If the bright reflections of the sun against polished metal wasn't enough to give the men away, the jingle of it and the heavy thumps of their boots as they marched through the swamp certainly was. The birds in the trees fled long before the humans even saw them. Commander Wesson's men had some sense, at least - though they wore metal cuirasses, tabards of white cloth hung over them to deflect the worst of the heat, and their wide-brimmed helmets had been lined with leather in order to not bake their brains too badly. More sensible still would have been to not polish the metal to a gleam... but Commander Wesson would not approve of that on his parade ground, and so his men simply suffered. At least the tangled branches of the trees and vines overhead gave some amount of shade, even if the pools of standing water meant mosquitos and flies buzzed thickly around the sweating men. There were eight of them, marching in two columns of four when the path was wide enough. They - or others like them, with red plumes on their helmets and muskets in their hands - had been investigating the swamp ever since the tall ships had landed at the mouth of the river. They searched for routes through, for more fertile farmland - for the fountain of youth and runes of power rumored to lie somewhere in this unsoiled wilderness. They weren't anywhere near finding those, but unbeknownst to them, they were getting close to something... unexpected.