(1874-10-29 - 11-2) War Stories Pt I Two Fortresses
War Stories Pt I: Two Fortresses
Summary: This log takes place 10/29 through 11/2
Date: 10/29
Related: Siege
NPCs: {$npc}
Players:
Cervantes  Dertan  Lillian  Bethany  Scarlett  

Fortress Alnburg AND Duval
Fortresses and a smattering of countryside with just a hint of Great Salt
10/29 through 11/2

Viscount Cervantes Arkanin is here with his wife, Signora Lillian Bordeaux, backed by 2,000 of their soldiers. Cervantes has placed his 300 Sentinels of Murias, his elite heavy spearmen of House Arkanin, and they are in phalanx position. If the enemy gets through? They will pay dearly. Wolves of Murias join the numbers on the walls, occasionally trading missile fire with the enemy and killing a large number with it.

But Cervantes himself is with his Sentinels on the ground…always preferring to fight with his soldiers.

Greatsword planted in front of him as he stares ahead at the enemy.

"SOLDIERS!" he gets the classic Arkanin battlecry, joined by the numbers of Bordeaux 'A-HOO!' the sound can almost make the ground rumble with the battle cry.

"The enemy outnumber a poultry 3 to 1! Good odds for any Galenthian. This day, we fight back against the tide! THIS DAY, NONE SHALL PASS! A-HOO!"

the cries are thunderous.

'A-HOO! A-HOO! A-HOO!"

Planning. Organising. Recruiting. Work. Work. Work. Dertan left the fort soon after the siege and rejoined the force he set up near alnburg shortly after it began and quickly began to organise the entire counter offensive. Letters are sent, visits are made, and all the sokar vassals who are willing to provide support organised into a number of individual forces.

Each of them is divided up into a number of forces sufficient to envelop the beseiging forces and the besiegers are put to siege in turn. Given their attack method and the supplies held in each fort, the assumption is that they are poorly supplied, and that they wont outlast the sokar forces. And if they do? Well the brigadier's force will move to deal with that in turn. There is no rush.

Meanwhile around Alnburg the brigadier's forces are prepared to actively end a siege and once Alnburgs siegers are under siege themselves by local lords Dertan takes his army and moves to the relief of the Sokar capital: Dalcen. The forces of Cervantes and Lillian get an invitation to move along with this force if they wish to.

Scarlett watches the forces come for the fortress at Duval and turns to her one hundred Highlanders. "I want you in and out of the aly formations, I want you to hunt them down. I want them to fear the repton Highlanders, tell their children stories about the monsters from the mountains. I want them to fear our spears, and out blades, and our faces." The redhead says as she marches along the wall. "Every Highlander here, owes me a debt, One hundred Parthian rug humping scalps, and you WILL bring me my scalps, sound good?" And the resounding shout of 'AYE CAPTAIN!" Is heard before scarlett sends them on their merry way.

Currently at Duval, Bethany's been busy trying to keep the spirit of her men aloft but it's probably easy to guess at just how it isn't easy. The chill is chipping away at resolve, the reminder of the forthcoming winter lingering in the autumn air. Hopefully they won't find themselves under seige when the coldest of weather arrives as it'd make for a horrible time of things. About the only blessing from fighting in the cold is that the bodies won't rot as quickly, if at all, meaning there shouldn't be an outbreak of the plague or whatever. Gives them plenty of time to bury the dead.

While Fortress Duval's fighters are doing their job Bethany's talking with her supply officer, taking the time to make sure everything's okay. "… and if we need to, we can send a message to my father. He might have some to spare."

Lillian had not been present, when the siege began in the south of Galenthia. And so, perhaps she had been spared the initial horror of the enemy's arrival. So relentless had the attacks been, that it had not, however, taken overlong for the news to reach the far north of the kingdom, where she and Cervantes had been seeing to the disposition of the forces which were arraying along the borders of Arkanin which had seen incursions by the Qatunax. But neither she, nor her husband had sat idle, when the news came from the south, and Lillian had quickly winged her way, so to speak, north, back to Bordeaux, to prepare what troops the House could spare for the defense of Galenthia. She had not been born into a Galenthia House, that was true, but she was, now, both of Rikton and Bordeaux, and in her capacity as the Viscountess Arkanin, she would do her duty to this new Kingdom as she had always to her first.

It had taken the span of a few days, but the cluster of Bordeaux forces, numbering nearly 500 in number, both fighters as well as three full healing troupes and marched to meet the much larger Arkanin force. From there, it had been a good solid few days of marching, before they had arrived at Alnburg to aid in the breaking of the seige. They had been met, and forces joined. Now, the time had come to press for victory.

Dertan reaches to catch the latest moongazer and gently retrieve the message from its leg before setting it gently in a cage with some treats. The note is unwrapped, read and then crumpled up to join the others in a bin near his side. Typical. This is what happens when you try to delegate. Well there is nothing for it but to do it himself. It takes a day or two but he sets up a supply camp to properly and efficiently manage the supplies for each of these forces. Where he can he visits the forces as well. Trying to enforce some level of effectiveness and drum into each of the commanders that this will not work if you let them forage. All he needs is for the squabbling nobles not to fall all over each other for ten minutes. After the first camp is visited he sends a letter to Jarret asking for his personal touch.

Lillian, choosing, perhaps to avoid ending up at loggerheads with Cervantes, had divided the forces she brought with her. The majority, she left under his command, retaining a small force to protect the healing troupes. This was not, in any real sense, any different from her usual management style. And, and perhaps, for the better, it allowed her better management of the influx of wounded, both those who were brought down from the walls, and needed the most critical care, and those who engaged the enemy on the ground. It was, in these moments, that the strict and rigorous training the Bordeaux forces had undergone shone. The healers worked quickly, efficiently, triaging and treating those that were both brought to the healing tents, and those who were treated on the ground, as the healers roamed the battlefields, protected by their Signora, as well as the Bordeaux (not to be confused with the Kaedon) Serpents who had been charged with their protection. Supplies were still well-stocked, and there was little waste. And many lived either saved or spared.

Frowning as she hears the screams, she cracks her neck and tries to keep a stone face about it. Thouugh, the younger Chandus doesn;t look like she will let that slide. "I want a Jaguar fur cloak…." She says, thinking about this whole situation, what would Thomas do.

The officer Bethany's been speaking to nods once as he rolls up the parchment the two of them have been pouring over and, after a quick salute, goes back towards where his office can be found, leaving her to go and assume a position of watching upon the wall. As she passes her men some cheer and others give quieter signs of their joy, that being something the Lady Tarris did not expect. Sure, her men have come to respect her, as she does them, but to see their morale at this level is… flooring.

Once on the wall, she goes to find someone to get a report from.

The good thing about rousing speeches are now the men are ready to fight. However, one man jumped over the wall like a fucking moron with 30 halberdiers and 20 men at arms. They were all slaughtered like animals and crucified as an example. "Damn fools." Cervantes looked angry now. His arms crossed. He showed no fear…and neither did his men. But at least now they were smarter, right?

He stayed right where he was, keeping his eyes on the battle. "ARCHERS! LOOSE!" and thus the Murians once again continue the hail of arrows on the enemy "We need to be smarter than this…."

Octobre 30th, 1874 (Spirit Day Eve)
Alnburg, morning.

"FIRE!"

The nice thing about having an enemy that speaks the same language, albeit with an accent, is you know when something dangerous is going to come your way. In this case it is a mass loosed volley of flaming arrows, and a battery of Carroballista fired at the Westen Gate Wall. The Ballista bolts slam into the walls and then crack fire and thunder. A roaring sound that washes up and over those on the walls, which shake under the hammer blows.

Shortly after that thundering, the arrows fall. Slamming mostly into shields or the crenelations, or sailing over head to fall beyond, or sometimes just thudding into the stone itself to bounce off harmlessly. Despite this, more than one scream can be heard and somewhere down the line a man falls off the wall clutching a mortal wound. His scream captured by the arrow in his throat.

Octobre 30th, 1874 (Spirit Day Eve)
Duval, morning.

If there is one thing the Tarris Soldiers have learned over the years, is that incoherent screaming over and over agian is a good indication that the Partharians are going to attack. Men scramble to the walls and raise Crossbows, Longbows, and Muskets to fire at the enemy. As the enemy charges, ladders can beseen, and many of the slaves carry ropes with a grapnel attached. Hundreds cahrge both East and West, and hundreds fire down. Sending wave after wave of missile fire into the advancing enemy.

"Bring the oil!" Captain Chandus says with a smile as she looks ot the ladders. "Pour them over the ladders, over the wall, soak thease bastards." She says as she Grabs a ladder and starts to violently shake it. "Duval is closed…. today!" She yells over the wall.

If there's one thing Beth abhors in war it's cruelty but there are times when it's needed, this being one of them. "Let's bring the pitch up," she murmurs quietly to another of her officers, the man in question being someone who served under her father before her and understands why such actions are needed. He nods even as the others under the redheaded woman's command do what they can to answer to the savages' volleys of missile fire

As ladders are raised and men begin to climb the Tarris army also do what they can to try and push them over, hopefully resulting in injury, if not death. This coincides with large containers of boiling-hot, sticky pitch being brought up to the wall brigade style.

"Alright. They want fury? Unleash the fury." Cervantes lifts his hands, and his archers dip their arrows in oil and light them ablaze. With one shout. "FIRE!" they will fire their arrows directly at the enemy soldiers. Since there's that boiling oil already tearing them to pieces, Cervantes is hoping this will do a great deal of damage on the enemy.

Not to mention the hailing upon hailing of arrowfire from Arkanin elites.

Lillian's troupes soldiered on, working through the long day, the longer night, tending to the wounded, though the firing on the walls kept them, for the most part, pinned to the ground. Still, there was more than enough work, as they saw to the needs of their own forces, as well as the forces which had remained behind to break, or attempt to, the siege. Thankfully, this was still early days in the battle, and the relentless flow of the injured had not yet sapped the spirit or the supplies of the forces working in and amongst the fighters. Perhaps, yes, they had to become more stringent with their triage, but such were the costs of war.

Scarlett smiles as she keeps the wall clear. Even going as far as to ding a person at the top of the ladder with an empty cauldron. "MY WALL!" She says as her troops laugh as they continue their boiling onslaught.

A few pained screams calls Bethany's attention to the wall some twenty feet from her, the horrific sounds coming from the injured men who got hot pitch poured upon them thanks to a wiley slave and a well placed shot. Those nearby who aren't hurt hurries to get the injured out of their sticky, brurning cloths, and to the healers who should be able to help them.

"Son of a vitch…" Shaking her head, Bethany returns to watching over the wall. "Find men to replace those who were just injured," she calls out. They can't afford to have any gaps in their defenses.

Lillian stepped around the older woman tending to one of the fallen men-at-arms, setting a hand on the woman's shoulder, as she took a knee, a hand reaching out to turn the man's head. His breathing was laboured, blood staunchly refusing to be stopped by the poultice the healer had applied to his neck. His eyes were glazed, but he was still, marginally, alive.

Lillian, however, shook her head, the hand on the other woman's shoulder tightening, "Leave him, Miriam. Go with the others back to the line." The healer looked up, her expression stricken, but she knew better than to argue with the Signora. For her sake, Lillian at least waited until the other healer had moved off, before she withdrew a short blade from her belt. A soft word, which might have been an apology, the twist of a knife, and it was done. They could not even spare poppy for a more peaceful death. She stood and moved back onto the field. There were many more that needed their aid. And thus far, their choices, though hard, had been in their favour.

The enemy at Alnburg tries through out the day to reach the walls, but are beaten back by Cervantes and his men. This isn't to say there are no casualties. There are a lot of men fighting, and even the best trained take injuries or are killed by a lucky shot or spear thrust. However for the most part, Lillian and the healers she brought tend to the wounded, and see them taken care of. Despite this, the wounded are beginning to pile up and it is starting to look like a question of can the healers keep up?

At Duval men and women screamed. Either boiled or set afire with sticky tar, those that reach the wall are met a quick end, either by being simply shoved off or cut down by sword or, as is more common in Tarris lands, by axe. Again, this isn't to say things are perfect. more than one man is brought low by missile fire.

Despite the savagery of the fighting at both fortresses, the enemy falls back once the sun begins to set. Nobody wanting to be bringing even more death so close to Spirit Day.

Novembre 1st, 1874
Alnburg, Afternoon

"Tea my Lord?"

Dertan is asked this question as he works in the afternoon. Like a lot of peaople, not much can be remembered about Spirit Day. Too much Mead perhaps? Something about … Masks? Regardless, the enemy appears to be just as laid up. Perhaps Holidays are observed by everybody, even if this one is one of the more somber of Holidays.

The Fortress itself, despite bieg on alert sips their own tea. Nursing hang overs, they think, and enjoying a somber reflection while sharing stories of the honored dead.

Novembre 1st, 1874
Duval, Afternoon

A crow flies overhead and shits on a man next to Scarlet. The man sighs while muttering "Son of the One's fucking Whore." He takes out a cloth and begins to clean the crap off his shoulder. For bethany as she moves through the fortress she hears men whispering instead of speaking in normal conversational tones. Likely the hangover.

If there is one thing Tarris enjoy, is drinking Mead. And Spirit day is certianly a reason for it.

The enemy themselves are also quiet. As if in reflection, or merely biding their time.

It isn't ofthen that Bethany is… drunk?… enough to not remember the night before. But here she is, unable to really remember what happened. What did she drink? Did someone slip something into what she was partaking in? Frowning, she finds a bale of hay and sits upon it, not worrying about being too quiet, her plate armor clanking noisily against itself as she does, her head soon put in her hands, elbows braced against her knees.

Scarlett blinks as the man gets shat on by a crow, and spits on the ground and wipes both hands on her cloak. "One protect me from this man's bad luck." She says before making sure the man is away from others. Granted, while the words are somthing that a follower of the one would say, the hand gestures are caltu.

Now the Redhead of Repton tries to remember the previous night, to no avail. Why she woke up fully dressed in Hydia's quarters, or why she can't get the taste of mint out of her mouth…

Cervantes didn't remember the night before. But he rubs his head. "What the hell?" and he looks around, namely, for at least his wife. "Lillian?!" At Alnburg. His eyes look around, as if to see what has happening. "The enemy is silent. I cannot remember the night before."

Lillian lifted her head, casting around with her eyes until she settled on Cervantes' face. The healers' work had turned into an endless march, the bodies, the screams, the sheer amount of need had become an endless parade, until it was no longer possible to recall when it was day, when it was night. Perhaps the sun and rise and set, surely it must have done, for the light was not the same as she looked towards her husband. Had she lost a day as well? She must have done, "I…we are all exhausted, I cannot even remember the day. Or the last time I slept." Sure that was all it was? Surely.

Novembre 2nd, 1874
Alnburg AND Duval, Evening

The rain came late on the 1st. Cloud rolled in off the Southern Ocean and soon winds whipped and rain poured from the heavens. It made ANYBODY who had to be outside absolutely miserable. The sheets of water pinged off water and made any fire nearly impossible to keep up. The ground outside the fortress became a muddy mess as the water seeked to run off the cliffs to the south of where much of the fighting was taking place. In the distance on the great Salt, many of the ships are forced to find a safe place to anchor to ride out the storm

Standing on her wall agai, this time with a thick wool cloak that keeps her dry, but the water on the outside makes it heavy, Scarlett frowns as she looks over the wall. "Maybe they will trip and drown in the mud." She says as she marches along the wall, urging the archers to take any clear shots, and to compensate for wind, her own highlanders are outside, lead by her second in command, though, she wanted to be outthere, wanted to fight, but it was decided that she was better served on the wall.

Dertan steps outside the space he's been using as an office and peers up at the wet skies. He spends a moment like that, allowing the water to run down his face, before turning to the shadowsnakes nearby. "I think." He says softly. "It is time to start poisoning their supplies and perhaps kill some of their commanders. Is this squad ready to start tonight?"

Bethany brushes a bead of water off of the tip of her nose, the weather doing something of a number on her mood. The hood of her cloak clings heavily to her wet hair and her boots are soaked through, the hide nowhere near thick enough or waxed well enough to keep the water out. "Fuck's sake…" Several of her officers tried to get her inside one of the tents to warm up, worried that she'll take ill with a cold, or something worse, but she wouldn't hear of it. Her men need her, after all, and it's with her men that she stands, yelling defiantly at the enemy.

There was simply no way to move the mass of soldiers and horses from the battlegrounds outside Alnburg inside the fort. Not only would it make them more vulnerable, it would have allowed the enemy to encroach on the fort without impediment. And so, those who remained outside would simply have to weather the, well, weather. Some makeshift tents had been constructed, more tarps propped up tall enough for man and beast to rest under, the men had moved in shifts, taking advantage of the lull in enemy activity to take what few moments of respite from the rain and mud they could manage. It was not ideal, but it was survival, and for the time being, the most that they could hope for. Lillian, for her part, remained on the ground, the white and red of her armor long since turned to grey and brown.

Cervantes looks out into the cold day, giving his wife a brief embrace before he kept moving, gathing up horsemen. "I want heavy chargers to ride through their camp and cause chaos. Don't stick around to fight! the strategy is blitzkrieg. Run straight through and come around the back while they still stir. Shock cavalry, get ready!"

The bravest of the riders mount up. 30 in their number. 15 of them are part of the Bordeaux Serpents. Think mongol cavalry. Mounted shortbowmen who can do an insane amount of damage as they whittle enemy lines. the rest are mounted men at arms…but even they can make a killing off of something like this.

"Go go go!" Cervantes whispers and when one goes, they all go! Here's hoping they can cause some havoc and make it back in relatively one piece…maybe kill a commander or five.

Someone came up the wall. Scarlett takes a low stance and begins to fight the man back, the sparks from his clawed weapons and her spiked cestia fly in the rain as she turns into a red headed dervish, taking as good as she is given until the man realizes that she wont stop, once he is back over the wall and riding away. she grips her forarm. "Fucker scratched me…"

Most of the shadowsnakes smile when the request is given, but for the one that always complains. Soon afterwards the group set out into the heavy rain and soon fade out of sight amongst the darkness and the downpour. Not long afterwards the sounds of skirmishing drift back towards the lines, making the troops stationed to picket peer anxiously out into the rain. The sounds are intermittent as the shadow snakes ambush and are ambushed in turn by the enemies Lwazi Strikers. Blood leaking out to stain the fresh puddles. It's four hours before the snakes limp back through the pickets and slump wearily into their tents as the wounded go off to the healers and the unit commander goes to wake Dertan. Sitting in the command tent, his stained clothing a stark contrast with the neat room and the civilised ritual of tea drinking, he explains the events: They set off to spike the supplies but discovered the strikers on the way out. After that the two forces skirmished for much of the night until the strikers finally gave up. After that he brought his men back rather than risk more. Dertan listens to all this before telling him that he did an excellent job and sending him off to rest. After that its too late to go back to sleep so he dresses and heads out to give everyone on the pickets one of those 'beloved' morning assessments.

Novembre 3rd, 1874
Alnburg, Morning

It's still raining. The water pouring form the heavens is at around a 45 degree angle and hits nearly as hard as hail. Somewhere thunder roarsin the heavens. At least people are decently sure it's thunder. It's hard to tell when the whole bloody Great Salt is under siege. More than one Soldier wonders aloud where in the Abyss they got this many slaves and why the Client Kingdoms even SERVE the Partharians. As soon sun crests the Eastern horizon shouting can be heard. Men charging in large groups supported of the Strikers who tangled with the Snakes just last night. Crossbow bolts rain down on the encampent where Lillian and her soldiers are entrnched and Slaves with shields and spears rush in. The Strikers skirt the flanks, throwing javalins and whooping loudly.

Novembre 3rd, 1874
Duval, Morning

A man screams. Then a second, and a Third. Zinhle Jaguars suddenly spring on the wall, their attacks fluid and murderously graceful as they assail the walls. A foot hold is created and several let down rope ladders, and Partharians in armor etched in honest to the one Lightsilver begin climbing the wall. HOW they managed to sneak up unnoticed is anyone's guess. But they do.

In minutes, these men are on the wall, unleashing eveything from throwing daggers around the Jaguars, or are simply engines of death with Red Metal Falchions in each hand. Galenthians are dropped left and right as they charge trying to stop this tide.

returning to the fortress, looking a little battered, but well…mostly unharmed, Cervantes dismounts his horse and he puts his greatsword in it's sheathe. "Everyone alright?" he asks the men who somehow all made it back with him. "For an army of renegades and slaves, they sure fight like hell….has anyone even seen sight of the real army yet?"

It was one helluva fight though. Cervantes cleaved a man in two and almost lost his head as a consequence…but somehow, he's still in one piece.

Then comes the rain. "SHIELDS UP!!" Cervantes howls, grabbing his shield and specifically moving for Lillian to lift it over her head in defense…though he leaves himself open to a strike. "SENTINELS! PHALANX FORMATION! ARCHERS! FIRE AT WILL!" Cervantes shouts out his orders as they all hope to show their teeth in this moment.

Dertan steps out and stares out across at the charging enemy for several long moments. He purses his lips and then looks back to the snakes he kept here at Alnburg again. "Heres the plan." He tells them. "We will circle behind the force and destroy their camp whilst they are occupied." He checks his bow, pulls a hood up over his dark leathers and then moves to head out with the group.

The fighting is hard, it's gritty, and it isn't pretty. Scarlett has her men, mixed with other soldiers she could pull, fighting for the wall. tossing her cloak off and sliding her cestia's behind her to attach the daggers to them, a very costly setup that she should thank thomas for. With that, she and her people try and fight bakc, more pushing them invaders back over the wall then outright killing them. Though she does stab on in the eye and then sparta kicks him off the wall, one of the last to get off the wall. "Hey! You forgot your fuck boy!" She says as, once the walll is clear, she orders her peltasts to rain down death upan them. "ACHTUNG!~" She yells in the barbarian language.

It isn't an easy fight but the fighters of Duval rally and soon the foes are pushed back, although not without some losses of their own. When it's all said and done, Bethany stands there, coughing and rubbing at her eyes to rid herself of the stinging from the smoke bombs. Many of her fighters are doing the same. By the time everyone's recovered the fact that they have injured and dead to attend to sinks in. "You know what to do," she calls out, meaning to give what aid they can to those who need it while moving the bodies of the dead to a sadly growing heap, the time for a burial not a luxury they have now.

Lillian was not a small woman, but she was both 1: smaller than her husband, and 2: in far lighter armor. Both of those together gave her a wide enough window, and enough maneuverability, that she could take some of the work off of him, as the pair fought together. Cervantes providing the cover from the incoming arrows, Lillian moving beneath the cover his shield provided to keep the incoming enemy away from the pair of them. She moved in quick lunges, that, more than anything else highlighting the crucible in which she had been forged. Fortess Benide had been nothing but close-quarters combat, and she had not forgotten the trick of it, moving around Cervantes to engage the enemy at the gates. She might be, in most circumstances, a healer now, but she was still a knight. And as she managed to win the battle, or at least this engagement, she proved that she still was.

Cervantes saved his wife! But as bodies fell all around him from the intense melee from the sheer numbers. But, when he turns his head around him to see his wife not only save his life, but proceed to slaughter three of the enemies number in FAST fashion! "I'll be damned." Cervantes suddenly extremely appreciative and knowing full well how much he owes his wife. Tossing his shield at an enemy like a lethal discus throw, Cervantes draws his sword. "HOLD THE LINE!" and he even joins the fray!

After giving his wife a quick kiss to show his appreciation and a quick "I love you." before he rushes into the fray to kill as many of these bastards as he can.

Lead by example. but the fighting is FIERCE.

Lillian would have grabbed the shield, if she had had the chance, but alas. Instead, she gets a token of affection in the middle of a battle. Not that she has time to think much beyond that, or to offer anything but a flash of a smile, as he dashed off, and she continued to fight, some cover provided her by the Bordeaux Serpents. Still, there is that voice in the back of her head that seemed to have much more affection and humour than showed on her face, which was set, and grim as the battle drew on. 'That man has got to sort out his priorities.'

The Fighting at the Encampment is over after a few dreadful hours. Bodies litter the field, mostly slaves, but a heft number of Strikers and an uncomfortable amount of Cervantes and Lillian's forces there as well. The rain continues to pour from the heavens, splattering water and blood and mud and offal all around. Thunder cracks and lighting flashes as the battle comes to a close. The Galenthians still holding the line despite the sheer weight of numbers and some very sound tactical manuevers that were only JUST repelled by Cervantes.

At Duval the Tarris soldiers pant heavily. It was a near thing. However excellent leadership and training held the wall. The same thunder crashes and the same lightning flashes as rain continues to pelt down.

Novembre 3rd, After the Battle
Somewhere near Alnbyrg.

The Eternal Blade known only as Captain returned to his encampment and knelt in the rain and mud. His head was bowed as he spoke. "Master. My men where unsuccessful. I have a Moongazer form Duval and they failed there as well. Perhaps if I were to go alone to each location the deed can be done. Otherwise, I request to die as my failure is an insult to the One and to the Emperor."

The woman Captain kneels before sits beneath a covered tent. Her intent eyes watching the man. She considers and then shakes her head. "No. My Glorious Father the Emperor would be saddened by his loss. You will have opportunity to regain your Honor Captain. Until then, see to your men. I will plan the next assault."

Captain bowed his head and then stood, leaving swiftly. The woman watched him go. "Inform my Husband to bring his Army ashore. Until then rest the Army, but keep them penned in."

The Man in Red nods and bows his head. "As you say Blood Rose." Lightning flashes again in teh heavens and a pink stone in the woman's ear becomes visible as it catches the light.

Slipping past the battle Dertan and his fifty or so shadow snakes avoid as much fighting as they can in their mission to wreak devastation behind the force. For a while it seems to be working. Then they run across a group of ten soldiers dressed in black armor etched with lightsilver. Dertan pauses, and the snakes pause with him, as he tries to assess the threat before he waves the snakes into the attack and draws his own bow. The group spreads out, favoring the shadows and starts working towards the presumed officers…

Suddenly the enemy in front draws two sidhe steel blades and the force charges into the attacking snakes. An arrow fired from a man besides Dertan sings out with beautiful accuracy only to be cut from the sky by the red falchion of a man besides the sidhe wielder and starts to reload his bow only to die in a crackle and bang as lightning from the sidhe wielding foe strikes through the sidhe blades and into him. The man on Dertan's other side barely fends off a dagger wielding foe as he strikes for the archers, drawing him off a few paces before Dertan finally puts an arrow into the narrow gap between neck and armor. For a while it is all Dertan and his forces can do simply to survive as men scream in pain and surprise and orders are shouted around. Dertan shoots his bow as if his life depends upon it (which it probably does) and watches for the opportunity to do something to turn the tide as men on both sides fall. Then, almost suddenly, the black armored men call the retreat and Dertan gives a simple, tired, shake of his head when the men look at him to see if they should chase. "No. Loot th.." But the dead enemies have gone, vanished as if they never were except for the bloody evidence that remains. So instead Dertan tells them to "Fall back to the Fortress." and moves to help one of the wounded onto his feet. A sorcerer. Why did he have to find a sorcerer.

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