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Author Topic: A little story...  (Read 2186 times)
Axel Chohimajin
Posts: 11

« on: February 15, 2011, 01:43:34 pm »

Okay so I decided to write a little story to inspire myself and theme my proposed forces/set of scenarios around. It's far from complete and I'm sure there are plenty of mistakes. I have tried to adapt it to the world but there are still certain things that I couldn't decide, time for example. I'm fairly sure time is supposed to be different and furbarnii are active at different times during the cycles of the day than we are. Any aged engineers to help? Also anything in brackets is still under construction, sorry, hehe. I also apologize for any contextual mistakes? Let me know what you think?

So here is chapter one:

The Emperor had made a mistake and now Gandar was being sent out to see just how big a mistake it was. Reports of Delgon parties were rife and border settlements were in danger. Just this week alone contact had been lost between Algmar and two of its outlying villages. His helmet under one arm he pressed his fist to his chest to acknowledge the order, turned and walked away.

Ever since he’d been made a hero for leading the raid on one of Gelgan Kasak’s nesting grounds, they had put him on the most dangerous missions. A young upstart from a poor clan winning the emperors favour, he knew they hoped he didn’t come back. Well maybe he wouldn’t this time. He certainly didn’t feel like a damned hero. Only three of fifteen had come back that day for what? The destruction of a minor forward nesting ground, some hero. Anyway this time he’d be damned if he took anything but barnii he could trust. It was all factions and clan politics in the commanders’ mess these days, like he could care less. There shouldn’t be a problem this time though he thought, after all he was going to take all the young ’uns, poor clans and misfits they had sent him out with on other fools errands. What the higher ups didn’t know is just how good they’d become. He actively gathered and trained them now. Now they were the emperors 5th and had pride. This time he thought any spying lickspittles that got themselves ‘drafted’ on to the mission were going to find themselves with a severe case of sore head the morning before they left. Even being a couple down was better than how useless they usually were in the best case scenario, sent to undermine his authority in the worst.

He strode into the (recreation) room in full uniform and all stood to attention fist to chest. He didn’t even teach them that one, no idea where they’d got it from, but it worked. He walked in in night robes and he’d get nods and ‘sirs’. In uniform and it was like a precision drill. He scanned the room and saw only his lads, good he thought.

‘At ease (boys). Looks like we’ve got mission.’

There was an outburst from Salme ‘Ha ha, finally’ and some murmurs of agreement before Salme looked at the seriousness of his expression and said ‘sorry sir’. They had been cooped up here too long

‘We’re going on a wide sweeping patrol in the borderlands and we’ve got to do babysitting duty on some engineers.’ There were frowns at that last bit, clever and well respected, but a pain in the arse at best for soldiers. ‘They’re looking for something, what? I don’t know, but it means we’re going to have to be top of our game. Solid defensive perimeters and sharp scouting patrols. They’ll be no slacking day or night when we get into the borderlands, especially with civilians to protect.’

There was a resounding ‘Yes sir’.

‘Good we leave two cycles after sundown tomorrow, information is a blackout. Tomorrow is free, make sure you put your business in order. Understood?’

‘Yes sir’


They saluted and he replied in kind. Everyone began to mill about again, bubbles of excited chatter reached his ears. He’d have to give Salme some kind of promotion. They had all seen enough action to rue missions coming in, but there was a certain rush of emotion once it was a decided thing. That one outburst had fired them up, made the emotions constructive.
He turned his head to the right and waved a hand indicating Keitar his vice to follow him to the office. Keitar was a good barnii and a good soldier. He was one of the three survivors that day and had a hideous scar running through his mouth and jaw to prove it. He hadn’t been a vice then just a soldier, but if Gandar had been the one to choose, he would have got the emperors favour and been the hero. His actions had ensured anyone had survived at all.

They never intended to fight Gelgan Kasak that day, just to destroy the outlying nest. It was a small nest that scouts indicated had low level of protection, not to mention the last sighting of Kasak had been many (miles) away two days before. They got there just before dawn, knights in force and destroyed the nest with minimum losses. It was a well co-ordinated attack that was bound to get a few casualties anyway. They mounted up to return when it happened.
       He’d known something was off because of the silence, it was too quiet. Even the (field animals) were quiet. Then came the call. A set of piercing shrill cries, one, then another and then another. From the trees to the east they emerged, what looked like a herd of Grishak. Certainly more than he had ever seen in one go. They charged forward and thundered into the ranks of the knights. It was a savage battle at least two Grishak to every knight. He formed them around him, leading the counter charge and co-ordinating attack after attack, but there was simply too many and knights started to fall. Despite the calls to rally they split into small clusters and were surrounded.
        Around half their number had fallen when he came. With a deafening cry that resonated across the battlefield he sprung from the trees. A true huntsman he had waited, hitting the weakest cluster first he tore through them felling all three in seconds. It was then that Keitar reacted. He peeled away from the cluster, felling the Grishak in front of him. Gandar had yelled ‘to me Keitar’, but the order was ignored and he sacrificed himself plunging into single combat with Kasak. The large Kopa was distracted and Keitar gave it everything. He went straight for him lance aiming true. Kasak turned to see the blow and dodged, but it wasn’t quick enough and the lance pinned him straight through the right shoulder. With a savage cry he clutched the lance and moved in to a downward sweeping strike with his spear. Keitar tried to block with his shield deflecting some of the blow, but it wasn’t strong enough and it caught him full through the jaw and down into the flank of his enuk. He could have withdrawn then letting go of the lance and dodging further blows, maybe even escaping. He didn’t. Blood running across his vision he spurred the enuk forward grimacing through the pain. He rammed his lance deeper and began punching Kasak’s exposed head with his shield. The Devanu stumbled and began to lose focus.
     Gandar had seen it all and after dispatching a Grishak in front of him he had wheeled to charge. The only way they were going to get out of there was if they could force the Kopa to withdraw. He’d known this as soon as he emerged, but could see no way to maneuver it with everyone split and engaged. Keitar had bought that time.
     The exchange reached its climax just before he hit, slamming straight into the large Kopa’s exposed left flank, the point of the lance screeching as it slide of off the metal plate on his thigh and hitting home through its opposite number. With a crunch his lance had snapped and the momentum barreled him straight into Kasak. The large Kopa fell dragging Keitar from his enuk and sending him sprawling across the grassy plain. His enuk toppled just after never to rise again.
      Just as the momentum was about to drag Gandar down over his enuks head he reigned in sharply. Throwing his broken lance to one side he pulled free his sword, but Kasak was too fast. Freed from the pinning of the lances he sprang backwards onto his feet. Their eyes met and Gandar could feel the rage and hunger. Kasak took a tentative step forward and Gandar could see all the muscles in his neck clench, his beaked head looked down and he noticed the lance. With a sharp movement he turned his head towards Gandar and he screamed a furious challenge, but Gandar didn’t move. He knew that without his lance one on one was suicide. As soon as he got within striking distance all the advantage was with the longer reach of the Devanu. So he waited calmly shield and sword in hand. ‘Move’ he thought, ‘as soon as you fall I’ll run you through’. Kasak was too clever for that though, so they just stood there, time stretching, waiting. Then just as suddenly as he had come the Kopa pulled his head high toward the sky and let out three shrill cries in succession. The Grishak stopped their feeding and retreated avoiding Gandar and covering Kasak as he slunk away.

They could have charged in and finished him off he thought, but Kasak knew then that Gandar would also have charged. Devanu knew all about survival and while there was still hope Gandar would fight and probably lose. If he knew he was going to die anyway he would fight to survive until his last breath. It seems Kasak didn’t like his odds in that situation.
After slowly watching the trees for a few minutes he turned to his company. They were all gone. He knew the scouts must have gone too or there would have been more warning. Getting off his mount he looked over them all. Only Keitar and another Alman had survived, both savagely wounded. There were two mounts left; his and Almans, who it seems had defended him after he went down.

That was two years earlier and a distant memory now.

‘You’re thinking about it aren’t you’ Keitar said, breaking the silence with his low deep voice.

‘Yeah’ Gandar replied realizing that he had stopped and was staring at the map on the opposite wall. He tossed his helmet into an alcove in the mud packed wall at sat down in a stone chair at the desk, motioning for Keitar to do the same.
      They sat there in silence for a few minutes. Gandar knew that Keitar wouldn’t speak until he did. In fact it was unusual for him to have spoken before. Not many knew, but his jaw had never fully healed and speaking caused him twinges of muscle pain. Strapping his face up with old bark twining hadn’t been the kindest thing, but it was that or lose him. In his own way though he had turned the pain to his advantage. He listened and when he did speak most knew it was only to say what was necessary. This afforded him a special respect rarely seen in others. Now though he waited.

‘I just don’t (expletive) believe it’ Gandar burst out, slamming a palm on the desk, letting his frustration reverberate around the room. ‘You know how they give us all this enuk shit for missions. And now they’ve given the most offensive formation they’ve got guard duty across the (most unstable regions in the territories).’

Letting out a breath he pointed a finger at Keitar. ‘Well they said all resources were at my disposal and I’m going to hold them to their (expletive) enarii blasted words’

Keitar nodded his head a few times as if to say ‘okay I’m listening.’

‘Well I suppose you’ll be wanting the details’ Gandar said calming down into a resigned tone. Keitar nodded.

Gandar began. ‘The mission brief is to assess border security in the regions bordering delgon and while we’re there investigate the reports of disappearing towns. I’m not quite sure why the Emperor decided to gibbet volatile clan emissaries even considering their impertinence, but it seems we’re the ones to assess the damage. A key part is to escort this engineer and his apprentice. They say they want an expert military and civilian perspective to the reports. I don’t buy all of it to be honest as whilst they’ve given military and operational command to me, overall mission command is in the hands of this engineer.’

Keitar’s eyes widened at the last and he began scratching the scar on his chin.

‘Yeah I know smells like something a one of their priest’s cooked up.’ He said whist waving his hand to indicate the north of the map. ‘Anyway Entel is his name and I’ve got an appointment at his workshop later. So I’ll have to wait on that one. That’s it, what do you think?’

Keitar nodded thoughtfully still scratching his chin ‘How do we protect them?’

‘My thoughts too, not exactly our specialty is it, even if this Entel and his apprentice can ride enuks, which I doubt, then it’s going to be tough. We’ll need militia support.’ Pulling an imperial order block from his belt pocket he slowly suggestively tapped it with his hand. ‘Well as I said we’ve got free use of resources, I suggest we use them. Hire some (name) halberdiers (see my clan thread post). We can trust them, no chance of any sympathizers and let’s face it they are good. Plus I’m not going to lie I’ll be glad to give some of the emperor’s coin to my clan.’

Keitar nodded twice, it was a good idea.

‘The other problem is provisions. We’ll get the Emperors hospitality of course, but when they learn we’re only passing through they’ll be less happy. We’ll be lucky if they give us what the feed the baruk.’

Keitar shrugged as if it was nothing unusual, but then said ‘take some traders.’

‘Hmm… what? Drag a few along to sweeten the deal? Offer protection? We’ve got to protect civilians and provision animals anyway so a few more won’t make a difference. It’ll probably even free a few troops up from herding the pack animals. Not bad, not bad. Towns always like traders coming in and we might even make a little coin for ourselves.’

‘It’ll work’ Keitar added echoing his own thoughts.

‘Which is the most important thing’ Gandar finished.

Turning to face the map on the wall he traced a few imaginary lines with his leather worn fingers. Looking over the desk he saw that Keitar had followed. ‘Well before we can talk routes I’ll have to meet this Entel. It won’t give us much time to entice traders, but nothing the enarii say’ll change that.

‘Okay I’ll leave the (name) halberdiers to you Keitar, you know (name) right?’ Keitar nodded. ‘Drop my name if you have to and pay whatever he asks.’ A second nod. ‘Then be back before sundown with luck we’ll be able to get over to the traders guild before the second moon is up.’

Keitar stood and saluted before turning to leave. He paused before ducking through the entrance and without turning whispered almost under his breath ‘I think about it every day.’

Gandar looked up, but he was gone. He breathed ‘Me too Keitar, me too’ to the empty room.

Pulling on his long robes and dragging a map of the shelf Gandar followed.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 01:51:31 pm by Axel Chohimajin » Logged
Twilight Creator
Distinguished Engineer
Posts: 2614

« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2011, 12:08:37 am »

Excellent stuff - looks like most of the details are pretty much spot on  Smiley
Interesting story as well, I'm intrigued to see where it goes!
I'll have a think on details for you to help fleshing your clan out.
Twilight Creator
Distinguished Engineer
Posts: 2614

« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 06:56:56 pm »

The other thing I meant to say is that I really like the little details you've added, like Keitar's jaw and the little coloquialisms.  Smiley
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