Hollow Plague IC

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  1. OOC

    The fortress town of Namban was once more thriving with the hustle and bustle of dailiy activity. From the sight of children playing in the streets, to workmen plying their craft, to the sweet aromas of the evening meals being prepared by the community's mothers in their respective kitchens, all was as it had ever been in the small but prosperous town. Were it not for the regular imperial patrols and the military encampment erected just north of the town's walls, one would easily forget that they were on the eve of a great battle.

    According to the last scout reports, the plague's movements had scheduled their arrival for the next morning, sometime between dawn and mid-day. In as little as eight hours the men and women of the imperial procession, as well as all their enlisted supporters from the mage college and namban's own forces, could be engaged in bloody, brutal combat with the enemy. In as little as twenty four hours, the enemy plague will have been wiped out and preparations to strike back at the cowards of Xine will be under way. However, to most not bearing an imperial seal, today was simply another quiet day. Unfortunately for Captain-Commander Gismere Daemorrund, she was indeed bearing an imperial seal, and making the final preparations for the impending battle had left these last few days as anything but 'quiet' for her.

    She, her troops, and the accompanying mages from the college had all arrived in the town little under four weeks prior, and the captain-commander's every waking moment since had been spent in preparation for the upcoming battle. It was her duty to take accounts of all the soldiers at her disposal, arrange them into specialized units, and draw up the plans of attack once the plague hit. She had to work with the town guard, the mages, the knights, and even the townsfolk who volunteered to lend a blade or bow in the upcoming battle, and ensure they could all work together cohesively and follow orders properly. This was not her task alone of course, she was aided by the captain of the guard, the magi from the college, and had even been granted a high noble born as her lieutenant-captain. However, thanks to the scrutiny of the illustrious Ison Daegran, one of the king's generals, she would be made to bear the full responsibility of any perceived defeat come the morrow. Ison had been appointed as an 'overseer' of the campaign, which was a fancy title that meant that his job was simply to criticize ever decision made by Gismere, overrule whichever command he saw fit, take all the glory should the campaign be a success, and pin all the blame on her should it fail. And the standards for failure were quite low.

    While their forces were far from everything the Atlusian kingdom had to offer, King Alant had still spared no expense in sending forces to crush the plague. This was not to be a battle, this was to be a one-sided massacre intent on showing the Xinean necromancers that even a fraction of Atlusia's forces would be enough to repel whatever measly attempt at invasion they launched. As such, should the battle take too long, or too many imperial lives be lost, it will be reported as a grievous lacking of Gismere's skill as a commander, even shoudl the battle still end in victory.

    Tomorrow's operation had to be flawless in execution, and Gismere was fully intent on making it just that. In her thirty two years of life, eighteen had been spent in military service to the crown. She had grown used to Ison and his lot, pretentious old men who thought lesser of her for lack of a worm to dangle between her legs. But she had overcome their prejudice countless times in the past, and now sat poised to become the kingdom's first female general.

    This campaign would be her magnum opus, and she would finally prove herself the better of all the men who stood in her path so far. Finally she would silence the venomous whispers of those who claimed she had gotten to her position riding solely on her father's name.


    Having finished overseeing the training of the city's marksmen, Gismere made her way back to the Guard's northern watchtower. A final debriefing would take place there this evening, and she needed to ensure that all knew their roles for the upcoming confrontation.

    As she rode upon her steed through the town streets, she found herself thinking back to a particular archer she had witnessed. Every time Gismere went to oversee the archery training, there was one woman who stood apart from the crowd, both physically and metaphorically. She was neither enlisted with the guard, nor was she a knight, but her skill with a bow paralleled that of some of the greatest imperial sharpshooters Gismere knew of. When the captain-commander had inquired to the woman's identity the Guard Captain had only said she was a huntress who made her home in the nearby Fami Woods.

    Gismere hadn't been given the time to seek out the huntress and speak with her, but it warmed her heart and gave her courage to see another member of the fairer sex make a name for herself with weapon in hand and legs closed. She hoped that once this was all over, she could talk with the woman and learn more of her story, as well as hopefully bring her back to the capital and bring her into military service. Such skills were wasted hunting wild game.

    Abruptly, Gismere was brought out of her reverie as her horse neighed loudly and she stopped. A few children had run by swinging wooden swords and startled her steed. Gismere calmed her horse and looked at the children who ran off with a frown before continuing her trot.

    She was not upset that the children had barred her way of course. Regardless of her position in a male-dominated field, Gismere had always held a certain softness for the innocence of the young. It was her own childhood dreams and idolization of her father that pushed her to chose this walk of life after all. No, what caused her brow to furrow was the presence of those children within these walls period.

    Had Gismere been given her way, all the women and children would have been evacuated the moment she set fort in Namban. However, Ison had overruled this decision.

    He reasoned that, as the battle would be an assured victory, there was no need to evacuate. In fact, the shame put on the Xinean necromancers would be doubled if they could not even breach a town still occupied by harmless civilians. Of course this all went without mentioning that sending the women away would rob him and his knights of their ability to waste away their nights in brothels or the sheets of drunken inn maids.

    Gismere did not enjoy the situation. No battle is ever completely assured, and she did not feel right putting at risk the lives of innocents only so a pampered old man could send an extra middle finger Xine's way. But orders were orders, and she only took this as more reason to ensure the following battle went perfectly. If even a drop of civilian blood was spilled, she would make sure Ison was the one to pay for it once she was made General.


    Finally arriving at the guard tower, Gismere wasted no time in making her way to the Guard Captain's Office. There, she found the captain himself, one of the college Magi, Ison himself, and his nephew wallace -- her lieutenant-commander -- standing next to him. So she was last to arrive, perfect, the crooked old general would be sure to get one last jab in at her for that.

    "I see you are all here already," she said as she closed the door to the office behind her, "I thank you for all coming here once again and hope you were not made to wait on my presence."

    she spared no more effort in explaining herself. Nothing she would say would appease the old snake, who she could already see smirking in contempt. It was best to simply let the old man have his moment of self-satisfaction.

    "You've no need to concern yourself commander Daemorrund," chimed in Ison with his raspy, dry voice, malice glimmering from behind his leathery eyes, "none here are unknown to a lady's tendencies to let time slip away from her."

    "Then I appreciate the courtesy," replied the woman shortly, not paying mind to the expected jab at her sex. "Now, I would like to begin this meeting with the final reports on Namban's personal defense forces. Captain Aenurin, if you would."

  2. The soft sound of rain padding against the ground filled the air like a thousand wardrums. Ba-boom ba-boom. Doom, Doom. He could hear the thud of it against the glass of the windowpanes in the estate. There should have been buildings clustered all around it - there should have been the dull grey reflection of the busy city streets, but there was not. There was a wood that the son had never seen before. His father watched the raindrops hit the window, blossoming into radial bursts of water, distorting the reflection of the woods outside. The blooms reflected in the pale green of his father's eyes, and the shimmer of wet grass played across his father's face. There was a nobility in his father's face that always seemed to disappear in his recollections of him, but when he saw it, it was hard and bright, like the glitter of dew on the hills. His name was Geraint Aneurin and he was not the sort of man who ever loved. He had no feelings. His face showed his coldness, the morning mist that rolls in on the rivers, the fog in cemeteries. The angles of his cheekbones, the slope of his nose. His eyes betrayed nothing, and his hands were laced behind his back, careful to reveal nothing in their gestures. He saw the world as a series of investments, and people as small wars to be won - people were meant to be conquered; and Geraint was their usurper-king.

    His son was not like that. His son had not ever been like that.

    The son was Rhisiart Aneurin. The son sat in a leather chair with woodcarved clawed feet and arms. His father's back was to him - Geraint did not see the way that Rhisiart's fingers clutched whiteknuckled at the elaborately carved lion's heads as he watched his father with clear eyes, feeling the rough prickling of his throat, as if he had a cold or a cough. Perhaps he had finally succumbed to one of the diseases that ran rampant through his grey city. He let out a strained cough, and it was here that his father finally faced him. He felt himself begin to tremble in the chair at the sight of his father, watching as the cool composition of his father's face fell away into ashy chunks of putrid flesh. When Geraint turned on his heel and looked back at his son, and his eyes were no longer fields and flowers; they were teeth and blood. His hands were black and bloated. His nails were curved and yellow, like some leperous old man. He raised one necrotic hand to his face, and wiped his palm across his eyes, leaving behind a thick red stain - a bandit's mask of congealed blood. The skin of his face began to fall away into tattered scraps of skin, peelings that littered the floor. Rhisiart watched, powerless to do anything.

    His father lurched towards him - his exposed jawbone clattering as he advanced upon Rhisiart. The man outstretched his blackened fingers towards his son, and clutched his smooth cheekes with his rotting hands. Rhisiart could smell the decay setting in, and he could hear the quiet writhings of maggots. He could hear the snapping of bones and the release of gas as putrefecation set into his father - a man that he knew he did not love. He still found himself mouthing the words, as his hazel eyes filled with tears; "I'm sorry, Papa, I love you - I wouldn't hurt you..." But those words were choked and wrong, and when they came out, he could only hear the laughter of his father. The grinning skull still had his father's hands, and his father's strength, so when they closed around Rhisiart's throat; he knew that this was how he would die. He would die to this shambling mound, this memory of a once great man, as he crushed his windpipe. He felt his eyes bulging out of his head, as his father laughed and tears streamed down his face. "Cry, boy." His father's voice. The quiet, controlled tone. His silence was more terrifying than the loud clamour of banditry and thugs - the cold of his voice turned the rain outside into hail that clattered against the glass with the roar of drums. Ba-boom ba-boom. Doom, Doom.

    Rhisiart jolted awake. He wasn't awake, though. Everything was cast in a dark shadow and he couldn't move or blink. His arms felt unbearably heavy. He could only sit there, with a strange burning sensation in his throat. Soft strangled gurgles arose unbidden from his mouth. The metallic, copper taste of blood flooded his senses. The quiet rumbling of rain echoed in the distance. He could hear a voice, a voice softly singing - but the words were so indistinct and far away. He wanted to turn his head. He wanted to know if his lover lay next to him - if Griffith was here, he could wake him up. He would wake him up. But there was nobody there. Griffith was far away from him. He was alone. His eyes rolled backwards uncontrollably - his body was no longer his. He found himself staring back at cold green eyes - his father's eyes. And then that terrible, cold voice. "Fear keeps you alive, boy. I did everything for you." His father's words developed a note of emotion in them. But it wasn't the emotion that Rhisiart so craved. It was hatred, burning and bubbling over. "Is this how you repay me?" His hands were around his throat again - and Rhisiart screamed.

    "You were dreaming again."

    The words cut through his dreams like a knife. Rhisiart opened his eyes. A pale face looked down at him, with long, straight black hair hanging around it. Dark eyes were set in this face, and they were surrounded by thick lashes. The face was unshaven, the nose a bit long, the forehead and features a bit too big for the face - but it was a beautiful face. It was attached to broad shoulders and soft hands that clutched the sides of Rhisiart's face. They held him, and the young Guard-Captain was certain that without those hands on either side of his face he would have fallen into little pieces, tiny chunks that would have littered his floor like his father. Those soft thumbs stroked away the tears that were streaming from Rhisiart's eyes. He didn't realize he had been crying. The beautiful face was beautiful for only a second, but then became terrible and strange, a distortion. Wrinkles appeared around the eyes as Griffith furrowed his brow. Rhisiart reached up a trembling hand to touch it to the side of his lover's face, but the hand fell aside, as Griffith pulled away. He slipped away from the bed, and an expression of disgust crossed the Duke's son's face. Rhisiart lurched forward on the bed, sweat stained sheets gathering about his midsection. He rubbed at his eyes, wiping aside tears and sleep.

    Griffith slipped on a brocade robe, and then tossed a look at Rhisiart over his shoulder. His lip curled with repulsion. Rhisiart felt a pang shudder through his body. His mouth felt dry. He rubbed at his eyes and temples furiously, watching as Griffith watched him. He could feel his lover's eyes all over him, but there was no love, there was a strange, unbridled shame. There was sadness. But, Rhisiart found himself thanking the God-Emperor that there was not apathy. At least... At least Griffith had woken him up. He began to mumble out his thanks, but Griffith was able to silence him with one look, with one dark-eyed gaze. Rhisiart found himself drawing the coverlet up over his collarbones. His shoulders were shaking. He couldn't let him see. But Griffith saw. Griffith always saw. The Duke's son let out a snort. "
    You're weak. You're afraid." His revulsion wavered on his face, and his dark brows knit with something closer to worry than hatred. He said the words that Rhisiart knew he would say, the words that the young guard-captain always dreaded, but they came as surely as winter, as easily as rain turned to snow. "I have to go."
    Rhisiart looked up at him, and his words came out soft - quiet words like his father would want. "I know." He folded his hands on the coverlet, fingers toying with the loose threads. The Duke's son gave him a contemptuous look. Rhisiart wondered what he was thinking. He was dreaming of his wife's brother, no doubt. The confident and bright-eyed Unferth, right on the cusp of heroism and destined for greatness. Unferth, with the gold hair and and eyes like sapphires. Unferth, who loved and respected his Lord-Father - Unferth, who had never cried, never known loss or regret - he was too young to understand those things. Rhisiart drew his knees to his chest. Griffith's mouth twisted in a faint smile - not a real one. Something sick and wrong. He turned to face his lover, the edges of the robe half-hiding his clavicles, disguising the scar around his shoulders where the claws of a hawk had pierced him. Rhisiart had mapped each piece of him. Something in Rhisiart twitched. He felt a sudden wave of nausea, a sensation of dread. He felt something within him recognize that this look was not insignificant. This was the last look. This was the last time. His fingers clawed at the sheets, and Griffith's final words, before he walked out of his life, thundered in his ears like the roar of drums.

    "I wish I didn't love you." Ba-boom ba-boom. Doom, Doom.

    Griffith's words stuck with him through the day, swishing around in his mind. He had been so caught up in them that he almost didn't hear when the Captain-Commander Gismere Daemorrund spoke; "Captain Aenurin, if you would." How had he gotten to this point? How did he end up sitting in this uncomfortable chair, staring at these people who he hardly knew - with this old man whispering onion-scented words in his ear? How did he end up sitting next to a man who dwarfed him - an Imperial knight with an Imperial seal? The day was a blur of grey-streaked city streets, the scent of soot and meat - the women and children bustling through the streets as merchants cried out the prices for their wares. There had been plans devised, structures and barricades set up for the nearly secret war that had come to their doorstep. But had he really been present for any of them, or had he drifted through them all, moving through them as a ghost moves through dreams. He folded his hands across his desk. Rhisiart let out a low exhale of breath as he got his bearings - taking stock of where he was.

    He was in his office, in the tower. There was his desk, the rich rug on the floor. There was the painting of his father hanging on the wall behind him, posed with an Imperial Falcon on his arm to represent the commitment that his father had for the empire. There was the flicker of candles on the desk and consequently, the build up of candlewax on the desktop, melting onto the scrawled notes and city maps. In the drawers of his desk was the ledger for the guard's funds, and the list of the guardsmen and their patrol routes. It was all there. And so was he. Rhisiart looked up at Gismere Daemorrund and his eyes flickered in the dim light. He closed his hands around a pen, and began to draw lines across the city map infront of him. He was drawing the city into pieces, dividing it into the fortified - the safe and the doomed. His father's voice echoed in his ears. "A divided city is a broken city. Treat them all alike - like mud beneath your boots." He drew in another breath of air - sharply, this time. He twisted the paper upside-down from his perspective, right-side up to the Captain Commander. He tapped the front gates of the city with his pen.

    "The front gates are prepared to be braced against siege." He moved his pen upwards.
    "The market-square has been ordered to be cleared, to prevent causalities. I've sent men to relocate those dwelling in the square to the Undercity." He made a jagged movement with his pen, towards the impoverished district. "Those men will protect the wealthy and poor alike." Rhisiart's eyes never left her face. His movements with the pen were all instinctual - he knew this city well enough to make these gestures with his father's confidence and efficiency. He set the pen down against the tabletop, and folded his hands across one another, roughly brushing the palm of one hand against the ring of the other. The grooves of the engraved agate cut into the heart-line of his palm. The pain was a welcome sensation. It reminded him that he was still there. He was present. He cleared his throat, cringing at the rough sensation, "As for additional troops - I have called upon some of my favours with the local mercenary guilds, and convinced some of the local knights to fight, rather than to flee to their far-away lords." His tone was strained. He had managed to keep all of the knights, all of the lords and local nobility - he'd persuaded and promised and begged. He hadn't begged enough. What would his father think of him?

    Griffith was right. He was weak. He was afraid. And his heartbeart was the roar of a drum. Ba-boom ba-boom. Doom, Doom.


  3. CH-THUNK!
    The large axe easily cleaved through the man's neck flesh. The disembodied head rolled off the block and into the wide, tight-woven, water-filled basket before being held up by the hair and displayed to the gathered crowd of people. All peasants, of course. The nobility watched quietly from their windows, no doubt delighting in this one's death. He had, after all, supposedly raped one of the lords' daughters. Though the man was nowhere near the scene. In fact, he'd been in the temple on the other side of town.

    The executioner lifted his axe again with a short grunt and walked away from the square, easily parting the crowd as they hushed themselves, knowing all too well his disposition just after an execution thanks to one foolish guard.
    "Hey, someone had to do it. The man was doomed anyway."

    "But it's still nothing more than legalized murder. Just an excuse to justify one man taking the life of another."

    "And? Everyone in this town is gonna die tonorrow anyway. Look at it as a mercy. You saved that man from being torn apart by flesh-eating monsters. From having to possibly see loved ones killed in the most brutal of ways before they do the same to him."

    "Quiet!" he shouted once he'd entered the confines of his shop. He knew these voices weren't real. They were his mind trying to justify the taking of human life. They hadn't started until after he'd learned of the plague, it's vast expansion, and it's quite immediate threat on his new home, but they still annoyed the living hell out of him. He quickly washed the sticky, crimson fluid from his torso with a wet cloth and donned his leather apron before removing his hood and heading back out to his forge.
  4. Wallace's mind wandered to the coming storm of battle, in his mind he imagined himself leading an army of troops while the skies rose blazing red. He smiled slightly of the thought of him cutting down legions of hollowmen like wheat chaff under a sickle. He was quickly awakened from his day-dream as Gismere had finally arrived. He had heard rumors of her aspiring to be a general from fellow knights of his, and merely chuckled to himself at the thought. Some people were simply not destined to do things, and he was to make sure of that, surely Ison could send a statement or two, if worse comes to worse. As the meeting began, he watched as Aenurin proposed his plans for the upcoming battle, he felt the need to chime in after he finished.

    "If I may, Captain Aenurin, keeping soldiers placed at the undercity would be irrational. We would benefit more to send them by the front gate, if by chance they break it, we will have a group to quickly bottleneck them. I may also add that I am positive they won't siege a city without a war machine of some sort, we should have the commoners work overnight to fortify the ramparts, in this way our batteries will be more secured from incoming projectiles, as well as stronger structure overall, by morning they will retreat to the market square. As for these "mercenaries" of yours, I suggest we place them by the corner of the city wall, where they will remain undetected."

    He took the pen and began drawing a two circles, one indicating the mercenary group and the other indicating the drafted commoners, he drew an arrow towards the market square where the peasants will fall back to come the assault, and a line towards the front gate where the main bulk will be expected to hit with the most of their force.

    "The mercenaries will intercept the main bulk at the city gate while they are busy trying to break it down. They will be signaled by a pyre that will be lit on the tower above them. At the end of this battle, we expect a quick finish, the wealthy remain safe to recreate the foundation of what was lost, what very little there will be."

    He stepped back, satisfied on his much more refined proposition, though he did not show it. His gaze lingered to both Aenurin and Gismere, observing their reactions
    #4 Tanstin, Feb 24, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  5. [​IMG]

    Clarice Eryn Deveraux
    Huntress of the Wilds; Rumored Witch

    Eryn yawned as she watched game pass her by from her perch in the trees, two small rabbits walked past just below where her crouched figure stayed hidden in the foliage of the trees. She'd only just woken from a nap and gotten onto her feet when the small mammals had made their presence known. It was a gift as she saw it, though the sender was unknown, it could be the forest itself or some far off predator that had ushered the rabbits her way, either way she wasn't going to let her present escape her. The pale haired girl drew back her bow's string to her shoulder, something that, when she had witnesses to her practice, made them raise their eyebrows and laugh. That is until she let loose an entire quiver of arrows in half a minute, they failed to realize that drawing back the string to one's cheek, aiming, etc, took far too long, and was restricting in how it required much focus and stillness. The girls grip on the shaft of her bow tightened, a single finger extended to point where she was aiming and then she lunged from the tree and let loose her arrow before drawing another one as she fell and releasing it. She rolled across the ground and looked up to see she'd pinned the both of them to a tree with a shot to each of their eyes. The girl paused a moment, smiled and then stood, stretched and yawned yet again before going over to retrieve the corpses, though there was no one to show off to but herself in these woods, and that was enough for her.

    The girl went about checking her snares, which resulted in another five rabbits and three squirrels, she was on her last trap and as she drew nearer the sounds of a struggle became prominent, by the sound of it she'd caught something a bit bigger than the rabbit she'd intended, as she rounded the tree she stopped and dropped the string of dead animals that she carried over her shoulder. She sighed as she saw a doe trying to free herself from a hangman's knot made of twine that had sprung up after being triggered, the deer was rather young and plump, by the looks of her belly she was pregnant. Panicking large animals were always a hassle, not being able to kill it wasn't the problem for the girl, it was that she didn't have time for any big game today, it would take too much time to drag the heavy creature back to town, skin it, divide it's meat and all the like. Eryn moved toward the creature slowly, it halted it's movement at the sight of her, she treaded lightly moving around the struggling animal before drawing her knife while quietly whispering to calm the creature down as she approached the knot. Eryn had every intention of sparing as much rope as was possible, it was hard to find decently priced yet relatively good quality twine after all. The cool metal of the blade cut through the rope in three short strokes, Eryn stood, petted the deer lightly on her head and then the creatures calmly trotted away. Eryn watched it disappear into the brush with a small smile before turning back to her animals and heading back to town in order to sell what she'd collected.

    The girl was nearly back in town, the hustle and bustle of the crowd grew louder with every step she took toward it, they were probably getting all their last minute shopping and such, spending the daylight hours outside due to the fact that there had been a curfew recently. Most people hadn't even been allowed to leave town, Clarice being the exception, which is why she dropped everything and drew her weapons the moment she heard noises closer than moment coming in her direction, her arrow was notched and she was ready to let it fly. Her eyes narrowed and she watched the bushes, holding her breath until whatever was coming burst forth from the trees. It was a sprinting boy, no older than twelve in grubby peasant clothing, he narrowly embedded his forehead into her drawn arrow, she pulled the point away a moment prior so that he simply smacked face first into her and fell on his rear. This angry eyes and tear streaked cheeks looked up at her glaring, but at who she was his features softened and reflected both awe and fear, a few short moments was all it took to absorb the details. He was clutching prayer beads, meaning he was mourning a recent death, and there was a cut on his cheek, not a simple scratch, but a brand that was a day old at most, based on that alone she could tell he was the son of a criminal, in these regions they believed evil went through bloodlines, they marked the offspring of murders and thieves alike, though the details in the mark are what specified just what their parents were guilty of. His lips trembled and he gaped at her, thee two stared at one another for a few moment.

    Clarice had never been one to try and make things better with words, she knew trying to comfort him would do nothing, utterings of comfort would mean less coming from someone like her, someone that children cowered from, the Witch of the wilds that their mothers now told stories about to keep their children out of the deadly woods where true dangers prowled. He hadn't shot off running yet, so she decided she should put a fire under his behind to jump start the fleeing.
    "Get out of my way, before I hex you"
    She lied, letting the bowstring relax and bringing her now free hand forward and moving her fingers in a rather stupid manner. She was almost certain it wouldn't work, however the child's eyes grew round and his pupils narrow, much to her surprise it did the trick and the boy went running back from whence he came yelling something about 'The Witch is after me! Help!'
    She couldn't help but smirk, shake her head and then lean down to pick up her rope and shoulder her string of rabbit and squirrel corpses, perhaps rumors weren't such a nuisance after all, this one seemed to be rather useful. She walked in through the open gates, her eyes gleaming with mild amusement, eyes glanced in her direction and people moved out of her way. They were used to it by now, this last week was the longest she'd spent anywhere near town and it was becoming almost redundant to return after a few hours of hunting. Rather than spending her time in her home she'd been staying in an inn out of the convenience of those who may need to contact her, she hadn't wanted to give anyone an excuse to enter her woods or hunt for her home.

    Sleeping on a mattress was supposed to be comfortable, but Eryn found it to be too soft, the city at night was too loud and the hundreds of souls that surrounded her made her feel trapped, in order to keep from suffocating in the middle of the street she'd been hunting every day and selling what she'd caught, the girl now had enough money that she wouldn't have to catch game for a good few months. It was almost over, and then she could go back to her life in the woods, things could go back to normal and she wouldn't owe that Guard Captain anything, she could taste the freedom. This was one of the last shackles that bound her to her old life... Her head was in the clouds, until a familiar voice broke her thoughts, and another old shackle reminded her of it's presence.
    "Clarice! Clary!"
    Her eyes narrowed and she sighed in annoyance before glancing over at the dame and walking over to the woman who waved enthusiastically from the door of her bar.
    "I knew I would regret telling you my name. It's Eryn.." She said with a frown as she recalled being drunk with the woman, spewing all kinds of useless information and memories, her name had been one such subject
    "Please remember that Adeline"
    The tavern woman continued to smile even with Eryns serious expression, she was the Huntress' senior by at least five years but the younger girl was far more stoic and stern looking in comparison at all times. The lady before her was one she knew well, and her accepting and friendly nature is one of the only reasons that she got along with Eryn at all, Adeline was one of the few friends Eryn had in Town, or anywhere for that fact.

    She'd been a local healer, a girl who had studied medical magic and treated the local townsfolk until she had one of her men die on her, her own husband, after that she'd refused to treat anyone, that is, until Eryn came limping and bloody to town after an animal attack, she'd had no money to pay for a doctor, everyone had turned her away and then Adel look pity on her and saved her life.
    "Very well Eryn" She said with an emphasis to try to please her "I'm terribly sorry. Please sit, can I get you something to drink?"
    She shook her head
    "Actually, I need to avoid alcohol, it has a bad tendency of effecting my shot... what you can do" She said as she lifted the pile of animals up for her to see "...Is take some of these off my hands. I'll even give you a discount"
    The lady grinned and shook her head in pleasant disbelief "Always on the job are we? Alright fine, I'll take the lot, in exchange you have to go have some fun somewhere, do something
    interesting and pull that stick out of your--"

    "I get it" She interjected just before sighing "Fine, fine. I'll try to have some fun"
    Adel seemed satisfied and Eryn pursed her lips, it was only after the transaction was complete and her coin purse was sealed that she waved goodbye and rushed away before the girl could realize she hadn't gotten just what she'd bargained for.

    Eryn definitely would have some fun, really that just meant she would spend her time at the archery range, after all, her personal definition of fun was very different when compared to the typical peasant maid. When Adel was out of sight, she was out of mind and Clarice went back to getting her affairs in order, her fun would wait until she'd gotten a few arrow heads repaired, they'd worn down after years of use and she needed them to be ready for the coming hours. As she stepped into the blacksmiths shop she regarded the forge, front desk and such with raised eyebrows, she glanced around for the smith and when she didn't see him she began looking over the work that was on display. It was mostly figurines and the like, very pretty, but useless to her, to Eryn if it was wasn't silver it wasn't in her taste of truly beautiful things, and if it wasn't sharp enough to skin a rabbit it wasn't worth it. A bit more silent browsing and she found a few of what she was looking for behind a glass surface, they were intricately decorated arrowheads, appealing to even her eyes, however it was obvious these were not solely for decoration, or so it seemed, she would have to handle them herself to see. For once it was good they weren't silver, she wouldn't want to taint a metal such as that with the blood of hollowmen, she glanced toward the door that led to the back room of the shop and decided she'd waited long enough. She moved toward the till and rang the bell that waited on the counter, she took a breath, resting her elbow on the counter and leaning her cheek on the palm of her hand.
  6. Perking up as he heard the bell, Skjalar quickly walked back into his shop, the small, ornamental dagger he'd been working on in hand as he opened the door to find an strange woman at the counter.

    "Can I help you?" he asked as he casually strolled up to her. His large frame casting an even larger shadow in tge light from the window. He took great note of the bow slung over her shoulder.

    "Looking for some arrowheads? Or maybe some bracers?" he asked her before remembering another item that she might need. "If you need a new string, go to the Eagle Eye just down the way. Can't miss it."
  7. [​IMG]

    Clarice Eryn Deveraux
    Huntress of the Wilds; Rumored Witch

    The moment the creaking knob of the door turned and the rusty hinges squealed her eyes darted toward the man who entered. He towered above her and she had to suppress a sigh, yet another moment where she regretted just how bloody tall she was, or how bloody short if we're being politically correct. Sure her stature and build helped with her speed and such, however it was hard to keep up her arrogant mentality when she was always being looked down upon in the most literal sense of the word. The man in the leather apron looked her over and she stopped her leaning and stood, straightening herself out now that the shopkeeper had arrived.
    "Can I help you?"
    He inquired as he calmly strolled forth, closing the door leading to the back room. Her lip twitched into a smile that hid a note of irritation. She refrained from a sarcastic comment involving something along the lines of
    'No, I'm just ringing this bell to pester you because I have nothing better to do with my life', simply because she wanted to stay on this giants good side. She needed those arrow heads after all. He seemed to noticed her bow and so she let the little cogs work in his mind, even going so far as to pull out the arrows that needed replacing, he didn't need it.

    The man seemed capable enough at putting two and two together.
    "Looking for some arrowheads? Or maybe some bracers? If you need a new string, go to the Eagle Eye just down the way. Can't miss it."
    She shot him a lopsided smile, he was trying to be helpful, that much was appreciated, however her bow string was perfectly fine at this point, having been replace a few days ago. Though some sought out bowstrings made of metal she wasn't one who needed such heavy reinforcements, it required a great deal of strength in using those and would probably hinder her drawing speed. Had the girl wanted to replace her bowstring she wouldn't go here to do so, it simply wasn't needed for a huntress of game and such.
    "... Uh, that's great, I think I've seen that shop around, but lets focus on the task at hand. Maybe I'll check his store out later. In truth you were right on the mark the first time, I was checking out your arrowheads over there."
    She gestured to the glass casing, glancing over slightly to emphasize the point.
    "I'd like to see a few of them, maybe test a couple. Do you mind?"
    The girl asked as she took a step backwards toward the case, pausing to wait for him to come around, she twirled the arrows between her fingers, fiddling simply for lack of better things to do as she waited for him to come round the counter and help her out.
    #7 Namora, Feb 25, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  8. Orin looked up when the proclaimed Captain-Commander finally decided to show up. 'Well... it appears as though she chose to take her sweet time.' He thought. He looked out of the window at the pouring rain as he listened to the proclaimed battle tactics. He sighed and stood as he heard the others finish each of their proclamations about what they should be doing.

    "Such battle tactics are of such pertinence to a mundane conflict, not as such a battle as such that forebodes to us on the early morrow." He began, walking over to the desk with the rest of them. "We must be thinking of such logistics of the particular tactics that are to be wielded by combatants of such caliber as themselves." He really doubted that the people were understanding him, but he continued anyway.

    "Such rogue combatants such as themselves, whose primary skills and abilities are formed and practiced around such powers as defilement, are more likely to use such skills than to charge with an onslaught of the physical form. I'm sure that such abilities would flourish in areas such as this. Primary farmers whom rely on crops and nature. Enemies such as our own are to defile such agriculture as 'tis this civilization's primary income of survival. Such powers as to defile such primary life source would be as ways to end such conflict without nary a direct confrontation themselves." He explained.

    "If such tactics as your own are up against such tactics as our enemies;, we are to quickly lose a battle with no direct confrontation. We are to gather a quick harvest and attain as much fresh sustenance, meaning the edible and drinkable kind, as hurriedly possible as we set up fortifications." He said.

    "I just make suggestions as to how to combat such a force as our enemies. Either to make hast with charge, or to wait for thine enemy to strike is your decision alone to make." He said as he moved back to the box he was sitting on, reverting back into his silence.
  9. Wallace understood his copious vocabulary quite well, being of noble blood and receiving a proper education of this time. He was insulted by this mage fellow who waltzed in, using big words as if trying to one-up him and everyone around him trying to make him look better, when in his mind he was gaudy, cheap and ignorant, trying to rise higher than noble blood that was very well boiling in him.
    A man must do what he must, before doing what he wills.
    He looked up at the interjecting mage.
    "You dare insult my tactical prowess?"

    There was venom in his last words, that made the air bitter around them. He paused for a moment only to let that set in

    "We will crush this enemy underfoot, whether your excessive vocabulary thinks so or not, nor do I think wasting our resources to pick daisies will benefit us in the coming battle, I insist on having the ramparts fortified, I see no reason to go against it."

    A man must do what he must, before doing what he wills.

    He was now pacing the room at this point.

    "As for these supposed rogues you seem to have conjured out of air, I believe Captain Aenurin enunciated that there were local knights in the fray. We will be using those as the expected ambush to clash against the heading bulk."

    Come to think of it, he never said what these proposed mercenary guilds were made up of. He turned back to Aenurin

    "What were the mercenary guilds composed of, Captain?"
    #9 Tanstin, Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  10. Skjalar quickly made his way over. "Might I suggest the black iron heads? A little pricey, but they hold their point very well." He gestired to a case filled with regular arrows. "Or perhaps the screwheads? They pierce armor and bone quite well." He didn't bother mentioning how he knew that last part. He didn't like to remember it. "And I do take trades. Give me the old, dull heads and I'll cut the price by 75%."
  11. "Calm yourself Lieutenant." ordered Gismere coldly. She didn't care who wallace was related to, she wasn't going to have some wet behind the ears noble who'd never led more than a squadron on training missions forget who was in charge of this campaign, even with his uncle standing right next to him.

    "Ser Sylvari is correct. The scouting reports have shown us that the enemy's advancement has been quick and uninterrupted. Even passing through the silver road, siege weapons would have delayed their march by at least three weeks, the probability of our forces encountering any opposition in the form of artillery is negligible. You also forget that our enemy is Xine. The southern cowards have relied on the Requas river to protect them for hundreds of years because they do not know how to wage war as generals, only as rogues and bandits who must rely on slips of poison and dagger, hence the very nature of this attack. More than like, their forces are now busy occupying and fortifying the southern province's settlements. The plague is a declaration of war, but not meant to win the war for them, only buy them enough time to get a foothold in our territories. We must forgo classic tactics and fight them with the mentality of a mage. Surely one as astute as yourself ought to know this fact, or did you believe we had brought along a squad of mages from Codai so they could simply create celebratory fireworks upon our victory?"

    She noticed a slight narrowing of Ison's eyes, that last remark of hers was going to earn her yet more of his Ire, but she did not pay any mind o it. She knew that he knew she was right, elswise he would have interjected already. Taking his cold silence as token to continue, she continued her speech after only the slightest of pauses.

    "As for your inquiry on the local mercenaries, they largely are little more than brigands and brutes who've pieced together that working for the crown is oft more profitable than working against it. Unlike the sellswords employed by the 'merchant's guild in Codai, these men are of no great specialty and serve little more than as extra infantry units. "they will be deployed much in the same fashion as the volunteer militiamen we have collected from Namban's own populace. The few who showed skill with the bow and arrow were individually brought out of the infantry units and placed amongst the archery squadrons that will be lining the town walls. However.."

    she now turned her attention to the guard captain sitting at his desk. "My lieutenant Ser Daegran had one good point to offer. Our scouting reports focused only on the enemy's movements, none of our men have gotten close enough to make an accurate estimation of the enemy's forces. As such there is an element of uncertainty at play that cannot be ignored. Should they perchance have an unknown blade hidden in the folds of their sleeves, it would be wise to plan in accordance to this in advance. I will request that at least half of the men you've stationed to protect the undercity be moved forward so as to intercept any who may slip by the southern gate during the battle. One must never be too careful when facing magicians, concentrating all of our defenses in a few strongly secured locations could be our undoing should they resort to unexpected magical assaults. Though, of course, I've no fear that Ser Silvary and the other mages of the guild will provide ample magical protectio," she said, looking at Orin from under the auburn bangs hanging over her left eye, and giving a small and polite smile with her last sentence to ensure he did not feel any unintended offence, "This is simply for precaution's sake."

    She then turned to face the young mage more properly, maintaining the same sense of professionalism and respect despite the disparity in their ages. "This brings me to another matter however. The logistics we've run ensure that as far as armament, equipment and personnel we are all properly prepared to face the enemy tomorrow, but we are still waiting on the Mage unit's report concerning the enemy forces. If such a concentration of necromantic power is really at our doorstep, trained mages should be capable of detecting such a thing by this point, is that not correct? The lack of information provided to us so far, however, has left some of our less erudite soldiers feeling anxious. If there is anything to be reported from your unit about the magic the enemy may be using, even were it only a premonition, I am sure it would go to great lengths to appease their worries."

    Gismere never pretended to understand the workings of magic. She knew it was purportedly a science first and foremost, but without study behind the mechanics of this science, she was forced to admit that her instincts still made her look to it as some form of mysticism and devilry. However, she had often worked alongside Mages in her military career. Never so many as this of course, but regardless she had learned to respect and value their craft despite not understanding it. The fact that so far they had remained mostly silent on the situation unless asked bothered her. Mages were generally only silent when they were bored or when they had to think on a problem that they could not figure out through their own means. And if it was the later in this case, that could very well spell disaster for the coming battle. She only hoped that if it was the later in this case, Orin would have the respect to inform her of this now before it was too late.
  12. Orin sighed as he listened to Wallace's retort to his commentary. He was about to speak when Grismere spoke up, so he let her finish her speech until he stood and decided to speak again. "I would answer your previous statement, Lady Grismere, but I feel as though 'twould be incredibly rude of me to forgo Sir Deagran's previous statements. It seems as though my commentary has come misconstrued by Sir Deagran." He said to Grismere with a polite mini-bow, a common sign of respect among the mages.

    He turned back to Wallace before he spoke again, sighing softly and quietly to himself that he was being forced to explain the meaning of his words. "I truly meant no offense in pertinence to your 'tactical prowess,' as you say. I merely retorted with knowledge of magical enemy battle. Not once did I insult you with the use of my 'excessive vocabulary.' Students who study the magical arts are commonly found to speak as I." He said. He was quite irritated that he was being forced to explain this, but he didn't let it show. "Also, the term 'rogue,' in this sense, is synonymous with 'villain.'" He said. "So sorry for the misconception." He said, hiding his sarcasm as much as possible.

    He then turned to Grismere before he spoke again, this time with a more respectful tone. "Now, Lady Grismere, back to your previous commentary. Indeed, we mages have detected such defiling magics from our enemies, and we have taken the proper countermeasures to ensure that we keep the agriculture here as proficient as possible. However, our magic can only go so far, as I'm sure you are well aware of. Amidst the heat of confrontation as the kind that shall appear on the morrow, our magical capabilities are certain to be reduced if we are to keep up the wards and fight at the same time. Having some of the less experienced mages keeping up the wards whilst the others fight would be of not a sliver of use. You know, as well as I, that every functional mage is needed." He explained. "For, this exact reason is as to why I suggested an early harvest, i.e. now." He said.

    "Now, as to pertaining to the ideas of magic we have or haven't conceived. We have ascertained information regarding some of the Necromancer's magical capabilities. They are, indeed, very capable of absorbing the life force of objects in their direct vicinity. Although, these such abilities are all that we Magi have ascertained, we shan't rule out the possibilities of the practitioners of their magic to also have Basic Magic capabilities. Even so, the thought of Pure Magic coming from foul maraurders such as themselves is as well a vile, yet plausible, possibility." He said.
    #12 Freedom, Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2014
  13. [​IMG]

    Clarice Eryn Deveraux
    Huntress of the Wilds; Rumored Witch

    He rushed over to help the customer and she met him beside the case of many arrows, being this close just made her focus on how tall he was. It irritated her, she felt like a dwarf beside him but did her best to ignore it.
    "Might I suggest the black iron heads? A little pricey, but they hold their point very well."
    He directed her attention to a case filled with regular arrows. That would be playing it safe she supposed, she did want something tht wouldn't require replacement sooner than was necessary. She looked them over with a neutral expression, not one of distaste or approval. He suggested something else, perhaps gunning for a better reaction or simply because he wanted to show off his wares and give her the most choice
    "Or perhaps the screwheads? They pierce armor and bone quite well."
    She blinked once and shot him a look of mild confusion. Normally she wouldn't pay any heed to his knowledge on his products and their abilities, however the final statement was enough to make even her raise an eye brow and glance over at him in mild curiosity. She refrained from asking, keeping her mouth closed, she wasn't one to pry and inquire on the life stories of others, just as she would prefer others not put their nose where it doesn't belong in regards to her past. Everyone had something to hide, that was one of the only truths of the world that she had ever stumbled across, for one noble man out there, she was that something. Eryn forced herself to focus at the subject at hand, she looked at the giant of a man, to her seemed very eager to please overall but she wasn't convinced yet.

    "And I do take trades. Give me the old, dull heads and I'll cut the price by 75%."
    Finally he had her attention, Eryn was, and had always been rather frugal, even with her full wallet. She gave him a nod and continued to look, eyeing the various types. She stopped in front of a case that displayed every sort of arrow head he had in stock, most were solely for decoration, sold to silly nobles who valued looks over their abilities as a weapon, or perhaps to amateur hunters who hadn't the slightest clue at what they were doing. The tips would not be aerodynamic enough to actually prove lethal unless perhaps drawn back by a demigod of some sort, however they were of unparalleled detail, and beautiful in that sense. There seemed to be five, including the two recommended to her by the shopkeeper, that seemed worthy to bother with. Her gloved hand brushed across the glass surface before her hazel eyes shot up toward the man himself.
    "If you would please open the case and give me a target, preferably one low enough at which the arrow can be fetched, I would be most grateful"
    She said in the most polite manner she could muster as she drew her bow, though for her things like manners had never been second nature. She looked at him expectantly for a moment, as if waiting for him to say in an outraged tone that he'd never agreed to such a thing, it was a sort of test, she wanted to see just how confident he was in the durability of his pieces and seeing as he hadn't opposed the testing when she'd suggested it earlier she assumed he hadn't a problem with it. She took off her quiver and leaned it against a table.
  14. During the squabbling between the military forces that had stationed themselves in his office, rather than the battlefield, Rhisiart withdrew into himself. He didn't participate in such arguments - his time in various noble courts had taught him that the best way to keep your skin and your lands in tact was to simply shy away from conflict and present a neutral face to the rest of the world. His stoicism was easy to feign, this time. Rhisiart's mind kept drifting, drifting towards the memory of Griffith's face, the way that the man touched his shoulders with his palm - never his fingertips - as if there was some trace that he would leave behind if he was to touch him with his ring and index fingers. The memory of his morning - with Griffith's long hair hanging in tousled curtains around his cheekbones, huge eyes staring at him with revulsion, instead of love. "I wish I didn't love you;" he had said, and the meaning of those words was difficult to ascertain. Rhisiart found himself suspecting that Griffith did love him, but that love was merely the fumes from a fire that had been long extinguished - a fire that both of them had been willing to kill for, in order to protect. The Guard Captain's hands subtly tensed in his lap, and the soft crinkle of fabric was mercifully drowned out by the arguing between the Captain-Commander's men. Rhisiart willed himself to emerge from himself, to drag himself out from memories and watch them play their game of "I know best".

    They had famous fathers, he suspected, just like he did. Perhaps they had been beaten for sneaking lemon-cakes from the kitchen, perhaps their fathers had wept for long-lost mother's in the knight and then had red-rimmed eyes the next morning. The portrait of his father glowered behind him, with the heavy brow and the dark eyes that peered out from beneath furrows like creatures in the night. Rhisiart could feel its presence behind him, the menace that emanated from the oil on canvas artistic vision. It was a very life-like painting. The artist had perfectly rendered the way his knuckles stood out against his hands, the way that his posture was always stiff and straight backed. His father had posed for the portrait, sometime after Rhisiart was born. He remembered what Geraint had said to him, as he was standing there and the young artist - a wispy girl with a perpetually frantic expression - "This is my legacy, Rhisiart." It was. The office of Guard Captain had been passed down from Aneurin to Aneurin and even though they were not noble, they held no real lands and no real title, his father had turned the office of the Guard Captain into something that could have, perhaps, been noble. That was the only reason that these men, with their famous fathers, were bothering to meet with him at all. Rhisiart's jaw tensed slightly. If he had been a Guard-Captain in some small town that had earned his position, whose father had been a pig farmer, the Captain-Commander would have ordered his troops to do as she liked, without consultation or request. But he was Geraint's son. And despite his father's disappointment with him, despite the nightmares - that meant something to the world. After formalities were over, in his office, the Guard Captain hung a piece of cloth over it. He couldn't stand to have his father looking over his shoulder - even if it was just a painting.

    The grim-faced Imperial Knight was questioning him - demanding to know what sort of mercenaries he had hired. Rhisiart opened his mouth to answer, but his Captain-Commander chided him before Rhisiart could say anything. And that suited Rhisiart just fine. It was maybe for the best that he spoke as little as possible, leaving the fate of his city, the city he had been born in, in the hands of the more experienced and more capable Imperial-forces. The God Emperor would provide. But there was always the nagging notion, the ever-present fear - what if the Imperial forces did something wrong? They did not know the city like he did. They did not care for its people. Had this white-haired Magus ever walked down the Market street with a loaf of bread to give to the beggars in the streets? Had this rough Knight ever sat around a table with a mug of spiced mead in one hand, another on a hand of cards - playing a game with the innkeeper and his daughters? Had this Captain-Commander ever gone into the bowels of the Undercity, one hand on her sword, the other on her purse, and offer the unshaven sell-sorts a few coins for their service against a legion of the dead? No. She had not been there. They had not done it. Rhisiart had climbed down into the slums of his beautiful city, and he had dropped a few coins in the shit-smeared palms of marauders and brigands. There were a few mercenaries companies in town, and he had gone to each and every one of them - and some would fight. The others had laughed in his face - the high and mighty Guard Captain came down to stand int he shit with the rest of them, and now he was begging for their help for a measly sum, all that the coffers could spare? Some of them had left. Rhisiart could not help but think that was for the best. Even if the city fell, even if they did all die - Namban would survive in the memories of the sell-swords who had turned their back on the city, on the place that needed it the most. Perhaps their shame would blossom into penance, and they would fight again, some other day.

    The Captain-Commander was telling him to reposition his forces in the Undercity. Rhisiart was not asked - he was told. And he supposed that he had to agree - half would remain to defend those who could not defend himself, the poor and the destitute, and the other half would hopefully intercept any forces that tried to get at those same poor. Prevention was the best medicine - that was something his father had told him in their grueling hours in which Rhisiart had been subjected to every bit of tactical wisdom that his father had ever conceived. The Guard-Captain trailed a hand down his map of the city, brushing his fingers against the marker that read 'Undercity'. He nodded once, and plucked the pen from the table, drawing a small division through the Undercity, and then an arrow to signify the removal of half of the defenses there. His heart was pounding in his ears. He heard himself say,
    "I'll have one of my men issue the orders." And his words sounded distant in his head. The mage was chattering indistinctly about agriculture - about how they needed to harvest early. From that, the Guard-Captain could tell that this mage had never worked a day in the fields, or had helped the farmers carry in their bounty so that it could be tariffed and taxed. He had never bought a drink for the farmer sobbing at the bar after a freezing hail had ruined his crops, and thus, ruined him. Rhisiart's jaw tensed further, and in is head he could hear the grinding of his teeth. His hand went rigid around the pen he held, and it shook slightly in his grip, drawing a wobbly line in the margins of his map. Rhisiart coughed once, and then said softly, but distinctly; "I will not send the smallfolk outside these walls. I have taken measures for them to be safely housed within Namban - I am not sending them back out to their farms." He stared down at the map, hazel eyes looking down his long nose. He read the word 'Undercity' over and over again, choosing to focus on the sweep of the letters instead of anybody's face. "If the city was to be sieged," he murmured, "We have stockpiled some provisions - I have advised the populace to store what they have. And if the worst was to happen - the siege was prolonged..." His voice faltered further, "There are channels through the city, ways to get things in without notice."

    He never thought he'd be thankful for smugglers.
  15. Skjalar happily obliged the young woman's first request, then craned his head slightly at the mention of a target. "I hope you don't mean to test the ornate arrows," he said as he pulled his key from the lock. "I'll see what I can scrounge up." He grabbed several more keys and went out to his shed to look for some haybales, logs, and old sacks. "Might take a while. You can work off the payment while you wait if you'd like."
  16. In his mind, the small confines of the guard captain's office was a miniature battleground of wills for control. Wallace intended to win. He moved to speak to response to the two blows given by the ever-so prominent captain commander and the mage and his mock pacifism, but the guard captain moved to speak, coughing before he did so.
    "I will not send the smallfolk outside these walls. I have taken measures for them to be safely housed within Namban - I am not sending them back out to their farms." He paused before speaking again, and he cast an analytical stare.

    "If the city was to be sieged," he murmured, "We have stockpiled some provisions - I have advised the populace to store what they have. And if the worst was to happen - the siege was prolonged..." He seemed to be shrinking like a mouse, making him more inaudible than he already was.

    "There are channels through the city, ways to get things in without notice."

    Wallace raised an eyebrow at this newfound information

    "Well, well, well...this is certainly a bracing idea you have graced us with, now all that is left is to interpret it and use it to our benefit. But then again, what will we be using it for? Picking chaff out of wheat while a battle rages?"

    He decided to sit down at a nearby chair, making himself comfortable.

    "The battle will be swift, supposing that we propose an exemplary plan with our resources without any severe hindrances."

    He never shot any glances, or made any gestures, but it was all too clear his ire was directed towards Orin and Gismere.
    "I still stand by the fact that we direct all non-military volunteers towards fortifying the walls, it is likely that we will encounter ranged opposition, and I'd like our crossbowmen to be secured, for they are the only ones to counter necromantic forces at a safe distance. And as for the lack of any siege weaponry, I find it doubtful that they will commence an attack on the city until it arrives, I am positive something big is coming, and I hope the necessary positioning and preparations are made to accommodate that at the very least. And should the battle BE prolonged, the commoners will simply have to ration what they have, or starve. Perhaps if the enemy does remain on standby we can take the initiative and crush their forces before any arrives, but I prefer to send more scouts to ascertain any premonition of it."
    #16 Tanstin, Feb 27, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  17. Orin just shrugged nonchalantly. "As I have already said: The decision is thine own to make, not mine. 'Twas merely a minor suggestion from one not knowledgeable in your previous strategies. This statement may offend most, if not all, of you, but it honestly matters not to me wheter the other civillians starve or not. Granted, I'd rathter this coming confrontation go off without a hitch and be a short victory for our allied forces, but if susch a battle were to last longer than what the previous provisions have been stockpiled for in advance, matter little to me if the citizens of this village survived. Think me heartless and cold-hearted, but know that I'm not the only one who thinks as though I." He said.

    "Now, as pertaining to such information about the caverns that none of us have any prirknowlege of, besides you, sir. Has the possibility of our enemy having scouts that have ascertainted the exits of the caverns and have a minute number of Necromancers awaiting their eit as to kill and add them to their Hollow army?" He asked. "Also, the thought of said Necromancers sending in new Hollows and some more through the caverns and strike while we are focused on the main horde should be thought through."

    He cleared his throat as he readjusted his position on the boxes. "Think these thoughts as mindless banter of a Magus, or as serious propositions. The choice is yours." He said with a simple shrug.
  18. [​IMG]

    Clarice Eryn Deveraux

    Huntress of the Wilds; Rumored Witch

    "I hope you don't mean to test the ornate arrows,"
    He said as he pulled his key from the lock. She didn't bother glancing in his direction to shoot him a look
    "Of course not. That would get both of us no where. I'm no idiot."
    She murmured with a mild edge of disapproval to her voice. Test the ornate arrows, as if she would waste energy on something meant only to appeal to the eyes. She didn't bother to dart her eyes over to look at him as she reached into the now open and simply picked up the arrows that had caught her eye, before closing the glass and putting four of the five on the surface to be picked up in a few mere moments. She went about inspecting the point, putting the tip to her figure and it almost immediately drew blood. She blinked once and grinned to herself, Perfect. At her request he spoke and her hazel eyes darted away from the arrow heads and over to him
    "I'll see what I can scrounge up." He grabbed a ring of key "Might take a while. You can work off the payment while you wait if you'd like."

    "Uh........." She hesitated as she watched him walk away "That's not exactly...."
    She sighed and shook her head, he could do whatever he would like, she would be done here in a few moments and then she would follow him to the back and complete her purchase. She glanced around the room for a target that wouldn't either show evidence of damage, or wouldn't be too costly to repair, her eyes fell upon a makeshift mannequin that ported forged armor. She approached the hay stuffed, man-sized doll and stuck her finger in the head of the suit, after going about an inch of so deep in straw and cloth her nails touched wood. She would aim for the already damaged and open part of the dummy, it was an easy shot that wouldn't cost her even a bronze piece so long as he wasn't overly frugal or attached to it. She glanced at the door that he'd used and then took up her bow. She picked up the first arrow and notched it, after a split second of steadying her arm she let it fly, the point embedded itself into the wooden doll and she picked up a second arrow, only to aim at other chinks in the armor around the armpits and such.
  19. Gismere listened calmly to what each had to say and gave a heavy sigh internally. She had more or less expected this kind of attitude from Wallace, but had expected more from the magus. He was doing a piss poor job at sounding humble and hiding his displeasure. His courtesies came off as backhanded to say the least and she was beginning to wonder if leaving Wallace on the walls tomorrow, where he would be in such close proximity to the mage unit in the towers, was truly such a wise idea. Well, too late to change the battle plan now anyways, she would only have to hope the men and their egos would play nice for as long as she needed them to. Once the battle was over, they could have all the shaft measuring contests they wanted. For now she would just try to nip their mutual hard headedness in the bud. If they could not respect each others voices, then they would have to respect hers.

    "You've no need to worry about provisions Ser Sylvary," she began, addressing the magus calmly, "this town was built with one purpose in mind above all others, to bar any invasion from the south, this is why it is built so close to the mouth of the silver road. If the enemy were to attempt to besiege us, they would be playing right into Namban's strengths. As our respected guard captain has said, the waterways beneath the town were expressedly made in order to serve as secretive emergency supply or escape routes should the town come under siege, and most of those routes lead northwards. It is a feature shard by many of Atlusia's greater cities and fortress towns. Even your own home of Codai has a similar sewage system if you would believe it. As for the possibility of enemy ambush parties having cut off the exits to these tunnels, it is essentially a non issue. This isn't that the possibility isn't there, slim as it may be, but if this is the case then it would mean the enemy has somehow slipped past our vigilance and has made its way northward, and now possesses a direct route past the town's defenses and into Namban. If such were somehow the case, then the battle would already be lost regardless of any preparation we may make, thus it is best to trust that these secretive passages have not been discovered by the enemy and that our supply routes are as secure as evidence shows them to be."

    She then turned to Walter to address his concerns. "As for the issue of fortifying the ramparts, it's as I've told Ser Sylvary, Namban is first and foremost a fortress town. It was constructed with withstanding seiges in mind, the town's natural defenses should be plenty to cover our archers and crossbowmen as long as they do not needlessly hold out their heads and make easy targets of themselves when not firing. I will trust that the even the volunteers will not be so obtuse after the training they have received from our elite imperial rangers. Besides, i believe it was our esteemed Ser General who himsef said it would be a 'needless waste of time and resources to inconvenience the common folk by having them relocate for such an assured victory' no? If that s the case, there should be no more need to inconvenience the people by spending the time and resources to erect a few more flimsy wooden barriers so as to make the archers feel safer behind their high walls. Wouldn't you agree General Daegran."

    She remained perfectly courteous and polite as she turned Ison's own words against his nephew, which only served to accentuate the cold hatred he held for the woman behind his serpentine smile. The malicious gleam in his eyes was only matched by the shine of the evening sun reflecting off his hairless scalp. Still, Ison had not earned his position by reacting to every pot shot taken to him or his family. He was here as observer firts and foremost, and was duty-bound to deliver the most appropriate counsel to the blasted woman. With a small chuckle, he nodded and turned to his nephew.

    "Your Commander speaks the truth young Wallace. I am unaware as to what manner of battles you may have witnessed on your years of travel, bu you overestimate the Xinean dogs and their craft. The coming battle will likely be settled within a day, two at very most. If it were to drag on any longer, it would be only be a testament to our lack of leadership capabilities, nothing more."

    In a sense, Ison was likely the general who most respected Gismere, if only as an adversary to be brought down and crushed. The others of the court saw her only as a weak and deluded woman relying on her father's prestigious name. He, however, saw how dangerous the young trollop had grown to be. In a perfect world the esteemed general Giser Daemorund would have sired a strong, healthy son, one who would have grown to embody the same drive, skill, and ambition currently possessed by Gismere, and Ison would have been one of his strongest supporters. However, Ison's old friend had instead foolishly chosen a wife who could do nothing but bear him a single daughter before passing away, and then had even more foolishly filled that daughter's head with wild fantasied of inheriting his name and title to continue on his legacy where he had no son to do so for him. Ison remembered arguing many times with his old friend over the manner in which he was raising his daughter, and sadly was never capable of deterring him from his folly before Giser was taken by illness one sorrowful winter. For better or for worse, The Daemorund name had been proven across many generations to carry with it an unbreakable will. But that will would be broken yet. Where he had failed to persuade his friend, he would make sure to crush that friend's daughter and remind her a woman's true place in the world. It was for her benefit in the end. Regardless of her skill and determination, a woman simply lacked the mettle to truly succeed as a general. They were far too compassionate creatures, incapable of making the hard decisions. It would be better for Gismere to have her delusions snuffed out quickly, she was still of age to bear child and so there was still time for her to find herself a husband if she quickly gave up on the preposterous notion of becoming a king's general. Dislike her as he might, Ison believed he at least owed her father enough to steer her on the proper path after he had put an end to her insolence. With any luck she may even chose one of his own sons as a husband, and the Daemorund name's glory could be preserved within the Daegran line for generations to come.

    Ah, but the old man's thoughts were running away from him again, all things would come in due time. For now, all that was important was to get through this one battle. The scheming and plotting could be saved for later.

    For Gismere, the quiet satisfaction that she had made Ison agree with her on a point contested by his esteemed nephew was enough for her, and she did not linger on the small victory and instead turned her attention to the guard captain. "Ser Aenurin, I stand by what i have said concerning the low possibility of an attack from the subterranean passageways. However, it is no great secret that it has been many a year since Imperial foot has been set within those tunnels, and after generations of neglect, it's entirely possible that disrepair may have altered the already labyrinth like structures. Should we come to need usage of these passageways, unlikely as it may be, it would be best that we not be led astray by outdated and possibly incorrect maps of the tunnels. As such, I will request that you procure yourself an updated map from the only ones who are still intimately familiar with the tunnels, the Merchant's Guild. I realize this will not be an easy request, thieves and scoundrels are never eager to divulge the secrets to their smuggling tricks, but I give you full permission to use whatever means necessary to retrieve this information, be it by imperial seal or imperial steel. I will personally handle any ramifications brought on by the officials of the guild. Once you've acquired a map from their guild house, send a few quick footed men in the tunnels to ascertain its authenticity. This will serve a double purpose of alleviating whatever fears Ser Sylvary may have about a possible ambush coming from the tunnels. Now, are there any further questions or comments?"
  20. Pausing when he heard the distinct thunk of a projectile hitting wood, the young smithy turned to his outer window to see his current matron testing her arrows on an old mannequin. One had to admit she was a good shot, but he was somewhat worried that, in a possible error of judgement, she may grab one of his armor-piercing heads and hit the finely-crafted platemail hanging on the wooden figure.

    "Heyheyhey!" he called to her through the glass. "Let me get the merchandise off of there first!"

    He reentered the shop and calmly waited for her to give some indication of having heard him before removing the metal plates from their places and putting them over by a few silver ingots, out of harm's way, and leaving a rather badly damaged set in their place before signaling her to continue.
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