(1874-07-31) Strategems for Southrons
Stratagems for Southrons
Summary: Scarlett and Thomas talk strategems
Date: 31/07/18
Related: Any related to Siege
NPCs: None
Scarlett  Thomas  

North of Fortress Duval, Duchy of Tarris
A strongly fortified hilltop camp around twenty miles north of Fortress Duval, along the Leonor River. The camp is garrisoned by hundreds of Galenthian soldiers.
30 Juillet, 1874 IE

Summer in Southern and Southeastern Galenthia is a prolonged affair that has lent well to the areas wealth - multiple harvests and good trade. While both were imperilled with the rumours of a Parthian armada, this has yet to materialise, at least as soft southern leather boots on Galenthian soil.

Since the summary trial which opened up the presence of Eastern reinforcements near Duval and the subsequent clearance of Caltu, the hilltop camp by the Leonor River to the north of the House Tarris's great fortress has grown into a strongly fortified and well travelled centre for military activity. The Royal Dragoons regularly flow in and out, liaising with commanders in the area and distributing reconnaissance reports that all say the same thing - no change. Soldiers drill, sometimes marching a day or two away to dig fortified places out or supply drops in isolated areas, or conducting training exercises to keep them sharp.

The troops have mainly been in garrison for the last few days. The most notable exception has been the departure of around half of the Royal Burnished Spurs and their Captain, Lord Wulfred, who've evidently left to make a detailed survey of the Galenthian coast and inland areas in vicinity of Fortress Duval. It's evening now, and Viscount Thomas, in his undress regimental uniform of a high collared grey doublet, is walking along the interior lines of the fort's walls, hands glasped behind his back.

"Caught sleeping? On firewatch? Unacceptable, I want that Highlander smoked, his fire team smoked, along with their serjent!" Candace says to Travis as he nods and gives a salute before walking off towards the highlander's barracks. She doesnt look happy, though, she also wont allow them to look like abunch of fools either. Turning she takes note of the figure comming towards her and snaps to attention. "Brigadier!" She says in greeting.

A decided frown takes its place on Thomas's face when he hears that some of the Highlanders have been slacking on their guard duties. However, he's not about to get involved. If Scarlett has this in hand, he'll let it lay. "All is well, Captain?"

Scarlett nods and smiles as she changes stance to parade rest. "Aye sir, Local Scout teams and fort guards are operating at peak performance, also there have been a remarkable turn in Ensign Studdert's conduct, not a single formal reprimad since he was transfered." She says with a smile. "Any word on the southern front? have the ru… ahem.. has the enemy made a move yet?"

"Ensign Sutton? I'm happy to hear that." A smile replaces Thomas's frown easily, and he waves his hand. "Relax, relax. I'm not sure what nonsense they put into your head at that Four Corner's sellsword academy, but we operate collegially in Repton March. Unless you are making an official report, on the parade square or marching in formation, it's unnecessary. Obviously, in front of the soldiers. And if I tell you to." The smile goes wicked for a moment. He shakes his head. "No moves yet. I've sent Lord Wulfred to the make a proper survey of the area and produce maps for us. This will give us a decisive advantage that the Parthians will not have."

Scarlett smiles and turns to walk alongside him. "Always act with formallity until bidden to do otherwise, it's a good way to keep out of trouble." She says and smiles. "Ah, did you get my debreifing report on the caltu inccident? I think we handled that whole thing with a minimal amount of fubar." She says with a smile, granted, she is happy that it went as well as it did and that minimal casualties were inccured.

"Understandable, and while I might address you by your rank in certain situations, I do appreciate flexibility and nuance as well, Scarlett." The Brigadier's tone is relaxed, mirroring his demeanour at the moment. "I think you did a splendid job. I've heard very good things from all who were present about how the Highlanders performed under your leadership. Precisely the type of engagement that was perfect for you, of course." He arches an eyebrow. "We ought to perhaps speak of the Parthians, briefly."

Scarlett smiles and slightly raises her head at the small bit of praise. "Oh it was nothing Sir, just doing my job." She says, though the smile on her face shows she did like the proverbial 'pat on the back'. On the topic of the southern miscreants, she tilts her head. "Oh? what about Sir?" She asks as they walk, barely comming into ear shot of four highlanders and their NCO getting smoked, with Travis yelling at them in Common, and getting even louder at any who don't know common, though Scarlett doesnt look, though hearing it is nice.

"Don't stand on formality for now, Scarlett." Thomas says softly, his smile reappearing for a moment as he hears the men getting beasted. "A Serjeant who does not inspect his line… well, I feel like this is well deserved. Well that it wasn't me who caught them. Confined to barracks for two weeks, forfeiture of pay for the same. But I try not to get in your hair. They're your troops, and unruly though the Highlanders are, they are good." He nods, finally. "Yes. The southrons. It will be very touch and go, most likely. They've got heavy troops and those that are heavy are splendid. Their knights are nearly as good as ours. Not to be underestimated. But their light troops are nearly without peers. We will need to be able to withdraw under pressure, to not follow them into traps, as they use the feigned retreat as a common tactic, and to hold our ground when appropriate."

Scarlett says, "Our kingdom's weakness as a whole has been over eagerness, if I may, might we take a trick out of the kaedon's book and trap the field? Spike pits, gilly suits with snipers, maybe even topsoil over a muchy patch of mud, They will try and sige us and cutting off our supply lines, would be my guess. We should play the game of morale with them, I ah… read Lady Shepard's published work on Morale and battlefield command, as well as a few others, when an army doesnt want to fight, it's hard to make them win."

Thomas arches an eyebrow. "Over eagerness? I'd say we have done quite well, on the balance sheet. No need to take a page from the book of our strange allies. We Chandus are well acquainted with ambush and subterfuge. The Leatherbacks," the House's longbowmen, "are quite well versed, as are the Rangers. And now with the Highlanders, we've a good mix for ambush. For suits as you mention, we'd need crossbowmen, but our only crossbows are militia and I've just sent them back the other day. Traps and the like? Yes, I do think this is a good idea. But I was speaking in broader terms. Not low level tactics. I am thinking of what you must be thinking of, in your job as a Captain when operating independently. It is not our supply lines we need to worry about. Our supply lines can come from many directions, and the longer that the Parthians wait, the stronger we become. The first harvest is in and filling up our granaries and supply depots. We need to think of cutting their supply lines. If they advance to the interior beyond Duval, Duval can hold. And we can then hit their rear. If they do not, then they are containing themselves, and we can build strength."

Scarlett blinks. "Well, their supplies would come across the salt, I mean, if they come by ship, and their main force moves inland, we could sneak behind them and sabotage their fleet, though that would leave them with no alturnative for retreat, they might surrender after that." She says and blinks a few times at Thomas. "They are not strange, they are just different." She says with a nod.

Thomas shakes his head. "Not their fleet. We may not win that match, if words are to be believed. The Sokar say that their fleet is large and impressive, even though they were not able to get as close as they liked. No. We cut their lines of supply on land. Either they are busy investing Duval, or they move inland, and we wait until they advance." He laughs. "Scarlett, what do you know about the Kaedon? I know much. Some to be admired, much not. Though I count their Viscount as a good friend of mine and a brilliant general, I have fought alongside Kaedon for nearly a decade. But I am not here to talk about them." He dismisses this with a wave. "Hard to say if the Parthians will surrender or not. It depends how they land, how many they land with and where they land. Perhaps they ignore Duval entirely and go elsewhere. Firen? Dalcen?"

Scarlett nods as they walk and she listens. "I just don't understand it Thomas, what does the west have that makes people want to attack us? Parthians, Savages, Imperials, Whitehallers, Goblins, each other? Is there a secret I don't know about? I mean, is our dirt wirth gold is some unformseen farmer's market? Even our own church attacked us because it's strings were being pulled by a monster. If I understood their motive, maybe I could understand the situation better, all I know is that I have to fight because apparently we are here and they are there and they dont like us.. intollorant rug fuckers…"

"Because your oath to your family and the people who inhabit the County means that you fight when threatened. And above that, to the Duchy, and the Kingdom." Thomas stops walking and looks around, making sure that no one is around them. In a lower voice he says, "Galenthia is weak, I'm afraid to say. Not weak in soldiers. Ours are the best in the world, I imagine. But we are hollowed out. We have fought since King Stephen the Third of Galenthia fought King Robert of Aequor for that crown in 1818, and we've barely stopped fighting since. Two civil wars. Nasty ones. You are too young to have much seen, though of course you were in Sun Shield Keep when the Thorn besieged it in 1866. But we are hollowed. We are easy pickings, in the eyes of many."

Scarlett gives a sigh. "Well, maybe a fat lip with their misconception that we are easy pickings would be in order." She says as she cracks her knuckles. "And I remember the seige, mother refused to let me fight." She says with a frown.

"Of course she did. You were 13, and the best that could be done at the Keep was hold out. The Keep held. Viscount Reine, myself, then Sir Wulfred and then Sir Emrys came in. What a campaign." Thomas shakes his head, chuckling. "Perhaps. Or, perhaps we have met our matches. I pray to God not, but the world is a larger place than we know."

Scarlett chuckles. "I could beat YOU up when I was thirteen. I'm the best pugilist in the county and you know it!" Scarlett says as she pops her neck. "To bad we don't have boxing tourniments, I could whip all of them."

"Boxing is a lovely sport in peace time, and trains the soldiers in aggression and hand to hand skill. But I fail to see how it is relevant in a siege, or in a large scale battle. If it was, we would not have swords, shields, armour and bows, my dear cousin." Replies Thomas with a shrug.

Scarlett chuckles as she is about to move off towards her quarters. 'Yeah.. besides, it wouldent look right for you to get whipped by your little cousin." She says as she playfully slugs him in the arm, well, it was abit harder than playful."

It is dark in Scarlett's chambers when she opens the door. Oddly dark. At once a cold air blows out and buffets the Chandus lady like an invisible wall thrust out at her. When it passes, and she opens her eyes from the reflexive blink, there is something in the darkness ahead.

A pair of dripping red eyes stare out at her, brighter and more terrible for the strange darkness. They all but bleed into the black, and there's a sound of hissing, as of water dashed into hot oil. A feeling of dread swells up—

-but just as quickly passes.

The room is lit again, as it should be. There is the window. There is the furniture.

Nothing reveals itself to any search. Whatever the illusion was (if that is what it was), it passes. But on the floor are two tiny dot burns, with no explanation as to how they got there.

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