The Chronicles of Elym

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  1. Introduction
    Peace was a beautiful thing, extending its arms and accepting any that would simply embrace it. Peace was simple, it needed no armies to fight in its name, no politicians to speak for it. Peace would have been easy, had it not been for greed.

    The darkness known by this name that lived within all sentient beings drove them to conflict. Even when needs were met, greed was never happy. It demanded more and turned every individual away from the arms of peace. The true face of greed was always ugly. Always it caused us to be repulsed by it and ourselves. Greed was clever however, it masked itself with pretty things; gold, land, title, honor. Only when it was too late to turn back did greed reveal its true self. Its fickle and repulsive features that caused even the mightiest of souls to tremble in fear. Fear of their very selves.

    It was greed that sowed the seeds, but it was fear that broke peace. Fear was instinct, it was raw, primal, and entirely unstoppable. Fear forced his hand, quickened his step, and broke his judgement. It forced him into a corner and gave him two options, both with the same outcome. He saw no other course of action, for fear hid all from him. Fear made him cower before his own actions. Fear made him freeze, and fear made him act.

    The reality of his actions hit him only after the fear had passed. When the instinct left him, when he was allowed to think, there was only one recourse. Suicide. Only death awaited him at the end of every corner. Only death would give him release from his bounds. Only death would offer him peace.

    With his death it was triggered. The curse within him swelled and expanded, no longer contained within the prison of his body. The darkness was impenetrable and lightning fast. They ran, they had too, but none were fast enough. It caught them. It consumed them. It consumed everything. The more it consumed, the more it expanded. The street was devoured, then the block, then the city, and then; the heart of the nation.

    The darkness found it ironic that the mortals had dubbed it 'The Spark'. A name like that hinted to life, to a new beginning. Nothing came after the darkness. It was void, it consumed, and nothing would stop it. This world would be like all the others, soon, nothing would be left...
    Chapter One: The Spark

    A lone falcon swooped throughout the sky lazily. Through its eyes the stage was set. Scouting parties peered out towards the horizon. Each side knew of the death that awaited them just steps beyond their vision. The mighty Emerald river stood between the forces. Its waters soon to be painted crimson. The great width of this river would fool a simple traveler, but natives to the land new all too well. This point along its path was shallow. It held a mighty ford wide enough to allow an army to pass.

    The falcon watched the rippling waters for prey, at the edge of its vision it saw the mighty forests and the human scouts that dotted its edge. The water was silent, this point in the river offered little food, the creature moved on. It dashed above the mighty planes at the edge of Or'La'Desh, passing hastily over top of the massive Orc force that tirelessly marched towards its enemy.

    Many other races dotted the ranks of each side, the wishes of many had been bet on this battle. It was the proving ground for the ideals of both sides. It mattered not who would claim victory, great change would follow this battle.

    And when the dust settled, a kingdom would fall...
    Two weeks had pasted since the recall order. The numbers of the regiment had dropped from over two thousand to just over six hundred. Most of the advising officers had left. It was maddening. Without support from a web of medium to high ranking officers, the unit was falling apart. The mountain of paperwork that was once divvied up among a conglomerate of officials was now put upon a few heads. Last minute promotions were made, the balance of power had been broken. This was not leadership. This was not what she had wanted.

    The Lieutenant's last adviser had just walked out. An explosion of emotions due to the mounting pressure had placed the final straw upon his back. Solace was now wandering the camp, staring idly at the countryside that sat beyond the clanging of metal and the shouts of wartime preparation.

    Her scouts had estimated two days. The Orcs were marching and they had been forced to take the defensive. It was a drastic turning of the tables. The impossibility of it all was finally hitting her. The unit was falling apart, three quarters of it had left to the homeland, the heart of which had been consumed by some unknown force. The details were hastily relaid and all too inaccurate. Some unknown disaster? The Spark? Darkness that could not be lit? It was madness. Of course she had refused to leave, the mission was here, not at the capitol. The capitol was never in danger.

    Such inhibitions were foolish anyways. Solace had already been marked a traitor. The General of the Kitsune standing army had sentenced her to death, either on the field or upon return. Anger seethed through the very being of the Kitsune Lieutenant. That woman would learn the meaning of fear the next time they met. No one embarrassed Shogun Solace of the Mihlan clan and walked away unscathed, not even the Ebon Fang.

    Her pride alone would not allow her to lose to the Orcs. Victory would be hers, and when the battle was done, so would revenge.

    The Lieutenant had convinced herself. She would overcome any challenge her unit faced. This was a battle she could not lose.

    Solace turned on her heel and marched back to her tent. She had work to do.​
    #1 Ner0, Jun 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
  2. Bane grew restless. The plains awaited him, and beyond that, the promise of Death. The forests hid their enemies. However, like a Bear that climbs a tree to escape the Bull that awaited him, the Bear finds himself lacking any promise of escape. Clutching to life like a parasite, Bane knew that their demise was only delayed by the mighty waters that separated the two forces. He bore no special allegiances or ties with the Orc hordes however. Gromak had allowed himself to grow soft and suckle the teat of Peace for far too long. His pride had weakened him far more than age, and Bane was disgusted that his hardened Rough Riders bore his flag.

    The only appreciation he had for him came from the fact that he always seemed to supply fresh victims to fall underneath his lance. Bane closed his eyes in contemplative thought. Though it was peaceful, his blood screeched at him and tormented him through the silence. Each side seemed to be holding it's breath, and all it would take is one push to set off possibly the bloodiest conflict of their time. His own numbers had suffered due to the idleness that was so uncharacteristic of the Rough Riders. Two of his own men had took their life, and another six were killed in a skirmish over lunch.

    Idiots. Every one of them.

    Bane was certainly mad, but he wasn't stupid. His men now numbered between between twenty and thirty able horsemen, though his ground forces numbered between 60 and 80. His regiment was composed of the clinically insane, traitors to their own country, and murderers. Not everyone was qualified to ride a horse into battle. His men were currently setting up shop in a nearby shantytown that was half a day's ride from the battlefield. They hadn't lost anyone taking the town, as the peace had softened everyone. It was repulsive. The screams continued into the dead of the night when they raided. Screams and pleas for mercy were like a lullaby to Bane, lulling him to a restful slumber. He himself took part initially, though he had no motivation to take advantage of the women they captured. An addiction to the flesh of a woman had been the downfall of many a great warrior, and Bane wasn't going to fall yet.

    There was a certain man Bane needed to kill, and he wasn't going to stop killing until he found him. Preferably impaled on his lance.

    "Bane!" His designated lieutenant took a knee at the entrance of his tent. There were no official ranks among the Rough Riders. Spots were earned through bloodshed. "Our men ask when we ride onto the plains." Bane's lieutenant was among the sane among the group, and he had earned his spot behind bars through multiple counts of murder. Bane liked him better than his last servant. "Tell them we wait till darkness falls, then we ride around to flank the Kitsune. Those are our orders."

    "Why the Kitsune sir when the human scouts make a much more lucrative target? We could ride out and reach them in half a day, and intercept intelligence which may prove crippling in the following battle." His lieutenant used to be a military dog, and took more interest in matters of planning than Bane did. He wasn't as comfortable as Bane in taking blind orders from Gromak.

    "Who knows. Does it matter? Either way, there will be bloodshed. And bloodshed is at the heart of every Rough Rider, wouldn't you agree?"

    Bane stepped forward, and the torches seemed to cast a deathly glow upon his scars.

    "The Kitsune claim to stand above the humans. Yet they are weak. They allow their sense of honor to chain them down and keep them from reaching their full potential, much like Gromak. We shall use these chains to pull them down from their lofty heights, and the rivers shall run red with their blood. The General of the Kitsune forces expects us to meet him honorably in battle. We shall show them the folly of their ways, and then we shall give them the most Divine gift that one can give to another warrior. The gift of a slow Death. After the Fox has bled out, we shall baptize their dogs in the blood of their masters."

    "We ride at dusk, and that is final."

    As Bane foretold, the Rough Riders set out when the Sun abandoned the world on a course to the capital of the Kitsune.
    #2 Temet Nosce, Jun 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
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  3. Princess Alayna Havel
    The Emerald River

    The Serres side of the winding Emerald River was dominated by a steep embankment. It was crumbling in some places as the roots of the nearby forest broke from the stone and earth, but its height provided a defensive advantage to the human army. The scouts reported that there were five points of entry along the embankment, where it had leveled enough to create a ramp up from the ford, and Alayna thought it was unlikely that the orcs would go through any special effort to use them. Her fine armor left behind at the camp, she approached the river’s edge disguised by unadorned leather.

    Captain Namal Inthus grunted under his breath as he surveyed the terrain from several paces away. His swarthy skin marked him as the descendant of sailors along the north coast of Serres, and his waxed mustache and combed back hair were the current fashion of the region.

    Something to say, Captain?” she asked, still turned away from him.

    “Yes, Sir. This embankment will be a hassle to defend.”

    I am aware of that, Captain. Suggestions?" She heard the crunch of soil behind her as the Captain stepped back from the embankment and towards the river.

    "Contest their crossing... from both sides of the Emerald, Sir," he replied.

    "The Kitsune Cavalry? Yes. They'd be useless defending an embankment," after a moment of reflection, she nodded in agreement. "Alright, report back to Field Marshall Madaris and relay my orders. He is to order the Kitsune to find a crossing downriver; have the harpy scouts assist them and keep me updated on their progress."

    "Sir, my orders are to escort-"

    "And I've changed your orders, Captain. Dismissed." There were several moments of silence, then she heard his footsteps retreat to the embankment. Once the sound had receded out of ear shot, she sighed in relief. They will learn that I can take care of myself.

    Lieutenant Solace
    The Serres Command Tent

    A single motion parted the leather flaps. The war tent was simple and practical, influenced by both the haste with which it was constructed and the preferences of the man behind its construction. That very man sat before her. The Esteemed Marshal Castigan Madaris was keeping himself busy, organizing and responding to a number of field reports and other miscellaneous documents. Upon noticing the Lieutenant he rose and nodded politely. "Is there something I can assist you with, Lieutenant Solace?"

    "Good day, Sir." She responded, saluting and bowing to the Marshal. "I had hoped to speak with the General, but I believe you carry the authority to assist me."

    The Marshal was a little taken a back by her forwardness. "Is that so? Please, do continue."

    "With my recent dip in manpower, it seems that my commanding body is in need of a modicum of support."

    "I see, exactly what is it that you are asking for? As you know, all divisions are running tight due to the most recent order from your commanding body, sparing troops is not something I can afford to do."

    That last comment stung a little. Solace did not need this man's scorn. "My apologies for not being clearer, Sir. Allow me to clarify, I am in need of executive support in the following areas in order to prevent more desertion." In a motion the Shogun revealed a single page of parchment produced from a small satchel at her side. "This document details the type of specialists I require in my executive body. If you are able to spare the officers, I would be more than grateful, Sir." She then backed away, allowing the Field Marshal to look over the document.

    After a few minutes of contemplation, the Field Marshal took a moment to refer to a few of his own documents. "This should be fine. I will speak with the General before finalizing the transfers. You are dismissed, Lieutenant."

    Solace performed a small salute before turning her head and leaving the tent. She was offered a small moment of reprisal. A man she recognized as Captain Inthus passed her with a nod, and entered the command tent. 'Today must be one of those days then,' She thought, almost feeling an inkling of sympathy for the Field Marshal before heading back to her own mess of a command tent.
    #3 Azathoth, Jun 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
  4. Dusk had arrived. Fireflies speckled the horizon on the battlefield before them. The moon had risen once more and the night sky had revealed its full splendor for all to see. Centuries had passed, but those stars never seemed to change. Mathias reached an open hand towards the heavens, clenching that hand into a fist in a futile attempt to grasp the north star. Would the sun rise tomorrow or would it decide to betray Elym, leaving this miserable world in the dark forever? And what of 'The Spark'? News of this phenomenon had many of the soldiers rattled. Who or what could have incited such reckless and indiscriminate destruction on such a grand scale? Did the Orcs discover a powerful relic from ages past, a weapon that was left behind by the ancients? The Orcs weren't smart enough to make a weapon of such caliber, that was certain. Could it be the wrath of the gods? No. Mathias didn't believe in gods. What ever was behind 'the Spark', he knew that it must be a malevolent force that was born of this world. And anything that was born was ultimately destined for death, the stars too. It was a truth that could not be escaped, to deny it would only bring adversity.

    A maelstrom of thoughts were swirling in Mathias' restless mind as he sat in quiet with his white stallion Arion, contemplating past, present and future. As for the past, a lot had happened for him in the last five years. He went from a mere mercenary to the leader of a band of mercenaries; from the Onyx Wolf to the Iron Wolf. Why the Iron Wolf? It was simply because iron was a malleable substance that could always be forged anew so his men saw it fit to call him that. How ironical it was that Mathias' large steel shield had crushed the skulls of many a thick-headed warrior for the arrogant Kaiden once before. They had forgotten him, but Mathias had not forgotten them nor had he forgiven. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine he would serve with them after what they had done to him, yet here he was again. History had a cruel way of repeating itself. Some lessons were never learned. Never say never.

    Curse you stars.
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  5. Ultimately, Brent decided that he deserved a pat on the back for pre-emptively covering the war machines of the Iron Cities with tarps before heading out to join the orc hordes. Weather, of course, was a concern, but with their long line of supply wagons also being covered with tarps, it did a rather brilliant job of making the siege machines look like supply wagons, if he had to say so himself. The harpies had spotted their position, and probably even spotted all twenty-odd Goliaths that had joined the war effort, but, at the very least, the true power of the Iron City Mercenaries were hidden.

    Sitting on one of those disguised trebuchets, the blue-eyed general breathed in the arid wind that blew over the dusty plains, and decided that it would be awesome if it rained soon. Send all those harpies back to the base, soaked to the skin. Turn the river into a muddy deluge, uncrossable on horseback, so that he could safely shell the Kitsune camps from afar. While his catapults weren’t going to reach that far, that distance was hardly a problem for the trebuchets. There was a distinct lack of material in the plains though, and an even greater lack of cover for his ambushes. The main problem rested in the existence of the harpies and, with that, Brent ‘hmm’d even harder. His Dragonkin second-in-command could fly, but that was only in intervals of three minutes, and the arrows of the imps were woefully inadequate in taking down the airborne scouts. Naturally, his war machines WOULD be able to do such things…but that’d be like swatting down a fly with a paper bag. It’d be much too easy to dodge.

    Another groan escaped his lips and Brent laid down on his back, causing a nearby halfling to smile wirily at his leader’s troubles, and the midget, with hair dyed blue, tossed a sweet-smelling flask towards the human. “Take a sniff and getcho noggin working, man,” he said, tapping on his own temple, “Gotta get up to snuff by tomorrow, yeah?”

    Brent fumbled a few times, bouncing the flask from one hand to the other until he caught it, and then twisted open the bottle to take a swig. Immediately, a bitter, soapy sensation filled his senses, causing him to grimace and spit out the deceptively aromatic drink. It took him a few more moments to realize that, for whatever reason, this stocky Halfling was carrying perfume of all things, and Brent stuck his tongue out, trying to get the terrible (and sorta interesting) taste out of his tongue.

    Meanwhile the halfing was laughing his ass off at his leader’s blunder, a few tears making it out of the corner of his eyes. “You’re supposed to smell it,” he said between breaths, “Not drink it!”

    “Shut up,” Brent grumbled, wiping his tongue off on his sleeve, “Swig and sniff sound similar, is all.”

    “Welp, at least that got your brain thinking, eh? Words gonna be sounding sweet for days, seeing how much you tried drinking!”

    “Yea…” Suddenly, the stray’s brows furrowed, as he suddenly remembered something. Clapping his hands together, he exclaimed, “Oh, right! There was that thing! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! That’s right!”


    “Right, you…Rakia, was it? Go fetch Ark for me, yeah? And when you see Lokire, cause I doubt you WOULDN’T be able to see Lokire, go tell him to get Gromak or one of his smarter orc leaders over and then come over here. Almost forgot about my plans for tonight!”

    “…can it wait till tomorrow?”



    Smiling in a self-satisfied manner as he lied his back on the tarp-covered siege weapon, the scumbag tactitian with a heart of gold watched the dull skies once more, and imagined what the most painful way to kill someone would be.
    #5 ERode, Jun 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
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  6. Lyriel and Solace
    A Collaborative post.​

    They were finally back. Returning from their scouting mission. Nearly back into safety. Orders were orders, and as much as Lyriel hated to be on the frontlines, there were things even she couldn’t change, and this was one of them. Alas, having a position in the military was a miracle in itself, and once she climbed higher, the young Fuhrer was sure to be safe in her own commanding tent. Nonetheless there was nothing to be gained of being annoyed at facts she couldn’t change. She was as alive as the 10 men, and a harpy, she took with her and they weren’t spotted. Ultimately though, she didn’t take any unnecessary risks, and while those risks could have allowed her to gain more information, she deemed the information she required sufficient enough to justify her return.

    Passing through one of the passages of the river that allowed for a relatively safe transition she was truly under her kind again. “You did well.” Turning around to her loyal soldiers she now spoke.

    “Meine Kameraden, you truly did well. I know, every single one of you thirsts to distinguish themself in battle.” Making a small pause and balling her fist in front of her chest she continued. “But never underestimate the value of information! You can kill a hundred dirty orcs, but power alone won’t allow you to survive.” Though, she wasn’t planning to hold a speech here or similar, thus saying her goodbyes with a heartwarming smile. “Nonetheless it was your power, not information, that allowed me to survive this mission, it matters not what the others may think of you! As I already know, you are the Stolz of Serres! My strongest and dearest warriors! The elite! A title you shall wear with pride. Dismissed.” With those words spoken and some cheers, even from people who didn’t belong to her, Adolf-chan was about to return to her tent.

    Alas, another soldier approached her. “Second Lieutenant Adolf!” He clearly wanted something, giving him the same smile she just used on her soldiers the Fuhrer replied. “Continue.” - “I was told to inform you on the moment of your return to immediately report to Lieutenant Volker”

    Right, her ever-so-useful Lieutenant that served as her superior. He was the perfect kind of peon that made it easier for Lyriel to follow through with her plans. “I am aware. I’ll see him once I finished my report.” Considering his, in her eyes, incapability, Lyriel rather made sure to write everything down rather than telling him. And her scout report, as small as it might be, was no exception.

    “W-Well, I know.” The soldier didn’t seem to be quite finished yet, and clearly intimidated. Lyriel gave a silent sigh, placing her hand on his shoulder and looking deep into his eyes she told him. “There is nothing to be afraid of, what else is there?” Now, he turned red.

    “W-W-Well, I know...h-he it usually g-goes, but this time, it’s apparently very important! T-To see him right now!” Gosh, were all men this weak? Regardless, what he wanted to say was probably along the lines of scrapping her routine for the sake of some other crucial information. Fine, even Dirk, Dirk being the first name of her Lieutenant, should be capable of delivering the few information she gathered without fucking up.”Understood. I’ll and see him right this instant. Dismissed.” With that, Adolf-chan changed the goal of her small walk every so slightly.

    Dirk Volker, a prime example of a Lieutenant that got his position thanks to family ties. Heck, there wasn’t even a guard in front of his tent or similar. Able to enter without any problem she saw her superior in what he was best at: lazing off. Laying on his bed Lyriel demonstratively cleared her throat.

    “Dirk.” How she called him if no one else was around. Respect, for someone like him? No. “H-Huh?” Taken by surprise, Dirk nearly rolled off to the side. Too bad he wasn’t in a deeper slumber, that would have allowed her to take a look onto the documents that he had all over the desk. Not like someone of his rank was getting any important information though. “Oh! Oh! Lyriel!”

    Yeah, him calling her Lyriel was something she wasn’t able to get out of his head. “Right, how did the scouting go?” - “Part of their force seems to be made up of, judging by their race, Iron City forces.”

    Lyriel was able to keep a pokerface, but Volker? No. And that his face didn’t seem impressed at all made her a little bit mad. Did he even realize what her words meant?! “And what else?” He asked. What else? WHAT ELSE? “Getting too close for more information would have been too dangerous, that’s all I have.” He nodded. “Alright.”

    Giving him an ice-cold stare she now spoke very serious. “Since I hadn’t the time to write a report, make sure to rely those information, in complete form, to Captain Namal!” Giving him the scary one only in the direst of situations just made showed how serious she was. “The Iron City has technology that is not to be underestimated. As much as it hurts to say that, their technology exceeds our own.” At least for now, that nation was the most advanced, but Lyriel would make sure that was to change over the next couple of years.

    Dirk on the other hand gave her a intermediated smile and put his hands up in defeat “Alright, alright, I understand. I will tell him! Promise.” Good, very good.

    Returning to her nice charm she nodded with a smile. “Good. Did you also show him my report about the suggestions regarding the river defenses?” Captain Namal Inthus was a man blind of pride, and a douche, her speaking to him directly was a thing of impossibility and all she could hope for was this incompatible man. And considering how their defenses looked right now...she could only hope Dirk was at least capable of that.

    “E-Eeehhh, I-I tried but you know how-” Useless. Useless. Useless. Useless. Did she really have to get into his commanding tent, even with force, for the sake of increasing their chance of a victory?! She sighed and shook her head.

    “Yes yes, I understand. I’ll take matters into my own hands.” Once the situation allowed for it. With that, Lyriel turned around, not waiting to be dismissed the Fuhrer was about to take her leave.

    “W-Wait! The reason I called you here.” Oh good, at least he didn’t forget THAT! Or else she would have used that as an excuse to vent a bit more. Turning around once more Lyriel waited for him to continue.

    “Urm, you see, you are promoted…” ...Promoted? Like, to a Lieutenant? Already? What? No, that was too soon. She did nothing outstanding yet...there had to be a - “BUT you were also reassigned to Solace Milhan, a Kitsune.”

    Yeah, that was the catch. Great. Now she got outsourced. To an oathbreaker nonetheless. And a Kitsune. She shook her head in determination. A quick promotion in face of yet another trial that she was sure to overcome too. And it wasn’t hard to be more competent than Dirk Volker. Even if a Kitsune.

    Though Dirk looked sad. Right, that was the last time they would see each other. Or was it? “Oh...that mean’s...well Dirk.” Getting a few steps closer to him, Lyriel gave him a warm hug. “Duty is duty. I will miss you!”

    And Dirk was clearly confused, but going after his heartbeat she knew that was the right decision, a Lieutenant was still a Lieutenant after all. “Y-Yeah, it was nice with you.” Releasing herself from him and looking rather sad she removed herself from the tent, though looking back one last time. “Even if apart, I hope I can still count on your cooperation in the future?” - “Yes!” Good, an instant answer.

    Leaving his tent for good now the Fuhrer had a big grin on her face. Dirk was now officially hers, and not Namal’s. Before reporting to Solace though, she first moved onto her own tent, and her own soldiers.

    With her most trusted soldier on her side serving as a bodyguard, Lyriel now made way towards the Kitsune encampment, even if they were allied, each seemed to have their own little place. And it was to no surprise that some of those foxy soldiers threw some looks at her.

    But none of that bothered her, finding Solace’s place was child's play also. And for once there were actually bodyguards! But for a commanding tent that was only mandatory, no?

    “I am Lieutenant Lyriel Adolf and this is Second Lieutenant Stahl Mannstein” Stahl Mannstein, one of her loyal soldiers whose skill with the waraxe was second to none. Of course, his title was just that, a title. But it was enough pretext to have him case of an emergency.

    “Lady Solace is already awaiting you.” Without much more words, the soldiers made place, though did deny entry as her bodyguard wanted to follow. “You imb-” - “Mannstein!” Second names, first names, titles, they all seemed so simple, yet were such a nice little tool. And Stahl Mannstein understood. Not questioning the Fuhrer. he took a few steps back, and waited. With that, Lyriel could finally enter the tent.

    “Lieutenant Lyriel Adolf reporting for duty!” Saluting to the Kitsune in Kitsune fashion, Lyriel couldn’t deny her curiosity about how Solace was in person.


    The rhythmic shuffle of paper on paper pulled away the rest of the world. Reports, orders, lists, it was all the same. Things were moving now, and in a good way. It was a welcome change. The Shogun found her work pace quickening as she got into a roll. A roll that was, unfortunately, prematurely interrupted by the almost deafening shouts of a visitor to her tent.

    The Shogun cursed under her breath as her newest officer entered the tent with a confident stride and the air of someone who puts themselves well above their office. "Lieutenant Lyriel Adolf reporting for duty!" The woman's presence filled the room. She would have met the Lieutenant with the same gusto had it not been for the week Solace had just been put through. "Sit down then" the Shogun commanded, gesturing towards a vacant chair to the side of the command tent. Without a word the Lieutenant took a seat. "I have been informed that you are quite the public speaker Lyriel. For this reason I will be putting you in charge of direct troop organization and morale management. I want those men and women begging to take to the field by the time the Orcs arrive at our lines. Can you handle this?"


    Oh? She was to boost the morale? Now, this would have been childs play, if not for the very reason of those people she would be speaking to would consist mostly of other Kitsune. Regardless, the Kitsune in front of her wasn't acting in accordance to her race's reputation. It was somewhat respectful, perhaps it was connected to her title as a traitor.

    Then again, if Lyriel misstepped she would sooner or later be brandmarked as a traitor too. But that mistake was not bound to happen. Taking a moment to think about this she nodded. Heck, the mere thought of speaking all high and mighty in front of those wannabe gods made her smile a bit on the outside, though that smile was nothing compared to what was inside.

    Nodding in response, she replied. "I should be capable of that." Giving it a small pause. "Though, there are some questions. Which could theoretically wait." Given how exhausted her new superior looked and how much Lyriel had to do anyways. "But who knows when those orcs may attack. Not to mention whatever the Iron City has up their sleeves." Now, she was treading in a bit more shallow waters, but Adolf-chan deemed that a risk worth taking.

    "The Iron City? What do they have to do with this" The Shogun's posture raised. She appeared intrigued.

    "Prior to this I was on a scouting mission. So it wouldn't surprise me if word isn't out yet. But judging by the races the enemy army consists of, it seems the Iron City is supporting them." She stopped for a moment, trying to read Solace's reaction to that news. She seemed greatly interested, but not worried. Something akin to a fire lit in her eyes.

    Making a mental sigh, Lyriel continued. "The Iron City has technology that exceeds the current common knowledge of humans." Another small, but important pause, to give Solace a serious stare. "AND those of the Kitsune. If-" She stopped, it looked like she wanted to say more, but remembering their difference in rank the young Fuhrer stopped just in time. Of course, for a trained speaker like Lyriel, this was hardly a mistake.

    "I am aware of my homeland's inferiority Lieutenant. Why is it, do you think, I have stayed with you humans? My people are foolish and arrogant, but that is another conversation entirely. I will assume you have already reported this directly to Madaris." The Shogun paused a moment, checking Lyriel's reaction. She seemed satisfied with Lyriel's composure. "Now, these are the files you will need in order to organize the little rally I have planned. Do not dissapoint." The Shogun then gestured to a pile of paper work on the edge of her desk. Lyriel's name had been enscribed upon it. "You are dismissed." The Shogun finished, returning to her paperwork.

    Oh? Foolish and arrogant? Speaking so freely of her own, no wonder she landed where she is now. Well, Lyriel wasn't really satisfied with the meeting. She just missed the perfect opportunity to get out one of the more important questions of the way. But it looked like she had to do some good old resonance by foot instead. Taking the paperwork and giving her that mandatory salute with the mandatory "Yes, mam!" Lyriel finally left the tent, leaving the Kitsune to her work.
  7. Mathias was up early in the morning as usual well before the rest of his men, performing a retinue of forceful physical postures in his meager tent. For someone that was a mercenary captain, he rarely took advantage of the obvious perks that came with the title. Mathias was a frugal individual. He could make do with only a good horse to ride and a good sword at his side. After finishing his warm-up, he donned his armor and weapons and set out to make his rounds. Arion, Mathias' noble stallion, was waiting patiently for him by the foot of the tent with a saddle hanging from his mouth. “In a hurry today, friend?” Mathias asked as took hold of the saddle then began to buckle it onto Arion.

    “Talking to your horse again, Mathias?” That deep, good-natured voice could belong to only one person: Gatrie, the Bulwark. Gatrie was one of the five commanding officers of the Onyx Wolves'. He was also the first to join the ranks of the Onyx Wolf Mercenaries. Mathias greeted him with a curt nod, “How are our men doing, Gatrie?”
    “They are as ready as they'll ever be. What about you, how are you doing?”
    “I have seen better days” Mathias replied, “Arion and I are going to check up on our other officers. Have our men ready to move out when I give the order.” Mathias quick-mounted Arion and took hold of the reins. They set off in a medium cantor to the center of the camp. Three of his officers were taking turns leading the morning stretches in rotating groups. There was Brom, the Woestave; Shinon, the Deadeye; and Ezra, the Blitzbolter. Though many were not fond of the morning exercise routine, they were smart enough to know it was good for them so they abided. The Onyx Wolves saluted Mathias as he rode past them and he returned the gesture. Using a non-verbal cue, he communicated his orders to the officers.

    Now it was time to contend with the harpies --figuratively and literally. They were stationed at the rear of the camp. How Mathias had acquired the help of these feathered folks was a subject that was rarely discussed. Leucosia, the Bloodraven, was the officer in charge of the Onyx Wolf's harpy skirmishers. As Mathias approached, she swiftly glided down from her perch among the trees to stand next to him and Arion. A telling look was in her eyes. “We are ready. Just give the order” said Leucosia, then she flew back to her perch with her sisters and kept her gaze trained on Mathias. If her scouts had anything of significance to report, she would have brought it to his attention or at least he hoped she would have.
    #7 Rai'Athar, Jun 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
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  8. Seraphina wasn't exactly eager to enter this war because she couldn't be sure whether the target she was searching for would be in the enemy's frontlines. Having heard of her past successful services as a mercenary in the Iron Cities, the Orc army had hired her and paid her well enough to join. That was all that mattered for her at the moment. She really just needed the money to later visit the Serres Empire and search it for two people... without starving on the way, preferably.

    ... at least that was how the half-breed would try to think for hours, but fail. The heavy knowledge that many would die soon was present in the head of every soldier. Eventhough their troops' chances on victory didn't look that dim, for a few hundred, maybe thousand or more out of everyone collected on this camp the sun would never rise again. Would she be one of them? The young woman didn't have as much to lose as most others on this field that had families at home. Her only real goal was to kill someone certain whom's face she didn't know yet. Maybe also meet her real mother for once when she was already at it, but other than that, her death wouldn't be too tragic. No one would miss her.

    The crimson-head's upper face was hidden under the shadow her hood threw over her eyes, but she could still see. Right now, she was leaning against a tree and sitting in the grass, near the biggest tent of the camp. She wasn't exactly eavesdropping, but people didn't seem to come to this tent more often than necessary, so it was calm. Calm enough to admire the clouds for another day, maybe the last one she'd ever see. She wouldn't want to waste it with anything else but admiring the beaty the world had given them to live in.

    At some point, a guy left the cave, obviously not so happy with his task. She decided to ask the Dragonkin, her half-conspecific, but that he probably didn't know, when they would be beginning.
    "Hey.. how long until I get to ram my sword into some human-"behinds"?", the girl asked, alerting him to her presence only 10 feet from the tent. One wouldn't notice her from that angle, especially not since she'd been so quiet, but now he was obviously aware.
    The young woman didn't even look at him, but kept gazing at the apparently more interesting sky.
    #8 Scelesta, Jun 19, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2015
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  9. Arkhos frowned as he surveyed the now ruined village. Brent had sent him out to scout the area and make his own judgement on the situation, alongside a few of his men as a guard. And, well, he certainly had made his judgement: whoever did this to the village was one sick puppy. The bodies of the human villagers were clearly raped, killed, and then possibly raped again. At this point, Arkhos couldn't tell which had happened first. Sighing, he rose to his feet, gesturing to his men.

    "Gods and dragons, this is a damned mess." He said, crouching down alongside what few dragonkin he had brought with him. "Anyone find a survivor?" Arkhos paused for a moment, but when no affirmative answer was given, he sighed, pinching his brow. "Right, back to camp, then. We'll probably make it back in time for lunch." He rose to his feet, turning away from the scene as his men followed him.

    As he returned to camp, Arkhos dismissed his men, making his way to the general that he had selected to replace himself as overall leader of the mercenaries. For all his speeches back in the Iron Cities, Arkhos had never intended to actually lead their campaign against the Kaidien Empire. After all, he was a warrior, not a strategist. He could lead men into the thick of battle and keep them organized during the fighting, but planning actual stratagems wasn't his forte. Fortunately, that was why Brent was here. Approaching the man sitting atop a covered siege wagon, Arkhos nodded to him.

    "Bad news. Turns out the village was wiped out to a man. Raped before they were killed too. Maybe after. Too late to tell. Sick bastards either way." Arkhos reported, genuinely offended at the violation he'd seen in the village. He was willing to kill civilians if they got in his way, yes. But to utterly slaughter them and rape them? No. Even he had standards. "Anyways, we get any marching orders yet? Can't say the men aren't eager to get out there. Think my speeches back home worked a bit too well."
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  10. A pity that the forests were on the other side of the river; some of the larger trees there might have actually served as a backrest for Lokire to lean against. While the other mercenaries busied themselves with setting up camp and dealing with supplies, he had found a nice soft spot on the plains and laid down to relax. He’d been relieved of his weapons, forced to bundle up in a massive cloak, and used as manual labour to help haul the massive siege engines Brent was so damn fond of. His great frame pressed the soil in beneath him, allowing its warmth to seep through the cloak and his skin, but before he could truly relax his ears caught a soft cough at his side. A lazy glance revealed a halfling and even sitting up let him tower over the blue-haired individual,

    “Brent said he wants you to go grab one of the orcs that can actually hold a conversation.”

    Even with the heavy cloak on, the raising of an eyebrow still caused light to glint off his metallic skin and the sign didn’t go unnoticed by the messenger. “Hey big guy, he said to go meet him afterwards too. Figure you might as well grab someone on the way.” He turned his gaze away from the halfling for a few moments before he stood up with an annoyed sigh. A slight shake of the cloak was enough to send clung on soil flying, forcing the halfling to shield his eyes.

    “Alright then,” he mumbled before waving the halfling off and beginning to make his way over to where the orcs camped. His movements were sluggish and plodding, as if Lokire was lethargic or lacked any sense of motivation. Brent had said something about trying to conceal the fact that he and his kin were actual warriors, hence the lack of carried weaponry; moving in such a manner would only help that image.

    When he did reach their encampment, it wasn’t too hard to find his way to the officers of the army. No one bothered to give him any trouble and he towered over even the largest individuals so cutting a path to the specific tent he wanted was fairly easy. Parting the tent’s flap he glanced inside for Gromak’s presence, or failing that one of the officers that actually had something in their head other than just carnage and bloodletting.
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  11. Gromak stood in his command tent leaning over a map of the area. He had padded gambeson and mail on draped over his massive form and tightened in the middle with a leather belt. From the same belt hung a sword in its sheath. With the midday sun trickling in, the tent was well illuminated. In the middle of the area was the table with the maps, and on one side was a cot and a metal cuirass and helmet hanging on a stand. The map was covered in little wooden tokens on either side of the river, both sets painted different colors. The plans for the next day had already been laid out, and his officers had left to go and spread the word, but the Sacker of Serres sat starring at the maps. Repeatedly going over the plans in his head, thinking of every possible strategy. He wanted to crush this army. Show them what could be achieved when the Tribes banded together and fought back against their arrogant oppressors. The retreat of the main Kitsune force gave him his advantage to do so. To push them back, and maybe even completely crush the enemy forces. It would be glorious.

    This is when he noticed the large mass of one of the Iron City mercenaries entered his tent. "Ah. Roless wants to see me, doesn't he? Alright then." His voice was deep like the tumbling of stones, and he spoke with great confidence and purpose in his voice. Without waiting for a reply he left the tent, making his way for Brent and his siege weapons. "So, Brent. You sent for me? By the look on your face I can tell that you are scheming about something." A slight smile met his lips. He liked this man, and his ideas and was always eager to hear about what he had been cooking up.
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  12. As Arkhos relayed his report, Brent couldn’t help but let out a long, long sigh. Of course it would be like this. Those savage criminal orc scum. You KNOW that someone was terrible when even the most bloodthirsty race when out of their way to execute them for their bloodthirstiness. He had spotted a detachment of orcs on horseback separate from the hordes a week or so back, and now, he knew why. The brunette grit his teeth, grinding it as he began to hate himself for how his plan was unfolding.

    “Arkhos,” he said, rubbing his eyes with his fists, “Get your dragonkin ready, and tell the dwarves to get started with their mathematical witchcraft. There’s still going to be an hour or so, but if things go well...I’d recommend not eating too much.”

    Soon afterwards, Lokire and Gromak arrived as well, and, upon the appearance of the General of the Orc Army, Brent hopped off the siege weapon to meet the orc as equals. Well, not really equals, seeing how the mountain of green muscle easily towered over him, but it was the thought that count. With eyes a little red and puffy, he replied, with a nod and a frown, “Indeed. Your…Rough Riders, were they? Those horse-orcs sent a gift to us. A whole village of humans, every member of the population raped and killed. Now this pisses me off a lot, and I must confess that I really want to tear jaw off and jam it up his anal cavities before taking hold of his spine from the inside and dragging it out so that he gets a tail just like the Kitsune, but…”

    The leader of the mercenaries took in a deep, deep breath, realizing that he was getting a little too emotional for all this. He closed his eyes, imagined a peaceful, breezy ride through a lush green field, before opening them again. “I feel like this,” he continued, killing his feelings, “So I’m willing to believe that the human General, the First Sword of Serres, will feel similar emotions. Doubly so because she doesn’t know that the entire population has already been massacred.”

    “You know,”
    he gesticulated, “The whole unspoken threat of ‘fight us or we’ll kill and rape more of them’. Except they’re all already dead, so it’s just a bluff, and yeah…” He trailed off momentarily, gathering his thoughts once more.

    “The best way to meet the Kitsunes,” he explained, “is to let them charge at us, because we hold the advantage of range, even if they have those bird-freaks in the air. If you send…a detachment of your orcs to bring me the corpses, I can send those corpses over…let’s say every six hundred counts, and then…we’ll see how red the eyes of our enemies shall become.”

    “Of course,”
    Brent finished, almost a little too eagerly, “If you think this is a terribly disrespectful idea, I could totally just burn the village to the ground and give those poor bystanders a proper cremation! Ah, Lokire, you might as well continue with that bumbling Goliath act and move the siege weapons to ready, yeah? That sounds like a pretty good use of your time, eh? Right? Yup.”

    Yeah, he was feeling murderous today. Murderous and unstable.
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  13. Early Morning; Late Night

    The spear made a sickly noise as it exited the chest cavity of the orc responsible for compromising Bane's plans. Divided, killed, and wounded, Bane could only see remnants of the already mediocre raiding party he had been tasked in charge of. Their foot soldiers had been completely annihilated, though surprisingly, they had not lost a single horseman. Bane had managed to keep their warhorses at bay to alleviate losses, but they were still tremendous. It was a difficult, if not impossible task, to instill order into a convict force. Give a criminal a sword, and often his gut instinct is to stab you in the back once you turn around. Still, his men rightfully feared Bane as the punishment for ineptitude consisted of a swift death. Occasionally however, there was an outlier in the group that Bane could never quite tame.

    He had suffered considerably because of his inability to command one man out of a unit of one hundred. They had moved through the night as stealthily as a tree hidden in the forest, and moved towards the Kitsune capital (not knowing it was already demolished) until one of his scouts reported that an enemy of considerable size was embanked on the nearby plateau they were about to cross. Unconcerned, Bane ordered his men to ride through their blind side and remain undetected. As soon as they reached the crest of the hill that separated Bane's forces from the other commander's, he heard the call of an unauthorized trumpet sound from his side. Like a wave crashing down on the rocks of the coast, Bane's men threw themselves against the encamped enemy, completely unaware that the man who sounded the trumpet had gone rogue.

    Thankfully, the other force was not prepared for battle and though Bane suffered heavy losses, it could still be considered a victory. Unfortunately, there was no way for Bane to capture his objective in his current state. Previously, it would be suicidal. Now it would just be laughable to attempt assaulting the capital of the Kitsune. He might as well try bringing down a mountain with a snowball. He needed an avalanche.

    After engorging himself on a grilled thigh of the renegade trumpet, Bane sat in contemplative thought. He had noticed a harpy in the air after the battle, and it was clear whatever element of surprise he previously had was gone. He could attempt to race the winged beast, but any attempt to sack the capital would be futile. Still, the more he delayed, the more impressive the security would be when he finally got there. It seemed to Bane that he had no choice. Gathering his men, Bane brought the survivors in a semicircle.

    "Men, do not lose hope! This is merely a prelude to the real battle. Do not allow this to whet your tongue, or curb your lust for blood. We shall ride to the capital as is! One half of the riders, led by Ganzo, shall storm ahead as the tip of the spear to race the foul harpies to the city. My half of the riders shall stay behind for special orders, then flank the enemy while the battle is underway. Now begone!"

    Bane's lieutenant, having survived the battle, gave Bane a queer look as he appointed Ganzo as the leader of half the forces. Ganzo was a skilled warrior, but he was pompous and he lacked the skills necessary as a leader. After half of the men were assigned, Ganzo took off into the plains, leaving Bane alone with the other half riders that survived. As soon as the Ganzo's riders were out of earshot and eyesight, Bane spoke.

    "The mission has been compromised. Ganzo and his men shall serve well as our tributes to the cause. The enemy suspects our target, and we shall confirm their suspicions through Ganzo. They do not know exactly how many men survived the battle, and they will think that the threat has been extinguished after Ganzo and his men have been sacrificed to their defenses. We cannot afford to rest easy now. We shall ride ten kilometers back East from whence we came and three kilometers North to assault the prison that lies there. We shall use the explosives we originally designated for the purpose of sacking the capital to capture the prison before they can even sound an alarm, and hole up there until we are ready to move again."

    "What shall we be doing at the prison sir?" one of the men asked, and Bane was about to answer until he saw the smirk that grew on his lieutenants face.

    "What do you think you imbecile? We're rebuilding the Rough Riders."
    #13 Temet Nosce, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
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  14. There had still some work to be done before Lyriel could do what she was supposed to do. Sending off Stahl Mannstein towards the place her group was just the first step, now, without the presence of a threatening looking bulky meathead that had sworn to protect her the little Fuhrer was actually able to talk to the Kitsune soldiers. Spending around 2 hours on gathering information before returning to her own encampment also.

    While Stahl Mannstein was now her Second Lieutenant for the sake of his skill in martial arts, she now had to appoint someone who was really capable of leading her people in her own absence. Lyriel had no intention of putting her own fellow men into this cavalry charge, instead, they would make sure to be with the main defense. One of her own was worth ten mundane soldiers in Lyriel's eyes, and she was not a dreamer. Writing a letter to one of the big shots to make her intentions about that asset and their skill clear. She ultimately decided for Wolfgang Rommel to lead the troop in her absence. His skill in tactics and blade were frightening, and she couldn't imagine anyone better than herself to lead those people. The only thing he lacked was passion, hatred towards her enemies. BUT what he had instead were eyes for Lyriel. She was aware of that, and as long as she let him struggle, as long he would be loyal without question. A hopeless romantic.

    With that also done, all left to do was a mandatory speech about her joining the Kitsune assault yadda yadda, truly just childs play. And as long as they knew she was alive and well, that was all they needed for their morale to not break. And now, finally, Lyriel made herself onto her way once again...

    The sun cast a crimson sheet upon the camp. The night approached, peeking its head over the horizon as it prepared to cover the world in darkness. The Shogun stood before her soldiers, all of them had chosen her over the Empire that had abandoned them. She had promised them freedom from the bounds of their corrupt regime that spouted hollow words that told of honor and loyalty. She knew the true face of Kaidien, they all did. Even if they weren't fully ready to admit it to themselves.

    Solace stepped forward, "Brethren!" the command rang out over the gathered force. "You know me well! I do not shy from what I am, the decision I have made! The one's we have all made! We are Traitors! Turncoats! They reffer to us as cowards! But we know, we know the truth of that! It is our people that act cowardly! The humans gathered here are the real courageous ones! They fight on against the Orc menace, even though all odds stand against them! We follow that same path! In their honor!" The crowd raised their fists in aggreance. The cry was weaker than she had hoped, but it was there, and that was all Solace needed. "I will now step aside. The humans have assisted us in our time of needand before you I now present their representative! It is my hope that her words will ring true with your hearts as they have with mine! Heed her message fellow Kitsune, for she speaks from the heart!"

    It was finally time, as Solace stepped down, Lyriel took to the stage. She was about to make her speech in front of a few hundred Kitsune. Even if she didn't doubt her success, the fact that the human Lieutenant was about to hold a speech in front of a different race, her heart was racing. In her thoughts she already had her words roughly laid out, ready to change them depending on the pace of her fellow men. Positioning herself in front of pretty much everyone, most eyes were already on her, after all she didn't lose a single word in regards of making a speech to them.

    "Dear Soldiers, I am Lyriel Adolf of the Serres Republic." First impression was important. Sparkling away and with a clear and strong voice, a quick glance over most of their faces made sure to know where Lyriel was standing right now: Her sparkling seemed to do a lot of work already.

    "Like you, I have lost many things dear to me in the past. But today I am here to talk about our future. Like our country, yours is just as cowardly and foolish. Weak and without honour."
    Trashtalking their country was surely not something constructing, but it was part of her plan nonetheless. Considering the nature of the Kitsune, it would surprise her if anyone was actually country. But another systematic pause to get a look over them made sure she wasn't going down the wrong road.

    "BUT there is still hope. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for change. form of people like Lady Solace."
    or Adolf-chan. Now, were her little playthings still baffled? No? Good.

    "And it is this very hope that OUR enemies are trying to take away from us! Those barbaric creatures make no difference whatsoever. Child or elder. Warrior or cripple. Our enemies carry only death and despair. They are orcs, fiends, that will take away our prosperous future!"
    Now the little Fuhrer was getting a tad closer to what she wanted to go at.

    "They are demons, that we have to stop. United we stand, united we will win. It may be hard... It may be painful... It will also be death for some of us... BUT it will also be a victory! Not just on the battlefield, but a victory for our future!"
    Now was the time maybe? Yeah, she had some applause and cheers. But fuck that. Adolf-chan wasn't done yet. Drawing her blade, she held it high up into the air.

    "So let me ask you! Are you prepared to fight?"

    The crowd roared in approval. A black mass fell from the sky.


    Suddenly the cheering stopped. A cry of pain and disdain rang out from the crowd. The soldiers parted quickly, revealing the source of the shout. A Kitsune lay beneath a human corpse, his leg broken by the impact. Three more bodies followed it, landing amongst the crowd as they scrambled to dodge the assault.

    A messenger dashed into view shouting. A single message relaying from his lips, "corpses! Corpses ever-" He was cut off as a body knocked him off his feet. Madness insued, Shogun Solace began frantically attempting to restore order. This was madness. It was all madness. It was then that a single voice rang out over the masses. Heads turned at the call. Lyriel. She cried out to the soldiers with a single message, "EVERYONE!" Getting their attention back was easy. Sparkling away she continued. "THERE IS NO REASON TO BE AFRAID!" Another corpse dropped, right besides her, but Lyriel was calm, even the horse she sat on didn't flinch. "Those beasts can do no better than send the corpses of innocent civilians flying! They must be truly desperate! Nonetheless..." Now, it wasn't just a speech for the sake of a speech anymore. It made her truly angry and sad. Not to mention it reminded the young blonde about her own village.

    "...It's unforgivable. Absolutely unforgivable! There is one more thing left to protect! Our pride! Justice needs to be done for what they did to us!" A few began to roar in approval, and then it spread as the crowd was brought under Lyriel's spell. A deafening cry rang out from the garrison. It called for vengeance. It called for bloodshed. It called..

    .. For War.
  15. Collab With Erode
    "I see." Gromak answered solemnly. "The Rough Riders are comprised of murderers and rapists, and led by a mad man, so I wouldn't expect any less." He tried his best to sound troubled by the news, but the trust was he didn't care. It was a tiny human settlement, and for his plan to work he needed the humans to be angry. "Even so, I believe you are correct. We should give them back their dead during the battle. It will help in convincing them to come to us."

    The liar, trying to hide his apathy with insincere concern. Brent would have felt better if Gromak had at least stayed honest, but...well, he'll give the orc general the benefit of the doubt and pretend that it was a white lie. Nodding at the green orc's assent, Roless said, looking up at the skies,"We'd best find a way to catch the eyes of the harpies then. It wouldn't do for them to scout out the massacre before we can deliver the corpses, yes?"

    "I don't feel that it would be much of an issue. If they see it early, then it will let them stew in their anger." He wrung his hands together, "Let the juices seep into their hearts and let their anger grow."

    "It would be a stronger bait if they believed that a portion was still alive, wouldn't it? If it was clear that the entire population has been wiped out, they would be fighting merely for revenge, which can be held back."

    "If they believed that there was a chance to save a non-existent group of...let's say, innocent, small children, though..." Brent smiled, despite himself. It really does take one to know one, huh? "They wouldn't waste any time at all. They might not even think it through."

    "Hmm," Gromak brought his arms around behind his back as he took a minute to think. "I suppose that your assumption is correct. I will send a small detachment the other way for a distraction. Even then, they may notice that the village has been irretrievably destroyed."

    "Yes, even then, and if that's the case..."

    Brent stroked his beardless chin in contemplation, trying to guess what the First Sword of Serres would be doing, what the harpies would best respond to. There was a smart way of doing it, and he just needed...

    "Oh, I'm an idiot. The harpies would respond best if they simply saw our troop formations, getting ready to do something. Send your men out with the intention of using them to outflank the enemy. Within those battalions or whatever, have a few of them break off from the rest and do the deed."

    "I'll send the order" And with that, Gromak made his way about organizing a small flanking force of about five hundred in which a small group would split off to collect the bodies of the pillaged village.
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  16. At least he didn’t have to explain the matter to the orc general, and as Gromak marched off to meet the man in charge Lokire sighed before he began his slow ponderous return. Given he towered over most of the individuals around him, it wasn’t hard to notice the dragonkins return; so Arkhos had also been sent out…

    With the pace he set it wasn’t a surprise that he arrived quite a few moments later than the orc, and just in time to catch the final portions of the two’s conversation. Whatever had passed between Brent and Gromak seemed to have upset the small human quite a bit and Lokire tilted his head questioningly. Still… that had been the Goliaths’ purpose until battle was joined, so even if it was simply a bit earlier than planned he gave a small nod and left the two commanders to continue their talk.

    He moved down to the end of the laid out siege weapons, motioning for an imp to approach before sending him off to find more of Lokire’s kin. While the dwarves were quite strong in their own right, working with the smaller individuals would be a pain; it’d be much simpler to have one of them direct the Goliaths in the setup of the massive siege engines. As he ripped the covering off one of the numerous pieces, Lokire rubbed his head and sighed at the numerous parts laid out before him. A faint idea of how they all fit together was present, but a concrete image refused to form. At the least he could get the foundations set up before the others arrived and “construction” was put into full swing.

    While initially construction had been slow, with the arrival of nearly a dozen of his kin and a dwarf to help supervise the assembly, siege engines sprung up rapidly and not a moment too soon. The initial payload to be delivered arrived shortly afterwards and Lokire’s expression soured at the sight of the mutilated and violated corpses. He could hear a few muttered curses around him and unsurprisingly none of the Goliaths made so much as a move to obey the orders that soon followed. While they might have been part of the Mercenaries, if need be they could walk different paths without too much issue, and this deed was one that none of them intended to sully their hands with.
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  17. In Mathias' mind, the effectiveness of catapults on this battlefield remained dubiously questionable, particularly in the accuracy department, not to mention, close proximity of both forces could result in friendly fire casualties in the impending battle. Wasn't the primary use for a siege weapon to siege, thought Mathias. Not only did they have a slow rate of fire, they were once again not very accurate unless they were attacking stationary targets such as a fortified castle or wall or simply launching projectiles over a rampart, hungrily expecting to hit something of value within. Mathias placed a clot in that vein of thought when a much anticipated harpy that was doused in blue and white water-based paint descended next to him. She whispered something into his ear before taking off again and disappearing into the vastness of the sky. Mathias grit his teeth. In more than one way, he had miscalculated the effectiveness of the enemy's artillery.

    Mathias was angry, but the disappointed he felt outweighed all other emotions. The preceding ostentatious and immoral tactics were wholly to be foreseen from humans and possibly kitsune as well, but not the Orcs --Mathias had expected better from them; from Gromak, the Liberator, especially. How could the one called Gromak, of all people, agree to a maneuver so debauched in nature? Perhaps the stories of this Orc King and the pride and honor of his warriors, on and off the battlefield, were simply tall tales. In the end, they too were degenerate sheep waiting to be devoured by the wolves and ultimately forgotten. Any sympathies Mathias once held for the Orcs' plight and struggle for freedom from the Kaiden Empire's oppressive governance appeared now to have vanished. Despite Mathias' disappointment, this heinous act had done nothing but strengthen his resolve and the resolve of the Onyx Wolves, further convincing them that aiding the Kitsune was indeed not the right course of action, however, it was presently --with little doubt-- the proper course of action.

    The stars always seem to align with those damned Kitsune.
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