The Southern Continent (part 2)

As we play, occasionally we'll close a thread and open a new one to keep the size of threads (and relative complexity) down to a dull roar. Here's where we store the closed posts from the history of Errant Road.
Locked
User avatar
Drusia
Veteran of the Errant War
Posts: 1293
Joined: September 7th, 2009, 9:53 pm

Re: The Southern Continent (part 2)

Post by Drusia »

"So what I suggest is set up a bigger ambush. Let me meet 'em out on the trail by myself with a shield up. I'll draw their attention for sure."
"On the pathway, in a column, that's where they're vulnerable, can't give each other supporting fire, can't deploy into a better formation, can't see the real tactical situation, can't move around off the path like your warriors. Hit 'em with everything we got out there! That's what I say.
"Whaddayasay? And whatever yasay, I'm gonna do."


"I agree," I tell him, having spent the last several minutes catching my breath. "I have one addendum however. Udo, Waiter-kun - do either of you have fast access to explosives? The best way to start off any ambush is with a very large explosion at the middle of the enemy line. It splits them up and causes confusion."

We had some nifty mines back during the Errant War that would be perfect for this, but I don't have access to any - at least not quickly.

-- Drusia

OOC: Yes, Drusia is still stuck on the bomb idea. It's how she was trained to fight wars.
Alberich
Noble Knight Protector
Posts: 1892
Joined: October 5th, 2008, 9:58 am

Re: The Southern Continent (part 2)

Post by Alberich »

"I only wish I did!" said Udo. "I like the way you think!" He did, too. She liked her battles with plenty of boom!
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
Posts: 2376
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: The Southern Continent (part 2)

Post by Jack Rothwell »

Tamina exchanged a glance with the Elder at Udo's proposal. The old kobold walked up to the highwayman and looked him squarely in the eye.

"If I agree to what you're suggesting, and send more hunters, I'll be giving a death sentence or worse to everyone in this village if they fail. Those men have rifles and armor, battlemages and discipline. Are you certain your strategy is sound?"

"I'm ok to go back." Tamina piped up in support of her friend. "Someone should be there to heal the injured people."

"Time's running out." Alleece called, stamping her feet impatiently at the edge of the clearing.

Leli took a deep breath and tilted her head back, turning her face to the canopy overhead. After a moment of silence she exhaled raggedly and nodded. She stepped forward and grasped Udo's arm to give her parting words weight.

"You keep her safe."

..........

As the soldiers marched towards their destination they fanned out to accomodate the breadth of the path. Any suggestions raised of finding an alternative route were summarily ignored by their commanding officer. Gabriel had gotten lost in the undergrowth of the southern continent before, it had been a stressful time

He'd kept the mercenary mages at his side since disembarking the vessel, and ordered a rear guard of some of the larger men. He mentally classed them as the 'brutes', they were a trio of burly gentlemen sporting impressive looking double-headed axes attained from some woman blacksmith in Rinkaiel, and they certainly knew how to use them. The mages had been able to conduct themselves undisturbed between the reassuring presense of their protectors and the fifty-some soldiers clearing the trail ahead.

"Anything?" The Captain spoke the question to the man on his left, who was walking with his staff aglow and his hand sweeping the area around them.

"Nothing humanoid detected yet." The mage murmured from the depths of concentration.

"Watch the trees, they like to climb."

"Yes sir."
Alberich
Noble Knight Protector
Posts: 1892
Joined: October 5th, 2008, 9:58 am

Re: The Southern Continent (part 2)

Post by Alberich »

"You keep her safe."

Udo surprised himself with a bow and an energetic Hai! that would've satisfied Sergeant Orimoto himself. Then he got moving.

With the help of the kobold hunters, and with Alleece and Tamina for his interpreters, he found the best piece of ground he could - that is to say, a relatively dark, twisty, narrow stretch of path with no handy clearings, where the jungle was hard for humans but good for kobolds to penetrate, and not so good for swinging two-handed weapons or aiming rifles. They couldn't go too far from the village - not and be set up in time - but they did what they could.

"Important thing is to be well hid," said Udo. "And move when you hear Khoo's wind blast or if I scream loud. No coming out early! Not even if there are shots and stuff. Not even if I kill some. Screams or wind blast only. If I yell 'retreat,' alla you yell it to each other, and it's back to the village." He learned the kobold word for "retreat" so he could use that. He left the placement of the warriors and hunters to their own leaders, but made sure he knew where the gauntlet was. He scouted enough of the path before and behind in case he had to move ahead of the ambush to lure them in, and so he could run along this path without tripping.

"Khoo - your job's important - you need to be out of sight but where you can hear and do that blast up above their heads. You were talking about flying before, maybe levitate up above the canopy? Someplace you can't see them and they can't see you, but you can hear. Then after the loud blast, do what you feel. But if I holler 'retreat,' give 'em a hurricane in the face so we can retreat. And don't do the wind blast 'til I scream, or 'til I say the secret word."

"What's the secret word?"

"Donkey balls!"

* * *

The foremost Ralkin mercenaries weren't very close when they heard a voice in the distance, now whistling, now idly singing a really filthy Tsuirakuan military running song -- the kind they'd discontinued around the time they started recruiting female battlemages. With Gabriel and his mages some fifty troops back, the column had halted and scouts had been sent ahead to look while the men who called the halt sent word back to Gabriel of why they were halting.

Turning a bend, the scouts saw Udo in all his painted-up, loinclothed glory, with his spear stuck in the ground beside him and his staff in one hand. He gave a toothy grin and waved. His shield could go up in a hurry if these scouts tried something.

"Whoah," said one to the other. "That's the biggest baby I ever seen!"

"Hey, are you guys the Ralkin army?" called Udo. "You're a little late, you know! Your plans got sold out back when your ship was sailing, and they're spreadin' around crystalnet, if you know where to look! You oughta pay your guys better! The kobolds cleared outta their village yesterday!" -- Tamina had described a sailing ship; it ought to have taken them longer than that to make it here from anywhere.

"?" said one of the scouts.

"You brought the guy with the rocks in his belly who regenerates, right? And the two mages? And the sixty infantry? Well, anyway, if you all wanna come look at the village you can, but they took all the good food already!" He belched. "Okay, most of it. I think they're off linkin' up with the other clans. You wanna know which way they went, now, that's negotiable."

What he did next would depend on what they did. If the scouts went back to the main force, he'd have to run after them at a distance, peeping around bends in the pathway to see what the main force behind them was up to, and position himself accordingly. Whether he could lure them into the gauntlet or try to get them to chase him through it - that would just depend. If these two took some initiative and wanted to see the village before they reported back - then things would get hostile in a hurry.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
Posts: 7074
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: The Southern Continent (part 2)

Post by Graybeard »

"Bombs," Khoo mused. That subject hadn't exactly been part of his graduate curriculum ...

... But then he remembered something.

There'd been a seminar speaker on something called "thaumatobaric explosives" a year or so back. He remembered it both for the subject, and for the ... unexpected ... way a demonstration during the seminar had gone. Some crazy little girl, supposedly a second-year student at the Sashi Mu high school even though she looked only about twelve years old, had been called up to supply the magical energy required to drive the thing; the speaker reasoned that such a small kid couldn't muster enough magical energy to produce an inadvertent big bang. But by the Sea God's Gills, was she ever wrong. The resulting explosion was ... impressive. No, "astonishing" would describe it better. "Shocking"? "Devastating"? It wasn't that big a deal, thaumatic stabilization had the building safe for occupancy again in only a week or so and nobody was killed, including both the little girl and the seminar speaker. But still ... Anyway, he'd kept his notes on the talk.

"I think I can improvise something," he said to Drusia. "But it's going to take a pretty substantial amount of alcohol." He rolled his eyes. "Udo will be disappointed at the misuse, no doubt, but it's better than dying." He started to rummage through his Pocket Dimension again, for a certain notebook.

[OOC: For the real-world equivalent, check out this article, and an example of the concept at work. Very Meji-esque, don't you think?]
Image

Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
Posts: 2376
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: The Southern Continent (part 2)

Post by Jack Rothwell »

"You brought the guy with the rocks in his belly who regenerates, right? And the two mages? And the sixty infantry? Well, anyway, if you all wanna come look at the village you can, but they took all the good food already! Okay, most of it. I think they're off linkin' up with the other clans. You wanna know which way they went, now, that's negotiable."

The scouts exchanged glances, eventually one nodded.

"Wait here." He said to Udo, and took off at pace to the approaching column, leaving him in the company of the man left behind. The highwayman heard a call of 'report!' and the abrupt silence of a platoon coming to a halt. The soldiers parted smoothly to allow the scout through to the captain. Gabriel met the messenger halfway, framed between the backs of the men who now faced the undergrowth.

"Well?"

"We've encounter some weirdo, he looks like one of those lunatics camped out on the eastern coast."

Gabriel snorted. "That community built by tourists who stayed for the mushrooms?"

"That's the one. He says the kobolds have upped sticks and headed for the other tribes, apparently our plans were leaked."

The Captain's face drew downwards into a frown, the scout took a step backwards.

"How?"

"The crystalnet, he said."

Gabriel leaned back and crossed his arms, implying some internal calculation was going on.

"Bullshit." He said flatly. "A mushroom junkie following tips, getting off his stoner arse to come here? What for?"

"Food."

"Food. Right, right." The Captain turned his head and peered into the thicker part of the jungle as he continued. "Take me to him, and you." He called to a man at the back of the column. "What's your name?"

"Jeremy sir." The mage replied.

"Keep that detection spell up and come with me, you three as well." He tapped the shoulders of the troops on either side of him. As the Black Guard leader strode swiftly to meet the native a change stole over his face. His expression became tranquil, the only nod to emotion being the faint smile on his lips as if he were a man of good humour. Gabriel was not. He muttered a few words side-mouth to the magic-user at his side, then greeted the oddly-dressed man as they drew closer.

"Hello there, native." He said in a cheerful tone. "My men tell me you have information for us?"
Alberich
Noble Knight Protector
Posts: 1892
Joined: October 5th, 2008, 9:58 am

Re: The Southern Continent (part 2)

Post by Alberich »

As the leader, his small squad, and his wizard approached, Udo saw what he hadn't before -- the wizard's staff was glowing and his hand was sweeping. Damn, thought Udo. Humanoid detection! That was a spell he hadn't thought of and hadn't reckoned with. So leading the enemy into the gauntlet was not going to be easy. Not with this wizard up front for sure.

Well, that was a part of the strategist's life. The enemy always got a vote, and they didn't always caucus with the right party. So he'd just have to improvise! Udo Fujomori would not give up! The leader here was smart enough not to fall for simple tricks. So trying to talk him into getting vulnerable was out of the question.

He had one advantage here, or thought he did - no one looked Tsuirakuan. If he needed to shout new instructions to Khoo, then at least they wouldn't know whiskey-tango-foxtrot he was talking about. An enemy stuck on a narrow path was still vulnerable to wind blasts - but that would only slow them down, not kill them off. And this narrow path was still a bad place for them to make use of their numbers or see what was happening.

Right, then. This leader was coming up close, with a smile of friendly condescension. Udo answered with a dopey, friendly grin of his own.

"Hello there, native. My men tell me you have information for us?"

"Yeah, man," he said. "'s all gone vwipppp! Like -- "

And then, as suddenly as he could, he gripped his staff in both hands and fired his strongest bolt at the wizard by Gabriel. You couldn't sweep and shield both at once, at least Udo thought you couldn't, and if he could get them in hot pursuit - he might just preserve his plan. Or get himself killed, whichever. Force-bubbling himself before drawing another breath, he took off down the twisty path he'd scouted like a bat out of hell, unencumbered by armor or even pants. Around the nearest twist he blasted the ground, hoping to give his foremost pursuers something to trip in, then bubbled up as he kept going.

Now if belly-boy and his friends came after him alone, out of sight of the others but wizardless, he'd take 'em as far as he could and give the signal. A loud wind blast would make this villain's orders hard to hear, and an unseen kobold-Khoo ambush would change things quick. If the whole crowd came along, better still. If they just let him go while they rearranged their forces - well, he'd have to improvise. And if worst came to worst, he could sound the retreat and leave them down a wizard at least.
Last edited by Alberich on November 28th, 2012, 11:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
Posts: 7074
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: The Southern Continent (part 2)

Post by Graybeard »

Khoo skimmed rapidly through his notes from the seminar, trying to take in at least the principles of a thaumatobaric weapon. Yes, it was much as he'd remembered it. Meanwhile, one of the kobolds had found a particularly venomous-looking bottle of some alcoholic beverage that had a vodka-like odor to it. It wasn't much, but it would have to do.

He ran through the sequence of spells in his mind, and started preparations for a Wind Sprite to accomplish stage one (dispersal); when the action started, he thought, there wouldn't be much time for contemplation.
Image

Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
Posts: 2376
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: The Southern Continent (part 2)

Post by Jack Rothwell »

Although the wizard was otherwise preoccupied at the highwayman's sudden attack, his Captain wasn't. Gabriel sidestepped and shoved the magic-user out of bolt's path, taking the strike himself on the chestplate of his heavy armor. A glow of magic emanated from beneath the metal, doing unpleasant things to the shadows on Gabriel's face as the light escaped the armor. He stumbled back a step, but the force of the blow had been largely cushioned.

He straightened, smiled and placed the palm of his hand on the warm metal.

'Thanks, Aleron.'

'I keep an eye on my investments, Captain.'


"After him!" One of the scouts drew his weapon and pointed it in the direction Udo had disappeared in.

"Wait idiot." Gabriel snapped. "A run-of-the-mill southern continent yokel doesn't run around with a magic staff to start a fight with a platoon of men. He tried to direct us away from the village, and now he's running straight back there. He's either trying to stall us, or trying to lead us into an ambush."

The Ralkin Captain wheeled around and ran back to his men. He circled an arm in the air and began shouting orders.

"Up the path, double time! Get to the village! You, Sergeant, your unit is on rearguard, keep an eye out for the furballs, you men..." He singled out a half dozen to suit the next order of business. "...get ahead and track that tubby bastard, carefully, and find out of there are any surprises hiding the jungle, what they are, their numbers, and report back. Kill him if you find him."

The scout nodded as the column broke into a forced march. The half-dozen soldiers took off after their attacker.

.......

Tamina shifted uncomfortably in her perch some distance from the path to the village. She craned around to mark her people concealing themselves from view and experienced an odd moment of nostalgia. The use of cover wasn't much different to ambushes made against the more dangerous animals who threatened the area they lived in, only this time the animals carried swords and guns.

Perhaps it wasn't quite the same.

"I'm not scared." She muttered, pressing flat in the shadow of a thick tree branch. A lie, but one that made her feel a little better. She notched an arrow and kept her drits open for Udo's return.

OOC :twisted: That is all. /OOC
Last edited by Jack Rothwell on November 29th, 2012, 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Alberich
Noble Knight Protector
Posts: 1892
Joined: October 5th, 2008, 9:58 am

Re: The Southern Continent (part 2)

Post by Alberich »

Seeing that he hadn't been instantly followed and had a headstart, Udo saw things were not going according to plan. The enemy hadn't pursued pell-mell into his ambush, and when they did come, they would spot it with magic or at least expect it was coming. So he had to make some quick adjustments. He stopped and turned about where he judged his translators, Alleece and Tamina, and his hidden asset, Khoo, could hear.

"<Khoo>," he said in Tsuirakuan, "<Come here. Change of plan. They're coming and they've twigged it. Instead of a wind blast, when they come, raise a barrier that cuts off the first ten guys from the rest.>"

He might not panic the rest, but if Khoo cut the column with one of his magic barriers, Udo and the kobolds could circumcise it before the rest could help it. And if the ugly bastard in the armor was near the front of the pursuit and they could swarm him on this side of the barrier and decapitate the snake - this would make things sweet. For if they got him down, Udo meant to see to it he never got back up again. The kobolds could cut him up like a garlop with gallstones!

But even if not, if he could cut off some of the bunch and call the retreat - covered by a wind blast - the kobolds could get back to their defenses and be no worse off. "Alleece, Tamina," he said. "If Khoo falls - drag him into the jungle, save him." Skinny stick would be easy for 'em to shift. "If I fall, get my staff and get it back to Drusia." Maybe she could use it...

He dropped to one knee, held his staff forward, and awaited the pursuit. To defend or to attack, depending on what was leading. He barely noticed his loincloth was warm and soaking wet now. And if he lived he'd be forgetting that part.

[OOC: This is supposed to be the path that leads to the village and not a side street, the densest most twisting part Udo could find. He'd scouted forward and back on that path and fled along it, and never intended to leave the way to the village clear. Though they might be opening one over his dead body in the immediate future...]
Locked