The War with the Brownies instigated by the big boot of Jean Lafitte III began with an organized “twist” offensive.
As the group from the Calinda followed the path down a tight ravine, the tiny faeries sent an advance team ahead to lay trap, one of their cobweb net snares. It didn’t really matter which of the lumbering great eormen, elves, or what-all-else’s sprang the trap. It would be only a diversion for the main action. As the team marched on, the Brownies picked their targets.
“Captain, Lord Magus,” Beau said, “May I suggest we take to the left, judging by the trajectory with which the Prince fell from the airship.”
“Oh, do you think so Milord Mate?” Thimble sneered at the much larger eorman. “Take note, if you would, what path my noble master is already taking, for have I not flown there and back in less time than it takes to tell of it and seen with my own eyes the place where His Highness came to land and whence walked he thence?”
Lord Jeneyeru had been about to quiet his servant, but the tail end of the speech stopped him as he paused to puzzle out the faerie’s grammar. Thimble carried on.
“All this has been done while you calculated your trajectories,” he laughed, tracing a trajectory of straight down with his hand.
The group entered upon a slightly easier stretch of the deer path they were following. Thimble skipped along half-backwards before the eorman whom, so far as he was concerned, no one liked. Whether Beau Bergeron had any answer to give, or whether Lafitte would come to his man’s defense, or whether Jeneyeru Nightwise had anything to say beyond a beginning of, “Now, now, Thimble,” would likely never be known because it was Beau who sprang the trap.
It came with a snap of twigs and whoosh and an eruption of wet leaves, as Beau’s foot snapped a gossamer line he probably didn’t even feel, and the shadowy mass of a cobweb net fell over him. The eorman was engulfed immediately in barely visible threads that tightened and clung the more he moved to escape them.
And as his companions first paused, then realized there was a problem, and then moved to help him, the Brownie thieves made their move.
The first wave of targets included the eorman girl, Lotye, who had gotten a little ahead of her fellows and was lost in thoughts, making her an easy mark, the skinny elf, Ionas, whose keen glances around him made the best thieves eager to get one up on him, and of course the tall eorman, Lafitte, who owed them the price of a kick. Each one had had their measure taken and their bags and pockets noted, and each one would have the hand-prints of the Brownies upon them before they knew what was what.