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Old Aug 17th, 2018, 05:17 PM
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Chapter 4: Rushing to War

Purano, The Docks, early evening, Month of Peace"Yeah some of us are Soldiers, right? That's how we talk Capn', the youngins need to learn." Gao spat out the words and looked sideways at his fellows in arms. Most of them looked away apart from Yalar right next to him. "You need to learn when not to speak you fat lard."

"I cut wood!", interjected Bucket, ignored by all.

Gao turned his large frame and briefly it looked like he was about to exchange blows with Yalar. But Mali, the barechested Rak'Ari stepped forward and somehow diffused the tension by drawing eyes on herself. "We can go find a seat right? This pissing about is getting on my nerves, making me all sorts of not nice. Oi, Sheedi! You're coming with me - I'll teach you how to row!"

Sheedi seemed terrified by the prospect, but Mali literally dragged the flabby young Ux with her up the ramp of the boat, closely after Raaz. The rest of the squad soon followed.

"Wise words my leader - I am sure they will come around to them." Asef had casually strolled over to Voitleja, Crossbow still shouldered and had delivered the words in a conciliatory tone. Without awaiting an answer he stepped over to Yalar and gently but forcefully got her to stop trying to stare down Gao and walk onto the boat.


TravellingThere was ample time to inspect the boat, since the general order to sail only came two hours later. It was a war galley alright, and it had literally no amenities. It barely had any deck to speak of - a rickety walkway ran in the middle between two rows of banks for the close to 25 rowing men on either side. There was little hull space beneath, most of which was loaded with food, water and the deconstructed artillery weapons they were transporting, but there was space beneath the banks to store personal belonging. No cabin for either Captain of the ship or Squad Captain, just a space to sit at bow and stern of the ship.

How one was to live on such a ship the Soldiers soon found out. After a day of rowing they recruited more soldiers and workmen at Othdad, the city of terassed gardens and indulgence - none of which they were allowed to relish at all. Instead of turning the accumulated army loose on the city they sailed onwards for an hour to set up a camp for the night on the sandy shore of a strecht of wilderness. There they met the other two Squads that they would be sharing their Penteconter with, one a melee Squad led by a stout and unfriendly Keita named Memnesius, the other an archer unit led by a quiet Ux called Mohi.

There was only time to talk when the army rested in the beachside camps they set up, because during the day the soldiers took up rowing after the sailors had reached their physical limits. They were making good time, reaching the Free City Shali on the morning of the third day. To those not familiar with Vinione it looked nice enough, but like a miniature copy of Purano. The natives might have known that it was almost the oldest city on the island where philosophy, democracy and the sciences were held in the highest regard, and cultural standards were very high. Maybe as a consequence of this the city had little to offer in the way of Soldiers, but every man counts.

The Army sailed on, and reached the last other Free City before Dimi on the sixth day of their Campaign - Afreh.

Afreh, day 6 of the Campaign, Month of Peace
Afreh seemed a more martial city by far than the other three before them. There was a city wall surrounding the inner districts, reminding those from Taytomac of home. The houses had less flourish, fewer ornaments or statues and seemed to favour chimneys shaped into pointed "hats" atop the sturdy and functional architecture. A blocky castle made of sandy coloured stone towered atop a small hill on the southern side of the town, next to the ocean.

The Port was in turmoil as the Squad descended from the Galley. A mob of unruly citizens was shouting and stomping about behind a cordon of heavily armoured city soldiers who were positioned blocking the docks. Nergui was already up ahead arguing with two city officials, and the descending men behind Voitleja pushed the massive Seene forward to where he could listen in to the conversation. "No I tell you, No! We have no food, no weapons, nothing for you mercenary Reprobates! You can't recruit any more of our men, we are done with you all!"

Even just judging from only her back one could tell that Nergui was about to slap the man as she raised a hand, but she merely clutched the front of his garnments with her clawed hand and dragged him nearer. None could hear what she whispered into his ear before she sent him tumbling towards the ships, where from one of the Triremes Zaqrah himself was descending. He himself bent down to help the man onto his feet and slapped him about the shoulders to get rid of the dust.

Nergui had focused on the other official and was talking at him in an eerily calm voice, poiting a claw at his face. The man looked powerless and close to crying. "We will not be treated this way, you hear me! We are not mercenaries, we are Zaqrahs Irregulars. Zaqrah! Do you know this name? He could buy your rancid hamlet twice over, or take it by force right now! If you will turn us away, so be it! But know who you are speaking to!"

The second harbourmaster was speechless, but rushed over to his colleague and pulled him away from Zaqrah to whisper something in his ears. The first official, the one that had been tossed about seemed to have worked through the shock quickly enough, but chose to address Zaqrah directly. "...Baig Zaqrah... of course I know your name."

He attempted a bow, but had to grasp for his back in pain before he aborted the movement and continued. "...it is most unfortunate you find us... thus. The Citizens have been unruly before this war started, and now they are almost uncontainable. I'm sorry to say we really can't offer you anything... but the towns sworn to our service could. I will gladly hand you a signed and stamped document that will enable you to restock and recruit ... if you would be willing to do something for us in return."

Zaqrah did not interject, but stared at the man wordlessly until he continued. "... Yes, indeed. We have heard reports that there are humans, supposedly those tracing their heritage to one or the other land of their kind, have been sympathizing with the enemy, going so far as to gather and hiking northwards. We have report that there are such rebels roaming the jungles, on their way to the roads in our influence. If you could force them to disband before they reach Habol you can have what you want from us, kind Baig."

The Warleader seemed to consider this for a second, yet his expression barely changed. With a nod he conveyed all that was necessary to Nergui, who immediately shouted towards the ships. "Where are my Squadleaders?"


OOCI decided to skip forward to the meat and potatoes. I can squeeze in more characterisation anytime - but I thought maybe you wanted some action. Action? In my Adventure? It's more likely than you think.



Also I will be awarding 5 Character points to the following characters for having gone through Chapter 1: Jo'Seph, Bezra, Raaz, Vulco, Voitleja and possibly Tham (I may have given him the points already, I don't recall). Bottomline is: everybodies point total should add up to 215 not counting things that were awarded - like Status or Reputation.

I've not included Bezra working Alchemy in my description, because DankDunken had alluded to the fact that Frederick probably would not want an open fire and cauldrons bubbling on his ship. He's not got a post in, so maybe he had changed his mind, I don't know. If that's the case we will retcon in the Alchemy for the first week.
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Old Aug 17th, 2018, 06:47 PM
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Jo'Seph wonders exactly what is going on here.
He is willing to sign up to fight the root men, if they are really the enemy.
At any rate, defeating this invasion or incursion should keep things safe back home.
It helps make up for the hospital being mainly a dead-end.
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Old Aug 17th, 2018, 11:06 PM
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ThamTham remained silent, the atmosphere was so unlike his comfy home that he wasn't even sure how to act. Taking a note from Jo'seph, the Keita remained silent. Noting that he had to fight soon made him anxious, but he was certain he could dispatch humans if needed...he'd never formally trained in active combat, just hypothetical. A hypothetical combat he had never imagined would actually come to light.
With a heavy sigh, he remained near Jo'seph, think it would be a solid idea to take note from him
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Old Aug 18th, 2018, 09:23 AM
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Raaz
Despite using the six days on ship to learn more about boating and seamanship, she helped as much as she could. Rowing wasn't her strongest ability, but she jumped on when she could. Otherwise, she kept an eye out for the world around them, walked by to listen to conversations, and build friendships with some of the crew.

When they stopped at night, she always walked as much as she could to get her land legs again, fighting off slight vertigo from the lack of the boat rocking. Raaz wondered if she would ever get used to that. Otherwise, she stretched out and kept to herself on the land to recoup her sanity.

When they arrived at the Port the city was in chaos. Raaz stepped off quietly, her bow ready and at her side, her pack on her back so all her gear was with her, as she waited to be sure there was no trouble. Crowds like these easily went insane, though Zagrah seemed to have it under control once he introduced himself. For now though, Raaz was ready as she kept an eye out for any sudden movements against her leaders.

OOC
Dice Observation for Enemies:
3d6sl14 3, 1, 5 Total = 9

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Old Aug 18th, 2018, 12:06 PM
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Bezra hovered unobtrusively just over Tham and Jo'Seph's heads. She was surprised both by the initial reation of the official, and his change of heart. Had one of the bands made it here before them and caused trouble? And who was Zaqrah to make so quick a change? Whatever the cause, it looked like there would be use for her medical skills soon.
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 07:14 PM
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During the TripAlthough Voitleja was still made uncomfortable by the open sea, unable as he was to sense anything but rolling waves, he did his best to hide his nerves from the soldiers under his command. The constant labor of rowing helped, a task he excelled at once he figured out how best to do it with four arms. His days were taken under the captain's command, but at night he did his best to learn his troop's strengths and weaknesses. He ran simple drills with them as much as he could without completely exhausting them.

On the third night, after dismissing the troops to prepare for sleep, Voitleja approached Bucket. "You mentioned the Root Men on our first meeting," he said. "Please, I would like to know everything you remember about them." He offered a hand to assist with whatever task the brothers were working on as he listened.


CurrentVoitleja stepped forward at Nergui's call, ready for whatever came. It had been many days since he had taken a life, and Tappa's pressure on him to do so had been increasing significantly. It might also give him a chance to see how his squad performed in the field. "Here," he said in his slow, deep voice. "What are your orders?"
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 05:34 PM
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Minor Update (that looks a bit Major, but it is all talk and a flashback) - main update coming on the 24th or after DD and Vulco post.


During the TripAcorn and Bucket were rarely seen apart the few times they had any time to spare, and as Voitleja approached them they were sat down on their bedrolls attending to their weapons and armour. "I know stories, my great grandmother told me the stories that she had heard from her great grandmother that she had heard from her great grandmother. I think she heard it from... you know."

Acorn had a pained look on his face as his brother went on his slightly inate rambling. The man stopped oiling the body of his bow and cut in. "He understands Bucket, Jag it he knows. See boss - all I know from the old country, which my elders tell me is named Hynazco, is that it's somewhere north or east, or both, and that it's a big old island. Thousand times larger than here, but also jungle. Our ancestors had it better than some. We settled here because we needed to - yeah? - but it was pretty much the same as where we started. Bucket can tell you his story now."

The brown skinned man waved a hand to prompt his much broader brother to continue. Bucket frowned and put his heavy studded wooden club on the earth beside him. "Yeah so, stories. The thing is, the thing that I think it is, what I believe but not really know I guess... they might not be true, because they are quite exciting and wild. There is one about the invisible Jaguar, that's the baddest thing there is. Sometimes he walks on two legs and looks like a man to lead people into bad things..."

A slap from Acorn brought Bucket back on track - slightly. "Yeah, Saicoatzl. It's not actually so long a story. It says that the gods in the skies, or sometimes a bad sorcerer that lived on a giant tree ate a papaya and spat the seeds out into the jungle for fun. But the spittle on them was powerful, so they grew into people - but not like real people, right?"

Acorn slapped him again on the same spot, drawing a pained whine from Bucket. "Sorry Captain."

Rubbing his shoulder Bucket continued, starting tentatively but slowly finding his natural speed of storytelling again. "I mean... I mean not like us, or the others. I don't know. They were like, grown, right? A plant. Anyway, the stories then go that they lived in the jungle, staying away from humans but sometimes showing up when somebody is lost in the green, right? Sometimes they help people, and in other stories they hurt them. They eat earth and judge who has been good, but sometimes they are wrong. Maybe there was only good ones really, and the other stuff was made up by those that's not seen them, or the other way around. My grannie said it's just make-believe anyway, but I like the stories."

At this acorn cringed and turned back to his bow. He mumbled some words in explanation. "Probably not what you were hoping for, but it's all in the past for us. We're not as backwards as some other humans..."


Afreh, day 6 of the Campaign, Month of PeaceThe Squad Captains shuffled towards Nergui, including Memnesius and Mohi who Voitleja - and all amongst his squad - had already met dishing out orders to their own men on the boat. The other three Squadleaders were an Argali, another ux and a Getta.

Nergui produced a small roll of pergament from out of her armour and unrolled it. Drawn crudely on the thin animal skin was an approximate map of Vinione, onto which she pointed a clawed finger. "I can't be wasting too many men on this, you six take your squads and your two boats and row them up to this point here, just after the road up from Zai'der connects with the great Ocean Road. You will set up a camp close enough to the road and set up your artillery to cover the area, wait for a day, not much more, to see if there is really a band of humans. That's the time we have."

She looked up from her Pergament and studied the Squad Captains in turn. "I'll get you a signed letter from the officials to act in their name. I will be sailing ahead with Zaqrah... this time I am putting Voitleja in charge. Show me what you can do."
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 06:51 PM
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"Alright, let's move out. Let's try to get the camp set up quickly so we can spend as much of the day we have ready as possible."
Jo'Seph attempts to keep some semblance of order among the troops as he heads to the great ocean road.
Hopefully, not much will happen during the day they are waiting, but it's worth taking the time to check out.
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 07:10 PM
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During the TripVoitleja listened intently to the brothers as they went back and forth, and sat in silence for a few moments once they had brought their story to a close. These Rootmen could be Seene, details warped by a dozen retellings. Or they could be some other race, or nothing at all, just a legend as their grannie had said. He nodded once, and then spoke. "Thank you. I do not know if I am a Rootman, but it was interesting to hear the stories anyway." He gave one of his strange, strained smiles, turning his head to face Bucket. "I do not eat dirt, however. Nor do I judge who has been good. Just so you are aware," he said, doing his best to put a note of levity in his voice that the slower brother would pick up on. He stood again, smile dropping off his face. "Sleep well. We set off again in the morning."


CurrentThe Seene listened carefully to Nergui's orders, and saluted her once she was done. "Yes Commander. I will do the best job I am able." He turned back to face his squad and raised his voice, speaking loudly enough that the other Squad Captains could hear him but allowing them to command their own squads. "Squad, return to the ship," he said, voice resonating other the mutter and bustle of the gathered soldiers. "We will be taking a detour. I will explain the details once aboard," he said, in case anyone had not heard or understood Nergui's orders. Once they were on the ship, he would explain to his squad and the other captains that they should prepare to both set up camp and move the artillery.
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 07:48 PM
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BeforeDuring their introduction Frederick had been practically struck silent by nervousness. It was odd, he's captained Sea Vessels before, but something about getting back on a war galley didn't sit right with the stomach. Or was that the food? Either way, he had been practically silent meeting the crew on the docks, giving solemn nods and taking his time to explore the ship. Once they had set sail however...


Travelling"Has someone stop rowing? If one of you is behind just a bit, we could be completely tossed off course! Frederick was in his element. The salty breeze, the blue expanse, it set him free. His initial nervousness was discarded in place of proper leadership. He still was by no means the most assertive goat on the ship, but he was able to set his foot down when needed.


CurrentThe commotion was certainly nothing new to Frederick, but for some reason the second he stepped off the boat, it's as if his confidence were sapped by a demon. The loud mans words did not seem to pierce Frederick until it was too late, he saw the group of men packing their boats. "W-what, but we just-" he cut himself short before sighing, and turned to his crew. "Very well. Get ready, I suppose we're doing something a bit different than planned"


OOCI apologize for the long absence things have been..... let's say interesting IRL. I should be posting semi frequently again

Last edited by DankDunken; Aug 20th, 2018 at 07:50 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 01:51 PM
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Ase spent the days on the ship in meditation and reading. He spent time updating his journals and reviewing them to try to capture all that had passed and his impressions. Most of this time was spent trying to adopt the mindset and essence of a warrior and soldier. A teacher on the battlefield would not be a huge help to this lot, not yet at least, and may prove a hindrance to himself.

Instead, he spoke to the relevant spirits and tried to find the warrior in nature. The enduring spirit, the adaptability and the willingness to do what it took to survive and thrive in any situation.

With this mindset, he was as prepared as could be when Voitlejac commanded that they return to the ship for a different mission.
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Old Aug 24th, 2018, 10:57 AM
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Afreh, day 6 of the Campaign, Month of PeaceNergui nodded contently as Voitleja started to relay orders. "I will have the Document with you in no time. I'd have you depart as quickly as possible. Fourteen hours of rowing and you could be up there."

The Tsing Goun waved one of the officials over to herself again and started to set things into motion. As Voitleja was temporarily in command of the the second ship in the Nergui Company, the "Shoalhammer", its Squadleaders introduced themselves more formally waiting for their orders. The first to show up was the female Argali, who was called Sigisa and was in charge of a Squad of light Infantrymen. The Ux was named Keshu and led a Squad of mixed Archers, while the female Getta had the name Jula and was responsible for a crew of mixed infantry. They were content to row after the Zahmes Breath until they set up camp wherever Voitleja decided.

Half an hour later the galleys were prepared and Nergui presented Voitleja with a roll of pergament that held the seal of the Free City of Afreh. It declared that he had the right to act on the cities authority until the next new moon - of the regular moon - which would be in about seven days. With it in tow the two Ships departed northwards to make their way around the horn of Afreh.


Afreh Territories, day 6 of the Campaign, Month of PeaceAround Ten hours later the two ships were closing in on the area beyond where the road up from Zai'Der met with the Great Ocean road. On the Zahmes Breath the two Squadleaders had joined Voitleja and Captain Bunetain on the tip of the Foredeck. Voitlejas Squad sat huddled nearby close enough to be able to listen in to the conversation of the Leaders, since they did not have any rowing duty in the near future. The other two squads members were sitting aft of the Mast somewhere.

"Listen, I wouldn't throw the anchor where Nergui wants us to. It's bloody dumb, that is." Memnesius, the bearish Keita had drawn up a crude map on some ripped canvas and was waiving it around in his hands, preventing anybody from actually looking at it. Mohi the Uxian Squadleader was standing nearby looking uncomfortable, his hands folded on top of his flabby stomach, bulging because of his species instead of a disregard for physical fitness.

Memnesius continued speaking violently, sending spittle flying from his mouth as his large horn described circles in the air above his shaking head. "I tell you why! This here, it's all rotting swamp sloping up towards the road. No shrubbery no nothin'. Anybody walking the Ocean road will see our ships from ten miles off. And the march is terrible - what if a thousand angry bandits roll up and we have to retreat? Not too close to the hills either - where do we set up the artillery?"

At this Mohi nodded slightly, even though his expression was still pained at the Keitas manners. Reaching around Memnesiuses head he plucked the canvas out of his hands gracefully to hand the drawing to Voitleja. Memnesius glared angrily at Mohi, but let the man continue in his stead. "There is a mangrove forest running along the ocean further up - all of this here. It would provide some visual cover, while it is actually harder to traverse than the swamps. Yet it is also closer to the road and the hills. The decision is yours."

Back with the Squad the strange albino Bullywug named Wahka was about to say the first thing since they had departed. Wahka had kept her distance as much as she was able before, obviously slightly fearful of her companions - not entirely without reason. Those that had been raised on Vinione knew that a Bullywug was considered a savage beast by almost all, and they might share that sentiment. "They talk bad about Swamps - but when you want to go disappear it suck you up right easy. People don't look closely in Swamp, but fearful in Jungle all the time."

"By Neferma, she speaks," mumbled Asef as he lying on his back leaning against the side of the ship with a cloth cap on his face to shield himself from the sun. The others were silent for a second, not knowing what to respond to Wahka.

"Just looking forward to bashing somebody." Unsurprisingly it was Dao that had said it. It made Mali smile a mean toothy grin before she licked her thin lips with her long serpentine tongue.

"Cruelty. You two sure are born soldiers." Ebtsun the Tsing Goun had not spoken much on the journey, but he did now. Mali winked at him, her grin still disfiguring her face.

Trying to break the tension Bucket blurted out what he considered words of wisdom as he clung to his massive axe. "Hurting people is not good, but sometimes you've got to do it."

"Damn right...," his Brother agreed with him.


OOCSo as you can see the main thing is to decide where you will anchor and set up your surveillance station of the road. Technically it's for Voitleja to decide, but obviously everybody should feel free to chime in. The Squadmembers were able to listen to the planning easily and get a glimpse at the plan.

I will most likely be doing this weeks minor (mid-week) update a bit differently and - after adressing stuff from on the boat - jump to the camp you'll set up.

I've prepared a closer map of the area so everybody knows what is being talked about. Ship is marked with a red x, and as per usual opening the image up in a new tab gives you a higher resolution:

 
  #13  
Old Aug 24th, 2018, 06:51 PM
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"I don't know enough about the matter to offer advice, but I need to know where to set the artillery piece so that I can get it set up."
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Old Aug 26th, 2018, 02:51 PM
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VoitlejaThe Seene sat silently as the soldiers pled their cases, running his long flexible fingers over the map in an attempt to get an idea for the landscape before placing it back on the table. "It seems the Mangrove Forest has some advantages. I am reluctant to modify our orders, but if the case is strong I am willing. Wahka, I understand that you may be more able to disappear in the swamps, but not all of us share that skill. And if these humans are from where I believe, they will not be familiar with swamps or jungles and be fearful in both." He paused after the uncharacteristically long string of words, considering his options. "I have some questions. Those of you who have access to magic, are there any spells you can perform that might help us select an option?" he asked, before turning to Mohi. "Mohi, you said that the jungle would be a harder hike than the swamps. Do you, or anyone else, know how much harder? Would the siege weapons be movable through the forest?" He paused again. "One more question, for any who would know: how unusual would it be to see ships of this kind anchored here? Would it be enough to frighten off bandits?" He settled back, indicating that he was done asking questions. "Of course, if anyone has answers to questions I have not asked, or questions of their own, feel free to speak."
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Old Aug 26th, 2018, 07:16 PM
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"In my opinion and experience, we should set up in the mangrove. It would provide us much more manueverability on foot. And with that, we have more options to hide, to strike or to retreat. It will also allow greater effeciency to act as a unit or as individuals.

I can usually speak with plants and and may getting a warning or something in the forest, but nothing that's going to help decide."
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