Bremmen had never been as hungry as he was by the time that he finally reached the Cuzans' camp. As soon as he entered the Lagoons of Loria, his weapon became useless: creatures there were so swift that he could barely target them. Instead, he moved slowly through the landscape, avoiding potential trouble as he had learnt to do in the Winds of Muse.
He glanced carefully around at the Cuzans. They looked very much like Cutes, after all, and might prove to be equally dangerous, so he tried to stay a safe distance from them. Unfortunately, his stomach was aching and grumbling because of his hunger. A couple of minutes later, a Cuzan approached him, slowly, holding some big fruits. What a surprise for the little Homin! The Cuzans were not like the Cutes he had met up until now. They displayed no aggressive tendencies and moreover, they seemed to be... almost Homin-like.
"Hello Tryker" The Cuzan greeted Bremmen. "You seem to be hungry and tried, eat those fruits and come. Follow me to the camp".
Bremmen gulped the fruits as if he hadn't eaten for weeks... which was almost the truth. Reassured, he followed the little Cuzan to the camp. Some other creatures from the tribe gathered around him, and began to search curiously in his belongings. Bremmen walked over and picked up a book which they were all gathered round.
"Are you interested in this?" He asked.
"Yes. It is a book; there is special knowledge in it!"
"Then take it, it is yours in exchange for the fruits" Bremmen answered with a smile.
"Thank you Tryker. Eat as much as you wish of these fruits and berries. This means such a lot to us."
Bremmen was far happier with food than with the book at that moment. He also knew that he could find the same book again in Fairhaven where he had bought the first. The Cuzans still clustered around the book, and as some tried to read it, painstakingly spelling out a word or two, an older one took it into his carefully into his keeping. Bremmen speculated to himself that this was surely the chief, but was too busy with his meal to really care.
Our Tryker stayed nearly a week with the Cuzans. He learnt a lot about them, discovering which of the different berries they liked, and identifying the ones they would not eat, as Derren had asked him to do. They were so grateful for the book that he had donated to them that they showed him many of their spots for gathering fruits and other food, replying patiently to his insistent questions about their lifestyle. Finally, when he had all written down, he decided to head back to the Corsair scout, laden with gifts of fruit.
On his way back to the vortex, Bremmen camouflaged himself to avoid as many carnivores as possible. He did it so well that that he even managed to remain unnoticed when he spotted two Matis chatting about twenty meters from him. He could hear every word.
"Hail to thee"
"Is everything in order?"
"It is. They arrive in exactly one week, and we will attack the outpost on Quinteth, just on sunset."
"Perfect! The surprise effect will give them no chance. Farewell and good luck until we meet again on Quinteth."
One of the Matis left, another arriving a few minutes later.
"Hail to thee."
"Everything is in order. The outpost will be taken on Quinteth in one week, just at sunset."
"Our troops should split up somewhat to avoid detection."
"Those orders have already been given."
"Mine will come from the Winds of Muse. We will split when entering the Lagoons of Loria and half of us will head straight to the north, with the others heading south-east."
"May they gather at the right moment for us to be ready to defeat them. That is my sole desire, and what I am paid for.
"It will be done as you command. For the Queen!"
"For the Queen!"
Both of them departed, leaving Bremmen astonished. What were they planning? Where did they come from? Who were they? So many questions were remaining unanswered. He carefully noted down what he has heard, his location, and the place one of the Matis was pointing to when he talked about the outpost. This could be very interesting if he could find out whom to pass the information on to. He waited a short while longer to make certain that he would not be detected leaving cover and sprinted straight to the Vortex, as fast as he was able to manage, to enable him to discuss the matter with Derren as soon as possible.
Reaching his goal took him a further day of running and marching, but he managed to find Derren far sooner than he had anticipated.
"Hi Bremmen. So, have you met the Cuzans?"
"Yes, and I wrote everything here on this parchment.
Bremmen gave his notes to Derren who began to look at them as he continued to speak.
"I have other, stranger news, Derren. As I was travelling back, I overheard some Matis who were talking about invading an outpost in the Lagoons of Loria."
Derren dropped the parchment immediately and stared at our young Tryker.
"Pray tell me more!"
"I have written everything down here. I thought someone might be very interested in this information."
"I am sure that the Corsairs will be. I, however have to remain here. Run to Codgan, as fast as you can and give him as many details as possible."
"No. Codgan Ba'Nakry, our current leader. Hurry up now!"
Bremmen left the scout quickly, and headed to the Corsairs' camp, instinctively aware that the outcome would depend on his speed.