This one isn’t going to be 13K words.
“Yeah, let’s talk about that,” Joe said as the three of them moved back further into the underbrush giving them cover. “We were looking for the point-ears. Well, we found them. We can break away, and go get help.”
Blondie looked like she was about to hiss something pungent, but Shiner put one hand on her arm. “He’s just saying what our choices are, Blondie. Let him give them all.”
“Thanks. But then there’s the people in cages. We go away and get the cavalry, they ain’t gonna be here when we get back. And the cavalry won’t go far into the Elflands. That’s a good way to get them not coming back. And then there’s the banners.”
Shiner took a turn on the binoculars. “Damn. They’re Salamanders? Shit.”
“Afraid so.” Joe glanced at Blondie, who was clearly not getting it. “These elves are from House Salamander. Those were the real hardasses during the invasion. The kind of point-ears who’d swear oaths to die before they’d give up, and they meant them, too. Their kingdom lasted the longest before we drove them west, into the Elflands.”
“Shame it wasn’t back into the sea,” Shiner muttered. “Nobody asked the bastards to come for a visit.”