followed by a string of curses. The chief had woken up, and, as always, shot up into a sitting position, knocking his head on the ceiling.
“Alright, alright, help me clean this place up – we got a lot to do.”
Barna really did enjoy getting a rise out of the boss. Given the loose hierarchy of Bandit gang leadership he knew he could have taken his place – he was much smarter and almost as good at fighting, but he had never wanted the role because of the problems that came with it. Far better to constantly annoy him and occasionally give him the right advice.
The whole process had taken about two hours, and the sun was well into the sky, filling the camp with the smell of death and sweat as the the next two hours were spent putting the rest of the bodies into shallow graves. The bandits worked well as a team – Galliwig had raised the dead in order of usefulness, and the current survivors were the top half of the gang’s hierarchy.
No young, doubtful, inexperienced or clumsy fresh meat here to slow anything down – they were able to work with little more than the occasional gesture or meaningful glance. Still, it was unpleasant work, and more than once they considered just feeding some of the newbies to the pigs. While none of them were that cold, even for bandits (except Mor) the other problem with this was that the pigs had gotten the worst of the attack. Even Galliwig didn’t have a spell for what happened to Miss Truffles. Poor, poor, Miss Truffles.
With all of the bitter work done, the ten bandits gathered around the Barrel, each quietly pouring a drink and sitting in a circle, all looking to the chief, with the diminutive healer on his left and his advisor on the right. “So, are we going to talk about what the hells happened last night?” it was Cairne, a half-elven man with a braid long enough to wear as a belt. It wasn’t clear if he was directing the question to the chief or the priest, but the quivering of his one pointy ear seemed oddly accusatory.
Galliwig was the first to speak. “You all did admirably last night. I know it’s a lot to ask to lay down your lives to save mine, and a lot of the idiots in the ground over there,” he pointed to the mass grave unceremoniously shambled together by the pig-pen, “didn’t have the tactical sense to do what had to be done. But you, Knicks and Mor did, and the fact that you’re sitting here is the fruit of that. So thanks.”
Cairne sighed, his irritation wavering in the face of such a unique compliment.